An anniversary no one's celebrating. It's been ten years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- and as today's attacks prove, the country remains as unstable as ever.
Shore leaving. The federal government is about to stop funding the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area in northern Ontario -- and the mayor of nearby Kenora thinks the decision doesn't hold water.
Low interest generates high interest. After receiving a call from Canada's finance department, Manulife Financial withdraws its new low mortgage rate.
His attendance is spotty. But that's why residents of North Saanich, B.C. are so excited about the arrival of Pi, the rare, speckled, "piebald hummingbird".
Fred Phelps versus Roy G. Biv. The founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, renowned for its hateful protests, sees red -- and every other hue -- when the man who moved in across the street paints his house all the colours of the rainbow.
And...he's making his mark on the world. A very small mark. The founder of the Apostrophe Protection Society tells us about his latest victory: convincing a British council to reinstate the punctuation mark on its street signs.
As It Happens, the Tuesday edition. Radio that knows sometimes it's important to get a little possessive.
A decade later, the bloodshed continues.
Today in Baghdad -- on the tenth anniversary of the US-led invasion -- a series of deadly explosions have left more than two hundred people wounded and at least fifty people dead. And these are only the latest attacks in what many Iraqis say is an increasing wave of sectarian violence.
Most targets in today's attacks were in Shiite neighbourhoods. And although there has been no immediate claims of responsibility, it is widely known that the Sunni-dominated Al-Qaeda in Iraq is to blame for the attacks that have been plaguing the country since the beginning of this year.
Jane Arraf is a veteran reporter now working for the Al-Jazeera network. We've reached her in Baghdad.
|DEVENDRA BARNHART: REJOICING IN THE HANDS|
|YOUNG GOD, 000036|
|DEVENDRA BANHART|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DEVENDRA BANHART|| - ||SINGING|
Only days before the tabling of the federal budget, you would think any evening calls from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's staff would be dedicated to the country's balance sheet.
But today, Manulife Bank withdrew its newly advertised two-point-eight-nine per cent mortgage rate, and returned to its previous rate at three-point-zero-nine per cent. The bank said it had reversed course after a "consultation" with the finance department last night.
This comes just two weeks after Minister Flaherty put pressure on BMO to withdraw its sub-three per cent rate, saying he wanted to avoid a mortgage rate war that would inflate housing prices.
But not everyone in the world of finance thinks this is a good idea.
Rob McLister is the editor of "Canadian Mortgage Trends", and a mortgage planner wtih Verico intelliMortgage. We reached him at work in Vancouver.
|MCA CD COMPILATION, VOL. 17, OCTOBER 1996|
|MCA, MCAD 9690|
|BECK || - ||COMPOSER|
|JOHN KING|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MICHAEL SIMPSON|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BECK || - ||POP GROUP|
"Small floater, you stay above the fray
a wink at nothing's nod, a raised brow
watching p's and q's, a selfless mote
between I and m, a little horn of plenty
spilling plurals, disdaining the bottom line."
That's from "Apostrophe to the Apostrophe", by Eric Nelson -- an ode that John Richards surely appreciates.
Mr. Richards is the founder of the Apostrophe Protection Society. And recently, he became apoplectic when he learned that the district of Mid-Devon, in England, was planning to make official its policy of omitting apostrophes from road signs.
But now, all signs are pointing to the council reversing its decision -- careful: that's its without an apostrophe -- which is music to Mr. Richards's ears.
We reached John Richards in Boston, Lincolnshire, England.
|ADAM FINE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|HOWARD BILERMAN|| - ||PRODUCER|
|GINA BURGESS|| - ||VIOLIN|
|ROSS BURNS|| - ||PERCUSSION|
|ADAM FINE|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|ALEC FRITH|| - ||GUITAR|
|GYPSOPHILIA || - ||FOLK GROUP|
|MATT MYER|| - ||TRUMPET|
|SAGEEV OORE|| - ||KEYBOARDS|
|NICK WILKINSON|| - ||GUITAR|
If I were about to punch someone, and get punched by someone, in front of a lot of people, and someone asked for a photo, my face could do two things. First, it could reflect my actual mood by looking very, very grim -- like, on-the-verge-of-tears grim. Or second, and more likely, it could do something counterintuitive: it could twist into a tight, panicked smile.
And that would be my downfall. Well, that and the fact that I would get punched a lot more than I would punch.
A recent study of photographs taken before UFC fights found that, if one of the fighters is smiling in the photo, he's increasing his chances of losing.
The researchers were exploring the theory that smiling is a submissive gesture. And their study bore that out -- the Ultimate Fighters who smiled were more likely to be knocked down, to get hit more, and to lose.
There's an interesting sidebar here, too: the majority of smiles in the pre-fight photographs are what are called "non-Duchenne" smiles. Duchenne was a French neurologist. Back in the nineteenth century, he determined that a truly happy smile uses the muscles of both the mouth and the eyes. So a full, real smile is called a "Duchenne smile" -- and a weaker, possibly fake smile is called a "non-Duchenne smile".
Anyway, the point is: before a fight, don't smile. Although if you can manage a Duchenne smile, you may as well go for it. Could be your last smile with teeth.
Now, here's Oscar Peterson, with "I'll Never Smile Again".
|OSCAR PETERSON: THE PERSONAL TOUCH|
|RUTH LOWE|| - ||COMPOSER|
|RUTH LOWE|| - ||WRITER|
|OSCAR PETERSON|| - ||PIANO|
|OSCAR PETERSON|| - ||SINGING|
The site will be open to security staff -- just not to academic researchers.
Last night on the program, we told you about the impending closure of the Experimental Lakes Area, or ELA. The ELA is a world-renowned research facility in northern Ontario. But federal funding for research at the facility will be cut off at the end of March. And that has scientists concerned about the loss of the one-of-a-kind freshwater research station.
Dave Canfield is the Mayor of Kenora, Ontario, which is near the ELA. We reached Mayor Canfield on his way to Thunder Bay.
The closure of the ELA came in Question Period in Ottawa today. Here's the question posed by Liberal MP Lawrence MacAuley and addressed to Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield.
That was federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield answering Liberal MP Lawrence MacAuley during Question Period earlier today.
Minister Ashfield mentioned other facilities in Canada that can do the same research currently done at the Experimental Lakes Area, which is slated to close at the end of the month.
Jules Blais is the President of the Society of Canadian Limnologists, which is also referred to as freshwater science. He's familiar with the facilities mentioned by Minister Ashfield. We reached Jules Blais at the University of Ottawa.
|ATTICA BLUES/ATTICA BLUES|
|D'AFRO || - ||COMPOSER|
|ROBA EL-ESSAWY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|TONY NWACHUKWU|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JEAN-LUC PONTY|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ATTICA BLUES || - ||POP GROUP|
It's a story you probably assumed couldn't get worse. But now it has.
The case of the dead pigs in a Chinese river just keeps getting worse. Just last week, we first brought you the story about the pig carcasses that were turning up in the Huangpu River, which flows through Shanghai. At the time, we were stunned to be told that the estimated number had risen from thirteen hundred to just under six thousand.
Well, as of today, officials have put the number at almost fifteen-thousand.
Aaron Jackson bought a home in Topeka, Kansas earlier this year for one reason, and one reason only: there's a church directly across the street.
But it's a church that Mr. Jackson will never attend, or even set foot in. It's the infamous Westboro Baptist Church -- headquarters of the congregation of Reverend Fred Phelps. The church is known primarily for picketing outside funerals, wielding placards reading "God Hates America", and "God Hates Fags".
And that leaves little doubt the church's membership is going to absolutely despise what their new neighbour has planned for his house.
We reached Aaron Jackson at home, in Topeka.
|THINK TWICE/PAVLOV & MISHKIN|
|CAST A BLAST|
|PAVLOV & MISHKIN || - ||COMPOSER|
|PAVLOV & MISHKIN || - ||PERFORMER|
And now, Quote/Unquote.
