Newsweek Jan-31-14

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United States
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English
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The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
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Weekly
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20
the frozen closet

Deep in the iron belt of northern Minnesota, where boys are raised to be manly men and hockey is holy, Brandon Larcom grew up figure skating. From the moment he first stepped onto the ice at the age of 3, he had dreamed of becoming the next Wayne Gretzky, but a skull deficiency kept him out of contact sports. “I’m the only male figure skater up there, and my dad’s the town sheriff, and my brother pitches for the high school baseball team. It sounds like a movie,” says Larcom, now 30, talking on the phone from the Toyota Sports Center rink in Los Angeles, where he coaches figure skating and hockey. “Growing up straight in a dominantly homophobic and homosexual sport was hard for me and for them,” he adds.…

9
a change in the legal climate

For years, the tiresome back-and-forth has played on like a broken record. Scientists announce new data showing that the global climate is warming, creating potentially devastating changes in the world. Skeptics attack, proclaiming the researchers are lying as part of a conspiracy to gin up research funding. The climatologists respond, calling the detractors anti-science deniers who push their claims at the behest of fossil-fuel companies that stand to lose the most if the research is accepted as fact. And round and round it goes, with no end in sight. That is, until maybe now, with the spinning potentially coming to a stop in the most unlikely of places - a Federal district court in Washington, D.C. There, a littlenoticed lawsuit filed by one of the world’s preeminent climatologists against a premiere…

14
when the saints go marching out

Becky McKinnon, a muscular 33-year-old blonde, was at the Gold’s Gym in Bountiful, Utah, and feeling hungover at her Saturday morning yoga class. That is not in itself remarkable, except that McKinnon’s Mormon roots run deep (her family converted in the 1840s) like most everyone in these parts. Eleven miles north of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) headquarters in Salt Lake City, Bountiful is about as Mormon as an Osmond Christmas special and yoga, like alcohol, is not generally part of the mix. After struggling through a Chaturanga, she crouched into child’s pose and stayed there until Shavasana. Her 56-year-old boyfriend, Timmy Chou, waited by the leg-press machines outside the yoga room, talking with a clean-shaven man who seemed uncomfortable. “It’s been too long,” said the gentleman,…

7
arab spring in tatters

The name of the Arab world’s most populous country, which also happens to be the second largest recipient of American foreign aid, barely passes the lips of Washington foreign policy elites. But three years after overthrowing its latest pharaoh and becoming a symbol of hope for the region, Egypt is a mess. As the country’s current ruler, army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, engages in an ever-escalating battle against Islamists and uses some unsavory tactics that are hard for Westerners to stomach, and as Islamists with distinct ill will toward Western values make strategic gains in the Sinai while the Muslim Brotherhood tries to regain its footing in the streets of Cairo, America’s silence about Egypt is deafening and, some argue, works to strengthen the Islamists. “The Muslim Brotherhood tried to take the…

9
saving syria: a dearth of women and ideas

Outside the Palace of Nations, the United Nations headquarters in Geneva where the Syrian war was being debated, demonstrators held up signs: Your Silence is Killing Children. It was a harsh reminder that, as diplomats negotiated the future of the troubled country alongside Lac Léman under cloudless skies, Syria is dying. The war, an “all-encompassing disaster” in the words of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, is three years old. The Geneva talks are the start of what is expected to be a long process, diplomats insisted, citing as examples the peace negotiations on Bosnia and Northern Ireland. But many participants have already left Switzerland, dismayed at the bleak road ahead. The proceedings began in the lakeside town of Montreux, usually more at home with jazz enthusiasts and Christmas market shoppers than with mediators…

8
the cia was saudi arabia’s personal shopper

Saudi Arabia has long been a back-room player in the Middle East’s nuclear game of thrones, apparently content to bankroll the ambitions of Pakistan and Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) to counter the rise of its mortal enemy, Iran. But as the West and Iran have moved closer to a nuclear accommodation, signs are emerging that the monarchy is ready to give the world a peek at a new missile strike-force of its own-which has been upgraded with Washington’s careful connivence. According to a well-placed intelligence source, Saudi Arabia bought ballistic missiles from China in 2007 in a hitherto unreported deal that won Washington’s quiet approval on condition that CIA technical experts could verify they were not designed to carry nuclear warheads. The solid-fueled, medium range DF-21 East Wind missiles are an improvement over…