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  • Hang Up The Help-Wanted Sign

    After the workers at Tokyo's Yamazaki Mazak Corp. go home each night, the small machine-tool manufacturer doesn't close--it runs a night shift staffed by robots. In sushi kitchens across town, metal-fingered chefs turn out delicate pieces of nigiri, while tougher automatons paint, plaster and install windowpanes in high-rise construction projects. Japan counts one robot for every 704 of its citizens. (America's ratio is one tenth that.) Necessity is the mother of this heavy-metal work force. There simply are not enough Japanese to do Japan's work. ...
  • Welcome To The Imperial City

    Planning a trip this summer? Look no further than Vacationland U.S.A., New York City, the town where you can have experiences much more exotic than visiting the Statue of Liberty or the Met. If you visit the Times Square area, you should be aware of ...
  • Death In The Holy City

    It was Islam's most important holiday, the Feast of Sacrifice. Outside Mecca, many of the 2 million pilgrims who had completed the monthlong hajj were rushing to perform a final ritual, along a route that passes through an 1,800-foot-long tunnel. Then seven pilgrims fell from an overhead walkway at the tunnel entrance. In the confusion, 50,000 people jammed into a space designed for 1,000, and a power failure shut off the tunnel's air conditioning, witnesses said. "I was pushed and fell over about 20 corpses," a weeping Lebanese pilgrim said later. "Others were still pushing and walking on top of me." The toll: 1,426 pilgrims dead. ...
  • Trading Piaces

    Like many daughters of aging parents, Sandy Berman didn't recognize at first how far her mother and father had slipped. "You are so used to your parents being mentally competent that you don't realize what you're dealing with for a long time," says the Northridge, Calif., schoolteacher, 47. Her parents had been living with trash piling up in their home for almost a year when Berman finally convinced them to move closer. But the move only hastened their decline. Berman's father, 83, became forgetful and overdosed on his insulin. Her mother, 74, couldn't find her way from the bedroom to the bathroom. For months, Berman called every morning before going to work, and stopped by every afternoon. "I was going to make everything right, and better and perfect," she says. "But everything I did turned into mush." ...
  • Grass Roots Gold Rush

    Three hundred miles is a long way to go to buy books, but Meg Ross doesn't mind the drive from Baton Rouge, La., to Oxford, Miss. That's because she knows she can find what she wants at Oxford's Square Books, a roomy, two-story shop that in only 11 years has earned a regional reputation among book lovers. On a recent trip, Ross bought Fernand Braudel's "The Structures of Everyday Life" and I. F. Stone's "The Hidden History of the Korean War," titles she couldn't find in the chain bookstores back home. Wandering the store's wide aisles smelling the fresh-brewed coffee from the store's cafe, Ross praises the hospitable feel of the place. "I enjoy hanging around with the books," she says, "not just rushing in to buy one thing and leaving." ...
  • Clean Scenes Of Marriage

    It was a marriage made in box-office heaven. Woody Allen, the prototype of the self-effacing schlemiel, and Bette Midler, the quintessential loud-mouthed broad, play a couple celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary in "Scenes From A Mall," which just wrapped up shooting in Stamford, Conn. This time, however, the two stars stray from their traditional shtik, says Paul Mazursky, who wrote and directed the film. Midler plays a psychologist who just wrote a best-selling book; Allen is a lawyer. The title is a play on Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage"--which ought to tickle Bergman fan Allen.
  • An American Original

    If Morgan Russell had been in the movies instead of modern art, he would have had one of those special-achievement Oscars named after him. After all, he was one of America's first two abstract painters, along with Stanton Macdonald-Wright. They roamed around avant-garde Paris on the eve of World War I, turning out full-spectrum color symphonies while Picasso was still figuring out how to put the front and back of a violin in the same painting. "Morgan Russell: A Retrospective," now at Chicago's Terra Museum, is an overdue tribute to one of the forgotten point men of modernism. (The Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey organized the exhibition, which also travels to Buffalo.) ...
  • Leaping To Freedom

