Newswire

Newswire

  • 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."
  • A Rare Bird Bows Out

    In a close race, when a jockey drives his mount, he puts up the whip, lies far up on the neck and urges the horse on that way, trying as much as possible to meld with the animal, to drive him by joining with him. A hand ride is what it's called. And that is the image I always had of Larry Bird playing basketball. However much he might dominate a game, even overwhelm it at times, however much he might beautify basketball or wring from it shocks and surprises, the sense I always most had was of him hand-riding the sport, blending with basketball, so they could get the most out of it, together. ...
  • The Value Of College

    Few ideas are more entrenched in the American popular consciousness than the value of a college education. It's the key to success. By and large, economists agree: college graduates earn much more than high-school graduates, and the gap widened in the 1980s. The conclusions seem obvious. Stay in school. In a high-tech world-with specialized skills in acute shortage-we'd all be better off if more Americans went to college. ...
  • Not A Lot Of Texas

    To qualify as a legal resident of Texas, which has no personal-income tax, George Bush owns a tiny vacant lot in the fashionable Tanglewood section of Houston in addition to his rented hotel suite. On the eve of the GOP convention, the Independent Committee for Ethics, a largely Democratic group, will stage a media event to call attention to what it sees as Bush's bogus tax status. Among the activities: a mock sale of 50,000 square inches of a Bush neighbor's yard, one inch to a customer.
  • How Quayle Stayed On The Ticket-Campaign '

    Dan Quayle is standing in the aisle of Air Force Two, dressed for church. A slight paunch bulges under his starched white shirt; he is 45 years old now, and the golf game can't quite hold off the banquet circuit. This Sunday morning, he will attend a service at Briarwood Presbyterian in Birmingham, Ala., then court the down-market half of the Bubba vote in nearby Talladega, where he'll be honorary starter at the Die Hard 500 stock-car race. He's looking forward to it. "I've attended Indianapolis 500s since 1962," he says, ever the proud Hoosier. "That's Formula One, not stock car, but the idea is the same. You don't want to hit the wall. That's how you get killed. They tell me it's better to keep rolling, over and over, on the track. It looks awful, but you're more likely to survive that way." ...
  • The Mao Jones Industrial Average?

    Mao always said that capitalism was dangerous-but this probably wasn't what he had in mind. Last week,a million would-be Chinese investors converged in Shenzhen to grab up a new issue of stocks at one of the country's two nascent stock markets. When lottery applications for the stocks ran out, enthusiasm turned to fury. Riots erupted: hundreds of people were injured, and two were reported crushed to death.
  • A National Park Cries Wolf

    Deep in the Yellowstone backcountry, where grasslands and sagebrush unroll like a shag carpet toward the northern Rockies, a towering male grizzly bear and a hulking female tore into a bison carcass one morning earlier this month. Beside them, two cubs scampered around, trying to get a better fix on the possible leftovers. A few feet away, a coyote with an already distended belly gorged itself on a second bison, while dozens of ravens zipped in for occasional morsels. Just another dawn in America's first national park--with one big, black-haired, yellow-eyed, long-legged, large-pawed difference. Beside the coyote and grizzlies stood what looked for all the world like Canis lupus-a graywolf. ...