Newsweek Dec-26-14

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


the cia’s rough stuff goes back to the cold war

“The CIA,” according to the Senate Intelligence Committee, had “historical experience using coercive forms of interrogation.” Indeed, it had plenty, said the committee’s report released Tuesday: about 50 years’ worth. Deep in the committee’s 500-page summary of a still-classified 6,700-page report on the agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” after 9/11 there is a brief reference to KUBARK, the code name for a 1963 instruction manual on interrogation, which was used on subjects ranging from suspected Soviet double agents to Latin American dissidents and guerrillas. The techniques will sound familiar to anybody who has followed the raging debate over interrogation techniques adopted by the CIA to break Al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons around the world. When the going got tough, the CIA got rough. The 1963 KUBARK manual included the “principal coercive…

russia’s oil fire

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in Vienna at the end of November, at the most recent OPEC meeting, when Russia’s Igor Sechin—the chief executive of Rosneft (Russia’s largest oil producer), former KGB apparatchik and all-around best crony of President Vladimir Putin—met with Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi. Neither, officially, is a minister of war. They were there to talk about oil. But oil, make no mistake, is a weapon for both nations, and one was about to use it. At the time, benchmark crude oil prices stood at around $80 per barrel, well down from the $100-plus price that had prevailed for several years. “Reversing the rapid fall in price is the focus for oil ministers this week,” wrote one Canadian journalist. Actually, no, it wasn’t. Or,…

two numbers: downgrading professors

As colleges and universities compete to attract students, they frequently advertise their star faculty members— acclaimed intellectuals or business and professional leaders, maybe even a few Nobel Prize winners. What they don’t say is that more and more teaching is done by a growing underclass in academia: part-time and contract workers receiving low pay and little job security. Today almost two-thirds of faculty at all accredited colleges and universities in the United States are nontenured, according to the Center for the Study of Academic Labor at Colorado State University. That wasn’t always the case. Nontenured faculty made up less than half of faculty employed at degree-granting institutions in 1975, according to the American Association of University Professors. (AAUP) At the same time, the cost of college has been rising. Over a 10…

how google and apple make their taxes disappear

Around the world, countries are desperately seeking ways to stop multinational companies from earning profits within their borders without paying taxes on them, while stashing trillions in tax havens like the Cayman Islands. The British government, after a search, says it knows how to tax the profits Google earns in the United Kingdom. Its solution is simple and elegant, and it probably won’t change a damn thing. The proposal has come because Britain and many other countries are tired of getting just the table scraps after companies enjoy what tax lawyers call Dutch Sandwiches washed down with a Double Irish. Those are popular names for tax strategies that let companies earn profits in countries with high taxes, but report profits where little or no tax is paid, such as Ireland. The…

erdogan launches sunni islamist revival in turkish schools

When Hasan Eroi and other parents learned that their children’s school would be converted to specialise in Islamic education, they hit the streets. Yeşilbahar Middle School is among five in Istanbul’s staunchly secular district of Kadiköy to have been earmarked for conversion into imam-hatips, religious schools in which 20% to one-third of hours are dedicated to Sunni Islamic study. “They want to transform this area into something else,” says Erol, whose 13-year-old son goes to the school. “They want to make it more conservative by bringing imam-hatips here.” Yeşilbahar was spared. Authorities relented in the face of protests and a petition and, for now, it remains a general middle school. There have been drawbacks, however. This year, no new students have been registered. In a meeting with officials, Erol claimed,…

how to defuse the population bomb

When night falls on Kibera, it is like a door slamming shut. When the sun is up, things are hectic and loud, rough and fetid, but always safe and even welcoming: Bright colors abound and so do offers of nyama choma (roasted meat, usually goat) and bottles of Tusker, the local lager. Soon after the first stars appear in the sky, the streets of Nairobi, Kenya’s largest urban slum go silent, emptying out but for dogs, cats and rats, thieves and rapists. Life moves indoors, and because most people are too scared to leave their homes to use outhouses and public latrines, “flying toilets” (plastic bags holding human waste) are tossed out of doorways and over fences into the streets. One night this past October, the sobbing of a girl cut through…