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High-stakes belly dancing; air for sale!
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Illustrations by Istvan Banyai

January 14
Mum’s the Word

Two former pro-Israel lobbyists stand trial today, charged with passing classified intelligence about U.S. policy toward Iran from a Pentagon source to journalists and Israeli officials. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other national-security heavyweights will be required to testify, and jurors and witnesses will use code words to protect classified information.

January 15
The Fort Dix Six

Five alleged radical Islamists go on trial today in Camden, N.J., accused of training, scouting, and gathering weapons for a planned attack last year on nearby Fort Dix. A sixth group member, who supplied arms, has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in February.

January 15–22
Grand Salomé

Flesh jiggles, veils drape, and hips shake on the Sinai this week, at the Alf Leila We Leila Festival—also known as the Belly Dancing World Cup—in Taba, Egypt. The winner takes home a gold belly-dancing trophy and $12,000.

January 18
Pumping Irons

When you hear “steroids,” you probably don’t think “ladies’ golf.” But doping scandals in other sports have prompted pro golf to fortify its honor code with drug tests—for both performance-enhancing and recreational drugs—starting with the beginning of the LPGA season today. Screening for the men’s tour tees off in July.

January 22
Multiple Choice

Coming in the heat of the presidential primaries, today’s 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade should make abortion an even more prominent topic, especially given the proven adaptability of several Republican front-runners on the subject.

January 24
Going … Going … Mobile!

Today the FCC auctions off a rare and valuable chunk of radio spectrum expected to fetch as much as $15 billion. Under new rules—lobbied for by Google to open up the cell-phone market—the winning bidder must open part of the spectrum to any mobile device that can use it.

January 26
Localization

The World Social Forum, the annual anti-globalization klatch intended as a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum in Davos, has been canceled this year, after a disappointing turnout at last year’s gathering in Nairobi. Instead, leaders have called for local rallies around the globe today.

February 3
Amateur Minute

The talent-show craze taking over television reaches the acme of American culture: the Super Bowl commercial. Doritos invited garage bands to submit their acts. The winner will debut today during the annual marketing blowout.

February 4
New York’s Trials

Three New York City detectives stand trial in Queens for killing Sean Bell, an unarmed black man who was shot 50 times on his wedding day in 2006 as he left a bachelor party. Police say they thought he was getting a gun from his car.

Also In February

Apple Cedes

After Apple introduced the iPhone last year, ambitious hackers competed to put third-party apps on the hot new gadget—only to be thwarted by an update from Apple. This month, Apple releases a software- development kit for the iPhone and iPod Touch, meaning the—authorized!— fun can begin anew.

Returns and Exchanges

Ecuador introduces a new strategy to combat the Latin American diaspora. “Plan Retorno” aims to lure natives living abroad with loans for new homes and businesses, improved education and health programs, and exceptions to the usual duties when they bring back cars, cash, and goods. Starting this month, Ecuadoreans in the U.S. are eligible.

Matthew Quirk is an Atlantic staff editor.
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