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Voice of America, 99-03-17

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO MASSACRE (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)
  • [02] KOSOVO TALKS (S/L VER) (CQ) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PARIS)
  • [03] KOSOVO TALKS (L UPDATE) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PARIS)
  • [04] KOSOVO CONGRESS - L BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [05] CONGRESS-KOSOVO WRAP (L) BY PAULA WOLFSON (CAPITOL HILL)
  • [06] U-S / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [07] TURKEY POL (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [08] EUROPEAN COMMISSION (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [09] EUROPE / WATER (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [10] GERMANY'S FINANCE MINISTER QUITS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [11] NORTHERN IRELAND BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)
  • [12] CLINTON/IRISH (S) BY NICK SIMEONE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [13] SLOVENIA/NATO (L-ONLY) -- CQ BY ALISHA RYU (WASHINGTON)
  • [14] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [15] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [16] I-O-C SCANDAL (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [17] I-O-C SCANDAL (L UPDATE) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

  • [01] KOSOVO MASSACRE (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246764
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A FINNISH FORENSICS TEAM SAYS THE DEATHS OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN CIVILIANS IN THE KOSOVO VILLAGE OF RACAK WAS AN ATROCITY. BUT PHILIP SMUCKER IN PRISTINA REPORTS THE TEAM'S LEADER STOPPED SHORT OF USING THE WORD "MASSACRE" TO DESCRIBE THE JANUARY KILLINGS..

    TEXT: THE TEAM'S LEADER, HELENA RANTA, SAYS 40 ETHNIC ALBANIANS WERE UNARMED CIVILIANS WHO WERE KILLED AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME. SHE SAYS 22 OF THE RACAK VICTIMS HAD BEEN SHOT WHERE THEY WERE FOUND IN A SMALL RAVINE ON A MOUNTAINSIDE.

    BUT THE FINNISH REPORT STOPPED SHORT OF CALLING THE RACAK KILLINGS A MASSACRE BY SERBIAN FORCES. MS. RANTA SAID THAT WHETHER THE RACAK VICTIMS WERE EXECUTED OR KILLED IN A CROSS-FIRE REMAINS TO BE DETERMINED.

    MS. RANTA ALSO QUESTIONED A WASHINGTON POST NEWSPAPER REPORT THAT SAID MANY OF THE RACAK VICTIMS WERE KNEELING WHEN THEY WERE SHOT. SHE SAID THE REPORT STATED NO FACTS ABOUT WHETHER THE VICTIMS WERE KNEELING OR NOT.

    A GERMAN REPRESENTATIVE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, WILFRED GRUBER, SAID THE FINNISH REPORT WILL BE GIVEN TO WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATORS IN THE HAGUE, AND COMBINED WITH WITNESS EVIDENCE TO MAKE A CASE AGAINST THE SUSPECTED KILLERS.

    THE CHIEF PROSECUTOR OF THE YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL WAS BLOCKED FROM ENTERING KOSOVO AFTER THE RACAK KILLINGS.

    THE HEAD OF THE KOSOVO MONITORING MISSION, WILLIAM WALKER, SAID HE STANDS BY HIS ORIGINAL CHARGE THAT SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES KILLED UNARMED CIVILIANS IN RACAK AT CLOSE RANGE.

    THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE, WHICH RUNS THE KOSOVO MONITORING MISSION, SAID THAT ON THE BASIS OF THE AUTOPSY REPORT, O-S-C-E CHAIRMAN KNUT VOLLEBAEK REPEATED HIS CONDEMNATION OF THE RACAK ATROCITY AGAINST INNOCENT CIVILIANS.

    THE KOSOVO MONITORING MISSION HAS CONDUCTED EXTENSIVE INTERVIEWS WITH VILLAGERS IN RACAK. ETHNIC ALBANIAN VILLAGERS TOLD INVESTIGATORS THAT THE 22 MEN WERE ROUNDED UP BY SERBIAN SPECIAL POLICE UNITS BEFORE BEING MARCHED UP THE MOUNTAIN. THEY SAID THEY BELIEVED THE MEN WERE THEN EXECUTED AT CLOSE RANGE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/JWH/JO
    17-Mar-99 11:43 AM EST (1643 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO TALKS (S/L VER) (CQ) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PARIS)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246761
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// RE-ISSUING TO DELETE LAST SENTENCE OF FIRST GRAF OF TEXT, WHICH SAYS "THE SERBS REFUSE TO MAKE ANY SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES TO THE DOCUMENT." THE SERBS ARE ASKING FOR CHANGES IN THE DOCUMENT
    ///

    INTRO: THE KOSOVO PEACE TALKS CONTINUE IN PARIS, BUT SO DOES THE VIOLENCE BACK IN KOSOVO. MEDIATORS IN THE FRENCH CAPITAL ARE HOLDING OUT LITTLE HOPE FOR SERB APPROVAL OF THE PEACE PLAN, WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN ACCEPTED BY KOSOVO'S ETHNIC ALBANIANS. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: THE SERBS ARE BACK IN TALKS WITH THE NEGOTIATORS TO GO OVER THEIR COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE 83-PAGE PEACE PLAN. BUT THE MEDIATORS SAY THE SERBS ARE TRYING TO REOPEN ASPECTS OF THE PLAN THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN AGREED TO.

    THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN DELEGATION ON MONDAY AGREED TO SIGN THE PEACE PLAN WHENEVER THE CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE CONFERENCE WANTED IT. ONE DELEGATION MEMBER SUGGESTS THAT COULD HAPPEN BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK, WHEN THE PARIS ROUND OF TALKS IS EXPECTED TO END.

    WHILE THE SERBS PICK OVER ITEMS OF THE POLITICAL SETTLEMENT, THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS ARE ALREADY WORKING ON THE DETAILS OF IMPLEMENTATION. THAT INCLUDES THE PRESENCE OF NATO PEACEKEEPER TROOPS IN KOSOVO -- SOMETHING WHICH THE SERBS STILL OPPOSE.

    /// OPT THE REST FOR SHORT ///

    THE PATIENCE OF WESTERN NEGOTIATORS APPEARS TO BE FADING. DIPLOMATS IN PARIS AND WASHINGTON ARE WARNING THE SERBS THAT TIME IS RUNNING OUT. BUT THERE IS NO SIGN OF ANY CHANGE IN ATTITUDE, EITHER IN BELGRADE OR AT THE PARIS TALKS. MEANWHILE, SERB FORCES ARE MASSING IN KOSOVO AND THE VIOLENCE THERE INTENSIFIES AMID GROWING FEARS THAT NATO WILL CARRY OUT ITS THREAT OF AIR STRIKES, IF THE SERBS DO NOT ACCEPT THE PEACE PLAN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/PCF
    17-Mar-99 10:44 AM EST (1544 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] KOSOVO TALKS (L UPDATE) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PARIS)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246771
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS REPORT UPDATES THE LONG VERSION OF CR 2-246742, TALKS END FOR THE DAY ///

    INTRO: THE PARIS PEACE TALKS ON KOSOVO HAVE DEADLOCKED -- WITH NO RESOLUTION INSIGHT. NEGOTIATORS SAY IT IS NOW UP TO YUGOSLAVIA TO DECIDE QUICKLY WHETHER TO SIGN THE PEACE PLAN FOR ITS ETHNIC ALBANIAN KOSOVO PROVINCE. THE NEGOTIATORS WILL MAKE THEIR FINAL REPORT TO THE CONFERENCE CO-CHAIRMEN ON THURSDAY. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN IN THE FRENCH CAPITAL REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE NEGOTIATORS SAY THE TALKS ARE NEARING AN END WITHOUT A POSITIVE RESPONSE FROM THE SERB DELEGATION. THE EUROPEAN UNION MEDIATOR WOLFGANG PETRITSCH SAYS HE DOES NOT EXPECT ANY CHANGE IN THE SERB POSITION.

    /// PETRITSCH ACT ///

    THEY ARE, AS FAR AS WE KNOW, NOT PREPARED TO SIGN. THEY CONTINUE TO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE POLITICAL PART OF THE AGREEMENT AND THEY ARE NOT READY TO ENGAGE IN NEGOTIATIONS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES THAT WERE CLEARLY A PART OF THE INVITATION TO COME TO PARIS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    /// END ACT ///

    U-S MEDIATOR CHRISTOPHER HILL POINTS OUT THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS' READINESS TO SIGN THE PEACE PLAN PUTS MORE PRESSURE ON THE SERBS TO DO THE SAME.

    /// HILL ACT ///

    I WOULD SAY THAT THE KOSOVAR ALBANIAN SIDE HAS DONE ALL THEY SAID THEY WOULD DO AND ALL WE HAVE ASKED THEM TO DO, AND THIS HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE ON THE OTHER SIDE.

    /// END ACT ///

    IN CONTRAST, RUSSIAN ENVOY BORIS MAYORSKY TRIES TO SOFTEN CRITICISM OF THE SERB DELEGATION.

    /// MAYORSKY ACT ///

    WE ARE NOT THE JUDGES. WE ARE THE INSTRUMENTS THAT ARE EFFECTIVE OR NOT EFFECTIVE TO HELP THE DELEGATIONS TO ACHIEVE A RESULT. SO, IF THE RESULT IS NOT ACHIEVED, BASICALLY IT CAN BE OUR OWN FAULT. MAYBE WE WERE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. SO IT WOULD BE AWKWARD TO SAY THAT IT DIDN'T HAPPEN BECAUSE WE WERE SO GOOD AND THE OTHERS WERE SO BAD.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS SAY THEY WILL SIGN THE DOCUMENT BEFORE LEAVING PARIS. BUT RUSSIAN ENVOY MAYORSKY SAYS ONE SIGNATURE ON THE 81-PAGE DOCUMENT IS NOT ENOUGH.

    /// MAYORSKY ACT ///

    ONE SIGNATURE, UNFORTUNATELY, DOESN'T MAKE AN AGREEMENT. IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO. THIS IS THE RULE OF ANY DANCE.

    /// END ACT ///

    NOW IT IS UP TO THE BRITISH AND FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTERS -- AS CO-CHAIRMEN OF THE PEACE TALKS -- TO DECIDE TO END THE PARIS SESSION AND CONSULT WITH THE SIX-NATION CONTACT GROUP ON KOSOVO ABOUT WHAT TO DO NEXT. THE THREAT OF NATO AIR STRIKES REMAINS IF BELGRADE REFUSES TO ACCEPT THE AUTONOMY PLAN FOR KOSOVO.

    /// REST OPT ///

    THE NEGOTIATORS ALSO COMPLAINED ABOUT THE SERB MILITARY BUILD-UP IN KOSOVO, WHICH THEY CONSIDER A SERIOUS VIOLATION OF THE OCTOBER CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT AND CONTRARY TO THE SPIRIT OF THE PEACE TALKS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/JO
    17-Mar-99 2:14 PM EST (1914 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO CONGRESS - L BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246779
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// RE-RUNNING WITH CORRECT NUMBER ///

    INTRO: NATO'S TOP COMMANDER SAYS THE KOSOVO CONFLICT COULD GET MUCH WORSE IF THE STALLED PEACE TALKS BETWEEN YUGOSLAV FORCES AND KOSOVAR ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS FAIL COMPLETELY. GENERAL WESLEY CLARK'S COMMENTS CAME AT A CONGRESSIONAL HEARING WHERE SOME LAWMAKERS EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE COST AND RISK OF SENDING AMERICAN SOLDIERS TO JOIN A POSSIBLE KOSOVO PEACEKEEPING FORCE. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS.

    TEXT: U-S OFFICIALS SAY SERB-DOMINATED YUGOSLAV FORCES HAVE BEEN MOVING FRESH TROOPS AND THEIR BEST TANKS TOWARD KOSOVO, AND NOW HAVE ABOUT 30-THOUSAND SOLDIERS IN OR NEAR THE SERBIAN PROVINCE.

    NATO'S SUPREME COMMANDER, U-S ARMY GENERAL WESLEY CLARK, SAYS MANY OF THOSE YUGOSLAV SOLDIERS ARE ENGAGED IN COMBAT RIGHT NOW.

    /// CLARK ACT ///

    THERE SHOULD BE NO DOUBT THAT THE SERB FORCES, MILITARY AND POLICE, AND SOME IRREGULAR PARAMILITARY FORCES ARE CONTINUING THE FIGHTING AT THIS TIME. AND THEY ARE PREPARED TO RESUME THE CONFLICT ON A VERY LARGE SCALE, SHOULD THESE PEACE TALKS FAIL TO RESULT IN AN AGREEMENT. OR SHOULD THEY CONCLUDE THAT NATO WASN'T SERIOUS.

    /// END ACT ///

    THERE WERE REPORTS OF NEW FIGHTING WEDNESDAY BETWEEN ETHNIC ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS AND YUGOSLAV ARMY FORCES NEAR THE BORDER WITH ALBANIA.

    NATO HAS THREATENED AIR STRIKES IF BELGRADE BLOCKS A SETTLEMENT OF THE CRISIS. SO FAR THE SERBIAN SIDE HAS REFUSED TO SIGN THE PEACE ACCORD.

    BUT IF AN AGREEMENT IS REACHED, A 28-THOUSAND MEMBER NATO PEACEKEEPING FORCE WILL BE DEPLOYED IN KOSOVO. FOUR THOUSAND OF THE TROOPS ARE EXPECTED TO BE AMERICANS, SOMETHING THAT WORRIES HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN FLOYD SPENCE.

    THE SOUTH CAROLINA REPUBLICAN SAYS THE KOSOVO SITUATION IS TRAGIC, BUT NOT A DIRECT THREAT TO U-S NATIONAL SECURITY. HE SAYS THAT MAKES MANY IN CONGRESS RELUCTANT TO RISK AMERICAN LIVES OR SPEND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/WDC/JO
    17-Mar-99 3:41 PM EST (2041 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] CONGRESS-KOSOVO WRAP (L) BY PAULA WOLFSON (CAPITOL HILL)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246784
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SAYS IT WILL STAND BY PRESIDENT CLINTON IF HE SENDS TROOPS TO KOSOVO AS PART OF A NATO PEACEKEEPING FORCE. V-O-A'S PAULA WOLFSON REPORTS THE VOTE CAME AFTER A LONG AND EMOTIONAL DEBATE,.

    TEXT: THIS WAS A DEBATE MARKED BY PASSION AND POLITICS, AND WAS HELD OVER THE OBJECTIONS OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE. MADELEINE ALBRIGHT WARNED LAWMAKERS A DIVISIVE DEBATE MIGHT HARM THE KOSOVO PEACE PROCESS. HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADERS WERE UNMOVED.

    ///HASTERT TEASE ACT///

    NO ONE SHOULD FEAR THE FREE EXPRESSION OF IDEAS, THE FRANK EXCHANGE OF OPINIONS.

    ///END ACT///

    SPEAKER DENNIS HASTERT PERSONALLY OPENED THE DEBATE WITH A CALL FOR SOLEMN DELIBERATIONS.

    ///HASTERT ACT///

    IT IS OUR HEAVY RESPONSIBILITY AND HIGH HONOR TO REPRESENT THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE BEING ASKED BY THE PRESIDENT TO GO INTO HARMS WAY. (OPT) EACH OF US MUST BE PREPARED TO ANSWER TO THEIR FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES. I AM DEEPLY CONVINCED WE OWE THEM TODAY'S DEBATE. (END OPT)

    ///END ACT///

    BUT HIS CALL FOR RESTRAINT WAS IGNORED. DEMOCRATS LASHED OUT AT THE TIMING OF THE DEBATE. HOUSE MINORITY PARTY LEADER RICHARD GEPHARDT CALLED IT "IRRESPONSIBLE."

    ///GEPHARDT ACT///

    THE FACT WE ARE HERE TODAY DEMONSTRATES THAT REPUBLICAN LEADERS HAVE CHOSEN PARTISAN POLITICS OVER A UNITED AMERICAN EFFORT TO END THE CONFLICT.

    ///END ACT///

    THE VOTE TO BRING THE BILL BEFORE THE HOUSE FOR FORMAL CONSIDERATION WAS ALMOST TOTALLY ALONG PARTY LINES. BUT ONCE LAWMAKERS BEGAN TALKING ABOUT THE MERITS OF A DEPLOYMENT, IT BECAME CLEAR THAT THERE ARE A WIDE VARIETY OF VIEWS IN CONGRESS ABOUT KOSOVO.

    CONCERNS WERE RAISED ABOUT THE EFFECT OF YET ANOTHER PEACEKEEPING DEPLOYMENT ON THE MORALE OF U-S TROOPS.....AND ABOUT STRAINS ON THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT BUDGET. REPUBLICAN TOM DELAY OF TEXAS SAID THE UNITED STATES HAS NO BUSINESS SENDING GROUND TROOPS TO KOSOVO.

    ///DELAY ACT///

    KOSOVO IS NOT A HOPEFUL NATION ASPIRING TO DEMOCRACY. IT'S A BIG, DANGEROUS QUAGMIRE.

    ///END ACT///

    BUT MANY OTHERS SAID THE UNITED STATES HAS AN OBLIGATION TO PARTICIPATE IN A NATO PEACEKEEPING FORCE IF AN AGREEMENT IS REACHED BETWEEN SERBS AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS. OHIO DEMOCRAT DENNIS KUCINICH SAID IF AMERICA TURNS AWAY, CONGRESS WILL HAVE BLOOD ON ITS HANDS.

    ///KUCINICH ACT///

    WHAT WILL BE SAID ABOUT THIS CONGRESS IS WITH OUR NATO ALLIES AT THE READY, CONGRESS ABDICATED ITS ROLE AS A WORLD LEADER. (OPT) BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS. WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE PEACE BECAUSE WE ARE THE STRONGEST NATION IN THE WORLD. (END OPT)

    ///END ACT///

    A SERIES OF VOTES SPELLED OUT THE POSITION OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON KOSOVO. FIRST, LAWMAKERS REJECTED A BID TO BAR U-S GROUND TROOPS FROM THE NATO PEACEKEEPING MISSION. MOMENTS LATER, THEY APPROVED THE DEPLOYMENT BY A MARGIN OF 219-191. THE SENATE IS EXPECTED TO TAKE UP THE ISSUE AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PW/WDC/WFR
    17-Mar-99 5:54 PM EST (2254 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] U-S / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246781
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S OFFICIALS ARE EXPRESSING DEEP CONCERN ABOUT THE LATEST DEPLOYMENT OF HEAVILY ARMED SERB TROOPS IN YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE AND THE APPARENT BREAKDOWN OF PEACE TALKS IN PARIS. V-O-A'S KYLE KING REPORTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

    TEXT: OFFICIALS AT THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAY THE LATEST SERB MILITARY ACTIONS IN KOSOVO HAVE BROUGHT THE THREAT OF NATO AIR STRIKES CLOSER.

    WITH HEAVILY ARMED SERB FORCES POURING INTO THE MOSTLY ALBANIAN PROVINCE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES FOLEY SAYS THE SERBS ARE VIOLATING AN AGREEMENT SIGNED LAST OCTOBER.

    // FOLEY ACT //

    THE UNITED STATES IS DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THESE DEPLOYMENTS OF ADDITIONAL F-R-Y (YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT) FORCES IN AND AROUND KOSOVO. THIS IS A CLEAR CASE OF NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE OCTOBER AGREEMENT SIGNED BY THE F-R-Y.

    // END ACT //

    UNDER LAST OCTOBER'S AGREEMENT, THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA WAS FORCED TO END ITS MILITARY CAMPAIGN AGAINST KOSOVO'S ETHNIC ALBANIANS, OR FACE NATO AIR STRIKES.

    WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS SAY THE FAILURE OF THE ONGOING PEACE TALKS IN PARIS COULD ALSO HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR THE SERBS -- IF THEY ARE THE CAUSE OF THE BREAKDOWN.

    THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS HAVE PLEDGED TO SIGN THE U-S BACKED AGREEMENT THAT IS BEING NEGOTIATED. BUT STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES FOLEY SAYS THE SERBS DO NOT APPEAR TO BE SERIOUS ABOUT THE TALKS.

    // FOLEY ACT TWO //

    IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THEY ARE PREPARED FOR PEACE OR PREPARING TO SIGN PEACE ACCORDS IN PARIS. CERTAINLY IN TERMS OF WHAT THEIR ACTUAL INTENTIONS ARE ITS DIFFICULT TO READ, BUT IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH THEIR FORCES THAT IS DEEPLY TROUBLESOME.

    // END ACT //

    WITH THE PROSPECTS FOR AN AGREEMENT INCREASINGLY REMOTE, OFFICIALS SAY THEY DO NOT EXPECT THE PARIS TALKS TO GO ON FOR LONG.

    U-S OFFICIALS SAY YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT NATO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO ACT IF HE CONTINUES MASSIVE REPRESSION AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF KOSOVO.

    OFFICIALS SAY PREPARATIONS ARE UNDER WAY FOR THE POSSIBLE WITHDRAWAL OF U-S DIPLOMATIC PERSONNEL FROM THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA IF IT BECOMES NECESSARY.

    // REST OPT //

    MEANWHILE, SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT'S SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN IS IN PARIS FOR TALKS WITH THE HEAD OF THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN DELEGATION, HASHIM THACI.

    OFFICIALS SAY THE SECRETARY PLANS TO INVITE MR. THACI TO VISIT WASHINGTON AT THE END OF THE PARIS TALKS. OFFICIALS SAY THEY WANT TO DEVELOP GOOD RELATIONS WITH THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY, WHICH IS TO BE TRANSFORMED INTO A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IF A PEACE AGREEMENT IS FINALLY CONCLUDED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/ENE/JO
    17-Mar-99 4:14 PM EST (2114 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246769
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY FACES NEW POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY AFTER PARLIAMENT AGREED TO DEBATE A NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION AGAINST PRIME MINISTER BULENT ECEVIT'S LEFTIST MINORITY GOVERNMENT. AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA.

    TEXT: THE MOTION TO DEBATE WHETHER TO BRING DOWN MR. ECEVIT'S THREE-MONTH-OLD GOVERNMENT WAS BACKED BY ALMOST ONE-HALF OF THE LAWMAKERS IN TURKEY'S PARLIAMENT.

    MANY HAD NOT BEEN ASKED BY THEIR PARTIES TO RUN AGAIN IN THE APRIL 18TH PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. SO, THEY WANT TO POSTPONE THE VOTING ALTOGETHER AND TO BRING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT AS WELL.

    NICKNAMED "THE DISGRUNTLED ONES" BY TURKEY'S PRESS, THE REBEL LAWMAKERS ARE BEING SUPPORTED BY THE "ISLAMIST VIRTUE PARTY". THE ISLAMISTS THREW THEIR WEIGHT BEHIND THE REBELS IN EXCHANGE FOR PLEDGES TO BACK CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS THAT WOULD ENABLE TURKEY'S FORMER ISLAMIST PRIME MINISTER, NECMETTIN ERBAKAN, TO RUN FOR OFFICE AGAIN.

    MR. ERBAKAN WAS BARRED FROM POLITICS FOR FIVE-YEARS AND HIS "ISLAMIST WELFARE PARTY" WAS BANNED LAST YEAR ON CHARGES OF SEEKING TO INTRODUCE ISLAMIC RULE DURING A STORMY YEAR IN OFFICE.

    THE ISLAMISTS HAVE THE LARGEST SINGLE BLOC IN THE 550-MEMBER TURKISH PARLIAMENT. THEY HAVE REGROUPED UNDER THE VIRTUE PARTY, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED LAST YEAR.

    IT REMAINS UNCLEAR IF THE REBELS WILL SUCCEED IN GAINING THE 276 VOTES NEEDED TO BRING DOWN PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT'S GOVERNMENT OR WHETHER THEY CAN BLOCK THE ELECTIONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/RAE
    17-Mar-99 1:55 PM EST (1855 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] EUROPEAN COMMISSION (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246754
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // RE-ISSUING TO ADD CR NUMBER //

    INTRO: THE 20 EUROPEAN COMMISSIONERS WHO RESIGNED EARLY TUESDAY HAVE DECIDED TO LIMIT THEIR ACTIVITIES AS A CARETAKER BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT RON PEMSTEIN IN BRUSSELS REPORTS THE COMMISSIONERS ARE LEAVING THE DATE OF THEIR DEPARTURE UP TO THE 15 E-U NATIONS.

    TEXT: ACCORDING TO THE EUROPEAN UNION RULES, COMMISSIONERS STAY IN THEIR JOBS AND EARN A GENEROUS SALARY WITH NO LIMITATIONS UNTIL THEIR GOVERNMENT REPLACES THEM. THE 20 MEMBERS RESIGNED TOGETHER EARLY TUESDAY AFTER A PANEL OF INDEPENDENT EXPERTS ACCUSED THEM ALL OF AVOIDING RESPONSIBILITY FOR CASES OF CORRUPTION AND NEPOTISM.

    THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER DEMANDED THE IMMEDIATE REPLACEMENT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE COMMISSION, LUXEMBOURG'S JACQUES SANTER. MR. SANTER'S FIVE-YEAR TERM WOULD NORMALLY FINISH AT THE END OF THIS YEAR. STILL, AS CARETAKERS, THE 20 MEMBERS HELD THEIR REGULAR MEETING ON WEDNESDAY. STUNG BY THE CRITICISM, THEY AGREED TO LIMIT THEIR POWERS, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO DO SO.

    MR. SANTER'S SPOKESWOMAN, MARTINE REICHARTS, READ THE COMMISSION'S STATEMENT THROUGH AN INTERPRETER.

    /// REICHARTS ACT / INTERPRETER ///

    WE HAVE RESIGNED, AND WE HAVE NEITHER THE DESIRE NOR THE INTENTION TO STAY IN OUR OFFICES LONGER THAN NECESSARY. THE TREATY REQUIRES FOR US TO STAY IN OUR POSTS UNTIL THE NEW COMMISSION IS IN PLACE. WE THEREFORE ASK THE MEMBER STATES TO NOMINATE A NEW COMMISSION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE ACCORDING TO THE PROCEDURES IN THE TREATY.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE COMMISSION'S STATEMENT SAYS THE MEMBERS WILL LIMIT THEIR POWERS, EVEN THOUGH THE RULES DO NOT REQUIRE IT.

    /// REICHARTS ACT / INTERPRETER ///

    ACCORDING TO THE TREATY, THE POWERS OF THE COMMISSION ARE NOT LIMITED IN THE CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES. HOWEVER, WE HAVE DECIDED TO PERFORM OUR POWERS IN A RESTRICTED MANNER, IN OTHER WORDS, TO DEAL WITH ONGOING AND URGENT WORK AND TO RESPECT OUR INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL OBLIGATIONS. HOWEVER, WE WILL NOT TAKE ANY NEW POLITICAL INITIATIVE.

    /// END ACT ///

    THERE IS NO TELLING HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE THE 15 MEMBER NATIONS TO FIND REPLACEMENTS FOR THEIR CURRENT COMMISSIONERS OR TO RE NOMINATE THOSE WHO WERE NOT SPECIFICALLY NAMED IN THE EXPERTS' REPORT. TWELVE OF THE 20 COMMISSIONERS WERE NOT QUESTIONED BY THE INDEPENDENT PANEL. A SPOKESMAN FOR ONE OF THEM INSISTS IT IS NOT FAIR TO INCLUDE INNOCENT COMMISSIONERS IN A GENERAL STATEMENT BY THE PANEL.

    THE CRISIS OVER THE EUROPEAN UNION'S EXECUTIVE BOARD COMES ONE WEEK BEFORE THE LEADERS MEET IN BERLIN. THAT MEETING WAS SUPPOSED TO CONCENTRATE ON THE EUROPEAN UNION'S FUTURE BUDGET. THIS BUDGET WILL PROVIDE THE FUNDS TO EXPAND THE UNION TO NEW MEMBERS IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/KL
    17-Mar-99 9:02 AM EST (1402 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] EUROPE / WATER (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246762
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS SAYS ALMOST 15 PERCENT OF EUROPEANS DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER, AND INTERNATIONAL ACTION MUST BE TAKEN TO DEAL WITH WHAT IT CALLS THE WATER AND HEALTH CRISIS IN EUROPE. LISA SCHLEIN REPORTS FROM GENEVA.

    TEXT: THE UNITED NATIONS SAYS GOVERNMENTS IN EUROPE -- ONE OF THE MOST DEVELOPED REGIONS IN THE WORLD -- ARE NOT DOING A GOOD JOB IN PROVIDING SAFE AND CLEAN WATER. IT SAYS THAT IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, THERE HAS BEEN A DISTURBING RISE IN THE NUMBER OF DISEASES RELATED TO WATER POLLUTION THROUGHOUT THE REGION.

    THE EUROPEAN DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH AT THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, GUNTER KLEIN, SAYS THE QUALITY OF WATER SERVICES IN EUROPE ARE FAR FROM SATISFACTORY, AND HE SAYS MUCH MORE WORK HAS TO BE DONE TO COMBAT THE PROBLEM.

    /// KLEIN ACT ///

    IT AFFECTS 870-MILLION PEOPLE IN THE REGION. NOWHERE IN THE REGION DO WE HAVE SAFETY AND WE HAVE INDIVIDUAL CASES HERE AND THERE. WE HAVE MAJOR OUTBREAKS IN MAJOR PARTS OF THE REGION, EAST AND WEST. AND, WE ARE DEALING WITH THESE OUTBREAKS IN MORE OR LESS EFFECTIVE WAYS. SO, NOBODY IN THE REGION IS ABSOLUTELY SAFE.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE UNITED NATIONS SAYS WATER-RELATED DISEASES, OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH DEVELOPING COUNTRIES OR MEDIEVAL EUROPE, ARE MAKING A COMEBACK IN SOME EUROPEAN COUNTRIES.

    FOR EXAMPLE, IT SAYS THAT IN 1994, 25 PEOPLE DIED OF CHOLERA IN ALBANIA. AND IT SAYS THERE HAVE BEEN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CASES OF HEPATITIS A, MOSTLY IN EASTERN EUROPEAN CITIES WITH DAMAGED WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION SYSTEMS.

    MOST OF THE WATER-BORNE DISEASES OCCUR IN EASTERN EUROPE. BUT THE U-N REPORT SAYS WESTERN EUROPE ALSO HAS ITS SHARE OF PROBLEMS. IN THE PAST DECADE, 27-THOUSAND PEOPLE SUFFERED FROM WATER-BORNE DISEASES IN SWEDEN ALONE. AND, W-H-O'S DR. KLEIN SAYS MALARIA IS COMING BACK TO THE REGION.

    /// KLEIN ACT ///

    AND WE HAVE SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND CASES NOW. AND, IF WE DON'T TAKE PROPER ACTION IN WATER MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTING THIS, MANY COUNTRIES IN THE REGION WILL GET MALARIA BACK WHERE IT HAS BEEN ERADICATED 30 YEARS AGO.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE UNITED NATIONS SAYS EUROPEAN COUNTRIES HAVE TO COOPERATE IN MANAGING AND MONITORING THE QUALITY OF THEIR WATER SUPPLIES. IT SAYS THAT INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE, INDUSTRIALIZATION, AND OVER EXPLOITATION OF WATER RESOURCES IS ENDANGERING THE SUPPLY OF SAFE WATER IN MANY PARTS OF EUROPE, INCLUDING A NUMBER OF BIG CITIES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/JWH/JO
    17-Mar-99 11:46 AM EST (1646 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] GERMANY'S FINANCE MINISTER QUITS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/17/99
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11195
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: THE RESIGNATION OF GERMANY'S FINANCE MINISTER, OSKAR LAFONTAINE, SENT EUROPEAN STOCKS RAPIDLY UPWARD AS THE MARKETS ANTICIPATED A CHANGE IN THE BASIC ECONOMIC PHILOSOPHY OF THE NEW SCHROEDER GOVERNMENT.

    THE MOVE ALSO DREW A GOOD DEAL OF ATTENTION IN THIS COUNTRY'S EDITORIALS COLUMNS, AS WE HEAR NOW FROM _________________ IN TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: GERMANY HAS LONG BEEN CONSIDERED THE ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE OF POST-COLD WAR EUROPE, BUT FOR SEVERAL YEARS, HAS BEEN PLAGUED WITH UNEMPLOYMENT LEVELS RUNNING AS HIGH AS ELEVEN PERCENT.

    EDITORIAL WRITERS SAY THE RESIGNATION OF MR. LAFONTAINE IS AN INDICATION THAT CHANCELLOR GERHARD SCHROEDER REALIZES A MORE CENTRIST ECONOMY POLICY IS NEEDED TO GET GERMANY OUT OF THE DOLDRUMS. THE U-S PRESS SAYS MR. LAFONTAINE WAS IN FAVOR OF A MORE DOCTRINAIRE, SOCIALIST RECIPE FOR IMPROVING THE ECONOMY. AN INDICATION OF HOW BUSINESS GREETED THE NEWS, IS THAT FINANCIAL MARKETS IN GERMANY AND SEVERAL OTHER EUROPEAN NATIONS, REBOUNDED TO HIGHER LEVELS IN TRADING FOLLOWING THE NEWS. THEY WERE PRETTY PLEASED ABOUT THE MOVE IN TENNESSEE, ALSO, WHERE "THE MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL" COMMENTS:

    VOICE: /// OPT /// GERMANY'S NEW CHANCELLOR, GERHARD SCHROEDER, HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS CLINTONESQUE. THERE MAY BE SOMETHING TO THE DESCRIPTION. WHILE TALKING LEFT, [MR.] SCHROEDER HAS MOVED RIGHT, AND THAT COST HIM HIS FINANCE MINISTER AND PARTY CHAIRMAN, OSKAR LAFONTAINE. THE UNHAPPY PARTING WAS DUE TO IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES. [MR.] SCHROEDER, LIKE [PRESIDENT] CLINTON, IS A POLITICAL PRAGMATIST, AND [MR.] LAFONTAINE, LIKE MANY OF [MR.] CLINTON'S EARLY AND NOW SPURNED SUPPORTERS, IS A DOCTRINAIRE LEFTIST. /// END OPT /// ... [MR.] LAFONTAINE'S SOLUTIONS TO THE STAGNATION - - HIGHER TAXES ALL AROUND AND A MANDATED INCREASE IN WAGES - - WERE THE USUAL OLD-FASHIONED SOCIALIST NOSTRUMS. ... GERMAN MANUFACTURERS THREATENED TO RELOCATE ELSEWHERE, WHICH IS EASY TO DO NOW UNDER EUROPEAN UNION RULES. ... BOTH THE EURO AND THE STOCK MARKET SOARED ON NEWS OF HIS DEPARTURE. [MR.] LAFONTAINE'S RESIGNATION IS GOOD FOR GERMANY AND ALSO GOOD FOR THE NEW CHANCELLOR ...

    TEXT: IN BOSTON, "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" SEES BOTH MR. LAFONTAINE'S EXIT, AND THE MASS RESIGNATION ON CHARGES OF INCOMPETENCE, OF THE EUROPEAN UNION'S EXECUTIVE COMMISSION STAFF, AS VERY POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// AMERICAN UNEMPLOYMENT STILL HOVERS NEAR A LOW FOUR-POINT-FOUR PERCENT. INFLATION IS VIRTUALLY NONEXISTENT. GROWTH IS ROBUST. CONSUMER BUYING IS HELPING ASIAN ECONOMIES REVIVE. ... JAPAN AT LEAST APPEARS TO BE STEERING ITS ECONOMY AWAY FROM ICEBERGS. ... AND EUROPE? IT TOO MAY HAVE REACHED A TURNING POINT. IT'S PREPARING FOR FUTURE EXPANSION. AND ITS MEMBER STATES HAVE TAKEN STEPS TO REFORM ITS CENTRAL BUREAUCRACY AND PERHAPS ITS UNEMPLOYMENT-INDUCING WELFARE STATISM. FIRST CAME TWO BOMBSHELLS: ONE GERMANY FINANCE MINISTER ... LAFONTAINE'S ABRUPT RESIGNATION, AND TWO, THE FORCED RESIGNATION OF THE ENTIRE 20-MEMBER EUROPEAN COMMISSION. /// END OPT ///

    ... BOTH CAN BE SEEN AS STEPS IN AN AWAKENING FROM OVER SATISFACTION THAT EUROPE'S 'THIRD WAY' HAS PRODUCED A BEAUTIFULLY BALANCED COMBINATION OF CAPITALIST GROWTH AND WELFARE CUSHIONS FOR ALL. IT HASN'T. ... GERMANY CHANCELLOR ... SCHROEDER, IN FACING DOWN THE LAFONTAINE WING OF HIS PARTY, [THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS] NOW IDENTIFIES HIMSELF MORE FIRMLY WITH THE TONY BLAIR CENTRIST STRATEGY OF ENCOURAGING INDUSTRY TO STAY AND GROW IN ORDER TO CREATE JOBS, PROSPERITY, AND ENOUGH REVENUE FOR A REDUCED WELFARE STATE.

    TEXT: THE "JOURNAL OF COMMERCE" SUGGESTS THE LAFONTAINE RESIGNATION IS MORE A CHANGE IN TONE THAN SUBSTANCE.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// THERE'S NO DOUBT THE DEPARTURE OF AN OLD-STYLE TAX-AND-SPEND FINANCE MINISTER RUNNING EUROPE'S BIGGEST ECONOMY PRODUCED AN IMMEDIATE AND POSITIVE SPIN-OFF: THE EURO, EUROPE'S SINGLE CURRENCY, SOARED. EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT BOND MARKETS RALLIED AND GERMAN STOCKS FIRMED WHEN THE NEWS FROM BERLIN BROKE. ... THE PUNDITS HAVE DRAWN UP AN ALMOST ENDLESS LIST OF WINNERS. THEY INCLUDE A GLOBAL ECONOMY RESCUED FROM THE DANGEROUS ANTICS OF A NEO-KEYNESIAN DINOSAUR ... AND EVEN BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, WHO WILL FIND IT EASIER TO SELL SINGLE-CURRENCY PARTICIPATION TO A SKEPTICAL ELECTORATE. /// END OPT /// ... BUT GERMANY'S PROBLEMS - - WHICH IT SHARES WITH MANY OF ITS CONTINENTAL EUROPEAN NEIGHBORS, INCLUDING FRANCE - - ARE TOO DEEP-SEATED TO BE RESOLVED BY A SINGLE RESIGNATION. MR. LAFONTAINE'S PRESENCE AGGRAVATED THE PROBLEMS, BUT HIS ABSENCE WILL NOT MAKE THEM GO AWAY.

    /// OPT ///

    MR. SCHROEDER HAD NO TIME [PATIENCE] FOR HIS FORMER COLLEAGUE'S OLD-FASHIONED AND MOSTLY DISCREDITED DEMAND-MANAGEMENT NOSTRUMS. BUT SO FAR HE HASN'T SHOWN ANY APPETITE FOR SUPPLY-SIDE ALTERNATIVES.

    /// END OPT ///

    ... THE REAL MESSAGE FROM GERMANY IS THAT - - CORPORATE TAXES ASIDE - - MR. LAFONTAINE'S DEPARTURE WILL PROBABLY N O T LEAD TO MAJOR POLICY CHANGES. THE TONE WILL CHANGE, NOT THE CONTENT.

    TEXT: "THE BOSTON GLOBE" IS ALSO PLEASED THAT SOMEONE FOLLOWING WHAT APPEARS TO BE AN OUTMODED ECONOMIC THEORY, HAS PASSED FROM THE SCENE.

    VOICE: [MR.] LAFONTAINE IS DESCRIBED AS A KEYNESIAN FOR BELIEVING THAT AN INCREASE IN CONSUMER DEMAND IS NECESSARY TO REVIVE THE GERMAN ECONOMY. /// OPT /// JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES, THE LATE BRITISH ECONOMIST, WAS PRESCRIBING REMEDIES FOR THE GREAT DEPRESSION. HE WOULD NO DOUBT BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ELEVEN PERCENT GERMAN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE TODAY, BUT /// END OPT /// HE MIGHT ALSO HAVE NOTED THAT MANDATORY SOCIAL SERVICE CONTRIBUTIONS ADD 42-PERCENT TO ALREADY HIGH GERMAN WAGES. FOREIGN COMPANIES RARELY INVEST THERE, PREFERRING IRELAND OR BRITAIN FOR LOWER TAXES AND FEWER REGULATIONS. /// OPT /// ... [CHANCELLOR] SCHROEDER HAS GAINED GREAT POPULARITY BY SAYING LITTLE ABOUT HIS ECONOMIC VIEWS. HE SEEMS TO BE A DISCIPLE OF TONY BLAIR, THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, WHO IS TRYING TO CHART A MIDDLE WAY BETWEEN DOGMATIC SOCIALISM AND UNTRAMMELED CAPITALISM. /// END OPT ///

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" WRITES "NOBODY WILL BE QUICKER TO CELEBRATE OSKAR LAFONTAINE'S PASSING THAN THE GERMAN BUSINESS COMMUNITY," EXPLAINING:

    VOICE: WHAT THAT (RESIGNATION) MEANS IS THAT GERMANY IS NOW LIKELY TO VEER AWAY FROM THE (ECONOMIC) PRECIPICE AND STEER A SANER COURSE. WHEW. THAT WAS A CLOSE ONE. ... MR. LAFONTAINE'S PLAN TO PILE NEW TAXES ON BUSINESS TO FINANCE YET MORE SOCIALISM WAS CREATING A REBELLION AMONG GERMAN INDUSTRIALISTS. ... HIS SURPRISE RESIGNATION MARKS THE PASSING OF A CLOUD OVER EUROPE'S ECONOMIC FUTURE.

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SUGGESTS THAT IN LESS THAN FIVE MONTHS IN OFFICE, MR. LAFONTAINE "OFTEN SEEMED TO BE RUNNING A GOVERNMENT OF HIS OWN."

    VOICE: (A GOVERNMENT [UNDERSTOOD: SEPARATE FROM CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER, THE R E A L HEAD OF THE GOVERNMENT]) ... THAT WAS DETERMINED TO RAISE CORPORATE TAXES AND RESIST PRESSURES FROM INTERNATIONAL CAPITAL MARKETS. IT WAS A STRUGGLE HE WAS LIKELY TO LOSE IN ANY CASE, AND IT IS PROBABLY BEST THAT HE CHOSE TO RESIGN.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: WITH THAT, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF U-S PRESS COMMENT ON THE UNEXPECTED RESIGNATION LAST WEEK OF GERMANY'S CONTROVERSIAL FINANCE MINISTER, OSKAR LAFONTAINE.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    17-Mar-99 2:18 PM EST (1918 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] NORTHERN IRELAND BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42883
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: MOST OF NORTHERN IRELAND'S MAJOR POLITICAL FIGURES CAME TO WASHINGTON THIS WEEK TO ATTEND A SAINT PATRICK'S DAY RECEPTION (WEDNESDAY EVENING) AT THE WHITE HOUSE, HOSTED BY PRESIDENT CLINTON. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA SPOKE WITH THE SPEAKER OF THE NEW NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY, JOHN ALDERDICE, ABOUT THE SITUATION IN THE BRITISH PROVINCE -- AND FILED THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: JUST ABOUT A YEAR AGO, LEADERS OF NORTHERN IRELAND'S MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES SIGNED AN AGREEMENT PROVIDING FOR MORE SELF-GOVERNMENT FOR THE BRITISH PROVINCE. KNOWN AS THE "GOOD FRIDAY" ACCORD, IT WAS OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVED BY VOTERS IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE IRISH REPUBLIC.

    A MAJOR PART OF THE ACCORD PROVIDED FOR THE CREATION OF NEW POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS, INCLUDING A NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY. ELECTIONS WERE HELD LAST JUNE AND SINCE THAT TIME, THE ASSEMBLY HAS BEEN IRONING OUT PROCEDURAL MATTERS AND SETTING UP COMMITTEES.

    JOHN ALDERDICE IS THE SPEAKER OF NORTHERN IRELAND'S ASSEMBLY. FORMER LEADER OF THE NON-SECTARIAN "ALLIANCE" PARTY, HE HAS BEEN INTRICATELY INVOLVED IN THE PEACE PROCESS FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. HE SAYS THERE DEFINITELY HAS BEEN SOME PROGRESS ON NORTHERN IRELAND'S POLITICAL SCENE SINCE THE "GOOD FRIDAY" ACCORD.

    /// FIRST ALDERDICE ACT ///

    BECAUSE WHEN I LOOK DOWN FROM THE CHAIR AT THOSE WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE DEBATES, I SEE PEOPLE IN THE CHAMBER WHO WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PREPARED TO BE IN THE SAME CHAMBER AS EACH OTHER AND CERTAINLY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PREPARED TO ENGAGE IN ANY COOPERATIVE WORK, EVEN AT THE LEVEL OF FUNCTIONING COMMITTEES, SOME YEARS AGO.

    /// END ACT ///

    TEN MEMBERS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND'S ASSEMBLY WILL BE NAMED TO A MINISTERIAL COUNCIL WHICH WILL IN ESSENCE BECOME THAT PROVINCE'S NEW GOVERNMENT.

    BUT THERE IS A SERIOUS OBSTACLE TO THE CREATION OF THIS GOVERNMENT IN NORTHERN IRELAND. IT HAS TO DO WITH WHAT IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS "DECOMMISSIONING" -- IN OTHER WORDS, GETTING ALL PARAMILITARY GROUPS, INCLUDING THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY, TO HAND OVER THEIR WEAPONS.

    DAVID TRIMBLE, LEADER OF NORTHERN IRELAND'S LARGEST PARTY -- THE PRO-BRITISH "ULSTER UNIONISTS" -- SAYS HE WILL NOT TAKE PART IN ANY GOVERNMENT WITH "SINN FEIN," THE POLITICAL WING OF THE I-R-A, UNLESS THAT PARAMILITARY GROUP BEGINS TO SURRENDER ITS WEAPONS. BUT "SINN FEIN" LEADERS SAY THERE IS NOTHING IN THE "GOOD FRIDAY" AGREEMENT PROVIDING FOR DECOMMISSIONING BEFORE BECOMING PART OF NORTHERN IRELAND'S GOVERNMENT.

    SPEAKER JOHN ALDERDICE SAYS DECOMMISSIONING REMAINS A SERIOUS OBSTACLE.

    /// SECOND ALDERDICE ACT ///

    I REALLY DO THINK THIS IS THE BIG ONE. MANY, MANY PEOPLE WILL EXPRESS THE VIEW AT HOME THAT IF WE CAN GET BEYOND THIS, THEN WHATEVER PROBLEMS THERE ARE, THEY ARE ALL POTENTIALLY FINESSEABLE. THIS IS THE BIG ONE.

    /// END ACT ///

    HE SAYS A STARK REMINDER OF THE URGENT NEED FOR DECOMMISSIONING WAS THE RECENT DEATH OF LAWYER ROSEMARY NELSON. SHE WAS KILLED MONDAY WHEN HER CAR EXPLODED NOT FAR FROM LURGAN, WEST OF BELFAST. A DISSIDENT PRO-BRITISH PARAMILITARY GROUP CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE BOMBING.

    /// THIRD ALDERDICE ACT ///

    I SUPPOSE THERE IS ALWAYS A HOPE IN PEOPLE'S HEARTS THAT EVERY MURDER IS THE LAST ONE THAT WE WILL SEE. AND UNFORTUNATELY THAT HOPE HAS ALWAYS BEEN DASHED IN THE PAST. THIS WAS CERTAINLY A VERY RECKLESS AND DREADFUL MURDER. THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT. // OPT // THIS LADY WAS A SOLICITOR [LAWYER] WHO WAS VERY ACTIVE AND QUITE WELL KNOWN FOR HER LEGAL REPRESENTATION, MOSTLY OF NATIONALISTS WHO HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES IN LEGAL DIFFICULTIES. // END OPT //

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. ALDERDICE SAYS A COMPROMISE ON THE WEAPONS ISSUE IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE, BUT THERE IS STILL A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF DISTRUST BETWEEN VARIOUS POLITICAL PARTIES IN NORTHERN IRELAND. THE PROBLEM OVER DECOMMISSIONING HAS FORCED THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO SHIFT THE DEADLINE FOR TRANSFERRING SOME HOME RULE TO NORTHERN IRELAND FROM MID-MARCH TO THE WEEK OF MARCH 29TH.

    // OPT //

    MR. ALDERDICE SAYS POLITICAL LEADERS MUST REDOUBLE THEIR EFFORTS TO RESOLVE THE DECOMMISSIONING ISSUE.

    /// FOURTH ALDERDICE ACT ///

    WHILST IT HAS BEEN AN ISSUE FOR SOME TIME, THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT WE ARE COMING TO THE CRUNCH -- AND I THINK MOST PEOPLE WOULD ACCEPT THAT THE NEXT FEW WEEKS ARE REALLY VITAL. IF WE GET BEYOND THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE ["GOOD FRIDAY"] AGREEMENT WITHOUT SOME OF THESE SUBSTANTIAL COMPONENTS BEING IN PLACE, I THINK PEOPLE WILL BEGIN TO FEEL REALLY A BIT DOWN ABOUT THE WHOLE THING, A BIT DESPAIRING AND DEPRESSED.

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

    JOHN ALDERDICE, SPEAKER OF NORTHERN IRELAND'S ASSEMBLY, HOPES PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL MAKE CLEAR TO ALL OF NORTHERN IRELAND'S POLITICAL LEADERS THAT IT IS TIME TO PUT ASIDE THEIR DISTRUST AND MAKE THAT LAST, IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS PEACE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/WTW
    17-Mar-99 4:13 PM EST (2113 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [12] CLINTON/IRISH (S) BY NICK SIMEONE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246787
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON IS USING THE TRADITIONAL ST. PATRICK'S DAY GATHERING OF IRISH LEADERS IN WASHINGTON TO PUSH NORTHERN IRELAND'S CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT LEADERS TO COMPLETE THEIR PEACE AGREEMENT. CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE HAS DETAILS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    TEXT: ALMOST A YEAR AFTER THE "GOOD FRIDAY" PEACE ACCORD WAS REACHED IN NORTHERN IRELAND, LEADERS OF THE TWO SIDES IN THE IRISH CONFLICT ARE AGAIN BACK IN WASHINGTON, UNITED IN THEIR QUEST FOR PEACE BUT STILL DIVIDED OVER KEY ELEMENTS SUCH AS THE HANDOVER OF PARAMILITARY WEAPONS.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON IS HOPING WEDNESDAY'S BUSY PROGRAM OF ST. PATRICK'S DAY EVENTS AROUND WASHINGTON -- INCLUDING HIS MEETINGS WITH SINN FEIN LEADER GERRY ADAMS AND ULSTER UNIONIST DAVID TRIMBLE -- WILL HELP BRIDGE THE LAST VESTIGES OF DISTRUST BETWEEN BOTH SIDES.

    /// CLINTON ACT ///

    NOW, IN A FEW SHORT WEEKS, THE TIME WILL COME TO BRING THE NEW INSTITUTIONS TO LIFE SO THAT THE PEOPLE OF NORTHERN IRELAND CAN FINALLY BEGIN TO TAKE THEIR DESTINIES INTO THEIR OWN HANDS. TO FULLY IMPLEMENT THE GOOD FRIDAY ACCORD, THE PARTIES SIMPLY MUST RESOLVE THEIR DIFFERENCES.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE PRESIDENT IS AWARDING FORMER SENATOR GEORGE MITCHELL THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM -- THE NATION'S HIGHEST CIVILIAN AWARD -- FOR HIS YEARS OF WORK THAT LED TO THE "GOOD FRIDAY" ACCORD. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NJS/ENE/WTW
    17-Mar-99 4:47 PM EST (2147 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [13] SLOVENIA/NATO (L-ONLY) -- CQ BY ALISHA RYU (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246780
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT: (EDS: CHANGES THE WORDING TO "TURNED DOWN ITS BID" IN THE 3RD GRAF OF TEXT; NO OTHER CHANGES)

    INTRO: THE BALKAN NATION OF SLOVENIA IS RENEWING ITS EFFORTS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION. NATO WELCOMED THREE FORMER SOVIET BLOC COUNTRIES AS ITS NEWEST MEMBERS AT A CEREMONY IN INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI FRIDAY. V-O-A'S ALISHA RYU REPORTS THAT SLOVENIANS CONSIDER NATO MEMBERSHIP CRUCIAL TO THEIR NATIONAL IDENTITY.

    TEXT: SLOVENIAN FOREIGN MINISTER BORIS FRLEC (PRONOUNCED FUR-LITZ) WAS IN WASHINGTON FOR TWO DAYS TRYING TO SECURE U-S SUPPORT FOR ITS BID TO JOIN NATO.

    SPEAKING WITH REPORTERS BEFORE MEETING U-S SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT WEDNESDAY, MR. FRLEC OUTLINED THE REASONS WHY SLOVENIA SHOULD BE ADMITTED INTO THE ATLANTIC ALLIANCE.

    // FIRST FRLEC ACT //

    SLOVENIA NOWADAYS HAS A DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL SYSTEM, HAS ESTABLISHED A FREE MARKET ECONOMY, A VERY HIGH-LEVEL OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION, DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF DEFENSE STRUCTURES, AND REASONABLY GOOD NEIGHBORLY RELATIONS.

    // END ACT //

    SLOVENIA BEGAN LOBBYING FOR NATO MEMBERSHIP SOON AFTER IT GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM YUGOSLAVIA IN 1991. IT WAS BITTERLY DISAPPOINTED WHEN NATO TURNED DOWN ITS BID IN FAVOR OF POLAND, HUNGARY, AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC. SLOVENIA, WITH A GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT COMPARABLE TO PORTUGAL AND GREECE, NOW FEELS IT IS STRONG ENOUGH TO MAKE ANOTHER BID, CITING ITS IMPORTANCE IN MAINTAINING THE SECURITY IN THE BALKAN REGION.

    // SECOND FRLEC ACT //

    THE BORDER MOVES CLOSER TO THE AREAS OF INSTABILITY AND SECURITY CONCERNED. THIS CAN SERVE THEN AS A MESSAGE TO THE COUNTRIES WHOSE ACTIONS DESTABILIZE THE REGION THAT WESTERN INSTITUTIONS ARE DETERMINED TO PREVENT AND NEUTRALIZE INSTABILITY AND REGIONAL SECURITY THREATS.

    // END ACT //

    FOREIGN MINISTER FRLEC SAYS WITH THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE PUBLIC IN SLOVENIA SUPPORTING MEMBERSHIP IN NATO, POLITICIANS HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO PUSH FOR ACCEPTANCE. ALTHOUGH IT IS UNLIKELY SLOVENIA WILL GET CONFIRMATION ANY TIME SOON, MR. FRLEC SAYS THE MEMBERSHIP MATTER WILL REMAIN A PRIORITY ISSUE IN SLOVENIA UNTIL THE COUNTRY IS ALLOWED TO JOIN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AR/LTD/GE
    17-Mar-99 3:51 PM EST (2051 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246792
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (WEDNESDAY) AS MANY TRADERS TURNED CAUTIOUS. V-O-A BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 98-HUNDRED-79, DOWN 51 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 12-HUNDRED-97, DOWN EIGHT POINTS. THE NASDAQ INDEX LOST ALMOST ONE-HALF PERCENT.

    ANALYSTS SAY THERE WAS SOME CAUTION AFTER TUESDAY'S BRIEF RUN ABOVE THE 10-THOUSAND LEVEL ON THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE. SOME MAJOR INVESTMENT MANAGERS ARE BELIEVED TO BE SELLING LARGE AMOUNTS OF STOCK WHEN THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE MOVES TOWARD THE 10-THOUSAND LEVEL.

    // OPT //

    RALPH ACAMPORA OF THE PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES FIRM SAYS HE EXPECTS THE "BULLS" -- THOSE WHO EXPECT RISING PRICES -- AND THE "BEARS" -- THOSE WHO EXPECT STOCKS TO FALL -- WILL CONTINUE TO BATTLE EACH OTHER FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

    /// ACAMPORA ACT ///

    SHORT-TERM, I THINK THE MARKET WILL MAKE AN ATTEMPT TO BREAK AND HOLD ABOVE 10-THOUSAND. IT IS GOING TO BE A BATTLE OF THE "BULLS" VERSUS THE "BEARS," BUT I THINK ULTIMATELY THE "BULLS" WILL WIN OUT.

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

    IN A PERIODIC REPORT [THE FEDERAL RESERVE'S "BEIGE BOOK"], THE U-S CENTRAL BANK SAYS THE U-S ECONOMY CONTINUES TO GROW, BUT THAT THERE ARE SOME SIGNS OF WAGE INFLATION BECAUSE OF THE TIGHT LABOR MARKET IN SOME INDUSTRIES.

    /// REST OPT ///

    THE U-S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS OVERWHELMINGLY PASSED A BILL WHICH WOULD IMPOSE QUOTAS ON IMPORTED STEEL, DESPITE WHITE HOUSE WARNINGS THAT THE BILL VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE RULES. SUPPORTERS SAY THE QUOTAS ARE NEEDED TO STOP A FLOOD OF CHEAP IMPORTS THREATENING THE U-S STEEL INDUSTRY.

    THE U-S FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION HAS FORMALLY SETTLED ANTI-MONOPOLY CHARGES AGAINST THE INTEL MICROPROCESSOR CORPORATION. AS PART OF THE DEAL, INTEL AGREED NOT TO TERMINATE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS WITH COMPANIES WHICH REFUSE TO GIVE THEIR TRADE SECRETS TO INTEL.

    GLOBAL CROSSING, A TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY BASED IN BERMUDA, WILL PAY 11-POINT-TWO-BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE FRONTIER CORPORATION OF THE UNITED STATES. THE DEAL WILL COMBINE GLOBAL'S INTERNATIONAL FIBER-OPTIC SYSTEM WITH FRONTIER'S U-S NETWORK.

    GENERAL MILLS, THE SECOND-LARGEST BREAKFAST CEREAL COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES, REPORTED AN EIGHT PERCENT INCREASE IN QUARTERLY EARNINGS. HOWEVER, THE COMPANY SAYS MOST OF THE INCREASE CAME FROM ITS LINE OF SNACK FOODS. FIERCE COMPETITION IN THE U-S CEREAL INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO DEPRESS PRICES.

    WENDY'S INTERNATIONAL, THE WORLD'S THIRD-LARGEST RESTAURANT CHAIN, SAYS ITS FIRST-QUARTER EARNINGS SHOULD EXCEED WALL STREET ESTIMATES. WENDY'S ALSO SAYS IT WILL OPEN ALMOST 300 NEW RESTAURANTS IN THE UNITED STATES THIS YEAR.

    THE EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY OF THE UNITED STATES IS SELLING ITS PHOTOCOPIER MACHINE BUSINESS TO THE HEIDELBERGER COMPANY OF GERMANY. THE PRICE WAS NOT DISCLOSED, BUT ANALYSTS SAY IT WAS PROBABLY ABOUT 200-MILLION DOLLARS. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/WTW
    17-Mar-99 5:35 PM EST (2235 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=03/17/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11194
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    //// EDS: MATERIAL DATED AFTER 10 P-M EST ////

    INTRO: THE U-S PRESS CONTINUES TO DISCUSS THE LATEST ALLEGATIONS OF CHINESE ESPIONAGE TARGETING THE U-S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM, AND HOW CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT ARE HANDLING THIS ALLEGED SECURITY BREACH.

    OTHER EDITORIALS ON THIS ST. PATRICK'S DAY, WHEN THE NATION HONORS IRELAND'S PATRON SAINT, INCLUDE: THE LATEST POLITICAL MURDER IN IRELAND; THE SITUATION IN HAITI AND WHETHER TO LEAVE U-S FORCES THERE; NATO'S ENLARGEMENT; A MASS RESIGNATION AT THE EUROPEAN UNION; AND PROBLEMS WITH A PRIZE FIGHT. NOW, HERE IS ________________ WITH SOME EXCERPTS AND A CLOSER LOOK, IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: ONE OF SEVERAL PAPERS CALLING FOR A CRITICAL REASSESSMENT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA IN LIGHT OF THE LATEST SPYING ALLEGATIONS IS "THE MIAMI HERALD."

    VOICE: PRESIDENT CLINTON NOW IS PLAYING 'CATCH UP' WITH CONGRESS IN HIS EFFORTS TO CONTAIN A DEVELOPING NATIONAL-SECURITY SCANDAL AND DEFEND HIS POLICY OF 'ENGAGEMENT' WITH CHINA. /// OPT ///... THE UNITED STATES WON'T RETAIN ITS PREEMINENCE AS A SUPERPOWER IF NATIONAL-SECURITY CONCERNS DON'T RISE TO TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER TRADE POLICIES AND WASHINGTON'S YEAR-ROUND DASH FOR CASH TO FINANCE ELECTIONS. /// END OPT /// CHINA ASPIRES TO SUPERPOWER STATUS ...[PURSUING] ITS NATIONAL INTERESTS WITH A STEADFASTNESS UNMATCHED BY THE WHITE HOUSE OR [THE] STATE DEPARTMENT ...THOUGH THIS SCANDAL SPANS THREE ADMINISTRATIONS, IT IS THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE THAT FAILED TO HEED DIRECT WARNINGS IN 1997 AND TAKE ACTION BEFORE FORCED TO DO SO.

    TEXT: BUT TODAY'S "BOSTON GLOBE" SAYS WHILE THE POSSIBLE LOSS OF NUCLEAR WARHEAD TECHNOLOGY IS SERIOUS, REPUBLICANS, AND EVEN SOME DEMOCRATS, IN CONGRESS ARE UNWISELY EXAGGERATING THE ISSUE.

    VOICE: ABSURDITY IS INTERTWINED WITH NONSENSE IN THESE FLAMBOYANT POSTURINGS. IF IT IS IN AMERICA'S INTEREST FOR BEIJING TO BE SUBJECTED TO THE FREE-TRADE PROVISIONS OF THE W-T-O [WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION] THAT INTENT SHOULD NOT BE THWARTED BECAUSE SECURITY WAS LAX DURING THE 1980S AT LOS ALAMOS (NEW MEXICO NUCLEAR LABORATORY.

    /// OPT ///

    AS [FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE DURING THE NIXON YEARS] HENRY KISSINGER HAS SAID, IF CHINA STOLE U-S DESIGNS TO MINIATURIZE NUCLEAR WEAPONS, THAT IS OUR FAULT, NOT THEIRS. ... CHINA SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED FROM THREATENING TAIWAN AND ENCOURAGED TO RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHINA AND PERMIT AUTONOMY IN TIBET. BUT /// END OPT /// THE LAST THING THAT WASHINGTON SHOULD WANT IS TO FABRICATE A CHINA THREAT THAT METAMORPHOSES INTO A SELF-FULLFILLING PROPHECY.

    TEXT: AS TO THE CURRENT STATE OF PEACE EFFORTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND, "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER" WONDERS "CAN [THE] IRISH PEACE HOLD?" IN THE WAKE OF YET ANOTHER POLITICAL MURDER, WHICH TOOK THE LIFE OF A LAWYER CAMPAIGNING FOR CATHOLIC RIGHTS.

    VOICE: ...[THE] BOMB WAS TIMED TO BLOW THE PEACE PROCESS TO SMITHEREENS /// OPT ///, AND THUS RETURN THE IRELANDS [MEANING NORTHERN IRELAND, A PART OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND SOUTHERN IRELAND; THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND] TO THEIR FORMER POLITICS-AS-USUAL. BUT OF LATE THE WORLD HAS SEEN A DIFFERENCE IN THE IRISH. TEMPER IS COOLER; THE HAND OF RETRIBUTION STAYED. /// END OPT /// ... THE IRISH PEACE MAY BE THE TEST CASE FOR PEACE IN THE WORLD. NO PEOPLE IN RECENT HISTORY HAVE HAD A BETTER CHANCE TO STUDY HATRED ... [AND] TO EMBRACE LAW AND LEGISLATE AMITY TOWARD A FUTURE OF PROSPERITY AND PEACE.

    TEXT: ON NEW YORK'S LONG ISLAND, "NEWSDAY" HAS BECOME DISENCHANTED WITH THE SITUATION IN HAITI, AND IS URGING THE WITHDRAWAL OF U-S TROOPS.

    VOICE: WHEN PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON DISPATCHED 20-THOUSAND U-S TROOPS TO HAITI IN 1994 TO RESTORE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT JEAN-BERTRAND ARISTIDE TO POWER, THE MISSION WAS WIDELY HAILED AS [MR.] CLINTON'S FIRST FOREIGN-POLICY SUCCESS. TODAY, THAT LABEL HAS WORN THIN. WHAT'S LEFT OF THE PEACEKEEPING MISSION IS A SHADOW OF A BANKRUPT POLICY. IT'S TIME FOR [PRESIDENT] CLINTON TO DECLARE ... HIS WELL-MEANING HAITIAN INTERVENTION IS NO LONGER ACHIEVING ITS GOALS AND CALL IT OFF.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: RETURNING TO EUROPEAN ISSUES, "THE PORTLAND [MAINE] PRESS HERALD" IS PLEASED AT THE ENLARGEMENT OF NATO, WHICH THE PAPER FEELS, "HELPS SECURE WORLD PEACE." /// OPT /// POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC ARE THE NEWEST NATO MEMBERS. /// END OPT

    ///

    VOICE: MOST IMPORTANTLY, EXPANSION STRENGTHENS TIES ON A CONTINENT WHERE MISJUDGMENTS AND SUSPICION HAVE PLUNGED THE WORLD INTO TWO MAJOR WARS, BOTH INVOLVING THE UNITED STATES. NATO'S MODERN EXPANSION, OF WHICH THIS MAY ONLY BE THE FIRST STEP, AND OUR NATION'S CONTINUED LEADERSHIP IN THIS VITAL ALLIANCE, HELP KEEP THAT FROM EVER HAPPENING AGAIN.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "WALL STREET JOURNAL" IS EXPRESSING MOCK AMAZEMENT AT THE MASS RESIGNATION OF THE ENTIRE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, THE STAFF OF THE EUROPEAN UNION IN BRUSSELS, AFTER A REPORT CITING FRAUD AND GENERAL INCOMPETENCE.

    VOICE: AS UNEXPECTED EUROPEAN PHENOMENA GO, THIS MAY NOT RANK WITH [FAMOUS RELIGIOUS APPARITIONS OF THE VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF CHRIST] LOURDES OR FATIMA, BUT IT'S CLOSE. ... [EUROPEAN COMMISSION ... PRESIDENT JACQUES SANTER'S BEHAVIOR VINDICATED THE REPORT'S CLAIM THAT 'IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND ANYONE [IN THE COMMISSION] WHO HAS EVEN THE SLIGHTEST SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: THE FIRST COMMENT ON MONDAY NIGHT'S HORRIFIC TRAIN WRECK OF AMTRACK'S "CITY OF NEW ORLEANS" IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS COMES FROM "THE SUN" IN BALTIMORE, NOTING:

    VOICE: MONDAY NIGHT'S FATAL ... DERAILMENT UNDERLINES THE IMPORTANCE OF ENSURING THAT ALL AT-GRADE CROSSINGS ARE EQUIPPED WITH UP-TO-DATE SAFETY AND WARNING DEVICES. ... FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS ... MUST ALSO FOCUS ON THE ADEQUACY OF RAILROAD WARNING SIGNALS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. ... WITH TRAINS AVERAGING SLIGHTLY MORE THAN 127 KILOMETERS-PER-HOUR, IT TAKES (NEARLY A KILOMETER) TO BRING THE ENGINE AND PASSENGER CARS TO A HALT. THIS POINTS TO THE NEED TO LOWER THE GATES AT THESE CROSSINGS FAR IN ADVANCE OF AN APPROACHING TRAIN.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: ON WALL STREET, THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE FINALLY SOARED THROUGH TEN-THOUSAND POINTS BRIEFLY IN TRADING YESTERDAY. THE CURRENT BULL MARKET EUPHORIA DRAWS THIS COMMENT FROM "USA TODAY," THE NATIONAL DAILY PUBLISHED IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA.

