I took a break from shortwave listening during most of April and half of May. Time to get going again! I took my Eton E5 off the shelf and saw the "low battery" indicator blinking. It didn't even try to power on when I pressed the button. This radio definitely drains the batteries when it's not on. I used my E5 and my Sony ICF SW7600GR for these receptions.
* Radio Havana Cuba
* Radio Netherlands
* Radio Taiwan International
* Radio Exterior de España
* 19 May 2006, 0502 UTC, 6000 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): "This is Radio Havana Cuba." The Pentagon released Guantanamo detainee names, ages, and home countries. There are 759 male prisoners from 40 countries. There is "still much more in darkness" after the prisoner disclosure. USA officials are trying to deflect criticism for the prison by gradually transferring prisoners out. Phone records of journalists are being gathered by the FBI in order to identify CIA leaks. The FBI is making extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act. Those phone records used to be difficult to get, but is easy under the Bush administration. ABC News journalists have been warned that their phone records would be monitored.
It seemed to me like these stories were a bit old.
6500 people die each day from HIV across Africa. Africa promotes an "ABC" strategy: abstain, be faithful, wear condoms. Code Pink is sponsoring ads urging the pullout of USA troops from Iraq. The ads give hope to Iraqis who realize there are people that support them.
Fidel Castro calls Forbes article "infamous rubbish". Castro is accused of holding international bank accounts. "100 hours with Fidel" is described as an exceptional new book. It explains the Cuban revolution and what Castro has done. "Everything in the book is truth... this book was written with honesty." Cuban Five info is at www.radiohc.cu. The station relayed a special 45th birthday identification at the half-hour mark. Ed Newman did the mailbag show by himself because Yolanda Fisher is at the beach on vacation.
* 20 May 2006, 0400 UTC, 6165 khz (Radio Netherlands): "From Hilversum in Holland, this is Radio Netherlands." Increased violence in Afghanistan; blamed on Pakistan. Worst insurgent fighting in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Pakistan army is conducting raids in border regions. Taliban "never fully defeated." Dutch preparing to deploy peacekeeping troops in southern Afghanistan. The Netherlands is working to improve the mental well-being of troops. 70% of polled Dutch are opposed to admitting Turkey into the European Union. Egyptian forces clubbed demonstrators who were supporting judges that claimed fraud in last year's elections. The USA and EU criticized Egypt for its response. Big stock market losses this past week in Europe. "There's not going to be a stock market crash." Spending in the USA is expected to slow due to higher interest rates, but will lead to a more sustainable economy. Corruption in Dutch football? Gambling syndicates are a "distinct possibility".
While taking notes during this broadcast, I found it hard to keep up! There was a lot of good information and interesting items. Radio Netherlands is my best source for news about Europe.
* 21 May 2006, 0200 UTC, 5950 khz (Radio Taiwan International): "This is Radio Taiwan International... from Taipei, Taiwan, the Republic of China". President apologized for stock scandal involving his son-in-law. Alleged insider trading: a stock purchase happened just before the stock price soared. The USA supports Taiwan for the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO begins meeting in Geneva on Monday. Taiwan has been excluded from the WHO since 1972. Taiwan's economy grew 5% in the first quarter of this year. Consumer electronic exports contributed to growth. Economists expect 4.07% growth in Taiwan for all of 2006. Weather for Sunday, 21 May in Taipei: partly clear, 26-33C (78-91F). On this day (20 May) in 1506, Christopher Columbus died at age 55.
The insider trading and World Health Organization stories were interesting and new to me. I didn't hear anything about China-Taiwan relations this time, but I didn't listen for the full hour.
* 28 May 2006, 0000 UTC, 15385 khz (Radio Exterior de España): Here's a station I haven't received in approximately nine months! "Broadcasting from Madrid." Three Indians imprisoned in Chile ended a 62-day hunger strike that was protesting Chile's anti-terrorism laws. International human rights groups have condemned Chile's anti-terrorism laws. Energy company shares held by a Bolivian pension fund have been turned over to the government after it bought majority shares in the three energy companies. Bolivia plans to redistribute "idle land" to poor peasants, including 12.36 million acres of public land. Scientists in Chile, using a telescope located there, have discovered a planetary system with three planets of a Neptune-type mass, and a sun larger than our own. The system is 41 light years away. The area near the telescope is known for its clear skies. The next segment of the program included background music by Tangerine Dream (from Germany... why not some Spanish music here?) No difference in heart disease risk found between light and heavy drinkers of coffee. In men, there is an increased risk of bladder cancer for those who drink 2 liters or more of tap water per day. The by-products of disinfecting ingredients such as chlorine may be responsible. Barbershop quartets were started in Oklahoma in the 1930s. Signoff message for the "Radio waves" segment: "You keep the TV off and the radio on!"
This broadcast had a lot of news about South America and nothing about Europe. In the reception report I mailed to the station, I requested that they include more current Spanish music in their broadcasts.