Newswire

Newswire

  • Playing A Dangerous Game

    Middle-class voters are angry at the status quo--that's a given. Outsiders are in--also a given. But in Washington survival is all--and that, too, is a given. So survivalists in the capital are focusing on new ways to express "middle class" outrage, on how to masquerade as angry outsiders and on finding candidates (or clients) who really are new to the System and who can radiate the outrage reflected in last week's election results. "I'm gonna get me some real outside guys for next year," says Democratic consultant Dane Strother. "And I'm gonna throw long!" Leave it to the Washington political industry to turn voter alienation into new business. ...
  • The Secrets Of A Spymaster

    As head of East German intelligence from 1958 to 1987, Markus Wolf, 68, was the cold war's top spymaster, planting thousands of agents in NATO countries. When Germany unified last October, Wolf fled to Moscow to avoid arrest. He returned last month to face charges of espionage and treason. While an appeals court decides whether Wolf and some 3,000 agents can be tried for spying for a defunct state, he is in Berlin writing a memoir. He spoke with NEWSWEEK'S Theresa Waldrop and Karen Breslau, Excerpts: ...
  • The Politics Of Dependency

    John Quincy Adams says (read on; this is not a seance) that Mississippi has entered a new era. Adams, a Mississippi political scientist and descendant of the second and sixth presidents, was referring to the election of Kirk Fordice as Mississippi's first Republican governor in 115 years, the first since Reconstruction, the first not carrying a carpetbag.Some people say the new era looks a lot like the old era, in that Fordice is quite conservative. Other people say it wasn't ideology, it was truck-stoppery that won for Fordice: he is "more comfortable at the truck stop" than the incumbent he beat. The incumbent went to Harvard Law School. Even worse, given today's climate, he was an incumbent. That was enough to beat a bunch of people last week.It is risky wringing ideological or other national portents from local events. Electoral status in a continental democracy sends few decipherable signals. Consider the victory of incumbent (although only recently appointed) Democrat Harris...
  • Grilling Barr

    William Barr should sail through confirmation hearings to succeed defeated Senate candidate Richard Thornburgh as attorney general this week. But not without first facing some tough questions about the Justice Department's alleged role in pressuring witnesses to come forward with damaging information about Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings. Democrats also are expected to grill Barr about reports that a Justice staffer dug up the reference in "The Exorcist" to pubic hair floating in gin and fed it to Sen. Orrin Hatch. Hatch used the information to imply Hill fabricated her pubic-hair story.
  • The Birth Of A Now Nato

    George Bush was exasperated, and making no effort to hide it. "If, my friends," he told his fellow NATO leaders, "your ultimate aim is to provide independently for your own defense, the time to tell us is today." None of his 15 colleagues thought it was time. Within hours of Bush's undiplomatic challenge, they passed a solemn declaration that the U.S.-led Atlantic alliance "retains its enduring value." The declaration signed in Rome last Friday recognizes that, despite the end of the threat that brought American troops to European soil in the first place, Europe still sees value in political-military concord with the United States. ...
  • Killed By Their Comrades

    Two days after the gulf war ended, a blue sedan pulled up in front of Lil Lambert's house in Andalusia, Ala. Out stepped a "casualty assistance officer," a U.S. Army captain. He brought the news every soldier's mother dreads: her son, Pfc. John Wesley Hutto, had been killed in action in southern Iraq. Within days her grief turned to anger, however. Mrs. Lambert learned from Wes's battlefield comrades that it was a 120-mm American shell that took his life. "I wanted to know how my son died," she said. "I couldn't put him to rest until I knew the truth. " ...
  • The Spots On The Greenhouse

    Few areas of research are as important to human survival as understanding climate change. Scientists have theoretical models for the greenhouse effect, a predieted rise in global temperature resulting from the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But other things can affect climate as well, including other forms of man-made pollution and even sulfur dioxide from volcanic eruptions. Now, two Danish scientists have suggested another culprit in the recent global warming: fluctuations in the intensity of the sun's radiation. ...
  • The Real David Duke

    David Duke knew he had some friends in the audience. He was at the Bellemont Hotel in Baton Rouge last week speaking to the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, one of the few trade groups that haven't endorsed former Democratic governor Edwin Edwards, his opponent in Saturday's gubernatorial runoff. Scrambling to calm fears that his election would isolate the state's already crippled economy, he asked the audience to forget the tiresome references to his past. His real message, he insisted, was low taxes and less government. "If you get away from the rhetoric, the smear tactics," Duke assured them, "you'll find you agree with me." ...
  • Have Shoes, Will Return

