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Voice of America, 99-08-19

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO - K-L-A (L ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)
  • [02] TURKEY EARTHQUAKE ONITER (S & L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [03] TURKEY EARTHQUAKE (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (IZMIT)
  • [04] TURKEY / QUAKE / RESCUE / L BY LAURIE KASSMAN (IZMIT)
  • [05] TURKEY FIRE (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (IZMIT, TURKEY)
  • [06] TURKEY FINANCE (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [07] U-S / TURKEY AID (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] RUSSIA - U-S ARMS (L ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [09] RUSSIA / DAGESTAN (L) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [10] WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [11] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [12] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO - K-L-A (L ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252926
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Kosovo Liberation Army (K-L-A) says it will meet a Friday deadline for the second phase of a three-step disarming process. Tim Belay reports from Pristina.

    TEXT: One month ago, the K-L-A had to request extra time to comply with the first phase of disarmament. But leaders of the rebel group told a news conference they are on target to meet the deadline Friday for the second part of the disarmament process. The K-L-A's agreement with NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Kosovo requires the group to surrender two- thirds of its weapons and ammunition by Friday -- the 60-day point in a three-month demobilization process. The agreement requires the K-L-A to shut down completely one month from now. NATO will say Friday if it agrees with the K-L-A declaration that it has met this latest deadline in the disarmament process. The K-L-A's military leader, Agim Ceku, also told the news conference that his group condemns anyone who has intimidated the Serb population in Kosovo. Most of the province's Serb residents have left in the past two months. But General Ceku -- speaking through an interpreter -- says the K-L-A is being blamed unfairly for incidents of hatred and violence in Kosovo.

    /// CEKU ACT / INTERPRETER ///

    Everything bad that happens in Kosova, they immediately affiliate or link it to the Kosova Liberation Army, although in many cases they know that it absolutely is not true. And they wish to shadow or eclipse all the attempts made by the Kosova Liberation Army to contribute to peace and security in Kosova.

    /// END ACT ///

    The news conference Thursday marked the beginning of what the K-L-A calls a public information campaign. The organization is anxious to counter reports from human rights groups that K-L-A members are responsible for much of the post-war violence in Kosovo. (Signed)
    NEB/TB/JWH/KL 19-Aug-1999 10:06 AM EDT (19-Aug-1999 1406 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] TURKEY EARTHQUAKE ONITER (S & L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252937
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkey is straining to deal with one of its worst disasters this century. While aid pours in from around the world, experts are warning of the possibility of more aftershocks. Rescue workers are desperately searching for signs of life in the wreckage left by Tuesday's earthquake. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from Istanbul the government has promised to set up tent cities to provide shelter and to improve distribution of food and water.

    TEXT: Thousands in Turkey have spent another restless night camped outdoors while rescue squads continue searching for survivors under the rubble. A mild aftershock was felt Thursday in Istanbul and seismic experts warn of more still to come. Tuesday's earthquake has devastated a wide area of the country's industrial center to the east of Istanbul. The government is straining to cope and defending itself against critics complaining it has reacted too slowly to the crisis. Foreign governments are sending massive amounts of aid and medical supplies and emergency crisis teams to help. The U-S government, for one, has shipped out enough shelter materials and medical supplies for 10-thousand of those left homeless by the quake. A water purification machine is also on the way to help authorities cope with the shortage of drinking water after the earthquake cut water and power lines.

    /// CUT HERE FOR SHORT CR ///

    Meanwhile, firefighters continue their efforts to contain a blaze at Turkey's largest oil refinery on the outskirts of Izmit, near the epicenter of the earthquake. Emergency teams, in nearby Golcuk on the Sea of Marmara, have been hampered by floods after the deadly tremor shattered a seawall there. As temperatures soar under an unrelenting sun, Turkey's leaders are warning of a potential health hazard if bodies pulled from the wreckage are not buried quickly. An ice skating rink in Golcuk has been converted into a morgue and a nearby military base is opening its storage area to accommodate the increasing number of bodies waiting for burial. As the grim task of identifying the victims goes on, there were some bright moments late Thursday when rescue teams in Izmet and Golcuk managed to free a few survivors, including an eight-year-old trapped under the rubble. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LK/TVM/JO 19-Aug-1999 16:53 PM EDT (19-Aug-1999 2053 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] TURKEY EARTHQUAKE (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (IZMIT)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-292934
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Two days after a massive earthquake devastated northwestern Turkey, the fear is giving way to anger as survivors complain about slow rescue efforts and inadequate food and water supplies. Officials report more than six thousand deaths, but that toll is rising with thousands still missing. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from the industrial center of Izmit near the epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake.

    TEXT: People are tired and edgy and increasingly angry over what they see as the government's slow response to Turkey's severest earthquake this century. Thousands in the stricken areas camped outdoors for a second night, fearful of more tremors. Many have no homes left, and those who do say the buildings are cracked or damaged and generally unsafe to enter. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit now is defending the government's response to the crisis against those who complain it has been too little, too late. He says authorities are doing the best they can to cope with what he calls Turkey's worst disaster this century. Authorities have been stunned by the magnitude of the crisis. Mr. Ecevit also is fending off complaints that rescue operations have been too slow. He says the delicate work must be done carefully to prevent any more loss of life. Foreign aid is also pouring into the country from around the world, including specialized teams to help search for survivors. Disaster experts, like Mike Tamillow of an emergency rescue squad based in the U-S state of Virginia, says the search for survivors in the rubble can be a painfully slow process especially in areas where the infrastructure has been destroyed.

    /// TAMILLOW ACT ///

    What we try to concentrate on are usually reinforced concrete buildings that have collapsed because with the weight and density of the material it is very difficult to just break or breach it to get into somebody who is entrapped there.

    /// END ACT ///

    In Izmit, many of those who survived without injury now pass their days and nights watching the rescue operations or waiting for news of missing friends and relatives. Power and water services were cut by the quake. So many have to wait for government handouts of food and water. The government now says it is setting up tent cities to improve the distribution of food supplies and to provide better shelter for the thousands left homeless. Though the deadly tremors have stopped, Prime Minister Ecevit says the raging fire at Izmit's oil refinery poses another danger. But the refinery's top executive Ismail Alakoc (A LA KOCH) says the fire so far is being contained.

    /// ALAKOC ACT ///

    We would expect with all this fighting assistance we obtain from outside, we hope we can confine the fire from moving farther west to the tankage (storage tanks) area.

    /// END ACT ///

    Refinery workers also are installing floating barriers to try to limit an oil spill at the seaside dock area. Mr. Alakovc refuses to speculate on the cost of the fire damage or on how long it will take to repair the refinery. Much of Turkey's industrial heartland -- which accounts for one third of the country's economic output -- has been reduced to ruins. Turkey's leading financial newspaper estimates the earthquake has cost the economy more than 25-billion dollars. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/KL 19-Aug-1999 15:10 PM EDT (19-Aug-1999 1910 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] TURKEY / QUAKE / RESCUE / L BY LAURIE KASSMAN (IZMIT)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252915
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Two days after Turkey's devastating earthquake, the search for survivors continues. So do efforts to put out a massive blaze at Turkey's largest oil refinery, on the northern edge of Izmit. Correspondent Laurie Kassman brings us up to date on rescue operations in the Izmit area.

    TEXT: Rescue teams are racing against the clock, trying to find more survivors. Mike Tammillow, of a Virginia-based rescue squad, says time is critical

    // TAMMILLOW ACTUALITY //

    If you look at some of the brief past histories - such as Mexico City in 1985 or Armenia in 1988 - there were successful live rescues, up to six, seven, eight days. Certainly, that is a rarity, but this is still the potential. So we try to get in as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence. But, we still feel positive. That's why we come and try to do what we can.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    Mr. Tammillow's team has been dispatched to some of the worst-hit areas of Izmit, to search for survivors. He says, sometimes, local help - while well- intentioned - can complicate the effort.

    // TAMMILLOW ACTUALITY //

    When something this severe strikes a locality everyone is trying to do good. Certainly, they don't know what to do, so they go through it with a sledgehammer - so to speak - whereas we go through it with a scalpel.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    Mr. Tammillow says his team is concentrating on larger buildings that are only partially collapsed, in hopes there may be air pockets inside, where people could survive a bit longer. Meanwhile, those who had escaped the earthquake have spent another night camped outside, waiting for government handouts of food and water. Most have no homes to go back to and have no idea how much longer they will have to spend outdoors and where they will spend the coming months. (signed). NEB / wd-t / wd 19-Aug-1999 04:52 AM LOC (19-Aug-1999 0852 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] TURKEY FIRE (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (IZMIT, TURKEY)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252919
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Firefighters are battling a massive blaze at Turkey's largest oil refinery in Izmit, near the epicenter of the earthquake Tuesday. Correspondent Laurie Kassman in Izmit reports officials of the Tupras refinery are cautiously optimistic the fire is under control, but they say the danger is not yet over.

