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  • Excerpt: The Price of Condi's Loyalty to Bush

    "No way, I don't want that job!" Condoleezza Rice had told her Birmingham girlfriend Deborah Carson. And yet here she was, three days after Bush's re-election, the president asking her to take that job: to replace Colin Powell as secretary of State. Rice laid to rest the rumor that what she really wanted was Donald Rumsfeld's post at Defense. She didn't. "The question for me is not where I go," she told Bush flatly that afternoon at Camp David. "I'll go where you want me to go. The question is do I stay. And that's what I have to grapple with."It wasn't the first time Bush had asked Rice to do something she had decided not to do. During the 2000 campaign, she had planned to advise Bush informally; instead, Rice ended up leading his foreign policy team. "In a political sense, I think he kind of courted her," said Carson. "He really went after her. He's very charming."And Rice was drawn to Bush. "First of all, I thought he was wonderful to be around," she recalled, sitting on the...
  • Last Word: John Thain and Jean-François Théodore

    Ever since the New York stock exchange and the Paris-based Euronext announced their $20 billion merger last spring, the two firms have been hard at work transforming into the first transatlantic stock market. Shortly after its debut last month, the merger's two main architects, CEO John Thain and deputy CEO Jean-François Théodore, accepted an award for transcultural leadership from INSEAD, the respected French business school. NEWSWEEK's Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Richard M. Smith spoke with them about the opportunities and obstacles they've encountered in building a transnational financial powerhouse even as technology and globalization are rewriting the rules of securities trading. Excerpts: ...
  • Germany's Merkel is the New Tony Blair

    For the better part of a decade, he bestrode Europe like few other politicians—a truly transformative leader in the tradition of a Thatcher or de Gaulle. Tony Blair was often divisive. He was never the ardent European many hoped. Yet, as he prepares to stand down as prime minister, the question inevitably arises: who, in Europe, can fill his shoes?Probably not his all-but-certain successor, Gordon Brown, at least not soon. The searing experience of Iraq has left Britain mired in cynicism about government, and Brown will have his hands full trying to repair the damage.Nor can a new French president expect to play the heavyweight in Europe's affairs. For the foreseeable future France's fixation will be its own troubled economy—and an accompanying crisis of national identity. Italy's Romano Prodi and Spain's José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero are middleweight powers, sidelined by their own problems at home. Arise, then, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, champion of Europe.She was "the girl"...
  • The Club of Competitors

    If the reports are on target, Europe will grow faster than America in 2007—for the first time in six years. European Union countries created 2 million new jobs last year, cutting unemployment to its lowest since 1991. Better, growth is no longer confined to outliers like Britain, Spain or the Baltic mini-states. Europe's resurgence is driven by the behemoth at the continent's heart, Germany. After 15 years of malaise, the EU's traditional locomotive grew at almost 3 percent in 2006, roaring past such laggards as France and Italy. Years of restructuring and smart wage deals with the unions have made German manufacturers, especially exporters, über-competitive.The jury is still out over how much of this faster growth is temporary. But the process by which the German economy has shaped up is Exhibit A for what's going right in the EU these days. It's not a matter of any single smart policy or innovative wage deal. The key to Germany's broader revival is the way the EU has boosted...
  • Opinion: Oil Nationalism Endangers Economic Growth

    Last week's announcement from Caracas that the operations of Western energy companies including BP, Chevron, Conoco, Exxon, Total and Statoil were being reduced due to continuing nationalization of oil reserves, and that the Chinese state oil giant CNPC would play a much bigger future role in exploration and production, poses a serious threat to the global oil market.About 80 percent of the world's oil is controlled by national oil companies. Some of these state-owned enterprises operate at world-class standards, notably Petrobras of Brazil, Petronas of Malaysia and Aramco of Saudi Arabia. In those places, production is increasing.But most of the large state firms (including CNPC) have much lower operating standards than multinationals, such as the ones leaving Venezuela. This is due largely to political interference. The inefficient bureaucracies of state-run firms are too slow and incompetent to reinvest record industry profits in the modernization of their aging oilfields. Both...
  • Why Condi Is Talking to the Enemy

