Relations between Indonesia and the United States have been strained in recent years, in large part due to abuses by the Indonesian military in East Timor and the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But when Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) visits Washington this week, expect a lovefest. SBY is keen to show that Indonesia has moved away from its past record of authoritarianism and is eager to lure U.S. investors. And the Bush administration wants to showcase SBY--leader of the world's largest Muslim-majority nation and a fast-emerging democracy. "Indonesia can be used by the United States as an example of a Muslim country becoming a democratic nation," says Salim Said, an Indonesian political analyst, "while the Indonesian president would like to persuade the American side to invest in Indonesia."

SBY has already made moves to ease investor concerns. His government recently announced its willingness to settle a criminal environmental-pollution lawsuit against the U.S. mining giant Newmont out of court, as well as to resolve a four-year dispute with U.S.-based ExxonMobil over the development of an oilfield on the island of Java. In Washington, SBY will hold several private meetings with U.S. business leaders, and the gifts could be forthcoming. NEWSWEEK has learned that Lion Air, a privately owned Indonesian airline, has been in negotiations with Boeing Corp. to buy $3.9 billion worth of 737 aircraft, though no deal has been signed. And one U.S. official in Jakarta says that several American firms are interested in investing in Indonesia's energy sector.

There is still one wild card: the future of U.S.-Indonesian military ties. Acutely aware of the fact that Indonesia has been the setting for three major terrorist attacks on Western targets in recent years, the Bush administration is determined to improve relations with the country's under-funded military, known by the acronym TNI. It reinstated U.S.-run officer training programs in February, and the Indonesian government hopes the two presidents will strike a deal to resume the sale of U.S.-made weaponry to the TNI. For some, hopes of an overall successful meet-ing have already translated into predictions. "It's going to be a home run," says the U.S. official in Jakarta.

In what could be a setback in the war on terror, a court has given Swiss prosecutors until the end of May to either pursue a criminal case against an alleged terror-finance network or end the investigation. After 9/11, under pressure from Washington, federal prosecutors in Bern began investigating a network of offshore banks and companies known as Al Taqwa that's based in the Bahamas and Lugano, Switzerland. Authorities raided the homes of Al Taqwa's operators, including the founder, Egyptian-born businessman Youssef Nada, and Al Taqwa director Ahmed Huber. Bush officials alleged in congressional testimony that Al Taqwa and Nada financially supported Al Qaeda before and after 9/11. The case demonstrates the difficulty U.S. authorities and friendly governments are having prosecuting terror-finance cases in criminal courts, a process that involves translating secretly sourced intel into public evidence of wrongdoing.

Nada, who denies financing Al Qaeda or other terror groups, tells NEWSWEEK that the U.S. government is being "misled." Nada says he is a leader of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood movement and is an "Islamist" and an "activist." He also acknowledges paying a friendly visit to Saddam Hussein to persuade the then Iraqi dictator to withdraw his forces from Kuwait. But Nada says it is "out of the question" that he would support Osama bin Laden, even though a handful of bin Laden relatives held shares or invested in Al Taqwa.

In the Oval Office last week, George W. Bush was explaining his theory on growing a democracy to Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif. "It's the evolution of a baby," Bush said, according to a senior aide who was present but declined to be named because the meeting was private. "First you crawl, then you walk, then you sprint. Sometimes people want to go straight to sprinting." That evening, at a foreign-policy dinner, Bush counseled patience, especially in the newly free countries of the Middle East and former Soviet Union. He also spelled out details of a new office for reconstruction and emphasized his commitment to nation-building.

With this more nurturing approach, Bush is trying to flesh out the lofty rhetoric of his second Inaugural Address, in which he pledged to spread liberty and end tyranny. The aide says the president wants to show he can be a realist--as well as an idealist. "It's a systematic effort to show it's not a simplistic foreign policy," the aide says. "It's not just a shoot-from-the-hip, idealistic thing." In other words, last week's speech, like his Inaugural, was the stuff legacies are built on--a subject Bush and his aides are reluctant to talk about openly. As he prepares for Middle East peacemaking--the Palestinian president will visit the White House for the first time this week--Bush is trying to lower expectations while he keeps his eyes on the prize.

