Singapore

Apple’s iPad is dominating the gadget buzz this winter, but a few years ago, we and others made a big deal about the “polyglot” iPod, turning it into a talisman of the globalized supply-chain. The point was to accent the global context in which U.S.

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As America struggles to get its mojo back as a preeminent center of innovation and thereby prosperity, metropolitan and national economic leaders would do well to study the case of Israel. Israel? Yes, Israel.

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With U.S. unemployment at a 26-year high Americans will be feeling the economic downturn for some time. Immigration experts are seeing global signs of the recession in major shifts in U.S. immigration trends, especially at the high and low ends of the skills spectrum. Here are the most significant changes.  You know the U.S. is in a recession when…  Mexicans are sending money to relatives in the United States. In 2007, Mexicans living in the U.S. sent about $26 billion to relatives living in Mexico.

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In the few hours between landing after a swing through Pakistan, the Middle East, and North Africa and taking off again for Berlin, Singapore, Japan, and the Philippines, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton found time on Friday to stop over in much friendlier territory: a subterranean banquet hall at Washington’s Reagan International Trade Center.

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On innumerable trips to Singapore over the past decade, I always made sure to stop by the Old Tanglin Officers' Mess, the city-state's version of the State Department. There, amid a street of gleaming colonial-style buildings and perfectly trimmed tropical foliage, the best diplomats in Asia--fluent English- speakers with a staggering command of regional politics and sharply tailored suits--would entertain me at the after-work bar.

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Salt Lake City, Utah Jon Huntsman Jr. wants to know if I'm in the mood for Mexican food for lunch. "I know a great place we can go downtown," the Utah governor says as we pile into the back seat of his black, tinted Suburban. (He goes there all the time, three of his aides separately assure me.) We drive south from Capitol Hill, passing the enormous Mormon temple in the center of town.

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To accurately assess trends in architecture and urbanism one needs a time horizon longer than 365 days. Just to design a building often takes longer than that. Even so, 2008 may come to be seen as a watershed year for contemporary architecture. The electrifying campaign for the U.S. presidency, the sputtering housing market and the global economy's free fall, the ever-more chilling and urgent need to slow the pace of global warming: these developments and more awakened architects to the realization that they've more important things to design than monolithic, high-end goodie bags.

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Skin Deep

Lying on a couch in the office of one of the hairdressing salons that she owns in London, Sharyn Hughes perused the advertising brochure she had been sent by Makeover Getaways:"Our Malaysian Makeover Package is a brilliant combination of surgery treatments, sunny beaches and shopping. Offering the latest technological facilities in an exceptionally clean hospital environment, and with guaranteed five star hotel accommodation for postoperative recovery and holiday, you will return home fully revitalized and looking wonderful."

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Correspondence

Never Again. No, Really Michael E. O’Hanlon is absolutely correct to call for a division dedicated to genocide intervention within the U.S. Armed Forces (“The Ideal Army,” January 1-15). There would definitely be a percentage of willing Americans from the idealistic and realistic Darfur advocate community who would volunteer for this just cause––including myself. Nevertheless, it is important not to jump to U.S. military intervention as an immediate solution for Darfur. There are still several key steps the Bush administration must take before shipping troops to Africa.

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Eastern Union

Northwest Washington, D.C. The landing is dark, and the door to the office--ostensibly a travel agency--is unmarked, save for a sticker proclaiming, "I Pakistan." Outside on the street, small clusters of men lounge against cars and in doorways, calling out to passersby. Inside, one rickety flight of steps up from Trina's Hair Gallery, the air is silent and stale. I obey a tiny sign, faintly visible in the gloom, instructing visitors to "ring bell." Then I wait--10, 20, 40 seconds--until a pair of gold-rimmed glasses appears in a small, arched window above the door. I wave and smile.

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