March 17, 2009

Pt 1: Farran 1947 Murder: Rambam - When Roy Alexander Farran died two and a half years ago, he was remembered as a great -- even legendary -- man.

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Pt 2: Grizzly Man Documentary - Counting Alberta's grizzly bears has become a contentious -- even prickly -- business. The province has spent millions of dollars on cutting edge DNA research. And the numbers the government has come up with so far don't look good. Fewer than half the expected number of bears has been located.

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Pt 3: Death of the Record Biz - When it comes to pop music, the times they are a-changing with ITunes, digital downloads ... file-sharing. But the pop music industry doesn't seem to be changing with them.

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It's Tuesday, March 17th.

The CEO of insurance giant AIG has defended paying 165-million-dollars in bonuses to the company's executives, even as they accepted 170-billion-dollars in government bailouts. He says the bonuses are necessary to keep attracting the "best and brightest talent."

Currently, The Obama administration is pushing him to start considering a few dolts and doofuses instead.

This is The Current.

 

Farran 1947 Murder: Rambam

When Roy Alexander Farran died two and a half years ago, he was remembered as a great -- even legendary -- man.

Roy Farran served as a commando with the British Special Air Service, the SAS during World War Two. He was highly decorated, he came to Canada in the 1950s and worked as a journalist. In the 1970s, he was elected to the Alberta legislature and served as Solicitor General under Premier Peter Lougheed.

But yesterday, at a press conference in Jerusalem, a private investigator named Steven Rambam painted a very different picture of the man many remember as a hero.

Back in 1947, Alexander Rubowitz was a 16-year-old boy living in what was then British-mandated Palestine. It's believed that he was part of the Zionist insurgency against British rule. And according to Steven Rambam, Roy Farran -- the man so many people came to revere -- was also the man who commanded a British police squad that tortured and murdered Alexander Rubowitz and then covered it up.

Steven Rambam is a private investigator from Brooklyn. He was hired to investigate the disappearance of Alexander Rubowitz. He was in Jerusalem this morning.

We tried to get a comment from a member of Roy Farran's family. But we have been unsucessful so far.

Farran 1947 Murder: Charters

The allegations against Roy Farran stem from a complicated historical moment. David Charters has closely studied the final years of British mandated rule in Palestine. He's a professor of history at the University of New Brunswick and the author of The British Army and Jewish Insurgency in Palestine, 1945 to 47. He's also the author of an article called "Special Operations in Counter-Insurgency: The Farran Case, Palestine 1947." David Charters was in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

 

Grizzly Man Documentary

Counting Alberta's grizzly bears has become a contentious -- even prickly -- business. The province has spent millions of dollars on cutting edge DNA research. And the numbers the government has come up with so far don't look good. Fewer than half the expected number of bears has been located.

But hunters and quadders -- people who ride around the wilderness on all-terrain vehicles -- say they're seeing more bears than ever. And they say the restrictions on access to bear country and the moratorium on the grizzly hunt just aren't necessary. Even the minister responsible for the official count is questioning the numbers.

The CBC's Gillian Rutherford has been looking into the controversy. She's prepared a documentary, How Many Bears Do You See? and she was in Edmonton.

Music Bridge

Performer: Five Stone
CD: Instrumentals
Cut: "Strike and Fade"
Label: November Sixteenth Publishing

 

Death of the Record Biz

When it comes to pop music, the times they are a-changing with ITunes, digital downloads ... file-sharing. But the pop music industry doesn't seem to be changing with them.

In the 1990s, sales and profits skyrocketed. And the major labels that dominate the industry were raking in the cash. As recently as 2000, 785 million albums were sold in the United States. Then the digital music revolution arrived. And by last year, sales had plummeted, almost by half.

And according to Steve Knopper, this latest downturn is just one piece in long cycle of booms and busts ... one made worse by the inability of the industry's biggest players to embrace change and adapt.

Steve Knopper is a contributing editor with Rolling Stone magazine. His latest book is Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age. And he was in Denver, Colorado.

Last Word: Music Turmoil

We ended the program today with one more thought about the turmoil in the music industry. As we heard, recording acts are having to find creative ways to get their music to their fans. And Rollie Pemberton is no exception. He's a 22-year-old hip hop artist from Edmonton who records under the name Cadence Weapon. He has just released a new mixtape album of covers, remixes and live recordings for the price of ... well, that's up to you. We gave him the last word today with Separation Anxiety from Cadence Weapon's pay-what-you-can mixtape.

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