New Internationalist

Radio New Internationalist

Radio New Internationalist - Cotton Pickin'

Cotton pickin’

Fresh from an assignment in India, New Internationalist co-editor Richard Swift joins the radio team to pick the issues from the world’s cotton fields. Ninety-nine per cent of cotton farmers now live in the Global South – two-thirds in India and China. Yet some in India estimate that only one per cent of the price of a cotton shirt brought in the West ends up in the hands of the farmers. Today’s program explores just how globalization is taking the shirt from the cotton farmers’ backs.

  • Farming leader Vijay Jawandhia tells us about the desperation that is driving thousands of Indian farmers to commit suicide.
  • Kavitha Kuruganti from the Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Hyderabad takes us through the big ecological issues – water, fuel, organics and pesticides.
  • Richard Swift chronicles the fascinating history of cotton.
  • Then, it’s off to Israel to climb the Apartheid Wall with Palestinian psychiatrist Samah Jabr.

This week’s music is from the album Sigil performed by Nuru Kane who weaves his musical magic throughout today’s program by blending rhythms of traditional musics and Oriental and European sounds.  

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Radio New Internationalist - Base matters

Base matters

As the US and its coalition of willing friends concentrate more military resources in Afghanistan and Iraq, Radio New Internationalist takes a step back to look at the backbone of the US security network – its bases. As campaigners from Iran, Mauritius, the Pacific and the Philippines talk about how US bases operate in their region, a clearer picture emerges of how the US maintains its superpower status… and the price that ordinary people in other parts of the world must pay as a result.

  • Pacific leader, teacher and campaigner Mosese Waqa takes us through the network of international military bases and how they secure the health and wealth of the US;
  • Lindsey Collen, from LALIT, tells the shameful story of how the people of Diego Garcia were expelled from their homes to provide the US with a strategic base in the IndianOcean ; 
  • Herbert Docena, from the Philippines office of the international organization Focus on the Global South, explains why Ecuador has ousted its US base: just one positive step in a growing international movement to close down foreign military machines; and
  • Nasrin Alavi, author of We are Iran, explains the hopes, fears and dreams of the people of Iran in the face of mounting world hostility to their country’s nuclear ambitions.

This week’s program features the Mapou CD – presenting truly global sounds with African, Indian, Madagascan and European influences.

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Radio New Internationalist - Peace of the action

Peace of the action

Protecting a human rights campaigner as he lays bare the connections between a mayor and notorious paramilitary death squads. Helping mothers negotiate the release of their children – kidnapped to become child soldiers. These are just some of the stories that women peacekeepers share with us in this week’s program. Challenging the perpetrators of violence with words, not arms, Jodie Martire from Peace Brigades International and Angela Pinchero from the Nonviolent Peaceforce take us to the front-line of the conflicts in Colombia and Sri Lanka and introduce us to the people who they are helping to protect.

Their stories explore the ways that truth can combat violence and the latest tactics at the peace movement’s latest frontiers. In addition:

  • Anastasia Moloney drops in from Bogota to tell us how – for the first time in Colombia’s history – their war criminals are facing trial.

  • And Sarojeni Rengam – the Executive Director of the Pesticide Action Network for the Asia Pacific region and one of the leaders of Week of Rice Action – talks about how the cultural and spiritual significance of rice could be threatened by genetic engineering.

Our album of the week: The invigorating music of those sons of Cuban music … Sierra Maestra …from their Soul of a Nation CD.

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Radio New Internationalist - The Arrogance

The Arrogance

This week we’re linking up Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to explore why that bundle of international economic policies favoured by the neo-cons can fail so badly… and uncover a common link. It’s ‘The Arrogance’… the arrogance of the World Bank in Indonesia, of the International Monetary Fund in Latin America, and US policy-preachers now working in Iraq. Today’s guests – all of whom are working closely with international policy makers – open the doors to a range of very personal experiences:

  • Jim Shultz, Executive Director of The Democracy Center in Bolivia remembers the 34 people killed in protests over the International Monetary Fund’s fatally flawed tax policies;
  • Farah Sofa, from WALHI (Friends of the Earth, Indonesia), tells us about their negotiations with the World Bank, which is now supporting Indonesian industrial timber plantation projects the size of whole countries; and
  • Pratap Chatterjee, Managing Editor, CorpWatch takes us to Iraq and shows us around both the healthcare system being imposed on the Iraqi people, and the colourful crooks and incompetents that are mismanaging it.

Last week and this week, we’ve been featuring the CDRhythm of the River… which showcases a range of artists from the World Music Network’s Riverboat Records series. From rhapsody to rap, it offers music with which to relax, then rage.

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Radio New Internationalist - Afghan Postcards

Afghan postcards

This month – on the fourth year anniversary of its invasion of Iraq – the world is assessing the carnage. But missing from the ledger are those forgotten victims of the war on terror … the displaced and dead in Afghanistan, and the millions of desperate refugees who’ve fled from inside Iraq. This week’s Radio New Internationalist makes contact with them.

  • The youngest member of Afghanistan’s Parliament – Malalai Joya – talks fearlessly about the warlords that still dirty any prospect of democracy in her country; the US policies that put them in power; and the personal price that those who speak up against them must pay.
  • Cathy Breen, who works with just some of the 700,000 Iraqis who have attempted to escape the violence in their country by journeying to Jordan, recounts the policies and practices of the Western countries which started that violence, to leave Iraqi refugees to rot.
  • And as the war on terror moves into cyberspace, Julien Pain, from Reporters sans Frontières, assesses whether human rights activists are set to become second-class citizens.

The musical morsels sprinkled through this week’s program come from the CD Introducing Etran Finatawa: a band from Niger – the crossroads between the Arabs of North Africa and the sub-Saharan traditions.

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Radio New Internationalist - Inner Conflict

As a radio program that’s always in search of new horizons, this week’s co-host is a pioneering reporter from Somalia – Ahmed Abdisalam Adan – who explains the most recent conflict in his country from his HornAfrik newsroom bunker in the capital, Mogadishu. From here, we step out into the line of fire in search of successful campaigns to rid the world of war and weapons.

  • Johan Galtung – a global warrior for non-violent resolution to conflict – sets-out a world without armies;
  • Kameelah Rasheed gives a passionate defence of the hijab, and explains how one piece of cloth has become a battleground between the sexes in South Africa;
  • Mathias Bienstman talks about how the launch of a new bank has incriminated arms-trade funders.

And – as March marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British colonies – New Internationalist contributor Clare Goff compares the campaign tactics that won the public then, with those that work now.

In this program, we again feature the CD Rhythm of the River, which showcases a range of artists from the World Music Network’s Riverboat Records series. The extensive variety of sounds and synergies on this CD draws on music from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

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Radio New Internationalist - The real thing

This program investigates Coca Cola – that sugary soft drink that has led the corporate pack towards international profit and power. What’s in its bottles? What’s in its history? And what’s in the global movement to ban it from schools, university and government canteens? Find out as:

  • Amit Srivastava from the India Resource Center leads the way, by explaining how Coke plants steal water and pollute land… and cause community outrage strong enough to close Coke plants in India;  
  • Nutritionist Marion Nestle from New York University takes the top off a bottle and analyses what’s inside;
  • Historian Mark Pendergrast tells us about the colourful people and strategies last century that has made Coke one of the most recognizable brands this century;
  • Writer and broadcaster David Bacon examines the evidence that implicates Coke plants in the assassination of union officials in Colombia.

This week’s CD is Rhythm of the River, which showcases a range of artists from the World Music Network’s Riverboat Records series. The extensive variety of sounds and synergies on this CD draws on music from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

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Radio New Internationalist - Landing rights

Today we accompany Indigenous people through battles won and battles won in Africa and the Pacific. Although these are battles with no gunfire, the cultural and economic injuries are just as momentous. Jim Brooks – an Australian human rights lawyer who’s worked with Aboriginal people for the last two decades and was the chief administrator on Australia’s Stolen Children’s Inquiry – co-hosts today’s program as we start off by exploring the forced removal of Indigenous kids that has shamed countries like Canada, the United States and Australia. Then its off around the world:

  • To Botswana, where the Jumanda Gakereborn and the Kalahari Bushmen are returning home triumphant after rolling back attempts by their Government and De Beers to rob them of their land for diamond mining;
  • To Hawai’i, to learn the language of self-determination… and dispossession with author and human rights advocate Haunani-Kay Trask. It’s not black and white, you know. Haunani shares also with us some of her poetry about self-determination from her latest book;
  • To West Papua, as former Political Counsel in the US Embassy in Jakarta, Edmund McWilliams, updates us about Indonesia’s military occupation of West Papua, and the arms that the US continues to give the Indonesian military effort; and
  • To Papua New Guinea, where Annie Kajir from the Environmental Law Centre in Port Moresby tells us how the lobbying done by herself and other PNG campaigners have reduced Europeans imports of PNG wood by 80 per cent.

Some juicy audio morsels pepper this week’s program from Rene Lacaille and Bob Brozman’s fabulous album DigDig … where the pulse of the Pacific melts into the arms of Bluegrass and Latin. You’ll find them in the Riverboat Records Series on the World Music Network’s website.

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Radio New Internationalist - Ethical Shopping Special

Put away your credit card. Get out your shopping trolley. This week’s program pays a visit to ethical shopping. New Internationalist editor, Jess Worth has just been hunting around the stores to find out whether ethical shopping is the magic bullet that can save the world, and bumps into some interesting ideas and people at the cash register:

  • Albert Tucker – who works with the Latin American Fair Trade Producers’ Network – debates Barbara Crowther, Head of Communications of Britain’s Fairtrade Foundation about how to best achieve fair trade – working within companies, or well away from them.
  • Helen Ireland drops into our airwaves to talk about Café Direct – a big company putting people before profit, proving that in the corporate world, you don’t have to sell out to make a profit.
  • Phil Stanton, a driving force behind the World Music Network, brings over some music samples and talks about the barriers and the benefits of a world economy for musicians in the Majority World.

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Radio New Internationalist - Unnatural resources

Campaigners from Nigeria, Nevada, Darfur and England take a seat attoday's table to discuss human rights abuses by oil companies, acts ofgenocide by governments, and how the world's indigenous peoples arebeing robbed of their DNA. Co-host Nnimmo Basseyfrom the NGO Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria shines a spotlighton a range of African issues as he exchanges ideas with today's guest.  

  • Becky Tinsley, Director of Waging Peace, talks about how the Chinese, UK and US Governments have fuelled the acts of genocide that continue in Darfur by giving support to the current Sudanese administration - their key to the country's oil.
  • Debra Harry from the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism, gives us an update about resistance to the latest attempt to rip off the ownership of the genetic material of 100,000 of the world's indigenous people.
  • NI editor Vanessa Baird has just been in search of ‘Fair Trade'. But what does it actually mean?

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Radio New Internationalist - Caste aways

In this program you'll hear one of the main concepts behind Radio NewInternationalist take-off, as progressive people from Asia, Europe andthe Pacific drop in to our airwaves to share and compare theirexperiences from different continents. Today, arms traders andcorporate raiders share the space with human rights advocates …and astand-up comedian:  

  • Dr Shaista Shameem, Director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission, co-hosts today's program. She's presently mounting an historic case to obtain compensation for the descendents of Pacific Islanders who were forced into slavery to service Fiji's cotton industry.
  • Brokering international sales for electric torture batons is child's play. Literally! British comedian and author Mark Thomas was there when the kids were on their mobiles doing the deals.
  • In a country still plagued by the problems of caste, Urvashi Butalia, an Indian writer and publisher who lives in New Delhi, tracks the progress of India's affirmative action legislation - one of the first countries in the world to enact such laws.
  • Murray Horton from Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) talks about this year's Roger Award for the worst transnational operating in New Zealand.

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