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Voice of America, 99-08-17

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] YUGO FOOD NEEDS (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [02] BOSNIA FRAUD (L) BY NICK SIMEONE (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] RUSSIA / DAGESTAN (L-ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [04] WAR IN DAGESTAN BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)
  • [05] TURKEY - EARTHQUAKE (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [06] TURKEY / EARTHQUAKE RELIEF (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] TURKEY / QUAKE S-O BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)
  • [08] U.S.-QUAKE REACT (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [09] U-S - QUAKE REACT (L-UPDATE) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [10] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [11] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] YUGO FOOD NEEDS (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252870
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United Nations says more than three- quarters of a million people in Serbia and Montenegro will need food aid this year. But the joint assessment mission by the United Nations's World Food Program and the United Nation's Refugee Agency does not take into account the food and economic situation prevailing in Kosovo. Lisa Schlein in Geneva has this report.

    TEXT: The World Food Program estimates the harvest this year in Yugoslavia will be 20 to 30-percent below average. But, it says this is not the biggest problem facing people in Serbia and Montenegro. The U-N agency says a lot of food is available on the market. But people can not afford to buy it. Christiane Berthiaume of the World Food Program says the Yugoslav economy has deteriorated and is expected to get even worse. She says inflation is rising by 15-percent every month. She says an average worker's salary is around 55-dollars a month. And, she says about 75-percent of a family's earnings goes to buy food.

    /// ACT BERTHIAUME ///

    So the 25-percent left is not enough to cover the electricity bill, the heating, the rent and all the other expenses that one has to go through. And, winter is coming. So, these people will need to pay their electricity bill and to buy fuel if they want to have their houses warm.

    /// END ACT ///

    The World Food Program plans to spend 69-million dollars for food aid until the end of the year. The Agency says those who are in greatest need of assistance include 140-thousand Serbs displaced from Kosovo and 330-thousand refugees from earlier conflicts in Bosnia and Croatia. The Agency says many thousands of so-called social cases are also among the needy. They include retired people living on pensions of about 30-dollars a month. The World Food Program says these people will need international food aid to survive. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/GE/RAE 17-Aug-1999 12:27 PM LOC (17-Aug-1999 1627 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] BOSNIA FRAUD (L) BY NICK SIMEONE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252876
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The top Western official in charge of running Bosnia suspects the country's Croat, Muslim and Serb leaders may have stolen as much as a billion dollars in money intended to help the country rebuild from three years of war. Correspondent Nick Simeone reports on a corruption situation described as widespread.

    TEXT: The figure is staggering. About a billion dollars - or one fifth of all public money and aid from abroad donated to Bosnia since the end of the war there four years ago - can not be accounted for.

    // FERGUSSON ACT //

    A billion dollars is the total of alleged fraudulent uses. It's an add up of several amounts of money from all around the country.

    // END ACT //

    James Fergusson is the spokesman for Wolfgang Petritsch, the top Western official in charge of overseeing Bosnia's fragile peace.

    // SECOND FERGUSSON ACT //

    Most of the fraud we are talking about is very small amounts. It's the mayor of such and such a town who has been operating a kick back operation with his mates in a paint factory. It is that level of corruption.

    // END ACT //

    But there's so much of it that it now totals in the hundreds of millions of dollars. In some cases, donor nations may be unwittingly helping replenish the missing millions.

    // THIRD FERGUSSON ACT //

    Indirectly, it could be the case that donor money is going into projects that without corruption they wouldn't have to finance.

    // END ACT //

    The White House is aware of the problem. And Spokesman David Leavy says not all U-S dollars can be accounted for.

    // LEAVY ACT //

    I think anytime A-I-D has a program as extensive as the one in Bosnia there are what we call bad debts. There is a certain percentage of loans that aren't repaid, that are defaulted on and it is certainly a concern and we try to minimize those. More broadly, there is a tremendous amount of assistance going in from the European Union, from the international financial institutions, and it is a problem and it is something we have to be cognizant of.

