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Can Booze Cure Men's Fashion Phobia? Upscale Stores Hope Spirits Boost Sales.

by Tony Dokoupil Beer doesn't usually take center stage in upscale fashion boutiques. But that didn't stop six men from recently slashing holes into the sides of Modelo Especial cans, hoisting them to their mouths, and sucking down the exploding contents, frat-boy style, in the rarefied inner sanctum of Billy Reid, a dandyish, mostly men's clothing store in New York's Bowery district.

A New Tape Leads To New Fears

Judging from a new message released last week, Osama bin Laden is still alive and plotting. The latest video—the first since October 2004—shows bin Laden looking unnaturally youthful in at least one respect: the robust state of his bushy black beard, which was streaked with gray three years ago.

'Walking With Dinosaurs' Kicks Off Road Show

The lights go down, the smoke rises and the star of the show lumbers into the arena. She is 36 feet tall and 49 feet long, and she has a score to settle. The bleachers of Washington's Tacoma Dome shake as she walks, causing preschoolers to grab their mothers and older siblings to clutch the sides of their seats.

Cash-Confiscation Game

If you've ever wondered why consumers don't trust big business, let me give you a small example involving two of the world's best-known companies: Citigroup and AT&T.

Mail Call

Most readers of our March 6 cover story on the new India were full of lavish praise. "An excellent cover story," cheered one. "Informative, balanced and objective," said another, who found we "conveyed India's contrasts succinctly." A third huffed, "There was no mention of corruption."Fareed Zakaria's "India Rising" is the most wonderfully informative, balanced and objective report I have read on the subject (March 6).

PERISCOPE

Cote d'Ivoire: France's QuagmireHave the French found their own Iraq in the Cote d'Ivoire? Since nine French peacekeepers were killed in an Ivorian airstrike and French forces destroyed the country's tiny Air Force in retaliation on Nov. 6, the financial capital of Abidjan has been wracked by virulent anti-French mob violence.

Rnc Blog: New York Stories

Thursday, Sept. 2 | 8:10 p.m. ETDeidre Depke: So what does John McCain think about 527s? Yesterday, the Bush campaign filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, charging five such organizations with "massive" and "ongoing" violations of election laws.

PERISCOPE

EU: Revolving DoorsDespite promises to open their doors to migrants back in 2000, the European Union's current members are now slamming some of those doors shut.

Fun For The Kids

At Porto Pirata on Portugal's scenic coast, a disturbance threatened to destroy the peaceful holiday tableau. A British guy was trying to get behind the wheel of a big green truck parked outside.

American Idle

Recount? It's not that I'm unhappy that Ruben Studdard took the top prize last night on "American Idol," earning himself a $1 million record contract. And I don't even feel badly for runner-up Clay Aiken, who already has an album in the works, fans learned last night.But what bothered me most about the finale was the inconsistency regarding the closeness of the race.

The Profit Mission

Here's a tag you don't see much, but should: "Made in Outer Space." Thanks to the commercial minds inside NASA, many of Earth's consumer goods have distant origins in the U.S. space program.

Merry Christmas, Indeed

As online retailers began preparing for the holiday shopping season this fall, the outlook seemed pretty bleak. A dockworkers' strike on the West Coast was holding up shipment orders, President George W.

'The Body': So September 10Th

In early 1999 I was assigned maybe the easiest political story of the era--a profile of Gov. Jesse (The Body) Ventura. It was all color, all the time, from his feud with Garrison Keillor to his claim that St.

Tina 'Turner

On the very last page of the unauthorized biography "Tina and Harry Come to America," author Judy Bachrach comes clean. In the acknowledgments, she admits to receiving no cooperation from the subjects of her book, Tina Brown and her husband, Harold Evans.

Letter From Dubai

As a full moon rises over the Persian Gulf, the distant tinkle of a piano wafts through the darkness. It's late on a sultry evening in Dubai, and I'm on my way to the Burj Al Arab Hotel, described in a promotional brochure as a pleasure palace for "the richest of the rich." Constructed in 1999 at a rumored cost of $2 billion, the Burj is a sail shaped white tower that rises from an artificial island, separated from the mainland by a quarter-mile causeway.

Arts Extra: Unreviewable

Recently, NEWSWEEK's film critic, David Ansen, went on vacation, and it fell to me to review movies for three weeks. Initially, it struck me as odd that David had chosen to take time off so soon after the holidays.

The Grinch's Gatekeeper

Producer Brian Grazer had spent more than two fruitless years pursuing movie rights to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" and when he finally made his case to author Dr.

The Bush Clan's Donor Problem

A. Glenn Braswell, a Florida-based mail-order magnate who once served seven months in federal prison for perjury and mail fraud, has contributed $220,000 to Republican causes during the past two years--including $25,000 to George W.

Media's Week Of Wampum

Making wampum is turning into one of corporate America's fastest-growing businesses. No, companies like General Electric, Disney and Time Warner haven't taken to carving beads out of seashells, the way East Coast American Indians once did.

Getting A Cyber Sweat

Haven't been to the gym in five weeks? Don't think your health club doesn't know about it. "It's kind of expected that 75 percent stop coming," says one trainer at a gym in New York. "Starting on Jan. 1, everyone goes nuts for the first three months and then they drop out and it's back to Jan. 1 again." The actual defection rate is not much better.

The Selling Of Star Wars

The emperor is all-powerful, all-knowing. Nothing escapes the reach of the Empire. Not even the steely New York Times.Earlier this year the paper's Sunday Arts and Leisure Section ordered up a piece on George Lucas and his new $115 million "Star Wars" prequel.

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