PROGRAM NOTES 04/13/18-
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This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO
From JAPAN The Japanese cabinet is going to make low-income families exempt from paying tuition for higher education, including private universities. The Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to open up his country's economy to the world. John Bolton assumed his post as National Security Advisor under Trump. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov says the US and South Korea should ease the military pressure on North Korea. North Korean media reported on leader Kim Jong-un analyzing the outlook for inter-Korean relations and an upcoming dialogue with the US. Syria reported that Israel carried out missile attacks on a Syrian airbase, killing 14. The US and Russia rejected each others resolutions on investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
From CUBA- Former Brazilian President Lula da Silva was placed in prison over the weekend and demonstrators vow to hold vigils until he is released. Lula’s lawyer says Lula is a political prisoner who did not commit a crime. A UN report affirms that Israel has an obligation to compensate Palestine for the economic costs of 5 decades of occupation, and must open an investigation into recent repression in the Gaza Strip- Israel rejected the accusations. In Gaza demonstrators paid tribute to the clearly marked journalist killed by an Israeli sniper while covering non-violent protests last week. Recent research finds that warm ocean waters are melting Antarctica's ice sheets from below causing sea level rise.
From RUSSIA- George Galloway interviewed Steve Topple, independent journalist based at the website The Canary. They discuss the state of crisis in British democracy and its mass media. Much criticism has been leveled at the state-mandated BBC recently for its bias against opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and its omissions and repetition of government disinformation about the nerve agent attack on a Russian spy. Reporters Without Borders placed the UK in 40th place for press freedom (the US is 43rd, Russia is 148th). Steve says that neoliberalism and focus on the self has led people to not be concerned with dishonest and biased media.
"We journalists have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country. That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home. In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us. Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power."