PROGRAM NOTES 01/04/13- This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, CHINA RADIO INTERNATIONAL, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and the VOICE OF RUSSIA.

From JAPAN- There were more than 3000 noticeable earthquakes in Japan last year, the majority were aftershocks from the Fukushima quake in 2011. In 2012, Chinese government ships spent a record amount of time in Japanese waters around the disputed islands. The new Japanese Prime Minister Abe gave a New Years address, as did Russian President Putin.

From GERMANY- German Chancellor Merkel and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un both gave New Years addresses. Germans added 1.3 million photovoltaic systems to their electrical grid last year. American political comedian Will Durst was interviewed about the difficulties satirizing President Obama. Egypt's currency has continued to fall and the government has limited bank withdrawals.

From CHINA- The Director of CRI delivered a New Years speech to overseas listeners. Chinese legislators are considering the first national tobacco control laws. The Thailand Ambassador to Cambodia is pledging to restore ties between the countries. China is expecting a surge in the number of births in the Year of the Snake- the government has changed the birth permit policy for migrant workers.

From CUBA- Hugo Chavez is recovering from his fourth cancer operation in Cuba, but it is not certain that he will be available for his inauguration on January 10. At the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement has condemned the current surge of illegal settlement plans of Israel in Occupied Palestine.

From RUSSIA- Israel completed a 230 kilometer long fence with Egypt which cost $430 million. Iran claims to have recovered two US reconnaissance drones and be in the process of reverse engineering them. According to the ACLU there was a 60% increase in warrantless electronic surveillance of American citizens under the Obama administration.

"Those who do not move, do not notice their chains."
--Rosa Luxemberg