Newswire

Newswire

  • Spell-Casting 101

    Poor Salem, Mass. Three hundred years have passed since the last witch trial and now Richard Leno comes along. Leno is on trial for attempting to steal money from his girlfriend's family by impersonating a Magus--a magician or sorcerer--and casting a spell on her. He denies the charge. Susan Panagakos says Leno would light candles, make symbols in air and then tell her to write questions on scraps of paper. If the answer to a question was no, she claimed, "the papers would burst into flames." Meantime, the local Witches League for Public Awareness is crying foul. "Witches who follow the old religion," said witch Laurie Cabot, "do not tread on other people."
  • Reagan And Bush: Call It A Snub

    Ronald Reagan is not called the Great Communicator for nothing. In one brief sentence last week, the ex-president neatly summed up his view of George Bush: "He doesn't seem to stand for anything," Reagan reportedly told friends. The former president later denied ever making the remark, first published in The Washington Post, but in case anyone doubted his true feelings Reagan then refused to be seen with the president in public. He skipped a Bush fund-raiser in Los Angeles and barred the press from his house when Bush came calling. ...
  • Thomas: Hypocritic Oath?

    Clarence Thomas vowed to bring something different" to the Supreme Court, but in four months on the bench he has asked few questions in oral argument and voted in all but one case with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The alliance is understandable. Not only is Scalia an aggressive and articulate proselytizer but one of his former law clerks now works for Thomas. The clerk, NEWSWEEK has learned, exerts considerable influence over the rookie justice. Last week, for example, in a dissent that drew an unusual rebuke from the seven-member court majority in a prison case, Scalia joined Thomas in declaring that beating a manacled prisoner may not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. "Thomas and Scalia are one person with two votes," complains Bob Peck of the American Civil Liberties Union. And court observers have even given them a nickname: The D.C. Duo.
  • Come On-A Back To Her House

    Nearly four decades after its debut, Nat (King) Cole's song "Straighten Up and Fly Right" has had a busy year. Cole's daughter Natalie recorded it for "Unforgettable," a tribute album of her father's songs that earned seven Grammy awards and sold more than 4 million copies, eclipsing most of that modern stuff you hear so much about. Rosemary Clooney, for whom the song could serve as a lifetime's worth of career advice, offers two versions of it on her new album, "Girl Singer," her 16th since relaunching her career on the small Concord Jazz label in 1977. The first version comes from a scratchy 1945 acetate, recorded when Clooney and her sister, Betty, then 16 and 13, auditioned for (and won) a regular late-night spot on the Cincinnati radio station WLW. Here, amid the crackle and adolescent enthusiasm of the Clooney Sisters, you hear the youthful voice one critic derided as being "as innocent of training as a rosebreasted grosbeak." The producer Mitch Miller, who shortly ushered her...
  • At United Way, Charity Began At Home

    They were the kind of perks usually associated with politicians and CEOs. William Aramony enjoyed chauffeured automobiles, first-class air travel and an office with motorized window blinds-not to mention $463,000 in annual compensation. But Aramony was neither a politician nor a corporate chieftain; he was the head of the largest charitable organization in the country. Last week his lavish spending and management practices spelled an end to his 22-year tenure as president of the United Way of America. Under fire from many of the nation's largest United Way chapters, Aramony resigned his post at a teleconference broadcast to United Way leaders nationwide, apologizing for "any problems my lack of sensitivity to perceptions has caused this movement." ...
  • Last Taps For Fort Ord

    Fort Ord is as army as a GI boot. Beginning in 1917, millions of soldiers have sweated, cursed and learned their kill-or-be-killed skills on Ord's 28,000 acres of sandy fields. The base has sent soldiers into every American conflict since World War I. Gen. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, who formed the Seventh Division at Fort Ord in 1940, thought so much of the place that he had his ashes scattered along its scenic Monterey Peninsula beaches. Now military cuts are doing what a foreign enemy could never bring about. Long considered the crown jewel of army posts, Fort Ord will shut down over the next two years. The army estimates it will save between $150 million and $200 million annually. Stilwell's proud Seventh is moving to Fort Lewis, Wash., with its first-class air-force base for rapid movement of light infantry to the brushfire wars of the future. ...
  • Here's How The Presidential Candidates Really Mea

    In our appearance-obsessed world, height helps win elections. In 1990, for example, the taller candidate won 21 of 31 contested U.S. Senate races in which heights could be determined. And just remember how the diminutive Michael Dukakis was relentlessly skewered on "Saturday Night Live." Peri takes a worm's-eye view of the current presidential hopefuls: BUSH 6'2" HARKIN 6'1" KERREY 6'0" CLINTON 6'2.5" TSONGAS 5'8" BUCHANAN 6'1" BROWN 6'0"
  • Southern Voters: Beyond Bubbas And Yellow Dogs

    Mickey Thomas was 16 when a job transfer moved her family from Long Island to Little Rock. She and her husband, Bob, attended Centenary College in Shreveport, La. They're both 28 and live with their three children in the Memphis suburb of Germantown. She's working on a master's degree in education. He sells medical supplies. Self-described independents, they voted for George Bush in 1988. Now they're having doubts. Bob likes Bill Clinton in next week's Tennessee Democratic primary, one of eight Super Tuesday contests in Southern or border states. Mickey is still looking closely at Bush, but also at Clinton and Paul Tsongas. "I was pretty sure I'd vote for Bush again," she says. "But now he's coming up with all these last-minute plans to save America. What has he been doing for four years?" ...
  • Wall Street Of The Steppes

    Ulan Bator doesn't yet know from convertible debentures or collateralized mortgage obligations. But last month the remote Mongolian capital opened its first stock exchange. For four hours every Tuesday, shares of five formerly state-owned companies change hands; volume has been doubling at every session. "When we started [planning] a year ago," says N. Zolzhargal, the 27-year-old chairman of the Mongolian Stock Exchange, "the government just thought a stock exchange was something you should have-like a Cadillac." The distinction still isn't clear to many ordinary citizens, who are each given vouchers worth $250 to invest in the market. Enkhbaatar, a retired railway worker who, like many Mongolians, has only one name, rode his horse into the capital for a firsthand look at the Wall Street of the steppes. He was nowhere near as mystified as the man standing next to him: how could he avoid a loss, the man asked, if the shares he bought today at 200 tugriks ($5 at current official...
  • The Boom In Annuities

    For a brief, shining moment, I thought President Bush was going to save annuity buyers from themselves. I'm speaking of the 10 seconds of belief he gave to a proposal, offered after his State of the Union Message, for changing the way annuities are taxed. ...
  • Five Weeks And Counting

    This season, baseball's spring training camps are like those awkward mixers on the first day of college: everybody's new. It was a remarkable winter for trades and unspeakably lucrative free-agent defections. A look at some of the more remodeled clubs: A decent pitching staff gets better with Belcher and Swindell. Dibble, America's most infamous serial beaner, is very excited about it. Uh-oh.Made the league's biggest killing with Bonilla, Saberhagen and Murray. But this could just plunge them one rung deeper into Head-Case Hell.If aging stars like Morns and Winfield don't help, the owners should ice the field, get a puck and pretend baseball never existed.Jefferies, McReynolds and Joyner will definitely ring up the scoreboard. Of course, "Hitting doesn't win the pennant; pitching does."
  • A Minaret Over Manhattan

    The most impressive new house of worship in New York City sits askew the corner of Third Avenue and 96th Street, where the high-rises of the Upper East Side begin to give way to the housing projects and tenements of Spanish Harlem. It is a big, square granite building, with a vast copper-covered dome, and atop the dome is the thin golden crescent of a nearly new moon. It is a mosque, and for nearly a million Muslims in and around New York City it is--apart from small converted storefronts and brownstones scattered here and there-the first one they have ever had. ...
  • Arne's Double Life

