July 28, 2010

Pt 1: BP Birds - A lot of Canadian birds spend their winters in the Gulf, or use it as a resting and feeding ground during their migration. So now that the Gulf is slick with oil from the BP spill, many Canadian bird watchers and experts fear that once our birds stop there, they won't make it back. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Cuban Terror - The extradition of an alleged terrorist from Venezuela to Cuba sheds new light on an old story - and re-opens an old wound for one Canadian. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

Today's guest host was Jim Brown.

It's Wednesday, July 28th.

Senior RCMP officials are complaining that Commissioner William Elliott is abusive and insulting. On one occasion he threw papers at another top officer.

Currently, Elliott says he threw the papers because the officer was brandishing a stapler.

This is the Current.

BP Birds - Margo Zdravkovic

You've no doubt heard about wildlife affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and seen the images of oil-soaked birds - hundreds of which have died or been rehabilitated so far. But experts say the situation is about to get much worse, when millions of migratory birds arrive in the Gulf region to stay for the winter - or stop over on their way to their final destination.

Among those millions, are many species of Canadian birds. And that has a lot of Canadian bird watchers and experts very worried that once our birds head south - they won't ever come back.

We aired a clip with some sound of a colony of purple martins. They're common swallows, found across much of southern Canada. And they represent just one of the species experts say could suffer when the time comes for them to migrate south.

We heard from Bridget Stutchbury, the Canada Research Chair in Ecology and Conservation Biology at York University, and author of Silence of the Songbirds.

And she's not the only one concerned about the oil spill's effect on our migratory birds. Margo Zdravkovic is director of Coastal Bird Conservation, a program involved in the research, monitoring and protection of coastal birds and their habitats. She led the first comprehensive survey of beach-nesting birds along the Gulf Coast throughout the early to mid-2000s. Margo Zdravkovic was in Big Pine Key, Florida, this morning.

Articles: Voices from the Gulf: Coastal birds in peril / Racing the oil sheen, biologists take a bird census

BP Birds - Ted Cheskey

Many of the migratory birds heading down to the Gulf of Mexico will begin their journeys in the Canadian Arctic, the Saskatchewan wetlands, the boreal forest, and Atlantic Canada's great waterfowl colonies. And from those places, they'll be flying directly into potential danger. That's causing great concern to Ted Cheskey. He's the manager of bird conservation at Nature Canada, and he joined us from our Ottawa studio.

Articles: Loon among Canadian birds threatened by Gulf spill / Spill a threat to Canadian migratory birds at risk / Gulf spill killing N.L. birds: researcher / Oil spill could harm Arctic birds: WWF


Cuban Terror - Livio Di Celmo

Venezuela has re-opened an old but still painful wound with the extradition earlier this month of one of Interpol's most wanted. We aired a clip from Venezuela's Interior and Justice Minister Tareck Al-Aissami announcing the deportation and extradition - to Cuba - of alleged fterrorist Francisco Chavez Abarca.

This story is one that has not been widely followed in North America. But Canadian Livio Di Celmo has been paying close attention - and with good reason. He believes Francisco Abarca is one of the men responsible for tearing his family apart. His brother Fabio was killed in a bombing in Havana on September 4, 1997. Livio Di Celmo was in Montreal.

Cuban Terror - Stephen Kimber

Veteran Canadian journalist Stephen Kimber has also been following the aftermath of the 1997 bombing campaign in Havana. He is a professor of journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax, and is currently working on a book called Sting of the Wasp, about the covert war between anti-Castro exiles and the Cuban intelligence service. Stephen Kimber was in Halifax.

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