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Voice of America, 97-05-06

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] BRITAIN / ECONOMY BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)
  • [02] BULGARIA MONEY (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [03] CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONFERENCE (L-ONLY) BY GILLIAN SHARPE (THE HAGUE)
  • [04] EUROPE / PAKISTAN (L-ONLY) BY DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN (ISLAMABAD)
  • [05] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [06] GERMANY / JOBLESS (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BONN)
  • [07] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [08] NATO / RUSSIA BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)
  • [09] SLOVENIA / U-S NATO (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [10] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] BRITAIN / ECONOMY BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-36343
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN'S NEW LABOUR GOVERNMENT HAS ANNOUNCED SEVERAL ECONOMIC MEASURES WHICH HAVE BEEN WELL-RECEIVED BY FINANCIAL MARKETS. IN THIS REPORT FROM LONDON, V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA LOOKS AT THE LABOUR PARTY'S ECONOMIC POLICIES AS IT EMBARKS ON A NEW PARLIAMENTARY YEAR.

    TEXT: JUST SEVERAL DAYS AFTER TAKING OFFICE, LABOUR FINANCE MINISTER GORDON BROWN ANNOUNCED HE IS INCREASING INTEREST RATES BY ONE-QUARTER PERCENTAGE POINT (TO SIX-POINT-25 PERCENT) AND IS GIVING THE BANK OF ENGLAND THE POWER TO SET FUTURE INTEREST RATES.

    ECONOMISTS SAY THEY WERE NOT SURPRISED BY THE SMALL INCREASE IN INTEREST RATES. THEY SAY CONCERNS ABOUT THE BRITISH ECONOMY GROWING TOO QUICKLY, WHICH WOULD GIVE RISE TO INFLATION, MADE THE INCREASE IMPERATIVE -- WHOEVER WON THE GENERAL ELECTION.

    MANY ECONOMISTS BELIEVE GIVING THE BANK OF ENGLAND RESPONSIBILITY FOR SETTING INTEREST RATES -- A POWER RESERVED FOR THE FINANCE MINISTER -- IS A BOLD MOVE, IN ESSENCE MAKING THE BANK MUCH MORE INDEPENDENT. THEY SAY BY REMOVING INTEREST RATES FROM GOVERNMENT CONTROL, IT TAKES POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS OUT OF THE EQUATION WHEN DEALING WITH MONETARY MATTERS.

    EXPERTS ALSO INDICATE THIS DECISION MAKES IT MUCH LESS LIKELY THAT A MAJOR FINANCIAL CRISIS COULD PLAGUE TONY BLAIR'S GOVERNMENT -- AS WAS THE CASE WITH THE PAST TWO LABOUR GOVERNMENTS.

    GERARD LYONS -- CHIEF ECONOMIST FOR THE JAPANESE BANK D-K-B -- SAYS THE FINANCIAL MARKETS HAVE REACTED FAVORABLY TO MR. BROWN'S DECISION.

    /// LYONS ACT ///

    HAVING WON THE ELECTION WITH SUCH A CLEAR MAJORITY, LABOUR CAN SPEND THE FIRST COUPLE OF YEARS AIMING TO PLEASE THE FINANCIAL MARKETS, SHOWING THEY ARE TOUGH, SHOWING THAT THEY HAVE A CAUTIOUS POLICY. AND IT IS ONLY IN THE RUN-UP TO THE NEXT ELECTION -- DARE I SAY IT, FIVE YEARS AWAY -- THAT LABOUR CAN THEN DECIDE TO PLEASE ITS OWN VOTERS BY RELAXING POLICY. BUT FOR NOW, IT IS CAUTION.

    /// END ACT ///

    SINCE TONY BLAIR BECAME LABOUR PARTY LEADER, HE HAS STEERED AWAY FROM THE OLD SOCIALIST-TYPE RHETORIC AND HAS MOVED HIS PARTY FROM THE LEFT TO THE CENTER OF BRITISH POLITICS. THAT WAS ONE REASON HIS PARTY WAS SWEPT TO POWER.

    MR. LYONS SAYS IN MANY WAYS, THE LABOUR PARTY'S ECONOMIC POLICIES ARE CLOSE TO THOSE OF THE CONSERVATIVES.

    /// LYONS ACT ///

    FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, LABOUR HAS COMMITTED ITSELF TO PRETTY TOUGH SPENDING TARGETS SET DOWN BY THE PREVIOUS CONSERVATIVE ADMINISTRATION. IN FACT THESE SPENDING TARGETS ARE THE TOUGHEST SPENDING TARGETS SINCE THE SECOND WORLD WAR. NOW NORMALLY, PEOPLE THINK OF LABOUR AS A "SPEND AND TAX" PARTY. THEY HAVE RULED THAT OUT.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE BRITISH ECONOMIST SAYS SEVERAL YEARS DOWN THE ROAD, THE LABOUR GOVERNMENT COULD INSTITUTE SOME RADICAL FISCAL POLICIES -- IN OTHER WORDS REASSESS THE AREAS WHERE GOVERNMENT SPENDS ITS MONEY. FOR EXAMPLE -- IT COULD DECIDE TO STOP SPENDING ALTOGETHER IN VARIOUS SECTORS AND CONCENTRATE ON THOSE AREAS WHERE PEOPLE WANT MONEY TO BE SPENT -- SUCH AS EDUCATION AND HEALTH. SO MR. LYONS EXPECTS A BIG SHAKE-UP IN GOVERNMENT SPENDING SEVERAL YEARS FROM NOW.

    WHILE MR. BLAIR HAS MOVED THE PARTY TO THE CENTER, MANY BRITISH BUSINESSMEN QUESTION WHETHER THE SOCIALIST POLICIES HAVE INDEED BEEN SWEPT ASIDE.

    ANDREW HAWKINS -- POLICY DIRECTOR FOR LONDON'S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY -- SAYS ONLY TIME WILL TELL WHETHER THE LEFT-WING OF THE LABOUR PARTY HAS INDEED BEEN SILENCED FOR GOOD.

    /// HAWKINS ACT ///

    WHAT WE DO NOT TRUST AT THE MOMENT IS THIS ENORMOUS MAJORITY -- AND IT MAY WELL TURN OUT THAT MR. BLAIR AND HIS LITTLE "KITCHEN CABINET" WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP UNDER CONTROL ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO ONLY FIVE OR TEN YEARS AGO WERE MEMBERS OF THE "CAMPAIGN FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT," WERE PEOPLE WHO WERE CALLING FOR THE RENATIONALIZATION OF ALL OF THE PRIVATIZED COMPANIES LIKE BRITISH TELECOM AND SO ON. CAN HE KEEP THEM UNDER CONTROL?

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. HAWKINS SAYS IF TONY BLAIR CAN KEEP THEM UNDER CONTROL, THEN THE BRITISH PEOPLE WILL HAVE WHAT HE CALLED A REASONABLY PROSPEROUS LIFE UNDER A LABOUR GOVERNMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/JWH/KL
    06-May-97 12:46 PM EDT (1646 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] BULGARIA MONEY (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213868
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A COMMISSION ADVISING THE BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT IS RECOMMENDING THAT THE COUNTRY'S BATTERED CURRENCY, THE LEVA, BE PEGGED TO THE GERMAN MARK INSTEAD OF THE DOLLAR WHEN A STRINGENT NEW MONETARY PLAN IS INTRODUCED NEXT MONTH. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE CHOICE OF AN EXCHANGE RATE ANCHOR IS A VITAL COMPONENT OF THE PROPOSED CURRENCY BOARD SYSTEM, WHICH WILL STRIP THE GOVERNMENT AND CENTRAL BANK OF DAY-TO-DAY CONTROL OF MONETARY POLICY.

    ONE OF THE MULTI-NATIONAL BANKS CLOSELY MONITORING BULGARIAN FINANCIAL POLICY IS DEUTSCHE MORGAN GRENFELL, BASED IN LONDON. EMERGING MARKET STRATEGIST STUART PARKINSON APPLAUDS THE RECOMMENDATION TO LINK THE CURRENCY TO THE "D" (DEUTSCHE) MARK.

    //PARKINSON ACT//

    FROM THE ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE, BULGARIA -- IN OUR VIEW -- SHOULD PEG TO THE D-MARK BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE MOST OF ITS TRADE IS DONE. AND IN THE LONGER TERM, THAT IS WHERE MOST OF ITS TRADE SHOULD BE DONE. OF COURSE, THERE IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECT AS WELL. BECAUSE WHEN YOU GO TO BULGARIA, MOST OF THE MONEY IN CIRCULATION IS U-S DOLLARS. THAT'S THE MONEY WHERE THE TRUST IS. SO THERE IS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF RE-EDUCATION THAT NEEDS TO GO ON THERE TO MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE THE MARK IS AS STRONG AS THE DOLLAR.

    //END ACT//

    ANALYSTS LIKE MR. PARKINSON BELIEVE THE WORST OF BULGARIA'S ECONOMIC CRISIS IS NOW OVER. BUT HE SAYS IN ORDER TO WIN CONTINUING INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT THE NEW GOVERNMENT MUST MOVE QUICKLY ON PRIVATIZATION AND REFORM OF THE BANKING SECTOR.

    //SECOND PARKINSON ACT//

    WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM THEM IS TO GET THESE COMPANIES OUT INTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR ... AND LET THE MARKET WORK. AND THIS INVOLVES THE GOVERNMENT GETTING LESS MONEY (FROM PRIVATIZATION) THAN IT THINKS IT WILL. ONCE WE SEE THAT SIGN, AND WE ALREADY ARE, I THINK THAT IS VERY GOOD NEWS. SECONDLY, THIS ENTIRE PLAN WILL FALL APART UNLESS THE BANKS THAT ARE BANKRUPT ARE NOT CLOSED. AND THAT THE BAD ASSETS THEY HAVE AREN'T TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM AND THEIR BALANCE SHEETS CLEANED UP. AND THAT MEANS A BIG COMPREHENSIVE BANKING REFORM PLAN.

    //END ACT//

    THERE ARE ALREADY TENTATIVE SIGNS OF A TURNAROUND IN BULGARIA. FOREIGN CURRENCY RESERVES ARE RISING. INFLATION HAS STABILIZED. THE INCOMING GOVERNMENT SEEMS DETERMINE TO ACT SWIFTLY AND COMPREHENSIVELY. A BIG AID PACKAGE IS IN PLACE.

    //REST OPT//

    AN INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND MISSION ARRIVED IN SOFIA THIS WEEK TO PREPARE THE MECHANISM FOR INTRODUCING THE CURRENCY BOARD SYSTEM. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/PCF/RRM
    06-May-97 12:45 PM EDT (1645 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONFERENCE (L-ONLY) BY GILLIAN SHARPE (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213855
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-N SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN SAYS A NEW INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS IS A TRULY HISTORIC AGREEMENT WHICH ONLY A DECADE AGO WOULD HAVE BEEN UNIMAGINABLE. HE MADE HIS REMARKS TUESDAY IN OPENING THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE ORGANIZATION WHICH WILL OVERSEE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION. IT AIMS TO PREVENT STOCKPILING AND DEVELOPING OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, LEADING TO AN OUTRIGHT BAN. FROM THE HAGUE, GILLIAN SHARPE REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE U-N SECRETARY GENERAL SAID DELEGATES TO THE CONFERENCE HAD UNDERTAKEN WHAT HE CALLS A "MOMENTOUS ACT OF PEACE" -- A WHOLE CATEGORY OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION HAD BEEN BANNED. HISTORY HAD CALLED, SAYS MR. ANNAN, AND THAT CALL HAD BEEN ANSWERED.

    ///ANNAN ACT///

    WHAT YOU HAVE DONE OF YOUR OWN FREE WILL IS TO ANNOUNCE TO THIS AND ALL SUCCEEDING GENERATIONS THAT CHEMICAL WEAPONS ARE INSTRUMENTS THAT NO STATE WITH ANY RESPECT FOR ITSELF AND NO PEOPLE WITH ANY SENSE OF DIGNITY WOULD USE IN CONFLICTS, WHETHER DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL.

    //END ACT//

    BUT THE U-N SECRETARY GENERAL SAID TO BE TRULY EFFECTIVE, THE TREATY NEEDS TO BE UNIVERSALLY-BOUND. HE URGED NATIONS WHICH EITHER HAD NOT SIGNED OR RATIFIED THE TREATY TO DO SO AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    CRITICS POINT TO THE FACT THAT RUSSIA -- ONE OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST DECLARED HOLDERS OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS -- HAS NOT RATIFIED YET. IT HAS ONLY OBSERVER STATUS AT THE HAGUE CONFERENCE AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE PART IN KEY DECISIONS. OTHER COUNTRIES -- LIKE IRAQ, LIBYA, SYRIA AND NORTH KOREA -- HAVE NOT EVEN SIGNED, LET ALONE RATIFIED THE TREATY, AND ARE NOT BOUND BY ANY OF THE PROVISIONS.

    DELEGATES NOW EMBARK ON THE PAINSTAKING TASK OF WORKING OUT THE LOGISTICS AND DETAILS OF THE NEW TREATY. THE PROCESS IS EXPECTED TO TAKE SOME WEEKS TO COMPLETE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GS/PCF
    06-May-97 8:02 AM EDT (1202 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] EUROPE / PAKISTAN (L-ONLY) BY DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN (ISLAMABAD)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213841
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DELEGATION VISITING PAKISTAN HAS SUGGESTED THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE COULD HELP WITH EFFORTS TO RESOLVE THE KASHMIR DISPUTE. V-O-A ISLAMABAD CORRESPONDENT DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE FOUR-MEMBER EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DELEGATION -- WHICH BEGAN ITS VISIT SATURDAY -- HAS MET WITH PAKISTANI LAWMAKERS AND SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

    DELEGATE JAN WIEBENGA, OF THE NETHERLANDS, SAYS THE GROUP HAD A TUESDAY SESSION WITH PRIME MINISTER NAWAZ SHARIF (TUESDAY). THE EUROPEANS SUGGESTED THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE BE APPROACHED CONCERNING THE KASHMIR DISPUTE.

    MR. WIEBENGA INDICATED THIS WOULD BE ONE WAY OF GETTING SOME MOVEMENT ON THE ISSUE. MR. WIEBENGA EXPRESSED CONCERN THERE IS NOT EVEN AN AGENDA FOR POSSIBLE TALKS ON KASHMIR.

    KASHMIR IS A DISPUTED TERRITORY DIVIDED BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA. THE NATIONS HAVE FOUGHT TWO OF THEIR THREE WARS OVER IT. ANOTHER EUROPEAN DELEGATE QUOTES MR. SHARIF AS SAYING HE WILL RAISE THE WORLD COURT PROPOSAL LATER THIS MONTH, WHEN HE IS TO MEET WITH INDIAN PRIME MINISTER INDER KUMAR GUJRAL.

    MR. WIEBANGA SAYS ANY STATE CAN BRING A CASE FORWARD TO THE WORLD COURT. HOWEVER, HE SAYS BOTH STATES MUST ACCEPT THE AUTHORITY OF THE COURT FOR IT TO RENDER AN OPINION.

    MR. WIEBANGA SAYS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY DOES NOT WANT TO SEE A FOURTH WAR BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA -- ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT BOTH HAVE A NUCLEAR CAPABILITY.

    ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN DELEGATION -- ANITA POLLACK OF BRITAIN -- SAID TENSIONS MUST BE LOWERED BETWEEN THE NATIONS.

    // POLLACK ACTUALITY //

    IT'S CLEAR THAT SOMETHING HAS TO BE FOUND -- SOME WAY, SOME MECHANISM HAS TO BE FOUND WHICH IS ABLE TO DEFUSE THE SITUATION. CLEARLY, WHEN YOU HAVE LARGE NUMBERS OF TROOPS ON EACH SIDE OF A BORDER IT'S EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, BECAUSE IT KEEPS THE SITUATION AT FEVER PITCH.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    INDIA HAS SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND TROOPS AND SECURITY FORCES STATIONED IN INDIAN KASHMIR. PAKISTAN MAINTAINS A HEAVY MILITARY PRESENCE IN ITS SIDE OF THE BORDER.

    PAKISTAN FAVORS A UNITED NATIONS PLEBISCITE IN WHICH KASHMIRIS WOULD CHOOSE TO JOIN EITHER INDIA OR PAKISTAN. NEW DELHI CONSIDERS KASHMIR AN INTEGRAL PART OF INDIA. THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DELEGATION WINDS UP ITS PAKISTAN TOUR FRIDAY. (SIGNED)
    NEB / DB / CB / WD
    06-May-97 4:40 AM EDT (0840 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213873
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES ROSE SHARPLY IN TRADING TUESDAY IN LONDON AND FRANKFURT. BUT PRICES WERE OFF IN PARIS. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA REPORTS FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: PRICES SET NEW RECORD CLOSING HIGHS IN BOTH FRANKFURT AND LONDON. IN LONDON, THE FOOTSIE-100 INDEX ENDED THE DAY UP MORE THAN 63-POINTS, ONE-AND-FOUR-TENTHS-PERCENT.

