Newsweek Oct-24-14

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The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


family matters: dzhokhar tsarnaev and the women in his life

“Regardless of how much good you do for evil, it is still evil,” Ruslan Tsarni snarls over the phone. “That’s these Tsarnaev bastards, these evil pieces of shit.” Tsarni can’t control himself. Ask the Maryland attorney about his brother’s kids, accused Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and their sisters, Bella and Ailina, and a rage consumes him, which usually leads to a loud, profane rant, most of it aimed at the family matriarch, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva. “If I saw her now,” Tsarni says. “I would simply smash her face.” Tsarni became front-page news soon after two backpack bombs exploded near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three—a little boy and two young women—and wounding another 260 people. A few days later, Tsarni held a press conference on his…

it’s neck and neck in the bellwether state of new hampshire

Follow the elephants. That was the idea. As I drove up Knox Mountain Road, the temperature in the 60s and the autumn foliage on full display, I was heading to a Republican meeting at the New Hampshire home of Republican activists William and Faith Tobin, not far from Manchester in the town of Sanbornton, which, when it was founded, had the unfortunate name of Crotchtown. A slew of red, white and blue wooden elephant signs had been placed along the dirt road marking the way up the mountain. When I arrived at the Tobins’ home, the grounds were lovely and the hosts so friendly, with none of the wariness that usually greets reporters. The house hugged a gorge and a creek and had the feeling, a bit, of the Frank Lloyd…

chop chop square

The escalation of the war against the Islamic State was triggered by widespread revulsion at the gruesome beheading of two American journalists, relayed on YouTube. Since then, two British aid workers have met a similar grisly fate. And another American has been named as next in line by his terrorist captors. Yet, for all the outrage these executions have engendered the world over, decapitations are routine in Saudi Arabia, America’s closest Arab ally, for crimes including political dissent—and the international press hardly seems to notice. In fact, since January, 59 people have had their heads lopped off in the kingdom, where “punishment by the sword” has been practiced for centuries. The Saudi legal system is based on Islam’s Sharia law. Some countries that use Sharia possess a penal code, but Saudi Arabia…

why gay marriage opponents keep belly-flopping in court

Time and again, gay marriage opponents have struck out in court, and time and again, they have reacted with rage, screaming on social media and cable news that biased judges are imposing their liberal agenda. That’s easier than admitting the truth: Once gay marriage critics get in front of a judge, they advance arguments that amount to little more than self-contradictory mumbo jumbo. I don’t want to coach these folks on how to succeed, but if they hope to stop gays from marrying, they need a case that has more intellectual heft than “I don’t like what those folks do, but don’t ask me to tell you why.” They can’t reveal their real reason: religion (homophobia is in there for a lot of them, but let’s stick with those acting on their…

two numbers: customer loyalty cards don’t add up

Customer loyalty is the holy grail of business. No wonder, then, that with new technology, programs designed to retain customers and encourage repeat buying have exploded around the world in recent years. From Mumbai to Melbourne, hotels, airlines, rental cars, credit cards, grocery stores, pharmacies, movie theaters, coffee shops, department stores and gas stations inundate consumers with loyalty programs that keep track of every purchase. In the United States, the number of customer loyalty memberships now stands at 2.6 billion, according to research by Colloquy. That means 22 memberships for every household in the country. Of course, not all memberships are used. You may sign up once to get an initial discount on a purchase and never go back. So Colloquy calculates that the number of active loyalty program memberships in…

the spy who came in from the desert

In the post-9/11 counterinsurgency wars, stealth and cunning have counted for more than ground troops and air power, the limits of which are already apparent in the faltering bombing campaign against the Islamic State. And that puts American spy services at the tip of the spear once again. If this were Texas Hold ‘Em, the CIA would have a single ace face down with one flip left. Training and deploying the so-called Free Syrian Army rebels, by all accounts, is not going to do much against ISIS, as the Islamic State is commonly known. The same goes for Iraqi troops, who ran at the first sight of ISIS last June and have had only sporadic success since. The Kurds, however valiant, are outgunned and friendless in the region outside of Tel Aviv.…