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Voice of America, 98-12-30

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CYPRUS / MISSILES (L ONLY) BY CHRIS DRAKE (NICOSIA)
  • [02] BRITAIN / EURO (PART TWO) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [03] EURO/ASIA BONDS BY AMY BICKERS (HONG KONG)
  • [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [05] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY RALPH ECKHARDT (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] IRAQ ATTACKS-L BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [07] IRAQ / BRITAIN (S ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

  • [01] CYPRUS / MISSILES (L ONLY) BY CHRIS DRAKE (NICOSIA)

    DATE=12/30/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243625
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY IS CLAIMING VICTORY AFTER THE GOVERNMENT OF CYPRUS BOWING TO INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE -- DECIDED AGAINST THE DEPLOYMENT OF RUSSIAN-MADE ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES ON THE DIVIDED MEDITERRANEAN ISLAND. TURKEY HAD THREATENED TO DESTROY THE SYSTEM IF IT WAS DEPLOYED. CHRIS DRAKE IN NICOSIA REPORTS THE MISSILES WILL BE DEPLOYED, INSTEAD, ON A GREEK ISLAND MORE THAN 900 KILOMETERS FROM CYPRUS, BUT TURKEY IS OBJECTING TO THIS SITE TOO.

    TEXT: THE CYPRUS GOVERNMENT IS STILL SMARTING FROM THE FIERCE CRITICISM LEVELED AGAINST IT BY LOCAL POLITICAL PARTIES WHICH CLAIM IT SURRENDERED THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THE PEOPLE OF CYPRUS BY GIVING IN TO EXTERNAL DEMANDS.

    BUT THE GOVERNMENT INSISTS IT CANCELLED DELIVERY ONLY AFTER PROMISES IT RECEIVED FROM THE UNITED STATES, BRITAIN, THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THROUGH LAST WEEK'S U-N SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS. THESE PLEDGED RENEWED EFFORTS TO REUNITE THE ISLAND AND SUPPORT MOVES FOR THE EVENTUAL DEMILITARIZATION OF CYPRUS.

    THE GREEK CYPRIOTS HAVE ALWAYS INSISTED IT IS TURKISH INTRANSIGENCE WHICH PREVENTS PROGRESS. THEY ALSO BLAME THE INTERNATIONAL POWERS FOR THEIR FAILURE TO PERSUADE TURKEY TO BE MORE FLEXIBLE AND TO OBEY SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS WHICH CALL FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE 35-THOUSAND TURKISH TROOPS FROM NORTHERN CYPRUS.

    SO THE GOVERNMENT HERE WILL NOW WATCH WITH CONSIDERABLE INTEREST TO DISCOVER HOW COUNTRIES SUCH AS THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN REACT TO THE DECISION NOT TO DEPLOY THE MISSILES ON CYPRUS.

    TURKEY SAYS INSTALLATION OF THE MISSILES ON CRETE STILL WILL LEAD TO REGIONAL INSECURITY AND IT SAYS IT DOUBTS THE WISDOM OF A RUSSIAN-MADE SYSTEM BEING ALLOWED INTO A NATO COUNTRY.

    GREECE IS EXPECTED TO REJECT THE TURKISH OBJECTIONS, BUT IT TOO WILL HOPE FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/CD/JWH
    30-Dec-98 8:38 AM EST (1338 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] BRITAIN / EURO (PART TWO) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/30/98
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42259
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /////

    ED'S: THE SECOND OF TWO REPORTS ON BRITAIN AND THE EURO. THE FIRST REPORT, BKG 5-42251, WAS ISSUED TUESDAY, DEC. 29 /////

    INTRO: ELEVEN EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES ARE LAUNCHING (HAVE LAUNCHED) THE SINGLE CURRENCY NEW YEARS DAY. BRITAIN IS NOT ONE OF THEM. MANY BRITONS CONSIDER IT A LOSS FOR NATIONAL IDENTITY. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN TOOK AN UNOFFICIAL SAMPLING OF OPINIONS ON THE SENSITIVE SUBJECT.

    TEXT: OXFORD STREET IS ONE OF LONDON'S MOST POPULAR SHOPPING DISTRICTS FOR BRITONS AND TOURISTS ALIKE. FOREIGN TRAVELERS SHRUG THEIR SHOULDERS AT THE MENTION OF THE EURO. BUT ONE BRITISH SHOPPER SEES A DARK AND SINISTER SIDE TO A SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY.

