Newswire

Newswire

  • The Accidental Bigamist

    By Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook. 206 pages. Duke University Press. $21.95Digging deep in some Spanish archives, two historians, Alexandra and Noble Cook, unearthed the outlines of a 16th-century potboiler that rivals a plot by Danielle Steele: a pile of court records and letters narrating the life of Francisco Noguerol de Ulloa, whose unwitting marriage to two women became a cause celebre in renaissance Spain. In "Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance," the Cooks have pieced together a remarkably juicy tale that opens a window onto daily life at the height of the conquest of the Americas.Like many young men living during Spain's age of discovery, Francisco sailed for the New World to do the king's work, and to get rich. But Noguerol, then 20, was also fleeing an arranged, unhappy marriage. In Peru, he so deftly shifted allegiance between the crown and the colonial power of the moment that he survived constant rebellions. He was rewarded for his loyalties with two estates...
  • A Stealthy Move

    Despite George Bush's commitment to a worldwide ban on chemical warfare, Washington is backing away from demands for "open invitation" inspection of all suspected CW plants. Instead, a U.S. proposal to a United Nations conference on chemical war last week would rely on less stringent measures-including aerial surveillance. One reason for the about-face, Pentagon sources say, is concern for the security of radar-evading Stealth technology. Stealth aircraft surfaces are made from cloth woven from fine graphite fibers, then drenched in special chemicals to harden. Even analysis of vapors picked up by CW inspectors could reveal secrets of Stealth construction.
  • Thomas's Homecoming

    NEWSWEEK has learned that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas will make a pilgrimage to his boyhood haunts in Georgia, as early as next weekend, as part of the White House strategy to keep the spotlight on his compelling personal story rather than his philosophy of the law. With reporters and photographers in tow, Thomas will stroll through Pin Point, his home until he was 7, visit his sister, Emma Mae Martin, and attend church with his mother, Leola. In Savannah, he'll stop in for a trim at his old barbershop. ...
  • Birthday Boogie

    Imelda Marcos: still a party animal. To celebrate her 62nd birthday on July 2, The Imelda's pals gathered at a swanky Manhattan apartment and boogied the night away. There was hot disco dancing-including glitter balls on one floor; on another, Imelda and friends crooned old standards by the piano. Guests included several jurors who helped acquit Imelda last year of fraud, racketeering and obstruction-of-justice charges. She gave each member a photo of herself and the jurors belted out "God Bless America." Imelda also announced she would be leaving America in October. And everybody ate cake, on which sat a single shoe.
  • Bush And Baker: A Lack Of Israeli Trust

    Secretary of State James Baker arrived in Jerusalem last week with a promising new formula for Mideast peace talks, but it did little to bolster his own tattered image among Israelis. Baker landed during Tisha Be-Av, a religious holiday marking the destruction of the First and Second Temples. Many Israelis regarded the timing as insensitive-one more callous gesture from an administration they don't trust. To a country accustomed to Washington's warm embrace, Baker and President George Bush represent an unnerving new brand of U.S. leadership: one with no special affinity for the Jewish state. "Bush and Baker simply don't ascribe to any romantic notion about Israel's special place in history," says a senior administration official. "That isn't hostility. It's just the absence of affection." ...
  • Knocking Down The Kings Of Beer

    On the night of Nov. 13,1983, August A. Busch IV, the 19-year-old heir to the Anheuser-Busch fortune, drove his black Corvette off a mountain road in Tucson, killing a young woman passenger. When police found Busch at home hours later he was naked, covered in dried blood, dazed and glassy-eyed. Yet, after key evidence mysteriously disappeared, Busch was never charged with a crime. The denouement didn't surprise many Busch watchers. "We are awfully tired of reading about the Busch family and what they get away with," wrote a St. Louis woman to Pima County, Ariz., sheriffs during the investigation. ...
  • You Have To Join To Pay

    Becky Picard doesn't mind driving for a hard bargain. Picard, who runs a summer camp in Bellville, Texas, regularly makes a 90-mile trek to Houston to shop at a discount warehouse. Not just any warehouse, mind you, but the "members only" variety. Last week, during a trip to a Houston branch of Sam's Wholesale Club, a national chain of members-only warehouses, she picked up two pallets full of supplies for her campers. "We've probably spent $3,000 here in the last few weeks," Picard said as she hoisted a case of baked beans into the back of her pickup. ...
  • Rewriting Communism

    It seemed as if Mikhail Gorbachev was rewriting communism in order to save it. In an hour-long speech to the party's Central Committee last week, the Soviet leader called for a sweeping overhaul of party ideology, abandoning the central tenets of Marxism-Leninism that have dominated his nation since 1917. Rejecting what he called "outdated ideological dogmas," Gorbachev declared that the time had come for the party to embrace private ownership of property and a freemarket economy. It should denounce totalitarian methods and set individual freedoms above the collective good. The Soviet leader also said party members should no longer be required to avow atheism. Then Gorbachev pointedly warned diehard Marxists that "all those who stick to other views are free in their choice." Conservatives immediately interpreted that as a warning to approve the progressive new program or quit the party. For the moment anyway, they apparently preferred to swallow the changes than run. The 412-member...
  • The Cutting Edge

    If you heard that Houston talk-radio host Dan Patrick planned to undergo an on-air vasectomy, you'd probably think it was a first. Wrong. When Patrick's operation is broadcast live from his doctor's office next week, it'll be at least the fourth time a radio personality has entertained an audience with this most private moment. Why do it? Patrick wants to show the "wimps" not to fear this "harmless" procedure.
  • Like Father, Like Daughter

    When the great pop crooner Nat King Cole died of cancer in 1965, at the age of 45, his 15-year-old daughter, Natalie, was in Massachusetts at prep school. "I never really got a chance to say goodbye to my dad," she recalls. "I didn't know he was sick for that long. I found out in December when I went home from school. He was very ill. He did not look good at all. I was shocked. Two months later when he died I was devastated." ...
  • Gary Is Talking...

    About a drug-related crime allegedly committed by the Indiana city's 1990 Police Officer of the Year. The prosecutor says two masked men recently burst into a Gary drug house, stole cocaine and $100, then fatally shot a resident. Ar rested were police Cpl. Derrick Earls and Patrolman Cory House, last year's award winner. Investigators think House did the shooting, but murder charges have not yet been filed. Officials say the pair may be involved in other crimes. Both deny the allegations.
  • If It's A Planet, No One Would Live There

    The first thing to know about the new planet whose discovery was reported by three astronomers in England last week is that, even if it exists, it almost certainly doesn't have anything living on it. The second thing is that it might not really exist. Other than that, it was a discovery that electrified astronomers, who have sought for decades evidence that planets--and at least the chance for life--exist somewhere else in space. ...
  • Summer Sporting Goods

    Sports shops are offering a lot more than barbells and baseballs these days. For a summer gift, think ambitious. Here's some of what's out there: Enter your skin type and suntan lotion, and it tells you when to flip. Only for hard-core sun worshipers.Putty to strengthen hands; what happened to squeezing racquetballs?Threatened by a schnauzer while jogging? Punish it with high-frequency noise.Now even baseball mitts have gone "Pump." Inflates for custom fit. It's cool, but will kids start offing each other over it?
  • Is This A Wrong Number?

    Remember when telephone companies just routed your phone calls? Now, thanks to a federal court ruling, they may someday bring you the morning news, read you your children's school-lunch menus and help you find a TV-repair shop. The right to offer such exotic services is part of what regional Baby Bell telephone companies stand to gain if last week's ruling by federal Judge Harold Greene can survive expected challenges in the higher courts. Victory there would relax antitrust restrictions against the companies and allow them to offer everything from electronic Yellow Pages to on-line data services over the phone. But not everyone--including consumer groups and Judge Greene himself--is applauding the idea. ...
  • The Secrets Of Apt. 213

    Few crimes measure the human capacity for depravity as starkly as serial sex murders. They are crimes gone beyond imaginable limits, into a realm of darkly enacted fantasy. Taking their cues from some deranged interior script, serial killers have flayed and cooked their victims, made suits of their skin, preserved body parts as masturbatory mementos--and kept gruesome photographic records of their handiwork. One murderer is said to have kept a collection of young boys' penises in a cigar box. Another, who served as a model for both the homicidal motel keeper in "Psycho" and the predatory "Buffalo Bill" in "The Silence of the Lambs," fitted the skin of a female victim over a dressmaker's dummy, apparently to evoke his late, beloved mother. "Every time you think it's the most bizarre thing you've heard," says Dr. Par Dietz, a forensic psychiatrist who works with the FBI's behavioral science unit, "something worse happens." ...
  • The Last Laugh?

    Finally, the Kennedys have something to laugh about. Leo Damore, author of the best-selling "Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Cover-Up," has been ordered to pay a source $49,000. A Barnstable, Mass., jury found that Damore tried to get out of a deal to pay a retired policeman for explaining how he leaked information to Kennedy lawyers so they could prepare for a police inquest into the 1969 accident. Damore testified he never agreed to pay sources.
  • The Gop's Civil War Over Abortion

    The right-to-life plank has been a mainstay of the Republican Party platform for the last 15 years. But before his death last March, GOP chairman Lee Atwater warned that the party would have to become a "big tent" that included prochoice Republicans. Atwater's prophecy is coming true: the GOP's monolithic opposition to abortion is crumbling. But the resulting squabbles have left the party badly divided over an issue that could threaten the Republican dream of "realignment," of becoming the nation's majority party. ...
  • Revenge Of The 'Rivethead'

    Anyone who saw the General Motors-bashing film "Roger and Me" knows that "funny" is not a word to describe work at a Flint, Mich., truck and bus plant. Yet Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line (234 pages. Warner. $19.95), Ben Hamper's first-person account of life in an auto factory, manages to be very funny--and smart. It takes a keen, slightly warped mind to compare the "malignant drudgery" of mindless auto-body work to a "ballet for the dead." ...
  • Late Birds And Belching Cows

    Some books try to make science palatable by coating it in mysticism, Tao-of physics style, while others embed it in cutthroat lab polities, as "The Double Helix" did. Judith Stone, a columnist for Discover magazine, has opted for spritzing the field with a generous dose of nitrous oxide. She writes, "There are two ways to approach a subject that frightens you and makes you feel stupid: you can embrace it with humility and an open mind, or you can ridicule it mercilessly." Anyone who doesn't know DNA from UFO can be grateful that Stone chose the latter.The bad news is that "Light Elements" favors puns to a painful extent. An essay on a mummification factory describes the "stiff competition" and "esprit de corpse"; a discourse on portable toilets goes off on a "johndarmes" tangent. If you can keep from wincing, you'll get to essays that manage to convey the lunatic side of science while also slipping in some information. Stone's topics range from unusual causes of the greenhouse...
  • A Role Model In His Own Mind

    Watching him on "Nightline," reading his syndicated column, watching him on "Nightline," seeing him cinematically depicted in "Reversal of Fortune," watching him yet again on "Nightline"-has there ever been a litigator more temperamentally suited for his task than Alan Dershowitz? From his podium at Harvard law school, from the wells of countless courtrooms, from the pages of his memoirs-three, so far, and he's only 53--Dershowitz has challenged judges, lawyers and politicians. He's splenetic Superlawyer, the man to see when all hope seems lost. He's represented on appeal such defendants as Claus von Bulow, Leona Helmsley, Jim Bakker and Michael Milken. Now, he's back where he likes to be, grievously attacked and promising dire vengeance, the Battling Boy from Borough Park preparing to smite his enemies. ...