Newswire

Newswire

  • Hair-Raising Spectacles

    The shoes were size 14 and the gold-painted nails polyurethane, but the fun at Manhattan drag-fest Wigstock was 24-karats pure. The seventh annual carnival of cross-dressing rocked to the retro sounds of Deee-Lite and Ultra Nate, but the true stars were the crowd. (Ask any would-be Liz-putting on this much makeup gives new meaning to Labor Day.) Keeping those falsies straight can be tiring, too. Sighs organizer Lady Bunny, "Even we club folk need a day to relax and just have a good time." ...
  • Money Isn't Everything

    It is, Robert McNamara once said, the best job in the world. Name a global problem-preventing famine, halting the spread of AIDS, staving off 21st-century struggles over access to water-and you can be sure that sooner or later it will end up on the desk of the president of the World Bank. But Lewis Preston, the New York banker who took over the job last week, must deal with a question that is far less cosmic: in a world undergoing dramatic changes, who needs the World Bank? ...
  • The Dropout Democrats

    If the party's big guns don't try to challenge Bush in '92, I wouldn't give them the time of day in '96 ...
  • Willie's New Ammunition

    William Kennedy Smith's defense lawyers are seeking ammunition to support their claim that the Florida woman who accused Smith of raping her at his family's Palm Beach estate last spring is mentally unstable-and might even have falsified the charge. Court documents released last week include sworn testimony that Smith's accuser was sexually abused by her natural father. He refused to speak to NEWSWEEK. The documents also show that one rape counselor-a potential witness-accepted the woman's story of being raped by Smith uncritically. If someone "feels violated ... they have been victimized," the counselor said.
  • Cafe Society

    Computer bulletin boards aren't just for dweeby cyberpunks anymore-at least not in San Francisco. Entrepreneur Wayne Gregori has created SF Net, a decidedly sociable computer network that links up patrons of the city's dangerously hip cafes. From the Lower Haight to south of Market Street, high-tech trendies are interfacing over cappuccino. All you have to do is buy a ticket from the cafe, enter a number into an on-site computer and begin your techno-chat at $1 per 15 minutes. The next Gregori test site: Seattle.
  • The Dems: Get Serious

    Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey won't announce his presidential candidacy until late September. But top aides are already organizing a campaign staff that draws on veterans from Gary Hart's past bids. Most sought after is Kevin Sweeney, Hart's press secretary in 1988, who is now an executive with the environmentally correct Patagonia sportswear company. Kerrey's aides favor Hart alums because they've had experience running the kind of maverick outsider campaign that Kerrey will be waging. While Kerrey is building a campaign team, Democratic strategists want Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton to quit visiting local diners and get serious about his '92 candidacy. "It has a certain innocent Ozark charm to it, but it's also wasting time," says a Democratic consultant. "If he wants to go to coffee shops, he should do it in Manchester, New Hampshire." Clinton is using the drop-bys to explain why he is breaking his pledge to serve out his term as governor.
  • The Unauthorized Dead Sea Scrolls

    For nearly 2,000 years, the manuscripts known as the Dead Sea scrolls lay buried in the Judean desert, concealing a treasure trove of information about the origins of Christianity and modern Judaism. Since the discovery of the first parchment in 1947, hundreds of manuscripts have been unearthed, reassembled from crumbling fragments, deciphered, translated and published. But hundreds more remain unpublished and virtually unknown except to a tiny coterie of editors who control the archive at the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem. Since 1960, the rate of publication has slowed greatly. The editors say they need more time to ensure that their work is accurate. Those who are shut out of the process, like Martin Abegg, a graduate student at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, have a different view: "It really comes down to scholarly greed and jealousy-'I've got it and you can't see it'." ...
  • Democratic Dream Tickets

    As November 1992 bears down on them, the Democrats are about as likely to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as John Hinckley is to marry Jodie Foster. They keep talking about acid rain and infant mortality and civil rights, oblivious to the one great legacy of Ronald Reagan: in the age of television, talking issues doesn't make the grade. If the Democrats want to win the White House, they need to forget FDR and JFK and think CNN and MTV. ...
  • Articles Of Disunion

    It was a grim James Madison who arrived in Philadelphia in May of 1787, armed as usual with books. Ahead of him lay a four-month struggle to forge a true national union from a confederation of 13 mutually suspicious states. His strategy was to control the terms of debate at the outset. Among his weapons: a manuscript he compiled the year before, called "Of Ancient and Modern Confederacies." In a tour of the historical horizon beginning with ancient Greece and continuing through the 1579 Union of Utrecht, Madison isolated the "vices" of confederations. Typically based on principles of local sovereignty and weak central government, they are inherently ineffectual. The Greek confederation could not prevent debilitating war between its members Athens and Sparta; the seven Utrecht provinces hamstrung the agreement. America was no exception, said Madison: a league of "embarrassments and mortal diseases." It took both a new Constitution and a civil war to stabilize the union. ...
  • A Leaner, Meaner Burger Thanks To Oat Bran

    America's favorite food has fallen on hard times lately. Diet-conscious consumers, looking askance at hamburger's high fat and calorie content, have been filling their shopping carts with fish and chicken instead. But the beef against beef may be shortlived. Ever since McDonald's introduced the McLean burger in April, meat companies have been scrambling to move lowfat beef into grocers' meat cases. The race heated up last week with the introduction of LeanMaker, a lower-fat beef product from Heller Seasonings & Ingredients, Quaker Oats Co. and Webb Technical Group. A LeanMaker ham burger has 38 percent less fat, 15 percent less cholesterol and 25 percent fewer calories than the average (22 percent fat) burger of the same size. ...
  • And Now What ?

    Gorbachev and Yeltsin cut a deal to free the Baltics and preserve a loose union. But can it stave off economic disaster in the long, cold winter ahead ?The state-run Central Supermarket in Kiev had bologna on sale at a good price. Along line of shoppers quickly formed, among them a pensioner who said her name was Anna Aleksandra. "The lines are longer and longer," she complained, "and it's getting harder and harder to find food. " The Ukraine, the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, has plenty of food. But the best of it ends up in private markets, where it sells for prices that people on pensions of 140 rubles a month-$4.37 at current bank exchange rate-simply cannot afford. Anna Aleksandra has to buy the cheaper food on sale in state stores; she has to settle for poorer quality and smaller quantities than she is used to. She cannot imagine what she will do if economic reform allows all food prices to rise to freemarket levels. Already, a single restaurant meal--in an establishment...
  • Promises, Promises

    TGIF: Thank God It's Fall. Up to this point in the year, Hollywood has made a pretty dismal showing. The big studios-some teetering on the edge of insolvency, others running for cover into the pocketbooks of the Japanese-seemed more concerned with corporate politics than turning out good movies. By the end of the summer the box office went flat, as moviegoers decided to just say no to the likes of "The Return to the Blue Lagoon" and "V.I. Warshawski." But there's still hope. Hollywood likes to save its best, its glitziest and its most Oscarworthy for last. Let's take a peek at the goodies coming in the final quarter. (All release dates are subject to change.)Ordinarily we disdain remakes (remember the bonehead who tried to improve "The Big Sleep"?) but the movie we most want to see is just that. The very idea of Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear is enough to produce little frissons of terror. The original, made in 1962 by J. Lee Thompson, was a terrifically nasty thriller starring Robert...
  • Calling The Cia

    Attorneys for Manuel Noriega may call defendants from the Iran-contra scandal to testify at the ex-Panamanian dictator's drug-trafficking trial. A likely candidate for subpoena is ex-CIA official Alan Fiers, who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the secret plan to aid the Nicaraguan rebels. Fiers could be forced to admit the CIA knew about drug dealing in the contra supply operation-an admission Noriega's lawyers hope will bolster their everyone-did-it defense. Noriega's team has also hired ex-CIA agent Frank Snepp to search for evidence of Noriega's relationship with the agency. Prosecutors also have a surprise witness: ex-Medellin kingpin Carlos Lehder Rivas, now in federal prison.
  • Judgment Calls

    How does a law professor get appointed to the federal bench? Cozying up to the White House can't hurt. University of Illinois professor Ron Rotunda submitted his name for a spot last spring. He didn't get the job-but he's now part of the PR machine for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. A legal ethics expert, he's phoned reporters, published op-ed pieces and, at the behest of White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, written an essay absolving Thomas of unethical conduct in a controversial case. Rotunda denies he's angling for a judgeship. The White House says he's not being considered.
  • Compromising Positions

    For a woman who says she's sick of attention, Tai Collins seems a little hazy on the concept. After alleging she had sex in 1984 with the then governor of Virginia, Charles Robb, flaunting the tale in October's Playboy and autographing the issue, it's hard to grasp just how she plans to sneak out of the limelight. Senator Robb, married 23 years, calls Collins's story a fabrication. He says she gave him a back rub, but no sex occurred. Yet he may have a hard time convincing readers of that version after they see her back and nearly everything the magazine spread.
  • Buzzwords

    Do you break into a cold sweat when anyone starts talking about personal computers? Next time, toss around a little lingo, and people will think you read Byte magazine. Ability to run several programs at once.Popular Microsoft program that permits multitasking, among other things.The current standard in color screens. Usage: "Windows looks great in Super VGA."Extra memory. Allows programs to run faster.A low-profile desktop computer, usually with monitor on top.Subscriber to a bulletin board who reads messages but never contributes.Software that speeds up file access. Usage: "My 80-megabyte hard drive really flies with the cache on.
  • The Art Of Thumbsucking

    Welcome to the post cold war sweepstakes to find the best catchy phrase for a new era ...
  • Hearing But Not Speaking

    Among the many rituals of Washington, few are more predictable than a Nominee Summer. Typically it begins in July, when a crusty old Supreme Court veteran summons his strength one last time and bids farewell. Then, after a decent interval, the president steps into the portable press room that accompanies him as closely as the nuclear black bag, and names the lucky successor. On Capitol Hill, Judiciary Committee staffers cancel their shares in Rehoboth beach houses and instead read everything the new fellow has written. In private hideaways, law-school dons brief senators who never quite mastered constitutional doctrine. While interest groups duel by fax and direct mail, the nominee girds for the autumnal hearings, attends practice sessions in the White House basement and submits to intimate background checks. All this ends shortly after the Redskins play their first game. And so this week, Clarence Thomas will meet the committee. As the conventional wisdom has it, the nomination is...
  • Supreme Mystery

    When George Bush nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas stood on the Kennebunkport lawn and, with tears in his eyes, thanked the nuns who had set him on the road to success. At that moment, White House handlers said later they knew his extraordinary life story would become his message: from Pin Point, Ga., to the pinnacle of Washington power in four decades. The Senate will begin to examine that story this week. For two months, NEWSWEEK correspondents have followed Thomas back to his roots. What emerges is a fascinating-and contradictory-tale about one American and his future. ...
  • Where The Buffalo Moan

    If renowned sculptor Robert Berks has his way, the Great Plains will be a home where the buffalo' well, sort of stand there. Berks wants to sculpt a herd of 1,000 life-size buffaloes that would range over a half mile of open prairie in Wyoming, Montana or the Dakotas. The copper beasts would be mounted on pivots, making them giant 750-pound weather vanes. Special noisemakers in the pivots would simulate buffalo grunts. This effort, financed by private donations, would be part of an Old West "theme area."