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Voice of America, 99-01-14

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY/GREECE/CYPRUS BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [02] EDITORIAL: BELGRADE ASSAULTS ACADEMIC FREEDOM
  • [03] KOSOVO / K-L-A (L-O) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [04] KOSOVO FIGHTING (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (DECANI, KOSOVO)
  • [05] IRAQ-TURKEY-US (L) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [06] BRITAIN BLAIR SCANDALS BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [07] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [08] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [09] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] TURKEY/GREECE/CYPRUS BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=1/14/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42360
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SENIOR TURKISH OFFICIALS SAY GREEK PLANS TO DEPLOY RUSSIAN MADE S-300 SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILES ON THE ISLAND OF CRETE WILL DANGEROUSLY ESCALATE MILITARY TENSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO NATO ALLIES. GREECE LAST MONTH DECLARED IT WOULD PROBABLY DEPLOY THE MISSILES AFTER GREEK-CYPRIOT PRESIDENT GLAFCOS CLERIDES ANNOUNCED HIS GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT DEPLOY THE CONTROVERSIAL MISSILES ON THE DIVIDED ISLAND OF CYPRUS. MR CLERIDES' DECISION FOLLOWED SUSTAINED TURKISH THREATS TO DESTROY THE MISSILES IF THEY WERE DEPLOYED. AMBERIN ZAMAN HAS MORE FROM ANKARA.

    TEXT: THE GREEK-CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT'S PERCEIVED RETREAT IN THE FACE OF TURKISH MILITARY THREATS WAS WIDELY HAILED BY THE WEST AS MARKING AN END TO WHAT CAME TO BE KNOWN AS THE "S-300 CRISIS." MANY FEARED TURKISH MILITARY ACTION AGAINST THE GREEK CYPRIOTS COULD ESCALATE INTO A BROADER CONFLICT PITTING TURKEY AGAINST ITS FELLOW NATO MEMBER, GREECE.

    TURKEY'S MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR CYPRUS, SUKRU SINA GUREL, SAYS THE S-300 CRISIS IS NOT OVER.

    /// BEGIN GUREL ACT IN ENGLISH ///

    I WISH I COULD SAY THAT. BUT UNFORTUNATELY THE ONLY WAY WE CAN VISUALIZE, IN ORDER TO SAY THAT THE CRISIS IS OVER, CAN BE AN OPEN AND VERY CLEAR DECLARATION ON THE PART OF THE GREEK CYPRIOTS AND GREEK ADMINISTRATION TO THE EFFECT THAT THESE MISSILES WILL NOT BE DEPLOYED IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN, IN ANY PLACE IN EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN, BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE NOT AT THAT STAGE YET.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. GUREL WARNS THAT SHOULD THE MISSILES BE DEPLOYED ON CRETE THIS WILL MERELY SHIFT THE CRISIS AWAY FROM CYPRUS TO THE AEGEAN SEA, WHERE TURKEY AND GREECE ARE LOCKED IN BITTER DISPUTES OVER TERRITORIAL WATERS AND AIRSPACE.

    /// 2ND GUREL ACT ///

    IF THAT WERE TO TAKE PLACE THE LINKAGE BETWEEN THE THREAT THOSE MISSILES CREATE AND THE CYPRUS QUESTION WILL NOT BE BROKEN. AND IN ADDITION THERE WILL BE ANOTHER LINKAGE ESTABLISHED BETWEEN THE AEGEAN ISSUES AND A THREAT AGAINST THE BALANCE IN THE AEGEAN AND THOSE MISSILES IN CRETE. SO, THEREFORE DEPLOYMENT IN CRETE WILL CREATE FURTHER DIFFICULTIES AND A NEW THREAT AGAINST NOT ONLY TURKEY, BUT ALSO AGAINST THE BALANCE IN THE WHOLE REGION.

    /// END GUREL ACT ///

    SOME ANALYSTS SAY THAT SHOULD GREECE PROCEED WITH PLANS TO DEPLOY THE MISSILES ON CRETE THIS WOULD ALSO POSE PROBLEMS FOR NATO. HASAN UNAL IS AN EXPERT ON THE BALKANS AT ANKARA'S BILKENT UNIVERSITY.

    /// BEGIN UNAL ACT ///

    IF THE MISSILES ARE DEPLOYED IN THE REAL MILITARY SENSE ON THE EASTERN PART OF CRETE, THESE MISSILES ARE LIKELY TO CREATE A NUMBER OF PROBLEMS BOTH FOR GREECE AND FOR NATO. THE GREEKS ARE NOT ONLY BRINGING THE MISSILES FROM THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, BUT ALSO RUSSIAN OFFICES AND RUSSIAN TECHNICIANS WOULD BE COMING TO CRETE TO OPERATE THESE MISSILES AND THESE MISSILES' RADAR SYSTEM IS QUITE EFFECTIVE. THEREFORE ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE NATO BASES ON THE SAME ISLAND WOULD BE UNDER SCRUTINY BY THE RUSSIAN OFFICERS AND THE RUSSIAN TECHNICIANS.

    /// END UNAL ACT ///

    RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES HAVE RECENTLY TAKEN A DOWNTURN. TURKEY AND GREECE NEARLY WENT TO WAR IN 1996 OVER A TINY ROCK ISLAND IN THE AEGEAN KNOWN AS IMIA KARDAKTENSE AND WAR PLANES FROM BOTH COUNTRIES ROUTINELY CONFRONT EACH OTHER IN DISPUTED AIR SPACE OVER THE AEGEAN.

    THE TWO COUNTRIES LAST FOUGHT EACH OTHER IN 1974, WHEN TURKISH TROOPS INTERVENED ON CYPRUS AFTER GREEK CYPRIOT NATIONALISTS TRIED TO MOUNT A COUP AIMED AT MAKING THE ISLAND PART OF GREECE. SINCE THEN, CYPRUS HAS REMAINED DIVIDED BETWEEN THE GREEK SOUTH AND THE TURKISH NORTH. (SIGNED)
    LON/AZ/RAE
    14-Jan-99 1:32 PM EST (1832 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] EDITORIAL: BELGRADE ASSAULTS ACADEMIC FREEDOM

    DATE= JANUARY 15, 1999
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-08146
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE FIRST OF THREE EDITORIALS BEING RELEASED FOR
    BROADCAST JANUARY 15, 1999.

    ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE:

    ACADEMIC FREEDOM IS UNDER ASSAULT IN SERBIA. AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO SQUELCH POLITICAL DISSENT AMONG STUDENTS AND FACULTY, BELGRADE UNIVERSITY'S ACADEMIC FREEDOMS HAVE BEEN SHARPLY CURTAILED UNDER THE UNIVERSITY ACT, A LAW PASSED IN OCTOBER. THE LAW BANS POLITICAL ACTIVITY BY PROFESSORS AND STUDENTS AND TRANSFERS THE RIGHT TO HIRE AND FIRE PROFESSORS FROM FACULTY COMMITTEES TO POLITICALLY APPOINTED DEANS.

    AN INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION OF PROMINENT ACADEMICS HAD BEEN PLANNING A TRIP TO BELGRADE TO MEET WITH SERBIAN PROFESSORS AND STUDENT LEADERS NOW UNDER PRESSURE. BUT THEIR VISAS WERE DENIED BY THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT. THE DELEGATION INCLUDED JONATHAN FANTON, PRESIDENT OF THE NEW SCHOOL IN NEW YORK; JOHN POLYANI, 1986 WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY; AND RICHARD RORTY, A PHILOSOPHER. THEY HAD PLANNED TO INVESTIGATE THE SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC REGIME'S SYSTEMATIC EFFORT TO EXTINGUISH ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND PURGE UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS.

    DENYING VISAS TO RENOWNED ACADEMICS IS PART OF A LARGER ASSAULT ON SERBIAN CIVIL SOCIETY. LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AGO, A STUDENT LEADER WAS BEATEN BY ALLEGED "STREET THUGS" AFTER HE TESTIFIED IN WASHINGTON ON THE STATE OF SERBIAN UNIVERSITIES. SERBIA'S MEDIA AND UNIVERSITY LAWS VIOLATE NOT ONLY INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS BUT ALSO SERBIA'S OWN CONSTITUTION. HALTING ACADEMIC EXCHANGES AND REPRESSING AND INTIMIDATING JOURNALISTS, PROFESSORS, AND STUDENTS ONLY REINFORCE A CLIMATE OF FEAR AND EMBITTER THE SERBIAN PEOPLE.

    THE U.S. CALLS ON SERBIA TO REPEAL ITS REPRESSIVE MEDIA AND UNIVERSITY LAWS AND PERMIT THE ISSUANCE OF VISAS AND THE FREE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS. FOR ALL SERBS, RESPECT FOR DEMOCRATIC VALUES AND HUMAN RIGHTS REPRESENTS THEIR ONLY PATH TO A DEMOCRATIC EUROPE.

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. IF YOU HAVE A COMMENT, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, V-O-A, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO COMMENT AT WWW-DOT-VOA-DOT-GOV-SLASH-EDITORIALS, OR FAX US AT (202) 619-1043.
    14-Jan-99 3:59 PM EST (2059 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] KOSOVO / K-L-A (L-O) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=1/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244178
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: REPRESENTATIVES OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY'S POLITICAL WING, WHO ARE IN SWITZERLAND, WARN THEY MIGHT END COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL MEDIATORS IF SERBIA DOES NOT RELEASE NINE ETHNIC-ALBANIAN REBELS. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA SAYS THE WARNING COMES ONE DAY AFTER DIPLOMATS FROM THE U-S AND EUROPEAN MONITORING TEAM IN KOSOVO NEGOTIATED THE RELEASE OF EIGHT SERBIAN SOLDIERS HELD BY THE K-L-A REBELS.

    TEXT: THE KOSOVO REBELS SAY AN AGREEMENT WAS WORKED OUT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIATORS UNDER WHICH NINE ETHNIC-ALBANIAN SOLDIERS WOULD BE RELEASED IN EXCHANGE FOR EIGHT SERB SOLDIERS CAPTURED BY THE K-L-A LAST FRIDAY. THE K-L-A FREED THE SERB SOLDIERS WEDNESDAY. THEY SAY NOW THEY ARE WAITING FOR SERBIA TO FULFILL ITS END OF THE BARGAIN. BUT SERBIAN AUTHORITIES SAY NO DEAL WAS MADE AND THE RELEASE OF THE SERB SOLDIERS WAS UNCONDITIONAL.

    THE KOSOVO REBELS WARN IF SERBIAN AUTHORITIES DO NOT RELEASE THE KOSOVAR FIGHTERS, THEN WESTERN MEDIATORS SHOULD NOT COUNT ON K-L-A GOODWILL WHEN THE NEXT CRISIS ARISES. THE K-L-A SPOKESMAN IN GENEVA, JASHAR SALIFU, SAYS HIS GROUP DOES NOT WANT TO END ITS COOPERATION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIATORS.

    /// SALIFU ACT ///

    BUT IF THEY GO ON JUST WITH PROMISES AND NOT TO FULFILL THE AGREEMENTS WE ACHIEVED, THEN I HOPE THAT OUR RELATIONS WILL BE A LITTLE BIT, NOT SO CLOSE, AS UP TO NOW.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE K-L-A REPRESENTATIVES SAY THE REBELS HAVE GIVEN THE SERB AUTHORITIES 10-DAYS IN WHICH TO LIBERATE THEIR FIGHTERS. THEY WARN OF UNSPECIFIED ACTIONS IF THE MEN ARE NOT FREED.

    THE GROUP HAS JUST PUBLISHED A LIST OF 645 NAMES OF MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN IT SAYS ARE MISSING OR WERE ABDUCTED IN KOSOVO LAST YEAR. ANOTHER SECTION OF THE REPORT LISTS MORE THAN 13-HUNDRED NAMES OF PEOPLE THE K-L-A SAYS WERE KILLED OR MASSACRED IN 1998. IN ADDITION, THE GROUP SAYS MORE THAN ONE-THOUSAND KOSOVARS ARE IMPRISONED BY THE SERBS. (SIGNED)
    LON/LS/RAE/KL
    14-Jan-99 10:05 AM EST (1505 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO FIGHTING (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (DECANI, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244191
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN YUGOSLAVIA'S TROUBLED PROVINCE OF KOSOVO, A BATTLE RAGED THURSDAY IN SEVERAL KEY WESTERN VILLAGES. BUT THE HEAD OF THE MISSION MONITORING THE FRAGILE KOSOVO TRUCE STOPPED SHORT OF BLAMING THIS CEASEFIRE VIOLATION ON EITHER SIDE (SERBIAN AUTHORITIES AND ETHNIC ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS). PHILIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM THE TOWN OF DECANI IN WESTERN KOSOVO.

    TEXT: RUSSIAN-MADE TANKS AND SMALLER ANTI-AIRCRAFT WEAPONS POUNDED SEVERAL VILLAGES IN THE REGION. SEVERAL MILITARY AMBULANCES RETURNED FROM THE FRONT LINE WITH INJURED SERBIAN POLICE AND SOLDIERS.

    BUT IN AN INTERVIEW, U-S AMBASSADOR WILLIAM WALKER, THE CHIEF OF THE KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION, STOPPED SHORT OF BLAMING EITHER SERB SECURITY FORCES OR THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY, THE K-L-A, FOR THE FIGHTING -- WHICH HE CALLED A CLEAR VIOLATION OF THE PRESENT CEASEFIRE.

    ///WALKER ACT///

    THIS HAS BEEN AN AREA OF MAJOR CONFLICT ACTIVITY THROUGHOUT THE KOSOVO CRISIS. IT JUST MIGHT BE THAT UNITS OF THE SIDES CAME INTO CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER AND DECIDED TO DUKE IT OUT (FIGHT). WE WILL TRY TO GET ON TOP OF THAT (GET ANSWERS).

    ///END ACT///

    ON WEDNESDAY, AMBASSADOR WALKER ANNOUNCED THE SUCCESSFUL RELEASE OF EIGHT SERBIAN SOLDIERS WHO WERE HELD HOSTAGE FOR ALMOST A WEEK BY ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS. WHILE THE BROKERING OF THE HOSTAGE RELEASE IS SEEN AS A SUCCESS FOR THE TRUCE MONITORING GROUP, THURSDAY'S HEAVY FIGHTING UNDERSCORES THE FRAGILE NATURE OF ITS MISSION.

    // OPT //

    IT WAS THE HEAVIEST FIGHTING IN WESTERN KOSOVO SINCE DECEMBER WHEN THE YUGOSLAV ARMY KILLED DOZENS OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS SMUGGLING ARMS FROM ALBANIA INTO KOSOVO (A PROVINCE OF YUGOSLAVIA'S DOMINANT SERBIAN REPUBLIC). OFFICIALS SAY THE FIGHTING WAS FORCING ETHNIC ALBANIAN RESIDENTS IN THE AREA TO FLEE THEIR HOMES. // END OPT //

    //OPT//

    UNITED STATES AND BRITISH TRUCE MONITORS ARE PART OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE. //END OPT//

    AS SHELLS AND HEAVY MACHINE GUN FIRE RIPPED THROUGH THE DAMPENED SKIES OF WESTERN KOSOVO, RESIDENTS OF AT LEAST ONE VILLAGE CONFIRMED THAT THEY HAD ASKED THE TRUCE MONITORS TO HELP EVACUATE THEM FROM THE SCENE OF THE FIGHTING. ETHNIC ALBANIAN RESIDENTS SAID THAT IF THE MONITORS COULD NOT PROTECT THEM FROM THE HEAVY SHELLING, THEN THEY SHOULD AT LEAST HELP THEM SEEK SAFE REFUGE. BUT WESTERN MONITORS ON THE SCENE SAID THEY HAD NO PLANS TO EVACUATE THE VILLAGERS FROM THE AREA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/PCF/JO
    14-Jan-99 1:48 PM EST (1848 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] IRAQ-TURKEY-US (L) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=1/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244202
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: RE-ISSUING WITH CORRECT NUMBER, ADDING DROPPED WORDS IN 1ST PARA TEXT ///

    INTRO: PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE CONSIDERING A TURKISH REQUEST TO DEPLOY U-S - BUILT MISSILE DEFENSES IN SOUTHERN TURKEY. THE CALL FOR HELP COMES AS TURKISH-BASED U-S PLANES ATTACKED BAGHDAD'S FORCES IN NEIGHBORING IRAQ FOR THE FOURTH DAY IN A ROW. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS, THE TURKS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE THREAT POSED BY IRAQI SCUD MISSILES.

    TEXT: PENTAGON SPOKESMAN MIKE DOUBLEDAY SAYS U-S OFFICIALS ARE CLOSE TO A DECISION ON THE TURKISH REQUEST FOR PATRIOT MISSILES, AND HE HINTED IT IS LIKELY TO BE GRANTED.

    /// FIRST DOUBLEDAY ACT ///

    WE ARE PRESENTLY REVIEWING THAT REQUEST. WE ARE INTERESTED IN BEING AS SUPPORTIVE AS WE CAN TO ANY OF OUR COALITION PARTNERS WHO ARE INVOLVED THIS OPERATION.

    /// END ACT ///

    TURKEY PROVIDES A BASE FOR DOZENS OF U-S AND BRITISH PLANES THAT PATROL NORTHERN IRAQ, BLOCKING FLIGHTS BY IRAQI JETS AND HELICOPTERS. THE "NO-FLY" ZONES IN THE NORTH AND SOUTH OF IRAQ WERE SET UP AFTER THE GULF WAR IN 1991, TO STOP AIR ATTACKS BY BAGHDAD ON MINORITY KURDS IN THE NORTH AND SHI'ITE MUSLIMS IN THE SOUTH.

    CAPTAIN DOUBLEDAY SAYS THE TURKS MAY HAVE GOOD REASON FOR CONCERN THAT BAGHDAD WILL TRY TO HIT THEM WITH CRUDE BALLISTIC MISSILES.

    /// SECOND DOUBLEDAY ACT ///

    I AM NOT AWARE OF ANY KIND OF SCUD ACTIVITY, BUT WE HAVE SAID IN THE PAST, THAT WE BELIEVE THE IRAQIS DID RETAIN SOME SCUD [BALLISTIC MISSILE] CAPABILITY AFTER THE GULF WAR.

    /// END ACT ///

    MEANTIME, U-S PLANES ATTACKED IRAQ'S AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM THURSDAY FOR THE FOURTH DAY IN A ROW.

    CAPTAIN DOUBLEDAY SAYS IN TWO SEPARATE INCIDENTS, U-S PLANES WERE TRACKED BY IRAQI RADAR AND RESPONDED BY FIRING MISSILES. HE SAYS BOTH U-S PLANES RETURNED SAFELY TO THEIR TURKISH BASE. THERE IS NO WORD WHETHER THE AMERICAN WEAPONS DID ANY DAMAGE TO IRAQI RADAR, ANTI-AIRCRAFT ARTILLERY OR MISSILE SITES.

    BAGHDAD HAS STEPPED UP ITS CHALLENGES TO THE WESTERN-IMPOSED EXCLUSION ZONES OVER IRAQ SINCE LAST MONTH'S U-S - LED RAIDS, WHICH HIT TARGETS WHERE IRAQ WAS THOUGHT TO BE HIDING BANNED WEAPONS. (SIGNED).
    NEB/JR/ENE/WTW
    14-Jan-99 5:03 PM EST (2203 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] BRITAIN BLAIR SCANDALS BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=1/14/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42358
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// FIRST USE BY PAM TAYLOR "DATELINE" SEGMENT -- BY REQUEST ///

    INTRO: BRITAIN'S LABOUR PARTY GOVERNMENT HEADED BY PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR CONTINUES TO ENJOY HIGH POPULARITY RATINGS ONE-AND-A-HALF YEARS AFTER ELECTIONS. BUT A SERIES OF HIGH-PROFILE RESIGNATIONS OF TOP BRITISH OFFICIALS IN RECENT WEEKS HAS PUT THE BLAIR GOVERNMENT ON THE DEFENSIVE. DETAILS FROM LONDON AND V-O-A'S PAUL FRANCUCH.

    TEXT: WHEN BRITAIN'S LABOUR PARTY WON AN OVERWHELMING VOTE IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS BACK IN MAY 1997, ITS CAMPAIGN MANAGERS ATTRIBUTED THE SUCCESS LARGELY TO SCANDALS WHICH PLAGUED THE THEN-RULING CONSERVATIVE PARTY. BRITAIN'S VOTERS APPARENTLY WANTED A CHANGE, AND LABOUR WAS SELLING AN IMAGE OF INTEGRITY IN OFFICE. THEY EVEN RE-BRANDED THEIR PARTY "NEW LABOUR."

    FOR THE MOST PART, LABOUR'S FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE WENT WELL. THE ECONOMY BOOMED. PEACE PROSPECTS FOR TROUBLED NORTHERN IRELAND SEEMED THE BEST IN DECADES. BUT IN RECENT WEEKS, BRITISH MEDIA HAVE HAD A FIELD DAY WITH REPORTS OF EMBARRASSING REVELATIONS REGARDING GOVERNMENT CABINET MINISTERS. JUST DAYS AGO WHEN PRIME MINISTER BLAIR FACED QUESTIONS IN PARLIAMENT, CONSERVATIVE OPPOSITION LEADER WILLIAM HAGUE LET GO WITH A VERBAL BARRAGE.

    /// HAGUE ACT///

    ... AND HAS NOT THE LAST FEW WEEKS BEEN A DISGRACE? AND IS IT NOT TIME HE BURIED THE SPIN-DOCTORING POLITICS OF "NEW LABOUR" WITH THE SELF-SERVING, HIGH-LIVING CAREER OF THE POLITICIAN WHO INVENTED IT?

    /// END ACT///

    THAT REFERENCE WAS TO THE FORMER TRADE AND INDUSTRY SECRETARY PETER MANDELSON -- THE MAN WHO GETS MUCH OF THE CREDIT FOR MANAGING THE LABOUR PARTY'S SUCCESSFUL ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN 1997. A CLOSE FRIEND TO PRIME MINISTER BLAIR, MR. MANDELSON RESIGNED RECENTLY AFTER IT WAS REVEALED HE BOUGHT AN EXPENSIVE LONDON TOWNHOUSE AFTER QUIETLY ACCEPTING A LARGE LOAN FROM A WEALTHY PRO-LABOUR PARTY BUSINESS EXECUTIVE, GEOFFREY ROBINSON. MR. ROBINSON HELD A GOVERNMENT POST TOO. HE ALSO RESIGNED AFTER THE REPORTS CAME OUT.

    BUT THE TROUBLES DID NOT END THERE. ANOTHER BRITISH CABINET MINISTER WAS RECENTLY ACCUSED OF MISUSING PUBLIC FUNDS ON PRIVATE JETS FOR FLIGHTS WHICH EASILY COULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN ON COMMERCIAL AIRLINERS. THIS PAST WEEK, BRITAIN'S FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK CAME UNDER THE BURNING MEDIA SPOTLIGHT WHEN A BOOK WRITTEN BY HIS EX-WIFE WAS SERIALIZED IN A NEWSPAPER, FEATURING ALLEGATIONS MR. COOK WAS A PHILANDERER AND SUFFERED FROM ALCOHOL ABUSE.

    COMPOUNDING PROBLEMS FOR THE BLAIR GOVERNMENT ARE RECURRING REPORTS OF PERSONAL RIVALRIES AMONG TOP OFFICIALS, INCLUDING FOREIGN SECRETARY COOK, THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER JOHN PRESCOTT, AND CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER GORDON BROWN -- BRITAIN'S FINANCE MINISTER.

    IN PUBLIC PRIME MINISTER BLAIR APPEARS UNDAUNTED BY ALL THE SENSATIONAL MEDIA STORIES ABOUT HIS GOVERNMENT MINISTERS. SPEAKING BEFORE A LONDON MEETING OF A LEFT-WING RESEARCH INSTITUTE (INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH), MR. BLAIR DISMISSED TALK OF SCANDAL AND UNDERSCORED HIS GOVERNMENT'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND FUTURE GOALS.

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    WHEN WE PUBLISHED OUR MANIFESTO BEFORE THE (1997) GENERAL ELECTION, SOME PEOPLE SAID IT WAS TOO MODEST AND TOO TIMID. BUT I BELIEVE THAT IF WE STAY ON COURSE, THIS NEW LABOUR GOVERNMENT IN BRITAIN WILL BE ONE OF THE GREAT RADICAL REFORMING GOVERNMENTS OF THIS CENTURY.

    /// END ACT ///

    ADOPTING AN IMAGE OF DOING THE WORK HE WAS ELECTED TO DO AND NOT BEING DIVERTED BY REPORTS OF SCANDAL, PRIME MINISTER BLAIR IS FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE SET BY PRESIDENT CLINTON OF PERFORMING -- BUSINESS AS USUAL -- IN THE FACE OF SEEMINGLY ENDLESS REPORTS OF SCANDAL.

    BRITISH POLITICAL ANALYSTS SAY MR. BLAIR IS LIKELY TO SURVIVE THE RECENT SPATE OF EMBARRASSING REPORTS. THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OPPOSITION REMAINS WEAK AND MR. BLAIR'S OPINION POLL STANDINGS REMAIN HIGH. BUT THE INITIAL IMAGE OF HIGH INTEGRITY WHICH PUT BRITAIN'S LABOUR PARTY IN POWER 18-MONTHS AGO HAS BEEN TARNISHED. AND ANALYSTS EXPECT MORE MINISTERIAL RESHUFFLING BEFORE THE BRITISH LABOUR GOVERNMENT REGAINS ITS FOOTING. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/RAE
    14-Jan-99 12:15 PM EST (1715 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=1/14/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42365
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT THURSDAY DEFEATED A MOTION OF CENSURE AGAINST THE EXECUTIVE BODY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, KNOWN AS THE "EUROPEAN COMMISSION." AS V-O-A'S RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, THE ACTION HAS FOCUSED ATTENTION ON A POWERFUL INSTITUTION WHICH THE EUROPEAN PUBLIC OFTEN OVERLOOKS.

    TEXT: THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT IS THE ONLY PART OF THE 15-NATION EUROPEAN UNION WHERE THE PUBLIC CAN ELECT MEMBERS. BUT IN FACT, ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE PUBLIC ACTUALLY BOTHERS TO CAST BALLOTS.

    THAT LEAVES 626 MEMBERS FROM AN IDEOLOGICAL RANGE OF POLITICAL PARTIES STRETCHING FROM FAR LEFT TO FAR RIGHT TO FORM COMMITTEES AND HOLD SEEMINGLY ENDLESS DEBATES AT THE PARLIAMENT IN STRASBOURG, FRANCE. IF THE PARLIAMENT DOES NOT LIKE THE POLICIES CARRIED OUT BY THE EXECUTIVE -- THE 20-APPOINTED EUROPEAN COMMISSIONERS -- IT HAS ONLY ONE OPTION. IT DISMISSES ALL OF THEM.

    WHEN THE PARLIAMENT TURNED DOWN THE COMMISSION'S 1996 BUDGET AMID ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUD AND MISMANAGEMENT, IT DEMONSTRATED ITS DETERMINATION TO USE THAT POWER.

    //OPT//

    THIS MARKED ONLY THE FIFTH TIME SINCE 1979 THAT A DIRECTLY-ELECTED EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HAS TRIED TO ASSERT ITS AUTHORITY. //END OPT//

    THERE WERE NO CHARGES AT THE TIME THAT COMMISSION PRESIDENT JACQUES SANTER WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MONEY THAT DISAPPEARED FROM EUROPEAN UNION AID FUNDS, INTENDED FOR THE BALKANS OR CENTRAL AFRICA. THERE WERE, HOWEVER, ALLEGATIONS OF MISMANAGEMENT AGAINST AT LEAST TWO OF THE COMMISSIONERS. AGAIN, THE PARLIAMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO SINGLE-OUT INDIVIDUAL COMMISSIONERS FOR CENSURE.

    MANY MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT WERE IRRITATED BY MR. SANTER'S COMMENTS DENYING FRAUD HAD TAKEN PLACE. SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE VOTE, MR. SANTER INSISTED THE ALLEGATIONS STEMMED FROM THE COMMISSION'S OPENNESS TO THE PUBLIC.

    ///SANTER WITH INTERPRETER ACT///

    WE HAVE TAKEN ACTION IN THIS RESPECT AND TO SOME EXTENT WE ARE A VICTIM OF OUR OWN TRANSPARENCY (OPEN) POLICIES BECAUSE WE UNCOVERED THE CASES OURSELVES WHEN IT CAME TO FRAUD. AND I WANT TO MAKE THAT QUITE CLEAR, WITHOUT GOING INTO THE CONTENT OF THE DEBATE -- ALL CASES OF FRAUD WHICH HAVE BEEN UNCOVERED UNDER THIS COMMISSION COME FROM EARLIER TIMES.

