News

  • A Date With Destiny

    Destiny's Child have just begun their daily four-hour makeover, an event that's become as commonplace as breakfast for this R&B supergroup. Primped and polished, Beyonce Knowles, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland will scarcely resemble the young women who, earlier in the day, might have tried to upstage one another in burping contests. The Houston trio are marvels of self-transformation, looking as fabulous in animal-fur bikinis and Grammy gowns as they do in army fatigues. They are players in a seeming fairy tale: the story of a band that rose up from legions of faceless girl groups and "Star Search" contestants to amass a following of millions. ...
  • Good Dogs, Bad Medicine?

    Marc Bluestone was devastated when his sandy-brown mutt, Shane, died on April 2, 1999. In January he'd taken her to a vet hospital in Fountain Valley, Calif., for treatment of chronic seizures. By the time Shane went home--more than two months and $21,000 later--she had suffered liver disease, internal bleeding and a failed immune system. The doctors at All-Care Animal Referral Center treated her with everything from a blood transfusion to radiation, says Bluestone. Four days after she was discharged, Shane took a turn for the worse and died in the car as he was rushing her back to the hospital. Bluestone consulted a lawyer and was stunned to learn that in the eyes of California law, Shane was worth $100, what he had paid for her at the local shelter. "The way I feel, she is part of me and I am a part of her," says Bluestone, who hopes the vet will have to pay millions if Bluestone wins a malpractice suit scheduled for September. ...
  • Looking Back In Dismay

    Kaleil Isaza Tuzman has President Bill Clinton in stitches. Halfway through the documentary film "Startup.com," the 28-year-old is seated next to the president at a White House conference on the New Economy, poking light fun at one of the other panelists, a Harvard graduate school dean. Afterward, Isaza Tuzman slips Clinton his business card, and later boasts to co-workers, "I told him that if he moved to New York, he should consider a job with us." Just one month later, in May 2000, Isaza Tuzman's cockiness has vanished as he explains to his teary-eyed childhood friend and business partner, Tom Herman, that the board of directors wants him out. They don't think he's up to the job of chief technology officer. Herman is later escorted from the building. ...
  • Lesson In Brotherly Love

    If sounding a note of hope is part of a pope's job, then John Paul II had four great days in Syria earlier this month. The young Syrian friends of my wife and me--Muslim and Christian--walk around with a warm glow of love and joy that they dare think might translate into a new hope of peace. Many here have faith that the pope's visit did exactly what they hoped it would: show the world who they really are. To be young and Syrian is to feel misrepresented by the media as a violent people breeding terrorists. As the pope followed in the footsteps of Saint Paul and reached out to people, some Syrians said, "This is the way I want to be seen--as a good neighbor." ...
  • Innovation Is Where You Find It

    People and businesses simply aren't pushing paper like they used to. Regular first-class mail is flattening out or declining in some countries, while e-document delivery, e-commerce and e-messaging are booming. The postal services are now competing against Internet providers, telecoms and mobile operators. Some of them have resoponded to their Net competitors with desperate gimmicks, like chocolate-scented stamps or postage with your picture on it. The savvier ones are trying to exploit their brand names, economies of scale and government monopolies.The result is a plethora of new services. Deutsche Post has become a leading Internet bank in Germany, with more than 1 million customers. The Dutch Royal PTT is getting into online billing--it already processes more than 10 million transactions a year. Britain's Royal Mail is conducting trials for personalized post codes specific to individuals, which would allow paper or electronic messages to find you wherever you happen to be....
  • Letter From America: Book Tour

    Americans, the conventional wisdom has it, do not read. At least not as much as they used to. Television, movies, computer games, the Internet--all have driven people away from books. And when they do read, it seems it's not literature they want. The best-seller lists are overflowing with diet books, books on self-improvement, books on how to play the dating game. The fiction lists seem to consist of nothing but steamy romances and formulaic thrillers. "Americans," a British academic once growled to me, "don't know the difference between wanting to read a book and wanting a book to read." ...
  • The Pentagon's Guru

