Newsweek Sep-19-14

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


america’s best and drunkest

A young man leans against a bar. He is bearded and gaunt, radiating hipster vibes. All around him, the club, like so many others on the frayed edges of Manhattan’s Financial District, fills with bankers and lawyers. As evening deepens, things get ever more rowdy, and the young man, who seems lonely, looks ever more so. But this is not an ordinary night at an ordinary bar. On this rainy spring evening, the M1-5 Lounge has been commandeered by alumni of Dartmouth College (including the writers of this article, who both graduated about a decade ago) for a beer pong tournament, which explains the many young graduates gathered around a half-dozen wooden tables crowded with cups of watery beer. Eventually, after a full six hours, two champions will emerge from this…

isis’s enemy list: 10 reasons the islamic state is doomed

The so-called Islamic State, better known as ISIS, is not just a collection of barbaric psychopaths willing to engage in the most brutal and sordid forms of violence without any hesitation born of normal human morality. They are also the most irreparably stupid jihadists ever to slaughter their way onto the international stage. And therein lie not only the seeds of their ultimate destruction, but the reason America should not rush in to take on these thugs. It needs to wait and see how successful ISIS’s many other enemies are in attacking it. ISIS took advantage of weaknesses created by civil war in Syria and governing incompetence in Iraq to grab control of lands and establish itself as a credible force. But overrunning land by surprise or amid widespread chaos is easy.…

alibaba: the $200 billion ‘open sesame’

In the summer of 2006, the war for control of ecommerce in the world’s most populous nation was at its most intense. It pitted a company then known as Alibaba-Taobao, formed in 1999 in the apartment of its founder, Ma Yun (known outside of China as Jack Ma), against eBay, a company that had become a colossus in Silicon Valley and wanted a piece of every market on the globe—like China’s, for obvious reasons. In particular: 1.3 billion people, and double-digit economic growth. During its recent run of breakneck economic expansion, China allowed foreign companies more room to compete than the other East Asian “miracle” economies. And not surprisingly, many were doing well: General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart and a host of other Fortune 500 stalwarts. Pretty much everyone assumed…

for hostages, attention can save, or it can kill

British Prime Minister David Cameron admonished world leaders at the NATO summit in early September not to give in to terrorists’ demands by paying ransoms for hostages that fuel the thriving business of kidnapping. “What matters.. .is not letting money be paid to terrorist kidnappers, because that money goes into arms, it goes into weapons, it goes into terror plots, and it goes into more kidnaps,” Cameron said. Cameron called such payments “self-defeating” and reiterated that a statement was signed last year at the G-8 summit opposing ransom payments. While countries such as France, Italy and Spain argue that they have not breached the agreement, Cameron is said to be angry that some have broken the “spirit” of the agreement. “I have no doubt that those countries that have allowed ransoms to be…

a mexican house of cards

There’s the handsome, young president who puts his foot in his mouth frequently. There’s the corrupt governor caught on camera accepting a briefcase full of money in his office. And there’s the gargantuan television network that, for a hefty sum, propels the latter into the presidency through a carefully crafted image cleanup scheme that includes pairing him up with its most attractive starlet. An unusual disclaimer in Luis Estrada’s latest X-ray of Mexico, the highly anticipated film The Perfect Dictatorship, precedes those scenes: “In this story all of the names are fictitious, the events suspiciously real. Any similarity with reality is not mere coincidence.” Mexicans watching the film will be overtaken by a sense of déjà vu as, indeed, most of it was inspired by scandals that have dominated newspaper pages and…

america pays more than anyone else for internet

The amount an American family spends on phone, television and Internet services each year can easily come to several thousand dollars. If that sounds like a lot, it is. In other parts of the world, communication services are much cheaper. A British family, for example, could spend roughly one-third of what an American family does for comparable communications services. Ofcom, the regulator of communications in the U.K., has compared the cost of services provided to the British with other major nations. The findings were clear. In one example, the regulator looked at a connected household in six countries: the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain. These households consisted of two parents and two teenage children, each with his or her own mobile device but with different usage patterns. Adults typically…