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Voice of America, 97-05-04

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] GREECE/MARBLES (L ONLY) BY ANTHEE CARASSAVA (ATHENS)
  • [02] BRIT ELECT REACT (S ONLY) BY VICTOR BEATTIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] VOICE-ACTIVATED COMPUTERS (L) BY STEVE NORMAN (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] GREECE/MARBLES (L ONLY) BY ANTHEE CARASSAVA (ATHENS)

    DATE=5/4/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213776
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AS NATIONS AROUND THE WORLD CONGRATULATE NEWLY-INSTALLED BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, GREECE SAYS THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THE NEW LABOUR GOVERNMENT IN BRITAIN MIGHT AGREE TO GIVE BACK THE ELGIN MARBLES, ATHENS' MOST PRIZED SCULPTURES. ANTHEE CARASSAVA REPORTS FROM ATHENS.

    TEXT: THE GREEK CULTURE MINISTER EVANGELOS VENIZELOS, WHO HAS STRONGLY CAMPAIGNED FOR THE RETURN OF THE 25-HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD MARBLE SCULPTURES, SAYS HE WILL TAKE UP THE ISSUE WITH HIS BRITISH COUNTERPART AT A MEETING OF EUROPEAN UNION CULTURE MINISTERS NEXT MONTH.

    MR. VENIZELOS' REMARK WAS THE ONLY ONE MADE BY THE GREEK SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT FOLLOWING LAST WEEK'S LANDSLIDE VICTORY OF THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY HEADED BY MR. BLAIR.

    GREECE'S NEW-FOUND HOPE STEMS FROM WHAT GREEK OFFICIALS SAYS IS THE LABOUR PARTY'S MORE AMENABLE STANCE REGARDING THE RETURN OF THE FIFTH CENTURY B-C SCULPTURES. A PREVIOUS LABOUR PARTY LEADER, NEIL KINNOCK, INDICATED HE WOULD FAVOR THEIR RETURN. BUT, BRITAIN'S NEWLY APPOINTED FOREIGN SECRETARY, ROBIN COOK, TOLD A GREEK TELEVISION STATION HIS PARTY HAD NOT MADE ANY PROMISES TO RETURN THE MARBLES.

    LOOTED FROM THE PARTHENON IN ATHENS, THE PRIZED SCULPTURES HAVE BEEN IN THE HANDS OF THE BRITISH FOR MORE THAN TWO-CENTURIES. THE LATE ACTRESS-TURNED POLITICIAN MELINA MERCOURI DREW INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION TO ISSUE 15-YEARS AGO WHEN SHE BEGAN A HIGH-PROFILE CAMPAIGN TO RETURN THE SCULPTURES TO WHAT SHE CALLED THEIR RIGHTFUL OWNER. SHE WAS BEHIND A PLAN TO BUILD A SPECIAL MUSEUM AT THE FOOT OF THE ACROPOLIS TO RECEIVE THE SCULPTURES.

    BUT THE BRITISH MUSEUM IN LONDON HAS FIERCELY RESISTED THE RETURN OF THE MARBLES. IT BOUGHT THE SCULPTURES EARLY THIS CENTURY AND STILL EXHIBITS THEM AS THE ELGIN MARBLES.

    THE SCULPTURES WERE STRIPPED FROM THE PARTHENON BY BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY THOMAS BRUCE, THE SEVENTH EARL OF ELGIN, IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY. THE MASTERPIECES INCLUDE PARTS OF THE PARTHENON'S MARBLE FRIEZE AND A SUPPORT COLUMN IN THE SHAPE OF A FEMALE FIGURE. (SIGNED) N3B/AC/DW/RAE
    04-May-97 8:41 AM EDT (1241 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] BRIT ELECT REACT (S ONLY) BY VICTOR BEATTIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=5/2/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213758
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    ///C-R DESIGNED AS A SIDEBAR FOR MAIN CN ITEM ON BRIT ELECTIONS///

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS SCHEDULED AN INFORMAL GET-ACQUAINTED SUMMIT IN THE NETHERLANDS LATER THIS MONTH FOR NEW BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR. V-O-A'S VICTOR BEATTIE REPORTS LINCOLN GORDON, A WEST EUROPEAN EXPERT WITH THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION IN WASHINGTON, DOUBTS BRITAIN WILL JOIN THE SO-CALLED "FIRST WAVE" OF E-U NATIONS TO ADOPT THE SINGLE "EURO" CURRENCY:

    TEXT: THE EUROPEAN UNION IS SCHEDULING A SUMMIT MAY 23RD IN THE NETHERLANDS TO GET BETTER ACQUAINTED WITH MR. BLAIR. SOME E-U OFFICIALS HAVE INDICATED THEY BELIEVE MR. BLAIR MIGHT BE EASIER TO DEAL WITH THAN FORMER PRIME MINISTER JOHN MAJOR.

    CONGRATULATIONS HAVE POURED IN TO THE LABOR PRIME MINISTER FROM AROUND THE WORLD INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES. A WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN SAYS THE UNITED STATES EXPECTS AMERICAN-BRITISH RELATIONS TO REMAIN CLOSE AND COOPERATIVE.

    ANALYST LINCOLN GORDON SAYS BRITAIN'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION UNDER MR. BLAIR WILL LIKELY BE THE FIRST KEY ISSUE THE NEW GOVERNMENT FACES:

    ///GORDON ACTUALITY///

    IT IS THE COMMON CURRENCY QUESTION AND THERE MY SURMISE IS THAT THEY (BRITAIN) WILL STAY OUT. I THINK THEY VALUE THEIR FLEXIBILITY. THERE IS ALSO AN EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO THE POUND STERLING.

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    THE SINGLE CURRENCY, THE EURO, IS SCHEDULED TO GO INTO EFFECT JANUARY, 1999.

    MR. GORDON SAYS THE ELECTION OUTCOME WAS SURPRISING IN THE SCOPE OF THE LABOR VICTORY, 419 OF 659 SEATS IN PARLIAMENT. HE SAYS IT REFLECTS THE PUBLIC WEARY OF 18 YEARS OF CONSERVATIVE RULE AND A CONSERVATIVE PARTY DEEPLY DIVIDED, PARTICULARLY OVER ITS RELATIONS WITH THE REST OF EUROPE.

    HE ALSO SAYS PEOPLE WERE IMPRESSED WITH MR. BLAIR'S REFORMS MAKING LABOR MORE MODERATE ON SUCH ISSUES AS THE NATIONALIZATION OF INDUSTRY. (SIGNED).
    NEB/PT
    02-May-97 9:39 PM EDT (0139 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] VOICE-ACTIVATED COMPUTERS (L) BY STEVE NORMAN (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=5/3/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213769
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: MANY OF THE TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS IN TODAY'S WORKPLACE HAVE REDUCED STRESS, BUT THE INCREASED USE OF PERSONAL COMPUTERS HAS LEFT SOME WORKERS WITH WHAT IS CALLED "REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES" WHICH CAUSE MUSCLES AND TENDONS IN THE ARMS TO HURT SEVERELY. VOA'S STEVE NORMAN REPORTS VOICE-ACTIVATED COMPUTERS ARE GIVING WORKERS HANDS AND ARMS A REST, BUT NOT WITHOUT A COST.

    TEXT: THEY ARE PRECISE, EASY TO USE AND THEY DO NOT TALK BACK. BUT MANY USERS OF VOICE-ACTIVATED COMPUTERS ARE NOT SAYING NICE THINGS ABOUT THIS INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY. SPEECH EXPERT LOIS SINGER SAYS MANY USERS OF VOICE-ACTIVATED COMPUTERS ARE LEFT, LITERALLY, SPEECHLESS.

    // SINGER ACTUALITY //

    YOU (USERS OF VOICE-ACTIVATED COMPUTERS) HAVE A SORE THROAT AND YOU HAVE A DRY THROAT AND THEN YOU ARE COUGHING AND THEN YOUR VOICE CUTS OUT (STOPS WORKING) AND THEN YOU GO OFF (STOP USING) IT AND YOU ARE OKAY (BETTER).

    // END ACTUALITY //

    MS. SINGER SAYS THIS TECHNOLOGY, OFTEN CREDITED WITH HELPING PREVENT "REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES" MAY, IN FACT, BE CAUSING THEM.

    // SINGER ACTUALITY //

    IT IS AN UNNATURAL WAY TO SPEAK AND IF YOU DO SOMETHING UNNATURAL FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, YOU ARE GOING TO GET INTO A MISUSE (OR) ABUSE PROBLEM.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    IN ORDER FOR THE COMPUTER TO RECOGNIZE COMMANDS THE USER MUST SPEAK IN A SLOW, CONTROLLED, NEARLY EXPRESSIONLESS VOICE.

    // SAMPLE USER ACTUALITY //

    AT A RATE OF 45.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    IT IS A STYLE OF SPEAKING THAT EXPERTS SAY PLACES STRAIN ON THE VOCAL CORD MUSCLES. THAT STRAIN IS SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO THE REPETITIVE ACTION AT A COMPUTER KEYBOARD WHICH CAN PLACE STRESS ON MUSCLES OR TENDONS IN THE ARM OR WRIST.

    ONE-TIME COMPUTER KEYBOARD USER RENEE GRIFFITH USED TO SPEND BETWEEN SIX AND EIGHT HOURS A DAY TYPING AT HER COMPUTER. SHE DEVELOPED PAINFUL REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES AND HAD TO STOP USING THE COMPUTER. NOW, SHE OPERATES A COMPANY WHERE EMPLOYEES RELY ON VOICE-ACTIVATED SYSTEMS.

    // GRIFFITH ACTUALITY //

    IT HAS ALLOWED MANY OF THE DISABLED POPULATION TO COME BACK TO WORK. AND, IN FACT, I HAVE HIRED A GREAT NUMBER OF THOSE FOLKS (PEOPLE) BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THEIR BRAIN.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    A FORMAL STUDY IS STILL UNDERWAY ON THE VALIDITY OF COMPLAINTS THAT VOICE-ACTIVATED COMPUTERS CAUSE MORE PROBLEMS THAN THEY SOLVE. IN THE MEANTIME, SPEECH EXPERT KIM FISHER SAYS USERS OF THESE TYPES OF COMPUTERS SHOULD GO SLOWLY IN ADAPTING TO THEM.

    // FISHER ACTUALITY //

    INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE AT RISK OF THOSE PROBLEMS, IN GENERAL, MIGHT WANT TO EXERCISE CAUTION IN THE USE OF ANY KIND OF EXTENSIVE VOICE-ACTIVITY.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    MS. FISHER SAYS HER BEST ADVICE IS -- TRY THE PRODUCT BEFORE BUYING IT. OTHER SPEECH EXPERTS SAY EXPERIMENT WITH TECHNOLOGY, NOT YOUR VOICE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SRN/SD
    03-May-97 8:42 PM EDT (0042 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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