Newswire

Newswire

  • An Unpardonable Amnesty

    That is the account of one Pramas Jucinskas, a midlevel Lithuanian Nazi official who pleaded guilty to responsibility for the murder of 7,500 Jews. His was a familiar tale. Throughout World War II, the Lithuanians earned a reputation as being among the worst Nazi collaborators anywhere-quite a distinction. They worked with "indescribable brutality," a German officer who witnessed mass killings told the 1946 Allied war tribunal at Nuremberg. The llth and 12th Lithuanian Police Battalions, paramilitary units that collaborated with the Germans, were known for the fearsome efficiency with which they helped to liquidate Jews. Lithuanian forces also aided in the extermination of Poland's 3 million Jews.Jucinskas is among 1,800 Lithuanians-some dead, some still alive-who have been pardoned during the past year by Lithuania's newly independent government. Coming so soon after independence, the news had the power to sicken, particularly for Jews, who have cheered the fall of communism but...
  • 'He Never Went Away.'

    It was a sweet spot in the kind of week that no one born during the Truman administration had a right to hope for. Jimmy Connors had just defeated-reduced to a red-eyed condition usually called tears, actually-a 25-year-old Dutchman named Paul Haarhuis. In doing so, he'd put his unseeded, recently written-off self still deeper into the U.S. Open, not to mention the hearts and minds of the American public. Connors's whole raucous run through the tournament he first won in 1974 by defeating the 39-year-old Ken Rosewall was a testament to his rock-solid tennis skills, which are both his meal ticket and his license to cavort. Haarhuis had trouble returning shots that landed low to his forehand side; when Connors wasn't exploiting that flaw with merciless precision, he was using his tacky-looking neon-green racquet to loft balls into the lights. "I had problems with the sky," Haarhuis later said. But the sky is one thing; it ends on either side of Louis Armstrong Stadium. The crazed 39...
  • 'Yo, Yogi'

    Yogi Bear-furry, dopey, square Yogi Bear-is back. Now, however, he has a hipper incarnation. This week NBC will begin airing a "prequel" series called "Yo, Yogi," in which said bear is a 14-year-old mall rat replete with high-tops and a Bart Simpson-esque attitude. Hanna-Barbera Productions, Yogi's original creator, is handling the updated version, which is designed to attract a new generation of preteen Yogi fans. For the record, Officer Smith heads security at Jellystone Mall and Boo Boo is an 8-year-old skateboard whiz.
  • Cleaning Up 'The Club'

    In a packed hearing room on Capitol Hill last Wednesday, Salomon Brothers Inc. chairman Warren Buffett stepped up his desperate campaign to staunch the bleeding at his wounded firm. Sounding by turns apologetic and outraged, the rumpled investor, who owns 14 percent of Salomon, tried to assure a congressional subcommittee that illegal bids on government securities were the misdeeds of only "a few." The behavior of Paul Mozer, Salomon's brash, 36-year-old ex-government-bond chief, was "not the act of a rational man," said Buffett. He termed the response of ousted top management, including former chairman John Gutfreund, who waited months before reporting Mozer's abuses, "inexcusable." And he called for tighter scrutiny of the freewheeling treasuries market, which seems destined for a major shake-up. Said Buffett: "I have no problem with tough rules, tough cops and tough execution." ...
  • Desperately Seeing Akio

    For months Akio Ninagawa has been wooed. He has been wined and dined and sweet-talked. He has piles of letters from all his suitors stashed away at home. He hasn't taken any money, but some of his peers can't say the same. Who's so hot for him? Corporate recruiters. And by now Ninagawa, like many other young Japanese men in his position, is thoroughly tired of dealing with them. ...
  • Spiking A Scoop

    The New York Times had a chance to break the BCCI story more than two and a half years ago-but killed an article about the bank. So instead of being ahead of the story, it fell behind. In late 1988, Times investigative reporter Jeff Gerth traveled to the bank's Luxembourg headquarters and reported on how BCCI had mysteriously escaped regulation worldwide, funded arms deals and forged ties to Clark Clifford's First American Bankshares-all details that would become newsworthy later on. The article languished in the business department before finally being published in altered form this summer. Gerth was never told why the story wasn't published earlier. Business editor Fred Andrews says he doesn't recall why the article didn't run: "At the time it was not a bombshell. In hindsight, it looks like a fine piece of work."
  • Kaliningrad: The Old-Guard Hangs On

    Resign!" shouted an opposition deputy, pointing his finger at the chairman of Kaliningrad's parliament. "I am not a criminal," the infuriated Communist Party boss replied. It came down to a vote of confidence. When Kaliningrad's Communists lost, the chamber shook with cheers-then angry protests as party hard-liners refused to resign. "If this were the West, these thugs would be out immediately," said one indignant opposition leader. "Here, they hang on to power at all costs." ...
  • How The West Can Win The New World Order

    As the Soviet Union is crumbling, so is a basic conception which has guided Western foreign policy for the better part of five decades: that a single government would enforce its writ across the gigantic land stretching between Poland and Vladivostok. In the pre-Gorbachev past, a seemingly permanent Soviet Union served as the common enemy whose menace kept Europe and the United States together. More recently the New World Order was also premised on the existence of a unitary Soviet Union: this time as a partner that could make and keep deals with the West. ...
  • The Withering Of Politics

    Marx said the coming of communism would mean the withering away of the state. Communism's collapse means the withering away of the first state founded in Marx's name. True, much communism remains. Most of those who suffered under it three years ago suffer even more today: they are Chinese. Still, the Soviet Union was the mutation of Western ideas and was lodged in Europe, seedbed of Western civilization, so its disintegration matters more to us than the coming fall of China's regime will. ...
  • This Time, Being Outside Is In

    Russian President Boris Yeltsin transformed an empire when he stood on a tank and faced down the Soviet old guard. Now that the whole world has seen the power of outsider politics, the question for the Democratic Party may well be: can anybody jump on the tank? Big-name Democrats have concluded the '92 presidential nomination isn't worth much. But the latestarting race is made for an unconventional candidate with a megamessage. ...
  • Boston Is Talking...

    About the bag lady who bequeathed a fortune. Before she died in 1985, Mary Guzelian wandered Boston streets-but her bags were filled with cash. Massachusetts House Majority Whip Kevin Fitzgerald and his aide Patricia McDermott, who took financial conservatorship of Guzelian, have now inherited her $500,000 estate. The pols deny they did anything wrong.
  • Buzzworks

    Kids aren't the only ones who use slang in school. Here's some vocabulary that teachers aren't teaching: A nosy grown-up who's always hovering around. Quick to offer a teacher unwanted help.In big trouble. Usage: "Kevin's in deep sneakers for skipping phys ed."The administration building. Also, "the temple."Talented and gifted. An ace pupil.Another repulsive parent.Sustained Silent Reading period. Students call it Sit down, Shut up and Read.
  • Democracy Deferred

    The hard-line Communists who rule China have never been terribly fond of Mikhail Gorbachev. His 1989 visit to Beijing helped catalyze the pro-democracy protests that ended in the Army massacre at Tiananmen Square. Ever since, secret Chinese Communist Party documents have disparaged the Soviet president for abandoning socialism and Eastern Europe. So it was not surprising that the Chinese government greeted the Soviet hard-liners' coup attempt as a triumph of socialism. Shortly after the coup erupted, the Chinese Politburo distributed an internal party document celebrating "the Soviet people victory." Then China's state-controlled media served up flattering accounts of Gennady Yanayev and his defense of socialism. ...
  • Are Cities Obsolete?

