Newsweek Staff

Stories by Newsweek Staff

  • A Split In Now

    The Illinois Senate race has split the National Organization for Women. NOW's Illinois chapter has endorsed Democratic Sen. Paul Simon. But NOW national president Molly Yard has called Simon's pre-1984 record on abortion "awful" and hinted strongly that the national organization will back his GOP opponent, Rep. Lynn Martin, in part because she is a woman. The local unit argues that Simon outscores Martin on a number of other women's issues, including Head Start, day care and infant health care.
  • Mexican Standoff

    A Harvard-educated economist, Carlos Salinas de Gortari was once dismissed as a bland technocrat. No more. Since becoming president of Mexico in late 1988, he has been full of surprises. He jailed the corrupt leader of the oil workers' union. He has relaxed restrictions against foreign investment, sold state companies and reduced inflation. His latest surprise-formally presented to President George Bush last week-is a proposed free-trade agreement between the United States and Mexico. ...
  • The Lost Picture Show

    As great paintings keep slipping from the grasp of museums into private collections, the Amon Carter Museum in Ft. Worth last week announced a stunning turnabout. From an unnamed source, the museum purchased Thomas Cole's "The Garden of Eden," a painting unseen in public since 1831 and never photographed until now. America's first great landscapist, Cole wanted to prove he was "no mere leaf painter" by depicting Eden as a distinctly New World glory. Drawing on Milton's poetic descriptions and on his own nature studies (the mountain in the background is Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire), he finished the picture just in time for the National Academy of Design's 1828 spring show. Shortly afterward, it sold for $400. Although the Amon Carter won't divulge the price, this example of what Cole called "a heavenly atmosphere in the pictures of the imagination" would bring millions on the open market. Let's hope we never find out exactly how much.
  • The Con Games People Play

    John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation begins with a scene of pure urban hysteria. Ouisa Kittredge (Stockard Channing) and her art-dealer husband, Flan (John Cunningham), flap about their ritzy New York apartment in a frenzy: they've discovered that they've been hoodwinked by a young black man, Paul (James McDaniel), who's passed himself off as the son of actor Sidney Poitier. Claiming to be short on cash while awaiting the return of his "father," Paul has talked himself into the hospitality of Flan and Ouisa, who later discover their guest copulating with a male hooker. Frazzled with fear and horror, the couple throw Paul out. It turns out that Paul has pulled a similar scam on other upscale New Yorkers. Events escalate into a surreal comedy that highlights the confusion between illusion and reality in the increasingly chaotic metropolis. ...
  • Upside Down From Down Under

    Circus Oz contains no animals ("Don't need 'cm"), no ring, no sawdust, no wizard even. But this combo of 21 muscular and multitalented Aussies puts plenty o' wizardry into its postmodern version of the big top. Oz specializes in death defying stunts done with disarming humor to the rhythm of rock and roll, played by the acrobats themselves. On their current U.S. tour, they blithely blast "girl scouts" from cannons and unfold entire musical skits on the ceiling. Says manager Susan Provan, "It's all done with magnets."
  • Mob Rule In Romania

    Bucharest was a battlefield once more. Police moved to disperse a small antigovernment rally in a downtown square last week, and protesters replied with stones, then fire. The government matched force with force. When protesters stormed Romania's lone television station thousands of club-wielding coal miners were brought in to quell the "fascist rebellion. " The miners beat anyone suspected of opposing the regime, punching a young man to the ground for having long hair and whipping a woman with chains after finding an antigovernment leaflet in her bag. ...
  • Interrogating The Prisoners

    Drug czar William Bennett has a new strategy in the war on drugs: systematically interrogate the captives. The Justice Department is preparing a major effort to build a comprehensive CIA-style database on the Colombian drug cartels by questioning hundreds, perhaps ultimately thousands, of drug dealers serving time in U.S. prisons. "We have a big human intelligence resource sitting in cages right here in the United States," says a senior administration official. "We don't even have to go hunt for them. " FBI and DEA field agents will thoroughly grill drug traffickers about their operations, with the possibility of earlier parole for those who cooperate with the program.
  • Inside The Invasion

    At 12:56 a.m. last Dec. 20, five minutes before U.S. forces' biggest battle since Vietnam, Lt. Col. Lynn Moore sat tensely in an OH-58 scout helicopter, circling the cloudy skies above El Renacer prison and eying his target through night-vision goggles. Moore's mission: to rescue the 64 prisoners inside, including two Americans. The jail bristled with guards, but the colonel had told his men they could take it without a single loss. For the past nine days, 80 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division had been rehearsing the assault, sometimes right outside the prison walls. ...
  • Cloudy Future

    It's hard to keep Patrick Ewing earthbound. In "The Exorcist III: Legion," the "official" sequel to the head-spinning original, the basketball whiz has a silent cameo role as an oversize angel. The seven-foot Ewing appears in George C. Scott's dream about the afterlife. And if his acting career doesn't take off? Well, he still has his job as the demon center for the New York Knicks.
  • S&Ls: Blaming The Media

    Who's to blame for the savings and loan scandal? The owners and regulators of the industry have had their turn, in a new Hotline poll, the public faults both George Bush (by 59 percent) and Congress (64 percent). Now, inevitably, anger is building at the media for failing to sound clear warnings about the worst financial mess in the nation's history. That failure is "a scandal in itself," concludes Ellen Hume, executive director of Harvard's Shorenstein Barone Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, and there should be "embarrassment and soul-searching at the highest levels of journalism." ...
  • Do You Speak Deals?

    He is an optimist by nature. And why not? Michael Sumichrast fled Czechoslovakia in 1948, after the communists took power, then made millions in Ohio real estate. Now, 42 years later, he's back--the first of a new breed of American pioneers hoping to cash in on the revolutions in Eastern Europe. He brings money, know-how and an unshakable capitalist faith. And, partly because he is first, he has had a hero's welcome. He sits in on government cabinet meetings. He's featured on the nightly news. Taxi drivers refuse to take his money. The reason, as one cabby put it: "I think it's great that you're trying to bring America to Czechoslovakia." ...
  • Gorbachev Takes Out His Federalist Papers

    One nation or 15? Confronting his nationalities crisis last week, Mikhail Gorbachev tried to have it both ways. In order to preserve the Soviet Union, he proposed to dismantle it, replacing the present arrangement with a new, looser federation in which the current Soviet republics would have the rights of "sovereign states." The danger in Gorbachev's gambit was that his central government might end up presiding over an empty house. ...
  • Sub Deal

    Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth learned on a recent trip to South Korea that the Soviet Union has made a deal in which three Soviet Whiskeyclass subs will be scrapped in South Korea. The payment for the scrap? Several products, including running shoes and toothbrushes. . . . House members are scrambling for a way to get around paying staffers overtime. Congressional aides were exempt from overtime until the new minimum-wage act last year. This fall they will be entitled to it. Worried that overtime pay will balloon payroll costs, Pennsylvania Rep. Austin Murphy is proposing "comp time"-or extra days off-in lieu of cash.
  • A Comedy Comeback

    Mary Tyler Moore couldn't bring it off. Neither could the ever-lovable Lucy. For some elusive reason, making TV comebacks is tougher for funny women than for funny men (witness Bob Newhart and the Cos). Behold, then, Carol Burnett. Her triumphal reincarnation as the star of NBC's sleeper-hit "Carol & Company" isn't merely odds defying. (How many 57-year-old comedians manage to crack Nielsen's top 15 after being away for more than a decade?) It's also happening within TV's riskiest format. The anthology approach--presenting a single story with different characters each week--hasn't reaped ratings for a woman since the last time Loretta Young swirled through that doorway. ...
  • Shaping Up

    Sharon Stone, 32, has the right mental and physical stuff to act in both Woody Allen's brooding "Stardust Memories" (1980) and Arnold Schwarzenegger's sci-fi megahit, "Total Recall." She refused to have a stunt double for her role as Arnold's wife, a karate-chopping undercover agent. Her costar, she says, made fun of her rigorous workout routine. "In another year," he told her, "you'll be a truck driver." Not likely. Stone's distinctly feminine form is on display in the July Playboy. Seeing the 10-page spread "has done wonders for my image of my body," she says. "I used to dress like a Japanese bag lady--60 layers of black clothes. Now I wear as little as possible."
  • A Plan For Europe

    At this meeting with so-called intellectuals in Washington, Gorbachev took me aside to say that a road map for the future was his most important concern. He was right. The upheavals of the past year make the creation of a new structure for European security essential. It must take into account the imminent unification of Germany as well as the de facto collapse of the Warsaw Pact. It has to define America's new relationship with Europe while granting the Soviet Union a serious role in Europe. ...
  • Roh: 'North Korea Will Start To Open Up'

    "The cold-war ice on the Korean Peninsula has now begun to crack, "said South Korean President Roh Tae Woo last week after meeting Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in San Francisco. In an interview with NEWSWEEK's Tokyo bureau chief Bradley Martin, he elaborated: ...
  • The Boys Are Back In Town

    Another 48 Hrs. is an atrocious movie, the embodiment of all the cynical commercialism that drives the summer season. Paramount skipped the usual reviewers' screenings in favor of one big all-media preview just before the film opened last week. This usually happens when a studio anticipates lousy reviews and wants to get a movie out fast to suck up the bucks the first weekend. Not that bad reviews are going to put one bump under the gravy train of this clear runaway smash. America has been waiting eight years for the sequel to "48 Hrs.," which made Eddie Murphy an instant box-office monster in his screen debut. ...
  • The Journey Up From Guilt

    Some developments that may seem as different as chalk and cheese actually are part of a single change: The middle class has begun giving up guilt. This moral movement, still gathering strength, is apparent in such disparate phenomena as California's primary and the career of Margaret Thatcher. And to any American making the journey up from guilt, there must be an amusing obtuseness in this headline from The Chronicle of Higher Education: ...
  • Living A Life After John

    He was a lovable character," says Judith Jacklin Belushi of her husband, John, "but human, with his own struggles." While writing "Samurai Widow," the new book about her marriage and widowhood, she wasn't sure how to end it. Then she met writer-producer Victor Pisano. "I knew the book had ended when we got engaged," she says.
  • Cruising With Fergie

    Being Mum to two tots has not chastened the Duchess of York. Last week, touring Jaguar's new headquarters in Mahwah, N.J., Fergie sported a microskirt as racy as the company's cars. Urged to climb into an XJR10 with Prince Andrew, however, she exercised the royal option of not making a fool of herself.
  • Laughing Until It Hurts

    Jules Feiffer's new play Elliot Loves begins with a monologue delivered by Elliot (Anthony Heald), a fortyish Chicagoan. With his darting eyes, his tense jaw, his mouth moving in desperate twists, Elliot is like a living Feiffer cartoon, with that famous squiggly line that looks like the handwriting of anxiety. Elliot is trying to organize his thoughts on love, but the best he can come up with is to define it as "a gap, the distance between what you need and what you're getting." Elliot is also trying to pin down his feeling for his girlfriend Joanna, who has, he muses, "an innocent, unspoiled quality," although she's been divorced twice and has two children. ...
  • Japan Answers The 64-Megabit Question

    Advantage: Japan. Last week, Hitachi Ltd. unveiled the prototype for a new semiconductor that leapfrogs over a generation of memory-chip technology. These chips are essential to computers but are also finding use in such products as compact disc players and televisions. Hitachi's new dynamic access memory (DRAM) chip has a capacity of 64 megabits, or the equivalent of more than 500 newspaper pages. That's 16 times more storage than the current top-of-theline, four-megabit chips distributed by IBM and others. The relentless improvement in chip density has led Cypress Semiconductor founder T. J. Rodgers to affect a ho-hum attitude: "You hear about the newest generation I of chips, and you look down at your watch and say, is it 1991 yet?" But the crushing cost of | developing each new generation of DRAM chips is forcing American firms out of the process, giving dominance to the more well-heeled and patient Japanese. ...
  • Keeping A Deadly Secret

    In the '50s and '60s, at the height of the cold war, Raymond Joe mined uranium to help meet the demands of the booming nuclear-weapons industry. For a total of 15 years the Navajo worked in the mines throughout the Southwest, at the outset earning as little as 90 cents an hour. Two years ago Joe was diagnosed with lung cancer, a victim, he believes, of the radiation in unventilated mine shafts. Doctors removed part of his right lung, but the cancer has recurred. At least 450 former uranium miners have already died of lung cancer, five times the expected average. And, as the miners and their families allege, for nearly 20 years the U.S. government knew the danger--and suppressed it. Says Joe, 57, who now lives in Shiprock, N.M., "We were never told that the work we did could affect our health." ...
  • Breaking Ice In The Pacific

    At San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel, South Korean President Roh Tae Woo beamed with excitement. Beside him stood Mikhail Gorbachev, tired and stiff. It was hard to believe the two leaders attended the same meeting. "Prospects for peace and eventual unification of the Korean Peninsula are growing brighter," Roh jubilantly told reporters. Gorbachev was far more restrained. Asked if last week's meeting would hasten Moscow and Seoul toward full diplomatic relations, the Soviet leader responded noncommittally. "Let the fruit grow ripe," he said, "and when it grows ripe, we shall eat it." ...
  • Bad Manners In Minnesota

    Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to Minnesota after the summit was supposed to be a PR coup that would give Gov. Rudy Perpich a much-needed lift in the polls. Instead, what the visit raised was eyebrows. U.S. protocol chief Joseph Reed was quoted as saying the Democratic governor "behaved very badly" by failing to invite the state's two Republican senators to the lunch he gave for the Soviet president at his mansion. (Reed later said he had merely called Perpich's behavior "regrettable.") Sens. Rudy Boschwitz and David Durenberger had to eat with the B list in the St. Paul College Club. "They showed up at the mansion and were turned away," said Reed. Perpich did manage to find room for his daughter and son, as well as for a florist and his wife. ...
  • The Fame Game: Why Everyone's Gloating

    Whatever his financial future, Donald Trump is doomed to be a has-been. The die was cast not last week, but years ago, when he slipped the bounds of conventional notoriety and became a major star. Beyond the normal love-hate relationship Americans have always had with their celebrities (and without which a huge chunk of journalism couldn't exist), Trump is the victim of his own peculiar naivete about the way life works. Couldn't he (or anyone else?) see what all of his shameless self-promotion was setting him up for? Schadenfreude--a German word for glee over the misfortune of others--is actually as American as casino gambling. Famous as he is, Trump never understood the arc of fame. The boxing promoter never understood the point of that great boxing movie "The Harder They Fall". ...
  • Yo, Adrian! Is This Art?

    So there he stood, frozen in time, looking down over his city like a bronzed colossus. Clothed in his boxer's garb, his arms forever upstretched in jubilation and triumph, Rocky Balboa had laid claim to the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art once again. And the City of Brotherly Love--the scene of his triumph, the birthplace of the Rocky saga, the epitome of serenity and boredom--is a city at war with itself. ...
  • Tough Tactics By Ex-Troublemakers

    Call it poetic justice. Czechoslovakia's Communists used to round up opposition troublemakers before important national events. Now the troublemakers are in power, and last week, two days before the country's first free election in 44 years, police investigating corruption and "other criminal activities" pulled in half a dozen hard-line Communist leaders for questioning. They included former president Gustav Husak and party chief Milos Jakes. The next day, the government of Vaclav Havel accused the leader of another rival political party of being a secret-police informer, seriously damaging its chances on the eve of the all-important vote. ...