    The first Albanians to make the leap to freedom knew they were risking their lives. A few desperately crashed through the gates of various foreign embassies in trucks; others ran through police gunfire to reach the safety of diplomatic soil. But gradually the exodus became almost a sport. The police held their fire, and refugees vaulted embassy fences with impunity while friends and onlookers gathered to watch. Eventually groups of Albanians simply strolled through open gates. The people of Europe's last totalitarian state had had enough of hunger and tyranny. Late in the week police reportedly tried without success to break up a major rally in the center of the capital. "We want freedoms," a student told a group of foreign tourists in Tirana. "We want to express ourselves freely. We want enough to eat." ...
  • A Host Of World Cup Problems

    Italy--shaped like a foot, centrally located in the soccer universe and seething I with enthusiasm for the game of long, l scoreless stretches and short pants--seemed like the perfect place to stage a World Cup competition. Yet for all the hoopla that surrounded the final match between West Germany and Argentina last Sunday in Rome, the 1990 tournament could not be considered an unqualified success. Tourism dropped an estimated 25 percent during the World Cup, as travelers resisted costly package tours and worried about the hooliganism. Even in the late rounds, many seats remained empty, the result, partly, of corporate sponsors getting more tickets than they could distribute. If the cup had been held someplace less steeped in soccer tradition, it could have been a disaster. Which is what worries some people about the next tournament. The 1994 World Cup will be played in the United States, a country that has venues separated by 3,000 miles and four time zones--not to mention a...
  • The End Of The Great Satan?

    One of the many streets in Teheran named after terrorists is Ahmad Ghasir Avenue, honoring the truck-bomb driver who destroyed the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. An American who was walking there recently was stopped by an Iranian engineer, a man who had once supported the revolution. "I apologize for this," he said. "We're ashamed to see our best avenues named for killers." Friday prayers at the University of Teheran are introduced by a radical mullah, Haj Husseini, who has an apparently inexhaustible supply of anti-American rhetoric. "All Muslims must hate the U.S.A.," he said on a recent Friday. "The Black House is the source of all evil." An Iranian listening just shrugged: "We call him the minister in charge of slogans." Even parliamentarians in the radical-dominated Majlis (whose secretary is one of the student radicals who seized the American Embassy) voice an occasional complaint. Said one deputy: "We can't keep feeding our people on slogans." ...
  • Jim Florio's Left Jab

    When Jim Florio was a Navy boxer he was so good he ran out of opponents, so he got in the ring with a bigger man. Big mistake. Last fight. His broken jaw was wired shut for six months. His shattered cheekbone still shows. Some New Jerseyites would like to send Florio's opponent some flowers. They think their new governor is Lenin in Trenton. ...
  • A Party Adrift?

    Republican Party leaders worry privately that the party is adrift since Chairman Lee At water has been sidelined with a brain tumor and they are concerned about the GOP's chances in November. Few Republicans are happy with New York gubernatorial candidate Pierre Rinfret. "At water would have made sure we had somebody decent "to challenge Mario Cuomo, says one GOP operative. And Atwater is where GOP leaders say "he'd be stoking the fires" for Gov. Bob Martinez. Private polls show "good news" for House Republicans who defy President Bush's flip-flop on taxes. But having to run against a Republican president is cold comfort for GOP strategists.
  • Gorbachev Takes His Hits

    So much for communist decorum. Party leaders assembled in Moscow tittered loudly last week when Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev claimed triumphs in the production of consumer goods. Hoots from a hall filled with 4,700 delegates interrupted Politburo ideology chief Vadim Medvedev when he praised "deepening democratization." Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Abalkin, architect of the government's discredited economic policy, could barely be heard above rhythmic clapping when he told the meeting that the only option was to accept a market system. Among the delegates, anger and bitterness were rife. Even low-level functionaries spewed scorn for the bosses. ...
  • Max Thurman: The 'Robocop' General

