PROGRAM NOTES 01/08/21-
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This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK JAPAN.

From GERMANY- We begin with some of the headlines describing the attempted coup at the US capitol. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and most other European leaders condemned the actions incited by Donald Trump- several months ago German opponents of the Covid restrictions attempted to storm the German parliament but were soundly put down by police. The extradition to the US of Australian journalist Julian Assange was stopped by a British judge on the grounds that it would damage his mental health, while agreeing with most of the charges against him. DW discussed the case with a director of Reporters Without Borders, who criticized the judge for dismissing all of the defense arguments. The US intends to appeal the ruling but when his attorneys sought bail, the judge refused, making Julian remain in the maximum security Belmarsh prison. Brief reports on Sudan and Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Iran says it seized the South Korean oil tanker because it was polluting the Gulf, and there were mass arrests in Hong Kong of pro-democracy activists. Then brief pieces on the Covid pandemic and vaccines.

From CUBA- Venezuelan President Maduro says that the US, Britain, Spain, and Portugal refuse to unfreeze assets that are needed to acquire Covid vaccines. In an interview, one of the 4 Backwater mercenaries pardoned by Trump for their massacre of Iraqi civilians in Bagdad says that the attack was justified. There were demonstrations in Iraq and other Middle East capitals on the anniversary of the US drone assassinations of Iranian General Souleimani and an Iraqi military leader, calling for the US to leave Iraq. Iran says its defense is ready as the US military has retained an aircraft carrier in the Gulf, added a nuclear submarine, and 2 warships, and flown over with B-52 bombers.

From JAPAN- An Iranian diplomat says they will cease enriching uranium to 20% if the US lifts economic sanctions. An American consulting firm, the Eurasia Group, has released its annual list of top risks in the US, China and beyond.

"Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution."
--Vladimir Nabokov