PROGRAM NOTES 05/12/17- This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN- South Koreans elected Moon Jae-in as their new president and he made an oath to visit North Korea and work toward peace on the peninsula. Climate change negotiators meeting in Germany implored the US to stay with the Paris Agreement. A top UN official called on both nuclear and non-nuclear nations to work toward global nuclear disarmament.

From CUBA- Leaders from the Caribbean community have called for a fact-finding mission to assess what is actually happening in Venezuela. The Iraqi military admitted that they bombed a school in Mosul leaving scores of civilians dead. Human rights advocates across Europe have begun a hunger strike in solidarity with 1700 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

From RUSSIA- Afshin Rattansi interviewed journalist Charles Glass on the situation in Syria. Charles describes the bombed out streets of Aleppo as looking like the European cities in the aftermath of WWII, and why the US, France, and Britain have failed to overthrow Assad. He also talks about the chemical attack in Syria, the propaganda that veils what has happened in the country, and Russian led proposals to end the war. Then Dr. Lisa Mckenzie talks about her meeting with new French President Macron, his fears of being seen as a new Tony Blair, and the fact that Macron is not a progressive.

From SPAIN- Alison Hughes reports on the French Presidential election, with Macron's victory bringing great sighs of relief in capitols around Europe, while progressives criticize his neo-liberal plans to privatize many of the socialist systems. Alison then describes the Syrian rebels who evacuated a district of Damascus, following a deal brokered by Russia, Iran, and Turkey to deescalate the fighting. Rebels are continuing demands including the removal of President Assad.

"As I have said before, the ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry but they cannot kill ignorance, illnesses, poverty or hunger."
--Fidel Castro, 2002