Newsweek Feb-28-14

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


who’s fighting your drug wars?

“Private Morales” was immersed in morning prayers when an officer rushed him outside and into a convoy of four pickup trucks with no license plates. The army had received a tip about a drug and weapons cache inside a house in Nueva Suyapa, a gang-filled neighborhood in Honduras’s capital city, Tegucigalpa. Morales and more than two dozen other soldiers sped away, moving islands of bodies in ski masks snaking through morning rush-hour traffic. Finally, with the target in sight, Morales, who requested that his name be kept confidential to protect both him and his family, jumped out of the truck and dashed off to his look-out position. There, the 22-year-old stood alert, his delicate hands gripping his rifle, his long eyelashes batting against the dusty wind. Tucked under his unit’s logo…

nary a drop to drink

When an aide walked into Danny Jones’s office on January 9 to inform him that his city smelled like licorice, the Charleston, W.Va., mayor was not alarmed. It is a reality of life in the state’s I-64 corridor that a cloud smelling of burnt potato chips or rotten eggs may at any time waft overhead from one of the area’s chemical facilities. “Oh, come on,” Jones thought. Since World War II, these plants, running on coal power and Kanawha River Valley sweat, have been churning out a full bar of chemical cocktails, from food dyes to pesticides to coal cleaners. It has long been resolved in the valley that if America is to have its notears shampoo and fire-engine-red ballpark franks, the proud people of West Virginia must endure a few…

advertising’s untapped market: single women

For those who keep score of such things, Super Bowl Sunday was considered a modest victory for women, as far as the commercials were concerned anyway. Props were given to ads “designed around big ideas and not sexist stereotypes,” as the 3 Percent Conference, a group of female creative directors from West and East Coast ad agencies, put it. That may be true. But it’s also a fact that not one ad so much as nodded at Single Indies: Women over 35, unmarried, with no children and - most important from an advertising point of view - successful. With apologies to Helen Reddy, they should be too big to ignore. Single Indies spend around $1 trillion each year...and there are 28 million of them. Yet, in both advertising and media, this…

the photogenic star of venezuela’s opposition

Leopoldo López clutched a bunch of white daisies as he climbed into the waiting police vehicle. A sea of protesters surrounded the Venezuelan politician and tried to snatch him from the authorities’ grip as the cameras rolled. His surrender, which had been expected for days -though not in such a public manner - was dramatic, visually stunning and a shrewd bit of political theater. With twinkling chocolate-colored eyes and high cheekbones, López seems to have it all: an attractive and supportive wife, two children who get along with each other and impossibly adorable Labrador puppies. He is charismatic, athletic and good-looking (Estampas, a weekly magazine, named López one of the most handsome men in Venezuela for five consecutive years). But he is also astute and politically agile. And now, the 42-year-old head of…

putin shows his iron-fisted hand

Eight people were sentenced in a Moscow court on Friday, February 21, to between two and a half and four years in prison. They are the first of two groups to be tried in the largest Russian political trial of the past half century. All were charged with attacking policemen during a march on May 6, 2012, the protest that ended Russia’s short-lived Snow Revolution. Their case is emblematic of the current Russian crackdown on dissent: The defendants seem to have been chosen almost at random to dissuade people from protesting. The Snow Revolution began in December 2011, when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow and other Russian cities to protest rigged elections and the seemingly endless presidency of Vladimir Putin. The outpouring shocked both organizers and…

fact-checking robert gates

It’s not often that a top administration official dumps on the president and vice president on his way out of town and a thousand government workers show up to get his autograph. But so it went in Washington in mid-January, when erstwhile Defense Secretary Robert Gates came to the Pentagon to sign copies of his blistering account of his time working for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Duty: Memoir of a Secretary at War. One of SecDef’s big themes is “speaking truth to power.” One Marine who showed up was looking for a little clarification on that concept. With his plastic-frame glasses, balding head and department store ties, Franz Gayl looks no different from the tens of thousands of other mid-level federal workers who ply Washington’s national security bureaucracies. But Gayl was…