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May 18, 2010

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Getting heavy over a levy. Defying consensus in the international community, Canada steps up its campaign against a global bank tax.

Erin, on the side of caution. Ireland demands Google delete a bunch of ill-gotten information -- and Google sheepishly complies.

Paper cuts. When a newsprint mill is shut down in Gatineau, three-hundred-and-fifty workers may be left feeling ripped off.

What not to swear. In Pennsylvania, the thin blue line is ticketing people who swear a thick blue streak -- and the ACLU doesn't like it.

To err is human -- so let's forgive de vine. A British scientist finds that ivy, much-maligned for putting the squeeze on buildings, comes through in the clutch.

And...separating the men-dacity from the boys. A new study reveals that when your half-pint utters a half-truth, it's not half-bad -- developmentally speaking.

As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that takes issue with minor fabrications.


GLOBAL BANK TAX Duration: 00:07:32

They're spreading out and spreading the word. Today, several cabinet ministers from the Harper Government are on the road, taking their message to the international community: that Canada does not support the growing push for a global bank tax.

They're in the minority: the proposed tax is backed by the U.S., the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. As proposed, it would be applied to global financial institutions, to counteract economic volatility, and create a global fund to deal with future economic crises. But the Harper Government argues that the tax would unfairly punish Canadian banks, which weathered this past financial storm admirably. So they're proposing a different measure -- one that would hold bank shareholders responsible for financial bail-outs, rather than taxpayers.

It's a good idea, according to Paul Martin, Canada's former Prime Minister and Finance Minister. But he argues that it's still not the right solution. We reached Paul Martin in Montreal.


LOCUST EATER Duration: 00:00:24

Album:PURE DIAMOND GOLD/7 O'CLOCK CHICKEN/SADIES

Label:BLOODSHOT, BS 055

Persons/Roles:
MIKE BELITSKY - COMPOSER
SEAN DEAN - COMPOSER
DALLAS GOOD - COMPOSER
TRAVIS GOOD - COMPOSER
BERNIE PLESKACH - COMPOSER
SADIES - POP GROUP

GATINEAU PAPER MILL CLOSES Duration: 00:06:32

Generally speaking, no news is good news. But that's not the case in Gatineau, Quebec.

Sagging newspaper circulation and advertising have meant trouble for the newsprint business. And as a result, yesterday, AbitibiBowater announced the indefinite closure of a major newsprint mill in Gatineau, Quebec. And with three-hundred-and-fifty jobs on the line, that's bad news all around.

Dave Coles is the national president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, the union that represents the mill workers. We reached him in Ottawa.


BUCKETS OF RAIN Duration: 00:00:17

Album:BLOOD ON THE TRACKS

Label:COLUMBIA, CK 33235

Persons/Roles:
BOB DYLAN - COMPOSER
BOB DYLAN - VOCALS

TODDLERS LIE STUDY Duration: 00:06:33

There's a famous story about George Washington and a cherry tree. Apparently, when he was six years old, the future American president hacked up his father's favourite cherry tree with an axe. When confronted, the young boy admitted to his misdoing, bravely saying, "I cannot tell a lie."

That story is usually used as an example of moral righteousness. But it might actually be a sign that George was a little slow. A new study suggests lying is an important benchmark in a child's development.

Victoria Talwar is an Associate Professor of Human Development at McGill University, and the lead author of the study. We reached her in Montreal.


YOU'RE NO GOOD Duration: 00:00:16

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

Label:FINDERS KEEPERS, FKRCD021CD

Persons/Roles:
COLIN YOUNG - COMPOSER
COLIN YOUNG - VOCALS

SC: MUGABE'S ARK/ FTR: EDDIE IZZARD Duration: 00:03:35

Unlike a lot of countries, Zimbabwe enjoys friendly relations with North Korea. Well, "friendly" might not be the right word. What I mean is that, while leaders from around the world tend to impose sanctions on, and make damning speeches against, the two regimes, Kim Jong Il and Robert Mugabe seem to get along just fine. In fact, they have a long history of sending each other elaborate gifts. The problem is, these gifts tend to be cruel, awful, or outright murderous.

For instance, back in the 'eighties, North Korea generously trained the Zimbabwean Army's Fifth Brigade -- which later massacred well over twenty thousand people in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland region -- most of whom supported Mugabe's political opponent at the time.

Now Robert Mugabe is returning the neighborly gesture with a moderately less appalling, but equally offensive gift. Mr. Mugabe is, apparently making preparations to send two of every species of wildlife found in Zimbabwe's famed Hwange National Park to North Korea. And there's a lot of wildlife in Hwange National Park -- more than a hundred species of mammals, including elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes, cheetahs and zebras. There are also at least four hundred species of birds.

The menagerie will apparently be flown to North Korea. That has wildlife groups upset. For one thing, North Korea's zoos are not held in particularly high esteem. For another, among the animal "gifts" are two eighteen-month-old elephants, which are not expected to survive the long flight -- since elephants usually continue to nurse until they are around four years old.

All of which is both heartbreaking and infuriating. And it makes you wonder why they couldn't just send some flowers, or an e-card.

And now, to lighten things up somewhat, here's British comedian and former As It Happens guest, Eddie Izzard, on the subject of arks.


CLOSING TUESDAY Duration: 00:00:34

We're going to take a short break so you can hear the latest news -- and then As It Happens will be back, with these stories:

Where the streets have too many names. Google gathered a lot of information when it put together its Street View project -- and Ireland is the first to demand satisfaction.

The scene and the herd. The Department of Homeland Security wants to seize part of a Vermont dairy farm -- but the farmers have another idea.

The folly and the ivy. A British researcher dispels some clinging myths about the destructive properties of climbing vines.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm DJ.


RETURN TUESDAY Duration: 00:00:50

Hello again, I'm CO.

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

Coming up:

Why a Vermont dairy farmer is putting his boot down when it comes to a demand from the Department of Homeland Security.

And how an unbelievably complex mathematical model might predict the success of your marriage.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


GOOGLE STREETVIEW FOLLOW Duration: 00:07:00

A search engine giant has crossed an online line.

Yesterday, we told you how Google, during the process of creating its "streetview" maps, had done more than take a few snapshots. It also downloaded data from the personal wi-fi networks the camera-operating cars could connect to while driving through urban neighbourhoods around the world. Google has maintained the data collection was accidental.

Now, the government of Ireland has become the first to formally respond to what most say is a clear violation of privacy laws.

Gary Davis is Ireland's deputy privacy commissioner. We reached him in Rosenallis, Ireland.


WITHOUT AGAIN Duration: 00:00:40

Album:MOUNTAIN MEADOWS/ELLIOTT BROOD

Label:SIX SHOOTER, SIX 041

Persons/Roles:
CASEY LAFORET - COMPOSER
STEVE PITKIN - COMPOSER
MARK SASSO - COMPOSER
JOHN CRITCHLEY - PRODUCER
ELLIOTT BROOD - POP GROUP
ELLIOTT BROOD - PRODUCER

VERMONT BORDER SECURITY LAND Duration: 00:06:39

The Rainville family's dairy farm, in northern Vermont, is a picturesque, two-hundred-and-twenty acre spread, right near the Quebec border. And smack-dab on the northern edge of their property is the Morses Line border crossing.

Since September 11th, Department of Homeland Security officials have been reviewing border security. And they've identified Morses Line as a weak point. So they've decided to update that facility, and they want to use part of the Rainville farm to do it.

But the Rainvilles aren't going to sell their land without a fight.

We reached Brian Rainville at his home in Randolph, Vermont.


FOREVER Duration: 00:00:54

Album:INSTRUMENTAL/ACOUSTEK

Label:BIG CHILL

Persons/Roles:
P & P HARTNOLL - COMPOSER
INSTRUMENTAL - STRING SEXTET

SC: MATH MARRIAGE MODEL Duration: 00:02:21

If you've been through a divorce, chances are you blamed it on your ex-spouse -- and not on a poor grasp of math. But your lousy math skills may actually have been the culprit. So before you marry, or re-marry, it might be wise to acquaint yourself with the work of Spanish mathematician José-Manuel Rey. He's just published an article with the following title: "A Mathematical Model of Sentimental Dynamics Accounting for Marital Dissolution".

Mr. Rey's examination of love has very little in common with that of Shakespeare, or John Donne, or indeed any human being who has ever felt an emotion. "Whereas the initial stage of romantic love seems to be controlled by chemical processes," Mr. Rey writes in his introduction, "the issue of maintaining a sentimental relationship may rather belong in the realm of rational decisions."

Not necessarily something you'd write in a Valentine's Day card, unless you dotted the i's with little hearts.

And it gets even more clinical, when Mr. Rey refers to something he calls "the second law of thermodynamics for sentimental relationships". By which he means the fading of initial love -- which must be counteracted by "optimal effort" for the marriage to survive. At this point, the article begins to fill with complex equations in which various letters fill in for feelings, and are mapped on graphs so complicated they look like someone dropped a half-finished game of cat's cradle into a bowl of alphabet soup.

Here's the caption under a graph that supposedly depicts the deterioration of a relationship: "The intrinsic instability of sentimental dynamics obeying the second law causes the piecewise decaying trajectories to move further and further away from the target trajectory, and eventually to cross the threshold level 'X-min'."

That's one way of putting it. I suppose it's more elegant than "he refuses to put the toilet seat down."

The upshot is that Mr. Rey's model will help you decide if you should marry your current paramour. Provided you have a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, and have a slide-rule where your heart should be. But keep it to yourself: if you tell your fiancé he or she equals X, then he or she will end up equaling ex.


DO THE MATH Duration: 00:02:52

Album:SURVIVOR/FOX, GEORGE

Label:WEA, CD 22718

Persons/Roles:
GEORGE FOX - COMPOSER
KIM TRIBBLE - COMPOSER
GEORGE FOX - VOCALS
KIM TRIBBLE - PRODUCER

CHICKEN-FRIED HEAD Duration: 00:01:00

Album:TRACTOR PARTS: FURTHER ADVENTURES IN STRANG/ZUBOT AND DAWSON

Label:BLACK HEN, BHCD-0003

Persons/Roles:
STEVE DAWSON - COMPOSER
STEVE DAWSON - PRODUCER
ZUBOT AND DAWSON - INSTRUMENTAL DUO
JESSE ZUBOT - PRODUCER

TB JUPITER'S BELT Duration: 00:01:39

In situations where a person looks unprepared, we usually say they "got caught with their pants down". The expression perfectly captures that feeling when you forget something you really, really ought to know -- like your boss's husband's name, or the words to the Canadian anthem before a hockey game -- or, worse yet, the physical characteristics of our solar system's largest planet. This last situation specifically pertains to us.

Last night on our program, we told you that Jupiter had lost its large, red belt. Well, just like this now belt-less planet, we seem to have been caught with our pants down. And the wind is chilly.

Talkback explains.


MR. SOUL Duration: 00:00:14

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

ACLU SWEARING TICKETS Duration: 00:06:45

In the time between the moment you're pulled over and the moment you roll down your window and say, "What's the problem, officer," you may indulge yourself for a second or two. That indulgence may take the form of spitting out a series of four-letter words. But in Pennsylvania, that colourful language has been causing offense among police with sensitive ears. And they've actually been ticketing offenders, with some zeal.

Mary Catherine Roper is a senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Philadelphia. Her organization believes that Pennsylvanians should be allowed to swear as much as they da----darn well please, and that police have no business slapping tickets --- and potential jail sentences --- on the swearing public.

We reached Ms. Roper at her office.


FAN IT Duration: 00:00:08

Album:GEOFF MULDAUR AND THE TEXAS SHEIKS

Label:TRADITION & MODERNE, T&M 045

Persons/Roles:
DAN HOWELL - COMPOSER
FRANKIE JAXON - COMPOSER
BRUCE HUGHES - PRODUCER
GEOFF MULDAUR - PRODUCER
GEOFF MULDAUR - VOCALS
TEXAS SHEIKS - FOLK GROUP

FTR: U.S. POLITICIANS LIE Duration: 00:02:34

Stop me if you've heard this before.

Today a member of the U.S. House of Representatives resigned his seat, after admitting to an extramarital affair with a member of his staff. Mark Souder, a congressman from Indiana, made the announcement only weeks after winning his G.O.P. primary.

Here is part of Mark Souder's resignation statement, for the record.


DANDY Duration: 00:00:08

Album:COCO, PT 1/PAROV STELAR

Label:HIGH NOTE

Persons/Roles:
PAROV STELAR - COMPOSER
PAROV STELAR - PERFORMER

IVY GOOD FOR BUILDINGS Duration: 00:05:53

For a climbing plant, ivy's reputation has long been in free-fall.

To many, the plants are leafy menaces out to crush buildings with their clingy tendrils. But it's time to embrace the vilified vine, just as it embraces our garages.

Heather Viles is a professor at Oxford University's School of Geography and the Environment. Three years ago, the British government commissioned her to get to the root of the allegations against ivy. And she found out that while the plant is indeed a bit creepy, it's also kind of heroic.

We reached Professor Viles at her home in Oxford, England.


SECONDARY WALTZ Duration: 00:00:10

Album:MARK KNOPFLER: KILL TO GET CRIMSON

Label:MERCURY, 0251742073

Persons/Roles:
MARK KNOPFLER - COMPOSER
MARK KNOPFLER - WRITER
MARK KNOPFLER - SINGING

FOA: MT. ST. HELENS Duration: 00:00:24

Thirty years ago, today, a cloud of ash hung ominously over the American Northwest.

On May eighteenth, 1980, Mount Saint Helens, in the state of Washington, erupted. The volcanic blast was the deadliest and most destructive recorded in U.S. history.

From the As It Happens archives, here's guest host June Callwood speaking to Washington State Patrol Captain Michael Feldhausen, the day after the blast.


STAY LIT Duration: 00:00:18

Album:LATIN/HOLY FUCK

Label:XL, YT 033CD

Persons/Roles:
BRIAN BORCHERDT - COMPOSER
MATT MCQUAID - COMPOSER
MATT SCHULZ - COMPOSER
GRAHAM WALSH - COMPOSER
HOLY FUCK - POP GROUP
HOLY FUCK - PRODUCER

FTR: ANTIGONISH PARISH COSTS Duration: 00:00:48

Catholic churches in Cape Breton and the rest of the Antigonish diocese are preparing themselves for the worst.

The diocese is trying to raise money to pay settlements totalling eighteen million dollars to victims of sexual abuse. So far, parishes have contributed thousands of dollars -- St. Mary's Parish in Mabou was asked to give more than a hundred-and-ten-thousand on its own -- but it hasn't been enough. So now, the diocese is looking to liquidate its property.

A few years ago, the people in Big Pond, Nova Scotia raised enough money to build a new fire hall, after theirs burnt down. But the station stands on twenty-five hectares of diocese-owned land. Earlier today, Kevin Short, who's with the Big Pond volunteer fire department, spoke with CBC Reporter Joan Weeks about his concerns.

Here's part of that conversation, for the record.


GO SLOW Duration: 00:00:09

Album:ULTRA-LOUNGE, VOL 6

Label:CAPITOL, 7243 8 36128 2 6

Persons/Roles:
TAMMY COCHRAN - COMPOSER
TAMMY COCHRAN - WRITER
JULIE LONDON - SINGING

SC: PRISCILLA Duration: 00:02:02

You know, sometimes around here people call me "The Queen of As It Happens." One person who usually calls me that is me, when I'm doing my daily affirmations in between interviews. It hasn't really caught on with the rest of the crew, despite my best efforts.

But my point is that my co-host this week has already got lots of experience with at least one queen. So I can tell you that he'll be absolutely regal in his upcoming role in the musical version of "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert."

The stage version of the 1994 film is coming to Toronto this fall -- and C. David will play the role of Bob, the hunky mechanic who falls for the transsexual drag performer Bernadette. And after the Canadian run of the road-trip adventure story ends, David and the show will go on a road trip themselves -- to Broadway.

So, David, congratulations. We're happy for you, and thrilled that the rest of the world will finally get to see you as we see you every time you fill in: dancing around in a pink kangaroo costume.


FINALLY Duration: 00:00:55

Album:ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT, SOUNDTRACK

Label:MOTHER, 314-516 937-2

Persons/Roles:
FELIPE DELGADO - COMPOSER
RODNEY JACKSON - COMPOSER
E. L LINNEAR - COMPOSER
CECE PENISTON - COMPOSER
FELIPE DELGADO - PRODUCER
RODNEY JACKSON - PRODUCER
CECE PENISTON - VOCALS



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