Newsweek Apr-18-14

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The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
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17
death on the farm

On January 21, 2010, a cold, clear day, Dean Pierson woke up early, as usual. The 59-year-old put on a pair of blue jeans and a hooded coat before the sun was up, then went to his barn, turned on the lights, closed all the doors and windows, powered off the fans and cranked up the volume on the radio. He then shot each of his milking cows with a .22-caliber N1 carbine rifle, about 51 of them, between their horns and eyes, hitting their brains and killing them instantly. Pierson then sat down in a wooden chair with an upholstered seat, pulled a ski mask over his face, picked up a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and shot himself once in the chest. Around 9 or 9:30, a truck driver from the…

9
justice for rape camp survivors

Edina, a Bosnian who lives near Srebrenica, was only 15 when she was captured along with a relative as they were foraging for food. Her family had fled to a forest. She was held for weeks and raped by five men. She says she survived because as it was happening, “I felt like I was someone else watching what was happening to me.” In the two decades since those events, Edina has tried to rebuild her life. Today, she is a mother, but she has the air of a broken woman. She sits on a bench in the Srebrenica Memorial and chats with visitors—including Angelina Jolie—with dulled emotions. Although Edina testified in The Hague in 2005, none of the men who raped her have been brought to justice. She says that…

11
as in the colo war, russia is vulnerable on energy

Vladimir Putin loves to talk nostalgically about the might of the former Soviet Union—and in annexing Crimea, he has taken a dramatic step toward re-creating it. But Russia’s strongman hasn’t read his history: In truth, the might of the Brezhnev-era USSR was built on high oil and gas prices. When those prices began to fall in the 1980s—with more than a little help from Ronald Reagan’s White House—Soviet power crumbled with it. Now, a generation later, Western politicians are remembering that energy can be used as a geopolitical weapon. Putin, it seems, is not the only leader who can play the game of History Repeating. “Putin looks strong now, but his Kremlin is built on the one thing in Russia he doesn’t control: the price of oil,” says Ben Judah, author…

7
bay of piglets: how the freemasons got caught in a plot to topple the castros

It’s an unlikely tale of three cities that begins in Damascus, winds through Washington, D.C., and ends tragically in a Havana jail. Its key characters seem drawn from a Cold War espionage thriller, amateurish spies stuck in yet another feckless plot to overthrow the Cuban regime. In late November 2010, a Washington, D.C., businessman named Akram Elias traveled to Damascus with a discreet proposal to burnish the image of the Syrian regime in Washington. “It was great seeing you earlier this morning,” Elias, a Lebanese American, wrote to Bouthaina Shabaan, the longtime mouthpiece for President Bashar al-Assad, in an email obtained by WikiLeaks. Only six months earlier, the Obama administration had slapped Syria with sanctions for its support of terrorist groups and for seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction. Elias gave…

6
making menthol uncool

Is Big Tobacco color blind? Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former secretary of health and human services under President George H.W. Bush, for one, doesn’t think so. Sullivan says it’s no accident so many black smokers are hooked. “You go into convenience stores in the black community, and you see these ads plastered all over the windows and doors about Kools and Camel menthol cigarettes,” says Sullivan, who is leading a recently launched campaign to get U.S. health authorities to ban menthol cigarettes. “When you go into a similar convenience store in a white community, you don’t see ads like that.” Each year, smoking-related illnesses kill more black Americans than AIDS, car crashes, murders and drug and alcohol abuse combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than four in five…

8
how to cheat on yourtaxes

There’s never been a better time to cheat on your taxes. Or a better way. As millions of Americans rush to file their tax returns on time, trying to be ever-so-careful in hopes of avoiding an audit or, far worse, prosecution, they will find it instructive, and infuriating, to learn about Jerry Curnutt. Curnutt can show people how to cheat on their taxes and not get caught. His trick won’t work if you are a wage earner, but those rich enough to invest in real estate partnerships have escaped paying billions of dollars in the past decade by using this technique. Curnutt knows this because he is a tax detective. He retired from the Internal Revenue Service in 2000 as one of its top snoops, overseeing all investment partnerships. Using his desktop computer,…