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Voice of America, 99-01-07

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY HUMAN RIGHTS (L ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [02] TURKEY/POLITICS (S/L VER) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [03] U-S / FRANCE / BOSNIA BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] EURO ASSESSMENT (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [05] E-U JAPAN (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [06] HUNGARY/GERMANY (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [07] HUNGARY/GERMANY(S-UPDATE) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [08] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [09] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] TURKEY HUMAN RIGHTS (L ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=1/7/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243915
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A U-S HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP CALLED TODAY (THURSDAY) ON TURKEY TO DROP CHARGES AGAINST 25 LAWYERS WHO HAVE BEEN ON TRIAL FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS -- FOR ACTIVITIES THEY SAY ARE RELATED TO THEIR LEGAL DEFENSE OF PEOPLE THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS TERRORISTS. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS FROM NEW YORK:

    TEXT: ROJBIN TUGAN (RUSH-BIN TOO-GHAN), A YOUNG KURDISH LAWYER VISITING THE UNITED STATES, MET WITH THE NEW YORK-BASED LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. SHE DESCRIBED HER COUNTRY -- TURKEY AS A LAND OF BROKEN DREAMS AND VIOLENCE.

    A GREAT DEAL OF THAT VIOLENCE, SHE SAYS, TAKES PLACE IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY, WHERE THE OUTLAWED KURDISH WORKERS' PARTY -- THE P-K-K -- OPERATES. MS. TUGAN SAYS LAWYERS ARE HARASSED, THREATENED, EVEN TORTURED, AS WELL AS UNDER CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE AND PHONE TAPS IF THEY HAVE WHAT SHE CALLS POLITICALLY UNPOPULAR CLIENTS -- A EUPHEMISM FOR CLIENTS WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE P-K-K.

    THESE LAWYERS OFTEN TRY TO SEND REPORTS OUT OF THE COUNTRY OF ALLEGED HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY TURKISH STATE SECURITY AUTHORITIES. FOR THIS, MS. TUGAN CONTENDS, SHE AND MANY OF HER COLLEAGUES, FACE A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO THEIR LIVES. BUT SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, MS. TUGAN SAYS SHE INTENDS TO CONTINUE HER LEGAL OBLIGATIONS:

    //INTERPRETER ACT//

    (OPENS WITH TURKISH WORDS) WHILE DEFENDING THE RULE OF LAW I AM VULNERABLE TO THE UNLAWFULNESS. I GO ON WITH MY WORK THERE AS A LAWYER KNOWING THAT ONE DAY I MAY BE THE VICTIM OF AN EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLING OR I MIGHT DIE IN A TORTURE ROOM.

    //END ACT//

    THE KURDISH LAWYER TELLS OF A RECENT INCIDENT FOLLOWING A P-K-K ATTACK IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY. SHE SAYS GOVERNMENT SECURITY FORCES ROUNDED UP ALL THE MEN IN A NEARBY VILLAGE AND DETAINED THEM FOR TWO DAYS. MS. TUGAN SAYS ALTHOUGH THEY SHOWED SIGNS OF TORTURE THEY WERE AFRAID TO FILE A COMPLAINT.

    A TURKISH GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN IN NEW YORK SAYS THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO PROBLEM WITH ITS KURDISH CITIZENS AND DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THEM. AT THE SAME TIME, HE SAYS ANKARA WILL NOT TOLERATE WHAT IT CALLS THE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES OF THE KURDISH COMMUNISTS -- THE P-K-K.

    THE LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS HOPES TO SEND MONITORS TO SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY SOON. IT SAYS TURKEY CANNOT SUSPEND HUMAN RIGHTS OR THE RULE OF LAW BECAUSE IT FEELS THREATENED BY INTERNAL ENEMIES.

    //REST OPT//

    TURKEY IS A U-S ALLY AND A KEY NATO PARTNER. BUT THE U-S CONGRESS HAS TAKEN SERIOUSLY NUMEROUS REPORTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLENCE IN SEVERAL TURKISH PROVINCES. IT PASSED A LAW IN 1996 SHARPLY CURTAILING U-S GOVERNMENT FINANCING OF WEAPONS SALES TO TURKEY. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT
    07-Jan-99 5:01 PM EST (2201 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] TURKEY/POLITICS (S/L VER) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=1/7/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243887
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///EDS: CUT OPTIONAL SECTIONS TO FORM A SHORT ///

    INTRO: IN TURKEY, LEFTIST LEADER BULENT ECEVIT SAYS HE CAN FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT BY THIS FRIDAY AFTER AGAIN BEING NAMED PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE BY TURKISH PRESIDENT SULEYMAN DEMIREL. AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA.

    TEXT: // OPT // SPEAKING TO REPORTERS AFTER LEAVING THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE THURSDAY, BULENT ECEVIT -- LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC LEFT PARTY -- PLEDGED TO HAVE A 25-MEMBER CABINET LIST READY BY FRIDAY FOR PRESIDENT DEMIREL'S APPROVAL. // END OPT //

    MR. ECEVIT WAS ASKED TO FORM THE GOVERNMENT FOR A SECOND TIME AFTER INDEPENDENT LAW MAKER, YALIM EREZ, ABANDONED HIS EFFORTS TO FORGE A BROAD-BASED COALITION. MR. EREZ GAVE UP EFFORTS WEDNESDAY AFTER RIGHT-WING LEADER, TANSU CILLER, SURPRISED POLITICAL OBSERVERS BY SAYING SHE WOULD SUPPORT MR. ECEVIT'S EARLIER PROPOSAL FOR A MINORITY COALITION, IF HE PROMISED NOT TO POSTPONE GENERAL ELECTIONS DUE FOR APRIL.

    CARETAKER PREMIER MESUT YILMAZ, BROUGHT DOWN IN A NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE LAST NOVEMBER FOLLOWING CORRUPTION CHARGES, SAID HE, TOO, WOULD SUPPORT A MINORITY GOVERNMENT LED BY MR ECEVIT. THE COMBINED SUPPORT OF TURKEY'S TWO MAJOR PRO-SECULAR RIGHT-WING PARTIES WILL GIVE THE LEFT-WING LEADER A COMFORTABLE MAJORITY IN THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONGER VERSION ///

    OBSERVERS SAY MR. ECEVIT'S LEADERSHIP WILL BE WELCOMED BY TURKEY'S RIGIDLY PRO-SECULAR ARMED FORCES BECAUSE UNLIKE MOST TURKISH POLITICIANS, HE REMAINS UNTAINTED BY CORRUPTION CHARGES. MORE IMPORTANTLY, SAY OBSERVERS, HE HAS CONSISTENTLY REFUSED TO CONSIDER THE ISLAMISTS AS POTENTIAL COALITION PARTNERS. WHEN HE WAS FIRST GIVEN THE MANDATE TO FORM THE GOVERNMENT AT THE END OF LAST YEAR, MR ECEVIT DID NOT EVEN MEET WITH ISLAMIST LEADER RECAI KUTAN, WHOSE "VIRTUE" PARTY COMMANDS THE GREATEST NUMBER OF SEATS FOR A SINGLE PARTY IN THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT.

    THE MILITARY'S STIFF OPPOSITION TO THE ISLAMISTS IS WIDELY BELIEVED TO BE THE MAIN REASON PRESIDENT DEMIREL DECIDED TO IGNORE THE TRADITIONAL PRACTICE OF APPOINTING THE LEADER OF THE LARGEST PARTY IN THE PARLIAMENT TO FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT, AND ASK FIRST MR. ECEVIT, THEN MR. EREZ, AND NOW MR. ECEVIT AGAIN TO DO SO INSTEAD. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/PCF
    07-Jan-99 10:01 AM EST (1501 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] U-S / FRANCE / BOSNIA BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=1/7/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42308
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A NEW BOOK RELEASED TODAY (THURSDAY) IN PARIS SAYS FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC AND PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON APPROVED A JOINT MILITARY OPERATION IN DECEMBER 1995 TO KIDNAP FORMER BOSNIAN SERB LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC. V-O-A'S ANDRE DE NESNERA SPOKE WITH ONE OF THE AUTHORS -- THE PARIS BUREAU CHIEF OF THE AMERICAN NEWS MAGAZINE "TIME," TOM SANCTON -- ABOUT THE OPERATION AND HE FILED THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: THE BOOK IS ENTITLED "DEAR JACQUES, CHER BILL" AND FOCUSES ON THE WARM RELATIONS BETWEEN FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC AND PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON.

    BUT ONE SECTION OF THE NEWLY PUBLISHED BOOK REVEALS NEW INFORMATION ABOUT A CONTROVERSIAL FRANCO-AMERICAN PLAN TO KIDNAP FORMER BOSNIAN SERB LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC AND BRING HIM BEFORE THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE.

    ONE OF THE AUTHORS OF THE BOOK IS TOM SANCTON, BUREAU CHIEF FOR THE AMERICAN NEWSMAGAZINE "TIME." (EDS: THE OTHER IS FRENCH JOURNALIST GILLES DELAFON, FROM THE WEEKLY "JOURNAL DU DIMANCHE.") HE SAYS THE PLAN WAS FIRST PROPOSED TO PRESIDENT CLINTON BY FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC ON DECEMBER 14TH, 1995 THE DAY THE DAYTON PEACE AGREEMENTS ON BOSNIA WERE SIGNED IN PARIS.

    MR. SANCTON SAYS BOTH LEADERS KNEW THE OPERATION -- UNDER THE CODE NAME "AMBER STAR" -- COULD LEAD TO THE KILLING OF MR. KARADZIC. BUT THEY BOTH DECIDED TO BEGIN PLANNING FOR THE MILITARY ACTION, WHICH WOULD INVOLVE TWO COORDINATED OPERATIONS AGAINST MR. KARADZIC'S HEAVILY ARMED ENTOURAGE.

    // SANCTON ACT //

    ONE FRENCH AND ONE AMERICAN (TEAMS), WHICH WOULD BE TRANSPORTED BY HELICOPTER TO KARADZIC'S LOCATION -- AND THE FRENCH WERE SUPPOSED TO PLAY THE LEADING ROLE OF GOING IN THERE AND NEUTRALIZING THIS HEAVILY ARMED MILITARY GUARD AROUND KARADZIC, AFTER WHICH THE AMERICANS WOULD SWOOP IN AND ACTUALLY NAB KARADZIC HIMSELF. AND AS I SAY, IT WAS QUITE CLEAR TO BOTH PRESIDENTS THAT THERE WAS A HIGH PROBABILITY THAT KARADZIC WOULD BE KILLED IN SUCH AN OPERATION.

    // END ACT //

    A YEAR AND A HALF LATER, THERE WAS ANOTHER MEETING IN PARIS -- THIS TIME THE SIGNING OF NATO'S PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH RUSSIA. THE SUMMIT WAS ALSO ATTENDED BY SUCH LEADERS AS GERMAN CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN AND BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR.

    MR. SANCTON SAYS "OPERATION AMBER STAR" WAS ALSO DISCUSSED THEN.

    // 2ND SANCTON ACT //

    AND ON THAT OCCASION, CHIRAC SORT OF SADDLED UP TO CLINTON AND KOHL AND BLAIR DURING THE RECEPTION OUT IN THE GARDEN OF THE ELYSEE PALACE, TOOK THEM ASIDE AND SAID : "WE HAVE TO REALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT KARADZIC. NOW WE HAVE TO MOVE INTO THE OPERATIONAL PHASE OF THE PLAN." AND AMONG THE LEADERS, THEY HAD THIS IMPROMPTU SUMMIT WHERE THEY DISCUSSED THIS, WHICH WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING CONSIDERING THAT YELTSIN AND THE ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (ROMANO) PRODI WERE ALSO AT THIS RECEPTION. BUT THEY WERE LEFT OUT OF THIS DISCUSSION BECAUSE, AS CHIRAC PUT IT: "IF WE INFORM THE ITALIANS AND THE RUSSIANS, WE MIGHT AS WELL HOLD A PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT THIS OPERATION."

    // END ACT //

    MR. SANCTON SAYS FOLOWING THE MAY 1997 PARIS MEETING, PLANS FOR "OPERATION AMBER STAR" BECAME MUCH MORE PRECISE.

    BUT THE JOINT FRANCO-AMERICAN MILITARY OPERATION TO KIDNAP RADOVAN KARADZIC NEVER TOOK PLACE -- FOR VARIOUS REASONS. THE AMERICAN JOURNALIST SAYS ONE OF THEM WAS THE U-S MILITARY'S FEAR OF HEAVY CASUALTIES IN SUCH A HIGH-RISK OPERATION.

    MR. SANCTON SAYS ANOTHER ONE WAS THE PERCEPTION BY THE U-S MILITARY THAT THE FRENCH WERE UNTRUSTWORTHY, GIVEN THEIR REPUTATION FOR PRO-SERB SENTIMENTS. // OPT // HE SAYS THAT WAS DUE IN LARGE PART TO THE ATTEMPTS BY A FRENCH INTELLIGENCE OFFICER -- MAJOR HERVE GOURMELON -- ASSIGNED TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE KARADZIC ENTOURAGE AND CONVINCE THE FORMER BOSNIAN SERB LEADER TO TURN HIMSELF IN.

    (OPT) // 3RD SANCTON ACT //

    THE AMERICAN VERSION IS THAT HE BASICALLY HANDED OVER THE PLANS OF THIS KIDNAP OPERATION TO KARADZIC. THE FRENCH VERSION IS THAT HE PROBABLY HAD INAPPROPRIATE CONTACTS WITH KARADZIC, BUT THAT HE NEVER POSSESSED DETAILS OF THIS PLAN AND HE COULD NOT HAVE TURNED IT OVER.

    // END ACT //

    FOLLOWING THE AMERICAN CONCERNS, MAJOR GOURMELON WAS REASSIGNED TO FRANCE. // END OPT //

    DESPITE THOSE REASONS, MR. SANCTON SAYS "OPERATION AMBER STAR" HAS NOT BEEN DISCARDED.

    // 4TH SANCTON ACT //

    WHAT I AM TOLD ON THE FRENCH SIDE IS THAT, EVEN TODAY, THIS PROJECT REMAINS VIABLE. IT IS NOT ON THE FRONT-BURNER, BUT THERE HAS BEEN NO FORMAL DECISION TO PULL THE PLUG ON THIS AND SAY: "WE WILL NEVER CARRY OUT THIS OPERATION." SO I THINK ONE CAN SAY THAT "OPERATION AMBER STAR" STILL REPRESENTS A REALISTIC POSSIBILITY OF MILITARY ACTION INVOLVING THE FRENCH AND THE AMERICANS TO APPREHEND KARADZIC BY FORCE.

    // END ACT //

    AMERICAN OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN LESS THAN FORTHCOMING ABOUT DISCUSSING "OPERATION AMBER STAR." A SENIOR WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN (JOE LOCKHART) HAD "NO COMMENT" ON THE JOINT MILITARY OPERATION AND A SOKESMAN FOR THE U-S DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SAID HE COULD NOT CONFIRM THE EXISTENCE OF "OPERATION AMBER STAR." BUT HE WENT ON TO SAY: IF SUCH AN OPERATION DOES EXIST, IT IS CLASSIFIED -- AND THE PENTAGON WILL NOT TALK ABOUT CLASSIFIED CONTINGENCY PLANS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/RRM
    07-Jan-99 12:19 PM EST (1719 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] EURO ASSESSMENT (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=1/7/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243900
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A TOP FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD OFFICIAL THURSDAY SAID SHE HAS NO CONCERN THAT THE NEW EURO CURRENCY WILL DISPLACE THE DOLLAR FROM ITS DOMINANT POSITION IN GLOBAL FINANCE. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS OTHER FINANCIAL EXPERTS IN WASHINGTON GIVE THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK HIGH MARKS FOR A SUCCESSFUL INTRODUCTION OF A NEW CURRENCY.

    TEXT: FEDERAL RESERVE VICE-CHAIRMAN ALICE RIVLIN SAYS SHE HAS NO CONCERN THAT THE EURO WILL DISPLACE THE DOLLAR ANYTIME SOON. THE NUMBER TWO U-S CENTRAL BANK OFFICIAL SAYS (ON C-N-B-C TELEVISION) THE STRENGTH OF THE EURO DEPENDS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WEST EUROPEAN ECONOMY. SHE EXPECTS THE EURO TO BE USED AS THE GERMAN MARK HAS BEEN AS A RESERVE CURRENCY BY MANY COUNTRIES.

    ON A DAY WHEN THE POLICY MAKING COMMITTEE OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK HELD ITS FIRST MEETING SINCE THE LAUNCH OF THE EURO, THE NEW CURRENCY HELD STEADY AGAINST THE DOLLAR, TRADING AT ONE DOLLAR 16 AND THREE QUARTERS CENTS.

    ECONOMIST ROBERT SOLOMON, A FORMER INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND OFFICIAL, SAYS HE EXPECTS THE EURO TO REMAIN STABLE AGAINST THE DOLLAR FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS. NOW A SCHOLAR AT THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, MR. SOLOMON SAYS EURO ZONE CONSUMERS ARE LIKELY TO BENEFIT FROM LOWER RETAIL PRICES.

    //SOLOMON ACT//

    CERTAINLY, THERE IS GOING TO BE INCREASED COMPETITION (AMONG SELLERS) NOW THAT EVERYTHING (IN THE 11 COUNTRIES) IS PRICED IN THE SAME CURRENCY. THERE ARE NO TRANSACTIONS COSTS. AND THERE ARE NO UNCERTAINTIES ABOUT FUTURE EXCHANGE RATES. THAT INCREASED COMPETITION IS LIKELY TO PUT DOWNWARD PRESSURE ON PRICES.

    //END ACT//

    MR. SOLOMON SAYS A PRINCIPAL TEST OF THE CURRENCY WILL BE HOW PARTICIPATING GOVERNMENTS REACT TO ECONOMIC DOWNTURNS THAT DO NOT OCCUR THROUGHOUT THE EURO ZONE. GOVERNMENTS NO LONGER HAVE CONTROL OVER INTEREST RATES AND THUS CAN RESPOND TO A REGIONAL DOWNTURN ONLY THROUGH FISCAL POLICY -- CHANGING SPENDING AND TAXATION. THE EURO CURRENCY TREATY PENALIZES MEMBER GOVERNMENTS WHOSE BUDGET DEFICIT IN NORMAL TIMES EXCEEDS THREE PERCENT OF OUTPUT. SINCE JANUARY FIRST, THE EXCHANGE RATES BETWEEN THE PARTICIPATING CURRENCIES HAVE BEEN PERMANENTLY FIXED AGAINST ONE ANOTHER AND AGAINST THE EURO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/GE
    07-Jan-99 12:42 PM EST (1742 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] E-U JAPAN (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=1/7/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243894
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER KEIZO OBUCHI HAS BEGUN A TRIP TO THREE MEMBER COUNTRIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. HE'S HOPING TO PRESERVE THE JAPANESE YEN AS A WORLD CURRENCY, ALONG WITH THE AMERICAN DOLLAR, AS IT ENTERS COMPETITION WITH THE NEW EUROPEAN SINGLE CURRENCY, THE EURO. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS THAT WHILE JAPAN IS INTERESTED IN THE EURO, IT IS NOT TRYING TO MANAGE EXCHANGE RATES.

    TEXT: PRIME MINISTER OBUCHI SAYS JAPAN, THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE SHOULD COOPERATE TO ESTABLISH A STABLE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM. HOWEVER, HIS TRADE MINISTER CAUTIONS EXCHANGE RATES SHOULD BE DETERMINED BY THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE COUNTRY INVOLVED.

    JAPANESE TRADE MINISTER KAORU YOSANO HAS TOLD REPORTERS HERE IN BRUSSELS JAPAN IS NOT TRYING TO MANAGE GLOBAL CURRENCY LEVELS. PRIME MINISTER OBUCHI, NOW IN FRANCE. HAS SUGGESTED A NEW MONITORING SYSTEM BE SET UP TO KEEP EXCHANGE RATES BETWEEN THE MAJOR CURRENCIES IN A CERTAIN SPHERE (IN CHECK).

    THE EUROPEAN SINGLE CURRENCY, THE EURO, HAS SAGGED BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL TRADING LEVEL AGAINST THE DOLLAR AND THE YEN AFTER GAINING VALUE ON THE OPENING DAY OF TRADING MONDAY, ON A WAVE OF ENTHUSIASM.

    AT A BRUSSELS NEWS CONFERENCE, MR. YOSANO ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EURO IS AN HISTORIC EVENT. EUROPEAN UNION TRADE COMMISSIONER LEON BRITTAN SAYS HE MADE THE SAME POINT TO HIS JAPANESE VISITOR.

    ///BRITTAN ACT///

    I HAVE EXPLAINED TO MR. YOSANO THAT WE ARE DETERMINED THAT THE EURO WILL BE A POSITIVE FORCE IN THE WORLD ECONOMY. WE DISCUSSED JAPAN'S INTERNATIONAL TRADE RELATIONS AND OF COURSE, AS YOU KNOW, THE POSITION IS, THAT BOTH IN PERCENTAGE TERMS AND IN ABSOLUTE TERMS, IT HAS BEEN EUROPE THAT HAS RECEIVED MORE OF A GREATER INCREASE IN JAPANESE EXPORTS THAN THE UNITED STATES.

    //END ACT///

    ACCORDING TO MR. BRITTAN'S FIGURES, LAST YEAR JAPAN'S EXPORTS TO EUROPE ROSE AT A HIGHER RATE THAN ITS EXPORTS TO THE UNITED STATES. HE ALSO SAYS JAPANESE IMPORTS FROM EUROPE FELL MORE THAN THEY DID TO THE UNITED STATES. AMERICAN TRADE OFFICIALS HAVE CRITICIZED THE EUROPEAN UNION FOR NOT TAKING MORE STEEL IMPORTS FROM JAPAN.

    MR. BRITTAN POINTS TO SOME 200 AREAS WHERE HE SAYS JAPAN SHOULD EASE REGULATIONS TO MAKE EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES BETTER ABLE TO PENETRATE THE JAPANESE MARKET. MR. YOSANO SAYS JAPAN WANTS EUROPE TO ELIMINATE SOME 50 AREAS WHERE HE SAYS BUREAUCRACY BLOCKS JAPANESE SALES.

    //REST OPT//

    HE DOES NOT GIVE DETAILS.

    IN VISITS TO FRANCE, GERMANY AND ITALY, PRIME MINISTER OBUCHI HAS BEEN EXPLAINING JAPAN'S MOVES TOWARD DEREGULATION OF ITS ECONOMY AND ITS INTENTION TO MAKE THE YEN A DESIRABLE CURRENCY IN THE FACE OF COMPETITION FROM THE AMERICAN DOLLAR AND THE EURO, THE SINGLE CURRENCY OF 11 EUROPEAN UNION MEMBERS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF/JO
    07-Jan-99 11:30 AM EST (1630 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] HUNGARY/GERMANY (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=1/7/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243885
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER JOSCHKA FISCHER (ARRIVES / HAS ARRIVED) IN BUDAPEST (TODAY / THURSDAY) TO MEET WITH HUNGARIAN LEADERS ABOUT MEMBERSHIP IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. AS STEFAN BOS REPORTS, HUNGARIAN LEADERS HOPE TO SECURE MEMBERSHIP WITHIN TWO YEARS, AND POSSIBLY JOIN THE SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY SOON THEREAFTER.

    TEXT: GERMANY CURRENTLY CHAIRS THE REVOLVING LEADERSHIP OF THE 15-MEMBER EUROPEAN UNION. AND ITS FOREIGN MINISTER, JOSCHKA FISCHER, IS BEING QUESTIONED BY POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS ABOUT STEPPING UP THE TIMETABLE FOR JOINING.

    THE LEADERS OF COUNTRIES SUCH AS THE CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND AND HUNGARY HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT WHAT THEY SEE AS THE SLOW PACE OF E-U-EXPANSION. POLITICAL OBSERVERS HAVE RAISED DOUBTS ABOUT GERMANY'S COMMITMENT TO E-U EXPANSION IN THE WAKE OF THE NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT HEADED BY SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CHANCELLOR GERHARDT SCHROEDER.

    IN A V-O-A INTERVIEW, HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR ORBAN SAYS HE'LL DISCUSS THIS ISSUE WITH MR. FISCHER, SUGGESTING HIS COUNTRY JOINS THE E-U IN THE YEAR 2002. OTHER HUNGARIAN OFFICIALS ARE HOPING THE COUNTRY WILL QUALIFY FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE NEW SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY, THE EURO, ANOTHER TWO YEARS LATER -- IN 2004.

    PRIME MINISTER ORBAN ADDS THAT HE FEARS KEY DECISIONS WILL BE TAKEN IN BRUSSELS WHICH WILL AFFECT HIS COUNTRY, AND OTHER LIKELY MEMBERS, BEFORE THEY ARE FORMALLY ADMITTED.

    ///ORBAN ACT///

    THE AGRICULTURAL POLICY, STRUCTURAL FUND REFORMS ISSUES, COMMON SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY HAVE A DIRECT IMPACT ON THE HUNGARIAN POLITICAL LIFE. SO THEREFORE IT IS A LEGITIMATE ARGUMENT THAT HUNGARY SHOULD BE AT THE TABLE WHERE THE DECISIONS ARE TAKEN, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR HUNGARY.

    ///END ACT///

    PRIME MINISTER ORBAN SAYS HE HOPES THAT GERMANY, THE COUNTRY CURRENTLY CHAIRING THE E-U, WILL REWARD HUNGARY FOR ITS PRO-WESTERN CHANGES IN RECENT YEARS. HE NOTES THAT A DECADE AGO, HUNGARY WAS THE FIRST EASTERN BLOCK COUNTRY TO ALLOW EAST GERMAN REFUGEES TO LEAVE FOR WEST GERMANY -- AN EVENT SOME EXPERTS SAY LED TO THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL AND THE REUNIFICATION OF THE COUNTRY.

    HUNGARIAN OFFICIALS ALSO POINT TO THEIR GROWING TRADE LINKS WITH THE WEST. OFFICIALS SAY THAT IN THE FIRST NINE MONTHS OF LAST YEAR, HUNGARY EXPORTED MORE THAN 70 PERCENT OF ITS GOODS TO E-U COUNTRIES, AND MORE THAN HALF OF IT WENT TO GERMANY.

    HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JANOS MARTONYI SAYS HIS GERMAN COUNTERPART IS SENSITIVE TO THESE PRO-E-U ARGUMENTS -- PERHAPS, HE SAYS, BECAUSE MR. FISCHER HAS A HUNGARIAN BACKGROUND.

    ///MARTONYI ACT///

    HIS PARENTS WERE FORCED TO LEAVE (HUNGARY) AFTER WORLD WAR TWO. I REALIZE WE BELONG TO THE SAME PEOPLE OF EUROPE. IF JOSCHKA FISCHER'S PARENTS HAD NOT BEEN FORCED TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY IN 1945 OR 1946 -- WHICH WAS A SHAMEFUL OPERATION -- HE WOULD NOW BE A HUNGARIAN CITIZEN. //OPT// HE MIGHT NOW HAVE BEEN THE FOREIGN MINISTER HERE. THEN WE WOULD HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS, BECAUSE YOU CAN NOT HAVE TWO CANDIDATES FOR THAT JOB. BUT ANYHOW, SOME OF MY ANCESTORS CAME FROM GERMANY AND AUSTRIA, SO THAT IS EUROPE. //END OPT//

    ///END ACT///

    FOREIGN MINISTER MARTONYI SAYS HE REALIZES IT TAKES MORE THAN HISTORICAL LINKS TO PROVE ELIGIBILITY FOR JOINING THE EUROPEAN UNION. MEANWHILE, HE SAYS AS HUNGARY MAY BECOME A MEMBER OF NATO PERHAPS THIS MARCH, HIS COUNTRY IS NOW SECURE ENOUGH TO AT LEAST HELP CREATE A MORE PEACEFUL EUROPE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/PCF/JO
    07-Jan-99 8:42 AM EST (1342 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] HUNGARY/GERMANY(S-UPDATE) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=1/7/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243920
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER JOSCHKA FISCHER SAYS GERMANY WHICH CURRENTLY CHAIRS THE EUROPEAN UNION WANTS THE ORGANIZATION TO SET A DATE FOR ITS EXPANSION TOWARDS FORMER EAST BLOCK COUNTRIES BY THE END OF THE YEAR OR IN EARLY 2000. AS STEFAN BOS REPORTS FROM BUDAPEST, MR. FISCHER MADE THE REMARKS AFTER WINDING UP A TRIP TO THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND HUNGARY WHERE HE ENSURED CONCERNED LEADERS THAT GERMANY'S EUROPEAN POLICY DID NOT CHANGE DESPITE A CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT.

    TEXT: GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER JOSCHKA FISCHER TOLD REPORTERS HE CAME TO BUDAPEST TO ENSURE THE HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT THAT GERMANY REMAINS COMMITTED TO THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    SOME EAST EUROPEAN LEADERS HAD RAISED THEIR CONCERN THAT GERMANY MAY CHANGE ITS POLICY IN THE WAKE OF THE NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT HEADED BY SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CHANCELLOR GERHARDT SCHROEDER.

    MR. FISCHER SAID HIS GOVERNMENT WANTS TO GO EVEN FURTHER THAN ITS CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PREDECESSORS WITH THE E-U EXPANSION IN AN EASTWARDS DIRECTION.

    THE GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER STRESSED THE EUROPEAN DIPLOMATS IN BRUSSELS SHOULD STOP POSTPONING EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND SPEED UP FINANCIAL AND OTHER REFORMS SPELLED OUT IN THE WORKING DOCUMENT AGENDA 2000.

    /// FISCHERACT ///

    WE HAVE TO COME TO AN END (OF THE DISCUSSIONS) OF THE AGENDA. WE HAVE TO COME TO AN END OF THIS PROCESS, AND THEN BY THE END THERE WILL BE A POSITIVE RESULT OF THIS PROCESS.

    ///END ACT///

    FOREIGN MINISTER FISCHER SAID THAT COUNTRIES SUCH AS HUNGARY SHOULD BE REWARDED FOR THE ROLE THEY PLAYED IN ENDING THE COLD WAR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PT
    07-Jan-99 6:39 PM EST (2339 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=1/7/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-243917
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN SLIGHTLY TODAY (THURSDAY). FOR MOST OF THE DAY THERE WAS WIDESPREAD PROFIT-TAKING AFTER WEDNESDAY'S STRONG RALLY BUT IT FADED LATE IN THE SESSION. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 95 HUNDRED 37, DOWN SEVEN POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 12 HUNDRED 69, DOWN TWO POINTS.

    EARLY IN THE SESSION, THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS DOWN MORE THAN 100 POINTS. BUT THE WEAKER STOCK PRICES ATTRACTED BUYERS LATE IN THE DAY, CUTTING THE LOSSES AND PUSHING THE NASDAQ INDEX TO A RECORD HIGH FOR THE FIFTH STRAIGHT SESSION.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    DAVID KATCH OF THE MATRIX INVESTMENT FUND SAYS HE EXPECTS STOCKS WILL CONTINUE TO GAIN IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR BUT WITH SOME STRONG VOLATILITY.

    ///OPT///KATCH ACT///

    SEASONALLY WE ARE GOING TO SEE A STRONG INFLOW OF CASH AND WE ARE STILL GOING TO SEE SOME DEALS (MERGERS) GETTING DONE. SO WE THINK STOCKS WILL TRADE HIGHER IN THE FIRST QUARTER BUT WE DO EXPECT A LOT OF 100-POINT UP-DAYS AND 100-POINT DOWN- DAYS.

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

    THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS U-S FACTORY ORDERS ROSE IN NOVEMBER, A GOOD SIGN FOR AMERICAN MANUFACTURERS WHICH HAVE RECENTLY BEEN HIT BY SLOWER SALES TO ASIA.

    ///REST OPT///

    THE J-C PENNEY DEPARTMENT STORE CHAIN SAYS ITS PROFITS WILL FALL WELL BELOW EXPECTATIONS BECAUSE OF LARGER-THAN-PLANNED DISCOUNTS DURING THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SEASON.

    THE STOCK OF THE BORDERS BOOK STORE CHAIN SLUMPED BY 20 PERCENT AFTER THE COMPANY SAID IT WILL NOT MEET EARNINGS FORECASTS. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME BORDERS HAS COME UP SHORT OF PROFIT PROJECTIONS SINCE THE COMPANY FIRST ISSUED STOCK FOUR YEARS AGO.

    TEXACO HAS JOINED THE PARADE OF MAJOR OIL COMPANIES TO CUT CAPITAL SPENDING BECAUSE OF LOW OIL PRICES. TEXACO SAYS ITS SPENDING FOR PLANTS, EQUIPMENT AND EXPLORATION WILL FALL BY 15 PERCENT THIS YEAR.

    THE BATTLE FOR THE WIRELESS TELEPHONE COMPANY AIRTOUCH COMMUNICATIONS MAY NOW HAVE THREE CONTENDERS. SOURCES SAY M-C-I WORLDCOM, A LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, WILL SOON MAKE A BID FOR AIRTOUCH. BELL ATLANTIC, A U-S REGIONAL PHONE COMPANY, AND VODAFONE, A WIRELESS FIRM IN BRITAIN, ARE ALREADY TALKING WITH AIRTOUCH ABOUT A TAKEOVER.

    THE BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION SAYS IT WILL CLOSE ITS MONEY-LOSING STAINLESS SHEET AND STRIP OPERATIONS BECAUSE IT CAN NOT COMPETE WITH CHEAPER IMPORTS. MEANWHILE, WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS SAY PRESIDENT CLINTON IS DRAFTING SOME AGGRESSIVE MEASURES TO RESTRICT WHAT THEY CALL UNFAIR STEEL COMPETITION. MANY U-S STEEL COMPANIES CLAIM INTERNATIONAL PRODUCERS ARE "DUMPING" STEEL ON THE U-S MARKET FOR LESS THAN IT WOULD SELL AT HOME. RITE AID, THE THIRD-LARGEST DRUG STORE CHAIN IN THE UNITED STATES, HAS FORMED A STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH THE GENERAL NUTRITION COMPANY TO DEVELOP AND SELL VITAMINS AND OTHER NUTRITIONAL PRODUCTS. THE U-S MARKET FOR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS IS NOW EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AND GROWING AT 12 PERCENT ANNUALLY.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    07-Jan-99 5:13 PM EST (2213 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=01/07/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11087
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

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

    ////

    INTRO: THE UNITED STATES SENATE IS OPENING (EDS: IF AFTER 1 P-M: "HAS OPENED") ITS FIRST IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IN 130 YEARS. THAT MAKES THIS THURSDAY A HISTORIC DATE IN THE NATION'S HISTORY, AND EDITORIAL COLUMNS CONTINUE TO COMMENT ON VARIOUS ASPECTS OF PRESIDENT CLINTON'S IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS.

    THERE ARE MANY OTHER TOPICS, INCLUDING DEALING WITH THE LATEST AGGRESSION FROM IRAQ; SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF CUBA; MORE ON THE NEW EUROPEAN MONETARY UNIT, THE EURO; AND THE END OF A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL LABOR DISPUTE. NOW, HERE WITH AN EXCERPT OR TWO IS ______________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: WE GO FIRST TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, WHERE "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND, WORRIES THAT COMPROMISE FOR A SHORT PROCEEDING SEEMS TO BE SLIPPING AWAY.

    VOICE: AS NEGOTIATIONS PROCEDED BEHIND THE SCENES WEDNESDAY, THE BEST CHANCE THAT THE U-S SENATE COULD DEAL QUICKLY AND CLEANLY WITH THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF BILL CLINTON SEEMED TO SLIP AWAY. ... WEDNESDAY, [SENATE MAJORITY LEADER TRENT] LOTT BOWED TO THE PRESSURE FOR A FULL TRIAL, WITH WITNESSES AND, ULTIMATELY, AN UP OR DOWN VERDICT. ... NOTHING'S IMPOSSIBLE, OF COURSE, ESPECIALLY IN THIS CASE, BUT CONVICTION BY THE SENATE REMAINS HARD TO IMAGINE. ... FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE, AS WE DO, THAT THE PRESIDENT'S CONDUCT WAS REPREHENSIBLE AND RECKLESS - - BUT DOES NOT MERIT HIS REMOVAL - - CENSURE REMAINS BY FAR THE BEST CHOICE. SADLY, THOUGH, EVEN THAT CHOICE MAY BE SLIPPING AWAY.

    TEXT: HERE IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" IS NOT HAPPY WITH THE WAY THE SENATE HAS HANDLED THINGS TO THIS POINT.

    VOICE: THE IMPEACHMENT OF A PRESIDENT IS NOT THE TIME TO PLAY GAMES. IT IS NOT THE TIME FOR PHONY FACE-SAVING MEASURES. THE IMPEACHMENT OF A PRESIDENT CALLS FOR SERIOUS PURPOSE AND JUDICIOUS CARE. NEITHER OF THESE IS IN EVIDENCE IN THE PLANS BEING FLOATED BY THE SENATE'S MAJORITY AND MINORITY LEADERS. ..... A FULL IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IS THE ONLY WAY IRREVOCABLY TO RESOLVE THE QUESTION OF WHETHER MR. CLINTON IS FIT TO HOLD THE OFFICE ...

    TEXT: IN FLORIDA, "THE MIAMI HERALD" LAMENTS:

    VOICE: OUR FADING HOPE IS THAT SENATORS WILL RECOGNIZE THE OBVIOUS -- THAT BILL CLINTON'S REPREHENSIBLE PERSONAL CONDUCT IS DISGUSTING BUT N O T IMPEACHABLE. A QUICK UP-OR-DOWN, TWO-THIRDS VOTE ON THAT QUESTION COULD END THIS BY NEXT WEEK. OTHERWISE, THIS TRIAL OF THE CENTURY .... COULD LAST INTO THE NEXT ONE.

    TEXT: LASTLY ON IMPEACHMENT, "THE NEW YORK POST" WHICH SAYS MAJORITY LEADER TRENT LOTT HAS MADE HIMSELF A "LAUGHING STOCK THESE PAST FEW WEEKS," EMPHASIZES THAT:

    VOICE: ... THERE SHOULD BE A TRIAL. INDEED, THERE ** MUST** [ITALICS FOR EMPHASIS] BE A TRIAL. AND THERE WILL BE. THE UNITED STATES IS NOT RULED BY PLEBISCITE. ... EITHER WAY - - CONVICT OR ACQUIT - - THE SENATE MUST SEE THIS MATTER TO THE END ...

    TEXT: TURNING TO INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, THERE IS CONCERN AT "THE NEW YORK TIMES" ABOUT CHARGES THAT THE UNITED NATIONS WEAPONS INSPECTION TEAM IN IRAQ HELPED GATHER INTELLIGENCE FOR THE UNITED STATES.

    VOICE: DIVISIONS WITHIN THE UNITED NATIONS OVER IRAQ HAVE CREATED A POISONOUS ATMOSPHERE IN WHICH IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE FACT FROM FICTION. THAT MAKES CAUTION ESSENTIAL IN ASSESSING ACCUSATIONS OF MISCONDUCT, INCLUDING REPORTS THIS WEEK THAT THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION MAY HAVE IMPROPERLY USED UNITED NATIONS WEAPONS INSPECTION EFFORTS IN IRAQ TO AUGMENT ITS OWN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS /// OPT /// .... USING U-N ACTIVITIES IN IRAQ AS A COVER FOR AMERICAN SPY OPERATIONS WOULD BE A SURE WAY TO UNDERMINE THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION, EMBARRASS THE UNITED STATES AND STRENGTHEN MR. HUSSEIN. ... BUT /// END OPT /// MORE INFORMATION WILL BE NEEDED TO KNOW WHETHER WASHINGTON ACTED SO IRRESPONSIBLY.

    TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON POST" IS SHARPLY CRITICAL OF U-N SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN'S HANDLING OF THE ISSUE.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// MR. ANNAN HIMSELF CONTINUED THE SLY UNDERMINING OF HIS OWN U-N INSPECTORS IN A PUBLIC STATEMENT YESTERDAY. 'WE NOT ONLY HAVE N O CONVINCING EVIDENCE OF THESE ALLEGATIONS; WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE OF ANY KIND,' HIS STATEMENT SAID. BUT THEN IT WENT ON TO ADD: 'OBVIOUSLY, WERE THESE CHARGES TRUE, IT WOULD BE DAMAGING TO THE UNITED NATIONS' DISARMAMENT WORK IN IRAQ AND ELSEWHERE.' /// END OPT /// WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? IT'S LONG BEEN KNOWN THAT U-N ARMS INSPECTORS COOPERATED WITH, AND DEPENDED ON, INTELLIGENCE FROM THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER MEMBER COUNTRIES. ... UNSCOM HAD NO CHOICE. ... IF MR. ANNAN OR HIS CIRCLE NONETHELESS HAD REASON TO SUSPECT THE COOPERATION HAD CROSSED SOME LINE OF PROPRIETY, THEY COULD HAVE RAISED THEIR CONCERNS IN PRIVATE. INSTEAD THEY CHOSE TO PROVIDE PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR SADDAM HUSSEIN'S LONGSTANDING HARANGUES AGAINST THE U-N INSPECTORS AS 'ZIONIST' OR AMERICAN AGENTS.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: ON THE RELATED ISSUE OF INCREASED AGGRESSION IN THE SKIES OVER IRAQ, "THE MIAMI HERALD" SAYS:

    VOICE: APPARENTLY SADDAM HUSSEIN DOUBTS AMERICAN COMMITMENT TO ENFORCE A BAN ON FLIGHTS IN THE 'NO-FLY ZONES' OF NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN IRAQ. THE UNITED STATES EMPHATICALLY SHOULD DISABUSE THE IRAQI LEADER OF ANY SUCH NOTION. ... WITH BULLIES LIKE [MR.] HUSSEIN, THE CURRENCY OF UNDERSTANDING IS IMMEDIATE AND LETHAL FORCE. THE UNITED STATES SHOULD CONTINUE SPEAKING IN THE LANGUAGE THAT [PRESIDENT] HUSSEIN COMPREHENDS.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: MOVING TO THIS HEMISPHERE, "THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" IS UNHAPPY THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON'S POLICY CHANGES TOWARD CUBA DID NOT GO FAR ENOUGH.

    VOICE: ONE OF THE ENDURING PECULIARITIES OF BILL CLINTON'S PRESIDENCY IS HIS BLIND SPOT REGARDING CUBA. WHILE HIS POSITIONS ON OTHER WORLD TROUBLE SPOTS ARE REASONABLY WELL THOUGHT OUT, HE IS IN DENIAL ABOUT CUBA. INTENT ON PERPETUATING 40 YEARS OF OFFICIAL HOSTILITY TOWARD FIDEL CASTRO'S REGIME, HE APPEARS OBLIVIOUS TO THE POLICY'S UTTER FAILURE. .... HE HAS NEVER STRAYED FAR FROM THEIR [THE VIEWS OF CUBAN-AMERICAN RIGHT-WINGERS] HARD LINE - - NOT EVEN THIS WEEK WHEN HE ... [ANNOUNCED] A HANDFUL OF STEPS TO STRENGTHEN PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE CONTACTS BETWEEN AMERICANS AND CUBANS. /// OPT /// ... SO WHY CLING TO A FAILED POLICY? TO PLACATE CASTROPHOBES IN SOUTH FLORIDA AND THEIR MOSSBACK CHAMPIONS IN CONGRESS, SUCH AS SENATOR JESSE HELMS (REPUBLICAN, NORTH CAROLINA) AND REPRESENTATIVE LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART (REPUBLICAN OF FLORIDA.) /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "BALTIMORE SUN" IS STILL DIGESTING THE IMPACT OF EUROPE'S NEW MONETARY UNIT IN THIS COMMENTARY.

    VOICE: THE REAL TEST OF THE EURO WILL BE IN RECONCILING THE INTERESTS OF MEMBER COUNTRIES, ONE OF WHICH SEEKS GROWTH WHILE ANOTHER FEARS INFLATION. EUROLAND WILL EITHER BREAK APART FROM SUCH TENSIONS, OR GROW LARGER AND MORE POWERFUL. ELEVEN COUNTRIES IS JUST A START.

    TEXT: BACK AT HOME, THE PROFESSIONAL NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION AND THE PLAYERS UNION HAS FINALLY WORKED OUT A DEAL ENDING A LONG, AND BITTER LABOR DISPUTE. IT WILL ALLOWED A TRUNCATED SEASON TO BEGIN IN FEBRUARY, BUT "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" SAYS BOTH IT AND MANY FANS HAVE LOST INTEREST. VOICE; UNTIL NOW ... STALWART FANS STUMBLED OVER ONE ANOTHER TO PONY UP THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS EACH YEAR IN SEASON TICKETS FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF ATTENDING N-B-A GAMES. FOR THE MAJORITY WHO NEVER COULD AFFORD A TICKET, TELEVISED GAMES WERE A HUGELY POPULAR, FREE ENTERTAINMENT OUTLET. THOSE FANS NO DOUBT HAVE FOUND NEW WAYS TO ENJOY THEIR TIME - - AND THEIR HARDEARNED MONEY.

    TEXT: ON THAT SPORTS NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM THE NATION'S DAILY PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/ RRM
    07-Jan-99 11:18 AM EST (1618 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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