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Voice of America, 98-10-21

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] BRITAIN KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY JENNIFER GLASSE (SKOPJE, MACEDONIA)
  • [02] U-N / KOSOVO (L - ONLY) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [03] SERBIA'S DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] YUGO MEDIA (L-ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)
  • [05] YUGO MEDIA UPDATE (L-ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)
  • [06] TURKEY / SYRIA (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [07] EUROPE / ECONOMY (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [08] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [10] U-N / CHILDREN AT WAR (L - O) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)

  • [01] BRITAIN KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY JENNIFER GLASSE (SKOPJE, MACEDONIA)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-240532
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN'S FOREIGN SECRETARY, ROBIN COOK CONCLUDED A VISIT TO THE BALKAN COUNTRY OF MACEDONIA WEDNESDAY -- A STRATEGIC PLAYER IN ENDING THE KOSOVO CRISIS. DURING HIS TWO-DAY VISIT, MR. COOK MET WITH MACEDONIA'S LEADERS AND KOSOVO'S CHIEF NEGOTIATOR. JENNIFER GLASSE REPORTS FROM THE MACEDONIAN CAPITAL, SKOPJE.

    TEXT: FOREIGN SECRETARY COOK THANKED MACEDONIAN LEADERS FOR THEIR COOPERATION IN TRYING TO END THE KOSOVO CRISIS. MACEDONIA IS ALLOWING NATO PLANES ACCESS TO ITS AIRSPACE AND PERMITTING ITS PERSONNEL TO BE BE BASED WITHIN THE COUNTRY.

    TALKING WITH REPORTERS ALONG THE MACEDONIA-KOSOVO BORDER, MR. COOK REPEATED EARLIER WARNINGS THAT BOTH SERBIAN FORCES AND KOSOVO ALBANIANS MUST HONOR THE U-S-BROKERED CEASE-FIRE.

    //COOK ACT//

    I WANT TO SEE A KOSOVO IN THE HANDS OF THE POLITICIANS OF KOSOVO WHO WANT A TO BUILD A PEACEFUL FUTURE FOR THE PEOPLE OF KOSOVO IN STABILITY, WITH THEIR OWN POLICE, FREE FROM REPRESSION, FREE FROM THE KIND OF POLICE ACTIVITY THAT THEY'VE SEEN OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS. I DO NOT INTEND TO LEAVE A SELF-DETERMINING KOSOVO IN THE HANDS OF GUNMEN.

    //END ACT//

    MR. COOK ALSO MET WEDNESDAY IN SKOPJE WITH KOSOVO'S CHIEF NEGOTIATOR, REASSURING HIM THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL CONTINUE TO PRESSURE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODON MILOSOVIC TO CARRY OUT HIS PROMISE TO WITHDRAW SERBIAN TROOPS FROM KOSOVO.

    BUT MR. COOK ALSO RULED OUT NEGOTIATING WITH THE REBEL, ETHNIC ALBANIAN "KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY," ON DETERMINING THE FUTURE OF THE PROVINCE. HE ADDED THAT A CALL HAD BEEN MADE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ASKING MEMBER COUNTRIES NOT TO SEND ARMS OR MONEY TO THE GUERRILLA REBELS.

    THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY IS CURRENTLY ON A TOUR OF BALKAN COUNTRIES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JG/PCF
    21-Oct-98 1:48 PM EDT (1748 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] U-N / KOSOVO (L - ONLY) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-240542
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA'S REPRESENTATIVE AT THE UNITED NATIONS TODAY (WEDNESDAY) DEFENDED HIS GOVERNMENT'S ACTIONS IN KOSOVO AND ACCUSED ETHNIC ALBANIANS OF UNDERMINING THE LATEST INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS TO END FIGHTING THERE. V-O-A'S UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON REPORTS.

    TEXT: YUGOSLAVIA'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS VLADISLAV JOVANOVIC HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE AT WHICH HE OUTLINED HIS GOVERNMENT'S POSITION ON THE CONFLICT IN KOSOVO. AS HE HAS DONE IN THE PAST, HE PLACED THE BLAME FOR THE UNREST DIRECTLY ON TERRORISTS IN KOSOVO -- AN APPARENT REFERENCE TO ETHNIC ALBANIANS THERE, SOME OF WHOM ARE CALLING FOR A SEPARATE STATE.

    MR. JOVANOVIC ALSO RESPONDED TO CHARGES THAT HIS GOVERNMENT IS FAILING TO COOPERATE WITH THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. THE COURT'S PROSECUTOR, LOUISE ARBOUR, SAYS THE INVESTIGATION OF POSSIBLE CRIMES COMMITTED IN THE KOSOVO CONFLICT IS FULLY WITHIN THE COURT'S JURISDICTION, A CLAIM MR. JOVANOVIC DISPUTES.

    /// JOVANOVIC ACT ///

    THERE IS ONE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MRS. ARBOUR AND OUR SIDE. WHAT WE HAVE IN KOSOVO IS NOT A WAR SITUATION, OR ANY ARMED CONFLICT. WE HAVE ONE TERRORIST ORGANIZATION WHICH HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARILY ACTIVE AND A COUNTER OR ANTI-TERRORISM RESPONSE FROM THE SPECIAL POLICE AND IN SOME SITUATION ARMY UNITS.

    /// END ACT ///

    MS. ARBOUR SAYS SHE PLANS TO LEAD AN INVESTIGATION TEAM TO KOSOVO STARTING NOVEMBER FIFTH. SHE SAYS VISA REQUESTS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE EMBASSY OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA IN THE HAGUE BUT NO RESPONSE HAS BEEN RECEIVED. SHE SAYS SHE HAS ALSO SOUGHT AN ASSURANCE FROM YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC THAT THE VISITS WILL BE PERMITTED BUT HE HAS NOT RESPONDED TO HER REQUEST. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF/PT
    21-Oct-98 3:45 PM EDT (1945 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] SERBIA'S DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=ENGLISH PROGRAMS FEATURE
    NUMBER=7-30704
    TELEPHONE=619-3464
    EDITOR=GARY EDQUIST
    CONTENT= (TAPE CUTS IN AUDIO SERVICES)

    INTRO: WITH THE CLOSING OF THREE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS IN SERBIA AND A CRACKDOWN ON THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA, THE GOVERNMENT IN BELGRADE HAS DELIVERED A SERIOUS BLOW TO THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION. BUT, THE ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE -- A NEW COALITION OF 12 PARTIES SUPPORTING DEMOCRATIC CHANGE IN SERBIA -- CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT. THE U-S INSTITUTE OF PEACE RECENTLY INVITED LEADERS OF THE ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE TO A PUBLIC FORUM IN

    WASHINGTON, D-C [10/15/98]. VOA'S JUDITH LATHAM SPOKE

    WITH SOME OF ITS MEMBERS ABOUT ITS PROSPECTS AND GOALS. ________ HAS THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: DRAGOSLAV AVRAMOVIC [AH-'VRAHM-OH-VICH], FORMER GOVERNOR OF THE NATIONAL BANK OF YUGOSLOVIA, IS ONE OF THE LEADERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION IN SERBIA, WHICH IS PUSHING FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS.

    TAPE: CUT ONE -- AVRAMOVIC (0:29) "OUR MAJOR TASK IS WHETHER THE ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE WILL BE ABLE TO MOBILIZE PUBLIC OPINION IN THE POPULATION AS A WHOLE TO EXERCISE A PEACEFUL AND CONVINCING INFLUENCE ON THE AUTHORITIES TO CARRY OUT THE ELECTIONS WHICH ARE NEEDED. THIS IS THE MAJOR CHALLENGE BEFORE THE COALITION, AND THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS WILL SHOW WHETHER THE COALITION WILL BE CAPABLE OF MOUNTING SUCH AN EFFORT."

    TEXT: MILAN PANIC ['MEE-LAHN 'PAHN-ICH], FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF YUGOSLAVIA AND A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN, IS ALSO A LEADER OF THE ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE. MR. PANIC SAYS HE BELIEVES THE RECENT KOSOVO ACCORD IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED.

    TAPE: CUT TWO -- PANIC (0:33) "AT BEST, IT IS A CEASE-FIRE. IT DOES CALL FOR SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF AUTONOMY FOR KOSOVO AND FOR LOCAL ELECTIONS IN KOSOVO. BUT IT DOES NOT ADDRESSS THE FUNDAMENTAL UNDERLYING PROBLEM OF CONTINUING POLITICAL INSTABILITY IN THE BALKANS -- THE LACK OF DEMOCRACY. UNTIL THE SERBIAN NATION IS PERMITTED TO GOVERN ITSELF IN A TRULY DEMOCRATIC MANNER, THE FUTURE OF THE DAYTON ACCORDS AND THE KOSOVO AGREEMENT WILL REMAIN DANGEROUSLY IN QUESTION. DEMOCRACY CANNOT DEVELOP AND FLOURISH IN THE ABSENCE OF INDEPENDENT MEDIA."

    TEXT: BALKAN ANALYST OBRAD KESIC ['OH-BRED 'KES-ICH] IS AN ADVISOR TO FORMER PRIME MINISTER MILAN PANIC. MR. KESIC SAYS THE RECENT GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN ON INDEPENDENT MEDIA ADVERSELY AFFECTS THOSE WORKING FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE IN SERBIA, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE IT COMES IN THE WAKE OF A SO-CALLED "PEACE" AGREEMENT FOR KOSOVO.

    TAPE: CUT THREE -- KESIC (0:53) "AND WHAT I'M PARTICULARLY AFRAID OF IS THAT THE AGREEMENT BECOMES THE FOCUS OF EVERYTHING, OF ALL THE INTERNATIONAL EFFORT, AND WE LOSE TRACK OF WHAT THE REAL ISSUE IS, AND THE REAL ISSUE IS DEMOCRATIZATION OF THE COUNTRY. IF WE'RE TRYING TO SOLVE KOSOVO, OR IF WE'RE TRYING TO WORK ON THE PROBLEMS IN BOSNIA, WE HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT EVERYTHING STEMS FROM THE FACT THAT SERBIA LACKS DEMOCRACY. AND THE REASON BEHIND THAT IS THE CURRENT REGIME. THE REGIME IS ONLY FIXATED ON MAINTAINING ITS POWER. AND SO, IT'S ACTING OUT IN THIS CASE AGAINST THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA. (OPT) WE HAVE TO COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING THAT IN THE PAST, WHEN WE'VE CUT DEALS WITH [MR.] MILOSEVIC, IT'S ALWAYS BEEN AT THE EXPENSE OF THE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT IN SERBIA. OUR MESSAGE OF OPPOSITION TO [MR.] MILOSEVIC HAS DEFINITELY BEEN NARROWED NOW IN SERBIA. SO, (END OPT) THE SHUT DOWN OF THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS, THE CRACKDOWN ON THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA, WHAT HAS HAPPENED NOW IS THAT IT'S MUCH MORE DIFFICULT FOR THE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT TO GET A MESSAGE OUT."

    TEXT: BUT, MR. KESIC SAYS, THERE'S ANOTHER DIMENSION TO THE PROBLEM -- THE WIDESPREAD PERCEPTION IN SERBIA OF U-S SUPPORT FOR MR. MILOSEVIC.

    TAPE: CUT FOUR -- KESIC (0:54) "THE FACT THAT IT COMES ON THE HEELS OF THIS AGREEMENT BETWEEN AMBASSDOR HOLBROOKE AND [MR.] MILOSEVIC GIVES A LOT OF SERBS CAUSE FOR WORRY, AND IT CREATES A PERCEPTION THAT THE U-S INDIRECTLY HAS GIVEN [MR.] MILOSEVIC A WINK TO GO AFTER HIS CRITICS INTERNALLY WITHIN SERBIA. AND, OF COURSE, THAT'S VERY DISHEARTENING TO MOST OF THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS PERCEPTION HAS BEEN FUELED BY THE FACT THAT, WHEN THE FIRST NEWSPAPER WAS SHUT DOWN, 'DANAS,' AMBASSADOR HOLBROOKE WAS ASKED TO COMMENT BY RADIO B-92, AN INDEPENDENT STATION, ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR IN SERBIA, AND HIS RESPONSE WAS VERY MILD. HE BASICALLY RESPONDED, 'I'M DEEPLY SORRY TO HEAR THAT,' AND THAT WAS THE EXTENT OF HIS COMMENTS. AGAIN, THIS CREATES THIS PERCEPTION THAT THE U-S NOT ONLY IS CHOOSING TO KEEP QUIET SO IT WON'T ROCK THE BOAT WITH RESPECT TO THE PEACE AGREEMENT, BUT INDIRECTLY IT CREATES A PERCEPTION AMONG MOST SERBS THAT THE U-S REALLY WANTS TO KEEP [MR.] MILOSEVIC IN POWER."

