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November 4, 2009

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The First shall be last. First Nations, that is -- who are finding that, when it comes to H1N1 vaccine, they seem to be both high-risk and low priority.

Putting a human faith on climate change. A British judge rules that a fired employee's environmental beliefs should be protected like religious beliefs.

Lost and found guilty. A landmark case in Italy results in the conviction of more than twenty CIA agents for their role in extraordinary rendition -- not that any of them are there to face the music.

Automatistes for the people. Sixty years after their heyday, a contrary group of Quebec artistes belatedly gets its time in the spotlight.

Goop therapy. Toxic algae strips thousands of sea birds of their waterproofing -- and American conservation groups fly to their rescue.

And...all those in flavour, say "Aye". Last night, we revealed some of the mystery additives in Worcestershire sauce -- and then Talkback experienced a brown-out.

As It Happens, the Wednesday edition. Radio whose secret ingredient is radio.


H1N1 FIRST NATIONS Duration: 00:06:42

Of all the things we've heard about the H1N1 vaccine, one thing stands out: those in priority groups should be vaccinated first. Among them, of course, are pregnant women, young children, First Nations communities and those in isolated and remote communities.

Odd, then, that many First Nations groups across the country don't have enough shots to service their communities.

Stan Beardy is the Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a group of approximately thirty-five thousand. We reached him in Toronto.


TB H1N1 FLAMES Duration: 00:02:23

Stan Beardy is the Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a group of approximately thirty-five thousand. We reached him in Toronto.

Meanwhile, in Calgary, Flames fans are booing a series of their team's shots. With the help of Alberta Health Services, some players on the Calgary Flames and their families received the H1N1 vaccine last week at a special clinic. And now many are wondering why some professional hockey players got to jump the cue while thousands of Calgarians waited outside for hours in lines that seemed to stretch for kilometres .

Here's what Calgary Flames' Captain Jarome Iginla said, when asked about the preferential treatment.

IGINLA CLIP 18 secs

Mr. Iginla's comments just fanned the flames of outrage among Calgarians. Here are some calls that CBC Radio in Calgary received on the issue.


RISE Duration: 00:00:27
Album: SPACE BETWEEN US/ARMSTRONG, CRAIG
Label: VIRGIN, 7243 8 44979 2 7
Persons/Roles:
CRAIG ARMSTRONG - COMPOSER
CRAIG ARMSTRONG - PRODUCER
CRAIG ARMSTRONG - VOCALS
RICHARD T NORRIS - PRODUCER

CIA RENDITION VERDICT Duration: 00:08:52

It was an extraordinary verdict, in an extraordinary case on extraordinary rendition.

Today, an Italian judge found twenty-three American CIA operatives guilty of kidnapping an Egyptian terror suspect, Abu Omar, in 2008. It was the first trial of its kind -- the first time the Central Intelligence Agency's "extraordinary rendition" program was put on trial.

There is one more small detail, however. None of the convicted agents are in Italy. They are all considered fugitives, and they all have international warrants for their arrest.

Jeff Stein is an American journalist who has been closely following the story of Abu Omar and his fugitive kidnappers. We reached Mr. Stein in Washington, D.C.


VIE LA VIE, TELEVISION MUSIC/OUVERTURE Duration: 00:00:19
Album: VIE LA VIE, TELESERIE
Label: GUY CLOUTIER, PGCCD 9435
Persons/Roles:
LUC SICARD - COMPOSER
LUC SICARD - PRODUCER
CARL BASTIEN - PRODUCER

ALGAE SLIME BIRDS Duration: 00:06:35

You're lying on the beach, fresh from an ocean swim, still wet from the water. Sounds refreshing. But to hundreds of sea birds who have washed up, helpless, on the northwest Pacific coast of the United States, it's potentially lethal.

Instead of a warm towel or fragrant sunscreen, these birds are covered with an unusual sea slime that puts their lives in jeopardy. Oregon and Washington wildlife rescue centres have been so overwhelmed by the number of birds in peril that hundreds of the afflicted creatures have been shipped to Northern California.

Jay Holcomb is the executive director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center. We reached him in Fairfield, California.


CLIMATE BELIEFS RULING Duration: 00:07:09

It's not easy being green -- especially when it costs you a job.

That was the issue in a landmark case in Britain. Tim Nicholson claims he was laid off from his job at a company called Grainger, because his environmental beliefs placed him at odds with other senior executives there. The company says there was no discrimination involved.