    /// MALE VOICE ///

    I THINK IT'S DEMONIC BECAUSE THE BIBLE PREDICTS THE RESURGENCE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AS A COMBINATION OF NATIONS WHICH WILL GRADUALLY RISE TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

    /// END ACT ///

    MOST EURO-SKEPTICS DO NOT DESCRIBE THE EURO IN BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS. BUT A MAJORITY OF BRITONS RESPONDING TO A RECENT SURVEY STILL SAY THEY DO NOT WANT ANY PART OF IT.

    /// MALE VOICE ///

    WE WANT OUR OWN ENGLISH MONEY, WE DON'T WANT EURO MONEY. WE'RE VERY PATRIOTIC HERE. SO THAT'S IT, WE DON'T WANT IT.

    /// END ACT ///

    FOR NOW, THE EURO IS MAINLY A CURRENCY OF TRANSACTIONS. COINS AND BILLS WILL NOT APPEAR FOR ANOTHER THREE YEARS. BUT MANY BRITONS WORRY ALREADY ABOUT THE LOSS OF FISCAL SOVEREIGNTY IF BRITAIN JOINS THE EURO, AS THE LABOR GOVERNMENT WANTS.

    /// MALE VOICE ///

    THAT WOULD GIVE FINANCIAL CONTROL OF THIS COUNTRY TO THE BANKS OF GERMANY AND BRUSSELS AND THAT WOULD NOT BE GOOD.

    /// END ACT ///

    STILL, THERE IS A GROWING NUMBER OF BRITONS WHO SAY THEY HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE ISLAND, ISOLATIONIST MENTALITY.

    /// FEMALE VOICE / KASSMAN ACT ///

    THE WORLDS' SO SMALL NOWADAYS, AND I THINK IT'S JUST NICE TO BELONG TO EUROPE. I THINK THE IDENTITY OF BRITAIN BEING A BIG POWER NOW IS FAR IN THE PAST AND IT'S TIME TO GO ON . (KASSMAN: SO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF EUROPEAN)

    YES I SUPPOSE I WILL. WE ALL CARRY EUROPEAN PASSPORTS NOW, DON'T WE. WE DON'T HAVE BRITISH PASSPORTS ANYMORE.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE MORE PRACTICAL-MINDED SAY THE EURO WILL MAKE COMPARISON SHOPPING AND HOLIDAY TRAVEL A LOT EASIER -- ONLY ONE CURRENCY TO EXCHANGE AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND, RATHER THAN 11 .

    YOUNG BRITONS AGREE THAT BEING A PART OF THE EURO-ZONE IS INEVITABLE. ONE OXFORD STREET SHOPPER SAYS IT REALLY WILL NOT MATTER MUCH WHAT SHE THINKS, AND ANOTHER SUGGESTS A COMPROMISE.

    /// MALE AND FEMALE VOICES ///

    TO BE QUITE HONEST I'M NOT FOR IT AT ALL (KASSMAN: WHY)

    JUST NOT INTERESTED. (KASSMAN: WON'T IT MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER TRAVELING AROUND EUROPE)

    I USE A PLASTIC CARD ANYWAY...

    /// MALE VOICE ///

    THE ONE CONCESSION WILL BE IF THEY MAKE ENGLISH THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE, OR THE EUROPEAN LANGUAGE, THEN IT WOULD BE WORTH IT. THEN WE COULD GO AROUND EUROPE SPEAKING ENGLISH.

    /// END ACT ///

    BRITISH SHOPPERS MAY SOUND RELUCTANT ABOUT THE EURO BUT BRITISH BUSINESS IS NOT. DEPARTMENT STORES AND SMALL SHOPS ALREADY ARE ADJUSTING THEIR CASH REGISTERS TO RING UP SALES IN EUROS. TO MOST, IT IS JUST ANOTHER CURRENCY TO DEAL WITH. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH
    30-Dec-98 10:03 AM EST (1503 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EURO/ASIA BONDS BY AMY BICKERS (HONG KONG)

    DATE=12/30/98
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42256
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ACROSS ASIA, INVESTORS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE ARE TAKING A WAIT AND SEE ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE NEW SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY, WHICH WILL LAUNCH IN JUST A FEW DAYS. BUT AS AMY BICKERS REPORTS, FINANCIAL EXPERTS SAY THE NEW CURRENCY COULD OFFER A TREMENDOUS BENEFIT TO ASIA, WHICH IS IN THE MIDST OF A SEVERE CREDIT CRUNCH.

