Newsweek January 25, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号



‘I, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA...’ I find the imagery in your inaugural edition of the magazine, “The Second Coming,” highly offensive to Christians and me in particular. To somehow compare President Obama to Jesus Christ on the cover of your magazine is callous at best. I can either guess it was to get us talking about it or callousness toward Christianity, either of which are pretty poor excuses. I cannot speak for President Obama, but I cannot imagine him condoning that comparison. I certainly hope not. But shame on you. Surely your headline writers can do better than that. Carol Muse Evans, via email Birmingham, Ala. The second inauguration of Barack Obama affirms to the nation the belief many of us held when we first witnessed him speak at the Democratic convention on…

smash that crystal ball

MARCO RUBIO or Hillary Clinton? Paul Ryan or Joe Biden? You weren’t a pundit in good standing unless you broke into last weekend’s ceremonials to speculate on who might be taking the oath four years from now What a waste of time. With rare exceptions, the next president isn’t imaginable four years before. Go through the list of the past half-century: Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy. In January 2005, Hillary Clinton was the clear frontrunner for the next Democratic nomination, and the likely next president. Barack Obama? Nobody was even polling his name in 2005. When he began to show up in polls in 2006, he lagged behind Hillary Clinton by more than 25 points among Democrats. In January 1989, wise people almost unanimously expected New York governor Mario…

india’s princeling

WHENEVER THE government in Delhi is confronted with a crisis-and these have been bimonthly affairs ever since the showpiece Commonwealth Games of 2010 became a tale of scandalous mismanagement-Twitter has been abuzz with an inevitable question: where is Rahul Gandhi? It’s a question that can rarely be definitively answered. Two biographies have been written about the 42-year-old vice president and heir apparent of India’s ruling Congress party Common to both books is a curious omission: neither author interviewed or interacted with the subject, a member of Parliament whose name is often prefaced with the words “youth icon.” The Gandhis are special. The normal rules of politics don’t apply to the family. India’s democracy is chaotic and spiritedly argumentative, and the media are fiercely competitive, deeply divided on political and ideological lines, and…

jeffrey h. smith

IN RECENT months, Mark Boal, author of the screenplay for Zero Dark Tirty, has had a very Washington kind of problem: the script he wrote keeps drawing seemingly hostile scrutiny from Capitol Hill. First, it was Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, who last summer wanted to know why Boal had received such extraordinary access to the CIA and the Pentagon as he was researching the script—and whether the spies, special operators, and government officials who granted that access had disclosed any state secrets. Then, last month, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin, and John McCain wrote a letter to Sony Pictures, urging the studio to correct the misimpression “that the CIA’s use of coercive interrogation techniques led to the operation against Usama bin Laden.” Faced with…

eat your sildenafil

THE HISTORYof medicine is full of discoveries that scientists then play with, willy nilly to see if they might have an application elsewhere. Such is the case with sildenafil, which most of us know (and some of us have come to love) as Viagra. Mice loaded up on Viagra somehow managed to resist putting on weight when given a high-fat diet, and this was not due, as one might intuit, to an increased interest in making baby mice; they just didn’t get fat. This was exciting. But the question was why? Now, a new study by German researchers at the University of Bonn, supported by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, and the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, has elucidated the mechanism, which centers on…


DURING A 2011 mobile-finances presentation at a major American bank, I noticed one of the bankers, an African immigrant, chuckling. U.S. tech vendors described “cutting-edge” mobile applications “due out in a year or two” that would allow Americans to use phones for basic banking. “Cutting edge? Man, we’ve had that stuff in Africa for years now,” the African banker said to me. He was right. The Kenyan company Safaricom launched a service called M-PESA in 2007 that makes mobile phones all-in-one credit cards and bank branches. Today, Africa continues to develop mobile innovations that far outpace those of the United States, and these advances are building the continent’s new narrative: the world’s fastest-growing economies, a new consumer class, rising global influence, and rapid modernization. Africa’s mobile-phone technology is inspiring a generation…