Newswire

Newswire

  • Spasibo, Y'all

    For the past 40 years, U.S. Ambassador-designate to Moscow Robert Strauss has made an annual summer pilgrimage to his beach house in Del Mar, Calif. This year he is adding a new pastime to his vacation routine of poker playing and horse races:intensive Russian lessons. Strauss is spending about four hours a day with a State Department linguist, whose California expenses are being paid for by Strauss. A great raconteur, Strauss won't settle for the basics. He's told his tutor that he also wants to learn to say "that dog won't hunt" and other favorite Texasisms in Russian. "He wants the Russians to know he gives a damn," says a Strauss confidant.
  • Banking On It

    Maybe it was prescience; maybe it was luck. Any way you cut it, Pocket Books has scored a coup: about a year and a half ago, the division of Simon & Schuster bought hardcover rights to what will almost certainly be the first U.S. book published about the BCCI scandal. The author is James Ring Adams, a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer who has already authored a book on the S&L mess. The publication date is tentatively set in the first half of 1992, though that could be moved up given the sudden urgency of the subject. "This is ... definitely not a quickie book," insists publisher Irwyn Applebaum. Adams himself may not profit much from the head start. Details of his advance are unavailable, but it surely would have been larger after the scandal broke.
  • Caution: Wolf-Dogs Can Be Hazardous

    Take a good look down the long snout and into the deeply intelligent eyes of a German shepherd, and you can't miss its wild, wolfish ancestry. Now some dog fanciers want more. For them, domesticated means dull-and thousands of Americans are snapping up the latest fad in exotic pets: the wolf-dog hybrid. But many buyers have no idea what they're really buying. "These animals are not family pets," declares Lisa Barrington, who has found them impossible to train in her dog-obedience classes in North Bend, Ore. Not merely disobedient, hybrids are "predators at heart," explains Randall Lockwood, a wolf behavior expert at the Humane Society of the United States. Owners train them not to fear humans as wild wolves do-sometimes with tragic results. In the past three years, at least six children have been killed by wolf-hybrid pets; many more have been severely mauled. One particularly grim attack took place last April in New Jersey, when a hybrid severed the right arm of Tyler Olson, then...
  • Hollywood Headline Makers

    These days, the talk of filmdom is the rise of macho leading women. Linda Hamilton, Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon-they're getting as much press as Ah-nuld. On the other hand, several other big female stars are making as much news off-screen as on. A Peri look at how this might affect their futures: Beatty baby boosts mystique: Next: Vanity Fair cover?Torrid triangle breathes new life after "Dying Young."If you were a director, would you hire this flake? Naked preggo shots make her a '90s icon.
  • President Odysseus

    Let's play a game of "Jeopardy!" The answer is "Cyprus." Supply the question. You are reasonable but wrong if you say: "Which of the world's long-festering sores is surely immune from George Bush's foreign policy fidgets?" The correct question is, alas: "What more has Bush vowed to try to fix, pronto?" ...
  • 'His Career Is Over'

    There is a flaming yellow and orange hibiscus at the botanical gardens in Sarasota, Fla., named after the town's most famous son. ...
  • E! Is For Entertainment -- Twenty-Four Hours A Day

    Watching E! Entertainment Television is like finding yourself trapped in a science-fiction movie in which a Hollywood publicist takes over your brain. The cable network is a round-the-clock genuflection at the altar of celebrity. Here's the trailer for "Terminator 2". . . it's the 20th anniversary of "The Price is Right". . . here's the trailer for "Regarding Henry" ... Tony Bennett's greatest-hits album proves he is "a master among tunesmiths" . . . here's a trailer for Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Double Impact" (whoops, it's a commercial) ... Sally Kirkland says what she cares about is "getting the truth out as a producer and an actress". . . here's a trailer for "Point Break" . . . Julio Iglesias says he hasn't been in a relationship in three years... here's the trailer for "Terminator 2". . . on the spot they call "Shameless Plug," a listless Ed O'Neill spends 10 seconds asking viewers to see his bomb, "Dutch" .. . here's the trailer for "Terminator 2....... Terminator 2" ...
  • Shakespeare As A Second Language

    A man in Elizabethan dress, wearing an ass's head, spouts Shakespeare in Portuguese while borne aloft by seven nearly naked women marching in time to Mendelssohn's wedding march. So ends the first half of A Midsummer Might's Dream as performed by the Teatro do Ornitorrinco of Brazil in New York's Central Park. Sponsored by the New York Shakespeare Festival's Festival Latino, this version overflows with zanily discordant elements, including trapeze artists, wood nymphs on roller skates and a Puck who wields a fire extinguisher. Few productions have been this beguilingly eyecatching. Or, paradoxically, this impenetrable. ...
  • Max's Dinner With Andre

    What's an artist to do in the '90s? Modernism is dead, so forget about minimalism getting any more minimal. Postmodern ism's gambit of appropriating everything in sight is overused; it's impossible to tell-or care-how many generations of plagiarism are at work. Political art ends up preaching to the converted-and preaching is the key word here. Where to find inspiration? Well, there's always the old reliable, the seemingly bottomless pit of the psyche. Why not dredge up all the wonderfully fertile muck of the subconscious once again and splash it around? What about, in short, a revival of surrealism? That notion inevitably pops up while visiting the big retrospectives of two of surrealism's giants in Europe this summer. The antics of poet-provocateur Andre Breton, in a show called "La Beaute Convulsive," are on view at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris through Aug.26 and will make another stop in Madrid. The hallucinatory paintings and collages of Max Ernst have crisscrossed the...
  • A Yen For 'Anne Of Green Gables'

    Anne's face is ubiquitous on the island. She peers out from under her straw boater, all freckles, carrot-red braids and smile. One Anne poster in the provincial capital, Charlottetown, bears the slogan ANNE OF GREEN GABLES ... MY DREAM. As is only fitting in bilingual Canada, that sentiment is also printed in translation-but not in French. In Japanese. ...
  • The Last Big Arms Deal?

    The setting was suitably grand -- St. Vladimir's Hall in the Kremlin, a magnificent marble and gold octagon with a domed ceiling three stories high. There George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, a 700-page document that for the first time in history will actually reduce the number of long-range nuclear weapons in superpower arsenals. Afterward, Gorbachev declared the arms race over. "Thank God, as we say in Russian, that we stopped this," he told a news conference. In fact, the arms race goes hurtling on, as nuclear weapons and other instruments of mass destruction steadily proliferate all over the world. What actually may have ended last week was superpower arms control as it has been known for a generation now. ...
  • Middle-Class Maneuvers

    It is little more than a rumble, but that faint sound you hear on Capitol Hill is the Democrats finding their old voice. They're gearing up a new bid for the middle class, whose shifting allegiances decide national elections. With George Bush logging so much mileage abroad, Democrats think they see an opening at home to reclaim their role as the "we're on your side" party. Bush testily defended his domestic policy last week before heading off to Camp David to plan his presidential campaign. "We've got excellent programs," he said. But Democrats are floating legislation to appeal to the middle class-without having to shell out money to prove it. The agenda: ...
  • 'The Only Dream Left Is To Get Out'

    You can bask for hours in the calm blue water off Playa Santa Maria, one of the dozens of wide white beaches that stretch along the Caribbean east of Havana. A few miles away gleaming new sports facilities for the Pan American Games rise into the azure sky. Thanks to a cutback in Soviet aid and Fidel Castro's antique Marxist economics, food is scarce; in the countryside, Cubans are being asked to use oxen instead of tractors to till the fields. Yet Castro has spent an estimated $150 million on the Games, giving foreign and Cuban TV viewers alike a cheerful picture of crowded beaches and world-class athletics. To many Cubans, that sporting paradise-complete with bowling alleys imported from Japan to avoid the U.S. trade embargo-is a Potemkin village. In the weeks leading up to the Games, authorities released stockpiled food and fuel to take the edge off real hardship. "Remember the end of the Roman Empire-bread and circuses?" says a young graduate of the University of Havana. "That's...
  • Return Of The Wolf

    Are they big and bad--or the inspiring symbol of the wild? Either way, packs are coming back. Now, can they return to their ancestral home in Yellowstone? ...
  • Burning Up The Charts

    Anyone still unable to accept rap as a musical form will be further baffled to hear that good "sampling" can shoot the most pedantic rap single straight up the charts. Note: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's "Good Vibrations." The splice of Loletta Holloway's soulful 1980 "Love Sensation" with lyrics like "My body is healthy/And rhymes make me wealthy" is a hit for Mark and his brother/producer Donnie Wahlberg (of New Kids on the Block and lawbreaking fame). Holloway earned an unnamed sum. Talk is not cheap.
  • The Bank That Prays Together. . .

    A questionnaire circulated to the London staff of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International in 1985 asked: Whom do you work for? The correct answer: "The Almighty." BCCI founder Agha Hasan Abedi, who last week was indicted for allegedly bilking depositors of some $5 billion, worked hard to whip up a kind of religious fervor about banking. A follower of Islam, Abedi had a prayer room at the bank's London headquarters and insisted that his staff refrain from smoking, drinking and gambling. The puritanism was ironic, given the way the bank did business. According to former company employees, BCCI hired people-known to some insiders as "pimps"who allegedly sent women to favored bank clients, delivering a Pakistani entertainer to one highly prized customer. ...
  • All Unhappy On The Eastern Front

    A Kiev factory that once made tanks now produces small tractors. Missile plants that turned out SS-20s are building prams and washing machines. The aeronautics design company that created the Su-27 fighter has refrigerators on its drawing boards. Consumer products already account for perhaps 40 percent of the Soviet defense industry's output. But for Mikhail Gorbachev, continued conversion of the Soviet military machine is a must. It's a prerequisite of significant Western aid and investment. ...
  • The Young And The Restless

    After several graceless collisions with directors, costars, exboyfriends and the press, you'd think actress Sean Young, 30, would lie low for a while. But no. First she burst into Warner Bros., to try to persuade director Tim Burton to cast her as Catwoman in "Batman 2." Burton, who'd replaced Annette Bening with Michelle Pfeiffer for the part, wouldn't see her and security guards showed her the door. Then, dressed in full Catwoman regalia, Young publicly begged for the part on "The Joan Rivers Show...... I expected to be taken, like, seriously," she said. Like, maybe that Glad-wrap body suit will make a good waitress apron.
  • Getting 'Tisched'

    Wounds within CBS News over attitudes toward Israel may be reopened by revelations in a new book. According to "Three Blind Mice," by Ken Auletta, an account of network television in the 1980s, CBS chairman Laurence Tisch called CBS correspondent Mike Wallace a "self-hating Jew" in 1988 and turned his back on "60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt. This followed the show's critical report on AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby. Tisch, an active Jew who strongly supports Israel, later denied making the comment.