Newswire

Newswire

  • Selling Nuclear Missiles--And Minds

    Forget economic chaos and ethnic violence. The scariest fallout from a collapsed Soviet Union could be an international black market for nuclear fuel and weapons scientists. Late last year an Italian undercover operation seized a tiny sample of plutonium-239, allegedly part of a 22-pound load, that physicists have judged "almost certainly of Soviet origin." The sting also led to the confiscation of 66 pounds of low-enriched uranium by Swiss authorities. "This proletarian-quality material was the battle horse of the Soviet nuclear program," says Romano Dolce, a Como prosecutor, who is heading the plutonium investigation. "It was certainly destined for countries with enough Soviet technology to get as much out of the stuff as the Russians do." Translation: Iraq or Libya. ...
  • Domino's Theory

    How best to measure American eating and tipping habits? Domino's Pizza surveyed its delivery people nationwide. Some findings: Women tip better than men.Women with rollers in their hair tip better than those without.The longer the driveway, the lower the tip.Among TV stations, ABC affiliates are the most generous with tips. NBC stations are the cheapest.Highest-tipping state: New York. Lowest: California.Highest-tipping city: Washington. Lowest: Boston.Least health-conscious state: California (favorite topping is all meat). Healthiest state: Washington (vegetable toppings prevail).Most people answer the door shoeless.During TV newscasts, most pizza is ordered during the weather report.TV shows most often being watched during pizza delivery: "Saturday Night Live......The Simpsons," "60 Minutes."
  • Buzzwords

    This is the time of year everybody goes to the movies. What they don't always know is what those ushers are saying behind their backs: A couple necking throughout the film.When ushers have to scrape slime from under seatsAn empty seat in a crowded theater.The usher who takes tickets.When people slip on the soda-soaked floor.Nickname for big, old-style movie theaters.People who bring their own food.
  • Primary Fix

    Pat Buchanan and David Duke won't get a chance to embarrass George Bush in next month's Iowa presidential caucuses. Since there's no challenger to George Bush actively campaigning in the state, Iowa Republicans-under pressure from the national committee, critics say--have decided to skip the traditional straw poll. Smart move: in the latest Iowa Poll, 32 percent said they'd back a more conservative GOP candidate. Bush ran a dismal third in '88, behind Bob Dole and Pat Robertson. GOP officials say they don't consider Duke a Republican but might reinstate the straw poll if Buchanan shows up.
  • The Real Price Of Buying Influence

    So you need a lobbyist. Your small company is struggling and your only hope is getting, say, a government loan. You've read about those Washington influence peddlers who seem to work magic on behalf of their clients-and you're thinking that's just what you need. Beware. What isn't well known about Washington lobbyists is that they regularly milk clients. Sometimes it's on a small scale, like charging a client hundreds of dollars for a $50 lunch. Other times it may be a multimedia presentation worthy of Steven Spielberg when a press release would suffice. ...
  • Tallyho Homeboy

    Fashion is a perennial exchange between uptown mode and street style. This winter, the upper crust has bequeathed a cute little item to the downtown set: the classic English riding hat. Clotheshorses are eschewing their rain-permeable baseball caps and wedging their heads into the padded, velvet-covered shells that traditionally protected the noggins of Town & Country folk. The hats make riding the A train as tony as riding to hounds.
  • Big-Screen Party Machine

    Wayne's World" is going wide. Those heavy-metal party animals from "Saturday Night Live," Wayne and Garth, have their own feature flick, and it opens on Valentine's Day. Most excellent! In "Wayne's World," the movie, Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey) re-create their roles as hosts of a homespun cable show in Aurora, Ill., on which they dish about "tunes, babes and living in the basement." Wayne found the filmmaking experience fulfilling: "They gave you a trailer and all the donuts you wanted. It was donutorama."
  • Breaking The Divorce Cycle

    There is one day they all remember, the day they first heard the news, the day their world changed forever. For Sara Dadisman, it was her 13th birthday. Even now, two decades later, talking about it is difficult. "It seems as though my mom did it almost to hurt me," says Dadisman, who lives in Madison, Wis. "Sometimes I think, 'Was that real? Did she really do that to me on my birthday?' But I can remember her giving me a present, a Barbie doll or something, and then telling me she and my dad were getting a divorce. I was devastated." The year that Dadisman's parents broke up, 1971, fell in the midst of a watershed period in the history of American marriage. Before that point, divorce was relatively rare and youngsters felt ashamed of their status as products of what were then called broken homes. But over the next decade the divorce rate soared to a record high. In 1965, the divorce rate was 2.5 per 1,000 population; by 1976, it had doubled, to 5.0. Through most of the 1970s and...
  • Why I Hate Compact Discs

    Pietschmann, who describes his occupation as "writing and yard cleanups," lives in Los Angeles. ...
  • Low Art

    Lenin in the Bronx? That's the route a flatbed truck took to deliver a 15-foot, four-ton statue of the tarnished Soviet founder to its new owner, Manhattan art dealer Paul Judelson. He bought the bronze from a foundry in St. Petersburg after the military coup collapsed, If and when Judelson finds a museum with floors sturdy enough to support the piece, Lenin will be displayed as he arrived-on his back. One more reminder o how far the mighty can fall.
  • Down In The Dumps

    Christmas-season evictions have been a staple newspaper item since the days when landlords wore silk top hats and waxed their mustaches, but even so there was something peculiarly unsettling about the picture of William A. Sullivan standing with his furniture on the street in front of his house in northwest Washington last month. It wasn't just the Oriental carpets, china and books filling the sidewalk, or the fact that the four-story brick house rented for $2,500 a month. It was the fact that Sullivan, 52, described himself to The Washington Post as an "independent consultant" in international business. All over the country business-school graduates are telling themselves that if they lose their fancy banking jobs, they can always become consultants in international business. If those guys can't make their rent, what hope is there for the rest of us? ...
  • Sun, Surf And Matryoshka Dolls

    Life may be hell in the old Soviet Union, but some of its inhabitants are managing to travel to exotic climes. How? Their secret won't be found in the usual travel guide. Each week for the last four months, a different group of 15 to 20 Russians and Armenians has gone to Hammamet, a Tunisian coastal resort, where they swim, surf--and sell their wares in the local black market. ...
  • A Man With A Bug Problem

    David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch is not William Burroughs's "Naked Lunch." It couldn't be. Rather, it's Cronenberg's fantasia about how that infernal underground classic got written: it's a homage to Burroughs himself Peter Weller's brilliantly deadpan presence as the hero, Bill Lee, mimics the author's own gaunt, laconic persona. He's a writer/ junkie/bug exterminator with a motto: "Exterminate all rational thought." ...
  • '92 Campaign Issues Edition

    The big issue is obviously the economy. But since no one knows what to do about it, there's a lot of skirmishing on other fronts. Foreign policy is not even on the radar. ...
  • Talk About Overcompensation ...

    Top executives at major Japanese companies earn annual salaries of about $300,000 to $350,000. Here's what some U.S. execs traveling to Japan with George Bush make: NAME COMPANY COMPENSATION C. J. Silas Phillips Petroleum $4,429,000 Lee Iacocca Chrysler $4,268,000 James Robinson American Express $3,541,000 B. F. Dolan Textron $3,192,000 Robert Stempel General Motors $2,189,000 SOURCE: FORBES MAGAZINE STUDY; FIGURES ARE FOR 1990
  • The Empathy Factor

    It was early Christmas morning, and the line of people outside Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly already stretched down the block. Immanuel Sherman, a volunteer braving subfreezing temperatures to deliver food to Boston's indigent elderly, headed straight for the main entrance. Only after a staffer stopped the 74-year-old insurance salesman and told him to take his place in line did he peer more closely at the men, women and kids bundled into ski parkas: the waiting line was made up of volunteers like himself. "I didn't think they looked hungry," said Sherman. ...
  • Nbc's Olympian Gamble

    It's billed as the most daring experiment yet in television's brave new world: NBC's plan to present 1,080 hours of the Barcelona Olympics on pay-per-view TV, alongside the network's free, over-the-air broadcasts. For two weeks in July and August, America's couch potatoes and sports addicts can feast on round-the-clock coverage, with different events on three separate pay channels, minus commercials. ...
  • Ordeal At Sea

    The odds were incalculably long. When Sygma photographer Patrick Chauvel decided to document the exodus of Haitian boat people that followed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's overthrow in September, he discovered that the refugees had to run a gantlet of con men and crooked cops before even setting sail. After finding an honest captain, Chauvel joined a group taken to an arid island off Haiti's west coast. They endured three days of heat and rain while waiting for the boat to appear. It turned out to be an open skiff. The Haitians boarded anyway. Men with machetes beat back others who had come to the island in hopes of joining the voyage. The skiff set off loaded down with 44 men, women and children. ...
  • Who's In Charge?

    By all rights, the meeting in Tokyo this week between George Bush and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, should be a celebration. The two men are from distinctly different cultures but cut from the same bolt. They are committed internationalists and free-traders, more comfortable in the salons of G-7 meetings than in political back rooms. As their generation came to power they watched an improbable alliance between Tokyo and Washington grow from the ashes of war. Japan was America's bulwark in Asia during the cold war; nurtured under America's wing, the Japanese created the economic miracle that won't stop. Now, 50 years after Pearl Harbor, the Soviet empire is a shambles, and Japanese-style capitalism is spreading through East Asia, turning a poor, politically unstable region into an economic dynamo. ...
  • January Is The Cruelest Month

    Now that the holidays are (finally) over, the long winter months loom ahead. While everyone dreams about warm fires and hot chocolate, the reality of coping with cold weather is less romantic. Some practical gear: Wheel your skis instead of toting them. Three Stooges act in the parking lot.Ugly, but saves ice-scraping and defroster time. Folds into pouch you can tuck under seat.Strap onto dress shoes. Gridiron chi for the exec on the go. Don't tread on Aunt Priscilla's wood floors, though.Easier to handle than Dad's old model. A brisk seller among women and older people and in urban areas.Environmentally correct ice melter: won't hurt animals.Start and warm up car from bed. Pricey, but less than a chauffeur.