Canadian parliament to dine on seal meat tomorrow

Apparently back from their two-month hiatus, the Canadian parliament is sending Europe a message on Wednesday by serving seal meat in the parliamentary restaurant: 

Canada's Conservative government says it will fight the EU ban, which was imposed last July on the grounds that the annual seal hunt off the east coast was cruel and inhumane.

A dish of double-smoked bacon-wrapped seal loin in a port reduction will be on the menu on Wednesday, the office of Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette said on Monday.

"All political parties will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the international community the solidarity of the Canadian Parliament behind those who earn a living from the seal hunt," she said in a statement.

Ottawa says the hunt -- which takes place in March and April -- provides valuable income for Atlantic fishing communities. The seals are either shot or hit over the head with a spiked club called a hakapik.

As provocations go, this kind of puts "freedom fries" to shame. Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean raised some eyebrows by dining on raw seal heart at a visit to an Inuit community last year and seal meat is becoming an increasingly popular delicacy in Montreal. 



Motive for Cyprus corpse theft still unclear

Something's not quite right with this story about the president of Cyprus's stolen corpse being found. Well... something other than the corpse being stolen in the first place. Contradicting early suspicions that hardline Greek nationalist Tassos Papadopolous's remains had been taken for political reasons, the government is now saying that ransom was the motive. They don't seem to have gotten their stories straight with the president's family before the media started asking questions, though: 

Justice Minister Loucas Louca said during a news conference that Papadopoulos' family had received a demand for ransom, but that no money had been paid. He didn't indicate when the demand had been made.

"The conclusion is that ransom was behind the theft and there was no political motive," Louca told reporters, adding that the family had contacted police.

But two spokesmen for the family told The Associated Press that the family had received no such demand.

"Officials must be very careful when they open their mouths," said Vassilis Palmas, a family friend and former government spokesman during Papadopulos' tenure. "The minister said something that is unfounded."

Louca, however, stood by his statement.

"As minister of justice and public order, I'm obliged to tell the truth. All that I stated previously completely reflects the truth and the facts," he said in a second news conference.

Huh? Somebody's hiding something here.