Custom Designed By Hand, Digitally

Certain adjectives carry an almost magical aura that makes one snap to attention and succumb to lust. The words in question vary from person to person; for some it might be "deep-fried" or "Swiss-made" or "turbo-charged." For me, the mystical descriptor is "bespoke"; for years I've pined for a handmade, custom-designed wardrobe. There's just one problem: I'm a journalist, not a partner at Goldman Sachs. So I've had to devote most of my slender resources to satisfying more basic needs like food...

The Road to Kabul Runs Through Kashmir

Sometime in the last year, secret back-channel talks between India and Pakistan over Kashmir restarted, say U.S. and Indian sources. The countries last held such talks under Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and were reportedly on the verge of a breakthrough when Musharraf was ousted in August 2008. Then the Mumbai terror attacks that November badly frayed relations. For negotiations to resume now—open talks are also being discussed—would represent a huge boon for the region.And not just there. The...

The Road to Kabul Runs Through New Delhi

Sometime in the last year, secret back-channel talks between India and Pakistan over Kashmir restarted, say U.S. and Indian sources. The countries last held such talks under Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and were reportedly on the verge of a breakthrough when Musharraf was ousted in August 2008. Then the Mumbai terror attacks that November badly frayed relations. For negotiations to resume now—open talks are also being discussed—would represent a huge development for the region.And not just there....

How Nuclear Weapons Can Keep You Safe

On Sept. 24, President Barack Obama will bring together 14 world leaders for a special U.N. Security Council meeting in New York. On the agenda: how to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The summit is the latest step in the administration's campaign to eliminate nukes, a priority Obama stressed on the campaign trail and formally announced in April during his speech in Prague. U.S. attempts to stop Iran from acquiring the bomb and to pry the weapons out of North Korea's fingers are also key parts...

Slicing My Way to Perfection

I tend to cut myself when I cook. I've thrown out a brand-new meat slicer after multiple manglings and have sent myself to the hospital after tangling with an apple peeler. So it was with well-founded fear that I recently decided to test some of the new chef's knives that have started popping onto the market in recent years.The decision to risk my health for science was one part culinary, two parts cussedness. I am an enthusiastic home cook and a gear geek. I'm always convincing myself that...

In Defense of Eating Well

In 1942, a little-known Michigan-born journalist living in Europe decided to write a cookbook of sorts. Her name was M.F.K. Fisher, and the result, How to Cook a Wolf, was less a collection of recipes than a guide to, and a fierce defense of, eating well when the world was at war, food was scarce and the proverbial wolf was "snuffling at the door." Fisher was adamant that, whatever the circumstances, one must try to exist as richly as possible. As she later told an interviewer, "One has to...

America's Allies: Troubles on Three Fronts

Barack Obama came to office promising to work with allies in the war on terror. But recent events are proving that's easier said than done: on three critical fronts, America's partners are proving unable—or unwilling—to help. Consider: last month Obama visited Iraq, from which he's promised to withdraw all U.S. troops by 2011. In Baghdad, the president urged Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to improve security and reach out to Iraq's Sunni minority (both key prerequisites to an American...

How Obama's Promises on Afghanistan Could Hurt Him

Barack Obama is leading the polls at home, but he's downright beloved abroad, where he's seen as a Kennedyesque star who could quickly heal the damage America's done to its image with Iraq, Guantánamo, and other missteps. It's no small irony, then, that the foreign-policy issue Obama has emphasized most of late is Afghanistan. Arguing that it, not Iraq, is the real central front in the war on terror, Obama has promised to send in about 10,000 more troops and to strike next-door Pakistan, if...

Q&A: Jimmy Carter

Since leaving office, Jimmy Carter has worked as a roving peace negotiator, election monitor (through the Carter Center), home builder (through Habitat for Humanity) and author. Now 83, the former president spoke to NEWSWEEK'S Jonathan Tepperman about the United States' battered image and the role of ethics in politics. Excerpts: TEPPERMAN: What's your take on America's world standing?CARTER: It's at the lowest ebb I have ever known. Our country—our government—has abandoned some of...

Liberia: Do It, But Do It Right

At each stop on his Africa tour last week, President George W. Bush hinted--without quite committing himself--that he's about to send peacekeepers to war-racked Liberia. The move shocked diplomats and policy experts, even as it overjoyed most Africans. After all, Bush came to office heaping scorn on peacekeeping and declaring Africa outside the U.S. national interest.Why the reversal, then? Has the White House suddenly found religion? Or is it just trying to burnish its post-Iraq image by...

ISRAEL'S RELUCTANT WARRIORS

When Dick Cheney arrives in Israel next week, he'll find himself in a country all but paralyzed politically. As the body count mounts and the region slides toward war, Ariel Sharon seems unable to offer any solution other than bloody reprisals for Palestinian attacks. The Israeli left remains stunned and virtually silent, as it has since the collapse of the peace process and the start of the second intifada almost 18 months ago. Indeed, the only dramatic initiative of late has come from outside...