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WAR ON TERROR

Eighty-five per cent of Canadians believe the federal government should demand that the United States pay compensation to the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan last week, according to a national poll. It was released yesterday as the bodies of the four soldiers were returned to their hometowns.

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MIDEAST CRISIS

Israel pulled its forces back to the edge of Nablus and Jenin yesterday, leaving tanks and troops in Bethlehem and in a quarter of Ramallah as part of a heavy security cordon around the compound of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. While Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon congratulated his forces on the mission, officials from the Palestinian Authority returned to offices where virtually all their files and records have been destroyed.

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Jewish and Arab crowds converged on Ottawa in turn yesterday. They chanted in solidarity for their opposing sides in the Middle East conflict and accused each other of the same offences: injustice, terrorism and hate. First 10,000 members of the Canadian Jewish community marched on Parliament Hill. Then two hours later, a smaller group of several thousand Arab Canadians gathered and filled the walkway to the Peace Tower.

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Anti-Semitic incidents have multiplied across France since the Israeli army began its incursions into the West Bank last month. Synagogues have been torched, school buses attacked and individual Jews assaulted.

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EARTH DAY

For many Canadians, climate change is no longer just an abstract notion that takes place somewhere else on the planet. It's here, and it can be lethal. The heat waves that come with global warming are killing urban dwellers, writes Ontario's former environmental commissioner Eva Ligeti. On the occasion of Earth Day, she calls for new strategies to cool our cities.

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CRIME

In Vancouver, musicians and actors are marking the tragedy of the city's 50 missing women with a tribute CD. Proceeds from the song, A Buried Heart, will be used to raise money for a drug-detoxification centre for sex-trade workers from the city's Downtown Eastside. Colin James and the Vancouver roots trio, Be Good Tanyas, have agreed to sing parts of the lead vocals, while actresses Molly Parker and Gabrielle Rose will recite spoken-word segments for the video.

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At an emotional memorial service, the mother of six young children who perished in a fire made her first public appearance since they died six weeks ago in an isolated B.C. community. She seemed composed during most of the sombre ceremony but left suddenly during a recital of the Lord's Prayer. The children's father has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder.

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COURTS

A court has ordered a new refugee hearing for two female rowers from Romania who testified that they feared domestic abuse after a poor race result. The two rowers came to Canada for the 1999 world championships and never left. Last week, a judge found that the Immigration and Refugee Board panel that rejected their claim based its decision on "stereotypes and misconceptions" by assuming that world-class athletes could not suffer from battered-women's syndrome.

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MARKETS

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Surging energy prices in March have brightened the otherwise dismal first-quarter earnings picture of oil and natural gas companies, giving the sector just enough momentum to beat the end of 2001. But analysts are forecasting a big drop from the eye-popping profits of the first quarter of 2001, when a bitterly cold winter sent commodity prices skyrocketing.

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ECONOMY

Finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations have embraced a four-year-long Canadian-led effort to rewrite the rules for global borrowers and lenders -- a plan designed to avert debt crises such as the one gripping Argentina.

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Paul Martin complained to the Bush administration that Canadian farm and lumber exporters are being victimized by politically motivated "hit-and-run" attacks by the U.S. Congress. He took the unusual step during a private meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

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BUSINESS

Executives of the Clarica Life Insurance Co. have made a near clean sweep of the key appointments to run the combined Canadian retail operations of their company and would-be new owner Sun Life. Observers familiar with the development say it mostly reflects the fact that while Clarica is much smaller over all than Sun Life Financial Services of Canada Inc., its domestic individual life insurance business -- the key attraction for any acquirer -- has been much more successful.

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ARTS

Singer Dave Matthews, who was forced to cancel three high-profile gigs last week due to strained vocal cords, showed no ill-effects when he and his band performed at Toronto's Air Canada Centre on Friday night. In fact, he refused to shy away from any vocal excesses. More than 18,000 fans turned up and howled like banshees all through the concert, even affording the band what must have been a 10-minute standing ovation.

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SPORTS

Tomasz Radzinski's relationship with the Canadian national soccer team has not been without drama. A painful fallout more than two years ago left national coach Holger Osieck fuming about the striker's lack of commitment and his unwillingness to play a part in helping Canada qualify for the 2002 World Cup finals. But it's a different story now, Mark Palmer writes.

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FAREWELL

Football player Bill Munsey was known as the Train, as much for his speed as for his size. In the 1964 Grey Cup game, his two touchdowns -- one on offence and one on defence -- helped the B.C. Lions beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. When the Lions returned to Vancouver from Toronto, where the game was played, delirious fans met the team at the airport with signs reading: Munsey for Mayor. He died of heart disease at the age of 60.

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QUIRKS

Marmite is known for arousing intense feeling but even those who swear by this savoury spread have a hard time understanding its appeal, or even exactly what it is. To those who have never heard of this pungent British concoction, Marmite fans explain that it's made from something to do with yeast, beer-brewing and salt.

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