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September 14, 2009

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A year ago, Muntadhar al-Zaidi was an Iraqi TV reporter, barely known outside his own country. Then, on December 14th, 2008, this happened:


SHOE THROWER RELEASED Duration: 00:06:12

That's the sound of Mr. al-Zaidi becoming internationally famous. The reporter hurls his shoes at then-President George Bush and shouts, "This is your farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq." He's wrestled to the ground by security guards. Later, he is jailed.

Well, Mr. al-Zaidi's prison term is up. He was supposed to walk free this morning, but his release has been delayed until later this week.

His family and friends are expecting a hero's welcome. Already, ordinary people across the Arab world have offered up gifts to the shoe-thrower -- everything from a gold-saddled horse to prospective brides.

Anass al-Bayaty is one of Mr. al-Zaidi's colleagues at al-Baghdadia TV. We reached him in Cairo.


AALACH TLOUMOUNI Duration: 00:00:15
Album: KENZA
Label: BARCLAY, 543397
Persons/Roles:
KHALED - COMPOSER
AHMED WAHBI DRICHE - COMPOSER
KHALED - VOCALS

FTR: PARLIAMENT RESUMES / E-MAIL: POLITICAL PANEL Duration: 00:02:03

Well, Day One back on on Parliament Hill certainly began civilly enough. Why, if you closed your eyes...and, OK, shut down a good chunk of your frontal cortex, you might even think MPs were ready to cooperate.

The day began with an early-morning NDP caucus rally. Leader Jack Layton rallied his troops with hard-luck stories of unemployed workers. And then he made this pledge to his MPs...A rallying cry in the fight for E.I. reform. A rallying cry which was made, abruptly, moot.

Because just a short walk from where Mr. Layton was speaking, Human Resources Minister Diane Finlay had this to say:By golly, there's a good day's work! Get up in the morning. Seek compromise from the government. Go get your coffee. Receive said compromise.

Talk about making Parliament work.

It's almost like Diane Finlay was in the NDP caucus meeting. Just sitting there taking notes. Almost like she was one of them. It certainly raised Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's prodigious eyebrow:


BANJO Z Duration: 00:00:21
Album: BANJO HOCKEY/TIM POSGATE HORNBAND
Label: BLACK HEN MUSIC, BHMCD0065
Persons/Roles:
TIM POSGATE - COMPOSER
LINA ALLEMANO - TRUMPET
HOWARD JOHNSON - SAXOPHONE
QUINSIN NACHOFF - SAXOPHONE
TIM POSGATE - BANJO
TIM POSGATE - PRODUCER
TIM POSGATE HORNBAND - JAZZ GROUP

FTR - NFLD RESCUE Duration: 00:04:04

It was a weekend of torment for the fishing community in eastern Newfoundland.

On Saturday, a ship called the Sea Gypsy sank, eighty kilometres east of St. John's. Three of the crew were rescued -- but fifty- year-old Robert Francis Keough died when the shrimp fishing vessel capsized.

Bad weather has hampered the search for one missing crew member, who is wearing a floating survival suit, and was separated from the rest of the crew by the turbulent sea conditions.

The Sea Gypsy is owned by Laurie Sullivan from Calvert, Newfoundland. Mr. Sullivan spoke to the CBC on the weekend after the accident -- and here is part of that conversation, for the record.


REVERIE EPHEMERE Duration: 00:00:14
Album: SUR LE TOIT DES VOISINS/GADJI-GADJO
Label: MANGE-TA-MAIN, MTMGG002
Persons/Roles:
JEAN-SEBASTIEN LEBLANC - COMPOSER
GADJI-GADJO - FOLK ENSEMBLE
GADJI-GADJO - INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE
GADJI-GADJO - PRODUCER
ROBERT LANGLOIS - PRODUCER

PIZZA CELL BAN Duration: 00:00:38

If you want to yammer about Eastenders on your cell while gobbling down a pepperoni slice with extra cheese, here's some travel advice: do not go to the Maletti Pizza Bar in London's Soho district.

Antonio Verruto runs the place. If he hears so much as two notes of your hilarious ringtone before you order: no pizza for you. And to underscore that policy, he's place warning signs inside and outside his restaurant.

We reached Antonio Verruto -- presumably by landline -- at his home in London.


MONTE CARA Duration: 00:00:20
Album: AWARDS FOR WORLD MUSIC 2004
Label: UNION SQUARE, MANTDCD223
Persons/Roles:
LUIS LIMA - COMPOSER
TOY VIERA - LYRICIST
CESARIA EVORA - VOCALS

DATELINE: CHEETAH RECORD Duration: 00:02:00

Dateline -- just a second. Those are the wrong "dateline" beeps for this story.That's more like it. Dateline: Cincinnati.In as much time as it will take me to say this sentence, Sarah travelled one-hundred metres. No, wait, that was too long. Let me try again. In the time it takes me to say this sentence, Sarah travelled a hundred metres. Yep, that did it.

Last Wednesday, Sarah chased a stuffed dog tied to a string across a meadow, and shattered the world record for the hundred-metre dash --covering the distance in a mere six-point-one-three seconds. The stuffed dog was necessary because Sarah is a cheetah, and they don't just go running around without an incentive.

The run took place at a Cincinnati Zoo facility. It was part of an effort to raise awareness of cheetahs, currently a threatened species. And within the next month, the second part of that awareness-raising effort will take place, when a cheetah named Zaza at a South African zoo will make its own run at becoming the fastest land mammal on Earth.

At first, we were confused about how we could know for sure that Sarah was the fastest cheetah in the world. We assumed that that meant that the speed of every cheetah everywhere was constantly being monitored. So we contacted the Cheetah Speed Monitoring Association, or C.S.M.A. No one called us back. Then we realized that there was no such thing. So we salute Sarah, but with this warning: if you think As It Happens will just blindly accept you're the swiftest land mammal on the planet before we've timed every one of your peers -- well, not so fast.


CLOSING MONDAY Duration: 00:00:47

And that's the end of Part One of tonight's program. The news is coming up next, but there's more As It Happens after that. When we return:

The man who fed the world. The late Dr. Norman Borlaug fought world hunger with high-yield crops -- and harvested a Nobel for his efforts.

Eight men way out. Turns out the definitive volume on the Black Sox scandal may be something of a scandal in itself.

What a piece of work is Manhattan. It's four hundred years since the New York borough was founded -- and a new map shows us what it looked like way back when.

Grab yourself a Manhattan and stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm BB.


AIH PHONE THEME Duration: 00:00:30
Album: AS IT HAPPENS
Label: DEMO
Persons/Roles:
JEFF ULSTER - COMPOSER
JEFF ULSTER - PERFORMER

RETURN MONDAY Duration: 00:00:50

Hello again, I'm CO.

And I'm BB. This is As It Happens, Part Two.

Coming up:

First, we'll make Manhattan: looking back at a part of New York that, four centuries ago, was more green than grey.

Traffic jam: Samoa's drivers switch from the left lane to the right -- but the doors on its buses fail to swap sides accordingly.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


BORLAUG ON AIH Duration: 00:02:47

In the late Nineteen-Sixties, things were not looking particularly good for South Asia. Both India and Pakistan faced growing populations and shrinking agricultural productivity. All of the land that could be farmed, was being farmed -- and it simply wasn't enough. Canada, the US and Australia were shipping millions of tons of grain, but that wasn't enough either. There were dire predictions that millions in the region -- if not hundreds of millions -- would soon starve to death.

Fortunately, it never happened. And while it's not quite fair to say it was prevented by a single person, there is one man who rightfully deserves the lion's share of the credit: Norman Borlaug, the American agricultural scientist who came to be known as the "Father of the Green Revolution."

Dr. Borlaug invented a strain of highly-productive wheat that transformed South Asia from a region on the brink of famine to a net exporter of grain, within just a few years.

Dr. Borlaug passed away this weekend in Dallas from complications of cancer. He was ninety-five.

As It Happens spoke with him in January 1997. Here he is, explaining the impact of the Green Revolution in India to Michael Enright:


BORLAUG OBIT Duration: 00:06:25

Not only did Dr. Borlaug boost food production in Asia, he did the same in Latin America. And in 1970, he was awarded the Noble Peace Prize for his work.

Leon Hesser is a retired Agricultural Economist who worked with Dr. Borlaug in Pakistan in the late 'Sixties. He's also written Dr. Borlaug's biography, The Man who Fed the World. We reached him in Maine.


OH MY DARLING Duration: 00:00:15
Album: BULAT
Label: ROUGH TRADE, RTRADCD 368
Persons/Roles:
BASIA BULAT - COMPOSER
BASIA BULAT - VOCAL/VOCALIST

DATELINE: SAMOA BUSES

Dateline: Apia, Samoa.The beautiful South Pacific island nation of Samoa has been getting a lot of press lately. Last week, the country of one-hundred-and-eighty thousand people became the first state in about forty years to have its drivers switch the side of the road they drive on. We brought you an interview with a journalist who experienced the change-over during the first day of driving on the left. He told us that everything was going swimmingly -- despite numerous criticisms, and predictions of massive and deadly accidents.

Unfortunately, after a week of crash-free driving, Samoa's new regime has had its first casualty. A twelve-year-old was walking to meet his father at a shop when a wayward bus, driving on the wrong side of the road -- which is to say the right side -- hit him.

The boy is in critical condition, but will survive.

It turns out that despite all the planning and precautions taken by Samoan authorities to accomplish the road turnover smoothly, there are other problems with Samoa's buses. The hundreds of people who are reliant on transit to get to school and work have been left stranded -- because of an unforeseen problem. Bus doors, which still open on the left-hand side, are opening not on the side of the street, but in the middle of the road. Meaning that if you want to take the bus in Samoa, you have to be standing in the middle of traffic to get on. And when you get off, same deal.

All but eighteen of the country's buses have been banned, leaving Samoan bus operators and government officials arguing over who is responsible for fixing the situation. And whatever the compromise they reach, you can guarantee the result won't be middle-of-the-road.


CHICLETE COM BANANA Duration: 00:00:11
Album: BRAZIL CLASSICS 3: FORRO ETC.
Label: LUAKA BOP/SIRE, CD 26323
Persons/Roles:
ALMI GORDURINHA/CASTILHO - COMPOSER
DAVID BYRNE - PRODUCER
JACKSON DO PANDEIRO - VOCAL MUSIC;MALE

MANHATTAN ANNIVERSARY Duration: 00:09:12

It's a drink. It's a Woody Allen movie. And it could be considered the centre of our economic and cultural universe. But four centuries ago, it was just a green space waiting to happen.

This weekend marked the four-hundredth anniversary of Manhattan. It was in September of 1609 that Henry Hudson first sailed to the island, which was, at the time, known as Mannahatta. To commemorate the anniversary, The Wildlife Conservation Society spent ten years putting together a large-scale multi-media presentation called the "Mannahatta Project" -- and a book called Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City. The projects illustrate what Manhattan looked like, hundreds of years before Times Square came into being.

Eric Sanderson wrote the book, and headed the project. He's in Reading, England. Just kidding: he's in New York City.