In a defiant Senate appearance, left-wing British pol George Galloway condemned the Iraq war last week and denied accusations he benefited from dubious prewar Iraq Oil-for-Food deals. A Senate report quotes former Iraqi officials saying Saddam Hussein's regime had granted Galloway lucrative Oil-for-Food "allocations" because he publicly favored lifting prewar sanctions on Iraq. Galloway told senators he never saw a penny in oil proceeds and dared them to prove he pocketed any money.

But Galloway became evasive when senators questioned him about a company called Middle East ASI, run by a close friend of his in Jordan; investigators say evidence collected in Iraq shows that Middle East ASI handled millions of barrels of Oil-for-Food crude that official Iraqi documents say was earmarked for "Middle East ASI (Mr. Galloway)." Despite its evident ties to Saddam and Galloway, Middle East ASI is now doing business with Saddam's successors. Ron McKay, a spokesman for both Galloway and Middle East ASI's owner, told NEWSWEEK that Middle East ASI recently had been supplying U.S.-made mobile-radio-scrambler devices to Iraqi government ministries. A spokesman for Texas-based EFJ Inc. confirmed that Middle East ASI was its distributor in Iraq for police radio scramblers. The spokesman added that Middle East ASI had been shipping scramblers to Iraqi government ministries under contracts awarded by U.S. authorities in Iraq.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer taught Corporate America that e-mails can get you in big trouble. Now a Florida judge has ruled that the e-mails you don't have may carry massive liabilities. This lesson stems from a case settled last week in which a jury ordered Morgan Stanley to pay about $1.45 billion to Ronald Perelman. Perelman held a major stake in a Morgan client, appliance maker Sunbeam Corp., which later filed for bankruptcy protection. Perelman claimed that Morgan cost him big bucks by withholding information about Sunbeam's financial problems, a charge that Morgan denies. But the jury never got to decide whether Perelman had actually been defrauded. Instead, Judge Elizabeth Maass handed Perelman his victory by instructing the jury to accept his story; Morgan, she ruled, acted in bad faith on another matter: the firm dragged its feet in turning over documents, including large numbers of e-mails going back nearly a decade.

The pain is likely to be felt across Wall Street. Some of Morgan's competitors are bracing for billions of dollars in new technology and e-mail-retention costs that go beyond what's currently demanded. Tracking employee e-mails is a relatively new practice for many large businesses and Wall Street firms, prompted in part by the Sarbanes-Oxley anti-corruption law. Experts say the Florida court ruling will likely add to corporate woes. "We're in a different era," says a Wall Street CEO who didn't want to be quoted by name because he feared his company might also be a target of regulators. "We have Big Brother breathing down our necks all the time."

Last year Seoul National University's Woo Suk Hwang announced that his team had derived stem-cell lines from cloned human embryos for the first time. Last week Hwang announced the team had created "patient-specific" embryonic stem-cell lines, and done so far more efficiently than a year ago. The new lines were derived from the skin cells of patients who had spinal-cord injuries, an immune disorder or juvenile diabetes. Using "therapeutic" cloning, the skin cells were merged with donor eggs whose nuclei had been removed, making the new stem cells genetic matches for the patients. Scientists believe that stem cells like these might one day replace unhealthy tissue without fear of rejection.

Attention, art-mystery buffs: keep an eye out for El Greco. After a Spanish man discovered a small piece of a painting by the renowned artist in his Madrid cupboard last October, museum curators and art collectors have been scanning the globe to complete the work. No bigger than a sheet of paper, the previously unknown part of the triptych--a painting that usually has three panels--sold for $1.5 million at Christie's auction house in December. Recently, art expert Maria Vasilaki of the Benaki Museum in Athens found the second piece. "It was pure luck," Vasilaki told NEWSWEEK. ''It's like a detective story."

Experts think El Greco most likely created the work, now called "The Baptism of Christ," during his stay in Venice from 1567 to 1570. How it ended up scattered across at least two different continents is as yet unknown, says Vasilaki. Perhaps more clues will be found after the Benaki Museum finishes restoring its piece of the puzzle--which should take another six weeks. Meantime, El Greco's hometown of Iraklio, eager to promote its affiliation with the artist, is hoping to bring all the pieces home. It outbid New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first piece, and hopes to one day exhibit the reunited panels of the triptych alongside another El Greco oil titled ''View of Mount Sinai."

Although it sounds like an odd pairing, rock and roll has a graceful history in the ballet. The Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones all scored music for world-renowned dance acts. This month, master choreographer Christopher Bruce debuted his newest rocking pirouettes, choosing guitar legend Jimi Hendrix as his muse. "Three Songs, Two Voices" premiered at London's Royal Opera House on May 12, and will run until June 11.

Perhaps disappointingly for Hendrix fans, no electric guitar screeches from the Opera House's gilded speakers. Bruce's music comes from Hendrix via Nigel Kennedy, whose classical interpretations of Hendrix masterpieces like "Fire" and "Little Wing," released in 1998, provide a softer, friendlier dance score. Still, the ballet's passionate Hendrix mood of psychedelic sensuality loses nothing in the swap of electric guitars for violins and Woodstock for Covent Garden.

"Three Songs" is a crisp nonnarrative piece, driven by a riveting sexual edge. Eighteen toned and barefoot dancers in tattered tutus strike tango poses--torsos pulled tight, fingers interlocking--introducing the audience to seemingly amped up twists and turns. Soon, the three central dancers, led by the Royal Ballet's statuesque Zenaida Yanowsky, are being pinned to the floor by their taut partners in dance moves that blend the precision of ballet's arabesque tableaux to the raw passion of hip-writhing rock. If Hendrix did ballet, one would imagine this is how he'd have danced.

Since meeting at the Malian Institute for the Blind in Bamako 31 years ago, Amadou and Mariam have been making sweet music, marrying traditional African rhythms with bluesy guitars. (In 1980, they married each other, too.) Their fourth album, "Dimanche a Bamako," proves that with time has not come complacency. The "blind couple of Bamako," as they are affectionately known, take on new territory with their producer, French Basque legend Manu Chao. "He heard us on the radio in France," explains Amadou, "and when we read in the newspaper that he liked our songs, we contacted him." Chao's influence on "Dimanche a Bamako" is unmistakable. Each of the 15 tracks buzzes with his pastiche of borrowed sounds, including radio sound bites and street noises. Chao's mellow voice complements Mariam's piercing, high-pitched one on most of the songs. On "Djafna," he even attempts a solo in Bambara, a Malian tribal dialect. Still, the tracks on which Chao remains behind the scenes are the strongest, as he surrenders the spotlight to Amadou and Mariam. On the slow and rhythmic "Fete au Vilage," they engage in a call-and-response duet about dressing up for a party. "Making music ain't easy," they sing on the pulsating track "Artistiya," "but Amadou and Mariam know how to do it." Few would dare argue with that.

Q&A: Michael Vartan

It isn't enough that Michael Vartan plays second fiddle to Jennifer Garner every week on "Alias." In the film "Monster-in-Law" he's caught between two divas: Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez. Vartan spoke to NEWSWEEK's Marc Peyser:


That was very good.

The funny thing is I'm actually a Polish Jew who happens to be born in France. My mom is Polish and my dad is Bulgarian. I don't have an ounce of French blood. But I work it.

I was 17 and had dropped out of high school, and there was a thing called mandatory military service in France, so I thought that would be a good time to move in with my mom in California. There were six or seven years where I wasn't allowed back into France or I would have been arrested by the military police. That was kind of exciting.

I don't condone it. Children, stay in school.

No one believes me, but I was so delighted at how incredibly nice they were.

I was so surprised, only because of all the crap you hear about people. It could easily have been a complete power trip, and it wasn't at all.