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January 29, 2010

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It doesn't look like Omar Khadr will be coming home any time soon.

Today, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Canadian officials violated the Guantanamo Bay inmate's rights by participating in his abusive interrogations there. But it rejected lower court rulings that ordered Ottawa to press for Mr. Khadr's return to Canada.

The justices said it is up to the federal government to decide how to remedy the situation.

Nathan Whitling is one of Omar Khadr's lawyers. We reached him in Edmonton.


DIVERTISSEMENTS FOR PERFORMING BEARSDuration: 00:00:32
Album:PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT/PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
Label:KILL ROCK STARS
Persons/Roles:
COURTNEY VON DREHLE-COMPOSER
3 LEG TORSO-ENSEMBLE
PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT-ENSEMBLE

FTR: CHILCOT BLAIR #1Duration: 00:01:37

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is a man with no regrets.

Today, at the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War, Mr. Blair resolutely defended his decision to commit the U.K. to invasion. He claimed that conditions in Iraq had improved because of the occupation -- and that if he had to make the decision again, he would do the same thing.

Over nearly six hours of questioning, Mr. Blair acknowledged few mistakes in his handling of the war. And he ultimately defended his decision to invade because he believed, "beyond doubt", that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Blair's address to the inquiry.


FTR: CHILCOT BLAIR #2Duration: 00:00:57

During his testimony, protestors demonstrated outside the inquiry. And after he finished his testimony, some people booed and heckled him -- calling him a liar, and a murderer.

At the end of the session, the chair of the inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, asked Mr. Blair whether he had any regrets. Here is his response.


FEELS LIKE RAINDuration: 00:00:27
Album:MONSOON WEDDING FILM
Label:MILAN, 35981
Persons/Roles:
MYCHAEL DANNA-COMPOSER
INTERPRETE NON MENTIONNE-FL PRNC

OBIT: TUSKEGEE AIRMANDuration: 00:07:54

Colonel Lee Archer was the kind of man who was good at everything he did -- although "good" is a considerable understatement. During World War Two, he was an ace fighter pilot. And upon retiring from the armed forces, he was hired on as an executive at General Foods, where he went on to become a prominent business leader.

These accomplishments were commendable by any measure. But they were made extraordinary by the fact that, as a black man living in the United States when he did, they were believed to be largely unattainable.

Lee Archer's profoundly successful life came to an end this week at the age of ninety.

Dr. Roscoe Brown served with Lee Archer in the U.S. Army Air Corps' Three-Hundred-and-Thirty-Second Fighter Group -- popularly known as the "Tuskegee Airmen" the United States' first group of black pilots. The two remained life-long friends. We reached himin New York City.


MUCH BETTER THAN I EXPECTEDDuration: 00:09:45
Album:SLIDESHOW/LINSLEY, CHAD
Label:CL2
Persons/Roles:
CHAD LINSLEY-COMPOSER
MICHEL BERTHIAUME-DRUMS
CHAD LINSLEY-PIANO
AL MCLEAN-SAXOPHONE
DAVE MOSSING-TRUMPET
ADAM OVER-DOUBLE BASS

EXPENSIVE POLITENESSDuration: 00:06:06

People are always lamenting the loss of good manners these days -- without, I'm sorry to say, paying any attention to the cost of keeping them.

It turns out that the people of Britain, who are famous for their etiquette, are paying a high price for their politeness. New research for the financial website moneysupermarket.com claims that British politeness costs the average household nearly 3000 pounds a year. That's more than five thousand dollars Canadian.

Claire Francis is the editor of moneysupermarket.com. We reached her in Chester, England.


PROP 8 TRIALDuration: 00:08:54

California's same-sex marriage ban -- determined in the court of public opinion -- is now being challenged in federal court.

When Americans went to the polls just over a year ago, the message they sent was clear: "Yes, we can". But that same night, Californians told same-sex couples "No, you can't" -- when they voted in favour of Proposition 8, an amendment to the state's constitution, rejecting gay marriage.

But soon, a judge will rule on whether or not that law contravenes the federal constitution. What he decides could affect similar marriage laws across the country.

Theodore Boutros, Junior is one of the lawyers representing the two couples challenging California's Marriage Protection Act. We reached him in Los Angeles.


POINCONNEUR DES LILASDuration: 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

ANTIGONISH BISHOPDuration: 00:07:53

His mission is to do God's work, but Bishop Brian Dunn is facing some man-made obstacles on the way.

On Monday, the Catholic Church installed Mr. Dunn as the new Bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. It won't be easy: residents of the diocese feel betrayed by their religious leaders, and parishioners are paying the price -- literally -- for that betrayal.

Bishop Dunn replaces Raymond Lahey, who oversaw an out-of-court settlement with victims of sexual abuse within the church. Now, Raymond Lahey himself awaits trial on charges of possession and importation of child pornography. And local churches have to pay more than eighteen-million dollars in restitution for the sins of their parish priests.

We reached Bishop Brian Dunn in Antigonish.


NORTHERN LIGHTSDuration: 00:00:25
Album:BOUCHARD, REMI: PIANO MUSIC
Label:CONSERVATORY CANADA, 3531
Persons/Roles:
REMI BOUCHARD-COMPOSER
CLARK BRYAN-PIANO
WILL MEADOWS-PRODUCER

SC/MUSIC: BROWN BEAR BANDuration: 00:02:44

That was the voice of Bill Martin, reading from Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation. That book is an effort to illuminate long-ignored ethical elements in the work of Karl Marx. To put it in Mr. Martin's words: "Goldfish, goldfish, what do you see? I see a teacher looking at me."

Wait a second. What do goldfish have to do with Marx? Let me just do a tiny amount of research here. Okay, that didn't take long: turns out there are two Bill Martins. One Bill Martin -- Bill Martin, Junior, to be precise -- is the late author of more than three hundred children's books. It was that Bill Martin whose voice we just heard, reading from his beloved classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? The other Bill Martin is an academic at DePaul University -- the author of nine books, including the aforementioned Ethical Marxism, as well as Matrix and Line: Derrida and the Possibilities of Postmodern Social Theory.

So, really, the two authors have absolutely nothing in common, and no one could mix them up. Except for the Texas State Board of Education. Earlier this month, the Board was trying to sort out its standardized social-studies curriculum. And someone had proposed that Grade Three students might benefit from studying the books of Bill Martin, Junior, with their gentle message of natural interconnectedness.

Well, one Board member had done a little research on Bill Martin. Very, very little research. And she found that a man named Bill Martin was also the author of books containing "very strong critiques of capitalism and the American system." That raised a serious concern: what if Grade Three students went to read Bill Martin's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and accidentally read Bill Martin's Humanism and its Aftermath: The Shared Fate of Deconstruction and Politics?

So, since there couldn't possibly be more than one person named Bill Martin, the Board voted to exclude the author of Brown Bear, Brown Bear from state curricula.

The Texas State Board of Education has, correctly, been mocked for the decision, chiefly because it was stupid. And since that ill-informed vote, one hopes that it's the members of the Board themselves who are experiencing an identity crisis.


IDENTITY CRISISDuration: 00:04:24
Album:VAMPIRE HOTEL/KIRBY, CHRIS
Label:CUSTOM, KIRN0001
Persons/Roles:
CHRIS KIRBY-COMPOSER
GORDIE JOHNSON-PRODUCER
CHRIS KIRBY-VOCALS

TEEN SUICIDE PREVENTIONDuration: 00:07:22

Last year, thirteen teenagers in the James Bay area of Northern Ontario hanged themselves. Eighty more attempted suicide. And now, finally, it seems the provincial government is taking notice -- and taking action.

For years now, Payukotano James And Hudson Bay Family Services has been the lone provider of suicide prevention programs in the region, despite being chronically underfunded. Until this month -- when the Ontario government allotted nearly half-a-million dollars in emergency funds so that the centre can hire four suicide prevention workers.

Marlene Kapashesit is the Director of Services for Payukotano James and Hudson Bay Family Services in Moosonee, Ontario. We reached her at her office.


IF I ONLYDuration: 00:00:29
Album:DO MAKE SAY THINK/DO MAKE SAY THINK
Label:CUSTOM
Persons/Roles:
OHAD BENCHETRIT-COMPOSER
JASON MACKENZIE-COMPOSER
DAVE MITCHELL-COMPOSER
JAMES PAYMENT-COMPOSER
JUSTIN SMALL-COMPOSER
CHARLES SPEARIN-COMPOSER
DO MAKE SAY THINK-POP GROUP

OBIT: HOWARD ZINNDuration: 00:03:07

There's only so much we can fit into a single radio program. That's why the death of one famous American overshadowed another last night -- and we weren't the only ones to lament it.

Tonight, we'll make things right, with a tribute to Howard Zinn.

Howard Zinn's life took an extraordinary route -- from World War Two bomber pilot to anti-war activist to author and university professor. But his greatest legacy is a book he published in 1980, entitled A People's History, which became a million-seller. It also spawned The Zinn Education Project, which is devoted to changing the way schools teach American history.

What made A People's History extraordinary was its perspective. It showed that it's not just a few heroic individuals who can change history -- it's working people, women, visible minorities and organized social movements.

Howard Zinn joined the Army Air Corps in 1943, and flew bombing missions throughout Europe. But after he returned home with an Air Medal, he began to question the idea of war -- and eventually, became one of the most prominent anti-war activists and speakers in the United States.

In 2003, he marched in New York, along with millions who had converged in cities around the world, to oppose the threat of a war in Iraq. We aired some of his speech at that march on As It Happens. Here's part of what he said, from our archives:


MORNING HAS BROKENDuration: 00:00:12
Album:CAT STEVENS: TEASER AND THE FIRECAT
Label:A&M, B0012187-02
Persons/Roles:
ANONYME CELTE-COMPOSER
ELEANOR FARJEON-WRITER
YUSUF (CAT STEVENS) ISLAM-PRESUM COMP
YUSUF (CAT STEVENS) ISLAM-SINGING

ITALIAN TRANSGENDERED PRISONSDuration: 00:07:48

Life on the outside for transgendered individuals can be hard enough. In prison, they are even greater targets of persecution.

But in Italy, life behind bars is about to get a bit more bearable for transgendered prisoners, with the opening of a new prison designed for them, and for them only. The exclusive new facility is set to open this spring in the Tuscan town of Pozzale, near Florence.

As a former member of parliament, Vladimir Luxuria has met with several transgendered prisoners throughout the country. She was Europe's first openly-transgendered parliamentarian, and only the second in the world.

We reached Ms. Luxuria in Foggia.


WHEN I COME AROUNDDuration: 00:00:15
Album:JAMIE LIDELL: MULTIPLY ADDITIONS
Label:WARP, WARPCD 143
Persons/Roles:
JAMIE LIDELL-COMPOSER
SALO-COMPOSER
JAMIE LIDELL-SINGER

TB/EMAIL: HOMEOPATHY PROTESTDuration: 00:01:03

For some, alternative medicine can be a hard pill to swallow.

But this weekend, when a group of British skeptics downs entire bottles of pills as part of a protest against homeopathy, let's hope that's literally not the case.

Last night, Helen Mann spoke with Michael Marshall, one of the protestors. His opinion is that homeopathic medicine is just sugar pills, and only work according to the placebo effect.

Well, after that interview, Talkback did some protesting of its own.


HABIBIDuration: 00:00:16
Album:GROOVE ALLA TURCA
Label:NIGHT & DAY, BB 2001
Persons/Roles:
BURHAN OCAL-COMPOSER
JAMAALADEEN TACUMA-BASS GUITAR
BURHAN OCAL-PERCUSSION
JAMAALADEEN TACUMA-PRODUCER
NATACHA ATLAS-VOCALS

GLOBAL SUNBLOCKDuration: 00:05:50

We all know we should recycle more, produce less waste, and turn the lights off when we leave. But cutting carbon emissions may not the only way to help the planet. Some scientists advocate "geo-engineering" -- methods by which we might somehow manipulate the planet's atmosphere itself to slow, or even reverse, the effects of climate change.

One form of geo-engineering is called solar-radiation management -- sort of like applying a layer of sunblock to the planet. David Keith has presented the case for global sunblock in the current issue of the journal, Nature. He's a physicist at the University of Calgary, which is where we reached him.


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