Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Wednesday, May 14th.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has outlined a 20-year plan to spend $30 billion to strengthen Canada's military.
Currently, the Conservative government would not say how much of that money would be devoted to carpet-bombing Stephane Dion.
This is the Current.
The Case Against Chemotherapy
An eleven-year old boy with cancer has not only had his disease to contend with.
The boy, who cannot be named, was seven when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. After several rounds of painful chemotherapy, the disease went into remission. But it returned in 2008 and when his doctors said he'd need more chemo, he refused. He wanted to try alternative treatments, and his family backed him up.
Ontario Children's Aid Society stepped in and took custody so treatment could continue, and reached a deal with the boy's family so he could go home after the current round of treatment.
The story sparked a national debate over the right to seek alternative therapies, and it's also made some people wonder whether the treatment is as bad as the disease.
Steve McGregor brought some personal insight into this as a cancer survivor who wrestled with the decision over whether or not to pursue chemotherapy. He joined us in our Toronto studio.
Author and Oncologist
A lot of people would question the wisdom of refusing chemotherapy, but a number of people in the medical community would back that decision.
Joining us from Pittsburgh was Devra Davis, author of The Secret History of the War on Cancer and director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh.
And e ven if some patients and some people in the medical community question whether chemotherapy is the best treatment for cancer, it remains the option of choice for many cancer specialists. For more on that, we were joined by Dr. Jean Maroun, a Medical Oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre.
Listen to Part One:
Thousands of African-American farmers have been fighting for compensation for money they say they lost because they were denied federal government loans, while their neighbours were getting them. It's one of the biggest civil rights cases in American history and it's not over yet.
As part of our series Diet For a Hungry Planet, freelance producer Sarah Richards prepared a documentary on this case. She joined us from her office in Baltimore, Maryland.
Listen to Part Two:
Afghan Insurgency Spreads to the North
For most Canadians, the war in Afghanistan centres on the Southern province of Kandahar. This is the area where the Taliban has been most active and, for Canadian troops, extremely deadly.
But there are surprising reports that insurgents are both organizing and attacking in Afghanistan's northern regions. And that's troubling because the north was widely considered relatively stable -- an area most recently claimed by the Northern Alliance which toppled the Taliban regime with help from the United States in 2001.
For more about the latest developments, we were joined from Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan by James Sadler, the Security Coordinator for Vigilant Strategic Services Afghanistan, which has been keeping tabs on recent attacks.
Source of the Expanded Conflict
If the anti-government insurgency in Afghanistan is spreading to areas once thought to be relatively secure and insulated from Taliban influence, the big question is why.
Mark Sedra is an expert on the security situation in Afghanistan. He is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario, and he's the co-author of Afghanistan: Transition Under Threat . He joined us in our Toronto studio.
NATO is charged with keeping the peace, whatever peace there is, in Afghanistan. This is a difficult job under the best of conditions, but one made that much harder with the outbreaks of violence and instability in the northern regions of the country.
For more on NATO's evolving role in Afghanistan in light of the changing security situation, we were joined from Washington by Robert Hunter, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO under former President Bill Clinton, and today a senior advisor at the RAND corporation.
Last Word - Seinfeld Anniversary
The final episode of Seinfeld aired May 14th, 1998. It might seem like just yesterday that you were immersed in that world of soup Nazis, double dippers, puffy shirt wearers and low talkers, probably because of the endless repeats of what many consider the greatest sitcom of all time. That last episode was the third-most-watched finale - ever - just behind the finales of MASH and Cheers.
Well apparently all that popularity wasn't enough to convince CNN's Larry King, who asked Jerry Seinfeld how the show came to an end -- whether it had been cancelled. Seinfeld's reaction was worthy of George Costanza's dad. We closed this episode with that little bit of history.
Listen to Part Three: