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Voice of America, 98-11-17

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO / U-S (L-ONLY) BY CHALLISS MCDONOUGH (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] U-N/ YUGO TRIBUNAL (L - ONLY) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [03] TURKEY / KURDS (L/S VER) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [04] RUSSIA / KURDS (L ONLY) (CQ) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [05] BERLIN / REFUGEES BY SUZANNE KELLY (BERLIN)
  • [06] EUROPE / FRAUD (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [07] FRANCE / LEPEN (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [08] GERMANY-RUSSIA (L ONLY UPDATE) BY GIL BUTLER (MOSCOW)
  • [09] N-Y ECON WRAP (S&L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [10] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY NEAL LAVON (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO / U-S (L-ONLY) BY CHALLISS MCDONOUGH (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241820
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S AND EUROPEAN ENVOYS ARE PUSHING YUGOSLAV AND ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADERS TOWARD A MUTUALLY-ACCEPTABLE PEACE AGREEMENT IN THE YUGOSLAV PROVINCE OF KOSOVO. A U-S ENVOY HAS PRESENTED A PEACE AGREEMENT TO ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADERS. MEANWHILE, THE CHIEF INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER IN KOSOVO HAS MET WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. V-O-A'S CHALLISS MCDONOUGH HAS DETAILS FROM WASHINGTON.

    TEXT: THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF OBSERVERS IN KOSOVO MET WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC FOR 90 MINUTES ON MONDAY. SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN SAYS AMBASSADOR WILLIAM WALKER TALKED TO THE YUGOSLAV LEADER ABOUT SEVERAL CASES OF SERBIAN NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE KOSOVO AGREEMENTS.

    /// FIRST RUBIN ACT ///

    HE TOLD PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC THAT THE VERIFICATION MISSION WILL NOT ALLOW ITSELF TO BE INTIMIDATED BY EITHER SIDE. IN PARTICULAR, HE TALKED ABOUT AN INCIDENT IN WHICH SERB FORCES APPARENTLY FIRED IN THE DIRECTION OF A MONITOR'S VEHICLE, DECLARING THIS UNACCEPTABLE. ALTHOUGH MILOSEVIC INSISTS THAT THESE WERE BACKFIRES FROM SOME CAR, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT WAS THE CASE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MEANWHILE, U-S SPECIAL ENVOY CHRISTOPHER HILL WAS IN KOSOVO MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE SEPARATIST KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY.

    /// SECOND RUBIN ACT ///

    HE MET WITH K-L-A REPRESENTATIVES TO DISCUSS THE SECURITY SITUATION, AND HE URGED -- AS WE HAVE FROM WASHINGTON -- THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT AND REDUCE THEIR AGGRESSIVE PRESENCE ON THE HIGHWAYS.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. RUBIN SAYS THE CEASE-FIRE IN KOSOVO IS HOLDING, ALTHOUGH HE EXPECTS PROBLEMS TO CONTINUE UNTIL THE UNDERLYING POLITICAL PROBLEM BETWEEN THE SERBS AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS IS RESOLVED. HE SAYS THE UNITED STATES HAS PROPOSED A THREE-YEAR TRIAL PERIOD OF AUTONOMY FOR KOSOVO, DEFERRING THE QUESTION OF THE PROVINCE'S PERMANENT STATUS UNTIL LATER. K-L-A REPRESENTATIVES HAVE SAID THEY WILL RESPOND TO THE U-S PROPOSAL WITHIN 10 DAYS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/CEM/WTW
    17-Nov-98 5:07 PM EST (2207 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241814
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL DENOUNCED THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT TODAY (TUESDAY) FOR REFUSING TO COOPERATE WITH THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. V-O-A'S UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE COUNCIL APPROVED A RESOLUTION DEPLORING YUGOSLAVIA'S FAILURE TO WORK WITH THE TRIBUNAL AND CALLED ON THE GOVERNMENT IN BELGRADE TO START COOPERATING. THE RESOLUTION WAS SUPPORTED BY ALL MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL EXCEPT CHINA, WHICH ABSTAINED IN THE VOTE.

    THE SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION FOLLOWS SEVERAL LETTERS OF COMPLAINT FROM THE TRIBUNAL'S PRESIDENT, GABRIELLE KIRK MCDONALD. SHE SAYS YUGOSLAVIA HAS REFUSED TO GIVE MEMBERS OF THE TRIBUNAL VISAS TO TRAVEL TO KOSOVO PROVINCE AND FAILED TO HAND OVER TO THE TRIBUNAL THREE MEN INDICTED ON MURDER CHARGES.

    BRITISH AMBASSADOR JEREMY GREENSTOCK SPOKE TO REPORTERS AFTER VOTING TO APPROVE THE RESOLUTION.

