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December 17 & 20: from Lake Victoria - Washington - Iloilo City - Tianjin - Ulingan Bay - Perquin


Climate change comes to a tiny African island. Chaos ensues.

Meanwhile in China, the world's biggest polluter is forced to get greener, and Canadians are there to help reap the rewards.

Massacre in the Philippines. Human security in retreat as politics fuel a clan war.

In Papua New Guinea, they've got it all. Beaches. Resources. So why are its citizens so screwed?

Notes about the new way of settling differences in El Salvador. A lot less bloody than the old way.

And, did you hear about the new nuclear hotline to deal with tension in the Himalayas? No? We've got the top ten stories you missed this year.

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Individual items from this week's show are not available. But you can listen to them in Part 1 and Part 2 of the programme (above).


The environmental flea and the elephant

For this month's climate change conference in Denmark, they had to import limos from surrounding countries to meet the demand.

Twelve-hundred in all. Only five of them hybrids, according Britain's Daily Telegraph. Delgates were chauffered through demos and tear gas.

A maelstrom of meetings and mediation. It's been a barney of blame. A farrago of fuss. Bogus news releases and a resignation.

And in the background, Africa, powerless to fight a changing climate. And in the foreground, China, about to use its power to try.

We consider them both.

Because Copenhagen is a very long way from Africa's Lake Victoria, where fishing feeds 30 million people. 

But the story is the same. Chaos, triggered by climate change, 

CBC's Africa correspondent, David McGuffin went to a small place with a big problem, worsened by change it can't control.

Then, there's China.

A big country that's, environmentally speaking, its own worst enemy. And everybody elses's too.

In its quest for economic development China fires up more than 50 new coal-fired plants every year. It is now the world's biggest polluter.

But it pays a high price for generating all that poison. And it's being forced to consider greener alternatives.

That includes a new green city, as we heard from the CBC's China correspondent Michel Cormier.

The news that didn't fit

Chances are you haven't heard about the world's newest nuclear hotline.

Or the way Brazil and Beijing are bonding over a 50-year-old aircraft carrier. They're stories about looming shifts in the global balance of power.

And they're among the top ten stories missed by the mainstream media this year, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

It's an award-winning online publication based in Washington.

Joshua Keating is the associate editor who put the list together and he spoke to Rick from our Washington studio.

Mindanao Massacre

In the Philippines, a convoy of people headed to town to file a politicians' nomination papers a few weeks ago.

Instead, they drove into a massacre. Fifty-seven mowed down. Women, most of them. Some mutilated. There are reports of chainsaws.

It happened in Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, prompting the government to declare martial law for the first time in more than thirty years.

Police have arrested several members of the family of Governor Andal Ampatuan Senior, alleging they were trying to destroy the political challenge of a local vice-mayor from the rival Mangudadatu clan.

But critics say the elected government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo bears some responsibility too. They say she depends on the Ampatuans to deliver votes at election time.

One of those critics lost two friends in the slaughter.

She goes by the name Malayapinas, a pseudonym she uses for her own safety as a columnist with the online feminist magazine World Pulse.

Arroyo's rule, she says, is worse than the Marcos dictatorship. She spoke to Rick from Iloilo City in the Philippines.

We caution, the content is graphic.

Roots of anti-Chinese racism in PNG

The island state of Papua New Guinea has what many countries want.

Great beaches. Great surfing. A trove of natural resources. And companies all over the world vying to develop them. Especially Chinese companies.

Everybody stands to gain, it seems. Except the people of Papua New Guinea.

Nothing in their pastoral experience has prepared them for this change. Which might sound quaint, if it weren't so dangerous. Already there've been riots.

And if it keeps up, they'll find themselves angry tenants in their own country as Brian Calvert reports, on its developing shore.

El Salvador's new way of fighting

Rick writes:

The first murdered man I ever saw was in El Salvador. Someone had placed a handkerchief over his face. It was the only dignity the corpse would get in a country where politics were measured in ballistics.

Leaving bodies in the street was a trick of terror perfected by the right-wing death squads of the ARENA party during their war with the leftist guerillas of the FMLN.

But times have changed. The FMLN is the government now.

Latin America has changed.

And Salvadoran society has changed.

Canadian journalist Sebastian Cushing files this week's essay, about some of the good signs among the vestiges.

This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally, technical producers Victor Johnston,Tim Lorimer and Dan Misener, and senior producer Alan Guettel.

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