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  • Zakaria: Why the Iran Sanctions Are Working

    Last fall, the Bush administration was debating how to handle the Iranian nuclear threat. It was the now well-trodden tussle between hard-liners and pragmatists. The hard-liners argued that there was no conceivable way to stop Iran's bid for regional hegemony, including its nuclear aspirations, without using military force: the Europeans would never agree to sanctions. The Russians and the Chinese would side with Tehran for commercial reasons. For them, Iran in 2006 was Germany in 1936. We had to bomb it to avert a third world war. The pragmatists countered by proposing a strategy of containment and diplomacy that, working with the rest of the world, would ratchet up the pressure on Iran. Constrained by Iraq, the hard-liners lost the debate. Over the past two months, events have made clear that the containment strategy is working—to a point.Iran's abduction of 15 British sailors must be seen in the context of its growing isolation. This has been a tough few months for Tehran. In...
  • Books: Brezinzski Grades the Presidents

    For many veterans of the cold war, the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s was a moment of happy vindication. For the famously dour and blunt Zbigniew Brzezinski, it was an occasion for deep concern. What would replace the certainties of the superpower rivalry? In "Out of Control" (1993), he worried that a decadent, materialistic United States would retreat from the world's growing anarchy. In "The Grand Chessboard" (1997), he lamented the absence of a new American geostrategy and set out his own plan for maintaining U.S. hegemony, an exercise that he repeated, more or less, in "The Choice" (2004).Now, in "Second Chance" (234 pages. Basic Books), Brzezinski offers a reckoning, his assessment of the three presidents who have directed American foreign policy since the Berlin wall fell. He does not find much to praise. A scholar-diplomat who served as Jimmy Carter's national-security adviser, Brzezinski has long been a rare traditional "realist" in the Democratic foreign...
  • French Wines Are Fighting Back

    Swirl a richly colored top-notch glass of Hermitage in your glass, give it a sniff, and then close your eyes. You might just be transported to the sloped wine terraces built directly into the rocky Rhône Valley. Then have a sip, and let your tongue search for the rich minerals that imbue this Syrah cepage. If there is one thing that has long driven men and women to wine madness—and what else can you call it when they pay thousands of dollars for a bottle that they will store in their cellar for years?—it is largely about being transported to another time and place, and a specific place at that.Global wine tastes may be shifting toward big, bold and fruity, but the high end of the wine market is still dominated by the regions of France, where nuance and complexity are inextricably bound up in a region's traditional grapes, the unique qualities of the soil and the local weather—what the French call terroir. The 2005 harvest, mostly sold in 2006, was the first in five years in which...
  • The Microcredit Backlash

    Fighting poverty has along and divisive history, but nothing's shaken up the pundits, wonks and windbags like microfinance. The United Nations declared 2005 the year of microcredit—small loans for the penniless—and last year's Nobel Peace Prize went to Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, which pioneered such lending. Governments from Brazil to Bosnia have launched massive microloan programs, and commercial banks like ABN AMRO, HSBC and Citicorp are rushing down-market. Some 500 million poor worldwide have reportedly benefited from some $6 billion in microloans, which aficionados want to ramp up to $300 billion. "One day," Yunus predicted, "our grandchildren will go to museums to see what poverty was like."That was then. Now a backlash is growing. Critics on the left charge that micro-finance privatizes social safety networks, while conservatives dismiss it as charity disguised as enterprise. Wonks weigh in with studies like "The Myths and Magic of Microcredit" and "Money Is...
  • Drama: Site-Specific Theater

    On a recent balmy evening in the Scottish Highlands, 260 theatergoers were led up a well-lit, pine-tree-lined concrete path. Their destination? A vacant hydraulics plant. With bagpipe music pumping through the sound system and projections of the blue-and-white Scottish flag superimposed on the wall, the large concrete space had the impersonal and transient feel of an army barracks—exactly the atmosphere the producers of "Black Watch" hoped to replicate. The play—which debuted last year at the Edinburgh Festival and is now touring Scotland before it comes to London in May—is based on the true story of a Highlands regiment sent to Iraq in 2004. It is a shattering tale of how the soldiers cope not only with the intense pressures of serving in postwar Iraq but also with the fact that their regiment—which traces its roots back to the early-18th-century Jacobite rebellion—is being merged with another regiment as part of the British Army's downsizing scheme. The production features...
  • Iraq Foreign Minister on Iran-U.S. Talks

