The Shortwave Report Archive

IndyRadio has streamed The Shortwave Report for 5 years. Here we have the archives of program summaries since April, 2012. 4 previous shows play in the embedded player at the BOTTOM of our weekly page. (this will be back soon.

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PROGRAM NOTES 29sep17

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN,

From GERMANY Germany had major elections last week and Angela Merkel will retain her position as Chancellor for a fourth term. However the right-wing AfD, or Alternate for Deutschland, won 94 seats in Parliament, making it the third largest party. The AfD ran on an anti-immigrant policy and is the first right-wing party to enter the German Parliament since WW2. Merkel must form a coalition with three other very diverse political parties. There is a worry that the racist, and critics say neo-nazi, views of some of the AfD leaders could be a threat to German democracy. Many Germans were surprised by the election results, saying that many voted against Merkel rather than for the AfD.

From CUBA  Cuba offered Puerto Rico medical assistance at the start of the week. The Spanish federal government has charged leaders of the separatist referendum with sedition- there were raids on Catalan government offices seizing ballots and arresting 14 government leaders- the vote is scheduled to be held October 1. The Venezuelan Foreign Minister has accused the US and Spain of interfering in internal affairs- Spanish PM Rajoy joined Trump in a press conference denouncing a totalitarian drift in Venezuela. Bolivian President Evo Morales slammed US interventionist policies against Venezuela, saying it is an attack on all of Latin America. At the UN Venezuelan Foreign Minister recalled the words of Hugo Chavez saying that the podium still smells of sulfur. The Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno says his country will continue to offer asylum to Julian Assange.

From JAPAN  Japanese President Abe dissolved the lower house of Parliament in an attempt to get a fresh mandate on tax proposals and his stance on North Korea. The US is easing restrictions on dairy products from Japan, imposed after Fukushima. Japanese car makers will use interchangeable parts in upcoming electric vehicles. The UN marked Sept 26 as the international day for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Putin announced that Russia is destroying its last chemical weapons. European ambassadors to the US cautioned Trump about abandoning the nuclear deal with Iran. North Korea called Trump's threats as a declaration of war. The South Korean media wondered why North Korea did not react to recent US warplane flights near the peninsula.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." --George Orwell

PROGRAM NOTES 22sep17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  The Japanese government announced another three year delay in the retrieval of spent nuclear fuel rods from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant. 50 countries signed a global treaty at the UN to legally ban nuclear weapons- it has been reported that the US pressured with threats many countries, including Sweden and Switzerland, into not signing the treaty. US Defense Secretary Mattis announced 3000 more troops to be deployed in Afghanistan. Honda has announced plans to invest $267 million in a factory in Ohio. In Turkey there were rallies against the planned referendum in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. Iran and Venezuela reacted to Trump's speech at the UN, with Iran calling it medieval hate speech. The North Korean Foreign Minister described Trump's speech as nonsense, like the barking of a dog.

From GERMANY  German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing an easy election victory this Sunday. She spoke with Deutsche-Welle about the North Korea crisis, saying she does not support military action and again offered assistance in mediating a resolution. She attacked Trump for his military threats at the UN, and discussed the problems large immigration has resulted in, including the rise of hate and the far-right political parties.

From CUBA  Trump attacked Venezuela in his UN speech saying that President Maduro was not following the will of the people. Before Trump spoke, the UN Secretary-General Guterres told world leaders that the threat of a nuclear is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War, and warned against fiery talk. There is extreme damage in Cuba from hurricane Irma and the government is offering to finance 50% of materials to rebuild households. Brazilian prosecutors brought fresh corruption charges against President Temer and six associates. On Wednesday Spanish police seized 10 million ballots for the referendum in Catalonia- thousands took to streets in Barcelona after they arrested 13 government officials.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the the Catalonian referendum, which is scheduled for October 1. The federal government has the constitutional power to bring in the military to stop the referendum on separating the region from the nation, or possibly cut electricity to all polling stations on election day.

"We do not believe in government through the voting booth. The Spanish national will was never freely expressed through the ballot box. Spain has no foolish dreams."   --Francisco Franco, 1938

PROGRAM NOTES 15sep17

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From RUSSIA  On his program called Going Underground Afshin Rattansi starts with the 911 coup in Chile. He then interviews Carne Ross, a former UK diplomat who produced the documentary The Accidental Anarchist: Life Without Government. Ross disputed Tony Blair's justification for entering the war on Iraq. They discuss the Saudi Arabian role in the rise of terrorism, and why does every side think that they are the good guys. Ross then describes the role of and problems with sanctions, and the need for dialogue with North Korea.

From JAPAN  German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to be involved in negotiations with North Korea, using a framework as was used in Iran in 2015. The annual UN General Assembly has opened with a global ban on nuclear weapons, climate change, and North Korea to be the major topics. The US is pushing China to implement new sanctions on North Korea. A report on the Myanmar reaction to international criticism over its treatment of the Rohingya muslim minority- Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend the current UN general assembly. Currents in the Pacific Ocean along Japan are radically changing from global warming, leading to almost no salmon being caught there this year.

From CUBA  Cuba experienced 24 hours of hurricane Irma with category 5 winds and major destruction- Venezuela was the first country to send humanitarian aid. While climate change does not create more hurricanes, increased ocean temperature makes them much more severe. The 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Mexico last week has affected 2.3 million people, mainly in the south. In Oakland CA hundreds of activists are protesting a military training event for police called Urban Shield.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reported on the upcoming Catalan election for independence from Spain. The federal government has declared the referendum illegal and says that officials involved will be punished. In recent years the banned language of the region has returned and many people want autonomous rule. This election, like the one that failed in Scotland, are significant to the future of the EU.

"During the Cold War, a group of Russian journalists toured the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by their hosts for their impressions. 'I have to tell you,' said their spokesman, 'that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV, that all the opinions on all the vital issues were by and large, the same. To get that result in our country, we imprison people, we tear out their fingernails. Here, you don't have that. What's the secret? How do you do it?'"    --John Pilger

PROGRAM NOTES 08sep17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes starts with Yemen, where the Cholera epidemic has spread to 600,000 people in just 6 months. The UN Human Rights Council has avoided investigating human rights violations in the war in Yemen, as Saudi Arabia maintains a seat on the council. Several stories on the hydrogen bomb test in North Korea and the reactions and threats at the UN and elsewhere. Leaders around the globe expressed deep concern and worry, with China and Russia emphasizing that dialogue and compromise were better choices than increased threats from the west.

From RUSSIA  On his program called Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi spoke with former Scottish MP Tommy Sheridan. Sheridan is an activist opposed to Britain's Trident nuclear arsenal on submarines docked in Scotland. They discuss the threat to Britain created by Trident, and the deceptions from the Ministry of Defense and Teresa May. He talks about the US and Britain making huge profits by arming the world and then creating wars elsewhere to deploy them. He accuses the British establishment of doing everything in their power to keep Jeremy Corbyn from becoming Prime Minister because of his opposition to the military industrial complex. He points out the attempts to crush socialism in Venezuela and Latin America, and the use of Scottish airports by the US in illegal kidnapping for torture known as rendition.

From JAPAN  Several reports on the direct reactions to the North Korean bomb test. South Korea launched live fire drills along the Korean coast, and announced the formation of a military unit to target the North Korean leadership. Trump told Japan and South Korea that they will be allowed to buy higher grade weaponry worth billions of dollars. Putin condemned the North Korean bomb test but reiterated his call for dialogue with North Korea. The German government plans to set up a fund to tackle air pollution, including promoting electric vehicles.

From CUBA  French President Macron held talks with Venezuelan opposition leaders looking for support for regime change. The 9th annual BRICS summit concluded in China. The rescinding of the DACA program for young immigrants in the US was met with protests across the nation.

"They used to make arms for wars. Now they make wars to sell arms." --Tommy Sheridan

PROGRAM NOTES 01sep17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From JAPAN  Japanese air defense forces were conducting a drill with interceptor missiles when the north launched a ballistic missile over part of the Japanese archipelago. Then South Korea staged a live bombing exercise as a show of force. Japan and the US want tighter sanctions against the north, possibly banning oil exports to the nation. A former Japanese vice-admiral said the north might fire more missiles over Japan to confirm their capability.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Stephen Chan, OBE and professor of Oriental Studies in London. They talk about the US stepping up possible wars in both Afghanistan and North Korea. Stephen says that the US generals are trying to be a restraining force against Trump's belligerence. World leaders are warning Trump to tone down the rhetoric to avoid a nuclear holocaust. Stephen discusses North Korean game theory in reacting to threats, and their enigmatic approach which is not primitive. He compares the mindset of Koreans living in the north with those in the south, and whether those in the north are in a trance state as presented in the western media.

From CHINA  US Secretary of State Mattis says the US always has diplomatic solutions. The US conducted a missile intercept exercise off the coast of Hawaii. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights criticized Trump for his attacks on the media, calling it an incitement against journalists.

From CUBA  Conflicts between the government and opposition in Venezuela continue over US economic sanctions. Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva is on a caravan of hope bus tour around the country, criticizing President Temer's planned privatization of electricity and airports. The UN called on Israel to cease settlement construction in the occupied West Bank. Then a Viewpoint on a UN report that drought and hunger are among the main causes of migration to the US in at least 3 Central American nations.

"Man proposes; nature disposes. We are seldom more vulnerable than when we feel insulated." --George Monbiot

PROGRAM NOTES 25aug17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN A North Korean delegation argued with the new US Naval commander over escalated tensions at a maritime security conference in Bali. Delegates at the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva clashed, with the US representative saying the US, UK, and France would never agree to a ban on nuclear weapons. At the Fukushima nuclear power plant another attempt to create an ice wall to limit radioactive runoff into the Pacific Ocean is being attempted, 6 years after the disaster.

From CUBA  A Viewpoint on US Vice-President Pence's tour of Latin American countries. Pence is trying to drum up support for US actions against the elected government of Venezuela. Venezuela holds the largest supply of petroleum on the planet, and it was owned by US corporations until it was nationalized back in 1976. Pence's proposed invasion and overthrow of the Venezuelan government was rejected in most nations, and protests occurred in every state he visited.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with reports on the murders by vehicles in Barcelona and Cambrils. 13 died in Barcelona and over 100 were injured and the perpetrator  was shot dead by police days later. The night of the attack a car tried to replicate the event in Cambrils, resulting in 5 men being killed by police. In the Syrian city of Raqqa, US led airstrikes have intensified killing more than 100 civilians in 2 days, nearly 1000 since June. In Iraq, where the 9 month US led operation in Mosul left 40,000 civilians dead, the fighting against Daesh has moved to Tal Afar. There is a controversial referendum scheduled for September 25th to create an independent Kurdish region in Iraq.

From RUSSIA  On his show called Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi spoke again with renowned documentarian John Pilger. John discussed the biased media reports on Venezuela, the provocations and risks of a global war ignited by Washington, the NATO buildup on the Russian border to keep the US weapons manufacturers going, and how Trump is a symptom of a system bringing us to the edge of a nuclear war.

"You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or who says it." --Malcolm X

PROGRAM NOTES 18aug17

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From GERMANY  The events involving white supremacists that took place in Charlottesville Virginia were reported by all international broadcasters. Germany has experienced many neo-nazi rallies in the past decade, and has criminalized many of the actions that were seen last weekend in the US. Trump's remarks on the violence sent shock waves throughout Europe and beyond, and leaders from around the world criticized him. UK Professor Tim Lockley describes the European view of the current state of the US presidency.

From JAPAN  A report on protests across the US denouncing Trump's reaction to the clashes in Virginia. Meanwhile US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke about how religious persecution and intolerance were far too prevalent in many parts of the world while failing to mention the US travel ban on Muslims. UN Secretary-General Guterres expressed concerns over escalating tensions with North Korea.

From CUBA  Brazilian President Temer is planning to privatize airports, oil blocs, hydro power plants and more to try to decrease the federal debt. Argentinian indigenous leader Milagro Sala is to be transferred from prison to house arrest after orders from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. US CIA Director Pompeo defended Trump's threat of US military action in Venezuela. Residents of Caracas Venezuela mobilized on Monday in an anti-imperialist march.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with the Mercosur bloc of Latin American countries condemning Trump's threat of military action against Venezuela. In Argentina former President Christina Fernandez has tied in a senate seat election in Buenos Aires, portending a return to the Presidency. The World Health Organization has estimated that half a million people in Yemen have cholera due to continued bombing by Saudi Arabia and its allies including the US and UK. In Syria 7 controversial White Helmets members were executed- investigations have shown that they are a well-organized propaganda tool to promote funding for so-called moderate rebels in Syria.

"The Devil is right at home. The Devil, the Devil himself, is right in the house. And the Devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the Devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulphur still today. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the Devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world." --Hugo Chavez, at the UN after George Bush 2006

PROGRAM NOTES 11aug17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  In Nagasaki, 7400 mayors for peace from around the world urged the adoption of a complete nuclear weapons ban. Atomic bomb victims have protested Japan's decision to stay away from the recent UN treaty banning nuclear weapons, asking Prime Minister Abe which nation he is serving. Japanese Air Defense forces conducted another drill with US Air Force B1 bombers from Guam to intimidate North Korea. US Secretary of State Tillerson tried to downplay Trump's threat to North Korea of "fire and fury like the world has never seen."

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with a review of the UN sanctions against North Korea over its long-range missile tests last month, the most stringent sanctions against any country in a generation. China called for a return to the six-party talks and demanded that North Korea cease testing and that the US and South Korea suspend their upcoming military exercises. At the Association of Southeast Asian Nations regional forum, China criticized the US moral arrogance for failing to see that it part of the problem with North Korea. The mercenary army formerly known as Blackwater, got prison terms for three employees overturned in a federal appeals court. They were involved in a 2007 massacre of civilians in downtown Baghdad. Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, sold the company which has gone through several name changes, now called Academi. The Iraqi government is investigating US security firms in their country.

From CUBA  The White House is considering privatizing the war in Afghanistan at the urging of Blackwater founder Erik Prince. The newly elected members of the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly have taken their seats, while the US continues to threaten regime change. The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas, or ALBA, has rejected the sanctions the US just placed on Venezuela. In Syria at least 13 people were killed by US aerial attacks in Raqqa.

From RUSSIA  Several brief clips about the CIA infiltrating journalism schools, more about Erik Prince and mercenary forces, the US funding of the opposition in Venezuela, and Julian Assange versus the New York Times.

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." --Harry S Truman

PROGRAM NOTES 04aug17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with a report on Russian President Putin's expulsion of 755 US diplomats and contractors, which equalizes the number of Russian diplomatic personnel in the US- this is a response to new sanctions against Russia for alleged interference in the US elections. The EU worries that this will cause disruptions in gas pipeline deliveries. US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the time for talk on North Korea was over after another missile test launch. Trump accused China of failing to rein in North Korea. Last Sunday the Venezuelan election for national constituents took place, despite some violent skirmishes and boycotts. The official voter turnout was 41% but American media claimed the true figure was 8%. The EU criticized the election and several countries joined the US in not recognizing the results.

From RUSSIA  Former British MP George Galloway interviewed Teresa Teran, director of Venezuela Media Watch. They find fault with the mainstream media bias against the government of President Maduro. Teresa says the media is staging the downfall of Venezuela by misrepresenting life in the country. The opposition has called for a US invasion and the violence is caused by 2% of the population. Galloway called it a slow-motion coup, akin to what happened to Allende in Chile in 1973, with the CIA publicly admitting interference in the election. The US has given $120 million to the opposition to recruit young people to attack government forces. Teresa says that the media is creating a false image of life in Venezuela.

From CUBA  Venezuela released official figures for voter turnout in the election, while Maduro said he didn't care that Trump rejected the results- Trump followed with new sanctions against Maduro's personal assets. Israeli troops killed a 14th Palestinian youth during ongoing protests outside the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, while Gaza is restricted to 2 hours of electricity per day. The UK High Court blocked an attempt to charge Tony Blair for war crimes during the 2003 Iraqi invasion.

From JAPAN  China has hit back at Trump's criticism for not controlling North\ Korea. At the Fukushima disaster, removing the melted fuel debris grows more complicated. Following France and UK announcements of banning internal combustion cars by 2040, Japanese auto makers are stepping up development of all-electric vehicles.

"If the climate were a bank, they would already have saved it." --Hugo Chavez

PROGRAM NOTES 28jul17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  Robots were finally able to film melted nuclear fuel debris at Fukushima, while they hope to have a removal plan by September, though decommissioning the reactor could take up to 40 years. Japan is going to hold an international nuclear disarmament conference this year. The chief of the IMF said that the organization could be based in China in a decade.

From CUBA  Venezuelan President Maduro says Mexico and Colombia are working with the CIA to overthrow his government. Pastors For Peace are working against the resurgence of hostile US policies against Cuba. Argentina has experienced a severe widening of the gap between the economic classes since the election of President Macri.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Brazilian commentator Orlando Da Rocha Hill. They discussed the widespread corruption scandals in Brazil that most recently saw former President Lula da Silva receive a ten year prison sentence. This after ousting President Dilma Rousseff. He talks about the right-wing project of taking over the country and the failure of neo-liberalism.

From SPAIN  Earlier in the week, Alison Hughes reported on the deadly confrontations at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. This month Israel approved the construction of 1800 Israeli homes in east Jerusalem. Muslims were blocked from the mosque and here is a report from the website Electronic Intifada. Then a Patrick Cockburn report in the Independent about the civilian deaths in the fight for Mosul in Iraq.

"Privatization is a neoliberal and imperialist plan. Health can't be privatized because it is a fundamental human right, nor can education, water, electricity and other public services. They can't be surrendered to private capital that denies the people from their rights." --Hugo Chavez

PROGRAM NOTES 21jul17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins by reporting on the new South Korean President Moon jae-in's desire to change the policy with North Korea by dialogue and negotiations. The White House announced new sanctions against Iran, two years after earlier sanctions were lifted by the former administration- this followed Israeli PM Netanyahu criticizing the US-Russian ceasefire in Syria, saying Israel might need to attack Iranian and Hezbollah bases in Syria. The state of emergency was extended in Turkey for the fourth time, with President Erdogan believing that cleric and US businessman Fetullah Gulen was behind the attempted coup a year ago.

From JAPAN   I have seen numerous articles in the media saying that increased releases of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean were about to happen- TEPCO claims that the media misinterpreted statements and tried to calm enraged fishermen. Japan has an action plan to help people in the US understand that Japanese investment in the US has created many jobs. Philippine President Dutarte asked Congress to extend martial law in the south, where he plans to create an autonomous Muslim region as a peace settlement. Global Witness reports that 2016 was the deadliest year on record for environmental and land rights activists, with 60% in central and south America. The US warned that it may impose economic sanctions on Venezuela unless Maduro calls off an election to rewrite the country's constitution.

From CUBA   Venezuelan President Maduro called a defense council session to discuss the US threats. Cuban officials attended a ceremony commemorating the Sandinista uprising in Nicaragua. Cuba announced plans to increase the use of solar energy in the country. The demonstrations at the G20 summit in Hamburg were the largest ever and the subsequent riots caused 12 million Euros in damage.

From RUSSIA    On his program Going Underground, host Afshin Ratannsi spoke with Medea Benjamin, founder of Code Pink. They discussed the controversial arms sales by the US and UK to Saudi Arabia, which is creating a massacre of the people of Yemen. Medea criticizes the media for focusing on the alleged Trump and Putin conspiracy, diverting attention from so many other crises.

"We have to re-invent socialism. It can't be the kind of socialism that we saw in the Soviet Union, but it will emerge as we develop new systems that are built on cooperation, not competition." --Hugo Chavez

PROGRAM NOTES 14jul17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  In Tokyo hundreds protested the government's new anti-terror legislation, which they say will lead to mass surveillance. The EU is considering lifting a ban on food produced in Fukushima prefecture. Japan, the US, and India are doing a joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean. Defense officials from the US, Japan, and South Korea are discussing reactions to North Korea's missile tests. Former Brazilian President Lula deSilva has been given a 9 year prison term for taking bribes.

From CUBA  Current Brazilian President Temer is also facing possible corruption charges. New York city activists have announced actions to oppose new US government policies against Cuba. The NYT reported that the Mexican government used Israeli made software to spy on an international group investigating the disappeared 43 students in Guerrero in 2014. In Hamburg protests at the G20 summit continued after the conference was over.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi explains why North Koreans despise the US and UK who killed 30% of the population in the 1950s. Then two press reviews on the UK rejection of a bill to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson's trip to Qatar.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reporting. The Prime Minister of Iraq announced the victory over Daesh in the city of Mosul, though some fighting continues and the city is in ruins. Patrick Cockburn wrote about his journey to Mosul and interviewed residents, concluding that ISIS was defeated but will fight again. Trump and Putin agreed to a new ceasefire in southwest Syria, though earlier ceasefires were intentionally sabotaged by the US. At the G20 summit in Hamburg Trump found himself isolated from his fellow world leaders, mainly because of his attitude about trade and his rejection of the Paris Climate Agreement. Alison then describes the 100,000 protestors outside the conference and how in some instances police provoked rioting.

"Well, I learned a lot. I went down to Latin America to find out from them and learn their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries." --Ronald Reagan, 1982

PROGRAM NOTES 07jul17

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  In the lead up to the G20 Summit in Hamburg there were many protestors and an alternative, the Global Solidarity Summit. One of the speakers there was Vandana Shiva, renowned Indian activist- here is an interview with her before the events began.

From CUBA  A bit more about the protests gathering before the G20 summit in Hamburg Germany. Thousands of protestors marched in dozens of US cities demanding the impeachment of Donald Trump.

From RUSSIA  Two press reviews- One is from the Times about accusations that rogue British special air forces troops executed unarmed civilians in Afghanistan, which had been blamed on Afghani troops. Then a press report about the media blackout of Seymour Hersh's expose on the US missile strike on Syria following an alleged chemical attack. That story was covered here on the Shortwave Report from SNR last week.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the Syrian foreign ministry reiterated that its entire arsenal of chemical weapons had been destroyed outside the country 4 years ago. In Yemen the bombing raids by Saudi forces continue, leading to over 12,000 dead and 3 million Yemenis experiencing several malnutrition. US targeted assassinations by drones also continue in Yemen. Last week a US Federal Appeals court threw out a non-monetary lawsuit by the families of 2 Yemeni civilians killed by US drone strikes in 2012.

From JAPAN  North Korea launched what it claimed to be an ICBM leading to more threats from the US. Russia and China proposed that the US and South Korea cease military drills in exchange for a N Korean moratorium on nuclear and missile development. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported that nuclear stockpiles are decreasing but that the main players, the US and Russia, are modernizing their weapons. Protestors failed to stop France from shipping MOX recycled nuclear reactor fuel to Japan.

"Everyman is me. I am his brother. No man is my enemy. I am Everyman and he is in and of me. This is my faith, my strength, my deepest hope, and my only belief." --Kenneth Patchen

PROGRAM NOTES 30jun17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  An update on the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty which continues to be boycotted by countries possessing nuclear weapons. Japan is going to take 40 years to decommission aging nuclear reactors. South Korea is suspending construction of 2 nuclear reactors while the country holds a national debate on the future of nuclear power. A human rights group says a US coaltion airstrike killed at least 42 civilians in Syria.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the White House claims that Syria is preparing a mass murder attack using chemical weapons- no evidence has been shown to date that the Syrian government used chemical weapons last April or in 2013. Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh wrote an investigative report on the alleged Syrian chemical attack, but needed to have a German magazine print it. He found no evidence that Syria used any chemical weapons which led to the Tomahawk missile attack by the US. Over the past three months the US has made three attacks on Syrian forces and Iranian backed militia, shot down a Syrian drone and jet.

From CUBA  Russia has dismissed the US military claims that Syria is preparing a chemical attack. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans marched in support of the Maduro government following an attack by a stolen helicopter on government buildings. Brazilian President Temer says nothing will destroy him as he faces possible impeachment for corruption. The Israeli military has carried out aerial assaults on Syrian forces in the Golan Heights and also against Hamas brigades in the Gaza Strip.

From RUSSIA  Several pieces from Afshin Rattansi's program called Going Underground. Lembit Opik talks about the causes of the cholera outbreak in Yemen. Afshin compares coverage of the horrible Grenfell Tower fires in London. And Sebastian Pacher talks about Trump's broken promises which serve the military-industrial-complex.

"I say openly that I am an anti-war person, with the point being, show me some reason not to be against this war. You have to be sort of asleep at the switch not to be critical of it. And the parallel between one quagmire we went through in Vietnam and the one we're in now is clear for everybody to see."
--Seymour Hersh

PROGRAM NOTES 23jun17

This weeks show features stories from RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From CUBA  A Viewpoint on the Trump plan to reverse the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba- this explores the role of Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart with the support of anti-Castro extremists in Florida. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega condemned the posture of the Organization of American States against Venezuela. The US military shot down a Syrian jet on a mission against Daesh terrorists, leading Russian military to say that US aircraft could be targeted.

From RUSSIA On his program Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi begins with reports on the US shooting of a Syrian jet and the Australian government decision to ground the aircraft it has in the coalition. Afshin then interviewed Paul Craig Roberts, economic journalist, formerly with the Wall Street Journal and the Treasury department. Roberts asserts that the shooting down of the Syrian warplane was done by deep state operatives in the military to prevent Donald Trump from normalizing relations with Russia. He says that Russia must remain an enemy to guarantee the US military's trillion dollar budget. And that the Russians have perpetuated the war by pulling back when they were at the brink of ending it.

From JAPAN  The Syrian Foreign Minister accused the US of prolonging the war in his country. UN Secretary General Guterres expressed worries about the Trump administration withdrawing from international relations. North Korea reiterated its stance on developing nuclear weapons, while the US says it will increase pressure on them. The new South Korean President has vowed to move away from nuclear power. Atomic bomb survivors spoke at the the UN conference on banning nuclear weapons. The UN Refugee Agency says a record number of people were forcibly displaced in 2016.

"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn."
--Mary Catherine Bateson

PROGRAM NOTES 16jun17

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY   Selected UK Prime Minister Theresa May called for an election that would show that she had support for her leadership in the upcoming Brexit negotiations. She failed to get the majority she expected and Labor opponent Jeremy Corbyn has called for her resignation. May's power in the terms of the UK withdrawal from the EU is seriously diminished, and there is likely another general election in the not distant future.

From CUBA  The Donald Trump administration has called for reversing the improved relations with Cuba- businesses that have developed relations with the island are leading a coalition to continue working with instead of against the Cuban people. A two-day environmental summit of the G7 focused on the efforts against global warming in spite of the US proposed withdrawal from the Paris agreement, and discussed the environmental impact of wasting one third of the food produced for human consumption.

From JAPAN  The Japanese government has enacted a controversial bill that criminalizes the act of planning serious crimes, to thwart terror attacks and organized crime including drug smuggling. Protests against the new legislation focus on pushing the bill through without public support and the extension of police powers. The second round of negotiations on a proposed international treaty to ban nuclear weapons is opening this week at the UN. China is stressing that stability in improving in the South China Sea through dialogue despite military pressure from the US.

From RUSSIA  Neil Clark interviewed journalist Matt Kennard about his book called "The Racket." Kennard wrote for the Financial Times, where he gathered information on how a handful of people control global economics. He says that most politicians are puppets for finance capital which is run like a mafia. He describes how Latin American leaders have been manipulated if they fail to allow resources to be exploited through development banks and many government agencies. He says journalists who do not support the global elite are forced out of the mainstream.

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." --Malcolm X

PROGRAM NOTES 09jun17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  Japan is going to follow the Paris Agreement despite the Trump withdrawal- Japan doubled renewable energy sources in the past 10 years. At the first ever UN conference on Oceans, delegates criticized the US for leaving the Paris Agreement. Another nuclear reactor has been started in Japan, bringing the total to 5. New South Korean President Moon jae-in did not criticize North Korea for its missile programs at an annual Memorial Day ceremony, a stark change from his predecessor. Several Asian defense officials have held back criticism of China's maritime activities in the South China Sea.

From CUBA  In Honduras, a number of international investors have withdrawn support for the hydro-electric power plant that Berta Caceres was assassinated for opposing. Brazilian President Temer is being further investigated for corruption. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 invasion- so has Bernie Sanders. In Syria US backed forces have begun battling for the city of Raqqa after killing 21 civilians over the weekend.

From RUSSIA  On the program Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi heard press reviews from Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of Rai-al-Youm, a pan Arabic news source. They talked about the Saudi and UAE sanctions on Qatar for maintaining good relations with Iran and Hezbollah. Then a story about mercenary CEO Eric Prince, formerly of Blackwater, who suggested the US a Viceroy in Afghanistan.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reported on the terror attacks in Tehran, a rare event in Iran- this followed Trump's accusations that Iran supports terrorism, which Robert Fisk contradicted in the Independent. Alison then describes how and why 5 Arab states have cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, quoting an essay written by Patrick Cockburn in the Independent.

"In the United States today, the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls, but foreign policy follows Machiavelli." --Howard Zinn

PROGRAM NOTES 02jun17

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevardnadze interviewed Adnan Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency. They discuss the transformation of energy sources to solar and wind, dispelling a number of myths about the cost, environmental impact, and effectiveness of renewable energy. Adnan points out that it is a done deal that renewables will be the primary energy source in the near future, but that transportation with electric cars is essential to actually control the climatic effects of carbon in the atmosphere. Then Afshin Rattansi talks about the death of Manuel Noriega and the US invasion of Panama. The Trump family is building a resort in the country and the scandal around the Panama Papers came and disappeared.

From CUBA  At the National Indigenous Congress in Mexico, representatives picked Maria Jesus Patricio Martinez as the country's first indigenous female presidential candidate. More than 70 political organizations from around the world sent a solidarity message to the Venezuelan government, denouncing the violent actions carried out by the opposition. Israeli authorities have reportedly agreed make a deal with the Palestinian prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for the past 40 days. In Syria, US airstrikes killed more than 100 civilians in two days. Some global reviews on Trump's first global tour.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with European responses to Trump's meetings with NATO allies in Brussels and with the G7 in Sicily. Journalist Aron Lund wrote an analysis on the complex battle for control in eastern Syria. Last Monday North Korea launched the third rocket in three weeks provoking the new president of South Korea Moon Jae-in. President Moon has ordered an investigation after he learned that four more launchers for the controversial THAAD anti-missile system had been brought into his country covertly.

From JAPAN  Two US aircraft carriers is doing a joint drill with Japanese defense forces off the Korean peninsula. Officials in Okinawa are preparing to take legal action against a US military base being relocated in the prefecture. Three mile Island nuclear power plant will close in 2019 for financial reasons.

