• 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...
  • Talking Turkey

    Suffering from Holiday Chef Stress Syndrome? Take heart: the Butterball Turkey "Talk-Line" is in operation now through Dec. 23. Here are some cooking crises from holidays past: Locked turkey in oven self-clean mode. (Advice: Don't panic! Reset timer, wait for oven to cool.)Turkey ready at 10 a.m., guests arriving at 4 p.m. (Carve bird, refrigerate, reheat. Use Polaroid shot of pre-sliced bird for centerpiece.)Put turkey in tub to thaw; kids jumped in for bubble bath, (If still wrapped, bird's OK.)OK to hide surprise engagement ring in stuffing.? (Better to slip it on drumstick to avoid choking fiancee.)
  • The Last Days Of Vukovar

    Europe hasn't seen devastation like it since VE Day. The Serb-led Yugoslav Army and Serb guerrillas took the strategic Croatian city of Vukovar last week after an 87-day siege-revealing a ghostly post-cold-war Stalingrad where once a charming riverside town of 50,000 had stood. Some 5,000 civilians emerged from basements where they had sought shelter during the shelling; they join the ranks of the 500,000 refugees that have been created since the Serb-Croat war broke out in June. Row upon row of corpses lay on the ground; more than 3,000 people have been killed since the war began in June. Not only was the scale of destruction reminiscent of World War II; the Serbs eerily insisted the war was a literal replay of the ethnic and ideological conflicts that swept the Balkans during the '40s. Some of the dead in Vukovar, they said, were Serbs hacked to death with axes by Hitlerite Croatian forces. But at least one Serbian report, that 41 Serbian children had been butchered by Croats, was...
  • The Big Bcci Roadblocks

    It's anticlimactic--so far. Last summer's collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International was billed as the biggest scandal ever. But five months later, the grand total of new domestic indictments is exactly two. Abroad, where BCCI's real damage was done, the grand total of legal charges announced is zero. ...
  • Timeless Italy

    Just as cars carry NO RADIO signs to deter break-ins, packages sent to Italy should be marked NO SWATCHES. A craze for the colorful Swiss watches there has emptied stores, and "gray market" vendors are sending Swatches in from abroad. Now, almost any parcel is rifled in search of the watches, which can fetch 20 times their $60 retail cost. Stores like Saks in New York have limited the number of the most popular Chrono and Scuba models customers may buy. In Italy, Swatchmania is so acute a Swatch catalog sells on the street for $250.
  • Before You Lead A German Class, You Really Must Know Your Stuff

    In Germany, those who can, teach. They're paid handsomely--enough to support a middle-class family comfortably. And many teachers attain the coveted rank of civil servant, which gives them job tenure and fringe benefits such as low-interest mortgages and freedom from paying social-security taxes. The price of such prestige is rigorous teacher training, which is still another reason that some of the best and brightest German students are attracted to the field. "The way they educate their teachers makes a statement that teachers are valued and a valuable resource," says Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York. "We do more or less the opposite here." ...
  • In A World Growing Smaller, The Dutch Want To Speak To You

    Two dozen 16-year-olds are debating the recent Clarence Thomas hearings. Scrawled on the blackboard are some provocative statements. "This wouldn't happen between white people." "This is a private matter. He should not have to defend himself" "Sexual harassment is a terrible thing and ruins working relationships between men and women." "Even ... during class, there is sexual harassment." Warner Immink, the lively, 32-year-old teacher turns to the students: "OK. Form groups. Go ahead. Talk about it." A cluster of four agrees that the first statement is wrong, but they're at odds on the second one: privacy. A boy thinks Anita Hill shouldn't have told all the details. "What?" snaps a girl. "He's going to the Supreme Court. What if you have a case like that? His judgment wouldn't be objective." ...
  • Fly Me, Air Uncle Sam

    One day last week Washington's scandal du jour posed a conceptual puzzle. Should not anything properly called a scandal be at least a little bit secret? Can a scandal be something done in plain view, with due process, by people who put out press releases boasting about what they have done? ...
  • Grandma Goes To Court

    Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go? Not necessarily. In our deracinated, fractured society, Mom and Dad might get a divorce and refuse to let Grandma see their kids. That's not surprising when the couple have split up; when they're happily married, it is. And in the last few years, more and more grandparents who are angry at being cut off from their grandchildren, whatever the family circumstances, have begun to fight back. Visitation rights have become one of the most emotional issues of -the growing grandparents' movement. ...
  • No Peaking

    There are no roles for dwarfs or drowned corpses, but "Twin Peaks" stars Kyle MacLachlan and Piper Laurie will be reunited in MGM's "Rich in Love," directed by Bruce Beresford. Laurie plays a flamboyant hairdresser, and MacLachlan dresses up as a hobo-but compared with "Peaks," the weirdness quotient here is infinitesimal.