Newswire

Newswire

  • A Spouse Was Easier To Find Than A Church

    Five months after pledging publicly to put his private life in order, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy announced last week that he would marry Victoria Reggie, the 38-year-old daughter of old family friends from Crowley, La. But it is unlikely that the wedding, planned for later this year, will be blessed by the Roman Catholic Church. Both Kennedy and his fiancee are divorced Catholics; under canon law neither is free to remarry without church annulments of their previous marriages. As Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston explained last week, "in the eyes of the church," Kennedy is still married to his former wife, Joan, who divorced him in 1983. Reggie, a Washington lawyer, divorced in 1990. ...
  • Freeze Out?

    Democracy is in a holding pattern in Kansas. The number of potential candidates filing for office is down 75 percent from 1988 because they don't know where to run. After months of debate, the legislature, which is required to approve a new political map by April 11, is hopelessly deadlocked. The Democrat-controlled House recently passed a redistricting plan, but the Republican-controlled Senate hasn't even considered it yet. Any map the legislators approve will have to be reviewed by the courts. "It's a travesty," says Iola insurance agent Gary McIntosh, an aspiring state Senate candidate. "They want to freeze out new faces." Kansas will lose one congressional seat this year.
  • No Instant Answers

    It has become as much a ritual of the National Football League as the opening coin toss. A big play occurs on the field. All eyes dart to the giant screen for the replay. Then, almost as one, the crowd looks upward toward some nameless officials hidden behind plexiglass and a multitude of TV screens. And then comes...The Wait. ...
  • Murder By Mistake?

    Was the killing of the Hizbullah leader Sheik Abbas Musawi, assassinated in Lebanon last month by the Israelis, an accident? After the attack by Israeli helicopter gunships on a convoy carrying the Shiite cleric and his family, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens called the raid a planned assault aimed at sending a "message to all terrorist organizations." In fact, NEWSWEEK has learned, it was a botched operation. The real goal of the mission, Israeli sources say, was to kidnap Musawi and bring him to Israel for trial or exchange for an Israeli POW believed held by the Hizbullah. The operation went wrong, the sources say, when the U.S.made Apache helicopters tracking the convoy misfired. They were meant to take out the vehicle carrying Musawi's bodyguards, allowing commandos in a backup chopper to land and capture him alive. Instead, an Israeli missile hit Musawi's car, incinerating everyone in it. An Israeli armed forces spokesman denied there was any plan to "kidnap" Musawi.
  • The Daughter I Gave Away

    Every so often, the media bring us another reunion of adopted children and their natural parents. It typically ends this way: the parent (usually the mother) and child (now an adult) are happy to have found one another. But in time the relationship becomes "troubled." And even in the best of circumstances, the reporter usually adds, the two people can never be more than "friends." ...
  • 'You Didn't Reveal Your Pain'

    Bill Clinton's father, William Blythe III, after whom he was named, died in a car accident before he was born. He was raised by his grandparents from age 2 until 7 when his mother, with whom he is still close, married Roger Clinton Sr. Bill loved his stepfather and took his name, but Roger Clinton was an alcoholic prone to violence. After one ugly incident young Bill, still in his early teens, pointed to his mother and young half brother and warned his stepfather: "You will never hit either of them again. If you want them, you'll have to go through me." His stepfather backed down. In recent weeks Clinton has paused at various times along the campaign trail to talk with NEWSWEEK'S Eleanor Clift and Jonathan Alter about the influence of those early years on him. Excerpts: ...
  • Searching For Nirvana Ii

    In his home in Lawrence, Kans., Peter Fitch picks up the phone on the third ring. "Pizza Hut." ...
  • Broadway Mind-Stretchers

    In a rare week, the two most eagerly awaited serious plays of the season arrived on Broadway. John Guare's Four Baboons Adoring the Sun boasts England's superstar director Peter Hall and Tony-winning players Stockard Channing and James Naughton. Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden has America's superstar director Mike Nichols and movie luminaries Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss and Gene Hackman. In such a week playgoers could hardly want more. Or could they.? ...
  • Hold My Calls

    Homeless people looking for work have one big problem: prospective employers can't reach them, except perhaps at chaotic shelters. Now a nonprofit Seattle group called The Worker Center has a solution: free voice-mail boxes for people without homes and offices. A person living on the street can now get a private number and leave a personal greeting so employers responding to his calls can leave messages. "People who usually take six to nine months to find work," says Worker Center spokeswoman Pat Barry, "are finding work in three to six weeks." Since last year 126 jobs have been landed through the program.
  • Fax It To 'Em

    Sensing cracks in the regime of President Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former Iranian diplomat is quietly organizing moderate Iranian exiles. His goal: to topple the mullahs with a fax revolution much as the Chinese dissidents attempted three years ago. Assad Homayoun, who was deputy chief of mission in the Iranian Embassy in Washington before the shah was deposed, has formed the Free Iran Committee to rally centrist Iranians in the United States and Europe. Homayoun hopes to flood Iran with foreign broadcasts, underground newspaper articles and faxes. The State Department had no comment.
  • The Hardest Sell

    When Robert Eaton takes over as the new head of Chrysler next year, he might want to sit down and talk to people like Roger Slade. A Washington, D.C., economist, Slade drove a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron for four years. His blunt assessment of the car? "It was dreadful" he says. "We had endless trouble with it." When he decided to buy a new car he looked again at some American models but ended up buying the higher-priced Nissan Infiniti. "Although some of the domestics-were rather good in actual performance," he says, "other kinds of considerations-like styling and the interior-were sadly lacking." Last month, for family reasons, Slade sold the Infiniti and didn't bother visiting American showrooms. He bought a Honda Acura Legend. Why? "The Japanese cars have superior quality," he says. ...
  • There Is Nothing Like This Dame

