OPENING NOTES

Brian Mulroney guns for Samuel Wakim, Salman Rushdie comes out of hiding, and Elvis Presley lives on in Ottawa

October 14 1991

OPENING NOTES

Brian Mulroney guns for Samuel Wakim, Salman Rushdie comes out of hiding, and Elvis Presley lives on in Ottawa

October 14 1991

OPENING NOTES

Brian Mulroney guns for Samuel Wakim, Salman Rushdie comes out of hiding, and Elvis Presley lives on in Ottawa

THE GREAT SEARCH

Lincoln Alexander's six-year term as Ontario's lieutenantgovernor officially expired last month. But the federal and Ontario governments are evidently having problems appointing a successor to the largely ceremonial post. Observers in Ottawa say that both former Liberal leader John Turner and former Conservative cabinet minister Flora Macdonald have turned down the job. As a result, they add, Alexander has been asked to stay on until late October. Officially, spokesmen for both Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Ontario Premier Bob Rae say that the extension is related to the visit to Ontario later this month of Charles and Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales. One source said that Mulroney wants the job to go to a longtime friend and supporter, Toronto lawyer Samuel Wakim, but Rae apparently opposes the appointment. Marjory LeBreton, deputy chief of staff in the PMO, who co-ordinates most appointments, denied the Wakim rumor. She added: "This is the first I've heard of it." Applications are still in order.

Saying ;no’ to reconciliation

Plans for both American and Japanese survivors of Pearl Harbor to hold a historic 50th-anniversary gathering have fallen through. Last month, Gerald Glaubitz, national president of the Orlando, Fla.-based Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, scuttled efforts by the group’s Atlanta chapter to invite 20 Japanese pilots to visit Atlanta on Oct. 19. Glaubitz said that the proposed meeting would be “like Jews inviting the Germans to celebrate the Holocaust.” But John Westerman, president of the Atlanta chapter, said that the gathering was necessary to show that past enemies can be friends. Westerman noted that it would have marked the first time that both Japanese and American war veterans would have met to exchange memories of Pearl Harbor. And he

added that the Japanese government of Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu had even sent a letter of apology, which was to be read by a former Japanese pilot at the event. Said a disappointed Westerman: “Some Washington members must have some hate in their hearts, and hate is the worst thing.”

Kaifu: a letter of apology for bombing Pearl Harbor

A STREET FIT FOR A KING

The spirit of Elvis Presley lives on—in Ottawa. Last week, Ottawa city council voted ll-to-2 to christen a lane in the city's west end after the singer, who died in 1977. The previously nameless stretch is now known as Elvis Lives Lane. The idea was the brainchild of the socalled Elvis Sighting Society, which was formed in April, 1989, after a rash of alleged Elvis spottings swept the nation's capital. But City Councillor Darrel Kent appears to be all shook up. Said Kent about the move: “This is trivial in the worst sense of the word. "

The fall from political grace

Foreign correspondents for Pravda, the official newspaper of the Soviet Communist party, seem to have been left out in the cold. In the United States, Washington bureau chief Vitaly Gan and New York City-based reporter Victor Linnick say that they have not received their recent paycheques and that they are broke. The once-powerful newspaper fell on hard times after its implicit support for the short-lived Soviet coup in August angered Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who confiscated most of the paper’s assets and slashed its staff by 75 per cent. Said Gan: “I borrowed $2,300 and I’m living on it. It’s crazy. ”

DEMISE OF A POLITICAL DARLING

A campaign to force the resignation of controversial French Prime Minister Edith Cresson is heating up. Political commentators in France now say that Socialist President François Mitterrand has little choice but to replace the unpopular Cresson, who once referred to the Japanese as “little yellow men.” Even government backbenchers are calling for her departure, which they say can only help to restore the party’s sagging reputation. Meanwhile, Cresson, 57, has done little to dull her sharp tongue. She has referred to her male _ critics as “creeps”

and said that she “didn’t give a damn”

about the French -

stock market. Earlier, she said that over 25 per cent of Englishmen are homosexuals. Contenders frequently mentioned to take over Cresson’s job include Jacques Delors, president of the European Community, and Laurent Fabius, often touted as Mitterrand’s heir apparent. The influential French newspaper Le Monde recently predicted that Mitterrand would drop Cresson, once considered his protégé, by March, 1992. The newspaper added: “The Socialists have the impression of a prime minister under sentence of death. The only question they are asking is when it will be.”

LOST AND THANKFULLY FOUND Out and about

Some employees at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's, Nfld., are lightly calling the incident “the radioactive leak"—although it was no laughing matter. Last month, a cervicalcancer patient being treated with a piece of equipment containing a nuclear compound called Cesium 137 accidentally flushed it down a toilet. For 10 days, hospital authorities searched for the Plexiglas vial in the building's sewer maze. At one point, they even lowered a video camera into the pipes—without success. A geiger counter finally pinpointed the medical equipment just before it entered the city's sewer system. The centre's director, Donald Keats, said that the loss of the mechanism caused concern because of its radioactive content. Added Keats about the ordeal: “We're just glad it's over."

Condemned author Salman Rushdie is slowly returning to public life. For the past month, he has been quietly

showing up for unpublicized book signings at London bookstores—even though the Iranian death threat issued after the publication of his 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, is still in force. Said Timothy Waterstone, chief executive of Waterstone’s bookstores, which Rushdie has visited: “I feel proud if we can do a bit to nurse him back to normal life. ”

A blast from the past

Even though ABC cancelled its popular thirty something TV series in May, the show lives on—in some American department stores, at least. Patrick Norris, the show’s costume supervisor, recently launched a new fashion line—called thirtysomething—for consumers who want to dress like thirtysomethings yuppie characters. Norris said that the new line includes a $1,350 leather bomber jacket similar to one worn by anxiety-ridden advertising executive Michael Steadman (played by Ken Olin) and the career-woman blazers and skirts of city administrator Ellyn Warren (Polly Draper). Norris said that he is hoping that the same upscale viewers who made thirtysomething such a demographic success will turn his new line into a sartorial hit. He added: “We’re just trying to deliver the look of characters that millions of people identified with.” Booming with a generation.