Pt 2: Dissent in South Africa - For generations, South Africa's apartheid regime outlawed just about any kind of political dissent. And now some South Africans fear the current government is heading in the same direction, by banning protests against the World Cup. (Read More)
Pt 3: Obama, Year One - We got a behind-the-scenes account of the early days in an already historic Presidency, from author Jonathan Alter. (Read More)
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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow
Today's guest host was Hana Gartner.
It's Friday, June 11th.
The Government continues to defend its 57 000 dollar fake lake at the G20. The 10-centimeter-deep pool is part of the media centre's "Experience Canada Alley."
Currently, the lake will be right next to 20 000 dollars' worth of astroturf ... you know, the Prairies.
This is the Current.
World Cup Economy
The 2010 World Cup kicked off this morning in South Africa. And it has been years in the making. The South African Government has spent billions of dollars building stadiums, paving roads and improving the electrical grid. TV and radio broadcasts are wall-to-wall with ads promoting the tournament's sponsors. There's the official hamburger chain, the official cola, the official soccer ball and the official car.
But it's not clear how -- or even if -- all of that connects to the other, less flashy end of the South African economy... the unofficial part. Thousands of informal traders -- hawkers as they're known -- live in the poor townships and scrape together a living selling their wares in and around the stadiums during regular soccer games. But they have been excluded from World Cup matches.
Dissent in South Africa - Panel
A few weeks ago, South African Police issued directives banning demonstrations in several municipalities during the tournament. And yesterday, 40 civil rights groups representing three million South Africans took to the streets, and the police relented, allowing them to demonstrate.
The protesters say the South African Government was wrong to spend billions preparing for the World Cup, when it still can't deliver basic services such as clean drinking water and education. Although yesterday's protest went ahead, many more have been banned. And given South Africa's history of quelling dissent, that has made some people very nervous.
For their thoughts on the issue, we spoke with two people. Salim Vally is an activist and a Senior Researcher at the Centre of Education Rights at the University of Johannesburg. And Jane Duncan is the Chair of the Media and Information Society at the School of Journalism and Communications at Rhodes University. She was in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Dissent in South Africa - Abraham Nkomo
Obama Year One
We began this segment with a clip from Barack Obama, delivering his inaugural address on January 20th, 2009.
More than a million people gathered along Washington's National Mall to watch as history was made when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, and the first African-American to hold the office. But once the celebrations were over, the real, hard work began. And during President Obama's first year in office, there was plenty of it to go around.
Jonathan Alter chronicles those early days in the Obama White House in his new book, "The Promise: President Obama, Year One." Jonathan Alter is a national affairs columnist for Newsweek and he was in Washington.
Last Word - Yes We Can Song
We left you this morning with a song that helped set the lofty expectations President Obama has had to live up to. It's called "Yes We Can." And it features Will I Am of the Black-eyed Peas, as well as Common, John Legend, Herbie Hancock and many others.