    /// GREENSTOCK ACT ///

    THE QUESTION I WANT TO ASK IS: WHAT MESSAGE IS BELGRADE SENDING WITH THIS LACK OF COOPERATION? IS IT AGAINST CONCILIATION AS PART OF THE PROCESS IN THE BALKANS? IS IT SO COMPLETELY CARELESS OF JUSTICE? IS IT NOT WORRIED THAT THE WORLD SEES THAT BELGRADE JUST SELECTS PARTS OF RESOLUTIONS TO COMPLY WITH? I THINK THIS MESSAGE FROM BELGRADE WAS RIGHTLY CONDEMNED AND SHOULD BE VERY STRONGLY CONDEMNED.

    /// END ACT ///

    YUGOSLAV OFFICIALS HAVE DISPUTED THE TRIBUNAL'S RIGHT TO INVESTIGATE ISSUES IN KOSOVO, SAYING THE VIOLENCE THERE IS AN INTERNAL MATTER CONCERNING POLICE EFFORTS TO STOP TERRORIST ACTS. ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO REJECT BELGRADE'S CHARACTERIZATION OF THE VIOLENCE, AND ACCUSE YUGOSLAV SECURITY FORCES OF PURSUING A POLICY OF ETHNIC CLEANSING IN KOSOVO.

    THE SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ALSO CONDEMNS YUGOSLAVIA'S FAILURE TO EXECUTE ARREST WARRANTS ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNAL AGAINST THE THREE INDICTED MEN. THEY ARE CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH THE 1991 MURDER OF 260 UNARMED PEOPLE IN THE EASTERN CROATIAN CITY OF VUKOVAR AFTER IT FELL TO SERBIAN FORCES. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF/GE
    17-Nov-98 2:40 PM EST (1940 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] TURKEY / KURDS (L/S VER) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241791
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE TURKISH CABINET IS EXPECTED TO APPROVE LEGISLATION TODAY (TUESDAY) ABOLISHING THE COUNTRY'S DEATH PENALTY LAW. AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA, THE CHANGE IS DESIGNED TO WIN EXTRADITION FROM ITALY OF KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN.

    TEXT: ITALY WILL NOT EXTRADITE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN AS LONG AS TURKEY HAS THE DEATH PENALTY AS LAW, SO TURKISH LAWMAKERS DRAFTED THE PROPOSAL ABOLISHING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. THE KURDISH LEADER WAS ARRESTED AFTER HE ARRIVED IN ROME LATE THURSDAY ON A FLIGHT FROM MOSCOW. TURKEY HAS DEMANDED THE IMMEDIATE EXTRADITION OF THE MAN IT HOLDS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF THOUSANDS OF TURKISH SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS.

    MEANWHILE VIOLENT PROTESTS OVER ABDULLAH OCALAN'S DETAINMENT CONTINUE BOTH IN TURKEY AND ABROAD. A KURDISH WOMAN COMMITTED SUICIDE TUESDAY IN A TURKISH TOWN NEAR THE BORDERS WITH IRAN AND IRAQ. THE WOMAN HAD A BOMB STRAPPED TO HER BODY. //OPT// A TURKISH ARMY OFFICER AND A 12-YEAR OLD CHILD WERE INJURED. //END OPT//

    IN MOSCOW TUESDAY, TWO KURDISH MEN DOUSED THEMSELVES WITH GASOLINE AND SET THEMSELVES ON FIRES IN AN APPARENT SUICIDE PROTEST OVER THE OCALAN ARREST. //REST OPT FOR LONG /// IN A LETTER FAXED TO THE REUTERS NEWS AGENCY, THE MEN SAID THEIR ACT WAS A PROTEST AGAINST WHAT THEY TERMED THE "ANTI-OCALAN PACT LED BY IMPERIALIST AMERICA, ISRAEL AND FASCIST TURKEY." MEANWHILE, TURKEY'S LEADING BUSINESS LOBBIES HAVE THREATENED ITALY WITH AN ECONOMIC BOYCOTT, IF IT DOES NOT RESPOND TO TURKEY'S EXTRADITION DEMANDS. ITALY IS TURKEY'S FOURTH LARGEST TRADING PARTNER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/PCF
    17-Nov-98 6:33 AM EST (1133 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] RUSSIA / KURDS (L ONLY) (CQ) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241803
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// RE-ISSUING TO ELIMINATE REFERENCE TO DAY OF ARREST IN THIRD GRAF OF TEXT ///

    INTRO: TWO KURDISH MEN HAVE SET THEMSELVES ON FIRE OUTSIDE RUSSIA'S PARLIAMENT BUILDING TO PROTEST THE ARREST LAST WEEK (THURSDAY) OF A KURDISH SEPARATIST LEADER. VOA MOSCOW CORRESPONDENT PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS ONE OF THE MEN IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION.

    TEXT: POLICE SAY THE TWO PROTESTERS UNFURLED A BANNER IN FRONT OF THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING IN CENTRAL MOSCOW EARLY TUESDAY, THEN DOUSED THEMSELVES WITH GASOLINE AND STRUCK A MATCH.

