July 25 2005


July 25 2005



MAD COW Canadian cows should be once again on their way to U.S. abattoirs as early as this week. A U.S. appeals court in Seattle overturned an injunction by a Montana judge that was keeping the border closed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which recendy uncovered its first homegrown case of mad cow disease, said it was willing, as it was in March, to accept Canadian cattle under 30 months of age into the U.S. as soon as all the paper work is sorted out.

The U.S. border has been shut to Canadian cows since May 2003 after an Angus cow in Alberta tested positive for the disease. The closure has lost Canada’s cattle industry an estimated $7 billion but it has also created a growing meat-packing industry in this country, which has cost jobs in the U.S. Still to be determined is whether the Montana judge who ordered the temporary injunction in March, at the behest of local cattlemen, will go ahead with a hearing later this month to seek a permanent closure.

BOMBINGS A Palestinian teenager blew himself up outside a shopping mall in central Israel, killing four Israeli women and injuring over 50 people. The surprise attack after five months of relative calm was condemned as “idiotic” by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and led to a spasm of retaliation that resulted in at least 10 other deaths.

In Iraq, a suicide bomber detonated his

TO THE PEN He was an improbable success story-the Edmonton-born former milkman and bouncer who somehow created telco giant WorldCom Inc. Now a weepy Bernard Ebbers, 63, has become the symbol of CEO wrongdoing after a New York judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison for overseeing the US$ll-billion fraud that led to the largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history.

charge near U.S. soldiers handing out candy and gifts to children in a Baghdad slum. The bomb killed one soldier and at least 18 children and teens; al-Qaeda took the rare action of disavowing the attack.

And in Lebanon, a powerful car bomb killed one man and wounded Elias Murr, defence minister in the outgoing adminis-

tration. The latest in a string of political bombings, this was the first to target a proSyrian politician. There was speculation the attempt on Murr’s life was because he knows too much about the assassination of reform politician Rafik Hariri in February, the incident that sparked a popular uprising.

U.S. POLITICS President George W. Bush came under increasing pressure to fire his trusted fixer, Karl Rove, after Rove was reported to have revealed the identity of a CIA operative, Valerie Píame. She is the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was highly critical of Bush’s reasons for the invasion of Iraq. The matter is being investigated by a special prosecutor.

A poll showed 41 per cent of Americans believe Bush is “honest and straightforward,” compared to 50 per cent in January.

ARROYO Philippines President Gloria Arroyo is vowing not to quit despite mass resignations by senior officials and a noisy protest rally by about 30,000 in Manila. Opposition parties claim Arroyo engaged in voterigging in the 2004 election, and that her husband took payoffs. But the opposition does not appear to have the numbers for impeachment, and the crowds in street demonstrations are nowhere near the hundreds of thousands who forced out Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001.

MASSACRE At least 6,000 villagers in semiarid northern Kenya fled their homes after a long-simmering clan dispute over pas-


Given the choice, more Canadians (54 per cent) would prefer to watch a movie at home on DVD than go to a cinema (35 per cent). That’s assuming it would be available at the same time. The DVD preference holds for every age group. Yet only 23 per cent said they watched fewer movies in theatres last year than the year before.

Main reasons for avoiding the theatre Cost of ticket 35%

Too busy 35%

Cost of snacks 17%

Movie quality 15%



NEW ARRIVALS A contingent of over 600 North American Jews-nearly 200 of them from Canada-touches down at the Tel Aviv airport, the immigrants set to embark on entirely new lives in Israel. Despite Palestinian unrest next door, immigration from North America in particular appears to be on the rise. If the numbers hold, Israel could be home to the largest Jewish population in the world by next year, surpassing the U.S.

a promised tax receipt. There is some confusion about the donations because money given before official election campaigns is not always eligible for a tax deduction.

LUNA Federal fisheries officials are trying a new approach to lure Luna the lonely orea away from the petting humans in Nootka Sound. Last year, officials tried to whale-nap

Luna and transport him 400 km south to the Victoria area. But local natives objected and organized paddlers to disrupt the plan. This year, officials are closing some fishing areas near the coast off Gold River in the hope that Luna will stop coming by to play with the boats and stay out in the deeper waters where he would be more likely to join a passing pod of killer whales.

ture land and water left at least 75 people dead in three days of clashes. They were sparked by heavily armed Borana raiders who slaughtered 50 Gabra villagers, many of them children, near the Ethiopian border.

ANGLICANS Already riven by the debate over homosexuality, the Anglican Church is facing further division over its plan to allow women bishops. The ruling synod took the first step by voting to remove the legal impediments to women being offered the mitre. Some 14 of the world’s 38 Anglican bodies already support the idea. But significant groups strongly oppose the notion and talk of leaving the Church.


GAY MARRIAGE Ralph Klein said he sees the writing on the wall and will no longer fight same-sex marriage. With the federal law close to passing in the Senate, Klein said Alberta will allow gay weddings. But he intends to pass provincial legislation so that church leaders and marriage commissioners would not be obliged to perform the service if they don’t want to.

MISSING Her keys were still in the car; her credit cards, shoes and cellphone were scattered nearby in a sports park near her home. Edmonton police and a small army of volunteers launched a massive hunt for Liana White, 29 and four months pregnant with her second child, who went missing on her way to work early on Tuesday, July 12. Police say there is no evidence of foul play but they are mystified by her disappearance.

SURVIVOR A woman in her 30s who tumbled from a sailboat near the mouth of Vancouver’s Fraser River spent over eight hours swimming with the current in chilly Georgia Strait before being rescued by a passing boat near one of the Gulf Islands. Experts were amazed anyone could survive more than three hours at those temperatures. The woman said she was just minutes from giving up when she was pulled from the water.

DONATIONS The Conservative party cleared him, but the RCMP is still investigating controversial B.C. MP Gurmant Grewal after two donors said they each gave $600 cheques directly to him in 2003 and did not receive