Politics

Untruth and Consequences in Ferguson

Untruth and Consequences in Ferguson

It’s time we admit something: Increasingly, it’s starting to look like Officer Darren Wilson acted appropriately that fateful day in Ferguson.Now, until now, I have not weighed in on the Michael Brown shooting—except peripherally. I wrote about ho...

We’re only now starting to learn what happened the day Michael Brown was shot. But how much will the truth really matter at this point?

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Joni Ernst’s Not Nice Iowa Gaffe

Joni Ernst’s Not Nice Iowa Gaffe

In Iowa’s Senate campaign, one candidate has been prone to making outrageous and controversial remarks that have garnered copious amounts of national press. The other one is the gaffe-prone candidate.Republican Senate nominee Joni Ernst had manage...

The GOP Senate candidate canceled on the state’s most-influential editorial board in an unprecedented blowoff. Did her handlers fear what for the gaffe-prone Republican might say?

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Dark Money Will Swing the Senate

Dark Money Will Swing the Senate

This story was published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.By Michael BeckelThe days of candidates dominating their own political campaigns are over.In the most competit...

And you thought candidates were the biggest factor in their races. No, this year, battle for control of the Senate is largely being determined by big-spending super PACs and nonprofits.

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Untruth and Consequences in Ferguson

Untruth and Consequences in Ferguson

It’s time we admit something: Increasingly, it’s starting to look like Officer Darren Wilson acted appropriately that fateful day in Ferguson.Now, until now, I have not weighed in on the Michael Brown shooting—except peripherally. I wrote about ho...

We’re only now starting to learn what happened the day Michael Brown was shot. But how much will the truth really matter at this point?

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The Only Way for Democrats to Win

The Only Way for Democrats to Win

As Democrats mutter privately that their Senate majority is sinking beneath the waves, their leadership has sent out an SOS. It’s all hands on deck, unless those hands belong to the President of the United States. Because only Michigan Rep. Gary P...

There’s still time for the Democrats to put GOP opponents on the defensive by saying “I want to rebuild America, and my opponent doesn’t.”

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Will the GOP Get the Message in Kansas?

Will the GOP Get the Message in Kansas?

For many political observers, the question about Kansas these days is no longer, “What’s the matter?” so much as, “What the fuck?”There was the unexpectedly close GOP Senate primary—three-term incumbent Pat Roberts wound up winning by 7 points—and...

The state’s ruinous foray into Tea Party economics has turned off huge swaths of Republican voters. So why are its candidates going even further to the right?

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Entertainment

Taylor Swift’s Wildly Addictive ‘1989’

Taylor Swift’s Wildly Addictive ‘1989’

The best pop stars are sponges. Ever present, they absorb the viscous lava of contempo culture through their pores, let it course through their veins ‘til a diffuse plexus of melodies and rhythms form, and then release the bubbly potion onto an un...

The 24-year-old’s latest album is chock full of hits and hands-down the best pop record of the year. Good luck shaking these tunes off.

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The Rise and Fall of ‘Honey Boo Boo’

The Rise and Fall of ‘Honey Boo Boo’

As quickly as Honey Boo Boo came, there she goes—even more quickly.TLC swiftly canceled its massively, and perhaps embarrassingly, popular reality series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on Friday, thereby robbing off us of our voyeur look into the lives ...

TLC’s hit series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ was canceled after charges that its star, Mama June, is dating a sex offender. For better or worse, its end actually means something.

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Jenny McCarthy: I Am Not Anti-Vaccine

Jenny McCarthy: I Am Not Anti-Vaccine

It is perhaps the Eighth Wonder of the World that anything, anything at all, is left to divulge about Jenny McCarthy that she hasn’t already divulged herself.          The Playboy Playmate-turned-MTV host-turned-The View panelist and controversial...

Newly married to the perfectly endowed Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy talks about her son’s autism, being ‘very spiritual,’ and life after The View.

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Hobbit-Filled Air Safety Video

Hobbit-Filled Air Safety Video

Director Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are more than just beloved hit movies. In Jackson’s home country of New Zealand, the films have become a major part of their tourism industry. With the third and (as...

Air New Zealand shows us how to be safe when flying to and from Middle-Earth

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The Rise and Fall of ‘Honey Boo Boo’

The Rise and Fall of ‘Honey Boo Boo’

As quickly as Honey Boo Boo came, there she goes—even more quickly.TLC swiftly canceled its massively, and perhaps embarrassingly, popular reality series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on Friday, thereby robbing off us of our voyeur look into the lives ...

TLC’s hit series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ was canceled after charges that its star, Mama June, is dating a sex offender. For better or worse, its end actually means something.

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On J. Law and Life After ‘Winter’s Bone’

On J. Law and Life After ‘Winter’s Bone’

Four years ago, Winter’s Bone was hailed as a triumph of independent cinema. The New Yorker called it “one of the great feminist works in film” featuring a heroine “more believable as a heroic character than any of the men we’ve seen peacocking th...

Four years ago, Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Her follow-up is the eye-opening documentary Stray Dog.

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Nintendo’s Graphic, Ass-Kicking Barbie

Nintendo’s Graphic, Ass-Kicking Barbie

Bayonetta is a witch. But she’s not your average witch. In fact, she’s not like those old crone stereotypes at all. Bayonetta’s proportions would make Barbie cringe, and her skin-tight clothing accentuates each and every curve. As the titular star...

As you swing Bayonetta’s swords and shoot guns attached to her high heels, the hair covering her body attacks enemies. Blood isn’t what makes ‘Bayonetta 2’ for mature gamers.

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Inside Amazon’s Political Fun ‘House’

Inside Amazon’s Political Fun ‘House’

On the wall of the Alpha House set in Queens, New York, one of President George W. Bush’s infamous paintings hangs, from where it will play a pivotal part in the second season premiere of Amazon’s political comedy.“I think I saw it on Buzzfeed,” c...

Free shipping and a TV show? It seemed crazy, but thanks to the success of the political comedy ‘Alpha House,’ Amazon is officially a player in the original series business.

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On J. Law and Life After ‘Winter’s Bone’

On J. Law and Life After ‘Winter’s Bone’

Four years ago, Winter’s Bone was hailed as a triumph of independent cinema. The New Yorker called it “one of the great feminist works in film” featuring a heroine “more believable as a heroic character than any of the men we’ve seen peacocking th...

Four years ago, Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Her follow-up is the eye-opening documentary Stray Dog.

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World News

ISIS, Assad, USA: The Decisive Battle

ISIS, Assad, USA: The Decisive Battle

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — A battle is taking shape that could decide the fate of the Obama administration’s strategy for defeating ISIS, and it’s not around the Kurdish town of Kobani. It’s for the future of the second biggest city in Syria, ancient Ale...

The Syrian rebel forces the Obama administration hopes to use against ISIS may soon be destroyed by Assad in the country’s second largest city.

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We Should Negotiate With ISIS

We Should Negotiate With ISIS

In early October, Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, delivered a keynote address at an annual State Department gathering of international humanitarian aid officials in Washington, D.C.Egeland, a Norwegian politici...

Millions of people now live under ISIS control. Starving them will not defeat the jihadists, and to deliver assistance, you have to deal with those in charge.

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Ukraine’s Wild and Wooly Elections

Ukraine’s Wild and Wooly Elections

ODESSA, Ukraine — The three-week election campaign turned into a game of “Survivor” for Vladimir Rondin, a candidate from Odessa in parliamentary elections that could decide whether Ukraine sets a new, more democratic course, or slips back into th...

The vote on Sunday could take Ukraine toward a modern functioning democracy or plunge it back into a cesspool of corruption. Right now it’s anybody’s call.

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The Japanese PM’s Cabinet of Horrors

The Japanese PM’s Cabinet of Horrors

TOKYO, Japan—What do neo-Nazis, racists, necromancers, historical revisionists, bad accountants, and S&M fans all have in common? They all seem to have been represented in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet.His new ministerial lineup got off ...

