PROGRAM NOTES 12/21/18-
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This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPUTNIK RADIO.

From JAPAN- Syrian media made some comments on the announced withdrawal of US troops from their country. A Swiss research institute has rated countries on their gender equality in economics and politics. Reporters Without Borders released their annual statistics on journalists killed and imprisoned around the world.

From SPAIN- The Yellow Vest protests in France continued last weekend- President Macron responded on Sunday evening. After a visit from a Washington representative, Spain announced plans to greatly increase its military spending. 57% of all arms sales in the world are controlled by US companies- according to Forbes magazine the US Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world. Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater published an article saying that the US military is the world's largest consumer of fossil fuels and largest source of greenhouse gases.

From CUBA- At the UN General Assembly the US and Hungary stood alone in opposing a framework agreement protecting the rights refugees. Trump continues to increase the number of arrests and deportations of immigrants, though it is still only half of the rate tallied by his predecessor Obama. The US killed 62 airstrikes in Somalia as Africom continues to expand its operations. Iran has lashed out at the US, saying it is hypocritical for its deployment and sales of weapons around the world. Julian Assange says he is a victim of espionage in the Ecuador embassy in London.

From RUSSIA- George Galloway interviewed journalist Afshin Rattansi, producer of Going Underground, who you have heard often on this show. They discuss the slandering of journalists who speak truth to power, attacks on Afshin for interviewing journalist Julian Assange, and the demonization of Russia.

"If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth. "
--Julian Assange