Newsmakers: This week’s names in bold print

Tea Party idol, a disgraced mayor and a 65-year-old pharmacist

gift guide Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz
The U.S. senator and Tea Party idol wants nothing to do with Canada. Although born in Calgary, where his American mother and Cuban-American father were working at the time, Cruz has officially renounced his citizenship, a move that should make it easier for him to mount a presidential run. The U.S. Constitution requires that only “natural-born” citizens can be president, so Cruz’s American parentage should be enough for him to qualify. But, after hysterical claims from the U.S. right that President Barack Obama was secretly Kenyan, a politician can’t be too careful.

 

London Mayor Joe Fontana (Dave Chidley/CP)

London Mayor Joe Fontana (Dave Chidley/CP)

Joe Fontana
The former Liberal cabinet minister resigned as mayor of London, Ont., after being found guilty of fraud, forgery and breach of trust in a case involving a forged contract and a $1,700 government cheque issued to a London club. Fontana claimed he had altered a pre-existing contract to cover the cancellation of a political event, but the Marconi Club put the cheque toward paying for Fontana’s son’s wedding. To make matters worse, a private member’s bill making its way through the House would strip convicted MPs and senators of a portion of their parliamentary pension—a penalty that would apply to Fontana, since his offences occurred while he was an MP.

 

Kim Jong UnKim Jong Un
The North Korean dictator will not tolerate inaccuracy from the weatherman. After visiting the country’s meteorological agency in Pyongyang, the supreme leader issued a stern call for improved forecasting. “There are many incorrect forecasts, as the meteorological observation has not been put on a modern and scientific basis,” said Kim, who wishes to see the agency “modernize meteorological observation equipment.” The Washington Post speculates that the chastising of the weather service offers a scapegoat for the spring drought that has exacerbated food shortages.

Victoria Wilcher
Following a pit bull attack in April, the three-year-old girl was left with facial scars and an eye patch. To add insult to literal injury, an employee at a KFC location in Jackson, Miss., allegedly asked Victoria to leave the restaurant because her scars disturbed other patrons. KFC Corp. is investigating the matter, and swiftly donated $30,000 toward the child’s medical bills. “The entire KFC family is behind Victoria,” said spokesman Rick Maynard.

Zeinat Akhras
Among the ruins of Homs, the Syrian city bombarded by government forces as part of that country’s civil war, the 65-year-old pharmacist was one of a few holdouts; she and her brothers persisted despite a blockade that lasted nearly two years and left her subsisting on plants. Withstanding shells slamming into her home and rebel fighters looting her food supply, Akhras remained until the end, not even realizing the fight for the city was over until she ventured from her home last month. “Every day, we said it will end tomorrow,” she said. “If we counted the number of days, we would have given up.”




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