Newswire

Newswire

  • Pacific Logjam?

    Democrats and environmentalists in the Pacific Northwest are outraged over what they say is a campaign by the Bush administration to undermine the Endangered Species Act. They say the administration is blocking efforts to assist loggers whose business has been curtailed to protect the habitat of the spotted owl. Critics charge that the Forest Service, at the request of the White House, shelved a report on ways to cushion the blow to loggers. And, they say, the administration has rejected proposals to help timber-industry towns diversify. "The administration wants a disaster" to justify weakening the ESA, says Oregon's Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio. "Preposterous," says Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan.
  • A Real Corker

    It was a media event when Prince Philip asked for a beer while lunching at Washington's Library of Congress during the royal visit. But that's not the half of it. The brew--Samuel Adams Boston Ale--was named after a famous American revolutionary. And the real catch was that it wasn't a twist-off. No problem: Philip's official taster grabbed the bottle and popped it open on the edge of the table, frat-boy style.
  • Abortion: Just Say No Advice

    In the sad heart of the south Bronx, choices don't seem to be one of the luxuries for pregnant teenagers. Disease is common, private doctors are scarce, poverty reigns. On East 149th Street, at the Planned Parenthood family-planning clinic known as The Hub, Dr. Irving Rust has been counseling the teenagers for 12 years. Each year, thousands of women pass through; most are black or Hispanic and can't afford medical care. Roughly 80 percent of those who discover that they're pregnant decide to get abortions. The clinic cannot use federal money to fund abortions, but Rust and other physicians have always been able to provide referrals. ...
  • Coming Soon: Stocks Around The Clock

    You can get cash from the bank at midnight and buy insurance on Saturday. But the financial markets still keep bankers' hours. New York Stock Exchange trading doesn't start until 9:30 and cuts off at 4 p.m. sharp. On the weekend, exchanges close down all over the world. ...
  • Heavens!

    Twilight falls, the sun sets, and on a clear night the sky metamorphoses into a pointillist canvas whose pastels have been replaced by twinkling gobs of titanium white. Pretty enough-unless you know what you're missing: more and more, astronomers are coming to realize that stars are but a tame sideshow compared with the rest of what's out there. If our retinas registered wavelengths shorter than the color of a deep violet pansy and longer than the red of a ruby, we would witness a firmament of such turbulence and incandescent splendor that it would make Fourth of July fireworks look like a backyard sparkler. We would see black holes slurp up their neighbors and jets of plasma stream across the sky with the energy of 100 million suns. We would see stars-so small that they would fit comfortably in Lake Tahoe-spin an astounding 643 times per second. We would see neutron stars so dense that a teaspoonful of their tiny bodies weighs 1 billion tons, and clouds bigger than our solar system...
  • India After Ragiv

    In a haze of sandalwood smoke, the dynasty that ruled India for most of its 44 years of independence came to an end on a funeral pyre in Delhi. The remains of Rajiv Gandhi were burned on the same spot where his mother, Indira, was cremated seven years ago-like him, a murder victim. In a pathetic attempt to keep India's version of Camelot going, Rajiv's retainers had elected his Italian-born widow leader of their Congress party, the dominant force in Indian polities since the last days of the British Raj. Sonia Gandhi, who had opposed her husband's entry into polities, turned them down. It appeared that a sympathy vote would help to propel Gandhi's Congress party back into power in a delayed national election. But for the first time since independence in 1947, Indians could no longer expect leadership from their country's first family. ...
  • Buzzwords

    Summer trips are just around the corner. Unfortunately the Highway Patrol is often is, too. Here's how they talk about their prey: Someone who's really moving, i.e., at least 85 mph.Driver who zigzags through traffic at high speeds.A druggie; also "airhead."A car that's emitting smoke or fluids.Violation or ticket. Usage: "I'm gonna go give out some V's." Also, "fang," as in, "I really fanged that speeder."Arrest a drunk driver.Handcuff and put in jail.Hit-and-run accident where the perpetrator gets away.
  • Objects Of Affection

    When Robert Morris, one of the original honchos of minimal sculpture, appeared on a 1974 exhibition poster greasily bare chested, draped with a chain and wearing a Wehrmacht helmet, Lynda Benglis picked up the gauntlet. She placed a two-page ad in Artforum displaying herself nude, posing with a dildo. The idea, she said later, was to skewer everything from macho art, like Morris's, to the densely theoretical tone of the magazine that championed it. Editors fumed, angry letters rolled in, readers clucked, and Benglis won the battle of provocative publicity. But back in the studio and out in the gallery, where such "truth or dare" games don't carry much weight, did her art meet the challenge? And, since she began with such a strong reaction against sculpture with industrial right angles, could her art come up with an alternative for the long run? The answers, which can be seen in a traveling retrospective show, are mostly yes. This week the exhibition opens at the Contemporary Art...
  • How Did They Get My Name?

    When Pam Douglas dropped by Michelle Materres's apartment, Michelle was on the phone-but Pam knew that already. She and her son, Brian, had been playing with his new walkie-talkie and noticed the toy was picking up Michelle's cordless-phone conversations next door. They had come over to warn her that her conversation was any thing but private. Materres was stunned. It was as if her neighbors could peek through a window into her bedroom-except that Michelle hadn't known that this window was there. "It's like 'Nineteen Eighty-four," she says. ...
  • Downfall Of The Dictator

    For 14 years Mengistu Haile Mariam ruled Ethiopia with his own mixture of Marxist-Leninist ideology and medieval cruelty, bankrupting his country and terrorizing his people into submission. When he suddenly fled last week, the nation was stunned. "People are walking around in a trance," said one resident of Addis Ababa. "They don't seem to realize what it means that Mengistu is gone."Most were relieved. But many feared that one nightmare would only give way to another. ...
  • Of Money And Men

    From Britain comes the germ of a good idea. The Duke of Wellington's picture is being replaced on the five-pound note by that of George Stephenson, the engineer who developed steam power. Michael Faraday, the physicist (electrical induction), is replacing Shakespeare on the 20-pound note. ...
  • Yanks Take The Prize

    When Roman Polanski, president of the Cannes Film Festival jury, announced that Joel and Ethan Coen had won the best-director prize for "Barton Fink," the knowing crowd in the Palais du Festival assumed that was all "Barton Fink" would win. Cannes is not like the Oscars; sweeps don't happen here; the awards are spread around with the political sensitivity of a U.N. negotiation. So later, when John Turturro took the best actor trophy as the title character in the Coens' dark comedy, a buzz of surprise went round the hall. Then the unprecedented occurred: the festival's big prize, the Palme d'Or, also went to "Barton Fink," the first time in Cannes's 44 years that three top honors had gone to the same film. ...
  • Girl Watching

    More than the usual party poseurs showed up at last week's Love Ball 2-an event that brings drag balls out of Harlem and into high society. At the giddy, no-holds-barred affair, which raised $1 million for DIFFA, Designer Industries Foundation for AIDS, teams of voguers paraded before judges, striking poses and flaunting outre outfits. Black, white and Latino transvestites shared dressing rooms with real-life Rockettes. Chanel-suited fashion-industry heavies preened beside ordinary fashion victims. Star voguer Willi Ninja posed and Cyndi Lauper and Brooke Shields came in drag. Even at $4,500 for some tables, the party sold out-perhaps because of the popularity of Jennifer Livingston's documentary on the Harlem drag balls, "Paris is Burning." Or maybe boys just will be girls.
  • A New Sdi Plan

    The headlines are all about cutbacks in Star Wars, but another game is being played behind the scenes in Washington. The White House and key legislators are discussing a ground-based defense against limited missile attacks--in hopes the Soviets may be willing to amend a treaty to make the deployments legal. ...
  • Michael Bolton Sings The Blues

    Michael Bolton, whose "Time, Love & Tenderness" was the No. 1 album in M America last week, has two stories he likes to repeat about himself One is that after he sang Otis Redding's untouchable "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" at the Apollo Theatre, Redding's widow tearfully declared his version her all-time favorite. The other is that back when he opened heavy-metal bills for Ozzy Osbourne and Krokus, the fans would thrust their fists in the air and scream, "Bolton rules!" ...
  • An Ad Is An Ad Is An Ad

    The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eat Domino's Pizza. Michelle Pfeiffer drinks Coke in the upcoming "Frankie and Johnny." With more and more companies paying to have their products pop up in films, public-interest activists are petitioning the Federal Trade Commission to regulate the practice. "It's the most deceptive form of advertising because the audiences aren't told it's an ad," says Michael Jacobson, cofounder of the nonprofit Center for the Study of Commercialism. His proposal: require films to name paying advertisers in the opening credits.
  • The Rajiv Gandhi I Knew

    When Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister of India in 1984, one of his first acts was to reduce the import tax on cameras for news photographers. It was a trivial gesture, given the appalling problems the country faced in the wake of his mother's death. But for better or worse it was typical Rajiv: he was modern, he was gadget-minded, he knew how to manipulate the media. ...
  • Mystery

    Who killed University of Chicago theologian Ioan Culianu? At first, police thought the Romanian born Culianu, found slain in a locked university bathroom stall last week, might have committed suicide. But an autopsy revealed he was shot in the head by someone standing on a toilet in an adjacent stall. Police ruled out robbery because Culianu's wallet wasn't taken. Some students speculate that Culianu, an outspoken foe of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, may have been slain by a pro-Ceausescu fanatic. Another theory: Culianu's killing may have been linked to an occult-studies conference he ran.
  • Overstressed By Success

    Saying that Rick Chollet had it all doesn't quite say it all. Chollet, the son of struggling French immigrants, built a small mail-order tool business called Brookstone into a hugely successful national purveyor of adult toys and gadgets. He was handsome, happily married, loved by employees and colleagues-and as it turned out, deeply despondent. Last March 18, out of the blue it seemed, Chollet took his life. "Please forgive me, but the thought of going through the torture of living is just too much to bear," he wrote to his family before locking the garage door of his New Hampshire house, climbing into his BMW and turning on the engine. His wife, Susan, later revealed that Chollet had been depressed for half of his adult life. People put him on such a pedestal, she said, that he constantly feared letting them down. "He swung from feeling totally powerful to totally helpless." ...
  • The Hard New Facts Of Pay

    You're not safe from recession yet. But if you can keep your job for just three months more, you might be in the clear. The bleeding of workers out of corporations is finally being staunched-as measured by the smaller number of people who signed up for unemployment insurance last month. ...