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Pros and ex-cons. New federal legislation would make a pardon tougher
to get -- and one ex-convict believes the law is too unforgiving.
Objection sustained. Justice is supposed to be blind, but Spanish
authorities have decided Judge Baltasar Garzon was farsighted --
Colouring their judgement. In Bangkok, the Thai military continues its
assault on the Red Shirts -- but the protesters refuse to budge.
Follow the leader, and watch his parking meters. The story of a man you
don't know you hate: inventor Carl Magee, who made a big change to our
need for change.
He walked the walk -- and now we're talking the toxin. New evidence
suggests that beloved South American liberator Simon Bolivar died of
And..."Falcon Crest" is too obvious -- how about "As The Worm Turns"?
"Guiding Flight"? Whatever you call it, a webcam is following the
soap-operatic behaviour of some falcons -- and it's a veritable "Who's
Who in Sin-terland".
As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio that will settle on "One Flew Over The Cuckold's Nest".
How much punishment is enough?
That's the hot topic of discussion this week, after Public Safety
Minister Vic Toews tabled a new bill that would change Canada's clemency
laws. Under the proposed legislation, pardons would become known as
"records of suspension." Those who have sexually abused children or who
have committed repeated crimes would be ineligible. And those who are
eligible would have to wait two to five years longer to apply.
Sex offenders Graham James and Karla Homolka have been used as
examples of criminals who would be prevented from getting a pardon under
the new bill. But the proposed changes would affect small-time
convicts as well.
Neal Cornish is a student and a teacher at a Manitoba youth centre. He
also has a criminal record. We reached Mr. Cornish at the Broadway
Neighbourhood Community Centre in Winnipeg.
|WHY SHOULD THE FIRE DIE?/NICKEL CREEK|
|SUGAR HILL, SUG-CD-3990|
|GARY LOURIS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CHRIS THILE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TONY BERG|| - ||PRODUCER|
|NICKEL CREEK || - ||POP GROUP|
|ERIC VALENTINE|| - ||PRODUCER|
The centre of Bangkok is in a state of chaos. This week, Thai
government forces have clashed with Red Shirt protesters, in some of the
bloodiest scenes of the two-month standoff.
Using tear gas and rubber bullets, soldiers are trying to break-up the
protesters' encampment. But the protesters are staying resilient. Still
reeling from yesterday's shooting of their military tactician, General
Khattiya Sawasdipol, the Red Shirts are attempting to keep their camp
and movement intact, by any means possible.
M.P. Nunan is a freelance journalist based in SouthEast Asia. We reached her earlier today in Bangkok.
|MULATU ASTATKE / THE HELIOCENTRICS: INSPIRATION IN|
|MALCOLM CATTO|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JAKE FERGUSON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ADRIAN OWUSU|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MALCOLM CATTO|| - ||DRUMS|
|MALCOLM CATTO|| - ||ELECTR INSTR|
|JAKE FERGUSON|| - ||EL BASS|
|ADRIAN OWUSU|| - ||EL GUIT|
|OLIVER PARFITT|| - ||KEYBOARDS|
|THE HELIOCENTRICS || - ||ENS INSTR|
|JACK YGLESIAS|| - ||PERCUSSION|
Sometimes a mistake goes unchallenged just because no one notices it's a mistake.
Last night, As It Happens spoke to a professor in Brisbane, Australia,
who had a technical bone to pick with the Oxford English Dictionary,
for its definition of the word "siphon". And the dictionary might have
gotten away with it, too -- if Dr. Hughes weren't a professor of
That definition, according to Dr. Hughes, would lead one to believe
that siphoning is a result the of atmospheric pressure in a U-shaped
tube. Ha! That's funny. To a physicist, anyway.
Dr. Hughes contacted the O.E.D. to tell officials that their
ninety-nine-year-old definition neglected the role of gravity. He also
wanted to know what definition As It Happens listeners had in their
Well, Talkback positively gushed.
|NATIVE LANGUAGE, NLM-0975-2|
|ROB DEBOER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TONY GRACE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ROB DEBOER|| - ||PRODUCER|
|FOUR80EAST || - ||POP GROUP|
|TONY GRACE|| - ||PRODUCER|
So, I'm not one to gossip, but -- did you hear that Trey didn't come
home and his wife has now shacked up with a younger man? Yup, and that guy left his girlfriend, Jules, for her. But don't think she's sitting around crying for him. She's already got a new beau.
Simply everyone is scandalized -- maybe even more so because all these
fickle creatures are birds. Apparently, if you're a peregrine falcon,
life can be a real soap opera.
Just as Tracy Maconachie. She's been watching this falcon drama unfold
for years. It's part of her job with the Peregrine Falcon Recovery
Project in Manitoba, which turns thirty this year. We reached her in
Well, we're going to take a break so you can hear the news, but we'll
be back with more As It Happens in just a few minutes. When we return:
Benched. In Spain, maverick judge Baltasar Garzon is judged to have
overstepped his bounds -- and now he'll face justice himself.
Jail time for a small-timer. A fundraiser gets six months in a cell for
collecting as much as three thousand dollars for a Tamil organization.
She shall overcome. Disgruntled San Francisco hotel workers find an unlikely source of protest-song inspiration in Lady Gaga.
Stay tuned. I'm HM.
And I'm DJ.
Hello again, I'm HM.
And I'm DJ. This is As It Happens, Part Two.
Twenty years ago, someone stole a Vancouver restaurateur's art -- and
in returning it this week, someone has stolen his heart.
And the incendiary effect of a long-lost British First World War weapon called the "Livens Large Gallery Flame Projector".
Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.
That was what it sounded like today as Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon
left the National Court in Madrid, today. "Garzon, friend," they
chanted, "the people are with you."
The people might be with him, but a judicial oversight board is not.
Today, it voted unanimously to suspend the crusading judge.
Taking advantage of universal jurisdiction, Judge Garzon has indicted
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 his investigations into the atrocities of the Franco era have
proven too much. Last month, he was charged with over-extending his
authority -- and he now awaits trial.
Reed Brody is counsel for the European Division of Human Rights Watch. We reached him in Paris earlier today.
|THISTLED SPRING/HORSE FEATHERS|
|KILL ROCK STARS, KRS 518|
|JUSTIN RINGLE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|HORSE FEATHERS || - ||POP GROUP|
Sometimes you just can't relax, and you just want to go somewhere
peaceful. Unfortunately, you usually feel that urge most keenly when
you're trapped in a car alongside some doofus who doesn't know how to
signal, but compensates by blasting his horn seemingly at random, in a
If only there were some journey you could take without physically
leaving your car -- and some mysterious, disembodied guide you could
follow through the gravel outside a British country mansion.
Some collection of recordings that -- wait...do you hear that? Those footsteps! Let's follow that person!
Where are we now?
Feels like we're climbing the stairs in the former home of Sir Winston
Churchill. Someplace with a really terrific view of the Weald of Kent.
And now we're following someone who is wearing enormous wooden clogs,
and may be drunk. Either way, I'm feeling more relaxed already.
That's the whole idea of these recordings. We just heard two selections
from "National Trust: The Album" -- a collection available as a free
download from the British conservation agency's website. Britain's
National Trust is responsible for preserving historical sites, heritage
properties, coastlines, and the countryside in general.
It's always been easy to imagine that working for the Trust would take
one to bucolic places, and leave one in a general reverie of oneness
with the past, and the pastures. And now it's even easier.
According to Tony Berry, who has the peculiar title of "visitor
experience director" for the National Trust, "It's the ultimate
chill-out album." And he has an unlikely ally in the man who helped
compile the album: Jarvis Cocker.
Mr. Cocker is best known as the devastatingly witty singer for the band
Pulp, which broke up in 2002. Their biggest hit on this side of the
Atlantic was the song "Common People", from the 1995 album "Different
Class". He's continued to write and perform his uncomfortably sharp pop
songs for the past fifteen years as a solo artist. But evidently even
the man who once mooned Michael Jackson at a British music awards show
likes an aural trip to the country.
On the subject of the National Trust album he helped produce, Jarvis
Cocker says, "I hope this album is a 'holiday for the ears.'"
It's certainly a holiday from pop music. There aren't any tracks that
seem like potential hit singles. Unless you count this song, recorded at
a Norwich estate once owned by the Boleyn family. Here's "Blickling
Hall - Clocks Ticking and Chiming".
Another cut from "National Trust: The Album" -- which is available as a free download from the website.
|JORDAN OFFICER/OFFICER, JORDAN|
|JORDAN OFFICER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|SUSIE ARIOLI|| - ||DRUMS|
|MICHAEL JEROME BROWNE|| - ||GUITAR|
|BILL GOSSAGE|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|JORDAN OFFICER|| - ||GUITAR|
|JORDAN OFFICER|| - ||ORIGINATOR|
|JORDAN OFFICER|| - ||PRODUCER|
He's credited with liberating much of South America from colonial
rule. And as such, Simon Bolivar is a revered figure across the
continent. Numerous town squares are named after the brilliant tactician
-- and, of course, Bolivia took its name from him. But Simon Bolivar's
tumultuous life was also short. He died in Peru on December 17th 1830,
aged just forty-seven. The cause of death was tuberculosis.
Or so we thought. But Dr. Paul Auwaerter is about to force a re-think.
He's an infectious-diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine who's been looking into Mr. Bolivar's death. We
reached him in Baltimore.
|LO-FI FOR THE DIVIDING LIGHTS/BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE|
|ARTS & CRAFTS|
|BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE || - ||COMPOSER|
|BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE || - ||POP GROUP|
A message of deterrence and denunciation.
Today, the B.C. Supreme Court sentenced Prapaharan Thambithurai to six
months in jail, for collecting funds that went to support the Tamil
Tigers. It was the first such conviction under a law introduced nearly
ten years ago to prevent terrorist financing from within Canada.
In total, Mr. Thambithurai likely collected only a few thousand
dollars, much of which went towards the World Tamil Movement --
ostensibly a humanitarian organization which was not banned at the time
he was doing the collecting.
However, the sentence is as much about sending a message as it is
doling out justice. And while the case wraps up today, the jury is
still out as to how effective that message will be.
John Thompson is the President of the Mackenzie Institute, and has
been studying the Tamil Tigers for more than fifteen years. We reached
him at his office in Toronto.
Music has always been a medium for political commentary. Think the
protest songs of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez; Marvin Gaye's "What's Going
On," or the often-misunderstood Springsteen anthem, "Born in the USA."
Well, now there's another entertainer whose music is fighting the
power. Although this one's kind of unlikely. It's Lady Gaga, and the
song is "Bad Romance".
Now, there are those who sniff that Lady Gaga's music is a protest
against good music. But hotel workers in San Francisco obviously
disagree. And they also heard an element of defiance in the song, which
they're turning against their bosses, with whom they're embroiled in a
Recently, the workers staged a protest at the Westin St. Francis hotel
in the city, one of seven hotels targeted for boycotts by workers. They
took over the lobby, brought in some trombones, and put their
jury-rigged protest song to a choreographed dance routine.
Here's our sound of the day -- San Francisco hotel workers, with "Bad Hotel".
|FORGIVENESS ROCK RECORD/BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE|
|ARTS & CRAFTS, A&C054-ADV|
|BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE || - ||COMPOSER|
|BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE || - ||POP GROUP|
|BRENDAN CANNING|| - ||PIANO|
|KEVIN DREW|| - ||VOCALS|
|SAM GOLDBERG|| - ||SYNTHESIZER|
|LISA LOBSINGER|| - ||VOCALS|
|JOHN MCENTIRE|| - ||SYNTHESIZER|
|PAUL VON MERTENS|| - ||FLUTE|
|JUSTIN PEROFF|| - ||DRUMS|
|SAM PREKOP|| - ||VOCALS|
|CHARLES SPEARIN|| - ||GUITAR|
|ANDREW WHITEMAN|| - ||GUITAR|
|TOMORROW BECOMES YOU/SLOW SIX|
|WESTERN VINYL, WEST071|
|CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ROB COLLINS|| - ||KEYBOARD|
|STEPHEN GRIESGRABER|| - ||GUITAR|
|BEN LIVELY|| - ||VIOLIN|
|THEO METZ|| - ||DRUMS|
|SLOW SIX || - ||INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE|
|CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR|| - ||COMPUTER|
|CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR|| - ||VIOLIN|
In many ways, the Battle of Gallipoli represented the birth of
Australia's national consciousness. The goal was to wrest the Turkish
capital of Istanbul from the Ottoman Empire. The effort failed, but it
was one of the defining battles of the First World War. And, as the
young nation's first major military operation, it was also a defining
moment for Australians -- although it was a particularly solemn
coming-of-age. Nearly nine-thousand Australian soldiers were killed and
close to twenty-thousand wounded.
But from the crucible of war, a nation's heroes are forged. In this
case, one William Edward Sing. Better known as Billy Sing or "The
Gallipoli Assassin." Mr. Sing was a crack shot with a rifle and, as
Australia's best sniper, he killed more than two hundred enemy soldiers.
He eventually became such a concern to the Turkish forces that they in
turn sent their best sniper -- one "Abdul the Terrible" -- to hunt him
down. But Mr. Sing proved to be more terrible than Abdul, and shot him
first. For his efforts Billy Sing was awarded the Distinguished Conduct
Medal. And, although he died in 1943, he continues to be celebrated as
one of Australia's bravest warriors.
Incidentally, Mr. Sing was the product of a bi-racial marriage: his
dad was Chinese and his mother was English. Which, really, is neither
here nor there. At least it shouldn't be. Except now, it's both here
and there, because Mr. Sing's life is currently the subject of a TV
mini-series, aptly named "The Legend of Billy Sing."
The series is described as "a fictional story containing events that
are derived from the lives of various real people." One of the more
fictional bits of the story, it turns out, is that its protagonist --
Billy Sing -- is, well, a white guy.
Which has Chinese-Australians understandably perplexed, and also a
little miffed, since Billy Sing is a particularly revered historical
figure within that community. The head of the Chinese-Australian Forum
has accused the producers of the series of "whitewashing" Australian
But the truth behind the casting may be less nefarious and more
nepotistic. It turns out the producer of the series chose his son to
star in the leading role. The producer has been defending his choice by
saying he couldn't find a Chinese-Australian actor to play the role of
Billy Sing's father -- so, instead, he simply decided to cast the entire
Sing family as white.
Whatever the reason for the casting choice, one thing is clear: the
series, which presumably aimed to honour the famed marksman, sadly
missed its target.
|NOBLE BEAST/BIRD, ANDREW|
|FAT POSSUM, FP1124-2|
|ANDREW BIRD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ANDREW BIRD|| - ||PRODUCER|
|ANDREW BIRD|| - ||VOCALS|
Just as Billy Sing was Australia's secret weapon in the Battle of
Gallipoli, the Allies had their own secret weapon during the Somme
campaign. And historians believe they're close to find out just what it
was. But unlike Mr. Sing, this weapon isn't flesh-and-blood. It's made
of metal. And lots of it.
Peter Barton is the historian and author behind the search for this
First World War "weapon of terror". We reached him in Peronne, France.
|DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE/KINGS OF CONVENIENCE|
|VIRGIN, 50999 3 06840 2 7|
|ERIK GLAMBEK BOE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ERLEND OYE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DAVIDE BERTOLINI|| - ||PRODUCER|
|ROBERT JONNUM|| - ||PRODUCER|
|KINGS OF CONVENIENCE || - ||POP GROUP|
|KINGS OF CONVENIENCE || - ||PRODUCER|
Back in 1990, in the wee hours of one morning, the Tomahawk Restaurant
in Vancouver was the site of a break-in. And when owner Charles
Chamberlain arrived at the scene, he was devastated. Because what was
stolen was utterly irreplaceable: a collection of aboriginal art and
instruments dating back to the nineteen-twenties. In total, about twenty
items were taken.
This week, nearly two decades after the break-in, someone has returned six of those objects.
We reached Charles Chamberlain at his restaurant in Vancouver.
|11:11/RODRIGO Y GABRIELA|
|GABRIELA QUINTERO|| - ||COMPOSER|
|RODRIGO SANCHEZ|| - ||COMPOSER|
|RODRIGO Y GABRIELA || - ||GUITAR DUO|
|RODRIGO SANCHEZ|| - ||PRODUCER|
Politicians, generally speaking, are not known for their intellectual
creativity -- unless perhaps they are trying to explain the ways in
which they are not involved in lobbying scandals. But if there is one
invention that must have been borne from the mind of a tax-hungry
politico, it's the parking meter.
And so it was, seventy-five years ago this week, that an Oklahoma city
traffic committee member named Carl Magee sought a patent for the
following -- and I quote: "meters for measuring the time of occupancy or
use of parking or other space, for the use of which it is desirous an
incidental charge be made upon a time basis." End quote.
It seems the downtown core of Oklahoma City was getting blocked up
with the parked cars of people who worked in offices and businesses.
People who wanted to drive down to spend money shopping had nowhere to
leave their cars.
So Mr. Magee set his mind to work, and the meter was created. When you
popped a nickel into Mr. Magee's machine, a little arrow popped up,
showing how long you could shop before the red "time expired" flag
To call it a "successful" invention would be wrong. "Beyond wildly successful" might begin to approach the truth.
Money flowed into the coffers of Oklahoma City, and Mr. Magee sold his
meters across the U.S. and around the world for twenty-three bucks a
pop. And to give you an idea how much money he made, consider that the
Magee Meter remained virtually unchanged, around the world, for more
than fifty years.
It became an international icon, inspiring films like Cool Hand Luke,
singers like Bob Dylan, and, of course, the Beatles' "Lovely Rita",
about a parking attendant Paul McCartney met outside Abbey Road Studios.
this is a story where everyone wins, right? Oklahoma City gets rich.
Carl Magee gets rich. And all it costs you, the driver, is a few coins.
Unless, of course, you accidentally let that red "time expired" flag pop
Then, of course, Rita may not seem so lovely.
|SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND/BEATLES|
|PARLOPHONE, C2 0777 7 46442 2 8|
|JOHN LENNON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|PAUL MCCARTNEY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BEATLES || - ||POP GROUP|
|GEORGE MARTIN|| - ||PRODUCER|