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Voice of America, 99-08-10

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: NATO forces in Kosovo are stepping up patrols around the homes of elderly Serb women who have become the targets of Albanian gangs. Philip Smucker reports from the Kosovo town of Luzane.

    TEXT: British peacekeeping troops in Kosovo say Serb grandmother Godsa Draza was a special friend in an area where most Serb residents had fled. A British officer said his forces respected the 78-year-old woman because of her stubborn refusal to leave. British troops had stopped at Mrs. Draza's home two times a day in unscheduled, "surprise" visits meant to keep would-be assailants off guard. But the British officer said the murderers came sometime on Monday, bashing in the front gate and entering the two-bedroom home, where they shot the grandmother twice through the chest. They then covered her body with hay. NATO forces -- particularly in the British sector of Kosovo -- have now stepped up patrols around the homes of elderly Serb women. But the incident in Luzane, and an earlier killing of a grandmother drowned by assailants in her bathtub, have raised questions about the effectiveness of the protection. NATO forces also reported Tuesday that a Serb man was killed and his wife was injured by Albanian gunmen in their apartment building in the German sector in the city of Prizren. A Serb woman and her two-year-old daughter were shot in the American zone near the town of Pones. United Nations officials estimate that 130-thousand Serbs have abandoned their homes out of fear of revenge attacks since the end of the NATO air strikes and the deployment of NATO-led peacekeeping troops in Kosovo. Also on Tuesday, French Defense Minister Alain Richard visited French troops in the troubled city of Kosovska Mitrovica. There was no repeat of the rioting by Kosovar Albanians that left one French soldier severely injured on Monday.
    NEB/PS/JWH/WTW 10-Aug-1999 13:13 PM LOC (10-Aug-1999 1713 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 8/11/99. 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's patience with Serbia is running out. Opposed to the belligerent policies of the Slobodan Milosevic regime in Belgrade, the Montenegrin government of Milo Djukanovic [Me-low Dyou-khan-oh-vitch] has proposed an overhaul of the Yugoslav federation. It would ensure that Montenegro's efforts to implement political and economic reform are not held back by Serbia's refusal to do likewise. The Montenegrin government is already frustrated by the lack of cooperation from Serbia, which has made it impossible to carry out many key reforms. Montenegro has been spared the death and destruction unleashed by Slobodan Milosevic on the rest of Yugoslavia. In explaining the proposal which Montenegro's democratic, pro-Western government sent to Belgrade, Deputy Prime Minister Dragisa Durzan [Drah-jee-sah Duhr-tsan] said, "We are trying to protect Montenegro from Serbia." The best solution would be for Serbia itself to choose the path of reform. In a democratic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the rights of citizens from all ethnic and religious groups would be protected. Montenegro's constitutional rights and powers would be respected. The economic plight of Serbs, moreover, could be addressed through the kind of economic liberalization that the Montenegrin government of Milo Djukanovic has sought to implement. Currently, many Serbs go for months without pay, even when they are fortunate enough to have jobs. The people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia do not deserve more years of suffering. They certainly do not need another war. They need new leadership, committed to making the political and economic changes necessary to restore Yugoslavia's rightful place in Europe. President Djukanovic represents Montenegro's determination to make such a change. Serbia should follow suit. The governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia should step down now and make way for the inevitable change of leadership, accomplished through free and fair elections. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States 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. 10-Aug-1999 15:23 PM EDT (10-Aug-1999 1923 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Senior Russian officials say a Muslim uprising in the southern republic of Dagestan is controllable, and could be crushed within two-weeks. But as V-O-A's Peter Heinlein reports from Moscow, the insurgents reportedly have captured another village and declared independence from Russia.

    TEXT: A fourth-day of fighting is reported around several villages along Dagestan's border with breakaway Chechnya. Russian officials say government troops drove out Islamic rebels at two places, and have them surrounded at two others. The reports could not be independently confirmed. In Moscow, Army Chief of Staff Anatoly Kvashnin said the situation in Dagestan has changed and is now controllable. Acting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin boldly predicted the fighting would be over within a couple weeks.

    He says -- a series of measures on restoring order was presented to the president and approved. The measures are being put into practice and will continue until order is restored, possibly within a couple days. But news agencies report the rebels captured another village in the Botlikh region of Dagestan overnight. And in another development, Islamic guerrillas are said to have declared Dagestan independent and called for a holy war to drive out Russian forces. The president of Chechnya, Aslan Maskhadov, held a news conference (Tuesday) to deny Russian reports that the current uprising is the work of Chechens out to spread Islamic revolution into mostly-Muslim Dagestan. Mr. Maskhadov is a former Soviet army colonel and leader of the successful rebellion against Russian rule in Chechnya in the mid-1990's. He was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying recent events in Dagestan are a -- big dirty game -- being orchestrated in Moscow. He said -- we will not let anyone drag us into that game. More than 75-thousand people were killed in the 21- month Chechen war, most of them civilians. Large parts of the capital, Grozny, were destroyed by Russian bombs and artillery and still lie in ruins. Chechnya has been effectively independent since Russian troops pulled out in 1996, but Moscow maintains the region is part of Russia. Before he was fired Monday, former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin vowed Dagestan would not become another Chechnya. At least six Russian troops have been killed in this latest outbreak of fighting in Dagestan, and thousands of villagers have been forced to flee their homes. But there is no clear picture of rebel casualties. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH/RAE 10-Aug-1999 09:31 AM EDT (10-Aug-1999 1331 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America




    ED'S: THIS REPORT UPDATES CR 2- 252643 /////

    INTRO: Acting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has pledged to quickly crush a Muslim insurgency in the southern republic of Dagestan. Correspondent Peter Heinlein in Moscow reports the newly appointed prime minister has been thrust into the center of Russia's worst security crisis since the war in Chechnya.

    TEXT: In his first full day on the job, acting Prime Minister Putin held a Kremlin strategy session with President Boris Yeltsin on how to quell the Islamic uprising spreading through the northern Caucasus, around breakaway Chechnya. Afterward, the tough-talking former K-G-B spy boldly predicted government troops would promptly defeat the insurgents.

    He says -- a series of measures on restoring order was presented to the president and approved. The measures are already being put into practice and will continue until order is restored, possibly within a couple days. Mr. Putin referred to the rebels as common criminals, and said they must be wiped out.
    He says -- today in the Caucasus, and especially in Dagestan, we have a massive rise of terrorism and lawlessness. He says such a situation must not be tolerated. Meanwhile, heavy fighting was reported for a fourth day around several rebel-held villages in a remote mountainous area of Dagestan along the Chechen border. Two Russian helicopters were said to have been shot down and their crew-members killed. News agencies say Russian troops drove the insurgents out of two villages (Tuesday), but the rebels had captured another one, and were well entrenched. In another development, a council of Islamic leaders in the region was reported to have met and declared Dagestan's independence. The declaration called for Muslims from Dagestan and Chechnya to fight until all infidels are ousted from Muslim territory. Russian officials say the rebels are being armed and trained in Chechnya. But in a televised statement, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov denied Chechens are among the rebels. He said strict measures are being put in place to prevent any border crossings.
    He says -- I have instructed authorities to strengthen border controls. Mr. Maskhadov, a former Soviet army colonel who led Chechnya's successful uprising against Russian rule in the mid-1990's, described the events of the past few days in Dagestan as a big dirty game being orchestrated in Moscow. He added -- we will not let anyone drag us into that game. But with fighting in the northern Caucasus apparently escalating, there are growing concerns about the possibility of terrorist attacks in other parts of Russia, as there were during the Chechen war. Moscow police announced security is being tightened around public facilities. Police in other regions were said to be taking similar measures. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH/RAE 10-Aug-1999 13:23 PM EDT (10-Aug-1999 1723 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Turkey and Iran appear to have ironed out their differences over an alleged border incursion by Turkish forces. Amberin Zaman in Ankara reports Turkish and Iranian security officials discussed the matter in talks Tuesday in the Turkish capital.

    TEXT: Speaking to reporters after day-long talks with Turkish officials, Iran's deputy interior minister said -- in his words -- that differences between his country and Turkey over the dispute are gradually disappearing. Iran last month accused Turkey of bombing Iranian territory and killing five Iranians. Turkey denied the claims, saying its forces struck rebel Kurd bases in Iraq, not in Iran. Tensions between the two regional rivals escalated when Iran arrested two Turkish soldiers who crossed into Iranian territory in pursuit of rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's party or P-K-K. The soldiers were released Monday after weeks of wrangling between Turkish and Iranian officials who have been demanding an official apology from the Turkish government along with compensation for the alleged air strike. Iran accused Turkey at the time of acting under orders from the United States and Israel. Turkey says Iran is providing arms and shelter to P-K-K rebels. Turkey says many of the P-K-K rebels shifted their bases to Iran after Syria expelled P-K-K forces last October along with their now- imprisoned leader, Abdullah Ocalan. Turkey had threatened Syria with military action if it failed to do so. Iran says it does not allow the P-K-K to operate out of its territory. But Turkish officials are expected to present their Iranian counterparts during a second round of talks here with what Turkish officials describe as irrefutable evidence of the P-K-K presence in Iran. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/WTW 10-Aug-1999 13:25 PM LOC (10-Aug-1999 1725 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The son of former Chilean ruler Augosto Pinochet is urging British authorities to let his father go home because his health is quickly failing. As Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London, Mr. Pinochet faces extradition to Spain on charges of human rights crimes after he seized power in a bloody 1973 coup.

    TEXT: A British newspaper, "The Daily Telegraph", reports it has obtained a medical report compiled by British and Chilean doctors indicating General Pinochet is suffering from diabetes, heart disease, and several other ailments. The 83-year-old former Chilean ruler is under house detention in a London suburb until his extradition case gets underway next month. Mr. Pinochet's youngest son is appealing to British authorities to let his ailing father go home. Amnesty International lawyers say his state of health should not influence the extradition case against him. The appeal follows Spanish newspaper reports that Madrid is considering Chile's request for international arbitration to decide if Spain has jurisdiction to prosecute Mr. Pinochet for alleged crimes committed in Chile. A Spanish judge wants Mr. Pinochet prosecuted for human-rights abuses during his 17-year rule in Chile. Spain's government says it has no intention to interfere with the legal proceedings. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/RAE 10-Aug-1999 08:52 AM EDT (10-Aug-1999 1252 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were down today (Tuesday) as traders again focused on rising interest rates. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-655, down 52 points, about half a percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 12- hundred-82, down 16 points. The NASDAQ index lost one percent. Stock prices were down sharply most of the day with the Industrial Average down more than 100 points until the last hour of trading when bargain hunters entered the market. There was continued uneasiness on Wall Street about rising interest rates and uncertainty about how high they will go.

    ///Begin opt///

    Barry Hyman of the Erenkrantz investment company is among many analysts who worry that higher interest rates will inhibit growth in the stock market.

    ///opt Hyman act///

    I am concerned that interest rates will go higher. I think that will continue to weigh on the equity (stock) markets particularly in the high value NASDAQ stocks where the price-to- earnings ratios are kind of high.

    ///end act, end opt//////

    Charles Clough (Clow), an influential market analyst at the Merrill Lynch investment firm, says rising interest rates could threaten the profits of companies that depend on easy credit availability.

    ///Rest opt///

    In business news, Lucent Technologies, the leading U-S maker of telecommunications equipment, will pay three point seven billion dollars in stock for International Network Services. International Network is the world's largest consultant for network services. Analysts say the deal should help Lucent compete against Cisco Systems and Nortel in the market for communications networks. An unusual three-way merger which could create the largest aluminum company in the world is under discussion. Alcan of Canada, Pechiney (Pesh-in-ae) of France and Algroup of Switzerland are working out details of a consolidation. The combination of those three companies would surpass in size Alcoa of the United States as the largest aluminum producer in the world. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retail chain, reported a 21 percent increase in quarterly profits, ahead of Wall Street estimates. Cargill, the huge agricultural products company, says earnings for its 1999 fiscal year dropped by 53 percent because of continued weakness in world agricultural markets. Another once-great name in the computer business has disappeared with the acquisition of Data General by the E-M-C Corporation. In the early 1980's, Data General was one of the fastest growing computer companies in the world. But analysts say that, along with such firms as Wang, Burroughs and Univac, Data General failed to stay competitive with changing technologies.(Signed) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT 10-Aug-1999 17:23 PM LOC (10-Aug-1999 2123 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: From one end of the nation to the other, the U-S press is reacting -- quickly and with some frustration and trepidation -- to the latest political shakeup in Russia. Other topics include: a new outbreak of fighting within the Russian federation; the troubled peacekeeping effort in Kosovo; what many Western observers see as a senseless war between Ethiopia and Eritrea; the expanding North Korean missile threat; and a critical look at U-S foreign policy overall. Now, here with an excerpt or two and a closer look is ____________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Dozens of U-S papers are leading their editorial columns with the latest shakeup in the Kremlin, wherein ailing president Boris Yeltsin has named yet another prime minister, former Russian security-service chief Vladimir Putin. // OPT In Ohio, The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer titled its commentary "Dupe du jour?" // END OPT //

    VOICE: Another day, another Russian prime minister. A slight exaggeration, of course: The actual figure is four prime ministers in 17 months. But while that rate of turnover would raise nary an eyebrow in Italy, it's a little un-nerving in the world's second-largest nuclear power. ... [Mr.] Yeltsin's latest top minion ... has spent most of his career in the Soviet K-G-B and its post-Communist successor, the Federal Security Service. Nothing in that career has prepared him to manage the nation's battered economy ... by far his most important task ...

    TEXT: Disagreeing, The St. Paul [Minnesota] Pioneer Press says if world reaction is any indicator, this is not such a worrying development.

    VOICE: As a measure of how commonplace chaos is in Russian governing, the financial markets outside Russia barely sneezed. Political turmoil has become the norm there, requiring agility in the international communities. The wildly unpredictable [Mr.] Yeltsin has sacked four prime ministers in less than a year and a half, with increasing frequency. The present shakeup portends election politics, but also reinforces to the outside world Russia's inability to cope.

    TEXT: The New York Post, calling this "Boris'[s] Latest Wobble" adds that the "move ... serves no one's interests but his [Yeltsin's] own ... [and] bodes ill for a country ... riddled with organized-crime corruption. Newsday, the leading daily on New York's Long Island, says Mr. Yeltsin's "mercurial" policies are pushing Russia into a new round of turmoil. And The New York Times says:

    VOICE: In picking ... a succession of mediocre Prime Ministers ... Mr. Yeltsin mistakes fealty for leadership and fails to recognize that such rapid turnover in the Kremlin is likely to discredit anyone associated with him.

    TEXT: Still with Russia, a new outbreak of fighting in the Caucasus region, between the Russian army and Islamic rebels in Dagestan, on the Caspian Sea, draws this reaction from Boston's Christian Science Monitor.

    VOICE: Under President Boris Yeltsin, premiers come and go like circus bears on bicycles. But not so for the parts of Russia itself. That's why a new war by Muslim fighters to break off the impoverished land of Dagestan ... has the attention of Russia's military commanders more than yesterday's changing of the Kremlin guard. ... The war being waged for an independent and Islamic Dagestan - like the 1994-96 war to create a free Chechnya - has a tip-of-the iceberg quality to it.

    TEXT: From Russia's troubles we move to Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians who recently suffered under the Serb military are now carrying out revenge attacks on Serb civilians, despite NATO's efforts to stop the violence. The situation causes The Detroit News to wonder whether Kosovo is a "Victory or Quagmire?"

    VOICE: There have been troubling reminders from Kosovo recently that NATO's "victory" over the Serbs may only be leading the West deeper into a quagmire. ... Now Lt. General Sir Michael Jackson, chief of the peacekeeping forces, is openly telling news agencies that his 30-thousand troops may be losing control of the situation. The Scottish general has also expressed concern at the failure of the united Nations to raise, train and deliver an international police force that could ... begin the transition from military rule to some semblance of civil law.

    TEXT: More than halfway round the world, other ethnic strife between the Ethiopians and the Eritreans draws this condemnation from the Boston Globe.

    VOICE: Wars, once started, are often difficult to end. Eritrea's acceptance of a plan to end its 15- month conflict with Ethiopia offers hope that both nations will see the folly of continuing to fight over border lands that have little value either economically or symbolically. ... If the fighting continues, the entire Horn of Africa could be destabilized.

    TEXT: With the possibility of a new and much longer range North Korean missile approaching the launch pad, The Chicago Tribune is talking about North Korea's "blackmail."

    VOICE: Like a bratty [ill-mannered] child who would rather get in trouble than be ignored, the Stalinist regime that rules North Korea is always looking for ways to get the world's attention. It has found a good one in its ... new long-range missile that could overfly Japan on its way to Alaska or Hawaii. ... The new weapon would have only a modest effect on the military balance. ... But for anyone looking for signs that North Korea will never abandon its belligerent intransigence toward the outside world, the test provides grim proof.

    TEXT: American foreign policy in general comes in for some criticism as confusing and contradictory from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas, which cites as its prime example recent dealings with the Sudan.

    VOICE: Take, for example, the recent move to ease economic sanctions against Sudan. The African nation remains on the State Department's list as an exporter of terrorism. A year ago, the United States bombed a pharmaceutical factory there because of that country's alleged ties with Osama bin Laden, the reported muscle behind last year's attacks on U-S embassies in Africa. Yet Sudan will not join Libya and Iran -- also on the terrorism list - in being able to receive food and humanitarian aid.

    TEXT: Lastly, The Denver Post addresses a rumor of possible past cocaine use by the established front- running Republican presidential candidate and Texas governor, George W. Bush.

    VOICE: Political pundits and most Republican candidates for president are, more or less, in agreement that ... [Mr.] Bush should have to answer reporters' questions on whether he has ever used cocaine. ... It's widely predicted [Mr.] Bush will be unable to avoid an answer, if for no other reason than that a fellow Republican is likely to confront him later in the campaign. ... For our part we make no assumption that [Governor] Bush is trying to hide anything. We take him at face value that he is trying to redirect the political discussion back to the issues and has merely decided where to draw the line in discussing his earlier life. If that is what it is, then his decision signals a most welcome change in American politics.

    TEXT: On that political note from the Denver Post, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from the U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/WTW 10-Aug-1999 12:13 PM LOC (10-Aug-1999 1613 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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