Newsweek May-29-15

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


gmo scientists could save the world from hunger, if we let them

A Nebraska Cornhusker frets as he surveys his drought-stunted crop. A Nigerian yam farmer digs up shrunken tubers. A Costa Rican coffee baron lays off hundreds of workers because a fungus has spoiled his harvest. I planted cherry trees in upstate New York last spring. One summer morning, they were denuded by Japanese beetles. Such disasters are increasingly common on a planet buffeted by climate change and worldwide commerce, where heat burns crops, soil has been ruined by over-farming and drought, and bugs ride across oceans to feast on defenseless plants. Agronomists have been working on these problems for years, but the rapid population growth of humans makes overcoming these challenges increasingly urgent. If we can’t feed the world, it will eventually feed on us. The United Nations and experts say global…

the case against matt dehart

Matthew DeHart woke up scared, disoriented and strapped to a gurney in the back of an ambulance. It was shortly after midnight, August 7, 2010. His heart was beating fast, and he was trembling. What had happened to him? Where was he going? His phone, keys and wallet were no longer in his pockets, and he was surrounded by strangers—the paramedics who’d arrived in the ambulance. And guards from a jail in Maine. DeHart was rolled into an emergency room in Bangor, where a doctor made these notes: “26-year-old white male brought in in custody of Penobscot County Jail correctional officers.… Patient has multiple rambling complaints… restless and agitated, fairly tremulous as well as tachycardic. He reports [he is incarcerated] because Homeland Security is accusing him as well as several associates…

arming the enemy in afghanistan

"Sir, don't go out that far," the soldier warned. It was 2010, and Jeffrey Brown, a Pentagon auditor, was walking with a U.S. Army escort through Nangarhar University in Jalalabad, an Afghan city near the Pakistani border. They had just stepped toward one of several sand-colored buildings on campus when the soldier stopped Brown and looked out at the sun-bleached hills in the distance. “If the Taliban were shooting only AK-47s, we wouldn't have to worry,” he said. “But we know they have M-16s, and we've taken sniper fire from those hills." For decades, the M-16 has been the U.S. military’s preferred automatic rifle. It has more than twice the range of the AK-47, the legendary Russian assault weapon. Which is why the Taliban favors the M-16, too. On another inspection tour,…

a new cold war, yes. but it’s with china, not russia

Something that as recently as a decade ago was almost never discussed in polite company—the prospect for a prolonged geopolitical struggle between the United States and China (Cold War 2.0)—is now Topic A in the foreign policy salons of both Washington and Beijing. In the United States, the centrist Council on Foreign Relations issued a lengthy report calling for the U.S. to “revise” its “grand strategy” toward China. In Beijing, Liu Mingfu, a colonel in the People’s Liberation Army and one of its most influential strategists, wrote in his recent book, The China Dream, “In the 21st century China and the United States will square off and fight to become the champion among nations.’’ The current tension in the South China Sea, where Beijing is building artificial islands in the Spratlys,…

hersh furor bares pakistan’s perfidy more than obama’s

Everybody seems to have a story about Seymour Hersh. Mine goes way back to sometime in 1971, about two years after I got back from Vietnam. Late one night in Boston, my phone rang. It was Hersh, asking what I knew about the CIA’s Phoenix assassination program. He’d heard that I’d given testimony about it from my time as a military intelligence spy-handler in Vietnam. He didn’t waste time on niceties. Of course I knew who he was. He was already world famous from his recent exposé of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. What more could I tell him? he demanded. Could I corroborate what somebody else had said about the torture of a captive? Did I know about so-and-so, such-and-such? The questions came ratatatat, more of an interrogation than…

why the teen birth rate keeps dropping

Polls show that most Americans think teenage pregnancy is either as common as it used to be or more frequent. They’re wrong. Since 2000, the total teen birth rate, as defined by the number of live births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19, has gone down by nearly 45 percent. Among 15- to 17-yearolds, that number has plummeted even further, dropping 54 percent, according a report just released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And it looks as if that decline is accelerating. Between 2011 and 2012, the rate dropped 6 percent. But from 2012 to 2013, the latest year for which data are available, that number slipped a full 10 percent. It’s now at an all-time low —as…