Newsweek Aug-15-14

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12
the families who tried to kill hitler

On July 20th this year, President Joachim Gauck of Germany led the country’s political elite in commemorating the 70th anniversary of the best-known assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, in 1944. The plot’s leader, Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg (played by Tom Cruise in the movie Valkyrie), put a briefcase containing a bomb underneath Adolf Hitler’s table at the Führer’s headquarters in East Prussia. The bomb exploded, but Hitler sustained only minor injuries. Von Stauffenberg, who initially believed that Hitler had been killed and had made his way to Berlin to lead the coup, was summarily shot, along with three other participants at the Bendlerblock, the then-military headquarters now housing the Ministry of Defence, where this year’s commemoration ceremony took place. Almost all the other members of the July 20th plot -officers,…

19
the lost adults: missing without uproar

Ten years ago, Billy Smolinski went away. Where he went, nobody knows. Nobody knows why he went there, if he went willingly. Nobody knows if he was killed or if he just skipped town. If he went into hiding, nobody knows where. Nobody knows why. There was no Amber Alert for William P. Smolinski Jr., the way there would have been for a missing child. His picture was not on milk cartons. There is one billboard on I-84 in central Connecticut, placed above the busy thoroughfare by his parents. It says “Murdered & Missing; $60,000 Reward,” next to a picture of Billy in a plaid shirt, hands clenched in resolution, meditation, maybe prayer. His lips are tough-guy sealed, his eyes meet the camera straight-on, but there is a hint of boyishness…

12
the u.s. is sitting on promising ebola vaccines

Ebola was once thought to be a intermittent scourge limited to the bush of Central Africa. The virus would jump from its animal hosts to a nearby community eating those animals, but these outbreaks flared up and quickly “burned out,” killing about 1,600 people over the nearly four decades since the first case was identified in a Sudanese factory worker in 1976. But now, with easier travel and more permeable borders, an Ebola outbreak has spread from rural villages to populous hubs where it has never been before, like Guinea’s coastal capital of Conakry, a city of some 2 million, where it is likely to become endemic. “Before this outbreak, Ebola was not known to be present in Sierra Leone, in Liberia, in Conakry. But it is now present there,” says…

6
iran hearts hamas

The widespread turmoil across the Middle East is making for some very estranged fellows. After suffering a major blow during the civil war in Syria, the romance between Iran and Hamas is at full bloom again, boding ill for any hopes of future peaceful arrangements in the region. Tehran has long been the top supplier of arms to Gaza militants Hamas, which like the Iranian government is a fundamentalist group that believes in spreading Islam and making it the law of the land in the Middle East and beyond. But while Iran is Islam’s most dominant Shiite power, Hamas—an offshoot of the outlawed Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood—is part of a Sunni world that deems Shiism a heresy. The civil war in Syria put the Hamas alliance with Iran to the test. It failed.…

2
degrading on the curve

The richest colleges and universities in the country are getting richer at an eye-popping rate. Harvard, with an endowment of $32.3 billion, the biggest by far of any university, is looking to raise an additional $6.5 billion. Cornell is seeking $4.5 billion, and even the University of Michigan, a public institution with an $8 billion endowment, is in the midst of a campaign to raise $4 billion. That follows campaigns that raised $6.2 billion at Stanford, $3.9 billion at Yale, $4.3 billion at the University of Pennsylvania and $6.1 billion at Columbia. Yet despite all the money raised, tuition keeps rising. The sticker price of Harvard is now around $58,607 for a single year’s tuition, fees, room and board. And schools like Harvard or Yale set the standard for other private…

6
will sanctions on russia tip the world into recession?

In the summer of 1997, Larry Summers, then the deputy treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, was having a private meeting with a senior Wall Street executive who oversaw his bank’s international operations. The executive had been watching with concern the mounting turmoil in the financial and property markets of Thailand, the small Southeast Asian country that normally wouldn’t warrant much high-level attention in the corridors of Washington power. Summers listened to the man politely, but he was underwhelmed. Thailand represented less than 1 percent of total trade with the U.S., and the size of its economy was, relatively speaking, tiny. The message from Summers was straightforward: Don’t you worry your little head about such a thing. The financial chaos that ensued in the wake of Summers’s insouciance—the so called East Asian…