Thursday, April 24, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Thursday, April 24th.
Montrealers are still wringing their hands following Monday night's riot after the Canadiens advanced to the next round of the NHL playoffs. Police say the victory celebrations were just a convenient opportunity for some people to smash windows, loot stores and commit arson.
Currently, in an unrelated story, insurance rates for downtown Toronto businesses have hit all-time lows.
This is the Current.
Zimbabwe and China
Almost a month after Zimbabwe's presidential election, results have still not been released and no winner declared, with fears growing that President Robert Mugabe was manipulating the results.
Meanwhile, information leaked out that a Chinese cargo ship was on its way to South Africa with a load of weapons destined for Zimbabwe, a shipment that some speculate was intended to help further consolidate President Mugabe's hold on power.
The ship was not allowed to dock in South Africa and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union refused to unload the cargo of mortar rounds and bullets.
Nicole Fritz is director of the Southern African Litigation Centre in Johannesburg, and she played a major role in preventing the ship's contents from reaching Zimababwe. She told us how the story unfolded.
Decades after European countries severed their colonial links to African countries, China is playing an increasingly prominent role in the politics and economic development of Africa. And some analysts are uneasy about the relationship China has built with the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe. Patrick Smith is the editor of Africa Confidential, a respected newsletter that keeps close tabs on developments in Africa, and he joined us from London.
Zimbabwe - What the West Should Be Doing
The international community was quick to criticize both China and Robert Mugabe's government over this arms shipment. In the eyes of the West, China's year to shine as host of the 2008 summer Olympics has been tainted by the Tibetan protests and allegations that its support of Sudan's government has made it complicit in Darfur's humanitarian disaster.
The West has also been critical of Robert Mugabe's government for not releasing the results of last month's presidential election.
To discuss what role, if any, the West should be playing in the Zimbabwe crisis, we were joined by Gerry Caplan, author of The Betrayal of Africa from his home in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Listen to Part One:
We were joined by this week's Friday host, Hana Gartner, plus Toronto-based filmmaker Chandra Siddan, who was a very young bride in an arranged marriage and who directed and produced a film about her experience titled Remembrance of Things Present. We also spoke to Kim Robinson, the Merritt, BC. trapper who captured murder suspect Allan Schoenborn.
Listen to Part Two:
Dee Dee Myers
Here's a book title that's bound to get a lot of attention: Why Women Should Rule the World.
Its author, Dee Dee Myers, had a front row view of how men rule the world when she was appointed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton as the first female White House Press Secretary. Her position in the corridors of power in fact made her the model for the character of C.J., President Bartlett's press secretary on the television series, The West Wing. And those experiences in the White House, both positive and negative, led her to explore the notion that the world might be a better place if more women were calling the shots. Maybe even her former boss's wife.
Dee Dee Myers is a now a consultant and she joined us from Washington.
Last Word - Iron Lady
During our interview with Dee Dee Myers, we talked about the Iron Lady herself, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. But for all her steely resolve, Thatcher could also poke fun at her super-tough image. We closed the show with an excerpt from a speech she gave in 1976, a year after becoming leader of the Conservative Party and shortly after she was dubbed the Iron Lady by a Soviet newspaper.
Listen to Part Three: