Newswire

Newswire

  • Campaign '92 Edition

    Thin skins were the rage last week, as both John Sununu and fellow smarty-pants Mario Cuomo proved. Only their dermatologists know for sure. PLAYERS Conventional Wisdom G. Bush Doodoo deepening. Flip-flopping faster than a fish on the foredeck of Fidelity. D. Quayle Getting Cuomo to bite back makes "pit bull" look bigger. But he's still a dog. M. Cuomo "Cabin boy" Quayle gibe masked own budget debacle. But Hamlet act real old. B. Kerrey (1)Don't try to be one of the boys. (2) If you tell a dirty joke, make sure it's funny. D. Duke Fuhrer threat subsiding--for now. But he sure took Ted Koppel to the cleaners. P.Buchanan Will score in N.H., thanks to Sununu haters, Bush "sellout" of right. Kinsley in '96?
  • The Man Called 'Nunu'

    Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater had barely reached the podium of the White House press room when the shouting started. "Has Boyden Gray been fired?" one reporter bellowed. "What about Nunu?" yelled another, derisively employing the Bush family's nickname for chief of staff John Sununu. Fitzwater smiled wanly and shook his head. "No, no, everybody's on the job," he said. It was the straight line the reporters had hoped for. "That's what we're afraid of!" they jeered. ...
  • Buzzwords

    College cheerleaders and band members have a lingo all their own. A sampling: Marching and maneuvering.Maximum effort for dramatic impact. Usage: "When we get to letter C, I want biffbo.The marching band strutting in formation.An exhausted brass player's mouth. Rhinos: Tuba players. Bootyfruit: What band members call cheerleaders. A stunt requiring cheerleaders to stand so straight they could hold a penny between their buns.
  • New York: 'The Wind Will Rattle Your Bones'

    In New York's Riverside Park, a homeless man named Robert, 48, worries about the coming winter weather. "The wind off the water will rattle your bones," he says. "I got 10 blankets." He may need them, because he could have trouble finding a safe haven this winter. "I may have to spend this one outside," says Robert. ...
  • Looking For Dirt On Hill

    You may have thought the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings couldn't have gotten dirtier, but they almost did. NEWSWEEK has learned new details on how Republican leaders tried to dig up information that would discredit Anita Hill and applied strong-arm tactics to witnesses reluctant to come forward against her. A GOP Senate aide tracked down a former law student of Hill's from Oral Roberts University who claimed Hill had once made sexually provocative comments to him. When the young man declined to sign an affidavit, Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson called him to stress the importance of coming forward. After he again refused, Assistant Attorney General Lee Rawls phoned his father, a prominent Wyoming Republican. The student still declined. Spokesmen for Simpson and Rawls confirm that the calls were made. ...
  • In Sweden, You're Never Too Old To Learn Something New

    Credit those long Swedish winters. More than three generations ago, Swedish adults struggling with the ennui of the endless cold nights began forming "study circles." They gathered informally to talk about subjects ranging from Egyptian art to quaint foreign languages like English. When the Social Democrats gained power in the 1930s, the study circle was elevated to a matter of national policy. "In Sweden you learn as long as you live," says Barbro Wickberg, an official in the Swedish Education Ministry. Today the government pays 40 percent of the cost for study circles nationwide, an expenditure of about $188 million last year. ...
  • Give Us Your Ambitious, Your Brainy, Your ...

    American students regularly rank near the bottom in international science competitions and American highschoolers don't know Cher from Chernobyl. But when the world wants to learn science and engineering, where does it go to graduate school? The United States. "The U.S. is about as good as it gets for post-baccalaureate education," says Philip Altbach, director of the Comparative Education Center at the State University of New York-Buffalo. For proof, follow the money-the tuition money. In 1989 (the most recent figures), 33.8 percent of the doctorates awarded by American schools in the natural and computer sciences and engineering went to foreign students. Between 1977 and 1989, the number of doctorates in natural science awarded to Americans fell 5.8 percent; foreigners' increased 105 percent ...
  • The Best Schools In The World

    We all know the indictment: American education has fallen behind the rest of the industrialized world. And we all know the reasons: everything from the collapse of the family to the prevalence of television to the abject failure of national leadership has been blamed. What we don't know is how the rest of the world is managing to do a better job of teaching its children. ...
  • Where Black Is Gold

    What's the market for black culture these days? Just ask Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, the only cable network aimed at African-Americans. BET's audience has grown dramatically during the past decade, and the network has even crossed swords with MTV to get the top black stars in America. Last summer, after MTV exclusively ran a new video by the rap group Heavy D & The Boyz, BET launched a boycott, refusing to air videos by MCA Records, the group's label, for a week. The move--meant to break MTV's several-month exclusive control of many black artists' videos--sent a spasm of anxiety through the music industry. "MTV is trying to keep a stranglehold on black music--but nobody wants to alienate BET," says a top recording executive. "It's a friction-laden situation." ...
  • They Are Engineered Like No Other Students In The World

    In Germany, high school is not for the faint of heart or the frivolous of mind. Look at Anke Kuttenkeuler's weekly schedule. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, the 18-year-old takes classes in German, economics, political science, drafting and other specialty subjects at the giant Commercial Training Institute (GBA) in Bonn. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, she works as an apprentice civil engineer at a small firm, drawing blueprints or surveying canals for 1,100 marks (about $690) a month. Next year, she will take final exams administered by the chamber of commerce in Bonn. If all goes well, she will graduate into a job in engineering with the coveted title of journeyman.The German reverence for trade crafts is at the heart of a high-school system considered the best in the world. Students are trained to work, not simply to receive diplomas. Only about one third of German students attend a college-preparatory school, known as a Gymnasium,-- the rest go to vocational and technical...
  • 'A School Must Rest On The Idea That All Children Are Different'

    The glass-walled Diana School in the northern Italian city of Reggio Emilia looks more like a cheerful greenhouse than a public kindergarten. Children's art is everywhere--on walls, painted on windows, hanging from the ceilings, spread across tables. There are ceramic tiles of sea horses, a mobile of human profiles made of wire and beads, and clay figurines of trees and leaves. Two dressing areas offer costumes for children who might want to "disguise" themselves for the day. ...
  • Farms Across The Water

    His imports are not as famous as London Bridge, but a San Francisco antique dealer is doing a big business in bringing a bit of old Europe to America. Joachim Wolf of Annalisa Wolf Antiques recently imported a 9,000-square-foot 18th-century farmhouse from Lubeck, Germany. Wolf sold the five-bedroom house and stable for $350,000. Soon he'll have several more houses, including a burgher's cottage and a 17th-century Spanish hacienda, on the block. Each is disassembled, shipped to the United States and reassembled. "If I can ship 200 pieces of furniture, I can ship 800 beams, " says Wolf.
  • A New Face For An Old Nemesis

    Tuberculosis. The word conjures up faded images of 19th-century sanatoriums. Once America's leading cause of death, TB was subdued by potent new drugs during the 1950s and all but forgotten by 1980. Now, thanks to AIDS, poverty and a collapsing health-care system, the old scourge is returning in new attire. The caseload has exploded in some East Coast cities, and recent outbreaks have involved deadly new strains. Last summer health officials reported that drug-resistant TB had swept through four hospitals in New York and Miami, killing many of the 147 patients it struck. And New York prison officials disclosed last week that a new TB strain has caused 14 deaths at two state facilities. Patients and prisoners aren't the only ones in danger. As prison commissioner Thomas Coughlin observes, "Their health problems reflect those faced by the community at large." ...
  • In New Zealand, Good Reading And Writing Come 'Naturally'

    If reading is the cornerstone of learning, then the best foundations are built in New Zealand. The country's students have scored at the top of international literacy tests. And now their texts--and teachers--are regularly sought by educators around the world. Their success rests on an innovative curriculum that stresses comprehension over rote drills and allows children to learn at their own speed. In New Zealand, says Jan Duncan, a reading specialist at the Wellington College of Education, teachers believe "every child has got it in them to read successfully, no matter what their background." ...
  • New From At&T: Dialing For Dialects

    Oh, sure, you studied Spanish in high school. You can do a passable job ordering from a French menu. But if you're like most Americans, you're going to have a little trouble getting the meaning across to someone whose sole language is Wolof AT&T has come to the rescue with Language Line, which puts translators on the phone. Together they speak more than 140 languages--the usual European tongues, and less familiar ones like Wolof (spoken mainly in Senegal), Punjabi (Pakistan and India) and Tajiki (Afghanistan and some Soviet republics), too. In 1989, AT&T bought the service, started by a San Jose, Calif., company five years before. It has spent the time since lining up corporate and government clients, which now number in the thousands. AT&T has recently opened the service to anyone with a credit card; one-time users can simply dial an 800 number and set up a conference call with a translator; the company bills the $3.50-per minute call to the user's credit card. The company is also...
  • Coming Soon To A Planet Near You

    It's up in the sky, but it's not a bird, a plane or an alien spaceship (is it?). Spotted Nov. 6 by a Kitt Peak, Ariz., astronomer, the 6- to 36-foot-across object will pass within 290,000 miles of Earth on Dec. 5. This week astronomers are training their sights on it to figure out what it is. The betting: a lunar probe launched in 1959. Its orbit should bring it back toward Earth about now. If the object is spinning quickly, it's probably man-made.But if it's spinning very slowly, it is likely a new class of asteroid. Most of these rocky chunks, left from the formation of the solar system, circle between Mars and Jupiter or travel in a very elongated orbit. The object has a circular orbit.
  • It's A Naugahyde Thing

    It's standing room only at Kelbo's Coco Bowl in Los Angeles, where the drinks come in conch shells and the pillars look like palm trees. On the club's tiny stage, singer Joey Cheezhee belts out a tune that sounds like a collision between Jack Jones and Led Zeppelin: "Whole Lotta Love Boat." As always, Cheezhee is dressed to kill-himself Sequined rollerblades adorn his feet, and a gold-plated nasal-hair clipper hangs from a chain around his neck. A cheese grater is fastened to his waist, a tribute to Wayne Newton's escutcheon-size belt buckles. Cheezhee's repertoire moves readily from matters of the heart to those of the digestive tract. His song "Bile" salutes that underappreciated secretion: "You bring light to the intestines with your golden yellow glow / If I were a liver, I'd never let you go." He may be the Lounge Act from Hell, but the crowd of twenty-somethings roars its approval. ...
  • Surely For The Spirit, But Also For The Mind

    In a section of Pittsburgh it would be ambitious to call lower-middle class, Westinghouse High School's concert choir gears up to rip apart a tape of its own work. "What did you hear?" asks teacher Linda Ross-Broadus. "We took breaths where we weren't supposed to," says one student. "And the correction?" "We should stagger our breathing." After a couple of minutes of critique, they try again. The differences are audible: clearer tone, better rhythm and pronunciation. ...
  • All I Want For Christmas

    No matter what the leading economic indicators indicate, this is still the season to be jolly: even if we have to lower our expectations, we can still lift our voices. In fact, a lot more joyful noise could be made if carolers could call to mind all the verses of, say, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," and once-a-year piano players knew just how the chords go when you come to "Yet in thy dark streets shineth." Of all the songbooks around to help, few are more useful or handsome than And the Angels Sing: A Song Book of Classic Christmas Carols (Rizzoli. $12.95) produced by Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. It's got words, simple piano arrangements, chord symbols for guitarists, and illustrations from medieval and Renaissance art works. Almost as wonderful is what it doesn't have: "Little Drummer Boy," or anything to do with Rudolf or the Chipmunks. Have yourself a tasteful little Christmas.A mystery and a love story, Nick Bantock's unconventional novel Griffin & Sabine (Chronicle. $16.95...