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November 5, 1979

World

Prague’s secret trials

Ideas

But is it art?

Frontlines

A strange bid for autonomy

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World

Prague’s secret trials

One dissident described it as a step back toward “the ideological Stone Age” and, while some of the more obvious touches of the Stalinist show trials of the 1950s were missing— the hearings were secret, the sentences somewhat less severe—there was still enough of the old-style, heavy-handed approach about the jailing in Prague last week of six leading human-rights campaigners to bring down a chorus of international protest on the country that once promoted “socialism with a human face.” The powerful Communist parties of Italy, France and Spain joined governments and labor movements in the West in denouncing the verdicts and sentences as a mockery of human rights and legal procedures.

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Ideas

But is it art?

In the past few weeks it has been easy to make contact, as boldly or as surreptitiously as you wish. In Vancouver in late September, a passer-by could have turned his raincoat collar up and skirted 20 or so mock-leopard-skin-clad women on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, members of the Girls’ Club.

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Frontlines

A strange bid for autonomy

Like determined hummingbirds, television news crews dove toward the strikers who recently barred the gate to a General Motors plant near Montreal, methodically extracting with their lenses and microphones the perishable essence of the day’s excitement—20th-century town criers at work.

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Frontlines

Curse of the race with time

A boy king, a gold coffin, a mysterious curse—the elements of high intrigue came together when Howard Carter stumbled into King Tutankhamun’s final resting place 57 years ago. The fascination of ivory and alabaster, ebony and lapis lazuli still rages as the first of 800,000 visitors pass through the turnstiles of the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto this week to see for themselves “the strange animals, statues and gold” that Carter, after a five-year quest, had discovered.

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Canada

Upstairs, Downstairs at the Rideau Club

When he rose and dressed last Wednesday morning, Donald King decided to permit himself one small indiscretion. Not his tie, of course, which would still be choked tight and pinned, nor his pants, which would remain as pressed as folded paper.

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People

People

It has been a decade since the Beatles last hummed harmonies together and, despite Kurt Waldheim’s plea for a reunion concert to aid the boat people, Paul McCartney is firmly convinced that it is just not going to happen. “We all talked together, but the Beatles will not be getting together again,” McCartney told a gathering at a reception honoring his latest entries into the Guinness Book of World Records.

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Frontlines

The Florida connection

A few days after Jimenez Panesso and his hefty bodyguard were machine-gunned to death—“They looked like Swiss cheese,” said the medical examiner—three Canadians were arrested at Miami International Airport. Police say they were drug couriers carrying cocaine, supplied by Panesso’s gang, meant for the Toronto market.

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Sports

Time to blow horns for this Gabriel

"Tarzan comes swinging in on his vine, eh?” Tony Gabriel said to the indulgent smiles. “And he yells ‘Jane, pour me a double martini!’ So she gets him one and he slugs it back. ‘Jane,’ he shouts. ‘Another!’ ‘But Tarzan,’ she says, ‘you never drink—what’s wrong?’ ‘Jane,’ he says, ‘it’s a jungle out there.’ ”

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Frontlines

Star-studded lineups in a game of high risks

Arthur Harnett went to Moscow to watch a hockey game and came home with the Bolshoi Ballet. When the Toronto impresario visited the Soviet Union during the World Cup hockey series last April, he dropped in at the Bolshoi’s office and found the company eager to add a Canadian turn to its United States fall tour.

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Canada

Lifting a corner of the blanket

The last vestiges of Indian summer were fast giving way to winter’s chilly death rattle last week when the Conservatives unveiled their freedom of information legislation in the Commons. And, like the weather, it wasn’t long before the warm glow of Opposition praise for the 32-page bill had turned to icy blasts against the latest Bank of Canada rate which, last Wednesday, rose to 14 per cent (see page 46).

October 291979 November 121979