Friday March 31, 2017

March 30, 2017 episode transcript

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The AIH Transcript for March 30, 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]

JD: Tonight:

CO: Do not inter. In a small Quebec town, a proposal for a Muslim cemetery faces fierce opposition from a group of residents. I'll speak with an imam who made the trip from Montreal to quell their fears.

JD: Walks on the wild side. Cars keep getting safer for the people inside them. But a new report from the United States says more pedestrians are being killed than ever before.

CO: No rest on restrooms. Almost a year after North Carolina passed its “bathroom bill”. State politicians reach a new compromise, but none of those politicians tells us she'll keep fighting.

JD: Headed off at the pass. To celebrate Canada's 150th, VIA Rail offers youth passes for unlimited travel. But when they sell out, those who came up empty handed start lodging complaints and they're not going anywhere.

CO: A head of the game. Cristiano Ronaldo is a legendary soccer player and a legendarily handsome man. But a newly unveiled bust of his noggin and sculpted features is hard to look at with a straight face.

JD: And… the story of his life is an auto-biography. A BC man puts his five acre property up for sale. And if you can afford to make an offer, he'll offer you a Ford and the rest of his collection of more than 300 vintage cars. As It Happens the Thursday edition, radio that knows when it comes to real estate, you can't be too car-full.

[Music: Theme]

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Part 1: Quebec Muslim cemetery, North Carolina bathroom follow-up, BC car collector

Quebec Muslim cemetery

Guests: Hassan Guillet

JD: A small town outside of Quebec City is divided over a proposal to build a Muslim cemetery. Last night, residents in St-Apollinaire gathered at a public meeting to discuss the plan. And there are residents in the town — population 6,000 — who are fiercely opposed. And they stated that opposition loud and clear. Also at the meeting to hear those concerns were members of the Muslim community. Among them Hassan Guillet, he is an imam who lives and works on Montreal's south shore, but he traveled to St-Apollinare last night to be at the meeting. We reached Mr. Guillet in Quebec City.

Imam Guillet, why did you feel it was important for you to be at this meeting last night?

HASSAN GUILLET: Well, it's because our friends in Quebec City, they called me and asked me to be with them because they heard rumors and not only rumors, but reported news that some people are gathering and some people are opposed to the project.

CO: This is the project to have a Muslim cemetery in this community of St-Apollinare?

HG: Exactly. So people in Quebec City — Muslims — in Quebec City, they called me to be with them to explain to the people that the project is not against anybody. We are law-abiding citizens, we are Quebecers, and we are Canadian. We selected this land to live and the same way we are living on this earth, we would like to be buried in this earth.

CO: So last night, there were about 200 people in this very packed house. And how tense did it get?

HG: I would say it was a very good atmosphere. There were a few people who were opposed to the project. Definitely there were some people who are either manipulated or they have a second agenda. I don't know? They were really anti-Muslim. Instead of talking about the project of the cemetery, they wanted to talk about Islam, the Quran, the Prophet, about mixing all kind of associations and all kind of phantasm. And this is not the project.

CO: Some of the remarks that were made last night. And maybe these are the ones? You tell us if there are others. Why do you need a VIP cemetery for Muslims? There is room in our St-Apollinaire cemetery. Why don’t you want to be buried next to us? What have you got against us? You don’t accept us?

HG: The one who said that he loves us so much that he wants to be buried with us. I said if you love us so much and we are really touched by this love, come and talk to us. Come and live with us. Our doors are open, our hearts are open. Come to talk to us instead of talking about us. And let us live together instead of being buried together. So we know exactly that these people are not interested in being buried with us or not buried with us. They are driven by fear. They are talking about VIP; there is no VIP for the dead. A dead person is a dead person. We are all going to be buried in this earth regardless if you are a Jew, Christian, Muslim, Protestant and even people without religion. We are equal when we die.

CO: What you said in response to the critics last night how did they react to you and what you had to say?

HG: They are speechless. There are a few people who are adamant. And regardless of what you say, I don't think you can really change their mind. But the majority was moved. I ended the discussion with a personal experience. I've been in Quebec for 43 years. My wife is Quebecer, she's born here. I have four kids, they were all born here in Quebec. One of them passed away. When my son passed away, I was in China and I received a phone call and my brother said to me my sympathy, Jamal is dead. It was devastating. But you know what the second sentence was even worse. The second sentence is where they want us to bury him. You want us to bury him here in Montreal or do you want to take him to Lebanon. My children said to me Daddy, don't send them to Lebanon. We belong here and here is our country and here is our home. We want to bury him at home. We don't want to buy an airplane ticket to go to Lebanon every time we want to go to have a prayer on the tomb of our brother. and we buried him in Montreal. So I said to the people in the assembly please I beg you, don't force my brothere here. The gentleman from Quebec City was beside me. He is a granddad who has been in Quebec for 50 years. I said please don’t force his children and his grandchildren to buy a bus ticket every time they want to go to recite a prayer for him.

CO: It brings to mind something very important that we learned after the horrible Quebec City mosque shooting. Six people killed and three of them took their loved ones home to be buried.

HG: Exactly. This is the question. They insist they want us to be integrated. Imagine if we don't have the cemetery? If every Muslim here send his beloved one to his country of origin. What will they say? The same people who are opposing of the cemetery, they will be the first to accuse us of not being integrated because we are sending our dead people to be buried back home. So we don’t win. Muslims are not only Muslims who came from Morocco, Algeria and from Lebanon. There are plenty of Muslims who are second or third generation. So what we do with these people? And even myself, I've been here for 43 years. I belong here more than I belong to Lebanon. So they want us to be integrated, but every time we try to be integrated they are opposed to that.

CO: So what happened finally last night? Is this going to happen? Do you think you convinced them?

HG: Honestly I believe yes. Not only me, but it’s because people are nice. Generally Quebec people and Canadian people are nice people – they are good people. Sometimes there are some fears and some politics. But when you go and reach the soul. You reach a human being. Then you win. So when they saw that the people in front of them, they are all people who are seeking French like them. Maybe some slight actions, but we are also being French like them. They saw that we’ve being here for more than 40-50 years. They saw that we are all family people. We are not strangers. We are not martins. We all come from the same planet. Our kids go to play hockey with their kids. So after all that we are so different. And I think I think that at the end of the day the project will take place. Worst come to worst, it may be that there people will have some campaign to have a referendum in that town. But at the end of the day I think the majority of the people in that town are good people and they will they will vote for the project. And I would say here that the Catholic Church is 100 per cent behind us. So it is a lovely society. I like these people and this is why we selected this society to live in. The same way we selected this society to live in, please let us die here in peace.

CO: Imam Guillet, you are giving us words to live by. And I'm glad you were there last night and thank you so much for speaking with us tonight.

