|Appalachian School of Law Shootings|
Fri, 18 Jan 2002
New minister declines trip
OTTAWA—Deputy Prime Minister John Manley invited his replacement in the foreign affairs portfolio to go with him to India and Pakistan this week but the new minister had to decline.
Less than 24 hours into his new job, Bill Graham was too busy learning his new job to join the 16-day mission, Canada’s first to the two countries since nuclear-related sanctions were lifted against them last year.
“He’s not travelling anywhere in the next little while,” said Lillian Thomsen, a spokeswoman at Foreign Affairs. “He’s been in office for 27 hours now. He’s got a whackload of things to do.”
Australians hope to stay
FREDERICTON—An Australian mother and daughter have been given their marching orders to leave Canada, but they’re hoping new Citizenship and Immigration Minister Denis Coderre will have a change of heart and allow them to stay.
Elizabeth Sweeney, 84, will be deported to Ireland on Jan. 31 while daughter Veronica Sweeney, 52, will be sent to Australia next Thursday under deportation orders that include medical and immigration escorts for the ailing mother.
Elizabeth Sweeney suffers from deep-vein thrombosis, a potentially fatal blood-clotting disorder that can be aggravated by sitting for long periods of time in cramped spaces, such as the economy-class seats of an airplane.
Alberta teachers delay strikes
EDMONTON—Alberta teachers will wait until Feb. 4 before staging widespread strikes that would throw more than 127,000 students out of class.
“There’s still time for the government to address the issues,” Larry Booi, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, said yesterday.
“There’s still time for a settlement.”
But Alberta Learning Minister Lyle Oberg was quick to deflate hopes that extra government money would avert a strike. “I am saying definitively there is no more money available to me to bring forward,” he said, adding legislation could end a lengthy strike.
Day defends Bailey
TORONTO—There’s no need for the Canadian Alliance to discipline MP Roy Bailey for criticizing the new veterans affairs minister because of his “Asiatic” background, says the party’s former leader.
Bailey, an MP from Saskatchewan, did the right thing by apologizing to Filipino-born Rey Pagtakhan for calling him a “Chinese chap” and questioning his fitness for his new role in cabinet, Stockwell Day said yesterday.
The furor erupted Wednesday when a Saskatchewan newspaper story described Bailey’s reaction upon learning that Pagtakhan had been named to veterans affairs.
Accused killer ‘paranoid’
GRUNDY, Va.—The expelled law school student accused of killing his dean and two others in a campus shooting spree was so paranoid and prone to outbursts that at least one classmate said he saw the violence coming.
At yesterday’s arraignment on three counts of capital murder, Peter Odighizuwa, 43, told the judge he was sick and needed help.
“I was supposed to see my doctor,” Odighizuwa said, hiding his face behind a green arrest warrant. “He was supposed to help me out … I don’t have my medication.”
Police say Odighizuwa opened fire with a handgun at the Appalachian School of Law on Wednesday, a day after he was dismissed from the school for a second time.
India-Pakistan resolution near
WASHINGTON—India’s Defence Minister George Fernandes said yesterday he believes that despite another terrorist attack blamed on militants in the disputed Kashmir province, the standoff between his country and Pakistan may be “on the way to resolution.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said it is in neither the interest of Pakistan nor India to stay at a high state of readiness for war.
Rumsfeld also said, after talks with his Indian counterpart, that he hopes the standoff will not force Pakistan to move troops from the border with Afghanistan, where they remain on the outlook for fugitive al-Qaeda suspects, including Osama bin Laden.
Volcano erupts in Congo
GOMA, Congo—A volcano in eastern Congo erupted yesterday, sending out plumes of ash and three rivers of lava that destroyed 14 villages near the Rwandan border and drove thousands from their homes.
The sky around Mount Nyiragongo began glowing red, and ash fell on the nearby town of Goma before dawn yesterday. Three lava flows were detected, two coming down the mountain’s east side and one down the west.
Thousands of people were left homeless when the lava destroyed their villages.