Archive for ‘Germany’

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas, …

20211224_20161200_merry_christmas

Stay in touch

… and keep warming your hands here in this cold war.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Christmas Program Changes on Shortwave

According to Radio Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), Northern German Radio (NDR) schedules this year’s “Gruss an Bord” (Greeting all Ships) as follows:

Dec 24, from 18:00 to 21:00 UTC (3 hours only)
Europe   6080 kHz Tashkent
Atlantic (N) 15770 kHz Miami (WRMI)
Atlantic (S) 11650 kHz Nauen, Germany
Indian O. (SW) 9820 kHz Issoudun, France
Indian O. (E)   9610 kHz Moosbrunn, Austria

leer_reformed_church

Windrose, Leer Reformed Church, East Frisia

So, there will be only three hours instead of the traditional four, and they’ll start one hour earlier than in the past, (18 instead of 19 h UTC), but there’s a small compensation: you won’t need to re-tune your radio receiver for the second half – all frequencies are booked for the entire three hours from 18 to 21 hours UTC (or Greenwich time).

The RBB author seems to be glad to see the Armenian Gavar transmitter replaced by Tashkent as he didn’t like the transmitters’ sonic effect. I actually liked the discreet background hum there, and enjoyed the extra seconds at the end, as NDR’s audio arrived there with some delay, apparently by internet connection or very slow satellite.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) appears to cut “Gruss an Bord” down to Three Hours


U p d a t e !

Christmas is approaching, and so is a German shortwave classic – “Gruß an Bord” (“Greeting all Ships”), produced by Northern German Radio (Norddeutscher Rundfunk, NDR) and transmitted on shortwave (to Europe, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean) as well as on VHF/FM in Hamburg and in its neighboring northern German states.

keep_the_radiiowaves_coming

All ears

Unfortunately, there’s conflicting information about the duration of the program. According to info posted by NDR itself only yesterday (Friday), they cut the program from the usual four to only three hours (and only two hours on VHF/FM). As that is the more recent info, I’ll post it first.

1. NDR timetable

According to them (and they published their schedule only on Friday), the broadcast begins at 18 UTC and ends at 21 UTC – that would be a one-hour reduction, compared to previous years. (The VHF/FM broadcast has even been cut back to two hours only.)

This could be plausible, too, because there will be no recordings from the usual venues in Hamburg and Leer, and most greetings will be taken and read out by e-mail, to avoid gatherings during the fourth “corona wave”.
But to reduce the airtime would still be bad style, especially as they haven’t mentioned this explicitly, leaving it to their global audience to find out.

2. ADDX timetable

“ADDX-Kurier”, probably Germany’s biggest printed media magazine, published the following schedule (copy deadline around Nov 15 Dec 15).
The first half of the program is (or was, originally, who knows?)  scheduled to run from 19 to 21 hours UTC (aka Greenwich Mean Time), on the following frequencies:

target area frequency transmitter
Europe   6030 kHz Gavar
Atlantic (N)   6080 kHz Nauen
Indian Ocean (E)   9570 kHz Moosbrunn
Indian Ocean (W)   9740 kHz Nauen
South Africa   9800 kHz Issoudun
Atlantic (S) 11650 kHz Issoudun

Frequencies would change around 21:00 UTC as follows:

target area frequency transmitter
Europe   6155 kHz Gavar
Atlantic (N)   6145 kHz Nauen
Indian Ocean (E)   9675 kHz Moosbrunn
Indian Ocean (W)   9740 kHz Nauen
South Africa   9590 kHz Issoudun
Atlantic (S)   9830 kHz Issoudun

Gavar is a transmitter site in Armenia, Nauen is a transmitter site west of Berlin, Germany, Moosbrunn is an Austrian transmitter site (also known for daily broadcasts of Austria’s domestic “Ö1” ORF public radio), and Issoudun is a transmitter site in central France, known as a relay for Radio France Internationale (RFI) and Radio Japan (NHK).
Updates will follow here, if available.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

China Radio International: And Now, No News

There are basically two kinds of program formats carried by China Radio International (CRI) now: those with, and those without news and current affairs coverage. Regionally, you can (roughly) draw aline between East and West, with only the former still getting CRI news in regional languages.

