Newsweek March 1, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


‘bute’ and the beast

THE FRENCH take few tips from the British, but French Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll made an exception recently when addressing reporters at the Paris farm show. “One would have to eat 500 horse burgers every day in order to run a risk,” Le Foll stated. He borrowed the line from U.K. Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, who used it just weeks ago to downplay the hazards of eating horse meat adulterated with phenylbutazone during what has turned out to be a massive international food scandal with people in the U.K. being unwittingly subjected to equine flesh. Otherwise known as “bute,” the drug is a potent equine painkiller that’s prohibited in horse meat produced by EU trading partners, including the U.S., where 95-100 percent of horses are estimated to be “buted.” Although…

che casino!

ITALY, ONE of the most consequential countries in Europe, has been reduced to political rubble after a divided population made a spectacularly contrarian decision in last weekend’s elections. Instead of opting for a safe way out of a crippling economic crisis by electing a dull but steady center-left coalition that could have aligned with a dull but steady Mario Monti, Italians opted for extremes. The wealthy voted back the devil they knew from the center-right, Silvio Berlusconi, and his erstwhile frenemies of the xenophobic Northern League. The young, unemployed, disgruntled protest set voted in a comedian, Beppe Grillo, whose Five Star Movement is akin to a political grenade hurled at the Italian establishment. Now Italy is stuck with four pieces of a puzzle that do not fit no matter how many…

mike duggan

THIS WEEK in front of more than 500 supporters—and after months of dodging questions about whether he would run—Mike Duggan announced his candidacy for mayor of Detroit. A former prosecutor, Duggan has the support of two former police chiefs and various members of the city’s politically influential religious community; he also has a recent successful stint as CEO of Detroit Medical Center (DMC) under his belt. Yet much of the discussion about his candidacy on local talk radio and in the papers is about not his résumé or his proposals but rather his race: Duggan would be the first white mayor of this majority-black city in 40 years. Detroit last elected a white mayor, Roman Gribbs, in 1969. The Detroit City Council has seated just two white members since 1990 and…

art, on island time

IT WOULD be easy to revel in the Dionysian pleasures the Bahamas have on offer (conch fritters and rum concoctions are only a few), but as the commonwealth enters its 40th year of independence from Great Britain, even the culturally astute have reason to touch down. An artistic boom is on the horizon—and soon roving gamblers, sun-seekers, and spa obsessives will get a taste of local talent. Currently, the 1,000-acre construction site in Nassau that will transform into the Baha Mar Hotel and Casino contains piles of steel and vats of concrete, but also an immense opportunity for the region: more jobs, a torrent of tourists, and the evolution of Cable Beach into a chic “Bahamian Riviera.” Yet the $3.5 billion luxury enclave, with four hotels and a 100,000-square-foot casino set…

godzilla versus mothra

MEDICAL RESEARCH typically is a cautious, restrained affair—but every once in a while, scientists try out a radical idea. Take this one for example: injecting a live virus into someone with cancer on the off chance that the virus might go ahead and kill some cancer cells. Nuts? Actually this approach, called viral oncolysis, has been around since at least the 1950s, when West Nile virus, thought harmless at the time, was injected into people with an array of advanced and seemingly hopeless cancers. Some got a little better, some a little worse, but the approach fell away, eclipsed by the promising new field of chemotherapy. Safety concerns related to handling and injecting a live virus were of little import at the moment, at least to scientists. (Those who have seen…


PITY POOR Pluto. Once considered to be a full-fledged member of the planet club, it was officially relabeled as a dwarf planet in 2006. But it is, nonetheless, a fascinating celestial body—just ask Mark Showalter, a planetary astronomer at the SETI Institute, who in 2011 was leading a team to search for possible rings around Pluto. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, he discovered something new: a fourth moon, dubbed P4. A year later, with the safety of NASA’s approaching New Horizons spacecraft in mind (it will fly by Pluto in July 2015), a bigger effort was made to search for other moons, and voilà a fifth one, called P5, was discovered. The two moons are part of a complex system: Pluto’s main moon, Charon, is about half its size and…