A pop star avoids the hit parade. In Bangkok, a daring escape by a
singer-turned-protest leader marks another big day for Thailand's Red
Three ringleader circus. British voters endure their first-ever
televised election debate -- from which a surprise contender emerges the
Opening a border behind closed doors. The U.K. arranges a secret deal to grant refugee status to beleaguered Jews in Yemen.
The only-ness of the long-distance runner. Comic, actor, philosopher
and marathoner Eddie Izzard is a man like no other -- as you'll hear in
our feature interview.
Quantum of soulless. When they're to busy to read the fine print,
thousands of shoppers wind up selling their souls to a British online
And...he ran a grass-roots campaign -- from underneath. A Tennessee town elects a dead man mayor.
As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio that pays its respects to the body politic.
His name is Arisman Pongurangrong -- a popular pop singer in Thailand.
And today, to Red Shirt protesters in Bangkok, he's also something of a
Today, Mr. Pongurangroung was inside a hotel when it was surrounded by
government security forces. Just as they were about to arrest the pop
singer-turned activist, he pulled off a daring escape.
It's the second victory this week for the Red Shirt protesters. The
first came on Monday, when the country's Electoral Commission ruled that
the government should be dissolved. But Prime Minister Abhisit
Vejjajiva is still refusing to step down.
And watchers are hoping that this weekend won't be a repeat of last
weekend -- when more than twenty people were killed, and more than eight
hundred were injured.
Sean Boonpracong is the spokesman for the Red Shirts. We reached him tonight in Bangkok.
|THE KORA RECORDS|
|FREDRICK || - ||COMPOSER|
|FREDRICK || - ||POP GROUP|
Yemen's Jewish community is one of the oldest Jewish communities in
the Middle East. And for a long time, it has been under attack.
This year, violent attacks on Yemen's Jews have dramatically increased
in frequency, after the United States launched air raids against
Al-Qaeda. Now, there's talk of a secret deal between the British and
Yemeni governments to allow Yemeni Jews with family in the U.K. to seek
Diane Abbott is a Member of Parliament in Hackney, East London. She
has been pushing for that refugee status to be granted. We reached her
at her home.
|BILL FRISELL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BILL FRISELL|| - ||GUITAR|
|VIKTOR KRAUSS|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|GREG LEISZ|| - ||GUITAR|
|GREG LEISZ|| - ||MANDOLIN|
|JENNY SCHEINMAN|| - ||VIOLIN|
|LEE TOWNSEND|| - ||PRODUCER|
This has been a very big week for Montrealer Léo Zelikowksi.
Yesterday, he turned one-hundred years old. Joining the centenarian's
club is a significant moment for anyone. But it pales in significance to
one other day in Mr Zelikowski's life. The day, sixty-five years ago,
when he and thousands of other Jews imprisoned at Auschwitz learned the
concentration camp would be evacuated. He and other inmates were forced
to go on a so-called death march.
But that turned out to be his path to freedom. After leaving the camp,
he managed to escape. He made his way to a small town in northern
Italy, where he married and raised a family. A few years ago, he moved
to Montreal to live with his stepdaughter.
But it's only in the past ten years that Léo Zelikowksi has begun to
tell the story of his experience in Auschwitz. Yesterday, as friends and
family gathered to celebrate his one-hundredth birthday, CBC reporter
Shari Okeke sat down with Mr. Zelokowski. Here is a part of their
conversation, for the record.
|IL ETAIT UNE FOIS/DUBEAU, ANGELE|
|ANALEKTA, AN 2 8719|
|FRANCOIS DOMPIERRE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ANGELE DUBEAU|| - ||VIOLIN|
|LA PIETA || - ||INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE|
|MARIO LABBE|| - ||PRODUCER|
In a story by French poet Charles Beaudelaire, about an encounter with
the devil, the narrator laments that "the soul is a thing so
impalpable, so often useless and sometimes so embarrassing that I
suffered, upon losing it, a little less emotion than if I had mislaid,
while out on a stroll, my calling-card." And later in the story, his
otherworldly host tells him, "The loveliest trick of the devil is to
persuade you he doesn't exist".
Well, there was a bit of the devil in a trick played by a British
computer game retailer on April Fool's Day. Thanks to a clause inserted
into the purchasing terms and conditions on its website -- you know,
that stuff you never read -- the company claimed option rights to the
souls of thousands of online shoppers. With little more than the click
of a mouse.
Steve Wind-Mozley is the general manager of Gamestation's online department. We reached him in Newbury, England.
We're going to take a short break now so that you can hear the latest
news, but there's more As It Happens to come in a little more than six
minutes. When we return:
Not-so-gentle Ben. Remembering a powerhouse leader of the NAACP -- activist Benjamin Hooks.
A stand-up guy sits down. A feature interview with Eddie Izzard, on the
subjects of politics, marathons, and whatever else he wants to talk
Ghost written. A letter is about to be delivered in a French town -- after being held up for more than two hundred years.
Stay tuned. I'm CO.
And I'm BB.
A man who changed the world died yesterday, at the age of eighty-five.
Benjamin Hooks was one of America's most vocal civil-rights activists
and -- as anyone who ever heard him speak will tell you -- one of
fieriest orators to step up to a public podium.
In one of his typically powerful turns of phrase, he once said:
"If anyone thinks that we are going to stop agitating, they had better
think again. If anyone thinks that we are going to stop litigating,
they had better close the courts. If anyone thinks that we are not going
to demonstrate and protest, they had better roll up the sidewalks."
That was circa 1977, when he became leader of the National Association
for the Advancement of Coloured People -- the NAACP. Ben Hooks served
as the organization's president for fifteen years. When he took that
job, he gave up a prestigious post with the federal government, as Chair
of the Federal Communications Commission -- the first African-American
in that role. He increased media ownership by minorities, and quintupled
the number of minorities hired, from three to fifteen per cent.
During his lifetime of activism, Benjamin Hooks fought Jim Crow laws,
marched on Washington with Martin Luther King, and took part in
countless civil rights challenges. He was always known for commanding a
In 1980, the CBC Radio program Sunday Morning covered the annual
meeting of the NAACP. Here's part of the speech delivered at that
meeting by Benjamin Hooks, from our archives.
|ZERO7: WHEN IT FALLS|
|UD, 2 61562|
|HENRY BINNS|| - ||DESIGNER|
|NIGEL GODRICH|| - ||DESIGNER|
|SAM HARDAKER|| - ||DESIGNER|
|SIA || - ||DESIGNER|
|ZERO 7 || - ||ENS IN-V|
Remember how you felt the morning after the 1984 Canadian election
debates? When patronage appointments were suddenly the worst thing ever,
and children giddily hollered "You had an option, sir" at each other?
Remember the thrill of the thrust and parry you had witnessed the night
If you answered "sort of," then you understand how the British are
feeling today. Because last night, the United Kingdom held its
first-ever live, televised election debate. Current Prime Minister
Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Nick Clegg of the
Liberal Democrats, squared off against one another in front of the
watchful eyes of the nation's electorate.
Matthew Parris is a former Conservative politician -- and is now a
columnist with the Times newspaper. We reached him at his home in
Bakewell, England to get his take on the 90-minute political cage match.
|UNITED FUTURE ORGANIZATION: NO SOUND IS TOO TABOO|
|VERVE, 314 526722-2|
|EARL DEROUN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|EARL DEROUN|| - ||WRITER|
|LINDA MURIEL|| - ||SINGING|
|UFO || - ||ENS INSTR|
An outside observer might have expected Robin Geary to come in
dead-last in this week's election for mayor of Tracy City, Tennessee.
But, instead, Mr. Geary won -- with three times as many votes as his rival -- even though he won't be able to take the job.
To explain, we reached Chris Rogers, the owner of The Lunch Box restaurant, in Tracy City.
|BEIRUT: GULAG ORKESTAR|
|DA DA BING|
|REALPEOPLE || - ||COMPOSER|
|REALPEOPLE || - ||WRITER|
|BEIRUT || - ||ENS IN-V|
Dateline: Seix, France. That's S-E-I-X, not S-A-I-X. This is important. Trust me.
A long time ago -- two hundred and twenty years ago, to be exact --
the people of Seix -- that's S-E-I-X -- had what they thought was a
really good idea. They wanted their town to be declared the capital of
the municipality. It was a big dream. But they were pretty sure they
were ready to take on the responsibility. And they felt confident that
authorities in Paris would agree. So they pitched the idea to the
bigwigs, and then townsfolk waited, with hopeful hearts, for a reply
And waited. And waited. And then, continued waiting. But no reply came.
The thing is, the missive was sent during the French Revolution. So
the good people of Seix -- that's still S-E-I-X -- assumed, at first,
that those Parisian authorities might have been a bit preoccupied trying
to keep their heads firmly attached to their shoulders. And it is
possible that the aspirations of a few dozen people living in the
southwest of France might not have been top of the agenda for
Robespierre et al. So, undaunted by the delay, the townsfolk kept a
watchful eye on the roads, expecting any day to see a rider appear with
the letter that would change the town forever.
Unbeknownst to them, some hundred and fifty miles away in the village
of Saix -- that's S-A-I-X -- a letter arrived. Yep. You guessed it. A
likely harried, and obviously distracted, postal worker mistook an "e"
for an "a" -- and sent the much-anticipated letter to the wrong town.
There, after it was determined that the addressee could not be found,
it was placed in a drawer at the local sorting office. And that's where
it remained. For more than two centuries.
In 1999, an archivist found the letter. But it still took a decade
before a motion was passed to finally get the correspondence to its
rightful recipients. This will happen in June, when officials from Saix
-- that's S-A-I-X -- makes the two-hour drive to Seix -- that's S-E-I-X
-- to return the letter. I guess they decided not to take a chance with
the post office this time around.
Oh, and as for that request to have the town of Seix -- that's S-E-I-X -- declared the capital? It was denied.
|WHEN THE GOLDEN LEAVES BEGIN TO FALL/SPINNEY BROTHERS|
|CUSTOM, SBI 0007|
|BILL CARLISLE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SPINNEY BROTHERS || - ||BLUEGRASS GROUP|
|RON STEWART|| - ||PRODUCER|
|M GLOVER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|A PATERSON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|S REICH|| - ||COMPOSER|
|INSTRUMENTAL || - ||STRING SEXTET|
As Britain prepares itself for a general election, the polls and the
bookies are all predicting victory for David Cameron's Conservatives --
maybe as a minority government, but victory nonetheless. Few hold out
much hope of present Prime Minister Gordon Brown maintaining office. But
not everyone has given up on Mr. Brown. One of his most ardent
supporters and campaigners is internationally-renowned comedian and
actor Eddie Izzard.
Mr. Izzard is campaigning for Mr Brown's Labour Party during this
election campaign -- just before he begins a nationwide tour of Canada
at the end of this mont,h with his one-man show "Stripped".
As well as a political proselytizer and stand-up comedian, he's an
accomplished film actor -- and a remarkably accomplished long-distance
runner. Mr. Izzard recently made headlines for running forty-three
marathons in fifty-one days. Which will be good preparation for another
career he's expressed interest in: running for political office himself.
He'll have no problem with the the oratory -- as you'll hear in this clip of Eddie Izzard's stand-up.
Comic, actor, clothes-horse and potential politician Eddie Izzard
dropped by the As It Happens studio earlier this week to talk about
politics, life and laughs.