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."
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