Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Jan. 10 1999 3:30 AM

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Economist, Jan. 9

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(posted Saturday, Jan. 9, 1999)

Noting that mergers increased 50 percent worldwide in 1998 and that less than half of mergers "add value," the cover article advises companies how to make successful marriages. Suggestions: Don't merge because you're bored with your own company, don't merge because you're scared, watch out for antitrust law, and make sure your corporate cultures are compatible. ... A piece chronicles the horrific implosion of Sierra Leone, where an "incoherent," horrible guerrilla movement is sweeping through the countryside, destroying what little remains of civil society. Many of the soldiers are kidnapped children; some practice cannibalism. ... A piece describes the next cool tool of the U.S. military: microplanes. Six inches long, weighing 3 ounces, and equipped with tiny cameras, they will spy on enemy positions. The prototypes fly like insects rather than like planes.

Vanity Fair, February 1999

(posted Saturday, Jan. 9, 1999)

The cover article and photo essay preview the new Star Wars movie, The Phantom Menace. Among the details revealed: The villains are evil Jedi named Darth Maul and Darth Sidious, the film starts with the siege of Naboo, a planet whose queen will become Luke and Leia's mother. Director George Lucas tells Vanity Fair that he will make only six Star Wars movies--the three that have already been released and the three that precede them. He has no plans for movies that take the saga past Return of the Jedi. ... A massive article about the Clintons' marriage concludes that Hillary covers up Bill's straying and blames enemies when he wanders. She doesn't talk about intimate personal matters with anyone, even her mom. She has always been his goad and his source of fire, but the Lewinsky affair may have changed that. She seems to be withdrawing from him, an abandonment that is leaving him passive and impotent. ... A piece tells the incredible life story of Carlos Mavroleon, the Eton and Harvard educated son of a Greek tycoon who converted to Islam, joined the mujahideen, became a free-lance TV war correspondent, was arrested by the Pakistani police while trying to sneak into Osama Bin Laden's terrorist camps after the U.S. bombing, and died mysteriously of a heroin overdose days later.

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New Republic, Jan. 25

(posted Friday, Jan. 8, 1999)

The cover story describes the Gore 2000 campaign's "mighty machine," already operating in high gear. With the economy humming and Clinton high in the polls, the campaign's message, "Clinton II," sounds fine. But will it be out of tune by the time the election rolls around? ... Two stories view the impeachment and trial of President Clinton as part of a long-running U.S. culture war going back to the Salem witch trials. Each side claims (in so many words) that its opponents "just don't get it," where "it" refers to the correct definitions of virtue and villainy. ... The "TRB" column doubts that Fidel Castro will cooperate with the Clinton administration's modest embargo relaxation, "a policy that announces itself as an effort to gradually undermine his rule." The wily Cuban dictator will either sabotage the plan or turn it to his own uses.

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New York Times Magazine, Jan. 10