Too Many Elephants

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
April 14 2000 9:30 PM

Too Many Elephants

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Economist, April 21

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The cover editorial warns that, despite rosy global economic forecasts, Europe needs fiscal reform and the United States must reduce private debt. … A piece worries that Botswana and South Africa "have elephants coming out of their ears." They should be able to cull (that is "kill") the beasts and sell their tusks to ivory traders. Monitoring sales will ensure that traded tusks aren't from nations where elephants are rare, such as Kenya.

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Talk, May 2000

A piece tracks a DEA team's efforts to break up a Florida crack gang. Twelve-agent mobile units establish residence in small towns, recruit informants, cultivate relationships with dealers, and trap gang leaders. Agents notice that, despite regional differences, crack pushers have one thing in common: "They're stupid." A profile credits Prime Minister Tony Blair with eliminating class warfare from British politics.

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New York Times Magazine, April 16

The cover story applauds Bill Gates' unprecedented largess. He has already endowed his charitable foundation with $21.8 billion, seven times more in real terms than Andrew Carnegie gave away in his life. Gates is intent on redressing "inequities in global health" by funding projects such as free vaccinations for kids in developing countries. An article reveals that Saul Bellow pruned overt references to his main character's homosexuality from the final draft of his forthcoming novel, Ravelstein. The romanà clef concerns Bellow's friendship with cultural critic Allan Bloom. Bellow felt guilty about posthumously outing his deceased pal. (Read Slate 's " Book Club" on Ravelstein.) An essay calls for a truce in the cultural wars. There are lots of nice folks on the religious right. Pat Robertson might be "an agent of intolerance," but he does dispense medicine to the poor (just like Bill Gates!).

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Time and Newsweek, April 17

Both mags manufacture tear-tugging Elián covers. Newsweek depicts Elián clinging to a backyard jungle gym, as though for dear life. Time plasters Juan Miguel González across its marquee, tearfully looking down upon his American-flag-waving son. Time's cover story lovingly portrays the relationship between father and son. The Miami family is turning Elián against his dad. Fidel Castro will warp Elián into a dutiful Young Pioneer. A Time article attacks hard-line Miami exiles. They censure Cuban performers and intimidate Cuban-Americans who disagree with their tactics. Newsweek's cover story  reports that one of Juan Miguel's uncles urged him to fetch his son and that Fidel Castro allowed the trip after marathon negotiations with González's attorney.

A Newsweek article hypes Microsoft's decision to gamble on Web-based Windows services. Bill Gates hopes to dominate the Internet by selling subscriptions to Microsoft software. A piece reports that when Gates visited Capitol Hill, Republican congressmen pressured him to give more money to the GOP.

Time predicts that numerous e-tailers will soon go bankrupt. The value of companies such as CDNow has plummeted because they spend more to attract customers than customers spend on their sites. A gruesome photo essay illustrates the tragic prevalence of infant mortality in Rwanda: Ten percent of Rwandan infants die within a week; one in nine women dies in childbirth. A delivery room picture shows a distraught mother staring at her stillborn baby.

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