A GRUDGE MOST Israeli soldiers carry may soon dissolve, as Israel’s High Court has deemed the infamous “Tal Law” unconstitutional. The law, which permits fulltime religious students to defer national military service, went into effect 10 years ago.By EMMA TEITEL
MADELINE SONIK’S FOURTH book begins with the circumstances surrounding her conception on-board the Queen Mary in 1959; that same year, she writes, American Airlines started its 707 service from New York to L.A., and the U.S.S.R. photographed the far side of the moon.By JESSICA ALLEN
THE SEEDS OF a political life can be planted in the most unlikely places. For Peggy Nash, the Toronto MP who ranks among the serious contenders for the NDP leadership, the Languedoc countryside in southern France proved fertile ground. As a 20-year-old University of Toronto French major, she spent the summer of 1971 there as an au pair to polish her language skills.By JOHN GEDDES
THE OCEAN’S DEEPEST point, the Mariana Trench, is 11 km below the surface—so deep that it could swallow all of Mount Everest, and still leave over 2,000 m of water above the mountain’s submerged peak. Down there, the weight of overhead water creates a pressure comparable to “having an African elephant stand on your big toenail,” says Bruce Shillito of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris.By KATE LUNAU
It’s not the music industry that killed Whitney Houston (“The long, sad fall of a singular star,” Society, Feb. 27)—although it didn’t help matters much—and it’s not the Hollywood lifestyle that killed her, although that didn’t help much either.
AS EVENTS RAMP up for the Diamond Jubilee, you might want to raise a glass to Elizabeth Alexandra Mary’s 60 years as Queen. But should you choose a British ale? What about a scotch, given that one of her residences, Balmoral Castle, is in Aberdeenshire?By GUSTAVO VIEIRA
REMEMBER WHEN THE arrival of a stable majority government was going to allow your members of Parliament to stop squabbling and concentrate on matters of state with a little serenity? Yeah, never mind. It’s starting to look like the circus is never going to leave Ottawa.By PAUL WELLS
NORMALLY THE ANNOUNCEMENT of billions in federal cash flowing into a community would be cause for unbridled optimism. But in Nova Scotia, the $25-billion contract to build combat ships at the Halifax Shipyard has instead raised the spectre of an old immigration scandal and strained relations between the province and Ottawa.By TAMSIN McMAHON
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