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Voice of America, 98-12-09

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [02] FRANCE / NATIONAL FRONT (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [03] NATO / RUSSIA (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S&L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [05] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/9/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242728
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC POLITICIANS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND ARE TO RECEIVE THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE IN OSLO ON THURSDAY. BACK IN BELFAST, THE PEACE PROCESS REMAINS DEADLOCKED OVER THE ISSUE OF DISARMING IRISH NATIONALIST PARAMILITARIES. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS THAT BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR HAS MET BOTH SIDES IN CONTINUING EFFORTS TO OVERCOME THE LATEST OBSTACLES.

    TEXT: LAST WEEK, AN AGREEMENT LOOKED CLOSE ON THE ISSUES OF DISARMING THE PARAMILITARIES AND CREATING CROSS-BORDER IRISH MINISTRIES. PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR HAD SPENT SIX HOURS IN BELFAST THRASHING OUT A COMPROMISE. U-S MEDIATOR GEORGE MITCHELL ALSO MET WITH PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC LEADERS DURING HIS TRIP THERE LAST WEEK . BUT, AFTER THEY LEFT, THE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT STARTED TO UNRAVEL. SO PRIME MINISTER BLAIR IS BACK AT IT, MEETING HERE IN LONDON WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM BOTH SIDES.

    NORTHERN IRELAND'S ULSTER UNIONIST PARTY INSISTS THAT NATIONALIST PARAMILITARIES MUST TURN IN THEIR WEAPONS BEFORE SINN FEIN, THE POLITICAL WING OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY, CAN TAKE PART IN THE NEW ASSEMBLY.

    THE CHIEF NEGOTIATOR FOR SINN FEIN, MARTIN MCGUINNESS, SAYS THERE ARE NO PRECONDITIONS IN THE GOOD FRIDAY PEACE AGREEMENT AND COMPLAINS THAT PROTESTANT FIRST MINISTER DAVID TRIMBLE IS NOT PUTTING ENOUGH PRESSURE ON OPPONENTS OF THE PEACE ACCORD WITHIN HIS OWN PARTY.

    /// FIRST MCGUINNESS ACT ///

    I WOULD CONTEND THAT HE IS USING HIS INFLUENCE IN A VERY NEGATIVE WAY. HE SEES THIS ISSUE AS AN ISSUE WITH WHICH TO BEAT SINN FEIN OVER THE HEAD WITH.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. TRIMBLE'S CATHOLIC DEPUTY SEAMUS MALLON ALSO MET WITH THE PRIME MINISTER AND LATER URGED SINN FEIN TO SPEND MORE TIME ON IMPLEMENTING THE DISARMAMENT OF PARAMILITARIES THAN ON BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE FOR THE DEADLOCK.

    DISPUTES ALSO CONTINUE OVER THE NUMBER OF CROSS-BORDER MINISTRIES TO BE SET UP NEXT FEBRUARY. AGAIN, MR. MCGUINNESS ACCUSES MR. TRIMBLE'S PARTY OF RENEGING ON THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT..

    /// SECOND MCGUINNESS ACT ///

    NOT ONLY DO I BELIEVE THAT DAVID TRIMBLE IS IN BREACH OF ASPECTS OF THE AGREEMENT, SUCH AS THE FAILURE TO ESTABLISH AN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, THE FAILURE TO ESTABLISH A NORTH-SOUTH MINISTERIAL COUNCIL, AND A FAILURE AND RENEGING ON IMPLEMENTATION BODIES. BUT I ALSO THINK DAVID TRIMBLE IS IN BREACH OF THAT SECTION OF THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT THAT DEALS WITH DECOMMISSIONING.

    /// END ACT ///

    STILL, MR. MCGUINNESS HAS EXPRESSED SOME HOPE THE DISPUTES COULD BE RESOLVED BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR.

    IRONICALLY, THE PEACE PROCESS HAS LOST ITS MOMENTUM JUST AS POLITICIANS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND ARE BEING AWARDED THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR ENDING THREE DECADES OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH
    09-Dec-98 11:50 AM EST (1650 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] FRANCE / NATIONAL FRONT (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=12/9/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242730
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE DEPUTY LEADER OF FRANCE'S EXTREME-RIGHT NATIONAL FRONT PARTY CALLED WEDNESDAY FOR A SPECIAL PARTY CONGRESS NEXT MONTH TO END AN EFFECTIVE MUTINY WITHIN THE MOVEMENT. AS JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS, THE CONFLICT CHALLENGES THE AUTHORITY OF THE PARTY'S FOUNDER, JEAN-MARIE LE PEN.

