Today's show was broadcast from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates with host, Anna Maria Tremonti.
It's Thursday November 13th.
American Express is seeking three and a half billion dollars from US taxpayers as part of the giant government bailout.
Currently, the Treasury deparment told AMEX: no worries, we'll just charge it!
This is the Current.
It is the richest city in the middle east a shimmering collection of glass and concrete rising out of the desert of the United Arab Emirates, an engineering marvel of man-made islands in decorative shapes sprinkled like a folly along its coast.
Dubai is a transit point from the messier, noisier and decidedly less comfortable
bustle of so many Middle Eastern and South Asian cities, the real testament to the global financial world .. .. all it can buy and all it can do.
And though it is just a few hours' flight from Kabul, Dubai could not be further from the reality of Afghanistan's conflict-ridden capital. And it provides a stark contrast to the story we will bring you today - the story of what happened to Mellissa Fung.
Sure, she's ours, a CBC Colleague .. a fellow journalist but after 28 days .. held in a hole in the ground at the mercy of a family of kidnappers looking for the riches that Dubai represents. Mellissa Fung is first a woman who has endured what few of us will ever have to.
Her story and her choices under such extreme circumstances is so compelling that we dedicated our first, second and much of our third half hours to her. Anna Maria spoke with Mellissa Fung yesterday .. it is the only interview she will do.
Mellissa Fung (Cont'd)
CBC reporter Mellissa Fung was kidnapped and held hostage for 28 days in Afghanistan. Yesterday, Anna Maria spoke with her about that experience, and we continued that conversation by asking Mellissa if she developed any kind of relationship with her kidnappers.
Mellissa Fung (Cont'd)
We concluded our conversation with Mellissa Fung. After she was freed, Mellissa was brought to the Afghan security offices in Kabul. Anna Maria started this part by asking her how she felt at that moment.
Mellissa Fung is a reporter with CBC. She was held hostage in Afghanistan for 28 days.
Performer: Five Stone
Cut: Strike and Fade
Label: November Sixteenth Publishing
Time for our weekly dip into the mail and our Friday host, Indira Naidoo Harris joined Anna Maria from our Toronto studio.
In the o the mail . When CBC reporter Mellissa Fung was released last Saturday, it was the first time most Canadians learned of her plight. The CBC had requested all western news organization to not report the story. John Cruickshank is the publisher of CBC News. He led efforts to secure Mellissa Fung's release. Monday on The Current, he told us why CBC requested the news ban. The united front by the media on this news blackout left listeners with mixed feelings and we read some of this mail.
Now.back in January 1987, Terry Waite was in Beirut to negotiate the release of several hostages. But he himself was kidnapped. He was held captive for nearly five years - four of which in solitary confinement - before being released in November, 1991. We asked him for his thoughts on media blackouts in these cases.
To other mail. In the summer of 2000, Avichay Sharon was an 18 year-old Israeli teen, conscripted into the Israel Defence Forces. He felt privileged to serve and protect his country. But over the course of his service, Avichay Sharon began to question his position and duties in the army. He left the service, ashamed of what it meant to be a soldier. Yesterday on The Current, he shared what he considers one of his low points. Avichay Sharon is also co-founder of Breaking the Silence ... an organization that encourages former soldiers - like him - to speak out. Hearing his story prompted some of our listeners to write.
Moving on through the mail. The world's attention was cast on the United States last week as they elected Barack Obama as its next president. But according to author Ronald Wright, the US is a land of contradiction - a contrast of rational people and "backwoods America." Last Friday on The Current, Ronald Wright told us the Bush administration was not out of step with the American public. Ronald Wright is the author of What is America? A Short History of the New World Order. After airing this interview, we heard from our listeners.
In examining "What is America", Ronald Wright suggested the election of a black president could transform the political identity of the United States. We were curious what it would take for a similiar transformation to occur in our own country. So we asked Author Noah Richler for his thoughts. He is the author of This is My Country, What's Yours? A Literary Atlas of Canada.