    // END ACT //

    The New York Times reports that in one instance, more than 20 million dollars deposited in a Bosnian bank by international aid agencies disappeared. Western officials fear corruption will scare off badly needed foreign investment - just after President Clinton and 38 other world leaders gathered in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo to pledge hundreds of millions of new dollars to rebuild the Balkans after a decade of wars. No one at the Bosnian embassy here in Washington was available to respond to the corruption charges, which at times have gone undenied by leaders in Sarajevo, who have challenged the West to prove such allegations in court. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NJS/TVM/KL 17-Aug-1999 15:28 PM EDT (17-Aug-1999 1928 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] RUSSIA / DAGESTAN (L-ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252865
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Senior Russian officials say the fight against Islamic rebels in the southern republic of Dagestan could be over within days. But as V-O-A's Peter Heinlein reports from Moscow, the insurgents appear to be resisting all efforts to dislodge them.

    TEXT: Russian army chief of staff General Anatoly Kvashnin says his troops are on schedule to smash the Dagestani insurgency by the end of the week, as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin predicted.

    ///KVASHNIN ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO...///
    He says -- we will proceed with liberating the region, and will comply with the schedule set for us. General Kvashnin also said Russian jets would not hesitate to attack suspected rebel positions inside the breakaway republic of Chechnya, just a few- kilometers from the combat zone. General Kvashnin told reporters in Moscow (Tuesday) that one main objective of the campaign is to kill the leader of the insurgents, renegade Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.
    /// ACT KVASHNIN ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO... ///
    He says -- we must annihilate him so he does not kill more people. The general described the rebel leader as a bandit with no political goals. The insurgents have said they want to drive Russian forces out of the region to establish an independent Islamic state. Mr. Basayev was one of the chief architects of the successful Chechen insurgency of the mid-1990's. At that time General Kvashnin was the commander of Russian forces in the northern Caucasus region. In a sign of the government's increased determination to end the fighting, the Defense Ministry has been given formal command over the anti-insurgency operation, though Interior Ministry troops will continue to be heavily involved. During the past week, there have been highly- publicized reports of feuding between Interior and Defense Ministry planners. Similar conflicts played a key role in the failure of Russian forces in Chechnya. Sources in the combat zone say government troops are relying mainly on air power and heavy artillery against suspected insurgent positions in the sparsely populated Dagestani mountains. Government officials say hundreds of rebels have died in the fighting, possibly as many as half the entire insurgent force. But an Associated Press reporter visiting the rebel camps Monday said she saw little evidence of casualties. She said the insurgents are still in full control of three villages, and said 120-fresh-fighters had arrived Monday from Chechnya. Rebel sources have said their casualties have been minimal, but there has been no independent confirmation of either side's claims. In the past, both sides have been known to exaggerate enemy casualty figures, while downplaying their own. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/GE/RAE 17-Aug-1999 11:07 AM LOC (17-Aug-1999 1507 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] WAR IN DAGESTAN BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44077
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russia is again at war in the Caucasus and predicting victory over the rebels challenging Moscow's authority. Whether they will hold out as stubbornly in Dagestan as they did in Chechnya remains to be seen. Correspondent Ed Warner provides contrasting views on the outlook for the war in this latest Russian attempt to keep its territory together.

    TEXT: From Moscow's point of view, it cannot afford to lose the Caucasus, the pathway to Caspian Sea oil and to Russian influence in the Middle East and Central Asia. While Russia remains, it can block efforts by other powers like Turkey and Iran to become established in the Caucasus. But the area is hard to control from Moscow. Chechnya has slipped from its grasp, and now rebels in Dagestan have declared their independence, provoking another armed Russian intervention. Will it work better than the failed effort in Chechnya, which is now independent in everything but name? International consultant Enders Wimbush, vice president of International Strategy and Policy at Hicks and Associates, foresees failure:

    // WIMBUSH ACT //

    I see Russia causing instability in the region for the foreseeable future with these kinds of panicky, petulant thrusts which cause a lot of damage and a lot of bloodshed and only add to the radicalization of the region. But ultimately, Russia cannot control this region. It does not have the forces to do it. It does not have the strategic vision to do it, and it certainly does not have the leadership to do it at this point.

    // END ACT //

    The outbreak in Dagestan has coincided with yet another change of government in Moscow. The rebellion would challenge the resources of even a skilled, stable leadership, says Columbia University Professor of Political Science Robert Legvold. But the current one in Moscow does not appear to be up to the task. That is a shame, says Professor Legvold, because Dagestan does not pose as big a problem as Chechnya did:

    // LEGVOLD ACT //

    It looks as though much of the public in Dagestan is opposed to the rebels, which would be very different from the situation in Chechnya, where a large percentage of the population supported the independence movement. The question is whether the Russians, in dealing with this problem, resort to a kind of brutality that brings suffering to the population of Dagestan and then turns the population against them.

    // END ACT //

    A warlord from Chechnya, Shamil Basayev, has led the rebellion in Dagestan, which is one of the poorest regions of Russia -- with unemployment above 80- percent in its impoverished mountain villages. In their despair, people have turned to radical Islam, which enforces a harsh rule and defies Moscow. Moscow blames Islamist outsiders for stirring up trouble in Dagestan and warns Muslim countries not to get involved. There are accusations that terrorist Osama Bin Laden has been supplying arms to the rebels and may move to Dagestan himself. This is not a foreign problem, responds political analyst Nikolai Petrov of the Moscow Carnegie research organization. He says this is the result of the extreme weakness of the state in Russia -- Dagestan is the weakest link. The links are snapping, says Enders Wimbush:

    // WIMBUSH ACT //

    The unraveling started several-years ago, this is just a continuation, perhaps an acceleration of it. One looks at a Russia today which is really four or five different Russias, with different resource bases, different kinds of political leadership. Moscow has very little power 40-kilometers beyond its border to control anything, even in the Russian regions. I think what one is likely to see in the next four or five-years is the emergence of very strong Russian regions.

    // END ACT //

    His words are echoed in Moscow by Yegor Stroyev, speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, who proclaimed -- the breakup of Russia is knocking at the door. Professor Legvold cautions, not just yet. Despite the inept, shaky leadership in Moscow, he doubts Dagestan will start unraveling Russia:

    // LEGVOLD ACT //

    I think it is premature to see this as the beginning of the end for Russia or even as the beginning of a general trend toward separatist movements. From the beginning, the situation in the North Caucasus has been different, and even within the North Caucasus, the problem of Chechnya is very different from what is going on in Dagestan or what might happen in Ingushetia. It is far from clear that other important parts of Russia have any desire to move in the same direction as Chechnya or Basayev and his forces, who are Chechens, after all.

    // END ACT //

    Professor Legvold and Enders Wimbush agree a political solution is necessary for Dagestan, requiring statesmanlike compromise on the part of a great power that has shown no great aptitude for peaceful negotiation. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EW/RAE 17-Aug-1999 12:38 PM LOC (17-Aug-1999 1638 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] TURKEY - EARTHQUAKE (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252851
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    //Editors - Please adjust changing casualty figures in the intro. //

    INTRO: At least 150 people were killed and hundreds of others injured when a powerful earthquake measuring six point seven on the Richter Scale shook western and central Turkey early Tuesday. Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara.

    TEXT: Turkish officials say the quake centered on the western industrial town of Izmit, some 90 kilometers away from Istanbul. The highest death toll was reported in Izmit where officials say at least 100 buildings collapsed. Turkish State Television showed hundreds of the towns residents looking dazed as they wandered through piles of rubble in their underwear. Rescue workers were shown digging out trapped victims under the debris of collapsed apartment buildings as their loved ones looked on. Hundreds of citizens flocked to local hospitals for treatment of injuries sustained during the quake. The towns of Adapazari and Sakarya were also severly affected by the quake and in Istanbul, the country's largest city, at least 100 buildings were reported to have collapsed. The quake was also felt in the capital, Ankara. Many fires were reported to have broken out including one at the country's largest petroleum refinery located in Izmit. Information about the extent of the damage remains largely unavailable however because of power outages and breakdowns in telephone lines in most of the struck areas. A crisis management center has been formed in Ankara to deal with the quake. The government appealed to citizens to stay clear of damaged buildings until the threat of aftershocks was well out of the way. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/PLM NEB/WTW/ 17-Aug-1999 02:52 AM EDT (17-Aug-1999 0652 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] TURKEY / EARTHQUAKE RELIEF (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252858
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /////

    ED'S: WATCH C-N WIRE AND CHANGE DEATH TOLL FIGURES IN INTRO AS NEEDED /////

    INTRO: Rescue teams are searching for survivors after an earthquake measuring about seven on the Richter scale caused widespread damage (early Tuesday) in northwestern Turkey. More than 375-people were killed and several-thousand injured. The death toll is expected to rise. London Correspondent Laurie Kassman spoke with the Geneva-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies about relief operations.

    TEXT: Top priority for Turkish relief teams is the search for survivors in the rubble. The massive tremor was centered in the Western industrial town of Izmet, on the Sea of Marmara. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies operational services chief John Watt says relief operations will focus on providing water, shelter, and medical help for the injured.

    /// WATT ACT ONE ///

    In this particular scenario, with power being lost, water will be a problem. Shelter, when it comes to tonight, will be a problem, and of course during the day where there is no shade and the temperatures rising, shelter will again be a problem.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Watt says the Federation already has sent a team to assess what help foreign relief services can offer. He says water supplies and sanitation will become a growing concern in the next few days. But he says Turkey's Red Crescent has experience dealing with such disasters in a country prone to deadly tremors.

    /// WATT ACT TWO ///

    It is a very strong national society, and they have their preparative measures because they are dealing with earthquakes of one size or another virtually every year.

    /// END ACT ///

    The last major earthquake, hit southern Turkey last year, claiming more than 140-victims. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH 17-Aug-1999 07:45 AM LOC (17-Aug-1999 1145 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] TURKEY / QUAKE S-O BY LAURIE KASSMAN (ISTANBUL)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252886
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: .Northwestern Turkey is digging out from a massive earthquake on Tuesday -- which claimed more than two thousand lives. The death toll is expected to rise with more than 10-thousand people reported injured, many critically. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from Istanbul, international rescue teams are arriving to help search for survivors.

    TEXT: Many residents of Istanbul spent the night camped outside on any available open space, in grassy parks and on the sidewalks. Most decided it was safer to spend the night outside rather than risk getting trapped inside in case another tremor hit. Make shift tents and blankets were spread in Taksim Square in the heart of the city's tourist area. International rescue teams with specially trained dogs have arrived to help search for survivors still trapped in the rubble. Many families living or visiting outside Turkey, who have not been able to reach their relatives by phone, have flown back to search for them. Dozens of buildings collapsed in Istanbul, but destruction is far more widespread in the industrial city of Izmit, the epicenter of the massive earthquake about 100 kilometers east of Istanbul. Hospitals and clinics are tending to more than 10-thousand injured, while rescue teams continue the search for more survivors. (Signed)
    NEB/LK/TVM-T/JO 17-Aug-1999 19:38 PM EDT (17-Aug-1999 2338 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] U.S.-QUAKE REACT (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252871
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United States is offering aid and technical assistance to Turkey to help it deal with what President Clinton describes as a terrible crisis spawned by an earthquake (Tuesday). Correspondent David Gollust reports from the White House. Text: Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and the Chairman of the Military Joint Chiefs of Staff General Hugh Shelton were in Turkey at the time of the earthquake, and both have been in touch with Turkish authorities to discuss U-S assistance. President Clinton, who was briefed on the situation by National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, has authorized the release of emergency funds to the Turkish Red Crescent Society. He has also ordered a team of U-S search-and-rescue experts to Turkey to provide technical help in the search for dead and injured. At a White House event, Mr. Clinton said America's thoughts and prayers are with the earthquake victims and their families. He stressed U-S readiness to provide additional help to its longtime ally.

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY ///

    We will continue to determine what further help is needed. But you can only imagine how difficult this is for them. And we will do what we can to help.

