Newswire

Newswire

  • Secrets Of The Couch

    LADY! LADY! LET DOWN YOUR HAIR. I am becoming a tourist attraction and there is nothing I can do about it ... ...
  • Civilizing Influence

    Hearing of the death last week of painter Robert Motherwell at 76, a young New York artist said, "It always made me more comfortable knowing he was there, a civilizing influence on an uncivilized art world." Motherwell was a dignified presence in our era of esthetic Terminators like Koons and Kostabi, as he'd been since the late '30s, when folksy realism was king. A banker's son with a Stanford philosophy degree, Motherwell went east and became an abstract expressionist. His erudition and pictorial elegance counterbalanced the blue-collar bombast of Pollock and Kline. For 13 years he was married to the painter Helen Frankenthaler. But even his best work, the series called "Elegies to the Spanish Republic," couldn't dissuade some critics from seeing his splashy shapes and late-April color as "just this side of greatness." But when our current appetite for morose abstraction wanes, we'll see Motherwell's mix of taste and daring for what it most often was: just right.
  • Mudslinging In Academe

    Carol Iannone may not have enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame, but at least they're over. Praised as a scholar by her supporters and dismissed as a right-wing nobody by her detractors, lannone, 43, is now stuck with the distinction of being the first nominee to the prestigious advisory council of the National Endowment for the Humanities ever to be rejected by a Senate committee. But last week's 9-8 vote by the Labor and Human Resources Committee represents more than simply a rejection of Iannone, a nontenured professor at New York University. The vote may also serve as a warning to NEH chairman Lynne Cheney, who lobbied hard for the president's nominee. "Excellence should be the ideal, and this nomination does not measure up," said committee chairman Sen. Edward Kennedy. Cheney had a different explanation. "If you think the fight about Carol wasn't political," she told NEWSWEEK, "then I have a bridge I want to sell you." ...
  • 'I Say A Prayer And Push On'

    It's been 22 years, but Lillian Bickel, 51, still can't talk about the day her former husband left for Vietnam without crying. She'd known James W. Grace since they were both 13. Childhood sweethearts, they married in 1959, barely a year after graduating from high school in New Iberia, La. Jim became an Air Force fighter pilot; Lillian cared for their two children, Guy and Trina. On Jan. 13, 1969, he waited to board a plane to Vietnam. "He hugged me and said, 'You're not to worry, I'll be back with a CMH'," Bicke recalls, pausing to wipe away a tear. "I guess I looked puzzled, because his last words to me were, 'That's Congressional Medal of Honor, not Coffin, Metal with Handles'." ...
  • Cracking Down On Doctors With Aids

    If the 182,000 Americans stricken with AIDS over the past decade, only five are thought to have contracted the virus from a practicing health-care professional. Yet public fears are growing, and last week politicians took notice. The U.S. Senate voted to make it a crime for infected health workers to keep their medical status to themselves, Under the terms of a measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Jesse Helms and passed by a margin of 81 to 18, health professionals who know they're infected but fail to warn patients could face 10-year prison terms and fines of $10,000, The measure explicitly bars only "invasive procedures," but it's written so loosely that, theoretically, anyone caught taking a patient's temperature could end up in jail. ...
  • New Hampshire Is Talking ...

    About the "white sock" murder trial--taking place in the same Exeter courthouse where teacher-murderer Pamela Smart was recently convicted. Paroled rapist Daniel Vandebogart, 28, is accused of strangling Kimberly Goss, 29, with a white athletic sock in 1989. Prosecutors call the sock Vandebogart's "signature"-a woman and a man raped by Vandebogart say he used a white sock while assaulting them. Even Vandebogart's mother has testified against him, claiming he admitted to her that he killed Goss. Vandebogart's defense: he was running errands when Goss was slain.
  • Studying With The Enemy

    For the first time since the Vietnam War, U.S. undergrads will be allowed to study in Vietnam. The Experiment in International Living, a student-exchange organization, has permission from Hanoi and Washington to establish a small program at the University of Hanoi this fall. Since the United States lacks formal diplomatic ties with Vietnam, the program needed a "license to trade with the enemy." Next year the program will also include Ho Chi Minh City.
  • With Child, Without A Job

    Maternity rights, 1970s: Mildred Leisure tries to return to her job at Western Electric Corp. after maternity leave. "The boss told me they didn't have to take me back." ...
  • A Question For Thomas

    Clarence Thomas may have new questions to answer this week when a liberal group raises concerns about his ethics as a federal appeals court judge in Washington. Last year Thomas voted to reduce a $10.4 million damage award against Ralston Purina-a company founded and owned in large part by the family of his friend and mentor, Sen. John Danforth. The senator owns $8.5 million or more of company common stock. "He should have disqualified himself or at least told the lawyers in the case," says Hofstra law professor Monroe Freedman. Other ethics specialists say Thomas did nothing wrong. Federal law says judges should recuse themselves when their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned." The issue is being raised by the Supreme Court Watch project of The Nation Institute. Danforth told NEWSWEEK he had no knowledge of the case and that a judge shouldn't withdraw "any time a case involves a company in which somebody the judge knows might own stock." On Thomas's behalf, the White House...
  • The End Of The Zero-Sum Game

    Sovietology used to be so simple. The Party was the party of the first part. And the second. And the third. True, most decisions took place behind closed doors. This made analysts of Soviet politics overattentive to symbols, such as changes in the ranks of elderly men standing next to Leonid Brezhnev at the May Day parade. But the hierarchy was clear, from provincial first secretaries to the innermost Kremlin. It had been that way since early in the Stalin years, and always would be. As Robert G. Kaiser puts it in "Why Gorbachev Happened," "Know-it-alls like me had assumed that the Soviet people were so downtrodden and demoralized by half a century of Stalinist rule that they were numb to politics and instinctively passive ... How magnificently wrong we were!"It could hardly have been otherwise. Kaiser was The Washington Post's Moscow correspondent from 1971 to 1974, a time of corrosive cynicism and debilitating fear. There was nothing in the "era of stagnation" that prepared any of...
  • Hoping Against Hope

