Episode 69- Cheney Cops Out




*Steyn Covers Cheney
*Iraq's Emo Killings
*Future of Tobacco
*Auslander and Anne Frank
*Hunger Games as Kid Lit
*Oxy's Deadly Hold
*Human Wi-Fi

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cheney222222_publish.jpgThe guy stood up to Saddam Hussein and then to the 66% of Americans who thought the Iraq war was a bad idea. You can disagree with Dick Cheney, but you can't say he lacks resolve. Except there's something about Canada that makes the Prince of Darkness squeamish.

Cheney cancelled a planned appearance in Toronto citing security concerns which raised eyebrows on the left and the right. Some, like the guy who's pinch-hitting for Cheney at the April event, see it as a failure of Canadian law enforcement. Mark Steyn, writer, broadcaster and provocateur says he's Mini-Me to Cheney's Dr. Evil. He talks about what went wrong for Cheney's Toronto symposium.

Then we eavesdrop on Cheney's innermost thoughts with some help from Alan Park.

gay-iraq_publish.jpgEmo Killings

A chilling story out of Iraq this week: as many as 58 Iraqis- gay, or perceived to be gay- described as emos have been brutally murdered in the last six weeks.

There's more.  A list of targets is being distributed in Sadr City, identifying potential victims and describing where they live. Some clerics have played a role in the hate-fest, but now officials and public figures are trying to quell the mayhem.

We go to Baghdad for more.

tobacco_publish.jpgFuture of Tobacco

The largest civil lawsuit in Canadian history began its journey in court this week. At stake: a $27 billion payout from suing Canada's three main tobacco companies.

There are still 4.7 million cigarette smokers in Canada, but that's over a million fewer than there were at the end of the 90s. If tobacco has a future, then it might be in alternative delivery systems that eliminate the risk of inhaling smoke.

We'll look at some of those systems and tell you why they might be more controlled than the old-fashioned cancer sticks.

Hope_publish.jpgLiving with Anne Frank

Anne Frank is having a moment. Although the celebrated author died at the hands of the Nazis at the end of war, she's everywhere in literature right now.

There's Nathan Englander's new collection of short stories called What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank,  Ellen Feldman's The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, and Sharon Doggar's Annexed.

And then there's Shalom Auslander. In his book, Anne Frank is a cranky, disfigured, smelly and demanding hag who lives in his attic in upstate New York. He joins us to explain his book Hope: A Tragedy.

oxy_publish.jpgThe Oxycontin Effect

The waste and tragedy of the Tori Stafford killing weighs on anyone who's been confronted with the details of the little girl's murder. Testimony continued this week in the case of the man charged with slaying the child.

A through-line for many of the people involved- the accused, the convicted alleged accomplice, even Tori's mother- is abuse of the pain killer Oxycontin. Woodstock Ontario, where the girl was abducted, is a town of about 35,000 people. Oxy has cut a wide swath of damage in rural areas and smaller towns right across North America.

We try to find out why rural areas are so susceptible to the Oxy plague.

hunger_publish.jpgHunger Hype

It's coming and it's gonna be huuuuuuge.

The movie version of the young adult lit phenomenon The Hunger Games opens next week and Hollywood is expecting a record box office. The trilogy began when Suzanne Collins conflated reality TV with news coverage of the war in Iraq. She imagined a violent, dystopian world were teenagers are pitted against each other to fight to the death.

The critical jury awaits the movie, but the books- despite their violence- have been widely praised. We'll find out if the hype gets it right.

SXSW_publish.jpgHuman Wi-Fi

And at SXSW last week, humans were hired to work as walking Wi-Fi hubs- roaming pedestrians who could hook you and your $1400 MacBook up to some 4G goodness. Thing is, the people they hired were not kids, or tech workers or students, they were homeless or street involved.

Hipsters and journalists at SXSW rose up against the exploitative use of humans for hubs, which was surely the point of the whole exercise.

Scott Faulconbridge plugs into the controversy.

And that's it for this week, our final show before Spring. Don't forget: you can win copies of The Hunger Games trilogy to devour before the movie opens. Details here.

Have a great weekend. Bye-bye winter.

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6

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