Japan’s hitherto supine press appears to be waking up, revealing one juicy scandal after another in the Abe government. Here’s why.

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We Should Negotiate With ISIS

We Should Negotiate With ISIS

In early October, Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, delivered a keynote address at an annual State Department gathering of international humanitarian aid officials in Washington, D.C.Egeland, a Norwegian politici...

Millions of people now live under ISIS control. Starving them will not defeat the jihadists, and to deliver assistance, you have to deal with those in charge.

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Rand Paul Channels Malala to Bash Obama

Rand Paul Channels Malala to Bash Obama

Rand Paul will use the words of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai to attack President Obama during a major foreign-policy address on Thursday evening.In recent months, the Kentucky senator’s foreign policy has been called everything from...

The Kentucky senator will try to end confusion over his foreign policy but not before he attacks the White House from the left.

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Chinese Tourists Selfie HK Protests

Chinese Tourists Selfie HK Protests

HONG KONG, China — In its fourth week, Occupy Hong Kong has lost steam, and the bright smiles that were on young, idealistic faces have been displaced by weary, suntanned brows. The long haul has become a slow grind. The crowds have thinned, and t...

Mainland Chinese come to take selfies, and leave with a notion of the outside world, and the workings of democracy, they’d never seen before.

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Ukraine Forgets About Its Soldiers

Ukraine Forgets About Its Soldiers

LVIV, Ukraine—Indifference was what Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines found most painful, and indifference is what provokes their parents, struggling for their rights at home, to mount angry protests.On a recent afternoon, a group of mothers a...

As elections approach on Sunday, so do protests about the government’s neglect of soldiers on the front line.

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Rand Paul Channels Malala to Bash Obama

Rand Paul Channels Malala to Bash Obama

Rand Paul will use the words of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai to attack President Obama during a major foreign-policy address on Thursday evening.In recent months, the Kentucky senator’s foreign policy has been called everything from...

The Kentucky senator will try to end confusion over his foreign policy but not before he attacks the White House from the left.

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U.S. News

From Ebola Country to NYC’s Subways

From Ebola Country to NYC’s Subways

Yvon Guilavogui has four children living amidst an Ebola epidemic in his native Guinea.And here he was in a New York City subway station on Friday morning, handing out one of the free morning newspapers.“EBOLA IN NYC,” read the headline of AM New ...

A newspaper hawker—with his four children at the ground zero of Guinea’s epidemic—navigates the tense but calm platforms of New York’s underground city.

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The Real Enemy of Marriage? Republicans

The Real Enemy of Marriage? Republicans

Although there are a few Flat-Earthers out there who still believe gay marriage can be stopped, everyone else has accepted (or celebrated) it as an eventual inevitability.So now the question is: what’s next? Not just what’s next for LGBT equality—...

A new book argues that marriage is on the decline not because of changing gender norms or a breakdown in morality, but it’s just simple economics.

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The Homecoming Prince Tweets His Murders

The Homecoming Prince Tweets His Murders

It was a sadly familiar sight on the afternoon news: Students running from campus with their hands in the air, escaping from another shooting on school grounds.A young female student and her 15 year-old killer, Jaylen Fryberg, were dead inside Was...

Last night, hours before he would shoot four of his schoolmates, Jaylen Fryberg Tweeted, “It won’t last.... It’ll never last....”

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From Ebola Country to NYC’s Subways

From Ebola Country to NYC’s Subways

Yvon Guilavogui has four children living amidst an Ebola epidemic in his native Guinea.And here he was in a New York City subway station on Friday morning, handing out one of the free morning newspapers.“EBOLA IN NYC,” read the headline of AM New ...

A newspaper hawker—with his four children at the ground zero of Guinea’s epidemic—navigates the tense but calm platforms of New York’s underground city.

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Those Kansas City Blues

Those Kansas City Blues

The Royals have made it to the World Series. Those true blue underdogs, the down-on-their-luck little guys of the American League, have made it—after one of the longest postseason droughts in baseball history, 29 years—to the championship. And two...

Hometown to the Royals, jazz mecca, land of pioneers and barbeque kings, Kansas City sits at the center of my family’s history and of our national psyche.

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Inside a Serial Killer’s Playground

Inside a Serial Killer’s Playground

GARY, Indiana—Over a din of smart-ass comments and after-work banter, Peg at Bugsy’s Tavern asks the obvious question: “You guys wanna watch the news?” The answer is yes, of course, and the crowd at the tiny bar off the main drag in this busted to...

Darren Deon Vann's hometown has 10,000 abandoned houses, more than enough for him to hide six bodies. Even worse, it's a place where women disappear without being missed.

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Tech + Health

Coming Out Kinky to Your Doctor

Coming Out Kinky to Your Doctor

Recently, Claire Conrad, 36, found herself trussed up in stirrups—and not in a fun way. Conrad was at the ob-gyn to check to see if, as the Maryland resident likes to put it, “My cervix is trying to kill me.”She’d had an abnormal pap smear, and wa...

As more people embrace their inner kinkster, doctors need to know the details to provide quality health care. This… can be complicated.

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Are Veggies Bad for Your Mojo?

Are Veggies Bad for Your Mojo?

It’s the news every beer-chugging, steak-chomping, broccoli-burning man has waiting for: Vegetables are bad for your health.A new study presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) annual meeting revealed that hopeful father...

It seems a week doesn’t go by without a new study touting a discovery about sperm count. What’s true and what’s myth?

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The 6-Year-Old Who Beat Ebola

The 6-Year-Old Who Beat Ebola

MONROVIA, Liberia—Miatta Urey, 6, walked out of the Island Clinic Ebola Treatment Unit on Wednesday, smiles beaming on her face in the afternoon sun. Her eyes lit up as she saw her uncle and aunt, there to welcome her back into the real world.Miat...

After losing her father and young sibling to Ebola, 6-year-old Liberian Miatta Urey is a symbol of hope in the midst of tragedy.

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The Front Lines of Ebola

The Front Lines of Ebola

With close to 10,000 confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa, the stories of individuals in the middle of the fight are more important than ever.

With close to 10,000 confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa, the stories of individuals in the middle of the fight are more important than ever.

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Are Veggies Bad for Your Mojo?

Are Veggies Bad for Your Mojo?

It’s the news every beer-chugging, steak-chomping, broccoli-burning man has waiting for: Vegetables are bad for your health.A new study presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) annual meeting revealed that hopeful father...

It seems a week doesn’t go by without a new study touting a discovery about sperm count. What’s true and what’s myth?

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Magical Gardens for the Blind and Deaf

Magical Gardens for the Blind and Deaf

When I walk into the Stephen Knolls School’s greenhouse, cheerfully bright even on an overcast day, the humidity frizzes my hair into a delirious halo. The school’s principal, Kim Redgrave, is explaining the school’s gardening program to me when t...

Sensory gardens are outdoor spaces designed to stimulate the senses and increase awareness of the body. Why they are so important for physically and cognitively disabled kids (and th...

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Will U.S. Stealth Destroyer Stay Afloat?

Will U.S. Stealth Destroyer Stay Afloat?

The U.S. Navy is slowly preparing the first of its massive, 15,500-ton Zumwalt-class stealth destroyers for sea next year. But questions remain about many of the technologies onboard the new ships. First and foremost: can the thing even stay afloa...

It features a radical design and next-gen gear. But the U.S. Navy’s most advanced ship may have a wee problem: it just might fall into the sea.

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This Is How Ebola Conspiracies Start

This Is How Ebola Conspiracies Start

George Will is many things. He’s a baseball enthusiast. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. He’s a regular talk-show panelist on one network or another.What George Will is not is any kind of expert on public health, which he was all too happy...

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will implied in an interview that Ebola may be airborne. He’s no scientist or public-health expert, but he’s fueling conspiracy theorists.

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Magical Gardens for the Blind and Deaf

Magical Gardens for the Blind and Deaf

When I walk into the Stephen Knolls School’s greenhouse, cheerfully bright even on an overcast day, the humidity frizzes my hair into a delirious halo. The school’s principal, Kim Redgrave, is explaining the school’s gardening program to me when t...

