Mother Nature: Political Reformer

Chernobyl and an earthquake in Mexico City led to great change. Will SARS?

What scares you more, SARS or terrorism? For me, it's the disease, though I'll concede to a bias: I spent part of last week in Toronto, where commuters are now worried about whom they're sitting next to and where a favorite bar of mine--packed when I was there in February--is now as empty as the Yukon.

The problem isn't just the virus, which has traumatized at least two other cities: Beijing and Hong Kong. What's especially nerve-racking is the cover-up at the source, in the corridors of power in China. Hu Jintao, who became leader of China's Communist Party half a...

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