PROGRAM NOTES 03/26/21-
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This weeks show features stories from NHK RADIO JAPAN, SPUTNIK RADIO, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From JAPAN- China and Russia have agreed to a united front to counter US moves to build alliances against other countries. The EU imposed sanctions on 4 Chinese over alleged human rights abuses to the Uyghur minority- the US, Britain and Canada then imposed similar sanctions. North Korea launched 2 ballistic missiles into waters outside the Japanese zone. Extra water is being pumped into the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plants because of damage from a recent earthquake. In Myanmar massive protests against the military rule continue and 600 prisoners were released- at least 275 protestors have been killed so far.

From RUSSIA- Afshin Rattansi spoke to barrister/activist Tim Crosland. They discuss the Bristol protests against a new law that would impose up to 10 year prison sentences for obstruction while demonstrating. The lawyer defends Extinction Rebellion actions and is opposed to the new laws which would see an end to demonstrations by nurses, climate change activists, women rights and minority defenders.

From SPAIN- Alison Hughes begins with a report on the Council of Europe calling on Spain to amend its criminal code on the freedom of expression- there have been recent convictions of artists like Pablo Hasel for insulting the king and glorifying terrorism, leading to demonstrations across the country. US Secretary of State Blinken spoke to European foreign ministers about strengthening NATO and warning them about threats from Russia and China. Saudi Arabia proposed a ceasefire in the 6 year long war on Yemen, while both sides continue attacks.

From CUBA- The head of the WHO has called on vaccine makers to license their technology to other manufacturers and increase the supply to poor countries. British PM Boris Johnson told conservative ministers that "capitalism and greed" were behind the UKs rapid vaccination program. The Syrian oil minister says that the US continues to plunder oil resources in oil rich northeastern Syria. Russia and China are planning to trade in non-US currencies to reduce the impact of US imposed sanctions.

"The state can't give you freedom, and the state can't take it away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free."
--Utah Phillips