Hostage no more. A British consultant is released from confinement in
Iraq after spending two years, seven months, and one day in captivity.
Defying eggpectations. A New York soup kitchen receives an
eleven-hundred-dollar tin of sturgeon roe and serves up caviar blinis
A top-draw-er fellow. Paying tribute to David Levine, one of the
century's best political caricaturist, who died yesterday at the age of
Rage against the machine gun. A Mexican journalist defies death threats
and carries on, even as her colleagues are assassinated for their
Keep on strumming in the free world. Twenty years ago, he was a folk
singer exiled from East Germany. Wolf Biermann reflects on how Communism
And . . . The scene of the caprine. A traditional holiday goat statue
in Sweden is destroyed, yet again, by arsonists, despite beefed-up
As It Happens, the Wednesday edition. Radio that will not be goated by inflammatory incidents.
Two years, seven months, and one day. That's how long Peter Moore was held hostage in Iraq.
If you want to break it down, that's nine hundred and forty six days
-- or twenty two thousand, seven hundred and four hours -- or eighty one
million, seven hundred and thirty four thousand, four hundred seconds.
It's likely that the British I-T consultant counted every one of those
seconds he spent in captivity. But today, Peter Moore is free.
To tell us more, we reached his stepmother, Pauline Sweeney, in Lincoln, England.
|FACE THE TRUTH/MALKMUS, STEPHEN|
|STEPHEN MALKMUS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JICKS || - ||POP GROUP|
|STEPHEN MALKMUS|| - ||VOCALS|
You might have trouble attaching a face to the name of David Levine.
But no doubt you've seen his name attached to faces more famous than his
own -- faces he rendered ludicrously larger than life, ballooning up
from incompatibly puny bodies.
For more than forty years, David Levine's biting caricatures served as
graphic pepper for The New York Review of Books. Over his career, he
supplied the magazine with a who's who portfolio -- of more than
thirty-eight-thousand depictions of notable figures from around the
world. His work also appeared in other publications, from The New Yorker
to The New York Times, and Playboy to Rolling Stone. Levine died
yesterday at the age of eighty-three.
In describing the artist, writer John Updike -- a frequent subject of
Levine -- wrote "...in a confusing time, he bears witness. In a shoddy
time, he does good work."
Last year, David Levine joined CBC's Michael Enright in The Sunday Edition studio. Here is part of their conversation.
Jules Feiffer is a Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist, and a longtime friend of Mr. Levine's. We reached him in New York.
|BOMBAY DUB ORCHESTRA|
|SIX DEGREES, 657036-1120-2MJ|
|GARRY HUGES|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ANDREW MACKAY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BOMBAY DUB ORCH || - ||ENS INSTR|
Don't you just love Sweden at Christmas time? All those lovely Swedish
holiday traditions -- eating meatballs, listening to ABBA's greatest
hits, shopping at Ikea. Oh wait, that's all year long.
But at Christmas, the Swedes do do something quite unusual. They break out the Giant Goat of Gavle.
The building of the forty-foot-high and twenty-foot-wide goat is a
tradition which started with local shopkeepers in Gavle who wanted to
attract people downtown during the holidays. The goat has been visited
by people around the world for more than four decades now.
Unfortunately, there is another tradition that follows the construction of the straw and wooden goat -- burning it down.
Out of the forty three years it has been constructed, it h
as been burned down by arsonists twenty three times.
Three weeks ago, Helen spoke with Ana Ostman from the committee to
construct the goat, and Ms. Ostman told us about the extra special
precautions her team was taking this year to protect their festive
beast. Here she is, for the record:
|PATATO/CHANGUITO/ ORESTES: RITMO Y CANDELA|
|TONGA, TNGCD 7300|
|ENRIQUE FERNANDEZ|| - ||COMPOSER|
| CARLOS "PATATO" VALDES|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ENRIQUE FERNANDEZ|| - ||FLUTE|
| REBECA MAULEON-SANTANA|| - ||PERCUSSION|
| CARLOS "PATATO" VALDES|| - ||CONGA|
| CHANGUITO QUINTANA|| - ||BONGO|
| ORESTES VILATO|| - ||KETTLEDRUMS|
| JOE SANTIAGO|| - ||CONTRABASS|
Tomorrow night, as we ring in the New Year, many of us will celebrate
with a little indulgence -- a chocolate truffle or maybe filet mignon.
Well, today for lunch, one-hundred-and-fifty people in New York were
treated to a special extravagance -- blinis made using a tin of
Petrossian Malossol sturgeon caviar worth about eleven-hundred U.S.
But the feast wasn't served at
Le Cirque or the Oak Room. In fact, diners didn't even pay for their
meal. The venue for the menu? A soup kitchen on Broadway.
Chef Michael Ennes is with Broadway Community, located in the Broadway
Presbyterian Church, where we reached him earlier today.
