* Ted Opitz. The Conservative MP for Etobicoke Centre explains why he'll continue to sit in the House despite a judge's ruling that his election win is null and void.
* Israel Anti-Migrant Rules. New rules in Israel punish migrant workers, according to Sigal Rozen, of the Hotline for Migrant Workers.
* World Shin-Kicking Contest. We speak with a judge of a shin kicking competition in - where else - Britain.
* Wisconsin Recall Vote. Some Wisconsonites are worn out because of a chaotic year in their state politically.
*Charities Chill. Senator Nicole Eaton explains her concerns about the foreign funding of Canadian charities.
* Pew Global Attitudes. Cranky, depressed, and frustrated. Apparently, the Eurozone .. or perhaps just Greece.. needs a major attitude adjustment.
Taking a stand by keeping his seat. An Ontario court declared his election "null and void" -- but Conservative MP Ted Opitz isn't leaving the House of Commons.
The Dairy State's curdled politics. How Wisconsin -- where legislators used to routinely reach across the aisle -- became the site of a divisive gubernatorial recall vote.
A host of problems. Increased anger about illegal African migrants in Israel leads to violence -- and leads the government to plan mass detentions.
Robert's rules of order. After an international kerfuffle, the U.N.'s World Tourism Organization clarifies what exactly was in the letter it sent Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
Raindrops keep falling on my head, thorax, wings, and abdomen. A scientist discovers how mosquitos manage to cope in a downpour.
And...the bone of contention. The best piece of advice you can give a contestant at the World Shin-Kicking Championships: "Break a leg."
As It Happens, the Tuesday Edition. Radio that forgives a multitude of shins.
Ted Opitz isn't going to give up his place in Parliament. Not until the Supreme Court of Canada pries it from him.
In May, a Toronto judge threw out the Conservative's twenty-six-vote victory in the 2011 federal election.
Seventy-nine people had voted in his Etobicoke Centre riding who shouldn't have. That raised questions about the outcome in that constituency, so the judge ordered a by-election.
But Mr. Opitz has appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. And he isn't just sitting around waiting for the court to rule. Mr. Opitz has been voting in the House of Commons, drawing an MP's salary, and generally acting like a man who really did win an election.
We reached Ted Opitz in Ottawa.
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From anti-migrant protests to mob violence -- and now, arson.
Ten Eritrean migrants were trapped, and two injured, when their Jerusalem apartment was set on fire yesterday. Graffiti spray-painted outside read, "leave the neighbourhood."
According to the Interior Ministry, there are now about sixty thousand illegal African migrants in Israel. And the government is responding to anger against the migrants, implementing a new law to expel or detain what it refers to as African "infiltrators" more quickly.
Sigal Rozen is the executive director and co-founder of the Hotline for Migrant Workers. We reached her in Tel Aviv.
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In the Dr. Seuss book "Bartholomew and the Oobleck", the King of the Kingdom of Didd gets angry with the sky. Specifically, he gets fed up with the things that come down from the sky: all that boring rain, sun, fog, and snow. So he orders the court magicians to come up with some new sky product. Which they do. It's oobleck. And it's green and viscous and terrible.
Early on, Bartholomew wisely advises his boss that "even kings can't rule the sky". Which reminds me: if you have a spare copy of that book, you might want to send it to a few people in North Carolina.
Because of climate change, all the coastal states in the U.S. are preparing for a significant rise in sea-level. In Maine, they're preparing for a two-metre rise by the year 2100. In Louisiana, one metre. And in North Carolina, a panel of scientists appointed by the state has estimated that the sea level will rise by one metre.
But a coastal economic development group called NC-20 is pooh-poohing that one-metre projection. The group says such silly miscalculations will curtail development, and for no good reason, because the figures are way off. NC-20 has good news: according to its own science, the sea level will only go up eight inches.
And a bunch of Republican state representatives agree. They're circulating a bill that would authorize only the North Carolina Coastal Commission to calculate the rise of sea level. No other agency could do it. And also, the bill would insist that the Commission exclude any predictions made by climate scientists, and only make projections based on historical trends. That is -- ignore the future, look at the past. And that's how one metre becomes eight inches.
That bill hasn't yet been introduced. But the fact that it's out there at all is disturbing to scientists. As one North Carolina geologist puts it, "We're throwing this science out completely, and what's proposed is just crazy for a state that used to be a leader in marine science. You can't legislate the ocean, and you can't legislate storms."
Exactly. Or, as Bartholomew put it, "even kings can't rule the sky."
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You've probably never thought much about how mosquitos manage not to get squashed to death by raindrops. I'm going to guess that, in most of your insect encounters, you're focused, instead, on how to kill the little jerks yourself.
Well, David Hu is not like you and me. Caught in a downpour with mosquitos, he wonders how, exactly, they survive being hit by water droplets up to fifty times their weight. So, being a scientist, he conducted an experiment.
We reached David Hu at his office at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
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And now, Quote/Unquote:If you're one of those people who likes to head to your nearest Starbucks for a mid-morning java jolt, but gets frustrated when the queue is spilling out the door, you may want to consider relocating to Ireland.
Today, I can guarantee there are no line-ups at Starbucks on the Emerald Isle. And that's because, in fewer than a hundred-and-forty characters, Starbucks Ireland managed to alienate almost all of its customer base.
Of all the things that the official Starbucks Ireland tweeter could have written to offend the Irish, there's really only one thing that could cause an immediate movement to boycott the coffee chain. And it's the thing the Starbucks tweeter tweeted. Which was this. Quote:
"Happy hour is on! Show us what makes you proud to be British for a chance to win."
Not too long ago, Wisconsin had a reputation for progressive policy and political civility.
These days, not so much.
Today, Wisconsinites went to vote in the state's highly contentious recall election. They were there to decide whether to keep Republican Governor, Scott Walker, or ditch him for the Democratic candidate, Tom Barrett.
No matter the outcome, the election is the cumulative result of a wildly chaotic year in Wisconsin politics. And the result is deep political divisions.
Dick Spanbauer is a Republican state representative for Wisconsin. We reached him at his home in Oshkosh earlier today, before the polls closed.
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Robert Mugabe is a controversial figure. His very name can whip up a media storm. So can the titles he's given.
Last week we told you the United Nations World Tourism Organization had designated Mr. Mugabe an "international leader in tourism." Mr. Mugabe is, of course, the brutal dictator who bankrupted Zimbabwe and destroyed its once-strong tourism industry.
When that story broke, we spoke with John Makumbe -- a professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe. He told us Zimbabweans were shocked by the decision. During that interview both Carol and Mr. Makumbe refered to Mr. Mugabe as an "ambassador for tourism."
After we aired that interview we got this email from Chris Lyle, a representative of the UNWTO to the International Civil Aviation Organization. Mr. Lyle wrote:
"I am SO disappointed. Mugabe has not been designated a 'world envoy' or 'ambassador' for tourism; he has simply pledged support for tourism as a development tool in his country, as have many other world heads of state."
The U.N.W.T.O.'s main office in Madrid released a similar statement.
So, to clarify things, we reached Sandra Carvao. She is the UNWTO's Communications Coordinator. She's in Jordan today.
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I'm not sure how you like spending your weekend. But there are some people in Britain who like nothing more than to get together and kick the shins out of each other.
This weekend, the village of Chipping Campden in England held the annual World Shin-Kicking Championship. The competition has been the main feature of the village's Olympic alternative, the Cotswold Olimpicks for the past four hundred years.
James Wiseman judged the shin-kicking extravaganza. We reached him at his home in Chipping Campden.
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Conservative Senator Nicole Eaton is wrapping up her investigation into the outside funding of Canadian charities tonight.
In February, she described the inquiry as being about what she called, quote, "the master manipulators who are operating under the guise of charitable organizations, in an effort to manipulate our policies for their own gain."
That was a month after an open letter from Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver warned that outside money was funding what he called "environmental and other radical groups". The letter went on to describe these groups as hijacking the regulatory process governing Canadian resource companies.
Environmental groups have responded with warnings that the government is creating what they call a "charity chill".
We reached Senator Nicole Eaton earlier today, in Ottawa.
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And now, Quote/Unquote.Comedians are a lot like daredevils. They love to walk tightropes, strung between the touchy and the taboo. And in stretching for hard-won laughs, their stunts sometimes go too far. Their attempts at hilarity turn hurtful.
That's what happened recently to comedian Jason Alexander -- best known for his portrayal of the egocentric George Costanza on the '90s sitcom, Seinfeld. On an appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last Friday, he entered into a bit about cricket -- describing it as a, quote "gay game" -- unquote.
Many people took to Twitter to call him out for having crossed a line -- including the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD. That prompted Alexander to issue a lengthy apology the next day, which read in part as follows, quote:
"The worst part is -- I should know better. My daily life is filled with gay men and women, both socially and professionally. I am profoundly aware of the challenges these friends of mine face and I have openly advocated on their behalf...I can only apologize and I do. In comedy, timing is everything. And when a group of people are still fighting so hard for understanding, acceptance, dignity, and essential rights -- the time for some kinds of laughs has not yet come. I hope my realization brings some comfort."
When crowds gather for a cause, things can get out of hand -- whether it's on the streets of Montreal, or the back roads of the Niagara Peninsula. And when events spin out of control, it can lead to tension and violence -- but also, poetry.
In the lead-up to this year's Griffin Poetry Prize announcement, we've been featuring readings from Canadian finalists. Ken Babstock is one of them. He's based in Toronto, but he's just returned from a year-long artist's residency in Berlin, Germany. His collection is called "Methodist Hatchet."
In a number of the poems in his book, he explores the ways in which words can be ambiguous, or even lie about a situation. And in one poem -- "Caledonia" -- Mr. Babstock explores the land-claims dispute that book place in the Ontario town in 2006.
Here is Ken Babstock, reading his poem, "Caledonia".
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It's the end of the road for the combine known as the Prairie Belle.
The machine made national headlines in 2000 when its owner, Nick Parsons, drove the Belle four thousand kilometres from Dawson's Creek, B.C., to Ottawa. He was trying to raise awareness about the hardships farmers were facing at the start of the millennium.
And by all accounts, the Prairie Belle's trip made a difference. Because the day after Mr, Parsons arrived in Ottawa on his combine, the Federal Government passed a four-hundred-million-dollar Farmers Aid package.
Now the combine has made one last trip -- to a museum in Wadena, Saskatchewan, where it's being exhibited.
Twelve years ago, former As It Happens host Mary Lou Finlay spoke with farmer Nick Parsons, ahead of his Ottawa trip. And during that interview, he recounted an earlier journey he had made on the Prairie Belle across the Rockies.
Here is some of that interview, from January, 2000, for the record.
|BLUEGRASS TRIBUTE TO NEIL YOUNG/MAY, TIM|
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It could be a lot worse.
That's what I tell myself when I'm being swarmed by bugs.
It once was worse --- hundreds of millions of years ago, bugs were bigger. Much, much bigger.
They're relatively small now, and paleobiologist Matthew Clapham has figured out why -- and who we should thank.
We reached him at the University of California, in Santa Cruz.
If Greece and the eurozone eventually break up, I'm pretty sure I know how the conversation's going to start. The two parties will sit down at a café somewhere -- anywhere but Germany -- and Greece will say, "I'm leaving you. And I just want you to know: it's not me, it's you."
Today, the credit agency Standard and Poor's said there's actually a one-in-three chance that Greece will pack its bags, and split the eurozone not long after national elections on June seventeenth. That's if whatever party is elected in Greece decides to pooh-pooh the reforms being demanded by the EU. And then -- still according to S and P -- the country would likely go through sovereign default.
At the moment, eurozone and Group of Seven leaders are doing their best to prevent that from happening. But on the ground, amongst regular citizens, there are signs that the relationship between EU countries has turned toxic.
Last week, the Pew Research Center released a poll on global attitudes entitled "European Unity on the Rocks". And if we imagine Greece's relationship with other European countries as an actual marriage, the poll shows that other European countries are just so sick of Greece leaving the toilet seat up. Metaphorically speaking.
Essentially, the poll reveals that everyone's depressed, more people than ever believe integrating the European economy has weakened their own country's economy, Greece doesn't like Germany, and no one likes Greece. Except Greece, which loves Greece.
The entire poll is fascinating and disturbing. And one question in particular shows the vast gulf in attitudes between Greece and its European partners. The question is: "Which EU nation works hardest?" And here are the results:
According to Britain, it's Germany. France says Germany. Spain says Germany. Italy, Poland and Czech Republic: Germany.
Here's Wolf Parade, with "Grounds For Divorce".
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