PROGRAM NOTES 08/21/20-
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This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK JAPAN, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.
From GERMANY- The German Foreign Minister warned that arms continue to be sent to Libya, and hosted his Saudi counterpart to talk about the UAE and Israel. The Brazilian Amazon region has greatly increased wildfires, and new Covid cases in Europe have surged. German Chancellor Merkel welcomed Greta Thunberg to accept a petition demanding stronger action in tackling climate change.
From CUBA- The Trump administration has finalized plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and fracking operations. Scientists say that record-breaking temperatures and fires around the world, notably in California, are due to global heating- and that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. China has sent hundreds of tons of medical supplies to Cuba. China has called on the US to end its unilateral sanctions against Iran. Countries in the Middle East are outraged and rioting over the recent agreement between Israel and the UAE.
From JAPAN- An update on the devastating oil spill in the Indian Ocean from a Japanese owned tanker near the island of Mauritius. Over 10K people took to the streets of Bangkok, criticizing the monarchy and calling for Parliament to be dissolved and a new constitution written. The Trump administration wants to reimpose UN sanctions against Iran, which were ended in a 2015 accord.
From SPAIN- Alison Hughes reports on Belarus. A presidential election was held a week ago and many citizens and outside powers believe the results were rigged. In the first few days of protest 7000 people were arrested, many more beaten, shot with rubber bullets, and gassed. Alison gives a concise background of Belarus, Lukashenko who is generally considered a dictator, and Belarus's strategic importance as NATO marches on the Russian borders.
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."