Newswire

Newswire

  • Gorbachev's Weak Lineup

    Valery Boldin has a thankless job. He is chief of staff to the Soviet president, and as a longtime communist functionary is about as popular in Moscow as John Sununu is in Washington. But at least Sununu and George have a staff system that works. Mikhail Gorbechev's office is another matter. Even as Boldin struggles to control the flow of information, the omnivorous Soviet leader circumvents him. "Informing the president is not easy," says Boldin carefully. "He reads too much." ...
  • Operation Desert Snore

    Getting out a hardcover biography of a sudden hero is no easy task. You can use paper ordered for another project, you can keep the bindery running round the clock. But if the author doesn't rush heedlessly toward the deadline, filling pages with warned-over journalism and assorted odd facts harvested during quick trips through the friends-and-relatives patch, then you'll never have a book like In the Eye of the Storm: The Life of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf (329 pages. Farrar Straus Giroux. $19.95). Actually, there are two authors on this story of the bearish, second-generation West Pointer who commanded the allied forces against Iraq: Roger Cohen, who covers the publishing business for The New York Times, and Claudi Gattio, the U.S. bureau chief for Europe. That would be no problem - if the writers didn't outnumber the interesting sources. ...
  • Now A 'Grand Swap'?

    They had high hopes but no expectations. When rumors began to circulate again early last week that one or more of the Western hostages in Lebanon might be set free, the families of the prisoners faced a familiar emotional ordeal. Joan Sutherland, 27, the daughter of American hostage Thomas Sutherland, would not allow herself to think that his six-year captivity might finally be over. She refused to make any plans to leave her home in Portland, Ore.,until her father was actually free. "It's just too hard to get your bags packed, then have to unpack," she said. "It used to be a total roller coaster. I'd hear good news and bounce off the wall; then bad news would come, and I'd cry. It's happened a ga-zillion times, and it's too hard to let yourself go through it." ...
  • In 'The Church Of The Locked Door'

    They sustained one another. After beatings, John McCarthy would mimic his tormentors "with a precision and zaniness that reduced their sometimes brutality to insignificance," said his former cellmate Brian Keenan. Over dominoes in their six-foot-by-six-foot cell, McCarthy imitated Sigmund Freud and Peter Sellers. Six years ago U.S. hostages formed "The Church of the Locked Door" and began holding twice-daily services. Spirited arguments and thousands of push-ups have helped keep up their minds and bodies. When they could, most read voraciously. ...
  • Bad Move

    One of Parker Brothers' recent big ideas was a children's board game called Careers for Girls, in which players choose from six decidedly limited job descriptions: "supermom," "rock star," "school teacher," "fashion designer," "animal doctor" and "college graduate." After receiving complaints that perhaps the game was a bit sexist, Parker Brothers discontinued it, citing a "lack of mass appeal." Which is a polite way of saying it was a dumb idea.
  • Another Arms Race

    The cold war is over, but that hasn't stopped the superpowers from racing to sell arms to the Third World. Congressional Research Service report now circulating on Capitol Hill reveals that between 1987 and 1990, the Soviet Union signed more than $2.7 billion worth of arms-sales agreements with Iran-a 270 percent increase over the 1983-86 period. The Iranians' Soviet equipment includes T-72 tanks, MiG-29 jets and SA-7 surface-to-air missiles. ...
  • Guarding Your Good Name

    You might lose a loan or even a job, if the credit report of a deadbeat gets mixed with yours ...
  • Serial-Murder Aftershocks

    The voice on the tape was desperate and pleading. "I'm on 25th and State, and there is this young man. He's buck naked. He has been beaten up ... He is really hurt ... He needs some help." So went a taped conversation on May 27 between a neighbor of confessed serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and the Milwaukee 911 emergency service. The neighbor repeatedly told 911 operators and police-that she had seen a young boy, bleeding and incoherent, on the street near Dahmer's apartment. Police investigated, but after questioning Dahmer in his home, they dismissed the incident as a domestic dispute between adult homosexuals. "Intoxicated Asian, naked male," one was recorded as saying, amid laughter, "was returned to his sober boyfriend." Shortly after the police left, investigators now suspect, Konerak Sinthasomphone, a 14-year old Laotian boy, became victim number 13. ...
  • Trapped On The Oily Sea

    For the puffins, auklets and other rare seabirds that nest in the sea-carved islets and rock cliffs of the Olympic National Park, these are the most crucial days. The springborn fledglings have crossed into the Pacific, where they must learn to swim. But instead of pure sea water, they landed in a nasty mess. The ocean is coated with a spreading oil slick from as much as 100,000 gallons leaking out of a Japanese fish-processing boat that sank two weeks ago. Thus far the fuel has washed up on at least 70 miles of Pacific coastline, including a 57-mile stretch of Olympic Park. ...
  • The Gift Of Gag

    Maybe it was nostalgia for "The Exorcist" that's created this latest Hollywood monster. Whatever the inspiration, everyone on celluloid today seems to be doing one thing: throwing up. Susan Sarandon lost it roadside in "Thelma & Louise." In "Dying Young," a gravely ill Campbell Scott tosses his dinner throughout the film. Keanu Reeves heaves dry in "Point Break." Then there's the upcoming "Barton Fink," in which John Goodman kisses porcelain after seeing a dead body. No word yet on how the trend is affecting concession sales.
  • The Cia And Bcci

    An exclusive look at how the agency penetrated the outlaw bank to spy on drug lords and terrorists ...
  • A Plot To Kill Yeltsin?

    Was Russian President Boris Yeltsin the target of an assassination plot earlier this year? Phillip Petersen, a U.S. military expert studying the Soviet republics, has added new details to earlier reports that during the crackdown on the rebellious Baltic States in January, an "accident" was planned for a plane on which Yeltsin was to have been a passenger. According to Petersen, part of the Interior Ministry security force's planned move against breakaway Estonia included a "rolling coup," taking over one by one the centers of local political authority. ...
  • Papa's Got A Brand-Old Bag

    At Franky Jackson's Soul Kitchen in New York, famous fashion models tote quart bottles of Colt 45, and the basement walls shake to the sound of old rhythm-and-blues records. Aretha Franklin fades into Dyke & the Blazers, King Curtis into James Brown, just the way God intended it. Strictly speaking, Soul Kitchen is the most pleasurable spot on earth. As the crackly sounds blare from the speakers, there's enough grain in the tenor sax, in the booming bass, to absorb as many bodies as the management can cram in. ...
  • The Will To Say Yes

    The Moscow summit produces an arms deal, a new atmosphere of amity--and joint superpower pressure on Arabs and Israelis to talk peace ...
  • For Doctors, An Hiv Safety Net

    As concern about doctors with AIDS grows, an insurance subsidiary of the American Medical Association this week will begin offering a breakthrough policy for physicians infected with the virus. The policy will be available to all doctors regardless of age, gender, medical specialty or place of residence who don't already have the HIV virus. Doctors will receive a lump-sum benefit of up to $500,000 if they subsequently test HIV positive. The payouts are designed to provide a degree of financial security to infected physicians who may want to quit, or limit their practice, before they become eligible for disability insurance. The AMA expects to offer the policy, underwritten by Physicians Mutual Insurance Co. of Omaha, nationwide by the end of the year.
  • Shell Game

    Is the Bush administration covering up the Soviet Union's involvement in Iraq's chemical and biological programs to avoid embarrassing Mikhail Gorbachev? The Pentagon last fall identified some Soviet "advisers" in Iraq as chemical weapons troops. Recently, Pentagon sources say, U.S. special forces in Iraq found an empty shell designed for rocket launchers that Saddam acquired from the Soviets. The shell, bearing Russian writing, was fitted for use as a chemical-or biological-weapon. Sources say U.S. experts studying the shell at a Maryland Army base have orders "from the highest levels" to keep quiet.
  • The Rain Forest At Risk

    If it's not one thing, it's another. First came the rape of the Brazilian rain forest by slash-and-burn farmers. Then gold miners moved in. Now ecologists are warning of a new threat to the Amazon basin: American oil companies. More than a half dozen U.S. firms are venturing farther into the region known as the Andean Amazon, lured by the region's destitute governments. In June, Bolivia agreed to let an international consortium explore and develop a 5,700-square-mile tract. Peru's state-run oil company-too broke even to maintain existing wells-recently sent maps and technical information to 180 foreign companies describing the rich oil deposits underneath the jungle canopy. ...
  • Making Tlc A Requirement

    Doctors shouldn't be totally heartless," concedes Dan Dubin, 26, a fourth year Harvard medical student, "but there's no positive reinforcement for spending extra time with a patient." Handholding and comforting, he believes, are better left to nurses and social workers. Doris Iarovici, a fourth-year medical student at Yale, couldn't agree less. "With really sick patients, there often isn't that much a doctor can accomplish with science," she says. "One of the best things yo can do for any patient is to listen and show that you care." ...
  • What Is Queer Nation?

    For more than 20 years, gay activists campaigned against hate words--and got results. Only the most irremediable bigots continued to use "queer," "dyke" and "faggot." But some members of the choir are now preaching a different message. At gay-rights rallies and marches a militant new chant can be heard. "We're here," it goes, over and over. "We're queer." ...
  • Compromised By Comrades?

    The South African Communist Party threw itself a 70th-birthday party two weeks ago, but there was nothing proletarian about the price of admission. Organizers defended the $70-a-couple tickets to angry rank and file on the ground of party poverty. As a fund-raiser the affair was actually a bit of a flop: Johannesburg's city hall was less than half full, and party general secretary Joe Slovo's table was surrounded by empty chairs. But the presence of senior African National Congress officials like deputy president Walter Sisulu alongside Slovo recalled the SACP's special relationship with the ANC-and highlighted a potential liability for the ANC in its attempts to negotiate a new constitution for South Africa. ...