    Iranian and American officials are more accustomed to exchanging barbs through the media than engaging in meaningful dialogue. So it was no small feat when Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari got representatives from both countries talking face to face at a conference in Baghdad last month. Zebari, 53, is equal parts charm and muscle, at ease hobnobbing with global leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos or navigating the rough-neck politics in Iraq. And he rarely loses his good humor. After mortars landed nearby during the Baghdad conference last month, Zebari told reporters, "I thought, 'This is bad targeting.' I was surprised there weren't more." When the 15 British sailors were detained by Iran last month, Zebari was one of the few officials who had good access to both sides. He spoke to NEWSWEEK's Babak Dehghanpisheh in Baghdad. Excerpts: ...
  • How Ayatollah Khamenei Keeps Control

    No one in Western intelligence is quite sure who made the final decision to release the British captives this week. But the Iranians themselves have a fair idea, and the nation's fiery president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, seemed to leave little doubt about it. "The pardon of the British sailors signified the Supreme Leader’s kindness," Ahmadinejad told a meeting of Iranian officials in Tehran on Friday. The president was referring to the black-turbaned cleric who presided over the gathering: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Khamenei, a 68-year-old whose right hand was left paralyzed in a 1981 assassination attempt, has a tough job. He is the constitutionally designated leader of a modern state ruled by religious laws devised 1,400 years ago. And he must placate both the modern and the medieval sides of the schizoid Iranian state—a task that has grown increasingly complex in the 28 years since the Islamist revolution toppled the Shah of Iran. Despite Khamenei’s association with conservative...
  • Deserving of Respect

    A hundred years ago, the only signs of elephants at Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa, which had just opened, were a few tracks in a dry riverbed. Game hunters of the 19th century had hunted the creatures almost to extinction. Conservation efforts were so successful that by 1967 the authorities decided they had to start culling elephants—shooting them from helicopters and hauling their carcasses away in trucks—to keep their populations between 6, 000 and 8, 000, considered to be the park's "carrying capacity." Few people questioned the policy, which was dropped in 1995. Since then, however, the elephant population has soared to 14,000. Conservationists now fear that this herd might devastate vegetation, threatening many life forms with extinction.A new proposal to cull the creatures has created a dilemma for the national parks authority, South African National Parks. As a responsible custodian, it has urged that "decisive action is required" to safeguard the survival...
  • Speaking to Both Sides: Anwar Ibrahim

    Anwar Ibrahim—once Malaysia's deputy prime minister and favorite son before he was arrested in 1998 and jailed following a flawed trial —is back in the fray. Since his release from prison he's carved out a niche for himself advocating greater dialogue between the Islamic world and the West and pushing for democratic reform inside Malaysia. Now he's on the campaign trailfor the opposition Keadilan (People's Justice) party led by his wife, which contested a key by-election last Saturday—a test of both Anwar's popularity and the government's. Shortly before the vote, NEWSWEEK's Jonathan Kent spoke with Anwar about his agenda at home and abroad. Excerpts: ...
  • Global Investor: Jeffrey E. Garten

    German chancellor Angela Merkel is in Washington this week pushing for a quantum leap in closer economic ties between the EU and the United States. The basic idea isn't new. It could be traced to the Marshall Plan of 1947 and to a number of transatlantic free-trade proposals. But this is a particularly timely initiative and the Bush administration should welcome it with open arms.To be sure, Merkel is not calling for a typical trade agreement focused on tariffs, subsidies and other overt barriers to commerce. That's because trade accounts for just 20 percent of the $3 trillion transatlantic economy. The rest consists of investment, resulting in a level of interpenetration of the European and American economies that is unprecedented. Europe accounts for two thirds of all investment flows into America in 2005, and almost half of all U.S. investment abroad ends up in Europe.Merkel wants much deeper transatlantic cooperation in areas such as securities trading, accounting standards,...
  • Level Up

    Microsoft plans to add a $479 Xbox 360 Elite to its lineup of less pricey game machines, and Sony is dropping prices, too. NEWSWEEK debates the console wars with San Jose Mercury News technology columnist Dean Takahashi. ...
  • Northern Exposure