If you have obnoxious neighbours, and you can't ignore their seemingly endless amorous activity, sometimes you are forced to interrupt.
But there are times when you wouldn't dream of interrupting your neighbours' intimacy -- such as, when they usually keep to themselves, and they're beautiful and majestic. And they could tip your boat over without blinking an enormous eye.
On the weekend, near Laguna Beach, California, two gray whales engaged in sexual congress, as tourists and locals watched in astonishment. For hours. And hours. And hours.
Charter boat captain Tom Southern first noticed the pair swimming together in the late morning. But when he took his second tour group of the day out, in the afternoon, the whales were clearly getting frisky.
Captain Southern told the Orange County Register, quote:
"They were rolling on their sides, spinning in circles, and then they'd go down for a few minutes -- obvious mating behaviours."
Captain Southern presumably means they were going down under the water.
And they were still at it hours later, when he returned with his third charter group.
Everyone gathered around was respectful -- even awestruck. Another charter boat captain, Todd Mansur, said, quote:
"In my career I have never seen passengers on the boat crying tears of happiness and giving me hugs. For all of us it was the most incredible encounter with an animal that we have ever had. It will be engraved in our minds forever."
Even before he handed in his resignation, Peter Penashue was preparing a campaign to win his seat back.
The minister quit last week after being dogged for months by revelations of overspending and improper corporate donations to his last federal election campaign.
And as Elections Canada continues its investigation, Mr. Penashue has again been spending money in Labrador.
Peter Cowan is the CBC reporter who helped bring to light many of the irregularities in Penashue's campaign.
We reached him in Happy Valley Goose Bay.
|ROAD FROM MEMPHIS/JONES, BOOKER T|
|BOOKER T JONES|| - ||COMPOSER|
|BOOKER T JONES|| - ||KEYBOARDS|
|BOOKER T JONES|| - ||PRODUCER|
|ROB SCHNAPF|| - ||PRODUCER|
|AHMIR THOMPSON|| - ||PRODUCER|
I guess someone thought it could serve as a solution -- before the very idea of it became an enormous, terrifying problem.
Today, lawmakers in Cyprus voted against a bill that would have seized a percentage of people's bank deposits. The bill was intended to raise funds for a bailout of the Cypriot banks.
When it came to voting time, not a single lawmaker voted in favour of the bill.
Last night, we spoke about the proposal with Alexander Apostolides, an economics historian who specializes in financial crises. That conversation inspired this email from David Richinger, of Zurich, Switzerland. He wrote:
"Just some thoughts about your call last night with the somewhat whiney Mr. Apostolides about the Cyprus bailout. While I'm not in favour of hitting depositors before bank shareholders and bondholders either, it's worth remembering a few things about the Cyprus situation:
"First, somebody -- for example, those pensioners and savers Mr. Apostolides worries about -- voted over the last decades for politicians who made Cyprus a tax haven for dirty money. In a democracy the voters have to take some responsibility.
"Second: there is a long tradition of countries taking money from their savers to pay for mistakes, but they usually do it by printing money and causing inflation. Seven per cent inflation has about the same effect as a seven per cent confiscation from your savings account; it's just less obvious.
"Finally, we have to wonder how Canadian taxpayers would feel about sending their money to Cyprus to bail out a bloated civil service, tax-dodgers, money launderers and Russian oligarchs. We can imagine how the Germans feel about that.
"The lesson for Canadian listeners is not to feel bad for the poor Cypriots, but to pay attention to what we vote for, and on what businesses we build our economy.
Thanks for the email, David.
And if you'd like to comment on our program, you can always call Talkback, toll-free, at 1-866-481-5718. Our e-mail address is email@example.com and you can also click "contact" on our webpage -- www.cbc.ca/aih.
|HIGHWAY RIDER/MEHLDAU, BRAD|
|BRAD MEHLDAU|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JON BRION|| - ||PRODUCER|
|MATT CHAMBERLAIN|| - ||DRUMS|
|LARRY GRENADIER|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|BRAD MEHLDAU|| - ||PIANO|
I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm a yoga guy. But when I say "yoga", I mean traditional meat-and-potatoes yoga. Or rather, traditional quinoa and tofu yoga. Not hot yoga. And so far, not naked yoga.
But I'm starting to get a bit worried about just what the other yogis will be wearing as they do the downward dog in front of me at this week's class.
As you may have heard, apparel company Lululemon has been forced to recall seventeen per cent of all its women's yoga pants, because -- well, I'll read from the Lululemon blog: "The materials used in construction were the same but the coverage was not, resulting in increased sheerness."
On the off-chance that that wording is too opaque, let me break it down: the pants are too see-through.
Now, this is very serious business. Shares in LuLulemon have tumbled, and the company was also forced to lower its revenue predictions.
The company is blaming the problems on the material it used and its manufacturing process. And it says it's working to improve the situation. So be prepared, fellow yoga enthusiasts: wear clean underwear -- or else you're liable to seriously bum someone out.
|BADBADNOTGOOD || - ||COMPOSER|
|BADBADNOTGOOD || - ||JAZZ GROUP|
It's usually irritating when you have a guest who just hovers over everything. But this is a special case.
Residents of North Saanich, British Columbia have been overjoyed to welcome a hummingbird to town. They call him "Pi". And he's not your typical hummingbird. He's a piebald hummingbird.
That sounds very exciting! But I have no idea what it means. So we reached hummingbird enthusiast, Eric Pittman, in Victoria, B-C.
|BEST OF LOUISIANA MUSIC|
|ART NEVILLE|| - ||COMPOSER|
| LEO NOCENTELLI|| - ||COMPOSER|
| JOSEPH MODELISTE|| - ||COMPOSER|
| GEORGE, JR PORTER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ALLEN TOUSSAINT|| - ||PRODUCER|
| METERS|| - ||POP GROUP|
| MARSHALL E. SEHORN|| - ||PRODUCER|
Sochi celebration or sexy exploitation?
Yesterday, we spoke with a representative of Skate Canada about the Globe and Mail's front page photo of rising young star Kaetlyn Osmond. The teenager had just grabbed a spot at the Olympics -- a feat the national newspaper celebrated with a photo of the athlete performing an awesome high kick.
That was one way of looking at the photo, anyway. Those with another perspective found the phrase "crotch shot" coming to mind. The Globe later issued an apology, but Talkback wasn't done.
|BALLAKE SISSOKO & VINCENT SEGAL: CHAMBER MUSIC|
|NO FORMAT, NOF 532 144 2<|
|VINCENT SEGAL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ABOUBACAR DEMBA CAMARA|| - ||PERCUSSION|
|VINCENT SEGAL|| - ||CELLO|
|BALLAKE SISSOKO|| - ||KORA|
And now, Quote/Unquote.
When you're running for election, it's important to put your best foot forward.
That's especially true for Peter Penashue -- who just resigned his seat, and his position in cabinet, after the financial mismanagement of his last federal election campaign.
So Mr. Penashue started his bid to reclaim his Labrador seat in the upcoming by-election by taking out a full page ad in a local newspaper, the Labradorian.
In it, he very sensibly lays out his accomplishments. Sensibly -- but not without typos.
Bullet Point Number Two reads as follows. Quote:
"Scrapped the wasteful and ineffective long-RUN registry."
We venture to guess that Mr. Penashue was not referring to a hitherto unknown program to keep track of every Canadian who has huffed and puffed their way through a ten-K.
In the spirit of fairness, we asked Google if anyone else had made the same mistake. And, lo and behold, one of our own wordsmiths at the CBC made the same "long gun"/"long-run" error in an article back in 2011.
But all these little errors get cleared up in the long gun. I mean: the long run.
|REPRISE, 3RS 2257|
|NEIL YOUNG|| - ||COMPOSER|
|NEIL YOUNG|| - ||VOCALS|