    ///END ACT///

    BUT THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT WAS MORE HUMBLE IN PROMISING ZERO TOLERANCE FOR FRAUD. AFTER THE CENSURE MOTION AGAINST HIS COMMISSION WAS DEFEATED, MR. SANTER TOLD PARLIAMENT HE WILL DO BETTER.

    //OPT// /// SECOND SANTER ACT, THROUGH INTERPRETER ///

    I TAKE TO HEART THE CRITICISMS THAT YOU HAVE MADE AND I COMMIT MYSELF TO A VERY TIGHT TIMETABLE TO IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM I HAVE PROPOSED AND TO FOLLOW UP WITH THIS PARLIAMENT. IN THE PRESENT TRIAL, WE SEE A POSSIBILITY OF GIVING A NEW AND FRESHER REFORM. AND THE PARLIAMENT HAS SHOWN ITS AUTHORITY AND POSSIBILITY TO CARRY OUT THE NECESSARY SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL. AND WE MUST BE HAPPY FOR THAT, AS DEMOCRATS.

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

    WHILE THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HAS BACKED AWAY FROM USING ITS AUTHORITY TO THROW OUT MR. SANTER AND HIS COMMISSIONERS, IT HAS AGREED TO TAKE PART IN AN INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE THAT WILL FOLLOW UP REPORTS OF MISMANAGEMENT WITHIN THE COMMISSION. THE FIRST REPORT IS EXPECTED BY MARCH 15TH.

    THE MOVE TOWARD CENSURE WAS EMBARRASSING FOR THE COMMISSION, COMING AT A TIME WHEN IT HAS BEEN CELEBRATING THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW SINGLE CURRENCY, THE EURO. THE TIMING ALSO CAME IN THE MIDDLE OF DELICATE NEGOTIATIONS ABOUT REFORMING THE EUROPEAN UNION'S BUDGET. UNTIL THOSE NEGOTIATIONS ARE COMPLETED, THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL NOT CONSIDER ENLARGING MEMBERSHIP TO NEW CANDIDATE COUNTRIES IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE.

    EVEN THOUGH IT FAILED, THE CENSURE MOVE MAY LEAVE JACQUE SANTER WEAK AS HE COMPLETES HIS LAST YEAR IN OFFICE. THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HOLDS NEW ELECTIONS IN JUNE WHICH MAY BRING A NEW MEMBERSHIP MORE DETERMINED THAN EVER TO DEMONSTRATE ITS AUTHORITY OVER AN APPOINTED EXECUTIVE COMMISSION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF/PT
    14-Jan-99 3:39 PM EST (2039 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=1/14/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244204
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN SHARPLY TODAY (THURSDAY) AS INVESTOR CONCERNS ABOUT BRAZIL INTENSIFIED. V-O-A BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 91 HUNDRED 20, DOWN 228 POINTS OR TWO AND ONE-HALF PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 12 HUNDRED 12, DOWN 22 POINTS.

    THERE WAS CONTINUED CONCERN ABOUT THE DETERIORATING SITUATION IN BRAZIL. THAT NATION'S CENTRAL BANK ISSUED A STATEMENT WHICH SAID IT WILL NOT ALLOW ITS CURRENCY TO FLOAT ON THE MARKET AFTER WENESDAY'S PARTIAL DEVALUATION. BUT MANY WALL STREET TRADERS DO NOT BELIEVE THAT, FEARING BRAZIL'S CURRENCY WILL FALL MUCH MORE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    JAMES MAGUIRE OF THE HENDERSON BROTHERS INVESTMENT COMPANY NOTES THAT OTHER NATIONS HAVE MADE SIMILAR ANNOUNCEMENTS SHORTLY BEFORE THEY ALLOWED THEIR CURRENCIES TO FLOAT.

    ///OPT///MAGUIRE ACT///

    I THINK A GOOD, HEALTHY DOSE OF SKEPTICISM COULD BE WARRANTED HERE. IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN BUT THERE ARE CERTAINLY MANY PEOPLE WHO DO HAVE THEIR DOUBTS.

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

    ALTHOUGH THERE IS CONCERN ABOUT BRAZIL AND ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, A GOVERNOR OF THE U-S CENTRAL BANK IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE U-S ECONOMY. EDWARD KELLEY SAYS THE U-S ECONOMY IN STARTING THE YEAR WITH STRONG MOMENTUM WHICH IS UNLIKELY TO FADE ANY TIME SOON.

    ///REST OPT///

    CONSUMER PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES ROSE BY JUST ONE-TENTH OF A PERCENT IN DECEMBER TO END 1998 WITH THE LOWEST INFLATION RATE IN 12 YEARS.

    THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS STRONG DEMAND FOR NEW AUTOMOBILES PUSHED OVERALL U-S RETAIL SALES UP ALMOST ONE PERCENT IN DECEMBER. BUT THERE WAS NO SIGN OF MAJOR SALES GAINS IN CLOTHING OR GENERAL MERCHANDISE STORES DURING THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SEASON. HOWEVER, INTERNET-BASED RETAILERS HAD A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS SEASON. A MARKETING RESEARCH GROUP REPORTS INTERNET SALES SURGED TO EIGHT POINT TWO BILLION DOLLARS, ALMOST SEVEN TIMES AS MUCH AS THE SAME PERIOD A YEAR AGO.

    THE SUNGLASSES HUT COMPANY WENT AGAINST THE TREND THURSDAY. THE STOCK OF THE SPECIALITY RETAILER ROSE MORE THAN 50 PERCENT AFTER IT ANNOUNCED IT WILL ACQUIRE TWO INTERNET SITES.

    THE EASTMAN KODAK PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY REPORTED EARNINGS OF 272 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE FOURTH QUARTER AFTER A LOSS IN THE SAME PERIOD A YEAR AGO. BUT KODAK'S STOCK FELL MORE THAN 10 PERCENT BECAUSE THE EARNINGS WERE BELOW EXPECTATIONS.

    PLANET HOLLYWOOD, THE INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT CHAIN, SAYS IT HOPES TO STOP ITS FINANCIAL LOSSES WITH A MAJOR RENOVATION PROGRAM. THE COMPANY SAYS FRESH PAINT, NEW FURNISHINGS AND BETTER MENUS WILL REVIVE THE MOVIE-THEMED RESTAURANTS.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    14-Jan-99 5:29 PM EST (2229 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=01/14/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11098
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

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

    ////

    INTRO: THE RETIREMENT OF BASKETBALL SUPERSTAR MICHAEL JORDAN OF THE CHICAGO BULLS, AND THE DEVALUATION OF THE BRAZILIAN CURRENCY ARE THE MOST POPULAR TOPICS IN THE NATION'S EDITORIAL COLUMNS THIS THURSDAY.

    /// OPT ///

    OTHER EDITORIALS DEAL WITH THE ADVANCES IN THE ARGENTINE ECONOMY UNDER PRESIDENT MENEM; DEALING WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN; RE-VISITING THE JONATHAN POLLARD SPY CASE; AND BACKSLIDING IN HAITI. /// END OPT /// NOW, HERE IS ______________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME EXCERPTS IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: MICHAEL JORDAN'S RETIREMENT, ANNOUNCED OFFICIALLY IN CHICAGO WEDNESDAY, CONTINUES TO DRAW WIDE REACTION IN THE NATION'S PRESS. "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" SAYS:

    VOICE: IF ANYONE COULD ELEVATE PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL TO AN ART FORM, MICHAEL JORDAN COULD. TO WATCH HIM PLAY BASKETBALL WAS TO WITNESS AN INTRICATELY CHOREOGRAPHED BALLET. ... MR. JORDAN ... PERSONIFIED THE AMERICAN IDEAL OF WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A TOP-NOTCH PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE. HE LEAPT TO HEIGHTS TO WHICH OTHERS CAN ONLY ASPIRE.

    TEXT: IN CALIFORNIA, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" SAYS HIS PERFORMANCE WAS "CLASSY ALL THE WAY TO THE BUZZER."

    VOICE: SPORTS MARKETERS ARE DESPERATE TO CREATE OR DISCOVER 'THE NEXT MICHAEL JORDAN.' BUT THERE ARE NO OTHER MICHAEL JORDANS, ONE WHOSE THOUGHTFUL APPROACH TO FAME OFFERS THE BEST GUIDANCE ON WHAT PROFESSIONAL SPORTS IN GENERAL OUGHT TO BE LOOKING FOR.

    /// OPT ///

    ... THE MANY ASPIRANTS TO THE THRONE OF 'HIS AIRNESS' NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT TAKES MORE THAN SLAM DUNKS TO INSPIRE LASTING FAN LOYALTY AND ADMIRATION.

    TEXT: TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE JUST-SETTLED LONG AND BITTER STRIKE BETWEEN BASKETBALL PLAYERS AND THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION OWNERS, "THE WASHINGTON POST" ASKS:

    VOICE: IS THERE LIFE AFTER MICHAEL JORDAN? THE QUESTION MUST BE OCCURRING TO THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION, WHICH WAS JUST GEARING UP FOR A SHORT, UNCERTAIN SEASON WHEN IT WAS HIT BY THE RETIREMENT OF THE ONE MAN WHO HAS BEEN INDISPENSABLE TO ITS RISE IN POPULARITY DURING THE '90S. A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE SNEAKER BUSINESS, TELEVISION AND THE MANUFACTURE OF ALL SORTS OF ENDORSABLE PRODUCTS MAY BE HAVING SIMILAR QUALMS. HIS IS ARGUABLY THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS PERSON, AND NOT ONLY FAMOUS BUT ADMIRED - - A FIGURE WHOSE SELLING POWER EXTENDS FAR BEYOND SPORTS.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: THE DAY'S OTHER MAJOR STORY, THE DEVALUATION OF THE REAL IN BRAZIL, DRAWS THIS LAMENT FROM "THE NEW YORK TIMES."

    VOICE: IT HAS BEEN ONLY TWO MONTHS SINCE THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND PUT TOGETHER A 41-POINT-FIVE BILLION RESCUE PACKAGE FOR BRAZIL ... BUT IN THAT SHORT TIME, BRAZIL'S SITUATION HAS BEEN DETERIORATING. THAT LED TO ITS EIGHT PERCENT CURRENCY DEVALUATION YESTERDAY, A MOVE THAT UNSETTLED WORLD MARKETS. UNFORTUNATELY, THAT DEVALUATION LOOKS LIKE AN UNSATISFACTORY HALF-STEP. ... NOT ENOUGH TO BRING THE CURRENCY DOWN TO A REASONABLE VALUE. THE MOVE MAY INTENSIFY BRAZIL'S RECESSION RATHER THAN HELP ... END IT. ... /// OPT /// BRAZIL ... MUST SHOW IT CAN DEAL WITH ITS FISCAL PROBLEMS. OTHERWISE, THE I-M-F MAY HAVE TO CONCLUDE THAT ITS DECISION TO PUT TOGETHER A BRAZILIAN PACKAGE WAS A MISTAKE, AND THAT TO CONTINUE IT WOULD BE TO THROW GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" IS CALLING FOR MORE HELP FOR THE AILING NATION.

    VOICE: WHEN BRAZIL'S LATEST FINANCIAL CRISIS BROKE ON WEDNESDAY, VISIONS OF THE MEXICAN COLLAPSE OF 1994 MUST HAVE FLASHED THROUGH THE MINDS OF WORLD LEADERS AND THEIR FINANCE MINISTERS. MANY SIGNS OF A CRASH WERE THERE. NOW IT'S UP TO THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, THE GROUP OF SEVEN INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND TO STEP IN IMMEDIATELY WITH POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO AND HIS ECONOMIC REFORM PLAN. ... HE'S RUNNING OUT OF TIME AND OPTIONS.

    TEXT: STILL IN LATIN AMERICA, "THE WASHINGTON POST" WRITES THAT THERE IS SOME GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS FROM ARGENTINA.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// FIRST UNDER [PRESIDENT] RAUL ALFONSIN AND NOW UNDER CARLOS MENEM, /// END OPT /// ARGENTINA HAS OVERCOME A HISTORY OF INTERNAL UPHEAVAL AND SELF-BETRAYAL, AND HAS ESTABLISHED ONE OF THE HEMISPHERE'S PREMIER FREE-MARKET DEMOCRACIES. ... PRESIDENT MENEM INHERITED AN INFLATION RATE OF AN UNREAL FIVE-THOUSAND PERCENT A YEAR AND TOOK IT DOWN TO ZERO-POINT-FIVE-PERCENT. IT'S EASY ENOUGH TO ... REDUCE INFLATION. THE TRICK IS TO MAKE THE ECONOMY GROW. MR. MENEM ACHIEVED THIS RESULT TO A DEGREE THAT MADE ARGENTINA WHAT VICE PRESIDENT GORE CALLED 'A WORLD-CLASS ECONOMIC SUCCESS,' /// OPT /// THROUGH UNEMPLOYMENT REMAINS UNACCEPTABLY HIGH AND ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION ARE TROUBLING. /// END OPT ///

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE MIDDLE EAST, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" WARNS, "DON'T LET IRAQ OFF THE HOOK," CONCERNING ITS QUEST FOR WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. THE NEWSPAPER WORRIES THAT A NEW FRENCH PROPOSAL DEPARTING FROM THE UNSCOM WEAPONS INSPECTION TEAMS IS A MISTAKE.

    VOICE: CERTAINLY BROAD INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IS REQUIRED TO PREVENT IRAQ FROM MAKING ANY FUTURE PROGRESS IN ACQUIRING NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS. BUT

    /// OPT ///

    THE ESSENTIAL AND IMMEDIATE JOB IS RIDDING IRAQ OF THE WEAPONS IT ALREADY HAS, ALONG WITH THE LONG-RANGE MISSILES TO DELIVER THEM. /// END OPT /// .... THERE IS SIMPLY NO EFFECTIVE SUBSTITUTE FOR CONTINUING THE DISARMAMENT EFFORT, WHICH THE FRENCH PLAN DOES NOT ADDRESS.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: DOMESTICALLY, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" IS AGAIN CALLING FOR A SPEEDY PROCEEDING IN THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF PRESIDENT CLINTON, WHICH BEGINS/BEGAN TODAY IN THE SENATE.

    VOICE: A SURVEY OF PUBLIC-OPINION POLLS ON THE EVE OF ... [THE] TRIAL ... SHOWS THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE STILL HAVE THINGS FIGURED OUT CORRECTLY. MAJORITY OPINION IS THAT HE SHOULD CONTINUE IN OFFICE ... BE CENSURED AND THAT HE LIED UNDER OATH. THE SENATE'S TASK IS TO MOVE AS EXPEDITIOUSLY TOWARD A VERDICT THAT CONFORMS WITH THE PUBLIC JUDGMENT, SINCE THAT VERDICT WOULD ALSO CONFORM WITH THE EVIDENCE IN THE CASE. ... THIS IS NOT A TIME WHEN THE MILLS OF JUSTICE MUST GRIND SLOWLY.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: MEANWHILE, "THE WASHINGTON POST" JOINS OTHER NEWSPAPERS IN PLEADING FOR ALL THE SENATE PROCEEDINGS TO BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND THE MEDIA, WHICH WILL REQUIRE A CHANGE IN SENATE RULES THAT REQUIRES SECRECY FOR THE FINAL DEBATE AND VOTE ON REMOVAL FROM OFFICE.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" IS CALLING ON PRESIDENT CLINTON NOT TO RELEASE CONVICTED SPY JONATHAN POLLARD, WHO SOLD VITAL U-S SECRETS TO ISRAEL.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// [MR.] POLLARD SHOULD STAY RIGHT WERE HE IS, SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE FOR DELIVERING U-S SECRETS TO ISRAEL IN THE 1980S. /// END OPT /// ... [MR.] POLLARD WILLINGLY BETRAYED HIS COUNTRY, AND THE FACT THAT HE GAVE SECRETS TO AN 'ALLIED' NATION IS IMMATERIAL. HE SHOULD STAY RIGHT WHERE HE IS FOR THE REST OF HIS NATURAL LIFE.

    TEXT: AS REGARDS RECENT VIOLENCE AND POLITICAL PROBLEMS IN HAITI, TODAY'S "MIAMI HERALD" IS INCREASINGLY CONCERNED WITH THE SITUATION IN PORT-AU-PRINCE.

    VOICE: THE ATTACK BY GUNMEN ON THE SISTER OF HAITIAN PRESIDENT RENE PREVAL IS THE MOST VISIBLE SIGN OF HAITI'S SLOW SLIDE INTO THE NETHERWORLD OF POLITICAL CHAOS. IT SHOULD BE A SIGNAL TO THE IMPEACHMENT-PREOCCUPIED U-S GOVERNMENT AND ITS UNITED NATIONS ALLIES THAT MORE FORCEFUL, DIRECT STEPS ARE NEEDED IF HAITI IS TO REGAIN ITS TENUOUS GRASP ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE.

    TEXT: ON THAT APPREHENSIVE NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENTS FROM THURSDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    14-Jan-99 10:28 AM EST (1528 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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