MAN ON A MISSION: Prime Minister Stephen Harper was Europe-bound to attend two international summits that together could decide the future of global economic stewardship, as well as that of the world's most powerful military alliance. First up is the G20 conference, kicking off in London Wednesday, where Harper will push his contention that Canada is emerging from the recession as "probably the only truly free-market financial system in the world."

 

TONGUE LASHING: The federal and Ontario governments announced they would be extending a $4-billion stop-gap payout to the Canadian arms of General Motors and Chrysler, but coupled it with a warning to the automakers and its workers that they must adapt to the sector's harsh new reality. However, the demand for labour concessions was swiftly rejected by the Canadian Auto Workers, who said the union had already done their part.

 

Earlier in the day, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a similar warning while spurning requests from General Motors and Chrysler for more bailout funds. In a terse statement that came on the day after his administration ousted GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Obama said the companies must stand on their own and not as "wards of the state," pointing to restructuring of GM and a Chrysler merger with Fiat as the way forward.

 

PLAN B: Organizers of a planned speaking tour by banned British MP George Galloway decided the controversial Scot would address Canadan audiences via video, where he defiantly challenged Immigration Minister Jason Kenny to a debate. Justice Luc Martineau ruled that he was not in a position to allow Galloway into the country, although he did say there were "serious issues to be tried" if the case went to a judicial review.

 

ROUND TWO: With sealers in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador ready to head out on the ice as soon as this weekend, the Newfoundland and Labrador government was ramping up its battle against a proposed European Union ban on seal products. Premier Danny Williams wrote a letter to several EU ambassadors claiming that the ban would be devastating for the 6,000 people who depend on the hunt, and maintained the cull is a well-managed way to battle the depletion of fish stocks.

THE KILLING FIELDS: The opening trial of a tribunal investigating the atrocities of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge heard grisly tales of the regime's alleged tactics. The horrors were told during the reading of alleged torture boss Kaing Guek Eav's indictment, and included stories of victims being thrown to their deaths or gradually having so much blood drawn that their lives slowly drained away.

STRATEGIC BLUNDER: A band of seven pirates opened fire on a German naval supply ship in the piracy-plagued Gulf of Aden, which quickly led to them being chased down and captured by an international anti-piracy task force. Apparently mistaking the vessel for a commercial ship, the pirates got a rude surprise when the Germans returned fire and called in support from other warships and U.S. Cobra helicopters.

WAR ON TERMINOLOGY: The "war on terror," one of the most enduring legacies of George W. Bush's presidency appears to be over, at least semantically. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that the new administration would no longer be using the term, which was widely disparaged for an overly militaristic tone, and that the decision "speaks for itself."