* Alberta Beef Union. Meat is pulled from store shelves, and the food inspectors' union says Ottawa is not giving enough support to safety monitoring at plants.
* MacArthur Grant Winner. If Chris Thile's not the world's best mandolinist, he's certainly the most creative. He's been rewarded with a $500K MacArthur Fellowship.
* Ottawa OSPCA Case. A lawyer says the OSPCA violated his client's rights by raiding her house and, ultimately, finding no problem -- expect that her dog had tartar buildup.
* Open Debates. On the eve of U.S. Presidential debates, one analyst says they are predictable, scripted and undemocratic.
* PEI Mosque Threats. Congregants of a Charlottetown mosque go to the media after a series of threats.
* Eric Hobsbawm Obituary. We remember one of the great Marxist theorists and intellectuals of the 20th century.
Meat in the middle. More beef products are pulled, another case of e. coli is discovered -- and the head of the food inspectors' union says Ottawa isn't doing enough to monitor safety in processing plants.
Taking tartar control to a new level. The remarkable legal battle involving the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and a woman whose terrier has severe gingivitis.
Has the "Black Widow" struck again? Melissa Weeks -- formerly known as Melissa Friedrich -- is charged with attempted murder after her latest spouse contracts a mysterious illness.
A counterpoint to the point-counterpoint. To those who say presidential debates are crucial opportunities for the candidates to exchange ideas, one critic has a strong rebuttal.
All aflutter over a flutterer. While most of us were bidding on Star Wars figures and "Twilight" paraphernalia, an Alberta biology professor was snapping up a long-extinct moth on eBay.
And...he was instrumental in his own success. Among this year's winners of a half-a-million-dollar MacArthur "genius" grant is Chris Thile -- a mandolin virtuoso who's being acknowledged for his pluck.
As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that assumes, in his case, the money comes with strings attached.
More meat originating at the XL Foods processing plant was recalled today. Another case of E. coli poisoning was linked to the contamination -- a sixty-two-year-old named Pat Lees. And yet more questions were raised about how that meat got onto store shelves.
Here is Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair's exchange with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the recall in Question Period this afternoon, for the record.
Bob Kingston is the head of the union that represents the inspectors. We reached him in Ottawa.
|MOUNTAIN MEADOWS/ELLIOTT BROOD|
|SIX SHOOTER, SIX 041|
|CASEY LAFORET|| - ||COMPOSER|
|STEVE PITKIN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MARK SASSO|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JOHN CRITCHLEY|| - ||PRODUCER|
|ELLIOTT BROOD || - ||POP GROUP|
|ELLIOTT BROOD || - ||PRODUCER|
It's not her first offence but her victims believe it should be her last.
This morning, Melissa Weeks was charged with attempted murder -- for allegedly trying to poison her husband of just two weeks. And while the name "Melissa Weeks" may not be familiar, the name "Melissa Friedrich" just might be.
Ms. Weeks, or Ms. Friedrich is also known as the "Internet Black Widow" -- and she first became famous in 1992. That's when she was convicted of killing her husband, Gordon Stewart. Since then, Ms. Weeks has had numerous run-ins with the law, including another stint in jail for theft and forgery -- a crime committed against her boyfriend at the time.
Now, the seventy-seven-year-old is being charged with attempting to poison her new husband, Fred Weeks.
Kate Reeves is Mr. Stewart's sister. We reached her in Freetown, PEI.
|JOURNEY TO SPACE/ISAC BAND|
|AJITH ISAC|| - ||COMPOSER|
|LOUIS BARANYI-IRVINE|| - ||DRUMS|
|ISAC BAND || - ||JAZZ GROUP|
|AJITH ISAC|| - ||BASS GUITAR|
|ANOOP ISAC|| - ||GUITAR|
|JINU ISAC|| - ||KEYBOARDS|
There's an old joke in the bluegrass music scene: How do you make a mandolin player's car more aerodynamic? You take the pizza delivery sign off the roof.
That may make Chris Thile laugh. All the way to the bank.