    It took Imelda Marcos three years and two months longer than Douglas MacArthur, but She Has Returned. Last week the former First Lady of the Philippines set foot in Manila to face some 70 civil and criminal charges, including that she and her late husband, Ferdinand, illegally stashed $356 million in Swiss banks. "The only hidden wealth is in my heart, " protested Imelda, 62. Still, she showed up with her lawyer in a sweltering government office last week to post bail. Surrendering a red Mr. Donuts bag stuffed with $2,834 worth of pesos, Imelda allowed herself to be fingerprinted. Like Cinderella forced to give back her good fortune, she wistfully displayed her ink-stained fingers--an 11-carat diamond winking on one of them--to the press. "I come home penniless," she complained to reporters after taking a chartered 747 flight from the United States that cost $600,000. "All I want to do now is go home and live happily ever after." ...
  • A Case Of Confused Identity?

    It is axiomatic of conspiracy theories that their true believers see nefarious design where others see mere human error. Last week the ultimate conspiracy theory was spelled out in elaborate detail with the publication of The October Surprise, by Gary Sick (278 pages. Random House. $23). Sick, a point man on Iran in the Carter administration, in effect accuses the 1980 Reagan campaign of committing treason by conspiring to delay the release of 52 American hostages in Iran until after the presidential election. His book alleges a number of secret meetings took place between Reagan campaign manager William Casey, who later became director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and various arms dealers and Iranian clerics. Taken on its face, Sick's story seems remarkable, yet not implausible. But reporting by NEWSWEEK (Nov. 4 and Nov. 11) and other publications casts doubt on the reliability of Sick's main sources. Now NEWSWEEK has new information that suggests the whole theory may have...
  • Why Duke Isn't A Populist

    David Duke's alarmingly plausible campaign for governor of Louisiana occurs in a state, and a region, with a long and powerful tradition of outsiders challenging the political establishment and, at times, defeating it. That tradition is often labeled "Southern demagoguery." A more generous, and often more accurate, label would be "populism." ...
  • Living With The Virus

    We all die of something, and the only thing that changed for Magic Johnson when he tested positive for the AIDS virus is that he now knows what he will probably die from, if not necessarily when. There are, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control, between 1 million and 1.5 million people like Johnson in America, and roughly 10 million in the world--people whose blood conceals a minute speck of nucleic acid with the power to lay bare their immune defenses and leave them helpless in the face of the most ordinary infections. What sets Johnson apart, other than being famous, is that he knows he has it. Most of the people with the AIDS virus don't know who they are-and neither does anyone else. ...
  • At Last: Signs, Of Life At Next

    Vincent Annunziata wanted Steve Jobs's black box. A commodities trader at Phibro Energy, Annunziata was helping pick new computers, and pushed NeXT Computer, Inc. "Are you crazy?" his coworkers said. The contract seemed likely to go to powerhouse Sun Microsystems or Compaq before the upstart NeXT. Annunziata was stubborn, and eventually execs ordered 500 NeXTs which start at 5,000 each, for a sweeping tech overhaul. Where six or more monitors once vied for attention on every desk, one 21-inch color screen now simultaneously shows market information from many sources-even live CNN-along with electronic mail and custom trading tools. The NEXT, Annunziata says, "knocked these guys out of their shoes."It's about time. Jobs showed his first NEXT machine in 1988 with a typical media splash. The kid who helped kick off the PC revolution was starting over after being pressured out of Apple Computer. NEXT predicted $100 million in first-year sales. But the technically innovative box didn't...
  • Smile, Though Our Hearts Are Breaking

    Why Magic? Suppose it was another of our huge idols who had made Johnson's shocking announcement--Schwarzenegger or Stallone, Madonna or Springsteen? Would the reaction have been as stunning and widespread as it has been for Magic? As AIDS seeps and snakes its way further into our bodies and our body politic, we may yet learn the answer to that kind of question. But for the moment, Magic Johnson stands there, smiling into the teeth of fate, the first of the HIV era to bring mass emotion to the problem of AIDS, in a culture where mass emotion has practically displaced personal, private emotion as a force and a sacrament. But why? What is the magic of Magic that he should cause so many to care so strongly? ...
  • Out One Door, And In The Other

