Newsweek Feb-07-14

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


in my life

If February 1964 seems like forever ago, especially to those of us who were around then, all one has to do is hear the opening power chords of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and a bolt of magic instantly connects us to that time - the very same magic that brightened the otherwise bleak winter in the shadow of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy just five weeks before. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the tailwind that propelled the Beatles into America 50 years ago this month. It was their first U.S No. 1 hit (26 more would follow, still a record), reaching the top of the charts on February 1 and staying there for nearly two months. With $71 million in Beatles music and merchandise sales in…

doubling down on obamacare

If Obamacare gets blown up by Congress later this year, you might want to thank (or blame, depending on your prejudices regarding the Affordable Care Act) the state of Vermont. If it can’t make it there, some argue, it can’t make it anywhere. On a warm day last July, a small group of Vermont state employees gathered eagerly in a conference room in Winooski, Vt., to witness a milestone: the first demonstration of their state’s new health insurance exchange under President Obama’s historic health insurance plan. As Melissa Boudreault, the vice president of state solutions at CGI Federal, the technology company building the website, and state staffers kicked off the event, the folks from Vermont felt a mix of apprehension and hope. Was VermontHealthConnect, the complex website CGI had been racing…

’a pill for every ill’

If there were fewer possible psychiatric diagnoses, would fewer people consider themselves ill? A growing number of health experts suspect that psychiatric care is drifting toward “diagnostic inflation,” in which the rate of mental disorders balloons as a result of new diagnoses - and not due to an increasingly troubled population. What’s worse is that this process may be fueled by the very document that is supposed to control it. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a 1,000-page behemoth that is now in its fifth edition, gives researchers and clinicians across the country a common language for discussing the ins and outs of a mind that is not well, ideally allowing everyone to agree on who is and isn’t ill. The manual is produced by the American Psychiatric…

mullahs prosper as sanctions fatigue hits

Add this to the list of concerns over the crumbling state of international sanctions against Iran: The United Nations Security Council’s authority and, specifically, its ability to impose sanctions against individuals around the world are being challenged - by Europe, no less. Critics of the way the White House conducts Iran diplomacy used hearings on Capitol Hill this week to detail ways in which last November’s “joint plan of action” - an interim agreement reached in Geneva between Iran and six world powers as part of a deal to limit Iranian nuclear ambitions - undermines economic pressures on the Islamic Republic. “Iran’s economy was veering toward the red zone, and unfortunately I think that we blinked four to six months too early,” Mark Wallace, chief executive officer of the United Against Nuclear…

syria’s hunger games

A tentative ceasefire between government forces and rebels in the besieged neighborhoods of the Old City of Homs was announced late Thursday afternoon, which just might allow the U.N. teams to evacuate women and children who wish to leave as early as Saturday. But according to Syrian Opposition sources in Istanbul: “People are wary that the ceasefire actually will happen. There have been so many promises broken already. They also promise that food will be delivered inside by Saturday. But people are starving.” Dima Moussa, a spokeswoman for the Homs Quarters Union, an activist group in the city, says humanitarian aid has not reached the Old City since December 2012. “It has been over 600 days of siege,” she said. “Some limited humanitarian aid got in back then after much negotiation - but…

when you care enough to copy

When Julia Dixon, a 2011 graduate of the University of Akron in Ohio, began compiling research to file a federal Clery Act complaint against her alma mater for the mishandling of sexual assault cases, she had a lot of ground to cover: Her complaint, filed Tuesday, alleges that the school has coerced rape victims into dropping disciplinary charges and failed to accurately report assaults and provide victims with accommodations, among other grievances. After Dixon was raped by a student in a campus residence hall in 2008 during her first week as a freshman, she immediately called campus police and went to the local hospital. Instead of receiving the support that’s guaranteed all students in the school’s policy manual, Dixon says she was encouraged by a University of Akron detective to keep…