HG: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Have a nice day. And every time you have the opportunity I have the opportunity to explain things give me a shout.

CO: Thank you. Bye bye.

HG: Thanks. Bye.

JD: Hassan Guillet is an imam on Montreal’s south shore. We reached him in Quebec City.

[Music: Ambient]

North Carolina bathroom follow-up

Guest: Deb Butler

JD: Today, North Carolina repealed House Bill 2. The state’s very controversial so-called “bathroom bill” HB2, of course, prohibited trans people from using the bathroom that indicates or matches their gender identity. It was signed into law in 2016 and the backlash was intense. Both the NBA and the NCAA boycotted the state in response. But today's move seems to some like a repeal in name only. Deb Butler, a Democrat, is one of two LGBT members of the North Carolina state legislature. And this afternoon she voted against the repeal. We reached representative Butler in Raleigh.

CO: Representative Butler, why did you vote against the repeal of HB-2 — the so-called “bathroom bill”?

DEB BUTLER: I voted against the repeal today because in my estimation, it didn't afford our LGBT citizens the protections they need under the law.

CO: But this repeal this that you voted against. This was supposed to be some compromise between Republicans and Democrats, those for and against the bill, in your legislature. So what did you make of that compromise?

DB: You know it does allow our transgendered men and women the opportunity to choose the restroom in which they feel comfortable. And so we did accomplish that much. However, we have now limited municipalities in this state such that they cannot control their own destiny. They cannot protect their citizens. They cannot extend LGBT protection or protective status to veterans or the elderly or anybody else that they see fit until the year 2020. Interestingly people would say well what in the world is 2020? 2020 is the year by which all of those fairly conservative Republicans will have been re-elected. So that’s the magic by that number and I find that objectionable.

CO: OK, so just explain what that means for those who don't understand that. So you repealed the part that was objectionable, but what's the compromise that people had to make?

DB: let me also kind of put it in context. HB-2 was never about this bathroom component. It is the thing that has gotten all the press, but in reality, HB-2 and the bathroom piece was a reaction to what our capital city of Charlotte did. Capital city of Charlotte tried to extend LGBT protections and did extend LGBT nondiscrimination protections in 2015. They did that and the General Assembly of North Carolina, in reaction, passed HB-2, which prohibited their doing that and then added this bathroom piece. Which I think was designed to inflame their base and to create sort of a distraction from what was really going on.

CO: So the compromise that was made is that now places like Charlotte cannot pass those kinds of anti-discrimination ordinances, is that right

DB: That's right. Until the year 2020. Furthermore, Charlotte or Greensboro or Raleigh or any municipality in North Carolina, not only will they not be able to pass nondiscrimination ordinances, but they won't be able to do other things. For example, they will be able to raise the minimum wage. They will be able to get involved in anything that has anything to do with private employment contracts. So it's a little more far reaching than people realize I'm afraid. But let me put it in context. We were in a very bad place with HB-2 this bill while it is not by any means perfect. It is less objectionable than HB-two in that the bathroom piece is gone. It may bring back our revenues; it may begin to rebuild our reputation somewhat. It does not go far enough. It does not protect our citizens. And for that I couldn't vote for it, but I support our governor who thinks that it is the right approach. And he assures me that he will continue to champion the cause of LGBT rights. He looked me right in the eye and said it to my face and I believe it. I wish we could have done it today, but the votes weren't there for it.

CO: Governor Roy Cooper, he won the governorship by virtue of the fallout from this so-called “bathroom bill” and all the things that happened in North Carolina because of it. Just give us a sense of what the fallout was from HB-two.

DB: Because of its regressive nature and because of the way it unduly burdened transgender people the likes of Paypal, who was going to expand its base of operations here in North Carolina, declined to do so. Disney objected and declined to film here. The NBA championship game was moved from North Carolina. The NCAA decided not to allow North Carolina to bid on any of the championships. So the economic impact is estimated at over 3.5 billion dollars. And so sadly I think that's what motivated a lot of the Republican legislators to vote for this repeal. Rather than examine their moral compasses, they look to the economics of the issue and voted to support this proposition. And that's a sad way to legislate, but I think that's what happened. North Carolina does have a lot to offer, but we have given the impression to the world that we are not a welcoming place. That we are not a progressive place and in my heart I don't believe that to be true. But there certainly are pockets of those sentiments and a big pocket of those in the legislature.

CO ;It is clear that the people in the LGBT community in North Carolina are not happy with this compromise. They don't think that this repeal does anything that they want it to do. The executive director of the gay rights group Equality North Carolina said that the proposal keeps North Carolina as the only state in the country where law makers are obsessed with where trans people use the restroom. So it looks like this reputation of North Carolina is going to stay.

DB: And I feel very troubled by that. I have been a champion of these causes for as long as I can remember. This is my community. I actually lost my brother two days ago and almost didn't make it to the General Assembly because I thought maybe it improper to do so. But on second thought on I realized that you know in order to be a voice for my community. People look to me as the only female gay legislator in North Carolina. They look to me for comfort and strength and a voice. And I decided I just could not be absent from this debate today regardless of my personal circumstances. And so that is how important it is to me and I hope that people in North Carolina will understand that we must be vigilant. We can't allow this to knock us back. We have to come forward stronger than ever. And I think we can do it in 2018. That's my personal goal. We must elect more Democrats to the North Carolina General Assembly and that's the way we're going to actually change the landscape in North Carolina for the better.

CO: Representative Butler, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. But I appreciate that you had time to speak with us today. Thank you.

DB: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.

JD: Deb Butler is a North Carolina state representative. We reached her in Raleigh.

[Music: Ambient]

Quote/Unquote: Ronaldo Sculpture

JD: And now Quote/Unquote.

[Music: Quote/Unqoute theme]

JD: The public and the sculptor agree it's a bust. It's just that they disagree on what they mean by that word. To the artist — a guy named Emanuel Santos — his latest work is literally a bust. It's a bronze sculpture of the head of one of the greatest and most handsome players in the history of soccer. It sits in a place of pride in the Madeira airport, which this week was officially renamed in honor of that player, Madeira native: Aeroporto Christiana Ronaldo. Now when I refer to Ronaldo’s handsomeness, it may seem like I am objectifying him. But in making the bust Mr. Santos literally objectified him. And people are deeply offended by it because they feel the sculptor did not exactly nail his depiction. Instead of capturing Ronaldo’s je ne sais quoi, the artist has created an I don't know what. Where Ronaldo has a strong jaw, piercing wide-set eyes and a confident grin. Mr Santo's bust has a pointy chin, eyes so close that they almost touch and a weird lopsided smirk. The end result is not the face of someone who has just scored a penalty so not so much as the face of someone who has just asked you to pull his finger. You can contemplate on Well Emanuel Santos says Ronaldo likes the sculpture, but he's also heard the public criticism and he's rising above it. In the sense that while he's comparing himself to the Son of God or at least he seems to be. His response is kind of enigmatic as he told the Guardian quote, “It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone.” unquote.

BC car collector

Guest: Mike Hall

JD: Mike Hall's property in Tappen, British Columbia is up for sale. It is listed at 1.45 million bucks. Five acres of land, beautiful scenery, some buildings nothing out of the ordinary. Until you factor in the cars that Mr. Hall has included in the deal — lots and lots of cars. We reached Mike Hall in Tappen.

CO: Mike, how many cars are part of this deal.

MIKE HALL: Somewhere between three and four hundred. My realtor wants me to take a camera and go make an actual list, but my phone and email since the story came out has not stopped. So as people quit bothering me for a couple hours, I’m going to get on that.

CO: I'm sorry to have added to the load, so three or four hundred of what kind of cars?

MH: Everything: Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, old Dodge, Ford and Mercury. I got some Alpines. I've got a Simca that was made in France. I like everything and that’s the problem. Not just one mark or model. I've just been collecting for 40 years and if I see and I like it and I got the money. It’s a bad habit, Carol.

CO: So now you're trying to kick the habit?

MH: Exactly. The only way I'm going to kick it is like the same way I quit drinking and smoking. I’ve got to quit cold turkey.

CO: So you are going to sell all these cars in one big lot. Why don't you sell them one by one? They must be worth something.

MH: Because I don't know how long I'm going to live, Carol. You know how many people you have to deal with to try and sell 400 cars? Probably 20,000. Lots of people want them. They don't have the money and they want to finance them. They are dreamers. There are very few people I mean me, if I'm going to buy a car. I got the cash sitting in my pocket. I walk up, I make the guy a done deal. But most people just don't do that.

CO: But how likely is it that you'll find someone who's going to walk in and want to buy three or four hundred cars at one go?

HM: Well, when you figure you can sell a condo in Vancouver for a couple of million. If there's somebody that knows what they're doing and they're in automotive restoration, it's pretty well a turnkey thing, right? Basically for the price of a condo in Vancouver, you get with five acres and a million bucks in cars and tools and equipment. I don't know a million bucks isn't as much money as it used to be, Carol. Not as 1.4.

CO: Just tell us if you're going to do your best sales pitch for someone to get your buyer. What is it?

MH: One in a lifetime opportunity. A 40 year collection of 90 per cent of two doors. Most of them are collectible. Comes with all the tools and equipment you need. A paint booth and five containers full of parts. Place to live right on the Trans-Canada Highway. Smoking deal!

CO: I'm just looking at a picture, there's some amazing looking cars in here. I mean you got a Model-T there I think…

MH: I've got a lot of I've got a model T. I've got one from Australia — the ute. They only made about 50 of them in 1947. They actually made the coupes in Canada, shipped them over unfinished to Australia and then they converted them into trucks. That came back from Australia in a container. I got lots of 40s stuff. Lots of 567 Chevy’s, American muscle cars, Mustangs satellites and Super Bees. As I sad, a little bit of everything.

CO: So what kind of nibbles have you had? You said it's been more since the story's been out. The listing has been up all winter.

MH: Well, basically we had so much snow here this winter you couldn't see any of the cars. So my realtor talked Allen Edwards from the Vancouver Sun there and he started the ball rolling. And I said for the last 24 hours, my phone hasn't quit ringing, my emails are going nut. But mostly people who want to buy a car.

CO: They want one or the other. They don't want the whole lot.

MH: They're looking for their dream car. I just had two people phoned me about a 64 Malibu SS convertible that I've had for like 20 years. The one guy had the only one in BC and it happened to be the same color as the one I've got. Another guy just phoned me from The States. He is 75-years-old. And that was his first car was a 64 Malibu SS. And he saw the story, so the phone and I’m sending him pictures. It is kind of nuts.

CO: But you go you're getting some great stories from people who have these love affairs with cars.

MH: Car guys always have great stories. I mean once in a car guy you're a car guy, you’re a car guy. My first car was a 61 Sunbeam Alpine and two weeks ago, I found one that had been stored in Vancouver for 42 years with 5,000 original miles. And the guy asked me if I was interested in it. And I jumped all over it.

CO: So once you're a car guy you're always a car guy. How are you going to kick this habit then? You're going to get rid of all your cars and you're never going to be one of those guys?

MH: My wife might let me sneak one or two back to the farm.

CO: But what does she think of your collection?

MH: That's why I live in an auto-wrecker. That's what she thought of my collection. I had to buy a wrecking yard and get them off her farm.

So she's saying good riddance to your collection?

MH: She would love to see it all gone. Well the thing is, Carol, I mean I'm 60 now, I'm in really good health. But there's no guarantees in life and if something did happen to me it would just be a nightmare for her if she had to deal with it because she hates them. She's a greener. She's an organic gardener.

CO: Is she convinced that you that you're going to kick the habit?

MH: She'll believe it when I say it’s sold. Until then, she is a doubting Thomas. But Like I said, it only takes one person, Carol. You know it’s like winning the lottery, but if you don't buy a ticket you can't win. if you don't put it for sale, you never know if someone's going to buy it.

CO: But someone's going to come and show you a gorgeous car and you're going to buy it aren't you?

MH: Well, like I said, some days I wake up screaming what have I done? And the next day I'm buying two or three. So it has got to be cold turkey or it is not going to happen.

CO: What’s the goodbye going to be like if you do sell the whole lot?

MH: It would probably leave a hole in my heart.

CO: you’re quite emotional about these cars.

MH: Well, it's kind of hard when you know you spend 40 years doing so and then you wake up and maybe it was the wrong thing to do. You know what I mean? Things change, people change, lives change.

CO: Well Mike, I hope the cars go to a good home.

MH: Me too. And if not, I'm just going to keep fixing them up. Buying and selling them. But like I said, we'll see what happens.

CO: Well, I hope whoever gets them loves them as much as you do.

MH: Well, me too.

CO: Mike, it's good to talk to you. Thanks.

MH: Thanks Carol. Have a great day.

JD: We reached Mike Hall in Tappen, British Columbia.

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Part 2: US pedestrian deaths, VIA Rail passanger

US pedestrian deaths

Guest: Richard Retting

JD: These days, cars are outfitted with all kinds of new features aimed at ensuring the safety of the people in them, and the people outside them. So one would assume that the roads have never been less dangerous. One would be surprised however, and wrong. A new report from the US shows that more pedestrians are dying than ever before. Richard Retting is the author of the report and the safety director for Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants. We reached Mr. Retting in Washington, D.C.

CO: Mr. Retting, why are so many pedestrians dying on your roadways?

RICHARD RETTING: Well, we know a lot about how many are dying. We know a lot about the trend, which is extremely troubling and quite surprising. The why is elusive? We have theories, we have some data. But the basic factors that we normally would take into account like the amount of driving, number of vehicle miles traveled, the population growth, the extent to which people provide data to the Census Bureau and how much walking they do to work. All of those typical factors don't account for an 11 per cent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths. It simply doesn't add up.

CO: How many how many people actually died last year —what’s the number?

RR: OK, we're projecting based on data provided for the first half of the year about 6,000 pedestrian deaths, which would account for the largest number of pedestrian fatalities. The largest annual number in over 20 years, you’d have to go back to 1990 to find a time when that many people died on the road walking.

CO: And it doesn't include numbers of people who were injured?

RR: Not at all.There are thousands — tens of thousands — if not hundreds of thousands of people who are injured. Various levels of injury, of course, there are serious injuries and there are folks who have injuries that are not quite as serious. But getting hit by a car always introduces the chance of a serious injury because it takes so little impact for a vehicle to cause injury to a human.

CO: Let's go through some of your theories as to why this increase? What are some of the things you're looking at?

RR: Take into account that we're living in good economic times. The economy is doing well, unemployment rate is has been lowered considerably over the last few years. So by that measure historically where the economy is doing well, traffic fatalities sadly go up. And that's simply a fact of life. It's almost unavoidable if there's more economic progress. What it means is there are more people working, more people traveling, there’s more discretionary income, more people going out at night and enjoying themselves and so on. Unfortunately though, even those typical trends don't apply here because at best, we would expect to see two or three or four per cent increase in pedestrian deaths reflecting more travel, more activity and so on. So something else is happening socially or otherwise that seems to be driving this increase. And the only data that I see that shows a surge in behavioral change is related to wireless data and cell phone use. It's not to say there's a direct correlation between one and the other, but it's hard to argue. Particularly when you are out in the driving environments in the real world getting away from the data and we simply look at what's going on. Drivers have cell phones in their hands, on their dashboards and that's a big source of distraction it's also a distracting issue for pedestrians themselves.

CO: Because the pedestrians are walking around with their cell phones and they're reading their messages and texting as well, so both are distracted.

RR: It's very distracting. And again, it's one factor among many. But all the other factors we've looked at simply don't have growth of this type. Unlike cell phone, wireless data, multimedia messaging, those are just growing at an enormous rate. Also keep in mind that about 75 per cent of pedestrian fatalities occur at night in the dark. And less than 20 per cent occur at intersections. So basically people getting killed for the most part in places where drivers may not expect them in the dark. And so somebody going 40 or 50 miles an hour in a car looking down at a phone for just a second or two may travel a significant distance and easily be in a situation where a pedestrian unexpectedly is present and gets hit by the car. We've been keeping track of pedestrian traffic fatality data nationally for over 40 years. And there's never been in the history of that tracking this level of increase. Let alone two consecutive years that have set records, so something's happening beyond the normal factors that drive traffic fatalities.

CO: We know that alcohol is a factor in car accidents and in motorist fatalities. So is it the same with pedestrians? Is there a spike in alcohol related pedestrian factor?

RR: It’s a huge factor, but I can't say there's a spike because we've seen a persistent involvement of alcohol as a factor year after year. And we saw essentially the same results then as we're seeing decades later. So I wouldn't say there's a spike. It's a persistent problem, it's a big problem, it's something we're very deeply concerned about, but there isn't a surge. It's not a game changing increase.

CO: So what are you going to do about it? Is there a way to mitigate this?

RR: Absolutely. We've been in a better place before. Just a few years ago, the numbers were substantially lower. And we would like to return to an environment in which the number of pedestrian fatalities is a fraction of what it is today. The report identifies very solid evidence-based measures that can be taken and should be aggressively implemented by state and local governments. Particularly in regard to engineering, roadway design and traffic enforcement measures that directly address the pedestrian safety risk. This is a public health problem. Overall, about 40,000 people are killed in the U.S. each year. That's equivalent to a fairly large airplane crashing every day and everybody onboard dying day-after-day-after-day.

CO: Well, I think that it's a cautionary tale for everyone who is out there. Whether you're in a car or you're a pedestrian and Mr. Retting, thank you.

RR: Thank you very much.

JD: That was Richard Retting, the safety director for Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants. We reached him in Washington, D.C.

[Music: Ambient]

Tree initials

JD: “H.W.R. Toronto, Canada.” H.W.R. was Harold Wilbert Rosvell. Mr. Rosvell was part of the Second World War forces to liberate the Netherlands from Nazi occupation. During that mission, he carved his initials and birth place into a tree near a small Dutch village. And moments later, Harold Wilbert Rosvell was shot by a German sniper. Almost 70 years later, Ernst Arbouw discovered that carving. This morning, Mr. Arbouw spoke to Matt Galloway of CBC Toronto's “Metro Morning” about what he has learned about the Canadian soldier.


MATT GALLOWY: How did you know initially that H.W.R. Toronto, Canada”, that was carved by a Canadian soldier?

ERNST ARBOUW: Well, that's a very good question. The answer to it is very simple. Canadians do not come to our village. And also there are other trees in the same woodlands with coffins with the dates on it. Basically 1938-1939, so you can see that the age is just about the same time.

MG: And so having seen the initials and having started to do a little bit of digging, what did you learn about who the soldier was that carved that into the tree?

EA: Well, after negative response from a few of the Canadian authorities. I entered the initial H.W.R. into the database for the Commonwealth Graves Commission, who maintain all the graves for the soldiers killed in the Second World War. They have a lovely database — very good. So I entered the initials, I entered Toronto and then it pops up with the name Harold Wilbert Rosvell.

MG: And who was he?

EA: He was a young lad. He was 17-years-old when he joined the Army. He lied about or rather he misrepresented his age. From what I learned from his family since then, he was a very joyful lad. Very gregarious, I think the word is. Basically just a nice lad.

MG: What an incredible story. Why would you want to put all the work into trying to track this down?

EA: Really when I started it, it was just a matter of well let's see if I can find the veteran. It would be a lovely thing to bring him to the Netherlands. And then when I found out that he'd been killed, and when I learned a little bit more about the story. I thought this is a story I must share with people. Because his own little story of how he joined up and how he was underage when he went into the army. And then how he did his training first in Niagara and later in British Columbia. And then how he was shipped off to the United Kingdom and from there to Normandy and all the way almost to the end of the war. That's a story that represents the war effort of all the Canadian boys. So his story is a wider story, so by sharing his story and telling the story of the liberators of the Netherlands.