    Lately, Condoleezza Rice has been in a chatty mood. Before leaving for a trip to the Middle East this week—for a regional conference on security and stability in Iraq—she phoned the Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, to debrief her on a meeting the Speaker had in April with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Once Rice arrived at the regional summit in Egypt, she sat down with her Syrian counterpart to discuss how Syria and the United States could work together to keep foreign jihadis from crossing Syria into Iraq to kill U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. Rice was also hoping to talk to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, but he beat a hasty retreat from the dinner where Rice planned to approach him, leaving before the secretary of state arrived—and before dinner, according to The New York Times....
  • Dickey: France's Reality Check for America

    The Republican presidential debate shows just how much American politicians are out of touch with global realities. What the French can teach them about Iraq, terrorism and conflict.
  • Israel: Can Olmert Survive Bad War Report?

    Israelis began calling for the head of their prime minister, Ehud Olmert, this week, after an interim report of the Winograd Commission, the panel investigating the conduct of last summer's Lebanon war, found "severe failures" in Olmert's handling of the conflict. Labor Party politicians demanded that Olmert resign, and protesters began marching toward Tel Aviv to attend what is expected to be a massive rally on Thursday night in the city's Rabin Square. Even some of the prime minister's Kadima Party colleagues had jumped on the bandwagon by midweek; one Kadima member, Marina Solodkin, told Army Radio that the report was "so severe, that according to what is written there, [Olmert] must resign." As the pressure intensified, NEWSWEEK's Kevin Peraino spoke with Yaron Ezrahi, a political scientist at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, about the report. Excerpts: ...
  • Disquieting Disclosures in London Terror Trial

    Britain's law-enforcement agencies did well to uncover a terror plan aimed at killing thousands. But the conviction of the plotters has raised questions about whether police missed a chance to prevent the 7/7 mass-transit attack of 2005.
  • Correspondent's Picks: Nairobi Restaurants

    For the past three years, Alexandra Polier has been reporting for NEWSWEEK from Nairobi, Kenya. Nestled between the Indian Ocean and Africa’s Great Rift Valley, this multicultural city blends rich colonial history with contemporary African culture. From fresh seafood to wild game, Nairobi is full of good restaurants, if you know where to go. Here’s an insiders' guide to a good meal and a good time: ...
  • Mail Call: Blair's Legacy

    Readers of our Feb. 26 cover story on Tony Blair were disappointed in the prime minister. Said one, "You've fallen for his spin." Another wrote, "He's undermined Britain by blindly supporting America." A third opined, "I praise the Blair that was England's Clinton—too bad his moralism got in the way." ...
  • Ruchir Sharma: Why Brazil is Not a BRIC

    Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva says this is his country's "momento mágico." Well, he has some reason for feeling so chuffed. Inflation has collapsed, foreign capital is gushing in and consumer confidence is running high.The buzzword in São Paulo's business community is "stability," which is a huge achievement for a country where boom-bust cycles had become a way of life. Economic forecasters have never felt so certain in predicting Brazil's outlook. They all think the country is on course to regain its long-lost investment credit rating, because the ratio of debt to gross domestic product continues to decline, inflationary expectations remain well anchored and fiscal discipline is maintained.All this is rather impressive when compared with Brazil's economic track record of the previous two decades, but hardly the stuff of magic by global standards. It's one thing not to be the soft underbelly of the emerging-market universe anymore, and quite another to shoulder the...
  • Perspectives: The Islamabad Two-Step

    A budding deal between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and arch foe Benazir Bhutto could bring a new stability to Pakistan, say people close to the talks. In recent months the president has phoned Bhutto at least three times, and an aide has met secretly with her in Dubai, say the sources, who request anonymity due to the sensitivity of the talks. With Musharraf under siege by protesters, the deal would wipe away the corruption charges that drove Bhutto into exile, and allow her to return to run for Parliament in a general election next January. In return, her party would minimize its role in the protests and back Musharraf's bid for re-election as president in an October legislative ballot—and Musharraf would have to win. The clincher: Musharraf would give up his efforts to remain head of the Army, returning Pakistan to civilian rule.It's not certain that a president shorn of military muscle makes for more rather than less stability in a critical, but chaotic, Western ally in...
  • Essay: Asia's Glass Houses

    It may seem strange that Japan's imperial past still makes headlines. But the debate over history in Asia has much to do with the present. Revisionists who dispute Japan's wartime responsibility have a contemporary agenda: they seek to revise Japan's pacifist Constitution to enable a more aggressive foreign policy and to improve Japan's place in the world.These attempts, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's prevarications on the comfort-women question, have understandably made Japan's neighbors nervous. But few of Tokyo's Asian critics have impeccable records themselves. The governments of China, both Koreas and, to a lesser extent, Taiwan have all glossed over the dark blots on their own histories.Not many countries suffered more in the 20th century than China. Some of this was caused by Japan, but much resulted from Chinese Communist rule. Mao Zedong contributed to the death of several millions from famine with his misguided Great Leap Forward (an agricultural reform program), and the...
  • Level Up

    Sony and Microsoft had been stealing market share and had the leg up in "cool factor" over Nintendo's Gamecube platform. But with the Wii, Nintendo won back the support of developers and publishers. We asked Nintendo of America president Reginald Fils-Aime how they did it. ...
  • Architecture: Tokyo's New Downtown

    In Tokyo's new Suntory Museum Of Art, centuries-old paper screens, ceramics, glassware and Noh costumes are on elegant display under subtle, high-tech lighting in tranquil rooms designed by the renowned architect Kengo Kuma. But as astounding as the building itself, or the dazzling array of ancient Japanese artifacts contained within, is its location: right smack in the middle of Tokyo's bustling Roppongi district, more frequently associated with nightlife and shopping than with high culture.That is about to change, thanks to the opening of Tokyo Midtown, a new $3 billion 10-hectare complex developed by Mitsui Fudosan on the site of former Japan's Defense Agency head office in the center of the city. The mega-development, modeled after midtown Manhattan, marks a deliberate attempt to add a vibrantly creative component to Japan's thriving economic center. In addition to the Suntory museum, the complex includes the Tokyo Midtown Design Hub and Fujifilm Photo museum and gallery as well...
  • Correspondents' Picks: Indian Wines

    Wine is hardly new to India. Sixteenth-century Mogul rulers were known to enjoy chalices of red Shiraz wine imported from Iran. Ever since the hard-drinking days of the British Raj, the alcohol of choice has been whisky. But there’s a strong sense that the cultural pendulum is starting to swing back, as wine sales dramatically outpace those for spirits. Our correspondents' picks from wineries in the Maharashtra region, about 125 miles northeast of Mumbai: ...
  • The World's Main Places of Pilgrimage

    Traditional pilgrimages are drawing ever-increasing throngs. Every year, tens of millions of people of many faiths take spiritual journeys that are becoming increasingly important both to pious and nonpious alike. From Lourdes to Our Lady of Guadalupe, from Jerusalem to Lhasa, from Mecca to Mariambad, the travelers embark on what Phil Cousineau, author of “The Art of Pilgrimage” calls “a transformative journey to a sacred center.” Some of the main pilgrimage routes and sites around the world:LAC ST. ANNE, Canada ...
  • Indian Wine Comes of Age

    Local farmers supplying grapes to Sham Chougule, owner of India's Chateau Indage Estate Vineyards, call him "the Wine King," and with good reason. The 72-year-old entrepreneur owns a whopping 70 percent of the small but rapidly growing Indian wine market. Over the past three years, the stock price of Chougule's publicly traded company has doubled, giving Indage a market capitalization of $170 million. Now he's going global, with a purchase of Australia's seventh largest winery. He plans to spend $27 million to modernize his company and acquire an extra 810 hectares of vineyards in India. He is also looking to purchase wineries in places like South Africa, Chile, Argentina, France and Spain. Wine is going to be the next big thing in India, he says: "I don't want to think small anymore."Neither do his customers. As globalization has stoked India's economic boom, its growing middle class has gotten accustomed to the pleasures and conveniences of the West, including well-made wines....
  • Zakaria: Losing Another War ... in Asia

    If you want to know which way the breeze is blowing in Asia, check out a bookstore in Hanoi. The two I went to while visiting there last week were stocked with the usual stuff—the writings of Ho Chi Minh and General Giap—and many signs of the new Vietnam, which meant books on business and management plus a seemingly legal Vietnamese translation of Hillary Clinton's memoirs. Prominently displayed along with all these wares were the collected speeches of Chinese leaders Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.The Vietnamese have no particular love for China. One official there, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the relationship, said to me, "We are clear-eyed. China has occupied Vietnam for 1,000 years. It has invaded us 13 times since then. But China is a huge presence, our biggest exporter." And everyone I spoke to in Hanoi agreed that the Chinese were handling them with great dexterity. Before arriving in Vietnam I had been in Tokyo, during Chinese Prime...
  • Growth Is Not Enough

    A new report envisions a 'middle income' Asia by 2020, but only if the region makes some big changes in the way it does business.
  • Mideast: The New Muslim Brotherhood

    Zeki Bany Arshead is the Muslim Brotherhood's new man in Amman. The general secretary of the Islamic Action Front, the Brotherhood's Jordanian chapter, might be expected to spout the rhetoric of his predecessors—heavy on Qur'anic injunctions and talk of a Pan-Arabic Islamic "caliphate." So what's all this about democracy? "Our minimum demand," he says from his businesslike offices in downtown Amman, "is for freedom of expression and assembly, real elections with multiple parties, rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free press."This isn't your father's Muslim Brotherhood. It's still the world's oldest and largest Islamist movement. But as with Arshead himself, these days it's gone heavy on populism—and light on God. Known as the Ikhwan in Arabic, renowned for its conservative and often backward ways, it now counts women as members. Once wary of engaging in the parochial rough-and-tumble of politics, it increasingly collaborates with non-Muslim and even secular groups pushing...
  • Japan's PM on Iraq and 'Comfort Women'

    This week, President Bush will welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Washington. Abe's predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, had a close relationship with Bush, who admired his courage in tackling Japan's economic problems. Abe, a staunch nationalist, recently aroused controversy in the United States and elsewhere by seeming to dismiss the complaints of Chinese and Korean women who were forced to serve the Japanese Army as prostitutes during World War II. NEWSWEEK's Lally Weymouth interviewed Abe in Tokyo last week, where he discussed many issues, from changing Japan's Constitution to forging a new relationship with China. Excerpts: ...
  • Japan: The Balancing Act of Shinzo Abe

    It's been a rocky six months for Shinzo Abe. Ever since he became Japan's prime minister in September, he's struggled to buoy his plummeting popularity amid mishaps and scandals. But this month he got help from an unexpected quarter: Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who came to Tokyo to warm the two countries' frosty relations. Wen's visit, payback for a trip to Beijing Abe made shortly after coming to office, has boosted Abe's approval rating by 4.3 percent in the past month (to 44.2 percent, according to the Kyodo news agency). And it points to the one way Abe may be able to bail out his government. Though he's failed to articulate any sort of coherent domestic program, an increasingly assertive foreign policy may prove Abe's salvation.At least, he seems to hope so. Abe plans to build on Wen's visit by heading to Washington and Camp David next week, where he'll showcase his friendship with George W. Bush and reaffirm the U.S.-Japan alliance. Next, he'll fly to the Middle East,...
  • The Rise of the Pilgrimage

    In 1986, the best-selling Brazilian author Paulo Coelho walked the ancient religious road from the French border to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. In those days, he recalls with a smile, perhaps 450 people made the famous pilgrimage each year. Today, that many do it daily. Some 100,000 pilgrims registered with the Roman Catholic Church in Santiago last year, after trekking along the 764-kilometer route—and European officials believe three or four times as many completed all or part of the journey but never formally presented themselves to be counted.This summer, the numbers are expected to be even higher. Indeed, during the peak months of July and August the sinuous tracks through the Pyrenees (where an English pilgrim died of the cold earlier this month) and the rocky trails along the hillsides of Galicia that are the Camino de Santiago—or "The Way of Saint James," as it is called in English—will at times resemble a carnival boardwalk as much as a...
  • Europe's Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense

    Politics stops at the water's edge. Or so voters in the Western democracies like to believe. When our security is at stake, we expect elected leaders to think coolly and strategically, advancing the national interest.Iraq has done much to discredit such hopes. Now comes another American-inspired folly—the brewing transatlantic spat over the deployment of a primitive antiballistic-missile defense system in Eastern Europe. At bottom, it has little to do with security, and everything to do with symbolism and spin. And in the end it is destined to come back to bite its adherents in their collective geostrategic backside.Begin with the Americans. Republican neoconservatives have long dreamed of a Star Wars missile defense. President Ronald Reagan came up with the vision 20 years ago, and his acolytes have been transfixed by the vision ever since. Now they're determined to build it—in Europe. Never mind that even true believers long ago gave up any hope that such a system could stop an...
  • Brazil: Slow and Steady Wins

    Since a team of Goldman Sachs economists popularized the term "BRIC" (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in 2003, this group of emerging-market countries has assumed ever-greater importance in the international investment community's collective imagination. There are plenty of good reasons to invest in each of them. But from a political-risk perspective, and leaving aside differences of scale in the four economies, Brazil's upside potential and limited downside risk suggest it may well emerge as the surest long-term bet of the BRIC states.You wouldn't guess it at first. Brazil has by far the lowest growth rate of the four BRICs, driven by a tax burden of nearly 35 percent of GDP and slow movement on economic reform. But market-friendly macroeconomic policy and stable democratic governance have created a solid foundation for growth. Since 2002, the state has made its debt repayments on schedule. The economy has generated more than 4.5 million new jobs. Trade surpluses top $40 billion...
  • Last Word: It's All About Attitude

    With the demand for microfinancing on the rise, and tech start-ups heading back to Wall Street, entrepreneurship is key when it comes to economic growth these days. But that wasn't always the case. When he accepted the 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics in Stockholm, Edmund Phelps was the first winner in decades to focus his speech on entrepreneurship, despite the crucial role that innovative, fast-growing companies play in job creation, technological progress and growth around the globe. Lately, the 74-year-old American economics professor has focused on what exactly drives certain economies to be innovative while others lag behind. NEWSWEEK's Berlin bureau chief Stefan Theil, currently on leave as a fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington, spoke with Phelps last week. Excerpts: ...
  • Iraq: The Perils of Pulling Out

    Everyone is talking about whether the United States should withdraw from Iraq. But is anyone actually planning for that day?
  • Dissing the French Candidates

