May 11, 2010

Pt 1: Nathalie Morin - Nathalie Morin is a Canadian who is stuck in Saudi Arabia with her three children. She says she and her children are being mistreated and she wants to leave. But under Saudi law, she needs permission from the children's father and he won't grant it. Nathalie Morin's story comes just days after Nazia Quazi, another Canadian unable to leave Saudi Arabia for similar reasons, has managed to get out after three years of trying. (Read More)

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Pt 2: The Armageddon Factor - Author Marci McDonald charts the rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada and makes the case that it's a more powerful political force than you might think. (Read More)

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Pt 3: Israel's Nukes - For almost 40 years, most of the world has just assumed that Israel has nuclear weapons. But thanks to an unspoken agreement, Israel and its allies just don't talk about it. That may change at the International Atomic Energy Agency's board meeting next month. And that could open up a whole new range of thorny issues. (Read More)
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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

It's Tuesday, May 11th.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has resigned.

Currently, Turns out Rahim Jaffer had been using his fax machine.

This is The Current.

Canadian Stuck in Saudi Arabia - Nathalie Morin

We started this segment with a clip from Nathalie Morin. She's a Canadian. But today, she is celebrating her 26th birthday in an apartment in Saudi Arabia. And while she'd like to come home, she can't. Nathalie Morin went to Saudi Arabia five years ago, along with her first son. She went there to be with her son's father, Saeed Al Sharahni. But once she got there, she says things took a turn for the worse.

Nathalie Morin now has three children. And she says they are all being mistreated, and held captive. She wants to leave, but under Saudi law, she needs the permission of the children's father.

Johanne Durocher is Nathalie Morin's mother. She has been leading the efforts to bring her daughter and her grandchildren to Canada. She was in our Montreal studio.

Canadian Stuck in Saudi Arabia - Deepak Obhrai

Deepak Obhrai is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was in Ottawa.


The Armageddon Factor

The Federal Conservatives have spent a lot of time and energy distancing themselves from the old Reform Party ... especially the socially conservative policies that were associated with the Reform movement.

But according to Marci McDonald, the conservative Christian activism that organizes around issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage is still a powerful and growing force in Canada. In particular, she says the Christian Right has a lot of pull in Ottawa.

Marci McDonald is an award winning journalist. Her new book is called The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada. She was in Toronto.


Israel Nukes - Wael Al Assad

For the last 40 years, most of the world has gone about its business assuming that Israel has nuclear weapons. Israel has never admitted that it does. But it has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty either. For forty years, its been a subject American Presidents have chosen to avoid.

In fact, American and Israeli leaders have talked directly about Israel's nuclear program only twice. The first time was in May of 1961. Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion assured President John F. Kennedy that -- quote -- for the time being, -- end quote -- Israel's nuclear program was peaceful. Eight years later Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon sat down for a private talk...one that many historians believe ended with Meir telling the US President that Israel did, indeed, have the bomb.

According to those historians, Nixon agreed to look the other way as long as Israel didn't make its nuclear weapons abilities public. But many countries -- especially in the Middle East -- says that's a double standard. And it's unfair. Now Egypt is trying to do something about it. Together with 17 other countries, Egypt wants "Israeli nuclear capabilities" included on the agenda for the International Atomic Energy Agency's board meeting next month.

Israel's program has been on the agenda before. But this time, there is some evidence the United States may be hedging on its support of Israel's secrecy. President Obama has expressed sympathy for Arab countries pushing for a nuclear weapons free Middle East.

Ambassador Wael Al Assad is the Arab League's Director of Disarmament. He also heads its delegation to the Non Proliferation Treaty review conference taking place this week in New York City. And that's where we reached him.

Israel Nukes - Gerald Steinberg

But many Israelis see the discussion around their nuclear program primarily as an issue of self-defence and personal security. Gerald Steinberg is a political science professor at Bar Ilan University in Israel. He was in Toronto this morning.

Israel Nukes - Peter Galbraith

The idea of talking openly about Israel's nuclear program puts the United States in a delicate situation. Peter Galbraith is a former U.S. Ambassador and now a Senior Diplomatic Fellow at The Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. He was in Townshend, Vermont.

Last Word - Dark Knight Promo

We ended this morning with a taste of something that's coming up next Monday on The Current ... a special two-part documentary that will take us to the lawless border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is a dangerous place ... a trade route for smuggled goods and explosives and a pathway for the Taliban.

But it's getting safer ... even a little more prosperous. And according to Nelofer Pazira, that has a lot to do with a man she calls The Dark Knight. We aired an excerpt from this documentary.

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