Newsweek July 17, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


apology not accepted

WHY DO couples fight? Keith Sanford, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, wanted to try to get to the bottom of that eternal question. Not only was he interested in discovering the roots of conflict, he wanted to better understand what some possible solutions might be. As he sees it, a couple might be arguing about the proper way to put the soap in the dish-washer—but what’s going on beneath the surface of that fight? In the course of two separate studies, Sanford gathered data from nearly 1,000 people undergoing conflicts in their relationships. (The studies were recently summarized in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.) Sanford looked at two categories of conflict: “perceived threat,” meaning that one half of the couple feels attacked or controlled;…

the good banker

HERBERT ALLISON, who died Sunday at age 69, was that rarest of birds in 21st-century America: a public-minded investment banker. Rather than retire after losing out in the CEO sweepstakes at Merrill Lynch, Allison in 2002 agreed to become the (comparatively) low-salaried head of TIAA-CREF, the giant nonprofit investor that shepherds the retirement accounts of millions of educators and college employees. When the financial crisis hit, Allison took the first of a series of thankless government positions, making him the equivalent of a World War II dollar-a-year man. In the fall of 2008, Allison, by then retired, agreed to the Bush administration’s request to become CEO of Fannie Mae, the busted mortgage giant that had just become the unwanted property of the federal government. “I felt that saying no was not…

the road to greekovery

A YEAR ago “Grexit” was the summer catchphrase among Europeans who had largely written off Greece as the first casualty of the European economic crisis. By the books, Greece’s economy is not much better this year. But thanks to austerity measures and more than a little bit of smoke and mirrors, this summer’s slogan—perhaps overly optimistic, yet noteworthy nonetheless—is “Greekovery.” The man responsible for this attitude adjustment is Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the 62-year old head of the New Democracy Party who narrowly won a runoff election against leftwing politician Alexis Tsipras last June. Samaras has spent his first year in office walking a tightrope between his constituents and the European Union and International Monetary Fund, which pushed Greece to adhere to the stringent conditions attached to a $315 billion…

the convict

FOR OBSERVERS of international politics, it hasn’t been easy to figure out what to make of Egypt over the past few weeks. Whom, if anyone, should we be rooting for in a power struggle between two entities—the military and the Muslim Brotherhood—that seem to care little for democracy and human rights? Perhaps no American has a more personal understanding of this complicated and grim situation than Robert Becker. Not long before the coup, Becker—a former employee of the National Democratic Institute, whose offices were raided by the authorities while the organization was monitoring Egypt’s first parliamentary elections—was convicted and sentenced by an Egyptian court to two years of hard labor. (His crime: operating an illegal NGO and receiving foreign funding.) All the other American NGO workers in the same predicament opted…

‘a girl in the locker room?!’

COACHES PHYSICALLY pushed them out of locker rooms. Players taunted them, slapped them with towels, and poured water over them. They got death threats from people who called them harlots, perverts, and lesbians. Such attacks were routine for female sportswriters in the late ’60s and ’70s. Even as journalism opened up to allow women to cover professional athletics, they faced formidable hurdles—including being banned from locker rooms, where male reporters fraternized with players and coaches. Now the story of their fight for equal access is getting the ESPN treatment in the documentary Let Them Wear Towels, which aired this week and will be broadcast throughout the summer and available for download on iTunes and Amazon. “They all ran up against this idea of the closed locker-room door as the thing that prevented…

has mitch met his match?

A DEMOCRATIC senator from Kentucky? The idea may sound far-fetched, but Alison Lundergan Grimes, 34, is about to take her shot. This week, the Kentucky secretary of State filed papers to run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—an uphill struggle in which she will try to topple a five-term senator who is twice her age and one of Washington’s most formidable figures. Grimes does have a lot going for her. She is the daughter of Jerry Lundergan—a two-term state-party chair, a good friend of Bill Clinton’s, and a member of Hillary Clinton’s finance committee in 2008. In other words, though she will have to play catch-up on the money front—McConnell has $7.4 million on hand already—her connections should help her raise considerable cash. “She is one hell of a retail politician,…