COVER: Giving Globally: How to Heal The World. (All overseas editions). General Editor Mary Carmichael reports that 211 years after Edward Jenner immunized his first patient, the idea behind vaccines has not changed much and the doctors leading the way in working to wipe out the world's worst diseases are just as optimistic as he was. Carmichael focuses on four individuals who are making a difference, including a doctor who's making it easier to do high-tech science in low-tech environments; a biologist who has spent 23 years failing to defeat HIV but is still trying; an engineer who thinks patients can ward off disease with a cheap inhalable powder; and a banker who has improved poor people's health by getting rich people to invest in bonds.
Cool, Clear Water. Tokyo Bureau Chief Christian Caryl reports on an urgent water crisis affecting more than 1 billion people and the old methods people are using to help solve the problem. Twentieth-century solutions like giant dams often create more problems than they solve. Instead, development specialists are rediscovering "primitive" water systems. These include the use of foot pumps used by the Chinese 2,000 years ago, irrigation networks that evolved in Peru 1,000 years ago and stone-lined aqueducts in Saudi Arabia.
A Reward for Good Behavior. Special Correspondent Emily Flynn Vencat profiles Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese businessman and billionaire who will announce the first winner of his foundation's Achievement in African Leadership Prize -- a $5 million award, spread out over 10 years, and $200,000 per year beyond that, until death -- to African leaders who rule responsibly.
Saving the World Is Within Our Grasp. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates writes about the progress in the effort to stop health problems such as malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries. "Today governments, aid groups and communities are simply refusing to accept the notion that diseases like malaria and tuberculosis will haunt us forever. The evidence is in: these problems can be solved," he writes. "Some lifesaving solutions can be extremely simple -- iodized salt to prevent stunted growth, for example, or oral rehydration solutions to fight diarrhea ... Other solutions will arise from pioneering research now underway. Researchers are hard at work developing vaccines that don't need refrigeration or needles, which could make it easier and cheaper to deliver immunization in poor countries."
Give One, Get One. Senior Editor Steven Levy reports on the new project that hopes to deliver millions of cheap computers to kids in developing countries. Walter Bender, the software chief of One Laptop Per Child will launch http://www.xogiving.org next week that allows people to give a $200 donation to buy the $100 (really $188) laptop for a child. With the "Give 1 Get 1" promotion for two weeks in November, benefactors can get one of the laptops for themselves for $399, a price that includes a second laptop to be delivered to a child.
Let's Make An Oil Deal. Senior White House Correspondent Richard Wolffe and Special Correspondent Gretel C. Kovach report that Texas tycoon Ray Hunt, a friend of the Bush family, may be undermining Iraqi peace. Officials in Washington and Baghdad became agitated when Hunt Oil announced that, after secret negotiations, it had struck a deal with leaders in Iraq's Kurdish-controlled north to explore for oil in the Dahuk region near the Turkish border. News of the deal angered Iraqi Arab leaders, who saw it as a threat to achieving an agreement among the Sunni, Shiites and Kurds to share profits from the country's oil supply. Bush detractors have accused the president of helping a contributor line his pockets at the expense of Iraqi peace.
Houses of The Hidden. Tokyo Bureau Chief Christian Caryl and Special Correspondent B. J. Lee report that despite the threat of execution, underground Christian churches are sprouting up across North Korea. Many Christians resort to wrapping their Bibles in vinyl and keeping them buried when they aren't needed. Meanwhile, preachers based in China sometimes conduct services via illicit cell-phone calls. Services are kept short since North Korean authorities hunt the phones down using GPS trackers. Those caught worshiping or smuggling in Bibles from the outside world can be sent to concentration camps -- or simply shot in front of press-ganged audiences in town squares.
FAREED ZAKARIA: It's Not 'Star Wars.' Robert A. Heffner III tells Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria that he believes natural gas needs to be central to any strategy to transition beyond fossil fuels. When asked why we are not moving faster toward a natural-gas economy, he says, "First, natural gas has never had a political lobby, so there's never been policy to foster the development of natural gas." Hefner also says that, "For most of the last 100 years natural gas has been an underappreciated byproduct of the oil industry. Also, oil companies have deliberately underestimated supplies."
Recalling Brand China. William H. Hess, Global Insight's senior China analyst, writes that China's government wants to see more products designed by, manufactured by and sold by competitive domestic companies. And it wants to see more Chinese buying locally made goods. The payoff of such a shift would be immediate: anyone who has seen Chinese shoppers abroad can speak to their growing spending power. Unless Beijing and local manufacturers learn how to harness it, however, they, too, will be chasing the fabled China market.
GLOBAL INVESTOR: How to Hedge Your Bets. Mohamed A. El-Erian, president and CEO of Harvard Management Company, writes that now that hedge funds are coming to Main Street, there are a few things many should understand about them. Almost always defined in the extreme, as either legendary producers of superior investment returns, or vultures and potential destabilizers of the financial system, El-Erain says hedge funds are actually somewhere in the middle. More importantly, El-Erain says investors should understand that not all hedge funds are created equal, they have inherently fragile structures and that a good hedge fund manager can make all the difference.
WORLD VIEW: France Learns How to Say Yes. Philip Gordon, senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, writes that with France's unabashedly pro-American President Nicolas Sarkozy, Paris seems to be signaling that France will no longer seek to constrain U.S. power as a matter of principle. Even as other European leaders keep their distance from the unpopular hyperpower, France is pursuing a revolution in foreign policy that could transform the transatlantic relationship.
THE LAST WORD: A Test Lab for China. Anson Chan, who is running for a seat on Hong Kong's Legislative Council, recently told Newsweek that China should use Hong Kong as a testing ground for experimenting with the introduction of democracy. "At this stage of the mainland's development they still need to concentrate on some very basic issues before they talk about democracy," she says. "China is a vast country facing very serious challenges, and it needs stability."
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