Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Metro Snapshot: February 26, 2009

<strong>For all that you need to know today, read the Metro Snapshot.</strong>

LOST: A Quebec couple lost in British Columbia's back country for nine days spelled SOS symbols in the snow before the man eventually gained the attention of a helicopter pilot flying overhead. However, the story of survival was equally tragic as the man's wife died before rescue arrived and questions were raised about the response of police and search and rescue operations after earlier sightings of the couple's pleas for help were reported.

CRIME FIGHTERS: Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government was preparing to flex some legislative muscle as it renews a crime-fighting agenda that was pushed to the back burner during last year's parliamentary crisis. To make the announcement, Harper will head to gang-plagued Metro Vancouver, where the families of innocent victims caught in the region's underworld crossfire have been screaming "bloody murder" for government action about the gunplay that has made many residents wary. However, at least one local expert was himself wary about the Conservatives' plans, warning that Vancouver is similar to Prohibition-era Chicago and that a crime crackdown will create a vacuum resulting in more turf for gangsters to go to war over.

REJECTED: The second of four RCMP officers present when Robert Dziekanski died after being shocked by a Taser at Vancouver International airport testified at a public inquiry that Dziekanski's skin began to turn blue soon after he was zapped. A moment of drama at the inquiry came when Const. Bill Bentley's lawyer appeared to prompt an apology from the officer, which Dziekanski's mother flatly rejected, later telling reporters that it was "too late."

FLAGGING DEBATE: Grassroots members of Manitoba's governing NDP party were pushing for the government to change the provincial flag, claiming that it was an archaic symbol of British colonial rule. The provinces' flag -- much like Ontario's-- is similar to the Red Ensign that Canada used as
a national flag prior to adopting the maple leaf design in 1965.

AMSTERDAM CRASH: A Turkish Airlines flight carrying 135 people slammed into a muddy field while approaching Amsterdam's main airport, killing nine and injuring more than 50 -- many of them seriously. Crews swarmed the stricken aircraft well into the day, as the investigation into what brought the plane down got underway.

Officials said that survivors were lucky that there was no fire resulting from the crash, which likely would have meant many more casualties. Some aviation experts indicated that the survival rate in both the Amsterdam crash and last month's Hudson River landing were evidence that improved training and construction have made flying safer than ever.

MUTINY ON THE BOUNDARY: Border guards in Bangladesh began surrendering after previously opening fire on senior officers, paralyzing the capital during a nearly 20-hour mutiny to demand better pay. Officials feared as many as 50 people were killed in the incident, which began when the guards stormed agency headquarters and seized a shopping mall.

"IT WAS LIKE WATCHING THE ROLLING STONES OPEN FOR AIR SUPPLY": Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was lambasted by pundits both friendly and hostile to the Republican party after delivering the party's official response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress. Jindal, a rising star in the party, was derided on both style and substance, with more than one critic calling his delivery childish, and Republican-friendly New York Times columnist David Brooks added that it was "insane" to focus on classic attack lines involving "big government."

For their part, White House officials were pleased with the reaction to Obama's address. Press secretary Robert Gibbs pointed that the many standing ovations stood in stark contrast to past reaction to such speeches, which he likened to two kids on a seesaw.

THE NEW PARAGON: Singled out by the president in his address was Leonard Abess, a Miami banker who quietly sold off his bank last fall and distributed $60 million in bonuses to employees -- and not just to top executives. In all, 471 employees and retirees, including tellers, clerks and
secretaries, were rewarded, receiving an average of about $127,000 each.

 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles