25 October 2006

shortwave summary, oct 2006 (part 4)

Sorry for posting reception report articles consecutively. Usually I don't do this in order to provide a better variety of content. This report covers nuclear power plants, America's upcoming midterm elections, increased Iraqi violence, the difficulty of distributing food in Africa, Condoleeza Rice's trip to Asia, and problems with North Korea. A lot of this is mainstream news, with some of the stations carrying overlapping stories.

I used my Sony ICF SW7600GR, Eton E5, Kaito 1102, and a Degen DE31 active loop antenna.

Received stations:
* Radio Taiwan International
* Firedrake
* Radio Solh
* Deutsche Welle
* Radio Thailand
* BBC
* Radio Netherlands
* Radio Havana Cuba
* WBCQ
* Voice of America

* 07 Oct 2006, 0700 UTC, 5950 khz (Radio Taiwan International): Defense minister warned troops to stay out of politics. Military personnel should not be involved in protests. A symbolic, peaceful siege of the presidential office is planned on national day. Taiwan national day is on 10 October. Conservationists sued after a nuclear reactor opened. The second nuclear reactor was installed at a controversial plant on Taiwan's northeast coast. A conservationist group filed a lawsuit against the power company. The plant is scheduled to be operational in July 2009. Migration music festival. "You're listening to Radio Taiwan international". A high-speed rail line will be completed at the end of the month, connecting Taipei to Kaohsiung. Travel time will decrease from 4 hours to 80 minutes. Weather in Taipei: partly cloudy, 22-29C (71-84F).

* 07 Oct 2006, 1601 UTC: Some Firedrake logs... 6145 khz, 7130 khz, 7365 khz, 9455 khz, 9905 khz, 10400 khz, 11765 khz.

* 07 Oct 2006, 1645 khz, 17700 khz (Radio Solh): Arabic music. Heard Radio Solh identification at 1701 UTC. Brief speaking between songs; male and female hosts. Language could be Pashto or Dari. The transmitter is believed to be in Rampisham, UK. The studio is in a two-story yellow cube building in Kabul. I heard this signal until 1737 UTC.

* 09 Oct 2006, 0000 UTC, 9695 khz (Deutsche Welle): Persons in Afghanistan were identified as suspects in journalist killing. The international community condemned the killing of the Russian journalist focusing on Chechnya. Hired gunman may appear on a surveillance tape. Chinese president Hu Jintao remarked about a positive turn in relations between China and Japan. The Liberal party in Belgium faces losses in elections.

This signal has not been very strong for me during October. I'd like to hear from anyone in North America that follows this broadcast, to hear if you are experiencing decreased signal strength.

* 13 Oct 2006, 0201 UTC, 5890 khz (Radio Thailand): Prime minister says that elections will be held in a liberal and fair manner. The transmitter kept dropping out for about half a second every few minutes. Thailand learned lessons from past corrupt elections. Asian countries continue supporting Thailand following the coup, referring to it as an "internal matter". The office of natural resources and environmental planning is searching for sites to hold flood waters. Identification: "This is Radio Thailand news." This station often blurs the line between news and advertisements. "ASEAN - ten nations, one community." "Fly Bangkok airways nonstop to Hiroshima." Feedback for 1 second at 0216 UTC. North Korea's nuclear testing, and reactions from financial markets and the USA. Now there's a story about the Xbox 360 and its parental controls. The announcer pronounced "debuted" with a "t" sound. "Discover the wonders of Asia with Bangkok airways." Upcoming events bulletin. "That concludes our program in English to the United States west coast." Grandfather clock bells.

* 18 Oct 2006, 0401 UTC, 7120 khz (BBC): Should Washington seek help for Iraq from Iran and Syria? Rumsfeld says neither Iran nor Syria have been helpful in the past. Condoleeza Rice toured Asia to enforce North Korean sanctions. She was to visit Seoul, Beijing, and Moscow. There was an attack at a southern military base in Sri Lanka involving suicide attack boats. Navy gunboats were sent in to counter the attack. Venezuela will not compromise to break the UN deadlock regarding a temporary seat on the security council.

Sectarian violence is a daily occurence in Iraq, and the new government can do little about it. If the USA exited Iraq now, a huge civil war could result. The Iraq war is starting to be "deeply unpopular" in America. (Starting, or continuing?) Identification: "You're listening to BBC World Service." Indigenous people living near the Amazon continue protesting against an oil company operating in the area. North Korea says that the sanctions amount to a declaration of war. China and North Korea are divided by a river. China's side of the border looks very modern, but there's very few signs of life on the North Korea side. China appears to be taking a much tougher stance to North Korea after the nuclear weapon tests.

I heard some faint morse code on this frequency during the reception, and the signal was fading slightly.

* 20 Oct 2006, 0351 UTC, 6035 khz (BBC): This signal is from South Africa, broadcasting to Africa. Good strong reception. "You're listening to Network Africa on the BBC." Racism on the football field? Publishing books on the Internet.

* 20 Oct 2006, 0400 UTC, 6165 khz (Radio Netherlands): Violence in Iraq is worsening. Will it influence elections in the USA next month? 70 US soldiers killed so far this month in Iraq. Bush agreed with a comparison of Iraq to Vietnam and the Tet offensive. Should the USA speak to Iran and Syria for help in Iraq? "You're listening to Newsline from Radio Netherlands." Ten deaths in the Ivory Coast were caused by the toxic waste dump. The company is not considered trustworthy because they took so long to admit to the chemical processing onboard the ship. The ship carrying the toxic material is called the Probo Koala.

According to Wikipedia, the ship first tried to dump the toxic waste in the Netherlands and Nigeria, but prices were too high. The toxic waste is reported to be a mix of water, gasoline, and caustic soda, resulting from cleaning the ship's gas tanks. One of the toxic gases emitted from the waste was hydrogen sulphide.

Some want the Central Bank to abolish the 500 euro bank note, because it is often used in money laundering. Nuclear energy is making a comeback. The fifth nuclear power plant in Finland is now under construction. Four existing power plants there have a good track record. The fifth reactor is a new model; the Finnish are like guinea pigs. International pressure mounted on Russia to conduct a full investigation into murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya. The secret service in Belarus is still called the KGB. People in Holland aged 35-49 are "getting busier." The average Dutch citizen sleeps for 8.5 hours a night. They're watching less television because they'd rather use the computer. The NATO mission in Afghanistan might fail. More Dutch politicians are writing books, which is an influence from the USA.

* 20 Oct 2006, 0502 UTC, 6000 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): They started late, not me! Injured persons in Gaza have mysterious wounds, according to doctors. Severe burn and internal wounds, requiring amputation or resulting in death. Is this caused by new Israeli weapons? Victims have "dusting" on internal organs. The cause could be dense inert metal explosive (DIME), manufactured in the USA. The DIME weapon is in the early stages of development.

This is the 20th anniversary of the death of Samora Machel, a Mozambique leader who freed his country from Portuguese rule in 1975. He was returning from a meeting in Zambia when his plane crashed into the mountains. Was a false beacon signal from South Africa to blame? Music: conga, acoustic guitar, Spanish male-and-female duet. Nice and peaceful.

* 21 Oct 2006, 0232 UTC, 7415 khz (WBCQ): "Death is a learning experience." Religious show? "God is the source of alienation." Two people talking; WBCQ's schedule says that this is the Christian Media Network. "Thanks for listening to the apocalypse chronicles." Uhhh, sure thing, crackpots.

* 21 Oct 2006, 0400 UTC, 9575 khz (Voice of America): Senior Sunni and Shiite clerics in Iraq issue edicts, quoting the Qur'an, forbidding sectarian violence. Decreasing popularity of the war in the USA could affect next month's elections; Republicans risk losing control of congress. "Our goal in Iraq is clear...and unchanging", said President Bush. Iran keeps changing its position on its nuclear program. USA remains committed to a 1978 declaration to protect South Korea, using nuclear weapons as a deterrent. Condoleeza Rice met with Chinese president Hu Jintao to discuss ending the North Korea conflict. A landmark truce between Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) was reached in August. The EU is pressuring Sudan to accept a UN peacekeeping force. The UN has authorized a force of 20,000. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld will meet with top generals to discuss the Iraq war. A handover timeframe is being discussed.

Emergency food deliveries in East Africa are faced with security problems. Roads in Darfur are too dangerous to use. There's the risk of kidnapping, robbery at gunpoint, or murder. People who aren't on the list to receive aid might bring weapons and threaten the aid workers. Aid workers in Somalia face similar problems. Somali warlords demand money to let the supplies pass. 30,000 Somalis escaped to the Somalia/Kenya border region. Droughts greatly reduced the food supply in the area. 852 million people in the world do not have enough food to eat. Kenya, Congo, Bangladesh, and India have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from the World Bank due to corruption.

1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu is the subject of a new authorized biography. He used nonviolent confrontation against apartheid. Sports update: tennis, MLB world series, and cricket. Federer. Sharapova. St. Louis reaches the world series. Molina. Beltran choked. Suppan. Tigers host game 1 on Saturday. Pele will attend the Brazilian Grand Prix to pay tribute to Michael Schumacher, who is retiring. Stock market update.

Today in history: Thomas Edison's first successful lightbulb burned for 13.5 hours. Guggenheim museum in New York City, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was controversial due to its unusual building design. Dizzy Gillespie's birthday.

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