It's Tuesday, October 21st.
Stephane Dion says he was the victim of an unjust smear campaign by a Conservative propaganda machine that destroyed his credibility even before the election campaign began.
Currently ... so he quit.
This is The Current.
Murder By Disease
Johnson Aziga is facing two counts of first degree murder in a courtroom in Hamilton, Ontario this week. And in a first for Canadian law, the alleged murder weapon is HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Mr. Aziga is alleged to have had sex with 13 women without telling them that he had HIV. Based on that allegation, he was charged with 13 counts of aggravated sexual assault. But two of those charges were upgraded to first degree murder after two of the women died of complications allegedly linked to AIDS.
And that has put the Canadian legal system in uncharted waters. There have been similar cases, but the murder charges are a first in this country. So a guilty verdict in Johnson Aziga's case could set a new precedent for how the law interprets the criminality of infecting someone with a disease.
We hear from Johnson Aziga's lawyer, Davies Bagambiire, who tells us how he characterizes the stakes in this case.
As for the prosecution's arguments, they allege Mr. Aziga knew he had tested positive in January 1997 and did not tell any of his partners. The Crown alleges in at least one case, the alleged victim asked him directly if he had the virus. Mr. Aziga allegedly lied and said he didn't. We tried to speak with the assistant crown attorney, but were told she cannot comment publicly on the case.
Whatever the verdict in Johnson Aziga's case, some legal advocates worry that it could make it harder to prevent the transmission of HIV and AIDS. Alison Symington is the Senior Policy Analyst with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and she was in our Toronto studio.
This case could have implications for people with all kinds of communicable diseases not just HIV-AIDS. For his thoughts on what those implications might be, Anna Maria was joined by Doctor Kerry Bowman. He's a medical ethicist at the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital and he was also in our Toronto studio.
Bin Laden, The Poet
Osama Bin Laden is many things - international terrorist, criminal mastermind, the most wanted fugitive on earth. But it may surprise you to learn that he is also a poet and by some accounts, not a bad one.
Back in 2001, as the American-led bombing campaign reigned down on Kandahar, Osama Bin Laden's home was ransacked. But a handful of audio tapes were left untouched. And one of them is a 1996 recording of Osama Bin Laden reciting some of his poetry.
That was Osama Bin Laden reciting one of his poems. The recording was found in the rubble of his former home in Kandahar.
Now, a lot of people have real trouble with the idea of giving the man responsible for the attacks of 9/11 any kind of platform, literary or otherwise. But Flagg Miller sees tremendous value in Bin Laden's poetry. He's an anthropologist at the University of California, Davis. He's working on a book about Bin Laden's poetry and he was in Davis, California.
Poetry as Evidence
Osama Bin Laden isn't the only infamous poet. Josef Stalin wrote poetry. Saddam Hussein wrote elaborate novels. And Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic published poetry even while he was hiding from the International Criminal Tribunal.
We listened to a translated excerpt from his poem "Goodbye, Assassins."
Radovan Karadzic is now behind bars and awaiting trial for war crimes he is alleged to have committed during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Jay Surdukowski is a lawyer who worked in The Hague on the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic among others. He is also a poet himself and he says poetry can and should be used as evidence in courts of law. His article, Is Poetry a War Crime? Reckoning for Radovan Karadzic the Poet- Warrior was published in the Michigan Journal of International Law. And Jay Surdukowski was in Concord, New Hampshire.
Bin Laden's Influence
In a few months, the U.S. Presidency of George W. Bush will pass into history and amidst the inevitable unfinished business, there's one item that stands out. Seven years ago, President Bush staked his personal reputation on smoking out Osama Bin Laden and capturing him, "dead or alive."
As far as we know, Osama Bin Laden is still very much alive and far from capture. Of course Bin Laden has also been a lot less visible than he was in the early years of President Bush's first term.
But there are some who think that's about to change and that the world's most wanted fugitive may be due for a reappearance. Of course that's much to the chagrin of Michael Scheuer. During the Clinton Administration, he was the head of the CIA desk devoted to neutralizing Bin Laden and he was in Falls Church, Virginia.
For Glenn Greenwald, failing to capture Osama Bin Laden is one of the Bush Administration's most glaring short-comings and something that could come to define Bush's Presidency. Glenn Greenwald is the author of, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good Versus Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency and he was in Rio de Janeiro.
Earlier in the program we heard from Flagg Miller, an anthropologist who is studying the poetry of Osama Bin Laden. He mentioned that Bin Laden would often be called on to speak at wedding receptions and that his words would often put a bit of a damper on the celebration. And that got us wondering ... what would it be like to be at one of those weddings? We'll leave you with what we came up with.