CAROL OFF: Hello, I'm Carol Off.
JEFF DOUGLAS: Good evening, I'm Jeff Douglas. This is As It Happens.
CO: Ejection letters. Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer boots Senator Lyn back from caucus saying racism will not be tolerated. Our guest says he emailed the party about the racist letters on Senator Beyak’s site moths ago.
JD: Rumor service. Washington state's attorney general says Motel 6 violated guests rights by volunteering their personal information to U.S. immigration agents, so he's taking the chain to court.
CO: Taken by storm, but then back. During the so-called winter bomb in Atlantic Canada a dolphin is stranded on Cape Sable Island. Our guest was one of those who braved the weather to save its life.
JD: Dwelling on dwellings. We make ourselves at home in the opposite happens archives. But instead of relaxing we scour the cupboards and the closets for stories on the subject of home.
CO: It’s not as tipping the scales, it's knocking them right off. Zoo Miami wants everyone to know that a cold snap is causing frozen iguanas to fall out of trees —but if you touch them things could heat up fast.
JD: And…Carried off, but not carry on. For a while this week the fate of a bichon frise was up in the air. But tonight she is back on solid ground after an eagle flew off with her. As It Happens: The Friday Edition. Radio that passes with flying collars.
[Music: Theme]Back To Top »
Part 1: Lynn Beyak Fallout, Dolphin Rescue, Frozen Iguanas
Lynn Beyak Fallout
Guest: Garnet Angeconeb
JD: Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer says Senator Lyn Beyak has no place in that party's caucus. Last night he booted the embattled senator after discovering what he called racist content on her senate website. Senator Beyak had published more than 100 letters of support from Canadians who agree with her view that not enough attention has been paid to quote “the good that came out of residential schools.” Mr. Scheer says he discovered these letters two days ago. But Garnet Angeconeb is casting doubt on that. Mr. Angeconeb is a residential school survivor and he says he emailed Mr. Scheer and conservative Senate caucus leader Larry Smith about the letters — months ago. We reached Garnet Angeconeb in Sioux Lookout, Ontario.
CO: Mr. Angeconeb, when did you first discover these letters of support on Senator Lynn Beyak’s website?
GARNET ANGECONEB: Well, it would have been early September, shortly after she made some statements about trading in our status to become Canadian citizens.
CO: You're referring to that incident when she suggested that Indigenous people should give up their status and become Canadians and move on, that's what prompted you to take a look at her website.
GA: Well, actually I had been following the senator's remarks even before that when actually she talked about the good that happened in residential schools and that statement came out in March. So I had been following that and, in fact, I've been following her website and the stories in the media.
CO: When you read these letters that she posted on her website what did you make of them, how did they make you feel?
GA: Well, you know, in many ways, as a survivor of the Indian residential schools, one of the things I experience after leaving residential school was anger. I had a bit of a flashback to those experiences, but at the same time I was really discouraged and disappointed that a senator from our neighbouring community would be saying things like that when there's a significant indigenous population in northwestern Ontario.
CO: I just, I know this was — I apologize for this that it was painful for you to read them but I'm just going to give some samples of the letters that she posted. And we should point out that there were no letters critical of Senator Beyak’s position. But some of the letters we're calling the residential schools well-intentioned effort to solve the quote “Indian problem” That Indian kids got fed and cleaned up and dressed and put into shoes. That without the nuns devoting time countless Indians would continue to live in squalor. That’s sort of the gist of it, that it was a well-intentioned policy and that First Nations people, Indigenous people should accept that. Is that since you had too?
GA: It is those kind of statements and sentiments that really indicate that we need to do a lot more awareness and education on the residential schools. In particular, the effects of residential schools and the intergenerational effects of residential schools, which are very evident today. And so we need to do more education in that regard. So in listening to some of those words I’m really disappointed, I’m discouraged and hurt by some of those comments. These people who say these kinds of things never lived the residential school experience. I think people should really understand, try and understand what we actually went through before generalizing about the good that residential schools did. And one of the things that I continue to live with was the effect from being taken away from my family — my parents my grandparents my community — that really scarred my childhood. And when you separate a child from their surroundings of love and nourishment and so on, you know, you destroy a nation. That's what we are living with today. And so you can probably appreciate why I feel the way I do when I hear some of these comments.
CO: The letter you wrote to Andrew Scheer, leader of the official opposition, you weren't asking for her to be removed from the Senate. You wrote that you simply you said “To be fair and balanced she should also post letters from the other point of view.” What kind of response did you get from Andrew Scheer to your letter?
