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April 8, 2010

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Rio in ruins. Torrential rains lead to mudslides and flooding in Rio de Janeiro -- and the city's hillside slums bear the brunt.

Rahim and reason. A Toronto newspaper pieces together the night Rahim Jaffer was arrested -- possibly better than Mr. Jaffer himself could manage.

He refused to judge not -- so he'll be judged. Baltasar Garzòn has pursued human-rights abusers around the world -- but now the Spanish judge is accused of abusing his power.

The great rock 'n' roll swindler. Remembering Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols manager who was as full of hubris as he was empty of shame.

What is this quintessence of dust? Well, if researchers are digging in the right area, it might actually be Shakespeare's Bardily waste.

And...I squid you not. A B.C. magazine apologizes, after an untrue article about murderous giant squid off the coast gives the mayor of Nanaimo that sinking feeling.

As It Happens, the Thursday edition. Radio that always says: calamari in haste, repent at leisure.


BRAZIL MUDSLIDES Duration: 00:07:04

The city of Rio de Janeiro is literally slipping away.

This week, after record-breaking rains and torrential floods, the ground is giving way, creating mudslides that have killed dozens of Rio de Janeiro's poorest. Yesterday, the death toll rose again after a massive slide tore apart a shanty-town in the neighbouring city of Niteroi.

Paulo Cabral is a BBC correspondent in Brazil who has been covering the disaster. We reached him earlier today at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro.


VIDA NUEVA Duration: 00:00:33

Album:VIE LA VIE, TELESERIE

Label:GUY CLOUTIER, PGC-CD-9435

Persons/Roles:
LUC SICARD - COMPOSER
CARL BASTIEN - PRODUCER
LUC SICARD - PRODUCER

SEAL HUNT Duration: 00:06:52

Today is the first day of the annual seal hunt. At this time of year, the Baie Verte Peninsula in Newfoundland is usually bustling. Boats are preparing to set sail, with hunters checking their equipment and stocking up on last-minute supplies. But this year, with the low price of seal pelts, many boats remain tied to wharves, and a lot of hunters have put away their guns and laid down their clubs. The demand just isn't there.

Mark Small has been hunting seal for fifty years -- but this year he's staying home. We reached him in Wild Cove, Newfoundland.


TONIGHT WE FLY Duration: 00:00:33

Album:SINGER MUST DIE/PAGE, STEVEN

Label:PHEROMONE, PHER CD 1013

Persons/Roles:
NEIL HANNON - COMPOSER
ART OF TIME ENSEMBLE - INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE
ANDREW BURASHKO - PIANO
ROBERT CARLI - CLARINET
ROBERT CARLI - SAXOPHONE
KEVIN FOX - ARRANGER
JONATHAN GOLDSMITH - PRODUCER
MARGARET JORDAN-GAY - CELLO
ELISSA LEE - VIOLIN
STEVEN PAGE - VOCALS
JOSEPH PHILLIPS - DOUBLE BASS
ROB PILTCH - GUITAR

FTR TB/EMAIL: SASK HEALTH RECORDS Duration: 00:01:41

Depending on your point of view, a change to the Ministry of Health's privacy rules in Saskatchewan could be just what the doctor ordered. Or it might make you sick.

On last night's show, we told you about the new rules, which will allow hospital foundations access to patient names and addresses for fundraising.

Following that interview, Talkback happily donated its two cents.


CORTINA 4 Duration: 00:00:37

Album:THE HIPS OF TRADITION - BRAZIL 5 - THE RETURN...

Label:WARNER BROS, 9451182

Persons/Roles:
TOM ZE - COMPOSER
INTERPRETES - ENS INSTR

GIANT SQUID DEBUNKED Duration: 00:06:07

Some bad ink about a giant squid has Nanaimo's mayor worried that scuba tourism in his city could take a dive.

A recent magazine article claimed that a diver was killed by giant Humboldt squid off the coast of Nanaimo, B.C. It appeared in a recent edition of "Western Sportsman" magazine -- which bills itself as the authority on hunting and fishing in Western Canada. And it was entitled "Attack of the Giant Squid".

