Anniversaries round out week
It might have been expected that a week laden with international celebrations such as May Day might also be marked by several other anniversaries -- and that's exactly what the first week of May brought.
Foremost among them was the first anniversary of the historic election on May 2, 2011, that gave Prime Minister Stephen Harper his vaunted "strong, stable, national Conservative majority government." The milestone produced the anticipated introspection about what the Conservative victory has meant for Canada, as well as what Canadians might expect over the remainder of Harper's majority mandate. As far as the business of Parliament was concerned, however, the biggest story of the week was the assertion by budget officer Kevin Page, at a Commons committee meeting, that Canadians had been misled by the government over the past months about the true cost of the F-35 fighter jets.
In the United States, where the suspension of Newt Gingrich's campaign
made Mitt Romney the certain Republican candidate to face President Barack Obama this fall, the commander-in-chief was marking an anniversary of his own: It was one year earlier, on May 2, 2011, that U.S. Navy SEALs carried out the risky operation that killed Osama bin Laden, to the acclaim and relief of many Americans. Seeing the political opportunity in the occasion, the White House capitalized by coordinating it with a secret trip by Obama to Afghanistan to sign a new security pact with President Hamid Karzai. The U.S. administration also released a series of photos, letters taken from bin Laden's lair, and other narratives intended to communicate howmuch safer the world has become since the daring mission. The new information also included additional details on exactly what happened in the White House Situation Room during the raid. Many experts, however, disputed the notion that the execution of bin Laden represented much of a sea change in the arena of international terror.
Elsewhere in America, this first week of May brought the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, sparked by the not-guilty verdicts in the trial of four police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King a year earlier.
And finally, there was a "paper" anniversary -- marking one year -- within the British royal family. The Rundown returns to that subject later.