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August 24, 2010

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Stemmed. An American judge blocks federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research -- and his ruling may mark the beginning of the end for all such publicly-funded projects.

The sins of the father. A new report on bombings in a Northern Irish village in 1972 finds that a local priest's involvement was covered up by the government and the Catholic Church.

Out of sight, but not out of mine. Thirty-three Chilean miners will be trapped underground for months -- and a former U.S. mining official explains their subterranean homesick blues.

A threat turns out to be a promise. The Islamist group Al-Shabab warns Somalia of increased violence -- and immediately launches a deadly attack in Mogadishu.

Aussie and harriéd. An inconclusive election Down Under leaves party leaders frantically courting an unusual trio of independent politicians.

And...eyes wide shuttle. NASA puts out a call for the best song to awaken its shuttle astronauts -- and we make sure Talkback's suggestions don't disappear into the void.

As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that's vacuum-packed.

STEM CELL RULING Duration: 00:00:39

It's being called the biggest setback to embryonic stem cell research since, well, since stem cell research began.

A ruling by an American federal district judge on Monday blocked an order by President Barack Obama that broadened the availablility of public funding for embryonic stem cell research considerably. And now, some scientists are worried that the ruling -- which enforces a Congressional ban on US government money being used to destroy embryos -- will make all publicly funded embryonic stem-cell research illegal.

George Daley is one of those scientists. He's the director of the stem-cell transplantation program at Childrens' Hospital in Boston. We reached him in Portland, Maine.


JARDIN Duration: 00:00:10

Album:MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, SOUNDTRACK

Label:DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, 000010

Persons/Roles:
GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA - COMPOSER
GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA - INSTRUMENTAL

CHILEAN MINERS: PSYCHOLOGICAL Duration: 00:00:49

There's some light at the end of the tunnel. But it's still a very, very long tunnel.

On Sunday, thirty-three miners were found alive and in good spirits after being trapped for over two weeks in the San José mine near Copiapó, in northern Chile. Engineers managed to drill a bore-hole and, today, have been lowering food, water, medical supplies and communications equipment to the miners -- who remain seven hundred meters underground.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the bore-hole is only fifteen centimeters wide -- far too small to allow for escape -- and engineers predict it will take up to four months to drill a passage that can accommodate the miners.

The predicament has attracted the attention of mining experts around the world.

Davitt McAteer is the former head of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. We reached him in Wheeling, West Virginia.


ARE YOU STILL IN VALIDA Duration: 00:00:25

Album:NO. 2/JJ

Label:SINCERELY YOURS

Persons/Roles:
JJ - COMPOSER
JJ - POP GROUP

SOMALIA BOMBING Duration: 00:00:30

Yesterday, Al-Shabab declared what it called "a massive war" on Somali forces. The Islamist group, which coordinated a pair of deadly bombings in Uganda during the World Cup soccer final last month, threatened that Somalia would now face larger attacks than ever before.

And it seems Al-Shabab is intent on keeping that promise: today, gunmen attacked a hotel near the country's presidential palace, killing more than thirty people -- including six Somali MPs.

Mohamed Olad Hassan is a correspondent with the BBC. We reached him in Mogadishu.


(SOMETHING'S GOING DOWN ON) ZAVADOVSKI ISLAND Duration: 00:00:08

Album:KNEE DEEP IN THE NORTH SEA/PORTICO QUARTET

Label:VORTEX

Persons/Roles:
PORTICO QUARTET - COMPOSER
PORTICO QUARTET - JAZZ GROUP

EMAIL: NASA WAKE UP SONG Duration: 00:02:57

Ground control to Major Tom: take your protein pills and put your helmet on. And for heaven's sake, quit hitting the snooze button.

On yesterday's program, we told you how NASA has traditionally used music to rouse sleepy astronauts on space missions. We also told you that, for the space shuttle Discovery's final flight, slated for November, NASA has asked people to vote on the best wake-up song for the orbiting set.

Among the Top Forty contenders, there are some obvious choices: Elton John's Rocket Man, for example. And some not-so-obvious ones, like Enter Sandman by Metallica. Then we offered you some space in our email inbox -- and you took it.

Richard Cote of Calgary wrote:

"I would suggest Santana's Song of the Wind. I've enjoyed listening to this song on many occasions as wake-up music, particularly when I have important things to do, like a day of skiing or kayaking or hiking. The opening theme is ethereal, and Santana gently lulls you out if your morning daze with a beautiful melody and then slams you in with amazing riffs and stunning guitar work, as well as incredibly layered and deep driving Latin rhythms.

It's one of my favorite wake up songs of all-time. Surely not too much for NASA?"

That email was from Richard Cote of Calgary.

Alison Bell of Waterford, Ontario, wrote:

"For the shuttle's wake up call, the song that instantly touched down (or should I say "blasted off") in my mind was Please Mr. Spaceman by the Byrds. It works from the very first words:

"Woke up this morning with light in my eyes/

"And then realized it was still dark outside/

"It was a light coming down from the sky

"I don't know who or why ....

"I bet I won't be the only Boomer who suggests this."

That suggestion - and so far it's the only one, from a Boomer or otherwise -- came from Alison Bell of Waterford, Ontario.

And finally, there was this message, from John Teeter, from somewhere in cyberspace:

"What would be better than The Arcade Fire's 'Wake Up'? The answer? Nothing. Heck, the song is even called 'Wake Up'. Case closed, you're welcome very much."

That email was from John Teeter, somewhere out in outer cyberspace. We're not sure whether that actually closes the case, but it will nicely close this part of "As It Happens". Here is The Arcade Fire, with "Wake Up", from their 2004 album, Funeral.


TUESDAY CLOSING Duration: 00:00:40

That's The Arcade Fire, with "Wake Up" -- which, coincidentally, marks the beginning of our nap. Craig and I will doze off for the next couple of minutes while you listen to the news. But we'll return, refreshed, in just a few minutes -- with these stories.

Altar ego. In 1972, a parish priest in Northern Ireland was involved in three deadly bombings -- and now, a report reveals the cover-up that kept him in the clear.

Awaiting the declaration of independents. After an election yields no clear winner, Australia's future is in the hands of three guys who belong to no party at all.

Turning down the bat signals. When moths develop super-hearing to avoid being eaten, their echo-locating predators stage a quiet revolution.


RETURN BILLS Duration: 00:00:20



FTR: NORTHERN IRELAND PRIEST Duration: 00:00:41

For thirty-eight years, the people of Claudy, Northern Ireland have been waiting for answers. And today, they hoped some might finally emerge.

On July 31st, 1972, three bombs devastated the small country village. Nine people died in the attacks and more than thirty were injured, both Protestant and Catholic. No one has ever claimed responsibility for the bombings -- and no one has ever been charged.

Today, a new report on the bombings claims the police, the Catholic Church and the state all colluded to cover up the role of Catholic Priest Father James Chesney in the attack. The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Al Hutchison, was the lead investigator of the report. Here he is talking about his findings, for the record.


NORTHERN IRELAND PRIEST REPORT Duration: 00:00:24

One of the Claudy bombs was placed outside the village's Beaufort Hotel. Mary Hamilton ran the hotel with her husband, and still has shrapnel in her leg from the attack. Now an Ulster Unionist Councilor in the area, we reached Mary Hamilton in Claudy, Northern Ireland.


I SHALL NOT BE MOVED Duration: 00:00:40

Album:III

Label:TELARC, 000040

Persons/Roles:
TRADITIONAL - COMPOSER
STANTON MOORE - DRUMS
ROBERT WALTER - ORGAN
WILL BERNARD - GUITAR
STANTON MOORE - PRODUCER
MIKE NAPOLITANO - PRODUCER

THE PAGEANT OF THE BIZARRE Duration: 00:00:12

Album:GARDEN/ZERO 7

Label:ATLANTIC, 2 12857

Persons/Roles:
HENRY BINNS - COMPOSER
SIA FURLER - LYRICIST
SAM HARDAKER - COMPOSER
ZERO 7 - POP GROUP
ZERO 7 - PRODUCER

FTR: AUSTRALIA ELECTION AD Duration: 00:00:15

Sometimes Canadians like to think they've got a lot in common with Australians. But tonight, I'm here to shatter any such illusions. The evidence? Take a listen to this election campaign ad, one that helped an independent politician named Bob Katter win his seat over the weekend:


AUSTRALIA ELECTION Duration: 00:00:29

An election ad for Bob Katter, an independent Australian MP, who calls himself "The Force From The North."

Today, Mr. Katter and two other independents are much more than fringe politicians. They're kingmakers.

The country's election left no clear winner. And now it looks like the two major political parties need "the man on a mission" and his colleagues in order to govern.

To explain more, we reached a born-and-raised Australian, who also happens to be a political analyst. Anthony Sayers is at the University of Calgary.


ULTREIA Duration: 00:00:41

Album:CAMINO

Label:BIG DOG MUSIC, 000041

Persons/Roles:
OLIVER SCHROER - COMPOSER
OLIVER SCHROER - PRODUCER
OLIVER SCHROER - VIOLIN

FOA: OBIT: CLARE BAKER Duration: 00:00:56

Nowadays, heart surgery is a relatively common procedure. And one of the surgeons who pioneered cardiovascular surgery in Canada, and performed the nation's first truly successful heart transplant, was Clare Baker.

Dr. Baker died on August tenth at the age of eighty-seven. He died at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, the very place where he'd saved hundreds of lives.

Clare Baker was part of the surgical team at St. Michael's Hospital when the race was on to perform Canada's first successful heart transplant. He was the first to achieve the goal on November 17th, 1968. Other heart transplants had been done, but the other patients died within the first week, or were incapacitated. Dr. Baker's patient went on to live for six more years.

Dr. Baker also helped develop bloodless heart surgeries, used on Jehovah's Witness patients who could not have blood transfusions.

In 1974, Clare Baker appeared on the CBC Radio program "V.I.P." Here he is, in conversation with host Lorraine Thompson, from our archives.


DOT Duration: 00:00:35

Album:SOLO PIANO

Label:ARTS & CRAFTS, 000035

Persons/Roles:
GONZALES - COMPOSER
GONZALES - PIANO

SCRIPT & MUSIC: BATS VS. MOTHS Duration: 00:02:57

If you're lost in the woods with some friends, and you're trying to catch a chipmunk to eat, let me give you a tip: after you've surrounded the chipmunk, but before you grab it, do not shout, "GET HIM!" Turns out a chipmunk has surprisingly good hearing -- so it'll just take off into the forest somewhere, and you'll be forced to try eating tree bark, which incidentally tastes nothing like "almond bark". And then, after you spend the night sobbing and trying to sleep in some moist leaves, it will turn out that there was a strip mall just over the hill. Not that, you know, that happened to me or anything. I read about it happening to another person. In "Oprah Magazine", I think.

In the animal kingdom, this kind of thing is a constant problem for both predators and prey. Each of them has to get quieter and quieter, and sneakier and sneakier, in order not to end up hungry, or dinner, respectively. Case in point: bats and moths. Bats use echolocation to catch airborne insects at night. And as airborne insects go, moths are especially meaty and delicious. So they were a prime target for bats. But here's a little-known fact about bats: they're LOUD. We can't hear their echolocation calls, because they're too high-pitched. But if you could hear noises at that frequency, bats would be the equivalent of those guys who drive around blaring Metallica out of the open windows of their muscle cars. Only they would get out and eat you.

So the moths evolved. Moths that have ears developed an ability to hear bats' echolocation calls. And an ability to dodge oncoming bats before they could attack. Effectively taking eared moths off the bat menu.

Well, scientists were recently studying the barbastelle bat. They wanted to know what it was eating. And since their subjects failed to fill out the questionnaire, the scientists were forced to sift through barbastelle bat guano. They found that the bats' diet consisted almost entirely

of eared moths -- those same eared moths that had developed that foolproof bat monitoring system. In human terms, it was like the bats lost the phone number for their favourite pizza place, and then found it again, against all odds.

Further research determined that this Cold War between moths and bats had escalated.

First, the moths had evolved a way of hearing and avoiding the bats. And now, the barbastelle bats have evolved a way of emitting much, much quieter echolocation calls -- a way, you might say, of whispering. They're now able to eat all the moths they want -- and the moths don't hear them coming in time.

The moths are now in a tricky spot. If their hearing evolves further, it will get too good, and they'll respond to every nocturnal noise like overcaffeinated chipmunks. But if they don't do something, they'll be little more than an in-flight meal. Theirs is the next move -- because re-invention is the necessity of the moth.


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