Newswire

Newswire

  • The Gift Of High-Tech Jazz

    Philippe Kahn used to be the bad boy of Silicon Valley. The French-born math professor started his U.S. company, Borland International, in 1983 without bothering to get a work visa. His reputation for throwing raucous parties eclipsed that of his firm, which specializes in databases and computer languages. Lately he's cleaned up his act, acquiring AshtonTate in a deal that made Borland the biggest PC database firm. He also got his green card in 1985. Kahn is often seen pursuing his more patrician pastime, sailing-but he still plays a mean sax and flute. So when Borland sent out its Christmas greetings this year, it included a jazz CD featuring Kahn, backed by pros like guitarist John Abercrombie. ...
  • Twisted History

    Oliver Stone's 'JFK' Is Not Just An Entertainment, It's A Piece Of Propaganda For A Huge Conspiracy Theory Of The Kennedy Murder
  • Tough Love From The Dems

    For Democrats seeking the presidency, here's the easy part: declare that the '80s are over and pledge allegiance to the middle class and its values. Greed is out, and so are the poor who won't help themselves. The latest Zeitgeist bulletin comes from Lawrence Kasdan, who made "The Big Chill." In his new film, "Grand Canyon," a Yuppie couple finds fulfillment by adopting an abandoned infant and by befriending a proud, self-reliant black man and seeing to it that he gets married. "The '80s were about 'every man for himself'," says Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton. "The '90s are about 'we're all in this together'." ...
  • I'd Toddle A Mile For A Camel

    Suppose you're a cigarette-company executive, charged with persuading consumers to use a product that has a tendency to kill them. Common sense suggests that adolescents, with their propensity for risk taking, would make easier targets than adults. Market studies support that impression, showing that most adult smokers got hooked before they were 18. Yet cigarette makers deny having any interest in the teenage "start-up" market. Though the pool of confirmed smokers dwindles each year, as millions quit or die, the tobacco companies insist they advertise only to promote brand loyalty. Health experts have long rolled their eyes at that assertion, and last week they all but demolished it. In three new studies, they showed how a hip-looking cartoon camel has helped R.J. Reynolds storm the underage market. ...
  • A Dumping Ground For Granny

    The sad scenario goes something like this: an elderly man is brought to a hospital emergency room by family members who say he is confused, not eating or wandering away from home. Tests find nothing specifically wrong with him, but when doctors try to contact the family, the phone number they left has been disconnected and the address proves fictitious. Or nursing-home staffers transport a resident complaining of chest pains to an emergency room. When physicians stabilize her and attempt to return her, the nursing home says her bed has been filled-usually by someone better able to pay the fees. Sometimes there is no accompanying paperwork on the patient, so doctors can't determine if the ailment is a chronic condition or something new, and they have to order a battery of expensive tests. Either way, the hospital is left caring for the patient sometimes for days or weeks on end, and sometimes with no one to bill expenses to....
  • Dire Straits

    The Soviet financial crunch is so bad these days that the ill effects are being felt as far away as Seattle. Last week the Russian International Round the World Expedition found itself up a creek without a paddle in the thriving port city. Volunteers on the expedition's three wooden boats-designed after the ships Vitus Bering used 250 years ago to discover Alaska from Russia-are frantically trying to raise enough money to repair their engines so they can carry on their message of "peace and love without frontiers." Now this motto will be put to the test, because funding from the Soviet Union won't be available any time soon.
  • Ancient Art, Modern Fad

    Given the state of California's economy, Sandi Stutzman figured her husband's metal-plating business could use all the help it could get. So, the Simi Valley, Calif., homemaker turned to Lillian Lesefko, a practitioner of feng shui-the Asian art of arranging one's surroundings to achieve harmony and prosperity. Acting on Lesefko's counsel, the Stutzmans installed a window on a waistlevel wall between an atrium and the family room. That, Lesefko advised, would stop the family's good luck from flowing out the back door. They have since reaped dual benefits. "My husband's business has been great lately and it's helped a lot with our heating bills," Stutzman says. ...
  • The Television Question

    The William Kennedy Smith trial in Palm Beach has raised the Television Question again. Should television have been there at all? And, more broadly, what is this infernal, ever present invention doing to us, anyhow, to our consciousness, to our very way of life? The answer to the second set of questions is: everything. Our lives have already been irreversibly transformed in ways that make the pretelevision America of less than 50 years ago seem like the dark ages-literally. My opinion is that this has been almost without exception for the good and that our fitful complaining about it rests on turning legitimate worries about the role of TV coverage in a few specific circumstances into a mindless condemnation of the whole. ...
  • The Year Of Sobering Up

    Looking back, 1991 was surely a peculiar year. In some ways, it was quite spectacular. Soviet communism finally bit the dust. We defanged a monster in Saddam Hussein, who strove to build nuclear weapons and-had he succeeded-just might have used them. All the American hostages in Lebanon were freed. A Middle East peace conference began. It was also the year that Denver and Miami won major-league baseball teams and that "Terminator 2" was the biggest-grossing movie. Sounds wonderful. ...
  • Detroit Is Talking ...

    About the future home of the Detroit Tigers. The team confirmed last week that it is considering four proposals to build a replacement for venerable Tiger Stadium, but all the sites are located in the suburbs outside the financially devastated city. All of Detroit's major sports teams except the hockey Red Wings have already abandoned the inner city, which is desperate for business revenue. The Tigers wanted to build a park next to Tiger Stadium. But the city balked because that would require the demolition of hundreds of homes. Say it ain't so: Tiger Stadium
  • Why He Failed

    Mikhail Gorbachev didn't have to change the world. He could have chosen to rule much as his predecessors did. "As Brezhnev did, for instance," he said in a recent interview. "Let me have my 10 years as emperor, and after me everything can go to hell." Or, recognizing that his country had to change, Gorbachev could have become a cautious modernizer, in the Chinese fashion, promoting economic reform and sponsoring new technology while holding firm against political change. Things might not have gone to hell for years. But Gorbachev was a man in a hurry. He attempted a quick political fix and aroused expectations of economic salvation. In the process, he released pent-up forces that led to the collapse of communism, the demise of the Soviet state and his own slow slide into irrelevance. ...
  • Palm Beach Lessons

    In the end, it was over before it even began. Forget those prosecutorial blunders, never mind the sorcery o the defense team. The rape trial o William Kennedy Smith was decided the first day when Judge Mary Lupo excluded the testimony of three other women who claimed they were sexually assaulted by Smith in the 1980s. Without them, the trial came down to a swearing contest: her vs. him. Date rape is a crime that usually leaves neither eyewitnesses nor strong physical evidence. With the burden of proof stacked against the prosecution, there was virtually no way the defendant could lose. ...
  • More On Mario

    While Mario Cuomo dithers, his loyal lieutenants are scouring the country for a provisional presidential campaign team. But they're not always getting the answers they want. Democratic media man Bob Squier turned down Cuomo since he'd already said no to Tom Harkin, a Senate client. They've had good response from fund raisers, but lost a big fish in Peter G. Kelly, who just signed on with Bill Clinton. Cuomo's men have lined up Washington-based polltaker Mark Mellman. The media firm Doak and Shrum could have the inside track on Cuomo's ad campaign-unless he sticks with his longtime state consultants.
  • The New Case For Soviet Aid

    Even after 50 years of global immersion, the American political psyche still harbors a deep streak of isolationism. After winning World War II, the late statesman Averell Harriman used to say, Americans just wanted to "go to the movies and drink Coke." Most congressmen regarded foreign aid as "sand down a rat hole." But Harriman and his kind, the old foreign-policy establishment, understood that war-torn Europe stood on the brink of collapse, perhaps revolution. The challenge for the Truman administration was to make Americans realize that it was in their long-term interest to come to the rescue. ...
  • Frill City

    The White House press corps, hit by escalating travel costs and the demise of its longtime charter airline, may have found an unlikely white knight: Trans World Air. lines. After Delta took over some Pan Am routes last summer, Pan Am continued flying domestic press charters. But Delta spurned the overseas hauls. For Bush's recent European trip, the White House scribes turned to Evergreen International Aviation, a no-frills outfit from McMinnville, Ore. Along comes TWA, with a surprisingly low bid for Bush's upcoming Asian trip. The fares can run higher than first class, but the service is first class, too: "Just like the good old days," said a newsman.
  • Europe Takes A Giant Stop

    Ever since 1951, when the "founding fathers of Europe" created a six-nation Coal and Steel Community, the Old Continent has managed nothing but baby steps in the march from economic cooperation to true political identity. For 40 years, institutional Europe remained mired in agricultural and commercial trivia-apparently fated to go on discussing the price of butter and the harmonization of refrigerators until the end of time. Last week, however, the European Community's top leaders shook off their mercantile preoccupations and took a giant stride toward authentic political unity. ...
  • Sex Crimes On Your Screen?

    With a computer and a modem, what good is sitting alone in your room? Last Tuesday night, for instance, you could have called into the America Online (AO) service, wandered past the offers of business tips or equipment advice, skipped over the encyclopedia and settled on the "People Connection." That's an area of AO that features any number of freewheeling electronic "rooms" created by subscribers-a kind of keyboard party line. As many as 23 people in each room add a couple of lines at a time, coming together to chatter and joke, to argue and to flirtdancing as it were, screen to screen. ...
  • The Shopping Mall Of Dreams

    The ancient Greeks had amphitheaters. Renaissance Italians had grand churches. And 20th-century Americans, well, they have shopping malls. At a time when the country's retailers are struggling to overcome what could he one of the worst Christmas seasons in years, developers in Minnesota are preparing to unveil the largest monument ever built to the nation's shoppers. Called The Mall of America, the domed shopping center will open next summer on 78 acres in Bloomington, Minn., outside Minneapolis-St. Paul. A kind of Taj Mahal of shopping malls, it will be larger in square footage than Red Square, contain almost twice as much steel as the Eiffel Tower and have enough space to hold 20 St. Peter's basilicas. On the grounds of the colossus: an amusement park with a carousel, log flume ride and a halfmile-long roller coaster. ...
  • Now, Keating May Be Looking At 5 To 10

    Charles Keating Jr. has become a symbol for just about every facet of the unraveling S&L industry. The failure of his Lincoln Savings and Loan Association is the biggest ever and is expected to cost taxpayers $2.6 billion. His attempts to influence officials gave us the scandal that bears his name. Now Keating might personify something else: punishment for S&L crimes. Two weeks ago Keating was convicted on state securities-fraud charges. (He plans to appeal.) Last week a federal grand jury issued a 77-count indictment against Keating and four former associates on fraud and racketeering charges. The same day, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a civil suit accusing Keating and nine others of insider trading and fraud. ...