News & Politics

Newsweek 08/02/2019

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
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37 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
the archives

1964 “All the pent-up hate and violence finally erupts,” Newsweek reported of fierce race riots in New York. Steeped in racial tension, “Harlem had been an explosion waiting for a time to go off,” as “white New York pushed its ‘Negro problem’ out of sight, north of 110th Street, and postponed it to another generation.” The riots were sparked by the shooting and killing of a 15-year-old African American boy by a white off-duty police lieutenant. Current events suggest America is still waiting on that other generation to arrive. 1973 “The dramatic disclosure that Richard Nixon had taped his White House meetings and calls meant hard evidence may exist to determine his responsibility in the Watergate Scandal,” Newsweek wrote. The existence of the tapes threatened to make the president’s “last line of defense…

9 min.
silicon magic

@margaretomara IN THE CODE: SILICON VALLEY AND THE REMAKING OF AMERICA, MARGARET O’MARA explores how Silicon Valley came to be at the epicenter of technology in America. O’Mara, a historian at the University of Washington, worked in the Clinton White House in the early days of the internet. She shows how the explosive growth of social media, when paired with data from the sites users visited online, increased engagement—and how it flourished in an environment free from government oversight. The following excerpt describes how Facebook came of age at a time when society was seeking greater human connection—and in turn reshaped the political landscape in the hands of a social media master named Barack Obama. Three billion smartphones. Two billion social media users. Two trillion-dollar companies. San Francisco’s tallest skyscraper, Seattle’s biggest…

3 min.
q&a: margaret o’mara

How did you come up with the idea for the book? I’ve been studying the history of the tech industry for a long time, and people always kept asking me, “How did Silicon Valley do it?” and “How can we build another Silicon Valley?” I wrote the book to answer those questions. I also set out to show how, despite all its disruptive, risk-embracing iconoclasm, the Valley has always been deeply connected to and shaped by other places and people: Wall Street, Washington D.C. and tech hubs like Boston and Seattle. We can’t separate the story of these extraordinary companies and entrepreneurs from the broader history of modern American culture, politics and business enterprise—they’ve been intertwined all along. What obstacles did you face when researching the book and how did you overcome them? It’s…

3 min.
oil-rich gabon looks to a new future

Gabon, a small country of 1.8 million located in western central Africa just below the Gulf of Guinea, is a discreet nation that has long lived relatively well compared to many other African countries thanks to its oil reserves. It has also been a steadfast ally of the West ever since its independence in 1960 from France, with which it maintains close relations. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $14.6 billion in 2017, according to the World Bank, and a GDP per capita of $6,600 (2017), it is an emerging economy. But as has happened to other oil-producing countries, the black gold has been both a cornucopia and a curse. Indeed, oil and related activities accounted for 45 percent of Gabon’s GDP in 2015, 85 percent of its export revenues…

4 min.
unlocking the mining potential

While oil has been Gabon’s main asset for six decades, mining is also an important, albeit lesser source of revenues. In particular, Gabon has rich reserves of manganese and gold, estimated at respectively 165 million and 44 tons. The government is keen to boost and diversify this sector, notably by increasing the number of operators. In January 2015, therefore, it introduced a new mining code and it has since given out new prospecting or exploration permits for iron, copper, diamonds and other minerals. In 2017, it sold seven additional licenses to four companies involved in gold mining: Alpha Centauri Mining, Gabon Gold, Maxi Gold and the Equatorial Mining Company (SEM). Alpha Centauri is a good example of a medium-sized private company contributing to the diversification of the Gabonese economy. It says it…

3 min.
“the new hydrocarbon code is fiscally more advantageous”

Oil production in Gabon is now stabilized at 200,000 barrels per day. Do you think it will remain at this level? Patrichi Christian Tanasa: I believe it will start to pick up soon, in particular because Petronas made a very interesting discovery in very deep offshore, which is where the new opportunities lie nowadays. Last year, Gabon adopted a new hydrocarbon code to replace the previous one, which dated from 2014. What are the objectives of the new code? The 2014 code was not attractive enough, in particular in terms of taxes—as evidenced by the fact that only two contracts were signed under it. The new code is fiscally more attractive and is also more flexible, in particular concerning exploration and production. Furthermore, it is more transparent, notably as regards tenders. We hope…