Newswire

Newswire

  • Frames Or Frame-Ups: Can The Camera Lie?

    In the hands of the good guys, video cameras may foster truth and justice. But what happens when they fall into the wrong hands? Could the same technology that so deftly exposes the crimes of cops, congressmen and bank robbers be used to frame perfectly innocent people? The answer is yes, but...Yes, it's possible, through selective taping or high-tech tampering, to make a camcorder lie. But convincing fabrications are still beyond the amateur's reach--and laboratory analysis can readily detect even the slickest professional hoax. ...
  • A Crisis Of Leadership

    For a moment, at least, they were able to recapture the old spirit of struggle. "We're gonna stand! And fight!" shouted Benjamin L. Hooks. "Until hell freezes over!" The audience rose and cheered wildly. But the mood at the 82nd annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Houston last week was mostly one of frustration. George Bush had just lifted sanctions against South Africa, a cause dear to the civil-rights movement. The president had already put the movement on the defensive by casting the civil rights legislation before Congress as a "quota" bill. And by naming Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, Bush had presented leaders of the NAACP with a vexing dilemma. Oppose Thomas and an organization devoted to the advancement of African-Americans risked denying one of their own a seat on the highest court in the land. Support him, and they stood to empower a man who opposes policies most black leaders have championed for decades. ...
  • A Stomach For Controversy

    If you are a 7-Eleven clerk, get ready for a lot of questions this week. When a movie star poses, buck-naked and titanically pregnant, on the cover of a major magazine, agitated customers demand answers. Enter this month's Vanity Fair, whereon megastar Demi (emphasis on me) Moore lets it all hang out--most notably her eight-months-pregnant belly (whose voice is not supplied by Bruce Willis). "I let my belly out all the time, so why not on the cover of Vanity Fair?" Moore asked NEWSWEEK. "It's glamorous being pregnant." ...
  • Lights! Action! Disk Drives!

    Ah-nuld gets top billing and Linda Hamilton's veins bulge off the screen, but the real stars of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" aren't in front of the camera. Crowds sure go for that Shakespearean dialogue--"Hasta la vista, baby," Schwarzenegger tells the bad guy--but it seems to be the special effects that are making T2 this summer's around-the-blockbuster. ...
  • Cia: Is Gates Finished?

    The president was seething. His nominee to be director of the CIA, Robert Gates, was caught up in an old scandal, and the Senate Intelligence Committee had put his confirmation hearings on hold. Standing outside his vacation home in Kennebunkport, Bush wagged his finger at reporters and railed against cowardly politicians. "They ought not to accept a rumor. They ought not to panic and run like a covey of quail because somebody has made an allegation against a man whose word I trust," Bush said, his voice rising. "What have we come to in this country where a man has to prove his innocence against some fluid, movable charge?...I just don't think it's the American way to bring a good man down by rumor and insinuation." ...
  • Flashback To The Future

    It's what you don't see on TV anymore--a clever concept wrapped in a smart pitch. Nick at Nite, the cable network that reruns old sitcoms, decides to produce a new sitcom. Next it forms an alliance with ABC, under which the broadcast network will air episodes of the sitcom a few days before they appear on its cable counterpart. That's smart: Nick at Nite gets to showcase its creation on a much larger stage, while ABC gets new programming without having to pay the development cost. It's also unprecedented. "Hi Honey I'm Home," which debuts July 19, will be the first series produced by a cable channel for one of the three major networks. ...
  • The Great Global Debtor

    The idea that the United States is the "world's biggest debtor nation" is a legacy of the 1980s. The phrase has become a staple of commentators and politicians everywhere, who automatically include it among the alleged sins of the past decade. And recently, the Commerce Department put the matter in numbers. It reported that the United States' "net international investment position" was a minus $412 billion in 1990. Strictly speaking, this means we owed foreigners that much more than they owed us. ...
  • Arthur Temple: An Ex-Director Dissents

    For a man who held a stake in some of the nation's biggest magazines, Arthur Temple has always been extremely press shy. Temple became a power at Time Inc. in 1973, when a merger with his family's forest-products concern made the Temples the biggest Time shareholders, with a 15 percent stake. Two years ago he left Time's board of directors as the merger with Warner grew inevitable. He opposed it; Temple voted for the merger and then resigned. In a rare interview last week, Temple spoke bluntly about his objections to the merger and his belief that many of his fears have been borne out. Time Warner officials declined to comment. ...
  • Pound Cake For Messy Cons?

    What we've got here is a failure to communicate table manners. Louisiana prison officials, frustrated by frequent, messy food fights among inmates at the state penitentiary, have asked a federal judge to allow them to serve troublemakers "splatter proof" dinners baked in a doughy loaf. The loaves contain all the ingredients of a full meal but won't stick to walls or prison uniforms. Even the attorney representing inmates in a suit over jail conditions approves.
  • Night And Day, You Are One

    It was day, it was night, it was day. In the skies over the Pacific last week, the diurnal cycle lasted not 24 hours but minutes - the time it took for the moon to block out the sun, leaving a 160-mile-wide stripe of darkness, then move away again. For the well-positioned skywatchers, the total eclipse was an adventure, a religious experience or a chance to make money selling souvenir items. For scientists high atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano, touted as the best astronomical location on Earth, it was a heaven-sent opportunity to look closely at the sun. ...
  • Shaking Things Up At Now

    For a feminist, Patricia Ireland has a startling political role model: George Wallace. When she was a flight attendant in Florida in the late '60s, Ireland saw the ex-governor of Alabama barnstorm the South, pulling voters to the right with his angry, third-party appeal. As the new leader of the National Organization for Women, the 45-year-old Miami lawyer hopes to stir a similar upheaval--on the left. With the Democrats seeming confused, and abortion rights under siege, Ireland wants to lead American women, Wallace-style, founding a new party if she has to. "He shook things up," she says, "and so can we." ...
  • Video Vigilantes

    OK, America, let's go to the videotape. Here are just some of the plays of the month caught by average citizens in recent weeks: ...
  • A Farewell To Sanctions

    It was easier than anyone expected just a few months ago. Five years after Congress imposed comprehensive economic sanctions against South Africa over Ronald Reagan's veto, George Bush "very cheerfully" lifted them last week--to scarcely a murmur of protest. Nobody marched on the White House. There were no arrests at the South African Embassy or township-style shacks on the Mall. A few senators charged Bush with violating the letter and spirit of the sanctions law; the Congressional Black Caucus pushed for formation of a monitoring group. But liberals didn't have a prayer of reassembling the bipartisan coalition that seized control of U.S. policy toward South Africa in 1986. ...
  • Mystery Meat Goes Lite--Sort Of

    It was known among World War II soldiers as "ham that couldn't pass its physical." And it brings to mind school lunch boxes and a Monty Python routine. But Spam, the pork-based luncheon meat, is getting a trimmer, more respectable sidekick. Geo. Hormel & Co., which has made Spam for more than 50 years, is now shipping Spam Lite, a lower-fat, lower-salt version of the much-ridiculed concoction. It's available in five test markets--Hawaii, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and the CaroIinas. ...
  • Take A Hike

    pay raise the House voted itself two years ago, will try to get one for themselves this fall. "It's a question of vanity," says a House staffer. Not only do House members earn more than senators ($125,101 to $101,900), but 81 House aides also have higher salaries, according to a recent survey by the congressional newspaper, Roll Call. A Senate pay raise is no sure thing. Senators facing re-election next year won't want to defend a salary increase. They could even wind up taking home less--if they pass a measure to ban honoraria without an accompanying pay hike.
  • Dallek On Caro: 'I Don't Have A Vendetta'

    Robert Dallek looks like the proverbial canary-swallowing cat. In his study in a small detached cottage behind his home in west L.A., the historian clearly relishes what is shaping up to be a vicious literary battle. "I see Caro's portrait of Johnson as an unrelenting attack," he says. "His work has a prosecutorial tone to it. Caro was right, Johnson was a monster. But to me he was a monstre sacre, a sacred monster." ...
  • The Melting Of A Mighty Myth

    Once in a while science makes a breakthrough so revolutionary that it changes forever the way we think about reality, like the discovery that hay fever usually isn't caused by hay. To the great iconoclasts of science, one can add anthropologist Laura Martin of Cleveland State University, who has had the audacity to assert that Eskimos don't actually have any more words for "snow" than anyone else. ...
  • Saddam Fesses Up On Nukes

    Faced with the threat of renewed U.S. airstrikes if he continued to play hide-and-seek with United Nations inspectors, Saddam Hussein last week produced the first hard evidence that Iraq has been trying to build a nuclear bomb. The concession averted a military crisis at least for the time being, and led George Bush to profess guarded satisfaction at the first sign of "progress" in the attempt to defang Iraq's nuclear-weapons program. But Bush also said he did not believe the Iraqis had "come totally clean," and U.S. officials said that finding and destroying all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction might take months. At the United Nations, Iraqi Ambassador Abdul Amir al-Anbari was given until July 25 to make a "full, final and complete disclosure" of Iraq's unconventional weapons. ...
  • Whine, Women And Wimbledon

    Women, the great fight trainer Whitey Bimstein used to say, have ruined more athletes than whisky and the IRS put together, but even he would have been shocked to hear about what happened to Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon last week. Seeded third in her bid for an unprecedented 10th Wimbledon title, the 34-year-old reigning champion was rudely undone in the quarterfinals by the teenage Jennifer Capriati. This was only Navratilova's 10th Wimbledon loss in 113 matches, and the first time since 1977 she failed to reach the semis. Court watchers cherchezing the femme behind Navratilova's fall immediately fingered Judy Nelson, the former Texas beauty queen (and mother of two sons, 17 and 20) who had lived with the tennis star for the last seven years. Navratilova herself broke off the relationship this April, but last month, Nelson served her with papers demanding that she live up to a "nonmarital cohabitation agreement" which calls for an equal division of Navratilova's earnings since...
  • Have Wit, Will Travel

    Walter Lippmann once said he had no marketable skills, so he had no choice but to become a journalist. That's the romantic image of my profession, but the arena is grim these days. Magazines are in an ad slump; book publishing is in the midst of a bloodbath; newspapers are folding. Each week brings fresh news of another publication going belly up as the business goes through a monthslong equivalent of Wall Street's Black Monday. ...