October 19, 2009

Pt 1: Pakistan Attacks - Well, Pakistan is a country on edge today. The military says it sent close to thirty thousand soldiers into the tribal areas of south Waziristan two days ago, in an offensive against Al Qaueda and the Taliban and an area along the border with Afghanistan. As a result, thousand of civilians are fleeing.

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Pt 2: Power in the Workplace - We started this segment with a scene from the original, British version, of The Office, a TV show that pokes fun at the absurdity of workplace relationships. This morning, as part of our series, Work In Progress, we're looking at real-life power relationships on the job.

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Pt 3: Intensive Self-Help - We started this segment with a clip from David Booth describing the disturbing changes he saw in his wife, Rebekah Lawrence ... changes he says came on suddenly and dramatically in December of 2005. Thirty-four year-old Rebekah Lawrence, an Australian woman had taken part in an intense, four-day self-help seminar called, The Turning Point. She'd hoped it would help change her life. Instead her family says it led to her death. Just days after she completed the last session, Rebekah Lawrence committed suicide.

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It's Monday, October 19th.

Scientists at the University of Toronto have discovered that by genetically tweaking fruit flies they can produce an odour that makes them irresistible to other fruit flies.

Currently ... No word on why screwing with nature remains so irresistable to scientists.

This is the Current. 



Pakistan Attacks - Siddiqa

Well Pakistan is a country on edge today. The military says it sent close to thirty thousand soldiers into the tribal areas of south Waziristan two days ago, in an offensive against Al Qaueda and the Taliban and an area along the border with Afghanistan. As a result, thousand of civilians are fleeing.

This comes after miltants launched a series of co-ordinated, brazen and deadly attacks in the last two weeks, killing an estimated 150 people and injuring thousands as they targeted the World Food Programme, the Pakistani army, local police and regular civilians. The Pakistan military announced weeks ago that it would launch an offensive - arguably giving the militants time to react.

Amna Nawaz is a Pakistani-American who is in Islamabad on a fellowship with the International Reporting Project. She's been watching those civilians caught in the middle.

Ayesha Siddiqa believes the Pakistani Government hasn't done enough to deal with the fact that the Taliban is now firmly entrenched in Pakistan. Ayesha Siddiqa is an independent defence analyst and the author of Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy. And today she was in Bahawalpur, in Pakistan's province of Punjab.

Pakistan Attacks - Rashid

All of this raises questions about the connection to and the effect on the ongoing war in Afghanistan. For his thoughts, we were joined by Ahmed Rashid. He is the author of several books about the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the politics of South and Central Asia. His latest book is Descent into Chaos: How the War Against Islamic Extremism is Being Lost in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Ahmed Rashid was in Valencia, Spain today.



 

Power in the Workplace

We started this segment with a scene from the original, British version, of The Office, a TV show that pokes fun at the absurdity of workplace relationships. This morning, as part of our series, Work In Progress, we're looking at real-life power relationships on the job.

Timothy Hallett has dedicated his career to the careful observation of waitresses, school principals and others on the job ... all with the goal of figuring out who really wields power in a workplace, how they do it, and what impact they have. Timothy Hallett is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Indiana. He was in Bloomington, Indiana.



 

Intensive Self-Help

We started this segment with a clip from David Booth describing the disturbing changes he saw in his wife, Rebekah Lawrence ... changes he says came on suddenly and dramatically in December of 2005. Thirty-four year-old Rebekah Lawrence, an Australian woman had taken part in an intense, four-day self-help seminar called, The Turning Point. She'd hoped it would help change her life. Instead her family says it led to her death. Just days after she completed the last session, Rebekah Lawrence committed suicide.

And now, four years later, a coroner's inquest in Australia has been asked to determine what led to her suicide. Kristen Gelineau has been covering the story and the inquest. She is a reporter with the Associated Press. Kate Lawrence-Haynes is the sister of Rebekah Lawrence. They were both in Sydney, Australia.

Intensive Self-Help

Rebekah Lawrence's death has raised a lot questions about the company that provided the regression therapy. There are many companies around the world -- including some here in Canada -- that offer intensive seminars and workshops that aim to help people address emotional issues stemming from childhood.

The methods vary. And so do the fees. Some companies charge thousands of dollars. Some of the courses run a few days. There are plenty of positive testimonials out there. A quick google search reveals glowing remarks from people who describe such courses as life-changing events.

But according to, Bonnie Burstow, what's transformative for some can be damaging, and even dangerous for others. She is a Faculty Member in Adult Education and Counseling Psychology in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She is also psycho-therapist with a private practice - specializing in trauma. Bonnie Burstow was in Toronto.

Last Word - Unofficial Office Roles

We ended the program today with one more thought on power in the workplace ... something we talked about earlier. Apart from the actual jobs they do, many people also play extra, unofficial roles in their workplaces. So The Current took to the streets to find out what roles people think they play.

Music

Artist: Sonny Boy Williamson
Cd: Sonny Boy Williamson - The Chess Years
Cut: 1, Work with Me
Label: Chess



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