    Here's a bit of Icelandic trivia: who has the country's fastest-selling record of all time? It's not Sigur Ros or Nylon—two successful pop acts that have broken out in the past several years. Nor is it Bjork, who is by far Iceland's biggest musical export. Give up? The honor goes to a 32-year-old opera singer by the name of Gardar Thor Cortes, who happens to break every stereotype in the classical music book: he's got smoldering good looks—he was voted Iceland's sexiest man twice in one year—and there is nothing stuffy about him. He did, after all, spend a year on the London stage in the title role of "Phantom of the Opera" and counts Bon Jovi and Prince among his favorite acts. "There is a lot of snobbery around classical music that I do not think should be there," Cortes says, lounging in a hip black suit at his record company's office in London's Soho. "Number one is the music and the drama and the passion because that is what really counts."What counts now for his career is how...
  • Commentary: So Long Johnny Hallyday

    A few years ago, I developed a script for an American TV sitcom. An aging French rock-and-roll star—picture a slightly seedy Johnny Hallyday—meets a young, sweet American girl in Paris, woos her, marries her and, together, they move back to the United States to live with her conservative and very rich family.High jinks, as we say in the business, ensue. He wanders around the house in a Speedo and Ugg boots, criticizing typical Americanisms like Starbucks and Quizno's. Her uptight dad mutters about smelly cheese and Iraq War betrayals. But the two of them—OK, OK, it's a metaphor—actually have something to learn from each other.What we were going for was a clash of cultures, but funny. Our American father (all hypertension, reflexive right-wing nuttery, scolding puritan attitudes) and our French libertine (sexually frank, culturally snobbish, unemployed) would learn to live together in tolerant harmony. Dad would come to savor good wine and two-hour lunches. The rocker would get a job...
  • Designed By Dali

    As an artistic movement, surrealism has never been easy to define. French author André Breton described it in his 1924 "Surrealist Manifesto" as a "pure psychic automatism [intended] to express the real process of thought." Belgian surrealist painter Paul Delvaux called it "a reawakening of the poetic idea in art." Indeed, as practiced by the likes of Salvador Dali, Man Ray and Jean Cocteau, surrealist art gave concrete form to unconscious, dreamlike associations. Perhaps ultimately it can best be defined the way one U.S. Supreme Court justice once explained pornography: we know it when we see it.Now London's Victoria and Albert Museum is giving the movement a new spin. "Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design" (until July 22) explores the way the genre influenced theater, fashion, film, architecture and design. The exhibit showcases some 300 works—including Dali's "Mae West Lips" couch, Meret Oppenheim's "Table With Bird Legs" and Yves Tanguy's blue and pink earrings—and demonstrates...
  • Money vs. Happiness: Nations Rethink Priorities

    Quick: think about what would make you really, really happy. More money? Wrong. 2.5 smiling, well-adjusted kids? Wrong again. Now think about what would make you most unhappy: losing your sight or a bad back? No, the bad back. The fact is, we are terrible at predicting the source of joy. (Sex is the big exception, but you get the point.) And whatever choices we do make, we likely later decide it was all for the best.These are insights from happiness economics, perhaps the hottest field in what used to be called the dismal science. Happiness is everywhere—on the best-seller lists, in the minds of policymakers, and front and center for economists—yet it remains elusive. The golden rule of economics has always been that well-being is a simple function of income. That's why nations and people alike strive for higher incomes—money gives us choice and a measure of freedom. But a growing body of studies show that wealth alone isn't necessarily what makes us happy. After a certain income...
  • Hard Man, Tough Job

    On paper, Nicolas Sarkozy offers France its best hope for change. And that's what the French say they think they want. The elegant socialist Ségolène Royal, his rival for the presidency, would certainly be different: France's first woman head of state, who presents herself more as a listener than a leader....
  • Going Your Way

    Kate Sydney had never met me, but on the basis of sharing a mutual acquaintance, and knowing what I like for breakfast, she unhesitatingly opened the door of her 1998 Nissan so I could ride to Target with her. The trip—from a Cambridge, Massachusetts, street corner to a shopping center in Watertown—didn't take long, but it spared the world 10 pounds of carbon dioxide. Multiply that by millions, and you have one reason Robin Chase started GoLoco, an Internet-based service that uses social networking to create instant car pools. If Chase has her way, GoLoco will be the behavioral equivalent of the Prius, zapping enviro-guilt while cooling off Gaia.Chase, 48, whose previous start-up was the Web-based car-rental service Zipcar, saw a big problem: 75 percent of all auto trips transporting only one human, driving Earth to ruin with toxic emissions. Her idea was to let drivers and riders use the Web to turn solitary rides into shared ones, saving fuel and cutting costs. She'd also build a...
  • The Maximalist

    Romain Jerome, inventor of specialty timepieces, will launch the Titanic-DNA watch in April, the first in a new series celebrating historical legends. Each one is infused with authentic pieces of the Titanic's rusted steel. The one-time run of 2,012 pieces signifies the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking in 2012. The ultralimited edition has a diamond-set tourbillion device to transmit the time both visually and audibly, and sells for $249,000.
  • Monet Exhibit: Filling In the Lines

    Anyone walking into the new Monet show in London expecting the cool familiarity of light lapping on water lilies will be soundly surprised. The first room of "The Unknown Monet," at the Royal Academy of Arts (through June 10), contains a shock: a row of caricatures of 19th-century gentlemen, their bulbous heads dwarfing spindly bodies. The artist we know as the master of color, light and atmosphere got his start as a caricaturist. Before he decided to go by his first name, Claude, the teenage "Oscar" Monet sold bold, jokey sketches of celebrities and local grandees in his hometown, Le Havre, for 20 francs apiece—a considerable sum at the time. The man famous for his solitary landscapes, it turns out, could deftly capture character and human form. His charcoal of a man with a snuffbox catches the subject's quick, quizzical glance with a near-photographic immediacy.Capturing a moment in time—when sunset pinkens haystacks, or mist rolls across Westminster Bridge—was to become a Monet...
  • Calling Net 911

    In the aftermath of the 2004 South Asian tsunami, and nine months later, when Hurricane Katrina hit, mainstream media struggled with a communications infrastructure a shambles. Some of the most poignant descriptions of the devastation and most effective calls for help were posted online. Blogs and message boards carried news about the disaster, calls for the missing, pleas for help and offers of assistance.Online information wasn't easy to get, of course. Even if you could hook up to the Internet, disorganized posts made it tough to find the right sources. That's where two University of Maryland professors come in. They're proposing a system that would combine the best aspects of MySpace, Craigslist and the U.S. Amber Alert. Named after the U.S. emergency phone number, their 911.gov network would take pressure off busy emergency dispatchers and make crucial information available to anyone with a mobile device. How would that work? Say there's been a flood or fire. Should you...
  • Opening Doors

    Dumb as a ... yes, doorknobs finish the old insult about intelligence, but they can also smarten up the look of an entire room. The colorful hand-blown glass knobs from Light Impressions Glasscrafters feature whorly, speckled patterns (from $125; light impressions glasscrafters.com). Drummonds makes a wood-and-brass doorknob based on a knob salvaged from the library of a Victorian estate. ($1,950; drummondsarch .co.uk). And Architectural Classics offers, among others, a classically ornate Louis XVI-style knob ($3,200; architectural classics.com).—Sana Butler
  • Commentary: Japan Unfairly Reviled

    History is a hot topic in Japan these days, with the country's wartime behavior returning to haunt its citizens. Many Japanese are dismayed by the possibility that the U.S. House of Representatives will soon demand a formal apology from Tokyo for the imperial military's alleged use of "comfort women," or sex slaves, during World War II. This talk has taken the Japanese government by surprise, especially given its unprecedented support for Washington in Iraq and the war on terrorism.The world can't comprehend why Japan is reluctant to say sorry once more. But most Japanese can't understand why issues like the comfort women or the Nanking Massacre have resurfaced at all. Since World War II, the country has abided by the pacifism forced on it by the U.S. occupation. To promote such peacefulness, the Japanese media and intellectuals created an image of Japan as a warlike place that had to be prevented from rearming at all costs. To heighten the danger, the media also exaggerated or even...
  • Investing: A Boom in the Desert

