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February 12, 2010

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For Robert Mugabe, there is an "i" in "team". One year into Zimbabwe's power-sharing government, there's more discord than accord.

The rites and wrongs of Rights and Democracy. A Canadian human-rights agency descends into a chaos of name-calling, resignations, and infighting.

Mia culpa. A new book accuses celebrities -- including the star of "Rosemary's Baby" -- of oversimplifying and exacerbating the crisis in Darfur.

Good crop, bad crop. When India withdraws its approval for genetically-modified eggplant, it cultivates a controversy.

The minis-culinary arts. A Montreal sommelier's award-winning cookbook reveals the molecular relationships between food and wine.

And...bald-faced fliers. A month ago, a Virginia woman was under siege by vultures -- but now she's not receiving such rapt-or attention.

As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio that urges everyone to keep calm, and carrion.


INT ZIM POWER SHARING ANN Duration: 00:06:50

It was a deal that put an end to months of months of political turmoil and violence in Zimbabwe.

But a year after the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, agreed to share power with president Robert Mugabe and the Zanu-PF, some say little of that deal's promise has been fulfilled -- and Zimbabweans are paying the price.

John Makumbe is a political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe. We reached him in Harare.


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

INT: CELEBRITIES AND DARFUR Duration: 00:07:07

At first blush, the idea of Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie, Mia Farrow and George Clooney showing up in war-stricken parts of the developing world seems like a great thing: the actors use their status to draw public attention to a devastating, ongoing war and make it more attractive -- literally -- for the Western media to cover.

But that attractiveness also has an ugly side. According to Rob Crilly, a reporter who has been covering the war in Darfur since 2004, it can actually harm the cause more than it helps. Mr. Crilly explains this in his new book, "Saving Darfur -- Everyone's Favourite African War". We reached Rob Crilly in Brighton, England.


HA DVASH Duration: 00:00:33

Album:FOOL'S GOLD/FOOL'S GOLD

Label:IAMSOUND, IAM 029

Persons/Roles:
LEWIS PESACOV - ARRANGER
LUKE TOP - COMPOSER
BRAD CAULKINS - PRODUCER
FOOL'S GOLD - POP GROUP
ERICA GARCIA - PRODUCER
AMIR KENAN - PRODUCER
ORPHEO MCCORD - PRODUCER
MARK NOSEWORTHY - PRODUCER
LEWIS PESACOV - PRODUCER
SALVADOR PLANCENCIA - PRODUCER
MATT POPIELUCH - PRODUCER
GARRETT RAY - PRODUCER
MICHAEL TAPPER - PRODUCER
LUKE TOP - PRODUCER
JIMMY VINCENT - PRODUCER

SEQ VULTURE PILOT Duration: 00:06:46

Like a lot of other people, Paul Appleton, from Cleveland, Ohio, escapes the winter cold by repairing to the sunny climes of Florida. He has a house in Pompano Beach. The climate suits him, he likes the people and the clear blue Florida skies are a great place to pursue his passion: flying helicopters. He regularly takes to the air and circles around the Florida coast.

On Sunday, however, Mr Appleton's passion took a turn for the unexpected -- when he took on board an uninvited, and unwanted, guest. We reached Mr. Appleton at his winter home in Pompano Beach, Florida.


SEQ VULTURE FOLLO Duration: 00:03:32

All this vulture talk reminded us of poor Nancy Cox from Virginia, whom we spoke to a month ago today. You'll remember that Ms. Cox's home had been overrun by vultures, who were picking away at her roof, attacking her pets and generally making her life a living hell.

Well, we thought it was about time we checked back with Nancy Cox to find whether she was able to get rid of her unwelcome guests. Unfortunately, she's suffering from laryngitis, but her caregiver Suzie Brown, who visits the house each day, was able to fill us in on the details.

We reached Ms. Brown at Nancy Cox's home in Ridgeway, Virginia.


CLOSING

Well, we'll be lurking ominously on the roof of the Broadcast Centre while you listen to the news. But we'll descend again in just a few minutes with more As It Happens. When we return:

One rights group makes a lot of wrongs. The bizarre ongoing saga of a federally-funded agency called Rights & Democracy.

Disc-o tech. A wristful remembrance of Fred Morrison -- the man credited with inventing the Frisbee.

