August 06, 2009

Pt 1: Afghan Elections - Rangina Hamidi is the kind of person you'd expect to be knee-deep in Afghanistan's Presidential election campaign right now. She's a long-time civil society activist and the CEO of the first women-run business in Kandahar ... a textile export company that employs and empowers Afghan women. But with just two weeks to go until Afghans head to the polls, even she is having a hard time getting excited. We heard from her.

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Pt 2: Sex & Seniors Documentary - Across Canada, seniors are staying healthier and living longer. Add drugs such as Viagra to the mix and it's no surprise that they're more sexually active, too. But that can create problems. HIV infections among seniors are on the rise. The rate of HIV infections among Canadians over fifty has doubled in the past ten years.

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Today's summer guest host was Tom Harrington.

It's Thursday, August 6th.

The Taliban has drafted a code of conduct that instructs its militants to do their best to avoid civilian casualties and to limit suicide bomb attacks to high value targets.

Currently, the wording on limiting their carbon footprints is still being worked out.

This is The Current.



Afghan Elections - Kippen

Rangina Hamidi is the kind of person you'd expect to be knee-deep in Afghanistan's Presidential election campaign right now. She's a long-time civil society activist and the CEO of the first women-run business in Kandahar ... a textile export company that employs and empowers Afghan women. But with just two weeks to go until Afghans head to the polls, even she is having a hard time getting excited. We heard from her.

There are 41 candidates running for the presidency. Hamid Karzai -- the current president -- is widely expected to win another term, despite a slide in his popularity. But just getting the voting booths open and the ballots counted is going to be a challenge. Charges of corruption are rampant.

And Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission -- the independent body responsible for making sure the election process is fair and free of fraud -- has already disqualified 58 candidates. All but two of them were found to be members of an "unofficial military force." Canadian Grant Kippen is the Chair of Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission. And we reached him in Kabul this morning.

Afghan Election - Panel

With so much at stake, there are people asking if this election will make any difference for Afghanistan's future. For their thoughts on that question, we were joined by two people. Mark Sedra is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. He was in Waterloo Ontario this morning. And Patricia Degennaro is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute and a professor of Global Affairs at New York University. She was in New York City.


Sex & Seniors Documentary

Across Canada, seniors are staying healthier and living longer. Add drugs such as Viagra to the mix and it's no surprise that they're more sexually active, too. But that can create problems. HIV infections among seniors are on the rise. The rate of HIV infections among Canadians over fifty has doubled in the past ten years.

The rates of other sexually transmitted diseases are also increasing. And with the number of seniors expected to double over the next 40 years, that's a significant public health challenge ... especially since sex among seniors is still something of a taboo subject.

Susan Bell is a freelance documentary producer based in Montreal. She spent some time with one senior citizen who is on a quest to find a boyfriend. Her documentary is called Faith's Journey and it first aired on The Current in January.

Phizer, the drug company behind Viagra, does not sponsor a safe-sex campaign specifically targeting seniors. But it does fund a group called the Canadian Male Sexual Health Council.

Eli Lily, the makers of Cialis, does not fund an educational campaign targeting seniors. But the company says that anyone who wants to is free to apply for funding through its grants and donations division. And as for Iris ... her HIV test came back negative.

Last Word - Donald Marshall Obit

Stay with us on CBC Radio One. Next up, it's Global Perspectives ... a series of documentaries from public broadcasters all over the world, all on the theme of islands. This afternoon at 1 o'clock, it's Dispatches. And tonight at 10 o'clock on CBC Television, it's The National.

Before we signed off ...as you may have heard on the news, Donald Marshall died early this morning. He was 55. A Mi'maq Indian at the centre of one of Canada's most famous wrongful convictions, Marshall spent 11 years in prison for the murder of a Nova Scotia teenager in 1971. He was eventually acquitted on all charges, and a subsequent inquiry found racism and police incompetence played a role in his wrongful imprisonment.

We ended the program today with an excerpt of an interview that Marshall did back on February 20th, 1995 with the CBC-TV program Midday and a song inspired by him called, Redman on the East Coast by singer Eric Webb.


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