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April 29, 2010

Tonight:

Seeping giant. A wellhead off the Louisiana coast continues to gush oil -- putting a huge expanse of American wetlands at risk.

Gay abandon. A Catholic school board in B.C. orders a teacher to work from home -- after her female partner gives birth to a son.

Shot in the dark. We'll speak with Afghan MP Safia Siddiqi, after American soldiers kill a member of her family during a raid.

Not exactly sunshine sketches. Will Ferguson wins the Leacock Medal for Humour, for a book about a five-hundred-and-sixty-mile hike around Northern Ireland.

The wings and arrows of outrageous fortune. The bad news: a Canada Goose took a projectile to the chest. The good news: he landed in a veterinarian's yard.

And...loose lips buoy sheeps. A listener tells us about how this very radio show helps keep his sheep both well-informed, and safe from predators.

As It Happens, the Thursday edition. Radio that can be quite helpful, if it's put to the proper ewes.


OIL SPILL EFFECTS Duration: 00:07:31

A catastrophe at sea. A nightmare on land.

The oil spill off the coast of Lousiana -- the result of the sunken oil rig called the Deepwater Horizon -- continues to grow, as the wellhead spews crude into the Gulf of Mexico. Yesterday, British Petroleum, the company responsible for the spill, announced that the leak was five times worse than initially predicted. The equivalent of five thousand barrels of oil is now gushing into the Gulf every day, and that oil is now only a few miles off the Louisiana coast. -- a shore line that includes forty per cent of the United States' coastal wetlands, and several important wildlife sanctuaries.

Tom McKenzie is a spokesperson for the South-East Division of the U.S. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. We reached him on his cell phone earlier today, en route to Robert, Lousiana


TESSALIT Duration: 00:00:21

Album: TINARIWEN: THE RADIO TISDAS SESSIONS

Label: WORLD VILLAGE, 468010

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

US AFGHAN SHOOTING Duration: 00:07:16

Last night, during a raid on a home in rural Afghanistan, American soldiers shot and killed a local villager. During war, incidents like this often go unreported. But in this case, the home in question belonged to a well-known Member of Afghanistan's Parliament, Safia Siddiqi -- an Afghan-Canadian. And the person killed was one of her relatives.

We reached Safia Siddiqi in Jalalabad.


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

LEACOCK WINNER Duration: 00:07:38

When people say they want to rediscover their roots, they usually hop a flight to the homeland, see a few sights, maybe visit family, and hustle back home.

Will Ferguson decided to take a more ambitious and adventurous route -- and it paid off in more ways than one. The Stephen Leacock Association has just awarded him this year's Medal for Humour, for his book Beyond Belfast -- the story of his walk across Northern Ireland, on a challenging trail that winds for more than nine-hundred kilometres.

We reached Will Ferguson in Calgary.


BRADY JENKINS Duration: 00:00:34

Album: SOUNDTRACK/CREAKING TREE STRING QUARTET

Label: CUSTOM, ABJ 0303

Persons/Roles:
BRAD KELLER - COMPOSER
CREAKING TREE STRING QUARTET - INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE
BILL VORNDICK - PRODUCER

EMAIL: SHEEP AIH Duration: 00:01:58

We get a lot of mail around here. And not all of it is flattering. In fact, some listeners find our show downright repellent. Don't believe me? Well, take a listen to this sheepish note from Matthew Wheeler in McBride, B.C.:

"I am sending a couple of photos of some of your audience out here in the B.C. Rockies. For several months, As It Happens, especially the midnight edition, along with neighbouring CBC shows, have been warding off cougars from the farm here.

"A few years ago, a cougar crept quietly -- as cats do -- into the barnyard here and killed a sheep each night. Two months ago, another cougar appeared on a nearby farm with some authority. So we decided CBC might come to the rescue again -- as it did last fall, when we set up a radio in the barnyard for all of you to talk at fairly significant volume into the dark wilderness, and persuade a marauding bear to keep at distance.

"We send you this mention of radio's repellent properties not to cause offense, because all of us, including the flock you help protect, thoroughly enjoy As It Happens. (And who knows what benefits of listening accrue to those lurking intelligent creatures just beyond the shadows?)"

That note comes from Matthew Wheeler in McBride, British Colombia.

And he did, indeed, send a photo of some very content-looking sheep with a radio nearby. And no sign of any predatory felines lurking in the background.

If you've got anything you want to shear -- I mean, share -- and you have fingers to dial or type with, you can get catty with Talkback anytime. Call 1-866-481-5718 or e-mail us at aih@cbc.ca.


CLOSING

And that's all we can fit into the first part of As It Happens tonight. But we'll be back after the news, with the story of a Vancouver teacher who was asked to work from home, after she asked for time off to spend with her new baby -- and her lesbian partner. We'll also tell you about a new study that examines the ugly truth about juries and attractive defendants. And we'll take a trip into the mouth of madness, with a story about an insect called "the kissing bug" -- and the life-threatening smooches it dispenses.

We'll be right back. I'm Barbara Budd.


VANCOUVER LESBIAN TEACHER Duration: 00:07:13

For Lisa Reimer, there's good news, and bad news. First, the bad news: until this week, Ms. Reimer taught music at Little Flower Academy, a Catholic high school for girls in Vancouver, B.C. But now she's working from home, until her contract ends in June. She hasn't been fired -- in fact, the school's principal has said the school has no problem with her teaching methods. Nor is she sick. But she's been told not to return to school for the duration of the scholastic year.

Now for the good news: Lisa Reimer's same-sex partner recently gave birth to a son.

Celso Boscariol is the chair of Little Flower Academy. Today, he was in Ottawa.


BREWER PARK Duration: 00:02:05

Album: SPANISH WAITER/HOPKINS, MIKE

Label: CUSTOM

Persons/Roles:
MIKE HOPKINS - COMPOSER
RYAN FAIRHEAD - PRODUCER
MIKE HOPKINS - GUITAR
MIKE HOPKINS - PRODUCER

FOA: VETS HOSPITAL Duration: 00:03:38

Her inspiration is gone, but she'll keep fighting.

For the last two years, Sharyn Cadot has been lobbying for her husband Dennis Vialls, a decorated World War Two veteran, to be granted admission to Ste. Anne's Hospital -- the last remaining federally run health-care facility for veterans in Canada. Mr. Vialls was never admitted -- and last Friday, he died at the age of eighty-six.

Dennis Vialls was a Canadian citizen for forty-three years, but during the war he wore a British uniform, not a Canadian one. That meant he wasn't officially qualifed to receive care at St. Anne's.

In January of this year, guest host Helen Mann spoke with Sharyn Cadot about her fight for her husband's rights. Helen began by asking her what it's been like taking care of her husband since he got sick four years ago. Here is a part of that conversation, from our archives.


SCOTCH AND CHOCOLATE Duration: 00:00:51

Album: WHY SHOULD THE FIRE DIE?/NICKEL CREEK

Label: SUGAR HILL, SUG-CD-3990

Persons/Roles:
CHRIS THILE - COMPOSER
SARA WATKINS - COMPOSER
TONY BERG - PRODUCER
NICKEL CREEK - POP GROUP
ERIC VALENTINE - PRODUCER

NJ GOOSE SHOT Duration: 00:06:26

In the moment that you're impaled by an arrow, you probably don't think much besides, "Ouch." But if you do have another thought, it's probably, "Man...I have the worst luck."

And you'd probably be right -- unless you're Sherwood the Canada Goose. Sherwood lives in New Jersey. And a couple of months ago, he had the poor luck to get shot in the chest with an arrow. But for a goose with an arrow sticking out of his chest, Sherwood actually wasn't that unlucky. Because of all the yards he could have landed in, he landed in one belonging to a veterinarian.

Dr. Bernard Levine is that vet. We reached him in Toms River, New Jersey.


PSYCHIC CITY (VOODOO CITY) Duration: 00:00:22

Album: SEE MYSTERY LIGHTS/YACHT

Label: DFA

Persons/Roles:
JONA BECHTOTT - COMPOSER
YACHT - POP GROUP

SOD CHINESE AVATAR SONG Duration: 00:02:14

James Cameron's film Avatar has received its share of praise, and more than its share of money. It's been criticized as a simple-minded allegory about war, and the treatment of indigenous peoples around the world. But in China, many viewers saw a different story depicted in the film. They interpreted the blue Na'vi to be symbolic of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese homeowners and tenants who have been forcibly evicted by Chinese officials.

Now, three Chinese mash-up artists have re-imagined the theme music from Avatar. They're using it to protest against the evictions.

:

Here are some of the lyrics to the new version, translated into English:

"Laws to protect the people, they don't exist. If you don't have powerful friends, you just bought your coffin. It doesn't matter if you're willing to move, they'll tear your house down if they feel like it. Give me adequate compensation, give me a reason, or get the hell out."

Here now is a sample of that song -- our Sound of the Day.


KENSINGTON CHUMP Duration: 00:00:25

Album: OCEAN'S THIRTEEN, MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE

Label: WARNER, 2 147964

Persons/Roles:
DAVID HOLMES - COMPOSER

EMOTIONAL JURORS Duration: 00:07:10

:

Justice is supposedly blind. But they never say why.

Well, according to a new study from Cornell University, it's often blinded by beauty. In the past, several studies have demonstrated that juries frequently go easier on defendants who are easy on the eyes. So the Cornell team set out to find out why that is.

Justin Gunnell is the co-author of the study, which is called "When Emotionality Trumps Reason". He's in New York City.


KARIBU Duration: 00:00:12

Album: KARIBU/LOUEKE, LIONEL

Label: BLUE NOTE, 50999 5 02465 2 6

Persons/Roles:
LIONEL LOUEKE - COMPOSER
MASSIMO BIOLCATI - DOUBLE BASS
LIONEL LOUEKE - GUITAR
LIONEL LOUEKE - VOCALS
FERENC NEMETH - DRUMS
ELI WOLF - PRODUCER

FTR: QUEBEC MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS Duration: 00:03:17

They were wearing the right gear. They had water, food, a tent, and a shovel. But the most important thing two Quebec hikers carried onto Mt. Rainier in Washington state was a cellphone.

Simon Brunet and Genevieve Morand got lost hiking in a blinding snowstorm. Ms. Morand fell down a steep embankment. Mr. Brunet fell when he tried to rescue her. Unbelievably, their cell phone had service in the crevasse where they ended up. And a call to nine-one-one saved their lives.

Jacqui Czernin is the host of "Breakaway" on CBC Radio in Quebec City. She reached the two hikers in Washington, and asked Simon Brunet to explain how that call for help was made. Here's part of their conversation, for the record:


FOR THE TURNSTILES Duration: 00:00:12

Album: BLUEGRASS TRIBUTE TO NEIL YOUNG/MAY, TIM

Label: CMH, CD 9531

Persons/Roles:
NEIL YOUNG - COMPOSER
CHARLIE CHADWICK - DOUBLE BASS
BRIAN CHRISTIANSON - MANDOLIN
SHAD COBB - FIDDLE
SUSIE COLEMAN - VOCALS
AL GOLL - DOBRO
CHRIS JOSLIN - BANJO
TIM MAY - ARRANGER
TIM MAY - PRODUCER
TIM MAY - VOCALS
GRETCHEN PRIEST-MAY - FIDDLE
KYLE WOOD - VOCALS

ZOMBIE PARTY Duration: 00:05:10

It was the third and last of a first.

That is to say that today, the third televised leaders' debate took place in the U.K. It was the final televised debate in a series of three. And these three debates are the first-ever televised debates to be held in the country.

David Cameron of the Conservatives, potential kingmaker -- or even king -- Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats, and current Prime Minister Gordon Brown went head-to-head once again. So we tried to get Mr. Cameron on the phone to comment. He was unavailable. Nick Clegg was too busy. And, to be honest, given the week he's had, and his renowned temper, we were a little afraid to contact Gordon Brown. But one British party leader was willing to talk to us.

His name is Harry Cole. He's the leader of the CURE Party. And in case you want to know where he's coming from, CURE stands for "Citizens for Undead Rights and Equality".

We reached Mr. Cole in London, England.


THE DAWN Duration: 00:00:12

Album: JAZZ BRAKES VOLUME 5/DJ FOOD

Label: NINJA TUNE

Persons/Roles:
MATT BLACK - COMPOSER
PATRICK CARPENTER - COMPOSER
JONATHAN MORE - COMPOSER
COLDCUT - PERFORMER
PC - PERFORMER

CHAGAS BUG RESEARCH Duration: 00:06:06

In rural Mexico, it's not uncommon to wake up with a small, red infection on your lip. They call the creature responsible "the kissing bug". But don't be fooled by the cute name: the mild sore is the first sign of a potentially deadly disease called Chagas, which can lie dormant in the body for decades.

One of the many problems with this insidious disease was that blood tests for Chagas were always unreliable. But that's changed, now that a researcher at McGill University has developed a way to recognize the silent killer.

We reached Dr. Momar Ndao in his office at McGill University in Montreal.


YARA, FILM MUSIC: SUITE/IMMINENT JOURNEY Duration: 00:00:13

Album: YARA

Label: ENJA, ENJ 9360

Persons/Roles:
RABIH ABOU-KHALIL - COMPOSER
VINCENT COURTOIS - CELLO
DOMINIQUE PIFARELY - VIOLIN
NABIL KHAIAT - DRUMS
RABIH ABOU-KHALIL - OUD
RABIH ABOU-KHALIL - PRODUCER
WALTER QUINTUS - PRODUCER

DA: HIS NEW TREMENDOUSNESS Duration: 00:03:00

Dateline: the Principality of Seborga.

Last November, we told you about the death of Giorgio Carbone -- or, as the residents of Seborga called him, "His Tremendousness". Mr. Carbone had served as the monarch of the principality for almost fifty years, even though no one outside the principality recognized him as a monarch, or even recognized Seborga as a principality or a monarchy, or really knew where it was.

Seborga is a village on the Italian Riviera -- right at the north-western part of the boot. But the three-hundred-and-sixty inhabitants of the village don't consider themselves part of the boot at all.

Apparently, when Italy unified in the nineteenth century, Seborga wasn't officially included in the documents. So in the early nineteen-sixties, Giorgio Carbone -- not yet "His Tremendousness" -- started promulgating the idea that the community should declare itself an independent territory. There was a chorus of "Hey, that guy's right!" -- and in short order, Mr. Carbone was elected the Prince of Seborga. This was a momentous step for the proud village, but less so for Italy, which found the whole thing laughable when it thought about it, which was never.

Anyway, in November, His Tremendousness died. And although he had a certain air, and was called "Sire", he had certainly failed to sire an heir. So there were concerns that, in the absence of a hereditary monarch, Seborga would cease to be a monarchy.

Well, look out everyone: there's a new "His Tremendousness" in town. His name is Marcello Menegatto. He's thirty-one. He's the heir to a company that specializes in women's tights. And on Sunday, he was elected the new monarch of Seborga. So now we can relax.

He's not going to, though. He has infrastructural improvements in mind. He wants a new hotel. He wants to put more of his fellow Seborghini to work. And he wants to continue Seborga's fight for independence.

Although first, he has a bigger challenge to face: his title. Will he be traditional, and remain "His Tremendousness"? Or, given his possible future in the field of women's hosiery, will he be "His Fabulousness"? Are "His Unsurpassedness" or "His Monumentality" in the running?

Whatever he decides, we congratulate him. And we hope his chosen superlative will override Italy's sense of his superfluity. And we send out this song by some undisputed Kings. That's what they're called. The Kings. And this is called "Switchin' To Glide".


SWITCHIN' TO GLIDE Duration: 00:03:08

Album: OH WHAT A FEELING 2

Label: UNIVERSAL, 3145208852-C

Persons/Roles:
DAVID DIAMOND - COMPOSER
ARYAN ZERO - COMPOSER
KINGS - POP GROUP

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