Wednesday March 15, 2017

March 14, 2017 episode transcript

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The AIH Transcript for March 14, 2017

Hosts: Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

STORIES FROM THIS EPISODE

Prologue

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: Alright. Now, as the Netherlands prepares to go to the polls, the two main choices are a conservative party and the party of a man who's been called the Dutch Donald Trump, among other things.

JD: House of discards. They made their homes in a gigantic landfill in Ethiopia and then the whole thing came crashing down. Now the death toll keeps climbing.

CO: Famous last words. In a final published work, the late author and artist Amy Krouse Rosenthal wrote a public love letter to her husband that went viral. That was just one of dozens of her inspired creative acts.

JD: Brief Encounter. An errant cruise ship smashes into a coral reef in Indonesia and the effects are not just devastating for the underwater ecosystem, but also for the humans who rely on it.

CO: Unfamiliar with their customs. Last night we found out why Girl Guides of Canada had suspended all their trips to the United States. Tonight we'll find out why some of you feel that's a badge of dishonour.

JD: And hot wings. They have been knitting together for a long time, but this year, some Massachusetts retirees are making sweaters for clients for whom dressing usually involves breadcrumbs, a bunch of cold chickens. As It Happens the Tuesday edition. Radio that promises a chicken in every top.

[Music]

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Part 1: Dutch election, Amy Krouse Rosenthal obit, Chicken sweaters

Dutch election

Guest: Wim Kortenoeven

JEFF DOUGLAS: Voters head on out to the polls in the Netherlands tomorrow. And of the 28 parties running candidates, two have been neck-and-neck at the top, the conservative People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, led by current Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and the far-right Freedom Party, led by the so-called Dutch Donald Trump, Geert Wilders. Mr. Wilders has gained international notoriety, I guess, for his extreme anti-Islamic rhetoric. Last year, he was convicted in a Dutch court of insulting an ethnic group and inciting discrimination. Wim Kortenoeven was once a Member of Parliament with Mr. Wilders' Freedom Party. He defected from the party in 2012. We reached him in Zeeland, the Netherlands.

CAROL OFF: Mr. Kortenoeven, you’re a former member of the Freedom Party. So you are in a good position to tell us perhaps Geert Wilders is so attractive for Dutch voters?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Yes. There are several reasons for that. First, he speaks the voice of the people. He is anti-establishment. We see that in the United States with Mr. Trump. He uses Twitter for instance, he did it for ten years already, using Twitter as a means to bypass the regular media who he considers to be not on his side. He just goes directly to the voters.

CO: OK, so can you, I mean, usually in election campaigns it’s a lot about the economy and jobs. But that doesn’t seem to be the manifesto of Geert Wilders in this election. What is he selling?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Well, he’s selling the same thing all over again. And I think he's right in trying to do that. I absolutely agree with his assessments as to the problems that we are facing, in general in Europe and in the Netherlands in particular.

CO: Well, what are the problems? Tell us what problems he says he's trying to solve?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: His assessment is there are three things jeopardizing our culture and our civilization here in the Netherlands. First is the European Union, second is immigration, which is also related to the role of the European Union, because they forced us to accept open borders. The third issue is the Islamization of our continent and especially the Netherlands. This is a big problem.

CO: How so? What’s the evidence that the continent is being Islamicized?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: There is plenty of evidence. I mean, we have many problems here in the inner cities. We have an influx of migrants that do not accept our culture and do not accept our social mores.

CO: [crosstalk] And how do you know that? Is it really that with Islam and Muslims or is it matter of poverty and a lack of opportunity in Holland?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Oh come on, there's no poverty here. I don't know how long it has been since you've been here, but we have a social welfare state where there is no real poverty. I mean, if people are poor here, they have sort of self-inflicted poverty.

CO: Well, you have two and a half million people who live below the poverty line in your country.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Well, that's relative. What's a poverty line? I mean, if you go to Africa the poverty line is on a very different scale than here.

CO: Let’s just get back to Mr. Wilders and the policy. Mr. Wilders is saying the solution to this is that to de-Islamicize Europe, as he wants to do. He wants to ban the Quran, to shut down mosques, to shut down Islamic schools, to have a policy that doesn't allow for refugees, it doesn't allow for migrants from Muslim countries. Do you support those solutions?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: These are not solutions. This is why I split from Wilders’ party in the first place. The problem is that Mr. Wilders knows how to assess the problems and knows how to identify them. But there it stops. He is incapable of going beyond an election victory. We've had that in 2010, where when I was a member of the faction, we won 24 seats in parliament. And so we had to deal with a coalition, and Wilders had to agree on a number of files where he didn't want to agree on in the end. And so he jumped ship. Now the reason he did that is because he found it very hard to compromise. You know, democracy is all about compromise. And he doesn't know how to play that game very well I'm afraid.

CO: You left his party because you didn't feel he could compromise. But then, you clearly support the idea that there is a problem with immigration. But do you go as far as he says? Do you agree that you should prevent refugees, to stop immigration from Muslim countries, to ban Quran, to ban the mosques? Do you agree with that?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: No no no, not at all, not at all. This is where, if I would have been in the party [chuckles] now, I would have left because of the program that he's pushing to the public. I mean, this is against the constitution, he knows that.

CO: He's slipping in the polls. There's a flash poll today that indicates that he's dropping quite a bit. Do you think that's because of the extremism of his policies or is it something else?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: No no. That has nothing to do with it I’m afraid. It has to do with the fact that the Turkish riots in the inner cities of Rotterdam and Amsterdam this weekend gave the prime minister an opportunity to pose himself as a real statesman and a leader.

CO: So do Dutch people otherwise support his anti-Muslim ideas?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Yes, I think rightly so. People are really fed up with the way the present elite has ruled this country, in particular with the immigration file. People feel unsafe, they feel their future is in jeopardy. And what happens is that Mr. Wilders steps into that feeling.

CO: But said, you yourself, where is your line then? You're saying that you don't support the extremism of Mr. Wilders but you are clearly believing that immigrants and migrants are creating these problems in your country.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Yes, they’re not the only ones who create problems but they are part of the problem. Yes. And I don't want to generalize the migrants that are performing pretty well.

CO: Well are you.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: I am?

CO: You’ve been saying that they're creating all these problems to the economy.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Yeah, yeah, but this is like a statistical fact. I mean, there is also the fact that Moroccan citizens of the Netherlands have dual nationality top all the crime statistics.

CO: But again, this idea, is it you're saying it’s because they're Muslim? Because of Islam? Or because of other issues, other social issues that might have led to that?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Well no, look look, I'm not a simple guy. I mean, I studied history and political science and I have two degrees also in Middle Eastern studies. I know what I'm talking about Mrs. There is here a big problem, also with culture, it doesn’t only has to do with religion. There's also tribal society that has taken root here. And I'm not a racist, the party of Wilders is not racist. I mean, if I—

CO: [interposing] The party’s not racist? The Freedom Party is not racist?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: No, the party is not racist.

CO: When the leader calls Moroccans scum, that’s not racism?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: I’m sorry, Moroccan scum?

CO: He’s called them—

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Well, there is Moroccan scum. But he’s not suggesting that every Moroccan is scum, that’s rubbish.

CO: Well he was charged and convicted for racism, so how is he not a racist?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Yes, of course, there was a, look, there was a political trial here with Mr. Wilders. And look, there’s much to say about that, but perhaps should interview him about that. There is a real problem here with groups of migrants. Most of them are on welfare, most of them do not accept our culture as the culture that they should refer to. And this is a problem. I mean, if somebody--

CO: Why is it a problem? Why is it a problem? In our country we have people of all kinds of cultures, they're allowed to enjoy their past, including Dutch and Europeans.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Well, I wish you a lot of luck. I had colleagues of you, also from Canada, who were still cheering that the open border policy of your prime minister was in my view very naive. The open border policy is so liberal. That is the same policy that the Swedes had and it destroyed their inner cities. And you will find out--

CO: Well it’s the same policy, it’s the same policy.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: You will find that out.

CO: It's the same policy that allowed a lot of Europeans, including Dutch people, to settle in this country and become productive members of our society, so.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: You're generalizing too. I mean, you’re stating that everybody from every culture is the same. I mean--

CO: So you feel you have no obligation to people in other countries?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: What do you think? That I have an obligation to people from Turkey or Morocco? I've never been there, my parents never been there. And I tell you something lady, from Indonesia we had a major influx of immigration in the fourties, the fifties, and the sixties. And these people, they integrated without one problem. They are Dutch citizens just as I am and my wife. They are respected citizens and they're Muslim.

CO: What do you think will happen in the election tomorrow?

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Again, I'm not a prophet. There is a chance that Wilders will win, but it's diminished as you know, according to the polls. On the other hand, the polls are manipulated like they were in Great Britain and like they were in the United States, poll manipulation can influence the results of elections because people tends to vote strategically, like for instance now all the Christian Democratic Party, of which the chairman and the Foreign Affairs spokesman, by the way, the last one is very good friend of mine, and he doesn't think I'm a racist. [laughs] He thinks exactly the same like I do on the issues that we discussed. The only way we differ opinion is how to get there.

CO: We're going to have to leave it there. Mr. Kortenoeven, I'm sorry to interview you with your bad cold. But I appreciate you speaking with us. Thank you.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: I wish you strength with your left wing views. It will be a challenge to you in Canada. I hope not, but yeah.

CO: Thank you very much for speaking with us.

WIM KORTENOEVEN: Bye Bye.

CO: Bye bye.

JD: Wim Kortenoeven is a former member of Geert Wilders Freedom Party. He defected from that party in 2012. We reached Mr. Kortenoeven in Zeeland, the Netherlands.

[Music]

Amy Krouse Rosenthal obit

Guest: Claire Zulkey

JD: Earlier this month, Amy Krouse Rosenthal published an essay in The New York Times. It was called You May Want to Marry My Husband. It was a dating profile for the love of her life in the final days of her own. Amy Krouse Rosenthal died yesterday, she was 51 years old. And she was an award-winning children's book author, memoirist, and engineer of community projects. She described herself as a person who likes to make things. We reached her friend and fellow Chicago writer Claire Zulkey in Evanston, Illinois.

CO: Claire, first of all I'm sorry for your loss.

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Thank you, I appreciate it.

CO: I think I'm sorry for everyone's loss because what we know of this woman, what she wrote, it's just an extraordinary loss, isn't it?

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Yeah, I saw that she was a trending topic on Twitter for the whole day yesterday. And I guess I shouldn't have been surprised seeing what a reaction her Modern Love column got in The New York Times but it seemed like the whole country knew that she had gone. And it was surprising but gratifying as well, as her friend to see that.

CO: This Modern Love essay that she wrote about her husband Jason that was published in The New York Times. I can't imagine anyone read that and didn't cry. It's just so, it's so moving. And the essay is just such an extraordinary act of generosity, because many people can't imagine their spouse, the person they love the most being with somebody else after they're gone. And yet here she's offering him, saying this is such a wonderful man. He's a sharp dresser, he's very handy, he can cook. Just all these things about how handsome he is and how she's not going to be able to see his face anymore, and yet she says yes, I want to leave this space blank for the two of you to start fresh as you deserve. It’s so unusual isn't it?

CLAIRE ZULKEY: It is. But I when I read it, I went and I gave my husband a hug. We're not unfamiliar with hugs in our household, but it was a little bit of an unsolicited hug. And I think that would have been a reaction that Amy would have liked, that people went and looked at their partners and loved ones and appreciated them a little bit more. Because Amy was so young and early deaths and leaving children and parents behind is always tragic, but I think a lot of people have been realizing and taking to heart her message of appreciate what you have now.

CO: Can you tell us a bit about Amy, and the things she did, the things she did with people and for people that were so inspiring?

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Well she was a great advocate of encouraging people's creativity. That's the basis, I'd, say of my husband’s and my friendship with her. She was just that kind of person who liked to bring people together by acknowledging how strange and wonderful humanity can be.

CO: Understand she was famous for her parties, which were quirky and unexpected. She had one for you and your husband.

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Yeah. When we were engaged, she offered to go with an engagement party. And there were just these little touches, she served éclairs for dessert.

CO: [chuckles]

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Because Claire is my name. And then at 10:11 PM, an alarm went off and our wedding date was October 11. And she brought out this little scrap of paper and explained that she hopes that at 10:11 every night, that my husband and I would think about our wedding and our time together. And I have to say we don't do that. We don't take the time to remember but we do have that scrap of paper, we've held on to it. And when we purchased our home, before we even looked at it, I saw that the street number was 10:11.

CO: [chuckles]

CLAIRE ZULKEY: And I said something along the lines of, watch this be the house, and it was. And I told Amy about that, and of course she loved that. That's exactly the kind of coincidence that she loved.

CO: For so many people who read The New York Times piece, and of course it’s being passed around extensively since we learned of her death yesterday, at the age of 51, of ovarian cancer. Can you tell us a bit about the books that she wrote?

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Yeah. The first one that I read of hers was Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, which is her memoir in alphabetical order. It's an enjoyable read, it’s an easy read but just because something is an easy read doesn't mean necessarily an easy project per se. But that's the kind of writer that Amy was, that she made things look easy. And then of course, there are her children's books, which we have at least a dozen in our home. But they incorporate her sense of wordplay and sweetness and a sense of irony. I read one to my son last night about an owl, a little owl, and all he wants is to go to bed early but his parents make him stay up late.

CO: [laughs]

CLAIRE ZULKEY: So she just likes to take little traditional things like that, like always children want to stay up late, and she wrote about a child who was go to bed early. And that’s one of her brands of humour for sure.

CO: She wrote in her essay, she says, “I want more time with Jason, I want more time with my children, I want more time sipping martinis at the Green Mill Jazz Club on Thursday nights.” Why do you think she wrote that? It’s obviously more than for Jason, it’s for other people. What was she trying to say, do you think, to all the people that know her?

CLAIRE ZULKEY: You know, when I knew that she was dying for instance, I was thinking about how much I love the feeling of climbing into bed and feeling the sheets against my bare feet. And if you had told me I only had a month left to enjoy that. There's so many little pleasures of life that you take for a second to enjoy but then it gets buried by the minutiae of the day of, you know, the person who stole your parking spot or doing the dishes. And when she realized that these little moments, which she was an expert at appreciating, but even before she was dying, she always expressed how unfair it was that there was a finite amount of time to enjoy all the parts of life that are worth enjoying. And so to have it be cut off so abruptly, it's unfair, and she wanted to express that. And a lot of people who knew her are suddenly realizing you should take it in now.

CO: I don't know how one mourns the death of someone who is such a life force. But how did you do that yesterday? I understand you did have a moment with your son that was a way of paying tribute to Amy.

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Yeah. We had snow in Chicago for the first time in a long time. And my son, he’s four and a half, he wanted to go play outside after school. And to be honest, it wasn't the first thing I wanted to do, but someone said in response to Amy's death, you can't add years to your life but you can add life to your years. And that made me think well, I would never regret spending time with my son outside in the snow. So we went outside for a little bit and we slid down the slide in our snow pants and--

CO: And you made some snow angels for your friend.

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Yeah, we, my son and I made snow angels together, and I certainly thought of Amy. And another thing is that I've been in touch with many friends today who I know through Amy, and people I haven't really spoken with in a while. And we're going to see each other tomorrow. And that's exactly what she would have liked. When we saw her in hospice care, she wanted us all to get to know each other. And I thought that was sort of amazing that, you know, we were all too upset, I think, to pretend like this is a social function. But that was what she wanted. So I think she would be happy that a lot of us are going to get together and talk about how much we love her but also how much we love each other.

CO: Well thank you for sharing your stories with us.

CLAIRE ZULKEY: Thanks a lot.

JD: We reached Claire Zulkey in Evanston, Illinois. She was speaking about her friend, children's book author and so much more, Amy Krouse Rosenthal who died yesterday.

[Music]

Chicken sweaters

Guest: Nancy Kearns

JD: If you can knit, you can knit to pass the time, you can knit because you need new socks or a sweater or you can knit to make a gift. In this case, a group of retirees is doing that last thing. And their gifts are more than heartwarming, they are hen warming. In the past, this group has made blankets and sweaters for children who are sick. Now though, they have a different set of clients. The knitters have turned to making sweaters for chickens. Nancy Kearns is one of the knitters and she's also a resident at the Fuller Village retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts. And that is indeed where we reached her.

CO: Nancy, how are the chickens enjoying their new sweaters?

NANCY KEARNS: They seem to be loving the sweaters. When we went to visit the Wakefield estate and gingerly put the sweaters on the chickens, and then put them on the ground, they just sort of trotted away like they were in a fashion show. I think they liked showing them off.

CO: [chuckles] How did you think they were going to react to them?

NANCY KEARNS: We thought that they would feel that they were kind of confining, but the way this sweater works it's almost like a poncho with a, like a rectangular section in the front and in the back, and joined at the shoulders with an opening for their heads. And then if you gently take their wings outside, then they can still flap the wings if it's needed. So our fears that they would sort of peck at them and want them off, that didn't happen so it was good.

CO: How did you decide that chickens needed to have some sweaters?

NANCY KEARNS: Well, there's a wonderful director at the Wakefield estate, her name is Erica Max. And part of what she does is invite schools, inner city schools, especially in Boston, and they have a bus that comes to the Wakefield estate and teaches the children about growing dogwood trees and rhododendrons and chickens and sheep. And it's a wonderful educational opportunity. So she was telling the children that they have a miniature rooster who comes from Malaysia and his breed of rooster is used to warm climates. And so he's very cold, even in the summer he is shivering, and she was worried about him. And some of her chickens are more fragile than the others. And just for the fun of it, she asked me if any of our knitters would be willing to make a sweater. So of course we all laughed at the idea. But I went online and found a pattern from England, and the woman who made the pattern included some pictures of her chickens wearing the sweater. So anyway we got started and despite the fact that our neighbours thought we were a little bit silly, it worked out fine.

CO: [laughs] How many birds are wearing knitwear by you and your friends?

NANCY KEARNS: [laughs] Well, there's probably a flock of about 30 chickens all together.

CO: [laughs]

NANCY KEARNS: It's not a huge place. And when they molt, you might know that in the winter they lose their feathers, and they're almost like a bald person, and they're cold. So they don't all molt at the same time, so it's not like you have to knit a sweater for every chicken. So we made probably about oh, a dozen sweaters.

CO: [laughs]

NANCY KEARNS: In varying sizes.

CO: They can share the sweaters then?

NANCY KEARNS: They can share them, yes.

CO: Do you have any evidence that it’s actually benefiting them? Are they looking warmer, are they laying more eggs?

NANCY KEARNS: They actually are. We started putting them on a month ago, and at that time their production was quite low. Since then, they have started laying again. So we haven't done a scientific study, but we agree with people who say that is better for them.

CO: And what does it look like to see all these chickens and roosters wearing their little jumpers?

NANCY KEARNS: It's really funny. We've been amazed at the outreach of this whole story. And we feel that we're living in kind of a politically rough time right now with a lot of worries and that people needed a fun story that showed two communities working together to benefit chickens. What could be better than that?

CO: But I imagine even for those who are knitting their little chickens sweaters, that it comes as some respite from all the news and the drama going on these days.

NANCY KEARNS: Absolutely. And we have one lady who is deathly afraid of birds of all kinds. So for her to knit a sweater and then pick up a chicken and hold him was beyond her stretch of imagination and she was so proud of herself. We get out of our comfort zone and who knows what'll happen.

CO: The women who are knitting the sweaters are actually the ones who dress the chickens then?

NANCY KEARNS: We did. Yes.

CO: [laughs]

NANCY KEARNS: It’s a two person job. One person holds the chicken, almost like you’d tuck a football under your arm and the other will gently put it over the chicken’s head and then carefully take their little wing outside. So then when you put them on the ground, they trot away as if they like it. So that made us all feel good.

CO: We have done this story before. We've spoken with people who, I think, the people in England who put the pattern up, so we know that this is not the first time. But do you think this idea will catch on?

NANCY KEARNS: I think it will, because backyard chicken coops have been very popular in the suburbs of Boston, something that probably two years ago was unheard of. So some of them have been calling us for the pattern, and if they don't knit themselves, they ask us if we might be willing to knit a few for themselves. We'll have to have a little meeting to decide if we want to reach out even further.

CO: Well I think you're being hit by a big snowstorm today or are getting some pretty nasty weather, so maybe more chickens need your sweaters.

NANCY KEARNS: [chuckles] I think you're right. Yes, they do. They do.

CO: Nancy, it's great to talk to you. Thanks.

NANCY KEARNS: Okey dokey. Very well welcome.

CO: Take care. Bye bye.

NANCY KEARNS: Bye bye.

JD: This chicken could use a sweater. That was Nancy Kearns. We reached her in Milton, Massachusetts. And if you'd like to see photographs of those chicken sweaters, you go to our website cbc.ca/aih.

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Part 2: Ethiopia landfill deaths, Made in America Store

Ethiopia landfill deaths

Guest: Munit Mesfin

JEFF DOUGLAS: They lived in garbage in Addis Ababa, they made a meager income from it. And then on Saturday, dozens of them were buried in it. It happened when a part of a massive garbage dump collapsed under its own weight in the Ethiopian capital, taking with it the homes of people who live in it. The death toll has now climbed to more than 70 people. Munit Mesfin is a musician and an activist. She visited the dump today to help families who survived the landslide. We reached Ms. Mesfin in Addis Ababa.

CAROL OFF: Munit, can you tell us what you saw at this garbage dump today?

MUNIT MESFIN: So there was a lot of excavation. The roads are cordoned off. There were a lot of Red Cross trucks. There were a lot of those grieving that were also being taken by ambulance just because they're being overrun by grief, by heat, by just the whole tragedy and the whole thing. It was just overall an entire neighbourhood that was in mourning. Every other house had somebody that was affected in some way.

CO: Are they still trying to find bodies?

MUNIT MESFIN: Yes. Yesterday the number was at, like, 65 people or so were found this morning. And during the course of the day I think that number rose to 72. But it definitely feels like there's probably going to be more bodies that will be found, excavation continues. And I think there's a sense that, you know, more than 100 people might have perished in the landslide that happened. But still people are still waiting to hear, there are people that have also been very hurt and they’re in hospitals. Some of them are waiting outcomes within hospitals. But in general, there’s still excavation and there's still expectation that that number is going to unfortunately rise.

CO: Tell us about this garbage dump. And it’s just outside Addis Ababa and it's people lived there, they worked there. How large was this mountain?

MUNIT MESFIN: When you look at it looks like a very big hill. It became a place where people could come to scavenge for second hand goods, metal, parts, you know, just basically scavenging for things that they could sell to others who would then sell it, maybe if it's metal parts, they’ll sell it to factories where they can melt it and reutilize it. But it's really about people going in the mornings with an empty sack and just scavenging for things that they can sell. And they're very poor, these people are very very poor This is not work that anybody would wish on anyone and this would not be a place for anybody to live on because the air is toxic, the soil is toxic, the water is toxic, a lot of it is toxic. But at some point, I think there might be hundreds of families that are there.

CO: The houses were kind of burrowed in or attached to the side of this big garbage hill.

MUNIT MESFIN: It was literally on top of it, so you can see some of the houses are still leaning, that are being pushed by the dirt that has landed on them, and there's some that are still upright. But in the middle, it seemed like the mountain started to slide down and then it just kind of rolled over the houses underneath it.

CO: Do you have any idea, do you know how it happened? How this garbage slide actually occurred, what triggered it?

MUNIT MESFIN: I think there was no real trigger per se. I don't think anybody felt anything exploding or any kind of anything dramatic whatsoever. But I think it's just, you know, the course of, it’s organic matter within it. So there’s constantly, you know, it's constantly decomposing. So I think at some point, there's just some weak spots that might have led to some kind of movement and then it's weak soil, it’s like kind of building your house on sand and then all of a sudden the sand has come down on you. And so I think the ground was just not solid. And for some reason on Saturday at around 7:00 PM, you know, people heard screaming and they thought maybe it was a transformer that exploded or something else that happened. And next thing they knew half the houses were covered.

CO: And people are, there’s still bodies in there. How are people reacting? They must be, I understand some of them were actually calling out to see if anyone can respond.

MUNIT MESFIN: At this point there are still families that are waiting for word on their family members. So you see parents holding on to pictures going where are you? Where are you? And calling out their children’s names. It's just really tragic, you know, there’s young kids, really the small children who at 7:00 PM thought they're clearly at home, you know, and mostly I think most of the people that have died are women as well. Because it was 7:00 PM on a Saturday, so it's something that, you know, it's natural for parents to be there with their children, especially mothers, to be there with their children. And so those things are what's really kind of part of this tremendous tragedy of it. And it just feels like everybody is in shock. They've lost their homes and some families have lost six people, some families have lost seven, there was one man who said, you know, there were eight of us in the house and now there’s only me. So something that you just can't fathom.

CO: Who will take care of them now? I mean, I know I read places where they're blaming these people themselves for they shouldn't have been there was one response, so will the government do anything to help them?

MUNIT MESFIN: At this moment, the mayor of the city has actually set up a committee to see how they can help them. Like I said, those who are in danger of having their houses collapse or those who are also still homes on that mountain have been currently moved to a school, where they can temporarily reside. And I think immediately currently right now what they’re trying to do, what the city’s trying to do with the excavation is to account for everybody, accounting for everybody that’s lost is the first priority. And of course there’s basic needs like food and water and clothes, because everything that they had has been buried in as well. So there's a committee to work on what is the long term sustainable thing, which is about finding housing that is in much better situation, finding housing that is not going to be on a mountain of trash, finding housing that is properly housing. But also the other part of it is, you know, just figure out again what needs to be done with that location, because as part of city management and whatnot, and people will continue to work there and people will continue to scavenge there and the risks still continue. But at this point, everybody’s overwhelming sense is just the tragedy of it.

CO: It is an enormously tragic story Munit, and I appreciate you speaking with us. Thank you.

MUNIT MESFIN: No problem, my pleasure.

CO: Good night.

MUNIT MESFIN: Good night.

JD: Munit Mesfin is a musician and an activist. She has been helping survivors after a mountain of garbage collapsed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And that is where we reached her.

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SOUNDCLIP

We never want that one girl to ever feel like she's not in a safe emotional space. So if we can't guarantee that she can't make it across the border, then we really can't put anyone in that situation.

JD: That was Heather Auden, the interim director of member relations for the Girl Guides of Canada. She was on the program yesterday after the guides announced that for the time being they would be suspending all trips to or through the United States. Ms. Auden cited uncertainty at the border as a reason for that decision. And following that conversation we received some responses from you.

CO: We heard from Rita in Hamilton who says, “I salute the Girl Guides for taking this responsible position of refraining from crossing the USA border. All Canadians should think twice before seeking to cross what is the border of this now dysfunctional country.”

JD: Peter Lang, in Shanty Bay, Ontario wrote quote, “Heather Auden repeatedly stated that girl guides would not resume their trips to the USA until they could guarantee that no member, staff, or girl guide would be turned back at the border. No president or administration will ever provide such guarantee. It has always been the prerogative of US immigration officers to refuse entry of any foreigner into the USA based solely on their on the spot judgment. Additionally, the very laudable goal of Girl Guides to encourage the development of mature, confident, capable, young women will not be facilitated by shielding them from the possibility of an unexpected interruption to their plans. A reality they will have to deal with regularly throughout their life.”

CO: And finally, Elizabeth Thorsen told us that the guide's decision brought back a sad memory from 1954. She wrote, “Our Girl Guide choir was going to a festival in upstate New York. At the Niagara Falls crossing our bus was stopped. One girl had recently arrived from Eastern Europe and was not allowed to cross. The guiding community in Niagara Falls took care of her while we carried on. I remember that trip mainly because of this unfortunate incident.”

JD: Hm, well thank you to everyone who reached out to us. We really do love hearing from you. And if you would like to share your thoughts on this story or any other stories on the program, there are several ways to contact us. You can get to us through social media Facebook and Twitter at CBC As It Happens, both those accounts. Or you can email us, aih@CBC.ca. Or give us a call, we do love to hear your voice. Talk back is 416-205-5687.

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Made in America Store

Guest: Mark Andol

JD: Buy American. That is one of Donald Trump's mantras. Thus far though, all the US president’s talk has been mostly that, just talk. Mark Andol on the other hand, lives it. He is the owner of the Made in America store. Everything he sells is made entirely 100 per cent in the States, as you might have gathered from the name of the store. But stocking the shelves has not been easy. You will not find one single electronic device or a Fisher-Price toy, even though the company's headquarters is almost spitting distance away from the Buffalo area shop. We reached Mark Andol in Elma, New York.

CO: Mark, if I walked into your store right now, what are some of the more interesting items that might catch my eye?

