• As Plain As Black And White

    I don't know exactly what Lisa Williamson, the self-named "raptivist" Sister Souljah, said before and after the killing-white-people quote that Governor Clinton condemned, and that TV shows and newspapers and magazines, including this one, have reacted to ever since. I do not know exactly what she meant, although friends have paraphrased for me her explanation on the " Today" show. But I do know that the whole incident strikes an old, resonant chord in American racial relations. You can tell by the language we're using like blunt instruments, language that's trying to do many things at once. As always, black and white America are trying to make each other understand--to explain, score, dominate, manipulate, control, provoke, apologize and dis. ...
  • Sealed Lips

    NEWSWEEK has learned that the Senate intelligence committee is investigating why it was kept in the dark about a CIA covert operation during last year's coup in Haiti. Shortly after the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a supersecret Navy SEAL team evacuated top Haitian officials. It turns out they were on the CIA payroll, and the agency requested the mission to get them out of the country. Senate staffers are probing whether the committee should have been notified of the covert op in advance--or shortly afterward--instead of reading about it in the papers months later.
  • Touching Tribute

    Alexandre, the Parisian hairdresser to the stars, is simply trying to touch the hand of his god. The work of the late coiffeur Antoine-hairdresser to Claudette Colbert and Josephine Baker--so inspired Alexandre that he has exhumed his mentor's right hand from its Polish grave. The appendage, lifeless since 1976, now sits in a box in Alexandre's apartment. " I am happy that his hand is in Paris," says Alexandre with simple eloquence. "He's back." This fall, the hand will appear at a mass for Antoine.
  • Deja Vu In Detroit

    Last month's report that the fatality rate for the discontinued rear-wheel drive Ford Bronco II was the highest of any small "utility" vehicle studied was bad news for Ford. Nor should it please Ford's domestic rivals. Correct or not, it once again raises the specter of poor quality for the entire industry at a time when American automakers seem poised to gain on their Japanese competitors.
  • Name Games

    Newlyweds have been hyphenating their last names for years now. It's the PC thing to do. But now, in an effort to truly become one, some couples are going a step further: they are melding both their surnames into one. For instance, when Oakland, Calif., doctor Valerie Silverman married Michael Flaherty, they both changed their last names to Flaherman. Meanwhile, other twosomes are taking entirely new surnames in order to make a fresh start as a family.
  • A Sensitive Topic

    When the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops met at the University of Notre Dame last weekend, most of the public debate was about the role of women in the church. But behind closed doors, church sources say, the bishops planned to discuss an even more delicate problem: sexual molestation of children by Catholic priests. Too often, some church leaders admit, bishops protect priests accused of pedophilia and treat parents who complain as enemies of the church. Chicago's Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who last week announced that an independent commission would investigate allegations of child abuse in his archdiocese, was expected to urge other bishops to set up similar procedures.
  • Drying Out The Opposition

    Saddam Hussein may have a radical plan for driving some 10,000 Iranian-backed guerrillas out of the southern Iraqi marshlands and establishing control over 100,000 "marsh Arabs" who live there. The government has announced plans for a vast network of canals to provide irrigation and drinking water to the country. But Western analysts say the canals, to be finished in a year, could drain the marshes. That would strip Saddam's foes of their reed cover-and uproot the marsh Arabs, whose isolation has kept them out of Baghdad's reach for generations.
  • Water Wheels

    Wheelchair-bound beach lovers can finally brave the sand. A new, beach-friendly invention called the Surf Chair allows them to ride smoothly along the waterfront. The chair, developed by Florida lifeguard Mike Hensler, has inflatable balloon tires that don't get stuck in sand and can navigate through six inches of water. Other features include a rustproof frame, a sun umbrella and a fishing-pole holder. Surf Chairs have been spotted at beaches in Santa Cruz, Calif., Jacksonville, Fla., Ocean City, N.J., and Chicago.
  • Riding Out The Storm

    The upper lips were stiff as Charles and Di made their appointed rounds in the wake of "Diana: Her True Story." They shared a coach to a ceremony, but when he spoke to her she nodded curtly; they sat together at Ascot but went separate ways after. Fergie, exiled from royal life since separating from Andrew, waved at the Ascot procession as her two daughters called to Gram, "Can we come too?" The queen rode on.
  • L.A.: No Mood For Harmony

    The image became nearly as famous as the beating of Rodney King. As TV helicopters whirled overhead, four black men dragged the white Reginald Denny from his truck and beat him close to death. Angelenos of all races denounced his attackers as gangsters and thugs. But lately there's been a change. Among some blacks especially, the arrested suspects in the Denny beating are now the "L.A. 4"-hailed as "revolutionaries" and even "heroes." LET my PEOPLE GO, read T shirts on sale in South-Central where the riots began. Each bears a photo of yesterday's "thugs," who have metamorphosed into today's prisoners of political conscience. ...
  • A New Birth-Control Option?

    On one side were speakers from population groups, arguing that American women desperately need another option for birth control. On the other side were women's health advocates, insisting that a drug must be proven safe before it is sold to millions of healthy women. At issue was Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive currently used by nearly 10 million women in some 90 countries worldwide. And if the debate had a familiar ring, that's because this was the fourth time in 20 years that the Upjohn Co. had gone before a federal Food and Drug Administration panel, urging that its drug be approved as a contraceptive in the United States. Last week the panel unanimously voted to recommend approval. But that, too, has happened before, and each time the FDA has balked. ...
  • The Man Who Grow Too Much?

    The modern-art coterie likes esthetic innovators, but not institutional ones. Ever since Thomas Krens, 45, arrived as director of the Guggenheim Museum in 1988, he's been a magnet for criticism. In addition to restoring and expanding the landmark Frank Lloyd Wright building on Fifth Avenue, Krens (a former art-history teacher at Massachusetts's Williams College who also has an M.A. in management) proposed opening a Soho branch of the museum, engaged Pritzker Prize architect Frank Gehry to create another Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, and sponsored Austrian architect Hans Hollein's vision of a Salzburg branch literally carved out of rock. ...
  • The Bolsa Meets Its Match

    The soaring Mexican stock market finally met its match: Ross Perot. His strong showing in the polls got to investors worried about his opposition to a U.S.-Mexico free-trade agreement. The Bolsa nose-dived.
  • Remembering Watergate

    Even after 20 years, the turning points of Watergate--the Saturday Night Massacre, the "smoking gun" tape--retain a chilling resonance. NEWSWEEK'S Evan Thomas, John Schwartz, Anne Underwood, Clara Bingham and Shirlee Hoffman asked some key players for their most vivid recollections from that discordant time. Excerpts: VIRGILIO GONZALEZ One of the five Watergate burglars, now a retired lock and safe mechanic living in Miami ...
  • Giant Step For Japan

    A small step for most nations, a giant step for Japan. Over bitter protests by leftwing legislators, Including a filibuster, the Diet's lower House prepared to give final approval to a compromise bill allowing Japanese troops to join U.N. peacekeepers. The troops would be banned, however, from frontline duties unless the Diet votes special approval. The law would enable Japanese recruits to join U.N. forces in Cambodia this year--the nation's first significant military deployment overseas in nearly 50 years.
  • Who Hid The 'Fat Boys'?

    Call it the case of the missing missiles. As diplomats scramble to finish a nuclear arms-reduction treaty for George Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin to sign this week, U.S. intelligence analysts are trying to locate some 90 missiles the Russian military may have sneaked out of the Votkinsk plant northwest of Moscow. The mystery missiles, nicknamed "fat boys" by State Department arms-control officials, are believed to be shorter, stubbier versions of the SS-25 ICBMs that can be inspected under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. American arms-control officials spotted missile-like objects covered with tarp being trucked from the plant last year. The officials couldn't cheek them because the objects were shorter than SS-25s and not subject to INF inspection requirements. Senators, who question Yeltsin's control of the military, may demand an accounting of the fat boys before an arms treaty is signed.
  • The Selling Of The Royals

    George IV and Caroline had a marriage made in hell--and they weren't above using the press to duke it out. It was a Hanoverian arrangement that was doomed after George took one of his mistresses along on his honeymoon. No amorous slouch herself, Caroline had affairs that led to rumors of an illegitimate child and an investigation by the House of Lords. Though cleared of the charges, she was forbidden by George to see her daughter more than once every two weeks. When her letter of complaint was ignored by George, Caroline published it in the Morning Chronicle--winning public sympathy, but no new terms. Ascending to the throne in 1820, George tried to cut Caroline out of the picture, suing her for divorce in the House of Lords, on the ground of adultery. Once again the press helped shape public opinion--this time in George's favor. One paper archly begged, "Gracious Queen, we thee implore, Go away and sin no more. Or, if the effort be too great, Go away at any rate." ...
  • Malibu Mob

    Attention Crips and Bloods: you have company. They call themselves MLO-Malibu Locals Only-and they're the meanest bunch of overpampered white kids in Los Angeles County. The gang's 60-odd teenage members, clad in MLO hats and shirts, have started pummeling surfers from the Valley who venture into the 'hood, home to such roughnecks as Warren Beatty and Johnny Carson. They also spray graffiti all around the famous beach area. Still, some locals say the gang is actually more of a group or a club, with BB guns taking the place of Uzis. And one MLO associate points out that his pals are still green, thugwise: "They've been beaten much more than they're beating up."
  • Economic Mush From Perot

    We are now getting a glimpse of Ross Perot's economic thinking. There's a lot of homespun folk wisdom and not much else. It's a mushy mixture of old ideas (the line-item veto), bad ideas (opposition to a free-trade agreement with Mexico), vague promises (balance the budget) and misinformation. Based on what he's said so far, Perot either doesn't know very much or--contrary to his straight-shooter image--is being evasive. ...
  • Sweat Like A Butterfly

    Ask Audrey Cramer about boxing's greatest moments. Dempsey-Tunney in 1926? The first Ali-Frazier fight? Try Daryl Hannah versus a punching bag in the film "The Pope of Greenwich Village." Ever since Cramer, a 29year-old UCLA graduate student, saw the actress jabbing on the screen, she knew boxing was for her. A veteran aerobicizer, Cramer had tired of the "looking in the mirror" aspect of exercise classes and wanted to develop her upper body, that part of a woman that, for the sake of daintiness, rarely gets a workout in aerobics. ...