    IN FRANKFURT, THE DAX-30 INDEX ENDED FLOOR TRADING UP BY MORE THAN 39-POINTS, MORE THAN ONE-PERCENT. BUT FRANKFURT PRICES DROPPED ABOUT ONE-HALF PERCENT IN LATER COMPUTERIZED TRADING,

    STOCK PRICES WERE OFF IN PARIS, WITH THE CAC-40 INDEX DOWN ALMOST 21-POINTS, EIGHT-TENTHS-OF-ONE-PERCENT. ANALYSTS SAID TRADERS IN PARIS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE COUNTRY'S POLITICAL SITUATION.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY EXCHANGE, THE U-S DOLLAR DROPPED IN VALUE AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK, THE JAPANESE YEN, AND THE BRITISH POUND.
    NEB/JWH/RAE
    06-May-97 1:17 PM EDT (1717 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] GERMANY / JOBLESS (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BONN)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213861
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMANY'S JOBLESS RATE CONTINUES TO HOVER AT POST-WAR RECORD LEVELS. V-O-A'S KYLE KING IN BONN REPORTS THE LATEST JOBLESS FIGURES COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR GERMANY'S PLAN TO MEET THE CRITERIA FOR THE SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY.

    TEXT: THE LATEST UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES FROM GERMANY SHOW A SLIGHT DROP IN THE JOBLESS RATE DURING THE MONTH OF APRIL.

    STATISTICS RELEASED BY THE FEDERAL LABOR OFFICE SHOW JUST OVER FOUR-POINT-THREE-MILLION PEOPLE WERE OUT OF WORK IN APRIL, DOWN FROM FOUR-POINT-FOUR-MILLION IN MARCH.

    BUT WHEN SEASONAL FACTORS -- SUCH AS WEATHER -- ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, OFFICIALS SAY THERE WERE ACTUALLY ABOUT EIGHT-THOUSAND FEWER JOBS THAN EXPECTED LAST MONTH.

    NEVERTHELESS, GERMAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WERE QUICK TO SEIZE ON THE SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT IN THE ACTUAL NUMBERS. A SPOKESMAN FOR CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL'S RULING PARTY SAID THE FIGURES SHOW THE GOVERNMENT CAN ACHIEVE A TURNAROUND IN THE JOBS MARKET.

    BUT OTHER EXPERTS ARE NOT SO SURE. THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL LABOR OFFICE SAID THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE IS TOO WEAK TO HAVE ANY REAL IMPACT ON UNEMPLOYMENT, WHICH HAS BEEN HOVERING AT A POST-WAR RECORD HIGH.

    ECONOMISTS SAY THE NATION'S SLOW ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE IS DISCOURAGING EMPLOYERS FROM HIRING NEW WORKERS.

    OTHER EXPERTS SAY SLOW GROWTH AND CONTINUED HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT ALSO RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO MEET THE TOUGH CRITERIA TO JOIN THE SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY.

    THESE EXPERTS SAY THE DISAPPOINTING JOBLESS NUMBERS FROM APRIL WILL PUT ADDED PRESSURE ON CHANCELLOR KOHL'S GOVERNMENT TO DO SOMETHING TO REVIVE THE ECONOMY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/JWH/KL
    06-May-97 9:18 AM EDT (1318 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213889
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP TODAY (TUESDAY) WITH THE WIDELY FOLLOWED DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSING AT A RECORD HIGH FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH 72 HUNDRED 25, UP 10 POINTS. THE BROADER AND MORE REPRESENTATIVE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 827, DOWN TWO AND ONE-HALF POINTS.

    IT WAS A SOMEWHAT VOLATILE SESSION, WITH STOCK PRICES UP STRONGLY MOST OF THE DAY BEFORE FALLING BACK AND THEN RECOVERING SHORTLY BEFORE THE CLOSE OF TRADING. MANY TRADERS NOW SAY RECENTLY RELEASED ECONOMIC STATISTICS MEAN THE U-S CENTRAL BANK WILL LIKELY NOT RAISE INTEREST RATES AGAIN AT ITS MEETING LATER THIS MONTH.

    THE GOVERNMENT REPORTED FACTORY ORDERS IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN IN MARCH BY ONE POINT SIX PERCENT. ANALYSTS SAY THE FIGURES CONFIRM EXPECTATIONS OF A SLIGHT SLOWDOWN IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    A SURVEY OF AMERICAN PURCHASING MANAGERS SHOWS MOST OF THEM BELIEVE THE U-S ECONOMY WILL CONTINUE TO SLOW IN THE CURRENT QUARTER BUT WILL PICK UP MOMENTUM LATER IN THE YEAR.

    IN BUSINESS NEWS, THE G-T-E CORPORATION IS MOVING TO BECOME A MAJOR FORCE ON THE COMPUTER INTERNET. G-T-E WILL PAY 616 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE B-B-N COMPANY WHICH OPERATES REGIONAL COMPUTER NETWORK AND INTERNET ACCESS SERVICES.

    TWO LOCAL TELEPHONE COMPANIES IN THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES ARE STRONGLY DENYING PUBLISHED REPORTS THEY PLAN TO CUT MORE THAN 10 THOUSAND JOBS WHEN THEIR MERGER IS COMPLETE. THE BELL ATLANTIC AND NYNEX COMPANIES SAY THEY WILL ELIMINATE NO MORE THAN THE THREE THOUSAND POSITIONS ALREADY ANNOUNCED.

