PROGRAM NOTES 05/18/18-
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This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, SPUTNIK RADIO, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.
From SPAIN- Alison Hughes covered two topics, the new president in Catalan and the massacre of Palestinian protestors during ceremonies in Jerusalem. On Monday the Catalan parliament elected the pro-independence candidate Quim Torra to be its regional president. Quim was favored by exiled president Puigdemont who remains in custody in Germany. This election will allow the region to return to self-governance, ending months of direct rule from Madrid. Quim has been warned of consequences if he pursues Catalan independence from Spain. On Monday Israeli soldiers killed at least 61 unarmed Palestinians with live ammunition, while injuring another 2000. The Palestinians were protesting a celebration in Jerusalem for the relocation of the US embassy. No western European countries attended the events and all were critical of what many called a massacre. The UN Human Rights Commission condemned the killings. On Tuesday the US blocked an independent investigation into the murders.
From CUBA- At the UN, US ambassador Nikki Haley blamed the Israeli violence on Hamas, praising Israel for showing restraint. The day after the US blocked the Security Council bid to do the same, the UN general assembly called for a transparent investigation of the 112 killings at the border fence since March 30. On Monday in the US 1000 people were arrested at protests across the country during a national day of action for the new Poor Peoples Campaign. Donald Trump's threats of curbing Iranian oil exports with sanctions are meeting international resistance.
From RUSSIA- On his program called Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed Dr Nozomi Hayase, author of "Wikileaks: the Global Fourth Estate: History Is Happening." She describes the media revolution instituted by Julian Assange and Wikileaks as significant as the printing press. And that the public should support Assange who has been confined for nearly 8 years.
From JAPAN- On Monday US researchers reported that North Korea has already begun dismantling its nuclear test site. On Wednesday North Korea suspended talks with the South over last Friday's return of US and South Korean war games along their coastline. North Korea lashed out at US national security advisor John Bolton for trying to impose Libyan style denuclearization on the North. The Japanese parliament has enacted a law to equalize the number of women to men in political elections.
"Most power structures are deeply incompetent, staffed by people who don't really believe in their institutions and that most power is the projection of the perception of power. And the more secretively it works, the more incompetent it is, because secrecy breeds incompetence, while openness breeds competence, because one can see and can compare actions and see which one is more competent. To keep up these appearances, institutional heads or political heads such as presidents spend most of the time trying to walk in front of the train and pretending that it is following them, but the direction is set by the tracks and by the engine of the train. Understanding that means that small and committed organisations can outmaneuver these institutional dinosaurs, like the State Department, the NSA or the CIA."