All list articles

  • Billionaire as Russia's president? The 5 richest men in Russia.

    Billionaire as Russia's president? The 5 richest men in Russia.

    Mikhail Prokhorov, one of Russia's richest men – and the owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team – has announced that he will challenge Vladimir Putin in the March 2012 presidential elections. His move to throw his hat in the ring has thrown the spotlight once again on Russia's billionaires. A record number of billionaires now call Russia home – 114 of them, according to an annual list of the 500 richest Russians published in February by the Moscow-based Finans magazine. The number of billionaires is up from a mere 77 in 2009. To make this year's list, a Russian tycoon had to be worth at least $160 million. The assets of the top 10 grew last year by a whopping 30 percent to a combined worth of $182 billion. The bonanza has yet to reach Russia's struggling middle class; average incomes rose a paltry 4 percent last year, according to the state statistics agency Rostat. To be a former associate of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin helps, apparently. According to the magazine, Arkady Rotenberg, who did judo training with a teenaged Mr. Putin, jumped 17 places to become Russia's 63rd richest person, worth $1.75 billion. Two neighbors from Putin's summer home community near St. Petersburg also shot through the ranks this year to become the 115th and 184th richest persons. Here are the top five:

  • World's top 5 economies: Most Americans already think China is No. 1

    World's top 5 economies: Most Americans already think China is No. 1

    It's official. On Feb. 14, China was recognized as the world's second-largest economy after the United States. Japan released its 2010 economic figures, announcing that its full-year GDP was $5.47 trillion – about 7 percent smaller than China's. But read between the lines and look beyond the top three rankings. You find that Americans are already convinced that the US has fallen behind China, that Japanese are not necessarily dismayed at the news that they've fallen to No. 3, and that other nations are showing notable economic changes.

  • Seven hot cars for Valentine’s Day

    Seven hot cars for Valentine’s Day

    It’s Valentine’s Day, and those “sexiest cars” lists are rolling in. Silly? A little, but it’s too much fun not to play along. We looked at 2011 cars that were attainable (sorry, Dr. Porsche, Jaguar, Tesla), not overly obvious (Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, BMW 3-series), and sporting a noticeably new look. We like the Volvo C30, but it didn’t much improve a reliably pretty fleet. I haven’t driven all these vehicles, but over several years of test-driving I did race through several of these cars’ predecessors. You can still see the skid marks. Here, in random order, are my seven hot cars for Valentine’s Day 2011:

  • Valentine's Day report: seven ways marriage is changing

    Valentine's Day report: seven ways marriage is changing

    It seems Valentine's Day, when 10 percent of all marriage proposals take place, is one of the few constants in the institution of marriage. Fifty years ago, marriage was between a man and a woman barely into their twenties, of the same race and social class, till death did them part. But marriage today is wildly different. In increasing numbers, Americans no longer feel the need to marry to have sex, have a baby, or even to have financial stability. In short, Americans are redefining what marriage is and why they marry. Here are seven marriage trends in the US.

  • Westminster Dog Show: Five spunky Best in Show winners

    Westminster Dog Show: Five spunky Best in Show winners

    The Westminster Dog Show in New York draws nearly 2,500 entrants a year, with handlers spending as much as $1 million a year on a single dog. Here are the dogs who won Best in Show in each of the past five years.

  • 10 perfect books for Valentine's Day gifts

    10 perfect books for Valentine's Day gifts

    Chocolates disappear, flowers fade, and jewelry goes out of style. But books remain forever. If you're looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift, one of the following titles is sure to suit.

  • Shaking up 2012: US senators who aren't running for reelection

    Shaking up 2012: US senators who aren't running for reelection

    So far, 10 senators have announced that they will retire at the end of of their terms rather than seek reelection. With the 2012 campaigns not far off, the departures of these seven Democrats (well, one is an Independent, technically) and three Republicans are shaking things up. Here's how.

  • Hosni Mubarak's exit plan: Where do exiled leaders go?

    Hosni Mubarak's exit plan: Where do exiled leaders go?

    With Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appearing to be headed out of office, it’s likely he has thought about where he’d head next if he’s forced out of the country as well as the presidency. Ousted world leaders have a history of slipping away to other countries and living a life of relative anonymity and leisure in exile. If President Mubarak joins the ranks of those who fled their countries to live out the rest of their days elsewhere, where will he go? Some of his predecessors’ choices could give some guidance.

  • 5 signs that e-books are here to stay

    5 signs that e-books are here to stay

    If e-books were the new family on the block in 2010, they’re putting down roots and settling in for good in 2011. Here are five reasons why you can be sure that e-books are here to stay.

  • In his memoir, Donald Rumsfeld admits five mistakes, sort of

    In his memoir, Donald Rumsfeld admits five mistakes, sort of

    As former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says in his new memoir, "Known and Unknown," he is not one for wrestling with remorse. “Never much of a handwringer,” he writes. When Mr. Rumsfeld does share moments of decisionmaking doubt, he tends to emphasize the role that “others” played in leading him or the American public astray. Throughout the memoir, Rumsfeld is not averse to settling some old scores. Here are five mistakes that Rumsfeld acknowledges having made, and the people he wishes would get blamed right along with him.

  • Five ways Egypt's Constitution stifles opposition

    Five ways Egypt's Constitution stifles opposition

    Among the demands of Egyptian protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, one of the most central is constitutional reform that will prevent a repeat of the concentration of power achieved under President Hosni Mubarak. Vice President Omar Suleiman announced Feb. 8 that a committee had been formed to discuss constitutional reforms necessary for free and fair elections, but many protesters are wary that the reforms will be only superficial. Below are a few of the constitutional provisions that have served to limit Egypt’s opposition and cement the government’s power.

  • NFL lockout: five reasons Super Bowl could be last pro football of 2011

    NFL lockout: five reasons Super Bowl could be last pro football of 2011

    Coming off the most-watched Super Bowl of all time, reality is about to hit football fans hard. Owners and players must agree to a new collective-bargaining agreement by March 4, or the owners will lock out the players, essentially suspending pro football indefinitely. Behind the NFL's recent success are stark concerns. Here are five of the most important sticking points to be overcome to avoid the league's first labor-related work stoppage since 1987.

  • Bestselling books the week of Feb. 10, 2011, according to IndieBound*

    Bestselling books the week of Feb. 10, 2011, according to IndieBound*

    What's selling best in independent bookstores across America.

  • Did Saddam Hussein target Donald Rumsfeld's kids? Five surprises from memoir.

    Did Saddam Hussein target Donald Rumsfeld's kids? Five surprises from memoir.

    Donald Rumsfeld has a new book out, called “Known and Unknown.” The ex-secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush has been out on the chat circuit talking up the book, as authors do. Here are five things we learned from the memoir and/or Donald Rumsfeld interviews.

  • South Sudan set to join ranks of five of the world's newest countries

    South Sudan set to join ranks of five of the world's newest countries

    The South Sudan referendum ended with an overwhelming vote for independence – 99.57 percent of those polled voted for it – and put the region officially on track to become independent in July. How often is a country born? (Or wrested from territory of an already existing one?) Here’s a look at five of the most recent declarations of independence:

  • Black History Month: 7 wonderful books for kids

    Black History Month: 7 wonderful books for kids

    Lovely pictures and deft prose bring history to life for young readers first encountering the Civil Rights movement, Gullah heritage, the Underground Railroad, and other chapters of the African American experience.

  • Darth Vader Super Bowl commercial: What happens to child stars in ads?

    Darth Vader Super Bowl commercial: What happens to child stars in ads?

    The Darth Vader Super Bowl commercial made six-year-old Max Page an advertising wunderkind even before the public had seen his face. As the pint-sized Darth Vader in the VW ad, Max became an Internet phenomenon for using "The Force," or trying to. The Super Bowl commercial went viral on the Internet in the run-up to the big game. Since the Super Bowl, Max has gotten even more attention. On Monday's "Today" show, he took off his Vader mask, letting America see his face. Here's a look at Max and five other child actors who starred in ads. Can you guess which of the five made the big time?

  • Black History Month: 7 great books for teens

    Black History Month: 7 great books for teens

    From gritty memoir to evocative fiction, these stories offer powerful lessons about race in America.

  • Top Super Bowl commercials 2011: six winners and losers

    Top Super Bowl commercials 2011: six winners and losers

    Super Bowl commercials have become a mini-film festival, keeping the less-than-diehard football fans in front of the tube. But this year’s top spots are singled out for their misses as much as their hits.

  • Reagan's 100th birthday: 10 defining moments

    Reagan's 100th birthday: 10 defining moments

    American's 40th president, Ronald Reagan, would have turned 100 on Sunday. He presided during the last legs of the cold war and argued for smaller government. As much of the US political world notes the centennial of his birth, here are 10 things that define Reagan, and through which, he helped define the world.

  • Super Bowl commercials 2011:The best 3 online now (video)

    Super Bowl commercials 2011:The best 3 online now (video)

    You don't have to wait until Sunday. Many companies are already airing their Super Bowl 2011 commercials days before the Big Event. The goal is to create a pre-game buzz around their ads. Check out our favorites, so far.

  • Black History Month: 6 classic novels

    Each of these novels – in its own way – is a classic. All six fearlessly explore different dimensions of what it means to be black in America.

  • 3 good books for February reading

    3 good books for February reading

    In a short month packed with long, cool nights, what better diversion than a good book? Here are three February releases we think you will like.

  • Five US cities that ban smoking in public parks

    Five US cities that ban smoking in public parks

    New York City lawmakers voted Feb. 2, 2011 to ban smoking outdoors in public parks, public beaches, and even Times Square. The Big Apple is the latest major US city to prohibit smoking in parks and other public spaces, adopting laws that are tougher than its home state's. Such laws are a boon to public health and reduce litter in urban parks, say supporters. Critics say they are yet another instance of "big government" encroachment on personal freedoms and are almost impossible to enforce. In all, almost 500 cities, counties, and towns have banned smoking in public parks. Here are five big cities that have done so.

  • 6 books to beat the winter blues

    6 books to beat the winter blues

    The groundhog may have seen his shadow yesterday, but for those of us enduring a blizzard a week spring still seems a distant prospect. So instead of fighting winter, why not embrace it? Here are six inspiring reads to remind all of us of the awesome beauty – and perilous power – of the season.

 
 
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