Newsweek September 27, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


righteous fury

David Crane, a 63-year-old law professor at Syracuse University, sat in the sleek gray rectangular courtroom at The Hague and listened intently as the decision was delivered. This was the moment he’d been waiting on for a decade: the final verdict in the war-crimes trial of Charles Ghankay Taylor, the former president of Liberia. On September 26, the court upheld Taylor’s sentence of 50 years in prison for aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity that included murder, terrorism, rape, sexual slavery, and mutilations committed by rebel forces during Sierra Leone’s civil war—a conflict that spanned 11 years and claimed some 70,000 lives. Taylor, who provided support to the Sierra Leonean rebel groups, is the first former head of state to be convicted of war crimes by an international…

colorado’s unsung heroes

When flooding devastated parts of Colorado recently, the epic natural disaster, which killed at least eight people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes, dominated the news, until the news moved on—to a terror attack in Kenya and the diplomatic dance between Washington and Tehran. In Colorado, though, the story was far from over. Among the dozens of aid groups still on the ground helping put people’s lives back together were the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Save the Children, the United Way, Helping Pets, and the nonprofit Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. And among the thousands of aid workers who flocked to the state from around the country to offer help was Wayne Shoemaker. Shoemaker, 56, is the guy responsible for coordinating the vast nationwide army that Samaritan’s Purse can…

a first for germany

Karamba Diaby, a 51-year-old chemist from eastern Germany, was surprised by all the attention. Campaigning for a seat in the Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament, Diaby drew first national, then international headlines. The reason for all the fuss? The fact that Diaby is black, and that, when he won the race, he made history by becoming one of Germany’s first black parliamentarians. (Another politician, Charles Huber, whose father is Senegalese and whose mother is German, won a seat for the conservative Christian Democrats.) Diaby, a Social Democrat, never wanted that kind of attention. “I want them to recognize me for being good, not for the color of my skin,” Diaby says. Or as the Boulevard Baden newspaper put it: “Karamba Diaby doesn’t want to be exotic.” He may not be…

a menace for good

Brendan Shanahan isn’t here to be anyone’s friend. The intimidating 6-foot-3 hockey hall-of-famer is a man of both brute force and finesse (he’s the only guy to have more than 600 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes). Sitting in his Manhattan office, a man cave of televisions and laptops broadcasting every second of every single National Hockey League game, Shanahan is the sheriff of league discipline. And he’s here to fight the war on concussions. “Every brain is equal,” he tells Newsweek. “We go after people who target the head.” This season, in a league where the discussion of head injuries has always been taboo, there’s no avoiding the issue. Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, plagued with concussion symptoms since 2011, is finally healthy. But the NHL faces a wrongful-death lawsuit from…

the comeback queen

When angry Brazilians poured into the streets three months ago, president Dilma Rousseff looked to be in big trouble. Her approval ratings plummeted from 69 percent this time last year to 30 percent last month. She was booed in public—at a football stadium, no less—and retreated behind palace doors while her spin men fired off disclaimers. Many pundits wrote off her reelection in 2014 while cardinals of the ruling Workers’ Party openly called for a return of her predecessor and political mentor, the popular Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to whose party she belongs. But if God is Brazilian, as natives like to say, lately it looks as though he’s got Dilma’s back. In recent weeks, the star-crossed leader’s ratings have rebounded. Public anger has dissipated. Even the sluggish economy is…

hometown helper

Canada is generally America’s quiet, polite, less dysfunctional neighbor to the north. Political and economic news from Saskatoon or Alberta generally doesn’t register south of the border. But this week, Canadian business was front and center. BlackBerry, the ailing communications-device maker based in Waterloo, Canada, has seemingly met its own Waterloo. A few years ago, when CrackBerrys were de rigueur in the corporate world, and its shares traded near $150, BlackBerry was on top of the world. But BlackBerry was rendered irrelevant by the advent of sleeker, more functional smartphones. After rounds of layoffs and losses, and with the stock down to single digits, the company was like a swimmer about to hurtle over Niagara Falls. Until a fellow Canadian threw the company a life preserver. On Monday Prem Watsa, the chief…