Part Two of The Current
It's mail day once again on The Current, and today, The Current's producer Chris Wodskou joined Jim Brown in studio to help read your mail.
Oslo Massacre: The news has been dominated the past few days by the massacre carried out on Friday by self-confessed terrorist Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo and at a political youth camp run by Norway's ruling Labour Party. He appeared in court on Monday at a hearing that was closed to the public and the media ... a disappointment to Breivik, who was seeking a public forum for his views about the dangers of liberalism, multiculturalism and Muslims immigrating to countries like Norway.
On Tuesday's program, Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank and University of Toronto journalism professor Jeffrey Dvorkin debated how much the media should report on people who are looking for publicity for extremist views. Then we heard from our listeners with their added thoughts on this discussion.
And even if there's little appetite in Norway to hear more from Anders Breivik, one thing Norwegians appear committed to is preserving an open and liberal society and to not let these attacks change Norwegian society. Nina Berglund is the editor of Views and News from Norway, an online news website, and we reached her at her home in Oslo.
Somalia Famine: The United Nations formally declared a famine in Somalia last week. According to the UN, tens of thousands of Somalis have already died of hunger and at least three and a half million more people are in dire need of humanitarian aid. The causes are many and complex - drought, extreme poverty, political instability - and to make matters worse, the militant Islamic group al-Shabab has refused to allow the UN's World Food Programme to deliver food aid to the parts of the country it controls.
On Monday, Kiki Gbeho, the Head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Somalia, told us what she's looking for in the way of a global response to the crisis. After airing this discussion, we heard from Ismail Mohamed of Vancouver - who once lived at a Kenyan refugee camp largely populated by Somalis. We shared some of his thoughts on the famine.
The famine has indeed worsened an already dire security situation in the Horn of Africa. And that's something that Achim Steiner warns we're likely to see much more of in the future due to the effects of climate change. Mr. Steiner is the Under-Secretary-General of United Nations and the Executive Director of the UN's Environment Programme. We reached him at his office in Nairobi, Kenya.
And you can have your say on The Current, we love to hear from our listeners. Contact us through our website.
Last Word - West Lawn Dirge
Norway is such a small country, many Norwegians were personally touched by last week's rampage. As many as eleven of the victims came from the coastal city of Molde. It happened to be celebrating its jazz festival on the weekend. And the musicians offered to play at the memorial.
So, a cobble stoned Northern European city played host to a New Orleans style funeral march. It may seem incongruous, but it seems to have deeply affected the people of Molde. We ended the program with a little of the West Lawn Dirge, Norway style.
Other segment from today's show: