Newswire

Newswire

  • Let's Do Lunch

    Was the Madrid summit the last time George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev will meet one-on-one as international equals? Leaving their joint press conference, Bush told Gorbachev, "You're a master." But the remark was just a courtesy, administration sources say. Bush has concluded that Gorbachev's power is steadily diminishing, the sources say, and the administration must deal directly with the republics. Bush was particularly troubled by Gorbachev's insistence that massive Western aid could solve all the Soviet Union's problems. "People are realizing that Gorbachev is becoming irrelevant," says a top Bush aide.
  • A Pipe Dream

    Did Alaska Gov. Walter Hickel violate the state's ethics law by promoting the sale of arctic natural gas during a trip to Japan and South Korea last month? Hickel has long pushed for the construction of an 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline to carry gas from the North Slope to Valdez. But a political rival recently filed a conflict-of-interest complaint against Hickel because of his 12 percent interest in Yukon Pacific, founded in 1982 to get the pipeline built. A special prosecutor is now investigating, but Hickel's confident he'll be exonerated. His YP shares are held in a blind trust.
  • Campaign '92 Edition

    After being on top of the world for months, George Bush gets a down arrow. Before long, the CW will no doubt consider him unelectable. Of course, that'll be wrong, too. ...
  • Justify My Clothes

    Ruffles. They're not just for prom night anymore--just ask Antonio Banderas. In "The Mambo Kings," based on Oscar Hijuelos's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, the Spanish actor stars as a Cuban musician in 1950s New York. The late-December release costars Armand Assante and features musician Tito Puente. But the clothes are deja vu--in "Truth or Dare," the Material Girl confessed a huge crush on Banderas. It looks suspiciously like he borrowed her costume.
  • Gops, Look Out! The Democrats' Atwater

    He's a Southern good ole boy, a political consultant with a hell raiser's reputation and an inborn feel for the fears of the middle class. His campaigns are as nasty as he can get away with, full of dark accusation, half-truths and last-minute leaks. He chuckles when the word "principle" comes up. ...
  • Pictures From An Exhibition

    It was a family affair--a big one. The Whitney Museum's 60th-anniversary bash was thick with relations, thin on artists. Tony Bennett brought his daughter; Bryant Gumbel, his wife. The Whitney clan clustered around "Woman with Dog"--a frumpily photo-realistic Duane Hanson sculpture. Now if only they'd stop reading over her shoulder.
  • Worn In The U.S.A.

    It used to be that high fashion was a one-way traveler across the Atlantic from Europe to America. American women fell over themselves to buy the latest look that sashayed down the runways of Paris or Milan, yet-aside from embracing a few trendy bits of American exotica like bluejeans-European women turned up their noses at American clothes. But when the New York fashion shows open this week, buyers from Europe's most stylish store and fashion editors from all the major European publications will be there--eying the designs of popular Americans like Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. ...
  • Sublimation And Seduction

    One of art's guilty pleasures is a secret fondness for the work of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912), the ultimate Victorian painter. Now his fans can tiptoe out of the woodwork and hop up to the exhibition at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. (After Jan. 2, the show travels to Baltimore, Cincinnati and Memphis.) The Clark, rightly boasting of "the most comprehensive show of Alma-Tadema's work to be held in this country," calls it "Empires Restored, Elysium Revisited." Nice title: Alma-Tadema (chimes with Fatima) gave his customers two empires for the price of one. By painting Victorian England dressed up as ancient Rome, Alma-Tadema became the most popular painter of his day. In his pictures, the smog of the Industrial Revolution became the golden sunlight of antique Italy, iron and smoke became marble and flowers, the sweating working class became happy hedonists. In these paintings, England's rising bourgeoisie saw themselves decked out in...
  • Mario On Their Minds

    Which Democratic presidential candidate does the White House fear most? NEWSWEEK has learned that the majority of George Bush's top campaign strategists, including Fred Malek and Robert Teeter, think New York Gov. Mario Cuomo would be the president's toughest opponent in '92. They worry, administration sources say, that Cuomo's skills as an orator, his willingness to go on the attack and his stature as a national politician would give him a stronger edge against the president. White House chief of staff John Sununu disagrees, the sources say. In his view, Cuomo's lack of foreign-policy experience, weak gubernatorial record and liberal leanings would make him an easy target. He also thinks that the thin-skinned Cuomo would be easily rattled by a GOP attack strategy. "It would be the Opposition Researchers Full Employment Act," says one Bush adviser. But the latest word from the Cuomo camp is that Mario won't run in '92.
  • Basket Belle

    Well, there's that hairy upper lip--and the gold tooth-but grandmas come in all shapes and sizes. Of course, few of them can dribble as fast as Larry Johnson. The 6-foot-7 1991 NBA first draft pick put on a dress to plug the Converse even a grandma can win in. With that endorsement contract, maybe "Grandmama" will be able to afford real pearls.
  • The Lowly Yew Yields Riches

    For a prickly, slow-growing runt that only a few short years ago was burned as refuse, the Pacific yew sure has come up in the world. Out in the rapidly vanishing ancient forests of the Pacific northwest, some 500 laid-off lumber-mill workers, college students and single mothers are trying to make a living by stripping this evergreen's bark. It contains taxol, which has shown promise in the battle against ovarian and breast cancers. Hauser Chemical Research, Inc., in Colorado is the sole supplier of taxol to pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb; Hauser pays its harvesters, who must have permits from the Forest Service, $2.25 a pound. That's good money in the economically strapped timberlands. Very good. A federal grand jury in Eugene, Ore., just indicted five men for harvesting yew bark without permits. Federal agents have pulled off an elaborate sting that netted a major yew-bark poacher. And the secretary of agriculture has offered up to $10,000 to anyone who helps convict...
  • Africa: Independence Ii

