Digital Diplomas
by Eyal Press and Jennifer Washburn
A growing number of major universities — prodded by Internet entrepreneurs — are betting that the virtual campus will do away with costly nuisances like professors and classrooms. What if they’re right?

Silence in the Fields
by Barry Yeoman
A little-known federal program allows American farmers to fill thousands of jobs with imported laborers. And when the "guestworkers" complain about substandard conditions, it’s easy enough to ship them straight back home.

Half an Ounce of Healing
by Evelyn Nieves
For patients with cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma, a Santa Cruz medical marijuana club dispenses some homegrown relief.

A Slow White Death
photo essay by Harriet Logan
text by Donovan Webster
At the far reaches of the former Soviet empire, Mongolia’s nomadic herders battle inflation, famine, and a killer winter.

The Shovel Rebellion
by Florence Williams
Pipe bombs. Illegal land grabs. Threats against federal officials. Is Elko County, Nevada, seeing the germ of another Sagebrush Rebellion — or the last gasp of the Old West?

Tilting at Tree Bags
by Ian Frazier
One man’s continuing quest to free a city’s trees from the flapping blight of plastic bags



Readers sound off on logging in the Tongass National Forest, eliminating overseas tax havens, and patriotic activism.






  • Forced Labor: Why are obstetricians speeding deliveries with an ulcer drug that endangers mothers and their babies?
  • Toxic Trade Imbalance: Is NAFTA turning the border into a 2,000-mile hazardous waste dump?
  • Waiting to Exhale: New federal rules could help coal miners breathe easier.
  • Chevron’s Alcatraz: The oil company looks into turning some of its unprofitable offshore platforms into prison space.
  • Hellraiser of the Month: Ted Smith
    In the early 1980s a small band of activists formed to take on environmental and workplace abuses in an emerging industry. Twenty years later the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition — like the electronics companies it monitors — is going global.

Kosovo’s river of rescue

Power Plays: The Seduction of Paul Wellstone
by Steve Perry
How the "Senator from the Left" learned to play the Capitol game — and promptly forgot why he went to Washington

The Commons
by Sue Halpern
To those who say their two-wheeled rallies block traffic, the bicyclists of Critical Mass reply: We are traffic

Media Jones