We've got to take a short break for the news now. When we return:
The pen may be mightier than the sword. But guns are another matter. A
Mexican journalist on why she continues to write in a country where a
dozen journalists have been killed this year.
The Communist's son. Wolf Biermann was the child of a West German
communist killed by the Nazis. He moved to East Germany and became a
folk singer -- only to be exiled for speaking truth to power.
Stay tuned. I'm CDJ.
And I'm HM.
As you might expect, we here at As It Happens have been partaking in
our fair share of holiday cheer. As a result our minds are not quite as
sharp nor our memories quite as steel-trap-like as they normally are. In
any case, sometime in the past little while, we apparently mentioned
something about "humbugs."
Now, none of us remember the exact context in which we made this
festive reference, but no worries -- Talkback picked up the
conversation where our noggier noggins failed. This call came from
Shelley Nokins in Antrim, New Hampshire:
|PAULE-ANDREE CASSIDY: METIS|
|TRILOGIE, TLGCD 1371|
|EDDIE BARCLAY|| - ||COMPOSER|
| MICHEL LEGRAND|| - ||COMPOSER|
| BERNARD DIMEY|| - ||WRITER|
|PAULE-ANDREE CASSIDY|| - ||SINGING|
It has not been a good year for journalists working in some of the
world's most dangerous places. I'm not talking about war zones like Iraq
and Afghanistan. Those places are indeed risky. But reporters are
frequently targeted because of the work they do in countries we tend to
think of as peaceful.
Places like Mexico.
Late last month, Mexico's top-selling newspaper, El Universal, released
this tally: cumulatively, twelve reporters, photographers, editors and
radio hosts had been murdered in Mexico in 2009. That number -- and
numbers from years past -- makes Mexico the most dangerous place for
journalists to work in the Western hemisphere.
That's not news to Lydia Cacho.
Six years ago, Ms. Cacho wrote a series of articles for the Cancun
newspaper, Por Esto. The articles examined allegations of child sexual
abuse made by social service organizations like UNICEF. They claimed
that some popular Mexican tourist destinations, including Cancun, were
becoming centres for child pornography. Ms. Cacho's reporting was
fearless -- she dug deep, and exposed high-level officials implicated in
A couple of years later, she published a book about her work entitled
The Demons of Eden: The Power That Protects Child Pornography. And that
book made her a target.
Eight months after its release, Lydia Cacho was arrested. Police
picked her up in Cancun and drove her from Cancun to a beachfront twenty
hours away. They tortured her, and told her that, unless she retracted
her allegations and renounced her book, she would die.
On November 19th of this year, the Mexican journalist came to Toronto
to receive PEN Canada's One Humanitarian Award. PEN Canada is a
not-for-profit organization that defends freedom of expression for
writers and journalists around the world.
Lydia Cacho joined Carol in our Toronto studio the day she received the award and tonight we replay that conversation:
|STAR, STRCD 8130|
|ANDRE GAGNON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JACQUES LACOMBE|| - ||CONDUCTOR|
| ANDRE DI CESARE|| - ||PRODUCER|
| ANDRE GAGNON|| - ||PRODUCER|
| ANDRE GAGNON|| - ||PIANO|
Twenty years ago -- in 1989 -- the Communist system in Europe finally came to an end.
The Cold War ended with a series of upheavals in Eastern Europe. The
most visible -- and symbolic -- was the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Earlier this year, As It Happens marked the anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down.
On November 9th, 1989, the Wall seemed to fall almost by accident.
There was confusion, reports that the checkpoints that had kept East
Germans out of the West for decades were open. Then rumour became
reality, and before long thousands of young Germans -- from East and
West -- were dancing on the wall and smashing it to bits.
Perhaps more than anything else, it demonstrated that the Communist
system was finally, truly falling apart. Two decades later, the reasons
why are still up for debate.
Archie Brown studied the Soviet system up close during the Cold War.
He's now written a book called The Rise and Fall of Communism. Carol
spoke to him in early November. Professor Brown was in Oxford, England.
One of the consequences of that historic event, of course, was that
Germans could, after decades, finally cross back and forth between the
East and West parts of their divided nation.
On November 29th, 1989, As It Happens reached one of those Germans who had been longing for the Wall to fall for years.
Yes, As It Happens did reach Wolf Biermann in what was then West
Germany back in 1989. It was just after he received news that he would
finally be allowed to return to the East to play a concert in Leipzig,
the city that had been the site of mass protests in the weeks and months
before the Wall came down.
Twenty years later, Mr. Biermann is still performing and recording his
music. Carol spoke with him last month, when he was in Boston, on the
North American leg of his latest tour.
|NUR WER SICH ANDERT...BLEIBT SICH TREU/WOLF BIERMANN|
|WOLF BIERMANN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|WOLF BIERMANN|| - ||PERFORMER|
That brings us to the end of As It Happens for this Wednesday, December 30th. Coming up next, the news...
As It Happens will be back again tomorrow. I'm HM. Goodnight.
And I'm CDJ. Goodnight.