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Past Episodes: June 2009 Archives

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June 30, 2009

Pt 1: Honduras - We started this segment with some sound of protestors. Some people might hear those sounds as echoes of the Cold War, when Central America was "coup-prone." On Sunday, the democratically-elected President of the impoverished country was rousted from his bed by the military and sent into exile.

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Pt 2: Beavers- Yes, tomorrow is Canada Day, so what better time to take a closer look at a great Canadian ... a faithful steward of our freshwater resources. Devoted to family life resourceful, clever and hard-working.

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June 29, 2009

Pt 1: Abdelrazik - Abousfian Abdelrazik is back in Canada this morning. He arrived home over the weekend after spending six years stranded in Sudan. And he was welcomed by his step-daughter, Wafa Sahnine, and other supporters in Montreal.

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Pt 2: Abdelrazik's Trial Documentary - As we mentioned in our last half-hour, Abousfian Abdelrazik is back at home in Canada. He was stranded in Sudan for six years, jailed twice and accused of supporting Al Qaida. He also spent a little more than a year sleeping on a cot in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum.

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June 26, 2009

Pt 1: Michael Jackson - 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.

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Pt 2: Surpreme Court - 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.

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Pt 3: Iran - 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.

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June 25, 2009

Pt 1: Honour Killings - In the fall of 2006, Khatera Sadiqi was 20-years-old and in love. She and her fiancé, Feroz Mangal were planning a wedding and a future. Then, on September 19th, 2006, Khatera Sadiqi's older brother gunned down the couple as they sat in her parked car.

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Pt 2:  Letters - It's time for our weekly foray into the mail. And our Friday host, Evan Solomon joined Anna Maria in studio to help with the mail.

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Pt 3: Labour Concessions - There are public sector picket lines up in a various parts of the country this morning. In Vancouver, ambulance paramedics have been on a picket line for 3 months - 5 percent of them anyway because the rest are designated as essential workers and only 5 percent are allowed to picket at one time.

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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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June 23, 2009

Pt 1: Love + Prison Breaks - Last Thursday, police surrounded a car on an isolated stretch of road just north of Kingston, Ontario. Inside, they found an escaped convict named Andrew John Wood and Erin Danto, a woman who now stands accused of helping him escape. Andrew John Wood is serving a sentence for second-degree murder at the Frontenac Institution, a minimum-security facility in Kingston.

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Pt 2: MS Drug Doc - Given the current economic climate, you may be thinking long and hard about taking any big risks right now. But Cliff Geise isn't. He's a businessman in Edmonton. He's been a risk-taker most all his life.

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Pt 3: Kidney Transplant - Canadian doctor Jeffrey Veale has revolutionized the kidney donation system in the United States through a kidney transplant chain. And he says it's time for Canada to do the same.

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June 22, 2009

Pt 1: Queen of Iran - According to Iran's state television, 10 protesters were killed and 100 were injured. However Iranian radio reports said as many as 19 people had been killed. Despite Ayatollah Khameini's call for the demonstrations to end, Iranians showed up en masse. And once again, women were front-and-centre. That's been the case since the protests began just over a week ago, in the wake of Iran's disputed Presidential election.

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Pt 2: Federal Elections - Canadians have narrowly averted yet another trip to the polls. After last week's showdown between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, it turns out we are all off the hook.

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Pt 3: Pride & Politics - This coming weekend, Toronto will once again be home to one of the world's largest Pride Festivals. Over the years, it has become one of the biggest celebrations in Canada, one of the country's top tourist attractions and one of the city of Toronto's biggest money-making events. But it wasn't all that long ago that Toronto's gay community was feeling under siege.

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June 19, 2009

Pt 1: Uighurs in Bermuda- When you think of Bermuda, chances are you conjure up a warm island-paradise full of swaying palm trees and calm ocean breezes. But things aren't so peaceful there right now.

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Pt 2: The Daddy Shift - We started this segment with some voices of a few Canadian dads reflecting on the modern meaning of masculinity, fatherhood and the decision to stay home with their kids.

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Pt 3: The God Debate - The best-seller list has not been kind to God lately. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins took aim at the big guy in The God Delusion. Then the well known writer Christopher Hitchens - never one to shy away from a fight - followed up with God is Not Great.

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June 18, 2009

Pt 1: Dziekanski's Mother - It's been more than a year-and-a-half since Zofia Cisowski sat waiting in the arrivals area of the Vancouver International Airport. After nearly 8 years of living apart, she was about to be reunited with her only son, Robert Dziekanski. Of course that reunion never happened. Instead, Zofia Cisowski has spent the last 20 months grieving for her son's death and waiting to find out if anyone will be held responsible for his death.

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Pt 2: Text Message Charges - Last year, Canadians sent 21 Billion text messages. That's an average of 700 for every single person in the country. And we're on pace to send nearly twice as many this year. The vast majority of people who send text messages pay a flat rate every month and send as many as they like without any additional charges.

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Pt 3: Letters - It's Thursday, which means it's mail day on The Current and our Friday host, Evan Solomon joined Anna Maria to get through the mail.

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June 17, 2009

Pt 1: All-Day Kindergarten - This week, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced a plan to launch a full-day, fully funded and fully integrated child-care and kindergarten program and to do it starting in 2010.

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Pt 2: Cruelty - Most of us would like to believe that cruelty is for others ... the sort of thing best left to psychopaths or genocidal warlords and the kind of thing we might not even be capable of.

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Pt 3: Female Happiness - Kelley Ripa is Regis Philbin's co-host on the Regis and Kelley show and the modern-day "superwoman" in commercials for household products. In those commercials, Ms. Ripa successfully juggles work and family and looks good doing it. She is the effortless host of lavish dinner parties ... the happy wife of a square jawed husband ... the mother of cute, well-behaved kids. Oh, and she also has perfectly chiseled arms. All in all, she's pretty much guaranteed to make many women feel inadequate, angry and maybe even unhappy.

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June 16, 2009

Pt 1: Reconciliation - We started this segment with a clip of Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking in the House of Commons a year ago ... right after he delivered a historic and long-awaited apology to Canada's aboriginal peoples.

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Pt 2: Iran Protests - For a brief time, the streets of Tehran became a battleground yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians crowded together to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And pro-government forces fought back, allegedly firing into a crowd of demonstrators, killing seven of them and wounding several more.

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Pt 3: Bil'in Canadian Lawsuit - Bil'in is a small Palestinian farming village in the West Bank ... just west of Ramallah. About 1,700 people live there. And they say they are losing their land, watching as it is taken over by Israeli settlements or cut off from them by the construction of what Israel calls a security fence and what Palestinians say is a wall. From the window of his home, Mohammad Khatib can see new apartment buildings going up. We aired a clip. What Mohammad Khatib and some of th

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June 15, 2009

Pt 1: Isotopes - Christopher O'Brien is kicking off his week with a dive into the unknown. He's the head of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine and he says he has no idea what kind of supply of medical isotopes will be coming in this week. And that means he has no idea what to tell the thousands of patients who are in line for cardiac and cancer tests.

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Pt 2: Iran Elections - As you've been hearing on the news, the official announcement that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has taken the presidency of Iran for a second term has led to riots in the streets or Tehran and beyond.

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Pt 3: Our Turn to Eat - We started this segment with clip from a public reading from a new book called, It's Our Turn To Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistleblower. The event was held yesterday at the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi. The book has created quite a stir in the Country, at least among those who've been able to get a hold of it. It tells the story of John Githongo, Kenya's former anti-corruption commissioner.

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June 12, 2009

Pt 1: Swine Flu in the North - For the first time in 41 years, the world is facing a global flu epidemic. Yesterday, the World Health Organization raised its alert level for the H1N1 or swine flu virus from five to six because of the growing number of infections. There are close to three thousand confirmed cases here in Canada.

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Pt 2: Peru Oil Standoff - We started this segment with some sound from earlier this week as security forces clashed with the mostly indigenous inhabitants of Peru's northern Amazon region.

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Pt 3: Rubber Duckie Death - When the full weight of summer hits and the air quality - in many places - takes a dive because of pollution and smog ... we head indoors, seal up our windows and take refuge in the hermetically sealed bubbles of our homes.

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June 11, 2009

Pt 1: Youth & Politics - It's no wonder political staffers get the blues. It's a profession that thrives on youth or at least the boundless energy and all-consuming professional devotion that tends to come with youth.

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Pt 2: Fordlandia - There are few things as quintessentially American as a Model T Ford . And few things that have had such a profound effect on American industry. By the 1920s, Henry Ford had perfected the assembly lines used to build the car. And by 1927 -- when the last Model T was made -- he controlled ever aspect of the materials used to make it ... all except the rubber for the tires.

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Pt 3: Letters - Thursday is mail day on The Current and our Friday host Evan Solomon joined Anna Maria in studio to help get through our mail.

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June 10, 2009

Pt 1: NS NDP - After more than a century of Tory blue and Grit red, Nova Scotia is awash in orange this morning. Last night, NDP leader Darrell Dexter led his party to its first victory in the history of the province ... and the entire Atlantic region. The NDP took 31 of the province's 52 seats, giving it a majority government and making Darrell Dexter the Premier-designate of Nova Scotia. Darrell Dexter was in Halifax.

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Pt 2: Wafa Sahnine - For the last six years, Wafa Sahnine has been waiting for a phone call telling her that her step-father, Abousfian Abdelrazik, is finally coming home. The last time they saw each other was March of 2003 when Abousfian Abdelrazik left for Sudan to visit his mother.

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Pt 3: Geronimo - Skull & Bones - Even 100 years after his death, Geronimo's legacy is still highly contested, even among his descendants. Earlier this year, his great-grandson -- Harlyn Geronimo -- filed a lawsuit on behalf of some of Geronimo's descendants. They are seeking to repatriate Geronimo's remains.

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June 9, 2009

Pt 1: MacDonnell Tape - Jasmine MacDonnell is having a very bad month. First she had to resign her post as Communications Director for Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt after it was revealed that she left secret government documents at a television newsroom. Then, yesterday, it came out that the former assistant was in court - trying to avert another scandal.

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Pt 2: Whither Labour - Gordon Brown has lived to fight another day. Yesterday, at a closed-door meeting of the Labour Party's caucus, the British Prime Minister faced down his challengers and quelled an insurrection ... at least for now. He managed that despite a steady stream of cabinet resignations, his party's dismal results in the European Union elections as well as the enduring public anger over the expenses scandal.

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Pt 3: Joe Schlesinger - Joe Schlesinger was in Russia with Richard Nixon. He was in China when ping-pong diplomacy opened the Forbidden City. He was in Tehran when the Shah fled ... and in St. Peter's Square when John Paul the Second became Pope. He's covered conflicts from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf and Prime Ministers from Pierre Trudeau to Jean Chretien. Officially, Joe Schlesinger retired from the CBC 15 years ago after 28 years as a foreign correspondent, host and producer. But he has never stopped reporting.

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June 8, 2009

Pt 1: Forestry Bailout - About 200 workers at the Fraser Papers sulphite mill in Edmundston, New Brunswick may very well be starting their last shift this morning. The mill usually closes down temporarily for routine maintenance around this time of year. But this year, Fraser Papers says that if its fortunes don't turn around significantly and quickly ... that shut-down could be permanent.

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Pt 2: Polar Prom - Documentary - Prom season is upon us. Across the country, high school students have been busy hunting down the perfect dress, the right tuxedo and of course fretting over who they're going to walk in the door with.

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Pt 3: Blame - Office Politics - Until last week, Jasmine MacDonnell was the press secretary for Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt. But then some government documents marked secret were left at a CTV office and Jasmine MacDonnell took the fall. And it raised voices in the House of Commons all last week.

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June 5, 2009

Pt 1: Poetry in Canada - We started this segment with a a clip of Rollie Pemberton, better known as Cadence Weapon. He was named the poet laureate for the City of Edmonton last week. And given that virtually every other poet laureate in Canada comes from the print tradition, his selection seems like a bit of a shakeup -- or a shot in the arm -- for Canadian poetry. At least that's how Edmonton's Mayor Stephen Mandel sees it.

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Pt 2: Lebanon Election - On Sunday, Lebanon will head to the polls in a national election with huge implications for one of the most volatile regions on earth. It is a tight race, where an odd alliance between a one-time Christian militia and the Islamic militants of Hezbollah are challenging the son of a murdered former Prime Minister.

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Pt 3: Upper Canada Village - Talk Tape - Along the highway between Toronto and Montreal -- right near Cornwall, Ontario -- there is a sprawling, 60-acre tourist site called Upper Canada Village. Many of you will have heard of it. But judging by its attendance numbers, many of you haven't been there in a while.

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June 4, 2009

Pt 1: Obama in Egypt - Well already this morning (this afternoon in Cairo), U.S. President Barack Obama entered the domed hall of Cairo University to speak to an invited audience of a few hundred in a speech meant for a wider audience ... the world's 1.5 Billion Muslims.

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Pt 2: Letters - Anna Maria was joined in studio by Evan Solomon this. He is of course, the co-host of CBC News: Sunday and he is joining us as Friday host for the next few weeks.

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Pt 3: Hala Jaber Feature - We started this segment with a clip of U.S. President George W. Bush speaking on March 19th of 2003. You probably remember that night and the conflict that followed. Hala Jaber was in Iraq when the bombing began. She's a Lebanese-born journalist who lives in England. She'd gone to Baghdad to cover the war for a British newspaper. But she ended up entangled in a story that would change her life.

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June 3, 2009

Pt 1: Legal Aid - On any given day, Canadian courts are filled with people who wouldn't be able to afford a lawyer if it weren't for legal aid. About 1.2 million defendants in either criminal or civil cases applied for legal assistance in Canada last year.

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Pt 2: Afghanistan Doc - The Laws Between Worlds - In April, Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a law that shocked even some of his most ardent supporters. The law would have made it illegal for a Shiite woman to refuse her husband sex or to leave the house without his permission. After intense criticism, President Karzai has now ordered a constitutional review of the law.

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Pt 3: Jaffna Tamil Library - Twenty-eight years ago this week, the residents of Jaffna -- a predominantly Tamil city in northern Sri Lanka -- were sifting through the wreckage after several days of rioting.

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June 2, 2009

Pt 1: Cdn/Us Healthcare - Shona Holmes' story is part of an advertisement by Patients United Now, a project run by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation ... a not-for-profit group that promotes limited government and free markets. The reason groups such as that are so interested in highlighting problems in the Canadian health care system is that the United States Congress is spending the next two months working on legislation to overhaul the U.S. health care system.

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Pt 2: Weaning Cities Off Cars - People who live in Toronto like to think of their city as a dynamic, accommodating, multicultural metropolis. But close one lane of traffic on one downtown thoroughfare and people stop pulling their punches.

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Pt 3: Weaning Cities Off Cars (cont'd) - All over the country now soccer season is kicking into high gear. But like any other sport, even "The Beautiful Game" can get ugly. Supportive parents start out encouraging their budding young Ronaldos. But some of them soon end up heaping abuse on coaches, referees and opposing players.

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June 1, 2009

Pt 1: Debating Aid - The song, Do they know it's Christmas debuted in 1984 ... the year the world mobilized to confront a famine in Ethiopia. It made international aid a top of mind issue in a way it has rarely been. The scale of the response was driven by stark images of starving children and the media-spectacle of pop stars such as Bob Geldof who insisted we all had to do something.

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Pt 2: Tiananmen Anniversary - Twenty years ago this week, a rising wave of pro-democracy demonstrations ended with a massacre. Shortly after midnight on June 4th, 1989, tanks rolled in to Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Chinese soldiers began firing into the crowd. And the square became the site of bloody carnage. By some estimates, as many as 3,000 people were killed, although the Chinese Government still disputes that number as well as reports of the number of people arrested and imprisoned in the weeks and months that followed.

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Pt 3: Air France- An Air France plane carrying 228 people from Brazil to France has gone missing over the Atlantic. Charles de Gaulle airport says it lost contact with the Airbus 330 flying from Rio de Janeiro overnight. Brazil's air force has started to seach for the missing plane. to give us a sense of what may have happened to this plane, we were joined by David Gleave. He is with Aviation Safety Investigations and we reached him in Gatwick, England.

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