Metro Snapshot: March 2, 2009 - Metro US

Metro Snapshot: March 2, 2009

“MAKING AS MUCH NOISE AS I CAN”: Carol deDelley, the mother of Tim McLean — brutally murdered by a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus last summer — said there is no good possible outcome for her as the trial of the man accused of murdering her son nears. Vince Li’s lawyers do not plan to dispute whether or not their client murdered McLean, but will instead question if he is criminally responsible for his actions due to a mental disorder.

THE FUTURE OF THE MISSION: Prime Minister Stephen Harper had some frank advice regarding Afghanistan for President Barack Obama in an interview that aired on CNN. The prime minister confessed to interviewer Fareed Zakaria that the NATO mission is “not going to ever defeat the (Afghan) insurgency,” reiterating that the solution to the problem will likely be found in a native government that is capable of managing militants. When pressed on Afghan President Hamid Karzai — who has come under fire from political opponents for his decision to re-schedule national elections — Harper said he had no doubt Karzai’s government had to improve.

The way the Canadian military handles operations on the ground was set for a major overhaul with the release of a new Counter-Insurgency Manual, which laid out the many hard lessons taken from the conflict so far. The manual largely agreed with Harper’s sentiment that solving the problem relies on reaching a political settlement that addresses “legitimate grievances” among both the civilian population and the ranks of the insurgency.

THE WAR AT HOME: After enjoying gentle treatment from his political rivals since assuming the Liberal leadership, Michael Ignatieff was getting his first taste of prime-minister-in-waiting-style political combat. The Conservatives took several shots at Ignatieff in the House of Commons last week, and operatives were combing through the Liberal leader’s hours of BBC hosting duties and C-PAC call-in show guest spots to mine for ammunition.

Ignatieff was in Halifax, continuing to piece together the Liberal party’s platform by announcing that early childhood education would be “the most important social priority of an incoming Liberal government.”

ONE HAPPY FAMILY: The Green party emerged from its policy convention in Nova Scotia united behind Elizabeth May, who led the party to a disappointing finish in last year’s federal election. Delegates said the party’s growth was hard to deny during the convention, but that the next election would be fought “on a much more professional planning basis” to capitalize on their strengths to make a long-awaited parliamentary breakthrough.

MR. CLEAN: Against a backdrop of an international environmentalist dust storm kicked up by a recent National Geographic article detailing Canadian development of the oilsands, Environment Minister Jim Prentice headed to Washington to discuss collaborative efforts to produce clean energy. Among Canada’s critics were top Democrat Henry Waxman, who has said he will use his chairmanship of the House energy and commerce committee to fight a war against dirty oil.

A TOWN MOURNS: About 200 friends, families and well-wishers gathered to pay tribute to two children who were killed in rural Quebec last week. Many mourners said they came to send messages of support to the family of the slain children, whose father faces two counts of first degree murder in connection to the deaths.

“THE SUBJECT OF A GOOD BOOK”: U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who also served in the cabinet of former president George W. Bush, told Meet the Press host David Gregory that President Barack Obama was more “analytical” than his predecessor.

EN-ZOO-SIATIC RESPONSE: Nearly 3,000 hopefuls — some freshly laid-off from high-paying, white collar jobs — caused an eight-kilometre traffic snarl when they all arrived for a recruitment day meant to fill 150 jobs at recession-stricken Britain’s Twycross Zoo. The jobs available were temporary positions typically filled by college students during the summer months, and included openings for cooks and cleaners.

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