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Metro Snapshot: February 2, 2009

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REMEMBERING A COMRADE: Sapper Sean Greenfield, the 108th Canadian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan, was remembered as an affable and popular young man who would draw a crowd whenever he would break out his guitar. Greenfield, 25, was the 11th soldier to be killed by a roadside bomb since December.

MAN OF THE TIMES: Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff was the subject of a largely fawning profile in the New York Times, which described him as a keen intellect who was a "throwback to the era of the dashing Pierre Trudeau." Media blog Gawker picked up on the story and wondered whether Ignatieff was Canada's Barack Obama, a comparison that made the Liberal leader uncomfortable.

OPPOSING THE OPPOSITION: Just days after the NDP launched a series of withering attacks blasting Ignatieff, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe moved to distance himself from the new Liberal leader. Speaking after earning nearly 95 per cent support in a leadership vote, he said the Liberals have fallen into the same category as the Conservatives and turned their backs on Quebec. Duceppe also moved sovereignty back to the top of the agenda, saying that the stars are aligning for sovereignty.

MIDDLE EAST HEATS UP: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert threatened "harsh and disproportionate" retaliation after Palestinian militants fired rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel. Since the the beginning of a shaky truce two weeks ago, Palestinian rocket attacks have steadily increased with a corresponding escalation of Israeli military activity.

BAD LORD: Fallen media baron Conrad Black, who eight years ago renounced his Canadian citizenship to secure a place in the British House of Lords, could soon face being stripped of his lordship. Recent media reports regarding British peers offering to amend laws for cash from lobbyists prompted British Justice Minister Jack Straw to prepare legislation that would expel members of the House of Lords who are found guilty of serious misconduct.

SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS: Penny Boudreau's shocking confession that she strangled her 12-year-old daughter, Karissa, after being given an ultimatum by her boyfriend took the air out of the Nova Scotia courtroom where her trial took place. Residents of Karissa's hometown of Bridgewater were still outraged and many insisted that Boudreau would "never get what she deserves by sitting in a jail cell." Boudreau's confession was secured via an elaborate undercover operation that led the woman to believe that members of a crime syndicate would be able to conceal the crime.

Rising unemployment, home foreclosures and a proliferation of graffiti have become staples of life in Wilmington, California, where residents have gotten used to hard times and bad news. Some observers suggested that such resignation explained why neighbours of Ervin Lupoe -- who killed his wife and five children before turning the gun on himself -- felt a certain kinship with a man whose desperation pushed him to commit the ultimate evil.

 
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