Monday June 19, 2017

June 16, 2017 episode transcript

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The AIH Transcript for June 16, 2017

Hosts: Carol Off and Jeff Douglas



CAROL OFF: Hello, I'm Carol Off.

JEFF DOUGLAS: Good evening, I'm Jeff Douglas. This is As It Happens.

[Music: Theme]

CO: The architect of modern Germany. Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney remembers German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and their fight to reunite Germany inside a united Europe.

JD: Benchwarmer. The Supreme Court doubles down on a rule requiring criminal cases to be dropped if they take too long to bring to trial. And a winning lawyer says that should light a fire under anyone who has been slowing the system down.

CO: Retailer-made. After the online giant acquirer's the Whole Foods grocery chain the question is what you'll be able to buy from Amazon? But whether the end goal is that you won't be able to buy anything from anyone else.

JD: Portrait of the activist as a young man. Joshua Wong was just 17 when he became a symbol for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. And three years later, he's going to tell us about the new documentary in which he stars.

CO: When you go up against a balloon, you'll be lucky to squeak by. And as a New Jersey State Senator is discovering, when you go up against the National Balloon Council things are going to blow up.

JD: And… pretty fancy plants idea if you ask me. But researchers from Stanford University find people are more interested in eating vegetables when the dishes have sexier names because otherwise they couldn't carrot less. As It Happens, the Friday edition. Radio that seductively whispers your cabbage awaits.

[Music: Theme]

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Part 1: Helmut Kohl: Mulroney, Amazon Whole Foods, vegetable names

Helmut Kohl: Mulroney

Guest: Bryan Mulroney

Helmut Kohl was Germany's longest-serving chancellor after Bismarck. But Mr. Kohl will not be remembered for the length of time he was in office, which was 16 years. He will be remembered for what he accomplished during that time: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of East and West and the rise of the united Germany within the European Union. German newspapers reported today that Mr. Kohl had died at his Rhineland home. He was 87-years-old. One of Mr. Kohl’s key international allies during the reunification process was Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. We reached Mr. Mulroney on the road between Ottawa and Montreal.

CO: Mr. Mulroney how are you going to remember Helmut Kohl?

BRIAN MULRONEY: Oh, I'm going to remember him, Carol, as a giant of Europe, and a major player internationally. I always thought and said that with regard of the G7 he was by far the best politician of the group and so he's going to be missed by a lot of people that's for sure, including me.

CO: He had a reputation though as being a man who was kind of clumsy and in his manner. They said that he was a kind of lackluster in his speaking and he lacked vision. What was he like as a person?

BM: Well, first of all, I would I would disagree fundamentally with the last part of your question because he was very much a visionary. He was a locomotive behind the creation of the Euro and the strengthening of the European Union. He threw in the priceless Deutschmark to get the Euro going and that was a major sacrifice. He also was the one who laid out the plan for the reunification of Germany and brought it to fruition. So I would say on the contrary he was a genuine visionary. It's true that you know he wasn't President Kennedy on the stump you know. But he was a very thoughtful, able guy and as I say an extraordinary politician and leader.

CO: You mentioned of course his great legacy is the reunification of Germany. What did he have to give up? What political sacrifices did he make in order to make that happen?

BM: Well, the sacrifices were essentially economic because when he put the Deutschmark and the East German currency on a par that cost West Germany and is still costing West Germany enormously. But he was looking beyond the immediate mountains and into history. And he saw that a united Germany would be able to play a major role in Europe while becoming one of the most powerful economies in the entire world. That's come to pass.

CO: What concerns that other world leaders have with Germany becoming that powerful at the time. Do you recall?

BM: Well, I do indeed. Everybody was opposed to the unification of Germany except to President Bush, Gorbachev, and myself. In his famous speech to the Bundestag reporting on Germany unification, he said that the Germans will always have three countries to thank: the Soviet Union, Canada, and the United States. Everyone else was opposed to German reunification. The Europeans for historical reasons and the war and in some cases because they figured it was a trade imbalance. In those days were the “Big Four” in all of the roughly of the same population and GDP: The United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. And the addition of some 19 or 20 million East Germans changed that. And there was a lot of apprehension about it. A lot of people had not forgotten the horrors of the Second World War, and they were they didn't want to do anything to help the reunification.

CO: There's another world leader with whom you had a strong relationship and that's Margaret Thatcher. And Mr. Kohl writes in his autobiography, which was published in 2005. He writes that she was furious about German reunification. And he says that quote from the book: “I will never forget. Margaret Thatcher's angry observation that she said we have beaten the Germans twice and now they're back.” Did you ever talk with Margaret Thatcher about this?

BM: Of course. As I say, the only people who supported that were George Bush and myself on this side of the ocean and on the other side that was just Gorbachev. Mikhail was a very close friend of Kohl's. They worked together very closely I always thought that the Kohl had given a moral proxy to Mikhail with the smaller economy. But to speak on behalf of both of them because of the conciliatory nature of Kohl in regard to what he used to say was look, there's something in the German character that caused us to visit enormous damage upon the continent. And I never want to see it again. So I am going to bring together every instrument of unity that I can to enhance the strength of the United Europe. But people like Margaret were dead set against this, and made it absolutely clear that they wanted no part of a unified Germany. Margaret had a very tough time getting over it.

CO: Did you try and persuade her since you were in favor of it. What did you say to her?

BM: Well, I made the case that this is going to happen, Margret. This is going to happen whether we like it or not. So why don't you get involved along with President Bush and myself and try and ensure that this takes place with Germany remaining in NATO. Which was an important consideration for Gorbachev, who was trying to stop that part of the equation. To help us out and help Germany fashion a new future for itself as a united country. But she was unmoved. She was dead-set against German reunification and wanted nothing to do with it.

CO: In the end, Mr. Kohl did have a serious problem when it was revealed that he had accepted, for his party, millions of dollars of secret political donations. What effect did that have on him, do you know?

BM: Well, it saddened him enormously. And it had a great impact upon him and his morale. After that, I had lunch with him in Germany and we kept in touch. This was a very sad event. He didn't deserve what was visited upon him for it. But you know political life things happen sometimes and you have to deal with it. He dealt with it courageously right until the end.

CO: He refused to name the donors…

BM: That’s right.

CO: And it seriously damaged him. What did you say to him to encourage him that he would somehow survive?

BM: Well, I said the truth is that in many ways I'm not trying to minimize anything, but this is the trivia and the trash in politics. History or it retains only the big-ticket items. And he was a man of huge accomplishments. And that's what historians will be talking about 50 years from now. They're not going to be talking about this other thing that darkened his days towards the end of his career and his life. But he was a man of huge accomplishments and huge leadership skills. And I think that's what historians will talk about when they talk about Helmut Kohl 50 and 100 years from now.

CO: Mr. Mulroney, thank you for sharing your memories of Helmut Kohl with us.

BM: Thank you.

JD: Brian Mulroney was Canada's Prime Minister from 1984 until 1993. We reached him on the road between Ottawa and Montreal. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl died today. He was 87-years-old. And you can find more about him and hear that interview again on our website:

[Music: Ambient]

Fire protests

JD: The death toll of Wednesday's fire at Grenfell Tower has risen to 30. Many expect it to go much higher in the coming days. And today, there was palpable anger among residents in West London. A spontaneous protest erupted outside Kensington Town Hall, where residents demanded council leaders speak to them face-to-face.


[Sound: Angry chants]

PROTESTER: Our demand was that the council makes an urgent commitment on the immediate rehousing of all the victims from Grenfell Tower fire to be relocated within the borough. But please keep calm. The people who have suffered and the victims of this tragedy will want us to remain calm and keep the peace here. We have requested the council senior leaders to come out. But they cannot come out and will not come out.

Protestor: We just need someone with public authority to stand here and just say exactly what the procedure is. Not someone elsewhere. We need public authorities to come here. That’s what we need.

JD: Some voices of protesters today, demanding to speak to local council leaders at Kensington Town Hall. And outside St. Clemens church near Grenfell tower, another protest formed when residents learned that British Prime Minister Theresa May was inside speaking to relatives of victims. And there was no warm welcome for her when she left the church. Today, Prime Minister May announced a five-million-pound fund for survivors of the fire. And here's what she said to the BBC's Emily Maitlis.


THERESA MAY: We are committed to ensuring that people are re housed as far as possible within the borough. We are ensuring that within three weeks people will be rehoused, so they have a home to go to.

EMILY MATLIS: I ask you again do you accept that you misread the public mood — the level of anger? You didn't go and meet residents and they really resented that.

TM: This was a terrible tragedy that took place people have lost their lives and others have lost everything — all their possessions. What we are doing is putting in place the support that will help them. But it is a terrible tragedy.

JD: Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking to the BBC earlier today.

[Music: Bluegrass]

Amazon Whole Foods

Guest: Brad Stone

JD: The giant that is Amazon got even larger today. As you have probably heard on the news, the online retailer bought the whole foods grocery store chain. But the takeover is about more than just being able to buy white asparagus along with your books. It has the potential to reshape the way many of us shop. Brad Stone is the author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.” We reached Mr. Stone in San Francisco.

CO: Brad, why would Jeff Bezos want to buy Whole Foods?

BRAD STONE: Well, Carol, it’s a huge market: food prepackaged food delivery. This is an area where Amazon has experimented for 10 years without a lot of success. Groceries are an $800 billion market in the U.S. food itself I think is 1.3-1.4 trillion. You know Amazon is on a mission here to find big, profitable areas of growth. It has its retail business. It has AWS, its enterprise services business, and Bezos has been fairly public about trying to find them another big market where he can apply Amazon's strength.

CO: So how will Amazon run Whole Foods? Will they turn it into an online operation? Will still be a bricks-and-mortar kind of store, or what?

BS: You know the answer to every possible question is yes. I dont think anything changes with the 400 plus Whole Foods stores for now. But you know Amazon has been experimenting with different kinds of technologies to bring the physical retail for the past few years. One of their experiments in Seattle is this Amazon Go store, where there are sensors that can see where you're picking something off a shelf and then just charge your account when you leave. You can see technologies like that being brought to Whole Food’s locations and then lowering its operating costs.

CO: So what do you think the end game is then for Jeff Bezos and Amazon?

BS: I mean the end game is to try to get into this massive food market and to have the kind of success there that they've had in areas like books and electronics. If they want to get to the scale the size of a Wal-Mart, which is still a much larger company by revenue, they've got to succeed in food. They've got to succeed in apparel. This is the big bet that they've made on food. And what they've determined after experimenting in this area for a long time is people still want physical retail for when it comes to food and when it comes to perishable gifts. They want to see those fruits and vegetables. They want to be able to make impulse purchases based on what they see in shelves. And so Amazon just learn that if they want to be a big player in food they need a physical footprint.

CO: But they've already revolutionized the business of buying food haven't they? I mean you can go to stores where there's no checkout clerk.

BS: Well, I mean but these are experiments, right? That Amazon Go store is not available to the public yet. It's been a prototype. They're still working it out. So to the extent that they figured some of these things out, they haven't really had a lab to go and implement them on a big scale. With Whole Foods now they do. They've got 400 outlets where they can try some of these new payment techniques. Where they can put in perks and benefits for Amazon Prime members and where they can use their strengths in last mile delivery to go and take those you know prepackaged meals on Whole Foods shelves: the sushi, the sandwiches, the burritos. It's 20 per cent of Whole Foods business. And now, Amazon can expedite the delivery of those products to people's homes.

CO: If Amazon is going into the food business — in the food retail business — what does it mean for consumers?

BS: Well, arguably it's a benefit. You know Amazon offers an hour-two hour delivery on lots of products. But you know you don't necessarily need books or electronics or toys very quickly. You do want food and meals delivered very quickly. And so I think it brings Amazon's capability of you know fast delivery at cheaper prices into the market where people really kind of demand that quality of service.

CO: These changes often make more convenient or more and more interesting for consumers in cities and larger urban centers. What does it mean for people in smaller centers and rural communities where they have a great deal of difficulty getting access to retail like this?

BS: Yeah, not as much. It's a good point because Whole Foods does tend to be placed in large urban centers and high income communities where people can afford those products. Look, there's a reputation that has dogged Wholefoods for many years of being whole paycheck. You know, that said, this is the beginning for Amazon in the food business. It's not as end.

CO: In your book, you detail some of the more ruthless aspects of Mr. Bezos business: from undercutting the competition to avoiding sales tax. And you've documented the fact that Jeff Bezos is aware that his company is not exactly loved. Why do you think Amazon is so popular, yet also disliked?

