News Promo: February 2012 Archives

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A box full of light saves lives

Solar panels, lights, and battery chargers.  All that's needed to give doctors and patients a chance when the power goes out.  Photo/We Care Solar

They were in the middle of surgery again when the power went out in the Nigerian operating room.

Luckily, a visiting American doctor had a flashlight.

But Laura Stachel figured there had to be a way around the recurring problem.

And with husband Hal Aronson, a solar energy educator in California, they came up with something called the Solar Suitcase.

She joined us while unpacking one in a maternity clinic in another part of Africa to explain how it's providing lifesaving light.

 join Laura in the examining room

Dr. Laura Stachel at work with her Solar Suitcase in Sierra Leone. She's co-founder of WE CARE Solar, creating technology to benefit maternal health in the developing world.

Thanks to Lisa Russell for helping us record that interview with Laura Stachel in Sierra Leone. 

The February 23 Dispatches program

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They die so we might know

"We need war correspondents out there who are prepared to risk their lives to bear witness to events others would prefer went unreported."

Rick MacInnes-Rae's reflection on the death in Syria of fellow war correspondents:

A Turkish journalist in Ankara, on February 24, 2012, holds pictures of French photojournalist Remi Ochlik (L) and Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin, killed in an alleged rocket attack by Syrian regime forces against a makeshift opposition media center in the besieged city of Homs in Syria on February 22. PHOTO ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images) .

I didn't know Marie Colvin, though I met her once, very briefly, in the mine-strewn mountains of Albania, where reporters were camping out to interview refugees pouring over its border from Kosovo, and waiting for our chance to go in.

She was a force of nature. An experienced war correspondent who struck me as a cross between the CBC's Ann Medina and the BBC's Kate Adey, two other journalists I've never met, but much admire.

Colvin, along with photographer Remi Ochlik, died Feb. 22 while covering the civil war in Syria.

I thought she was gutsy, and relentless, and sardonic. And like I say, I didn't know her at all well, but I'm pleased the many tributes coming in since her death confirm those were some of her qualities.

This was back in 1999, a couple of years before she began wearing a distinctive black eyepatch. But she already seemed to me as raffish as a Barbary pirate.

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Oscar winner on Dispatches

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is co-director and co-producer of Saving Face - which won an Academy award for best short documentary. Photo/Asad Faruqi - HBO

In the Oscar-winning documentary Saving Face, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy shows women grotesquely disfigured by the acid used by their husbands and suitors to attack them.

But the film is about victory, not only loss.

Acid attacks, which are not unique to Pakistan, are put on trial. 

And, unlikely heroes emerge to help mend the dignity and the smiles of the victims.

Sharmeen is a dual citizen of Canada and Pakistan. 

She joined us from Los Angeles shortly before her winning her Oscar. 

Hear her interview with Rick

Saving face will be aired on HBO on March 8th.

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Young Senegalese "fed up" with regime

The "Fed Up" movement leaders hold a news conference determined to spark Senegalese out of their "defeatism" and to reclaim their government.  Photo/Amanda Fortier

"Spring" wind blows into Senegal streets

This weekend's election in Senegal isn't passing the smell test with some, and now there's a whiff of Arab Spring in the air.

It's an old story. A president comfortable in power tries engineering more of it.

But that didn't sit well with a small band of disaffected Senegalese young people, and it's morphed into a movement, spilling into the streets of this small African country.

It's a call out a president reneging on his promise to resign.

And we found Canadian journalist Amanda Fortier in with the ringleaders.

hear Amanda's dispatch

 The February 23 Dispatches program

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A special court for post-trauma vets


Judge Wendy Lindley (left) presides over the Orange County Combat Veterans Court, an alternative to conventional justice for PTDS war veterans  (photo/California Courts)

Like a lot of veterans returned from the wars, Michael Jones has seen things, done things, that prey on his mind, and would be illegal anywhere but a battlefield. 

But when veterans cross that line when they get back to the world, are they entitled to a different kind of justice than most civilians can  expect?

California is one state that decided to cut them a break. And the results would seem to bear it out. CBC Correspondent Jennifer Westaway is there as a very special court comes to order.

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Syrian refugees' defiance and division

Art teacher Abdul Karim Haj Youseff shows a portrait he's painted on the wall of a tent in the Syrian refugee camp where he's living. (Photo: CBC)

Syria's escalating violence is driving many out of the country to sanctuary in neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. 

With Turkey thought to be the most influential of the three, some view it as a possible intervenor, though analysts say its efforts to date haven't had much impact on Syria's leadership.

So while most of its exiles remain defiant, they're also divided over what to do next.  CBC Correspondent Derek Stoffel taps into that apprehension after gaining rare access to their refugee camps in Turkey. 

Derek's documentary


CBC Correspondent Derek Stoffel (right) talks with a group of Syrian refugees living at a camp at the Turkey/Syria border. (Photo: CBC)