W2MEDIA.CA | Listen to today’s 7-8am broadcast of Media Mornings on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5 fm:
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- Hosted by David P. Ball
- Interview with Mohammad Mahjoub, Canada’s longest-held security certificate detainee, on his 13 years of detention post 9/11, and the Kafka-esque legal nightmare he has faced over undisclosed evidence.
- Interview with Charlie Smith, editor of the Georgia Straight, on the BC election, and parties’ platforms on natural gas fracking, the carbon tax, and the spectre of a minority government.
- Media Mornings Latin America Report with Alfonso Osorio delves deeper into news across our hemisphere, focusing on the US refusal to recognize the election win of Chavez successor Maduro.
- Music: Lee Reed (“Ballot in the Box“), Rita Macneil (“We Rise Again”), Boonaa Mohammad (“War on Error”), Ani Difranco (“Self Evident”).
TODAY’S NEWS HEADLINES
- TOP STORY: USA: BOSTON BOMBINGS — Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a swipe at Justin Trudeau yesterday after the new Liberal leader talked about the need “to look at the root causes” that led to this week’s bombings of the Boston Marathon (NationalPost). Meanwhile, in Boston, Federal investigators have confirmed a wounded Saudi national initially held as a “person of interest” in the marathon bombing that killed three and critically injured hundreds was in fact a victim of the attack, not a suspect, despite several media outlets falsely reporting that a ‘dark-skinned’ suspect had been arrested. The victim was placed under police guard after suffering serious wounds at the scene of the bombing and subsequently questioned (DemocracyNow). After President Obama stated that “any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has sidestepped a reporters’ question about whether U.S. bombings that kill innocent civilians in Afghanistan also constitute an “act of terror” (Reuters).
- DTES: GENTRIFICATION WARNING — THE VANCOUVER POLICE Department is giving out a “criminal conduct warning” to activists participating in antigentrification protests in the Downtown Eastside. The protests include the five-night-a-week pickets outside controversial PiDGiN restaurant (GeorgiaStraight).
- DTES: PRIVATE SECURITY RIGHTS CARDS — Pivot Legal Society held a press conference yesterday to announce the release of a new set of “Know Your Rights” cards for people interacting with private security guards. The publication of the pocket sized cards comes after years of conflict between private security guards and marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Globe & Mail).
- DTES: HOMELESS COUNT — PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM a 24-hour homeless count conducted on March 13 show 273 people were sleeping on the streets, according to information released today by the office of Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. The number of homeless without shelter is down 11 percent from the 306 people counted last year. But anti-poverty advocates have questioned why information isn’t yet available on the number of people staying in homeless shelters during this year’s count. According to Jean Swanson: “I’m afraid that all this emphasis on ending street homelessness…while it’s good that people have shelters instead of being on the streets, it’s undermined the efforts, the public support, for getting more housing—and there’ s a desperate need for more housing” (GeorgiaStraight).
BC: EX NDP CANDIDATE TO RUN — The former B.C. NDP candidate who was forced to resign over racist comments made on a local media website – taking aim at First Nations and Québecois – is now running as an Independent. Kelowna-Mission candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk was dropped by the B.C. NDP on Tuesday, the first day of the provincial election campaign, after the B.C. Liberals released a series of controversial blog posts attributed to her (CBC).
- BC: NDP CAMPAIGN — NDP Leader Adrian Dix says an NDP government would freeze BC Ferries fares at current rates starting next year while undertaking an audit of the company. As well, Dix says his government will spend $226 million over the next three years establishing a grants program for students, improving completion rates for apprentices and supporting arts and cultural activities across British Columbia. But as of yet, there is no platform from the party (CP).
- BC: FOREST DEAL — A key environmental group has pulled out of a national alliance with the forest industry that was meant to protect the boreal forest while restoring the sector’s international reputation for conservation. The agreement was supposed to bring about a truce between environmentalists and Canadian logging companies. The industry had been taking a beating in international markets because of bad publicity, and companies agreed to work together with conservation groups to find mutual solutions (CP). But an early criticism of the deal was that Indigenous governments and organizations were left out of the creation of the agreement. The public was also left in the dark while the CBFA was negotiated in secret between nine environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and 21 forestry companies (Dominion).
- ONTARIO: FIRST NATION EMERGENCY — Three recent deaths among the members of the Neskantaga First Nation have prompted the remote northern Ontario community to declare a state of emergency in the hope of getting help to prevent the spread of suicide (CP).
- CANADA: ROBOCALL BILL DELAYED — The Conservative government’s planned legislation to stop electoral dirty tricks is now on hold. The legislation was to be tabled today in the House of Commons. But Tim Uppal, the minister of state for democratic reform, says his office discovered an unspecified problem with the proposed bill at the last minute. T he chief electoral officer has warned there could be another wave of false or misleading telephone calls in the next election if tough new rules and punishments are not in place by the end of next year. Mayrand’s office is still investigating fraudulent robocalls reported by complainants living in more than three quarters of all ridings across the country (Postmedia).
- USA: EXXON SPILL — As the cleanup of the March 29 ExxonMobil spill in Arkansas continues, eyewitness reports of environmental and public health consequences are beginning to emerge – despite notable near-silence from the oil giant and local authorities on the matter (RT).
- CUBA/USA: GUANTANAMO CLASHES — Days after violent clashes between guards and prisoners, the US military says a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay is on the rise as the number of those fasting has increased from 45 to 52. Some 15 prisoners are being force-fed. At the same time, lawyers for Guantanamo inmates say the strike is more widespread than the military acknowledges and the majority of all 166 prisoners are fasting. Guards carried out a raid on Camp 6 because the prisoners had repeatedly blocked 147 of the 160 security cameras, making it impossible to monitor the detainees during the hunger strike. There have been at least two attempted suicides since the first broke out around February 6 (RT).
- IVORY COAST: DRONE PEACEKEEPERS — Peacekeepers in Ivory Coast could be replaced by drones in a further step towards greater use of the military aircraft in sub-Saharan Africa (Guardian).
- NEW ZEALAND: GAY MARRIAGE — Hundreds of jubilant gay-rights advocates celebrated at New Zealand’s Parliament on Wednesday as the country became the 13th in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage (HuffPost).