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March 4, 2010

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Canada's Economic Inaction Plan. The federal budget shows that the government took two months off, and returned with a "wait-and-see" attitude.

They were promised haste -- and are lamenting at leisure. Haitian immigrants were told that Canada would fast-track their requests -- but that was a month-and-a-half ago.

A Band Aid solution. Twenty-five years ago, a hungry Ethiopia received millions in aid -- but a BBC investigation shows much of that money was spent on weapons.

A town's reach should not exceed its grass. Across the U.S., bylaws insist on well-tended lawns -- even as water shortages worsen.

It seemed perfectly armless. But a nude Venus de Milo made of snow provoked a flurry of complaints in New Jersey.

And...drafting an army of mosquitoes. In Burkina Faso, a study shows that the biting pests wear tiny beer googles -- because they're more attracted to a dude drinking brews.

As It Happens, the Thursday edition. Radio that rests its case.


BUDGET MINISTER Duration: 00:00:40

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered a budget and a message today: both were "stay the course".

He is promising to restrict salaries for MPs and public servants and to allow more foreign investment. But he also signalled there are no major shifts ahead. No tax hikes. And no significant cuts in spending. Instead, Ottawa will rely on economic growth down the road to balance the books -- even though his own Parliamentary budget watchdog says that strategy is unrealistic.

We reached Minister Flaherty in Ottawa.


STAGE 5 Duration: 00:00:32

Album:DELHI 2 DUBLIN/DELHI 2 DUBLIN

Label:CUSTOM, D2D001

Persons/Roles:
S BART - LYRICIST
RAVI BINNING - COMPOSER
ANDREW KIM - COMPOSER
KYTAMI - COMPOSER
TARUN NAYAR - COMPOSER
SANJAY SERAN - COMPOSER
ADHAM SHAIKH - COMPOSER
DELHI 2 DUBLIN - POP GROUP
TARUN NAYAR - PRODUCER

EMAIL: CALIFORNIA GUN LAWS Duration: 00:01:48

You know when you do a story about Americans' Second Amendment right to bear arms, you're going to start a firefight. Figuratively speaking. And last night's story was no exception.

Yesterday, Californian podcast host David Julian talked to Carol about his dream of a day when it will be as easy for him and his fellow citizens to carry concealed weapons as it is for them to carry weapons openly. But not everyone shares Mr Julian's brand of California dreamin'.

Melody Derrick sent us this email from somewhere in cyber space:

"Carol, why didn't you ask Mr Julian about everyone else's right to not be intimidated by the presence of guns in establishments? What about my rights? What about the rights of businesses in the vicinity that won't allow guns? Gunshots will penetrate their walls too."

That email is from Melody Derrick. And Montreal's Anne Woolgar also disagrees with Mr Julian. She writes:

"If every American is like David Julian, I pity them. What's the point of having police if everybody is carrying a gun? What happens if someone insults him? Does he shoot first and talk later? I'm sick and tired of this generation of people who are so mistrustful that they feel the need to carry any weapon."

That email is from Anne Woolgar in Montreal. If you'd like to comment on anything you hear on this program, please feel free to email us at aih@cbc.ca. Or you can call our toll-free Talkback line. The number is 1-866-481-5718.


CIRCLES Duration: 00:00:31

Album:FRIENDS HELP FRIENDS HELP FRIENDS

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Persons/Roles:
SANDRO PERRI - COMPOSER
SANDRO PERRI - VOCALS

BALLAD OF MELODY NELSON Duration: 00:00:26

Album:MONSIEUR GAINSBOURG REVISITED

Label:BARCLAY, 983708

Persons/Roles:
SERGE GAINSBOURG - COMPOSER
BORIS BERGMAN - ADAPTOR/LYRICIST
PAUL IVES - ADAPTOR/LYRICIST
JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER - LYRICIST
PLACEBO - POP GROUP
DIMITRI TIKOVOI - PRODUCER

ETHIOPIAN AID REPORT Duration: 00:09:40

During the Ethiopian famine of 1984 and '85, millions of dollars in aid money was spent, and thousands of lives were saved. But a BBC investigation suggests that a large portion of that aid actually ended up funding the purchase of weapons by rebel groups in the region.

