It's far too soon to know exactly how many people died in the
earthquake that struck Haiti. But what we do know is that early
yesterday evening, a seven-point-zero magnitude quake rocked the densely
populated capital city of Port-au-Prince. Much of the city lies in
ruins. Aid officials say as many as three million people are affected.
Patrick Charles lives in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. We reached him earlier today at his home.
To tell us more about how people in Haiti's capital are coping with the
devastation, we reached freelance journalist Anne Rose Schoen in
Port-au-Prince, via Skype.
Canada's largest Haitian community can be found in Montreal. Tonight,
that community is anxious for news -- and eager to assist those injured
and displaced as a result of yesterday's earthquake.
C-P-A-M is a local French language radio station that serves
Montreal's Haitian diaspora. Robert Ismael is a journalist with C-P-A-M.
We reached him earlier today at the station.
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|SUFJAN STEVENS|| - ||COMPOSER|
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Anne Frank once wrote: "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."
And when she wrote that, she was likely inspired by Miep Gies, a
family friend who took care of the Franks when they went into hiding.
Ms. Gies is also the reason I'm able to tell you what Anne Frank wrote:
after the Nazis raided the family's secret hiding place, Ms. Gies
gathered up the pages of the diary -- and later delivered them to Anne's
father, Otto Frank.
As we told you last night, Ms. Gies died this week at the age of
one-hundred. After our tribute, Wendy Hicks wrote us this email:
"Tonight, as I drove the snowy, dark side roads home from trying to
defend my bare-bones library budget at City Council, I listened to your
program. At the time, I was partially preoccupied with the thought,
'geez, why do I do this?' -- referring to my day job. And then,
miraculously, the story about Miep Gies came across the dark night to me
in my car and I remembered."
"If Miss Gies had not done her brave act ? what would so many of us,
as young readers, used as a lesson about the power of right and wrong,
of beauty in the midst of evil, and finally -- the power of the
heartfelt written word to touch us, affect us, change us profoundly?"
"Anne Frank's diary did exactly these things to me as a teen, and to
countless others in many lands. Miss Gies had an effect like that first
snowball in an avalanche -- but all for the good."
Thanks to Wendy Hicks for that email, and thanks to all of you for
writing in. Our Talkback number is 1-866-481-5718, and our email address
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When I mention a group called "Women of Steel", you might assume I'm
referring to a league of superheroes. Well, they may be frail and
elderly by now -- but they are most definitely super women.
Toiling in Sheffield's famous steel mills during the Second World War,
the so-called 'Women of Steel' were pivotal in making sure the Allied
war effort remained stocked with munitions and equipment. Yet, for sixty
years, their efforts have gone largely unsung. Until today -- when they
finally received the recognition they deserve.
A train called "The Women of Steel Express" whisked four of the former
steel-workers from South Yorkshire to London, for a formal thank-you
from the British Government -- and a cup of tea with Prime Minister
During the visit, one of the women, Ruby Gascoigne, talked about her war experiences -- and it's our Sound of the Day.
Yesterday's earthquake in Haiti has had a devastating impact on expatriate Haitians in Canada and around the world.
This afternoon, our Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, gave an
emotional address at a news conference in Ottawa. Here's some of what
she had to say, for the record.
Haiti has both the highest population density and the lowest per capita
income of any country in the western hemisphere. Disease, malnutrition,
environmental problems and political unrest are perennial problems.
Which is precisely why aid workers are so devoted to improving the
situation there by building up the country's infrastructure.
Last night they watched as much of that infrastructure came tumbling down.
Magalie Boyer is a communications manager for World Vision. We've reached her in Port-au-Prince.
While there is nothing as vividly emotional as witnessing the
destruction first hand, there is a particular sense of desperation that
comes from being far away and not being able to help those you care
about -- especially if they are children.
Peter Eyvindson helps run "Broken Wings", a charity that operates
three orphanages in Haiti. He was at his home in Clavet, Saskatchewan
when the quake struck. That's where we reached him.
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Crime and punishment.
Last night on As It Happens, we spoke with Coralee Smith. She told us
why she and her family would be boycotting the inquest into the death of
her teenage daughter, Ashley -- who died while in police custody in
Today, we requested an interview with Minister for Public Safety Peter Van Loan, but he was unavailable. We will keep trying.
While we won't be hearing from the Minister today, we will be hearing
from you. Here are some of the Talkback calls we received?
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You can find just about anything on Google. But in China in the near future, you may not be able to find Google itself.
Four years ago, Google Incorporated caused controversy by allowing a
censored version of its Internet search engine to be used in China. Now,
a cyber-attack on its own corporate infrastructure from within the
Communist state has led the company to reconsider its position -- and to
threaten to pull out of the lucrative Chinese market.
Here's Peter Barron, Google UK's Head of Communications, explaining the company's position to the BBC.
Professor Ronald Deibert is the director of the Citizen Lab at the
University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies. He's
studied cyberspace activity in China. We reached him at his office in
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He showed up to rally the troops. Or rather, to rally the people who rally the troops.
Today, NATO's Secretary-General paid his first visit to Ottawa since
taking the job five months ago. Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in the capital
for meetings with the Prime Minister and senior members of the cabinet.
The main -- and possibly only -- topic of discussion was, of course,
Anders Fogh Rasmussen joined us earlier today from our studio in Ottawa.
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If you're concerned about why you still haven't found that special
someone, don't worry. It's because the odds are astronomically stacked
Meeting your mate is just about on par with finding intelligent life
in space. At least, that's what Peter Backus discovered when he
calculated his chances of finding a girlfriend. Mr. Backus is a teaching
fellow at the University of Warwick, and we reached him at his office
in London, England.
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2:10 PM: a colleague emails you to ask for some help with a grant proposal she's written.
2:15 PM: you respond by writing: "Well, for starters, you got the date wrong! It's January thirteenth, 2010, not 2009!"
2:17 PM: your colleague emails back. The message, in its entirety, reads: "Thanks a lot! That's really helpful!"
2:17 PM to 3:23 AM the next morning: you read the email over and over
again at your desk. You go home. During dinner, you are sullen and
distracted. You keep seeing the words in your mind: "'Thanks a lot!
That's really helpful!'" And later, while your spouse snores
contentedly, you whisper into the darkness: "Was she being sarcastic?"
It's one of big problems of email: how to know whether someone is
being sincere or scathing. Of course, there's one easy way to tell. Just
ask the person who sent you the email. But in the future, you might
just scan the email for a brand-new piece of punctuation called the
Its inventors bill The SarcMark as "the official, easy-to-use
punctuation mark to emphasize a sarcastic phrase, sentence or message."
It's an elegant squiggle that looks sort of like an upside-down
lower-case "E" with a dot in the middle of it, and is in no way a lame
publicity stunt. And the SarcMark is not at all overpriced, at
one-ninety-nine American per download. Once you've got it on your hard
drive, you will definitely use it in your emails all the time, and you
won't consider it a complete waste of money. It's hard to believe
written communication has managed to survive thirty thousand or so years
without it. And so, to the makers of the SarcMark, we say this: "Thanks
a lot! That's really helpful!"
Just so I don't keep anyone awake tonight -- I'm being sarcastic. And
so are Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Here they are with "A Fine
Romance (A Sarcastic Love Song)".