PROGRAM NOTES 01/19/18-
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This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN- The Iranian government lifted all restrictions on use of the internet after economic protests ceased. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov expressed opposition to the US installing new missile systems in Japan. North and South Korea began discussing participation in the winter olympics, including a unified Korean team. A conference was held in Vancouver to unify pressure through sanctions on North Korean nuclear development- neither China nor Russia were invited. US defense Secretary Mattis says that the US has a plan in place for war against North Korea- Russia said the conference worsened the Korean situation.

From RUSSIA- George Galloway interviewed Asian expert Rod Wye about the significance of the North Korean entry into the winter olympics. He says it was the North's idea to take part in the events and open channels for dialogue with the South. They discuss the threat of regime change as motivation for the North nuclear development, and the possible international acceptance of them sharing that capability with India, Pakistan, and Israel.

From CUBA- Peruvians who were sterilized by force are seeking a reversal of the pardoning of former President Fujimori. A terrorist plot to bomb the Cuban embassy in Venezuela was averted. In Mexico an independent journalist was assassinated after criticizing the upcoming presidential election. The Pentagon is planning an escalation of the war in Afghanistan, as well as training more Kurdish fighters in Syria. The Guardian reported that Trump is planning to loosen the restrictions on the use of nuclear weapons. The New York Times reported on US plans for a war with North Korea.

From SPAIN- Alison Hughes reports on the return of the Catalan parliament and exiled former president Carlos Puigdemont's attempts to be a candidate. Palestinian leaders met in response to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, which effectively ends the possibility of a peace settlement under the Oslo accords.

"In reality, everybody in Congress is a stand-in for some kind of lobbyist. In many cases it's difficult to tell whether it's the companies that are lobbying the legislators or whether it's the other way around."
--Matt Taibbi