    On June 13, 1989, Secretary of defense Dick Cheney issued a two-paragraph press release announcing the pending retirement of Gen. Maxwell R. Thurman, 58. Five weeks later, on July 20, Cheney quietly reversed himself, announcing that Thurman had just been appointed commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command at Quarterly Heights, Panama. The full story of what happened between June 13 and July 20 is still a matter of conjecture, but this much at least is known: at some point, Thurman had a meeting with George Bush that led him to the hottest command slot in the post-cold warrior Army. ...
  • A New Battle Over Vietnam

    Warren (Bud) Williams, who served in Vietnam as a Green Beret, feels little fondness for his former enemies. "I have no interest in helping these people," he says. Yet Williams does have an interest in making money--and right now he thinks Vietnam offers some attractive opportunities. Williams, who owns a public-relations firm in Hong Kong, believes it's time for Washington to rethink its 15year-old trade embargo against Vietnam, which prohibits any American citizen from doing business there. Recently, he says, he shared a flight with a Canadian oil executive whose company had just signed a fat contract with the Vietnamese. In negotiating the deal, the Vietnamese insisted that the Canadian firm take on an American partner if and when Washington lifts its sanctions. "We are just giving away business with that embargo," Williams says. ...
  • The Myth Of German Unity

    Wir sind ein Volk," they chanted in Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin: we are one people. For more than a century, Germans have subscribed to what George Kennan once called "romantic linguistic nationalism"--a belief that a common tongue creates a community. They have lived since the war in the conviction that only an artificial border divides them. It is a myth. After 45 years East and West Germans have grown apart. Now, as they come together in pursuit of prosperity, the Germans are ignoring a little secret. The new Germany will be one nation, but two peoples. ...
  • Instrumental Changes

    The telescope has pro gressed from a simple lead tube with two lenses used by Galileo to the incredibly complex, $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope orbiting 380 miles above the Earth. PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): The Galilean or refracting telescope produces an enlarged image with the aid of concave and convex lenses which bend light. In 1609, after fiddling with a telescope designed by an obscure Dutch lens maker, Galileo aimed his creation toward the heavens. By 1610, he had found four moons revolving around Jupiter.DIAGRAM: The Newtonian or reflecting telescope, first made in 1671, uses mirrors and lenses to bounce light and form images. Scottish mathematician James Gregory proposed the idea in 1663, but he didn't know how to grind and polish mirrors to the desired specifications. Sir Isaac Newton did--so he gets the credit.
  • Why We Can Be Trusted

    The Random House Dictionary of the English Language defines "Germany" as follows: "a former country in central Europe, having Berlin as its capital, now divided into East Germany and West Germany." The Great Soviet Encyclopedia has almost the same definition: "a state in Europe (capital Berlin) which existed until the end of World War II." Now these definitions will have to be revised. ...
  • Feelin' Groovy On 7Th Avenue

    Now that men are wearing pigtails again, fashion designers seem to think that anything from the '60s is worth reprising. Brightly colored Pucci-inspired prints are one thing. But manufacturers are even bringing back bell bottorns. Apparently those who wore history are doomed to repeat it. ...
  • 'My Home Is All Gone'

    Eric Matthys, 34, was at work when he looked out a window and saw clouds of smoke billowing near his Santa Barbara home. All night long, the University of California chemistry professor watched the raging brush fire through binoculars. His house survived the night, but the next day the winds changed. "Suddenly the fire came back up the mountain and engulfed the house, " he says. When the blaze subsided, all he had left were the remnants of a wood stove, a chimney, a bathtub and a barbecue. ...
  • Mrs. Thatcher's Munich

    Let me tell you about Joan Tong. Joan is an attractive, 23-year-old Hong Kong Chinese who happens to be smart as a whip to boot. When I lived in Hong Kong she was my secretary, but now she brightens up the office of Martin Lee, leader of the colony's newly formed pro-democracy party. Like most of Hong Kong's 6.8 million inhabitants, Joan considers her home a sort of Chinese paradise and doesn't want to leave--ever. But she knows that working for Mr. Lee has put her and her family at risk come Beijing's 1997 takeover of Hong Kong, and she would thus like an insurance policy. So when the Thatcher government announced that only 50,000 Hong Kong households would have a right of abode in the United Kingdom she asked the obvious. "Do you think I am on that list?" ...
  • The 10 Most Obscure Congressmen

    The congressional newspaper Roll Call recently picked the Hill's 10 most invisible congressmen. Heading the list is GOP Rep. Clarence Miller of Ohio who Roll Call says is virtually unknown--despite 23 years in Congress. The others: Herb Bateman (R-Va.), immersed in legislative detail.Robert Borski (D-Pa.),immersed in favors for home folksJoe Early (D-Mass.), who recently held his first press conference.Charles Hatcher (D-Ga); Tip O'Neill once said he'd never heard of him.Dennis Hertel (D-Mich.) backs losers for chairmanships.Ray McGrath (R-N.Y.), a former phys-ed teacher.Henry Nowak (D-N.Y.), interested in protecting Buffalo.Richard Schulze (R-Pa.), interested in protecting mushroom growers.French Slaughter (R-Va.), uninterested in any public speaking.
  • Sequels For The Shelf

    Talk about pulling a new product out of thin air. Last week Planters LifeSavers Co. unveiled Life Savers Holes--tiny candies that look as if they've been punched out of the familiar rainbow-colored treats. Of course, Life Savers Holes don't really come from holes in Life Savers. Since their inception in 1912, Life Savers have been made by shaping a sugary candy mixture around a rod, a process that eliminates the need for a center. Yet that didn't stop the folks at Planters Lifesavers. They saw gold in them thar Holes. A package of the tiny fruit-flavored drops contains half the amount of candy in a roll of Life Savers but sells for the same price--50 cents. Even sweeter yet, the company was able to launch the new product while saving millions on research, development and marketing. ...
  • Delays And Dollars

    Blurred vision is the most recent obstacle encountered by the Hubble Space Telescope since Congress first funded it in 1977. Budgetary and managerial woes--as well as bad luck--have plagued the 13-ton instrument from the start. ...
  • A Bigger Bite For The George

    The town fathers of Kennebunkport, Maine, home of George Bush's summer White House, have solved a problem the president has been unable to manage. They're cutting the tax rates but taking more out of the taxpayers" wallets. Since land values in the area have more than doubled over the past eight years, the latest assessment on Bush's compound has soared to $2.2 million, from $892,000 in 1982. Even at the new rate of $11 per $1,000 valuation (down from $22.40), Bush will owe $23,20--up from $17,832 last year.
  • Heaven Can Wait

    A flawed mirror blurs the vision of the $1.5 billion Hubble telescope, imperiling its hopes of seeing to the edge of space and the beginning of time ...
  • French Revolution, Family Style

    The collapse of socialism has brought Europe into a postrevolutionary age. Louis: Malle's May Fools can be called the first postrevolutionary comedy. It takes place in May 1968, when the left-wing student demonstrations in Paris were shaking all of France. In Malle's delicious film those events are reflected and parodied in the hurried reunion of a family in the wine country of the southwest. The octogenarian matriarch, Madame Vieuzac (Paulette Dubost), suddenly dies, leaving her estate in the care of her dreamy 60-year-old son Milou (.Michel Piccoli). Promptly, several generations of Vieuzacs converge on the family villa. As the radio blares out ominous bulletins on the political upheavals in the cities, the family spars and spats about the disposal of the estate. Since the local gravediggers have caught the anarchic fever, the body of Madame Vienzac goes unburied. She becomes a kind of ironic spirit, surveying the mini-revolution in her fractious family. ...
  • Mayor Barry: Lurid Tales Of The Tape

    The lighting was bad, the figures blurred, the sound barely audible. But however murky, the long-awaited and much ballyhooed "sting video" in the Marion Barry trial delivered what prosecutors had promised: pictures of the mayor of Washington, D.C., caught in the act of smoking crack cocaine. Even after two weeks of lurid testimony alleging continual drug use and compulsive womanizing by the mayor, the hidden-camera tape was shocking. There, in stark black and white, was the highest elected city official of the nation's capital, a role model in the fight against drugs and crime who had often sermonized about the value of clean living, taking two long pulls from a crack pipe and getting busted in a blur of FBI agents and local police. In the closing scenes, the mayor, handcuffed and slumped forward in the familiar posture of the jail-bound, curses the former model who had lured him into the trap. "That goddam bitch," he said. "Tricked me like a motherf--." ...
  • When Once Is Not Enough

    Only a museum superpower like the Louvre would attempt a show as audacious as this: 69 paintings from seven centuries, with only a formal device to link them together. And only the Louvre--with its vast storehouses and borrowing muscle--could pull it off. "Polyptychs: Multi-panei Paintings from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century" (through July 23) traces a zigzag path from the Master of Cesi's gold-leafed triptych (circa 1300), showing scenes from the last days of the Madonna to Pierre Soulages's "Polyptyque J" (1987), an overly elegant slab of black paint articulated solely by furrows in the surface. The show's very premise is off the wall: that artists who work with double or triple panels must have something profound in common. (The Louvre is putting together another such roll-the-dice exhibition in 1992, intended to make connections between the old masters and moderns like Giacometti and Rauschenberg.) ...
  • Mandela, A Great Stone Face

    The exterior of New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine already displays limestone carvings of Moses and Abraham Lincoln. Next year Nelson Mandela will join this distinguished historic company-along with a carving of a Zulu warrior in combat with a dragon (symbolizing apartheid). The stonecutters and carvers who are working on the cathedral decided to include Mandela while the leader of black South Africa was still in Victor Verster prison farm, long before his U.S. visit. The Mandela carving, which was executed by Emmanuel Fourchet,24, will be installed on the cathedral's south tower--facing Harlem.
  • Aid To Moscow: Reward Or Rathole?

    It took some convincing. In S 1948, when the Truman administration proposed saving Western Europe by pumping some $13 billion into the economy through the Marshall Plan, the U.S. Senate was ready to say no. But reality overwhelmed politics. At next week's economic summit in Houston, the leaders of the seven major industrialized nations will consider a similar cure for the ruined post-coldwar economy of the Soviet Union. West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, whose country last month gave $3 billion in new loans to Moscow, will propose that Western nations raise an additional $15 billion to bail out the Soviets and their beleaguered leader Mikhail Gorbachev. ...
  • Will Democrats Dunk The Rich?

    July 4 is Calvin Coolidge's birthday, and when Ronald Reagan was president a small party was often held in the White House to celebrate it. Now Coolidge's White House portrait has been replaced by Theodore Roosevelt's, suggesting symbolically that the free market is no longer the state religion. But if the new, tax-flexible George Bush senses that the ideological wind has shifted, he still seems unwilling to sound any of the populist themes that characterized his patrician predecessors. Teddy lambasted the "malefactors of great wealth"; cousin FDR said of Wall Street: "They hate me, and I welcome their hatred"; Bush, no traitor to his class, says that one of the major goals of his presidency is to lower the capital-gains tax on the rich. ...
  • The Right Way To Think About Taxes

    Let's keep this tax thing in perspective. Suppose Congress and the White House decide to raise taxes $25 billion. That's less than a 2.6 percent increase in overall federal taxes. Suppose that, ultimately, another $25 billion is needed to close the budget deficits. The total still represents less than a 6 percent increase. No one likes to pay higher taxes, but these amounts won't impoverish most Americans or cripple the economy. ...
  • Biting The Bullet

    Bush's flip-flop on taxes breaks the deadlock with Congress--but threatens revolt in the GOP and a long, tough negotiation to cut the budget deficit ...
  • Buzzwords

    Life in big urban hospitals is hardly romantic, abd the vocabulary in those hospitals reflects that fact: Eating the bill: Providing care for indigen patients who are not covered by insurance. Usage: "We ate the bill on that guy."Whales:Extremely obese patients, Usage: "A whale just hit the beach in the emergency room."Cabge(pronounced cabbage): A coronary artery bypass operation.Head:A brain-injury patient. Usage: "I've got deal with."
  • Out Of Bounds

    New York psychaitrist Robert Willis, who last week pleaded guilty to buying stock based on information he learned from an unwitting patient. Willis, 51, admitted he bought shares in Bank America Corp. after his patient, the wife of Wall Street financier Sanford Weill, told him she worried about upheaval in her life if her husband's bid to buy Bank America succeeded. Prosecutors charged Willis made $27,000 on trades made just before news of the negotiations broke.
  • A Blue-Collar James Bond

    How could the same s--happen to the same guy twice?" wonders the battered and bruised John McClane (Bruce Willis), and anybody who saw "Die Hard" laughs at the joke. The first Christmas it was the Nakatomi high-rise in Century City. This Christmas it's the airport in Washington, D.C. The L.A. cop is minding his own business, waiting for a plane carrying his wife (Bonnie Bedelia), when all hell breaks loose. It seems "the biggest drug dealer in the world," an evil Central American dictator (Franco Nero), is en route to Washington to stand trial, and a crack unit of terrorists led by Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) seizes control of the airport to facilitate the drug lord's escape. With a storm closing in and the airport's power and communication links taken over by the terrorists, everyone on all incoming flights is in deadly peril--including Mrs. McClane, who happens to be on the same plane as the craven TV journalist Thornberg (William Atherton), back for another round of abuse....
  • Departure Of A Dissident

    For 385 days, Chinese dissident Fang Lizhi was a captive of his own freedom. He was guilty, said the Beijing regime, of "crimes of counterrevolutionary propaganda and instigation." Inside the U.S. Embassy, where he took sanctuary after last June's crackdown, he could say and write what he pleased. But he and his wife, Li Shuxian, faced arrest if they stepped beyond the compound's gates. Last week their self-imposed confinement finally ended. Their liberators: a bad heart, sympathetic academics at Cambridge University and final negotiations involving Fang, U.S. Ambassador James Lilley and the Chinese Foreign Ministry. ...
  • Are Leos Next?

    In a letter to police, Zodiac vowed to kill 12 people--one born under each astrological sign. So far he has shot four men: a Scorpio and then in order, Gemini, Taurus and Cancer. Is a Leo next? The third man, who eventually died, said the gunman was an unkempt, bearded black man in his 30s, about six feet tall. The fourth victim, still alive, says that days before he was shot a stranger fitting the description wanted to know his birthday. Zodiac wrote that "Orion" could stop him and police are comparing on a map the pattern of that constellation to the shooting sites. Zodiac strikes on Thursdays, usually three weeks apart. Police fear July 12.
  • Down And Out In The City Of Angels

    The notion of a fictional black detective in '40s Los Angeles sounds gimmicky, but on the first page of his first novel Walter Mosley proves he has the talent to make this idea work. Audaciously, he steals the opening of Raymond Chandler's "Farewell My Lovely"--where white detective Philip Marlowe visits a black bar--rewrites it from the point of view of a black customer, and turns a familiar world inside out.Mosley has a lot of fun upending our preconceptions. His hero, Ezekial (Easy) Rawlins, doesn't set out to be a detective. He's just a laid-off aircraft factory worker looking to make his mortgage payment by hunting for a missing white woman known to frequent black nightclubs. But by the end of the story, he's been beaten by cops, shot at by gangsters and lied to by everyone from a mayoral candidate to the eponymous Daphne Monet--and he loves the work enough to make a career of it."Nobody knew what I was up to and that made me sort of invisible," Rawlins explains. "People...
  • The Right-To-Lifers' New Tactics

