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NEWSWEEK: Media Lead Sheet/February 4, 2008 Issue (on newsstands Monday, January 28)

COVER: "Road to Recession" (p. 39). Senior Writer Daniel Gross looks at the signs that are pointing to a recession in America and whether or not that will pull the rest of world down with it. A recession is defined as a widespread contraction in economic activity lasting more than a few months, and because of the lag in financial data, recessions typically aren't officially declared until long after they start. In short, the U.S. could already be in one. "Though world markets stabilized by late last week, buoyed by the Fed's rate-cut action and a proposed stimulus package of $150 billion that was hastily cobbled together by leaders in the House of Representatives and President Bush, the question remains: how ugly will it get, and when will it end?" Gross writes.

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POLITICS: "Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" (p. 24). Senior Writer Suzanne Smalley, with a team of Newsweek correspondents, reports on the impact former president Bill Clinton may be having on his wife's presidential campaign. He claims the feuding between Barack Obama and his wife is media- driven and he's right, for now at least. The voting public seems less interested in the feuding than do the pundits. But whether Clinton's attacks are part of some grand campaign strategy is almost beside the point. He is an unstoppable force of nature, a keenly intuitive politician who is not going to be part of someone's strategic plan unless it's his own, and even then he'll roar off in a different direction if his mood or his instincts move him.

"Here an F.O.B., There an F.O.B." (p. 30). Investigative Correspondents Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball report on some of former president Bill Clinton's business ties and whether they may have an impact on Hillary's campaign. Bill Clinton is a private citizen and does not have to disclose most details about his charitable and business ventures. But his private dealings raise inevitable questions about who might come seeking favors if he and Hillary move back into the White House.

POLITICS: "A Complete and Utter Buzz Kill" (p. 29). White House Correspondent Holly Bailey reports on the short presidential campaign of Fred Thompson. In July, Thompson gave a series of speeches that flopped and he raised about $2 million less than he'd hoped. By August, he had gone through three campaign managers.

INTERVIEW: Presidential candidate Barack Obama (p. 32). Senior Editor and Columnist Jonathan Alter talks to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama about the campaign. Alter asks him about what Bill Clinton called the "contact sport" of politics. "It's not my preference. Do you remember when [Michael] Jordan's Bulls were playing the Detroit Pistons? They had the 'Jordan Rules' [defense] ... But until the Bulls learned to push back, it was going to be hard for them to win. It's not something I shy away from, but not something I relish. We're not going to back down."

"Everything to Everyone" (p. 33). Miami Bureau Chief Arian Campo-Flores reports that as the Democratic nominating contest barrels toward Feb. 5, the stark racial divide between blacks and Hispanics appears to be hardening. Clinton's support among Latino voters has always been stronger than Obama's, and until recently she was also leading among African-Americans. Since Obama's victory in Iowa, however, blacks have coalesced behind him, perhaps realizing his candidacy is viable. While many commentators have dwelled on racial tension between the two groups, in reality, the divide has more to do with the candidates' inherent appeal and the effectiveness of their outreach.

"I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore" (p. 36). Society Editor Julia Baird reviews a new book of essays about Hillary Clinton titled "Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers." The essays-written mostly by New York intellectuals-dissect Clinton's femininity, sexuality, clothes, mothering, marriage, mystique and, of course, likeability. Or, more precisely, why so many educated, middle-class women have a visceral response to her. Imagine if men wrote a book about Clinton containing this kind of minutiae-the same women would turn and savage them for trivializing her.

INTERVIEW: Afghan President Hamid Karzai (p. 47). Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Lally Weymouth talks to Karzai about Pakistan and his country's relationship with Iran. "We have had a particularly good relationship with Iran the past six years," Karzai says. "It's a relationship that I hope will continue. We have opened our doors to them. They have been helping us in Afghanistan. The United States very wisely understood that it was our neighbor and encouraged that relationship."

INTERVIEW: Israeli Defense Chief Ehud Barak (p. 48). Barak tells Weymouth that he was critical of the interpretation of the recent U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran because, "We think that they are quite advanced, much beyond the level of the Manhattan Project ... They are clearly developing missiles, and there is no reason to develop missiles that can fly 1,500 miles if you just want to ... it's usually for unconventional warheads."

PROJECT GREEN: "The Chemicals Within" (p. 50). Correspondent Anne Underwood reports on the number of household products that contain chemical compounds that could be affecting our health. A report released in November found that typical Americans carry traces of potentially hazardous classes of compounds found in common household products like shampoo and upholstery. Their presence doesn't necessarily indicate a health risk. But the shocking thing is that we really don't know the health effects of many of the chemicals on the market today, Underwood reports.

CULTURE: "Rise of the Real People" (p. 58). Assistant Editor Jennie Yabroff reports on a trend in fashion where bloggers are showing clothes worn by real people around the world. Fashion-industry folks say the trend of using real people to sell clothes attests to a fatigue with skinny, expressionless models in ads and on runways. As proof, they point to the negative publicity surrounding the painfully thin models at last spring's Fashion Week.

TIP SHEET: "A Recession Handbook" (p. 60). Contributing Editor Linda Stern offers some guidance on how to protect yourself from bad times: Protect your job. Stay visibly busy, says one New York headhunter. Protect your portfolio. Stick with your plan, and use Wall Street's dismal days to cherry-pick bargain stocks for the next expansion. Don't rush into bonds, make paying down your debts a priority, remind yourself that recessions are a normal part of a healthy economic cycle, and resist panic.

SOURCE Newsweek
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