July 1 2001


July 1 2001




The Skeletons were found neatly lined up in a shallow grave, their arms linked in homage to the camaraderie that once united them in

battle. Archeologists discovered the remains of the 20 British soldiers while excavating Roman ruins near Arras, France, where thousands of soldiers died during the First Word War. The soldiers, who will be reburied in a nearby

military graveyard, are unlikely to be identified by name. But three bore uniform shoulder patches with the insignia of the 10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, which was based in northern England.


It was nurses against the government in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. On the West Coast, Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberals ordered B.C. nurses, who are without a contract, to end their ban on working overtime—a pressure tactic to back their demand for up to a 43-per-cent pay increase over three years. The measure was part of a legislated 60-day cooling-off period, which also applies to health-care professionals such as physiotherapists and technicians who have held escalating walkouts. In Nova Scotia, nurses and other health-care workers are batding the Tory government over legislation that would end their right to strike. Nurses, who are demanding wage increases of up to 25 per cent over three years, could walk off the job 14 days after the filing of a pending conciliator’s report; some others will be in a strike position by June 27.

Snowbirds grounded

The immediate future of the Snowbirds, Canada’s famous

aerial daredevils, was in doubt following a midair collision that sent one of the squadron’s red-and-white CT-114 Tutor jets crashing into Lake Erie. The pilot of the downed jet, Maj. Robert Painchaud, 38, and his passenger ejected and were rescued in the icy waters with minor injuries, while the second jet landed safely in London, Ont. The planes were taking part in a media demonstration prior to an air show. Officials have grounded the team until a full investigation is completed.

The intern mystery

Police in Washington continued to investigate the disappearance of 24-year-old Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy. Last week, they asked to meet with Congressman Gary Condit— who has called the missing woman a “good friend”—for a second time. Police say the 53year-old California Democrat is not a suspect, but they would like to know more about his relationship with Levy, who was last seen on April 30. Condit, who is married, has strongly denied any romantic involvement with Levy. The parents of the

missing woman, who say she was having an affair with the congressman, appealed to the public in a television broadcast to help find their daughter.

Neutrinos transformed

Physicists from Canada, the United States and England told a conference in Victoria that tiny sun-produced particles called neutrinos transform


His case spoke volumes about the image-conscious Canadian Forces. Commodore Eric Lerhe was temporarily relieved of command of the navy’s Pacific fleet when he admitted to surfing a number of pornographic Web sites on a government-issued laptop computer, but while off duty, and using his own Internet account in his private quarters. Lerhe divulged his activities when he learned he might have to sit in judgment of a subordinate who was charged with misuse of military equipment-also for viewing porn sites. Critics immediately came to the commodore’s defence, saying he showed integrity and leadership by being honest. Others, meanwhile,

claimed Lerhe was the victim of political correctness in a military that has been hit by numerous sex-related scandals in recent years.

themselves into other forms of neutrinos on their way to Earth. Their conclusion, based on data gleaned from the $73-million Neutrino Observatory in Sudbury, Ont., and coupled with findings at a Japanese observatory, is expected to force theoreticians to rethink how the universe behaves at its most microscopic level.

An end to peace?

The worst sectarian violence in years erupted in Belfast when Catholics and Protestants took to the streets armed with petrol bombs, botdes and stones. The clashes, which left dozens of police officers injured, came in the wake of a new round of talks in London, aimed at breaking the deadlock over the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. Under the accord, the terrorist Irish Republican Army must turn over its weapons, but it has refused to fully comply.

Horror in Houston

A woman apparendy suffering from postpartum depression was charged with murder in the drowning deaths of her five children, aged six months to seven years. In a taped interview with police, Andrea Yates, 36, described in “zombie-like fashion” how she methodically drowned the children in a bathtub, then laid them on a bed and covered their bodies with a sheet. Yates’s husband, a NASA

computer specialist, told police his wife had been taking medication for depression since the birth of her fourth child two years earlier.

Disarming the rebels

The Bush administration has agreed to support a NATO plan to send peacekeepers into Macedonia to help disarm an estimated 1,200 ethnic Albanian militants fighting for independence. Albanians make up about one-third of Macedonia’s two million people. A tentative ceasefire collapsed last

week, and NATO officials fear the violence could spill over into neighbouring Kosovo.

Talisman shifts

After standing fast for months in support of his company’s controversial oil operation in Sudan, Talisman Energy Inc. chief executive Jim Buckee said he might sell the $ 1-billion-plus holding after all. The U.S. House of Representatives recendy approved a bill threatening capital-market sanctions on foreign oil companies operating in Sudan,

The renewal of sectarian violence in Belfast threatens the 1998 Good Friday peace accord

whose government is a target of human-rights activists. Buckee said the company could not afford to be cut off from U.S. capital markets.

Toddler killers freed

Two British teenagers who kidnapped and brutally murdered two-year-old James Bulger when they were 10 have been granted parole after eight years in prison. Bulgers family condemned the decision, which also provides the two Liverpool killers with new identities.

‘My Nazi beliefs’

A 16-year-old self-styled Nazi was found guilty in the brutal bludgeoning death of Aylin Otano-Garcia, a classmate and immigrant from Cuba. With the aid of an accomplice, the youth, who cannot be named under the Young Offenders Act, lured the girl to a gravel pit just outside of Lachute, Que., 35 km northwest of Montreal. There, he beat her to death with a baseball bat. “I did it because of my racist Nazi beliefs and because she bothered me all the time,” the boy told police.


Mighty Mel strikes again. Preparing to go to Africa to lobby for his city's bid to host the

2008 Summer Olympics, Toronto’s loose-lipped mayor made several ill-considered remarks to a Toronto Star freelance reporter in Barcelona on June 8. Last week, Lastman’s statements became public-and may, according to some insiders, have done serious damage to Toronto’s chances of hosting the Games. “What the hell do I want to go to a place like Mombasa?” Lastman said. “Snakes just scare the hell out of me. I’m sort of scared about going there, but the wife is really nervous. I just see myself in a pot of boiling wa-

ter with all these natives dancing around me.”

African votes were seen as essential to Toronto’s chances, and organizers tried to control the damage. “What a terrible, terrible thing to say,” lamented former Olympian Bruce Kidd, a member of the Toronto committee, amid reports that Paris and Beijing, the contenders, were quietly but gleefully rubbing their hands. Lastman, meanwhile, held a bizarre news conference in Toronto to apolhis tactlessness. As reporters peppered him with question, the mayor’s answer was, almost every time, “I’m truly sorry that I made those remarks.” For the moment, at least, there was no more off-thecuff improvisation.