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Crash course for surge in Afghanistan


  • pg 1
									 APPLE ELUSIVE,                                                                                               ROB HUGHES                                          ALBERT R.                                                                                                   ALICE
 BUT IT’S ALSO                                                                                                ON SOCCER’S                                         HUNT ON                                                                                                     RAWSTHORN
 EVERYWHERE                                                                                                   MONEY WOES                                          OBAMA’S ART                                                                                                 ON DESIGN
 PAGE 16   |   BUSINESS ASIA WITH                                                                             PAGE 14   |   SPORTS                                PAGE TWO                                                                                                    PAGE 6   |   CULTURE


 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2010                                                                                   THE GLOBAL EDITION OF THE NEW YORK TIMES                                                                                                                                  GLOBAL.NYTIMES.COM

 Google tries                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wall Street
 to join crowd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             gave Greece
 but makes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 tools to hide
 a big blunder                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             growing debt
 SAN FRANCISCO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             NEW YORK

 Mix of social networking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Records show U.S. banks
 and e-mail is scaled back                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 helped devise methods
 over privacy concerns                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     to skirt European limits
 BY MIGUEL HELFT                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           BY LOUISE STORY,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           LANDON THOMAS JR.
 When Google introduced Buzz — its an-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     AND NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
 swer to Facebook and Twitter — it hoped
 to get the service off to a fast start. New                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that
 users of Buzz, which was added to Gmail                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   fostered subprime mortgages in the
 on Tuesday, found themselves with a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       United States have worsened the finan-
 ready-made network of friends automat-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cial crisis shaking Greece and undermin-
 ically selected by the company based on                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ing the euro by enabling European gov-
 the people that each user communicated                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ernments to hide their mounting debts.
 with most frequently through Google’s                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As worries over Greece rattle world
 e-mail and chat services.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 markets, records and interviews show
    But what Google viewed as an obvious                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   that with Wall Street’s help, the nation
 shortcut stirred up a beehive of angry                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt
 critics. Many users bristled at what they                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 European debt limits. One deal created
 considered an invasion of privacy, and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    by Goldman Sachs helped obscure bil-
 they faulted the company for failing to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   lions in debt from the budget overseers
 ask permission before sharing a person’s                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  in Brussels.
 Buzz contacts with a broad audience.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Even as the crisis was nearing the
    As a result, Google has faced a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        flash point, banks were searching for
 firestorm of criticism on blogs and Web                                                                                                                                                                                                  TYLER HICKS/THE NEW YORK TIMES   ways to help Greece forestall the day of
 sites, and it has already been forced to        Marines investigating a building destroyed in an airstrike over the weekend in Marja, a Taliban-held town in Helmand Province. It was the first combat for many in the operation.                                         reckoning. In early November — three
 alter some features of the service.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       months before Athens became the epi-
    E-mail, it turns out, can hold many                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    center of global financial anxiety — a
 secrets, from the names of personal phy-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  team from Goldman Sachs arrived in
 sicians and illicit lovers to the identities
 of whistle-blowers and anti-government
 activists. And Google, so recently a hero
 to many people for threatening to leave
                                                 Crash course for surge in Afghanistan                                                                                                                                                                                     the ancient city with a very modern pro-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           position for a government struggling to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           pay its bills, according to two people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           who were briefed on the meeting.
 China after hacking attempts against            MARJA, AFGHANISTAN                                          the last large Taliban stronghold in Hel-           them, and that many would fight to keep             tering compounds to the landing zone’s                   The bankers, led by Goldman’s presi-
 the Gmail accounts of human rights ac-                                                                      mand Province was beginning. For al-                their hold on this opium-poppy produc-              north, checking for enemy fighters and                dent, Gary D. Cohn, held out a financing
 tivists, now finds itself being pilloried as                                                                most all of them, this was to be their first        tion center.                                        booby traps. The rest of the platoon fol-             instrument that would have pushed
 a clumsy violator of privacy.                   Fast contact with Taliban                                   taste of war. And an afternoon of small-               Company K is part of what many mar-              lowed through the gate.                               debt from Greece’s health care system
    As Evgeny Morozov wrote in a blog            as marines land at dawn                                     arms combat was ahead.                              ines call a surge battalion, one of the                Sergeants and corporals urged a                    far into the future, much as when
 post for Foreign Policy, ‘‘If I were work-                                                                    But at first, these marines, the van-             units assigned to Afghanistan after Pres-           steady pace. ‘‘Go! Go! Go!’’ they said,               strapped homeowners take out second
 ing for the Iranian or the Chinese gov-         to finally fight for Marja                                  guard for 6,000 NATO and Afghan troops              ident Barack Obama decided last year to             spicing instructions with profanity. By 3             mortgages to pay off their credit cards.
 ernment, I would immediately dispatch                                                                       streaming in to loosen the Taliban’s grip           increase the U.S. troops on the ground. It          a.m., Company K had its toehold.                         It had worked before. In 2001, just
 my Internet geek squads to check on             BY C.J. CHIVERS                                             here permanently, met no resistance.                arrived in Afghanistan a month ago, and                The company’s mission was to seize                 after Greece had been admitted to
 Google Buzz accounts for political activ-                                                                     On the last miles of the ride in Satur-           had waited for this moment.                         the area around the major intersection                Europe’s monetary union, Goldman
 ists and see if they have any connec-           The helicopters landed before dawn,                         day, the marines were silent as the air-               Its introduction to the war was a                in northern Marja, clear a village beside             helped the government quietly borrow
 tions that were previously unknown to           alighting in a poppy field beside a row of                  craft flew 200 feet, or 60 meters, above            crash course.                                       it and hold it.                                       billions, people familiar with the trans-
 the government.’’                               mud-walled compounds. The Marines                           freshly sprouting poppy fields.                        As the helicopter wheels touched soil,           AFGHANISTAN, PAGE 4                                   action said. That deal, hidden from pub-
    Mr. Morozov is a researcher on the ef-       ran into the darkness and crouched                            Irrigation canals glittered beneath               the aircraft filled with whoops, and the                                                                  lic view because it was treated as a cur-
 fects of the Internet on totalitarian re-       through the rotor-whipped dust as their                     the portholes, rolling past fast.                   marines stood and bolted for the tail                                                                     rency trade rather than a loan, helped
 gimes at the Institute for the Study of         aircraft lifted away.                                         The marines did not know what to ex-              ramp.                                               NATO ROCKETS GO ASTRAY                                Athens meet Europe’s deficit rules
 Diplomacy at Georgetown University                For the marines of Company K, 3rd                         pect, beyond the fact that at least hun-               They moved briskly. Within minutes,              An attack intended for the Taliban in                 while continuing to spend beyond its
 under a fellowship financed by Yahoo.           Battalion, 6th Marines, the assault into                    dreds of insurgents were waiting for                the first marines of 3rd Platoon were en-           Afghanistan killed 12 civilians. PAGE 4               means.
 In an interview, he said the flap over                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Athens did not pursue the latest Gold-
 Buzz ‘‘definitely undermines Google’s                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     man proposal, but with Greece groan-
 credibility when it talks about freedom                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ing under the weight of its debts and
 of expression.’’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          with its richer neighbors vowing to
    In an e-mail message, Todd Jackson,
 product manager for Gmail and Google
 Buzz, said, ‘‘Google remains completely
                                                 In operating room, an issue of man vs. machine                                                                                                                                                                            come to its aid, the deals over the last
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           decade are raising questions about Wall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Street’s role in the world’s latest finan-
 committed to freedom of expression and          BY GINA KOLATA                                                                                                                                                      gery patients among the ones who had                  cial drama.
 to privacy, and we have a strong track                                                                      Surgery using robots is                                                                                 robot-assisted surgery, making it diffi-                 As in the U.S. subprime crisis and the
 record of protecting both.’’                    At age 42, Dr. Jeffrey A. Cadeddu feels                     popular, but is it any better?                                                                          cult to assess its conclusions.                       implosion of American International
    Mr. Jackson initially defended the           out of touch in urologic surgery. He was                                                                                                                               It is also not known whether robot-as-             Group, financial derivatives played a
 setup of the Buzz service. He said that         trained to take out cancerous prostates                     Texas Southwestern Medical Center at                                                                    sisted prostate surgery gives better,                 role in the accumulation of Greek debt.
 Buzz came with a built-in circle of con-        the traditional laparoscopic way: mak-                      Dallas. ‘‘They say: ‘Do you use the ro-                                                                 long-term cancer control than the tradi-              Instruments developed by Goldman
 tacts to provide a better experience to         ing small incisions in the abdomen and                      bot? O.K., well, thank you.’’’ And they                                                                 tional methods. And researchers know                  Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and a wide
 users and that many liked that feature.         inserting tools with his own hands to                       leave.                                                                                                  of no large studies planned or under                  GREECE, PAGE 18
    After numerous bloggers complained           slice out the organ.                                          On one level, robot-assisted surgery                                   CHRIS GARLINGTON FOR THE NYT   way.
 that the privacy controls were difficult           But now, patient after patient is walk-                  makes sense. A robot’s slender arms                 A robot-assisted operation in Florida.                 Meanwhile, marketing has moved in-                 GREEK STATISTICIAN SAYS HE’S SCAPEGOAT
 to find and adjust, Google agreed to            ing away. They do not want that kind of                     can reach places human hands cannot,                                                                    to the breach, with hospitals and sur-                The former agency head says the new
 make changes.                                   surgery. They want surgery by a robot,                      and robot-assisted surgery is spreading                                                                 geons advertising their services with                 government mishandled the aftermath
 GOOGLE, PAGE 17                                 controlled by a physician not necessari-                    to other areas of medicine.                         outcomes among Medicare patients, in-               claims that make critics raise their eye-             of an underreported deficit. PAGE 18
                                                 ly even in the operating room, face bur-                      But robot-assisted prostate surgery               dicated that surgery with a robot might             brows. For example, surgeons in
 GOOGLE’S SUGGESTION? BUY SOMETHING              ied in a console, working the robot’s                       costs more — about $1,500 to $2,000                 lead to fewer in-hospital complications             private practice at the New Jersey Cen-               ONLINE: A ROCKY POSITION FOR THE E.U.
 Typing ‘‘A’’ — or ‘‘B’’ or ‘‘Z’’ — on           arms with remote controls.                                  more per patient. And it is not clear               but that it might also lead to more im-             ter for Prostate Cancer and Urology ad-                 How Greece is handled could either give
 Google.com would have you believe the              ‘‘Patients interview you,’’ said Dr. Ca-                 whether its outcomes are better.                    potence and incontinence. But the study             vertise on their Web site that robot-as-              Europe greater clout or downgrade it to a
 great U.S. pastime is shopping. PAGE 16         deddu, a urologist at the University of                       One large U.S. study, which compared              included conventional laparoscopic sur-             SURGERY, PAGE 4                                       sideshow. global.nytimes.com/weekinreview

                                                                                                                                                                 Under cloud of tragedy, Games stagger on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           HOW FAST IS TOO FAST?
                                                                                                                                                                 WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA                               2 0 1 0 W I N T E R O LY M P I C S
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Before the death of an Olympic luge
                                                                                                                                                                 BY CHRISTOPHER CLAREY                                                                                     athlete, warnings were sounded about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Then came Friday afternoon and the                  the track on which he died. PAGE 13
                                                                                                                                                                 It is too early to start singing Woe                crash of the Georgian luger Nodar Ku-
                                                                                                                                                                 Canada in earnest. Two weeks of com-                maritashvili during an official training              COPING WITH CELEBRITY
                                                                                                                                                                 petition remain in these far-from-wintry            run just hours before an opening cere-                Kim Yu-na, the megastar of figure
                                                                                                                                                                 Olympics, ample time for the karma and              mony that no longer seemed like quite                 skating, lives a world away from her
                                                                                                                                                                 weather patterns to shift. But it has               as good a reason to clap one’s red mit-               life of fame in South Korea. PAGE 12
                                                                                                                                                                 been a soggy, deeply dispiriting start:             tens and whoop with national pride.
                                                                                                                                                                 one of postponed races, rain even in the              But the Canadians still managed to                  SKATING, QUICKLY, TO A U.S. RECORD
                                                                                                                                                                 mountains and, above all, death on the              party at the first indoor ceremony in                 With the silver medal in the 1,500-meter
                                                                                                                                                                 luge track.                                         Olympic history. The 82 delegations                   speed skating event, Apolo Ohno
                                                                                                                                                                    The Winter Games have had regular                marched in just the same, with the                    surpassed Eric Heiden’s total. PAGE 12
                                                                                                                                                                 flurries of adversity and controversy               loudest applause reserved for the Cana-
                                                                                                                                                                 through the years — from voter rejec-               dian and Georgian teams and for Wayne                 ONLINE: OLYMPICS 2010
                                                                                                                                                                 tions to doping and corruption scandals             Gretzky, the ice hockey icon who pre-                   Full coverage and photographs and
                                                                                                                                  DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS   — but genuine tragedy has been ex-                  dictably was selected as the final torch              results of all events at the Vancouver
 DEATH OF AN ATHLETE    David Kumaritashvili, left, at home in Georgia with friends of his son, Nodar, who was killed on the luge track in Canada.               ceedingly rare.                                     OLYMPICS, PAGE 13                                     Games. nytimes.com/olympics

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