Newswire

Newswire

  • Fear Of Fury

    After the riots following the Rodney King verdict, some Chicago leaders worry about a possible blowup over a longstanding police-brutality case. Police Commander Jon Burge and two detectives have twice been tried in civil court--and twice cleared--on charges that in 1982 they tortured a black man accused of murdering two of their colleagues on the force. Under pressure from community activists, the city reopened the case last fall. A hearing officer heard testimony in February and the Police Board is expected to rule early this summer.
  • A Sick World

    One in five-or more than 1 billion people-worldwide suffers from disease at a given time, according to a new report by the World Health Organization. And billions more are not actively sick but are infected with potential ailments, including: 2 billion with hepatitis B virus, 1.7 million with tuberculosis bacilli and 30 million to 40 million with the HIV virus. Of the 50 million deaths each year, 46.5 million are due to disease. Infectious and parasitic diseases are the main killers (17.5 million), followed by heart disease, stroke and other circulatory ailments (11 million) and cancer (5.1 million).
  • Germany's Chaotic Spring

    If there's one thing Germans hate, it's das Chaos. But suddenly, disorder is sweeping their reunified country. For the first time in almost 20 years, government worker unions went on strike throughout western Germany. The legendary German trains stopped running on time. In fact, most stopped running at all. So did buses and streetcars; mail went undelivered; garbage piled up on Stuttgart's tidy streets. Even Germany's counterespionage computers went dead for a day. Union leaders vowed das Chaos was just a taste of what would come if the government doesn't grant a 9.5 percent pay hike. ...
  • Cheaper And Cheaper Chic

    Mariuccia Mandelli needed something to wear in America-and what better than her own creations? On display in a New York showroom was MM by Krizia, the newest women's line from Mandelli's high-fashion Italian firm. "I'll take this," she said, pointing to a royal-blue silk blouse ($98) from the collection arriving in American department stores this fall. Asked why she would choose a $98 blouse from her lower-priced line when she could wear a $500 Italian silk creation from her designer collection, she replied, "Because I love a bargain." ...
  • A Custody Battle Over Old Bones

    In 1990, paleontologists rejoiced when they discovered a complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton in the high plains of South Dakota. The unearthing of "Sue" was followed this year by the nearby discovery of "Stan," another rare T-rex (PERISCOPE, May 4). Still, paleontology's hottest couple may not be able to live together. The ranch where Sue was found is inside the boundaries of the sprawling Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation-and the Sioux want Sue back from Hill City, S.D., where she is now being restored. ...
  • New Justice?

    If Harry Blackmun, 83, or one of the other Supreme Court justices steps down at the end of the term this summer, don't expect a successor on the court for opening day in October. Capitol Hill sources say Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Joseph Biden is considering postponing confirmation hearings until after November. Then, the sources say, if a Democrat wins the White House, Bush's nominee would be shelved and Senate Democrats would wait for a new appointment. Also, mindful of the Clarence Thomas fallout, Democrats want to avoid a political spectacle. "You can't get a fair process during the summer of an election year," says one.
  • The Word On The Street Is Heard In The Beat

    Anyone surprised by the outrage last week hasn't been listening to rap music. Rap and films like "Boyz N the Hood" have reported the tensions leading up to last week's rioting better than the news media. "Rap," says Chuck D of the group Public Enemy, "is Black America's TV station ... Black life doesn't get the total spectrum of information through anything else." ...
  • Coming Soon: Lo Monde De Wayne

    It's the ultimate challenge for translators: getting Europeans to understand the uniquely American dialogue of "Wayne's World." Right now, translators at United International Pictures are trying to do just that for French, Spanish and German audiences. Some samples: In French: "Ch'poing!" In Spanish: "Dooing!"In German: "Pull in on the [teeth] fillings."In Spanish: "An urge to vomit is entering me." In French: "It's time to purge."In German: "Each shot a hit."In Spanish: "Judgment Day is tomorrow."
  • Patti's Tossing A Piti Parti

    Patti Davis is the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. That's both her genealogy and her job. When her acting career stalled, after she appeared in a made-for-TV movie about male strippers, she took to marketing complaints about her family in books. Since B. Dalton has no Self-Pity section, the first three turned up in Fiction. "Home Front" (1986) was, according to its flap copy, an "autobiographical novel about growing up in the public eye." "Deadfall" (1989) described not only Patti's prose style but "how political conspiracy infects private lives." Last year's "A House of Secrets" told of "a woman coming to terms with her debilitating childhood in a ... successful but destructive family." ...
  • Taking A Lesson From Japan

    Picture this: in an elementary-school mathematic's class, children are drawing cubes. One boy is having trouble; although he's diligently copying the teacher's model, his cube still looks crooked. The teacher tells the boy to go to the blackboard and try again. He spends the rest of the class there, his work on display before all the other students. In an American school, a youngster subjected to such scrutiny might well burst into tears; the teacher would be considered harsh. But this was Japan, and the boy seemed unperturbed, says University of Michigan psychologist Harold W. Stevenson, one of the country's leading experts on Asian education. By the end of the class, the boy drew a decent cube and his classmates applauded. ...
  • Bypassing The Surgeon

    Two years ago, Ann Clement started talking to funeral directors about her husband, Pierre. His kidneys had failed, and his diseased coronary arteries were rapidly starving his heart. At 61, the Long Island gift-shop owner was too weak to walk, too frail to survive surgery. Only morphine made his chest pain bearable. "His condition was zero," Mrs. Clement recalls. "The doctors told us he was going to deteriorate and die." ...
  • Breast Cancer: The Ounce Of Prevention?

    In the battle against breast cancer, no weapon is used more widely than tamoxifen. Studies suggest that, besides fighting tumors, the estrogen-blocking drug can help prevent malignancies in a patient's unaffected breast. That finding raises a tantalizing question: could tamoxifen help healthy women avoid breast cancer altogether? Last week federal officials launched a huge new study to find out. Over the next five years some 16,000 volunteers-women whose age, family history or medical history place them at high risk for breast cancer-will receive either tamoxifen or a placebo. If those taking the drug suffer lower cancer rates than the control group, tamoxifen therapy could become commonplace for millions of healthy women. ...
  • A Royal Return

    It was as if the Bolsheviks never existed. The body of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov, 74, the great-grandson of Russia's last czar, was returned from Florida to St. Petersburg for an extravagant funeral at St. Isaac's Cathedral. Boris Yeltsin and St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak personally approved the lifelong exile's burial in a family vault, not far from the graves of his forebears Peter the Great and Alexander II.
  • Tv And The 'Firebell'

    A fire needs oxygen. From the very beginning, the oxygen that has given life to the Rodney King story is television. The videotape of the beating immediately became one of the half-dozen most widely watched TV clips in the entire history of the medium, right up there with Ruby shooting Oswald and the Challenger explosion. The trial-and trial by media-that resulted was essentially about that videotape. TV images of the mayhem in L.A., particularly the truck driver being savagely beaten, depressingly mirrored the original video and conveyed the madness to the rest of the world. And the aftermath will be shaped in part by how television responds to the problem of race in America--that "firebell in the night," as Thomas Jefferson called it. ...
  • What's The Beef?

    Is it a case of extortion-or anti-Americanism? A note left in the parking lot of McDonald's Taipei headquarters warned that a bomb had been planted at one of its restaurants-and demanded $24,000. A policeman found the bomb and died while trying to remove it; the next day two McDonald's employees were critically injured when they poked at another bomb with a bamboo pole. McDonald's then shut down all 57 restaurants in Taiwan.
  • Daryl Gates: 'We Are Not The Enemy'

    From "Chief: My Life in the LAPD," by Daryl F. Gates with Diane K. Shah, copyright 1992 by Daryl F. Gates, to be published by Bantam Books. ...
  • How To Succeed In The Art Biz

    Running a museum used to be the ultimate gentleman's profession; it took taste, polish and a passion for connoisseurship. Then things got grubby: museum directors started worrying more about balance sheets than provenances and spent more time wooing money out of politicians than heirlooms out of dowagers. But that era didn't completely vanish until last week, when the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C., named a successor to J. Carter Brown, the New England blue blood who'd been director for nearly 23 years. ...
  • The Haunting Of American Express

    If books could kill, James D. Robinson HI would be long gone by now. The courtly chief executive of American Express Co., once the darling of the business press, has suddenly become its favorite villain. In March came House of Cards: Inside the Troubled Empire of American Express (272 pages. G.P. Putnam's Sons. $24.95), a compendium of managerial incompetence, vicious backbiting and botched opportunity at the financial-services giant, by Business Week writers Jon Friedman and John Meehan. Then, on the day of AmEx's annual meeting last week, up popped Vendetta: American Express and the Smearing of Edmond Safra (494 pages. HarperCollins. $25), in which Wall Street Journal reporter Bryan Burrough all but accuses Robinson of approving a dirty-tricks campaign against Safra, a financier and onetime colleague. An excerpt from the book in the Journal that morning prompted Robinson to open the meeting with a denial. "Let me state for the record," he told shareholders, "I was not aware of,...
  • Show Me The Way To Rio

    Rarely have so many agonized so much over a simple invitation. For months White House advisers have been wrangling over whether President George Bush should attend the Earth Summit--officially dubbed the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development-next month in Rio de Janeiro. Envisioned as a sort of Bretton Woods of the environment, the two-week meeting may draw as many as 50,000 delegates from 160 nations. What do they hope to accomplish? For one, organizers expect that delegates will approve the Rio Declaration, a nonbinding embrace of environmental principles. Specific issues will be addressed as well. "Agenda 21" would recommend that countries take action on environmental concerns from polluted fisheries to overpopulation; a climate treaty would control the gases that cause global warming; a biodiversity agreement would attempt to halt the loss of plant and animal species. ...
  • Get The Hook

    For Hindenburg fans: the upcoming soundtrack to "Hick & Nora," which died after just nine shows... For the egocentrist who has everything: "Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self" by Elan Golomb, Ph.D. She is, the jacket copy reads, "herself the child of a narcissist:'