COVER: "The Hunt for an Addiction Vaccine" (p. 36). Health Reporter
Jeneen Interlandi examines the latest science and developments in research
that are showing how the brain functions in addicts. The findings are
leading health officials to determine that addiction is a legitimate
illness and not a moral failing and can be treated with medication. Only
now are we beginning to see treatments that target the underlying
biochemistry of the disease. In essence, an addict's brain is
malfunctioning, as surely as the pancreas in someone with diabetes.
Interlandi reports on the compounds being developed or tested by the
National Institute on Drug Abuse that block the intoxicating effects of
drugs, including vaccines that train the body's own immune system to bar
them from the brain. To the extent that "willpower" is a meaningful concept
at all, the era of willpower-in-a-pill may be just over the horizon.
"And Now, Back in the Real World ... " (p. 41). Senior Writer Claudia Kalb reports that between 2000 and 2006, the number of drug offenders in federal prison jumped 26 percent, to 93,751. An additional 250,000 are incarcerated in state facilities and thousands more sit in local jail cells. Laws still treat drug use as a crime, but from Maryland to Hawaii, states are looking for new ways to steer drug offenders away from prison cells and into treatment. In the process, they hope to save millions of taxpayer dollars.
POLITICS: "With Friends Like These ... " (p. 20). Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff reports on the ongoing story about John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman. In his effort to persuade voters, particularly conservative ones, that he had been "smeared" by the New York Times, McCain may have dissembled a bit or misstated the facts. Newsweek spoke to two close associates of the candidate who claimed that McCain had been warned to stay away from Iseman in 1999. (It's unclear whether these associates, who did not want to be named publicly crossing McCain, are the same sources the Times cited.) One of the sources tells Newsweek that he had confronted McCain about the relationship with Iseman, though in that meeting there was no explicit reference to a sexual affair. Neither source had evidence of an intimate relationship.
JONATHAN ALTER: "Hillary Should Get Out Now" (p. 25). Senior Editor and Columnist Jonathan Alter writes that Hillary Clinton should bow out of the race now, in a graceful exit, and endorse Barack Obama. "Imagine if she drew a distinction between 'never quit' as it applies to fighting Kenneth Starr and the Republicans on the one hand, and fellow Democrats on the other? Imagine if she had, well, the imagination for a breathtaking act of political theater that would make her seem the epitome of grace and class and party unity, setting herself up perfectly for 2012 if Obama loses?"
SHARON BEGLEY: "How Your Brain Looks at Race" (p. 26). Science Columnist Sharon Begley writes that the primaries and caucuses have produced real-world evidence that race may matter much less than it once did. But Barack Obama himself doesn't believe America is "post racial." He recognizes that the country's legacy of racism is too deep to be eradicated overnight, or even over the course of his campaign. Nevertheless, Obama has said, voters are judging candidates on their ability to fix health care, foreign policy, the economy and education, not on a candidate's identity.
POLITICS: "How They Have Lost" (p. 28). Senior Writer and Political Correspondent Jonathan Darman reports on how resilient Bill and Hillary Clinton can be in the face of political losses. In their 35 years in public life, Bill and Hillary Clinton's list of Election Day losses is impressively short. Their setbacks brought out the dark side in both Clintons. But they have also shown a remarkable capacity to learn from their mistakes, to reinvent themselves and live for another day. The remaining days of the 2008 race may well be shaped by lessons learned in past moments of electoral despair.
INTERNATIONAL: "Island of Failed Promises" (p. 31). Latin America Regional Editor Joseph Contreras reports on the stepping down of Fidel Castro and the effect on younger Cubans who often identify "Fidelismo" with hardship. Raised on a relentless diet of anti-imperialist harangues and exhortations to ever- greater sacrifice, millions of young Cubans want the regime to cut the rhetoric and make tangible improvements in their daily lives.
MIDDLE EAST: "Good for the Jews?" (p. 32). Senior Editor Michael Hirsh and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Dan Ephron report that as the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has sharpened in recent months, other Clinton campaign operatives have sent around negative material about Obama's relations with Israel, according to e-mails obtained by Newsweek. Aides to Obama say they have little evidence of an organized Clinton plan to turn Jewish voters away from him.
BUSINESS: "Borrowers Are Out in The Cold" (p. 34). Senior Writer Daniel Gross reports that it's not just people with bad credit who are feeling the credit crunch. While problems in housing-related credit are now familiar even to casual readers of the financial pages, the rot of bad debt is spreading. Gross examines how it got this bad, how much worse it will get and what the Fed can do to help.
BOOKS: "A Friendly Ghost" (p. 44). Los Angeles Bureau Chief Andrew Murr reports on Pablo Fenjves, who first made a name for himself as the ghostwriter of O.J. Simpson's hypothetical confession "If I Did It." Fenjves's latest book project, "Vindicated," is Jose Canseco's sequel to "Juiced." Fenjves now has a surprising visibility in an invisible calling. And now he frets that all the attention for being what he calls "the go-to ghostwriter for bad boys" will pigeonhole him as a writer with no range.
TELEVISION: "Reality's Believe It or Not" (p. 46). General Editor Susanna Schrobsdorff reports on a TV cottage industry of reality shows starring physically unusual people. From TLC's "Little People, Big World" to "Joined for Life: Abby and Brittany Turn 16," many of the shows try to cloak their voyeurism in terms of medical information or self-help. All of which raises an ethical question about reality TV's guiltiest pleasure: where does entertainment end and exploitation begin?"
TIP SHEET: "Planners Wanted ASAP" (p. 48). Contributing Editor Jane Bryant Quinn reports that as boomers reach pre-retirement and retirement age, they're eager for help with the money decisions that could make or break their futures. Quinn offers some guidance on how to pick the right financial planners and stay away from the sharks.
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