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Voice of America, 98-12-23

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] YUGO WAR CRIMES (L ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)
  • [02] TURKEY POL (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [03] BELGIUM CORRUPTION VERDICT (L ONLY) BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [05] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] YUGO WAR CRIMES (L ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=12/23/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243455
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PROSECUTORS AT THE YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL HAVE ISSUED THEIR FIRST PUBLIC INDICTMENT IN TWO YEARS. THE TWO MEN THEY ARE SEEKING BOTH WERE COMMANDERS OF A BOSNIAN-CROAT SPECIAL UNIT -- KNOWN AS THE CONVICTS' BATALLION. LAUREN COMITEAU AT THE HAGUE REPORTS THE UNIT IS CHARGED WITH ETHNICALLY-CLEANSING THE SOUTHERN BOSNIAN CITY OF MOSTAR AND SURROUNDIOG TOWNS OF ITS MUSLIMS. UEXT: MMADEN NALETILIC -- ALSO KNOWN AS!TUTA --!AND VINKO MARTINOVIC -- OR STELA -- ARE CHARGED WITH PERSECUTION, TORTURE, AND MURDER.

    TRIBUNAL PROSECUTORS SAY THAT AS FOUNDER OF THE CONVICTS' BATTALION, TUTA AND HIS SUB-COMMANDER STELA DID THE DIRTY WORK FOR THE BOSNIAN-CROAT AND CROATIAN ARMY IN THE MOSTAR AREA. THAT INCLUDED COMBAT MISSIONS, EXPULSIONS, AND ATTACKS AGAINST BOSNIAN MUSLIMS, BEGINNING IN 1993.

    TUTA HAS BEEN ACCUSED BY DIPLOMATS AND AID WORKERS OF HEADING A RUTHLESS CROAT NATIONALIST MAFIA CARTEL IN WAR-TIME MOSTAR, A CITY STILL DIVIDED INTO MUSLIM AND CROAT SECTIONS.

    BUT IN THE INDICTMENT MADE PUBLIC WEDNESDAY, PROSECUTORS CHARGED THE TWO MEN SPECIFICALLY FOR THEIR ROLES AS LEADERS IN AN ETHNIC CLEANSING CAMPAIGN THAT INCLUDED KILLINGS AND MASS EXPULSIONS.

    PROSECUTORS SAY THAT AFTER A MILITARY OFFENSIVE AGAINST MUSLIMS IN MOSTAR, TUTA'S CONVICTS' BATTALION WAS, IN PART, RESPONSIBLE FOR PREVENTING HUMANITARIAN AID FROM GETTING THROUGH TO SURVIVORS AND FOR DESTROYING MUSLIM PROPERTY.

    AS A RESULT OF THE ETHNIC CLEANSING CAMPAIGN, PROSECUTORS SAY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MUSLIMS LEFT THE REGION, LEAVING BEHIND AN ETHNICALLY-HOMOGENEOUS SOCIETY OF CROATS. THE 52-YEAR-OLD TUTA -- WHO IS A CROATIAN CITIZEN -- IS SAID TO BE IN A ZAGREB JAIL ON MURDER-RELATED CHARGES THAT ARE NOT CONNECTED TO HIS ALLEGED CRIMES AGAINST MUSLIMS IN MOSTAR. STELA ALSO IS SAID TO BE INVOLVED IN HIS OWN CROATIAN COURT PROCEEDINGS.

    CROATIAN AUTHORITIES ARE OBLIGED TO HAND OVER THE MEN TO THE TRIBUNAL. BUT IT IS NOT CLEAR IF THE TRIBUNAL IS SEEKING CROATIA'S HELP IN GETTING THEM TO THE HAGUE.

    RELATIONS BETWEEN CROATIA AND THE TRIBUNAL HAVE BEEN STRAINED, RECENTLY, WITH THE RULING CROATIAN H-D-Z PARTY SAYING IT WILL REEVALUATE ITS COOPERATION WITH THE TRIBUNAL. BUT THERE IS SPECULATION IN THE HAGUE THAT THESE LATEST WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS COULD BE HERE SOON. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LC/JWH
    23-Dec-98 12:40 PM EST (1740 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] TURKEY POL (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=12/23/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243453
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKISH PRESIDENT SULEYMAN DEMIREL HAS ASKED INDEPENDENT LAWMAKER YALIM EREZ TO TRY TO FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT. AMBERIN ZAMAN IN ANKARA REPORTS THAT MR. EREZ -- THE INDUSTRY AND TRADE MINISTER IN THE OUTGOING GOVERNMENT OF CONSERVATIVE PRIME MINISTER MESUT YILMAZ -- HAS THE BACKING OF LABOR UNIONS AND BUSINESS CIRCLES.

    TEXT: MR. EREZ IS EXPECTED TO FORM A BROAD-BASED COALITION WHICH SHOULD LEAD THE COUNTRY UNTIL GENERAL ELECTIONS SCHEDULED TO BE HELD NEXT APRIL. IT REMAINS UNCLEAR, HOWEVER, IF HE CAN GAIN ENOUGH SUPPORT TO WIN A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT. THE VOTE PROBABLY WILL BE HELD NEXT WEEK.

    MR. DEMIREL TURNED TO MR. EREZ AFTER VETERAN LEFT-WING POLITICIAN BULENT ECEVIT FAILED IN HIS ATTEMPTS TO PUT TOGETHER A COALITION FROM TURKEY'S FRACTIOUS PARLIAMENT.

    TURKEY'S PRO-SECULAR COALITION GOVERNMENT LED BY MESUT YILMAZ COLLAPSED LAST MONTH FOLLOWING A NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE IN THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT AMID ALLEGATIONS HE HAD USED HIS INFLUENCE TO ENRICH A TURKISH INDUSTRIALIST.

    MR. EREZ IS A FORMER MEMBER OF TANSU CILLER'S TRUE PATH PARTY AND HE PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN PUSHING FORWARD HER POLITICAL CAREER WHICH RESULTED IN MRS. CILLER BECOMING TURKEY'S FIRST WOMAN PRIME MINISTER IN 1993. BUT MR. EREZ FELL OUT WITH MRS. CILLER AFTER SHE JOINED FORCES WITH THE ISLAMISTS IN A COALITION THAT WAS FORCED TO STEP DOWN LAST YEAR UNDER PRESSURE FROM TURKEY'S MILITANTLY PRO-SECULAR ARMED FORCES.

    THE MILITARY'S CONTINUED OPPOSITION TO THE ISLAMISTS -- WHO HOLD THE GREATEST NUMBER OF SEATS IN THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT -- HAS STOOD IN THE WAY OF THEIR BEING ASKED TO FORM THE NEW GOVERNMENT.

    MR. EREZ ROSE TO PROMINENCE DURING HIS TENURE AS THE CHAIRMAN OF TURKEY'S UNION OF CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY. HE WAS ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT IN 1995 AND HAS SINCE HELD INFLUENTIAL POSTS IN SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/JWH
    23-Dec-98 10:59 AM EST (1559 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] BELGIUM CORRUPTION VERDICT (L ONLY) BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/23/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243450
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BELGIUM'S HIGHEST COURT HAS FOUND FORMER NATO SECRETARY GENERAL WILLY CLAES GUILTY OF CORRUPTION CHARGES AND HAS GIVEN HIM A THREE-YEAR SUSPENDED JAIL SENTENCE. JOHN FRASER IN BRUSSELS REPORTS CLAES WAS AMONG A NUMBER OF SENIOR BELGIAN POLITICIANS AND OFFICIALS WHO WERE CONVICTED IN WHAT HAS BEEN DUBBED BELGIUM'S TRIAL OF THE CENTURY.

    TEXT: THE CHARGES DATE BACK TO THE LATE 1980'S WHEN BELGIUM'S DUTCH AND FRENCH SPEAKING SOCIALIST PARTIES WERE PAID BRIBES IN RETURN FOR AWARDING TWO DEFEOSE CONTSACTS, EACH OF WHICH WAS WORTH HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

    BOTH SOCIALIST PARTIES WERE MEMBERS OF THE COUNTRY'S COALITION GOVERNMENT.

    A BRIBE OF ONE-PONIT-FOUR-MILLION DOLLARS WAS GIVEN FOR A CONTRACT FOR 46 HELICOPTERS FROM THE ITALIAN AGUSTA FIRM.

    THERE ALSO WAS ALSO A ONE-POINT-SIX-MILLION DOLLAR BRIBE TO SECURE AN ORDER FOR AN ANTI-RADAR SYSTEM FOR BELGIUM'S F16 JET FIGHTER-BOMBERS FROM THE FRENCH FIRM DASSAULT.

    AT THE TIME, CLAES WAS ECONOMICS MINISTER, AND HE PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN APPROVING BOTH OF THE CONTRACTS.

    CLAES ALWAYS DENIED THE CHARGES, BUT HE WAS FORCED TO RESIGN FROM HIS TOP NATO JOB IN OCTOBER OF 1995 WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR THAT HE FACED PROSECUTION.

    OTHER POLITICIANS CONVICTED INCLUDE THE FORMER HEAD OF BELGIUM'S FRENCH-SPEAKING SOCIALIST PARTY GUY SPITAELS, WHO WENT ON TO BECOME PRESIDENU OF THE!FRENCH REGION OF BELGIUM.

    AND THERE WAS A GUILTY VERDICT FOR FORMER BELGIAN DEFENSE MINISTER GUY COEME, WHO WENT ON TO BECOME DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER UNTIL HE TOO WAS FORCED TO RESIGN FROM POLITICAL LIFE.

    COEME HAS ALREADY BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF A SEPARATE CORRUPTION CHARGE INVOLVING THE COMMISSIONING OF BOGUS OPINION POLLS, WHICH WERE FUNDED BY THE BELGIAN GOVERNMENT.

    FRENCH BUSINESSMAN SERGE DASSAULT, WHO PAID ONE OF THE BRIBES TO THE BELGIAN POLITICIANS WAS ALSO CONVICTED. SPITAELS, COEME, AND DASSAULT EACH RECEIVED A TWO-YEAR SUSPENDED JAIL SENTENCE.

    THERE ALSO WERE SUSPENDED SENTENCES OF UP TO TWO YEARS FOR EIGHT OTHER BELGIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO WERE FOUND GUILTY IN THE SAME TRIAL, WHICH BEGAN IN SEPTEMBER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JF/JWH
    23-Dec-98 10:47 AM EST (1547 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/23/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243464
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP SHARPLY TODAY (WEDNESDAY) WITH TWO MAJOR AVERAGES CLOSING AT RECORD HIGHS. VOA CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 92 HUNDRED TWO, UP 157 POINTS OR MORE THAN ONE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH 12 HUNDRED 28, UP 25 POINTS. THE NASDAQ INDEX ALSO CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH.

    AS THE RALLY ENTERED ITS FIFTH STRAIGHT SESSION, ANALYSTS SAY TRADERS ARE ANTICIPATING A STRONG STOCK MARKET NEXT YEAR.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    "PANIC BUYING" MAY BE TOO STRONG A TERM TO DESCRIBE THE ATMOSPHERE ON THE FLOOR OF THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE. BUT ART CASHIN OF THE PAINE WEBBER INVESTMENT FIRM SAYS "ANXIOUS BUYING" MAY BE AN ACCURATE DESCRIPTION.

    ///OPT///CASHIN ACT///

    THIS IS THE CASE OF SIDELINE MONEY LOOKING FOR A CHANCE TO GO SOMEWHERE. THE YEAR END IS APPROACHING AND I BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE JUST GETTING ANXIOUS THAT THE MARKET IS GOING TO TAKE OFF WITHOUT THEM EVEN BEFORE JANUARY COMES.

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

    THE GOVERNMENT REVISED DOWNWARD THE RATE OF U-S ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE THIRD QUARTER TO A THREE POINT SEVEN PERCENT ANNUAL RATE. THIS IS SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE OF THREE POINT NINE PERCENT. MANY ECONOMISTS SAY THEY EXPECT THE ECONOMY IS EXPANDING AT ABOUT A THREE PERCENT RATE IN THE CURRENT FOURTH QUARTER.

    ///REST OPT///

    ORDERS FOR DURABLE GOODS -- PRODUCTS EXPECTED TO LAST THREE YEARS OR LONGER -- REBOUNDED IN THE UNITED STATES LAST MONTH. THOSE ORDERS ROSE BY ONE PERCENT AFTER A TWO PERCENT DECLINE IN OCTOBER.

    THE STOCK OF THE AMERICA ONLINE COMPANY HIT A RECORD HIGH AFTER THE COMPUTER SERVICES FIRM WAS ADDED TO THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX. MANY INVESTMENT MANAGERS ARE REQUIRED TO BUY ALL STOCKS IN THAT INDEX AND THE ADDITION OF A COMPANY USUALLY CAUSES A RISE IN ITS STOCK PRICE.

    THE STOCK OF THE LOCKHEED MARTIN AEROSPACE AND DEFENSE COMPANY LOST ALMOST 10 PERCENT AFTER THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED ITS QUARTERLY EARNINGS WILL FALL BELOW EXPECTATIONS.

    THE ENTHUSIASM -- SOME WOULD SAY MANIA -- ABOUT INTERNET-RELATED STOCKS CONTINUES. THE STOCK OF THE ZAPATA CORPORATION, A FISH OIL COMPANY, ROSE MORE THAN 30 PERCENT AFTER THE COMPANY SAID IT WILL TRY TO GET INVOLVED IN THE INTERNET. THE STOCK ROSE DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR EXACTLY HOW ZAPATA WILL BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE INTERNET.

    GENERAL MOTORS HAS HIRED AN EXPERT ON THE HISTORY OF NAZI GERMANY TO FULLY RESEARCH G-M'S ROLE IN GERMANY PRIOR TO WORLD WAR TWO. HENRY TURNER, AN HISTORIAN AT YALE UNIVERSITY, WILL INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS THAT G-M'S GERMAN SUBSIDIARY PROVIDED ASSISTANCE TO THE NAZI REGIME.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    23-Dec-98 5:05 PM EST (2205 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/23/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAM DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11066
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

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

    ////

    INTRO: AS THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY APPROACHES, THE EDITORIAL COLUMNS CONTINUE TO DISCUSS PRESIDENT CLINTON'S FUTURE AS REGARDS HIS IMPEACHMENT AND HOW THE SENATE WILL DEAL WITH IT.

    OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE:THE ATTACK ON IRAQ; THE OLYMPIC BRIBERY SCANDAL; CHINESE MOVES AGAINST DEMOCRACY; AND THE OCTUPLETS BORN TO A NIGERIAN-AMERICAN WOMAN IN HOUSTON. NOW, HERE IS _________________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME EXCERPTS IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: IN ITS EDITORIAL HEADLINE, TODAY'S "ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" SAYS OF THE PENDING IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE: "TAKE CENSURE AND RUN."

    VOICE: THE APPALLING PROSPECT OF A TRIAL IN THE SENATE LASTING WELL INTO NEXT SUMMER - - A TRIAL THAT WOULD CONSUME THE ATTENTION OF THE LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAL BRANCHES OF THE GOVERNMENT - - HAS FOCUSED ATTENTION ON RESOLVING THE IMPEACHMENT CASE AGAINST PRESIDENT CLINTON THROUGH CENSURE INSTEAD. ... THE FOUNDATION OF ANY CENSURE SETTLEMENT WOULD BE A PUBLIC ADMISSION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT HE LIED UNDER OATH AND TO THE COUNTRY ABOUT HIS INVOLVEMENT WITH MONICA LEWINSKY. WITHOUT THAT ADMISSION BY [MR.] CLINTON, CENSURE WOULD INDEED BE THE MEANINGLESS PUNISHMENT ITS OPPONENTS HAVE CLAIMED. UNFORTUNATELY, THE INCREASINGLY SERIOUS TALK OF CENSURE MAY HAVE EMBOLDENED THE PRESIDENT TO OVERPLAY HIS HAND.

    TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON TIMES," HOWEVER, FEELS CENSURE IS NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH PUNISHMENT.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// ... WHAT IS CENSURE SUPPOSED TO ACCOMPLISH? CLOSURE? CERTAINLY IMPEACHMENT WOULD PROVIDE A MORE DEFINITIVE CLOSURE THAN WOULD CENSURE. FOR EXAMPLE, MR. CLINTON WOULD BE KICKED OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE, AND THE DOOR WOULD SLAM SHUT BEHIND HIM. NOW THAT'S CLOSURE.

    /// END OPT ///

    CENSURE MIGHT END THE CONGRESSIONAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE PRESIDENT, BUT IT WOULD HARDLY PUT THE SORDID SAGA TO AN END. EVERY DAY THAT MR. CLINTON REMAINS IN OFFICE IS A DAY THAT THE GHOST OF MONICA (LEWINSKY) HAUNTS THE OVAL OFFICE. ... EVERY TIME MR. CLINTON IS PUBLICLY CHASTISED .... HIS APPROVAL RATINGS GO UP. ...CENSURE WILL IMPROVE, NOT DEGRADE, THE PUBLIC'S OPINION OF THE PRESIDENT. SOME PUNISHMENT.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE NEW YORK TIMES," WHICH FEELS THE SENATE IS EDGING TOWARD CENSURE, AGREES WITH THAT POSSIBLE DECISION, AS LONG AS:

    VOICE: THE LAWYERS AND POLITICAL ADVISERS WHO HAVE SO POORLY SERVED MR. CLINTON MUST GIVE UP THE SELF-DEFEATING IDEA THAT THEY CAN WIN THIS CASE THROUGH PARLIAMENTARY MANEUVERING AND LEGAL PETTIFOGGERY. .... MOST IMPORTANTLY, MR. CLINTON MUST DISCARD THE EMPTY ASSERTION THAT HE DID NOT LIE UNDER OATH BEFORE A FEDERAL GRAND JURY. ... THE POLITICAL DYNAMIC IN WASHINGTON IS MOVING TOWARD CENSURING MR. CLINTON. ...WITH SOME HELP FROM BILL CLINTON, IT COULD HAPPEN SOON.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE ATTACK ON IRAQ, "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND IS SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE RESULTS.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// 'OPERATION DESERT FOX WAS A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL OPERATION,' DECLARED DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN ON MONDAY, AND SO IT WAS AS A MILITARY OPERATION. .... BUT MASSIVE AIR POWER DOESN'T BY ITSELF MAKE A COHERENT AND SUCCESSFUL IRAQ POLICY. FAR FROM IT. /// END OPT /// ALTHOUGH WE MAY HAVE SET BACK IRAQ'S WEAPONS-MAKING CAPACITY BY ABOUT A YEAR, SADDAM STILL REMAINS IN POWER. INDEED, DESERT FOX MAY HAVE LEFT HIM IN A STRONGER POSITION. ... AS WE'VE SEEN SO OFTEN IN THE PAST WITH RESPECT TO SADDAM HUSSEIN AND IRAQ, BOMBING STATISTICS - - UNFORTUNATELY - - DON'T NECESSARILY TELL THE WHOLE STORY.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: IN BOSTON, "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" AGREES, EXCLAIMING THAT "NEW MEANS MUST BE FOUND TO OPPOSE IRAQ'S MILITARY EXPANSIONISM."

