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October 27, 2009

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New found voices? After being unceremoniously dumped from performing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Set'a'newey Mi'kmaq Children's Choir gets a response from the BC government.

Chronicler of deaths foretold. An AP reporter who has witnessed hundreds of executions in Texas readies himself for his latest assignment, scheduled for this evening.

An a droit decision. The Quebec government places a ban on all right-hand drive vehicles.

An idea that's simply piety-in-the-sky. A Japanese developer builds an exact replica of an English countryside church, on the 21st floor of an Osaka skyscraper.

I know a young man who was smuggling large snakes, that wriggled and jiggled and made his clothes shake -- but I don't know why, he smuggled the spider. I'll bet he doesn't either.

And...of bison and men. The discovery of the mummified remains of an ancient buffalo in the Northwest Territories could rewrite our understanding of early human migration.

As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that believes if you just keep digging, Bob's your ungulate.


MI'K MAQ CHOIR MINISTER Duration: 00:08:01

"Disgusted; "Taken aback but not surprised"; "A sickening tale"; and, "It embarrassed me as a British Columbian".

These were just some of your many responses to the story we brought you last Friday about a Mi'kmaq children's choir in Newfoundland. Two years ago the Set'a'newey Children's Choir had been personally invited by B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell to perform at the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Olympics. However, last week, the they received word that they would not be performing at the Olympics after all -- leaving the shocked choir, its director, and the community devastated.

Now it seems there are plans to rectify the situation. George Abbott is British Columbia's Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. We reached him in Victoria.


MI'K MAQ CHOIR FOLLO Duration: 00:04:32

So will this be enough to satisfy the Set'a'newey Children's Choir? To find out, we decided to check back in with Brenda Jeddore, the choir's musical director. We reached her at the Conne River reserve earlier today.


THE DEAD FLAG BLUES Duration: 00:00:14
Album: F#A#/GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR!
Label: KRANKY, KRAMK 027
Persons/Roles:
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR - COMPOSER
GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR! - POP GROUP

JAPANESE CHURCH Duration: 00:07:56

Picture it. The church is divine -- thatched roof, towering steeple, stained glass windows, wooden pews. And such beautiful stonework. The happy couple cross the ornate threshold and the confetti starts to fall. There's nothing better than a church wedding in the English countryside.

Except that you're not in the English countryside. You're in a Japanese metropolis, twenty storeys up. Now, you're proably wondering how a quaint English house of worship ended up in a highrise in Osaka. Well, a developer from Japan stumbled across All Saints' Church in Brockhampton, England and thought the building was perfect -- so perfect, in fact, that he decided to build an exact replica inside a modern tower block.

Reverend Will Pridie is the vicar of the original All Saints' Church. We reached him in Brockampton, England to find out his feelings about the Japanese imitation.


JARDIN Duration: 00:00:10
Album: MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, SOUNDTRACK
Label: DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, 000329402
Persons/Roles:
GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA - COMPOSER
GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA - INSTRUMENTAL

DATELINE: PYTHON SMUGGLER Duration: 00:01:46

Dateline: Oslo, Norway.

I don't claim to know the first thing about smuggling contraband substances over international borders. But it seems pretty clear that there are really only two options: you can either conceal the goods on your body or you can smuggle them in your body -- though you might find the latter option a little hard to swallow.

Your choice, of course, is determined largely by what you're trying to sneak across the border. Some things are choke-downable. Diamonds. Micro-fiche. Balloons filled with drugs. Other things, not so much. Like, oh I dunno...King Pythons. Which as adults can grow upwards of fifteen metres long and, by-and-large, tend to be the swallower rather than the swallowee.

So, yes, it was a foolish attempt. But you have to acknowledge that the young man who tried to smuggle fourteen, live King Pythons into Norway yesterday, made the right choice by taping them to his body rather than trying to ingest them. To be fair, the snakes weren't fully grown. Each was tucked into a sock and duct-taped to the smuggler's chest. Oh, and he was also packing lizards. Ten of them, taped to his legs.

Despite these careful preparations, customs officials thought something amiss when they noticed a tarantula in his suitcase. Which lead to a series of questions. And then a body search. And then this awkward question, from a rather baffled customs official:

"Sir, is that a reptile in your pants?"


THEME DE YOYO Duration: 00:00:20
Album: CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA: MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (2002
Label: NINJA TUNE, ZENCD78
Persons/Roles:
N BEASLEY - COMPOSER
LESTER BOWIE - COMPOSER
N FAVORS - COMPOSER
R MITCHELL - COMPOSER
CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA - ORCHESTRA

TB - BROOM DAY Duration: 00:01:54

We here at As it Happens try our very best to stay abreast of breaking stories. We stretch far and wide to cover everything from the serious and important to the hilarious or whimsical. But yesterday was a sad day at As it Happens: we missed something. Something big.

