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  • Madrassas Not the Primary Source of Militancy Rise

    Pakistani madrassas have been blamed as the primary source of the country’s rising militancy. But a new Brookings study says that, while a small number are a security concern, the violence can be attributed to a different educational problem: the country’s low levels of primary- and secondary-school enrollment.
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    Fire the Foreign Coaches

    Even before the World Cup ended, the recriminations had begun in countries whose soccer federations had paid through the nose for high-flying coaches who failed—like Fabio Capello in England, Carlos Parreira in South Africa, and Sven-Göran Eriksson in Ivory Coast—to deliver their teams to the final.
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    Visiting Egypt's Newest Antiquities

    King Tut is certainly more famous now than in his own time. The boy king died suddenly at the age of 19, before he could make a monument, or even a name, for himself. But just look at him now. He, or at least his stuff—the gilded masks, the lapis lazuli necklaces, the ornate thrones—is on a second blockbuster tour, traveling the world displayed safely behind glass in grand museums. Meanwhile, the pharaoh himself lies mummified in a decidedly unroyal-looking tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.
  • Chinese Investment in Europe Soars

    Europe’s economic distress could be China’s opportunity. In the past, the country has proved a hesitant investor in the continent, but figures show a 30 percent surge in new Chinese projects in Europe last year. And these days Europe looks ever more tempting.
  • Regime Change Everyone Can Love

    It’s not often that Brussels and Moscow see eye to eye on the politics of the former Soviet Union. But both want Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko gone, preferably after elections slated for early 2011. The EU has long criticized Lukashenko for abusing opposition activists and censoring local media.
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    Why Sanctions Won't Hurt the Revolutionary Guards

    Thanks to the dwindling traffic of big container ships from Dubai to the Islamic Republic, business is booming for a whole fleet of smugglers—as well as for the group that dominates Iran’s black market: the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
  • Israeli Army More Cautious on Criticism

    The Israeli military isn’t usually in the business of revealing classified information. Yet in a briefing with reporters last week, officers passed around aerial photos of Hizbullah positions in south Lebanon, diagrams of their bunkers, and lists of the weapons the Islamic group has received lately from Syria and Iran—including 40,000 short- and medium-range missiles. The presentation seemed aimed at warning Hizbullah that Israel takes the buildup seriously and might, under certain circumstances, attack the sites. But there was also a more subtle objective. By disclosing evidence that Hizbullah is hiding weapons in civilian centers, including mosques and hospitals, Israel appeared to be preempting the kind of criticism it sustained over its war on Gaza last year, when the U.N.-sponsored Goldstone commission accused the country of war crimes.
  • From Thailand's Rural Reaches to the Palme d'Or

    In Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul tells the story of a man dying of kidney failure who is visited by the ghosts of his dead wife and long-lost son. He regards his suffering as karma for “killing too many communists”—a nod to the area’s deadly anticommunist military campaign from the 1960s to the 1980s. Shot in 16mm, the film, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in May, incorporates elements of magical realism, science fiction, and subtle social commentary to explore Thai identity and official government recognition of repressive policies. “It is about loss of memory [and the classic] cinema that I love,” says Weerasethakul.
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    Meacham: The Queen's Foreign Policy

    She is an unlikely emblem of the new. Queen Elizabeth II’s chief public virtue, in fact, has long seemed to be her stability and sturdiness. In introducing her to the United Nations General Assembly last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as much, referring to the British monarch as an “anchor for our age.”
  • Spying a Real Payday

    The terms of the U.S.-Russia spy swap that took place last week certainly seemed unbalanced. In exchange for the 10 Russian sleeper agents who were recently exposed living in American suburbia, the Obama administration got only four accused Western spies from Moscow. At least one of the four was indeed a hero, someone who had helped bust top-level Soviet mole Robert Hanssen, according to one current and two former U.S. national-security officials, who requested anonymity when discussing sensitive information. But in another sense, the Russians could be winners too: the confessed spies might be able to cash in. ...
  • Ahmet Davutoglu on Israel, Iran, and the West

    What is Turkey up to? A stalwart member of NATO, many believe it is now tilting east. In May, it sealed a nuclear-exchange deal with Iran, and in June Ankara voted no on U.N. sanctions against Iran. Then, the killing of nine Turks aboard a Gaza-bound aid flotilla by Israeli forces led to a crisis between the longtime allies, and further questions about the direction of Turkey’s foreign policy. Semin Gümüsel Güner and Selcuk Tepeli of NEWSWEEK Turkey recently met with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss these issues. Excerpts:
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    Where To Next for Russian Agent Anna Chapman

    Deported Russian sleeper agent Anna Chapman has arrived in Moscow, and the redheaded soubrette is planning to stay with her family in Russia “for a while,” her lawyer, federal public defender Robert M. Baum, tells Declassified.

    Iranian Woman Will Not Be Stoned, May Still Be Killed

    Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman whose impending execution ignited worldwide outrage this week, will not be stoned to death, the Iranian Embassy in London told reporters on Thursday. She could, however, still face death by other means such as hanging.
  • The World's Most Barbaric Punishments

    An Iranian woman was spared being stoned to death for adultery this week, in response to international outcry. But the barbaric punishment is not the only medieval remedy still meted out by courts around the world.
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    Why Obama Isn't Talking to America's Enemies

    Obama came to office evincing what seemed like a deeply held belief that he could negotiate even with America’s enemies. Now that it’s time to engage our foes, including terrorists, his administration is making that job harder all the time.
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    I Owe My Life to a Spy Exchange

    In 1969, Britain traded two senior Soviet spies for a Russian student accused of passing information to the British—much like the exchange carried out today. Because the deal was so lopsided, Moscow threw in a few women who wanted to marry Britons. One of them was my mother.
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    Is Al Qaeda Now Just a Brand?

    Three men arrested on terror charges in Norway today, after a year long investigation, were described as having "links to people abroad who can be linked to Al Qaeda." Indeed, the Bin Laden brand is still often attached to Islamic terrorists and wannabes. But what, in a new era for Islamic terror, does it mean?
  • Grameen Bank Expands Into America

    It’s pretty safe to say that three years ago no one could have predicted that one of the few financial institutions to be opening new branches and expanding lending in America would be a Bangladeshi bank that specialized in loans to people below the poverty line (the vast majority of them women). But that’s just what has happened.
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    New Charges Link Qaeda Biggies to N.Y. Subway Plot

    The latest charges filed in a plot to bomb the New York subway provide the strongest evidence yet that the subway-attack plot, to which Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi and one codefendant have already pleaded guilty, was an operation conceived and directed by elements of what remains of the so-called core, or central leadership, of Al Qaeda.
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    Is a Russia-U.S. Spy Swap in the Works?

    Echoes of the Cold War continue to reverberate from last week’s FBI roundup of 10 suspected Russian deep-cover spies. Now news reports from Moscow suggest that a Cold War–style spy swap could be in the works to send the alleged Russian agents home—and there’s substance to those reports, some officials in Washington acknowledge.
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    How the Plane Crash Helped Poland Become Normal

    On Sunday, Poles voted for a new president in an election noted less for its outcome than for its tragic circumstance—the emergency vote followed the April 10 plane crash that killed the previous president and his wife along with the head of the Polish central bank, the armed forces chief of staff, and 84 other high-ranking Polish officials.
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    Iranian Woman Faces Stoning for Adultery

    Human-rights campaigners say that a 43-year-old mother of two who says she confessed to adultery under duress will be buried up to her breasts and stoned to death as soon as this weekend.