Archive for January, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Obituary: Aaron Swartz, 1986 – 2013

Aaron H. Swartz was an American coder, hacker, and internet activist. His father, Robert Swartz, had developed one of the first IBM operating systems, and Swartz junior seemed to follow his father’s footsteps, even if in a rather new environment and with a distinct civic sense of mission.

Swartz joined Reddit when the company acquired (or merged with) Infogami, a software company founded by Swartz himself.

What got him into conflict with the judicial system, after some earlier and less significant jostles, was breaking into M.I.T. computer networks in 2010 and 2011, to access JSTOR and to download documents from there. It was apparently meant to be a demonstration, to underline his case that documents like JSTOR’s should be freely available. It had long been argued that such documents should be free because they are produced at public expense, writes the New York Times. The NYT has a detailed account of Swartz’ JSTOR activity. The indictment says that JSTOR’s servers were brought down by his action on several occasions, Wired wrote in September 2012.

It’s apparently a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) which was applied by federal prosecutors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in limiting reach of the CFAA, said that violations of employee contract agreements and websites’ terms of service – crucial in Swartz’ case, apparently, at least if up to the prosecutors – were better left to civil lawsuits, also according to Wired. But this ruling wasn’t binding for Massachusetts, and the prosecutors insisted that their charges against Swartz should go on. The maximum penalty – potentially – could have amounted to 35 years in prison, and a million USD penalty. The chief prosecutor in charge was Steve Heymann, who had previously brought hacker Albert Gonzales into jail with a 20-year term.

One of the underlying arguments in Swartz’ conflict with the judicial system was about what internet content should be freely available. Another was about what constitutes a violation of terms and conditions (although this may rather be a judicial technicalty than part of the actual conflict). Apparently, the federal prosecutors could have dropped their charges, had they wanted to. German newsmagazine Der Spiegel wonders if the prosecutors were indirectly targeting Bradley Manning, and Wikileaks, and if that would explain their determination to see the case through.

Aaron Swartz hanged himself on Friday, in his Brooklyn apartment.

Court proceedings had been scheduled to begin on April 1 this year.

Swartz reportedly had a history of depression. But in an online statement released on Saturday, his family and his partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, wrote that decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death:

Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.

Swartz’ ideology possibly seemed extreme, MIT Technology Review wrote in February 2012. The Review wrote that in September 2010, while siphoning the JSTOR database, Swartz was also circulating the first online petition to raise awareness of a controversial anti-piracy law. At the time, Swartz was putting together a website, as he said in an interview with the MIT Review, which ended up becoming Demand Progress.

Aaron Swartz’ funeral will be held on Tuesday, January 15.



» what brought him here, Lessig Blog, v2, January 12, 2013


Friday, January 11, 2013

Deutsche Welle History, 1973: Owls to Athens

Der Spiegel, February 12, 1973, “Personal Data” column

Walter Steigner (60), “Deutsche Welle” director, didn’t let a fellow partisan have his say. In an interview with Deutsche Welle staffer Vassili Mavridis, SPD member of parliament Dieter Schinzel had argued against a trip by foreign minister [Walter Scheel] to Athens (“a visit would be seen as support for the junta”), and tendered his interviewer a tape with a 90-seconds commentary by oppositional former [Greek] minister Georgios Mavros (“A visit by the German foreign minister would be seen as a blow at the Greek democrats —“). The social democratic [Deutsche Welle] director however considered it “politically questionable when a member of parliament accepts a tape and expects us to broadcast it”, and therefore banned the broadcast – Schinzel’s scolding [in his actual interview with Mavridis], too. The parlamentarian believes that the Deutsche Welle Greek broadcasts’ “information content” is dwindling anyway, in favor of Greek folklore: “Folk music – that’s what they can listen to in Athen’s broadcasts just as well”.

"Music contest between Apollo and Marsyas", Voice of Greece QSL card, 1985.

“Music contest between Apollo and Marsyas”, Voice of Greece QSL card, 1985.



» Greek Military Junta 1967 – 1974, Wikipedia, acc. 20130111

» Related tag: Deutsche Welle

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rising China, Rotten Diplomacy: No Game-Changer in Sight

Chinese leaders established a China Public Diplomacy Association in Beijing on December 31 last year. English-language party mouthpiece China Daily carried a news article on page 4 one day later, either because of the expected importance the new organization might carry, or because of the relative prominence of at least two participants in the event, foreign minister Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) and former foreign minister Li Zhaoxing (李肇星, now chairman of the National People’s Congress foreign affairs committee).

