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October 13, 2009

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Running on MPs. England's endless expenses scandal keeps on giving -- with a new requirement that some members will have to start giving back.

Nothing to be veinglorious about. A new report reveals that, when it comes to blood donation, most Canadians are out of circulation.

Veni vidi Vinci. A Montreal forensics expert came, saw, and offered the opinion that the fingerprint on a portrait is that of the great Leonardo.

Persons of interest. Alberta's "Famous Five" -- who fought to make it possible for women to sit in the Senate -- are posthumously made Honorary Senators.

An anti-fission expedition. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, global warming does not make the nuclear option any more appealing.

And...are you voting "Yea", or is there something stuck in your snorkel? The government of Maldives draws attention to its worst-case scenario -- by holding a cabinet meeting underwater.

As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that knows all things must pass -- but in some countries, all things pass moist.


BRIT MPs EXPENSE FOLLOW Duration: 00:08:21

Nearly four thousand dollars for cleaning a moat. Three-thousand for creating an artificial "duck island". The price of a trouser press, a bath plug, and a packet of "hob-nob" cookies. These are some of the more unusual expense claims made by British MPs in recent years, all associated with the second homes they are allowed to maintain when they are in London attending Parliament.

Earlier this year, a listing of these, and many more egregious claims, was made public, creating a scandal that resulted in dozens of parliamentarians resigning, or suddenly announcing their retirement. It was so serious that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, worried publicly about the security of democracy in the United Kingdom. Shortly thereafter, Gordon Brown, the Labour Prime Minister, and David Cameron, the Conservative leader, announced an independent audit of the rules governing such second-residence expense claims.

That audit, by former judge Sir Thomas Legg, was concluded yesterday when he delivered letters to every MP detailing what claims he thought they should repay.

Simon Hoggart is one of Britain's most prominent political commentators, and he's the parliamentary sketch writer for the Guardian Newspaper. We reached him in London.


GET DIS MONEY (PHARRELL REMIX) Duration: 00:00:22
Album: PHARRELL PRESENTS: THE REMIX INSTRUMENTALS, VOL.2
Label: CUSTOM
Persons/Roles:
PHARRELL WILLIAMS - COMPOSER
PHARRELL WILLIAMS - PRODUCER

FTR: BRAIDWOOD INQUIRY Duration: 00:02:59

Duelling doctors. That's what it may all come down to at the Braidwood Inquiry.

The Commission has been exploring the circumstances around the death of Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant to Canada. He died two years ago at Vancouver International Airport, after RCMP officers shot him with a Taser, or conducted energy weapon.

As we heard earlier this evening on The World at Six, the lawyer for Taser International presented his closing arguments today. David Neave focused most of his presentation on the testimony of one expert witness, Dr. Charles Lee, the pathologist who performed the autopsy.

For the record, here is part of the lawyer's presentation to Commissioner Thomas Braidwood, on behalf of Taser International.


PALE DRESS Duration: 00:00:31
Album: BETWEEN LAST NIGHT AND US/AUDREYS
Label: TRUE NORTH, TND 451
Persons/Roles:
DANIKA COATES - COMPOSER
TAASHA COATES - COMPOSER
TRISTAN GOODALL - COMPOSER
AUDREYS - POP GROUP
AUDREYS - PRODUCER
SHANE O'MARA - PRODUCER

NEW DA VINCI PAINTING Duration: 00:04:50

It was catalogued as an early nineteenth century German ink-and-chalk portrait entitled "A Young Girl in Profile in Renaissance Dress". But now,

art experts believe that the drawing is actually the work of the ultimate Renaissance man.

Some forensic art sleuthing led to the discovery of a fingerprint in the right-hand corner of the drawing. And that discovery is pointing the finger straight at the man behind the portrait: a certain Leonardo da Vinci. The discovery means that the work, which last sold for nineteent thousand dollars, could now be worth millions.

Peter Paul Biro is the Director of Forensic Studies for Art Access and Research Ltd. He's in Montreal.


