Newswire

Newswire

  • You Gotta Pay Respect

    There were tears in Abbey Lincoln's eyes a few weeks back as she recited the names from a Brooklyn concert stage: Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, peers no longer around. It was a queer moment, sad but also triumphant. With the passing of so many great jazz musicians and the growth of her own talent, Lincoln, at 61, now occupies a position she has never held before. After 35 years of lustrous life on the margins-as a cover girl, supper-club singer, actress, activist and cultural icon-Lincoln has become a recognized great jazz singer. ...
  • The Newest War

    The American-led battle to oust Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait is an increasingly distant memory. U.S. troops may soon be airlifting food to another crumbling former foe, the Soviet Union. But the U.S. military is still at war-against the drug lords of Latin America. On the waters of the Caribbean Sea, ships and AWACS planes of the Navy's Atlantic Command search for drug planes and boats, while a military radar aerostat balloon hovers above. In the desert Southwest, Marines and Army Special Forces soldiers burrow into "hide sites," peering at drug smugglers through night-vision goggles. Along the GulfCoast, Navy SEALs probe ships for cocaine shipments riveted to their hulls. In South America, American trainers mold Latin armies into narco-fighting form. ...
  • Remodeling The Slopes

    The French Alps offered a holiday weekend from hell just days before Christmas. For 24 miserable hours, cars backed up--and piled up--in sclerotic masses clogging the narrow mountain valleys. Trains, too, failed to move. Avalanches thundered, killing one person and injuring more than a dozen others and seriously damaging a small hotel at Val d'Isere. Thousands of hapless merrymakers were forced to sleep on cots far from their pricey, unreachable rooms at some of the Alps' most famous ski resorts. ...
  • A Booming Grass-Roots Business

    It is dusk in Villa 14 de Septiembre, a village at the dark heart of Bolivia's Chapare jungle. As clouds roll in, a Ford Bronco pulls up outside the local market. Within moments, a crowd of cocaine traffickers pounces on the driver, who is wrestling with his load: two 50-pound bags of coca leaves. The buyers grab handfuls of leaves to taste, then stuff the man's pockets with bills in an attempt to preempt the competition. It's a good batch of leaves, and the local narcos know that the coming rainstorm will bump up the price. With the first raindrops, the seller finally accepts a wad of bills: $70 for the two bags, $60 more than the same load would have fetched a year ago. ...
  • Talking To God

    For More And More Americans, Worship Services Are No Longer Enough. They Want The Intimate Contact Of Personal Prayer.
  • The Making Of A Miracle

    My 3-year-old son started preschool this fall. Soon after, he started riding the bus. Significant but routine events in the life of an American child-unless the child has, as my son does, cerebral palsy. ...
  • The End

    Tyranny is most vulnerable when it tries to reform. For seven decades, the Soviet Union preserved itself entirely by force. Lenin used it implacably. Stalin was even more ruthless; he killed perhaps 20 million of his own people, and for most of his long reign, his control was never threatened. Nikita Khrushchev loosened the chains a bit, and hard-liners deposed him for "hare-brained schemes." When years of stagnation made change a do-or-die necessity, Mikhail Gorbachev tried to save the Soviet system by making it more humane and more efficient. But the forces of reform soon got out of hand and overwhelmed him, bringing down both the party and the state. ...
  • Mcpherson's Bleak House

    is a play about dying, and it's often very funny. Seriously. The funniest scene is the first-a scene, believe it or not, in which a hilariously inept doctor, who's got neither bedside manner nor the humblest skills, tries to draw blood from Bessie, a patient with ominous symptoms. From that early moment, we know to be grateful for a few big, rolling laughs, already anxious ourselves over those blood-test results. This is a doctor who makes us laugh despite the transparent way he offers reassurance, like a pilot who calmly drawls on the intercom that it's getting a little bumpy while the plane pitches and bucks all over eternity.In Scott McPherson's new play at Playwrights Horizons in New York, test results are never good news. Bessie (Laura Esterman), 40 years old and single, isn't exhausted just because she's spent most of her life caring for her father, a bedridden stroke victim who can't speak and whore only pleasure is seeing the bobbing patterns of light made by flicking a...
  • Consider The Alternatives

    Andrei Konchalovsky's fascinating, misshapen film looks at Stalin's reign of terror through the eyes of a naive pawn, Ivan Sanshin (Tom Hulce), who worshipfully served the leader as his personal projectionist. Instead of piling on the Stalinist horrors, the director shows how the willful innocence of the Russian people aided and abetted the system's evil. The public scenes, shot inside the Kremlin, depicting the deceptively avuncular Stalin (Alexandre Zbruev) and the charming, lethal KGB head Beria (Bob Hoskins), bristle with tension. Unfortunately, the domestic drama between Ivan and his wife, Anastasia (Lolita Davidovich), isn't nearly as compelling as the Kremlin scenes, and the tale's considerable power dissipates in its final quarter. But Konchalovsky has hold of a great subject here; what he's saying about the Russian character illuminates the dark past, and gives little comfort for the future.Claude Chabrol's lifelong obsession with the hypocrisies of the bourgeoisie has...
  • The Future Be Damned

