Newsweek May-01-15

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


drying up: the race to save california from drought

Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Control Resources Board, is trying really hard to convince me that the California dream isn’t dead. We’re driving in my beat-up Volkswagen through the Central Valley, just south of Sacramento, and even here the effects of the drought are stunning: the hills to the west, usually soft and green, are burnt-crisp and yellowed. The fields spreading for miles in both directions are also toast; they look as if they would crumble under your feet. Here and there, crops still live, but they are hedged in on all sides by death. In the past few years, a drought has been slowly strangling California. Low rainfall and record-high temperatures have created a historically devastating climate. One recent study based on tree ring data suggests that the current…

the twists and turns of nascar driver kurtbusch's breakup

“She just said that she’s a mercenary and that she killed people for a living.” With that line, what should have been a routine family court case blew up TMZ and every major sports website in America. Kurt Busch, a top NASCAR driver GQ ranked the third most-hated athlete, was recalling the night he met Patricia Driscoll, his ex-girlfriend. He was in family court in Delaware because Driscoll claimed he had choked her and bashed her head into a wall in September 2014 and she was seeking a no-contact order. But on the witness stand, Busch was the one lobbing accusations, claiming he wouldn’t have dared assault Driscoll. “I knew that she could take me down at any moment,” he said, “because she’s a badass.” He added that Driscoll went on covert…

rubio, paul and cruz: attack of the freshman senators

With his beautifully coiffed hair and gunslinger bravado, Rick Perry was once considered a strong contender for the 2016 Republican nomination. But these days, Perry, despite having improved his campaign style since 2012, has fallen off just about everyone’s short list for president. So earlier this month, at an event in New Hampshire, he seemed peeved as he made the case for his candidacy. Having spent 14 years as governor of Texas, the 65-year-old chose to emphasize the biggest notch on his cowboy belt: experience. Taking thinly veiled shots at some of his younger rivals, Perry asked reporters, “Do you want to take a chance on someone who doesn’t have an executive track record of being an executive?” An Air Force veteran, Perry then went into this-is-your- pilot mode. “If you’re…

tongue-tied on ukraine’s front lines

Three years ago, well before the war in Ukraine began, Roman Matys was shopping at Tommy Hilfiger in downtown Lviv when a sales clerk offered him a customer loyalty card. As Matys read the registration form, he noticed it was in Russian. Like most people in Ukraine, he speaks the language, but the principle of the matter annoyed him. The country has only one official language—Ukrainian— so Matys complained to the clerk, who told him the forms came from the company’s head office in Odessa. There was nothing, the salesman said, he could do about it. It wasn’t the first time Matys, a business consultant, had complained about companies using Russian on commercial documents in Ukraine. But that afternoon in Lviv, something clicked. Matys started I Tak Poymut, a nongovernmental organization…

two numbers: a plague of goldfish

“Someone just didn’t want their goldfish anymore. We don’t think there was malice intended, but now we have 4,000 goldfish. And that’s an issue,” says Jennifer Churchill, public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, adding that Teller Lake No. 5, a 12-acre expanse of water near Boulder, was overrun with the county fair critters. Aquarium dumping has led to several exotic aquatic species being introduced to ecosystems in which they don’t belong—perhaps most notably the Burmese python in Florida’s Everglades. The United States Geological Survey has reported that 1,003 non-native aquatic species have been introduced into various bodies of water across the country. (Some of these species may have been eradicated, though it would be impossible to check every body of water to confirm, said Matt Cannister, a fish biologist.) Of…

apps against isis: incubator sees power in social media

Updated | In the early hours of February 17, three teenagers from East London slipped out of their parents’ homes and caught a flight to Istanbul. After arriving, they waited for 18 hours at a Turkish bus station before crossing the border into Syria. The Islamic State, better known as ISIS, had successfully lured them into a war zone. The three teens aren’t the first foreigners to join ISIS, and they won’t be the last. According to recent estimates, roughly 20,000 foreigners have joined the conflict in Iraq and Syria. Of those, 3,400 are from the West, and many are young Muslims. Driving this recruitment effort is ISIS’s slick social media campaign, which features selfies with cats and beheading videos, among other things. One of the teenagers, Shamima Begum, had even…