    Despite the news from Washington, many of the right-to-lifers attending the Unity 90 conference in Chicago last week were not in a celebratory mood. The Supreme Court decisions upholding parental-notification laws were not "such a big deal," says Paul Brown, chief executive officer of the American Life League, which organized the gathering of 50 anti-abortion groups. The restrictions only "give the parents the right to OK the killing of their grandchild." But more moderate right-to-lifers around the country hailed the notification rulings as another blow against legal abortion--suggesting a shift in tactics, if not goals. "There has been no change in terms of moral principle," says Samuel Lee, a Missouri anti-abortion lobbyist. "There has been a change by many pro-life groups in terms of political realities." ...
  • Up In The Sky! It's...Hearts! Stars! Bow Ties!

    They were the original peace dividend: the first fireworks, blasted off after a victorious battle in 11th-century China when jubilant soldiers turned their rockets and gunpowder to less belligerent use. The 25 million Americans expected to ooh and aah at Fourth of July spectacles this week will see dazzling aerial displays of light and color that those ancient pyrotechnicians never dreamed possible. Rather than monochromic showers of sparks, the shows will splatter brilliant reds, greens and blues across the sky in tightly choreographed arrays of hearts, stars, letters and even bow ties. It's all courtesy of researchers who are unraveling "the physical processes [behind] the dramatic colors and special effects" of fireworks, writes chemist John Conkling of Washington College, in an article on firework science in the current Scientific American. ...
  • Murder America

    The United States is a gun-happy society that leads the industrialized world in homicides. Three fourths of all U.S. murders are committed with guns as compared with one fourth overseas. Here's the U.S. homicide rate compared with some selected countries: COUNTRY KILLINGS PER 100,000 MEN United States 21.9 Scotland 5.0 Israel 3.7 Sweden 2.3 France 1.4 Poland 1.2 England 1.2 West Germany 1.0 Japan 0.5 Austria 0.3
  • Is The Parretti Deal Dead?

    Giancarlo Parretti, the mysterious Italian financier, has hit a major snag in his attempt to buy the MGM/UA film studios. The flamboyant owner of Pathe Communications scored a major coup in April when Time Warner agredd to secure a $650 million bank loan--half the $1.3 billion purchase price--in return for rights to the United Artists and Pathe film libraries. But last Friday, Time Warner filed a $100 million lawsuit against Pathe, claiming Parretti had reneged on his end of the bargain. Parretti, the suit charged, exercised a "one-way option to decide which of its obligations it would honor [and] which Time Warner rights it could ignore." Sources at Pathe suggest the Time Warner deal is dead. Parretti's latest scheme: a stead of a takeover.
  • The Wealth Of A Nation

    There's a fairy-tale quality to West Germany's economic takeover of East Germany. The fable goes something like this: ...
  • Aftershocks In Teheran

    For survivors of the earthquake that killed nearly 40,000 people in Iran and the West European rescuers who flocked to help them, relief efforts sometimes became an exercise in mutual incomprehension. Burrowing through the rubble with their high-tech equipment, search teams were puzzled by the resignation of rural Persians, most of whom passionately mourned their martyred dead but quickly gave up hope of finding anyone buried alive. In Manjil, where 90 percent of all dwellings were leveled, a British team arrived at a house where a missing girl was said to be buried. They dug in with their bare hands. The child's uncle began his own search--for money. He rummaged through books, tossed aside a poster of the Ayatollah Khomeini, and finally extracted a case of papers and cash. When the British found his niece's body, the uncle simply asked if somebody else could dispose of her. ...
  • Singh For His Supper

    Who's sari now? Not Peter Singh, a Pakistani-born Elvis wannabe. When he's not running a carry-out food shop in Wales, Singh croons cross-cultural originals like "My Popadum Told Me," "Bhindi Bhaji Boogie" and "RockingWith the Sikh" to rapt Londoners. Singh got his inspiration from the King himself, who appeared to him in a dream and passed the mantle. Now, says Singh, "I don't smoke dope. I don't drink bourbon. All I want to do is shake my turban."
  • Fans, Start Your Engines

