CBCradio

March 17, 2010

 

Pt 1: Native Education - Across the country, the numbers paint a disturbing picture. While 18 per cent of Canadians have a university degree, only 3 per cent of registered status Indians do. And since post-secondary education is associated with higher earnings, more savings and lower unemployment, that's a concern.

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Pt 2: Mexico Drug War - We started this segment with a clip of a woman who lives in the state of Tamaulipas in north-eastern Mexico. And she's describing what she is seeing on the side of the road as she drives past. Dozens, perhaps even hundreds of bullet casings. Cars riddled with bullet holes. Signs of the latest shootout in a drug war that is increasing in intensity.

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Pt 3: Dead Whale - We started this segment with the sound of an annual confrontation in the Southern Ocean and you can also hear the sound of the Ady Gil -- a high-tech boat owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society -- being rammed by a Japanese whaling vessel called the Shonan Maru. Japan's appetite for whale meat -- and its insistence on carrying out so-called scientific whaling expeditions -- flies in the face of the endangered status of many of the world's whale species.

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It's Wednesday March 17th.

Conservative Senator and former broadcast journalist Mike Duffy blasted Journalism schools for teaching critical thinking.

Currently, Duffy called for a return to a traditional journalism curriculum ... like courses on toadying up to powerful people.

This is the Current.

Native Education - Calvin Helin

Across the country, the numbers paint a disturbing picture. While 18 per cent of Canadians have a university degree, only 3 per cent of registered status Indians do. And since post-secondary education is associated with higher earnings, more savings and lower unemployment, that's a concern.

The federal government spends 314-million-dollars a year trying to address the issue. But according to a new report, the approach Ottawa is taking isn't working. Calvin Helin is the co-author of that report. It's called Free to Learn: Giving Aboriginal Youth Control Over Their Post-Secondary Education" He is also the President of the Native Investment and Trade Association. He was in High Level, Alberta.

Native Education - Chief Shawn Atleo

Shawn Atleo is the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and he was in Ottawa.

Native Education - Thomas Benjoe

Thomas Benjoe is a fourth-year student in Business and Indigenous Studies at the First Nations University of Canada. He's also the Vice-President Finance of the University's Student Association. He was in Regina.


Mexico Drug War - Journalist

We started this segment with a clip of a woman who lives in the state of Tamaulipas in north-eastern Mexico. And she's describing what she is seeing on the side of the road as she drives past. Dozens, perhaps even hundreds of bullet casings. Cars riddled with bullet holes. Signs of the latest shootout in a drug war that is increasing in intensity.

But if you read the local newspaper, or turn on the television or radio, you won't find stories about drug-related crime. That's because many journalists are terrified of the consequences of reporting on the drug cartels. The intimidation has become so effective that Reynosa -- one of the state's largest cities -- has fallen under a de facto news blackout. And that's led to citizen journalism, this woman, and others trying to document what is happening and posting it on-line.

Roberto Lopez knows only too well how dangerous it has become for journalists to work in Reynosa. He is the Editorial Director with Milenio Television in Mexico City. Last month, Milenio sent a crew to Reynosa. But they were kidnapped and beaten trying to work there. We aired a clip in translation.

Franc Contreras is a reporter based in Mexico City. He has been following the situation in Reynosa.

Mexico Drug War - Analyst

It was the Dallas Morning News that originally reported that there was a drug-related news black-out in Reynosa. And the newspaper even pulled one of its reporters after he was approached on the street in Reymosa and told that he didn't have permission to be there. Mark Edgar is the newspaper's Deputy Managing Editor. He says that for security reasons, he won't go into specifics about that incident. But he says it's part of an on-going effort to strike a balance between getting the story and keeping the newspaper's reporters safe.

George Grayson has written several books about Mexico's drug war. He's a Senior Associate at the U.S. Center for Strategic Studies. And he says the situation in Reynosa is likely to get worse before it gets better. George Grayson was in Williamsburg, Virginia.



Dead Whale - Carbon Sink

We started this segment with the sound of an annual confrontation in the Southern Ocean and you can also hear the sound of the Ady Gil -- a high-tech boat owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society -- being rammed by a Japanese whaling vessel called the Shonan Maru. Japan's appetite for whale meat -- and its insistence on carrying out so-called scientific whaling expeditions -- flies in the face of the endangered status of many of the world's whale species.

But Japan isn't the only country indulging. On Monday, a pricey sushi restaurant in Santa Monica, California apologized after it was found to be serving illicit whale meat under the table, an offense that could lead to a year in prison and a 200,000-dollar fine. Whale meat is highly -- if covertly -- coveted. So the trade in whale meat is lucrative.

Andrew Pershing says it's time to re-define how we value whales. He's a professor in the department of Marine Science at the University of Maine and a research scientist at the Gulf of Maine's research institute. And he says that if you broaden your perspective a bit, a whale -- living or dead -- has value in the same way that an intact, uncut forest does. Andrew Pershing was in Portland, Maine.

Dead Whale - Paleontologist

Every once in a while, a whale dies and gets washed up on a beach and biologists get to do an autopsy. We aired the sound of scientists performing an autopsy on a North Atlantic Right whale, one of the world's most endangered whale species. It washed up on the beach at Long Island, Nova Scotia in the late 1990s.

The Current's documentary producer Dick Miller was there to record the scene on a hot, sticky August day with the air full of the stench of rotting whale flesh. The autopsy, by the way, took ten hours to complete.

When a 60, 70 or even 80-tonne whale washes up on shore, it attracts a lot of attention. But Crispin Little thinks what happens when a whale just dies and sinks to the ocean floor is even more fascinating. He is a senior lecturer in paleontology at the University of Leeds in England. He has written about these whale falls, and the surprising eco-systems that grow in, over and around them. Crispin Little was in Leeds, England.

Music Bridge

Artist: Thievery Corporation
Cd: Radio Retaliation
Cut: 1, Sound the Alarm
Label: ESL

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