STAR OF THE SHOW: The Prime Minister's Office released long-awaited logistics of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa this week, and it is going to be a carefully controlled affair designed to ensure that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's time with the popular president gets maximum exposure while relegating others to the sidelines. Among the measures were that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's meeting with Obama is set to take place in a military hangar, and no TV cameras, audio equipment or reporters would be allowed in the airport lounge where the Governor General will greet the president.

 

Environmental groups were also looking to take advantage of the high-profile visit, chastising Canada's environmental policies and warning that the Obama Administration's plans to stiffen environmental regulations would make the Canadian approach seem woefully inadequate.

 

STANDING PAT ON 2011: The hot topic for Ignatieff's face time with the president is likely to be the mission in Afghanistan. In a CBC interview, Obama sent his country's "heartfelt thanks" for Canada's sacrifice, and he has previously signalled that his administration would pursue a new approach based on development and diplomacy alongside increased U.S. troop numbers. However, the Liberal leader appeared unconvinced and insisted that Canada should not prolong its military presence in the country.

 

GOING APE: Before this weekend, Travis the chimpanzee enjoyed minor celebrity status thanks to star turns in commercials and his reputation for enjoying the finer things in life such as steak, lobster and ice cream. But yesterday, animal experts were left baffled over why Travis viciously mauled a friend of his owner during a 12-minute attack that left the woman with "life-changing, if not life-threatening" injuries.

AND THE AWARD GOES TO...: Canada's top cop declared Metro Vancouver the country's gang capital after a recent rash of deadly gang violence made national headlines, including a recent incident in which a young mother murdered in a drive-by shooting. The violence continued in dramatic fashion yesterday when two gunmen showed up at a residence, shooting and injuring a teenager before the victim's brother gave chase, leading to an altercation that left one of the assailants dead.

FEARFUL: Israel's political paralysis continued to leave the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations murky, and the recent conflict in Gaza still reverberated through the region. Jews in many Muslim countries remained anxious as outrage over the conflict has led to intimidation and violence, leaving many to ponder the future of such countries' often tiny Jewish communities.

BEHEADING: A Buffalo woman was allegedly decapitated by her estranged husband just days after she filed for divorce. While officials have not discussed the role of religion or culture, the murder gave rise to speculation about "honour killings" more common in countries half a world away, including the couple's native Pakistan -- the sort of stereotype that the couple had tried to combat years earlier when they launched a Muslim television station.