PROGRAM NOTES 08/04/17- This weeks show features stories from SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

From SPAIN- Alison Hughes begins with a report on Russian President Putin's expulsion of 755 US diplomats and contractors, which equalizes the number of Russian diplomatic personnel in the US- this is a response to new sanctions against Russia for alleged interference in the US elections. The EU worries that this will cause disruptions in gas pipeline deliveries. US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the time for talk on North Korea was over after another missile test launch. Trump accused China of failing to rein in North Korea. Last Sunday the Venezuelan election for national constituents took place, despite some violent skirmishes and boycotts. The official voter turnout was 41% but American media claimed the true figure was 8%. The EU criticized the election and several countries joined the US in not recognizing the results.

From RUSSIA- Former British MP George Galloway interviewed Teresa Teran, director of Venezuela Media Watch. They find fault with the mainstream media bias against the government of President Maduro. Teresa says the media is staging the downfall of Venezuela by misrepresenting life in the country. The opposition has called for a US invasion and the violence is caused by 2% of the population. Galloway called it a slow-motion coup, akin to what happened to Allende in Chile in 1973, with the CIA publicly admitting interference in the election. The US has given $120 million to the opposition to recruit young people to attack government forces. Teresa says that the media is creating a false image of life in Venezuela.

From CUBA- Venezuela released official figures for voter turnout in the election, while Maduro said he didn't care that Trump rejected the results- Trump followed with new sanctions against Maduro's personal assets. Israeli troops killed a 14th Palestinian youth during ongoing protests outside the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, while Gaza is restricted to 2 hours of electricity per day. The UK High Court blocked an attempt to charge Tony Blair for war crimes during the 2003 Iraqi invasion.

From JAPAN- China has hit back at Trump's criticism for not controlling North Korea. At the Fukushima disaster, removing the melted fuel debris grows more complicated. Following France and UK announcements of banning internal combustion cars by 2040, Japanese auto makers are stepping up development of all-electric vehicles.

"If the climate were a bank, they would already have saved it."
--Hugo Chavez