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March 31, 2010

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Contrite -- or just trite. Serbia's parliament says it's sorry for the massacre at Srebrenica -- but won't use the term "genocide".

Constructive criticism. The U.N. starts talking about how to spend billions rebuilding Haiti -- while one aid group says the country really needs medical help.

Spin pal. Sometimes a series of glowing letters to the editor in support of an MP come from the place you'd most expect.

Not so much a touch of class as a push. Remembering the tough-love teacher who inspired the movie "Stand and Deliver" -- and generations of math students.

We have nothing to fear but sphere itself. And when a scientist explains the giant round stones of Costa Rica, we'll have nothing to fear at all.

And...it turns out we all have magnetic personalities. The proof: magnets on your head can actually change the orientation of your "moral compass".

As It Happens, the Wednesday edition. Radio that sticks.


INT SERB APOLOGY Duration: 00:07:24

It's an apology...but some are saying it's not enough.

In July 1995, some eight thousand Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb forces -- and Serbia failed to intervene. Today, after hours of debate, Serbia's parliament passed a resolution apologizing for the massacre. But the parliament has refused to refer to what happened as a genocide.

Zarko Korac is a Serbian member of parliament and the country's former deputy prime minister. We reached him in Belgrade.


FOA: SRBRENICA Duration: 00:01:59

Following the Srebrenica massacre, the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague heard evidence against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic for their roles in the massacre. On July 5, 1996 a former Serb soldier who had already pleaded guilty to war crimes testified about how he helped execute Muslim civilians. From our archives, here's part of that testimony.


CANON Duration: 00:00:19

Album:LANTERN

Label:BRASSLAND

Persons/Roles:
CLOGS - COMPOSER
CLOGS - POP GROUP

INT GUERGIS LETTERS-EDITOR Duration: 00:06:53

There's an old PR adage that says there's no such thing as bad press. That may be true, but for politicians at least, good press is, well, better. Especially if you're a federal minister.

Canada's federal Status Of Women Minister Helena Guergis knows about bad press. Not long ago, the press reported a tantrum Ms. Guergis had at a Prince Edward Island Airport. And earlier this month, her husband, former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer, was in the news when he was fined for reckless driving. Cocaine possession charges were laid, but dropped.

So maybe that's why one of Minister Guergis's staffers took the old "bad press" adage to heart. By creating some good press ---- which has resulted in some very bad press.

Ian Adams is the managing editor at the Collingwood, Ontario newspaper The Enterprise-Bulletin. We reached him at his office.


THIS IS THE PIG Duration: 00:00:11

Album:EDGAR MEYER & CHRIS THILE/EDGAR MEYER & CHRIS THILE

Label:NONESUCH

Persons/Roles:
EDGAR MEYER - COMPOSER
CHRIS THILE - COMPOSER
EDGAR MEYER - DOUBLE BASS
CHRIS THILE - MANDOLIN

INT MORAL COMPASS BRAINS Duration: 00:06:59

Sometimes it's hard to know the right thing to do. And when we experience an ethical challenge, we often talk about referring to a "moral compass" -- something that can guide our sense of right or wrong.

It's figurative, unfortunately. But wouldn't it be great if we actually had a real compass -- something we could manipulate to make us better people? Well, according to new research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we do. And what's more, like an actual compass, we can control it using magnets.

Dr. Liane Young was the lead researcher of the study. We reached her in Boston.


I WISH I HAD AN EVIL TWIN Duration: 00:01:21

Album:I/MAGNETIC FIELDS

Label:NONESUCH, 79683-2

Persons/Roles:
STEPHIN MERRITT - COMPOSER
MAGNETIC FIELDS - POP GROUP

CLOSING

And now we'll take a break so that you can hear the news. After which we'll be back with a lot more As It Happens. When we return:

Should they rebuild houses, or health? Two views on what should happen with billions of dollars in international aid money in Haiti.

They were some small scraps for man -- but a group of preservationists think protecting the garbage on the moon will be one giant leap for mankind.

Ferris wheels. That car in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" wasn't really a vintage Ferrari -- but it'll still fetch a princely sum at auction.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm BB.


RETURN BILLS Duration: 00:00:50

Hello again, I'm CO.

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

Coming up:

From bad to worship: some say a Newfoundland church should be preserved, some don't -- and now someone has sawed its steeple off.

One American anthropologist has a giant set of balls -- which he's prepared to discuss with Carol at some length.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


HAITI: UN Duration: 00:06:52

There's no question that Haiti will have billions of dollars to rebuild. What remains in question is how best to spend that money.

Today, representatives of more than one hundred countries met at the United Nations to pledge financial assistance for Haiti's rebuilding, and to discuss how that rebuilding should take place.

Canadian Kim Bolduc is the Deputy Special Representative for the U-N Stabilization Mission in Haiti. She is in New York.


HAITI: MSF Duration: 00:04:44

Some aid organizations already on the ground in Haiti have their own ideas about what the financial priorities should be. One of those is Medécins Sans Frontières, which is asking that international donors consider direct financial support for Haiti's health care system.

Bruno Jochum is the Director of Operations for Médecins Sans Frontières. He is in Geneva.


KAPSBURGER Duration: 00:00:33

Album:LANTERN

Label:BRASSLAND

Persons/Roles:
JOHANN HIERONYMUS KAPSBURGER - COMPOSER
CLOGS - POP GROUP

COPY DA: BAY OF BENGAL ISLAND Duration: 00:02:16

Dateline: about twenty-one degrees North Latitude, eighty-nine degrees East Longitude.

Not long ago, the co-ordinates I just gave would have put you on South Talpatti Island -- if you were Bangladeshi. If you were Indian, you would have found yourself on New Moore Island. That's because what you called the tiny island depended on where you were from. I'm not going to take a side, so I'll just call it Disputed Land Mass for the time being.

Disputed Land Mass emerged from the Bay of Bengal for the first time after a horrific cyclone in 1970. It was a smallish, roundish pile of silt that fluctuated in size depending on currents and water levels. And because of its constantly shifting coast, no one could actually live on Disputed Land Mass.

But it was big enough to argue over. So Bangladesh and India did just that. Both countries claimed Disputed Land Mass as their own. Bangladesh called it "South Talpatti Island"; India called it "New Moore Island". Both countries claimed international law was on their side. And even though you probably needed hip-waders just to stand on the island most of the time, and it probably reeked of rotting kelp and garbage, India even briefly sent some soldiers there in the early 'eighties.

Well, argument over. Because Disputed Land Mass is now an undisputed underwater lump. Indian scientists have announced that the island -- which was never more than two metres above sea level -- had disappeared, because of rising sea levels. Which are rising because of global warming.

No one will mourn Disputed Land Mass. But its burial at sea is just a sign of things to come. And given the degree to which sea levels are expected to rise -- and the effect on all the other islands in the region, and on Bangladesh itself -- Disputed Land Mass may have just been wise to get got while the getting was good.


RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Duration: 00:00:17

Album:RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK/SOUNDTRACK

Label:JS37373, JS37373

Persons/Roles:
WILLIAMS J - COMPOSER
LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - UNKNOWN
SOUNDTRACK - UNKNOWN
WILLIAMS JOHN - UNKNOWN

INT GIANT BALLS Duration: 00:07:32

You may recognize that stirring music as the theme from the classic adventure movie, "Raiders of the Lost Ark". And, quite possibly, the most memorable scene from that movie is that fantastic bit, near the opening, when Indiana Jones narrowly escapes being crushed by a giant -- and perfectly spherical -- stone boulder, a booby trap set by some ancient, fictional South American civilization.

Now, it was a great scene. But did you ever stop to wonder how exactly -- or for that matter, why -- an ancient south American civilization would care to make giant and perfectly round, boulders?

That's precisely what John Hoopes, an anthropologist at the University of Kansas, has been trying to figure out. Indiana Jones may be fictional, but the giant stone spheres, it turns out, are real. We've reached Dr. Hoopes in Lawrence, Kansas.


BLUE JUICE Duration: 00:00:20

Album:BLUE BREAK BEATS

Label:BLUE NOTE, CDP7991062

Persons/Roles:
UNKNOWN - COMPOSER
JIMMY MCGRIFF - ORGAN

INT OLD NFLD CHURCH Duration: 00:01:48

A community in Newfoundland and Labrador is asking itself an age-old question today: "Is nothing sacred?"

Sometime between seven and eight a.m. this morning, someone tore down the steeple of the one-hundred-and-sixteen year old Anglican Church by the Sea in St. Philip's, Newfoundland. The wooden church has been the centre of controversy since the Anglican diocese decided to demolish the old building to enlarge its graveyard. Heritage lovers have been fighting that decision.

Last night, the town council of St. Phillips told the Anglican diocese it couldn't tear down the building since it's part of the community's heritage. But this morning, some people decided to take matters into their own hands.

Here are the voices of some residents of St. Phillips as they stood in shock around the now-steeple-less church.


OLD NFLD CHURCH Duration: 00:06:16

Those were the voices of some residents of St. Philips, Newfoundland, as they stood around the Anglican Church by the Sea, which had its steeple lopped off this morning.

This afternoon the council held another meeting to discuss the events of the day. Steve Sharpe is the head of the committee set up to protect the church, and was at that meeting. We reached him in St. Johns, Newfoundland.


CARRION SUITE Duration: 00:00:48

Album:NOBLE BEAST/BIRD, ANDREW

Label:FAT POSSUM, FP1124-2

Persons/Roles:
ANDREW BIRD - COMPOSER
ANDREW BIRD - PRODUCER
ANDREW BIRD - VOCALS

INT SAVING MOON DEBRIS Duration: 00:07:40

Sometimes, when you go on a trip, you leave the stuff you don't need behind. Even when your trip is to the moon.

Back in 1969, when astronauts made the first moon landing, they left a few things on the lunar surface besides a flag and some footprints. Some valuable things, like a Haseelblad camera. And some not-so-valuable things, like airsickness bags.

And junk -- or artifacts, if you will -- has been piling up on the moon ever since.

Now a group of space enthusiasts in the United States is trying to preserve the moon debris -- using a somewhat unorthodox method.

Beth O'Leary is the co-founder of the Lunar Legacy Project. We reached her at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.


OH YEAH Duration: 00:00:40

Album:RACE/YELLO

Label:VERTIGO, 870 615-1

Persons/Roles:
BORIS BLANK - COMPOSER
DIETER MEIER - LYRICIST
YELLO - POP GROUP

COPY SC: FERRIS BUELLER'S CAR Duration: 00:03:12

Close your eyes, and prepare to go back in time -- to a movie theatre in 1986. Don't be alarmed if you smell hair gel.

I bet you remember those voices. You heard Mia Sara as the indulgent girlfriend Sloane Peterson; Alan Ruck as the hapless, trying-to-be-cool-but-failing Cameron Frye; and a young Matthew Broderick as one of the most iconic film characters of the 'Eighties: Ferris Bueller. And in that scene, Ferris is about to go tearing around Chicago in his friend Cameron's dad's car: a Ferrari GT 250 Spyder California.

In the film, they take it on a good run. And then while the kids are at a Cubs game, the parking attendants take it on a good run. And later, in the car's glass-backed garage, Ferris and Cameron prop the car's wheels up and jam it into reverse, in an attempt to turn back the odometer.

Now, the good news. When Cameron lost his temper and pushed the car off its jacks, and it went crashing through the glass into the ravine behind the house, that really didn't happen. It was special effects. It was actually an old Honda Civic or something that was wound up crumpled in the forest below.

So that means the car is still around, intact. Albeit with the extra mileage. Because I don't think you can really roll back the odometer that way.

And, here's another spoiler: it's not a genuine Ferrari. It's a copy, commissioned by the movie's director, the late John Hughes. Because the real ones are very rare, and way too expensive to tear around Chicago in, leave with dodgy parking attendants, or risk crashing through a glass wall into a ravine.

Now, the best news: in a few weeks, that imitation Ferrari is going to be auctioned off.

So for the ten of you out there who are actually pining for the 'Eighties, and are rich enough to spend thousands of dollars on nostalgia, you can bid on the car. And, if you win, you can pretend you're a truant high school student, speed around Chicago, go to a Cubs game, and shout, "batter, batter, batter, batter, sah-WING, batter...."

Or you could just put it in your glass-backed garage and forbid your children from touching it. Although I'll warn you: that doesn't always turn out well.


ONCE UPON A TIME Duration: 00:00:15

Album:POCKET SYMPHONY/AIR

Label:ASTRALWERKS, 094638548126

Persons/Roles:
JEAN-BENOIT DUNCKEL - COMPOSER
NICOLAS GODIN - COMPOSER
AIR - POP GROUP
NIGEL GODRICH - PRODUCER

INT OBIT STAND AND DELIVER TEACHER Duration: 00:08:18

Jaime Escalante loved teaching -- but the East Los Angeles school he taught at didn't make it easy for him to teach. The kids were unruly, the school lacked basic supplies, and after his first day at Garfield High School, the Bolivian-born math teacher wanted to go back to a computer job.

But then, he changed his mind. He said he would first teach the kids respect and responsibility. Then he would quit.

Over the next two decades, he would do more than that. First he taught his students advanced calculus, using tough approaches that would put him at odds with the school administrators. He taught generations of inner-city kids to dream big.

And he taught educators around the country not to give up on students from poor and troubled backgrounds. His work at the school inspired the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver", which garnered an Oscar nomination for actor Edward James Olmos, who played Mr. Escalante.

Jaime Escalante died of cancer yesterday.

Erika Camacho is one of his former students at Garfield High. We reached her at Arizona State University -- where she now teaches math.



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