Volume 96, Issue 87
Friday, March 14, 2003

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NEWS FOR DUMMIES: Don Johnson's alive?

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

After a week of anticipation and chew-your-nails, edge-of-your-seat excitement, you can relax. News for Dummies is back to give you a weekly wrap-up of the world that was.

For a change, some good news occurred this week. Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City in June 2002 by a gun-wielding intruder, was discovered this past week only 19 kilometres from her home. She was in the custody of a "self-styled preacher," who lived in a teepee outside the city, and a woman who wore wigs and long-flowing robes to disguise her identity.

The male abductor got to know the family after having done some work for them on their house. Her parents were thankful for having her returned home, and thanked God for returning her alive nine months later.

Unfortunately, the news now returns to the negative side, as political election calls and unfair judicial rulings dominated the headlines.

On Tuesday, the Quebec National Assembly tabled their budget, and then immediately called an election. Parti Québécois Premier Bernard Landry called the election for Apr. 14.

After nine years in power, the separatist government is hoping to win a third mandate. Landry is hoping the province will separate from Canada during his next term, so that he may be referred to as Prime Minister Poutine, ruling over the land of beer in every corner store.

In other political news, the Ontario government led by Premier Ernie Eves, declared that a budget will be delivered Mar. 27. Additionally, the re-opening of the legislature has been pushed back to the end of April, effectively ruling out a spring election.

In another brilliant move, Ernie, also known as "he of the shiny head," decided that the budget would also be delivered from a Toronto television studio instead of the legislature. The Liberal opposition immediately declared the decision a "subversion of the Canadian democratic system," as they get paid to disagree with the Conservatives anyway.

In an oversees, quasi-celebrity story, actor Don Johnson was pulled over in Germany this week with $8 billion in credit notes in the trunk of his car. Johnson claimed the notes were not his, and that he was on his way to look at a new car. Johnson as you may recall, was the former star of Miami Vice and Nash Bridges.

Perhaps Johnson was hoping to relive his glory days, and was going to use the $8 billion to clothe the world in pastel sports jackets. But in true Hollywood style, he's launching a lawsuit to protect his good name.

Finally this week, Liberal front-runner Paul Martin was forced to transfer ownership of Canada Steamship Lines over to his sons. After having declared he had no involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company, it was learned that Martin still received updates on its operations.

CSL is estimated to be worth $424 million. When Martin wins the Liberal leadership and becomes our new prime minister next February, he will be the first PM to have a fortune that competes with that of George W. Bush. Maybe this will lead to an improvement in Canada's relationship with the United States, as the two will have more to talk about than baseball and war. Then again, Martin can hold down an intelligent conversation, so there goes that idea.

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