Today's guest host was Evan Solomon.
It's Friday, June 26th.
The annual Canadian Rockies International Rodeo kicks off today in Strathmore, Alberta. One of the most popular events is "goat dressing" where competitors try to strap underwear onto goats.
Currently, Alberta MLA Doug Elniski told a pre-rodeo gathering of goats to smile and not try any of that "treat me as an equal" stuff.
This is The Current.
For decades, Michael Jackson was a towering presence in the worlds of pop music and celebrity gossip. Now, he is gone. Michael Jackson died yesterday after suffering a heart attack at his rented home in Los Angeles. He was 50 years old.
He began his career with the Jackson Five, signing to Motown Records when he was 9 years old. The group set a record when its first four singles all hit number one.
But Michael Jackson's defining moment came in 1982 with the release of Thriller, the best-selling pop record of all time. With that record, he redefined what it meant to be a pop star, set the pace for making music videos, broke down the racial barriers between the pop and R&B charts and almost single-handedly revived a moribund music industry. His video for Thriller has often been credited for kickstarting the MTV generation.
Of course he will also be remembered for other things ... the endless plastic surgery, his pet chimpanzee, the rumours -- untrue as it turned out -- that he had purchased the bones of the Elephant Man. And of course, his trial on charges that he sexually abused a child ... charges for which he was acquitted.
For their thoughts on how Michael Jackson will be remembered and how he will be judged, we were joined by three people. Katherine Monk is the pop culture writer for CanWest newspapers. She was in Vancouver. Joshua Ostroff is the editor of the new AOL music site Spinner Canada and Odario Williams is rap artist with Grand Analog. Both were in our Toronto studio.
Surpreme Court - Reporter
Three years ago, a 14-year-old girl with Crohn's Disease was admitted to hospital in Winnipeg to be treated for bleeding in her bowel. The hospital recommended a blood transfusion. But she refused because she is a Jehovah's Witness, the procedure is forbidden in her religion. Child welfare authorities got a court order forcing her to have a transfusion, against her and her parents wishes. This morning, The Supreme Court of Canada weighed in on the ensuing legal battle.
The court ruled that Manitoba's Child and Family Services were right to force the girl to have a blood transfusion. In a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada Justices say the courts also must take into account the maturity and the decision-making capacity of minors before ruling on enforced treatment but nonetheless they have the right to enforce treatment.
The CBC's Karen Pauls has been following the story and she was in Winnipeg.
Surpreme Court - Panel
The Supreme Court of Canada's ruling is expected to have far reaching consequences. And for their thoughts on what they might be, we were joined by two people. Kerry Bowman is a medical ethicist at the University of Toronto. Arthur Schafer is the Director of the Centre for Professional Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba. He's also a consultant for the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.
It's been two weeks since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected by a landslide according to official results. Of course his main opponent -- Mir Hossein Mousavi -- isn't buying that. He has complained of voting irregularities and called for a new election. Tens of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to support Mr. Mousavi.
And at least 20 people have been killed in the ensuing clashes between police and demonstrators. That includes Neda Agha Soltan, who's death was captured on camera. According to newspaper reports, Iranian authorities have rounded up more than 140 demonstrators, political activists, journalists and university lecturers.
In his public comments, U.S. President Barack Obama has taken great pains to avoid taking sides in the election dispute. But yesterday, President Ahmadinejad accused President Obama of interfering in Iran's internal business. And Iran's Foreign Minister is reviewing whether to downgrade ties with Britain, which he also accuses of election interference.
Kaveh Afrasiabi thinks there's good reason to believe that the U.S. and Britain are interfering in Iran. He used to teach politics at Tehran University. He's the author of several books, including After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy. He was in Boston this morning.
Iran - Counter Point
But not everyone agrees that outside influences are controlling the protests in Iran. Massoumeh Torfeh is an Iran analyst at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, England.
Last Word - Michael Jackson