• The Boom In Gloom

    The rhetoric about the economy and the economy itself are drifting farther and farther apart. If you listen to the rhetoric, you'd think we were dropping rapidly into an economic canyon akin to the Great Depression of the 1930s. As history, this analogy (sometimes explicit, sometimes implied) is an atrocity: in the 1930s, unemployment averaged 18 percent. The sickliness of the economy today is a mild case of sniffles by comparison. ...
  • Safer Sex

    This is a story about the power of love, as it is understood by a certain 17-year-old San Francisco highschool student. Carmen had sex for the first time when she was 13, with a teenage boy from the neighborhood. She had symptoms of venereal disease-possibly chlamydia-at 14 and was finally treated for it a year after that, when she saw a gynecologist for the first time. Now, when she has sexual relations with her teenage boyfriend, she doesn't use a condom because she thinks she has something better. "Even if he was screwing around nothing would happen because he says he'll never do anything that would mess me up, and I believe him," she explains, changing buses on her way home from her Roman Catholic school. "We don't need no condom because he says he loves me."Love: next to the mosquito, probably the greatest disseminator of deadly microbes ever devised by the cruel hand of fate. Not only does it draw people into intimate contact, it addles their brains in the process. For the...
  • Shirley Temple Syndrome

    What ever happened to the innocence of childhood? Did it die with the conviction of Pete Rose in 1990? The death of "Sesame Street's" Mr. Hooper, in 1982? Or did it survive those traumas, only to succumb just last month to the twin blows of Magic Johnson's blood-test results and the sight of Macaulay Culkin, stung to death by bees, laid out in a little white coffin in his new movie, "My Girl"? For parents dreading the question "Gee, if it could happen to Macaulay Culkin, could it happen to me?"--a few words of advice: ...
  • Playing Games With Computers

    Why should the kids have all the fun? Whether you're into shoot-'em-up combat simulators, role-playing adventures or sports, computer games (the ones for PCs, not the kind that plug into the TV) have come a long way. Giftbuying hint: make sure you know your friend's computer type and disk size before heading to the store. ...
  • Moving Cash

    Though the two Liban agents indicted recently by the United States and Scotland for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 may never be brought to trial, the indictment has had some impact. Fearing reprisals from European countries, Libya last week withdrew about $1 billion from bank accounts throughout France, according to the Saudi Arabian daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat. It withdrew $2 billion more from banks in London and Italy. Libya has reportedly deposited the money in accounts in the gulf states, Egypt and Cyprus.
  • Yugoslavia Divided: 'Mass Migrations'

    It could be a battlefield from World War II, but the scene is Vukovar, 1991. For three months Yugoslav Army troops besieged this pretty Baroque town in eastern Croatia. They bombarded it round the clock with mortars, rockets and artillery. Vukovar fell only after bitter--and bloody--street-by-street fighting. Hardly anything remains. Houses, hospitals and churches are rubble, as if Vukovar were Dresden. Trees stand charred and broken; 10 days after the Army's victory, bodies lie where they fell, fodder for ravenous pigs. Survivors emerged from cellars to confront new terrors. Bands of shell-crazed Serbian irregulars, many wearing sunglasses and wrapped in captured Croatian flags, herded civilians into ragged processions. With suitcases and bundles of clothes, they trudged out of town along muddy roads to an uncertain future as homeless refugees. ...
  • Sleeping With The Enemy

    Five years ago, stunned by the fact that 25,000 Americans had developed AIDS, health experts warned that the disease could eventually claim more lives than the Korean or Vietnam War. Today the death toll from AIDS stands at about 120,000-more than the two wars combined-and it's still accelerating: more Americans will die of AIDS in the next two years than have died in the past 10. But AIDS isn't the only argument for safer sex. The genital tract can harbor a menagerie of disease-causing organisms, and though none of them is as deadly as HIV, their consequences are often devastating. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are leading causes of infertility. Untreated syphilis can ravage the heart and brain. The sexually transmitted viruses that cause hepatitis and genital warts also foster certain cancers. And many venereal infections can pass from mother to child at birth, leaving the baby blind, brain damaged or dead. All these diseases are preventable, and some are easily cured. Yet many are on...
  • War Isn't Hell

    Children may have gotten mixed messages about war from the Persian Gulf conflict, a new Purdue University study shows. In interviews with Midwestern children 3 to 11, conducted between July and October, Prof Judith Myers-Walls found that more than two thirds of the youngsters referred to "people dying" when they talked about war in general. When they discussed the Persian Gulf War specifically, however, only 21 percent mentioned death. "Just as adults during this war," says Myers-Walls, "children were insulated from most of the suffering the battles caused."
  • A Fortress Mentality

    Western Europe is bracing for an onslaught of refugees from the unsettled East. A backlash of resentment and fear is already underway. ...
  • A King To Be Fit

    Monarchs don't often visit Cedar Rapids, Iowa. So the city fathers were thrilled at the news that the King of Tonga planned to stop by next week. At 300 pounds, King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV doesn't exactly fit the royal image. But he's trying. He's slimmed down from 600 pounds by power walking and bicycling around his tiny country in the South Pacific. Now the king wants to tone his royal girth. In Cedar Rapids, he'll check out the weight-training machines manufactured there by Universal Gym Equipment. Limousines will haul His Roundness to Universal, then to a luncheon with local dignitaries. No steak and home fries, please.
  • Four Women; Hold The Trumpet

