Newswire

Newswire

  • A Tycoon's Final Days

    The Atlantic Ocean was calm and the skies clear as Robert Maxwell's 180-foot yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, plowed through the sea off Grand Canary island last Monday night. In his stateroom on the main deck, the 68-year-old media baron was tending to business, nagged by a bad cold he had picked up in London a month earlier. For weeks Maxwell had been dashing about the globe, inspecting a far-flung, debt-ridden empire that ranged from New York's struggling Daily News to a Bulgarian film company. Now he had hoped to get a few days' rest from his peripatetic life--but he found it impossible to avoid communicating with friends, attorneys and colleagues via phone calls and faxes. ...
  • Labels We Can Live By

    Back in 1985 Ken Jakubowski had a dietary epiphany, and his life hasn't been the same since. Watching TV one day he saw consumer advocate Ralph Nader hold up test tubes full of fat--a graphic display of what goes into our bodies with hamburgers and fries. Haunted by the image of those test tubes, the 32-year-old Chicago lawyer switched to chicken, pasta and whole grains; he makes his omelets with egg whites, regularly calculates the percentage of calories from fat in his diet, shops carefully and cooks only with extralight olive oil. That's right, extra-light olive oil--which has exactly the same amount of fat, namely 100 percent, as every other oil. ...
  • Business Says: Vote Your Pocketbook

    If David Duke gets beaten for governor of Louisiana, the key factor won't be his record as a Klansman and a neo-Nazi. He will lose because the businessmen of Louisiana convinced the state's voters that Duke in the statehouse would be an economic disaster. In apocalyptic chorus, leaders of business and industry were warning last week that Duke's election would mean huge losses of income and jobs from tourism, conventions, investment funds and national sporting event In response, tracking polls showed the first ebbing of Duke's momentum. "It's coming down to the pocketbook," said political scientist Ed Renwick of Loyola University. "It's the ultimate thing that controls." ...
  • Curbing The Quayle Hunt

    Just after the 1988 election, The New Republic began a contest: "Can journalists keep writing indefinitely that Dan Quayle is a moron, just because he is one? We doubt it." The point of the game was to find signs of a Quayle reassessment, on the theory that the media's hunger for a new angle would inevitably lead to stories suggesting he had shown "growth in the job." ...
  • Women's Issues

    Even in this depressed magazine market, there's still room for new concepts. Enter Deneuve, a San Francisco-based lesbian magazine that skewers the stereotype that gay women are all men-haters in clogs. Now into its fourth issue, the bimonthly has a national readership of 42,000. Most sales are in the big coastal cities, but 40 percent of the issues are bought in places like Alabama and Texas. Note: the magazine isn't named after the French film star but a woman that publisher Frances Stevens once had a crush on.
  • Big Bird Poaching

    Cattle rustling has apparently become old hat in Texas. Rustlers are now swiping emus, those precious five-foot-tall birds that look like ostriches. Twenty-eight emus-worth $230,000--were recently stolen from a Texas pasture. The thieves put pillow cases and shirts over the emus' heads, hostage-style, and herded them into a truck. What does one do with an emu? The birds' skins are a popular material for cowboy boots and the feathers are a favorite clothing accessory. To thwart the rustlers, ranchers have started tattooing the birds.
  • The Monks Who Know How To Put On The Dog

    Move over, Gregor Mendel. You remember the 19th-century monk who went to work in his garden and dug up the laws of genetics. Well, now a group of Eastern Orthodox monks in upstate New York are making a name for themselves breeding their own special species--of German shepherd. ...
  • No Pictures, Please

    When drug lord Pablo Escobar speaks, the Colombian government listens--even though he's in prison. Since Escobar turned himself in last June, Colombian authorities have refused to release his photograph or fingerprints to U.S. law-enforcement agencies. "[Don] Pablo does not allow that," a U.S. drug agent says he was told. U.S. officials hope to match Escobar's fingerprints with those on bank records seized by Colombian police. They want a photo because Escobar's rumored to have had plastic surgery since the last available shots were taken.
  • No Monument To A Madman

    After the bloodbath at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, last month, some local residents expected the restaurant to be closed out of respect for the 23 people killed there. But the owners of Luby's so far haven't said if they plan to raze the building and create a park on the site. They've been flooded with letters from people who don't want anything resembling a monument to George Hennard, the crazed gunman who committed the country's worst mass murder. "We're getting an awful lot of requests to keep Luby's open," says a spokesman. The restaurant may make a decision as early as this week.
  • Bill Of Wrongs

    These are tough times for the Constitution. First, a new exhibit in the Supreme Court honoring the bicentennial of the Bill of Rights said Congress proposed the amendments in 1791; actually, the year was 1789. The exhibit also says the Constitution was adopted in 1789; most scholars say it was actually 1788. Then, former chief justice Warren Burger--now heading the Constitution's bicentennial commission--mailed a letter to editors that mentioned the "Bill off Rights," "freedom of religious" and "an explorations of the Constitution." A Burger spokesman blamed the typos on a secretary.
  • Speaking Out

    Justice Clarence Thomas won confirmation, but Anita Hill won feminists' hearts-and an award, besides. Honored with "Thelma and Louise" writer Callie Khouri and eight others as Glamour magazine's Women of the Year, Hill said, "Women out there have written me ... I would like to assure them they no longer have to suffer in silence." She added that she hopes awareness of sexual harassment "will not end overnight."
  • The Young And The Tasteless

    What plays best in vanguardland these days is private life as public spectacle. Most of this is categorized, naturally, as performance art, but a few painters and sculptors have become quasi-actors, too. For the past several years, Jeff Koons, 36, has increasingly tailored his persona to match the cool, glitzy, vapid objects he makes. He's become a kind of bohemian Johnny Depp who recites paint-by-number bromides in the press like, "Revealing the truth within one's self is what makes art great." ...
  • How Not To Get Into College

    For those who hope to be enrolled next year in one of America's most selective undergraduate or professional schools, these are the days of taking tests, seeking campus interviews, writing essays and soliciting glowing references. This is the time ambitious applicants suffer sleepless nights-and not necessarily to be sure of acceptance, but simply to get a chance to be considered for admission.For those who make it, the agony is worth the effort: to be accepted to one of our best schools these days is to be virtually assured of graduating. As many as 90 percent of the students admitted to the top colleges and universities can make it all the way through. Because initial acceptance has become an almost automatic ticket for a degree, admission committees have become more important than faculty in deciding who goes through life with a Harvard or Wellesley B.A. or a Stanford M.B.A.I have run the game myself as a business-school dean and a college president. I now believe that it's wrong...
  • Just Plain Spokes

    Talk about mixing business with pleasure. Since last June, the Border Patrol in San Diego, Calif, has employed a three-man Mountain Bike Unit that, while feeling the burn, has logged a high apprehension rate. The unit, suggested by bike-loving agents, often makes 100 busts a day-nearly twice the number made by agents on motorcycles or in trucks. The bike team uses 21speed Karakoram Elites, which go up to 35 mph and are hard for suspects to hear. One complaint: it's pretty hard to pedal in combat boots.
  • From Hero To Crusader

    Bart Casamir is gay, black and HIV-positive. Last week, after he watched Magic Johnson's press conference, Casamir was so inspired by Johnson's courage that he wrote a thank-you letter. "He can address the issue better than anyone I can think of," says Casamir, who works for a San Francisco AIDS-education group. "God couldn't have picked a better spokesman." ...
  • 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. ...