Newsweek Staff

Stories by Newsweek Staff

  • Hey, Dad, Want To Play Slime World?

    The ultimate video-game battlefield may be the back seat of the family car. Handheld video games are already available from Nintendo and Atari. By Christmas NEC will introduce an even more sophisticated version that can double as a handheld television set. ...
  • The Doctor's Suicide Van

    Sometimes, when ethical debates have run on interminably, it takes a shocking incident to sear the old questions back into the public consciousness. So it was with the case of the Oregon grandmother, the Detroit pathologist and his homemade suicide machine. She was diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease--and preferred taking her life to slowly losing the mind she cherished. He was a zealot who had searched for an appropriate patient to try his controversial device. Janet Adkins read a short item about Jack Kevorkian in NEWSWEEK last fall and saw him on the "Donahue" show. She and her husband flew 2,000 miles to meet him and discuss his device over dinner. Last Monday, while her husband waited at a nearby hotel, they drove to a suburban campsite in Kevorkian's rusty Volkswagen van. He inserted a needle in her arm and started saline flowing. She pressed a button on his death machine that first sent a sedative, then deadly potassium chloride racing to her heart. ...
  • An Opening To The East?

    Germany: in or out? That is the question. Will the Soviets accept a united Germany inside NATO? After the Washington summit between George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev, U.S. officials were discouraged. The Soviets were stonewalling. "The only ideas they offered were nonstarters like a Germany in both pacts, or airy-fairy visions of a PanEuropean security order . . . To our suggestions, they simply said nyet," said a U.S. official. But now the Soviets are signaling readiness to deal--without holding unification hostage to their security fears. "For the first time, rather than questioning the fact of Germany in NATO. the Soviets seem to be exploring ways to dress it up and sell it," said a U.S. official. ...
  • Getting The Farmers To Kick The Habit

    W. D. Guthrie's grandfather smoked and chewed tobacco, mostly at the same time, for 90-some years before dying at 104. So Guthrie, a second-generation tobacco grower in Newport, N.C., doesn't buy the arguments against smoking. The evidence that does impress him is that tobacco pays. "There's a rule of thumb down here," Guthrie says. "For every 10 acres of corn you plant, you better plant one acre of tobacco to back it up." ...
  • A Rupture?

    Palestine Liberation Organization officials in Tunis fear Washington will suspend contacts with the PLO, perhaps as early as next week. Despite repeated appeals from the Bush administration, PLO chairman Yasir Arafat is unlikely to denounce the May 30 raid on Israel by an extremist PLO faction and risk further fragmenting the organization, the sources say. Political pressure is mounting for a U.S. rupture with the PLO. The White House has withstood pressure for sanctions against China and the Soviet Union over Lithuania and wants to continue the dialogue with the PLO, but the strength of Israel's friends in the United States may make it impossible to avoid at least a temporary break.
  • 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.
  • The Salaryman As Abe Lincoln

    James R. Schueler, chief executive, wonders why so many Americans complain about not being able to sell in the Japanese market. What's all the fuss about having to set up shop in Japan to succeed, about being willing to take losses if need be? Take losses? Schueler sits in his office in Hamilton, Mont., and takes orders. He says he gets "several calls a month" from overseas customers wanting what his company's got--a product that retails at about $100,000 a pop. His exports to Japan have more than doubled in five years. Over the next five years, he predicts, his sales to the Far East will go from 5 percent of his overall business to 25 percent. ...
  • A Murder In Paradise

    Peter Matthiessen first heard about the murder of E. J. Watson when he was 17. "My father had a boat. We were coming up from the Florida Keys, and we put in at Everglade. He told me about this man who had been killed by his neighbors, a man otherwise very popular and successful, a successful planter. It stuck in my brain, this strange thing, a kind of community expurgation, and I never forgot it. ...
  • Off-Base Air Base?

    Pentagon officials call it "a military base for the 21st century." This summer, if the Defense Department has its way, bulldozers will plow up olive groves and pastures near the southern Italian town of Crotone. The project: a brand-new $741 million Air Force base replete with "Mediterranean motif" buildings, a shopping mall and hotel. But the Crotone plan may end up as just another remnant of the cold war rendered obsolete by the Soviet retreat in Eastern Europe. Even before perestroika, the project had its detractors--some NATO officials jokingly refer to it as a "theme park." Says Democratic Rep. Patricia Schroeder: "Now that peace has broken out, it's a real waste of money." ...
  • Giving Harvard Notice

    Derek Bok came to the presidency of Harvard University in 1971 with wails of student protest echoing through the yard. A lawyer by training and the dean of the Harvard Law School, he was part of a new breed of university president. They were crisis managers and problem solvers: lawyers like Terry Sanford at Duke, Edward Levi at Chicago, Kingman Brewster at Yale and Robben Fleming at Michigan or economists like William Bowen at Princeton. They busily managed, the times changed, and most moved on to high-profile government or foundation jobs, leaving behind swollen coffers and calm campuses. ...
  • A Raging Bull In A Briar Patch

    Housing and retail sales are "falling. Unemployment is edging upward. And last week the government's index of leading indicators took a dive along with new factory orders. Yet the stock market responded to the economic warning signals by staging another big rally. Investors pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to 2900.97, the third weekly record in a row and a 9 percent gain since April. ...
  • Thanks For The Memories

    At the beginning of Total Recall, a spacesuited Arnold Schwarzenegger stands high on a Martian promontory, looking down on the vast reaches of the red planet. This image could symbolize the astonishing success of Schwarzenegger, the unlikely Austrian born bodybuilder who is now a top box-office megastar. While an action icon like Chuck Norris is strictly a creature of the pow-zap school, Schwarzenegger, under the aegis of filmmakers like James Cameron ("The Terminator"), Ivan Reitman ("Twins") and Dutch director Paul Verhoeven ("Total Recall"), has become a more complex and engaging figure. ...
  • 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. ...