MARK ANDOL: So we're up to 7,000 products, so we carry quite a bit. We've got clothing, you know, our favourite t-shirt’s the Made in America sort of shirt, because China’s a long drive to work.

CO: [chuckles]

MARK ANDOL: It gained some attention. We've got different nostalgic toys. We've got a food aisle, you know, with different things like Johnny Ryan pop or tuna fish that's actually pole caught. And then we got nostalgic signs, people love to look through the signs and there's different sayings on the signs that they have a lot of fun with.

CO: Now, what are the things that you have wanted to stock in your store but they didn't meet your criteria?

MARK ANDOL: So it's very hard, you know, out of all them products we don't have one item that plugs in or one item that takes a battery so. So them are items we're always looking for.

CO: Because those kinds of items they don't make in the States anywhere?

MARK ANDOL: They don't, you know, we just don't make them items no more. And it's really sad that we've got at a point where we don't make certain items, like a fishing pole I still can't find that's made in America.

CO: I understand also that even the packaging has to be made in America, so even the glue that holds the packaging together needs to be made in America.

MARK ANDOL: Yeah, you know, when I did this I wanted to import skilled trades and, you know, I'm all about creating livelihoods, owning a manufacturing facility. That I wanted to make sure the products, so I said from the beginning when we opened, you know, April 3rd, 2010, I said no our products got to be 100 per cent made in America, top quality and feeding an American family I had said. And we require three letters of authenticity stating that the product’s made in our country with American components by American workers. And it's a tough criteria to follow. You know, the Federal Trade Commission in our country actually says it could be 50 per cent foreign, 50 per cent domestic and be called made in America. But we stick to the 100 per cent, but right down to the glue of the packaging, it might be to cap, the bottle. All the items have to be 100 per cent made in our country, the component itself.

CO: Wow. So now you have been running this store, this Made in America store since 2010. What inspired you to start the business?

MARK ANDOL: So I owned a manufacturing company called General Welding and Fabricating, and I had lost half my business, it was making a steel post that went inside PVC fencing to give it rigidity. And it was a three million dollar plus account and I had lost it at the end of 2008. They had mentioned my customer wanted more money out of it, but I couldn't give them any more money out of making this post, so they said we have a manufacturer in Florida that can make it. And that ended up not being Florida, it was China. It was being made in China then shipped to Florida and Florida back up to western New York. So they took my business away pretty well overnight. And that was kind of the start of the recession area. And that's when I came up with the idea, I said, you know, I can't believe and I believe in globalization, but I couldn't believe I lost this heavy post that I made and they can ship it overseas to here. So that caused me, I wanted to make a statement for our country’s soldier, an American worker. But people that work with their hands. That's what kind of energized me to do it. I got a good team together and said we're going to do this. And there was an out of business Ford dealership, and I went over and asked the owner if I could lease it from him. We opened up.

CO: Did you think it was going to be so difficult to actually find products that were actually made in America?

MARK ANDOL: You know, to be honest when I started, I knew it would be hard but I didn't know it would be as difficult. So I learned as we went, you know, we started with only 50 products, only supporting a handful of vendors. But the homework that was involved, no I didn't believe it was going to be that difficult, but boy did we learn [chuckles] how hard it was.

CO: You mentioned you get a lot of tourists and you get Chinese tourists. So what's the appeal of your shop Made in America to those people?

MARK ANDOL: Oh they love it. They love number one, the made in America label was known around the world for quality. But they want to take something that's made in our country back with them. They come here, if they buy a pair of jeans, they’re jeans made in America. They actually didn't know. So we kind of educate them that no, a lot of stuff is made overseas. But they want to take something back from the country they're in.

CO: And not something that says made in China.

MARK ANDOL: Yeah exactly. And it's pretty funny and, you know, if it's Canada, I have a lot of friends in Canada, my kids played hockey and, you know, there's not many hockey sticks made in Canada no more, there's not many ice skates made in Canada. So they get it also. So it's kind of a, you know, a lot of the Japanese, Chinese they come in and to them it's common sense, it's no, support the country you live in. They really believe in what we're doing.

CO: Now this whole made in America idea, has taken on new life with Donald Trump as the president. His pledge to restore those jobs, to bring corporations back. A pledge to buy American, hire American. You know what the challenges are for that. So how difficult do you think it's actually going to be for President Trump to fulfill this pledge?

MARK ANDOL: I, you know, I tell people, you know, we're always non-political, I said I'm with the American party and I joke about it, because we've done really good, it wasn't an R thing, a D thing, a union thing or a non-union thing. And it's a 35 year mistake plus, you know, the United States made. You know, they shipped a lot of our product overseas and a lot of our work overseas and it was, you know, greed I believe and, you know, lower cost labour. But I believe, you know, I like that Donald Trump is mentioning this, just to talk about it is one, because we try to educate, a lot of people don't realize that a lot of our product is made here. And it's going to take years to build the supply chains back up because we lost so much of it.

CO: And do you think he can do that?

MARK ANDOL: I think he can. Yeah, I mean, it's going to take time to start. I think it's going to take a lot of time but our skilled worker shortage is a big concern of mine, because the schools aren't teaching, you know, your shop class, your wood classes.

CO: Just want to ask you finally, just about clothing because you, unlike Ivanka Trump and her clothing line, your clothes are all 100 per cent made in America. So you must wear 100 per cent America. How are you dressed?

MARK ANDOL: Yes, so I every day, I am 100 per cent, I got Thorogood boots on. I've got Texas jeans made in North Carolina. I got my belt is 100 per cent made in America. My wallet is 100 per cent and my shirt is a bayside shirt right down to the underwear. So you can do it. We're like a big general store on the [unintelligible] used to be, you know. [chuckles] We got glass bottled milk, clothing, fun things, but people have a lot of fun in our store.

CO: So I can get a slinky in your store but I can't get a toaster?

MARK ANDOL: Exactly. [chuckles] Isn't that a shame?

CO: OK. Good to talk to you Mark. Thanks.

MARK ANDOL: Well thank you Carol. Have a great day.

CO: Bye bye.

JD: Mark Andol is the owner of the Made in America store. We reached him in Elma, New York.

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Beyoncé Irish politics

JD: It is important to know how your elected representatives feel about the issues that really matter to you. Immigration, the economy, Beyoncé. And after realizing last week that she had really no idea how representatives felt about that third issue, Irish writer Amy O'Connor set out to clarify things for the public. She emailed all 158 members of the Irish Parliament with a very short questionnaire. Three questions, number one, do you like Beyoncé? Number two, if you answered yes, what is your favorite Beyoncé song? Number three, if you answered no, why don't you like Beyoncé? Now, a total of 37 legislators actually replied. Most had a straightforward albeit safe reply, a reply like Sean Fleming’s who wrote simply “yes, Single Ladies.” Nice job, Mr. Fleming's interns. But Jonathan O'Brien, who represents the constituency of Cork North-Central, had a more lively response. Quote, “I am Republican but Beyoncé is the only queen I have time for. Of course I like Beyoncé. I always felt. Bills Bills Bills from Beyoncé's days in Destiny's Child was a good allegory for what has faced the Irish working class.” Clever, unquote. One of the few brave dissenters Thomas Pringle responded by saying quote, “LOL. The answer to the question is no, I don't like Beyoncé. Well, I'm not sure if I do or not. I've never listened to her stuff. Should we all like Beyoncé? It seems from your question that it would be surprising if we didn't.” Yes Mr. Pringle it would be surprising if you didn't. Also unacceptable. Tender your resignation.

Clear knee mom jeans

JEFF DOUGLAS: We here at As It Happens like to ask the hard questions. It's what we do. But some of the most urgent questions are also unanswerable. Today we have struggled with one of those questions and that question is what are those jeans? Now, you may be struggling with the same question after seeing the images circulating on the internet. If you haven't, let me describe the jeans in question. They are made by the retailer Top Shop, or sold by them anyway. From the mid-thigh up they look pretty normal, standard. They've got the high waisted mom jean look. They're kind of faded. But then your eyes move from the mid-thigh to the knee and bamo. Here come the questions because what you're seeing is a rectangular piece of sea through plastic over the knee, two inexplicable knee windows through which a pair of patellas can be seen. You stare blankly at them, they stare blankly back at you, and you wish for knee curtains. On Nordstrom's website where the jeans are for sale, as I mentioned, it reads slick plastic panels bury your knees for a futuristic feel in tapered and cropped high waisted jeans. Now as you would expect, people across the internet have strong and divided opinions on the so-called clear knee mom jeans. According to UPI’s news site, one reviewer on Nordstrom's website wrote quote, “I like to keep an eye on my knees throughout the day. So I've been stuck wearing only shirts and dresses. Now with my clear knee mom jeans, I have a comfortable stylish pair of pants in my wardrobe. Also great if you're running late and only have time to shave a couple of sections [chuckles] of your legs. Twitter users also chimed in, @lizzybo wrote, “knee windows are now a thing.” And then strangely @basicbenny tweeted, “can someone buy these for me please?” Now if you're with that last Twitter user and you are pro clear mom Jean knee jeans, whatever they're called, you can pick up a pair at a cost of about 130 Canadian bucks. Be quick about it though, after all the kerfuffle, your window of opportunity may be small.

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Back To Top »

Part 3: Woolly mammoth DNA, Destroyed coral reef

Woolly mammoth DNA

Guest: Rebekah Rogers

JD: If you had been on a yacht, passing an island in the Arctic Ocean 4,000 years ago, that would have been odd. But you would have seen a majestic sight, the last woolly mammoths on Earth. They were all that was left of the species. The rest have been wiped out by human hunting and a warming climate. And according to scientists who have been sifting through the clues, those last survivors were actually mutants. A new study published this month suggests that the woolly mammoths had what's called a genetic meltdown right before the animals became extinct. Rebekah Rogers is a Professor at the University of North Carolina and the author of this report. We reached her in Charlotte.

CO: Professor Rogers, what does it mean to say that the last of the woolly mammoths had a genetic meltdown?

REBEKAH ROGERS: So we've observed what looks like an excess of bad mutations in the genome of this individual from Wrangel Island. And those mammoths on the island actually has 50 per cent more of its gene sequences broken in comparison with the mainland mammoths.

CO: And how do you know this? What DNA did you compare these woolly mammoths with that gives you this evidence?

REBEKAH ROGERS: So the sequences have been previously published by the Love Dalén’s lab, and he's at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. They released the sequences publicly, and the same day I pressed download because I wanted to work on woolly mammoths since I was a kid. So then we reanalyzed these sequences, and I specialize in identifying types of mutations that change large sections of DNA at once, these deletions and then these retro genes that formed and then also a single letter changes to the DNA. And when we looked at these mutations, it became clear very quickly that there was an excess of what looked like bad mutations in this woolly mammoth DNA. From there we had to do a lot of mathematical modeling to show that these differences were too great to be explained just by variation between mammoths in a single population.

CO: How old were the mammoth DNA that you compared this with?

REBEKAH ROGERS: We compared it to a sample from 45,000 years ago, from a time when mammoths were happy and healthy and were in large numbers. And at that point, our best estimate is that there were around 12,000 individuals on the mainland. Whereas on this island, at the very end there were probably only around 300 individuals.

CO: Can you just tell us what specific mutations you noted in the genome of this woolly mammoth?

REBEKAH ROGERS: So there are some mutations where we can say what the functional consequences would probably be. One of the more interesting ones is that a gene called FOXQ1. This gene is responsible for the development of the inner core of fur. And so if this gene sequence gets broken, that inner core doesn't form, and if you hold the fur up to the light it will become translucent instead of opaque. So the hair will still be the same colour, but it makes the coat look shiny in the light. But this gene also functions to replace cells in the stomach as they become eroded by stomach acid and a lot of fattened mutants will have digestive problems and need special diets. So this mammoth could have in fact had terrible heartburn and digestive problems in addition to being very good looking.

CO: So the mammoth if you could see it, would look quite poor next to the mammoth when it was at its peak?

REBEKAH ROGERS: Yes, they would look different. And one of the things that's already known from the fossil evidence is that mammoths on this island were shorter than the mammoths on the mainland. They were about ten feet tall instead of 14 feet tall. In natural populations of elephants, there are sometimes these shorter dwarf elephants and they get out competed by the larger males. But in these island environments, where there are few resources then it might be helpful to be a bit smaller to survive.

CO: We're talking about this woolly mammoth that you were looking at, or the DNA of, was around 4,000 years ago that the last of these woolly mammoths disappeared. Is that right?

REBEKAH ROGERS: Yes. So the woolly mammoths disappeared from this island around 3,700 years ago. These mammoths were around for another 6,000 years after everything on the mainland had gone extinct.

CO: And so what do you think actually brought about their demise?

REBEKAH ROGERS: It's difficult to say. There could have been this human hunting. It could be that climate change, even on this island, contributed to their demise as the plant composition changed. But we certainly know that these bad mutations didn't help them out.

CO: The fact that they were on this island in the Arctic, was it the last remaining of the woolly mammoths or did they retreat there as they met their demise?

REBEKAH ROGERS: We think that they made it to the island and then as climate change, the glaciers melted and sea levels rose, and then they were trapped on this island and couldn't make it back to the mainland. But it also means that humans didn't know that they were there and couldn't go hunt them off.

CO: And how did these mutations actually affect the mammoths?

REBEKAH ROGERS: When populations become extremely small, it can be difficult for them to recover. Along with this, we know that they had lots of mutations in their olfactory receptors and in urinary proteins. And these are important for social signaling, for choosing who is the alpha male and the alpha female in the population. And so we see an excess of bad mutations that we break those particular gene sequences, which may have influenced their behaviour.

CO: It's interesting, we've done stories about other animal populations that are in demise or sometimes they look like they're recovering, like the monarch butterfly. And people say, look, they point to the numbers, look these are good numbers for the monarchs or these are good numbers for elephants or whatever. But you need a kind of density don't you? This is perhaps what your research is showing you, that it's not enough that there are some numbers left, that the species actually is on the slide when its numbers are reduced to what they were with the woolly mammoths.

REBEKAH ROGERS: Yes. So the good news is that we know that it takes a long time period to get a signal of genomic meltdown as strong as what we saw in these mammoths. And the amount of time that they spend at a small population determines how severe that meltdown will be. So the sooner you can intervene to bring species back to a normal level, the better off they will be. But even once they get back to what looks like normal population levels, it may be worth monitoring them, especially given the results of genomic meltdown that will still be found in their genome.

CO: You said you have had this fascination with woolly mammoths since you were a kid. What brought you to woolly mammoths? What was it about them that attracted you?

REBEKAH ROGERS: Well, we know that there were these cases where Arctic explorers had discovered mammoths frozen in the permafrost. To me it seemed like the closest thing you could get to having a time machine, because you could still see these animals what they looked like even long after they were gone.

CO: Professor Rogers, it's good to talk to you. Thank you.

REBEKAH ROGERS: Thank you so much for your time.

JD: Rebekah Rogers is a Genomics Professor at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. And that is where we reached her. Ms. Rogers recently authored a study outlining the genetic meltdown of woolly mammoths just after or just before, I guess, they went extinct.

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Sheila North Wilson

JD: Treat Indigenous people like you would treat a new immigrant or a refugee. That is the message the Grand Chief of Manitoba's Keewatinowi Okimakanak delivered to the United Nations. Sheila North Wilson was in New York City today, as part of a 16 person delegation from Manitoba. And she spoke at a UN conference about the risks facing Indigenous Canadians who transition from life on a rural reserve to life in a city. Earlier today, before leaving New York Sheila North Wilson spoke with Marcy Markusa, host of CBC Winnipeg's Information Radio. Here's part of that conversation.

SOUNDCLIP

SHEILA NORTH WILSON: The city is very foreign to us, much I guess, the same experience as anyone that comes from rural to urban, but a little bit more different for us because we also face racism and discrimination and lack of opportunities. I impressed that upon them and I also pressed to have services offered to them much like we do for new Canadians, including helping them find apartments and getting IDs and all those things that we think are easy to do, they’re not quite so easy.

MARCY MARKUSA: What is the power in drawing the parallel you just made between, you know, an Indigenous person's experience coming in an urban centre and comparing it to the services we offer for immigrants?

SHEILA NORTH WILSON: We already expect and accept that new Canadians need a lot of help when they come here. But we don't think about that so easily about our Indigenous people when they move from community to city. So they want to, you know, become independent and support their own families. And so when people understand and realize that similar feelings are for new Canadians as it is for people coming from the reserve, it helps them visualize it, I guess, and it helps them wrap their brain around it. And that's the biggest thing I wanted to do, because that's exactly how I felt when I left my community to come to Winnipeg. I didn’t know how to take a bus, I didn’t know how to talk to people, I was giggly because I didn't know how to relate. And so I looked probably weird and people would make fun of me. And it's huge and it's daunting and scary at times.

MARCY MARKUSA: I was going to ask you, what was the reaction from the UN that you presented to? Could you gauge, I don't know how interactive it is or if it's just or you present and move on.

SHEILA NORTH WILSON: I think they were a little bit surprised but at the time I think they said yes, how can we support? And so we're going to keep pushing and talking about that, because there are many things that happen when we don't offer these transition services to our people and we see that, for example in the high rates of numbers on missing and murdered Indigenous women and the poverty, and the, you know, the lack of jobs that were in our cities.

JD: Sheila North Wilson is the Grand Chief of Manitoba's Keewatinowi Okimakanak. That was her in conversation, earlier today from New York City, with Marcy Markusa, host of the CBC Winnipeg program Information Radio.

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Boaty McBoatface

JD: The people tried and their plan was scuppered, but now they have a consolation prize. This week a small yellow vessel called Boaty McBoatface will begin its first Antarctic mission, which may seem odd, given that it's a robot submarine rather than as you might expect a boat with a McBoatface. But supporters are just glad the boaty exists at all. Last April, that distinctive name was one of the suggestions made in a public poll asking people to name a new polar research vessel in the UK. Boaty McBoatface got four times more votes than any other name. And yet science minister Joe Johnson torpedoed that idea saying it was too silly. For shame. Instead the government opted to name the ship after broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Now this was widely seen as a not especially shocking betrayal. The Guardian's Stuart Heritage wrote quote, “How dare you Joe Johnson. What gives you the right to trample over democracy like this? More than 124,000 people voted to ensure that the boat would be named Boaty McBoatface. But that sinking feeling became a better kind of sinking feeling when this robot submarine was named Boaty McBoatface. And now be BMcB, kind of cool. Will be investigating water flow and turbulence in the Orkney passage of the Southern Ocean, reaching depths of 6,000 meters. That seems deep. And data collected from the submarine will help scientists understand how the ocean is responding to global warming and the public's love for Boaty McBoatface, like the little robot sub itself will just get deeper and deeper.

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Destroyed coral reef

Guests: Ruben Sauyai

JD: Thousands of people have gone to Indonesia to visit one of the world's most stunning and beautiful coral reefs. But for diving instructor Ruben Sauyai that roof, that reef rather, is not a tourist attraction. He grew up near it and he relies on it for his livelihood. And that is why he was reduced to tears earlier this month, when a cruise ship went off course and badly damaged that reef. We reached Ruben Sauyai in Sanur, Bali.

CO: Ruben what did you see when you went down to the coral reef yesterday?

RUBEN SAUYAI: No soft coral any more. And no, no big fish like wobbegong shark, there is no anymore.

CO: So no soft coral? The coral in that reef has been destroyed and the fish are not there?

RUBEN SAUYAI: No.

CO: And how extensive is the damage to that reef?

RUBEN SAUYAI: It's about more than 1,000 metres.

CO: A thousand metres of the coral reef destroyed?

RUBEN SAUYAI: Yes.

CO: You've been in that area. You've lived in there all your life. When you saw the damage to the coral reef how did you feel about that?

RUBEN SAUYAI: I feel bad, I feel sad and I felt like this is my home and this is where I live, where I can find food. And we tried to protect this area for many years and then it's just destroyed in a few hours.

CO: Can you tell us what happened when this tour ship, how did it come to crash into the reef?

RUBEN SAUYAI: Oh they came from [unintelligible] after bird watching at Waigeo North village.

CO: Bird watching.

RUBEN SAUYAI: Yeah. And then they came close to Kri island. It was well 12:41 in the afternoon and then the ship go on to the reef. That reef wasn't show up on the map.

CO: Now, this boat the Caledonian Sky, it's been doing bird watching tours in that area before, so why did they not know that they were going up on the coral reef? How did that happen?

RUBEN SAUYAI: Maybe they want to they want to go to another place but they closed and then they go on to that reef.

CO: How long were they on the reef before they got pulled off?

RUBEN SAUYAI: It starts from 12:41 til 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning.

CO: They got they got onto the reef at low tide and did they wait till high tide to get off?

RUBEN SAUYAI: They went to the reef was like starting to be low tide. It's like medium. And then how they got out of the reef, they need help from the tug boat. So then tug boat take them out of the reef. And then it caused a lot again destroyed.

CO: So when the tugboat took the ship off the reef it did even more damage, dragging it from that reef then? Is that what happened?

RUBEN SAUYAI: Yeah, when the tug boat take off the ship from the reef it makes more destroyed. If they wait till high tide than boat can get float up and then they just pull it out and then it's probably works. But when tug boat helped them to take it out of the reef, it's make more destroyed.

CO: So what effect is this going to have on the area? Well, this is a big tourist area. People come there to scuba dive, to see that reef. So what's going to happen to well, to your business?

RUBEN SAUYAI: Before we brought tourists, we brought divers to go to that reef very often. But then now when accident happened, we feel like shy to the divers to bring them to that reef anymore.

CO: You're thinking you won't be bringing tourists to that part of the reef anymore?

RUBEN SAUYAI: I will not.

CO: And what about what are the laws in Indonesia? Will they be charged or fined for having done this damage to the coral reef?

RUBEN SAUYAI: I think they trying to do that.

CO: How long do you think it will take for that coral reef to recover?

RUBEN SAUYAI: 100, like, 100 years.

CO: Really.

RUBEN SAUYAI: Very big, yeah.

CO: Ruben, this is a very bad news but I appreciate you talking to us. Thank you.

RUBEN SAUYAI: Yeah, thank you. You're welcome.

JD: That was driving instructor Ruben Sauyai. We reached him in Sanur, Bali.

[Music]

Ed Whitlock Obit

JD: He had a love/hate relationship with running. And yet, he ran to the very end of his days, breaking records all along the way. Canadian running icon Ed Whitlock died after a battle with prostate cancer on Monday in Toronto. He was 86 years old. Mr. Whitlock was a very decorated marathon runner, known for smashing records well into his seventies and eighties. He often called his training runs a "chore". But they did help him set 36 world records. He became the first septuagenarian to run a marathon in under three hours, at the age of 72. That year, he ran a time of two hours, 59 minutes and 10 seconds. And a year later, he bested that record, shaved nearly five minutes off that time at 73 years old. Mr. Whitlock was also a frequent competitor at the annual Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. This past October, he raced to yet another world record, clocking in at just under four hours. One day after that accomplishment, he spoke with Toronto CBC’s Metro Morning host Matt Galloway. Here's part of their conversation.

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MATT GALLOWAY: How did it feel when you crossed the finish line yesterday?

ED WHITLOCK: A great relief.

MATT GALLOWAY: [laughs]

ED WHITLOCK: Great relief, I had real apprehension about how I was going to finish at around half way, so that was a lot, that was another couple of hours to go and I was very concerned that I wasn't going to make it.

MATT GALLOWAY: Why would you have any apprehension given who you are, how you've run for years, and how you ended up finishing?

ED WHITLOCK: Well, I had basically, I suppose run too fast, and in the first half of the race and inevitably when you do that you pay a price. And I thought I was, and I did pay a price, I mean, I slowed down over the second half of the race, but I didn't slow down as much as I had expected. So that was the reason that I probably experienced more relief than euphoria. There was a little bit of euphoria in there.

MATT GALLOWAY: We all set goals when we go out to run. What was your goal with this race?

ED WHITLOCK: My goal was to run around 3:50.

MATT GALLOWAY: And you came in just a little bit over.

ED WHITLOCK: 3:56.

MATT GALLOWAY: Bit over that, but--

ED WHITLOCK: But I guess at halfway I was sort on track to run, maybe about 3:45. But things fell apart in the second half of the race.

MATT GALLOWAY: Hardly fell apart. You finished under four hours, come on. [laughs]

ED WHITLOCK: Everything’s relative.

MATT GALLOWAY: How does a record like the one you set yesterday compare to the other world records that you've set?

ED WHITLOCK: Well, it is not really, in my mind it's not really as good as the one that I set again at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon when I was 73 years old. It was only 12 years ago. And I ran two hours and 54 minutes that day, which we're at a world record for 70 year olds. And in fact nobody else even today has run a marathon in less than three hours who's over 70.

JD: Canadian running icon Ed Whitlock in conversation with Metro Morning's Matt Galloway in October of 2016. Ed Whitlock died Monday after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 86 years old.

[Music]

Stolen Stradivarius

JD: Last night, violinist Mira Wang stepped on stage in New York City and performed a concert that was decades in the making. 36 years ago, Ms. Wang's teacher — the late virtuoso Roman Totenberg — lost his Stradivarius. Lost. It was stolen after a performance in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Polish-American musician never got to play that treasured instrument again. In 2015 however, the violin was recovered, and was returned to Mr. Totenberg's daughters. And they were in the audience last night, when Ms. Wang raised their father's long-lost Stradivarius to her chin and brought the instrument's voice back to life. From our archives, here's Jill Totenberg speaking with guest host Peter Armstrong on As It Happens, back when she was first reunited with her dad’s instrument.

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PETER ARMSTRONG: Walk us through how the violin was actually recovered.

JILL TOTENBERG: So the man that my parents suspected passed away a year before my father did. And about three or four years later, his ex-wife who had come to take care of him as he was dying, he had pancreatic cancer had a boyfriend, and they were looking through his things and this violin had a case that required a combination lock. And the boyfriend helped her open the case and she sees Stratovarius inside the violin. Now there are lots of fake Stradivarius’.

PETER ARMSTRONG: Sure.

JILL TOTENBERG: So she called up the dealer, whose name was [unintelligible] and she agreed to meet him in New York. And he met her in a hotel and he looked at the violin and Philip had actually studied violin making, he has a master in violin making and he studied Stradivarius. And he actually knew my dad.

PETER ARMSTRONG: Sure. And probably knew the story of this particular violin quite well.

JILL TOTENBERG: Quite well. So he looked at this violin and he recognized it and he called his brother who works for the New York City Police Department and said I have the Totenberg violin. And the FBI came. So when she came after leaving the hotel room for a few minutes to go and let him look at it, she came back and he said I have good news and bad news. It is a Stradivarius but this violin was stolen 35 years ago and it's Roman Totenberg’s.

PETER ARMSTRONG: Oh.

JILL TOTENBERG: And the FBI showed up within two hours and picked up the violin and took it. And then they called Nina and they said we believe we have your father's violin.

PETER ARMSTRONG: What a phone call.

JILL TOTENBERG: And Nina said well are you sure? So she called me and my sister Amy and we were on a conference call and she said are you sitting down? We said yes, she said the FBI called me and they have daddy’s violin. So there's this moment of ah, and then there’s moment of oh my God, oh ha ha ha. And then there's talk. And then we hang up and all three of us independently cried.

PETER ARMSTRONG: Of course. So today the US attorney's office handed it back to you. What was it like to pick up that box?

JILL TOTENBERG: Well we’d been under mum’s the word for about a month. And as we get closer and closer it became more and more giddy for us. So today was both excitement and relief and the feeling that our father and mother were in the room with us, which was really just extraordinary because they were such positive, who lived life to its fullest, and taught us to live life to our fullest. So, you know, we looked at that violin and we recognized it because it was like another member of our family. And it was wonderful to have that family member back.

PETER ARMSTRONG: I'm sure. What do you hope will happen to the violin now? Are your sisters and you agreed on that?

JILL TOTENBERG: The violin has gone to a company called Rare Violins of New York, where it will be fixed up because there were some things that were wrong with it and it hadn't been looked at by anybody who does any repairs in 35 years, because the guy was afraid to bring it to anybody. And then we'll decide what to do with it, but our end goal is to have that violin played by somebody who is as an exquisite player as our dad and have the violin come back to its full voice and its ability to really sort of create a unique and extraordinary sound. And we can't wait to go to the first concert with whomever it is who is lucky enough to get the violin.

PETER ARMSTRONG: I’m sure.

JD: There you go. From August of 2015, Jill Totenberg speaking with the guest host Peter Armstrong. And last night Ms. Totenberg did get to hear her late father's Strad in concert for the first time since it was stolen 36 years ago.


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