NEWSMAKERS

June 23 2008

NEWSMAKERS

June 23 2008

NEWSMAKERS

‘SO NOW I RIDE OFF INTO THE SUNSET’ RETIREMENT FROM POLITICS AFTER AN UPSE1

HENRY NICHOLAS III THE HIGH LIFE OF A POWERFUL EXECUTIVE

In a time when accusations of financial irregularities against U.S. corporate titans seem commonplace, the charges of backdating stock options that federal authorities laid against Henry T. Nicholas III, co-founder and former CEO of microchip maker Broadcom Corp., didn’t seem like much. But there were also some spectacular drug charges as well. Authorities allege that Nicholas had a warehouse filled with ecstasy, cocaine and crystal meth and held drugfuelled orgies. He’s further said to have spiked an executive’s drink with ecstasy in 2000. Nicholas, a brilliant technologist who holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, allegedly caused Broadcom to restate financial results stemming from backdating stock options in order to account for US$2 billion in compensation expenses. Most startling was an alleged flight on a private plane during which Nicholas is said to have smoked so much marijuana the pilot had to don an oxygen mask. This high life may be coming to an end.

CHARLOTTE ALLIN JAMES MANNING SHARKS AND A DRAGON

Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. After leaping from their wooden boat to explore the popular and unpredictable waters off the islands of eastern Indonesia, Charlotte Allin, her boyfriend James Manning and three other scuba divers were caught up in strong currents. After drifting for more than nine hours in shark-infested waters, Allin and her boyfriend, both experienced diving instructors, as well as the three other divers, faced a critical decision: swim in the dark toward a distant island or get carried further out to sea. They managed to scramble onto Rinca Island, 30 km south of their dive site, only to face yet another mortal challenge: a curious Komodo dragon. Komodos are the world’s largest lizards and deadly carnivores. Allin, 24, and her fellow divers fought it off by pelting it with rocks, diving equipment and driftwood. The group was spotted by rescue boats 36 hours aftpr thpir nrrlpal Rpcran

THE KUMARI OF BHAKTAPUR THE GODDESS AWAITS

The latest Kumari of Bhaktapur has been chosen as Nepal’s next “living goddess,” but there’s an unprecedented problem with her installation. A Kumari is a prepubescent girl from the Shakya caste, considered the physical incarnation of the goddess Kali, and must be replaced when she reaches puberty. Last week, a six-year-old girl named Shreeya was named Kumari, but the formal appointment must come from a high priest chosen by the Nepalese king. The trouble is that the country’s new Maoist-dominated constituent assembly recently dissolved the country’s 239-yearold monarchy, tossing King Gyanendra out of a job and thus eliminating the priestly role in the selection. Religious authorities have pleaded for a replacement to help install Shreeya. But the Maoists are too busy with the mortal task of forming the country’s first republican govprnmpnt tn opt

PAUL NEWMAN THE LAST DAYS OF A SCREEN ICON?

Despite his cheerful denials, one of Hollywood’s most popular leading men, 83-year-old Paul Newman, is the subject of pervasive rumours that he’s dying of lung cancer. A former chainsmoker, he reportedly received treatment in New York City. Speculation over the 83-year-old tor’s health began in March when a cancer patient at a Manhattan hospital said he had regularly seen the blue-eyed legend there, but Newman lightheartedly declared he was getting treatment for athlete’s foot and hair loss. Then, in May, he pulled out of directing a stage production of John Steinbeck’s book Of Mice and Men. Newman has always preferred to keep his private life just that. He lives away from the Hollywood glare in Connecticut with his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, who is said to be devastated. Newman founded a food company that has donated more than $200 million to charities. His likeability was so celebrated that it took only three words for Time magazine to describe him once in a profile. “Quite a guy.”

VANCOUVER MAYOR SAM SULLIVAN ANNOUNCES HIS /ICT0RY BY RIVAL MAYORAL NOMINEE PETER LADNER

RYAN SABOURIN 'GREASED LIGHTNING’ TAKES TO THE STREETS

When Winnipeg high-school auto-shop teacher Ryan Sabourin was planning an eco-friendly project for his students, he wanted it to be financially realistic. He ruled out pricey hybrids, settling on converting a car to run on a ready supply of french-fry grease. “If you’re a student working at McDonald’s, you can have a vehicle that’s environmentally friendly,” Sabourin said. With the expertise of mechanic Dieter Scheffer and a $1,500 conversion kit, several Nelson McIntyre Collegiate students transformed a gym teacher’s 1997 diesel-powered Jetta into “Greased Lightning.” Equipped with a 40-litre tank of distilled fryer grease from the Red Top restaurant in the trunk, the car spews 26 per cent less carbon emissions. At 30 cents per litre, fry grease is also a reprieve from gas prices, but it’s not the perfect alternative. The grease must be 210 C to work, so the car uses diesel to warm up and cool down to avoid congealed oil clogging up the gas lines—which doesn’t bode well for the frigid Manitoba winter.

BAKHTAWAR BHUTTO PAKISTAN’S DYNASTY: A NEW GENERATION

In a move to ensure that the Bhutto dynasty retains its powerful rank within Pakistan, the family reached down into some of its most junior ranks to 17-year-old Bakhtawar Bhutto. The daughter of the assassinated leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party Benazir Bhutto has been named the head of the women’s wing. Upon the announcement, the young Bhutto, who lives in Dubai with her younger sister Asifa, stepped in front of the cameras for the first time since her mother’s death. Speaking with an American accent and giggling childishly, Bakhtawar pledged to carry on her mother’s work. “I want to continue my mom’s mission in any way I can.” Her callowness is a sign the Bhutto family is determined to stock the PPP with more of their own. It was also revealed that 14-year-old Asifa will lead the party’s youth movement. Their 19-year-old brother Bilawal, a student at Oxford, has already been appointed co-chairman of the PPP, along with their father Asif Ali Zardari, and is widely seen as the

PETER LADNER SQUEAKING PAST MAYOR SAM

In a shocking turn of events, Peter Ladner has taken the Non-Partisan Association party’s mayoral nomination away from Sam Sullivan, Vancouver’s mercurial, quadriplegic sitting mayor. Sullivan had been looking forward to hosting the 2010 Olympic Games and had been confident of re-election. But after frantic, j late-stage campaigning last weekend, Ladner squeaked in with enough votes among party members to unseat Sullivan: 1,066 to 986. Sullivan immediately announced the end of his 15-year career in politics: “So now I ride off into the sunset.” Ladner, a 59year-old former journalist and father of four, is more conservative than Sullivan. He favours abstinence rather than maintenance for addiction, and has said no more supervised injection sites are needed in Vancouver. Ladner, who lives in Kitsilano, was once a back-to-the-lander who raised chickens and goats on a spread on Vancouver Island. “This has been a very awkward time,” said Ladner, acknowledging the division he’d opened within the party

CARLA BRUNI FEMME FATALE OF THE ELYSÉE

The former Italian supermodel Carla Bruni, 40, knows how to bewitch powerful men. According to a new biography, written with Bruni’s co-operation, she once dated French socialist prime minister Laurent Fabius and when they busted up, “it took him nine months to get over her.” Then she undertook an affair with the current French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, marrying him mere weeks after his wife Cécilia divorced him. Since then, Bruni has sharpened her *r§ territoriality, the authors claim. During a party last January in I the president’s private quarters, I she ran into Justice Minister Rachida Dati, herself a celebrated beauty. “I hesitated to invite you,” Bruni said. When they both glanced at Sarkozy’s bed, Bruni triumphantly declared, “You would have liked to occupy it, wouldn’t you?” Political controversy has tarnished Dati’s image but Bruni insists she won’t take advantage of Dati’s woes to get her ousted. “Iam