    In a city where few stars shine for longer than a presidential term or two, Andrew Marshall has inhabited the same set of dingy offices in the Pentagon (suite 3A930), just down the hall from the secretary of Defense (3E880), for the past 28 years. In a government where leaking is an instrument of policy, he shuns publicity. At briefings, he drones and mumbles; the military brass have nicknamed him Yoda. And as a schmoozer, he is described--by a friend--as "almost impossible to conduct a conversation with." Yet to his many admirers, Marshall is a cult figure, the most original thinker in the defense establishment. ...
  • Parents Today Make More Time For Quality Time

    Just when parents were beginning to feel they were doing everything wrong, a new study says that modern moms and dads are doing something right--spending four to six more hours a week with their kids than the previous generation. The 1997 study of 2,125 children 3 to 12 released last week by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan found similar upward trends in kid time for both working and at-home moms, and both types of dads. Particularly significant was the finding that today's working moms spent about the same amount of time (26.5 hours a week) with their kids as at-home moms did in 1981 (26 hours). The only group that didn't register an increase was single mothers. "Everybody has the stereotype that working mothers are spending less time with their children," says Sandra Hofferth, one of the authors of the study. "This is the first time we've documented that it's not true." Despite a 50 percent increase in the number of working mothers and a doubling of...
  • American Beat: Scenes From A Fledgling Movement

    There's a very thin line between six people holding protest signs and a movement. I realized this the other day when I joined those six sign-wielding protestors outside a Philadelphia supermarket to take a stand against sport utility vehicles, the behemoths that clog our highways, pollute our air and squander our diminishing supplies of fuel. ...
  • Founding Fathers: John Adams Is In The House

    ;It's a great show-and-tell. David McCullough, who won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling biography of Harry Truman, is taking you through the house in Quincy, Mass., where John Adams, the second president of the United States and subject of McCullough's forthcoming biography, spent his last years. Here's Adams's study. Those tiny silver-rimmed eyeglasses, upside down on the desk? His. That red velvet settee? That's where one of the prime movers of American independence sat as Gilbert Stuart painted the last portrait of him. And on July 4, 1826--on the 50th anniversary of American independence, and on the same day as his old friend and rival Thomas Jefferson--John Adams died, right in this room. Yet on the other hand, it just doesn't seem real. God forgive you, you can't keep your eyes off these insanely beautiful Persian rugs (you've been shopping for a nice rug lately), nor suppress the insane idea of somehow rolling one up and sneaking it out of here. ...
  • Newsmakers

    Who Gets Home Court Advantage? Donna Hanover wants her husband, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, to keep his girlfriend out of their house. Simple enough--except the house in question is Gracie Mansion. Hanover has filed for a restraining order that would ban "First Companion" Judith Nathan from the mayoral manse. Giuliani argues it's a public building. Hanover says it's also "the marital residence." It'll be up to the courts to declare who's master of this domain.Bobbitt Wants Another Cut Since ex-wife Lorena stripped him of some of his manhood, John Wayne Bobbitt has been paying the bills making pornographic videos with titles like "Uncut," ministering to a church in Las Vegas and driving a tow truck--in that order. Time for a new moneymaking scheme: Bobbitt has gone to court to reclaim from police storage the knife his ex-wife used to make him famous. "He's going to sell it on eBay and start taking bids at $3 million," says his spokesman. But talk to Bobbitt about the...
  • Death In A Sacred Place

    Set deep in the Judean wilderness a few miles southeast of Jerusalem, the Kharitan Caves are a place of timeless desolation. Steep sandstone cliffs are pocked by dozens of natural caves where ancient Jewish mystics and Byzantine monks once dwelled. Last Tuesday morning, two 14-year-old Israeli boys, Yosef Ishran and American immigrant Yaakov Mandel, skipped school and set off instead for a hike through the canyon, or wadi, which lies about two thirds of a mile from their West Bank settlement of Tekoa. When the boys didn't return by nightfall, their worried parents called the police. Early the following morning, a search party found the young people's battered bodies half-buried under rocks inside a blood-smeared ancient grotto. They had been stoned and beaten so badly that a dentist had to be called in to identify them. ...
  • Jeter: Put Your Money Where Your Fans Are

    I teach geometry, humanities and film at a wonderful, ethnically and economically diverse public high school in New York City. In all of my classes, I push my students to develop a sense of social justice. I ask them to consider how resources can be distributed fairly in our society and what responsible citizens can do to give back. In class discussions my students often ask me difficult questions, like "Why aren't many of the wealthiest people in our country doing more?" My only answer is that many people haven't yet realized the power they have to change lives. ...
  • Caught Between Dueling Doctors

    Like many of the weekend warriors in San Francisco's adult municipal softball league, I fashioned myself an athlete, despite 29 years of evidence to the contrary. So when an opposing batter smashed a line drive into the outfield a few weeks ago, I gave chase from my perch in center and dove gamely for the ball. Bad idea. Not only did the softball bounce off my glove, but the ball of bone that caps the upper arm (the humerus) slipped out of my shoulder socket (the glenoid)--an excruciating injury known as a dislocated shoulder. In the ensuing hours I was treated to a trip to the E.R., a few intravenous doses of morphine and the attention of several doctors and nurses who had to push and pull on my right arm until it finally slipped back into place. The procedure is called a "shoulder reduction" but could more accurately be described as pain augmentation. ...
  • Italy's 59Th Post-War Try

    Italians have selected a new government, and politically fastidious people throughout the North Atlantic community are saying the Italians did not do it quite right. It is Italy's 59th government since the Second World War. Silvio Berlusconi, 64, the richest Italian, will be prime minister. Before Italians voted two Sundays ago, they were hectored by editorial harrumphing from European newspapers, urging them not to do what they then blithely did in choosing Berlusconi. You will not be astonished to learn that he is a conservative. ...
  • Blair Vs. The Press

    Last week Tony Blair seemed to be sitting about as pretty as a prime minister can sit going into a re-election campaign. The opposition Conservative Party was in disarray, barely able to crack a 30 percent ceiling in the polls. In one survey, Blair's Labour Party was 24 points ahead--as commanding a lead as any party has ever held going into a British re-election campaign. Labour is virtually assured of a second term, but that doesn't mean Blair won't be battered on the way to victory. The Tories may be a feeble opponent, but the British press is more than ready to stand in for them. ...
  • War Without End

    In the foothills of the snowcapped Sierra Nevadas in northeastern Colombia, the Kogi Indians whisper his name in fear. Along the docks of the Caribbean port city of Santa Marta, gangsters speak with awe of his 400-man private army. But everyone knows that when it comes to Hernan Giraldo Serna, it's usually best not to know too much. The gangsters quietly recall, for instance, that in 1999 Giraldo ordered the brutal murders of four construction workers, whose bodies were then cut to bits with a chain saw. Their offense? They had built a special basement to store his multimillion-dollar cache of cocaine, and they knew where it was. ...
  • 'It Just Goes On And On'

    Kathleen Treanor had been bracing herself for weeks. Six years after Timothy McVeigh's devastating bomb killed her in-laws and 4-year-old daughter, she wanted to watch him draw his last breath. Wednesday morning, the day McVeigh was scheduled to die, Treanor planned to rise at 2 and make the hourlong drive from her home in rural Guthrie, Okla., to the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City. There she'd view the early-morning execution on closed-circuit television, along with some 300 other survivors and relatives of victims of the Murrah-building blast. ...
  • Laughing Amid The Ruins

    Since the overthrow of long-ruling President Suharto in 1998, Indonesia has descended into economic and political chaos. Now the elites in the Southeast Asian nation are calling for the ouster of the current embattled president, Abdurrahman Wahid. Having been censured twice by Parliament, he must either come to a compromise with Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri--his likely successor--or face the prospect of impeachment. Wahid, appearing confused at moments, insisted throughout a one-hour interview with NEWSWEEK's Lally Weymouth that he will serve out his term. Excerpts: ...
  • Why Mortgage Rates Aren't Falling

    If you think that Alan Greenspan really controls interest rates, you haven't looked at the mortgage market lately. Uncle Alan has cut short-term interest rates by 2 percentage points so far this year, and may cut them again at Tuesday's Federal Reserve Board meeting. But the rate on 30-year mortgages--the most popular choice among home buyers--has barely budged. That rate averaged 7.22 percent last week, according to HSH Associates, only a freckle below the 7.31 percent it averaged for the first week of the year. (Fifteen-year rates, favored by refinancers, are down a bit more, to 6.73 from 6.94.) Greenspan started cutting rates on Jan. 3. ...
  • Welcome Back To Earth

    The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England cut interest rates last week, after persistently calling such a move unnecessary. When Alan Greenspan began similar cuts in January, he too had to execute an embarrassing flip-flop. It turns out that these central bankers--often revered as having almost mystical knowledge and powers--were just riding the bull market up like (some of) the rest of us. When it fell, the new era's official geniuses, like Jeff Bezos, Tim Koogle and even Greenspan and Britain's top banker, Eddie George, looked positively human. The ECB's Wim Duisenberg tops them all: he's been derided when stocks were high and is again now that they are faltering. Maybe he needs to go back to central-banker boot camp. ...
  • Perspectives

    "How could they have possibly made a mistake this huge?" Kathleen Treanor, who lost her 4-year-old daughter and her in-laws in the Oklahoma City bombing, on the FBI revelation that it had inadvertently withheld thousands of pages of evidence from Timothy McVeigh's lawyer. As a result, Attorney General John Ashcroft delayed the convicted murderer's execution by one month."I had wanted for years to get Mrs. Thatcher in front of my camera. As she got more powerful she got sort of sexier." Photographer Helmut Newton, on his eye for the former British prime minister"I hummed a song that isn't appropriate in this chamber. I would like to apologize to everyone I might have hurt." Serge Cardin, a Canadian M.P., caught humming the theme song from "The Godfather" while Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano, who is of Italian descent, addressed the body"The administration has told us to take a flying leap in a rolling doughnut." California Energy Adviser , Davie Freeman on the White House's...
  • Finding Their Religion

    The band R.E.M. has been around for 20 years now, so caring about it increasingly means fretting over when it'll start to stink. Drummer Bill Berry left the group in 1997. He had his reasons--an aneurysm onstage a few years earlier and subsequent ruminations on mortality, among other things--but his departure was worrying nonetheless. Surely a rock band has run out of steam when even the drummer has better things to do. The group's debut as a trio, "Up," was the first disappointing R.E.M. album ever. And their new CD, "Reveal," was the first R.E.M. album I ever popped into the player with something like fear. ...
  • The Birth Of Asiawood

    It is 6 a.m. on a scorching March day in the hills of central Thailand, but the cast of "Jan Dara" is already hard at work. Forty sweltering extras, dressed in 1930s costumes, are pretending to have a good time at a wedding reception in a grand French-style villa amid the towering trees of Kao Yai National Park. Between takes, Thailand's most acclaimed film director, 39-year-old Nonzee Nimibutr, chain-smokes Marlboro Lights while he studies storyboards mapping out the erotic period drama. As Nonzee visualizes the next shoot, the director of photography and several assist-ants yank their only camera from a cherry picker and position it for a close-up. Amid the hum of cicadas, the film's star, Chinese-Vietnamese actress Christy Chung, rehearses her lines in a language she barely speaks. "Her intonation isn't exactly Thai," says Nonzee. "But her lip movement is good enough to sound-sync later." ...
  • Waiting For Justice

    Everything Seemed Set--Until An Embarrassed FBI Admitted It Failed To Turn Over Papers In The Case Of Tim Mcveigh. Behind The Stay.
  • Blair Vs. The Press

    Last week Tony Blair seemed to be sitting about as pretty as a prime minister can sit going into a re-election campaign. The opposition Conservative Party was in disarray, barely able to crack a 30 percent ceiling in the polls. In one survey, Blair's Labour Party was 24 points ahead--as commanding a lead as any party has ever held going into a British re-election campaign. Labour is virtually assured of a second term, but that doesn't mean Blair won't be battered on the way to victory. The Tories may be a feeble opponent, but the British press is more than ready to stand in for them. ...
  • Fundraising: What Comes Around ...

    Using Vice President Dick Cheney's official residence as a calling card, the Republican National Committee is gearing up for a round of fund-raising this week that party officials hope will rake in more than $20 million in soft money for next year's election campaign. ...
  • What Really Happened To The Soldiers Of The 364Th?

    When documentary producer Greg DeHart agreed to do a show about a black World War II Army unit and its experiences at a Mississippi training base in 1943, he thought he was doing a piece on how urban legends survived over time. ...
  • Nsa Confidential

    The CRITIC arrived at the National Security Operations Center in the early evening. Short for Critical Intelligence, it is the spy world's highest priority message, used only to report an event of critical importance to the nation. ...

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