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Voice of America, 99-05-18

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] U-N KOSOVO MISSION (L) BY NICK SIMEONE (KUKES, ALBANIA)
  • [02] RED CROSS / SERB SOLDIERS (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [03] NATO-KOSOVO (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] KOSOVO / HELICOPTERS (L-ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [05] KOSOVO / U-S AID (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [06] U-N-H-C-R / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [07] U-S / KOSOVO REFUGEES (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [08] CLINTON / KOSOVO (S) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [09] CONGRESS-KOSOVO (L) BY DAVID SWAN (CAPITOL HILL)
  • [10] CONGRESS/CHINA (L ONLY) BY JIM MALONE (CONGRESS)
  • [11] KOSOVO DIPLOMACY (L) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [12] NATO-DIPLOMACY (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [13] GERMANY/ITALY/KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (BARI, ITALY)
  • [14] CHINA / ALBANIA (L-ONLY) BY STEPHANIE HO (BEIJING)
  • [15] UN / YUGO / KUKAN (L - ONLY) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [16] BRITAIN / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [17] EDITORIAL: MONTENEGRO SETS DEMOCRATIC EXAMPLE
  • [18] MENCHU / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY GEORGE MEEK (RIO DE JANEIRO)
  • [19] RUSSIA / YELTSIN (L-ONLY) BY CHALLISS MCDONOUGH (MOSCOW)
  • [20] RUSSIA / YELTSIN (L UPDATE) BY CHALLISS MCDONOUGH (MOSCOW)
  • [21] RUSSIA / DUMA VOTES BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)
  • [22] RUSSIA PRIME MINISTER VOTE BY CHALLISS MCDONOUGH (MOSCOW)
  • [23] TURKEY IRAQ (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [24] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [25] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] U-N KOSOVO MISSION (L) BY NICK SIMEONE (KUKES, ALBANIA)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249536
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A U-N CONVOY THAT WAS GIVEN PERMISSION BY YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES TO TRAVEL BY ROAD FROM BELGRADE TO KOSOVO FOR AN ASSESSMENT OF SITUATION HAS REPORTEDLY BEEN INVOLVED IN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT. CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE REPORTS FROM NEIGHBORING ALBANIA THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ACCIDENT ARE NOT YET CLEAR.

    TEXT: THE FIRST ATTEMPT BY THE UNITED NATIONS TO GET A LOOK AT THE SITUATION INSIDE KOSOVO SINCE THE NATO BOMBING BEGAN HAS BEEN DEALT A SETBACK. JUST AFTER SETTING OFF (TUESDAY) FROM BELGRADE, TWO MEMBERS OF THE U-N MISSION HAD TO RETURN TO THE YUGOSLAV CAPITAL AFTER THEY WERE INJURED IN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT.

    INFORMATION REACHING U-N SPOKESMAN RAY WILKINSON IN KUKES IS SKETCHY. BUT THE INCIDENT CAME AT THE START OF WHAT HE EXPECTED TO BE A VERY DIFFICULT MISSION, IN WHICH SERB AUTHORITIES WILL CONTROL WHAT THE U-N PERSONNEL CAN AND CANNOT SEE.

    /// WILKINSON ACT///

    THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY VERY INTERESTED IN THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL THERE. SO THEY WANT TO SEE, OBVIOUSLY, PEOPLE WHO ARE IN TOWNS, BUT ALSO THERE ARE REPORTEDLY LOTS OF PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, LOTS OF PEOPLE BEING ON THE HILLS AND MOUNTAINS. AND THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE THEY WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SEE

    //OPT//

    -- BUT OF COURSE, THOSE ARE GOING TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT, BECAUSE A LOT OF THESE PEOPLE ARE STILL IN AREAS THAT ARE CONTESTED BETWEEN THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES AND THE K-L-A (KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY). //END OPT//

    ///END ACT///

    THE UNITED NATIONS HAS NO INFORMATION SUGGESTING THE ROAD MISHAP WAS ANYTHING MORE THAN AN ACCIDENT. THE U-N SPOKESMAN BELIEVES BELGRADE'S DECISION TO GRANT PERMISSION FOR U-N STAFF TO TRAVEL TO KOSOVO MAY INDICATE MOVEMENT ON THE DIPLOMATIC FRONT TOWARD ENDING THE FIGHTING IN KOSOVO.

    /// SECOND WILKINSON ACT ///

    I THINK THEY SEE THE U-N AS A PLAYER, RATHER THAN NATO. AND I THINK THEY WANT TO CHANNEL THEIR EFFORTS THROUGH SOMEONE LIKE THE U-N, RATHER THAN DIRECTLY WITH NATO. AND THIS IS A SIGNAL, I THINK, BY THE SERBIAN AUTHORITIES THAT THEY WANT TO DEAL, ESSENTIALLY, WITH THE U-N.

    /// END ACT ///

    NATO MAINTAINS ANY U-N-MEDIATED SETTLEMENT MUST HAVE NATO TROOPS AT ITS CORE -- SOMETHING THAT AFTER MORE THAN 50-DAYS OF AIR STRIKES, YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC HAS SHOWN NO SIGN OF ACCEPTING. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NS/PCF/RAE
    18-May-99 2:49 PM EDT (1849 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] RED CROSS / SERB SOLDIERS (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249507
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS SAYS TWO YUGOSLAV SOLDIERS DETAINED BY THE UNITED STATES MILITARY WILL BE FREED ON TUESDAY IN HUNGARY. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA REPORTS THE PRISONERS WILL BE RELEASED TO THE RED CROSS WHO WILL HAND THEM OVER TO YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES.

    TEXT: RED CROSS SPOKESMAN, URS BOEGLI SAYS HIS ORGANIZATION WAS INFORMED OF THE IMMINENT RELEASE OF THE YUGOSLAV PRISONERS BY THE UNITED STATES ON MONDAY EVENING. HE SAYS RED CROSS DELEGATES IMMEDIATELY ASKED FOR AND RECEIVED PERMISSION TO VISIT THE SOLDIERS IN GERMANY WHERE THEY WERE BEING HELD.

    /// BOEGLI ACT ONE ///

    WHAT THE I-C-R-C DOES IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IS TO SCHEDULE ONE MORE VISIT, TO ASSESS IN A PRIVATE INTERVIEW WITHOUT WITNESS THE WILLINGNESS OF THE PRISONER, ANY PRISONER OF WAR, TO BE LIBERATED AND TO BE REPATRIATED. THIS WAS DONE IN GERMANY EARLY THIS MORNING. THE TWO PRISONERS HAVE EXPRESSED THEIR WISH TO BE FREED AND TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO YUGOSLAVIA.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE YUGOSLAV SOLDIERS ARE BEING FLOWN TO THE HUNGARIAN CAPITAL, BUDAPEST, FROM WHERE THEY WILL BE DRIVEN TO A PATCH OF "NO MAN'S LAND" NEAR HORGOS, CLOSE TO THE YUGOSLAV BORDER. MR. BOEGLI SAYS THIS IS WHERE THE I-C-R-C TAKES OVER IN ITS ROLE AS A NEUTRAL INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN NATO AND YUGOSLAVIA.

    /// BOEGLI ACT TWO ///

    THEY WILL BE HANDED OVER TO THE I-C-R-C ON THE HUNGARIAN SIDE OF THE BORDER. THE I-C-R-C SETS UP THE BORDER CROSSING AND ON THE OTHER SIDE NORMALLY, THEY ARE GIVEN TO THE YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE TWO YUGOSLAV SOLDIERS WERE CAPTURED BY MEMBERS OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY A FEW WEEKS AGO AND TURNED OVER TO NATO. THEY WERE KEPT IN CUSTODY BY THE U-S EUROPEAN COMMAND IN GERMANY.

    MR. BOEGLI SAYS IT IS UNUSUAL TO HAVE PRISONERS OF WAR RELEASED BEFORE THE ACTIVE HOSTILITIES ARE OVER. BUT, HE SAYS THERE IS NO RULE AGAINST IT. EARLY THIS MONTH, YUGOSLAVIA FREED THREE U-S SOLDIERS WHO WERE CAPTURED AT THE MACEDONIAN BORDER AT THE END OF MARCH. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/JWH
    18-May-99 8:05 AM EDT (1205 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] NATO-KOSOVO (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249508
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA HAS MET AT THE ALLIANCE'S BRUSSELS HEADQUARTERS WITH THE KOSOVO POLITICAL LEADER IBRAHIM RUGOVA AND WITH THE AMERICAN OFFICIAL IN CHARGE OF INVESTIGATING WAR CRIMES IN KOSOVO. VOA'S RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS THE FOCUS WAS ON ALLEGATIONS THAT SERBIA IS USING CIVILIANS AS MILITARY SHIELDS IN THE KOSOVO CRISIS.

    TEXT: THE CRIME IS CONSIDERED IN THREE CATEGORIES. THE SERBIAN MILITARY HAS USED ALBANIAN REFUGEES TO ESCORT THEIR CONVOYS. THEY HAVE USED CIVILIAN REFUGEES TO PROTECT THEIR MILITARY AND INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES IN KOSOVO FROM NATO ATTACKS. THEY ALSO HAVE USED THEM IN FORCED LABOR BRIGADES.

    DAVID SCHEFFER, THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR FOR WAR CRIMES ISSUES, DETAILS THE CASES WHERE THESE HUMAN SHIELDS HAVE BEEN USED BY THE SERBIAN MILITARY IN KOSOVO.

    ///SCHEFFER ACT///

    WHAT IMPRESSES SOMEONE LIKE ME WHO DEALS WITH WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATIONS EVERY DAY IS THAT THIS HAS BECOME A SHELL GAME OF CIVILIANS MANIPULATED BY SERB FORCES ... MOVED AROUND THE COUNTRYSIDE. (IT) IS A SHELL GAME STRATEGY TO EXPOSE THEM TO THE RISK OF MILITARY CONFLICT. AND THAT, FOLKS, IS ILLEGAL. THAT'S A WAR CRIME.

    ///END ACT///

    AMBASSADOR SCHEFFER RAISES THE ESTIMATED NUMBER OF MISSING ALBANIAN MEN IN KOSOVO FROM 100-THOUSAND TO 225-THOUSAND. THIS DOES NOT MEAN ALL THESE MEN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 14 AND 59 HAVE BEEN EXECUTED. BUT MR. SCHEFFER SAYS THEY REMAIN MISSING.

    NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA ALSO MET HERE WITH IBRAHIM RUGOVA, THE MODERATE KOSOVO ALBANIAN POLITICAL LEADER. NOW SPEAKING FREELY AFTER LEAVING KOSOVO, MR. RUGOVA SAYS HE WANTS BELGRADE TO ACCEPT NATO'S CONDITIONS FOR PEACE.

    NATO SPOKESMAN JAMIE SHEA DESCRIBES WHAT MR. RUGOVA TOLD SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA.

    ///SHEA ACT///

    DR. RUGOVA STRESSED TWO POINTS. THE FIRST THAT HE TOTALLY SUPPORTS WHAT NATO IS DOING AND SEES THE NATO ACTION AS THE ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE A LASTING PEACE IN KOSOVO AND TO GET THE REFUGEES BACK. AND SECONDLY, THE NEED FOR NATO TO CONTINUE WITH ITS AIR OPERATIONS UNTIL (NATO'S) FIVE (STATED) CONDITIONS ARE MET.

