OPENING NOTES

Brian Peckford gets a new start, Jiri Hrdina puts the past behind him, and Princess Anne issues a challenge

September 18 1989

OPENING NOTES

Brian Peckford gets a new start, Jiri Hrdina puts the past behind him, and Princess Anne issues a challenge

September 18 1989

OPENING NOTES

Brian Peckford gets a new start, Jiri Hrdina puts the past behind him, and Princess Anne issues a challenge

SPORTING

CHALLENGES

Princess Anne is clearly no shrinking violet. On the heels of the announcement that she is formally separating from her husband, Capt. Mark Phillips, several associates say that the princess royal might seek an executive post with the International Olympic Committee. Anne was a member of the British riding team at Montreal's 1976 Summer Games and she is currently the president of the British Olympic Association. And, according to some IOC colleagues, Anne would like to become the president of a key IOC umbrella organization, the Association of Summer Olympic Federations. But that post is currently

held by Primo Nebiolo, an Italian who is one of the most powerful men in international sport. He is under fire as president of the International Amateur Athletic Federation, which voted to strip Ben Johnson of two world records after the Canadian sprinter confessed that he had taken steroids—even though track officials had failed to detect illegal drug use when he set the marks. Many Canadian critics also questioned Nebiolo's decision to allow delegates at an IAAF meeting in Barcelona to vote on Johnson's fate simply by applauding that announcement. And earlier this year, Nebiolo resigned as chairman of the Italian Track Federation—after disclosures that someone had tampered with the results of the men's long-jump event at a 1987 event under his jurisdiction. Now, he may face another challenge: a determined princess.

Selling scandal on a shoestring

Halifax magazine with the .self-appointed mandate to expose the mistakes of prominent Nova Scotians has broadened its range of targets after less than two years in existence. To that end, the biweekly publication Frank launched an Ottawa edition last week, which took aim at such fig ures of controversy as former deputy prime minister Erik Nielsen.

Frank co-founder David Bentley acknowledged that the initial run of 3,000 copies contained no sensational disclosures. Still, added Bentley, “That will come, and we will keep grinding out the issues Frank founders: Bentley (left), Dulde Conrad until we get the contacts.” In the and Lyndon Watkins: a self-appointed mandate meantime, the low-budget maga-

zine is seeking ads for its pages—tapping a source of revenue that was formerly unavailable. That is because Bentley had agreed not to publish a periodical containing ads when he sold the Halifax-area Daily News to media

magnate Harry Steele in 1985. But Steele recently waived that condition, increasing the chances of survival for a shoestring operation with a traditional journalistic goal: afflicting the comfortable.

A QUESTION OF FITNESS

Greece's parliament is investigating Andreas Papandreou's role in a huge embezzlement scandal—leading to rumors in Athens that the former prime minister may try to avoid any legal charges by pleading illness. But a friend of Papandreou's —who taught economics at Toronto's York University from 1969 to 1974—maintains that his old colleague is healthy. Said his Canadian friend, who requested anonymity: “I was swimming with him in the Mediterranean a few days ago, and he told me he was feeling well. " Good health can be a liability.

SECOND CHANCE FOR A NEW CAREER

Brian Peckford’s journalistic career got off to a rocky start this year when the St. John’s Sunday Telegram dropped the former Newfoundland premier after Peckford had written only six weekly columns. According to Telegram Sunday editor Brian Gannon, the retired premier’s column lacked “the insight into government” that the newspaper had been seeking. But last month, Peckford received a second chance at the fourth estate when one of his former employees offered

him a new forum in which to air his views. Frank Petten, who was Peckford’s press secretary, said that he had hired his old boss to be a regular contributor to the Shoreline, a weekly tabloid newspaper that is distributed free to 7,008 homes along Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. Petten told Maclean ’s that Peckford will write columns on such issues as local politics and the environment. In journalism, sticking to the basics is often the safest approach.

On the road to Moscow

The Calgary Flames have an alternative to the homerink, training-camp routines that mark the approach of another National Hockey League season: last week, the Stanley Cup champions embarked on a gruelling, 19-day tour of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. The 40member contingent, including 27 players, two team doctors and a dentist took along such hockey staples as 57 pairs of skates, 324 sticks and 400 rolls of tape. At the same time, several players including goaltender Rick Wamsley tried to guard against consumer goods shortages in the Soviet Union by packing such items as jars of peanut butter and rolls of toilet paper. Before opening a six-game exhibition series against such clubs as Moscow’s Red Army squad, the Flames played twice in Prague. And there, Flame centre Jiri Hr dina prepared for a game against the Czech national team—a squad that he once captained—with a new teammate: former Soviet star right winger Sergei Makarov. That pairing—in a city that was reoccupied by Soviet tanks in 1968—was strictly business, according to Hrdina. He added: “We’re professionals. Today has nothing to do with what happened 20 years ago.” In the NHL, friends are distinguished from foes solely on the basis of team sweaters.

How to have a good visit

Solidarity leader Lech Walesa will visit the United States this fall and he has said that he intends to ask for more aid to cash-strapped Poland. But in Washington, D.C., administration officials say that the federal budget deficit will prevent George Bush from exceeding the $ 120-million aid package that he promised in Warsaw last July. Still, Walesa's 17year-old son clearly profited from his visit to the United States. Declared Slawek Walesa, who spent the summer in Wilkes Barre, Pa., learning English: “How beautiful the girls are, and how good is the beer. "

POACHERS PURSUE THE WALRUS

The Inuit stalk walruses for food, and, in recognition of that traditional pursuit, U.S. and Canadian authorities restrict walrus hunting to natives. Now, many wildlife experts have identified a new threat to the Arctic mammal: ivory poachers. According to Ginette Hemley, a spokesman for the Geneva-based World Wildlife Fund, representatives from 103 nations meeting in Lausanne next month are likely to vote to ban the trade in elephant ivory. And U.S. wildlife officials in Anchorage, Alaska, say that traders are already offering Inuit hunters money for walrus tusks. Said Hemley: "Poachers rarely go away after a ban takes effect. They look for a new supply." In the clandestine ivory trade, the lure of the North is growing stronger.

DEATH WATCH AT THE NEWS

Quebec publishing magnate Pierre Péladeau launched the Montreal Daily News on March 15, 1988—and pledged that he was prepared to spend $25 million during the first two to three years to make the English-language newspaper a success. But the bright and brassy tabloid may not live to celebrate its second birthday. Péladeau

told Maclean ’s recently that he will fold the newspaper by Christmas if its anemic circulation figures do not improve. He added, “I am not going to throw good money after bad.” Staff members say that the tabloid’s sales fluctuate between 16,000 and ^ 20,000 copies daig ly—well below proi jected sales figures £ of at least 60,000 g copies one year after start-up. As a result, many editorial staff members at the News say that they are preparing for a freelance project: writing the story of the newspaper’s brief existence.