    POLICE QUICKLY EXTINGUISHED THE FLAMES AND RUSHED BOTH MEN TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL.

    A STATEMENT FAXED TO NEWS AGENCIES SAID THE TWO MEN LEFT A LETTER CLAIMING THEIR ACT WAS TO PROTEST AN INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACY AGAINST KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN. MR. OCALAN WAS ARRESTED AT A ROME AIRPORT AS HE STEPPED OFF A PLANE FROM MOSCOW.

    MR. OCALAN, FOUNDER OF THE KURDISH WORKERS PARTY, OR P-K-K, HAS SPEARHEADED A LENGTHY KURDISH SEPARATIST CAMPAIGN AGAINST TURKEY IN WHICH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED. TURKEY REGARDS HIM AS A TERRORIST, AND HAS FILED CHARGES AGAINST HIM THAT CARRY THE DEATH PENALTY UNDER TURKISH LAW.

    THE KURDISH LEADER HAD OPERATED FOR SOME TIME FROM A BASE IN SYRIA, BUT RECENTLY SYRIAN AUTHORITIES FORCED HIM OUT IN THE FACE OF FIERCE TURKISH PRESSURE. HE FLED TO RUSSIA, WHERE HE WAS DENIED ASYLUM, THEN FLEW TO ROME, WHERE HE WAS ARRESTED.

    // REST OPT //

    TURKEY HAS BEEN PRESSURING ITALIAN AUTHORITIES TO HAND OVER MR. OCALAN, BUT ITALY DOES NOT EXTRADITE SUSPECTS TO COUNTRIES WITH THE DEATH PENALTY. THE REBEL LEADER HAS APPLIED FOR ASYLUM IN ITALY, EVEN AS TURKEY MOVED QUICKLY TO AMEND ITS LAWS TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY.

    MR. OCALAN'S ARREST HAS TRIGGERED DEMONSTRATIONS IN SEVERAL CITIES, INCLUDING A HUNGER STRIKE IN MOSCOW BY ABOUT 100 P-K-K SUPPORTERS. A KURDISH COMMUNITY SPOKESMAN ESTIMATES 150-THOUSAND KURDS LIVE IN MOSCOW, AND A TOTAL OF NEARLY ONE-MILLION IN THE COUNTRIES OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/PCF/KL
    17-Nov-98 9:52 AM EST (1452 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] BERLIN / REFUGEES BY SUZANNE KELLY (BERLIN)

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-41891
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EMBARGOED: FIRST ENGLISH USE RESERVED FOR DATELINE. HOUSE USE PERMITTED AFTER 0136 U-T-C, 11/18/98 ///

    INTRO: GERMANY HAS LONG BEEN A POPULAR PLACE FOR REFUGEES. ATTRACTED BY GERMANY'S LIBERAL LAWS AND ITS GENEROUS SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM, MORE REFUGEES FLEE TO GERMANY THAN TO ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN EUROPE. BUT THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN TAKING A HARDER LINE ON REFUGEES. SUZANNE KELLY EXPLAINS FROM BERLIN.

    TEXT: WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING IN REFUGEES, THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT WILL TELL YOU THAT THE COUNTRY IS MORE GENEROUS THAN ANY OTHER, NOT ONLY IN THE NUMBER OF REFUGEES IT ACCEPTS, BUT ALSO IN THE SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM IT PROVIDES THEM WHILE THEY ARE HERE. BUT THE NEW GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTER, OTTO SCHILY, TOUCHED OFF A STORM OF PROTEST THIS WEEK WHEN HE SAID THERE WAS NO ROOM IN GERMANY FOR ANY FURTHER INFLUX OF FOREIGNERS. GERMANY HAD ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST LENIENT ASYLUM LAWS UNTIL THEY WERE TIGHTENED IN 1993, BUT IS STILL HOME TO 7.5 MILLION FOREIGNERS.

    BERLIN'S COMMISSIONER FOR FOREIGNER ISSUES -- BARBARA JOHN -- SAYS THAT GERMANY'S ASYLUM POLICY DOES HAVE ITS FLAWS. SHE DEFENDS GERMANY'S RECORD OF GREAT TOLERANCE TOWARD REFUGEES, BUT SAYS THERE ARE LIMITS.

    //JOHN ACT//

    WE ACCEPT ABOUT 120,000 REFUGEES PER YEAR, SO AGAIN, WE ARE VERY OPEN, BUT AGAIN THERE IS A DISCUSSION. ARE WE NOT TOO OPEN, AND ARE NOT GIVING THE WRONG SIGNALS, BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE COME TO GERMANY BECAUSE HERE THEY CAN RECEIVE THE HIGHEST BENEFITS?

    //END ACT//

    NOW THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT IS SAYING THE BOAT IS FULL. THE COUNTRY IS UNDER PRESSURE TO RELIEVE ITSELF OF THE FINANCIAL BURDEN OF CARING FOR SO MANY REFUGEES. THE GOVERNMENT HAS OFFERED REFUGEE FAMILIES FROM BOSNIA UP TO 5,000 U-S DOLLARS TO GO HOME.

    THE OFFER TO REFUGEES DREW SHARP CRITICISM FROM AROUND THE WORLD, WITH SOME INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES CALLING IT AN INTIMIDATION TACTIC BECAUSE OF AN IMPLIED THREAT THAT IF REFUGEES DIDN'T TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN, THEY WOULD BE FORCED OUT OF THE COUNTRY ANYWAY IN A MATTER OF MONTHS. CLOSE TO 350,000 BOSNIANS FOUND REFUGE IN GERMANY DURING AND AFTER THE WAR. MORE THAN 150,000 HAVE SINCE RETURNED TO BOSNIA.

    GERMANY'S INCONSISTENT ATTITUDE TOWARD FOREIGNERS IS SOMEWHAT INFLUENCED BY THE FACT THAT IT IS A COUNTRY THAT WAS ONCE ITSELF DIVIDED, ACCORDING TO HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AND SOCIOLOGIST HARTMUT HAUSSERMANN. HE SAYS THAT IN SOME WAYS, THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL EXPOSED A HUGE GAP IN GERMANS' ATTITUDES TOWARD FOREIGNERS. PEOPLE IN THE FREE MARKET WESTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY FELT DIFFERENTLY TOWARD THEM THAN PEOPLE IN THE FORMERLY COMMUNIST EAST.

    // HAUSSERMANN ACT //

    I DON'T THINK THAT THERE WAS A CHANGE IN GERMANY IN GENERAL, BUT I THINK IN BERLIN THINGS HAVE CHANGED AND ESPECIALLY IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE TOWN YOU KNOW THAT THERE HAVE BEEN VERY FEW FOREIGNERS IN EAST BERLIN BEFORE THE FALL OF THE WALL AND NOW THE PERCENTAGE OF FOREIGNERS THERE IS INCREASING FROM MONTH TO MONTH.

    //END ACT//

    MR. HAUSSERMANN SAYS THAT LEARNING TOLERANCE IS SOMETHING THAT GERMANS MUST STILL CONTINUE TO DO ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL. HE SAYS THAT IN A COUNTRY STRUGGLING TO TACKLE A 10 PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, FOREIGNERS, WHETHER THEY ARE REFUGEES OR NOT, ARE OFTEN THE FIRST TO GET THE BLAME. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SK/KL
    17-Nov-98 2:20 PM EST (1920 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] EUROPE / FRAUD (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241810
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN UNION'S CHIEF AUDITOR HAS CRITICIZED E-U BUDGET CONTROLS, SAYING ABOUT FIVE PERCENT OF THE E-U'S TOTAL YEARLY SPENDING OF 94-BILLION DOLLARS APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN LOST. BUT, V-O-A'S RON PEMSTEIN IN BRUSSELS REPORTS E-U OFFICIALS INSIST THE PROBLEMS ARE MISMANAGEMENT -- NOT FRAUD.

    TEXT: EVEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION'S COURT OF AUDITORS DOES NOT SAY CRIMINAL FRAUD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM E-U ACCOUNTS. INSTEAD, THE REPORT SPEAKS OF IRREGULARITIES AND SHORTCOMINGS IN FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT.

    THE CHIEF AUDITOR, BERNHARD FRIEDMANN, RECOMMENDS THAT THE EUROPEAN UNION SHARPLY REDUCE ITS GUARANTEED FARM PRICES, BETTER MONITOR LOST CUSTOMS FEES AND VALUE ADDED TAXES, AND USE MORE EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT OF PROGRAMS IN EASTERN EUROPE.

    SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER IN STRASBOURG, FRANCE, MR. FRIEDMANN SAYS THE AUDITORS CAN ONLY MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN ACCOUNTING PRACTICES.

    /// FRIEDMANN ACT / WITH INTERPRETER ///

    THE COMMISSION AND PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL DO LISTEN TO THE AUDITORS' COMMENTS, DO ASSESS THEM AND TAKE STEPS AS A RESULT. THE EUROPEAN COURT OF AUDITORS HAS NO POWER TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS. OUR WEAPON IS THE QUALITY OF OUR OWN ARGUMENTS AND THE POWER OF PERSUASION.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE COMMISSION'S BUDGET CHAIRMAN, ERKKI LIIKANEN, RESPONDS BY SAYING MANY OF THE AUDITORS' COMPLAINTS HAVE TO DO WITH MANAGEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION'S FOREIGN AID PROGRAMS. MR. LIIKANEN TELLS REPORTERS, A COMPLICATED SYSTEM IS TO BLAME.

    /// LIIKANEN ACT ///

    OUR AID PROGRAMS ARE ON THE LEVEL OF SEVEN OR EIGHT BILLION ECU'S (EUROPEAN CURRENCY UNITS) A YEAR. THEY ARE BASED ON 75 BUDGETARY LINES, 87 LEGAL BASIS, NINE DIFFERENT COMMITTEES ARE SUPPORTING THEM . THEY ARE ABOUT 10-THOUSAND CONTRACTS PER YEAR, ABOUT THREE-THOUSAND PUBLIC TENDERS, AND IN ADDITION TO THAT ALL THIS IS DONE IN 47 DIFFERENT PROCEDURES.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. LIIKANEN SAYS THE AUDITORS REPORTS ARE NOT PLEASANT READING FOR THE COMMISSION. BUT HE SAYS BUDGET REFORMS SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY NEXT YEAR TO ELIMINATE SOME OF THE COMPLAINTS ABOUT EXTERNAL AID PROGRAMS.

    ACCORDING TO THE AUDITORS, EUROPEAN UNION AID PROGRAMS DO NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT STAFF TO MANAGE THEM, AND ERRORS ARE MADE IN PAYMENTS. MISMANAGEMENT YES, THE AUDITORS SAY, BUT NOT FRAUD. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH
    17-Nov-98 11:42 AM EST (1642 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] FRANCE / LEPEN (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241807
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A FRENCH COURT HAS UPHELD A RULING TO BAN THE LEADER OF THE EXTREME-RIGHT NATIONAL FRONT PARTY, JEAN-MARIE LE PEN, FROM RUNNING FOR ELECTION. JULIAN NUNDY IN PARIS REPORTS THAT UNLESS MR. LE PEN FIGHTS THE BAN, HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HEAD HIS PARTY'S CAMPAIGN FOR ELECTIONS TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT NEXT JUNE.

    TEXT: THE DECISION BY THE VERSAILLES APPEALS COURT THEORETICALLY SOFTENED AN EARLIER RULING BECAUSE IT CUT THE BAN ON JEAN-MARIE LE PEN'S POLITICAL ACTIVITY FROM TWO YEARS TO ONE.

    THE COURT ALSO SLASHED THE FINE THAT MR. LE PEN FACED FOR HIS ALLEGED ASSAULT ON A WOMAN SOCIALIST CANDIDATE DURING PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS LAST YEAR. IT CUT THE FINE TO FIVE-THOUSAND FRANCS, JUST UNDER 900 DOLLARS, FROM THE ORIGINAL 20-THOUSAND FRANCS. HOWEVER, IT UPHELD A SUSPENDED THREE-MONTH JAIL SENTENCE IMPOSED ON THE 70-YEAR-OLD FOUNDER OF THE NATIONAL FRONT.

    MR. LE PEN -- WHO WAS NOT IN COURT TO HEAR THE VERDICT DESCRIBED THE RULING AS "SLIMY." HE POINTED OUT THAT HE STILL HAS FIVE DAYS IN WHICH TO DECIDE WHETHER TO FIGHT THE VERDICT. AND HE SAID HE WILL CONSULT WITH HIS PARTY AND HIS LAWYERS FIRST.

    IF MR. LE PEN DECIDES NOT TO FIGHT THE BAN, HE WILL HAVE TO RESIGN HIS SEATS IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND ON THE REGIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVENCE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE. BUT HE CAN RETURN TO FULL PUBLIC LIFE IN ONE YEAR'S TIME. ALREADY, MR. LE PEN HAS ANGERED OTHER SENIOR FIGURES IN HIS PARTY BY SUGGESTING THAT IF HE HIMSELF CANNOT RUN, HE WILL MAKE HIS WIFE THE MAIN NATIONAL FRONT CANDIDATE IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS NEXT JUNE.

    THE NATIONAL FRONT'S NUMBER TWO, BRUNO MEGRET, HAD OPENED A PUBLIC SPLIT WITH THE PARTY LEADER. MR. MEGRET HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE WANTS TO HEAD THE NATIONAL FRONT CAMPAIGN IF MR. LE PEN IS PREVENTED FROM DOING SO.

    MR. LE PEN CAN DECIDE TO FIGHT THE BAN ON HIS POLITICAL ACTIVITY AND RETAIN THE RIGHT TO CAMPAIGN IN THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS. BUT, IF HE DOES SO, THE PROCEDURE COULD TAKE AS MUCH AS TWO YEARS MORE. THEN, IF THE BAN IS UPHELD AGAIN, HE COULD FIND HIMSELF BARRED FROM RUNNING IN THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS THAT HAVE TO BE HELD BEFORE MAY 2002.

