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30.01.

2015

THE DEATH OF FAT

Prepare
for the
pill to make
you thin
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YOSEMITE: THE INSIDE STORY By Andy Cave

30.01.2015

Nº.5

18 The socialite

murder gripping
the States
by Lynnley Browning

20 The Greek rebel

shaking up the EU
by Yiannis Baboulias

22 Inquiry opens on

the spy ‘poisoned
by Russia’
by Mary Dejevsky

26 A dating

revolution for
Islam’s millenials
by Vivian Nereim

NEW WORLD
COREY RICH/AURORA

52 How magnets can

stop machines
wearing out
by James Badcock

DOWNTIME
FEATURES

VERTICAL LIMIT: After
19 days on the wall,
Yosemite climbers
reached the summit of
El Capitan, see p36

b

28

Al-Qaida: the comeback

After a year in which the leadership of global terrorism was
seized by Isis, al-Qaida is launching its return. Newsweek
reports from its new stronghold in Yemen
36

China
River rescue

The truth about the Dawn Face

Crowd cooling

10 Chechnya

by Andy Cave
42

Brazil

8

The inspirational feat achieved by two young adventurers
on California’s El Capitan rock gripped millions. But only
another climber can possibly know the real story

Poster girl

The death of fat

scholar – the real
Anne Boleyn
by Leanda de Lisle

60 Eastwood’s latest
BIG SHOTS
6

by James Fergusson

56 Seductress or

12 India

The medical arms race to find a magic pill that will defeat
obesity is nearly over – and the winner will make a fortune

film explores the
soul of war
by Alexander
Nazaryan

64 Hitchock’s lost

WWII footage
returns to TV
by Abigail Jones

66 This week in 1966
Truman Capote’s ‘In
Cold Blood’

Shake it all about

PAG E O N E

by Catherine Ostler

14 France’s problem
COVER CREDITS

with secularism

DANIEL BIDDULPH, SHUTTERSTOCK

by Lucy Wadham

Newsweek (ISSN 2052-1081), is published weekly except for a double issue in December. Newsweek (EMEA) is
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NEWSWEEK

3

30/01/2015

FLOOR 32. LONDON E14 5LQ / EDITORIAL: EMEA@NEWSWEEK. James Fergusson is the author of several acclaimed books on Afghanistan and Somalia. she is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham. Lucy Wadham is a British novelist and journalist based in Paris. Mary Dejevsky has worked as a foreign correspondent in Moscow for The Times. world class mountaineer. A member of the Chatham House thinktank and the Valdai Group.IN THIS ISSUE CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CHIEF EXECUTIVE Johnathan Davis Jim Impoco Etienne Uzac NEWSWEEK (Europe. 25 CANADA SQUARE.COM / SUBSCRIPTIONS: EMEA-SUPPORT@NEWSWEEK. a division of IBT Media Group Ltd EDITORIAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Richard Addis PRODUCTION EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR HEAD OF DESIGN NEWS EDITOR DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR DESIGN EDITOR PICTURE EDITOR SUB-EDITOR SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITORS Nick Passmore Cordelia Jenkins Daniel Biddulph Barney Guiton Lucy Draper Jessica Landon Marian Paterson Maria Lazareva Damien Sharkov Deirdre Fernand Cathy Galvin Victor Sebestyen CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Simon Akam Christena Appleyard Bella Bathurst Alex Bellos Rosie Boycott Robert Chalmers Harry Eyres Miranda Green Sarah Helm Anthony Holden Caroline Irby Catherine Ostler Alex Perry George Pitcher Katharine Quarmby Nicholas Shakespeare PUBLISHING MANAGING DIRECTOR Dev Pragad GENERAL MANAGER SENIOR SALES DIRECTOR GROUP ADVERTISING DIRECTOR COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR SALES DIRECTOR SENIOR COMMERCIAL MANAGER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER NEWSSTAND MANAGER Dave Martin Chantal Mamboury Una Reynolds James Males Gemma Bell Pierce Cook-Anderson Tom Rendell Samantha Rhodes Kim Sermon NEWSWEEK. She is the former editor of Tatler and the Evening Standard Magazine. a study of the French mindset. She is the author of the bestselling The Secret Life of France. He recently completed a Master’s degree in hydrogeology at Strathclyde University. Catherine Ostler is a contributing editor to Newsweek and to the Daily Mail. including the Himalayas. the Alps and Alaska and is the author of Thin White Line. and in Paris and Washington DC for The Independent.COM NEWSWEEK 4 30/01/2015 Andy Cave is an awardwinning author. . He has led expeditions around the world. Middle East & Africa) Published by Newsweek Ltd.

for companies and for all members of society to make the right choices about energy conservation and use. can help just by the choices you make. pollutes the atmosphere and changes the climate. We’re campaigning in countries all around the world to provide the solutions for governments. as an individual. Because much of the energy we need to power it produces waste. Help us look after the world where you live at panda. And you. © Wild Wonders of Europe / Ole Joergen Liodden / WWF-Canon © 1986 Panda symbol WWF ® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark HELP SAVE THE FRIDGE . Norway.org/50 Spitsbergen. We can transition the way we produce and use energy in a way that will contribute to a sustainable future.The fridge needs help.

EPA NEWSWEEK 6 30/01/2015 .

one of whom was freed a full 14 hours after the boat capsized when rescuers cut through the bottom of the hull. according to one of the survivors. A man seeks news on his mobile telephone. flooding the cockpit within 20 seconds. The 30-metre-long boat was undergoing tests when it “suddenly turned over”.BIG SHOTS ^ CHINA River rescue Relatives of passengers missing from an overturned tugboat in the Yangtze River huddle together. united in their grief. WU HONG NEWSWEEK 7 30/01/2015 . Only three out of 22 people on board were saved.

GETTY NEWSWEEK 8 30/01/2015 .

in the city of Santos. where traditionally it is unusual to swim after the sun has gone down. at least 30 elderly people have died in the heat. This comes after 2014 was declared the warmest year. Some respite is at hand for these residents of Rio. says Nasa. MARIO TAMA NEWSWEEK 9 30/01/2015 . globally.BIG SHOTS ^ BRAZIL Crowd cooling Temperatures in Brazil have reached 40C during the most severe heatwave in the country for 50 years. cooling off in the sea at Copacabana Beach. since records began in 1880. close to São Paulo. Elsewhere.

MAKSIM BABENKO NEWSWEEK 10 30/01/2015 . Demonstrators chant “Allahu-Akbar” (God is great) and release balloons into the sky as speakers harangue Western governments for allowing publications to print caricatures of the prophet.BIG SHOTS ]CHECHNYA Poster girl A woman holds a placard expressing her commitment to the prophet Muhammad during a state-sponsored rally in the North Caucasus region of Chechnya. Chechnya is loyal to Russia. where the leadership extended its condolences to France over the Charlie Hebdo killings but also accused the cartoonists of provoking the attacks.

NEWSWEEK 11 30/01/2015 .

BIG SHOTS ]INDIA Shake it all about Makar Sankranti marks one of the most important festivals of the Hindu calendar. at the confluence of the river Ganges and the Bay of Bengal. RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI NEWSWEEK 12 30/01/2015 . a Sadhu – or holy man – casually tosses his head after taking a dip in the water. creating an impressive arc of water. On Sagar Island. celebrating the sun’s celestial journey into the northern hemisphere. The festival marks the arrival of spring in India.

13 30/01/2015 REUTERS NEWSWEEK .

” I didn’t ask her how many Muslims she thought might be out on that square. Crossing town to meet Malek Chebel. poignant atmosphere.” hails from. right. “I’m usually called in at times like these to calm things down. “No one’s NEWSWEEK 14 30/01/2015 BY LUCY WADHAM @LucyWadham . “People are crying at their desks. oak-panelled room with crimson velvet upholstery and antique Persian rugs.P A P G E O N E ‘MILLIONS OF MUSLIMS IN FRANCE FELT DEEPLY INSULTED’ One of France’s most eminent Muslim intellectuals. and called me from the vast square. an Algerian-born French academic.000 others. Chebel was visibly delighted to be there. with the same reassuringly sagacious smile – I thought of the tears in my daughter’s voice when she’d called me from work the day before. but the morning after last week’s terrorist attacks on their city. but that was what I was thinking as I spoke to her. wherever it scared. It really gives you hope.” BETWEEN WORLDS: Malek Chebel. has remarked upon the continuing tension between secularism and multiculturalism in France “France no longer just wants integration. it wants assimilation and that’s just not acceptable. “It’s such a beautiful. Parisians woke to pristine winter sunshine and a clear blue sky. though. It was only 10 o’clock and he’d already given four interviews. discusses post-Charlie Hebdo multiculturalism AN EMOTIONAL shock often makes us look for some kind of echo. I met Malek Chebel in the “English Bar” of the Hotel Raphael in the 16th arrondissement – a quiet. one of France’s most prominent Muslim intellectuals – a man who always meets fanaticism. Her office is not far from Charlie Hebdo’s and she said she could hear the sirens. Malek Chebel. designed to look like the French idea of an English gentleman’s club.” she told me. along with about 35. some proof in the world around us that everything has changed.” That evening she left her own desk and went straight to the Place de la République. And it has nothing to do with patriotism or politics.

BE NJAM IN CHEL LY NEWSWEEK 15 30/01/2015 .

and of course the law against wearing a burka in public. however.” Using his erudition to spread a message of liberation from what he calls the dangerous ideologies that have taken possession of his religion. Le Suicide Français (which has sold 400. which lends itself to an Islamophobic atmosphere. doesn’t quite cover it. I gave 10 years of my life to studying it and that earned me people’s respect. and the just-published The Islamic Unconscious. his answer was coy and rueful: “I’m afraid there’s a subtle system of thought in place here. A Jewish friend of my daughter’s. he has to date no fatwa on his head.” he said with a forgiving smile. They had stopped in a remote village and an old woman. It’s a very. I asked Chebel if he’d experienced much racism in his adopted land. Eric Zemmour. reignited under the Third Empire and. who has recently begun practising her religion in defiance of the disapproval of her forcefully laïc parents. even after the official separation of church and state in 1905.” Chebel was talking about France’s obsession with la laïcité. Chebel regularly cites the learned and inclusive Islamic society that was established under the Abbasid caliphates of the Middle Ages as proof that Islam can be reformed. Impressively. Chebel’s titles include The Arabic Kama Sutra. “Something remains of that woman’s desire in many French people – the desire to wash us all whiter than white.” This intolerance is not only expressed towards Muslims. everyone’s passions unleashed. That day in particular. These are the people who supported the ban on French Muslim girls wearing their headscarves at school. But he has also tackled the two subjects closest to French hearts: sex and psychoanalysis. the word in French carries with it a history of deep antagonism and mutual distrust between the worlds of political belief and reli- NEWSWEEK 16 gious faith.” Later that afternoon he’d been invited to a televised debate with the right-wing polemicist.he said. had approached him and offered him some household bleach for his skin. “That’s because few Muslims have actually read the Koran. He earned his reputation in Arab society by translating the Koran into French in an edition that won the approval of all the key Muslim clerics from the Maghreb to Indonesia. Malek Chebel has passports into both worlds. This translation. which in English means “secularism” – as in the separation of church and state. 30/01/2015 . Today. Their main argument in support of these measures (which many outside France perceive as an infringement of personal liberty) is somewhat paradoxical: young French Muslim women must be protected from patriarchal oppression (of which the headscarf is a symbol) by being told what they can or can’t wear in public. after circling him several times. la laïcité has become a dogma in this country which often masks a posture of intolerance. followed by his two French doctorates in social anthropology and psychology. as well as nearly all her friends. I looked forward to seeing Chebel dismantle Zemmour’s “passions” with his usual skill and charm. has flared up regularly ever since. told me that to be a practising anything in this country requires real strength of character. nurtured by the Revolution. He told me that when he’d first arrived in France from Algeria in the mid-1970s he’d gone to see the Alps with his girlfriend at the time. “Out there it’s a Greek tragedy.000 in three months) argues that ever since de Gaulle. That laïcité might be seen as a form of oppression would be deeply offensive to many French secularists who pride themselves on their egalitarian values. “Unfortunately. When I asked him whether he thought France was Islamophobic. homosexuals and Arabs. It’s a visceral hatred that was fuelled by the excesses of the Catholic church under the ancien régime. With his religious upbringing in Algeria. Arab Eroticism. French identity has been irredeemably corroded by feminists. very difficult text. whose terrifyingly successful “misery essay”.

I remembered the young man’s words: I’m a Muslim but I’m well-integrated. I realised that it was something you might have expected to hear back in the 1960s from someone who’d just moved to Britain from Pakistan.” he began. than a rival with a European-sounding name. After Chebel and I had said goodbye. I thought as I descended the steps into the Metro – for all France’s beautiful ideas and high moments of popular fervour.” As we settled into the conversation and Chebel NEWSWEEK O N E 17 30/01/2015 . perhaps. “When I realised that many Muslim girls wear the headscarf because it made them feel more comfortable.” Chebel’s argument echoes the prevailing egalitarianist orthodoxy – the same orthodoxy that supports France’s law against gathering data about ethnic minorities. M A RC P I ES EC K I / DAV I D RA M OS/G E T T Y/G E RA R D C E R L ES/20 0 8 A F P “The French patriarchy can hide behind Islam. for giving him a job (he was a waiter in a nearby café). I could no longer oppose it.” He said he was against headscarves in schools at first and supported the ban. Chebel. “Perhaps Islam’s function in the French collective unconscious is to mask its own regressive tendencies. which of course is sacred here. According to a study carried out by the French institute of national statistics in April 2014. The argument is that the French are so attached to the ideal of equality before the law that they perceive any departure from that principle as a form of injustice. it wants assimilation and that’s just not acceptable. he said. When I brought up the horror that had spread across France when it was revealed that non-Muslim children had been given halal meat in their school cafeterias. left. how grateful he was to France for welcoming him in (from Morocco). how that wasn’t Islam. below left. a young man recognised him. When I mentioned the idea of positive action to counteract this kind of discrimination. “In today’s multicultural society. we walked together to the nearest Metro station. there is. he began to lower his guard. which make the idea of a woman choosing to cover up her charms distinctly unpalatable. He went on to say how the shootings had made him feel physically sick.” When it was time for him to face Zemmour.PARIS IS BURNING: In the wake of the attacks on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. “France no longer just wants integration. But we’re still a long way from that.” Chebel suggested. He confessed that. even as a tool to combat discrimination. Chebel P A G E realised. in practice. France’s secularist doctrine creates an unbearable tension and behind this dogmatic form of laïcité there often lies a fundamental lack of acceptance of other cultures. “There are millions of Muslims in this country who felt deeply insulted. Chebel’s caution towards his host culture is very occasionally replaced by a gentle mockery. the person you’re favouring is weaker.” expressed the view of the majority of French people: “Positive action signals an admission that. which everyone thinks of as a patriarchal and misogynistic religion. but has since changed his mind. It’s true. I think the British model. came up to us and made a heartfelt speech about his horror at the terrorist attacks: “I’m a Muslim but I’m well-integrated. who received the Legion of Honour from President Nicolas Sarkozy. On the Place de L’Etoile. is wonderful. “The French patriarchy can hide behind Islam. but we must have more understanding. even if he or she has better qualifications. which practices tolerance towards all minorities. which everyone thinks of as a patriarchal and misogynistic religion.” What’s not often discussed here is whether religious intolerance is just another form of racial discrimination. It’s a mark of disdain. demonstrators made their way along the Place de la République in Paris.” he added. he’d felt that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons had indeed been offensive. that my prejudices might not be the ones against which he had armed himself so carefully. “The reason for the violence of that reaction was their unconscious belief that we were invading them from the inside. has spoken about France’s failure to truly integrate Islamic culture In fact. a candidate with an Arabic-sounding name here is still considerably less likely to be called back for interview. The trouble is. France’s allergy to the Muslim headscarf may have more to do with France’s own patriarchal traditions. I tried to imagine a British Muslim making that kind of statement today. in a society of equal opportunity. And we were using meat to do it. wedded as he was to the idea of freedom of expression. his hand on his heart. and for helping him to educate his children. a long way to go before its practising n Muslims will feel at home. as Chebel pointed out. Of course death should never be the consequence.

