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Voice of America, 98-01-01

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ITALY/KURDS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [02] NORTHERN IRELAND SHOOTING (S/L) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

  • [01] ITALY/KURDS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=1/1/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ITALIAN AUTHORITIES HAVE INTERCEPTED A SHIP DRIFTING OFF THE COAST WITH SOME 700 KURDS ABOARD. AS PEGGY POLK REPORTS FROM ROME, IT IS THE SECOND TIME IN LESS THAN A WEEK THAT THE ITALIAN COAST GUARD HAS RESCUED A BOATLOAD OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HEADED TOWARD SOUTHERN ITALY.

    TEXT: AUTHORITIES INTERCEPTED THE PANAMANIAN FLAG SHIP "COMETA" OFF THE COAST OF SOUTHEASTERN ITALY AND ESCORTED IT TO THE PORT OF OTRANTO IN THE HEEL OF THE ITALIAN BOOT.

    A NAVY HELICOPTER HAD SPOTTED THE VESSEL DURING THE MORNING AND MONITORED ITS PROGRESS AFTER IT FAILED TO RESPOND TO RADIO MESSAGES.

    THE COAST GUARD SAID THE COMETA -- WHICH AUTHORITIES SPECULATE HAD SAILED FROM TURKEY -- CARRIED ABOUT 700 IMMIGRANTS, PRESUMABLY KURDS. THERE WAS NO CAPTAIN ABOARD.

    LAST SATURDAY, THE COAST GUARD RESCUED 825 IMMIGRANTS -- MAINLY KURDS FROM TURKEY AND IRAQ -- FROM ANOTHER SHIP THAT RAN AGROUND FURTHER SOUTH. OFFICIALS IN CALABRIA SAID 124 OF THE PASSENGERS HAD REQUESTED ASYLUM.

    THE LATEST BOATLOAD ARRIVED ONLY HOURS AFTER ITALIAN PRESIDENT OSCAR LUIGI SCALFARO TOLD THE NATION IN HIS ANNUAL NEW YEARS EVE ADDRESS THAT ITALY'S DOORS MUST BE "WIDE OPEN" TO PEOPLE FLEEING PERSECUTION.

    HE ALSO URGED THE EUROPEAN UNION TO MAINTAIN DIALOGUE WITH STATES ACCUSED OF VIOLATING HUMAN RIGHTS, RATHER THAN PUNISHING THEM.

    ITALY HAS COME UNDER SHARP CRITICISM FROM ITS E-U PARTNERS FOR FAILING TO EFFECTIVELY TURN AWAY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. THE COUNTRY'S LONG COASTLINE MAKES IT A MAGNET FOR ECONOMIC MIGRANTS, MANY OF THEM SEEKING TO TRANSIT ITALY IN ORDER TO REACH GERMANY AND SCANDINAVIA.

    ITALY IS NOW IN THE PROCESS OF TIGHTENING ITS LAWS AGAINST ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

    ALMOST ALL OF THE 16-THOUSAND ALBANIANS WHO WERE GIVEN TEMPORARY REFUGE IN ITALY DURING THE CHAOS THAT ERUPTED IN THEIR COUNTRY LAST YEAR HAVE NOW BEEN REPATRIATED, BUT THE KURDS PRESENT A MORE DIFFICULT PROBLEM.

    ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER GIORGIO NAPOLITANO SAID LAST WEEK THERE WAS NO DOUBT THAT KURDS WERE BEING PERSECUTED IN IRAQ AND PARTS OF TURKEY, AND ITALY WOULD ADOPT WHAT HE CALLED "A POSITIVE ATTITUDE" TOWARD THEIR REQUESTS FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM.

    HE SAID ITALY WILL ALSO RAISE THE QUESTION OF KURDISH RIGHTS BEFORE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RPP/PCF
    01-Jan-98 11:26 AM EST (1626 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] NORTHERN IRELAND SHOOTING (S/L) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=1/1/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224694
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND, ONE MAN WAS KILLED AND ANOTHER FIVE PEOPLE WOUNDED, ONE SERIOUSLY, AFTER A PAIR OF GUNMEN SPRAYED BULLETS INTO A CROWDED TAVERN ON NEW YEARS EVE. VOA'S PAUL FRANCUCH REPORTS THIS IS THE LATEST IN A WAVE OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE TO WRACK THE BRITISH PROVINCE SINCE LAST SATURDAY.

    TEXT: THE ATTACK OCCURRED AT A TAVERN IN A PREDOMINANTLY ROMAN CATHOLIC AREA OF BELFAST WHERE HOLIDAY REVELERS HAD GATHERED TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR. THE ATTACK CAME WITHOUT WARNING.

    MICHAEL CONLON IS A POLITICIAN WITH SEIN FEIN, THE POLITICAL WING OF THE I-R-A, THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY. HE WAS QUICKLY ON THE SCENE AND DESCRIBED EVENTS FOR BRITISH RADIO.

    ///CONLON ACT///

    I WAS WALKING AROUND THE CORNER WHEN I HEARD THE SHOTS. ONE OF THEM (GUNMEN) WAS CARRYING WHAT LOOKED LIKE AN UZI MACHINE GUN. AND THE OTHER WAS CARRYING A HANDGUN. THEY WENT INTO THE BAR AND OPENED FIRE INDISCRIMINATELY.

    ///END ACT///

    POLICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND HAVE BEEN ON ALERT FOR ATTACKS IN PREDOMINANTLY CATHOLIC AREAS, FOLLOWING LAST SATURDAY'S MURDER OF AN IMPRISONED, PROTESTANT PARAMILITARY LEADER NAMED BILLY WRIGHT. HIS KILLING WAS FOLLOWED WITHIN HOURS BY THE REPRISAL KILLING OF SEAMUS DILLON, A FORMER I-R-A GUERRILLA.

    ///REST OPT FOR LONG///

    WEDNESDAY'S ATTACK CAME JUST AROUND THE TIME BRITAIN'S SECRETARY FOR NORTHERN IRELAND, (MS) MO MOLAM, ISSUED A NEW YEAR'S STATEMENT PREDICTING 1998 WOULD BRING WHAT SHE CALLED HISTORIC STEPS TOWARD PEACE IN THE TROUBLED PROVINCE.

    ONGOING PEACE TALKS BETWEEN GROUPS INCLUDING THE PREDOMINANTLY CATHOLIC I-R-A AND PREDOMINANTLY- PROTESTANT, PRO-BRITISH LOYALIST GROUPS ARE SCHEDULED TO RESUME WITHIN TWO WEEKS. BUT THE RECENT VIOLENCE BY SPLINTER GROUPS AND EXTREMISTS OPPOSED TO THE PEACE EFFORTS RAISE SERIOUS DOUBTS THE TALKS WILL BRING ANY LASTING SETTLEMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/KL
    01-Jan-98 6:42 AM EST (1142 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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