By Guergis, I think she's had it. After a series of unfortunate
incidents, Conservative MP Helena Guergis gets the boot from cabinet --
and faces an RCMP investigation.
The hard cell gets harder. A prominent Chinese dissident remains behind
bars -- despite the fact that he's suffering from liver disease.
Long-simmering tensions come to a boil. In Thailand, antigovernment
protesters battle security forces for control of a TV station -- and
Piece of quake. A new iPhone app developed by B.C. students provides easy access to advice in the event of an earthquake.
Their stomachs can't sing -- but they can carry a tuna. Turns out that
generations of sushi-eating have actually altered the bacteria in the
And...lager heads at loggerheads with lagerheads. Carlsberg's top brass
tells workers they'll get less free beer on the job -- but those
workers feel the decision is a cold one.
As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio with a two-drink miminum. I mean "minimum".
For weeks, the speculation on Parliament Hill has revolved around how
long Helena Guergis would be able to keep her job. The junior cabinet
minister has been hit by wave after wave of scandals, from a
much-publicized airport tantrum, to reports that members of her staff
submitted laudatory letters-to-the-editor -- in which they did not
identify themselves as members of her staff.
But it was yesterday's Toronto Star revelations about her husband
Rahim Jaffer's conduct that seem to have been the final nail in the
political coffin of Ms Guergis. Not only has she resigned from cabinet,
but she has also been temporarily removed from the Tory caucus, and
faces an RCMP investigation.
Ian Adams is the Managing Editor of the Collingwood
Enterprise-Bulletin newspaper in Ms. Guergis's Ontario riding. We spoke
to him a couple of weeks ago, after his paper broke the news that
letters to the Enterprise-Bulletin praising the minister were written by
her assistant under a different name. We reached him again today, in
|B-MUSIC: DRIVE IN, TURN ON, FREAK OUT|
|FINDERS KEEPERS, FKRCD021CD|
|JAN JANKEJE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CHARLIE MARIANO|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JAN JANKEJE|| - ||PRODUCER|
No one likes it when their favourite TV show gets cancelled. But in Thailand, they absolutely hate it.
Yesterday, after implementing a state of emergency, the government of
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva shut down the "People Channel" in
Bangkok, claiming it broadcast "distorted information". That channel was
run and supported by anti-government protesters called "Red Shirts".
Today, tensions exploded, and the "Red Shirts" stormed the TV station.
They wanted their channel back...and despite being attacked by tear gas
and water cannons, they got it.
Rachel Harvey is the BBC's correspondent in Thailand. We reached her in Bangkok.
|BEYOND SKIN/NITIN SAWHNEY|
|NITIN SAHWNEY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DEVINDER SINGH|| - ||COMPOSER|
|NITIN SAHWNEY|| - ||PROGRAMMER|
|STEVE SHEHAN|| - ||PERCUSSION|
|DEVINDER SINGH|| - ||VOCALS|
Many iPhone applications -- or "apps", as we all call them to save our
valuable time -- fall into the category of "time-wasters". Take, for
example, the Bubble Wrap app which allows you to simulate the experience
of popping bubble wrap. Or the CoinFlip app, which allows you to flip a
But a group of Simon Fraser University students have come up with an
app that could provide some lifesaving information when time is of the
essence. The QuakeAware iPhone app focuses on what to do in the event of
Ryan Cole is one of the creators of the app. We reached him in Richmond, B.C.
|BQE, SOUNDTRACK/STEVENS, SUFJAN|
|ASTHMATIC KITTY, AKR 278|
|SUFJAN STEVENS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SUFJAN STEVENS|| - ||INSTRUMENTAL|
Sometimes you have to remind yourself that everyone has their
problems, no matter how trivial they seem to you. Like when someone
complains that her robot butler spilled a glass of barolo on George
Clooney's bathrobe when a rogue wave hit her yacht. Or when someone goes
on strike because he's only allowed to drink one free beer at work.
This is the sympathy-straining plight of employees at a Carlsberg beer
factory in Copenhagen. Last week, Carlsberg's head honchos implemented a
policy change at the plant: warehouse staff would no longer be given
three free beers a day to drink whenever they wanted. Instead, now they
can only drink one free beer, and they can only drink it at lunchtime.
Although, according to a Carlsberg spokesperson, there are taps on site
from which workers can drink freely. And also the drivers who distribute
the beer are still allowed to drink three beers during a shift.
Regardless, a cold draft went through the factory, in more ways than
one. So cold that, two days ago, eight hundred workers walked off the
job. And yesterday, two-hundred-and-fifty people continued the protest.
They're saying the new policy is unfair. They say it creates a morale
problem. And a safety problem as well, since dozens of warehouse workers
have been stripped of their beer goggles.
Because of the strike, shipments of Carlsberg from the Copenhagen
factory have been suspended. Although Danish commuters might be happy
about that, given that they've just found out Carlsberg drivers are
cruising around on half-a-sixpack.
As stories of labour defiance go, it's not exactly "Norma Rae". It's
hard to be compassionate about it. I mean, Carol and I are only allowed
to split one warm juicebox a day, and that's only because we got Peter
Mansbridge's leftovers. His juice-handler accidentally bought extra-pulp
orange juice, and he prefers pulp-free.`
Anyway, I suppose we ought to wish those workers good luck, even if
their problem is my dream scenario. If I try really hard, I can see how
it might be a bitter pilsner to swallow.
|FOREVER FRANKIE, VOL. 1/WESTERN SENATORS|
|GRIND, AAC 9999|
|WALT GROLLER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JOEY MISKULIN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JAROMIR VEJVODA|| - ||COMPOSER|
|FRANKIE YANKOVIC|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JAY MICHAELS|| - ||PRODUCER|
|WALTER OSTANEK|| - ||ACCORDION|
|BRIAN SKLAR|| - ||PRODUCER|
|RON SLUGA|| - ||BANJO|
|WESTERN SENATORS || - ||COUNTRY GROUP|
And Barbara and I are going to share one of those juiceboxes right now.
And as we draw straws for the straw, we'll take a break so you can
listen to the news. Then we'll be back with more -- including these
Descent of a dissident. The wife of an imprisoned Chinese man suffering from liver disease begs for his release.
Anarchy in Kyrgyzstan. After days of violence, residents of the country's capital try to figure out what comes next.
And yooou will always looove hiiim. Or at least, you'll never forget
Taiwan's answer to Susan Boyle -- and his version of a Whitney Houston
Stay tuned. I'm CO.
And I'm BB.
Hello again, I'm CO.
And I'm BB. This is As It Happens, Part Two.
Stations of the prostate: Maryland researchers target churches, in the
hopes of convincing more African-American men to get screened for
Poetic justice: a Middle Eastern reality show pits versifier against
versifier -- and a female firebrand nearly wins the epic battle.
Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.
Being in a Chinese prison is bad. But being sick in a Chinese prison is worse.
One of China's highest-profile dissidents, Hu Jia, has been behind
bars for two years now. The state put him there in the run-up to the
Beijing Olympics. Now his wife says he is seriously ill and may have
liver cancer. But her efforts to get him a medical parole have, so far,
Sophie Richardson has been monitoring Hu Jia's case for Human Rights Watch. We reached her in Washington, D.C.
|ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET/ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET|
|TRADITIONAL || - ||COMPOSER|
|ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET || - ||ENSEMBLE|
To paraphrase George Orwell, "We are all equal... just some of us are more equal than others."
That may be the message behind a new public service announcement
starring Bristol Palin, the eldest daughter of former vice-presidential
candidate Sarah Palin.
Bristol, you might remember, stole the spotlight from her pro-life
mother at the 2008 Republican National Convention, when it was announced
that the then-seventeen-year-old was "about five months pregnant", and
newly engaged. In December of that year, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston
was born. By March of 2009, Bristol and her fiance had split. And in May
of 2009, she started promoting abstinence, as an ambassador for the
"Candie's Foundation" -- a New York-based group that seeks to "educate
America's youth about the devastating consequences of teenage
Incidentally, this is the same "Candie's" whose print ads routinely
feature young female superstars in states of undress. But I digress.
Back to the P-S-A. In the video, Bristol stands in a fancy apartment,
son in her arms. Adorned with pearls, and an outfit reminiscent of the
duds her mother was supplied by the Republican Party, the teenager asks
us to imagine what things might be like if her family wasn't famous or
supportive. The verdict? "It wouldn't be pretty." And if you could see
the video, you'd know that "not pretty" means a lot less furniture, no
makeup, and certainly no pearls.
Since its release, the ad has drawn criticism from various groups, who
accuse Bristol of saying that, while it's all right for her to be a
teen mom, if you're poor or a non-celebrity, you'd better think twice
before having sex. How's that for a pearl of wisdom?
Here's what Bristol Palin's new P-S-A sounds like.
|GEOFF MULDAUR AND THE TEXAS SHEIKS|
|TRADITION & MODERNE, T&M 045|
|DAN HOWELL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|FRANKIE JAXON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BRUCE HUGHES|| - ||PRODUCER|
|GEOFF MULDAUR|| - ||PRODUCER|
|GEOFF MULDAUR|| - ||VOCALS|
|TEXAS SHEIKS || - ||FOLK GROUP|
I've always taken the saying "you are what you eat" to be somewhat
metaphorical. You know, eat healthy foods and you'll be healthy. But I
may have been over-thinking the whole thing. It turns out the saying is a
lot more literal than I supposed.
You don't have to take my word for it -- I have scientific evidence to
back this up. Jan-Hendrik Hehemann is a biochemist who has recently
found that sushi has DNA-changing properties. We reached Dr. Hehemann at
his office at the University of Victoria.
|YOU, YOU'RE A HISTORY IN RUST/DO MAKE SAY THINK|
|OHAD BENCHETRIT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DAVID MITCHELL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JAMES PAYMENT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JUSTIN SMALL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CHARLES SPEARIN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DO MAKE SAY THINK || - ||POP GROUP|
Imagine the kerfuffle if Angelina Jolie suddenly changed her name to
"Helen Smith". The staff of "Us Weekly" magazine would go home sick en
masse, and later be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Historians, biographers, and archivists the world over would weep
openly, as they began updating millions of documents and databases to
reflect the new, terrible reality.
That's sort like the problem genetic scientists are facing. Only the
source of the problem is the Angelina Jolie of the insect world: the
Since the early twentieth century, fruitflies have been extremely
popular organisms for research, for a lot of reasons -- they're cheap
and easy to grow; you can study several generations over a relatively
short time; and they only have four pairs of chromosomes. It doesn't
even matter that they're so dumb they haven't evolved past drowning in
your glass of zinfandel. Drosophila melanogaster is a much-respected
That's the name of the species: Drosophila melanogaster. At least,
that's its name for now. But it may not be for long. Last week, the
International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature gave a thumbs-down
to a petition to protect that name. Which could lead to a serious
reorganization of the whole Drosophila genus. Which could lead to the
re-christening of the reliable fruitfly.
Scientists are unsettled about this potential stroke of genus. Some
are worried that a name change could lead to confusion, and a disruptive
break between past literature on Drosophila melanogaster, and future
literature on whatever-its-name-will-be. The executive secretary of the
International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature acknowledged the
gravity of the decision: "It was very difficult for the commissioners,"
she said. "It was a question of celebrity, as everyone knows D.
Which takes us back to A. Jolie, and the havoc she would create if her
name were changed to "Helen Smith". For years after, people would say
"So Angelina has adopted a baby platypus -- I mean, Helen Smith did."
And, even worse, "Brangelina" would become "Br-Helen". Disaster. So if
you see a Drosophila melanogaster floating in your lager, take pity.
It's probably just drowning its sorrows.
|BEDLAM BALLROOM/SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS|
|JIM MATHUS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MIKE NAPOLITANO|| - ||PRODUCER|
|SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS || - ||JAZZ GROUP|
|SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS || - ||PRODUCER|
Looks can be deceiving. We were reminded of that last year when a
matronly, unglamorous Susan Boyle wowed the entire world with her
powerful voice during an audition on the TV show "Britain's Got Talent".
The video of her astonishing the otherwise sneery judges with her
impressive vocal chops was viewed millions of times on YouTube. And,
despite not having the looks of a pop star, Ms. Boyle has gone on to
enjoy huge success as a recording artist -- and to endure a lot of
intense scrutiny from the underdog-obsessed media.
Well, now it looks like pop-culture hounds are feeling puppy love for a new kid on the TV talent-show block.
This week, on the hugely popular Taiwanese talent show "Avenue to
Stardom", a twenty-four-year-old Lin Yu-Chun pulled a Susan Boyle,
belting out a powerful rendition of Dolly Parton's 1974 song "I Will
Always Love You".
That song became an international sensation when it covered by Whitney
Houston back in 1992. And, judging by the hundreds of thousands of
people who have already viewed Lin Yu-Chun's version on YouTube, it
seems that song is making a comeback.
Aside from the odd similarity in their stories, it's kind of uncanny
how much Lin actually looks like Susan Boyle. I mean, considering he's a
young man from Taiwan and all. They both have big, round faces, with
pinch-able cheeks. But replace her loose, brown, wavy hair with his
jet-black nerdy bowl hair cut, and her gold necklace with his bright red
bow-tie and you've pretty much got Taiwan's next big pop sensation.
Which is our Sound of the Day: Lin Yu-Chun, with "I Will Always Love
You". And a warning: this version is even more melodramatic than Whitney
Violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police. A
President in exile. And streets littered with broken glass and rubble.