GA: I have not gotten a response at all. Obviously those letters of support, or so-called letters of support were selected. It would be nice to hear the letters that were submitted that were quite the opposite. And so it wasn't so much about me asking her to step down from the Senate, or committees or anything like that. But making the leader of the opposition aware of her parliamentary website was promoting these kinds of racist views and so on, and so that was my point to Mr. Scheer and Senator Smith.
CO: So moving ahead to this week journalist Robert Jago wrote an article for The Walrus magazine where he revealed these letters and he asked the Senate why they were allowed to be on a government funded site. Andrew Scheer’s office said it was the first they'd seen the letters, but you let them know all about this in September and received no response. Is that right?
GA: That's correct. You know, it's really disappointing that nobody really paid any attention to the issue that I raised. And so it just says to me that they don't really listen to the little guy from isolated northern Ontario.
CO: What efforts have you personally made in trying to correct Senator Beyak, to tell her how hurtful the schools were, that though there may have been some examples of people getting something out of it, that the physical, mental, emotional abuse — the suffering as you have described it — that was overwhelmingly the experience. What efforts have you given to try and educate her?
GA: Well, when this first came out back in March I had extended an invitation to her so that we could meet and discuss these issues. And so we have a little committee here in Sioux Lookout, it’s called the Sioux Lookout Truth and Reconciliation Committee. We actually met with the senator to try and let her know firsthand the realities of residential schools and what we're talking about. So, you know, I didn't expect that she would change her views or anything like that but I thought she would be more empathetic and more understanding and therefore think twice about because she was doing on her web page.
CO: Why do you think she is so determined to whitewash these pages of history?
GA: Well, I think one of the things that is quite evident is the racism that goes on in this country. And one of the things that I have noticed is that it really stirs up a lot of reaction from those who have that kind of view. And I think getting those kinds of so-called letters of support, you know, she probably feels that an endorsement of what she's saying, when in fact this country is moving towards reconciliation and doing business differently between Canada and its Indigenous people. And so that's the thrust that this country is going on and I'm afraid that through her efforts she has only stirred up the negative.
CO: Mr. Angeconeb, I appreciate your insights today. Thanks for speaking with us.
GA: OK, thank you so much.
CO: Bye, bye.
JD: Garnet Angeconeb is a residential school survivor. We reached him in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. We do have more on the story on our website: www.cbc.ca/aih.
JD: In response to Mr. Angeconeb’s claims we did reach out to the Conservative Party leadership for comment. Leader Andrew Scheer and conservative Senator Larry Smith did not respond to our requests before airtime. Today, CBC's Jorge Barrera spoke to Nick Beyak, Lynn Beyak’s son, who is a city councillor for the city of Dryden, Ontario. Here's part of what he said.
NICK BEYAK: It's default to marginalize someone, to call them a racist so everyone thinks they're racist, when the last thing she is, is a racist, and anyone that knows her knows that, and if you saw her life experience would be very well aware of that. Going back to her original comments in March, how can you say that nurses and priests were bad people and did no good at those schools? How can a logical person say that and call the person who says that are racist?
JORGE BARRERA: And the issue now is about these letters that she posted from the Canadian public. What do you think of that? What do you think of her posting these letters?
NB: I think those are comments from Canadians and whether Andrew Scheer likes it or not, Senator Beyak represents Canadians. And she may have put them on her website to show that there was support contrary to what the media was saying there was support, and that's what those letters showed. For the leader of the opposition to want to stifle comments from Canadians is not a good strategy for election.
JD: NICK Bayek is the son of Senator Lynn Beyak. He was speaking to the CBC's Jorge Barrera earlier today.
[Music: Ambient Guitar]
Guest: James Swaine
JD: Last night a big old bomb hit Atlanta Canada — a winter bomb. It brought a 170 kilometre-per-hour winds to the region and left thousands of people without power. Now the preferred course of action for most in the face of that was to stock up on food and to stay inside. But on Cape Sable Island off Nova Scotia’s south coast this morning, James Swain decided to poke his head outside to survey the aftermath and it's a good thing that he did — because it turns out that a 450-pound marine mammal needed his help. We reached James Swaine on Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia.
CO: James what was the weather like on the beach when you took this walk this morning?
JAMES SWAINE: It was very, very unreal actually how high and how hard the waves were coming in.
CO: And how did you come to spot this dolphin?
JS: Just walking down the beach, just looking at the waves and you always look for different stuff that washes up after storms. And we seen a flipper flipping, you know, I didn't know what it was so we were probably like oh five or six hundred feet from it. So as we got closer we noticed it was a fish and it ended up being a dolphin.
CO: How big a dolphin can you describe it for us?
JS: Probably 450 lbs I would say, somewhere in that range.
CO: How high up did the water get done that he should be stranded that far up?
JS: Well, I would say he got thrown up there pretty well. The wind was really blowing hard from the southeast and that was right where it brings it into that beach. And at that time the tides were at its fullest and highest, and I think the the tide came like well above its regular high-tide point and I think that's how it got up so far. And then when the tide went back out I don't think it had enough power to swim back out. So it ended up stranded above the high tide mark.
CO: He got tossed up there.
CO: What kind of condition was he in when you found him?
JS: He was actually not bad. You could tell when I looked at him, you could see he could see me there. He wasn't — he was tired but he wasn't incapacitated, I guess you'd call it. He was alert and he knew what was going on, he was he was stranded.
CO: We’re saying ‘he’ but it could be he or she.
JS: Yeah he or she I guess.
CO: But by your estimation he or she had been up on that part of the beach for quite some time if it happened the night before when the wave surges were coming in.
JS: Yeah. I would say somewhere through the night.
CO: And what did you try to do in order to get the get the dolphin back in the water?
JS: Well, my friend lives up on the end of the beach, he overlooks the whole beach. So what we've done is, I couldn't move him and I had to at least get him in the water a little bit to see if he was going to try and swim or anything. So I got my friend to come down and we got him in the water and you could tell that he was he was strong enough to swim, but there was no way he was going to swim through. The waves are unreal there is no way he was going to be able to swim through that. So what we did is we took the truck and we got down on the on the beach with the truck. And I know you're not supposed to do that there was no other way, the animal was too big. So we ended up trying to move this dolphin to the truck. And just by chance there was another truck that pulled up in two my other friends that were luckily enough it was them, they come down and they helped us put it in the back of my truck.
CO: How many of you fellows showed up to move the dolphin then?
JS: Four of us.
CO: That's what it took and it was still heavy lifting I would imagine.
JS: It was still really heavy, like we had to lock arms underneath in order to pick it up because there is no way there is no way to grab on to it without hurting it, and we didn't want to hurt him.
CO: And how was the animal responding while you were doing this?
JS: It was good. Actually he was really good, like he was calm, he was blowing out his blowhole really good like strong lungs. And it was unreal when we finally got it in the truck he calmed right down and we poured water on him the whole way down until we got to the next part where we had to put him in the water.
CO: Where and where did you find a place where you felt that you could get him into the water?
JS: It was down by the causeway and right next to it is a big beach. And it's very well protected. There's like a little cove in there and it was really sheltered, it was the best place to put him. There's a nice boat ramp, he could swim there until he got strong enough to go out to sea.
CO: And did you see him get out. Did you see the movement in the water and he seemed to be okay?
JS: Yes, he's doing actually well. There's still a lot of people posting videos of him, he's still swimming. He's still inside the safety, I call it the safety zone, the safety cove. And he's just, you know, I think he's just kind of tired he's just getting his bearings and then he's going to go back.
CO: I believe they swim in pods, so do you think that you will need to find his family?
JS: I'm sure, I’m definitely sure. But usually there's a lot of them around here. There is a lot of dolphins around here you see them all the time fishing, and I'm sure you'll find this pod no problem.
CO: What about you and the other lads you must have been quite wet and cold by then?
JS: One guy who was smart enough, the guy that I called who lives up on the beach, he was lucky enough to bring hip waders. He was luckily enough he brought them but I was frozen right from the waist down — and the water here is not very warm.
CO: You must be still thawing out.
JS: Yes. I went home we got a hot shower after.
CO: And then just to think, you know, that somehow that they seem to know what you're doing when you try to rescue them.
JS: And that's the other thing I was going to say is as we were backing the truck up you could tell he knew that the water was there, you could see him flipping in the back of my truck and we had to get him off as fast we could.
CO: He knew,
JS: He or she knew.
CO: James thanks so much.
JS: Thank you very much.
JD: We reached James Swaine on Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia.
[Music: Guitar Strums]
Guest: Angèle Regnier
JD: Meanwhile people across Atlantic Canada are still recovering from that massive winter storm. Here were some voices from around the region.
LOUISE LINDSAY: We had the worst storm surge I've ever seen in 25-plus years. Talking to a gentleman that came down when I was standing in my rubber boots on John Street watching waves crash over, he says he's lived his whole life, he’s about 70 and he's never seen it like this. I don't know, I think it was about a quarter-to -en and I realized that the waves were already reaching the sidewalk. And my house is very close to the harbor when things happen, and I went outside to see how bad it was and to check the basement and turn off the humidifier and I was wading through watery in my basement to the sound of a waterfall.
JOHN SPENCER: I mean, last night the gusts were at one point 10:00 last night the gusts were like over 200. And we build our houses, we really put a lot of nails in them. You have to be optimistic, you know, it’s gonna be over in a couple hours. I got to go visit my friend this morning, a guy does a lot of carpentry work for me, he's closing in on 80 and went up to fix his chimney yesterday on his garage and he blew down, the bugger. I got down and have a chat with him this morning. I’ve got a lot of work done yet.
LEIGH ANNE POWER: Is he alright?
JS: Yeah he's OK. He tied the ladder on and got up and fixed his chimney.
LAP: After he blew off the roof?
JS: He didn't blow off the roof, the ladder blew while he was getting up on the roof of his garage. There’s one of those wires up his garage chimney, the ladder just blew to the side and down he comes tumbling from the top rung. I said ‘How’d you make out? And he said ‘I tied it on.’ I said ‘What?’
JIM LEG: And you know how you make it so I told them.
DON CONNOLLY: So you weren't without power too long?
JL: No, it came back on and and now it's gone again. yeah we're out of power. Now this spray is going probably 100 feet in the air.
JL: When waves hit that the point the spray just goes almost three quarters up the side of the head. It's amazing.
JD: Those are some voices from the aftermath of the massive storm that pummeled Atlantic Canada last night. You heard Jim Leg in Duncan's Cove, Nova Scotia in conversation with CBC host Don Connolly. Before that John Spencer, Mayor of Port Abbas, Newfoundland speaking to CBC host Leigh Anne Power. And you heard Louise Lindsay in Shelburne Nova Scotia.
Guest: Ron Magill
JD: Residents of northern Florida are a bit freaked out because they're seeing something weird falling — snow. And residents even further south in Florida are even more freaked out by something even weirder falling — iguanas. A quick clarification okay, the snow in Tallahassee is falling from the sky. The iguanas in Miami are falling from trees. For further clarification on that last point we reached Ron Magill a goodwill ambassador with Zoo Miami.
CO: Mr. Magill Have you yourself encountered one of these frozen iguanas?
RON MAGILL: Oh, I've encountered dozens of them probably. Just last night I had one actually fall out of a tree right in front of me. So I think one of the few places in the world where it actually will rain iguanas when it gets very cold.
CO: How did you react when that happened?
RM: That's a little frightening. You know, you don't really know what it is and then thump it hits the ground. But South Florida is unique that we have a lot of exotic animals here that sometimes cannot adjust to weather that might be just a little bit out of the ordinary for us, but quite unlivable for them.
CO: How big are iguanas.
RM: Well, you know, the females can get to be about three or four feet. But a big male can be six to seven feet. They look like a small dinosaur.
CO: And these are they’re in the trees?
RM: You know, what they do is in the evening especially they go up into the trees to roost and that helps protect them from predation. However, what happens is they fall asleep up there in the trees and as the temperature drops during the night their body literally shuts down. And as it shuts down they lose their grip on the tree and they fall out of the tree.
CO: So are they dead?
RM: Well, a lot of people think they're dead, they surely look dead. I will tell you that these iguanas are usually bright green with some orange accents on the males, but when they fall out of the trees any time they're like a very dull green almost to a slight gray. Their eyes are sunken in, they’re closed, they don't move. If you pick them up they are just a limp, apparently dead, animal. Some of the smaller iguanas will not recover from that cold. But generally speaking the medium to large ones, if it warms up within the next few hours, they all of a sudden have like a rejuvenation, they come to life and it can frightened some people.
CO: So what should people do if they come across frozen iguanas falling over?
RM: I told people here in South Florida, and I know it sounds terrible, I’m zoologist, a conservationist, I’ve dedicated my life to animals. These are unfortunately a non-native invasive species that have come into Florida. They do a lot of damage to a lot of the plant life, the gardens, they’re now doing damage to seawalls, they could be vectors for all kinds of parasites and diseases. As cold as it sounds for me to say this I advise people just leave them alone. Listen, it's nature's way of hopefully controlling the population of these animals, which again can be detrimental to our environment in south Florida and secondly, they might not be dead. An iguana is vegetarian, normally will avoid any type of human conflict by running away or jumping in the water, but if they can't really run away however they're not dead and you grab them, they may be able to give you a pretty bad bite, bad scratch. They use their tails like whips. I had a co-worker of mine who got bitten by one pretty badly and the arm that needed to have surgery on her arm to repair it, so they can give you a pretty nasty bite.
