Newswire

Newswire

  • Haven't We Done This Before?

    After months of bluff and counter-bluff, George Bush's second armed showdown with Saddam Hussein is scheduled to begin this week. The United States, Britain and France will notify the Iraqi leader that his warplanes may be shot down if they fly south of the 32nd parallel, over Iraqi territory inhabited by rebellious Shiite Muslims. Some Pentagon planners call it the "688 Strategy," after a United Nations Security Council resolution that prohibits Saddam from repressing his own civilian population. The campaign to defend the Shiites entails steep political and military risks, both for Bush and the resilient dictator in Baghdad. ...
  • Chicago Is Talking ...

    About a TV commercial that compares black gangs to the Ku Klux Klan. The slick public-service announcement, produced by an ad agency in the integrated suburb of Evanston, Ill., opens with a Nazi skinhead's salute and a voice-over: "If they were giving medals for killing black people, this guy would win the bronze." A KKK member gets the silver, while the gold goes to a gangbanger. The ad has been shown only on the local news, but it's already caused a stir in the black community; many think the ad--intended to highlight the epidemic of black-on-black crime--exploits racial stereotypes.
  • Eyes On The Prize

    It's known as working the room. There's the smile, the extended hand, a few warm words and you're outta there. But for the GOP's '96 hopefuls, working the party in Houston was more than a social obligation. Each fleeting encounter was a chance to look presidential and send the faithful home with something to remember. "I can only hold my stomach in so long," gasped Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp as he took turns posing in a hotel lobby with delegates. Wooing Northern allies, Texas Sen. Phil Gramm was said to have offered the '96 vice presidency to at least two governors. On the floor of the Astrodome, Marilyn Quayle's sisters buttonholed key delegates and escorted them to the vice president's private suite. Moments after pro-choice forces gave up tryin to force a floor fight Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, sporting a PRO BUSH, PRO CHOICE button, sought out right-to-life activist Phyllis Schlafly. "I wanted to see if she would shake my hand," said Weld. She did,...
  • Soon-Yi Speaks: 'Let's Not Get Hysterical'

    In the cacophony of dueling acrimonies rising from the Woody-Mia imbroglio, the one crucially silent voice thus far has been that of the young woman at the heart of the storm, Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, Mia's Korean-born adopted daughter who has become the new love in Woody Allen's life. In the following statement given to NEWSWEEK by Allen's publicist, Soon-Yi finally speaks out for herself ...
  • A Feast Of Hate And Fear

    After the first night of the Republican convention, Murray Kempton, the venerable grouch and newspaper columnist, said, "I don't mind the four more years. It's the three more days that is more than I can stand." The Republican convention was sour, mean and dull. ...
  • Off The Beaten Track

    Andrew Bergman may not be a household word, but to those who are keyed into his lunatic sense of humor, the arrival of any new Bergman movie is a major comic event. This is the guy who wrote and directed "The Freshman" (Marlon Brando in a priceless sendup of his "Godfather" role), scripted the hilarious "The In-Laws," coauthored "Soapdish" and came up with the story for Mel Brooks's "Blazing Saddles." His latest japery, the sweetly cuckoo Honeymoon in Vegas, is the most pleasing comedy of the summer. ...
  • Shelter-On The Cheap

    Walter Feuchs's pet project became monologue fodder for "The Tonight Show" last week. "Imagine that! A house made out of Styrofoam," extolled the show's host, Jay Leno. "And the best feature is ... your coffee never gets cold!" ...
  • Ross Perot's New Tease

    The volunteers' lounge, with the free vending machines and big-screen TV, was deserted at mid-afternoon. Down the hall, the phone bank that once took toll-free calls for Ross Perot 24 hours a day is gone, turned back into another carpeted prairie of vacant north Dallas office space. Those keeping the flame now work from a smaller room once used for press briefings. They staff 12 lines, 9 to 5, weekdays. A sign proclaims that THE SECOND WAVE HAS BEGUN. Tanya Altmyer, a Perotian since March, believes The Return is inevitable. "I don't think people are going to let him go away," she says. ...
  • The Lesson Of Salem

    They came for Martha Carrier at the end of May. There was plenty of evidence against her: Allen Toothaker testified that several of his cattle had suffered "strange deaths" soon after he and Carrier had an argument, and little Phoebe Chandler said that shortly before being stricken with terrible pains, she had heard Carrier's voice telling her she was going to be poisoned. Even Carrier's children spoke against her: they confessed that they, too, were witches and that it was their mother who had converted them to evil. (Their statements were not introduced in court, however-perhaps because two of her sons had to be tied up until they bled from the mouth before they would confess. A small daughter spoke more freely; she told officials that her mother was a black cat.) Most damning of all was the evidence offered by half a dozen adolescent girls, who accused Carrier of tormenting them and who fell into writhing fits as she stood before the magistrate. They shrieked that they had seen...
  • 'But She's Not Part Of My Family'

    Amid a bombardment of tabloid missiles and an outpouring of accusations and counter accusations, Woody Allen met with NEWSWEEK Senior Editor Jack Kroll for three and a half hours in his spacious Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment. There, in a comfortable clutter of books, papers and pictures, he gave his account of his relationship with Mia Farrow, with her children and his, with Soon-Yi, and responded to the accusations of abuse of his adopted daughter Dylan. Excerpts: ...
  • The Buck Stops There

    We knew Harry Truman, Harry Truman was a friend of... And Harry Truman would punch the guy who tried to flog that line one more time. But before scrapping it entirely, Vi let's be clear: George Bush really is no Harry Truman. While Truman lambasted Congress, the one thing ever schoolchild knows (or should know) about him is the old sign on his desk, THE BUCK STOPS HERE. The tag team of young aides who wrote Bush's speech somehow forgot to put that one in. ...
  • Family Matters