JD: That was was Ernst Arbouw, a Dutch journalist who is writing a book about Canadian soldiers who fought in the Netherlands. He was speaking with Matt Galloway, host of CBC Toronto's “Metro Morning”.

[Music: Ambient]

VIA Rail passenger

Guest: Carly Crawford

JD: This week, a new youth movement came suddenly to life. It is made up mostly of 12 to 25-year-olds. There are some people older than that. What they have in common is a valid International Student ID Card, and a beef with VIA Rail. The beef involves VIA's offer of unlimited summer youth rail passes this year, as part of Canada's 150th birthday celebration. Carly Crawford is one of the malcontents. We reached her in Ottawa.

CO: Carly, how did you hear about this pass that VIA Rail had?

CARLY CRAWFORD: I actually just heard about the pass through Facebook. It was trending on Facebook and then it also trending on Twitter.

CO: And what did you think when you heard that there was a chance to buy this ticket?

CC: I thought it was an incredible opportunity to travel to Vancouver for only $150 rather than by plane.

CO: And so what did you do?

CC: I went online and I tried to buy a ticket. But, unfortunately, the website was down due to technical difficulties. I phoned VIA Rail and I was on hold with them for about 32 minutes. And then I finally got through to an agent and I asked how many tickets there were? He said that they were unlimited. I asked if I could buy a ticket through the phone. He said that he could not process my payment due to his system on the other side. So I said OK, well do you know when the issue will be down — the technical difficulties. And he mentioned that it will probably be fixed in the next 24 to 48 hours, but I shouldn't worry since there is an unlimited amount of passes.

CO: What was your next move then?

CC: My next move was I was in Toronto and I was coming back to Ottawa yesterday. And I didn't really think anything of it. And then I remembered my conversation that I had with him earlier and I checked on the website to buy one of the unlimited passes thinking that would be a breeze. And I noticed that there was only now 1876 tickets that were being given away, which was really disappointing because I was under the impression that there was an unlimited amount and I didn't need to rush to buy a ticket.

CO: So were you able to get one? Did you call again?

CC: Unfortunately not. I called like almost 200 times. I never could get through, the line was always busy. So I decided to maybe like call a taxi and check if the Ottawa VIA Rail station would be open around midnight. I hopped into a cab last night, went to the Ottawa VIA Rail station, it was closed, came back and finally got through on a line. However, they told me that like no agent would be picking up the phone until 7:00 a.m. the next morning. And by the time I set my alarm to call back around 6:40 a.m. to get through, all the tickets were already sold out.

CO: So you called nearly 200 times? Like the same phone number?

CC; I called many phone numbers. I went a little overboard. So I called the called the Quebec number. I called the Moncton number. I called their 1-800 number that they have on their website. And then I also called the hearing impaired number just because I wanted to get through to absolutely any way that I could. I was really determined to get a ticket. But unfortunately, every single line was busy.

CO: Who finally told you that there were only 1867 tickets available and they were gone?

CC: The Via Rail Twitter account.

CO: If you had been able to get through when your first tried. If you had been able to buy a ticket you would have had one?

CC: Exactly. Which is why I'm so disappointed because if the agent I spoke to yesterday in the morning, when I asked him if I could buy a ticket and he said that I thought I could. Then I would have had one today. But unfortunately, I was obviously not informed and neither was he. So he told me that he couldn't process the ticket. Yet they were advertising afterwards that you could buy a ticket online or by phone.

CO: Sounds very chaotic.

CC: It is very chaotic.

CO: They say that they're they've always said that there were only 1867 tickets on offer. So you just had that one verbal communication that said that there was unlimited, right?

CC: I had that one verbal for my personal experience, but there was also a tweet made by VIA Rail that said there was an unlimited amount as well.

CO: Do you think they should offer more tickets?

CC: I think so. I think they should offer tickets. Maybe do a contest this time because, obviously, way too many people are on their website and it just crashes. And you can't get a hold of anyone and when you try to phone them. Canada is a really big country, so it's a little tough when everyone's trying to get through to one person or one company I would say. But I think doing a contest would be fine. Maybe giving out like another 2017 ticket because of the year that we are in would be cool.

CO: You're still planning to go west?

CC: Yeah, absolutely. I will probably fly or maybe I'll take my own little road trip. Who knows? But I will definitely make my way out west this summer even though I won't be taking the VIA Rail.

CO: What would it cost you if you were to buy a ticket to go out west on the train?

CC: On a train, I believe it's around 500 to 600. And by plane it's about nine to a 900 to 1000.

CO: But you’re not going to be taking a train out west.

CC: No, I won't be taking a train out west. I think for four nights and three days from Toronto to Vancouver. That's a long time to sit on a train. I definitely would have done it for the cost of $150 to see all across Canada. It would be absolutely beautiful, but due to my experience with VIA Rail, I think I'd prefer to just go with Air Canada.

CO: Well, having done that trip, I’ll tell you it’s a lot of fun.

CC: It is a lot of fun? You’ve done it?

CO: I've done it. It's wonderful.

CC: I bet it's beautiful to see. But I just don't know I'm just a little tainted at the moment.

CO: All right, we'll see if we can get some answers, Carly. I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

CC: OK, thank you so much for all your time.

CO: Bye bye.

JD: Carly Crawford is a student at Carleton University. We reached her in Ottawa. VIA Rail has issued a statement on this story. The company says that, in the end, it increased the number of youth passes it sold to 4,000 due to overwhelming demand. It says they sold out at 3:00 a.m. this morning. And there is more on this story on our website:

[Music: Indie rock]

Rick Perry climate change

JD: Do you have a reaction when I say the phrase “climate change”? Would you describe that reaction as visceral? Now, I'm going to guess that most of you are saying yes. Now, it's hard not to feel queasy when you hear a phrase that triggers thoughts of rising sea levels, rising temperatures, extreme weather and widespread species extinction. Rick Perry feels your pain. Well, at least he feels his own pain and that is why he has reportedly banned that phrase: “climate change”. As well as the phrases “emissions reduction” and “Paris Agreement” from use around the office. And that's kind of problematic because “the office” in this case is the international climate office of the U.S. Department of Energy, which Mr. Perry runs. A source told Politico that a supervisor in the department issued the restrictions this week because, among other reasons, those phrases cause a quote, “visceral reaction,” unquote. In Mr. Perry and his colleagues at the top. Now, a spokesperson for the Energy Department denied any words or phrases had been banned. A source elsewhere in the department said there was an unofficial ban. But as Politico reports quote, “There was a general sense that it's better to avoid certain hot-button terms in favor of words like ‘jobs’ and ‘infrastructure’.” Now look, I get it some people have a visceral reaction to the word “moist” and they just say damp instead. And it makes no difference. They're the same thing, but “jobs” and “infrastructure” is not a synonym for “climate change”. So there may be a chance that you are experiencing a visceral reaction to Rick Perry's visceral reaction. But before you start yelling at your radio, let me caution you: watch your language.

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Part 3: Wrong Sydney, Planned Parenthood charges

Wrong Sydney

Guest: Milan Schipper

JD: There's a lot to think about when you're planning a trip abroad. You need to make sure your passport hasn't expired. You've got to figure out where you're staying. And for those really, really long haul flights, you've got to decide whether you want an aisle or a window seat? Well Milan Schipper ticked all those boxes for his trip from Holland to Australia last week. But while he was focusing on choosing the right seat on his flight, he kind of failed to focus on the flight itself, which is how he ended up somewhere far north of the land down under. We reached Milan Schipper are at his home in Vaassen, Holland.

CO: Milan, where did you think you were going when you boarded that plane in Amsterdam?

MILAN SCHIPPER: Well, I thought I was going to Australia, but that turned out a little different.

CO: So what were you planning to do when you got to Australia?

MS: I was planning on going backpacking, working over there and just enjoying the land.

CO: So you were scheduled — you thought — to land in Sydney, Australia.

MS: Yeah.

CO: At what point did you first suspect that you were not on your way to Sydney, Australia?

MS: Well, quite late. That was when I was already in Toronto. And I saw the plane the plane and the plane was really small. So I figured would that make it to Australia? But afterwards, I checked the screen on the seat in front of me and I checked the flight plan and everything and then I saw all the flight plan was going to go right and up left. Yeah, that was about the time that I realized there was another Sydney.

CO: Sydney, Nova Scotia.

MS: Yeah.

CO: You realized finally you had booked a flight to Sydney, Nova Scotia?

MS: Yes, that's right.

CO: How did you feel at that moment?

MS: Well, I felt terrible. I think I swore in my head for like 10 minutes. Yeah, but there was nothing I could do about it because I already was up in the air.

CO; You had already taken off. What airline were you flying?

MS: Well, at first, I thought I was going to fly with Air Canada. But when I came to the airport, they said I was flying with United. That was until I got to Toronto. And in Toronto, I flew with Air Canada.

CO: So how do you think you got this mixed up? Was it your fault?

MS: Well, I guess it was my fault. I should have paid better attention. But my mistake was when I booked flights, every flight to Australia was about 1,000 euros. I thought OK, if it's 1,000 euros I’ll pay 1,000 euros. But then I saw one flight to Sydney and well that was 800 euros. So I said well, let's book that one. But that's so much cheaper because it was to Canada.

CO: No it is a very nice place. You are landing in a beautiful part of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton. And you know well maybe not in March with the snow and the snowstorm, but there is pretty good hiking there.

MS: That could be entirely possible, but I only saw the parking lot of the airport.

CO: So when you're on the ground in Sydney, Nova Scotia. What did you do?

MS: Well, I went to talk to one of the employees and he helped me an awful lot. He did everything for me, so I could go back to Toronto. And I only stayed in Sydney for something like five hours and then I went back to Toront.

CO: And did you stay in Toronto?

MS: No, I stayed there for another 12 hours because I couldn't book the next flight home yet. And eventually I went back to Amsterdam, where my dad picked me up and brought me home.

CO: What did your dad say when you got home?

MS: He felt really sorry for me. Be he thought it was something only I could do such a thing.

CO: Now how old are you?

MS: I'm 18.

CO: So did he consider this a learning experience?

MS: Yeah, he said so a lot of times. But he also laughed an awful lot — just like everyone else.

CO; And you're laughing. So are you ever going to go to Sydney, Australia?

MS: Yeah, I got free tickets from an airline when they heard about my story.

CO: What?!

MS: Yeah. It was really nice, but I'm not really sure if I'm going to go again. Well September, I'm going to start preschool again. And in the meantime, I’d like to get some work done. So I'm not really sure if I'm going to go.

CO: And you're sure Sydney, Australia is it? Because there’s another Sydney even in Canada. You could go to all kinds of Sydneys, you know?

MS: On the Dutch television, they made a whole item about it. And I believe there were 12 Sydneys around the world. But I'm not really sure anymore.

CO: Well, if it's any consolation to you. We did the research. There are other people who have done the same thing as you. And even the first person from Holland who's done this. Apparently there is a grandfather and his grandson who did the same thing in 2009.

MS: I heard about it too. Well I was there, a woman from the United States, also wanted to go to Sydney, Australia, but landed in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

CO: Was she there?

MS: Yeah, she was there. She had made a mistake as I did.

CO: Did she have a sense of humor about it?

MS: Well, not yet. But at that time, I didn't really either.

CO: Milan, good luck with school. Happy travels. I hope someday you get to do your hiking in Sydney, Australia. It's a lovely place.

MS: Thank you.

CO: It's great to speak with you. Thank you.

MS: Thank you too.

CO: Bye.

MS: Bye bye.

JD: I come from a land up over. Milan Schipper is a traveller from the Netherlands who recently flew to Sydney, Nova Scotia thinking it was Sydney, Australia. We reached him in Vaassen, the Netherlands. And we have posted more on the As It Happens website: And we have double checked the web address.

[Music: World music]

Planned Parenthood charges

Guest: Beth Parker

JD: Their plan was to expose Planned Parenthood as an immoral organization trafficking in body parts. It is not, but they didn't let that stop them. And now, two anti-abortion activists are facing 15 felony charges in California. The charges relate to the alleged illegal filming of Planned Parenthood health workers. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are believed to have posed as representatives of a fake company seeking to buy fetal tissue. They then released edited versions of their recordings, claiming to expose what they call “Planned Parenthood's criminal enterprise”. Beth Parker is chief counsel for Planned Parenthood in California. We reached her in Sacramento.

CO: Miss Parker, what are the charges against these two people? What did they allegedly do?

BETH PARKER: They’re 15 felony counts claiming that they illegally taped individuals without their consent and then one count of conspiracy between the two to agree to commit a crime.

CO: Just so people who don't know the background of this story. Can you just remind us what exactly they did? What they were taping and what they were trying to do?

BP: A group of individuals, one of whom is named David Daleiden, formed a fake company called “Biomax Procurement Company” pretending to be wanting to purchase fetal tissue. And they entered into several medical conferences and other close conferences claiming to be people that they weren’t. And then, when they were there, signed confidentiality agreements saying they would not disclose any information outside of the conference. Then, when they were there, they used hidden cameras and had confidential conversations with individuals that they taped. We know they did more than 500 hours of surreptitious taping. They also invited doctors whom they met out to dinner and to lunch and then taped them without their consent. And in California it's a crime to tape somebody without their consent.

