Newswire

Newswire

  • Nbc's Olympian Gamble

    It's billed as the most daring experiment yet in television's brave new world: NBC's plan to present 1,080 hours of the Barcelona Olympics on pay-per-view TV, alongside the network's free, over-the-air broadcasts. For two weeks in July and August, America's couch potatoes and sports addicts can feast on round-the-clock coverage, with different events on three separate pay channels, minus commercials. ...
  • Ordeal At Sea

    The odds were incalculably long. When Sygma photographer Patrick Chauvel decided to document the exodus of Haitian boat people that followed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's overthrow in September, he discovered that the refugees had to run a gantlet of con men and crooked cops before even setting sail. After finding an honest captain, Chauvel joined a group taken to an arid island off Haiti's west coast. They endured three days of heat and rain while waiting for the boat to appear. It turned out to be an open skiff. The Haitians boarded anyway. Men with machetes beat back others who had come to the island in hopes of joining the voyage. The skiff set off loaded down with 44 men, women and children. ...
  • Who's In Charge?

    By all rights, the meeting in Tokyo this week between George Bush and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, should be a celebration. The two men are from distinctly different cultures but cut from the same bolt. They are committed internationalists and free-traders, more comfortable in the salons of G-7 meetings than in political back rooms. As their generation came to power they watched an improbable alliance between Tokyo and Washington grow from the ashes of war. Japan was America's bulwark in Asia during the cold war; nurtured under America's wing, the Japanese created the economic miracle that won't stop. Now, 50 years after Pearl Harbor, the Soviet empire is a shambles, and Japanese-style capitalism is spreading through East Asia, turning a poor, politically unstable region into an economic dynamo. ...
  • January Is The Cruelest Month

    Now that the holidays are (finally) over, the long winter months loom ahead. While everyone dreams about warm fires and hot chocolate, the reality of coping with cold weather is less romantic. Some practical gear: Wheel your skis instead of toting them. Three Stooges act in the parking lot.Ugly, but saves ice-scraping and defroster time. Folds into pouch you can tuck under seat.Strap onto dress shoes. Gridiron chi for the exec on the go. Don't tread on Aunt Priscilla's wood floors, though.Easier to handle than Dad's old model. A brisk seller among women and older people and in urban areas.Environmentally correct ice melter: won't hurt animals.Start and warm up car from bed. Pricey, but less than a chauffeur.
  • A Sterner Kind Of Caring

    Enough of kinder and gentler. The nation is casting a cold eye on traditional notions of government "compassion" for poor people. As a result, Democrats' presidential hopes may depend on their ability to promise more sternness toward some of the poor. And many Republicans, despite their antistatist stance, seem more ready than most Democrats to base antipoverty policy on strong government. ...
  • Killer Ratings?

    Court buffs who reveled in the live coverage of the William Kennedy Smith rape trial, mark your calendars. On Jan. 27, the televised trial of Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer will begin. Dahmer's attorney will mount an insanity defense. He may acknowledge at the outset that Dahmer committed the crimes (he has confessed to killing and mutilating 17 young men, 15 in Wisconsin) and move to demonstrate his insanity. Even so, sources say, testimony will doubtless be gory as the jury, in order to decide on Dahmer's sanity, will hear details of his alleged depraved acts. To protect Dahmer, a Plexiglas screen will be set up between trial participants and spectators.
  • Sit Still, Lambie, This Won't Hurt

    It's not as bad as becoming the star of a mutton dinner, but for sheep, donating wool is shear torture. The clippers, working at a breakneck pace, rarely fail to nick or cut the animals, which are manhandled and pinned to the ground like rodeo steers on a bad day. The traditional haircut isn't very good for the intended product, either: getting skin mixed into the wool, ripping it or cutting it unevenly can doom the fleece to reincarnation as an army blanket rather than a designer coat. ...
  • The Three Faces Of Freedom

    All but unanimously, the collapse of communism is being hailed as the triumph of democracy-what NEWSWEEK has already proclaimed "the greatest expansion of freedom in human history." But is it really? Comes now Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson to warn that the basic concept of freedom is still alien to most of the world's cultures. It's "simply nonsense," he says, to assume that people will automatically embrace democracy when dictators topple. ...
  • The Highway To The Future

    With a modem, a telephone line and a bit of a tail wind, the text of this story traveled from Galveston, Texas, to New York City in just over two minutes. It's an amazing feat made prosaic only by its regularity. But it's also yesterday's technology. The future apparently will be measured in gigabits--1 billion bits of data, roughly a 20-volume encyclopedia-which can move across the land in barely a second. With that speed and accompanying power, scientists and schools, homes and hospitals could all be connected in one massive computer network. Then Everyman, and his sister, the physicist, will be able to dip into anything from the stacks of Harvard Yard to the video archives of the Home Shopping Network. All of that will be possible when the United States builds what has come to be known as a data highway, a fiber-optic spinal cord its proponents promise will do for the nation's economy and lifestyle what the interstate highway system did for America in the 1950s. ...
  • The Nra Woos The Cops

    As part of a bold new strategy, the gun lobby has the nation's police in its sights. In the past decade, many cops have squared off against the National Rifle Association over gun control. Top cops around the country demanded strict legislation to outlaw assault weapons and control the sale of handguns. The pressure from the police helped pass limited gun-control bills last summer. Hoping to win their old allies back, the NRA has launched an ad campaign in Texas. "These ads are appealing to Americans to show that the NRA is a law-and-order organization that also enjoys guns," says Ron DeLord, a state lobbyist for police issues in Austin. ...
  • The Art Market: Back To Reality