    MR. LE PEN ALSO FACES PROSECUTION IN GERMANY. EARLIER THIS YEAR, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LIFTED HIS PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITY AFTER GERMAN JUDGES STARTED PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MR. LE PEN FOR REMARKS HE MADE DURING A PUBLIC MEETING IN GERMANY. IN THAT MEETING, HE DESCRIBED THE NAZI EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWS DURING WORLD WAR TWO AS "A DETAIL OF HISTORY." (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/JWH
    17-Nov-98 10:54 AM EST (1554 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] GERMANY-RUSSIA (L ONLY UPDATE) BY GIL BUTLER (MOSCOW)

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241806
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMAN CHANCELLOR GERHARDT SCHROEDER HAS ENDED A VISIT TO RUSSIA THAT INCLUDED A MEETING WITH PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN. CORRESPONDENT GIL BUTLER IN MOSCOW REPORTS THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT APPEARED RELATIVELY FIT IN TELEVISION PICTURES FROM THE KREMLIN MEETING.

    TEXT: THERE HAD BEEN RENEWED DOUBTS ABOUT MR. YELTSIN'S HEALTH SINCE HE CUT SHORT PLANNED MEETINGS LAST WEEK WITH JAPAN'S PRIME MINISTER KEIZO OBUCHI. BUT IN TELEVISION FOOTAGE OF HIS MEETING WITH CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER, MR. YELTSIN APPEARED RELATIVE WELL AND SPOKE DISTINCTLY AND FORCEFULLY, IF A LITTLE SLOWLY.

    /// YELTSIN ACT - RUSSIAN, THEN UNDER ///

    HE SAID RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND GERMANY WERE, ARE, AND WILL BE EXACTLY AS GOOD AS THEY HAVE BEEN IN RECENT YEARS. LATER, AT NEWS CONFERENCE, THE GERMAN CHANCELLOR DESCRIBED MR. YELTSIN AS ACTIVE AND WELL-INFORMED DURING THEIR VISIT.

    GERMANY HAS ALREADY MADE IT CLEAR IT CAN PROVIDE NO MORE DIRECT EMERGENCY AID FOR RUSSIA. MR. SHROEDER SAID THE PEOPLE OF RUSSIA REALIZE THE CONTRIBUTION GERMANY HAS MADE. HE DESCRIBED ITS OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIRECT HELP AS -- LIMITED.

    CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER SAID RUSSIA HAS MADE A GOOD START WITH ITS EMERGENCY ECONOMIC RECOVERY PACKAGE, BUT HE SAID THE PROGRAM SHOULD BE ADJUSTED TO MEET INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND CONDITIONS. THE I-M-F HAS DESCRIBED THE LATEST RUSSIAN PLAN AS BEING TOO VAGUE AND CONTAINING TOO MANY STATE CONTROLS OVER THE ECONOMY.

    DURING HIS VISIT TO MOSCOW, THE GERMAN LEADER MET REGIONAL AND OPPOSITION FIGURES, INCLUDING COMMUNIST PARTY CHIEF, GENNADI ZYUGANOV.

    THE COMMUNIST PARTY IS AT THE CENTER OF A STORM OF CRITICISM OVER ANTI-SEMITIC REMARKS MADE BY ONE OF ITS LEADING MEMBERS -- ALBERT MAKASHOV -- AND THE PARTY'S MILD RESPONSE. AT HIS NEWS CONFERENCE MR. SCHROEDER SAID HE HAD POINTED OUT TO MR. ZYUGANOV THAT ANTI-SEMITISM IS UNACCEPTABLE IN A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY, AND THE COMMUNIST LEADER AGREED WITH HIM. (SIGNED)
    NEB/MGB/LTD/RAE
    17-Nov-98 10:54 AM EST (1554 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241822
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE MIXED TODAY (TUESDAY) BUT WITH A GENERALLY POSITIVE REACTION TO THE LOWERING OF INTEREST RATES BY THE U-S FEDERAL RESERVE BANK. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 89-HUNDRED-86, DOWN 25 POINTS. THE STANDARD-AND-POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 11-HUNDRED-39, UP THREE POINTS.

    STOCK PRICES WERE DOWN UNTIL MID-AFTERNOON, WHEN THE U-S CENTRAL BANK ANNOUNCED IT WILL CUT TWO KEY INTEREST RATES BY ONE-QUARTER-OF-ONE PERCENT. STOCK PRICES THEN STARTED RISING, ALTHOUGH SOME LATE-SESSION SELLING PUSHED THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE DOWN.

    ANALYSTS SAY THE LATEST INTEREST-RATE CUTS, THE SECOND IN LESS THAN A MONTH, SHOULD PROLONG U-S ECONOMIC EXPANSION AND HELP CORPORATE PROFITS.

    // OPT //

    ALTHOUGH MOST ANALYSTS HAD EXPECTED A CUT IN INTEREST RATES, THERE WAS ANXIETY ON THE FLOOR OF THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE IN THE MINUTES BEFORE THE ANNOUNCEMENT. PETER HENDERSON OF THE HENDERSON BROTHERS INVESTMENT FIRM DESCRIBES WHAT IT WAS LIKE.

    /// HENDERSON ACT ///

    FROM ABOUT TWO O'CLOCK TO TWO-FIFTEEN, YOU COULD HAVE HEARD A PIN DROP DOWN HERE. EVERYBODY WAS JUST WAITING TO SEE WHAT THE FED WOULD DO. AS SOON AS THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAME OUT THAT THEY WERE CUTTING RATES, EVERY COMPUTER HERE LIT UP LIKE A PINBALL MACHINE. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. WHAT WAS STAGGERING WAS THE NUMBERS, THE BUY SIDE NUMBERS WERE HUGE. AT ONE POINT I HAD ORDERS TO BUY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SHARES.

    /// END ACT ////// END OPT ///

    ONE FACTOR THAT MAY HAVE ENCOURAGED THE CENTRAL BANK TO CUT THE INTEREST RATES IS THAT U-S INFLATION REMAINS VERY LOW. THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS CONSUMER PRICES ROSE A MODEST TWO-TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT IN OCTOBER.

    /// REST OPT ///

    IN BUSINESS NEWS, THE HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPUTER COMPANY IS WARNING THAT IT EXPECTS ITS REVENUE GROWTH TO SLOW NEXT YEAR DUE TO WEAKNESS IN THE WORLD ECONOMY.

    A PLANNED ONE-BILLION-DOLLAR CONSOLIDATION IN THE U-S WASTE DISPOSAL INDUSTRY HAS HIT A SNAG. THE WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY SAYS GOVERNMENT REGULATORS ARE OPPOSING ITS PROPOSAL TO ACQUIRE THE EASTERN ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES COMPANY (ON GROUNDS THE TAKEOVER WOULD CREATE AN ANTI-COMPETITIVE WASTE-DISPOSAL MARKET IN THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES).

    SHARES OF THE NEW DAIMLER-CHRYSLER CORPORATION BEGAN TRADING ON THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE. THE COMBINED GERMAN-AMERICAN COMPANY IS THE FIFTH-LARGEST AUTOMAKER IN THE WORLD.

    THERE HAS BEEN WILD SPECULATION IN THE STOCKS OF MANY INTERNET-RELATED COMPANIES IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS. THE STORY OF RECORDED MUSIC RETAILER K-TEL SHOWS HOW DANGEROUS SUCH SPECULATION CAN BE. SIX MONTHS AGO, WHEN K-TEL ANNOUNCED IT WOULD SELL MUSIC ON THE INTERNET, ITS STOCK SOARED FROM SEVEN DOLLARS TO ALMOST 80 DOLLARS A SHARE. ON TUESDAY, THE STOCK HAD FALLEN TO ABOUT 14 DOLLARS A SHARE. EVEN WORSE, K-TEL STOCK IS IN DANGER OF BEING REMOVED FROM THE NASDAQ MARKET BECAUSE THE COMPANY'S ASSETS HAVE FALLEN BELOW THE REQUIREMENTS FOR LISTING. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/WTW
    17-Nov-98 5:26 PM EST (2226 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY NEAL LAVON (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=11/17/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11010
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: EDITORIALS IN U-S PAPERS THIS MORNING [TUESDAY 11/17/98] FOCUSED ON WASHINGTON'S POLICY TOWARDS IRAQ; A SETTLEMENT IN LAWSUITS AGAINST TOBACCO COMPANIES, AND THE UPCOMING CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ON THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT CLINTON. V-O-A'S _______HAS MORE IN THE U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    ANNCR: "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER" ASKS IN ITS LEAD EDITORIAL: JUST HOW LONG THE UNITED STATES WILL TOLERATE IRAQI DEFIANCE OF UNITED NATIONS WEAPONS INSPECTIONS? THIS PAST WEEKEND, PRESIDENT CLINTON HALTED AIR STRIKES AGAINST BAGHDAD AFTER IRAQI LEADER SADDAM HUSSEIN AGREED TO A RESUMPTION OF THE U-N'S MONITORING PROCESS. THE INQUIRER SAYS THE PRESIDENT MUST NOW EXPLAIN HIS DECISION TO A CONFUSED COUNTRY.

    TEXT: NOW IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON CLARIFY TO A CONFUSED NATION JUST WHAT IS THE AMERICAN STRATEGY TOWARD IRAQ. HE SHOULD START BY EXPLAINING WHY U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS WERE SO IMPORTANT, AND WHY THEIR WORK MUST EITHER PROCEED UNFETTERED -- OR COME TO A HALT...MR. HUSSEIN SHOULD BE GIVEN A SHORT TEST PERIOD. IF HE FAILS TO COME CLEAN, AND OPEN UP EVERY FACILITY THAT IS REQUESTED, THE UNITED STATES MUST RESUME WHERE IT BROKE OFF SATURDAY: ASK THE INSPECTORS TO LEAVE, AND HIT MILITARY TARGETS IMPORTANT TO THE IRAQI LEADER.

    ANNCR: BUT "THE BALTIMORE SUN" BELIEVES THE PRESIDENT WAS CORRECT IN CALLING OFF THE AIRSTRIKES, SAYING BOTH THREATS AND DIPLOMACY WORKED TO DEFUSE THE CRISIS.

    TEXT: IT IS WRONG TO ACCUSE PRESIDENT CLINTON OF WAVERING. CALLING OFF THE ATTACK AT THE LAST MINUTE, WHEN THE CREDIBILITY OF AN ATTACK HAD SUCCEEDED, IS PRECISELY WHAT THE LEADER OF THE ONLY SUPERPOWER SHOULD DO IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES... TOLERATING AN IMPERFECT WORLD IS ONE OF THE BURDENS OF LEADERSHIP. WASHINGTON PROPERLY PROCLAIMED LIMITED AND ATTAINABLE GOALS, DEMANDING CONCESSIONS THAT COULD REASONABLY BE MET, AND ACHIEVED WHAT IT SET OUT TO DO. THAT IS STATESMANSHIP.

    ANNCR: AN AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED BETWEEN THE TOP LEGAL OFFICIALS OF EIGHT STATES AND THE TOBACCO COMPANIES THEY HAVE SUED TO RECOVER HEALTH-CARE COSTS. "THE WASHINGTON POST" WRITES THAT THE AGREEMENT DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH TO CRIPPLE THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY.

    TEXT: THE AGREEMENT IS MORE MODEST THAN THE ONE THAT BECAME THE BASIS FOR THE TOBACCO BILL THAT FAILED IN THE LAST CONGRESS. IT WOULD SETTLE THE STATE LAWSUITS, MAINLY FOR MONEY -- PERHAPS A FIFTH OF A TRILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. IT WOULD NOT, HOWEVER, SETTLE NATIONAL TOBACCO POLICY, OR EVEN TRY. THAT IS LEFT TO THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT RIGHTLY PROMISES TO CONTINUE THE FIGHT FOR A TOUGHER POLICY NEXT YEAR.

    ANNCR: THE GOVERNMENT'S EFFORTS ON TOBACCO ARE OPPOSED IN AN EDITORIAL SIGNED BY TWO ECONOMICS PROFESSORS AND PUBLISHED IN "U-S-A TODAY". JAMES T. BENNETT AND THOMAS J. DILORENZO POINT OUT THAT A TOBACCO SETTLEMENT COULD SET SOME DANGEROUS PRECEDENTS.

    TEXT: ANY SETTLEMENT BETWEEN 'BIG TOBACCO' AND VARIOUS STATE GOVERNMENTS WOULD CEMENT IN PLACE TWO DESTRUCTIVE PRECEDENTS: THAT GOVERNMENT HAS THE 'RIGHT' TO CONTROL VIRTUALLY ALL THAT WE CONSUME AND THAT INDIVIDUALS NEED NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN FOOLISH BEHAVIOR (LIKE SMOKING) AS LONG AS A CORPORATION WITH DEEP POCKETS CAN BE BLAMED INSTEAD. ...IN A FREE SOCIETY, WE CITIZENS OUGHT TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE FOR OURSELVES WHICH RISKS TO TAKE AND WHICH TO AVOID -- AND TO TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR ACTIONS.

    ANNCR: "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" COMMENTS ON THIS THURSDAY'S APPEARANCE OF INDEPENDENT COUNSEL KENNETH STARR BEFORE THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. THE HOUSE COMMITTEE IS CONSIDERING CHARGES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST PRESIDENT CLINTON FOR PERJURY. "THE TIMES" SAYS MR. STARR CAN LOOK FORWARD TO POLITICAL ATTACKS AGAINST HIS INVESTIGATION.

    TEXT: MR. STARR CAN EXPECT TO COME UNDER WITHERING FIRE FROM HOUSE JUDICIARY DEMOCRATS WHO SEE NO RISK IN DELIVERING RABBIT PUNCHES [PAINFUL ATTACKS] AND LOW BLOWS WHAT WITH THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL'S BARREL-BOTTOM APPROVAL RATINGS [IN OPINION POLLS]. AND OF ALL THINGS, IT LOOKS AS THOUGH HE WILL ALSO BE GIVEN THE ONCE-OVER [A TOUGH INQUIRY] BY PRESIDENT CLINTON'S LAWYERS, WHO HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN INVITED BY THE COMMITTEE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE QUESTIONING... THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL DOES HAVE CERTAIN ADVANTAGES, EVEN IN THE ODD HEARING ENVISIONED FOR THURSDAY: THE MAIN AMONG THEM IS THE TRUTH. LET US HOPE MR. STARR ARMS HIMSELF WITH IT...

    ANNCR: WITH THAT, WE END THIS EDITION OF THE U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RAE
    17-Nov-98 10:03 AM EST (1503 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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