NEWSMAKERS

‘PUTIN CAME FROM THE KGB, SO HE’S USED TO DOII -WILLIAM KING, THE U.S. PROF WHOM THE RUSS

April 10 2006
NEWSMAKERS

‘PUTIN CAME FROM THE KGB, SO HE’S USED TO DOII -WILLIAM KING, THE U.S. PROF WHOM THE RUSS

April 10 2006

‘PUTIN CAME FROM THE KGB, SO HE’S USED TO DOII -WILLIAM KING, THE U.S. PROF WHOM THE RUSS

NEWSMAKERS

1. LADIES' MAN GETS A WOMAN'S TOUCH

Canadian filmmaker PATRICIA ROZEMA, whose movies tend to be devoted to women {I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, Mansfield Park), has agreed to direct a feature documentary about poet, singer and legendary ladies’ man LEONARD COHEN. “He adores women, and so do I,” says Rozema. “His voice has soothed and inspired me for years.” The film will be produced by Robert Lantos {BeingJulia). Cohen, 71, who has been mired in a legal battle over his finances, is working on a new album, and later this month he will launch Book of Longing, his first collection of new poetry in over a decade.

2. SON OF A PREACHER MAN

ISRAEL IDONIJE, who just signed a long-term deal with the Chicago Bears worth nearly US$10 mil-

lion, has made a career of beating the odds. In fact, the Nigerian-born preacher’s son, who grew up in hockey-mad Brandon, Man., didn’t even touch a football until his senior year of high school— during the ragtag team’s inaugural five-game season. Idonije’s coach at the University of Manitoba, Brian Dobie, says he was beyond green when he cracked the Bisons’ roster. “At team meetings he was like a brook trout,” says Dobie. “Jaw open, big eyes staring ahead—he couldn’t read plays, he had no stance, no confidence.” Idonije warmed the bench his first two seasons. But his work ethic was legendary and he broke out in his senior year. Idonije, 25, who weighs 275 lb., was named Canadian university outstanding lineman in 2002 and NFL scouts made the trip to scope out his talent. Says Dobie: “It’s like taking a kid from Atlanta, giving him a pair of skates in his senior year of high school, and four years later, he’s in the NHL.”

3. LOOKS GREAT IN RACING STRIPES

From Concordes and catwalks to Maseratis at Monza, former model JODIE KIDD (a favourite of Karl Lagerfeld) is hoping to make a name for herself on the race car circuit. All legs, Kidd’s sullen look on the runway was less sex kitten, more “my kitten was just run over.” The former Vogue cover model left the fashion world for TV (VHl and MTV) in 1999And now, at 27, the great granddaughter of Canadian-born press baron Lord Beaverbrook will test her racing chops at Monza, in the Maserati Trofeo series.

4. DID PUTIN PLAGIARIZE?

In 1997, before VLADIMIR PUTIN

became the president of Russia, he studied business at the St. Petersburg Mining Institute and wrote a catchily titled thesis, The Strategic Planning of Regional

Resources Under the Formation of Market Relations. It didn’t grab much attention—until now. Researchers at the Washingtonbased Brookings Institute say Putin plagiarized substantial sections from the book Strategic Planning and Policy, written in 1978 by two University of Pittsburgh professors. Putin’s office won’t comment, but when William King, co-author of the book, was asked if he was surprised that someone of Putin’s stature might plagiarize, he said: “No. He came from the KGB, so he’s used to doing things by any means to get the job done.”

5. BET HE CAN'T POP A WHEELIE

For KRIS HOLM, getting down a steep dirt path of roots, rocks and drop-offs is easier on a unicycle than on a mountain bike— since one wheel is what he’s been riding since the age of 12. “In most cases,” says the 32-year-old

; THINGS BY ANY MEANS TO GET THE JOB DONE/ IN PRESIDENT IS ACCUSED OF PLAGIARIZING

Vancouver geoscientist, “the unicycle is actually safer because the speed is slower and you have no handlebars to go over top of.” Holm popularized mountain unicycling, appearing in extreme sport videos. But now he’s pulling back from competing to focus on freeriding. And he hopes to get more youngsters one-wheeling. In May, he’ll be in Telluride, Colo., playing unicycle hockey with kids. “It works pretty well if you’re just starting out because you can lean on your stick.”

s 6. IF YOU CAN'T SAY I ANYTHING NICE...

“ London Mayor KEN LIVING-

£ STONE has a well-earned repu-

tation for jaw-dropping, even

o racist, comments. Last week he g aimed his vitriol at U.S.Ambaso sador Robert Tuttle, calling him

“ a “chiselling little crook,” and

« demanded the embassy pay

¿: $300,000 in outstanding “condii gestion charges” that all mo-

torists must pay for driving in the centre of London. American diplomats used to pay the fee, now $16 a day. But days before Tuttle became ambassador last July, the embassy decided that it was diplomatically exempt from the charge. Livingstone, 60, is currently appealing a fourweek suspension from his mayoral duties for comparing ajewish reporter to a “concentration camp guard.” And two weeks ago, he said that two Indian-born Jewish land developers should “go back to Iran and try their luck with the ayatollahs.”

7. THERE'S A NEW CHIEF IN TOWN

JOSH BOLTEN, the Bush administration’s budget director, takes over as chief of staff at the White House on April 15, following Andy Card’s resignation last week. But Bolten is hardly the lightning rod that Bush needs to distract from all of the criticism he’s faced of

late. Described as a loyal insider and a professional bureaucrat, Bolten is seen by pundits as unlikely to rattle the establishment. Even some GOP members were hoping for a more dramatic shift. “They need some new blood,” said Republican Senator Trent Lott. “More people of stature in the White House.”

8. CANLIT'S NEXT SURE THING

MADELEINE THlEN’s debut short story collection, Simple Recipes, brought her a cascade of critical praise in 2001—and a heavy burden of expectation for her first novel. Certainty is finally slated to appear in stores on April 22. And as far as publisher McClelland & Stewart is concerned, the 31-year-old’s sweeping novel of two love stories set in Second World War East Asia and contemporary Vancouver was worth the wait. Since Feb. 14, when the Quebec City-based author’s

finished manuscript became available, M & S has already sold foreign rights in Britain (“a sixfigure pre-emptive offer,” says rights director Marilyn Biderman), the U.S. and seven other countries. Certainty, it seems, is already a sure thing.

9. A DICTATOR WHO CAN'T TAKE A JOKE

Demonstrations can be crushed and opponents imprisoned, but mockery may have proved too much for “Europe’s last dictator.” Belarusian President ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO postponed his own inauguration last week without explanation after the opposition threatened to spoil the celebration by blanketing Minsk with anti-government stickers—complete with a skull logo that resembles Lukashenko. His March election win—in which he earned a whopping 82.6 per cent of the vote—was deemed a fraud by Western governments. M