Canaries in Coal Mines

In the rolling foothills of the Canadian Rockies, where cattle peacefully graze and ranchers retire to handsome chalets, a purple haze hovers. Gases burned off in the course of “completing” southern Alberta’s thousand-odd hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells are being blamed not only for air pollution, but for a litany of health complaints. Local resident are calling for air monitoring.

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Wanted Man

For those in need of a Johnny Cash fix, Winnipeg-native Marcel Soulodre is a guy to sit down and listen to. But you’ll need to hop on a plane. Marcel is currently paying homage to the late-great American country singer in bistros and restaurants across Europe.

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Dutch Dikes

Rising seas linked to global climate change pose a major threat to coastal cities around the world. In southeastern Europe, the UK, US and elsewhere, recent disastrous flood events have led to calls for new solutions. Who better to turn to for ideas than the Dutch? Over the past decade, Dutch engineers and planners have been devising nature-based flood control systems that are cheap, effective and environmentally friendly.

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Israel & the Law

Palestinian leaders are gearing up to take Israel to the International Criminal Court in The Hague — a move Washington and its beloved ally will vociferously denounce and attempt to block. Do Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, its settlement enterprise and assault on Gaza violate international law? Have Palestinian militants violated the laws of war by firing missiles at Israel? Listen to a trio of international jurists commenting on these matters.

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Martyr Cities

Of all the acts committed by German troops at the start of World War One, none sparked more outrage within European and North American intellectual circles than the destruction of the medieval library of the Flemish University of Leuven – laid to waste on the night of August 25, 1914, a hundred years ago. Together with the nearby “Martyr Cities” of Dendermonde and Aarschot, Leuven is poised to commemorate those events.

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Twelve Canadians – Cheryl Greenberg

Of all the medical afflictions a person or family can suffer from, none is as burdensome as a rare genetic condition that hasn’t even been named. With a name, access to treatment or support services are limited or absent. Cheryl Greenberg sees herself as an advocate for patients suffering from genetically-based metabolic conditions that deny definition.

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Ghosts of Hate Radio

Twenty years ago today, the tiny east African nation of Rwanda was mired in the bloody pit of mass murder. Hate radio incited the slaughter. Whispering into microphones in darkened studios, radio announcers for a broadcaster called Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines called upon listeners to “kill the cockroaches.”

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New Jewish National Fund

On the evening of Tuesday, May 27, on the occasion of Winnipeg’s annual “Negev Gala,” organized by the Canadian chapter of the Jewish National Fund, a couple of dozen local activists (quite a few of them Jewish) gathered in front of the JNF’s Centennial Concert Hall venue, on the prairie metropolis’ busy Main Street. The purpose of the gathering was two-fold.

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Adverse Drug Reactions

Have you ever popped the recommended dose of an over-the-counter analgesic, and it did absolutely nothing? Or a double dose did squat? Sorely in need of shut-eye, perhaps you downed half of what the small print on a sleep medication bottle told you to, and it knocked you out for twelve hours. Or perhaps you’re one of the truly unlucky ones, and suffered a life-threatening adverse reaction from a perfectly ordinary pill that doesn’t bother anyone else. If so, you’re in large company.

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Rare Genetic Disorders

An estimated 350 million people suffer from some 7000 rare genetic and metabolic disorders, many linked to a single faulty gene. Clinicians might stumble across one of these once in their lifetime, and have no idea what they’re dealing with. Now, a first-of-its kind web portal is allowing clinicians and geneticists around the world to match unusual symptoms with known mutant genes, and to provide firm counseling to patients in search of answers.

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Backyard Fracking

Diana Daunheimer and her husband Derek were a typical young couple pursuing their dreams. In the summer of 2002, they moved into a rambling old house just outside the village of Didsbury, an hour’s drive north of Calgary, Alberta, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. With high hopes of raising kids and living the good life, Diana, 26 years-old at the time, decided to grow organic produce on their twelve acres of land. But in 2008, a nastier crop sprouted around her property.

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Ecological Food in Bolivia

The slow-food movement has reached dizzying heights on the sun-baked altiplano of Bolivia, in the Andean highlands. Here, small-scale producers are making the most of scarce water supplies, ample sun, a few inexpensive materials and local expertise to eke out a living in some of the highest elevation farmland in the world.

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Vandana Shiva

In the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains – in northern India – a very energetic woman has declared that seeds should also be free! Her name is Vandana Shiva, and she’s a tireless defender of farmers rights. GPM producer Dave Kattenburg caught up with Vandana Shiva at her biodiversity farm north just outside Dehradun. Click on read more, then on the audio button beneath her photo to hear their conversation.

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Israel’s Wall

Israel’s “Separation Barrier” — aka the “Apartheid Wall” — is one of those works of human ingenuity that has to be seen to be fully appreciated. These photos were taken during my trip to Israel and Occupied Palestine in August/September 2012. Israel began constructing its wall in 2002, under the leadership of then Prime Minister, now deceased Ariel Sharon. The declared rationale for its construction — protecting Israeli Jews from the ravages of Palestinian “terrorism” — seemed compellingly straightforward at the time, with the Second Intifada at its height. Palestinians and their supporters saw things differently.

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Mining in Bolivia

Cerro Posokoni towers over the town of Huanuni, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, in the Bolivian department of Oruro, like an upside-down ice cream cone. Reputed to contain the largest deposits of tin in the world, thousands of miners pick away at its entrails each day.

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Stranded on Bikini

When a group of “tech” divers from around the world travels to Bikini Atoll for a week’s adventure in paradise, preparing to feast their eyes on the world’s most famous collection of sunken nuclear warships, inconvenience is the last thing on their mind. Dave Kattenburg watches as their holiday unfolds.

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A Tanzanian Schoolhouse

The East African nation of Tanzania was applauded for attaining its UN Millennium Development Goal on universal education four years in advance of the 2015 deadline it had set for itself. But in rural Tanzania, enormous challenges remain. Josephat Mwanzi reports from the little town of Songea.

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Al-Quds

Universities are engines of higher learning – generators not only of individual human growth, but of national development and prosperity. No one knows this better than little Israel – home to some of the most prestigious universities, and the highest percentage of university-educated people in the world. Universities do more than just teach.

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Climate and Agriculture in Rwanda

Until recently, Rwandan farmers knew when the rains would come; when best to plant their crops. These days, with varying weather patterns attributed to climate change, more and more Rwandan farmers struggle to grow the food they need to survive. Didier Bikorimana reports from a rural farming community in southern Rwanda.

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US Senate Un-Israeli Activities Committee

On January 31, 2013, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel appeared before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee to face questions regarding his nomination for the post of Defense Secretary. Of all the issues that might have occupied the minds of American legislators tasked with their nation’s security and defense, none stirred as much passion or outrage than the presumed inadequacy of Hagel’s support for a foreign country — Israel. In today’s Congress, insufficient support for Israel is apparently as un-American as Communism was in the McCarthy years. Listen to extracts from Hagel’s brutal inquisition.

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Area C and the Death of the Two-State Solution

In the early hours of Sunday morning, January 13, a small army of black-suited Israeli police and soldiers forcibly evicted two hundred Palestinian activists and their international supporters from a hilltop tent encampment in the E-1 corridor between East Jerusalem and the Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, in the heart of the disputed West Bank.

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Digital Literacy in Cambodia

For those who speak and write non-Latin languages, being able to type on a ‘standard’ computer keyboard is a major barrier to digital democracy. In Cambodia, this problem has been solved and communities are now experimenting with wireless communication.

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Curitiba – Sustainable City

The city of Curitiba, in southern Brazil, is famous among urban planners for its innovation and rational development, with a reputation for being highly livable and very sustainable. It was one of the first cities to market itself as “green” in a 1980s advertising campaign. And it is.

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Trash Into Charcoal

When it comes to garbage, it’s a matter of perspective. One person’s trash is another person’s cash. Outside of Kigali, in the east African nation of Rwanda, villagers have figured out how to turn food waste into cooking fuel. Janna Graham reports.

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Faces

A few of the remarkable faces captured (along with audio) on last August/September’s trip to Palestine/Israel. Speaking with folks like these, it’s hard not to feel optimistic about the future of Israel as a nation of its citizens.

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Food, Glorious Food

Food is wonderful. A delight to be eaten as well as to behold. At this festive time of year, feast your eyes on some of the tastiest foods and beverages Palestinians and Israelis have to offer. One day, when that ugly wall is demolished and the inhabitants of this wondrous land live side by side — a nation of its citizens — no end of fine meals shall be served and drinks flow.

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Bi’lin

Popular Resistance By David Kattenburg By mainstream media accounts, the truce between Israel and Hamas is holding steady. Alternative sources tell a different story. This past Friday, eleven Gazans were injured by Israeli soldiers near Israel’s Rafah crossing. Twenty one year-old Mahmoud Jaroun died of his wounds. Israeli military authorities say the Palestinians had wandered […]

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Hanan Ashrawi

Nothing captures my attention more, listening to Canadian public radio, than a discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict” or the U.S.-backed “Peace Process” with Palestine’s leading woman politician, Hanan Ashrawi. Much of what passes for incisive current affairs programming at Canada’s Mother Corp seems strangely devoid of substance these days — particularly when it comes to topics “responsible” broadcasters tend to handle with kid gloves — so an interview with Ashrawi is not to be missed. On a recent trip to Palestine, I set out to speak with Ashrawi myself.

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David Ben-Meir

Finding myself in the Israeli-occupied “West Bank,” ensconced in the heart of what Benjamin Netanyahu insists will be a fine capital of any future Palestinian state — Ramallah — I set out to speak with someone who’d refer to the gorgeous lands north of here as “Samaria.”

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Amira Hass

Amira Hass is a columnist for the left-center Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. She began reporting from the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 1991, at the height of the Second Intifada, and has lived in both Gaza and the West Bank. She is currently a resident of Ramallah. Hass is the winner of numerous awards, including the World Press Freedom Hero award (2000), the Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award (2002), the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize (2003), and the Hrant Dink Memorial Award (2009).

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Bottom Line

Melaku Worede

An Interview with 1989 Right Livelihood Award winner Melaku Worede.

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