Snowpocalypse now. In the face of an oncoming blizz-aster, one American weatherman melts down.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm CH.


RETURN BILLS Duration: 00:00:50

Hello again, I'm CO.

And I'm CH. This is As It Happens, Part Two.

Coming up:

A big purple vegetable is at the centre of a battle over GM crops in India.

Pheasant-under-microscope: an award-winning cookbook that looks at the molecular relationships between food and wine.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


INT RIGHTS & DEMOCRACY Duration: 00:07:33

From arms-length to hands-on.

For much of the past year, the government-funded agency known as Rights & Democracy has been in turmoil. This past spring, Prime Minister, Stephen Harper replaced two members of the agency's board of directors. That move caused considerable tensions within the organization, when the new board members clashed with the old. At the heart of that clash were the claims -- made by the newly-appointed board members -- that Rights & Democracy had been funding terrorist organizations.

In all likelihood, these internal politics would have remained internal, if it hadn't have been for the death of the agency's president, Remy Beauregard -- who suffered a fatal heart attack. On the day of his funeral, the Montreal offices of Rights & Democracy were broken into, and computers and several files were stolen.

Until yesterday, the Harper government has maintained that the agency's problems were its own to solve. But now Lawrence Cannon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, says he'll be stepping in to sort things out.

Paul Wells is a columnist with Maclean's magazine. He's been following the machinations at Rights and Democracy. We've reached him in Vancouver.


AUBERGE LE MOUTON NOIR Duration: 00:00:12

Album:WINTER HYMN COUNTRY HYMN SECRET HYMN/DO MAKE SAY THINK

Label:CONSTELLATION, CST025

Persons/Roles:
OHAD BENCHETRIT - COMPOSER
DAVE MITCHELL - COMPOSER
JAMES PAYMENT - COMPOSER
JUSTIN SMALL - COMPOSER
CHARLES SPEARIN - COMPOSER
DO MAKE SAY THINK - POP GROUP

WHEEL IN THE SKY Duration: 00:00:20

Album:GREATEST HITS/JOURNEY

Label:CK4493, CK4493

Persons/Roles:
SCHON N - COMPOSER
JOURNEY - LARGE VOCAL GROUP

CLIP OBIT: FRISBEE INVENTOR Duration: 00:02:38

That's Journey, with "Wheel In The Sky" -- a song that's either about some powerful celestial force that predetermines our actions, or the Frisbee. Or both.

Since the flying disc by that name went on the market in the Nineteen-Fifties, it has soared into the public consciousness like few other toys. This week, the man who tossed it there died. His name was Fred Morrison -- and he was ninety years old.

There were flying discs before Fred Morrison. In fact, before Mr. Morrison perfected his own product, he -- and many others -- used cake pans or pie plates. What set Mr. Morrison apart was a combination of salesmanship, tenacity, and entrepreneurial spirit. The latter of which kicked in one day when he and a girlfriend were throwing a cake pan back and forth. A stranger stopped to offer him a quarter. The pan had cost Mr. Morrison a nickel. And he could do math.

So he started designing his own, more aerodynamic cake pan. And after serving in World War II, he decided the future was in plastics. So he first created a plastic disc called "the Flyin-Saucer" -- and then the "Pluto Platter". The outer part of the circular disc was listed in the patent as the "Morrison Slope" -- a slope which is common to almost all flying discs nowadays.

The tireless Fred Morrison travelled around the U.S. to fairs, dressed up as an astronaut, demonstrating the Pluto Platter, and probably sweating a lot. His outlandish promotion caught the attention of a newly-formed company called "Wham-O". And in 1957, Wham-O bought Mr. Morrison's design.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, college students were eating a lot of pie. These pies were manufactured by the Frisbie Baking Company. That's "Frisbie" spelled "F-R-I-S-B-I-E". The students then used their empty pie plates as flying discs. It was an East Coast phenomenon.

So Wham-O cleverly took the pie-company's name, changed the second "i" to an "e", and called their discs "Frisbees" -- any similarity purely intentional.

Mr. Morrison, incidentally, hated the name "Frisbee". He thought it was stupid. But he wasn't complaining: ten years after he sold the rights to the Pluto Platter to Wham-O, he was able to retire on the royalties.

The Frisbee became so popular among people who otherwise did little with their hands that, in 1975, two doctors diagnosed an unusual ailment. It was called "Frisbee Finger". And in August of that year, guest host Ken Dryden spoke with medical student Hallie Fost and Doctor Mark Dembert about their work.


VIVA LAS VEGAS Duration: 00:00:24

Album:HI, I'M ELVIS BOSSA NOVA!/ELVIS BOSSA NOVA

Label:CUSTOM, EBN0001

Persons/Roles:
DOC POMUS - COMPOSER
MORT SHUMAN - COMPOSER
MICHAEL DAVIDSON - VIBRAPHONE
ELVIS BOSSA NOVA - POP GROUP
BRIAN KOBAYAKAWA - DOUBLE BASS
JAKE OELRICHS - DRUMS
JAMES ROBERTSON - GUITAR
ROMAN TOME - PERCUSSION

INT COOKBOOK WINNER Duration: 00:06:12

Every year, on his wedding anniversary, John Edwards took his now-estranged wife Elizabeth to Wendy's. So all of you who believe that's a relationship to emulate should go ahead and share a Frosty with your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.

Since that's no one, that means everyone will be taking their beloveds elsewhere. But where? And what they should eat while there? And what they should drink with what they're eating?

Well, one man who might have some answers is Montreal sommelier Francois Chartier. He's an innovative gastronomist who uses the latest in food chemistry to match the best grub with the best grape.

His book, "Papilles et Molecules" -- which translates to "Taste Buds and Molecules", has just won the prestigious title of "Most Innovative Food Book in the World", at the World cookbook Awards in Paris, France. That's where we reached him.


PSYCHIC CITY (VOODOO CITY) Duration: 00:00:22

Album:SEE MYSTERY LIGHTS/YACHT

Label:DFA

Persons/Roles:
JONA BECHTOTT - COMPOSER
YACHT - POP GROUP

SC ENTRY CARD SONG Duration: 00:01:02

Have you ever found yourself face-to-face with a new acquaintance, wishing you could know more about them? Where they came from, where they're going, or if they've ever been or are now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or whether, between 1933 and 1945 they were involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?

All right, unless you work for U-S immigration, you probably don't wonder about that last part during a first handshake. It's one of the questions asked of foreign nationals entering the United States without a visa. And, as such, it's one of the lyrics in Andy Fite's "Do Any of the Following Apply to You?"

Having already set to music such subjects as the Book of Revelations, Colin Powell's 2003 U-N speech on Iraq, and spam e-mails, Mr. Fite has included "Do Any of the Following Apply To You?" on an album called "Other People's Problems" -- fitting, because, while the musician has lived in Sweden for the past fifteen years, he's an American citizen, so that entry card doesn't apply.

Have your documents ready: here's Andy Fite.


DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY TO YOU? Duration: 00:01:40

Album:OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS/ANDY FITE

Label:CUSTOM

Persons/Roles:
ANDY FITE - COMPOSER
ANDY FITE - GUITAR
ANDY FITE - VOCALS

INT OLY: NO POET LAUREATE Duration: 00:06:06

This evening, with the opening ceremonies, the Vancouver Winter Olympics begin. And while the Games are primarily an athletic event, they're also a tremendously important venue for local arts and culture. The Cultural Olympiad is a showcase for performers, musicians and artists to express their views of all things Olympic. Except that some of the artists invited to participate feel that their views aren't welcome.

Paul Cran is the Poet Laureate for the city of Vancouver. He was originally invited by the Vancouver Organizing Committee -- or VANOC -- to read some of his poems as part of the Cultural Olympiad. He declined -- and in an open letter earlier this week, argued that the legal agreement VANOC wanted him to sign was, in effect, a muzzle clause.

We reached Paul Cran at his office in Vancouver.


SALTWATER ROOM Duration: 00:00:18

Album:OCEAN EYES/OWL CITY

Label:REPUBLIC, B001314102

Persons/Roles:
ADAM YOUNG - COMPOSER
OWL CITY - POP GROUP

CLIP TB/EMAIL REAL ESTATE FOLO Duration: 00:03:23

No one likes to be growled at by the government, but the Canadian Real Estate Association figures this may be a case of the bark being worse than the bite.

Ottawa says there isn't enough competition in the Canadian real estate business, and it wants to see the industry loosen up its rules. The federal Competition Bureau believes it should be easier for homeowners to buy only the real estate services they need, instead of paying high commissions to agents for services they don't want.

Last night on As It Happens, the head of the Canadian Real Estate Association said none of this makes sense to him. According to Dale Ripplinger, there's plenty of competition in the real estate business -- and agents work hard to protect the interests of consumers.

Here's one of the calls that came in to our Talkback line:

And thank you for phoning in.

There were emails on this subject too. This letter is from Felicia Esposito in Calgary:

"Wow, while I was listening to Mr. Ripplinger, I was hoping you'd ask him what world he lived in and if there was room for me. If not, I'd like to invite him over to my world, here in Calgary.

"In Calgary, I challenge him to find an agent he can 'negotiate' with. The fees have been standardized here at seven per cent for the first one-hundred thousand dollars, and three-point-five per cent for the remaining.

"If you ask an agent to negotiate, they may knock five-hundred or a thousand dollars off, but that is only on their half of the commission. They can't control the listing or referring agent's fees, which would also follow the fee schedule above. I believe in some circles, this is called collusion."

That was from Felicia Esposito in Calgary.

And Diane Walle sent this letter from Victoria.

"There are discount services in B.C. that have been operating successfully for the past few years.

"I have bought and sold my last three properties through One Per Cent Realty; my realtor offers all the same full services as the usual realtors, including listing on the MLS listing service, showings, and advertising at a fixed price fee. All three transactions with One Per Cent went very smoothly, saving me thousands of dollars.

"Other realtors have told me they do not co-operate with One Per Cent, and will often avoid taking their clients to see properties offered for sale by that agency. Despite this, One Per Cent is becoming more popular, as people realize they have been gouged enough over the years by realtors who often get paid tens of thousands of dollars for only a few hours' work.

"I believe it is time to change things."

Signed Diane Walle, in Victoria B.C.

Want to weigh in on this story or on anything else you hear on As It Happens? Talkback is a no-fee zone. Our toll-free number is 1-866-481-5718. Or write to aih@cbc.ca.


IN BETWEEN DAYS Duration: 00:00:44

Album:SUPERSUNNYSPEEDGRAPHIC, THE LP/FOLDS, BEN

Label:EPIC, 88697 00536 2

Persons/Roles:
ROBERT SMITH - COMPOSER
BEN FOLDS - PRODUCER
BEN FOLDS - VOCALS
JOHN MARK PAINTER - PRODUCER

SEQ INDIA GM FOOD: SHIVA Duration: 00:07:08

Last October, India's first genetically modified brinjal-- or eggplant-- was officially approved for released. But on Tuesday, the Indian government withdrew its approval, saying further testing needs to be done before it can be cultivated.

Dr. Vanada Shiva is a food-safety and sustainability activist, based in India. She is also the founder of the Organic Seed Bank Network, which is used by food growers across India. We reached Dr. Shiva in Delhi.


SEQ INDIA GM FOOD: PIMENTEL Duration: 00:06:18

There is, of course, the argument that genetically modified crops should not be completely discounted, especially when it comes to hungry nations.

Dr. David Pimentel makes that argument. He is a professor of entomology at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. He has written extensively about pesticide and pesticide-resistant crops. We reached him in Ithaca, New York.


MARSHALL BOMB Duration: 00:00:32

Album:DEERFOOT/DEERFOOT

Label:CUSTOM, DF001

Persons/Roles:
KURT CIESLA - COMPOSER
DEAN FAULKNER - COMPOSER
RON SAMSOM - COMPOSER
RYAN TIMOFFEE - COMPOSER
DEERFOOT - POP GROUP
RYAN TIMOFFEE - PRODUCER

CLIP SOD: BALTIMORE WEATHER FORECAST Duration: 00:02:04

Sometimes when you look out your window in the morning, you want to scream. The sight of the snow piled up outside -- and the thought of digging out -- can instantly awaken your inner Howard Dean.

Well, imagine how they've been feeling in the Washington, D.C.-area lately. As you may have heard, if you've been conscious, they've been experiencing a snowpocalypse. Yes, the End of Days has apparently arrived, in the form of a low pressure system.

So perhaps it's not surprising that weather predictions in the D.C. region have been a little adjective-heavy in the last week or so.

Here's Jim Kosek of Accuweather.com delivering the forecast for Baltimore a week ago -- our Sound of the Day:



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