To Catch a Thief at the National Archives

With its stacks of yellowing historical documents and staff of earnest archivists and librarians, the National Archives doesn't seem like a typical setting for intrigue. So workers at the Philadelphia branch have understandably been shaken by a whodunit that has unfolded in their normally placid corridors during the last few months.The unusual crime began to unravel last September, when Dean Thomas of Gettysburg, Pa., had the sensation of déjà vu while reading an eBay offer for three Civil...

U.S. Kids Bombarded By TV Food Ads

A new study reveals that American kids are exposed to as many as 50 hours a year of TV food advertising—much of it for sugary snacks. Are the ads exacerbating the national obesity problem?

A Mother's Crusade Against the Iraq War

You might not know her name, but she's fast become a fresh face of the antiwar left. Missouri mom Tina Richards became an overnight YouTube sensation last week, when an encounter she had with Rep. David Obey in a Capitol Hill corridor went viral—just as Congress was debating a bid to rein in spending for President Bush's surge in Iraq. During the encounter, Richards approaches Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, to discuss her son, Marine Cpl. Cloy Richards—who suffers...

Hundreds of Iraq Vets Are Homeless

Night is when suicidal vets usually show up at the emergency room of the San Francisco VA Medical Center. But a few weeks ago, the ER had one who came in at 10 a.m., frantic and saying he had a gun. "He was haunted, desperate," says Chad Peterson, medical director of the center's posttraumatic-stress-disorder team. "He was going to be redeployed to Iraq and said suicide was his only way out." Peterson managed to talk the man out of killing himself and into a program, but weeks later the...

A Bombthrower's Life

Ayaan Hirsi Ali moved to the United States last September when she was invited to join the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. Last week her controversial memoir, "Infidel," was published here. With armed guards just outside her office, she sat down with NEWSWEEK's Eve Conant to discuss the Muslim extremists who have threatened to kill her, life in America and whether she's a "colonial feminist": HIRSI ALI: No. There is no official state fatwa ,...

Nap Quest

Print out this article and hand it to your boss. Tell them Harvard thinks you should take a nap. Honest.Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical School have just released findings from a large study that shows how mid-day napping reduces one's chance of coronary mortality by more than a third. So go ahead and nap—a short daily snooze might ward off a heart attack later in life.Researchers studied 23,681 individuals living in Greece who had no...

A Call For 'Radical Change'

President Bush's State of the Union address may not have done much to improve his popularity. But it did succeed in jump-starting debate over one of the leading—and most contentiously lobbied issues—on his domestic agenda: health-care reform. In his speech, the president proposed offering tax subsidies to encourage more people to buy their own health insurance. The goal: to provide equal treatment to those who buy insurance on their own, and those who get it through their employers. Under...

To Your Health: Cancer: A Fresh Diagnosis

On Wednesday, after decades of grim news, the American Cancer Society reported the steepest decline in United States cancer deaths in the 70 years since nationwide data has been compiled. In 2004, there were 3,014 fewer cancer-related deaths than in 2003—which was the first year the society had ever recorded a drop in cancer deaths. The back-to-back decreases have specialists hoping that they may at last be gaining the upper hand in their long battle against the disease."Our work over the...

ARCHITECTURE: BUILDING ON SUCCESS

By now, many of us have heard some of feng shui's principles: no sharp edges in the bedroom; clutter is bad energy; don't build a home at the end of a dead-end road. Donald Trump, the United Nations and Virgin Airlines have all put the ancient Chinese philosophy to use. But feng shui might soon get competition from a practice that predates it, but has received scant attention until now: the ancient Indian art of Vedic architecture. (Angkor Vat in Cambodia is one example of Vedic beauty.) While...

THE EDGE OF DIPLOMACY

A currency battle. Accusations of commercial piracy. An emerging strategic rivalry. The United States and China were fairly cordial to each other in George W. Bush's first term as president. But now, with trade tensions rising and both sides examining their long-term interests more openly, the two countries may be entering a period characterized more by competition, if not confrontation, rather than cooperation.Certainly, the tenor of the relationship has gotten edgier. The White House is...

'No Longer a Way of Life'

Nigeria has the dubious honor of being one of the most corrupt countries on earth. From petty bureaucrats to top-level officials, graft has always been rampant in the largest nation in Africa with its 137 million people. But Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo is aiming to change all that. The 68-year-old has started an anti-corruption drive that has shocked officials in his oil-rich country. His initiative has forced the nation's education minister, housing minister, top police official and...

TSUNAMI: ROUNDTABLE RESCUERS

The tsunami's legacy now includes a good idea. A consortium of 160 leading U.S. corporations announced it is teaming up with the Red Cross, CARE and other relief organizations to provide help when disaster strikes again. The Business Roundtable--with 10 million skilled workers and $4 trillion in annual revenue--is starting with a small working group of IBM, Citigroup, FedEx, Pfizer and others to create a database of corporations ready to provide people and know-how. Since the tsunami, says Red...

A Nuclear Blunder?

George W. Bush has said it often enough. The No. 1 security challenge for America post-9/11 is to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists or rogue regimes. In a landmark speech at the National Defense University in February 2004, the president called for a toughened Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and other new initiatives. "There is a consensus among nations that proliferation cannot be tolerated," Bush said. "Yet this consensus means little unless it is translated...

ECSTASY: A POSSIBLE NEW ROLE FOR A BANNED CLUB DR

Imagine a homey hospital suite: skylights flood the room with sunlight; violins play softly from a CD player. A terminally ill cancer patient rests in a soft bed, but she is having trouble confronting the fears that come with the end of life. Doctors could prescribe antidepressants, but they opt for a more powerful drug instead. In scientific lingo, the pill is called methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA. But you may recognize its other name: ecstasy.Two decades after the Drug Enforcement...

HAVING FUN DOING GOOD

TRAVEL 2005: TOURISMHAVING FUN DOING GOODFOR SOME ALTRUISTIC TRAVELERS, VACATIONS MEAN MORE THAN JUST A DAY AT THE BEACH.Jen and Ian Close were ready to try something new. The Canadian couple had traveled to Germany and England to visit family, but not much beyond. So last August they went on safari in Kenya, then capped off their African journey with two weeks of volunteering in Arusha, Tanzania, where they taught local teenagers how to prevent AIDS. "Kenya was great," says Jen. "But we didn't...

Snap Judgment: Books

The Turbulent Decade by Sadako OgataAs the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees during the 1990s, Ogata was at the forefront of some of history's ugliest post-cold-war conflicts: the Rwandan genocide, the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, Saddam's suppression of the Kurds in northern Iraq and Afghanistan's refugee crisis. She learned, she writes, that there are "no humanitarian solutions to humanitarian problems"--in other words, only the convergence of political interests can solve...

A MAJOR LEAGUE MESS

There's supposed to be no crying in baseball. But there was Mark McGwire in Washington last week, fighting back tears, his voice choked with emotion, telling a congressional committee investigating steroid use in baseball how he, well, couldn't really tell them much. "My lawyers have advised me that I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family or myself," said the retired superstar, whose 70 home runs in 1998 shattered one of baseball's most hallowed...

IRAQ'S HIDDEN WAR

When the kidnappers came for Zeena al Qushtaini, she was dressed, as one friend put it, "in the latest fashion." She wore a $5,000 watch, her hands were manicured and her hair was highlighted to accent her blue eyes. Many of her friends were women's rights activists, but few were as conspicuously modern as Qushtaini. She was a divorced, single mother in her late 30s who supported two children with a full-time office job. She also ran a pharmacy with her business partner, Dr. Ziad Baho.It was...

TRAINING: HOW TO SURVIVE IN IRAQ

Now this here's a Colt submachine gun, and this over here is an AK-47: that's probably what you'll see your enemy with more than anything else. Watch out--the barrel gets hot during long fire fights." This is advice for a group headed for Iraq, but it's not Marines--it's diplomats. The United States plans to open its largest embassy ever in Baghdad (more than 1,700 employees at latest estimate), and everyone from office managers to ambassadors must take the State Department's Diplomatic...

Targeting Damascus

No one was expecting Syria to take center stage. But when 30 international delegations met this week in London to bolster support for Palestinian political and economic reform, the gathering was overshadowed by increasingly harsh rhetoric against Damascus.Unscheduled meetings and communiques between the U.S. delegation, led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and her European counterparts, focused on coordinated calls for the immediate withdrawal of Syrian military and intelligence forces...

RATING TSUNAMI RELIEF

Some $340 million has been raised privately for tsunami relief. But donors, beware: while some charities turn money into direct aid, others spend big bucks on overhead costs. (Some charities ask the donor to pray with them and then count the call as a "service"; this allows the charity to keep some of the money.) A look at which agencies made the grade.AMERICAN RED CROSS: A leading force in tsunami aid, the group's raised some $150 million already. 91% (% spent on program services) $8 (Cost to...

The Battle Over Tsunami Orphans

The battle for the hearts, minds and bodies of the tsunami generation is underway. Most of the efforts are well-meaning. U.S.-based adoption agencies have been fielding hundreds of calls from generous Americans hoping to adopt a tsunami orphan into a loving home.But they'll have to wait. Tsunami-stricken countries that already had strict adoption rules are now on edge, for fear of illegal trafficking. There have been reports of grief-stricken locals adopting children off the street in order to...

A BILL TO PAY

As the world came to grips with the devastation caused by last week's tsunami, tens of millions in relief aid was pledged. But initially the money put up by rich countries appeared to some small, and slow to come. United Nations Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland made headlines when he used the word "stingy" to describe the levels of development aid donated by rich countries. He explained his thinking to NEWSWEEK's Eve Conant last Wednesday. Excerpts:CONANT: What...

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