December 23, 2009

Pt 1: Shalit Negotiations- It has been three-and-a-half years since Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit was taken hostage by Palestinian militants. And this morning, a deal to release him is reported to be closer than ever. Corporal Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid in June of 2006. Hamas officials were demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his release. And the talks are still underway.

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Pt 2: The Push to Prescribe - There was a time when drug companies produced and marketed mainly medicines and medical devices. Today, the industry's critics argue that those companies also create and market the diseases themselves.

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Pt 3: Nuclear Waste - It's been more than 30 years since Canada first started its nuclear program. And in that time, we've managed to accumulate about 2 million used uranium fuel bundles. That's enough highly toxic radioactive waste to fill six NHL hockey rinks, right up to the top of the boards. And now, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is looking for a permanent home for all of it.

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It's Wednesday, December 23rd.

A British psychologist has come up with a mathematical formula to help parents choose the toy their child will most appreciate.

Currently, Let me see if I've got this right: "Propensity for migraine-inducing sonic effects times the likelihood of injuring a younger sibling plus relative ideological inappropriateness minus aggregated educational value ... divided by net projected life span."

Hey, that's pretty good.

This is The Current.



Shalit Negotiations - Margaret Evans

It has been three-and-a-half years since Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit was taken hostage by Palestinian militants. And this morning, a deal to release him is reported to be closer than ever. Corporal Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid in June of 2006. Hamas officials were demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his release. And the talks are still underway.

The CBC's Margaret Evans joined us for the latest on the story. She was in Jerusalem.

Shalit Negotiations - Jonathan Schanzer

This isn't the first time that Israel has released prisoners it considers terrorists. One of the most controversial swaps took place in the summer of 2008. We aired a clip with how Al Jazeera reported it. And the prisoner exchange sparked a fierce debate in Israel, along with promises to review the practice.

And yet, a-year-and-a-half later, Israel finds itself in the midst of another round of negotiations ... and another moral dilemma. For his thoughts on that, we were joined by Jonathan Schanzer. He is the Deputy Executive Director of the Jewish Policy Center and the author of Hamas vs Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine. Jonathan Schanzer was in Washington.



 

The Push to Prescribe

There was a time when drug companies produced and marketed mainly medicines and medical devices. Today, the industry's critics argue that those companies also create and market the diseases themselves.

And according to Anne Rochon Ford, when that happens -- and when things go wrong -- the people whose health is most likely to be compromised are women. Anne Rochon Ford is the co-editor of The Push To Prescribe: Women and Canadian Drug Policy. She's also the coordinator of Women and Health Protection, a national committee that is funded at arms length by Health Canada, to provide advice on the safety of prescription medicine. Anne Rochon was in Toronto.



 

Nuclear Waste - Town

It's been more than 30 years since Canada first started its nuclear program. And in that time, we've managed to accumulate about 2 million used uranium fuel bundles. That's enough highly toxic radioactive waste to fill six NHL hockey rinks, right up to the top of the boards. And now, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is looking for a permanent home for all of it.

We aired part of an information video from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. So far, one community has expressed a preliminary interest in providing a home for the nuclear waste.

If you follow the Trans Canada highway north and west from Thunder Bay, Ontario, you'll run right through a former forestry town called Ignace. It's home to about 1,200 people, as well as some truly spectacular scenery. Dianne Loubier is a town councilor in Ignace, Ontario.

Nuclear Waste - Critic

Not everyone in Ignace is on board with the project. We asked Dennis Smyck to give us a sense of the town's mood. He's the publisher of the local newspaper, the Ignace Driftwood.

Gordon Edwards has problems with burying nuclear waste and not just in Ignace. He's the President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and he was in Montreal.

Nuclear Waste - Industry

Well according to the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, the risks of burying nuclear waste are entirely manageable. Michael Krizank is a spokesperson for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. He was in Toronto.

Last Word - Kraftwerk

It's been 39 years since Kraftwerk released their first album. That's about 12 times the half-life of most pop bands. And the pioneering German electronic band continues to record, tour and to explore the uneasy relationship humans have with technology. So, returning to our theme of nuclear waste, we ended the program with a live version of Radio-activity that's full of sturm und drang.

Music

Artist: Kraftwerk
Cd: Radio-activity
Cut: 2, Radio-activity
Label: EMI UK
Spine: 5 81684


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