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Pt 2: Tailings Ponds - Alberta's oil sands industry isn't booming quite as loudly these days. But even with a global economic crisis and a sharp drop in the price of oil, it's still a significant part of the Canadian economy and the country's most obvious environmental whipping boy.
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Pt 3: Cholera - Earlier this week, we talked about the health crisis in Zimbabwe. A cholera outbreak had killed nearly 800 people. The country's water supply was contaminated. Its water system had nearly collapsed. And its hospitals were unable to cope.
Read more here
It's Thursday, December 11th.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich faces corruption charges after wiretaps caught him planning to sell Barack Obama's vacant senate seat.
Currently, the highest bidder was some guy named Bob Rae.
This is the Current.
What a difference a week can make. Last week, there were three men running for the leadership of the Liberal Party. But after another economic jolt, a hastily arranged coalition and a Parliamentary prorogation ... only one man was left standing. Yesterday, Michael Ignatieff became the party's interim leader. And Mr. Ignatieff joined us from Ottawa.
Listen to Part One:
Alberta's oil sands industry isn't booming quite as loudly these days. But even with a global economic crisis and a sharp drop in the price of oil, it's still a significant part of the Canadian economy and the country's most obvious environmental whipping boy.
And yet, for all the energy and wealth the oil sands industry produces, it generates a staggering amount of waste. In fact, between now and the end of this program today, hundreds of thousands of litres of toxic liquid waste will be dumped into the sprawling tailings ponds scattered around the area north of Fort McMurray.
The problem is that no one knows what to do with all this waste ... something the industry openly admits. This morning as part of our on-going series on water issues called "Watershed", we wanted to search for a solution. Our guide is Erik Denison. He's a reporter with CBC Radio in Edmonton.
Listen to Part Two:
Earlier this week, we talked about the health crisis in Zimbabwe. A cholera outbreak had killed nearly 800 people. The country's water supply was contaminated. Its water system had nearly collapsed. And its hospitals were unable to cope.
Last week President Robert Mugabe declared a state of emergency and his health minister pleaded for international help. That led to the head of the European Union calling for the ouster of Robert Mugabe, this latest crisis being proof in the eyes of the E.U. of the corruption and ineptness of his regime.
Yesterday, the news got worse. The United Nations said the number of deaths from cholera is actually considerably higher than was previously thought. But today, surprisingly, President Mugabe announced his government has stopped the cholera outbreak. Done. Over. And, in making that announcement he added there's no case for war, or -- more to the point - for ousting him. Problem is, even as President Mugabe was announcing that, South African officials were declaring their border with Zimbabwe a disaster zone, as so many Zimbabweans flee over the border for help.
Confused? Well, before this latest news, we taped an interview with Edwin Muguti, Zimbabwe's Deputy Health Minister in Harare and even though the news has changed we think the defensiveness in his voice goes some way in providing some insight into the Mugabe regime.
Time now for our weekly look at the mail and our Friday host, Jim Brown joined us from Calgary.
On Monday's show we paid tribute to the 101 Canadians who have died in Afghanistan since 2002. We heard the name and age of each of the deceased. And played a documentary about Corporal Paul Davis, the ninth Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan. In that documentary Paul's father, Jim Davis, read a letter to his son. Well we received a lot of mail in response to that documentary produced by The Current's Mary Lynk and we shared some of these letters here.
Andrew Smile Documentary
Corporal Andrew James Eykelenboom died on August 11, 2006. He was twenty three years old--a medic with the 1st Field Ambulance based in Edmonton. And he was the twenty sixth Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan. Vancouver producer Anne Penman spent a day with Andrew's mother Maureen at the family home in Comox British Columbia. We aired Anne's documentary "Andrew's Smile".
The neighbours of Maureen and Hans Eykeleboom rallied around the family following that sad day in August 2006. Eric McDonald lives close by, is a senior administrator at a hospital and plays music in his spare time. His band is called the Many Waters Band. He wrote a song in Andrew's memory called "Kandahar Fields". We played an excerpt from this song.
Before we sigend off today we wanted to let listeners know about a segment we're working on for next Friday's show. It's all about in-laws. 'Tis the season for coming into contact with your in-laws and sharing sometimes awkward conversation over the dinner table. We've all heard horror stories -- or have a few of our own -- and there seems to be something about the holidays that brings dormant inlaw issues to the surface. We aired one of these stories hoping we can inspire more in our mailbox.
We are looking for your in-law stories, especially if they are ones that took place during the holidays. E-mail us from our website ... cbc.ca/thecurrent. Click on the Contact Us link. You can call us toll-free day or night at 1 877 287 7366. Or write to us via Canada Post ... Our postal address is Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6.
Listen to Part Three: