Newsweek Sep-26-14

This exciting weekly publication offers a clear combination of news, culture and thought-provoking ideas that challenge the smart and inquisitive. Our promise is to put the reporting back into the news.

United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


dr. strangelove goes to the moon

Wrestling with the huge steering wheel, a CIA agent carefully backed the large flatbed truck through an entrance in the 10-foot wooden fence surrounding a salvage yard. As the truck rumbled to a stop, he and other covert intelligence operatives moved quickly under cover of night, pushing the gate closed, barely clearing the front bumper. They then all rushed to the back of the truck, hopped inside and delicately pried open the giant wooden crate it carried, being careful to leave no marks. And with that, the first stage of their until now secret mission was complete: American intelligence had stolen— or, more accurately, borrowed—one of the Soviet Union’s most important technologies, a Lunik space vehicle, which was a key component in its race with the United States to be the…

no man is an island, but this woman is

As you loll atop a nap-inducing mattress covered by a locally hand-stitched quilt; as you lounge within one of Fogo Island Inn’s 29 rooms, all with an ocean view; as you gaze out the windows that run floor to ceiling and wall to wall in this striking, snow-white edifice that seemingly glides above a granite outcrop.. .a vast realm of water arrests your oncoming slumber. There before you, the North Atlantic, immense and eternal, bleeds into the horizon, its deep blue monochrome interrupted only by the occasional iceberg or islet (or, if you use the binoculars provided, a breaching humpback whale). You sit up: Closer and below, waves crash onto rocks that are 420 million years old. As infinity pools at five-star resorts go, the one at Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn is…

the woman isis wanted to trade for foley, then sotloff

Before the Islamic State, the group commonly known as ISIS, murdered American journalist James Foley, the insurgents sent an email to his family saying they were open to a prisoner exchange for “Muslims currently in your detention.” A woman they specifically mentioned was Aafia Siddiqui. Two weeks after Foley was beheaded, ISIS suggested that it would trade American journalist Steven Sotloff for Siddiqui. There was no deal, and Sotloff, too, was beheaded. Last month was hardly the first time Siddiqui’s name had come up as a bargaining chip. Besides ISIS, the Taliban and other extremist groups have requested her in hostage exchanges. So just who is Siddiqui and how has she come to matter so much in America’s war on terror? Siddiqui, or Lady Al-Qaeda as she is known in counterterrorism circles, was convicted…

gay conversion therapy lives on in china

Xiao Jun, a 30-year-old who works for a business training firm in Beijing, had had enough. He had moved last year from his hometown of Guangzhou, in Guangdong province, southeastern China’s capital city, and as is customary in China during the celebration of the lunar new year, the dutiful son had returned home in January to be with family and friends during the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar. But he wasn’t prepared for what greeted him. His relatives “were very keen” to set him up with girls, since Xiao was still unmarried, so the long holiday was full of meetings with single women his relatives knew. The only problem: Xiao is gay—and his parents knew it. Some months earlier, he had posted information about a gay event in Beijing…

the golan heights may drag israel into syria

A green flag waves peacefully, clearly visible through the smart fence, a camera-equipped electric apparatus surrounding a remote-controlled gate here in the Golan Heights. Next door is Camp Ziouani of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). In the distance, the faint booming sound of a constant artillery exchange can be heard. Flying a mere 150 yards away from the blue-white Israeli flag, that green banner represents a Syrian jihadist group, one of many here. Far from where an American-led battle against the Islamic State (commonly called ISIS) is brewing, this deceptively tranquil posting, separating Israelis from Syrians, is more unstable than it has ever been. The jihadists, moderate Syrian rebels, U.N. observers from Fiji and the Philippines, Israeli farmers, and soldiers who come together here as unlikely neighbors face a…

a real-life invisibility cloak built out of nanoscale metamaterials

As any great magician will tell you, illusions have more to do with perception than the paranormal. And though deception might seem out of place in the world of science, a team of researchers from Cambridge University have used this tenet of magic to move one step closer to developing a technology straight out of science fiction: an invisibility cloak. Only according the Ventsislav Valev, one of the scientists involved in the study, the finished product will more likely resemble a rigid, externally powered suit of armor than the pliant magical garment glamorized by Harry Potter. As with all big projects, you have to start small—in this case, microscopic. The Cambridge researchers constructed nanoscale building blocks called “metamaterials.” These are materials, made up of nanoparticles that, due to their geometry, are…