Report pushes for apology from senator
OTTAWA -- Another Conservative senator is facing sanction in the upper chamber, this time over the awarding of work contracts to a girlfriend.
The Senate ethics committee's report into Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu recommends he apologize on the floor of the chamber for breaching conflict-of-interest rules and not acting quickly enough to fix the situation.
The committee wants Boisvenu to apologize for failing "to prevent a real or apparent conflict of interest from arising and the resulting impact on the public confidence and trust in the integrity of each senator and in the Senate."
The Conservative-dominated committee also wants Boisvenu to take -- at his own expense -- a course on appropriate employer-employee relations.
Boisvenu declined to comment Monday.
Boisvenu hired assistant Isabelle Lapointe in 2010, the year he was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Sometime afterward he began an extra-marital relationship with her.
Although he received advice from the former Senate-ethics officer in 2011 that he could be perceived to be in a conflict of interest, Boisvenu renewed her contract two more times.
Record price for Superman comic
NEW YORK -- A rare, nearly flawless copy of Superman's comic-book debut has sold for a super-powered price: $3.2 million.
New York comics dealers Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo said Monday they submitted Sunday's record-setting bid in the eBay auction for Action Comics No. 1, the 1938 book in which the superhero first appeared. It's believed to be the highest price ever paid for a comic book, surpassing $2.1 million for a similarly high-quality copy of the same book in 2011.
"It's hard to believe that a kid's 10-cent comic could be worth that much money, but it is Superman. That's an iconic thing," Fishler said. "It's the first time anybody saw what a superhero was like."
EBay confirmed the price but said it couldn't yet disclose the buyer's name.
Created by Cleveland teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Action Comics No. 1 introduces the Man of Steel's Kryptonian backstory, his earthly role as reporter Clark Kent and his identity as a champion of the oppressed. It's seen as the dawn of the comic book superhero, paving the way for a roster of now-famous characters.
About 100 to 150 copies are believed to exist, only a handful of them in top condition. The book just sold got a seldom-seen nine on a 10-point scale used to measure vintage comic books' condition. It was kept for decades in a cedar chest in the West Virginia mountains by a man who had bought it off a newsstand, seller Darren Adams recently told the Washington Post.
Israelis evacuate border near Gaza
JERUSALEM -- Hundreds of Israelis left their homes along the border with the Gaza Strip Monday, reflecting growing frustration over the war with Hamas and the Palestinian mortar fire raining down on their communities. Tens of thousands of Israelis have fled the area in nearly two months of fighting, which has turned the communities into virtual ghost towns.
With the school year fast approaching, the government began offering assistance to residents Monday in the first large-scale voluntary evacuation in nearly eight weeks of fighting.
Officials estimate 70 per cent of the 40,000 inhabitants of the farming communities along the Gaza border have left over the course of the fighting, including hundreds Monday. Some went to stay with relatives and friends, while others are staying at hostels or were taken in by strangers who want to help fellow Israelis.
Fields that once yielded vegetables and flowers are barren and pockmarked by Palestinian mortar shells. Streets are empty and most homes eerily silent.
The fighting has killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, according to Gaza officials, levelled thousands of buildings and left tens of thousands of people homeless.
The death toll on the Israeli side has been much lower, largely because of Israel's network of air-raid sirens, bomb shelters and the Iron Dome missile-defence system.
-- from the news services