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January 08, 2009

Pt 1: Mass Suffering - Today, representatives from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will sit down to try to come to an agreement on a ceasefire proposal ... One that could bring an end to the fighting in Gaza -- at least for now.

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Pt 2: Letters - It's Thursday and that's mail day on The Current. Anna Maria was joined in studio by our Friday host, Tom Harrington.

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Pt 3: Divorcing Without Wrecking the Kids- We started this segment with a clip from Roland and his nine-year-old son Max. The "Carolye" to whom Roland and Max are referring is Max's mom and Roland's ex-wife. Roland and Carolye were married for 13 years before they separated. They think of theirs as a 'good' divorce ... one that's transformed their marriage into a different kind of relationship ... a friendship focussed on raising their children together.

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It's Thursday January 8th.

A conservative US news website has announced it is sending Joe the Plumber to cover the conflict in Gaza as a war correspondent.

Currently, a radical Islamic website has announced it will send a correspondent to Toledo Ohio to report on blockaded toilets.

This is the Current.


Mass Suffering

Today, representatives from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will sit down to try to come to an agreement on a ceasefire proposal ... One that could bring an end to the fighting in Gaza -- at least for now.

In less than two weeks, nearly 700 people have been killed in the conflict, all but about ten of them Palestinians. That's a high number. And according to Paul Slovic, that may affect how the wider world sees things. He's a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon and a Research Associate with Decision Research, a non-profit group that studies how people make decisions.

And he says that as humans, we are hard-wired to have real difficulty dealing with that large scale human suffering ... something that has huge consequences for how we respond -- or don't respond -- to humanitarian crises. Paul Slovic was in Eugene, Oregon.

 

Letters

It's Thursday and that's mail day on The Current. Anna Maria was joined in studio by our Friday host, Tom Harrington.

Today in our letters segment we turned the page from 2008 to 2009, closely following the situation in Gaza. The death toll in Gaza is estimated to be about 690 Palestinians in an Israeli military assault that began on December 27th. As part of our coverage over the last couple of weeks, one person we heard from was Benny Morris. He is a respected yet controversial Israeli historian. He is also a professor of Middle Eastern history at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. We spoke to Professor Morris on New Year's Eve. and asked him why Israel feels it is threatened now.
His views sparked a lot of mail.

Also, yesterday on The Current, we spoke with two Canadians still in the Middle East, at the heart of the conflict. Eva Bartlett is in the Gaza Strip volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement. And Gilbert Zamonsky is in Israel, volunteering as a mechanic with the Israeli Defences Forces. Their interviews prompted a number of letters.

We thought we'd bring one more perspective to this story. Like all teenagers in Israel, 19 year-old Omer Goldman should have graduated from high school, and shortly after that, begun serving her required military service. But Ms. Goldman - who's also the daughter of a former deputy head of Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency - refused to join the military. Omer Goldman was in Tel Aviv.

Moving on with the mail ... The 10-year drought in Australia is the longest drought on record and Monday on The Current, we heard how it's changing the face of the country. As part of our series "Watershed", we heard how "The Big Dry" is creating winners -- those who are innovating to adapt to the situation -- and losers such as farmers who are suffering great hardship.

In fact, the Northern Territory and Queensland State of Australia were hit with a deluge of rain this week. And though large patches of country are swamped, and some towns are cut off from supply routes, most of the residents are delighted to see the water fall. Trevor Pavey owns Brodie Hardware in Cloncurry, Queensland. He explained to The Current why the rains have buoyed peoples' spirits there.

Australian author and climate change expert Tim Flannery appeared in our Watershed coverage of the Aussie Big Dry. He's Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council, and a professor at McQuarrie University. And we invited Tim Flannery back for his thoughts on this. He was in Hawkesbury River, just north of Sydney, Australia.

 

Divorcing Without Wrecking the Kids - Palmer

We started this segment with a clip from Roland and his nine-year-old son Max. The "Carolye" to whom Roland and Max are referring is Max's mom and Roland's ex-wife. Roland and Carolye were married for 13 years before they separated. They think of theirs as a 'good' divorce ... one that's transformed their marriage into a different kind of relationship ... a friendship focussed on raising their children together.

Nearly half of all marriages in Canada end in divorce. But increasingly, there are those who are looking for an alternative ... a way to part ways and still do what's best for their kids. Maureen Palmer has profiled three couples trying to do that. She's the director of the TV documentary, "How To Divorce and Not Wreck The Kids." It will air tonight on CBC Television's Doc Zone." And Maureen Palmer was in Vancouver.


Divorcing Without Wrecking the Kids - Couple

Sally Morgan and Lionel Sandner are one of the couples profiled in that documentary. They were married for 17 years until they separated a little more than one year ago. They have three sons and they were in Vancouver.

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