Newsweek March 15, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


obama in zion

IT’S A cliché that every newly elected president takes office determined to rectify his predecessor’s mistakes. It’s less common for a newly reelected president to take office determined to rectify his own. But that’s exactly what Barack Obama will be doing next week when he visits Israel. In his first term, Obama spoke frequently about Israel. What he didn’t do was speak frequently to Israelis. It’s not just that in his first year in office Obama visited Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt while never visiting the Jewish state. In his eagerness to improve America’s reputation in the Muslim world, he also gave his first formal presidential interview to the Arabic-language channel Al Arabiya. He didn’t sit down for an interview with an Israeli journalist, by contrast, until July 2010. For…

once upon a time in venezuela

ON MY first assignment for The Daily Journal, the English-language newspaper in Caracas, I found my way to the Venezuelan Congress, a gem of colonial architecture in a lush quadrangle of palm trees. Upstairs in the press gallery, the local reporters were hacking away at ancient typewriters as a legislator promised... what? My Spanish was inadequate; my ear ill-tuned to the thick criollo accents. "What is he saying?" I implored of one of the locals. "Pura mentirà " the journalist replied: pure lies. No matter, he didn't stop taking notes for an instant. That was 1978. Venezuela before Hugo Chavez was true to the description of the 19th-century journalist Tomas Lander, who characterized his country as "a nation of accomplices." He meant that the ruling elites, the landowners, and the church…

cathy mcmorris rodgers

BEING A Republican woman has had its rocky moments over the past several i months. Consider, then, the awesome burden that now falls on Rep. Cathy McMorris i Rodgers, the newly elected chair of the House GOP conference-the No. 4 position in i Republican leadership. Not only is McMorris Rodgers the highest-ranking woman on ; the Republican side in the House, but her new post means she's in charge of messaging and communication for her party Translation: she's the person tasked with con-; vincing America that the GOP isn't just a bunch of sexist old white guys. McMorris Rodgers has represented eastern Washington State in Congress since 2005; before that, she served four terms in the state legislature, where she became the first woman ever to lead the Republican caucus. In…

evolution bites the dust

DUST MITES are known as tiny scavengers, living on the vast pall of dead skin shed by the animal world-and while they clean up the world in their own little way, they do so at the expense of triggering allergies in up to 1.2 billion people worldwide. But the microscopic dust mite also turns out to be a peculiar example of evolution "in reverse"-or more precisely, despecialization-according to a new study by University of Michigan biologists Pavel Klimov and Barry OConnor. And this counters a long-held assumption in evolutionary biology known as Dolio's law (after the 19th-century Belgian paleontologist Louis Dolio), which stipulates that once you gain a complex trait, you can't return to the simpler states of your distant ancestors. This poses a conundrum in the mite world. The distant ancestors…

sweet truth

MAYOR MICHAEL Bloomberg's administration received a major setback March 11 when a judge halted its plan to limit the size of sugary drinks in New York City The mayor had hoped the law would slow the pace of the obesity epidemic by limiting the number of empty calories citizens slurp daily Although the link between sugary drinks and obesity is only circumstantial, most public-health experts strongly endorsed the move. The average American takes in about 170 calories a day from sugary drinks, and our consumption has doubled in the past few decades, mirroring the rise in obesity Some project that the risk of obesity increases 1.6-fold for each soda consumedperhaps because sugary soda usually doesn't result in a feeling of satiety. The ruling delighted libertarians and fans of enormous sugary drinks…

gut putt? tut tut!

WHEN KEEGAN Bradley won the 2011 PGA Championship-one of golf's four major tournaments-he became the first player to win a major using what's known in the golfing world as a "belly putter." Since then, three of the past five majors, along with an increasing number of regular tour events, have been won by players using belly putters, and now authorities in the golfing world are stepping in. After Ernie Els's victory at the British Open last year with a belly putter, the R&A and the USGA, golf's two governing bodies, put forth a proposal that would outlaw this style of putting, and they will decide in the coming months whether to implement the new rule (most seem to think they will). A majority tend to side with the change, but for…