Newswire

Newswire

  • Trials And Titillations

    All Hong Kong is worked up about a lurid trial in which a local businessman stands accused of promising movie contracts to women in return for sex and then blackmailing them. Four of the five witnesses--dubbed Misses A, B, C, D and E--are well-known local actress/models. By law, none can be named. So magazines and newspapers are simply running profiles-replete with bikini shots--of the starlets next to trial coverage. People jam the courtroom to hear details about everything from oral sex to menages a trois. Western businessmen are so engrossed they're having their secretaries translate news accounts, and on one particularly juicy day, the trial was adjourned because lawyers couldn't get into the packed courtroom. There's even a hot line for updates.
  • The Capital Of Real Life

    Lake Michigan, boundless and blue, with its shoreside parks and highrises and a sandy beach longer than Grand Cayman's, is regarded as Chicago's glory, but the Chicago River--slow, narrow and murky--is the city's true inspiration, its source. The city was settled here because Jesuit explorer Pere Marquette envisioned the river, then a swampy lagoon, as the elusive link in a great inland waterway joining the Great Lakes to the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. Excavated, eventually, and topped off with water from the lake, the river never had its heyday, since the railroads whose tracks ran along its banks proved a more versatile and attractive means of transport for a nation in the making. The river, wiggling the city's length, was left more or less as a sanitary ditch. ...
  • The Tragedy Of Gorbachev

    During the past two years, my sense that an explosion was imminent grew ever stronger. One word came increasingly to mind: "dictatorship." Finally, at dawn on Aug. 19, I was awakened by the voice of an announcer declaring a state of emergency. Everything that I'd feared and that I'd warned about had come to pass. ...
  • Air-Bag Raid

    Think of it as the revenge of the air bags. Facing the ignoble prospect of being squashed at auto junkyards, the bags are fighting back by exploding violently in shredding machines. Worse, they aren't just scaring junkyard employees; once shredded, the bags can expel the toxic chemical sodium azide used to inflate them. Now junkyard owners say the autorecycling industry could die unless the car companies make safer air bags. One Colorado company is already developing nontoxic models.
  • Wild At Heart

    Behind Dolly Parton's blond wigs and Tennessee twang, is there a Method actress waiting to bust out? "Wild Texas Wind," NBC's Sept. 23 movie, is a far holler from Parton's y'all-be-good-now roles in "9 to 5" and "Steel Magnolias." She plays a singer accused of killing her abusive lover (Gary Busey), and is considering cutting a soundtrack, complete with a Willie Nelson cameo.
  • Monica's New Racket

    No excuses, indeed. After ducking Wimbledon and the press with little more than a shrug, Monica Seles, 17, is cashing in on her reputation for unaccountability. Last week she joined the unlikely ranks of Marla Maples and Donna Rice as the new, less svelte spokesperson for No Excuses jeans. Seles's contract could exceed Maples's $500,000 deal, but "she was very gracious about it," said Monica.
  • Questions Of Loyalty

    Rudolf Yanovsky hurried to assure his visitors that he had been loyal to Gorbachev all along. Four members of the Moscow City Council's Commission for the Investigation of Anti-Constitutional Actions had come to check up on Yanovsky's allegiances. The head of the Communist Party's Academy of Social Sciences, a now defunct school for young Communist apparatchiks, explained that he had dispatched a telegram of support to Gorbachev on Aug. 20 "to the Kremlin." But his story quickly began to unravel. Commission member Igor Belyayev pointed out that Gorbachev was still under arrest in the Crimea at the time. Yanovsky then claimed that the telegram was sent on Aug. 21. Asked to produce the telegram so that its exact time could be ascertained, indicating whether he had sent it before or after the coup collapsed on that day, Yanovsky changed his story again. It was not a telegram but a message sent by courier, he asserted. "Yanovsky tried to make fools of us," Belyayev declared later. "I...
  • Golden Years, Gold Included

    Whether you're young or old, if you're investing for safety and income, you've been having a tough time. Money-market mutual funds are averaging 5.4 percent, down from 9 percent just two short years ago. One-year certificates of deposit offer 5.9 percent. At these rates, your money will never accomplish its primary function which, in the words of Joe Louis, is to quiet the nerves. ...
  • Could Gorbachev Have Phoned Home?

    At the time, it sounded like one of the coup plotters' few effective measures: when Mikhail Gorbachev picked up one phone after another on Aug. 18, he said later, he found them all dead. But last week the head of the plant that manufactured the communications equipment for Gorbachev's Crimean hideaway claimed that the system was so elaborate that the Gang of Eight could not have cut off the phones. "It isn't a dacha--it's one of the primary places from where the country is governed," factory director Valentin Zanin told the weekly Moscow News. "Isolating the president of the U.S.S.R. from communications is impossible." ...
  • A Grand Bargain: Aid For Arms Control

    Back in 1979, when NEWSWEEK published a forum on The '80s, I argued that the critical issue would be how to deal with the breakup of the Soviet Union. I warned that the U.S.S.R. could "blow up," and I added, "The world could blow up with it. " Now that the U.S.S.R. is fast disintegrating, my fears have only grown. The empire of the czars has 30,000 nuclear warheads, one third of them strategic and aimed at us, and about two thirds of them tactical or battlefield range. The intercontinental missiles are pretty well under the control of the Strategic Rocket Forces, a central command. But the theater weapons--artillery rounds, bombs--are scattered all over the different services throughout the Soviet Union. It is entirely possible that warring republics will use these weapons on each other. It is conceivable as well that military hard-liners would use them-Ar threaten to use them-against the West in a last-ditch gamble. ...
  • A Name Tag, And A Voice

    Four-year-old Brian arrived at camp unable to speak a word. He wasn't toilet trained, and he was reluctant to move unless carried. Born addicted to crack, he had been sent to New York City at the age of 2 from the Virgin Islands to be cared for by his older sister. She kept him in a closet most of the time for a year and a half, until his mother arrived to collect him. In 1989, he came to Ramapo Anchorage Camp in Rhinebeck, N.Y., for a one-month program of skill building, nurturing and play. ...
  • By Our Writers

    Making the Most of Your Money. By Jane Bryant Quinn. 934 pages. Simon & Schuster. $27.50. What's a zero-coupon bond? Is homeowners' insurance necessary? Which financial records can I throw out? NEWSWEEK Contributing Editor Jane Bryant Quinn's no-nonsense new guide to putting your financial life in shape in the '90s concentrates on sensible means and solid results. An encyclopedic reference work as well as an accessible guide to getting started, it will help novices as well as investors who already have substantial portfolios.
  • The Longest Nine Yards

    Five days after winning the greatest 100-meter race of all time, Carl Lewis got off the greatest sequence of long jumps in history. And he lost. In one fabulous flight through the muggy air of Tokyo's National Stadium, 27-year-old American Mike Powell leaped 29 feet 4 1/2 inches, breaking Bob Beamon's legendary world record of 29 feet 2 1/2 inches, breaking Lewis's unbeaten streak of 65 straight wins in the jump, and breaking Lewis's heart. Lewis had three jumps of at least 29 feet, including a wind-assisted 29 feet 2%. But, as Lewis said, "Mike had the one jump." As the crowd of 60,000 roared an ovation for the new world champion, King Carl wiped tears from his eyes and walked away. Beamon, whose 1968 record set in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics was the oldest in the books, said: "I don't think the drama is over. I expect these two jumpers will repeat their classic confrontation."
  • The Coup Makers' Secrets

    Like steam leaking from a corroded radiator, secrets came hissing out of Moscow Center last week. At KGB headquarters on Lubyanka Square, the windows were dark, and a Russian flag planted by reformers flew in the breeze. When the plot to topple Mikhail Gorbachev was collapsing two weeks ago, operatives inside the building tried desperately to black-bag their handiwork. They failed. KGB leaks and evidence accumulating from other nooks and crannies around Moscow show that the KGB, the Soviet Communist Party and the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces were up to their epaulets in the coup. More humiliations undoubtedly lie ahead. The 14 plotters under arrest are now wearing prison gray. And each of them, Russian prosecutor Valentin Stepankov says, is eagerly ratting on his comrade-in-treason. ...
  • Yugoslavia:Bloodshed In The Balkans

    An unlikely union of disparate republics loses the ideological glue that once held it together. Sensing a political opportunity in the crisis, the president of the country's largest republic stakes his political survival on ethnic sentiment rather than national cohesion. In speech after passionate speech, he glorifies the culture and history of the republic. Before long a personality cult forms around the president, whose picture goes up in shops, offices and even taxicabs. But then the strategy backfires: the republic finds itself pitted against ethnic minorities from smaller republics in a bloody civil war that ravages its economy and horrifies foreign powers. ...
  • Once A Hero...

    Public-relations skills have yet to reach the Miss America Pageant Parade, held this month in Atlantic City, N.J. Last spring, parade organizers asked Lance Cpl. Richard Musicant--wounded by mortar fire in Operation Desert Storm-to be its grand marshal. But last month, according to Border Crossings magazine, he was told that the budget prevented the parade from paying his air fare from California, where he is recuperating. Later, parade officials said individuals would not be honored. Last week they reinvited Musicant--but still no air fare. Fed up, Musicant told the parade to "pound salt."
  • Our Liberation

    This was the week the Russians became real. I mean: real for Americans. So the turmoil marked, in its way, our liberation as well as theirs. We were liberated from the tyranny-pretty much self-imposed, but a tyranny all the same--of our caricatures and abstractions. For more than half a century we have been surpassingly interested in the behavior of these people and yet resolutely committed to viewing them not as people but rather as some kind of undifferentiated, morally improbable blob. How we felt about the blob might change, but its essential blobbishness never did: these were either, as in the romantic '30s fantasy and World War II movies, all fine, strapping, socially generous, hardworking peasants or, as in just about everything that came after, all evil, belching, throw-weight-driven beasts. ...
  • Now, The Main Engagement

    The farther the putsch recedes from us, the more interesting it is to think about. What makes the outcome all the more joyous is that we live in a country where the Army could not bring itself to fire on its own citizens, and Moscow did not produce a Tiananmen Square of its own. But the fact that the Soviet Communists have not assimilated the experience of their Chinese counterparts only underscores a law of nature. The conclusion to be drawn from the Soviet experience is that people cannot be partly free. You cannot give people economic freedoms while depriving them of political freedoms-otherwise the Chinese scenario will occur. You cannot liberate the press while keeping the economy in the rigid claws of totalitarian planning; this will not make life any better, it will be what it is in today's Soviet Union. ...
  • Witnesses To History

    For those Soviets who have cast their fate with the future of reform, the coup was a nightmare come to life. NEWSWEEK asked a number of artists, journalists, intellectuals and entrepreneurs to recount their reactions to the coup and to describe their hopes--and fears--for the country: ...
  • From The Russian Goody Bag

    Russian chic is back with a vengeance. Russian games. Russian clothes. Russian tchotchkes. Here's a Peri look at some of the hottest post-coup offerings: Every child needs little Brezhnevs and Lenins. Bonus: a new Yeltsin doll!Collector's item: Paul McCartney's album for Soviets only. Not anymore.The capitalist board game, in Russian. See, the Soviets do have irony.A recycler's dream: contains fragment of SS-20 missile dismantled by treaty.