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Voice of America, 97-12-29

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EDITORIAL: SHATTUCK ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRIORITIES
  • [02] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [03] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] NORTHERN IRELAND (L-ONLY) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)
  • [05] NY ECON WRAP (L ONLY) BY JOE CHAPMAN (NEW YORK)
  • [06] TURKMENISTAN / GAS (L) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [07] YEARENDER: FRANCE POL '97 BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

  • [01] EDITORIAL: SHATTUCK ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRIORITIES

    DATE= DECEMBER 30, 1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-07586
    CONTENT=

    ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE:

    THE UNITED NATIONS RECENTLY LAUNCHED A YEAR-LONG CELEBRATION LEADING TO THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. THE DECLARATION WAS ADOPTED BY THE U-N GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON DECEMBER 10TH, 1948. AS JOHN SHATTUCK, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND LABOR, SAID, "THIS BASIC BEDROCK DOCUMENT . . . IS PERHAPS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENT IN INTERNATIONAL LAW." THE DECLARATION RECOGNIZES THAT "THE INHERENT DIGNITY AND EQUAL AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN FAMILY [ARE] THE FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND PEACE IN THE WORLD."

    DESPITE CONSTANT SETBACKS, PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE ARE STRUGGLING FOR FREEDOM, REGARDLESS OF THEIR CULTURE OR ECONOMIC CONDITION. WITH THAT IN MIND, THE UNITED STATES IS WORKING TO STRENGTHEN INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS. THE NEW U-N HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, FORMER IRISH PRESIDENT MARY ROBINSON, IS CONSULTING WIDELY WITH GOVERNMENTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS. BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT THAT SHE HAVE SUFFICIENT RESOURCES TO DO THE JOB, PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON HAS PLEDGED THAT THE U.S. WILL SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASE ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER.

    ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITIES IS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. THE RIGHT TO PRACTICE ONE'S RELIGION IS FUNDAMENTAL. MOREOVER, PEOPLE WHO ARE FREE TO PROFESS THEIR BELIEFS WITHOUT FEAR AND TO LIVE BY THEM WITHOUT IMPEDIMENT WILL DO MORE TO ENRICH THEIR SOCIETIES THAN PEOPLE HELD BACK BY PREJUDICE. AS ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE SHATTUCK STRESSED, THE U.S. WILL CONTINUE TO PROMOTE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD.

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
    29-Dec-97 3:02 PM EST (2002 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/29/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224594
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES ROSE SHARPLY IN TRADING MONDAY ON EUROPEAN MARKETS. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: ANALYSTS SAY SHARE PRICES IN EUROPE ROSE STEEPLY ON REPORTS BANKS WOULD MAKE SURE SOUTH KOREA CAN MEET IT OBLIGATIONS. MARKETS IN MILAN AND ZURICH SET RECORD HIGHS. MADRID AND AMSTERDAM GAINED MORE THAN THREE-PERCENT. THE MAJOR MARKETS ALSO SHOWED BIG INCREASES. IN PARIS, THE CAC-40 INDEX ROSE MORE THAN 68-POINTS, TWO-AND-THREE-TENTHS PERCENT. IN FRANKFURT, THE DAX-30 INDEX CLOSED UP MORE THAN 75-POINTS, ONE-AND-EIGHT-TENTHS PERCENT. IN LONDON, THE FOOTSIE-100 INDEX GAINED 98 POINTS, ALMOST TWO PERCENT.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY EXCHANGE, THE VALUE OF THE U-S DOLLAR ROSE AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK, BUT WAS DOWN SLIGHTLY AGAINST THE JAPANESE YEN AND THE BRITISH POUND. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWH/RAE
    29-Dec-97 1:12 PM EST (1812 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/29/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10507
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    //// EDS: DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ! ! ////

    INTRO: TRADITIONALLY, THE WEEK BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S IS SOMEWHAT DEVOID OF NEWS, AND A GLANCE AT THE EDITORIALS IN MANY MAJOR U-S DAILIES THIS MONDAY SEEMS TO BEAR THAT OUT. THERE ARE A WIDE ARRAY OF TOPICS UNDER DISCUSSION BUT NO SINGLE EVENT HAS CAUGHT THE ATTENTION OF MULTIPLE PAPERS.