But the thing is -- the story is a tall tale. It just plain didn't happen.

John Ruttan is the mayor of Nanaimo.


CLOSING THURSDAY Duration: 00:00:45

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

Another roadside attraction. If you wanted to know what happened before Rahim Jaffer's car was pulled over, a Toronto reporter will fill you in.

Balls of doom. You know those desk things where the little balls clack back and forth? Yeah, well, one day one of those things could be a terrifying weapon.

Some like it haughty. British researchers find that middle-class people fall down laughing at things that elevate their social standing.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm BB.


RETURN THURSDAY Duration: 00:00:24

Hello again, I'm CO.

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

Coming up:

A crusading Spanish judge is indicted himself -- charged with overstepping his legal bounds.

And remembering the punk-rock showman who brought a bunch of British malcontents into his Malcolm tent.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


JAFFER STORY Duration: 00:09:03

It's a story that has all the makings of a classic "Law and Order" episode. Not the "Law and Order" with Ice-T. The Sam Waterston one.

It starts with a dinner in a swanky downtown restaurant, a couple of business associates, and some hookers. It ends with one of the businessmen -- who just happens to be a former politician -- getting busted on a D-U-I with cocaine in the car. Oh, and did we mention that the former politician is married to a current politician, who just happens to be a player in the government of the day?

But don't look to Dick Wolf to tell you the rest of this story. This particular tale took place right here at home.

In today's Toronto Star, reporter Kevin Donovan investigates what happened one night last September when the former Conservative M-P Rahim Jaffer -- husband to the Tory Minister Helena Guergis -- was arrested for drunk driving.

To tell us the story, we reached Kevin Donovan in Toronto.


HELL IS CHROME Duration: 00:00:20

Album:GHOST IS BORN/WILCO

Label:NONESUCH, 2-79809

Persons/Roles:
MIKAEL JORGENSEN - COMPOSER
JEFF TWEEDY - COMPOSER
JIM O'ROURKE - PRODUCER
WILCO - POP GROUP
WILCO - PRODUCER

JUDGE GARZON CHARGED Duration: 00:06:06

He's known for targeting international figures for their roles in alleged human rights abuses. Taking advantage of universal jurisdiction, Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon has called for the arrest of Osama bin Laden, gone after American officials for alleged torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and was responsible for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's arrest in London in 1998.

But now, his name is being connected with a different kind of abuse. This week, Judge Garzon was ordered to stand trial on charges of knowingly overreaching his power.

Reed Brody is the spokesperson and counsel for the European division of Human Rights Watch. We reached him in Brussels.


TAKE ME HOME Duration: 00:00:17

Album:GOOD LIFE GOOD LIVING/MADAGASCAR SLIM

Label:CUSTOM, MS0901

Persons/Roles:
MADAGASCAR SLIM - COMPOSER
MADAGASCAR SLIM - GUITAR
MADAGASCAR SLIM - PRODUCER
MADAGASCAR SLIM - VOCALS

DA: GERMAN SNAKE BILL Duration: 00:02:26

Dateline: Mulheim, Germany.This is a short story about a long snake. It has a mostly happy ending. "Not for the snake," as one of the people in the story put it, "but for us."

About three weeks ago, the snake, a foot-long monocled cobra -- so-called for the circular marking on the back of its hood -- escaped from its home. That home, which it clearly didn't like, was in a reptile tank, inside the somewhat larger home of its human owner. The human's home was an apartment, inside a building full of many other apartments, where other humans made their homes. When the humans learned the snake was at large, they grew very worried.

Luckily for them, other humans came to help -- special humans skilled at fighting fires, and finding snakes. While they searched for the missing cobra, the special humans told the regular humans to leave their homes. Then they ripped up the apartment of the snake's owner, tearing up walls and floor in an effort to find the pet-gone-AWOL. They also set a trap of sticky tape, before finally sealing off the building.

Every day, they returned to look for the snake. And finally, late last week, they found it. It couldn't move, because it was stuck on the sticky tape. And also, because it had died while trying to become unstuck.

