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  • Russia’s Olympic Fear

    Worry is rising over the risk of terrorism at Russia’s 2014 Winter Olympics. Last week’s deadly attack on a hydroelectric station in Russia’s deep south only added to the concern. The number of attacks in the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus was up 57 percent last year, and unlike the Chechen wars of 1994–2001, these killings have been the work of a bewildering array of rebel groups, some motivated by radical Islam but others by separatism or clan warfare.
  • Fazlullah, Widely Feared Mullah, Is Alive

    The Pakistani military’s most impressive accomplishment in the past two years was its major offensive into the Swat Valley that succeeded in driving out Islamist militants who had established control over one of the country’s favorite tourist destinations. The military became confident that it had all but decapitated the valley’s radical leadership. Now there is doubt.
  • Newsverse: Great Israeli Pickup Lines

    In this week's edition of Newsverse, NEWSWEEK's humorous poetic take on current events, Jerry Adler examines an unusual conviction for deception rendered by an Israeli court.
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    Denis MacShane: Turkey and Europe's Conflicts

    In the cold war years Turkey was unquestionably accepted as the West’s most important frontier nation. Now it seems to prefer coddling Iran over backing the U.N. Security Council’s harder line against Tehran. Disputes with Israel, once a key friend of Turkey, have become so bad, there is almost a rupture between the only two democracies in the region.
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    London Gardens Where Smoking Is Encouraged

    They are called COSAS—an acronym for Comfortable Outdoor Smoking Area. And according to Jemma Freeman, the sixth-generation owner of the London-based Havana cigar importer Hunters & Frankau, “They are opening up in London at the rate of one a week.”
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    With the Rise of Comedians, China Embraces Raunch

    Comedy is on the rise in China, and one of its unlikeliest stars is a cross-dressing performer known as Xiao Shenyang, or “Little Shenyang.” Born in hardscrabble northeast China, the 29-year-old comedian has a reputation for gender-bending costumes and occasional vulgarity.
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    Microsoft's Russian Spy Was Greasy, Foreign, and Loved Snickers

    Alexey Karetnikov, the 23-year-old Russian spy at Microsoft busted last week, was "very oily" and "very Russian," according to a fellow dorm resident who lived near him in Microsoft's corporate housing complex. In an e-mail exchange with NEWSWEEK, the neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said Karetnikov spoke surprisingly poor English, but was "sophisticated" and knew a lot about Microsoft.
  • More Twists in the Lockerbie Bomber Saga

    The Libyan jailed for blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 270 people, finds himself at the center of continuing international intrigue.
  • From Islamabad Station Chief to New CIA Spymaster

    A fresh indication of the extreme importance the Obama administration attaches to U.S.-Pakistani relations: the CIA's new top spymaster, John D. Bennett, was the agency's chief of station in Islamabad in his most recent foreign posting.
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    Kabul Conference Sets Lofty Goals

    The latest international meeting on Afghanistan optimistically set a date for a security handover and devised a plan to rebuild the country. But is any of this actually achievable?
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    Spies Among Us: Modern-Day Espionage

    Long after the Cold War’s end, nations still send secret agents across borders. But corporations, terrorists, and private investigators are also part of the sleuthing underground.
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    China's Anxiety About Successful Companies

    China is turning independent coal mines into state-run operations, showing a desire to control the energy sector and indicating Beijing’s impatience with private companies that get too big.
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    Eight Other Pending Executions in Iran

    News of the imminent stoning of one Iranian woman for alleged adultery galvanized a global movement to save her. But sadly, her case was not an anomaly.
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    Shabab Bombings May Be a Sign of Weakness

    At first glance, the images of overturned tables and blood-soaked walls seemed to tell a familiar story. The setting—Kampala, the laid-back capital of Uganda, during the World Cup championship last week—was new, but the lesson of the latest global terrorist bombings was by now routine: jihadi groups are ruthless, unpredictable, and prone to metastasize. Chaotic backwaters in the Horn of Africa can spawn threats just as dangerous as those in the Middle East and South Asia.
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    In Islamabad, Clinton Unveils $500 Million Aid Package to Pakistan

    Hillary Clinton announced more than $500 million in aid projects to Pakistan at a meeting Monday in Islamabad. The projects, meant to bolster Pakistan's infrastructure through agricultural improvements and construction of health facilities and dams, will be funded through the Enhanced Partnership With Pakistan Act (also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill) that President Obama signed into law last October. The act allots $1.5 billion in nonmilitary aid to Pakistan annually.
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    Luxurious Hunting in South America