    There's always a lot of cant in Washington about "paying attention to the long term." It's usually only that, because the long term doesn't vote and doesn't have a lobby. But anyone who takes it seriously should study a new report from the House Budget Committee awkwardly entitled "Restoring America's Future: Preparing the Nation for the 21st Century." It's about that drab subject, budget deficits, and it's grim reading. ...
  • The Moper Vs. The Rapper

    As groundbreaking decisions go, this one seems unlikely, but there you go. Federal Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy has ruled that the rapper Biz Markie was wrong to lift, or "sample," music from Gilbert O'Sullivan's icky 1972 hit, "Alone Again (Naturally)." The judge stopped the sale of Biz Markie's "I Need a Haircut" album and ordered it pulled from stores. Groundbreaking, you say, isn't the word. ...
  • Crime:Tales From The Front

    After William Kennedy Smith's acquittal last month, Judge Mary Lupo reminded spectators that the rape trial was part of a process "that we do day in and day out. "What she meant was that court dockets are filled with cases obscured by the glare of high-profile cases like the Palm Beach trial. Some are crimes of incomprehensible cruelty; others are sadly ironic. A year-end survey from police blotters across the country: ...
  • The Year Of Spain

    Five centuries ago, two events on the Iberian Peninsula remade the known world: Spain expelled the Muslims from their last European stronghold and the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella sent an itinerant navigator named Columbus across the Atlantic. As the French intellectual Jacques Attali writes in his book "1492," in that year the Continent "launched itself on the conquest of the universe." The next 100 years would be remembered by Spaniards as their Golden Century. ...
  • In 1992, I Resolve To...

    Remember when you could win points with family members by wishing for peace on earth? When NEWSWEEK'S Eleanor Clift asked the key presidential candidates for their New Year's resolutions last week, most stuck with a '90s variation on that tried-and-true formula. Bob Kerrey and Bill Clinton offered condensed versions of their stump speeches; they get a "D" for Disappointing. George Bush declined to respond through a spokesman, saying that he isn't a declared candidate yet. David Duke didn't return repeated calls. Jerry Brown wins high marks for being concise, Patrick Buchanan for being blunt. Excerpts: ...
  • Another Blow To Implants

    Breast implants, almost everyone knows by now, may be hazardous to a woman's health. What most people haven't heard before is that employees of a leading manufacturer apparently also had concerns about the safety of its implants yet the company went ahead and marketed them anyway. These revelations emerged at a trial that concluded in mid-December with a $7.3 million verdict for a California woman who sued the Dow Corning Corp. after her implants ruptured. The timing couldn't be worse for Dow Corning: by Jan. 6, FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler is expected to rule on whether breast implants can remain on the market. ...
  • A Quayle Hunts The Watchdogs

    You would think Dan Quayle was commanding a united Bush administration attack on an army of liberal enemies. "Faceless bureaucrats" are conspiring with "extremist" special interests to "strangle the free market with red tape," warns the vice president. Business is in danger of being replaced by "a New Class of bureaucrats and central planners." It's the job of the Council on Competitiveness--the panel on regulation that Quayle chairs-to keep those overzealous watchdogs' on a tighter leash, he says. ...
  • A Now Year's Resolution

    Periodically when I'm moving stuff around the house or having rooms repainted I encounter the box of childhood artifacts that contains the diary I kept as a 12-year-old girl. This pitiful volume repays study not because of its endless musings on unrequited flirtations with boys named Bruce and Alan, but because of the New Year's resolutions it records. My preadolescent vows have to do with losing weight and being more considerate of others-the precise same vows I have made without exception every year since, and which I felt it necessary to make again this week. ...
  • Lee's Last Stand

    Lee Iacocca recently paid Chrysler's white-collar employees a $600 Christmas bonus. Why, Iacocca was asked, was Chrysler paying out $12 million when it was doing so poorly? Iacocca didn't miss a beat: "What the hell, that's a drop in the bucket with all the money we're losing." It was a pretty funny remark-and the sign of a man who had nothing to lose. ...
  • And What Happens Next?

    At the last, the Soviet Union was no more than a shell: an enormous bureaucratic superstructure encompassing bare shelves, empty slogans and hollow men. Can things really get worse under the Commonwealth of Independent States? In the short term, it is all too possible. But that will only start to become clear this week, when Boris Yeltsin's Russian Republic unilaterally imposes sweeping market reforms, including price decontrols that could send consumer goods beyond the reach of most citizens of the former union. "Everyone will find life harder for approximately six months," Yeltsin keeps repeating. "Then prices will fall and goods will begin to fill the market." But not everyone was so confident, perhaps least of all Mikhail Gorbachev. "If we fail to keep the situation under control, it would be awful, for us and for everyone," he said after stepping down last week. A guide to potential flash points: ...