    TEXT: THE LAUNCH OF THE EURO CURRENCY ON JANUARY FIRST IS A MOMENTOUS EVENT FOR EUROPE. IT WILL UNITE THE CURRENCIES OF 11 NATIONS INTO ONE MONETARY UNIT. THIS NEW EURO-ZONE WILL ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN 290-MILLION PEOPLE, 20-PERCENT OF WORLD TRADE, AND 20-PERCENT OF GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT.

    THE EFFECTS OF THE EURO WILL BE FELT AROUND THE WORLD, BY ALL NATIONS WHICH TRADE WITH OR INVEST IN EUROPE. ECONOMISTS ARE SAYING THE EURO COULD PLAY A POSITIVE ROLE IN ASIA, WHICH REMAINS MIRED IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS. THEIR HOPE IS THE NEW EURO-BOND MARKET WILL PROVIDE NEW SOURCES OF FINANCING TO NEEDY ASIAN COMPANIES AND GOVERNMENTS.

    THE LAUNCH OF THE EURO WILL CREATE THE WORLD'S SECOND LARGEST BOND MARKET, AS THE SEPARATE DEBT MARKETS OF THE 11 EURO-ZONE NATIONS MERGE INTO ONE.

    DAVID MARSHALL, A HONG KONG-BASED MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR CREDIT RATINGS AGENCY FITCH IBCA, SAYS THE RESULT WILL BE A GIANT BOND ISSUING AND TRADING ENTITY WITH A MARKET CAPITALIZATION OF SEVEN-TRILLION DOLLARS-- SECOND ONLY TO THE UNITED STATES BOND MARKET, WORTH 11-TRILLION DOLLARS.

    /// MARSHALL ACT ///

    ASIAN COMPANIES HAVE BEEN VERY MUCH RESTRICTED TO RAISING MONEY LOCALLY OR GOING TO THE U-S MARKETS-- THE BIGGEST AND DEEPEST. WHAT WE HAVE HAD IN EUROPE UNTIL NOW HAS BEEN SEPARATE MARKETS IN THE U-K, AND GERMANY AND FRANCE, ETC.. THEY HAVE TENDED TO BE RATHER PAROCHIAL. SO WHAT THE EURO MEANS IS YOU WILL HAVE THIS HUGE MARKET FOR FIXED INCOME INVESTMENTS.

    /// END ACT ///

    THIS HIGHLY LIQUID, LONG-TERM DEBT MARKET WILL CREATE A HUGE POOL OF FUNDS AVAILABLE TO BORROWERS IN ASIA AND OTHER NATIONS. IT WILL ALSO MAKE IT EASIER FOR ASIAN ENTITIES TO STRUCTURE DEBT DEALS, SINCE IT IS SIMPLER TO DRAW MONEY!FROM ONE LARGER POOL OF FUNDS RATHER THAN A DOZEN SMALLER MARKETS. STILL, ANALYSTS SAY BORROWING COSTS ON THE NEW EUROPEAN MARKET ARE LIKELY TO BE STEEP FOR ASIA, REFLECTING THE HIGH LEVEL OF CREDIT RISK IN COUNTRIES LIKE THAILAND AND INDONESIA. AN EPIDEMIC OF LOAN DEFAULTS AND RESTRUCTURING PLANS ACROSS ASIA HAS DAMAGED THE REPUTATION OF THE REGION'S BORROWERS.

    MR. MARSHALL SAYS EUROPEAN LENDERS WILL BE SELECTIVE ABOUT THE FIRMS AND GOVERNMENTS TO WHOM THEY LEND MONEY-- SO POTENTIAL BORROWERS WILL HAVE TO BE WELL PREPARED.

    /// MARSHALL ACT ///

    WHAT WILL HELP THEM MOST OF ALL IS A GOOD TRACK RECORD FOR FINANCIAL RESULTS AND GOOD DISCLOSURE. I THINK ASIAN COMPANIES HAVE NOT BEEN STRONG IN THIS AREA. THEY HAVE BEEN SELFISH WITH INFORMATION. THEY HAVE TO RECOGNIZE IF THEY ARE GOING TO RAISE MONEY IN PUBLIC DEBT MARKETS THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SHOW INVESTORS WHAT THEIR REAL FINANCIAL CONDITION IS.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE EURO-LAND COUNTRIES ALSO STAND TO GAIN FROM ASIAN PARTICIPATION IN THE NEW SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY AND FINANCIAL MARKET. IF ASIAN NATIONS HOLD THE EURO IN TIEIR CENTRAL BANKS, IT WILL HELP BUILD ITS PROFILE AS A MAJOR WORLD CURRENCY. CHINA, SOUTH KOREA, THAILAND AND THE PHILIPPINES HAVE ALREADY SAID THEY WIML USE THE EURO AS A RESERVE CURSENCY OR SERIOUSLY CONSIDER DOING SO. CURRENTLY THE DOLLAR DOMINATES FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES ACCOUNTING FOR MORE THAN 60-PERCENT OF THOSE FUNDS HELD BY CENTRAL BANKS AROUND THE WORLD. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AB/PLM
    30-Dec-98 5:16 AM EST!(1016 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/30/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243650
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (WEDNESDAY) AND HOPES FADED THAT THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WILL CLOSE THE YEAR AT A RECORD HIGH. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 92 HUNDRED 74, DOWN 46 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 12 HUNDRED 31, DOWN NINE POINTS.

    THE DECLINE BROUGHT AN EIGHT-SESSION WINNING STREAK FOR THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE TO AN END. NOW, THE POPULAR INDEX WOULD HAVE TO GAIN MORE THAN 100 POINTS THURSDAY TO END THE YEAR AT A RECORD HIGH. BUT SOME TRADERS ARE STILL HOPEFUL.

    THERE WAS SOME STRONG SELLING PRESSURE IN THE HIGH-FLYING INTERNET-RELATED STOCKS, AND EVEN SOME OF THE LARGEST COMPANIES SUCH AS THE AMERICA ONLINE COMPUTER SERVICES FIRM AND AMAZON, THE ON-LINE BOOK RETAILER, SUFFERED SHARP STOCK PRICE DECLINES.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    ART CASHIN OF THE PAINE WEBBER INVESTMENT COMPANY BELIEVES MANY INTERNET-RELATED STOCKS ARE GROSSLY OVERVALUED AND MANY!INVESTOSS OWNING THEM WILL BE HURT. ! ! ! ///OPT///CASHIN ACT///

    THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DISTURBING THINGS WE HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME. I AM AFRAID THAT WILL CAUSE SOME PAIN BEFORE IT IS ALL OVER.

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

    BUT MANY ANALYSTS SAY THAT THE INTERNET SECTOR OF THE STOCK MARKET IS ISOLATED AND A BIG FALL IN THOSE STOCKS WOULD NOT DRAG THE REST OF THE MARKET DOWN.

    ///REST OPT///

    AN INDEX OF LEADING INDICATORS WAS UP IN NOVEMBER FOR THE SECOND MONTH IN A ROW, INDICATING CONTINUED U-S ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGH EARLY NEXT YEAR.

    HOSPITALITY PROPERTIES, A REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST, WILL PAY 200 MILLION DOLLARS TO BUY 17 HOTELS IN THE UNITED STATES FROM THE MARRIOTT CORPORATION. HOWEVER, MARRIOTT WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE THE HOTELS UNDER A 14-YEAR MANAGEMENT CONTRACT.

    U-S REGULATORS HAVE GRANTED CONDITIONAL APPROVAL TO THE PLANNED MERGER OF BRITISH PETROLEUM AND THE AMOCO OIL COMPANY OF THE UNITED STATES. THE APPROVAL IS CONTINGENT ON THE SALE OF SOME RETAIL GASOLINE STATIONS AND OIL STORAGE FACILITIES.

    THE HEAD OF THE U-S FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, ROBERT PITOFSKY, SAYS FUTURE OIL MERGERS MAY FACE EVEN GREATER GOVERNMENT SCRUTINY. ALTHOUGH REFUSING DIRECT COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED COMBINATION OF EXXON AND MOBIL, MR. PITOFSKY SAYS POWER IN THE OIL INDUSTRY MAY BE BECOMING TOO CONCENTRATED.

    DESPITE RECURRING PRODUCTION PROBLEMS THIS YEAR, THE BOEING AIRCRAFT COMPANY SAYS IT WILL DELIVER 550 JETLINERS IN 1998 WHICH IS SLIGHTLY AHEAD OF PROJECTIONS. BOEING, WHICH HAS RESOLVED MANY OF ITS PRODUCTION SNAGS, SAYS IT HOPES TO EELIVER 720 JETS!NEXT YEAR/(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    30-Dec-98 5:12 PM EST (2212 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY RALPH ECKHARDT (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/30/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11076
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: OUTDATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T /////

    INTRO: ISSUES BEING DISCUSSED WEDNESDAY IN U-S NEWSPAPERS INCLUDE CONTINUING PROBLEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AND NEW YEAR'S PLEAS FOR A MORE HUMANE WORLD. NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME EXCERPTS IS _________________

    TEXT: WITH U-S TROOPS OVER, AND NEAR, IRAQ, THE VOLATILE MIDEAST IS ON THE PAGES OF NEWSPAPERS AND IN THE THOUGHTS OF AMERICANS EACH DAY. WHILE OPINIONS DIFFER OVER HOW TO CONDUCT POLICY TOWARD IRAQ, THERE IS AGREEMENT SADDAM HUSSEIN SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DEVELOP OR USE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. THE "DENVER POST" URGES A FIRM STAND IN MAINTAINING THE NO-FLY ZONES OVER PARTS OF IRAQ.

    VOICE: .THE ZONES HAVE PROTECTED CIVILIAN ETHNIC MINORITIES FROM AIR ATTACKS BY THE IRAQI MILITARY. THE NO FLY AREAS ALSO HAVE HELPED RESTRAIN SADDAM HUSSEIN FROM STARTING ANOTHER WAR...BUT THEIR EFFECTIVENESS IS EXACTLY WHY SADDAM SO CHAFES AGAINST THEIR CONTINUED ENFORCEMENT. IF SADDAM REMAINS DEFIANT, THE UNITED STATES SHOULD RESPOND BY DECLARING ALL OF IRAQ'S AIRSPACE TO BE A NO-FLY ZONE.

    TEXT: "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" SAYS THE UNITED STATES AND ITS ALLIES MUST WORK TOGETHER TO REMOVE SADDAM HUSSEIN AND THEN HELP THE IRAQIS PAST THEIR CURRENT WOES. IT SAYS U-S STRATEGY MUST BE REVISED SO THAT:

    VOICE: ... MR. HUSSEIN IS MOVED ASIDE [AND] NEW MEASURES ARE DEVELOPED TO MONITOR IRAQ [AND] THE IRAQI PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT THE UNITED STATES IS THEIR FRIEND. ... IN THE EVENT OF NEW, TRULY BENEVOLENT LEADERS IN IRAQ, THE UNITED STATES COULD MOVE FROM BEING AN ADVERSARY TO LENDING A HELPING HAND.

    TEXT: "THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" REFLECTS A PREVAILING U-S DESIRE TO END THE CONFLICT QUICKLY AND NOT GET INVOLVED IN AN EVEN MORE LENGTHY AND COSTLY CONFRONTATION, ESPECIALLY A GROUND WAR. IT WARNS WE SHOULD NOT EXPECT MUCH HELP.

    VOICE: ...THE IRAQI OPPOSITION, SUCH AS IT IS, IS MOSTLY IN EXILE AND OUT OF TOUCH; IT IS BADLY DIVIDED ... AND FINALLY, HAS NO MILITARY RESOURCES OR LEADERSHIP. ...THAT DOES NOT MEAN THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO FOSTER A DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT FOR A UNITED IRAQ; IT JUST SHOULD NOT PIN UNREALISTIC HOPES ON SUCH A MOVEMENT'S ABILITY TO DEFEAT SADDAM IN A SHOOTOUT.

    TEXT: ELSEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, TURMOIL CONTINUES BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS. "THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL" SAYS THE VOLATILE SITUATION HAS BECOME A LITTLE MORE CONFUSED AS ISRAEL MOVES TOWARD PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN APRIL. THE PAPER DOES NOT EXPECT ANY DRAMATIC BREAKTHROUGHS.

    VOICE: THE PROBLEM WITH ALL THIS, OF COURSE, IS THAT EXCITING ISRAELI POLITICS DISTRACTS ATTENTION FROM THE PEACE PROCESS. IT IS CERTAINLY FAIR TO SAY THAT ANY PROGRESS TOWARD A PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT WILL BE PUT ON ICE (DELAYED) AS LONG AS ISRAELI POLITICIANS ARE CHALLENGING ONE ANOTHER ABOUT HOW TOUGH OR SOFT THEY WILL BE IN DEALING WITH YASSER ARAFAT.

    TEXT: "THE MIAMI HERALD" SAYS NOT ONLY MAY TOO MUCH TALK DELAY THE PEACE PROCESS, BUT WARNS INFLAMMATORY RHETORIC IS MAKING THE PROBLEM WORSE. IT CITES HAMAS FOUNDER SHEIK AHMED YASSIN AND ISRAELI POLITICIANS AND CALLS FOR THEM TO ACT RESPONSIBLY.

    VOICE: IN A LAND OF SAND AND MIRACLES, IT IS NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK -- OR EXPECT -- THAT POLITICIANS AND HOLY MEN TEMPER THEIR RHETORIC. ...YET BELLICOSE CRITICS CONTINUE TO CART GASOLINE AND MATCHES TO THEIR RALLIES... NOT THE PAILS OF SAND NEEDED TO SMOTHER THE FIRES OF HATE. THAT MUST CHANGE.

    TEXT: THOUGHTS ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD ARE FREQUENT ON EDITORIAL PAGES AT THE NEW YEAR. "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" CALLS FOR PEOPLE TO PULL TOGETHER EVERYDAY.

    VOICE: ...1998 WAS RECORD YEAR FOR DISASTERS. ...AROUND THE WORLD THEY ACCOUNTED FOR AS MANY AS 50-THOUSAND DEATHS AND DAMAGE COSTING MORE THAN 90-BILLION-DOLLARS. ...DISASTERS SHOULD PROMPT THOUGHTS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY. AS THE WORLD BECOMES MORE INTERDEPENDENT, WHAT HAPPENS IN ITS FAR-FLUNG PARTS IS KNOWN INSTANTLY. ! FORTUNATELY, IN DISASTER!AFTER DISASTER...PEOPLE!IAVE ! ROLLED UP THEIR SLEEVES TO HELP OUT. IF ONLY THAT SPIRIT WOULD SPILL OVER INTO DAILY LIFE.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS EDITION OF EDITORIAL DIGEST.
    NEB/RAE/KL
    30-Dec-98 1:32 PM EST (1832 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] IRAQ ATTACKS-L BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=12/30/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243643
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: WESTERN WARPLANES AND IRAQI AIR DEFENSES HAVE FOUGHT ANOTHER DUEL WITH MISSILES AND BOMBS, THIS TIME OVER SOUTHERN IRAQ. U-S OFFICIALS SAY NO PLANES WERE HIT, AND THEY ARE STILL ASSESSING DAMAGE TO SEVERAL IRAQI MISSILE SITES. U-S AND BRITISH OGFICIALS!SAY ISAQ STARTEE THE FIGHT BY FIRING SIX OR EIGHT ANTI- AIRCRAFT MISSILES AT BRITISH PLANES PATROLLING THE SOUTHERN NO- FLY ZONE. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS.

    TEXT: WEDNESDAY MORNING NEAR TALIL, IRAQ, A BRITISH PILOT SAW A FLOCK OF MISSILES STREAKING TOWARD HIM AT SUPERSONIC SPEED. HE DODGED THEM AND CALLED FOR HELP.

    /// OPT ///

    THE MISSILES MAY HAVE BEEN DEADLY, RADAR-GUIDED S-A-6'S, BUT PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THEY CAN'T BE CERTAIN YET.

    /// END OPT ///

    ABOUT 45 MINUTES LATER, SIX U-S PLANES ARRIVED, INCLUDING AT LEAST ONE EQUIPPED TO BLIND IRAQI AIR DEFENSES BY JAMMING RADAR. THE E-A-6-B "PROWLER" ALSO FIRED A RADAR-SEEKING MISSILE AT THE IRAQI MISSILE SITES. U-S F-16S FIRED A HARM MISSILE AND DROPPED 225 KILOGRAM LASER-GUIDED BOMBS ON THE TARGETS/ MAJOR!JOE LAMARCA SPEAKS FOR THE U-S CENTRAL COMMAND, THE ORGANIZATION THAT SUPERVISES U-S MILITARY ACTIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. HE SAYS THE LASER-GUIDED BOMBS ARE GENERALLY VERY ACCURATE.