    The people of Zambia went to the polls last week--and committed political patricide. By a landslide, voters toppled Kenneth Kaunda, the nation's founding father and its president for 26 years. The country's first multiparty election in more than two decades was a rejection, too, of his brand of socialism, which started out as a bold anticolonial slap at free markets and liberal democracy and ended up bankrupting Zambia. Kaunda's loss is "a big cultural shock," says Achille Mbembe, a political economist from Cameroon and visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. "It will confirm in the eyes of many Africans that the first period of our independence is over." ...
  • American Gothic, Cathedral Size

    There's nothing like a quaint little country retreat, especially if you're Roseanne (Barr) Arnold and husband Tom. The happy couple is plunking down $4 million to build a 24,000-square-foot mansion in Iowa. The state's largest house will sit on 800 acres outside tiny Eldon, which is near Tom's native Ottumwa and--talk about irony--was the setting for Grant Wood's "American Gothic." Construction on the nine-bedroom, 14-bath house will begin in early 1993. Even if they stop building halfway, it'll be a far cry from the double-wide trailer the Arnolds now inhabit with their two children from Roseanne's first marriage.
  • 'We Know Better What Will Work'

    One thing the Madrid conference proved was exactly what we Israelis feared: that the Arabs still refuse to see the Jews as a nation. While we watched on television, they offered up the same, tired image of Jews as riffraff, accidents of history. It was a sad performance, complete with anti-Semitic overtones. As a result, the average Tel Aviv resident came away hating and distrusting the Arabs more than ever before. Such was the real result of Madrid. ...
  • Whip Me, Beat Me...

    It's a case of serial sexual harassment: a dozen TV movies about women in jeopardy in the month of November alone. In NBC's "Deadly Medicine," a female pediatrician faces the loss of her practice, her family and her freedom when she's unjustly accused of murdering one of her infant patients. In ABC's "The Woman Who Sinned," a philandering housewife is falsely accused of bumping off her best friend, then chased around her house by the real killer. The messiest fate, however, awaits an innocent young dental hygienist in CBS's "In A Child's Name." She's beaten to death by her dentist husband, who tells the police-lying through his you-know-whats--that he caught her sexually abusing their baby. ...
  • Santa's Surly Toy Peddlers

    Ah, it's Christmas season in Toyland. And Santa Claus is peeking through the workshop window to make sure all his elves are laboring harmoniously together. But what's this? Santa is appalled right down to the tips of his pointy little boots. Two of his top distribution executives are behaving like a couple of Dickensian waifs fighting over the figgy pudding. Toys "R" Us chairman Charles Lazarus and Child World, Inc., chief W. John Devine are vying for a piece of Santa's dwindling profit-sharing plan with an aggressive new price-cutting campaign. Toys "R" Us, which in September said it would match its competitors' advertised prices, recently unveiled a catalog containing $173 worth of discount coupons. Two weeks ago Child World began offering to not only match the competition's price tags but to subtract 10 percent of the difference. The big price spat may force other big toy sellers like K mart and Wal-Mart to join in the price-cutting, bringing joy to strapped consumers. ...
  • A New Breed Of Retirement Community

    It's just after lunch and the Green Hills bus is filling up with riders. Vilas Morford, 91, sits near the front. Margaret Davidson, 84, takes a seat across the aisle. Then come Waldo and Katie Wegner, both 78, Bill Thompson, 82, Ruth Hamilton, 77, and Virjama Hamilton, 75. You might assume they were bound for a geriatric clinic, but you'd be wrong. It's a fall Saturday at a Big Eight university and that can only mean football. The Green Hills delegation is heading to watch their beloved Iowa State Cyclones take on the Oklahoma Sooners-and it's only the first campus-related activity of the day. Tonight, many of these folks will be back on the bus to take in an opera-Mozart's "Magic Flute"-at Iowa State's C.Y. Stephens auditorium. ...
  • Behind The Insults

    In the Middle East, statecraft often comes down to stagecraft. Never was that more obvious than at last week's peace conference at the sumptuous Royal Palace in Madrid. Laboring for months beforehand, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker had prepared one of the great diplomatic spectacles of the decade. The actors were well known. The text called for a catharsis as the characters met in public for the first time. The result, Baker hoped, would be an atmospheric change that would allow Arabs and Israelis to set aside ancient grievances and clear the way for substantive talks. It didn't quite work out as planned. Both Israel and Syria staked out hard-line positions and the next day fell into trading personal insults and charges of terrorism. Tempers rose in the hot, close confines of the Hall of Columns. "You can write any script you want," said one weary Baker aide, "but you can never be sure these guys are going to follow it." ...
  • The Knock In The Engine

    In Motown, the days are getting colder-and it's not just winter coming on. Car sales are in the tank, and the automakers complain that they're under siege from lawmakers who want cars that pollute less and guzzle less gas. Domestic automakers, battling both the recession and Japanese rivals, insist that their cars can't do both. "We're not whining about regulation per se," says Don Buist, Ford Motor Co.'s director of automotive emissions and fuel economy. "It's the way it's all coming together and hitting us." ...
  • Cloakrooms And Daggers

    HELP WANTED: Secretary-General, the United Nations. Salary: $190,000 per year. Benefits: enormous prestige, opportunities for travel. Responsibilities: flexible. Qualifications: international diplomat with friends in high places but no opinions that might offend the governments of the United States, Britain, France, China or the Soviet Union. Must speak French. Formal applications not encouraged; whispering campaigns will be considered, provided they do not breach boundaries of good taste. (The United Nations is an equal opportunity/affirmative-action employer.) ...