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  • Mommy Vs. Mommy

    Tension between mothers is building as they increasingly choose divergent paths: going to work, or staying home to care for their kids ...
  • Assault Weapons: A Setback For The Nra

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

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

    The scene: the kitchen of Elizabeth Makkay, shopper and mother of three in Putnam Valley, N.Y. For nearly two hours, consumer snoop Allison Cohen has probed the depths of Makkay's shopping psyche--and the contents of her cabinets, refrigerator and medicine chest. Her mission: to categorize consumers' shopping styles and determine their response to a new line of products called President's Choice. Video camera rolling, she spots a preponderance of store-brand and discounted merchandise. But, oh, what's this? A bag of President's Choice "Decadent" cookies, a jar of President's Choice peanut butter and a bottle of President's Choice barbecue sauce. Cohen has seen Makkay's type before. "Definitely shopping involved," she declares. "A terrific candidate for "The Price Is Right'." ...
  • Christo's Latest

    Some people are going to say Japan is living up to its picky, no-fun stereotype. Christo, the Bulgarian-born artist who wrapped in fabric Paris's landmark bridge, Pont Neuf, five years ago, is planning to string 1,300 blue umbrellas across a Japanese valley and 1,700 yellow ones in California. But Japan, unlike California, has taken a regulatory stance and is requiring enough documentation to fill a Yellow Page-size binder. Christo, no stranger to red tape, is finding the Japanese overly fussy. But then, maybe wind-testing a 450-pound umbrella isn't such a bad idea.
  • How Do Planes Differ From Buses?

    Guaranteeing that small children ride in safety--whether by airliner or school bus--hardly sounds like a controversial cause. Yet efforts to translate that desire into federal regulations have raised two hotly debated questions. Who should pay for the extra safety measures and would their costs really be worth their presumed benefits? ...
  • Boesky Washes His Dirty Linen In Public

    For four years Ivan Boesky has been Wall Street's unseen villain. Under wraps, then behind bars, the former takeover speculator implicated some of the biggest names in the financial markets by giving secret testimony before federal grand juries. Boesky's singing led to guilty pleas of securities violations by, among others, Drexel Burnham Lambert and junk-bond king Michael Milken. Finally last week Boesky, 53, materialized, testifying in public for the first time since he copped a plea to insider-trading schemes. ...
  • Keep Holding Your Breath

    For nine years, every time the Clean Air Act of 1970 came up for renewal, Congress managed to duck. It just couldn't resolve wrangles between lawmakers looking out for the interests of the automobile and other industries and those more concerned with cleaning up the muck that passes for urban air. While Congress contented itself with simply extending the old law, much of the nation's air got dirtier on several measures, and half the population now breathes unhealthy air. But even Congress can't ignore burning lungs forever, and last week the House voted overwhelmingly to strengthen the act. Besides mandating reductions in acid rain and airborne toxics, the bill will affect what's put into the tanks of America's 178 million vehicles. Trouble is, these provisions may not do enough to clear the air. ...
  • Neither Ally Nor Enemy

    We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies," Lord Palmerston said in the House of Commons in 1848. "Our interests are eternal and perpetual." In their dealings with Soviet leaders, Americans have generally disregarded that cynical but sound advice. We swing from one extreme to another, from false hopes to angry disappointment. At one moment, we see an eternal friend; at another, a perpetual enemy. Now more than ever, the Soviet Union is neither-and we need to do better in identifying our permanent interests. ...
  • Sit Down, Taxpayers

    It's official: the S&Ls are in even worse shape than the government told you. Last week Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady confirmed independent reports (NEWSWEEK, May 21) of ballooning bailout costs. He admitted to Congress that the taxpayers' tab for the thrift crisis could be as much as $130 billion--about 75 percent higher than estimates announced just last August. Budget director Richard Darman warned that the numbers were "just very, very much larger than the budget system is designed to handle." ...
  • Global Effort

    Margaret Thatcher is going to break ranks with the United States, Canada and the Soviet Union by calling for a stabilization of carbon-dioxide emissions at current levels by 2005. The British prime minister's decision came after she reviewed a report by the respected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which concluded that emissions resulting from human activities "are substantially increasing" concentrations of greenhouse gases, thus leading to increased global warming. Emissions would have to be reduced by more than 60 percent to stabilize concentrations in the atmosphere, the report says.
  • This Is Big. Reeeeally Big.

    For years, the goal in computing has been to make things smaller, building down from early room-size monsters to today's palmtop PCs. Even computer terms--like "bit" and "microprocessor"--connote tininess. Now The Computer Museum, Boston's repository of vintage number-crunchers and intriguing interactive exhibits, has gone the other way: a really, really BIG computer, two stories tall. It boasts keys a foot across, six-foot-wide disks and--get ready for this oxymoron--the biggest microchip in the world, 7 1/2 feet square. The WalkThrough Computer, a new permanent exhibit modeled after such displays as the walkthrough human heart at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, will give visitors a chance to see the soul of a new machine close up. No wonder the museum is calling the June 21 unveiling "the biggest event in computer history." Steve Jobs, eat your heart out. ...
  • Russia's Champagne Taste

    A historical irony pervades "From Poussin to Matisse: The Russian A Taste for French Painting" at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The old masters wound up in the Soviet Union largely because Russian noblemen, with the purchasing power of contemporary Japanese, prowled France to buy up art dispersed by the Revolution. The modern paintings in the exhibition came mostly from the collections of two turn-of-the-century bourgeois Muscovites who were ahead of the French themselves in appreciating the likes of van Gogh and Matisse. Then, in 1918, the Bolsheviks nationalized the lot--all of which they dismissed as decadent capitalist nonsense. The result? Splendid paintings, old and modern, preserved in two stately museums--the Hermitage in Leningrad and Moscow's Pushkin. This show, the latest in a series of art exchanges prompted by the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev summit, draws on the Soviet state collections to give a picture of the Russian passion for French culture. There is a great,...
  • Autarky: A New Challenge

    Richer than Saudi Arabia: that's what people in the trans-Urals region of Tyumen say they could be if allowed to sell their oil themselves. It is worth about $37 billion a year, and Moscow takes virtually all of it. In Yakutia, Siberian diamond and gold prospectors are of a similar mind: they're agitating for control of their own mines. And in a move that provoked outcry in Moscow, the Uzbek Council of Ministers passed a law prohibiting consumer goods from being sold outside the republic. ...
  • David Lynch's New Peak

    When you're hot you're hot. Even before David Lynch walked off with the Cannes Film Festival's top prize the Palme d'Or, for his flammable new film "Wild at Heart," Lynchmania had infected the Cote d'Azur. Each Thursday night during the festival, the American Pavilion threw a "Twin Peaks" party (serving pie and a good cup of black coffee) for crowds of "Peak" addicts who, ignoring the hundreds of new movies unreeling around them, preferred to huddle in front of TV monitors watching tapes of the latest episode from the United States. The first screening of "Wild at Heart"--at 8:30 in the morning--was so eagerly anticipated that the 2,400-seat Grand Auditorium Lumiere was half full of sleepy souls by 8. When the film ended, with the Elvis-like Nicolas Cage atop a car crooning "Love Me Tender" to Laura Dern, the audience broke into wild cheering. After a steady diet of lugubrious and sometimes immobile films from around the world, Lynch's lurid comic melodrama was a blast of freshly...
  • A Fine Mess

    The long census nightmare continues. As if census takers haven't already had enough difficulty getting people to cooperate, they now have a credibility problem. In Houston, con artists posing as census takers have been trying to fine people $50 for not turning in their forms. The scheme was discovered when a real census worker making routine checks of nonfilers was told by several people, "Oh, an enumerator already came by wanting to collect that fine." The Census Bureau, by the way, does not fine people for not reporting. Meanwhile, in Iowa, an overzealous census worker was suspended for violating confidentiality rules after he told police he smelled marijuana in a person's home.
  • Why He's Failing

    After nearly five years in office, Mikhail Gorbachev is a brilliant failure. His mastery of Soviet politics is almost complete; his grip on power seems rock-solid for the foreseeable future. But Gorbachev is failing in a more fundamental sense. He has been unable, so far, to achieve his principal goal: to save the Soviet system from itself. He has started a revolution in his homeland and beyond, but he is not even close to finishing it. ...
  • 'Dear Mommy, How Are You Doing?'

    It is Mother's Day at the Lorton Correctional Complex outside Washington, D.C., and Michael, 10, is waiting impatiently as the women in camouflage pants file into the gym. Finally, Jennifer Nimmons, who is serving 18 months on a drug charge, arrives and Michael rushes into her arms. He has brought his mother a present: a cutout of a dancing bear with a letter on its stomach, which he reads aloud. "Dear Mommy, How are you doing in the hospital? Have a happy mother's day, this is a poem for you. 'Roses are red, Violets are blue, You are the best mother, I ever wrote to.'" Then he asks: "Is this a hospital?" ...
  • For Sale: The Shuttles

    In the midst of all the recent turmoil in the airline industry, there always seemed one steady, profitable business--the Northeast shuttle services. Whether owned by Eastern, Pan Am or Donald Trump, the shuttles have been viewed as highflying cash cows. Operating in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor, their passengers are almost all business travelers whose companies seemed unfazed by ever-increasing fares. "It's like owning a cable-TV company," observes Paul Turk. an airline consultant. "There's not much competition and you can move prices without affecting traffic much." ...
  • The Bad News Bears

    When the stock market talks, everybody listens--even the frowning bad-news bears. The Dow Jones industrial average hit a new high in May, and most of the pessimists beat a retreat. Individual investors have been piling into stocks since December by buying stock-owning mutual funds. That may be bad news. Market lore says the public is always wrong. ...
  • A Deadline For A Divorce

    Canadian Prime Minister Pierre, Trudeau surveyed the results of Quebec's referendum on independence and pronounced the separatism movement in his native province dead. But on the night of that defeat a decade ago, Rene Levesque who had led the raucous rebellion that brought Quebec to the brink of secession, took a different view. "A la prochaine, " he said. Until the next time. ...
  • Holding A Bad Hand

    What's the matter with Mikhail Gorbachev? Never has a leader of the Soviet Union looked so weak coming to a summit with an American president. In Moscow, political upstarts to his right and left openly ridicule him. The Baltic States are trying to peel away; as many as four more Soviet republics may follow. After five years of tinkering with the economy, he has fixed too little, too late; but more radical reforms promise inflation and unemployment--and the danger of strikes and food riots. Gorbachev's opponents are too weak to topple him. Yet, even as he tightens his grip on the government, the government loses control over the country. ...
  • Togetherness

    For the record, the Kryptonite Corp. has not come out on either side of the abortion debate. But that hasn't stopped anti-abortion protesters from using the world's toughest bicycle locks to keep police from dragging them away during sit-down protests. The right-to-lifers are locking themselves to clinics, cars or anything else that will let them obstruct traffic longer. Kryptonite is reporting increased calls from police departments asking how to thwart the locks. The best solutions: get a locksmith to drill out the cylinders or employ gigantic Jaws of Life cutters used for auto wrecks.
  • Are Teens Tv Smart?

