"Long Run-Up, Short Leap"
SPIEGEL cover story: Gerhard Schröder has needed five years to box through his reform agenda. It's a story of procrastination and missed opportunities. Now the chancellor is satisfied, but the country is waiting for an upswing.
"Showdown at the Eiffel Tower"
Affairs: In the end, it was all very easy. Ludwig-Holger Pfahls, who had become a symbol of corrupt government, let himself be arrested peaceably in Paris. The phantom that investigators had hunted for five years had itself provided the decisive clue - but who were Pfahls's helpers?
"The Tenant is a Customer"
Real estate: Sluggish prices on the German property market are luring major investors from abroad. They are offering billions for German apartment groups.
The German ship "Cap Anamur" appeared off Sicily with 37 Africans picked up in the Mediterranean and triggered a lively controversy in Germany and Italy alike about EU asylum policy - as well as the rescuers' motives.
"The Thought of Killing"
The Netherlands: The Dutch law on euthanasia is de facto a licence to kill. Doctors also release patients who do not wish to be released at all. Nevertheless, a strong group of parliamentarians in the Council of Europe recommends the Hague scheme as a precedent for the rest of Europe. What is happily overlooked is the knowledge that one can die painlessly and peacefully is paid for by the Dutch with the risk that in certain circumstances they could be bumped off by a doctor without being asked. Most German doctors oppose active assistance in dying. Yet in Germany too the wind is beginning to veer, given rising life expectation and lower funds for health.
Austria: The sex scandal in the seminary of St. Pölten is not simply clouding the image of a bishop who enjoys his drink - but is above all gnawing away at the credibility of the Roman Catholic church. The scandal in the provincial capital of Lower Austria is especially depressing for the official church in Vienna in that it confirms the prejudice that many young people are thronging into the priesthood, not because they adore Jesus, but because they are gay and seek security in the homosexual infrastructure of the church.
"Fear of Betrayal"
Iraq: The Kurds fear that they may be pushed out to the margin by Baghdad and are threatening to chop off the area they inhabit. They are said to have found a partner in Israel, of all countries.
Georgia: War threatens in the Caucasus, with hostilities looming between Georgia and the separatist republic of South Ossettia. History has dealt the Ossettians a rotten hand. Shortly after the fall of the Wall in Central Europe and the collapse of the Soviet empire, their country was split by a frontier. The south of the province had been united with the north as part of the Soviet Union but since 1992 has been treated in international law as part of Georgia. Yet following armed conflict the south of the province detached itself from Georgia twelve years ago as the "Republic of South Ossettia" that does not enjoy international recognition. Now Georgia's president Micheil Saakaschwili is aiming to force unity on the Ossettians with a mixture of promises and threats. This move has emerged as the trickiest challenge so far for this young politician.
"Muesli eaters in the Garden of Eden"
Archaeology: Israeli researchers have come across the remnants of grain foods in an extremely early Stone Age settlement. These finds have produced an astonishing dating: Early human beings were already filling their bellies with grain foods 12,000 years before the date so far assumed for the beginning of systematic arable farming in the Near East. Researchers may have presumed for a long time that grain foods played a growing part in the range of nutrition for Stone Age people, but they could never prove this. The remnants of plant food at prehistoric sites had hitherto only been recovered in minute quantities - for unlike bones and fish bones the traces of vegetable nutrients only seldom survive. The find on the banks of Lake Nazareth therefore represents a stroke of good fortune for the diggers.
"Power from the Deep-Freeze"
Automobiles: In the contest for the propulsion of the future a strange alternative is emerging: cars could run exhaust-free on dynamite. Approximately ten kilowatts are needed to get a small car puttering along at 100 kph. In other words, 100 litres of dynamite are needed to cover 100 kilometres. Just now these cost about 15 euros. Even with gigantic tanks, the range would barely reach 250 kilometres. The automobile industry's experts are correspondingly dismissive on the subject of the dynamite-fuelled engine.
"Beer Mats on Espionage Flights"
Aviation: Researchers are founding a new era in aviation with tiny aircraft and helicopters. These miniatures are designed to monitor traffic, observe the weather and spot enemies in the event of war. Engineers all over the world are currently subject to high pressure and tinkering about with the micro-airplanes of the future. These new aerial wizards are to be as small, light, robust and - above all - intelligent. In future they are to be deployed not only by the military, but also by the police and in averting natural catastrophes.
"In Defence of Blindness"
Writers: In his new novel Martin Walser only apparently tells of love. The real hero of his book "The Moment of Love" is a French philosopher, Julien Offray de la Mettrie.
"Voodoo on the Green Hill"
The 42nd Wagner Festival will open with the "Parsifal" directed by action artist Christoph Schlingensief. The end of a turbulent period of rehearsals appears to find the director and his boss, festival director Wolfgang Wagner, respecting each other while pursuing a good-natured quarrel. Bayreuth had been a dream for him, says Schlingensief. The "Parsifal" is an overwhelming dance of the dead needing to be staged as a collective experience on the brink of death, a voodoo passion full of pain and angst and inability to die, with the realization, finally, that only death brings release, that no grail, no music and no theory of alliteration can ever change anything there.
"Altitude with Antlers"
The festival city of Salzburg has chosen a spectacular site for building a purist museum of Modern art. The glamour here is provided by the director.
"I Aim to Show the Truth"
SPIEGEL in-depth interview with US film director Larry Clark about sex and violence and the accusations that his new film, "Ken Park" is pornographic:
"It has nothing to do with pornography. "Kids" was about what teenagers do when parents are not present. 'Ken Park' is about the relations between teenagers and parents." (...) "As an artist I am once again interested in the darker side. What the kids experience in 'Ken Park' goes on all over the world. It's just not shown often."