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For the week of May 17, 2020.

It was the Blast Heard ‘Round Cascadia.

At 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980. The catastrophic eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state. A giant cloud of ash. Forests flatted by mud and rock. Rivers overflowed. Fifty-seven people died.

Simon Fraser University Prof. Glyn Williams-Jones (Mackin)

“Compared to many other volcanoes, it was a pretty small eruption,” said Prof. Glyn Williams-Jones, co-director of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Natural Hazards Research on Burnaby Mountain in B.C.

“But it was in North America and there were all of these scientists watching it and so we learned a huge amount of information about this volcano and volcanoes in general.”

In a feature interview on this special edition, volcanologist Williams-Jones recalls his 2004 tour inside the crater of Mt. St. Helens.

Also on this edition, how an Australian university is kowtowing to the People’s Republic of China and trying to expel a student for standing up for free speech and human rights.

University of Queensland philosophy student Drew Pavlou (Mackin)

Philosophy student Drew Pavlou is facing a misconduct hearing on May 20, after speaking out against University of Queensland leaders welcoming Chinese Communist Party influence on campus.

Pavlou has been assaulted by pro-Beijing students and called an “anti-China rioter” by the Communist Party propaganda organ Global Times. 

UQ, Pavlou said, is supposed to be a place of life, liberty and learning.

“I never expected my university to be so beholden to Chinese government influence and money that it would now be prepared to expel me as a student due to my very vocal calls for the university to divest from its relationship with the Chinese government,” Pavlou told host Bob Mackin. “While the Chinese government persecutes the Uyghur Muslims and cracks down on Hong Kong and Tibet, and the people of China itself, in a morally catastrophic way.”

Plus Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest headlines, clips from songs by B.C. politicians who are aiming to lift spirits during the pandemic, and a focus on Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and ex-B.C. Premier Christy Clark: inductees to the “Politician Said WHAT?!?” hall of fame.

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