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Voice of America, 99-08-13
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From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>
 KOSOVO LANDMINES L-O BY DAVID MCALARY (WASHINGTON)DATE=8/13/1999
INTRO: Despite the end of the Kosovo conflict, many parts of the Yugoslav province are still unsafe. The World Health Organization says the rate of deaths and injuries caused by land mines and unexploded ordinance is higher in Kosovo than in other places that have been at war. V-O-A's David McAlary reports.
TEXT: Kosovar refugees returning home are facing the threat of mines and unexploded bombs. World Health Organization physicians report in the British Medical Journal that about 150 people were maimed or killed by such devices in the month after June thirteenth-- when the refugees began their return. They say 122 more casualties have been reported since their article was submitted for publication. Most of survivors of the explosions are younger than 24 -- many injured during Kosovo Liberation Army efforts to remove mines. In some areas of the province, such victims account for one-third or more of the patients in surgical and orthopedic wards of hospitals. The head of the World Health Organization's Violence and Injury Prevention Unit -- Claude Romer [ro-MAYR] - says the casualty rate exceeds that found in many other countries affected by anti-personnel mines -- such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Mozambique.
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NEB/DEM/ENE/JO 13-Aug-1999 16:18 PM EDT (13-Aug-1999 2018 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
 EDITORIAL: SERBIAN CHURCH SPEAKS OUTDATE=8/14/1999
THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED
FOR BROADCAST 8/14/99.
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
Voice: Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is
leading the country "into certain disaster" and
should resign. That was the message in an open
appeal issued by the Serbian Orthodox Church on
August 10th. Church leaders also called for the
resignation of Serbian President Milan Milutinovic
[`Mee-lahn Mee-loo-`teen-oh-vich], who, like
Milosevic, has been indicted for war crimes by an
This is not the first time that Serbian Orthodox
bishops have called for an end to the Milosevic
regime. In June, Kosovo Bishop Artemije [Ahr-
`tem-ee-yeh] said the church was calling for the
resignation of Milosevic, "not because we lost the
war in Kosovo, but because we think the problem
could have been resolved peacefully." In the new
appeal, church leaders called on Milosevic and
Milutinovic to resign immediately to "make way for
other people to take over. . .and take the people
out of the [dead end] into which they have been
The bishops' statement comes as Serbs continue to
protest against Milosevic and his disastrous
policies. Across Serbia, hundreds of thousands of
people have turned out for rallies or signed
petitions demanding a change in government. And
on August 19th, a major rally is planned for
Belgrade, the capital.
It is easy to see why Serbs want to be rid of
Slobodan Milosevic. In more than a decade of rule,
he has turned the most prosperous country in
eastern Europe into a pauper and a pariah. He has
instigated several wars, each of which has left
his country smaller, poorer, and more isolated.
Most recently, his systematic repression and
terror against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo brought
the devastating NATO bombing campaign.
In Kosovo, the victims of Milosevic's aggression
can expect help from the United States and other
countries as they try to rebuild their homes and
lives. But people in the rest of Serbia are well
aware that they can expect no such help so long as
they continue to be ruled by Milosevic and others
under indictment for war crimes.
As Serbian Orthodox Bishop Artemije put it,
"Slobodan Milosevic has done a lot of evil to
everyone." That is why increasing numbers of
Serbs are demanding Milosevic's resignation.
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.
13-Aug-1999 13:39 PM EDT (13-Aug-1999 1739 UTC)
 FRENCH BANKING WAR (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)DATE=8/13/1999
INTRO: France's longest-ever stock market battle -- over the merger of three of the country's top banks -- is drawing to a close. Julian Nundy in Paris reports the signs are that the end result will satisfy no one.
TEXT: With the final conclusions due to be announced
Tuesday, a process that was originally expected to put
French banks in the world's top league may produce a
Six months ago, the Societe Generale bank, one of
France's most successful retail banks, announced it
had negotiated a merger with Paribas, a bank that
specializes in foreign-currency dealings and big
Analysts described the plan as logical, and one that
would put the new company in a strong position to
compete with other European and world banks.
Then, another French retail bank, the B-N-P, announced
a hostile takeover bid of both Societe Generale and
Paribas. B-N-P's clear aim was to become the
strongest French retail bank by taking over Societe
French media reports say B-N-P has won a majority in
Paribas -- the bank it did not want - but has failed
to take a majority in Societe Generale, which was its
The battle has prompted unprecedented media warfare,
during which all three banks spent a total of 165-
million francs -- 26-million U-S dollars -- on an
advertising campaign to explain their positions, and
many more millions in legal and other fees.
The battle was brought to an official close earlier
this month, leaving Paris stock market authorities to
count ballots cast by shareholders of the two banks
In leaks to the French media, analysts say the
solution will satisfy no one. They say B-N-P will
take around 60 percent of Paribas and around one-third
of the capital of Societe Generale.
B-N-P says that, even without a majority shareholding
in Societe Generale, it will have enough to take
control of a new tripartite alliance.
Ironically, given that all three banks have been
privatized over the past 13 years, it is the French
establishment -- in the form of the Bank of France --
that will now have the task of sorting out their free-
market jousting. (Signed)
 UN CRIMINAL COURT LO BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)DATE=8/13/1999
INTRO: International law experts have been meeting at the United Nations in New York over the last three weeks to discuss plans for the creation of a permanent international war crimes tribunal. The proposed court has broad international support, but continues to face opposition from some U-S lawmakers. V-O-A's U-N correspondent Max Ruston has the story.
TEXT: Well over 100 countries voted last year in Rome to approve a treaty creating the International Criminal Court. Of the seven countries that voted against the court, the United States is considered the most crucial. Supporters of the court say it is hard to imagine the court becoming a truly effective international organization without U-S support. Since that vote took place, there have been regular talks aimed at resolving some of the U-S objections to the court. Those objections center on U-S concerns that U-S troops and citizens will be vulnerable to politically motivated prosecutions. One of the strongest opponents of the court is U-S Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His spokesman, Marc Thiessen, talked (Friday) to reporters at U-N headquarters about the criminal court.
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Source: Voice of America
 N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)DATE=8/13/1999
INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were up sharply today (Friday) as traders celebrated the latest report on U-S inflation. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.
TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-973, up 184 points, almost two percent. For the week, the Industrial Average gained 259 points, about two and one-half percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed Friday at 13-hundred-27, up 29 points. The NASDAQ index gained more than three percent. Stock prices moved up strongly in response to the latest U-S inflation report. A monthly index of wholesale prices was up just two-tenths of one percent, below expectations. The index's so-called "core" rate, which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors, was unchanged in July.
Source: Voice of America
 FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)DATE=8/13/1999
TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
INTRO: A story that began in 1925 in Tennessee has resurfaced in Kansas this week and dozens of daily papers are commenting on this dispute over teaching the theory of man's evolution. Other editorials deal with the threat of war -- possibly even nuclear war -- in the sub-continent; the defense of Taiwan; the mass shooting in Los Angeles; and a small but possibly significant vote in Iowa Saturday, and how it could affect next year's presidential race. Now, here is __________ with a closer look in today's Editorial Digest.
TEXT: In 1925, two of the most famous U-S orators of the day, attorney Clarence Darrow and presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, argued the case of a Tennessee high school teacher fined for teaching the theory of evolution. That theory, widely accepted by scientists, says that man evolved from simpler forms of life over a very long time. However the Christian holy book, the Bible, says God created man and woman essentially as they are today, and many Americans believe that literally. They are called adherents of Creationism. Which brings us to Friday editorials about a decision this week by the Kansas Board of Education to stop requiring science teachers in Kansas schools to teach all of the theory of evolution. In the Kansas State capitol, The Topeka Capital-Journal says:
VOICE: It is a gross understatement to say that across the country and even the world, the image of Kansas has taken a beating from the board of education's decision Wednesday to de-emphasize evolution in the state's standards for teaching science. ... To make matters worse, the board's action is being badly misconstrued by the world's news media. The board did not prohibit the teaching of evolution. ... [It removed] evolution from statewide science standards, leaving local districts to decide what to teach about the origins of life.
TEXT: The Board's decision is called "willful ignorance" by The New York Times, and draws this rebuke from The San Francisco Chronicle:
VOICE: Anyone who values science education should be alarmed at the vote by the Kansas Board of Education to dilute the teaching of evolution...
TEXT: In Texas, where the State Board of Education rejected a similar, curriculum change, the The Fort Worth Star-Telegram focuses on the strategy of this philosophical battle.
VOICE: ...[The] restrictions on the teaching of evolution reflect the new strategy that Creationists have adopted in reaction to the U-S Supreme Court ruling that barred states from requiring the teaching of Creationism. Since they can't force Creationism into curriculums, they are concentrating on forcing evolution out. ... This science-versus-religion conflict is uncalled for and counterproductive.
TEXT: In overseas developments, several papers are fearful that war may be in the future for India and Pakistan, with tensions between the two long-time rivals rising day by day, following India's downing of a Pakistani military plane. "Sliding Toward Nuclear War" is the headline over The Washington Post's lead [principal] editorial:
VOICE: The latest shootings on the India- Pakistan border signify big trouble. They suggest that last month's cooling of war threats exchanged by the two countries is transient and unstable. Worse, they suggest that the two consider the threat of another, fourth war-which in their new circumstances could well be nuclear-a plausible line of policy. India and Pakistan are carelessly and arrogantly ignoring their responsibility to step back from the nuclear brink.
TEXT: Echoes the Los Angeles Times:
VOICE: Countries like China, Russia, Japan and the United States need to exercise their influence, stressing to Islamabad and New Delhi the unthinkability of nuclear weapon use. The two countries should avoid provocation and moderate their rhetoric. This is a time for cool diplomacy, not hot words.
TEXT: In Baltimore, Maryland, The Sun has some specifics about why neither side should want this war.
VOICE: ... Pakistan should not want to fight any version of this war. It is geographically vulnerable ... and ... its sole commercial port, Karachi, is just north of the current tension and easily blockaded. India should not want this war, either, for fear of civil strife and rebellion. It has more important uses for its exchequer.
TEXT: To another potential trouble spot now, Taiwan, where tensions are also high between Taipei and Beijing, after comments by Taiwan's President Lee asserting the de-facto statehood of his island. Tensions are also high between Congress and the President, at least according to The Washington Times.
VOICE: ... American diplomats, eager to please China's Communist rulers, have ... slapped Mr. Lee's wrist. Beijing, meanwhile, has ... seized a Taiwanese cargo ship off the Chinese coast ...[and] test-fired a new ballistic missile ... all of which sounds quite threatening. In other words, it is not strange that friends of Taiwan here in Washington should grow concerned. Fortunately for Taipei, many of these friends are to be found in Congress, and a much needed corrective they are to the spinelessness prevailing at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue [the White House].
TEXT: Thoughts on China policy from The Washington Times. The mass shooting of children and an adult at a Los Angeles Jewish community center this week continues to rankle editorial writers, and in Minnesota, The St. Paul Pioneer Press points out, that unfortunately, this is nothing new.
VOICE: This country ... has a long history of racial intolerance. It's just that the murders, beatings, and home, church and synagogue burnings were never called what they were: hate crimes based on race, religion or sexual preference. Only in recent years has the motive for these crimes been identified and named. What has changed dramatically over the decades is public attitude toward the people who commit such crimes ... and the proliferation of high- powered weapons that are easy to obtain and use.
TEXT: On a somewhat related issue, that of the new phenomenon of day trading on the stock market, which is thought to have contributed to a mass shooting recently in Atlanta, The Los Angeles Times opines:
VOICE: As the growing number of day-trading companies describe it, playing the stock market by making dozens, sometimes hundreds, of trades a day is the golden path to getting rich. They lure customers to their special computer screens with exaggerated claims of success, keeping silent about the true odds, which heavily favor failure. In addition, some of them are breaking rules on lending practices so they can keep the trades-and commissions-coming. ... Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt says they aren't speculating, or taking calculated risks: They are gambling ... None of that means day trading is in itself objectionable and should be outlawed. ... But it becomes a guessing game ... when carried out by ill-informed gamblers.
TEXT: The Los Angeles Times on the hazards of day trading. President Clinton is offering to release from jail several members of a violent Puerto Rican independence group, accused of conspiracy in several New York City bombings years ago, if they will now renounce violence. The New York Post is unhappy.
VOICE: Just last week, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, speaking on the first anniversary of the deadly U-S embassy bombings in Africa, vowed to wage an all-out war against terrorism. This week, President Clinton turned that promise into a joke by offering to commute the justifiably harsh prison sentences of 14 F-A-L-N terrorists...
TEXT: As for The Wall Street Journal (the national newspaper based in New York), it believes the real reason for the clemency offer is political, suggesting it is a ploy to gain votes for Mrs. Clinton who plans to run for Senate from New York and would probably like to march in the huge, annual Puerto Rican Day parade. And speaking of politics, this last comment on tomorrow's Republican straw poll in Iowa, in which some of the state's voters will give an early indication of their preferences in next year's presidential race. Today's Manchester [New Hampshire] Union-Leader predicts:
VOICE: ... the results will be relatively unsurprising in that Texas Governor George Bush will win handily. Millionaire publisher Steve Forbes will probably come in second. The guys to watch, however, are Dan Quayle and Gary Bauer. [Mr.] Quayle will do poorly. [Mr.] Bauer will surprise.
TEXT: With that editorial prediction, we conclude
this sampling of comment from Friday's daily papers.
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