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  • Holiday Bargains?

    When planning your next holiday, consider spending four homeless nights in one of your favorite European capitals. The Dutch company Kamstra Travel offers the chance to live like a vagrant on the streets of London, Paris, Brussels, Prague or Amsterdam--for $430. You get cardboard boxes and some bare necessities--either a sketchpad and pencil or a musical instrument--with which to earn some survival money. Then you're on your own. Tour mastermind Bart Janssens thinks it's the ideal team-building holiday for businesses. But homeless groups are outraged. It's "sickening," protests one London organization. PERI agrees. It's pretty stupid, too. Who would pay to live on the streets when you can do it free of charge?
  • Perspectives

    "I am deeply worried about the working families all across the country." President George W. Bush, conceding that economic recovery is not in the near future"We're all entitled to grow up. George [W.] Bush had his problems with alcohol. I was a Republican. We both got over it." North Carolina Superior Court Judge Ray Warren, conservative Republican turned Democrat, who is considering a bid for Jesse Helms's Senate seat"I'm discriminated against all the time." Slobodan Milosevic, now facing genocide charges, complaining about the monitoring of his jailhouse conversations with family and friends"We planned a concert, not a political issue." John Stoll, on the cancellation of several concerts by Cuban artists, which Miami protesters had threatened to interrupt"He seems to be pretty credible." Prosecutor Wayne Forrest, on a mental patient whom police drove from New Jersey to Washington, D.C., after he said he could show them the grave site of Chandra Levy, whose murder he claimed to...
  • Bylines; Are The Mormons Ready To Meet The World?

    Kenneth L. Woodward reports that in the 25 years since his last visit, Salt Lake City has been reborn. The Mormons' home city is more sophisticated now, Woodward says. "There's jazz, and I could get duck confit in more than one restaurant." (And yes, he reports, it was "no problem at all" getting a drink.) Still, the Mormons' ways will come under close scrutiny when the world descends on Utah. The church says it won't use the Games to proselytize. But today, Woodward says, "it's hard to walk in the city without bumping into missionaries." (Page 44) ...
  • Berlin's Unquiet Ghosts

    Even as a New Yorker, it is hard not to be struck by the raw, often-confusing, always-compelling energy of the new Berlin. Yet exciting as the city's transformation may be, the past is a relentless intruder. A walk through Berlin becomes a living version of a college survey course of 20th-century European history. The parade grounds where Kaiser Wilhelm II, on his horse and hiding his withered arm, reviewed the troops before World War I. Pariser Platz, where Hitler's troops held torchlight parades, the Nazis burned books and Soviet tanks smashed through the Brandenburg Gate in 1945. Hitler's bunker. The ruins of the Gestapo headquarters, saved from the wrecker's ball and turned into a small museum called "The Topography of Terror." The old Jewish quarter, now one of the trendiest parts of east Berlin. The huge air terminal at Tempelhof, once Hitler's pride, then the indispensable landing field through which the Airlift saved the city, now a small commuter airport. Remnants of the...
  • Interview: The Unlikely Pacifist

    Only two months ago, NATO called him a terrorist. Now Ali Ahmeti, the political leader of the Macedonian National Liberation Army (NLA), garners praise from Western diplomats as a reliable partner for peace. As one observer put it, he "has the potential to be the Albanian Gerry Adams." Last Wednesday, the soft-spoken 42-year-old met with NEWSWEEK's Juliette Terzieff and Rod Nordland at his mountaintop command center in the village of Sipkovica, outside Tetovo, Macedonia. Excerpts: ...
  • Rebuilding The Colosseum

    The Colosseum is like Rome itself. After all these centuries, it never runs out of surprises. One of the latest turned up on a second-tier corridor only a few weeks ago: an amateurish but detailed drawing scratched into the wall. The subject is a crouching gladiator armed with a bow and arrow. Experts say the graffitist was probably a fight fan (a teenager or a grown man, to judge from the picture's complexity and its height above the floor) passing the wait between bouts, 1,600 or more years ago.As trivial as the discovery may sound, it's pure treasure to Roselle Rea. She's the chief archaeologist for an eight-year, $18 million restoration project currently underway at the mightiest of Rome's ancient monuments. When the overhaul is finished in 2003, visitors will be able to explore parts of the Flavian Amphitheater (the Colosseum's proper name) that have been out of public view for centuries--and a few that were off-limits even in the days of the emperors. Rea's enthusiasm is...
  • Koreas: See Ya, Suckers

    In a matter of months Taechang's northern adventure went from promising to bewildering. In March last year the South Korean company struck a deal with North Korea to open a mineral-water-bottling factory near scenic Mount Kumgang. The water became an instant hit in South Korea, where signs of a belated cold-war thaw on the Korea Peninsula had created a mania among consumers for anything made by their Korean "brothers" in the North. Taechang had sold about 2,500 tons of bottled water, and was feted as a model for inter-Korean enterprises, when it all fell apart. North Korea asked for a thirtyfold price increase, citing a large difference between the production cost in the North and the final retail price in the South. As aliens to the concept of a fair markup to cover costs and produce a profit, the communist North rejected Taechang's pleas and cut the water supply early this year rather than compromise. "North Koreans don't understand how capitalism works," laments Kong Soon Hyun,...
  • Reality On Foot

    Claustrophobia has been good to reality TV. Not as good as Richard and the rats or Mandy and Billy's near-miss infidelities, but a major benefactor just the same. Most of the successful reality shows have operated by locking people up: in a house, on an island, in a tent with bitchy Jerri in the Australian outback. But as the reality revolution enters its second season, the shows, like rogue viruses, are about to mutate. Rather than confine the contestants with each other and a camera, the next generation of reality is turning its people loose on the world. Two shows both debuting on Sept. 5 demonstrate the lengths to which the networks are going to keep their new favorite genre fresh and on the move.The producer of CBS's "The Amazing Race" have turned the world into a giant obstacle course. Eleven teams of two compete for $1 million by hopscotching over the continents rushing to complete a series of tasks. In the first episode, that means rappelling across a gorge, bungie-jumping...
  • The Koreas: Go North--If You Dare

    It took only a few months for the enterprise to go from case study to basket case. In March 2000 a South Korean company named Taechang opened a mineral-water-bottling factory near North Korea's scenic Mount Kumgang. The water became an instant hit in South Korea, where a historic summit of the Koreas had created a consumer rage for anything made by their "brothers" in the North. Soon the joint venture was being hailed as a model of inter- Korean cooperation. Then the North Koreans demanded a 30-fold increase in the price paid for their water, based on what it was selling for in the South. Taechang tried to explain that other costs were involved, like transportation and marketing. The North Koreans didn't get it. Denied their price increase, they cut off the water supply. "North Koreans don't understand how capitalism works," says Kong Soon Hyun, Taechang's point man for the project. "And they want to do things only their way."When South Korean President Kim Dae Jung opened the door...
  • Mail Call

    The response to our cover story on skin cancer was one of enormous gratitude--to Sen. John McCain for speaking candidly about his melanoma, to Patti Davis for her tribute to her sister, Maureen Reagan, and to NEWSWEEK for a wealth of medical information. "Public awareness and education are critical to the early diagnosis of melanoma," wrote a dermatologist. "I just bought eight copies of your Aug. 20 issue to put in the office of my husband, who is a dermatologist," said another letter writer. And a woman who has battled skin cancer wrote: "The momentary pleasures and vanities received from the tanning ritual are no substitute for a life free from this disease." ...
  • Pig Farmer-In-Chief

    East Timor's independence hero Jose Alexandre (Xanana) Gusmo has always shunned government. When he recently caved to popular pressure and announced his candidacy for president in next year's election, he stressed that he'd rather raise pigs and pumpkins than run the country. But to go from rebel to president, Gusmo will need some immediate training. Sergio Vieira de Mello, the United Nations' transitional administrator in East Timor, plans to appoint him senior adviser for defense and development affairs in mid-September. "Xanana has admitted that guerrilla commanders don't necessarily make good political leaders," says de Mello. But hey, if an actor could do it in the United States...
  • Politics: Move Over, Gray Panthers

    It's the moment any boomer dreads: the arrival of the AARP membership invitation. Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California, who will turn 50 soon, recalls getting hers recently: "You tell yourself, 'There must be some mistake!' " But it's no mistake. She and her generation are in the midst of yet another rite of passage. In this one, boomers for the first time confront the economics of their eventual retirement. And, as usual, the boomers' demands, wants and fears--amplified by 70 million souls--will chart the course for the country.That process begins in Washington this week, as President George W. Bush and Democrats in Congress start what is likely to be a nasty, months-long debate over how to fashion a budget without using Social Security tax money. Bush, who recently turned 55 (making him eligible to live in a Del Webb retirement village), returned from his Texas vacation insisting there was enough cash for all the increases he wants in defense, education and health care. The...
  • American Beat: Just Give Me Money

    We all know I've got a book inside me. My publisher knows it (but won't finance it), my agent knows it (but can't get me the six-figure advance that would enable it), and my mother knows it ("Gersh," she says, "when are you going to write that book we all know you have inside you?").But not even I know what book, exactly, is inside me. Until now, that is. Until Fay Weldon.Last week, Weldon announced that she would be sponsored by Bulgari, the jewelry maker, for larding her text with frequent references to the inarguable quality of Bulgari baubles in her next book, "The Bulgari Connection."Many critics were shocked that Weldon would let something so crass as product placement cheapen something so noble as literature. The New York Times editorial page--whose own integrity is not only beyond reproach, but beyond returning my employment-related phone calls--even condemned Weldon for ushering in a world where books are cluttered "by the visual din of advertising" because authors won't be...
  • Salt Lake's Big Jump

    Even though the Salt Lake City Olympics are still five months away, people have begun to ponder how Mormonism will mix with the Olympic spirit. For some, it all boils down to a single question: will I be able to get a stiff drink in this town? To John Le Prey, the answer is more than academic. It's economic. Le Prey is general manager of Green Street, a downtown haunt known in these parts as a "private club"--and in the rest of the country as a "bar." "I went to the Olympics in Atlanta, and I'll tell you, so much of the experience is the socializing. The drinking, eating and general excitement was amazing. I think we can accomplish the same thing in Salt Lake City," says Le Prey. Trouble is, if the world is going to kick up its heels here, the state's Mormon-dominated Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission is going to have to let down its neatly trimmed hair a bit and relax the state's blue laws limiting the availability and potency of liquor. So far the five commissioners haven't...
  • Cyberscope

    The good news for PlayStation 2 fans is that they finally have a skateboarding game to play. The bad news is that the game--ESPN X-Games Skateboarding ($50; konami.com)--isn't even as good as the original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater for the PlayStation, which is two years old. The essentials are there (decent 3-D graphics, ESPN-style visual and audio trimmings, a pumping soundtrack and tons of aerial stunts), but the title is clunky, with somewhat unresponsive controls and repetitive gameplay. Perhaps the real good news is that Tony Hawk 3 for PS2 arrives in November. ...
  • Law: The Dreadlock Deadlock

    In the fall of 1993 Christopher Polk transferred from FedEx's hub in Indianapolis to take over a delivery route in the Flatbush district of Brooklyn, N.Y. But moving to the country's largest community of Caribbean and African immigrants only precipitated a far more profound journey. "I was becoming culturally aware of the history of the black people," says Polk, now 31, "and that gave me these spiritual questions." His answer came providentially, by way of a music video featuring Lord Jamal, who raps about the Rastafarian belief in the sanctity of dreadlocks--the cords of permanently interlocked strands first worn by African chiefs perhaps 6,000 years ago.Now a practicing Rastafarian, Polk sports thick garlands that gently cascade onto his shoulders. "Your hair is your covenant," he says. "Once you grow your locks, it puts you on a path."Unfortunately, that path was a collision course with Federal Express's grooming policy, which requires men to confine their dos to "a reasonable...
  • Caribbean: Haitian Murder Mystery

    Bodies have disappeared. Suspects have died mysteriously. And the cast of characters who may have conspired to kill Haiti's most prominent journalist, Jean Leopold Dominique, is more colorful than any mystery writer could dream up. More than a year after Dominique was gunned down in front of his radio station, his death still haunts Haiti--not just because he was an icon of the resistance that fought the Duvalier regimes of the '80s and '90s, but because he was also a strong supporter of the ruling party and a close friend of President Jean Bertrand Aristide.As the Western Hemisphere's poorest country trundles toward total disintegration, the Dominique case illustrates some of the phenomenal challenges facing Aristide: a breakdown in the rule of law and a corrupt political elite, not to mention a moribund private sector, bankrupt public coffers and a political crisis that has led international donors to freeze $500 million in aid the country desperately needs. Hoping to improve...
  • Medicine: An Industry In Embryo

