It's Tuesday, July 28th.
Last week Nicolas Sarkozy dined with Egypt's president in Paris, scaled the Alps to watch the Tour de France, jetted to New York for a concert by his model-singer wife and still found time to govern a major European nation. When the French President collapsed in the middle of a run, doctors suggested it was due to fatigue.
Currently, at which point Sarkozy sprang from the table and made love to each doctor for three and a half hours.
This is the Current.
Bashir Makhtal is a Canadian citizen who has spent the last two and a half years in an Ethiopian prison. Yesterday, he was convicted of working with an armed separatist group. The verdict means he could face the death penalty after his sentencing next week.
The saga began in December 2006, when Mr. Makhtal was arrested along Somalia's border with Kenya as he fled the invading Ethiopian army during its operation to oust the Islamic Courts regime in Somalia.
Mr. Makhtal was taken to Nairobi for questioning before being sent to Ethiopia, the country he fled as a child. He was held for the first 18 months without charge or access to a lawyer.
Ethiopia claimed he was a major player with a local rebel movement called the Ogaden National Liberation Front or ONLF. Mr. Makhtal is the grandson of one of the group's founders, but has tesitifed he had nothing to do with it.
Tesfalem Waldyes is an Ethiopian journalist who has been following this case. We reached him in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
On the Home Front
Few people have been following Bashir Makhtal's case closer than his cousin, Saad Maktal. He joined Tom here in our Toronto studio along with Mr. Makhtal's Canadian lawyer, Lorne Waldman.
The Current requested interviews with Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, but we did not hear back from either of them. We did, howeve, receive a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The Current also requested an interview with Transport Minister John Baird, who has taken an interest in the Makhtal case, but he was not available. In a press release, Minister Baird said that he was disappointed in the verdict and promised to remain actively involved in the file.
Artist: Steve Dawson
CD: We Belong to the Gold Coast
Label: Black Hen Music
Love Interrupted - Documentary
Bartley Stokes and Brenda Litzo were just teenagers when they fell in love in Seattle in the fall of 1976. Bart bought a diamond ring and they planned to get married. But Brenda became pregnant, and their world turned upside down. Their parents disapproved, they felt confused and overwhelmed, and they agreed to give up their child in a closed adoption.
Back then, a closed adoption meant relinquishing all ties to your child. Bartley and Brenda didn't know it then, but the only way they could ever see their son again was if he wanted to see them. Losing their son was devastating and it proved too much for their relationship. It was a rupture that would take them decades to resolve.
Alison Armstrong brings us their story this morning in a documentary called, Love Interrupted: Lost and Found. This documentary first aired this past February.