Now, a British judge has ruled that Mr. Nicholson's environmental views were so deeply held that they are entitled to the same protections as religious convictions.

Shah Qureshi is Tim Nicholson's lawyer. He's a partner at Bindmans LLP in London.


THE STORM Duration: 00:00:20
Album: PATRICK WATSON: CLOSE TO PARADISE
Label: SECRET CITY, SCR 002
Persons/Roles:
PATRICK WATSON - COMPOSER
PATRICK WATSON - ENS IN-V

FTR: GILLER MCADAM Duration: 00:02:22

The private school is a perennial setting for coming-of-age stories -- think "Catcher in the Rye" and "Harry Potter." It's also the setting of Colin McAdam's book, "Fall."

The book focuses on three young people and their relationships with one other: there's Julius, the self-confident son of the American ambassador to Canada; Noel, his far less confident Canadian roommate; And then there's Fall, the girl for whom both boys have fallen.

Fall -- the book, not the girl -- is one of the titles short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Colin McAdam joined other Giller nominees at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto last weekend, where he read an extract from his book.

In this passage, the narrator, Noel, reminisces about life in the boarding school, and recalls the first time he laid eyes on Fall. Here's Colin McAdam, for the record:


NEVER FELT THIS WAY Duration: 00:00:13
Album: SONGS IN A MINOR
Label: J, 80813 20002
Persons/Roles:
BRIAN MCKNIGHT - COMPOSER
ALICIA KEYS - VOCALS
ALICIA KEYS - PRODUCER

AUTOMATISTE EXHIBIT Duration: 00:08:32

Even those of us whose idea of art is a "Garfield" cartoon know about the Group of Seven. But if you ask us about the group of sixteen Quebec artists called Les Automatistes, who worked together during the 'forties and 'fifties, we'll draw a blank.

Perhaps not a complete blank: some of the group's members, like Paul-Emile Borduas and Jean-Paul Riopelle, are pretty well-known. But the story of Les Automatistes as a whole -- and their political and cultural beliefs, as outlined in the manifesto Refus Global -- is largely unknown in most of Canada and the United States.

Now, for the first time in fifty years, works by Les Automatistes are being exhibited outside Quebec, at the Varley Art Gallery in Unionville, Ontario. And, more significant, the group is about to receive some belated recognition down south: in March of next year, that exhibition will travel to the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

Roel Nasgaard is the Professor of Art History at Florida State University, and the curator of the exhibition. He's in Toronto.


POINCONNEUR DES LILAS Duration: 00:00:12
Album: GAINSBOURG AU BAR
Label: CULTURE PRESS, CP 1038
Persons/Roles:
SERGE GAINSBOURG - COMPOSER
PATRICK PERONNE - PIANO
PATRICK PERONNE - PRODUCER
OLIVIER MERGER - PRODUCER

E-MAIL: WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE Duration: 00:02:32

It's as classic as ketchup. But unlike that household staple, it's still a sauce full of secrets.

What's up with Worcestershire sauce? Or rather, what's in it? Just what constitutes the "spice" and "flavouring" listed on the ingredients of a bottle of the famous Lea & Perrins condiment? Last night As it Happens spoke with Dave Nash, a collections officer with Worcester City Museums, in an effort to blow the lid off the mystery.

Then Talkback did its Worcester.

Edith Warner, wrote to us from Vancouver to say:

"My partner recently got curious about pickled walnuts. He had a tree nearby and so he pickled them. We tried them the other night and were very struck by their flavour resemblance to good old Lea & Perrins!

"Got out the sauce and tasted it and sure enough. I believe this just might be the secret ingredient -- and your broadcast indicated pickles were involved, but not what kind! If you can find any pickled walnuts you might like to try it!"

And Kit Krasemann of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, wrote:

"From the late nineteen-fifties to the mid-'sixties, I was a schoolboy at Harrison's College in Barbados. Every year, when the many tamarind trees on the school grounds came into fruit, a group of men would appear, spread large canvas sheets under the trees, and then climb the trees and shake them vigourously to dislodge the tamarind pods.

The pods were then gathered up and dumped into large boxes. I asked the chap in charge one year what they were doing, and he told me that they were gathering the tamarinds 'ta mek de worl famus Wor-chester-shire sors!'

"So much for the 'secret' ingredient!"