    The camera may not lie, but the images it produces can. Photography has been vulnerable to manipulation and hoax for as long as the medium has existed. Government and civilian analysts say the grainy image purporting to show three Vietnam-era pilots alive in Southeast Asia is probably a counterfeit. ...
  • You Gotta Love This Guy

    We survived Madonna singing about virginity. And we'll probably live through the idea of Warren Beatty being a father. But for a moment, the news that the legendary philanderer might settle down hit Hollywood like a Malibu mudslide. Was this really the end of the road for the last of the red-hot lovers? At least one woman saw opportunity where others saw the close of an era. Actress Sean Young burst into Warner Bros., hoping to replace mother-to-be Annette Bening, 33, as Catwoman in the upcoming "Batman" sequel. (Young thought her physique more feline than Bening's soon would be. She was hustled out by security guards. But that's another story.) ...
  • Is Your Insurance Company Really Safe?

    The poet Edna St. Vincent Millay struck exactly the right note for our times. "It is not true that life is one damn thing after another," she wrote. "It's one damn thing over and over." ...
  • The Cream Of The Crop

    When pink slips first flooded Massachusetts, out-of-work carpenters drove taxis and computer programmers became waitresses. With the state's unemployment rate now more than 9 percent, laid-off workers-including some professionals-are heading to the farm, earning $5-$6 an hour picking fruits and vegetables. The jobs used to be filled largely by foreign migrant laborers. But U.S. citizens have priority, and this season one third of Massachusetts agricultural jobs went to local workers, up from 14 percent in 1990.
  • We Lost -- And De Klerk Won

    President F. W. de Klerk was no doubt ecstatic. Suddenly, his white minority ruled South Africa had been relieved of the burden of U.S. economic sanctions. Bestowing further respectability, the International Olympic Committee welcomed Pretoria back to the fold of global civilized society. An unqualified triumph, A government that had been stigmatized as indelibly as any in post-World War II history was declared clean, with de Klerk at the Oval Office for tea, members of Congress in droves at the South African Embassy for lunch and South African diplomats here and there at the invitation of high-placed Americans who wouldn't have dreamt of such welcomes two years ago. ...
  • Polo On Less Than $5 A Day

    Equestrian polo-the kind Prince Charles always seems to be recuperating from-is definitely no sport for the '90s. It's male dominated, it uses defenseless animals, and then there's the matter of the expense. "This is not just a millionaire's game," polo enthusiasts are always saying, and of course they're correct; a lot of billionaires play, too. The cost of buying and maintaining a string of horses can easily exceed $30,000 a year. And that's at the Cincinnati Polo Club, where one can never have the ultimate experience-that is, to actually be on the field when Charles gets whacked by a mallet, bonked by a ball or dumped by one of his extravagantly inbred steeds. How much more sense it makes to play bicycle polo. About all a body needs is one of those sturdy $600 mountain bikes and a willingness to abide by the rules drawn up by Trice Hufnagel and her husband, Lou Gonzalez, the Marie and Pierre Curie of the fledgling game. That, and a $10 membership in the World Bicycle Polo...
  • The New Giant On The Block

    For nearly a decade, the two behemoths have faced each other across Park Avenue, colossal rivals in the intensely competitive New York banking market. From Chemical Banking Corp's headquarters on the east side of Park, employees can actually stare into the offices of their counterparts at Manufacturers Hanover Corp. Now, the wary neighbors are set to come together under one roof. In the biggest bank merger in U.S. history, "Manny Hanny" and Chemical will combine to create a new institution, known as Chemical Banking Corp. With assets of $135 billion, it will be America's second largest bank after Citicorp. Manny Hanny chairman John McGillicuddy will end up with a leaner, meaner institution: he called the marriage of the nation's sixth and ninth largest banks "a superb strategic fit." ...
  • A Maine Chance For Act-Up

    Labor Day weekend in the Bush vacation hometown of Kennebunkport, Maine, usually means tourists munching on lobster. Not this year: ACT-UP, the militant AIDS activist group, plans to stage a massive rally in the town on Sept. 1 to protest what they see as a lack of presidential action against the disease. Expecting more than 3,000 to attend the rally, ACT-UP leaders-in contrast to their radical image are already holding calm talks with the Secret Service about the protest. Says ACT-UP spokesman Ioannis Mookis: "As long as they know you're not going to shoot the president, they will deal with you in the most civil way."
  • Inside The Head Of The Hacker

    On Nov. 2, 1989, thousands of computers around the nation got very sick. Machines tied to the "Internet" network at universities, companies and the military were all struck by a "worm"-a program that burrows from system to system, leaving copies of itself in each infected machine. The programmer apparently had innocuous intentions but botched the job: he unwittingly ordered his brainchild to deluge computers on the network with commands, slowing each to a standstill.By the next day, John Markoff, a reporter for The New York Times, had already gotten the hacker's name: Robert Tappan Morris. Markoff knew no more until a top computer expert for the National Security Agency returned a call. The source, Bob Morris, confirmed that one Robert Tappan Morris had written the worm. "Isn't that a funny coincidence," said Markoff. "You both have the same name.""That's no coincidence," Morris replied. "He's my son."Markoff's story was the first of a journalistic flood. But for all the ink spilled...