Newswire

Newswire

  • Europe In Pieces

    The marriage wasn't even consummated-and suddenly they were talking divorce. Just yesterday, it seemed, the countries of Western Europe were poised to put aside centuries of war and conflict to join in a full-scale economic and political union' The much-touted single market of "1992" was to lead inexorably toward a common " Eurocurrency" by the year 2000. But last week those carefully laid plans abruptly collapsed in a hail of soaring interest rates, plummeting currencies and angry finger-pointing. So chaotic and far-reaching was the crisis that, for one week at least, it pushed even the British royals off the front pages of Europe's tabloids. As markets from London to Lisbon went wild, Italy's daily La Repubblica summed it all up in a headline: EUROPE GOES To PIECES. ...
  • Tuna Melt

    Ever Wonder what high-priced public-relations advice gets you? For the folks at Bumble Bee tuna, it's the idea of a "tuna bakeoff " between George Bush and Bill Clinton similar to the cookie contest between Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton. According to White House sources, a PR rep from Hill and Knowlton, which handles the Bumble Bee account, called the White House several times last week requesting the president's favorite tuna recipe for a bipartisan bakeoff with Clinton. The White House declined, not wanting its candidate to appear as anything less than presidential. No word yet from the Clinton camp.
  • You Gotta Be A Football Hero

    Dexter Manley. A perfect name for a football hero in a Horatio Alger story. DEXTER: clearly a bright youth enamored of learning. MANLEY: obviously an athlete of wholesome strength, chivalrous to friend and foe. Nah. The real Dexter Manley is a troubled guy who somehow got through grade school, high school and college without learning to read and write. He became a fearsome 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end for the Washington Redskins, a carnivore of quarterbacks and a drug abuser who snorted cocaine and got mouth-foaming stoned on megadoses of Sudafed cold medicine. His 11-year NFL career ended in 1991, after he tested positive for drugs for the fourth time. Dexter Manley is also a fellow of sensitivity and charm whose new book, Educating Dexter (358 pages. Rutledge Hill Press. $19.95), written with sportswriter Tom Friend, is as candid and bloodcurdling an inside look American sports culture as any athlete has produced. ...
  • 'The Road Of Conflict Is Folly'

    President F. W. de Klerk was elected by white South Africans three years ago and pledged to scrap apartheid. He freed African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela and opened formal talks with him and other black figures aimed at giving blacks the vote. International sanctions fell away, but violence between rival black groups escalated. Then the constitutional talks bogged down this year, with the ANC charging that de Klerk wants a veto for whites. In June, the ANC turned to a "mass action" campaign, which led to a massacre this month as ANC protesters tried to occupy Bisho, capital of the nominally independent black "homeland" of Ciskei. Now the ANC has signaled its willingness to go back to the bargaining table. political tumult last week, columnist Lally Weymouth interviewed South Africa's president for NEWSWEEK and The Washington Post. Excerpts: ...
  • Failing Economics

    It was the Golden Dream in the Golden State: opening college doors to all Californians. The state's 32-year-old Master Plan of Higher Education has lived up to its pledge, creating a three-tier system that is a world model. The flagship University of California has nine campuses, including Berkeley and UCLA, with 167,000 students from the top of their high school classes. California State University serves 362,000 students at 20 campuses from Chico to San Diego. The 107 community colleges are a vital entry point for a wide range of students, from welfare mothers to laid-off workers. ...
  • The Truth About Deficits

    Sen. Warren Rudman, Republican of New Hampshire, and former senator Paul Tsongas last week announced the formation of the Concord Coalition, which they hope will build a popular movement to curb federal budget deficits. Good luck. The budget should be balanced, and in that spirit, I will now tell you everything you always wanted to know about deficits but were afraid to ask, Here's the hardest truth: ending the deficits won't necessarily do us much immediate good. ...
  • The Most Beautiful Show In The World

    The contemporary art world has all but banished pleasure from its agenda. If a painting happens to be beautiful, it's considered stylistically retrograde at best, politically oppressive at worst. Color-breathtaking contrasts of Mediterranean blues and luscious, tomatoey reds-isn't worth deconstructivist diddly these days, unless it signifies undeserved privilege or somebody's blood. Which is not to say that art should be only, in Henri Matisse's infamous phrase, "a good armchair" for the tired businessman. It's just that if the tired businessman, or practically anyone else, goes into a gallery these days, he's expected to stand on a concrete floor amid some rearranged industrial detritus, and read a tedious wall text that scolds the hell out of him. In these straits, we desperately need a big shot of Matisse. There hasn't been a retrospective exhibition of his work anywhere in the world for more than 20 years. ...
  • No Time For Schmoozing

    Foreign leaders attending the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week requested private meetings with President Bush, as usual. But this year they're hedging their bets. NEWSWEEK has learned that foreign ministers from more than a dozen countries, including some of America's leading allies, also asked to see Bill Clinton. "Three months ago, we didn't imagine that President Bush could lose," said a Western diplomat. "But now we have to be practical." ...
  • Buzzwords

    With the new school year comes new campus lingo: Good-looking male or female; also, biscuit: a very good-looking guy. Usage: "Look at John in his tux. He's such a biscuit."A rather indiscriminate dating technique.Someone who wears Birkenstocks, no makeup and is into nature.An excessive amount of anything, as in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Usage: " I've been studying for my midterm 24-7."Desk clutter that should have been disposed of at the beginning of the semester but keeps piling up.
  • Bush: Praying For Rain

    There aren't many places left where he can go. There aren't many things that he can say. George Bush has spent the past few weeks roaming the periphery of America, in search of a theme that resonates. He has difficulty drawing crowds except in obscure outposts where presidents are spotted less frequently than extraterrestrials. He has difficulty inspiring those who come to hear him, even the Republican faithful. He seems to have accepted his fate as a lesser player, a historical bystander. At a perfunctory rally in the Republican heartland of southern California, he acknowledged Ronald Reagan's presence on the stage and said that but for the 22nd Amendment, Reagan "now be well into the 12th year of his presidency and I'd be to some funeral halfway around the world." ...
  • Hollywood Is Talking ...

    About Michael Medved's attack on its character. In his forthcoming book, "Hollywood v. America: Popular Culture and the War Against Traditional Values," the film critic and former screenwriter takes a page from George Bush and argues that today's films run counter to mainstream America. Medved claims Oscars are given mostly to movies that "show the dark side of society." While MPAA president Jack Valenti has called Medved "singularly uninformed," a few studio heads have echoed the call for more "family oriented" films. Many insiders say the book will make it tougher for Medved to work in Hollywood.
  • Stumbling Blocks On The Draft

    At Bill Clinton's headquarters in Little Rock, Ark., James Carville is in full cry: a piercing whine of programmed disgust. As strategist and chief of "rapid response," he's denouncing the national press corps's "fixation" on Clinton's draft record during Vietnam. "It's 'gotcha' journalism," he says, a game for dimestore "conspiracy theorists," a beside-the-point pastime for Washington elitists who know nothing about real concerns. "The only people who care about this," he shouts, "are pundits on 'hot air' shows who don't see poor people or know anyone who is unemployed!" ...
  • Dr. Lee To The Rescue

    George Bush's penchant for personal diplomacy took a new turn this summer. NEWSWEEK has learned that in late August, after a phone conversation with Russian President Boris Yeltsin during which Yeltsin worried aloud about the medical care his mother was receiving for a heart condition, Bush secretly dispatched his physician, Dr. Burton Lee, to the rescue. Lee was vacationing on Martha's Vineyard at the time. Undeterred, Bush sent an air-force jet to the sleepy Massachusetts island in the early hours of the morning to pick up Lee and whisk him to Moscow. After examining Mrs. Yeltsin, Lee offered specific medical advice to her physicians, White House sources say. He spoke briefly to Yeltsin, the sources say, then jetted back to the cape. Earlier this year, the sources say, Bush considered sending Lee to Eastern Europe because of complaints from leaders about the quality of medical care there.
  • Baseball's Woes--And Ours

    If you like major league baseball, you had better take yourself out to the ballpark this month. You may not get back there until 1994. At 28 parks, 1993 may be a silent spring. And summer, and fall. There are 28 teams, counting the new Miami and Denver expansion franchises. Those two may participate in a lockout of players (they do not yet have any) before they play their first game. ...
  • A Confederacy Of Glitches

    When Charles Hayes bid $45 for two truckloads of used government computer equipment in June 1990, he knew he was getting a lot for his money. He didn't know how much, though, until the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lexington, Ky., called in a panic. The computers' storage devices held lists of confidential informants compiled by the U.S. Justice Department for federal criminal investigations. The computers also contained the names of people in the federal witness-protection program, people whose lives depend on their whereabouts not falling into the wrong hands. By the time the Justice Department attorneys called, Hayes had already sold the computers again. It seems the government computer technician who prepared the machines for sale tried to scramble all the files using a magnet that was too weak. Did Hayes, a used-computer broker in Nancy, Ky., read the top-secret names? "I had the equipment for a month," he says. "What do you think?" ...
  • Horror Story Or Big Hoax?

    One day last winter, a 17-year-old girl sat down at a computer and began to type. She had an estimated IQ of 20 and the mental capacity of a 2-year-old, but she seemed to have made remarkable progress since her parents enrolled her at the Institute of Logopedics in Wichita, Kans., in January. Although she had never been taught to read, soon after she arrived she typed a letter saying, "I love you Mommy and Daddy." But then there was a darker note, announcing that her parents couldn't possibly love her since they had sent her away to school. Finally, last June 26, came a shocking accusation: in perfectly spelled pornographic terms, the Oklahoma adolescent typed out that her mother had sexually abused her. "My mother f---- me with a dildo," she typed. ...
  • What's New, Copycat?

    There's a recession on, fellas. People aren't buying, but we're expected to sell." A character named Brian Conover, the president of a conglomerate called Leisure-Tronics, utters that line in CBS's intelligent new series "The Middle Ages," about a group of appliance salesmen faced with a corporate takeover. The line is fiction-but it's a sentiment with which network TV honchos can identify. The Big Three's audience share has been shrinking, Fox's keeps surging. What's a major broadcaster to do? Sell those comfortable old appliances or bet on a sleek, new product line? ...
  • Peri Picks

    Goodbye, pinstripes and pearls. George Bush and Bill Clinton have set out in search of Real America-and they're dressing the part. So are those close to them, for better or for worse. As Election Day approaches, these folks are likely to show up in anything. PERI rates the players in what has become the Cotton Dockers Campaign: ...
  • The Games People Play

    The techno-wizard heroes in Sneakers aren't the dirty dozen, or the magnificent seven, but this winning team of brainy misfits deserves a moniker, so we'll call them the Farfetched Five. Led by Robert Redford, as a former '60s radical long gone underground, the multigenerational group includes a politically paranoid breaking-and-entering expert named Mother (Dan Aykroyd), a former CIA man bounced from the Company (Sidney Poitier), a 19-year-old computer whiz kid (River Phoenix) and a blind audio expert named Whistler (scene-stealer David Strathairn). Hired by companies to test their security systems (by breaking into them), these five guys with shady pasts are blackmailed by the National Security Agency into embarking on a high-risk, topsecret operation. Their mission impossible: to steal a little black box that has the capacity to break all the secret codes in the government's computer banks. Just the kind of little black box that people will kill for. ...