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May 21, 2008

Pt 1: Child Prisoners of War - If they were in the United States, they wouldn't be able to buy a drink, or cast a vote, but in the so-called 'war on terror', they can go to adult detention centres.

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Pt 2: Gay Soap Opera Kiss - Despite the fanfare, the world didn't quite stop turning when Luke and Noah kissed on camera in April 2008. The two star as gay lovers on the soap opera As The World Turns. We played a 20 second clip of that kiss. Those 20 seconds of homosexual passion from daytime television on April 23rd provoked quite a mixed response.

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Pt 3: Saving the Animals at the Baghdad Zoo - It's hard to guess precisely what could be at the top of Baghdad's municipal wish list. One might suspect clean water or reliable electricity, or just maybe better security. But what about a $500 million entertainment complex resembling Disney World?

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Satire

It's Wednesday, May 21st.

The Toronto Stock Exchange closed at over 15,000 points yesterday.

Currently, a good news story for those driving cars that run on unleaded cash.

This is The Current.


Child Prisoners of War

Rights of Child Prisoners - Activist and US Marine


If they were in the United States, they wouldn't be able to buy a drink, or cast a vote, but in the so-called 'war on terror', they can go to adult detention centres.

Throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, the US government admits to holding "about" 500 children under the age of 18 as "unlawful enemy combatants." The US confirmed that number in May 2008 as part of a report issued to the U.N.'s Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Groups like the American Civil Liberties Assocation and the International Justice Network have denounced the detentions as abhorrent, and a violation of U.S. treaty obligations.

Tina Monshipour Foster, founder and Executive Director of the International Justice Network and we reached her in New York City. She said the US has been accused of violating the UN's Rights of the Child.

To look at the treatment of juvenile detainees, we were joined from Baghdad by Major Matt Morgan, with the United States Marine Corp's Detainee Operations for Multinational Forces, Iraq.


Child Prisoners - Canada

Canadian troops are also capturing young combatants in Afghanistan. But unlike the American military which keeps the detainees in US run detention centres, Canadians turn their prisoners over the Afghani officials. So the question is: what happens to those juvenile detainees once Canadian troops hand them over? To help us answer that question, we reached Amir Attaran, professor and Canada research Chair at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa


Listen to Part One: 

 

 Gay Soap Opera Kiss


Clip and Interview With Reporter

Despite the fanfare, the world didn't quite stop turning when Luke and Noah kissed on camera in April 2008. The two star as gay lovers on the soap opera As The World Turns. We played a 20 second clip of that kiss. Those 20 seconds of homosexual passion from daytime television on April 23rd provoked quite a mixed response.

The American Family Association called the scene 'repulsive' and issued an Action Alert to its members. But for supporters of the gay storyline on the soap, the kiss was something of a victory. That's because while Noah and Luke have been "out" for some time; there's been what some were calling a bit of a "drought" when it came to their on-screen affections.

Michael Jensen, editor of AfterElton.com, followed the controversy closely and joined us from Seattle.


Examining the Controversy

Sex, violence, and boycotts. They seem to go hand-in-hand when it comes to small-screen politics.

To examine where this controversy on As the World Turns fits in the continuum of TV's storied culture wars, we were joined from Syracuse, New York by Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University.


Listen to Part Two:

 

Saving the Animals at the Baghdad Zoo


Clips

It's hard to guess precisely what could be at the top of Baghdad's municipal wish list. One might suspect clean water or reliable electricity, or just maybe better security. But what about a $500 million entertainment complex resembling Disney World?

For one California investor, a Disney style park - complete with state-of-the-art zoo - is exactly what Baghdad needs to create revenue and to boost morale.

Llewellyn Werner, chairman of C3, a Los Angeles-based holding company, secured a fifty year lease on al-Zawra Park for the entertainment site, more than half of which is enclosed in the Green Zone. General David Petraeus is said to be a big fan of the project, including the skateboard park scheduled for opening in July 2008 -- to be accompanied by the company handing out thousands of free skateboards to young people across the city.

Llewellyn Werner spoke at a Baghdad press conference at al- Zawra Park in April 2008, and we presented part of that conference.

Design of the park was undertaken by the same corporation that developed Disneyland: Ride and Show Engineering. We aired part of an interview with the company's Vice President John March, conducted by Fox News in late April 2008.


Saving the Baghdad Zoo

The new park will replace the Baghdad zoo. The zoo used to be the largest in the Middle East, but when the war broke out in 2003, no provisions were made for the animals and the majority of them died or were hunted for food. The animals that did survive were saved by a South African conservationist named Lawrence Anthony. He risked life and limb in 2003, along with the Baghdad Zoo's director, to save the remaining animals. He chronicled this journey in his book Babylon's Ark. We reached Lawrence Anthony in Durban, South Africa.


Last Word - On-Screen Kisses

Earlier in the program we heard about the controversy surrounding Luke and Noah's kiss on As the World Turns.

It seems that every generation has its iconic on-screen kisses. But for some reason, it seemed like one era in particular had more of them. We closed this episode with some memorable smooches from Hollywood's golden age, when the kisses were all heterosexual.


Listen to Part Three:

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