22 October 2006

shortwave summary, oct 2006 (part 3)

This report features news about China's National Daay, Michael Schumacher's race in Shanghai, heightened tensions between Russia and Georgia, North Korea's threatening nature, and the meaning of purple shopping baskets. During these receptions, I was using my Eton E5, Sony ICF SW7600GR, and a Degen DE31 active loop antenna.

Received stations:
* China Radio International
* Voice of Russia
* City Sounds
* Firedrake
* Voice of America
* Deutsche Welle
* Radio Netherlands

* 02 Oct 2006, 0102 UTC, 9790 khz (China Radio International): President Hu Jintao visited the site of the new Olympic stadium. He encouraged workers to prepare for the best Olympic games in history. China's elderly population will reach 174 million by 2010. Following the Russia/Georgia incident, Russian troops will withdraw from Georgia. USA imposing sanctions on those involved in Iran's weapons programs. Israeli army withdrew all troops from southern Lebanon. Host: Mike Patterson in Beijing. On Sunday, tens of thousands gathered in Tianamen square for the National Day flag raising ceremony. Millions of Chinese will travel to visit family for the holiday. Hong Kong celebrated National Day, raising the flags of the PRC and Hong Kong SAR. The announcer mentioned Thailand's new interim constitution and the bloodless coup.

Michael Schumacher raced at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Tickets for the race ranged from US$45 to US$500. It was Schumacher's last race in Shanghai; he will retire next year. Ticket sales were much better this year due to improved marketing. The news ended at 0120 UTC. An advertisement of some kind promised that "just a few injections can bring you endless youth!" A photo exhibition in Argentina celebrates the 57th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. For the past decade, traveling in and out of Tibet has been difficult. This segment is titled "Eye on the Tibet railway." Tibet is 4000 meters above sea level, and the railway is a triumph of engineering.

I wanted to hear more about the Tibetan railway, but I stopped listening because the signal became very weak.

* 02 Oct 2006, 0201 UTC, 15595 khz (Voice of Russia): After hearing about the conflict between Russia and Georgia, I went to the source for more details. Four Russian military officers were arrested on charges of espionage in Georgia. Vladimir Putin blasted Georgia's "witch hunts". He claims the move was designed to distract the public. Two remaining Russian military bases in Georgia are staying put, although the current deadline for closure is 2008. Several nations in the region offered to mediate the conflict. Iran claims its nuclear program will go on, however, they may accept a 3-month suspension of uranium enrichment. I heard identification: "Voice of Russia world service." Three days of mourning were declared in Brazil for the Amazon plane crash. There's a possible natural gas development project near the Barents sea. 11% rise in salaries for Russian workers. This is the "Sunday panorama" news roundup program. Russia is trying to host the 2012 winter Olympic games. The USA "obstructed" a security council issue related to Georgia.

Thanks, Russia, for putting gloom and doom on the radio.

* 03 Oct 2006, 1550 UTC, 6000 khz (???): Pop music. Talking at 1555 UTC. Piano music. Please give me an ident! It went off the air at 1600 UTC. I am pretty sure this was City Sounds coming from Singapore.

* 03 Oct 2006, 1902 UTC: Some Firedrake frequencies: 11700 khz, 11785 khz, 13625 khz, 15510 khz.

* 03 Oct 2006, 1909 UTC, 15445 khz (Voice of America): I tuned in for just a couple minutes. There's a nuclear test threat from North Korea. Isolation may have created more economic problems. What will Beijing do? China wants to avoid a regional nuclear arms race. High tensions in the Gaza strip due to an escalating power struggle between Hamas and Fatah.

* 03 Oct 2006, 1913 UTC, 17860 khz (Deutsche Welle): Arabic from Rwanda. Great signal!

* 04 Oct 2006, 0400 UTC, 6165 khz (Radio Netherlands): "From Hilversum in Holland, this is Radio Netherlands." A South Korean may lead the United Nations. Bosnia holds a key election. No vetos in the security council for a South Korean UN secretary general candidate. The candidate reflects of South Korea's growing status. He has a reputation as a hard-working administrator. This is further proof that the cold war is over, according to whoever was being interviewed. The South Korean government was formed in 1948 by the United Nations. North Korea intends to carry out a nuclear weapon test, angering its neighbors, Japan and South Korea. North Korea has very few friends left in the region. A pre-emptive strike by the USA seems unlikely. Bosnia remains a very divided nation. There was a sense of resignation and fear prior to the elections there.

Holland's postal service company was privatized but the government retained "golden shares." More often, a privatized company may be under obligation to a public official. These practices are now being challenged. A story about low-income families in Brazil. Shooting of several girls at an Amish school in Pennsylvania - the leading story in Dutch newspapers. New hope for job-seekers who face discrimination: anonymous applications. Iranians integrate the best when coming to the Netherlands. The number of people living alone in Holland has risen sharply in the past 10 years. New housing construction focuses on family situations. Singles can use a purple shopping basket at the grocery store to indicate their availability.

Euroquest with Jonathan Groubert. The NSA eavesdrops on US citizens without a warrant. Great Britain has an extensive closed-circuit video system. Do Europeans accept the need for reduced privacy? One woman is against the scanning of email that Google's Gmail service implements. "Those with clean hands have nothing to hide" is a naive observation, according to an Amsterdam professor of Internet and privacy ethics. There are no guarantees of increased security. Radio France International segment, "French privacy under pressure." Tracking people via GPS. Criminals, victims, and witnesses are added to a crime database.

Next, a brief history of Soviet spy agencies. Cheka became the KGB, and is now known as the FSB. Vladimir Bukovsky, a dissident, is no longer welcome in Russia. FSB blew up two apartment buildings in 1999 and blamed the Chechens. The FSB was caught while setting up more bombs. Two bombers were never brought to trial. Hundreds of civilians were killed in the 2004 Chechen hostage situation. Russia pays a high price for being protected by the FSB. Bukovsky predicts further fragmentation of Russia, "not necessarily along ethnic lines." Perhaps the former Soviet Union has better chances of solving problems with local governments than with the help of "inert" Moscow. Jonathan closed the segment by saying "I hope you have a wonderfully private weekend."

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