    ///END ACT///

    MR. SHEA SAYS SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA URGED MR. RUGOVA TO WORK TOGETHER WITH OTHER KOSOVO FIGURES IN EXILE TOWARD THE GOAL OF AUTONOMY FOR THE PROVINCE RATHER THAN OUTRIGHT INDEPENDENCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF
    18-May-99 8:07 AM EDT (1207 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO / HELICOPTERS (L-ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249540
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S OFFICIALS SAY IT MAY BE QUITE A WHILE BEFORE THE ARMY'S SPECIAL TANK-KILLING HELICOPTERS SEE ACTION IN KOSOVO. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON, WHERE OFFICIALS SAY THE PROBLEM IS GOOD WEATHER.

    TEXT: TWO-DOZEN APACHE ATTACK HELICOPTERS HAVE BEEN TRAINING IN ALBANIA, AND ARE SAID TO BE READY TO SWOOP INTO KOSOVO, HUNTING AND KILLING SERB TANKS AND ARMORED VEHICLES.

    APACHE PILOTS SAY THE HELICOPTERS ARE EFFECTIVE BECAUSE THEY BRISTLE WITH WEAPONS, AND BECAUSE THEY FLY JUST ABOVE THE TREETOPS, WHERE THEY CAN EASILY SEE THEIR QUARRY [TARGETS]. BUT THAT ALSO MAKES THEM VULNERABLE TO SERB SOLDIERS ARMED WITH PORTABLE ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS AIR FORCE A-10 ATTACK JETS, WHICH ARE PROTECTED BY MORE ARMOR, SPEED, AND ALTITUDE THAN THE APACHES, WILL DO THE DANGEROUS JOB FOR NOW.

    /// CLINTON ACT ///

    WHEN THE WEATHER IS GOOD, AS IT GENERALLY IS AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, MOST OF WHAT THE APACHES CAN DO CAN BE DONE BY THE A-10'S, AT LESS RISK.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE APACHES CAN FLY UNDER CLOUDS AND FOG, WHICH BLOCK THE LASER BEAMS THAT A-10'S USE TO GUIDE THEIR BOMBS TO SERB TANKS, SO MILITARY COMMANDERS SAY THEY ARE VERY USEFUL IN EUROPE'S FREQUENTLY FOUL WEATHER.

    THE LOW-FLYING APACHES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PROTECTED FROM AIR DEFENSES BY SURFACE-TO-SURFACE MISSILES, CALLED "ATACMS" [PRON: AH-'TACK-UMS] THAT RAIN NEARLY ONE-THOUSAND GRENADE-LIKE EXPLOSIVES ACROSS AN AREA THE SIZE OF A FOOTBALL FIELD.

    BUT THE ARMY'S LEADING EXPERT ON "ATACMS," COLONEL GEORGE SVITALE, SAYS IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO HIT THE SERBS' ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES, WHICH ARE WIDELY DISPERSED AND MOBILE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/WTW
    18-May-99 4:30 PM EDT (2030 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=5/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249479
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE PREPARING FOR THE POSSIBLE EXODUS OF KOSOVO'S ENTIRE POPULATION OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS. FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT, VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: AFTER BEING CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY THE HUGE NUMBER OF REFUGEES THAT FLOODED OUT OF KOSOVO WHEN THE CONFLICT BEGAN, AID OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE FINALLY GETTING A HANDLE ON THE PROBLEM.

    APPEARING AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT TO BRIEF REPORTERS ON THE AID EFFORT, U-S AGRICULTURE SECRETARY DAN GLICKMAN SAID THE UNITED STATES HAS NOW PROVIDED ABOUT 100 MILLION DOLLARS IN FOOD ASSISTANCE TO THE REGION.

    // GLICKMAN ACT //

    THE U-S WILL BE PROVIDING 14 THOUSAND TONS OF FOOD A MONTH TO PEOPLE IN REFUGEE CAMPS AND THOSE STAYING WITH HOST FAMILIES IN ALBANIA AND MACEDONIA. THAT'S ENOUGH FOOD TO FEED A QUARTER OF A MILLION PEOPLE A MONTH. THE FIRST SHIPMENTS SHOULD BE GOING OUT LATE THIS MONTH OR IN THE EARLY PART OF JUNE.

    // END ACT //

    OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE ALSO PLANNING TO OFFER AN ADDITIONAL 160 THOUSAND TONS OF FOOD AID TO COUNTRIES IN THE REGION WHICH HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE CRISIS.

    U-S SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT WAS PREPARED TO HELP COUNTRIES IN THE REGION AND SHE URGED MACEDONIA AND ALBANIA TO KEEP THEIR DOORS OPEN TO REFUGEES.

    // ALBRIGHT ACT //

    LENDING EVEN GREATER URGENCY TO OUR EFFORTS IS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THERE MAY BE 700 THOUSAND OR MORE INTERNALLY DISPLACE PERSONS IN KOSOVO. WE CONTINUE TO EXPLORE OPTIONS FOR REACHING THESE PEOPLE WITH HUMANITARIAN AID AND ARE PREPARING FOR THE POSSIBILITY THAT THEY TOO MAY CROSS THE BORDERS BEFORE THE MILITARY CONFRONTATION ENDS.

    // END ACT //

    IN AN EFFORT TO DEAL WITH THAT POSSIBILITY, OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED A SERIES OF STEPS, INCLUDING BUILDING NEW CAMPS AND RELOCATING AS MANY AS 130 THOUSAND REFUGEES IN OTHER COUNTRIES.

    THE HEAD OF THE U-S AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, BRIAN ATWOOD, SAYS THE UNITED STATES IS ALSO PLANNING TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO FAMILIES IN ALBANIA AND MACEDONIA WHO AGREE TO TAKE IN ADDITIONAL REFUGEES.

    // ATWOOD ACT //

    WE ARE GOING TO BE OFFERING A ONE TIME ASSISTANCE PACKAGE TO THESE FAMILIES OF ESSENTIAL HOUSEHOLD ITEMS SUCH AS MATTRESSES, BLANKETS, CLOTHING, HYGIENE SUPPLIES TO HELP THE FAMILIES TO ADDITIONAL PEOPLE.

    // END ACT //

    MR. ATWOOD SAYS ABOUT 280 THOUSAND REFUGEES ARE NOW BEING CARED FOR BY HOST FAMILIES IN ALBANIA. HE SAYS OFFICIALS ARE HOPING THAT WITH THE ADDITIONAL FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES HOST FAMILIES WILL TAKE IN AN ADDITIONAL 350 THOUSAND. AID AGENCIES WILL ALSO TRY TO LOCATE VACANT BUILDINGS THAT CAN BE QUICKLY REPAIRED.

    // ATWOOD ACT TWO //

    WE ARE ABOUT AT THE POINT THAT WE CAN SAY WE CAN HANDLE ALL THE REFUGEES THAT MILOSEVIC DRIVES OUT OF KOSOVO.

    // END ACT //

    ASKED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF AIR DROPS OF FOOD SUPPLIES TO PEOPLE HIDING OUT IN THE HILLS OF KOSOVO, U-S OFFICIALS SAY A DECISION ON THAT MIGHT BE MADE BY NEXT WEEK. HOWEVER, MILITARY OFFICIALS CAUTION THAT AIR DROPS OF FOOD WOULD BE DIFFICULT BECAUSE OF THE ONGOING AIR STRIKES AND THE POSSIBILITY THE SUPPLIES COULD WIND UP FEEDING SERB SOLDIERS. FOR NOW OFFICIALS SAY THEY WILL CONCENTRATE ON THE MEASURES THEY HAVE ALREADY OUTLINED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/PHW/PT
    17-May-99 8:54 PM EDT (0054 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249515
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY, U-N-H-C-R, SAYS A TRAIN CARRYING ABOUT ONE-THOUSAND ETHNIC ALBANIAN REFUGEES FROM KOSOVO ARRIVED AT THE BORDER WITH MACEDONIA. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA REPORTS THE U-N AGENCY SAYS THAT THIS TIME, SERB AUTHORITIES ALLOWED THE REFUGEES TO DISEMBARK.

    TEXT: THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS THE KOSOVAR REFUGEES WALKED INTO NO-MAN'S LAND AND WERE RECEIVED BY AID WORKERS ON THE MACEDONIAN SIDE OF THE BORDER.

    U-N-H-C-R SPOKESMAN, KRIS JANOWSKI SAYS HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THE SERBS ARE ALLOWING SOME TRAINLOADS OF REFUGEES TO CROSS INTO MACEDONIA WHILE FORCING OTHERS TO REMAIN IN KOSOVO.

    FOR EXAMPLE, HE SAYS SERBS AT THE MACEDONIAN BORDER ON MONDAY TURNED BACK A CROWDED FIVE-CAR TRAIN WHICH WAS CARRYING ABOUT TWO-THOUSAND PEOPLE. ONLY 10 ELDERLY MEN WERE ALLOWED TO GET OFF. HE SAYS THE MEN TOLD U-N AID WORKERS THAT THE SITUATION WAS VERY GRIM IN KOSOVO'S SMIRA AREA, NEAR VITINA.

    /// JANOWSKI ACT ONE ///

    THE PEOPLE SAID THAT THE SUPPLIES ARE RUNNING SHORT. EVERY WHEAT FLOUR BROUGHT INTO THOSE VILLAGES IS GIVEN TO THE SERBS, ACCORDING TO THEM, RATHER THAN TO THE ALBANIANS. SO THE ALBANIANS ARE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH FOOD.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS THE ELDERLY MEN REPORTED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WERE WAITING IN THE AREA AROUND VITINA. THEY SAID THE PEOPLE WERE ESSENTIALLY TRAPPED, NOT ABLE TO ESCAPE. MR. JANOWSKI SAYS THE REFUGEES REPORTED THE SERB MILITARY MOVED TANKS AND OTHER MILITARY EQUIPMENT INTO THE VILLAGES AND HIDING THEM IN BARNS.

    /// JANOWSKI ACT TWO ///

    THE MILITARY AFTER EVERY NATO ATTACK MOVING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THE CIVILIAN POPULATION ESSENTIALLY MIXING WITH THE CIVILIAN POPULATION AND SETTING UP IN VILLAGES AND IN TOWNS, HIDING AS IT WERE, BEHIND THE CIVILIAN POPULATION WHICH IS OF COURSE EXTREMELY ALARMING.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS THE REFUGEES ACCUSED THE YUGOSLAV MILITARY OF PLAYING GAMES WITH THE LOCAL CIVILIANS. THEY SAID ONE DAY THE SERBS WOULD TELL THE PEOPLE TO LEAVE AND GO TO THE HILLS AND THE NEXT DAY THEY WOULD ORDER THEM TO COME BACK.

    THE U-N REFUGEE SPOKESMAN SAYS THE VILLAGERS ARE TOTALLY TERRIFIED AND DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING.

    /// REST OPT ///

    ON ANOTHER ISSUE, THE REFUGEE AGENCY REPORTS THAT 106 OF THE KOSOVO ALBANIAN MEN WHO WERE DETAINED BY THE YUGOSLAV FEDERAL ARMY IN MONTENEGRO LAST SATURDAY WERE RELEASED MONDAY AFTERNOON. THE AGENCY SAYS IT IS NOT CLEAR WHY THE MEN WERE LET GO NOR WHETHER ALL THOSE DETAINED WERE RELEASED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/JWH
    18-May-99 10:31 AM EDT (1431 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] U-S / KOSOVO REFUGEES (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249548
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FIRST LADY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON ANNOUNCED NEW U-S AID TO ASSIST ETHNIC ALBANIAN REFUGEES FLEEING SERB ATTACKS IN KOSOVO. CORRESPONDENT DEBORAH TATE REPORTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    TEXT: MRS. CLINTON TUESDAY ANNOUNCED ANOTHER 15 MILLION DOLLARS IN AID TO KOSOVAR REFUGEES, BRINGING THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF U-S ASSISTANCE TO 200 MILLION DOLLARS. THE MONEY WILL GO TO U-N ORGANIZATIONS, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT DISTRIBUTE RELIEF TO REFUGEES. IN ADDITION, THE FUNDS WILL BE USED TO HELP HOUSE 20-THOUSAND KOSOVAR REFUGEES IN THE UNITED STATES.

    MRS. CLINTON IS JUST BACK FROM A VISIT TO A REFUGEE CAMP IN MACEDONIA. SHE RECALLED STORIES SHE HEARD FROM THE REFUGEES ABOUT SERB BRUTALITY AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIANS - INCLUDING RAPE AND MURDER.

    // H-CLINTON ACTUALITY //

    I DON'T KNOW THAT ANY OF US WHO HAVE NOT ENDURED WHAT THESE MEN,WOMEN AND CHILDREN HAVE, CAN REALLY FULLY COMPREHEND WHAT THEY HAVE SUFFERED, OR THE COURAGE IT TAKES TO SPEAK ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES. I FOUND IT DIFFICULT IN THE REFUGEE CAMP TO ASK AND THEN LISTEN TO THE STORIES THE REFUGEES TOLD ME BECAUSE IT IS A VERY PAINFUL EXPERIENCE FOR THEM TO HAVE TO RELIVE THAT. BUT THEY ARE WILLING TO DO SO BECAUSE THEY WANT ALL OF US TO KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THEM AND WHAT IS STILL HAPPENING TO THEIR LOVED ONES.

    // END ACT //

    THE HEAD OF ONE NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION, KEN HACKETT OF CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES, THANKED THE UNITED STATES AND ITS ALLIES FOR THEIR REFUGEE ASSISTANCE. BUT HE SAID IT WAS NOT TOO EARLY TO BEGIN PREPARING FOR THE ONSET OF COLD WEATHER.

    // HACKETT ACTUALITY //

    THE IMMEDIATE CHALLENGE WE ARE GOING TO FACE IS WINTER. WE HAVE NOT EVEN ENTERED THE SUMMER, BUT WINTER COMES VERY EARLY IN THIS PART OF EUROPE. AND WE MUST BE THINKING ABOUT HOW WE CAN REMAIN CONSTANT IN OUR SUPPORT TO HELP THIS POPULATION AND THEIR HOSTS.

    // END ACT //

    MEANWHILE, A U-S PROGRAM THAT WILL GIVE KOSOVAR REFUGEES ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR HOMELAND IN THEIR NATIVE ALBANIAN LANGUAGE IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN THIS WEEK. THE U-S INFORMATION AGENCY IS SPONSORING THE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP THAT WILL BRING INTERNET INFORMATION CENTERS TO REFUGEE CAMPS IN MACEDONIA, ALBANIA, POLAND, GERMANY, FRANCE AND THE UNITED STATES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/PT
    18-May-99 7:30 PM EDT (2330 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] CLINTON / KOSOVO (S) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249521
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON IS KEEPING THE DOOR OPEN TO THE USE OF GROUND TROOPS IN THE WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA. CORRESPONDENT DEBORAH TATE REPORTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    TEXT: SPEAKING AT A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH JORDAN'S KING ABDULLAH, MR. CLINTON MAINTAINED NATO WILL PREVAIL IN ITS EFFORT TO END THE WAR OVER KOSOVO.

    ALTHOUGH HE SAID THE AIR CAMPAIGN HAS ACCOMPLISHED 'QUITE A BIT', AND ADDED IT 'CAN ACCOMPLISH A LOT MORE' AS HE PUT IT, HE DID NOT RULE OUT THE USE OF GROUND TROOPS IN THE FUTURE.

    // CLINTON ACTUALITY //

    WE HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT TAKE ANY OPTION OFF THE TABLE. BUT WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS, AND I AM CONVINCED WE WILL ACHIEVE OUR OBJECTIVES ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

    // END ACT //

    HIS COMMENTS COME AMID REPORTS OF A DIVISION AMONG NATO ALLIES ON THE APPROACH TO ENDING THE YUGOSLAV WAR.

    BRITAIN HAS BEEN PRESSING NATO TO CONSIDER A GROUND ATTACK, WHILE GERMANY AND ITALY ARE PUSHING A TEMPORARY HALT IN THE BOMBING AS PART OF A PEACE INITIATIVE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/RAE
    18-May-99 12:04 PM EDT (1604 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] CONGRESS-KOSOVO (L) BY DAVID SWAN (CAPITOL HILL)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249524
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-S HOUSE (OF REPRESENTATIVES) COULD VOTE AS EARLY AS TONIGHT (TUESDAY) TO APPROVE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR WAR AND RELIEF MISSIONS IN KOSOVO. HOWEVER, AS V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN REPORTS, CONGRESS IS FAR FROM UNITED ABOUT THE ADMINISTRATION'S HANDLING OF THE CONFLICT OR WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN NEXT.

    TEXT: AN EMERGENCY BUDGET BILL IS EXPECTED TO CLEAR BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE THIS WEEK. IT WILL GIVE PRESIDENT CLINTON MONEY TO SUSTAIN THE BOMBING AND BRING HUMANITARIAN AID TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF KOSOVAR REFUGEES.

    BUT BEYOND PAYING FOR THESE OPERATIONS, THERE IS LITTLE CONSENSUS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CAPITOL ABOUT THIS WAR, WHICH IS NOW NEARLY TWO MONTHS OLD. THE DIFFERENCES BECAME CLEAR WHEN MEMBERS OF A BIPARTISAN SENATE DELEGATION DISCUSSED THEIR VISIT TO THE REGION THIS PAST WEEKEND. DEMOCRAT TOM HARKIN WARNS THE REFUGEES MUST GET HOME TO KOSOVO BEFORE WINTER -- AND MORE ALLIED FORCE MAY BE NEEDED.

    // HARKIN ACT //

    WE SHOULD BE PREPARING RIGHT NOW, SETTING THE PREPARATION, FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF TANKS, BRADLEY FIGHTING VEHICLES, ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS AND GROUND FORCES INTO KOSOVO. THAT SHOULD BE DONE RIGHT NOW. I AM NOT CONVINCED THAT AIR POWER ALONE WILL GET THE FORCES OUT OF KOSOVO.

    // END ACT //

    REPUBLICAN GEORGE VOINOVICH SAYS HE SEES NO SUPPORT FOR A GROUND WAR AMONG YUGOSLAVIA'S NEIGHBORS. INSTEAD, HE SUGGESTS A TEMPORARY HALT TO THE BOMBING, IN HOPES OF BRINGING PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC BACK TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE.

    // VOINOVICH ACT //

    BECAUSE IT WOULD BE A PEACE OFFERING, OR AN EXTENSION OF AN OLIVE BRANCH TO THE SERBIAN PEOPLE SAYING "HEY, WE DON'T WANT TO DO THIS (BOMBING). BUT THIS (WAR IN KOSOVO) HAS GOT TO STOP. AND WE'RE GIVING HIM (MILOSEVIC) ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY AND SEE IF WE CAN'T WORK THE MAGIC OF SETTLING THIS THING THROUGH DIPLOMACY.

    // END ACT //

    LAWMAKERS ALSO WORRY THE MISSION WILL PUT TOO MUCH STRAIN ON THE U-S ARMED FORCES, LEAVING THEM UNPREPARED FOR POTENTIAL CRISES ELSEWHERE. THIS IS REFLECTED IN THE SIZE OF THE EMERGENCY BUDGET BILL, WHICH IS MUCH LARGER THAN THE ORIGINAL WHITE HOUSE REQUEST. REPUBLICANS, SEEING A CHANCE TO REVERSE WHAT THEY CALL THE PRESIDENT'S NEGLECT OF THE MILITARY, ADDED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR OTHER DEFENSE PROGRAMS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DS/LTD/KL
    18-May-99 12:54 PM EDT (1654 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] CONGRESS/CHINA (L ONLY) BY JIM MALONE (CONGRESS)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249537
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF U-S LAWMAKERS IS PREPARING TO MARK THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN ON PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATORS IN BEIJING'S TIANANMEN SQUARE. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT JIM MALONE HAS MORE FROM CAPITOL HILL.

    TEXT: BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE WILL VOTE ON A RESOLUTION IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS WHICH CONDEMNS CHINA'S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD AND WHICH CALLS ON THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE 1989 MASSACRE OF DEMONSTRATORS IN AND AROUND TIANANMEN SQUARE.

    THE RESOLUTION HAS THE SUPPORT OF A BROAD COALITION OF CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS AND LIBERAL DEMOCRATS. AMONG THEM IS VIRGINIA REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FRANK WOLF WHO SAYS THE MEASURE RECOGNIZES THE EFFORTS OF PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF CHINA.

    /// WOLF ACT. ///

    WE WILL NOT FORGET YOU, THE SAME WAY WE DID NOT FORGET (FORMER RUSSIAN DISSIDENY ANATOLY) SHCHARANSKI IN PERM (CAMP) 35. WE DID NOT FORGET THE DISSIDENTS IN ROMANIA. WE DID NOT FORGET THOSE PEOPLE. WE WILL NOT FORGET YOU AND YOU WILL ULTIMATELY PREVAIL.

    /// END ACT. ///

    THE CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTIONS ALSO CALL ON THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT TO OPEN AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF THE 1989 KILLINGS IN BEIJING AND TO RELEASE THOSE STILL IN PRISON AS A RESULT OF THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATIONS.

    MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FROM BOTH PARTIES SAY U-S--CHINESE RELATIONS ARE AT THEIR WORST POINT IN YEARS, NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS, BUT ALSO BECAUSE OF RECENT ALLEGATIONS OF ESPIONAGE AGAINST CHINA AND BECAUSE OF THE RECENT ACCIDENTAL BOMBING OF THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN BELGRADE BY NATO.

    THE CHINESE EMBASSY DID NOT RESPOND TO V-O-A'S REQUEST FOR COMMENT ON THE CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTIONS.

    SUPPORTERS OF THE MEASURE EXPECT BOTH THE SENATE AND HOUSE TO APPROVE THE RESOLUTION WITHIN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS, WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE JUNE FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PRO-DEMOCRACY CRACKDOWN (1989). (SIGNED)
    NEB/JBM/PT
    18-May-99 3:00 PM EDT (1900 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] KOSOVO DIPLOMACY (L) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249541
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S OFFICIALS SAY THERE ARE SIGNS THE BELGRADE GOVERNMENT IS MOVING TOWARD ACCEPTANCE OF NATO'S CONDITIONS FOR AN END TO THE CONFLICT IN KOSOVO. FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT, VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: AS RUSSIAN ENVOY VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN PREPARES FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF TALKS WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, SERB DEFIANCE OF NATO APPEARS TO BE EASING.

    NEWS REPORTS FROM BELGRADE QUOTE ANALYSTS AND SERB OFFICIALS AS SAYING MR. MILOSEVIC MAY BE WILLING TO ACCEPT A COMPROMISE ON KOSOVO -- AS LONG AS HE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE CAPITULATING TO NATO.

    AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT, SPOKESMAN JAMES FOLEY SAYS THE CHANGE IN SERB VIEWS HAS EVOLVED SLOWLY OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS AS NATO STEPPED UP ITS BOMBING CAMPAIGN.

    // FOLEY ACT //

    WE HAVE SEEN CRONIES OF MILOSEVIC DESCRIBE THE G-8 PRINCIPLES AS THOSE THAT MILOSEVIC OUGHT TO ACCEPT. WE HAVE SEEN MAYORS AROUND THE COUNTRY EXPRESS SIMILAR SENTIMENTS. WE KNOW THAT RETIRED GENERALS ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE YUGOSLAV ARMY IS BEING PROGRESSIVELY DESTROYED.

    // END ACT //

    MR. FOLEY SAYS SERB WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT THE PRINCIPLES AGREED TO BY RUSSIA AND THE SEVEN MAJOR INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS WOULD BE WELCOME.

    // FOLEY ACT //

    IF THEY ARE SIGNALING AN OPENNESS TO THE G-8 PRINCIPLES THAT IS A POSITIVE STEP, IT IS A SIGN THAT OUR DOUBLE, OR DUAL STRATEGY OF INTENSIFYING THE AIR CAMPAIGN AND INTENSIFYING DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS, IS BEGINNING TO SHOW RESULTS.

    // END ACT //

    OFFICIALS ALSO POINT TO REPORTS OF PROTESTS IN AT LEAST TWO SERB CITIES, WHERE DEMONSTRATORS RALLIED AGAINST THE DRAFTING OF SOLDIERS TO FIGHT IN KOSOVO.

    DESPITE THE SIGNS, YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC HAS GIVEN NO PUBLIC INDICATION HE IS WILLING TO BOW TO NATO DEMANDS THAT HE WITHDRAW HIS TROOPS FROM KOSOVO.

    SERB POLITICAL ANALYSTS TELL THE NEW YORK TIMES THAT MR. MILOSEVIC IS UNLIKELY TO ACCEPT ANY FIRST ROUND PLAN PRESENTED BY RUSSIAN ENVOY VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN. THEY SAY A DEAL WILL HAVE TO APPEAR TO BE THE RESULT OF NEGOTIATION.

    U-S OFFICIALS SAY THEY HOPE TO INCREASE THE DIPLOMATIC PRESSURE ON MR. MILOSEVIC BY NARROWING ANY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RUSSIA AND NATO. U-S DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE STROBE TALBOTT HAS BEEN MEETING WITH MR. CHERNOMYRDIN IN HELSINKI THIS WEEK TO DO JUST THAT. U-S OFFICIALS SAY A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION IN KOSOVO CAN COME QUICKLY, BUT THAT DECISION WILL BE UP TO MR. MILOSEVIC. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/WFR
    18-May-99 4:40 PM EDT (2040 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [12] NATO-DIPLOMACY (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249528
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DESPITE CALLS FROM NATO MEMBERS ITALY AND GREECE TO DECLARE A BOMBING PAUSE IN YUGOSLAVIA, THE ALLIANCE SAYS THE AIR WAR WILL CONTINUE. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM NATO HEADQUARTERS.

    TEXT: THERE'S NO CHANGE IN NATO'S ATTITUDE THAT THE AIR STRIKES OVER YUGOSLAVIA WILL INTENSIFY -- UNLESS YUGOSLAVIA ACCEPTS NATO'S PEACE CONDITIONS.

    NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER KNUT VOLLEBAEK CAME TO NATO HEADQUARTERS TO DISCUSS THE POTENTIAL CIVILIAN ROLE FOR THE "ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE" (O-S-C-E) IN A POST-CONFLICT SCENARIO IN KOSOVO.

    MR. VOLLEBAEK TELLS REPORTERS THAT THE INTENSIFIED DIPLOMACY TO SETTLE THE CONFLICT IS ENCOURAGING, BUT NATO MUST INSIST THAT YUGOSLAVIA ACCEPTS ITS FIVE CONDITIONS BEFORE THE BOMBING STOPS. SPEAKING AS THE CURRENT CHAIRMAN OF THE O-S-C-E, HE SAYS YUGOSLAVIA HAS TO ACCEPT A ROBUST MILITARY PRESENCE TO PROTECT THE REFUGEES.

    ///VOLLEBAEK ACT///

    IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO THINK THAT ANY OF THE REFUGEES WOULD RETURN WITHOUT THE SAFETY AND SECURITY THAT AN INTERNATIONAL MILITARY PRESENCE WOULD GIVE THEM. SO BEFORE WE STOP THE MILITARY ACTIONS AGAINST PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC, WE HAVE TO KNOW FOR SURE THAT HE MEANS BUSINESS. AND THAT HE IS WILLING TO WITHDRAW.

    ///END ACT///

    NATO ALLIES ITALY AND GREECE HAVE SUGGESTED THAT NATO GIVE DIPLOMACY A CHANCE BY DECLARING A 48-HOUR BOMBING PAUSE. NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA SAYS THAT PAUSE WILL NOT HAPPEN BEFORE YUGOSLAVIA ACCEPTS THE KEY NATO CONDITIONS, THE WITHDRAWAL OF YUGOSLAV TROOPS FROM KOSOVO AND THE STATIONING OF THE WELL-ARMED PEACEKEEPERS.

    ///SOLANA ACT///

    THE STOP (TO) THE BOMBING WILL NOT TAKE PLACE UNLESS THESE TWO CONDITIONS ARE FULFILLED, IN THE SENSE THAT THEY ARE ACCEPTED CLEARLY BY BELGRADE, AND THEY ARE STARTED TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN A VERIFIABLE MANNER.

    ///END ACT///

    THE PRESIDENT OF FINLAND, ALONG WITH FORMER RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN, IS HEADING BACK TO BELGRADE TO SEE IF PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC IS ANY MORE WILLING TO DISCUSS NATO'S CONDITIONS. IN THE MEANTIME, NATO PLANS TO INTENSIFY ITS AIR STRIKES INTO THE THIRD MONTH, WITH 72 MORE F-15 AND F-16 FIGHTER JETS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF
    18-May-99 1:39 PM EDT (1739 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [13] GERMANY/ITALY/KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (BARI, ITALY)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249510
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// RE-PRINTING WITH CR-NUMBER. /////

    INTRO: GERMAN CHANCELLOR GERHARD SCHROEDER ON TUESDAY RULED OUT THE USE OF GROUND FORCES TO TRY TO END THE WAR IN KOSOVO. THE GERMAN LEADER WAS SPEAKING AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY ITALO-GERMAN SUMMIT HELD IN THE SOUTHERN ITALIAN CITY OF BARI. SABINA CASTELFRANCO REPORTS.

    TEXT: GERMAN CHANCELLOR GERHARD SHROEDER SAID ON TUESDAY THAT HE WAS AGAINST LAUNCHING A NATO GROUND OFFENSIVE TO END THE CONFLICT IN KOSOVO. HE ADDED THAT GERMANY'S POSITION WOULD NOT CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. FOR HIS PART, ITALY'S PRIME MINISTER MASSIMO D'ALEMA SAID THAT AT PRESENT, THE POLITICAL CONDITIONS FOR GROUND INTERVENTION ARE NOT IN PLACE.

    THE ITALIAN AND GERMAN PRIME MINISTERS MET FOR TWO DAYS OF TALKS IN THE SOUTHERN ITALIAN PORT CITY OF BARI. AT THE END OF THEIR MEETINGS, THEY SAID GERMANY AND ITALY AGREED ON THE NEED TO FIND A POLITICAL SOLUTION FOR KOSOVO THAT WILL LEAD TO A JUST PEACE IN THE BALKANS AND ALLOW FOR THE RETURN OF REFUGEES TO THEIR HOMES.

    THE TWO LEADERS SAID THEY WERE CONVINCED THAT A SOLUTION MUST BE SECURED THROUGH DIALOGUE AND NOT THROUGH A MILITARY VICTORY. THEY ADDED THAT GERMANY AND ITALY WERE IN FULL AGREEMENT THAT THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL SHOULD DRAFT A RESOLUTION FOR KOSOVO BASED ON A PLAN DEVISED IN RECENT WEEKS BY THE GROUP OF SEVEN INDUSTRIALISED NATIONS, PLUS RUSSIA.

    ITALY'S GOVERNMENT LEADER MASSIMO D'ALEMA DECLARED THAT THE PLAN SHOULD BE THE BASIS FOR THE RESOLUTION. GERMAN CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER ADDED THAT ONCE THE SECURITY COUNCIL HAS PASSED A RESOLUTION, NATO MEMBERS WOULD DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO STOP AIR STRIKES AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SC/PCF
    18-May-99 8:53 AM EDT (1253 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [14] CHINA / ALBANIA (L-ONLY) BY STEPHANIE HO (BEIJING)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249501
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A TRIP BY ALBANIA'S PRESIDENT, REXHEP MEIDANI, TO CHINA NEXT WEEK HAS BEEN CANCELLED. ALBANIAN AND CHINESE OFFICIALS GIVE DOMESTIC REASONS FOR THE CANCELLATION. BUT AS V-O-A'S STEPHANIE HO REPORTS, THE ALBANIAN EMBASSY IN BEIJING WAS ALSO THE TARGET OF VIOLENT DEMONSTRATIONS IN THE WAKE OF THE MISTAKEN NATO BOMBING OF CHINA'S BELGRADE EMBASSY.

    TEXT: CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ZHU BANGZAO SAYS THE VISIT BY THE ALBANIAN PRESIDENT -- WHO WAS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE IN BEIJING SUNDAY -- IS OFF.

    MR. ZHU SAID THE CANCELLATION IS DUE STRICTLY TO INTERNAL ALBANIAN MATTERS. HE ADDED CHINA HAS ALREADY EXPLAINED TO THE ALBANIAN SIDE WHY ITS EMBASSY WAS TARGETED IN PROTESTS, ALTHOUGH HE DID NOT ELABORATE.

    SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, MR. ZHU SAID IT IS NOT EASY FOR ONE-POINT-TWO BILLION CHINESE PEOPLE TO KEEP CALM AND MAINTAIN THEIR RESTRAINT IF THEY FEEL CHINESE SOVEREIGNTY HAS BEEN VIOLATED.

    // ZHU INTERPRETER ACT //

    I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT, WE (THE GOVERNMENT) HAVE MADE TREMENDOUS EFFORTS, AS YOU KNOW. WE ALSO EXERCISED GREAT RESTRAINT.

    // END ACT //

    THE COUNSELLOR OF THE ALBANIAN EMBASSY IN BEIJING, TONIN BECI, SAYS PRESIDENT MEIDANI CANNOT LEAVE TIRANA BECAUSE OF THE REFUGEES FLOODING IN FROM KOSOVO.

    HE ADDS THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY EXPLAINED THAT THE ALBANIAN EMBASSY IN BEIJING WAS PELTED WITH ROCKS DURING LAST WEEK'S ANTI-NATO DEMONSTRATIONS BECAUSE IT IS CLOSE TO THE U-S AND BRITISH EMBASSIES -- WHICH BORE THE BRUNT OF FOUR DAYS OF THE PROTESTS.

    BUT THE ALBANIAN COUNSELLOR SAYS HE DOES NOT ACCEPT THE REASON AND SAYS THERE MUST BE MORE OF AN EXPLANATION. MR. BECI, WHO LIVES IN THE EMBASSY, SAYS HE WAS THERE WHEN THE DEMONSTRATORS SHOWERED IT WITH STONES LAST SUNDAY. HE SAYS THE PROTESTERS KNEW WHICH EMBASSY THEY WERE THROWING ROCKS AT AND THAT THE VIOLENCE MAY HAVE OCCURRED BECAUSE ALBANIA'S NAME APPEARED OFTEN IN CHINESE MASS MEDIA, AS A SUPPORTER OF NATO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/HO/FC/KL
    18-May-99 6:51 AM EDT (1051 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [15] UN / YUGO / KUKAN (L - ONLY) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249538
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ONE OF TWO UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL ENVOYS FOR THE KOSOVO CRISIS IS IN THE UNITED STATES THIS WEEK, FOR BRIEFINGS AT U-N HEADQUARTERS AND TALKS IN WASHINGTON WITH SENIOR U-S OFFICIALS. THE ENVOY, SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER EDUARD KUKAN, IS PREPARING FOR A VISIT TO MOSCOW AND POSSIBLY BELGRADE. V-O-A'S U-N CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON REPORTS.

    TEXT: MR. KUKAN IS ONE OF FOUR PROMINENT ENVOYS HELPING TO SEARCH FOR A POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THE KOSOVO CRISIS. HE AND FORMER SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER CARL BILDT WERE APPOINTED BY U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN. FINNISH PRESIDENT MARTTI AHTISAARI IS WIDELY DESCRIBED AS THE WESTERN POWERS' POINT MAN IN THE CRISIS. AND RUSSIAN EX-PREMIER VICTOR CHERNOMYRDIN IS MOSCOW'S SPECIAL ENVOY. MR. KUKAN, SPEAKING TO REPORTERS AT U-N HEADQUARTERS, SAYS HE HAS NOT YET DISCUSSED THE SITUATION WITH ALL THE OTHER ENVOYS, BUT LOOKS FORWARD TO ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM OF COORDINATION.

    /// KUKAN ACT ///

    I THINK THAT THE UNITED NATIONS EFFORTS TO CONTRIBUTE WILL GO ON, BUT VERY DEEP COORDINATION IS NEEDED AT THIS TIME BECAUSE YOU NOTICE THAT REPRESENTATIVES OF WESTERN POWERS, AS THE PRESS MENTIONED IT, ARE CONSIDERING THE POSSIBLE TRIP OF CHERNOMYRDIN AND AHTISAARI TO BELGRADE, SO WE WOULD NOT LIKE TO COMPETE WITH THIS MISSION. WE HAVE OUR OWN MISSION TO ACCOMPLISH, BUT WE DO NOT WANT TO SOMEHOW REPLACE THEM OR COMPETE WITH THEM, SO IT IS NECESSARY TO COORDINATE AND HAVE VERY GOOD TIMING FOR EACH STEP WE ARE GOING TO MAKE IN THE FUTURE.

    /// END ACT ///

    DURING HIS VISIT TO U-N HEADQUARTERS, MR. KUKAN IS HOLDING TALKS WITH YUGOSLAVIA'S U-N AMBASSADOR, THE U-N SECURITY COORDINATOR, AND DIPLOMATS FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF COUNTRIES, INCLUDING CHINA. HE SAYS CHINA'S REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS RE-STATED BEIJING'S STAND THAT NATO STRIKES AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA MUST STOP BEFORE ANY POLITICAL SOLUTION CAN BE FORMALIZED. MR. KUKAN SAYS THIS ISSUE WILL NEED TO BE NEGOTIATED.

    /// KUKAN ACT ///

    IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO NEGOTIATE THIS ISSUE AND, WELL, NEGOTIATIONS ARE THERE TO BRING SOME RESULTS, AND I AM HOPEFUL THAT IN THE LONG RUN WE SHALL MOVE FORWARD ON THAT ISSUE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. KUKAN SAYS THERE IS DISAGREEMENT AMONG U-N MEMBER STATES OVER WHETHER HE AND THE SECOND SPECIAL ENVOY, MR. BILDT OF SWEDEN, SHOULD BECOME INVOLVED IN THE CRISIS BEFORE OR AFTER THE TERMS FOR A POLITICAL SOLUTION HAVE BEEN SET.

    MR. KUKAN HAS NOT SET A DATE FOR TRAVEL TO BELGRADE. HE SAYS TWO OTHER ENVOYS -- MR. CHERNOMYRDIN AND MR AHTISAARI -- SEEM TO HAVE THAT ASPECT COVERED AT THIS TIME. FOR THE MOMENT, HE WILL STAY AWAY FROM BELGRADE TO -- IN HIS WORDS -- AVOID CREATING CHAOS.

    MR. KUKAN TRAVELS TO WASHINGTON THURSDAY FOR TALKS WITH U-S SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT. HE IS THEN SCHEDULED TO TRAVEL TO MOSCOW FOR MEETINGS WITH RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF/PT
    18-May-99 3:27 PM EDT (1927 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [16] BRITAIN / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249512
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN'S DEFENSE SECRETARY HAS LISTED WHAT HE SAYS ARE ATROCITIES BY SERB FORCES IN KOSOVO -- FROM THE BURNING OF VILLAGES TO THE FORCED EVICTION AND MASS EXECUTION OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS BRITISH DEFENSE OFFICIALS ALSO ARE RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FATE OF YOUNG MALE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS

    TEXT: AT THE DAILY BRITISH BRIEFING ON YUGOSLAVIA, DEFENSE SECRETARY GEORGE ROBERTSON NAMES VILLAGE AFTER VILLAGE WHERE HE SAYS SERB FORCES HAVE BURNED HOMES AND EVICTED OR KILLED THE INHABITANTS. AND, BRITAIN'S MILITARY CHIEF OF STAFF CHARLES GUTHRIE WORRIES ABOUT THE MISSING MEN AMONG THE REFUGEES FLOODING INTO MACEDONIA AND ALBANIA.

    /// GUTHRIE ACT ONE ///

    WHERE ARE THEY? WHY IS IT THAT 50 PERCENT OF THE REFUGEES ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 15.

    /// END ACT ///

    GENERAL GUTHRIE SAYS REPORTS INDICATE THOUSANDS OF YOUNG MEN OF MILITARY AGE PROBABLY HAVE BEEN EXECUTED. HE SAYS REFUGEES ARE REPORTING THAT YOUNG MEN ARE BEING SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES TRYING TO FLEE KOSOVO.

    /// GUTHRIE ACT TWO ///

    I HEARD THAT WITHIN JUST THE LAST FEW DAYS, THE MEN WERE SEPARATED AWAY FROM A COLUMN OF REFUGEES AND TAKEN AWAY. AND SHORTLY AFTER THE WIVES AND FAMILIES WHO HAD BEEN LEFT BEHIND ON THE ROAD HEARD GUNFIRE AND LOUD EXPLOSIONS. NOW THAT IS NOT EVIDENCE THAT WILL STAND UP IN A COURT OF LAW, BUT IT DOES LEAD ME TO BELIEVE THAT SOME TERRIBLE THINGS ARE GOING ON.

    /// END ACT ///

    MANY REFUGEES ARRIVING IN MACEDONIA AND ALBANIA HAVE REPORTED SIMILAR STORIES DURING THE PAST TWO MONTHS. THE U-S AMBASSSADOR FOR WAR CRIMES ISSUES ESTIMATES MORE THAN 200-THOUSAND MILITARY-ARE KOSOVAR MEN ARE MISSING. NATO ALLIES HAVE SHOWN AERIAL PHOTOS OF WHAT THEY SAY ARE MASS GRAVES.

    KOSOVAR REFUGEES HAVE ALSO REPORTED THE SERB MILITARY IS USING KOSOVAR MEN AS SLAVE LABOR AND HUMAN SHIELDS. BUT MANY REFUGEES ALSO ACKNOLWEDGE THAT YOUNG ETHNIC ALBANIANS HAVE JOINED THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY REBEL FORCES FIGHTING SERB TROOPS INSIDE KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/MLK/JWH
    18-May-99 9:18 AM EDT (1318 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [17] EDITORIAL: MONTENEGRO SETS DEMOCRATIC EXAMPLE

    DATE= 05/19/99
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-08302
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    05/19/99.

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

    VOICE:

    MONTENEGRO, SERBIA'S SMALL SISTER REPUBLIC, IS A PART OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA WHERE DEMOCRACY IS ALIVE BUT FACING GRAVE DANGER. THE GOVERNMENT OF PRESIDENT MILO DJUKANOVIC FACES STEADILY INCREASING HOSTILE ACTIONS FROM YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. THE YUGOSLAV MILITARY HAS ACTED TO CLOSE MONTENEGRO'S BORDERS WITH ALBANIA AND WITH BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA. AND THE YUGOSLAV NAVY IS CONTINUING TO RESTRICT SHIPPING TO MONTENEGRO.

    THE DEMOCRATIC POLICIES OF MR. DJUKANOVIC ARE A DIRECT CHALLENGE TO THE AUTHORITARIAN WAYS OF PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC. OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, MR. DJUKANOVIC HAS TRIED TO ESTABLISH CLOSER TIES WITH THE WEST. IN 1996, HE BEGAN TO TALK ABOUT MOVING MONTENEGRO TOWARD A MORE OPEN AND MARKET-ORIENTED SOCIETY. IN 1997, MR. DJUKANOVIC WON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WITH STRONG SUPPORT FROM THE REPUBLIC'S MUSLIM ETHNIC ALBANIANS. AND HE HAS KEPT HIS PROMISE TO INCLUDE THEM IN HIS GOVERNMENT.

    MORE RECENTLY, MONTENEGRO HAS REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE YUGOSLAV OPERATIONS AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO. AND DESPITE PRESSURE FROM BELGRADE, INDEPENDENT MEDIA EXIST IN MONTENEGRO AND ARE PROVIDING ACCESS TO INTERNATIONAL NEWS.

    ALL OF THIS HAS PUT MONTENEGRO ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH SERBIA. AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN SUPPORT FOR THE DJUKANOVIC GOVERNMENT IS STRONG AND INCLUDES ASSISTANCE FOR REFORM PROJECTS AS WELL AS FOR KOSOVAR ALBANIANS IN MONTENEGRO.

    IN THE FUTURE, MONTENEGRO WILL HAVE A CRITICAL ROLE TO PLAY IN BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN YUGOSLAVIA. ALREADY, MR. DJUKANOVIC HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT PEACEFUL CHANGE IN THE BALKANS IS POSSIBLE WHEN BROUGHT ABOUT DEMOCRATICALLY. SURELY THE PEOPLE OF SERBIA ARE ALSO EAGER TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF A FREE PRESS, A MARKET ECONOMY, AND A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT.

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. IF YOU HAVE A COMMENT, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, V-O-A, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO COMMENT AT WWW-DOT-VOA-DOT-GOV-SLASH-EDITORIALS, OR FAX US AT (202) 619-1043.
    18-May-99 2:58 PM EDT (1858 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [18] MENCHU / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY GEORGE MEEK (RIO DE JANEIRO)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249539
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER RIGOBERTA MENCHU SAYS THERE IS AN ANTI-WAR LESSON IN THE KOSOVO CONFLICT. THE GUATEMALAN DEFENDER OF INDIGENOUS RIGHTS SPOKE IN RIO DE JANEIRO AT THE SEVENTH WORLD WOMEN'S CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS. CORRESPONDENT GEORGE MEEK REPORTS.

    TEXT: RIGOBERTA MENCHU TOLD WOMEN LABOR LEADERS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE THAT THEY SHOULD CONDEMN THE ETHNIC CLEANSING IN KOSOVO AND WORK TO PREVENT ITS RECURRENCE.

    // FIRST MENCHU ACT WITH TRANSLATION //

    WE MUST FIGHT TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS NO MORE ETHNIC CLEANSING ON THE AGENDA OF HUMANKIND. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK WE MUST CONDEMN WAR.

    // END ACT //

    THE NOBEL LAUREATE SAYS THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT ON BOMBS IN THE CURRENT CONFLICT ARE NEEDED FOR A PEACEFUL PURPOSE.

    // SECOND MENCHU ACT WITH TRANSLATION //

    WE MUST SAY NO TO WAR, NO TO VIOLENCE, YES TO PEACE, YES TO EDUCATION. ALL THAT HAS BEEN INVESTED IN WAR SHOULD HAVE BEEN INVESTED IN EDUCATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF EVERYONE IN THE WORLD.

    // END ACT //

    MS. MENCHU CHALLENGED THE WOMEN LABOR LEADERS TO DEVELOP A COMMON AGENDA FOR IMPROVING THE WELL-BEING OF ALL WOMEN, INCLUDING CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS WHERE NEEDED.

    THE CHAIR OF THE CONFERENCE, CANADIAN LABOR LEADER NANCY RICHE [RICH], SAYS THE DELEGATES WILL DRAW UP AN AGENDA FOR ACTION.

    // RICHE ACT //

    WE WILL LEAVE HERE MOTIVATED, ENERGIZED, CONFIDENT, DETERMINED, PREPARED TO DEMAND OUR SPACE AND TAKE OUR PLACE.

    // END ACT //

    MS. RICHE SAYS WOMEN MUST OCCUPY DECISION-MAKING POSITIONS FOR A MORE EFFECTIVE VOICE IN UNIONS WORLDWIDE. THE WEEKLONG CONFERENCE ENDS FRIDAY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GM/WFR
    18-May-99 3:59 PM EDT (1959 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [19] RUSSIA / YELTSIN (L-ONLY) BY CHALLISS MCDONOUGH (MOSCOW)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249502
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THERE ARE NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HEALTH OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN AFTER HE APPARANTLY CANCELED A MEETING TUESDAY WITH THE VISITING PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN. V-O-A'S CHALLISS MCDONOUGH REPORTS FROM MOSCOW.

    TEXT: AS RECENTLY AS MONDAY, MR. YELTSIN'S PUBLISHED SCHEDULE SAID HE WOULD MEET WITH SPANISH PRIME MINISTER JOSE MARIA AZNAR IN THE KREMLIN ON TUESDAY. BUT HIS AIDES NOW SAY NO SUCH MEETING WAS PLANNED.

    MR. YELTSIN HAS INSTEAD HELD WHAT THE KREMLIN CALLS A "SUBSTANTIVE CONVERSATION" WITH MR. AZNAR OVER THE TELEPHONE FROM HIS COUNTRY HOUSE. THE RUSSIAN LEADER HAS ALSO MET THERE -- IN PERSON -- WITH HIS CHIEF OF STAFF, ALEXANDER VOLOSHIN.

    THE ABRUPT CHANGE IN PLANS COMES AFTER MR. YELTSIN MET WITH HIS DOCTOR ON SATURDAY. THE KREMLIN CALLED IT A ROUTINE MEDICAL CHECKUP, DESPITE THE UNUSUAL TIMING.

    /// OPT ///

    THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT HAS HAD A LONG HISTORY OF HEALTH PROBLEMS, INCLUDING SEVERAL HEART ATTACKS. HE RECENTLY REAPPEARED IN THE KREMLIN AFTER SPENDING MONTHS OUT OF THE OFFICE, RECOVERING FROM A STOMACH ULCER. /// END OPT ///

    A PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN ON TUESDAY SAID MR. YELTSIN'S HEALTH IS "O-K" AND HE IS IN A "CHEERFUL" MOOD.

    BUT THE INCIDENT HAS RAISED NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S CONDITION AND HIS ABILITY TO GOVERN -- JUST AS PARLIAMENT IS PREPARING TO VOTE WEDNESDAY ON HIS CHOICE FOR RUSSIA'S NEW PRIME MINISTER.

    THE CANDIDATE -- SERGEI STEPASHIN -- IS CURRENTLY SERVING AS ACTING PRIME MINISTER.

    THE SECOND-IN-COMMAND IS SUPPOSED TO ASSUME LEADERSHIP OF RUSSIA IF THE PRESIDENT IS INCAPACITATED. BUT IT IS NOT CLEAR IF AN ACTING PRIME MINISTER CAN DO THAT.
    NEB/CEM/JWH
    18-May-99 6:55 AM EDT (1055 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [20] RUSSIA / YELTSIN (L UPDATE) BY CHALLISS MCDONOUGH (MOSCOW)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249505
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS REPORT UPDATES CR 2-249502, NEW INFO IN INTRO
    ///

    INTRO: THERE ARE NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HEALTH OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN AFTER HE APPARENTLY CANCELED A MEETING TUESDAY WITH THE VISITING PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN. SPANISH DIPLOMATS SAYS THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT HAS BRONCHITIS. BUT V-O-A'S CHALLISS MCDONOUGH IN MOSCOW REPORTS THE KREMLIN DENIES MR. YELTSIN IS ILL.

    TEXT: AS RECENTLY AS MONDAY, MR. YELTSIN'S PUBLISHED SCHEDULE SAID HE WOULD MEET WITH SPANISH PRIME MINISTER JOSE MARIA AZNAR IN THE KREMLIN ON TUESDAY. BUT HIS AIDES NOW SAY NO SUCH MEETING WAS PLANNED.

    MR. YELTSIN HAS INSTEAD HELD WHAT THE KREMLIN CALLS A "SUBSTANTIVE CONVERSATION" WITH MR. AZNAR OVER THE TELEPHONE FROM HIS COUNTRY HOUSE. THE RUSSIAN LEADER HAS ALSO MET THERE -- IN PERSON -- WITH HIS CHIEF OF STAFF, ALEXANDER VOLOSHIN.

    THE ABRUPT CHANGE IN PLANS COMES AFTER MR. YELTSIN MET WITH HIS DOCTOR ON SATURDAY. THE KREMLIN CALLED IT A ROUTINE MEDICAL CHECKUP, DESPITE THE UNUSUAL TIMING.

    /// OPT ///

    THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT HAS HAD A LONG HISTORY OF HEALTH PROBLEMS, INCLUDING SEVERAL HEART ATTACKS. HE RECENTLY REAPPEARED IN THE KREMLIN AFTER SPENDING MONTHS OUT OF THE OFFICE, RECOVERING FROM A STOMACH ULCER. /// END OPT ///

    A PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN ON TUESDAY SAID MR. YELTSIN'S HEALTH IS "O-K" AND HE IS IN A "CHEERFUL" MOOD.

    BUT THE INCIDENT HAS RAISED NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S CONDITION AND HIS ABILITY TO GOVERN -- JUST AS PARLIAMENT IS PREPARING TO VOTE WEDNESDAY ON HIS CHOICE FOR RUSSIA'S NEW PRIME MINISTER.

    THE CANDIDATE -- SERGEI STEPASHIN -- IS CURRENTLY SERVING AS ACTING PRIME MINISTER.

    THE SECOND-IN-COMMAND IS SUPPOSED TO ASSUME LEADERSHIP OF RUSSIA IF THE PRESIDENT IS INCAPACITATED. BUT IT IS NOT CLEAR IF AN ACTING PRIME MINISTER CAN DO THAT.
    NEB/CEM/JWH
    18-May-99 7:16 AM EDT (1116 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [21] RUSSIA / DUMA VOTES BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-43431
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN FACES ANOTHER CHALLENGE FROM PARLIAMENT'S LOWER HOUSE -- THE DUMA -- WHEN IT VOTES WEDNESDAY ON HIS NOMINEE FOR PRIME MINISTER -- SERGEI STEPASHIN. ON SATURDAY, THE DUMA FAILED TO BEGIN IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT. IN THIS REPORT FROM WASHINGTON, FORMER MOSCOW CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA LOOKS AT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE RUSSIAN POLITICAL SCENE.

    TEXT: THE 450-MEMBERS OF RUSSIA'S DUMA FAILED SATURDAY TO GET THE NECESSARY VOTES TO LAUNCH IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN.

    THE RUSSIAN LEADER WAS CHARGED WITH FIVE COUNTS RANGING FROM INSTIGATING THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION IN 1991 TO LAUNCHING THE 1994 WAR AGAINST THE SEPARATIST REGION OF CHECHNYA. NONE OF THE FIVE COUNTS RECEIVED THE NECESSARY TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY AS OUTLINED IN THE RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION.

    MANY WESTERN ANALYSTS SAY SATURDAY'S VOTE IN THE DUMA WAS A SIGNIFICANT SETBACK FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY WHICH SPEARHEADED THE IMPEACHMENT DRIVE. EXPERTS SAY THE DUMA ACTION IS A CLEAR VICTORY FOR PRESIDENT YELTSIN WHO JUST HOURS BEFORE THE VOTE ANGERED MANY DEPUTIES BY FIRING PRIME MINISTER YEVGENI PRIMAKOV.

    MIKE MCFAUL IS A RUSSIA EXPERT WITH THE (WASHINGTON-BASED) "CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT" RESEARCH CENTER. HE SAYS THE VOTE IN THE DUMA REPRESENTS MORE THAN A TACTICAL TRIUMPH FOR PRESIDENT YELTSIN: IT IS A CLEAR VICTORY FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AND THE RULE OF LAW.

    // MCFAUL ACT //

    RATHER THAN RESORTING TO TANKS, RATHER THAN RESORTING TO DEMONSTRATIONS AND COUPS AND REVOLUTIONS, THEY (DUMA DEPUTIES) RESOLVED THIS CONFLICT THROUGH A SET OF RULES THAT WERE OUTLINED IN THE CONSTITUTION. AND THE MORE TIMES THEY GO THROUGH THAT AND GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS, THE MORE ROBUST THOSE RULES WILL BECOME. THEY WILL JUST BECOME THE NORMS AND THE WAY ONE DOES BUSINESS. WHEREAS THE OLD WAYS OF DOING BUSINESS WILL BECOME HARDER AND HARDER TO EVEN THINK ABOUT -- LET ALONE ACHIEVE VICTORY THROUGH.

    // END ACT //

    DUMA DEPUTIES ARE NOW FACED WITH ANOTHER VOTE: WHETHER OR NOT TO ACCEPT PRESIDENT YELTSIN'S NOMINEE FOR PRIME MINISTER, FORMER INTERIOR MINISTER SERGEI STEPASHIN.

    OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS, MR. STEPASHIN HAS BEEN MEETING LEGISLATORS AND PARTY LEADERS TO SEEK SUPPORT. HE ALSO ADDRESSED THE UPPER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT -- THE FEDERATION COUNCIL -- WHERE HE PROMISED TO FIGHT CORRUPTION.

    MANY ANALYSTS HERE EXPECT MR. STEPASHIN TO BE APPROVED BY THE DUMA DESPITE INITIAL RESERVATIONS. THEY SAY HIS STRONG LAW AND ORDER BACKGROUND HAS SWAYED MANY LEGISLATORS TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF HIS NOMINATION.

    BRUCE JOHNSON -- SENIOR RUSSIA ANALYST WITH THE (INDIANAPOLIS-BASED) "HUDSON INSTITUTE" -- SAYS ANOTHER SIGN POINTING TO MR. STEPASHIN'S APPROVAL IS THE SUPPORT GIVEN HIM BY MANY REGIONAL LEADERS IN THE FEDERATION COUNCIL.

    // JOHNSON ACT //

    TO WIN THE FEDERATION COUNCIL -- THE HIGHEST CHAMBERS' STAUNCH APPROVAL, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT PART OF THE OFFICIAL VOTING PROCESS -- THIS OFTEN IS THE FLAG (SIGNAL) THAT GUIDES THE DUMA THROUGH ITS APPROVALS PROCESS. AND I THINK YOU ARE GOING TO FIND THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE STILL IN THE DUMA WHO HONESTLY WANT TO SEE CORRUPTION BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL.

    // END ACT //

    WHILE ANALYSTS HERE BELIEVE MR. STEPASHIN WILL GET THE DUMA'S APPROVAL TO BECOME RUSSIA'S NEW PRIME MINISTER, SOME EXPERTS QUESTION WHETHER HE WILL BE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER A GOVERNMENT CAPABLE OF TACKLING RUSSIA'S ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.

    ONE OF THOSE EXPERTS IS PAULA DOBRIANSKY FROM THE (NEW-YORK BASED) "COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS."

    // DOBRIANSKY ACT //

    STEPASHIN IS NOT KNOWN FOR BEING AN ECONOMIST OR FOR BEING AN ECONOMIC REFORMER. SO FIRST FROM THAT STANDPOINT, ONE HAS TO QUESTION AS TO WHAT HE WILL BE ABLE TO BRING TO THE TABLE (WHAT CREDENTIALS HE HAS). SECONDLY, I THINK IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN: WHAT ARE (HIS) SKILLS IN TERMS OF BRINGING THE VARIOUS PARTIES TO THE TABLE AND BEING ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY BROKER OR ADDRESS THE (ECONOMIC) PLAN THAT IS ALREADY UNDER CONSIDERATION OR FOR THAT MATTER POTENTIALLY AN AMENDED PLAN WHICH WOULD RECEIVE THE SUPPORT OF ALL PARTIES CONCERNED.

    // END ACT //

    MANY EXPERTS SEE MR. STEPASHIN AS BEING A TRANSITIONAL FIGURE. THEY SAY HIS GOVERNMENT WILL BE FACED WITH AN ANTI-REFORM, UNCOOPERATIVE DUMA WHICH WILL ONLY BE THINKING ABOUT THE DECEMBER PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. GIVEN THAT FACT, ANALYSTS DO NOT FORESEE ANY MAJOR ECONOMIC REFORMS IN RUSSIA IN THE MONTHS AHEAD. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/KL
    18-May-99 1:54 PM EDT (1754 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [22] RUSSIA PRIME MINISTER VOTE BY CHALLISS MCDONOUGH (MOSCOW)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-43430
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS REPORT MAY BE USED THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT. DUMA SESSION BEGINS AT 0700 U-T-C (3 AM EDT), WITH THE VOTE EXPECTED ABOUT 1100 U-T-C (7 AM EDT) ///

    INTRO: THE LOWER HOUSE OF RUSSIA'S PARLIAMENT IS PREPARING TO VOTE WEDNESDAY ON PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN'S APPOINTMENT OF A NEW PRIME MINISTER. MR. YELTSIN'S CANDIDATE -- SERGEI STEPASHIN -- WOULD REPLACE THE POPULAR YEVGENY PRIMAKOV WHO THE PRESIDENT DISMISSED LAST WEEK. V-O-A'S CHALLISS MCDONOUGH IN MOSCOW REPORTS MR. STEPASHIN HAS BEEN MAKING THE ROUNDS, GATHERING SUPPORT AHEAD OF WEDNESDAY'S VOTE.

    TEXT: MOST RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS ORIGINALLY REJECTED THE IDEA OF REPLACING THE POPULAR YEVGENY PRIMAKOV WITH ANYONE -- LET ALONE A YELTSIN LOYALIST WITH TIES TO THE MILITARY AND THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.

    BUT ACTING PRIME MINISTER SERGEI STEPASHIN SPENT THE DAY BEFORE THE VOTE VISITING THE MAJOR FACTIONS IN PARLIAMENT, TRYING TO WIN THEM OVER. AND IT APPEARS TO BE WORKING.

    INFLUENTIAL LAWMAKER VLADIMIR LUKIN HEADS THE INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE IN THE LOWER HOUSE.

    /// LUKIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    HE SAYS MR. STEPASHIN'S CHANCES OF WINNING APPROVAL ON THE FIRST VOTE ARE GOOD -- BECAUSE IF HE LOSES, THERE WILL BE ANOTHER PERIOD OF UNCERTAINTY.

    ANALYSTS SAY INSTABILITY IS THE LAST THING RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS WANT. AND THE CANDIDATE HAS GONE TO GREAT LENGTHS TO REASSURE THEM THAT HE WILL STICK WITH MOST OF THE POLICIES OF HIS PREDECESSOR. HE SAYS MR. PRIMAKOV'S CABINET WILL REMAIN LARGELY INTACT.

    BUT MR. STEPASHIN ALSO HAS TRIED TO DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM THE FORMER GOVERNMENT, AT LEAST ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY REPLACING IT.

    HE HAS PROMISED TO TACKLE RUSSIA'S ECONOMIC CRISIS MORE AGGRESSIVELY THAN MR. PRIMAKOV.

    AND MR. STEPASHIN ISSUED AN ULTIMATUM TO LAWMAKERS. HE TOLD REPORTERS HE WOULD CALL FOR A CONFIDENCE VOTE IF PARLIAMENT REJECTS AN UNPOPULAR PACKAGE OF LAWS RECOMMENDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.

    BETWEEN THE TOUGH TALK AND THE REASSURANCES, SUPPORT FOR MR. STEPASHIN IS GROWING.

    IF THE LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT REJECTS THE PRESIDENT'S CANDIDATE THREE TIMES, MR. YELTSIN MUST DISSOLVE THE ASSEMBLY AND CALL NEW ELECTIONS.

    ANALYST ANDRE RYABOV OF THE MOSCOW-BASED CARNEGIE INSTITUTE SAYS PARLIAMENT IS LIKELY TO APPROVE THE PRESIDENT'S CANDIDATE JUST AS IT REJECTED PROPOSALS TO IMPEACH MR. YELTSIN LAST WEEK. BUT HE SAYS NEITHER VICTORY IS NECESSARILY A SIGN OF MR. YELTSIN'S STRENGTH.

    /// RYABOV ACT ///

    TODAY HE IS A WEAK POLITICAL FIGURE. BUT HIS OPPONENTS AND HIS COMPETITORS ARE WEAKER THAN HE IS.

    /// END RYABOV ACT ///

    MR. RIABOV SAYS MOST LAWMAKERS SIMPLY WANT TO HOLD ONTO THEIR JOBS AND ARE NOT WILLING TO RISK A NEW ELECTION.

    BUT HE SAYS THERE IS A GOOD SIDE TO THE SHOWDOWN BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND PARLIAMENT. MR. RIABOV SAYS THAT BEFORE THE IMPEACHMENT VOTE, MANY FEARED MR. YELTSIN WOULD USE FORCE TO FIGHT OFF THE CHALLENGE FROM LAWMAKERS.

    BUT THAT DID NOT HAPPEN -- BOTH SIDES STUCK TO THE PROCEDURES LAID OUT IN RUSSIA'S CONSTITUTION. THAT, MR. RIABOV SAYS, HAS STRENGTHENED THE RULE OF LAW IN RUSSIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/CEM/JWH
    18-May-99 11:58 AM EDT (1558 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [23] TURKEY IRAQ (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249527
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKISH TROOPS ARE CONTINUING THEIR OFFENSIVE AGAINST KURDISH SEPARATIST REBELS BASED IN NORTHERN IRAQ. AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA, SOME 15-THOUSAND TURKISH TROOPS HAVE CROSSED INTO TO THE KURDISH-CONTROLLED ENCLAVE AS PART OF A ROUTINE OFFENSIVE AGAINST REBEL FORCES OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS' PARTY OR P-K-K -- A GROUP OUTLAWED BY THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT

    TEXT: TURKISH OFFICIALS SAY THE CROSS BORDER OPERATION WAS MOUNTED OVER A WEEK AGO FOLLOWING REPORTS THAT THE REBELS WERE PLANNING TO STAGE ATTACKS AGAINST TURKISH SECURITY TARGETS FROM BASES IN KURDISH-CONTROLLED NORTHERN IRAQ.

    TURKISH TROOPS BACKED BY ATTACK HELICOPTERS AND FIGHTER JETS HAVE MOVED ABOUT 20 KILOMETERS INTO IRAQI TERRITORY IN WHAT THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT DENOUNCES AS A FLAGRANT BREACH OF ITS TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY.

    BAGHDAD'S RELATIONS WITH ANKARA HAVE STEADILY DETERIORATED OVER THE CONTINUED PRESENCE OF U-S-LED ALLIED FORCES. THE ALLIED PLANES HAVE BEEN BASED IN SOUTHERN TURKEY SINCE THE END OF THE 1991 GULF WAR TO PROTECT AN ESTIMATED THREE MILLION KURDS AGAINST IRAQI ATTACKS.

    ACCORDING TO BOTH WESTERN DIPLOMATIC SOURCES AND IRAQI KURDISH OFFICIALS, IRAQ IS NOW PROVIDING LOGISTICAL SUPPORT FOR THE P-K-K IN A RETALIATORY MOVE.

    TURKISH OFFICIALS SAY AROUND 70 REBELS HAVE BEEN KILLED SO FAR IN THE OPERATION WHICH IS SAID TO BE CONCENTRATED AROUND THE MOUNTAINS BORDERING TURKEY'S SIRNAK AND HAKKARI PROVINCES.

    //REST OPT//

    THE P-K-K HAS BEEN WAGING A 14-YEAR LONG CAMPAIGN FOR SELF RULE IN TURKEY'S MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST PROVINCES. ANALYSTS SAY TURKEY DEALT THE REBELS A CRUSHING BLOW WHEN THEIR FORCES CAPTURED P-K-K LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN IN KENYA LAST FEBRUARY. THE P-K-K LEADER IS FACING TRIAL ON TREASON CHARGES -- AN OFFENSE THAT IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH UNDER TURKISH LAW. HIS TRIAL BEGINS ON MAY THE 31ST ON THE PRISON ISLAND OFF THE COAST OF ISTANBUL WHERE THE P-K-K LEADER HAS BEEN HELD SINCE HIS ARREST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/PCF/WFR
    18-May-99 1:17 PM EDT (1717 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=5/18/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-249544
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (TUESDAY) AS THE U-S CENTRAL BANK ANNOUNCED IT MAY RAISE INTEREST RATES IN THE NEAR FUTURE. VOA BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 10 THOUSAND 836, DOWN 16 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 13 HUNDRED 33, DOWN SIX POINTS. THE NASDAQ INDEX WAS DOWN JUST A SMALL FRACTION OF ONE PERCENT.

    GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD -- THE U-S CENTRAL BANK -- DID NOT RAISE SHORT-TERM INTEREST RATES. HOWEVER, IN A STATEMENT AFTER THEIR MONTHLY MEETING, THE BANK'S GOVERNORS DID INDICATE THEY ARE CHANGING THEIR "BIAS," OR INCLINATION IN FAVOR OF HIGHER RATES AND WILL BE ALERT TO INFLATIONARY PRESSURES.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    DAVID JONES OF THE AUBREY G. LANSTON INVESTMENT COMPANY SAYS THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD HAS SENT A STRONG SIGNAL THAT IT WILL BE VIGILANT ABOUT INFLATION.

    ///OPT///JONES ACT///

    THE FED IS ALARMED BY THE EXCESSIVE UNDERLYING GROWTH IN DOMESTIC DEMAND IN THE ECONOMY AND BY AT LEAST HINTS OF INFLATION, BOTH ON THE CONSUMER SIDE AND INDEED ON THE INDUSTRIAL COMMODITY SIDE.

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

    IN OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS, THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES FELL IN APRIL FOR THE THIRD MONTH IN A ROW.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    THE DECLINE OCCURRED IN EVERY REGION BUT THE WEST COAST WHICH SAW A MODEST INCREASE IN CONSTRUCTION. SOME ANALYSTS SAY THE SLOWDOWN IN HOME CONSTRUCTION IS ACTUALLY A POSITIVE SIGN BECAUSE IT MAY BE A SIGNAL THAT OVERALL U-S ECONOMIC GROWTH IS SLOWING, POSSIBLY ELIMINATING THE NEED FOR AN INFLATION-FIGHTING INTEREST RATE INCREASE. K-MART, THE THIRD-LARGEST RETAIL CHAIN IN THE UNITED STATES, SAYS IT WILL BUY BACK UP TO ONE BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF ITS STOCK. IN ADDITION, K-MART SAYS IT WILL SOON BE MAKING SOME STRATEGIC ACQUISITIONS.

    J-C PENNEY, THE FOURTH-LARGEST U-S RETAILER, SAYS ITS QUARTERLY PROFITS FELL FOUR PERCENT BUT THEY STILL BEAT WALL STREET EXPECTATIONS.

    ALSO BEATING WALL STREET EXPECTATIONS WAS THE HOME DEPOT HOME IMPROVEMENT CHAIN WHICH REPORTED A 45 PERCENT PROFIT RISE.

    AMAZON DOT COM, THE INTERNET-BASED RETAILER, IS MOVING AHEAD WITH ITS EXPANSION STRATEGY BY ACQUIRING A 35 PERCENT STAKE IN HOMEGROCER DOT COM, AN ON-LINE GROCERY STORE.

    THE LOEHMANN'S DISCOUNT STORE CHAIN HAS FILED FOR PROTECTION UNDER U-S BANKRUPTCY LAW. THE COMPANY, WHICH SELLS APPAREL AND SHOES, SAYS IT HOPES TO REORGANIZE AND RESTRUCTURE ITS DEBTS.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    18-May-99 5:15 PM EDT (2115 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=05/18/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11295
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    //// EDS: MATERIAL DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-D-T ////

    INTRO: THE U-S EDITORIAL COLUMNS THIS TUESDAY ARE FILLED WITH COMMENTARY ON THE ISRAELI ELECTION RESULTS. MOST ARE QUITE FAVORABLE TO THE OVERWHELMING VICTORY OF LABOR PARTY CANDIDATE EHUD BARAK.

    OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE: HELPING THE KOSOVO REFUGEES AND CONTINUED REACTIONS TO THE CHINESE EMBASSY BOMBING; /// OPT /// A VISIT BY MEXICO'S PRESIDENT; /// END OPT /// DEALING WITH AIDS; AND SOME PACIFIC NORTHWEST INDIANS KILL A WHALE. NOW, HERE IS _________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME EXCERPTS IN TODAY'S U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: "A NEW PATH OF PROMISE FOR ISRAEL" SAYS "THE OREGONIAN" WHILE "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" CALLS THE RESULTS OF MONDAY'S ELECTION IN ISRAEL "AN INJECTION OF HOPE," AND "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" SAYS IT IS "GOOD NEWS FOR [THE] MIDEAST." HOWEVER IN RHODE ISLAND, "THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL" TAKES A SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT VIEW, SAYING "CARVILLE'S MAN WINS." UNDER A HEADLINE READING "BYE BYE, BIBI," TODAY'S "DENVER POST" SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: ISRAELI VOTERS RESTORED FRAYING TIES WITH THE U-S AND REVIVED THE U-S-SPONSORED MIDEAST PEACE PROCESS ... BY ELECTING EHUD BARAK - - ISRAEL'S MOST DECORATED SOLDIER AND AN ADVOCATE OF THE PEACE PROCESS ..... BASED UPON HIS RECORD AND HIS CAMPAIGN, [MR.] BARAK IS WELL POSITIONED TO RENEW PEACE EFFORTS. ... HE ALSO APPEARS MORE OPEN TO TERRITORIAL COMPROMISE WITH THE PALESTINIANS THAN [MR.] NETANYAHU WAS ...

    TEXT: CALLING THE RESULTS "A POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE IN ISRAEL AND ... THE MIDDLE EAST," "THE NEW YORK TIMES" ASSESSES IT THIS WAY.

    VOICE: .ISRAELIS HAD GROWN IMPATIENT WITH THE SLOW AND ERRATIC PEACE PROCESS UNDER MR. NETANYAHU, WHOSE CLAIMS THAT MR. BARAK WOULD WEAKEN ISRAEL SEEMED TO BACKFIRE. ... ISRAEL'S NEW PRIME MINISTER HAS WON AN OVERWHELMING VICTORY FEW OF HIS SUPPORTERS THOUGHT WOULD BE POSSIBLE A FEW WEEKS AGO. HE MUST NOW HEAL HIS NATION AND REAWAKEN THE DORMANT PEACE EFFORT.

    TEXT: "THE ISRAELI ELECTIONS, " SAYS "THE WASHINGTON POST'S" LEAD EDITORIAL, "PRODUCED NOT ONLY A WINNER BUT A STRONG WINNER AND, FROM AN AMERICAN VANTAGE POINT, THE RIGHT WINNER. "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER" AGREES, SUGGESTING IT IS "A CHANCE TO REVIVE [THE] PEACE PROCESS."

    /// OPT ///

    AND IN FLORIDA, "THE MIAMI HERALD," WRITES:

    VOICE: GIVEN MR. BARAK'S LANDSLIDE VICTORY ... PART OF THE ELECTORATE'S MESSAGE WAS CLEAR: ISRAELIS WANT A TONAL CHANGE FROM THE OBSTINACY MR. NETANYAHU HAS COME TO REPRESENT. ... MR. BARAK SAID 'THE PEOPLE WANT TO SEE CHANGE, UNITY AND HOPE.' SO DO WE. ... THE ELECTION DELIVERED TO LABOR AND OTHER ... ALLIED ... PARTIES ... NEARLY HALF ... THE SEATS IN THE 120-MEMBER KNESSET, ENOUGH OF A BASE TO CHANGE PARLIAMENT'S ORIENTATION TO SECULAR AND MODERATE FROM RIGHT WING AND EXTREMIST ...

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "PROVIDENCE [RHODE ISLAND] JOURNAL," CONSIDERS THE ELECTION OF MR. BARAK A VICTORY AS MUCH FOR THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE AS FOR THE CANDIDATE.

    VOICE: THE WHITE HOUSE, WHICH COULD BARELY HIDE ITS BACKING FOR MR. BARAK (WHOSE CHIEF CAMPAIGN ADVISERS INCLUDED JAMES CARVILLE AND OTHER CLINTON ASSOCIATES!), GENERALLY SUPPORTS, AND OFTEN INSISTS ON, THE ISRAELI CONCESSIONS THAT MR. NETANYAHU RESISTS. THIS TENSION IS UNFORTUNATE, BUT PERHAPS UNDERSTANDABLE. ... MR. BARAK IS JUST THE SORT OF CANDIDATE WHOSE IMAGE WOULD APPEAL TO THE WHITE HOUSE: HE CALLS FOR MOVING QUICKLY TO SETTLE PEACE TERMS WITH THE PALESTINIANS, BUT, AS A FORMER ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF, HE PRESUMABLY CAN BE TRUSTED TO DO SO WITHOUT MISTAKENLY COMPROMISING ISRAEL'S NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, ON THIS TOPIC, "THE NEW YORK POST" HAS THESE CONCILIATORY WORDS FOR THE LOSER.

    VOICE: YESTERDAY'S ELECTION RESULTS WERE A PERSONAL REPUDIATION OF [MR.] NETANYAHU - - BUT N O T NECESSARILY HIS POLICY ON THE PEACE PROCESS, WHICH [MR.] BARAK IS ALMOST CERTAIN TO FOLLOW IN SOME MEASURE. [MR.] NETANYAHU MADE COURAGEOUS DECISIONS DURING HIS THREE YEARS IN OFFICE AND CAN BOAST OF REAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS - - MOST NOTABLY IN CHANGING THE NATURE OF ISRAELI-P-L-O NEGOTIATIONS TOWARD A MORE REALISTIC BENT.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "OMAHA WORLD-HERALD" SAYS IT IS TIME FOR THE UNITED STATES TO GET OVER THE NATIONAL GUILT RESULTING FROM THE MISTAKEN BOMBING OF THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN BELGRADE, WHICH THE PAPER CALLS "A REGRETTABLE MISFORTUNE OF WAR."

    VOICE: BUT THAT'S ALL IT WAS. OFFICIALS WHO GOT THE MAPS MIXED UP SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. AS TO ANYBODY ELSE, IT'S PAST TIME TO PUT THE BRAKES ON THE GUILT TRIP.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: WITH MEXICO'S PRESIDENT, ERNESTO ZEDILLO, ABOUT TO BEGIN A TRIP TO CALIFORNIA, "THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE" SAYS THE MOOD OF CALIFORNIANS TOWARD MEXICO HAS CHANGED.

    VOICE: MANY CALIFORNIANS, INCLUDING [GOVERNOR] GRAY DAVIS, MAY BE EAGER TO CONVEY ... [THE IDEA] THAT THE SEEMINGLY HOSTILE-TO-MEXICO UNDERCURRENT IN STATE PROPOSITIONS 187 (CUTTING BENEFITS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS) AND 227 (ELIMINATING BILINGUAL EDUCATION) HAS GIVEN WAY TO A MORE POWERFUL SENTIMENT FOR BETTER RELATIONS BETWEEN THESE TWO NEIGHBORS WITH SUCH OBVIOUS CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC TIES.

    TEXT: "FLORIDA'S TIMES-UNION" FROM JACKSONVILLE IS CONCERNED ABOUT PLANS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NUCLEAR PLANT IN NEARBY CUBA:

    VOICE: SOUTH FLORIDA RESIDENTS PROBABLY ARE INTERESTED IN THE FACT THAT THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT THE CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ARE GOING TO HELP CONSTRUCT ONE [ABOUT] 145-KILOMETERS AWAY. WHEN CHERNOBYL MELTED DOWN IN 1986 IT CAUSED AN EVACUATION OF A 780-SQUARE-KILOMETER AREA AROUND THE PLANT. ... RUSSIA AND CUBA AGREED FRIDAY TO CREATE A JOINT VENTURE TO COMPLETE A NUCLEAR REACTOR AT THE JURAGUA POWER STATION IN CUBA. CONSTRUCTION OF TWO SOVIET-DESIGNED, LIGHT-WATER REACTORS BEGAN IN THE EARLY 1980S', BUT FINANCIAL PROBLEMS HALTED THE PROJECT. ... THE REPORT DID NOT SAY WHERE THE JOINT VENTURE WOULD GET THE MONEY. AMERICAN BACKED I-M-F [INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND] LOANS TO RUSSIA PERHAPS?

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE HARPOONING AND KILLING OF A GRAY WHALE OFF THE COAST OF WASHINGTON STATE BY THE MAKAH INDIANS, THE FIRST SUCH KILLING IN 70 YEARS, BY THIS GROUP OF NATIVE AMERICANS WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY HUNTED WHALES FOR CENTURIES. "THE OREGONIAN" REMARKS:

    VOICE: IT'S DOUBTFUL THE MAKAH WOULD MAKE MUCH OF A DENT IN THE OVERALL CONDITION OF WHALES ON THE PLANET. BUT MONDAY'S GRUESOME SCENES OVERSHADOWED THAT, AND ANY CLAIMS THE TRIBE MIGHT HAVE TO FOLLOWING ITS TRADITIONAL HERITAGE. TO SOME EXTENT, IT REALLY IS ABOUT HOW ALL OF THIS LOOKS ON THE SIX O'CLOCK NEWS. AND IT LOOKS TERRIBLE. AS MAKAH TRIBAL LEADERS CELEBRATE THEIR KILL OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS, THEY SHOULD ASK THEMSELVES IF RECLAIMING THEIR WHALING TRADITION IS WORTH IT. WE HOPE THEY CONCLUDE THAT IT IS NOT.

    TEXT: AND THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENT FROM SOME OF TODAY'S U-S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    18-May-99 11:41 AM EDT (1541 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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