Newsweek Apr-04-14

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


# therewillbeblood

Kiyoko Isoda is a slight, elderly woman who runs a well-kept country inn in the small fishing village of Taiji, in western Japan, and it is safe to say she wouldn’t know Ricky Gervais if he spilled a pot of hot green tea in her lap. Or Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, for that matter, or American actress Hayden Panettiere, or any of the many other celebrities major and minor—who availed themselves of social media earlier this year to vent about an annual event in what used to be a quiet place few people had heard of. Some of those celebrities even traveled to Taiji and then used social media to express their dismay over what they saw in this small town. Matt Sorum, the former drummer for Guns N’ Roses, visited…

our lost generation

Sitting before a mostly absent Senate committee in February, actor Seth Rogen sought to draw attention to an as yet incurable disease that is quietly killing millions of Americans and, perhaps worse, reducing their final years to a harrowing ordeal for both them and their families. He had come to Washington, D.C., to talk about Alzheimer’s. Rogen, known more for his vulgar comedy and stoner persona than his activism, had a personal reason for testifying. In 2006, his mother-in-law was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at 55. At first he thought this meant a future of lost keys and mismatched shoes. A few years later, the family faced “the real, ugly truth of the disease,” Rogen testified. “After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher for 35…

who do you trust to run the internet?

Turns out, the Internet doesn’t run itself. Until mid-March, a branch of the U.S. government was responsible for such duties as assigning and managing domain names. Suffixes like “.com” or “.org,” which outside of the U.S. also end in country identifiers like “.de” for Germany, are all organized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is a contractor of an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce. On March 14, however, Washington announced it would “transition” these duties away, let its contract with ICANN expire in 2015 and thus shed the last remnants of Internet control by America. U.S. governments have held some control over the Web ever since the launch in the late 1960s of a program that was developed in America by the military and academia…

the sum of all cia fears

The hotel bar TVs were all flashing clips of Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein denouncing the CIA for spying on her staff, when I met an agency operative for drinks last week. He flashed a wan smile, gestured at the TV and volunteered that he’d narrowly escaped being assigned to interrogate Al-Qaida suspects at a secret site years ago. “I guess I would’ve done it,” he said, implying you either took orders or quit. But everybody in the counterterrorism program knew what was going on in those places, he said, and he was glad the agency found something else for him to do at the last minute. “Look what’s happened.” Four years after Feinstein launched her probe of that interrogation program, her committee and the CIA are locked in a death-struggle…

boehner’s magic bullet

In the weeks before the March 31 deadline for millions of Americans to sign up for health insurance, President Obama turned to Hollywood, joking in a viral video “interview” with actor and comedian Zack Galifianakis that NBA wild man Dennis Rodman was not in fact ambassador to North Korea before urging young people to hurry and sign up under the Affordable Care Act “for what it costs to pay your cell phone bill.” Obama also revived a social media blitz for his signature reform on selfie queen Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show, and the White House released a YouTube video with the mothers of singers Alicia Keys and Jennifer Lopez imploring people ages 18 to 34 to sign up. These moves to shore up the law dubbed Obamacare come as legal and…

you drive like an american!

Roshard Charles, the 5-year-old boy struck by a car as he was crossing the street with his mother in Brooklyn, is the latest in a string of traffic fatalities in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to make road safety a top priority, setting the ambitious goal of zero traffic related deaths. Meanwhile Congress is investigating GM for a safety issue possibly linked to 12 deaths. Considering that around 35,000 Americans will die in car-related accidents this year, lawmakers might find more success studying Europe. Road safety in Europe is far better than in the United States. Americans die on the roads at twice the rate of Europeans. Against all rich countries the U.S. doesn’t fare much better. The World Health Organization calculates an average of 8.7 fatalities…