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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Press Review

From today's edition of NORMAN'S SPECTATOR

US papers lead with a deadly attack on Marines in Iraq , and the presidential campaign. There's good news for a majority of Canadians: A new USA Today poll shows a tighter race than other post-Convention polls have.

Editorialists are looking outward today: The New York Times’ editorial board is pleased that the law is catching up with Augusto Pinochet. The Washington Post’s editorial board weighs in on Tariq Ramadan. The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board focuses on Iran . The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board turns its attention to Beslan.

In the UK and France , the on-going leadership challenges to Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac by their respective finance ministers have popped up again.

At home, the finance minister who became prime minister for what reason we know not why is in British Columbia with his cabinet; judging from yesterday’s hotline shows, the usual cynicism mixes with hope that we may get some attention. (Readers of today’s Vancouver Sun wouldn’t know the ministers were here.)

The Globe and Mail fronts the cabinet retreat, along with a local angle to Beslan featured in yesterday’s Toronto Star and a torqued story about Israeli-Russian cooperation against terrorism. (Memo to Globe editors: Israelis are a nation of premature confabulators, as readers will discover if they stay with the article until the twelfth paragraph.)

Inside, John Ibbitson says there is a compelling need for First Ministers to meet with aboriginal leaders about health care; as long as it's in camera not on camera, I say. From Calgary , Deborah Yedlin writes that it’s time for us to stop whining about high gas prices.

On the comment page, Michael Mendelson suspects Ottawa has cooked the books on the surplus yet again. Martin Goldfarb says Ottawa would be wise to say yes to the Premiers’ Pharmacare proposal. Sheema Khan writes about two reformers in the Muslim world; I’d like to know what they think about Beslan, or about 9/11 for that matter.

The editorial board focuses on a Muslim and Jew who are on the road together and actually talking about the issues. In another editorial, it says Iran must not be allowed to go nuclear.

The Toronto Star has a stringer with Albina Batagova, as she searches for her daughter in Beslan, and reporter Sandro Contenta in Moscow .

The editorial board says Mike Harris is gone and the new Premier is married to one and it’s time for teachers who want more money to show patience. Mike Harris is on Tom Walkom’s mind, too, as he grapples with the impossible possibility that George W. Bush, who "may seem an idiot to outsiders," could be re-elected.

The National Post editorial board says Nepal is a gulag with a view; another editorialist is back on the hobby horse of legalizing pot. How with it.

The Post fronts a report that the Liberal Party and its Québec wing will seek standing when the Gomery Commission opens this morning. Michael Bliss is first out of the gate in a five-part Post series on health care; he says single-tier health care is a myth and we should go all the way. Inside, Heather Sokoloff reports that doctors call each other for favours to get around long wait-lists.

On the comment page, Daniel Pipes reviews the various euphemisms used by the media to characterize the perpetrators of the Beslan massacre. David Frum writes that voters pick presidents for their leadership abilities, not personal valour and, “For Kerry to stake a claim to the presidency on his record as a warrior is akin to Bill Clinton staking his claim to the job on his excellence as a family man;” he concludes “Bush can still lose, but it's too late for Kerry to win.”

Elsewhere in CanWest land, the Montréal Gazette stuffs Gomery and goes with an end-of-summer story. The editorial board says Bernard Shapiro got off to a bad start with his whitewash of Paul Martin’s recent soirée for donors at 24 Sussex .

The Ottawa Citizen and Regina Leader-Post front Kathryn May’s set-up piece on the opening of the Gomery Commission, including the results of Professor Donald Savoie's study of accountability for the Treasury Board. (Here's my take, for the price of a Globe and Mail.)

The Citizen also fronts a report by Eric Beauchesne that China will overtake Canada as the US ’s largest trading partner within five years. Inside, Jack Aubry reports the PM has saved taxpayers nearly $2 Million by dithering on 10 Senate vacancies.

The editorial board says we must end our addiction to oil, and goes after politicians attending the Canadian Islamic Congress dinner in Ottawa next week. (On the organization’s website, the editorialist discovers the videotaped beheading of American Nicholas Berg in Iraq was a "staged," "black operation by U.S. psychological warfare specialists.")

On the eve of an election, the Calgary Herald editorial board is concerned that Albertans are about to re-elect a lame duck premier. (Can an election be far away? In Edmonton , teachers have ratified a new contract with a healthy raise and, as the Journal's editorial board notes, the province has agreed to fund a new veterinary school.)

The Vancouver Sun fronts cities squabbling over federal bucks and the booming business in the city’s pot shops and cafés. The editorial board says conditions must be attached to the introduction of shari’a arbitration in BC.

In the Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington argues for a US-Russia alliance against terrorism. Salim Mansur explains why John Kerry is in trouble. In Winnipeg , Charles Adler reflects on the horror of Beslan.

In Calgary , Paul Jackson writes that the democratic deficit increased with Paul Martin’s recent Supreme Court appointments. In London , Rory Leishman likes the Kirby/Keon report, and from there jumps to advocate two-tier health care, which the two Senators don’t. In Ottawa , after getting the government he wanted in June, Val Sears is bored by it all.

TOP STORY

Liberals 'protect' the party

The National Post’s Andrew McIntosh reports:

“The Liberal Party of Canada and its Quebec wing will make a last-minute bid for standing at the sponsorship inquiry as public hearings begin this morning....

Posted by Norman Spector on September 7, 2004 | Permalink

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