Pt 1: Radicalization of Aid - Pakistan Floods - In the wake of the devastating floods in Pakistan, radical groups have been stepping up to provide humanitarian aid in places where the government is still largely absent. We'll look at how that's changing the political balance in Pakistan and how the delivery of aid is becoming radicalized around the world. (Read More)
Pt 2: The Philosophy of Pig - This is the story of one woman who traded in her high heels and power suits for a set of overalls and rubber boots and a new career focus. We originally aired this documentary by Neil Morrison October 2009. It's called, The Philosophy of Pig.(Read More)
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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow
Today's guest host was Jim Brown.
It's Wednesday, August 4th.
Pakistan's President says the war against the Taliban is being lost.
Currently, And for the record, he's ok with that.
This is The Current.
Radicalization of Aid - Pakistan Floods
Pakistan's Swat Valley is just one of the areas hit hard by what the United Nations is calling Pakistan's worst floods in more than a century. More than 1,500 people have died. Hundreds of thousands are homeless. And more monsoon rains are predicted. As you heard, many residents say the Pakistani government hasn't done enough to help the millions of people who are affected by the floods. And other groups are stepping in to fill the void. Many of them are Islamist organizations. And some of them have been banned because of alleged links to violent extremists. But according to some reports, they are delivering aid where the government can't. Saeed Shah is a reporter with Global Radio News. He joined us from Nowshera in northwest Pakistan.
Shahina Siddiqui says she's not surprised that Islamic charities -- some with questionable ties -- are providing a great deal of the relief to the victims of the flooding. She is the President of the Islamic Social Services Association, a charitable group that provides health and social welfare support for Canadian Muslims. She was in Winnipeg.
According to Eli Berman, Pakistan isn't the only place where charitable groups are intersecting with violent radical organizations. He's a Professor of Economics at the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. He's also the author of, Radical, Religious and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism. He was in San Diego.
Pakistan isn't the only country being hit by devastating floods. In Afghanistan, 4,000 homes have been destroyed and farmland has been simply washed away during the country's worst floods in 80 years. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, flooding has left 1,500 people homeless this in a region where 40,000 people were already displaced because of fighting. In Sudan, 10,000 people have been left homeless by flooding that is expected to continue into September. And in China, at least a thousand people have died in the worst storms in a generation as the intensity and speed of the flooding took people by surprise.
Philosophy of Pig
Over the centuries, humans have developed plenty of heritage livestock breeds only to abandon them in favour of something leaner or fattier or faster to raise. According to the United Nations, those farm breeds are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. And Barbara Schaffer is trying to do something about one of them. She's in her late 40s. And when she lost her job as a policy advisor in Ottawa, she decided to start raising large black pigs. The CBC's Neil Morrison met her earlier this year at the Ottawa Farmer's Market. And as he got to know Barbara and her pigs, Neil kept coming back to one question, "Why bother saving heritage breeds?". We brought you his documentary, The Philosophy of Pig. It first aired in October.
Father Guido Sarducci
Over the last few weeks, The Vatican has been getting a rough ride over its new and updated list of "delicta graviora" - or grave crimes - a list that has pedophilia and the ordination female priests as equally, well, grave. So for his take on the situation, we're joined by Father Guido Sarducci. He is the former gossip columnist and rock critic for The Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. He's also the Assistant Managing Editor for The Vatican Enquirer and a fictional character on Saturday Night Live.