"The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent." --Gore Vidal

PROGRAM NOTES 26may17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The Japanese government is moving toward an new law that makes conspiring to make a terrorist act or serious crime a legal offense- there are strong protests both inside and outside the diet. Three former executives of TEPCO are to face trial next month for the nuclear devastation at Fukushima 6 years ago. At the UN the first draft of a bill banning all nuclear weapons was unveiled.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with a report on Julian Assange whose investigation was dropped by Swedish prosecutors, while British police say he will be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy. Donald Trump sealed a huge arms deal with Saudi Arabia keeping the US military industry busy for years. Robert Fisk commented on the admiration of wealth shared by Trump and the Saudi royals. The European press criticized Trump's statements about Iran. The Independent UK reported that the US and allies recent bombing raids in Syria have killed the highest number of civilians since the campaign against Daesh began. Last week US coalition jets bombed Syrian forces for the third time.

From CUBA  In Brazil, a new poll shows that 87% of citizens favor an immediate removal of non-elected President Temer, while ousted President Dilma Rousseff called for a new direct election. Temer says he will not step down even if indicted for corruption as that would be admitting guilt. More than 220 Palestinian prisoners have joined the mass hunger strike which began last month over inhumane conditions in Israeli prisons. Palestinians launched a general strike to protest Trump's visit.

From RUSSIA  On his show Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed legendary documentarian John Pilger on his reaction and insights into the horrid suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester England. Pilger compares the attack with the decades of Irish troubles and their root causes, and the subway attack in 2005. He also talks about the arms sales to Saudi Arabia and whether ISIS wanted to influence the upcoming British election.

"Look, all administrations, all governments lie, all officials lie and nothing they say is to be believed. That's a pretty good rule."
--Daniel Ellsberg

PROGRAM NOTES 19may17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes starts with a report on the new French President Macron and his choice for a Prime Minister. Last month Turkey conducted airstrikes on Kurdish bases in both Syria and Iraq. The US State Department approved a $2 billion arms deal to the UAE as Trump gets ready to help sell $100 billion more weapons on his visit to Saudi Arabia. Yemen, the current target of the Saudi war effort, is facing its second deadly outbreak of cholera in less than a year.

From CUBA  Puerto Rican independence leader Oscar Lopez Rivera was released from US prison after 36 years. A controversial pension reform bill in Brazil has been delayed due to large protests. 76 of the hunger -striking Palestinian prisoners in Israel have been hospitalized. David Friedman, the new US ambassador to Israel, is a proponent of illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, and will be on hand when President Trump visits Israel this week.

From RUSSIA  On his show Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed Ray Mcgovern, former CIA operative and a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. They discussed the release of whistleblower Chelsea Manning whose release of videos from Iraq shocked the world. Ray talks about the UN being barred from visiting Chelsea in prison and new documents showing that the CIA has the ability to hack into computers and make it look like it was done by Russia or any other country.

From JAPAN  There has been a restart of a 4th nuclear reactor in Japan despite protests. A forest fire in a contaminated area near the devastated Fukushima nuke has raised alarm about further releases of radiation. Then an Insight on the different approach the new government of South Korea had to last weekend's missile launch by North Korea.

PROGRAM NOTES 12may17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  South Koreans elected Moon Jae-in as their new president and he made an oath to visit North Korea and work toward peace on the peninsula. Climate change negotiators meeting in Germany implored the US to stay with the Paris Agreement. A top UN official called on both nuclear and non-nuclear nations to work toward global nuclear disarmament.

From CUBA  Leaders from the Caribbean community have called for a fact-finding mission to assess what is actually happening in Venezuela. The Iraqi military admitted that they bombed a school in Mosul leaving scores of civilians dead. Human rights advocates across Europe have begun a hunger strike in solidarity with 1700 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed journalist Charles Glass on the situation in Syria. Charles describes the bombed out streets of Aleppo as looking like the European cities in the aftermath of WWII, and why the US, France, and Britain have failed to overthrow Assad. He also talks about the chemical attack in Syria, the propaganda that veils what has happened in the country, and Russian led proposals to end the war. Then Dr. Lisa Mckenzie talks about her meeting with new French President Macron, his fears of being seen as a new Tony Blair, and the fact that Macron is not a progressive.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the French Presidential election, with Macron's victory bringing great sighs of relief in capitols around Europe, while progressives criticize his neo-liberal plans to privatize many of the socialist systems. Alison then describes the Syrian rebels who evacuated a district of Damascus, following a deal brokered by Russia, Iran, and Turkey to deescalate the fighting. Rebels are continuing demands including the removal of President Assad.

"As I have said before, the ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry but they cannot kill ignorance, illnesses, poverty or hunger." --Fidel Castro, 2002

PROGRAM NOTES 05may17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with a review of International Workers day, or May Day, from the US and Turkey. May Day in France was dominated by the Presidential election runoff- both Marine LePen and Emmanuel Macron held rallies while many say that they will not vote for either candidate. Last week Brazilian workers went on strike in every major city, protesting taxes on pensions and proposed labor laws- Brazilian based journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote that what is happening in that country is alarming and could lead to a return to a military dictatorship.

From CUBA  Foreign Ministers from are reviewing threats to Venezuela's independence at a meeting of CELAC the regional bloc of Latin American and Caribbean States. The attorney for Julian Assange filed a request with Sweden to drop the arrest warrant so that he can relocate to Ecuador. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina commemorated the 40th anniversary of their struggle to locate their stolen babies and the disappeared.

From JAPAN  Parties to the TPP, or Trans Pacific Partnership free trade deal have decided to move their agenda forward without the US. The US says that THAAD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, is now operational in South Korea, further raising tensions in the region. Candidates for the President of South Korea clashed in their final debate before the May 9th election. Opposition politicians in Japan want to stop Prime Minister Abe's plan to change the constitution.

From RUSSIA  On his program Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi about the Russian hysteria in the US. They also discuss how Trump's bombing in Syria has drawn the media and liberals to support him, raising the threat of global military confrontations.

"What makes us feel pessimistic about the world, ultimately, is the way the media encourage us to believe that our fate hangs on the every move of the promise-breaking, terminally disappointing Teflon liars in Washington." --Matt Taibbi

 

PROGRAM NOTES 28apr17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN   In Okinawa there are growing conflicts between the US military and the local citizens and government. A parachuting drill in an area adjacent to civilians and the start up of construction on a new US military base have been receiving complaints and resulting in demonstrations. Meanwhile US and South Korean forces held a massive drill near the demilitarized zone to prepare for a possible war with North Korea. Then an Insight on the provocative actions being taken by the Koreas and the US military. Information about Japanese national security is being revealed in documents released by Edward Snowden. Reporters Without Borders released its annual press freedom index, saying that media freedom is declining even in developed nations- both the US and UK dropped in their rankings.

From CUBA   At the UN, Cuba denounced the continued subversive radio and television broadcasts from the US intended to overthrow the Cuban government. In Brazil 3000 indigenous people protested in front of Congress, saying that the theft of their land and resources has worsened under unelected President Temer- a recent poll shows Temer has a 5% approval rating in the country. The Venezuelan Foreign Minister has again threatened to withdraw from the OAS, that is the Organization of American States.

From SPAIN   Alison Hughes reports on the first round of the French Presidential election which eliminated the country's two traditional parties, leaving a newly formed party and neoliberal candidate, Macron, to face anti-immigration nationalist Marine LePen on May 7th. Widespread demonstrations against both candidates followed in the streets. This election is important to the future of the EU. Then Alison reviews the global March for Science which took place in more than 600 cities from Australia to Europe to the US.

"Leaving the E.U. would mean the 'Guernseyfication' of the U.K., which would then be a little country on the world scale. It would isolate itself and become a trading post and arbitration place at Europe's border."
--Emmanuel Macron, French Presidential candidate

PROGRAM NOTES 21apr17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The US has warned North Korea that if it instigates a fight, it will get one. North Korea says it will continue building military might to protect the country. The White House says there was some confusion about where their aircraft carriers were in the Sea of Japan. A global chemical weapons watchdog says it positively identified sarin gas, or a similar substance, in victims in Syria, but does not know who released them.

From CUBA  150 delegates will attend a seminar in Cuba on peace and the elimination of foreign military bases. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched to reject coup plans by the right-wing opposition. Mexican journalists continue to be killed at an alarming rate. The US National Security Advisor went to Afghanistan a few days after the US dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the country.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the referendum in Turkey which changes the constitution and grants sweeping powers to the presidency. At least 126 Syrians, mostly civilians who were being evacuated, were killed over the weekend in a suicide truck bombing- Alison reads part of an article on the event written by Robert Fisk.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattannsi interviewed famed documentarian John Pilger on the US missile attack on Syria. He says that the attack was meant as a threat to numerous nations around the world, and a political move to establish Trump as a real president. Pilger points out that many people and organizations that were criticizing Trump are suddenly giving him respect. And the threat of using nuclear weapons in Korea is unacceptable to the vast majority of people and countries in the world.

"I wouldn't go to war, as I have done, to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket."--Major General Smedley Butler USMC, 1933

PROGRAM NOTES 14apr17

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From RUSSIA  On Afshin Rattansi's program "Going Underground," it starts with some history of false accusations that the Syrian government deployed chemical weapons in 2013. Afshin then interviews journalist Peter Oborne a few hours before the US launched 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria. Oborne says that intelligence agencies often release false information such as WMDs in Iraq, the reasons given for the Libyan intervention, and the 2013 claims of a chemical attack by Syrian forces in 2013. Oborne agrees with Sy Hersch that it would make no sense for Syria to use such weapons, yet the media refuses to question the so-called intelligence reports.

From SPAIN  The day following the US bombing in Syria, Alison Hughes created a special on the lead up to the attack, and the history of military actions based on biased information. The Syrian government denies using chemical weapons, saying that the rebels must have been producing such weapons in a building that Syrian forces bombed. Photographs and videos of people suffering the effects of chemical weapons were supplied to the media and the bombing began without investigation. Alison played clips of Tony Blair, Colin Powell, and GW Bush asserting the presence of WMDs in Iraq which proved to be fabrications.

From CUBA  In Chile students and teachers have taken to the streets to demand education reforms preventing the privatization of schools. Following weeks of protests in Argentina, President Macri is looking into purchasing high-tech anti-protest equipment like the kinds used in the US. Dilma Rousseff, deposed Brazilian president, expressed hope that an election in 2018 will restore democracy to her country.

From JAPAN  Russia vetoed a UN draft resolution condemning the suspected use of chemical weapons in Syria, while calling for an independent investigation of the event. According to polls, 51% of Americans support the missile strikes, while 55% of Japanese opposed the attack. North Korea condemned the US for sending an aircraft carrier close to the Korean peninsula. G7 energy ministers failed to adopt a joint declaration because the US is reviewing its policies. Japanese environment ministry is set to promote renewable energy up to 24% by 2030.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." --Daniel Patrick Moynihan

PROGRAM NOTES 07apr17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the war in Mosul, where civilians continue to be caught up in the attacks between Daesh fighters and the US/Iraq coalition. She presents Patrick Cockburn's articles in the UK Independent about the daily civilian deaths which are justified as human shields, rather than inaccurate bombings. Syria denies the claims of using chemical weapons in a recent attack, saying that they bombed a rebel stash of those weapons. Meanwhile John Mccain thinks it is incredulous to allow the Syrian people to determine their own future. Alison then reports on the victory by liberal candidate Lenin Moreno in Ecuador who intends to continue the work of Rafael Correa.

From CUBA  In Ecuador, the losing opposition presidential candidate is claiming electoral fraud, while OAS monitors hail the voting procedures. At the UN Cuba insisted that nations with nuclear weapons maintain their commitment to a world free of weapons of mass destruction. El Salvador has become the first country to ban metal mining nationwide. A Brazilian court is investigating illegal campaign financing in the last presidential election.

From JAPAN  South Korean prosecutors are holding and interrogating impeached President Park Geun-hye for financial crimes while in office. Then an Insight on Japan's decision to send back its ambassador to South Korea and how this could affect bilateral relations.

From RUSSIA  Two short pieces from Afshin Rattansi's show called Going Underground. One year ago there was much ado about the Panama Papers and all the politicians expected to fall from the scandal- the story is forgotten, poverty is rising in Europe, and Panama bankers had their best year ever. Selected PM of the UK, Theresa May, is on a business visit to Saudi Arabia, which is using billions of dollars worth of British weapons to annihilate Yemen.

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." --Thomas Pynchon

PROGRAM NOTES 31mar17

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Peter Ford, former British ambassador to Syria, the day after the one man terror attack on Westminster Bridge and in the House of Commons. Peter says he was surprised by the remarks of the selected PM Theresa May who defined the attack as an attack on British values. He says the attack was a clear result of British bombing in the Middle East. They discuss the western support of jihadists in Syria when it serves in the attempt to overthrow the elected government. They discuss what propels Britain into perpetual attacks and occupation of other people's lands. Peter says Britain has post-imperialist spasms and kowtows to America. To stop attacks like Westminster requires a halt to demonizing Middle Eastern leaders. And to recognize that western involvement in overthrowing all the secular governments in the region is creating the rise of religious fanatic warriors.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes relates a report from Airwars.org which tracks civilian casualties caused by airstrikes in the Middle East. Pro-Palestinian activists demonstrated in Washington outside a conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, saying that the organization does not represent the majority of American Jews. UNICEF released a report called "Falling Through The Cracks," about the fate of children in the Saudi led war on Yemen- UNICEF calls for an immediate political solution to the war, restoring the rights of children and massive response to combat malnutrition there. The US Defense Secretary Mattis has asked to lift restrictions on military support of Saudi operations in Yemen.

From CUBA  There was a conference in New York to work on normalizing relations between the US and Cuba. At the UN conference on eliminating all 15,000 nuclear weapons, which the US and other countries possessing such weapons boycotted, it was pointed out that they are the only weapons of mass destruction that have not yet been banned. Venezuela accused the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States of being at the service of imperial powers in his campaign against Maduro.

"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." --Edward Snowden

PROGRAM NOTES 24mar17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  Japan and Germany agreed to a joint project on renewable energy, focusing on large storage facilities. North Korea criticized Rex Tillerson over his threats of military action over nuclear weapon capability, then went and did a failed missile test. Record numbers of refugees are attempting to reach Europe this year across the Mediterranean.

From CUBA  At the UN General Assembly, Cuba spoke about the rising racism and xenophobia in many parts of the world. Venezuelan President Maduro accused the US of pressuring foreign governments to support US meddling in Venezuelan affairs. There was an attempted assassination of former Haitian president Aristide.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with selected Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement that the UK withdrawal from the EU will begin on March 29. Then a report on the fighting in Syria with jihadists killing non-combatants. Israeli fighter jets bombed sites in Syria and denied losing a jet to a missile. A UN official resigned in protest over pressure to withdraw a report describing Israeli treatment of Palestinians as a system of apartheid. In the battle for Mosul in Iraq, the UN announced a humanitarian crisis because 350,000 civilians are displaced by the fighting, leading to shortages of food and water.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed former British MP George Galloway about the 14th anniversary of the start of the 2003 war on Iraq. George has produced a film called "The Killings of Tony Blair," which presents evidence of war crimes committed by the former Prime Minister. They discuss why Blair has not been charged and now he continues to claim Iraq is better off than under Saddam. George blames the lies that led to the Iraq invasion for creating the growing right-wing populism as well as the growth of terrorism.

"There are people who still think that the compromises that were made along the way were unacceptable. But sometimes politics is about that in order to achieve a better end -- and there are always two kinds of people in politics -- those who stand aside and commentate and those who get their hands dirty and do."
--Tony Blair

 

PROGRAM NOTES 17mar17

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, NHK JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  In the Netherlands many feared that far-right candidate Geert Wilders would come in first in elections this week, increasing momentum for an anti-immigrant trend in Europe. The center-right Prime Minister Rutte came in first to the relief of many across Europe who wish to maintain the EU.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports that in the lead up to the Dutch election, Turkey and the Netherlands got into a row over banning Turkish officials from entering the country to promote a Turkish vote on changing its constitution. The European Court of Justice ruled that companies can ban employees from wearing religious symbols including the Islamic headscarf. Syrian President Assad commented on the additional 400 US ground troops recently deployed to his country without permission. The US has intensified its bombing campaign in Yemen this month, mostly using drones- these attacks are increasing the severity of the civilian starvation.

From JAPAN  The US military has begun taking steps to permanently deploy attack drones in South Korea along with THAAD, the missile defense system. Then an Insight on the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, author of "Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India." Most of the atrocities the British committed against the people of India are absent in western history books. There is a tendency to romanticize that England brought India into the modern world in a gesture of common wealth. This former UN diplomat wants to set the record straight.

"Politics is the art of making the people believe that they are in power, when in fact, they have none." --Mumia Abu-Jamal

PROGRAM NOTES 10mar17

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway intervie10d Dr Daniel Briggs on the fate of politics in Spain. He says that global capitalism is creating crises that have resulted in the rise of right-wing politics. The socialist political party in Spain, Podemos, has lost nearly half its supporters in the past year. This loss may be a result of voters fearing too radical a change, including the separation of Catalonia from the rest of Spain and not having a viable alternative to capitalism.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. She relays Patrick Cockburn's report on the shifting alliances in Syria and Iraq, and the role of the US and Russia in the war on Islamic State. Fighting in Mosul has resulted in more civilian deaths. The US involvement in the war in Yemen has had controversial results. 10,000 Yemenis have died in the Saudi-led war and 3 million civilians have been displaced. An escalation in ship attacks is leading to famine in Yemen, where 90% of the food is brought in by ships.

From CUBA  The Venezuelan government is asking the US to reveal its covert media wars in Latin America. Mexico is gravely concerned over a US proposal to separate migrant families crossing the border. Palestinian President Abbas said his country is sticking to the two-state solution and British Secretary of State Boris Johnson agreed.

From JAPAN  At a disarmament conference speakers condemned North Korea's recent missile launches, while North Korea condemned the current US South Korean military exercises. China joined in criticizing the huge military exercise which the US claims maintains stability on the Korean Peninsula. Six years have passed since the Fukushima nuclear meltdown which killed more than 18,000 people- 123,000 citizens remain evacuees.

"I'm worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel - let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they're doing. I'm concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that's handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers."
--Howard Zinn

PROGRAM NOTES 03mar17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  The Japanese government is going to maintain control over TEPCO, the operator of the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant- thus taking on responsibility for the estimated $188 billion clean up. The US and South Korean militaries have begun a 2 month exercise to prepare for possible war with North Korea. Meanwhile, South Korea has acquired land to install an advanced US missile defense system called THAD. In Ukraine fighting has escalated between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the east.

From RUSSIA  On to George Galloway's show called Sputnik Radio. George interviews journalist Neil Clark about the political turmoil and violence in Ukraine. There is much discussion of the current rise of the far-right in Europe, by the same people who ignored the fascist neo-nazis who created a coup in Ukraine in 2014. They say the coup was partly organized by NATO governments, with the assistance of John McCain and American neo-cons. The Ukraine government is currently bombing the east and western media makes it appear to be Russian aggression. McCain's call for "lethal defensive aid" has been supported by people, like Michael Moore, usually associated with anti-war movements.

From CUBA  A new investigation by the Guardian UK has revealed that the assassination of Honduran environmentalist Berta Caceres was by military members who were trained by US Special Forces in the US. Thousands of Brazilians used the Carnivale to protest the coup that ousted Dilma Rousseff from the Presidency. President Trump gave his first address to a joint session of Congress. The UK has advised colleges to stifle anti-war and pro-Palestinian activism.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the war in Iraq, where US backed Iraqi forces are driving Daesh out of villages near Mosul- the jihadists destination upon leaving will likely be Syria. At UN peace talks in Geneva, ceasefire efforts in Syria were praised, but fighting continues. President Trump said that spending more money on wars will lead to victory, while others suggest that diplomacy is essential.

"There is no crime, absolutely none, that cannot be condoned when 'our' side commits it."
--George Orwell

PROGRAM NOTES 24feb17

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From RUSSIA On his show called Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed Nick Dearden about the passage of CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. It has been called the little brother of TTIP. Passing despite protests, this trade deal between Canada and the EU has less to do with tariffs and more to do with removing social and environmental protections. It allows corporations to sue governments for impeding business, negating individual national sovereignty.

From CUBA  Thousands in the UK protested Donald Trump, who may be allowed to visit the country despite 1.8 million signatures demanding he be barred from entering. In Barcelona, up to 500,000 people took to the streets demanding that the government allow more refugees to enter the country. More than 200 protestors arrested in DC on Inauguration day have been indicted on felony rioting charges. Israeli military aircraft carried out overnight bombing raids against Syrian army positions north of Damascus.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the Washington meeting between Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu- Trump refused to defend the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, saying that the one-state plan was fine with him. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released its latest report on international weapons sales- the 3 largest dealers are the US with 33% of all sales, Russia with 23%, and China with 6%. India has become the largest importer of weapons, while sales to countries in the Middle East rose by 86%.

From JAPAN  Weapons manufacturers are showcasing their latest wares at an international arms fair in the United arab Emirates. New US Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Iraq to discuss military operations against ISIL and to clarify that the US military is not in Iraq to seize the oil, despite Trump's threats. UNICEF released an emergency statement saying that the famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen may cause 1.4 million children to die from malnutrition.

"I think our TV news editors are still sometimes using the language of government propaganda. We still hear the term 'war on terror' for an illegal war. We're still hearing the words reform and modernization when what we really mean is privatization and public greed."
--Ken Loach

PROGRAM NOTES 17feb17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes begins with a report from France where violent protests against the police have continued nationwide for two weeks following the police abuse of a 22 year old man arrested for drug sales. The UN Security Council has denounced North Korea's missile test. The IAEA says that Iran is implementing the accord on its nuclear program as agreed with world powers. A corruption scandal which began in Brazil has spread to Peru, where former President Toledo has been accused of having received bribes of $20 million for major highway construction.

From CUBA  20 cities in Mexico saw large protests against Donald Trump's rhetoric and his call for Mexico to pay for a border wall. In Ecuador, the right-wing candidate for president pledged to revoke the asylum granted to Julian Assange.

From JAPAN  Japanese Prime Minister Abe spoke to NHK about his two days of discussions with Donald Trump- Abe said Trump did not bring up his campaign promise to make Japan pay for US military protection. President Trump said that he plans to honor the one-China policy at the request of the Chinese President, and to have a summit between nations as soon as possible.

From RUSSIA  On his show Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed Andrew Feinstein, author of "The Shadow World- Inside the Global Arms Trade." They discussed British arms sales to Saudi Arabia which is being investigated by a high court, the secrecy imposed by national security shrouding the global arms trade, and violations of the international arms trade treaty. On a global scale, 40% of all bribes and corruption are over weapons sales, yet only two dealers have ever been incriminated.

"It's naive and even irresponsible for a grownup today to get her or his information about foreign policy and war and peace exclusively from the administration in power. It's essential to have other sources of information, to check those against one's own common sense, and to form your own judgment as to whether we ought to go to or persist in war." --Daniel Ellsberg

 

PROGRAM NOTES 10feb17

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY   President Trump wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill, which is very distressing to the European community. There are numerous parallels between Donald Trump and French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen- she is echoing Trump's strategy of promising to bring back jobs and the steel industry.

From RUSSIA   George Galloway interviewed well-known British radio commentator James Whale. They discussed Donald Trump, not about his policies, but about his personality and phenomenon. They talk about the end of the professional politician, the similarities to the Brexit vote, and the danger of the rise of a dictator. They say that the Constitution and political systems are broken, and that the right-wing is rising out of that ruin. They agree that populism and nationalism are serious threats to democracy.

From CUBA   Following the settlement with FARC rebels, the government of Colombia and the ELN rebel army are moving forward on peace talks. Germany is going to deport newly arrived refugees to Greece. More than 180,000 migrants arrived by boat to Italy in 2016, an 18% increase from 2015. Then a Viewpoint on former Brazilian President Lula da Silva, who is under pressure to abandon his plan to run again for president next year. The Iranian President Rouhani has called on members of the non-aligned movement for action against unilateralism and extremism in the world.

From JAPAN  The Japanese Transport Minister responded to Donald Trump's remarks that Japanese trade policies are unfair. Defense authorities are proceeding with offshore work on a US military base in Okinawa despite protests including a flotilla of canoes. A new survey of damage and radioactivity in the Fukushima reactors has been suspended because of failure with robotic cameras. Japanese nuclear regulators reported that 10 of the non-operational nuclear power plants have not completed work to prevent massive inflows of rainwater.

"Critical thinking is compatible with patriotism. Amnesia is not a requirement for patriotism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think, the soul of America dies with it."
--Edward R Murrow

PROGRAM NOTES 03feb17

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From RUSSIA  On Sophie Shevardnadze's show, Sophie and Co, her guest was Ralph Nader, American activist and 6 time candidate for US president. Sophie asks him why there were such large protests even before Trump had done anything in office. Ralph thinks that Trump will do most of the things he promised during his campaign, but does not think that the protests will evolve into an all out rebellion. They discuss Trump's war with the media, and Ralph's earlier prediction that there will be a fast move to impeachment. He criticizes the 2-party system and the Electoral College.

From CUBA  Mexico has demanded that Israeli President Netanyahu apologize for praising Trump's wall plans. Lawmakers in Minnesota are pushing an anti-protest bill allowing cities to sue protestors for policing demonstrations. Then a Viewpoint on the daily protests in Argentina against President Macri and his neo-liberal policies- the country has experienced 50% inflation and widespread firings in the public sector.

From JAPAN  President Trump lashed out at Japan and China, saying that they devalue their currencies- the Japanese Prime Minister Abe rejected the criticism saying that the policy is aimed at achieving a 2% inflation target. The operators of the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant believes it may have located molten fuel inside one of the reactors, six years after the accident. Honda and General Motors will jointly produce fuel cell systems for the next generation of eco-friendly vehicles. The Israeli government approved plans for another 3000 homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. 1.7 million British citizens signed a petition opposing a state visit by President Trump, which Parliament will debate on February 20. UN Secretary-General Guterres has called on the international community to unite in supporting refugees. World leaders have reacted to the entry restrictions on refugees and others imposed by President Trump.

"The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference."
--Ralph Nader

PROGRAM NOTES 27jan17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  An Insight on the inauguration speech of Donald Trump, with emphasis on his terminology and why the speech led to protests around the world. The new UN Secretary-General Guterres called on governments and corporations to invest in sustainable forms of development. The Israeli government has approved a plan to build 2500 settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, and 560 housing units in east Jerusalem despite international condemnation of building in occupied territories.

From GERMANY  Donald Trump's chief of staff contradicted the media on the size of the crowd at the inauguration leading one of his counselors to defend the different reports as "alternative facts." Trump's first day in office was met by a wave of protests in the US and around the world. Trump signed an executive order to build the so-called wall along the Mexican border saying that US taxpayers will be reimbursed by Mexico- comments on the reaction in Mexico by the director of the Americas program of the Center for International Policy in Mexico City.

From CUBA  In Mexico widespread protests continue against the government decision to raise fuel prices by more than 20%. In Colombia FARC has announced that their new political party will be running in May. Trump has reinstated the global gag rule that bans US funding for any international health care organization that performs abortions or even provides information about abortions.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes produced a program on whistleblowers in the US. Before leaving office Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning who had turned over a huge amount of secret military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks. Edward Snowden was not on Obama's list of pardons despite the White House receiving over a million petitions for his pardon, including one from Daniel Ellsberg. Comparisons to the outcome of the Pentagon Papers are numerous, here are some statements Ellsberg has made about Manning and Snowden.

"We were young, we were foolish, we were arrogant, but we were right." --Daniel Ellsberg

PROGRAM NOTES 20jan17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes compiled Spanish press reviews and editorials on President-elect Trump's first press conference. 4000 US soldiers , tanks, and other military equipment have deployed to Poland, the largest military expansion along Russian borders since the end of the Cold War- the US defense budget for eastern Europe has quadrupled this year under the Obama administration. President-elect Trump said he would propose to end sanctions against Russia in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Moscow.

From RUSSIA  A series of press reviews. First, British politician Jeremy Corbyn is accused of being a Russian collaborator for questioning the NATO buildup on the Russian border. There was a rumor in the Sunday Times that Putin and Trump will meet in Iceland shortly after the inauguration which was denied. British selected PM Theresa May announced a schedule for implementing Brexit, but it is dependent on Northern Ireland having an assembly in place- and a leader of the Real IRA was executed on the street in Cork last month.

From CUBA  This month the US government fined a US non-profit organization, the Alliance For Responsible Policy, for arranged trips to Cuba for US citizens in 2010 and 2011. A Viewpoint on Obama's pardon of Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar Lopez Rivera- an interesting history. Numerous Americans have been calling on Obama to pardon Native American leader Leonard Peltier. Obama did commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the longest imprisoned whistleblower in American history.

From JAPAN  Russian President Putin said he has no reason to criticize or defend Donald Trump because he has never even met him and has no idea what policies he will implement. Japanese companies are having to rethink their business strategies with Europe in light of Brexit. Japanese electronics firm Toshiba is in a financial crisis because of huge losses in its nuclear power business in the US. International delegates studying the Israel/ Palestine conflict say a solution recognizing two states is the only way to achieve peace. French President Hollande says his country will continue military activity in the African continent, leaving 4000 troops in Mali.

"Think of the things killing us as a nation: narcotic drugs, brainless competition, dishonesty, greed, recreational sex, the pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, and- the worst pornography of all- lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a philosophy. All of these are addictions of dependent personalities. That is what our brand of schooling must inevitably produce. A large fraction of our total economy has grown up around providing service and counseling to inadequate people, and inadequate people are the main product of government compulsion schools." --John Taylor Gatto

PROGRAM NOTES 13jan17

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  Japanese executives are worried about their businesses in Mexico if President-elect Trump conducts a review of NAFTA. Two aging nuclear reactors in New York are to be shut down by 2021. Taiwan passed a law to shut down all nuclear power generation by 2025 in favor of renewable sources. A US Navy destroyer fired warning shots at Iranian military boats in the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London. They discussed the political climate in the US and UK, why election polls are increasingly inaccurate, and the return of Tony Blair to the political scene. They describe Jeremy Corbyn, the presumed Labor candidate for Prime Minister, as the UK's Bernie Sanders. They also speculate on the future of enacting Brexit and the timing of a new PM election.

From CUBA  In Mexico thousands of people continue to take to the streets to protest the government's decision to raise fuel prices by 20%. Then a Viewpoint on the opposition party in the Venezuelan Parliament which is working to remove the elected President Maduro, which many are describing as an attempted coup. Syrian President Assad says his armed forces will fight until all of Syria is free from extremists groups, and that he would step down if a public referendum directed him to. The Pentagon has admitted that Special Forces made a raid in eastern Syria last weekend.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on plans for peace talks on the war on Syria between Syria, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. She aired President Assad's remarks on the bombing of Aleppo. Iran met with major powers to discuss the 2015 nuclear deal which Trump said he will dismantle. Israeli forces demolished homes and the only school in a village in the occupied West Bank. Alison then aired the New Years statement by the new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his hopes for peace.

"Here is a conclusion I've come to after many years: among all the errors we may have committed, the greatest of them all was that we believed that someone really knew something about socialism, or that someone actually knew how to build socialism."
--Fidel Castro

PROGRAM NOTES 06jan17

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From SPAIN  Islamic State or Daesh claimed responsibility for the mass shooting on New Years in Istanbul- Turkey's President Erdogan lists many terrorists and says that Western goverments support them, which the US denies. There are protests in Mexico over steep increase in gasoline prices. Then a press review including the controversial Israeli settlement expansions on Palestinian territory which were condemned recently at the UN.

From CUBA  Cuban radio spent the beginning of this week reviewing the top international stories of 2016, here are three of them- the Parliamentary coup against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, outside support for attempts to overthrow President Maduro of Venezuela, and reports that 2016 was the hottest year on record while President-elect Trump intends to cut funding for climate change programs. Antonio Guterres, the new Secretary General of the UN, warned that the global body faces very challenging times.

From JAPAN  A US consulting firm says the biggest risk facing the world this year is the US led by Donald Trump. A Japanese academic has questioned the wisdom of attempting to decontaminating the Fukushima region, where $25 billion have already been spent, given that the majority of former residents do not want to return to the area. Car makers are ramping up development of all-electric vehicles.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Kim Sharif a British lawyer of Yemeni origin. The British government just admitted selling banned cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia which are being deployed in their war on Yemen. They discuss the history and current situation in Yemen which Kim describes as genocide on the part of the Saudis. She also points out how Yemen has become a dumping and breeding ground for ISIL or Daesh fighters, with the support of Britain and other western powers.

"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn." --Mary Catherine Bateson

PROGRAM NOTES 30dec16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN   Japanese Prime Minister Abe visited Pearl harbor with US President Obama on the 75th anniversary year of the infamous attack- here is an Insight discussing the reconciliation between the nations, which included Obama's visit to Hiroshima in May- there is much speculation as to how the relationship will change under President Trump. China joined in the conversation saying that Japan should reflect deeper on its past history of invasion of many places in Asia including China. Despite strong local opposition, work has restarted to relocate a US military base in Okinawa. Japanese electronic firm Toshiba has posted a huge loss from its nuclear power operations in the US under its subsidiary company Westinghouse, partly from losses incurred at the nuclear reactors being built in Georgia and South Carolina. A private fund in Japan is providing financial assistance to young people diagnosed with thyroid cancer after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Japanese government consultants are suggesting that high-level nuclear waste should be stored 5000 meters below the earth surface rather than the 300 meter burial as currently planned.

From CUBA  This week RHC aired specials on their top stories of 2016. First a report on President Obama's historic visit to Cuba in March, the first US president to set foot in Cuba since 1928. In October at the UN members passed a resolution urging the US to end the crippling economic blockade against Cuba, though the sanctions remain in force today. At the age of 90, the revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died in November.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports that much discussion over immigrants is taking place in Europe following a Tunisian man who drove a truck into Christmas shoppers in Germany. Alison then reads from articles written by Patrick Cockburn and Robert Fisk on how the wars in Syria and Iraq continue to fuel these attacks, like the ones in Belgium and Paris. Fisk says that ISIL uses the attacks as a strategy to provoke attacks on muslims and encourage the far-right sentiments in Europe. Then reports on the wars in Syria, including the discovery of mass graves in rebel held areas of Aleppo, the rebels claim that they have not been defeated, and the transition of so-called moderate rebels into the ranks of Daesh.

"You are about to be told one more time that you are America's most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources?! Have you seen a strip mine? Have you seen a clear cut in the forest? Have you seen a polluted river? Don't ever let them call you a valuable natural resource! They're going to strip mine your soul. They're going to clear cut your best thoughts for the sake of profit unless you learn to resist, because the profit system follows the path of least resistance and following the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked!" --Utah Phillips, to youth

PROGRAM NOTES 23dec16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From CUBA  At the WTO Cuba argued that the US economic blockade remains practically unchanged and is the main obstacle to the economic development of the country. Ousted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called acting President Temer illegitimate and that the takeover was a coup. The EU and the Arab League have denounced Israel's illegal settlement activities, demanding the land grab in Palestine cease.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed members of black American musical band called The Last Poets. They talk about whether Obama changed the situation for black Americans, what a Trump presidency might mean, and the idea of pardoning Mumia abu-Jamal.

From JAPAN  The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated by an off-duty Turkish policeman, in response to Russian military actions in Aleppo. Following a deadly truck attack in Berlin, many European nations have stepped up security forces to stop terror attacks. The Foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran, and Turkey have met to strategize an end to the war in Syria- the US was not invited to the talks.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the evacuations in Aleppo which were occasionally besieged by sabotage. The UN voted to send monitors to observe the evacuation. The Syrian ambassador to the UN spoke about government support for the evacuees, criticizing the so-called rebels groups and their foreign supporters, and media distortions. Patrick Cockburn wrote a piece for the British newspaper the Independent, entitled "There Is More Propaganda Than News Coming Out Of Aleppo This Week."

"Users of cliches frequently have more sinister intentions beyond laziness and conventional thinking. Relabelling events often entails subtle changes of meaning. War produces many euphemisms, downplaying or giving verbal respectability to savagery and slaughter."
--Patrick Cockburn

PROGRAM NOTES 16dec16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The UN Conference on Nuclear Disarmament opened this week in Nagasaki with participants discussing their efforts to eliminate all nuclear weapons. Antonio Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, was sworn in as the new Secretary-General of the UN, replacing Ban ki-Moon. Japan has postponed a summit with China and South Korea after the South Korean parliament voted to impeach the president. Israel received the first of 50 F-35 stealth fighter jets.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes covered the evacuation and fighting in rebel held parts of eastern Aleppo. Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett spoke at the UN about the ceasefire attempts, the actual will of the Syrian people, and accused the mainstream media of lying about what is happening in Aleppo. She questions the credibility of the White Helmet organization and the British Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. She says that the agenda of the western media is regime change, despite Syrians overwhelming support for Assad

From CUBA  The EU and Cuba signed a deal to normalize political and economic relations. The Brazilian Senate passed the controversial amendment to freeze public spending to the inflation rate for the next 20 years. The Obama administration released a CIA report on Operation Condor, the 1970s covert efforts to control Latin American governments.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Nomi Prins author of "All The Presidents Bankers." She says that the global financial crisis has not ended but merely been covered up. She says that the reason for skyrocketing debt and zero interest rates is to support a flawed and criminal financial system. The banks have gotten bigger and paid $160 billion in fines for criminal actions without anyone facing trial.

"We must reconstitute the natural world as the true terrain of politics. We must draw our standards from our natural world, heedless of ridicule, and reaffirm its denied validity. We must honor with the humility of the wise the bounds of that natural world and the mystery which lies beyond them, admitting that there is something in the order of being which evidently exceeds all our competence." --Vaclav Havel

PROGRAM NOTES 09dec16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on two significant elections in Europe this past week. The first was in Italy, where Prime Minister Matteo Renzi saw a referendum that would change the constitution rejected by voters- following that he resigned as he had promised. In Austria Green candidate Alexander Van der Bellen won the presidency, giving some relief to those worried about a complete far-right takeover of European leadership. Eurozone finance ministers are discussing Greek debt and plans to add even more austerity measures, including privatizing ports and historic sites. France has elections coming up in May, President Hollande has announced he will not seek re-election, and several right wing candidates are cuing for the leadership.

From JAPAN  Japanese and US defense chiefs have reaffirmed a desire to stay aligned despite Trump's campaign threats of changing the military relationship between the two countries. Trump reported that Japanese telecom giant SoftBank group will invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the US over the next 4 years. The foreign ministers of NATO and the EU agreed to boost defense cooperation over concerns over Trump's stance opposing their military buildups.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi's guest on Going Underground was filmmaker John Pilger whose latest release is "The Coming War On China." They discuss the 400 US military bases surrounding China as a provocative blockade building steadily for the past 6 years. In the process both China and the US have changed their nuclear weapons policies from low-alert to high-alert. Western media has avoided reporting on the largest accumulation of US air and naval forces since the second world war. Pilger describes the threats from US military bases in the Marshall Islands and Okinawa.

From CUBA  Arrests have been made in Venezuela for those accused of hacking and shutting down the banking system last week. The UN Environment program posthumously awarded assassinated Honduran activist Berta Caceres its Champion Of The Earth award. There were large protests in Brazil against plans to shut down corruption investigations. The UN General Assembly again passed a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from Syria's Golan Heights, seized in 1967.

"We journalists have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country. That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home. In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us. Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power."
--John Pilger

 

PROGRAM NOTES 02dec16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  South Korean opposition parties are pushing to impeach President Park Geun-hye despite her offer to resign before her term expires. The Japanese government plans to scrap the controversial fast-breeder nuclear reactor. Swiss voters rejected a referendum to speed up the elimination of nuclear power plants. The US military has announced that their attack on Syrian forces that ended a truce between Russian and so-called rebel forces was an unintentional human error, but will not apologize for the action.

From CUBA  The death of Fidel Castro was a primary topic in most international news sources this week. Numerous world leaders spoke at the tributes to him at ceremonies in Havana, here are summaries of what President Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said. Then a Viewpoint on the key role Fidel played in exposing the crippling effect that foreign debt has had on third-world countries, leading to impoverishment and resource exploitation.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Rob Miller, director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. He says that the demonization of Castro was led by the US media and US government propaganda. Billions of dollars of fines have been levied against nations and corporations for trading with Cuba, and this blockade has continued under President Obama. Miller points out that American media accused Castro of torturing Cubans while the US tortures prisoners in Guantanamo Bay prison, which Cuba considers an illegal occupation of land. He says that other Latin American nations are also targets of US media disinformation.

From SPAIN  President-elect Trump called Castro "a brutal dictator." Then Spanish press reviews covering the death of Fidel Castro, the Catalan budget which includes funding for a referendum to separate from Spain, and changes in the educational reform and opposition to the recent citizen security law, popularly known as "the gag law."

"As I have said before, the ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry but they cannot kill ignorance, illnesses, poverty or hunger." --Fidel Castro, 2002

PROGRAM NOTES 25nov16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From CUBA  The governments of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have joined forces to protect their citizens who may face deportation from the US after Trump is inaugurated. Despite a state of emergency, protests took place in Paris opposing the election of Trump and the fear of rising fascist candidates in upcoming elections in Europe. In Brazil trade unions have called for protests and a general strike in opposition to the neo-liberal agenda of President Temer. The Colombian President Santos has condemned escalating violence against human rights defenders.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on Parliament repealing controversial Spanish educational reforms that included standardized tests. Spanish arms exports have increased 400% since 2006 with much of it going to Saudi Arabia. In Turkey the government has fired another 15,000 civil servants and media outlets.

From JAPAN  Japanese Prime Minister Abe says the TPP free trade pact will be meaningless without the US involvement. At the devastated nuclear power plant in Fukushima the removal of spent nuclear fuel scheduled for 2018 has been delayed again. A cooling system at the Fukushima nuke failed temporarily following a powerful earthquake offshore. There is a move to impeach President Park Geun-hye in South Korea.

From RUSSIA  On Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi got a press review from Ben Chacko, editor of the UK's Morning Star. The Sunday Time reported that Tony Blair may return to frontline politics, The Guardian accused Venezuelan President Maduro of being a dictator, and Global Research on the calls for a clamp down on so-called "fake news."

"The state can't give you freedom, and the state can't take it away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free." --Utah Phillips

PROGRAM NOTES 18nov16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The Japanese Prime Minister Abe sent a special advisor to speak with a Republican senator about Japanese government worries over President-elect Trump's policies. Major emitters of greenhouse gases have called on Trump to honor the Paris agreement on climate change. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica remains at the same level as the average for the past decade.

From CUBA  As President Obama tours Europe for the last time, massive protests and riots broke out in Greece. Obama asked Congress for increased war funding for fighting ISIL and Afghanistan, just days after the UN announced it is investigating US airstrikes that killed 32 mostly civilians in Afghanistan. The International Criminal Court announced that the US military and CIA may be guilty of carrying out war crimes in Afghanistan. The US has criticized a new measure by the Israeli regime to legalize illegal settlements built on Palestinian land.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the new Colombian peace deal, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and the UN conference on Climate Change being held in Morocco. In Colombia, after the peace accord referendum failed, the opposing sides met and created a new proposal to end the 55 year long war. Julian Assange faced questioning by Swedish prosecutors at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Chelsea Manning has asked President Obama to commute her remaining sentence to the time she has already served. The UN Climate Change talks in Morocco are focusing on implementing agreements reached in Paris in light of ever increasing global temperatures.

From RUSSIA  On Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed Dr.Jill Stein, the Green presidential candidate. She disputes blame for the Trump victory, and points out why she thinks Clinton was the wrong candidate for the Democrats. She speaks about the effect Trump's climate change denial might have on the environment, but points out that he did not start bad climate policies, they have been underway for decades. She mentions recent local environmental victories and calls for a unified struggle against assaults on the climate. She says it is important to remember the Richard Nixon administration and how that drove the people to create the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and womens rights, and led to the end of the Vietnam War despite the spurious leaders in Washington.

"You know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana are Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists."
--Richard Nixon, 1971

PROGRAM NOTES 11nov16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  At the Climate Change Conference in Morocco, the UN weather agency said that 2015 was the hottest year on record, emphasizing the need to immediately implement the Paris Accords. Before the election Donald Trump made threats about US military support of Japan, now the State Department is trying to dispel fears of major policy changes. People in Japan are worried about the nuclear weapon policy Trump described in his campaign. Japan, like the rest of the international press, reported on the large number of anti-Trump protests taking place in the US.

From CUBA  A review of international responses to the election of Donald Trump.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi spoke with legendary filmmaker and documentarian John Pilger on the outcome of the US elections. Pilger says the result did not surprise him. He said the liberal class wanted to maintain a corrupt war-mongering status quo, and the majority of voters sought change. He compares the shock surprise to the Brexit vote and talks about who funded each candidate. He says journalism has become an echo chamber for the establishment, and denies that Russia and Assange helped Trump to victory. He talks about the neo-conservative influence on Hillary, and the silence of the media on the expanding US involvement in wars around the world.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes covered some Spanish press and the Podemos political party responses to the unexpected Trump victory. Then she reports on Daniel Ortega's election victory in Nicaragua.

"Vietnam was as much a laboratory experiment as a war."
--John Pilger

PROGRAM NOTES 04nov16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the protests in Madrid following the congressional vote allowing Mariano Rajoy to continue as Prime Minister of Spain. NATO defense ministers put into effect the biggest military buildup on Russia's borders since the Cold War. An article was published questioning whether Russia's foreign bases really a threat. At the UN demands were made that all fighting stop in Syria.

From CUBA  Two reports on the political turmoil in Venezuela, where right-wing opposition forces who want to impeach President Maduro called off a protest march and trial. Former Uruguayan President Mujica questioned the neo-liberal policies of the new Argentinian President Marci and the global growth of right-wing politicians. The recently installed government in Brazil says that the expansion of government funded social services caused the country's economic problems- and that the 20 year freeze on public spending will fix the situation.

From JAPAN  Japan will sign a deal on nuclear power technology with India, the first such deal with a country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Chinese President met the Taiwan opposition leader in Beijing where they agreed on the "one China" policy- this is in contrast to the current pro-independence President of Taiwan. The Chinese Premier met with Japanese business leaders and discussed restoring bilateral ties. Japan is protesting some new Chinese gas field development in the South China Sea.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevarnadze interviewed Dr David Shambaugh director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University. They discussed the legacy of Obama's policies with China and Asia, and the tensions over who has rights in the South China Sea. They also covered the changing relationship between the US and the Philippines, and the Rand Corporation which released a study called "War With China: Plans for a military conflict with China."

"Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." --Noam Chomsky

PROGRAM NOTES 28oct16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  50 non-nuclear countries at the UN General Assembly submitted a resolution calling for a treaty to ban all nuclear weapons- the US urged all NATO members to oppose the resolution, which as of press time had not come up for a vote. Philippine President Duterte spent several days in Japan after his visit to China. Japanese Prime Minister Abe made agreements with Duterte on economic and security matters, notably the conflicts in the South China Sea. Duterte wants all US troops out of the Philippines within 2 years, and warned Japan of an impending confrontation between the US and China in the South China Sea. NATO members are discussing a perceived threat of Russian military buildup adjacent to countries where NATO is increasing its military presence. Reporters Without Borders say that media freedom in Okinawa is under threat, with police removing those reporting on protests at US military bases in the prefecture- they also found US military surveillance of Japanese citizens, NGOs, and journalists. Officials have directed the burning of low-level radioactive waste starting in January to see if it is safe.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi talks about the pesticide risks to bees in Europe, the UK has banned some but not all pesticides thought to contribute to colony collapse- the German company Bayer produces most of these chemicals and is buying up Monsanto which is developing genetically-modified bees.

From CUBA  For the first time the US abstained from voting on a UN resolution calling for the lifting of the economic blockade on Cuba- the blockade has seen a few adjustments but overall remains in complete effect. Venezuelan President Maduro has accused the opposition of attempting a parliamentary coup not unlike what has happened in Brazil. Opposition to the Presidential takeover in Brazil has led to the occupation of 1000 schools in the country.

From SPAIN  The Socialists abstained from voting in Parliament, thereby allowing Mariano Rajoy to continue as Prime Minister and avoiding a third round of elections. Catalonia will hold a binding referendum on independence in 2017, while the federal government annulled the regional ban on bull fighting. In light of calls for a no-fly zone in Syria, Alison recalls the no-fly zone in Libya which led to the death of Gaddafi and, five years later, a failed state. The World Meteorological Organization reported dire levels of gases and carbon in the atmosphere, but pushed alternative energy now as a means of stopping an even more alarming future.

"Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state." --Noam Chomsky

PROGRAM NOTES 21oct16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  German President Merkel revealed plans to more than double military spending in the coming year. Russian President Putin denied that Moscow was using cyber attacks to interfere with US presidential elections. Russia and Syria began a ceasefire in eastern Aleppo to help civilians flee the opposition held area. Leaders of Ukraine and Russia agreed to draw up a new roadmap to implement the current ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The Iraqi government announced the start of an offensive to retake the city of Mosul. The EU has postponed a final decision on a free trade deal with Canada.

From SPAIN  In this week's Panorama Alison Hughes reports on the still undecided leader of the government in Spain, and that Artur Mas, former president of the Catalan, faces a trial for staging a symbolic independence vote in November 2014. She then reports on the siege of Mosul by Iraqi, Kurdish and Turkish soldiers with US advisers- some reports say that thousands of Daesh fighters were allowed to leave Mosul and travel to Syria in the lead up to the battle.

From CUBA  On Monday there were large demonstrations across Cuba to protest the continuation of most of the US economic blockade. In Honduras a former Deputy Minister has been arrested in connection with the murder of environmentalist Berta Caceres. Protests continue in Brazil against the neo-liberal policies being imposed by the post-coup President Temer including a 20 year freeze on public spending. A UN agency has adopted a resolution reaffirming the right of Palestinians to the al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem. The New York Times reported that the Obama administration has intensified a clandestine war in Somalia with hundreds of US special operations forces and drone strikes.

From RUSSIA  On his show Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed US filmmaker Oliver Stone. Oliver's latest film, Snowden, could not find a distributor in the UK. He discusses press freedom in the UK, Pentagon and CIA influence in American media, US support of terrorists, and the current anti-Russian attitude in American politics and media.

"My father was a Republican and he hated Roosevelt. And that's sort of been the battle of my life, I think. You have to understand I grew up a Republican conservative. I hated Castro. And I put my money where my mouth was because I went to war, but I understood pretty quickly that this was another place, another culture and we would never fit in there." --Oliver Stone

PROGRAM NOTES 14oct16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The US and South Korea began another round of military drills along the Korean peninsula. North Korea considered the drills a direct provocation. A Chinese fishing boat sank a South Korean coast guard boat in a dispute over territorial waters. Russia and Turkey made a deal to complete a gas pipeline between the countries for distribution to Europe, and accelerated plans to jointly build a nuclear power plant in southern Turkey- they also agreed to get humanitarian aid to the Syrian city of Aleppo.

From SPAIN  In this week's Panorama, Alison Hughes reported on the two rival resolutions on Syria at the UN Security Council, both were defeated. A leaked UN report revealed that the US and EU sanctions against Syria are causing the greatest suffering among ordinary Syrians and preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. Saudi airstrikes on a funeral procession in Yemen killed at least 155 people- the US approved another $1.3 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, adding to the $22 billion in weapon sales to the Saudis since March 2015. The US blames Houthi rebels for firing missiles at a US ship in waters off the coast- as of press time, the US is firing missiles into Yemen.

From CUBA  In Colombia President Santos and FARC rebels have pledged to continue talks to complete their peace agreement despite losing support in a very close popular referendum. 20 Latin American countries met in Ecuador to work toward a legal international treaty that would hold transnational corporations accountable for human rights abuses. Answering a call from the School of the Americas Watch, hundreds of activists met on both sides of the US/Mexico border to protest a US military station and in support of migrant rights.

From RUSSIA  On his show Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed US activist Medea Benjamin. She spoke about the Israeli seizure in international waters of a boat carrying women activists, including a Nobel peace laureate, that was heading to Gaza. Congress overrode Obama's veto on the right of 911 families to sue Saudi Arabia, which may lead to lawsuits against the US government for human rights violations.

"No act is of itself either good or bad. Only its place in the order of things makes it good or bad." --Milan Kundera

PROGRAM NOTES 07oct16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From GERMANY  The UN announced that the Paris Climate Change accord had been ratified and will go into effect on November 4th. On Monday Germany celebrated its 26th anniversary of unity but there were protests against Chancellor Merkel and refugees. Hungarians voted to not accept refugees and in Poland there were protests against a proposed ban on abortions. British appointed PM Theresa May expressed her conditions for Brexit. The Turkish parliament extended the state of emergency, while a German court dropped the case against a comedian who ridiculed President Erdogan. The Syrian government demanded that rebels leave Aleppo followed by the US suspending negotiations with Russia on reviving the gutted ceasefire in Syria.

From SPAIN  One section of what Alison Hughes presented on Panorama this week was Princeton Professor Emeritus Stephen Cohen spoke on the new cold war between Russia and the US. The end of the ceasefire in Syria, which collapsed with the US bombing of Syrian troops, indicates that either the US did not want a ceasefire or that President Obama is not in control of war policy in Washington. If the US and Russia had successfully ended the fighting in Syria, the cold war would be null, and there would be no justification for the NATO buildup on the Russian border.

From RUSSIA  Three clips from Afshin Rattansi's program called Going Underground. It has been revealed that the Pentagon has paid up to $500 million to a public relations firm to create fake news reports and propaganda to entrap potential jihadists. The use of predator drones continues to escalate with increased terror threats to civilians in the countries deploying them. The BBC and American media continue promoting the cold war between the US and Russia.

From CUBA  In Honduras, the case files on the murder of environmentalist Berta Caceres have been stolen further discrediting the investigation. The failed peace referendum in Colombia has left FARC rebels saying they will fight no more, while President Santos has announced that the ceasefire ends October 31. Wikileaks will soon release 1 million documents involving 3 different nations that will influence the US election, but that there is no intention to harm Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"O take heart, my brothers. Even now, with every leader & every resource & every strategy of every nation on Earth arrayed against Her - Even now, O even now, my brothers, Life is in no danger of losing the argument! - For after all, (as will be shown) She has only to change the subject." --Kenneth Patchen, "What Shall We Do Without Us?"

PROGRAM NOTES 30sep16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  Germany and India have committed to comply with the Paris Agreement On Climate Change. Two reports on the Russian/Syrian attacks in Aleppo on rebel forces which the US and UK said were war crimes. The US will send 600 more troops to Iraq, Turkey is extending the state of emergency, and Greece cut pensions in new austerity measures. Two mosques were fire-bombed by German xenophobes in Dresden, and French President Hollande promised to dismantle the refugee camp in Calais by the end of the year.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Dr. Suliman Alshahmy, the founder of the Libyan stock market. The discuss NATO attacks on Libya five years ago, which were said to save civilians caught in a civil war in Benghazi. Suliman describes how the standard of living has been destroyed in the richest country in Africa, and how Gaddafi's plan to unite African currencies may have been a reason for the devastation. Suliman responds to Hillary Clinton's pride in killing Gaddafi, and the EU returning refugees from many countries to Libya.

From CUBA  On Monday the Colombian government and FARC rebels signed a historic peace deal after 4 years of negotiations in Havana. Bolivian President Evo Morales criticized the US Presidential debate as a show, saying that elected Presidents are ruled by bankers and businessmen. The Nicaraguan Vice President blasted a US congressional bill to prevent her country from getting international loans. A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry rebuked statements by the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, on Russian and Syrian attacks on rebels in Aleppo.

From JAPAN  Japan continues to call at the UN for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. The US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the US will sustain nuclear deterrence with a $108 billion over 5 years- President Obama has approved a nuclear weapon modernization plan estimated at $1 trillion while seeking a world free of nuclear weapons. Members of the IAEA have criticized North Korea for its nuclear and missile programs. The US congress voted to override Obama's veto of a bill allowing families of victims of the 911 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia- the Saudis threatened to sell off $750 billion worth of US bonds if the bill becomes law.

"I won't be a party to a conspiracy to mobilize the Arabs against the Persians. Only the forces of colonialism benefit from such a conspiracy. I won't be a party to a conspiracy that splits Islam into two - Shiite Islam and Sunni Islam - mobilizing Sunni Islam against Shiite Islam." --Muammar Gaddafi, 2007

PROGRAM NOTES 23sep16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban ki Moon is confident that the Paris agreement on global warming will go into effect soon. The Foreign Ministers of Japan, Germany, Brazil and India are calling for democratic reforms in the UN Security Council. 27% of the Japanese population is now over 65 years of age. Japan is considering permanently decommissioning its current fast-breeder nuclear reactor. China and Russian navies performed a joint landing drill in the disputed South China Sea.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell. He discusses the future of warfare with Hillary Clinton as President. He goes on to say that terrorism is not a new threat, and that abandoning rapprochement with Russia is dangerous and provocative. He also criticizes the so-called velvet revolutions as morphed CIA interventions. He praises Edward Snowden and says it is unsafe for him to ever return to the US.

From CUBA  Ecuadorian President Correa warned about the existence of a new Operation Condor being perpetrated against progressive governments in Latin America. When Brazilian President Temer spoke at the UN General Assembly the delegations of 6 Latin American nations walked out in protest. Amnesty International says a US made bomb was used in an attack on Doctors Without Borders hospital in Yemen, while 4 US Senators are pushing to ban weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is accused of using internationally banned white phosphorous in its war on Yemen.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on migration, including the revelation that 4 war-torn countries have each produced more than one million refugees. While the US media focused all attention on pressure cooker bombs in New York city, the US led coalition bombed Syrian troops thus effectively ending a fragile ceasefire in Syria, saying it was an accident. Russia demanded an emergency UN Security Council meeting which was ridiculed by US ambassador Samantha Power.

"My party (Republican), unfortunately, is the bastion of those people, not all of them, but most of them, who are still basing their decision on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that's despicable."
--Colonel (ret) Lawrence Wilkerson 2012

PROGRAM NOTES 16sep16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reported on 911, pointing out that Congress passed a law allowing the families of the victims of the attack to sue Saudi Arabia (though Obama says he will veto the bill). Then the words of Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress who opposed giving the President authorization to use all force necessary against anyone deemed responsible for the attack. The war in Syria is a result of that authorization, called external interference by an international panel studying that war, with regime change and weapons profits as the goals.

From GERMANY  As of Wednesday night the US and Russia agreed that the ceasefire in Syria was holding. The head of the European Commission said insists that Brexit will not sink the EU which is moving forward with plans to create a combined military force. Germany closed its embassy in Turkey to avoid attacks, while China and Russia are engaged in large scale war games in the South China Sea. Philippine President Duderte wants US forces out of the south of his country. North Korea did an underground nuclear bomb test and the US flew nuclear capable bombers near the North Korean border. There is a new NATO mission in the Mediterranean Sea, and 800,000 Catalans took to the streets to demand independence.

From CUBA  Obama extended for a year trade restrictions with Cuba. Venezuela is hosting the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, with 120 nations it is the second largest international body on the planet. The former Attorney General of Brazil says he was removed in order to sink the ongoing corruption investigation, while the current legislature is considering privatizing oil and other national resources. The ACLU and activists have launched a campaign to lobby Obama to pardon government whistleblower Edward Snowden before a new president is sworn in.

From JAPAN  The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution barring nuclear weapon explosion testing, the US is still hanging up the non-proliferation treaty, and North Korea had a rally celebrating their fifth nuclear weapon test explosion.

"The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People won't be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things. And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it's only going to get worse. The NSA will say that because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny."
--Edward Snowden

PROGRAM NOTES 09sep16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From JAPAN  After the G20 summit Japanese Prime Minister Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke together for the first time in a year, saying they would try to improve ties. The New York Times reported that Obama is likely to abandon his proposal to ban first-strike use of nuclear weapons. Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye agreed on the importance of deploying the advanced missile system despite Chinese opposition

From GERMANY  The German government has been criticizing the Turkish crackdown on journalists, and this increased with the Turkish seizure of DW footage this week. There was a new wave of Turkish tanks, ground forces and artillery into Syria, and Erdogan wants a no-fly zone in northern Syria. Turkish police continue to arrest more citizens suspected of involvement in the attempted coup in July. According to the UN, nearly 50 million children have been uprooted worldwide, with 28 million driven from their homes because of war.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the migration situation in Europe. The instability in Libya has made it a hub for human trafficking mafias. The French town of Calais has seen local protests about the migrant camp, demanding it be torn down. Recent German elections saw the rise of the new far-right anti-immigrant political party, called Alternative For Germany, or AFD, which many see as the beginning of the end for Angela Merkel's rule.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway and Gayatri interviewed Dr. Juan Grigera from University College London on the shifting politics in Latin America. The leftist movement, named the pink tide, which had grown to almost every nation in South America is rapidly vanishing. Why is this happening and what does it portend?

From CUBA  Brazilians opposing the ouster of Dilma Rousseff have been facing military police repression. After the G20 summit in China Obama visited Laos where he offered some restoration funds but no apology for the years of intense bombing. Thousands staged a demonstration in the Hague against the visit by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

"No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches." --Milan Kundera

 

PROGRAM NOTES 02sep16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO

From GERMANY  The German Vice-Chancellor says that there will be no fair trade agreement between the EU and the US, though possibly one with Canada. Central European nations are urging a European army. Chancellor Merkel says that Germany can cope with the refugee crisis, while the Italian Coast Guard rescued 10,000 migrants from the Mediterranean in just 2 days. The European Commission ordered Ireland to recover 13 Billion Euros in back taxes from Apple computers. Venezuela is accusing the US and political opposition of plotting a coup against President Maduro.

From CUBA  France also announced opposition to the free trade proposal with the US, the TTIP, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. On Monday tens of thousands of Brazilians protested the impeachment hearing for Dilma Rousseff. Before the Brazilian senate voted on impeachment, acting President Temer cancelled a popular and effective literacy program in the country. Then on Wednesday the Senate voted to impeach suspended President Dilma Rousseff, which many describe as a farce and Parliamentary coup.

From JAPAN  Following her impeachment, Dilma Rousseff said she will be back in political office soon. Following a recent court ruling against anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd America, the Australian branch announced a new high speed patrol boat to block Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Sea. There is an international conference on the fate of blue fin tuna which are approaching critically short stocks in the Pacific Ocean- environmental groups want a total ban rather than establishing quotas. An aide to Obama reports that he will be pushing to complete the TPP free trade agreement before he leaves office since Trump and Clinton have both stated that they oppose the pact.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the accord reached last week in Colombia, ending a war between government forces and FARC rebels. Some 220,000 people died in fighting during the last 50 years. FARC stopped fighting last summer, wants recognition as a political party, and reintegration into society. There will be a referendum in October, but some oppose any deal, including former President Uribe who is accused of creating right-wing death squads.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway and Gayatri interviewed Dr RS Karim, co-founder of a relief agency in Yemen. They discuss the under-reported Saudi led war on Yemen, which is having its people and infrastructure devastated by an enormous wealth of weapons sold by the US, the UK, and France.

"Why do they say I hate my country? And what does that even mean? Am I supposed to hate my town, am I supposed to hate all English people, or my government? And if I do hate my government, does that mean I hate my country? It's a democratic duty to criticize the government."
--Ken Loach, director "The Wind That Shakes The Barley"

PROGRAM NOTES 26aug16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine into the Sea of Japan in protest of US/South Korean military exercises. Japanese self-defense forces have begun training for new duties. The US branch of the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd won a court settlement against Japanese whalers, but had to agree to not impede them- the ruling has no effect on Sea Shepherd groups in Australia and they say they will continue fighting whaling in the Antarctic Ocean. The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, under severe criticism for having suspected drug dealers murdered, has threatened to withdraw from the UN.

From GERMANY  The Philippine President leveled criticism at the UN for a failure to alleviate hunger and reduce terrorism. A German right-wing party has called on citizens to carry firearms, the Interior Minister called for a partial ban on Burkas and agreed that police should be able to read encrypted messages. Germany is considering reintroducing a military draft and approved a new civil defense plan including civilians stockpiling food and water. The leaders of France, Germany, and Italy held talks on the future of the EU in the wake of Brexit. The US military has started using attack helicopters in Libya to attack Islamic State targets.

From CUBA  A Brazilian court cleared former President Lula de Silva from corruption charges connected to the oil company scandal. There is a major oil spill on the Pacific Ocean shore of Nicaragua that is spreading to the beaches of Honduras and Costa Rica. Mexican families are appealing for justice from a massacre of 42 civilians by police in Michoacan last year.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the ongoing war in Syria. As time has gone on more and more countries enter the fighting. She quotes Patrick Cockburn and airs remarks Stephen O'Brian, the UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs, gave to the UN Security Council.

"Users of cliches frequently have more sinister intentions beyond laziness and conventional thinking. Relabeling events often entails subtle changes of meaning. War produces many euphemisms, downplaying or giving verbal respectability to savagery and slaughter." --Patrick Cockburn

PROGRAM NOTES 19aug16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From GERMANY  Germany criticized Russia for its attempts at a ceasefire in Syria, and Turkey for supporting militant groups in the middle east. Stories about Turkey's demand for extradition from the US and their continuing raids in a post-coup crackdown.

From JAPAN  More Chinese government ships entered waters that Japan considers their exclusive area in the east China Sea. The US State Dept said the US will continue to create a deterrent for itself and its allies while downplaying nuclear arsenal. The US Air Force has increased the presence of its bombers in the Asia-Pacific region as a warning to China and North Korea. US VP Biden irritated Japanese lawmakers when he described the origin and limitations of the Japanese Constitution which has just been reinterpreted. In Hong Kong, three leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella protests have been spared jail terms.

From CUBA  Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff lashed out at the elite class which is trying to impeach her while she maintains that she broke no laws. The Nicaraguan government has enacted new restrictions on the influence of foreign evangelical missions some of which are accused of being fronts for money laundering and criminal activities. The Bolivian government accuses the opposition and media of destabilizing the country with lies. Then a Viewpoint on the US renovation of its nuclear weapons, with mass production beginning in next year- many countries are concerned that the escalation of the nuclear race will undo global efforts toward peace and cooperation.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the Turkish military base where the US stores 50 nuclear weapons. Then a report on Yemen and the Saudi led coalition that fired on a school killing 10 children, while last week the US sold another $ 1 billion in weapons to the Saudis.

"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." --Richard Feynman

PROGRAM NOTES 12aug16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE

From JAPAN  In response to recent North Korean test launches, the Japanese Defense Ministry is going to upgrade its missile capability. The US restated its opposition to Chinese vessels in disputed waters of the South China Sea. Nagasaki commemorated the anniversary of the atomic bombing with speeches calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

From CUBA  2 stories on the Brazilian senate vote to move forward with impeaching elected President Dilma Rousseff- meanwhile interim President Temer is reversing many of the reforms Dilma enacted. UN peace talks to end the Saudi war on Yemen have failed. Then a Viewpoint on Argentina- the new government under President Macri attempted to arrest the leader of the Mothers of the Plaza as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived to discuss 2 new US military bases in the country.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Julian Assange about accusations from Hillary Clinton that recent Wikileaks about the DNC came from Russia- Assange points out that no one has questioned the authenticity of the emails that have led to the resignation of several leaders of the DNC, just which of the numerous hackers gave the emails to them. Then a brief press review about the increased US bombing in Libya and Syria and British troops on the ground.

From GERMANY  Two reports on the fighting in Syria including the bombing of another Doctors without Borders hospital. Several reports on refugees in Germany, including an increase in the number turned away, and police raids in several cities targeting preachers suspected of recruiting for the so-called Islamic State. 2 million people gathered across Turkey in support of the government, which is calling for the reintroduction of the death penalty. President Erdogan visited President Putin and struck up new trade deals, a restart of the $18 billion gas pipeline, and a relaxing of tensions between the two countries.

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." --Jane Goodall

PROGRAM NOTES 05aug16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN

From GERMANY  Tunisia passed a vote of no confidence in parliament for the US trained Prime Minister Habib Essid. Turkish President Erdogan wants to institute constitutional changes to the country. The Austrian Chancellor called on the EU to end membership talks with Turkey.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the ongoing crackdown in Turkey- this includes comments about Turkish/Russian partnership by Princeton professor Stephen F Cohen on the John Batchelor podcast. She then describes the new US airstrikes in Libya that were requested by one of the three competing governments in the country.

From RUSSIA  Ex-British MP George Galloway interviewed Dr Russell Foster of Kings College about the future of the EU following the Brexit vote. They discuss what has gone wrong with the EU, whether other countries will also exit, and if there is the possibility of reforming the union in a way that is more democratically based rather than corporate. This is the best debate I have heard of the future of Europe.

From CUBA  In the lead up to the Olympic games, thousands of Brazilians are in the street protesting coup imposed President Temer. Wikileaks released emails from Hillary Clinton that show that she ignored advice about the 2009 coup in Honduras and helped push the elected president out of office.

From JAPAN  China expressed strong dissatisfaction with a Japanese White Paper on the military tension in the South China Sea. President Obama has made it clear that he will push for congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific-Partnership free trade deal after the election in November, since all Presidential candidates have stated opposition to the plan.

"Arguing that you don't care about the right of privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." --Edward Snowden

PROGRAM NOTES 29jul16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The new governor of Kagoshima Prefecture wants to shut down the only operating nuclear power plant in Japan. Japanese auto parts manufacturer Denso has opened a pilot plant to produce biofuel from an oil producing micro algae. A new record temperature (129 F) for Asia was reached in Kuwait while this year will be the hottest global temperature on record. A solar powered plane has completed its trip around the world. North Korea warned that the attitude of the US will determine whether they will conduct another nuclear test. China denounced Japan, Australia, and the US for escalating tensions in the South China Sea.

From CUBA  Police in Greece clashed with protestors demanding that borders be open to incoming refugees in the north. There was a massive fire near a NATO base in Western Turkey which may have be sabotage.

From GERMANY  Three reports on the aftermath of last week's coup attempt in Turkey- police there can now hold anyone for up to a month without charges, over a thousand schools were deemed subversive and closed, and at least 15,000 citizens have been detained. Turkey has also closed scores of media outlets and put out warrants for dozens of journalists. In France a Catholic priest was killed by 2 men claiming allegiance to Daesh- President Hollande said France was at war with radicals, the Pope said it was no a war of religion, but caused by conflicting interests over money and resources. An Arab League Summit was cut back to one day when Egypt and Saudi Arabia failed to attend.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on 4 violent attacks in Germany, which authorities say only one, or possibly two, have anything to do with Islamic State terrorists. German Chancellor Merkel has modified her open attitude toward refugees and the anti-immigrant political parties have grown significantly along with hate crimes.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed French Professor Jean Bricmont about the root causes of terror attacks in Europe. Jean points out that the increased bombing of civilians in Syria stimulates blowback and the rise of the far right, and describes why the New Left politicians accept military intervention even though European citizens oppose it.

"All those who prefer peace to power, and happiness to glory should thank the colonized people for their civilizing mission. By liberating themselves, they made Europeans more modest, less racist, and more human. Let us hope that the process continues and that the Americans are obliged to follow the same course. When one's own cause is unjust, defeat can be liberating."
--Jean Bricmont, "Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War"

 

PROGRAM NOTES 22jul16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From GERMANY  Germany's anti-immigration Pegida movement is working to become a recognized political party. A sequence of stories on the attempted coup in Turkey, which has led to many deaths, further crackdowns on civil liberties, and a purging of many thousands of potential dissidents. EU leaders worry that Turkey may reinstitute the death penalty and President Erdogan declared a 3 month state of emergency. Following the truck massacre in Nice, the French government has extended its state of emergency for 6 months. The French Prime minister forced through a labor law that has been widely protested for several months recently.

From JAPAN  Following last week's announcement that the US will install a cutting edge missile system in S Korea, North Korea tested 3 more missiles- Japan is trying to get a UN denunciation of North Korea. A Chinese naval chief says that China will never agree to stop building facilities on its artificial islands in the South China Sea. 10 US senators, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have called on President Obama to adopt a policy before he leaves office of no first use of nuclear weapons.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed filmmaker Ken Loach, who just won the top prize at the Cannes film festival for his film "I, Daniel Blake." They discuss the newly non-elected Prime Minister Theresa May, the Brexit election, rising nationalism and the far-right in Europe, problems with the EU, and the US manipulation of Latin America.

From CUBA  Venezuela reopened its border crossing with Colombia which they say was closed because of Venezuelans were smuggling government subsidized goods like fuel into Colombia. The Foreign Minister of Venezuela says President Maduro wants to maintain diplomatic relations with the US, while not tolerating interference in domestic affairs. Ecuador has rejected a US supreme court ruling ordering the country to pay oil giant Chevron for breach of contract. El Salvador has overturned its amnesty law that protected war criminals for 20 years. The US Democratic Party's platform committee has called for the closure of the School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security and Cooperation.

"I turned down the OBE because it's not a club you want to join when you look at the villains who've got it. It's all the things I think are despicable: patronage, deferring to the monarchy and the name of the British Empire, which is a monument of exploitation and conquest." --Ken Loach

PROGRAM NOTES 15jul16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  A plan has been presented to seal off the damaged reactors at Fukushima by building a sarcophagus around them rather than removing the nuclear fuel. The Washington Post says that President Obama is considering changes to the US nuclear weapons policy. The US announced plans to deploy a new advanced missile system in South Korea and North Korea made threats.

From CHINA  China strongly urged the US not to install the THAD missiles in South Korea as they will further destabilize the region. A UN arbitration panel in the Netherlands ruled that the Philippines have rights to the South China Sea claimed by China- China says that the ruling is invalid and a conspiracy, and that it will not relinquish its claim. The solar powered airplane has reached Cairo, nearly completing its global flight.

From CUBA  Indigenous communities in Honduras have voted overwhelming opposition to the hydro-electric dam in their region- opposition to this dam led to the murder of Berta Caceres and numerous other activists. US state and federal spending on prisons grew at three times the rate of spending on schools over the last three decades. Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz won a reprieve after spending 22 years in solitary confinement in a Pennsylvania prison.

From GERMANY  NATO is increasing aid to the Afghan military by 1 billion dollars, while increasing troops in Poland and the Baltic states. Germany says it will recall troops from Turkey if lawmakers continue to be barred from the country. The new British Prime Minister is Theresa May who has named some of her cabinet. The EU criticized a new Israeli law regulating human rights organizations. The Iraqi Prime Minister fired 3 security officials after a bombing killed nearly 300 people last week, while the US announced plans to send more troops to Iraq.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Iraqi dissident DR Kamil Mahdi about the recently released Chilcot report on the British role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Dr Mahdi says that life in Iraq is worse now than ever, though few are sorry to see Saddam gone. The daily danger in Iraq is intense, the country is being split apart by outside forces, and the average people reject the sectarian division. He blames the occupation for the suffering, and points out that the report avoids explaining why the occupation happened. He says Iraqis want Tony Blair put on trial, and reparations for the destruction of their country.

"One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it." --Gaston Bachelard

PROGRAM NOTES 08jul16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  VW says it will take up to 14 years to recover from the emissions test cheating scandal. No facility has been found to store German nuclear waste, with a report saying that it might not be developed until the next century. German Chancellor Merkel said that the EU will continue to grow without the UK as a member. Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP and an architect of the Brexit movement, has resigned. There was a large protest in London against the result of the Brexit referendum. The flight recorder from the Egyptian passenger jet that went down in May in the Mediterranean indicates that an onboard fire caused the crash. Tony Blair says he takes full responsibility for Britain going to war in Iraq in 2003 and that it was the correct thing to do.

From CUBA  There is a world campaign to pressure the Honduran government to investigate the murder of environmental activist Berte Caceres. Public school teachers in Mexico City have begun a strike to oppose new education reforms. Wikileaks has released more than 1000 emails about the Iraq war from Hillary Clinton's private email server. Canadian courts ruled that the Northern Gateway oil pipeline cannot be built because of indigenous peoples rights. Israel approved plans to construct 800 new housing units in and around occupied east Jerusalem, and Iceland will boycott all Israeli products until Palestine is freed from occupation. The Obama administration has released its assessment of the number of civilians killed by drone strikes- researchers say the truth may be 10 times more.

From JAPAN  Japanese military forces deny that their jets threatened Chinese military aircraft last month. The Japanese Coast Guard reported Chinese vessels in disputed waters. The US will impose sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for human rights abuses and censorship. The Chilcot Report, an independent inquiry on the Iraq War has been made public in the UK, seriously questioning the UK decision to help the US invade Iraq in 2003.

From RUSSIA  Two interviews by Afshin Rattansi concerning the Chilcot Report. First he speaks with Sami Ramadani an exile from Iraq and University professor- he describes the horrors of the US sanctions on Iraqis for 13 years before the invasion, how right after 9/11 the Pentagon chose seven countries (including Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, and Somalia) for regime change, and how the war continues to completely ruin Iraq. Then Lindsey German reports on Iraqi press reviews including the current suffering of Iraqi children, and then the news that the Iraqi government is receiving its first F-16 jets which will be an economic rush to 500 British companies.

"As I have said throughout, I have no doubt that they will find the clearest possible evidence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction." --Tony Blair 6/4/2003

PROGRAM NOTES 01jul16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN  Spaniards returned to the polls last Sunday in an attempt to resolve the December election that resulted in a hung parliament- the outcome was almost exactly the same. Then the first Brexit report. I need to say that there were many hours of interesting reports on the British vote to leave the EU, but I can only fit in some of what was absent in the American media. Alison Hughes presents a general description of the results, Jeremy Corbyn's loss of power in the Labor Party, and the EU request for a quick British exit. Then she played part of a speech Nigel Farage, leader of the UKIP party, gave to the European Parliament explaining why the vote went the way it did.

From GERMANY  In the wake of the Brexit vote Angela Merkel called for unity among the remaining EU members, while moves were made for similar votes in France and Holland. Scotland is considering leaving the UK and joining the EU as an independent nation, and more European leaders demanded Britain hasten the exit. France says London must forfeit its role as the processing center for Euro currency transactions.

From RUSSIA  Afshan Rattansi spoke about Brexit with Sir Vince Cable, former business secretary for David Cameron. He said he was not surprised by the outcome which he attributed to the rising nationalism and the working class move to the political right. He is pessimistic about the future and thought the referendum should not have been allowed.

From CUBA  In Florida a jury found a former Chilean Army officer liable for the murder of Victor Jara in 1973 during the US backed coup. Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the DEA of selling 50% of confiscated drugs to finance illegal activities. Lawyers for Edward Snowden are pressuring President Obama to pardon him before he leaves office. More civilians were killed by a US drone strike in Afghanistan.

From JAPAN  It is highly likely that a large amount of melted nuclear remains at the bottom of one of the Fukushima reactors. Japan is staying fully alert for intruders into their water and air space. Russia has accepted Turkey's apology for shooting down a military jet last November. The Russian defense say that a US Navy destroyer sailed dangerously close to Russian vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.

PROGRAM NOTES 24jun16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on a UN report on the deaths in Yemen caused by airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition. At one point the UN blacklisted the coalition for killing and maiming children in Yemen, but Ban ki Moon removed them from the list after being extorted by Saudi Arabia. Then she reports on how the US continues to supply cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia despite global opposition to their use.

From GERMANY  The German cabinet approved a plan to expand the German Naval role in the EU Mediterranean Sea operation. The first democratically elected president of Egypt has been sentenced to life imprisonment, while Turkey arrested a representative of Reporters Without Borders and other journalists. The UN announced that a record number of refugees, 65 million, are displaced today, and half of them are children. Sweden approved stricter rules on asylum seekers, and the UN released a report about the fate of refugee children in Germany.

From CUBA  Two stories on the murder of 9 people by Mexican police in Oaxaca at protests by striking teacher demanding educational reform. Two US drone strikes in Afghanistan killed at least 25 people. Sweden has asked to question Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up for 4 years. Tens of thousands of Japanese citizens have demonstrated against the heavy US military presence on the island of Okinawa.

From JAPAN  The Japanese government want talks soon to review the status of US troops in the country. The president of TEPCO has admitted that the company concealed reactor meltdowns at the devastated Fukushima power plant for two months, after receiving instructions from the Prime Minister's office. Eight members of NATO are taking part in an anti-submarine naval drill off the coast of Norway because of fears of Russia.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Dr. Tomasz Perscionek about the growing anti-Russian sentiment in western media, and how it relates to the expansion of NATO. Since Russia is now a capitalistic state, how can it be such a threat? Wasn't NATO created to stop the spread of communism? Is there a fear of it not economically stumbling as it did under Yeltsin?

"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people." --Howard Zinn

PROGRAM NOTES 17jun16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  The Peruvian presidential election was narrowly won by former World Bank executive Pedro Kuczynski. There was a large German protest against US drone strikes controlled at a US Air Force base, while NATO decided to add more troops in the Baltic states and Poland. The EU naval force got a UN okay to patrol off the Libyan coast. The row worsened between the German parliament and Turkey over the Armenian genocide. A poll found that 40% of Germans thought muslims should be prevented from migrating to their country. In Paris union led protests have continued to be violent.

From SPAIN  With the Brexit vote a week away, Alison Hughes reports on a survey on public support for the EU among various members. Then the Irish Times ran a profile on Arnaldo Otegi, the Basque separatist leader recently released from Spanish prison.

From CUBA  The former Chilean military officer accused of murdering Victor Jara in 1973 is being tried for related crimes. 2 stories on the political battles in Brazil. The Organization of American States is debating the rights of indigenous people, the political situation in Venezuela, and Argentina's claim to the Malvinas Islands. Venezuelan President Maduro says a recall vote will not be held until January 2017. The Israeli military has been demolishing houses in the occupied West Bank, and then cut water supplies to major areas in the north of the West Bank.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi and Jeremy Scahill make comparisons between the mass murders in Orlando Florida and those perpetrated by US drone strikes in numerous nations around the world. Then former MP Lembit Opik joins in to discuss gun control in the US, and how Google publicly backs the controversial Trans Pacific Trade Partnership.

From JAPAN  The Japanese Defense Forces became aroused when a Chinese naval vessel temporarily entered Japanese waters- China responded that the strait is used for international navigation. Talks in Austria failed to produce a ban on nuclear weapon testing. Then a report on the number of nuclear weapons currently in stock around the world.

"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it." --Noam Chomsky

PROGRAM NOTES 10jun16

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi hosts Going Underground 3 times a week. Here is a new interview he did with legendary filmmaker/documentarian John Pilger. He is critical of President Obama's reign, pointing out the differences between the image and the reality of his actions. Pilger goes on to point out the US frenzy of preparation for military conflicts with Russia and China, and the American media's failure to report on it.

From JAPAN  Among the many confrontations in Asian waters this week, Japan accused both Russian and Chinese naval ships of entering its territorial waters. The US and India made a series of agreements on military matters and the building of six new nuclear power plants in India. Japan has a plan to recycle waste from radioactive fallout from Fukushima into building materials. The EU has proposed a new aid plan for African nations that help prevent migrants from trying to reach Europe.

From GERMANY  There have been more than 40 arson attacks this year on refugee shelters in Germany. The german parliament went ahead and declared the massacre of Armenians by Turkey as a genocide, resulting in many of the ministers receiving death threats. The EU wants to use its naval force in the Mediterranean to enforce an arms embargo on Libya. Large demonstrations continue in Poland against the current nationalist government.

From CUBA  In Brazil a third minister installed by interim President Temer has been fired for conspiracy. Guatemala sent 8 former military officers to trial for crimes against humanity. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega will run for re-election, and the CIA has had permanent operations in Ecuador for more than 50 years. Amnesty International accuses Britain of making the cluster bombs used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, while Britain is upgrading its Trident nuclear missiles at a cost of $300 billion without notifying Parliament. Human Rights Watch wants Israel investigated for Israeli war crimes against Palestinians, and Monday saw Israeli settlers held a controversial march in the Old City of Jerusalem. The UN released new documents showing that more than 10,000 refugees have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

"More terrorists are given training and sanctuary in the United States than anywhere on earth. They include mass murderers, torturers, former and future tyrants and assorted international criminals. This is virtually unknown to the American public, thanks to the freest media on earth." --John Pilger

PROGRAM NOTES 03jun16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  On weekday mornings NHK presents a feature called Insight, here are two from this week. The first is a reaction to the speech Obama gave at his visit to Hiroshima, where he described the bombing as "death fell from the sky," without implying any American responsibility. The second Insight is about French Polynesia, where for 30 years the French government conducted nuclear weapons tests without acknowledging health risks to the people and environment.

From GERMANY  A court in Argentina convicted 15 ex-military officials for conspiring to kill dissidents in the CIA directed Operation Condor. In Nigeria militants have been attacking oil pipelines in protest. A far-right leader in Germany expressed his racism against Africans, and Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande appealed for european unity. The Economy minister of Germany spoke out against the Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership, and polls in England predict that the referendum on Britain leaving the EU likely to win. The lead negotiator for the Syrian opposition resigned, and at least 1000 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea last week. Turkish President Erdogan made further threats to Germany if they recognize the Armenian genocide as a genocide, and he also told Muslim families to cease using contraceptives and called birth control treason.

From CUBA  The Organization for American States, or OAS, is targeting Venezuelan President Maduro as a threat to democracy, possibly requiring outside intervention. Then a Viewpoint on the final presidential election in Peru this Sunday- in some perspectives this is a contest between two ultra-right-wing candidates, adding to the shift to the right in Latin American politics.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed British journalist Peter Oborne about his new book called "Not The Chilcot Report." Sir John Chilcot is the chairman of a public inquiry into the British role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It is intended to reveal if the public were deceived by the government, especially Tony Blair. George and Peter discuss the lies as well as the others who promoted the war, specifically the Parliament and the media- and are similar deceptions perpetuating the current wars in the Middle East and North Africa?

"The common man, no matter how sharp and tough, actually enjoys having the wool pulled over his eyes, and makes it easier for the puller."
--P. T. Barnum

PROGRAM NOTES 27may16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO. RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  Several stories about the refugee situation in Germany and the conflicts with the Turkey deal. Chancellor Merkel proposed a new law requiring language and integration classes for migrants. There is a large increase in attempts at sea migration since the blocking of the Balkan passage for refugees. Egyptian forensic experts doubt terrorists had anything to do with the recent plane crash.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Dr Carolina Matos about the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil. She points out that corruption is present throughout Brazilian politics and judicial system. Unlike European and American right-wing politicians, interim President Temer is very regressive and a throwback to the 1960s or even the 19th century.

From CUBA  A leaked audio recording revealed that the impeachment bid in Brazil is to protect numerous other corrupt officials. Then a Viewpoint on President Obama'ss visit to Asian nations- in Vietnam he avoided mentioning the effects of Agent Orange that are still plaguing civilians 50 years later. Obama will visit Hiroshima but not apologize for the largest mass killing of humans in history.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on Obama fully lifting the embargo on lethal arms sales to Vietnam and cooperation in the South China Sea conflicts. During his visit Obama confirmed the drone execution of the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, once considered a moderate until Islamic State moved into the country.

From JAPAN  A group of American activists and scholars urged Obama to meet with atomic bomb survivors, halt the development of new generation nuclear weapons, and to consider apologizing for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 100,000 police have been deployed across Japan for the summit meeting of the G-7 nations. Japanese nuclear regulators have approved a new plan for direct burial of nuclear waste.

"Our country is now geared to an arms economy bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear." --Douglas MacArthur

PROGRAM NOTES 20may16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  An update on the thousands left homeless in SW Japan a month after a series of powerful earthquakes. Survivors of the 1945 atomic bombs dropped by the US on Japan are going to ask President Obama to apologize when he visits Hiroshima next week. G7 environment ministers have called for action on tackling global warming and reducing food waste.

From CUBA  Several reports on the impeachment process in Brazil- her replacement, Michel Temer, angered many by selecting an all-white male cabinet and describing his neo-liberal plans, and Argentina's new conservative President Macri is the only Latin American head of state to openly support the impeachment process. The father of one of the 43 disappeared Mexican students pled for assistance at the UN Indigenous forum. This Indigenous Forum also spoke to the need for justice in the murder of Honduran environmentalist Berta Caceres. The Palestinian Liberation Organization called on the UN to implement the 1948 resolution giving Palestinians the right to return to their lands.

From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the political alliances in Spain that have been achieved to run in the June 26th elections. Podemos and United Left have joined to present an anti-austerity platform to the voters.

From GERMANY  Chinese fighter jets buzzed a US Navy reconnaissance jet over the South China Sea. The German government expects to spend over $90 billion supporting refugees in the next five years, while right-wing attacks on refugee shelters escalate in the country. John Kerry visited Saudi Arabia and then went on to Vienna to discuss the war in Syria. The German government has plans to join France in describing the ethnic cleansing of Armenians by Turks in 1915 as genocide. An outgoing UN climate chief warned that the Paris Climate Accord is far from being ratified by nations that agreed to it. John Kerry wants to lift the UN arms embargo on Libya.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed John Kiriakou, former CIA analyst, about the divide and rule approach of Western powers in the middle east. He also described the international arms market as a goal of the perpetual conflicts.

"We journalists have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country. That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home. In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us. Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power." --John Pilger

PROGRAM NOTES 13may16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN

From GERMANY- I produce this show on Thursday morning and news is just in that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will face an impeachment trial, ending 13 years of leftist rule in the country. Two reports on the Greek financial crisis including large street protests. Three reports on Turkey where President Erdogan continues severe crackdowns on dissent, including journalists, and Human Rights Watch reported Turkish border patrols killing Syrian refugees. Sadiq Kahn has become mayor of London, the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital.

From RUSSIA- Afshin Rattansi interviewed former London mayor Ken Livingstone about Sadiq Kahn, the new mayor. He discusses how the campaign was handled and the significance of a Muslim from immigrant parents winning the election despite dirty tricks by the opposing candidate.

From CUBA- Donald Trump said that Sadiq Kahn could be an exception to his proposed ban on Muslims coming into the US, which Sadiq called ignorant. Labor reforms in France bypassed Parliament and have led to growing street riots. In the UK targeted killings with drones could lead to murder charges for all those involved.

From SPAIN Allison Hughes reports on conflicts in the handling of refugees in the European Union. Countries refusing to take allotted refugees will be fined, and Turkey insists that its citizens be allowed visa free travel in the EU.

From JAPAN The UN says that in 2015 there were 244 million international migrants and refugees. President Obama will visit Hiroshima during the G7 summit to show his opposition to nuclear weapon proliferation, but will not apologize for 1945. 60 nations are attending a UN working group to ban nuclear weapons- no countries with nuclear weapons have attended. An NHK poll shows most Japanese approve of Obama's visit to Hiroshima and strongly oppose restarting nuclear power plants. Then an Insight on the recent Party gathering in North Korea.

"If the past has nothing to say to the present, history may go on sleeping undisturbed in the closet where the system keeps its old disguises."
--Eduardo Galeano

PROGRAM NOTES 06may16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From SPAIN  Excerpts from a Panorama about the TTIP from Allison Hughes. Greenpeace leaked secret documents on the negotiation talks concerning the US demands to weaken its environmental and consumer protection regulations. Obama promises jobs and prosperity like Bill Clinton did with NAFTA. Joseph Stieglitz speaks to free trade versus managed trade.

From CUBA  The Spanish king has dissolved the Parliament and set new general elections for next month. In Honduras 4 men were arrested for the murder of environmental activist Berta Caceres, while a prominent radio journalist was shot 4 times but survived. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff says that she is the victim of a fraud by the extreme right. Survivors of the US bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan want those responsible to stand trial. The CIA was criticized for marking the 5th anniversary of the murder of Osama bin Laden by live tweeting that operation as if in real time.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Professor Sami Ramadani about the execution of Osama bin Laden. He discusses Seymour Hersh's claim that Pakistan was aware of Osama's residence in Pakistan and their assistance to the US military, unlike the official US story

From GERMANY   In Germany a newer right-wing anti-immigrant political party, the AFD or Alternative for Germany, held several rallies and issued a manifesto, saying Islam is not a part of Germany. Protests and rallies were held around the world marking May Day. Senegal signed an agreement allowing US troops to be deployed in the country and use airfields. The US defense secretary is emphasizing a Russian threat in the Balkans and Russia replied.

"Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together." --Edward Abbey

PROGRAM NOTES 29apr16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  An update on the aftermath of two strong earthquakes in southwestern Japan- there have been more than 1000 aftershocks and nearly 40,000 people remain in evacuation centers. Australia will build 12 new submarines with the assistance of France. The US defense department complained that China wanted to impose too many restrictions on foreign ships and aircraft in its territories in a new "Freedom of Navigation" report.

From CUBA  An update on the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Ecuador which affected 1 million people. Two reports on the unresolved story of the 43 students disappeared in Mexico in 2014- 3 federal agents have been identified as involved in the torture and assumed murders- thousands continue to protest the official story in Mexico City. Some Brazilians continue to support President Dilma Rousseff in her ongoing impeachment battle.An update on the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Ecuador which affected 1 million people. Two reports on the unresolved story of the 43 students disappeared in Mexico in 2014- 3 federal agents have been identified as involved in the torture and assumed murders- thousands continue to protest the official story in Mexico City. Some Brazilians continue to support President Dilma Rousseff in her ongoing impeachment battle.

From GERMANY  A solar powered airplane reached California on its voyage around the world. More than 170 countries signed a groundbreaking deal on climate change in Paris- hopefully it will come into effect by 2020. There were protests in Turkey to defend journalists who wrote that Erdogan's government supplied weapons to Islamic militants in Syria. German Chancellor Merkel visited Turkey where she avoided criticizing the crackdown on media. Protestors were attacked by police in Egypt over a deal with Saudi Arabia, and in Germany when citizens opposed to the US-Europe trade deal, the TTIP, took to the streets before President Obama arrived. In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party came out leading in the first round of elections, and then the Parliament passed tough new asylum laws to stop the flow of refugees from the Middle East and Central Asia.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Cian Westmoreland, a US Airforce technician who helped build the secret drone program based in Afghanistan. Cian and several other drone operators have been giving testimony to the British Parliament about the effect drone warfare is having in the declared and undeclared wars in Islamic nations.

"The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other--instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals." --Edward Abbey

PROGRAM NOTES 22apr16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  A referendum to limit Italian offshore oil and gas drilling in the Mediterranean Sea failed. The leader of German anti-immigrant group Pegida has gone on trial for inciting racial hatred with a Facebook post. Last week I aired a report about a comedian whose ridicule of Turkish President Erdogan was defended by Chancellor Merkel- under pressure she has changed her mind.

From JAPAN  Reporters Without Borders annual ranking is out, and the overall trend is that media freedom declined sharply last year- the US ranked 41st. Two reports on the hundreds of earthquakes in southwestern Japan, including the nuclear regulators assurance that the nearby power plant is in no danger. An international weapons fair in Malaysia set new record purchases for maritime military equipment. A Chinese military airplane rescued several people from a disputed island in the South China Sea.

From CUBA  Cuba continues to condemn what it sees as an attempted coup in Brazil, part of a right-wing conspiracy against progressive Latin American policies. The foreign minister of Venezuela lashed out at foreign media for presenting her country as needing an intervention. In Argentina thousands marched against new austerity measures. Deadly earthquakes continue to hit Ecuador with many deaths and injuries. London saw 150,000 anti-austerity protestors over the weekend. 300 more people were arrested in Washington DC on Monday bringing the total to 1200 in that series of protests largely ignored in the US press. More than 500 North Africans died while attempting to reach Italy in the latest refugee catastrophe.

From RUSSIA  First a press review/commentary on the latest refugee deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. President Obama visited Saudi Arabia on his way to the UK to discuss intervention in Libya- the Saudis economically threatened the US if restitution lawsuits about 9/11 were allowed. Afshin Rattansi discusses this and regime change with former British ambassador, Peter Ford.

"But I'll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything." --Alan Watts

PROGRAM NOTES 15apr16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From JAPAN  An NHK poll revealed that 48% of the Japanese were opposed to the new security laws, and only 18% said they were in favor of restarting nuclear power plants. Japanese Maritime Defense Forces sent 2 destroyers to a port in Vietnam near islands in the South China Sea. China is angry over a G7 document voicing concern over Chinese activities in the South China Sea. John Kerry tweeted about his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the first US Secretary of State to do so. Then an Insight about the significance of the G7 Foreign Ministers visit to the Peace Memorial Park.

From CHINA  The Ukrainian parliament is holding off on accepting the Prime Minister's resignation. The UN is searching for a new Secretary General to replace Ban ki Moon. China has documents they claim prove sovereignty over the South China Sea. China released a review of the human rights situation in the US. On Monday 400 US citizens peacefully protesting corrupt politics and elections were arrested outside the US Capitol.

From CUBA  On Wednesday police arrested an additional peaceful 85 protestors in front of the US Capitol, with almost no US media coverage. A Cuban intellectual warned of a right-wing offensive in Latin America to undermine the political progression of the last 20 years. A Viewpoint on the political turmoil in Brazil, which is described as a "soft coup d'etat" against Dilma Rousseff and the left leaning Brazilian Workers Party. Palestinian President Abbas says there is an urgent need for a UN resolution on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

From GERMANY  German Chancellor Merkel will not punish a comedian for insulting Turkish President Erdogan, despite Erdogan’s insistence. Two reports on battles between refugees and Macedonian police along the Greek border. Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School are warning about advances in creating so-called killer robots, which could be ready in a few years. Germany says that global cooperation is needed to combat tax havens, and thousands protested in London, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron for family involvement in the Panama offshore banking scandal. More than 400 protestors were arrested in Washington DC with almost no US media coverage.

"If the past has nothing to say to the present, history may go on sleeping undisturbed in the closet where the system keeps its old disguises." --Eduardo Galeano

PROGRAM NOTES 08apr16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN  A press review from Monday covering the deportation of refugees stranded in Greece to Turkey. Then foreign press reports on the independence movement in Catalonia.

From GERMANY  The EU presented plans for a new asylum policy on Wednesday. Dutch voters rejected a free trade deal between the EU and Ukraine, and the poll did turn out to be valid. An owner of 3 VW dealerships in the US has filed a lawsuit against VW over the diesel emissions scandal. A description of the 11 million leaked documents being called the Panama Papers.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Kristinn Hrafnnson, co-founder of the Icelandic Center for Investigative Journalism. The topic was the Panama Papers and how and why the press is releasing information in the way they are. The papers are not searchable by the public, like Wikileaks releases are, and the press is very selective on the released names of politicians who used the off-shore banking scheme.

From CUBA  A group of indigenous women in Honduras are protesting police offices seeking justice for the murder of environmentalist Berta Caceres. Several reports on the ongoing attempt to oust Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who maintains that she will not resign in what she describes as an attempted coup.

From JAPAN  The Japanese parliament (or Diet) is seeing confrontations over accepting the Trans Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement. A Japanese high court dismissed a request by residents to suspend operations of two nuclear reactors in southwestern Japan. Next week Japan will host the G-7 meeting in Hiroshima- the foreign ministers will lay flowers at the peace memorial park.

"Due to the fact that I experienced personally the situation of a political prisoner, I have an historical commitment to all those that were or are prisoners just because they expressed their views, their public opinion, their own opinions." --Dilma Rousseff

PROGRAM NOTES 01apr16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  In Japan new national security laws have come into effect allowing the military to use force to defend other nations. Many citizens oppose these laws and had huge, by Japanese standards, protests outside the Parliament building. After years of planning and failed attempts, an in-ground ice wall around the devastated Fukushima nuclear reactors is starting up, hoping to limit radiation leaks into the Pacific Ocean.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed British Parliamentarian Lord Nazir Ahmed about the Brussels terror attack and its relationship to drone strikes carried out the same day in Yemen by NATO member the US. Do drone strikes, which kill more civilians than targeted terrorists, fuel more terrorism?

From CUBA  The new Argentine President Mauricio Macri has blocked Latin American news network Telesur from cable services in the country. Fidel Castro wrote an editorial called "Brother Obama" saying that Cuba has no need for gifts from the Empire. Then a Viewpoint on Obama's visit to Cuba- Obama said that it is better to forget the past history of the US actions in Latin America and just move forward. Many believe that coups, terror attacks, and political manipulation by America must not be written off by those victimized for centuries.

From SPAIN  Brazil, the 5th most populous country in the world, has had civilian rule since 1985, after 21 years of a military dictatorship. There is a huge corruption scandal at the state run oil company, implicating scores of businessmen and politicians. Some judges are focusing efforts on removing President Dilma Rousseff, a former revolutionary during the military rule, which many say is an attempted coup.

"Well, I learned a lot...I went down to Latin America to find out from them and learn their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries."
--Ronald Reagan, 1982

PROGRAM NOTES 25mar16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN  Last week the EU signed an accord with Turkey to limit the number of refugees entering Greece. Many have called this the "accord of shame," because of the collective deportations- there has been an international outcry and demonstrations in 50 cities in Spain. Activists in Spain are filing criminal charges against their government for signing the accord. Then a commentary on the terrorist acts in Belgium, and the resulting racism and intolerance toward refugees spreading in Europe.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Muharrem Erbey a human rights lawyer who was jailed by the Turkish government for presenting evidence of Turkish atrocities against Kurdish people. Amnesty International accuses Turkey of applying collective punishment against the Kurds, this lawyer describes it as genocide and ethnocide. He also says he has evidence that Turkey is supporting the so-called Islamic State who in turn are killing Kurds.

From CUBA  The historic visit by President Obama to Cuba was extensively covered on RHC. Obama and Raoul Castro held talks on Monday. Obama gave a speech saying he was there to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas and acknowledged that the US isolationist policy toward Cuba makes no sense in the 21st century. Obama said he will try to get Congress to lift the 50 year old economic blockade. Then a review of the Venezuelan press on Obama's Cuban visit. Michelle Obama met with young female students in Cuba to find out that all Cuban girls have equal and free education at all levels. The next stop for Obama was Argentina where citizens planned large marches to honor the victims of the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1976-1983- Obama promised to declassify secret documents from the era. His arrival in Argentina was met with opposition protests. In Brazil a media professor argues that Brazilian media is fomenting conditions for a coup to oust President Dilma Rousseff.

From JAPAN  A ship carrying enough high-grade plutonium for 40 atomic bombs is on its way from Japan to the US. Japanese nuclear regulators have suspended screening for the restart of 2 nuclear reactors until the truth of the Fukushima disaster is revealed. Part of the upcoming G7 meeting in Japan will include talks on nuclear disarmament. The Japanese industry ministry has plans to increase the use of hydrogen fuel cells cars by lowering the cost to the same as gasoline powered cars and building more filling stations.

"Climate change as a battle between capitalism and the planet."
--Naomi Klein

PROGRAM NOTES 18mar16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  A second hydrogen filling station for fuel cell cars is opening in Japan. The Japanese Foreign Ministry is preparing for the possibility of Trump becoming US President. Japan and China continue to argue about jurisdiction over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. North Korea is said to have conducted a successful simulation of the reentry of a ballistic missile, a test for installing a potential nuclear warhead. President Obama again told President Putin that Syrian President Assad must be removed to end the civil war- this occurred while Putin was announcing his withdrawal of troops from Syria.

From GERMANY  More on the Russian withdrawal of the majority of Russian troops in Syria. German Chancellor Merkel supports the proposal to use Turkey to prevent unwanted refugees from reaching Europe- many say that the Turkish government has become fascist and that it is blackmailing the EU. A bomb blast hit Ankara on Sunday killing many civilians- Turkey blamed the Kurds and attacked the PKK in Iraq and in Turkey. In Germany there were regional elections last weekend, preceded by protests and street clashes- the right-wing populist party made significant gains running on an anti-immigrant platform.

From CUBA  23 members of the US Congress will join President Obama on his historic visit to Cuba beginning Sunday. There was a protest at the US Agency for Intentional Development in Washington DC calling for a cut to funding for a controversial dam project in Honduras. Indigenous activist Berta Caceres was murdered 2 weeks ago for trying to halt the dam, and this week another activist, Nelson Garcia, was gunned down. Iran has rejected as ridiculous a US court ruling that it must pay $10 billion in compensation for the 9/11 attacks, which were reportedly carried out by Saudi nationals. On Tuesday Saudi led airstrikes killed 41 civilians in Yemen.

From SPAIN  Political fugitive Edward Snowden did live video interviews from Russia to Brooklyn and Spain in the past week. He warned that the massive collection of citizen data in the US and around the world is falsely framed as necessary for security in the face of terrorism. He talked about the free speech restrictions that are expanding globally.

"I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." --Edward Snowden

PROGRAM NOTES 18mar16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  A second hydrogen filling station for fuel cell cars is opening in Japan. The Japanese Foreign Ministry is preparing for the possibility of Trump becoming US President. Japan and China continue to argue about jurisdiction over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. North Korea is said to have conducted a successful simulation of the reentry of a ballistic missile, a test for installing a potential nuclear warhead. President Obama again told President Putin that Syrian President Assad must be removed to end the civil war- this occurred while Putin was announcing his withdrawal of troops from Syria.

From GERMANY  More on the Russian withdrawal of the majority of Russian troops in Syria. German Chancellor Merkel supports the proposal to use Turkey to prevent unwanted refugees from reaching Europe- many say that the Turkish government has become fascist and that it is blackmailing the EU. A bomb blast hit Ankara on Sunday killing many civilians- Turkey blamed the Kurds and attacked the PKK in Iraq and in Turkey. In Germany there were regional elections last weekend, preceded by protests and street clashes- the right-wing populist party made significant gains running on an anti-immigrant platform.

From CUBA  23 members of the US Congress will join President Obama on his historic visit to Cuba beginning Sunday. There was a protest at the US Agency for Intentional Development in Washington DC calling for a cut to funding for a controversial dam project in Honduras. Indigenous activist Berta Caceres was murdered 2 weeks ago for trying to halt the dam, and this week another activist, Nelson Garcia, was gunned down. Iran has rejected as ridiculous a US court ruling that it must pay $10 billion in compensation for the 9/11 attacks, which were reportedly carried out by Saudi nationals. On Tuesday Saudi led airstrikes killed 41 civilians in Yemen.

From SPAIN  Political fugitive Edward Snowden did live video interviews from Russia to Brooklyn and Spain in the past week. He warned that the massive collection of citizen data in the US and around the world is falsely framed as necessary for security in the face of terrorism. He talked about the free speech restrictions that are expanding globally.

"I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." --Edward Snowden

PROGRAM NOTES 11mar16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  Turkish police attacked citizens protesting the shutdown of the opposition newspaper. Several stories about the refugee crisis in Europe- Turkey agreed to return refugees in exchange for several concessions with the EU including cash. The UN Refugee Agency says the deal contravenes international law. Meanwhile more than 13,000 refugees remain stranded along the Greek/ Macedonian border as all the Balkan routes to the EU have been shut down. The political deadlock in Spain continues after the Socialist party failed to form a coalition.

From CUBA  As President Obama prepares to visit Cuba, an editorial in a Cuban newspaper points out the importance of the US lifting its economic blockade and abandoning Guantanamo Bay. Venezuelan President Maduro has called for a national march this weekend against Obama's recent executive decree that Venezuela is a threat to US national security. The UN says Israel is demolishing Palestinian buildings constructed with international aid at an alarming rate. A barrage of US drone strikes killed more than 150 people in Somalia. The White House will for the first time release the death toll from US drone strikes since 2009.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed John Kiriakou, former analyst for the CIA and investigator for the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John revealed the CIA torture program on ABC television and the NYT and was sent to federal prison for 2 years. He talks about the hypocrisy of administration leaks, the incremental devolution of civil liberties in the US, and the controversy over the San Bernardino iPhone.

From JAPAN  A court has ordered the shutdown of 2 of the 4 nuclear power plants that were restarted in Japan. NHK produced a 4 part series on the 5th anniversary of the devastating Fukushima nuclear meltdown- this one is about problems decommissioning the reactors. Vietnam opened a major port facility in the South China Sea for US aircraft carriers and submarines. As it started its largest ever military exercise with the US, South Korea said it would respond without mercy if North Korea carries out its threats.

"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn." --Mary Catherine Bateson

PROGRAM NOTES 04mar16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  3 executives of TEPCO, the operators of the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant, have been indicted on charges of negligence- for failing to take safety measures in case of a tsunami. The UN Security Council voted to tighten sanctions on North Korea following its nuclear test and missile launch. At the UN Human Rights Council, North Korea responded that it will never be bound by resolutions that criticize its human rights record, comparing human rights issues in Europe and the US.

From SPAIN  The refugee crisis in Europe continues to worsen, with most countries wanting to bar entry to people escaping wars. At the Macedonia border police and refugees ended up in a riot this week. Parts of Spain have created facilities for the immigrants but they have not gotten through.

From CUBA  In Mexico federal and independent prosecutors launched new investigations into the fate of the 43 disappeared students. Former Brazilian President Lula de Silva said he would run for president if asked, and gave full support to the current president Dilma Rousseff. At the UN Disarmament conference Cuba said that all people have the right to live without the threat of nuclear weapons. 2 US drone strikes in Afghanistan resulted in at least 9 deaths. Ban ki Moon has condemned Saudi Arabia for defying calls to halt air strikes on Yemen. In Yemen thousands of people protested the US backed Saudi bombing campaign- 750,000 Europeans petitioned the EU to place an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia. The next negotiations in the Syrian ceasefire process have been delayed for a week.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevarnadze interviewed Alastair Crooke, former EU policy adviser and MI-6 operative, about the ceasefire in Syria. Is the goal a time out to restock the militaries? Are the so-called moderate rebels doing anything more than passing weapons on to the more radical groups? What goals do Saudi Arabia and Turkey have for the Syrian nation?

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." --Desmond Tutu

PROGRAM NOTES 26feb16

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From SPAIN  Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek Economic Minister, spoke in Madrid about his campaign called Democracy In Europe 2025. It is a pan-European movement to counter the current EU austerity programs.

From JAPAN  The IAEA has been holding a conference to discuss nuclear safety. The operators of the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant failed to admit for 3 months that there were 3 nuclear meltdowns in 2011. The US admitted that it received a peace proposal from North Korea before its latest nuclear test, but put off responding to it. The two Koreas made serious threats to each other this week.

From CHINA  China again refutes the US claim that China threatens freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. China argues that the missile system the US plans to install in South Korea will impede Chinese security interests. China may go to the World Trade Org over US probes into Chinese exporting of tires.

From CUBA  President Obama announced a plan to close the military prison in Guantanamo. In Argentina, workers are protesting lowered wages and layoffs. Parents of the 43 disappeared students are marching across northern Mexico. Spain's progressive parties met to form a pact. The NSA has been spying on UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon. Saudi Arabia continues bombing residential areas of Yemen.

From GERMANY  Amnesty International says that protection of human rights hit a new low in 2015. Violent acts against refugees continue in Germany, while the government has begun returning refugees to Afghanistan. Tighter border controls were instituted in Austria and other southern neighbors. Some agreements were reached to start a ceasefire in Syria. Two reports on the upcoming British referendum to leave the EU, with Boris Johnson in favor and David Cameron opposed.

"We are asleep with compasses in our hands." --W. S. Merwin

PROGRAM NOTES 19feb16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO

From CUBA  Cuba and the US signed an agreement to resume commercial flights for the first time in 50 years. Bolivia accused the US Embassy of subverting the referendum on the presidency. Then a Viewpoint on the US Secretary of Defense asking Congress to double the current military budget, presumably to fight Islamic terror but including a huge increase to counter Russian aggression.

From JAPAN  As the 5th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster approaches, scientists are going to make another attempt to stop radioactive groundwater from entering into the Pacific Ocean. President Obama made a speech calling for an end to the military buildup in the South China Sea. The next day the US has moved 4 Stealth fighters to South Korea as a threat to North Korea.

From CHINA  The South Korean president said she intends to force regime change in the North. China opposes the deployment of a new US missile system in South Korea, and called for demilitarization of the South China Sea while placing new defensive missiles on a disputed island. Turkey denies Syrian claims about Turkish troops crossing the border. British officials have entered the final phase to have a referendum to change its relationship with the EU.

From GERMANY  German Chancellor Merkel says Britain will reach a deal to remain in the EU. The Turkish military has been attacking Kurdish and Syrian targets in Aleppo, and warned it will continue assaults on Kurds. The UN has been given permission to deliver food aid around Syria. Chancellor Merkel has defended her refugee policy. The Russian Prime Minister said tensions between Russia and the West have reached Cold War Levels.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Nick Srnicek, co-author of "Inventing The Future." They talk about how neo-liberalism has failed the working class and the ways that capitalism is holding back social evolution.

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." --Malcolm X

PROGRAM NOTES 12feb16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, and SPUTNIK RADIO

From JAPAN  In Fukushima tests are underway to incinerate contaminated waste from the devastated nuclear power plant. China is upset that South Korea may employ a new US missile system as a response to the North Korean missile test. The largest military drill in Asia has started in Thailand. The South Korean military has intensified its broadcast of propaganda from trucks along the border with the North.

From CUBA  The US may sell off the Office of Cuban Broadcasts, which for decades has transmitted subversive Radio Marti propaganda to Cuba. In Venezuela right-wing lawmakers have proposed an amnesty for those responsible for violent anti-government riots in 2014. Israel has accused UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon of promoting terror because he defended Palestinian uprisings. The US Defense department has requested more money to fund Israeli missile systems. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that a reinforced fence may be set up around the entire occupied territories. A leaked report says that Turkish President Erdogan threatened EU leaders with a flood of refugees unless they were offered more money.

From GERMANY  The former Greek finance minister has launched a new pan-european political movement, Democracy in Europe 2025. Lawmakers in the French lower house approved measures to strip citizenship from convicted terrorists. Turkey says it cannot absorb any more refugees. NATO Defense Ministers met to discuss how to keep refugees from reaching Europe.

From CHINA  Last weekend North Korea launched an earth observation satellite into orbit which has created great controversy, especially in the US, South Korea, and Japan. Hours after the launchS Korea and the US announced the largest ever military war games in March. Then South Korea halted the industrial park it shared with N Korea. S Korea fired warning shots at at N Korean patrol boat. Australian PM Turnbull will continue plans to deport refugees to a remote island 3000 KM away.

From RUSSIA  First the BBC is accused of promoting Cold War fear of Russia. Then Afshin Rattansi interviewed Melinda Taylor, the lawyer for Julian Assange. A UN panel ruled that the British government has violated Assange's human rights by detaining him and that he may sue for damages. He still has received no assurances that he will not be arrested if he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy.

"We in the West have deluded ourselves into believing that we actually have a truly free press. We don't. And we can see that in the difference between what Wikileaks does and what the rest of the press does." --Julian Assange

 

PROGRAM NOTES 05feb16

This weeks show features stories from CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO

From CHINA  China has asked the US to respect laws and promote peace, rather than tension, in the South China Sea- this follows a close pass by a US Navy destroyer Chinese territorial waters. The Chinese government says that it wants to continue to allow Taiwan independence. China sent its chief nuclear envoy to North Korea prior to an expected missile launch later this month.

From JAPAN  Japan is reacting strongly to the anticipated North Korean missile launch, sending warships with orders to shoot down any missiles. Citizens living near the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant want the central government to clean up radioactive fallout in nearby forests.

From GERMANY  Researchers in Germany are moving forward on a billion dollar experiment with nuclear fusion. Despite international criticism, Australia is going ahead with deporting asylum seekers to a small Pacific island. Peace talks over the wars in Syrian collapsed in Geneva. A top US military General told the Senate that women should register for the draft like men do when they turn 18.

From CUBA  The Colombian President Santos is heading to the US to seek more funding for Plan Colombia on its 15th anniversary. Argentina's new President Marci announced huge hikes in the cost of electricity. The Bolivian Interior Minister says that the right-wing plans to intensify its dirty war before a referendum on whether President Evo Morales can run again. The US Defense department wants $13 billion for new submarines carrying nuclear missiles. The Saudi military has acknowledged that they bombed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Yemen in October.

From RUSSIA  First headlines with Wikileaks- a German politician says that refugees should be shot at the border, and why does the press avoid criticizing the Saudi war on Yemen. Then an interview with Oliver Sprague from Amnesty International on war crimes in Yemen by the Saudi Kingdom- these crimes implicate the British and US governments who continue to supply weapons, including cluster bombs from the US.

"Great Minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

 

PROGRAM NOTES 29jan16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA

From GERMANY  Several stories about the changing face of the refugee crisis in Europe- Hungary, Denmark, Sweden and Germany are all enacting laws to curb immigration and deport those they consider undesirable. Large scale protests continue in Poland against the new right-wing government, while the EU investigates new anti-democratic laws. A nationwide curfew has been imposed in Tunisia to stop protests against economic strife in the starting point of the so-called Arab Spring.

From JAPAN  Another nuclear power plant in Japan is scheduled to restart this week, after a court lifted an injunction against it. There are further problems in attempts to remove the melted fuel from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant. Japanese nuclear engineers are considering storing nuclear waste in tunnels beneath the seabed of the Pacific Ocean. Supporters of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty say that world powers should ratify the treaty in light of the North Korean nuclear test- the 20 year old treaty has not been ratified by the US, China, Israel, and 5 other nations. The head of US forces in the Pacific says the US will step up its freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea.

From CHINA  John Kerry visited China for talks on the North Korean nuclear test and disputes in the South China Sea- China says Taiwan needs to help protect the South China Sea. South Korea says it is watching for a ballistic missile test from North Korea. China and Iran have upgraded a comprehensive strategic partnership.

From CUBA  Pope Francis will meet with parents of the missing 43 students in Mexico next month- protests about the disappearance continue in Mexico City. Mexico is having a series of forums on the legalization of marijuana. In Chile a court has ordered the government to compensate four victims of the Pinochet dictatorship. A former guard says that the CIA staged suicides at Guantanamo Bay prison. Panama is working toward a truth commission investigating the 1989 US invasion. UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon has called for an end to Israeli settlement expansion in occupied Palestine. France plans to extend the state of emergency, and the French Justice Minister resigned in protest of plans to strip people convicted of terrorism of their citizenship.

"The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plane." --George McGovern

PROGRAM NOTES 22jan16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO

From JAPAN  Japan will receive its first shipment of US crude oil in late February, following the removal of a 40 year ban on US oil exports. Tsai Ing-wen was elected as the first female President of Taiwan in a landslide vote- the current cabinet has resigned leaving her in an uncertain position of power. The China led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has begun business in earnest. Oxfam released a report saying that the 62 richest people own as much as half of the world's population. Trade ministers from 12 nations will officially sign the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement in New Zealand on February 4- this will mark the end of negotiations, and nations will need to have to achieve domestic ratification.

From CUBA  The US is actively deporting Hondurans- meanwhile Honduras is besieged with scandals and a plan to reduce corruption. Colombia is enacting a one year ban on the carrying of weapons in public to curb gun violence. French authorities have bullozed a refugee encampment in Calais- UN Human Rights experts have expressed concern about new counterterrorism measures adopted in France. A US delegation will visit Israel next week to finalize a new 10 year deal on military aid.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi began a show with a piece about Alan Rickman who had directed a stage production of "My Name Is Rachel Corrie." Rachel's death, caused by being run over by an Israeli military bulldozer in 2003, has been ruled an accident by an Israeli court. Afshin then interviewed Tadatoshi Akiba, former mayor of Hiroshima, about the British plan to upgrade its nuclear weapons.

From SPAIN  Spain broadcast an interview with American author Don Winslow that was recorded before the latest arrest of Joaquin Guzman, or El Chapo. He discusses how the Mexican drug cartels became terrorist organizations, why the Mexican government allowed Guzman to escape, and the only solution to the horribly violent drug industry around the world.

"In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." --Martin Luther King Jr.

PROGRAM NOTES 15jan16

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA

From RUSSIA  Afshan Rattansi spoke with Naomi Klein at the UN Climate Conference in Paris. He asked her about the Leap Manifesto, a Canadian project to push governments to take significant actions to reduce climate change. It calls for 100% renewable energy for electricity in 20 years and having an entirely clean economy by 2050. The plan includes hundreds of thousands of jobs creating these changes.

From JAPAN  The US and 3 other nations have condemned Japan for failing to respond to the International Court Of Justice on whaling. The Japanese government is stepping up activities to return Fukushima area evacuees to their communities. Two stories on the US and South Korean responses to North Korea's nuclear detonation last week- the US flew a B-52 bomber provocatively and South Korea is blaring propaganda across the border. Doctors Without Borders had a hospital treating insurgents bombed in Yemen, presumably by the Saudi air force.

From GERMANY  Human rights activists demonstrated outside the Saudi Embassy in Berlin on the anniversary of the first public whipping of a blogger. Several stories about Cologne where sexual assaults occurred on New Years Eve by men apparently from North Africa- the far right Pegida movement clashed with police who are trying to limit attacks on people of color. Similar protests and riots took place in other parts of Germany. Large demonstrations took place in Poland against new laws threatening democracy and media freedom. US authorities say that VW plans to recall cars inadequate. Pro-independence groups in Spain's Catalonia region are a step closer to independence.

From CUBA  Cubans migrating to the US are on their way through Central America. The Venezuelan National Assembly saw the resignation of 3 right-wing deputies due to charges of electoral fraud. An Argentinian journalist was fired for his political opinions against the new right wing government. Sweden has called for an investigation into the killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces. A Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo for 14 years has been repatriated, while 103 others remain behind. Saudi Arabia has admitted that it has used cluster bombs in its war on Yemen.

"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars- but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet." --Hugo Chavez

 

PROGRAM NOTES 08jan16

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  Protests are growing against the security bill which could see Japan involved in wars. Germany reported that 1.1 million refugees arrived in the country last year with over a third coming from Syria. A consulting firm says that the weakening US/European alliance is the biggest risk facing the world in 2016.

From CHINA  A series of reports on the latest nuclear bomb test carried out by North Korea- China is quite angry about nuclear proliferation in the Korean peninsula. China wants the 6-party talks reestablished, they were stopped in 2008. Chinese scientists say there was no traceable effects of the test on Chinese soil. The parity rate between Chinese and other world currencies fell to its weakest point in 5 years. The Chinese stock market has unveiled new rules to limit big shareholders from selling their stocks after the market was automatically closed several times because of plunging prices. China conducted test flights on newly built airfields in the South China Sea.

From GERMANY  The US has sued VW for the equipment on their diesel cars that intentionally subverted exhaust emissions tests- the fines could reach $20 billion. A series of stories about the 47 Saudi kingdom beheadings that have led to a great rift in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and is spreading to other areas in the region. The ceasefire between Saudi Arabia and rebels in Yemen ended with Saudi airstrikes escalating. Donald Trump provided propaganda material for the growth of Islamic State in the African continent, and Gambia began enforcing rules that all women wear headscarves.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevarnadze interviewed anthropologist Dr. Scott Atran about why Islamic State is attracting so many young people to join its ranks. He says it is a different kind of revolution because it is not state-based, but rather creates a cultural unification as its center.

"One can imagine a sane, healthy, cheerful human society based on no more than the principles of common sense, as validated each day by work, play, and living experience. But this remains the most utopian and fantastic of ideals." --Edward Abbey

PROGRAM NOTES 01jan16

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  15,000 Kurds marched in Dusseldorf to protest Turkish state terror in Kurdish towns. Kurds in Turkey have called for self rule in southeastern Turkey. Saudi Arabia and Turkey announced collaboration on security, military, and economic affairs. The Prime Minister of Iraq accused Turkey of failing to withdraw troops as previously agreed. 300 Syrians were evacuated from the north to Damascus. The Egyptian government has shutdown Facebook just a few weeks before the anniversary of the start of the so-called Arab Spring. Severe flooding hit South America and the UK.

From CUBA  In Chiapas, Mexico, local indigenous community gardens are being threatened in a land grab by the municipalities. Brazilian President Rousseff raised the minimum wage by 11%. The German Finance Minister has called for the creation of a common EU army instead of 28 separate ones for domestic and foreign security. Scientists predict the storms that hit Texas could raise the north pole temperatures by 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

From JAPAN  Japanese agricultural ministers have a new program to minimize the effects of global warming on farm produce. Japan and Britain are going to hold a second summit between foreign and defense ministers. The 3 candidates for President of Taiwan held their first debate- the election is January 16. Saudi Arabia projects a massive budget deficit for 2016 due to low oil prices and their huge military expenditures.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevarnadze interviewed physician Jill Stein about the current American presidential race. Ms Stein is the Green candidate in the election and has been excluded from US media coverage.

"From secrecy and deception in high places, come home, America. From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation, come home, America." --George McGovern

PROGRAM NOTES 25dec15

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO NHK JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From SPAIN  The results from elections in Spain saw the ruling Conservative Party win, but with far fewer seats than needed for an absolute majority. This is a significant change in the political climate in the country.

From JAPAN  The restart of two nuclear power plants in Japan is being held up by a court injunction as of press time. A group of legal experts are going to challenge newly enacted self-defense security laws. There have been secret talks between Turkey and Israel to cease disputes over the killing of Turkish demonstrators on a boat trying to deliver aid to Palestine. Israel killed a senior Shia leader in Lebanon with a targeted assassination, and has admitted airstrikes in Syria.

From GERMANY  Turkish security forces killed at least 70 Kurdish PKK members in SE Turkey, and the next day demonstrators were attacked in Istanbul. Ukraine is not going to pay Russia $3 billion for a bond due this week. The EU is extending sanctions against Russia for another 6 months. The UN says that the wars in Syria have killed 10,000 children. France wants to change the constitution to allow emergency declarations to deport suspected terrorists.

From CUBA  Ecuadorian President Correa is trying to stop Occidental oil from suing his country. Mexico has approved the first reparations for one of the 43 students disappeared last year in Guerrero state. Israeli forces fired artillery into Lebanon the day after delivering a targeted assassination in Syria. The UN has criticized Saudi Arabia for disproportionate attacks on civilians in Yemen. At least 4 people were killed in Yemen by a US drone strike.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi brought back journalist/filmmaker John Pilger. They discussed the news blackout about the war in Yemen, whether Russia will be the main enemy of London and Washington in 2016, and why China is getting so much heat for 4 airstrips in the South China Sea while the US has 800 foreign military bases. most of them forming a circle around China.

""Many journalists now are no more than channelers and echoers of what George Orwell called the 'official truth'. They simply cipher and transmit lies. It really grieves me that so many of my fellow journalists can be so manipulated that they become really what the French describe as 'functionaires', functionaries, not journalists. Many journalists become very defensive when you suggest to them that they are anything but impartial and objective. The problem with those words 'impartiality' and 'objectivity' is that they have lost their dictionary meaning. They've been taken over... they now mean the establishment point of view. Journalists don't sit down and think, 'I'm now going to speak for the establishment.' Of course not. But they internalise a whole set of assumptions, and one of the most potent assumptions is that the world should be seen in terms of its usefulness to the West, not humanity." --John Pilger

PROGRAM NOTES 18dec15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL.

From GERMANY  German Chancellor Merkel called for unity across the European Union. The EU has proposed new border patrols and a coast guard. Germany refused a US request for enhanced military engagement against IS militants. Thousands of Iraqis protested Turkish troops and tanks in their country. The Turkish army is deploying 10,000 troops to put down Kurdish militants in the country's southeast.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevarnadze interviewed former CIA military officer Philip Giraldi about Turkey- was the downing of the Russian jet fighter intentional, and what is their relationship with the so-called Islamic State?

From CUBA  Russia says one of its warships was forced to fire warning shots at a Turkish boat in the Aegean Sea. Bolivian President Evo Morales say that opposition parties are carrying out a dirty war against him. In France the far-right lost secondary elections last weekend, primarily because the rival Socialist Party withdrew its candidates and urged their supporters to vote for the Conservative candidates. The UN strongly denounced the Israeli military for excessive use of force to curb the Palestinian uprising in occupied lands.

From JAPAN  The operators of the Fukushima nuclear plant say that excessive heat May have caused internal components to melt. 3 mayors in northeastern Japan decided against allowing nuclear waste from the Fukushima meltdown to be stored in their districts. The death toll from the US bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan rose to 42. The Obama administration has announced the sale of $1.8 billion in weapons to Taiwan, knowing that it would trigger strong opposition from mainland China.

From CHINA  China as expected urged the US to stop selling weapons to Taiwan. The Presidents of China and the US had phone conversations in a positive followup to the Climate Conference in Paris. The Chinese President urged his country to take a lead in the development of internet use, and accepted partnerships with Russia in online businesses. US chemical giants Dupont and Dow have agreed to merge and then create 3 separate divisions. Russian President Putin said the economy is stabilizing in his annual press conference.

"We are beckoned to see the world through a one-way mirror, as if we are threatened and innocent and the rest of humanity is threatening, or wretched, or expendable. Our memory is struggling to rescue the truth that human rights were not handed down as privileges from a parliament, or a boardroom, or an institution, but that peace is only possible with justice and with information that gives us the power to act justly." --John Pilger

PROGRAM NOTES 11dec15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  Levels of radioactivity in underground tunnels at the Fukushima nuclear power plants are 4000 times greater than they were a year ago. Japan is in talks with India to export nuclear power plant technology. Syrian President Assad has criticized British airstrikes in his country and accused the US of bombing Syrian army troops.

From GERMANY  Iraq is angry at Turkey for sending troops into the country without permission. The Turkish Prime Minister has accused Russia of carrying out ethnic cleansing by targeting Turkmen and Sunni Muslim populations in Syria. As of press time for this show, nothing but draft proposals had been presented at the Climate Change Conference in Paris. The Chinese President has pledged $60 billion in assistance and loans for African countries.

From CHINA  Beijing had extreme levels of smog this week despite limits on cars and factories. China has removed over a million high pollution vehicles this year, and electric car sales in China will surpass sales in the US. China is implementing free trade agreements with South Korea and Australia. Kentucky Fried Chicken will be available in Tibet next month.

From CUBA  Israel used jet fighters to attack GazaIsraeli troops shot and killed 2 Palestinians in the West Bank, and an Israeli newspaper revealed US donors supporting illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Then A Viewpoint about the shift to the right in recent Latin American elections.

From SPAIN  Press reviews on the parliamentary elections in Venezuela, and the rise of the far-right in elections in France.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Antony Loewenstein author of Disaster Capitalism.

"Free speech is meaningless if the commercial cacophany has risen to the point where no one can hear you."
--Naomi Klein

PROGRAM NOTES 04dec15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO,

From GERMANY  The German government has decided to send troops and war equipment to join in the war in Syria. The British parliament voted to join in airstrikes in Syria, and the bombing raids have begun. A prominent Kurdish lawyer and activist was publicly assassinated in Turkey greatly increasing tensions between Kurds and Turkey.

From JAPAN  A Japanese ship is traveling the Pacific and Antarctic oceans to survey micro-plastics. Other Japanese ships have headed to the Antarctic to harvest whales despite protests from Australia, New Zealand, and Sea Shepherd activists. Russia shows photos accusing Turkey of delivering weapons and buying oil from Islamic State militants in Syria.

From SPAIN  A report on the political and social climate in Lebanon, where a terrorist attack occurred the day before the Paris attacks. Then a report on global protests before the start of the UN Climate Summit in Paris.

From CUBA  More details about climate protests held in 2400 places before the start of the Paris Summit. Then summaries of what Ecuador's President Correa and Bolivia's President Evo Morales said at the opening of the Climate Summit.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Nick Dearden, director of the NGO Global Justice Now. They talked about the corporate influence on the Paris Climate Summit, the relationship of austerity measures to climate degradation, and the banning of protests in Paris during the crucial talks.

"We journalists... have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country... That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home... In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us... Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power." --John Pilger

PROGRAM NOTES 27nov15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA.SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO,

From JAPAN  The Japanese Defense Force and the US Pacific Command have agreed to boost cooperation patrolling the South China Sea. Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighting ISIL troops in Syria near the Turkish border. The day after Turkey shot down the Russian jet, the European Commission gave Turkey $3 billion in aid to stem the flow of refugees hoping to reach Europe.

From GERMANY  Russia has deployed its most high tech air defense system to its base in Syria in response to the Turkish attack. German Chancellor Merkel pledged to help France in the fight with ISIL, though the German pacifist constitution limit their troops to so-called peacekeeping actions. Google is receiving hundreds of thousands of requests to be removed from the search engine under the EU "Right To Be Forgotten" rule.

From CUBA  The presidential election in Argentina was won by a conservative, Mauricio Marci, who many think will reestablish neo-liberalism in the country. Venezuelan President Maduro alleged that the dramatic drop in oil prices is part of an economic war against countries like his and Russia. Israel announced plans to further relocate Bedouin tribes so they can build 5 new towns in the Negev desert.

From SPAIN  The New York Times ran an article about Spanish media, including Spanish National Radio, being squeezed by the government of President Rajoy and his so-called Public Security Law. El Pais reported that France has also asked Spain to deploy troops to Mali to replace French troops. El Mundo wrote that the allied forces against ISIL, France, England, the US, and Russia, are reminiscent of the allied troops who defeated the Nazis in WW2.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed John Pilger, famed journalist for the Australian and British broadcast companies. They spoke about the origin of ISIL, the terrible events in Paris, and how the media is beating the drums for the wars in Syria and beyond.

"During the Cold War, a group of Russian journalists toured the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by their hosts for their impressions. 'I have to tell you,' said their spokesman, 'that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV, that all the opinions on all the vital issues were by and large, the same. To get that result in our country, we imprison people, we tear out their fingernails. Here, you don't have that. What's the secret? How do you do it?'" --John Pilger

PROGRAM NOTES 20nov15

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From SPAIN  Certainly the primary story on international media was the Paris attacks. We will start with a description of the events and the recognition that rather than refugees, the attackers were EU citizens. A few days before the attacks Patrick Cockburn, a journalist who reports from Syria, published an analysis "Too Weak, Too Strong." It is about the power rivalries in Syria, both domestic and foreign.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi points out that the atrocities in Paris were not the worst terror acts in France since WW2, as the media keeps restating.

From GERMANY  In light of the Paris attacks, Poland will not accept relocated refugees. Just before the attacks the US military announced that the had done a targeted drone assassination of Jihadi John, and then Abu Nabil, Islamic State leaders. Boko Haram continues to perpetrate massacres in Nigeria. Worldwide, October set new high temperature records. Russian investigators say they have proof that a bomb caused a passenger jet to crash over the Sinai peninsula, killing 224 people.

From JAPAN  The Islamic State released a photo of a bomb it says caused the Russian passenger jet to crash. International computer hackers calling themselves "Anonymous" vows cyber-attacks against Islamic State. In Okinawa a thousand people sat in protesting the building of a new US military base on reclaimed coastline. Obama warned China to cease reclaiming land in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

From CUBA  A Viewpoint on the public release of the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership. It is massive, written in legalese, primarily by corporate lawyers. One aspect of the TPP is the ability of corporations to sue governments if laws interfere with their profits.

"Terrorism doesn't just blow up buildings: it blasts every other issue off the political map. The specter of terrorism- real and exaggerated- has become a shield of impunity, protecting governments around the world from scrutiny for their human rights abuses." -- Naomi Klein

PROGRAM NOTES 13nov15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY   Amnesty International reports that executions in Saudi Arabia are at the highest number in 20 years with most carried out by beheading. Thousands of right-wing activists marched against refugee policies in Berlin. The EU met to discuss the refugee crisis, and the European Commission has offered 2 billion Euros in aid to African countries to keep asylum seekers at home. Sweden and Slovenia tigthened their borders from refugees. The EU published guidelines banning the made is Israel label from products made in occupied territories. The Ukrainian military has withdrawn light weapons from the eastern frontline with pro-Russian rebels.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews Jenny Bates from Friends of the Earth about the health impact of the false car emission reports, primarily by Volkswagen.

From CUBA  Critics of the TransPacific Partnership say that the people of Mexico will be much worse off because of the accord. Bolivian farmers are being hard hit by an excess of quinoa and a decline in prices. According to the UN, indigenous people in Honduras are being moved off their land and subjected to human rights abuses. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has urged the US to close the Guantanamo prison. The regional parliament in Catalonia met to set up a roadmap for independence from Spain.

From CHINA  The leaders of China and Taiwan held a historic meeting last week, the first since 1949- their closed door meeting was to improve relations without Western influence. Australia and China made advances on a free trade agreement. China and the US did a first ever joint naval drill in the Atlantic Ocean. The Chinese government refuted a speech by the US defense secretary accusing China of of creating problems in international order. British PM Cameron launched his bid to renegotiate the UK membership in the EU.

From JAPAN  The development of a new relocated US military base in Okinawa continues as does protests against it. The Myanmar opposition leader party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, was victorious in last weekend's election. Russian President Putin says he will modernize nuclear weapon capabilities to counter US missile defense programs in Asia and Europe.

"War is not the only arena where peace is done to death. Wherever suffering is ignored, there will be the seeds of conflict, for suffering degrades and embitters

PROGRAM NOTES 06nov15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From JAPAN  In Canada Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Prime Minister, chose a cabinet equally divided between men and women, and will review the Canadian acceptance of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The US government plans to continue the provocative act of sending warships into areas of the South China Sea that China considers territorial waters. China blames the US for the failure of ASEAN members to adopt a joint declaration.

From GERMANY  It was revealed that more VW vehicles shipped to the US employ software to alter pollution levels when tested. An update on the refugee crisis, where Germany has erected so-called transit zones along borders, criticized as resembling prisons. Amnesty International accused Shell Oil of lying about cleaning up oil spills in Nigeria. Two reports on the election in Turkey which saw the ruling party win with 49%- there were fights between police and Kurdish voters who questioned the election results. Elections observers say the voting was held in a climate of fear with journalists being monitored.

From SPAIN  A more in-depth report on the Turkish elections, which resulted in President Erdogan maintaining his authoritarian rule. Critics fear that he will expand executive orders and continue the pre-election crack down on activists and any media which questioned his tactics. There are questions that German Chancellor Merkel backed Erdogan to ensure entrance into the EU and to help in keeping refugees from reaching northern Europe.

From CUBA  400 young activists in Ecuador met to discuss environmental issues and make proposals to counteract climate change. A Mexican group called the Pagan Sect Of The Mountain bombed several empty buses near Mexico City to protest the destruction of nature. In Latin America 1 out of every 3 media workers murdered occurred in Mexico. Cuba presented a draft resolution at the UN calling for a global fight against the use of mercenaries. Over 2600 Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli forces in October. Then a Viewpoint on the importance of the second round of the Argentinian Presidential elections- it says that outside forces are trying to unseat the current Leftist leaders with candidates who accept neo-liberalism throughout Latin America.

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." --Abraham Lincoln

PROGRAM NOTES 30oct15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  Two updates on the refugee crisis- Over the weekend EU and leaders from Balkan states agreed to create reception and housing centers in the south of Europe. Then on Wednesday Austria announced it will erect border barriers while thousands more refugees attempt entry daily. The US Defense Secretary Carter says the US will step up airstrikes and consider ground troops in Syria. Iran will attend international talks on the Syrian conflict for the first time.

From JAPAN  In Okinawa work began on the new US military base despite protests by the Governor and citizens. Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force is conducting military drills with the US Navy in the South China Sea. The US and Indonesia agreed to build up maritime and military cooperation.

From CHINA We will start with several reports on the US warship patrolling in what China considers territorial waters. China is sending relief teams to areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan rocked by an earthquake. Several stories about the Chinese President's visit to the UK. China is developing working relationships with Denmark, the Netherlands, and other members of the EU. The Chinese UN representative called on the US to end its economic blockade of Cuba just before the vote on a resolution passed unanimously except by the US and Israel.

From CUBA  More on the UN resolution to end the US economic blockade of Cuba. Guatemalans elected a new president who says he will try to end corruption. A US Federal Court rejected an ACLU lawsuit against NSA spying on private citizens. Several reports on the worsening violence in Palestine and Israel, including Israel being censured by Amnesty International for using intentional lethal force without justification.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews Lord Morris, Tony Blair's former Attorney General, about Blair's appearance on CNN last week. Blair discussed the lead up to and justification for the Iraq war.

"Satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and it died a second time the day that Tony Blair was appointed Special Envoy for the Middle East." --Ken Loach

PROGRAM NOTES 23oct15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  For the 22nd year in a row, Japan submitted a draft resolution at the UN calling for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. China expressed worry that Japan might use the 47 tons of plutonium it is storing to produce nuclear weapons. Japan will provide compensation for 13 workers who developed cancer after working at nuclear power plants. Protests continue against the new Japanese Security Bills allowing the military to engage in collective self-defense. The US Navy has added another destroyer to the fleet cruising Asian waters. NATO is conducting its largest military exercise in 13 years in Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

From CHINA  Palestinian President Abbas called on the UN for a peace keeping force in his country. Several stories about Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the UK which resulted in many large economic deals, including building a nuclear power plant. Chinese officials criticized Japanese PM Abe for making an offering at the Yasukuni shrine honoring war criminals.

From GERMANY  130 developing nations accused rich ones of sidelining their interests at negotiations in preparation for the Paris UN Climate Conference. German Chancellor Merkel supports Turkey's bid for EU membership in exchange for aid in stemming the flow of refugees to Europe. French far-right politician Marine LePen is in court on charges of inciting racial hatred. At least 15,000 anti-Islamist Pegida members rallied in Dresden against the German government stance on allowing refugees asylum. Canada's incoming President Trudeau will end the country's participation in bombing IS forces. A lawsuit has been filed by relatives of a 19 year old Turkish-American killed in 2010 by Israeli commandos while trying to deliver aid to Palestinians.

From SPAIN  John Kerry was in Madrid this week making military deals and discussing conflicts in the Middle East. 50 years ago 4 American nuclear bombs were dropped on Spain in a plane crash. One of Kerry's tasks was to agree to take responsibility for the clean up of the contaminated area in exchange for more US military presence in the country. Kerry also spoke against the proposal by France to create a peace keeping force to reduce violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex." --Frank Zappa

PROGRAM NOTES 16oct15

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From SPAIN  Since 1987, Spain has celebrated the anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the Americas as Dia de la Hispanidad or National Day. Here is a press review of the day.

From JAPAN  The governor of Okinawa revoked permits for the relocation of a US military base. The Sendai nuclear power plant has started up its second reactor. A peace rally in Ankara, Turkey was attacked by 2 suicide bombs, leaving 97 dead and hundreds injured. Anti-government protests followed, along with a crackdown on any protests or critical media. Russian President Putin denounced the US delivery of tons of weapons to rebels in Syria. A Swiss based international organization is offering to investigate why the US bombed an occupied hospital in Afghanistan staffed by Doctors Without Borders. Japanese farmers are worried about their fate if the TransPacific Partnership is implemented.

From GERMANY  Hundreds of thousands of Germans took to the streets to protest the free trade agreement between the US and the EU, called the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. Two stories about the refugee crisis, with Germany controlling its borders and the Parliament to vote on new asylum laws. Then a series of stories on the rapidly increasing violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The Taliban say they are leaving Kunduz in Afghanistan. International investigators determined that flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian made missile but not who fired it.

From RUSSIA  A press review on the MH17 news reports, and the story that a Russian jet had been shot down over Turkey which later proved to be false propaganda.

From CUBA  A report on the Second People's Summit on Climate Change held in Bolivia. Venezuelan President Maduro has denounced right-wing attacks on the electrical substations and cultural events. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff accused opponents of plotting a coup. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced the start of a possible new Constitution.

"We had 10 years after the Cold War to build a new world order and yet we squandered them. The United States cannot tolerate anyone acting independently. Every US president has to have a war."
--Mikhail Gorbachev

PROGRAM NOTES 09oct15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From GERMANY  Edward Snowden has praised the European Court of Justice for invalidating a 15 year old pact allowing US access to Europeans computer data. In some parts of Germany refugees are being attacked and dozens of shelters have been burned. German Chancellor Merkel has ruled out limitations on the number of refugees entering Germany. Last Sunday Syrian President Assad gave his backing for Russian airstrikes on militant groups, and accused Western nations of fueling terrorism by backing rebel groups. By Wednesday Syrian ground troops had launched a major offensive against the rebels.

From SPAIN  An in-depth report on the war in Syria, questioning what is at stake, why did the so-called Islamic State grow while the US was bombing their strongholds, what is Russia hoping to accomplish, and why is the American and European media perpetuating misinformation. Then, why are Doctors Without Borders calling the US attack on their hospital a war crime?

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews Paul Craig-Roberts on why every US and NATO backed attack in the Middle East has ended in failure and chaos, creating the current refugee crisis. Roberts asserts that the Russian intervention in Syria is the beginning of the end of US military hegemony, and that European nations will soon cease to be vassals of the US empire.

From CUBA  A Viewpoint on the media response to the Leap Manifesto in Canada. The manifesto is a declaration by prominent citizens calling for rapid reduction in the use of fossil fuels, respect for indigenous rights, debating a guaranteed annual income, and taking back public control of energy systems.

"The bottom line is that we are all inclined to denial when the truth is too costly- whether emotionally, intellectually, or financially. As Upton Sinclair famously observed: 'It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!'" --Naomi Klein

PROGRAM NOTES 02oct15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The Japanese Foreign Minister wants to implement the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to prohibit all nuclear weapons testing- the US and China have failed to ratify the treaty. The Japanese Defense Minister wants to prepare troops for possible deployment under the new Security legislation. Russian President Putin said the US policy in Syria has been a complete failure. Syria has called on other countries to join the Russian-Syrian coalition to fight the terrorist groups in the country.

From SPAIN  A report on the regional elections in Catalonia where 77% of the people voted. The poll, seen by many as a step toward independence from Spain, gave the separatists a majority in Parliament. Press reviews of the election from Spain are compared to international reporting.

From CUBA  At the UN General Assembly leaders from Argentina, Bolivia, and Ecuador addressed Latin American and global concerns. Palestinian President Abbas wrote that Israel is attempting to finish destroying his country. The UN confirmed that over 130 people, mostly civilians were killed by Saudi airstrikes at a wedding party in Yemen.

From GERMANY  Saudi leaders threatened Syrian President Assad with military strikes if he refuses to leave his office. France began airstrikes in Syria. German Chancellor Merkel rejected a Turkish offer to create a safe zone for Syrian refugees. Merkel joined leaders from Brazil, India, and Japan in calling for changes in the UN Security Council. VW has been given a deadline to present a solution to the emission problems in their cars. Thousand rallied in Mexico City on the one year anniversary of the 43 students being disappeared.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Mike Gonzalez, co-author of "The Last Drop- The Politics Of Water." The privatization and commercialization of water is creating several global crises, fueled by corporate greed.

"Water is the driving force of all nature." --Leonardo da Vinci

PROGRAM NOTES 25sep15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From GERMANY  The Chief Executive of VW resigned in the wake of the emissions scandal he claimed to know nothing about. Alexis Tsipras was sworn in for the second time as Prime Minister of Greece. John Kerry wants Syrian allies to persuade President Assad to quit. The next day US trained rebels crossed into Syria. The EU will provide an additional 1 billion Euros for Syrian refugees in the Middle East. 2 French warships built for Russia are going to Egypt instead.

From RUSSIA  The US plans to place 20 more nuclear weapons in Germany, which many consider a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Around 200 US nuclear warheads remain in Europe.

From JAPAN  Last Monday was the International Day of Peace and there were large demonstrations in Japan against the new anti-pacifist Security Bills. 2 days later there were more protests in Tokyo against the Security Bills and the restarting of a nuclear power plant. At the UN the governor of Okinawa has called for international support for his opposition to the planned new US military base in his prefecture.

From CUBA  At the UN the US may abstain from voting in the annual Cuban resolution against the US economic blockade of the island. The Colombian government may have reached a peace agreement with FARC rebels. A Viewpoint on last month's protests in the streets of Brazil- the anti-government protests got large international coverage, but the much larger pro-government demonstrations that followed were under reported.

From SPAIN  This Sunday, September 27 the Spanish region of Catalonia will vote for officials, but will also be making a statement about independence from the rest of Spain. Left and right parties have joined into a single secessionist platform called "Together For Yes." The elections will be a de facto referendum on independence despite federal opposition to the separation.

"Man proposes; nature disposes. We are seldom more vulnerable than when we feel insulated." --George Monbiot

PROGRAM NOTES 18sep15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The upper house of the Japanese Diet approved a set of Security Bills, while daily demonstrations continued outside. Foliage and soil contaminated with radiation washed into a river in Fukushima prefecture. The WorldWide Fund for Nature released a new study showing a 49% decline in marine species between 1970 and 2012. Following a party vote, Australian PM Tony Abbott gave up his post to Malcolm Turnbull, who is seen by most as a far more liberal politician.

From SPAIN  While the press has been reporting on the refugee crisis in Europe, they have failed to discuss the geopolitical cause of the huge migrations. And they do not cover how the international arms industry sees the Middle East as a growth market.

From GERMAN  Four chronological reports on the refugee crisis in Europe- Saturday saw open arms in Germany that closed a bit with border controls on Sunday; On Monday there was a indecisive summit in Brussels, and by Wednesday Hungarian police were beating refugees back at the Serbian border. A new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine held for over a week, followed by Ukraine expanding sanctions against Russian companies, lawmakers, and journalists. Russia made a direct offer to John Kerry to discuss with the US the apparent Russian military buildup in Syria. Turkish counter-terrorist police raided a news agency for printing a photo of the President.

From RUSSIA  We will conclude with Sputnik Radio. Afshin Rattansi interviews US journalist Chase Madar about human rights leaders and organizations becoming weaponized- that is, supporting warfare, especially targeted assassinations by drone strikes, if human rights might be improved by regime change.

"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group know what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses." --Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, 1933

PROGRAM NOTES 11sep15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  There was a reportedly small protest outside the Sendai nuclear power plant that has begun commercial generation. Ground water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant will be discharged into the Pacific Ocean. The joint military operation between Japanese defense forces and the US military continue along the California coast. Chinese patrol ships entered into waters claimed by the Japanese in the South China Sea. The UN reports that nearly 8000 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine. Following the killing of Turkish soldiers, the Turkish government conducted bombing raids and ground attacks on Kurdish rebels in Iraq.

From CUBA  A human rights group released a final report on the disappearance of 43 Mexican students last September. Venezuelan President Maduro announced his country will accept 20,000 Syrian refugees. Some Palestinians detained in Israel prisons are continuing hunger strikes, while there was a huge funeral procession in the West Bank. The UK Defense Secretary said that London would not hesitate to carry out more secret targeted assassinations on British militants in Syria. Saudi airstrikes in Yemen destroyed an orphanage and a university.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi spoke with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, discussing his new book "The Wikileaks Files." Topics included why academia has censored the book, the publishing of the military's Unconventional Warfare manual, and whether he thinks charges against him, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden will ever be dropped.

From SPAIN  It begins with Spanish news coverage of the European reception of refugees. Some media suggests that a conclusive war in Syria is the only solution, Spain suggests negotiating with Assad while France and the UK join in the warfare. Arguments continue over quotas for accepting refugees, and journalist Rafael Poch suggests that the German generosity is not what it appears to be.

"We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace." --Michael Franti

PROGRAM NOTES 04sep15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  The restarted Sendai nuclear power plant has been raised to full capacity as testing continues. In a new report he IAEA says a major factor in the Fukushima disaster was a widespread belief that nuclear power plants are safe. Japanese Self-Defense forces are engaged with US military in war games along the coast of California. China held a parade commemorating the end of WWII but the US, Canada, Britain, and Japan refused to attend.

From CHINA  Reports on the Chinese victory parade, including the reduction in Chinese military forces. 120,000 people demonstrated in Tokyo against the new Security bill which would allow Japanese military to be an offensive force. The Chinese government is calling for better treatment of vagrants and beggars.

From RUSSIA  In light of the escalating migrant crisis, UK PM Cameron has called for peace in Syria. What is the difference between a refugee and a migrant?

From GERMANY  German Chancellor Merkel says the flow of migrants is testing the EU core ideals. Turkish police detained 2 British journalists and raided media houses. The 3 year jail sentences for al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt have been condemned. There were major riots in Kiev after the Ukrainian Parliament voted to give some autonomy to the pro-Russian eastern regions.

From CUBA  Argentina received a favorable ruling in the case of vulture funds in a US court. Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela continue, and former Brazilian President Lula deSilva announced he will run in the next election. Police brutally repressed anti-corruption demonstrators in Honduras, while police in Turkey beat down citizens protesting the war on the Kurdish political party. The US military has deployed more drones in eastern Europe. Saudi bombing raids continue to kill scores of Yemeni civilians.

From SPAIN  On September 27 Catalonia will have elections which may result in a move to become independent of Spain. The federal government is attempting to amend the constitution to make any such move a punishable crime.

"No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark." --Warsan Shire, "Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth"

PROGRAM NOTES 28aug15

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From SPAIN  First, European governments are overwhelmed with the biggest migratory crisis since WW2. Then there have been racist attacks on migrants in Germany. Finally several perspectives on fear of Jihadists in Spain, escalated by the attempted attack on a train from Amsterdam to Paris.

From GERMANY  There were riots with migrants breaking through the Macedonian border with Greece. Then there were several days of right-wing attacks on migrant shelters and police in Germany. Politicians including President Merkel have tried to calm the situation, but much tension and the threats of more violence remain. In western Nepal indigenous demonstrators wielding spears killed 8 in protest of a new constitution and borders.

From JAPAN  There is a UN Conference on Nuclear Disarmament underway in Hiroshima , hoping to create a world freed from nuclear weapons. University groups in Japan are organizing to pressure the government to scrap the new National Security Bills, which would end state pacifism. The Sendai nuclear power plant which restarted last week has developed some leaking pipes, requiring a stall in bringing it up to full power. The Thai government publicly destroyed confiscated elephant ivory- new laws require citizens to register their ivory items- 30,000 elephants a year are killed for their tusks, primarily in Africa.

From CUBA  There is much political upheaval in Guatemala but President Molina says he will stay in power despite widespread calls for his resignation. Venezuelan President Maduro declared a 60 day "state of exception" last Friday, following Colombian paramilitary attacks at the border. Thousands of Palestinians affiliated with a UN educational agency took to the streets over financial cutbacks. 80,000 UK citizens have signed a petition for the arrest of Israeli President Netanyahu during his upcoming visit. Then a Viewpoint on the growing trend of austerity measures in counties around the world- Canada is used as a model of who these measures serve, and who they harm.

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." --Edward Abbey

PROGRAM NOTES 21aug15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO

From GERMANY  Finance Ministers from the Eurozone approved the latest round of bailout funds for Greece. The German government increased its estimate of asylum seekers this year to 800,000, many coming from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. There was a large bomb set off in Cairo, Egypt, just days after President Sisi ratified new laws restricting the media. In Brazil there were huge rallies calling for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

From CUBA  In Brazil, supporters of President Rousseff have accused the right-wing of creating the impeachment rallies, and called for pro-Rousseff rallies beginning on Thursday. In Mexico human rights activists have been denied access to interview military soldiers who may have witnessed the disappearance of the 43 students last year. A Viewpoint Guantanamo prison which Cuba views as an illegal occupation of its territory- despite the opening of the US embassy in Havana, there are many issues unresolved between the two countries. More than 250 Palestinians being held in an Israeli prison have begun an open-ended hunger strike. NATO has launched massive military drills across Europe, the largest drill since the end of the Cold War.

From JAPAN  Japanese defense forces have requested a record high budget for the next year, over $40billion. There is a continued warning of a volcanic eruption in southwestern Japan. A record number of Japanese were taken to hospital for heat stroke in July. Following the start up of a nuclear power plant last week in Japan, nuclear regulators are inspecting a second reactor for possible restart in November.Japan has filed a complaint with the WTO to force S Korea to drop its ban on fish products from 8 prefectures- the Koreans fear nuclear contamination from the Fukushima disaster. More on the new law in Egypt restricting media reports which contradict the government official accounts.

From SPAIN  Spain has begun enforcing its so-called "Citizens Safety Law," better known as the "Gag Law." The law puts fines on protestors and critics of the police. Then the story of Chelsea Manning who remains in prison, and the dropping of charges against Julian Assange who remains in the Ecuadorian embassy in England.

"The aim of Wikileaks is to achieve just reform around the world and do it through the mechanism of transparency. We in the West have deluded ourselves into believing that we actually have a truly free press. We don't. And we can see that in the difference between what Wikileaks does and what the rest of the press does." --Julian Assange

PROGRAM NOTES 14aug15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA

From JAPAN  3 reports from the startup of the Sendai nuclear power plant in southwest Japan- despite protests one of the reactors was started in a test phase, with commercial operation expected in September. The Fukushima Fisheries Federation conditionally agreed to allow discharges of underground water from the reactors into the Pacific Ocean, as long as rumors of contamination were made illegal.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevarnadze interviewed Mikhail Gorbachev about why the Cold War is being reheated, and why the US chooses to increase the risk of a nuclear war. Complete interview- http://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/215851-gorbachev-us-ukraine-war/

From GERMANY  3 stories about Turkey- on Saturday the US sent jet fighters and troops to a Turkish base to bomb Syria. The US Consulate in Istanbul was attacked on Monday, as was a police station. The Turkish President Erdogan vowed not to back down from his military campaign against Kurdish militants. The EU approved 2.4 billion Euros to help countries cope with the migrant crisis- 124,000 migrants have reached the shore in Europe so far this year.

From SPAIN  A Spanish press review covering special treatment for Catalan, several stories about migration, and the 70th anniversary of the US dropping atomic bombs on Nagasaki.

From CUBA  The EU Foreign Minister said that migrants pose a threat to Europe and must be sent home, and migrant tensions flare on a Greek island. At a meeting of ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, calls were made for Latin American unification- Venezuelan President Maduro accused 2 US intelligence agents of promoting violence in the country. There was more violence in Mexico. The Saudi bombing raids on Yemen continue to kill civilians, with no let up in sight.

"I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. Look at the sun. If there is no sun, then we cannot exist. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals." --Mikhail Gorbachev, 1997

PROGRAM NOTES 08/07/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From GERMANY  In Germany, 2 internet journalists were investigated for treason- this led to demonstrations for a free press, and the dismissal of the Chief Prosecutor. The Greek stock market started the week off falling 30% before trading was halted, and Syriza party members vowed to reject Greek austerity measures.

From CUBA  The United Nations Economic Commission said that the economic blockade of Cuba has cost the country $117 billion in profit. Over a hundred journalists have been killed in Mexico in the past 15 years. Bolivia has declared August 2 as "Anti-Imperialism Day," and the government of El Salvador called the gang-enforced transportation strike a failed attempt to destabilize the country. A US court has determined that Ecuador must pay $96 million in damages to Chevron Oil.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews British Minister Barry Gardner about Britain opening up public parks for fracking, and allowing the use of systemic pesticides banned by the EU because of damage to the bee population.

From JAPAN  Thursday August 6th was the 70th anniversary of the US dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima- ceremonies were held in the Peace Park including peace declarations, and demands to eliminate nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Abe called US VP Biden to investigate NSA spying of the Japanese government and businesses as reported by Wikileaks last week.

From SPAIN  The Spanish Security Council approved the use of a rural part of the country for the storage of nuclear waste. The regional government is attempting to block this development. The federal government is considering determining that the construction is essential to national public interest.

"How do we prevent Iran developing an atomic bomb, when, on the American side, dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not recognized as a war crime?" --Gunter Grass

PROGRAM NOTES 07/31/15

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From SPAIN  Here is an update on the independence movement in the Catalan region of Spain. Supporters will use the regional election in September to show that the citizens endorse a referendum ballot in 2016.

From JAPAN  Workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant will attempt to remove a fuel exchanger which is blocking progress on the clean up of 566 nuclear fuel rods from one unit. US government officials responded to Japanese complaints over creating national parks where the first nuclear bombs were developed. Japanese opposition leaders are joining with labor groups to try to scrap the new self-defense security policy- citizens are also protesting on the streets.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews John Hillary who opposes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. Many citizens in Europe fear allowing American businesses to preempt environmental and economic safeguards in the Eurozone.

From CUBA  70% of US citizens want the economic blockade against Cuba lifted, and some members of Congress introduced a bill Tuesday to accomplish this. The US State Department took Cuba off its blacklist of countries failing to combat modern slavery. Peruvian police destroyed villages around illegal mines in the jungle, while Uber taxis were attacked in Mexico City. Despite agreeing to a ceasefire, Saudi led bombings in Yemen killed 120 mostly civilians in one attack, bringing the death toll to nearly 4000 according to the World Health Organization.

From GERMANY  Turkey launched air and ground attacks in Syria and Iraq, hitting both Islamic State and Kurdish bases. Since the Kurdish PKK forces are fighting the IS forces many question the real aim of the Turkish government, which also allowed US forces to use their bases for attacks on IS. Then a report on a special session of the Turkish Parliament.

"The American people need to know the truth. The American people need to see the truth. In a democracy, letting the people know the truth is the essence of what it means to be free." --Barbara Boxer

PROGRAM NOTES 07/24/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  The Greek Parliament approved a second set of reforms Wednesday night. The German Economic Minister took a business delegation to Iran, eager to revive trade and mediate between Tehran and Israel. Every international station I listen to had a report on Sandra Bland, black activist said to have hung herself in a Texas jail. Pope Francis brought mayors from around the world to combat climate change and human trafficking.

From CHINA  A new version of a solar power tower is being erected in China. It seems that China is about to modify its family planning limitations. The UN general Assembly is close to an agreement on top development priorities for the next 15 years. China has voiced firm opposition to Japan's newly released Defense White Paper. China also says that Japan is "hyping" gas development in the East China Sea.

From JAPAN  A torch relay to abolish nuclear weapons has begun in Nagasaki. Japan is testing a system allowing citizens near nuclear power plants to check radiation in their area. French lawmakers approved a bill to reduce the country's reliance on nuclear power. Tibetan demonstrators stormed the Chinese Embassy in Australia to protest Chinese treatment of Tibetans.

From CUBA  In September there will be a protest in DC to demand the lifting of the economic blockade of Cuba and the return of Guantanamo Bay. The UN expressed concern over the pesticide contamination of a river in Guatemala,and a judge ordered the arrest of former army officers for the 1986 killing of a US protestor in Santiago. Palestinians and supporters are protesting Israeli demolition of a village in the West Bank, and civilians continue to be killed by Saudi airstrikes in Yemen.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews US academic Norman Finkelstein on Amnesty International's report on war crimes committed during the Israeli war with Gaza last summer. He gives evidence of the biased conclusions delivered by the usually respected organization.

"If the past has nothing to say to the present, history may go on sleeping undisturbed in the closet where the system keeps its old disguises." --Eduardo Galeano

 

PROGRAM NOTES 07/17/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  The lower house of the Japanese parliament has passed a package of bills which would allow for collective self-defense- this would formally change a pacifist constitution. Over 20,000 Japanese citizens took to the streets to protest the vote. The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed concern over a change in the Japanese military policy.

From CUBA  Cuba will build wind farms financed by foreign investors. In Mexico protected indigenous lands have been taken over for highway construction. Protestors in Guatemala demanded the resignation of the President. Bolivia donated a statue of a female guerrilla leader to Argentina to replace one of Christopher Columbus. Pope Francis visited Paraguay's poor and leaders from the LGBT community. In Ecuador a political headquarters was bombed. Over the weekend Saudi jets targeted a hospital in Yemen, bringing the death toll to between 3000 and 4500- on Tuesday Saudi jets did another 200 bombing raids across Yemen.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews Lord Nazir Ahmed for his perspective on the Iran deal, then on the news that Britain intends to vastly increase its use of military drones in countries where it has not declared war.

From GERMANY  President Obama and the Saudi king said there is an urgent need to end fighting in Yemen- Oxfam warns that 400,000 children are at risk of malnutrition. The Greek parliament voted to accept new Eurozone conditions, leading to fierce street battles with the populace that voted against the referendum. The British Interior Minister announced a plan to keep migrants out of her country, and Hungary is building a wall along the border with Serbia to keep migrants out. Obama and Putin congratulated each other on the Iran nuclear deal.

From SPAIN  The Iran nuclear deal reached a conclusion in Vienna and most of the world has declared it a great success. This piece details the agreement, talks about Israeli opposition to it, and the strenuous history between the US and Iran beginning in 1953.

"In the United States today, the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls, but foreign policy follows Machiavelli."
--Howard Zinn

PROGRAM NOTES 07/10/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From JAPAN  Nuclear fuel is being loaded into a power plant in Japan, in preparation for the first nuke on line since the Fukushima disaster- protests have begun locally and are expected to spread. President Obama and the head of the Communist party of Vietnam met at the White House to express joint opposition to Chinese activities in the South China Sea. Japan and the US resumed talks on the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact. At a BRICS summit this week, China and Russia agreed to deepen cooperation in economic and security matters.

From SPAIN  On July 1st the Spanish government put a controversial Public Safety Law into effect. Critics call it a "gag law" as it imposes large fines and arrests for most all forms of public protest, whether on the street or on the internet. The comparison to the repressive days of Franco have been made internationally.

From CUBA  In Colombia, FARC forces declared a unilateral ceasefire. In Mexico teachers took to the streets to oppose new education reforms. Wikileaks exposed more NSA spying on Brazilian leaders and politicians. Pope Francis is visiting several countries in South America- he issued another plea for action on climate change, saying that environmental degradation is taking the most severe toll on the poorest people on the planet. The Egyptian military says it killed 241 militants on the Sinai peninsula so far this month. 49 people died in Afghanistan from US drone assassinations. In Yemen in one day Saudi led airstrikes killed 200 people, including civilians.

From GERMANY  Two reports on the still unresolved situation in Greece- the anti-austerity referendum was a landslide, the IMF wants the Greek debt restructured. The talks on Iranian nuclear development were extended for another week. The Afghan President sent a delegation to Pakistan to meet with Taliban leaders about a peace deal. President Obama vowed to intensify attacks on the so-called Islamic State forces. On Monday Saudi-led airstrikes killed another 40, mostly civilians. Amnesty International accused Balkan countries of mistreating migrants heading to the EU. Tunisia, where the so-called Arab Spring began, has declared a 30 day state of emergency following the attack last week on tourists. More Wikileaks documents have been released showing NSA spying on the German Presidential aides and other officials.

"A totalitarian state will harmonize in Spain the operation of all the capabilities and energy in the country, that inside the National Unity, the work esteemed as the most unavoidable must be the only exponent of the people's will."
--Francisco Franco, 1939

PROGRAM NOTES 07/03/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  The solar powered airplane, Solar Impulse 2, is making a second attempt to fly from Japan to Hawaii. Wikileaks released new records of US spying on numerous German ministers. Greece missed the deadline for a debt repayment and will have a popular referendum on Sunday to decide what to do. A flotilla of aid and supporters headed for Gaza has been intercepted by the Israeli Navy in international waters. The death toll of the war in Yemen continues to rise, including many civilians. Human Rights Watch has reported that some Saudi led airstrikes in Yemen constitute war crimes.

From CUBA  Cuba and the US will restore diplomatic relations and open embassies in each others countries. Cuba demands that the US leave Guantanamo Bay and lift the economic blockade that has gone on for over 50 years. In Mexico City there was a vigil for the 43 disappeared students. Ecuadorian President Correa has called for creation of an international environmental court. Pope Francis says he wants to chew some coca leaves on his visit to Bolivia. More details on the Gaza flotilla. There was another deadly US drone assassination in Afghanistan.

From RUSSIA  First a comparison of the slaughter of vacationers in Tunisia with the civilian deaths in drone attacks in Yemen and Afghanistan. Then an interview with an economic adviser in the Greek government following their failure to pay their debt to creditors. He points out that 92% of the bailout money in past years has never reached Greece, going instead to the IMF and other creditors.

From CHINA  The BRICS summit is coming up next week, and their new development bank will be operational in 30 days. Police in China arrested 8500 people for environmental crimes in 2014.

From JAPAN  Workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant have removed the highly radioactive water from one of the reactors. 50 countries signed a deal on the China proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China, the largest contributor to CO2 in the atmosphere, announced plans to increase solar and wind generation to reduce coal burning. The US Defense Department released a new national military strategy, the first since 2011.

"There was a huge lack of freedom in communist regimes, but at least they had humanity at the center of their thinking." --Alexis Tsipras

PROGRAM NOTES 06/26/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  At annual shareholders meetings, proposals to scrap Japanese nuclear power plants were rejected at 9 power utilities across the country. Japanese nuclear regulators have revised plans for providing medical services in the event of an accident at nuclear power plants. A Japanese telecom company is investing $16 billion in solar energy projects in India- the Indian government is financing a 30-fold increase in solar energy in the next 7 years.

From CHINA  China and the US concluded a two-day summit discussing climate change, cyber security, and conflicts in the South China Sea. China is opposed to the new US defense bill which invites Taiwan to join US military forces for drills in the South China Sea. Australia has been accepted as a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China pledged about $500 million to help rebuild Nepal in the wake of recent earthquakes. US car maker Tesla will establish charging networks in Chinese cities.

From GERMANY  NATO members met and announced troop and equipment upgrades in response to what they said were aggressive actions by Russia in Ukraine. Germany arrested then released an al-Jazeera journalist wanted for extradition by the Egyptian President Sisi. Wikileaks published a report that the NSA has been spying on French Presidents for the past 10 years. The EU is launching operations against networks of smugglers bringing migrants to Europe. Discussions between Greece and its creditors again came to no resolution.

From CUBA  Ecuadorian President Correa says that there is a right-wing plan underway to overthrow his government. A poll in Guatemala says that 84% of citizens want the President to resign because of corruption. Chile declared an environmental emergency because of air pollution. In Mexico a mayor-elect was assassinated. Venezuela is angry at US State Department accusations of terrorism. It is reported that 3 million Iraqis has become displaced since 2014.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Iraqi scholar Sami Ramadani on how genuine the war on terror against ISIL forces really is. Is the US using terrorists to create political divisions?

"Anyone who isn't confused really doesn't understand the situation." --Edward R Murrow

PROGRAM NOTES 06/19/15

This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Elena Polisano from Greenpeace about Arctic drilling by Shell Oil Company.

From GERMANY  Several reports on the Mediterranean immigration conflicts in Europe- there was no real resolution on the crisis from talks in Luxembourg. Talks between Greece, the European Commission, and debtors likewise continued in a circular motion- the threat of Greece leaving the EU and citizens undergoing catastrophic financial collapse looms large. The NYT reported that the US military is planning on sending weapons and war equipment to the Baltic states for future US troop use. Then Russian President Putin announced plans to deploy more nuclear missiles, which was condemned by NATO.

From CUBA  Peru has seen huge public protests against the President, largely caused by very low salaries. A Mexican judge seeking asylum in the US says the government forces did know what was happening to the 43 disappeared students in Gerrero.

From JAPAN  Protests were held in Tokyo against the national security bills being discussed by the government. An Insight on the perilous roadmap for decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear reactors, which is hoped to be completed in 30-40 years. A Swedish think tank made an assessment of the 15,850 known nuclear warheads on the planet. Hong Kong lawmakers rejected a Beijing backed election reform bill, which led to a long protest occupation last year.

From CHINA  China has urged Japan to take actions to gain the trust of its Asian neighbors. China and Australia signed a free trade agreement. North Korea test fired a new type of anti-ship rocket. China is planning to construct lighthouses and naval navigation stations in the South China Sea.

"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think." --Margaret Mead

PROGRAM NOTES 06/12/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From JAPAN  The US anti-whaling group, Sea Shepherd, has agreed to pay $2.5 million to Japanese so-called research whaling companies. The Japanese Defense Minister says that Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea could hinder US troop movements. At their meeting in Germany, leaders of the G-7 said they oppose changes to the status quo in the oceans. Russia says that a a group of 7 nations is too small to respond to global issues. The UN has not included Israel in latest blacklist of countries that violate children's rights in armed conflicts- 540 Palestinian children died in bombings by Israel last year.

From CHINA  China lambasted the G-7 for saying that China is responsible for tensions in the East and South China Seas. Japan and the Philippines will hold a military drill next week in the South China Sea. China is angry about the US hosting the head of the opposition party in Taiwan. Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is visiting the Chinese President and Premier.

From CUBA  3 reports on the midterm elections in Mexico last weekend. At least 7 more Afghanis were killed in targeted assassinations this week by US drones.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews the Russian Ambassador to the UK about the British Foreign Secretary suggesting stationing short range US nuclear missiles, Russian denials that they have military troops in Ukraine, Russian-British relations, and the new global banks. Then a spin report on the situation of drone victims and starving civilians in Yemen.

From GERMANY  2 reports on the G-7 summit including the 19,000 police keeping 4000 protestors at bay, and tougher sanctions against Russia. More than 6000 refugees were rescued off boats in the Mediterranean last weekend. 2 reports on negotiations between Greece and its creditors, which is facing another deadline soon. British lawmakers approved legislation for a referendum to pull out of the EU by 2017. Egyptian President Sisi has been condemned by Human Rights Watch for abusing the citizens.

"The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key." --Edward Abbey

PROGRAM NOTES 06/05/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  Last weekend more than 4000 migrants were rescued from boats heading to Europe in the Mediterranean Sea. Ukrainian President Poroshenko appointed the former Georgian President as Governor of the Odessa region. Intense fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine. The German Foreign Minister went to Israel and then Gaza to try and negotiate talks and see the level of destruction in Gaza. Greece and its international creditors tried to work out a deal on debt payments and cash loans, but at press time for this show no agreement had been reached.

From CUBA  The drought in Cuba continues, with Civil Defense stepping into action. Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberto Menchu will visit the Amazon region of Ecuador where Chevron Texaco explorations have caused permanent ecological damage. Venezuelan President Maduro identified the mastermind of the assassination of a young political figure last fall as an ally of former Colombian President Uribe. An eighth Congressional candidate in upcoming elections in Mexico has been assassinated- 42 electoral candidates across the country have been attacked in recent weeks. A trial has begun in Colombia against the former Intelligence Chief for the assassination of a left leaning Presidential candidate 25 years ago. In Pakistan, a new US targeted assassination by drone killed at least 4 people.

From JAPAN  The operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been censured for failing to admit the severity of recent radioactive leaks, the most serious leaks since monitoring began. Japan's fisheries minister hopes to force S Korea through the WTO to cease banning the import of seafood caught in the areas contaminated by Fukushima radiation leaks. The US government announced that sites used in the Manhattan Project, located in New Mexico, Washington, and Tennessee, will become a national historical park- the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are asking the US to show the precise damage caused by the atomic bombings in 1945.

From RUSSIA  An interview with Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers whistleblower. He discusses how the Senate used information revealed by Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning to allow the Patriot Act to expire.

"Which country is suffering from too much freedom of speech? Name it, is there one?" --Julian Assange

PROGRAM NOTES 05/29/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  Prime Minister Abe says his collective self-defense project is necessary because of developments in the South China Sea. Some Japanese citizens have protested against the new military stance. The new head of the US Pacific Command is resolved to act on what he sees as China's increased maritime activities. China has complained to the US over reconnaissance flights over islands China is developing in the South China Sea. More than 20,000 people affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster are demanding an apology and full compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company and the national government. Nepal has called on Japan to maintain aid in its recovery from the recent earthquakes. UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon called for postponing peace talks on Yemen. The EU has proposed that member countries accept 40,000 Syrian and Eritrean refugees who reach Italy, as well as other refugees - many EU members are opposed to forced acceptance. The ruling party in Spain lost many seats in regional elections last weekend to anti-austerity leftists.

From GERMANY  Voters in Poland elected a new right-wing president. Ireland voted to allow same-sex marriages, the first country to do so by popular vote. Ethiopia announced that its ruling party won elections with 85% of the populace casting ballots- human rights organizations consider the country extremely repressive. Amnesty International has criticized the German government for lack of a strategy to deal with growing racism. One of the rebel leaders in Ukraine was killed by a bomb and gunfire. Saudi-led bombing raids continue in Yemen despite calls for a ceasefire.

From CUBA  Thousands of Japanese held a rally in Tokyo protesting a proposed new US airbase on Okinawa. FARC rebels in Colombia said they were not interested in retaliation for a recent government airstrike that killed 26 rebels and called for a ceasefire- the next day a FARC commander was killed with 4 other rebels in a bomb attack. Peruvian police removed roadblocks and arrested protestors after the president declared martial law in the region- the protest is over a huge gold mining project. Mexican federal police killed 42 men in Michoacan they said were members of a new cartel- local citizens dispute the government story. The Greek Interior Minister says his country will not be able to pay the next installment to the IMF. The Israeli Air Force began striking the Gaza Strip while Hamas and Islamic Jihad deny launching rockets into Israel.

From RUSSIA  A brief commentary by Afshin Rattansi on the Queen reading new bills increasing the surveillance of citizens, banning strikes by trade unions, and scrapping the Human Rights Act.

"Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and powerful." --Edward Abbey

PROGRAM NOTES 05/22/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  Former Egyptian President Morsi has been sentenced to death along with 100 others. The next day 6 other Egyptians were hanged. Thousands of refugees from Myanmar are stranded in boats near Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, after being denied access to land. In the Mediterranean, German naval ships are rescuing refugees and then sinking the boats. The EU has decided to use military force against those transporting asylum seekers in the Mediterranean. The Hungarian Prime Minister described new EU plans to create asylum quotas for each country as "absurd, bordering on insanity." There is a Climate Change conference in Berlin this week.

From CUBA  Citizens in Ecuador set a new world record by planting almost 650,000 trees in a single day- the goal was to involve everyone in protecting the environment. There is an intense drought occurring in Cuba, affecting 1 million people. Agricultural workers in Baja California, Mexico are making less than $15 US for 12 hour shifts. In Michoacan Mexico the police are being investigated in the assassination of a mayoral candidate. Tens of thousands of Guatemalans are protesting in the streets, demanding that the President resign in the midst of a corruption scandal that has seen 22 government leaders arrested for corruption. Violence erupted in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians on Sunday. New charges of crimes committed by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians in April.

From CHINA  A series of daily reports on the situations in Nepal after the earthquakes- 760,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and the health care infrastructure is gone. China has suspended fishing in the South China Sea during the hot season to protect resources, and Vietnam is protesting the action. The Chinese Premier is visiting South America where he signed an agreement with Brazil on climate protection and renewable energy. New energy efficient cars and ships in China will be exempted from vehicle taxes. There are currently 23 working nuclear power plants in China, with another 29 being built or planned. Chinese authorities are concerned with the arrest of 6 Chinese nationals in the US accused of economic espionage. The former Thai PM has denied all corruption charges in her first court hearing and has been granted bail.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevardnadze interviews Srecko Horvat on immigration problems, austerity, and the evolving politics of the European Union. He is the author of the book "What Does Europe Want?" and says that the EU is exporting debt and walls around the world

"Satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and it died a second time the day that Tony Blair was appointed Special Envoy for the Middle East." --Ken Loach

PROGRAM NOTES 05/15/15

This weeks show features stories from CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From CHINA  China is seriously concerned about US plans to send military aircraft and ships to the South China Sea. Iran warned against targeting ships carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen in conjunction with the International Red Cross. China urged Japan to be cautious after the ruling coalition gave formal approval to expand the scope of operations of Japan's so-called "self-defense forces." China has decided to restart the construction of 27 new nuclear power plants.

From JAPAN  The planned restart of a Japanese nuclear power plant has been delayed for a short period. NHK polled Japanese citizens on the declining number of children, and whether they wanted to see nuclear power plants restarted. Prime Minister Abe has approved a set of bills revising the scope of the self-defense forces- they now will include aiding other nations that are attacked, with no geographical restraints. The Philippine military has emphasized their claim to sovereignty over some islands in the South China Sea only 25 kms from islands being developed by China- they are urging Philippine citizens to move to the islands. The US Air Force will station 400 special forces in Tokyo along with Osprey military aircraft.

From CUBA  Jimmy Carter has made a visit to the Gaza Strip, saying that the situation was intolerable- 8 months after the Israeli attacks not one house has been rebuilt. In UK elections, the Conservatives won an outright majority in Parliament, with David Cameron saying he will hold a referendum on withdrawing from the EU.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews Ken Livingstone, Labor leader and former mayor of London, about the causes and implications of the UK elections.

From GERMANY  The massive parade in Moscow marking 70 years since victory over Nazi Germany was attended by 30 global leaders including the Chinese President- but it was boycotted by WW2 allies the US, France, and Britain. German Chancellor Merkel went to Moscow the next day to lay a wreath and lecture the press on Crimea and Ukraine. Two reports from the Saudi-led war on Yemen, which entered a 5 day ceasefire on Tuesday. The EU is discussing a new way to deal with the ever increasing numbers of migrants trying to enter Europe by boats in the Mediterranean, spreading responsibility to more EU members.

"The best hope is that one of these days the ground will get disgusted enough just to walk away - leaving people with nothing more to stand ON than what they have so bloody well stood FOR up to now."
--Kenneth Patchen

PROGRAM NOTES 05/08/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN  A possible volcano warning has been issued for a hot spring resort near Tokyo. Tidal waves up to 12 meters high hit the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu after a cyclone struck in March. US officials say that the global average carbon dioxide concentration reached a record high 400 parts per million for the first time.

From GERMANY  Over 5000 migrants were rescued from boats in the Mediterranean last weekend, while an unknown amount drowned. There are revelations accusing some German government officials aiding US spying on European politicians and industry. Israeli police have been fighting with Ethiopian Israelis who are demonstrating against racism in the state. Human rights observers in Syria say that more than 50 civilians were killed in a US led airstrike this week. At a meeting in Ryad, French President Hollande said he supports the Saudi bombing of Yemen while selling Qatar 24 fighter jets for $6.3 billion.

From CUBA  Human Rights Watch has accused the Saudi-led bombing campaign of dropping cluster bombs in Yemen manufactured and supplied by the US- 180 nations have banned the use of cluster munitions, but not the US or Saudi Arabia. 50 civilians were killed in a refugee camp in Yemen in the middle of ground fighting. In Mexico there has been a spike in crime related clashes in various states, with many deaths and an army helicopter gunned down- the government is blaming the violence on a new Jalisco cartel. At least 17 people were killed in the latest US targeted assassinations in Afghanistan.

From SPAIN  Workers celebrated May day around Europe, with tens of thousands marching in Spain, calling for workers rights and the end of government spending cuts. Many demanded that the economic crisis be paid for by those who caused it, not the workers. The decrease in the power of unions has been worsened by austerity measures, leading to drastic pay cuts for the rank and file, huge increases for corporate leaders, and a generation entering adulthood without jobs.

"To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful." --Agnes De Mille

PROGRAM NOTES 05/01/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  2 Australians were executed in Indonesia for trafficking heroin, leading to a serious conflict between the nations. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon met with the Italian premier to discuss the boat migration crisis in the Mediterranean. French peacekeeping forces are accused of sexually abusing children in the Central African Republic. 200 girls and women were rescued from Boko Haram in Nigeria but they were not the school girls abducted last year. The Southern African Development committee met and discussed the attacks on foreigners in South Africa. The president of Turkey strongly criticized the EU for using the word "genocide" in describing the massacre of Armenians in 1915.

From CUBA  A US Senator is pushing a bill to lift the US embargo on Cuba. The Cuban Foreign Minister visited the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons and offered support. FARC rebels at the peace talks in Cuba denounced the death of 19 human rights defenders and hundreds of threats to activists in the first quarter of 2015. At a UN conference in Vatican City, Ecuadoran President Correa presented his country's actions to prevent climate change. The Saudi King fired his successor because he opposed the ongoing bombing of Yemen, which has increased this week.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews Sami Ramadani on the reasons for the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, and how the US has used the so-called Islamic State to further its agenda.

From JAPAN  Japan and the US say they will cooperate to deal with international threats to sovereignty. Japanese PM Abe addressed the US Congress, offering condolences for WW2 and saying his country is working for world peace and stability. A forest fire is burning around the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine, raising fears of radiation releases. Thousands of people protested nuclear weapons in NYC on Sunday, prior to the Non-Proliferation Treaty Summit- they delivered 7 million signatures demanding a world free of nuclear weapons. A Mexican government official wants talks to ban possession of nuclear weapons, while Israel is observing the Summit for the first time in 20 years. 80 countries have pledged to prohibit nuclear weapons, but many do not trust countries who currently possess such weapons.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." --George Orwell

PROGRAM NOTES 04/24/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From JAPAN  A Japanese electronics firm has set up test energy systems using solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells. There is much back and forth on the planned restart of nuclear power plants in Japan. Leaders from more than 80 Asian and African countries are calling for a new world order to fight poverty and economic disparity.

From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviews Noam Chomsky on the bombing of Yemen, targeted assassinations, the praise given Obama for new relations with Cuba and Iran, and the disaster of neo-liberalism.

From GERMANY  In Germany alone, there were more than 200 demonstrations against the proposed Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. The WHO says that the sudden, horrible deaths of 18 in Nigeria was not the result of a new disease, but poisoning by pesticides. Iranian President Rohani criticized Saudi led airstrikes in Yemen, Yemeni civilians are having their homes bombed, Obama warned Iran against shipping weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the rebels demanded a complete ceasefire which did not happen. As of press time, EU leaders were meeting to create a plan to prevent migrants drowning in the Mediterranean- 2000 have died so far this year. The US accused Russia of building up forces along the Ukrainian border. The European Commission accused Russian oil giant Gazprom of monopoly tactics in central and Eastern Europe.

From CUBA  Rigoberto Menchu will make addresses in Washington DC in support of Ecuador's fight with Chevron Oil Company. The Bank of the South will begin operations in May. Then a Viewpoint on the recent Summit of the Americas held in Panama.

"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it." --Noam Chomsky

PROGRAM NOTES 04/17/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  The European Parliament is hoping to create a political solution to prevent hundreds of migrant refugees dying in the Mediterranean. The G-7 Foreign Ministers met and discussed Ukraine, Iranian nuclear development, and wars in the Middle East. The European Parliament followed the Pope's lead and recognized the Turkish genocide of Armenians during WW1. The Iranian President downplayed the role of the US Congress in the final nuclear agreement, pointing out that the US is only one of the nations in the negotiations. In Germany, anti-immigration group called Pegida staged a large rally in Dresden addressed by Dutch right-wing leader Geert Wilders. Presidents of Cuba and the US met at the Summit of the Americas- a few days late Cuba was removed from the US list of nations supporting terrorism, leaving Iran, Sudan, and Syria on the list.

From CUBA  Cuban officials welcomed the US decision to remove them from the list of nations accused of sponsoring terrorism, which Cuba has denied for decades. At the UN Cuba advocated a total prohibition of autonomous lethal weapons, like land mines and drones. The UN Human Rights chief has called for an independent investigation into the high level of Yemeni civilian deaths in Saudi bombing raids. At least half of the children and teenagers in Mexico are living in poverty. Mexican activists, including politicians and actors, have launched a referendum campaign to force the President to step down. Left wing members of the Sao Paolo Forum met in Venezuela to support President Maduro in the face of the US decree that the nation is a security threat.

From JAPAN  Macdonalds lost $300 million in Japan this year and will shut down 130 outlets following food scandals. The new international development bank proposed by China now has 57 founding members. A Japanese court issued a provisional injunction blocking 2 nuclear reactors from being put back in operation. The operator of the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant has given up on trying to recover a robotic probe sent in to survey a reactor. An international treaty on sharing compensation costs in a nuclear disaster has taken effect- 6 nations including the US have signed on.

From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevardnadze speaks with a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and French Physician Michel Kazatchkine. He is an advocate of legalization and explains why.

"All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume." --Noam Chomsky

PROGRAM NOTES 04/10/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The Japanese Foreign Minister says that world leaders should visit the cities hit by US atomic bombs to increase the push to disarmament and non-proliferation. Americans were polled to see their attitude toward Japan and about the use of atomic bombs in 1945. 90 Japanese political leaders joined a protest against the relocation of a US military base within the Okinawa prefecture. US Defense Secretary Carter says the US is opening a new phase of its military shift toward the Asia Pacific region.

From CUBA  A US official said that the State Department is expected to recommend that Cuba be removed from the list of states that sponsor terrorism. Venezuelan President Maduro said the Summit of the Americas will mark a new era in Latin American/US ties- he is also expected to hand President Obama 9 million Venezuelan signatures demanding the repeal of his Executive Order against the country. Mexican political parties are beginning their campaigns for June 7th elections while the country is undergoing social and political crises. The Zapatista group in Mexico is questioning the effectiveness of marches and elections in correcting the current social catastrophes.

From SPAIN  The Spanish government has been arresting political activists and anarchists and charging them with terrorism, under newly defined laws intended to cease political opposition.

From GERMANY  Greece told the IMF that it will make its payments on its debt, and Greece still wants reparations from Germany for the Nazi occupation. Several stories on the meetings between Greece and Russia which may lead to a new gas pipeline to Europe through Greece, despite EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. A number of Gulf countries are pushing for a UN resolution on the fighting in Yemen while the US has increased weapons to the Saudi led attacks- Iran denies backing the Houthi rebels. Ukraine President Poroshenko has suggested a referendum on the decentralization of power in the country. Egypt has begun a retrial of former President Mubarak and his sons for diverting public funds. The French far-right National Front Party has undergone a complete split in leadership.

From RUSSIA  The Russian government says that NATO plans to deploy forces in Romania. Greece and Russia are experiencing a "New Spring" in relations. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is stalling over US food practices and the lack of regulations.

"The world we want to transform has already been worked on by history and is largely hollow. We must nevertheless be inventive enough to change it and build a new world. Take care and do not forget ideas are also weapons." --Subcomandate Marcos

PROGRAM NOTES 04/03/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From GERMANY  The annual Earth Hour event to highlight climate change was observed around the world. The solar airplane has reached China on its flight around the world. The Greek Prime Minister says that the country needs a new debt restructuring deal. The US is helping Israel develop a new air defense system. The US has released military aid to Egypt including 12 F16 fighter jets, along with missiles and tanks. A former military leader has become the new president of Nigeria.

From CUBA  In Guerrero state in Mexico teachers clashed with police in protests over the missing 43 students. Venezuela has collected more than 5 million signatures asking President Obama to repeal an executive order declaring the country a security threat. A Viewpoint on the dispute between Argentina and Britain over the Malvinas Islands, also called the Falklands. Argentina is disturbed by the increased militarization of the islands for Britain's remote domination of the South Atlantic and Antarctic regions.

From JAPAN  Only 33 countries have submitted targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions to the UN by the March 31 deadline. The China led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank now has 51 charter members despite US and Japanese criticism. The interim Prime Minister of Thailand has lifted martial law after 11 months only to replace it with new rules similar to martial law. Iran and 6 world powers continued talks past their deadline and that of this show. Palestine has officially joined the International Criminal Court which will lead to an investigation of Israeli war actions last year.

From RUSSIA  Saudi Arabia and its allies continue to bomb Yemen with numerous civilian deaths. The World Health Organization reported that Monsanto's Round Up herbicide "probably" causes cancer- a lobbyist being interviewed said it was safe to drink but refused when the host offered him some. George Galloway interviewed Sukran Chandan about the life of Malcolm X and his relevance in the era of Obama and Ferguson.

"It doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence."
--Malcolm X

PROGRAM NOTES 03/27/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The relocation of the US military base in Okinawa continues despite damaging coral reefs in the seabed. Nuclear regulators have found further problems with the safety inspections of a fast-breeder reactor next to the Sea of Japan. The proposed Chinese Asian Infrastructure bank will prioritize the needs of developing countries.

From CUBA  There will be an alternative Peoples Summit alongside the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Panama. The US Treasury Department removed dozens of Cuban companies from a trade blacklist, but the Cuban press questioned the validity of the action. The UK has decided to increase its military presence on the Malvinas Islands, also known as the Falklands.

From GERMANY  Saudi Arabia and regional allies have begun bombing Yemen, while the US has returned to bombing in Iraq and to retaining 10,000 troops in Afghanistan. Two stories on the meetings in Germany between the new Greek Prime Minister Tsipras and Angela Merkel.

From SPAIN  There were regional elections in the south of Spain that showed the decline of the Popular Party and the growing influence of the new party Podemos. There was a large anti-austerity march for dignity in Madrid.

From RUSSIA  There has been a week of Occupy demonstrations against Rupert Murdoch and his media empire. An interview with politician Donica McCarthy on the stranglehold that the media has on politics.

"After all, we are in the entertainment business." --Rupert Murdoch

PROGRAM NOTES 03/20/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  4 stories about the new government in Greece and relations with the EU. In Frankfort there was a large demonstration opposing austerity measures in EU member states such as Greece. Ukrainian President Poroshenko visited Germany and accused rebels of failing to meet the ceasefire timetable. The Ukrainian Parliament voted for self-rule in some parts of eastern Ukraine. Following Netanyahu's victory in Israel, the EU has called for a relaunch of the peace process with Palestine. An unarmed predator drone went down in Syria, and the US Defense Department confirmed it used a drone in Somalia to kill a suspect in the 2013 Kenya attack on a shopping center. More than 1 1/2 million people took part in an anti-government demonstration in Brazil.

From CUBA  ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas, expressed their support for the female presidents of Brazil and Argentina, who are both facing right-wing campaigns to destabilize their governments. ALBA also asked the people of the US and Barack Obama to repeal the Executive Order issued against Venezuela, since they consider it interference with the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to support a new law giving President Maduro extensive new powers. Human Rights Watch reported that cluster bombs have been used in Libya over the past 4 months.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway discusses the political disaster in Libya and the presence of ISIS with British-Algerian journalist Hafsa Kara-Mustapha.

From JAPAN  Syrian President Assad says he wants action not words from Western nations if they want to bring an end to the civil war. France has blocked websites belonging to extremist groups as part of new strict anti-terrorist laws. 3 Japanese tourists were among those killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia. 5 more nuclear power plants in Japan have been slated for decommissioning- the process is expected to take at least 28 years and there are no permanent facilities for storing the waste in Japan. France, Germany, and Italy announced that they will join a new development bank proposed by China- this would serve as an alternative to the IMF.

"I am I plus my surroundings and if I do not preserve the latter, I do not preserve myself." -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

Recent shows are in the player at the very bottom, and text summaries from last week and earlier are in the archive.

PROGRAM NOTES 03/20/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  4 stories about the new government in Greece and relations with the EU. In Frankfort there was a large demonstration opposing austerity measures in EU member states such as Greece. Ukrainian President Poroshenko visited Germany and accused rebels of failing to meet the ceasefire timetable. The Ukrainian Parliament voted for self-rule in some parts of eastern Ukraine. Following Netanyahu's victory in Israel, the EU has called for a relaunch of the peace process with Palestine. An unarmed predator drone went down in Syria, and the US Defense Department confirmed it used a drone in Somalia to kill a suspect in the 2013 Kenya attack on a shopping center. More than 1 1/2 million people took part in an anti-government demonstration in Brazil.

From CUBA  ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas, expressed their support for the female presidents of Brazil and Argentina, who are both facing right-wing campaigns to destabilize their governments. ALBA also asked the people of the US and Barack Obama to repeal the Executive Order issued against Venezuela, since they consider it interference with the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to support a new law giving President Maduro extensive new powers. Human Rights Watch reported that cluster bombs have been used in Libya over the past 4 months.

From RUSSIA  George Galloway discusses the political disaster in Libya and the presence of ISIS with British-Algerian journalist Hafsa Kara-Mustapha.

From JAPAN  Syrian President Assad says he wants action not words from Western nations if they want to bring an end to the civil war. France has blocked websites belonging to extremist groups as part of new strict anti-terrorist laws. 3 Japanese tourists were among those killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia. 5 more nuclear power plants in Japan have been slated for decommissioning- the process is expected to take at least 28 years and there are no permanent facilities for storing the waste in Japan. France, Germany, and Italy announced that they will join a new development bank proposed by China- this would serve as an alternative to the IMF.

"I am I plus my surroundings and if I do not preserve the latter, I do not preserve myself." -- Jose Ortega Y Gasset

PROGRAM NOTES 03/13/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  People in Japan observed the 4th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear power plant devastation- almost a quarter of a million people still live in temporary housing and radioactive waste continues to accumulate and leak into the Pacific Ocean. An NHK poll of survivors found that 65% are frustrated by delays in reconstruction efforts, and 83% believe that there will be little improvement in the next 12 months. TEPCO, the operators of the Fukushima plant, say that this week there is a 30 fold increase in the level of radioactive material in the local groundwater. The US has imposed more sanctions on pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, and gifted Ukrainian forces with $75 million worth of drones and armored vehicles.

From GERMANY  On Monday Ukrainian President Poroshenko admitted that the separatists had removed heavy weapons in accordance with the ceasefire. Next week 3000 US infantry forces will be deployed to eastern Europe to train forces. On Monday Eurozone finance ministers warned Greece to cease delaying talks on loans and debts. On Tuesday the Greek government said the country had never been fully compensated by Germany for its WW2 Nazi occupation. On Wednesday German officials denied owing any compensation to Greece, while Greeks want to seize properties owned by the German government to pay reparation. A solar powered airplane took off in a an effort to fly around the world.

From CUBA  US President Obama declared the Venezuelan government a national security threat, which President Maduro rejected and linked with a foiled coup attempt in February. US weapons manufacturers continue to dominate global sales, a full third of the market share, with Saudi Arabia replacing India as the top consumer. The EU condemned the Israeli government for demolishing EU financed shelters in east Jerusalem. The President of Colombia joined thousands of citizens in a "march for life" in defense of the country's peace negotiations with FARC rebels

From RUSSIA  An interview with Jason Pack, a Middle East expert from Cambridge University, about how the NATO destruction of Libya and its leader Gaddafi led to the creation of the so-called Islamic State. He asserts that the subsequent beheadings are to goad western powers to intervene, which will in turn increase the size and range of IS forces.

"Look around. Oil companies guzzle down the billions in profits. Billionaires pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries, and Wall Street CEOs, the same ones the direct our economy and destroyed millions of jobs still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them. Does anyone here have a problem with that?" -- Elizabeth Warren

PROGRAM NOTES 03/06/15

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From JAPAN  The mayor of a city near the Fukushima nuclear disaster has declared the city a nuclear-free zone. With Fukushima approaching the fourth anniversary of the nuclear devastation, less than half of the money designated for reconstruction of the area has been spent. The government is beginning a long-term health study of 20,000 workers exposed to radiation in the days following the Fukushima disaster. The US Ambassador to South Korea was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant protesting the current US/South Korea military exercises. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has strongly different opinions about the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Forbes magazine reported that there are now 1800 billionaires on the planet, signifying the growing gap between the rich and poor.

From CUBA  A large US agricultural delegation is having a 3 day meeting in Cuba to establish stronger business ties and end the US economic embargo. The Venezuelan government has given the US 2 weeks to cut the number of diplomats in the country from 100 to 17. The level of extreme poverty in Venezuela has dropped to a record low according to government figures. Syrian President Assad accused Turkish President Erdogan of supporting Takfiri ISIL militants, originally trained by the CIA.

From RUSSIA  A discussion with Stephen Schlesinger and Eric Draitser about Obama's proposed military authorization against so-called Islamic State. They describe the current US actions as regional destabilization rather than problem solving.

From GERMANY  Egyptian courts continue to imprison more Muslim Brotherhood leaders, while Turkey leads the world in imprisoned press reporters. UN peace envoys are trying to create a deal to freeze fighting in the city of Aleppo. Ukraine and Russia agreed on gas delivery for Kiev and the EU. Ukrainian President Poroshenko requested international peacekeepers in the east, while legislating a 50% increase in troop deployment. German Chancellor Merkel threatened further sanctions against Russia if the ceasefire fails in the east of Ukraine. Russian President Putin pledged to find the killers of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.

"The world we want to transform has already been worked on by history and is largely hollow. We must nevertheless be inventive enough to change it and build a new world. Take care and do not forget ideas are also weapons." -- Subcommandante Marcos

PROGRAM NOTES 02/27/15

This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN- SNR no longer produces news in English but podcasts feature stories. Here is one on the Academy Award given to Laura Poitras and Glen Greenwald for the documentary film on Edward Snowden called "Citizenfour."

From GERMANY- The highest Spanish court ruled that the Catalonian secessionist vote was illegal. French President Hollande promised stiffer penalties for hate speech, in light of increasing anti-semitism. France deployed an aircraft carrier and 21 combat jets to the Persian Gulf, while Russia offered an updated missile system to Iran. Two reports on the attempted ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

From RUSSIA- British Parliamentarian George Galloway is making a documentary film on the financial riches former Prime Minister Tony Blair has accumulated since retiring to private life. Galloway says that it is true for many politicians leaving government positions.

From CUBA- In Acapulco Mexico citizens protesting the disappeared 43 students were beaten and taken away. Ecuadoran President Correa announced he will cut his salary and those of other high-ranking government officials to help finance more medical professionals and programs to reduce maternal mortality. An Israeli peace group published the numbers of new illegal buildings in east Jerusalem. A Manhattan jury leveled a $600 million settlement against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO for Americans killed in Israel. Iran says that good progress was made in nuclear negotiations in Geneva.

From JAPAN- An update on the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which the US and China refuse to ratify or sign. Amnesty International called on world leaders to review their response to armed conflict to better protect civilians. Greece was given an extension of its bailout from the EU. The Japanese nuclear regulatory commission demanded a thorough investigation of the latest leaks of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plants.

"When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?" -- Chuck Palahniuk

PROGRAM NOTES 02/20/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  Eastern Ukraine separatists took over a major train station, and government forces withdrew. The government called on the UN to send peacekeepers to the region which the separatists criticized as violating the ceasefire. The Japanese government is still uncertain as to what to do with the increasing radioactive waste from Fukushima. Canadian authorities have confirmed a new case of mad cow disease. The Palestinian Authority is seeking international help to resume peace talks with Israel. Egypt dropped bombs on insurgents in Libya in retaliation for a video showing Egyptians being beheaded- Libya and Egypt want the UN to lift the arms embargo against Libya. Turkey will allow sites for the US to train ground troops for an invasion into Syria- the US will also train troops in Saudi Arabia.

From CUBA  F16 jets from the United Arab Emirate have blown up oil refineries controlled by ISIL troops. Venezuelan President Maduro released new information on this month's foiled coup against his government, and asked President Obama to stop his officials from meddling in Venezuelan affairs. A woman activist in the search for the 43 disappeared students in Mexico was shot to death in front of her children.

From GERMANY  Greeks across the country rallied against austerity measures while the EU urged an extension of the bailout under current terms. The EU central bank approved a 2 week extension of emergency funding for Greek banks. There were more arrests in Denmark in connection with shootings at a cafe and synagogue- there was a large memorial rally held in Copenhagen. The French government used special powers to pass an economic reform bill, leading many to expect a no-confidence debate in Parliament. Russian President Putin was in Hungary dealing gas supplies and the construction of two nuclear power plants. A quarter of a million Argentinians held a silent march for the state prosecutor found dead hours before he was due to testify against the President. The US announced it is prepared to sell armed drones on the global market.

From RUSSIA  An interview with a former US intelligence official, Mark Fellen, about interrogation techniques and the unreliability of torture. He describes misguided policies at Guantanamo Bay that served as major recruiting assets for terrorist groups.

"There is no original truth, only original error." -- Gaston Bachelard

PROGRAM NOTES 02/13/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN  The Defense Ministry of Japan has disposed all of its stock of cluster munitions- the US, Russia and China have not ratified the treaty banning their use. More than 100 students in Taiwan have been indicted for their role in last year's Occupy protests. The Syrian government demands that US led ground troops not enter the country to fight the so-called Islamic State forces. The US still refuses to give information to the Syrian government about US airstrikes in their country. The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France have agreed to a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine beginning February 15th.

From GERMANY  I thought it would be informative to hear German reporting of the build up to the agreement reached concerning the war in Ukraine- so we will hear stories aired from Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, in the order that they were broadcast. The anti-Islamic group Pegida continued smaller weekly protests in Germany, and a new group is demonstrating in Sweden. New Greek Prime Minister Tsipras won a confidence vote for his plan to cancel the bail-out program with international debtors.

From CUBA  Russian President Putin said he will never accept a unipolar world order. US President Obama submitted an expanded War Powers resolution to Congress, a 3 year military campaign with no geographic limitations. In Mexico, the families of the 43 disappeared students say they stand behind a recent revelations by Argentine experts, and reject the government's "official story." England has spent over 10 million Pounds keeping Julian Assange from being able to leave the Ecuadoran embassy.

From RUSSIA  Both the UK and the US have developed military departments working directly in social media and the press. Their tactic is called "reflexive control" involving spreading disinformation and creating predetermined reactions. And, in July 2013, the US government dropped anti-propaganda laws for domestic media.

"We in the West have deluded ourselves into believing that we actually have a truly free press. We don't. And we can see that in the difference between what Wikileaks does and what the rest of the press does." -- Julian Assange

PROGRAM NOTES 02/06/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  Two pieces on the efforts of the new Greek government to renegotiate the terms of its international debt. Podemos is a rapidly growing political movement in Spain, based on anti-austerity measures similar to the new left Syriza party in Greece. Two reports on the intense fighting in eastern Ukraine with the UN warning of catastrophic conditions. The US admitted it carried out a new targeted assassination with a drone strike in Somalia.

From CUBA  The US carried out more targeted assassinations with 3 separate drone strikes in Yemen. The US has continued heavy bombing in Syria and Iraq. The new White House budget has increased spending on nuclear warheads in the next 2 years. Venezuelan President Maduro condemned new visa sanctions imposed by the US congress, following his accusations that the US was enacting a planned coup in his country. Palestine says it will not withdraw its application to join the International Criminal Court despite opposition from Israel and the US.

From RUSSIA  The Russian government submitted a bill to Parliament banning GMOs. France has remained on its highest level of alert for terrorist activities. British politician George Galloway interviews the head of the Cordoba Foundation, Anas Altikriti. They discuss the causes and aftermath of the Paris killings of cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo.

From JAPAN  An Insight on the situation in the Middle East and the effect of the so-called Islamic State. More than 10,000 protestors returned to the street in Hong Kong. Egyptian Courts condemned another 183 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death, and another 230 to life in prison.

"Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy." -- Franz Kafka

PROGRAM NOTES 01/30/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  Several stories on the leftist Syriza party victory in Greece, with pledges of ending austerity measures and a halt to the sale of state assets. US firms will build nukes in India. Two stories on Pegida, the anti-Islam groups in Germany. Fidel and Raul Castro make comments about the changing relations between the US and Cuba.

From CUBA  Celac, the community of Latin American countries, has condemned the continuing US economic blockade of Cuba. Israel launched attacks on Syrian positions in the Golan Heights. The UN has called on Israel to immediately cease the destruction of Palestinian housing in the occupied West Bank. The Mexican Attorney General claims that all 43 of the students missing since September are dead- family members and activists point out that there is no concrete evidence that this is true.

From RUSSIA  British politician George Galloway is a regular broadcaster on the current incarnation of the Voice of Russia- here he talks with activists about the situation in Mexico with the disappeared students. They describe the relationship of the school the students attended with the Zapatista movement, and the levels of corruption in the Mexican government.

From JAPAN  Talks are continuing for the Trans Pacific Partnership, with Japan and the US not agreeing on US exports of rice, beef, and pork. A Japanese journalist has been caught in a hostage situation with people claiming to be from the so-called Islamic State. Egyptian authorities released Hosni Mubarak's sons, and the military killed more than 20 protestors last weekend. Russian President Putin called the Ukrainian army a NATO Foreign Legion bent on containing Russia.

"In addition to being extremely expensive, and we have to put up with the stupidities that the candidates repeat, it's really being decided elsewhere who will sit in the presidential seat." -- Subcommandante Marcos

PROGRAM NOTES 01/23/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From JAPAN  The government of Japan is trying to negotiate the release of 2 Japanese nationals held hostage by the Islamic State militant group. Japanese nuclear regulators have approved a plan to release waste water from Fukushima into the Pacific ocean. There were protests in Iran over the newest issue of Charlie Hebdo. The New York Times reported that the US has been spying on N Korean computer network since 2010 when it installed malware into their systems. Two updates on fighting in eastern Ukraine, with President Poroshenko insisting that Russia has sent thousands of troops across the border, which Russia disputes. Oxfam released a report on economic inequality.

From SPAIN  The report released by Oxfam on Monday showed that economic and social inequality continue to rise at an alarming rate. By 2016 half of the world's wealth will be owned by 1 percent of the population.

From CUBA  Cuba insists that they be removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. Amnesty International called on European nations to admit their involvement in US CIA torture operations. An Israeli helicopter gunship attacked a convoy in Syria killing 12 including an Iranian general. US targeted assassinations by drones continue in Afghanistan. Der Speigel reported how the US is preparing an online digital war. The Guardian published a new report showing British secret agency GCHQ is spying on journalists emails.

From GERMANY  Foreign ministers met in Berlin in an attempt to defuse the fighting in eastern Ukraine. There were protests in Niger and Chechnya following the newest Charlie Hebdo issue. German police banned this past Monday's Pegida anti-Islam protest in Dresden because of death threats to a movement leader. The founder of Pegida stepped down after publication of his statements and images of him posing as Hitler.

"Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." -- Alan Alda

PROGRAM NOTES 01/16/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From GERMANY  Last Monday saw the largest weekly anti-Islam protest to date in Dresden, which included a moment of silence for those murdered in France. On Tuesday night there were tolerance and religious freedom vigils in Germany organized by Muslim groups and attended by German politicians. A survey was taken to learn more about PEGIDA, the anti-Islamic movement in Dresden. France greatly increased police and troops on the street. On Wednesday French authorities arrested more than 50 citizens for hate speech and anti-semitism, while the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo saw sales spike from 60,000 to 5 million. The Cameroonian army killed more than 140 Boko Haram fighters who entered from Nigeria. The UN Human Rights commissioner has condemned civilian killings by Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria. Amnesty International released satellite photos of Nigerian areas attacked by Boko Haram.

From CUBA  The former mayor of the Mexican city where the 43 students were disappeared has been formally charged with kidnapping. The Parliament in France voted to extend airstrikes against IS forces in Iraq. Witnesses in Syria say a US airstrike in Syria killed 50 civilians. There were protests inside the US Congress demanding the prosecution of Dick Cheney and CIA officials involved in torture. The next day protestors move to the front of Cheney's house.

From RUSSIA  A discussion of President Putin's recent speech which denounced US actions in breach of international law, which was not reported in Western media.

From JAPAN  Deadly fighting is escalating in the east of Ukraine, with 4800 people killed so far. Tokyo is establishing a fund to promote the use of hydrogen as an energy source. The Japanese government plan to build an intermediate storage facility for radioactive waste from Fukushima is set to move ahead. NHK did surveys on amendments to the Japanese constitution, new policies allowing "collective self-defense," and restarting nuclear power plants. North Korea again urged the US to cancel joint military drills with South Korea, and continues to deny hacking into the Sony cyber space.

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing."
-- Malcolm X

PROGRAM NOTES 01/09/15

This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE.

From JAPAN  Toyota has offered to share its patents on hydrogen fuel cell technology with other auto makers free of charge. A number of nuclear powerplants in Japan are likely to be restarted beginning this Spring, though how to deal with nuclear waste from Fukushima is unresolved. Japanese defense spending will hit a record high in 2015, more than $42 billion. The Hong Kong government is to resume public hearings on reforming the electoral system.

From RUSSIA  The Afghan President says that the timetable for US troop withdrawal needs to be reexamined. More foreigners have joined the fight against Islamic State in Syria. While the UN is helping 46 million political refugees worldwide, Lebanon has instituted limits on the number of Syrian refugees. Then a discussion about the evolving state of the international press- how Russia is presented at home versus in the West.

From CUBA  Venezuelan President Maduro will consider releasing the far-right opposition leader Leopaldo Lopez if the US releases Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been in US prison since 1981. British activists have filed a lawsuit against Israeli military commanders for war crimes against the relief flotilla bringing relief to Palestine in 2010. In Paris there were protests last weekend over housing costs and the sharp rise in homelessness.

From GERMANY  Monday night saw the largest yet weekly anti-Islam protests, with large counter protests appearing as well. France was shocked by the murders at the offices of a magazine that often satirizes Islamic beliefs- rallies and vigils were held across the Western world. Palestine will try again to get a resolution passed at the UN calling for Israel to end the occupation. Shell oil company agreed to a settlement for a portion of its destruction to Nigeria. The US criticized the UN for accepting Palestine's application to join the International Criminal Court. Greece may be dropped from the EU if the anti-austerity candidates win the upcoming election. British PM Cameron wants to be freed from some EU treaties, notably restricting jobseekers from other parts of the union.

"Satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and it died a second time the day that Tony Blair was appointed Special Envoy for the Middle East." -- Ken Loach

PROGRAM NOTES 01/02/15

This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From GERMANY  Greece is facing a crisis because Parliament cannot agree on a new president. Then three stories covering the failed UN resolution calling for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, and Palestine's application to join the International Criminal Court. Ukrainian President Poroshenko allowed a prisoner exchange with separatists in the east though fighting continues there. The Syrian government offered to have peace talks with the rebel forces but was turned down.

From RUSSIA  An interview with FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, who the ACLU called "the most gagged person in American history." She proposes that Islamic State is a marketing attempt by western propaganda media to create new fear and to justify more spending in the military-industrial complex. She discusses Leon Panetta's comment that the war with IS will last 30 years.

From JAPAN  The US performed a targeted assassination of an Al-Shabab leader with a drone in Somalia. 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan is urging the world to abolish nuclear weapons. Ukraine is shifting its source of nuclear fuel from Russia to the US company Westinghouse. The Yankee nuclear powerplant in Vermont is being shut down, though decommissioning will take 60 years- the Yankee nuke is the same type that melted down in Fukushima. The former soviet republic of Lithuania became the 19th member of the Eurozone. Ukrainian President Poroshenko will meet with Vladimir Putin in January in Kazakstan.

From CUBA  An update on the missing 43 students in Mexico, where more than 2 dozen town halls have been occupied in the state of Guerrero- demonstrators are also calling for a boycott of upcoming elections. Then a Viewpoint on the subversive activities of American groups including USAID, the United States Aid for International Development, using rap groups, Twitter and other methods.

"The capacity to combine commitment with skepticism is essential to democracy."
-- Mary Catherine Bateson

 

"Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature." --Arundhati Roy

 

 

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That concludes our IndyRadio re-broadcast of The Shortwave Report for 2015.

Brainwash from other parts of the world is different enough from our own that by lining up these reports together, you might derive a suggestion of the truth.

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