Newsweek Feb-06-15

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


what silicon valley thinks of women

On a spring afternoon last year at an outdoor café in San Francisco, two denizens of the tech community sketched out their strategy for a startup. Like most 28-year-olds in Silicon Valley, they had smarts and dreams. One was a passionate, fast-talking New Yorker, the other a shy computer whiz from Syracuse, New York, and together they formed the classic hacker-hustler team behind many of the valley’s Next Big Things. They had been emailing each other about the idea for months, with growing conviction of its awesome potential. It addressed a well-known problem, one that afflicts the tech industry but also banking, media, advertising and film. Corporations needed it. Individuals would love it. It might even be disruptive, as they say. That afternoon, over lunch in the California sun, they committed…

poland’s jewish culture rises from the ashes of persecution

Paweł Bramson grew up in a white, Catholic country, and he liked it that way. As a teenager in Warsaw, he despised the rare Arab and African immigrants who were starting to settle in Poland in the 1990s. He and his friends, their heads shaved to the skin, used to chase them around, sometimes beating them up. Once, they threw burning objects through the windows of a dormitory to scare the Arab students living there. He also knew that he and his pals despised Jews, even though he’d never encountered one. “There were no Jews,” he says. “Nobody ever saw them.” That’s because for past few decades, Poland has been an ethnically and religiously homogeneous country—according to the 2011 census, 97.7 percent of the population is ethnically Polish. But it hasn’t always…

falling prices are bad for you

Xu Li Chin isn’t quite sure what has happened to his once-thriving business. For 20 years he has been the owner of a company just outside Shenzhen in southern China that supplies medical equipment. He started small and grew steadily, first via exports to a variety of countries in Southeast Asia, the United States and even Japan, and more recently riding the growth in China’s own economy. Now that homegrown growth has diminished, the industries he supplies suffer from overcapacity, as does his own, where price-cutting to maintain market share is now rampant. And last month his world got even more complicated when he lost a key export customer in Japan, which told him it was moving back to a homegrown supplier. The Japanese yen has depreciated by nearly 20 percent…

iraq’s isis fight could be a second ‘awakening’

Just before Christmas, Atheel al-Nujaifi, a leading Iraqi politician, quietly slipped into Washington, D.C., with an urgent request that the White House provide arms and training for his 10,000-man Sunni militia. For seven months now, the United States has been bombing Iraq and Syria, trying to beat back the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). But dislodging the world’s most notorious jihadist group hasn’t been easy, and Nujaifi was offering to help. The governor of Iraq’s Nineveh province, he was forced to flee last summer when ISIS militants overran the country’s Sunni-dominated north and west. In meetings with American officials, Nujaifi warneda that unless the United States and its allies can quickly liberate the parts of Iraq under ISIS control, people there may soon learn to live with the militants. “Time,” he…

two numbers: homesick for syria

Photographs of a rare snowstorm in January that flattened refugee camp tents in Lebanon and Jordan brought new attention to the plight of millions of Syrians driven from their homes by nearly four years of war. Since March 2011, fighting between troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposition forces, coupled with brutal violence by the militant group ISIS, has resulted in a mass exodus that shows no signs of reversal. Surrounded by violence on all sides, half of Syria’s prewar population of around 22 million have abandoned their homes, including 3.8 million refugees outside Syria and 7.6 million internally displaced. With their savings dwindling and unable to work or attend school, many of the refugees are living in dire poverty. More than 95 percent of the refugees who have escaped…

the crisis in yemen deals a blow to the war on terror

Jamal Benomar was worried. Late last month, he was talking to me on the phone as he waited to fly to the Persian Gulf. Yemen was on the verge of collapse, and Benomar, the United Nations special envoy to the country, was hoping to bring its warring factions together. For years, the Moroccan-born British diplomat had been warning international leaders that stabilizing Yemen’s internal politics was critical to defeating Al-Qaeda. But as he landed in Yemen last month, the country, which is heavily divided over religious, tribal and other alliances, continued to crumble. “Maybe now,” Benomar said, the world “will listen.” In January, the Houthis, an armed group in northern Yemen, allegedly with ties to Iran, tightened their grip around the capital city of Sanaa. Gunmen surrounded the presidential palace and trapped…