    /// END ACT ///

    Neither Secretary Richardson nor General Shelton was hurt in the earthquake. Officials say there has been no damage reported at U-S diplomatic and defense facilities in Turkey. General Shelton has offered U-S military support, including helicopters and supplies from bases in the region, for the recovery effort. Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is to hold talks in Washington with President Clinton late next month. Mr. Clinton is expected to stop in Turkey as part of a European visit in November. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/RAE 17-Aug-1999 12:37 PM LOC (17-Aug-1999 1637 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] U-S - QUAKE REACT (L-UPDATE) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252881
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// Updates with new relief details ///

    INTRO: The Clinton Administration is flying two teams of disaster experts to Turkey to help authorities there deal with Tuesday's earthquake, which President Clinton says has created a "terrible crisis." More from VOA's David Gollust at the White House. Text: The United States is sending a 70-member team of rescue workers from fire departments in Virginia and Florida -- along with specially trained dogs - to Turkey join in the hunt for earthquake survivors. A separate team of experts from the U-S Agency for International Development will coordinate U-S relief efforts with those of other countries, and determine what other help might be needed. At a White House event, President Clinton stressed America's long-standing ties with Turkey and said the nation's thoughts and prayers are with the earthquake victims and their families:

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY ///

    Turkey has been our friend and ally for a long time now. We must stand with them and do whatever we can to help get them through this terrible crisis.

    /// END ACT ///

    The Administration has released an initial 25-thousand dollars in aid to Turkey's Red Crescent Society while armed forces chief-of-staff General Hugh Shelton - who was in Turkey when the earthquake struck - has talked with his Turkish counterpart and offered the use of helicopters and other resources from U.S. bases. U-S Energy Secretary Bill Richardson was also in Turkey and been in contact with Turkish authorities. Officials here say no American facilities were damaged by the tremor. Flights from Turkey by U-S Air Force planes monitoring the "no fly zone" over northern Iraq continued Tuesday despite the earthquake. President Clinton, who sent a condolence letter to Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, is due to meet Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in Washington next month and is expected to visit Turkey in November. (Signed)
    NEB/DAG/TVM/KL 17-Aug-1999 16:25 PM EDT (17-Aug-1999 2025 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252883
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were up today (Tuesday) on news that the inflation rate is still very modest. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11- thousand-117, up 70 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-44, up 13 points. The NASDAQ index gained one percent. The government reported consumer prices in the United States rose three-tenths of one percent last month, in line with Wall Street estimates. U-S industrial production rose in July for the sixth straight month. And new housing construction rose almost six percent last month as strong job growth apparently limited the effects of higher mortgage interest rates. Analysts say the good economic news might have lifted stock prices even higher had it not been for last Friday's strong rally after July's wholesale price index came in below expectations. Many Wall Street veterans say stocks will likely fluctuate in a narrow range until after U-S central bank governors announce their decision on interest rates next Tuesday.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    Ted Weisberg of the Seaport Securities firm says stock traders may be resting before another big move up.

    /// Weisberg Act ///

    I think stocks may rest and go sideways for a while. Any slight interest rate increase has probably already been factored into the market. We are near our old highs. Perhaps they are just resting and maybe if we get a tilt it will be to new high territory.

    /// End Act ///

    Deere and Company, the world's largest maker of farm equipment, reported sharply lower quarterly profits. The company says low commodity prices have caused many farmers to cut back on equipment orders. Several major American retailers reported sharply higher quarterly earnings, reflecting the continued confidence of American consumers. The J-C Penney department store chain said its profits rose 44 percent. The Limited, an apparel retailer, saw its earnings soar by 90 percent. And Dayton Hudson's earnings rose 40 percent, largely because of a strong performance by its chain of Target discount stores. Planet Hollywood, the movie-theme restaurant chain will file for bankruptcy law protection. The company says it hopes to keep operating while it works out a reorganization plan. E-Trade, the second-largest on-line financial brokerage firm in the United States, will soon offer after-hours stock trading to individual investors. E- Trade has formed a partnership with Instinet, an electronic trading system that has previously been available only to institutional investors. The stock of Hewlett-Packard, the computer technology company, is a good example of the old Wall Street adage, "Buy on the rumor, sell on the news." Rumors were that Hewlett-Packard would report very strong quarterly earnings. When the company did report profits that beat Wall Street estimates, the value of Hewlett-Packard's stock dropped. (Signed) NEB/BA/JC/TVM/JO 17-Aug-1999 17:11 PM EDT (17-Aug-1999 2111 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [11] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=8/17/1999
    TYPE=EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11426
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russia's internal turmoil; the aftermath of the Iowa Republican straw poll; enforcing stronger labor laws in U-S textile industries; and a peaceful return for Columbine High School students are among today's most talked about issues in U-S editorials. Now here is _________with a closer look in today's Editorial Digest. Text: The fighting in Dagestan has brought renewed attention on Russian leader Boris Yeltsin for the apparent disarray of his government. The Washington Times in the U-S capital says that Russia's current woes should have been foreseen. Voice: Russia's armed conflict against rebels in southern Dagestan is an unfortunate, but perhaps inevitable, consequence of Mr. Yelstin's lack of internal control. The current conflict was predictable. .Apparently, Moscow's high profile decision to send 3,500 Russian troops to Kosovo was more pressing than Russia's internal security. Text: The Washington Times goes on to add that acting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin can not use the same approach in Dagestan that previous Russian governments have displayed in past conflicts. Voice: If the Russians respond with the same incompetent brutality they demonstrated in the Chechen conflict, then the troubles in the region could be just beginning. .Mr. Putin has said he will crush the rebellion in Southern Dagestan "in the shortest time". This is true to form but judging by the Russian army's record in Chechnya, it will be wishful thinking. In the meantime, his focus on the conflict will divert his attention away from another disaster in waiting - the Russian economy. Sounds like the center does not hold. Text: Domestically, U-S editorial writers are responding to the after effects of the Iowa Republican straw poll. The Los Angeles Times, in the state of California, remarks that the affair may have done nothing more than raise money for the Republican Party. Voice: .The real winner of the Iowa republican straw poll is... the Iowa Republican party, for snookering nine presidential candidates into spending millions of dollars to participate in a carnival event that means little or nothing to the 2000 election. .The event did little even to illuminate what candidates think, beyond the content of their stock speeches. (Republican presidential nominee George W.) Bush now needs to earn his front-runner status by debating the other candidates and talking about real issues such as Social Security, gun control and HMO reform. .If there was any message in [Iowa] for Bush it is that he will not win the nomination by default. He will have to work for it. Text: In Massachusetts, The Boson Globe is bringing some attention to U-S labor laws, as a landmark legal settlement in California courts guarantees the monitoring of labor practices at U-S apparel factories in the central Pacific. Voice: The settlement is a step toward focusing attention on the Northern Marinas, where loopholes in federal law allow textile companies to import foreign workers with no regard to immigration laws, and to pay them the local minimum wage, which at $3.05 an hour is $2.10 less than the federal figure. .Even with this private initiative, the federal government should improve its efforts to monitor the enforcement of labor laws. If "Made in the USA" is to mean anything, it ought to imply a commitment to this basic standard of pay. Text: Finally, with hope and a new found sense of peace, Columbine High School students returned to school yesterday after the brutal shooting rampage that took place in April of this year. The Denver Post, in the state of Colorado, had this to say: Voice: Going back to school and getting into the groove of things this fall will be difficult for all Columbine students.. We must now trust that school officials will make the school as safe as humanly possible - that they will notice the warning signs of violence and take seriously the problems of adolescence. We must now hand Columbine over to its students and let them repair themselves and their school as they see fit. .Columbine, we salute you, and we hope that you will be left alone to be a school - not like the one before tragedy struck - but a better one, a place to heal, and most of all, learn. Text: With that editorial, we conclude this sampling of comment from Tuesday's U-S newspapers.
    NEB/ENE/KL 17-Aug-1999 12:42 PM EDT (17-Aug-1999 1642 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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