Aid groups have vehemently denied the claims, as has the current Ethiopian administration -- which now includes many former members of those rebel groups.

Martin Plaut is the man behind the BBC investigation. We reached him in London, England.


LITTLE BIRD, LITTLE BIRD Duration: 00:00:39

Album:2067

Label:TRUE NORTH, TND 327

Persons/Roles:
MARTIN TIELLI - COMPOSER
DAVE BIDINI - COMPOSER
MICHAEL PHILLIP WOJEWODA - LYRICIST
TIM VESSELY - COMPOSER
RHEOSTATICS - POP GROUP
MICHAEL PHILLIP WOJEWODA - PRODUCER

LE CHANT DES FAUVES Duration: 00:00:32

Album:TINARIWEN: THE RADIO TISDAS SESSIONS

Label:WORLD VILLAGE, 468010

Persons/Roles:
TINARIWEN - COMPOSER
TINARIWEN - ENS IN-V

MOSQUITO BEER GOGGLES Duration: 00:06:56

It's not that I'm anti-science, or have against anything modern medicine, but I just hate hearing about studies like this. It turns out that there's a perfectly legitimate reason --oh, it just kills me to say this -- a perfectly legitimate reason not to drink beer. At least if you're in the company of malarial mosquitos.

Theirry Lefebvre is a biologist at Emory University in Atlanta and one of the scientists who conducted the study. We reached him at his lab.


CLOSING THURSDAY Duration: 00:00:40

We're going to take a short break so that you can listen to the news, but there's a lot more As It Happens to come right after that. When we return:

Fade to emigrés. The Canadian government promised quick help for would-be Haitian immigrants -- but that quick help is slow in coming.

Parch and parcel. Across the U.S., municipalities insist their residents maintain lush lawns -- ignoring dwindling water supplies.

Snow pants. A New Jersey family builds an exquisite Venus de Milo out of snow -- prompting much huffing and puffing.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm BB.


RETURN THURSDAY Duration: 00:00:50

Hello again, I'm CO.

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

Coming up:

Across the United States, local laws demand green lawns -- but that avidity runs counter to increasing aridity.

And a snow objet d'art becomes the object of darts -- because it happens to be a classical nude.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


HAITI IMMIGRATION UPDATE Duration: 00:07:20

Four days after the earthquake in Haiti, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister promised to fast-track requests for people wanting to come here.

Six weeks later, some groups that work with Haitian immigrants say they've seen no signs of progress.

Marjorie Villefranche is the Director of Programs for Maison D'Haiti. We reached her in Montreal.


HAITI IMMIGRATION: CIC Duration: 00:05:20

Renald Gilbert is the Director General of International Operations with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. He's in Ottawa.


RENACIMIENTO Duration: 00:00:06

Album:JASON LINDNER: AB AETERNO

Label:FRESH SOUND, FSWJ 033

Persons/Roles:
JASON LINDNER - COMPOSER
OMER AVITAL - CONTRABASS
OMER AVITAL - UD
JASON LINDNER - PIANO
LUISITO QUINTERO - PERCUSSION

LAWN LAWSUIT FOLLOW Duration: 00:08:55

For a story about coping with drought, it's proven remarkably fertile.

Two nights ago, As It Happens spoke with Quan Ha. The Orange County, California resident had been fined by authorities because he had torn up his lawn and replaced it with drought-resistant plants. He ran afoul of a bylaw that demanded forty per cent of his yard be covered with grass -- even though removing his lawn saved him almost a million litres of water.

Fortunately for Mr. Ha, media coverage of his story caused the county to back down, and drop a planned lawsuit. But there are still a lot of municipalities all over the United States that force people to grow lawns -- even as parts of the U.S. face water shortages.

Paul Robbins finds this disconcerting. He's the head of the Geography Department at the University of Arizona, and the author of Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are. We reached him in Tucson.


BUDGET PANEL Duration: 00:07:05

Earlier in the program, we heard Finance Minister Jim Flaherty defend his government's plan to restore "fiscal balance" to Ottawa. It relies heavily on economic growth -- and eschews tax hikes and spending cuts.

For their reaction to the budget, we reached two economists. Finn Poschmann is with the C.D. Howe Institute. Armine Yalnizyan is with the Centre for Policy Alternatives.


REVERIE EPHEMERE Duration: 00:00:14

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Label:MANGE-TA-MAIN, MTMGG002

Persons/Roles:
JEAN-SEBASTIEN LEBLANC - COMPOSER
GADJI-GADJO - FOLK ENSEMBLE
GADJI-GADJO - INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE
GADJI-GADJO - PRODUCER
ROBERT LANGLOIS - PRODUCER

GANIC ARREST FOLO Duration: 00:08:36

It has been a dramatic week for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadic, accused of war crimes, concluded his opening statements at his trial in The Hague, in the Netherlands. And on Monday, the former president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dr. Ejup Ganic, was arrested at Heathrow Airport by British police. An international warrant for his arrest had been issued by the Serbian office of Interpol. Serbia alleges that, as deputy president at the onset of the Bosnian war, Mr. Ganic ordered the murder of Serbian troops withdrawing from Sarajevo.

Robin Harris is a former aide to Margaret Thatcher, and a good friend of Dr. Ejup Ganic. We reached Mr. Harris in London.


NIGHTLIFE Duration: 00:00:15

Album:54 EAST SOUNDTRACK: THE WEXFORD EP

Label:CUSTOM

Persons/Roles:
DAN MILLER - COMPOSER

CLIP: CANADA READS SARA Duration: 00:02:42

Five books enter. One book leaves. It's CBC Radio's "Canada Reads". And it's just a few days away.

Next week, a panel of five celebrities will debate the merits of five different works of Canadian fiction. This week, we've been previewing the competition with readings from each of the five books. Tonight, it's the turn of Vancouver broadcaster Simi Sara. She is reading from Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott -- the story of a middle-aged, middle-class woman who takes a homeless family under her wing.

In this excerpt, the young daughter, Dolly, is exploring a neighbour's house on the sly.


SECONDARY WALTZ Duration: 00:00:10

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Persons/Roles:
MARK KNOPFLER - COMPOSER
MARK KNOPFLER - WRITER
MARK KNOPFLER - SINGING

NAKED SNOW SCULPTURE Duration: 00:06:32

This is the story of a police cover-up in the state of New Jersey. Well, sort of.

Recently, Elisa Gonzalez, her daughter and her son sculpted what they thought was a masterpiece out of snow, right in their front yard. But on Saturday night, the same day they built their chef d'oeuvre, the police told Ms. Gonzalez she had to cover it up, or tear it down.

We reached Elisa Gonzalez in Rahway, New Jersey.


CHILDHOOD Duration: 00:00:21

Album:AWARDS FOR WORLD MUSIC 2004

Label:UNION SQUARE, MANTDCD223

Persons/Roles:
BAWOT - COMPOSER
KROKE - ENSEMBLE

SCR: MEN RISK STUDY Duration: 00:02:18

If you have ever wondered, 'Gee, I wonder how men behave around attractive women?', but had no way of finding an answer -- relax. A group of Australian scientists have an experiment you might want to try.

Here's what you do. You organize a group of skateboarding dudes. You take them to a skatepark, and you give them an audience--- just a regular audience of dudes, watching other dudes pulling off "sick tricks". That's skateboarding jargon.

Now, you might find that the next part of the experiment is, well, a little risky. You must tell the audience of dudes to leave. And then you bring in a new audience, which is comprised of beautiful women. The skateboarders should now perform those same tricks.

That's the science part. Because suddenly, everything is different. The skateboarding men take more risks. The tricks are now so sick, they're keeling over. There are more crash landings, wipeouts, and bruises.

And now you have discovered what those scientists discovered, in defiance of all common sense: that men tend to become hopeless show-offs when they see that attractive women are watching them.

It's really science, because it's exactly what the real scientists from the University of Queensland in Brisbane did. To compound their controversial new insight on human male behaviour, the researchers swabbed the skateboarders' saliva, and found that there were higher levels of testosterone when they were performing dangerous flips and spins in the presence of the attractive dudettes. It's evolutionary, and it's called "sexual display strategy". Apparently, it was once useful in attracting a mate.

These days, the behaviour is just dangerous. Especially if men show off in fast cars, or by getting into a bar fight. But however outrageous the conclusion of this study, however sick the actual experiment, remember: it's science.


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