But now all the humans could return to their homes. Except for the snake's owner, whose home is destroyed. And whose bank account will now also be destroyed, because he's being charged for the damage: more than one-hundred-and-thirty-thousand dollars. Expensive, but not as expensive as it was for the monocled cobra.

Which just goes to show, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt once observed, that "divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales". Never more so than when you're cold-blooded with scales of your own.


SKELETONS AND SPIRITS Duration: 00:00:18

Album:THIS LITTLE BIRD/CROWE, ALLISON

Label:RUBENESQUE, RRL-00005

Persons/Roles:
ALLISON CROWE - COMPOSER
ALLISON CROWE - PRODUCER
ALLISON CROWE - VOCALS

PERSONALITY CRISIS Duration: 00:01:40

Album:PUNK/STEVENSON, NILS

Label:COLUMBIA

Persons/Roles:
DAVID JOHANSEN - COMPOSER
JOHNNY THUNDERS - COMPOSER
STEPHEN COLGRAVE - COMPILER
DARREN HENDERSON - COMPILER
NEW YORK DOLLS - POP GROUP
NILS STEVENSON - COMPILER
CHRIS SULLIVAN - COMPILER

NEWTON'S CRADLE WEAPON Duration: 00:07:09

Remember back in the 'Eighties, when it was cool to have a Newton's Cradle on your desk? It was a little frame that suspended a bunch of ball bearings. You pulled the one on the end back, let it go, and the balls would swing back and forth, until you stopped playing with it because it became so annoying. And kinda useless.

Well, it turns out it wasn't entirely useless after all. Scientists have figured out a way to harness the sound waves generated by a Newton's Cradle, to either therapeutic or devastating effect.

Chiara Daraio is the researcher behind the project. She's a physicist at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena.


SATELLITE Duration: 00:00:17

Album:12 SONGS

Label:CRYPTOGRAMOPHONE, CG 125

Persons/Roles:
JENNY SCHEINMAN - COMPOSER
JENNY SCHEINMAN - VIOLIN
JENNY SCHEINMAN - PRODUCER
SASCHA VON OERTZEN - PRODUCER
RON MILES - CORNET
DOUG WIESELMAN - CLARINET
BILL FRISELL - GUITAR
RACHELLE GARNIEZ - ACCORDION
RACHELLE GARNIEZ - PIANO
TIM LUNTZEL - DOUBLE BASS
DAN RIESER - DRUMS

BY THE NUMBERS: EVEREST Duration: 00:02:50

And now, it's time to look at a long standing, and a high standing debate, by the numbers:One - the number of super-high mountains in this story. That singular peak is Mount Everest, generally agreed to be the world's highest mountain. But just how high is it? Well, that's a complicated question. Which leads us to...

Two - the number of countries that share the mountain. Those countries are China and Nepal -- and they've been arguing about the height of the mountain for years.

Four - that's the number of metres that China and Nepal have been arguing over. The Chinese have argued that Everest should be measured by its mountain height -- that is, the height of the actual rock.

But Nepal says it should be measured by its snow height, which is four metres higher. And this week the long-running disagreement has come to a conclusion. But before we tell you about that, how about a little history?

Nineteen fifty three - that's the year Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary became the first people to climb Mount Everest. They inspired people around the world to follow in their snowy, steep footsteps.

Two hundred and sixteen - that's how many people have died trying to climb the world's highest mountain -- at least, that's the number of deaths on official record.

Two thousand, seven hundred - is the approximate number of people who climbed Everest and lived to tell the tale.

Twenty-five thousand - American dollars. That's the price tag for the very expensive permit to climb Everest.

Ok, ok, enough procrastinating - we've been ascending to this point:

Eight thousand, eight-hundred-and-forty-eight - That's the agreed-upon height of Mount Everest, in metres. The Chinese have now accepted the measurement that the Nepalese have been using all along. And just when you thought it was all settled, there came the number...