    TEXT: Refinery officials say the fire is contained, but as long as it burns, there is a danger of it spreading. A thick black cloud of smoke hangs over the northern part of the city and is clearly visible from 30- kilometers. The chairman of the refinery board, Ismail Alakoc, says several tanks are burning. But he says so far, the fire has not spread.

    /// ALAKOC ACT ONE ///

    So the situation is better than we expected, so we are cautiously optimistic.

    /// END ACT ///

    A major problem in putting out the fire has been the lack of water pressure. But Mr. Alakoc says that has improved too.

    /// ALAKOC ACT TWO ///

    The main water supply line has been reactivated at 6 p-m yesterday (Wednesday), so they waited a couple of hours until the water tanks got up their level.

    /// END ACT ///

    The refinery board chairman says emergency teams also are working to contain an oil spill from pipelines at the seaside loading docks.

    /// ALAKOC ACT THREE ///

    The oil spill is limited around the jetty area, so it is going to be contained and confined with floating barriers. In fact, it is already being done. They are already doing that today. More floating barriers --and extensive amounts of chemicals and oil skimmers that can be used together with the floating barriers -- are going to be dispatched.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Alakoc says damage at the Izmit refinery -- Turkey's largest -- will not seriously disrupt gasoline and diesel supplies. But it could mean more imports until the facility is fully operational again. And Mr. Alakoc refuses to speculate about how long that will take. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/RAE 19-Aug-1999 07:19 AM EDT (19-Aug-1999 1119 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] TURKEY FINANCE (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252942
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are offering emergency assistance to help Turkey cope with this week's devastating earthquake. V-O-A's Barry Wood has more.

    TEXT: The World Bank is reallocating its lending provide about 220 million dollars in immediate aid to finance housing for victims of the earthquake. A World Bank mission will arrive in Turkey next week to assess reconstruction needs. Sally Zaylan is the World Bank's country program coordinator for Turkey.

    // Zaylan Act //

    It is likely that housing and urban infrastructure, sanitation and the like, would be the first priority so that people are not people are not left without housing, water and basic sanitation conditions in the coming months.

    // End Act //

    The bank's assistance is likely to also be used to restore electricity and rebuild health facilities. The World Bank has been lending Turkey about 600 million dollars annually in recent years.

    //OPT//

    Bank President James Wolfensohn has sent a message of sympathy to the government and people of Turkey. He said the bank would do all it can to work with the authorities to design smooth mechanisms for getting necessary funding to the most vital rebuilding projects. The head of the International Monetary Fund, Michel Camdessus, has also been in touch with the Turkish government and promises to help in any way possible.

    //END OPT//

    Turkey's representative at the I-M-F says that agency is likely to make up to 320 million dollars available under its Emergency Assistance program. The loan, repayable over five years, could be disbursed as soon as October. That money would be in addition to the approximately five billion dollars Turkey hopes to obtain under an I-M-F standby loan later this year. That loan has been under discussion for several months and the deal could be signed within the next few weeks. It is not yet possible to determine the economic cost of the earthquake. Estimates in Turkey are already ranging from to 25 to 40 billion dollars. The earthquake struck the heart of the country's industrial region in the northwest and has destroyed a major oil refinery. Turkey's economy has been distressed for several years with a large budget deficit that equals 10 percent of gross domestic product. Inflation exceeds 55 percent (annually). In recent months the government has been accelerating long delayed market-based reforms.
    NEB/BDW/TVM/JO 19-Aug-1999 19:16 PM EDT (19-Aug-1999 2316 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] U-S / TURKEY AID (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252940
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: White House and Pentagon officials say U-S navy vessels and military transport planes carrying medical supplies are heading to Turkey, where officials are trying to cope with the earthquake disaster. From Washington, V-O-A's Kyle King reports.

    TEXT: Pentagon officials say three Air National Guard C-130 transport planes loaded with medical supplies and emergency equipment have been ordered to leave for Istanbul by Friday. Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon says three navy ships are also expected to reach the area by late Saturday.

    // Bacon Act //

    The main benefit of this three-ship group is that it enhances the medical facilities available. There are 123 medical personnel on board the ships, including eight doctors, operating rooms and a number of beds. There are also 22 helicopters on the Kearsarge that can be used to ferry people if they want to use the medical facility there.

    // End Act //

    Fire fighting supplies from U-S military bases in Turkey have also been donated to help battle the blaze that had been raging at one of Turkey's largest oil refineries. A huge C-17 transport will bring additional fire fighting equipment to the region. The United States has also offered to send water purification equipment that is capable of providing water for about 10- thousand people. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Defense Secretary William Cohen have both been in touch with their Turkish counterparts to try to coordinate humanitarian assistance. (Signed)
    NEB/KBK/TVM/JO 19-Aug-1999 17:34 PM EDT (19-Aug-1999 2134 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] RUSSIA - U-S ARMS (L ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252933
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A preliminary round of strategic arms talks between the United States and Russia has ended with a stern warning from Moscow's chief negotiator. V-O-A Correspondent Peter Heinlein in the Russian capital reports the future of the talks is in doubt.

    TEXT: It was what U-S officials described as a symbol of the first stage of renewal in the Moscow-Washington relationship in the post-Kosovo period. It consisted of official-level talks on a START-Three arms accord, and discussions about the Clinton administration's request for changes in the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to allow construction of a national missile defense system. The early signs were positive. The chief U-S negotiator, Undersecretary of State John Holum, told V-O-A the talks were businesslike, and he looked forward to further meetings next month in Washington. But a terse joint statement issued Thursday was less optimistic. It said only that the two sides exchanged views and reaffirmed their readiness to begin START- Three talks after Russia's lower house of parliament ratifies the 1993 START-Two treaty. As for the A-B-M accord, the statement simply said the 27-year old treaty continues to be the cornerstone of strategic stability, adding that no specific proposals for changing it had been discussed. But later in the day, Russia's chief negotiator told reporters that the United States request to amend the A-B-M treaty would touch off a new nuclear arms race in space. The director of the Russian foreign ministry's arms control department, Grigory Berdennikov, said, "We see no way that would allow the United States to set up an anti-ballistic missile system and still preserve the A-B-M treaty." News agencies quoted Mr. Berdennikov as saying "if this takes place, talks on a START-Three treaty will be ruined." He said it is not clear when another round of the preliminary talks would be held. A U-S embassy official in Moscow (Thursday) said he was not surprised at Mr. Berdennikov's comments, noting that the negotiator was simply stating a well- known Russian position. The U-S official, who asked not to be identified, said negotiators do not take such public statements seriously, and said the comments seemed to be designed mostly for domestic consumption. He expressed hope that the talks would resume next month in Washington, as expected. (Signed)
    NEB/PFH/JWH/KL 19-Aug-1999 14:22 PM EDT (19-Aug-1999 1822 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] RUSSIA / DAGESTAN (L) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=8/18/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252925
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian air and ground forces are pounding Muslim rebel positions for a 13th-day in the northern Caucasus mountain republic of Dagestan. Moscow Correspondent Peter Heinlein reports Russia admits losing 40-soldiers since the fighting began, and it says rebel casualties have been far higher.

    TEXT: Reports from the combat zone say Russian jets struck again (Thursday) at rebels dug in around the destroyed village of Tando, along the border between Dagestan and Chechnya. Fierce ground fighting also is reported. Russia's Deputy Interior Minister, Igor Zubov, says his forces are preparing for intensified operations in the next several days.

    /// ZUBOV ACT ONE - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///
    He says -- we are moving in additional forces to block all possible escape routes. When we are ready, we will strike the decisive blow. But General Zubov admitted the operation aimed at driving insurgents from Tando and other rebel strongholds in the rugged mountain region had been unsuccessful. He said military planners are rethinking their strategy. It was the clearest indication yet that government troops have abandoned efforts to crush the insurgency within two-weeks, as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin predicted when he was appointed. Instead, the arrival of fresh ground forces, engineering battalions and armored units points to expectations that this could be a long, drawn-out campaign General Zubov confirmed the number of government troops killed in the previous 24-hours was the highest since the fighting began. But he told reporters rebel casualties were several times higher.
    /// ZUBOV ACT TWO - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///
    He says -- I reconfirm that the insurgents have had huge losses, far higher than what has been quoted in the media and by the rebels on the internet. The general was referring to an internet website maintained by the rebels. They have denied official casualty reports, while asserting that the government is deliberately downplaying the number of soldiers killed. There has been no independent confirmation of losses on either side. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH/RAE 19-Aug-1999 10:05 AM EDT (19-Aug-1999 1405 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [10] WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=MORE CAUCASUS TROUBLE AND ANOTHER RUSSIAN PRIME
    NUMBER=6-11421
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=
    MINISTER

    INTRO: Another budding civil war in an Islamic area of Russia's southern Caucasus region, and yet another swing of the Kremlin's revolving door to the Prime Minister's office, highlight world press reaction to the question: whither Russia? We get a sampling of global press comment on the latest developments in Russia from ______________ who has arrived with this week's World Opinion Roundup.

