International News Desk – At Home: Liberals deny Dion to step down – In Foreign News: Famed Lipizzaner riding school finally allows females

International News Desk – At Home: Liberals deny Dion to step down – In Foreign News: Famed Lipizzaner riding school finally allows females

At Home: Liberals deny Dion to step down

Stephen Harper may have just won another minority government, but It’s the Liberal Party that seems to be attracting the most attention in the post-election fallout.

The buzz around Ottawa is that Liberal leader Stéphane Dion, who led the party to a loss of 19 seats in the October 14 election, will quickly announce his resignation as party leader. However, It’s an assumption the Liberal camp is roundly denying.

While Dion has avoided questions on the topic, a series of emails from other Liberals have denied rumours about the possibility of his immediate departure.

That’s not to say that Liberals want Dion to remain as party leader for the long-term. As The Globe and Mail reports, ?MPs and party stalwarts are all saying that he must go but that he should be given some time to think about it. He must not be pushed.?

This is a key point if the Liberals are to present a united front, to appear as a viable counterpoint to the Conservatives instead of a party preoccupied with internal squabbles. One way to accomplish this is to let the speculation fade away and make the leadership changeover on their own terms.

With a policy convention already scheduled for May 2009, at which Dion would ?automatically face a leadership review,? taking a measured approach may prove the Liberals? best bet for regaining momentum.

In Foreign News: Famed Lipizzaner riding school finally allows females

The old-boys? club may still be alive and well in politics, but It’s taking a long-overdue departure from the equine world. After 436 years, Austria’s famed Spanish Riding School?home of the Lipizzaner Stallions?is finally open to women.

On October 15, officials at the school presented its first female riders-in-training. Founded in 1572, the Spanish Riding School is part of Vienna’s former imperial Hofburg Palace complex, and is known worldwide for its ?elegant white Lipizzaner stallions that enchant young and old alike.?

Competition to be admitted to the school is fierce, and the last time it accepted a rider-in-training was five years ago. The two young women marking this historic first are Sojourner Morrell, 17, from Britain and Hannah Zeitlhofer, 21, of Austria.

According to the school’s director, Elisabeth Guertler, allowing females into the elite club is simply a reflection of modern attitudes.

?What speaks against it?? she asked reporters. ?Today, ladies and gentlemen both have to earn their keep and prove themselves.?

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