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My Palestinian Vacation

It's not yet the south of France, but if you get past the checkpoints and dodge the rioters, the West Bank is almost a tourist destination.

Iraq Bombings Threaten to Renew Chaos

An Iraqi talk show anchor planned to spend his hour today talking about the recent robbery and shooting spree against jewelry store owners. But after the third bombing with massive casualties in two days, he changed the subject.

Pilgrims' Progress

China offers its minorities wealth and worldliness—and that's just what's driving the ethnic protests.

Deadly Triggers

Why is the Bush administration escalating its accusations that Iran is backing Shiite extremists inside Iraq? One reason: mounting intelligence indicating Tehran has been supplying insurgents with electronic sensors that trigger roadside bombs used against U.S. troops.The devices in question—which cost as little as $1 a piece—are called "passive infrared" sensors or detectors.

Rediscovering America

Of all the stories people tell, the least grounded in fact tend to be those about origins. Only a few decades ago, Christopher Columbus was the discoverer of America and a hero of the second-grade classroom.

Leviathan In Louisiana

Americans tend to believe in God and to disbelieve in government. Time will tell how many are moved to rethink one or both of those tendencies in the aftermath of Katrina.

LIFE IN SOLITARY

In the photo, Agnes Long looks drop-dead gorgeous. She's on vacation at the Jersey shore with her husband. He is tall, tan and trim; she wears a zebra-stripe bikini, a floppy hat and sunglasses.

Journeys Of Faith

Marshall Cohen was a frequent visitor to Israel--until he arrived last year to celebrate Passover the same week a suicide bomber attacked a crowded Jerusalem grocery store, killing an Israeli man and injuring more than 100.

The Shiite Shockwave

Khaled Abdullah waited 23 years for this moment. The 43-year-old Iraqi climbed a flight of stairs last week and gazed ecstatically on the golden dome of Shiite Islam's holiest shrine, the tomb of Imam Hussein in Karbala.

Got Game, Will Travel

I've come to the game developers conference in San Jose, California, as a media skeptic to play what designers here call a "quest game." Instead of seeking some magic sword, though, or the map to some ersatz treasure, I'm searching for a digital game that rocks: something beautiful and culturally significant yet profitable.

What Happened To Irish Art?

Rain beats down on W. B. Yeats's grave in Drumcliffe, but still the faithful come. As the guide talks of the Irish poet's death in 1939, a tall professorial type nods solemnly.

Breaking Point

Harvard president Neil Rudenstine overslept one morning last November. Not a monumental event for most, granted. But for this zealous perfectionist, who was in the midst of a $1 million-a-day fund-raising campaign, it was cause for alarm.

Mixed Blessings

John Paul II comes to America, where he'll be welcomed by a pro-choice president and celebrate with a church divided over sexual issues Pope John Paul II arrives in Denver this week "to celebrate life--the value of life, the beauty and joy of life." The occasion is World Youth Day, an international Roman Catholic jamboree that this pope has previously celebrated in Poland, Spain and Brazil--but never in the United States.

The Custer Syndrome

The sun is setting on the old battlefield. From out of the cottonwoods down by the river, a soft breeze blows that Western perfume of sweetwater and hay. As the sky fades from robin's-egg blue to pale violet, the light slanting across the Little Bighorn casts long shadows behind white markers that stick up like broken bones in the brown grass.