The Current

The Current for Feb. 8, 2021

Today on The Current: What Donald Trump’s impeachment trial means for U.S. political institutions; why space junk could have damaging consequences; a landmark settlement in the opioid crisis; COVID-19’s impact on the Venice carnival and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Matt Galloway is the host of CBC Radio's The Current. (CBC)

Episode Transcript

Today on The Current

As former U.S. president Donald Trump's impeachment trial gets underway this week for his role in inciting the U.S. Capitol attack, some say the country's political institutions are at stake. To unpack the issue, Matt Galloway speaks with Ken Mack, the Lawrence D. Biele professor of law and affiliate professor of history at Harvard University, and Karen Tumulty, a political columnist for the Washington Post. 

Then, since humans started venturing into outer space, they've been leaving a lot of junk behind — with no plans to clean it up. Moriba Jah, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin's aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics department, says we need to flatten the space junk curve, or the consequences could be disastrous.

And last week, consulting firm McKinsey & Company agreed to pay nearly $600 million for its role in the opioid crisis, after it allegedly tried to turbocharge sales of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin in the U.S. and Canada. We talk to New York Times reporter Mike Forsythe about the landmark settlement. 

Plus, the streets of Venice would normally be packed with people donning glamorous masks this time of year for the centuries-old tradition of carnival. But with the ongoing pandemic, things are moving online. Carnival organizer Massimo Andreoli tells us what the change means for the festival. And we hear from Jimi Setchim, executive chef at Broussard's restaurant in New Orleans, about how COVID-19 is impacting upcoming Mardi Gras celebrations later this week.