    During two record-smashing spring auctions in 1990, a Japanese industrialist forked over $160 million for two prize paintings by van Gogh and Renoir. In stark contrast, the highest price at auction in 1991 was a mere $13.5 million for a sumptuous old master painting"Venus and Adonis" by Titian. If this sounds like the art market took a nose dive last year, it did. The top auction houses are hurting bad, but several in the art world aren't entirely unhappy with the situation. ...
  • Little Gloria, Happy At Last

    So I reverted to a primordial skill that I hadn't used since feminism had helped me to make my own life: getting a man to fall in love with me. As many women can testify, this is alarmingly easy, providing you're willing to play down who you are and play up who he wants you to be....The only problem was that, having got this man to fall in love with an inauthentic me, I had to keep on not being myselfFrom 'Revolution from Within'It could have been worse. Gloria Steinem's original title for this book was "Bedside Book of Self-Esteem. " Now it's Revolution from Within (377 pages. Little, Brown. $22.95). But even a title with "revolution" in it can't fully redeem this squishy exercise in feeling better. Steinem's fans, hundreds of thousands of women who have been applauding her speeches and sound bites for years, and who made her "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions" a best seller in 1983, are going to pick up this book and set it down again with a single, agonized cry: "Gloria,...
  • Soviet Souvenir

    For those who missed getting of the Berlin wall, there's still a chance to pick up a piece of cold-war history. In a shameless promotion, the Barq's root-beer company will soon begin peddling "Communist Party Favors." Barq's apparatchiks are busy snapping up Soviet memorabilia such as war medals, model tanks and matchbooks. Starting on May Day, with proof of purchase, Barq's will send an artifact--most of which will carry genuine, if obsolete, Soviet insignia.
  • She's No Ronnie

    The Reagan name is again circulating in California. This time, though, it's getting a mixed reaction. Maureen Reagan, daughter of the ex-president, hopes to run for Congress in the state's newly drawn 36th district. Reagan--the "celebrity candidate" in a tough primary field-should have little trouble raising money or getting exposure. But some GOP leaders worry that Reagan, who lost in the '82 GOP senatorial primary, is too liberal and too shrill for the conservative district. "We love her father, but she's not her father," says one party pro. Reagan, former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, disagrees: "I'm a very good campaigner and I have tremendous support."
  • 'Shock Therapy'--With Emphasis On Shock

    Boris Yeltsin called it "shock therapy." For millions of Russians and their neighbors in other republics of the former Soviet Union, it meant a distinctly unhappy New Year. In Moscow's state stores, the price of bread quadrupled. The free-market price of sausage went up more than sixfold, and pork sold for 465 rubles a pound-more than the average wage for a month's work. Yeltsin's overnight price reform had Russians worrying about runaway inflation. "We used to go shopping with one 10-ruble note," said a worker named Yuri. "Now we need a suitcase full of them." ...
  • Last-Minute Reprieve

    In the beginning (say, 1910-30), abstract painters were utopians--they actually thought the real world could be changed for the better by little colored squares. Bright gridded pictures for new workers' housing and all that. The horrors of the Great Depression and World War II convinced them otherwise, and they switched to existentialism-painting for the sheer, painful freedom of it. For a couple of generations thereafter, abstract painting was either cathartically expressionist or theory-laden minimalist. Then, in the mid-1970s it gave up on trying to be revolutionary, visionary or even sincere. Along with just about everything else in the art world, it turned ironic. The trouble was-and is-that irony is much better accomplished by collage, assemblage, installation art and photography. What abstract painting deals with best is the variety of beauty, a nonstarter these days. Today, when almost every current gallery exhibition in Soho, Santa Monica, Mayfair and the Bastille district...
  • Where The Price Is Always Right

    You can tell just by looking at it that this is not your typical suburban mall. The exterior is covered with a bland brick. There are no windows anywhere, and at both ends of the mall are desolate areas dotted with boarded-up storefronts. The stores that are open for business advertise their wares with handwritten signs, with all the design sense of garage sales. And the store names ... well, this is no Rodeo Drive. There's Cheapo Depot, Buck-A-Book, Take A Walk and the invitingly named Perspirations. ...
  • Revolt Of The Fur Bearers

    At exactly 7:30 on the chilly Friday night before Christmas, a dozen animal-rights activists, wearing fur coats "bloodied" with red paint, walked to the main terminal of Washington National Airport. When they found travelers bundled in fur, they accosted them with pictures of a caged fox, and the legend: "We'd like you to meet someone who used to wear fur." ...
  • A Cheater's Guide To High Marks (And Big $)

    Whoever said cheaters never prosper never met Michael Moore. A junior at New Jersey's Rutgers University, Moore is the author of "Cheating 101: The Benefits and Fundamentals of Earning the Easy "A,'" one of the most talked-about books to hit college campuses this year. An 87-page guide to academic guile, "Cheating" offers the finer points of plagiarizing, swiping exams and passing answers right under the professor's nose. Among its lowlights: "Splitting," where a number of conspirators signal each other during an exam with carefully choreographed foot steps; and "Doctoring," where intricately coded crib notes are inscribed on desks, floors, umbrellas, candy-bar wrappers, eyeglass cases and the bottoms of soda cans. ...