BS: Well, I mean it's popular because it offers a great service at a low cost and a lot of convenience, right? It has changed the way we think about shopping. It allows a lot of people to avoid lines and to avoid parking lots. But there's also a reputation there for being a challenging business in the same way that Wal-Mart has been over the years, right? Driving prices down, being resistant to unions, being a tough employer for people that work behind the scenes in the warehouses. But a lot of the things that Amazon could get away with early in its history when it was a quieter, more invisible, scrappier upstart like avoiding paying sales taxes hasn't worked for quite a while. You know I don't think it's a coincidence that yesterday we saw Jeff Bezos tweet for ideas about philanthropy, right? I think as he inches ever closer to being the wealthiest person in the world, for having a very outsized impact on our economy, I think he realizes and sees he is going to need to be a better public participant. And so, at the same time, I think you know that he makes these kinds of acquisitions and gets ever more powerful. We're seeing a little bit of a quieter, gentler Jeff Bezos at least publicly.

CO: And I guess the big question people always wonder about Amazon is it one day going to own the world? I mean is it going to be the everything store that seems destined to be?

BS: I think we’re beyond the everything store and we’re in to the everything company with its dominance of all other kinds of retail and its moves into artificial intelligence. You know the one thing I'd say is that it's not just Amazon. We're in a world where the leading technology companies: Apple, Google, Facebook are swallowing ever greater portions of our economy. You know the prediction that software will eat the world is coming true and these companies are all more powerful. And, at the same, time there's been very little oversight from the U.S. federal government as kind of the antitrust scrutiny has not been high over the over the past really eight or nine years. You know, to your point, Amazon is getting more powerful. I think this deal still goes through because they’re quite a small player in the supermarket industry and Whole Foods is a small player. And yet, at the same time, we're going to have to come to terms with Amazon's immense power in all sorts of markets.

CO: We will leave it there and we will be watching. Brad, thank you.

BS: Thank you.

JD: Brad Stone is the author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.” We reached him in San Francisco. And we do have more on that story on the As It Happens website:

[Music: Latin]

Vegetable names

Guest: Brad Turnwald

JD: Eating a healthy diet can be a bit of a chore. For some of us, there is little that is appealing about spinach salad with lentils and a low-cal vinaigrette. Even when someone insists and we all know it's good for you. But perhaps we would be more inclined to eat healthy foods — vegetables in particular — if they sounded more indulgent. A group of Stanford University researchers tested that hypothesis in a new study. The lead author is Brad Turnwald. He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology. And we reached him in Stanford, California.

CO: Mr. Turnwald, as I understand this whole study took place in a cafeteria at your university — at Stanford. How did it work?

BRAD TURNWALD: In this study, we asked the question can we get more people to choose vegetables if we just describe vegetables using exciting, indulgent, tasty language? We ran the study for 46 days — a whole academic quarter — and every day at lunch, there were about 600 diners that enter the dining hall. And over the course of the whole experiment we had about 28000 total diners enter the dining hall. And each day, we just labeled the vegetable in one of four ways. So we had a basic label, for example just “Carrots”. We had an indulgent label, so “Twisted Citrus-Glazed Carrots”. And we compare that to two types of healthy labels: a healthy positive label, which would be like “Smart Choice Vitamin C Citrus Carrots”. And a healthy restrictive choice, which would be like “Carrots with Sugar-Free Citrus Dressing”. And we just measured how many people chose the vegetable each day depending on the label?

CO: The same food? There was no there's no change to actually how the carrots were prepared?

BT: Exactly.

CO: What did you find? What were people's choices in the days that you put these different labels on them?

BT: We found on days that we labeled the vegetable as indulgent, we got 25 per cent more diners to choose a vegetable compared to when we label the vegetable with a basic name. And as much as 41 per cent more diners to choose the vegetable than when we use the healthy restrictive name.

CO: OK, the indulgent one in this case was “Twisted Citrus-Glazed Carrots”. More people would order that than just basic carrots. But you're saying that it was even more than the when you called it”Carrots with Sugar-Free Citrus Dressing”?

BT: Exactly. And that's one thing that I think is surprising for many people. It may seem like a good idea to use healthy labels when you're labeling healthy food. But actually people have this mindset that healthy foods don't taste very good.

CO: What were some of the other labels you put on these different kinds of vegetables? I think you had Beets for instance. How did you describe them indulgently?

BT: Yes, so for the beets we used the label “Dynamite Chili and Lime-Seasoned Beets”. And for comparison in the healthy condition we called them “High Anti-Oxidant Beets”, or “Lighter Choice Beets with no Added Sugar”.

CO: There was another one I like butternut squash you had “Twisted Garlic Ginger Butternut Squash Wedges” and that would be the indulgent one. And the healthy choices were “Butternut Squash with no Added Sugar”, which was one of them. Or “Antioxidant-Rich Butternut Squash”, neither of them really attracted too many takers, right?

BT: Right. So where we got these labels actually we didn't just make them up. We had done previous research where we looked at restaurant menus — the most popular chain restaurants in America — and we looked at how do they describe their healthy foods compared to how they describe the rest of the foods on their menu. And we found that they describe their healthy foods without using far less exciting, tasty, and indulgent words than they used to describe their more standard options like their entrees and sandwiches. And so we just took the indulgent and tasty words that they were using on their sandwiches and entrees and applied those to the vegetables in this study.

CO: They still taste the same, right? Do people just not like vegetables do you think? Is that part of it?

BT: So certainly most people think that healthy foods don't taste as good as more standard unhealthy foods. But labels can also influence our experience of consuming those too. And so we know that from prior research where adding a healthy label to something can make people say that it tastes worse and that it's less enjoyable and less filling. But if you're given that exact same food and didn't label it that way. At the cultural level, we just don't think that healthy foods are very tasty. We don't talk about them as being tasty. We don't label them as tasty.

CO: Now for people who are probably many of them preparing dinner or feeding their family right now — especially the kids who will not eat their vegetables — is there any chance if you told a kid that these are “Slow Roasted Caramelized Zucchini Bites” that they're more likely to eat them?

