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Voice of America, 98-12-14

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] BALKANS / DISPLACED (L ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [02] KOSOVO CLASHES (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)
  • [03] YEARENDER/NORTHERN IRELAND BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [05] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] BALKANS / DISPLACED (L ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=12/14/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242959
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: OFFICIALS FROM THE UNITED NATIONS, EUROPEAN ORGANIZATIONS, AND SEVERAL COUNTRIES HAVE VOICED CONCERN ABOUT THE FATE OF UP TO TWO-MILLION DISPLACED PEOPLE IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, ESPECIALLY IN BOSNIA AND THE SERB PROVINCE OF KOSOVO. STEFAN BOS IN BUDAPEST REPORTS THE OFFICIALS DISCUSSED THE PROBLEM AT A WEEKEND CONFERENCE (IN BUDAPEST) ON CITIZENSHIP AND PROPERTY RIGHTS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.

    TEXT: OFFICIALS AT THE CONFERENCE IN BUDAPEST SAID THE PROBLEM OF DISPLACED PEOPLE IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT ISSUES IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. FIGURES RELEASED AT THE MEETING SHOW THAT UP TO TWO-MILLION PEOPLE LOST THEIR HOMES DURING RECENT WARS IN THE REGION.

    CONFERENCE CHAIRMAN ARTHUR HELTON -- THE HEAD OF A PRIVATE U-S RESEARCH GROUP -- SAYS MOST OF THE HOMES ARE NOW OCCUPIED, AND HE SAYS LOCAL AUTHORITIES OFTEN REFUSE TO RETURN THE PROPERTIES TO THEIR OWNERS.

    /// HELTON ACT ///

    PEOPLE EITHER CANNOT RETURN BECAUSE THEIR HOMES ARE OCCUPIED, AND THEY CANNOT ASSERT THEIR PROPERTY RIGHTS, OR THEY CANNOT RETURN BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT DEEMED CITIZENS TO THE PLACE TO WHICH THEY WISH TO RETURN. THEY ARE NOT GRANTED TRAVEL FACILITIES FOR THEIR PURPOSE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. HELTON SAYS THAT AFTER THE BREAK-UP OF YUGOSLAVIA AND THE MANY WARS THAT FOLLOWED, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FOUND THEMSELVES LIVING IN REGIONS WHERE THEY WERE NOT CITIZENS OR WHERE THEY ARE IN AN ETHNIC MINORITY. HE SAYS RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS OFTEN WERE DESTROYED OR LOST, CREATING DIFFICULT ISSUES OF PROOF.

    CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS AGREED TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION TO HELP GOVERNMENTS IN THE REGION DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM. MR. HELTON SAYS PARTICIPANTS ALSO URGED THE GOVERNMENTS OF CROATIA, BOSNIAN, AND SERBIA TO CHANGE THEIR CITIZENSHIP AND PROPERTY OWNERSHIP LAWS.

    /// HELTON ACT TWO ///

    OUR HOPE IS THAT TROUGH THE REVISION OF THIS KIND OF LAWS, NOT ONLY IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA BUT THROUGHOUT THE REGION (OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA), VOLUNTARY REPATRIATION WILL BECOME A GENUINE OPTION FOR THE MANY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DISPLACED PERSONS WHO FIND THEMSELVES DISPOSSESSED IN THE REGION.

    /// END ACT ///

    CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS ALSO EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE SITUATION IN THE SERB PROVINCE OF KOSOVO WHERE THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES -- MOST OF THEM ETHNIC ALBANIANS -- ARE WITHOUT HOMES. OFFICIALS SAID THEY FEAR THAT WITHOUT A CLEAR SOLUTION, MANY REFUGEES WILL FACE A DIFFICULT BALKAN WINTER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/JWH/KL
    14-Dec-98 11:55 AM EST (1655 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO CLASHES (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=12/14/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242964
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SERB REPORTS IN KOSOVO SAY AS MANY AS 30 ETHNIC ALBANIANS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN BORDER CLASHES NEAR THE SOUTHERN TOWN OF PRIZREN. PHILIP SMUCKER IN PRISTINA REPORTS THE NEW FIGHTING COMES AS THE PEACE PROCESS REMAINS BLOCKED BY BOTH THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT AND ETHNIC ALBANIAN NEGOTIATORS.

