16 September 2006

shortwave summary, sep 2006 (part 2)

september 2006 reception reports: (part 1) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4) (part 5)

Cuba, Taiwan, and Japan are featured here. I used the Eton E5 along with a Degen DE31 active loop antenna.

Stations received:
* Radio Havana Cuba
* Radio Japan
* Radio Taiwan International

* 07 Sep 2006, 0500 UTC, 6000 khz (Radio Havana Cuba): Resistance fighters executed coordinated strikes in Iraq. Two bombs exploded north of Baghdad. One was a car bomb parked in front of a tire repair shop. Iraqi leaders predict a decline in violence by the end of 2007, even though violence is still increasing. Criminals behind mass killings in Argentina during a military dictatorship were eventually allowed to walk free. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank create wealth for some at the expense of others. I think that story was the result of the IMF/WB meeting taking place in Singapore. Climate change reportedly exascerbates the spread of deadly diseases. That was the news from Ed Newman. It was kind of all over the place this time, and I didn't log details for the stories.

On 23 September in Washington D.C., a protest will demand the immediate release of the Cuban Five. It will mark the 8th anniversary of their imprisonment. They mention San Francisco, my home, as a city that provides support in the Free the Five effort. They also mentioned Buffalo but pronounced it strangely (like "boof-a-low"). The editorial viewpoint was about Puerto Rico and its relation with the United States. I liked the voice of the editorial viewpoint reporter; it sounded drawling and slurred but I understood clearly. She rolls "r" sounds like most Spanish speakers. I guess it is typical English pronunciation for a Cuban. Her first name is Olga.

The signal went silent for about 5 seconds at 0525 UTC. Oil companies are pocketing big profits due to wars and record oil prices. A recent article in a Cuban newspaper suggested that the United States and Cuba could work together for a safer hurricane season. The United States recently thanked Cuba for granting access to Cuban airspace for tracking Hurricane Ernesto with a weather airplane. Arnie Coro then gave the news updates at 0530 UTC.

During the mailbag show, the station received good wishes for Hurricane Ernesto. The hurricane mostly affected eastern Cuba near Guantanamo; Havana barely got any rain. (I wish I could hear Arnie say hurricane again; he says it like "hyur-a-cane".) Someone sent best wishes for Fidel Castro's speedy recovery, and Ed Newman responded with "we get a lot of those." That was the only mention of Castro during this broadcast. There's a new film about Beny More, a famous Cuban musician. The film has been showing in Cuba for a couple months. It is called El Beny; both of the mailbag presenters (Ed Newman and Yolanda Fisher) want to see it. Me too! I wonder what it's like to see a movie in Havana. Occasionally in San Francisco, the audience gets boisterous during movies, and it's a really fun experience.

* 11 Sep 2006, 0500 UTC, 6110 khz (Radio Japan): Here's the news from Tokyo. US President Bush says he will never forget the lessons of the September 11 attacks. Bush visited ground zero on Sunday (the 10th) and laid a wreath. He said "there's still an enemy out there." The international community has made significant progress in preventing terrorist attacks. Japan launched its third surveillance satellite, which is capable of 1-meter resolution at a height of 500 kilometers. One more surveillance satellite launch is planned for 2007. The King of Tonga died at the age of 88 on Sunday. He was in a New Zealand hospital. He was known as the "world's heaviest monarch." The yen fell against the US dollar. United Nations troop levels in Lebanon are rising, and will soon reach 15,000.

This broadcast included a couple Japanese songs. When they started a scientific story about methane gas around 0540 UTC, I decided to stop listening. This reception was full of world news, with not so much local Japanese color.

* 15 Sep 2006, 0301 UTC, 5950 khz (Radio Taiwan International): "Coming to you from Taipei, Taiwan." Taiwanese labor unions plan to create chaos on highways surrounding Taiwan's largest airport. The purpose is to let the international community hear calls for the president to step down.

The president is urging the use of the name Taiwan in the upcoming bid to rejoin the United Nations. Its official name now is the Republic of China. Taiwan withdrew from the UN when China joined. Taiwan is reportedly committed to peace and will not develop a nuclear program.

The Chinese Petroleum Corporation cut prices in response to consumer requests for cheaper oil. The city of Kaohsiung will convert 306 of its 390 garbage trucks to biodiesel. A typhoon is approaching Taiwan, which is not expected to make landfall, but will bring torrential rains. Taipei: mostly cloudy, showers, 25-30C (77-86F).

This is how to run an international broadcast. Fortunately for international listeners curious about Taiwan itself, Taiwan has plenty of things going on at the moment. They don't have to fill their precious broadcast hour with easily-accessible world news. Unfortunately, the presidential scandals now have the potential to hurt the economy there.

Taiwan is the leading bike maker in the world, but lacks sufficient bike trails. A new government project seeks to create 1000 kilometers of bike trails, although limited land is available in urban areas.

Mandopop 101 is a new music show on RTI featuring Chinese pop music. Lily, the hostess, gave biographical information about the musicians as she introduced the songs. One song I liked was "Love me more" by Coco Lee, who has recently started releasing English-language albums. The song I didn't like featured a male singer and a piano. I felt that the song required lyrical comprehension to get anything out of it, and he was singing in Chinese which I don't know. It was a good variety of music, old and new, and a great way to introduce listeners to pop music from the region. The hostess gave her email address and asked for comments, which I sent immediately after the show. At the end of the hour, a male announcer gave the current shortwave frequency schedule.

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