    Just when you thought there couldn't be anything left for her to say--or anyone who wanted to hear it--Roxanne Pulitzer has finished another book. But her new novel, "Facade," isn't about steamy sex or losing custody of her children. It's about the friendship of four women. "It's the farthest from myself because it doesn't center on divorce," she says. She hasn't been in court with ex-husband Peter for two years. Now that she's turned 40, she must be mellowing.
  • The Barcelona Way

    When the great Japanese archi tect Arata Isozaki went to the opening of his Jordi sports palace on Montjuic in Barcelona, IN he was stunned by the turnout: 300,000 people--almost one fifth of the city--came to see what he'd done. Yes, he'd designed an amazing structure-a sports arena that wasn't a brute hunk of concrete but a huge, graceful mushroom of a building, with a soft, undulating roofline. The locals named it "the clever building" for the 100 blisterlike skylights that flood the place with daylight. "I never had such a strong response," says Isozaki. A slender, striking figure who dresses all in black, he spent three days at events celebrating the new $83 million arena, the architectural centerpiece for the '92 Summer Olympics. "Until then, my face was not known," he recalls shyly. "Afterward, everywhere I went, on the street, in a bar, in a restaurant, everyone recognized me. The general citizen is very fascinated and wants to talk about architecture." ...
  • Mixed Message

    This week, the Center for Science in the Public Interest announces its annual awards for 1991's most "unfair misleading and irresponsible" ads. Among the recipient: Old Milwaukee beer for its "Swedish bikini team" spot which "associated sexual conquest with drinking."Whittle Communications, which produced an education poster on how the heart works with ads for fast-food burgers and candy bars alongside.Serenity bladder-control pads, for calling incontinence "part of being female."
  • Sobering Times

    The fall from Camelot to courtroom has prompted Ted Kennedy to talk about toning down his behavior. But even close friends wonder if he can truly change without facing up to his problems with alcohol. ...
  • She Loves You

    Cyndi Lauper's New York wedding last week was music to her ears--Little Richard officiated, Patti LaBelle serenaded and the bride, 38, didn't miss a beat. After the Quaker ceremony Lauper, actor and groom David Thornton and guests piled into a bus headed for an Italian restaurant downtown. Some girls know how to have fun.
  • 'An Act Of Desperation'?

    When President Bush emerged from his helicopter on the White House lawn last week, he gave beleaguered chief of staff John Sununu a thumbs-up greeting. Barbara Bush even gave Sununu a quick peck on the cheek. But NEWSWEEK has learned that it was Sununu himself, not the president, who engineered the First Family's show of support by showing up on the White House lawn with his wife, Nancy. "He foreed the president to respond," says a top administration official. Despite the public endorsement, Sununu's future in the administration is bleak at best. In conversations last week with Bush's son George--on conducted at the president's request--most of Bush's top political advisers recommended that Sununu be ousted. And, according to an administration official, Sununu called a key member of the cabinet to ask him to "put in a good word for him" with Bush. The member--long at odds with Sununu--saw the call as an "act of desperation."
  • Giving Away The Store

    So you figure it's such a bad year that retailers will pay you to go Christmas shopping? You may not be far from the truth. K mart, for example, is courting shoppers by offering prizes ranging from free Coca-Cola to $500,000 in cash and trips to Disneyland. Even veterans of retail giveaways have the shakes. In the past, A-ABC Appliance in Houston has given purchasers of merchandise like microwaves and refrigerators a chance to reach into a freezer full of coins and pull out a handful of "cold, hard cash." Business is so sluggish that it started giving away money a week early this year. "These days, things are tough," says Gerald Freed of Freed Advertising in Houston, which engineered the promotion. "People walk in with a notepad and they've been to six of your competitors. Everyone is looking for something free." ...
  • Superstars And Super Hype To The Rescue

    In 1982 Michael Jackson single-glovedly revived a slumping music industry with his "Thriller" album, which sold more than 48 million copies worldwide and provided even mediocre satirists like Weird Al Yankovic with a brief moment in the sun (that's what you call long coattails). This year, with the industry again slumping like a Cleveland sports franchise, there is little hope that Jackson's "Dangerous" album, released last Tuesday, can work the same trick, no matter how many times he messes with his business. "This year when we've had some super product come out and done really well," says Mike Fine, CEO of SoundScan, a data-gathering firm that charts the sales of music products super and so-so, "it hasn't brought additional business to the stores. People are coming into a store, buying a certain album and walking out." ...
  • Have Trunk, Will Travel

    Babar the Elephant King has packed his trunk for Broadway. This year the popular pachyderm joins Snoopy and 15 other high-flying characters in the 65th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. A seasoned traveler, the debonair storybook hero has his own hot-air transport balloon; he knew better than to bring his sporty red car to New York.
  • Weary Of Buying American Ideas, Japan Will Grow I

    And why shouldn't the Japanese be delighted with their science education? They ace international tests. They produce more engineers than lawyers. And they manage to cull the best ideas from scientific articles written by American researchers and turn them into blockbuster profitmakers--while the Americans wait around for their Nobel Prizes. It happened with VCRs and fuzzy-logic software, it's about to happen with computer memory chips. Well, guess who's decided to stop the ripoff? Of course--the Japanese. In 1989 the Ministry of Education announced its third postwar reform of science education (following those of 1968 and 1977, which moved the curriculum away from pure science and toward applied). This time, the goal is to produce students who ask questions, form independent hypotheses and develop a creative turn of mind that cuts through the cult of obedience. "We are not here to produce more effective economic producers," says Shigeki Kadoya, the ministry's senior specialist for...