Chinese news item, 2019

They still do speak English

The mention of target areas does not imply that there may not be other target areas for certain languages, too. As for Esperanto, for example, I only listened to the broadcast to Europe, but Europe may  not be CRI Esperanto’s only target area.

This list is not at all exhaustive; there are many more CRI language services I haven’t recently listened to.

Language Target areas News
Vietnamese Vietnam Yes
Indonesian Indonesia yes
Malaysian Malaysia yes
Japanese Japan yes
Filipino Philippines yes
Khmer Cambodia yes
Bengali Bengal yes
Thai Thailand yes
Mongolian Mongolia yes
Urdu Pakistan, India, Nepal yes
Hausa Niger, Nigeria yes
Pashto Afghanistan, Pakistan yes
Esperanto Europe no
Romanian Romania no
Italian Italy no
Bulgarian Bulgaria no
Czech Czech Republic no
Polish Poland no
Serbian Serbia & regional no
Hungarian Hungary & regional no
German Austria & regional no

Programs without news / current affairs are usually filled up with music. Some language services without news add explanatory announcements to their music programs, but others run completely without spoken words.
Language services that may be considered global ones – Chinese, English, Russian, or Spanish, still have news in their programs, and maybe cultural programs, too, but CRI’s Portuguese service hasn’t.

Esperanto broadcasts a cultural program with lots of talk, but no news or current affairs either.

The mere-music programs may run without day-to-day updates. The genres vary, however. You get some revolutionary opera on frequencies that were used for Serb programs in the past, or rock and pop music on what was once the Czech service.
The replacement for the German service is particularly mean: typical “China restaurant” dining music.
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Related

Program reductions, Nov 25, 2019
CCTV, CRI, CPBS, March 30, 2018
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Useful links

Shortwave Info
Kiwi SDR
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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Shortwave Logs: Nov 2 – Nov 12, 2021

Radio Poland provides Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusan and German listeners with news and press reviews about current affairs, on medium wave, 1386 kHz, mainly from 04:00 to 05:30 GMT and from 15:30 to 17:30 GMT. As there are no more transmitters on shortwave or medium wave available in Poland, these broadcasts are transmitted from a medium wave station in Lithuania. The Lithuanians also carry a Russian-language program for the Western areas of the Russian Federation, and a program by Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (Radio Svoboda), also in Russian and for the same target area.

Radio Polands English service can be found online.

radio_polonia

Radio Poland QSL card from the 1980s

The shorter the days, the better these programs should be audible throughout central Europe, and possibly beyond.

Improving propagation with the start of a new solar cycle draws me to shortwave and AM radio again. A few logs of the past few days are listed underneath, received some 30 kilometers southeast of Bremen, NW Germany.

If the recorded stations don’t show, click “read more”.

Freq B’caster Lang Ctry Time Date Quality
(kHz) GMT S I O
1386 Radio Japan Rus LTU 17:30 2 Nov 3 4 3
1386 Radio Poland Ger LTU 17:00 2 Nov 4 4 3
3955 KBS World Ger G 20:00 4 Nov 4 5 4
4850 PBS Xinjiang Kaz TKS 02:00 5 Nov 3 5 3
4885 Clube do Para Por BRA 02:36 3 Nov 3 4 3
6040 RRI Romania Ger ROU 15:25 10 Nov 4 4 4
6130 PBS Tibet Eng TIB 17:31 6 Nov 4 5 4
6170 Voice of Korea Ger KRE 18:00 2 Nov 3 4 3
7265 Radio Japan Jap D 05:10 11 Nov 4 5 3
7390 New Zealand Eng NZL 12.59 8 Nov 3 4 3
7780 R: Argentina Ger USA 21:00 10 Nov 4 5 3
11725 New Zealand Eng NZL 12:57 8 Nov 4 5 4
11780 Radionacional Por BRA 01:45 3 Nov 3 5 3
12045 CPBS Chi CHN 10:00 5 Nov 4 5 4
15160 AWR Mon*) GUM 12:20 7 Nov 3 4 3

Countries as ITU codes:
Lithuania (LTU); Great Britain (G); Turkestan (TKS); Brazil (BRA); Romania (ROU); Tibet (TIB); North Korea (KRE); Germany (D); New Zealand (NZL); USA (USA); China (CHN); Guam (GUM)

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Notes
*) Mon is a language spoken in Burma and in neighboring countries
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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Tendencies: Germany’s next China Policy

China didn’t feature prominently in Germany’s 2021 federal election campaign – at least not at the surface.
Somewhat underneath, and not really overreported in the German media, are donations and sponsorships that benefitted the political parties – or one or two of them – in the run-up to the Bundestag elections on September 26.
The picture, according to statista.de (quoting Germany’s federal parliament administration and only recording donations of more than 50,000 Euros):

CDU/CSU (center-right): 3,340,860 Euros
FDP (neoliberal): 2,055,454 Euros
Greens (ecological): 1,790,548 Euros
AFD (right-wing, neoliberal): 100,000 Euros
SPD (social democrats): 50,000 Euros

This is not the full picture, of course. Donations from 10,000 to 50,000 Euros will probably only appear in the political parties’ annual accounts, likely to be published around a year and a half after they happen.
Also, [Update, Oct 8: committed event] “sponsoring” [of party congresses, for example] amounts don’t need to be published in detail – there is no way of knowing who donated, and which amounts.
Still, the above-50,000 statistics give us an idea: the social democrats were considered dead in the water. That, at least, was a general belief into August this year, and that’s as far as the statistics go. Some corporations and lobby organizations may have tried to make up for their negligence when the SPD began to soar in the opinion polls.
Before we get to the China issues, let’s take a look at the 50,000-plus donations in relation to the actual votes for the parties.

Blue: donations >50,000
Red: actual votes
(relations, no numbers)

This doesn’t mean that the SPD wouldn’t like to get donations, and grassroot donations can make a difference too, but it is obvious that the industry didn’t bet on the social democrats and the left party.

China issues in the campaign

Hong Kong’s political activist Ray Wong, now living in German exile, German sinologist David Missal and other activists and human rights groups put a “China elections check” online for those who were interested in the party’s positions concerning China.
They asked each political party represented in Germany’s incumbent federal parliament, the Bundestag, eight questions, and according to the organizers, only the AFD didn’t respond.
That said, the CDU/CSU were “neutral” on seven out of the eight statements.
All eight statements can be considered a demand Missal, Wong and the organizations supporting the project would subscribe to.

The parties’ positions in detail

Statement 1


Statement 2


Statement 3


Statement 4


Statement 5


Statement 6


Statement 7


Statement 8


Political parties by rates of agreement, neutrality or disagreement with / towards the statements, in descending order (respectively)

Party / party group agrees with the statements (pro)

The Greens 6
SPD 4
FDP 3
The Left 3
CDU/CSU 0

Party neither agrees nor disagrees with the statements (neutral)

CDU/CSU 7
FDP 5
SPD 1
The Left 0
The Greens 0

Party / group doesn’t agree with the statements (opposed)

The Left 5
SPD 3
FDP 0*)
The Greens 2
CDU/CSU 1
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*) corrected (Oct 8), down from 3

Outlook

At least for now, the CDU/CSU’s chances of heading (or even just joining) a government coalition have deminished, as both the FDP and the Greens are currently moving closer to the SPD, with some unfriendly noise especially from the CSU, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party.
This would mean that exactly the three parties that find most common ground with the Wong/Missal statements would be in government.
The picture would become much friendlier for pro-China lobbyists if the tide turned again,in favor of the CDU/CSU.
The proof of the pudding is the eating, and the industry will almost certainly become more generous with its donations to the Social Democrats, but for those who want to see a government with clear-cut positions on Chinese crimes against human rights, the trend isn’t looking bad.
The CDU/CSU didn’t really care, and documented that publicly.
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Related

Germany after the federal elections, Sept 27, 2021
Guanchazhe flatters Austrian Supernova, April 7, 2018
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Monday, September 27, 2021

Germany after the Federal Elections – Arithmetics of Power

Even though the German “Liberals” (the FDP) supported a coalition with the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, they would join an SPD-led “traffic-lights” coalition if the SPD should win the September 26 federal elections, Dr. Zhu Yufang, a researcher at Tongji University’s German Studies Institute wrote on Sunday morning Beijing time, in an assessment for the Shanghai online newsportal “Guanchazhe” (Observer).

