Newsweek Mar-13-15

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


next up for silicon valley: solving death

Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, plans to live to be 120. Compared with some other tech billionaires, he doesn’t seem particularly ambitious. Dmitry Itskov, the “godfather” of the Russian Internet, says his goal is to live to 10,000; Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, finds the notion of accepting mortality “incomprehensible,” and Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, hopes to someday “cure death.” These titans of tech aren’t being ridiculous, or even vainglorious; their quests are based on real, emerging science that could fundamentally change what we know about life and about death. It’s hard to believe, though, since the human quest for immortality is both ancient and littered with catastrophic failures. Around 200 B.C., the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, accidentally killed himself trying to live forever; he…

can the private sector replace ngos in the developing world?

In western Kenya, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen is sometimes treated like a demigod. When I accompany him on his visit to local schools, we are barely out of the SUV when we are swarmed by children in sort-of-matching uniforms, singing and dancing. Everywhere we go, people—kids and adults—spontaneously break into a chant: “Asante, LifeStraw, asante!” (“Thank you, LifeStraw, thank you!”) At the Emusanda Health Centre in Lurambi—built with Vestergaard funding—tearyeyed man expressed the community’s gratitude, telling Vestergaard (he doesn’t use the Frandsen part of his last name) that “there are babies being born named after you.” A few days later, after a treacherous, two-hour wooden longboat journey through the islands of Lake Victoria, I start to understand why. To get to Maduwa Primary School, you have to pick your way from the shoreline of…

boris nemtsov’s murder is a killing stalin would appreciate

Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition politician shot four times in the back and killed while walking across a Moscow bridge late on February 27, lived in a large apartment directly across the river from the iconic domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. The last time I saw Nemtsov was in that apartment, nearly five years ago. I was reporting a lengthy article on “Putin’s oligarchs”—the men surrounding the president who had become the richest and most powerful businessmen in the country. Many, like Putin, had worked for the KGB. We had a long talk—more than an hour and a half. Nemtsov’s political party was about to release a report his researchers had put together on corruption in Putin’s Russia. He had a lot to say, and was, as usual when talking to…

a final interview with boris nemtsov

A version of this interview originally appeared in Newsweek Polska. Text and interview translated by Piotr Milo Milewski. There are paramilitary militias, Goebbels-style propaganda and armaments. There is one leader and one party. Russia is becoming a fascist country—at least that’s what Boris Nemtsov told me a few hours before he was gunned down on Friday in central Moscow. His death came just two days before he was to speak at a major antigovernment rally. Nobody knows who committed this horrific murder, but it is likely the result of a witch-hunt perpetrated by the Russian media and Kremlin leaders. At a so-called Anti-Maidan rally two weeks ago, pro-Putin thugs wearing paramilitary uniforms declared that they would extinguish any anti-government protests with blood. They started with Nemtsov. Newsweek: The opposition takes to the streets,…

student debt strike targets for-profit college

Mallory Heiney, 21, owes $20,000, a debt she took on to attend a for-profit college she says scammed her and thousands of other students. And she isn’t going to pay anymore. Heiney and 14 other students from Everest College, one of the for-profit schools that belong to the Corinthian Colleges Inc. brand, declared a debt strike on Monday. The federal Consumer Financial Protection board alleged in a lawsuit last year that Corinthian lured students with “bogus” job-placement statistics and saddled them with predatory loans, even going so far as to “strong-arm” students into making loan payments while still in school. By declaring a strike, the students effectively formed a new kind of union—a debtors’ union—that they hope can lead to negotiations with a loan system that doesn’t typically negotiate. Most of their…

thousands of vulnerable children go missing from britain’s protective services

Many of the child sex abuse scandals that have shocked Britain in recent years involve victims who were supposed to be under the protection of the state—children identified as at risk by child protective services and in the care of local authorities. Many in Britain have characterized the abuses as a thing of the past. Surely such horrors could never happen today. But an analysis of the most recent official data shows that each year the government loses track of around 2,000 vulnerable children in care, even as reports of human trafficking inside the country are on the rise. Moved by a string of revelations of abuse involving entertainers, politicians and other public figures, Home Secretary Theresa May in February named New Zealand High Court Judge Lowell Goddard to chair a nationwide…