OPENING NOTES

A Washington hanging for George Shultz, the Queen will attend a party, and Albert Reichmann meets George Bush

May 21 1990

OPENING NOTES

A Washington hanging for George Shultz, the Queen will attend a party, and Albert Reichmann meets George Bush

May 21 1990

OPENING NOTES

A Washington hanging for George Shultz, the Queen will attend a party, and Albert Reichmann meets George Bush

READY FOR PRIME TIME

Jean Chrétien, the favorite to win the federal Liberal leadership, received an indirect endorsement from convention organizers last week: balloting at the June 23 event in Calgary is now scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. local time. Initially, the organizers had considered starting the voting at 11 a.m. But Chrétien is expected to win on the first ballot, so convention officials chose an afternoon start in order to draw a larger television audience. Chrétien has mapped out a post-victory strategy, and viewers may hear the new leader issue an immediate challenge to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to call an election. By contrast, Paul Martin, Chrétien's chief rival, acknowledges that he is using some of his own money to finance his cash-strapped campaign. Martin has closed his office in St. John's, as Newfoundland campaign co-chairman James Walsh said that it was no longer needed after Liberals across the province elected delegates to the convention.

Beware of spies on the telephone

Officials at the Ottawa-based Professional Institute of the Public Service have warned staff members to be wary of telephone callers who claim to be reporters. That is because a woman who identified herself as Lydia Dotto, a widely known science writer, called the union communications department last month and asked questions about disgruntled scientists at the National Research Council. When the woman failed to appear at a scheduled appointment, a suspicious employee contacted Dotto in Toronto. It was swiftly discovered that the stillunidentified woman had used Dotto’s name in an attempt—according to Iris Craig, institute president—to discover the source of recent information leaks from

the NRC. Dotto, meanwhile, has told her NRC contacts that if anyone had phoned them “asking strange questions—it was not me.”

INVITATION TO A HANGING

Some officials in Washington say that relations between Secretary of State James Baker and his predecessor, George Shultz, have always been consistent— cool. They note that Baker replaced almost all his fellow Republican's top appointees when he took office in 1989 and that he has never consulted a man with 6l/¿ years experience in that job. Recently, Shultz did see his portrait installed at the department. But all former secretaries of state receive that honor, and the officials do not expect Shultz to receive any more invitations.

Moscow’s latest tourist attraction

Inside Moscow’s grim Lubyanka prison, more than 150 small cells have held thousands of Soviet citizens since the building became the headquarters of the KGB, the Soviet secret police, after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. But now the winds of glasnost have reached as far as Lubyanka’s chill corridors. Indeed, the KGB has created a public relations department, and its director, Gen. Alexander Karbayinov, plans to open parts of the building to guided tours. Said Karbayinov: “The KGB exists to serve society and not the other way around.” Even state repression can look good with a public relations spin.

LESSONS FROM MEECH LAKE

He is co-host of one the most respected daily TV news programs in the United States, but Robert MacNeil has not forgotten his Canadian roots. Indeed, MacNeil, 59, has convinced the producers of The MacNeilLehrer Newshour to devote half of the hourlong broadcast to Meech Lake next week. That five-part series, which is scheduled to air on U.S. public broadcast stations on May 21, will focus on provincial leaders Gary Filmon of Manitoba, Newfoundland’s Clyde Wells, Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa and

Ontario’s David Peterson before concluding with an interview with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. MacNeil argues that Canada’s bilingual experiences offer valuable information to the United States as the numbers of Spanish-speaking Americans rise dramatically. But the current friction over language has caused unpleasant changes, MacNeil added, as “normally polite Canadians have become uncivil in the extreme, and bitter.” U.S. viewers might well get a lesson on language policy from Canada: pitfalls to avoid.

A PRESIDENTIAL ASSAULT ON THE POP CHARTS

Czechoslovakia's president, Vaclav Havel, is a playwright. Novelist Mario Vargas Llosa could be Peru's next president. And U.S. voters chose a movie actor as their national leader in 1980. Now, an African statesman is displaying his artistic side, as Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda strives to become a pop star. To that end, the British recording company Red Bus Records recently released a recording of Kaunda singing Let Us Walk Together with One Heart—a song that he wrote during Zambia's struggle for independence in the 1960s. According to Ellis Elias, the firm's marketing director, London dance clubs regularly play the song, and a shortened version frequently airs on local radio stations. Said Elias: "At this rate, Mr. Kaunda may find himself on the pop charts." Brian Mulroney may take note.

Influence in high places

Billionaire developer Albert Reichmann’s efforts to help Soviet Jews have led him to seek—and gain—access to top government officials in the Soviet Union and the United States. When Reichmann visited Moscow in November, he won assurances from Kremlin leaders that they would consider letting Jewish children attend privately funded religious schools. Then, in January, Senate Republican Leader Robert Dole arranged for Reichmann and U.S. investor Zev Wolfson to meet privately with George Bush. The two men briefed the president on the Jewish education project at that unpublicized White House meeting and Secretary of State James Baker raised the issue during a February visit to Moscow. U.S. Federal Election Commission records show that the Wolfson and Reichmann families have made an $11,700 contribution to Dole’s re-election war chest.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the critical Meech Lake constitutional accord, Queen Elizabeth II is still

A guest at the party

scheduled to begin a ñve-day visit to Canada four days after the June 23 deadline for signing the agreement. Indeed, media co-ordinator Clément Tousignant dismissed reports that Ottawa wanted to cancel the visit and stressed that the Queen would be in Ottawa on July 1 for the coimtry’s 123rd birthday party—bringing wishes of good fortune, no doubt.