40-calibre Glock pistol after asking his mother. now 30. declared with pride when asked what the handsome. 21 blank credit cards and a “skimmer” used to steal credit card numbers. he saw a gleaming future for his son. Tommy was gone and her husband was dead in NEWSWEEK 18 the bedroom. also a Princeton alumnus. as if to suggest this was a suicide. The details of the Tommy Gilbert case have captured the imagination of a certain portion of society in Manhattan and the Hamptons. Tommy. After all.40 Glock. the Glock not so artfully placed on his chest. good looks. a red dot sight for a handgun. When she returned to her expensive Beekman Place apartment shortly after 3. after tracking him down by pinging his iPhone and ordering him to return to his apartment. they found ammunition for a . blondhaired Tommy planned to do with his economics degree. court papers show. but the person I knew wasn’t a monster.P A G E O N E THE TRUST-FUND BABY WHO SHOT HIS FATHER IN THE HEAD AS WALL STREET investor Thomas Gilbert Sr. to run out and fetch him a sandwich. Things turned out very differently for both Tommy and his father.15pm. stood under the giant elm trees shading Princeton University’s stately Nassau Hall on a sunny June Commencement Day in 2009. Thomas Jr. 6ft 3in. “He was a human 30/01/2015 BY LYNNLEY BROWNING IN NEW YORK AP Since the murder earlier this month. according to an indictment. “He’s going to run a hedge fund!” the senior Gilbert. an Ivy League education and an entrée to Wall Street aren’t sufficient ingredients for happiness and success. one-bedroom apartment in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood around 11pm. if money. And on 4 January he was arrested on suspicion of shooting his 70-year-old father in the head inside his parents’ eighth-floor Manhattan apartment. a speedloader. a Glock manual and carrying case. what is? “People are calling him a monster. New York’s socialites have been trying to explain ‘likeable’ Tommy Gilbert . killed his father on a Sunday afternoon with a .” a former Princeton classmate tells Newsweek. She called 911 and reported that she thought Tommy had murdered his father. never held down a job after graduating and lived off his parents’ handouts. Shelley. Arrested on the spot. Tommy was indicted by the Manhattan district attorney’s office a few days later. When police descended on Tommy’s shabby. Tabloids and TV news were riveted by the drama of the wealthy scion who.

“He would always. What’s the point of having a job?” Last May. “He would talk about how anything he attempted to do.” says a person who saw it. he lived in a dark. Tommy spent the five years since he left Princeton doing not much more than surfing. securities filings show. according to a former colleague of the father.” NYPD chief of detectives Robert Boyce indicated at a press conference that money was behind the ghastly crime. close to where his father and mother own a house worth more than $10m. the Gilbert family was not super rich by New York standards. it wasn’t good enough” for his father. Rothschild says. Slayer laws would prevent Tommy from inheriting his one-third share if convicted. near 86th Street and Lexington Avenue. eating sushi and watching Netflix.” with ragged furniture and a television with no cable service. George “McSurfer” McKee remembers Tommy as someone who always took the path of least resistance. the Gilberts listed their East Hampton home for sale last month for $11. who dated him in early 2014. (The listing was canceled after the murder. “ride the n easiest one to ride. who was also a Harvard Business School graduate. but that studio. The senior Gilbert had been paying the $2. “was appalling. where the Upper East Side starts to turn from pricey to gritty. Tommy seemed a classic New York Wasp.5m. Rothschild is a 49-year-old Manhattan socialite who runs a public-relations firm. declined to comment. “He probably figured. In a possible sign of a cash crunch. a detective with the Southampton police who is investigating the fire. Last 18 September. Until he moved into the Chelsea apartment in May 2014. court records show. With his model looks. but he seemed abnormally calm.) At the Main Beach Surf Shop in East Hampton. “He seemed kind of gentle but insecure. says Gilbert is a “person of interest” in the blaze. with violating a June 2014 protection order taken out by Peter Smith Jr.” 19 30/01/2015 . Friends and former classmates told Newsweek he was quiet.627m. The family belonged to the obsessively exclusive Maidstone Club in fashionable East Hampton. in nearby Sagaponack.” Despite his father’s bold prediction. working out. Tommy was charged by police in Southampton. the Smith home. “Tommy was quite well dressed and very clean.” the former classmate says. Others say that was a reflection of his attitude to his father. He was kind of fooling around. whose father rode the Hampton Jitney bus on weekends from Manhattan with Tommy’s father. While wealthy in absolute terms. He saw it as “having way too much power and control. “He always seemed ambivalent. and tabloids reported that Tommy was not happy with his father’s threat to cut his weekly allowance to $300 from $400 – hardly a princely sum in Manhattan. New York. according to Anna Rothschild. also paid for by his father. Tommy was skeptical of Wall Street.” McKee says. preferring a longer. Tommy did register a hedge fund. NEWSWEEK a 17th-century historic mansion. cramped basement studio apartment. Lisa Costa. practicing Bikram yoga. As blogs bristled with barbs about a “spoiled brat” and “trust-fund baby.WASP ON TRIAL: Gilbert was arrested after his mother called the police and reported he had murdered his father at their apartment in Manhattan’s Beekman Place and a likeable one.400-a-month rent on Tommy’s Chelsea apartment. a lawyer for Tommy.” While he always had plenty of surfboards.” Marc Agnifilo. who was “a little below-average in turning and catching waves. burned to the ground in circumstances that are unclear. Long Island. A will filed in Manhattan Surrogate Court shows Gilbert Sr’s estate worth $1. though it never raised any money. wider “fishtail” board. He was sweet. Three earlier.” a former classmate says. he tended to avoid the tough-to-control short boards.

solidarity and democracy. the 40-year-old leader of the radical left-wing Syriza party. on 12 January. the contrast between Tsipras’ past and his current image. leader of Syriza. solidarity and democracy. .P A G E O N E GREEKS BEARING 12M EURO DEMANDS SPOOK EURO LEADERS Alexis Tsipras is the new face of a pan-European left-wing movement determined to upset the staus quo IT’S ELEVEN at night. Tsipras is promising to end austerity and renegotiate Greece’s massive debt – now standing at more than 170% of the country’s GDP – while staying within the Eurozone. Two days later. making #AskTsipras the number one trending hashtag in Greece and the third globally. Tsipras took questions on Twitter. “We have sacrificed enough. he promises to go to war with Greek oligarchs. It’s what we deserve and what we’ll demand .” before the actual election date on the 25 January.6% of the vote. New Democracy. 650. two weeks most in Greece have lost their appetite for grandstanding politicians. there is no ‘other way. [Stay within the] Euro with justice. is huge. That night. and Alexis Tsipras. below right. he looks like he is giving his first prime ministerial interview. . above. . an intention indicative of the extend of his ambition to break with traditional politicking in this corruption-ridden country. is being interviewed live on Greek TV. It’s what we deserve. There is no ‘alternatively’.’” he says. at a time when when NEWSWEEK 20 30/01/2015 BY YIANNIS BABOULIAS IN ATHENS . When the state-educated son of an engineer took over Syriza (then Syn- THE NEW LEFT: Alexis Tsipras. and Pablo Iglesias. who spurred Spain’s left-wing party Podemos to its amazing lead in the 2014 European elections have struck up a firm friendship “Staying in the Euro with justice. No longer the anti-Euro maverick introduced to the mainstream when Syriza was a marginal political force.5% over the incumbent conservative party. For those who remember his early days at the helm of a tiny party that hardly won 4.000 people watched the interview. . Speaking with the confidence of a man who the polls say will give him a lead of at least 3. More bodly still.

he is married to his high-school sweetheart and as the father of two children he still tries to walk them to school every morning. when I interviewed him in the back of a car for the New Statesman – as he crossed London with his youngest son on his lap on the way to a Tottenham Hotspur match – he came across NEWSWEEK as supremely sure of himself. Alekos Alavanos. The family lives in downtown Athens in an area many would consider rough – miles away from the sons and daughters of political dynasties that have reigned over Greek political life in the past seven decades.7% in 2012 and transformed the party into the de-facto opposition. winning 10% of the vote. Tsipras represented a group of schools and soon became adept at playing politics. Tsipras publicly has ruled out a coalition with the fast-rising centre left To Potami party but a power-sharing deal would give Syriza’s energetic leader a valid reason to tone down his radical proposals and avoid an outright n conflict with the European Union. 21 30/01/2015 . At the time of writing. He joined the Synaspismos youth movement after a split in the Communist party and was the leader of the barely 500-strong group from 1999 and until 2003. Dubbed “Tsiglesias” by Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal. he was the youngest political leader in the country. he is becoming the face of the European left – and yet it’s surprising how little is known about him. after the 2009 elections. a likely result in the ballot is that no party will win an overall majority. In 2013. Born in 1978. But his star really began to shine when he ran for mayor of Athens in 2006. Then a longhaired student and member of the communist party youth. Pablo Iglesias. He had just delivered two major talks in the space of a week and the left-wing British press had treated him with reverence. His first steps in Greek political life were taken early on. with Podemos activists saying that Tsipras is treated like a hero when he visits Spain. Tsipras’s anti-austerity policy calls for a 12 million Euro increase in social spending. the 35-year-old took what had by now become Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) from 4. Now. hand-picked him as his successor. putting Greece on collision course with the European Union. He wasn’t actually elected as an MP until a year later. during the wave of school occupations rocking Greece in the early 1990s. But opinion polls show that some 75  % of Greeks want the country to stay within the single currency.6% in 2009 to 26. Within three turbulent years. the duo is heralded as the new face of the European Left. But today there is another dimension to Tsiprashis – his links to Spain’s Podemos leader. in 2015.aspismos) in 2006. and in 2008 he was elected by party-members as the leader of Synaspismos with a convincing 70%. then leader of the party.

At the time of his death. Anatoly – for six years. But finally. the doors to court 73 at London’s Royal Courts of Justice will swing open. reflecting her dogged determination to find out how and why her husband died. A fugitive from Russia. the barristers. and a host of other interested parties will troop in. At the centre of proceedings will be Marina Litvinenko. represents a personal victory for Litvinenko. he had lived in Britain – with his wife and young son. the mystery of his murder deepens IT HAS TAKEN more than eight years. in its standard phrase. and judge Sir Robert Owen will declare the start of a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko. Now. he had spoken out ever more boldly against President Vladimir 30/01/2015 BY MARY DEJEVSKY . “neither confirms nor denies” her assertion that Alexander received a regular sti- NEWSWEEK 22 pend from the British intelligence agencies. She also wants to know whether the UK security services could have done something to save her husband. a fugitive from Russia and newly-minted British citizen. reporters. that these hearings are being held at all. In large measure. Alexander’s wife for 12 years and a figure of preternatural calm and dignity amid all the hurly-burly and frustration of the near-decade since his death. solicitors. at 10am on Tuesday 27 January.P A G E O N E WHO KILLED THE SPY? MAYBE NOT RUSSIA AFTER ALL Alexander Litvinenko was slipped radioactive poison in 2006. The British government. who died in a London hospital on 23 November 2006. and that they have been designated a ‘public inquiry’ rather than an inquest.

Londoners were told. was largely eclipsed by the way in which he died: poisoned. is to put the presumed perpetrator He will forever be the emaciated figure. Months trundled by. Litvinenko had been killed on the orders of the Kremlin because of his increasingly vocal opposition. below centre. even as the spectre was conjured up of a criminal. polonium-210. and they hardly come more mysterious than Litvinenko’s – or more potentially threatening to public safety or to diplomatic relations.charged in absentia. but they failed. What else he may have done with his life. The law requires that mysterious deaths be investigated. The main suspect in the case. Mario Scaramella. Efforts were made to secure his extradition. when a deadly dose of polonium was added to Litvinenko’s tea. whose last testament was to accuse Putin of his murder. that the deed had been done. police concluded. The second is to open an inquest and the third. below right. with spectacular sequences shot around the Thames-side headquarters of MI6. Andrei Lugovoi. where a crime is suspected. There was Litvinenko’s own shadowy step is to conduct a post-mortem. by three doctors encased in protective clothing. had more than a bit part. pictured outside the High Court. Andrei Lugovoi. hitting the screens. Don’t panic. then years. According to it. who at the time had just become foreign secretary. fierce Putin foe and incorrigible schemer. whose last testament was to accuse Putin of his murder. and a meeting with Lugovoi – who. and an official narrative soon settled down. At the time. Skyfall. in a Piccadilly sushi bar. all the elements combined to tell a simple story. by the radioactive isotope. loose in the UK capital. and Berezovsky had funded the family in London. the émigré oligarch. was a long-time associate – at the Pine Bar in Mayfair’s Millennium Hotel. Litvinenko. A diplomatic stand-off between the UK and Russia ensued. however. as it was established too late. it turned out. There were the polonium tracks across London and in British Airways planes in distant parts of the world. Reinforcing the cloak-and-dagger atmosphere was the coincidence of the new James Bond film. NEWSWEEK 23 30/01/2015 L EO N N E A L /A F P/G E T T Y. To readers of the British press. with Russia invoking a constitutional ban on extraditing nationals. Litvinenko’s movements shortly before he became ill included lunch with an Italian agent and investigator. which was duly done in the hospital basement. But this was not just a dry tale of diplomatic shenanigans. armed with deadly radiation. The first Putin and rights abuses in his homeland. Russia was one of very few countries to produce polonium-210. it emerged. Scotland Yard’s investigation led investigators to a certain KGB officer-turned-security consultant. The Litvinenko affair came adorned with all the seductive baubles of a spy thriller. who was . It was here. had been partly in his employ. copies of the book “Death of a Dissident” by Litvinenko’s friend Alex Goldfarb and wife Marina. said he would not cooperate with the inquest because political pressure in Britain was preventing him from getting a fair trial background in Soviet and then Russian intelligence. Litvinenko will forever be a bald and emaciated figure in a green gown in a hospital bed. M I S H A JA PA R I DZ E /A P DIPLOMATIC ROW: Below left. Boris Berezovsky. with tit-for-tat expulsions initiated by a furious David Miliband.

But how much will remain secret is still in doubt. But there are many – including Epstein. If true. if he so chooses. first by anonymous security sources. Elena Tsirlina. In Ben Emmerson. too. Edward Jay Epstein. Her solicitor. who should have conducted it. and eventually thwarted. It was postponed once more by gov- documenting.P A G E O N E on trial. the government changed its mind. The most glaring. In fact. The home secretary opposed this. and the role of a certain businessman.” she told me. it was delayed by judicial wrangling about its status: whether a case with so many ramifications should not take the form of an inquiry. Marina Litvinenko. Scotland Yard is taking a new look at its earlier investigation into the Litvinenko case. Ken Macdonald. In interviews. In practice. There is evidence. “She has full confidence in Sir Robert Owen. Some also maintain that Owen has retreated from his earlier assumption that this was a (Russian) state-directed assassination. if not actually explaining. that would not have been so with an inquest. there is the abiding truth that justice delayed is justice denied. Although Litvinenko’s death provoked shocked headlines and prompted a drawn-out diplomatic row. insists that her client is “happy” with the inquiry arrangements. Russia’s refusal to deliver up Lugovoi delayed. UK public opinion has largely tired of the story. including the anonymity granted to many witnesses and the amount of evidence likely to be heard in secret. first fell ill and was then replaced for (unrelated) misconduct. insists that Russia itself is among those who argue that the country is not the only source of polonium. the distinction will be modest. in other words. dismissing it as just another example of Kremlin thuggery. And lastly. There remain questions about the role of Berezovsky in “managing” information. and especially multiple-state. Zhores Medvedev. A lot n of truth can go missing in eight years. it is still not at all clear who contaminated whom. for Sir Robert Owen to get his teeth into. The years of delay nourished a clutch of conspiracy theories. There was further delay to the inquest when the coroner. meanwhile. in a recent book about unsolved cases – who doubt that the truth will ever come out. Yuri Shvets (who was the focus of a BBC radio investigation soon after Litvinenko’s death). involvement. There is plenty. among others. as the same evidence is likely to be heard. Marina Litvinenko has one of the country’s most revered barristers when it comes to challenging the establishment. A Soviet-era exiled scientist. remains stalwart in her faith in British justice. and in what order. the possibility of a trial. seen as the key to any inquiry by the US investigative author. Less conspiratorially. she has said that there is no such thing in Britain as Russian-style “telephone justice”. Scotland Yard is taking a new look at its earlier investigation into the case ernment attempts to protect most intelligence evidence. is the publication of the post-mortem findings. not even to support the UK’s extradition request for Lugovoi. This line was put about. As the British investigative reporter David Habakkuk notes. but the official version of events and motives has been set for so long that few expect Owen to turn up any surprises. that in the wake of Berezovsky’s death last year. The inquiry allows the judge – but no one else – to consider secret intelligence evidence. The inquest was redesignated a public inquiry. a trial commonly supersedes an inquest. what happened. and the that law had to be allowed to take its course. Yet the gaps and inconsistencies that have been pointed out by some of those lumped with conspiracy theorists are fundamental to NEWSWEEK 24 30/01/2015 . In the Litvinenko case. this would change a great deal. the actual post-mortem results have never been released. He observes that the least likely to be resolved are those where there is state. and later by the director of public prosecutions at the time. In the wake of Berezovsky’s death last year. But after a court challenge and – something ministers deny was related – the implication of Russia in the downing of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine last year. despite his repeated resolutions to undertake a “fair and fearless” inquiry.

