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May 27, 2010

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A neighbourhood under siege. Amid continued fighting in the Tivoli Gardens district of Kingston, Jamaica, a minister shuttles food in to trapped residents.

A cooling head prevails. A conversation with Christiana Figueres -- who's about to take some heat as the U.N.'s new climate chief.

Fade to white. Canadian biologists predict that the death of the polar bear will be nasty, brutish, short -- and permanent.

A disease that metastasizes to your bank account. A new report exposes the disastrous effect breast cancer can have on your finances.

The only park in Canada where they hope you don't have a blast. Vernon, B.C. plans to open a new green space -- once it's sure all the explosives are gone.

And...taking a bath -- and refusing to give it back. A rogue elephant in Kenya must like the taste of sunscreen smoothies -- because he keeps drinking a luxury hotel's hot tub dry.

As It Happens, the Thursday edition. Radio that knows sometimes you grumble about tourism -- and sometimes you just suck it up.


PASTOR JAMAICA Duration: 00:07:02

The clashes that started on Sunday, in a single neighbourhood of Kingston, Jamaica, have shed light on the political situation in the country. And what's being exposed by that glare is disturbing.

On the ground in Kingston, in the epicentre on the unfolding drama, the residents of Tivoli Gardens are still dealing with a state of emergency, sporadic gunfire, and dwindling food supplies.

Reverend Al Miller has been shuttling food into Tivoli Gardens. We reached him in Kingston.


GHOST SYMBOL Duration: 00:00:14

Album:YEAH GHOST/ZERO 7

Label:WEA, 2-511724

Persons/Roles:
HENRY BINNS - COMPOSER
SAM HARDAKER - COMPOSER
BINKI SHAPIRO - COMPOSER
JACKIE DANIELS - VOCALS
ZERO 7 - POP GROUP

BREAST CANCER COST STUDY Duration: 00:05:41

It's obvious that breast cancer has a devastating impact on a woman's life. But a new report by the Canadian Breast Cancer Network has revealed a less-obvious effect: its devastating impact on a patient's finances.

Janet Dunbrack is the author of the report. We reached her in Ottawa.


OH ME, OH MY Duration: 00:00:16

Album:ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET/ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET

Label:NETTWERK, 06700307922(8)

Persons/Roles:
ABIGAIL WASHBURN - COMPOSER
ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET - ENSEMBLE

HIT BY LIGHTNING Duration: 00:05:29

It's often been said that there's no place like home. Which is certainly true. But every once in awhile, it's just better if you're somewhere else.

Harvey Shaffer is a city councillor in Hampstead, Quebec and we reached him outside his home earlier today.


LEWIS TAKES ACTION Duration: 00:00:18

Album:HEARTLAND/PALLETT, OWEN

Label:FOR GREAT JUSTICE, FGJ001

Persons/Roles:
OWEN PALLETT - COMPOSER
OWEN PALLETT - PRODUCER
OWEN PALLETT - VOCALS

VACLAV HAVEL PLAY Duration: 00:06:55

Politicians are known to be crafty, conniving, and clever. They are not known to be poetic. But former Czech president Vaclav Havel has never been a typical politico.

The leader of Czechoslavakia's "Velvet Revolution" in the nineteen-seventies and 'eighties was first and foremost a playwright. Now, seven years after the end of his presidency, he has returned to the arts. Last night he was in Philadelphia, for the American premiere of his first play in nearly twenty years. It's called "Leaving".

Paul Wilson is a Canadian writer who has translated many of Havel's works into English, including "Leaving." He was at the premiere last night. We reached Mr. Wilson in Philadelphia.


CLOSING THURSDAY Duration: 00:00:32

The news is coming up next, but stay tuned -- there's a lot more As It Happens to come in just a few minutes. When we return:

A matter of degrees. We'll talk to the U.N.'s incoming head of climate change -- Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres.

Curses -- oiled again. Scientists discover a lot more spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico than has ever been seen before.

You'll be blown away by its beauty. But in the case of a planned park in Vernon, B.C., there's also a slim chance that you'll be blown away by unexploded ordnance.

We'll be back in six minutes. I'm CO.

And I'm DS.


RETURN THURSDAY Duration: 00:00:04

Hello again, I'm CO.

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


NEW UN CLIMATE CHIEF Duration: 00:09:10

She's the first woman to hold the position. She's also the first person from a developing nation to hold it. And when Christiana Figueres takes over as chief of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, she's going to have her work cut out for her. She has to assemble some kind of framework to address the issue of climate change, following last fall's disastrous and divisive summit in Copenhagen.

Ms. Figueres is a Costa Rican diplomat. She was appointed earlier this month by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. And she'll take over the position on July first.

We reached Christiana Figueres in Washington, DC.


THE CORNER (PHARRELL REMIX) Duration: 00:00:18

Album:PHARRELL PRESENTS: THE REMIX INSTRUMENTALS, VOL.2

Label:CUSTOM

Persons/Roles:
PHARRELL WILLIAMS - COMPOSER
PHARRELL WILLIAMS - PRODUCER

FTR: OBAMA OIL Duration: 00:01:37

A deep-sea freeze.

As British Petroleum tries to stop its leaking oil well with a maneuver dubbed a "top kill" -- essentially plugging up the well with mud -- the Obama Administration today launched its own kill maneuver. Its goal is to plug some of the loopholes in the laws regulating offshore operations.

For the record, here is President Barack Obama speaking today in Washington, D.C.


BIG OIL PLUME Duration: 00:06:17

Despite that freeze, there is the matter of the oil that has already been spilled. BP has maintained that the well is releasing about five-thousand barrels a day. But today, the U.S. government released its own independent assessment -- and the news isn't good. Between twelve- and nineteen-thousand barrels of oil a day, meaning that this disaster is likely larger than that of the Exxon Valdez.

Because of the heavy use of chemical dispersants, much of that oil remains hidden beneath the water's surface. Today, though, a group of marine scientists accounted for some of it.

Bill Hogarth is the Dean of the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. We reached him at his office.


LIVE FROM TIGRE LOUNGE Duration: 00:00:14

Album:MULATU ASTATKE / THE HELIOCENTRICS: INSPIRATION IN

Label:STRUT

Persons/Roles:
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

ELEPHANT DRINKS JACUZZI Duration: 00:04:43

If you're a lover of exotic fauna, the Etali Safari Lodge may just have your dream accommodations. It's located in South Africa's Madikwe Game Reserve, and it offers its well-to-do guests a unique window on South Africa's wildlife -- all from the comfort of a fancy suite. The outside deck allows breathtaking views of African sunsets, and you can forget all your troubles with a refreshing dip in the outside pool, surrounded by towering acacia trees gently swaying in the wind.

There's just one caveat: be a little careful in the Jacuzzi. Because one local resident keeps walking up and sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong.

Susan Potgeiter is the owner of Etali Safari Lodge. We reached her in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa.


ELEPHANT ROSE Duration: 00:00:25

Album:RENE AUBRY: PROJECTION PRIVEE/MALABAR PRINCESS

Label:HOPI MESA, 3094762

Persons/Roles:
RENE AUBRY - COMPOSER
FREDERIC DARD - WRITER INSP
RENE AUBRY - MANDOLIN

POLAR BEAR SURVIVAL Duration: 00:06:45

Extinction won't come gradually. It will be sudden, and it will be quick.

So says one of the world's leading experts on polar bears. In a study released this week, biologists at the University of Alberta used a mathematical model to predict the decline of polar bear populations, as the climate in the far north changes.

Andrew Derocher is a co-author of the study. We reached him in Edmonton.


SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS Duration: 00:00:22

Album:FUZZBOX/THE SECTION QUARTET

Label:DECCA

Persons/Roles:
BEN GIBBARD - COMPOSER
JIMMY TAMBORELLO - COMPOSER
THE SECTION QUARTET - STRING QUARTET

SC: BULGARIAN CELL PHONE Duration: 00:02:00

I don't know what you do when you're bored. But, sometimes, I like to dial strange phone numbers at random.

The old "867-5309" is a pretty standard choice. But I'm also pretty crazy about numbers made up of a single digit. Like 888-888-888. That one's in Bulgaria and it used to belong to a guy named Konstantin. But, lately, all I get when I dial it up is this:Now, I know what you're thinking. Konstantin got tired of me calling him up and asking him the score in the latest Levski versus Lokomotiv soccer match, then subjecting him to my rendition of "Do The Locomotion" every time my boys won. But, actually, it's not me, it's him.

You see, his particular mobile phone number has something of a nasty history. It's been assigned to three different men over the last decade. And all three of those men have met an untimely end. So the Bulgarian phone company that owns the number, Mobitel, has decided it's finally time to put it to rest.

The first user of the number was Vladimir Grashnov -- the CEO of Mobitel, no less -- who died of cancer in 2001 at the age of forty-eight. At the time, there were rumours that his illness was caused by radioactive poisoning by a business rival.

The number was then assigned to a guy named Konstanin Dimitrov. He was shot dead while eating dinner with a model in the Netherlands. His career as head of drug-smuggling empire might have had something to do with his death.

And then the 888-888-888 number was passed to my buddy Konstantin Dishliev. He wasn't just a soccer fan. He was also a real estate agent. Oh, and, he was also something else that he never mentioned in our chats -- a cocaine importer/exporter.

He was gunned down outside an Indian restaurant in Sofia.

So the solution to ending these killings isn't detective work, or clamping down on organized crime, or even assigning the number to a little old lady. There's no call for that kind of thing. No, cutting off the number altogether is the answer because, clearly, this is an eight crime.


RULES TO LIVE BY Duration: 00:03:21

Album:FIRE AND FUSS

Label:DEMO

Persons/Roles:
ERIN COSTELO - COMPOSER
ERIN COSTELO - ACCORDION
ERIN COSTELO - PIANO
ERIN COSTELO - VOCALS
ANDREW GLENCROSS - KEYBOARDS
LUCAS PEARSE - BASS
ALIX PORTER - DRUMS
BENN ROSS - PERCUSSION
PHIL SEDORE - GUITAR

UMASS BASEBALL Duration: 00:06:58

It doesn't matter whether you're a pro, or you're still playing for your school team. When it comes to baseball, it doesn't get any bigger than a World Series. So stakes are high this weekend, when the College World Series gets underway in Appleton, Wisconsin.

In the N-C-double A Division, three teams will compete for the American national championship. And one of them is making a surprise appearance: the University of Massachusetts Boston. It's the team's first trip ever to the big show.

Some of their players are a little bit older and a little bit rounder than their competition. But don't let their "Bad News Bears" appearance fool you. The UMass Beacons are grizzlies on the field.

Alan Wickstrom is their director of communications, and we reached him at their hotel in Appleton, Wisconsin.


EASY BOUNCE Duration: 00:00:12

Album:MULTIDIRECTION: BROWNSWOOD WORKSHOP

Label:TALKIN' LOUD/BROWNSWOOD

Persons/Roles:
SOUL-BOSSA-TRIO - COMPOSER
SOUL-BOSSA-TRIO - JAZZ GROUP

VERNON PARK EXPLOSIVE Duration: 00:05:18

Everybody loves a park -- particularly at this time of year. You can relax, chuck a ball, throw a Frisbee around, or just sit around in a mesh shirt and short shorts, and soak up the sun.

You can imagine the joy on the faces of Vernon, British Columbia residents, when the city announced plans to develop a fifty-six-hectare park. The area, located in Roses Pond, boasts beautiful lake vistas and lots of indigenous animals.

But it's not completely perfect. For example, there are the explosives.

Wayne Lippert is the Mayor of Vernon. We reached him in Vernon, BC.


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

DA: TIBET PHOTOCOPY REGISTER Duration: 00:01:08

Dateline: Lhasa, Tibet.Go forth . . . and do not multiply.

That's the message from Chinese officials in Lhasa, Tibet.

The city is home to a new rule that restricts the freedom to duplicate. Now, those looking to photocopy materials will have to let shopkeepers copy down some material of their own -- their name, address, and the number of copies they want.

The measures are part of a government registry officially aimed at stopping criminals from carrying out illegal activities. Others, however, think this fear of duplication is a tad duplicitous. They say the real motive behind the registry is to clamp down on political pamphlets that encourage a "Free Tibet."

In fact, shopkeepers in Lhasa are already so wary of being associated with such activity that many insist they won't copy anything that uses Tibetan characters without a staff translator on hand, "just to be safe."

So, it looks like Tibetan activists will either have to go underground or start handwriting their literature.

Funny that, in a world of censorship where conformity is king, it just might pay to be "an original."


MEETING BY THE RIVER Duration: 00:00:10

Album:MEETING BY THE RIVER

Label:WATER LILY ACOUSTICS, WLA-CS 29

Persons/Roles:
RY COODER - COMPOSER
RY COODER - GUITAR
V.M. BHATT - GUITAR

OBIT: SIPHIWO NTSHEBE Duration: 00:01:47

Siphiwo Ntshebe wanted to share the joy of opera with people around the world. More than that, he wanted his music to be accessible to everyone beyond the opera house. And he was about to realize that dream, with a performance at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Johannesburg.

But on Tuesday -- less than three weeks before the soccer tournament's kick-off -- the thirty-three-year-old tenor died suddenly. after contracting meningitis.

Siphiwo Ntshebe was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. When he was five years old, he got a sense of the power of his own voice: he was astonished to hear it echoing throughout his church. He first knew he wanted to be an opera singer when he heard Mario Lanza singing on TV.

And from the moment he made that decision, he wouldn't let anyone prevent him from pursuing a musical career in opera. He also refused to accept anyone else's notion of his limitations. At one point, one of his teachers told him, "Mozart is not for you -- blacks can't sing Mozart." Mr. Ntshebe did not agree -- and proved that teacher wrong.

When he was sixteen, he was offered a scholarship to the University of Cape Town. That was followed by a scholarship in Australia -- and then he completed his studies in London, at the Royal College of Music. He went on to perform around the world, and had secured a multi-album deal with Epic Records. Nelson Mandela selected Mr. Ntshebe personally to perform at the World Cup opening ceremonies, on June eleventh. He was to perform a new track entitled "Hope".

The producer of those opening ceremonies said "Siphiwo is a true South Africa World Cup legacy, gone too soon. May Sophiwo's spirit of hope centre us all."

Here's Siphiwo Ntshebe with "Un Aura Amorosa" from Mozart's opera "Così fan tutte".


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