Newswire

Newswire

  • 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: ...
  • Betting The Bank At First Chicago

    Poor Barry Sullivan. The 9-dignified chairman of First Chicago Corp., one of the nation's largest banks, was all set to retire quietly on New Year's Day, 1992. But Sullivan didn't gamble on the embarrassing revelations that tumbled out at a hearing in a colleague's fraud trial last month in Chicago. It seems that Sullivan and 50 of his top executives had unusual ways of enlivening their workdays and weren't, allegedly, above spending corporate shareholder funds to do it. According to a former Sullivan aide, Jeffrey Tassani, the First Chicago chairman ordered him to organize a $64,000 office gambling pool on the NCAA basketball tournament in 1989. Then, says Tassani, the bankers used company funds to finance graphics displays to track their bets. To celebrate, they threw a party for themselves at Chicago's private Mid-Day Club. U.S. District Court Judge Ilana Rovner, who made Tassani's allegations public, called his story ,'mind boggling." ...
  • Japan's Trade Charade

    As far as Yoshio Kimura is concerned, Americans just don't get it. "What more do you want us to buy from you?" asks the 32-year-old employee at a small finance company in Tokyo. Kimura is standing outside a Chrysler showroom in one of Tokyo's glitzier neighborhoods. Would he consider buying?. "There's no real reason to buy an American car. I'm just not confident that it would be as good as a Japanese car," he says. ...
  • The Fat That's Good For You

    Forty years ago the pioneering nutrition scientist Ancel Keys began traveling the Mediterranean in search of healthy hearts. His experiments with small groups of men back home in Minnesota seemed to indicate a link between diet and cholesterol levels, and now he wanted to learn how rates of coronary heart disease within whole populations might be traced to their fat intake. By 1957 he had discovered Crete, where villagers consumed little meat and few dairy products. "But olive oil!" he wrote later. "It was the only cooking fat; it was dribbled, or poured, on everything served and bread was dunked in bowls of it at the table. Some of the farmers would start the day ... by drinking a wineglass full of it." Keys found that these villagers had very little heart disease and the best longevity rates in Europe. ...
  • 1992: Stranger Things Have Happened

    The Soviet Union died. A tin-pot dictator challenged the United States, lost half his army-and survived. And a respected Hollywood star got paid millions to don tights and prance foolishly in never-never land. The year 1991 was full of improbabilities, and 1992 will offer plenty more. Getting its cracked crystal ball, PERiSCOPE offers some fanciful predictions for the new year. They may seem outlandish, but consider: a year ago, who would have guessed that Boris Yeltsin would have his finger on the button? ...
  • Quid Pro Quo?

    There's a supercollision in Japan over the U.S. Superconducting Super Collider. Two weeks ago it seemed certain that Tokyo would reject U.S. pressure to help fund the multibillion-dollar research project in Texas. With its economy slumping and with plans to boost its own R&D capabilities, Japan opposed pumping money into a U.S. project. But Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa now backs the idea: he wants something to offer George Bush at their meeting next month, perhaps in return for a U.S. commitment to a Japanese R&D project.
  • Selling Ice To Eskimos?

    It's being touted as the largest peaceful real-estate transfer in Canadian history land a model settlement between a government and its indigenous people. Last week Ottawa created a new Arctic territory called Nunavut--it spans more than 770,000 square miles of frozen tundra and wilderness, about one fifth of Canada's total landmass--and gave a chunk of it to the 17,500 Eskimos who live there. If they ratify it, and if the Northwest Territories and Parliament go along, the land-and-cash settlement would end more than 200 years of bad blood between Eskimos, known as Inuit ("the people"), and the descendants of European settlers who arrived in Hudson Bay in 1670. Tagak Curley, chief negotiator for the Tungavik Federation of Nunavut, which represents the Inuit, called the agreement "a fair settlement." ...
  • Rocky Mountain High Life

    Frederick Wiseman seems to be raising his camera sights. TV's most acclaimed documentary filmmaker, who once confined his scathing, cinema verite examinations to the likes of mental hospitals, police departments and welfare centers, has since taken on such temples of nouveau chic as Neiman Marcus. Now, in his 25th film, Wiseman goes even more upscale-- literally. His target is Aspen, and his treatment--once again avoiding narration and interviews--is an eyeful. In the middle of the Colorado town's orgy of glitz and self-indulgence, Wiseman uncovers something no Aspen-basher could have imagined: a quest for the spiritual. Or could that be the biggest high of all? ...
  • 'We Are Taking Over'

    It was only an hour before a crucial meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev, and Boris Yeltsin was in a feisty, confident mood. He was virtually certain that the Soviet president's political surrender was imminent, he told NEWSWEEK in an exclusive interview in Moscow last week. In fact, Yeltsin made it abundantly clear that he was already in charge. At one point in the interview the Russian president even began playing commander in chief, sketching out on a piece of paper how the Soviet armed forces should be reorganized and controlled. Yeltsin's confidence was not misplaced. Immediately after the interview he called on Gorbachev, and they agreed on terms of succession: the Soviet government would cease to exist by the end of the year, its powers would be transferred to Russia and Gorbachev would resign. All that was left for Gorbachev to decide was the timing of his resignation statement. Excerpts from the conversation between Yeltsin and NEWSWEEK Editor Maynard Parker, Moscow bureau chief...
  • New Regime

    John Sununu's departure from the White House has cleared the way for the Bush administration to offer a health-care initiative. Sununu blocked all such proposals from reaching the president, prompting Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan to mail his recommendations to a Kennebunkport postoffice box that Bush set up for ideas from administration outsiders. New chief of staff Samuel Skinner immediately invited Sullivan to the White House to discuss his ideas. Skinner also told budget chief Richard Darman, who shared Sununu's opposition to a quick health-care proposal, that Bush plans to announce an initiative early next year.
  • 1991, Wielding A Blackjack

    By a circuitous route but with wonderful precision, 1991 taught an old truth: Life is indeed a series of dark corners around which Fate lurks, wielding a blackjack. This odd year ends with Saddam Hussein as secure in his job as George Bush is in his. The year began with a bang--lots of bangs--in Baghdad. It ends with the last whimper from what was the Soviet Union. There hunger, disease, crime, collapsing transportation and pandemic incivility show that living under peacetime socialism is like losing a very violent war. ...
  • Can Sunshine Save Your Life?

    Thirty-five years ago, herring fishing was big business in Norway but oncology was fairly slow. Today you could say just the opposite. The annual herring catch has dwindled from more than a million tons to less than 4,000--and the rates of breast and colon cancer have nearly doubled. The increase doesn't surprise epidemiologists Frank and Cedric Garland of the University of California, San Diego. Herring is rich in vitamin D, a nutrient that Norwegians receive only in paltry amounts from the sun. And as the Garland brothers have shown over the past decade, a population's vitamin D intake can be a powerful predictor of two leading malignancies. ...