PROGRAM NOTES 04/12/19-
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This weeks show features stories from RADIO HAVANA CUBA, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, NHK JAPAN, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From CUBA- A few hours ago Julian Assange was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and charged in court for conspiracy at the request of the US Justice department. The first story here is from Wednesday when Ecuadorian President Moreno said he would likely evict Assange, following NYT reports that Moreno offered to sell Assange for debt relief. Then a story just released about former President Correa's response to Julian's arrest.

From GERMANY- Brazilian President Bolsonaro wants the US to work together on exploiting what is left of the Amazon rainforest- then a review of his first 100 days in office. Steve Bannon, former chief strategist for the Trump campaign, is helping set up a new training center in an Italian monastery- their goal is to bring the different populist, far-right political parties together, in Europe and then globally.

From JAPAN- The Japanese defense minister says military expenditures may reach 1.3% of the country’s GDP, well below the 2% the Trump calls for. Japan will not follow the US in labeling the Iranian elite military force a terrorist group- meanwhile Iran has listed the US Central Command as a terrorist organization and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the US anti-Iranian move. Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu will keep his post after a general election. The Japanese Foreign Minister says that Japan does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights.

From RUSSIA- George Galloway interviewed British journalist Ahmed Kaballo. Ahmed has been on the ground in Venezuela, producing documentaries about the political and economic upheavals.

"Julian Assange is a distinguished Australian, who has changed the way many people think about duplicitous governments. For this, he is a political refugee subjected to what the United Nations calls "arbitrary detention". The UN says he has the right of free passage to freedom, but this is denied. He has the right to medical treatment without fear of arrest, but this is denied. He has the right to compensation, but this is denied. As founder and editor of WikiLeaks, his crime has been to make sense of dark times. WikiLeaks has an impeccable record of accuracy and authenticity which no newspaper, no TV channel, no radio station, no BBC, no New York Times, no Washington Post, no Guardian can equal. Indeed, it shames them. That explains why he is being punished."
--John Pilger, 2019