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  • The Soldier-Parent Dilemma

    Mary Wax of Rohnert Park, Calif., isn't a soldier, but in September she found herself in one of the Army's toughest battles. On one side were her three children; on the other were two nieces and a nephew recently arrived from Fort Benning, Ga. The visitors were her sister's kids, and they desperately missed their mother, Sgt. Lori Moore, whose unit was about to leave for the Persian Gulf. When her orders came through, Lori and her drill-sergeant husband, Fred, decided to ship the kids out, too--at least until the sand settled in Operation Desert Shield. ...
  • Targeting The Emperor

    For most of the world, the death of Emperor Hirohito in 1989 closed the book on the controversy over Japan's imperial traditions. But in Japan the battle rages on. In January, a right-wing fanatic shot and nearly killed the mayor of Nagasaki, who said the late emperor bore responsibility for Japan's role in World War II. Now leftist radicals have vowed to attack the palace during next week's formal enthronement ceremony for Hirohito's heir, Akihito. At first many Japanese dismissed the challenge as a last gasp of some aging radicals. No longer. Police now say they have uncovered detailed plots to blow up the emperor's train and to jam all live broadcasts of the ceremony. And late last Thursday two bombs exploded in a police dormitory, killing one officer and injuring six others. ...
  • Love Letters

    The latest woman to turn Douglas Brackman's head is vowel vixen Vanna White. In a future episode of "L.A. Law," the uptight attorney fulfills a lifelong dream by taking a spin as a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune." It's a red-letter day for him. "I get a good hunk of cash, a dinette set and meet Vanna," says Alan Rachins, who plays Brackman. And is he smitten? "Not untrue," is Rachins's lawyerly reply.
  • There's Blues In The News

    It starts, this strange album, with the mournful plunk of a mail-order guitar set against a backdrop of soft static. Think of rain falling and fish frying. Now consider that this double disc set so totally unsuitable for major radio playlists, costs about twice as much as, say, the new Whitney Houston album. If all that doesn't discourage the average consumer, there's the format, which seems geared for a specialized market--namely, six people who work in the basement of the Smithsonian. One song ends and Take Two of the same song begins; sometimes you can't tell what's going on, precisely, without wading through the 47 pages of liner notes. It would be hard to imagine a more obscure musical enterprise than "Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings," 41 blues cuts set down more than 50 years ago. Yet there it is: the boxed sets piled high at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, where Robert Johnson was the third best seller, behind Paul Simon and George Michael. And, have...
  • 'Pretty Woman'

    During a Varig airlines flight between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro last week, 39-year-old Brazilian transvestite Afonso Felipe dos Santos--clad smartly in a wig, pumps and black skirt--entered the cockpit under the pretense of wanting to take a picture. But once inside, he sprayed Mace on the pilots. A relief pilot rushed in to take control. The plane--and the 348 passengers--then landed safely in the Canary Islands. The transvestite w as arrested and his sister said that Felipe dos Santos had a death wish. The in-flight movie that day: "Pretty Woman."
  • A Battle Over 'Correct Thinking' At Harvard

    Once upon a time geometry was something that highschool and college students quietly wrestled with in the classroom. But at Harvard University, it's the source of a bitter campus dispute. The pink triangle, once used by Nazis to identify homosexuals and now a symbol of pride for gays and lesbians throughout the country, has competition in Cambridge: the blue square. The new symbol is the creation of AALARM (the Association Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality), a conservative student group that purports to represent "faith, family, country and community." AALARM has left its square logo on virtually every sidewalk, wall and kiosk where the pink triangle appears. The message is that traditional viewpoints have been unfairly squelched at Harvard. "We were really fed up with the one-sided campus environment that was closed to ideas that were not 'politically correct'," says founder Adam Webb. "There's an attitude on campus that just discounts any arguments that have...
  • Again, It's A Wonderful Life

    Everybody wants to be Jimmy Stewart. In Hollywood, the land of lemmings, it seems as if every other film out this season offers up that facile formula in which death or near death leads to redemption and/or a change in values. First there were "Ghost" and "Flatliners." Now we have "Mr. Destiny" and "Jacob's Ladder." And December will bring us "Awakenings," in which Robert De Niro comes out of a coma, and "Regarding Henry," starring Harrison Ford as a lawyer who is shot and yes. rediscovers life.
  • Wanting Out Of Russia

