Episode 107: Royal Baby, Fisk on Syria's Chemical Weapons, Penn Jillette and more


** Royal Baby's Place in Line ** Robert Fisk on Syria's Chemical Weapons ** Your Doctor, Caught on Tape ** Virgin Births ** Penn Jillette and The Big 6 ** Chanukah Movie Lament **

tabloid_publish.jpgBaby in Line

Will and Kate, through Buckingham Palace, have announced the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting, but please don't bother her because she's severely indisposed

Because Kate was hospitalized for acute morning sickness, the royal couple rushed the announcement. The little heir isn't due until June.

He or she will then immediately be placed near the very apex of the line of succession, third in line to inherit the crown, bumping Prince Harry from his place in the top three.

Given the longevity of the Windsors it will be a long time before this little tyke ascends to the throne. Our guest calculates a late 21st century coronation. Book your flights now. 

We've got all you need to know about the coming king or queen.

gas masks_publish.jpgChemical Threat

"Our concerns are that an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons, or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are now operating within Syria... This would cross a red line and those responsible would be held to account."

That's Hilary Clinton telling the world this week Syria may be about to use chemical weapons. The Secretary of State and President Obama warned of dire consequences if those weapons should be used.

Others say the intelligence reports of the Assad regime manipulating weapons stockpiles or preparing missiles are not credible. Among these is journalist Robert Fisk who has covered the region for decades. He believes not only is the threat of deployment bogus.

So why the red line and why now? We find out as he talks to Day 6.

abuse_publish.jpgDoctor Cams

The relationship between you and your health care provider depends on trust.

When that trust breaks down, it's usually due to a disagreement, but sometimes it's because of criminal activity like abuse. Those are rare exceptions in the medical field but they happen. And sometimes they are uncovered and proven by a hidden recording device.

Now doctors say patients are resorting to recording routine medical interactions, some openly and some clandestinely. It's not that patients are trying to prove abuse, it's often because they want some kind of record. And the technology is cheap and available.

But the act of recording absolutely changes the nature of the relationship, and some hospitals are moving to ban it, or to bring in mandatory consent. We look at the big picture with an ethicist.

virgin-mary_publish.jpgVirgin Births

The Pope has reaffirmed that the scriptures were right- Jesus was born of a virgin, and it was a miracle.

But what he didn't say is that virgin births may be commonplace in the future of artificial wombs, modified genetic material and single egg pregnancies.

Reproductive technology is changing so quickly we may be moving into a future where a single individual could create both a sperm and an egg from their own genetic material. The definition of a family, or motherhood could be radically transformed as foetuses are brought to term in artificial wombs.

Aarathi Prasad writes about the ethics and technology of virgin births in her book Like a Virgin.

penn_publish.jpgPenn Jillette: The Big 6

Flameouts. We love them and it's one of the six categories in The Big 6 you can vote on. Go here for more.

We invited Penn Jillette- illusionist, libertarian, atheist- to talk flameouts since he had close contact with one of the nominees, Donald Trump.

Penn was a contestant on  The Celebrity Apprentice and got close enough to Trump's head to confirm the hair is real.

He writes about it in his latest book Every Day is an Ashiest Holiday.

The book is also a great window into Penn's active and unusual mind. He's got a lot of time for the idea of truth.


It's Saturday night. If you observe this holiday you probably know that already, but it's also hard to keep track.

Because unlike Christmas which has been on the media radar since Halloween there's no cultural countdown to the festival of lights. Suddenly it's here.

And it lasts for eight days. Is there a concordant TV special to watch as each of those nights tick by?

Michael Nathanson thinks there oughta be.

And that's it for us. We're deep in Big 6 territory now so don't forget to vote. And read the papers this week because in two weeks it's time for our annual Day 6 news quiz .

Never too late. Have a great weekend.

Brent Bambury, @cbcday6

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