Keeping North Korea from collapsing

The US desperately does not want North Korea’s Stalinist regime to collapse, writes Thomas Walkom in the Toronto Star Feb. 18. The reason, says Erich Weingartner, an expert on North Korea and a research fellow at York University’s Centre for International and Security Studies, has to do with convenience. All four major players in the region – China, South Korea, Japan and the US – find it convenient to keep North Korea alive. Weingartner lived in that country for two years, handling famine relief for various churches.

Israel’s second-class status at the UN

Much has been made about the election of Libya – a state with a notoriously poor human rights record — to the Chair of the UN Human Rights Commission. But few know that the only United Nations member state that is deprived of equal participatory rights at the UN is Israel, writes Anne Bayefsky, international lawyer and political science professor in York University’s Faculty of Arts, in an opinion piece in the National Post Feb. 18.

ReMax fee postings good for consumers

According to a settlement reached yesterday by the Canadian Competition Bureau and ReMax, all 11,600 ReMax agents will now be allowed to advertise commission rates, reports the Toronto Star Feb. 18. “It’s a good settlement, because it’s essentially telling ReMax to get with it, that this is one more barrier removed for the consumer,” said James McKellar, director of the real estate program at York University’s Schulich School of Busines

Influential mathematician switches archives to York

Donald Coxeter, a retired mathematician known for almost single-handedly saving classical geometry from extinction, has relocated his archives from the University of Toronto, from which he has retired, to York University, reports Toronto Life in its January issue. “I think the University of Toronto didn’t know what to do with my papers,” he says. “They were only too glad to have them off their hands.” The Coxeter Library is maintained by Asia Weiss, one of his last PhD students, now a mathematics professor in York’s Faculty of Arts.

York coach Bob Bain records 600th win

Bob Bain, head coach of the York University men’s basketball team, earned his 600th career victory Friday night in the Yeomen’s 89-84 victory over the Ryerson Rams, reports the Brockville Recorder and Times Feb. 15. He is one of only two active coaches in Canadian Interuniversity Sport to reach 600 wins. In 29 years with the Yeomen, Bain has a 600-431 record, averaging more than 20 wins a year.

Baghdad felt haunted, said student

Ahmed Habib, anti-war activist and a political science student in York’s Faculty of Arts, was interviewed by the Toronto Star Feb. 15. He told the Star about his first brush with the conflict during a trip to visit family in Baghdad two years ago. Habib, 23, who was raised in the United Arab Emirates and now lives in Toronto, said the once “majestic” city of his birth felt haunted, with the winding Tigris River far below its banks and many buildings and hospitals in a state of decay. “You know that something wrong has happened here and the world doesn’t know about it.”

Northern research in Nunavut

York University runs an airglow detector and the E-Region Wind Instrument, which measures the shifting wavelengths of light from 100 km up in the sky, at a research station near Resolute Bay, Nunavut, reports the National Post Feb. 15 in a story about Arctic research in decline.

Yeomen hoopsters looking to add banner

Raising Ontario University Athletics basketball championship banners used to be a rite of spring at York University, begins a story in The Toronto Sun Feb. 15. York began the season ranked 10th in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport, but their steady improvement throughout the season has seen them rise as high as number four last month. They currently sit fifth. The Yeomen have been led this year by fourth-year power-forward Ryan French. The kinesiology major is averaging 15.05 points and nearly seven rebounds a game.

On air

  • York University’s fencing team – coach Alexandre Sevigny and fencers Amanda Darling, Mark Fury and Nikolai Slobodianik – were profiled on “Canada Now” (CBLT-TV), Toronto, Feb. 14.
  • Daniel Drache, director of York’s Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, commented on global anti-war protests, on “CTV National News” Feb. 15.
  • Michael Mandel, professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, talked about the illegality of a US and British invasion of Iraq, in an interview on “CBC News: Sunday” (CBC-TV), Feb. 16.