    TALKS CONTINUE IN EFFORTS TO RESOLVE LAWSUITS AGAINST AMERICAN TOBACCO COMPANIES. SOURCES SAY THAT, INSTEAD OF ITS DEMAND FOR TOTAL IMMUNITY FROM FUTURE LAWSUITS, THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY IS NOW CONSIDERING A PROPOSAL WHICH WOULD SET AN ANNUAL LIMIT TO THE AMOUNT IT WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR SMOKING-RELATED ILLNESSES.

    UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SAYS IT WILL OPEN ANOTHER THEME PARK IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. THE NEW FACILITY WILL FEATURE COMIC STRIP CHARACTERS AND DINOSAURS.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    06-May-97 5:03 PM EDT (2103 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] NATO / RUSSIA BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213898
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO AND RUSSIA HAVE ONCE AGAIN FAILED TO RESOLVE THEIR DIFFERENCES OVER A NEW RELATIONSHIP FOR THE POST-COLD WAR ERA. THIS FOLLOWS TALKS IN LUXEMBOURG TUESDAY BETWEEN THE ALLIANCE SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA AND RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER YEUGENY PRIMAKOV. JOHN FRASER REPORTS FROM NATO HEADQUARTERS IN BRUSSELS:

    TEXT: TIME IS RUNNING OUT, AS NATO LEADERS ARE HOPING TO SIGN THE NEW ACCORD WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN AT A SUMMIT MEETING IN PARIS IN THREE WEEKS TIME.

    THE REMAINING STUMBLING BLOCK IS OVER RUSSIAN CONCERNS ABOUT PLANNED NATO EXPANSION, TO BRING IN NEW MEMBERS FROM THE FORMER COMMUNIST BLOC, SUCH AS POLAND AND HUNGARY. THE RUSSIANS ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED THAT THIS EXPANSION EASTWARDS OF NATO'S INFLUENCE WILL REPRESENT A NEW THREAT TO THEIR SECURITY. THEY ARE INSISTING THAT THERE MUST BE LIMITS ON THE SCALE OF NATO FORCES WHICH CAN BE DEPLOYED ON THE TERRITORY OF ITS PLANNED NEW MEMBERS.

    IN ATTEMPT TO ALLAY RUSSIAN FEARS, NATO IS OFFERING A SEPARATE AGREEMENT TO MOSCOW, TO BOOST ITS RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA AT THE SAME TIME AS IT PREPARES TO EXPAND. THIS WILL ENSURE THE RUSSIANS ARE CONSULTED, BUT IT WILL NOT GIVE THEM A VETO OVER NATO DECISIONS.

    AN AGREEMENT ON ADMITTING NEW MEMBERS IS EXPECTED AT NATO SUMMIT TALKS IN MADRID IN JULY.

    THIS LATEST MEETING BETWEEN THE NATO SECRETARY GENERAL AND THE RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WAS HELD IN PRIVATE, IN A CHATEAU ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF LUXEMBOURG.

    A JOINT STATEMENT AFTER THE MEETING SPEAKS OF SOME PROGRESS - AND INCLUDES A COMMITMENT TO INTENSIFY THE NEGOTIATIONS. HOWEVER, IT IS CLEAR THAT MORE WORK NEEDS TO BE DONE.

    OFFICIALS SAY NATO HAS BEEN WORKING HARD TO WIN AN ACCORD WITH MOSCOW, AND THEY POINT TO A RESENT VISIT TO MOSCOW BY THE AMERICAN SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT.

    THEY ALSO NOTE THAT NATO IS PREPARED TO CHANGE THE NAME OF ITS PLANNED ACCORD WITH MOSCOW - IN LINE WITH RUSSIAN DEMANDS.

    THEY CONCLUDE THAT AN AGREEMENT IS POSSIBLE, WITHIN THE CURRENT TIGHT TIMETABLE, IF THERE IS GOOD WILL ON ALL SIDES.

    THEY POINT OUT THAT IT IS AS IMPORTANT TO SORT OUT A NEW POST COLD-WAR RELATIONSHIP, AS IT WAS FOR NATO TO DEFEND WESTERN EUROPE THROUGH THE LONG, DARK DAYS OF THE ARMS RACE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JF/ENE-T/LWM
    06-May-97 6:53 PM EDT (2253 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] SLOVENIA / U-S NATO (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=5/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-213890
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SLOVENE PRIME MINISTER JANEZ DRNOVSEK HAS HELD TALKS IN WASHINGTON WITH DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN AS WELL AS WITH WHITE HOUSE AND STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT, SLOVENIA HAS JUST ONE DIPLOMATIC OBJECTIVE -- NATO MEMBERSHIP IN THE FIRST ROUND.

    TEXT: SLOVENIA HAS COME A LONG WAY -- WINNING INDEPENDENCE FROM YUGOSLAVIA SIX YEARS AGO THIS JUNE, TO CAMPAIGNING TO JOIN THE ATLANTIC ALLIANCE THIS JULY. AMONG ALL THE VIABLE CANDIDATES TO BE INVITED TO JOIN NATO, SLOVENIA IS THE ONLY ONE THAT DID NOT BELONG TO THE WARSAW PACT AND IS LOCATED FAR FROM RUSSIA.

    ACCORDING TO STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS, THE ONLY QUESTION TO BE DECIDED BY THE UNITED STATES AND ITS NATO ALLIES BY JULY IS WHETHER SLOVENIA AND ROMANIA SHOULD BE INVITED TO JOIN IN THE FIRST ROUND.

    THESE OFFICIALS SAY THERE IS NO OPPOSITION IN THE U-S GOVERNMENT OR IN NATO TO POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC. THE ONLY QUESTION LEFT TO DECIDE IS WHETHER NATO WILL TAKE IN THOSE THREE WHEN ALLIANCE LEADERS MEET IN MADRID (IN JULY) OR WHETHER THE NUMBER SHOULD BE EXPANDED TO AS MANY AS FIVE.

    WHILE NO FORMAL DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE, CLEAR SIGNALS HAVE SENT TO MOST VISITORS TO WASHINGTON. THE BALTIC COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN TOLD JULY IS TOO SOON FOR THEIR MEMBERSHIP. SLOVAKIA HAS BEEN TOLD THE UNITED STATES OPPOSES ITS NATO BID. ALBANIA HAS BEEN GIVEN SIMILAR NEGATIVE SIGNALS. THE ONLY ONES LEFT IN DOUBT AND WITH SOME HOPE ARE ROMANIA AND SLOVENIA. THE UNITED STATES SAYS BOTH COUNTRIES ARE ATTRACTIVE CANDIDATES BUT GIVES NO PROMISES.

    SLOVENE PRIME MINISTER JANEZ DRNOVSEK TOLD REPORTERS AFTER TALKS HERE HE BELIEVES THE AMERICAN ROLE IN NATO IS VITAL TO HIS COUNTRY'S HOPES.

    ///DRNOVSEK ACT///

    IF THE UNITED STATES WOULD, FOR EXAMPLE, DECIDE THAT SLOVENIA IS IN (NATO), NOBODY WOULD BE AGAINST, EVERYBODY WOULD AGREE IN THE NATO. IF THE UNITED STATES WOULD SAY SLOVENIA IS OUT, PROBABLY SOME OF THE MEMBERS WOULD SAY 'WHY' AND ADVOCATE SLOVENIA TO BE IN, BUT I'M NOT SURE IF THEY WOULD FIGHT TO THE END.

    ///END ACT///

    THE SLOVENE PRIME MINISTER SAYS HIS COUNTRY HAS SUPPORT FOR ITS BID FOR MEMBERSHIP FROM CANADA, SPAIN, PORTUGAL, ITALY, BELGIUM AND NORWAY. HE IS STILL WAITING FOR DECISIONS FROM BRITAIN'S NEW GOVERNMENT AND FOR ELECTIONS IN FRANCE. GERMANY, LIKE THE UNITED STATES, HAS BEEN HESITANT TO ANNOUNCE ITS FAVORITES.

    ONE PROBLEM IS THAT SLOVENIA IS SMALL, WITH LESS THAN TWO-MILLION PEOPLE. ITS ARMY HAS ONLY FOUR-THOUSAND-100 PROFESSIONAL SOLDIERS WITH SIX-THOUSAND CONSCRIPTS. THE PRIME MINISTER ARGUES HIS COUNTRY WILL PAY ITS OWN WAY INTO NATO.

    ///DRNOVSEK ACT///

    IF IT IS THE QUESTION OF COSTS, I CAN'T SPEAK FOR THE OTHER CANDIDATES, BUT I CAN SPEAK FOR SLOVENIA, THAT SLOVENIA WOULD NOT COST UNITED STATES OR NATO ANYTHING. WE CAN COVER OUR EXPENSES TO JOIN NATO AND WE ARE ALSO CAPABLE. SLOVENIA'S ECONOMIC SITUATION IS QUITE GOOD COMPARED TO THE OTHER CANDIDATES. SLOVENIA SOMEHOW DOESN'T BRING ANY PROBLEM WITH ITSELF FOR NATO OR THE (UNITED) STATES OR FOR ANYBODY.

    ///END ACT///

    ON THE CONTRARY, SLOVENIA ARGUES THAT IT BORDERS NATO MEMBER ITALY AND PROSPECTIVE MEMBER HUNGARY AND PROVIDES NATO WITH A BASE TO THE BALKANS. AFTER WINNING INDEPENDENCE FROM YUGOSLAVIA, SLOVENIA DID ITS BEST TO STAY OUT OF THE OTHER WARS IN CROATIA AND BOSNIA.

    NATO IS EXPECTED TO MAKE ITS DECISION LATE THIS MONTH OR IN EARLY JUNE WHEN ALLIANCE FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN PORTUGAL, ONE MONTH BEFORE THE MADRID SUMMIT MEETING. AS ONE AMERICAN OFFICIAL PUT IT, EVERYTHING WILL PROBABLY BE DECIDED IN A TELEPHONE CALL BETWEEN BILL CLINTON AND (GERMANY'S CHANCELLOR) HELMUT KOHL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/GKT/RRM
    06-May-97 5:04 PM EDT (2104 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=05/06/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10147
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-D-S-T ON TUESDAY MAY 6TH //

    INTRO: AIR SAFETY IS A POPULAR TOPIC IN TODAY'S AMERICAN EDITORIAL COLUMNS AS WRITERS DISCUSS THE AFTERMATHS OF LAST YEAR'S TWO WORST CRASHES. ALSO THERE ARE COMMENTS ON THE WEBSTER HUBBELL COMPONENT OF THE POLITICAL FUNDRAISING CONTROVERSIES; PRESIDENT CLINTON'S TRIP TO MEXICO; SOME THOUGHTS ON SYRIAN TERRORISM AND LAW AND ORDER PREVAILS IN THE OLD WEST.

    NOW, HERE IS ______________WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND A QUOTE OR TWO IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: SEVERAL PAPERS ARE LAMENTING A LACK OF GOVERNMENT ACTION FOLLOWING THE VALUJET CRASH INTO THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES LAST YEAR AND THE UNEXPLAINED EXPLOSION IN MID-AIR OF TWA FLIGHT 800 OFF THE COAST OF LONG ISLAND.

    FIRST SOME COMMENT FROM TODAY'S MIAMI HERALD, WHICH SAYS IN ITS HEADLINE, THE FAILURE OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION TO IMPLEMENT NEW SAFETY RULES TO AVOID A SIMILAR ACCIDENT TO THE VALUJET CRASH IS "OUTRAGEOUS."

    VOICE: "[OPT] IT HAS BEEN ALMOST A YEAR NOW, AND NEITHER THE GRIEF NOR THE ANXIETY WROUGHT BY THE PLUNGE OF VALUJET FLIGHT 592 INTO THE EVERGLADES HAS ABATED MUCH. THAT CRASH KILLED 110 PEOPLE - - SOME TRAVELING HOME FOR MOTHER'S DAY. [END OPT] ..... A MONTH AFTER THE CRASH, THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD RECOMMENDED THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION PERMANENTLY BAN THE TRANSPORT OF OXYGEN CANISTERS, IDENTIFIED AS THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE ABOARD FLIGHT 592. IT ALSO URGED THE F-A-A TO .... BAN HIGHLY FLAMMABLE OXIDIZERS AND OXIDIZING MATERIALS FROM CARGO COMPARTMENTS LACKING FIRE-DETECTION SYSTEMS. .... YET NONE OF THE RULEMAKING IS COMPLETE. THAT'S OUTRAGEOUS."

    TEXT: SPEAKING OF THE YEAR'S OTHER INCIDENT, THE MID-AIR EXPLOSION OF TWA FLIGHT 800, A BOEING 747 BOUND FOR PARIS, THE NEW YORK POST WRITES THAT NEW COMMENTS FROM F-B-I DIRECTOR LOUIS FREEH AND HIS CRASH SUPERVISOR, LEAVE THE PUBLIC WITH TWO PERPLEXING POSSIBILITIES.

    VOICE: "TERRORISTS INDEED DOWNED THE AIRCRAFT, BUT DID SO IN SUCH A SOPHISTICATED MANNER ... THEY LEFT NO DISCERNIBLE TRACE OF THEIR HANDIWORK; OR AN UNPRECEDENTED MALFUNCTION OF SOME SORT TRIGGERED A FATAL FUEL-TANK EXPLOSION BUT INVESTIGATORS ARE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY IT - - AND ORDER SPECIFIC STEPS TO PREVENT A RECURRENCE. NEITHER SCENARIO WILL DO MUCH TO INCREASE THE CONFIDENCE OF AMERICANS IN AIRLINE SAFETY."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: IN CALIFORNIA, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES ADDS THAT CORRECTIVE CHANGES TO THE DESIGN OF 747 CENTRAL FUEL TANKS, BELIEVED RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TWA CRASH, SHOULD HAVE BEEN REGULATED BY NOW.

    VOICE: "EVEN WITHOUT A FINAL REPORT [ON THE CAUSE OF THE CRASH], YOU MIGHT THINK THAT CORRECTIVE ACTION WOULD OCCUR QUICKLY. AFTER ALL, THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD , AND NOW [F-B-I DIRECTOR LOUIS] FREEH, HAS EMPHASIZED THE POSSIBILITY THAT FLIGHT 800 DISINTEGRATED BECAUSE A SPARK IGNITED A VOLATILE AIR-FUEL MIXTURE IN ITS CENTRAL FUEL TANK."

    TEXT: THE PAPER GOES ON TO CASTIGATE THE F-A-A FOR GOING SO SLOWLY THAT THE FUEL TANK CHANGES CANNOT BE ACTED ON UNTIL JULY OF THIS YEAR. AND LASTLY, THE WASHINGTON POST SUMS UP:

    VOICE: "IN COMBINATION, THE TWO CRASHES HAVE RAISED PUBLIC CONCERN ABOUT AIR SAFETY. THIS IN TURN IS PUSHING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO REEXAMINE ITS POLICIES. THAT SHOULD MEAN TOUGHER, MORE THOROUGH AND MORE REGULAR INSPECTIONS; MORE AND BETTER EQUIPMENT ALOFT, AND AN EXTENSIVE EXAMINATION OF CONTRACTING PROCEDURES. ..... AN ANXIOUS PUBLIC DEMANDS PROMPT ASSURANCES THAT GOVERNMENT IS INSISTING ON HIGHER-THAN-EVER SAFETY STANDARDS FOR WHAT NOW IS MASS TRANSIT IN THIS COUNTRY."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: ANOTHER POPULAR TOPIC IS THE INVESTIGATION SURROUNDING FORMER ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY GENERAL WEBSTER HUBBELL, A FORMER LAW PARTNER OF HILLARY CLINTON IN LITTLE ROCK, WHO LEFT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AFTER INDICTMENT FOR FRAUD. NOW THERE ARE QUESTIONS ABOUT PAYMENTS MR. HUBBELL RECEIVED AFTER HE LEFT JUSTICE BUT BEFORE HE WENT TO JAIL. SAYS THE NEW YORK TIMES:

    VOICE: "IT GETS PROGRESSIVELY EASIER TO SEE WHY KENNETH STARR, THE WHITEWATER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL, BELIEVES HE MAY HAVE THE MAKINGS OF AN OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CASE IN THE WHITE HOUSE TREATMENT OF WEBSTER HUBBELL. THE LATEST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE, AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT, IS THE DISCLOSURE THAT CLOSE ASSOCIATES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON AND HILLARY ... CLINTON RECOGNIZED THE SEVERITY OF MR. HUBBELL'S LEGAL TROUBLES IN EARLY 1994 AS TOP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS WERE HELPING HIM FIND WORK. ..... THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL CASE IS ALREADY WEIGHTY....."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: AND AS REGARDS TO THE PRESIDENT'S COOPERATION IN THE VARIOUS INVESTIGATIONS, TODAY'S NEW YORK POST SAYS:

    VOICE: "'I DIDN'T INHALE,' PRESIDENT CLINTON'S FAMOUS GLOSS ON HIS YOUTHFUL DRUG EXPERIENCES, HAS BECOME PART OF THE AMERICAN IDIOM. BUT SHOULD THE PHRASE EVER BECOME CLINCHED, WE SUGGEST A SYNONYM: 'COOPERATING FULLY.' THAT'S WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE CONTINUES TO INSIST IT'S DOING WITH THE MYRIAD INVESTIGATIONS OF CLINTONITE LEGAL WRONG-DOINGS. IT'S A CLAIM MORE DISINGENUOUS THAN THE PRESIDENT'S DRUG DENIALS."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: REGARDING THE PRESIDENT'S CURRENT TRIP TO MEXICO, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR SAYS THE ISSUES OF DRUGS AND IMMIGRATION WILL TEST MR. CLINTON'S DIPLOMACY, AND IT URGES HIM TO SPEAK SOFTLY.

    VOICE: "BILL CLINTON'S TALENT FOR SOOTHING POLITICAL UTTERANCES WILL BE PUT TO THE TEST IN MEXICO. IN THE FIRST U-S PRESIDENTIAL VISIT TO THE MEXICAN CAPITAL SINCE 1962, MR. CLINTON BRINGS ALONG A SPLIT AGENDA, POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE. THE POSITIVE SIDE IS EXPANDING U-S-MEXICO ECONOMIC COOPERATION. THE NEGATIVE SIDE, OF COURSE, IS DRUG TRAFFICKING AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION."

    TEXT: THE NEW YORK TIMES IS ALSO TALKING ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S TRIP.

    VOICE: "WHEN PRESIDENT CLINTON MEETS CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN LEADERS LATER THIS WEEK, HE WILL FIND THAT SOME BASIC ECONOMIC ASSUMPTIONS HAVE CHANGED. A FEW YEARS AGO, DESPITE WARNINGS FROM MANY ECONOMISTS, POLITICIANS IN LATIN AMERICA AND WASHINGTON ASSUMED THAT ECONOMIC GROWTH ALONE WOULD TAKE CARE OF EVEN THE POOREST LATIN AMERICANS. MANY PEOPLE BELIEVED THEM. THEY DO NOT ANYMORE. GROWTH HAS BEEN TOO SLOW, AND IN LATIN AMERICA, WHICH HAS THE LARGEST GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR, THE GAINS HAVE GONE MAINLY TO THE RICH.... MR. CLINTON .... SHOULD MAKE TIME TO TALK ABOUT FIGHTING POVERTY."

    TEXT: TURNING TO AFRICA, THE HARTFORD [CONNECTICUT] COURANT, SAYS OF THE CIVIL WAR IN ZAIRE:

    VOICE: "ALTHOUGH MR. MOBUTU'S [ZAIRE'S PRESIDENT MOBUTU SESE SEKO] DAYS IN POWER ARE NUMBERED, HIS LIKELY SUCCESSOR HAS GIVEN NO HINT OF BETTER DAYS FOR THAT BENIGHTED COUNTRY. BUT THAT IS NO REASON FOR THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER WORLD POWERS MERELY TO WATCH FROM THE OUTSIDE WHILE STARVATION AND MASS EXECUTIONS TAKE PLACE. ON HUMANITARIAN AND STRATEGIC GROUNDS, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION SHOULD HELP."

    TEXT: IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THE WASHINGTON TIMES DECRIES INFORMATION IN THE LATEST U-S REPORT ON TERRORISM ISSUED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT, WHICH CITES SYRIA AS ONE OF THE WORST OFFENDERS.

    VOICE: "OF THE 37 ORGANIZATIONS [CITED IN THE REPORT], NINE OPERATE WITHIN THE SYRIAN SPHERE OF INFLUENCE, INCLUDING HEZBOLLAH, HAMAS, PKK (KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY) AND ISLAMIC JIHAD. MANY OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS TRAIN AND OPERATE IN THE BEKAA VALLEY IN LEBANON. ..... THE TIME HAS COME FOR A NEW, MORE CONFRONTATIONAL APPROACH [WITH SYRIA]. SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT SHOULD READ THIS REPORT CAREFULLY AND DRAW THE PROPER CONCLUSION FROM IT. IT'S TIME THAT THE U-S DID MORE THAN URGE [ITALICS FOR EMPHASIS] SYRIA TO CHANGE ITS WAYS."

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, ON THE STANDOFF BETWEEN LAW OFFICERS AND SEPARATISTS IN WEST TEXAS, THE SUN IN BALTIMORE SAYS:

    VOICE: "THERE ARE TOO MANY VIOLENT NUTS [CRAZY PEOPLE] WITH GUNS AND BOMBS MENACING THEIR NEIGHBORS IN THIS COUNTRY. THEY AREN'T FUNNY, THEY AREN'T PATRIOTIC ... AND THEY AREN'T RIGHT. THE TEXAS RANGERS - - THE REAL ONES - - HUMORED THIS BAND JUST ENOUGH WITH WISDOM AND RESOLVE SO AS TO MINIMIZE RATHER THAN MAXIMIZE THE HARM IT CAUSED AND THE THREAT IT POSED."

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS BRIEF LOOK AT SOME OF TODAY'S EDITORIALS FROM THE U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    06-May-97 11:02 AM EDT (1502 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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