CO: Now some people regard them as delicacies they say they cook them and eat them. So are people gathering them up?
RM: Well that leads to a little story I remember our last big freeze of several years ago here. There's a gentleman out here on Key Biscayne, one of the little communities down in south Florida. And in Central America, like Panama and places like that, they actually farm iguanas for meat. They are a type of delicacy meat and they'll eat them, so they're considered quite an edible delicacy. We have a very large Hispanic population here, I myself am Hispanic, here in South Florida. And you know, culturally this gentleman was from Central America and he was driving down Key Biscayne. All of a sudden he started seeing iguanas appearing falling out of trees and just limp on the side of the road and probably said to himself ‘Hey this is a good meal here. We’ll have some iguana barbecue.’ And he started collecting them up, he was thinking they're all dead from the cold, which they appeared to be. He started throwing them into his car as he was collecting down the road. Well his car was warm and these iguanas were not in fact dead, and as they started to up in the car they came to life. They came to life in his car started running around in the car. And, of course, this startled man actually wrecked his car because all of these iguanas he thought he was going to be eating for barbecue that night had come to life and haunted him into a car wreck.
CO: I guess before I laugh, was he hurt?
RM: No he was not hurt. I think his ego was hurt and he was certainly startled. And I think he'll think twice again before he puts a supposedly frozen iguana into his car.
CO: Well that's a pretty good cautionary tale.
RM: It is. Again, you know, listen South Florida is this potpourri of wonderful stories. As far as exotic animals go, you know, we have iguanas, we have the python problem down here also, which I personally, and I think a lot of naturalists, conservationists are hoping that this cold will also reduce the population of those animals, which are actually a menace to our environment.
CO: And these are invasive species, they ended up in Florida because people took them in as pets?
RM: Yeah, unfortunately Florida is kind of like an Ellis Island for exotic animals. So many things are imported into this part of the state down here and people keep them as pets for whatever reason it seems to be some great conversation piece to say you have a 12 foot python as a pet. I mean, we have people who have lions and tigers. It's a little bit ridiculous and unfortunately a lot of people soon realize that exotic animals do not make good pets. They either release them or they escape. And unfortunately as opposed to you all up there in our great northern neighbours, if a python or iguana escapes in Canada the first winter is bye-bye iguana and python. Here in Florida this is kind of like a club med for these animals. They tend to say oh wow we've landed in paradise. We don't have any natural predators they continue reproduce and then we have a problem.
CO: And how cold is it in South Florida right now?
RM: Well, right now, for us it's flipping freezing — it's about 51-52 degrees. This is ridiculous if you ask me. But having said that I understand that you all up north probably are laughing at us.
CO: Absolutely. That's about 10 degrees Celsius. That's a heat wave right now for people here. We are so cold.
RM: Well, you all are doing very well and we admire your tenacity.
CO: Well enjoy your heat and your iguanas. Thank you very much Mr. Magill.
RM: You're welcome, take care.
JD: Our pluck. Ron Magill is a goodwill ambassador with Zoo Miami. We reached him in Miami.Back To Top »
Part 2: Motel 6, Dog Stolen By Eagle
Guest: Bob Ferguson
JD: Bob Ferguson is suing Motel 6 for its customer service. He is not however, a disgruntled customer, he's Washington state's attorney general. And his issue isn't with the service the chain gave its guests. It is with what he alleges was a practice of serving guests’ personal information up to ICE — U.S. Immigration agents — so they could investigate any quote “Latino-sounding names.” We reached Bob Ferguson in Seattle.
CO: Mr. Ferguson, what led you to start investigating Motel 6?
BOB FERGUSON: You know, I read an article out of a report from a Phoenix newspaper reporter who wrote about two locations in Phoenix in which Motel 6 has provided guest list ICE agents without a warrant. And I read Motel 6’s a statement in which they said that was a local issue limited to those two Motel 6’s. I was frankly skeptical and I asked my civil rights team to investigate whether that was going on in Washington state.
CO: And what did you find?
BF: We found out it most certainly is going on in Washington state despite Motel 6 back in September leaving everybody with the impression that it was isolated to those two motels in the Phoenix area. Moreover, it's, you know, we're still uncovering more evidence, but we know of at least six Motel 6’s in Washington state alone where Motel 6 was turning over thousands of names of folks who were staying at their motels.
CO: If you can explain how this was happening, whose names they were turning over who they are turning the names over to?
BF: Sure. So they turned over the guest list of every person staying at the Motel 6 on the morning or the evening when the ICE agents appeared. So this was systematic, they trained, Motel 6 trained their employees on providing these names. An ICE agent would come to the Motel 6, in some cases on a daily basis or a more than daily basis. They did not have a warrant and they simply asked for the names of everyone staying at the motel and Motel 6 employees would turn over those lists. The ICE agents would circle the names that seemed to be Latino-sounding names and immediately ran those names through a database and then literally detained individuals who've been staying at the Motel 6.
CO: How many people whose names are turned over ended up being arrested by —for Canadians say what ICE is — Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents?
BF: We know of at least six in Washington state. I want to emphasize to your listeners this is a preliminary number, we've only just begun our investigation. Undoubtedly, the numbers of individuals who had their names released, as well as a number of individuals who are detained, will undoubtedly be larger and I would not be surprised of a much larger. For example, one reporter and one local newspaper here in Washington state shortly after we got our press conference, ran a story she was contacted by the daughter of an individual who had been detained as a result of staying at a Motel 6. At one of the Motel 6’s we were talking about, in our lawsuit, this was an individual who's been resume United States for 20 years. He's been married for 14 years, he has seven children, he's employed. It was Valentine's Day and he was going to have dinner with his wife on Valentine's Day when he was staying in a Motel 6 and got detained and has been deported to Mexico.
CO: Well, what laws have been broken?
CO: But now what you're describing it’s not that this was sort of some casual one list was turned over or it was sort of ad hoc. It sounds systematic, it sounds as though they were trained to do this. They knew what the ICE agents are up to. They turned over the lists knowing what they were going to be used for. Is that your impression?
BF: I couldn't have summed up better. This was methodical. They're training employees. They have a form, the ICE agent signs off on the form, the Motel 6 employee signs off on the form. At one location that we know they were literally doing this on average more than once a day for nearly a year. Again I want to emphasize we only have initial information, as this lawsuit goes forward we're entitled to get all the information on all the Motel 6’s here in Washington state. And frankly there is not any resolution of this case that does not end up with me knowing who knew what and when at Motel 6, why this policy was created, what on earth they were thinking in turning over thousands of names of people of my state.
CO: Now as you point out again it wasn't just that you had a hunch and you started looking around in Seattle. This was something that came out of this case in Arizona and that they the Motel 6 said they were, the corporation was surprised to have discovered it. They issued directives, they said it would clear up the confusion. The policy was not to do this and it was the law not to do this so why do you think that you're finding this in Washington state? I mean, do you have any kind of insights as to where the motivation came from?
BF: You know, honestly Carol I wish I did, but frankly, I would be shocked if this is not going on in other states. I can't believe that Arizona and Washington just happen to be the only two. And it's worth pointing out that when this became public in Arizona back in September, Motel 6 put out a statement that was very short, a sentence or two, and they did not even apologize. People were outraged by their reaction, by their public comments, the following day they issue an apology. I just felt suspicious the way they so carefully crafted that public statement, I just had a feeling, and that's why I asked my team to do their own investigation here in Washington state.
CO: You know, of one case of one man, the man who was there for Valentine's Day. What has become of the people who were detained by ICE after being found at Motel 6?
BF: So we are still trying to uncover that for the six instances in which six people were detained at the Motel 6s that the information we received from Motel 6 that they admitted. We do not yet know whether they were deported, if so, when they were deported. That one individual we know about who was deported only because a different reporter in Washington state wrote about that when she was contacted by this individual's family. So there's a lot of information, frankly Carol, that's yet to come out. But that will come out with litigation, entities like Motel 6 must turn over documents. They’re going to have to tell the whole story of what happened and that will become public as we go forward.
CO: But what will that make any difference are those people detained or possibly deported?
BF: Look, I mean for this individual who we know of, who's been made public, his family made his name public. He was deported. His seven children, his wife of 14 years are still here in Washington state. He left a job behind as well. I can't speak to what his future will be, but I think anyone who has a family your spouse can imagine what that individual family must be going through as a result of the actions of Motel 6.
CO: Mr. Ferguson, I appreciate you coming on the program. Thank you.
BF: Oh you bet. Thanks so much for having me Carol really appreciate it..
JD: Bob Ferguson is Washington State's attorney general. We reached him in Seattle.
[Music: Ambient Woodwinds and Chimes]
JD: He definitely did not push it. In fact, he has been its harshest critic. But it turns out that an un-endorsement from Donald Trump makes for an instant best-seller. Today Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, was published four days ahead of schedule. The president says the book is full of lies and inaccuracies. Mr. Wolff is standing by it — every word. And today he went on NBC's Today Show to defend his work — and to promote it. Cohost Savannah Guthrie asked him about his credibility, which she noted was being questioned. Here's part of what Michael Wolff had to say.
MICHAEL WOLFF: My credibility is being questioned by a man who has less credibility than perhaps anyone who has ever walked on Earth at this point.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let's talk about the book itself, because one of the overarching themes is that, according to your reporting, everyone around the president — senior advisors, family members, every single one of them — questions his intelligence and fitness for office.
MW: Let me put a marker in the sand here — 100 per cent of the people around him.
SG: Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, Ivanka Trump, questioned his fitness for office?
MW: Certainly Jared and Ivanka in their current situation, which is in a deep legal quagmire, are putting everything on the president — not us, it's him.
SG: And what are some of the ways the president was described to you by those closest to him?
MW: You know, I will tell you the one description that everyone gave, everyone has in common, they all say he is like a child. And what they mean by that is he has a need for immediate gratification. It's all about him.
SG: You said that these senior people insult his intelligence. What are the kinds of things people would say?
MW: They say he's a moron, an idiot. Actually there is a competition to sort of get to the bottom line here of who this man is. Let's remember that this man does not read, does not listen. So he's like a pinball just shooting off the sides.
SG: One of the more disturbing observations you make in the book is that the president's close advisors, people around him, have noticed him repeating stories, expression-for-expression you say, within a short period of time.
MW: In a shortening period. So they've all tracked this, that it used to be, in the beginning, it was like every 25 or 30 minutes you'd get the same three stories repeated. Now it's the same three stories in every ten minutes.
SG: And what's the suggestion there? Because that goes beyond saying ‘OK the president's not an intellectual. What are you arguing there? You say, for example, that he was at Mar-a-Lago and didn't recognize lifelong friends.
SG: I will quote Steve Bannon — he's lost it.
JD: That was Michael Wolff on NBC's Today Show this morning. His new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, was published today. President Donald Trump says the book is quote “full of lies.”
[Music: Ambient Strings]
Dog Stolen By Eagle
Guest: Monica Newhard
JD: Zoey the tiny bichon frise usually does regular dog stuff — she eats, she sleeps, she chews stuff, she poops. But recently she went above and beyond — and she never wants to do that again. On Tuesday afternoon, while she was playing outside, Zoey was snatched up by an eagle. Monica Newhard is Zoey's owner. We reached her in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.
CO: Monica, I know you weren't home when Zoey got grabbed by this eagle, your brother was there. At what point did he realize that something was happening to your dog?
MONICA NEWHARD: He actually heard the scuffle, the noise from the hawk and he said he opened the door and he's like looking at this wingspan, and he said, you know, for a moment or two it was a beautiful sight. Those few seconds, he’s like ‘Wow, that's beautiful,’ but then he realized all of a sudden like ‘Oh my god it has Zoey.’
CO: And so just so clarify it was an eagle not a hawk that actually took the dog.
MN: That is correct, it would have been an eagle. I'm thinking it would have been an immature Eagle.
CO: Right. So you live near a river you have a lot of eagles there. What did your brother do after he saw Zoe disappear with the eagle?
MN: Well, he had gotten into the car and started searching. He said he drove around for about an hour searching the area trying to figure out where it would have gone. The last resort he called me and told me what happened and I called my husband on my side and we devised a plan of searching. We started scouring the woods. I know where there was an eagle’s nest with young eagles in the springtime, so I drove myself to that spot. So yeah we were driving and walking the woods for quite a few hours looking for her.
CO: Can you describe Zoey?
MN: Zoey is about eight pounds — just under eight pounds. She is a pure white bichon with funny little notes that kind of, not black, but almost flesh colour.
CO: So she was she would have been a big creature for the eagle to try and take away.
MN: She's a little dog, she's tiny.
CO: But for an immature eagle to try and take a dog of, well that's pretty good size for a meal.
MN: Yeah I would say on the norm, but due to the fact that there was nothing else around it was probably looking for the only opportunity it could find for a meal, which is normally underneath my shed, because normally there's rabbits coming in and out of my shed. I'm wondering if they've been there before, because I see them hovering at my house and hovering my shed.