END THEME Duration: 00:00:15
Album: ZERO 7: SIMPLE THINGS
Label: PALM PICTURES, QMG 5007-2
Persons/Roles:
DARYL RUNSWICK - COMPOSER
ZERO 7 - ENS INSTR

MALDIVES UNDERWATER MEETING Duration: 00:06:58

They're not just going to skim the surface of the issue. They're going to dive right in.

On October seventeenth, the government of Maldives will hold a cabinet meeting underwater to highlight the plight of their country. The island-state, south-west of Sri Lanka, is sinking. Eighty percent of the Maldives archipelago is less than a metre above sea level -- and with climate change and global warming raising sea levels, the country could be completely submerged within a few generations.

Mohamed Aslam is the Minister of the Environment for the government of Maldives. We reached him in the country's capital, Male.


IWACU Duration: 00:00:17
Album: AMAHORO/KAYIREBWA, CECILE
Label: ETNA, 658607 70012
Persons/Roles:
CECILE KAYIREBWA - COMPOSER
CECILE KAYIREBWA - VOCALS

DATELINE: INDIA: BABY ON THE TRACKS Duration: 00:01:14

Dateline: India.

Passengers on the West Bengal Tata-Chapra Express were sure Rinku Debi Roy had attempted suicide when she jumped from the fast-moving train. But they were wrong.

While travelling to her parents' home to give birth to her second child, Ms. Roy felt sharp pains in her abdomen. She retreated to the train washroom to try and relieve the pain, which she managed to do...by giving birth. And if that wasn't ordeal enough, the newborn child then fell into the train lavatory... through the flush flap... and onto the tracks below.

With haste, Ms. Roy left the washroom and dived off the speeding train to retrieve her new baby. Her stunned husband pulled the emergency cord. And a mile down the track, the express train finally came to a stop.

"We got off the track and started looking for my wife," said Bholar Roy, a businessman from West Bengal. "After an hour we found Rinku sitting beside the track¿ with the new baby on her lap."

Mother and baby are both fine, recovering in hospital.


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

CLOSING

And on that note, we'll take our leave of you for a few minutes. The news is coming up next. But we'll be back with much more As It Happens. And when we return:

Patriotic gore -- and a lack thereof. According to McMaster University, Canadians are miserly with their blood.

The little ballet that can-can. If you liked Moulin Rouge on the big screen, you'll love it at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

So long to a Cheer-leader. Remembering Dickie Peterson, the man who brought the low-end to the highly regarded Blue Cheer.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm BB.


RETURN BILLS Duration: 00:00:50

Hello again, I'm CO.

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

Coming up:

If you think nuclear energy will help prevent global warming, Dr. Helen Caldicott has some chilling words for you.

First ditch effort: marking forty years since the creation of the Manitoba floodway known as "Duff's Folly".

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


CANADA BLOOD SUPPLY Duration: 00:06:38

With results like this, we may soon be testing that aphorism about blood and stones.

A new report, issued by McMaster University, has raised concerns about Canada's future blood stocks. It reveals that less than four per cent of eligible blood donors actually donate blood -- a figure which is set to drop as the population ages. This despite the fact that almost every Canadian will require donor blood at some point in their life.

Dr. Antonio Paez was the lead researcher on the study. He was at McMaster, in Hamilton, Ontario.


LA VALSE A MARGAUX Duration: 00:00:29
Album: RICHARD GALLIANO & I SOLISTI TOSCANI: PASSATORI
Label: DREYFUS, FDM 366012
Persons/Roles:
RICHARD GALLIANO - COMPOSER
RICHARD GALLIANO - ACCORDION
FLORENCE I SOLISTI TOSCANI - ORCHESTRA

SCRIPT: UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS REMAKE Duration: 00:01:55

The final scene between two of Edwardian England's most famous, if fictitious lovers: Georgina Worsely and James Bellamy, characters in the famous '70s British program, Upstairs, Downstairs. Set between 1903 and 1930, the series, which won BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and Emmys galore, set the standard for British costume drama, and influenced a whole generation of followers.

Set in a well-to-do house in Edwardian London, the story of a wealthy family and its servants chronicled the momentous events of the early twentieth century through drama: events such as the sinking of the Titanic, the First World War, and the onset of the Great Depression all feature prominently over its five seasons.

But it also captured the subtler social changes of the period: the removal of class barriers, and the gradual emancipation of women. Watched by more than a billion people, it has been out of production since 1975.

Until now.

Today, the BBC announced it was going to resuscitate the series, moving it ahead in time from 1930 to 1936. Only one character from the original series will return in her original capacity: Rose, the parlour maid, will still have her job, although the Bellamys will have moved on, and a new family will be in their place.

Perhaps the most impressive feat in the remake will be in making Jean Marsh, who last played Rose in 1975, will appear to only have aged only 6 years over the last 34.

But the BBC, which bought the rights to the series from rival ITV, is betting millions will tune in to find out how they managed to do that.


PAROLES D'ARBRE Duration: 00:04:32
Album: PAROLES D'ARBRE/DONIS, GUY
Label: CUSTOM
Persons/Roles:
GUY DONIS - COMPOSER
FRANCOIS DAUPHIN - PERCUSSION
GUY DONIS - BANJO
GUY DONIS - PRODUCER
FREDERIC GRENIER - DOUBLE BASS
STEPHANE GRIMM - PRODUCER

RAPE CASE REWARD Duration: 00:04:06

A story like this next one tends to remind us that there is still good in this world.

A young man won a huge cash reward for helping police convict a rapist. But instead of keeping the money, he gave it to the victim of the crime.

We reached Lloyd Gardner in Exeter, England.


ARKANSAS/ARKANSAS: PART 2 Duration: 00:00:16
Album: DISFARMER/FRISELL, BILL
Label: NONESUCH, 478524-2
Persons/Roles:
SANFORD FAULKNER - COMPOSER
BILL FRISELL - ORIGINATOR
BILL FRISELL - GUITAR
VIKTOR KRAUSS - DOUBLE BASS
GREG LEISZ - GUITAR
GREG LEISZ - MANDOLIN
JENNY SCHEINMAN - VIOLIN
LEE TOWNSEND - PRODUCER

OBIT: BLUE CHEER Duration: 00:02:22

In 1958, Eddie Cochran had a hit with a song called "Summertime Blues", and it was a light-hearted take on the many headache-inducing bummers suffered by broke teenagers. And then, ten years later, a cover of that song was released -- or perhaps "unleashed" is a better word. And it sounded like this:

Yes, it's still "Summertime Blues" -- sort of. But now, it wasn't just a song about headache-inducing bummers: it was a headache-inducing bummer. It was also awesome. And it would be Blue Cheer's biggest hit.

Blue Cheer's only constant member over the years was the man behind that rumbling and caterwauling: vocalist-slash-bassist Dickie Peterson. Mr. Peterson died yesterday, at the age of sixty-one.

In retrospect, that cacophonous cover is referred to as "the first heavy metal song". And Blue Cheer's enormous-nails-on-a-gigantic-chalkboard sound was also a harbinger of punk rock, stoner rock, and grunge. But the band would never really cash in on its own before-its-time sound. Blue Cheer just couldn't keep it together -- not for nothing was the B-side to "Summertime Blues" entitled "Out of Focus".

Here are two pieces of trivia that may partially explain the band's failure to live up to expectations. One: it was named after a kind of LSD. Two: its manager was a former Hell's Angel who went by the name of "Gut". Just "Gut".

Well, maybe it was a misguided "Gut" instinct, but over the course of many break-ups and reformations, Blue Cheer would go through twenty-two different members. And one stalwart was always there: Dickie Peterson, anchoring the group's heavy metal thunder. Which never got more earth-shaking than this: from the 1968 album Vincebus Eruptum, here's Blue Cheer once again, with "Summertime Blues".


SUMMERTIME BLUES Duration: 00:03:45
Album: VINCEBUS ERUPTUM/BLUE CHEER
Label: POLYGRAM
Persons/Roles:
JERRY CAPEHART - COMPOSER
EDDIE COCHRAN - COMPOSER
BLUE CHEER - POP GROUP

TEMA PARA ANA Duration: 00:02:02
Album: MORELENBAUM/ SAKAMOTO: CASA
Label: SONY, SK 89982
Persons/Roles:
ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM - COMPOSER
JACQUES MORELENBAUM - CELLO
RYUICHI SAKAMOTO - PIANO

MOULIN ROUGE BALLET Duration: 00:06:13

When it came out in 2001, Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge got a mixed reception. It combined swooning romanticism, Ewan McGregor, and songs by Elton John and T. Rex. Some thought it was ludicrous. Others thought it was sheer delight.

Clearly, the people at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet were in the latter camp. Because they're turning Moulin Rouge into a full-length ballet. And while the story of star-crossed lovers in late nineteenth-century Paris has been told many times, it's never been told quite like this.

Jorden Morris is a former dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and he has spent the last two years choreographing the Moulin Rouge production which will premier later this month. We reached him in Winnipeg.


WE'VE GOT A GROOVEY THING GOIN' Duration: 00:00:13
Album: SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: THE COLLECTED WORKS
Label: CBS, C3K 45322
Persons/Roles:
PAUL SIMON - COMPOSER
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL - VOCAL DUO
PAUL SIMON - VOCALS
ART GARFUNKEL - VOCALS

FTR: DUFF'S DITCH Duration: 00:01:47

All kinds of public buildings and landmarks have been named after Canadian politicians -- usually things like libraries, museums and parks. But forty years ago today, the Premier of Manitoba had the dubious honour of having a floodway named after him.

Critics -- who thought the idea was impractical and cost too much -- called it "Duff's Ditch" or "Duff's Folly", after Duff Roblin, the premier who spearheaded the project.

There were, however, more fans than critics. Winnipeggers had suffered many times from flooding along the shores of the Red River.

The Winnipeg floodway was christened and officially unveiled forty years ago today, on October 13th, 1969 -- an event that Colin Hoath covered for the CBC. Here's part of his report, for the record.


MERE WORDS Duration: 00:00:28
Album: BANG! ZOOM/MCFERRIN, BOBBY
Label: BLUE NOTE, 72438 31677
Persons/Roles:
BOBBY MCFERRIN - COMPOSER
BOBBY MCFERRIN - VOCALS
BOBBY MCFERRIN - PRODUCER
RUSSELL FERRANTE - PRODUCER

FAMOUS FIVE SENATORS Duration: 00:05:36

The very province that has been lobbying to reform or abolish the Canadian Senate has just named five new Senators -- and they're all women!

Now, I hasten to add that they're Honorary Senators -- a post that has never existed before. And there's one other thing -- none of them are actually alive right now.

Nevertheless, people are applauding the posthumous honour as long overdue for the five Albertans who won the right for women to be legally recognized as "persons": Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby.

Journalist and author Catherine Ford got this honorary ball rolling. She's on the line from Calgary.


ROAD HOCKEY Duration: 00:00:28
Album: THREE HENS ESCAPE OBLIVION/FAFARD, JOEL
Label: CUSTOM, JFI-3
Persons/Roles:
JOEL FAFARD - COMPOSER
JOEL FAFARD - GUITAR
JOEL FAFARD - PRODUCER

HELEN CALDICOTT Duration: 00:12:55

Throughout the nineteen-eighties, Dr. Helen Caldicott was one of the pre-eminent activists fighting for a nuclear-free world. After the Three Mile Island Disaster, she quit her career as an pediatrician and Harvard professor, and took up the cause full-time. Her book, "If You Love This Planet" is widely regarded as one of the bibles of the anti-nuclear movement.

But a lot has changed since the days of the Cold War. Glasnost has come and gone, and the spectre of climate change now overshadows the prospect of imminent nuclear annihilation. But Dr. Caldicott is still as determined as ever to bring an end to both nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. This week, she's giving a series of lectures across southern Ontario promoting an newly updated edition of "If You Love This Planet."

Dr. Caldicott joins us in our Toronto studio.

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