Newswire

Newswire

  • All The Ink That's Fit To Print

    Newspaper readers have long put up with some of the minor irritations that go with the territory. To read unwieldy papers on crowded trains and buses, they've mastered origami. And to find the end of stories that began on page one, they've learned the tricks of the librarian's trade. But what could they do when they came away from the day's news with dirty fingers and smudged clothing but wash their hands of the whole business? ...
  • College Without Chemicals

    Of all the things he was told to expect about college life, Cedric Small heard most about the beer: "Study, beer. Party, beer. Pizza, beer. You really can't ever get away from it." Sure enough, in his first two years at the University of Michigan, Small says that "every weekend, vomit would be all over the bathroom-in the stalls, on the toilets. It was like a zoo." But this year the 20-year-old junior did get away from it. He moved to a "substance-free corridor" in a different residence hall-and the biggest bathroom problem he's encountered so far is hair in the drains. ...
  • Liberating The Teamsters

    If you thought political campaigns were getting too nasty, take a look at the current Teamsters union race for international president. First, one of the three candidates, R. V. Durham, ran an ad that included a close-up picture of opponent Ron Carey-with the word SCAB emblazoned across it. No milquetoast, Carey retaliated with an ad that shows Durham arm in arm with a prison inmate and a gangster wielding a machine gun. Not to be outdone, the third candidate, Walter Shea, portrayed Durham as the dog-literally -of outgoing president William McCarthy, complete with leash and hair bow. ...
  • Retailers With A Cause

    Ron Kurtz, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound travel consultant, spends his days helping corporations figure out how to market hassle-free travel accommodations. But his own travel is often far from hassle-free. Airline seats are too small for his broad frame. Tray tables don't always fit over his lap. And airplane bathrooms? Well, forget comfort. Until recently Kurtz felt helpless in his quest to persuade airlines to respond to the needs of larger travelers. But recently the large-economy-size flier found a friend in an unlikely source. The King-Size Co., a mail-order clothing business he uses, began lobbying for bigger seats for its 400,000 big and tall customers. "As individuals we don't have that much strength of influence," says Kurtz. "But if corporations bring us together with a unified voice, we can have a lot more power." ...
  • The Trial You Won't See

    If daytime television were always this good, "Days of Our Lives" and "Oprah" would be in big trouble. Once again, the magic of the medium allowed Americans to watch a real-life drama undress itself before their very eyes. Two months ago, the venue was the U.S. Senate: Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas. Last week, it was room 411 of the Palm Beach County courthouse: a 30-year-old woman vs. William Kennedy Smith. The stakes were different; so, too, the charge. Yet all the nation, tuning in to cable coverage, had the same question: who was telling the truth-and who was telling a lie? ...
  • Remove That Blue Dot

    Hers was the most compelling of courtroom allegations, yet you couldn't see her face and you didn't know her name. On television sets across the nation, it was a remarkable picture of journalistic hypocrisy. ...
  • Were The Deals Worth It?

    America got the last of its 17 hostages back from Lebanon in time for Christmas. Here are only some of the direct and indirect costs: two American officials murdered in Lebanon; at least one terrorist freed in France; eight Western hostages murdered; 91 Arab prisoners released by Israel; $278 million released to Iran, and now implicit recognition given to the kidnappers by their own United Nations intermediary. Then there was the Iran-contra scandal: one national-security adviser and seven other U.S. officials indicted; the sale of untold tons of prohibited arms and a humiliating gift of a cake. Rarely if ever has the freedom of so few hostages cost so much. When Fidel Castro gave up 1,179 Bay of Pigs hostages, he got $53 million in U.S. humanitarian aid and an enduring blockade. Saddam Hussein turned over more than 10,000 Western hostages last Christmas, and still found himself on the business end of a war. But the terrorists in Lebanon, NEWSWEEK sources say, can now walk away,...
  • Pennies From Heaven

    The Environmental Protection Agency may write the rules for acid rain, but the Council on Competitiveness can erase them. Chaired by Vice President Dan Quayle, the council can revise any proposed regulations deemed too onerous for business--even, it seems, a business its members own. Last week documents released by Rep. Henry Waxman showed that Allan Hubbard, the council's executive director, presided over a meeting that rejected regulations affecting a utility, PSI Holdings Inc., in which he holds between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock. ...
  • The Grand Clipper's Final Flight

    When Pan American World Airways brought 64 historic years of aviation to a close last week, it left a lot of victims behind--from 7,500 employees to passengers like Roslyn Hunter. The New York City single mother had planned a Caribbean trip for months. "I saw my first vacation without my 4-year-old go out the window," she says. Despite announcements that several airlines would honor tickets, she ended up having to buy new ones on American. The once grand "Clipper Ship" airline couldn't navigate the turbulent skies after deregulation. Said CEO Russell L. Ray Jr.: "Today, we see the end of an airline whose name will be forever forged in American history." ...
  • Stiffing The Bill

    Talk about collateral. According to a Flint, Mich., undertaker, the family of one James McDill hasn't paid a $3,605.59 bill at the House of Spencer Mortuary for three years. Which is too bad because, throughout that duration, the late Mr. McDill has been lying, dead and embalmed, inside the mortuary. The family wants McDill interred. But mortuary owner J. Merrill Spencer vows, "I'm prepared to keep him forever if need be." The state morticians association says that, while legal, this situation is "unusual."
  • 'The Crook Of The Century,

