Carroll Bogert

Oh, To Be Young And Chinese

COCO HAS BLEACHED-BLOND HAIR, BLUE CONTACT lenses, and a silver stud in his nose. Not your typical Chinese patriot, in other words. But the 20-year-old crooner in a Shanghai nightclub insists he's proud to be Chinese. ""For some reason, to say you're Chinese has become kind of a cool thing to say,'' he reports. ""People are no longer jealous of foreigners.'' Coco sings Billie Holiday tunes in a bar decorated with license plates from California and New Jersey, a neon Budweiser sign and several...

Running Scared

IN LUBONA, RWANDA, IT WAS TIME to party. Each of the village's 20 families welcomed long-lost relatives--or waited for them. The village took on a giddy, carnival air.

'Making Men Listen'

Sex was an unusual topic for a 90-minute meeting with an African head of state. But when representatives of the World Bank and other international groups met last month with Jerry Rawlings, president of Ghana, they could talk of little else.

Pushing Back The Veil

The daughter of the Ayatollah Khomeini is about the last person in the world you'd expect to hear spouting feminist rhetoric. A Western visitor sipping tea in her formal little office (just past the DEATH TO THE USA sign near the entrance) hardly knows what to make of Zahra Mustafavi and her Women's Society of Iran.

'On The Cutting Edge.'

Newt Gingrich proclaimed himself ""in awe'' of their budget-slashing fervor. Bob Dole called New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman ""on the cutting edge of taxes'' -- and the pun might even have been intentional.

Bringing Back Baby

FIVE-YEAR-OLD SYDNEY ZELINKA ALready puts a baby brother into her drawings of her family. Sydney's parents have already furnished his nursery in their house in Newton, Mass.

The 'Worms' Become Butterflies

FOR CUBANS IN THE UNITED STATES, every letter from home now is a painful ordeal. Relatives, friends and even mere acquaintances back in Cuba are frank about their desperation-and don't hesitate to beg for help. "I am ashamed to send you this, but you have no idea what circumstances are like here," reads one letter. "If you don't have The Dollar, you don't have anything ...

With Allies Like These . . .

Boris Yeltsin wants to send the message "Be my friend-or else." Declaring that his own vice president, Aleksandr Rutskoi, "is categorically not in agreement with [my] reforms," Yeltsin last week took away Rutskoi's sleek official Mercedes, stripped him of his agriculture portfolio and reduced his security detail from 20 men to three.

Nothing Personal

In his polite moments, Mikhail Gorbachev dismissed the proceedings as "a political trial." In a franker moment, he shouted, "This is shit!" Russia's Constitutional Court is ruling on the legality of Gorbachev's old Communist Party, and last week the former Soviet leader-not long ago the most praised man on the planet-faced possible prosecution for refusing to testify.

The 'Who Lost Russia' Debate

Just three little words, but what political dynamite: WHO LOST CHINA? And who knows that better than Richard Nixon? As a young member of Congress from California after World War II, Nixon launched a political career by smoking out "fellow travelers," including those who had allegedly let the Communists triumph in China.

How Much Hunger?

It's the wisdom of the day: hunger is stalking Mother Russia. Soviet newspapers bristle with panic about the oncoming winter. There are fears of famine and popular revolt.

Boris's Bet: Russian Roulette?

Russians call their current leadership a "kamikaze government," and last week Boris Yeltsin showed why. It wasn't the new economic proposals he made to the republic's Congress of People's Deputies: promises to sell off state enterprises, close unprofitable factories and set up realistic banking and taxation systems.

'No Work Is Getting Done'

Maybe Boris Yeltsin should have known better than to take a vacation-at a Black Sea resort, no less. When he left on Sept. 23 for two weeks of rest ordered by his doctor, the Russian president basked in the fading, but still warm, afterglow of victory over the coup makers.

Gorbachev's Weak Lineup

Valery Boldin has a thankless job. He is chief of staff to the Soviet president, and as a longtime communist functionary is about as popular in Moscow as John Sununu is in Washington.

Throw The Communists Out

Out where the Soviet rust belt is crumbling, Communists are taking the fall. Last week at the Soviet Union's biggest machine-building factory, the Uralmash plant in Sverdlovsk, more than 25,000 frustrated men and women voted to throw the Communist Party out of their workplace. "Why should the Communists get a special place in the enterprise?" said Vladislav Shamov, organizer of the referendum. "We've got lots of political parties now.

Which Side Are You On?

The Soviet Union is holding a divisive referendum on national unity "It's union or chaos," trumpeted Pravda last week as a March 17 referendum on Soviet confederation drew near. "It's life or decay," the chairman of the Soviet Peace Fund warned on television. "We cannot tolerate the collapse of our country," said Ivan Polozkov, head of the Russian Communist Party.