    TEXT: ACCORDING TO MR. KESIC, THE KOSOVO AGREEMENT STRENGTHENS THE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT'S AUTHORITARIAN POWER.

    TAPE: CUT FIVE -- KESIC (0:42) "THE FIRST ISSUE, AND I THINK THIS IS A KEY ISSUE -- HE CUT A DEAL IN THE AGREEMENT FOR ELECTIONS ONLY IN KOSOVO. AS WE ALL KNOW, THE LAST ROUND OF ELECTIONS [IN SERBIA] THAT PRODUCED THIS COALITION WITH THE UNTRANATIONALISTS AND [MR.] MILOSEVIC'S SOCIALIST PARTY AND HIS WIFE'S ULTRA-LEFTIST PARTY BASICALLY WAS NOT A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION. AND HE KNOWS, IF THERE WERE GENERAL ELECTIONS HELD FOR EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT OFFICES, THAT HE WOULD DEFINITELY HAVE A PROBLEM. IN FACT, I WOULD GO SO FAR AS TO SAY THAT THE OPPOSITION WILL DEFINITELY WIN A MAJORITY OF SEATS IN THE SERBIAN PARLIAMENT. NOW HE UNDERSTANDS THIS, SO WHEN HE NEGOTIATES WITH [MR.] HOLBROOKE, HE HOLDS OUT ONLY FOR ELECTIONS ON KOSOVO. AND UNFORTUNATELY, IT WOULD SEEM THE U-S HAS ACCEPTED THIS POSITION."

    TEXT: MR. KESIC SAYS THE DEMOCRATIC COALITION IN SERBIA HAS A 21-POINT PROGRAM FOR CHANGE. IT INCLUDES AN END TO THE FIGHTING IN KOSOVO, A DEMOCRATIC FEDERATION OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO, A NEW CONSTITUTION, ECONOMIC STABILIZATION AND REFORM, REDUCTION OF THE ARMY AND POLICE, AND -- EXPLAINS MR. KOSIC -- REINTEGRATION OF SERBIA INTO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

    TAPE: CUT SIX -- KESIC (1:06) "I THINK THE OPPOSITION, AFTER A TREMENDOUS FAILURE WITH WHAT HAPPENED IN 1997 WITH THE COLLAPSE OF THE ZAJEDNO COALITION, HAS FINALLY MANAGED TO PULL ITSELF UP BY ITS BOOTSTRAPS, AND NOW WE HAVE THE FIRST SERIOUS ATTEMPT TO REALLY BUILD A BROAD FRONT OF OPPOSITION TO [MR.] MILOSEVIC. (OPT) THIS ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE THAT HAS BEGUN TO GEL OVER THE PAST THREE MONTHS HAS EXPANDED. NOW IT HAS 12 POLITICAL PARTIES, THERE IS A UNION ASSOCIATION THAT HAS JOINED, THERE ARE SEVERAL GRASSROOTS CITIZEN MOVEMENTS, AND THERE ARE PROMINENT PERSONALITIES LIKE MR. PANIC AND GOVERNOR AVRAMOVIC. ZAJEDNO DID NOT HAVE A PROGRAM. THE ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE HAS A PROGRAM, THE MEMBERS HAVE AGREED TO IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM. TWO OF THE FORMER [ZAJEDNO] LEADERS ARE A PART OF THE ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE, ZORAN DJINDZIC AND VESNA PESIC. THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND THE CIVIC ALLIANCE OF SERBIA ARE BOTH POLITICAL MEMBERS OF THE ALLIANCE [FOR CHANGE]. VUK DRASKOVIC UNFORTUNATELY HAS BEEN VERY ACTIVELY SUPPORTING [MR.] MILOSEVIC'S POSITIONS OVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS. AND IT'S UNFORTUNATE BECAUSE FOR THE MOST PART HIS PARTY REMAINS AN OPPOSITION PARTY, EVEN THOUGH HE HIMSELF AND THE TOP LEADERSHIP HAVE BECOME A PART OF THE PROBLEM." (END OPT)

    TEXT: OBRAD KESIC SAYS THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION CAN HELP FORCE GENERAL ELECTIONS IN SERBIA. IF THOSE ELECTIONS COME, MR. KESIC PREDICTS, THE ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE WILL DO WELL BECAUSE THE SERBIAN PEOPLE HAVE GROWN WEARY OF BEING MANIPULATED BY MR. MILOSEVIC. BUT, HE ADDS, SERBIA'S DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION WILL NEED THE SUPPORT OF THE WEST.
    21-Oct-98 10:46 AM EDT (1446 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] YUGO MEDIA (L-ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-240516
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SERBIA'S PARLIAMENT (TUESDAY/THIS WEEK) APPROVED A NEW MEDIA LAW THAT CRITICS SAY WILL SEVERELY RESTRICT THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION TO ITS RESIDENTS. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES REPORTS FROM OUR REGIONAL NEWS BUREAU IN PRAGUE THAT THE ACTION FOLLOWS THE CLOSURE OF THREE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS AND CRACKDOWNS ON BROADCAST NEWS.

    TEXT: THE NEW MEDIA LAW RESTRICTS NEWSPAPERS AND BROADCASTERS IN THE NEWS THEY CAN PRESENT, AND IMPOSES LARGE FINES AND THE POSSIBLE CONFISCATION OF EQUIPMENT FOR THOSE WHO VIOLATE THE RESTRICTIONS.

    IT REPLACES A RECENT GOVERNMENT DECREE THAT BANNED THE PUBLICATION OF NEWS STORIES THAT SPREAD -- IN ITS WORDS -- "FEAR, PANIC AND DEFEATISM." AUTHORITIES USED THAT DECREE TO SHUT DOWN THREE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS ("DNEVNI TELEGRAF," "DANAS" AND "NASA BORBA"). THEY ALSO CLOSED DOWN TWO INDEPENDENT RADIO STATIONS AND PRESSURED TELEVISION STATIONS TO STOP TRANSMITTING FOREIGN BROADCASTS, INCLUDING SERBIAN LANGUAGE V-O-A TELEVISION PROGRAMS.

    SERBIAN INFORMATION MINISTER ALEKSANDAR VUCIC PRESENTED THE NEW LEGISLATION AS A HUMAN RIGHTS LAW, TELLING PARLIAMENT IT WAS ABOUT FREEDOM OF PUBLIC INFORMATION.

    CRITICS SAY THE LAW IS VAGUE AND MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE WHAT IS AND IS NOT PERMITTED.

    VESNA VUJIC, A JOURNALIST ON THE RECENTLY-BANNED "DANAS" NEWSPAPER, IS AMONG THE REPORTERS AND EDITORS FIGHTING THE NEW RESTRICTIONS. SHE SAYS THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE NEW LAW ARE EXCEPTIONALLY HARSH.

    // VUJIC ACTUALITY //

    IT MEANS THAT IN 24-HOURS, ANY MEDIA COULD BE CLOSED BECAUSE IF YOU PUBLISH SOMETHING THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T LIKE, YOU CAN BE CLOSED IN 24-HOURS. AND THE PENALTY IS ... ABOUT 130-THOUSAND DEUTSCHEMARKS (APPROXIMATELY 80-THOUSAND DOLLARS).

    // END ACTUALITY //

    THAT FINE, OF MORE THAN 80-THOUSAND DOLLARS, WOULD LIKELY BANKRUPT MOST INDEPENDENT MEDIA OUTLETS IN SERBIA.

    THE INFORMATION MINISTER, MR. VUCIC, SAID THE LARGE FINES ARE NECESSARY TO PUNISH WHAT HE CALLED "ANTI-STATE INFORMATION."

    THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST INDEPENDENT MEDIA HAS BEEN SPEARHEADED BY THE HEAD OF THE SERBIAN RADICAL PARTY, VOJISLAV SESELJ, WHO HAS DESCRIBED THE PROGRAMS OF FOREIGN BROADCASTERS AS "PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE."

    //REST OPT//

    STREET PROTESTS AGAINST THE NEWSPAPER CLOSURES AND OTHER MEDIA RESTRICTIONS BEGAN IN BELGRADE LAST WEEK AND ARE CONTINUING, BUT ORGANIZERS ARE DISAPPOINTED AT THE TURNOUT, WHICH HAS BEEN SMALLER THAN THEY WOULD HAVE LIKED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/PCF/JO
    21-Oct-98 11:04 AM EDT (1504 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] YUGO MEDIA UPDATE (L-ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-240534
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    ///UPDATES WITH SERBIAN NEWSPAPER BAN LIFTED; REWRITES FIRST AND SECOND GRAPH OF TEXT; NEW INFO IN 4TH AND 5TH GRAPHS OG TEXT; REST AS FROM EARLIER C-R 2-240516///

    INTRO: AUTHORITIES IN BELGRADE HAVE REVERSED A BAN ON THREE INDEPENDENT, SERBIAN NEWSPAPERS WHICH WAS IMPOSED LAST WEEK. BUT AS WE HEAR FROM V-O-A CENTRAL EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES, THE PAPERS ARE NOT PLANNING TO RESUME PUBLICATION IMMEDIATELY.

    TEXT: THE DECISION TO LIFT THE BAN COMES ONE DAY AFTER THE SERBIAN PARLIAMENT PASSED A NEW MEDIA LAW IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON WHAT CAN BE PUBLISHED OR BROADCAST. THE LAW IMPOSES LARGE FINES AND THE POSSIBLE CONFISCATION OF EQUIPMENT FOR THOSE WHO VIOLATE THE RESTRICTIONS.

    CRITICS SAY THE NEW LAW IS VAGUE, MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE WHAT IS AND IS NOT PERMITTED.

    THE LAW REPLACES A RECENT GOVERNMENT DECREE THAT BANNED THE PUBLICATION OF NEWS STORIES THAT SPREAD -- IN ITS WORDS -- "FEAR, PANIC AND DEFEATISM." AUTHORITIES USED THAT DECREE LAST WEEK TO SHUT DOWN THE THREE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS ("DNEVNI TELEGRAF," "DANAS" AND "NASA BORBA"). THEY ALSO CLOSED DOWN TWO INDEPENDENT RADIO STATIONS AND PRESSURED TELEVISION STATIONS TO STOP TRANSMITTING FOREIGN BROADCASTS, INCLUDING SERBIAN LANGUAGE V-O-A T-V PROGRAMS.

    THE MEDIA CRACKDOWN HAS LEFT MOST SERBS WITH NO ALTERNATIVE TO OFFICIAL NEWS SOURCES. INDEPENDENT DOMESTIC MEDIA PLUS FOREIGN BROADCASTS HAVE BEEN AN IMPORTANT SOURCE OF IMPARTIAL NEWS AS THE CRISIS IN SERBIA'S REBELLIOUS KOSOVO PROVINCE HAS UNFOLDED.

    THE BANNED NEWSPAPERS PLAN TO PUBLISH, PROBABLY MONDAY, AFTER THEY HAVE REGISTERED THEIR PUBLICATIONS IN MONTENEGRO, THE SMALLER AND MORE LIBERAL REPUBLIC WHICH ALONG WITH SERBIA FORMS WHAT IS LEFT OF YUGOSLAVIA. BUT SINCE THE NEWSPAPERS WILL CONTINUE TO BE WRITTEN, EDITED, AND PRINTED IN BELGRADE, IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT THEY CAN AVOID THE NEW MEDIA LAW IN SERBIA.

    VESNA VUJIC, A JOURNALIST ON THE RECENTLY-BANNED "DANAS" NEWSPAPER, IS AMONG THE REPORTERS AND EDITORS FIGHTING THE NEW RESTRICTIONS. SHE SAYS THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE NEW LAW ARE EXCEPTIONALLY HARSH.

    // VUJIC ACTUALITY //

    IT MEANS THAT IN 24-HOURS ANY MEDIA COULD BE CLOSED BECAUSE IF YOU PUBLISH SOMETHING THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T LIKE, YOU CAN BE CLOSED IN 24-HOURS AND THE PENALTY IS (I WILL TELL YOU) ABOUT 130-THOUSAND DEUTSCHE MARKS (EDS: APPROX. 80-THOUSAND U-S DOLLARS).

    // END ACTUALITY //

    THAT FINE, OF MORE THAN 80-THOUSAND DOLLARS, COULD LIKELY BANKRUPT MOST ANY INDEPENDENT MEDIA OUTLET IN SERBIA.

    SERBIAN INFORMATION MINISTER ALEKSANDAR VUCIC SAYS THE LARGE FINES ARE NECESSARY TO PUNISH WHAT HE CALLS "ANTI-STATE INFORMATION." HE PRESENTED THE NEW LEGISLATION AS A HUMAN RIGHTS LAW, TELLING PARLIAMENT THE LAW WAS ABOUT FREEDOM OF PUBLIC INFORMATION.

    THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST INDEPENDENT MEDIA HAS BEEN SPEARHEADED BY THE HEAD OF THE SERBIAN RADICAL PARTY, VOJISLAV SESELJ, WHO HAS DESCRIBED THE PROGRAMS OF FOREIGN BROADCASTERS AS "PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE."

    //REST OPT//

    STREET PROTESTS AGAINST THE NEWSPAPER CLOSURES AND OTHER MEDIA RESTRICTIONS BEGAN IN BELGRADE LAST WEEK AND ARE CONTINUING, BUT ORGANIZERS ARE DISAPPOINTED AT THE TURNOUT, WHICH HAS BEEN SMALLER THAN THEY WOULD HAVE LIKED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/PCF
    21-Oct-98 2:12 PM EDT (1812 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] TURKEY / SYRIA (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-240512
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY AND SYRIA HAVE SIGNED AN AGREEMENT WHICH TURKISH OFFICIALS SAY ENDS WHAT THEY CALL SYRIA'S SUPPORT FOR KURDISH REBELS FROM TURKEY. AMBERIN ZAMAN IN ANKARA REPORTS THE DEAL WILL LIKELY EASE TENSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES WHICH MANY FEARED COULD ERUPT INTO A REGIONAL CONFLICT

    TEXT: THE AGREEMENT -- ANNOUNCED (LATE TUESDAY) BY THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY -- WAS REACHED AFTER TWO DAYS OF SECRET TALKS BETWEEN TURKISH AND SYRIAN OFFICIALS.

    TURKISH OFFICIALS SAY THE DEAL STIPULATES THAT SYRIA WILL NO LONGER ALLOW THE SEPARATIST KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, P-K-K, TO OPERATE IN SYRIA. AND IT SAYS THAT P-K-K LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO RETURN TO SYRIA. IN THE PAST, SYRIA HAS ALWAYS DENIED THAT IT SUPPORTS THE P-K-K REBELS.

    TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER ISMAIL CEM DESCRIBED THE AGREEMENT AS A POSITIVE AND WELCOME DEVELOPMENT. BUT HE SAID TURKEY WILL BE WATCHING CLOSELY TO MAKE SURE SYRIA HONORS ITS PLEDGES. FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN NECATI UTKAN SAID TURKEY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO TAKE MILITARY ACTION SHOULD SYRIA RESUME ITS SUPPORT FOR THE P-K-K.

    TURKEY'S THREATS TO USE FORCE AGAINST SYRIA HAD TRIGGERED WIDESPREAD FEARS OF A CONFLICT BETWEEN THE TWO NEIGHBORS. EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK HAS BEEN LEADING DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO DEFUSE THE CRISIS.

    TURKISH PRIME MINISTER MESUT YILMAZ SAID TUESDAY HE HAD RECEIVED INFORMATION THAT THE P-K-K LEADER IS NOW IN MOSCOW. AND MEDIA REPORTS SAY TURKEY IS ASKING RUSSIA TO EXTRADITE HIM. RUSSIAN OFFICIALS HAVE DENIED THE P-K-K LEADER IS IN MOSCOW.

    RUSSIA RECENTLY ALLOWED THE P-K-K'S POLITICAL WING, THE E-R-N-K, TO SET UP AN OFFICE IN MOSCOW. ANALYSTS SAY THE MOVE WAS IN RETALIATION FOR TURKEY'S ALLEGED SUPPORT FOR CHECHEN SEPARATISTS..

    FOR THE PAST 14 YEARS, THE P-K-K HAS BEEN WAGING AN ARMED CAMPAIGN FOR SELF-RULE IN TURKEY'S MAINLY KRUDISH SOUTHEASTERN PROVINCES. NEARLY 40-THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE DIED IN THE CONFLICT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/JWH
    21-Oct-98 7:47 AM EDT (1147 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] EUROPE / ECONOMY (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-240522
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS RELEASED ITS ECONOMIC FORECAST SAYING GROWTH REMAINS STRONG FOR THIS YEAR BUT WILL SLOW NEXT YEAR. V-O-A'S RON PEMSTEIN IN BRUSSELS REPORTS THE E-U REVISED ITS FORECASTS BECAUSE OF ECONOMIC TROUBLES IN ASIA AND RUSSIA.

    TEXT: THE EUROPEAN UNION BELIEVES THE ECONOMY OF THE 15 MEMBER COUNTRIES IS SOUND BUT SAYS IT IS NOT IMMUNE FROM FINANCIAL INSTABILITY IN RUSSIA AND ASIA. WHILE ITS FORECAST FOR THE REST OF THIS YEAR IS SLIGHTLY BETTER THAN THE ONE IT ISSUED SIX MONTHS AGO, THE FORECAST FOR 1999 HAS BEEN REVISED DOWNWARD.

    THE FORECAST SAYS IT WILL BE MORE DIFFICULT FOR EUROPE TO SELL ITS PRODUCTS ABROAD -- BECAUSE OF REDUCED DEMAND FOR EUROPEAN GOODS IN ASIA AND RUSSIA AND BECAUSE OF A WEAKER U-S DOLLAR. THE REPORT ALSO SAYS A LACK OF INVESTOR CONFIDENCE IS ANOTHER FACTOR IN THE E-U FORECAST OF GROWTH NEXT YEAR OF TWO-POINT-FOUR PERCENT DOWN FROM AN EARLIER ESTIMATE OF THREE PERCENT. STILL, THE EUROPEAN UNION BELIEVES IT CAN RIDE OUT THE FINANCIAL STORM. ONE REASON IS THE BUDGETARY DISCIPLINE IT TOOK FOR 11 OF THE 15 COUNTRIES TO AGREE TO INTRODUCE THE EURO, THE COMMON CURRENCY THEY PLAN TO START CIRCULATING IN JANUARY. ECONOMIC GROWTH IS EXPECTED TO BE SLIGHTLY HIGHER IN THE 11 COUNTRIES THAN IT WILL BE IN OVERALL 15-MEMBER E-U.

    YVES DE SILGUY IS THE EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER RESPONSIBLE FOR ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS. HE TELLS REPORTERS THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, THAT EUROPE WILL STILL BE BETTER OFF THAN ITS PRIME COMPETITORS.

    /// DE SILGUY ACT / INTERPRETER ///

    ANOTHER REASON FOR US TO BELIEVE THAT THE SITUATION IN EUROPE IS STILL FAVORABLE IS BECAUSE THE EUROPEAN ECONOMY WILL DO BETTER IN 1999 OR 2000 THAN WE EXPECT FOR JAPAN OR THE U-S-A, ACCORDING TO OUR FIGURES. SO EUROPE IS NOW CONTRIBUTING TO AN IMPROVEMENT OF THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL SITUATION IN THE WORLD BECAUSE IF WE HAVE MORE GROWTH, THERE WILL BE MORE IMPORTS.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE U-S TRADE REPRESENTATIVE HAS CRITICIZED THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR ITS REFUSAL TO STEP UP IMPORTS OF RUSSIAN STEEL AND JAPANESE CARS. THE UNITED STATES WANTS TO SEE EUROPE DO MORE TO HELP RUSSIA AND JAPAN RECOVER FROM ECONOMIC INSTABILITY. THE UNITED STATES IS SUFFERING FROM A GROWING TRADE DEFICIT AND WANTS THE EUROPEAN UNION TO TAKE MORE OF THE BURDEN OF IMPORTS.

    DESPITE ITS PREDICTION OF SLOWER ECONOMIC GROWTH NEXT YEAR, THE EUROPEAN UNION BELIEVES THE YEAR 2000 WILL BRING MORE ECONOMIC EXPANSION WITH A GROWTH RATE OF TWO-POINT-EIGHT PERCENT ACCOMPANIED BY LOW INFLATION AND A DROP IN UNEMPLOYMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH
    21-Oct-98 11:23 AM EDT (1523 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-240547
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES WERE UP IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SIXTH STRAIGHT SESSION -- THE FIRST TIME THAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE LAST FEBRUARY. VOA CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS FROM NEW YORK:

    TEXT: IT WAS A CLOSE CALL. THE MARKET WAS UP AND DOWN ALL DAY. THE DOW JONES FINALLY CLOSED AT 85 HUNDRED 19, A MODEST GAIN -- BUT A GAIN NONETHELESS -- OF 13 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX ALSO CLOSED UP NEARLY SIX POINTS.

    BUT THE BIG STORY ON WALL STREET WAS THE TECHNOLOGY-DOMINATED NASDAQ INDEX, SURGING FOR A GAIN OF 35 POINTS. IT WAS DRIVEN MOSTLY BY MICROSOFT, WHICH HAD REPORTED BETTER THAN EXPECTED THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS.

    I-B-M ALSO HELPED DRIVE THE MARKET WITH A POSITIVE EARNINGS REPORT. I-B-M SHARES REACHED A NEW ALL-TIME HIGH.

    ANALYSTS SAY THE MARKET'S APPARENT LACK OF CONVICTION WEDNESDAY WAS PROBABLY DUE TO INVESTORS ASSESSING CORPORATE EARNINGS REPORTS. IN ANY CASE, THE RALLY THAT BEGAN WHEN U-S INTEREST RATES WERE CUT LAST WEEK HAS STARTED TO SETTLE DOWN. ANALYSTS CALL IT A "REALITY CHECK."

    //REST OPT//

    ANALYST CUMMINS CATHERWOOD SAYS THE MARKET PROBABLY DESERVES SOME "QUIET TIME":

    //CATHERWOOD ACT//

    WE'VE HAD A HECK OF A RUN HERE IN THE LAST SEVERAL BUSINESS DAYS TO THE POINT WHERE IT IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE THING TO THINK THAT PERHAPS THE STOCK MARKET WOULD TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF REST.

    //END ACT//

    THREE U-S OIL COMPANIES -- TEXACO, AMOCO AND EXXON -- REPORTED SHARP DECLINES IN THEIR THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS AS OIL PRICES DROPPED TO THEIR LOWEST LEVEL IN 12 YEARS.

    CITIGROUP -- THE WORLD'S LARGEST FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY -- ALSO POSTED A SHARP DROP IN INCOME, CITING LOSSES CONNECTED TO THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL TURMOIL.

    CITIGROUP IS THE RESULT OF A RECENT MERGER BETWEEN U-S BANKING GIANT CITICORP AND TRAVELERS -- A PROVIDER OF FINANCIAL SERVICES. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/WFR
    21-Oct-98 5:06 PM EDT (2106 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=10/20/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10968
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: OUTDATED AFTER 10:00 PM. /////

    INTRO: THE ON-GOING MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS, UNDERWAY IN MARYLAND, STILL OCCUPY AN IMPORTANT POSITION IN THE NATION'S EDITORIAL COLUMNS THIS WEDNESDAY. OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE INCREASING TROUBLE IN THE CONGO; CRITICISM OF THE HUGE BUDGET BILL CONGRESS IS PASSING THIS WEEK; A PROTEST OVER A HOMOSEXUAL'S KILLING TURNS UGLY IN NEW YORK; AND THE MILITARY IS BEING WARNED NOT TO MAKE FUN OF PRESIDENT CLINTON. NOW, HERE IS ___________________ WITH SOME EXCERPTS AND A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: TODAY'S "BOSTON GLOBE" CALLS ATTENTION TO THIS WEEK'S TERRORIST ATTACK AT A BUS STOP IN BEERSHEBA, ISRAEL, AND ITS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES AT THE TALKS IN RURAL MARYLAND.

    VOICE: THE TERRORIST ATTACK MONDAY ... WILL HAVE ACHIEVED ITS POLITICAL PURPOSE IF IT THWARTS THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATIONS TAKING PLACE IN EASTERN MARYLAND UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. BUT THE CARNAGE ... ALSO ILLUSTRATES IN THE STARKEST TERMS WHAT THE ALTERNATIVE MAY BE TO A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT OF THE DISPUTES BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS. THE CHOICE CONFRONTING THE TWO PEOPLES IS ONE BETWEEN GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE AND AN IMPERFECT, NEGOTIATED COMPROMISE THAT CAN OPEN UP THE POSSIBILITY OF PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE BETWEEN THEM.

    TEXT: STILL ON THE EAST COAST, "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" EXHORTS "PUSH ON FOR PEACE" ADDING:

    VOICE: BETTER TO STRIVE ON, NOT IGNORING TERRORISM BUT ADOPTING POLICIES AND COMMITMENTS THAT GIVE TERRORISTS FEWER REASONS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO DISPLAY THEIR HATRED. ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU AND PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT REQUIREMENT AS WELL AS ANYONE. IT IS IN THEIR BEST INTERESTS -- AS WELL AS THE UNITED STATES' -- TO PRESS FORWARD AND WRAP UP THIS PHASE OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH SOME TANGIBLE RESULTS. /// OPT /// BUT THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN IF NEGOTIATORS OVERREACT AND TRY TO CHANGE THE AGENDA WHEN A TERRORIST INCIDENT OCCURS. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: MOVING TO AFRICAN TOPICS, THE OUTBREAK OF NEW VIOLENCE IN THE CONGO, DRAWS THIS REPROVE FROM "THE WASHINGTON POST."

    VOICE: ONCE AGAIN CIVILIANS ARE BEING TARGETED -- BY THE HUNDREDS OR PERHAPS THOUSANDS -- IN CENTRAL AFRICA. FOR OUTSIDERS, THE TEMPTATION, AND THE EASIEST RESPONSE, IS TO LOOK AWAY OR TO BLAME THE KILLINGS ON UNFATHOMABLE TRIBAL ANIMOSITIES. ... IT IS URGENT, AS THE VIOLENCE FLARES AGAIN, THAT THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER WOULD-BE PEACEMAKERS PAY MORE ATTENTION./// OPT /// ... ONCE AGAIN TUTSIS ARE BEING SLAUGHTERED, THIS TIME IN CONGO. ALTHOUGH FEW OUTSIDE OBSERVERS HAVE GAINED ACCESS TO FIGHTING BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND REBEL FORCES, THERE ARE CREDIBLE REPORTS OF PERSECUTION, DETENTIONS AND MASSACRES OF ETHNIC TUTSIS WHO UNTIL NOW LIVED UNMOLESTED IN CONGO. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" COMMENTS ON THE ARREST OF GENERAL AUGUSTO PINOCHET, CHILE'S LONG-TIME DICTATOR, IN LONDON, ON A WARRANT FROM A SPANISH COURT INVESTIGATING THE MURDERS OF SPANISH CITIZENS AND OTHERS DURING HIS REIGN.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// PEOPLE BEGAN DISAPPEARING OFF THE STREET IN SANTIAGO WITHIN DAYS OF GENERAL ... PINOCHET'S BLOODY ... 1973 COUP. THOUSANDS EVENTUALLY WERE TO BE HELD AT THE VAST NATIONAL STADIUM, WAITING THEIR TURN TO BE CALLED TO THE CHANGING ROOMS BENEATH THE BLEACHERS, WHERE THEIR SCREAMS COULD NOT BE HEARD. MANY DID NOT SURVIVE THE TORTURE; OTHERS WERE OTHERS WERE EXECUTED ON THE TENNIS COURTS. /// END OPT /// ... [MR.] PINOCHET'S IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION IN CHILE DOESN'T DO HIM ANY GOOD NOW. NOW HE IS ACCUSED AS A COMMON CRIMINAL, AND FIGHTING HIS EXTRADITION TO A COUNTRY THAT HAD THE POLITICAL COURAGE TO CALL HIM TO ACCOUNT FOR HIS DEEDS. IT COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED TO A BETTER DICTATOR.

    TEXT: DOMESTICALLY, THERE IS CRITICISM OF THE HUGE, AND COMPLEX BUDGET BILL BEING PASSED BY CONGRESS. "THE NEW YORK TIMES" CALLS THE PROCESS "AD MESSY BUDGET ENDGAME."

    VOICE: FEW ACTIONS HAVE BROUGHT MORE DISCREDIT ON THE 105TH CONGRESS THAN THE FRANTIC DEAL-MAKING THAT SURROUNDED THE BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS. PRESSED ON BY THEIR LEADERS,LEGISLATORS ARE HOLDING THEIR NOSES AND APPROVING A SPRAWLING, 500-BILKLION MEASURE THAT INCLUDES PROVISIONS THEY HAVE NOT EVEN READ, MUCH LESS STUDIES ... IN THE END, CONGRESS ALLOWED A HANDFUL OF LEGISLATORS AND WHITE HOUSE AIDES, MEETING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, TO APPROVE ONE-THIRD OF THE OVERALL ONE-POINT-FIVE TRILLION FEDERAL BUDGET. IT WAS A DANGEROUSLY ARBITRARY PROCESS THAT PRODUCED LARGE EXCESSES AS WELL AS SMALL ABSURDITIES ...

    TEXT: "THE TIMES" IS ALSO UPSET AT THE WAY NEW YORK CITY POLICE HANDLED AN UNAUTHORIZED, BUT LARGE PROTEST IN THEIR CITY, A PROTEST AGAINST THE KILLING OF A HOMOSEXUAL COLLEGE STUDENT IN WYOMING, BY MOSTLY GAY AND LESBIAN PROTESTERS.

    VOICE: THE DEATH OF 21-YEAR-OLD MATTHEW SHEPARD, WHO HAD BEEN BEATEN AND LASHED TO A FENCE NEAR LARAMIE, WAS WORTHY OF WHAT WAS BILLED [DESCRIBED IN ADVANCE] AS A 'POLITICAL FUNERAL' IN A MAJOR CENTER OF GAY LIFE. BUT BOTH THE MARCHERS AND THE POLICE MISHANDLED THE DEMONSTRATION, WHICH ENDED WITH ABOUT 120 ARRESTS. MARCH LEADERS SHOULD HAVE PLANNED MORE CAREFULLY AND OBTAINED A PERMIT, AND THE POLICE SHOULD HAVE ACTED WITH GREATER RESTRAINT.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" HAS SOME ENCOURAGEMENT FOR MOVES TO STIMULATE THE WORLD'S ECONOMIES, STRUGGLING THROUGH A SERIOUS DOWNTURN.

    VOICE: STOCK MARKETS ARE SMARTLY UP FROM SUMMER LOWS. INTEREST RATES ARE AT LAST MOVING DOWN IN THE U-S AND STARTING DOWN IN EUROPE. THAT SHOULD STIMULATE THE GIANT ECONOMIES OF AMERICA AND EUROPE, WARDING OFF THE WORST EFFECTS OF WORLD SLOWDOWN. IT ALSO ALLOWS CHOKING INTEREST RATES TO DECLINE IN KEY ASIAN AND LATIN AMERICAN NATIONS, STIMULATING RECOVERY THERE. ... BUT GERMANY'S NEW GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN A CONTRARY TURN. CHANCELLOR-ELECT [GERHARD] SCHROEDER'S NEW TEAM HAS LOST ITS ENTREPRENEURIAL JOB CREATOR, JOST STOLLMAN, WHO REFUSED THE ECONOMICS MINISTRY BECAUSE IT HAD BEEN STRIPPED AS AN ENGINE OF GROWTH. THAT IS BAD. EUROPE NEEDS GROWTH. SO DOES THE WORLD. ... MR. SCHRODER SHOULD CHANGE COURSE NOW WHILE HE HAS MAXIMUM LEVERAGE.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, SEVERAL PAPERS, INCLUDING "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" AND "WASHINGTON TIMES" ARE TAKING ISSUE WITH A DIRECTIVE FROM THE COUNTRY'S MILITARY LEADERSHIP REMINDING ALL PERSONNEL TO REFRAIN FROM PUBLICLY CRITICIZING PRESIDENT CLINTON.

    VOICE: THE HIGHLY UNUSUAL CAUTION WAS PROMPTED BY COMMENTS PUBLISHED IN SEVERAL JOURNALS AIMED AT MILITARY AUDIENCES. THE COMMENTS RELATED TO PRESIDENT CLINTON'S BEHAVIOR IN THE MONICA LEWINSKY MATTER, AND AMONG OTHER THINGS ... ASKED WHY STANDARDS APPLIED TO MILITARY OFFICERS INVOLVING SUCH ISSUES AS SEXUAL RELATIONS SHOULD NOT APPLY EQUALLY TO THE HEAD OF THE SERVICES. IT IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE QUESTION, AND IT HAS BEEN RAISED MANY TIMES IN RECENT MONTHS. WHEY, THEN, SHOULD MILITARY OFFICERS BE GAGGED WHEN IT COMES TO SAYING THE SAME THING THAT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, COLUMNISTS, AND PEOPLE GATHERED AT WATER COOLERS HAVE BEEN SAYING? THE SHORT ANSWER IS THAT TRADITION AND MILITARY DISCIPLINE REQUIRE IT. ... MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE FREE TO PRIVATELY EXPRESS THEIR OPINIONS. THE LINE IS PROPERLY DRAWN WHEN IT COMES TO BEING PUBLICLY CONTEMPTUOUS TOWARD THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENT FROM THE EDITORIAL PAGES OF SOME OF TODAY'S U-S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    21-Oct-98 11:36 AM EDT (1536 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] U-N / CHILDREN AT WAR (L - O) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=10/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-240537
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A SENIOR U-N OFFICIAL SAYS THE USE OF CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT IS ON THE INCREASE. THE OFFICIAL CALLED (WEDNESDAY) FOR STRONGER MEASURES TO REVERSE THE TREND. U-N CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE CALL CAME FROM U-N SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR CHILDREN AND ARMED CONFLICT, OLARA OTUNNU, IN HIS FIRST ANNUAL REPORT TO THE UNITED NATIONS. MR. OTUNNU SAYS MORE THAN 300-THOUSAND CHILDREN ARE TAKING PART IN ARMED CONFLICTS IN ABOUT 30-NATIONS, UP FROM 250-THOUSAND TWO-AND-ONE-HALF-YEARS AGO.

    DURING THE PAST FEW MONTHS, MR. OTUNNU HAS TRAVELLED TO YUGOSLAVIA, LIBERIA, SIERRA LEONE, SRI LANKA, AND SUDAN. HE HAS ATTEMPTED TO MEET WITH PARTIES ON ALL SIDES OF THE CONFLICTS IN THOSE COUNTRIES AND IN MANY CASES SECURED AGREEMENTS NOT TO RECRUIT CHILDREN.

    BUT HE SAYS SUCH PROMISES ARE ONLY THE BEGINNING OF A PROCESS THAT OTHERS, SUCH AS THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL, GOVERNMENTS AND WORLD LEADERS, MUST NOW ACTIVELY PURSUE.

    /// OTUNNU ACT ///

    WHAT NOW NEEDS TO BE PUT IN PLACE IS A SYSTEM OF FOLLOW-UP. ESPECIALLY AT THE POLITICAL LEVELS. I HAVE NO POWER. I CAN PERSUADE. I CAN TRY TO CONVINCE. BUT THOSE WHO HAVE DIPLOMATIC AND POLITICAL INFLUENCE MUST FOLLOW THROUGH AND REINFORCE MY MESSAGE TO PARTIES IN CONFLICT AND MAKE IT CLEAR IT MATTERS TO THEM WHETHER THESE COMMITMENTS ARE HONORED OR NOT.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE SECURITY COUNCIL HELD A SPECIAL MEETING ABOUT THE ISSUE IN JUNE, AFTER WHICH IT EXPRESSED SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT THE USE OF CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT AND PROMISED TO PAY SERIOUS ATTENTION TO IT IN THE FUTURE. BUT U-N OFFICIALS SAY THE OVERALL INTERNATIONAL FOLLOW-UP TO MR. OTUNNU'S EFFORTS HAS BEEN DISAPPOINTING.

    IN THE REPORT, MR. OTUNNU RECOMMENDS SPECIAL PROGRAMS BE DEVELOPED THAT BRING TOGETHER KEY ORGANIZATIONS FOR POST-CONFLICT PEACE-BUILDING -- INCLUDING THE WORLD BANK, THE EUROPEAN UNION, AND A VARIETY OF DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES.

    HE ALSO CALLS FOR MORE CHILD-RELATED INITIATIVES IN THE MIDST OF CONFLICTS, AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO MITIGATE THE SUFFERING OF CHILDREN, PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN ACCESS TO POPULATIONS IN DISTRESS, AND MONITOR THE SUPPLY OF ARMS TO REGIONS OF CONFLICT. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF/RAE
    21-Oct-98 2:49 PM EDT (1849 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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