Pt 2: Six O'Clock in Alabama - Documentary - Over the summer, the United Nations leveled a stunning allegation against the state of Alabama. According to the UN, state officials are "strikingly indifferent" to the risk of executing innocent convicts and may have already sent innocent people to their deaths.
Pt 3: Bush Stopped Drinking - On July 6th, 1986, George Bush quit drinking for good.
It's Monday, September 29th.
In a bid to boost his environmental credentials, Stephen Harper says he would ban the export of bitumen to countries that don't have carbon-emission targets at least as good as Canada's.
Currently, Azerbaijan is going to be furious.
This is The Current.
About half of all aboriginal Canadians live on less than 10,000 dollars a year. Unemployment among natives is three times the national rate. And Statistics Canada estimates that more than half of all native children live in poverty and that three-quarters of them drop out of school before finishing Grade 12.
Phil Fontaine calls that a disgrace. And he says it's time for all of our political leaders to start talking about what they would do to address those problems. Phil Fontaine is the Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. The AFN has launched a campaign called "Vote 08 -- Change Can't Wait." It's an attempt to mobilize native voters and get native issues back on the political agenda. The AFN called for a National Day of Political Action this week. Phil Fontaine joined us from Ottawa.
Calvin Helin and Shawn Brandt also contributed their thoughts to this conversation. Calvin Helin, is a lawyer and the author of Dances with Dependency: Indigenous Success Through Self-Reliance. Shawn Brandt is a Mohawk in Ontario. He's been an outspoken advocate of civil disobedience.
Six O'Clock in Alabama - Documentary
Over the summer, the United Nations leveled a stunning allegation against the state of Alabama. According to the UN, state officials are "strikingly indifferent" to the risk of executing innocent convicts and may have already sent innocent people to their deaths.
Thomas Arthur is a 66-year-old convict who's on death row for a crime he insists he didn't commit. The Current's Howard Goldenthal traveled down to Atmore, Alabama to spend the days before his execution with Thomas Arthur's daughter.
The execution was scheduled -- as it always is -- for Six O'Clock in Alabama.
This documentary contains violent subject matter and may not be suitable to younger listeners.
Bush Stopped Drinking
On July 6th, 1986, George Bush quit drinking for good.
Around the same time, he was also born again as an evangelical Christian. The former frat boy who had been busted for drinking and driving became a teetotaler and a promoter of abstinence from pre-marital sex a divisive policy that he would take all the way to the White House.
Abstinence has a long history in the United States. Today, it's primarily associated with the religious right. But Americans have been gravitating to abstinence since the eighteenth century and for many different reasons.
Jessica Warner has been delving into the history of abstinence. Her new book is called The Day George Bush Stopped Drinking: Why Abstinence Matters to the Religious Right and she joined Anna Maria in studio.