    Bridgeport, Conn., isn't just Anyplace. With 141,686 residents, it is the 123rd largest city in the United States and the biggest in Connecticut. It also has an eroding tax base, a growing welfare population and more than $200 million in long-term debt. All this, together with an annual operating deficit of $12 million, led Bridgeport to become the largest U.S. city since the Great Depression to declare itself bankrupt. That was in June. Last month a federal judge ruled that Bridgeport had enough money to stagger through its current fiscal year and was not entitled to the protection of federal bankruptcy laws-yet. Strangely enough, some city officials elsewhere were disappointed. "I'm a proponent of cities going bankrupt," says Richard M. Daley of Chicago. "Bridgeport will show the way. It's the only way out."This is the mayor of Chicago talking-Chicago, City of the Big Shoulders, the City That Works. If Richie Daley says bankruptcy is the "only way out," the problems facing America...
  • End Of An Empire

    Perhaps it was only a throwaway line, but to some people the implications were ominous. Talking to a group of supporters, Russian President Boris Yeltsin said he might bring back an old symbol of imperial Russian power: the two-headed eagle that used to appear on the czarist flag. Yeltsin did say that he would leave off the crown that once adorned the imperial eagle, but some suspected he only meant to place it on his own head. ...
  • That Old Familiar Feeling

    How desperate are the networks? So desperate that, in the view of ABC's programming chief, they should consider turning over their lowest-rated time periods to their local stations to program themselves. Just what TV needs: "Altoona's Funniest Home Videos." As it happens, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are opting this fall to retreat rather than abjectly surrender. 'Tis a season of creative regression. What they're abandoning is the sort of risk taking that produced the likes of "Cop Rock," "Twin Peaks" and "thirtysomething." Instead of blaming the tepid ratings of such innovations on erratic execution or scheduling, the networks have concluded that viewers will zap anything not cozily familiar. One thing's for sure: the new fall line is loaded with the shock of recognition. Breakthrough concepts? Bumbling dads, odd-couple cops, slobniks with collars of blue. Fresh faces? Redd Foxx, James Garner, Suzanne Somers, Carol Burnett and Twiggy. There is, however, a handful of series that promises...
  • It's A Not So Small World

    A pink slip for Pooh? Early retirement for Rumpelstiltskin? Not exactly. No one wants to fire the traditional heroes and heroines of children's literature. It's just that, well, there've been complaints. From Birmingham, Ala. (where the schools are 80 percent black), to California (where nonwhites will be in the majority around the year 2000), the largely lily-white world of children's books has been found lacking. The traditional fare, critics say, doesn't begin to reflect the complicated, diverse world that children live in. "If black children or Native Americans or Asians don't see themselves in books," says Roberta Long, an Alabama professor who teaches a course in children's literature, "they won't see themselves as important people. And we will be sending that message to white children, too." ...
  • Tennis Hucksters Edition

    It's U.S. Open time-which means the endorsements by I tennis pros are flying faster than a speeding serve. Monica Seles's deal with No Excuses jeans is only the tip of the iceberg. Here's a Peri look at the latest pitches: Do Czech-born millionaires really guzzle Snapple? Ivan actually has fewer lines than Ah-nuld.Would you buy a vanity fragrance from someone who sweats so much? But at least she has oomph.The Clean Teen Queen meets Oil of Olay. Welcome, America, to Wholesome Hell.The Nike TV-screen gig is pretty cool. Shame his game sinks as his profile rises. Image isn't everything.
  • I Will Be Ruthless'

    Warren Buffett opted for tennis metaphors last week. "I don't want anybody playing close to the line," the interim chairman of scandal-battered Salomon Brothers Inc. told 300 employees at the firm's Monday-morning sales conference. "You can do very well hitting down the middle of the court." Buffett's 15-minute pep talk was beamed to Salomon offices around the world, the opening shot in the 61-year-old billionaire's campaign to polish the tarnished firm. But did Salomon Brothers staffers get the message? Within hours, some were dubbing the lecture "Quotations From Chairman Warren." ...
  • Bo Knows Resurrection

    If Bo knows anything, it could be how to prove doctors-and the Kansas City Royals-wrong. Still limping slightly from a January hip injury that threatened to keep him out of baseball and football forever, Bo Jackson rose last week through the ranks of Chicago White Sox farm teams as part of his minor-league rehabilitation program. "I feel fine," he told reporters. "Really." ...