Volume 96, Issue 95
Friday, March 28, 2003

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NEWS FOR DUMMIES:
Iraq resists, while SARS spreads

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

In a week packed with news – which flew past oblivious students like multivariable calculus – The Gazette brings its weekly summary of national stuff and global things.

The war in Iraq, which for a couple of days looked as though it was operating as smoothly for the United States as the invasion of Afghanistan, turned ugly last weekend.

Five American engineers were captured last Sunday. Officials in the American administration expressed outrage at the fact that the prisoners of war were shown on television, adding the Iraqis broke the Geneva Convention. Two more troops were captured later in the week after their helicopter was shot down.

Meanwhile, United States Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci created a sandstorm of debate after expressing the Bush administration's disappointment that Canada was not supporting the war.

It's a shame the Chrétien government doesn't care about relations with Canada's most important partner and friend. It's also a shame our most important partner and friend only takes notice of us when our country opposes them.

SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, has sparked a provincial health emergency, including a quarantine for thousands of people. There are now 62 suspected cases in Toronto.

Thousands of people who have been to Toronto-area hospitals have been asked to stay at home in an attempt to contain the disease, which has flu-like symptoms. The mysterious disease is believed to have originated in China, and has been fatal in four per cent of cases.

Wow. Everything is made in China.

Yesterday afternoon, Ontario's Conservative government presented its made-for-TV budget.

Finance Minister Janet Ecker gave her speech, which included continuous excerpts of pre-taped mini-speeches by each cabinet minister, with a blue screen juxtaposed in the background. This budget had more flash and decoration than Moulin Rouge.

No wonder they presented the budget at a training centre in Brampton; they didn't want people vomiting in the legislature.

Speaking of throwing up, Michael Moore gave a memorable speech after winning Best Documentary at the Academy Awards Sunday night. Moore blasted the Bush administration, calling Bush a "fictitious president," adding he started the war for "fictitious reasons."

The audience reacted with a mixture of boos and cheers. Moore was then immediately presented with another award, Best Sanctimonious Load of Crap from a Quasi-Famous, Self-Righteous Loud Mouth.

"March Madness" continues, as the NCAA Basketball Championships have been whittled down to the "Sweet 16." The tournament annually showcases all of the players not good enough to get an NBA contract out of high school.

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