    It was one of Kevin Maxwell's most difficult moments in the limelight. Standing before a shouting throng of journalists in the New York Daily News building last Friday, the 32-year-old son of the late Robert Maxwell looked eerily composed. The Maxwell empire was crumbling, the Daily News was facing collapse yet again, British authorities were investigating his companies for fraud and his father had recently been buried after a mysterious death while sailing off the Canary Islands. Adding to the troubles, London's tabloid The Sun, owned by rival Rupert Murdoch, gave page-one play to a pensioner who branded the late tycoon "the crook of the century." Was Kevin overwhelmed by it all? he was asked. "I wouldn't have believed [the events] if I'd read them in a novel," he said. "[But] if you're overwhelmed, you go under." ...
  • How Terry Survived

    Nearly seven years after he was dragged off the street, blindfolded and put in chains, Terry Anderson stepped out of a cell in Lebanon as though he was emerging from a time warp. Just minutes after his arrival in Damascus last week closed America's drawn-out hostage drama, Anderson came forth poised, thoughtful and fully in control. "I'll try to answer a few questions, although you'll understand I have a date with a couple of beautiful ladies and I'm already very late," the beaming journalist told a press conference at the Syrian Foreign Ministry. Then he hurried off to join his fiancee and his daughter, Sulome, born during his captivity. What were his last words to his kidnappers? "Goodbye!" he said, rolling his eyes in a gesture instantly recognizable to old friends. ...
  • As The Scenario Turns

    As Mario Cuomo edges closer to entering the Democratic presidential race, NEWSWEEK has learned that the New York governor is war-gaming an unconventional," above-the-fray campaign. The idea, one top adviser says, is to bypass the other Democrats and put Cuomo "on a pedestal" where he can take on George Bush directly. Cuomo could use New York's budget crisis as an excuse to limit campaigning against the other Dems. "We engage Bush--period," says the adviser. ...
  • Turnkey Trauma

    What a challenge it is to run a prison these days. Washington State Penitentiary superintendent Jim Blodgett has been forced to admit that, yes, the prison displayed poor judgement in showing inmates "The Silence of the Lambs," in which a psychopath escapes from custody by biting off the face of one prison guard and displaying another like a butterfly specimen, Meanwhile, across the ocean, they're up in arms in the British House of Commons. Seems some important diplomatic pouches from Canada were sent to the laundry with confidential documents still inside. One problem: the laundry is done at Wandsworth prison, where empty envelopes have been turning up in hiding places all over the laundry room. British members of Parliament wept with laughter at the news. But one Canadian official said, "We do not think of [the mishap] as a suitable subject for mirth."
  • Snowdome?

    When Minneapolis first lobbied for next month's Super Bowl, critics were wary of playing the game in a city famous for heavy snowfall--domed stadium and all. Now even some locals are worried: the city has had a record 61 inches since Halloween. The snow-removal chief says if there's a storm the Friday before, fans may have to trudge through snow to get to the game. Bowl officials, not surprisingly, say snow crews will make it easy to get there.
  • New At The Mall: One-Stop Pit Stop

    A benefit of living in St. Louis: you can now avoid those embarrassing moments at the mall when you don't know whether to take your little daughter into the men's room with you or to go into the women's with her. The West County Center mall now offers a "family restroom," in which all the Joneses can do their business together. Inside are two private toilet compartments, one for adults and one for children. Instead of the standard soap squirter, one finds a nursing bench, a diapering table and dispenser and special no-hands faucets for use while holding a baby. Sensing some marketability here, malls in Los Angeles and Maryland are following this very '90s concept.
  • Open Season On Science

    Wanted: a good PR man for American science. Its image has gone beyond tarnished to sleazy, thanks to allegations of fraud and the discovery that universities from Stanford to Harvard have diverted taxpayer dollars for research to such dubious expenditures as yachts and grand parties. Now, that most august of scientific institutions, the National Academy of Sciences, is dodging bullets. One attack comes from Rep. John Dingell's subcommittee: last month the panel began nosing through the Academy's ledgers to see how much it charges the government to cover overhead. Another barrage comes in the form of two suits, both pending, in which Dr. Victor Herbert of the Bronx VA Hospital charges the Academy with copyright infringement and defrauding the government of $745,560. "Let's face it: this is not a good time for science, " sighs virologist Dani Bolognesi of Duke University. ...
  • Soviet Czar

    On the eve of Secretary of State James Baker's trip to Moscow, Ukraine and Belorussia, the White House has decided to name a special czar to centralize U.S. policy on aid to the Soviet republics. The leading contender for the post, sources say, is Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who also coordinated U.S. aid to Eastern Europe. "We've got to get our act coordinated if we're going to help these new republics--and whatever democratic forces exist in them--succeed," says a top U.S. official. U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Robert Strauss is pushing Bush to propose stepped-up aid, but in an election year there's no consensus on the Hill-or within the administration.
  • Buzzwords

    If you were just hired as a salesclerk for the Christmas rush, you better know the lingo: As in Krueger. A customer who keeps returning (the merchandise).As in riffraff. What veteran employees call temps.The day after Thanksgiving-the heaviest shopping day of the year.When clerks spend their breaks wandering through the mall.Customer in an ugly outfit.For "nothing fits"--customer who asks for clothing in sizes that won't fit.
  • Play It Again And Again, Sam

    Scott Trente eyes the monitor above the checkout counter at West Hollywood's Tower Video. It's showing the "Shore Leave" episode from "Star Trek's" original run. "I've got that one," says the 37-year-old filmmaker, reverently mouthing a line of Captain Kirk's dialogue. Then he turns toward the store's collection of other shades of television past. "I have that one and that one and that one, too," he adds, pointing to multi-episode sets of "Dark Shadows...... Bonanza" and "The Hitchhiker." "I don't get tacky ties for Christmas anymore. I get tapes of my favorite shows." ...