OUT OF TRAGEDY...: Trapped amongst L'Aquila's earthquake rubble for nearly two days, Eleonora Calesini was still alive when yesterday's aftershock threatened to bring the world "crashing down on her again." Somehow, a pair of fallen pillars that created the space she survived in miraculously held, and firefighters pulled her out 90 minutes later.
Sadly, the bodies of those killed by the quake were also being pulled from the rubble, among them a young couple who were crushed as they held each other in embrace.
HARPER GOES TO CHINA: Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has long had a prickly relationship with China that has been marred by public criticisms of the Communist country's human rights record. However, International Trade Minister Stockwell Day announced that Harper would soon make a trip to China to thaw the frosty relationship, and hopefully drum up some business with an economy expected to grow by six per cent this year.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE GOVERNMENT: The federal cabinet was mulling over a $150-million fund to shore up the country's private broadcasters, which have been battered by the reeling economy. Canwest, CTVglobemedia and Quebecor have all been lobbying for an assistance plan that would likely focus on smaller urban centres. The broadcasters have also vigorously lobbied against including CBC -- which is grappling with its own budget shortfalls -- in any fund that may be established.
WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT, ANYWAY?: The extent to which gaming officials are responsible for keeping
gambling addicts out of casinos is at the heart of an eye-popping
$3.5-billion lawsuit filed in Ontario by a man who blew through
hundreds of thousands of dollars on slot machines. Gaming officials responded with a claim that it would be dangerous for the responsibility of a recognized addiction to be transferred to a third party.
SHE'S THE BOSS: The first woman to take command of a Canadian warship told reporters that she was thrilled to take the controls, and that her gender mattered little to her crew. Taking the wheel of the HMCS Halifax, Commander Josee Kurtz said she's had her eye on the commander's chair for a long time, because in the navy "you get the taste for command quite early."
WHO'S IN TROUBLE NOW?: A furious federal judge scrapped the corruption conviction of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and ordered a rare criminal probe into the prosectuors who allegedly posioned the case. A special prosecutor was appointed to investigate allegations that Justice Department lawyers withheld evidence in the trial, which resulted in Stevens narrowly losing the seat he held for 40 years.
DEATH SQUADS: Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori was convicted and sentenced to 25 years for death squad killings and kidnappings he ordered during the 1990s, when his authoritarian government was battling the Shining Path insurgency. Several dozen people chanted "Fujimori guity" outside the courtroom, but were countered by several hundred supporters of the president, who remains uquite popular for saving Peru from economic and political collapse.