tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stephen Harper's Algerian Wine Collection

The folksy news-gatherers at Canadian Press compiled a partial list of all the gifts and freebies that PM Stephen Harper has received from foreign dignitaries since taking office, as the federal ethics commissioner is investigating whether Harper properly declared their value.

Among the goodies underneath the prime ministerial Xmas tree:
  • Cowboy boots embossed with Harper's initials and the Canadian and American flags, from George W. Bush;
  • A box of silk ties from Italy's Silvio Berlusconi;
  • A Blackberry from Uganda's Yoweri Museveni;
  • A tea set from Russia's Viktor Zubkov;
  • A leather case full of dates from Tunisia's Zine al-Abedine ben Ali;
  • 2 cases of Algerian wine from Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Harper should be so lucky. Algerian wine, once upon a time, had a fabulous reputation for its quality. Production has diminished since the end of brutal French colonial rule, and nowadays it's virtually impossible to find a bottle outside of France. But a couple of sources note that Algeria's coastal wine regions are making a comeback. Check out more at AlgeriaWines.com.

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