Funeral gets drive-through
Mourners at a fast-food fan’s funeral wanted him to have it his way, so they arranged for his hearse — and the rest of the procession — to make one last drive-thru visit before reaching the cemetery. David Kime Jr “lived by his own rules,” daughter Linda Phiel said. He considered the lettuce on a burger his version of healthy eating, she said. To give him a whopper of a send-off on Saturday, the funeral procession stopped at a Burger King in York, Pennsylvania, where each mourner got a sandwich for the road. Kime got one last burger too, the York Daily Record reported. It was placed atop his flag-draped coffin at the cemetery. Kime, 88, a World War II veteran, died on Jan. 20. Restaurant manager Margaret Hess and her crew made 40 burgers for the funeral procession. “It’s nice to know he was a loyal customer up until the end — the very end,” she said.
Activist shot to death
One of the country’s most longstanding land reform activists, Cicero Guedes, was found dead on Saturday, riddled with bullets and dumped at the side of a highway, supporters said in a statement. The Landless Farmworkers’ Movement (MST) said Guedes’ corpse was found in Campos dos Goytacazes, in Rio de Janeiro State. Police believe he was killed between late Friday and early Saturday. The group charged that the activist’s killing was “fruit of the [systemic] violence of the large landholdings system, the impunity in [MST supporters’ murder] cases, and the slow pace” of government-led land reform. Guedes had for 11 years coordinated a squatting campaign on abandoned land in Campos, 275km north of Rio de Janeiro, which is surrounded by large landholders’ farms.
US actor denied residency
Immigration officials have denied US actor Randy Quaid’s request for permanent resident status. Quaid can appeal the decision to the federal court. US officials last year refused to seek extradition of the actor and his wife to face felony vandalism charges in Santa Barbara, California, but US authorities in the coastal town say they will still have the couple arrested if they return to the US. Quaid has sought to stay in the country, claiming he was being hunted by “Hollywood star-whackers” who had killed his friends David Carradine and Heath Ledger. Quaid’s troubles began in 2010 when he and his wife were arrested for causing more than US$5,000 in damage to a hillside home they were renting. Randy Quaid is the older brother of actor Dennis Quaid and is best known for his roles in films such as National Lampoon’s Vacation and Independence Day.
Ontario to have gay premier
The country’s most populous province, Ontario, is getting its first female premier and the country’s first openly gay premier after the provincial Liberals chose a new leader. Former Ontario minister of education Kathleen Wynne won the party’s leadership race on Saturday. Wynne is making history as the country’s first openly gay premier, a subject she confronted head-on in a speech on Saturday morning. Wynne says Ontario is ready for a gay woman as premier and says she does not believe Ontarians hold prejudice in their hearts. Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated Wynne, and thanked outgoing Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who is stepping down after nine years in office. He won a third term last year, but his party was reduced to a minority of the seats in the legislature and relies on the opposition to pass legislation.