EUROPE NOW GET THE BOOK Read the extended versions of Newsweek’s most gripping stories online and in print What made a young Harry Potter fan from a British suburb become a martyr for Allah in the Syrian desert? newsweekinsights.com .

In a survey of 921 Omanis aged 18 to 60. raised on social media and disillusioned with arranged marriage. increasingly common in Oman as the Persian Gulf sultanate adjusts to four decades of oil-fuelled development. right. But customs are evolving rapidly. al-Mahrooqi’s research centre found that 83% were against arranged marriage. young men call out honeyed words to female passers-by. an Omani who met his wife Sarah (halfOmani. where mixing between genders is limited. young Omanis want a “compatible marriage. Instead. But in this traditional Islamic society. says Jane Bristol-Rhys.” says Rahma al-Mahrooqi. globalisation and widespread higher education have transformed the country since Sultan Qaboos bin Said seized power from his father in 1970 and opened Oman to the world.” al-Balooshi says. instead of the same kind of family. whom he did not know personally because she lives in the United Arab Emirates. director of the humanities research centre at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. at work or on social media. social media offered one of the only discreet ways for al-Balooshi to woo a girl. or direct contact with foreigners – has 30/01/2015 A LOT LIKE LOVE: Islamic weddings. a peaceful nation of four million that borders Saudi Arabia and Yemen. he is sitting with friends on a seaside road in Muscat nicknamed Sharia Al Hub – Arabic for Love Street. traditionally been arranged by the families of the couple.” As a result. then it turned out she was from my family. many are looking for partners at university. “People are becoming more open-minded. half-Scottish) through a mutual friend. The café-lined promenade is a popular place for dates. he proposed. with minimal contact between a couple before their wedding. As he tells his story. but as the internet allows young Muslims to connect directly with one another. Similar changes are happening in the neighboring United Arab Emirates. “Somebody with.” he says of his cousin. “I got to know the charisma of her personality. the internet. While the sun sets over the Indian ocean. 26. Arranged matches NEWSWEEK 26 were for a long time the norm. the photo-sharing application. until recently. More than a love marriage. Marrying for love was rare just 20 years ago in Oman.” al-Mahrooqi says. DATING TAKES OFF Young Omanis. “It’s a new generation. Their families welcomed their plans. for example.P A G E O N E FOR THE ISLAMIC INSTAGRAM GENERATION. associate professor of anthropology at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi.” says Ammar Ali. the same kind of education and background. the engagement between Mubarak al-Balooshi and his cousin would have been arranged by their family. Two months ago. have. the 23-year-old Omani met his fiancée on Instagram. with little input on the decision from him or her. Oil wealth. a Western-style dating culture is emerging BY VIVIAN NEREIM IN MUSCAT @viviannereim . Exposure to other cultures – whether through television. “I was liking her photos. are finding love online IN ANOTHER AGE.

who has dated in secret for years. . he says. 99 will open. so that her family does not find out. dating and marrying for love has become ordinary. but after many months of discussion. she loves him. . “If one n door is closed. An arranged marriage was unthinkable for Waleed Abdullah. 23. she says. vigilant relatives can play a similar role. “After this love. they schemed to win over her father. “For us. giving them a safe explanation for how they met. it’s impossible I could be convinced easily by any girl.” Bristol-Rhys says. Opposition from NEWSWEEK relatives sunk the relationship. every madman: don’t say that I loved and it didn’t happen. al-Hinai says he has moved on from his disappointment. she says. has always been careful.” When love fails. “Sometimes the culture kills us here. But she cannot tell her father. or a park. but wistfully remembers his first love. Twenty-six-year-old Dana – not her real name – hopes to avoid a similar fate. so enough. Amira.” she remembers. Amira was hurt. But when he proposed. cut off contact and married his cousin. Her boyfriend prayed at the mosque near her house and trained at the gym her brother attended. Dana found a job at the office where her boyfriend worked. my cousin or my brother. and they know there are other choices. a woman from his village. three times. While the country lacks the religious police of Saudi Arabia. he chose a wife for himself. by chance?” she says.” Abdullah married a woman he met at university. Mohammed al-Hinai. This does not matter to Dana. men are permitted to marry up to four women in Islam. who has no idea she dates. picking names for their future children. impossible. and I was shaking.’” she said. In some segments of Omani society. her father demurred. And a message to every lover. The couple married in December after eight years together. Amira met her first boyfriend in an online chat room when she was 18. “I’ll try a traditional marriage. “The most beautiful thing in life is hope. She follows a different sect of Islam. as if the thought were absurd. I said. is happily married. Persuading her family was simple.” he says. “It was the first time I sat with a man. they supported her.” Her family arranged three matches. of course.” 27 30/01/2015 . “So it’s always in places a bit closed-off.” Over two more years. She refused. dating is still completely taboo. end of life. but they’re not conservative in the sense that they don’t allow us to mix with boys. he asked her to be his second wife. she talked to him for two years before they met in person. Sitting on a lawn chair on Love Street. 29. “I need to know the girl. hoping to run into her family members. rejecting the proposal because the boyfriend has two daughters from a previous marriage and is separated but not divorced. none of them right. His eyes are bright as he describes the way their two-year-old son calls out “Baba” each morning. After refusing a marriage his father had arranged. places like the seaside at night. look around. ‘Enough. Charmed by his words.” he says. they fell deeply in love. but she recovered. come broken hearts. “They’re not living in a vacuum here.PASCA L D E LO C H E /G O LO N G influenced ideas about what a good marriage should look like. “It’s impossible to get everything.” She asked Newsweek not to publish her last name. did not tell her parents about her relationship with her high-school sweetheart at first. ‘I want this one or that one. “Because I had relationships before. “Imagine if somebody sees me. . Their families were too different. but when they found out anyway. a 28-year-old Omani. With dating.” she says. Then he told her his family would never approve. “Unless the father has reached a level of open-mindedness that . ” she laughs. After she met her boyfriend on Facebook four years ago. he convinced his family that she was the right choice. “It was the first date in my life. 23. “They may be conservative in terms of religion and praying five times a day and fasting . A year after the break-up. . he says. But in other segments of Omani society. Samar al-Mawali. Now she is dating a man she met at work. it’s a shame for the girl to say to her father.” he says. what’s the point of love? And guys are idiots. places far from people close to us.’” she says. He never informed Dana she had an offer.

Now.In Yemen. it is increasing its stranglehold by controlling the water in a country dying of thirst By James Fergusson in Sana’a NEWSWEEK 28 30/01/2015 M O H A M M E D H UWA I S/A F P/G E T T Y Al-Qaida’s next act . ‘al-Qaida’s most deadly franchise’ has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks in Paris. the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden.

DEADLY FRANCHISE: Al-Qaida in Yemen struck a police academy in central Sanaa with a car-bomb explosion on 7 January killing 37 people queuing outside NEWSWEEK 29 30/01/2015 .

however. In truth. such as that of Umar Farouk Abdumutallab. was perhaps NEWSWEEK best known abroad for thwarted attacks on the West. al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Its astounding street markets. AQAP exploited the revolutionary chaos by taking over the southern province of Abyan. and. AQAP’s prospects seemed. though. The Islamic State’s ideology. a car bomb outside a Sana’a police college killed 37. in September. and have positioned themselves as a logical rallying point for Sunni resistance. used to attract hordes of Western tourists. to dim. the prospect of an Iraq-style sectarian conflict beckons. it has developed another. despite some setbacks. Yemen no longer looks like the model of peaceful transition to democracy that it did a year ago. Yemen is arguably where the movement was born. who have always fought the ‘apostate’ Shia Houthi. usually by hill tribes seeking leverage over the Sana’a government. which they declared an Islamic Emirate. more surprising. al-Qaida has never been extinguished in Yemen since. or the cargo-planes bomb plot of 2010. Instead. who were traditionally released unhurt – that has changed too. when US Marines staying in two hotels in Aden were bombed in 1992. It took the Yemeni military a year to drive them out again. The first ever al-Qaida attack took place in Yemen. but more like the next Middle East nation to spin violently apart. when a 10-month. with the promise of a new constitution ahead of fresh elections in 2015. Ahmed bin Mubarak. Not any more. For the last year or more. Terror’s return Al-Qaida has a long track record of exploiting sectarian differences. The risk of kidnap has become too great. In a sign of the resurgence of Islamic extremism in the region. on the same day as the Paris attacks. With the Houthis continuing to tighten their grip – this week. directionless. the President’s Chief of Staff. has a long history in Yemen. to keep any movement around the capital to an absolute minimum. with rumours swirling that the Houthis are covertly supported by Iran. but which also formally disavowed them a year ago. As the ancestral homeland of bin Laden himself. (The country is one of the five most water-stressed in the . In 2013. Its franchise in Yemen. al-Qaida appears to have made a dramatic international comeback. UN-spon- 30 30/01/2015 sored National Dialogue Conference opened in Sana’a. Since the death of Osama bin Laden. and if not. and the success of its territorial campaign have eclipsed al-Qaida. In Yemen. Walking anywhere in the city these days raises hairs on the back of the neck. the CIA declared AQAP the most potentially dangerous franchise on the planet. a diminished force. But then. almost unchanged since the time of the Prophet. In recent times AQAP’s targets have been mostly domestic.T The ancient city of Sana’a is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities on the planet. It used to be considered bad for business to harm the victims. In 2010. who tried to blow up a plane over Detroit in 2009. and injured 200 more. Yemen’s transition to democracy was dramatically derailed when disgruntled Shia Houthi tribesmen from the north of the country first surrounded and then took over the capital. al-Qaida has seemed divided. the brutality of its methods. briefly. kidnappers have started selling their victims to al-Qaida and abducted foreigners increasingly end up dead. Renewed instability is a boon to AQAP. But with the group’s claim of responsibility for the recent attacks in Paris. a horrendous assault on a defence ministry hospital in December 2013 left 56 dead. the movement that spawned Isis. the British Embassy advises its nationals to leave the country if possible. Yemen has always been an al-Qaida stronghold. the West’s fear and attention has been focused on the emergence of Isis in Syria and northern Iraq. A suicide bomb attack on a Parade Day rehearsal in May 2012 killed 120. the so-called underpants bomber. the year of Yemen’s Arab Spring. In 2011. was abducted at a Houthi checkpoint – all bets on a 2015 election are now off. method of winning tribal hearts and minds: its members have become champion exploiters of the country’s chronic water shortage. The kidnap of foreigners.

with just 86 cubic metres available per capita per annum. will be fought not over oil but over water. means. 30/01/2015 .” AQAP has identified the provision of water and its infrastructure as a key means of doing this. T RACY WO O DWA R D/ WAS H I N GTO N P OST/G E T T Y world. In an impoverished farming nation. Unless action is taken soon. has 2. the Islamist ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki. where many communities have been ignored for years by the central government. addressed to AQIM (al-Qaida in the Maghreb). who was killed by a US drone strike in 2011. Worse. where over half the population still lives off the land. According to a study commissioned by WATER WEAPON: Above: Flooding on the outskirts of Sana’a. the city could be unsustainable as soon as 2019.” In a document discovered by the Associated Press in 2013.000 deaths every year. AQAP is looking to export its water “weapon. is often a matter of life or death. “the path to the water hole” – a metaphor for spiritual salvation with obvious appeal to followers of a religion that originated in the Arabian desert. This activity goes far beyond social work. AQAP is trying to make that metaphor a reality. by contrast.6 million residents have long relied on rooftop cisterns filled with water expensively tankered in from elsewhere. Below: Islamist idealogue Anwar al-Awlaki. in one of its many possible translations. AQAP has won significant support not just by providing villagers with water. Providing these necessities will have a great effect on people. The UK. killed by a US drone in 2011. was the holder of a BSc in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University. and the ability to irrigate crops. Sharia. too. according to the World Bank. The United States’ former Enemy Number One in the region. The wars of the future. and will make them sympathise with us and feel that their fate is tied to ours. Supply is already so poor here that municipal taps function on average only once a month. Even drought-prone Somalia has 572 cubic meters available per capita. Sana’a is badly affected. AQAP suggested trying to win locals over “by taking care of their daily needs like water. but also by helping them to dig wells and install other vital water infrastructure. the Islamic law that al-Qaida is determined to impose.M O H A M M E D H UWA I S/A F P/G E T T Y. Yemen offers us a glimpse of the coming apocalypse. was an engineer NEWSWEEK 31 the World Bank. In regions south and east of Sana’a. Its 2.262 cubic metres). access to water. Even government officials estimate that local disputes over land and water already lead to 4. it is often said. Sana’a’s residents may be forced to leave the city to wither and die.

which it dealt with by asserting that it existed only in the minds of Western propagandists. A recent study by Reprieve. as it has been for years. complete with American markings. which was widely circulated on Yemeni social media. Yemen’s tiny. suggested that strikes aimed at 17 named men have so far killed 273 people. Yemenis have judged their president such an enthusiast for drone strikes that he has long been nicknamed “Drone al-Hadi. but groundwater sources are being sucked dry. Mohamed Ali al-Gauli is a schoolteacher from the remote mountain district of Khawlan. In fact.” The vast majority of the government’s resources is spent on the military. the budget of the ministry of water and environment’s National Water Resources Authority (NWRA). 32 30/01/2015 he insists. “Yet in our village. was cut by 70%. not drones Extremely high stress (>80%) The Sana’a government is miles behind AQAP in its appreciation of the problem. There are over 400. had nothing to do with AQAP. If someone spent a tenth of the cost of a missile on a well for our village. As in Pakistan and elsewhere. such as their neighbours in Somalia. His brother and cousin were killed in a US drone strike while driving in their car and. maybe no-one . The greatest reversal suffered by that organisation came during the southern Somali drought of 2011. and al-Qaida just about everywhere. is simple: whoever controls the water holds the power. His brother and uncle. as a reminder of the tragedy. A new strategy for managing the nation’s dwindling resource is urgently needed. “You know. the accuracy of the drone strikes used in Yemen has been called into question.” Al-Gauli observes bitterly. while at least four of the targets are still alive. The result. it is widely believed to provide American drone operators with target intelligence. those drones are very expensive. al-Shabaab. They are aided in this last campaign by US drones – though the NEWSWEEK Yemeni government does not have its own drones. the New York–based human rights group. very much abutted by the strong Western support of al-Hadi’s government. a senior ministry adviser. have ranged from ineffective to catastrophic. beleaguered community of hydrologists lobbied hard for their sector to be made a priority – but in this year’s spending round. Their mistake had been to pick up four armed hitch-hikers in the course of a routine shopping trip. Water wars The demand for water is growing worldwide as populations expand. Ratio of withdrawals to supply Low stress (<10%) Low to medium stress (10-20%) Medium to high stress (20-40%) High stress (40-80%) Wells. Tens of thousands died as a consequence. separatists in the south. it takes a 2km donkey ride to fetch water from a well. AQAP may also have learned from the mistakes of other AQ franchises. Refugees fleeing the drought zones were ordered to return to their homes and to pray for rain. at least seven of them children. put it: “It shows you how little importance Hadi attaches to the sector. from the missile he holds responsible for the deaths. As Najib Maktari.AQAP’s members have become champion exploiters of the country’s chronic water shortage. in places like the Middle East.” The results of these policies. and popular support for al-Shabaab collapsed. At the National Dialogue Conference.000 men under arms in Yemen fighting Houthis in the north. he keeps a scrap of tailfin.

Until the 1970s Yemenis irrigated their crops as they had always done.” The Sana’a administration has made mistakes. at 2.000 people living in the city in 1910. to 26 million today. anxious to increase agri- NEWSWEEK 33 cultural production. but the crisis in Yemen is not all of President al-Hadi’s making. from five million in 1960. The switchover accelerated with the discovery of oil in the 1970s when the government. Increasing demand for food as the population expanded. to a projected 40 million by 2030 – numbers that would be a challenge to provide with fresh water even if Yemen were rich and stable. say sociologists. for at least 40 years. would not countenance the higher water drilling costs that a subsidy cut would entail. much of the beautiful. millennia-old mountain terracing. is Yemen’s extraordinary population growth. The political ramifications of that decision are still being felt. with seasonal rainwater captured in elaborate systems of mountain terraces. “It’s as simple as that. but not quickly enough to avert a coup. The government quickly reversed their decision. which is both too far from the ocean and. Sana’a. Without maintenance. There were fewer than 20. Sana’a is a city in the wrong place. Desalination is not an option for Sana’a. for which Yemen is famed. introduced fuel subsidies to encourage farmers to drill. a British former consultant to NWRA. with a population growth of almost 7% – more than double the national rate – faces the greatest challenge. Soon there will be three million. was abandoned. “For its size. 30/01/2015 . though. There were mass protests by Houthi tribesmen last autumn over the central government’s attempt to reduce those fuel subsidies which. deepening the farmers’ dependence on groundwater.PORTA B L E NETWORK PORTABLE N E T WORK G GRAPHICS RAPHICS would pay attention to al-Qaida and they would go away. too high to make it practical. however.250m above sea level. it can no longer afford. The Houthis. now that Yemen’s oil is running out. It soon collapsed. pumped up by tubewells from beneath their feet. as it were.” said Brett Grist. led farmers to seek a more reliable source of irrigation – and they found one in groundwater. At its root.” Water for drugs Yemen’s water crisis has been in pipeline.

But farmers soon found it much more profitable to grow qat. but has effectively lost the war against the wildcatters. For example.200m. Qat trees are deep-rooted and thirsty. maybe no-one would pay attention to al-Qaida. Tens of thousands of farmers. Yemenis spend. leafy tops of the tree are suitable for consumption. as a nation. According to one Dutch study. Perhaps the biggest challenge in conserving the country’s dwindling aquifers comes from what is actually cultivated on Yemeni farms. I. parliament tried to discuss the import of qat from Ethiopia – a measure designed to undercut local profits. on one occasion.000 privately-owned tube wells in the Sana’a basin today. As the Sana’a basin aquifer depletes further. But the uptake was minimal. Estimates suggest that there are 14. An estimated one in three Yemenis. we. Noori Gamal. by co-opted police. When. The shallow. Aquifers take time to recharge. Recently. and even when NWRA officials turned up to try to prevent an illicit operation. It is always I. which. a government programme to install supposedly tamper-proof GPS transmitters in all known rigs failed when the operators found ways to remove or destroy them. who tend to be employees of the same influential sheikhs who control the qat trade. they were quickly chased off by tribal gunmen. forced from their land. for example. the amphetamine-like chewing leaf to which Yemen. Yet the area of land dedicated to the cultivation of qat continues to expand by 10% a year. a senior hydrologist with the water ministry. The government’s intention. is legal in Yemen and throughout the Horn of Africa. the water now being exploited is so-called fossil water that may never be replaced. and because only the soft. with more being drilled every day. perhaps eight million people. they are notoriously wasteful to grow. have headed for the big city looking for alternative employment where there generally is none. He lead me three blocks. we. Some analyses suggest that 40% of all the fresh water available in Yemen is used in the cultivation of a product that has no nutritional value whatsoever – and this in a country where more than half of all children under five are stunted by malnutrition. but Yemenis aren’t giving them a chance. although a controlled substance in the West. 34 30/01/2015 The under-resourced water ministry does its best.” “Our greatest problem in Yemen” adds the deputy chairman of NWRA.” Switching to groundwater irrigation has also been an environmental disaster. In the Houthi heartland of Sa’adah. Attempts to rein in the trade have all foundered due to insurmountable vested interests. Today’s drillers sometimes have to go as deep as 1. is that noone ever thinks about the common good. self-replenishing reserves were plundered long ago. or even. on average. thus reducing the appeal of the crop and therefore the amount of Yemeni land dedicated to it – one MP stood up and announced: “We’ll shoot down the planes. is addicted. heard a rumor that a wildcatter was in action in Hadda. Abdulla al-Thary. the main downtown business district. Thirty years ago. In 2012. the qat business accounts for 16% NEWSWEEK of employment and 25% of GDP. when it first subsidised agricultural diesel in the 1970s. but his experienced ear immediately detected the rumble of a deep hydraulic rotary drill. The land-owning tribal sheikhs and military figures who profit most from qat farming tend also to be members of parliament and block any change. this trickle of displaced farmers looks certain to become a flood. NWRA set up a public hotline and encouraged Sana’anis to report any suspicious-looking drilling operation.“If someone spent a tenth of the cost of a missile on a well for our village. for instance. I could hear nothing at first. was that farms should produce food. are regular users of the drug. and invited me to meet him there. and there it was: a tall Heath-Robinson contraption in the side garden of a private house belonging (as we later . groundwater is being extracted 12 times faster than nature can replace it. about $4bn a year nationally. between a quarter and a third of their income on qat. I and never We. it was possible to find groundwater at a depth of 100m in the Sana’a basin.” The Wildcat Drillers Private and unlicensed wells continue to be sunk at an astonishing rate by so-called wildcat drillers who own and operate a vast fleet of mobile rigs.

low truck loaded with hundreds of metres of drill pipe. blocking the road.” Not everyone is so gloomy. These and other measures can buy Sana’a some time. Backed up to the wellhead. the Haraaz water table is no longer falling. Abdul-Rahman al-Eryani. for which Yemen was once famous.M O H A M M E D H UWA I S/ N ATA L I A KO L ES N I KOVA /A F P/G E T T Y discovered) to a qat-farming. As a result. and to live like our grandfathers did. and the local economy is thriving. The experience of a community of Ismaili Shia in Haraaz in the western highlands offers some hope. or much worse. together with its ancient capital. their cheeks distended from the lumps of qat in their mouths. in co-operation with the UN and the Dutch embassy. the sheikh who employed the foreman could manipulate the political system to have Gamal fired. but Gamal soon made it clear he wasn’t there to try to stop him. may depend on the ability and willingness of its people n to turn back the clock. The street was filled from side to side with a waist-high river of drill lubricant that oozed from the bore hole. He believes that even Sana’a could be sustainable if highland farmers reduce their dependence on groundwater. and the tankers that distribute the groundwater as missiles landing in every neighbourhood. “He will definitely go over the edge. President Hadi. Fifteen years ago they decided to uproot their qat orchards – some 200. was a long.) The Ismailis also introduced modern drip irrigation and have begun to repair their water-harvesting terraces. Ali al-Suraimi. seems to think so. and that they have time. notably premium coffee. meanwhile. has failed to stop the practice military campaign and the water shortage is already killing more of our people than al-Qaida ever will. Last November. he explained afterwards. (The Mocha coffee bean takes its name from the Yemeni Red Sea port of that name. To the south of the city. The foreman of the operation was not pleased to see us. but the future of Yemen. Yet tapping more aquifer water will only postpone the inevitable. had become a perilous business. Half a dozen labourers stood about. “We need to repair our terraces and go back to the old ways. or arrested.” said a former water minister. below.” Gamal added. What we are doing to our water resource does as much damage to our country as any THIRSTY NATION: Farmers in Sana’a are drilling unlicensed boreholes to irrigate their thirsty qat crops. and to pump less groundwater. The only question is when.” Off the precipice There are no easy solutions in Yemen. the water ministry launched a three-year project in the Sana’a basin aimed at persuading its farmers to start conserving their resources. 30/01/2015 . “Yemen is like a man sliding towards a precipice. new municipal NEWSWEEK 35 wells are being sunk.000 trees have so far been destroyed – and plant crops of comparable commercial value. where a large aquifer remains untapped. surly and staring. “I don’t think that language is too strong. a wobbling mass of soapy white foam through which two boys were pulling wheelies on mountain bikes. land-owning sheikh. It is an unhappy paradox. “I see unlicensed drilling rigs as mobile artillery batteries. Obstructing a drilling operation. Could this brave experiment become a model for the rest of the country? The chairman of NWRA. Some senior officials believe the wholesale change of approach to water management that the country needs is possible.” he says.

two young men mastered the mind-bogglingly difficult Dawn Wall of El Capitan.THE DAWN WALL Last week. Yosemite. Mountaineer and author Andy Cave explains what made their achievement so remarkable NEWSWEEK 36 30/01/2015 . their every move watched by an audience of millions.

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Originally designated an “aid-climb”. Keen to grasp any marginal gains they could. he was rock-climbing aged just three. Tommy Caldwell never did. left. The ultimate aim was for both climbers to climb all 32 pitches (sections of rock) from bottom to top without falling. And after watching a movie of Caldwell trying to climb sections of the route. earlier this month . Yosemite.G rass-roots climbers are uncomfortable with statements like “the hardest climb in the world”. really. had the vision and the self-belief. Full-time professional climbers. Americans Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson spent 19 days on the famous 3. I. a former indoor world champion. For one.” TOP OF THE WORLD: American climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson. I can’t imagine anything worse. They failed on five occasions spread over several years. where climbers fix ropes and use shunts. He dared to dream. 36. too. Caldwell’s Dawn Wall journey began seven years ago when he first inspected the line as a potential free-climb. Nevertheless. the Dawn Wall was considered even by talented climbers to be impossible to freeclimb due to its sheer lack of holds and the wall’s relentlessly steep angle. as we all start out climbing instinctively – how else do we go up and down stairs in the first few months of life? Most of us give up early. the cooler temperatures allowing them better purchase on the razor blade-thin granite holds. rubber compound rock shoes. During rest periods they repaired the holes in their fingertips with sandpaper and superglue. and sanded the rough edges of their tight-fitting. have glanced across at the face while climbing a neighbouring route. it is an extraordinary expanse of rock.000-foot wall in California. they were merely to halt a fall and couldn’t be relied upon for progress up the wall. Caldwell stated that it was crucial that both members of the team made the summit – a rare sentiment in a sport that has. For many people. I want to top out together. In a show of team-spirit. successfully ascended the Dawn Wall of El Capitan. in recent years. gripping the rock features with only their hands and feet. While the men had safety ropes. followed the trend of many mainstream sports in celebrating the cult of the individual. due to discouraging parents and a sense of self-preservation. But most would agree that last week’s first free ascent of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan. Jorgeson. the project drained them entirely. the camaraderie between the two climbers. strange really. “More than anything. ranks as one of the toughest rock-climbs ever to be completed. climbing seems an odd activity. the men are no strangers to elite-level performance. It would be such a bummer to finish this thing without Kevin.” Caldwell said on day 13. asked to join him on the project. There were other aspects of the climb that were unusual. Yosemite. “We gotta make that happen. Caldwell. the two 30-year-olds climbed the most difficult parts in the shade or at night.

dangerous hell. desperate moves. “The conditions were just magic. It all lined up to create this one moment in which my skin was good enough and the conditions were perfect. He has since scaled some of climbing’s toughest peaks. but I’m more resolved than ever to free the remaining pitches. the ability to maintain contact with a variety of different-shaped holds. Dubai 115m Redwood Tree. Cave is a mountaineer. these climbers have thousands of movement patterns ingrained from years of experience. and the people watching. London “The conditions were just magic. Returning to education to complete a PhD.” Physical requirements include finger strength. Shanghai 301m Eiffel Tower. HOW IT COMPARES 2. There’s a lot of hard climbing above. Yosemite National Park 2. Paris 830m Burj Khalifa. With bleeding fingertips. It was the one moment over the last 10 days when it was actually cloudy and cold enough to climb during daylight. the duo felt invigorated. they needed the gods on their side. . Technically. Everything was in the balance. Now. with the most difficult section of the wall completed. he is one of the world’s leading voices in adventure sport. from Mount Kennedy in Canada to Divine Providence in the Alps. you couldn’t survive. my battle with pitch 15 of the Dawn Wall is complete. almost unconsciously. even to the most experienced. and within three years he found himself atop the infamous north face of the Eiger.BLIG H GILL IES/B IG UP PRODUCTIONS/AURORA PHOTOS But that ambition was severely tested when Jorgeson struggled for an age on pitch 15. as well as very specific moves for this climb that are rehearsed over several years. Still. His career began at 16 in a Grimethorpe coal pit. It was the one moment over the last 10 days when it was cloudy and cold enough to climb during daylight. The level at which top climbers now operate is flabbergasting. The glaciated granite of Yosemite is notoriously difficult to climb. Without it. Jorgeson finally made it and. he posted on Instagram: “After 11 attempts spread across 7 days. and then writing two books on his experiences. core strength and flexibility to ensure the feet can reach and engage footholds.” His climbing career began at 17. via their social media updates. technical and mental. an experience that was to brace him for a lifetime of determination: “In that filthy. California 308m The Shard. These mental schemes mean they can act on a sequence of moves quickly. ballerina and chess-player rolled into one. which he then had to hold despite the swinging momentum of his body. Jorgeson climbed pitch 16 by making a jump six feet horizontally to catch a downward-sloping edge of rock.000m 632m 1 Shanghai Tower. Think elite gymnast. began to scent success. Hard to put the feeling into words. I learned essential lessons about teamwork.” The men had trained so hard and prepared as well as they possibly could. BALLERINAS.” said Jorgeson. good lactate tolerance in the forearms to sustain strength through consecutive difficult moves. GYMNASTS. ANDY CAVE: WRITER AND ADVENTURER A VETERAN OF SOME OF THE WORLD’S most formidable summits.307m El Capitan. exuberantly. worried that he was holding his teammate back. academic and writer. CHESS-PLAYERS So what does it take to climb at this level? There are three broad spheres requiring mastery: physical. Being strong in all three is rare. the ability to generate anaerobic power via fast-twitch muscle fibres for single. requiring a whole suite of movement skills.

A true climbing Mecca. Then. he and his team were taken hostage by Islamist militants. are still too difficult for the majority. Above pitch 16. sheer. Most of the routes here started out as BREAKTHROUGH CLIMBS: A CHRONOLOGY 1786 1865 1889 1953 MONT BLANC. while climbing in Kyrgyzstan. I had just finished the first year of university. In peak season. steepest part of the wall. in which four of the party fell to their deaths. moving around on a complex web of fixed ropes. Over the past 30 years. The dream closer. inching their way up. NEWSWEEK 40 30/01/2015 . the climbing relents to some extent. he cut off his own index finger with a saw in a DIY accident. it emerged the guard had survived the fall. But I felt so alive. EVEREST. whatever the level. KILIMANJARO. In 2000. Nothing was left to chance. but they are not tackling the highest. almost every climber I have met has either visited Yosemite or desperately wants to. but still I had never seen a piece of stone so big and flawless as this. Some complete the West Buttress and the shorter East Buttress. On top of this. the will to succeed grows deeper. There is a feeling that you are part of something special in Yosemite. I had climbed the north face of the Eiger and a couple of Himalayan peaks by first ascents. The English illustrator Edward Whymper led the first successful ascent. But Caldwell was traumatised by the incident and the media interest it stirred. MASTERING ‘EL CAP’ To complete pitch 15 alone of this climb would be considered world-class. it is mind-boggling. Tenzing Norgay. right up the centre. Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard won a prize that was offered by a Swiss scientist 26 years previously. allowing his team to escape at night. Even with a big load. comprised of top climbers. attracted unprecedented attention for the sport on social media Caldwell has dedicated most of his climbing career to ascending the big walls of Yosemite. a 30-minute hike from the parking lot through trees brings you to the base. Caldwell pushed him over what he assumed was a cliff. and Kevin Jorgeson. It is a strange alien world. I am sure the climbers will have been accustomed to the flow – at one with the wall and utterly focused. FRANCE MATTERHORN. There is often a great sense of camaraderie among the climbers in “the Valley”. whose taped hands are pictured right. double-mattress-sized camp beds erected at 90 degrees to the wall. so Caldwell had it re-amputated. After many abortive attempts. Vertical and overhanging terrain becomes normal and. Just next to it is the base of the Yosemite rescue team. They practised yoga and did press-ups to maintain good form between attempts at each section. Overcoming the fear of falling and the fear of failure is often the biggest challenge. NEPAL As the first to reach the summit. The fact that you can drive underneath it makes it logistically simple to reach. TANZANIA MT. small international teams are strewn from bottom to top. Caldwell and Jorgenson had to work out the logistics of living in winter on a sheer rock face for almost three weeks. hauling up their supplies behind them and setting up “porta-ledges” – mobile. I had spent three days on the wall. Their supplies included fresh coffee and iPhones. Finally. But its front is a smooth. SWITZERLAND MT. with each small success. stupefying cliff full of history. On the final part of the climb. But Caldwell has overcome many difficulties in life. even the easiest big free-climbs on El Cap. A small. It was re-attached by surgeons but it lost most of its function. In the context of 32 pitches. Sir Edmund Hillary and a Sherpa mountaineer. such as Freerider. For days afterwards.TOUCHING THE VOID: The successful ascent of one of the world’s most difficult climbing routes by Tommy Caldwell. reached the top from the south side. What is so special about El Cap? The first time I saw it. particularly on Camp 4. I was mesmerised. The peak was first reached by the Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller and the German geographer Hans Meyer. far right. On that first trip. I was dehydrated and my hands were cut and swollen. expert film crew accompanied them. Most people come to climb The Nose. using at least some aid. a place steeped in legend. just a year later. Left briefly with a single guard. Mental tenacity and the ability to focus under extreme pressure are what distinguish the best climbers. The descent off the back requires caution and a few abseils – not unreasonable as far as climbing descents go.

Aged 15. “I had climbed the north face of the Eiger and a couple of Himalayan peaks by first ascents. But look closely at their messages and there is a self-effacing tone. The Prophet. at the time. 1958 1996 2011 EL CAPITAN. Switzerland. is still one of the most serious big-wall climbs in the world. UNITED STATES NECESSARY EVIL. UNITED STATES BURJ KHALIFA. and rigged all the way by Sherpas. Thomas and Alexander Huber. Hopefully. bolder aid climbs were established. the better-informed media pieces have educated the public in a new narrative that reveals elite climbers not to be thrill-seeking “adrenaline junkies”. People go climbing for many reasons: to escape the mundane pressures of work. to be close to nature. Climbers like Houlding and the Hubers have applied their Yosemite skills in more remote big walls in the Himalayas. altitude. Yes. took Warren Harding. scaled the world’s tallest building in six hours as the world looked on. Chris Sharma completed what was. The Nose. the highestrated climb in North America. Later. between Utah and Arizona. the spotlight on such a great achievement by two elite climbers is a positive step. however: the Bavarian brothers.COREY RIC H/AURORA PHOTOS aid climbs. Tourists spend hours watching climbers in action. DUBAI The first ascent of El Capitan’s most famous route. however. but the Dawn Wall story makes a welcome change from the usual fuss around quite ordinary climbers being guided up Everest. the pioneers linking cracks and corners up to the top. many of them are virtually unheard-of outside climbing circles. Facebook posts and video clips to a breathless audience. passing on his congratulations in another tweet: “So proud of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson for conquering El Capitan. on a route first climbed 60 years ago. with big reputations and requiring specialist skill. El Cap is a vertical stage that continues to allow the elite to search out the limits of possibility. . who point telescopes at alpinists on the Eiger. but as extraordinarily talented individuals who have spent hours pern fecting this vertical ballet. in a similar way to people at Kleine Scheidegg. a real breakthough achievement in 1988. UK climbers have made an impact too. notably Leo Houlding. Alain Robert. Baffin Island and Antarctica.” REAL-TIME CLIMBS While climbers have been surprised by the media storm surrounding Caldwell and Jorgenson’s ascent. and little chance of rescue mean that the stakes are much higher than a climb in Yosemite. The first major line to be free climbed was Salathé by Paul Piana and Todd Skinner. glaciers. The public needs to know what today’s pioneers are doing.” Nevertheless. to be lost in the endeavour. Wayne Merry and George Whitmore 47 days. The extra complications of difficult access. in some ways El Cap has always been in the public space. whose route. Surely spending hours on social media detracts from this? Critics will doubtless claim the duo have created a media circus. were extremely prolific between 1995 and 2007. widely dubbed the “French Spiderman”. The difference this time is that the adventurers themselves could drip-feed tweets. In 1993. Lynn Hill broke a huge barrier by free-climbing The Nose American climbers haven’t monopolised pioneering here. I am not sure Barack Obama quite understood that sentiment. You remind us that anything is possible. but still I had never seen a piece of stone so big and flawless as this. providing a blow-by-blow account of their progress.

the National Obesity Forum suggested that regular weight checks should be compulsory. like our organs and limbs.BY CATHERINE OSTLER Prepare for a ‘magic pill’ to end obesity CORBIS ur airwaves. declared an “obesity state of emergency”. and about half of the population is . Twenty-five per cent of citizens in most Westernised countries. and the chief executive of NHS England called the same ruling “daft”. a Canadian study linked a type of serotonin with obesity. a European court ruled that obesity is a disability after the sacking of a 25-stone Danish child-minder. federal regulators in the US approved an appetite-suppressing implant. are now obese. In the last month alone. declaring war on obesity after a study found that only Hungary has fatter adults than the UK. and rightly so. Fat dominates the news. The Western world is preoccupied with obesity. the Saudis organised an anti-obesity run. NEWSWEEK 42 30/01/2015 Queensland. because the statistics of our expanding girths are shocking by any measure. including the UK. meanwhile. and a Harvard team found two compounds that turn “bad” white fat cells into “good” brown fat ones. are suffocated by expanding flab.

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argue that a sugar tax mind. our calorific input went drastically up. While we must have the freedom to eat whatever we like. The problem is so immense that lifespans. disgust even. that the educated classes feel for the “feckless fat”. usually sympathetic. But politicians are reluctant to level taxes on foodstuffs – partly because they don’t want to annoy the food-anddrinks lobby. Even central heating has played its part – since we no longer shiver. a significant player in any economy. the flip-side of personal responsibility is personal liberty. may begin falling. and laden with fat and sugar. In 1700. At the time. So while everyone knows there is a problem. And so it is that complications from type 2 diabetes. this is toxic.000 BC. and a concurrent rise in the use of public transport and takeaway food outlets. cheaper. fuelled by a rise in interest in computer games. in other words. OF WHICH O’RAHILLY IS PART AND PROBABLY. Even more worryingly. heart disease. we no longer have to move around as much to stay warm. a fear of letting children play outside. For a start.overweight. are costing the NHS £1. though. it is not so much the length of life as its quality that is affected by fat. and the evermore sophisticated marketing techniques of food companies. . the reduction in exercise among urban children. reductively. an increase in city living. OUR BEST BET NEWSWEEK 44 30/01/2015 THE BEGINNING OF FAT Let’s wind back a little see how we arrived at this mess. It is only since the Second World War that the march of fat has accelerated. Thomas Short wrote A Discourse Concerning the Causes and Effects of Corpulency. and partly because such taxes always disproportionately penalise the poor. above. Coincident with our moving in from the fields and working in increasingly sedentary office jobs. less of what? Once it was saturated fats. food supplies have become more plentiful. While this is true. there have always been severely obese people. and certain cancers – as well as social stigma and diminished mental health. In Denmark and New York.” people say. Just as our calorific output went drastically down. Some. an issue only for those without any sense of personal dignity or responsibility. cheap. Multiple environmental reasons have compounded the problem: the availability of calorie-laden. Being obese means we are more likely to suffer from mobility and joint problems such as aching knees. are particularly unhelpful because though they are calorific they do not alleviate hunger. dates from before 25. for the first time in history. fiscal measures didn’t work. “They just need to eat less. GIVEN HIS REPUTATION. deliberately-addictive fast food. It is an issue for those who lack self-control or the ability to help themselves. and scaled-back state-school sport. the condition was a rarity. is a pioneer in world obesity research would bring an end to the problem. Hippocrates wrote about obesity in the fourth century BC. The Venus of Willendorf. now sugar is the fashionable smoking gun. Certainly sugary drinks. a disease largely brought on by obesity. type 2 diabetes. in the British THERE IS A SECRETIVE GLOBAL ARMS RACE TO DEVELOP A CURE. it is predicted.5m an hour – 10% of its annual budget. many of the answers are controversial because. types who displayed the near-anger. greedy and self-destructive. rather than rising. from soda to fruit juice. Gyms. as England became more prosperous and its food supplies more reliable. In any society. a statuette of a very roly-poly female figure found in rural Austria. things aren’t quite that simple. In the course of writing this piece I spoke to several intelligent. anyone who chooses to abuse that right is weak-willed. In obesity terms. A predisposition for obesity. Is the problem too big to stall? LEADING THE FIGHT: Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly. and were shelved. alongside a fondness for smoking and drinking (exacerbated by its pervasive association with the underclass) has been condemned in the court of public opinion as a moral weakness.

Intensive exercise (unlike. Sugary drinks. who are getting fatter and fatter. working in the fields all day or walking everywhere) is unlikely to be sustained over time. bottom right. Tabloids feature a gallery of grotesques: teenagers carried out of their houses by stretcher. say. has more overfed than underfed people in it. So we hear the (often accurate) horror stories of the need for NHS beds to be doubled in size. In a world that. But underneath these outliers there is a growing army: the overweight and less-severely obese. It’s the vision of an affable. men who are unable to leave theirs at all.THE BELLY OF THE BEAST: At the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge. are a mixed blessing. Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly. I went to visit Britain’s war rooms in the fight on flab: the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge. alternative solutions to gastric bypass surgery. On the ground floor there is a clinic for diabetic patients. NEWSWEEK 45 30/01/2015 . incredibly. determined and imaginative Irishman. and less and less healthy. of morgues with bodies too big for their fridges. The problem of over-nutrition is so severe that those of ideal weight (between 18 and 25 on the BMI index) now look malnourished to us. Obesity is so prevalent we can’t even see it straight. are being researched in an attempt to tackle the world’s obesity crisis. are cited as a major factor in weight gain A D R I A N A Z E H B RAUS K AS/ P O L A R I S/ EY EV I N E meanwhile. of airline seats rebuilt to accommodate the large. right. INVENTING THE FAT PILL In order to see what we’re doing about this complicated problem. and is subject to interruption by even mild injury. The Institute opened in 2008 next to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The severely obese have their own specific set of problems. even the way we look at fat has changed. below right. It is also likely to boost appetite.

He won’t go into detail about his own trials. It is no exaggeration to say that millions of lives and billions of pounds are at stake. the greater the glory – and the riches – at stake for any person.” he explains. half of Europe cannot have a bariatric procedure. when others don’t?” Our environment plays its part. There is a secretive global arms race under way to develop a cure. but how we eat is powerfully genetically determined. The bigger the problem. Only feeling full will stop us from eating. Professor Nick Wareham runs the public health department. NEWSWEEK anywhere. Clearly. and you need to survive. Such a pill would be a seminal breakthrough.– adult and paediatric – who often join trials. In order to survive that long you need to eat. The other advantage of a pill over surgery.  . brought it back and ate it because didn’t know what would S H U T T E RSTO C K YOUR BMI . MINUTES TO WALK EACH DAY TO AVOID DYING PREMATURELY Y THE SKINNY ON OBESITY + 30 337. While other global teams release enticing snippets that may or not may lead potentially be personalised. until the last 50 years. But they could be given different combinations of hormones to stop them eating so much. Professor O’Rahilly’s 19 principal investigators examine all manner of scientific “Many people are trying to work on mimicking the effects of bariatric [gastric bypass] surgery through the use of medicines that a) mimic or enhance the effects of natural satiety hormones produced by the gut after food and/or b) enhance the amount of those natural hormones produced after food. he says. in the Serengeti. is that is it can 46 30/01/2015 676. In January. then we will have slayed the obesity dragon. our best bet. I sense from O’Rahilly’s caginess. The most effective surgery works by making people feel full. expensive. His colleague. though. and if we can medically induce that. says O’Rahilly. the magic bullet that can make the world thin again.000 we should be asking. Meanwhile on the top two floors. what happens in utero. we caught an antelope. “because of how we got to today . are thorough. exactly. or even tell me which pharma company he’s working with. of which O’Rahilly is part and is probably. looking at measures that might make a difference to the population at large. A pill that can trick the brain into feeling full by elevating satiety hormones and thus sending it false messages from the gut – which. On the second floor. all of us are programmed to survive long enough to reproduce. Pre-agriculture. who can produce the much-discussed miracle pill. “Why. do some people eat too much. But such surgery is dangerous.000 OBESITY NUMBER OF EUROPEAN DEATHS CAUSED BY OBESITY AND LACK OF EXERCISE IN 2008 LACK OF EXERCISE BMI FIGURE THAT DEFINES OBESITY angles on obesity: the specific genes involved. O’Rahilly’s team. breathing creature. may not be that far off – will change everything.  . says we tend to look at obesity in the wrong light. Dr Giles Yeo. and there doesn’t seem to be an angle on obesity that they’re not investigating. For the entire history of our existence as a living. the effect of circadian rhythms. this is not O’Rahilly’s style. Rather than just condemning those who overeat. he announced the results of a study of 334.000 people which showed the importance of exercise – 20 minutes a day cuts the risk of premature death by a third. given his reputation. or any company. too little food has been around. and onesize-fits-all.

THE GENETIC ‘CRUTCH’ The genetic argument is not a popular one. our bodies haven’t yet adapted to our suddenly food-dense environment. young children eat what they want to eat and nothing else. rise. Once. She writes that she “had her work cut out” with a piece from The New York Times in June titled. “There is a massive failure of NEWSWEEK 47 understanding when it comes to severe obesity. It wasn’t quite the magic bullet. partly because of the social stigma. She is currently working on a study involving a disorder that affects some 50. that the parents are to blame in these cases. “our body frame has evolved to be lean” and is unable to adapt to our new habits. She has seen children from war-torn Liberia and rural Pakistan who are severely obese when you might expect them to be malnourished. and chewing on bin scraps. The idea that you might take a child away from its parents because of its size is a “travesty”. Professor Sadaf Farooqi studies ICELAND: WESTERN EUROPE’S MOST OVERWEIGHT COUNTRY 57% MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE EITHER OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE IN THE UK MORE THAN A QUARTER OF CHILDREN ARE ALSO OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE 29% OF GIRLS 26% OF BOYS could overeat. but leptin. you could argue that the fat ones are more evolved. chooses to use heritability as a crutch. Of course. Later. proved ineffective for all but the most chronically deficient. People think parents must be 30/01/2015 .000 people in the UK (and over a million globally) and that may be able to remedy another defect in the brain concerning hunger and satiety. the only person who’s going to suffer is her. the more severely obese the child. The parents of an 11-year-old boy in Norfolk.” says Farooqi. Farooqi finds it frightening that society is so judgemental.” As Yeo sees it. There is no way. But ignoring the role of genetics is helpful to no one. they are just people who don’t feel like eating as much. “you are giving them a crutch. Farooqi reads me a recent email from a professor of endocrinology at Harvard. in context of genetics. just like those who feel like taking more exercise. she identified a genetic problem. O’Rahilly tells me they have heard of children eating food straight from the freezer. Leptin is a hormone that causes people to feel full after eating. had been arrested. this doesn’t mean that everyone is fat – the less-hungry stay thin. the more likely it is that genes are playing a powerful part. who weighed 210 pounds.” says Yeo. even those who were nearly wheelchair-bound returned to a normal weight. “Perhaps. Yeo tells a story of a man at a Cambridge college dinner pointing at him saying. O’Rahilly’s study on “extreme metabolic phenotypes” (people with rare genetic defects) led him to identify children with a congenital leptin deficiency. because. a 25-stone dia- severely obese children. frustratingly.” Yeo says. our genes tell us – more loudly in some of us than in others – to eat whenever we can. That was a breakthrough. Although we are fatter because we take in more calories than we burn. when he treated the children with doses of the missing hormone. and dying early. In the case of the three-year-old in Manchester. ironically. O’Rahilly’s team often looks at the extremes – the severely obese. “In Britain’s. If we do become obese. Child’s Weight Leads to Parents’ Arrest”. Today in the West most of us can – we can all be Henry VIII now. those who eat less aren’t morally stronger. who could possibly get a three-year-old to 36 kilos? As all parents know.’” In other words. because they feel extreme hunger. So there is now a catastrophic mismatch of our genes and our environment. Public awareness means that people are confusing the population problem with the more unusual problem of severe obesity. she says. “If Mrs Smith. Kate Moss types would have been lion food. In children it is more complicated still. but also because a study of the margins often yields clear insights into the more muddled mainstream. “I never realised I’d be getting involved in these disputes. Farooqi says. but I want to help the patients. Although in Serengeti terms. and now the very underweight – not only to help them. what we choose to eat isn’t always a rational decision. Fifty years. back then. very few of us 74% 61% 67% betic about to die.happen next – we would eat. our chances of getting heart disease and cancer. is the blink of an eye. because it isn’t always clear who is choosing what. As Yeo puts it. and prepare for famine.

