QuickNews, Monday, Dec. 7.
MAKING HISTORY IN COPENHAGEN
A climate-change demonstrator near London's Millennium Wheel on Saturday.
Nepal's entire cabinet met Friday at the Gorakshep base camp region of Mount Everest on Friday, with a message to save the Himalayas ahead of the Copenhagen climate talks beginning today.
CLIMATE SUMMIT | History's biggest climate summit starts today in Copenhagen. More than 15,000 participants from 192 nations have gathered in the Danish capital to agree on curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, and to raise billions of dollars in aid and clean technology assistance for poor countries. Heads of state of scores of countries will arrive next week, late in the 12-day summit, in tough negotiations to replace the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. South Africa is latest to commit to greenhouse gas reductions, following China and India last week, and Obama's pledge the week before of a 17% reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. Paul Krugman (NYT): Maybe I'm naive, but I'm optimistic about Copenhagen. NYT editorial: Beyond Copenhagen.
MONTREAL MASSACRE REMEMBERED | Ceremonies across Canada honour the fallen. Twenty years ago yesterday, Dec. 6, 1989, gunman Marc Lepine murdered 14 women engineering students at Ecole Polytechnique, saying he wanted to kill "all the feminists." The deranged killer injured dozens more. Today, woman enrolment in engineering schools still lags the rough gender parity since achieved across N.A. in law, medicine, business and other professions once dominated by men. Photo: The sign held by the young girl in the photo says, "Never again!" Christinne Muschi, Reuters.
U.S. NOBEL LAUREATES URGE GENDER EQUALITY | Women winners of Nobel science award call for more flexible workplace regimes in academe and private sector to accommodate both career and child-bearing aspirations of promising women scientists.
PLIGHT OF AFGHAN WOMEN | Worst treatment of women of almost any nation, says human-rights group. Discrimination has grown even worse under Karzai than the cruelly abusive Taliban regime that came before.
OPEL TO BE RE-CAST IN MAGNA'S IMAGE | Practices of Canadian auto-parts maker to be emulated. New Opel-Vauxhall boss, appointed by GM last week, aims to delegate responsibility down to plant and plant-floor level, strategy by which Toronto-based Magna has flourished in its 52 years.
LUXURY SHOPPERS AWOL | Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf's all report big drop in November sales. Analyst says the "aspirational" buyer has disappeared. Only bargain hunters are in evidence heading into crucial holiday season, when retailers make the bulk of their annual sales.
LANDSLIDE VICTORY FOR BOLIVIA'S MORALES | President plans nationalization of industry. Morales, first aboriginal president and a Hugo Chavez ally, convinced that solution to nation's chronic poverty is to nationalize those few key industries not already owned by the state. He will be following the example of Chavez, who over the weekend nationalized much of Venezuela's financial sector, having already expropriated foreign-owned oil and gas assets over past year.
GG ON THE ROAD | Michaelle Jean to spend most of the week in Central America. Her tour begins with two-day swing through Mexico. Next stops: Costa Rica and Guatemala. Photo: The Canadian Governor- General arrives yesterday at the Mexico City international airport.
DON'T BOTHER REPORTING UFOS | Britain closes military UFO reporting office. After investigating tens of thousands of sightings that proved to be natural occurances, U.K. decides to save the $75,000 (U.S.) cost of probing reported extra-terrestial sightings, following U.S. example dating to 1969. Canada, however, continues to follow up citizen reports of "queer sights in the Northern Lights," as poet Robert Service had it.
QUOTE OF THE DAY | "It is possible that blondes also prefer gentlemen." -Mamie Van Doren, American singer.
Courtesy The New Yorker, Nov. 23 edition.
Please consider joining me as an elf this holiday season by participating in the Toronto Star's Santa Claus Fund, a century-old Toronto tradition. The Star uses donations to assemble and distribute gift boxes to thousands of less-financially advantaged children throughout the GTA. Each box contains a book, clothing and a toy. You can read all about it, including first-hand accounts of Toronto families in need, at http://www.thestar.com/santaclausfund. I'm counting on your kindness to help put smiles on thousands of young faces this December 25th! Many thanks, David