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The Editor’s Desk: Ripped from the headlines

It’s been a busy week when it comes to what’s making news
The crew of Artemis II are (from l) Jeremy Hansen, Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, and Christina Hammock Koch. (Photo credit: NASA/James Blair)

It’s been a busy week for news, so let’s get to it.

Space stupidity: Many people across the country are proud that Canadian astronaut Col. Jeremy Hansen will be part of Artemis II, the first mission to carry humans around the moon in more than 50 years. He joins three Americans — Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Koch — and will be the first Canadian to travel so far from home.

Hansen said that it is “truly humbling” to have been chosen to join Artemis II. One can only imagine how supremely qualified all four of the team members are; anyone who would like to know what it takes to be an astronaut at that elite level should read Canadian Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

The fact that one of the Artemis II crew members is a woman, and another African-American, has drawn cries of “political correctness”. To which I say … something I can’t repeat in a family newspaper. Anyone who believes that any of the team members were chosen because they ticked a box, and not because they are the best of the best, probably shouldn’t be allowed out in public without supervision.

Brexit borders: Mass confusion took place at the British port of Dover last weekend, when thousands of Brits trying to cross to France for spring break were held up in queues at the border lasting as long as 14 hours. Many people turned back, and multiple school trips were cancelled as a result.

The Conservative government, and the dwindling number of people who were in favour of Britain exiting the European Union, tried to blame the delays on anything but Brexit; some even resorted to the tried and tested excuse of blaming the perfidious French for deliberately slowing things down.

Mais non! It’s what happens when a non-EU national tries to enter an EU country, as I know from experience. On a holiday to the Greek island of Rhodes, I watched as my fellow passengers, all Brits, flashed their passports and were waved through in seconds. I was a different story, however; my Canadian passport had to be examined and entered into the system, and the line, which had been flowing smoothly, ground to a halt.

Multiply this scenario by tens of thousands, as happened at Dover last weekend, and it’s not hard to see what went wrong. Pro-Brexit campaigners were up front about wanting to limit freedom of movement when it came to non-British people entering the country. They’re learning the hard way that “freedom of movement” is a two-way street.

POTUS problems: Former US president Donald Trump appeared for arraignment in New York City on April 4, preparing to plead not guilty to allegations that he improperly concealed an election-eve payment to a pornographic actress who says the two had sex in 2006.

Look, I’m as amazed as anyone that I actually had to type that sentence about a former US president, which just goes to show you can’t make this stuff up. Trump pollster John McLaughlin said that on the day of the arraignment the former president “will be a gentleman” and “he’ll show dignity,” thus becoming the first person to ever associate the words “gentleman” and “dignity” with Donald Trump.

One of Trump’s sons, Donald Trump, Jr., appeared on TV to allege that arresting a former president was the sort of thing that only goes on in Communist countries, while another of his sons, Eric, appeared on a different show to argue with a straight face that his father, by virtue of his former position, should not be arrested: “At some point he deserves a pass.”

I don’t know, Eric: giving a politician a pass on criminal charges by virtue of his position sounds a lot like something that goes on in — I’m ballparking here — Communist countries. You and your brother might want to get your petulant excuses straight; it’s going to be a loooong trial.

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