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April 03, 2008

Pt 1: Muqtada al-Sadr - In March 2008, the world got a good look at the power of Muqtada al-Sadr when his Shia militias squared off against the United States and Iraqi militaries. After six days of shooting, al-Sadr's militias had fought them to a draw.

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Pt 2: Health Boards - In 1999, Rosalind Jardine was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She should have had tamoxifen therapy as well.

Read more here

Pt 3: Letters - We looked at some letters from our listeners, with this week's Friday host Hana Gartner.

Read more here

It's Thursday, April 3rd.

NATO members have agreed to Canada's demand for 1,000 additional troops in southern Afghanistan.

Currently, now that they have their surge, the Canadian military's next demand is get their very own secret prisons.

This is the Current.


Muqtada al-Sadr

In March 2008, the world got a good look at the power of Muqtada al-Sadr when his Shia militias squared off against the United States and Iraqi militaries. After six days of shooting, al-Sadr's militias had fought them to a draw. He called an unexpected ceasefire last Sunday, and promptly declared victory. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tried to do the same, arguing that the Iraqi military had broken the militias' control over Basra. But Muqtada al-Sadr's ability to create war and peace seemingly at will has raised some uncomfortable questions about how much control the Iraqi government really has over the country and how much of the success of the U.S. military's "Surge" has been due to al-Sadr's willingness to play along for a while.

For his thoughts on those questions, we were joined from London, England by Patrick Cockburn, the Iraq Correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent. He's also the author of the new book, Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival and the Struggle for Iraq.



Listen to Part One:

 

Health Boards

In 1999, Rosalind Jardine was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She should have had tamoxifen therapy as well. But she didn't know that until 2005, six years after her original diagnosis. The reason she didn't know was because of faulty pathology work that mistakenly concluded that tamoxifen wouldn't work. By the time she found out that tamoxifen could have helped her, it was too late. Her cancer had spread to her bones and bowels.

In March 2008, she testified at a public inquiry set up by the province of Newfoundland. It's investigating how Rosalind Jardine and hundreds of other breast-cancer patients ended up being given inaccurate test results and why it took the Eastern Health Authority so long to inform any of them -- or the public -- about the problem.

Through the course of the inquiry, evidence has been mounting that suggests that one of the reasons it took so long for information about the faulty tests to reach those affected was because of confusion over who was really in charge of the Eastern Health Authority. CBC Reporter Vik Adhopia attended the inquiry and spoke to us from St. John's.


Health Boards - Panel

Health authorities are the main bodies used to deliver health care to Canadians, and how they operate and who runs them varies from province to province.

To give us a better understanding of how -- and how well -- they function, we were joined by two people: from Winnipeg by Steven Lewis, a health policy consultant based in Saskatoon; and from Edmonton by John Church, an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.


Listen to Part Two:

 

Letters

We looked at some letters from our listeners, with this week's Friday host Hana Gartner.

Also joining us were Brendan Leier, Clinical Ethicist at the University of Alberta and Stollery Children's Hospitals John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre; and Zoe-Ann White, 55, who recently adopted a baby.


Last Word - Royal Canadian Air Farce Going Off the Air

The story of four sealers killed in when their ship capsized on March 31, 2008 has dominated the news. We therefore closed the show with an especially haunting vision of the dangers of sealing. In his novel, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, Wayne Johnston paints a fictional portrait of former Newfoundland Premier, Joey Smallwood. In one scene, Joe Smallwood, as he's known in the novel, is part of a team of people looking for a group of seal hunters who have gone missing during a fierce storm. It's a scene based in reality -- back in April 1914, eighteen sealers from the S.S. Newfoundland froze to death on the ice.

We offered an excerpt of that scene, as read by Boyd Norman for CBC Radio's Between The Covers.

Listen to Part Three:

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