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January 13, 2010

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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.


HAITI: GERMAN JOURN Duration: 00:05:30

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.


HAITI: CPAM RADIO Duration: 00:08:09

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.


IN THE COUNTENANCE OF KINGS Duration: 00:00:54

Album:BQE, SOUNDTRACK/STEVENS, SUFJAN

Label:ASTHMATIC KITTY, AKR 278

Persons/Roles:
SUFJAN STEVENS - COMPOSER
SUFJAN STEVENS - INSTRUMENTAL

EMAIL: MIEP GIES Duration: 00:02:01

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 is aih@cbc.ca.


UNDERWORLD Duration: 00:00:25

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

SOD: WOMEN OF STEEL Duration: 00:01:51

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 Gordon Brown.

During the visit, one of the women, Ruby Gascoigne, talked about her war experiences -- and it's our Sound of the Day.


CLOSING



FTR: GOVERNOR GENERAL Duration: 00:02:58

Yesterday's earthquake in Haiti has had a devastating impact on expatriate Haitians in Canada and around the world.

This afternoon, our Governor General, Michaƫlle Jean, gave an emotional address at a news conference in Ottawa. Here's some of what she had to say, for the record.


HAITI: AID WORKER Duration: 00:07:47

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.


HAITI: ORPHANGES Duration: 00:05:46

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.


BEAU SOLEIL Duration: 00:01:13

Album:TRAIN 64/DR. DRAW

Label:RAYBERG, 138-313-5858

Persons/Roles:
MARIE MICHELE BEAUSOLEIL - ARRANGER
TRADITIONAL - COMPOSER
MARC ANDRE - DRUMS
MARIE-MICHELLE BEAUSOLEIL - PIANO
DR. DRAW - VIOLIN
EUGENE DRAW - PRODUCER
EUGENE DRAW - VIOLIN
FRANCIS MENARD - BASS
PIERRE-LUC RIOUX - GUITAR

TB & EMAIL: ASHLEY SMITH Duration: 00:03:30

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 October 2007.

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?


DARK LIGHTS Duration: 00:01:43

Album:AS SEEN THROUGH WINDOWS/BELL ORCHESTRE

Label:ARTS & CRAFTS, A&C041

Persons/Roles:
PIETRO AMATO - COMPOSER
MIKE FEUERSTACK - COMPOSER
KAVEH NABATIAN - COMPOSER
SARAH NEUFELD - COMPOSER
RICHARD REED PARRY - COMPOSER
STEFAN SCHNEIDER - COMPOSER
BELL ORCHESTRE - INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE

FTR: GOOGLE STATEMENT Duration: 00:01:32

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.


GOOGLE IN CHINA Duration: 00:05:39

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 Toronto.


OVERCURRENT Duration: 00:00:30

Album:FRAGILE STATE/VOICES FROM THE DUST BOWL

Label:BAR DE LUNE

Persons/Roles:
NEIL COWLEY - COMPOSER
BEN MYNOTT - COMPOSER
FRAGILE STATE - POP GROUP

NATO SEC-GEN Duration: 00:10:37

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, Afghanistan.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen joined us earlier today from our studio in Ottawa.


FEU D'JOI Duration: 00:00:32

Album:CARBURANT DU CERVEAU

Label:CUP OF TEA RECORDS, 77876 51031

Persons/Roles:
INVISIBLE PAIR OF HANDS - COMPOSER
INVISIBLE PAIR OF HANDS - POP GROUP
DENISE BENSON - COMPILER

NO GIRLFRIEND MATH Duration: 00:04:21

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 against you.

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.


ME FOR REAL Duration: 00:00:38

Album:ANOTHER THOUGHT

Label:ORANGE MOUNTAIN, OMM 0027

Persons/Roles:
ARTHUR RUSSELL - COMPOSER
ARTHUR RUSSELL - VOCALS
DON CHRISTENSEN - PRODUCER

SC/MUSIC: SARCMARK Duration: 00:04:23

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 "SarcMark".

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)".


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