Newsweek November 15, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


can sotheby’s stay in the picture?

“Without this, we would be in trouble,” Tobias Meyer says. It’s a warm October morning in New York City, and the head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s is standing in front of a huge canvas depicting a horrific car crash, the vehicle gruesomely crumpled against a tree. The label reads, “Andy Warhol. Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) 1963. Estimate upon request.” The huge (8-foot-by-13-foot) canvas is, by all accounts, a masterpiece; part of Warhol’s disaster series - his reflections on mortality. Nearby are other rare treasures consigned for Sotheby’s all-important November auctions: paintings from the collection of Steven Cohen -the notorious billionaire hedge fund manager; a $40 million Picasso; a 56.9 carat pink diamond. Yet Meyer cannot stop thinking about that Warhol. Few people will ever know how hard he fought…

rebel massacre signals a turning point in syria

They attacked before the sun rose, toward the end of Ramadan. In the August heat, soldiers went from house to house in the small Alawite villages near the al-Akrad mountains, delivering death and terror. The inhabitants of this Western Syria governorate were farmers, simple people. Until that morning, they had been able to avoid the brutal fighting that has ravaged Syria for the past three years, spared the atrocities committed against civilians by the government soldiers of President Bashar al-Assad, or his notorious paramilitaries, the Shabiha. The massacre that commenced that day was shocking in its brutality, but newsworthy for another reason: It was committed by jihadist groups fighting on the rebel side. In the Alawite villages, these rebels burned whatever possessions they found, including homes. They gunned down the elderly…

time for the fda to muscle up?

Earlier this month, the popular bodybuilding supplement Craze was pulled from stores on American military bases. It wasn’t due to ineffectiveness or because of an isolated problem with a contaminated batch. No, the removal was ordered after a scientific study showed Craze contained an ingredient related to methamphetamine. The researchers said N,alpha-DEPEA, a meth-like chemical, has never been tested for human use, and was not listed on the product’s label. In response, Driven Sports, Inc., the makers of Craze, issued a statement noting that production and sales of the product had been suspended months ago. They also dismissed the new report, and claimed to have conducted an in-house study that “has confirmed the results of the initial studies that Craze does not contain amphetamines or controlled substances.” Craze is a powder people…

pacific drift

The arrival of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George Washington into the storm-torn Philippines must have brought a ray of hope to the devastated victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Hauling massive amounts of food and water, the carrier, with its 5,000 sailors and 80 airplanes and helicopters, rushed from Hong Kong, where it was on shore leave, to tend to hard-hit areas nearly a week after the superstorm first hit the islands. The George Washington, normally stationed in Japan, is one of two American flattop aircraft carriers - alongside the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard - that call the Pacific their home. Nothing is new here: Two carriers have sailed the Pacific for decades and none are likely to be added anytime soon, regardless of the endless talk in Washington about “rebalancing” our firepower toward…

the biggest little cia shop you’ve never heard of

A few years ago, an American company placed a want ad for an aerospace engineering consultant in an Asian newspaper. It quickly drew a flurry of applicants - one of whom was just the kind of person the company was looking for: someone who worked in that country’s missile program, someone who was a little sleazy, someone looking to make a little cash on the side. This was a CIA front operation, and soon that eager applicant was supplying the spy agency with details on his country’s ballistic missile program. That kind of covert activity is a specialty of the CIA’s National Resources Division, a little-known, U.S.-based component of the agency’s National Clandestine Service. The CIA’s main business is sending operatives abroad to recruit spies and, especially since 9/11, chasing down terrorists for…

can he rebound?

On Veterans’ Day, President Obama did what all presidents do: He welcomed soldiers to the White House in the morning, laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery in the afternoon and posed for a gazillion pictures. But the photo-ops could hardly mask what is otherwise a presidency in free fall. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act off to a disastrous start, and each poll registering approval levels lower than the previous, the commentators at The New York Times and Washington Post have begun to ask whether the final three years of Obama’s presidency will be like this holiday: all ceremony and no substance. So can the president turn this thing around, or is he already a lame duck? Has No-Drama Obama become No-Anything Obama? “Obama has reached the nadir of his…