And we received this zinger from John Lockhart, in Oregon, Wisconsin:

"Hi there,

I enjoyed the story on Lea & Perrins, but I always thought you journalist types would never reveal your secret sauces.

Love the show."

Saucy -- just how we like it. Remember, to everything there is a seasoning, so if you'd like to add a dash of your own to anything you hear on the show, call Talkbalk at 1-866-481-5718. Or email us at aih@cbc.ca.


LE GENRE HUMAN Duration: 00:01:30
Album: COURAGE D'AIMER, SOUNDTRACK
Label: CHRISTAL MUSIK, CMCD9949
Persons/Roles:
FRANCIS LAI - COMPOSER
ROLAND ROMANELLI - SYNTHESIZER

H1N1: GLAXO EXPLAINER Duration: 00:01:00

This week was supposed to be the week that the general public would start receiving the H1N1 vaccine across Canada. But rather than the two million doses that were expected, Canada's sole supplier of the vaccine, Glaxo Smith Kline, came up short -- with just a quarter of that number.

So when the news came yesterday that GlaxoSmithKline was exporting excess antigen from its H1N1 vaccine, because it didn't have the resources to package the excess, it raised additional questions about why a single company is supplying all of Canada.

Dr. Rob Van Exan is the director of immunization policy for the pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur. It's a competitor of Glaxo Smith Kline, and he remebers when the federal government decided to go with a sole supplier back in 2001. We reached Dr. Van Exan in Toronto.


EXTRO Duration: 00:01:06

That was Dr. Rob Van Exan from the pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur. He was in Toronto.

As It Happens requested an interview today with Glaxo Smith Kline. The company would not grant an on-air interview, but said it would respond via e-mail. Here is part of their written response:

The GSK team is working around the clock and we have shipped almost 7-million doses of the adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine.

Vaccine development and manufacturing is complex, and we must take the time necessary to ensure every vaccine meets stringent quality standards. Output will vary to some degree but, in the end, Canada will be one of the first countries in the world to secure enough vaccine for its entire population. In the weeks ahead there will be millions of doses coming off the production line. But also expect variations at times - this is a reality of vaccine production worldwide.

To see the full text of the email response from Glaxo Smith Kline, please visit our website at www.cbc.ca/asithappens


GLAXO SMITH KLINE LETTER

And here's the full text of the email response from Glaxo Smith Kline:

Thank you for your inquiry.

First, let me emphasize that GSK is committed to protecting the health of Canadians. Even under pressure to accelerate production, we cannot compromise on quality. We are taking the time to do this right and ensure that Canadians are supplied with a vaccine of the highest quality.

GSK has applied our extensive, global knowledge gained from years of vaccine innovation and influenza research and investment to the development of a vaccine of the highest quality. GSK's pandemic program and pandemic partnership with the Canadian government started more than a decade ago. Our dedicated pursuit of innovation in developing and improving vaccines and their production put Canada on the leading edge when the 2009 pandemic struck.

Vaccine development and manufacturing is complex. The delay is a result of the fact that we needed to change over our production lines to produce unadjuvanted vaccine.

GSK is providing the necessary documentation to Health Canada so that they can complete their final safety check on each lot and vaccine can be shipped to provinces and territories. GSK is working with Health Canada to ensure that each vaccine lot released to the provinces and territories consistently meets quality and safety standards.

As requested by the Government of Canada, and as per guidance issued by the WHO and SAGE, we completed production of our seasonal influenza vaccine before beginning production of our H1N1 vaccine.

In recent years, we have invested significantly to expand our Ste Foy facility and have more than tripled our production capacity and doubled our filling capacity. We have explored, in partnership with the Government of Canada, opportunities to fill vaccine at other facilities in Canada. It was concluded that diverting the already limited capacity to fill a small quantity of vaccine at an alternative Canadian facility was not a viable solution. The technology transfer required to bring another facility up to speed would have taken us outside the pandemic period. We are working around the clock to the fill and package vaccine to the highest quality as quickly as possible. The Government of Canada has first access to all H1N1 vaccine that is filled and packaged at our Ste-Foy facility.

Situation Update

The GSK team is working around the clock and we have shipped almost 7-million doses of the adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine.

Vaccine development and manufacturing is complex, and we must take the time necessary to ensure every vaccine meets stringent quality standards. Output will vary to some degree but, in the end, Canada will be one of the first countries in the world to secure enough vaccine for its entire population. In the weeks ahead there will be millions of doses coming off the production line. But also expect variations at times - this is a reality of vaccine production worldwide.

