|Wednesday, 18 May 2022|
Voice of America, 99-08-09
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From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>
 CROATIA / WAR CRIMES (L ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)DATE=8/9/1999
INTRO: A former Bosnian-Croat paramilitary commander has been extradited by Croatia and flown to the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. The suspect -- Vinko Martinovic, also known as Stela -- is charged with the persecution, torture, and murder of Muslims in and around the Bosnian city of Mostar. Lauren Comiteau reports from The Hague.
TEXT: Vinko Martinovic, known as Stela, was indicted in December along with his commander -- Mladen Naletilic, known as Tuta -- for his role in the ethnic cleansing of Mostar in 1993 and 1994. Prosecutors say that as a sub-commander of the so- called "Convict's Battalion", Stela helped lead an ethnic-cleansing campaign that included killing, torture, and mass expulsions. As a result, prosecutors say tens-of-thousands of Muslims left the region. Stela has denied the charges. Croatian officials have been under intense pressure to extradite both Stella and Tuta to the War Crimes Tribunal. The two men were being held in Croatian jails on unrelated murder charges. Croatia's failure to hand them over is one reason why Tribunal Prosecutor Louise Arbour started proceedings recently to report Croatia's non-compliance to the Security Council. While Stela's extradition may mean Croatia is seeking to restore better relations with the Tribunal, there is no sign Croatian officials will deliver Tuta, who they say is too ill to stand trial. But deputy prosecutor Graham Blewitt made it clear last week that Croatia must hand over both men.
/// BLEWITT ACT ///
/// END ACT ///
NEB/LC/JWH/RAE 09-Aug-1999 08:09 AM EDT (09-Aug-1999 1209 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
 RUSSIA / CAUCASUS (LONG) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)DATE=8/9/1999
INTRO: Fighting in southern Russia between security forces and suspected Islamic militants has claimed its first casualties. Four policemen have been killed and at least 15-others injured in the clashes. Correspondent Eve Conant in Moscow reports more violence is expected around three villages held by rebels.
TEXT: Russian news agencies say the first casualties
were Dagestani police officers involved in clashes
with insurgents in the mountainous northern Caucasus
region bordering breakaway Chechnya. There was no
immediate word of rebel casualties, or further details
of the fighting.
Russian officials say the several-hundred insurgents
surrounding Dagestani villages are members of an
obscure Islamic sect who have crossed the border from
Chechnya in an attempt to make Dagestan an independent
Islamic state. But Chechen officials have denied that
any armed groups have crossed Chechen territory into
On Saturday and Sunday, Russian helicopter gunships
pounded the infiltrators' positions. Russian news
agencies quote Interior Ministry officials as saying
the rebels are heavily armed with anti-tank guns, air
defense systems and two armored personnel carries.
Both sides were reported sending reinforcements to the
remote region, and officials said more fighting is
expected around three rebel-held villages.
About two-thousand civilians have fled the captured
villages for Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala. The
villagers told Russian television interviewers the
rebels did not threaten them, but asked for help in
introducing Islamic law to the region.
Russia's former Prime Minister, Sergei Stepashin, who
was fired from his post Monday, said during his final
cabinet meeting that Russia ran the risk of losing
Russian officials are in the difficult position of
trying to suppress the violence, but are wary of
getting involved in an extended war. These latest
clashes are being described as the worst outbreak of
violence since the Chechen war in the mid-1990's.
 N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)DATE=8/9/1999
INTRO: Stock Prices in the United States were down today (Monday) in lackluster trading. VOA Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.
TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-707, down six points. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index closed at 12-hundred-98, down two points. The NASDAQ index lost one percent. Trading lacked any clear direction with major stock averages moving up and down in a fairly narrow range. Charles Crane of the Key Asset Management company says stock market activity may be dull for a few days.
/// Crane Act ///
/// End Act ///
/// Rest Opt for for long ///
Source: Voice of America
 EDITORIAL DIGEST BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)DATE=8/9/1999
INTRO: The editorial pages of Monday's U-S newspapers are covering a wide variety of important topics, including the final Senate confirmation of Richard Holbrooke as the new U-N ambassador, and relations with China. Other topics include: a court decision allowing homosexuals into the (American youth organization known as) Boy Scouts; the problems of maintaining peace in Kosovo; North Korea's recent statements; and the threat of terrorism in the world. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is ____________ and today's Editorial Digest.
TEXT: For more than a year, conservative Republicans in the Senate, led by Jesse Helms, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, held up President Clinton's nomination of Richard Holbrooke to be this country's new United Nations Ambassador. Now that Mr. Holbrooke has finally been confirmed, the press, including Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal, is having some final thoughts on the matter.
VOICE: It is ironic that the diplomat best qualified to handle the tangle in the Balkans himself was the pawn of a few senators for 14 months. [Mr.] Holbrooke's credentials to head the American delegation to the United Nations were never in question. A former ambassador to Germany, he also was an assistant secretary of state. In that capacity, he proved himself a most capable negotiator, the force behind the Dayton accord in 1995 that ended the conflict in Bosnia. ... [Mr.] Holbrooke's tenacity and negotiating skills couldn't begin more appropriately than with getting Congress to pay off the U-S dues to the United Nations.
TEXT: Another domestic topic continuing to draw comment is a New Jersey State Supreme Court decision banning discrimination against homosexuals in the Boy Scouts of that state. California's San Jose Mercury News agrees with the court's finding:
VOICE: The Boy Scouts of America teach youngsters to be trustworthy, brave, honorable and honest. Unfortunately, they send another message, too: Intolerance. How do the Scouts teach bigotry? By forbidding homosexuals from being Scouts or Scout leaders. No matter how perfectly a man or boy conforms to the highest standards of behavior, the Boy Scouts organization says he is unfit if he is gay. . The next step [after the New Jersey decision] is the United States Supreme Court. We hope the justices will see clearly what is so obvious to us: discrimination on the basis of who a person is, not on how he behaves, is wrong.
TEXT: Overseas, the topic of keeping the peace in Yugoslavia's Kosovo province is still drawing attention in two of the nation's largest papers. The Miami Herald says that "NATO must stop the carnage against Serbs or lose its credibility."
VOICE: NATO's dubious victory IN Kosovo would be hollow indeed if, in the end, it succeeds in saving ethnic Albanians but at the cost of driving all Serbs from the region. . Many returning Kosovar Albanians, though not all, have been on a vicious rampage of revenge and retribution. The violence is sickening: . Yet, NATO's efforts to stop the carnage have been embarrassingly feeble.
TEXT: The Los Angeles Times is also upset, headlining its editorial "An Agonized `Peace,'" and noting:
VOICE: Establishing civilian rule for the Kosovars is proving no less difficult than waging a war against their Serbian oppressors. Kosovo Liberation Army irregulars are filling the power vacuum that NATO troops and United Nations police failed to fill, carrying out `ethnic cleansing' of their own. They are killing Kosovo Serbs and gypsies, burning their homes and looting, though at a level far short of the murderous campaign that the Serb army imposed . While NATO is celebrating victory in Kosovo, the province is in chaos. /// OPT /// The United Nations, which is in charge of setting up provisional civilian rule until the Kosovars elect their own legitimate government, presides as a new wave of terror is inflicted by Kosovo Albanians on Serbian and gypsy minorities. /// END OPT /// Barring the ouster of [Yugoslavian President Slobodan] Milosevic and his lackeys in Belgrade, and the restoration of civilian rule in Kosovo, the NATO war stands as a largely hollow victory.
TEXT: On the other side of the world, there is continuing tension regarding North Korea and its drive for larger and wider-ranging missiles, which causes today's Philadelphia Inquirer to suggest the U-S "Reconsider relations."
VOICE: North Korea recently acknowledged that it is preparing to test a dangerous new long-range missile. No one knows whether a launch is imminent of the Taepodong-Two, a powerful rocket that would enable North Korea to hit Hawaii or Alaska. But many think a test could come as early as this month. This calls into question the U-S policy of engagement with a rogue state that lets its people starve while pouring scare resources into weapons of mass destruction. . The [Clinton] administration can't keep making deals with this regime. If North Korea tests the missiles, plans for better relations must be shelved.
TEXT: Turning to the Middle East, today's New York Times is still watching developments in Iran as some there struggle for more freedom.
VOICE: Iran's conservative mullahs have silenced the student protest movement that surged through the streets of Teheran last month and are now moving against its leaders with arrests and threats of long imprisonment. By using the clerically controlled courts and police to intimidate supporters of Iran's reform-minded president, Mohammad Khatami, religious conservatives hope to strengthen their own authority .... The mullahs should remember that Mr. Khatami and his allies speak for tens of millions of Iranians impatient to see less-oppressive, more-accountable government. . to keep this path to peaceful reform open, clerical leaders must allow Iranians to choose freely and without fear in the coming elections, informed by an unshackled press.
TEXT: The Washington Post has discerned what it thinks is a major shift in economic policy in Japan with the news that General Motors is being welcomed to build a factory there.
VOICE: Japanese officials have been claiming for so long that they are reforming their economy, with so little to back up the claims, that the temptation is to dismiss all such representations. But the news from General Motors, and the assumption that such investment today would be welcomed by Japan, is symptomatic of a significant shift. A decade ago, an effort by a U-S investor to purchase a Japanese auto parts company was met with ferocious hostility. . Many Japanese now recognize that they need not only foreign capital but the infusion of ideas and competitive pressures that outside investment can bring. It's a slow evolution and painful in Japan as in every country, but many Japanese seem to understand that globalization can't be a one-way street.
/// END OPT ///
TEXT: Lastly, an anxious comment from Maine's Portland Press Herald, which takes Defense Secretary William Cohen's warning that terrorism can strike anywhere to heart.
VOICE: Terror attacks on U-S soil are not the unthinkable events they once were. The World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings proved that beyond all doubt. . The secretary of defense provided a sobering warning in a column in the Maine Sunday Telegram last week. [Mr.] Cohen noted that rogue nations are working on weapons of mass destruction that include chemical and biological agents. While nerve gas is bad enough, attacks that spread fatal diseases such as ebola, smallpox or anthrax for which no defenses exist would kill thousands. . We are all vulnerable, and we all must learn as much as we can. Knowledge and preparation are our best defense.
TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of
comment from the editorial pages of Monday's U-S
09-Aug-1999 11:36 AM EDT (09-Aug-1999 1536 UTC)
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