Promo Box: October 2011 Archives

Baad justice haunts Afghanistan

Young women who escape Afghan marriages arranged to settle disputes (a practice called baad) hide in a secret safehouse, where they learn to sew. (Photo/Laura Lynch)

In Kandahar, Canadian troops are taking their base apart now that their combat role is over in Afghanistan.  

Afghans meanwhile, are still putting together the framework for justice and governance to keep the country together once western troops depart. 

Millions have already been spent training judges and building courthouses. 

But ten years after the war began, many Afghans still resort to old traditions which have cruel consequences for women, as we hear from Canadian journalist Laura Lynch at the jail where many wind up.  


Sohaila's father married her to a warlord to settle a dispute in an Afghan practice called baad. She escaped, married on her own, but she and her husband were captured and sent to jail. Her father says she has to kill her son to come home. (Photo/Laura Lynch)


Brigadier-General Richard Giguere, shown Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at Kandahar Airfield. (Photo: Colin Perkel/CP)

A Brigadier-General's dispatch

Brigadier-General Richard Giguere spent 18 months inside and outside the wire, practising this mantra: in an insurgency, get the people on your side.  Civilians are the centre of gravity.

Rick asked him about his thoughts on that, on challenges to the rule of law in Afghanistan and the mission still ahead.

Pro-Gadhafi Africans confront Canadian reporter

Rokupa's Freetown Central Mosque (aka Gadhafi Mosque) (photo: Ambrose Boani.)

The mosque that Gadhafi built

If Moammar Gadhafi still has friends in Libya, they're keeping their mouths shut. 

Not so in distant Sierra Leone, where they're holding an all-night vigil and mourning him at a mosque he constructed in the capital, one of the many he funded in various African states in a bid to become "Emperor of Africa." 

Gadhafi also funded rebels Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh, who unleashed civil war and the blood diamond trade on the west African state in the '90s.  

But his mosque and other largesse since then seem to have erased the bad memories, and makes folks mad when Canadian journalist Damon van der Linde comes around asking questions. 


Otsego County, NY: The fracas over fracking


Protesters in New York State opposed to gas fracking, mostly over concern of what it will do to ground water. Photo/Hans Pennink-Reuters

  There's this little county in central New York State, better known for home runs than horizontal drilling, but it's sitting on an energy bonanza.

There's natural gas right below it. A motherlode - the kind that of echoes that story 'bout a man named Jed.

Contracts are being waived in front of hardscrabble farmers. And the energy companies want to tap this supply with a controversial technique known as "fracking". 

Fracturing the rockbed using water, sludge and chemicals to release the gas.

But it's also fracturing a small community currently facing a high-pressure courtship from the energy industry, as we hear from Maria Scarvalone, in the heart of a rural American landscape.

Maria's documentary

The Oct 20 Dispatches program

Communities in New York, like elswhere, are split between supporters and opponents of extracting gas by fracking. Photo/Maria Scarvalone

We know the side-effects of fracking are not all swimmin' pools and movie stars.  But there's still more to it. For example, about its relationship to academia and the environment. 

Sarah Koenig is here to enlighten. She's a contributing producer to Public Radio International's This American Life program.

She recently did her own documentary examining fracking issues in Pennsylvania, which sits atop the same Marcellus Basin gasfield that's under Otsego County, New York. 

She looked into the work of pro-fracking scientist Terry Engelder from Penn State University, and Dan Voltz, formerly of the Univeristy of Pittsburgh, who arrived at very different conclusions.

Sarah Koenig, from State College, Pennsylvania

This American Life airs on Sunday nights at 11-pm on CBC Radio 1.  You can hear Sarah's full show documentary called Game Changer here.

UPDATE:  The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it will issue rules for the treatment of waste water from fracking.   Read more here

Sudan's "next" civil war in progress in Blue Nile

Hawa Jundi in a temporary camp where she sheltered after her village of Sally was bombed from the air. Photo/Jared Ferrie


Malawi this week refused to honor its obligation to arrest Sudan's visiting president, Omar al-Bashir, who's accused of genocide in Darfur. 

In Malawi, a spokesman said it was a matter of "brotherly co-existence."

Now, as it did in Darfur, Sudan has started an aerial bombing campaign against rebels in its southern border area.

President al-Bashir denies his government is bombarding the Blue Nile State. But Dispatches contributor Jared Ferrie hears different on the ground... 

Jared's dispatch

Here is a New York Times photo gallery.    Hear the full Dispatches episode here!

The Oct 20 Dispatches program

The View From Here Blog


Bailing out the Greeks' devalued psyche

In the fish halls of the Athens Central Market, customers can bargain for fresh fish -- but increasingly, CBC's Margaret Evans found, they can't afford the quality catch. (Photo: Margaret Evans)

What does the debt crisis mean to the average Greek? It means, for many, life will never be the same -- whether you're selling wine or buying fish.

Many have taken to the streets in protest, but there's little in their angry cries that will make it go away. 

For that, Greeks will have to look to themselves, as we heard from CBC Correspondent Margaret Evans in the capital. 


Famine aid: giving cash instead of food

Abdoulai Mohamed counting the cash to be handed out to victims of the drought in Loruth, Kenya.  Photo/Anjali Nayar

Cash for Kenyans

In drought-stricken Kenya, there's this pregnant woman who walks for kilometres every day, seeking ways to feed her family.  And there are millions like her at risk of famine.  

And now, one western aid group operating there is adding to the traditional approaches to foreign assistance.  It's taken to handing out cash.

That's a bit of a departure from the usual goals of funding sustainable development because it lets the needy decide how to spend it, as we hear from Dispatches contributor Anjali Nayar in a village on Kenya's northern border.

Hear Anjali's dispatch.