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  • Iraq's Clergy May Intervene in Stalled Government

    If the politicians in Iraq can’t get their act together, is it time for the clergy to step in? After inconclusive parliamentary elections in March in which none of the parties won a clear majority, efforts to carve out a government and appoint a prime minister have stalled.
  • Local Obamas Face Problems With Voters

    When Barack Obama swept into office on a platform of hope and change, foreign politicians rushed to christen themselves successors to his “Yes We Can!” mantra. Now, many “local Obamas” are suffering spectacular falls.
  • Chinua Achebe on Nigeria's Future

    Although best known for his 1958 masterpiece, "Things Fall Apart," about a simple yam farmer in tribal Nigeria, novelist Chinua Achebe is still writing about Africa a full half century later. The 79-year-old author and social critic spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Jerry Guo about recent developments in his home country and politics on the continent.
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    Afghanistan: Can This War Be Saved?

    Almost as soon as President Obama announced that U.S. forces would start leaving Afghanistan in July 2011, a text message began zipping between Afghan insurgents’ mobile phones. “Mubarak,” it said—Arabic for congratulations. “If you are a believer, you will be a victor,” the message continued, quoting the Quran. Then the kicker: “The enemy president is announcing a withdrawal of troops who will leave our country with their heads bowed.”
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    Soccer Is Not A National Metaphor

    The temptation has proved irresistible during the World Cup to see soccer teams as metaphors for their nations. According to this theory, France’s loss represents the failure of integration and Ghana’s success represents the upward trajectory of Africa. Could anything be more stupid?
  • Africa’s Failing Democracies

    When human rights Watch criticized the results of Ethiopia’s May elections, in which the ruling coalition “won” an improbable 545 out of 547 seats, leaders in Addis Ababa didn’t ignore the influential NGO. Instead, they paid tens of thousands of demonstrators to gather in the capital and denounce the report.
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    Why the Feds Moved Now on the Russian Spies

    They stand accused of spooky tradecraft, stashing money under a broken bottle in a remote field, transmitting coded messages, and, yes, even writing in invisible ink and exchanging parcels by “brush pass” in train stations.
  • Taiwan Inks a Risky Deal With China

    In a once unthinkable move, Taiwan and China signed a new pact last week to slash tariffs and open up business between the erstwhile adversaries. Some are greeting the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement as the end of a Cold War–style freeze. The reality? The deal marks a high point for cross-strait relations, but it could ultimately bring more trouble.
  • Commerce Secretary Locke on Manufacturing

    NEWSWEEK’s Rana Foroohar spoke to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke about why factories are hot again, and about America’s relationship to the world’s No. 1 manufacturer (China).
  • Colombia Unleashes the Civets

    The landslide victory of Juan Manuel Santos as Colombia’s president opens a new chapter in the story of a nation that has come to rely less on personalities than on institutions grounded in the rule of law.
  • Belgium Bucks the Vatican

    The Vatican has clearly stated that when investigating cases of sex abuse, “civil law concerning the reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed.” History shows, however, that such cooperation is not always the norm. For more than a thousand years in Europe, church and state were rarely separate.
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    U.S. Forces Abroad Should Copy British Colonialism

    The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan will come back to haunt us if we don’t improve life for the their populations. There’s a model—dated but still full of potential—for how to do that well: British colonialism.
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    Alleged Russian Spy Fixer "Simply Disappeared"

    The U.S. government appears to be completely in the dark about the whereabouts of Christopher Metsos, an alleged member of the deep-cover U.S.-based Russian spy ring who vanished after being arrested, and then granted bail, by authorities in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. In a letter delivered to a federal magistrate judge on Thursday afternoon, federal prosecutors handling the spy case said flatly that “Within 24 hours of being bailed, Metsos simply disappeared.” The prosecutors cited Metsos’ vanishing act as one compelling reason why the judge should not allow the release on bail of four suspects in the spy investigation who were scheduled to appear in court on Thursday afternoon in Manhattan for a hearing on whether or not they should continue to be detained without bail by federal authorities....
  • Russian Spies Reportedly Targeted Clinton Supporter

    The Obama administration says that even though a prominent Democratic Party fundraiser close to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allegedly was targeted for cultivation by a Russian spy ring, there is no evidence that Clinton herself was a target of the spies.
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    Georgia's Saakashvili Has a New Friend: Iran

    As Moscow and Washington have grown closer in the last two years, Georgia—which depends on the largesse and support of the White House—has felt increasingly isolated. To ease his sense of anomie, President Mikheil Saakashvili is making new friends—like Iran.
  • Russian Spy Case: Why Now, and What It’s About

    The FBI investigation has been going on for years—maybe as long as a decade, according to law-enforcement officials. So why did federal agents move now to take down 10 alleged deep-cover U.S.-based spies for Russia’s foreign-intelligence service, only a few days after Russian President Dimitri Medvedev’s U.S. visit, during which he and President Obama proclaimed a new era of warm relations between their countries?
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    Russian Spy Case: Part John le Carré, Part Austin Powers

    Echoing the more frigid years of the Cold War, Washington said Monday it had busted up a network of Russian spies who posed as ordinary Americans, prompting angry denials from Moscow. Among the clever code names used by the alleged espionage ring: Farmer, Cat, and Parrot.
  • Blowing the Whistle on WikiLeaks

    One of America's most respected campaigners against excessive government secrecy has launched a broadside against the Web site WikiLeaks, suggesting that the enterprise is self-indulgent, irresponsibly invades the privacy of groups that are not involved in public policy, and on occasion has engaged in behavior that is "overtly unethical."
  • New Iran Nuke NIE Still Not Ready

    In an ABC News interview Sunday, CIA Director Leon Panetta alluded to a fact that was reported by NEWSWEEK months ago: U.S. intelligence agencies have revised their widely disputed 2007 conclusion that Iran had given up its efforts to design or build a nuclear bomb.
  • U.S. Appears Uninterested in Repatriating Five American Muslims

    Officials say the Obama administration has little interest in easing the plight of five American Muslims jailed by Pakistani authorities for 10 years on terror-related charges. But the head of a prominent Islamic group suggests the administration was using a double standard, noting that an American arrested in Pakistan while attemtping to kill Osama bin Laden was released and sent home days after his arrest.
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    Julia Gillard, Australia's New Prime Minister

    Australia has a mottled history of hyping, then savaging, women who are touted as potential leaders of national parties. With the Labor Party coup by Julia Gillard—who ousted a sitting prime minister and got her the job—the nation has finally moved on.
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    The Mysterious World Cup Fans From North Korea

    They're said to be migrant laborers from Namibia, but they're not. They don't say anything other than what they're told to say, and they don't make eye contact. And now that North Korea has been eliminated from the competition, they're going back home.
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    How Obama Bought Russia's (Expensive) Friendship

    President Obama meets today with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev—a Bush-era foe whose friendship Obama bought at great diplomatic cost. The thing is, if he hadn't, relations between the country would have been much worse; now, at least, Russia is less likely to help the world's rogues.
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    Mystery Man Arrested in Poland May Have Aided Alleged Mossad Hit Team

    European investigators believe a man arrested by Polish authorities earlier this month may be a key fixer in Europe for Israel's Mossad spy agency. Although the suspect was using an Israeli passport in the name of Uri Brodsky when arrested June 4 at Warsaw airport, an official familiar with the inquiry said investigators believe the man's true identity remains a mystery.
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    What the Taliban Think of McChrystal's Ouster

    Taliban fighters have been elated by the firestorm over Gen. Stanley McChrystal's comments to an embedded magazine reporter. To them, bickering in Washington and dissent within the military means that the U.S. invasion is falling apart.