PROGRAM NOTES 02/15/13- This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, THE VOICE OF RUSSIA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, AND SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN- North Korea completed a third nuclear weapons test and was strongly condemned by the UN Security Council. Then an Insight concerning the reasons that North Korea went ahead with the nuclear test, knowing that there would be international outrage. South Korea and the US have increased the size and scope of their military war games to intimidate the North.

From RUSSIA- Russia and the US are discussing nuclear weapons reduction- they think that they might be able to feel confident if they each had between 1000 and 1100 nuclear warheads. Italian courts have given their former intelligence chief a sentence of 10 years in prison for his role in a CIA run extraordinary rendition.

From GERMANY- The Egyptian government approved draft laws restricting public protests. Pro-democracy protestors clashed with police in Bahrain. There is a growing EU scandal over the use of horse meat in products labeled as beef. The Australian Parliament has formally recognized the indigenous population as its first inhabitants.

From CUBA- For 10 years Bolivia has requested that the US extradite former President Gonzalez Sanchez for ordering the military to attack the police in 2003. Venezuela devalued its currency by 32%. Demonstrations took place in Yemen, demanding that the former President face charges for the killing of protestors 2 years ago.

From SPAIN- Shortly after President Obama announced future troop withdrawals, 10 civilians in Afghanistan were killed by an airstrike. The EU and the US will begin formal talks on a free trade agreement- some sticking points are EU restrictions on GMOs, chlorine washes on poultry, and meat from animals fed with growth hormones. The corruption scandals expand in the Spanish government, with some Parliament members calling on the President Rajoy to resign. Euro Vegas is slated to be built near Madrid by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, with 2/3s of the financing from Spanish banks.

"The Function of music is to release us from the Tyranny of conscious thought."
--Sir Thomas Beecham