Newswire

Newswire

  • Hasid Trip

    Hollywood, where the term original idea is an oxymoron, is developing at least six movies about ... Hasidic Jews. Among the films featuring the traditional Jewish sect: "Close to Eden," about a gentile cop who goes undercover among the Hasidim. "Benny's Heir" is about a Hasidic doctor who falls for a woman with mob ties. And producer Sherry Lansing's project is "Holy Men": a Hasid-turned-cop returns to the sect to investigate his brother's murder.
  • A Lifeline In Iraq

    Bush orders American troops to help the Kurds, but getting out may be harder than getting in ...
  • Pondering An Act Of God

    I'm one of the lucky ones. When the helicopter and the airplane collided over the grounds of Merion Elementary School in suburban Philadelphia on April 4, my son Andy and his classmates were in their third-grade classroom discussing plans for the much anticipated arrival of the circus. The plane exploded, the helicopter fell and fiery wreckage rained on the schoolyard where first and second graders chased one another in the spring sunshine. The crash claimed the lives of two children and five adults, including Pennsylvania's U.S. Sen. John Heinz.As news of the accident spread, hundreds of parents like myself, swathed in terror, rushed to the school, plea-bargaining with God or some other higher power to spare our children. Most of us found our children frightened, but unharmed. Three families weren't as fortunate. Becky Rutenberg arrived only to learn that her son David had been airlifted to a hospital burn center, with burns over 68 percent of his body. For two families, the Blums...
  • London Is Talking About ...

    It seems that when the new Tory finance minister, Norman Lamont, moved to 11 Downing Street recently, he rented a basement flat in his west London house to one Sara Dale, 40, and her boyfriend. In the rental agreement, Dale described herself as a "therapist dealing in stress and nutrition management." She failed to mention her treatment techniques--involving leather, toys and fees of $150 an hour.An exclusive report on Lamont's new tenant in the tabloid News of the World--with photos of Dale in "work attire"--touched off a media frenzy. Lamont issued a statement denying he'd ever met Dale and said he'd evict her if the allegations proved true.Two days later Dale invited reporters into her "love room." Yes, she said, she did give massages while naked but always stopped short of intercourse.Once, she said, she'd put a patient in a bubble bath with rubber ducks and threatened to spank him if he didn't splash about. And yes, she had appeared in the rubber-fetish mags, Shiny and Mistress...
  • Naming Names

    At first, she was simply The Accuser, The Victim, The Woman in the Palm Beach rape case. But when a supermarket tabloid--and then NBC, The New York Times and several other newspapers--disclosed her name and details of her personal life last week, she assumed a unique and precarious spot in the annals of modern celebrityhood-exposed, yet still hidden. Millions of people have now seen the grainy black-and-white picture with the Mona Lisa smile. They've shared her secrets: her drinking habits, her high school grades, her unwed-motherhood, even her 17 traffic tickets. But to everyone else, she is still a tantalizing cipher--silent and faceless, trapped by her self-imposed exile, perhaps in the sanctuary of her stepfather's house. ...
  • The Sixth-Floor Window

    If at first you don't succeed, keep on pestering. That was Hollywood director Oliver Stone's strategy, and on his fourth try, he got permission last week to film from the same sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy. Stone re-created the assassination for "JFK," his movie on New Orleans prosecutor James Garrison's (Kevin Costner) investigation of the shooting, due early next year. Dallas officials didn't want to close the room, now a museum, for anyone. "It's open every day except Christmas, and that's the way it should be," said city commissioner Christopher Semos. But they finally gave in, on their terms: 6:30 to 10 a.m., four days only, and clean up after yourselves.
  • The Message In The Market

    The Dow broke 3000 because it's anticipating a recovery. But it could stay stalled for months. ...
  • Ray Anderson Plays His Funny 'Bone

    The jazz trombonist Ray Anderson noticed some years back that when he sang at certain pitches, his voice split in two. His vocal cords produced one note, and the skin outside the larynx produced a second. The first is a cartoonish Satchmo styling; its shadow sounds like Satchmo through an aerosol can. Together, vying their way through a standard like Duke Ellington's "I'm Just a Lucky So and So," they're as queerly beautiful and weird a voice as you're likely to hear. ...
  • Buzzwords

    Nurses--those hardworking angels of mercy--have a darker side. If you listen closely, you may hear them say: A mess. Usage: "We've got a real train wreck coming into emergency."Pillow on face. A patient who complains too much. Usage: "She'd better quit whining or she'll be POF."A person whose veins are hard to find when drawing blood.Transfer a patient to another ward. Usage: "Let's turf that train wreck to neuro."Short of breath.
  • Number 11

    A word to wise Indonesians: when asked to name your idol, lie. A Christian-owned tabloid called Monitor conducted a poll last year asking Indonesians to name the person-dead or alive--they admire most. The top pick was President Suharto; Saddam Hussein was seventh. The problem is, the Prophet Muhammad finished llth, which didn't exactly please the nation's largely Muslim populace. Demonstrations broke out. The government shut down Monitor and arrested editor Arswendo Atmowiloto. He is likely to serve five years for insulting a religion.
  • A Duke May Make A King

    White House chief of staff John Sununu's latest try at dealmaking outside the Beltway appears to have backfired. When Sununu persuaded Louisiana's Democratic Gov. Buddy Roemer to join the GOP last month, party strategists hoped the switch would secure the governor's mansion for the Republicans and hold the line against white supremacist--and declared gubernatorial candidate--David Duke. But Roemer hasn't won any friends by leaving town on the eve of the legislative session and chewing out the state GOP chairman. Old-line GOP Rep. Clyde Holloway is now in the race, splitting the party-and leaving Duke to play kingmaker.
  • Treasure Islands: Aquino's Quest For Gold

    It's farce Philippine style: good intentions take a pratfall. In an attempt to recover some $5 billion allegedly stolen by the late Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies, President Corazon Aquino has given her blessing to treasure hunts in spots ranging from a Swiss warehouse to the grounds of Imelda Marcos's former seaside resort in the province of Leyte, where workers dig under the gaze of armed guards. Government gold fever has led to the excavation of the country's most historic site, Fort Santiago in Manila. And it has sent officials chasing down rumors of such grails as a four-foot Buddha whose head is said to contain a cavity filled with jewels. The search has yet to yield a single ounce of gold. ...
  • Rjr Nabisco: Junk Buyers At The Gate

    What a difference a year makes. At the beginning of 1990, RJR Nabisco was still awash in corporate debt and bad publicity from "Barbarians at the Gate," the best-selling account of its takeover by leveraged-buyout kings Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. When it attempted a $1 billion junk-bond offering, Wall Street booed it out of the investment arena. But last week RJR climbed back into the ring--and got a far better reception. The company announced the sale of $750 million worth of highyield seven-year bonds--and found such positive response that it doubled the offering to $1.5 billion, creating the biggest junk-bond issue since late 1989. ...
  • Gorbachev Goes To Tokyo: No Deal

    The trip to Tokyo, Mikhail Gorbachev said at the end, came down to 12 hours of "political detention in the Akasaka Palace." Hisjoke conceded the obvious: the first visit by a Soviet leader to Japan showcased Gorbachev's growing impotence. The Japanese had hoped he would match his epochal opening to Europe by relinquishing four islands in the Kuril chain seized by Joseph Stalin in the days immediately following World War II. They were reportedly ready to offer $25 billion in badly needed grants and credits. No deal. Gorbachev and Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu finally smiled for the cameras, clinked champagne glasses, linked pinkies in a traditional Japanese gesture of agreement--and promised to talk again. "A year ago, the feeling was, 'With Gorbachev, anything was possible'," said one Japanese Soviet specialist. "But by the time he came, nothing was possible." ...
  • God, Men And Bonding At Yale

    It is a welcome sign of the success of the women's movement that most of the remaining bastions of male privilege in America probably aren't worth storming in the first place. ...
  • The Pregnancy Police

    In Seattle last month, two cocktail waiters were fired for rudeness after they balked at serving a pregnant woman a strawberry daiquiri. They instantly became local heroes for standing up for their principles. One newspaper columnist praised the two for caring, "which is more than 90 percent of us ever do." But in New York, feminists recently battled a new state law requiring liquor sellers to post alcohol-warning signs aimed at pregnant women. Molly Yard, president of the National Organization for Women, charges that the legislation is a first step in setting up "a pregnancy-police state." ...