    Speaking of letting down your hair, wasn't that the button-down art dealer Arne Glimeher mamboing his heart out at New York's tatty Roseland the other night? At the premiere party for "The Mambo Kings," first-time film director Glimeher, along with stars Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas, boogied on-stage in a fevered rendition of the classic "Guantanamera. " It was only a few blocks from the pristinely elegant Pace Gallery, where Glimcher represents such blue-chip artists as Richard Serra and Julian Schnabel, as well as the estates of Mark Rothko and Jean Dubuffet, but it might as well have been the other side of the moon. This is the double life of Arne Glimcher. ...
  • Running Against Fidel

    Cuba also will be free." So said an op-ed piece in last week's Miami Herald. It was no new prediction: Fidel Castro's political demise was assured when the Soviet empire collapsed, though estimates of how long he can hold out range from weeks to years. Still, the byline was eye-catching. It read: By GEORGE Bush. The president denied an accusation by Republican challenger Patrick Buchanan that the White House is conspiring with Castro to repress Cuban militants in Miami. He listed Castro's recent "gross violations" of human rights, adding: "We have no intention of agreeing to a normal relationship" with him. The Florida primary is next week, so the context was clear. Not so obvious in Bush's riposte was the question of whether the strategy of isolating and slowly choking Cuba can withstand both the rigors of the primary season and clamor from analysts that it needs an overhaul. ...
  • Unholy Acts?

    Is Father Junipero Serra--founder of California's first Roman Catholic missions-worthy of sainthood? Native Americans oppose the canonization of the Franciscan priest because, they say, he mistreated Indians at his missions. Recent findings by archeologists studying Indian remains at an early mission appear to bolster their case. The remains show "serious malnutrition and physical abuse," says archeologist Richard Carrico. "[Serra's] no saint; he's just your run-of-the-mill Spaniard," says anthropologist Florence Shipek, who also examined the remains. But Carrico believes other priests serving under Father Serra were responsible for the abuse.
  • Now You See Them...

    Book publishers are creatures of habit. In the fall, they issue their art books and other coffee-table fare in time for Christmas. In the spring they publish books about baseball. In summer come thrillers, tell-all bios and other beach reading. And in February, they publish books by and about African-Americans. ...
  • Diller's Hollywood Shuffle

    For 30 years Barry Diller has been shaking up the entertainment industry. Among other things, he's credited with inventing the movie of the week, and he brought to television the groundbreaking mini-series, "Roots." And then there's Bart Simpson. But probably no move of Diller's has rocked Hollywood more than his announcement last week that he was resigning as chairman of Fox Inc. after more than seven years at the helm. ...
  • Set Adrift On Memory Bliss

    I got girls, girls, girls, girls, girls, girls on my mind," sings David Byrne, normally considered one of pop's headier longhairs, on his coyly titled new album, "Uh-Oh." In this year of scaling down expectations, Byrne has found a way to lower ours of him. "Uh-Oh "completes his transition from doyen of oversophisticated urban alienation to quaint eccentric. No longer a potential psycho killer, he's now the guy who tells poo-poo jokes to the kids. ...
  • Executive Anxiety Edition

    The CW shocked, shocked, that politics have gone so negative, and will not dignify such scurrilous charges with arrows. It covers the United Way campaign instead. ...
  • Times Of Enlightenment

    Has the Good Gray Lady gone lavender? Not exactly, but a forthcoming series in the gay magazine The Advocate will chronicle a new sensitivity at The New York Times to the concerns of gays and lesbians, both inside and outside the paper. Though it will discuss past incidents of homophobia, Advocate sources say the piece will focus on the current "lavender enlightenment" in the newsroom. Due in April, the series follows The Advocate's current cover story, "Vanity Fairies," on the power and influence of gays at the Conde Nast empire.