Now the Social Democrats appear to have won the elections, and Dr. Zhu’s expectations can perform miracles – if they can. And that’s a big “if”.

gains_and_losses

Gains and losses, according to ARD Television / infratest-dimap projection at 21:36 UTC

Germany’s investors immediately went into the process of telling the Greens where to go. In the words of “Wirtschaftswoche”, a German weekly published in the neighborhood of Armin Laschet, the Christian Democrats’ and Bavarian Christian Socials’ (CDU/CSU) candidate for chancellor, the Greens’ path towards Laschet’s party is shorter than the FDP’s path towards the Social Democrats (SPD) and their candidate, Olaf Scholz.

If you go by German ARD television’s / infratest dimap projection published at 21:36 UTC, the CDU/CSU got 24.1 percent of the vote, narrowly beaten by the SPD with 25.8 percent. The far-right AFD would get 10.5 percent, the “Liberals” or FDP are at 11.5 percent, and the Left Party appears to remain under the 5-percent threshold that would bar it from re-entering the Bundestag, but three directly-won mandates (or more) will secure their re-entry with whatever percentage, even with less than 5 percent of the overall vote, they may get.

Basically, any coalition among the parties that obtains a majority of the seats in the Bundestag is conceivable, with the likely exception of the far-right AFD (“Alternative für Deutschland”).

20210926_2136_utc_mandatsverteilung

Infratest dimap / ARD Radio and Television, Sept 26, 21:36 UTC projection

This means that the SPD, the Greens and the Left combined would fall short of a majority by five seats, and this would have been the only safe SPD-led government coalition. The SPD and the Greens alone are – all according to the 21:36 UTC projection – 45 seats short of an overall majority.

The likelihood that the FDP will fill this gap – as expected by Dr. Zhu – is rather small, and the likelihood that the Greens will extract concessions from the CDU/CSU that may enable them to sell a coalition to their grassroots is fairly high. The CDU/CSU will want to remain in government at nearly all costs.

On the other hand, the FDP may try to extract concessions from the SPD which the Social Democrats are unlikely to accept.

Dr. Zhu’s expectation that Laschet will only be a transitional successor of incumbent chancellor Angela Merkel may not hold water either. When Merkel became chancellor in 2005, she looked like the actual loser of the federal elections that still brought her to power. Helmut Kohl, who became chancellor in 1982, was a joke – that didn’t keep him from becoming the longest-serving federal chancellor to date.

If Laschet should indeed be an “transitional” chancellor, it won’t be because of him in the first place, but because of the CDU/CSU. The Christian Democrats’ and their Bavarian sister party didn’t only offer the public the weakest candidate. Their platform is nothing to write home about either. After sixteen consecutive years at the helm of the federal government – all led by Merkel – they are out of ideas and of personnel.

But that has never kept them from running the country in the past.

(OK. Obviously, I hope that I’m wrong, but had to get this out of my system before going to work.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Special two-hour transmissions by Radio Taiwan International in German

As custom at Radio Taiwan international‘s (RTI) German service, there will be a number shortwave broadcasts directly from Taiwan this summer, as announced here.

qsl_card_2019_national_radio_museum_minxiong_taiwan

Weekday Dates
Friday July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20.
Saturday July 31, August 7, August 14, August 21.
Sunday August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22.

On each of the above days, there will be a broadcast on 11705 kHz from 17:00 to 18:00 hours UTC and one on 9545 kHz from 18:00 to 19:00 hours UTC.

We can probably expect one hour of different program items per day, at 17:00, repeated at 18:00 UTC. RTI’s German program output per day is about sixty minutes, but routinely, only half of it is aired on shortwave, as regular broadcasts via the Kostinbrod relay in Bulgaria are only 30 minutes long. The remaining half is provided online.

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