In Kyrgyzstan, more than seventy-five people are confirmed dead from
the violence, and a thousand more injured. Since the chaos began,
looting has been rampant in the capital. And with no police presence,
there is great uncertainty among the population. Now the country is
trying to pick up the pieces.
Alexandre Baillat is head of the Medicines Sans Frontiere mission in Kyrgyzstan. We reached him in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The outcome of the clashes is that opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva
has taken power and set up an interim government -- although ousted
leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev is refusing to relinquish his presidency.
Guardian newspaper correspondent Luke Harding spoke to Ms. Otunbayeva
earlier today. We reached Mr. Harding on his mobile phone in Bishkek,
Kyrgyzstan. We apologize for the quality of the line.
|NAIVE, Y 226188|
|JACQUES PELLEN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JACQUES PELLEN|| - ||GUITAR|
| PETER GRITZ|| - ||DRUMS|
| RICCARDO DEL FRA|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
"When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey."
So goes an Arab proverb. And in this case, a Saudi poet named Hissa
Hilal is the proverbial archer. Ms. Hilal is a mother of four from the
city of Riyadh. She is also a poet, and a contestant on the popular
reality-TV show, Millions Poet, which wrapped up its fourth season last
night. The show is a lot like other popular televised talent contests.
But, instead of saccharine power-pop -- as we'll hear later on tonight's
program, courtesy of a contestant on Taiwan's "Avenue to Stardom" --
the medium is traditional Bedouin poetry.
And just like on American Idol, contestants on Millions Poet perform
in front of a panel of three judges and a studio audience who,
ultimately, choose the most talented poet.
The show, which is produced in Abu Dhabi, is immensely popular across
the Arab world. Which is why, when Hissa Hilal drew back her
metaphorical bow and let fly a bolt full of pointed social commentary in
her honeyed voice, well, people paid attention. Throughout this past
season, Ms. Hilal's poetry has been critical of the fatwas issued by
radical clerics in Saudi Arabia, as well as the strict segregation of
men and women. Ms. Hilal won praise from the show's judges, but she also
received death threats from her critics.
However, undaunted, last night Ms. Hilal took to the stage again to
compete in the show's final round. For the record, here is Hissa Hilal
reciting her poetry in the final round of Millions Poet:
|DEVENDRA BARNHART: REJOICING IN THE HANDS|
|YOUNG GOD, YG 24|
|DEVENDRA BANHART|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DEVENDRA BANHART|| - ||SINGING|
Prostate cancer has been called a silent disease. Often, the symptoms
aren't noticeable until it reaches the stage where treatment becomes
less effective. And for African-American men, that can be deadly,
because their mortality rate from prostate cancer is twice as high as
that of other ethnic groups.
Now, a group of University of Maryland researchers are hoping that a
spiritually-themed program with community churches will help encourage
black men to seek early screening for prostate cancer.
Dr. Cheryl Holt is leading the study. She's a Professor of Public and
Community Health at the University of Maryland. But today she's
travelling in Seattle.
|MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, SOUNDTRACK|
|DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, 000329402|
|GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA|| - ||COMPOSER|
|GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA|| - ||INSTRUMENTAL|
Approach Regina from any direction -- especially at dawn or dusk --
and you'll see a glowing, golden office tower on the horizon. The
Saskatchewan Government Insurance -- or S-G-I -- building has been an
important part of the city's skyline for more than thirty years.
And today that local landmark was in danger, because of the worst wind
storm in Regina in decades. High winds peeled away part of a
load-bearing wall and the tower started to sway. Worried officials
evacuated the building early this afternoon... and hundreds of employees
were sent home.
For the record, here is S-G-I employee Robbie Desjarlais, who was inside on the 8th floor as the tower started to move.
|FOR GREAT JUSTICE, FGJ001|
|OWEN PALLETT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|OWEN PALLETT|| - ||PRODUCER|
|OWEN PALLETT|| - ||VOCALS|
And then there were none.
Earlier this year, Canada's last surviving veteran of World War One
died. And today in Ottawa, on the ninety-third anniversary of the Battle
of Vimy Ridge, a special ceremony paid tribute to the late John
Babcock, and all his fellow soldiers who fought in the Great War.
As our own tribute, we decided to take a look back at that battle
through the eyes of one of those soldiers. On April 9th, 1917, John
Close from Simcoe, Ontario, was a twenty-year-old private with "A"
Company in the Royal Canadian Regiment. He fought that day. Seventy-five
years later, on April 9, 1992, he shared his memories of the Battle of
Vimy Ridge with the CBC. Here now are some of his reminiscences, along
with some music from the era -- from our archives.