Covering the Quake

Article excerpt

Byline: Tina Brown

A day of destruction--and a new trigger point on gun control.

The new NEWSWEEK continues its evolution. The story that has shocked the world is the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We continue our commitment to news photography by printing six pages of heart-rending photos of the destruction. Simon Winchester, the renowned author of A Crack in the Edge of the World and Krakatoa, writes in a haunting column that the worst may be yet to come.

It's a fair bet that few realize just how many have been killed in that short time since the horrific shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her staff in Tucson. A less-than-radical change in our gun laws could modify the ease by which Americans are murdered--our Andrew Romano and Pat Wingert investigate why it hasn't happened. It's an appropriate moment to ask: the 30th anniversary of the attempt to assassinate President Reagan (the subject of this week's My Turn column), which launched a failed effort to control the gun problem.

Unhinged, tiger-blooded, and last week finally fired, Charlie Sheen is still careening around the mediasphere. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis writes that the fallen star, whom he calls "the most fascinating person wandering through the culture," is giving America exactly what it wants: wig-out interviews, a goddess harem, temper tantrums--and provides us a new framework for thinking about celebrity. …