PROGRAM NOTES 12/17/21-
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This weeks show features stories from NHK JAPAN, RADIO DEUTSCHE-WELLE, SPUTNIK RADIO, and RADIO HAVANA CUBA.

From JAPAN- This weekend people in Taiwan are voting on maintaining a ban on US pork because it can contain ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing substance banned in 160 countries, including China and the European Union. Foreign ministers at the G-7 meeting agreed that China is using coercive economic policies. Australia and South Korea struck a defense supply deal and boosted military cooperation. The new $768 billion US defense bill includes $7 billion for deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region and $300 million to support the Ukrainian military. The US defense department ruled that the drone strike which killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan requires no accountability. The treated radioactive waste water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant will be discharged into the Pacific ocean through a tunnel in the seabed. The number of Covid cases in Japan remain relatively low.

From GERMANY- Brief Covid and vaccine reports from Europe, South Korea, and New Zealand. Countries involved agree in principle to end the Korean War. The Philippines were hit with a super typhoon, and scientists have confirmed last summers record temperatures in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. The Russian and Chinese leaders held a video summit.

From RUSSIA- On his program called Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed Prof. Richard Sakwa from the University of Kent. They discussed the summit between Putin and Biden over the Ukraine crisis, the unresolved issues at the end of Cold War 1 that led to Cold War 2 between the US and Russia, NATO expansion towards Russia's borders contrary to promises made prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the threat of nuclear war.

From CUBA- Cuban President Diaz-Canel said that the US lacks the moral authority to judge and decide on democracy, based on actions in Latin America. Former Ecuadorian President Correa says that those going after Julian Assange want to discourage others from exposing war crimes. A Chinese spokesperson said the Assange case exposes the double standards of the US on human rights and freedom of speech.

"The most basic activism we can have in our lives is to live consciously in a nation living in fantasies."
--bell hooks