* Ford allegations. Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle describes a video where the Toronto Mayor is allegedly smoking crack.
* Bra Bar. A Milwaukee bar celebrates after it's allowed to re-hang the brassieres of its patrons.
* Arctic Research Lab Reopens. The Harper Government restores funding to PEARL, the research station on Ellesmere Island.
* Venezuela Troops. Thousands of soldiers flood Venezuela's streets to try to control the country's crime wave.
* Riopelles Found. A former lover of the famous painter reveals a series of never-before-seen works.
* Marina Abramovic. A feature interview with the world's hottest performance artist - who will soon be in Canada.
Where there's fire, is there smoke? Controversy ignites around Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who denies allegations by the Toronto Star and Gawker that he's been videotaped smoking crack cocaine.
He stood up to bring it down. Elijah Harper, a First Nations leader best known for helping to kill the Meech Lake Accord, dies at the age of sixty-four.
Back on top of the world. The Harper Government restores funding to PEARL -- the renowned research station at the northern tip of Ellesmere Island that was shut down just last year.
A sweetheart deal. Paintings that renowned Montreal abstractionist Jean-Paul Riopelle gave his mistress over half a century ago sell at auction in Vancouver.
She's not afraid to suffer for her art -- but you might be. I'll sit down with Marina AbramoviU+0107, who pushes her body to extremes, to push boundaries in her performances -- resulting in often extreme audience reaction.
And...her cups hangeth over. The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin reconsiders a ban on the bras that adorn the walls of the Holler House Bar -- and now the bar's eighty-seven-year-old owner is pushing to get them back up.
As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio that enjoys a strong showing of support.
It's a video that few claim to have seen, but everyone is talking about.
The ninety seconds of cell phone footage purportedly show the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, puffing on a crack pipe.
Here is Rob Ford responding to the allegations today at City Hall.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford responding to allegations this morning that a cell phone video exists that shows the him smoking a crack pipe.
We need to stress that no one at CBC has seen the video, and we can't verify its contents.
Robyn Doolittle is Toronto Star reporter who has seen it.
We reached her earlier today in Toronto -- and a warning that some of the language in this interview may be offensive.
That's Blue Rodeo, with part of a song from their 1992 album "Lost Together" -- in which they pay tribute to Elijah Harper.
Mr. Harper -- a symbol of strength and a role model for Aboriginal Canadians -- died this morning, at the age of sixty-four.
In June, 1990, as a Manitoba politician, Elijah Harper made a gesture in the provincial legislature that has made Canadian history. Sitting with an eagle feather, he calmly said "No" to the Meech Lake Accord.
Under tremendous pressure from other officials to have him change his mind, he repeated the word, unfazed. "No."
With that vote, Elijah Harper effectively blocked a constitutional amendment package aimed at securing Quebec's acceptance of the Constitution. And he did so because he felt First Nations communities had been left out of the negotiations.
Jennifer Wood heads intergovernmental relations at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. Ms. Wood was a former executive assistant to Elijah Harper when he was a Manitoba MLA. She was also his good friend.
We reached Jennifer Wood in Winnipeg.
Mr. Harper died this morning of cardiac failure due to complications from diabetes.
As you heard, Elijah Harper made headline -- international headlines -- for refusing to support -- and thus bringing an end to the Meech Lake accord.
For the Record, here is Elijah Harper speaking with As It Happens host Dale Goldhawk, days before Harper said no to the Meech Lake Accord in the Manitoba Legislature in June 1990.
Harper begins by explaining why he plans on turning the accord down.
|MODERN GRASS QUARTET/MODERN GRASS QUARTET|
|ROD SNEDDON|| - ||ARRANGER|
|TOM TERRELL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|DONALD MACLENNAN|| - ||VIOLIN|
|MODERN GRASS QUARTET || - ||FOLK GROUP|
|ADAM PYE|| - ||DOUBLE BASS|
|ANDREW SNEDDON|| - ||GUITAR|
|TOM TERRELL|| - ||GUITAR|
|TOM TERRELL|| - ||VOCALS|
Coming up later in the program, Carol will speak with Marina Abramovic. The performance art world's hottest star is bringing her "art of engagement" to Toronto next month. Ms. Abramovic doesn't seem stressed about Hogtown's reputation for reticence. This is a woman who relishes a challenge.
Here is just a bit of our interview to whet your appetite. In this part, she describes her reaction when her art form doesn't the respect it's due.
|4 HERO PRESENTS EXTENSIONS|
|RAW CANVAS, RCRCD03|
|MARK CLAIR|| - ||COMPOSER|
|JENS "GROOVEMASTER 7" DOHLE|| - ||DRUMS|
|STEFFEN "STEVE BASS" ILLNER|| - ||CONTRABASS|
|OEZLEM || - ||SINGING|
|CHRISTOPH REUTER|| - ||PIANO|
|YE: SOLAR || - ||ENS INSTR|
|ANDRE ZIMMA|| - ||DIR|
It wasn't easy, but Marcy Skowronski finally got the support she needed.
Ms. Skoronski is the eighty-seven-year-old owner of Milwaukee's Holler House tavern. The place is an institution. Not only is it home to the oldest sanctioned bowling lanes in the U-S of A, it's also home to an extremely large collection of used ladies' undergarments -- brassieres to be specific.
It's a tradition at the Holler House to invite first-time patrons to unsnap their bras and hang them up around the bar. But this week, that tradition was interrupted, when someone at Milwaukee City Hall decided that all those overhanging underwires might catch fire.
Down came the bras. And up went the outcry.
We reached Marcy Skoronski -- where else? -- at the Holler House.
It's closure last year was seen as a dark example of the Harper government's views around climate change research. But today, there was good news for Canada's Polar Environment and Atmospheric Research Labratory, or PEARL.
The laboratory, located near Eureka, Nunavut, near the top of Ellesmere Island, has been granted new funding from the federal government, money that will enable it to resume its research.
James Drummond is the principal investigator for PEARL. We reached him as he waited to board a flight in Bremen, Germany.
|THERE IS LOVE IN YOU/FOUR TET|
|DOMINO, DNO 229|
|KIERAN HEBDEN|| - ||COMPOSER|
|FOUR TET || - ||POP GROUP|
|KIERAN HEBDEN|| - ||PRODUCER|
It may be too little too late. Or it may be the wrong thing altogether.
This week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro launched a military operation -- against street crime. It involves putting three-thousand soldiers on patrol in the capital, Caracas, and other cities across the country.
For years now, Caracas has been considered one of the most violent cities in the world. Venezuela's homicide rate has been steadily climbing, and last year it was the highest in Latin America.
It's an issue that critics of former President Hugo Chavez insist was neglected for far too long.
Roberto Briceno Leon is the director of the Venezuela Violence Observatory, an organization that compiles and analyzes crime satistics. We reached him in Caracas.
|PSAPP: THE ONLY THING I EVER WANTED|
|DOMINO, DNO 095|
|PSAPP || - ||COMPOSER|
|PSAPP || - ||WRITER|
|PSAPP || - ||ENS IN-V|
America doesn't care about New Orleans.
That is, at least, if you believe a blistering column written by freelance writer David Dennis, and published in The Guardian this week.
Last Sunday, during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans, multiple people were wounded when shots were fired into a crowd. If you didn't hear about it, you're not alone. Despite the shocking nature of the crime, and the fact that it happened in a big city, in a place where families were gathered, it failed to get much attention.
David Dennis is frustrated with the lack of media coverage, the non-existent political response, and the generally negligible public interest in this story. And he expressed those frustrations in that Guardian op-ed. We reached David Dennis in New Orleans.
|FUZZBOX/THE SECTION QUARTET|
|ROBERT DEL NAJA|| - ||COMPOSER|
|ELIZABETH FRASER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|GRANTLEY MARSHALL|| - ||COMPOSER|
|MUSHROOM || - ||COMPOSER|
|THE SECTION QUARTET || - ||STRING QUARTET|
Love went to the highest bidder on a Vancouver auction block this week. Or at least the expression of it -- as painted by the late Montreal abstract artist, Jean-Paul Riopelle.
For several years in the nineteen-fifties, Mr. Riopelle was in love with an American whom he met in Paris, Belle Burke. And among the many lavish gifts he bestowed on his beloved mistress, was a series of eight original canvasses.
Ms. Burke, now in her eighties, rejected Riopelle's many marriage offers. But she did hang onto his paintings.
They remained in Ms. Burke's private collection, and were never made public -- until now.
Joan Lipton is Belle Burke's second cousin.
Ms. Lipton is from New York. But we reached her in Vancouver.
|DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND FEATURING THE DIPLOMETTES|
|DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND || - ||COMPOSER|
|DIPLOMATS OF SOLID SOUND || - ||POP GROUP|
The following is from the program notes of a performance by artist Marina AbramoviU+0107:
"I slowly eat 1 kilo of honey with a silver spoon.
