Not since the halcyon days of the Soviet Union has a vote been so lopsided, but there was no fraud or coercion. Ninety-two percent turnout; over 98 percent support for the Falkland Islands to retain its status as a British Overseas Territory. It is time for Argentina to give up its claim and respect the democratic will of the islands' residents.

A supporter of Argentine President Cristina Kirchner expressed dismay: "We must denounce this trickery that pretends to represent the popular participation of an implanted population." But as one British pundit pointed out, the descendants of implanted Europeans who have lived for generations on the Falklands have a better claim than the descendants of implanted Europeans who have lived for generations in Argentina.

The Argentine Embassy in Ottawa responded to the vote by offering assurances that "the Argentine Constitution specifically protects the way of life of the population of the Malvinas Islands." But in 20 years, the Falkland Islanders will celebrate the bicentennial of British administration over islands that were first charted by an English explorer. It is time for Argentina to let go.

The Globe and Mail, Toronto, March 17

Momentum for assault weapons ban fades, will not be part of any gun control bill

This time was supposed to be different.

A crazed man entered a school building and killed 20 children and six adults with an assault rifle. The sight last December of terror stricken children fleeing Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.


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, was supposed to be the last straw.

One nightmare was imagining the carnage inside, children under the age of 7 slaughtered in the one place we expect children to be safe. Another nightmare was the unimaginable grief of parents.

The outcry for gun control and especially a ban on assault weapons appeared to be gaining momentum. Enough was enough, everyone said. Surely, a strong gun control law would finally be enacted, with perhaps the assault weapons ban being reinstated.

The ban, which expired in 2004, would certainly have made a difference in the number of children who survived the Newtown shooting. The shooter could not have shot as many, as quickly, as he did.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced the assault weapon ban would not be part of any gun control bill, which he expects to introduce in April after the Easter break. ...

Gun control is personal with Feinstein, who was president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978 when she discovered the murdered bodies of Mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk in City Hall.

"The enemies on this are very powerful, I've known that all my life," Feinstein told the Washington Post.

Somewhere, Wayne LaPierre of the NRA is smiling.

The Star-Ledger, New Jersey, March 19