January 23, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

DESPITE THE WAR, love songs dominate the airwaves, with Janet Jackson’s ”Love Will Never Do (Without You)” topping the singles chart. Later in the year, Jackson (right) will sign a new contract with Virgin Records for a reported $32 million. TV AUDIENCES are glued to the football play-offs, with CBS’ NFC championship coming in second behind 60 Minutes. Four days later, ABC would bring new meaning to the phrase war games by intercutting coverage of the Super Bowl with news of Gulf War bombings. AT THE MOVIES, Macaulay Culkin baffles burglars in Home Alone. READERS SEND yet another dispatch from John le Carre, The Secret Pilgrim, to No. 1 on the fiction charts. AND IN THE NEWS: A bipartisan group of legislators and Bush administration officials runs up a $60,000 food-and-drink tab over 10 days while unsuccessfully trying to cut the budget deficit.

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