30 August 2006

shortwave summary: aug 2006 (part 3)

    august 2006 reception reports: (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)

These receptions were gathered with my Eton FR250, a radio that includes a dynamo power source. Listening and logging was challenging due to continual tuning adjustments, some hand-crank interruptions, and local interference. Shortwave reception was weak with just the telescopic whip, so I attached my DE31 loop antenna.

Eton FR250

The FR250 has a wider tuning scale than my analog pocket radios, and that makes it easier to estimate the current frequency.

There's another mention of the AIDS conference in Toronto; some golf; Hezbollah crap; then some stories from Tonga, Papua New Guinea, and India.

Received stations:
* Voice of America
* Radio Australia

* 20 Aug 2006, 0405 UTC, 9575 khz (Voice of America): Hezbollah says that Israel violated the ceasefire agreement. Hezbollah has been handing out cash compensation, which critics say came from Iran. Compensation is for damaged homes; aid for businesses will come later. There was a brief instrumental portion of "A thousand years" by Sting, from his "Brand new day" album. Bush says that USA forces in Iraq are making Americans safer because it's better to fight terrorists abroad than at home. Democrats want Iraqis to be responsible for their own country. There was discussion of Bush's use of the phrase "islamic fascists" and the effects it had.

The AIDS conference in Toronto drew the world's attention to the disease. New drugs were discussed that reduce levels of the virus in infected persons. Harm reduction was also discussed and viewed as effective (it involves needle exchange and methodone clinics). Male circumcision can reduce infection by up to 60%. The World Health Organization wants antiviral drugs available to all that need them by the year 2010. The next international AIDS conference will be in 2008.

Tiger Woods and Luke Donald are tied in the PGA championship; both are 14 under par. Cricket scores; England vs. Pakistan. Rally of Finland update.

Bill Clinton's 60th birthday was Saturday. On this day in 1975, the USA launched Viking 1. On this day in 1998, president Clinton ordered missile attacks on Afghanistan in response to embassy attacks. Lebanese and Israelis are returning home. Bush blames Hezbollah for the suffering, and blames Iran and Syria for supporting Hezbollah. Tony Blair called the violence in Iraq and Lebanon part of a larger terrorist threat. We're seeing the beginning of a Sunni vs. Shia civil war in Iraq. One person has the opinion that the USA has destabilized the middle east. Someone said that it is a mistake to allow Hamas and Hezbollah to run for office before being forced to disarm. Terrorists are figuring out how to use our democratic system against us.

In my reception notebook, I noted dispiritedly that the voice of America is political and war news. I suppose that since the government pays for the VOA, the news is about the government rather than the many interesting people that live here.

* 22 Aug 2006, 0514 UTC, 15160 khz (Radio Australia): I started at 0500 UTC, trying to find Radio Havana Cuba. It took three minutes, because they started their broadcast late! Unfortunately, the signal was too noisy so I took the opportunity to do some analog band-scanning. Finally in the 19 meter band I found a nice clear signal in English which turned out to be Radio Australia. The needle was below 15100 khz, but the closest frequency I could find on primetimeshortwave.com is 15160 khz.

Tonga will allow women to inherit land from their fathers if a woman has no brothers. The reporter and an official from Tonga debated equality of the sexes. "The tradition of inheritance is down the male line." Outsiders claim discrimination against women, but Tongans think that their women are the best-treated in the world. This change does not signal more rights to come for women in Tonga. Australia's refusal to fund abortions is in conflict with health aid initiatives in Asia. Australia places restrictions on its financial aid, which is in line with the practices of the USA. A woman interviewed for this story said that all donor countries should provide information about abortion.

Papua New Guinea's parliament is adding 8 weeks to its state of emergency declaration; the initial 3 weeks have passed. 21 countries will participate in the South Pacific Games, which will start on 25 August 2007. This broadcast included a long sports segment, and elsewhere in the broadcast was an advertisement for sporting events that will be carried by Radio Australia. I remember a few discouraging instances last year when I would tune into Radio Australia, have a pretty good signal, but tune away because the broadcast was a sporting event.

Rice consumption has increased in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Some rice is imported from Australia. Papua New Guinea imports between 150,000 and 160,000 tons of rice per year. There, the major rice brand is called Roots Rice. Papua New Guinea does not have food tariffs. PNG's food supply is under threat from its growing population. Lots of people in PNG live in remote areas without roads or bridges.

The Papua New Guinea rice story was annoying at times because information was often repeated. The interviewer was not doing a very good job. "Still the storms" by Ziggy Marley was played to fill out the hour. Shortwave radio stations should make better use of local music!

Police in India had a breakthrough in the train bombing case in which 180 people died. Due to a tip, police found two suspects in a run-down building, and gunfire was exchanged. President Bush called for an urgent peacekeeping force in Lebanon to preserve the ceasefire. A plane from Guangzhou to Sydney had to be diverted due to a note on the plane that made a bomb threat. The plane was on its way to Sydney again. Radio Australia said that this story had not yet been reported by China's government-controlled media.

Five Mexicans went shark fishing last October, ran out of fuel, and drifted away in the Pacific. Two died at sea; the remaining three were rescued by Taiwanese. Some of the Pacific islands are difficult to monitor and could be used for staging criminal activity.

    august 2006 reception reports: (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)

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