Newsweek Apr-03-15

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The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
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14
the new exodus: christians flee isis in the middle east

Before jihadists overran this mountain town in 2013, Maaloula was one of the oldest Christian communities in Syria, where Western Aramaic—the language of Jesus Christ—is still spoken. It was also a place of profound peace, where Sunni and Shiite Muslim residents, along with their Christian neighbors, forged a pact early in the war to avoid the sectarian conflict ripping their country apart. “We decided that even if the mountains around us were exploding with fighting, we would not go to war,” Mahmoud Diab, a Sunni imam, told Newsweek in 2012. “It’s a sectarian war, but the fact is, there is no war here in Maaloula. In this town, we are not defined by religion. We all know each other. Everyone is a Christian, and everyone is Muslim.” Tolerance had been a…

15
fighting to reclaim the future of oakland's young black men

The Oakland Unified School District’s Office of African American Male Achievement is housed in a one-story portable classroom in the downtown neighborhood of Grand Lake. There are few windows in the barely glorified bunker, which may be for the best: They would just let in the incessant hum of the adjacent MacArthur Freeway. The only bathroom is across a parking lot, which is lined with a phalanx of similar portables painted a deceptively alluring sky-blue. It is somehow fitting that the highway thrums but a few feet away—maybe it reminds those who work here that the goal is to whisk the city's young out of Oakland, to Silicon Valley, to San Francisco, to any place that is better than this place that they have always known. About three miles to the…

7
who really killed boris nemtsov?

No Hollywood director could have framed the grim scene better—or freighted it with more symbolism. On a drizzly Moscow night, a gunman follows Boris Nemtsov, a prominent political critic, and his girlfriend across a lonely bridge. Six shots are fired. As the victim lies bleeding, the domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin tower behind him. The message is clear: So die all enemies of the regime. But who sent the message? And who was the message intended for—Russia’s beleaguered opposition or President Vladimir Putin? The simplest explanation—and the one that most leaders of Russia’s liberal opposition believe—is that the Kremlin killed Nemtsov to intimidate them into silence. “Putin must be held responsible for the murder of Boris,” says former world chess champion and opposition leader Garry Kasparov. “Who ordered…

5
taliban leaders are living in luxury in qatar

Even though we hadn’t seen each other in years, the Taliban official remembered me when I called. I’d heard he was living in the Gulf emirate of Qatar, and I was planning to travel there soon. Good, he said, let’s meet for lunch or dinner. As I flew to Doha recently, the monarchy’s capital, I looked forward to seeing him. But by the time I landed in this futuristic city beside the sea, he wasn’t so welcoming. He arrived at my hotel room looking tense and uncomfortable. “Don’t use my name,” he said immediately. “Don’t tell anyone you’ve seen me. No photos. No camera. No nothing.” Several days later, I set out to see the exclusive neighborhood in suburban Doha where some of the Taliban live. But as I tried to…

2
exonerations are on the rise, thanks to dedicated justice units

In early March, Angel Gonzalez, 41, was exonerated in the abduction and rape of an Illinois woman, for which he had been imprisoned for 20 years. According to the victim’s testimony—backed up by DNA samples—two men committed the crime. But new DNA testing in January revealed that Gonzalez did not match either of the two male DNA profiles found. The proving of Gonzalez’s innocence is part of a growing trend: In 2014, a record 125 people convicted of crimes were absolved of wrongdoing nationwide. The preceding two years also saw record highs in the U.S., with 91 exonerations each. For perspective, in 1994, the year of the crime that changed Gonzalez’s life, just 31 convictions were reversed. Most of this is due to recent advancements within the criminal justice system. Reversals in…

7
manipulating wikipedia to promote a bogus business school

In February, “ArbCom” voted to expel “Wifione” from Wikipedia. No idea what “ArbCom” is? You're not the only one. It's the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee, the highest court in Wikipedia land. And Wifione was a Wikipedia “administrator” account, run by persons unknown, that was accused of manipulating the Wikipedia site of an unaccredited business school in India by deleting links to numerous media reports alleging it scammed students into paying hefty sums for worthless degrees. For four years, that Wikipedia page was a primary marketing tool of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), which at one time boasted a network of 18 branches and tens of thousands of students. It lured students with the promise of an MBA and partnerships with international universities in the United States and Europe. Last September, the…