And, sadly, an apology just won't cut it this time. So, I guess we'll just have to let you listen to the message that was left on Talkback yesterday as As It Happens went to air.

Indeed, Bernadette Rule, we were unaware of the once-in-a-century phenomenon you call broom day. Thank you ever so much for bringing it to our attention.

Diligence is our forte, so we couldn't just just couldn't leave the broom standing. We called Bernadette back to get an update. She wasn't home, but her daughter called us back.


CLOSING

Well there's a story that's sure to sweep the nation. We've got to make a clean break for the news, but there's more As it Happens after that. When we return:

Tit for tattling. A Canadian diplomat who testified the government knew of the torture of Afghan detainees learns Ottawa won't cover his legal bills, even though he's entitled.

Lots of action, but light on characters -- 140 or less, to be exact. The classics of English literature are reworked for the Twitter Age, in text messages that are nothing if not short and tweet.

If there's something you hear leaves you all a-twitter, call Talkback at 1-866-481-5718, or email us at aih@cbc.ca. Stay tuned. I'm BB.

And I'm CO.


RETURN BILLS Duration: 00:00:50

Hello again, I'm CO.

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

Coming up:

Horning in on a mystery. The remains of a steppe bison in the Northwest Territories could unlock ancient secrets of ancient migration routes in North America.

All systems gauche. The province of Quebec implements a ban on the import of all right-hand vehicles.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


COLVIN LEGAL BILLS Duration: 00:08:28

The goal of a Military Police Complaints Commission is pretty straightforward. Here's how it's supposed to work: Someone makes a complaint about the conduct of the Canadian military police. The commission gathers evidence and airs it in an open and transparent way.

However, when it comes to the commission looking into the transfer of Afghan detainees by Canadian soldiers to local Afghan prisons -- where they were allegedly tortured -- the watchdog is on a very short leash.

And who's holding that leash? Ottawa. The Department of Justice has been doing its best to delay the proceedings and has banned federal employees from providing evidence, even though they've been subpoenaed.

Despite all this, Richard Colvin, a diplomat posted in Afghanistan at the time of the prison transfers, came forward last month with evidence suggesting Ottawa knew Afghan detainees were being tortured.

Now, Ottawa seems to be doing what it can to get back at him by refusing to pay his legal bills -- which, as a federal employee, he's entitled to.

Paul Champ is a lawyer with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the organization that originally called for the inquiry. We reached him in Ottawa.


REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, FILM MUSIC/DREAMS Duration: 00:00:16
Album: REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, SOUNDTRACK
Label: NONESUCH, 79611
Persons/Roles:
CLINT MANSELL - COMPOSER
DAVID HARRINGTON - PRODUCER
KRONOS QUARTET - STRING QUARTET

FTR: H1N1 LA RONGE HOTEL Duration: 00:02:17

These days, the La Ronge Hotel and Suites is possibly the cleanest inn in Saskatchewan.

That's because its manager, Paul Dicks, has decided to take extraordinary measures to keep his hotel free of the H1N1 virus. He and his staff are doing everything from washing down the shower curtains after every check-out, to keeping the plates and cutlery off the tables in the dining room until guests sit down to eat.

Mr. Dicks has a personal reason for doing all this -- his daughter, Hannah. Here's part of their conversation with CBC Saskatchewan's Sheila Coles this morning, for the record.


ARKANSAS/ARKANSAS: PART 1 Duration: 00:00:12
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

STEPPE BISON Duration: 00:07:05

It's a big steppe for Palaentologists, and one that could lead to a few leaps in their understanding of early mankind.

Two years ago, the partially mummified carcass of a steppe bison was discovered near the Arctic Red River. It was the first undisturbed discovery of a steppe bison in the Northwest Territories. Now, following genetic analysis of the remains, scientists say the discovery could rewrite the history of human migration in Canada.

Grant Zazula is a Palaeontologist with the Yukon Government. He's in Whitehorse.


SALLY ON Duration: 00:00:15
Album: RANSOM
Label: AMATISH, SW 0294
Persons/Roles:
SAM LARKIN - COMPOSER
SAM LARKIN - VOCALS
BOBBY WISEMAN - PRODUCER

SC: TWITTERATURE Duration: 00:02:29

In Twilight of the Idols -- which took him just over a week to write -- Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: "It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a book -- what everyone else does not say in a book."

I imagine that Nietzsche would have been a fan of the idea behind "Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books Retold Through Twitter." Whether or not he would have cared for the entire book of collected Twitterature, to be released in the United Kingdom next month by Penguin, is I suppose, another story -- but one I'm nevertheless quite confident could be easily told in one-hundred-forty characters or less.

Twitter, of course, is the online social networking site that invites users to post and view short text messages, known as tweets. These, as already indicated, consist of no more than one-hundred-forty clacks of the keyboard.

Well, it took an appropriately short time for two first-year English majors from the University of Chicago to develop and produce the twitterature concept. Borrowing a page -- or perhaps a PDF -- from Nietzsche, the two set about revising more than sixty literary texts -- from Sophocles, to Shakespeare, to J.K. Rowling. Each is completed in a maximum of twenty tweets; that is, essentially twenty short sentences each. These twitterary adaptations, however, are not simple abridgments of the classic works. Rather, they are short, usually first-person retellings of the originals -- contemporized monologues that constitute what, as it were, everyone does not say in the book versions.

Consider the following twitterized excerpt from Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex":

"PARTY IN THEBES!! Nobody cares I killed that old dude, plus this woman is all over me."

Similarly, Macbeth is retold through tweets posted by "Big Mac", his invented online pseudonym.

Now here's a wee tweet of my own, with exactly three characters to spare: Call me old fashioned. But henceforth, I think I'll stick to the traditional tomes and save the tweetin' for the birds. And Cab Calloway.


TWEE-TWEE-TWEET Duration: 00:01:20
Album: ARE YOU HEP TO THE JIVE?/CALLOWAY, CAB
Label: LEGACY, CK 57645
Persons/Roles:
MAXWELL - COMPOSER
MYROW - COMPOSER
CAB CALLOWAY - CONDUCTOR
CAB CALLOWAY - VOCALS

AP DEATH PENALTY REPORTER Duration: 00:10:29

Today in Texas Reginald Blanton is scheduled to die by lethal injection after being convicted of robbery and murder - the state's 19th execution this year. One of the few who will be there to witness the execution will be Houston's Associated Press Reporter Michael Graczyk.

Michael Graczyk has probably witnessed more executions than anyone else in the United States. Since 1982, the state of Texas has put four-hundred and forty-two inmates to death. Prison regulations require that the Associated Press news agency is given one of the designated media witness passes for each execution. Michael Graczyk has covered most of those executions.

We spoke to Michael Graczyk yesterday in Houston.


THIS WORLD Duration: 00:00:23
Album: ZERO 7: SIMPLE THINGS
Label: PALM PICTURES, QMG 5007-2
Persons/Roles:
HENRY BINNS - DESIGNER
SAM HARDAKER - DESIGNER
ORVILLE WRIGHT - DESIGNER
ZERO 7 - ENS IN-V

FTR GG MUNRO Duration: 00:02:19

Too Much Happiness. It's not just a provocative phrase, it's the title of the latest collection of short stories from a master of the genre, Alice Munro.

She's probably won every literary award on the planet. In fact, she withdrew her name from contention for this year's wealthiest book prize, the Giller. But Alice Munro remains a contender for the Governor General's Literary Award this year.

This week, there were readings by all the nominees at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, and another G-G award-winning author read from Alice Munro's title.

For the record, here's Miriam Toews, reading from Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro.


196 DAWN Duration: 00:00:22
Album: ONE DAY DEEP/PRAFUL
Label: CUSTOM
Persons/Roles:
ROB GAASTERLAND - COMPOSER
PRAFUL - COMPOSER
DANIEL TESTAS - COMPOSER
ROB GAASTERLAND - PRODUCER
PRAFUL - PRODUCER
PRAFUL - SAXOPHONE
DANIEL TESTAS - PRODUCER

DOWN SYNDROME STUDY Duration: 00:06:26

The math just doesn't seem to add up.

A new study in the British Medical Journal shows that the number of Down syndrome diagnoses have dramatically risen in the last twenty years in the UK. But the increase is happening despite the fact that fewer babies with the condition are being born.

Joan Morris is a professor of medical statistics at Queen Mary, University of London and she was the lead researcher on the study. We reached her in Hertford, just outside London, England.


BREWER PARK Duration: 00:02:05
Album: SPANISH WAITER/HOPKINS, MIKE
Label: CUSTOM
Persons/Roles:
MIKE HOPKINS - COMPOSER
RYAN FAIRHEAD - PRODUCER
MIKE HOPKINS - GUITAR
MIKE HOPKINS - PRODUCER

RIGHT-HAND-DRIVE BAN Duration: 00:07:25

They come used, so they're cheap. Even so, cars imported from Japan perform better than the same North American models. The only problem with Japanese cars sold in Canada is that the steering wheel is on the right-hand side of the car. For that reason, the Quebec goverment believes they present a greater risk to highway safety.

In April, the province declared a ban on the import of right-hand-drive cars, effective six months from the announcement. That grace period ended yesterday, meaning as of today, it's sayonara to Japanese imports in Quebec.

This decision directly affects JDM Nagoya Direct Import and other dealers of Japanese cars in Quebec.

Alim Nekzad is the manager of JDM, and we reached him in Montreal.

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