June 24, 2009

Pt 1: Passport Purgatory - Five years ago, Anab Issa took her son to Somalia. Now, she seems to have no way of getting him back home. Anab Issa is a Canadian who is originally from Somalia. Her son, Abdilhakim Mohamed, is 25 now. He suffers from autism. Anab Issa thought that going back to Somalia to be with his extended family would help him. But now he's stuck in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Pt 2: Grunting - A few weeks ago at the French Open, her grunts -- or shrieks or whatever her detractors are calling them -- were so loud that one of her opponents filed a complaint, saying that they were distracting her from her play. There were no official sanctions. But the crowd voted with their own vocal chords by booing Ms. Larcher de Brito as she left the court. And the debate over her very vocal game is just getting started.

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Pt 3: North Korea Defector -Sun Mu's paintings are easy to misinterpret. There's one of a majestic-looking Kim Jong Il that wouldn't look out of place at a political rally in Pyongyang.

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It's Wednesday June 24th.

Alberta Mullah...oops, I mean M-L-A Doug Elniski is taking a lot of heat for telling graduating junior high-school girls that they should smile, and not give men that "being treated equal" stuff.

Currently, A Taliban spokesman says he agrees, but adds the smile should definitely be behind a Burka and what the hell are they doing in school anyway.

This is The Current.

Passport Purgatory - Somali Son in Kenya

Five years ago, Anab Issa took her son to Somalia. Now, she seems to have no way of getting him back home. Anab Issa is a Canadian who is originally from Somalia. Her son, Abdilhakim Mohamed, is 25 now. He suffers from autism. Anab Issa thought that going back to Somalia to be with his extended family would help him. But now he's stuck in Nairobi, Kenya.

Anab Issa has applied for a passport on his behalf so that she can bring her son home. But Passport Canada won't issue her one because it believes that she is trying to bring an impostor into Canada. She hasn't been charged with anything. But the investigation continues.

And in the mean time, Anab Issa says her son is in a dangerous situation, without the support he needs because of his condition. Anab Issa is in Ottawa this morning, along with Mohamed Dalmar. He's a long-time friend of hers, as well as the Manager of the Settlement Department of the Catholic Immigration Centre in Ottawa.

Passport Purgatory - Panel

For their thoughts on how Anab Issa has ended up in this situation she's in and what -- if anything -- Canadian officials ought to be doing about it to help her out of it, we were joined by two people. Gar Pardy is the former head of Consular Affairs in the department of Foreign Affairs. And Jean Lash is a lawyer representing Anab Issa. They were both in Ottawa studio.

The Current asked Passport Canada to be part of today's show. A spokesperson told us the agency is prohibited from commenting because of the Privacy Act.

Grunting - Coach

We started this segment with some tape of 16-year-old tennis sensation Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal.

A few weeks ago at the French Open, her grunts -- or shrieks or whatever her detractors are calling them -- were so loud that one of her opponents filed a complaint, saying that they were distracting her from her play. There were no official sanctions. But the crowd voted with their own vocal chords by booing Ms. Larcher de Brito as she left the court. And the debate over her very vocal game is just getting started.

Wimbledon is ready for its first ever closed-roof matches ... a scenario that could amplify Ms. Larcher de Brito's cries even further. Of course, she's hardly the first player to grunt her way to success. Maria Sharapova has been measured at 101 decibels ... just a shade quieter than a lion's roar. And plenty of others, from Jimmy Connors to Monica Seles, have come under scrutiny too. We aired a clip

One player you did not hear in that mix was Martina Navratilova. She has won more singles titles than any other tennis player in history ... all without grunting. We aired a clip from Martina Navratilova, speaking earlier this month.

Nick Bollettieri has coached some of the best -- and loudest -- tennis players in the world including Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Michelle Larcher de Brito. He runs the Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. But naturally, he was at Wimbledon today.

Article: Shreiking & Sexism

Grunting at Wimbledon: Researcher

Dennis O'Connell has been studying the role of grunting in sports for more than a decade. He's a professor of physical therapy at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. But he was in Gladwin, Michigan this morning.

Now, with all this talk of grunting in sports maybe we should consider other competitive arenas where performance may benefit from a little grunting. Say... politics? We aired a mix of what that might sound like.

North Korea Defector

Sun Mu's paintings are easy to misinterpret. There's one of a majestic-looking Kim Jong Il that wouldn't look out of place at a political rally in Pyongyang.

Until you look closer and notice that the North Korean flag in the background is upside down. In others, the symbolism is more clear. Like the one of Kim Jong il dressed in a track suit and running shoes ... looking more like an oafish layabout than North Korea's supreme leader.

Sun Mu would be in prison or dead if he had painted those images while he was living in North Korea and working as a propaganda artist. But he fled the North ten years ago and now makes a living in South Korea parodying the regime he once extolled.

Many say his work cuts right to the very heart of Korea's divided identity. With the help of translator, Steven Kim, we spoke with Sun Mu from his studio just outside Seoul, South Korea.

Last Word - K'naan

Earlier we heard from Anab Issa, a Canadian who's originally from Somalia amd caught up in a fight to try to get her autistic son back to Canada. We wanted to end the program this morning with a song from K'naan, a Somali-Canadian musician who often raps and sings about his homeland, the people who have left it and his hope that Somalia might one-day have a brighter future. We played K'naan's song, Wavin' Flag.

'Music

Artist: K'naan
Cd:"Troubadour"
Cut: 07, "Wavin' Flag"
Label: A&M, Octone B
Spine: 001247802

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