Mr. Thile has long been regarded as one of the best, most creative mandolinists on the planet. He's already won two Grammy Awards, and plays in the inventive band The Punch Brothers. And today, he was named as one of the recipients of a MacArthur "genius" Fellowship.
These are half-million dollar awards that allow people who show exceptional creativity in their field to further develop their ideas. And, at thirty-one, Chris Thile certainly has lots of ideas to develop.
We reached him shortly before a live performance in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
|WHO'S FEELING YOUNG NOW?/PUNCH BROTHERS|
|CHRIS ELDRIDGE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|PAUL KOWERT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|NOAM PIKELNY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CHRIS THILE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|GABE WITCHER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JACQUIRE KING|| - ||PRODUCER|
|PUNCH BROTHERS || - ||FOLK GROUP|
For a little dog in need of dental work, Vicki the Yorkie is getting a lot of attention. As is her owner.
For six days -- and counting -- the Animal Care Review Board has been in Ottawa hearing arguments in the appeal of Vicki's owner and breeder, Jessica Johnson. The board hears appeals of orders issued by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or OSPCA. Cases before the board generally take one day. But this isn't your typical case.
In May, the OSPCA raided Jessica Johnson's home, initially entering through her bedroom window. After inspecting the nine dogs in the home, they found that one, Vicki, had problems with her teeth.
Ms. Johnson has since been charged for failing to tend to Vicki's dental work. Ms.Johnson is fighting the charge, saying that the OSPCA violated her Charter rights.
Kurtis Andrews is Jessica Johnson's lawyer. We reached him in Ottawa.
|SPANISH WAITER/HOPKINS, MIKE|
|MIKE HOPKINS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|RYAN FAIRHEAD|| - ||PRODUCER|
|MIKE HOPKINS|| - ||GUITAR|
|MIKE HOPKINS|| - ||PRODUCER|
He was the face of the the first Earth Day in 1970 -- making the cover of "Time" magazine. And he's being remembered as a fierce defender of the environment -- one of the first to advocate recycling as a way to reduce waste.
Dr. Barry Commoner died Sunday in New York City. He was ninety-five.
Dr. Commoner had simple rules regarding ecology -- so simple they made their way onto T-shirts. They were: "Everything is connected to everything else"; "Everything must go somewhere"; "Nature knows best"; and..."There is no such thing as a free lunch."
And he was more than Earth-friendly slogans: Dr. Commoner also had a distinguished career as a teacher and researcher in the field of radiation. He was among the first to demonstrate the link between free radicals and cancer in rats.
But he was best known for his environmental advocacy. Here he is, on July sixteenth, 1979, speaking with former "As It Happens" host Michael Enright about the energy policies of President Jimmy Carter, and their cost to the planet -- from our archives.
|HURRY ON HOME/LINDSAY, ANNE|
|ANNE LINDSAY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ANNE LINDSAY|| - ||FIDDLE|
|ANNE LINDSAY|| - ||PRODUCER|
|EMILYN STAM|| - ||PIANO|
|TOSH WEYMAN|| - ||PRODUCER|
Today, U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took a time-out from the campaign trail. Instead of shaking hands and kissing babies, they were preparing jabs and parries for their first face-to-face televised debate tomorrow.
According to most coverage, a lot is at stake in this first debate. But there are those who believe presidential debates have become predictable and scripted. Almost as if some sort of deal has been struck between the two campaigns.
In fact, our next guest says that's exactly what's happening. And that American presidential debates don't foster democracy -- they do the opposite. And now, the controversy has led several companies that have long sponsored the debates to pull out.
George Farah is the executive director of an organization called Open Debates. He is in New York City.
|SIX-STRING GUMBO/MCLENNAN, JIM|
|JERRY REED HUBBARD|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JOE CUNNINGHAM|| - ||PRODUCER|
|JIM MCLENNAN|| - ||GUITAR|
|JIM MCLENNAN|| - ||PRODUCER|
If you were stuck in rush hour traffic in Winnipeg last night, the sight was not reassuring.
As you may have heard on the news, a fire and several explosions wreaked havoc in an industrial part of Winnipeg's St. Boniface neighbourhood. Billowing black smoke poured from Speedway International Inc. -- which sells methanol and diesel fuels.
The fire's out now, and no injuries have been reported. But so far, the estimate of the damage sits at fifteen million dollars.
Barney Osadchuck owns the business next door. Earlier today he spoke with Marylin Maki of the Noon Show in Winnipeg. Here's part of their conversation.
|JOHANN HIERONYMUS KAPSBURGER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|CLOGS || - ||POP GROUP|
It's one of the most divisive homecomings Canadians have ever had to deal with.
On the weekend, officials announced that convicted terrorist and Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr was returning to the country of his birth. The twenty-six-year-old was taken into U.S. custody more than a decade ago when he killed an American medic during a battle at an Afghan compound where he was hiding out.
Last night we spoke with Moazzam Begg, a former cellmate of Mr. Khadr; Sergeant Layne Morris, who was serving with U.S. Special Forces during the fatal battle in Afghanistan; and Arlette Zinck, Mr. Khadr's Canadian tutor.
And then we heard from you.Carolyn Bryant from Oshawa sent us this email:
"Omar Khadr killed a man during a fire fight in a war zone that he had been taken to by those who should have been protecting him. He was seriously wounded himself. He confessed to his crime after being taken to another country, away from anyone or anything he knew. We so often seem to forget that Omar was born in Canada. We failed to protect him from those who radicalized him here and took him away from safety, and then we blamed him for it." Regarding the interview with Sergeant Morris, Don Masters in Ottawa wrote:
"I found the comments of Sergeant Layne Morris suspect. As he said, the Americans called in air support and blew the place where Khadr was captured to smithereens. The brain-washed and bullet-ridden fifteen-year-old Omar was the only person left alive. No one witnessed what happened, so Khadr was the guy convicted of murder and war crimes, rather than treated as the unfortunate child victim that he most obviously was." Also on Sergeant Morris, a Mr. or Ms. Webster in Ottawa wrote:
"If you listened carefully to the U.S. Special Forces member, Omar was given more than one opportunity to give himself up at the compound, and he chose the path of destruction instead. The destruction of an American life, which I still find appalling. According to the record he spent his ten years in Gitmo becoming a spiritual leader concerning Jihad, so guess what, could it be he will do the same thing if he's on the outside here? One eye, or not, he's still a danger to our society."And we also got this call to Talkback.
|DOES IT LOOK LIKE I'M HERE?/EMERALDS|
|JOHN ELLIOTT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|STEVE HAUSCHILDT|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MARK MCGUIRE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|EMERALDS || - ||POP GROUP|
For Angelica Choc, the arrest of a man in Guatemala has provided some sense of relief.
She is the widow of Adolfo Ich, a Mayan community leader who was brutally killed almost three years ago. He was actively opposed to a mining project owned and controlled at the time by the Canadian company Hudbay Minerals.
The man arrested in Guatemala is Mynor Padilla, a retired lieutenant-coronel of the Guatemalan army and the former chief of security at the mine at the time of Adolfo Ich's death.
In December of 2010, Canadian lawyer Murray Klippenstein spoke with Carol, right after he launched a civil lawsuit on behalf of Adolfo Ich's widow Angelica Choc, against Hudbay Minerals. Here's part of their conversation.
|BLACK BOX, 000023|
|MARC MELLITS|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DUKE QUARTET|| - ||STRING QUARTET|
| JOHN METCALFE|| - ||VIOLA|
| LOUISA FULLER|| - ||VIOLIN|
| RICK KOSTER|| - ||VIOLIN|
| SOPHIE HARRIS|| - ||CELLO|
| HARVEY BROUGH|| - ||PRODUCER|
| DUKE QUARTET|| - ||PRODUCER|
It is a space the community has been dreaming about owning for years -- a safe place to come and pray together. But now, that safety is being threatened.
There have been threats aimed at the Masjid Dar As-Salam mosque in Charlottetown P.E.I. And now, local Muslims are speaking out.
Dr. Najam Chishti is the President of the Muslim Society of P.E.I. We reached him at the Mosque, in Charlottetown.
|BEST OF LEONARD COHEN|
|LEONARD COHEN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|LEONARD COHEN|| - ||VOCALS|
They know he's got great hair. And they know he's got a great name. Now the Liberals are going to have to decide whether Justin Trudeau has what it takes to make their party great again.
It's a question that Mr. Trudeau seemed to be asking himself not so long ago. In October of 2006, he addressed a group of students at Memorial University in St. John's. Mr. Trudeau hadn't yet run for office -- and the first question was, would he?
We've got tape of his answer, for the record, but I should warn you: there's some strong language.
|MONSIEUR GAINSBOURG REVISITED|
|SERGE GAINSBOURG|| - ||COMPOSER|
| BORIS BERGMAN|| - ||ADAPTOR/LYRICIST|
| PAUL IVES|| - ||ADAPTOR/LYRICIST|
|RAKES|| - ||POP GROUP|
| PAUL HUSSEY|| - ||PRODUCER|
It's been said that those who can't remember the past are doomed to repeat it. Well, Eric Hobsbawm remembered the past more thoroughly than most -- and if he repeated it, it's because he was asked. Over and over again.
Mr. Hobsbawm was a world-renowned historian whose work inspired a generation across the pond. He was ninety-five when he died yesterday in London, England.
Eric Hobsbawm was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1917. By 1933, he was living in Berlin, where he underwent a conversion: as he later put it, "It was impossible to remain outside politics. The months in Berlin made me a lifelong Communist". He joined the Party that year, and stayed true to the cause through thick and thin -- even after the Soviet Union invaded Hungary.
Indeed, his devout adherence to Marxism made him a pariah to some. But over the course of a long career as a historian and author, he used his writing to give a voice to the underprivileged -- to groups that had been overlooked by traditional historians. And as time went on, his politics seemed to recede, to the public at least -- and he became a respected national figure in England. Or at least a tolerated one.
Eric Hobsbawm was the first to coin the term "social crime". And he spoke to the CBC's Christopher Moore about the term on the program "Ideas" back on December eighteenth, 1986.
|ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET/ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET|
|ABIGAIL WASHBURN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET || - ||ENSEMBLE|
What's the coolest thing you ever bought on eBay?
For me, it's easy. It was a vintage 1987 acid-wash denim trenchcoat -- a replica of my first acid-wash denim trenchcoat which my wife had thrown away years earlier.
I know: very, very cool. And I naturally assumed that was the coolest thing anyone could ever find on eBay. Until I heard Tom Terzin's story.
Tom Terzin is an assistant professor of biology at the University of Alberta. We reached him in Camrose, Alberta.
|CARLOS SANTANA: MILAGRO|
And now, Quote/Unquote."Fearless Felix" Baumgartner has a peculiar brand of courage. That is, he's brave in a way that is totally unnecessary, and he does death-defying stunts that the world does not require anyone to do.
He holds world records for the highest parachute jump from a building, and the lowest BASE jump. Essentially, he jumps from great heights and tries not to die. And he has succeeded, so far.
But now he's planning a new stunt that will test the limits of his pointless courage: he's going to free-fall from an altitude of thirty-seven kilometres, and attempt to break the sound barrier.
He's going to need a lot of luck. But more important, he's going to need a specially-designed pressurized suit and helmet that will prevent him from losing consciousness, and also prevent his bodily fluids from boiling and then freezing, and also prevent his eyes from exploding. If the suit rips, his body will experience all of the above, and so much more.
The jump is scheduled for next Monday. And to drum up interest, Mr. Baumgartner and his team are speaking to the media, and playing up the risks. Which is not to say "Fearless Felix"'s doctor was wrong when he said, quote:
"All the things that can happen are varying degrees of bad."