    VOICE: ... REGRETTABLY, THE ADVANTAGE OF HAVING PEOPLE ON THE GROUND WHO KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR HAS, FOR NOW, BEEN SACRIFICED TO THE NECESSITY OF SHOWING SADDAM THAT SNUBBING THE U-N MISSION CARRIES A PRICE. UNSCOM'S ABILITY TO COMPLETE ITS TASK WAS IN DOUBT IN ANY CASE, BECAUSE OF IRAQI INTRANSIGENCE. NOW POLICYMAKERS ..... HAVE TO MOVE ON TO WHAT PRESIDENT CLINTON .... CALLED 'A LONG-TERM STRATEGY TO CONTAIN IRAQ AND ITS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.'

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, THERE IS GROWING DEBATE ABOUT THE PROPRIETY OF USING FERTILITY DRUGS WHEN STAGGERING MEDICAL COSTS ARE OFTEN A RESULT OF MULTIPLE BIRTHS. /// OPT /// THE WORLD'S FIRST SURVIVING OCTUPLETS ARE CLINGING TO LIFE IN A HOSPITAL IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, WITH DOCTORS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THEIR SURVIVAL. HEALTH INSURANCE WILL PICK UP THE TWO-MILLION DOLLAR HOSPITAL BILL AND THE FAMILY HAS RECEIVED DONATIONS OF FOOD, DIAPERS, AND BABY FORMULA. THE MOTHER -- 27-YEAR OLD NIGERIAN-BORN NKEM CHUKWU -- TOOK FERTILITY DRUGS TO HELP HER CONCEIVE. SHE REFUSED TO ABORT ANY OF THE FETUSES ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS. /// END OPT /// IN NEBRASKA, "THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD" IS CRITICAL OF THE SOCIAL COSTS OF SUCH INCIDENTS, AND SUGGESTS A WIDE-RANGING GOVERNMENT DEBATE.

    VOICE: WHAT IS REGRETTABLE ... IS THAT WHILE SCIENCE HAS PROGRESSED ENOUGH TO HELP COUPLES LIKE THE CHUKWUS CONCEIVE AND BEAR CHILDREN, IT HAS NOT PROGRESSED FAR ENOUGH TO DO IT PROPERLY. /// OPT /// FERTILITY DRUGS TOO ROUTINELY RESULT IN MULTIPLE PREGNANCIES, AS THEY DID [LESS THAN A YEAR AGO] FOR [THE IOWA COUPLE, BOBBI AND KENNY] MCCAUGHEY AND CHUKWU. THE HEALTH CHALLENGES THE PREMATURE INFANTS FACE, THE DANGER TO THE MOTHER AND THE EXPENSES OF CARING FOR SO MANY TINY BABIES - - THE BILL FOR THE CHUKWU EIGHT IS EXPECTED TO TOP TWO MILLION DOLLARS BEFORE THEY LEAVE THE HOSPITAL - - RAISE RED FLAGS THAT DEMAND ATTENTION. /// END OPT ///

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "LOS ANGELES TIMES" IS ALSO CRITICAL OF UNRESTRAINED FERTILITY TREATMENTS.

    VOICE: THE RECENT BIRTH OF OCTUPLETS IN HOUSTON IS BEING CELEBRATED IN SOME QUARTERS, AS WAS THE BIRTH OF SEPTUPLETS LAST YEAR IN IOWA. ..... HOWEVER, BECAUSE INFERTILITY TREATMENTS GO ... UNREGULATED IN THE UNITED STATES, SAFE AND EFFECTIVE BOUNDARIES ARE OFTEN IGNORED. ..... THE HOUSTON BABIES WERE ABOUT TEN WEEKS PREMATURE, AND DOCTORS WERE GIVING THEM AN 85 PERCENT CHANGE OF SURVIVING. BECAUSE BABIES IN MULTIPLE BIRTHS TEND TO BE PREMATURE AND UNDERWEIGHT, THEY OFTEN DIE OR ARE AFFLICTED WITH SEVERE LIFELONG DISABILITIES. THE COSTS TO SOCIETY .... CAN BE SUBSTANTIAL, ESPECIALLY IN CASES LESS REMARKABLE THAN OCTUPLETS.

    /// END OPT ///

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: IN ANOTHER DOMESTIC STORY, THERE ARE REPORTS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF BRIBERY ON THE PART OF THE SALT LAKE CITY OLYMPIC ORGANIZERS TO WIN THE TWO-THOUSAND-TWO WINTER GAMES. "THE SUN" IN BALTIMORE WRITES:

    VOICE: NOW THAT THE SCANDAL IS IN THE OPEN, ONLY FULL AND PUBLIC INVESTIGATION AND RELEASE OF FINDINGS CAN CLEAR THE AIR AND RESTORE THE OLYMPICS' GOLD PURITY. /// OPT

    /// ON TUESDAY, FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER GEORGE MITCHELL ANNOUNCED THAT HE HAS AGREED TO LEAD SUCH AN INVESTIGATION FOR THE U-S OLYMPIC COMMITTEE, THE BODY THAT CHOOSES THE U-S CITIES THAT COMPETE INTERNATIONALLY TO HOST THE GAMES. /// END OPT ///

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: REACTING TO THE LATEST CRACKDOWN ON DEMOCRACY ADVOCATES IN CHINA, AND THE HARSH PRISON SENTENCES HANDED DOWN TO SOME, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" HEADLINES ITS COMMENTARY: "GREAT LEAP BACKWARD FOR CHINA."

    VOICE: IN SENTENCING THREE DEMOCRATIC ACTIVISTS WHO ATTEMPTED TO CREATE A NEW POLITICAL PARTY, THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT HAS SENT AN UNEQUIVOCAL MESSAGE: ORGANIZED OPPOSITION TO THE COMMUNIST REGIME WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. THAT DREW A DARK SHROUD OVER FLASHES OF A MORE OPEN ATMOSPHERE IN CHINA. .... WITH THESE VERDICTS CHINA HAS TAKEN A MAJOR LEAP BACKWARD. .....THAT COURSE WILL COST BEIJING.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: WITH A BITTER WINTER UPON THEM, THE PLIGHT OF REFUGEES IN KOSOVO, DRAWS THE ATTENTION OF "THE [NEW YORK] DAILY NEWS."

    VOICE: IN THE BALKANS, ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST VOLATILE REGIONS, YET ANOTHER DELICATE PEACE PROCESS IS ABOUT TO UNRAVEL. U-S TROUBLESHOOTER RICHARD HOLBROOKE IS DESPERATELY TRYING TO HOLD TOGETHER AN UNEASY TRUCE HE ENGINEERED BETWEEN ETHNIC ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS IN THE BREAKAWAY REGION OF KOSOVO AND THE FORCES OF SERBIAN STRONGMAN SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. AT STAKE IS NOT ONLY THE AGREEMENT [MR.] HOLBROOKE BROKERED LAST OCTOBER BUT HUMAN LIVES. MORE THAN 300-THOUSAND ETHNIC ALBANIAN REFUGEES BOMBED OUT OF THEIR HOMES AND VILLAGES BY SERB ARTILLERY ARE NOW TEMPORARILY HOUSED IN TENTS BY HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES. A RESUMPTION OF THE CIVIL WAR WOULD PUT THEM AT GRAVE RISK IN THE UNFORGIVING BALKAN WINTER.

    ///END OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, SOME THOUGHTS FROM "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" ON WHAT TO DO NEXT WITH FORMER CHILEAN LEADER GENERAL AUGUSTO PINOCHET UNDER DETENTION IN LONDON.

    VOICE: ... THE CHARGES AGAINST [MR.] PINOCHET AREN'T BEING SHRUGGED OFF OR FORGOTTEN. WE DOUBT HIS EXTENDED LEGAL ORDEAL PRESAGES A FLOOD OF UNJUSTIFIED CROSS-BORDER INDICTMENTS, AS SOME WORRY. INSTEAD, IT SHOULD SERVE AS ANOTHER STEP TOWARD GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ACTS THAT VIOLATE UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED STANDARDS OF RIGHT AND WRONG.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM WEDNESDAY'S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    23-Dec-98 11:45 AM EST (1645 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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