    For the scientists at Reliance Life Sciences, an eight-month-old medical-research lab in Mumbai (Bombay), the sudden attention from the U.S. medical-research establishment has been intoxicating. In the outfit's fourth-floor conference room late last month, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson was on the videoconference line. For two hours, he and 11 luminaries from Washington's National Institutes of Health quizzed the Reliance team on their seven embryonic stem-cell lines. "It wasn't exactly a shock because we'd been following U.S. politics closely," says Reliance founder Firuza Parikh. "But it was a pleasant surprise."Apparently the Reliance scientists gave answers to the U.S. experts' liking. As the NIH revealed last week, the Indian start-up is among 10 research centers in the world holding stem-cell colonies that meet the criteria laid down by President George W. Bush--most importantly that the cells were culled from embryos no later than Aug. 9 (following...
  • Crossing The Next Frontier

    The census is yielding a bounty of eye-popping figures, but the most striking may be this: in California, harbinger of everything, nearly four in 10 residents now speak a language other than English at home. We knew that Hispanics had passed blacks and become the No. 1 minority group (growing an astonishing 60 percent over the last decade), but who predicted they would be surging in places like Iowa and North Carolina? Who knew that organized labor would welcome cheap immigrant labor? Or that GOP senators would start sounding politically correct? El futuro is here--ahead of schedule.In Washington this week, los dos amigos, President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox, are expected to give the world a clunky new buzzword: "regularization." Their original idea was blanket amnesty for Mexicans living illegally in the United States, but that trial balloon landed with a thud this summer. It turns out immigrants of dozens of other nationalities living in the United States...
  • Final Score: O,What A Pity

    Completed in 1999, "O" has been bounced from distributor to distributor like a hot potato. This re-setting of "Othello" in an American high school was deemed too inflammatory after Columbine. Yes, there's a big body count (that Bard did like his bloody finales), but why this display of gore should be any more problematic than a dozen others is a mystery to me.The other mystery, however, is why anybody thought transposing this Shakespeare tragedy of jealousy, pride and evil into high-school terms was such a hot idea. Frankly, I've always found the melodramatic "plot" of "Othello" torturous to sit through. What's great about it is the language, and that's nowhere to be found in director Tim Blake Nelson and writer Brad Kaaya's ambitious but muddled movie. Othello is now high-school basketball star Odin (Mekhi Phifer), the only black student at an elite prep school. Desdemona is Desi (Julia Stiles), and the evil Iago becomes Hugo (Josh Hartnett), Odin's overlooked teammate and the son...
  • Losing Our Independence

    The new movie "The Man From Elysian Fields" poses some intriguing questions. What desperate acts will struggling novelist Byron Tiller (Andy Garcia) resort to in order to support his family? Who is the mysterious entrepreneur (Mick Jagger) promising him easy money? The most critical question surrounding the film, however, has nothing to do with its plot: will audiences ever get to see it? The $9 million drama was financed by billionaire Gateway cofounder Norman Waitt. But it does not yet have a distributor and is heading to a leading venue for independent film, the Toronto International Film Festival, this week in hopes of finding one. "The few people who have seen the movie are responding favorably," says Garcia, who also produced the movie. "But American distributors aren't always interested in the quality of the movie."Two years after the surprise success of "The Blair Witch Project" sparked a new frenzy in moviemaking outside studio walls, both the films and their distributors...
  • Nixon On Nixon

    Perhaps Sen. Robert Dole, a loyal Nixon acolyte, put it best: "The most amazing thing about the man was not what he did as president, but that he became president." A socially awkward loner, he ascended to the White House through sheer will, memorizing behavior that came naturally to his peers. In "President Nixon: Alone in the White House," Reeves plumbs to shed light on the private thoughts of a troubled man."Compassionate, Bold, New, Courageous.... Zest for the job (not lonely but awesome). Goals--reorganized govt. Idea magnet...Mrs. RN--glamour, dignity...Open Channels for Dissent...Progress--Participation, Trustworthy, Open-minded.Most powerful office. Each day a chance to do something memorable for someone. Need to be good to do good...The nation must be better in spirit at the end of the term. Need for joy, serenity, confidence, inspiration.""Foreign policy=strength. 1. War is difficult--But our successes are hidden--and ending war will be denied us. 2. Must emphasize-...
  • Death Of A Small Town

    Bob Weltin, a burly and bearded North Dakota homeboy with the oil-stained hands of a working man, squeezed tight on a cup of coffee in the Chocolate Shop on Main Street in tiny Bisbee, N.D. So much in his life has been slipping away. Weltin, 43, is the mayor of Bisbee, a town that gave him his childhood: movies at Pettsinger's Theater, root-beer floats at Brannon's Drug and Soda Fountain, groceries at Dick's Red Owl. All that is gone now. There isn't a doctor or lawyer in Bisbee anymore, or a plumber. The priest at Holy Rosary Catholic Church left town; parishioners can no longer afford to support a pastor. Even the police department closed. The population dropped more than 30 percent in the last decade. There are now but 227 hearty souls hanging on for life in Bisbee.But Mayor Weltin won't be one of them. He is stepping down from his post in September and moving away. There reaches a point in the decline of a town, he explained apologetically, "where it just doesn't work anymore."...
  • Bringing Back Tha Funk

    Like many people around his age--48--Ernie Isley remembers watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan: how old he was (12), who else was there (his older brothers' guitarist, Jimi Hendrix). But Isley (who joined the family band a couple of years later) can also tell you what happened the next day. "My brothers called a meeting," he says. "It was like the Security Council at the U.N. They were saying, 'Everything's gonna change now. This may even have decked Elvis'." Not to mention the group whose "Shout" and "Twist and Shout" had become oldies overnight. From then on, the Isley Brothers--now down to guitarist Ernie and singer Ronald, 60--have kept their ears open. In the '70s they reinvented themselves as a definitive soul-funk band with such hits as "That Lady"-- and later got sampled on hip-hop masterworks from Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" to "Crossroad" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Today, Ernie says, he listens studiously to P. Diddy--he's even got the new name right--and "all those...
  • Dick Gephardt, Unilateralist

    In the past few months Democrats have been taking aim at the Bush administration's foreign policy, none more forcefully than Richard Gephardt, minority leader of the House of Representatives. In a speech on Aug. 2, Gephardt accused the administration of unilateralism and warned that it was being isolated in the world. After listing the usual examples--missile defense, the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol--Gephardt declared that these policies violated "a simple yet profound fact of international relations. One nation, acting alone, cannot possibly build a lasting strategic framework to which all other nations submit."All valid points, and well articulated. But then what to make of the other Richard Gephardt, the one who declared two weeks earlier that he would insist that any future trade agreement signed by the United States force developing countries to adopt labor standards of Washington's devising, or else face sanctions. The effect of such standards would be to impede...
  • Checkmate! When The King Is Dethroned

    The first time my son John, then 15, beat me at chess, I cried out so vehemently that my wife, my oldest son and my golden retriever all came charging into the living room. I was in a state of disbelief while John sat back with his miles-wide Cheshire grin and informed the family, "I just whipped Dad's butt!" Indeed, he had.I hadn't thought John had a chance of defeating me for years to come because, while I am certainly no chess whiz, I have hundreds of matches under my belt. While I was thrilled that John shared my passion for the game, I wasn't prepared to lose to him; I had been his teacher moments before.John's interest in chess was sparked in his freshman year of high school, when I got out an old set and played a practice game with him. We started playing regularly, and he'd listen patiently while I explained how dangerous the knight can be with its forward, backward and side-to-side jumps, how a lowly pair of pawns can create havoc and why a revealed (hidden) check is so...
  • Corrections

    In "Mission: Take Back the Hills" (National Affairs, Sept. 3), we should have said that Mark Warner, Virginia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate, moved to the state in 1984.In "The Disc That Saved Hollywood" (Business, Aug. 20), we should have said that the DVD of "Shrek" will be released Nov. 2 and will include 15 minutes of new animation material, including a new three-minute ending. And an accompanying graphic should have noted that "Gladiator" is a DreamWorks/Universal production.