    For Lithuanians, Georgians and others trying to break away from the Soviet Union, it may seem hard to believe. But there's actually one place that's trying to become a Soviet republic. The former "autonomous" republic of Tataria, 460 miles due east of Moscow, was part of the Russian Republic until Aug. 30. Then, at the goading of Tatar nationalists, the local parliament unanimously changed the region's name to Tatarstan, declared its laws supreme over those of Russia and claimed its natural resources on behalf of its 3.7 million people. "We want to be on that list of members of the Soviet Union. And in alphabetical order--ahead of the Ukraine," says Vladimir Yermakov, an aide to Tatarstan's Supreme Soviet chairman, Mintimir Shaimeyev. ...
  • 'You're Here. They're There. It's Simple.'

    Brig. Gen. Tommy Franks surveyed the Saudi Arabian desert from the headquarters of his newly arrived First Cavalry. It was, he said, "pleasantly different," even "a delightful experience." It was different certainly from the first time he went to war, in Vietnam 20 years ago. The First Cav then was a combat-hardened unit, careering around the DMZ in choppers emblazoned with the endearing motto, "God Saves--Cav Kills." And the life was anything but delightful. I remember the induction of a new Cav helicopter pilot at the base in Quang Tri. His comrades, clad in off-duty black Stetsons with silver hatbands, drenched him with beer while singing, to the tune of "De Camptown Races": "You'll go home in a body bag, oh doo dah day." Around noon the next day, on the airstrip at Khe Sanh, I watched medics lift a body from a cripled Huey. The new man had taken 15 hours to find his body bag. ...
  • Whose Death Is It Anyway?

    Jacob's ladder is the ultimate example of a movie whose ending you don't want to know before you see it. In fact, with this movie you don't want to know the middle, and hardly even the beginning. Made by the provocative team of director Adrian Lyne ("Fatal Attraction") and screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin ("Ghost"), "Jacob's Ladder" has so many surprises that you undergo the jolting experience of having to use your head as well as your eyes and viscera. At first it looks like the second coming of "Platoon," opening in Vietnam with a savage attack that decimates a group of GIs. Among the wounded is Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins), a smiling, bespectacled type whose buddies call him Professor. Jump-cut to Brooklyn, where Jacob has spurned his Ph.D. and is working as a mailman. He's also left his wife and kids and is living with a co-worker, Jezzie (Elizabeth Pena). "After Nam I didn't want to think anymore," is how Jacob puts it. ...
  • One Big Mcbow To Environmentalism

    For years McDonald's insisted its containers didn't hurt the environment. Last week it ate those claims. The fast-food giant announced it will trash its familiar "clamshell" boxes, made of polystyrene, for good. "All of us as citizens of this country have to have some sensitivity to environmental issues," said Ed Rensi, president of McDonald's U.S.A. ...
  • Headless

    Newsweek has learned that the ad hoc resistance movement that sprang up in Kuwait immediately after the Lraqi invasion is slowly being replaced by more effective clandestine efforts using terrorist tactics. According to Palestinian sources, some agents are from the Kuwaiti Army, police and intelligence forces. Others are said to be members of Amal, a Lebanese Shiite group closely allied with Syria and smuggled into Kuwait to aid the resistance. The sources say the underground recently exploded two car bombs killing more than 150 people, including 100 Iraqi soldiers and a collaborationist Kuwaiti professor. Resistance agents, the sources say, also planted bombs in videocassette recorders and sold them to Iraqis. "After five minutes, every video--boom," says a source. "You saw a man carrying a video without a head."
  • Buzzwords

    Loggers' argot is colorful, particularly about adversaries: Spikers: Environmentalists who drive spikes into trees so loggers will break their chain saws.Preservationists: Pejorative for environmentalists; activists who don't want any trees cut, even if they are to be replanted.Terrorists: Members of the environmental group Earth First!Flatlanders: Stumble-footed city dwellers.Boing boings: Deer.Speed goats: Antelope.Jag-on: An impressive load of wood being hauled by a trucker.Bullprick: A mechanized stump splitter for tough cases.Bullbuck: A logger's boss.
  • Bush's Latest Demonology

    George Bush, as a political matter, often tries to manipulate powerful symbols. Remember the flag, cops and Willie Horton? Those were nothing compared with his Saddam Hussein/Adolf Hitler demonology: Oct. 15: "We're dealing with Hitler revisited."Oct. 20: "When Hitler's war ended. there were the Nuremberg trials."Oct. 23: Bush compares the alleged murders of Kuwaiti youngsters to actions by Hitler's Death's Head battalions.Nov. 1: "[Saddam is engaged in] brutality that I don't believe Adolf Hitler ever participated in."A noted German-born historian at Columbia University, Fritz Stern, called the last remark "an insult. . . to the [Holocaust] dead."
  • Fraudulent 'Diversity'

    Diversity is a special word these days, especially on college campuses. It's a catchy word that appeals to most people's sense of pluralistic idealism. As such, achieving diversity has become the much-touted mission of many institutions of higher learning. Everywhere student-admissions officers and faculty-appointment committees are clamoring to acquire "diverse" students and "diverse" faculty members. At law schools alone, for example, hundreds of students and faculty members from more than 40 different law schools participated in a nationwide day of protest last spring demanding greater diversity. ...
  • Costly Kids

    Day care is already expensive and the costs are going up. Following are the 10 suburban areas in the United States where it is the most expensive. This ranking is for the suburbs only. The costs in downtown areas generally run even higher.[*] ...
  • Say Goodbye, Mister Hip

    A generation ago at the contemporary art museum, Dad and Billy could admire the big, bright outdoor sculpture, Mom could bathe her eyes in color field painting and little Sue could buy a board game designed by a conceptual artist. Now the same institution is seen by many as a nuisance if not a menace. The art on display either hectors the viewer about social problems or baits the vice squad. Civic funding is being cut back, corporations are bailing out on controversial shows . . . so who wants the aggravation? ...
  • 'Say, Warden, Couid I Pay More For A View?'

    Zagat's Guide to Prisons: $47.20 per night (single rate) Secure blocks, diverse clientele, meal plan. Free exercise' room and safe for valuables.He's been videotaped, convicted and ordered to serve six months in prison. But a fortnight ago when Washington Mayor Marion Barry was sentenced for cocaine possession, he suffered one more humiliation: he'll have to pay for his stay in the pokey.Actually, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's order that Barry pay $9,653 for jail time and one year of supervision on top of a $5,000 fine--was fully in accord with the law. Since U.S. sentencing guidelines took effect in late 1987, all federal prisoners are supposed to ante up for their confinement. "Why should the taxpayers have to cover an inmate's room and board and medical services when the defendant can afford it?" asks William Wilkins, the federal appeals judge who is chairman of the U.S. sentencing commission. Judges are supposed to waive the rule for inmates who are indigent or...
  • Let's Blame The Media

    Just about the wackiest idea in circulation these days is the notion that the press is talking the country into a recession. The theory has a superficial appeal and also panders to the popular impulse to despise the media (that crude amalgam of newspapers, magazines and television). All the gloom-and-doom stories, the theory goes, create gloom and doom. Suitably scared, people cut spending, and the economy goes into the tank. ...
  • Beagle Rays

    Question of the week: why have 828 beagle corpses been plunked into a Washington state storage site? Because for 27 years, the Department of Energy conducted experiments in which 3,700 beagles were exposed to radiation in order to study its effects. The dogs were fed radiation-laden food for a year and a half, then left to live out their lives. Many lived as long as as 18 years--leading some researchers to conclude that exposure to low-level radiation ins't so dangerous. One problem: disposing of 27 years' wowrth of radioactive dog poop.
  • The Nightmare Scenarios

    The chance that real economic calamity might strike the United States after eight years of expansion has riveted public attention like a highway wreck on a Sunday afternoon. Newspapers and TV newscasts shudder with doom and gloom. The stories roll up every real or imagined recent economic sin--soaring debt, the budget and trade deficits--into one great monster that is going to drive America into a Great Depression. The headlines all but scream REPENT! THE END IS NEAR! ...
  • Making Saints

