Newsweek May-02-14

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


how the west is pushing putin’s buttons

“We found out by Twitter,” an executive at Gunvor Group Ltd., the world’s fourth-largest oil trading firm, told Newsweek. It was midday on March 20 when the executive, sitting at his office computer in Geneva, glanced up at the screen and got a jolt: A tweet had popped up saying one of the company’s founders, Gennady Timchenko, a billionaire Russian businessman, had been placed on a U.S. government blacklist, along with 31 other people and businesses said to be linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The previous day, Timchenko had finalized the sale of his 43.59 percent stake in Gunvor to his business partner, Torbjörn Törnqvist, a Swedish oil trader, the firm’s other co-founder and now its chief executive. The two men conducted the transaction amid escalating tensions over Putin’s push into the…

brothers in arms

It was early, even by New Hampshire standards. Sure, the state that holds America’s first presidential primary is used to contenders stumping for votes two years before the election. But it’s rare to see a grand forum—a cattle call!—with multiple would-be candidates showing up this soon to preen before the state’s famously picky voters. (There’s the old saw about an undecided New Hampshirite unable to back a presidential candidate: “I’ve only met him twice.”) Yet on a lovely April Saturday, with the snow melted and anyone with any sense outside, some 700 New Hampshire conservatives were packed into a cheerless Best Western hotel. There were senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, the Kentuckian and Texan, who have animated the Republican Party’s right along with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who is…

beyond bunkerville

The fight for America’s soul is upon us, and the arid lands of Bunkerville, Nev., are the key battleground. On a ranch near Nevada’s southern tip, an American hero is standing up to an oppressive federal government. And freedom is winning. That, at least, is how many libertarians, extreme conservatives and anti-government campaigners view it. Here are the facts: Cliven Bundy, a 60-something Nevada rancher, allowed his cattle to graze on federally owned land for 20 years in violation of the law. After a protracted court battle, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) slapped the rancher with $1 million in accumulated fines. Bundy has no intention of paying. Why? “I believe this is a sovereign state of Nevada,” Bundy said. “And I abide by all Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize…

pittsburgh stealers, l.a. takers

Every sporting event comes to an end, even if it requires extra innings or overtime. But the billionaire owners of pro sports teams now want the welfare they collect from taxpayers to go on forever. A key test of this new page in their playbook comes in a May 6 vote in Cleveland, which the Census Bureau lists as the second-poorest large city in America. A ballot measure there and in surrounding Cuyahoga County would extend taxes first imposed in 1990 until 2035 to benefit the city’s three pro teams: the Browns (football), Cavaliers (basketball) and Indians (baseball). The taxes are small levies on alcoholic drinks and tobacco—everyone in the area who drinks beer, wine or hard liquor or uses tobacco pays, even if you never attend a game. Something like that…

pick your poison

Is Syria violating President Barack Obama’s famous “red line” on the use of chemical weapons—again? Both sides in the Syrian civil war are increasingly accusing each other of the recent illegal use of various suspicious gases and chemical agents. And while Western officials treat these reports with much caution, they may raise questions about the effectiveness of the deal reached last year to rid the country of chemical weapons. That agreement, reached between America, Russia and a reluctant Syrian government after the fizzling of Obama’s threat to use force in response to a deadly chemical attack last August, envisioned a rapid tallying of Syria’s chemical arsenal, shipping it out of the country and destroying it at sea. Concerned about the possibility of yet another missed deadline—Syria was scheduled to deliver all its stockpiles…

murder in juarez

David Farrington, a U.S. Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) service agent, has been vexed by a troubling question for the past several years. He has reason to suspect a colleague deliberately failed to warn an American working at a U.S. consulate in Mexico that she was targeted for assassination by a drug cartel. Farrington, a former marine and 10-year veteran of the State Department’s security service, was the first agent to get to the scene of the March 13, 2010, Juarez murders—another car carrying a consulate employee was attacked as well—and caught the case, as they say in police lingo. But his revulsion quickly turned to consternation, and then obsession, when he began asking questions about the whereabouts of the consulate’s chief security officer that day. Eventually, he was taken off…