Putin's Plight 

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
March 31 2000 9:30 PM

Putin's Plight 

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Economist, April 7

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A special report surveys the challenges that Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin must overcome. Russia's infrastructure is decaying, and the health of its populace is failing, but the economy is improving, and the nation has a well-educated work force. Putin should quash corruption in regional governments and uproot the oligarchs who have strip-mined the Russian economy. An article castigates the European Union for not providing enough aid to the Balkans. Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo desperately need economic help.

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New Republic, April 10

The cover story blames "zero tolerance" policing for the death of NYPD shooting victims such as Amadou Diallo. "Broken windows" policing—prosecuting low-level offenders to prevent felonies—decreases crime without targeting innocents. "Zero tolerance" policing—stopping law-abiding citizens to catch criminals—imperils civil liberties. ...  An article attacks George W. Bush's education record. Bush claims Texas' schools are improved, based on statewide tests, but nationwide exams show no Texas improvement. Only 27 percent of Texan reading teachers believe that rising state test scores reflect increased learning. " TRB" thanks Jesus for imbuing Israel with Christian significance. Pope John Paul II's pilgrimage to the Holy Land assuaged Israelis' anxiety about their place in a Christian world.

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New York Times Magazine, April 2

The cover story claims testosterone, not socialization, is responsible for the key differences between men and women: "The Big T correlates with energy, self-confidence, competitiveness, tenacity, strength, and sexual drive." Women produce one-tenth to one-twentieth as much testosterone as men do. Author Andrew Sullivan came to realize the importance of the "Big T" when he started injecting himself with the hormone to treat his HIV. A profile crowns 26-year-old MTV VJ Carson Daly the Dick Clark of Generation Y. He genially presides over Total Request Live and coyly conceals his distaste for the "bubblegum pop" that his teen audience adores. An article laments the brutal rape and murder of an 11-year old Kosovar Albanian by an American sergeant. The sergeant was a bad apple, but mediating an intractable alien conflict such as Kosovo can damage even stable soldiers.

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Washington Monthly, April 2000

The cover story condemns the media for exaggerating Al Gore's exaggerations. Gore never claimed he discovered the Love Canal or asserted he "invented" the Internet. Erich Segal admits that Gore was indeed a model for Love Story's hero. The "national media's prejudice against Gore" is a disservice to the electorate.

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Time, April 3

It's conventional-wisdom week in the three newsweeklies. The cover story echoes the popular view that Pope John Paul II's trip to the Holy Land was a political and spiritual triumph. A piece says that young blacks are flocking to community workshops that teach them how to cope with cops. Some parents tell their kids not to carry cell phones, so officers won't confuse their Nokias with Colts. An article reveals that Americans are traveling to Canada to buy high-flow toilets, which were banned in the U.S. by a 1994 water-conservation law.