PROGRAM NOTES 09/29/17-
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This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN,
From GERMANY Germany had major elections last week and Angela Merkel will retain her position as Chancellor for a fourth term. However the right-wing AfD, or Alternate for Deutschland, won 94 seats in Parliament, making it the third largest party. The AfD ran on an anti-immigrant policy and is the first right-wing party to enter the German Parliament since WW2. Merkel must form a coalition with three other very diverse political parties. There is a worry that the racist, and critics say neo-nazi, views of some of the AfD leaders could be a threat to German democracy. Many Germans were surprised by the election results, saying that many voted against Merkel rather than for the AfD.
From CUBA- Cuba offered Puerto Rico medical assistance at the start of the week. The Spanish federal government has charged leaders of the separatist referendum with sedition- there were raids on Catalan government offices seizing ballots and arresting 14 government leaders- the vote is scheduled to be held October 1. The Venezuelan Foreign Minister has accused the US and Spain of interfering in internal affairs- Spanish PM Rajoy joined Trump in a press conference denouncing a totalitarian drift in Venezuela. Bolivian President Evo Morales slammed US interventionist policies against Venezuela, saying it is an attack on all of Latin America. At the UN Venezuelan Foreign Minister recalled the words of Hugo Chavez saying that the podium still smells of sulfur. The Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno says his country will continue to offer asylum to Julian Assange.
From JAPAN- Japanese President Abe dissolved the lower house of Parliament in an attempt to get a fresh mandate on tax proposals and his stance on North Korea. The US is easing restrictions on dairy products from Japan, imposed after Fukushima. Japanese car makers will use interchangeable parts in upcoming electric vehicles. The UN marked Sept 26 as the international day for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Putin announced that Russia is destroying its last chemical weapons. European ambassadors to the US cautioned Trump about abandoning the nuclear deal with Iran. North Korea called Trump's threats as a declaration of war. The South Korean media wondered why North Korea did not react to recent US warplane flights near the peninsula.
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."