    TEXT: EVER SINCE HE FOUNDED THE NATIONAL FRONT IN 1972, JEAN-MARIE LE PEN HAS BEEN THE PERSONIFICATION OF FRANCE'S EXTREME-RIGHT, ANTI-IMMIGRATION PARTY.

    BUT DURING THE PAST FEW MONTHS, AN OPEN RIFT WITH HIS NUMBER TWO, BRUNO MEGRET -- WHO AT 53, IS NEARLY 20 YEARS YOUNGER THAN MR. LE PEN -- HAS THREATENED THE UNITY OF A PARTY THAT HAS TAKEN 15 PERCENT OF THE VOTE IN RECENT NATIONAL ELECTIONS.

    THE DISPUTE FLARED WHEN MR. LE PEN, FACING THE POSSIBILITY THAT MOVES TO BAN HIM FROM PUBLIC LIFE FOR AN ALLEGED ASSAULT ON A SOCIALIST POLITICIAN MIGHT STOP HIM LEADING THE PARTY TICKET IN EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS NEXT JUNE, SAID HIS OWN WIFE MIGHT TAKE OVER.

    THIS ANGERED MR. MEGRET, WHO SAID HE ALONE WOULD BE THE NATURAL REPLACEMENT IF MR. LE PEN COULD NOT RUN. SINCE THEN, ALTHOUGH MR. LE PEN IS NOW ABLE TO SEEK ELECTION, THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO HAVE BECOME INCREASINGLY SOUR. LAST WEEK, THE CONFLICT CAME TO A HEAD WHEN THE NATIONAL FRONT FIRED TWO SUPPORTERS OF MR. MEGRET FROM PARTY POSTS. THEN, MR. LE PEN EXPELLED THE SAME TWO OFFICIALS FROM A LEADERSHIP MEETING SATURDAY.

    AS BACKERS OF MR. MEGRET JEERED AND INSULTED MR. LE PEN AT THE MEETING, THE NATIONAL FRONT PRESIDENT THEN SUSPENDED TWO OTHER OFFICIALS. ONE OF THOSE, MEANWHILE, LAUNCHED A CALL FOR A NATIONAL CONGRESS OF ALL MILITANTS.

    IN A RADIO INTERVIEW, MR. LE PEN ACCUSED MR. MEGRET'S SUPPORTERS OF BEING "RACIST." THIS EPITHET CAME AS A PARTICULAR SURPRISE SINCE MR. LE PEN HIMSELF IS OFTEN ACCUSED OF RACISM AND ANTI-SEMITISM. HE HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY BY FRENCH COURTS OF MAKING STATEMENTS CONSTRUED AS RACIST.

    IN ALL THE CONFUSION, EVEN ONE OF MR. LE PEN'S THREE DAUGHTERS JOINED THE MEGRET CAMP, ADDING HER VOICE TO CALLS FOR A CONGRESS TO RESOLVE THE RIVALRIES.

    AT A NEWS CONFERENCE, MR. MEGRET, SAYING THAT "THE NATIONAL FRONT BELONGS TO NO ONE," LAUNCHED HIS OWN APPEAL FOR A NATIONAL MEETING OF MILITANTS TO RESTORE UNITY TO THE PARTY. SO DOING, MR. MEGRET EFFECTIVELY MARKED HIMSELF OUT AS THE LEADER OF THE REVOLT.

    OTHER NATIONAL FRONT MILITANTS SAY MR. MEGRET ALREADY HAS THE SUPPORT OF A MAJORITY OF PARTY OFFICIALS, MEANING THAT THE BATTLE FOR THE CONTROL OF THE NATIONAL FRONT, AND PERHAPS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE MOVEMENT, IS ENTERING A DECISIVE PHASE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/JWH
    09-Dec-98 12:11 PM EST (1711 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] NATO / RUSSIA (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/9/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242723
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO FOREIGN MINISTERS WEDNESDAY FINISHED A TWO-DAY SESSION IN BRUSSELS BY MEETING SEPARATELY WITH THEIR RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN COUNTERPARTS. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM NATO HEADQUARTERS THAT U-S SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT HAD A WARNING FOR RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IGOR IVANOV ABOUT IRAN.

    TEXT: SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT TOLD FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV THAT RUSSIA CAN LOSE AMERICAN FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, UNLESS THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT CRACKS DOWN ON THE TRANSFER OF MISSILE TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN.

    AMERICAN OFFICIALS SAY UNEMPLOYED RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS ARE ASSISTING IRAN'S EFFORT TO BUILD MISSILES THAT CAN CARRY NUCLEAR WARHEADS. IRAN DENIES SUCH AN EFFORT, BUT SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT TELLS REPORTERS RUSSIAN TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN IS A CONSTANT ISSUE BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND MOSCOW.

    ///ALBRIGHT ACT///

    //OPT//

    I USED TO SPEAK TO FOREIGN MINISTER (EVGENY) PRIMAKOV AND THE PRESIDENT (CLINTON) HAS SPOKEN TO PRESIDENT YELTSIN AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE HAS RAISED THE ISSUE WITH (VIKTOR) CHERNOMYRDIN AND NOW (PRIME MINISTER) PRIMAKOV AND I'M RAISING IT NOW WITH IVANOV.//END OPT// IT IS AN ISSUE OF MAJOR CONCERN TO US AND WE HAVE ESTABLISHED A NUMBER OF WAYS OF DISCUSSING IT WITH THEM AND THEY ARE VERY MUCH AWARE OF OUR CONCERN.

    ///END ACT///

    WHILE RUSSIA HAS REPEATEDLY PROMISED THE UNITED STATES IT WILL CUT OFF WEAPONS TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN, AMERICAN AMERICAN OFFICIALS SAY THE PROMISES ARE UNDERCUT BY RUSSIAN STATE ENTITIES THAT CONTINUE TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE.

    SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT ALSO SAYS SHE PLANS TO GO MOSCOW IN JANUARY TO BEGIN NEGOTIATIONS ON A THIRD STRATEGIC ARMS AGREEMENT. THESE NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEEN STALLED BY THE RUSSIAN LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT, WHICH HAS SO-FAR REFUSED TO APPROVE THE SECOND STRATEGIC ARMS AGREEMENT REACHED IN 1993. FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV PREDICTS THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT WILL APPROVE "START TWO" BY THE END OF THE MONTH.

    ON THE ISSUE OF KOSOVO, NATO MINISTERS EXPLAINED TO THE RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER THEIR REASONS FOR THREATENING AIR STRIKES AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA EARLIER THIS YEAR. THEY SAID A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER WAS LOOMING IN SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE AND MILITARY ACTION WAS BLOCKED IN THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL.

    MR. IVANOV TELLS REPORTERS THROUGH AN INTERPRETER RUSSIA DOES NOT ACCEPT NATO MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT U-N SECURITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZATION.

    ///IVANOV ACT IN RUSSIAN W/ INTERPRETER///

    TODAY THERE IS NO THREAT OF HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE IN KOSOVO. //OPT// AS FOR DECISIONS ON THE ACTIVATION ORDERS, OUR POSITION IS WELL-KNOWN AND IT HAS NOT CHANGED. MOREOVER WE BELIEVE THAT THE QUESTION NOW IS IN THE POLITICAL DIMENSION AND POLITICAL NEGOTIATIONS, AND NO POWER ACTIONS ARE ON THE AGENDA. //END OPT// TO REITERATE, ANY DECISION ON THE USE OF FORCE IN OUR CONVICTION MUST ONLY BE TAKEN ON THE BASIS OF CHAPTER SEVEN OF THE U-N CHARTER.

    ///END ACT///

    MR. IVANOV APPLIED THE SAME STANDARD OF U-N AUTHORIZATION WHEN ASKED ABOUT NATO'S STRATEGIC CONCEPT FOR ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IN WASHINGTON NEXT APRIL. THE CONCEPT WILL PROVIDE FOR MILITARY ACTIONS OUTSIDE NATO'S TERRITORY EVEN WITHOUT SUCH AN AUTHORIZATION.

    NATO HAS INVITED BOTH RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN LEADERS TO ATTEND THE WASHINGTON ANNIVERSARY SUMMIT. UKRAINE'S FOREIGN MINISTER HAS ACCEPTED ON BEHALF OF PRESIDENT LEONID KUCHMA. RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER HAS NOT REPLIED TO NATO'S INVITATION TO PRESIDENT YELTSIN OR PRIME MINISTER PRIMAKOV. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF
    09-Dec-98 11:11 AM EST (1611 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/9/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242744
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE MIXED TODAY (WEDNESDAY), IN A TRADING SESSION THAT LACKED DIRECTION. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT NINE-THOUSAND-NINE, DOWN 18 POINTS. BUT THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED UP TWO POINTS, AT 11-HUNDRED-83.

    ANALYST SAY THERE WAS NO NEWS TO DRIVE STOCK PRICES AND TRADING LACKED ANY STRONG CONVICTION, ALTHOUGH MANY TECHNOLOGY STOCKS ENJOYED HIGHER SHARE PRICES -- A FACTOR THAT PUSHED THE NASDAQ INDEX TO A RECORD HIGH FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS WEEK.

    // OPT //

    GREGORY NYE OF THE EVEREN SECURITIES FIRM SAYS THERE IS STILL NO SIGN OF A STRONG YEAR-END RALLY ON WALL STREET.

    /// NYE ACT ///

    THIS IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE LAST FOUR OR FIVE TRADING SESSIONS. THE TECHNOLOGY STOCKS ARE LEADING, BUT A LACK OF MOMENTUM IS BEGINNING TO SURFACE AS WELL.

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

    THE U-S CENTRAL BANK REPORTS ECONOMIC GROWTH CONTINUED IN NOVEMBER. HOWEVER, IN A MONTHLY REPORT [KNOWN AS "THE BEIGE BOOK"], THE BANK FINDS MORE AMERICAN INDUSTRIES WITH WEAKENING EXPORT ORDERS. THE REPORT ALSO SAYS THAT WHILE LOW INTEREST RATES ARE STIMULATING LOAN DEMAND IN THE UNITED STATES, MANY LENDERS ARE TIGHTENING THEIR CREDIT STANDARDS.

    /// REST OPT ///

    THE LARGEST CONSOLIDATION IN THE EUROPEAN DRUG INDUSTRY WAS ANNOUNCED. THE ZENECA CORPORATION OF BRITAIN WILL PAY 35-BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE ASTRA PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY OF SWEDEN.

    THE STOCK OF THE CHEVRON OIL COMPANY ROSE ON RUMORS THAT IT WILL BE ACQUIRED BY THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL OIL COMPANY. NEITHER FIRM WOULD COMMENT. WAL-MART, THE U-S-BASED DISCOUNT STORE CHAIN, WILL BUY 74 STORES FROM SPAR-HANDELS, THE GERMAN RETAILER. THE ACQUISITION WILL BRING TO ALMOST 100 THE NUMBER OF WAL-MART STORES IN GERMANY.

    TRANS WORLD AIRLINES IS BUYING 125 NEW JETLINERS, SPLITTING THE ORDER BETWEEN BOEING OF THE UNITED STATES AND AIRBUS, THE EUROPEAN CONSORTIUM. IT IS THE FIRST TIME THAT T-W-A HAS BOUGHT EQUIPMENT FROM AIRBUS.

    J-P MORGAN, THE FOURTH-LARGEST BANKING COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES, SAYS A 100-MILLION-DOLLAR RESTRUCTURING CHARGE WILL PUSH ITS FOURTH-QUARTER EARNINGS BELOW WALL STREET EXPECTATIONS.

    THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY IS PLANNING A MINI-THEME PARK IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA. THE INDOOR ATTRACTION, TO BE NAMED "DISNEYQUEST," IS DESCRIBED AS AN INTERACTIVE AMUSEMENT CENTER FOR BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/WTW
    09-Dec-98 5:47 PM EST (2247 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/09/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11043
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

    EDS: PERISHABLE MATERIAL, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E - S - T ! !

    ////

    INTRO: THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS IN THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, SCHEDULED TO HEAR THE SECOND OF TWO DAYS OF DEFENSE WITNESSES FOR THE PRESIDENT, REMAIN THE DOMINANT TOPIC IN EDITORIAL COLUMNS. VENEZUELA'S NEW PRESIDENT-ELECT IS ALSO GENERATING A GOOD DEAL OF COMMENT.