    The French haven’t given up on good old graffiti and they still do strange and interesting things to campaign posters—blacking out the eyes, painting red noses on the candidates. But in this presidential race the dissident instinct has found its greatest expression on the Web. France now has an estimated 18 million people with Internet access from their homes.The candidates were quick to use this pipeline to bypass strict laws about equal time on TV and radio, as well as bans on broadcast advertising. Targeting young voters, the political machines have tried to portray their candidates as being in touch with the times. Commentary posted by students and pranksters, bored browsers and dirty tricksters on YouTube.com, DailyMotion.com and other sites is often much more amusing.What follows is a sampling of perspectives on the race between Socialist Ségolène Royal and conservative Nicolas Sarkozy as seen from the Web. If "Sarko" seems to be targeted more often than "Ségo," that's...
  • Italians Revisit Mussolini's Fascist Legacy

    The Villa Torlonia is one of Rome’s last existing examples of 17th-century grandeur. But when city authorities recently unveiled its main palazzo after a $6 million restoration, the result was anything but majestic. The 20th-century interior is ostentatious, the chandeliers gaudy and the frescoes grandiose. The reason for the jarring décor: to showcase the lifestyle of its last Italian resident, former dictator Benito Mussolini.Mussolini lived in the Villa Torlonia with his wife, Rachele, and their children from 1925 to 1943. And while the decision to restore it in the image of a pro-Nazi Fascist may seem an odd choice to outsiders, it reflects a growing fascination among Italians with Il Duce. A spate of Mussolini-themed movies and documentaries are in the works; visitors are snapping up clothes and flags with Fascist insignias from the Villa Mussolini Museum at the seaside village of Riccione, where the family kept a summer home. Additional souvenir stores and museums are opening...
  • How Will Turkey's Next Leader Impact Iraq?

    By nominating Abdullah Gul for Turkey's presidency, the ruling AK party is bowing to pressure from secularists and the military. How will this impact the country's volatile border with Iraq?
  • Blair's Final Days are Mired in Bad News

    Tony Blair may be enjoying a second political life in France, where the two victors in last Sunday’s election, Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal, emulate his style and even some of the policies that once made Britain’s New Labour such an electoral success. But across the Channel, the British prime minister is entering the final days of a remarkable, and ultimately tragic, political career.When Blair came to power in 1997, ending 18 years of Conservative Party rule, it would have been hard to imagine a dénouement so mired in bad news. The fallout from the war in Iraq continues to eat away at Blair’s political support. The war is hardly Blair’s only problem, but the toll it has taken will be glaringly obvious on May 3, when his Labour Party is expected to fare poorly in elections for local councils, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament.In Scotland, the Scottish National Party, which advocates independence from Britain, is holding onto a 5 to 7 percent lead over Labour,...
  • Interview: Talbott on Yeltsin's Legacy

    Strobe Talbott, who served as deputy secretary of State during the Clinton administration, got to know Boris Yeltsin as well as any U.S. official. From Yeltsin's days as maverick Moscow party chief to his critical role in ending the Soviet Union to his chaotic years as president of the new Russian Federation, Talbott closely observed the rise and fall of a man he likens to a construction crane that demolished the old system but left a great deal of chaos in its wake. Or as a popular Russian joke in the late '90s had it, “Mikhail Gorbachev took us to the edge of the abyss, and Yeltsin took us one step further.” Talbott, who first gained fame as a Russia expert when he translated the memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, says that Yeltsin's greatest mistake was to name Vladimir Putin as his successor. Putin has reversed many of the democratic and open-market reforms put in place by the former Russian president, who died Monday. Talbot, who is now president of the Brookings Institution, spoke...
  • The Move From Hell

    Most everyone agrees that a precipitous American withdrawal from Iraq would be disastrous. Fewer people realize it may be impossible. In the past four years, the U.S. military has shipped to the region more than 9 million tons of equipment—from tanks and bulldozers to toilets and silverware. If you were to load all that gear on tractor-trailers and line them up end to end, the convoy would extend from San Francisco to Miami."It's mind-boggling, the size of all this," says Maj. Gen. Charles W. Fletcher Jr., who is director of operations at the U.S. Transportation Command and was in charge of logistics at the start of the war. Fletcher knows something about pullouts. After the 1991 war in Iraq, he commanded a battalion in Saudi Arabia that "cleared out the theater" of all remaining U.S. matériel. "We let all the soldiers fly home minus myself and a couple of thousand others," he says. "It took us about eight months to get all the equipment back."And that was under optimal conditions....
  • Syria’s Suddenly Popular Man in Washington

    The inked-up pages of Imad Moustapha's date book have a story to tell. In the first four months of 2007, the Syrian ambassador to Washington has had more interaction with U.S. officials than in all of 2005 and 2006. He has met with every single member of the Foreign Relations Committee, including many Republicans. He coordinated the trips to Damascus of at least three congressional delegations, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's this month. He's even had talks with a senior official in the State Department. (As further evidence of the warming trend, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice travels to Egypt next month to meet with representatives of Iraq's neighbors, including Syria). Many people in Washington still support the Bush administration's strategy of shunning Syria for its alleged ties to terrorist groups like Hizbullah and Hamas and its possible involvement in the assassination two years ago of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. But Moustapha, a computer...
  • French Election: Parsing Round 1's Results

    France now faces one of the clearest ideological choices it has had in decades. Exit polls show conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Ségolène Royal with commanding leads over other candidates as first-round balloting ended in France today. Neither comes close to the majority needed to secure the top job, but as the two of them face each other in the runoff on May 6, the French will have to decide between two very different visions.Sarkozy presents himself as a partisan of freer markets, tighter law enforcement and warm relations with the United States. Royal—the first woman ever to make it into the second round—proposes a greater emphasis on social justice and education. She is also deeply skeptical of the policies pursued by the U.S. administration of President George W. Bush.Sarkozy, speaking to supporters in Paris only 30 minutes after the first numbers were released, called the highest voter turnout in decades “a victory for democracy” and underscored the...
  • The Dalai Lama on the Value of Pilgrimages

    Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, has long been a major object of pilgrimage. Even today, people from the farthest reaches of Tibet try to pay a visit at least once in their lives. Often they undertake the journey on foot, even barefoot. Some especially hardy pilgrims prostrate themselves, pressing their body full-length upon the ground along the entire length of their route. Once they reach the city, they often do not even stop to have a cup of tea until they have been to the Jokhang, the main cathedral, to pay their respects before the image of the Buddha, the Jowo Rinpoche.Pilgrimages are a part of nearly every religion. The faithful set out in hopes of finding virtue and gaining merit. Among Buddhists, they visit places where a spiritual master once spent time meditating. His presence makes the place seem somehow blessed or charged, as if there is some kind of electricity around it. Pilgrims come to feel these mysterious vibrations. They try to share in the visions of the master....
  • The Other Side of Sudan

    It could be the setting for a Hollywood Western: a wasteland of brush and scrub, a rough Main Street of bustling saloons, quickly built hotels and newcomers looking to get rich quick. It's the world's most unlikely boomtown: Juba, capital of South Sudan, a territory with 6 million people that is twice the size of its tragic neighbor, Darfur. Since a civil war with the North ended two years ago, investors have been pouring in to Juba, paying $200 a night in riverside tent camps with names like Oasis, Mango and Da Vinci.The lure is a multibillion-dollar treasure in oil, gold, diamonds, farmland and forests. International energy companies are beginning to fight for shares of South Sudan crude. Regional entrepreneurs are hawking everything from cement to gasoline, catering to the tide of fortune hunters and job-seekers that is swelled by foreign pledges of nearly $6 billion for postwar reconstruction. More than 2, 000 kilometers of new roads are already built, boosting trade with...
  • Global Investor: The Puzzle of Private Equity

    Pictured recently on the cover of fortune, Steve Schwarzman is "the new king of Wall Street," says the magazine. Schwarzman heads the Blackstone Group, a big "private equity" firm. In capitalism's toolbox, private equity is the latest socket wrench. It's made many people rich. In 2006, Forbes put Schwarzman at 73 on its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, with a fortune of $3.5 billion. The question is whether private equity is good for the country.Modern capitalism is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, it's dominated by massive enterprises that tend to become high-cost bureaucracies. On the other hand, these giant firms are increasingly policed by activist shareholders—including private-equity firms—that focus single-mindedly on profits. To its champions, private equity forces companies to cut costs and improve efficiency; profits are deserved. To critics, profits flow mainly from loading companies up with debt; private equity is a sophisticated swindle that often cheats...
  • Mind Control

    Most inventors who promise to unveil PC games you can control with your mind are achieving that trick mainly with hype. That may not be the case with Emotiv, an Australian start-up formed by Marconi Prize-winning neuroscientist Allan Snyder, microchip designer Neil Weste and technology entrepreneurs Nam Do and Tan Le. Toward the end of 2003, these four began looking for a way to take mind control to a new level. "The communication between man and machine has always been in a conscious form," says Le. "Nonconscious communication exists only in communication amongst humans: facial expressions, body language, feelings or simply things that we may refer to as intuition. At Emotiv, we believe that in future communication between man and machines, nonconscious communication will play a significant part."Early versions of "mind controlled" games measured how well skin conducts electricity, which can yield a crude approximation of a gamer's intentions. Later versions measured the electrical...
  • Brain Rays

    For years cancer patients have had recourse to a noninvasive surgical technique in which doctors zap tumors with focused beams of radiation. The technology was first used on brain-cancer patients because doctors can easily clamp the head in place, keeping the tumor rock steady. More recently the machines have gotten better at compensating for the patient's movement—from breathing, say—allowing doctors to treat tumors elsewhere in the body. Now doctors at Korea's St. Mary's Hospital are using a device called CyberKnife, made by Accuray in Sunnyvale, California, to treat patients with severe depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other doctors think the technique could be useful to treat Parkinson's and epilepsy patients. Since the radiation creates permanent lesions in the brain, the method is controversial and may take years to win acceptance.
  • Steve Jobs Tries TV

    Now that Apple TV has finally shipped, we can see for ourselves what makes it so special. Or can we?
  • Will Smith: Hollywood's most powerful actor?

    A few decades ago, paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which states, in essence, that evolution doesn't happen at a slow, steady rate. It happens fast, in bursts, after long periods of stasis. Maybe he should be required reading in Hollywood.For almost as long as there have been power lists, Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise—"The Toms"—have jockeyed for first position, occasionally letting Mel Gibson sneak up on the rail, just to keep things interesting. But just like that, the race has changed. Gibson hasn't starred in a major film in five years. Cruise lost his cool on Oprah's couch, and it's unclear if he can get it back. And Hanks, while undeniably bankable, is, at 50, no longer viable for most leading-man scripts. In the past year, all three men have been eclipsed. With a worldwide career box office of $4.4 billion, Will Smith is now the most powerful actor in Hollywood, followed by Johnny Depp and Ben Stiller. Talk about punctuated (or maybe...
  • The Quiet Exodus from Iraq

    He sits in an unheated two-room apartment furnished with plastic chairs and begrimed here and there with mold. Dandling his infant son on his knees, he wears the exhausted, vacant look of a man living on the edge, scrounging daily to make ends meet and feed his wife and young family. For Iraqi physician Nafa Abdul-Hadi, the road to exile and dispossession began in his spacious apartment in an affluent Baghdad neighborhood and has ended here in the tenements of Jordan's east Amman. Threatened with beheading by militants, the 50-year-old radiologist decided last July to abandon his practice and joined the mass migration that is looting Iraq of its most vital asset—an accomplished and once dynamic middle class.As little as a year ago, the number of affluent Iraqis fleeing the sectarian holocaust of Iraq for neighboring Jordan and Syria was still relatively small, scarcely more than a few dozen daily. Today it is a veritable exodus of white-collar professionals who, along with their...