    On the morning of Aug. 1, 1987, the small lobby of the Hotel Gulich in Cologne, West Germany, was filled with Jews. They were members of a clan, about two dozen in all, whose German ancestors had been scattered by Hitler's pogroms to the United States, South America and Canada. Four of those ancestors had died in Nazi death camps. One of the victims was Edith Stein--"Tante Edith" to her nieces--who, as Sister Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, was to be proclaimed a martyr that afternoon by John Paul II. But a martyr for whom? To Jews around the world Edith Stein was one of 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust. To the pope she was also--and primarily--a martyr for the church. ...
  • Slow Out Of The Gate

    Just one month ago, the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination looked about as desirable as a weekend in Baghdad. With George Bush riding high in the polls, party strategists talked of a sacrificial run by Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, who would lose gracefully; others proposed clearing the field for Rev. Jesse Jackson and "getting him out of our system," as one official put it. But the fallout from the budget follies has dramatically altered these scenarios. For the first time in a decade, voters think the Democrats would manage the economy better than the Republicans, and '92 is starting to look like a real opportunity. "In the next few months, a lot of 'vision' speeches are going to be cranked up," says Democratic speechwriter Kevin Sullivan. ...
  • The Kids Play--And You Pay

    The scene: screaming children cavorting in a knee-deep sea of green, red, yellow and blue plastic balls. They swim in them. They bury themselves under them. And they dive into them with the daredevil zealousness of an Evel Knievel. A playground? No, it's the activity room at the IKEA furniture store in Elizabeth, N.J. While they hunt for the affordable armoire, parents who visit the Swedish home-furnishings company can "check" their kids at the playroom for up to two hours. Here, the little ones watch videos, draw pictures or immerse themselves in the popular ballroom--under the supervision of babysitters. Says Maria mother of three: "The kids want to come here just to play." ...
  • Anti-Semitic Or Merely Nasty?

    The profile of media mogul Mort Zuckerman in the current GQ is nasty, but is it anti-Semitic? That's the complaint being leveled against the magazine and writer Alicia NIundy by some media heavies--and Zuckerman's friends They think the article played up Zuckerman's Jewishness to buttress charges that the owner of U.S. News & World Report and The Atlantic is a shameless social climber. The complaints were aimed at such lines as "There's Mort the Jew and Mort the WASP" and the comparison of Zuckerman to the fictional Jewish character Duddy Kravitz. GQ editor in chief Art Cooper, who is Jewish, says he has received compalaints from at least one major magazine editor. But Cooper says the charges of anti-Semitism are "nonsense" and that a negative story about a rags-to-riches Jewish person often prompts such a response. Mundy, an editor at Washington's Regardie's magazine, says the allegations are "absurb" and adds that both of her editors at GQ are Jewish.
  • Gershwin From Hamptons To Harlem

    There is a certain uneasiness on Broadway these days about the question of "nontraditional casting." An increasingly multiethnic talent pool has added political pressure to the normal uncertainties of theater. There have been critical complaints that certain black or Jewish performers were miscast in Shakespeare. Protests by Asian performers led to the recent banning, then unbanning, by Actors' Equity of British star Jonathan Pryce, who plays a Eurasian in the New York-bound megamusical "Miss Saigon." Black versions of white shows, long a Broadway staple, now come under sharper scrutiny: are they esthetically justified, or are they a gimmicky form of affirmative action? ...
  • Two-Coast Man

    How many actors have the comic touch to play the fast-ball, slow-brain minor-league pitcher Nuke LaLoosh in "Bull Durham" and the dramatic power to play the life-in-death hero of "Jacob's Ladder"? Well, Tim Robbins has done it. His mild, 6-foot-4, Bill Bradleyish look belies the off-center versatility that's made him a hot property at 31. Robbins is a two-media, two-coast man. The son of folk singer Gil Robbins, he grew up in Greenwich Village (where he still lives with Susan Sarandon, the mother of his year-and-a-half-old son). At 13 Robbins was acting with the off-off-Broadway group Theater for the New City. "We did political street vaudevilles; at 14 I played H. R. Haldeman," says Robbins. "I learned how to act in the street, competing with truck noises, mothers yelling at kids and drunks coming on stage and dancing." ...
  • Mr. Reagan Went To Washington

    FOR A PRESIDENT SO DEPENDENT ON TV, RONALD REAGAN HAS DONE A FAST FADE FROM THE BIG SCREEN OF POLITICS. HE APPEARS IN PUBLIC ONLY RARELY, AND IS NOTICEABLY ABSENT FROM ANY OF THE DEBATE SURROUNDING THE ISSUES OF HIS EIGHT YEARS IN OFFICE. REAGAN'S JUST-RELEASED AUTOBIOGRAPHY, AN AMERICAN LIFE,[*] WRITTEN IN THE HONEYED PROSE OF A HOLLYWOOD PRESS RELEASE, OFFERS FEW CLUES TO TAKE US BEYOND THE MAN'S POPULAR IMAGE. MUCH OF THE BOOK IS FAMILIAR, FROM THE HARANGUES ABOUT GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS TO THE OFT-TOLD STORIES OF HIS EARLY CAREER AS A SPORTSCASTER. REAGAN'S WHITE HOUSE RECOLLECTIONS ARE SO ROSE-COLORED, THERE ISN'T EVEN ANY GOOD GOSSIP. THE FORMER PRESIDENT DISPLAYS NONE OF THE VENOM TOWARD HIS AIDES THAT NANCY REAGAN SPILLED IN HER BOOK, "MY TURN." ...
  • Twinkle, Twinkle

    The fall party season is in full swing, and big baubles are popping up everywhere. Recently, at the glittering Carousel of Hope Ball in Beverly Hills, Elizabeth Taylor showed up--with goldilocked beau Larry Fortensky--looking positively robust in pink. They joined 1,000 other big names at the benefit to fight juvenile diabetes. Basia Johnson, on the other hand (and coast), could have used a few fashion tips. The chambermaid turned heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune appeared at a New York soiree to help save crumbling Venetian landmarks draped in a Renaissance-look frock she designed--but trimmed with all those emeralds, who was looking at the dress?
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    In 1974, Nancy Kaiser made the mistake of coming down with an illness that didn't fit any of the available diagnoses. The Albuquerque housewife was just 38, an avid golfer and swimmer, and under no particular stress. Yet she felt like she was dying. She was weak, profoundly tired and plagued by constant bladder infections. Her muscles ached. Her mood shifted unpredictably. Her memory seemed to be failing. "If this is menopause," she remembers thinking, "this is horrible, worse than I ever imagined." Her doctors could offer no better guess, so after seven awful years she agreed to a hysterectomy. When her health didn't improve, physicians referred her to psychiatrists, who announced she was mourning her lost uterus. One suggested she have an affair. ...
  • From Pit Bull To President

    After flipping on taxes and flopping on the deficit, George Bush was searching for new directions last week. "Shift gears with me," he urged an audience of Ohio Republicans as he ripped into Saddam Hussein. His scorched-earth campaign against those tax-and-spend Democrats seemed forgotten, and Bush the Partisan Pit Bull was acting presidential again. "His spirits are soaring," one aide said. "He thinks he can turn this thing around now." ...
  • Night Of The Living Videos

    Jim McCabe, the owner of a Washington, D.C., video-rental business called Video Vault, brags of two convenient locations, bargain prices and "the guaranteed worst movies in town." McCabe, who opened his first shop in 1985, knew it was hopeless to imitate the large national chains whose "superstores" had begun to dominate the video-rental business. So McCabe packed the racks with the drive-in fare of his South Carolina youth: titles like "Night of the Bloody Apes," "She Devils on Wheels" and "Shanty Tramp." "The chain stores have shelves of cult movies," says McCabe. "I've got rooms. " ...
  • Deathly Vacancy

    Some New Yorkers will do anything for a cheap apartment. Last Wednesday, NEWSWEEK learned a New York City medical investigator was summoned to a building on Manhattan's West 43rd street where a longtime tenant had suffered a fatal heart attack. After pronouncing the man dead, the investigator discovered the deceased's rent-stabilized, one-bedroom apartment rented for about $300 a month. Without missing a beat, the investigator, Jules Lisner, notified the building's management company of the death--then asked if he could put a deposit down on the apartment. "It was bad judgment," admitted Lisner, who has been reprimanded by his superiors.
  • Bush: 'I Have Had It'

    Some of them inhabit Baghdad's luxury hotels, where boredom and homesickness are the biggest threats to their well-being. Others hide in Kuwait, in constant terror of discovery by Iraqi troops, and get by on the kindness of Arab friends. Still others serve as "human shields" at Iraqi military bases and other potential targets, where living conditions range from the uncomfortable to the unspeakable. All of them, fugitives and prisoners alike, are the unwilling "guests" of Saddam Hussein. Last week the hostages, including nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens, began their fourth month of Babylonian captivity. ...
  • Bill Paley's Historic Will

    Jeffrey Paley rose to speak last week at the small private funeral service for his father, the man who built CBS. He explained the complexity of being the child of someone so much in the public eye. William S. Paley was not the first father to give more attention to the larger world than to his children, Jeffrey noted, and he would not be the last. But the scale was different: "He wasn't one to play baseball in the backyard with his kids," Jeffrey said. "Yet he owned the New York Yankees, my childhood idols." Paley's will, unsealed last week, reflected that same approach. All six of his children, including two stepchildren, were treated generously (Paley's second wife, Babe, died in 1978). But the jewel of his $500 million estate--a magnificent art collection--went to his foundation, with instructions that it be given to New York's Museum of Modern Art. ...
  • The Hunk's Happy Hour

    The bar is open at last to John F. Kennedy Jr. Friends of the Manhattan assistant D.A. say he has finally passed the New York bar exam after failing twice. Official results come out this week. Passing means Kennedy keeps his $30,000-a-year job. He could also seek greener pastures. In July, Kennedy took the easier Connecticut test, along with New York's. He passed that as well.
  • War And Recession

    This is a peculiar time in political Washington. It is hagridden by uncertainties and apprehension. "Do you think there is going to be a war?" That is one of the most frequently exchanged questions. The other is "How bad do you think it is going to be?"--meaning the coming recession. People here seem to sense something menacing and inevitable, but as yet unseen, advancing in their direction. In some respects their constant querying seems less a quest for expert judgment than for reassurance. We are like those anxious characters in the suspense movies who have just heard an unmistakable creaking on the stair. ...
  • Stirring Old Hatreds In India

    Once again India has fallen victim to its tendency to self-destruct. And this time the stakes couldn't be greater, for the battle threatens to revive the country's most explosive division--the split between Hindus and Muslims. India's leaders have tried to avoid such a confrontation from the moment of India's modern birth in 1947. They established a secular Constitution in the hope that the Hindu majority and a large Muslim minority could live together in peace, if not necessarily in harmony. Though the reality sometimes fell short of the dream, India survived in spite of its simmering religious, ethnic and caste divisions. The country has suffered through the grievances of smaller groups, like the Sikhs in Punjab. But now it is being pulled apart by a much greater force. In the last eight days alone, more than 300 people have been killed in Hindu-Muslim riots and in clashes between Hindu fundamentalists and government forces--all over the fate of a disputed mosque. ...
  • Giorgio Takes Manhattan

    Last week all eyes were trained on the fashion runways of Calvin, Ralph and Geoffrey, but it was Giorgio Armani who stole the show. The Italian designer, who seldom visits these shores, was all over New York City doing a little personal PR (even Saks Fifth Avenue pronounced it "Armani Week"). After appearing at the opening of a photo exhibit called "Giorgio Armani--Images of Man," he held court at a lavish dinner for 250 carefully chosen guests at the Museum of Modern Art. The occasion for this little ciaodown was a screening of "Made in Milan," a documentary about, who else Armani. The 26-minute film, made by buddy Martin Scorsese (who received a reported $2 million fee), depicts the designer's life and work in embarrassingly egotistical detail, leading some wags to dub it "Paid in Milan." Though there were scattered titters in the MoMA audience, most kept their sniping under wraps.
  • For Longer Life, Take A Wife