    /// OPT ///

    OTHER TOPICS TO BE FOUND IN THE COMMENTARIES INCLUDE: THE CASE OF A CANADIAN SCHEDULED TO DIE FOR MURDER IN A TEXAS PRISON; THE PRESIDENT'S TRIP TO ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN LANDS; ATTORNEY-GENERAL JANET RENO'S DECISION NOT TO LOOK FURTHER INTO ALLEGED CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW-BREAKING; AND THE ONGOING UNIFICATION OF EUROPE. /// END OPT /// NOW, HERE WITH SOME EXCERPTS AND A CLOSER LOOK, IS __________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: TODAY IS THE SECOND AND LAST OF TWO DAYS OF TESTIMONY BY VARIOUS PEOPLE IN DEFENSE OF PRESIDENT CLINTON IN THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE'S IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS. THE TONE OF EDITORIALS CONTINUES TO BE THAT DUE TO THE PRESIDENT'S APPARENT LACK OF PUBLIC REMORSE, THE SENTIMENT IN BOTH THE COMMITTEE AND THE FULL HOUSE APPEARS TO BE SWINGING TOWARD IMPEACHMENT. BUT ON NEW YORK'S LONG ISLAND, "NEWSDAY" WARNS THE NATION THAT IMPEACHMENT IS "NOT A GAME."

    VOICE: /// OPT /// THE WITNESSES FOR THE DEFENSE MADE TWO FUNDAMENTALLY IMPORTANT POINTS AT THE ... IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS YESTERDAY (TUESDAY). THE FIRST IS THAT IMPEACHMENT MUST NOT BE USED AS A TACTICAL PLOY TO PUNISH THE PRESIDENT KNOWING THAT THE SENATE WILL NOT APPROVE HIS REMOVAL. THE SECOND IS THAT POLITICIZATION OF THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS RUNS THE RISK OF DAMAGING THE STABILITY OF THE NATION'S DEMOCRACY. /// END OPT /// ..... THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AND POSSIBLY THE ENTIRE HOUSE SEEM HELLBENT [FIXATED] ON A PURELY PARTISAN IMPEACHMENT VOTE: THAT, SAID THE EXPERTS, WOULD BE EXTREMELY DAMAGING TO THE COUNTRY'S FUTURE STABILITY. THE MOVE TO IMPEACH RICHARD NIXON OVER WATERGATE HAD THE BACKING OF THE COUNTRY BECAUSE IT WAS TRULY BI-PARTISAN. ... IF THE REPUBLICANS GO IT ALONE NOW, THEY WILL HAVE ESTABLISHED A PRECEDENT THAT WILL HAUNT THE NATION FOR YEARS TO COME.

    TEXT: TAKING THE OPPOSITE VIEW IS "THE NEW YORK POST," WHICH SUMS UP ITS VIEWS ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE PRESIDENT'S DEFENSE THUSLY:

    VOICE: /// OPT /// THE WHITE HOUSE ARGUMENT NOW BOILS DOWN TO THIS: BILL CLINTON DID SOMETHING WRONG, THOUGH WE'RE NOT PREPARED TO SAY WHAT IT IS. BUT WHATEVER IT IS, IT DOESN'T DESERVE IMPEACHMENT. AND SINCE REPUBLICANS DON'T HAVE THE VOTES TO CONVICT HIM, LET'S STOP WASTING EVERYONE'S TIME AND JUST CENSURE HIM FOR HAVING DONE ... SOMETHING. [MR.] CLINTON'S SUPPORTERS ARE MOST PROBABLY RIGHT - - HE WON'T BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE. BUT /// END OPT /// THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS SHOULD BE SEEN THROUGH TO ITS CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED END. BILL CLINTON HAD MANY OPPORTUNITIES OVER THE PAST YEAR TO FORTHRIGHTLY ACKNOWLEDGE HIS ACTIONS: DOING SO WOULD HAVE SIDETRACKED IMPEACHMENT. INSTEAD, HE'S CHOSEN TO LIE, STONEWALL [BE TOTALLY UNCOOPERATIVE] AND OPENLY DEFY CONGRESS. CENSURE AT THIS POINT WOULD BE NO MORE THAN A SLAP ON THE WRIST. [AN INAPPROPRIATELY LIGHT PUNISHMENT] AND THAT'S AN ESCAPE ROUTE [PRESIDENT] CLINTON NO LONGER DESERVES.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY ON THAT TOPIC, TODAY'S "NEW YORK TIMES" SAYS THAT UNLESS MR. CLINTON CHANGES HIS TACTICS, IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES WILL PROBABLY SUCCEED IN BOTH THE COMMITTEE AND THE FULL HOUSE, FORCING A TRIAL IN THE SENATE. THE PAPER SUGGESTS MR. CLINTON, "MUST FREE HIMSELF AND HIS DEFENDERS FROM THE PARALYZING FICTION THAT HE DID NOT LIE UNDER OATH."

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: THE OUTCOME OF VENEZUELA'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CONTINUES TO DRAW COMMENT, SINCE THE PEOPLE VOTED IN HUGO CHAVEZ, A FORMER ARMY PARATROOPER WHO JUST SIX YEARS AGO LED AN UNSUCCESSFUL COUP ATTEMPT AGAINST THE SITTING GOVERNMENT, AND WOUND UP IN JAIL. "PORTLAND'S [MAINE] PRESS HERALD" PRAISES MR. CHAVEZ'S RESTRAINED REMARKS SINCE ELECTION.

    VOICE: [MR.] CHAVEZ'S VICTORY WAS REMARKABLE NOT ONLY FOR ITS MARGIN, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS ANTI-DEMOCRATIC BACKGROUND. HE WAS AMONG THE LEADERS OF A 1992 COUP ATTEMPT AGAINST THE ELECTED GOVERNMENT OF CARLOS ANDREW PEREZ. THE MILITARY REBELS SAID THEN, AS [MR.] CHAVEZ SAYS NOW, THAT THEY WANTED TO SAVE VENEZUELA 'FROM POLITICIANS, FROM DEMAGOGUERY AND BUREAUCRACY.' [MR.] CHAVEZ CANNOT DO THAT, HOWEVER, ANY MORE THAN COUP LEADERS COULD THEN, BY ABANDONING THE DEMOCRACY THAT IS VENEZUELA'S ONLY HOPE OF BEING 'BORN AGAIN,' A PROCESS HE SAYS HIS ELECTION BEGAN.

    TEXT: IN BALTIMORE, "THE SUN" IS ALSO WATCHING THE POST-ELECTION SITUATION WITH INTEREST.

    VOICE: FOR THE UNITED STATES, MR. CHAVEZ IS AN AWKWARD CASE. HE WAS DENIED A VISA LAST YEAR AS A PENALTY FOR HIS 1992 COUP ATTEMPT. HE HAS TALKED RESPONSIBLY SINCE WINNING. WASHINGTON SHOULD TREAT HIM WITH KID GLOVES AND LOOK FOR MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING. HE IS EITHER THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN IN LATIN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY LATELY - - OR THE WORST.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: THE CONTROVERSY OVER PLANS IN TEXAS TO EXECUTE A CANADIAN CITIZEN, JOSEPH FAULDER, FOR MURDER, AFTER TWENTY YEARS ON DEATH ROW IS RISING TO THE LEVEL OF AN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT. "THE NEW YORK TIMES" NOTES:

    VOICE: ... TEXAS DID NOT NOTIFY HIM OF HIS RIGHT TO SEEK HELP FROM THE CANADIAN CONSULATE AFTER HIS ARREST, EVEN THOUGH TEXAS OFFICIALS KNEW THAT MR. FAULDER WAS CANADIAN. THAT FAILURE VIOLATED THE VIENNA CONVENTION ON CONSULAR RELATIONS, RATIFIED BY THE SENATE IN 1969, WHICH REQUIRES THAT A PERSON ARRESTED IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY BE ALLOWED TO SEEK ASSISTANCE FROM A CONSULATE POST OF HIS OWN COUNTRY. .... FOR THE SAKE OF FAIRNESS AND INSURING RESPECT FOR A PRINCIPLE THAT BENEFITS AMERICANS, GOVERNOR BUSH SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THE ERROR AND PERSUADE THE TEXAS PARDON BOARD TO COMMUTE MR. FAULDER'S SENTENCE TO LIFE IN PRISON.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE MIDDLE EAST, SEVERAL PAPERS ARE EXPRESSING CONCERN OVER THE GROWING INSTABILITY IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN-CONTROLLED AREAS OF GAZA AND THE WEST BANK, AS PRESIDENT CLINTON PREPARES TO VISIT. AMONG THEM, "THE BOSTON GLOBE."

    VOICE: THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT OF PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU IS ON THE VERGE OF FALLING. PALESTINIANS ARE RIOTING IN SEVERAL CITIES, CAUSING [MR.] NETANYAHU TO ACCUSE YASSER ARAFAT OF INCITING A 'NEW INTIFADAH.' [MR.] ARAFAT'S POLICE ARE FIRING LIVE AMMUNITION AT PROTESTERS. AND EACH SIDE IS ACCUSING THE OTHER OF VIOLATING THE WYE PLANTATION AGREEMENT THAT [MR.] CLINTON MIDWIFED LAST MONTH IN MARYLAND. NEVERTHELESS, [PRESIDENT] CLINTON IS RIGHT NOT TO POSTPONE HIS VISIT. HE NEEDS TO KEEP HIS APPOINTMENT, IF ONLY BECAUSE, AS SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT SAID YESTERDAY (TUESDAY), A VISIT FROM THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT WAS PART OF THE WYE AGREEMENT, AN AMERICAN COMMITMENT THAT CARRIES SYMBOLIC WEIGHT.

    /// OPT ///

    THE VISIT MAY ALSO PROVIDE AN OCCASION FOR [MR.] CLINTON TO USE HIS CONSIDERABLE PERSUASIVE SKILLS TO APPEAL ON BEHALF OF THE PEACE PROCESS TO ALL THOSE ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS WHO MAY HAVE NO TRUCK WITH THE FANATICS IN THEIR COMMUNITIES BUT WHO NONETHELESS ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE DILATORY NEGOTIATIONS THEIR LEADERS HAVE BEEN CONDUCTING.

    TEXT: IN A RELATED ISSUE, THE PRESIDENT'S AGREEMENT AT THE WYE SUMMIT TO REVIEW THE LIFE SENTENCE OF JONATHAN POLLARD, CONVICTED OF SPYING FOR ISRAEL. "THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" SAYS THE U-S MUST NOT RELEASE MR. POLLARD AS ISRAEL HAS ASKED.

    VOICE: [MR.] POLLARD'S POSITION WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY WAS SO SENSITIVE THAT HE IS STILL CONSIDERED A SECURITY RISK AFTER 12 YEARS BEHIND BARS. ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, [MR.] CLINTON'S CHOICE IS CLEAR. THERE MAY COME A TIME WHEN - - FOR REASONS OF COMPASSION OR DIPLOMATIC TRADE-OFF - - THE UNITED STATES MAY CHOOSE TO RELEASE [MR.] POLLARD. THIS IS NOT THE TIME, /// OPT /// AND HIS FREEDOM SHOULD NOT BE USED AS AN INCENTIVE TO ENCOURAGE ISRAEL TO MAKE PERMANENT PEACE WITH ITS NEIGHBORS. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: AT HOME, CONTROVERSY CONTINUES OVER ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO'S DECISION N O T TO SEEK AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED WRONGDOING BY PRESIDENT CLINTON DURING THE 1996 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. "THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS" IS ONE OF THE PAPERS FURIOUS AT THE DECISION.

    VOICE: JANET RENO LET US ALL DOWN MONDAY ..... AND THE TRAGIC ASPECT OF HER DECISION IS THAT AMERICANS WILL NOT GET A FULL INQUIRY INTO A SCANDAL THAT IS MUCH MORE RELEVANT TO THE PROCESSES OF GOVERNMENT THAN SEX-AND-LIES. THE WAY BOTH PARTIES RAISE MONEY TO FINANCE CAMPAIGNS CONTINUES TO CORRODE THE INSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CONTINUING UNIFICATION OF EUROPE FROM TODAY'S "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR."

    VOICE: EUROPE IS ACTING LIKE A NATION. NOT A UNITED STATES OF EUROPE, IN THE AMERICAN MOLD, TO BE SURE. BUT A PURPOSEFUL TEAM WITH A GRADUALLY UNIFYING ECONOMY, DEFENSE, GLOBAL OUTLOOK, BUSINESS CULTURE, AND CONSUMER BASE, MOVING MORE SURELY THAN SKEPTICS HAD THOUGHT POSSIBLE. THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR THE WORLD. IT PROVIDES, AS IT WERE, A SOURCE FOR A SECOND OPINION TO KEEP THE AMERICAN SUPER POWER'S LEADERS ON THEIR TOES.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENT FROM THE EDITORIAL PAGES OF WEDNESDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    09-Dec-98 11:37 AM EST (1637 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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