    AMONG THE TOPICS ELICITING COMMENTS INCLUDE: THE ECONOMIC CRISIS IN SOUTH KOREA; THE MASSACRES IN SOUTHERN MEXICO AND ALGIERS; THE PROPOSED U-S BUDGET SURPLUS; THE VERDICT IN THE LATEST OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING TRIAL AND A DISPUTE REGARDING WASHINGTON'S FAMED SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION AND A SERIES OF LECTURES REGARDING THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL. NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME QUOTES, IS ______________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THE ACCELERATED FINANCIAL AID PLAN FOR THE CASH-STARVED SOUTH KOREAN ECONOMY DRAWS THIS REACTION FROM TODAY'S "LOS ANGELES TIMES."

    VOICE: THE ACCELERATED AID PLAN ... AIMS ABOVE ALL ELSE AT RESTORING INVESTOR CONFIDENCE IN AN ECONOMY THAT, HOWEVER BATTERED IT APPEARS RIGHT NOW, REMAINS FUNDAMENTALLY STRONG. THE GRATIFYING EARLY SIGNS ARE THAT THE MOVE IS PROVING EFFECTIVE. AMERICAN AND JAPANESE BANKS, FOR EXAMPLE, SEEM READY TO OFFER EASIER CONDITIONS FOR MUCH OF THE ESTIMATED 30-BILLION TO 40 BILLION IN SHORT-TERM LOANS THAT ARE COMING DUE. ... A SENSE OF URGENCY HAS PROMPTED THE SPEEDED-UP SCHEDULE, AND SOUTH KOREA'S LEADERS MUST BE SIMILARLY PROMPT IN MEETING THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES. THE TRADITIONAL WAYS OF CONDUCTING BUSINESS AFFAIRS IN KOREA -- // OPT // NOT LEAST THE OFTEN WASTEFUL AND CORRUPT FAVORITISM SHOWN THE POLITICALLY WELL-CONNECTED CONGLOMERATES -- // END OPT // HAVE TO END IF ITS ECONOMY IS TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF THE 21ST CENTURY. // OPT // THE PRESENT CRISIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR FORCING CHANGE THAT WILL BE PAINFUL IN THE SHORT RUN BUT VITAL FOR KOREA'S FUTURE ECONOMIC HEALTH. // END OPT //

    TEXT: A PAIR OF MASS KILLINGS, ONE IN CHIAPAS, MEXICO, AND THE OTHER IN ALGIERS, IS AFFECTING "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" WHICH RUNS ITS COMMENTARY UNDER THE HEADING "MAN'S INHUMANITY" POINTING OUT:

    VOICE: ALTHOUGH MANY PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD ARE CELEBRATING THE VARIOUS HOLIDAYS OF THIS SEASON, OTHERS ARE MIRED IN MISERY. IT IS EASY TO FORGET -- ESPECIALLY IN A LAND OF PLENTY SUCH AS THE UNITED STATES -- THAT NOT EVERYONE IS SAFE, SECURE AND WELL-FED. WORST OF ALL, MAN'S INHUMANITY TO MAN LIVES ON. ... CONSIDER: THE KILLING FIELDS OF ALGERIA, WHERE SOME 65-THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CUT DOWN IN RECENT YEARS BECAUSE OF SOCIAL TENSIONS. IN ONE VILLAGE ATTACKED LAST WEEK, MANY RESIDENTS DIED. THE LAST TO LOSE THEIR LIVES WERE FOUR YOUNG GIRLS.

    THE TERRIBLE TRAGEDY OF A REFUGEE CAMP IN MEXICO. GUNMEN INVADED THAT CAMP A WEEK AGO TODAY, OPENING FIRE ON INDIANS, MANY OF WHOM HAD GATHERED IN A CHURCH TO PRAY FOR THEIR LIVES.

    THE REBELS MOUNTING ATTACKS IN RWANDA, THE SETTING OF SOME OF THE WORST MASSACRES IN HISTORY. IN VARIOUS RAMPAGES LAST WEEK, 35 CIVILIANS WERE KILLED. // OPT // THE DEAD INCLUDED THREE SCHOOL CHILDREN. // END OPT // ...NO DOUBT THE PERPETRATORS IN THOSE CASES THOUGHT THEY HAD LEGITIMATE REASONS FOR THEIR ACTIONS ... [BUT] THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: "THE SUN" IN BALTIMORE SAYS OF THE MEXICAN TRAGEDY:

    VOICE: GUNMEN WHO INVADED THE VILLAGE OF ACTEAL ... WOUNDED THE HOPES FOR DEMOCRACY AND RULE OF LAW IN MEXICO. THE REFORM ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT ERNESTO ZEDILLO IS BACK TO SQUARE ONE IN ATTEMPTS TO RESTORE THE CREDIBILITY OF MEXICAN INSTITUTIONS. ... PEACE TALKS WITH THE ZAPATISTAS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED MORE THAN A YEAR AND, AS A RESULT, THE VIOLENCE HAS PICKED UP ON BOTH SIDES. ... PRESIDENT ZEDILLO HAS NO OTHER PROBLEM AS URGENT AS THIS ONE.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IS FACING ONE OF THE MOST UNUSUAL CHALLENGES ANY PRESIDENT HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH FOR YEARS A BUDGET SURPLUS. TODAY'S "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" SUGGESTS AGAINST A TAX CUT THAT HAS BEGUN TO GAIN MOMENTUM IN WASHINGTON.

    VOICE: GUESSES ON THE FEDERAL BUDGET BALANCE IN FISCAL 1998 DIFFER. STANLEY COLLENDER, A BUDGET EXPERT WITH ... A WASHINGTON PUBLIC RELATIONS GROUP, PREDICTS A SURPLUS OF 25 TO 40-BILLION DOLLARS. SUSAN HICKOK, CHIEF ECONOMIST OF PRUDENTIAL ECONOMICS, EXPECTS A TINY 15-BILLION DEFICIT. ... IF THERE IS A BUDGET SURPLUS THIS YEAR, AS WE SUSPECT, WHAT SHOULD WASHINGTON DO ABOUT IT? WE WOULD SUGGEST: NOTHING. LET'S JUST ENJOY THE SURPLUS THAT IS ACCOMPANYING NATIONAL PROSPERITY. WE DON'T NEED A TAX CUT. // OPT // FEDERAL REVENUES, EQUIVALENT TO ABOUT 19-POINT-8 PERCENT OF NATIONAL OUTPUT, AREN'T EXCESSIVE. .... DON'T DAMAGE THIS GREAT NATIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT ...." // END OPT //

    TEXT: ON TO ANOTHER DOMESTIC TOPIC, THE RECENT VERDICT IN THE SECOND OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING TRIAL. THE JURY RETURNED WHAT TO MANY OBSERVERS WAS A CONFUSING AND CONTRADICTORY VERDICT, AND IS NOW INTO ITS SECOND DELIBERATION, REGARDING THE PENALTY THAT SHOULD BE METED OUT TO TERRY NICHOLS. "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" NOTES:

    VOICE: HOW IS IT POSSIBLE, PEOPLE ARE ASKING THEMSELVES, THAT A JURY COULD FIND A MAN GUILTY OF CONSPIRING WITH TIMOTHY MCVEIGH TO BUILD THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMB THAT KILLED 168 PEOPLE -- AND THEN FIND HIM GUILTY OF ONLY INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER? IT SEEMS DEFENSE LAWYER MICHAEL TIGAR SUCCEEDED IN CONVINCING THE JURY THAT THE ESSENTIAL FACT WAS THIS, THAT 'TERRY NICHOLS WAS NOT THERE' ... WHEN [MR.] MCVEIGH PARKED THE RYDER TRUCK AT THE ... FEDERAL BUILDING AND BLEW IT UP. ... STILL, THE DISTINCTION OUGHT NOT OBSCURE [MR.] NICHOLS' SIGNIFICANT PARTICIPATION IN THE EVIL DEED.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: IN NEBRASKA, "THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD" IS ALSO DISCUSSING THE BOMBING, AND REGARDS THE THEORY THAT A LARGE CONSPIRACY WAS BEHIND IT, AS IMPLAUSIBLE.

    VOICE: NO MORE SUSPECTS ARE BEING SOUGHT IN THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING. THE FBI SAYS IT HAS PURSUED ALL CREDIBLE LEADS AND IS CONVINCED ... THIS BARBAROUS ACT WAS THE WORK OF TWO MEN, TIMOTHY MCVEIGH AND TERRY NICHOLS. ... BUT SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT SATISFIED. THEY ASK HOW TWO ORDINARY MEN COULD HAVE DESTROYED A LARGE BUILDING AND KILLED 168 PEOPLE WITHOUT A NETWORK OF HENCHMEN AND CO-CONSPIRATORS. ... [MR.] MCVEIGH AND [MR.] NICHOLS OBVIOUSLY WERE THE MAJOR PERPETRATORS IN THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING. WHILE IT MAY BE THEORETICALLY POSSIBLE THAT OTHER PEOPLE WERE INVOLVED, THE LACK OF EVIDENCE MAKES IT HIGHLY UNLIKELY.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: LASTLY, SOME CRITICISM OF A PLANNED LECTURE SERIES MARKING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL AT WASHINGTON'S SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, FROM "THE NEW YORK POST."

    VOICE: IN A SHOCKING DISPLAY OF POLITICAL BIAS, THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION HAS LINKED UP WITH A LEFTIST AMERICAN GROUP FOR A LECTURE SERIES WHOSE IMPLICIT PURPOSE IS TO CALL INTO QUESTION THE UNDERPINNINGS OF THE JEWISH STATE. THE SERIES ... IS THE HANDIWORK OF THE SMITHSONIAN ASSOCIATES WORKING IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE NEW ISRAEL FUND, AND THE PROGRAM NOTES MAKE THE SERIES' ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS CLEAR FROM THE FIRST PARAGRAPH. ISRAEL MUST STILL MEET 'DIFFICULT CHALLENGES' IN ORDER 'TO FULFILL ITS FOUNDER'S VISION OF A NATION BASED ON THE CONCEPTS OF 'FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND PEACE,' THE INTRODUCTION ... SAYS. ... ANY LECTURE SERIES SPONSORED BY THE SMITHSONIAN CAN ... BE SAID TO HAVE THE OFFICIAL SEAL OF APPROVAL FROM THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. WHENEVER THE SMITHSONIAN SMILES UPON A POLITICIZED ENTERPRISE, ESPECIALLY ONE AS NARROW AND HATE-FILLED AS 'ISRAEL AT 50,' IT BETRAYS ITS TRUST AND ITS TRADITIONS.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL REACTION TO SOME OF THE TOPICS OF THE DAY FROM MONDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    29-Dec-97 10:49 AM EST (1549 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] NORTHERN IRELAND (L-ONLY) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE=12/29/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224591
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN'S NORTHERN IRELAND SECRETARY MO MOWLAN HAS MET SENIOR SECURITY AND POLICE OFFICIALS AFTER A SERIES OF TERRORIST KILLINGS IN THE PROVINCE DURING THE WEEKEND. AS CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA REPORTS FROM LONDON, THE THREE-HOUR MEETING WAS TO REVIEW SECURITY PROCEDURES AT THE MAZE PRISON WHERE REPUBLICAN AS WELL AS LOYALIST PARAMILITARIES ARE INCARCERATED.

    TEXT: THE MEETING WAS HASTILY CALLED FOLLOWING THE MURDER SATURDAY INSIDE THE MAZE OF BILLY WRIGHT -- THE LEADER OF A SMALL LOYALIST, OR PRO-BRITISH, PARAMILITARY GROUP. THREE MEN BELONGING TO A SPLINTER REPUBLICAN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION APPEARED IN COURT MONDAY CHARGED WITH HIS MURDER. WRIGHT'S DEATH WAS FOLLOWED BY A REVENGE KILLING OF A CATHOLIC MAN.

    THE MAZE IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE MOST SECURE PRISON IN EUROPE. BUT IT IS NOT A NORMAL PRISON -- IT IS MORE LIKE A PRISONER-OF-WAR CAMP WITH A WHOLE SET OF VARIOUS RULES AND WHERE INMATES VIRTUALLY RUN THEIR OWN WINGS. THIS SPECIAL STATUS IS DUE IN PART TO THE CRUCIAL ROLE TERRORIST PRISONERS HAVE PLAYED IN SECURING THE TWO CEASEFIRES NOW IN PLACE.

    HOWEVER OVER THE PAST YEAR, THERE HAVE BEEN SERIOUS BREACHES OF SECURITY AT THE MAZE. IN MARCH, A HUGE ESCAPE TUNNEL DUG BY THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY WAS DISCOVERED -- BUT ONLY BECAUSE IT COLLAPSED. EARLIER THIS MONTH, A REPUBLICAN TERRORIST -- DRESSED AS A WOMAN -- WALKED OUT OF THE MAZE DURING A CHRISTMAS PARTY. AND JUST A FEW DAYS AGO, AT LEAST TWO GUNS WERE SMUGGLED IN TO KILL TERRORIST LEADER BILLY WRIGHT.

    KEN MAGINNIS IS SECURITY SPOKESMAN FOR THE LARGEST PARTY IN NORTHERN IRELAND -- THE PRO-BRITISH "ULSTER UNIONISTS." HE SAYS THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT POLICY IN NORTHERN IRELAND IS CAVING IN TO DEMANDS MADE BY SINN FEIN, THE POLITICAL WING OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY. AND HE IS CALLING FOR THE RESIGNATION OF THE SENIOR MINISTER IN CHARGE OF THE PROVINCE, MO MOWLAN.

    /// MAGINNIS ACT ///

    WE HAVE GOT TO HAVE SOMEBODY WHO HAS CONSISTENCY, WHO HAS A PROPERLY DEFINED POLICY IN TERMS OF THE WHOLE INTRICACIES OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND SITUATION -- BOTH POLITICAL AND SECURITY. I THINK THE PRESENT SECRETARY OF STATE IS INADEQUATE FOR THE JOB. I AM SORRY TO HAVE TO SAY THAT.

    /// OPT ///

    I DO NOT SAY THAT WITH VENOM. I SAY THAT WITH A DEGREE OF SADNESS BECAUSE I KNOW MO MOWLAN VERY WELL. SHE HAS BEEN FRIENDLY WITH ME AS I HAVE WITH HER, AND SHE STAYED IN MY HOME WITH MY WIFE AND I ON OCCASIONS. BUT THAT HAS TO BE PUT TO ONE SIDE WHEN // END OPT //

    WE FIND THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S POLICY IS BEING DIRECTED TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY TOWARDS MEETING THE RANSOM DEMANDS PUT BY THE I-R-A IF THEY ARE TO STAY AT THE TABLE OF DEMOCRACY.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE MURDER OF TERRORIST BILLY WRIGHT AND THE SUBSEQUENT REVENGE KILLING OF A REPUBLICAN MAN HAS BROUGHT FEARS NORTHERN IRELAND WILL ONCE AGAIN BE PLUNGED INTO ALL-OUT VIOLENCE.

    MR. MAGINNIS SAYS ANOTHER FEAR IS THAT THE DEATH OF WRIGHT MAY TRIGGER AN END THE THREE-YEAR OLD CEASEFIRE BY THE LOYALIST - OR PRO-BRITISH - PARAMILITARIES.

    /// 2ND MAGINNIS ACT ///

    THE LOYALISTS HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO OPERATE IN TERMS OF TERRORISM INSOFAR AS THERE IS A GROUNDSWELL OF OPINION AGAINST THE RESUMPTION OF TERROR WITHIN THAT PARTICULAR TRADITION. BUT IF IN FACT PEOPLE BECOME DISHEARTENED AND ADOPT A "COULDN'T CARE LESS" ATTITUDE OR "WELL, THE WHOLE THING IS INEVITABLE" ATTITUDE -- THEN WE ARE GOING TO FIND OURSELVES IN GRAVE DIFFICULTY.

    /// END ACT ///

    IF THE LOYALIST PARAMILITARIES END THEIR CEASEFIRE, EXPERTS BELIEVE THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY MAY DO THE SAME. AND THAT WOULD BE A DEVASTATING BLOW TO THE PEACE PROCESS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/JWH
    29-Dec-97 12:15 PM EST (1715 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] NY ECON WRAP (L ONLY) BY JOE CHAPMAN (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/29/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224606
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN NEW YORK CLOSED UP SHARPLY, ABOUT ONE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT TODAY (MONDAY) IN LIGHT, END OF THE YEAR TRADING. V-O-A'S JOE CHAPMAN REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: ANALYSTS SAY NEW YORK STOCK PRICES WERE PUSHED UP BY TRADITIONAL END OF THE YEAR BUYING AND BY AN EASING OF CONCERN ABOUT ASIAN ECONOMIC PROBLEMS. THE WIDELY-FOLLOWED DOW-JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED UP 113 POINTS AT 77-HUNDRED-92 WHILE THE MORE REPRESENTATIVE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 CLOSED UP 17 POINTS AT 953.

    THE U-S BANKING GIANTS -- CITICORP, BANK AMERICA, CHASE MANHATTAN AND J-P MORGAN -- WERE ALL UP. TECHNOLOGY STOCKS ALSO RALLIED, WITH GOOD GAINS FOR I-B-M COMPUTER, COMPAQ COMPUTER, DELL COMPUTER AND CISCO SYSTEMS. FINANCIAL SERVICES AND HIGH TECHNOLOGY STOCKS HAVE BEEN HIT HARD FOR TWO MONTHS BY CONCERNS ABOUT ASIAN ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.

    OTHER BLUE CHIP STOCKS SUCH AS COCA COLA, SEARS, PROCTOR AND GAMBLE AND GENERAL ELECTRIC WERE ALSO UP STRONGLY. STOCKS ADVANCING IN PRICE OUTNUMBERED THOSE FALLING IN PRICE BY A BETTER THAN TWO TO ONE MARGIN.

    /// REST OPT FOPR LONG VERSION ///

    NEW YORK OFFICIALS OF THE U-S CENTRAL BANK AND TOP AMERICAN BANKING EXECUTIVES MET THROUGH THE DAY TO DISCUSS ASIAN ECONOMIC PROBLEMS. THE CENTRAL BANK DECLINED COMMENT, BUT SOME INVESTMENT BANKERS SAID LATER THEY HAVE AGREED TO EXTEND REPAYMENT TERMS FOR SOUTH KOREAN LOANS. U-S BANKERS HAVE LIMITED EXPOSURE IN SOUTH KOREA, ONLY ABOUT ONE THIRD THAT OF JAPANESE BANKS.

    CHARLES BIEDERMAN, A CALIFORNIA INVESTMENT ADVISER, SAYS WALL STREET HAS GENERALLY OVERREACTED TO THE ASIAN ECONOMIC PROBLEMS. SOME PORTFOLIO MANAGERS, HE SAYS, WERE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR ANNUAL BONUSES THAN THEIR INVESTORS.

    ///BIEDERMAN ACT///

    MANY PORTFOLIO MANAGERS HAVE BEEN UP 30 TO 40 PERCENT THIS YEAR AND THEY WERE LOOKING TO PROTECT THEIR YEAR END BONUSES. SO A LOT OF THE PANIC SELLING OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS WAS DUE TO WORRY ABOUT THEIR YEAR END PERFORMANCE BONUSES AS OPPOSED TO A LIQUIDITY PROBLEM IN THE MARKET.

    ///END ACT///

    ANALYST CHARLES BIEDERMAN SAYS THESE PORTFOLIO MANAGERS WERE SO ANXIOUS TO LOCK IN HEALTHY STOCK PROFITS, AND THEIR ANNUAL YEAR END BONUSES, THAT THEY SOLD STOCK IN A PANIC. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/JMC/LSF/PT
    29-Dec-97 5:08 PM EST (2208 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] TURKMENISTAN / GAS (L) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/29/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224588
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE PRESIDENTS OF TURKMENISTAN AND IRAN HAVE OFFICIALLY OPENED A NEW GAS PIPELINE BETWEEN THEIR COUNTRIES. AS V-O-A'S PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS FROM MOSCOW, THE PIPELINE IS THE FIRST ENERGY ROUTE FROM THE CASPIAN SEA REGION TO BYPASS RUSSIA.

    TEXT: TURKMENISTAN'S PRESIDENT SAPARMURAT NIYAZOV AND VISITING IRANIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMMAD KHATAMI TURNED A CEREMONIAL VALVE MONDAY OPENING THE 200-KILOMETER PIPELINE. INITIALLY, THE LINE WILL DELIVER A RELATIVELY SMALL FOUR-BILLION CUBIC METERS OF CASPIAN SEA GAS A YEAR TO A TOWN IN NORTHEASTERN IRAN. OFFICIALS SAY THAT AMOUNT SHOULD DOUBLE IN LESS THAN A DECADE.

    BUT ITS OPENING IS SEEN AS A SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE THIS PIPELINE IS THE FIRST ENERGY ROUTE FROM THE CASPIAN REGION NOT TO PASS THROUGH RUSSIA.

    OPENING OF THE LINE UNDERSCORES TURKMENISTAN'S DRIVE TO REDUCE DEPENDENCE ON MOSCOW, WHICH UNTIL NOW HAS MONOPOLIZED THE FORMER SOVIET REPUBLIC'S GAS EXPORTS. TURKMENISTAN'S LEADERS SAY THEY HAVE LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO WORK MORE CLOSELY WITH NEIGHBORING IRAN TO BREAK RUSSIA'S STRANGLEHOLD AS THEY DEVELOP THEIR VAST OIL AND GAS RESOURCES.

    IN A RELATED DEVELOPMENT SUNDAY, TURKMENISTAN, IRAN, AND TURKEY REACHED A LANDMARK DEAL THAT COULD HELP TO RESHAPE THE BALANCE OF POWER IN CENTRAL ASIA. THE AGREEMENT GIVES THE GO-AHEAD TO OIL GIANT ROYAL DUTCH SHELL TO DRAW UP PLANS FOR A ONE-POINT-SIX-BILLION DOLLAR PIPELINE ACROSS THE THREE COUNTRIES TO MARKETS IN EUROPE.

    TURKISH PRIME MINISTER MESUT YILMAZ WAS IN THE TURKMENISTAN CAPITAL, ASHGABAT, FOR THE SIGNING CEREMONY. BUT RUSSIAN NEWS REPORTS SAID THE IRANIAN AND TURKISH LEADERS DID NOT MEET.

    BOTH RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES HAVE OPPOSED ENERGY ROUTES THROUGH IRAN. RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VICTOR CHERNOMYRDIN, A FORMER HEAD OF THE RUSSIAN GAS MONOPOLY GAZPROM, LAST WEEK CANCELLED A VISIT TO ASHGABAD AT WHICH HE WAS REPORTEDLY SET TO OFFER A COUNTERPROPOSAL TO THE IRAN-TURKEY PIPELINE DEAL.

    THE UNITED STATES OPPOSES ALL INVESTMENT IN IRAN, PARTLY BECAUSE IT CONSIDERS THE TEHERAN GOVERNMENT A SPONSOR OF TERRORISM. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH
    29-Dec-97 10:30 AM EST (1530 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] YEARENDER: FRANCE POL '97 BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=12/29/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-36556
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FRANCE IS ENDING A YEAR THAT BROUGHT THE COUNTRY ONE BIG SURPRISE, THE ELECTION OF A LEFTWING GOVERNMENT AT A TIME WHEN THE CONSERVATIVE RIGHT SEEMED SET FOR A LONG SPELL IN POWER. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: THE EDITOR OF ONE FRENCH WEEKLY SAYS THAT ANY POLITICAL PUNDIT WHO HAD DARED PREDICT 12 MONTHS AGO THAT FRANCE WOULD TODAY HAVE A LEFTWING GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN DISMISSED AS MAD.

    AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT HEADED BY THE THEN PRIME MINISTER ALAIN JUPPE SEEMED TO HAVE FEW REAL REASONS TO WORRY. IT HAD 15 MONTHS TO GO BEFORE THE NEXT SCHEDULED PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. IT HAD 80 PERCENT OF THE SEATS IN PARLIAMENT AND FACED A SOCIALIST OPPOSITION THAT WAS DEMORALIZED AFTER BEING TROUNCED IN SUCCESSIVE NATIONAL VOTES.

    SEEKING TO PROFIT FROM THIS SITUATION, PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC SUDDENLY DECIDED TO DISSOLVE PARLIAMENT IN APRIL AND CALL AN EARLY ELECTION, THEREBY HOPING TO GAIN A NEW FIVE-YEAR MANDATE FOR THE CONSERVATIVE RIGHT.

    BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE PERHAPS THE GREATEST MISTAKE OF PRESIDENT CHIRAC'S POLITICAL CAREER.

    IN A COUNTRY THAT HAD TWICE BEEN SHAKEN BY MASSIVE STRIKES IN THE PREVIOUS 18 MONTHS, THE TIDE HAD IMPERCEPTIBLY TURNED. THE MESSAGE OF THE SOCIALIST LEADER LIONEL JOSPIN THAT HE WOULD NOT INTRODUCE NEW AUSTERITY PROGRAMS TO ENSURE FRANCE'S MEMBERSHIP OF THE NEW SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY, THE EURO, FOUND A WILLING AUDIENCE.

    THE SOCIALISTS, BACKED BY THE ECOLOGIST GREENS AND THE COMMUNIST PARTY, TOOK THE ELECTION. WITH FRANCE'S ECONOMY FINALLY PULLING OUT OF RECESSION, FRANCE MET THE TARGETS TO JOIN THE EURO WITHOUT RESORTING TO DRASTIC MEASURES.

    IN MANY WAYS, THE POLICIES OF MR. JOSPIN DIFFER LITTLE FROM THOSE OF HIS CONSERVATIVE PREDECESSOR. THE SOCIALISTS HAVE REVISED CONTROVERSIAL NATIONALITY AND IMMIGRATION LAWS. MOSTLY, HOWEVER, THIS HAS INVOLVED CORRECTIONS RATHER THAN DEEP REFORMS.

    DESPITE AN AVERSION TO PRIVATIZATIONS, THE SOCIALISTS BEGAN THE BIGGEST SELLOFF EVER OF A FRENCH UTILITY, THE FRANCE TELECOM TELEPHONE COMPANY.

    AS EVEN THE CONSERVATIVES HAD PLANNED, IT DID KEEP A CONTROLLING SHARE IN FRANCE TELECOM. BUT MR. JOSPIN BITTERLY DISAPPOINTED FRENCH BUSINESS WHEN HE BACKED HIS COMMUNIST TRANSPORT MINISTER AND REFUSED TO CONSIDER A FULL PRIVATIZATION OF THE NATIONAL AIRLINE, AIR FRANCE.

    THE ARRANGEMENT, BY WHICH A SOCIALIST PRIME MINISTER GOVERNS ALONGSIDE A CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENT, IS KNOWN IN FRANCE AS "COHABITATION." TWICE BEFORE SINCE 1986, FRANCE HAS TRIED THE SYSTEM OUT.

    IN THE EARLIER VERSIONS, IT WAS THE RIGHT THAT RAN THE GOVERNMENT WHILE THE SOCIALIST PRESIDENT FRANCOIS MITTERRAND REMAINED HEAD OF STATE.

    IT IS A FORM OF ADMINISTRATION THAT INEVITABLY PRODUCES ITS TENSIONS. AS THE YEAR ENDS, THESE ARE SURFACING.

    DESPITE HIS OBVIOUS DISAPPOINTMENT AT SEEING HIS SUPPORTERS LOSE THE ELECTIONS SIX MONTHS AGO, MR. CHIRAC HAS MADE AN EFFORT TO APPEAR AFFABLE AND RELAXED WHEN IN PUBLIC WITH PRIME MINISTER JOSPIN.

    HE DOES NOT, HOWEVER, REFRAIN FROM CRITICIZING SOCIALIST POLICIES. MUCH TO MR. JOSPIN'S ANNOYANCE, HE HAS DONE THIS OCCASIONALLY WHEN ABROAD. MR. JOSPIN PROTESTS THAT HE SHOULD KEEP HIS CRITICISM FOR HOME CONSUMPTION ALONE.

    THE PRESIDENT NEEDS TO REMAIN POLITICALLY ACTIVE BECAUSE IN THREE MONTHS TIME, FRANCE WILL HOLD ELECTIONS TO ITS 22 POWERFUL REGIONAL COUNCILS.

    WITH THE CONSERVATIVES WEAKENED, POLITICAL ANALYSTS PREDICT THAT MANY VOTES COULD GO TO THE EXTREME-RIGHT NATIONAL FRONT.

    THE NATIONAL FRONT'S PRIME TARGET IS THE REGION OF PROVENCE STRETCHING ALONG THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST, INCLUDING CITIES SUCH AS MARSEILLE, CANNES, AND NICE.

    TO HEAD THIS OFF, MR. CHIRAC SEEMS TO BE STRESSING HIS DIFFERENCES WITH HIS SOCIALIST PRIME MINISTER IN AN EFFORT TO DRAW BACK DISAFFECTED RIGHT-WING VOTERS TO HIS CAMP. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/JWH/RAE
    29-Dec-97 9:04 AM EST (1404 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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