    TEXT: IF CONFIRMED, THE DEATH TOLL WOULD BE THE HIGHEST SINCE A DEAL TO END KOSOVO'S VIOLENCE WAS SIGNED IN OCTOBER.

    BUT SERBIAN AND ALBANIAN VERSIONS OF THE CLASH DIFFERED MARKEDLY. BRITISH MONITORS ASSIGNED TO THE REGION SAID THEY HAD ONLY CONFIRMED A SINGLE DEATH.

    SERB OFFICIALS IN THE BORDER TOWN OF PRIZREN SAID THE FIGHTING BROKE OUT EARLY MONDAY WHEN ETHNIC ALBANIANS TRIED TO ENTER YUGOSLAVIA ILLEGALLY WITH WHAT THE SERBS CALLED SOPHISTICATED WEAPONRY.

    BUT OFFICIAL ETHNIC ALBANIAN SOURCES IN PRISTINA SAID SERBIAN FORCES HAD LAID SIEGE TO THREE VILLAGES AND RAIDED SEVERAL ETHNIC ALBANIAN HOMES. THEY SAID A CONVOY OF SERB MILITARY AND POLICE FORCES, INCLUDING THREE ARMORED VEHICLES, TWO ANTI-AIRCRAFT ROCKETS, AND TEN TRUCKS OF SERB SOLDIERS ENTERED THE BORDER AREA EARLY MONDAY.

    YUGOSLAV ARMY UNITS LATER SEALED THE BORDER AREA, MAKING ACCESS DIFFICULT FOR BRITISH PEACE MONITORS IN THE REGION.

    SEVERAL ETHNIC-ALBANIAN SOURCES SAID THAT THEY HAD CONFIRMED ONLY ONE DEAD AND BRITISH MONITORS SAID THEIR OWN INVESTIGATIONS HAD CONFIRMED ONE DEAD IN THE CLASH.

    A SOURCE WORKING WITH EUROPEAN MONITORS SAID THAT MEMBERS OF THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY INSISTED BRITISH MONITORS EVACUATE ALBANIANS KILLED AND WOUNDED IN THE CLASH. HE SAID THEY THREATENED VIOLENCE IF THE EVACUATION WAS NOT CARRIED OUT.

    LOCAL SERBIAN POLICE SOURCES SAID THEY CONFISCATED A LARGE NUMBER OF MODERN WEAPONS FROM THE INTRUDING GUERRILLAS.

    BOTH SIDES IN THE KOSOVO CONFLICT HAVE BEEN BOLSTERING THEIR FORCES IN SINCE U-S SPECIAL ENVOY RICHARD HOLBROOKE SIGNED A DEAL WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO PUT AN END TO THE FIGHTING.

    NEITHER SIDE HAS EXPRESSED ANY CONFIDENCE THAT A TWO-THOUSAND MEMBER INTERNATIONAL MONITORING FORCE CAN PUT AN END TO THE FIGHTING. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/JWH
    14-Dec-98 2:15 PM EST (1915 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] YEARENDER/NORTHERN IRELAND BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/14/98
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42135
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NORTHERN IRELAND'S LEADING PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC POLITICIANS WERE WERE AWARDED THE 1998 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR THEIR EFFORTS TO END 30 YEARS OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE. BUT THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT THEY SIGNED LAST APRIL IS FALTERING OVER THE ISSUE OF DISARMING NATIONALIST PARAMIITARIES. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN TAKES A LOOK AT WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED AND WHAT STILL NEEDS TO BE DONE.

    TEXT: WHEN THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED LAST APRIL, U-S MEDIATOR GEORGE MITCHELL OUTLINED THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MARATHON NEGOTIATIONS, INCLUDING THE RIGHT OF SELF-DETERMINATION.

    /// MITCHELL ACT //

    THE AGREEMENT CREATES NEW INSTITUTIONS, THE NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY, TO RESTORE TO THE PEOPLE THE FUNDAMENTAL DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO GOVERN THEMSELVES AND A NORTH SOUTH COUNCIL TO ENCOURAGE COOPERATION AND JOINT ACTION FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT. THE AGREEMENT DEALS FAIRLY WITH SUCH SENSITIVE ISSUES AS PRISONERS, POLICING AND DECOMISSIONING.