    Global financial markets from Mexico to Malaysia have magically followed the same rhythms this decade, their fortunes ebbing and flowing in tandem almost on a daily basis. And then there's the Middle East—a world unto itself, largely untouched by global impulses. Equity markets there went through their own boom-bust cycle over the past couple of years, even as stocks elsewhere kept scaling new heights. Now, as equity volatility increases in much of the world, and investors are frantically searching for assets that don't zig and zag with major markets, these bombed-out Middle East markets suddenly seem appealing.In some ways, they are where mainstream emerging markets like India and Brazil were in the early '90s. Foreign investors are still few. Retail investors dominate trading and institutional participation is scant. Corporate governance is sketchy, and company management far from transparent. Momentum trading, rather than fundamental research, powers stocks.But the parallels end...
  • Robots: Climbing a Wall

    Even the bravest of firefighters can't relish the prospect of walking through a burning building. Robots, though, have no qualms—and now engineers are building a new generation of "Spider-Man" robots that can climb walls and walk on ceilings, acting as eyes and ears in search-and-rescue operations. Jizhong Xiao, an electrical-engineering professor at the City College of New York, has developed a one-kilogram robot that can traverse the right angle between wall and ceiling. The squat robot has a vacuum rotor in its belly that creates suction to hug the wall and wheels that drive it forward and back. The suction device works even on rough surfaces, says Xiao. "The market value for automated building inspections is huge," he says. The robot is intended to do the work of technicians who often work from suspended scaffolding, a dangerous occupation. With its high-resolution camera, it might also be used for surveillance.
  • Setting Hearts Racing

    Spyker is making only 24 of its seductive new C12 Zagato sports cars, which incorporate some Formula 1 design flourishes, including an aerodynamic nose. With propeller-blade wheels and a 12-cylinder, 6.0-liter engine, this sleek vehicle shoots from zero to 60 in a snappy 3.8 seconds, and can reportedly hit top speeds of 193mph. At a cost of $648,000, that's the least it can do.
  • Making Sense Of Melting Ice

    Every year, the cap of sea ice floating atop the North Pole dwindles from about 14 million to 7 million square kilometers—a number that would panic scientists if it weren't a normal occurrence, courtesy of nature. Most of the summer shrinkage is caused by melting, and the pack ice grows again once winter arrives, freezing the choppy water back into solid sheets. Because it's a recurring cycle, scientists have never found this phenomenon worrisome. Until this year, when Ronald Kwok of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory rang the alarm. He'd noticed that in 2005, little of the ice that had formed the previous winter had gone on to survive the summer—making the Arctic cap the smallest it had been in five decades.The polar regions are notorious shape-shifters. Complex ecosystems, they can be swayed by factors from wind to water to warming, and their forbidding climate makes on-site research difficult. As a result, they're a bit of a mystery to scientists, and their future is hard to...
  • The Last Word: Asma Jahangir

    These are tough times for Pervez Musharraf. Under increasing criticism for his inability to control Islamic militants in the country's tribal areas, the Pakistani president now faces a revolt within his own judicial establishment. For the past two weeks, hundreds of lawyers have staged protests and gone on strike over the president's decision to suspend Chief Justice of the Supreme CourtIftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for alleged misuse of his powers. (The charges include nepotism and an excessive fondness for luxury cars and aircraft.) In addition to the demonstrations, eight judges and the deputy attorney general have resigned, raising questions over the future of Pakistan's judiciary—and its leader's grip. NEWSWEEK's Ron Moreau spoke to Asma Jahangir, one of Pakistan's foremost Supreme Court lawyers and chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Excerpts: ...
  • Afghanistan: A Quiet Corner for U.S. Troops

    For the past four months, the forecasts for the nightly patrols of the U.S. Army’s 4-73rd Cavalry’s Bravo Company have been shockingly consistent: quiet, clear and well below freezing. Last Friday, March 23, was no exception. Patrolling deserted dirt roads in a four-Humvee convoy in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktika province, the soldiers passed a few mud houses before stopping at an Afghan police checkpoint to ask about suspicious activity in the area. In exchange for telling the Americans where the bad guys were, the Afghan officers asked for money and porn. The U.S. troops ignored the pleas for cash but promised to search their barracks for magazines they could pass along next time. “We’ve had only one exciting patrol,” says Lt. Tim Brooks. “We went to go investigate an IED, and our truck got stuck in the mud.” All the others blend together into an endless evening of driving in the dark.While Afghanistan as a whole has seen continually increasing violence—particularly from Iraq-style...
  • Nepal: Hopes for a Tourism Revival

