Newsweek Jan-30-15

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


none of us are sleeping

If you’re feeling cranky, confused or too tired even for sex, blame it on Thomas Alva Edison. We’re all bushed, and it’s all his fault. Humans have been screwing with their body clocks—and getting less sleep—ever since the Wizard of Menlo Park had his very bright idea. Indeed, our classic eight-hour-night only dates back to the invention of the light bulb in the late 1800s. Historians believe that before the dawn of electric lighting most people got plenty of sleep, and practiced what they call “segmented sleep,” snoozing for several hours in the first part of the night, when darkness fell, then waking in the middle of the night for a few hours of eating, drinking, praying, chatting with friends or maybe even canoodling, before ducking back under the covers again…

geert wilders: the ‘prophet’ who hates muhammad

Less than 24 hours after the recent terror attacks in Paris, I caught a train in Amsterdam bound for the Binnenhof, the elaborate lakefront complex at The Hague and home of the Dutch Parliament. I was there for a hastily arranged meeting with Geert Wilders, a veteran member of the House of Representatives and Islam’s arch-nemesis in Europe. Security was tight that afternoon. Twice on the labyrinthian route to his office, I emptied my pockets, walked through metal detectors and watched as guards dug through my camera bag. Behind the key card-controlled door to his office, I was a little surprised to find Wilders, alone and standing behind his desk. No fan of understatement, Wilders wore a shiny black Armani suit and a bright green tie. But it was his trademark platinum-blond…

yemen is tearing itself apart over water

The ancient city of Sana’a is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities on the planet. Its astounding street markets, almost unchanged since the time of the Prophet, used to attract hordes of Western tourists. Not any more. The risk of kidnap has become too great; the British Embassy advises its nationals to leave the country if possible, and if not, to keep any movement around the capital to an absolute minimum. Walking anywhere in the city these days raises hairs on the back of the neck. The kidnap of foreigners, usually by hill tribes seeking leverage over the Sana’a government, has a long history in Yemen. It used to be considered bad for business to harm the victims, who were traditionally released unhurt – that has changed too. In a sign…

ralph steadman on the right to offend

We were sitting in a bar in Aspen, Colorado, almost 20 years ago, I remind Ralph Steadman, when he first told me that he’d become a cartoonist because he wanted to change the world. It wasn’t the first time he’d made this declaration and it wouldn’t be the last. But it’s a mission statement that seems horribly apposite this afternoon, as we sit in the living room of his house near Maidstone, Kent, watching live news coverage from the print warehouse where Said and Cherif Kouachi, the killers of the Charlie Hebdo artists, are making their last stand. “It is interesting that you should mention that remark today,” says Steadman, “because, looking at what has been happening in Paris, I now feel that I have succeeded. I did manage to change…

is pakistan courting trouble in its battle with terrorism?

For years, Sohail Zafar Chattha, a seasoned Pakistani police officer, has endured the frustration of watching notorious militants walk out of court free. Cases collapsed when witnesses inexplicably withdrew their statements. Arresting officers had a habit of turning up dead. Judges seemed reluctant to convict. Now he dares hope that the hit men, bomb makers and cash handlers who form Pakistan’s extremist hard core will soon feel the full force of the law. “I’m very optimistic,” Chattha told Newsweek from Rahim Yar Khan, a district in Punjab province, where he has seen a steady increase in sectarian violence. “My gut feeling is that a real war against terror has just begun.” Chattha’s confidence stems from a vote by Pakistan’s parliament to amend the constitution to allow the army to set up military…

two numbers: the italian job? no longer

When Pope Francis announced a new batch of cardinals this month, he struck a balance between the church’s historic, Italian roots, and its future, which most likely lies in Latin America, Africa and Asia. To wit, Francis picked four Italians and twice that number from the developing world. For most of its existence, the Roman Catholic Church has been a majority-Italian institution. Pope Leo XIII, the first pope of the 20th century, was born with a mouthful of a name, Gioacchino Vincenzo Raffaele Luigi. His successor, Pius X, was born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto; his successor, Benedict XV, was Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa. And so on and so on, until the College of Cardinals, the body charged with electing new popes, in 1978 chose a Pole, Karol Józef Wojty#a, who…