    She's back! She's shocking and benign, caring and outrageous, she's high and low comic. But most of all, she's a he. Dame Edna, the British-Australian superstar of theater and television, returns in May to America for her second special on NBC in less than a year. Joining the lampoon will be the likes of Kim Basinger, Chevy Chase and Ringo Starr. Next time, Dame Edna hopes to have "presidents and their wives" join the fun. At this pace, the impresario may become the tube's best-known import.
  • Going To War Over Pows

    Fed up with White House foot dragging, a Senate select committee has taken the unusual step of subpoenaing national-security adviser Brent Scowcroft to produce National Security Council files on American POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War. The committee, chaired by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, is investigating persistent reports that POWs are alive in Vietnam. It's been asking for NSC records on POWs since January. The White House, insisting there's no credible evidence of POWs in Vietnam, so far has balked at turning over the files. Kerry declined to comment.
  • Next Stop, 10 Downing Street?

    Round one of Britain's general-election campaign belonged to the Labor Party. With less than three weeks left before the April 9 ballot, polls showed Labor ahead of Prime Minister John Major's Tories by as much as five points, a lead that if it holds could translate into enough parliamentary seats to win control of 10 Downing Street after 13 years in opposition. On the stump in Birmingham, party leader Neil Kinnock mocked the legacy of Thatcherism: "If you want to see their monument, look around you. Is your job more secure, your mortgage easier to pay, your children more confident?" Labor's renewed strength was due in part to a painful recession-but also to Kinnock's steady recasting of Labor ideology into more centrist terms. NEWSWEEK London bureau chief Daniel Pedersen spoke to Kinnock aboard Labor's Red Rose Express train. Excerpts: ...
  • Move Over, Oprah, Here Comes Jane

    You should be feeling good. One of your kids is a college freshman, the other just landed her first job. But you're still worried-they aren't watching enough afternoon TV. Well, chill out, Mom and Dad, here comes "Jane," a new talk show for teenagers and young adults who don't relate to more grizzled programs like "Donahue" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." The host is Jane Pratt, 29, the lively editor in chief of Sassy, a popular magazine for teenage girls. Last week "Jane" made its debut in the 5-to-6 p.m. time slot on Fox Televisions New York City station. The first day's topic: being jilted. The guest: the guy who dumped Pratt in college. ...
  • Making Book With The Wall Street Journal

    The 1980s may be just a memory, but publishing's appetite for juicy business yarns continues unabated. And that's meant big bucks for staff reporters at The Wall Street Journal, the country's premier chronicler of corporate culture. Recently, no fewer than 18 Journal writers have signed book contracts: subjects range from hard times at IBM ("Big Blues" by Paul Carroll, which fetched a $350,000 advance from Crown) to the 198990 military-contracting scandal ("Indefensible," by Andy Pasztor for Scribners). Business sagas aren't the only fodder: Knopf will publish "Peppers: A Story of Hot Pursuits," a vegetative meditation by Amal Kumar Naj. ...
  • Voter Revolt: A Giant-Killer In Illinois

    When was the last time the winner of the U.S. Senate primary did an impromptu victory shimmy at the podium? It happened in Chicago last week. Carol Moseley Braun, 44, had plenty to celebrate. The current Cook County recorder of deeds, Braun had surged from behind in a three-candidate field to upset two-term Democratic Sen. Alan Dixon. If she wins in the fall, the policeman's daughter from Chicago's South Side will become the first black woman in the Senate. "Our work has just started," said the ebullient winner. "We are going to make history in November." ...
  • To-Ga! To-Ga! To-Ga! To-Ga!

    "Drop your shorts! Drop your shorts!" chants a sunburned cheering section as a young lady from Indiana University stumbles through a dazed amateur striptease, a half-finished bottle of Lite beer clenched in her teeth. She tipsily complies; frenzied cheers erupt. Out on the sugar-white Florida panhandle sand, freckle-faced Patrick Mulligan, 20, does a handstand while his friends from the University of Massachusetts funnel--"bong"--a quart of foaming Budweiser into his mouth. Behind them the giant speakers of rival "super clubs"--one boasting 27 bars-hammer out megadecibel rap over dueling poolside "hot male body" and wet-T-shirt contests. Politically correct it ain't. ...
  • A Sight For Sore Eyes

    Was life imitating art for poor Al Pacino? He's been playing a blind man in the movie "Scent of a Woman," now filming in New York. Last week, wearing dark glasses and sporting a cane, he tripped on a shrub along Park Avenue. Production halted while the ruptured blood vessel in Pacino's eye healed. It's a good thing he's not playing Jimmy Hoffa.
  • Here We Go Again

    Call it deniability, campaign style. The White House is officially disclaiming any connection with Floyd Brown, the conservative political strategist behind the infamous 1988 ad featuring furloughed convict Willie Horton. But Bush campaign officials are said to be privately delighted that Brown is back in business. He set up a Presidential Victory Horton Committee in the basement of a town house near the Capitol earlier this month. He expects to raise at least $10 million for TV spots attacking the '92 Democratic nominee. Brown declined to discuss specific plans for the ads, but his team is combing Bill Clinton's record for a Horton-like issue.