Newsweek March 8, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


mystery man

ONE HUNDRED years ago this week, Woodrow Wilson took the oath of office, and still, after all this time, Americans cannot make up their minds about him. Wilson was the great idealist whose first inaugural address lamented the "groans and agony" of the "men and women and children upon whom the dead weight and burden" of industrialization had fallen, who made himself the voice of "the solemn, moving undertone of our life, coming up out of the mines and factories." Wilson was also the most disdainful racist to hold the presidency since Andrew Johnson in the 1860s. Wilson's administration sought to remove black Americans from all but the most menial federal employment. Those who could not be removed were required to work in spaces screened from public view and to use segregated…

syria's cycle of retribution

SRDJA popovic goes around the world teaching nonviolent techniques to activists to overthrow autocrats. Whenever he talks about the Arab Spring, he says: "2011 was the worst year ever for bad guys." Meaning, goodbye Hosni Mubarak, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Muammar Gaddafi. Two years ago, it looked like even Bashar al-Assad was going to fall into that losers' club. But judging from last Sunday's exclusive interview with Bashar-as he is called inside Syria by his detractors-by The Sunday Times, it doesn't look like this bad guy is going anywhere. Delusional? Bashar doesn't think so. He thinks the British and American governments are bullies for aiding the Syrian opposition. John Kerry and his recent comments about Syria only fueled Bashar's determination that he is not leaving Damascus without force. The murder of innocents; the…

nigel farage

IT WAS one of the most memorable images of the last election. On the morning the polls opened in 2010, Nigel Farage, a British member of the European Parliament, was photographed in the wreckage of a small aircraft, which had crashed soon after takeoff when a banner for his UK Independence Party tangled with the plane's tail. Though he suffered cracked ribs, a broken sternum, and a punctured lung, Farage soon bounced back, in the manner of Mr. Toad, a character from The Wind in the Willows who is everbumptious, misguided but irrepressible. Three years on, that energy is paying off. In a recent by-election, caused by the resignation of Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne, the former secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who had to give up his seat…

visit beautiful haiti?

"IT'S A PACKAGE," says Haiti's glamorous young tourism minister, Stephanie B. Villedrouin, good-naturedly referring to the undeniable and politically incorrect truth that her good looks help with a hideously difficult job. Villedrouin, who is barely 30, has spent two years selling her impoverished, politically tumultuous, tragedy-scarred country as a tourist destination. In that time, as part of the Haiti hard sell, she has launched a luscious new logo (a red hibiscus superimposed over the sun) with a come-hither tagline ("... experience it!") that went up last year on a big billboard on a highway running through Miami. She's pushed through a shiny, live-music-filled terminal at the Port au Prince airport; stitched up Haiti's first package tour deal in 25 years with one of Canada's biggest charter carriers; secured expert assistance from…

pristine sistine

WHEN MICHELANGELO started painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling in 1508, he knew well the chapel's importance as the seat of papal conclaves, but he likely never envisioned that 5 million tourists would come to see it every year. Soon those millions of visitors will have to pass through a chilly vacuum tunnel, effectively dusting them off and cooling them down to stop their dandruff, saliva, and sweat from destroying the masterpiece. The state-of-the art cleaning system is being fitted in the foyer before the main entrance to the chapel and is expected to start sucking the dust and loose hair off visitors sometime later this year. The chamber will consist of a 100-meter-long adhesive carpet flanked by suction vents that will clean the bottoms of visitors' shoes and lift everything from…

on shaky ground

JEFF BUSH, a resident of Tampa, met a chilling fate the night of February 28, when he was swallowed up by a giant sinkhole. The suddenness and randomness of the event, as well as its geologic brutality, conjured up a disturbing sense of Old Testament retribution. That the tragedy would occur in Tampa, however, is no surprise. Bush's house was in an area of Florida referred to as Sinkhole Alley, although sinkholes occur throughout the U.S. and in just about every country worldwide. Many lakes and ponds are actually sinkholes now filled with water; the swamps of Florida, beloved by gators and bird watchers alike, are a variation on this-a place where surface water and groundwater meet. Florida develops more than 100 new sinkholes a year, and many Southern states follow close…