Monday, June 4, 2012

Short Takes

A plane crash in Nigeria killed more than 150 people.

The UN criticized Canada for being complicit in torture and human rights violations in Afghanistan and Syria.

A huge flotilla jammed the Thames for the Queen.

Firefighters make progress against the wildfire in New Mexico.

George Zimmerman is back in jail.

R.I.P. Richard Dawson, actor on Hogan’s Heroes and host of Family Feud.

The Tigers lost to the Yankees.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Short Takes

Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary.

No charges to be filed in deadly airstrike last November in Pakistan.

US Airways is considering acquiring American Airlines.

GM is recalling big vans and SUV’s due to gear failure.

A boat swept out to sea in the 2011 tsunami in Japan has been spotted off Canada.

Wedding Crashers — Queen Elizabeth II dropped in at a wedding in northern England.

Spring training — The Tigers lost in 10 to the Yankees.

Short Takes

Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary.

No charges to be filed in deadly airstrike last November in Pakistan.

US Airways is considering acquiring American Airlines.

GM is recalling big vans and SUV’s due to gear failure.

A boat swept out to sea in the 2011 tsunami in Japan has been spotted off Canada.

Wedding Crashers — Queen Elizabeth II dropped in at a wedding in northern England.

Spring training — The Tigers lost in 10 to the Yankees.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Short Takes

The Department of Justice has rejected South Carolina’s new voter ID law.

Oops — Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry fail to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot.

Cuba is freeing 2,900 prisoners.

Prince Philip received a heart stent.

Shoez! — People riot over the new Air Jordans.

Java Jive — Travelers on Florida’s Turnpike treated to free coffee.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Short Takes

President Obama is pushing for a new beginning on Mideast peace talks.

The Senate refused to repeal tax breaks for Big Oil.

The Coast Guard has reopened the Mississippi River to some barge traffic.

Queen Elizabeth is in Ireland for her first-ever state visit.

Teachers and staff in Broward County beg to keep their jobs.

R.I.P. Harmon Killebrew, 74, Minnesota Twins’ great and humble home run hitter.

The Tigers were rained out again.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Short Takes

The heat is still on up in the Northeast.

President Obama and Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu make nice.

The Justice Department is suing Arizona over the immigration law.

Charges are filed against the soldier who leaked the tapes of a deadly helicopter attack in 2007.

Oil is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain.

Queen Elizabeth II placed a wreath at Ground Zero.

Tropical update: this low pressure system is stirring up some waves.

The Tigers beat the Orioles 7-5.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thursday, June 26, 2008

She Is Not Amused

The queen shows her feelings about the election sham in Zimbabwe.

Queen Elizabeth II stripped Robert Mugabe, the country’s president for nearly 30 years, of his honorary knighthood as a “mark of revulsion” at the human rights abuses and “abject disregard” for democracy over which he is presiding, the British Foreign Office said Wednesday.

The rebukes reflected the mounting international frustration over Mr. Mugabe’s insistence in going ahead with the runoff on Friday, even though his sole opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, pulled out of the race on Sunday. Mr. Tsvangirai cited the persistent violence and intimidation against him, his party and their supporters.

Mr. Mugabe’s government has had a long history of human rights abuses, but he was granted the honorary knighthood during an official visit to Britain in 1994 when, the Foreign Office said, “the conditions in Zimbabwe were very different.”

Somehow I get the feeling that the former Sir Robert won’t be swayed by this show of royal pique.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II arrives today for a state visit, and all of official Washington is twitterpated about making everything just so.

Jacqueline Bowens knows how to decipher the intricacies of life or death trauma, but the directives from Buckingham Palace have her flummoxed.

” ‘Day Dress’ for the women,” frets the Children’s National Medical Center vice president. “We’re thinking that’s Business Attire.”

“Or are we supposed to wear dresses?” worries Terry Orzechowski, the Washington hospital’s director of volunteer services. ” Can women wear pants to meet the queen?”

[…]

We may have won the Revolutionary War, unpowdered our wigs and freed ourselves from monarchical conventions. But that has not kept Bowens, at Children’s — where every first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy has visited and foreign dignitaries regularly stop by — from enduring two months of meetings and walk-throughs. She has created for hospital staff a six- to eight-page “protocol paper” on “the dos and the don’ts and the activities” of a royal visit set to last 40 minutes, max. For those more actively involved in the visit, there is “a full notebook.”

So will Children’s serve the queen tea — or a juice box? (Probably tea, Bowens says: “Lipton works for us,” but they expect to offer British and green teas, too.) Is it proper to Purell royalty before she meets kids on the cardiac unit? (No need, Bowens says. The playroom she’s visiting is not susceptible to infection.)

Similar vapors are evident in Richmond, where Virginia first lady Anne Holton will host the queen, and 30,000 people are expected to jam into a square that holds 13,000.

“Hats are a big topic — lots of questions about hats,” says Amy Bridge, director of the Governor’s Mansion. “The first lady did a lot of thinking and lot of consultation about that.”

I’m wondering if the president has come up with some nicknames for the royal couple: “Yo, Queenie!” Her Majesty would not be amused. And what if Prince Philip is wearing a sword as a part of his formal uniform? “Hey, Phil, how’s it hangin’? Is that a sabre you’re wearing or are you just glad to see me?” Maybe they’ll be glad they lost the Revolutionary War after all.

And then there’s this:

A daily nugget for royal watchers:

Phil Dampier, a veteran reporter on the royals beat, says Queen Elizabeth II uses her purse “as a type of semaphore” in public, issuing signals to her handlers. “If she moves the bag to this position or that position, it means she wants to be moved from this boring person in five minutes, or she wants to leave, or what have you,” says Dampier, author of the forthcoming book “What’s in the Queen’s Handbag?” He says she carries an S-shaped hook, which she hangs from tables to hold her purse.

When I was in grad school at Minnesota, I had a professor, the late Robert Moulton, who taught dance and choreography. He was interviewed by a reporter on his career and was asked, “Is it true that you once danced for the Queen?” Without missing a beat, Bob replied, “Yes, and he hated every minute of it.”