PROGRAM NOTES 01/25/13- This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, THE VOICE OF RUSSIA, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, AND NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN- In Spain, the Catalan Parliament has passed a declaration of sovereignty, and the Basque regional chief says that they too are ready to become a separate nation. The EU called on the Spanish government to take action to help people who have been evicted. Syrian opposition leaders have failed to put together a transitional government to run rebel held areas of the country.

From GERMANY- UN chief Ban Ki Moon criticized foreign powers who have been supplying arms to both government and rebel forces in Syria. UK Prime Minister Cameron told the British that they can have a referendum on withdrawing from the EU after he is reelected in 2015. The so-called "flag riots" in Belfast have gotten much worse in recent weeks, the most violent in 15 years. In Mali there are allegations that government troops have been executing civilians they accuse of collaborating with Islamist rebels.

From RUSSIA- As the French war in Mali grows, the US claims that it is only supplying aid to the effort- some suspect Special Forces and CIA involvement, along with the use of armed US drones.

From CUBA- At least 4 more people have been killed by US drone strikes in Yemen, while the Obama administration has created special rules for drone strikes in Pakistan. Egypt's opposition has called for demonstrations this Friday, the 2 year anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Then a Viewpoint on the referendum to be held in March on the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands/ Falkland Islands- only those living on the occupied island are allowed to vote.

From JAPAN- When the Algerian desert gas plant was attacked last week, Islamist rebels may have been targeting an international meeting of company executives. The two operating nuclear power plants in Japan may be shut down when new safety regulations are enacted in July. North Korea has protested new UN sanctions over its last rocket launch and says it will step up its military power including its nuclear weapons program.

"We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late."
--Edward R Murrow, 1958