CO: It’s not the content of the videos that has got these charges against these people. It's the fact that they did these tapings illegally, is that right?

BP: That's right. It's long been a crime in California to tape without both parties consent.

CO; They released these videos during the I guess the summer of 2015, and said that this was the evidence that Planned Parenthood was selling baby body parts and fetal tissue. And that this was an illegal activity that Planned Parenthood was involved with. Did the videos provide any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood?

BP: Absolutely not. Multiple states began inquiries after the videos came out, and all of them concluded that there was no wrongdoing. In addition, the judge in a case that was brought by one of the agencies who held the conferences — the National Abortion Federation — reviewed all the tapes that were done at those two conferences. And he also concluded that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. There to date has been no charge that there is any wrongdoing on behalf of Planned Parenthood.

CO: So what were the consequences then of these tapes being released? Before we get to the court case that's now before the courts in California what happened as a result of these tapes being released?

BP: When the tapes came out, and they were heavily manipulated and edited down to real snippets of conversation posted on the internet. Planned Parenthood and other providers experienced an enormous wave of violence and harassment. There was a nine-fold, nine times increase in the amount of violence culminating in an individual who went to a clinic in Colorado and ultimately shot three people as a result of these tapes coming out.

CO: We also know that during this period of time there have been a number of state legislatures that have pursued sanctions against Planned Parenthood that put limitations on its activities. Was any of that a result of these videos?

BP: Yes. Mr. Daleiden and his organization sent videos to various state legislatures and they began investigations. In addition, Congress launched five separate investigations into Planned Parenthood. None of them found any evidence of wrongdoing.

CO: Are there civil suits against the people who created these videos?

BP: Yes. One was brought by the National Abortion Federation. They filed a suit right after the first videotapes came out and the court immediately prevented the tapes at those two NAF conventions from coming out. Yesterday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, which is the appellate court, affirmed that injunction. Planned Parenthood has filed a separate lawsuit. We have not sought an injunction, but we're looking for damages as a result of all the increased funds we've had to expand primarily to increase our security as a result of the huge violence that we encountered after the videos came out.

CO: The Center for Medical Progress, which is the groups that these two people belong to say the charges are bogus. They've called them “fake news”. They say they plan to release more videos exposing what they say, “Planned Parenthood's criminal body parts enterprise,” unquote. Are they still able to do that? Would that be a further violation of the law?

BP: It's the recordings themselves that is the subject of the criminal complaint. The court itself has said there are 14 separate incidents of taping in California that was illegal. That the attorney general went to those individuals, showed them the tapes, the individuals said they did not know they were being taped and Daleiden, himself, has admitted that he did these tapings. So this is not “fake news”. It's very well documented and it is a violation of California law.

CO: Now, as far as what this organization attempted to do to Planned Parenthood. What do you think may have been the lasting effect of their efforts to try and present Planned Parenthood as a criminal enterprise? What are the consequences of that?

BP: Well, I think their ultimate goal was to end the access to abortion in the United States and to attempt to have Planned Parenthood prevented from providing health care as we do to millions of women in the United States. Congress recently has looked at defunding Planned Parenthood, which really means they no longer want to reimburse us for the medical services we provide. And the reason they're saying they want to do that is a result of these videotapes. Ironically the American public understands that Planned Parenthood committed no wrongdoing. Recent polls show that 80 per cent of the public is against defunding and is very supportive of the services we provide. The large range of reproductive health care services we provide to millions of women and men in the United States.

CO: Will you ever then as an organization be able to discredit the content of these videos and the effect that it had?

BP: I think the content has been discredited. I think the fact that many, many states have done investigations and have concluded that we committed no wrongdoing. A district court and now, an appellate court have concluded we did no wrongdoing. And most of the mainstream media concluded that we have done no wrong doing. So I think the tapes themselves have been very much discredited.

CO: All right, we'll be following this case. Ms. Parker, thank you.

BP: Thank you.

JD: Beth Parker is chief counsel for Planned Parenthood in California. We reached her in Sacramento.

[Music: Ambient]

Annapolis Royal mayor

JD: It's being billed as a series about the moments that shaped Canadian history. That defined Canadian history. But a mayor in Nova Scotia says that it's seriously botched one of those moments. The CBC series “Canada: The Story of Us” started airing this past weekend. Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia Mayor Bill McDonald watched the first episode and he disagrees with the series contention that the country's first permanent European settlement was established in 1608 in an area near what is now Quebec City. He says the episode should have featured Port Royal, Nova Scotia. Here's what Bill McDonald told Bob Murphy, host of “Mainstreet” in Halifax, about what upset him about the episode.


BILL MCDONALD: When it came to the part where Samuel Champlain comes ashore with his man to establish Quebec City and its declared as the first European settlement in the New World. I was obviously taken aback by it because I lived in Annapolis Royal and we're just metres away from Port Royal, which was established by Champlain and Pierre Du Gua in 1605. It was a fortified settlement. It was in fact, Samuel Champlain was a fastidious record keeper and so the habitation was able to be rebuilt in the 1930s based on his drawings.

BOB MURPHY: So you know there might be some people who say OK, it's a TV show. They have to sort of crunch things down a little bit to fit it into the time frame that they're working with as far as programming goes. Why does it matter beyond the fact that it's just a TV show if you want to cast it that way?

BMD: Well, I don't think it's just a TV show and certainly it hasn't been marketed as just a TV show. The buildup to it has been significant. It's unavoidable that this is happening within the context of Canada 150 and our celebrations. You know the history of Canada and the history of every corner of the country is really, really important. And I don't want to suggest for a moment that the history of each and every place in this country isn't as valuable and as important as we have here in Annapolis Royal. But this is the origins. This is where Champlain and Du Gua first arrived. This is where they first established a permanent settlement. This is where global empires fought and struggled over a foothold in the New World. In fact, Annapolis Royal is the site of more military conflicts than any other piece of land in North America. There have been thirteen battles here. The exclusion of this story at this end the country disregards the mi'kmaq people. It disregards the important friendship and relationships that developed between chiefs and the Europeans.

JD: That was Bill McDonald, in conversation with the CBC's Bob Murphy yesterday. Mr. McDonald is the mayor of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. And he is speaking out about the CBC series “Canada: The Story of Us. In response to Mr. McDonnell's criticism, producers of the series told the CBC that Port Royal did come up in preparation for the show. However, they chose to go with the site near Quebec City because of its permanence. Whereas Port Royal, they argue, was temporarily abandoned in 1607.

