PROGRAM NOTES 10/19/12- This weeks show features stories from RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, and the VOICE OF RUSSIA.

From GERMANY- Scotland will vote in 2014 on leaving the United Kingdom. The UN has again expressed concern over the large number of foreign troops fighting against government forces in Syria. 2 days after huge anti-austerity demonstrations, Portugal has announced large tax hikes and spending cuts. As Spain faces more unemployment and cut backs in government services, a system of 300 time banks has emerged- a non-governmental system where workers earn hours rather than money, then can barter for labor services they need.

From SPAIN- November 14th has been chosen as a Europe wide day of action to protest the economic and social situation in austerity bound countries in the EU. Spanish students are striking for 3 days calling for the resignation of the Educational Minister whom they describe as a throwback to the Franco era. The EU imposed new sanctions against Iran's oil and gas companies and increased restrictions on the central bank. Turkey's Economy Minister condemned the EU as the most hypocritical organization in the world. Cuba will remove most travel restrictions for its citizens, except for doctors and some other high-value professionals.

From CUBA- Global Noise was the banner for international demonstrations against austerity and inequality held last weekend. Indigenous Chileans participated in the Long March of Dignity and Resistance against government repression in their communities. Peace negotiations between the Colombian government and FARC rebels are underway in Oslo. According to the NYT most of the weapons shipped by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebels are ending up in the hands of Jihadists.

From JAPAN- The UN Food and Agricultural Organization is very worried about skyrocketing grain prices because of the drought in the US. The Prime Ministers of Australia and India have agreed to negotiate the export of uranium to India for peaceful purposes.

From RUSSIA- Unbeknownst to most American citizens, the US government is set to spend $640 billion on nuclear weapons development in the next 10 years. The Pentagon and State Department are speeding up efforts to help the Libyan government set up a commando force to combat Islamic extremists.

"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn."
--Mary Catherine Bateson