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Contributors: Mar. 1, 1999

4 minute read

AARON SHIKLER, we should tell you, painted this week’s cover illustration three months ago, when TIME was considering Hillary Clinton for Person of the Year. Since that time, the buzz swirling around the First Lady has shifted from her husband’s impeachment to her potential Senate candidacy. But Shikler insists the illustration has nothing to do with buzz. “I did not want to take a journalistic approach,” he says. “I wanted to paint her as the person I saw: a lively woman with great dignity and a great smile.” Shikler spent more than an hour photographing Clinton and taking notes on her hair, pose and coloring. He has also painted Nancy and Ronald Reagan, both for TIME covers. His portraits of President and Mrs. Kennedy now hang in the White House.

THOMAS SANCTON, our Paris bureau chief, assembled and led a team of reporters from around the world to bring us the fascinating tale of Turkey’s manhunt for Kurdish militant Abdullah Ocalan. The team followed the circuitous path of the “globe-trotting guerrilla” from Syria to Kenya, the site of his capture. Correspondents reported on protests in more than 20 cities, interviewed intelligence sources in four countries and even managed to contact several aides who were with Ocalan during his final hours of freedom. “Our efforts fell under TIME’s grand tradition of group journalism,” says Sancton, who knows it well, having entered his third decade with the magazine. “That approach has largely been supplanted by a system of individual writers, but there are instances–and this is one–when it is really ideal.”

JEFFREY RESSNER, a Los Angeles-based correspondent, drew an assignment that film buffs and teenage girls dream about: hanging with Leonardo DiCaprio in Thailand for the shooting of The Beach. The film is based on the novel about an Edenic commune. “Knowing that I like to travel and am something of a loner, a friend had recommended the book,” says Ressner. He assures us that even in the jungles of Asia, DiCaprio fans abound, and the king of Hollywood has not forsaken his storied Epicureanism. “Leo holds to what the Thais call sanuk, which is more than just fun; it’s a philosophy of fun,” says Ressner, who has sojourned to Thailand twice before. As for his own sanuk, Ressner spent one lazy day aboard a rickety boat and another in a Buddhist temple. He says he did not suffer much culture shock until his return to L.A.

TAMALA M. EDWARDS indiscriminately reads highbrow opinion journals and lowbrow women’s magazines alike. In the past month she has written on subjects ranging from Bill Bradley’s campaign for President to Gwyneth Paltrow’s hair extensions. This week she looks at some of the issues surrounding Wendy Shalit’s A Return to Modesty, an essay that urges women to empower themselves through modesty and “lost virtue.” As part of the book’s target audience, Edwards feels strongly ambivalent: “You want to be courted, but you’re raised to be independent. The book really pulls you in opposite directions.” Edwards, a staff writer who has been with TIME since 1993, takes issue with the evidence Shalit uses to recommend 19th century manners to the modern professional woman.

CHRIS TAYLOR, a writer in the Notebook and Science sections, likes to play God. He says he spent “way too much” time during his college years mulling over so-called God games, in which computer users can assemble their own societies, ruling over everything from Genesis to Armageddon. “Do I introduce gunpowder or build a bridge? Questions like these can soak up your mind for, oh, 50 hours,” says Taylor. He doesn’t have those leisure hours anymore, having moved to TIME three months ago from our online daily edition. This week he confronts his college addiction in an article on the new breed of God games. Also this week he writes about that real-life corporate monolith Microsoft and the possible ways in which the Justice Department might remedy the allegedly monopolistic company’s omnipresence. Coincidence? You decide.

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