GSK has been, and will continue to be, working in partnership with the Government of Canada and we support their plan for immunizing high risk groups in priority. We are very pleased to see the positive response of Canadians to the H1N1 immunization program.

To ensure that GSK continues to meet the timelines setout in the Government of Canada contract, GSK will fill the Government of Canada's order before it begins shipping 20 per cent, of its total H1N1 vaccine production, to the World Health Organization for distribution to the developing world.

Finally, we are not sharing detailed information about our production and delivery process because it is variable, complex and subject to a high degree of quality control. GSK remains committed to protecting the health of Canadians. We are taking the time to do this right and ensure that Canadians are supplied with a safe and effective vaccine.

Best regards,


COSMIC ROCK

Fringe People

TRACK ONE

MMPCD019

Artist: Mathias Landaeus

Label: Moserobie


LOST AMERICAN VOWELS Duration: 00:06:45

And now, an exercise in pronunciation. Without thinking about it too much, say the word for a portable bed -- the one that's spelled C-O-T. And now, think of the past tense of the verb "catch" -- and say that word out loud.

Did they sound the same when you said them, or different? Well, it probably depends where you're from. For example, if you're an American from the East Coast, you probably pronounced them differently -- whereas, if you're an American from the West Coast, they most likely sounded the same. And that subtle difference in vowel sound was lost.

Language specialist Professor Christina Esposito has been tracking the path of the disappearing American vowel sound -- or "low-back vowel merger" as it is officially known. We reached Professor Esposito at her Macalester College office in St. Paul's, Minnesota.


QUARTET N2/MARA'S TOYS Duration: 00:00:09
Album:
Label: BLACK BOX, BBM 1097
Persons/Roles:
MARC MELLITS - COMPOSER
DUKE QUARTET - STRING QUARTET
DUKE QUARTET - PRODUCER
HARVEY BROUGH - PRODUCER
JOHN METCALFE - VIOLA
SOPHIE HARRIS - CELLO
LOUISA FULLER - VIOLIN
RICK KOSTER - VIOLIN

TWEETED STORY Duration: 00:04:45

Even before the economy took to its bed with a headache, the publishing industry was experiencing some problems. But fortunately, some in that business are taking the view that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Or at least more innovative.

Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum are the publishers and editors of the new literary magazine, Electric Literature. Over the past year, the writers-turned-publishers been using everything from Amazon's Kindle to YouTube -- and even their very own iPhone application -- to share the short stories found in their quarterly magazine.

You can guess what's next: Twitter.

Next month, writer Rick Moody, the author of the novels Garden State and The Ice Storm, will "tweet" his new story over a three-day span. The story appears in the next issue of Electric Literature.

We reached Electric Literature's Andy Hunter in New York City.


BAL Duration: 00:00:33
Album: QUARTET OPERA
Label: HOPI, HOP 200010
Persons/Roles:
GERARD MARAIS - COMPOSER
YOUVAL MICENMACHER - PERCUSSION
VINCENT COURTOIS - CELLO
FRANCOIS CORNELOUP - SAXOPHONE
GERARD MARAIS - GUITAR

CANADIAN FILMS MONEY Duration: 00:06:40

The house lights dim, the curtains part and the familiar whir of the projector begins. But if you don't hear the telltale sound of popcorn being munched, that may be because the film being unspooled is Canadian.

For the third year in a row, box-office market share for domestic films has dropped. Last year, only two-point-nine per cent of ticket sales went to Canadian features -- despite an overall increase in audience numbers. So why are we giving our own films an indifferent flick?

Michael McGowan is the Canadian director of Saint Ralph and One Week. We reached him at his home in Mansfield, Ontario.


COURAGE Duration: 00:02:25
Album: SWEET HEREAFTER, SOUNDTRACK/DANNA, MYCHAEL
Label: VIRGIN, V21M 44955
Persons/Roles:
BOBBY BAKER - COMPOSER
GORD DOWNIE - COMPOSER
JOHNNY FAY - COMPOSER
PAUL LANGLOIS - COMPOSER
GORDON SINCLAIR - COMPOSER
MYCHAEL DANNA - ARRANGER
MYCHAEL DANNA - PRODUCER
SARAH POLLEY - VOCALS
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