Newsweek June 5, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


follow the leader

IN IRAN’ June 14 presidential election, Iranians will be free to elect one of eight candidates, but none will be bringing hope or change any time soon. All are favorites of the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Most of them are hardliners who offer no meaningful updates to Iran’s foreign policy, solutions to its growing economic crisis, or improvements to its abysmal human-rights record. They have another thing in common, too: absolute obedience to Khamenei. The slate tilted heavily toward the Ayatollah on May 11, when the Guardian Council, responsible for vetting presidential candidates, disqualified the candidacy of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s former president. Many reformists and regime critics had supported him, but Rafsanjani , 79, was kept from appearing on the list of candidates ostensibly due to his old…

embryos for sale!

A RECENT article in The New England Journal of Medicine has what might be one of the most alarming headlines of the year: “Made-to-Order Embryos for Sale: A Brave New World?” Here’s the issue: one of the great achievements of 20thcentury medicine has been the progress made in the area of infertility. Infertile couples now have a wide range of options that include surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, and other approaches. But a unique problem arises when a woman has a functional womb but the couple, for whatever reason, is unable to create an embryo. Until recently, such couples could receive a donated embryo, free of charge, for implantation from a second infertile couple with a different fertility problem. These embryos were available for donation because, for that second couple, the approach…

slash and burn

AS BRAZIL’ skyscrapers and silos rose, it seemed the most impressive quality of this 21st-century Latin American powerhouse was its ability to grow without trashing the environment. Just last year, Brasilia was boasting about a steep decline in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, a feat that President Dilma Rousseff trumpeted as “impressive, the fruit of social change.” What would she say now? After nearly a decade of steady decline, forest cutting has spiked again in the world’s largest rainforest. The nonprofit Amazon watchdog organization, Imazon, released a study reporting that deforestation at the hands of farmers and ranchers jumped 90 percent in the 12 months since April of last year. And since burning always follows felling, another 88 million tons of carbon dioxide and other gases hit the atmosphere—a 62 percent…

megyn kelly goes viral

THE TWITTERSPHERE was set ablaze with hundreds of tweets containing the terms “Megyn Kelly” and “breadwinner” after the Fox News anchor eviscerated— with passion, poise, and those pesky things called facts—two of her smarmy and smug (and male) colleagues, who had claimed that working women are destroying American society. Earlier in the week, Pew released a study that found women earning more than men in 40 percent of American households, sending some conservative pundits into a tizzy. “Liberals who defend this and say it’s not a bad thing are very anti-science,” Erick Erickson told Lou Dobbs. “When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world ... the male typically is the dominant role.” “We’re watching society dissolve around us,” offered Dobbs to his all-male panel. Kelly, a mother of two now…

bye-bye, buttons

LET’S FACE it: the reign of buttons is over. Black-Berrys, once the hallmark of the corporate set, have become second rate as iPhones and Androids have overtaken the cellular market. But this overwhelming adoption of touchscreens hasn’t stopped the flailing Research in Motion brand from unveiling its latest keypad-equipped Black-Berry Q10, released June 5. But the jazzed-up Q10 seems little more than an offering to appease BlackBerry’s dwindling devotees—and it must surely be the company’s last, as it struggled with lower-than-expected revenues in its fourth fiscal quarter last year. As a sign of the times, Black-Berry’s owner base shrank for the first time ever at the end of 2012. Yet there are still some button-loving holdouts, yours truly included. Here seems an appropriate place to disclose an admittedly shameful secret: I…

when putin became obama’s problem

LATER THIS month, Presidents Obama and Putin will both attend a G8 summit in Northern Ireland. The two men will be meeting at what is likely to be an ugly moment in U.S.- Russia relations. The day after the summit begins, the Nunn-Lugar deal—a partnership between the two countries dating to 1992 that helps to safeguard Soviet-era nuclear and chemical weapons—is set to expire. The agreement, named after the two former senators who proposed it at the end of the Cold War, Sam Nunn and Dick Lugar, was widely viewed as one of the most important arms-control deals in recent memory. But last fall, Putin’s government announced it would not extend the deal. Then there is vast divide between Obama and Putin on Syria. Obama called for Bashar al-Assad to step…