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June 18, 2010

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Shameful and unjustified. Justice Thomas Braidwood tells us how he concluded the RCMP had no reason to use their tasers against Robert Dziekanski.

They're not being given a sporting chance. In Cote D'Ivoire, children are being promised a future as soccer stars -- and then they become victims of trafficking.

Damming evidence. A B.C. mudslide could have been prevented -- if information about an imminent flood had flowed freely between the agencies that knew about it.

Berm, baby, berm. To protect itself from the gusher in the Gulf, Louisiana votes to install huge mounds of sand -- but experts go against the grains.

Loud is the voice on the lonely goiter. A neuroscientist will try to convince me that the lump on God's neck in a Michelangelo painting is actually...a brain.

And...it's the circle of life. Well, adolescence. Twenty-seven years after losing his high-school ring, a man from Maine finds his quarry -- in a quarry.

As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio that knows sometimes your primary concern is a secondary concern.


BRAIDWOOD INQUIRY Duration: 00:08:06

Shameful conduct. Deliberate misrepresentations. After-the-fact rationalizations.

Justice Thomas Braidwood did not mince words in a four-hundred-and-fifty-nine page report released today on the death of Robert Dziekanski. The final report of the Braidwood Inquiry concluded that the RCMP officers at the Vancouver Airport were not justified in using their tasers -- and that they could not have reasonably perceived Mr. Dziekanski as a threat.

We reached Justice Thomas Braidwood in Vancouver.


LATIN AMERICA Duration: 00:00:20

Album:LATIN

Label:XL, 000020

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

BC MUDSLIDE AFTERMATH Duration: 00:06:58

It sounds like a disastrous game of "broken telephone".

On Sunday, a landslide devastated the Okanagan town of Oliver, British Columbia. Five homes were destroyed, many others were damaged, and orchards and vineyards were buried under metres-high cascades of mud.

The landslide was caused by a failed dam at an eighty-year-old reservoir that sits above the town. And it turns out authorities knew about the blocked dam two days before the landslide. The Ministry of Forests was told by the RCMP. Who were told by a local tourism office. Who were told by a hiker. The FortisBC power company knew, as did Telus. Unfortunately, no one told the residents of Oliver.

Kathy Mercier lost her home, her bed-and-breakfast, and part of her vineyard to the landslide. We reached her in Oliver, B.C.


ANTHEM WITHOUT NATION Duration: 00:00:19

Album:BEYOND SKIN/NITIN SAWHNEY

Label:OUTCASTE RECORDINGS, 000019

Persons/Roles:
NITIN SAHWNEY - COMPOSER
DEVINDER SINGH - COMPOSER
NITIN SAHWNEY - PROGRAMMER
DEVINDER SINGH - VOCALS
STEVE SHEHAN - PERCUSSION

FTR: DEAD MAN TALKING Duration: 00:03:48

When you're a combat soldier, you often live with the fear that somewhere out there is a bullet with your name on it.

And when Colonel Joshua Mantz of the American army was serving in Iraq, he met his bullet.

During an operation in 2007, he and his company came under fire from a sniper. Colonel Joshua Mantz was hit -- and hit badly. The bullet severed his femoral artery. Medics managed to get the Colonel back to base, but the injury was too severe. Colonel Mantz died.

This morning Colonel Joshua Mantz spoke to the BBC's Justin Webb about his death.


YOUNG Duration: 00:00:16

Album:THIS SIDE

Label:SUGAR HILL, 000016

Persons/Roles:
CHRIS THILE - COMPOSER
NICKEL CREEK - POP GROUP
ALISON KRAUSS - PRODUCER

LOST RING FOUND Duration: 00:05:37

Some people just can't let go of high school. Like that guy you run into every once in a while at the mall, who's still talking about the big game, or that wild party in Grade Twelve, or the time he T-P'ed Principal McDougall's house. But even these guys realize that, once the past is gone, it's irretrievable.

Jason Cottle doesn't believe that. Because when his past slipped through his fingers, he just went back and looked for it, twenty-seven years later.

We reached Jason Cottle in Gardiner, Maine.


CLOSING

Well, we're wrung out. So we'll take a break while you listen to the news. But we'll be back in just a few minutes with these stories:

Pitch battle. Children in Cote D'Ivoire who dream of being soccer players are confronting the nightmare of exploitation and child trafficking.

Turning a blind eye on the world. We look at the life of Jose Saramago, the Nobel Prize-winning author of Blindness -- who has died in self-imposed exile.

Calling Colin into question. If that happens to be your name, try to remain calm: you have a much greater chance of having high blood pressure.

Stay tuned. I'm CO.

And I'm CS.


RETURN BILLS Duration: 00:00:50

Hello again, I'm CO.

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

Coming up:

Officials in Louisiana plan giant sand berms to ward off Gulf oil -- but scientists believe they're dune-ing it all wrong.

Touching bass: one Illinois man's voice hits the deepest -- and most deeply disturbing -- note in human history.

Those stories are still to come on As It Happens.


SOCCER CHILD TRAFFICKING Duration: 00:06:45

As Africa revels in the spotlight of its first-ever World Cup of soccer, many young Africans have dreams of emulating their heroes on the pitch. For children in Cote D'Ivoire it's not just the glory they hope for -- it's the opportunity to escape poverty, and acquire the means for a better live for themselves and their families. And human traffickers know this.

In the West African nation, many children have been victims of bogus soccer agents who promise them riches, only to leave them exploited or abandoned, thousands of miles from their homes.

Annie Bodmer-Roy has been working on this issue for Save the Children. We reached her in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.


THOUSAND WORDS Duration: 00:00:16

Album:I AND LOVE AND YOU

Label:AMERICAN, 000016

Persons/Roles:
BOB CRAWFORD - COMPOSER
SCOTT AVETT - COMPOSER
SETH AVETT - COMPOSER
AVETT BROTHERS - POP GROUP
RICK RUBIN - PRODUCER

DA: PARLIAMENT RISES Duration: 00:02:16

Dateline: Ottawa.

The parliamentary sessions that began last March turned out to sort of Shakespearean. It was much ado about nothing

If you remember, just three months ago, many Canadians were foaming at the mouth about the Prime Minister's decision to prorogue parliament. Facebook groups gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures, and opposition politicians sharpened their teeth on the nearest cornerstone of democracy. They were heady days for the House of Commons. Suddenly, it seemed, well...interesting. Its closure was an affront to our system of government. Its re-opening would be nothing less than the re-birth of Athens.

Then that re-opening happened. And the Opposition promptly left Ottawa. Michael Ignatieff split for a month-long "listening tour", which took him to high schools and universities -- but nowhere near the legislature.

Not that he missed much. There was a historic ruling from the Speaker on the Afghan detainee documents. But it was delivered in the midst of a session that was historic for a more modest achievement: getting next to nothing done.

Even parliamentary committees -- the workhorses of Parliament -- planted their hooves in the ground and refused to break legislative ground. Key witnesses refused to show up. One parliamentary aide called to testify actually refused to receive a summons from a bailiff -- by hiding in his office.

And then there were certain ministers who used their time in committees not to testify, as they had been asked, but to tear a strip off committee members. Take this chestnut from the Minister of Transport, John Baird, as he took issue with a committee chair on the basic rules of parliamentary privilege:


CREOLE THANG Duration: 00:00:14

Album:BOOK ONE

Label:WORLD VILLAGE, 000014

Persons/Roles:
IRVIN MAYFIELD - COMPOSER
NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ORCHESTRA - JAZZ GROUP
IRVIN MAYFIELD - CONDUCTOR
IRVIN MAYFIELD - PRODUCER
EVAN CHRISTOPHER - CLARINET

LOUSIANA SAND BARRIER Duration: 00:07:02

It's like fighting fire with fire -- except, by "fire", I mean "environmental disaster."

The Lousiana government recently OK'ed the construction of massive artificial sand berms off the coast of its barrier islands. The hope is that they'll serve as an offshore sponge, blocking and absorbing the crude oil gushing from the ruptured wellhead before it comes ashore. Sounds like a straightforward enough idea. Straightforward -- but not necessarily good.

Robert Young is the Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University. We reached him in Cullowhee, North Carolina.


NO ONE KNOWS Duration: 00:00:15

Album:FUZZBOX/THE SECTION QUARTET

Label:DECCA, 000015

Persons/Roles:
JOSH HOMME - COMPOSER
MARK LANEGAN - COMPOSER
NICK OLIVERI - COMPOSER
THE SECTION QUARTET - STRING QUARTET

SC: BLOOD PRESSURE NAMES Duration: 00:01:34

A parent can't win. You can spend all your time dutifully driving your kids to their soccer games, taking them for regular medical check-ups, and making sure they eat their broccoli -- but if you gave them the wrong name, you may have cursed their health for life.

At least, that's the conclusion of a new study commissioned by Lloyds Pharmacy in the U.K. Examining trends over the past eighty years, researchers have discovered that men named Colin or Brian, or women named Margaret or Ann, have about a fifty percent chance of having high blood pressure.

Now might be a good time to send out our best wishes to the very, very unfortunately named actress, Ann Margret.

But there's good news for anyone named Daniel, Liam, Jane or Claire. This study should assure you that no matter how stressful you think

your life is, your heart should pump just fine. You're about one-fifth as likely to have high blood pressure as those unfortunate Colins, Anns or Margarets. So Daniels and Janes, treat yourselves to that fourteenth cup of coffee, take on those extra projects at work, and only get into your car at rush hour. The research seems to suggest you'll be fine.

Whatever your name, there's something liberating in knowing that you're not really responsible for your own health -- that it was all decided a long time ago when your mom insisted you be called Colin, because of her crush on Colin Firth. In fact, since your blood pressure is already beyond your control, Colin, you may as well relax after all.


BQE, FILM MUSIC/5TH MOVT, SELF-ORGANIZING EMERGENT PATTERNS Duration: 00:00:15

Album:BQE, SOUNDTRACK

Label:ASTHMATIC KITTY, 000015

Persons/Roles:
SUFJAN STEVENS - COMPOSER
SUFJAN STEVENS - INSTRUMENTAL

SCR/MUSIC: CORRECTION MAUREEN FORRESTER Duration: 00:01:38

Usually, As It Happens can carry a tune. But last night, we revealed something of a tin ear.

In our tribute to the late, great Maureen Forrester, we made not one, but two mistakes. And fortunately, Talkback's tone was pitch-perfect.

Mark Alan Hilt wrote:

"Thank you for presenting a beautiful memorial to Maureen Forrester. I first came to know her voice when I was a teen-age Mahler freak. I had the Bruno Walter Second Symphony, and for the longest time, her voice was the voice for the mezzo part in my ears.

"I only have one cavil about your piece: Gustav Mahler did not write operas. He wrote symphonies and songs. I love your program for its attention to detail, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard that Madame Forrester made her career in the operas of Mahler!"

Of course, Mr. Hilt -- and everyone else who wrote in to point out that error -- is right. And we also made a second error, regarding the composer Henry Purcell. While Mr. Purcell did write operas, he did not pronounce his name "per-SELL". Which is precisely what we did last night.

Thanks to everybody who wrote in to correct our mistakes. Talkback has always had an ear for detail.

By way of apology, we'll offer some music: this is "Urlicht" -- the fourth movement from Gustav Mahler's Second Symphony in C-Minor --- which is in no way an opera. It's conducted by Bruno Walter, performed by the New York Philharmonic , and features the incomparable Maureen Forrester.


SYMPHONIE NO 2, DO MIN Duration: 00:01:44

Album:MAHLER: SYMPHONIES NOS 1 & 2 - WALTER, DIR

Label:SONY, 000144

Persons/Roles:
GUSTAV MAHLER - COMPOSER
FRIEDRICH GOTTLIEB KLOPSTOCK - WRITER
EMILIA CUNDARI - SOPRANO
MAUREEN FORRESTER - CONTRALTO
WESTMINSTER COLLEGE CHO - CHOIR
COLUMBIA ORCH SYMPH - ORCHESTRA
BRUNO WALTER - DIR

OBIT: JOSE SARAMAGO Duration: 00:06:55

To his legions of readers around the world, Jose Saramago was simply a great author, admired for his allegorical fiction in novels such as Blindness.

But, in his eighty-seven years, he did more than write. He was a peasant, a mechanic, a communist and an atheist.

Jose Saramago died earlier today of multiple organ failure at his home in the Canary Islands.

When he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, he was the first Portuguese writer to do so. Many of his countrymen saw him as a national hero. Others resented the political bent of his writing.

His novel, The Gospel According To Jesus Christ, had the Son of God apologizing on the cross for his father's sins. That prompted his government to block his entry for a prestigious award -- which prompted the author to go into self-imposed exile.

Sergio Letria knew Mr. Saramago during the last years of the writer's life. He's the coordinator of the Jose Saramago Foundation and we reached him in Lisbon.


TESSALIT Duration: 00:00:21

Album:TINARIWEN: THE RADIO TISDAS SESSIONS

Label:WORLD VILLAGE, 000021

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

GUATEMALA LIBEL SUIT Duration: 00:06:54

Every filmmaker is sensitive to a bad review. But sometimes a negative review isn't just dispiriting -- it's inappropriate. And sometimes it's just plain wrong.

Steven Schnoor is a Toronto Ph.D. student and documentary filmmaker. In 2007, he posted a nine-and-a-half minute video to YouTube depicting the forcible eviction of peasants from the El Estor region of Guatemala. The evictions were ordered by Canadian mining company Skye Resources, which is now part of HudBay minerals. And when the video emerged, the Canadian Ambassador to Guatemala at the time, Kenneth Cook, gave it two thumbs down -- and called it "a hoax".

Three years ago, when we last spoke with Mr. Schnoor, he was seeking an apology from the Ambassador and the Deptartment of Foreign Affairs. This week he got a little more than that -- in a Toronto courtroom.

We reached Steven Schnoor in Ottawa.


MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, FILM MUSIC/SENDERO Duration: 00:00:26

Album:MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, SOUNDTRACK

Label:DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, 000026

Persons/Roles:
GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA - COMPOSER

MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, FILM MUSIC/SENDERO Duration: 00:00:26

Album:MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, SOUNDTRACK

Label:EDGE, 000026

Persons/Roles:
GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA - COMPOSER

FTR SELLING ASBESTOS Duration: 00:02:13

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet."

Well. that's fine and dandy for Juliet to say that about a flower -- but what about Asbestos?

And by "Asbestos," I'm talking about the mining town of that name in southeastern Quebec, not the minerals whose inhalation has been linked to cancer.

Well now, Asbestos -- the town -- has found itself in the headlines for another reason. It's the focus of a segment on the Australian TV show, "The Gruen Transfer," in which ad agencies try to -- quote -- "sell the unsellable."

This morning, contestant Ron Samuel spoke to Sue Smith, the host of CBC Radio Montreal's "Daybreak", about his approach to marketing the town of Asbestos. For the record, here's part of that conversation -- and I should warn you, there is some kind of disturbing -- and surprising -- language used to refer to places Down Under.


NOUVEAU MONDE I Duration: 00:00:44

Album:RENE AUBRY: PROJECTION PRIVEE/MALABAR PRINCESS

Label:HOPI MESA, 000044

Persons/Roles:
RENE AUBRY - COMPOSER
RENE AUBRY - MANDOLIN
GILLES LEGRAND - DIRECTOR

SISTINE CHAPEL GOD LUMP Duration: 00:05:24

People picture God in many ways. He's a wise-looking older man with a flowing beard. Or He is a She -- with no beard at all. But there are very few Christians, devout or otherwise, who picture the Lord as lumpy.

But Michelangelo did. And his depiction of God in a particular panel of the Sistine Chapel got some scientists thinking. That's because, in a fresco painting called "Separation of Light from Darkness", the chin and neck of God feature some unusual protuberances.

This knotty problem preoccupied two neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University. And they've produced a study that claims God's neck looks like a brain --- an anatomically correct human brain.

Ian Suk is a co-author of the study, and we reached him at his office in Baltimore, Maryland.


YEAR OF THE ROOSTER Duration: 00:00:30

Album:RUN RABBIT RUN

Label:ASTHMATIC KITTY, 000030

Persons/Roles:
SUFJAN STEVENS - COMPOSER
GABRIEL KAHANE - ORIGINATOR
OSSO - STRING QUARTET
ROB MOOSE - VIOLIN
OLIVIER MANCHON - VIOLIN
MARLA HANSEN - VIOLA
MARIA BELLA JEFFERS - CELLO

SC/FTR: LOWEST NOTE Duration: 00:00:53

Well, as you heard earlier tonight, we hit a low note on last night's program, when we made two errors in our tribute to the late Maureen Forrester.

Our reward for this low note is shame. But for his low note, a former Illinois gospel singer has been rewarded with a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records.

In February, Roger Menees of Anna, Illinois, went to a hotel with some recording equipment, and a throat full of gravel. We'll let Mr. Menees himself warn you about what you're going to hear:

And then he began to sing. Although the word "sing" doesn't really seem adequate. He -- well, he did this.

That's the sound of former gospel singer Roger Menees, singing the lowest note ever produced by the human voice. On the scale, it's a low F-sharp. In more technical terms, he hit a frequency of zero-point-three-nine-three hertz. In completely non-technical terms, he did a remarkably convincing imitation of a blue whale with acid reflux.

As I mentioned, Mr. Menees recorded that scary gurgle in February. And it took the people at Guinness until this week to supply him with their official confirmation that he had, in fact, broken the world record.

We congratulate him on a performance that was truly abysmal -- in the original sense of the word. And we salute him for making the best possible use of his profound gifts.

Speaking of profound gifts: here's Canada's Timber Timbre, with "I Get Low".


I GET LOW Duration: 00:02:15

Album:TIMBER TIMBRE

Label:ARTS & CRAFTS, 000215

Persons/Roles:
TAYLOR KIRK - COMPOSER
TIMBER TIMBRE - POP GROUP
CHRIS STRINGER - PRODUCER

I GET LOW Duration: 00:02:15

Album:TIMBER TIMBRE

Label:OUT OF THIS SPARK, 000215

Persons/Roles:
TAYLOR KIRK - COMPOSER
TIMBER TIMBRE - POP GROUP
CHRIS STRINGER - PRODUCER

I GET LOW Duration: 00:02:15

Album:TIMBER TIMBRE

Label:OUT OF THIS SPARK, 000215

Persons/Roles:
TAYLOR KIRK - COMPOSER
TIMBER TIMBRE - POP GROUP
CHRIS STRINGER - PRODUCER




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