    Summer movies are nothing if not fun so let's have some fun with Days of Thun. den This is the one in which Tom Cruise plays a race-car driver on the NASCAR (stock car) circuit. So why is his name Cole Trickle? This is worth thinking about, especially since Cruise himself is credited with I the story, along with screenwriter Robert Towne. Why would a sex bomb like Cruise want to be called Trickle? Sounds more like an oil leak. His erstwhile rival and eventual buddy (played by Michael Rooker) is called Rowdy Burns--now there's the quintessential race driver's moniker. ...
  • A Princess For The People

    It was a joining of many kinds: old and new,elegant and simple, man and woman. When Prince Aya(second son of Emperor Akihito) and his college friend, a commoner, Kiko Kawashima, were married last week on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the nation rejoiced. Here was a couple anyone could love. Princess Kiko and the newly named Prince Akishino will live in a modest home. They will continue their studies: she in social psychology, he in catfish. If there was any unhappiness at all, it was only Japanese sorrow that the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Naruhito, remains a bachelor.
  • Extra, Extra!

    The first independent U.S. Soviet newspaper hits the kiosks in Moscow this week. Called We/Mbl, it is a joint venture by the Hearst Corp. and Izvestia. A colorful mix of hard news, scandal, sports and comics, the first issue of the weekly has stories about a scheme to sell Soviet tnaks abroad for condoms and pantyhose, the AIDS epidemic in the U.S.S.R., (the lambada and X-rated video clubs) and the first U.S. soccer player to sign with a Soviet team. Hearst trained four Izvestia journalist in Western-style reporting and provided the paper and presses for the maiden issue.
  • The Family Vs. The State

    The Supreme Court has never been shy about confronting divisive social issues, even those affecting the most intimate human relations. But last week, as it concluded another term, the court came out with decisions that took it into uncharted terrain: the role of the family in making tragic life-and-death choices and government's ability to intrude in that personal realm. ...
  • Sununu The Illusionist

    Was White House chief of staff John Sununu really opposed to President Bush's backtrack on taxes last week? White House operatives put out the word Sununu was the "obstacle" that had to be overcome in persuading Bush to abandon his campaign pledge of "no new taxes." However, NEWSWEEK has learned Sununu was on board from early on. Democratic leaders who met with Bush at the White House Tuesday said Sununu "looked like he was kicked in the teeth" by Bush's decison. But administration insiders say Sununu was just posturing to create the illusion for I conservatives of support for | them at the White House. "Creating the appearance of disharmony . . . gives conservatives the sense of an inside champion," said a GOP operative. Still, some hard-liners are saying maybe Bush should face a '92 challenge. Possible candidates: columnist Patrick Buchanan or New Hampshire Sen. Gordon Humphrey.
  • Trump's Latest Deal: For Time

    Who says Donald Trump--he of 727 jets, 282-foot yachts and 118-room mansions--can't live frugally? Recently Trump and about 20 bankers, lawyers and consultants were in the midst of yet another long and tedious negotiating session when, according to a banker, Trump proposed they stop for something to eat. "I'll get some McDonald's," Trump said, yelling out an order for about 25 Big Macs, cheeseburgers, fries and sodas. Was Trump posturing for the benefit of his creditors? The banker didn't think so: "He seemed to know the menu." ...
  • What's On--And Beyond--The Sun

    Given the embarrassing failure of the Hubble Space Telescope, what is the future for other unmanned space probes? The answer, . surprisingly, is quite good, regardless of whether the American space-shuttle program recovers from its recurrent ills. As many as a dozen unmanned universe gazers may be launched by other rockets and other nations this decade, and the scientific harvest is likely to be rich.."The '80s were an extremely dead time for this work--almost no missions were launched," says David Morrison, chief of the Space Science Division at NASA's Ames Research Center. "But starting last year, we have a tremendous concentration of, launches and a wonderful time of excitement for astronomy." ...