W2MEDIA.CA | Listen to today’s broadcast of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 fm. We hear from award-winning poet Lorna Crozier on whether poetry can save the world — or at least a wilderness in Langley. And Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith discusses the year in news, and what may be coming in 2013.
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- Interview with Lorna Crozier, poet and writing professor at University of Victoria. Winner of Governor General award. We chat about the efforts to protect the McLellan Forest in Langley from development, and whether poetry can change the world.
- Interview with Charlie Smith, editor of the Georgia Straight, on the year’s top news stories, and what may be coming in 2013.
- Media Mornings Latin America Report with Alfonso Osorio.
- Music: Ostwelve (“Stand for You”), Walela (“Bury my heart at Wounded Knee”), A Tribe Called Red (“The Road”)
TODAY’S MEDIA MORNINGS NEWS HEADLINES
- TOP STORY: IDLE NO MORE BOXING DAY
In our top story today, One of Vancouver’s busiest shopping streets was temporarily closed yesterday, as supporters of the cross-country Idle No More Indigenous rights campaign took to the streets. Protesters marched on Burrard and Robson Streets, blocking traffic and Boxing Day shoppers briefly. The march was part of a larger campaign that saw similar protests at shopping malls and streets across the country, including a round dance flash mob planned for today at 4pm at Canada Place (CTV).
- OTTAWA: CHIEF’S HUNGER STRIKE
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is on Day 16 of her hunger strike since Dec. 11, and is seeking a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss the government’s relationship with First Nations.
Surviving on only medicine tea and fish broth in a tipi near Parliament Hill, supporters say her strength is ebbing, but her resolve is not. Spence insists she is willing to die (ICTMN).
- CANADA: IDLE NO MORE ROAD & RAIL BLOCKADES
Members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation enter their seventh day of blocking a railway line running through their reserve in Sarnia, Ont., the mayor of the city is now questioning why Prime Minister Stephen Harper won’t just meet with First Nation leaders, the main demand of the protesters. The Aamjiwnaang protesters say they’re acting in solidarity with Spence. Demonstrators from the Sturgeon Lake First Nation, east of Grande Prairie, Alta., also rallied yesterday. The group put up two blockades across the highway between the town and the reserve (APTN).
- VANCOUVER: BANNOCK AND BLANKET GIVEAWAY
On New Year’s Eve, dozens of volunteers will be making frybread, sandwiches, and other foods at the Aboriginal Front Door Society (384 Main Street) and Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House (573 East Hastings Street). Kat Norris, founder of the group Indigenous Action Movement and Media Mornings guest, said that people will be handing out food and clothing outside the Front Door to anyone in need, starting at 3 p.m. Volunteers will also deliver provisions to sex workers and homeless people in the area. According to Norris, the event arose from her 10 years of organizing rallies seeking justice for Frank Paul (Straight).
- VANCOUVER: CITY TASK FORCE
INDIGENOUS ACTIVIST Scott Clark is taking issue with the composition of a new task force established by the City of Vancouver. A motion to create the Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force was approved by city council in October, with the aim of increasing neighbourhood engagement (Straight).
- LANGLEY: FOREST PROTECTION BATTLE
Efforts are continuing to save an old growth forest in Langley. The Township has put parts of the Glen Valley lands up for sale to help finance a new rec centre, but area residents say that would spell the end of an ancient treasure. To help drive home that message, activists headed into the forest today with a “song in their heart”. It’s not every day you find carolers in the middle of the woods, but Sunday afternoon in Langley – just days before Christmas – they were there, trying to raise awareness about a 25-acre wooded property that could be destroyed (Global).
- CANADA: ISRAEL UN VICTIM ERASED
The Defence Department has quietly removed from the Internet a report into the 2006 killing of a Canadian military officer by Israeli forces, a move the soldier’s widow says is linked to the Conservative government’s reluctance to criticize Israel for any wrongdoing. Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedener and three other United Nations observers were killed in 2006 when the Israeli military targeted their small outpost with repeated artillery barrages as well as an attack by a fighter aircraft, despite repeated pleas for help from the UN (Ottawa Citizen).
- US: TORNADOES AND SNOWSTORMS
A severe winter storm that whipped up tornadoes in the southern US has brought heavy snow to the Midwest and threatens disruption in the east. At least 12 people have been killed and authorities have told people to stay at home rather than brave freezing temperatures and treacherous roads. A state of emergency has been declared in Mississippi and Alabama (BBC).
- JAPAN: LAWSUIT OVER FUKUSHIMA RADIATION
American sailors have filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government for allegedly lying about the health risks they faced while assisting in rescue efforts after last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster (RT).
- INDIA: GANG RAPE PROTESTS
India’s government has ordered a special inquiry into the gang-rape of a student which sparked mass protests in the heart of the capital, New Delhi, last week. Authorities shut down roads in the heart of India’s capital on Monday to put an end to a week of demonstrations against the brutal gang-rape of a woman on a moving bus. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed for calm and promised that the government would take tough action to prevent crimes against women (Postmedia).
- AFRICA: US TROOP DEPLOYMENT
The United States Army will be deploying troops to nearly three-dozen African nations in the coming year. Soldiers based out of Fort Riley, Kansas’ 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division will begin training in March 2013 in order to prepare for a project that will send troops to as many as 35 African nations. Citing a growing threat from extremist groups, including those with ties to al-Qaeda, the Department of Defense is hoping to install American soldiers overseas in order to prepare local troops there for any future crises as tensions escalate (RT).
- SOUTH AFRICA: MINER HEALTH CHALLENGE
Four thousand former gold mine workers have filed affidavits in the High Court of South Africa, launching three simultaneous lawsuits against mining giants Anglogold Ashanti, Goldfields and Harmony Gold. The miners, who are all ill with lung disease they contracted while working underground, are suing the mining firms for damages (Al Jazeera).
- CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: REBELS ADVANCE
In the Central African Republic, Angry protesters carrying clubs threw rocks at the French embassy, criticising the former colonial power for failing to do more to stem a rapid rebel advance, as rebels advance towards the capital Bangui and The United Nations pulled out its non-essential staff. The demonstrations began earlier in the day outside the US embassy before about 100 protesters then took to the French embassy, carrying pieces of cardboard with messages that read: “No to war! No to France!” (Al Jazeera).
- UKRAINE: COLD SNAP / CLIMATE CHANGE
More than 80 people have died in Ukraine from cold weather that has been gripping the country. Residents in the capital, Kiev, reported that there was no place for homeless people in the city to hide from the weather (Al Jazeera).