Newsweek Jul-04-14

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


mission failed

Lance Corporal Victor Lu’s friends in his Marine unit—the 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment, part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force that fought in the brutal battle to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah from insurgents in late 2004—used to call him “Buddha.” The young Vietnamese-American man was 6 feet 3 inches tall, a black belt in Ju Si Tang Chinese kung fu and among the physically strongest men in his unit. But the imposing strength and physique belied a gentle, affable nature. Hence the nickname, which Lu liked so much he scribbled it onto the back of his Kevlar vest. He had grown up in Los Angeles, not far from the University of Southern California, the eldest son of six children born to Nu and Xuong Lu, his mother and…

there’s money in pollution

On a balmy May night at Yankee Stadium, nearly 50,000 fans rush from their seats almost immediately after Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner grounds to first for the final out in the game, a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They stream out to the concrete concourse, down the ramps and into the industrial-size elevators that take them from the upper decks all the way down to the street level In just a few minutes, they are all gone, but they leave plenty behind. Their cupholders are stuffed with high-priced “souvenir” cups half-filled with soda and beer, and on seats are soggy wrappers, cardboard boxes and tubs holding the greasy dregs of a ballpark dinner. All this trickles down onto the seatbacks and floors to join pooling piles of peanut shells, spilled…

holding peace hostage

The kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers is not just a tragedy for their families. The massive Israeli military operation it has sparked has exposed wide gaps between the two major Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, and threatens to end the cooperation pact their leaders signed only last month. And it is causing Palestinian chief Mahmoud Abbas to put his leadership at risk. Jerusalem officials acknowledge that while the main goal of the Israeli Defense Forces’s (IDF) operations in the West Bank is to locate and free the teenagers, they also hope to weaken Hamas in the process by dismantling its military, political, financial and educational infrastructure in the West Bank. Though moving slowly, Israel risks a widening of the hostilities on the eve of the monthlong Ramadan holiday. With rockets from Gaza…

new eavesdropping equipment sucks all data off your phone

In a Capitol Hill hearing room two summers ago, privacy activist Christopher Soghoian organized a stunning demonstration of some new police surveillance technology. A small group of congressional staffers were handed “clean” cellphones and invited to start calling each other while, off to the side, a Berkeley communications researcher named Kurtis Heimerl turned on his gear. After a few minutes, Soghoian told the staffers to hang up—and then Heimerl played back their conversations. Not only that, the two men told the staffers, the digital eavesdropping equipment was capable of sucking all the data from their phones—emails, contact files, music, videos—whatever was on them. Since then, reports that federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are using such devices to track suspects and criminals without warrants have percolated in the national media,…

gmail’s privacy gains help google

Earlier this month, Google launched a new encryption tool for Gmail, its free email service. For those worried about privacy, Google says this change helps ensure Gmail can’t be read by anyone other than the intended recipient. Sounds like a win for privacy advocates, right? But there’s a catch. In order for the encryption to work, both the sender and the receiver have to use it, and getting more users onto Gmail would be another step in Google’s long, steady march toward world dominance of email. Feature Stories is a part of a partnership between Newsweek and 92Y, New York’s world-class cultural and community center dedicated to spreading new ideas and inspiring conversations about today’s biggest issues. More 92Y American Conversation videos can be found here. Launched 10 years ago, Gmail first…

just right to jail

It was supposed to be another victory lap for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose insider-trading winning streak hit 79 after a jury found hedge fund trader Mathew Martoma of SAC Capital Advisors LP guilty of insider trading, setting him up for a lengthy prison term. But as the government’s probation department recommends a sentence that would be the longest ever for insider trading—anywhere from 15 to 20 years—U.S. judges, federal public defenders, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and the American Bar Association are increasingly calling into question the nation’s sentencing guidelines, which, in the words of one federal judge, “are just too goddamn severe.” While Jed S. Rakoff, a federal senior judge for the Southern District of New York, where many of Wall Street’s highest-profile cases are…