About Front Burner
Your essential daily news podcast. We take you deep into the stories shaping Canada and the world.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets and union strikes disrupted everything from flights to hospitals in Israel this week, as nearly three months of demonstrations reached a new intensity. The protests began in January, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government announced plans for a judicial overhaul that would curtail the Supreme Court’s powers. Netanyahu agreed to pause the legislation on Monday. But does that mean he’s looking for consensus, or just waiting for the fervour to die down? Today, Atlantic staff writer Yair Rosenberg returns to explain how Israel reached this democratic crossroads, and the paths that remain out of it.
TikTok is facing tough questions from many western democracies about the personal data it gathers and who has access to it. The app’s parent company is based in China and now US politicians want to make sure the country’s government can’t get access to Americans’ personal information. They aren’t liking the answers they’re getting. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
Toronto-area MP Han Dong is denying allegations that he worked against the release of ‘the two Michaels’ in 2021. His denial comes in the wake of a story from Global News that alleges Dong advised a senior Chinese diplomat in Toronto to delay the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians being held in Chinese detention. Meanwhile, calls for a public inquiry into foreign election interference grow louder. Today, CBC’s chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton brings us up to speed on the latest escalation in allegations of Chinese government interference in Canadian affairs. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
Sam Bankman-Fried wasn't like other crypto moguls: he drove a Toyota Corolla, he was an advocate for government regulation, he said he would give billions away to charity. That is, until he lost it all in what has been called “one of history’s greatest-ever destructions of wealth.” In episode 1 of Front Burner’s first spin off podcast series — The Naked Emperor — host Jacob Silverman, co-author of a forthcoming book about crypto and fraud, takes a closer look at the hype around SBF and FTX, and how it only grew, even as other crypto companies crashed around them. How powerful was Sam Bankman-Fried? And how did he initially manage to hang on, to thrive even, as other giants tumbled towards bankruptcy? For more episodes of The Naked Emperor, check out its podcast feed: https://link.chtbl.com/uXdCyMR8
Twenty years ago this week, a US military campaign called ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ began in the skies over Iraq’s capital, Badgdad. Overnight, cruise missiles were launched, and by the next morning coalition forces, led by the United States, were on the ground beginning their invasion of Iraq. Today, Mustafa Salim, a reporter with the Washington Post’s Baghdad bureau, reflects on the 20-year legacy of the US-led coalition’s invasion of Iraq, the great lie that facilitated war, and the chaos it all created. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
Thousands of protesters hit the streets of Paris with renewed anger this week, as an unpopular raise to France’s retirement age became law. President Emmanuel Macron’s government announced plans to shift the age from 62 to 64 in January. Since then, demonstrations across France have included strikes from rail workers and garbage collectors, leading to piles of trash growing in Paris. On Monday, his government survived a resulting no-confidence motion by only nine votes. Today, New York Times correspondent Catherine Porter joins us to explain France’s unique identity of work-life balance, and the globally relevant reasons Macron risked his future to delay the country’s retirement. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
In the last two weeks, four banks in the United States and one in Europe have either found themselves teetering on the brink or completely collapsed. In response, other private banks and governments all over the world have rushed to try to contain the potential financial contagion. On Sunday, the central banks of Canada, the US, Asia and Europe all agreed to increase money available, which in turn would help banks lend more to each other so they can stay afloat. Today on Front Burner, we are talking to Canadian Jim Stanford. Just how bad this financial crisis could get? How comparable will it be to the 2008 recession? And will this mean for the average Canadian? For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
It’s been less than a year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and now abortions are banned in 13 states. And in several other states, abortion is prohibited after a certain length of pregnancy. But now the new frontier in the legal fight is all about the abortion pill as a Texas judge weighs arguments from anti-abortion groups who are suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These groups want the judge to order the FDA to withdraw its two decades-long approval of a drug called mifepristone that’s used in abortion pills. If this happens, it could curtail access to abortion pills across the entire country. Mary Ziegler, a professor at the University of California’s Davis School of Law, shares her thoughts on this case and other efforts that are contributing to the uncertain legal landscape for the abortion pill in the United States. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
They devour farmers’ crops, breed rapidly and can tunnel beneath the snow to survive: feral pigs have taken residence on the Canadian prairies and are wreaking destruction. Today, Megan Evans, the Executive Director of the Alberta Invasive Species Council, takes us through why the surge in swine is so serious, and why efforts to eradicate them have been so unsuccessful. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
The Toronto District School Board has become the first board in Canada to officially recognize caste based discrimination. The caste system is thought to be among the oldest forms of social hierarchy of classification in the world, and has dominated the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years. It can dictate romantic relationships, job prospects, housing, and even lead to violence. Today, reporter Uday Rana explores the beginnings of caste in Canada, and the modern impact the ancient hierarchy has on Canada's South Asian diaspora today. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
As a kid in the Winnipeg suburb of Transcona, Tyson Smith was obsessed with hockey and the Winnipeg Jets. He dreamed of being a professional goaltender. Decades later, Smith – now known as “Kenny Omega” – has made his way to the Jets’ home arena for a different reason: he’s performing as a professional wrestler. Omega is the headliner for a show with All Elite Wrestling, the wrestling company he helped build into the first direct competitor to the WWE in almost 20 years. Before he stepped into the ring, Omega joined Front Burner host Jayme Poisson to discuss the culture of wrestling in Winnipeg, his path to fame in Japan, his push to expand inclusivity and storytelling in the sport, and swirling rumours about what he’ll do next. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
On Sunday, a group of U.S. government agencies made the extraordinary decision to ensure that everyone who had money in Silicon Valley Bank would be able to access that cash. The move comes on the heels of Friday’s collapse of the California-based bank following a bank run. Silicon Valley Bank is the second largest bank to fail in the U.S. – the first was Washington Mutual during the 2008 financial crisis. Felix Salmon is a Chief Financial Correspondent at Axios and the host of Slate Money. Today on Front Burner he joins us to explain why Silicon Valley Bank went under and what might happen next. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
Last week a US congressional committee began what could be a months-long probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Was it the result of a lab leak in Wuhan? And did Dr. Anthony Fauci and his team of experts carry out a cover-up in the early days of the outbreak? These are the questions the Republican-led committee are trying to answer. Today on Front Burner, The Atlantic’s Daniel Enger on the shifting narratives around the origins of COVID-19 -- and how it went from the fringes to the mainstream. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
This week, a federal court judge in Toronto heard arguments from a plastics lobby group and the federal government, in a challenge to a ban on single-use plastics like bags, straws and stir sticks that was introduced last year. On today’s episode, Lisa Erdle, microplastics researcher and the director of science and innovation at the U.S.-based 5 Gyres Institute, describes what’s at stake in the court hearing, the impact of plastics in the environment and what can be done to improve the situation. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
Since the Kearl mine in northern Alberta began production on Treaty 8 territory in 2013, the company has touted technological innovations that they say “enhance environmental performance.” Yet for months, wastewater from the mine’s tailings ponds, containing arsenic, hydrocarbons and sulphides has been seeping into the land. The company that runs the mine, Imperial Oil, first reported the leak in May 2022 to the provincial regulator. But Chief Allan Adam of the nearby Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation says his community only learned of the seepage last month. That’s created anxiety, says Chief Adam, because people have been hunting, fishing and trapping without knowing there was a risk of contamination. Drew Anderson, the Narwhal’s Prairies reporter, joins us today to walk us through how the leak happened, Alberta’s tailings pond debate and who’s accountable. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
Last year, about 39,000 people entered Canada at Roxham Road, an irregular border crossing in Quebec, in search of asylum. It was a record number — and so far this year, the upward trend is continuing. The steady flow of migrants entering Canada at Roxham Road has become a political issue, but how to handle the stream of people seeking asylum at the border is an open question. On this episode, Paul Hunter, a senior correspondent with CBC News, takes us to the US-Mexico border in Juarez to see what we can learn from migrants there about the issue at America’s northern border and Roxham Road. Clarification: In this episode we discuss a video shown to senior correspondent Paul Hunter by a Venezuelan migrant couple Nelson Ramirez, and his wife, Yescee Urbina at an aid office in Juarez, Mexico. The video depicts a crocodile swimming with a human leg in its mouth. We reported that the video was filmed during the couple’s journey through the Panamanian jungle. However, the video shown to CBC News was filmed a few years ago. Ramirez showed the video to convey the desperation and danger that migrants from Central and South America experience trying to seek asylum further north. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
In 2016, a handful of American and Canadian government employees working in Cuba came down with mysterious symptoms: nausea, ringing ears, headaches, and minor memory loss. Their illness came to be known as Havana Syndrome. Theories about what caused it have included microwaves fired by Russia, insecticides, and even crickets. Now, a new report from US intelligence agencies rejects the idea that an enemy with an energy weapon is to blame. Shane Harris is an Intelligence and National Security Reporter for the Washington Post. He has spoken to sources who’ve seen the new report, and walks us through its findings. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once again resisted a call that’s been getting progressively louder in Ottawa: the call for a public inquiry into allegations of Beijing’s interference in our most recent elections. Opposition MPs on a Parliamentary committee have already voted in favour of an inquiry into foreign interference, although that motion is non-binding. Meanwhile, a number of reports, committee investigations and witness testimonies have either already been delivered, or are on the way. Today, CBC’s The House host Catherine Cullen explains the newest revelations, what big questions are still at play, and what avenues remain to get those answers. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
Canada women's national soccer team currently ranks as one of the top ten teams worldwide. Despite their track record of victory, the team’s future success is now at risk. As the FIFA Women’s World Cup approaches, the team’s engaged in a very visible fight with their bosses that has meant strikes, on-field protests, and the resignation of the president of Soccer Canada. The turmoil comes because of what the players say is a shocking lack of funding and very different treatment compared to the men’s team. But the issue goes deeper than the women’s fight. TSN senior correspondent, Rick Westhead, takes guest host Daemon Fairless through the national women’s team’s fight, the controversial business deal that may be behind the federation’s money woes, and what’s at stake for the sport in Canada. For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/transcripts
The podcast Front Burner is embedded on this page from an open RSS feed. All files, descriptions, artwork and other metadata from the RSS-feed is the property of the podcast owner and not affiliated with or validated by Podplay.