QuickNews, Monday, Dec. 28.
IRAN PROTESTS CLAIM 10 LIVES | Tens of thousands march against regime. Anti-government demonstrations, in cities across Iran, are largest since disputed presidential election in June. Among the dead is the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, said by demonstrators to have been shot in the back as security forces fired on demonstrators, and now hailed as a martyr. Police emphatically deny responsibility for any of the deaths. But France and U.S. have already condemned violent put-down of protests. .
FAILED TERRORIST AIRCRAFT ATTACK DELAYS SCORES OF PEARSON FLIGHTS | Travelers subjected to increased scrutiny of apparel and luggage. Air Canada among carriers imposing rule that passengers must have nothing on their laps for the last hour of flight. Suspected terrorist attempted to denonate explosives strapped to his body. U.S. airlines tightening security even on domestic U.S. flights. Questions arise on why suspect apparently determined to blow up Detroit-bound plane was not adequately screened at European point of departure.
U.S. QUIETLY OPENS FRONT AGAINST AL-QAEDA IN YEMEN | Smart move. U.S. military estimates there are fewer than 100 al-Qaeda operatives remaining in Afghanistan. Yemen and Sudan each are former al-Qaeda bases, and U.S. is alert to possibility of terrorist group re-establishing training camps in Yemen.
FAILED DIRECTORS DON'T FADE AWAY. They join boards of other Fortune 500 companies. Leaving wreckage behind, complacent corporate directors aren't shunned by other boards, but welcomed.
BOMBARDIER DEFENDS PRIVATE JETS | Executive-jet maker says planes are a tool not luxury. But in this layoff environment, that ages-old argument doesn't play. Not to worry too much: Bombardier expects robust sales in booming Asia, even if N.A. market likely won't recover to record 2007 levels until 2014.
SQUIGGLY UPDATE | Ignatieff says Canadians don't want election, just new government. Okay, I'm game. How do you get a new government without an election? Oh, by forming a coalition among opposition parties. Um, except that Grits rejected that idea. To paraphrase Ike, there seems to be no answer to the question of how knuckle-headed Iggy's comments can get.
BANKRUPTCY MAY BE JAL'S BEST OPTION, INVESTOR SAYS | Flagship carrier near insolvency. Will need government assistance with unions balking at urgently needed reductions in over-capacity. American Airlines and Delta still waiting in the wings - pardon the pun - to link with JAL as Asian partner.
MADONNA TOPS 2009 TOURS | Pulls in more revenue than younger, hipper acts. Then again, oft-mocked Bay City, Mich. native has built gargantuan fan base over the decades. If the faux Beach Boys can still pull them in with a handful of hits, the former Boy Toy - the real thing - can attract a monster crowd with dozens of hit tunes dating from the mid-1980s.
QUOTE OF THE DAY | "The way to fight a woman is with your hat. Grab it and run." -John Barrymore, U.S. actor.
Courtesy The New Yorker, Dec. 14 edition.