Newsweek November 29, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


inside the company that bungled obamacare

When 200 of CGI Federal's top managers gathered at the luxurious Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania on a brisk day in early November 2009, they found time for business - and high jinks. During the two-day event, managers presented PowerPoint slides celebrating the phenomenal success of CGI Federal, a major technology contractor, in winning lucrative government contracts. Most attendees stayed in the resort's Chateau Lafayette hotel, a replica of the Ritz-Carlton in Paris, and at a formal dinner under the elaborate chandelier in the ballroom, George D. Schindler, the president of CGI Federal, spoke of the company's big profits that year and its bright future. The fun came during a team-building exercise following a boozy lunch in conference rooms not far from the hotel's Lady Luck casino. Managers were split off…

every picture tells a story

It is like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Picture this: Three feuding brothers stand at the back of an auction room and watch anxiously as famous pictures their father gave them go under the hammer. Or this: Four super-rich celebrity art collectors ready their checkbooks to spend tens of millions of dollars in a race to snap up some of the last remaining pictures of the artist they love. Or this: A clutch of curators of American 20th century art cross their fingers and pray that an important American art collection hurriedly put on sale is bought by Americans so the pictures stay in the country. All three scenes, so redolent of the "every picture tells a story" style of the master artist and illustrator Rockwell, will spring to life next…

plus-sized women want yoga chic, too

Thanks to high-end workout gear line Lululemon, yoga is no longer just a spiritual discipline: It's an aspirational branding opportunity. The company, founded in 2000, has a massive, cult-like following of juice cleanse-guzzling, elite gym-going women who wear Wunder Under leggings ($98) and Virasana blanket wraps ($148) inside and outside of the yoga studio to signify how rich, hip, and healthy they are. Healthy, of course, is code for thin - 67 percent of U.S. women wear a size 14 or larger, but you'd be hard-pressed to find Lululemon's largest size, 12, or even a 10 in most stores. Billionaire founder Chip Wilson is famously dismissive of larger customers: He has said the extra fabric it takes to make plus-size clothes would hurt his business and that part of the reason…

obama’s chinese checkers

This week's American military pushback against China will trigger a major crisis that could, as long promised by President Obama, force America to "pivot" much of its attention to Asia. Or it could be a one-shot action that will fizzle quickly, as did earlier attempts at rebalancing towards the Pacific. On Monday, without notifying the Chinese authorities, two American B-52 bombers flew into a contested area over a chain of uninhabitable islands in the East China Sea where China and Japan have repeatedly clashed recently. This directly challenged a zone Beijing unilaterally set up just days before, as a Chinese official defined it, to "defend our airspace." Beijing had declared the area an air defense identification zone (ADIZ), demanding that any aircraft must clear its flight pattern with Chinese authorities before flying…

the war against children

He was wandering through the dusty camp somewhere inside Syria like a shadow, his small, disfigured head covered by a blue sweatshirt. When he turned his scarred face towards the sun, it revealed a skull with a hole for a mouth, ears flattened by fire, and skin melted like candle wax. The small boy's head was covered by third-degree burns. Only his eyes - somber, dark - were left untouched. He was only 11 but looked younger, a broken boy called Abdullah, who had watched a rocket fall from the sky like a terrible star. Because of the bombardment last year in Hama, because of the war in Syria, Abdullah's world will never be the same. What is it like to be a child in Syria? What is it like to wake up…

the fda doesn’t want you to unzip your genes

The Food and Drug Administration recently ordered 23andMe to stop selling its popular DIY genetic screening service which, with a simple saliva swab, promises to provide, the FDA notes, "health reports on 254 disease and conditions," "carrier status," "health risks" and "drug response" as a "first step in prevention... [that] takes steps toward mitigating serious diseases." In the FDA's warning letter to Google-backed 23andMe, dated November 22 and released on Monday, officials charged that the kit is mostly intended to be used as a "medical device" - which is a big no-no since the Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service (PGS) are not approved medical devices. While it might come as a surprise to some that a Silicon Valley darling - 23andMe is headed by biotech entrepreneur Anne Wojcicki, "the…