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April 20, 2009

Pt 1: Canjet Hijacking - Police in Jamaica say the hostage situation in Montega Bay involving a Canjet aircraft is over. Police say there were no shots fired as the hijacking of CanJet Flight 918 came to an end, but no other details were immediately available.

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Pt 2: Violence and the Recession - The Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter runs a 24-hour family violence help line. In February, it took 1,366 calls. That's a 300 per cent increase from the previous year. In Ontario's Durham region, an area that includes Oshawa, Whitby and Ajax - cities outside of Toronto, the Catholic Family Services office saw referrals for domestic violence climb 24 per cent in the final quarter of 2008.

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Pt 3: Pirates  - As you've been hearing on the news, the latest cat and mouse game involving piracy on the high seas was played out this weekend in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. The pirates' target was a Norwegian tanker. A British vessel working with a NATO manoeuvre foiled the attack. Then the Canadian frigate, HMCS Winnipeg chased down the priates in a seven hour odessy that played out into the night.

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It's Monday, April 20th.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the US is ready to discuss "additional steps" with Cuba, but that Havana must "reciprocate".

Currently, Clinton added that, for starters, if Cuba could take Guantanamo Bay off US hands, that would be great.

This is The Current.

Canjet Hijacking - Radio Jamaica

Police in Jamaica say the hostage situation in Montega Bay involving a Canjet aircraft is over. Police say there were no shots fired as the hijacking of CanJet Flight 918 came to an end, but no other details were immediately available.

Latoya Johnson is with Radio Jamaica and has been covering the situation at the Sangster International Airport. We spoke to her from Montego Bay.

Canjet Hijacking - Father of Passenger

Alphonse Gosselin's son Christian was on the flight when the hijacker stormed the plane. CBC spoke with Alphonse Gosselin earlier this morning. Christian Gosselin and his girlfriend has since been released.

Music Bridge

Artist: Metric
Cut: CD 4 "Too Little Too Late"
CD: "Live it Out"
Label: Last Gang Records
Spine#: Q2-00908

Violence and the Recession

The Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter runs a 24-hour family violence help line. In February, it took 1,366 calls. That's a 300 per cent increase from the previous year. In Ontario's Durham region, an area that includes Oshawa, Whitby and Ajax - cities outside of Toronto, the Catholic Family Services office saw referrals for domestic violence climb 24 per cent in the final quarter of 2008.

Other than sharing shocking statistics of domestic violence, these two parts of the country have one more thing in common: both have been hit hard by the recession.
As the downturn affects communities across Canada, the uptick in domestic violence is hard to ignore. And some argue - the connection between the two is no coincidence. We spoke to one Calgary man who says he knows first hand. He was a former truck driver in Calgary. We're withholding his name to protect his privacy.

Counseling families through domestic abuse is something our next guests do every day. Mary Wells is the executive director of Catholic Family Services for Durham Region. She was in our Toronto studio. And Lisa Falkowsky is the executive director of the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter. She was in Calgary.

 

Violence and the Recession (cont'd)

Mary Wells is the executive director of Catholic Family Services for Durham Region. Lisa Falkowsky is the executive director of the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter.

Violence and the Recession: WHO

The Current did try to reach Helena Guergis, Canada's Minister of State for the Status of Women, for the government's perspective. Unfortunately, we could not accomodate her schedule.

Doctor Etienne Kruger has been examining the correlation between violence and economic downturns. He's the director of the Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention and Disability at the World Health Organization, or the WHO. And he was in Geneva.

Click here for April 2008 US report entitled "Taking a Toll: The Effects of Recession on Women".

Music Bridge

Artist: Kirk Elliott
CD: "Fiddler on the Rocks"
Cut: CD 6, "Moon in Broad Daylight"
Spine: Custom FOTR 05

 

Pirates - Lawyer

As you've been hearing on the news, the latest cat and mouse game involving piracy on the high seas was played out this weekend in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. The pirates' target was a Norwegian tanker. A British vessel working with a NATO manoeuvre foiled the attack. Then the Canadian frigate, HMCS Winnipeg chased down the priates in a seven hour odessy that played out into the night.

The crew of the Winnipeg caught the pirates but they had to be released because they were outside Canada's and NATO's jurisdiction. It is this international legal no man's land which has a number of countries struggling to come to grips with the piracy problem. We aired a clip of Admiral Rick Gurnon, speaking last Wednesday after US Navy SEAL sharpshooters shot and killed three pirates off Somalia's coast. Captain Richard Phillips had been held hostage for nearly a week when the rescue mission freed him.

Somali pirates still hold ships and about 200 hostages for ransom. And international flottilas in the coastal waters there continues to sort out how to best tackle the piracy problem. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggests diplomacy is key. We heard from her.

There are questions about jurisdiction when prosecuting pirates as it's somewhat uncharted legal territory. A number of suspected pirates are in custody in France and the Netherlands. The Americans have said they plan to bring one young man accused in the recent Maersk Alabama case to New York for trial.

And a group of 9 alleged pirates currently sit in a prison in Mombassa, Kenya. They are accused of hijacking a German freighter in March, off the coast of Yemen. And they're set to go to trial this week.

A team of pro bono lawyers from Germany will represent them. Oliver Wallasch, of Frankfurt, is one of those lawyers and he heads the legal team. We reached him in in Frankfurt.

Pirates - Analyst

While the drama of piracy plays out in the waters off the horn of Africa, the roots of the problem are firmly planted in the soil of Somalia, according to one of the foremost international experts on Somali piracy. Roger Middleton is a Consultant Researcher for the Africa Program at Chatham House, an international think tank in London, England.

Later this week he's releasing a briefing paper on the legal issues involved. It's appropriately called "Pirates And How to Deal With Them." We reached Roger Middleton in London.

Last Word - 4-20 lore

But we can't leave you without first marking the occasion of the day. At precisely 4:20 pm today, in each of our planet's local time zones, marijuana smokers will ceremonially fire up a joint. Every April 20th -- or, as the smokers call it, 4-20 Day -- they do this as an act of protest against what they see as repressive marijuana laws. Call it a joint effort for legalisation?

As adherents around the globe draw in those first few tokes, perhaps a few of them will be thinking of, all places, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. That's because there's a little shop in Moose Jaw that has become part of 4-20 lore, thanks to its absolutely appropriate address. We ended the program with some hazy wisdom from them

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