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Pt 2: Governor of Kandahar - It's been a particularly bloody week for Kandahar, the Afghan city that knows murderous violence well. This past Sunday, Kandahar's mayor barely survived as a roadside bomb blew up next to his convoy. And in the carnage, a nearby pedestrian joined the city's mounting body count.
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Pt 3: U of Ottawa Professor - Denis Rancourt is a non-conformist, a self-described anarchist, an activist, and a rule-breaker.He's also a University of Ottawa physics professor... with 22 years teaching experience and tenure. The professor is engaged in a battle with the University over issues of academic freedom, student grades and the virtues of university governance.
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It's Wednesday March 18th.
Republican Iowa Senator Charles Grassley publicly called for executives of the insurance giant AIG to commit suicide for accepting bonuses after the faltering company received billions of dollars in bailout money.
Currently, AIG executives are actively considering the proposal but first they want to know how much of a bonus is in it for them.
This is the Current.
Montreal Couple Suing Hospital: Mother
During the 16 months of her short life so far, Phebe Mantha has never known a day without medical care. Immediately after her birth, she was put on a respirator. Early on, her parents say they were told by doctors that if she survived, she would live out her life severely disabled.
And so, they say, on their doctor's advice, they pulled the plug on the respirator they believed was keeping Phebe alive. But their daughter continued to breathe. That led to another painful decision. And again, allegedly, with their doctor's advice, they made the choice to remove a feeding tube from their daughter. This time the Montreal Children's Hospital Ethics Committee stepped in and decided that Phebe had to continue to be fed through the tube.
And now, as this heartbreaking drama continues to play out, Phebe's parents have launched a lawsuit against the hospital alleging it did not seek their consent.
With the help of a translator, we spoke with Phebe's Mantha's Mother, Marie-Eve Laurendeau at her home in Chateauguay, just outside Montreal.
The Montreal Children's Hospital is not commenting on this lawsuit.
The story of young Phebe and the allegations made by Marie-Eve Laurendeau raise a number of ethical questions for the medical community. To discuss them, we were joined by Dick Sobsey, the director of the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta. He joined us from Edmonton. And Dr. Jeff Blackmer is the executive director of the Office of Ethics for the Canadian Medical Association. He was in Ottawa.
Governor of Kandahar
It's been a particularly bloody week for Kandahar, the Afghan city that knows murderous violence well. This past Sunday, Kandahar's mayor barely survived as a roadside bomb blew up next to his convoy. And in the carnage, a nearby pedestrian joined the city's mounting body count.
The attack followed close on the heels of the assassination of Javed Ahmed, an Afghan journalist who worked frequently with the Canadian media. And into this maelstrom the Canadian government is pouring $21 million, most of it destined for paychecks for Kandahar's national police. Ottawa hopes a paid police force will be more willing to take on the fight against the insurgents.
So with all of its violence, who would want to be in charge of Kandahar? Well, Tooryalai Wesa is the person who now has that distinction. For the past three months he has been Kandahar's governor. The Afghan-Canadian says security is at the top of his list. But his real expertise is in Agriculture - and he thinks there's a connection.
We were able to speak with Mr. Wesa earlier this week from his office in Kandahar. And Anna Maria began by asking him what he knew about the killing of Afghan journalist Javed Ahmed.
Tooryalai Wesa is the Governor of Kandahar province in Afghanistan.
U of Ottawa Professor - Rancourt
Denis Rancourt is a non-conformist, a self-described anarchist, an activist, and a rule-breaker.He's also a University of Ottawa physics professor... with 22 years teaching experience and tenure. The professor is engaged in a battle with the University over issues of academic freedom, student grades and the virtues of university governance.
The university is seriously considering firing him. But firing a tenured professor is never easy. So when the man in question decides to award all of his students a grade of A+ regardless of performance in a physics class... well, something like that can really shake things up.
At least, that's what seems to have pushed the University down the road to terminating the professor's employment. Denis Rancourt is already barred from teaching on campus. He's been locked out of his laboratory - as have his students. He's been banned from campus and has been arrested for trespassing.
And yesterday, he was granted his last chance to negotiate a peace agreement with the university.
About 20 of professor Rancourt's supporters held a "Grades Hurt" rally inside the campus's Tabaret Hall as he attended his private meeting. The University itself can't say much publicly about this case, citing reasons of confidentiality. But there is an official statement on its website.
Even before yesterday's meeting, the consensus from Mr. Rancourt and his supporters was the University had already made its decision, and come March 31st, he will be officially shown the door. Denis Rancourt was in Ottawa.
U of O Prof: Appleyard
While Denis Rancourt waits for the university to decide if he will ever teach within its walls again, student opinion is conflicted. Nowhere was that more clearly stated than in the student newspaper, The Fulcrum.
Last month it ran an editorial that called Rancourt a "nuisance to this campus".
The author of that column is Frank Appleyard, The Fulcrum's editor in chief, and he was in our Ottawa studio.
U of O Prof: Fish
Professor Rancourt's dispute with the university is creating waves in academic circles beyond our borders. Stanley Fish writes a weekly online column for The New York Times, and he's also tackled the thorny issue of Professor Rancourt and academic freedom. He is a professor of law at Florida International University and dean emeritus at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His latest book on higher education is called Save the World On Your Own Time. Stanley Fish was in Delray Beach, Florida.