    The Population Reference Bureau will release a report this week titled "New Realities of the American Family." It predicts that family life in the 1990s "will be marked by its diversity." Some of the survey's findings: One in four babies is now born to an unmarried mother, compared with one in 10 in 1970.About half of all children today will spend some part of their childhood in a single-parent home.Over half of all mothers with preschool-age kids were in the labor force in 1991, compared with one in five in 1960.Women are just as likely to be full-or part-time workers as full-time homemakers.
  • A Glitch In The Gospel

    In one of Gore Vidal's 1991 Harvard lectures on film, history and himself, now published as Screening History (96 pages. Harvard. $14.95), he claims his "Seventh or so cousin" Al Gore once stayed away from a family reunion to dodge him. If that's true, the vice presidential candidate may be doubly glad when the Family Values Police discover Cousin Gore's Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal (225 pages. Random House. $22). In this, Vidal's 23d and most outrageous novel, Saint Paul is a tap-dancing homosexual and Saint Timothy, the narrator, is his well-endowed but reluctant bedmate (later sodomized by Nero, despite his protests that he's strictly a "top"). Here's our first glimpse of another apostle: "I sat up and loosened my tunic to hide my youthful tumescence. Before me stood ... the Rock, himself, also known as Simple Simon Peter. 'Hi there, Tim! ... Looks from here like you was dreaming of Marianne Williamson'." Shirley MacLaine, Oral Roberts and Mary Baker...
  • Will Kosovo Be Next?

    The way some Serbs in Kosovo see it, Qefsere Uka committed a political act last week. The 27-year-old ethnic Albanian gave birth to a son and named him Granit, because, she says, "I want him to be strong." Granit's father was fired from his job at a wood-processing plant last year after refusing to sign a loyalty oath to the government of Serbia. Qefsere, who is also unemployed, could have used the free state maternity hospital in Pristina, capital of the southern Serbian province of Kosovo. Instead, her extended family chipped in a month's income of $14 so that Granit could be born in a private, Albanian-run maternity clinic. "It's safer for us here," says Qefsere, cradling her newborn son as she lies on a cot in the grimy clinic in Pristina's poorest neighborhood. "At the [state] hospital, they put Albanian baby boys in the garbage can." ...
  • Who Gets Credit?

    To nobody's surprise-it had been foreshadowed in a much-admired speech of resigning Secretary of State James Baker a week before-George Bush on acceptance night made much of the overthrow of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe on his watch. He took a lot of credit for it. The theory his friends and advisers were pushing in Houston had been that Bush's preoccupation with bringing about the liberation of these people, with the subsequent diminution of the nuclear threat, could serve as a justification for his alleged first-term inability to focus on the domestic economy. ...
  • Fergie Plays Footsie

    Definitely a Kodak moment: bare-breasted Fergie and her "financial adviser," Texan John Bryan, frolicking in St. Tropez with her two daughters. A scathing Buckingham Palace statement made it clear that the in-laws were not amused when the pictures turned up in British tabs. In one shot, Bryan nuzzles Fergie's foot; in another, she tries to hide her naked upper stories. Vacation photos have been bad news for Fergie before. She and Prince Andrew separated in March after the discovery of photos of her and Texas oil tycoon Steve Wyatt relaxing together. Maybe she should just send postcards.
  • Tales From The Self-Help Mill

    Most literary writers, I have it on good authority, are required to do something else besides write deathless prose in order to keep life and limb together. I myself would have become a waitress-or, better yet, a cocktail waitress-- as such a job would have afforded me rich glimpses of life while paying the rent. Unfortunately, I am incapable of carrying even a cup of coffee without sloshing half of it into the saucer, and I cringe to think what I would do to a trayful of martinis and Bloody Marys. So, by default, after I paid a couple of months' rent and went to Safeway twice on the proceeds from my first novel, I found a half-time job as an editor. Not just any sort of editor, mind you. Mine is the exalted title of acquisitions editor for a small company that specializes in the publication of self-help psychology books. ...
  • Blindsided By The Future

    On the streets of Boston, they're calling it Black Tuesday. The same day that basketball legend Larry Bird said he would end his career with the Boston Celtics, computer giant Wang Laboratories announced it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and lay off 5,000 of its 13,000 workers. In many ways, it seemed fitting that the Lowell, Mass.-based Wang, once a heroic player in the computer industry, bowed out during the same 24-hour period as Boston's beloved hoopster. Like Bird, the 41-year-old industry icon was an old-timer crippled by past injuries that had failed to heal; a pain-racked veteran, it could no longer compete in a world filled with fast-moving rookies. Calling the bankruptcy "a drastic step that I deeply regret," chairman Richard W. Miller said the company, which will continue to operate, had simply "run out of resources." ...
  • Little Lies And Big Whoppers

    The whole week was double-ply, wall-to-wall ugly. The tone was set early on. "We are America," Rich Bond, the Republican National Committee chairman, told NBC. "These other people are not America." This, of course, has been the battle cry of bigots since the founding of the republic-and a leading indicator of political catastrophe. ...
  • Welcome To Burger Heaven

    Some people will do anything to satisfy their spiritual hunger. Take the holy men of England's Salisbury Cathedral, who have signed a sponsorship deal with that decidedly secular body: McDonald's. For two months all cathedral visitors will receive a scroll filled with history about the building. The tape securing the scroll doubles as a voucher promising a free Big Mac or McChicken sandwich for every one bought. The cathedral will get a share of the profits. A cathedral spokesman says someone has to pay the $6,000 a day it takes to run the building. "If we have to indulge in a bit of honest commerce to make ends meet," he argues, "then I say amen to that."