    Few sights are more breathtaking than Mount Everest—especially if its snow-covered summit is seen at eye-level from a commercial airliner flying to Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 tallest mountains. Equally amazing things are happening beneath Nepal’s clouds these days. For the first time in a decade, the country is enjoying a semblance of peace—and optimism that its tourist industry can reinvigorate itself.Nepal has long been recognized as one of the world's most desirable outdoor playgrounds, offering activities like mountaineering, trekking, river rafting and jungle safaris, to name a few. But in recent years, the country’s name has been more associated with civil war, tragedy and oppression. In 1996, an obscure group of Maoist rebels in the remote west began fighting the central government, a conflict that killed more than 13,000 people and rocked this tranquil Himalayan kingdom to its core. Things worsened in 2001 when the country's distraught crown prince shot and...
  • Hot Spot: 1884 Mendoza, Argentina

    Located in a former bodega that is home to the biggest wine barrel in the province, 1884 may be the city's biggest attraction and draws serious foodies from all over the world. ...
  • The Mystique of Swiss Watchmakers

    True beauty is not only in the eye, but in the mind of the beholder. It lies in knowing what's behind the painted face, the well-polished surface, the baubles and diamonds. It is to understand (or at least imagine) what gives that beauty life, what makes it tick.Yes, we are talking about watches—the kind made exclusively, and beautifully, in Switzerland. Their purpose is to tell time, of course, but in a timeless way that, at the apogee of the craft, is as much immune to the fashions of technology as to the vogues of apparel. Their mystique is in their movements, which are entirely mechanical and based on engineering principles that go back centuries: myriad tiny cogs, balance wheels, internal jewels machined to exquisite tolerances, then polished by hand and assembled by master watchmakers.There was a moment in the 1970s—the age of astronauts and the Concorde airliner, which had a simple liquid-crystal display to clock the surpassed speed of sound—when such mechanical elegance was...
  • Beijing Invokes FDR's New Deal

    What a difference a mere $1.41 can make. To most residents of affluent countries, the figure is minuscule, small change. The same goes for most middle-class residents of China's booming cities. But for rural Chinese farmers, whose $460 average income is less than a third what China's city dwellers earn, it's a very different story. One dollar and forty-one cents drove 20,000 residents of Zhushan Village in Hunan province into the streets last Monday, to violently protest a rise of that amount in bus fares; $1.41 meant life or death to one student, who was reportedly killed in the clash with 1,500 baton-wielding police. Several dozen more protesters were injured. As600 cops continued to patrol Zhushan last Wednesday, a farmer named Sun, who requested anonymity to avoid trouble with authorities, explained why she and others had risked their lives over so small a sum. Their village is remote and desperately poor, she said. "Some men go and work in construction in town, earning just $64...
  • Bayrou: France's New Man in the Middle

    A month before the French go to the polls, François Bayrou's greatest asset seems to be who he's not. As voters have wearied of the in-your-face UMP party candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialists' Ségolène Royal, the self-styled centrist Bayrou has bounded up the charts. His poll numbers have quadrupled since January, and a survey last week predicted he'd come out even with Royal (at 23 percent) in the first-round ballot on April 22. If he makes it to the May 6 runoff—still a big "if"—current polls have him beating Sarkozy by 10 points....
  • Four Hours in ... Jerusalem

    Whether you're on a spiritual journey or just a shopping quest, there'll be something to satisfy you in the Israeli capital. Western Wall, or Kotel, and take a tunnel tour where they are still excavating artifacts from the Muslim, Hasmonian and Herodian eras (english.thekotel.org).AT Darna, the best Moroccan restaurant outside Marrakesh. Try the phyllo pastry stuffed with Cornish hen, almonds, sugar and cinnamon. And don't forget to ask about its secret wine cellar.THROUGH the Damascus Gate and into the Muslim quarter and market. Haggle hard; it's expected. Then enjoy a hookah pipe and a game of shesh-besh (Arabic backgammon) with the locals.THE Dead Sea scrolls in the Shrine of the Book at Yad Vashem, the recently modernized Holocaust museum, and the 12 Chagall stained-glass windows in the Hadassah University hospital (imj.org.il).
  • Museums: England and America, Special Friends

