The Windsor Star from Windsor, Ontario, Canada on April 16, 2003 · 14
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The Windsor Star from Windsor, Ontario, Canada · 14

Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
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B2 Wednesday. April 1 6. 2003 TOP WORLD NEWSMAKER The Windsor Star ChreflJIen rinniDmiises on 4 yeas! PM confirms his retirement date, waxes nostalgic about his life in politics and defends his stand on Iraq By Joan Bryden cakwest news service santo domingo Jean Chretien put to rest lingering suspicions that he may retire before next February as he waxed nostalgic Tuesday about his proudest achievements as prime minister, of which the election of a federalist government in Quebec stood out as "the cherry on the sundae." Unbowed by relentless criticism that his refusal to join the war on Iraq has soured Canada's economically vital relations with the United States, Chretien also said he's "very proud" of his determination to pursue an independent foreign policy. Indeed, he went further down that path Tuesday He declared that Canada has no plans to impose economic sanc tions on Syria as the U.S. is threatening to do in retaliation for Damascus allegedly stockpiling chemical weapons and harbouring fleeing members of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime. "If the Americans decide to do that, they have the privilege to do that For us, we're not planning to do anything like that immediate(ly)," he told reporters as he wrapped up a three-day state visit to this Caribbean island. Earlier, regaling the Dominican Canadian Chamber of Commerce with Canada's return to good fiscal health and robust economic growth during his three terms in office, Chretien re-' marked: "The last 10 years have been very, very good and they don't need me any more. I'm going in nine months and two weeks, according to my wife." An aide confirmed Chretien is doing a precise countdown, which would mean he intends to leave office Feb. 1. Many Liberals have speculated that he will depart earlier, once the party chooses a successor Nov. 15. But those closest to the prime minister say he is determined to stick to his original timetable, announced last August. Chretien became nostalgic about his political career and his lifelong battle against separatism when Dominican business leaders asked about the significance of the Quebec election. "In terms of the federation, it's very, very good news," he said. "For me, who has been fighting this problem for a long time, I had a lot of pleasure. As somebody said to me yesterday ... as I'm departing next year, the conditions in Canada at this moment are very, very good economically and fiscally and tradewise and so on, this is the cherry on the sundae, he said. And he said for the Canadians, they will understand, (it's) a red cherry. Rouge is the colour of my party, as you know." Asked about his proudest achievements, Chretien said: "I'm very proud of my devotion to the unity of the country. That has been very important forme." He also cited his time as Indian affairs minister and his government's ability to turn a $42-billion deficit in 1993 into six consecutive surplus budgets. Musing on his ability to survive 40 years in federal politics, Chretien said: "At one time, I described it in a book as politics is like skating on thin ice. You never know when there will be a hole that will gobble you up and you will disappear forever. And at the end of the day, you say to yourself, 'I survived one more day.' And I'm doing that since 40 years. So I feel good." Chretien later told reporters he's also proud that, during his tenure, Canada led the push for an international ban on landmines and establishment of a world court, both of which, he noted, were opposed by the U.S. He also said he's "very proud" to have led the push for Western aid for Africa. As for opposing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Chretien made it clear he has no regrets about refusing to participate without UN authorization. "We're an independent country and we make our own decisions and I'm very pleased with that." Chretien dismissed media speculation that the fallout from his decision on Iraq prompted President George W. Bush to postpone his planned May 5 state visit to Canada. Chretien said Bush's trip to Canada was an onerous official visit involving a speech in the House of Commons. "Both governments have agreed to postpone it. That's the reality" Chretien was criticized Monday for being out of the loop after he admitted he knew nothing about the latest escalation of U.S. threats against Syria. But late Monday night, after a state dinner, Chretien mocked the media for exaggerating the importance of his failure to keep on top of the news. He said questions about possible U.S. sanctions or military intervention in Syria were "strictly speculation." "If, if, if, if, if, if, if, if, if. As Pierre Trudeau used to say, if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a bus. It's not my role to respond to all questions of if, if, if, if, if. Let's deal with reality." "If they talk in Washington, I hope that you will not expect me to be listening 24 hours a day to all that's being said around the world." Chretien left Santo Domingo to spend a few more private days on vacation at a famous Dominican golf resort, where he is expected to hook up with former U.S. president Bill Clinton, who is also vacationing here. WORLD REPORT Compiled from Star News Services 1 , fie?; - Dutch politician's killer sentenced to 18 years AMSTERDAM The killer of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in prison a punishment that elicited courtroom boos, crying and derision from Fortuyn supporters who said it was not nearly severe enough. Volkert van der Graaf, 33, confessed to shooting Fortuyn outside a radio station May 6, just nine days before elections in which Fortuyn was contending for prime minister, to prevent him from gaining power and carrying out his anti-immigration agenda. The crime shattered the country's ' tradition of peaceful democracy, and Fortuyn's supporters said Van der Graaf should be sentenced to life in ; prison. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870. When the judge read the verdict, outraged Fortuyn supporters booed and stormed out of the public gallery. They later threw garbage at a car taking Van der Graaf back to prison and shouted profanities at the judges. Tories issue Zimbabwe report withheld by Blair LONDON Britain's Conservative party released a confidential Commonwealth report on the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe Tuesday in an attempt to embarrass Prime Minister Tony Blair over his failure to confront President Robert Mugabe. The 29-page document was drawn up by Donald McKinnon, the Commonwealth secretary general, and has been circulated to the organization's heads of government before their meeting in Nigeria later this year. The report details the extent to which civil society has collapsed under Mugabe. It records intimidation of judges, human rights abuses, loss of press freedoms, economic mismanagement and farm seizures that have left the country in crisis. Chopper jailbreak revives prison security debate ATX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE Police fanned out across southern France on Tuesday in search of three inmates whose bold escape with a helicopter revived a debate over prison se-, curity. The escape at the Luynes prison, near Aix-en-Provence, was tha third jailbreak in France since March and the fifth this year. The prisoners were aided by accomplices who hijacked a helicopter and ordered the pilot to hover over the prison courtyard, while one of them dropped to the prison yard on a rope ladder and used a power saw to cut through steel security netting. The three inmates accused of running an international drug ring grabbed the rope ladder and were flown away The helicopter landed in a nearby stadium, where the prisoners fled in a car, police said. r Mini I II I Mi nWYlr - Icons of young British art get unlikely London home LONDON Damien Hirst's shark in formaldehyde, Tracey Emin's unmade bed and 80 other relics from the heady days of the Young British Artists went on display for the first time under one roof this week at the new Saatchi Gallery in London. My, BUSY BEES: Left, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip enjoy the spectacle Tuesday as a swarm of bees cause concern prior to the Queen's Company Grenadier Guards ceremonial review at Windsor Castle. Above, the royal beekeeper, hastily summoned to the scene, removes the swarm from under a Chair. Associated Press photos: Chris Young QUEEN BEE REIGNS OVER ROYAL PARADE She Is usually the epitome of regal decorum. But Queen Elizabeth could not hide her amusement Tuesday as a swarm of bees took centre stage during a ceremonial review of the Grenadier Guards at Windsor Castle. With Prince Philip dressed in full Guards regalia, trying to keep a stiff upper lip, the Queen was unable to suppress her laughter as the parade which normally runs with military precision was temporarily reduced to chaos. . The royal beekeeper had to be called after the swarm decided to settle on chairs set up for invited guests in the castle's quadrangle. Grenadier Guards, wearing dress uniforms and black bearskins, moved the chairs away from the guests. A former sergeant major was the bees' only victim; a royal nurse treated his forehead sting. A Palace spokesman said the Queen initially considered moving the parade inside and away from danger, but an hour later the ceremony went ahead as planned. Peter Sheppard, the royal beekeeper, said: "The queen bee had left her hive and was looking for a new place to stay. "She found a chair and took her attendants with her." A Palace spokesman said: "The event went off very well following the disruption." The Daily Telegraph The oak-panelled rooms of the former Greater London Council headquarters at County Hall on the South Bank provide the unlikely home for part of the vast archive of controversial artistic statements amassed over three decades. On permanent display is Richard Wilson's 20:50, in which a room is half filled with used sump oil. Visitors will be able to walk along a gangway and look down into the perfect reflection of the room in the oil. Marilyn Monroe's jewels snatched from exhibition LONDON Jewelry once owned by Marilyn Monroe has been stolen from an exhibition in London about the film star. A gold ring with a diamond-encrusted "M" motif and a gold and diamond bangle, together worth up to $90,000 Cdn, were snatched from a gallery on the South Bank. Two men entered the building on Monday afternoon and, after looking at exhibits for a few minutes, snatched the jewelry and fled, Scotland Yard said. A member of the public alerted security guards who chased the men, one of whom ran toward Westminster Bridge where he was caught by police officers. The other disappeared into crowds. A man detectives questioned about the thefts has been released on bail until next month. More than 250 of Monroe's former possessions and items inspired by her are on show. TZ" " I I J '-7SPWrNY't. jr-", Rodney King suffers broken pelvis in crash RIALTO, CALIF. Rodney King, whose videotaped beating led to the deadly 1992 riots in Los Angeles, was hospitalized with a broken pelvis after he lost control of his SUV while weaving through traffic at 160 kmh and crashing into a house, police said. King, 39, was spotted Sunday by a police officer who said King was speeding and weaving through traffic in his 2003 Ford Expedition when he slammed into a utility pole, a chain-link fence and then the home, police said. No one in the home was injured. King was in fair condition. Police said they suspect that King was intoxicated and a blood sample was drawn to determine his blood-alcohol level. Test results have not yet been released. Fashion police should have made the arrest STATE COLLEGE, PA. Police say that when 23-year-old Shaun Yawkey turned up at a bank early Friday night, he was toting a purse, wearing a wig and sporting a frilly turtleneck blouse and jumper. He also sported a yellow glove on one hand, a blue glove on the other and a scarf wrapped around his face. He had a backpack and was pushing a bicycle. "It was a very feminine outfit," police Lieut. Diane Conrad said. "But he's not effeminate-looking." Even though he stole nothing and never so much as declared that he was there to rob the place, he was arrested, charged with attempted bank robbery and possessing instruments of crime a 33-cm kitchen knife and six metres of rope. AOL sues spammers, blocks some accounts NEW YORK America Online has filed five federal lawsuits targeting spammers it accuses of sending some one billion junk e-mail messages promoting mortgages, steroids and pornography to its subscribers. The case resulted from about eight million individual spam complaints from subscribers, most of whom used a Report Spam feature AOL introduced last fall, the company said Tuesday. The lawsuits seek damages of more than $10 million US plus an end to the messages. Haitian migrants' boat capsizes; dozens missing SANTO DOMINGO An overloaded wooden boat carrying about 150 Haitian migrants capsized off the Dominican Republic, and at least one person was dead and dozens more were missing, the Dominican navy said Tuesday The nine-metre boat overturned close to shore off the northwestern Dominican town of Monte Cristi about 9 p.m. Monday, officials said. A coast guard ship patrolling the area rescued 110 people within hours, the navy said in a statement. One man's body was recovered and about 39 other people are believed missing, the navy said. Officials said some of the missing could have swum to shore, but it was unclear how far off the coast the boat capsized. Some of the Haitians told Dominican authorities they were heading for Miami, but they were travelling east instead of northwest toward Florida. The original departure point of the boat was unclear. Some of those rescued were being treated at nearby hospitals for injuries. German minister declares pre-emptive war illegal UNITED NATIONS Declaring that "pre-emptive wars" are against international law, Germany's development minister demanded to know why the world can find billions of dollars for military battles and not millions to fight poverty "the biggest enemy "If there is a just war to be fought, it is the war on poverty and hunger, illness and disease, illiteracy and environmental degradation, exclusion and injustice," Economic Co-operation and Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said Monday She spoke at the annual high-level meeting of UN, World Bank and International Monetary Fund officials that follows the spring meetings in Washington of the global financial Institutions. This year the World Trade Organization also participated. Germany Joined fellow UN Security Council members France, Russia and China in opposing the U.S.-led war against Iraq, and she made clear that her government considers the invasion illegal. The UN Charter only approves military action authorized by the Security Council or in self-defence. Arson caused fire near Ohio State University COLUMBUS, OHIO A weekend fire that killed five college students in a house near Ohio State University was arson and the deaths are being treated as homicides, investigators said Tuesday. Authorities had not determined a motive and have no suspects, Det. Mike McCann said. A $15,000 US reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest. mm ft: illilit i-atii' miiSV 'iliinitiil .t'-iigiivitlR' mam- ".fitiiHffiiarii mm 'toll' nl(ifi&'fllEDt?(lf rtii CiWr

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