    VOICE: ... THIS IS A DIFFERENT ECONOMY, LESS INDUSTRIAL, MORE SERVICE-ORIENTED AND DEPENDENT MORE ON BRAINS THAN ADDED EQUIPMENT. SOONER OR LATER THE BOOM WILL END, NO DOUBT WITH UNHAPPY CONSEQUENCES FOR BLIND DEVOTEES. BUT NO OLD FORMULA CAN FORETELL WHICH WAY THE ECONOMY OR MARKET WILL MOVE. AND NEITHER MAY THE BEST SEER.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, CONTINUING CRITICISM OF THE WEEKEND'S WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING FIGHT BETWEEN EVANDER HOLYFIELD AND LENNOX LEWIS, WHICH MOST PEOPLE FEEL WAS WON BY LEWIS, FROM ENGLAND, BUT WHICH JUDGES RULED A DRAW. SAYS "THE [NEW YORK] DAILY NEWS:"

    VOICE: IN ITS MIXTURE OF VICTORY AND DEFEAT, SPORTS MIRRORS LIFE; IT IS NOT IMMUNE FROM HUMAN ERROR. A BAD LINE CALL IN TENNIS CAN TURN A MATCH. AN ERRANT FOUL CALL IN THE FINAL SECONDS CAN ALTER A BASKETBALL GAME. FANS AND PLAYERS ACCEPT THESE VAGARIES. BUT CHEATING AND CORRUPTION CANNOT BE TOLERATED. IF IT IS FOUND THAT ANY OF THE JUDGES, PROMOTERS OR BOXERS WERE INVOLVED IN A DECISION TO THROW [ILLEGALLY ALTER] THE MATCH, THEY CAN DO THEIR SHADOW BOXING BEHIND BARS.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM SOME OF WEDNESDAY'S U-S PRESS ON THIS ST. PATRICK'S DAY, HONORING IRELAND'S PATRON SAINT.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    17-Mar-99 11:18 AM EST (1618 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [16] I-O-C SCANDAL (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246751
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (I-O-C) HAS OPENED A SPECIAL TWO-DAY MEETING IN SWITZERLAND, WITH THE COMMITTEE'S PRESIDENT VOWING TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION IN THE ORGANIZATION. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA REPORTS SIX COMMITTEE MEMBERS IMPLICATED IN A CORRUPTION SCANDAL FACE EXPULSION.

    TEXT: IN HIS OPENING STATEMENT, OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT JUAN ANTONIO SAMARANCH SAID THE ORGANIZATION NEEDS RADICAL REFORM. HE SAID THE I-O-C IS ON TRIAL AND THAT QUICK, FIRM ACTION HAS TO BE TAKEN TO AVOID, WHAT HE CALLED, VERY, VERY SERIOUS DAMAGE.

    SIX I-O-C MEMBERS FACE EXPULSION FROM THE COMMITTEE BECAUSE OF A BRIBERY SCANDAL. AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION UNCOVERED EVIDENCE THAT THE SIX I-O-C MEMBERS HAD ACCEPTED GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY FROM SALT LAKE CITY OFFICIALS WHO WERE BIDDING TO WIN THE 2002 WINTER GAMES. AND THE I-O-C'S EXECUTIVE BOARD IN JANUARY RECOMMENDED THEIR EXPULSIONS.

    UNDER I-O-C RULES, MEMBERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ACCEPT GIFTS WORTH MORE THAN 150 DOLLARS. ONE OF THE SIX MEMBERS FACING EXPULSION, ECUADOR'S AGUSTIN ARROYO, SAID HE WOULD NOT GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT.

    /// ARROYO ACT ///

    RESIGN. OVER MY DEAD BODY. ONLY A PERSON THAT FEELS HE'S GUILTY RESIGNS. I HAVE NEVER RESIGNED IN MY LIFE ABOUT ANYTHING. YOU HAVE TO FACE WHAT YOU DO. AND, ESPECIALLY IF WHAT YOU DO IS RIGHT.

    /// END ACT ///

    I-O-C PRESIDENT SAMARANCH TOLD THE COMMITTEE IT MUST ELIMINATE ALL FORMS OF INAPPROPRIATE OR UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR BY ITS MEMBERS. HE URGED THE DELEGATES TO UPHOLD THE UNPRECEDENTED EXPULSIONS OF THE SIX MEMBERS.

    THE I-O-C HAS BEEN UNDER PRESSURE FROM SPONSORS, OLYMPIC SPORTS OFFICIALS, AND EVEN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO REFORM ITS OPERATIONS IN THE WAKE OF THE ONE-POINT-TWO-MILLION-DOLLAR BRIBERY SCANDAL. SPONSORS OF THE GAMES HAVE THREATENED TO WITHDRAW MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ENDORSEMENTS UNLESS THE I-O-C REFORMS ITS PRACTICES.

    MR. SAMARANCH HAS HEADED THE ORGANIZATION FOR 18 YEARS AND HAS COME UNDER FIRE FOR HIS LEADERSHIP. HE SAID HE ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CRISIS, BUT SAID HE WILL NOT RESIGN. HIS SPEECH WAS FOLLOWED BY AN OVERWHELMING VOTE OF CONFIDENCE. IN A SECRET BALLOT, 86 MEMBERS VOTED TO RETAIN MR. SAMARANCH AS HEAD OF THE I-O-C. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/JWH
    17-Mar-99 7:47 AM EST (1247 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [17] I-O-C SCANDAL (L UPDATE) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=3/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-246766
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS REPORT UPDATES CR 2-246751, MEMBERS DISMISSED
    ///

    INTRO: THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE HAS EXPELLED SIX MEMBERS FOR TAKING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN BRIBES. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA REPORTS THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE ORGANIZATION HAS EXPELLED ANY MEMBERS IN 105 YEARS OF EXISTENCE.

    TEXT: OFFICIALS SAY THEY HOPE THE EXPULSION OF THE SIX OLYMPIC COMMITTEE MEMBERS WILL BE THE START OF A SERIOUS PROCESS IN REFORMING THE ORGANIZATION, WHICH HAS BEEN TARNISHED BY ACCUSATIONS OF CORRUPTION.

    THE EXPULSIONS CAME AFTER A LARGE MAJORITY OF THE I-O-C'S 90 ELIGIBLE MEMBERS VOTED, BY SECRET BALLOT, TO REMOVE THE SIX MEMBERS FROM THE COMMITTEE.

    THE SIX MEN ARE FROM ECUADOR, SUDAN, CONGO-KINSHASA, MALI, CHILE, AND SAMOA. THEY ARE ACCUSED OF ACCEPTING GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY FROM SALT LAKE CITY OFFICIALS WHO WERE BIDDING TO WIN THE 2002 WINTER GAMES. UNDER I-O-C RULES, MEMBERS CANNOT ACCEPT GIFTS WORTH MORE THAN 150 DOLLARS.

    EARLIER IN THE DAY, OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT JUAN ANTONIO SAMARANCH CALLED THE TWO-DAY EMERGENCY MEETING THE MOST IMPORTANT IN I-O-C HISTORY. HE SAID BIDDING CITIES MAY HAVE ACTED IMPROPERLY IN THEIR EFFORTS TO SECURE THE OLYMPIC NOD. BUT, HE SAID IT WAS THE I-O-C WHICH HAS TO SHOULDER THE BLAME FOR THEIR UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR. AND, IT WAS THE I-O-C WHICH HAS TO ACT QUICKLY TO UNDO THE SERIOUS DAMAGE DONE TO THE OLYMPIC IMAGE.

    THE I-O-C HAS COME UNDER PRESSURE FROM CORPORATE SPONSORS, SPORTS OFFICIALS AND EVEN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO REFORM ITS OPERATIONS. SPONSORS OF THE GAMES HAVE THREATENED TO WITHDRAW MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ADVERTISEMENTS IF THE I-O-C DID NOT REFORM ITS PROCEDURES.

    IN THE WAKE OF THE SCANDAL, MANY PEOPLE DEMANDED THAT OLYMPIC PRESIDENT SAMARANCH RESIGN HIS POST. HE RESISTED. AND, IN THE END, WON AN OVERWHELMING VOTE OF CONFIDENCE TO REMAIN ON AS HEAD OF THE ORGANIZATION, WHICH HE HAS LED FOR THE PAST 18 YEARS. (SIGNED)

    // OPT -- THIS IS FOR INFORMATION; IT IS NOT VOICED //

    THE EXPELLED OFFICIALS ARE AUGUSTIN ARROYO OF ECUADOR; ZEIN EL ABDIN AHMED ABDEL GADIR OF SUDAN; JEAN CLAUDE GANGA OF CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE, LAMINE KEITA OF MALI, SERGIO SANTANDER OF CHILE AND PAUL WALLWORK OF SAMOA. // END OPT //

    NEB/LS/JWH/GE
    17-Mar-99 12:06 PM EST (1706 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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