Newswire

Newswire

  • A Guillotine For Lawyers?

    Lawyers, watch thy necks. The French Revolution, say the alarmists, has come to American legal practice. ...
  • Moose Beams

    Alaskan motorists occasionally have a problem: they crash into moose, destroying car and beast. Now there may be a solution. Swedish carmakers Volvo and Saab are developing ultraviolet headlights that make moose and other animals glow in the dark up to 200 yards away. Still, it may be years before the headlights are marketed in America because of concerns that the beams will cause sunburns or cancer. Others worry they just won't work. " When that moose decides to sit on your windshield," says an Alaskan Saab dealer, "there's not a lot that will help."
  • A Church That Needs Healing

    For the Christian Science Church, money has become the root of all evil. Since last spring, dissidents have been complaining that church officials were squandering money on a new cable TV channel. To make matters worse, critics charged that the church had even published a heretical book in order to win a $97 million bequest. Last week the dissidents appeared to have won a battle-- although the war was far from over. Harvey Wood, board chairman of the Mother Church in Boston, resigned and several of his allies were reassigned. The cable operation, the Monitor Channel, was put up for sale. Some members were mollified, but others thought it was too little too late. "As the dust settles," says church historian Stephen Gottschalk, an outspoken critic, "we see that the real story is that people in power are holding on while giving the illusion of significant change." ...
  • Between Limbo And Hell

    Nguyen Thi Thuy doesn't want to go home. " We came looking for the freedom to talk and think the way we want--and for a better, happier life," says the 30-year-old native of Hanoi as she pounds pig intestines into a gruel for her baby. Dinh An, 31, doesn't want to go back, either. " I left Vietnam because I had no job, no education and no prospects," says An, who lost an eye in a U.S. bombing raid in 1972. " I don't know what I'll do when I get back." Neither do the other 743 residents of Hong Kong's Lo Wu Detention Center for Vietnamese boat people. They've all volunteered to return to the land they risked their lives to escape. Better to face certain poverty and possible persecution in Vietnam than to rot indefinitely in Lo Wu, surrounded by a double fence topped with concertina wire and patrolled by armed guards. Once the stop-off point for Vietnamese refugees on their way to new lives in the West, Lo Wu--along with the other nine squalid detention camps in Hong Kong that house...
  • The World

    It's a typical weekend morning at the local Toys "R" Us. Legions of seasoned extortionists, masquerading as adorable children, are dragging their parents through the cavernous store, registering their demands: Nintendo games, Ninja Turtles, Monopoly sets, Barbie dolls, Barbie everything. Under threat of tears and tantrums, the beleaguered parents cave in--and cash registers begin to jingle. General manager Thomas Shek finds the scenario pleasantly familiar. " Every Sunday is just like Christmas," he says. ...
  • The Method In His Madness

    If you hadn't accessed Jerry Brown until recently, you'd think the photograph on the right was weird. Wasn't Brown supposed to be the mad monk of presidential politics, the scourge of Democratic power brokers? Wasn't he the anti-candidate of late-night cable and the 800 number? So what was he doing with a United Auto Workers' jacket over his famous turtleneck sweater, applying the old-fashioned Big Schmooze to the labor skates? ...
  • Thirty Seconds Over Medellin

    It appeared to be a bizarre murder plot, even by the standards of Latin America's two most violent countries. Last week a senior air force officer from El Salvador was charged with stealing four U.S.-made 500-pound bombs. The purpose, according to the Salvadoran government: to kill Pablo Escobar, the billionaire kingpin of the rival Medellin cartel, now held in luxurious Envigado prison on the outskirts of his hometown. ...
  • Boca Raton Is Talking ...

    For years, Countess Henrietta de Hoernle, 79, was one of the biggest philanthropists in the Florida resort town. She and her husband, Count Adolph, donated millions to the city. Then the Boca Raton News reported that the de Hoernles bought their titles from a con man for $20,000--a charge they deny. The countess, in turn, changed her will and put the $22 million she had bequeathed to local charities into an undesignated trust. She later willed it back to charity.
  • Housecleaning

    Who's clean and who's not? Congressional records show that 296 of the 440 members and delegates overdrew their House accounts in varying amounts. A Newsweek team contacted every lawmaker and found more than 140 who admitted to overdrafts. Some also confessed to local news media, and a list of 21 of the worst offenders was leaked to the AP. A state-by-state tally: Alabama ...
  • The Law Of Little Things

    Lionel Kunst is on the phone and he's not as excited as he should be about this whole check-bouncing mess. Kunst is a textile manufacturer from Kansas City who spends most of his time running something called the Coalition to End the Permanent Congress, which agitates against the powers of incumbency. So it was curious when he explained that last week's news left him feeling a little empty. "Yeah, we're going to use this in November, but it's peanuts," he said, sounding as disgusted as usual. "Why doesn't the press talk about the real stuff, the big things--the total failure of oversight of the S&Ls, the lousy tax laws where every special interest gets its own special deal?" ...
  • A M*A*S*H Note For Wildlife

    Actress Loretta Swit likes to go with floe, especially in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, near the Magdalen Islands, where harp seals go to give birth. Swit, an animal activist who in the '80s successfully fought to stop commercial hunting of the pups, says, "Everything that moves on this planet we're out to protect." The ban brought hard times to the area, so Swit, hoping to make pups "worth more alive than dead," is promoting Seal Watch, a wildlife project that brings tourists to see the animals. This month, visitors got a bonus: Hot Lips on ice.
  • Political Bug

    President Bush finally beat the flu that caused him to vomit in front of the world. Unfortunately, Japan hasn't. A similar flu strain is rampant there, and now there's an appropriate name for it: Busshu kaze, or "Bush flu." Suffice it to say this particular virus generally provokes a certain unfortunate stomach reflux. According to The Daily Yomiuri, an English-language newspaper, the term is now one of the most popular new buzzwords in the country. It has even been used to describe a malady Japanese officials caught while negotiating trade issues with the United States.
  • A Miracle On Your Doorstep

    MS. WILLIAMSON: I don't think it's that we don't believe in love ... but we don't give it the importance that God asks that we give it which is the same thing as saying we put God first because God is love and when we do not-and that's really what idolatry is. ...
  • Noriega Tells All

    Manuel Noriega's trial isn't over yet, but the former Panamanian strongman is confident about the future. He has taken on literary agent George Englund to shop his story. Publishing sources say Noriega wants 'several million' dollars but so far has been offered less than $500,000. Ironically, Englund was recently involved in a TV project about George Bush in World War II.
  • Breaking Away

    It didn't quite rank with Saint Paul's letters from Ephesus, but Tammy Faye Bakker sent a whopper of an epistle from Florida last week. She told supporters that she and Jim, who is serving 18 years for fraud and conspiracy, are divorcing. "All I have ever been is a normal, down-to-earth person," she wrote. " I am so tired ... I am lonely ... and I am hurting."
  • Rip: The 'Truth' That Lived On Lies

    It's hard to say whether Pravda fell victim to economics, politics, ideology--or all three. The official newspaper of the now defunct Communist Party had last 90 percent of its readers and was flat broke by the time it finally decided to stop the presses last Saturday. The paper went out old-fashioned Soviet style, bashing enemies, congratulating itself. The editors cast themselves as "victims" of Russia's new leader, Boris Yeltsin, and his program of free-market economic reforms. "This is a sad loss for the country," said Deputy Editor Aleksandr Ilyin. "Whatever you think of the paper, it is a national institution." ...
  • Apartheid, American Style

    Andrew Hacker is a political scientist known for doing with statistics what Fred Astaire did with hats, canes and chairs. In Two Nations (25 7 pages. Scribners. $24.95), his new book on race relations in America, he doesn't crunch numbers: he makes them live and breathe. But who would have thought that even Hacker could turn up a dollar figure for what it's worth to be born white? If you're curious, it's $1 million. A year. For life. That's the figure white college students regularly give, when presented with a Kafkaesque parable in which a wealthy and mysterious organization tells them they're about to become outwardly black (inwardly they remain who they were) and offers compensation. That round, very large figure--representing far more than any mere income gap--gives the lie to the notion that simply being black no longer stigmatizes anyone. It also suggests that whites are hardly innocent about the advantages they enjoy. ...
  • A Bloody End For An Anti-Drug Crusader

    Manuel de Dios Unanue had a lot of enemies--drug lords, pushers, hit men, even right-wing Latin death squads. Last week, it seems, one of those enemies caught up with him. De Dios, a crusading editor, journalist and campaigner against drug traffickers, was gunned down in the bar of his favorite restaurant in New York. If the trigger was pulled by a cartel hit man, de Dios would be the first journalist murdered within the United States for taking on the cocaine barons. ...
  • Seen This Painting?

    This Wednesday, readers of USA Today will come across an ad offering a million-dollar reward to anyone with information leading to the recovery of some of the world's greatest art works. A new heist? No, an old one--but a new strategy. ...
  • His Saddest Song

    He has been part, it seems, of almost every imaginable supergroup, from Cream to Blind Faith to AA. But when Eric Clapton went to Los Angeles last summer to score the movie "Rush," he was as humble as the Eric Clapton of the Yardbirds, a guitar genius who couldn't be coaxed to sing. Clapton watched a rough cut of the movie, the story of two undercover cops who become addicted to substances with which he himself has had a nodding acquaintance. He made notes about where the music might go. And then he asked Lili Fini Zanuck, the director, if he might borrow a tape. Three days later when Zanuck came to work the tape was back on her desk. "What I heard," Zanuck says, "was Eric sitting in his hotel room and saying,'If you don't like this, I've got plenty more.' Then he began playing 'Tears In Heaven'." ...