    Robert Pittman, one of the creators of MTV, thinks teens today are an audience best spoken to in pictures. "TV babies seem to perceive visual messages better" than previous generations did, Pittman wrote in a recent New York Times editorial. "They can 'reed' a picture or understand body language at a glance." ...
  • Teens And Tv

    Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 watch TV an average of 22 hours a week. That means they spend about 3 hours a day in front of the tube. Ads consume 3 to 4 hours--about 20%--of TV watched per week.The more TV teens watch, the lower their writing ability; in one study, 17-year-olds who watched 6 or more hours of TV per week scored about 10 percent lower on a writing test than did those who watch only 2 hours per week.
  • The Push For Sex Education

    In the past few years, many communities have tried various initiatives aimed at preventing teen pregnancy. No single approach works for every child or every school, but experts say that the most effective measures consist of a combination of education, health care and--most important--strong parental support. ...
  • The Unhealthy Facts Of Life

    By March 1990 the Centers for Disease Control had counted 1,429 cases of AIDS among teenagers. Although teenage AIDS cases account for only 1% of the nation's total, the number of cases doubles every 14 months.More teenagers get the AIDS virus heterosexually than do adults.National statistics on chlamydia are not available, though experts in various locales report that between 7% and 40% of female teens have been infected.The syphilis rate for teens age 15-19 has jumped 67% since 1985.Condom use among teenagers doubled between 1979 and 1988.
  • The Dangers Of Doing It

    Street wisdom drives 16-year-old Meta Jones crazy. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are at record-high levels among teens, yet the kids Meta knows at Coolidge Senior High in Washington D.C., have more faith in superstition than science. "They believe in the 'quick-withdrawal method'," she says. "They think you can't catch anything if he pulls out quickly enough." A lot of boys don't worry, she says, because "they think it's the girls who catch [diseases] more easily." And everyone seems to think STDs are someone else's problem. "They say, 'We're young. This isn't going to happen to us'." ...
  • Anatomy Of A Fad

    Teen Trends Follow Their Own Elusive Grapevine, Fed By Mass Media And Peer Pressure
  • High School Homeroom

    Cambridge Rindge and Latin School is only blocks from Harvard Yard, but it is really a world apart. The only public high school in Cambridge, Mass., Rindge and Latin's student body is a cross section of the city behind the privileged university. Nearly 70 flags hang from the ceiling of the cafeteria, representing the national origins of the 2,100 students. The day begins early here just before 8 a.m., when the streets in front of Rindge and Latin begin to fill up with kids. Some are chatting with friends, others hear only the rhythms of their Walkmans. Even amid this diversity, a few students stand out. They are girls like Charlene. unwillingly trapped in a time warp between adulthood and youth. ...
  • That's No Way To End A Good Life

    Last night as I was lying awake in bed, I thought about suicide--my own suicide. I had just told my best friend's boyfriend that I wanted him to go out with me, not her. I know this doesn't seem like a very good reason for killing yourself, but there was more to it. I had asked him to go out with me only because I didn't want him to invite her to the prom. I didn't do it because I like him--I did it because I couldn't stand the thought of him stealing her away from me. I felt awful for having betrayed my friend. ...
  • Coming Out Now

    For gay teens, life is better--and worse. They see more role models but AIDS is unrelenting. ...
  • Bring Back The Juvenile Delinquent

    Educational experts should realize that the goody-goody teens who reach their peak in high school these days only have weight problems, divorce and alcoholism in their future. It's the bad kids who healthily reject authority and suffer teen angst who build character and excel later in life. Unfortunately, few kids know how to rebel with class anymore. We no longer have juvenile delinquents--we have 13-year-old serial murderers. Somehow I doubt today's over-the-top hellcats will ever feel nostalgia for the good ole days of crack and "wilding." ...
  • This Year's Role Model

    There's no way around it: if you want to understand today's teenagers, you have to discover their heroes. Or, as the philosopher Joseph Campbell has pointed out, the people we admire are a reflection of our inner selves. Which isn't to say that pinpointing today's teen heroes is a Herculean task. Years of research have produced a scientific way of obtaining people's opinions about any number of things, heroes included. Yet in preparing this report, I didn't want to go that route. ...
  • The Patterns Of Abuse

    In a 1989 poll of seniors, 60% said they had drunk alcohol in the past 30 days; in 1980, 72% said they had. 17% of the 1989 seniors said they had smoked it once in the past 30 days; in 1979, 37% said they had.Between 1986 and 1989, the number of seniors using it decreased from 6.2% to 2.8%.Inner-cities use is still heavy, but overall use by high schoolers has fallen slightly since '87.
  • Against All Odds, I'm Just Fine

    What troubled times the American teenager lives in! Ads for Nike shoes urge us to "Just do it!" while the White House tells us to "Just say no." The baby boomers have watched their babies grow into teens and history has repeated itself: the punk teens of the '80s have taken the place of the hippie teens of the '60s. Once again the generation gap has widened and the adults have finally remembered to remember that teenagers are just no good. They have even coined a name for their persecution of adolescents: "teen-bashing." ...
  • Kids With Causes

    For a growing number of teenagers, the sentiment "I'm OK, who cares about you?" no longer prevails. Though there are no firm numbers on teen activism, many teachers and counselors predict a comeback. Granted, it's not yet a tidal wave of altruism. But in groups or on their own, teenagers are running recycling programs and peer hot lines, staffing soup kitchens and recording senior citizens' oral histories. Peter Scales, deputy director of the Center for Early Adolescence at the University of North Carolina, says, "The desire is there. We just have to tap into it." ...
  • Chance Of A Lifetime

    Aldo Gutierrez's chances of escaping the tough streets of south-central Los Angeles were no better than average. One of seven children born to Mexican immigrants, he was already a rebel and interested in gangs by the sixth grade. But at his elementary-school graduation, something astonishing happened: a wealthy California woman named Winifred Rhodes-Bea offered Aldo and his classmates a chance to escape the relentless cycle of early childbearing welfare and grinding poverty that often begins with dropping out. If they worked hard and stayed in school, Rhodes-Bea promised in the speech she delivered in the school auditorium, she would support them all the way--and pay for their college education. Aldo, now a ninth-grade scholarship student at Verbum Dei, a private Roman Catholic school, has turned his life around. "Before, I didn't really have any expectations. I used to be happy with a C," he says. "But now I want more than that." Hoping to become an engineer, Aldo will be--if all...
  • Stalking The Youth Market

    None dare call them sneakers. Sneakers is the kind of completely uncool word that parents use when they just refuse to understand. Little kids wear sneakers. Today's teenager wears what the trade calls "athletic shoes" or "fashion/casual footwear"--terms that you can stick a $150 price tag on. They are expressions of lifestyle. Tokens. ...
  • Work And What It's Worth

    Two or three days a week during the school year, 17-year-old Meta Smith headed directly from class to Mr. G's supermarket in Chicago. From 3 to 8 p.m. she bagged groceries, rang up sales and served cold cuts in the store's deli. Then she headed home for a night of homework before jumping into bed--and waking up at 6 the next morning to begin the routine anew. Her motivation: m-o-n-e-y. Most weeks, Meta earned about $90, which she used to buy make-up, clothes, jewelry and lunches. Says she: "So far it's the best job I've had." ...
  • A Much Riskier Passage

    There was a time when teenagers believed themselves to be part of a conquering army. Through much of the 1960s and 1970s, the legions of adolescence appeared to command the center of American culture like a victorious occupying force, imposing their singular tastes In clothing, music and recreational drugs on a good many of the rest of us. It was a hegemony buttressed by advertisers, fashion setters, record producers suddenly zeroing in on the teen multitudes as if they controlled the best part of the country's wealth, which in some sense they did. But even more than market power, what made the young insurgents invincible was the conviction that they were right: from the crusade of the children, grown-ups believed, they must learn to trust their feelings, to shun materialism, to make love, not money. ...
  • The New Rules Of Courtship

    It used to be simpler. When the parents of today's teenagers were kids the rules of attraction were clear, logical, precise. Boy liked Girl. Girl liked Boy. Boy asked Girl out. Boy spent the next five months trying, often against all hope, to score. Boy, despite embarrassing failure, lied to his friends and said he scored anyway. Back then, before Prince and all that disco unpleasantness, even the most pathetic black-socks-in-gym-class loser could find someone to go out with. ...
  • Facing The Alternatives

    Only half of sexually active teen women surveyed reported contraceptive use at first intercourse. Only 17 percent used the pill. Almost all teen pregnancies--5 out of 6--are unintended.About 40 percent of teenage pregnancies end in abortion.They account for 26 percent of all abortions performed in the United States.
  • Highs And Lows

    Grace Slick grew up in Palo Alto, Calif, the daughter of an investment banker. She attended Finch College (along with Tricia Nixon) and in 1966 joined the Jefferson Airplane. Her first album with the band Surrealistic Pillow sold 2 million copies and Slick's song, "White Rabbit," with its famous last lyric, "Feed your head," became an anthem of the psychedelic generation. Dubbed the "Acid Queen" by the press, she was said to have "the voice that launched a thousand trips." Eventually, though, it was her drinking that caught up with her. She is now a recovering alcoholic and lives in Mill Valley, north of San Francisco, with her husband, Skip Johnson. Her daughter, China, by Airplane founder Paul Kantner, is now a VJ-- video jockey--on MTV. ...
  • How Many? How Bad?

    teenagers in the United States have become pregnant every year since 1973. Put another way, that's 1 out of 10 girls, ages 15 to 19, getting pregnant every year.An estimated 93 percent of the nation's high schools offer some form of sex education.
  • Prom Night Isn't What You Think

    In the movies, prom night is the night when all teenagers discover true love. In Mother's memory chest, it is the night immortalized by a dusty picture of a young girl and her long-forgotten sweetheart. In the boys' locker room it is the night for which all the girls have been saving their virginity. ...
  • Tales Of A Mother/Confessor

    My own adolescent rebellion came late. Somewhere around the age of 35. I don't recommend waiting till then. Better to drag your parents through it than your kids. I was the good child in our family. My job was to be happy, to make up for my brother, who wasn't. Even as a teen, I gave my parents little trouble. I told them only what I thought they wanted to hear. I kept the rest to myself. I played my role well, but it took its toll. My rashes were famous all over town. My aunt called me Camille. ...
  • Don't Expect Me To Be Perfect

    I am a 16-year-old Korean-American. My family has been in the United States for six years now. I'll be a junior next fall. ...
  • 1984 Michael Jackson Tour

    After months of anticipation, Michael Jackson's troubled and controversial tour has finally kicked off in Kansas City and the enigmatic star is living up to his reputation as the reluctant Pied Piper of pop.
  • Using Drugs to Fight Autism

    Brian Pingree was a beautiful child, but his mother knew something was terribly wrong. For hours, the three-year-old would sit rocking back and forth aimlessly, oblivious to his brothers and sisters who played nearby. When Carmen Pingree hugged and kissed her son, he would stiffen and turn his face away. He rarely spoke, and when he did, his voice had the flat tone of a science-fiction robot. Although he could open latches and locks with uncanny ease, he had trouble using a fork. Mrs. Pingree later learned that Brian was autistic, the victim of the most bizarre and complicated of all childhood disorders. Until recently, it was also the most misunderstood by doctors and psychologists. According to classical Freudians, autism was a severe emotional disease caused by the mother's unconscious rejection of her baby. Some experts considered autistics irredeemably retarded and urged that they be institutionalized, while others suggested that these children were schizophrenic and should be...
  • Michael Jackson: The Peter Pan of Pop

    It's a giddy and glamourous sound, Hands clap, horns blare. A carnival of percussion erupts. Electric guitars chatter like a corps of African talking drums. A voice gasps and then chants a chorus. So go the first few seconds of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' " six minutes of musical frenzy from a new Epic album called "Thriller." The show-stopping style could come from only one star—Michael Jackson.
  • Why Kennedy Withdrew From 1984 Race

    Stressing 'an overriding obligation' to his three children, he folds the tents of Camelot—at least for now. His surprise withdrawal fronm the Democratic race sets off a fierce scramble for the '84 nomination.