    /// END ACT //

    IT WAS A MOMENT OF EUPHORIA WHEN IRISH REPUBLICANS AND UNIONISTS SAT TOGETHER AND HAMMERED OUT A POLITICAL FRAMEWORK FOR THEIR MUTUAL FUTURE.

    CATHOLIC LEADER JOHN HUME SUMMONED UP THAT OPTIMISM AGAIN LATER IN THE YEAR WHEN HE ACCEPTED THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE THAT HE AND PROTESTANT LEADER DAVID TRIMBLE HAD WON FOR THEIR PEACE EFFORTS..

    /// HUME ACT ///

    TWO MAJOR POLITICAL TRADITIONS SHARE THE ISLAND OF IRELAND. WE ARE DESTINED BY HISTORY TO LIVE SIDE BY SIDE. IRELAND, AFTER THE HARDSHIP AND PAIN OF MANY YEARS, A TRUE AND ENDURING SYMBOL OF PEACE.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT MR HUME AND MR TRIMBLE BOTH ACKNOWLEDGED IN ACCEPTING THEIR NOBEL GOLD MEDALS THAT THEIR PEACE IS NOT YET COMPLETE.

    THE VIOLENCE DID NOT STOP AFTER THE APRIL AGREEMENT. SEVERAL INCIDENTS CAST A SHADOW OVER THE PEACE PROCESS, NONE AS MUCH AS THE CAR BOMBING LAST AUGUST IN THE NORTHERN IRELAND TOWN OF OMAGH. THE TERRORIST ATTACK CLAIMED 29 VICTIMS AND FUELED FEARS THAT THE PEACE PROCESS WOULD DIE AS WELL.

    POLITICIANS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS DIVIDE CALLED FOR CALM. BUT PROGRESS STALLED OVER THE ISSUE OF DISARMING REPUBLICAN PARAMILITARIES.

    NORTHERN IRELAND'S PROTESTANT FIRST MINISTER DAVID TRIMBLE INSISTED THE DECOMMISSIONING HAD TO START BEFORE SINN FEIN, THE POLITICAL WING OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY COULD JOIN THE NEW CABINET. SINN FEIN ARGUED THAT THERE ARE NO PRECONDITIONS IN THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT.

    THE DEADLINE FOR SETTING UP THE NEW ASSEMBLY SLIPPED AS THE DISPUTE SIMMERED.

    A FRUSTRATED BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR CALLED FOR FLEXIBILITY AND COMPROMISE DURING AN HISTORIC SPEECH TO THE IRISH PARLIAMENT IN NOVEMBER.

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    I AM NOT ASKING ANYONE TO SURRENDER. I AM ASKING EVERYONE TO DECLARE THE VICTORY OF PEACE. IN BELFAST AND DUBLIN, PEOPLE SAY THE SAME THING -- MAKE THE AGREEMENT WORK.

    /// END ACT ///

    BY THE END OF THE YEAR HOWEVER, IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FRAGILE AGREEMENT WAS FALTERING.

    PROTESTANT FIRST MINISTER DAVID TRIMBLE USED HIS NOBEL PRIZE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH IN DECEMBER TO DEMAND THAT IRISH NATIONALISTS START DISARMING IMMEDIATELY.

    /// TRIMBLE ACT ///

    ALL I'VE ASKED FOR IS THAT THEY SAY THE SO-CALLED WAR IS OVER AND THAT WILL BE PROVED BY SUCH A BEGINNING. THAT IS NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY REACTED TO THE TOUGH SPEECH BY NAMING A HARDLINER TO ITS TOP POST. THE I-R-A'S POLITICAL WING SINN FEIN HAS REFUSED TO BUDGE FROM ITS POSITION THAT DECOMMISSIONING IS NOT A PRECONDITION FOR POLITICAL PARTICIPATION.

    AND THE BRITISH AND IRISH PRIME MINISTERS ARE STILL SEEKING A SOLUTION THAT ALLOWS BOTH SIDES TO SAVE FACE BUT STILL MAKES THE NECESSARY CONFIDENCE BUILDING GESTURES TO MOVE THE PEACE PROCESS FORWARD. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK
    14-Dec-98 9:20 AM EST (1420 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/14/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242976
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN SHARPLY TODAY (MONDAY) ON A COMBINATION OF CONCERNS ABOUT PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT AND CORPORATE EARNINGS FEARS. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 86-HUNDRED-95, DOWN 126 POINTS OR ONE-AND-ONE-HALF PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 11-HUNDRED-41, DOWN 25 POINTS.

    THE STOCKS OF BANKS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES WERE WEAK, BUT SELLING WAS STRONGEST IN THE HIGH-TECHNOLOGY SECTOR. THE NASDAQ INDEX, WHICH IS HEAVILY WEIGHTED WITH TECHNOLOGY STOCKS, LOST THREE PERCENT OF ITS VALUE.

    SOME ANALYSTS SAY THE POSSIBLE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT CLINTON CAUSED NERVOUSNESS AMONG TRADERS. BUT OTHERS, // OPT // SUCH AS HUGH JOHNSON OF THE FIRST ALBANY INVESTMENT COMPANY, // END OPT

    // SAY RECENT EARNINGS WARNINGS FROM SOME MAJOR U-S CORPORATIONS ARE THE REAL PROBLEM.

    /// OPT JOHNSON ACT ///

    OBVIOUSLY THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF SURPRISES. MERCK, JOHNSON AND JOHNSON, PROCTER AND GAMBLE, COCA-COLA. COMPANIES THAT ORDINARILY ARE VERY DEPENDABLE ON HITTING THEIR EARNINGS ESTIMATES ARE NOW TELLING US THAT THEY WILL BE LOWER THAN EXPECTED.

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

    DESPITE WORRIES OVER FUTURE PROFITS, THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS AMERICAN MANUFACTURING COMPANIES EARNED SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER PROFITS IN THE THIRD QUARTER, EVEN WITH A SLOWING OF U-S EXPORTS TO ASIA.

    /// REST OPT ///

    A HUGE TAKEOVER IN THE U-S ELECTRIC POWER INDUSTRY WAS ANNOUNCED. THE NATIONAL GRID COMPANY OF BRITAIN WILL PAY FOUR-POINT-SIX-BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE NEW ENGLAND ELECTRIC SYSTEM WHICH SERVES THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. NATIONAL GRID BECOMES THE SECOND BRITISH UTILITY TO ENTER THE U-S ELECTRIC POWER MARKET. LAST WEEK, SCOTTISH POWER AGREED TO BUY PACIFICORP WHICH SERVES THE WESTERN UNITED STATES.

    THE MATTEL TOY COMPANY WILL PAY THREE-POINT-TWO-BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE LEARNING COMPANY, A MAKER OF EDUCATIONAL COMPUTER SOFTWARE. MATTEL SAYS THE DEAL WILL SPEED UP ITS DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE BUSINESS.

    THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL OIL COMPANY SAYS IT WILL TAKE A FOUR-AND-ONE-HALF-BILLION DOLLAR CHARGE FOR A RESTRUCTURING PROGRAM. HOWEVER, THE ANGLO-DUTCH COMPANY SAYS THERE IS NO TRUTH TO RECENT RUMORS THAT IT PLANS TO BUY THE CHEVRON OIL COMPANY OF THE UNITED STATES. RITE-AID, A LEADING U-S DRUG STORE CHAIN, SAYS ITS PROFITS ROSE BY ALMOST 30-PERCENT IN THE LATEST QUARTER. THE COMPANY SAYS THE EARNINGS INCREASE WAS LARGELY FUELED BY DEMAND FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, ESPECIALLY VIAGRA, THE EXPENSIVE ANTI-IMPOTENCE MEDICINE.

    CYNTHIA TRUDELL WILL BECOME THE HIGHEST RANKING WOMAN IN THE AMERICAN AUTO INDUSTRY WHEN SHE TAKES OVER IN JANUARY AS CHAIRWOMAN OF SATURN CORPORATION, A SUBSIDIARY OF GENERAL MOTORS. MS. TRUDELL IS CURRENTLY PRESIDENT OF A G-M SUBSIDIARY IN BRITAIN. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/WTW
    14-Dec-98 5:40 PM EST (2240 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/14/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11051
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

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

    ////

    INTRO: A NEW ROUND OF EDITORIALS IN U-S DAILY NEWSPAPERS IS ASKING PRESIDENT CLINTON TO RESIGN, NOW THAT THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HAS VOTED OUT FOUR ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.

    OTHER SUBJECTS INCLUDE: THE SITUATION IN SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE; THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION DECISION ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE ILLEGALITIES; AND SOME THOUGHTS ON HANUKKAH. NOW, HERE IS _____________ WITH SOME EXCERPTS AND A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THE FULL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL VOTE LATER IN THE WEEK ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, AND NO ONE IN WASHINGTON IS NOW SURE HOW THAT VOTE WILL TURN OUT. HOWEVER SEVERAL NEWSPAPERS ARE AGAIN ASKING PRESIDENT CLINTON TO SPARE THE NATION FURTHER AGONY OVER THIS ISSUE, AND RESIGN. ONE OF THEM IS "USA TODAY" THE NATIONAL DAILY WITH THE LARGEST CIRCULATION OF ANY GENERAL DAILY PAPER.

    VOICE: A BELEAGUERED PRESIDENT CLINTON, QUESTIONED BY REPORTERS IN JERUSALEM SUNDAY, SAID AGAIN WHAT HE HAS SAID FOR MONTHS: THAT HE WILL NOT RESIGN -- THAT IN FACT THE THOUGHT HAD NOT EVEN CROSSED HIS MIND. BUT HE SHOULD. RESIGNATION IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE END TO THIS EPISODE. NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE PRESIDENT'S ORIGINAL LIES, STONEWALLING, AND FAILURE TO LIVE BY LAWS HE IS SWORN TO UPHOLD, BUT BECAUSE THAT ABUSE CONTINUES TO THIS DAY. /// OPT /// DAY AFTER DAY, THE PRESIDENT AND HIS SPOKESMEN DENY THAT A LIE IS A LIE AND CAST THOSE WHO QUESTION THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS AS PARTISANS BENT ON A VENDETTA. .... THE ONLY WAY TO SPARE THE NATION THE TRAUMA THE WHITE HOUSE PREDICTS IS FOR THE PRESIDENT TO RESIGN. ..... IT IS AN OPTION THAT EVEN RICHARD NIXON ACCEPTED AT THE END. UNFORTUNATELY, IT IS ALSO ONE THAT WOULD REQUIRE THE PRESIDENT TO PUT THE NATION'S INTERESTS AHEAD OF HIS OWN. AND THAT IS A CONCEPT THIS PRESIDENT SEEMS UNABLE TO GRASP. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" CONCURS, MAKING A HISTORICAL ANALOGY.

    VOICE: IT WAS AT ABOUT THIS POINT IN THE WATERGATE AFFAIR THAT RICHARD NIXON MADE A SWEATY FAREWELL TO HIS WHITE HOUSE STAFF AND BOARDED THE HELICOQTER, RESIGNED, IF YOU WILL, TO HIS DISGRACE. PRESIDENT CLINTON, BY CONTRAST, HAS NOT RESIGNED. THOUGH THOSE WHO PARSE MR. CLINTON'S WORDS CAREFULLY -- AND EVERYONE SHOULD, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS -- WILL NOTE THAT HE DOES SEEM TO BE SOFTENING HIS RESISTANCE TO THE CONCEPT. /// OPT /// ASKED MONTHS AGO WHETHER HE WOULD RESIGN, THE PRESIDENT PUT ON HIS MOST STEELY AND RESOLUTE VISAGE: 'NEVER,' MR. CLINTON SAID ... BUT WHEN THE SAME QUESTION WAS ASKED OF HIM THIS WEEKEND IN JERUSALEM, IT ELICITED ONLY A STERN AND UNEQUIVOCAL 'NO.' COULD THE PRESIDENT BE SIGNALING .... THAT HE MAY YET AT SOME POINT HAVE TO PACK UP AND GO HOME? /// END OPT /// ... ALL IT WOULD TAKE IS TWO MAGIC WORDS: 'I RESIGN.' OF COURSE, THAT WOULD MEAN PLACING THE INTERESTS OF THE COUNTRY BEFORE HIS OWN -- WHICH IS NOT WHAT WE HAVE COME TO EXPECT FROM BILL CLINTON.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: FOR ITS PART, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" IS SORRY THAT MR. CLINTON HAS STILL NOT BEEN ABLE TO BRING HIMSELF TO UTTER "THOSE MISSING MAGIC WORDS" AS THE PAPER PUTS IT.

    VOICE: THE QUESTION IS WHETHER MR. CLINTON WILL HAVE THE STRENGTH AND WISDOM TO DELIVER IT IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTES TO IMPEACH HIM. THE 20 OR SO REPUBLICAN MODERATES WHO WILL DECIDE THAT VOTE WANT TO HEAR THE PRESIDENT SAY THAT HE LIED UNDER OATH, IN THOSE WORDS. .... BY REFUSING TO BARGAIN WITH THE HOUSE, MR. CLINTON SEEMS TO BE BETTING .... THE SENATE WILL NOT REMOVE HIM. .... WHATEVER HAPPENS IN CONGRESS, MR. CLINTON'S DEFIANCE AND HIS WILLINGNESS TO GAMBLE ON A SENATE SHOWDOWN LOOK A LOT LIKE THE BEHAVIOR THAT GOT HIM INTO THIS MESS ... IRRESPONSIBLE, SELF-DESTRUCTIVE AND DANGEROUSLY OUT OF PLACE IN THE OVAL OFFICE.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TURNING TO INTERNATIONAL TOPICS, "THE WASHINGTON POST" IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION IN YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE.

    VOICE: FOR SOME OF THE SELF-CONGRATULATIONS CIRCULATING AMONG U-S AND EUROPEAN OFFICIALS, YOU MIGHT ASSUME ... THE PEACE DEAL THEY BROKERED IN KOSOVO IS WORKING OUT. UNFORTUNATELY, THAT'S NOT THE CASE. IT WAS A WEAK DEAL TO BEGIN WITH, AND NOW SERB STRONGMAN SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC IS FLOUTING IT. .... HE PROMISED A GENERAL AMNESTY FOR ETHNIC ALBANIANS ....BUT ... MANY STILL ARE BEING TORTURED AND SENTENCED TO PRISON ON THE BASIS OF LITTLE OR NO EVIDENCE. AS MANY AS 15-HUNDRED ARE IN DETENTION, AND THEY AREN'T JUST PRISONERS FROM THE SUMMER'S FIGHTING; SERB POLICE ARREST AND KIDNAP CIVILIANS EVEN NOW. ..... MR. MILOSEVIC'S SCORN FOR PROMISES SHOULD SERVE AS A WARNING ABOUT THE VALUE OF ANY PACT HE MAKES. WITHOUT NATO GROUND FORCES IN KOSOVO OR DEMOCRATIZATION IN SERBIA, PEACE IN KOSOVO REMAINS UNLIKELY.

    TEXT: IN THE MIDDLE EAST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" WATCHES THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAN WITH APPREHENSION.

    VOICE: POLITICAL MURDER HAS RETURNED TO IRAN WITH LIBERAL INTELLECTUALS THE TARGET AND CONSERVATIVE RELIGIOUS FORCES A POSSIBLE SPONSOR. SEVERAL PROMINENT CRITICS OF CLERICAL REPRESSION HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THE LAST MONTH. ... LAST MONTH A BUS CARRYING AMERICAN BUSINESSMEN WAS ATTACKED BY A GROUP THAT OPPOSES [IRANIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMMAD] KHATAMI'S POLICY OF ENCOURAGING PRIVATE TIES BETWEEN IRAN AND THE UNITED STATES. ..... IN THE FACE OF CLERICAL RESISTANCE AND IRAN'S GROWING ECONOMIC PROBLEMS, IT IS STILL NOT CLEAR IF MR. KHATAMI'S MODERATE DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICIES WILL PREVAIL.

    TEXT: AS FOR THE PRESIDENT'S TRIP TO PALESTINIAN-CONTROLLED GAZA, "THE NEW YORK POST" IS SKEPTICAL OF THE PLANNED PALESTINIAN RENUNCIATION OF ITS OFFICIAL DEATH THREAT AGAINST THE STATE OF ISRAEL.

    VOICE: PRESIDENT CLINTON TODAY JOURNEYS TO GAZA, WHERE HE WILL PRESIDE OVER WHAT IS MEANT TO BE THE FINAL P-L-O NULLIFICATION OF THOSE CLAUSES IN ITS 1964 'COVENANT' THAT CALL FOR ISRAEL'S DESTRUCTION. BUT YASSER ARAFAT REFUSES TO FOLLOW THE PRESCRIBED PROCEDURE THAT THE CHARTER ITSELF LAYS OUT FOR NULLIFICATION: A TWO-THIRDS VOTE BY THE PALESTINE NATIONAL COUNCIL. /// OPT /// INSTEAD, AN INVITED GROUP OF PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS -- INCLUDING, IF HE SHOWS UP, SUCH 'DIGNITARIES' AS ACHILLE LAURO MURDERER MAHMOUD ABBAS -- WILL 'STAND UP AND CLAP' WHEN [MR.] ARAFAT 'REAFFIRMS' THAT THE CLAUSES HAVE BEEN REVOKED. /// END OPT /// 'THIS IS NOT A P-N-C MEETING, AND A QUORUM IS NOT NEEDED, NOR WILL THERE BE A VOTE,' A TOP P-L-O OFFICIAL SAID YESTERDAY.

    TEXT: BACK HOME, "THE WASHINGTON POST" IS FURIOUS THAT THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION DISREGARDED ITS OWN STAFF'S REPORT THAT BOTH PARTIES HAD CONDUCTED ILLEGAL FUND RAISING, AND VOTED NOT TO ASK EACH PARTY TO PAY BACK MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

    VOICE: THE INEFFECTUAL AGENCY CHARGED WITH ENFORCING THE FEDERAL ELECTION LAWS HAS COMPLETED THE PROCESS OF VITIATING THEM. THE SIX MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION HAVE BLESSED AS LEGAL THE PRINCIPAL DEVICE THAT BOTH PARTIES USED TO RAISE FUNDS -- AND EVADE THE LAW -- IN THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.

    /// OPT ///

    ... THIS OPENS THE DOOR TO A FLOOD OF FUNDS IN THE NEXT CAMPAIGN THAT WILL MAKE THE FLAGRANT PRACTICES OF THE LAST CAMPAIGN LOOK PRIM. /// END OPT
    ///

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, FROM MAINE, "PORTLAND'S PRESS HERALD" ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE JEWISH FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND FAITH, HANUKKAH, WHICH BEGAN SUNDAY AT SUNDOWN.]

    VOICE: HANUKKAH ... IS AN ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF A SUCCESSFUL JEWISH REVOLT AGAINST A SYRIAN EMPIRE RULED BY /// OPT

    /// THE SELEUCID DYNASTY OF /// END OPT ///

    GREEK KINGS ABOUT 22-HUNDRED YEARS AGO. THE PAGAN RULERS ATTEMPTED TO DESTROY JEWISH WORSHIP BY FORCING JEWS TO JOIN THEIR RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL PRACTICES. ... A REVOLT LED BY A FATHER AND SON, MATTATHIAS AND JUDAH MACCABEE, CONQUERED THE SYRIANS AND RESTORED WORSHIP AT THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM. /// OPT /// .... WHEN THE JEWISH VICTORS ENTERED THE TEMPLE, WHICH HAD BEEN DEFILED ..... THEY LIT A CEREMONIAL LAMP. THERE WAS ONLY ENOUGH OIL FOR IT TO BURN FOR ONE DAY. HOWEVER, IT MIRACULOUSLY BURNED FOR EIGHT DAYS, UNTIL MORE OIL COULD BE FOUND. THUS

    /// END OPT ///

    HANUKKAH COMMEMORATES THE POWER OF GOD TO LIBERATE HIS PEOPLE, AND THE STRENGTH OF PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR TRUTH AND FREEDOM.

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENTS FROM SOME OF TODAY'S U-S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    14-Dec-98 10:54 AM EST (1554 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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