PROGRAM NOTES 09/22/17-
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This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

From JAPAN The Japanese government announced another three year delay in the retrieval of spent nuclear fuel rods from the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant. 50 countries signed a global treaty at the UN to legally ban nuclear weapons- it has been reported that the US pressured with threats many countries, including Sweden and Switzerland, into not signing the treaty. US Defense Secretary Mattis announced 3000 more troops to be deployed in Afghanistan. Honda has announced plans to invest $267 million in a factory in Ohio. In Turkey there were rallies against the planned referendum in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. Iran and Venezuela reacted to Trump's speech at the UN, with Iran calling it medieval hate speech. The North Korean Foreign Minister described Trump's speech as nonsense, like the barking of a dog.

From GERMANY- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing an easy election victory this Sunday. She spoke with Deutsche-Welle about the North Korea crisis, saying she does not support military action and again offered assistance in mediating a resolution. She attacked Trump for his military threats at the UN, and discussed the problems large immigration has resulted in, including the rise of hate and the far-right political parties.

From CUBA- Trump attacked Venezuela in his UN speech saying that President Maduro was not following the will of the people. Before Trump spoke, the UN Secretary-General Guterres told world leaders that the threat of a nuclear is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War, and warned against fiery talk. There is extreme damage in Cuba from hurricane Irma and the government is offering to finance 50% of materials to rebuild households. Brazilian prosecutors brought fresh corruption charges against President Temer and six associates. On Wednesday Spanish police seized 10 million ballots for the referendum in Catalonia- thousands took to streets in Barcelona after they arrested 13 government officials.

From SPAIN- Alison Hughes reports on the the Catalonian referendum, which is scheduled for October 1. The federal government has the constitutional power to bring in the military to stop the referendum on separating the region from the nation, or possibly cut electricity to all polling stations on election day.

"We do not believe in government through the voting booth. The Spanish national will was never freely expressed through the ballot box. Spain has no foolish dreams."
--Francisco Franco, 1938