BT: There's some research in kids that shows that you can get kids to eat more vegetables by using super hero or super power labeling and branding. And so it may just be the case that the types of labels we use need to be motivating for the target audience. And so kids may be motivated to choose vegetables that are described as superheroes and superpowers because kids aspire to be that. Whereas adults, we're looking to eat, our primary driver is taste. When we go up to eat, we want something that's indulgent and tasty. And so aligning the description with people's motivations may be key depending on the target age group.

CO: So what do you want to happen from your study? Do you want the food industry to change the way it labels food if they’re trying to get more people to eat more vegetables?

BT: Yeah, I think one really important caveat to mention is that the labeling we used here was a trick. We certainly weren't trying to trick people into thinking that food was something that it wasn't. All the labels we use were true statements about the vegetables. We just use the labeling to shift what people were paying attention to: the taste instead of the health components. And I would love to see that enacted more to change our culture around how we think about vegetables and healthy foods more broadly. The way we talk about them and label them and think about them is really in the sort of health focus depriving way, especially when we compare it to our more classic foods that we all know and love. I think restaurants and a lot of dining facilities are in sort of a key area where they can incorporate some of this language to help effect this cultural change.

CO: OK, so people should be making the “Twisted Citrus-Glazed Carrots” for dinner tonight.

BT: Yes, I would advocate for that.

CO: Mr. Turnwald, I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

BT: Thank you so much, Carol.

JD: Brad Turnwald is the lead author of a study that was published online this week in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. We reached Mr. Turnwald in Stanford, California

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Part 2: Supreme Court of Canada: delays, balloon ban

Supreme Court of Canada: delays

Guest: Michael Crystal

JD: The Supreme Court is doubling down on a controversial ruling that has led to a series of high-profile criminal cases being thrown out of court. In a decision handed down this morning, the court agreed that a man by the name of James Cody should go free after waiting more than five years to be tried on drug trafficking charges. The court ruled seven-nothing that justice delayed is no justice at all. And Michael Crystal says that that should be taken as a message to everyone in Canada's Criminal Justice System. Mr. Crystal is the lawyer for James Cody. We reached him in Ottawa.

CO: Mr. Crystal, what message do you think the court is sending with the decision it handed down today?

MICHAEL CRYSTAL: Well, I think the first message is that lawyers, crown attorneys, and trial judges have to work together in an expeditious fashion to move trials ahead.

CO: Well, some have questioned the decision that the Supreme Court had made that after a certain delay that the case should be thrown out. People were critical of that. But the court is sending that same message, is it not?

MC: I think this notion that somehow someone benefits by having a matter stayed is really to some extent misguided. I think, Carol, what you have to know is this: the way we determine guilt or innocence in our justice system is through the vehicle of a trial. And if you cut the arms and legs of a trial by just having it erode through that period of delay, you get a very satisfactory result. So I think the stay is the only remedy and it's by necessity not by design.

CO: Well, there's certainly I think is in some quarters a public view that people are getting away with things. They are getting away with murder or whatever else because of the cases being thrown out. That's a public perception. You're saying that it's wrong. That people shouldn't look at it that way?

MC: It is wrong. And having spent 25 years in courts, I can tell you right now we have one of the best justice systems in the world — if not the best. And the way it works quite frankly is that we deal with the limited resources we have. that's changing right now. And I and I would strongly say that some of these cases and I know the cases you're thinking of: the one in Ontario, the one in Quebec where people who have not been convicted. But people are charged with murder after a period of time have had their matter stayed. We are in a transitional phase. Jordan came out last summer. Cody has come out today. I see a system changing and I see everyone acting in good faith trying to make the system work. And I and I have no doubt that there will be very few delays going forward.

CO: When you mention Jordan, this is a ruling that led to the first time the Supreme Court looked at this, which was a case that had taken far too long to come to trial. And then that led to the second, today, which was based on that your client, Mr. Cody. And they upheld that. Now there are divided views on the part of the Supreme Court as to why this is the case? And you say it's because there's just not enough resources and that despite every effort to try and battle these delays it's not working. Other judges have said it's a culture of complacency and delay. What do you say to that?

MC: Well no, you're absolutely right on that. The one thing you should know about Cody is that it's a unanimous decision. It wasn't a full panel, it was seven judges, but where Jordan was five-four, Cody is unanimous. And Cody really starts off with the position that the previous law was not working anymore and that Jordan is now the law of the land, and addresses a culture of complacency. But since that time, since last July when it came into place, court staffs, defense counsel, crown attorneys, trial judges are all working very, very hard. I'd say they're all rowing in the same direction to try and make the system more expeditious. It's not only a resource problem. One of the submissions I made was that defense lawyers and crown attorneys have to abandon their silos and work together to achieve a just trial. And we have to you know start communicating more so we can focus on the merits of the case.

CO: This delay of your client James Cody’s case, which took five years to be tried for the drug dealing. There are many factors that went into that. How much of it was because of defense?

MC: Ultimately the Supreme Court of Canada found that I think it was maybe two-and-a-half months — maybe a bit more. There was a period of delay for his initial changing of lawyers. And then there was a bit of delay with regards to a particular motion. But unlike the Newfoundland Labrador Court of Appeal, which found more defense delayed the Supreme Court of Canada found very little. The one thing I would say, Carol, I think it's really, really, important to know that on this issue the accused individuals and victims of crime and their families line up on the same issues. it's in everybody's interest to have an expeditious trial because the longer the passage of time the greater likelihood of an inaccurate result.

CO: But it is also the case that people who are victims of crime are terribly upset when they see a trial dismissed or stayed and they don't get to see any justice?

MC: We all lose by that. Even defense counsel lose by that. My client, James Cody, has waited seven-and-a-half-years. Today it's over. But what does he get? He's not acquitted. He leaves at the highest with a question mark beside his name. I don't really think that any of us any, any defense counsel, any victim of crime, anybody wants to see that. We want to see cases decided on their merits. And what I would say directly speaking to people who are victims of crime and so forth is you should be very, very, proud of our justice system today because this is an excellent decision. Not only that, but we also have our Senate delivering a comprehensive document on how we can work together to make the system better. So I feel very energized as a defense counsel to go back to work knowing that you know I have to work hard, but the other actors in the system will be working hard to just decide cases on their merits. And that's where we are.

CO: We'll leave it there. Mr. Crystal, thank you.

MC: Thank you. Great talking to you.

JD: Michael Crystal is the lawyer for James Cody. The Supreme Court of Canada agreed today that it took far too long for Mr. Cody to be tried on drug trafficking charges.

[Music: Sombre]

Castile mom

JD: Last July, in a Minnesota suburb, a police officer shot a black man during a traffic stop. And from the seat right next to him, the man's girlfriend streamed the aftermath, live, on Facebook. It is hard to forget seeing her 4-year-old daughter in the backseat. Philando Castile, a beloved elementary school cafeteria worker, was killed that day. And this afternoon, Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who shot Mr. Castile, was acquitted on all charges. Shortly afterwards, Philando Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, spoke outside the courthouse. Here's some of what she had to say.


VALERIE CASTILE: My son was murdered. And I will continue to say murdered because where in this planet do you tell the truth and you be honest and you still be murder the police of Minnesota while you have your seat belt on and you're in a company with a woman and a child? My son would never jeopardize anyone else's life. And I'm so very, very, very, very, very, very, very, disappointed in the system here in the state of Minnesota. There has always been a systemic problem and me thinking it with my common sense that we would get justice in this case. But nevertheless, the system continues to fail black people. My son loved this state. He had one tattoo on his body and it was the Twin Cities, the state of Minnesota with “T.C” on it. My son loved this city, and this city killed my Son. And the murderer gets away. Damn! What is he going to take? I'm mad as hell right now. Yes I am. My first born, one, son dead here in Minnesota. Under the circumstances, just because he was a police officer that makes it Okay. Now they’ve got free reign. He’s found innocent on all counts. He shot into a car with no regard for human life and that's OK? Thank you Minnesota that’s all I have to say!

JD: Philando Castile’s mother, Valerie, speaking outside the Minnesota courthouse today, where a jury acquitted the police officer who shot and killed him. Officer Jeronimo Yanez had been charged with second-degree manslaughter, and two lesser counts for endangering Philando Castillo's girlfriend and her daughter, who were both in the car with him when he was shot and killed.

[Music: Rock]

Balloon ban

Guest: Jim Whelan

JD: It started with a state senator taking a small step to try to protect the environment. But his efforts, like balloons themselves, have turned out to have strings attached. New Jersey's Jim Whelan wants to ban the mass release of balloons in that state. But now, a lobby group has stepped in to try to derail his efforts: the balloon lobby. Specifically, The balloon Council, a national organization which claims that the law is a threat to quote, “mom and pop businesses in the balloon industry.” Unquote. We reached State Senator Jim Whalen in Trenton, New Jersey.

CO: Senator Whelan, is the balloon lobby just full of hot air? Or could they really kill your bill?

JIM WHELAN: Well, they've had success in the past. First off, I was surprised to find out that there was a balloon lobby. But then I spoke to a representative. We had a cordial conversation, but I said you know I just don't see the need to release balloons. They obviously have a different take.

CO: Why is this bill important to you?

JW: Well, there are three reasons: one is the impact that these balloons have on ocean life. These balloons get released; they fly out over the ocean. They should drop into the ocean and the impact that they have on the wildlife, whether it's turtles, or marine mammals, or sea birds, or what have you is quite devastating according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife. This is not something that I'm just making up sentimentally. It’s what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency is claiming. So that's what gets my attention first. But I dug a little deeper and really the power companies are not in favor because these things when they get released on the land side, or if the wind's blowing the wrong way, they go and they get stuck in the power lines and create problems there. And, ultimately, and we actually heard from someone in New York City today said that you know just the litter problem because what goes up is going to come down at some point. If you release 100 balloons, even if you're not near the ocean, that's a hundred pieces of litter somebody somewhere is going to have to either clean up or pick up or have a negative impact on whatever environment it’s landing in.

CO: Well, the balloon lobby, known as The Balloon Council, says that the threat to wildlife has been blown out of proportion, and that the idea of this getting tangled in trees or littering beaches is just a fraction of what bottles and cans are doing. This is no big deal and you're exaggerating the importance of this. What do you say The Balloon Council?

JW: In a second instance, the idea that we’re not creating as much litter as soda cans. Oh, so then it's OK to create litter! The threshold is if you're not as bad as the soda cans you're OK? I don't quite accept that logic. Secondly, again I'm going by the research that I've been shown coming from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency that this is a problem. You know I'm a shore guy, you know? Atlantic City is my home town and I spent more summers than I should admit as a lifeguard, best job I ever had looking at the Atlantic Ocean and so on. So it's not just my love of the ocean that gets me overwrought. This is the science of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency saying this is a problem for seabirds, sea mammals, and sea turtles I take that seriously.

CO: Well, I guess the other argument they give, among many, is that you know this isn't a big industry. Just a lot of mom and pop balloon businesses and it's on the small scale. It's about parties and that you're creating what they say is a, “negative narrative about balloons”?

JW: Well look, balloons can be fun. OK. And I know it's more expensive to do a balloon drop than it is to do a balloon lift because you have to have netting and so on. But we just had an event here celebrating our Memorial Day. One of our casino resorts did a beach ball drop. You stood on the beach or the boardwalk, and right by the resorts and they threw beach balls down at you. You got to keep the beach ball and go play with it and so on. And you didn't harm the environment and create litter and got take it home and hopefully play with it again. So we're not necessarily against balloons per se. If people want to use balloons to various functions and so on. Let's just not have these releases that go off into the atmosphere and we don't know where they come down. They impact the ocean. They impact the power lines. They impact you know the ground when they land as litter. Again, to say well we're not quite as bad as some people say we are. We're not kill as many birds as they say or we're not we're not littering as bad as the Coke cans, I don't find that logic is overwhelming.

CO: As you say it's not top priority. You’ve got a budget to deal with, but when you do get to back to the balloon Bill you got a lobby that spent over a million dollars trying to fight bans like this…

JW: That’s kind of interesting, Carol, because on one hand they say we're just these mom and pop operators. And you know the little guys, why are you picking on us? And then you find out that they have a very effective lobbying effort both here in New Jersey and across the country. So I guess mom and pop are doing OK. And I think have all the balloons you want just don't release them up into the atmosphere, where don't know where they’re going to come down.

CO: Is it possible biodegradable balloon?

JW: Well, I you know I think one of the problems with that is what happens while it is degrading? I mean if the balloon comes down and it's in the ocean it's not like well the sea turtle’s going to wait. If it’s in its path it is going to say here’s a jelly fish, let me go get it. And then the poor thing chokes to death, you know? Or same thing with the litter problem and it's stuck on the wire creating a problem. But you know give it a couple of months, it'll degrade. I'm not sure that there's one that can biodegrade instantly to solve the reservations that would exist with this.

CO: Senator Whelan, we’ll leave it there. I appreciate your time. Thank you.

JW: Thank you. I appreciate the call.

JD: We reached State Senator Jim Whelan in Trenton, New Jersey. And we have more on the balloon controversy on our website:

[Music: Piano]

GPS thief

JD: Here are the ways a recent theft in Santa Clara, California could have gone worse for the thieves. Number one: OK. I'm going to start over because there is no way that a recent theft in Santa Clara, California could have gone worse for the thieves. First, they broke into a tech company. And when one of them took a beer out of the fridge, he cut himself, and left behind fingerprints and DNA. So if you have trouble with a beer bottle, which is about as simple a piece of tech as you are likely to encounter in a day, you should probably not trust your judgment on more elaborate feats of engineering. But apparently these thieves were still confident in their analytical prowess because they did go ahead and gather up about 100 fancy-dancy-looking devices worth about $18,000. And they made tracks. Here's the thing: Maybe you see where this is going. Those dozens of fancy-dancy-looking devices were GPS trackers. The thieves had broken into the Roambee Corporation, whose gizmos allow companies to track shipments of whatever, wherever they go. So Roambee was actually overjoyed to be robbed. Here is co-founder Vidya Subramanian, speaking to KRON-TV in Santa Clara.


VIDYA SUBRAMANIAN: From a Roambee perspective it was picture perfect. This is what we've been gearing to do. And we were ready for it. And we executed.

JD Great publicity for Roambee and terrible publicity for anyone who was thinking of hiring those particular robbers, who don't need GPS trackers to know that they took a wrong turn somewhere.

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Part 3: Joshua Wong, omnibus bill

Joshua Wong

Guest: Joshua Wong

JD: At that time, he wasn't old enough to buy a drink at the bar, let alone old enough to vote. But at 17-years-old in 2014, Josh Wong became the face of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. It has been almost three years since thousands took to the streets in those demonstrations. And Josh Wong continues to make his presence known. He's now 20 years old. He's been blacklisted in China and Thailand, and narrowly missed jail time for his role in those 2014 protests. And he's gotten into politics, serving as the secretary-general of a political party called Demosisto. All while going to university. Now, Joshua Wong is the subject of a new Netflix documentary called “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”. We reached Mr. Wong in Hong Kong via Skype.

CO: Mr. Wong, welcome to As It Happens.

JOSHUA WONG: Thanks for your invitation.

CO: I have a lot of questions, but I want to start with the news which is that you plan to plead guilty for criminal contempt of court relating to your role in the Umbrella Revolution — the pro-democracy movement. Why have you decided to do that?

JW: Fight for democracy and involved in civil disobedience as young activists. I’m the one who already expected to pay the price. So I just meant it as the one who was involved in the Occupy action. Even if they send me to the jail, I will not regret at all.

CO: But there are 20 of you who are defendants in this, and half of them are not going to plead guilty. What are the consequences for you if you do make that plea?

JW: As a leader of the Umbrella Movement, I think I might be in a different situation from those normal participants would face. And people have high expectations of me. And I think I need to rely on my promise three years ago to meet and bear the responsibility.

CO: But that might mean going to jail.

JW: In the fight for democracy, being sent to jail is not the thing we really enjoy, but it's the thing that we expected we need to face. Under the suppression of for our tyrant regime it just a long-term battle. And us for our courage and determination under the threats of China.

CO: I want to ask you a bit about how you became, at 20, this internationally known activist and leader of this democracy movement: the Umbrella Revolution. This documentary that is now out called “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”. It begins when you are 14-years-old and you were already an activist at that time. What motivated you to become so politically involved?

JW: I started my journey in 2011. During that year, I could not imagine it would result in the Anti-National Education Movement, Umbrella Movement, and even now I became the leader of the political party Demosisto to advocate self-determination of Hong Kong future. I got involved in social movements six years ago. And a started a student-activist group just because young generation would love to fight for freedom and democracy, especially under the implementation of brainwashing national education school curriculum. We just urged government withdraw it and keep people with critical thinking and freedom of mind.

CO: And you’re referring to this education curriculum. People criticized it for its patriotism and that it was a pro-Beijing brainwashing exercise more than education.

JW: It’s not only asking for students to love their country. The school curriculum that Chinese government would like to impose to Hong Kong for six years ago asks for student loyalty to communism. I think if you ask us to have most sense of belonging we know what it means. But how can they force students to obey the communist regime? It is too ridiculous. That’s the reason for us to found the activist group for secularism with demonstrations and a high school student hunger strike. And finally we stood with 100,000 people during Occupy in the street and urged to government successfully withdraw this brainwashing high school curriculum.

CO: Now, I want to get to what you did during the Umbrella of Revolution. But just while you were doing this as a teenager what did your parents think of your activism?

JW: My parents are not the ones strongly interested in politics. But at least they give me enough room and space to have flexibility to do what I want.

CO: Even if it's led now to you facing possible time in prison?

JW: as the one who was born in Hong Kong and lived in Hong Kong, I've no plan and no intention to move to another country. If we keep silent and do nothing I worry one or two decades’ later Hong Kong might just turn from one country, two systems; to one country, one system

CO: so people understand, when you refer to one country, two systems this was the promise, wasn't it? This was when Hong Kong reverted to China. Hong Kong would keep its system of democracy. It would keep a separate system from communist China. And you began this this revolution in 2014 because you felt that that promise had been broken. When you got involved in that did you know you were beginning something that was going to be as large as the Umbrella Revolution turned out to be?

JW: Two days before the Umbrella Movement, there were only maybe two or three thousand Hong Kongers, who had come to this street and joined the assembly. None of us can imagine that two days later it would grow from 2,000 to 200,000 people. It changed and created a miracle and resulted in the Umbrella Movement. That's why I always described that a social movement or democracy movement would be turning something impossible to possible.

CO: But it was something that made you into an international figure and international celebrity. You were described as a hero. Some in the film compare you with Joan of Arc, a youngster who can see the world clearly and go into a complicated adult conflict, that's how you are described. How do you feel about that characterization?

JW: What I hope is to keep the international community’s eyes in Hong Kong. And also inspire the young generation. It seems that democracy in the world has moved backwards instead of forwards. I just hope that through my experience and my journey in the previous six years to inspire more people, especially young generation.

CO: You have described though that you had moments in this time. I know you're saying you're doing it because you want the world to have its eyes on Hong Kong. And for them to know what is going on in the country. But I know there are times when it's been very frustrating, painful, and emotional for you. What kind of a toll has it taken on you to be in this role so young?

JW: It's hard for me to have a private life. It's really hard for us to take a rest. Sometimes we feel exhausted. We look back to what we have done in the previous few years and recognized how it's relevant. We created a new momentum in Hong Kong to prove the people that live inside and not only communist animals. What we ask for is just one man, one vote to elect the leader of our city.

CO: You’re listening to As It Happens, I have with me now Joshua Wong, he's a student-activist who became known worldwide during the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2014. You know in these six years that you have been under attack for your activities. You are blacklisted in mainland China. You've been detained and banned in Thailand. You were attacked in Taiwan. And now, you're facing these charges that you are going to plead guilty for. Do you feel at times that they're grinding you down? That they're trying to break your spirit?

JW: Compared to human rights activists and lawyers live or are based in mainland China; they directly face the threat of communist regime that violates human rights and rule of law. We hope just to let people know that Hong Kong is the place or the only place under the rule of China that has a certain degree of free flow of information and autonomy. And we will continue our fight and hope to let the communist regime realize that authoritarian practice can last for a long time because democracy should be the trend of our world.

CO: Democracy should be the trend and authoritarian regimes can last a very long time. And they have a great deal of ways to grind you down to try and make you stop doing that you're doing. Do you not fear that?

JW: Sometimes I am really scared, especially after being assaulted by pro-China mobs and gangsters, and being detained in Bangkok Airport. What I hope to try to do is just let people to know that even if we need to pay a price, we will not step backwards.

CO: But the Chinese officials are accusing you of being influenced by separatist ideas, and that you don't understand the relationship between Hong Kong and China. What do you say to that?

JW: They're the ones who do not know their relationship of Hong Kong citizen and of a tyrant regime. And I think they are the ones who do know and don’t know how to respect human rights and freedom of people who live in their country. What I recognize would be unnecessary propaganda from pro-China camps are just wasting resources and capital because those criticisms are meaningless.

CO: It's clear you have a lot of support from young people. We saw that in the streets in 2014. But I wonder how much support you have among people in Hong Kong in general? I mean isn't there a sense that a large part of the population there would be willing to sacrifice some of their democracy or all of the democracy for stability that they are not as actively concerned about this evolving relationship with China as you are?

JW: As the one who found a political party and organized that election process last year, I think for election how we obtained the older generation, especially middle class and professionals support our movement. It just proves that we are not the one who only gets the younger generation’s support. We can also get the older generation to support our ideology and our courage to fight for democracy.

CO: But even that. Your political party, demosisto, and the student-leader of that, Nathan law, who ran in the election and he won. There is an effort to disqualify his success in that election isn't there? I mean they're saying he strayed from his oath of office. Do you think your party and Nathan Law would be successful in that endeavor?

JW: As you asked, I think how we got the older generation support and how we legitimized public support of through election and be elected as a lawmaker proved the spirit of Umbrella Movement obtained support from the old to young generations. Unfortunately, we faced a disqualification of legislator. The court case may get a verdict. It's going to be announced maybe this month or next month. And I admit there is a possibility we will be kicked out of office. But it just proves that the China and the Hong Kong governments are the ones who totally do not know how to respect people’s votes. The votes gained by Nathan are even more than the chief executive of Hong Kong. It's just proof that the government do not know how to respect separation of power and checks and balance.

CO: Well, that may be the case. But they are able to do that. They're able to get him disqualified. In addition, your name has been banned even as a search term in your country. So they're putting up walls between you and your supporters and the public. So how will you get your message across if you are going to be so boxed in?

JW: some censorship exists in Hong Kong. But we do have a certain degree of free flow of information. That's why even they have unlimited resources to have the propaganda. I think how we use social media will be effective and efficient tool for us to spread our message.

CO: We are seeing what's going to happen July 1st: Carrie lam will take over as chief executive in Hong Kong. What do you think that's going to bring? How will things change with her?

JW: Carrie Lam has just agreed to use tear gas to supress students in Hong Kong during Umbrella Movement. So she’ll fallow hot line and will continually prosecute and suppress and erode universal value of Hong Kong. That's why it's really a challenging time for us. And that's why I always emphasise these longer battles. We will not give up and continue our fight.

CO: You're 20-years-old now and you have a big battle ahead of you. Where does this take you? How many years do you think you'll be fighting this?

JW: I'm not sure what will happen. Twenty years ago, before the handover, none of us can imagine the result of the Umbrella Movement. But it's just a miracle created by people persisting in courage on democracy. That's why we have no intention to give up the future.

CO: I hate to be a pessimist about this, but there so much against you isn’t there? There are so many efforts to shut you down. What keeps you going?

JW: In previous cases since Hong Kong first had election, in every direct pro-democracy tends to get majority of votes, which means we get nearly 60 per cent of votes. And those Hong Kongers just support our idea and against the indifference of China towards Hong Kong. That's why it’s already proved that with people’s support and people coming to the street and to be the activists it's really it for us to pay the price in this democracy movement.

CO: Do you think you can get young people back into the streets? Do you think you could launch another Occupy movement?

JW: We have no plan to organize another Occupy. But on July 1st, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong handover, we believe there will be more than 100,000 people come to the street again and prove that it's not a time for celebration during the visit of President Xi, and is the time to ask for democracy.

CO: Mr. Wong, we will be watching you.

JW: Thank you for the support.

CO: Thank you.

JW: Thank you.

JD: That was Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong. Mr. Wong is the subject of a new documentary called “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”, which you can now watch on Netflix. And if you would like to read more about Joshua long story visit our website:

[Music: Guitar]

Omnibus bill

Guest: Joseph Day

JD: The Liberal government has just a few more weeks to get its budget bill passed before Parliament rises for the summer. The bill is in the Senate now, and, as expected, it is getting a bit of a tough going over from opposition senators. And they are not the only ones with questions. Senator Joseph Day, a liberal appointee, says that there are things in the bill that shouldn't be there. We reached Senator Day in Hampton, New Brunswick.

CO: Senator Day, from your point of view, what is in this bill that doesn't belong in a budget bill?

JOSEPH DAY: There are four separate standalone bills inside this this budget implementation bill. It would have been very easy to have those sent to us as separate pieces of legislation so they could be studied independently. But when you get them all together, along with a lot of other things, it poses a lot of difficult problems for those who are reviewing the legislation.

CO: In particular, was there something that you haven't had a chance to look at that you think that you haven't had the time to do given the structure of this?

JD: This is what we did: when the bill came, we divided it into five different pieces for a pre-study. And I didn't participate in all the different pre-studies. But I did participate in one in the banking committee. And that's where the infrastructure bank the legislation is, along with other pieces of legislation. And a number of my colleagues in the Senate have said we have not had enough time to review the infrastructure bank proposal. There are a lot of potential unintended consequences that we've got to look at. What is the relationship between the provinces and the federal government etc?

CO: And there are those other senators as well who are proposing the idea that they take that infrastructure bank out of this for separate study and let the rest of the budget bill proceed. What do you think of that idea?

JD: We had two issues on that. The first issue: are we entitled to do it? Because the government representative and the government leader in the Senate said we're not we as a Senate are not entitled to take that piece out of a budget bill. And so we had to deal with that issue. We finally dealt with that yesterday. The situation now is that the Senate believes we do have the right and that debate is just beginning on whether we should. I'm not fully satisfied that we need to take it out of the overall budget bill because there has been quite a bit of study on it already. So I'll be looking at this very closely when the debate continues on Monday.

CO: But the Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, is quite adamant that this bill is going to be passed before summer. He says it's going to happen. Is it going to happen?

JD: Bill Morneau is doing what he should do. And I compliment him for doing that. This is bargaining and he's making his point that he wants this passed. Of course he wants it passed. We know that. So that wasn't awfully helpful. What will happen is if C-44, the total overall bill, with all the parts that are in there does get passed next week in the in the Senate he'll be happy. If part of it is held back so we can study it more, then there will be a bargaining that will have to go on between the Senate and Mr. Morneau in that case.

CO: Well, he hasn't said that he wants it to be passed. He said there's going to be passed. And is it possible the Senate will not allow that bill to be passed?

JD: Well, it's possible that part of the bill will be held back to be studied further. Yes, that is possible and Mr. Morneau does not dictate what the Senate will do.

CO: But what do you think Canadians will think of the Senate being a body that stops a piece of legislation that the elected part of the government elected part of parliament has passed. What do you think Canadians will think of that?

JD: I think Canadians will think the Senate is doing exactly what they would expect of the Senate: sober second thought. We're not saying we're going to hold this up forever. We're not saying we don't want this. In fact, most of us think it's a good idea to have an infrastructure bank. But it's a very complicated situation to create another bank with 35 billion dollars’ worth of Canadian money. And I think the Canadian public would be happy to have that review done by a group who are quite prepared to put the time in. And so that we don't have to wait until it goes to some judges, who are also not elected, to review at five or six years from now.

CO: Since the liberals in the Senate are no longer part of the caucus. Do you think that it is more difficult for Mr. Trudeau to get legislation through? Do you think that that is something that perhaps he didn't think through when he made that change?

JD: I don't know if he thought it through or not or he was prepared to take the risk. But there is no question that there is more independence and much more independently-minded approach to it to all of the legislation that's going through than we would have seen in the past. We used to work out issues in caucus beforehand, but since we're not part of the caucus any longer those things are worked out in public.

CO: Senator Day, I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

JD: Ms. Off, thank you very much.

JD: Joseph Day is a Liberal appointed senator. We reached him in Hampton, New Brunswick.

[Music: Rock]

Alarm clock wall

JD: In the Edgar Allan Poe story “The Tell-Tale Heart”, the narrator kills and dismembers an older gentleman. Thereafter, he is haunted by his deed, believing he hears the pounding of his victim’s heart through the floorboards. When the police show up, they cannot hear the accusatory heartbeat. But to the narrator, it becomes deafening. Here is the late actor Christopher Lee with a reading.


CHRISTOPHER LEE: It was a low, dull, quick sound. Much such a sound a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath, and yet, the officers heard it not. I talk more and more vehemently, but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles and high-key but violent gesticulations. But the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides as if excited to fury by the observations of men. But the noise steadily increased. Oh god, what could I do?

JD: The narrator is verily undone by his misdeed and confesses. What has this tale of murder and guilt to do with real life? Listener, I present to you the harrowing tale of Jerry Lynn, resident of Ross Township, Pennsylvania. Thirteen years ago, he committed his own terrible transgression. And every night since, he has endured the taunting of his victim.


[Sound: Alarms going off]

JD: What foul act has brought this curse upon Mr. Lynn? Hark now, and shudder to hear. In 2004, Mr. Lynn had a simple desire: to drill a hole in his living room wall, through which he could thread a wire to hook up to his television set. And yet, he was confounded with regard to the precise location. And so he hatched a doomed scheme. I warn the more sensitive among you, particularly Clock lovers. But I will here upon share the ghastly details of his disastrous act. Mr. Lynn tied a string to an alarm clock. He set the alarm clock to go off 10 minutes later at 6:50 p.m. And then he lowered the clock into the wall and when it went off he surmised its plaintive beeping would emanate from the very site at which he should pierce the wall. After which, he would retrieve it. Well I tremble to share the ghastly details of the horror that followed. Listeners, the clock fell off the string and has dwelt in that wall ever since, beeping its hideous beeps of recrimination. And speaking with KDKA reporter Dave Crawley, Mr. Lynn recounted how long he initially believed the clock would hit him and how long it actually has.


JERRY LYNN: Maybe three or four months it will run out of battery. That was in September of 2004. It is still going off every day. And during daylight savings time, it goes off at 10 minutes to eight at night. And during regular standard time it goes off at 10 minutes to seven.

JD: Dear listeners, I beg you, heed Jerry Lynn's wretched tale. Though you may be tempted to lower a clock on a string into your wall in order to puncture that wall in the optimum location through which to pass a wire for your TV, resist. Resist or face lifelong calamity in the form of a beeping once a day for about a minute ooooooh mild annoyance.

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