    On a recent weekend hunting retreat, I managed to do practically everything but hunt. I ate two barbecues in the field, where I was offered at least seven different varieties of meat; enjoyed four-course dinners served by waiters in suits; and contemplated getting a massage before deciding my time was better spent on the free, high-speed Wi-Fi watching YouTube videos of other people hunting.
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    The Real Failed-State Risk

    “What happened in Kampala is just the beginning!” So warned Abu Zubayr, the leader of Al-Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the bombings in the Ugandan capital that killed more than 70 people who had gathered to watch the World Cup soccer final. In the bombings’ wake, Al-Shabab has drawn renewed attention for its murky links to Al Qaeda, and analysts once again are warning that failed states are a mortal threat to American national security.
  • Stress Tests Raise Stress in Germany

    Almost three years after the first tremors of the financial crisis, Europe is finally running “stress tests” on its banks. The results, due this week, are supposed to restore the confidence of weary investors by declaring which financial institutions are reliable enough to survive market shocks.
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    Time to Draw Down in Afghanistan

    After nearly nine years of war, continued or increased U.S. involvement in Afghanistan isn’t likely to yield lasting improvements that would be commensurate in any way with the investment of American blood and treasure. It is time to scale down our ambitions there and both reduce and redirect what we do.
  • Iran Closes Shop

    Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have hoped to close his yawning deficit—and advance other goals—with a big tax increase on the merchants and shopkeepers in the country’s bazaars. But the bazaaris declared a strike for only the second time since they helped bring down the shah in 1979. (The first time was in 2008, when Ahmadinejad made another attempt to raise their taxes.)
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    Contemporary Art on the Rise in Eastern Europe

    Among the well-established galleries from New York, Paris, and London showing works at Art Basel Switzerland last month, a smattering of galleries from Central and Eastern Europe stood out, showing video installations, photographs, and huge landscape paintings. They are among those from the former East bloc fast gaining a reputation as important players on the international contemporary-art scene.
  • No Place Like Iran

    Until he flew home to Iran last week, claiming to have been kidnapped and tortured by American agents, Shahram Amiri was a client of the CIA’s National Resettlement Operations Center (NROC). That experience may not have improved his attitude toward America. The NROC, an office in the agency’s National Clandestine Service, is supposed to keep foreign defectors as happy and comfortable as possible—a frequently thankless task, since they tend to be a stressed-out lot.
  • Northern Ireland Flashes Back to the Troubles

    Last week clashes across Northern Ireland stirred memories of the bad old days. In Belfast, protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and set a car aflame, injuring more than 80 officers; police returned fire with rubber bullets and a water cannon. TV news images have people asking: are the old Catholic-versus-Protestant conflicts going to derail Northern Ireland’s peace process?
  • How Legalized Pot Could Hurt Mexico's Cartels

    So far, no modern country has ever legalized marijuana production—not even the Netherlands. Yet with heavy drug-related violence plaguing the U.S.-Mexican border, some analysts and policymakers now say that America should legalize weed in order to reduce the power of Mexico’s drug cartels.
  • Singh Has an Opportunity in Kashmir

    The Kashmir valley has been convulsed by a series of violent protests since June. Demonstrations that began over alleged extrajudicial killings by Indian security forces quickly spiraled out of control, claiming at least 15 civilian lives—with each new death leading to another round of protest marches and more deaths as paramilitary police met rock-hurling demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition.
  • Japanese DPJ Party Faces Internal Rifts

    Just a month and a half into his term, Naoto Kan’s tenure as Japan’s prime minister appears to have an expiration date. Members of his Democratic Party of Japan are blaming Kan for losing control of the Upper House in the July 11 elections, and several DPJ politicians have called for him to step down. The party may well toss Kan out in September, when he faces reelection as its leader.
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    Colombia Becomes a Latin American Star

    In a time of emerging-market juggernauts, Colombia gets little notice. Its $244 billion economy is only the fifth-largest in Latin America, a trifle next to Brazil, the $2 trillion regional powerhouse. Yet against all odds Colombia has become the country to watch in the hemisphere. In the past eight years the nation of 45 million has gone from a crime- and drug-addled candidate for failed state to a prospering dynamo.