    /// MAJOR JOE LAMARCA ///

    THERE WERE MULTIPLE SITES, THAT WE BELIEVE THE MISSILES WERE LAUNCHED FROM. SO WE WOULD TARGET THE SITES WE BELIEVE ASSISTED IN THE FIRING OF THOSE MISSILES.

    /// END ACT ///

    A WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN SAYS ALLIED PLANES WILL CONTINUE TO ENFORCE THE NO-FLY ZONES VIGOROUSLY AND ARE PREPARED TO CONFRONT THREATS AS THEY DID WEDNESDAY. IRAQ HAS REPEATEDLY WARNED THIS MONTH THAT IT WOULD SHOOT AT U-S AND BRITISH PLANES ENFORCING THE EXCLUSION ZONES FOR IRAQI FLIGHTS. MONDAY, U-S PLANES PATROLLING NORTHERN IRAQ ATTACKED AN IRAQI AIR DEFENSE SITE THAT FIRED MISSILES AT THEM. THAT MISSILE EXCHANGE LEFT FOUR IRAQI SOLDIERS DEAD.

    THE NO-FLY ZONES WERE SET UP AFTER THE 1991 GULF WAR TO PREVENT IRAQI GOVERNMENT ATTACKS AGAINST IRAQI KURDS IN THE NORTH AND SHI'ITE MUSLIMS IN THE SOUTH.

    /// REST OPT ///

    THE ZONES COVER IRAQI TERRITORY NORTH OF THE 36TH PARALLEL AND SOUTH OF THE 33RD PARALLEL -- MORE THAN HALF THE COUNTRY.

    IRAQ'S LATEST CHALLENGE TO THE NO-FLY ZONES COMES AFTER BRITISH AND U-S FORCES BOMBED SUSPECTED IRAQI WEAPONS SITES FOR FOUR STRAIGHT DAYS IN MID-DECEMBER. THE BOMBING CAMPAIGN WAS ORDERED AFTER IRAQ AGAIN BROKE PROMISES TO ALLOW U-N INSPECTORS TO MAKE SURE BAGHDAD HAS NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/JO
    30-Dec-98 1:21 PM EST (1821 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] IRAQ / BRITAIN (S ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/30/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243628
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN SAYS ITS TORNADO JETS CAME UNDER FIRE OVER SOUTHERN IRAQ WEDNESDAY BUT ALL JETS RETURNED SAFELY TO THEIR BASE. MORE THAN 20 AMERICAN PLANES FLEW OVER NORTHERN IRAQ EVEN AFTER BAGHDAD WARNED IT WOULD SHOOT THEM DOWN. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: BRITAIN'S MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SAYS IRAQ DID FIRE MISSILES AT BRITISH AND U-S WARPLANES AS THEY PATROLLED THE NO-FLY ZONE OVER SOUTHERN IRAQ. THE MINISTRY SAYS ALL BRITISH PLANES HAVE RETURNED SAFELY TO THEIR BASE.

    AMERICAN MILITARY OFFICIALS SAY IRAQ FIRED AT LEAST ONE-HALF DOZEN SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILES EARLY WEDNESDAY AND U-S F-16 FIGHTER JETS FIRED BACK AT TIE MISSIME SITES. OTHER U-S PLANES CARRIED OUT THEIR PATROLS IN NORTHERN IRAQ WITHOUT INCIDENT.

    BAGHDAD HAS WARNED THAT IT WOULD TRY TO SHOOT DOWN THE JETS, WHICH IRAQ'S LEADERSHIP CONSIDERS TO BE VIOLATING IRAQ'S TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY.

    THE NO-FLY ZONES OVER NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN IRAQ WERE SET UP AFTER THE 1991 GULF WAR TO PROTECT KURDISH AND SHIITE COMMUNITIES FROM BAGHDAD'S AGGRESSIONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH
    30-Dec-98 10:08 AM EST (1508 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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