PROGRAM NOTES 04/05/19-
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This weeks show features stories from NHK JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, and SPUTNIK RADIO.
From JAPAN- The Japanese government is drawing up long-term strategies to cut greenhouse gas emissions before June. 4 Japanese motorcycle manufacturers are pursuing unified standards for electric models. Japan completed its research whaling program in the Antarctic Ocean having caught 333 whales- they begin commercial whaling in July for the first time in 31 years. The Arab League met in Tunisia and strongly condemned the US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian owned Golan Heights.
From CUBA- One and a half million Puerto Ricans are seeing cuts to their food assistance benefits. In Nicaragua, opposition demands for a presidential election this year have been rejected by the Daniel Ortega government. A Cuban official reported that Venezuela has been hit with a new wave of synchronized attacks on electrical transmission lines. The Venezuelan Supreme Court has requested stripping self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guiado of his immunity from prosecution. UNICEF reported that 2018 was the deadliest year for children in war-torn Syria.
From GERMANY- Sweden is poised to become a cashless society within the next few years, with a new digital currency in the works. NATO marked its 70th anniversary with commemorations in Washington- Trump and others around the world have criticized the alliance, but US media praised it this week while some have suggested that China is a bigger threat to Europe than Russia.
From RUSSIA- Afshin Rattansi presented some history of the changes in NATO activities after the fall of the Berlin Wall, notably NATO bombings in the former Yugoslavia and the destruction of Libya. He then interviewed Michael Stopford, former deputy assistant secretary General of NATO, and former Washington director of the UN. They discuss NATO changing into an independent section of the military-industrial-complex, arguments over funding, and Jeremy Corbyn's opposition to the organization.
"In a decision of the utmost gravity, Labour voted to give up Britain's independent nuclear deterrent unilaterally. Labour's defence policy - though "defence" is scarcely the word- is an absolute break with the defence policy of every British Government since the Second World War. Let there be no doubt about the gravity of that decision. You cannot be a loyal member of NATO while disavowing its fundamental strategy."
--Margaret Thatcher 1986