    When Englishman John White set forth, armed with a sketchbook, to help found the colony of Virginia in 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh implored him, "Drawe to liefe all strange birds beastes fishes plantes hearbes ... the figures and shapes of men and women in their apparel." And so he did. White's impressively detailed watercolor images became the first anthropological depictions of Native Americans, singularly shaping European views of the New World for centuries to come. They include in-depth scenes of Algonquin Indians hunting, fishing, praying and dancing, as well as portraits of individuals. In one, a jovial chief, adorned with beads, elaborate tattoos and a woven wrap, holds a tall bow; in another, a man with feather earrings sits on a mat across from a woman preparing meat. White even portrayed what has become one of the foremost traditions of American life: a barbecue grill.White's works have rarely been seen in recent times. They are exceedingly fragile, and were almost lost in a...
  • As Seen on TV: Japan's Corporate 'Vultures'

    "Are 'vulture' funds simply looters? Or can they be saviors?" an anchorwoman asks herself, having reported on successful corporate buyouts. This isn't a script from the evening news, but a scene from a new hit Japanese TV show called "Vultures," or "Hagetaka," which chronicles the wheelings and dealings of a Western buyout fund in Tokyo.Private equity is top of mind these days, and not just on the small screen. Over the past several months, scores of Western private-equity funds, including KKR, Bain Capital and Texas Pacific Group, have opened or expanded their offices in Tokyo. Others, like the Carlyle Group, have raised new money for Japan—in fact, private-equity investment here has more than tripled to $34 billion in just two years, according to a survey by news service Nikkei Shimbun. While February's hostile takeover bid by New York-based Steel Partners for Sapporo Breweries is likely a one-off, it does seem that private equity is set to overhaul the country's notoriously...
  • N. Ireland: Finally, a Pact to Share Power

    In a supposedly impatient age, progress toward something like peace in Northern Ireland has come at glacial speed. It took 30 years, over 3,000 deaths, and arm-twisting by any number of prime ministers, presidents and leading politicians to reach the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. At the time, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, then new to office, said he felt that “the burden of history can at long last start to be lifted from our shoulders.” Nearly a decade later, the burden is still there—but finally it actually lightened a bit. Earlier today, the two leaders of the province’s largest parties, the once-implacable foes Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams, agreed finally to share power. Not now, but perhaps soon—which in this contentious land counts as a major step forward."We've all come a very long way in the process of peace making and national reconciliation,” said Adams, the republican leader of Sinn Fein. “We are very conscious of the many people who have suffered. We owe it to them...
  • Ansen on Mira Nair's 'The Namesake'

    Mira Nair's sprawling, engrossing saga "The Namesake," like the acclaimed Jhumpa Lahiri novel on which it's based, spans three decades and two generations, traveling from the 1970s to the present, from Calcutta to New York and back again, immersing us in the immigrant lives of the Ganguli family. There is enough material in this story to fill a mini-series. Indeed, there are times when you wish the movie were a mini-series. This is meant both as a tribute, for the Ganguli family is so engaging you'd be happy spending much more time with them, and an acknowledgment that a tale this expansive doesn't always fit comfortably within the constraints of a feature-length frame.Early on, "The Namesake" transports us from a humid, crowded, colorful Calcutta living room—where young Ashoke (Irrfan Khan) meets his bride-to-be, Ashima (Tabu)—to a bare, wintry New York apartment where the couple, who barely know each other, begin their new life in America. The transition is a visceral and visual...
  • Waiting for Inspiration: Beckett's Impact

    Samuel Beckett is best known for his perennially reprised 1953 play "Waiting for Godot," about two men expecting someone who never arrives. But there is far more in the Irish Nobel laureate's canon, and as a new show at the Pompidou Center in Paris sets out to prove, his influence on other artists has been profound. "Samuel Beckett" (through June 25), explores the writer as a lasting cultural force by presenting an excellent mix of memorabilia and portraits of him, as well as works inspired by him. While the pieces themselves are individually powerful, the exhibit as a whole fails to explain them or how they connect to Beckett, who died in Paris in 1989. Intentionally or not, the show is as abstract as the author himself.Only by reading into the exhibit's brief, esoteric descriptions—or by touring with a curator—can viewers fully grasp the contours of Beckett's life. Born in 1906, he was raised a Protestant in the well-to-do Dublin suburb of Foxrock. He studied French, Italian and...
  • Europe's Knack for War

    Americans "don't do nation-building," Bush officials famously declared. In Iraq, it shows. Ian Cutherbertson, a British counterinsurgency expert at the World Policy Institute in New York, sums up the difference between U.S. and European military tactics. "The American approach is to shoot first, and ask questions later," he says. "Europeans are willing to take more risks. They want to be seen less as an occupying force, more as partners. Unlike the Americans, they have a holistic mind-set that looks beyond the battlefield."A clutch of recent military deployments has shown the strength of an Old World outlook that puts tact above brute force. Note the way British troops in southern Iraq used to patrol in soft caps rather than helmets, for example—more police than soldiers. In the dawning age of asymmetrical warfare, this leads to an interesting—and, for Washington, uncomfortable—conclusion. America may outspend Europe on defense by three to one. But when it comes to projecting power...
  • Law: Changes in Patents May Be Pending

    Jon Dudas often hears how the current U.S. patent system is "broken." Dudas, director of the Patent and Trademark Office, hates that term. The process is "the envy of the world," he says. "Brazil, China, other countries, they want to know how we do it."I'll wager, however, that China would be less than delighted to emulate the United States if the consequences included events like the one in a San Diego courtroom last month. A jury delivered a whopping $1.52 billion judgment against Microsoft for infringing on a patent involving the mechanics of playing MP3 music files. Here's what is outrageous: Microsoft had already licensed MP3 technology from the consortium that developed the standard, for $16 million. Years later, after MP3 technology took off, Alcatel/Lucent (inheritor of patents filed by Bell Labs) emerged to file its suit, and won almost 100 times as much as what was determined a fair license fee originally (because Microsoft had unwittingly infringed that patent). Unless...
  • This Is No Way To Cure Cancer

    When the government dangles $1.5 billion in front of scientists, they rarely say, oh no, please, keep it, there are better ways to spend the money. But as the biomedical establishment gears up for yet another megaproject, some leading scientists are doing exactly that, making the heretical suggestion that this latest extravaganza is poor science and bad policy.Called the Cancer Genome Atlas, it aims to identify mutations in tumor cells from the 50 most common kinds of human cancer. (A genome is the full set of genetic information in, in this case, all the malignant cells in these 50 cancers.) You can think of the mutations as misspellings in the cells' DNA; the hope is that designer drugs tailored to a patient's mutations will cure the cancer just as spellcheck cures typos. Now beginning a three-year, $100 million pilot phase, the atlas threatens to suck up ever-dwindling resources at a time of budget carnage at the National Institutes of Health, which funds it. But there's a bigger...
  • Q&A: Valery Giscard d'Estaing 

    Former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing presided over the European constitution his compatriots rejected in a 2005 referendum. But at 81, he is still fighting for the European project. One of Europe's foremost architects sat down with NEWSWEEK's Tracy McNicoll at his Paris home to discuss the state of the Union. Excerpts: ...
  • Global Investor: Trade Starts At Home

    Not many Americans outside Washington care whether the bilateral trade agreements that the United States has negotiated with Panama, Colombia and Peru contain provisions to protect labor standards in those countries, or whether such treaties are ratified by Congress this spring. Not many are losing sleep over the fate of theDoha round of global trade negotiations that the Bush administration and other governments are frantically trying to save from collapse. Yet these issues have America's trade-policy community locked in round-the-clock political combat.While these are important questions, none amounts to the central problem in U.S. trade policy—dealing with the growing insecurity of Americans when it comes to economic change. The anxiety ranges from the 47 million citizens who are without health care to workers' fears about competition from China, where manufacturing wages are below 10 percent of those in America. At a time when trade has been growing more than twice as fast as...