RUN AWAY Duration: 00:01:15
Album: 'S WONDERFUL: THE GERSHWIN SONGBOOK
Label: VERVE, 314 513 928-2
Persons/Roles:
CY COLEMAN - DESIGNER
PEGGY (CHANT/AUTEUR/E-U) LEE - DESIGNER
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - SINGING
FRED ASTAIRE - SINGING
BETTY CARTER - SINGING
BING CROSBY - SINGING
BLOSSOM DEARIE - SINGING
ELLA FITZGERALD - SINGING
GORDONS - ENS IN-V
BILL(CHANT/1926) HENDERSON - SINGING
BILLIE HOLIDAY - SINGING
SHIRLEY HORN - SINGING
HELEN MERRILL - SINGING
NINA SIMONE - SINGING
SARAH VAUGHAN - SINGING
DINAH WASHINGTON - SINGING
"BIG" JOE WILLIAMS - SINGING

FTR: MONTREAL CRASH Duration: 00:05:57

No one thought he would get out alive.

Last Friday, the traffic on Highway 20 in Montreal was stopped for hours as police and fire crews cleaned up a six-vehicle pileup. One of the cars, a Mazda, lay flattened and wedged under the back of one eighteen-wheeler, crammed there by the force of a second eighteen-wheeler.

Unbelievably, after two hours of delicate and strenuous work, firefighters actually pulled a survivor out of the car.

Equally unbelievably, the survivor -- a father of two named Adrian Glowacki -- escaped with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

This morning, Mr. Glowacki spoke with Nancy Wood, the host of CBC Montreal's Daybreak. She reached him as he awaited surgery to repair damage to his spinal cord. For the record, here is part of that interview.


THE NEST Duration: 00:00:20

CD: THE NEST

PERFORMER: KETIL BJORNSTAD

CUT:

Original Release Date: 2003

Number of Discs: 1

Label: Universal


BLACK SOX B.S. Duration: 00:11:39

It's 1920. "Shoeless" Joe Jackson is leaving a courtroom where he has admitted to a grand jury that he -- along with seven other Chicago White Sox players -- accepted cash to throw the World Series. A doe-eyed child approaches him, tugs on his pantleg, and pleads, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" But a stone-faced Jackson walks right past him, and says nothing at all.

Or: a doe-eyed child approaches him, tugs on his pantleg, and pleads, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" Jackson fixes the kid with a look of bottomless sorrow, and says, "Yes, kid, I'm afraid it is."

Or: none of that ever happened. Depends on whether you want the truth, or the legend.

In 1963, Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out became the definitive account of the so-called "Black Sox" scandal. It cemented the story of the eight White Sox who took bribes to lose -- including left-fielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. And it made the first version of that "Say it ain't so" story legendary.

Except that Mr. Asinof's book was maybe more legend than truth.

Chicago lawyers Daniel Voelker and Paul Duffy have just published an article detailing the flaws of Eight Men Out.


HALLOW EVENING Duration: 00:00:09
Album: THINGS MY GUITAR SAID
Label: STRING PLUNKER, SPR 01
Persons/Roles:
LES FINNIGAN - COMPOSER
LES FINNIGAN - GUITAR

JAPAN DEATH ROW INMATES Duration: 00:06:41

A life on death row in any prison system is a life of bleakness and deprivation. But in Japan, to be on death row is to live an existence approaching utter inhumanity.

The treatment of death row inmates in Japan is so harsh that, according to a recent report by Amnesty International, prisoners go mad while waiting for their deaths.

Jim Welsh is author of that Amnesty International report. We reached him at home in London.


SNOW ON HIGH GROUND Duration: 00:00:15
Album: NIGHTNOISE: AT THE END OF THE EVENING
Label: WINDHAM HILL, WD 1076
Persons/Roles:
TRIONA NI DHOMHNAILL - COMPOSER
NIGHTNOISE - ENS INSTR

TB RUNNER SEX CHANGE Duration: 00:02:05

You can run, but you can't hide. Some Olympic athletes learned that lesson the hard way.

Friday on As It Happens, we heard the story of a man who posed as a female high jumper in the 1936 Olympics, and managed to keep his true sex under wraps for two years.

Well, someone heard that story and upped the ante. Here's Talkback with another Olympic tale, this time with a Canadian twist:

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