25 February 2006

shortwave summary: feb 2006 (part 2)

Here are more of my reception reports for February 2006 from northern California. I used my Sony ICF SW7600GR and my new Eton E5. A lot of stations were logged this month.

Broadcasters mentioned in this report:
* Radio Havana Cuba
* China Radio International
* WBCQ
* Radio Australia
* KBS South Korea
* Radio Thailand
* Radio Netherlands

* 11 Feb 2006, 0500 UTC: 6000 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): 55% of detainees at Guantanamo have not committed acts against the USA. Only 8% believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda. Some were turned over by bounty hunters, with no evidence of crimes. USA had wiretaps in Greece 2 months before the Athens Olympics, up until May 2005. (I found a Reuters article that said the perpetrators of the wiretaps were unknown, but that the U.S. Embassy in Greece was involved. Did RHC jump to conclusions?) Wiretaps were discovered and dismantled by Vodafone while debugging customer issues. Bush administration wants to sell 200,000 acres of national parks land, mostly in California. Thankfully, similar proposals have recently been rejected. I live in California and I'm very worried about this possibility.

Conflict diamonds from Liberia and the Ivory Coast are reaching major markets, and helping to fund rebel factions and civil wars. Diamonds go from Liberia to Mali. Retailers should have a policy on conflict diamonds and a written guarantee of a diamond's source. Viewpoint: muslims humiliated by caricatures. European press is putting on a disgraceful show. Guantanamo hunger strikers strapped to chairs for hours each day; force-fed through tubes; kept separate from other prisoners. SIO 544.

2317 UTC: 11970 khz (China Radio Intl): Discussing off-season trips, offering easier travel and less crowds, because the lunar new year holiday is over. Chinese figure skaters performed very well in the winter Olympics. Beijing is cloudy with temperatures in the range of -1...7C (30...44F). SIO 444.

I regret missing the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco this year. The weather was really nice; I just didn't go. I've only been once (maybe 5 years ago).

2357 UTC: 7415 khz (WBCQ, USA): Listening to "most unusual shortwave." Mentioned the Church of the Subgenius show. Station located in Monticello, Maine. "Your station of peace, love, and understanding." Lots of fading. Discussing the approaching snowstorm in the northeast. This person is Timtron. SIO 333. (12 Feb 2006, 0338 UTC: 7415 khz - SIO 131.) I wish I could receive a strong WBCQ signal into the evening on the west coast.

* 12 Feb 2006, 1715 UTC: 11880 khz (Radio Australia): Interviewing a musician and playing his music. World music beat with syncopated and reverbed vocals. Can't really hear the lyrics. Moderate fading. Album "came together quickly." SIO 434.

* 13 Feb 2006, 0200 UTC: 9560 khz (KBS South Korea): Oil closed below US$60, 12% below this year's high price. Beijing supports an Asian for UN Secretary General. SIO 322.

0312 UTC: 5890 khz (Thailand): Discussing an alcohol / smoking ban. Military is protecting schoolteachers from insurgency. Muslim leaders meeting with government officials with the goal of reconciliation. Public service announcement about improving the lives of rural Thailand citizens; something about supplemental income. The 2004 tsunami reduced tourism in the south and increased it in the north. Unocal, which does business in the kingdom of Thailand, has merged with Chevron and will operate under the Chevron name. Rumors of a strong US dollar policy weakened Asian financial markets. During this reception, I heard occasional half-second dropouts of the signal; something I haven't heard on other broadcasts. "Live from the public relations department of the royal Thai government." SIO 555; relay transmitter in Delano, California, USA. I don't listen to Thailand's broadcast much, and this is one of the few 30-minute broadcasts that I've received. This short broadcast was mostly news overviews; largely devoid of cultural information.

* 16 Feb 2006, 0502 UTC: 6000 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): Suspected election fraud in Haiti; under investigation. USA and Israel are purportedly planning a Palestinean regime change to knock out Hamas. Israel wants to cut Gaza off completely from the West Bank, and limit travel of parliament members.

White House spends billions on advertising and public relations. "No amount of money could successfully sell the Bush administration's failed policies" -- Nancy Pelosi. The 12 judges in Atlanta's 11th circuit court began hearings for the Cuban Five. International observers and attorney Leonard Weinglass attended. A court decision is expected within 2 months. SIO 444; some fading and static.

* 17 Feb 2006, 0507 UTC: 6165 khz (Radio Netherlands): A Kazhakstan opposition leader was murdered. Citizens believe the recently-elected President is responsible. Elections were just held. Eight CIA rendition flights stopped off in the Netherlands. Discussing European regulations regarding migrant workers; fears of eroding wages. Swans are especially vulnerable to bird flu. Bird flu is expected to reach the Netherlands in a matter of days. Amnesty International hopes to save a woman, condemned for adultery, from death by stoning in Nigeria. In 2006, the Dutch economy is expected to grow and unemployment is expected to decrease.

500,000 Dutch citizens have migrated to Australia. Several reasons for wanting to leave: comparing conditions with other countries, effects of the cold war, and feelings of having no future. Forged identities/skills in order to enter Australia; one masked as a mechanic. Housing shortage in Australia in the 1950s due to a lack of building materials during World War II. Children tried hard to assimilate. Dutch have a reputation as being hard-working. Some had homesickness; didn't fit in when they went home to the Netherlands. A Dutch woman living in Australia says that people shouldn't use migration experiences as an excuse for hardship or unhappiness. SIO between 544 at the start, and 444 at the end. Transmitter in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles.

I heard several reasons why people were interested in leaving the Netherlands, but it wasn't clear to me how they all picked Australia. Initial migrants probably triggered a snowball effect.

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