The View from Here: December 2011 Archives

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Deadly larceny over land in Haiti

A house in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti, destroyed by those claiming the property as their own. Photo/Connie Watson

This land is my land!

In Haiti, people are killing each other over land.

CBC's Connie Watson returned to Haiti this year and discovered a violent standoff that's stifling recovery. Your land or your life!

It's a murderous row over land title, and disaster victims are prey.

It's a country where few can actually produce a deed to their property, and that's a big incentive for others to try and force them off.

There's hope the earthquake that's left more than a million homeless might prompt a reform of the country's chaotic system of land ownership.

But nothing so far. 

Instead, it's anarchy.  And sometimes a violent free-for-all, as we heard last June from Connie.  

 Listen to Connie's documentary

The December 29 Dispatches program

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Fast food in the land of slow cooking

A Domino's Pizza outlet stands next to Tikka Town at the DLF Mall food court in Delhi. (Photo/Faiz Jamil)

 Fast food in the land  of slow cooking

You know what they call a, ah, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese ah, in Paris? 

They call it a, Royale with Cheeeeese. 

With those lines in the film Pulp Fiction, Vincent enlightened the Fast Food Nation on the little differences one culture imposes on another's cuisine.  

Faz Jamil updates us now on what happens when India enters the picture. Hint. They call it a, McAloo Tikki.    

Faiz Jamil's View from Here


Click here to listen to the rest of this week's Dispatches episode

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Rio's Maracana makeover

A view of the construction underway at the fabled Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Fans are upset that the stadium is being "upgraded" for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, saying it's losing its character and becoming more corporate and elite.

Rio de Janeiro is having a love-hate relationship.  With a stadium. One of the world's largest.

And since it's going to host some big deal sports events pretty soon, they're going to make it...smaller. 
Which feels odd.

Then again, you should hear how Brazilian sports fans feel about it, especially when they find out why.

CBC correspondent Connie Watson is there as they give it a 110%. 

Connie's dispatch

The Dispatches Dec15 program

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Mass marriage and divorce, Peruvian style

Newlyweds raise a toast after getting married during a mass wedding ceremony on Valentine's Day, 2010 in Lima, Peru. Mass weddings like this one - sponsored by the government are an enticement for common-law couples to tie the knot. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

Marriage good; common law messy. Couples in Peru are shacking up in great numbers, but marriage isn't always part of the deal.  That means it can be problematic when folks break up -- among other things.
So the government's going all out to get couples to marry -- en masse.  And Lori Chodos was a witness to linking up in Lima.


Lori's View from Here

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The concrete issue of carbon emissions

Concrete pipes are arranged along a road building site in Hanoi. Scientists at MIT are working on making greener concrete, to try to cut down on the Co2 emissions caused by cement manufacturing (Photo: Nguyen Huy Kham/Reuters)


Green concrete: a keystone for climate change
We talk alot about the greening of industry on this program. Funny we never got around to considering concrete before. 

CBC Correspondent David Common finally has, and introduces us to the folks with Big Bang Theory for better roads and buildings. 

David's dispatch

 The December 8 Dispatches program


 Robert Niven of Halifax wrote us to cast a Canadian angle on green concrete:

I really enjoyed your piece on green concrete today. Perhaps you'd be interested in some of the equally exciting work being done in Canada and other areas across North America. MIT is part of a broader community of industry, academics and start ups like ours that stretch from Boston to Silicon Valley and all across Canada. We are collectively on the verge of cracking the code to make carbon negative concrete that is scalable to meet the world's demand and possibly cheaper than current methods without compromising quality. This is truly a transformative change in our society.

CarbonCure Technologies is a Halifax-based company that was recently ranked among Canada's top 5 cleantech start ups. Working with academics and industry we have developed a simple device that is bolted into concrete plants that actually allows plants to consume (rather than emit) CO2 to make cheaper, stronger and greener concrete. Our plants are coming online this year in Nova Scotia, Silicon Valley and Toronto. It will possibly be the greenest commercially available concrete on the planet.


Robert Niven
CEO/ Founder
Carbon Sense Solutions Inc.
CarbonCure Technologies Inc.

CarbonCure's website

Read more »
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The road from Damascus -- to Libya

Demonstrators protesting against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad march through the streets in Homs, Syria on December 6, 2011. The protests are being watched avidly by Syrian refugees in Libya, who still worry about relatives back in Homs (photo/Reuters)

From revolution to refuge
Some Syrians are fleeing the uprising-in-progress for sanctuary in a country that just finished one. 

Armed groups still roam the streets of Tripoli.  The new government has yet to establish control.  

But the proximity to family -- and distance from Damascus -- mean Libya is the first choice of several thousand Syrians.  

And more keep coming.

That story now from journalist Marine Olivesi at the dawn arrival of the latest group of tired travellers.

Marine's documentary

The December 8 Dispatches program

And read reaction to Sinterklaas and his blackfaced helper in Your Dispatches