Sensory gardens are outdoor spaces designed to stimulate the senses and increase awareness of the body. Why they are so important for physically and cognitively disabled kids (and th...

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BeastStyle

How Much Do You Tip A Robot Bartender?

How Much Do You Tip A Robot Bartender?

Call me old-fashioned, but I still want to go to a bar, watch the bartender mix something in front of me, engage in some small talk, and hear them thank and ask me to come again when handing me the bill at the end of the night.But lately there’s b...

New technologies are helping bartenders craft increasingly creative cocktails. But are they also threatening to do away with the position all together?

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Those Kansas City Blues

Those Kansas City Blues

The Royals have made it to the World Series. Those true blue underdogs, the down-on-their-luck little guys of the American League, have made it—after one of the longest postseason droughts in baseball history, 29 years—to the championship. And two...

Hometown to the Royals, jazz mecca, land of pioneers and barbeque kings, Kansas City sits at the center of my family’s history and of our national psyche.

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Harlem’s Hat-Making Renaissance

Harlem’s Hat-Making Renaissance

When we meet, Marc Williamson tells me he wants to corner the hat market by “passing the torch of good taste from one generation to the next.” Seven weeks ago, he opened his shop, the Flamekeepers Hat Club on West 121st Street, steps away from Fre...

Marc Williamson’s mission is to get us interested in hats, and find the right one for our heads. His shop, Flamekeepers Hat Club, attracts Wall Street businessmen and downtown hipsters.

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Look Who’s Wearing The Pants

Look Who’s Wearing The Pants

The only person banned from wearing Karen Roberts’ clothing line is her wife’s ex-husband. “Go away, you have your own clothes,” she laughingly recalls telling him, as he tried to buy some pieces at an early launch. But he’s not the one intrigued ...

Traditional male-female boundaries dissolve with a new fashion line’s selection of shirts, jackets, ties and pants, designed for a woman’s body.

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Those Kansas City Blues

Those Kansas City Blues

The Royals have made it to the World Series. Those true blue underdogs, the down-on-their-luck little guys of the American League, have made it—after one of the longest postseason droughts in baseball history, 29 years—to the championship. And two...

Hometown to the Royals, jazz mecca, land of pioneers and barbeque kings, Kansas City sits at the center of my family’s history and of our national psyche.

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Daniel Radcliffe: Richest of Them All

Daniel Radcliffe: Richest of Them All

Am I really No. 2, Daniel Radcliffe playfully queried, after Britain’s Heat magazine placed him after the band One Direction (at No. 1) in its richest celebrities under 30 list.“There’s five of them! That doesn’t count! Not that I care but I am de...

The Harry Potter star jokingly slapped down the suggestion that One Direction was wealthier than him by pointing out there are five of them. He’s also rich in spirit.

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Mona Lisa Theft's Prime Suspect: Picasso

Mona Lisa Theft's Prime Suspect: Picasso

On August 21, 1911—a humid Monday morning—in Paris, France, a man walked out of the Louvre with a large, 18-pound object consisting of a mischievous smile painted on three slabs of wood, protruding from his jacket. The thief had just made off with...

The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in August 1911. How did one of the best-known painters of all time become a prime suspect?

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How Brooklyn Invaded Paris

How Brooklyn Invaded Paris

Last week Jay-Z brought his trademark “real Brooklyn” charisma to Paris when he privately toured the Louvre with wife Beyoncé and daughter Blue Ivy. But even before this celebrity benediction, Brooklyn was thriving in the City of Lights.Paris’ nor...

In Paris, you can go to the Brooklyn Café, or have brunch à la Brooklyn. There’s a Brooklyn Coffee in London. How did the borough become an international brand?

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Daniel Radcliffe: Richest of Them All

Daniel Radcliffe: Richest of Them All

Am I really No. 2, Daniel Radcliffe playfully queried, after Britain’s Heat magazine placed him after the band One Direction (at No. 1) in its richest celebrities under 30 list.“There’s five of them! That doesn’t count! Not that I care but I am de...

The Harry Potter star jokingly slapped down the suggestion that One Direction was wealthier than him by pointing out there are five of them. He’s also rich in spirit.

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Women in the World

What Iran Can Learn From Gwyneth Paltrow

What Iran Can Learn From Gwyneth Paltrow

I have some advice for Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani about his conflicts with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.It comes from an unlikely source. Normally I might look to Samantha Power or Madeleine Albright or Hillary Clinton for foreign policy wisdom. But this time, wisdom comes from an unexpected place.Gwyneth Paltrow.Now, bear with me here – I’m not recommending that Rouhani or Khamenei sign up for GOOP emails or change their children’s names to Apple. ...

It’s time for Iran’s President Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to take a page from Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin — and “consciously uncouple.”

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Protect Immigrant Women Facing Abuse

Protect Immigrant Women Facing Abuse

I am a survivor of domestic violence, and I am an immigrant. My husband used my immigration status to threaten me for over twelve years.I came to this country from Mexico in 1995 because my husband told me that I had to come with him. If I refused...

President Obama should take action now, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to protect immigrant women who are victims of domestic abuse from becoming victims of the immigratio...

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Live From Texas: Women in the World!

Live From Texas: Women in the World!

America’s seventh largest city was the site of the latest meeting of Women in the World. A sold-out crowd of 800 (mostly) women packed the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio to take part in the event. “Your hearts are big, your wi...

Tina Brown’s signature event traveled to Texas to take on the issues important to women around the globe. From Ebola to immigration, from honor killing to the strains of military lif...

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Photos: Women in the World Texas

Photos: Women in the World Texas

America’s seventh largest city is the site of the latest meeting of Women in the World. View images from the event.

America’s seventh largest city is the site of the latest meeting of Women in the World. View images from the event.

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Protect Immigrant Women Facing Abuse

Protect Immigrant Women Facing Abuse

I am a survivor of domestic violence, and I am an immigrant. My husband used my immigration status to threaten me for over twelve years.I came to this country from Mexico in 1995 because my husband told me that I had to come with him. If I refused...

President Obama should take action now, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to protect immigrant women who are victims of domestic abuse from becoming victims of the immigratio...

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A Formula for Success

A Formula for Success

Lynn McBee, CEO of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, says the seven campuses in the foundation’s system have found much success in their mission to educate young women. The foundation partners with independent school districts to create all-g...

With 4,100 students in seven schools across the state, the Young Women’s Preparatory Network — a beneficiary of Women in the World Texas — is demonstrating the effectiveness of singl...

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Women in the World Texas Sneak Peek

Women in the World Texas Sneak Peek

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Senior Counsel, Bracewell & Giuliani; former U.S. Senator from TexasWho are you looking forward to seeing and meeting at WITW Texas?
Diane von Furstenberg has been an original throughout her life – the wrap dress ...

We posed three questions to three participants in anticipation of Women in the World Texas, which takes place October 22 in San Antonio.

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How We Lied To Afghanistan’s Girls

How We Lied To Afghanistan’s Girls

KABUL, Afghanistan — The girls of Afghanistan have been betrayed. When Taliban rule ended almost 13 years ago, international donors rushed in to promise that young women would no longer be denied an education. Western governments spent a decade pa...

One reason given for the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was to educate girls. But as the Western military shrinks there, so does the funding for those schools.

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A Formula for Success

A Formula for Success

Lynn McBee, CEO of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, says the seven campuses in the foundation’s system have found much success in their mission to educate young women. The foundation partners with independent school districts to create all-g...

With 4,100 students in seven schools across the state, the Young Women’s Preparatory Network — a beneficiary of Women in the World Texas — is demonstrating the effectiveness of singl...

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Books

Don Westlake's Pedal-to-the-Metal Prose

Don Westlake's Pedal-to-the-Metal Prose

This review took a lot longer than it should have. First I read the late great crime fiction author Donald E. Westlake’s The Getaway Car, which the publisher has subtitled a “Nonfiction Miscellany.” Some parts I read several times, just for fun, a...

He was widely hailed as one of the best crime fiction writers who ever lived, but as a new anthology of his nonfiction proves, Westlake could write anything.

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  • Donald E. Westlake Defends the Semicolon

    Donald E. Westlake Defends the Semicolon

    Excerpted from The Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany.Letter to Pam Vesey, copy editor at Marian Evans who was working on what would become Westlake’s novel Brothers Keepers.February 24, 1975Dear Pam,I don’t intend to get into a ...

    The late crime novelist never wrote anything that looked like fussy prose, but he certainly took great pains with writing, as he demonstrates in this letter about semicolons.

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Borges in Love Wasn’t Pretty

Borges in Love Wasn’t Pretty

In 1967, Jorge Luis Borges, 68 years old and almost entirely blind, stunned his family and friends by marrying a 57-year-old widow, Elsa Astete Millan. The sudden impulse yielded consequences as bizarre as anything in Borges’s fictional oeuvre.Els...

The Argentinian literary genius married at the age of 68. It was not a wise move, but then Borges was never known for wise moves except when writing.

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Cornel West’s Disappointing Decline

Cornel West’s Disappointing Decline

Tavis Smiley, the PBS talk show host and close friend to Cornel West, often credits West with having a “useable intellect.” Unlike many academics, Smiley contends, West provides analysis and insight that reaches far beyond the academy, possessing ...

Once one of the nation’s best cultural critics, West has ditched his intellectual chops and embraced the role of public personality recycling the same sound bites.

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Lincoln Was the Founders’ Heir Apparent

Lincoln Was the Founders’ Heir Apparent

Reading Richard Brookhiser’s Founders’ Son: A Life of Lincoln, reminded me of a visit I made 12 or so years ago to the National Mall with friend and fellow historian Michael Kazin. It was a typically hot and humid summer’s evening in the capital, ...

A new biography of Abraham Lincoln shows that he spent his life asking himself what the Founding Fathers would do and then enlarging his vision accordingly.

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Borges in Love Wasn’t Pretty

Borges in Love Wasn’t Pretty

In 1967, Jorge Luis Borges, 68 years old and almost entirely blind, stunned his family and friends by marrying a 57-year-old widow, Elsa Astete Millan. The sudden impulse yielded consequences as bizarre as anything in Borges’s fictional oeuvre.Els...

The Argentinian literary genius married at the age of 68. It was not a wise move, but then Borges was never known for wise moves except when writing.

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How LBJ and Reagan Wrecked Our Idealism

How LBJ and Reagan Wrecked Our Idealism

If you have been following the rolling fiftieth anniversaries of the last two years—the March on Washington and the Kennedy assassination in 1963, Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Act of 1964—you know that the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 p...

In the mid-’60s polar opposites Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan promised America more than they could possibly deliver. The result was decades of cynicism about government.

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Stop Calling Me Cormac!

Stop Calling Me Cormac!

The “anxiety of influence” breathes and heaves almost four decades after Harold Bloom birthed that wily method of reading: during composition a work of literature is engaged in an unconscious “agon” with a certain existing work, an agon that forms...

Every author welcomes praise, but what’s a writer to do when readers persist in comparing him to an another author he’s not even that crazy about?

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Rich People Want You to Work for Free

Rich People Want You to Work for Free

In recent weeks, the Ritz-Carlton hotel company, the NFL, and the Smithsonian Institution have all made news by asking people to do work for free. Such practices are hardly surprising in themselves—working for nothing seems to be a key building bl...

Remember when people volunteered to help the poor? Nowadays the poor volunteer to help the wealthy.

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How LBJ and Reagan Wrecked Our Idealism

How LBJ and Reagan Wrecked Our Idealism

If you have been following the rolling fiftieth anniversaries of the last two years—the March on Washington and the Kennedy assassination in 1963, Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Act of 1964—you know that the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 p...

In the mid-’60s polar opposites Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan promised America more than they could possibly deliver. The result was decades of cynicism about government.

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