Newsweek May-15-15

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United States
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The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
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Weekly
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14
from russia with malware

In hacker jargon, it's called a "cyber-to-physical effect." It's when a hacker reaches out from the virtual world into the real one—often with catastrophic consequences. The Americans and Israelis pioneered the technique back in 2009 when the Stuxnet program infiltrated Iranian computer systems and wrecked thousands of uranium-enriching centrifuges. But now other players—especially the Russians and Chinese—are getting into the game of remotely using computer networks to destroy infrastructure and threaten human lives. Last year, according to a report by Germany's Federal Office for Information Security, a blast furnace melted down in an unnamed industrial city in Germany after a digital attack on its control systems, causing "massive damage." It nearly happened in the United States too, when unknown hackers succeeded in penetrating U.S. electrical, water and fuel distribution systems early…

16
bringing up the bodies in kathmandu

There are bodies everywhere, and rumors of so many more. That’s one of the major reasons people are fleeing Kathmandu by the hundreds of thousands. The broken streets of Nepal’s capital have emptied as so many of the young men and women (mostly men) who left their far-flung rural villages to make their fortunes here are now going back home. “There are corpses in the buildings that are beginning to smell,” says Bhaba Thami, who lives in the city with his wife and two children. “It’s scaring people.” Many of the city’s fallen buildings have still not been fully exhumed after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake and its many trailing tremors started leveling Kathmandu on April 25, so no one knows how many more people are buried in the rubble. In the neighborhood of…

7
the legacy costs of jeb bush and hillary clinton

Spouses contradict each other all the time in public, but it’s pretty rare when one of them has been president of the United States and the other is making a run for the White House. That’s what happened in late April as the Baltimore riots raged and Hillary Clinton called for an end of the “era of mass incarceration” that has led to so many African-American men behind bars. She did not mention her husband, Bill Clinton, who while president signed a 1994 law that toughened drug sentences, built more prisons and encouraged states to do the same. The press portrayed Hillary’s speech as a calculated move to the left by a front-runner eager to thwart challengers like independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who entered the Democratic race the next day.…

8
new vietnam spy tale sheds light on how the u.s. lost the war

Vietnam unfurled a massive celebration on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of its long war with the United States. Thousands of soldiers, sailors, police, firefighters and students marched through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, brandishing flags and flowers. On the steps of Reunification Palace, once the grandiose home of South Vietnam’s U.S.-backed president, honors were bestowed on aging “heroes of the revolution.” One of the missing heroes was Pham Chuyen, a littleknown but key player in the “American war,” as the Vietnamese call it. The old Communist spy died peacefully in his bed last November at the age of 93. Pham’s death, in his ramshackle home southeast of Hanoi, passed without fanfare outside Vietnam, unlike those of some of his more illustrious comrades…

2
a wet graveyard: april was deadliest month ever for migrants in the mediterranean

April 2015 was the deadliest month in history for migrants crossing the Mediterranean: 1,300 people are known to have drowned while trying to make the journey, compared with 96 in April 2014. The mass exodus of refugees from the civil war in Syria, where the largest number of migrants hail from, is one of the driving factors behind the steady stream of boats. In 2014, 219,000 migrants from Africa and the Middle East boarded boats to Europe. At least 3,500 of them died. While economic migrants from countries like Senegal and Ivory Coast also cram onto rickety boats, the vast majority are refugees. Eritrea, Afghanistan, Somalia and Nigeria are among the conflict-ridden countries of origin for many of them. In the first four months of 2015, 1,750 migrants drowned —that’s more than the…

6
blaming people for being gay is like blaming them for being left-handed

Isn’t it awful how often gay people just flat-out lie? Hundreds of thousands of them say they didn’t choose to be gay. Didn’t choose to risk being beaten by some passing yahoo. Didn’t choose to risk being cut off from their families. Didn’t choose to be in a society where strangers decide what rights they have, what jobs they can keep, where they can live, whether they can marry, whether they can adopt the children they raise or be at the bedside of a dying loved one. What a bunch of frauds. In fact, why should anyone trust homosexuals to explain their personal realities when there are heterosexuals readily available to educate the world on the choice of being gay? I often wonder what it was like when former GOP presidential hopeful…