Newsweek August 23, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


a penny deferred

If Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley has his way, the whole country will soon be considering a new way to pay for college at publicly run schools. Merkley is calling on his colleagues to fund a pilot program that would eradicate much of the crushing debt that not only hampers graduates’ ability to pay the rent and buy groceries, but discourages young people from going anywhere near higher education in the first place. In a roundabout way, the senator got the idea—Pay It Forward—from the founder of a small, nonprofit, public-policy think tank in nearby Seattle. John Burbank, who created the Economic Opportunity Institute 15 years ago, tells Newsweek that he came up with Pay It Forward after watching with dismay the skyrocketing tuition increases in Washington state’s public university system. The…

the unknown nazi hunter

Throughout his life, Hanns Alexander was known as a prankster. At parties and weddings in London, he usually played the clown—dressing up, making speeches, and cracking jokes. Until his funeral in 2006, though, most of his relatives had no idea that Alexander was also one of the most successful Nazi hunters in the world. Born at the height of World War I, Alexander’s childhood was spent in a handsome apartment in a wealthy Berlin neighborhood where his father, a doctor, threw -sparkling parties attended by well-known actors, artists, and scientists, including Albert Einstein. As Adolf Hitler came to power, the music faded, finally dying out as the successful Jewish family fled to Britain in the 1930s. As a young man, Alexander rarely mentioned his past, and most in his family were ignorant…

preventing pandemics

The future home of the Central Reference Laboratory, a $102 million state-of-the-art center to secure biological agents that could be used as weapons of mass destruction, is located in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan. A visitor making the trip from nearby Almaty, a picturesque city flanked by snow-peaked mountains, to the imposing four-story, concrete-and-steel structure where the center will be housed might be put in mind of a James Bond movie and dimly imagine that, behind these walls, evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld plots SPECTRE’s world domination while stroking his cat. The reality is no less fascinating. Funded by the U.S. military’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the laboratory will serve a dual purpose: to research dangerous pathogens such as anthrax, tularemia, and the plague, and to keep those same pathogens…

the tower of tennis

You probably know what John Isner looks like, even if you don’t know his name. Isner is that really tall guy—as in 6-foot-10, shoe-size-15 tall—who won the longest tennis match in history: an epic 11-hour-and-five-minute battle at Wimbledon a few years ago. Now, after barely losing an impressive two-set, two-tiebreak match to Rafael Nadal at the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati last week, the world’s highest-ranked American enters the U.S. Open on what he calls a “pretty decent run,” having won 16 of 20 matches. What better time for a dude from Greensboro, North Carolina, to make history by claiming his first grand-slam title? Of course, it won’t be easy. The all-American boy, who listens to classic rock like the Doobie Brothers to get pumped up and is an…

talk, now walk?

Eric Garcetti is good at the symbolism thing. Garcetti, who took office as mayor of Los Angeles on July 1, is half Jewish and half Mexican-American with an Italian last name and perfectly accented Spanish—a tidier embodiment of his melting-pot metropolis than any political consultant could ever conjure up. As City Council president, he represented and resided in Silver Lake and Echo Park, which are like the Brooklyn of L.A.: young(ish), wealthy(ish), hip(ish). And so Garcetti was young, wealthy, and hip, too: a break-dancing, jazz piano–playing, eco-conscious Rhodes scholar whose immaculate midcentury modern home was once featured in Dwell magazine and who waited to wed his longtime girlfriend (also a Rhodes scholar) until California legalized gay marriage. The guy so closely resembles Hollywood’s image of a mayor—thick, dark hair, crisp, rectangular…

family ties

No Democrat has won statewide office in Georgia since 1998. But Michelle Nunn intends to change that by winning the Senate seat her father held for 24 years. Nunn is campaigning as an “independent minded” Democrat, and when I spoke with her this week, she had just completed a 10-city “What Can Washington Learn From Georgia” tour—a trip she undertook with her two young children in tow and her husband at the wheel of a rented red minivan. Nunn is a third-generation politico. During the trip, the family encountered people who remembered her grandfather’s time as mayor of Perry (where her brother now farms the family’s land). Some came up to talk about how they had interned for her father, while others simply wanted to thank her for help her dad…