I slowly drink 1 litre of wine out of a crystal glass.
I break the glass with my right hand.
I cut a five-pointed star on my stomach with a razor blade.
I violently whip myself until I no longer feel any pain.
I lay down on a cross made of ice blocks.
The heat of a suspended heater pointed at my stomach causes the cut star to bleed.
The rest of my body begins to freeze.
I remain on the ice cross for 30 minutes
until the public interrupts the piece by removing the ice blocks from underneath me."
Performance artist Marina AbramoviU+0107 actually did all that. That was from a performance called "Seven Easy Pieces". But, as you've no doubt surmised by now, easy has never really been Ms. AbramoviU+0107's thing.
For four-and-a-half decades, the performance art superstar has been drawing audiences to participate in her own, very public, agonies and ecstasies.
Now Ms AbramoviU+0107 is set to teach Toronto how to savour a little bit of suffering.
At next month's Luminato Festival she will turn a huge city park into the Marina AbramoviU+0107 Institute - Prototype. She promises to teach her students how to condition themselves for performances like hers. She also promises to train audiences to enjoy them.
We reached Marina AbramoviU+0107 in New York City.
|QUANTIC: THE BEST OF QUANTIC|
|TRU THOUGHTS, TRUCD235|
|WILL "QUANTIC" HOLLAND|| - ||COMPOSER|
|WILL "QUANTIC" HOLLAND|| - ||DEEJAY|
Dateline: Washington, DC.
As a proud dog owner -- of a Lab-Staffordshire mix, in case you're wondering -- I appreciate the importance of establishing a set of clearly-defined rules, and enforcing them. And that applies not only to pets, but to pet owners -- especially in a large urban environment. Which is why I applaud the recent decision by D-C's health department -- which manages pet licensing -- to introduce some updates to its system. Nice, too, that they send out notices to owners clearly outlining and explaining the changes.
Clearly, for the most part, that is.
Nearly everything seems designed to make the system more streamlined and more effective. But the following update is giving people pause -- if you'll pardon the pun. It reads as follows -- quote:
"Our new system requires a primary breed to be entered. If your dog was previously entered as a 'Mix,' the pet is now entered as a 'Xoloitzcuintli'".
The letter goes on to explain that a Xoloitzcuintli -- which begins with an "X" and looks like it's actually another word with its letters scrambled -- is a rather rare breed of hairless dog, also known as a "Mexican Hairless".
What the letter does not explain is why a classification of "Xoloitzcuintli" is preferable to "mix" or "mutt".
As far as we know, an explanation has yet to be given -- although a spokesperson for the health department did emphasize that it is, quote: "...very important that owners take a guess at the dog's breed." Unquote.
But, as a quick Google Image search demonstrates, the Xoloitzcuintli has a pretty distinct look. My guess is that the only owners suspecting their dog might be a Xoloitzcuintli are the owners of Xoloitzcuintlis.
If it all didn't seem so deliberate, I'd chalk this whole thing up to some unfortunate clerical mix-up. Or as I suppose it's known down in D-C now, a Xoloitzcuintli-up.
|"T" TIME; TIME TESTED TALES, TALL AND TRUE/WALKER, NORMAN|
|NORMAN WALKER|| - ||COMPOSER|
|NORMAN WALKER|| - ||PRODUCER|
|NORMAN WALKER|| - ||VOCALS|
The show was produced this week by Marc Apollonio, Ben Edwards, Natasha Fatah, Chris Harbord, Adam Killick, Chris Howden, David McDougall...
Kevin Robertson, Pedro Sanchez, Kate Swoger, and Tomas Urbina. Our technician this week is Mark Thibideau. The show director is Reynold Gonsalves. Kevin Ball is the show writer this week.
John Perry is the Senior Producer.. and the Executive Producer of As It Happens is Robin Smythe.
We'd also like to thank some other people who helped us out this week: Marie Wadden in St. John's, Susan McKenzie in Montreal, Elizabeth Hay in Ottawa, Davorin Cikovic Keith Hart and Michael D'Souza in Toronto, Suzanne Dufresne in Winnipeg, Gillian Rutherford in Edmonton, Michael O'Halloran in Calgary, and Yvonne Gall in Vancouver and Carla Turner in Washington, D.C.
As It Happens will be back again on Monday, and so will I. I'm CO. Good night.
I'm JD. Have a good weekend.