It's Wednesday, May 6th.
The European Union has approved a plan to ban all seal products because it says Canada's annual seal hunt is "inherently inhumane."
Currently, And just to be clear, Pumping a kilogram-a-day of partially cooked corn into the esophagus of an unwilling goose? That's "inherently yummy."
This is The Current.
100 Days of Parliament
One hundred days ago today, Governor General Michaelle Jean walked into the Senate Chamber and opened the current parliamentary session with the speech from the throne. We aired a clip.
A hundred days later, the global economic crisis is still in full-force. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has faced some difficult choices about Canada's mission in Afghanistan. And the Liberal Party is showing signs of a resurgence.
For their thoughts on the last 100 days and what they suggest about the future, we were joined by Tim Powers. He's a Conservative Party strategist and Paul Wells is a columnist with Maclean's Magazine. They were both in Ottawa. And Antonia Maioni is an Associate Professor of Political Science at McGill University and the Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. She was in Montreal.
It has been two weeks since Robert Fowler and Louis Guay were set free after being held hostage in western Africa for four months. The two career Canadian diplomats working for the UN were kidnapped on December 14th of last year in Niger. They were released on April 22nd in neighbouring Mali. Many questions continue to hang over their release ... among them, whether it was part of an exchange for Al Qaeda prisoners and whether a ransom was paid.
But according to Yves Engler, there are some equally important questions about a visit they paid to a Canadian-owned gold mine in Niger just hours before they were abducted. Yves Engler is the author of The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy. And he says that visit contains some important lessons about the intersection of Canadian foreign policy and Canadian business interests around the world. Yves Engler was in Montreal.
And before Mr. Engler, we heard from Benoit La Salle, the President and CEO of SEMAFO, the Quebec-based company that owns and operates the mine in Niger that Robert Fowler and Louis Guay visited just before they were abducted.
Peacekeeping in DRC - Human Rights Watch
After 15 years, the Civil War in the Democratic Republic of Congo has taken a devastating toll on the country. Some five million people have died. More than a million are displaced in the eastern part of the country.
And the fighting continues between a confusing and ever-shifting group of government and rebel factions who have fanned the flames of ethnic hatred, plundered the DRC's resources and rained terror on a traumatized population.There's the government army, the FLDR army of Hutu rebels from neighbouring Rwanda, the CNDP force of Rwandan Tutsis. And in between them all is the United Nations Mission in Congo or MONUC.
The 17,000-member force has been outnumbered, outmatched on the battlefield and turned on by angry civilians who say it simply cannot protect them. And now, MONUC is alleged to have been effectively fighting alongside one of the main combatants ... CNDP leader Bosco Ntaganda, a man nicknamed "The Terminator" and wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.
Anneke van Woudenberg has been keeping a file on General Ntaganda. She is the Senior Researcher for the Democratic Republic of Congo with Human Rights Watch and she was in London, England.
Peacekeeping in DRC - MONUC
We requested an interview with Alan Doss. He's the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative in the DRC and the head of MONUC, the United Nations Mission in the DRC. He wasn't available to speak to us this morning. But Magnogje Mounoubai did agree to talk to us. He's a spokesperson with MONUC and he was in Kinshasa.
Peacekeeping in DRC - Intl Reporting Project
Delphine Schrank has traveled extensively in the DRC and spent time with both government soldiers and rebel forces. She is a Fellow with the International Reporting Project, a program administered through Johns Hopkins University. And Delphine Schrank was in Washington D.C.
Last Word - Tuareg
Earlier in the program, we talked about a Canadian owned gold mine in Niger. Some of the conflict in Niger is related to natural resources and the nomadic people who say they deserve control of them. They are they Tuareg people.