Newswire

Newswire

  • 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. ...
  • The Miracle Of The Keys

    I've always believed I was born to play the piano, and so has everyone else who has heard me sing. This may have something to do with my training as a journalist, a profession that has banished tonal nuance in favor of a rigid insistence on accuracy. Of all the ways of translating the motions of a human hand into music, a keyboard is the most straightforward and mathematically precise. The keys bear a one-to-one correspondence to the notes, so that the infinitude of mistakes it is possible to produce on, say, a violin, is reduced to a discrete, manageable handful. In piano playing, as in writing, it's all a matter of pressing the right keys. ...
  • Physician, Cut Thy Costs

    By all accounts Dr. Andrew Nowakowski is a perfectly competent internist practicing in Bel Aire, Md. Yet his hospital once placed him on probation for a year, threatening his privilege to practice at the hospital. His offense? He was too costly. He ordered too many tests and kept patients in the hospital too long. In all, his costs were nearly 25 percent above Medicare averages. "I tended to take care of all the problems I could while patients were in the hospital," Nowakowski says. "That's the way I was trained." But the physician quickly changed his style from champagne to beer. He now discharges patients sooner and orders cheaper drugs. Says Nowakowski: "You then hope you don't do anything wrong." ...
  • A Very Merry Halloween

    There was no new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum's annual Costume Institute benefit last week (they're renovating), but you hardly needed one. There were enough bizarre outfits (some of which should have remained on the rack) on display by the high-society women in attendance. Of the 500 or so who paid $900 to nosh in the Temple of Dendur, Lynda Carter was truly a wondrous woman in green satin. But designer Diane von Furstenburg should have slipped into something more. Ladies, check your mirrors.
  • Is Pat Buchanan Anti-Semitic?

    In late 1965, when 27-year-old Pat Buchanan got the job interview with Richard Nixon that would change his life, there was one matter on which he would not compromise. He writes in his autobiography that Nixon expected him to say he was not as conservative as William F. Buckley. Buchanan was anxious to work for Nixon, but he wouldn't budge. "I have a tremendous admiration for Bill Buckley," he said. In fact, Buchanan considered Buckley's National Review to be his "spiritual guide" in polities. ...
  • Bottom Line: How Crazy Is It?

    In the opening minutes of Oliver Stone's "JFK" a man collapses, twitching, on a city sidewalk; a woman mumbles about the president's murder from a hospital bed. Most moviegoers will see these simply as surrealistic omens. But a few people will instantly see that Stone did his homework. A man named Jerry Belknap really did have a seizure in Dealey Plaza minutes before President Kennedy's motorcade arrived. He was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital by the same drivers who were later to load the president's body into their ambulance for the trip from Parkland to the airport. It was probably not a staged distraction as plotters moved into place. Why didn't the hospital have a record? Belknap said he'd wandered out during the confusion when Kennedy was brought in. ...
  • Just What I Always... Needed!

    President Bush set the tone by buying those $3.75-a-pair "USA" sweat socks at JCPenny. In this, The Recession Christmas, fancy gifts are out. Practical and cheap are the operative words this year, which explains why flannel pajamas are selling so well. A few examples: Helps avoid horrifying auto-repair and plumbing bills. Could the socket wrench become the fashion statement of the humble '90s?Will massage your feet while you're pounding the pavement looking for work. Also keep the tootsies warm (pop the insoles in the microwave).Romantic it ain't, so best given to someone you know really, really well. With blower attachment, clears leaves from lawn, too. Wet-dry models great for college kids.Away with those fatty, overpriced sausage-and-cheese baskets. Let you get what you want--or need. Personalizing makes them almost fun.
  • All The Ink That's Fit To Print

    Newspaper readers have long put up with some of the minor irritations that go with the territory. To read unwieldy papers on crowded trains and buses, they've mastered origami. And to find the end of stories that began on page one, they've learned the tricks of the librarian's trade. But what could they do when they came away from the day's news with dirty fingers and smudged clothing but wash their hands of the whole business? ...
  • College Without Chemicals

    Of all the things he was told to expect about college life, Cedric Small heard most about the beer: "Study, beer. Party, beer. Pizza, beer. You really can't ever get away from it." Sure enough, in his first two years at the University of Michigan, Small says that "every weekend, vomit would be all over the bathroom-in the stalls, on the toilets. It was like a zoo." But this year the 20-year-old junior did get away from it. He moved to a "substance-free corridor" in a different residence hall-and the biggest bathroom problem he's encountered so far is hair in the drains. ...
  • Liberating The Teamsters

    If you thought political campaigns were getting too nasty, take a look at the current Teamsters union race for international president. First, one of the three candidates, R. V. Durham, ran an ad that included a close-up picture of opponent Ron Carey-with the word SCAB emblazoned across it. No milquetoast, Carey retaliated with an ad that shows Durham arm in arm with a prison inmate and a gangster wielding a machine gun. Not to be outdone, the third candidate, Walter Shea, portrayed Durham as the dog-literally -of outgoing president William McCarthy, complete with leash and hair bow. ...
  • Retailers With A Cause

    Ron Kurtz, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound travel consultant, spends his days helping corporations figure out how to market hassle-free travel accommodations. But his own travel is often far from hassle-free. Airline seats are too small for his broad frame. Tray tables don't always fit over his lap. And airplane bathrooms? Well, forget comfort. Until recently Kurtz felt helpless in his quest to persuade airlines to respond to the needs of larger travelers. But recently the large-economy-size flier found a friend in an unlikely source. The King-Size Co., a mail-order clothing business he uses, began lobbying for bigger seats for its 400,000 big and tall customers. "As individuals we don't have that much strength of influence," says Kurtz. "But if corporations bring us together with a unified voice, we can have a lot more power." ...
  • The Trial You Won't See

    If daytime television were always this good, "Days of Our Lives" and "Oprah" would be in big trouble. Once again, the magic of the medium allowed Americans to watch a real-life drama undress itself before their very eyes. Two months ago, the venue was the U.S. Senate: Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas. Last week, it was room 411 of the Palm Beach County courthouse: a 30-year-old woman vs. William Kennedy Smith. The stakes were different; so, too, the charge. Yet all the nation, tuning in to cable coverage, had the same question: who was telling the truth-and who was telling a lie? ...
  • Remove That Blue Dot

    Hers was the most compelling of courtroom allegations, yet you couldn't see her face and you didn't know her name. On television sets across the nation, it was a remarkable picture of journalistic hypocrisy. ...
  • Were The Deals Worth It?

    America got the last of its 17 hostages back from Lebanon in time for Christmas. Here are only some of the direct and indirect costs: two American officials murdered in Lebanon; at least one terrorist freed in France; eight Western hostages murdered; 91 Arab prisoners released by Israel; $278 million released to Iran, and now implicit recognition given to the kidnappers by their own United Nations intermediary. Then there was the Iran-contra scandal: one national-security adviser and seven other U.S. officials indicted; the sale of untold tons of prohibited arms and a humiliating gift of a cake. Rarely if ever has the freedom of so few hostages cost so much. When Fidel Castro gave up 1,179 Bay of Pigs hostages, he got $53 million in U.S. humanitarian aid and an enduring blockade. Saddam Hussein turned over more than 10,000 Western hostages last Christmas, and still found himself on the business end of a war. But the terrorists in Lebanon, NEWSWEEK sources say, can now walk away,...
  • Pennies From Heaven

    The Environmental Protection Agency may write the rules for acid rain, but the Council on Competitiveness can erase them. Chaired by Vice President Dan Quayle, the council can revise any proposed regulations deemed too onerous for business--even, it seems, a business its members own. Last week documents released by Rep. Henry Waxman showed that Allan Hubbard, the council's executive director, presided over a meeting that rejected regulations affecting a utility, PSI Holdings Inc., in which he holds between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock. ...
  • The Grand Clipper's Final Flight

    When Pan American World Airways brought 64 historic years of aviation to a close last week, it left a lot of victims behind--from 7,500 employees to passengers like Roslyn Hunter. The New York City single mother had planned a Caribbean trip for months. "I saw my first vacation without my 4-year-old go out the window," she says. Despite announcements that several airlines would honor tickets, she ended up having to buy new ones on American. The once grand "Clipper Ship" airline couldn't navigate the turbulent skies after deregulation. Said CEO Russell L. Ray Jr.: "Today, we see the end of an airline whose name will be forever forged in American history." ...
  • Stiffing The Bill

    Talk about collateral. According to a Flint, Mich., undertaker, the family of one James McDill hasn't paid a $3,605.59 bill at the House of Spencer Mortuary for three years. Which is too bad because, throughout that duration, the late Mr. McDill has been lying, dead and embalmed, inside the mortuary. The family wants McDill interred. But mortuary owner J. Merrill Spencer vows, "I'm prepared to keep him forever if need be." The state morticians association says that, while legal, this situation is "unusual."
  • 'The Crook Of The Century,

    It was one of Kevin Maxwell's most difficult moments in the limelight. Standing before a shouting throng of journalists in the New York Daily News building last Friday, the 32-year-old son of the late Robert Maxwell looked eerily composed. The Maxwell empire was crumbling, the Daily News was facing collapse yet again, British authorities were investigating his companies for fraud and his father had recently been buried after a mysterious death while sailing off the Canary Islands. Adding to the troubles, London's tabloid The Sun, owned by rival Rupert Murdoch, gave page-one play to a pensioner who branded the late tycoon "the crook of the century." Was Kevin overwhelmed by it all? he was asked. "I wouldn't have believed [the events] if I'd read them in a novel," he said. "[But] if you're overwhelmed, you go under." ...
  • How Terry Survived

    Nearly seven years after he was dragged off the street, blindfolded and put in chains, Terry Anderson stepped out of a cell in Lebanon as though he was emerging from a time warp. Just minutes after his arrival in Damascus last week closed America's drawn-out hostage drama, Anderson came forth poised, thoughtful and fully in control. "I'll try to answer a few questions, although you'll understand I have a date with a couple of beautiful ladies and I'm already very late," the beaming journalist told a press conference at the Syrian Foreign Ministry. Then he hurried off to join his fiancee and his daughter, Sulome, born during his captivity. What were his last words to his kidnappers? "Goodbye!" he said, rolling his eyes in a gesture instantly recognizable to old friends. ...