What strikes me in the article is that Yang Jiechi isn’t his own party boss in the foreign ministry. His vice minister, Zhang Zhijun, is. Wu Bangguo on the other hand  is both chairman and party secretary of the National People’s Congress (see notes underneath that post). Not sure how many ministers (if any) double as minister and their ministry’s party secretaries. At the ministry of health, it is also the vice minister who doubles as party secretary, while at the ministry of culture, the minister takes both the state and the party function. Minister of Public Security, Guo Shengkun, also doubles in both functions. He took both the positions in December.

Does this indicate something about Yang Jiechi, or about the importance of his job as foreign minister – i. e. the importance of irrelevance of diplomacy? Not necessarily. But there are other indicators, too. Yang wasn’t even a member of the 17th politbureau (let alone its standing committee). Late in November, in an article for CNN, Linda Jakobson pointed out that the power status of diplomacy within the Chinese leadership was unlikely to rise.

So, one shouldn’t expect the China Public Diplomacy Association to become a game-changer. It’s nice for the (public) diplomats that the 18th National Congress – referred to by Yang Jiechi as quoted within the article translated below – gave public diplomacy a mention in its report. But if that’s something to celebrate, it sheds a sad light on the discipline as a whole. No wonder that Zhao Qizheng, director of the CPPCCs foreign affairs committee, longs for the good old days of Zhou Enlai‘s “convivial diplomacy” (official, semi-official and people-to-people diplomacy). Zhou, after all, was a member of the politburo’s standing committee – and for the first nine years after the establishment of the PRC, he was also its foreign minister. In the 1970s, foreign relations were still a job for the top, and in February 1979, Deng Xiaoping celebrated the improving Sino-American relations with an attack on Vietnam.

We probably have to see the inaugural session of the China Public Diplomacy Association in the light of those glory days – it’s a contrast that doesn’t make either official or unofficial diplomacy look important these days.

Maybe the new situation, frequently mentioned by Yang in his congratulatory speech, is just that situation. But then again, maybe not.

Form your own opinion if you can.

Committee for Friendship with Foreign Countries of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Shanghai Committee, January 8, 2013.

Main Link: Tell China’s story well, let China’s voice be heard. China Public Diplomacy Association established, Zhou Taitong attends. (讲好中国故事 发好中国声音 中国公共外交协会成立 周太彤出席)

On December 31, 2012, the China Public Diplomacy Association inaugural meeting was held at Diaoyutai Guest House, with foreign minister Yang Jiechi, foreign ministry party secretary and vice minister Zhang Zhijun and other leaders participating and unveiling the association’s nameplate. Shanghai Municipal People’s Consultative Conference vice chairman and Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association’s vice director Zhou Taitong represented Shanghai’ Public Diplomacy Association at the meeting.


At this first general assembly, the “China Public Diplomacy Association charter (draft) was passed, National People’s Congress foreign affairs committee chairman and former foreign minister Comrade Li Zhaoxing was elected as the association’s first president. [1] Former ambassador to Britain and to the Council on Security Cooperation in Asia and Pacific Region Ma Zhengang; [2] China Museums Association deputy director, China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification director, and [3] Central Research Institute of Culture and History staff member Comrade Shu Yi were elected as deputy presidents, and China Institute of International Studies fellow Song Ronghua was elected secretary-general.


Minister Yang Jiechi delivered the congratulatory speech. He pointed out that public diplomacy, in a new situation, is an objective requirement for perfecting the design of our country’s diplomacy, and important in broadening our country’s diplomatic work. The 18th National Congress report says that “we must sturdily promote public diplomacy and cultural exchanges”. This exacts higher demands on the promotion of public diplomacy under the new situation. In the new situation, promoting public diplomacy and cultural exchanges means putting efforts into mutual knowledge between China and the world, deepening China’s relations with the world, as well as promoting China’s and the world’s benign interaction and common development. We must develop and expand equality and mutual trust, be tolerant of each other and learn from each other in the spirit of win-win cooperation, we must strengthen dialog and exchange with the peoples of the world, promote mutual understanding, trust, friendship, and cooperation. Developing public diplomacy requires ample use of resources from all walks of life and bringing all factors from society into play. We hope that the China Public Diplomacy Association will carry out and implement the spirit of the 18th National Congress, make major contributions to the cause of China’s public diplomacy, and build fine foundations for the public-opinion environment and the will of the people.


Yang Jiechi emphasized that public diplomacy absolutely needed innovating ways and means, strengthened communication and exchanges with the masses, it needed to draw on the wisdom and the will of the people, domestic and foreign coordination, wholistic planning of the overall domestic and foreign situations, it needed to tell China’s story well and let China’s voice be heard, it needed to explain a real China to the world, and to establish a just and comprehensive view of China.




» Destined to Fail, The Diplomat, January 7, 2013
» A related discussion, Peking Duck, Jan 7, 2013


Thursday, January 10, 2013

After Suicide: Guangzhou Government Defends Qi Xiaolin’s Name

« Previous coverage (January 9)

Main Link: secretary of the political and law committee: no Violations of Discipline found (穗政法委书记:未发现祁晓林违法纪)

Links within blockquote added during translation.

Yangcheng Evening Post, reporter Wang Pu. On January 9 at noon, Guangzhou Municipal PSB office’s website “Guangzhou Golden Shield” (广州金盾网) stated: deputy municipal PSB director Qi Xiaolin hanged himself to death.

羊城晚报讯 记者王普报道:1月9日中午,广州市公安局官网“广州金盾网”发布消息:广州市公安局副局长祁晓林自缢身亡。

The notice said: on January 8, 2013, Guangzhou Municipal PSB deputy director Qi Xiaolin hanged himself and died, aged 55. Comrade Qi Xiaolin suffered from depression at his lifetime. Yangcheng Evening Post learned that Qi hanged himself in his office’s rest room inside the Guangzhou PSB building.


“Qi Xiaolin indeed suffered from depression, but there had been no indication that he would hang himself”, a PSB officer told this reporter. On Tuesday afternoon, there had been a democratic cadre appraisal of mid-level cadres, and these cadres had all voted there in the [PSB building’s] auditorium. “At that time, Qi Xiaolin and other leading cadres attended on the rostrum, and while they were checking the votes, he returned to his office. As the counting process took quite a while, nobody noticed that Qi hadn’t returned, or wondered why he didn’t come back.” It is said that Qi’s secretary wanted to ask him back to the meeting and found that he had hanged himself to death. He left no suicide note. Legal medical examinations and procurial organs found no doubts about the cause of death.

“祁晓林的确是有患病,但突然自缢却一点征兆也没有。”一位公安人员告诉记者,1月8日下午,广州市公安局中层干部集体民主评选干部,处以上干部都到公安 局礼堂内投票。“当时,祁晓林副局长与其他局领导在主席台上,验票时他回到了自己办公室。由于验票时间较长,没有人再留意到祁晓林最后没有到场,或者是为 什么没有到场”。据称,验票结束后祁晓林的秘书通知其回到会议上,进入办公室后,才发现祁晓林已自缢身亡。他生前没有留下遗书。经法医、检察机关勘查证 实,死亡原因无疑点。

Qi Xiaolin entered rural ranks after junior high school graduation, then entered police school, initially at Guangzhou Huangpu District PSB branch office, and rose from an ordinary policeman to become the branch office’s deputy political commissar and director, then switched to Fangcun PSB branch office to become its director, and then became Guangzhou Municipal PSB deputy party secretary and deputy director in 2003, ranking third in its hierarchy.


A senior people’s policeman told this reporter that “Qi Xiaolin was good at investigating criminal cases. During his time at Huangpu and Fangcun Districts, he solved important cases. After becoming deputy PSB director, he was mainly in charge of the traffic police, PSB internal security, the subway and liason with Tianhe District PSB branch office. The last public event he attended was on December 18, 2012, at the “National key internet media Guangdong line – Guangzhou scientific development implementation informative meeting”.

一位资深民警告诉羊城晚报记者:“祁晓林是侦办刑事案件的一把好手,他在黄埔区、芳村区时都曾破获大要案件。”祁晓林任广州市公安局副局长后,分管部门为 交警、内保、保卫、地铁,联系天河区公安分局。祁晓林最后一次出席公开活动是2012年12月18日在“全国重点网络媒体广东行——广州落实科学发展观情 况介绍会”上介绍广州社会治安情况。

There had been beliefs that Qi, having been in charge of traffic police for so long, was linked to corruption cases in this administrative field, but a people’s policeman said: “That’s not too likely. If there was such a link, he wouldn’t have been left in charge of car traffic administration.”


An old classmate said: “Qi Xia0lin was introverted, not very talkative. He frequently felt pain on his neck, didn’t sleep well, and I’ve heard his family people say that they had learned about his depression”. A people’s policeman said: “Qi Xiaolin was responsible for security work for a long time. There was a lot of pressure.”


Yangcheng Evening Post concludes the article with a statement from Wu Sha (吴沙), Guangzhou secretary of the political and law committee (see here for a “Global Times” news article in English). After his statement, Wu expressed his sympathy to Qi’s relatives.

The statement was apparently needed, not necessarily because of Qi Xiaolin as a person, but because of general suspicion against the PSB or public officials. Among those who have commented on Huanqiu Shibao on the story since yesterday, cynicism prevails. There are only six comments now – at least some more have been removed since. None of them is sympathetic, but eleven hours ago, “King Qin’s Warrior” had the last word so far with the only comment at a conflict of sorts with the others: Take severe measures against corruption, so that a prosperious people lives in the country at peace. Let the nation unite, and defend itself against foreign enemies.

According to Yangcheng Evening Post, Qi Xiaolin was born in September 1957, and was a native of Haiyang, Shandong Province.



» Partytalk, May 19, 2012
» Satisfaction of the People, Aug 16, 2009


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guangzhou Deputy PSB Chief reportedly Commits Suicide

Guangzhou Public Security Bureau (PSB) deputy director Qi Xiaolin (祁晓林) committed suicide by hanging himself on Tuesday, reports China News Service (中国新闻网, via Huanqiu Shibao). He is believed to have suffered from depression.

Qi, aged 55 (or 54, depending on how his living years are counted) was also deputy secretary of the Guangzhou PSB party committee. The Guangzhou Municipal Government’s official website is quoted as saying that Qi was mainly in charge of the PSB internal security detachment (内部安全保卫支队), the traffic police detachment, the subway (security) department, “etc.”, with Guangzhou PSB Tianhe branch office as his contact address.

Xinhua (in English) puts it somewhat more carefully, saying that the apparent cause of death was suicide.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Xi Jinping Lecture: Personal Experience

Xinhua online (republished here by Enorth, Tianjin), January 5, 2013, on a speech held by Xi Jinping on Saturday. According to the article, Xi discussed his personal learning experience in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics (就坚持和发展中国特色社会主义谈了自己的学习体会).

Main Link: Unwaveringly upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR.

On January 5, new members and alternate members of the Central Committee held a seminar at the Party School in Beijing on the spirit of the 18th National Congress. CCP Secretary General and Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping held an important speech at the seminar’s opening ceremony. He pointed out that the choice of the road to take was related to the wax or wane of the party’s cause. The road was the life of the party. Socialism with Chinese characteristics was the dialectical unity of scientific socialist theoretical logic and Chinese social development history’s logic, rooted in the lands of China, reflecting the wishes of the Chinese people, suiting China’s and the times’ requirements for developing and progressing scientific socialism, and the only road for the achievement of a society of modest prosperity all over the country, for the accelerated promotion of socialist modernization, and to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation1).


The second paragraph doesn’t seem to contain anything new – except, perhaps, that Mao Zedong‘s theories aren’t mentioned. Deng Xiaoping theory and Jiang Zemin‘s “Three Represents” do get their mention. The instructions from the “State Information Office”, issued prior to the CCP’s 18th National Congress, didn’t appear to contain references to Mao Zedong either. The 17th Central Committee’s “Cultural Decision” mentions both Mao and Deng.

Huanqiu Shibao emoticon menu: no emotions. (click picture for the same Xinhua article republished on Huanqiu.)

Huanqiu Shibao emoticon menu: no emotions. (click picture for the same Xinhua article republished on Huanqiu.)

[…] This is the 31rst year since entering socialism with Chinese characteristics as proposed by Comrade Deng Xiaoping. Primarily, Xi Jinping, from the perspectives of history and reality, discussed his own learning experience with upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. He analyzed from the six stages of socialist ideology to today’s point in the historical process, with the contents of utopian socialism, Marxism, Engels’ scientific socialist theory systems, the Lenin-led October Revolution Victory’s socialism, the Soviet form of socialist practice, our party’s exploration and practice of socialism after the establishment of New China, our party’s historical decision to carry out reform and opening up, creating and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.

[…..] 今年是邓小平同志提出建设中国特色社会主义进入31个年头了。习近平重点从历史和现实的角度,就坚持和发展中国特色社会主义谈了自己的学习体会。他从6个时间段分析了社会主义思想从提出到现在的历史过程,内容包括空想社会主义产生和发展,马克思、恩格斯创立科学社会主义理论体系,列宁领导十月革命胜利并实践社会主义,苏联模式逐步形成,新中国成立后我们党对社会主义的探索和实践,我们党作出进行改革开放的历史性决策、开创和发展中国特色社会主义。

Xi Jinping pointed out that Comrade Deng Xiaoping pioneered socialism with Chinese characteristics, answering, for the first time, the questions of China’s relative economic and cultural backwardness and how to build socialism [under these circumstances], how to solidify and develop socialism’s leading problems, by using new ideological points of view, carrying forward and developing Marxism, extending the boundaries of Marxism, and raising the scientific level of understanding socialism.


Xi Jinping emphasized that socialism with Chinese characteristics is socialism, but no other doctrine. The basic principles of sicentific socialism could not be lost – what had been lost wasn’t socialism. Which doctrine a country implemented depended crucially on which historical tasks a country had to solve. History and reality both tell us that only socialism can save China, and that only socialism with Chinese characteristics can develop China. This is the conclusion of history, and the people’s choice. With the continuous development of socialism with Chinese characteristics, our country’s socialist system will keep maturing, our country’s socialist system’s superiority [or advantage] will continuously reveal itself, and our path will become ever broader. As long as we have this trust in the road we have taken, as long as we have trust in our theories, and trust in our system, we can truly act [in accordance with Zheng Banqiao‘s words/paintings]: “Suffered from hardship, they never fright, no matter the wind in all directions beat”2).


In the following paragraph, Xi still doesn’t mention Mao Zedong, but emphasizes a kind of unity between socialism in China before, and after the policies of reform and opening up:

Xi Jinping pointed out that our party led the people in the construction of socialism, and that there were the historical periods before and since reform and opening up. These were interrelated, but also with major differences from each other. Essentially, however, our party led the people in the implementation of socialist construction and practical exploration. They were different from each other in their ideological guidance, principles and policies, but not at all separate from each other, and definitely no opposites to each other. We must adhere to the ideological line of seeking truth in the facts, distinguish between the main current and the tributary rivers, adhere to the truth, correct mistakes, carry forward our experience, learn our lessons [“breathing them in”, 吸取教训], and on this basis make the party’s and the people’s cause advance.


Xi Jinping emphasized that Marxism is bound to go with the times, practice and science continuously develop, and there is nothing set in its ways. Socialism has always progressed by opening up. Adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics is a great chapter. Comrade Deng Xiaoping defined [this chapter’s] basic ideas and principles, and with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core of the party’s collective third leadership generation and Comrade Hu Jintao as the secretary general of the party’s central committee, another brilliant section had been added to the great chapter. Now, it is the task of our generation of Communists to continue to write this great chapter. Adhere to Marxism, to socialism, and make sure you have a developing point of view [or development point of view]. The more advanced our cause will be, the more developed it will be, new situations and problems will increase. We will face more and more risks and challenges, and unforeseeable matters. We must be prepared for unexpected developments, be prepared for danger in times of peace, what you know, you know, what you don’t know, you don’t know. When you know, create the conditions to do it, and if you don’t know, keep learning and studying to work it out. We cannot afford ambiguities.


Xi Jinping pointed out that CCP members, and particularly leading cadres, must be firm believers in and loyal practitioners of the lofty ideals (远大理想) of communism and the common ideals of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We want to adhere to the faith in going the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and at the same time maintain the lofty ideals (崇高理想) of communism, resolutely implement and carry out the party’s basic road and basic guiding principles in the initial stage of socialism, and successfuly do every piece of work of the day. Revolutionary ideals reach higher than the skies. Without lofty ideals, there is no qualified communist, and abandoning practical work and empty talk about lofty ideals makes no qualified communist either. The measure of a Communist and a leading cadre is if he has lofty Communist ideals, objective standards, if he is able to serve the people with his whole heart, if he is able to stand difficulties before enjoying the achievements, if he can work hard, if he honestly does his duties, if he struggles selflessly, fights, and devotes all his energy and life. All confused and hesitant points of view, making merry while one can, all selfish behavior, all inefficiency is incompatible with this.


Li Keqiang presided over the seminar’s opening ceremony.



1) Great rejuvenation was the theme Tuo Zhen, propaganda chief of Guangdong’s CCP branch, reportedly inserted into Southern Weekly‘s original New Year’s article, instead of the original article’s “China dream”, which would have related to constitutionalism and to checks and balances on and within political power.

2) The probable source for this quote by Xi Jinping is Zheng Banqiao (aka Zheng Xie), an offical and painter from Jiangsu, is the probable source for this quote by Xi Jinping. Wikipedia: When he was reportedly criticized for building a shelter for the poor, he resigned (Wikipedia, accessed 20130105).



» Xi endorses Deng mantra, SCMP, Jan 5, 2013
» Xi reiterates, “Global Times”, Jan 1, 2013
» Whose China Dream, Jan 5, 2013
» People with Lofty Ideas (仁人志士), Oct 31, 2010


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Whose “China Dream”? Open Letter Reacts to Censorship of SCMP’s New Year’s Editorial

At least 35 former Southern Weekly (南方周末) employees demanded the resignation of Guangdong’s propaganda chief  Tuo Zhen (庹震), reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The open letter was distributed on the internet on Friday.

The letter accuses Mr. Tuo of ordering last-minute changes to the editorial, unbeknownst to the newspaper’s staff. The accusations, if proved true, would suggest aggressive efforts to silence reform advocates and a tightening grip over traditionally outspoken newspapers in Guangdong, media observers say.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) has a short bio of Tuo Zhen – it’s not exactly the background one would expect from a leading censor and propagandist.

China Media Project (CMP, Hong Kong) translated and published excerpts from the SCMP staff’s open letter on Friday, and announced a full translation.



» Advocating Democracy, January 1, 2013
» Public-Vehicle Petitions, Dec 27, 2012
» On the Ground, The Hindu, Nov 9, 2012


» 我们,曾在南方周末工作过的媒体从业者, 南洋视界, January 5, 2013


Friday, January 4, 2013

“Sharp”: RAE’s “Siempre Argentina”

Siempre Argentina, the English Connection is an infotainment show on the English service of Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior (RAE), the foreign broadcasting service of Argentine public radio, hosted by Mirian Turkula and Fernando Farias. Two editions a day are aired from Monday through Friday, and both of those are now broadcast live, according to the station’s announcement on January 3/4.

The evening edition (local time), i. e. 02:00 to 03:00 UTC, on 11710 kHz, used to be pre-recorded, but that’s apparently changed with the beginning of 2013.

Radio Argentina al Exterior (RAE) QSL card, 1980s

Radio Argentina al Exterior (RAE) QSL card, 1980s. The station is still active on shortwave in seven languages – Spanish, German, French, English, Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese.

The earlier (afternoon local time) broadcast wasn’t specifically mentioned in the announcement early this morning (UTC), but it should be the one on 15345 kHz at 18:00 UTC. Besides shortwave,

you can also listen to us in perfect sound quality through the internet,

the station said, and theoretically, according to the announcement, you’d find RAE online – in English – here. [Update, 20151108: here.]

I didn’t find that link. But it doesn’t matter, because this is perfect sound quality to me.

You can also listen to a letter by Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to British prime minister David Camerón, umm, Cameron, concerning the Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas, read out on the recording linked to in the previous paragraph.

According to RAE, the Guardian – one of the papers who carried de Kirchner’s letter – wrote that the wording was “sharp”.

Also kind of sharp was this letter. It wasn’t official, though – that official answer from the Falklands is here.

But apparently, no cartoon of this kind – criticizing the Guardian for publishing the letter – has emerged yet. Back then, in 1982, Michael Cummings targeted the BBC for their – probably highly professional (i. e. lacking jingoism)  coverage of the Falklands War.

Apparently, the shortwave broadcasts from Argentina can’t be taken for granted – they were said to be at risk in 2010/2011, as costly repairs were looming. According to the same source, the transmitter was also closed for several months in 2008, but then came back to its usual 15345 kHz frequency.

German shortwave broadcasts from Argentina started on April 11, 1949, then by the Servicio Nacional Radiofónico Argentina. They ended in 1955, after a military coup against then president Juan Perón, but came back with newly-founded RAE on February 12, 1958. Apparently during the reign of the last military junta, i. e. in the 1970s or early in the 1980s, presenter Carl Dieter Gredé (born in the late 1940s) tried to convey nuanced news coverage to the station’s German-speaking listeners, and finally also a coded call for his own rescue. With international support, he was able to leave Argentina, and later published his memories with an Austrian publisher, according to the webpages of Hansjörg Biener, in Nuremberg.

If I remember correctly, the German service was interrupted for some time in the 1980s, too, before it came back in the mid-1980s. The first RAE broadcasts I listened to were in English.

The German broadcast, presented by Rayén Braun and Carlos Diaz Rocca, is also aired live, at 21:00 UTC on 15345 kHz.



» Related Tag: shortwave radio »


Updates / Related

» RAE history (in German), J. Theobald, May 15, 2015


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