    Mothers and matchmakers have always known that not being married is a definite health hazard. But when a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, reported a few weeks ago that middle-aged men without wives were actually twice as likely to die during a 10-year span as men with wives, the espoused and the spouseless alike stopped to take notice. It was the kind of news that swept through offices and watering holes--and it made people feel smug or anxious, depending on their circumstances. Now the researchers who conducted the study are trying to find out what accounted for the dramatic differences in survival rates. ...
  • Cold Confusion About Dr. Pons

    The mysteries of cold fusion are nothing compared with the mysteries of cold--fusion scientists. A year and a half after he and a colleague announced they I had achieved nuclear fusion in a tabletop experiment, University of Utah chemist B. Stanley Pons has disappeared--and so could his funding if he doesn't turn up. ...
  • Tug Of Death

    In 1984, John Joubert was convicted and sentenced to die for the murders of two young boys in Nebraska. Then, this year he was extradited to Maine, where he was tried and convicted of another murder. The catch is, Maine doesn't have the death penalty and Nebraska is having a tough time getting back the killer it wants to electrocute on Dec. 7. Maine has agreed to return Joubert to Nebraska, but not until he is sentenced. That could take months. Joubert has also tried to delay his death date by filing a lawsuit over Maine prison conditions.
  • Handicapping A Cabinet Shuffle

    A senior White House official has told NEWSWEEK that after the Nov. 7 election it may be "open season on moves" in the Bush cabinet. Elizabeth Dole left her post at Labor last week. A possible replacement: Rep. Lynn Martin. Some informed speculation on other possible moves: If the GOP takes a drubbing in the election, he may split to head the RNC. Lee Atwater is still ill and the beleaguered party requires full-time leadership.Ed head has been in Bush's doghouse from the start but may hold on; sacking a Hispanic could get messy. If his head does roll, say hello to former N.J. governor Tom Kean.Frustrated by lack of attention from The Boss on domestic issues, he's now interested in the U.S. trade rep's post. But that's filled--for the moment--by Carla Hills.He's recovering adequately from a ghastly start. But if he continues to stumble, Transportation chief Sam Skinner--a Bush favorite--could slide in nicely.
  • Fashion Bottoms Out

    Last week we saw London, we saw France, and we saw Claudia Schiffer's underpants. At the Paris fashion follies, the susupermodel from the Guess? jeans ads lumbered down the Chanel runway like an elephant terrible, flashing oversize white briefs under her sheer black outfit (a fantasy come true for some, no doubt). The Duchess of York, meanwhile, was making an uplifting entrance as she glided into New York City's Rainbow Room looking svelte in taffeta. The new generation of royals, after all, does keep abreast of the latest fashion trends.
  • The Art Of The Deal

    The conflict between the two George Bushes--the shrill, partisan politician and the kinder, gentler president--was never clearer than it was last week. Appearing at a Republican fund-raiser in Irvine, Calif., the partisan Bush complained that "the Democratically controlled Congress simply has been on an uncontrolled spending binge for years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that Congress has been spending more than we take in for far too long." Then, mindful that his hopes for cutting the federal deficit depended entirely on those very same Democrats, Bush turned on a metaphorical dime. He praised the opposition for "working cooperatively" on the deficit deal, adding "for that, I salute them, because I firmly believe that we must get an agreement to start getting these deficits under control." ...
  • Running The Numbers For U.S. Families

    Never have so many labored so long to raise so little from so few. The nation's 720,000 or so families earning more than a year will absorb the new tax package's only large increases. Congress nickeled and aimed the rest of the $20 billion in revenues from small jumps in federal excises, payroll deductions and income taxes. A look at how the cookie crumbles: ...
  • Making Babies After Menopause

    Borrowing an egg is now an accepted practice among young women who want to get pregnant but can't produce one themselves. But because women over 40 have trouble making babies under the best of circumstances, they've never been considered likely candidates for the procedure. Conventional wisdom holds that once an older woman stops ovulating, her childbearing days are over. It now seems the conventional wisdom was wrong. A group of doctors reported in last week's New England Journal of Medicine that they have managed, using donated eggs, to impregnate several women who had gone through menopause. "The limits on the childbearing years are now anyone's guess," Dr. Marcia Angell, an editor at the New England Journal, observed in a commentary on the new study; "perhaps they will have more to do with the stamina required for labor and 2 a.m. feedings than with reproductive function." ...
  • Confessions Of A Counterfeiter

    Javid Naghdi has traded his business suits for an orange prison jumpsuit and blue sneakers. But he retains the con man's pitch that brought him notoriety in the U.S. Justice Department as "the most dangerous prescription-drug counterfeiter known to the FDA." He admits that he used his pharmacy training to put fake arthritis pills on the U.S. market. His excuse? Others do it, he said last week in the U.S. Penitentiary at Atlanta, where he is serving a 14-year sentence that began in May. "Half the drugs in this country are counterfeit," he said, a claim experts reject as nonsense. ...
  • The Big Chill In The Upper Crust

    Is he the devil? If so, can the devil get justice?" In Reversal of Fortune this question is asked by Sunny von Bulow (Glenn Close) speaking from within the coma that still enwraps the real Sunny today. Having the "brain dead" heiress narrate the film is one of the clever, unsettling and even brilliant ideas that drive this black comedy about the von Bulow case. The devil, of course, is Sunny's husband, Claus von Bulow, the Danish-born aristocreep who was convicted in Rhode Island of twice attempting to murder Sunny by injecting her with insulin. The movie is based on the book by Alan Dershowitz, the highly visible and audible Harvard law professor and champion of lost causes who won a new trial for von Bulow, at which he was acquitted. ...
  • Fat Cities

    Medium-size cities lead the nation in gobbling fast food. Here's the Junktown, U.S.A., hit parade: CITY ANNUAL SPENDING PER PERSON Wilmington, N.C. $511 Honolulu, Hawaii $502 Anchorage, Alaska $472 Lexington-Fayette, Ky. $444 Huntsville, Ala. $443 Indianapolis, Ind. $440 Decatur, Ala. $438 Raleigh-Durham, N.C. $435 Anaheim, Calif. $418 Dothan, Ala. $417
  • Sound Bytes, Neon Dreams

    In a dimly lit rehearsal hall in Oakland, Calif., the musical instruments are glowing a neon blue. They are electronic marimbas that a group called D'Cuckoo uses to create sounds ranging from a traditional African drum to a modern guitar riff to a dog's bark. Handmade out of plexiglass, computer chips and neon tubes, the marimbas are played with drumsticks. The music is hot and engaging-entirely unlike the chill beeps and boops of earlier electronic music. "We want to build totally new instruments," says D'Cuckoo member Patti Clemens. "We knew what we wanted from our instruments and it didn't exist." ...
  • Does Sununu Need Help?

    In the aftermath of political bungling in the budget debacle by chief of staff John Sununu and budget director Richard Darman, close friends of President Bush are urging that outside help be brought in to straighten out the White House staff. Among the contenders for temporary posts as presidential counselors are former white House aide Ken Duberstein, ex-Nixon aide and longtime Bush friend Fred Malek and GOP pollster Bob Teeter. It's likely the appointments would be opposed by the thin-skinned Sununu--whose bullying ways inflamed the budget mess--and by Bush himself.
  • Island-Hopping On Broadway

    Every season a big off-Broadway hit sticks its neck out on Broadway. Once on This Island is a perfect orchid of a musical, a small show with a big soul. First produced at Playwrights Horizons on 42nd Street's Little White Way, it now makes the terrifying three-block jump to the big time. This show crowds more entertainment into 90 minutes than most big musicals with lots of filler and please-love-me noise. And it even has a socio-esthetic issue for those who need one. Can a young, white songwriting team capture the tone, color and rhythm of another culture? ...
  • How Much Is Enough?

    For nearly three months now, American military power has poured into the Persian Gulf, at a speed outstripping the U.S. buildup in Vietnam a generation ago. But last week the Pentagon announced, in effect, that it wasn't enough. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney said much more muscle was needed "to deal with any contingency," which included the possibility of offensive action to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. The plan was to send the equivalent of at least two more mechanized divisions to join the 210,000 Americans already stationed in the desert or at sea. In all, Cheney said, the reinforcements might amount to as many as 100,000 troops, some of them drawn from U.S. garrisons in Western Europe. It will take at least another month to get the new units into place, which suggests that a military showdown with Iraq may not come until the turn of the year--if it happens at all. ...