Three - as in a third country. Or as in three's a crowd. As in India. Geologists say that, eventually, the height of the mountain will have to be remeasured, because the continental plate under India is pushing underneath China and Nepal, and causing the mountain to rise.

So while the dispute over its height has finally been put to rest, it seems that Everest will never rest. And that's Mount Everest, by the numbers.


KARAOGLAN ALMANYA'DA Duration: 00:00:16

Album:B-MUSIC: DRIVE IN, TURN ON, FREAK OUT

Label:FINDERS KEEPERS, FKRCD021CD

Persons/Roles:
OZDEMIR ERDOGAN - COMPOSER
TRADITIONAL - COMPOSER
OZDEMIR ERDOGAN - VOCALS

MIDDLE CLASS COMEDY Duration: 00:06:44

Britain's middle classes have often tried to distinguish themselves from their lower order counterparts by presenting themselves as "cultured", "sophisticated" -- people who appreciate the finer things in life. Well, according to a new report from the University of Edinburgh, this cultural snobbery has now spread to the world of comedy, an area of the arts previously looked down upon by "culture vultures" as being too "low-brow".

Sam Friedman is the author of the report, and we reached him on his cellphone while he was waiting for a train in Bristol, England.


WE ALL STAND TOGETHER Duration: 00:00:16

Album:ALL THE BEST

Label:CAPITOL, CLW 48507

Persons/Roles:
PAUL MCCARTNEY - COMPOSER
PAUL MCCARTNEY - VOCALS

DA: BERLUSCONI BILL Duration: 00:02:49

Dateline: Rome.When you're the leader of a country, sometimes you just need a little time to get your work done. But someone's always trying to take up chunks of that time -- whether it's the opposition getting all opposite, or some special-interest group demanding you become especially interested, or some judge focusing on your possible corruption.

That's why, today, Silvio Berlusconi is the envy of all other world leaders. Even the ones who think he's an imbecile. Which is most of them. Because today, the Italian Prime Minister's legal troubles have been put on hold -- legally.

About a month ago, we told you about Italy's "legitimate impediment" law. At the time, it had just passed through the country's parliament. That law says that the Prime Minister can decline to appear in court if he has some job-related reason to be elsewhere. That is, if he has some state business, or he has to be at the opening of a new Olive Garden, or if he's sort of tired from making inappropriate jokes.

The reason that's good news for Mr. Berlusconi is that he's currently on trial on two different corruption charges. One of them involves tax fraud, and the other involves allegations that he bribed someone to lie for him in another corruption trial, a long time ago.

Yesterday, Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano, signed the "legitimate impediment" bill into law. So both of Mr. Berlusconi's trials have been put on hold. He celebrated by declaring the new law would allow him to govern "serenely", and declaring the judges in both cases "Communists". Neither is true.

The opposition has vowed to fight for a referendum on the new law. But that could take a long, long time. And the law will also likely be challenged in Italy's Constitutional Court. Which will take more than a year -- during which time, Mr. Berlusconi intends to reinstate a law he previously introduced that would make him immune from prosecution. Which will take another long, long time to fight.

Of course, Mr. Berlusconi once said that homeless survivors of a deadly earthquake in L'Aquila should think of their stay in a temporary tent city as "a weekend of camping." After which he asked a local female councillor, "Can I fondle you?" So he'll find other ways to get in trouble. And to get out of it.


SHAKESPEARE'S CESSPIT Duration: 00:00:37

Shakespeare scholars are forever digging up some new tidbit about him. We happen to know, for example, that he married a woman twice his age -- and that he only left her his second-best bed.

Well, carrying on this theme of number twos, researchers at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust believe they may soon discover something that will shed a whole new light on the Bard. Richard Kemp is the development manager with the organization. We reached him in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England.


ETERNAL FATALIST Duration: 00:01:40

Album:THE LOWEST OF THE LOW: SHAKESPEARE MY BUTT...

Label:AMERIC, WRC8-6564

Persons/Roles:
RONNIE HAWKINS - COMPOSER
RONNIE HAWKINS - WRITER
LOWEST OF THE LOW - ENS IN-V


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