In the end it all came down to a moment of near absurdity between two of the most powerful men in Japan. On the evening of Aug. 6, Yoshiro Mori, a senior parliamentary leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, sweating in the muggy summer heat, arrived for a parley at the residence of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Fumio Kamiya lifts the lid from a metal vat and a sweet, yeasty smell wafts up. Inside, an ivory-colored mash seductively bubbles away--a fermenting mixture of rice, water and the special rice malt known as koji, the ingredients that have been used for centuries to make sake, Japan's national drink.
President George W. Bush and his South Korean counterpart, Roh Moo Hyun, exchanged diplomatic pleasantries at their summit in Washington last Friday. Bush noted that both countries "share the same goal" of getting North Korea to give up its nuclear-weapons program, and that both agree that the long-stalled six-party talks are "essential" to that process.
If anyone is going to change Japan's stay-at-home investment culture, it's probably Shinsei Bank. In 2000 the U.S. boutique investment firm Ripplewood Holdings bought the remains of Japan's Long-Term Credit Bank and revived it as Shinsei, which means "new life." Since then Shinsei has been leading a quiet revolution in Japan's staid retail banks.
The White House emissary was packing heat. As Michael Green, senior director of Asian affairs on the U.S. National Security Council, made the rounds in Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul last week, he confronted his counterparts with the diplomatic equivalent of heavy weaponry--a handwritten note from U.S. President George W.
Two decades ago, South Korea's military had a clear enemy. Stalinist North Korea had triggered a fratricidal war that led to the death of millions. The South's cold-war-era leaders, all staunch anti-communists and former generals, painted the Hermit Kingdom as paranoid and bloodthirsty.
In October 2001 the White House found itself scrambling to respond to a threat that could have made 9/11 look like a pinprick. Just weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Bush administration received a tip from a CIA source that Al Qaeda had smuggled an atomic bomb into the United States.
In the halcyon days when Vladimir Putin visited his aunts and uncles here, the tiny village of Pominovo was a place of hope. "There was a store, a bar, a club," recalls Vladimir Kuvarin, himself once married to a now deceased cousin of the Russian president. "We were clothed and shod and well fed.
The trip from Ali's village to Baghdad takes an hour and a half by bus. As soon as he arrives, the 21-year-old Iraqi heads straight to Abu Abdullah's, just off Sadoun Street in an alley with a number instead of a name. "I don't have a wife," he says. "I don't have enough money to get married.
A boom echoes through the Iraqi city of Ar Ramadi, bringing the men of Bravo Company out of their bunks. "Mortars!" yells one soldier, and the members of Third Squad, First Platoon--they call themselves the Ghost Squad--ride out into the night, looking for the attack's source.
It was Baghdad's bloodiest day since the end of the war. But for Tofan abed Al-Wahab, Oct. 27 turned out to be a moment of perverse good luck. Al-Wahab, who works for an Iraqi humanitarian organization, had just finished a meeting with a friend in the International Committee of the Red Cross.
It was another searing Baghdad day, and Mohammed Yassim was hoping to reap a better-than-average profit by selling cold drinks at a spot where there are plenty of Iraqis desperately needing refreshment: the police headquarters of the Iraqi capital.The 20-year-old Yassim was heading out the gate of the headquarters building when he noticed a police officer gesturing to him, an old friend by the name of Isam. "He wanted to buy something," said Yassim.But before Yassim could react, both he and his...
Yusuf Gatta woke in confusion in the early morning darkness of July 13. Helicopters were thundering over his house. Loudspeakers mounted on jeeps issued booming commands.Stumbling outside, Gatta found himself confronting dozens of U.S. soldiers engaged in a search for Iraqi guerillas.
If anyone embodies Russia's transformation from financial pariah to new economic star, it's 40-year-old Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Not long ago he was just another post-Soviet business tycoon, getting rich quick in dubious privatizations and trampling on minority shareholders.Then he gave himself a makeover.