Thursday, November 20, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
Today's guest host was Matt Galloway.
It's Thursday, November 20th.
Scientists have sequenced the DNA of the woolly mammoth, opening the possibility that the ice age mammal could be brought back from extinction within two or three decades.
Currently, scientists say the biggest obstacle to reviving the species will be finding part of the Arctic that's still frozen in 20 years.
This is the Current.
First it was the banks that needed a bailout. And now it's the auto industry.
In the United States, the big three auto makers are pleading for a 25-billion-dollar loan package from the federal government, a little something to help get the industry through what it's calling a liquidity crisis.
But General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are having trouble getting sympathy from some U.S. Senators. We heard from General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner making his pitch and Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Shelby of Alabama with their skeptical reaction.
Now the Canadian auto industry is deeply worried about its future too. Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement and Ontario's Minister of Economic Development Michael Bryant are in Washington today, on what they're calling a fact-finding mission. They're looking for solutions for the industry's problems. But Mr. Bryant says any government assistance depends on what the industry is prepared to do as well.
For their thoughts on what kind of help the auto sector needs and whether it deserves a bailout, we were joined by Charlotte Yates. She's the Dean of Social Sciences at McMaster University. The auto industry is her area of expertise and she was in Hamilton, Ontario. And Phil Edmonston is a former NDP Member of Parliament and the author of the Lemon Aid Car Guides. He was in Panama City, Panama this morning.
Listen to Part One:
Thursday is mail day here at The Current. And our Friday host, Indira Naidoo Harris joined Matt Galloway in studio for a look at your letters.
Some of the topics discussed in our letters:
Tuesday on The Current, we heard from Alvin Curling, the co-author of a report on youth violence and a former Liberal member of the Ontario legislature. Related to this discussion we spoke with Jamea Zuberi. She's a grade seven teacher at a school in the city's Jane Finch area. She is the chair of her school's African Heritage Committee and she was in Atlanta this morning attending the annual convention of the National Association of Black School Educators.
As we hear every day the world is a scary place. Terrorists, pandemics, the economy ... there's bad news everywhere. But according to Paul Borgese, fear can be used to your advantage. Tuesday on the program, we heard how fear can be used to sell us on everything from the bailing out the auto industry to buying life insurance. And that got some of our listeners thinking about fear.
Also, at this time of year, many Canadians may be experiencing warm feelings for Mexico, as they dream of escaping the cold northern climate. But Mexicans coming north may be trying to escape something more chilling than bad weather.
Drug related violence is undermining that country's stability. And today, Canada receives more refugee claims from Mexico than any other single country. There are close to 10,000 Mexicans in Canada waiting to have their cases heard by the Refugee Board. But only a fraction of them will be accepted. We got some letters on this item as well.
Peter Showler heard our segment on Mexican refugees. He's the former Chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board and we spoke to him from Ottawa.
Lastly, last Thursday on The Current, we devoted the bulk of our program to CBC television reporter Melissa Fung. She spent 28 days in captivity just outside Kabul in Afghanistan. Melissa was released twelve days ago. Last week, she spoke in detail with Anna Maria about her ordeal. Many listeners wrote to comment on Melissa's calm bravery.
While we are all thankful that Melissa is now out of harm's way, we should also remember that another Canadian journalist is still being held hostage. Amanda Lindhout disappeared in August in Mogadishu, Somalia. Her kidnappers were demanding five million dollar ransom. We aired a part of a report Lindhout filed last year from Baghdad for Iran's PressTV.
Listen to Part Two:
Juice / CFIA Talk Tape
When Jennifer DeGroot found maggots on the bottom of her children's juice box, she was -- quite understandably -- horrified. Her kids were sick and she worried that the juice might be the source of their illness. Her father, Bill Mason, is retired and spends a lot of time helping Jennifer. So he set out to uncover the cause. That all began back in June. And since then, Bill Mason's quest has taken him to doctors' offices, grocery store aisles, manufacturing warehouses . and the halls of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. At each turn, his frustration -- and the family's desperation -- have mounted.
Sandra Bartlett is a reporter with CBC's investigative unit. She's prepared this documentary about the family's journey ... one that begins on the bottom of a juice box. Bill Mason is Johnny and Jessica's Grandfather and the father of Jennifer DeGroot, the children's Mom. Sandra Bartlett prepared that documentary and she was in our Toronto studio.
Last Word - Malcolm X
Later today on CBC Radio One, it's The Point ... and host Aamer Haleem is asking why teens are the only drivers being targeted by a proposed new law in Ontario. That's The Point at 2 o'clock -- 2:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador. And tonight on CBC Television, The National will have film-maker Alexandre Trudeau's new documentary about the daily struggles of children and families in Darfur, Sudan.
But before we go ... On an audiotape released yesterday, Ayman Al-Zawahri -- Al Qaeda's second in command -- referred to U.S. President Elect Barack Obama as a "House Negro." That term was originally used by the late El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, or Malcolm X. In a speech back in 1963, he told his audience that during the days of slavery, there were two kinds of slaves, the house negro and the field negro and suggested THAT division hadn't gone away.
We ended the program today with that piece of history. We warn you his language is strong. From forty-five years ago...this is Malcolm X.
Listen to Part Three: