Episode 68- Nuclear Mob


*Tepco and the Yakuza
*KONY 2012
*P.J. O'Rourke on Romney
*Campaign Rock
*China's Death Row TV
*Chechnya Goes for Putin
*Iran's "Pure" Internet

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Thumbnail image for nuke22222_publish.jpgTepco and the Yakuza

When the tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011 the seawalls around the Fukushima nuclear reactors were designed to withstand a surge of water 5.7m high.

The wave that came was two-to-three times that size. In the days that followed the world focused on the Fukushima 50, a group of workers who put personal safety aside to help clean up the disabled reactors.

Thumbnail image for fuku22222222_publish.jpgA year later, many more workers have exposed themselves to potential danger in the chaos around Fukushima.

But now there's evidence that some of them may have been coerced into doing the dangerous work, and others are in the service of the Yazuka, the Japanese mob.

We go to Tokyo for the story.


It sounds like an election campaign, but when #KONY2012 went viral on the web this week, it turned out to be a call to arms. Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army a mercenary group that's been a scourge in the Congo/Uganda/Sudan region of Africa for over 20 years. The LRA is brutal, but especially infamous for its use of child soldiers, and that's the focus of this viral campaign and video which, is mandating the removal of Kony by military force.

As soon as the slick video went viral, people online found flaws in the campaign and they sounded warnings. One of them is Grant Oyston, a sociology and political science student from Acadia University. He posted his self-researched blog post. Within 18 hours his blog got a million hits. Grant tells us why he took on the #KONY2012 campaign.

music_lock_publish.jpgWho's the Boss?

When Ronald Reagan name-dropped Bruce Springsteen during the election campaign of 1984, fans of The Boss doubted Reagan knew who their hero was. Lots of other politicians got to know musicians the hard way- when they got court orders telling them to stop piggybacking on their anthems.

Tom Petty, Bryan Adams, Heart, Rush and Peter Gabriel have all taken steps to keep their songs untainted by politics. But some tunes are just too perfect for generating the arena excitement a candidate craves. We look back at some of the music that lawmakers wanted to steal.

romney_publish.jpgP.J. and the Possibles

Mitt Romney is the most popular guy in the Republican class of 2012 and he still doesn't have a date for the prom. Super Tuesday came and went with Mitt continuing to look like the presumptive candidate who can't clinch the nomination.

Why are Republicans so reluctant to close the deal with their presumed candidate? Writer, columnist, Republican and gentleman P.J. O'Rourke explains his cautious caucus on Day 6

IBE_publish.jpgThe Final Close Up

Shortly before they are executed, condemned Chinese inmates appear on national television to talk about their crime. The show is called Interviews Before Execution and it's been a popular prime time show in China for 5 years.

A new documentary is bringing the story to the BBC and the team had access to the glamorous female host of the show, Ding Yu. We talk to the producer about the appeal and drama of Interviews Before Execution.

putin111_publish.jpgChechnya Goes for Putin

In the Russian presidential election, ballot boxes in Chechnya indicated Vladimir Putin was wildly favoured over any rivals, a surprising result when you consider Putin's history in the region. Also surprising: voter participation. One precinct reported a voter turn-out of 107%.

Evidence would suggest tampering, but it suggests also that whoever did the rigging didn't much care how crude is their corrupt handiwork.

We go to Moscow for the story.

iran_publish.jpgIran Cracks Down

This week Iran announced their intention to create The Supreme Council of Cyberspace, a body that would cleanse the Internet in the name of Islam. Whatever filters the council design would likely remove more than objectionable religious material. A political crack-down is certain.

Saman Arbabi is the host of the Farsi-language satirical show, Parazit. He joins us to talk about the net, censorship and what he plans to do about it.

That's it for this week, and next week's show is on St. Patrick's Day so subscribe to our podcast in case you're leading a parade that day. Or get abducted by one.

Have a great weekend and see you next week.

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6


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