CO: And maybe Zoey look like just another rabbit.
MN: Yeah, just another meal.
CO: Yikes. So at some point you decided that you weren't going to find Zoe then?
MN: Yeah, absolutely. By the time it got dark we decided that, you know, even if she were alive she would probably die of the cold. That's when I posted on Facebook thinking, you know, if anybody found the remains, I wanted to bring her home. You know, so that we could put her to rest with the rest of the animals that have died over the years.
CO: So that Facebook posting, somebody saw it and who contacted you with the news that Zoe was alive?
MN: Actually the woman that found her contacted me. She had found the dog the day before, I think she said around 3:15- 3:30. And she didn't know who it belonged to, she had never seen it on Facebook till the next morning. But she actually took Zoey home, cleaned her up, took care of her and she actually let Zoey sleep with her for the night, gave her warm soup. She was quite an angel to Zoey.
CO: What condition was Zoey in when she was found?
MN: Christina said had she not found her when she did she surely would have died. She was, of course, frozen. She said, you know, there were some marks on her where she believes the eagle had his hooks into it a little bit and there was bruises on her, she was limping. So my guess is the eagle probably didn't realize that it had bitten off more than it could chew and went down and rested or something with Zoey and Zoey got away. Because it seemed like she also traveled a little bit on her own too. She was found about four miles from the house.
CO: What was the reunion like when you got Zoey back?
MN: Oh my gosh. My granddaughter stayed home from school that day, because my granddaughter had not slept the night before. She was there when the news came through we cried. And when we went there by her we were hugging Christina, hugging Zoe. Zoey was happy to see us. Oh my god it was like a dream come true for us.
CO: And has the experience changed Zoey at all? Is she was a bit traumatized by that?
MN: She doesn't want to go outside. I don't blame her, and my husband and I have noticed she doesn't go anywhere near the shed anymore. Her favorite place used to be always around the shed. She does not even go near the shed. She's been going to a different section in the yard.
CO: So she won't be chasing those rabbits under the shed much anymore?
MN: I don’t think so. She doesn't even go near it.
CO: You know your story, any pet owners listening to this, this is their worst nightmare. People are identifying with what you went through. Will it change the way you deal with your pets, you going to keep a closer eye on these dogs?
MN: Oh, absolutely. Starting with if you're a visitor at my house don't let my dogs out. The only people that are letting my dogs out are my husband and I, they stay in unless we're home to supervise what's going on. This isn't going to be a mistake that will happen again.
CO: Monica, I'm glad you got Zoey back.
MN: Oh thank you. Zoey slept with my husband and my granddaughter every night. They both were heartbroken. I cried for my granddaughter as much as I cried for Zoey, because I didn't know how Helen was going to be without Zoey.
CO: You got her back. That's the good news. Monica thanks for speaking with us.
MN: You're so welcome. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.
JD: That was Monica Newhard. We reached her in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. And if you would like to see some photographs of Ms. Newhard and her dog Zoey, head on over to our website: www.cbc.ca/aih.
[Music: Whimsical Bass]
Biggest Prime Number
JD: Finding the two biggest prime numbers within two years is unlikely. So unlikely that one mathematician has described its unlikely and unlikeliness using one of the unlikeliest metaphors you've ever heard. On Wednesday The Great Internet Mersenne Search made an announcement. Using special software a computer owned by a Tennessee electrical engineer named Jonathan Pace had discovered the largest known prime number. It has 23,249,425 digits. Or to put it another way it's two to the power of 77,232,917 minus one. That number is impossible for the human mind to fathom. So frankly, is the significance of this discovery. But Professor Chris Caldwell of the University of Tennessee at Martin put it in terms we can all understand. Now we should mention that the last biggest prime number was discovered on January 7th of 2016. The newest biggest one was discovered on December 26 of 2017 — that apparently is very fast. Professor Caldwell told the Guardian quote “I'm very surprised it was found this quickly. We expected it to take longer.” And then, by way of a helpful illustration, he added quote “It's like finding dead cats on the road. You don't expect to find two so close to one another.” Unquote. The power of simile. See that I get, who among us has not marveled at the discovery of not one, but two dead cats, in miraculously close proximity and then thought ‘this is like finding two enormous prime numbers within two years?’ Who says math is hard? And that is some folksy perspective on two huge leaps forward in prime number discovery.
CBC would like to acknowledge the support of the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund.