Other Magazines

Mergers and Acquiescence

Economist, July 7

The cover story reports that the wave of airline mergers that was supposed to cut costs may turn out to do the opposite. Going global has encouraged flight crews to compare wages, resulting in European and Asian crews demanding compensation commensurate with their higher-paid American colleagues. All this comes at a time when growth in air travel is beginning to stall. An article suggests that the argument over stem-cell research could be a precursor of bigger fights to come. Whatever compromise comes out of the current debate will only postpone the tough decision of whether to allow “therapeutic cloning” to create the many new embryos needed to realize the full potential of stem-cell research.—J.F.

New York Times Magazine, July 8

The cover story depicts the horrors of the Russian war in Chechnya, focusing on the search by two Russian mothers for their missing soldier-sons. Their commanders apparently sold the two men to Chechen guerrillas, a common practice by greedy, evil Russian officers. One mother finds her boy, the other doesn’t. Among the other miseries described: 20,000 Chechen men are held in Russian captivity, many in underground pits. Torture is rampant. Grozny, the capital city, is uninhabitable. Yet Russia is claiming a grand victory. An article recounts the story of Anamarie Regino, a 4-year-old girl in New Mexico taken from her parents because she was morbidly obese. She weighed 130 pounds at age 3. No one understands why she’s so fat, but the state claimed it was the parents’ fault. Now they’re suing. A profile of the “Tiger Woods of croquet,” 19-year-old Jacques Fournier. He’s the first American in the top ranks of professional croquet and the first American to perform a “sextuple peel” in competition (don’t ask). He was the top-money winner last year. Total earnings: $6,700.—D.P.

{{The Nation#111468}}The Nation, July 16

The cover story calls Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill a “dangerous crank.” His off-the-cuff ramblings about eliminating Social Security and repealing corporate taxation are reminiscent of the Gipper: They seem “amusingly daft” until you realize he’s totally serious. A profile of John Kerry assesses the senator’s habit of switching back and forth between crusading liberal and moderate New Democrat. The author wonders whether Kerry’s ideological diversions will be “a talent to tap or a trait to overcome” as he positions himself for a 2004 run at the White House. An article tells the story of Ernestina Rodriguez, a poor Texan who was convicted of willfully starving her baby son to death, despite an autopsy that found milk in the baby’s stomach. Her case exemplifies the Texas justice system’s iniquitous treatment of the poor.—J.F.

Mother Jones, July & August 2001

The cover story draws attention to the poor conditions in America’s slaughterhouses, the most dangerous workplaces in the country. The meatpacking industry treats its workers—largely migrant laborers—as “cheap and disposable,” often firing those who are maimed on the job. Because these disabled workers are left dependent on public assistance, taxpayers are being forced to subsidize the industry’s poor safety record. A piece argues that Ralph Nader’s unsuccessful presidential bid threatens to forever tarnish his status as the country’s leading public advocate. Public Citizen has distanced itself from him, and those on the left who should be his closest allies consider him persona non grata. Still, Nader refuses to back down, endorsing Green Party candidates in close 2002 congressional races.—J.F.

The New Yorker, July 9

An article by Seymour Hersh alleges that in the mid-’90s Mobil Corp. paid more than $1 billion to Russian companies in “unorthodox transactions” that had no “apparent valid business purpose.” The goal of these “unseemly business dealings” was to gain access to Kazakhstan’s rich Tengiz oil field. Hersh also reports that, prior to its merger with Exxon, Mobil failed to inform the Securities and Exchange Commission that a senior executive may have violated U.S. sanctions by facilitating an oil deal with Iran. A piece catches up with O.J. Simpson. In the four years since losing his civil suit, he has been playing lots of golf, taking care of his children, and apparently telling crude jokes. He has also been involved in four incidents requiring police attention, including an arrest for road-rage.—J.F. 

Time, July 9

Julia Roberts is on the cover, which names “America’s Best” artists and entertainers. Also featured: director Ang Lee, rock band Sleater-Kinney, comedian Chris Rock, and 17 others. Four more “America’s Best” covers, “profiling America’s highest achievers” will follow. Just in time for Independence Day, an article claims that “burned flesh is more popular than ever” in the United States. About 75 percent of all American households own a barbecue, “[d]espite evidence that eating proteins cooked at high temperatures can cause cancer in animals.” An article looks askance at a recent study that downplays women’s breast self-examination because it prompts unnecessary testing. The article reminds readers that “[m]any breast cancers are still found by women themselves, often while showering or during sex.”—A.F.

Newsweek, July 9 The cover package weighs in on the “Stem Cell Storm.” Taken from embryos, stem cells may be used to treat Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and Parkinson’s. The White House will announce its stance on stem-cell research in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, there’s speculation that White House strategist Karl Rove is looking for a unifying approach to the issue. An article recounts Slobodan Milosevic’s trip to The Hague and questions the stability of Yugoslavia in the wake of his extradition: “A recent poll by Radio B92 found that Serbs still rank Milosevic as the fourth greatest Serb of all time.” Summer fun is going to cost you, warns an article: “Ticket prices for spectator sports, theme parks and concerts have soared in recent years at double-digit rates.”—A.F.

U.S. News & World Report, July 9

This special issue celebrates the history of photography. The photojournalism segment, “Dodging Bullets—and Editors,” says at least 11 photojournalists and camera crewmembers have died in the Balkans since 1991. An article on Vice President Cheney’s recent hospital stay reports that “White House officials concede that his condition … is troubling.” Cheney’s doctors advised “an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which would deliver electric shocks to his heart if the abnormal rhythms recurred, a device that experts say is implanted 100,000 times a year.” An article describes how the FDA recently ordered a religious sect to cease pursuing cloning experiments. Followers of the prophet Rael (the journalist formerly known as Claude Vorilhon), Raelians believe that cloning is the key to the future of humankind.—A.F.