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July 13, 2010

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Instead of a pink ribbon, a pink slip. A woman who was fired after she revealed she had breast cancer wins compensation from her former bosses.

Lessened through lessons. When the prevalence of HIV drops among young people in the most-affected nations, the U.N. declares a breakthrough.

Science friction. The strange case of an Iranian scientist who disappeared in Saudi Arabia, materialized in the U.S. -- and now apparently wants to go home.

High Fidel-ity. Cuban television reintroduces a man who needs no introduction, when a living, breathing Fidel Castro gives a ninety-minute interview.

The madness of King George. Remembering a baseball giant who was loved, hated, mocked and praised in equal measure -- New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

And...man's inhumanity to mannequin. A woman in small-town Nebraska offers no defense when she's accused of obscenity -- because she's inanimate.

As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that believes you should keep your friends clothed -- and your mannequins clothed-er.


BREAST CANCER FIRING Duration: 00:05:52

Talk about adding insult to injury.

Last year wasn't so kind to Elsa Torrejon. First she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, she lost her job after telling her employers -- Toronto-based Weston Property Management -- about her illness. So for the past year, in addition to fighting cancer, Ms. Torrejon has also been fighting her former employers.

Yesterday, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruled in her favour, awarding her twenty-thousand dollars.

We reached Elsa Torrejon at the office of the Human Rights Tribunal in Toronto.


L'√ČTOILE (FEAT. MAX THE SAX) Duration: 00:00:13

Album:COCO, PT 1/PAROV STELAR

Label:HIGH NOTE

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

IRAN NUCLEAR SCIENTIST Duration: 00:07:26

The mystery of where exactly a missing Iranian nuclear scientist has been for the last year may soon be solved. Or, then again, maybe it won't.

While Shahram Amiri was on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia last June, he disappeared. Iranian authorities claimed the CIA had kidnapped him. The Americans denied it and hinted that he was living freely in the United States, perhaps feeding them nuclear secrets.

To add to the confusion, videos began to surface of men claiming to be the Iranian scientist. But the various Mr. Amiris had different -- and contradictory -- stories to tell.

Now he's turned up at the Iran interest section of the Pakistani embassy in Washington, asking to go home.

Hooman Majd has been following the story of Shahram Amiri. He's a journalist and the author of "The Ayatollah Begs To Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran." We reached him in New York.


BAAD AL KHISAM Duration: 00:00:11

Album:ROUGH GUIDE TO ARABIC CAFE

Label:ROUGH GUIDE, RGNET1195CD

Persons/Roles:
TRADITIONAL - COMPOSER
LOUWI TNNARI - VIOLIN

LACROSSE PASSPORTS Duration: 00:04:24

When athletes win, they share their accomplishment with their friends and family... and also with their country.

This week, the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse team was set to represent the Iroquois Confederacy at the World Lacrosse Championships in England. And they were also set to provide some stiff competition. The Iroquois are said to have helped invent the sport -- and the Nationals are ranked fourth in the world. But now -- thanks to a passport dispute -- they might not compete at all.

Ansley Jemison is the team's general manager. We reached him in New York City earlier today.


SPEED DIAL NO 2 Duration: 00:00:14

Album:ZERO7: WHEN IT FALLS

Label:UD, 2 61562

Persons/Roles:
HENRY BINNS - DESIGNER
NIGEL GODRICH - DESIGNER
SAM HARDAKER - DESIGNER
SIA - DESIGNER
ZERO 7 - ENS IN-V

OBIT: GEORGE STEINBRENNER Duration: 00:07:30

He's been called many things: the "Boss", that cranky guy on "Seinfeld" -- or, as Newsweek once reported, "The Most Hated Man In Baseball".

It's not often that franchise sports owners become household names. But when you've got a mouth and a management-style like George Steinbrenner's, notoriety comes easy.

Today, the New York Yankees owner died, just days after celebrating his eightieth birthday.

Back in 1973, when Mr. Steinbrenner took control of the club, the New York Yankees were a rag-tag team of players, stuck in an eight-year drought without winning a title. At the time, whatever baseball smarts he may have lacked -- because his background was in shipbuilding -- he made up for in cash. He was already a very wealthy man. So, he spent lavishly on players and the franchise over the next two decades.

Growing the team, however, was far from a perfect game. Mr. Steinbrenner thrived on turmoil. His office had a reputation for being a revolving door. A long roster of players, coaches and managers struck out with him. Most infamously, Billy Martin who, as the manager of the team, was hired, then fired five different times.

George Steinbrenner's Yankees would go on to become an empire: a franchise now worth one-point-six billion dollars, that ended up winning seven World Series championships during his thirty-seven-year-long reign. And he also helped create some of the most passionate and dedicated fans in Major League Baseball.

Vinny Milano is one of them. Every game you'll find him out in section 203 of Yankee Stadium's right field. There, he leads the "Bleacher Creatures", the rowdiest group of Yankees fans around, who holler chants, songs and <<<cough>>>> just about anything, to get a win.

We reached Vinny Milano -- also known as "Bald Vinny" -- in New York.


FTR: STEINBRENNER ON 60 MINUTES Duration: 00:01:03

For the record, here's George Steinbrenner back in 1987 talking to Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes about his team.


CLOSING



RETURN BILLS Duration: 00:00:20



HIV RATES UPDATE Duration: 00:06:57

It's a success story in an area where the news is often grim. According to a report issued today by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the number of new infections among people fifteen to twenty-four years old -- in the most afflicted nations in the world -- is dropping significantly.

Paul De Lay is the deputy executive director of UNAIDS. We reached him in Geneva.


I LOVE YOU ON THE MICROPHONE Duration: 00:00:20

Album:PATH/TORONTO JAZZ ORCHESTRA

Label:CUSTOM, TJO003

Persons/Roles:
MOIYA CALLAHAN - COMPOSER
TORONTO JAZZ ORCHESTRA - JAZZ GROUP

CASTRO TV APPEARANCE Duration: 00:07:09

He proved once and for all that rumours of his death have been greatly exaggerated.

Fidel Castro gave a ninety-minute interview to a Cuban prime-time television program last night. It was a rare public appearance for the former president since illness forced him to hand over power to his brother four years ago. The interview was broadcast just hours before the first group of political prisoners was set free by Cuba and flown to Spain.

Michael Voss is the BBC correspondent in Havana.


THEME DE YOYO Duration: 00:00:20

Album:CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA: MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (2002

Label:NINJA TUNE, ZENCD78

Persons/Roles:
N BEASLEY - COMPOSER
LESTER BOWIE - COMPOSER
N FAVORS - COMPOSER
R MITCHELL - COMPOSER
CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA - ORCHESTRA

FOA: OBIT: HARVEY PEKAR Duration: 00:04:31

He made the ordinary extraordinary.

Well, not exactly. Because to Harvey Pekar, the mundane was already fascinating... a comic cornucopia waiting to be explored.

And for more than thirty years, everyday life -- his own life -- was the fodder of his autobiographical comic book series "American Splendor."

Harvey Pekar died yesterday at the age of seventy.

His ironically titled "American Splendor" series was drawn by a number of artists -- including his friend, Robert Crumb. It detailed every aspect of Pekar's life -- from his job as a file clerk at the Veteran's Administration hospital in Cleveland, to his marital woes, to the general anxiety related to growing old.

Almost nothing was off limits. In 1994, he collaborated with his third wife, Joyce Brabner, and illustrator Frank Stack to describe his experience dealing with lymphoma in a graphic novel entitled "Our Cancer Year."

Over the years, his comics developed a cult following, and in 2003 they were adapted into a film, starring Paul Giamatti. But despite the film's success, Harvey Pekar remained his pessimistic, insecure self.

