PROGRAM NOTES 01/03/20-
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This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From SPAIN- Alison Hughes reports on the US airstrikes on Hezbollah militia bases in Iraq and Syria. The deadly bombings took place last Sunday as a retaliation for earlier rocket fire on an Iraqi military base that killed a US defense contractor. The US blamed Iran for the original rocket attack, and politicians and thousands of Iraqi protestors became outraged and stormed the US embassy. Iran has denied any links to the attack. The US bombings in Syria were at a base that Hezbollah has used in its ongoing war against fundamentalist Sunni militia and ISIS. In Iraq demonstrations against government corruption have been going on for months with many killed and injured, and an Iranian consulate in Iraq was overtaken by protestors. Last Friday Iran joined China and Russia in joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman. Saudi Arabia became the largest arms purchaser in the world between 2014 and 2018, with the US supplying 88% of its new weapons.

From RUSSIA- In the 23 years I have produced this show I have not put together year in review specials- most international broadcasters do them annually, and I found that a review of some top stories was more important this year. The current media pace is encouraging forgetfulness. So first from Sputnik Radio we will hear a few excerpts from George Galloway and his partner Gayatri on his weekly program Spunik Orbiting the World. First with former MP Chris Williamson they cover the attempted coup in Venezuela. Then the continuing Yellow Vest protests in France with Vanessa Beeley. Finally Vaughan Smith talks about the case of Julian Assange and what his case implies about the state of the media in the current era.

From CUBA- Here are 4 parts of their top 10 international news stories of2019. Beginning with political and social unrest in Chile, the Coup in Bolivia, an 11 day national strike in Ecuador, and a bit of hope with new leaders in Argentina.

"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