18 July 2006

shortwave summary: jul 2006 (part 2)

These receptions were with my Eton E5 and Sony ICF SW7600GR receivers. Here, you can follow the stories of Israeli military action in Gaza, the World Cup, and the plane crash in Siberia. The news is old though; maybe I should publish these a bit sooner! Also, the Beeb makes a comeback.

Received stations:
* Radio Havana Cuba
* British Broadcasting Corporation
* Voice of America
* Radio Japan

* 04 July 2006, 0500 UTC, 11760 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): This broadcast is 3 minutes late. Israeli warplanes and artillery pounded Gaza on Monday. The Israeli cabinet gave orders to "make sure no one sleeps at night in Gaza." The soldier's abduction was "used as an excuse" for the military actions. A European inspection team called for the closure of Guantanamo prison. It may hold only 30-40 legitimate cases of combatants out of the 460 detainees. Mexicans are uncertain of the presidential election outcome. It will be at least Wednesday, and possibly Sunday, before the winner is declared. This is the closest presidential race in Mexico's history. Victory in Bolivia for socialism. The Festival of Fire is happening in Cuba until 09 July. It features concerts, parades, and art exhibitions; it is attended by citizens of other Caribbean nations.

Editorial viewpoint: Israel's "barbaric behavior" began on 09 June, and was not due to the soldier's abduction. Israel's military action is "state terrorism." The Hamas government was "legally chosen". Frequent attacks on energy plants leave Gaza without power or water. Mahmoud Abbas is confident that an agreement can be reached to end Israeli violence.

These broadcasts from the communist governments of China and Cuba are interesting to compare. China presented a neutral point of view on the Israel military offensive. Cuba, on the other hand, really let loose. This could be due to the USA's close relationship with Israel and its isolation of Cuba. Or it could be that China's broadcast is simply professional journalism.

* 08 July 2006, 2101 UTC, 15390 khz (British Broadcasting Corporation): Pope Benedict is traveling to promote conservative family values. He visited Valencia, Spain, for a remembrance following the underground train accident. Venezuela is building a new pipeline that is valued at US$200 million. Panama and Colombia will be connected. Ultimately, Panama and Colombia will receive Venezuelan gas from the pipeline. Germany defeated Portugal 3-1 to win third place in the World Cup. The game was held in Stuttgart. Nobody expected Germany to do so well. One team member lives in California and could join USA's team if he is given an offer.

Lots of diplomatic activity in Gaza. Israel says no truce is possible until the abducted soldier is freed by the Palestinians. Israeli military actions were aimed at reducing Palestinian capability for firing rockets. Three American marines were killed in western Iraq. The Mexican presidential election was the closest in its history, where the margin of victory was 0.5%. Some citizens protesting in the streets felt that the election was "stolen from them". The two leaders of Cyprus are meeting to "close the gap". No timetable was set for further talks. A German citizen was arrested for suspected ties to terrorism. He supposedly received training in Algeria and was in contact with an Al-Qaeda member.

Discovery shuttle astronauts performed a 6.5-hour spacewalk. The purpose was to repair the exterior of the international space station and to test thermal tile repair procedures for the shuttle. One of the spacewalkers said "I'm in a dream, don't wake me up".

* 09 July 2006, 0400 UTC, 9575 khz (Voice of America): USA backs China's proposal to resume informal talks with North Korea regarding its nuclear program. Church and government clash in Spain over gay marriage, which has been legalized there. Five Nepalese peacekeepers were released in Congo. Southern Sudan donated US$30 million to the world food program. The funds will be used to rebuild roads in Sudan that will help with food distribution and with stimulating the economy. The world food program has made investment of US$1 billion in Sudan in three major projects. Sudan is described as one of the most remote, undeveloped regions of the world.

Protesters in Somalia were killed by Islamic militants. The protest was over a ban from watching the World Cup, because it is a "western" event. Some countries worry that Islamic radicals in Somalia could be harboring Al-Qaeda members. A holy war is threatened if any foreign troops or peacekeepers set foot in Somalia.

Doctors first identified the symptoms of AIDS in California back in 1981. The disease was originally called GRID (gay related immune deficiency). Doctors originally thought that a cure could be found in a few years. Too many people are unaware that they carry the disease. Finding a cure will require moral, political, and financial commitment.

For the World Cup final game, France will play Italy in Berlin. On July 9, 1941, the British broke part of the German Enigma code. The story is told in the Hollywood movie "U571". A real Enigma machine is in a cryptographic museum near Washington D.C. A Russian airliner carrying 200 people crashed in Siberia. Forty people have been taken to hospitals. No word yet on fatalities.

Between 600k and 800k people are trafficked each year. About half of them are children. Trafficking victims are forced into labor, the military, or the sex trade. Responsible governments are increasing public awareness of the problem. The 12 nations that are considered the worst offenders in human trafficking are Belize, Burma, Cuba, Iran, Laos, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. The USA is also a destination for human trafficking victims. Trafficking was described as "the dark side of globalization." (I obtained the list of 12 countries after the broadcast from the VOA News website.)

* 09 July 2006, 1700 UTC, 9535 khz (Radio Japan): A Russian aircraft crash killed about 120 and injured about 50. The Airbus A310 from Moscow overshot the runway in Siberia. China opposes a UN resolution that condemns North Korea's missile launches. South Korea, which prefers a calm approach to the North Korean missile launches, accused Japan of heightening tensions with North Korea. Koizumi will attend a G8 summit for three days in St. Petersburg. India successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile. Its range is about 3000 km. The test was delayed in order to maintain good relations with the USA. Japan's zero percent interest rate policy needs to end soon, once it is warranted by economic conditions. Japan and China will meet to discuss their natural gas dispute in the East China Sea. J-mellow music show: discussing Japanese girl bands. Pop joins the world music show: playing a remake of the Godfather theme. Signal fading increased after the half-hour mark.

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