[Music: Ambient]

BooBoo the cat

Guest: Ashley Aleman

JD: A story is a good story when it involves the elements of international mystery, a runaway and an unexpected call. A story is a better story when it has all of the above, plus a cat and you are getting into best story ever territory when the cat's name is Booboo. One word, both B's capital. It all started four years ago, when BooBoo disappeared from her home in California. We pick it up in the present at a dramatic moment when Booboo is found alive — in Canada. We reach BooBoo's owner Ashley Aleman in Watsonville, California earlier today.

CO: Ashley, did you ever expect to see BooBoo again?

ASHLEY ALEMAN: No, I would have never expected this call to have happened to my family.

CO: And tell us about that call you got?

AA: The call that we got was actually to my mother’s cell phone. So my mother got a call from a Canadian number and she go to voicemail because she was like this is probably solicitor, I’m not going to answer it and be on the phone for a couple hours. And so she let it go to voice, totally forgot about it, checked her voicemail maybe a couple hours later and it was from a humane centre in Guelph. And they said that they had our cat, BooBoo, and that if we can call them back and they'd give us more information. And so we were like what the heck? Our brains were just running with so many thoughts at that moment.

CO: So Guelph, Ontario this is where you got the call from. It’s from the Humane Society there. When was the last time you saw BooBoo?

AA: Last time I saw BooBoo was four years ago.

CO: Now you're in California — Watsonville, California?

AA: Yes.

CO: I’m just trying to calculate how far that is, so that's like a couple of thousand kilometers?

AA: I believe I saw somewhere it was over four thousand kilometers.

CO: How did they find out where you were? How did the humane society track you down?

AA: We had a microchip in her when she was kitten and when we got her fixed. And so that's how they got a hold of us. We still had the same information that was on the microchip.

CO: And so how do you think she ended up there?

AA: She was very friendly all the time. There were cases where she would jump into our neighbor's car all the time. Any time you were trying to leave, she would try to bug you, want you to pet her and she would try to find a distraction for you to stay. So my only thing is that maybe she jumped in the back of somebody's car, they didn't recognize her for a minute and then they're like oh my goodness, there's a cat in our car. And maybe they just let her out and she kind of just went on her travels. It's my only option right there.

CO: Even that boggles the mind doesn't it? Because if you're on a journey of four thousand kilometers then you know at some point before you get to Guelph. You found out you had a car in your car, right?

AA: Yeah, some people have said that maybe she got on a train as well. They've heard that story.

CO: Does it sound like something BooBoo would do? that she’d get on a train?

AA: Yeah, it seems like something she would do.

CO: Now what kind of shape is she in? Do you know?

AA: She’s super healthy. They said that it looks like she's been taken care of. When she left us, she was fairly skinny because she had just gone through giving birth to a couple kittens. And so when we saw pictures of her right now she has weight on her and she looks healthy.

CO: And so when did you stop searching for BooBoo?

AA: We searched for her for about two months I would say. Like long and hard and then we kind of just never really gave up hope that she was still out there. My stepdad and I, we always have said that we feel like she's in someone's care. We never felt that burden was on us that she was actually gone. And then crazy to come find out that she's actually not necessarily with somebody, but she's still alive and she's still carrying on.

CO: Was it a big loss for your family when you lost BooBoo?

AA: Yes, she was a big part of our family. She had an accident when she was little. We have a pit bull dog that she loves to play with. And they were playing a little too rough one day, and he hit her in the head and she lost consciousness. And control of her brain, her two front paws and we went and took her into the pet hospital in our area and they told us to say our goodbyes to her because we couldn't afford the surgery and they were like she's not going to make it. You to say your goodbyes, but we didn't want to do that. We never wanted to say our goodbyes to her, so we just gave her our love and we said we'll see you later. We hope all is well. We left her with the vet and four days later, she was released perfectly healthy. She just had this one little side tile on her head and a little squinted eye. And she actually still has that head tilt to this day.

CO: Oh dear! And is she still friends with your dog?

AA: Yes. They were best friends after that.

CO: Well I guess with a little bit more respect then?

AA: Yeah.

CO: Do you think that BooBoo will pick up that relationship again when she's going back to you?

AA: Yes, she's going back to the same exact house that she had left from. My mom is actually on a plane right now from San Francisco to Buffalo, New York. And she will arrive in Buffalo tonight, she's going to be staying in a hotel and tomorrow morning, they're going to be meeting her in Buffalo, New York at the airport and they're going to be doing the transfer there.

CO: And how is this reunion going to be in your family?

AA: It's going to be an emotional reunion. We were really devastated with her loss and it was really emotional to find out that she was still alive and super healthy. And we're just glad that she's going to be back part of our family.

CO: Do you still have your dog?

AA: Yes. We still have our dogs.

CO: Do you think booboo will be happy to see your dog?

AA: I mean at first, I feel like she's going to be a little freaked out because he still has a lot of high energy. But I feel like, in the end, that they're going to warm up to each other and they'll remember.

CO: How many of BooBoo's nine lives do you think she has spent at this point?

AA: When she was with me, she at least spent four or five of her lives. So she's pretty close.

CO: This is one of those cases where you wish cats could talk and get the story of BooBoo's travels.

AA: Yes. I cannot even imagine the story it could tell. It’d be a lot of adventurous things and a lot of good sights to see I can imagine.

CO: All right, Ashley. It's good to talk to you. Thanks.

AA: Thank you.

CO: Have a happy reunion.

AA: Thank you.

CO: Bye.

JD: Ashley Alemein is BooBoo the cat's human. BooBoo went missing four years ago, and was found alive and well near Guelph, Ontario this month. We reached Ms. Aleman in Watsonville, Calif earlier today. Cat and owner will be reunited tomorrow.

[Music: Percusive]

Ferrari corpse

JD: If you're going to steal a Ferrari, you should keep in mind that someone's probably watching you. Plus, of course, you somehow have to get into the cemetery, and then through the thick marble wall. It's complicated, which is why it took a gang of Italian criminals a year-and-a-half to plan out their daring heist. They visited the site over and over again, drew up elaborate plans on what to do once the theft was complete. But this week, Italian police arrested everyone involved, before they could crack open the tomb and make off with the coffin, and the body inside.When I say these people were going to steal a Ferrari, I mean they were going to steal the Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari, auto racer and founder of the Ferrari car company. Who died in 1988 at the age of 90, and whose remains are currently interred in an above-ground tomb in San Cataldo in Modena.While investigating the gang for trafficking drugs and arms, police discovered the plan to steal Mr. Ferrari's casket, and then sell it back to his family for an exorbitant sum. But the criminal plot to raid the plot was foiled: on Tuesday, three hundred officers — not sure why that many were required — arrested thirty-four people before they could depart with the departed.It's clear that the scheme to snatch Enzo Ferrari was as misguided as it was macabre. And despite the thoroughness of the planning, it's also clear that the Enzo did not justify the means.

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