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The Current for Jan. 27, 2020

Today on The Current: 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, we talk to Edith Grosman, who believes she survived the Nazi death camp so she could be a messenger, and tell the stories of the people murdered. Then, we discuss efforts to contain the coronavirus, as the second presumptive case is confirmed in Ontario; and journalist Cathal Kelly talks about the tragic death and legacy of basketball giant Kobe Bryant.

'Get to the bottom of this': Civil liberties group wants inquiry into buried records in Alta. criminal cases

Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, says Alberta should hold a public inquiry after an investigation by The Fifth Estate found possible problems were raised about the work of a forensic pathologist involved in criminal cases.

Why the U.S. State Department is backing hip-hop diplomacy

America is sending hip-hop artists abroad to promote peaceful relations between countries. America's first hip-hop ambassador Toni Blackman explains what that looks like.

The Current for Jan. 24, 2020

Today on The Current: China is employing mass quarantines and building a brand new hospital — in just days — to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Is it the right approach? Plus, we talk to The Fifth Estate’s Mark Kelley about his investigation into the death of Alberta man Preston Lochead, and questions that arose about his autopsy. And finally, Toni Blackman tells us what it’s like to be the U.S. State Department’s first Hip Hop Ambassador — using music as the medium for global diplomacy.

Cancer research is an 'embarrassment,' must switch focus to early detection: oncologist

Leading oncologist Azra Raza says despite all the money spent and progress made, the way we treat cancer today is an “embarrassment.” Her new book, The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last, argues we need to change our approach to treating and diagnosing the disease.

The Current for Jan. 23, 2020

Today on The Current: We discuss the alleged Saudi Arabian phone hack of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, asking what the Kingdom could have had to gain. Then, how the TikTok app from China became the most addictive — and potentially lucrative — social media platform. And finally, a leading oncologist says despite all the money spent and progress made, the way we treat cancer today is an “embarrassment.”

What impact do private jets and celebrity lifestyles have on the fight against climate change?

We take flight in the luxurious world of private jets, and ask if the realities of climate change are bringing celebrities and the super rich back to Earth.

Do open-concept offices make you want to hide under your desk?

Open-concept offices: do you like them? Or do they make you want to hide in the stationery cupboard? Two experts give us tips on how to make the space work for you, in the latest in our problem-solving series, The Fix.

The Current for Jan. 22, 2020

Today on The Current: We take flight in the luxurious world of private jets, and ask if the realities of climate change are bringing celebrities and the super rich back to Earth. Then, our national affairs panel takes stock as MPs prepare to head back to the House next week. And finally, our new series The Fix looks at the problems people have with open-concept offices, and what you can do to make the space work for you.

The end of anonymity? Facial recognition app used by police raises serious concerns, say privacy advocates

A New York Times investigation found that hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere are using a highly efficient facial recognition software from a shadowy company that extracts billions of photos from public sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Lessons learned in SARS outbreak will help global response to coronavirus, say infectious diseases specialists

Dr. Allison McGeer, an infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, says health authorities around the world have learned important lessons from the SARS outbreak that will help manage the current coronavirus outbreak in China.

When 'math is accessible to any brain,' we can make better political, social choices, says mathematician

Canadian mathematician John Mighton, founder of the charitable organization JUMP Math, says math could be the key to solving big social and political problems.

The Current for Jan. 21, 2020

Today on The Current: The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to 6, should Canadians be concerned? Then, we discuss privacy concerns around facial recognition technology that lets you upload a picture of someone’s face, and find other images of them online, leading to their name or home address. And finally, Canadian mathematician John Mighton says if we got over our fear of math, we could build a better world.

Huawei refutes reports it helps China with surveillance, detention of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang

Huawei Canada's Alykhan Velshi told The Current that Huawei was not involved in operating technology that helped with the surveillance and detention of Muslims in China's Xinjiang province, saying, 'we sell technology all around the world, but we don't operate it.'

The Current for Jan. 20, 2020

Today on The Current: As the extradition hearing for the Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou begins in Vancouver, and two Canadians remain in a Chinese prison under harsh conditions, we ask why Canada should trust Huawei to build our 5G network. Plus, we talk to Newfoundlanders dealing with the aftermath of #Snowmaggedon2020, where about 90 cm of snow has fallen since Friday.

'Not too surprising' that Canadian ex-military member allegedly involved in U.S. neo-Nazi group: reporter

Former Manitoba reservist Patrik Mathews' alleged involvement in a U.S. neo-Nazi group is "not entirely shocking," according to an investigative reporter who tracks far-right movements.

The Current for Jan. 17, 2020

Thousands of activists are protesting Australia's climate policies while much of the country is still on fire; American authorities have nabbed three men they say were part of the neo-Nazi group The Base, including Canadian ex-reservist Patrik Matthews; A series of events in the U.S. Democratic race are a reminder of the challenges facing women candidates, including in Canada; Joel Stein makes the (hilarious) case for elitism.

Fear of losing access to medical assistance in dying put 'panic' in woman with terminal cancer, says son

Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying law is under review, after a Quebec court ruled parts of it are too restrictive. Some advocates say the mental capacity threshold to access MAID pushes people to receive it earlier than they'd ideally like, but others warn about risks of widening access.

Petition calling for koalas to be introduced to New Zealand met with skepticism from ecologists

A petition calling for koalas to be introduced to New Zealand in order to save the species from extinction following massive wildfires ravaging Australia is being met with skepticism from ecologists.

The Current for Jan. 16, 2020

Today on The Current: We discuss the government’s review of Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying law, and the very personal stakes wrapped up in the legislation. Then, an ecologist weighs in on a petition to save koalas from Australia’s bushfires, by relocating them to New Zealand. Plus, Peace by Chocolate CEO Tareq Hadhad tells us how it feels to become a Canadian citizen, four years after he came here as a Syrian refugee. And finally author Leslie Jamison discusses obsession, the promise and limits of empathy, and what sobriety has brought to her writing.

'It tore me in pieces': Men switched at birth regret never meeting biological parents

Craig Avery and Clarence Hynes were born on the same day, in the same hospital in Come by Chance, N.L. They believe they were switched at birth, and have been left with many unanswered questions.

Families could sue Iran for 'perpetrating a terrorist act' in jetliner attack, lawyer says

A Canadian litigation lawyer who is offering his services to the families of those killed in the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 says the best way to get compensation for the loss of their loved ones is to charge the Iranian government for "perpetrating a terrorist act." 

The Current for Jan. 15, 2020

Today on The Current: We listen to the incredible story of Clarence Hynes and Craig Avery, two Newfoundland men who believe they were switched at birth in 1962. Then, our national affairs panel looks at the investigation into Iran’s shooting down of flight PS752, and a Canadian lawyer tells us that suing Iran may be the best way for families to secure compensation. Finally, we look at the cheating scandal engulfing Houston Astros, and ask if cheaters ever do prosper.

Brits in denial over 'insidious' racism directed at Harry and Meghan, says U.K.-based writer

Amna Saleem, a writer based in Glasgow, says "relentless" attacks with "coded racism for black women" contributed to Prince Harry and Meghan's decision to step away from royal duties.

Fighting the scourge of plastics in our oceans | The Fix

Our new series The Fix looks at people solving the problems in our world today, starting with the harmful plastic in our oceans. We talk to Newfoundland diver Shawn Bath, who has pulled 20,000 lbs of trash from the sea, and ask ecology expert Chelsea Rochman what more can be done.