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Voice of America, 97-12-27

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ITALY/IMIGRANTS (S&L) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [02] NORTHERN IRELAND KILLING (S ONLY) BY DAVID WEBER (LONDON)

  • [01] ITALY/IMIGRANTS (S&L) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=12/27/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224553
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A SHIP CARRYING SOME 800 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, MOST OF THEM KURDS, HAS RUN AGROUND OFF THE SOUTHERN COAST OF ITALY. AS PEGGY POLK REPORTS, COAST GUARDS, POLICE AND FISHERMEN MOUNTED A RESCUE OPERATION IN HIGH SEAS AND STORMY WEATHER.

    TEXT: THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WERE ABOARD THE TURKISH-REGISTERED SHIP ARARAT, WHICH RAN AGROUND IN HIGH SEAS EARLY SATURDAY OFF THE COAST OF CALABRIA IN SOUTHERN ITALY.

    ITALIAN AUTHORITIES SAID THE SHIP CARRIED FROM 750 TO 825 PEOPLE MOST OF THEM KURDS -- MAKING IT ONE OF THE LARGEST ATTEMPTS TO DATE TO SMUGGLE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS INTO ITALY.

    THE COAST GUARD SOUNDED THE ALARM AT FIRST LIGHT, AND -- HELPED BY POLICE AND FISHERMEN -- BEGAN RESCUING THE PASSENGERS, STARTING WITH WOMEN AND CHILDREN. THE ITALIAN NEWS AGENCY ANSA REPORTED THAT BY MIDAFTERNOON, ALL THE PASSENGERS HAD REACHED SHORE AND WERE BEING HOUSED TEMPORARILY IN SCHOOLS AND A SPORTS CENTER.

    THE CREW APPARENTLY JUMPED SHIP WHEN THE ARARAT RAN AGROUND. SEVERAL CHILDREN WERE TREATED FOR BRONCHIAL AILMENTS, BUT MOST WERE IN GOOD SHAPE DESPITE THE HARSH CONDITIONS ABOARD THE VESSEL.

    //REST OPT//

    THEY SAID THAT ALTHOUGH THEY HAD PAID FROM ONE-THOUSAND TO THREE-THOUSAND DOLLLARS A PERSON FOR THEIR PASSAGE THEY WERE GIVEN ONLY BREAD AND CHEESE TO EAT DURING THE SIX-DAY CROSSING.

    THOUSANDS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TRY TO USE ITALY AS THEIR ENTRY TO EUROPE EACH YEAR. MANY MANAGE TO HEAD NORTH TO GERMANY AND THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES BEFORE ITALY CAN REPATRIATE THEM.

    ANOTHER SHIPLOAD OF ALMOST 800 CLANDESTINE IMMIGRANTS, MOST OF THEM KURDS, REACHED THE COAST OF SOUTHERN ITALY EARLIER THIS YEAR.

    ITALY IS A PRIME DESTINATION BECAUSE OF ITS LONG COASTLINES AND RELATIVELY LAX IMMIGRATION LAWS. BUT, SINCE OCTOBER, WHEN ITALY JOINED THE EUROPEAN UNION'S SCHENGEN ACCORD PROVIDING FOR OPEN BORDERS AMONG MEMBER STATES, THE GOVERNMENT HAS ATTEMPTED TO CLAMP DOWN ON ILLEGAL ENTRIES. THE ITALIAN PARLIAMENT IS NOW DEBATING A TOUGHER REPATRIATION LAW. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/DW/MGB
    27-Dec-97 11:53 AM EST (1653 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] NORTHERN IRELAND KILLING (S ONLY) BY DAVID WEBER (LONDON)

    DATE=12/27/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224554
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE 37-YEAR-OLD CHIEF OF AN OUTLAWED NORTHERN IRISH PROTESTANT PARAMILITARY GROUP WAS SHOT DEAD SATURDAY INSIDE A HIGH-SECURITY PRISON IN NORTHERN IRELAND. HIS ASSAILANTS WERE CATHOLIC MILITANTS BEING HELD IN ANOTHER WING OF THE SAME PRISON. DAVID WEBER REPORTS FROM LONDON THE KILLING OF BILLY WRIGHT COULD UPSET THE DELICATE PEACE PROCESS IN NORTHERN IRELAND.

    TEXT: WRIGHT WAS SHOT FIVE TIMES IN THE BACK BY TWO GUNMEN WHO CLIMBED A HIGH WALL OVERLOOKING THE VISITING ROOM OF THE SECTION OF THE MAZE PRISON RESERVED FOR PROTESTANT MILITANTS.

    THREE MEN WHO SAID THEY BELONGED TO THE IRISH NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY -- A SMALL ANTI-BRITISH TERRORIST GROUP THAT BROKE OFF FROM THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY SOME YEARS BACK -- WERE LATER ARRESTED WHEN THEY HANDED IN TWO GUNS TO A CATHOLIC PRISON CHAPLAIN.

    THE DEAD MAN WAS KNOWN AS "KING RAT". HE WAS SERVING AN EIGHT-YEAR SENTENCE FOR THREATENING TO KILL WITNESSES TO PREVENT THEM FROM TESTIFYING AGAINST HIM.

    WRIGHT'S GROUP AND THE I-N-L-A WERE IMPLACABLE ENEMIES, BUT THEY SHARED A COMMON PURPOSE: BOTH WERE AGAINST THE CEASEFIRES DECLARED BY THE LEADING LOYALIST AND NATIONALIST MILITANT GROUPS IN NORTHERN IRELAND.

    THE PRISON KILLING HAS BEEN STRONGLY CONDEMNED BY POLITICIANS AND CHURCHMEN. ALL SIDES ARE URGING CALM. THE BIG FEAR NOW IS THAT PROTESTANT MILITANTS ON THE OUTSIDE WILL SEEK REVENGE FOR WRIGHT'S MURDER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DW/MGB
    27-Dec-97 1:29 PM EST (1829 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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