Newsweek Staff

Stories by Newsweek Staff

  • In Italy: 'The Injustice Of A Nation'

    Last week's funeral of 3-year-old Miriam Schillaci was a moment of public remorse. The ceremony was broadcast nationwide; thousands of Italians sent flowers to the family. President Francesco Cossiga lamented "the injustice of a nation and the suffering it has caused you." ...
  • Testing For Alzheimer's

    To doctors specializing in Alzheimer's disease, it was no surprise that Janet Adkins could still beat her son at tennis, yet could no longer play the piano. An Alzheimer's victim is like a city under prolonged artillery attack: the power plants may be failing, but the buses still run. Typically, the disease first affects memory and the ability to learn, then language skills and motor coordination. By the end--anywhere from three to 20 years after its onset--most patients are mute and uncomprehending. But there are many things they can still do before that vegetative state sets in. "These functions aren't lost at the same rate," explains Dr. David Bennett, clinical director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center at Chicago's Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center. "We have some patients who are severely impaired, and yet they're still able to drive or play a good game of golf." ...
  • Saying Yes To Taxes

    In California, voters had plenty of time to think about the legacy of the Great Tax Revolt they began back in 1978. As they sat in their cars, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffflc on the state's congested freeways, they could contemplate the consequences of spending less per capita on transportation than any other state in the union. As their frustration rose, their eyes wandered, perhaps, to roadside billboards that asked, HAD ENOUGH TRAFFIC? VOTE YES ON 111. ...
  • Got A Right To Sing The Blues

    Basin Street of New Orleans is the subject of a fabled jazz standard. But these days, piano-playing prodigy Harry Connick Jr. might be more inclined to sing the blues of another thoroughfare in his native city--Poydras Street, site of the federal courthouse. There, this week, his father-the district attorney for the Big Easy since 1974--faces trial on charges that he aided an illegal gambling operation. At 22, Harry Connick Jr.-- with a Grammy, a gold record and a British film debut this fall-has the world at his feet. At 64, Harry Connick Sr. could face 25 years in the pokey and the end of his political career. ...
  • Gorbachev: The Price Of Survival

    I have never encountered a Soviet delegation so tentative as the one that accompanied Gorbachev to Washington. Some of its members seemed nonplussed by the collapse of the Communist Party Others appeared torn between the familiar contours of central planning and the potential attractions of market economics. The head of the central planning agency lost command of his English when asked how his office was going to coordinate with the market sector, then did not seek to hide his irritation about this state of affairs. On the situation in Europe, they offered a series of complaints, fears and speculations. But these had a plaintive quality, as if they hoped America would rescue them from the consequences of their actions. ...
  • Hot Summer For Moscow

    Welcome home, comrade president: Mikhail Gorbachev returned from the Washington summit last week to find his Central Asian lands engulfed in virtual civil war. It began with a property dispute between Kirgiz and Uzbek neighbors in the town of Osh near the Chinese border. But in a now familiar pattern, ethnic conflict escalated into an attack on the symbols of Soviet power. Armed demonstrators besieged Interior Ministry garrisons. Angry students in Frunze, the Kirgiz capital, demanded that the local leadership resign and pelted the Communist Party chief with rocks when he appeared at a rally to appeal for calm. By the weekend, more than 100 people had been killed and over 400 injured. With local police outgunned, an unhappy Soviet military struggled to keep the peace. ...
  • Korea's Heartbreaking Hills

    While Roh Tae Woo was in the United States last week discussing Korea's future, I was in Korea--searching for the past. In 1951, I served in the Korean War as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. I had not been back since. Now I was hoping to find answers to questions that had haunted me for years: Would I be able to find the hills where my comrades and I fought? What would my emotions be if I did? Would being in Korea again, even for a brief visit, change my feelings about the war? ...
  • Potholes Ahead On Tobacco Road

    Foreign visitors see the change most clearly--and take it hardest. Covering Mikhail Gorbachev's recent trip to San Francisco, an Italian journalist was so intimidated by the scorn of his neighbors I when he tried to light up that he left the pressroom in the middle of the Soviet chair- | man's speech to have a cigarette in his I hotel room. "This place is like a dictatorship of nonsmokers,' he grumbled to an I American colleague. 'I feel like a prison- | en" Most of the 49 million Americans who still smoke are similarly cowed these days, if a bit more resigned. When Shane Taylor found herself one of only three smokers in a Chicago office of 26. huddling in a hallway I without even a chair to smoke in, she decided to kick the habit. "Smoking just isn't condoned in our society," she said. "I've given up. I don't want to fight anymore." ...
  • 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. ...
  • A Head, Or Two, Of Their Times

    Millionaire Eddie Murphy is worth only about 75 cents in Tanzania-if you're talking postage stamps. The superstar comic, along with the late Sammy Davis Jr., Gladys Knight (Pipless), Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and three African-born performers, is part of a new series celebrating the achievements of black entertainers. Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby appear on two high-denomination souvenir sheets (350 shillings apiece). The Cos on your electric bill? Murphy staring up from a mash note? Now that's special delivery.
  • Rolling On The Miami River

    A long the Miami River, the sight is at once odd and commonplace. Loaded with mostly stolen bicycles in stacks the height of an 8-year-old, small cargo boats routinely chug down the river, headed for the Caribbean. After public calls for a crackdown on the illicit trade, city police recruited the U.S. Customs Service and Border Patrol agents last month to form a task force to stop the smuggling of stolen goods. Raiding boat after boat last week, agents hauled in 350 bikes, largely bound for Haiti where few people can afford cars. On the island, even the most battered bicycle can fetch between $30 and $50. ...
  • A Real Kongfrontation

    The city of Orlando is too hot, it's too far from the beach--and it's the No. 1 tourist destination in the world. Rides are the reason. Anyone who minimizes the impact of Space Mountain or Journey into Imagination upon the area need only consider the Orlando airport. Before Walt Disney World opened in 1971, it handled 900,000 travelers annually; with the Magic Kingdom now joined by Epcot Center and the Disney MGM Studios Theme Park, 17 million pass through each year. Obviously, ordinary amusement-park rides could never bring on such a boom. This is the age of the "themed attraction," which provides a little narrative with your nausea. Disney's Star Tours, Body Wars, The Great Movie Ride--these are tunnels of love with plot twists, the Tilta-Whirl as modern American novel. But now the company has something it never really had in Florida before, and perhaps never expected: competition. Universal Studios has opened an "entertainment themed attraction." In English, that means rides and...
  • No, You Can't Have Nintendo

    My wife and I are the kind of mean parents whom kids grumble about on the playground. We're among that ever-shrinking group of parents known as Nintendo holdouts. We refuse to buy a Nintendo set.(Nintendo, for those of you who have been living in a cave for the past few years, is something that you hook up to your TV set that enables you to play various games on your home screen.) Around Christmas time, my son made a wish list, and I noticed that Nintendo was No. 1. I said, "You know you're not going to get Nintendo." He said, "I know I'm not going to get it from you. But I might get it from him. " Alas, Santa, too, let him down. ...
  • Secondhand Smoke: Some Grim News

    There's no denying that cigarettes are a lethal addiction: smoking kills more than six times as many Americans every year as died in the entire Vietnam War. But secondhand smoke remains a source of bitter contention. Is it really a public health hazard, as the antismoking forces contend? Or is it just an annoyance? Four years ago, the U.S. Surgeon General's office and the National Research Council tackled the question. In separate reports, both firmly linked passive smoking to lung cancer. They also found that smokers' children suffered more than their share of respiratory infections. But neither panel tried to gauge the overall impact of passive smoking on the nation's health. The evidence was still too sketchy. ...
  • Mrs. Bush's 'Three Choices'

    I hope many of you will consider making three very special choices. The first is to believe in something larger than yourself, to get involved in some of the big ideas of our time . . . Early on, I made another choice which I hope you will make as well. Whether you are talking about education, career, or service, you are talking about life and life really must have joy. It's supposed to be fun. One of the reasons I made the most important decision of my life, to marry George Bush, is because he made me laugh . . . ...
  • Cleaning Up By Cleaning Up

    George Hyfantis Jr. might not strike you as a global enterpreneur neur. He wears Mickey Mouse ties and scribbles notes to himself on the palm of his hand. But his eight-man environmental consulting firm works around the globe on such problems as surveying toxic-waste sites. These day ,he's looking toward Eastern Europe. "We've experienced their problems," hee says. "We've had trouble breathing." Now the Knoxville engineer finds himself in a position to do some good--and do well. His International Waste Management Systems is negotiating to build pollution monitoring equipment in Czechoslovakia. Though Eastern Europe is struggling at the moment, he says, "There will come a time when they will be our competitors in the ! world market. I would rather be working with them at that time than against them." ...
  • We Grew Accustomed To His Face

    Rex Harrison's 11-year-old granddaughter once said: "The difference between Grandfather and myself is that I'm going to be a serious actress." This "unserious" image dogged Harrison throughout his life, which ended last week at 82 when he died in New York of pancreatic cancer. He was the insouciant, throwaway actor who scored his biggest success in a Broadway musical, "My Fair Lady," whereas Olivier and Gielgud were the classical titans who grappled with Hamlet and Macbeth. Even Noel Coward told Harrison: "If you weren't the best light comedian in the country, all you'd be fit for is selling cars." ...
  • 'Rusty Tubs': The Navy's Ghost Fleet

    The Southwestern Victory once carried beans and bullets to troops in Europe, Korea and Vietnam. Now the only items on the old merchant ship are rust, dead pigeons and shards of haze-gray paint. Its pitted hull and 45-year-old steam-turbine engines haven't been tested in years. Yet the Navy is counting on the Southwestern Victory and other ships like it in a pinch. It's part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF), intended to provide extra military supplies in a national emergency. The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), which maintains the 331-ship fleet for the Navy, says some of it could go to sea on as little as five days' notice. Congressional critics say the Navy is counting on ghost ships. As many as a third may be useless, requiring months and millions of dollars in repairs to regain seaworthiness: "A rusty-tub program," says Democratic Rep. Ronald Wyden. ...