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January 21, 2010

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More than a week after the earthquake in Haiti, aid is only now trickling into Jacmel on the island's southern coast. Hundreds there died in the quake -- and many of the survivors are now living in make-shift camps.

The roads connecting Jacmel to the capital, Port-au-Prince, are blocked by rubble. o relief supplies only began to arrive a few days ago, delivered by aid groups and the Canadian and American military.

The staff and students of Jacmel's film school, Cine Institute, have been documenting the tragedy. Here is part of one of their recent reports, for the record:


HAITI: JACMEL SCHOOL Duration: 00:08:34

We reached the school's program director, Jocelyne Firmin, in Jacmel earlier today.


STAR CHASERS Duration: 00:00:30

Album:4 HERO PRESENTS EXTENSIONS

Label:RAW CANVAS, RCRCD03

Persons/Roles:
MARK CLAIR - COMPOSER
MARK CLAIR - WRITER
OLIVER LEICHT - T SAX
INGA LUHNING - SINGING
ANDREAS MANNS - EL BASS
ANDREAS MANNS - PERCUSSION
VOLKER SCHMIDT - DRUMS
JAN STURMER - GUITAR
MATTHIAS VOGT - KEYBOARDS

FTR: PAUL QUARRINGTON OBIT Duration: 00:03:53

As an artist, Paul Quarrington led many lives. He was an award-winning author and screenwriter. And he was a successful singer and songwriter, starting in 1980 with the hit single "Baby and the Blues" -- and more recently as frontman for the Toronto-based country-and-blues band, the Pork Belly Futures.

Mr. Quarrington died early this morning from lung cancer. He was fifty-six years old.

Mr. Quarrington penned ten novels, the most famous of which was his 1989 work Whale Music. It won the Governor-General's Award for fiction -- not to mention a ringing endorsement by Penthouse Magazine as "the greatest rock'n'roll novel ever written". His other books include King Leary, and two Giller-Prize-nominated novels, Galveston and The Ravine.

He also won two Genies for screenwriting, one for the film adaptation of Whale Music, and another for the 1991 screenplay, Perfectly Normal. In addition, his work on the Canadian TV series Due South was nominated for a Gemini.

In October last year, just prior to being honoured at a special celebration of his life's accomplishments, Mr. Quarrington spoke with Matt Galloway, host of CBC Toronto's "Here and Now". He discussed having eventually reached acceptance of his fate, after receiving his diagnosis that spring. Here is part of that conversation, for the record.


PAUL QUARRINGTON OBIT Duration: 00:07:12

Stuart Laughton plays guitar and harmonica, among other instruments, for the Pork Belly Futures. We reached him at home in Burlington, Ontario.


YOU GOTTA LOVE A TRAIN Duration: 00:04:00

Album:PORKBELLY FUTURES/PORKBELLY FUTURES

Label:CORDOVA BAY, CBR-0572

Persons/Roles:
REBECCA CAMPBELL - COMPOSER
PAUL QUARRINGTON - COMPOSER
DAVID GRAY - PRODUCER
PORKBELLY FUTURES - BLUES BAND

ST. FX CHANCELLOR Duration: 00:06:07

On Monday, Brian Dunn will become the new bishop of the Antigonish diocese. He'll have his work cut out for him. The last man to hold that role was Raymond Lahey -- who is currently facing charges of possessing and importing child pornography. The position has been empty since Mr. Lahey resigned last September.

But Dunn's appointment has drawn attention to another controversy. Based on a long-standing tradition at St. Francis Xavier University, whomever is bishop of Antigonish automatically becomes chancellor of the university.

A group of students, however, is saying that tradition needs to end. They've started a Facebook campaign to abolish the policy.

Kurt Andresen is a third-year English major at St. Francis Xavier University and organizer of the group. We reached him in Lake Ainslie, Nova Scotia.


DAKONCERTO Duration: 00:00:20

Album:UNFINISHED SYMPHONY/DAKAH HIP HOP ORCHESTRA

Label:KUFALA

Persons/Roles:
GEOFFREY GALLEGOS - COMPOSER
DAKAH HIP HOP ORCHESTRA - PERFORMER

FTR: IRAQ INQUIRY - STRAW Duration: 00:02:11

"My decision to support military action in respect of Iraq was the most difficult decision I have ever faced in my life." Those are the words of former British Foreigner Secretary Jack Straw, spoken today at the Chilcott Inquiry -- an inquiry into the U.K.'s role in the Iraq War.

Mr. Straw is the most senior person to appear at the inquiry so far. And in his testimony, he said that he made his decision to support military action based on "the best evidence available at the time." He also claimed that, if he had opposed the war, the U.K. would not have taken part.

However, despite having committed Britain to President's Bush's "coalition of the willing", Mr. Straw was critical of the American regime change policy -- and admitted the decision to intervene in Iraq had haunted the British government ever since.

Here's an excerpt from Jack Straw's testimony today.


FISH MEMORY STUDY Duration: 00:06:15

If you think taunting a fish is fine because they only have three-second-memories, then think again: that's a red herring.

A new study out of Australia claims that fish actually have pretty decent memories. So next time you mock an African Butter Catfish, a Double Lipspot Mouthbrooder or a Scot's Fairy Wrasse, be warned. They'll remember you. And they'll find you. If you live near water. Otherwise, they won't.

Dr. Kevin Warburton studied the behaviour of Australian freshwater fish for Charles Sturt University's Institute for Land. We reached him in Albury, Australia.


IT KILLS Duration: 00:00:12

Album:FACE THE TRUTH/MALKMUS, STEPHEN

Label:MATADOR

Persons/Roles:
STEPHEN MALKMUS - COMPOSER
JICKS - POP GROUP
STEPHEN MALKMUS - VOCALS

FTR + MUSIC: HAITI CONCERT Duration: 00:03:11

This week, Quebec has hosted a succession of benefit concerts for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. And last night, at one of those concerts, one Haitian-Canadian author received a standing ovation.

Dany Laferriere was in Port-au-Prince during the earthquake. Once the applause died down, he thanked the audience, and suggested their applause was actually for Haiti itself -- and that he was only a simple metaphor for the devastated country. He gave a speech in French -- and here's some of what he had to say, for the record.


HAITI: DR. JOURNO ETHICS Duration: 00:08:11

It is a dramatic image: a reporter who is also a qualified medical doctor springing into action to perform first aid on someone hurt in the Haiti earthquake -- and in some cases, going as far as to perform surgery. All of it during a news report.

And while a physician correspondent giving medical assistance to those injured in a natural disaster is commendable, it does raise some ethical issues about the role of journalists.

Gary Schwitzer is the Publisher of Health News Review-dot-org, a health-journalism watchdog group that rates news coverage for accuracy and balance. He's also a Professor of Journalism at the University of Minnesota. We reached him in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


GET DIS MONEY (PHARRELL REMIX) Duration: 00:00:22

Album:PHARRELL PRESENTS: THE REMIX INSTRUMENTALS, VOL.2

Label:CUSTOM

Persons/Roles:
PHARRELL WILLIAMS - COMPOSER
PHARRELL WILLIAMS - PRODUCER

WOMEN GAMBLING STUDY Duration: 00:07:17

Over the past decade, you may have noticed that an increasing number of bars and restaurants have a common item on their menu... and it isn't food.

Video lottery terminals -- or VLTs -- are like electronic slot machines or scratch tickets. And in most of Canada, they can be found anywhere from your local casino to your local Royal Canadian Legion.

But while the chances of winning are slim at best, the chances of Canadian women with gambling problems using VLTs is significantly higher. A new study by University of Manitoba researchers suggests that -- of all the means of gambling available -- these terminals are associated with the greatest likelihood of problem gambling for Canadian women.

As such, the research group is calling on governments to remove VLTs from bars, restaurants and legions across the country.

Tracie Afifi is the study's lead researcher. We reached her in New York.


HAPPENSTANCE Duration: 00:04:26

Album:HAPPENSTANCE

Label:DEMO

Persons/Roles:
DAVE BABCOCK - COMPOSER
DAVE BABCOCK - SAXOPHONE

DATELINE: BUFFALO CHEESE Duration: 00:01:41

Dateline: Campania region, Italy.

This cheese just won't cut it. Italy's trademark buffalo mozzarella cheese is a dairy delicacy typically made with buffalo milk. But when it's made with ordinary cow's milk, well, that's cause for curdled emotions.

This week, reports leaked to the media caused a lot of whining when random samples of cheese in the Campania region of Italy were found to contain more than a third cow's milk - which isn't nearly as exotic as buffalo's milk. Luigi Chianese may have been the man who cut the cheese. He runs a dairy and ironically, is head of an organization designed to promote and protect the quality of buffalo cheese.

A quarter of the mozzarella tested last November contained cow's milk. But Chianese says its all just a cheesy rumor. The Italian Agriculture Ministry refused to comment, saying only that people should continue to enjoy fine slices of Italy's south.

Theories about how buffalo's milk came into use are about as full of holes as a different kind of European cheese. Fossil evidence suggests the creatures could be native to the region, or they may have been introduced by Arabs at the start of the second millenium.

Annual buffalo cheese consumption currently brings 300 Euros into the Italian economy. But officials fear scandals such as this one could cause industry's reputation to crumble. NOWEB>


MUSIC VIDEO BLOCKED Duration: 00:08:53

Chances are, when you hear that song by OK Go, you can't help but think of treadmills.

Not because it's on the mixed tape you use at the gym, but because the video for the song -- featuring a single shot of the band doing a choreographed routine on eight treadmills -- was a YouTube sensation back in 2006. It has received almost 50 million hits. It went " viral", as they say. And thus the song was a hit, and the band's label made heaps of money.

But in the past four years, the music industry has changed, and now, thanks to a deal between music labels and YouTube, you're no longer able to share OK Go's videos by posting them on your own website or blog. You can only access their YouTube videos on YouTube.

This week the band's frontman, Damian Kulash, posted an open letter on the band's website, criticizing the move and apologizing to fans.

We reached Mr. Kulash on tour, in Brussels.


ALL IS NOT LOST Duration: 00:02:44

Album:OF THE BLUE COLOUR OF THE SKY/OK GO

Label:CAPITOL, 09463 82437 2 4

Persons/Roles:
DAN KONOPKA - COMPOSER
DAMIAN, JR KULASH - COMPOSER
TIMOTHY NORDWIND - COMPOSER
ANDY ROSS - COMPOSER
DAVE FRIDMANN - PRODUCER
OK GO - POP GROUP



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