Wednesday, November 26, 2008 | Categories: Episodes
It's Wednesday, November 26th.
First Lady, Laura Bush has confirmed that she is planning a memoir.
Currently, President Bush says he's not quite sure where they'll put it ... but hey, they can always use more closet space.
This is The Current.
Iranian Blogger - Supporter
We started this segment with the voice of Hossein Derakhshan. He's a 34-year-old dual Canadian and Iranian citizen who's known as the Godfather of the Iranian Blogosphere. He's credited with blazing a path for a legion of Iranian bloggers to follow. He's also a polarizing figure, known for his brash, outspoken on-line presence. But for nearly a month, there's been no on-line trace of him.
Earlier this week, an Iranian news service with ties to the intelligence ministry reported that he has been arrested in Iran and that he has confessed to spying for Israel. None of that has been confirmed by either the Iranian or Canadian Governments, in spite of our requests. So Hossein Derakhshan's supporters have been left trying to unravel a mystery.
Iranian Blogger - Documentation
If Hossein Derakhshan has indeed been detained in Iran, he's not the first dual citizen to wind up in trouble with the Iranian authorities.
Last year, Iranian-Canadian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo was detained in Iran. In 2006, Iranian-American academic Haleh Esfandiari was jailed there. And of course Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was detained and beaten to death in an Iranian prison back in 2003.
Listen to Part One:
Moms and Babies in Prison
When her daughter Sierra was born, Jennifer Smith had a problem. She was serving time at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in British Columbia. Fortunately for her, the facility had a program that allowed inmates to keep their babies with them while they served their sentences. So Jennifer kept Sierra with her until she was released a little over a year ago. Sierra was two months old at the time.
But Jennifer Smith is one of the last inmates at Alouette to benefit from that arrangement. Earlier this year, the faculty cancelled the Mother-Baby program. Now, five women -- all current or former inmates -- are suing the province and the Alouette's warden. They're arguing that the decision to cut the program violates the rights of mothers under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Jennifer Smith is not among the plaintiffs. But she says the program served a vital purpose and deserves to be kept around. She and Sierra now live in a house in Vancouver, and we decided to pay her a visit.
Brenda Tole is the former warden at the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in British Columbia. She was instrumental in launching and running the Mother-Baby program. The cancellation of the program is now subject of a Charter challenge. Brenda Tole was in our Vancouver studio.
Listen to Part Two:
Albino Killings - Reporter
A couple of months ago, Vicky Ntetema uncovered a gruesome story. She's a BBC Reporter in Tanzania. And what she found was an underground trade in human body parts, specifically Albino human body parts.
The trade is said to be fueled by witchdoctors who allegedly seek out Albino body parts to use in magic potions. So Vicky Ntetema went undercover and went to see a witchdoctor. She's speaking a local language so we've translated the conversation.
Vicky Ntetema's was in Nairobi, Kenya this morning to tell us more about what she found.
Albino Killings - Lobby
The possibility of being hunted down and killed for body parts is something Josephat Turner considers a very real threat. He's a member of the Albino Association of Tanzania. He lives just outside of the capital, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Albino Killings - Tanzania MP
Now Tanzania's President says he's taking the threat against albinos seriously too. He's ordered a crackdown on witchdoctors alleged to be involved in attacks on albinos. And earlier this year, he appointed Al-Shaymaa Kwegyir to Tanzania's parliament. She is the first albino member of parliament and she was in Dar es Salaam.
Albino Killings - Activist
Peter Ash is a Canadian who's taking up the cause of Tanzania's albinos. He's an albino and the founder of a not-for-profit group called Under the Same Sun and he was in Vancouver.
Last Word - Salif Keita
Later today on CBC Radio One, it's The Point and host Aamer Haleem will have the latest on Toronto's efforts to deal with neglectful landlords. That's The Point at 2 o'clock -- 2:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador. And tonight on CBC Television's The Fifth Estate. For as long as there have been movies, animals have been killed or injured in making them. An encore presentation of the Emmy award nominated Cruel Camera, tonight at 9 o'clock on The Fifth Estate -- 9:30 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
We gave the last word today to another African albino. Salif Keita is an internationally recognized afro-pop singer from Mali. Growing up, he was cast out by his family and ostracized by his community because of his albinism. But that didn't stop him from becoming known as the Golden Voice of Africa. We ended the program with Salif Keita's song, "Seydou."
Artist: Salif Keita
Cd:"Folon ... The Past"
Cut: 07, "Seydou"
Listen to Part Three: