Newsweek Staff

Stories by Newsweek Staff

  • 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. ...
  • 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. ...
  • Buzzwords

    OK, you've been accepted to college and your next concern is, will I fit in? The most popular freshman college lingo: Heisman: Stiff-arm approach used to ward off suitors at parties. As in Heisman Trophy.Blower: Frosh who can't hold his beer. Usage: "Watch your shoes, Buffy. He's a blower."Teethmaster: A frat boy. Usage: "Does that teethmaster's hair ever get messy?"Gilligans: Freshmen who work in dorm cafeterias and wear white sanitary caps.Arnolds: Musclehead bouncers who keep freshmen out of bars. As in Schwarzenegger. Warrens: Male upperclassmen who date freshman women. As in Beatty.
  • The Thrill Is Gone

    Summits aren't what they used to be, and I say thank God for that. True, as a great deal of commentary has pointed out over the past few days, much of the glamour, suspense and personal drama characteristic of these meetings at the political apex has been missing from the Bush-Gorbachev encounter. But the excitement of summits past was pretty much a function of more dangerous conditions. I don't pretend that what with the turmoil in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and the continued deployment of tens of thousands of nuclear warheads around the world we do not live amid dangers. But much of the high-risk drama of summit conferences used to proceed from the rarity and consequent unpredictability of the meeting itself. Would the two touchy national supremos, each incurring some domestic risk by meeting at all and each watchdog jealous of his own political standing and his country's basic interests, get along? Might bad personal vibes or big misunderstandings make the relationship...
  • Here's Looking At You, Kid

    Take an early look at the Vikings'2010 draft pick, Marcus (Heads Up) Gastineau. The 5month-old son of Mark Gastineau, late of the New York Jets, lives with his mother, Brigitte Nielsen. The great Dane says, "He's a very big boy, very strong, but Iwon't guide him in one direction. I can't say he'll be a football player. He may be a computer scientist." And if Marcus needs a lullaby, Mom can just croon her just recorded single, "Rough and I Ready for Love."
  • The Itch And The Scratch

    They're ba-ack . . . Tick season is upon us again, and Ixodes dammini, the tiny species that unleashes the ravages of Lyme disease, is on the march--out of the woods, up over your socks and right onto your bare calves. The bugs are back and so are the anxious patients, inundating doctors' waiting rooms with symptoms that range from inflamed hair follicles to unexplained fatigue. Sometimes, a quick inspection and a brief chat are all the physician needs to determine that the affliction is not Lyme. If it is, however, the diagnosis is often a lengthy quest, yielding equivocal results. But people who are bugged want clear answers and fast fixes; that itch has opened the way to fast bucks and some sloppy medicine. "You know America. I know America," says Dr. David Harris, health commissioner for Suffolk County, N.Y., one of the peak areas of Lyme incidence. "Some people do use exaggerated fears to sell products." ...
  • Chrysler Loses A Crew Chief

    Put yourself in Gerald Greenwald's position. You are the vice chairman of Chrysler Corp. and heir apparentto chairman Lee Iacocca. Iacocca, 65, is supposed to retire next year but is hinting he just might stay longer. Along comes an exciting--but risky--job offer. You could become chairman and chief executive of UAL Corp., the United Airlines parent, but there's a very big "if" attached. You get the job only if the unions that want to buy UAL can arrange the necessary financing. ...
  • Germany: Unanswered Questions

    The great mistake of the statesmen at Versailles in 1919 had been to reconstitute Germany as a national entity, to give no wider horizon than the national one to the aspirations of the German people," wrote the statesman George F. Kennan in his memoirs. "Now we were faced with this problem once again." He was speaking of 1949, but the words have lost no power. George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev met last week in hopes of locating some wider horizon for the reunification of Germany. Would it be NATO, as the West would like? Or the shapeless 35-nation Helsinki-accords cluster known as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)? For the moment, both Bush and Gorbachev were frustrated. "The Soviets can't stop Germany from uniting and the united Germany will be in NATO," said a senior U.S. official "But without the Soviets' blessing, unification could come to a messy ... conclusion, with elements of real danger." ...
  • Back In Boston

    At a Kennedy Library fundraiser last week, Jacqueline Onassis showed up with her longtime companion, investment wizard Maurice Tempelsman. Earlier in the day, sans Maurice, she applauded warmly as her daughter. Caroline, unveiled a statute of John F. Kennedy outside the Massachusetts State House. Jackie was speechless, but Sen. Edward Kennedy quipped, "I can tell from Jack's expression that he is already feeling uncomfortable on his pedestal."
  • Coke Cans A Snakebitten Promotion

    It seemed like a good idea at the time: getting consumers to buy Coca-Cola Classic by filling random cans with money and prize certificates. But the soft-drink giant's "MagiCans" promotion was snakebitten from the outset. There were reports of malfunctioning prize delivery mechanisms (the money is supposed to pop out when you open the can), and one unwitting Massachusetts buyer drank from a broken can only to get a mouthful of the foul-tasting chlorinated water used to make it feel full. ...
  • A Scapegoat On The Iowa?

    From the start, a strong odor of doubt hung over the Navy's official verdict that last year's disastrous explosion on the battleship Iowa was "most probably" set off by a suicidal sailor. Last week, prodded to act by a senator with new findings and a scientific report, the Navy said it would reopen its investigation--and disclosed the first solid evidence that the disaster may have been an accident after all. ...
  • Mommy Vs. Mommy

    Tension between mothers is building as they increasingly choose divergent paths: going to work, or staying home to care for their kids ...
  • New Fuel For The Intifada

    Days earlier, the commander of Israel's forces in the West Bank had pronounced the intifada "in retreat." But then a former Israeli soldier described by authorities as "deranged" opened fire on a group of unarmed Arab laborers near Tel Aviv, killing eight. The gunman, 21year-old Ami Popper, told investigators last week that his rampage was triggered by a shattered romance, not by politics. "An odious act of insanity," said Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. But within hours of the shootings, Palestinians in the occupied territories swarmed into the streets, sparking the most violent rioting since the early days of the 30-month-on intifada. ...
  • Assault Weapons: A Setback For The Nra

    Only the day before, the National Rifle Association was confidently predicting a victory and the gun-control forces were bracing for defeat. Yet when the fight was over, the Senate had voted to ban nine types of assault weapons from the U.S. market. Champagne corks poped for the biggest gun-control triumph in years on Capitol Hill, and Sarah Brady, who has become the movement's most prominent speaker since her husbands near fatal wounding in the 1981 assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, was exultant. After its "devastating, huge loss," she said, the NRA has turned into "a paper tiger." ...
  • In Defense Of Reagan

    It is time somebody said it: "Let's hear it for Ronald Reagan!" Count me in the chorus that gives George Bush a high approval rating, but don't include me among those who think being pro-Bush demands bashing Reagan. The current momentum of public and press opinion paints our former president less like the first since Ike to have served for two full terms and more like a deposed dictator who was forced upon us and whose yoke we finally have thrown off. Our public memory is mercilessly fickle. No wonder politicians lament, as did Montana's once powerful senator Burton K. Wheeler on his retirement, "Let 'em be ungrateful to someone else for a while."Not that Reagan has not made mistakes in retirement. He seems not to have acclimated to being an ex-president nearly so well as he acclimated to the presidency. Like actors, ex-leaders should avoid stepping on their successors' lines. Once the spotlight is turned to another, politicians are best served when their public does not see them,...
  • An Idyllic Life Of Crime

    Dreamlike Fryburg, Calif., is America's bicycling capital. It's also home to a bunch of mobsters, plunked down in paradise by the federal witness-protection program. In "My Blue Heaven," due in July, Steve Martin is Vinnie Antonelli, a relocated crook who sets up shop in Fryburg without fear of prosecution. One crime he doesn't commit: dressing to kill. Vinnie clearly never saw Steve Martin's classic "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid."
  • Too Little And Too Late?

    Small flurries of panic buying began even before Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov delivered his speech. Then the flurries became a wave. Shoppers in Kiev raced from store to store last Friday, buying twice the usual amount of cooking oil, six times as much flour and eight times as much macaroni as they had purchased on an ordinary day. But those days ended abruptly when Ryzhkov made his announcement to the Soviet Parliament. The government proposed to double the price of food at the beginning of next year; bread prices would triple on the first of July. Angry miners spoke of a strike--possibly similar to the walkout that paralyzed Soviet industry last summer. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitaly Masol vowed his republic would "stand in firm opposition" to the Moscow plan--and even Mikhail Gorbachev failed to give it much of an endorsement. Within a single day Ryzhkov was left vulnerably alone, pleading with the public for "restraint and calm." ...