Newswire

Newswire

  • Adios, And Thanks For The Memories

    Beyond all the superstars, it was the thrill of rediscovering obscure events that reminded us why we still cherish the Olympics. While Vitaly Shcherbo of Minsk (center) swung effortlessly to a historic six gold medals in gymnastics, Heiko Balz of Germany wrestled a medal to the mat. Canoeists Joe Jacobi and Scoff Strausbaugh panned for gold in white water. Caren Kemner made her points with spikes. And Michael Matz proved again that some athletes are only as good as their partners.
  • Man Of The Year

    Last week was a quiet one for Gerald Levin, which in itself was probably worth celebrating. Has any other chief executive withstood such withering scrutiny in his initial few months on the job? First came a highly publicized New Yorker article, which portrayed the Time Warner co-CEO in part as a fumbling dealmaker and backstabbing opportunist. Around the same time, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ross went back into chemotherapy for prostate cancer, increasing the pressure on his handpicked heir. Then came reports that Time Warner's attempts to attract European investors to relieve its debt had bogged down. As if that weren't enough, Levin found himself under assault both inside and outside Time Warner for having defended "Cop Killer," Ice-T's murderous heavy-metal song. It all reached its nadir at last month's annual shareholders' meeting in Beverly Hills, Calif, when a dozen police officers castigated the company and accused the stoic Levin of being a "Sick" human being. ...
  • Between Two Worlds

    For most African-Americans, family history stretches back only to a dim place in the last century: the emergence from plantation slavery, or maybe an ancestor's arrival in the sweltering hold of a slave ship. But T. O. Madden Jr., an 89-year-old Virginia farmer, found his family's story intact one day when he opened a hidebound trunk in the attic of the Madden farmhouse. In it were letters, receipts, bills and official certificates dating back to the 1750s. With these, plus extensive research in archives and the help of historian Ann L. Miller, Madden constructed We Were Always Free (218 pages. Norton. $19.95), a rich, unusually well-documented narrative of an American black family. ...
  • Short Takes

    Real-estate mogul A. Alfred Taubman, hoping to reduce his firm's debts, is offering public shares in 19 of his malls. The question is whether potential investors, with the nation's real-estate crash still fresh in their minds, will be willing to pony up as much as $14.50 a share... Overheard at a seance: Last Wednesday in its "People" column, the daily Journal of Commerce had American Shipbuilding chief Paul Butcher announcing the resignation of Alan Nierenberg as president. The only problem: Butcher died on Sunday.
  • 'Dad, I'm Hiv Positive'

    Those words brought back memories of when I first heard bleak medical news about this same son, who is now 17 years old and has just graduated from high school. "He has hemophilia." I remember how this simple sentence floored me, how my way of being in the world with him changed completely. He was only a year and a half old then and a bit of a daredevil. But after this news, when we went out for a walk and he stumbled, I dove to the ground to cushion his fall. Slowly, we both learned that hemophilia is not the devastating, you-will-bleed-to-death sentence it had seemed at first. ...
  • Gender Olympics: We Shall Overcome

    Already, today's female Olympians are besting the performances of former male champions. Within a decade, they may even be directly competitive in some distance events. DATE DISTANCE Jackie Joyner-Kersee 1992 7.10 meters Bob Mathias 1952 6.98 meters Jim Thorpe 1912 6.79 meters DATE SPEED Janet Evans 1992 4:07.37 Michael Burton 1968 4:09.00 Johnny Weissmuller 1924 5:04.20
  • Down And Out

    For every triumph, there was also a poignant tale of disappointment. Muscles and tendons tore, luck vanished, favorites fell. The pain in Spain was all too plain. But if arms and legs sometimes flagged, hearts never quit. Picture of the week: A hobbled Derek Redmond finishing the 400 with the help of his father, Jim.
  • Bush: Back To Basics

    The last time Ray Price wrote a speech for a president, they ear was 1974, his boss was Richard Nixon and the topic at hand was resignation-Nixon's. Price evidently enjoys the close air of a political bunker. At 62, the New York author and PR man has come out of speechwriting retirement to craft George Bush's address to the Republican convention next week. GOP strategists and foot soldiers think the speech is make-or-break. "It has to have vision," says Connecticut Republican chairman Richard Foley. "Not a vision 'thing' or a vision mode,'but vision." ...
  • It's All Too Easy To Got Sucked Into War

    On the frontier between Italy and Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1953, dozens of American servicemen were killed, wounded or captured when Harry Truman's grunts and airmen exchanged shots with Tito's guerrillas. Perhaps the first KIA of the cold war in Europe was Pvt. Robert Shinn from my unit, killed in a partisan ambush. His death told me the cold war was real and the Yugoslavians were tough. In a half century of wandering around battlefields, I've never met fiercer fighters. They could easily suck the United States into a ground war-hook, line and body bag. ...
  • A Room With A Point Of View

    There are people who look at a bare window and see ... a bare window. And there are people who look at a bare window and see an opportunity for valances, draped swags and pelmets, Austrian blinds, Roman blinds, slatted blinds, roller blinds and mini-blinds. If you're one of the latter, PBS has a show for you: the new 13-part series "Decorating With Mary Gilliatt," which is running on stations around the country at various times this summer and fall. The show begins where "This Old House" leaves off-with bare walls aching for just the right touch of paint or paper-and PBS obviously hopes to capture "House" aficionados along with new-home buyers. ...
  • The Divine Sandra Takes It All Off

    "I'm gonna hang out my wares while they're firm, fresh and fun to look at," proclaims Sandra Bernhard, 37, in the September issue of Playboy. The sexually ambiguous comedian--erst while companion of Madonna-parades nude across a six-page spread, sometimes with a man, sometimes with a woman and once in a tangle of bodies that looks like human vermicelli. Suffering for her art, the newest Bunny even submitted to a full-body gold-paint job that required a team of five to remove. To accompany the photos, Bernhard wrote an assessment of her allure. "This sex-goddess stuff comes as second nature to me now." It is, of course, purely tongue in cheek.
  • Life And Death In The Camps

    They were living cadavers-silent men with jutting bones and terrified stares. Packed 600 to a stable that measured 230 feet long by 30 feet wide, they jumped to attention as one group at the bark of a prison officer when the commander of the Manjaca detention center in northern Bosnia escorted a reporter inside. Many of the inmates had recently arrived from nearby Omarska, a Serb-run prison camp that reportedly had held 11,000 Muslim and Croat prisoners-until the Western media exposed it as a place of starvation, torment and death. Few Manjaca inmates agreed to talk. One who did-in the presence of the commandant-was an emaciated Canadian who had fought on the side of the Croats. He lay on a cot in the camp's infirmary, covered in a hip-to-knee cast. What was his name? He couldn't remember how to spell his last name. How had he lost so much weight? In a shaky voice, he blamed it on hospital confinement-not starvation. As he turned his head, the reporter noticed that the man's left...
  • A Woodstock For Post-Punks

    The freak show was going in earnest on the second stage: the Torture King, Matt the Tube and Mr. Lifts, who hefted concrete blocks and metal weights with chains attached to his nipples and privates. On the fairgrounds, young capitalists we piercing ears and noses, and painting temporary tattoos on the flesh of all takers. The bar was pumping nonalcoholic "smart drinks" with names like "Orbit Juice" and "Quantum Punch," loaded with vitamins, amino acids and choline, promising to feed the brain and heighten awareness. A 10-foot-high gyroscope, approximating weightlessness, whirled its riders wildly around three axes at once. There was exotic ethnic food, voter registration and political pamphleteering, and an ACT-UP stand distributing free condoms. And on the main stage, Pearl Jam, an impassioned punkish band from Seattle, was thrashing out swirling, cathartic hard rock. Lollapalooza '92, the traveling concert event of the summer, was in full swing. And then, just as Pearl Jam lit...
  • The School For Scandal

    For generations, one of the attractions of New Hampshire's Phillips Exeter Academy has been the intimate learning environment, with no more than a dozen students in most classes. But now parents at the prestigious coed boarding school may worry about where that intimacy could lead. Last week a drama teacher was indicted on federal child-pornography charges after police raided his home. It took five officers six hours to cart away 650 videos, picture books and photographs from the apartment of Larry Lane Bateman, who had taught at Exeter since 1980. According to court papers, Bateman's tapes feature at least one former Exeter student, along with shots of a pupil Bate man taught at a Glen Head, N.Y., school in 1979. ...
  • Kids, Don't Try This At Home

    OK, kids, how about some "great storytelling reminiscent of the Gothic tales of yesteryear"? That's how Herb Scannell, senior vice president of programming at Nickelodeon, describes the new "spooky stories" show, "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" Yesteryear? No wonder it's such a stiff. In the first episode, two brothers-the younger one running on nerdiness, the older on contempt-get lost in the woods and take refuge in a cabin. Unfortunately, it's occupied by a menacing hermit who looks like Kenny Rogers dressed up as Dr. Demento. To escape, the boys must solve his riddle ... ...
  • The Old Man And The Wind

    The Son of the Wind lay back on his elbows by the track, watching Mike Powell run by him to jump into the Catalan night. He didn't turn to watch Powell fly out from the ground, only listened for the crowd to advise him if he could rise and accept his sixth individual gold medal. ...
  • Unleashing The Campaign Attack Dogs

    When President George Bush spoke by satellite hookup to Republicans in 27 states last month, he had more than a little help warming up his audience. Education Secretary Lamar Alexander spent the day in North Carolina tweaking the Clinton-Gore ticket. "Their accents are wrong for the North and their issues are wrong for the South," he said at a press conference in Raleigh. Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan was in Dallas for lunch with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. His message, according to talking points provided by the Bush-Quayle campaign, was that Bush "uniquely shares Hispanic values." In fact, no fewer than a dozen other administration appointees and congressional leaders-including Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan and U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills-were dropped into key states by Bush-Quayle strategists that day. ...
  • In The Cross Hairs

    Four months of steady bombardment have savaged Sarajevo and its people, and no one can say how or when it will end. Last week Serbian gunners in the hills surrounding the city unleashed one of their heaviest barrages yet on the city's central business district. Eventually the shattered masonry and glass will be hauled off and replaced. But the human scars, just as obvious, won't disappear so quickly. The spark has gone out of the eyes of the children; they seldom smile. A park near the city's main hospital has been turned into a cemetery. A thousand simple wooden crosses now stand there, and another round of funerals begins at 10 every morning-when the neighborhood isn't under fire. Enemy sharpshooters have turned the city's main highway crossing into a killing zone. Despite a handwritten sign warning BEWARE SNIPER, people desperately looking for food risk a dash across the street. Ducking for cover, dodging mortar fire-this is the way errands get done when you live in the cross...
  • When Is It Genocide?

    Would there have been such a furor over the war in Bosnia last week if New York Newsday had not used the phrase "death camps" in its front-page headline? Maybe not. The existence of miserable and murderous Serb-run camps for Muslim prisoners and deportees had at least been rumored for some time, and certainly the camps are not the only places in Bosnia where Serbs are killing and torturing people as part of their campaign of "ethnic cleansing." Yet in Western society there is something uniquely evocative, and politically potent, about the image of a concentration camp and the charge of genocide. The ghosts of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot flit through Western consciences. And once again the world is haunted by the vow "Never again." ...
  • Video Death

    A New York ex-con charged last week with slaying six women said he killed for the first time after renting a video-tape of "RoboCop," a violent thriller. True or not, there's more televised violence than ever before, according to a study in next week's TV Guide. During a random day (April 2, 1992) in one city (Washington), researchers counted 1,846 acts of TV violence. Children's cartoons are the most violent, the survey found, followed by movies, toy commercials and music videos. Serious acts (murder, assault) were more frequent than lesser types of mayhem. Overall, 20 percent of the violent acts involved guns.