Blood pressure is now manageable because of an awareness of the dangers of salt and an accompanying reduction in its consumption. above 48 30/01/2015 .taking toddlers to McDonald’s 10 times a day. On the other hand. information on the fight against fat in the human population (insulin was first identified in dogs. buckets of popcorn and Coke. Never in history has “so little percentage of income been needed to buy so much food. top. possibly. such as strokes A GROWING CRISIS: One of the most pressing issues in global obesity is the rise in overweight children. O’Rahilly is currently excited about Labrador dogs. In other words. we inherit much of our propensity to fat. NEWSWEEK M AT T H EW M C D E R M OT T/ P O L A R I S/ EY EV I N E . obese parents do often have obese children. G O R D I TOS D E CORAZO N / BA RC RO F T THE PRICE OF BEING THIN If O’Rahilly had to point the finger at anything that got us into this. if we could wind the clock back to 1950. and research is often performed on mice – leptin. I don’t think children should ever be taken away from their parents for weight reasons alone. was first identified in the rodents). it would be food transportation. Farooqi estimates the genetic component at 40–70%. obesity has a normal range and a rather arbitrary cut-off point at which normal tips into excessive. The cure will be multifaceted. More and more genetic factors are being identified. they have worked out why some Labradors are hungrier than others.” she says. our appetite and our metabolism.” he says. This may lead to treatment for flabby Labs and. As his colleague Yeo says. so we have to find a way to deal with it. obesity would go away. but we can’t. But it’s often a biological problem. O’Rahilly draws me a graph: like blood pressure. and portion expansion – croissants the size of boomerangs. for example. with the Department of Veterinary Medicine. who are most affected by fast-food products of high sugar content. just as it has been for high blood pressure. and because of drugs such as statins that control it. Hospitals were once full of those suffering from the effects of hypertension. There’s the rise of discount retailers like Aldi and Lidl.

I want to see what we can tweak under the bonnet. and therefore equal in their ability NEWSWEEK 49 30/01/2015 . All fat is not equal. heart and liver. there is also some evidence that obesity is levelling out. sugar has the power to distort the appetite: “people will have a dessert when they’d never have another portion of mashed potato. “easily. Internal fat can be even more dangerous than the external kind. A team from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. studies show that weight falls. In spite of all the millions spent on diets. food and exercise.” O’Rahilly recently wrote that while glucose and fructose are equal in calories. and the companies as their weaponry. The hope is that through a variety of environmental and pharmaceutical measures. obesity. And as Yeo says. cheaply treatable. working alongside pharmaceutical companies. potentially. announced recently that they were five years away from producing one. will become manageable. even though both forms of overconsumption can increase weight and fat stores to a similar amount. “Unlike cancer – when people who know they might die will take anything – obesity kills you very slowly so we can only use safe agents. too. and those who are unlucky are not feckless. As a consequence of this. THE SUGAR DEMON Some things are simple. There have been other pills in the past: safe ones that weren’t effective. the brain is tricked into thinking it’s full.” It’s not a straightforward task. and no longer life-threatening. “a stomach bypass is effective because as the food goes into the intestine lower down. This provides further evidence that policies designed to discourage the ingestion of sweetened beverages would likely have a positive impact on public health. To complicate matters further. insulin resistance. O’Rahilly wrote: “There is evidence that excessive consumption of fructose (found in sugar and in high-fructose corn syrup) is associated with a worsened metabolic state than excessive consumption of glucose. In another area of Vidal-Puig’s studies lies. When sugary drinks are restricted in lunch boxes. it doesn’t. it may be A PILL THAT CAN TRICK THE BRAIN INTO FEELING FULL BY SENDING FALSE MESSAGES TO THE BRAIN FROM THE GUT BY ELEVATING SATIETY HORMONES WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING tax. a crisis of the past. effective ones that weren’t safe. like high blood pressure.” Obesity studies struggle with funding because of the moral angle – “an obese man eventually dies of a heart attack and his widow gives money to a heart charity.” So even within sugars. fructose is worse for us because “it’s handled differently in the body. Professor Toni Vidal-Puig says it’s not as simple as “fat equals bad. Sugary drinks are particularly dangerous because they are not filling – they’re empty calories. high uric acid (the substance that precipitates out in joints when we get gout) and high blood pressure. particularly among children – that it won’t continue rising to a point where we are all obese. They are investigating why a 200kg man can be healthier than an 80kg one. O’Rahilly broadly supports a sugar to cause weight gain. an amazingly simple fix.” says O’Rahilly drily.– but no longer. They are biologically different. sometimes.” Like the rest of his team. although he thinks that. They are less prone to obesity. ideally.” This is part of O’Rahilly’s second question (after that of what makes some people obese): why excess weight leads to illness and why. The key might be in genetic treatment.” O’Rahilly. food companies will one day find that healthy food equals more profit.” In conclusion. “If his adipose tissue doesn’t work as well then the fat will go to his muscles.” says O’Rahilly. thin equals good”. and it is expensive. Governments are taking notice. he is non-judgemental and intensely sympathetic to the obese. But it is surgery. “Bands and balloons don’t really work and shouldn’t be heaped together with other surgery. high-fructose diets in rodents tend to cause high lipid levels in the blood. “It’s not magic – it’s just lowering calorie intake. “Thin people are not morally superior.” says O’Rahilly. sees his team as a kind of military intelligence. for example. He thinks in spite of data that show sharp acceleration in recent years. His promising early-phase trials have a clear aim: that high bodyweight eventually becomes. some calories are worse for your health than others. especially the liver. or otherwise in a magic pill that mimics the effects of gastric bypass surgery.

a report was published in Nature Medicine from researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. that could be a way of reducing people’s food intake to produce safe weight-loss.  . education and sympathy. London – identified an enzyme called glucokinase which could possibly be target for a new pill because it drives the craving for sugar in the brain. help cure us with kindness and ingenuity. “It is indeed theoretically possible that if we all switched on our brown fat by living in colder ambient temperatures we might all expend more energy. genetic studies. Work in Cambridge isn’t confined to O’Rahilly’s team. spacious countries have more cyclists. as yet. claiming they had developed a drug that works like an “imaginary meal”.” At the same time. rather than energy intake in general. white and brown. in what is possibly a step towards their own version of that magic pill.” says O’Rahilly. “If you administered them [the compounds] for a long time. The good news and bad news is that science is slow. “If we could fool those cells into thinking we have had a meal. While these are interesting observations. which was shown to reduce obesity in mice. California. Until then. The causes of the obesity epidemic are not quite the same as the causes of obesity in individuals. not just count calories.  . I hope.” says Wareham. can burn enough calories to prevent premature death. sugar taxes. 50 30/01/2015 Earlier this month. Wareham believes. which regulates babies’ temperatures but is much harder to pinpoint in adults. or whether our bodies will compensate in other ways by making us eat more. One of the two compounds is already used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. “If I was forced to choose.that something as basic as temperature is the answer. turning the central heating down. If a pill could reverse this desire. That might sound obvious – but lined up with the fact that flat. he says. Professor Nick Wareham. it’s possible that lower temperatures might increase the activity of brown fat. Education and labelling. can include type 2 diabetes and heart disease lege. you have to think about different nutrients. O’Rahilly says of the paper. “This is the first time anyone has discovered a system in the brain that responds to a specific nutrient. can be activated to burn calories and generate heat. We all have two types of fat. whose study was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. sugar consumption would decrease. It suggests that when you’re thinking about diet. “But so does the environment and the infrastructure. the person taking them could become immune-compromised . but the team admits they are some way from their pill because the compounds concerned could damage the immune system. the n fat battle rages on. most of them. examines the population as whole. Associate Professor Chad Cowan says. Brown fat. @CatherineOstler . So while central heating ensures we move less and burn fewer calories. cycle lanes. only a modest percentage of drugs that seem effective in mice ever make it into the clinic for patients. It’s a nice idea. another player – a team of researchers from Imperial Col- NEWSWEEK ONWARDS AND DOWNWARDS: Recent studies have shown that 20 minutes of exercise per day. White fat is inert and sits in deposits. the higher the local bodyweight. a central point emerges: people are suggestible. O’Rahilly and Wareham. His tests on rats showed that boosting glucokinase activity caused the animals to consume glucose over normal food. seem to be better news for rotund rodents than obese people. on the second floor. The consequences of severe obesity. which will burn our calories for us. He wrote a paper recently in the British Medical Journal studying the importance of exposure to takeaway food: the more outlets.” So. diet matters the most. just establishing proof of concept takes an enormous amount of time. THE BIG BREAKTHROUGH Scientists at the Stem Cell Institute at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital (one of the many teams in the world to have joined the race) announced before Christmas that they had identified two compounds that could turn “bad” white fat into “good” brown fat.” Somewhere between magic tablets. but so far there has not been sufficient study to show whether it’s possible.” says James Gardiner of Imperial College. can only go so far because we are not rational creatures. in spite of the constant flow of exciting announcements. Studies show that exposure to low temperatures may encourage white fat to behave like brown fat. So we should perhaps look at changing the environment rather than just telling people to change their habits. They will do whatever is easiest. top. above. and others of their noble breed will.

On 14 January. Their target is the vagus nerve.” said Toumazou. secretion of stomach acids and appetite. rather than saying ‘don’t eat’. The Imperial device. Then there are appetite suppressants. after a year. the US company EnteroMedics announced Food and Drug Administration approval for an implant. people have resorted to all kinds of clever ways to trick their appetites. BARC ROF T.Cravings: how food controls our brains BY ROGER HIGHFIELD SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. a microchip a few millimetres across. France. such as frequent diarrhea. which can help people with obesity reduce the number of calories consumed”. If their initial promise holds good. this approach could be a gentle option next to stomach stapling. treated patients achieved 24. The US company IntraPace. While trying to do this to treat severe forms of epilepsy and depression it was found that people lost weight as a side effect. Now. That year. EnteroMedics’ Chief Consulting Medical Officer. and be reversible too. showed promise too. SHUTTERSTOCK n the increasingly-dogged battle against obesity.4% excess weight loss. which is an implanted pacemaker-like device. Research on obese mini pigs published in 2010 by a team based in Rennes. Eating some foods can make us feel more full. By blocking signals along the nerves that connect the brain and stomach. including helping to control heart rate. subduing the urge to eat. a new exhibition opening in February at the Science Museum in London. said Scott Shikora. Though still too early to say when the new chip will be used in obese patients. “It will be control of appetite. A gastric band. where electrical signals are used to trick the brain into thinking the gut is full. showed that vagus nerve stimulation stopped the animals overeating and even made them select healthy food options. Chris Toumazou and Sir Stephen Bloom of Imperial College London are trying a more elaborate approach which will be on display in Cravings: Can Your Food Control You?. approval has been given to the first obesity “electroceuticals”.5% risk of death. can also be implanted by relatively minor surgery and is attached using cuff electrodes to the vagus nerve within the peritoneal cavity in the abdomen. The vagus does a plethora of jobs. a human pilot study by Jacek Sobocki at the Medical University of Warsaw. bypass and other forms of weight loss surgery can also cut cravings. The cuffs go one step further than before because they read both electrical and chemical signatures of appetite within the nerve. the device “promotes earlier feelings of fullness. would have fewer side effects. It also feeds information back to the brain on how various body systems are operating. When food or drink is detected. This is the first new medical device to be approved by the FDA for obesity in over a decade. possibly because stimulation was mimicking the normal messag- THIN AMBITIONS: A device that is surgically implanted in the abdomen to control hunger is the next big step in fighting obesity es from our gut to signal to our brain that we are full. a bundle of neurons that provides a major highway taking signals back and forth from the brain to many of the major organs. breathing. The chip can then act upon these readings and send electrical signals to the brain. electroceuticals offer a promising new way to curb n unwanted cravings. A trial showed that. also has European approval for its battery-powered Abiliti device. It is possible to wrap electrodes around the nerve in the neck and connect these to a power source programmed to switch on and off at intervals. this also delivers low-energy electrical impulses to the stomach that are intended to create a feeling of fullness. in San Jose. which carries a 0. offering more sensitivity. NEWSWEEK 51 30/01/2015 . So-called VBLOC therapy intermittently blocks the signals of the vagus using the Maestro System.

and that there is no wear-and-tear through their contact. as in a bicycle chain mechanism or a car’s gearbox. leading international space scientists to predict a bright future for the Magdrive project’s contactless gear reducer – the mechanism that transforms the rotational speed of an input axle to the different speed of an output axle. Using the forces between magnetic bearings. ] forces between the moving parts NEWSWEEK 52 is achieved without contact. which is due to be launched in 2018. Professor José Luis Pérez-Díaz.  . right. “It substitutes geared teeth with magnets that repel and attract each other so that the transmission of [ . will circumvent this problem BY JAMES BADCOCK @jpfbadcock . in which parts do not come into contact with one another. It is hoped that a new magnetic drive shaft developed by Spanish scientists.” Magdrive has superconductors integrated into the structure in order to keep the axles floating with stable repulsion forces. the device will continue to function. Even after an overload. but also give it stability to deal with oscillatory movements or other possible destabilising forces. These not only allow the gear to rotate. but nothing breaks.NEW WORLD NEW FRICTIONLESS TECHNOLOGY COULD SECURE FUTURE OF SPACE Scientists have developed a new magnetic drive mechanism for use in space rovers that will extend their operational life WHAT IF A PLANETARY exploration mission were jeopardised by a stuck axle or a misaligned gear cog? What if grease clogged up a delicate sensor on a lunar rover? These are some of the nightmare scenarios researchers in Madrid claim to have banished with the successful development of a drive mechanism in which none of the mechanical parts actually touch each other. says Díez Jiménez. the parts simply slide amongst themselves.  . According to the researcher. the lead researcher on a project for which the Madrid 30/01/2015 SMOOTH OPERATOR: Space rovers such as ExoMars. meaning that the operational life of these devices could be much longer than that of a conventional drive mechanism with teeth. the transmission system needs no lubrication and is immune to damage by wear and friction. “If the axle is blocked.” explains Efrén Díez Jiménez of Madrid’s Carlos III University (UC3M). can suffer mechanical failures associated with friction between parts. the big advantages of this breakthrough are that parts do not need to be lubricated.

NEWSWEEK 53 30/01/2015 .

N E W

W O R L D

university coordinated work at seven different
institutions across Europe, sees a number of
applications for a contactless transmission in
space technology: “from robot arms or antenna
positioners, where high-precision movements
are needed or when contamination from lubricants is undesired, to vehicles that, because of
temperature or extreme conditions, have their
life shortened by conventional mechanisms, as
happens with the wheels of a rover on Mars.”
By the time Nasa’s Spirit rover became stuck in

ment where there is little possibility of repairing
friction-related wear, and where low weight is
essential. Pérez-Díaz recalls that the programme
originated as a bullet-point on a sheet of technological requirements published in 2010 by
the European Space Agency (ESA), a kind of scientific wish-list. The European Commission’s
Seventh Framework R&D funding programme
then picked up on the ESA’s request for a way to
“improve the tribological conditions [wear from
friction] of gear-reducing mechanisms in cryogenic conditions”.
As Pérez-Díaz points out, the Magdrive consortium took a more ambitious approach in avoiding
contact between the moving parts altogether.
For Martin Barstow, a professor of astrophysics and space science at the University
of Leicester and president of Britain’s Royal
Astronomical Society, Magdrive is a “very
exciting development”, particularly due to its
capacity to operate outside planetary atmospheres. “Oil and grease are horrible in a vacuum,” Barstow says, adding that he has spent
long periods of his life trying to avoid
this problem, and suggesting that the
magnetic drive may prove to be of huge
assistance in future lunar exploration.
“Mechanisms such as filter wheels
on telescopes or carousels that change
instruments are very difficult to lubricate.
Optical systems need to be kept clean and, in a
vacuum, lubricants can be easily deposited on
optical components and reduce their effectiveness. If you try to build mechanisms without
lubricants, they have a tendency to stick through
a process called ‘cold welding’: in a vacuum,
smooth metal surfaces fuse when brought into
contact. This new mechanism seems likely to

“If the axle is blocked, the
parts simply slide amongst
themselves, nothing breaks.”
what was to be its final resting place on Mars in
2009, after five years of exploration, it had problems with two of its six wheels, fatally hampering
its bid to extricate itself from a soft patch of soil.
However, the rover’s desperate, wheel-spinning
attempts to continue with its mission did prove
to be serendipitous – they uncovered sulphates
under the planet’s surface, evidence of the previous existence of hot springs that could have
supported life.
Pérez-Díaz highlights the potential of the
magnetic drive, which can operate in cryogenic
temperatures not found on Earth, for use in
space. “Our prototype can work at -210 degrees
Celsius, in a vacuum and bearing weight, with
zero backlash, meaning perfect precision can be
achieved.” And, in what the physics professor
describes as a “world-record feat for Spanish science”, it is the first time in history that the input
axle, as well as the output axle, of a gear-reducer
are floating without any kind of contact, while
being capable of keeping a mechanism spinning
at 3,000 revolutions per minute even at cryogenic temperatures.
The physicist says that satellites, as well as
rovers, could benefit from such a smooth drive
mechanism for its moving parts in an environ-

NEWSWEEK

54

30/01/2015

IN THE WORKS:
The Magdrive
project’s contactless
gear reducer,
which relies on
superconducting
bearings, below,
that allow parts to
interact without
coming into contact
with each other, is
in development
in Madrid

A D V E R T O R I A L

solve this problem,” he explains. A spokesman
for Airbus Defence and Space agrees that the
contactless technology is extremely interesting for the future, but says it will not be ready in
time for ESA’s ExoMars rover, currently under
development at the company’s “Mars yard” in
Stevenage, north of London. ExoMars is due to
be launched in 2018 in cooperation with Roscosmos. “For a rover we need technology that’s
already proven and space-qualified, and then
we build redundancy into that anyway so there
is always a back-up. But it is clear that this technology could be of interest for going to very cold
places, perhaps with a view to future missions to
Europa, the moon of Jupiter.”
While space rovers and robotic arms gently placing satellites correctly into orbit will
one day be enhanced by this technology, the
breakthrough could also become one of those
improvements that the earthbound quickly take
for granted, perhaps only reminded of it from
time to time when a friend’s old banger produces
that once-familiar crunching sound as the driver
battles with the gearbox.
Besides the prototype that functions at cryogenic temperatures, the Magdrive team has also
developed another that can be used at ordinary
Earth temperatures. “The technology is ready
to be used in any industrial sector where it is
needed,” says UC3M’s Díez Jiménez, who mentions the possibility of solving problems experienced by wind turbines when gearing-down
high-wind energy to match the needs of the grid.
The absence of lubrication, and the fact that the
system can transmit its magnetic power through
hygienic barriers, means the technology could be
beneficial in the pharmaceutical sector and other
health-related areas.
The European Magdrive project was coordinated by UC3M with the six other members of
the consortium: Italy’s National Research Council, the University of Cassino, the University of
Lisbon, and three companies – Germany’s BPE,
Spain’s LIDAX, and Can Superconductors from
the Czech Republic. According to Professor
Pérez-Díaz, the total cost was a modest €2.5m,
mostly supplied by EU funding.
The magnetic non-contact drive is a rare
success story for Spanish science, which has
itself become somewhat toothless after years
of funding cutbacks. According to national figures for 2013, investment in R&D fell to 1.24%
of GDP, a figure well short of the EU average
of 2.02%. The country’s contribution to ESA
funding has also fallen off a cliff, dipping
under €100m in 2013. Spain’s debt to the space
n
agency currently stands at €75.5m.

Rhiannon Griffiths   
Acupuncturist

21st-century
professionals
UNCONVENTIONAL
MEDICAL PRACTICE
MEDICAL PRACTICE

‘T

he biggest barrier to getting people
through the clinic door is fear of
needles,’ according to Rhiannon
Griffiths, who has been in practice since
2009. Rhiannon is a member of the
British Acupuncture Council; members
require a minimum three year degree level
qualification in acupuncture that includes
conventional biomedical training.
Acupuncture is an established ancient
practice, but is not the main medical
model in the UK. According to Rhiannon,
sheer unfamiliarity with Chinese Medicine
can be a challenge, ‘…translating Western
Medical language into Chinese Medicine
concepts of how we view health is key.’
She explained how barriers can be overcome: ‘Patients can ask questions at every
stage to be sure they’re clear and happy. We
talk in depth about how they are feeling, upon
which I base my acupuncture point choices
for that individual, what I choose to do to
restore and harmonise the flow of energy.
But the proof is in the pudding. It works.’
Acupuncture is now recommended for
more conditions. ‘Years ago acupuncture
would have been known for bad backs or
frozen shoulders, but now I’m passionate
about spreading the word that it can help
with stress, anxiety and other emotional
conditions.’
Rhiannon uses social media to boost
accessibility and understanding of Chinese
Medicine: ‘We can’t often share patient
experiences, but I post snippets of my life,
sometimes in clinic, sometimes not. I might
Instagram or Tweet what I’m eating and
explain what impact the food is having on
my body according to Chinese food energetics – nourishing blood, boosting energy or
supporting particular organs. Authenticity is a
high value of mine. I show current or potential
patients that I do live my own life according to
Chinese medicine. It proves I walk the walk as
well as talk the talk.’
By Andy Friedman parnglobal.com

DOWNTIME

SCHOLAR, STRATEGIST, SEDUCTRESS –
WHO WAS THE REAL ANNE BOLEYN?

As the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall sparks
another bout of Tudor mania, Henry VIII’s
most alluring wife remains enigmatic
about her is lost in myth. After Anne’s execution
for treason, Henry VIII’s subjects didn’t keep pictures of the fallen queen, and the only contemporary image of her that survives is on a coin so
damaged you cannot see the middle of
her face.
The paintings of Anne we know – the
most famous being that of her wearing
a necklace adorned with a “B” – were
painted after both Anne and Henry
were dead. The woman in that particular picture may not even be Anne. In her lifetime
she used “A”, for Anne, as a cipher – not “B” for
Boleyn. It could equally be a picture of a Belinda
or a Beryl.
The contemporary descriptions of what Anne
looked like are, however, vivid. She was not
beautiful. Her skin was sallow, as was that of her
daughter Elizabeth, who made her face white

She was chic. It was said that
her black eyes could “read the
secrets of a man’s heart”
Now we are to meet the Anne Boleyn of the BBC
adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. Vindictive, calculating and political, this Anne sets out
to marry Henry VIII and to destroy his heroic servant, Thomas Cromwell.
The historical Anne was born the daughter
of the prominent courtier, Sir Thomas Boleyn.
But we don’t know exactly when, and much else

NEWSWEEK

56

30/01/2015

THE OTHER WOMAN:
Anne Boleyn, the
second wife of
Henry VIII, has been
represented on
screen on a number of
occasions. Claire Foy,
right, will appear as
Boleyn in the BBC’s
adaptation of Hilary
Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall’
later this month

BY
LEANDA DE LISLE
@LeandadeLisle

G I L ES K EY T E / B B C

WHO WAS THE real Anne Boleyn? In the film
Anne of a Thousand Days, she is the brave girl
who loves a king. In the novel The Other Boleyn
Girl she is the fallen woman, her brother’s lover.

NEWSWEEK 57 30/01/2015 .

he believed. It was at this time that Anne made her fatal enemy: the king’s leading servant. He also showed a growing romantic interest in one of her maidsof-honour. in 2008’s ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’. But it is wrong to suggest that she set out to capture the king. he could argue that his marriage to her was invalid. Cromwell used the snatches of flirtatious con- 30/01/2015 THE ELUSIVE QUEEN: Natalie Portman. The arguments with Rome went on for years and Anne was stuck. as well as the state. The already-pregnant Anne was now his queen. are among a number of actresses who have played the second wife of Henry VIII. and after she miscarried a male foetus in January 1536. No courtiers would take on the king as a romantic rival. not a mistress. and women in particular resented Henry’s abandonment of his first queen. Anne was an expert in the art of courtly flirtation. she continued to play politics for the highest stakes. Yet still she failed to produce a healthy son. Henry already associated himself with King Arthur. and detested for her association with the break from Rome. While Henry did not approve of divorce and was therefore reluctant to leave Katherine. Educated in the courts of Burgundy and France. She was his brother’s widow and this. He began complaining that Anne had seduced him into marrying her – an accusation that carried suggestions of witchcraft. but she was chic. Henry finally broke with Rome and had his marriage to Katherine annulled. she was never a mere victim. and she looked for solutions in the movements for religious reform that were sweeping Europe at the time. But Anne was fiercely intelligent and resourceful. he claimed. In 1533. The Pope disagreed. She would either marry Henry soon. who had been married off to a gentleman. above right. whom. and she insisted her daughter Elizabeth was given precedence over Katherine’s daughter Mary. The queen. Anne wanted the money raised from the closing of monasteries to go into education. He became convinced the papacy had usurped this power. was disinterested. Anne’s nose was also rather large. above. could not give him a son and heir. who was declared a bastard. may in fact depict another woman entirely . Anne backed the reign of terror Henry now launched with Thomas Cromwell upon opponents of his religious changes. Henry had ended an affair with Anne’s sister Mary. Anne was never a Protestant. undeterred. Katherine of Aragon. But. She resisted Henry’s attentions in the hope that he would move on. Thomas Cromwell. and Natalie Dormer. Only one of the pair would survive the quarrel – and it wasn’t Anne. He was never the upstanding figure of Hilary Mantel’s invention. in the Showtime television series ‘The Tudors’. But she fed Henry with selected readings that supported the view that kings had rightful authority over the church. It was said that they could “read the secrets of a man’s heart”. Henry lost hope that she ever would. It was a pattern the king had followed with mistresses before. Henry needed a wife. broke an inviolable biblical injunction against marrying your brother’s wife. Anne was also envied for her new position. played in the forthcoming series Wolf Hall by Mark Rylance. Anne acquired a new reputation as a “goggle-eyed whore”. It is argued that the most famous portrait of Boleyn. Contrary to myth. had wielded an imperial power over the English church. In any case. and Anne was a possible replacement. At court. But NEWSWEEK 58 Katherine remained much-loved. Anne. far right. but her behaviour appealed to his love of chivalric romances and their unobtainable heroines.D O W N T I M E with make-up. who had already attracted the attentions of many high-born suitors. at this stage in his life. or end up barren and unwed. When he fell in love with her in 1526. Her position was further weakened when her first baby proved to be a girl. Cromwell intended to pour it into the king’s pocket. Jane Seymour. with black eyes she used to great effect.

Henry didn’t care a jot for Anne’s feelings. the new Church of Anne continued to play politics for the highest stakes.” Anne said. His only thoughts were for himself. at that time. but the many stories n of Anne Boleyn were about to begin. Her real life was over. Those historians who claim that adultery against the king was. Henry decided she should be beheaded with a sword rather than with the traditional axe. Leanda de Lisle is the author of ‘Tudor: The Story of England’s Most Notorious Royal Family’. the day before her execution.R E X F E AT U R ES/ U N I V E RSA L H I STORY A RC H I V E / U N I V E RSA L I M AG ES G ROUP versation Anne had enjoyed with male courtiers (and a young musician) to weave a conspiracy. He did so because of his obsession with having a son. Jane Seymour. her eyes and lips still moving as it landed on the straw. Anne Historians have said this decision was made in recognition of her many years in France. laughing. He would go on to use that power to secure the annullment of a second marriage. to his Catholic subjects. to be a quick death. though evidence for this is elusive. incar- cerated in the Tower of London. and charged. and his desire to have more power over the church. Anne and her co-accused were arrested. to death by burning (although it was never carried out). 59 30/01/2015 . of a rightful king. and Henry himself. In court. Henry was associating himself with King Arthur. In Thomas Mallory’s The Death of Arthur. where nobility were traditionally executed in this manner. her brother described how they had joked about the king’s poor sexual performance and his bad poetry. She was accused of adultery with several men. a nobody who became a somebody by claiming to have slept with Anne. Sir Henry Norris. he married his new conquest. at least. But only one of the accused confessed to having slept with the queen – the musician Mark Smeaton. Queen Guinevere. “I heard say the executioner was very good and I have but a little neck. the king sentenced his adulteress. When Anne was found guilty of the murder plot. The claims of adultery were simply used to colour the real charge: together. among them her own brother. she was never a mere victim and her “lovers” were accused of plotting to kill the king. It was later said that Smeaton had been tortured. and because it offered a more dignified end. It was. as. The sword was the symbol of Camelot. Anne had never been the reason that Henry broke with Rome. an act of treason punishable by death. and of masculinity. He seems to have been a fantasist. But in truth. This gave substance to the lurid stories of Anne’s sexual exploits. are wrong. Eleven days later. Once again. was put in the frame. Contrary to popular belief. she put her hands round her throat. in order that Anne might be free to marry one of them. Anne had never been his wife at all. The king’s close servant and friend. NEWSWEEK England. Parliament. Her head fell with one blow.

“You take your superhero cape off Rough Creek Lodge.” Kyle wrote. Kyle concludes that the American lives he saved “were clearly worth more than that woman’s twisted soul. in the war. Chris Kyle was murdered on 2 February 2013 by Eddie Ray Routh. and must be killed. I seemed invincible. If he keeps the weapon. like a stubbed toe. Much of Eastwood’s film takes place on the battlefield: we see the world reduced to the crosshairs of a scope. After she’s dead. Routh shot Kyle and another man. He had taken Routh shooting at NEWSWEEK 60 30/01/2015 BY ALEXANDER NAZARYAN @alexnazaryan PAU L M OS E L EY/2013 M CT/A P P H OTO/ WA R N E R B ROS Based on the memoir of a US navy Seal. outside of Dallas. He was right – too right. a deeply disturbed marine who was one of the veterans Kyle had dedicated himself to helping. I thought to myself. which has sold an estimated 1. It’s nerve-wracking and exciting and I fucking love it. It wasn’t a roadside bomb that got him. because Kyle thought that men who shot guns in Iraq and Afghanistan might want to keep shooting guns in Texas.6 million copies and has been made into a Clint Eastwood film that opens across Europe this week. Chad Littlefield. as he almost always is. would befall him back home. Kyle whisperingly pleads for a boy not yet old enough to shave to drop the grenade-launcher of a dead insurgent. She was right. American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US Military History.D O W N T I M E CLINT EASTWOOD’S DRAMA OF TWISTED SOULS AND SAVAGERY “I ALWAYS SEEMED more vulnerable at home. Kyle was not felled in Nasiriya. Fallujah or Sadr City. ‘American Sniper’ is a brutal examination of moral truth in warfare . which opens with him killing a woman determined to lob a Chinese grenade at a unit of approaching marines. Lying prone on a rooftop. “I don’t see too much gray. on deployment. “Overseas.” wrote Chris Kyle in his 2012 book. But then some minor injury. but not the “Fuck.” Taya Kyle told her husband.” Kyle wrote in his book. thus leaving Taya Kyle alone with two young children and proving her husband’s premonition about his stateside vulnerability tragically correct. nor an insurgent sniper on the hunt. all moral quandaries compressed into the question of whether to squeeze the trigger. this is great.” American Sniper – the book.” every time you come home from deployment. he is an enemy.

by Clint Eastwood movie – often delves into this uncomfortable moral territory. His pronouncement certainly sounds messianic. who trained snipers in Hawaii. eventually becoming a member of a Seal team. Murphy fatally wounded Fraser with a third shot. a sniper. “You don’t select the first gooner that comes into your field of fire. in a sense. . Jeremy A Mitchell. a US navy Seal and bestselling author of ‘American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in American History’.” counselled Captain Jim Land. in a new film. He makes no pretences to having been the best marksman in his class.” The 1st United States Sharpshooters were formed during the Civil War. was one of two people killed on a gun range in Texas in February 2013. making the fight in Iraq seem less like a military campaign than a religious crusade. top. Yet he was good enough to become. As a sniper you do not have that luxury. But that second shot did strike his horse. then worked as a ranch hand. he had 1. Murphy was “a man who uses his deadly skill as a marksman to target opposing commanders and shatter the morale of the enemy. Kyle wrote that he “always loved guns. snipers were seen as having a tactical advantage over regular infantry. during the Second Battle of Saratoga. committing murder on him – premeditated. despicable evil.” he advertised. where the irregular terrain made traditional warfare obsolete. . a minimalist. . . as well as permission to form a second regiment. The fight was won by the Americans and became a foundation stone in the legend of “Sure Shot Tim”.” a description that would have surely appealed to Kyle. That’s what we were fighting in Iraq.” The military historian Adrian Gilbert once called the sniper “the ultimate hunter in a game where the quarry shoots back.” After high school. nor with his second.” writes the man who was branded Shaitan ar Ramadi. of the Revolutionary War. though he claims he “didn’t start most of them. Three hundred yards away was Brigadier General Simon Fraser. ‘American Sniper’.392 men under his command. The mythic image of the sniper proffered by Berdan has persisted into the modern age. No commander while firing. picking your position. You will be. causing the British general to fall. In 1999. . “Our warfare is like the guerrilla or Indian . “We have no drill or picket duty. and Murphy had been ordered to kill him. During the Vietnam War. in time. the Pennsylvanian whom Andy Dougan calls “a precursor of the modern sniper” in Through the Crosshairs: A History of Snipers. “Savage.” By the end of September 1861. This scene took place on 7 October 1777. Yet many in the Bush administration felt exactly the same way.SHARP SHOOTER: Chris Kyle. Timothy Murphy climbed a tree and positioned his rifle.” He got into fights at school. by Colonel Hiram Berdan. and he died the next morning. who served as an army 61 30/01/2015 . He is portrayed by Bradley Cooper. Murphy did not NEWSWEEK hit Fraser with his first shot. or the Devil of Ramadi. . he dipped in and out of college. above right. a brooding freelance killer who lurks in the shadowy edges of the chaotic fray. You will be killing the enemy when he is unaware of your presence . You are privileged to lay upon the ground while shooting. “I know that as grunts it was easy for you to feel justified in killing the enemy when he attacked you – he was trying to kill you . he did what he had long wanted to do and enlisted in the navy. always loved hunting. He is a soloist. The product of north-central Texas.

a writer for the Guardian has written a piece labelling Kyle a “hate-filled killer”. While on leave. “Besides asking people to go out and shop more. though. Brian Van Reet. a great war movie. at once alluring and threatening. Mitchell would go for weeks without showering or changing his clothes. is far more likeable than the one in the book. “You just get fatigued. he wrote in The New York Times. whether you love n them or not. there was no effort. or from a grunt who’d spent a miserable year wading through the bloody rice paddies of Da Nang. In that moment. he recalls. but endows the character with depth. told me that being a sniper was a “coveted position”. who is now a writer. too. Eastwood has made a great combat movie. We don’t watch films for accuracy.” he writes in American Sniper. the bad juju he brought back. Even those soldiers who didn’t share Kyle’s religious vision for the conflict felt keenly the apathy back home. “Fuck. The battle scenes are poems of dust and blood. But when has that stopped anyone? Already.” This must have been a dismaying thought for someone who felt the cosmic import of what he was doing. Sienna Miller is also excellent as the devoted and brassy Taya Kyle. It’s nerve-wracking and exciting and I fucking love it. His book is clearly written for a generation reared on PlayStation. while a critic for the right-leaning New York Post praised the navy Seals depicted therein as “a class of men in whom is contained a distilled essence of the American spirit. a likeable quality of aw-shucks-I’m-just-a-Texas-boy-doing-myjob. Authors like Kyle. he startles at the sound of a lawnmower. Perhaps what makes some uncomfortable about Kyle is that he reminds us of who fights our wars. then proof we have inflicted serious damage. There is much to admire about the movie Clint Eastwood has made. would have needed more of Kyle at home. could make just about anyone seem like the kind of guy you’d want for a brother-in-law. even if the latter is more faithful to life. a veteran who served in Iraq. has read American Sniper but had not yet seen the movie. in which the horrors of war are treated with a sunny.” The genius of the Chris Kyle story is that it imbued warfare with a kind of glamorous sheen. the gratingly patriotic country singer. He told me he thought Kyle was “an embellisher” and that the movie based on his memoir is for “people who like Toby Keith”.” Invariably. for starters.” Kyle complains to Taya during a spell back home. though the credit sequence.” Kyle once told an interviewer. too. though she is underused.” Some will surely go see the movie because they are fans of Chris Kyle and what he represents – the cowboy machismo of the Texas plains. I thought to myself. Kyle’s death is treated almost like an afterthought. too. this is great. It’s almost something like naïveté. “Out in the elements the whole time. is so moving because it is so real. Cooper capably broadcasts the inward anguish of his character. But it was also a difficult one. trying to find a purpose in the civilian world. And with Routh. “[offer] the spectacle of high body counts and terrorists twitching on the floor as proof that we are winning.” Van Reet told me.” watching for enemy movements. feeling holy matrimony slip from his grasp. Rumsfeldian braggadocio.” he recalls. has accused Kyle and others of promulgating the “kill memoir” genre. do we? Bradley Cooper. Then we can go back to our lives without ever having to think about Moqtada al-Sadr.” Van Reet.D O W N T I M E sniper in Afghanistan’s treacherous Kunar province. for about two hours. Red Bull and Vin Diesel flicks. “It’s not even on the news. who plays Kyle. both the right and left will use American Sniper. though the movie is far less susceptible to political manipulations than the book on which it is based. while stuffing our faces with popcorn and soda. We may do so. Eastwood could have done more with that blip of pain. “You live in a dreamworld. “No one cares. He captures the NEWSWEEK 62 sniper’s bravado. turning the privations Mitchell describes into the stuff of macho American legend. Or if not that exactly. There was “no attempt by the government to call for some national sacrifice. “You lay in the same place for days. The film version of Chris Kyle. But both blind devotion and wholesale rejection miss the point. whom we only see in the final sequence of the film. which shows actual footage from his funeral procession through Texas. with 160 kills to his name.” He was good at it. “I fucking love this. uncomplicated. struggling with alcohol. The wars are yours. And others will avoid it for much the same reason. Yet it is hard to imagine a similar sentiment from a private who had liberated Buchenwald. 30/01/2015 .

08.10. Britain will never be the same again INSIDE YARL’S WOOD EUROPE’S LARGEST DETENTION CENTRE 08. Print Only Print & Digital Digital Only IN-DEPTH REPORTING O BREAKING NEWS INVESTIGATIVE STORIES O AWARD-WINNING PHOTOGRAPHY SPECIAL REPORT EBOLA: HOW READY ARE WE? 01.07.2014 are fleeing once again WEST’S PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE PARIAH Whichever way Scotland votes.COM/PRINTOFFER TO PICK UP YOUR SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGE HOW ISIS MAKES UP TO $6M A DAY .2014 Unionist 04.2014 THE CRISIS INSIDE THE BULLET-PROOF BUBBLE OF THE THE THAT CHANGED PO Why Europe’s Jews 14.2014 12.08.EUROPE SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS Newsweek is a premium-quality weekly magazine produced by a dedicated European editorial team.2014 Moria: ‘Staying in Belgium was not really an option.09.10.’ Separatist VISIT NEWSWEEK. I never really felt at home there.2014 My family and other jihadis The writer whose relatives went to fight for Islamic State The death of the United Kingdom How different are we really? 31.11.2014 17.

The bony. Denmark. ARD in Germany. emaciated faces of starving women too weak to come outside. which recorded the atrocities of concentration camps.” 30/01/2015 BY ABIGAIL JONES HBO The documentary. “I found myself in the world of a nightmare. In the spring of 1945. Israel. tells the story of how. including Bergen-Belsen. Finland and Norway. then hurl it into the hole.D O W N T I M E HBO RESURRECTS FORGOTTEN HITCHCOCK HOLOCAUST FILM TWO WOMEN DRAG an emaciated female corpse along the ground. the cameramen’s notes – was boxed up and buried in the archives of the Imperial War Museum in London. the film was shelved by British authorities. On each side of the road were brown wooden huts. a new HBO documentary. There were faces at the windows. 70 years later. might never have been seen by the public had a decommissioned film. American and Soviet troops were headed towards Berlin. And they were dying. When they reach a large pit. Authorised in the spring of 1945 by the Allied forces.” the journalist recalled. give the naked body a quick tug backwards to pick up momentum. Night Will Fall. The corpse. German Concentration Camps Factual Survey captured the monstrous realities found during the liberation of Nazi death camps. Dachau and Auschwitz. Now. Slovenia. British. and also in Poland. directed by André Singer and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter and Jasper Britton. BBC radio aired a controversial report by Richard Dimbleby about his experience at Bergen-Belsen in northern Germany. was shelved by British authorities in 1945 . Along with them were soldiers who’d been trained as cameramen. The scene. boxy cameras hoisted up on their shoulders. lay strewn about the road and along the rutted tracks. the Netherlands. which boasted Alfred Hitchcock as a supervising director and the British film pioneer Sidney Bernstein as producer. its head bouncing on the dirt. shot at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the end of the Second World War. Initially. who arrived at concentration camps during their liberation to record the harrowing aftermath of the atrocities there. this lost film came NEWSWEEK 64 back to life. on German-French channel Arte. brawny men with large. some of them in decay. The film will air on HBO in the US. the BBC refused to air the report. Yet by August that year. Channel 4 in the UK. It took a while for details about the concentration camps to get out. propping themselves against the glass to see the daylight before they died. Everything – reels of footage. “Dead bodies. the broadcaster simply couldn’t believe Dimbleby hadn’t embellished the details. debuting on 26 January. flops onto a mound of decomposing bodies. which looks like a skeleton covered in a thin film of skin. On 19 April 1945. they stop. every hour and every minute. not been resurrected. the script. Portugal.

What he found there inspired his next endeavor: a full-length documentary that would portray the Nazis’ horrific crimes so vividly it would be impossible to deny that they ever took place. would never be forgotten. and a famous movie director. from the British Foreign Office. The smell NEWSWEEK of the camps. writers Richard Crossman and Colin Willis. the narrator speaks: “Unless the world learns the lesson these pictures teach. “You couldn’t tell if they were dead or alive.’” read a memo Bernstein received on 4 August 1945. A large group of civilians (it’s unclear who) walk through one of the camps. Of the 500-odd people in the audience at the beginning of the screening. The images will make you want to look away – but don’t. But by God’s grace. As the camera zooms in on the grotesque faces of the dead. plans for German Concentration Camps Factual Survey began to unravel. When the camera zooms in. Gaunt. including six million Jews.” All the while. tries to stop himself from crying – “it’s not something you quickly forget. passing by decaying bodies on both sides of the road. stimulating and interesting the Germans out of their apathy. The consensus was that the film was no longer necessary. American and Russian cameramen. which was unfinished when the project was shut down. Bernstein’s work had also become a political headache for American and British officials.  . I had peered into hell and that’s . Night Will Fall ends with a scene from the now-completed documentary. Alfred Hitchcock. ” – Ferencz. Shoulders. German locals stood on the sidelines. including the sixth reel.and gut-wrenching footage are interviews with concentration-camp survivors. to create a shorter film. he made lasting contributions. fewer than 100 were in their seats at the end. who later served as chief prosecutor during the Nuremberg trials. and the cameramen who were there to record the slaughter. “Policy at the moment in Germany is entirely in the direction of encouraging. Though his tenure on the film lasted just one month. some in heaps and others lined up like a carpet of human carcasses. including editor Stewart McAllister. n we who live will learn. made his way to the camp. a former director at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. thighs and legs marked by burns.” 65 30/01/2015 . an editor on the film. though its footage was used as key evidence in the trials of Nazi war criminals. Bernstein. cuts and filth. raise a hand. the soldiers who saved them. a sergeant with the US Third Army. top. and now restored by HBO.” Helping us make sense of this heart. arrive at German concentration camps in 1945 to document the horrors within The report was so stunning that.  . “You’d step over a body and it would suddenly wave at you. Night Will Fall shows many of these scenes. the crematorium was still going. It’s hard to imagine for a normal human mind. Bernstein hand-picked a powerhouse team. The American government grew impatient with Bernstein’s slow. all kinds of diseases in the camp. recalls in the documentary. above. German Concentration Camps Factual Survey was shelved in September 1945. They had just three months in which to complete the documentary from the reels and reels of footage captured by those British. Dysentery.A SHOT IN THE DARK: In a documentary film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. and there are people around the Commander-in-Chief who will say ‘No atrocity film. we see limbs. As Raye Farr. Billy Wilder. We watch the twins who survived Dr Josef Mengele’s grotesque human experiments at Auschwitz walk through a narrow corridor of barbed wire. tangled together like pretzels. helping to outline the story and emphasizing the importance of showing just how close the concentration camps were to picturesque villages where German civilians lived during the war. said “was like looking into the most appalling hell possible. bearing witness to a genocide they claimed they didn’t know about. Putrid.” Benjamin Ferencz. then a leading film producer and head of film for Britain’s psychological war department. says in the documentary. typhoid. cameramen. hiring its own director. the IWM began restoring and completing Bernstein and Hitchcock’s film as they had originally envisioned it. meticulous process and pulled its footage. as thin as bones. Wilder’s Death Mills premiered in Würzburg following an operetta with Lilian Harvey. hollow eyes and gaping mouths frozen in silent screams. which John Krish. He wanted the film to be as believable and irrefutable as possible to ensure that the massacre of 11 million people. “The films shot at Bergen-Belsen by the British cameramen reveal every level of humanity to a much greater extent than any other of the film evidence. night will fall. In the summer of 1945. Total chaos. Four years ago. After the American and British governments approved his film.” German Concentration Camps Factual Survey is Hitchcock’s only known documentary feature. a couple of days later. Skulls cracked open by puncture wounds. And we look into the eyes of the dead and dying at Dachau. and they are rife with unspeakable details: dead bodies are strewn across plots of land. We see soldiers slinging the dead over their shoulders as they hurl them into dump trucks. the dead bodies piled up like cordwood in front of the crematorium.

” Capote told Newsweek. a piece of narrative non-fiction that marked the dawn of a new era of American journalism.” made the cover of Newsweek in a report that marvelled at the $2m-dollar financial avalanche of book and movie rights those pages had already triggered. and his teenage son and daughter. “I’ve always felt that if you brought the art of the novelist together with the technique of journalism – fiction with the added knowledge that it was true – it would have the n most depth and impact. clear. He spent the next three years reporting and researching the story. .NEWS W EEKS PAST 23 January 1966 • In Cold Blood . of “343 cool. NEWSWEEK 66 controlled. and three more in editing his copious notes. An American Tragedy I n November 1959. The publication. in 1966. crescendoing pages.” 30/01/2015 . The result was In Cold Blood. . “I had this theory about reportage. the American author Truman Capote read in The New York Times about the brutal murders of a well-to-do Kansas farmer.