    Imagine an American president filling his cabinet with such political exiles as Richard Nixon, Gary Hart, James Watt and New Jersey's convicted Abscam bribetaker, Sen. Harrison A. Williams Jr. Never happen? It can in Japan, where political purgatory comes equipped with a revolving door. To placate rival factions in his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the newly elected prime minister, 72-year-old party godfather Kiichi Miyazawa, has assigned important positions to LDP pols who resigned or were eased out for alleged ethical indiscretions in the past. Among them are Yoshiro Mori, one of the recipients of Recruit Co. stock in the securities-for-influence scandal that shook Japan in 1988, and Koko Sato, convicted of taking a bribe from Lockheed Corp. in 1976. ...
  • Just Beat It, Brother

    Families, families. Just as Michael Jackson is easing out of a four-year recording hiatus, a bootleg tune from brother Jermaine is busting up the airwaves. The original version of "Word to the Badd!!," which Jermaine sanitized for release on his new album, had fiery lines ("Once you were made/ You changed your shade") aimed at Michael. "I was angry," says Jermaine, "because he has gotten off-track in terms of his values." Jermaine still hopes they can work together. For now, deejays are spinning "Word" back to back with Michael's racial harmony tune "Black and White." From the look of his entourage, though, Michael has banished himself to Siberia.
  • Magic's Message

    It was an event that evoked the old Kennedy assassination question: where were you when you heard the news? Word that Magic Johnson had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, whipped around the country last Thursday like a palm-stinging Magic Johnson pass. The stages of grief in America now move quickly, it seems, from denial to CNN. A few hours after the first news leak, the 32-year-old superstar appeared at a televised press conference, saying, "Because of the HIV virus I have obtained, I will have to announce my retirement from the Lakers today." He admitted having been "naive" about AIDS and added, "Here I am saying it can happen to anybody, even me, Magic Johnson." He also assured the world that his wife, Cookie Kelly, two months pregnant, had tested negative for the virus. As he spoke, Johnson--handsome, charming and easily one of the best basketball players of all time--smiled and promised to battle the disease and "become a spokesman" for it. That direct...
  • Just The Way Walt Made 'Em

    Studios used to have traditions, and pride in them. MGM had its musicals, and now it's tuneless and hobbling. Warner Bros., once famous for its gangster movies, has become an impersonal corporate giant. But at least one tradition survives in Hollywood. When it comes to animation, nobody's done it longer--or better--than Disney. Though this has been a year in which the fortunes of the Walt Disney Co. have been sputtering-and it's looking as though Disney's "Billy Bathgate" will take a bath-it's safe to say that Uncle Walt himself would have crowed with pleasure at the sight of Beauty and the Beast. It's the company's 30th full-length animated film since "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937), and it has the feel of a classic.Ironically, Walt himself, in the early days, considered turning the timeless fairy tale into a film. But the studio was stumped by the static second half, which was just a series of dinners between the imprisoned Belle and the romantically imploring Beast. The...
  • Naked Lunch

    It's generally a place where folks want to keep their clothes on. But now a school for striptease has opened in the Siberian city of Omsk. Local girls of all ages, some as young as 14, have applied; but Aphrodite, the company that set up the program, is accepting only those 18 and over. Students have begun performing in an Omsk restaurant for a paltry 10 rubles (21 cents at the tourist exchange rate) a show. But the most talented artists are hoping to land more lucrative contracts abroad. For many of the girls, "Striptease has long been a dream ... and [they say] this is the only place they can realize their potential," says a story in the Soviet youth daily Komsomolskaya Pravda.
  • The Family Takes Command

    One day in 1980, Ian Maxwell, then 24, decided that patching things up with a girlfriend was more urgent than meeting his father's plane at Paris's Orly airport. It wasn't a smart move. Robert Maxwell promptly fired his son as an executive of Maxwell companies in France and Germany. The story, now a fond part of the Maxwell family legend, tells a great deal about the tough, demanding way Maxwell treated and groomed his heirs to take over the family business. So far, the education seems to be working. Within hours of his death last week his two sons, Kevin, 32, and Ian, 35, went from targets of their father's wrath to aggressive, confident bosses. They held news conferences and meetings to calm Maxwell's many bankers and investors, and Kevin flew to New York to soothe American employees and sell copies of the Maxwellowned Daily News. "We're here to stay," he told News employees. It was a plucky performance, but analysts wondered whether the two sons could hold together their father's...