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Voice of America, 99-03-09

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (IVAJA, KOSOVO)
  • [02] U-N-H-C-R/KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [03] U-S / KOSOVO ONITER (L) BY NICK SIMEONE (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] ISRAEL / TURKEY BY DEBORAH TATE (JERUSALEM)
  • [05] NATO CONFERENCE (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [06] NORTHERN IRELAND (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] IRAN / ITALY (L ONLY) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (ROME)
  • [08] FRANCE / BASQUES (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [09] FRANCE / AIDS BLOOD (L) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [10] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [11] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (IVAJA, KOSOVO)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246418
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: HEAVY FIGHTING WAS REPORTED TUESDAY IN SOUTHERN KOSOVO. PHILIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM IVAJA, KOSOVO THAT THE FIGHTING INTENSIFIED NEAR THE MACEDONIAN BORDER.

    TEXT: ALONG THE MACEDONIAN BORDER TUESDAY, YUGOSLAV TANKS CLIMBED RIDGES AND INFANTRY FANNED OUT ACROSS SNOWY MOUNTAINS IN APPARENT PURSUIT OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS.

    SEVERAL HUNDRED ETHNIC ALBANIAN REFUGEES FLED THE IVAJA AREA TUESDAY. THEY TOLD OF BEING TRAPPED FOR THREE DAYS IN THE FOREST WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER. THEY FLED ON FOOT AND HORSEBACK AWAY FROM THE FIGHTING AS THE YUGOSLAV FORCES SWEPT THROUGH THEIR VILLAGE, SETTING FIRE TO HOMES AND HAYSTACKS.

    WHEN THE REFUGEES REACHED THE MAIN HIGHWAY, THEY WERE ROUNDED UP BY SERBIAN FORCES. THE MEN WERE PLACED ON ARMY TRUCKS AND DRIVEN TO A LOCAL POLICE STATION.

    THE ARMY ADVANCE APPEARED TIMED TO SEND A TOUGH MESSAGE TO WESTERN POWERS JUST AS U-S SPECIAL ENVOY RICHARD HOLBROOKE ARRIVED IN BELGRADE TO TRY TO PERSUADE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO ACCEPT A KOSOVO PEACE DEAL.

    MR. HOLBROOKE IS EXPECTED TO TELL MR. MILOSEVIC ON WEDNESDAY THAT HE MUST CHANGE HIS MIND ABOUT A NATO-BACKED PEACE DEAL FOR KOSOVO OR FACE NATO AIR STRIKES.

    THE SPECIAL U-S ENVOY USED THE THREAT OF NATO AIR STRIKES LAST OCTOBER TO GET MR. MILOSEVIC TO SIGN A CEASE FIRE AGREEMENT WHICH HAS DRAWN CRITICISM FOR BEING INEFFECTIVE IN STOPPING THE KOSOVO CONFLICT.

    EUROPEAN OFFICIALS SAY MR. MILOSEVIC APPARENTLY STILL DOES NOT TAKE THE THREAT OF NATO AIR STRIKES SERIOUSLY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/JWH/KL
    09-Mar-99 2:21 PM EST (1921 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] U-N-H-C-R/KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246413
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY, THE U-N-H-C-R, CALLS THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO VERY GRIM AND DETERIORATING. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA REPORTS THE AGENCY SAYS THE CONTINUOUS CYCLE OF VIOLENCE AND DISPLACEMENT IN KOSOVO DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR PEACE TALKS SCHEDULED TO RESUME NEXT WEEK IN FRANCE.

    TEXT: THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS ABOUT 20-PERCENT OF KOSOVO'S TWO-MILLION ETHNIC ALBANIANS HAVE BEEN DISPLACED. U-N-H-C-R SPOKESMAN KRIS JANOWSKI SAYS THE LATEST DISPLACEMENTS OCCURRED MONDAY.

    RESIDENTS OF SEVERAL VILLAGES NEAR THE TOWN OF VUCITRN, LOCATED ABOUT 20-KILOMETERS NORTHWEST OF THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL OF PRISTINA, FLED THEIR HOMES AFTER THE YUGOSLAV ARMY MOVED INTO THE AREA.

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS U-N STAFF SAW SEVERAL HOUSES ON FIRE IN ONE OF THE VILLAGES. HE SAYS THEY ALSO SAW FIVE BUS LOADS OF PEOPLE FLEEING THOSE VILLAGES.

    /// JANOWSKI ACT ///

    WE ESTIMATE THAT UP TO 16-HUNDRED PEOPLE ARE ON THE RUN AFTER THAT PARTICULAR MILITARY OPERATION. THERE IS ALSO A NEW DISPLACEMENT OF SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE IN THE VILLAGES IN THE AREA AFTER THE ARMY HAD SHELLED THE VILLAGES.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS U-N EFFORTS TO EVACUATE AN ESTIMATED 200 PEOPLE STUCK ON A MOUNTAIN SLOPE CLOSE TO THE MACEDONIAN BORDER HAVE BEEN FRUSTRATED. HE SAYS THE REFUGEE AGENCY WAS GIVEN PERMISSION BY THE YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES TO HELP THE STRANDED PEOPLE. BUT HE SAYS AN ATTEMPT TO RESCUE THE GROUP LAST FRIDAY WAS BLOCKED BY THE REBEL "KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY", THE K-L-A.

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS U-N REFUGEE WORKERS WERE ASTONISHED WHEN THE KOSOVO REBELS REFUSED TO LET THEM PASS THROUGH A CHECKPOINT LEADING TO THE MOUNTAIN.

    /// SECOND JANOWSKI ACT ///

    WE WERE ACTUALLY VERY SURPRISED THAT THE K-L-A PREVENTED US FROM EVACUATING THEIR OWN PEOPLE, AS IT WERE, FROM EXTREMELY HARSH AND DIFFICULT CONDITIONS. WE DO NOT KNOW WHY THEY DID IT. BUT, WE ARE NOT VERY HAPPY WITH IT. WE HAD NO PROBLEMS FROM THE YUGOSLAV SIDE, FROM THE SERB SIDE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS THE UNITED NATIONS HAS HAD TO PUT ITS RESCUE OPERATION ON HOLD. HE SAYS SHELLING AND FIGHTING IN THE AREA IS MAKING IT TOO DANGEROUS. HE SAYS THE REFUGEE AGENCY IS WORRIED ABOUT THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE OPEN, ESPECIALLY THE CHILDREN AND ELDERLY WHO HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO HARSH WINTER CONDITIONS FOR MANY DAYS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/PCF/RAE
    09-Mar-99 12:03 PM EST (1703 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] U-S / KOSOVO ONITER (L) BY NICK SIMEONE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246431
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AMERICAN MEDIATOR RICHARD HOLBROOKE MEETS IN BELGRADE WEDNESDAY (TODAY) WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC IN HOPES OF GAINING SERB ACCEPTANCE OF A PEACE ACCORD TO END A YEAR OF FIGHTING IN KOSOVO PROVINCE. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE REPORTS THE KOSOVO PEACE PROCESS COULD BE AT A TURNING POINT.

    TEXT: THE UNITED STATES HAD HOPED THAT BY THE TIME RICHARD HOLBROOKE ARRIVED IN BELGRADE, KOSOVAR REBELS WOULD HAVE ALREADY SIGNED THE PEACE ACCORD PUT TOGETHER LAST MONTH IN FRANCE. THAT WOULD HAVE INCREASED PRESSURE ON PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC TO DROP HIS OPPOSITION TO PLANS FOR DEPLOYING NATO PEACEKEEPING TROOPS IN KOSOVO AND TO SIGN ON AS WELL.

    BUT A DAY AFTER THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY SAID THEY HAD ACCEPTED THE AGREEMENT, THE UNITED STATES STILL HAD NO FIRM WORD ABOUT WHEN K-L-A LEADERS MIGHT ACTUALLY SIGN IT. AND THERE WERE INDICATIONS THAT THE REBELS MAY BE TRYING TO ATTACH MORE CONDITIONS. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN:

    // RUBIN ACT //

    ALL WE'RE DOING NOW IS WAITING FOR THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS TO SIGN AND THEN THE PRESSURE WILL CLEARLY TURN ON THE SERBS IN THE SAME WAY AS BEFORE.

    // END ACT //

    THE LACK OF COMMITMENT FROM THE REBELS WILL LIKELY MAKE AMBASSADOR HOLBROOKE'S MISSION TO BELGRADE ALL THE MORE DIFFICULT. IF THE K-L-A ISN'T WILLING TO SIGN THE AGREEMENT, PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC MIGHT ARGUE, THEN WHY SHOULD HE? THE AMERICAN RESPONSE WILL BE THAT NATO HAS STANDING ORDERS TO BOMB SERB TARGETS IF BELGRADE ENDS UP BLOCKING A FINAL DEAL.

    // SECOND RUBIN ACT //

    I THINK THAT PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC KNOWS WHAT NATO'S INTENTIONS ARE AND AS FAR AS WHAT AMBASSADOR HOLBROOKE WOULD SPECIFICALLY SAY ON THAT SUBJECT, I DON'T THINK IT'S APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO STATE IN ADVANCE BEFORE SUCH A MEETING, BUT I THINK THE BASIC SITUATION IS PRETTY WELL KNOWN.

    // END ACT //

    BELGRADE ARGUES PLACING 28-THOUSAND NATO TROOPS IN KOSOVO WOULD VIOLATE ITS SOVEREIGNTY. THE UNITED STATES AND ITS EUROPEAN NEGOTIATING PARTNERS SAY NATO IS EITHER GOING TO GO IN AS A PEACEKEEPERS OR WILL BOMB SERB TARGETS IF BELGRADE REJECTS THE AGREEMENT. BOTH SIDES IN THE YEAR-OLD KOSOVO CONFLICT ARE SET TO RECONVENE IN FRANCE NEXT WEEK FOR A FINAL MEETING WHOSE OUTCOME MAY SET THE STAGE FOR NATO'S COURSE OF ACTION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NJS/RRM
    09-Mar-99 5:10 PM EST (2210 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] ISRAEL / TURKEY BY DEBORAH TATE (JERUSALEM)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42804
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY'S SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, HIKMET CETIN, ARRIVED TUESDAY FOR THREE DAYS OF MEETINGS WITH ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, FOREIGN MINISTER ARIEL SHARON, MEMBERS OF THE ISRAELI KNESSET, AND OTHER OFFICIALS. THE VISIT IS THE LATEST SIGN OF WARMING RELATIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND TURKEY -- A RELATIONSHIP PROMPTING CONCERN IN SYRIA, WHICH MAY HAVE DIRE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS. V-O-A'S DEBORAH TATE REPORTS FROM JERUSALEM.

    TEXT: FOR TURKEY, THE BENEFIT OF CLOSER TIES WITH ISRAEL IS CLEAR: IT MEANS MORE SECURITY.

    TURKEY AND ISRAEL SIGNED AN AGREEMENT IN 1996 PROVIDING FOR INTELLIGENCE COOPERATION. ISRAEL IS ALSO SELLING THE TURKISH ARMED FORCES MILITARY EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING NIGHT VISION SCOPES AND ANTI-ROCKET SYSTEMS FOR HELICOPTERS. ISRAEL, TOO, BENEFITS FROM THE RELATIONSHIP. PROFESSOR EPHRAIM INBAR IS DIRECTOR OF THE BEGIN-SADAT CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES AT BAR-ILLAN UNIVERSITY IN TEL AVIV.

    // INBAR ACTUALITY //

    ISRAEL SEES TURKEY AS A VERY IMPORTANT COUNTRY. IT IS A REGIONAL POWER. IT AN ISLAMIC COUNTRY, AND IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN DIFFUSING THE ISLAMIC DIMENSION OF THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT. MOREOVER, TURKEY IS AN IMPORTANT MARKET FOR ISRAEL, FOR ITS CIVILIAN AS WELL AS MILITARY PRODUCTS.

    // END ACT //

    MR. INBAR ARGUES THE TURKISH-ISRAELI ALLIANCE CONTRIBUTES TO REGIONAL STABILITY. HE CITES AS AN EXAMPLE SYRIA'S DECISION -- UNDER TURKISH PRESSURE -- TO EXPEL KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN LAST OCTOBER -- FOUR MONTHS BEFORE TURKISH AUTHORITIES TOOK HIM INTO CUSTODY IN NAIROBI.

    //OPT// // SECOND INBAR ACTUALITY //

    THE TURKS CAPITALIZED ON THEIR GOOD RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL, AND COMPELLED THE SYRIANS TO ABIDE BY THEIR REQUEST, AND THE SYRIANS WERE AFRAID OF A TWO-FRONT ATTACK.

    // END ACT //

    ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU HAS DENIED REPORTS THAT HIS COUNTRY HAD ANY ROLE IN MR. OCALAN'S CAPTURE -- REPORTS THAT SPARKED VIOLENT PROTESTS BY THE REBEL LEADER'S FOLLOWERS AT ISRAELI EMBASSIES THROUGHOUT EUROPE LAST MONTH. //END OPT//

    ALTHOUGH PROFESSOR INBAR ARGUES THE TURKISH-ISRAELI ALLIANCE IS GOOD FOR THE REGION'S SECURITY, OTHERS SEE IT DIFFERENTLY. SYRIAN EXPERT MOSHE MA'OZ AT HEBREW UNIVERSITY SAYS THE ALLIANCE IS NOT WELCOME NEWS AMONG TURKEY'S ARAB NEIGHBORS, PARTICULARLY SYRIA, WHICH HE SAYS FEELS THREATENED BY THE ALLIANCE.

    // MA'OZ ACTUALITY //

    THE SYRIANS ARE WORRIED THAT THE TWO COUNTRIES ARE GOING TO DICTATE SOME TERMS TO IT, THAT ISRAEL WOULD NOT RETURN THE GOLAN HEIGHTS TO SYRIA AND MAYBE SEND SOME MESSAGES THAT IF IT MISBEHAVES, TURKEY CAN PUNISH IT -- OR TOGETHER, THEY CAN PUNISH IT. //OPT// THE STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISRAEL IS NOT WELCOME IN DAMASCUS. //END OPT//

    // END ACT //

    BUT FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY, ZVI AL-PELEG, DISMISSES SUCH CONCERN:

    // AL-PELEG ACTUALITY //

    THERE IS NO REASON WHATSOEVER WHY ARABS SHOULD BE WORRIED BY RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISRAEL, IF THEY ARE NOT ANY MORE ASPIRING TO DESTROY ISRAEL. SO THERE IS NO REASON WHATSOEVER, BECAUSE THE MAIN AREAS OF COOPERATION BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISRAEL ARE THE ECONOMY, AGRICULTURE, TECHNOLOGY. //OPT// ISRAEL AND TURKEY ARE TWO COMPLEMENTARY ECONOMIES. //END OPT//

    // END ACT //

    BUT PROFESSOR MA'OZ OF HEBREW UNIVERSITY SAYS SYRIAN CONCERN OVER THE ALLIANCE IS JUSTIFIED IN LIGHT OF WHAT HE SAYS HAS BEEN RECENT STEPPED UP RHETORIC AGAINST DAMASCUS BY ISRAEL AND TURKEY. THAT, HE SAYS, DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS.

    // SECOND MA'OZ ACTUALITY //

    FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS, BOTH SIDES -- THE TURKISH AND ISRAELI GOVERNMENTS -- TRIED TO UPGRADE OR AT LEAST EXPRESS SOME RHETORIC, NOT VERY CONCILIATORY RHETORIC I MIGHT ADD, AND SENDING ALL KINDS OF MESSAGES. I WOULD EXPECT THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT TO BE MORE SENSITIVE TO SYRIA AND WHILE CONCLUDING AGREEMENTS WITH TURKEY, WOULD NOT JEOPARDIZE CHANCES FOR PEACE WITH SYRIA. BECAUSE AFTER ALL, THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT CANNOT BE RESOLVED AND CANNOT BE STABLE AND COMPREHENSIVE WITHOUT SYRIA.

    // END ACT //

    MR. MA'OZ SAYS SYRIA SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE ISRAELI-TURKISH ALLIANCE ON STRATEGIC ISSUES SUCH AS RESOLVING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AS IRAQ AND IRAN, AND ON WATER SHARING IN THE MIDDLE EAST. SYRIA, HE NOTES, SUFFERS FROM A LACK OF WATER AND MUST RELY ON TURKEY AS A SOURCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/PCF
    09-Mar-99 1:30 PM EST (1830 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] NATO CONFERENCE (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246403
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AT A LONDON CONFERENCE CELEBRATING NATO'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY, THE ORGANIZATION'S SECRETARY GENERAL SAYS IT NEEDS TO HELP BUILD A FEELING OF EUROPEAN COOPERATION AND BELONGING AMONG THE NEXT GENERATION OF BALKAN LEADERS. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN HAS MORE.

    TEXT: NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA SAYS NATO IS NO LONGER WHAT HE TERMS A "PASSIVE" DEFENSE ORGANIZATION. THE 16-NATION ALLIANCE IS NOW ACTIVELY RESHAPING THE SECURITY AGENDA FOR EUROPE. HE POINTS TO NATO'S ROLE IN CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND PEACEKEEPING IN THE BALKANS AS AN EXAMPLE.

    BUT MR. SOLANA SAYS NATO ALSO NEEDS TO GO BEYOND ITS CURRENT MANAGING OF CRISES IN FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS. NATO, HE SAYS, SHOULD HELP PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS IN THE BALKANS FOR THE REGION'S PEACEFUL INTEGRATION WITH THE REST OF EUROPE. MR. SOLANA CALLS IT "PARTNERSHIP FOR PROSPERITY."

    /// SOLANA ACT ///

    WE NEED THE ENGAGEMENT OF A NEW GENERATION OF CITIZENS AND LEADERS IN THE REBUILDING PROCESS IN THE TROUBLED PARTS OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. WE NEED THE PEOPLE OF THE REGION TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY IN THEIR OWN HANDS AND SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE OPEN TO THEM. WITH THE FIRST SIGNS OF SUCH A REGENERATION CAN COME THE FIRST STEP IN THE LONGER TERM OF THE INTEGRATION PROCESS, A REINTEGRATION INTO NORMALCY AND STABILITY AND PROSPERITY IN MAINSTREAM EUROPE.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE NATO CHIEF ALSO STRESSES THE NEED FOR STRENGTHENING THE EUROPEAN SIDE OR "PILLAR" OF NATO, WITHOUT UNDERMINING ITS TRANS-ATLANTIC LINK. HE POINTS TO THE PROPOSED NATO PEACEKEEPING FORCE FOR KOSOVO, WHERE MOST OF THE TROOPS WOULD BE EUROPEAN, AND UNDER EUROPEAN COMMAND.

    /// SECOND SOLANA ACT ///

    WE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT STRIKING A NEW TRANSATLANTIC BARGAIN FOR THE NEXT CENTURY. SUCH A BARGAIN DOES NOT MEAN LESS AMERICA. IT SIMPLY MEANS MORE EUROPE.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT EUROPEAN STATES WORRY ABOUT THEY SEE AS THE WIDENING TECHNOLOGICAL GAP BETWEEN THEM AND THE UNITED STATES. MR. SOLANA WARNS THAT STRENGTHENING THE EUROPEAN PILLAR REQUIRES A COMMITMENT TO SPEND WHAT IS NEEDED TO STRENGTHEN ITS CAPABILITIES.

    //OPT//

    THE EUROPEAN PILLAR WILL GROW AS NATO EXPANDS IN WHAT MR SOLANA CALLS ITS "OPEN DOOR" POLICY.

    /// THIRD SOLANA ACT ///

    NATO'S ESSENTIAL ROLE IN THIS ENDEAVOR IS VERY CLEAR: TO HELP BRING ABOUT A NEW COOPERATIVE SECURITY ORDER IN WHICH NO COUNTRY FEELS EXCLUDED.

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

    POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC FORMALLY JOIN THE ALLIANCE LATER THIS WEEK. OTHER EAST EUROPEAN STATES -- ONCE GROUPED IN THE WARSAW PACT ALLIANCE OF THE COLD WAR ERA -- ARE LINING UP TO JOIN TOO. BUT FOR NOW, RUSSIA AND UKRAINE REMAIN EXCEPTIONS AND SHOW NO INTEREST IN NATO MEMBERSHIP. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/PCF
    09-Mar-99 9:07 AM EST (1407 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] NORTHERN IRELAND (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246412
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NORTHERN IRELAND'S PEACE AGREEMENT IS STALLING OVER THE ISSUE OF DISARMING PARAMILITARY GROUPS. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN IN LONDON REPORTS THE DISPUTE HAS FORCED BRITAIN TO POSTPONE ITS HANDOVER OF HOME-RULE POWER TO THE NEW NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY.

    TEXT: THE PROTESTANT LEADER OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY, DAVID TRIMBLE, MET FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR TUESDAY WITH THE HEAD OF SINN FEIN -- THE POLITICAL WING OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY. BOTH SIDES REPORT LITTLE PROGRESS IN RESOLVING THE DISPUTE OVER DECOMMISSIONING. BUT THEY PROMISE TO MEET AGAIN.

    MR. TRIMBLE REFUSES TO LET SINN FEIN JOIN NORTHERN IRELAND'S NEW CABINET UNTIL THE PARAMILITARY GROUP IT REPRESENTS STARTS HANDING IN ITS WEAPONS. SINN FEIN'S GERRY ADAMS SAYS THAT IS NOT A PRE-CONDITION TO JOINING THE GOVERNMENT.

    UNDER THE PEACE AGREEMENT, BRITAIN HAD AGREED TO TRANSFER HOME-RULE POWERS TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT THIS WEEK. BUT THE MINISTER FOR NORTHERN IRELAND ANNOUNCED ON MONDAY THE HANDOVER WILL NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL APRIL SECOND, GOOD FRIDAY.

    THE PEACE AGREEMENT -- ENDING 30 YEARS OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE IN NORTHERN IRELAND -- WAS REACHED ON GOOD FRIDAY OF LAST YEAR. BUT THE DECOMMISSIONING DISPUTE HAS BLOCKED PROGRESS ON THE AGREEMENT'S IMPLEMENTATION.

    MR. ADAMS SAYS THE GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT GIVES PARAMILITARY GROUPS TWO YEARS TO TURN IN THEIR WEAPONS. MR. TRIMBLE SAYS THEY MUST START NOW IF THEY WANT TO A PLACE IN THE NEW CABINET.

    HARDLINE REPUBLICANS HAVE REFUSED TO TURN OVER ANY WEAPONS AND MR. ADAMS SAYS HE IS TAKING SERIOUSLY DEATH THREATS FROM REPUBLICAN EXTREMISTS WHO CONSIDER HIS ROLE IN THE PEACE PROCESS A SELL-OUT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH
    09-Mar-99 11:43 AM EST (1643 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] IRAN / ITALY (L ONLY) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (ROME)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246404
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // RE-RUNNING WITH CR NUMBER //

    INTRO: IRANIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMMED KHATAMI IS IN ROME -- THE FIRST WESTERN VISIT BY AN IRANIAN LEADER SINCE THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION 20 YEARS AGO. SABINA CASTELFRANCO REPORTS FROM THE ITALIAN CAPITAL THAT NOT EVERYONE IS PLEASED WITH THE VISIT.

    TEXT: HUNDREDS OF OPPONENTS OF THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATED IN FRONT OF ROME'S ANCIENT COLOSSEUM TO PROTEST THE IRANIAN LEADER'S VISIT TO ITALY.

    THE PROTESTERS WAVED IRANIAN FLAGS AND HELD BANNERS READING "NO KHATAMI" AND SHOUTED "IRAN RAJAVI," REFERRING TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE IRANIAN RESISTANCE COUNCIL, MASSOUD RAJAVI.

    /// DEMONSTRATION SOUNDS - FADE UNDER ///

    ONE GROUP OF PROTESTERS WAS DRESSED IN PRISON CLOTHING. OTHERS HELD PHOTOGRAPHS OF RELATIVES THEY SAY WERE TORTURED OR KILLED BY THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT. THEY CALLED FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IN THEIR COUNTRY. ONE SAID ITALY SHOULD NOT DO BUSINESS WITH WHAT HE CALLED A TERRORIST GOVERNMENT.

    /// DEMONSTRATOR ACT ///

    WE ARE HERE TO SAY TO THE WORLD WE CONDEMN THE PRESIDENT OF IRAN, MR KHATAMI, HIS VISIT TO ITALY. WE REALLY CONDEMN THAT. WE DON'T WANT THEM TO HAVE ANY POLITICAL OR ECONOMIC GAIN. OUR PEOPLE ARE PAYING THE PRICE, THE HIGHEST PRICE, WITH THEIR BLOOD AND THIS IS NOT CORRECT. THIS IS WRONG IN ITS NATURE. IT IS TOTALLY WRONG IN ITS NATURE. WE DON'T WANT THEM TO HAVE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THIS TERRORIST REGIME.

    /// END ACT ///

    ONE SPEAKER AT THE PROTEST WAS A MEMBER OF THE ITALIAN PARLIAMENT, MARCO TARADASH, WHO CRITICIZED THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT FOR AGREEING TO THE VISIT.

    /// TARADASH ACT - IN ITALIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    MR. TARADASH SAID ITALY AND WHAT HE CALLED SERIOUS WESTERN DEMOCRATIC NATIONS SHOULD AGREE TO DO BUSINESS WITH IRAN ONLY IF THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT IMPROVES ITS HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD. BUT HE SAID ITALY IS SAYING IRAN HAS CHANGED -- ALTHOUGH IT HASN'T.

    THE IRANIAN OPPOSITION GROUPS PLAN TO CONTINUE THEIR PROTESTS WITH A NEWS CONFERENCE ON WEDNESDAY.

    THE IRANIAN PRESIDENT IS MEETING IN ROME WITH ITALIAN OFFICIALS BEFORE TRAVELLING THURSDAY TO FLORENCE, WHERE HE WILL SPEAK AT THE EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE. PRESIDENT KHATAMI WILL END HIS TRIP WITH A PRIVATE MEETING THURSDAY AT THE VATICAN WITH POPE JOHN PAUL THE SECOND. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SC/JWH/KL
    09-Mar-99 9:26 AM EST (1426 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] FRANCE / BASQUES (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246410
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FRENCH POLICE HAVE ARRESTED THE SUSPECTED MILITARY HEAD OF ETA, THE BASQUE SEPARATIST ORGANIZATION.. THE POLICE SWOOPED, ARRESTING FIVE OTHER BASQUES IN PARIS, JUST AS SPANISH PRIME MINISTER JOSE MARIA AZNAR ARRIVED FOR TALKS WITH FRENCH LEADERS. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: IN A COORDINATED OPERATION, PARIS POLICE SWOOPED ON SUSPECTED BASQUE HIDEOUTS IN TWO DISTRICTS OF THE FRENCH CAPITAL.

    IN THE WEST OF PARIS, THEY DETAINED FOUR PEOPLE, INCLUDING JOSE JAVIER ARIZCUREN RUIZ WHO, UNDER HIS CODENAME "KANTAURI," IS SUSPECTED OF BEING THE MILITARY CHIEF OF THE MILITANT ETA SEPARATIST ORGANIZATION.

    IN PARTICULAR, HE IS ACCUSED OF BEING BEHIND A FAILED 1995 PLOT TO ASSASSINATE SPAIN'S KING JUAN CARLOS. TWO YEARS AGO, THE ETA LEADER HUMILIATED FRENCH POLICE BY ESCAPING FROM THEIR CUSTODY. POLICE SAID THAT KANTAURI AND HIS THREE COMPANIONS WERE CARRYING AUTOMATIC PISTOLS WHEN THEY WERE DETAINED OUTSIDE A PARIS HOTEL.

    IN THE EAST OF PARIS, MEANWHILE, ANOTHER TWO SUSPECTED BASQUE MILITANTS WERE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY.

    THE OPERATION OCCURRED JUST AS SPANISH PRIME MINISTER JOSE MARIA AZNAR ARRIVED IN FRANCE FOR A DAY OF TALKS WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC AND PRIME MINISTER LIONEL JOSPIN.

    FOR THE PAST DECADE, FRANCE HAS MADE A POINT OF SUPPORTING SPAIN'S CAMPAIGN AGAINST ETA. EARLIER, UNDER SPAIN'S FASCIST RULE THAT ENDED WITH THE DEATH OF FRANCISCO FRANCO IN 1975, FRANCE ALLOWED BASQUE DISSIDENTS, PARTICULARLY A SELF-STYLED EXILED GOVERNMENT, TO OPERATE FROM THE FRENCH BASQUE COUNTRY ON THE BORDER WITH SPAIN. ETA, THE INITIALS IN BASQUE FOR BASQUE HOMELAND AND LIBERTY, HAS WAGED A CAMPAIGN AGAINST SPANISH RULE IN THE SPANISH BASQUE REGION THAT HAS CAUSED ABOUT 800 DEATHS IN THREE DECADES.

    THE FRENCH MOVES AGAINST ETA CAME AFTER SPANISH AUTHORITIES, DESPITE CONCLUDING A TRUCE WITH ETA SIX MONTHS AGO, DETAINED TWO JOURNALISTS IN THE SPANISH BASQUE COUNTRY WHO ARE SUSPECTED OF SYMPATHIZING WITH ETA.

    IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FRENCH DAILY LE MONDE, MR. AZNAR SAID IT WOULD BE NAIVE TO IMAGINE THAT A FEW MONTHS OF TRUCE COULD WIPE OUT THE EFFECTS OF 30 YEARS OF CONFLICT. HE SAID HE HOPES SPAIN AND THE BASQUE SEPARATISTS CAN COME TO AGREEMENT OVER THE NEXT 15 YEARS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/JWH
    09-Mar-99 11:23 AM EST (1623 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] FRANCE / AIDS BLOOD (L) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246399
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // RE-RUNNING W/ CQ CR #. NO CHANGES //

    INTRO: A FRENCH COURT, SET UP SPECIALLY TO TRY POLITICIANS FOR OFFENSES COMMITTED IN OFFICE, HAS ACQUITTED A FORMER PRIME MINISTER AND A MEMBER OF HIS CABINET ON CHARGES THAT THEY ALLOWED THE DISTRIBUTION OF AIDS-TAINTED BLOOD IN THE 1980'S. JULIAN NUNDY IN PARIS REPORTS ANOTHER FORMER MINISTER WAS FOUND GUILTY.

    TEXT: FRANCE'S COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC, DELIVERING ITS FIRST EVER VERDICT, ACQUITTED FORMER SOCIALIST PRIME MINISTER LAURENT FABIUS AND HIS SOCIAL AFFAIRS MINISTER, GEORGINA DUFOIX. IT DID, HOWEVER, FIND THE THIRD DEFENDANT, FORMER HEALTH MINISTER EDMOND HERVE, GUILTY OF ERRORS THAT LED TO THE CONTAMINATION BY THE AIDS H-I-V VIRUS OF AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE.

    THE COURT DECIDED NOT TO CALL FOR ANY PUNISHMENT FOR MR. HERVE, RULING THAT, IN THE 15 YEARS SINCE HE WAS A MINISTER AND IN THE FIVE YEARS SINCE HE WAS INDICTED, HE HAS NOT BENEFITED FROM THE USUAL PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE.

    THE LENIENT VERDICT WAS EXPECTED BECAUSE, IN HIS SUMMING-UP LAST MONTH, THE PROSECUTOR CALLED FOR ALL THREE MINISTERS TO BE ACQUITTED. ON THE MOST SENSITIVE ISSUE, THE COURT RULED THAT MR. FABIUS DID NOT DELAY AIDS TESTING WHEN IT BECAME AVAILABLE IN 1985. THERE WERE CHARGES THAT FRANCE OBSTRUCTED THE INTRODUCTION OF AN AMERICAN TEST TO ALLOW A FRENCH COMPANY TO DEVELOP ITS OWN TESTING METHOD.

    THE VERDICT PREDICTABLY UPSET ASSOCIATIONS REPRESENTING AIDS VICTIMS. ONE SAID IT WAS ONE OF "DISHONOR." IT SAID THE TRIAL WAS IN ANY CASE DISCREDITED.

    THE FIRST SESSION OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE, IN WHICH 12 MEMBERS OF BOTH HOUSES OF THE FRENCH PARLIAMENT SAT ALONGSIDE THREE PROFESSIONAL JUDGES, WAS AN UNHAPPY ONE BOTH BECAUSE OF DOUBTS ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF THE CHARGES AND BECAUSE OF PROCEDURAL ERRORS.

    OTHER POLITICIANS AND MANY LAWYERS ARGUED THAT IT IS WRONG TO APPLY CRIMINAL CHARGES TO QUESTION OF POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY.

    APART FROM THE QUESTION OF AIDS TESTING, FRENCH HEALTH AUTHORITIES ESTABLISHED THAT FRANCE WAS STILL USING UNSAFE PRODUCTS FOR HEMOPHILIACS IN THE MID-1980'S WHEN SAFE PRODUCTS HAD BECOME AVAILABLE.

    THE FRENCH TRANSFUSION SERVICES ALSO USED BLOOD FROM DONORS WHO HAD NOT BEEN TESTED, FOR THREE MONTHS AFTER AIDS TESTING FOR BLOOD DONATIONS BECAME LAW.

    DESPITE TUESDAY'S VERDICT, THE LONG-RUNNING SCANDAL IS NOT OVER. ALREADY TWO SENIOR TRANSFUSION SERVICE DOCTORS HAVE SERVED JAIL TERMS. THEY NOW FACE NEW CHARGES. ALONGSIDE SOME OTHER DOCTORS AND SENIOR CIVIL SERVANTS, THEY ARE DUE TO GO TO TRIAL IN THE COMING MONTHS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/JWH
    09-Mar-99 7:25 AM EST (1225 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=3/9/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246432
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN MODESTLY TODAY (TUESDAY) IN WHAT ANALYSTS SAY WAS ROUTINE PROFIT-TAKING. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 96 HUNDRED 93, DOWN 33 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 12 HUNDRED 79, DOWN TWO POINTS. AND THE NASDAQ INDEX LOST A FRACTION OF ONE PERCENT.

    THERE WAS NO NEGATIVE ECONOMIC NEWS AND ANALYSTS SAY SOME TRADERS WERE SIMPLY TAKING PROFITS AFTER LAST WEEK'S BIG RALLY.

    ALAN GREENSPAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE U-S CENTRAL BANK SAYS THE U-S ECONOMY IS IN GREAT SHAPE, IN ITS NINTH YEAR OF EXPANSION. SPEAKING TO A CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS CREDIT, MR. GREENSPAN ALSO NOTED THAT INFLATION HAS ALMOST DISAPPEARED.

    ///GREENSPAN ACT - OPT
    ///

    UNEMPLOYMENT IS LOWER THAN IT HAS BEEN IN NEARLY 30 YEARS. AND YET, DESPITE THE TAUTNESS (TIGHTNESS) IN LABOR MARKETS, THERE HAVE BEEN NO OBVIOUS SIGNS OF EMERGING INFLATION PRESSURES.

    ///END ACT - END OPT ///

    SOME ANALYSTS INTERPRETED MR. GREENSPAN'S REMARKS AS INDICATING THAT CENTRAL BANK GOVERNORS WILL NOT RAISE SHORT-TERM INTEREST RATES AT THEIR MEETING LATER THIS MONTH (3-30,31).

    ///REST OPT///

    ANOTHER FACTOR WHICH SHOULD HELP KEEP INTEREST RATES LOW IS RISING WORKER PRODUCTIVITY. THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS THAT THE PRODUCTIVITY -- OR OUTPUT PER HOUR OF WORK -- ROSE IN THE FOURTH QUARTER AT ITS FASTEST RATE IN SIX YEARS.

    THE R-J-R NABISCO COMPANY ANNOUNCED A MAJOR RESTRUCTURING PROGRAM WHICH WAS CHEERED BY WALL STREET. THE COMPANY, MAKER OF CAMEL BRAND CIGARETTES, WILL SELL ITS INTERNATIONAL TOBACCO OPERATIONS TO THE JAPAN TOBACCO COMPANY FOR EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS. IN ADDITION, R-J-R WILL SPLIT ITS FOOD AND TOBACCO OPERATIONS INTO SEPARATE COMPANIES. R-J-R STOCK ROSE ABOUT EIGHT PERCENT. MANY ANALYSTS SAY THE RISKS INHERENT IN THE TOBACCO BUSINESS HAVE HELD THE VALUE OF R-J-R'S FOOD BUSINESS AT AN ARTIFICIALLY LOW LEVEL.

    THE STOCK OF THE MICROSOFT COMPANY ROSE AFTER A REPORT (SEATTLE "TIMES") THAT THE COMPUTER SOFTWARE COMPANY AND THE GOVERNMENT ARE IN TALKS TO SETTLE AN ANTI-MONOPOLY LAWSUIT WHICH IS NOW IN A SIX-WEEK TRIAL RECESS. THERE WAS NO COMMENT FROM EITHER THE COMPANY OR THE GOVERNMENT. FLUOR, THE U-S-BASED ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION FIRM, SAYS IT WILL ELIMINATE FIVE THOUSAND JOBS, ABOUT FOUR PERCENT OF ITS WORK FORCE, IN AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE PROFITS. THE COMPANY WILL ALSO DROP ALMOST TWO THOUSAND SMALLER CUSTOMERS WHICH ARE EITHER MARGINALLY PROFITABLE OR CARRIED AT A LOSS.

    THE MCDONALD'S HAMBURGER RESTAURANT CHAIN SAYS IT ALWAYS TRIES TO TAILOR ITS MENU TO LOCAL TASTES. FOR THAT REASON, THE COMPANY HAS INTRODUCED GUACAMOLE BURGERS IN MEXICO. MCDONALD'S SAYS IT EXPECTS THE BURGERS, NAMED "MCMEXICANAS" TO HELP FUEL DOUBLE-DIGIT SALES GROWTH IN THE MEXICAN MARKET THIS YEAR.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/JO
    09-Mar-99 5:26 PM EST (2226 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/09/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11181
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: MATERIAL DATED AFTER 10 P-M EST /////

    INTRO: THE PROBLEM OF CHINESE NUCLEAR ESPIONAGE IN THE UNITED STATES IS HIGH ON THE AGENDA OF MANY EDITORIAL WRITERS THIS TUESDAY. OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE PRESIDENT CLINTON TOURING CENTRAL AMERICA: THE DETERIORATING SITUATION IN HAITI; AND TWO NOTABLE DEATHS: FAMED NEW YORK YANKEE BASEBALL PLAYER JOE DIMAGGIO AND ICONOCLASTIC FILM DIRECTOR STANLEY KUBRICK. NOW, HERE WITH AN EXCERPT OR TWO AND A CLOSER LOOK AT SOME OF THE COMMENTARIES IS __________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: REPORTS OF CHINESE SPYING AT THE LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY IN NEW MEXICO HAS MANY PAPERS UPSET. "NEWSDAY" ON NEW YORK'S LONG ISLAND IS ONE OF THEM.

    VOICE: ATTEMPTS TO STEAL ITS MILITARY SECRETS ARE SOMETHING THE UNITED STATES WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH SO LONG AS ITS TECHNOLOGY IS MORE ADVANCED THAN ANYONE ELSE'S. ... BUT IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR WASHINGTON TO LET THEM SUCCEED. SO IT IS GOOD TO HEAR ... THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE'S CHAIRMAN PLANS HEARINGS OF REPORTS THAT CHINA BUILT A BETTER NUCLEAR WARHEAD USING DATA STOLEN FROM LOS ALAMOS ... FROM THE 1980'S ON.

    TEXT: IN CALIFORNIA, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" IS CALLING FOR AN EXPANDED PROBE OF THE ALLEGATIONS.

    VOICE: ACCORDING TO ...THE WALL STREET JOURNAL IN JANUARY ... THE WHITE HOUSE WAS INFORMED OF THE SPYING IN EARLY 1996. BUT NOT UNTIL LATE LAST YEAR, SAYS ENERGY SECRETARY BILL RICHARDSON, WERE TIGHTER COUNTERESPIONAGE MEASURES INSTITUTED. AND NOT UNTIL MONDAY [YESTERDAY 3/8] WAS THE LOS ALAMOS EMPLOYEE UNDER SUSPICION FIRED. ... WHY BETTER PROTECTIVE MEASURES WERE NOT PUT IN FORCE LONG AGO DEMANDS AN EXPLANATION.

    TEXT: "THE NEW YORK TIMES" WHICH ADVANCED THE STORY IN RECENT DAYS, IS ALSO ALARMED.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// AFTER THE [SPYING] CASE WAS LAID OUT FOR MR. [NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER SAMUEL] BERGER IN JULY 1997, THE WHITE HOUSE SHOULD HAVE EXAMINED WHETHER ITS CHINA POLICY WAS DESENSITIZING WASHINGTON TO CHINESE EFFORTS TO ACQUIRE MILITARY TECHNOLOGY THROUGH ESPIONAGE AND TRADE. THE WHITE HOUSE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY VIGILANT BECAUSE ITS HANDLING OF CHINA WAS ALREADY UNDER SCRUTINY BY CONGRESS AFTER ALLEGATIONS OF ILLEGAL CHINESE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS IN 1996.

    TEXT: PRESIDENT CLINTON IS IN CENTRAL AMERICA SURVEYING HURRICANE DAMAGE AND DISCUSSING U-S AID PROPOSALS, AND IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" SAYS THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO RIGHT SOME RECENT WRONGS.

    VOICE: THE VERY SOIL SHRIEKS IN EL SALAVADOR AND GUATEMALA FOR THE TENS-OF-THOUSANDS OF ATROCITIES THAT OCCURRED THERE, SOME OF THEM WITHIN THE DECADE. THE UNITED STATES' SUPPORT OF THE MILITARY GOVERNMENTS ... THERE AND IN NEIGHBORING HONDURAS, IMPLICATED THIS COUNTRY DEEPLY IN THE TORTURE AND THE BLOODLETTING. /// OPT /// IT WAS A SAD, SHAMEFUL CHAPTER IN THE HISTORY NOT ONLY OF CENTRAL AMERICA, BUT OF THE UNITED STATES. /// END OPT ///

    PRESIDENT CLINTON'S FOUR-DAY VISIT THIS WEEK TO THESE NATIONS AND TO NICARAGUA ... ALLOWS HIM TO MAKE THE POINT DRAMATICALLY THAT AMERICA'S INTERESTS LIE WITH DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS AND INSTITUTIONS. THEY DO NOT LIE WITH THE ROGUE REGIMES OF THE PAST ...

    TEXT: "THE MIAMI HERALD" WOULD HAVE LIKED THE U-S AID PACKAGE TO BE WITH MR. CLINTON, INSTEAD OF TIED UP IN CONGRESS.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// SURE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON TO ARRIVE WITH HIS ONE-BILLION-DOLLAR AID PACKAGE SEALED WITH CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL. IT DID NOT WORK OUT THAT WAY. INCLUDED IN THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL ARE 677-MILLION FOR REBUILDING SCHOOLS, HOMES AND ECONOMIES, AND 41-MILLION FOR REDUCING THE COUNTRIES' DEBT. /// END OPT ///

    .... ALTHOUGH CONGRESS APPEARS SYMPATHETIC TO PROVIDING AID, QUESTIONS ABOUT OFFSETTING SPENDING CUTS ARE HOLDING UP THE PROCESS. CONGRESS MUST NOT DILUTE THE SERIOUS PURPOSE OF THIS NEEDED AID WITH UNREASONABLE DELAYS OR DEMANDS.

    TEXT: STILL IN THE REGION, "THE MIAMI HERALD" WORRIES IN TODAY'S LEAD EDITORIAL ABOUT THE WORSENING CONDITIONS IN HAITI, BUT HOLDS OUT SOME HOPE FOR CHANGE.

    VOICE: JUST AS MATTERS SEEMED AT THEIR BLEAKEST, GOVERNMENT LEADERS ON SUNDAY SIGNED AN AGREEMENT THAT COULD BRING HAITI'S LONG POLITICAL STALEMATE TO AN END -- A PREREQUISITE FOR ANY CHANCE AT ALL OF ECONOMIC REVIVAL. THE DEAL BETWEEN PRESIDENT RENE PREVAL'S GOVERNMENT AND SIX POLITICAL PARTIES COULD LEAD TO PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS BY YEAR'S END. NOTHING IN HAITI IS FOR SURE, OF COURSE. AND ACTUALLY GETTING TO ELECTIONS -- AT LEAST THOSE THAT ARE CREDIBLE -- WILL TEST HAITI EVEN MORE THAN IT ALREADY HAS BEEN IN TWO YEARS OF VIOLENCE AND POLITICAL CHAOS. BUT THE DEAL OFFERS SOME SLIM HOPE.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" IS BLAMING THE MARINE CORPS AS A WHOLE, FOR THE ITALIAN SKI-LIFT TRAGEDY, AS IT COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S ACQUITTAL OF THE PILOT.

    VOICE: ... HOW COULD THE COURT-MARTIAL JURY IN GOOD CONSCIENCE CONVICT CAPTAIN RICHARD ASHBY OF RECKLESS HOMICIDE WHEN THE MARINE CORPS' OWN SLIPSHOD PROCEDURES CONTRIBUTED TO THIS TRAGEDY? ... HIS INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY ASUIDE, IT SEEMS CLEAR A LARGE BURDEN OF BLAME FOR THIS TRAGEDY BELONGS HIGHER UP THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. THAT IS A POINT AMERICA'S DIPLOMATS AND MILITARY OFFICIALS NEED TO DRIVE HOME TO ITS NATO ALLIES IF IT INTENDS TO KEEP FORWARD BASES ON THEIR SOIL.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: ALMOST EVERY EDITORIAL COLUMN ARRIVING AT THE V-O-A NEWSROOM THIS MORNING BEARS AN EDITORIAL LAUDING THE EXPLOITS OF BASEBALL HERO AND NATIONAL ICON JOE DIMAGGIO. MR. DIMAGGIO, WHO DIED YESTERDAY OF LUNG CANCER AT THE THE AGE OF 84, PLAYED A GRACEFUL CENTER FIELD FOR THE NEW YORK YANKEES FOR MORE THAN A DECADE, WHILE ALSO MAKING MANY HITTING RECORDS. "THE NEW YORK TIMES" EXPLAINS HIS MYSTIQUE THIS WAY.

    VOICE: OTHER MEN HAVE HIT THE BALL FARTHER AND RUN THE BASES FASTER, BUT FEW HAVE EXCELLED AT SO MANY ELEMENTS OF THE SPORT. DIMAGGIO'S 56-GAME HITTING STREAK IN 1941 REMAINS UNTOUCHED, ONE OF THE GREAT BENCHMARKS OF CONSISTENCY AND PRODUCTIVITY IN ALL OF SPORTS. /// OPT

    /// ... BUT THE NUMBERS ALONE DO NOT EXPLAIN THE DIMAGGIO MYSTIQUE. PART OF IT WAS HIS BRIEF, TURBULENT MARRIAGE TO MARILYN MONROE AND HIS TASTE FOR NIGHTCLUBS AND TONY [EXPENSIVE] HOTELS. /// END OPT /// ... HIS FAME ALSO FLOWED FROM THE AURA OF QUIET DIGNITY THAT DIMAGGIO CAREFULLY PRESERVED THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER AND RETIREMENT.

    TEXT: "THE [NEW YORK] DAILY NEWS" ADDS -- AS A PLAYER, DIMAGGIO STREAKED ACROSS THE SKY LIKE A COMET AND WAS AS CONSISTENT AS THE SUN. AMERICA BASKED IN THE AFTERGLOW FOR HALF-CENTURY. AND IN "USA TODAY" THE NATIONAL DAILY FROM THE WASHINGTON SUBURBS, SUGGESTS -- YOU COULD END THE AMERICAN CENTURY RIGHT NOW, SO COMPLETELY DID JOE DIMAGGIO INHABIT IT. FINALLY, ON THIS NATIONAL HERO: "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND COMMENTS:

    VOICE: ... SO MUCH OF WHAT IT MEANT TO BE DIMAGGIO CAME FROM WHO HE WAS, A FIGURE OF OLYMPIAN DIGNITY AND UTTER DEDICATION.

    TEXT: AND IN THE SAME PAPER, REMEMBRANCES OF ANOTHER NOTABLE FIGURE, FILM DIRECTOR STANLEY KUBRICK.

    VOICE: HIS FILMS WERE OFTEN OMINOUS COMPOSITIONS THAT MATCHED HIS BRILLIANT STORY-TELLING TECHNIQUES. THEY LEFT AUDIENCES ALIVE WITH INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION, OR AS INNOCENT OF THEIR MEANING AS SHEEP IN A PASTURE.

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENTS FROM THE EDITORIAL PAGES OF THE U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    09-Mar-99 10:49 AM EST (1549 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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