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Episode 456

Hong Kong counter-protests, Vasek Pospisil, cosplaying while black, AO3 gets a Hugo, how to free dive and more

How China influences Hong Kong counter-protests, Vasek Pospisil's bid to boost the incomes of pro tennis' lowest paid players, cosplaying while black at Fan Expo Canada, fan fiction publisher Archive of Our Own gets one of sci-fi's top honours, Cher's Believe at 20, a Canadian free diver sets a new national record and more.

Counter-protests against pro-Hong Kong demonstrators may reflect Chinese state influence

Last weekend, pro-Hong Kong demonstrators clashed with counter-protesters in a series of tense altercations across Canada — and around the world. UBC professor Leo Shin says the rise of the counter-protest movement in Canada bears the hallmarks of Chinese state influence.

How do you dive 82 metres underwater — without gear? A Canadian free diver shares her techniques

Free diver Sheena McNally set a new national record by becoming the first Canadian woman to descend 82 metres underwater without goggles, an oxygen tank or flippers. Here's how she did it.

The off-court grind: Canada's Vasek Pospisil says tennis players deserve a bigger piece of Grand Slam revenue

Professional men's tennis has 500 ranked players and the lowest revenue sharing of all professional sports. Many players struggle to make ends meet and Vasek Pospisil wants more players to get a bigger share of tournament revenue.

'Cosplay is for everyone': How these cosplayers are combating online hate with reimagined looks

As fans descend upon downtown Toronto for the Fan Expo Canada convention this weekend, some are speaking out against detractors who argue that people cosplaying as fictional characters with a different ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation or body type are an inaccurate representation of the character.

Do you 'Believe' in life after Auto-Tune? The song that reignited Cher's career and changed pop music

In 1998, Cher needed a comeback hit. Cue Believe, the dance floor phenomenon that popularized Auto-Tune and cemented the singer's place in pop culture history.

Why a Hugo for fan fiction website AO3 is a win for nerds of all stripes

Co-founder Francesca Coppa says it's a big win for fan fiction and a huge victory for a more inclusive sci-fi community.

Riffed from the Headlines: 08/24/2019

Riffed from the Headlines is our weekly news quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag.

'Cosplay is for everyone': How these cosplayers are combating online hate with reimagined looks

As fans descend upon downtown Toronto for the Fan Expo Canada convention this weekend, some are speaking out against detractors who argue that people cosplaying as fictional characters with a different ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation or body type are an inaccurate representation of the character.
Episode 455

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell, Trudeau's near apology, Kashmir lockdown, protecting mammoths, 1994 Expos and more

A closer look at Epstein's alleged co-conspirator, Trudeau's near apology and the psychology of saying sorry, behind the lockdown in Kashmir, how protecting the extinct woolly mammoth could help save elephants, the 1994 Montreal Expos and more.

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman accused of procuring young girls for Jeffery Epstein?

The one-time girlfriend of Jeffery Epstein is accused of running his sex trafficking operation. She's a mysterious figure who introduced Epstein to New York's rich and famous.

An apology expert's advice after Justin Trudeau's SNC-Lavalin affair

Given how often Justin Trudeau delivers public apologies, shouldn’t he be better at it? Psychologist, author, and apology expert, Harriett Lerner offers her reaction to Trudeau's 'sorry-not-sorry' and the dangers of under- and over-apologizing.

Lockdown in Kashmir: A reporter's look behind-the-scenes

People in Kashmir have been without internet, or phones since early August when the Indian government brought in armed forces. Washington Post reporter Niha Masih sheds light on what's happening behind the communications blackout in Kashmir.

How protecting extinct woolly mammoths could help save the elephant

Israel is asking the world to help save the elephants ⁠— by protecting the long-extinct woolly mammoth. The country has filed a proposal to regulate the trade of mammoth tusks, whose ivory has long provided cover for the illegal elephant ivory trade.

The 1994 Montreal Expos could have been champions — then came a strike

Major League Baseball went on strike 25 years ago this week. At the time, the Montreal Expos were the best team in baseball. Dave Van Horne shares what made the team so special and how it almost saved baseball in Quebec.

How a park-strolling Manhattan optometrist became an unwitting guinea pig in a facial recognition experiment

San Francisco banned facial recognition technology this week, but it's still unregulated across much of Canada and the U.S. — as optometrist Richard Madonna discovered when he was unwittingly surveilled and identified while walking through a public park earlier this year.

Riffed from the Headlines: 08/17/2019

Riffed from the Headlines is our weekly news quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag.
Episode 454

Reliving Parkland in El Paso, Hong Kong protests intensify, Canadian Muslim boycotts hajj, Sam Rudy & more

Mother of Parkland victim in El Paso, Beijing draws a line in Hong Kong, a Canadian Muslim boycotts hajj over Saudi war crimes, Sam Rudy says goodbye to the Broadway shows he made famous, and more.

'It came back all over again': Mother of Parkland victim near El Paso massacre

Patricia Oliver, whose son Joaquin died in the Parkland shooting, was just outside El Paso when she heard that another mass shooting had occurred just minutes away.

Why a Canadian Muslim is boycotting the hajj over Saudi war crimes

This weekend, more than two million Muslims from around the world are in Mecca for hajj but Waeza Shamsia Afzal won’t be among them. She's protesting the five-day pilgrimage until the Saudi government relinquishes control of holy sites.

Protests in Hong Kong escalate: Is there a way out?

As mass demonstrations in Hong Kong continue to escalate so too are the threats coming out of Beijing. Hong Kong-based journalist Mary Hui reports on the growing unease and where this impasse is heading.

After 40 years, the publicist who hyped Hamilton says goodbye to Broadway

Broadway press agent Sam Rudy, who represented hits like Avenue Q, shares the highlights from his 40-year career — including the Hamilton cast's famous political appeal to Mike Pence.

Here's what it takes fly a drone with mind control

As students at MacEwan University, a group of friends built a drone they can steer with their brainwaves. It takes specific thoughts to make it move and lots of concentration to keep it up in the air.

Riffed from the Headlines: 08/10/2019

Riffed from the Headlines is our weekly quiz where we choose three riffs linked by one story in the news. Guess the story that links the riffs and you could win a Day 6 tote bag.
Episode 453

Fugitives on the run, what's next for Puerto Rico, Instagram vs. nature, the Pinkertons ride again and more

How the search for two fugitives is upending northern communities, Puerto Rico after #RickyLeaks, what selfie-seeking Instagrammers are doing to the world's most beautiful places, the Pinkerton detective agency has a plan to profit from climate change, Microsoft's Adaptive Controller opens the door to gamers with disabilities and more.

'Cosplay is for everyone': How these cosplayers are combating online hate with reimagined looks

As fans descend upon downtown Toronto for the Fan Expo Canada convention this weekend, some are speaking out against detractors who argue that people cosplaying as fictional characters with a different ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation or body type are an inaccurate representation of the character.