April 27, 2009

Pt 1: Flu - We started this segment with some thoughts from people in a Mexico City park yesterday, the capital city of a country struggling to cope with a new strain of influenza that may have killed more then 100 people and sickened 16-hundred others in Mexico.

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Pt 2: Abu Ghraib - Over the weekend, the once secretive former US Vice-President Dick Cheney was pushing for the release of more CIA documents to try to bolster his arguments that interrogation tatics such as waterboarding thwarted terrorist plots.

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Pt 3: Goldman Sachs - We started this segment with a clip from The Daily Show's Jon Stewart riffing on Goldman Sachs right after the banking giant shocked analysts with a first quarter profit of 1.8 Billion dollars.

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It's Monday, April 27th.

Barack Obama says he won't pursue charges against individuals who used torture during interrogations, even though documents suggest one suspected terrorist was waterboarded 183 times in a single month.

Currently, President Obama says he will vigourously pursue an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.

This is The Current.

Flu - Nova Scotia

We started this segment with some thoughts from people in a Mexico City park yesterday, the capital city of a country struggling to cope with a new strain of influenza that may have killed more then 100 people and sickened 16-hundred others in Mexico.

Twenty cases of swine influenza were also confirmed in the United States, prompting US officials to declare a public health emergency. This same strain has also made its way into Canada. We aired a clip of federal health minister, Leona Aglukkaq, speaking at a news conference yesterday.

Four of the Canadian cases of swine influenza are students who attend the same boarding school in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Two of them were part of a school trip to Mexico earlier this month, where it is believed they picked up the virus and then spread it to classmates back home. All of them have symptons described as mild.

To give us a sense of how the province is responding, we reached Robert Strang, Chief Public Health Officer for Nova Scotia. He was in Halifax.

Flu - History

People have been using the words ... Epidemic and Pandemic ...so we are looking for perspctive. Six years ago, in 2003 Canada faced the SARS epidemic. Dr Donald Low was at the forefront of that struggle. He is the medical director of labratories with Ontario's Medical Health Agency. He was in our Toronto studio.

Flu - Animals

They call is swine flu for a reason. The new strain of influenza originated in the animal population. And according to our next guest, it's time to think a lot more about where these viruses originate -- the farmyard.

David Waltner-Toews is professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph. He is also president of Veterinarians without Borders Canada and the author of The Chickens Fight Back: Pandemics Panics and Deadly Diseases that Jump from Animals to People. He was at his home in Kitchener, Ontario.

 

Abu Ghraib - Janis Karpinski

Over the weekend, the once secretive former US Vice-President Dick Cheney was pushing for the release of more CIA documents to try to bolster his arguments that interrogation tatics such as waterboarding thwarted terrorist plots.

This after the release of a report last week of the Senate Armed Services Committee. It made clear that senior Bush Administration officials approved the use of interrogation or torture tactics such as waterboarding. That contradicts former President George W. Bush's assertion that abuse or torture that may have happened was the result of rogue individuals and not government policy.

Janis Karpinski paid a steep price for the Bush Administration's policies. She was a Brigadier General and the person in charge of more than a dozen detention facilities in Iraq after the U.S. military invasion including the now-notorious Abu Ghraib prison. She was demoted, one of only two high ranking officers to be punished over what happened. Janis Karpinski was in New York City.

 

Goldman Sachs

We started this segment with a clip from The Daily Show's Jon Stewart riffing on Goldman Sachs right after the banking giant shocked analysts with a first quarter profit of 1.8 Billion dollars.

And to be fair, the company also announced that it wants to pay off half of what Jon Stewart correctly identified as a 10-Billion dollar loan from the U.S. Government. And Jon Stewart is right about another thing too. The relationship between Goldman Sachs and the U.S. Federal Government is tight and it pretty much has been for as long as the company has been around.

According to David Cay Johnston, that's allowed Goldman Sachs to turn itself into one of the most powerful and influential companies in the country ...able to bend and shape the economic policies of one U.S. Administration after another.

David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigative reporter who teaches at Syracuse University's law school. He's also the author of Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With The Bill. He was in Rochester, New York.

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