Keith Naughton

Stories by Keith Naughton

  • MARTHA 'LIVING' AT LAST

    Martha Stewart is finally getting sprung from her own big house. About Aug. 11, Stewart will end what she calls her "hideous" house arrest at her Bedford, N.Y., estate. On her to-do list: finding a signature version of "You're fired!" for "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," which debuts in September. One rejected try: "Your ass is grass." She's already filming "The Apprentice" and segments for her daily how-to show, "Martha." And to help boost her magazine, she invited advertisers to visit her in home confinement. Since her house arrest began in March, ad revenues are up 42 percent at Martha Stewart Living, though they're still off by more than half compared with before the ImClone insider-trading scandal. She'll also begin appearing in ads for her new Opal Point line of beds, sofas and dining sets. "It's been a roller-coaster ride," says Alex Bernhardt, whose company makes Stewart's furniture, "but we're on the good part of the ride now."She's on probation until March 2007, which...
  • IF YOU CAN FIND A BETTER PITCHMAN...

    A lot has changed since Lee Iacocca last appeared in a Chrysler ad in 1992, just before he retired. The cushy land yachts of his day have given way to wicked whips like the Chrysler 300C favored by rapper 50 Cent. And yet the octogenarian is making a comeback. He's costarring in a new Chrysler commercial with Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld," who utters Iacocca's trademark line: "If you can find a better car, buy it."Here's the score: Chrysler, badly beaten by GM's "employee discount" deal last month, is playing catch-up with its own "employee pricing" plan. And it needed a commercial that would "shock and awe," says vice president Jason Vines. But at what cost to its hip new image? "Like this is going to make young people look at their cars," says analyst Wes Brown of Iceology. "No way."Chrysler, which threw these ads together in a week, says Iacocca is still an icon. And it has committed to at least two more commercials, including one where an actor playing his granddaughter utters...
  • REVVING UP GM

    There hasn't been much to celebrate at General Motors lately. So as its "employee discount for everyone" deal filled showrooms last month, the automaker's new marketing chief, Mark LaNeve, gathered his troops in Orlando, Fla., for a love-in. Wearing tie-dye and peace medallions, LaNeve and a few hundred sales managers danced into the night at a psychedelic '60s party on Disney's Pleasure Island. The morning after, the mood is less pleasant inside a conference room as LaNeve lays out GM's complicated repair job. Jumping onstage to "Let's Get It Started," the broad-shouldered, ham-fisted former collegiate linebacker does his best Knute Rockne. He commiserates. "What is all this bulls--- about GM," he grumbles, "and how no one likes our cars?" Then he scolds. "Folks, we cannot hit our objectives with numbers like this," he says of abysmal sales in big cities. Finally, he does something once unheard-of for a GM exec: he admits the competition just might have better moves. "If you see...
  • Q&A: COUNTING THE MILES

    Honda is so obsessive about having the best gas mileage on the road that Charlie Baker, its U.S. chief engineer, once crawled underneath a BMW at a car show to gather some competitive intel. Baker wanted to make sure the SUV he was developing, the Acura MDX from Honda's luxury division, would top BMW's X5, so he was snapping photos of the Beemer's underbelly to size up its aerodynamics. A BMW exec tugged on his leg, asking, "Can I help you, sir?" Baker's response: "Not unless you have a jack."Despite the megawatt buzz about the Toyota Prius, Honda actually tops the charts for fuel economy among auto-makers in America. Of the 10 best gas misers on the road today, Honda has seven of them, according to the EPA. Honda also offers more hybrid models--three--than anyone else (though Toyota will soon catch up). Honda has always made leading in fuel economy a bedrock principal, even when American car buyers could not care less. But with gas and oil prices remaining stubbornly high, drivers...
  • A COLLISION COURSE FOR GM AND THE UAW

    As GM's engine stalled this year, CEO Rick Wagoner has laid much of the blame on the automaker's runaway health-care costs. And he's pushed the United Auto Workers union to give concessions on its generous medical bennies (no deductibles, tiny co-pays). The union has steadfastly refused to reopen its contract, which runs until 2007. So last week Wagoner ratcheted up the pressure. While announcing plans to cut 25,000 jobs and close factories by 2008, he promised to find a way to "promptly" reduce GM's health-care burden--with or without the union's help. The UAW fired back that GM can't "shrink its way" to prosperity, but instead needs to design cars people want. By late last week the war of words had escalated. "If we don't fix some of the basic problems that exist when it comes to the product," UAW president Ron Gettelfinger told NEWSWEEK, "then it seems to me that no matter what we did, it wouldn't be enough. Ever."GM is on a collision course with its union over health care. And...
  • 10 Big Thinkers for Big Business

    THOMAS MIDDELHOFFIt's not a glamorous comeback. After all, the last time Thomas Middelhoff sat in the corner office, he was one of the top dealmakers of the Internet bubble years, buying up companies for one of the world's great media conglomerates, Bertelsmann A. G. His ambitions eventually backfired when Bertelsmann's controlling Mohn family bucked his move to take the company public. In 2002, Middelhoff was ousted. And so his appointment this May as CEO of KarstadtQuelle, a large but downtrodden German retailer, came as both a comedown and a surprise, since second chances are rare in corporate Europe. Now his own re-emergence as head of a 13 billion euro giant could be taken as a sign of what he says Europe still needs in its corporate leaders: "courage."Middelhoff, who proclaims himself "an American at heart," is referring not only to the obvious need for further macroeconomic reform in sclerotic economies like Germany and France, but also the need for European businesses to...
  • 10 BIG THINKERS FOR BIG BUSINESS

    Last year Omidyar shook up the philanthropic world by converting the foundation he and his wife, Pam, established in 1998 into the Omidyar Network, which will direct money not only to traditional nonprofits, but to profitmaking businesses as well--as long as those enterprises create what Omidyar calls "positive social impact."Omidyar says he was inspired by the lessons of eBay, which "taught 150 million people that they can trust a complete stranger," and also by his work on the board of Meetup.com, the online service that allows members to connect over some shared interest. "It occurred to me that there's a type of business that can only be financially successful if it helps make the world a better place," says Omidyar.Unlike traditional charities dedicated to curing diseases or building museums, the Omidyar Network is a curious hybrid: part philanthropy, part venture capitalism. "It's not about giving away money or providing aid or help," says Omidyar. "I like to think of it as an...
  • THE INTERPRETER MOVES IN

    Inside Ford Motor Co.'s top-secret design studio, stylists gather around a hulking clay model of a work-in-progress pick-up truck. Their boss, Peter Horbury, sweeps in, throws off his suit coat and declares: "Let's do some designing, shall we?" But while the workhorse vehicle before him is quintessentially American, Horbury, who moved to Detroit only last year, speaks like a proper British gentleman; until a year ago he was designing Jaguars. "I'm learning to speak truck," he confesses.Ford's new U.S. design director is best known for having given Volvo a Swedish-style makeover; now he's intent on bringing out Ford's American spirit. His charter is to draw up a bold new look for the automaker's mainstream cars to help reverse a decade-long skid in sales. With gas prices soaring to record levels, Ford's SUV sales are plummeting at what CEO Bill Ford calls a "breathtaking" pace. Guzzler fatigue is finally bringing the traditional family car back in style, but Chrysler's hip-hop 300C...
  • Toyota Triumphs

    When U.S. automakers teetered on the brink of collapse 25 years ago, Japan-bashing in Detroit was in full swing--literally--as autoworkers took sledgehammers to Toyotas. Today, General Motors and Ford are facing another epic financial crisis. But this time, no one is taking a swing at Toyota in Motown. Instead, Michigan's glamorous governor, Jennifer Granholm, stood before a bank of TV cameras last month in the sunny atrium of Toyota's Ann Arbor R&D center and gushed: "We are excited about Toyota's future in Michigan and we want to roll out the welcome mat." In front of her were a half dozen smiling Toyota executives who had just closed a deal for a $150 million expansion of their Michigan research lab, where they will incubate more new models in their drive to overtake GM as the world's No. 1 automaker. Granholm doesn't fear a backlash for her ardent wooing of Toyota (including $39 million in tax breaks). After all, Toyota is offering her constituents something GM is taking...
  • RED, WHITE & BOLD

    When U.S. automakers teetered on the brink of collapse 25 years ago, Japan-bashing in Detroit was in full swing--literally--as autoworkers took sledgehammers to Toyotas. Today General Motors and Ford are facing another epic financial crisis. But this time, no one is taking a swing at Toyota in Motown. Instead, Michigan's glamorous governor, Jennifer Granholm, stood before a bank of TV cameras last week in the sunny atrium of Toyota's Ann Arbor R&D center and gushed: "We are excited about Toyota's future in Michigan, and we want to roll out the welcome mat." In front of her were a half-dozen smiling Toyota executives who had just closed on a deal for a $150 million expansion of their Michigan research lab, where they will incubate more new models in their drive to overtake GM as the world's No. 1 automaker. Granholm doesn't fear a backlash for her ardent wooing of Toyota (including $39 million in tax breaks). After all, Toyota is offering her constituents something GM is taking...
  • A PUZZLING PROBLEM

    Tupperware CEO Rick Goings wants America to throw a new kind of party, where "decadent desserts" are made with his company's kitchen gadgets. But his marketing budget is being diverted instead to auditors who treat his execs "like criminals" in order to comply with stringent new regulations aimed at preventing another Enron. Goings gripes that they've tripled his auditing bill and cut profits 10 percent. It's enough to send the all-American company packing. "You start looking around and saying, 'Maybe I ought to be a public company in a more reasonable market'," he says. "Like Germany."The weak dollar might seem scary, but what's really frightening business executives these days are these tough new regs. They seemed like such a good idea three years ago, when Congress rammed through the Sarbanes-Oxley law in the wake of massive accounting fraud at Enron and WorldCom. But now one provision that requires more oversight by auditors has triggered a backlash. Companies have discovered...
  • Martha Breaks Out

    AFTER FIVE MONTHS IN PRISON, MARTHA'S PRIMED AND READY FOR HER NEXT ACT: TWO TV SHOWS AND A MARKETING BLITZ STAGE-MANAGED BY A NEW A-LIST TEAM. INSIDE THE MARTHA MAKEOVER MACHINE.
  • ROAD TEST | MUSTANG GT

    I parked my fire-red Mustang GT next to a $75,000 Jaguar, and the Jag's elegant owner raved: "Is that the new Mustang? It's absolutely gorgeous!" And so it is. From its shark nose to its fastback, the '05 Mustang is a study in full-throttle car design. Its 300-horsepower V-8 engine and snap-tight, five-speed gearbox make this one wild ride. In fact, it was a little too unbridled for my wife, who was rattled by its propensity to fishtail around corners and its deafening engine roar. Oh, sure, it would be nice if Ford offered electronic stability control and had engineered a more road-hugging rear suspension. But that would have boosted the price of this relative bargain and diluted its old-school feel. The interior is a throwback, too, with pie-plate gauges, satin aluminum trim and a beefy three-spoke steering wheel. The coolest new touch, MyColor, lets you adjust the backlight of the gauges to 125 different shades for an extra $450. But what really makes this a horse of a different...
  • BRITISH INVASION

    Nestled away in England's bleak industrial Midlands, General Motors car designers toil in obscurity in a nondescript studio. Unlike the automaker's Detroit design center--a postmodern architectural marvel--GM's Coventry studio is a plain box crammed with stylists carving away on clay models. But these works in progress are not tiny European runabouts. They are massive Cadillacs, SUVs and muscle-bound sports cars. How can reserved Brits create the radical rides Americans crave? Well, don't try to look for an answer inside this top-secret studio. NEWSWEEK tried and was turned away. "It is not a place," explains GM chief designer Ed Welburn, "where we take tour groups."Not since the Beatles arrived has an American art form been so thoroughly co-opted by its Anglo-Saxon forebears. Some of the wickedest whips at last month's Detroit auto show were the work of blokes named Simon and Trevor. The sinewy new Corvette? GM's Coventry studio chief Simon Cox worked on that. The macho GMC...
  • BRITISH INVASION: DETROIT'S BRAWNY NEW LOOK SEEMS ALL-AMERICAN. BUT MANY HOT DESI

    Nestled away in England's bleak industrial Midlands, General Motors car designers toil in obscurity in a nondescript studio. Unlike the automaker's Detroit design center--a postmodern architectural marvel--GM's Coventry studio is a plain box crammed with stylists carving away on clay models. But these works in progress are not tiny European runabouts. They are massive Cadillacs, SUVs and muscle-bound sports cars. How can reserved Brits create the radical rides Americans crave? Well, don't try to look for an answer inside this top-secret studio. NEWSWEEK tried and was turned away. "It is not a place," explains GM chief designer Ed Welburn, "where we take tour groups."Not since the Beatles arrived has an American art form been so thoroughly co-opted by its Anglo-Saxon forebears. Some of the wickedest whips at last month's Detroit auto show were the work of blokes named Simon and Trevor. The sinewy new Corvette? GM's Coventry studio chief Simon Cox worked on that. The macho GMC...
  • BRITISH INVASION

    Nestled away in England's bleak industrial midlands, General Motors car designers toil in obscurity in a nondescript studio. Unlike the automaker's Detroit design center--a postmodern architectural marvel--GM's Coventry studio is a plain box crammed with stylists carving away on clay models. But these works-in-progress are not tiny European runabouts. They are massive Cadillacs, SUVs and muscle-bound sports cars. How can reserved Brits create the radical rides Americans crave? Well, don't try to look for an answer inside this top-secret studio. NEWSWEEK tried and was turned away. "It is not a place," explains GM chief designer Ed Welburn, "where we take tour groups."Not since the Beatles arrived has an American art form been so thoroughly co-opted by our Anglo-Saxon forebears. Some of the wickedest whips at this month's Detroit auto show are the work of blokes named Simon and Trevor. The sinewy new Corvette? GM's Coventry studio chief Simon Cox worked on that. The macho GMC Graphyte...
  • CARS: WHAT'S IN? TRICKED OUT.

    A big black SUV tricked out with 20-inch chrome rims, smoked-glass taillights and a snarling, double-barreled exhaust cruised a crowded parking lot last week. "You've got some bling," one admirer shouted to the driver. It could have been a scene from a rap video. But it was a church parking lot in Clearwater, Fla., and the SUV's driver was Byron Hassell, a 40-year-old veterinarian. "I'm just a conservative suburban dad," he says, "but I want to drive something that stands out."Forget cookie-cutter cars. These days, everyone's ride is pimped. Spurred on by car-makeover shows like MTV's "Pimp My Ride" and TLC's "Overhaulin'," American drivers spent a record $29 billion in 2003 accessorizing their cars with big rims, mesh grilles, neon cupholders--you name it. That's twice what we spent upgrading our wheels a decade ago. But now all those tattooed tuners on cable are giving Main Street cred to chopping (squashing the roof), slamming (lowering the ride) and dubs (20-inch wheels). "If...
  • TRUMP: TIME TO MEET THE PARENTS

    I interviewed Donald Trump in February, with his supermodel girlfriend, Melania Knauss, by his side--along with a mysterious, unnamed middle-aged couple, who sat impassively. We dined on shrimp and filet mignon at his Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Fla., surrounded by some of the world's richest people. Trump lifted his hair to show me it was real. "I think he looks very handsome," Melania said, to which he cooed, "Baby, that's the only thing that matters." She purred like a kitten when I asked if they would get married. At the time, Trump, 57, and his 33-year-old Slovenian beauty were not yet engaged. But in April, Trump popped the question and gave fiancee No. 3 a rock the New York Post described as a "giant sparkler." Once the prenup is signed, they're to be wed Jan. 22, at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. (Maybe they'll sleep in the bridal suite, where I stayed during my reporting trip.)News of their engagement answered the mystery of the silent couple at...
  • SEEING GREEN

    Even when he's getting his Saturday-morning espresso at Starbucks, Bill Ford Jr. can't escape the pressures of being Detroit's best-known environmentalist. On his days off lately, the automotive scion and CEO of Ford Motor Co. has been buttonholed by greenies demanding to know why he hasn't come out with cars that run on air. That's right, air. A tiny company in Luxembourg claims to have invented a car that powers the pistons with compressed air (it promises to put them on sale next year, but the company has failed to deliver before). Since that "breakthrough" news hit the morning shows in October, Bill Ford--the self-described "environmental industrialist"--has been inundated by people accusing him of hiding magical air cars in his company's garages. "People think we have these things squirreled away somewhere and that we're artificially suppressing them," he says. "You know how crazy that is?"Bill Ford has learned the hard way that it isn't easy being green. When he became...
  • CLEAN START

    Last week most inmates at Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia were making 12 cents an hour cleaning toilets and doing laundry. But on Wednesday, inmate No. 55170-054 made $32.7 million without lifting a finger. So does crime really pay? Well, not exactly. This particular convict is Martha Stewart, who is doing a five-month stretch for obstruction of justice in the ImClone stock scandal. And her big payday came thanks to Kmart's $11.5 billion takeover of Sears, which Wall Street cheered by driving up the stock price of her company more than 6 percent, since her popular housewares might soon line the shelves of both retailers. By the weekend Martha's stake in her own company was worth $563.4 million, near its highest value since she made that unfortunate stock trade three years ago.In a forgiving nation, Stewart's comeback seemed assured once she decided to do time. But who knew it would start before she's even out of the joint? Yet she is suddenly transforming from damaged...
  • GREEN & MEAN

    Avnish Bhatnagar has always lusted after fast cars like racy BMWs. But when the California computer programmer and his wife had their first baby this year, they needed something more practical. So Bhatnagar, 35, searched online and found an SUV with neck-snapping speed and enough room for the baby stroller. What is this souped-up SUV? A Lexus RX 400h gas-electric hybrid that runs on batteries as well as gasoline. No golf cart, it packs 270 horsepower, making it one of the fastest cars in the Lexus lineup.It also goes more than 800 kilometers on a tank of gas. He'll have to be patient, though, because the 400h doesn't go on sale for five months. "If the 400h had less horsepower," he says, "I'd be far less interested."The hybrid craze may have started out as a funky science experiment that appealed to environmentalists and a few Hollywood celebrities, but the new generation of hybrid hot-rods may be about to transform this eco-fad into a mainstream love affair. The megawatt U.S....
  • GREEN & MEAN

    Avnish Bhatnagar has always lusted after fast cars like racy BMWs. But when the California computer programmer and his wife had their first baby this year, they needed something more practical. A minivan was out of the question. So Bhatnagar, 35, searched online and found an SUV with neck-snapping speed and enough room for the baby stroller. What is this souped-up SUV? A Lexus RX 400h gas-electric hybrid. That's right. A hybrid. Those quirky cars that run on batteries as well as gasoline. But this hybrid is no golf cart. It packs 270 horsepower, making it one of the fastest cars in the Lexus lineup. Oh, and it goes 500 miles on a tank of gas and doesn't foul the air. He'll have to be patient, because the 400h doesn't go on sale for five months. For now, Bhatnagar will just have to dream of that electric power surge as he leaves other drivers in the dust. "If the 400h had less horsepower," he says, "I'd be far less interested in it."Start your engines: the age of the hot-rod hybrid...
  • OFFICER, IT'S A HYBRID

    As I cruise along a leafy Washington, D.C., parkway, I decide to see what the hybrid Honda Accord can do. I veer into the passing lane, punch the accelerator and suddenly I'm silently propelled ahead of all other traffic. No engine roar. No squeal of winding gears. Just an electric warp-speed thrust. I glance down and am startled to discover I'm going 90mph. My passenger warns this road is heavily patrolled. I slow down.This $30,000 Honda is nothing like other hybrids I've driven. The others are just as stingy on horsepower as they are on gas. But the Accord packs 255 horses under the hood--15 more than a regular V-6 Accord. And it handles nimbly and hugs the road. Indeed, there's no nerdy gadgetry in this car. It doesn't have an in-dash computer, like other hybrids, giving me constant--and distracting--readouts on mileage. There's just a pair of subtle blue and green light bars beneath the speedometer that show when the electric motor is working and when it's charging. There's also...
  • FULL THROTTLE

    Mitch Hammack never misses "American Chopper." After a long day on his California alfalfa farm, he likes to unwind by tuning in to see the bike-building Teutul family curse each other as they create motorcycle sculpture. Watching all those hot rides come to life, though, made Hammack feel like his old pickup just didn't cut it. So last winter he bought a $19,000 kit from a custom-bike shop and built his own American chopper: a low rider with an endless front fork and a "candy brandy wine" paint job with knife-blade flames. Now he's greeted like a rock star when he rides into town and his buddies are itching to get their own choppers. "They all watch 'American Chopper'," says Hammack, 31. "That show feeds the frenzy."Move over, "Easy Rider." There's a new leader of the pack in American cycle culture. In every generation, there comes an iconic motorcycle moment. The Greatest Generation had Brando's leather-clad "Wild One." Baby boomers had Peter Fonda's star-spangled "Easy Rider."...
  • Q&A: Nancy Sinatra

    She'll always be her father's daughter, but Nancy Sinatra, 64, has never been shy about making a name for herself, either, most famously with the '60s hit "These Boots Are Made for Walking." She's back with a new CD that shows her hippest side yet. She spoke to NEWSWEEK's Jac Chebatoris.Have you ever done an entire interview without talking about your father?(Laughs) No.Have you ever done an entire interview without talking about the "Boots"?I just bought a new pair this morning, actually. They're quite beautiful. They're two shades of pink--a pale pink and a hot pink, but the thing is, the toes are really pointed, and that's passe. But they were too me not to take.Your new CD is great. You've got amazing collaborators--Morrissey, Bono, Jarvis Cocker. Where have you been hanging out these days, lady?What's funny is that the interest and respect that that age group is showing me is something I never saw from my own peers. I would love to have done an album along the way with Paul...
  • A CAR IS BORN

    With just three weeks to go, Oprah was still looking for something big to kick off her 19th season. General Motors, desperate to get attention for its unheralded new Pontiac G6, had already pitched Oprah on featuring the car on her December "Favorite Things" show. But during a late-August meeting at Oprah's Chicago studio, her producers upped the ante: they wanted to give a G6 to every member of the studio audience on last Monday's season premiere. And they wanted GM to donate the cars. "My eyes got really wide," recalls Pontiac marketing director Mark-Hans Richer. "It was like going over the top of a roller coaster." After Richer reminded his bosses of Oprah's Midas touch for turning books into best sellers, GM agreed to turn over 276 cars, worth more than $7 million. What did that buy them? Nearly an entire show devoted to extolling the G6, topped off by women screaming, grown men crying and Oprah jumping up and down, chanting: "Everybody gets a car!"With Oprah's car giveaway all...
  • ROAD TEST | DODGE MAGNUM

    With its gangster lean and high-caliber name, the Dodge Magnum RT is a station wagon that longs to be a street racer. To see if the Magnum can straddle the lanes of cool and comfortable, I piled my family into the low rider for a 240-mile road trip to the grandparents. The verdict: the Magnum is a better party wagon than a family hauler. In the driver's seat, the Magnum is an adrenaline rush. Its roaring 340-horsepower Hemi engine and catlike handling made me want to stomp on the pedal and blast the stereo. The review from the back seat, though, is best summed up by my kids' oft-repeated line: "You're touching me!" Unlike many SUVs and all minivans, the Magnum does not come with a third row of seats. And its chopped-top roof and blacked-out windows gave my kids a bad case of claustrophobia (and crankiness). Oh, sure, there are practical touches, like the reconfigurable trunk filled with nooks that can keep a gallon of milk from busting loose. But the Magnum is really all about 'tude...
  • 'I WILL BE BACK'

    Though she had just been sentenced to prison, Martha Stewart stormed the courthouse steps last Friday like a woman who had been exonerated. She swept through her entourage and confronted the media horde that had dogged her for two years. "Is this on?" she said, grabbing the microphone, brushing back her blond locks and launching into a withering condemnation of her prosecution. "That a small personal matter has been able to be blown out of all proportion and with such venom and gore, I mean, it's just terrible," she seethed over her obstruction conviction in the ImClone stock scandal. "I have been choked and almost suffocated to death." Her steely demeanor was a stark contrast to the Martha who moments earlier had made a teary appeal for leniency to a judge. Now that she'd received the lightest sentence possible--five months in a federal pen, five months under house arrest at her Bedford, N.Y., manse--Stewart had a score to settle. And a business to rebuild. Looking squarely at the...
  • SENTENCING: MARTHA'S LAST PLEA

    Stock analyst Dennis McAlpine visited Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia recently and got quite a tour. CEO Sharon Patrick pitched him hard on how the company could carry on despite Stewart's conviction in the ImClone stock scandal, even showing off employees cooking in Martha's kitchen. McAlpine says, "Sharon went out of her way to show me why the company would survive."Martha Stewart disagrees. When she faces a federal judge to be sentenced Friday, looking at 10 to 16 months in jail, Stewart will argue that her company's 545 employees depend on her particular skills. Stewart is citing a 1995 federal case that allowed a convicted steel-company exec to avoid jail because his company would go under without him. The executive was critical because he had special steel-trading skills. Legal experts doubt Stewart's domestic skills are equally unique.To make the case she's indispensable, Stewart needs Patrick's backing. But that puts Martha's legal needs in conflict with her company's...
  • CHINA HITS THE ROAD

    For decades, You Xiaoyi rode a bike to his job at a state-run factory in China. In the 1980s he upgraded to a Beijing public bus. But today You, 70, owns his own factory, and he's ready for the ultimate status symbol of China's accelerating middle class: a new car. He test-drove Buicks and Audis but settled on a silver $15,000 VW Jetta. "Chinese aren't worried about Maoist ideologies anymore," he says, looking out over a sea of new models on a Beijing lot. "We're only concerned with making money."Voracious new capitalists like You are making China the hottest car market in the world. Last year China snapped up more than 4 million cars, surpassing Germany to become the world's third largest car market. And auto execs say China is poised to become the world's No. 2 auto market--trailing only the United States. That's why giddy auto execs descended on the Beijing Auto Show this month. General Motors launched its Cadillac luxury line with a dazzling ceremony at the Forbidden City,...