In 2006, Definitely Not the Opera host Sook-Yin Lee spoke with Harvey Pekar about his obsession with everyday life, and why he was often perceived as curmudgeonly. From our archives, here's part of that conversation.


SCAREDY CAT Duration: 00:00:20

Album:THE NEIL COWLEY TRIO: LOUD LOUDER STOP

Label:CANDID, CACD78551

Persons/Roles:
NEIL COWLEY - COMPOSER
NEIL COWLEY - PIANO
EVAN JENKINS - DRUMS
NEIL COWLEY TRIO - ENS INSTR
RICHARD SADLER - CONTRABASS

DA: OBSCENE MANNEQUIN Duration: 00:02:25

Dateline: Beatrice, Nebraska.If you were walking down Court Street in central Beatrice last week, you might have been surprised when you reached a store called "Hannah's Treasures". The store name is sort of obscure: since it deals in medical scrubs, it was always unclear who exactly "Hannah" was, and what her treasures were. But if you glanced in the front window last Wednesday, it might suddenly have seemed all-too-clear. "If that's supposed to be Hannah," you might have mused, "then it's pretty tasteless if those supposed to be her 'treasures'." And then you might have called the police.

Last week, the owner of the store, one Kevin Kramer, was packing, getting ready to move his business to Lincoln, Nebraska. So things were in that mid-move state of disarray. While he was off doing an errand, Mr. Kramer got a call from a friend, who told him that the front window of his Beatrice location had been papered over. And when he rushed back, he contacted the Beatrice police.

Turned out the police had some questions for Mr. Kramer. Specifically: why had he left a female mannequin with her pants around her ankles, otherwise clad in nothing but a pair of shoes, standing so brazenly in the front window of "Hannah's Treasures"?

It was no idle question. The police themselves had covered the window with paper, after receiving complaints from Beatriceans that the naked dummy was "obscene". And now Mr. Kramer was facing possible arrest on a charge of "disorderly conduct".

According to Beatrice's chief of police, obscenity is determined by what citizens consider obscene. And he felt the people offended by the fiberglass replica of a female human had a point. In his words, the dummy was "fairly descriptive, not your typical J.C. Penney mannequin". Furthermore, according to offended members of the citizenry, it was "well-endowed".

In the end, one big bust did not provoke another. The poliice were convinced Mr. Kramer hadn't intended to offend anyone by displaying a statue's business in the window of his business. Kevin Kramer himself was offended, though. And he's been publicly mulling a lawsuit against the local constabulary, for anything from trespassing to littering -- because of that paper on his window.

Meantime, he has put a bikini on "Mary Beth". That's the mannequin's name, by the way. Not "Hannah", just to clear that up. And Mary Beth continues to stand alone in the window of "Hannah's Treasures" -- having now received both more and less coverage than anyone would have expected.


DUMMY SONG Duration: 00:02:17

Album:LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S ALL TIME GREATEST HITS/ARMSTRONG, LOUIS

Label:MCA, MCASD 11032

Persons/Roles:
LEW BROWN - COMPOSER
RAY HENDERSON - COMPOSER
BILLY ROSE - COMPOSER
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - TRUMPET
LOUIS ARMSTRONG - VOCALS
BYRON BAXTER - TRUMPET
BARNEY BIGARD - CLARINET
REMO BIONDI - GUITAR
COZY COLE - DRUMS
HOWARD L DAVIS - SAXOPHONE
HOBART GRIMES - SAXOPHONE
JACK PLEISS ORCHESTRA - ORCHESTRA
DON JACOBY - TRUMPET
GEORGE JEANS - TROMBONE
ANDY MCKAIE - PRODUCER
MARTY NAPOLEON - PIANO
JACK PLEISS - CONDUCTOR
RAYMOND G SASSETTI - TRUMPET
ARVELL SHAW - DOUBLE BASS
MIKE SIMPSON - SAXOPHONE
TRUMMY YOUNG - TROMBONE

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