    TEXT: Boris Yeltsin fired his prime minister, Sergei Stepashin, and replaced him with another former, high ranking intelligence official, Vladimir Putin. The move, the fourth such change in the past eighteen months, came against a backdrop of new reports of separatist fighting in the southern Russian province of Dagestan. Dagestan is a mountainous region on the Caspian Sea, right next door to the independence- minded Chechen region. Editorial writers in Europe reacted with skepticism when the new prime, Vladimir Putin, suggested that the situation in Dagestan "would be back to normal" within the "space of two weeks." They noted similar remarks about Russia's relations with first Afghanistan and later, Chechnya, where revolts drew Moscow into long- drawn out military engagements.

    // OPT //

    Some Russian dailies in Moscow editorially worried about the outbreak of "civil war in the Caucasus" and some feared that Russia's "indecisive and incompetent federal forces" --their words -- would be "poor protection for the corruption-weakened Russia."// END OPT // Meanwhile, many papers seemed to think Mr. Yeltsin's decision to again replace his prime minister was opportunistic -- designed to help him retain political power in the run-up to next year's presidential elections and have a larger role in choosing his successor. With that background, let us look at the world's press, going first to Moscow, where Izvestiya ran this front page commentary, noting:

    VOICE: Weak as never before, President Boris Yeltsin, it seems, has decided to bet on crude force. With [Mr.] Putin in the premier's office and Supreme Commander-in-Chief Yeltsin urging stability in the country, the influence of the `force ministries' will grow infinitely. And so will the influence of the government's staff.

    TEXT: Across town, Moskovskii Komsomolets was clearly upset, running this open letter to the President.

    VOICE: . By Sacking Mr. Stepashin without explaining your reasons, you violated a voter's right which, while not being written in the Basic Law, is natural in a democracy. It is the right to know.

    TEXT: And in yet another commentary, Slovo fretted about the trouble in Dagestan.

    VOICE: Forming self-defense groups and arming the local population, which does not trust the local authorities to protect it from bandits, is the biggest threat to federalism in Russia. We may end up with a civil war in the Caucasus. This is exactly what the separatists are after.

    TEXT: Quickly to Western Europe, where in London, England's venerable The Times noted:

    VOICE: Islamic rebels in the republic of Dagestan declared the region an independent Islamic state ., sending shock waves throughout Russia. Russia's greater fear is the `Afghanization' of the Caucasus, where radical rebels could impose a Taliban-style regime . It is the first challenge for Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister..

    TEXT: The Daily Telegraph, focusing on the prime minister shift, opined:

    VOICE: By firing the Russian government, Boris Yeltsin is positioning his forces for next year's presidential election. The departure of Sergei Stepashin marks no change of direction. What distinguishes the new man, Vladimir Putin, is his anointing as Mr. Yeltsin's preferred successor . The electoral battle now being joined could transform Russia's relations with the West. In that struggle, Mr. Putin is more likely to be a puppet than a puller of strings.

    TEXT: From the business community,London's Financial Times says:

    VOICE: Boris Yeltsin's habit of firing his prime ministers is making Russian politics look farcical.

    TEXT: Across the English channel, there was this gloomy assessment of the latest cabinet shuffle from Les Echos in Paris.

    VOICE: [President] Yeltsin's capacity to destroy can be compared to his loneliness and declining health: It is impressive

    TEXT: From Germany, The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is fretting about the latest bulletins from the Caucasus:

    VOICE: A driving force behind the rebels in Dagestan are fanatical Muslim rebels from the Arab world who support their Muslim brothers . wherever they consider it appropriate. . The rebels have now proclaimed an independent state . and have announced a `holy war' against the Russians . But this is not what the majority of Dagestan Muslims want.

    TEXT: One view on Russia's politics from Belgium, comes in this comment from Le Soir in Brussels.

    VOICE: .Vladimir Putin does not have a lot of experience. And it is no surprise either that, forgetting that those events were taking place in the Caucasus, he was foolish enough to declare `the situation in Dagestan would be back to normal within a week and a half to two weeks.' What is surprising is that Vladimir Putin, the former boss of the secret service, did not draw the lesson from the war in Chechnya.

    TEXT: Belgium's Le Soir. Now to Zagreb, where Croatia's big daily Vjesnik sees an obvious economic component to the separatist movement in Dagestan.

    VOICE: There is no doubt that the armed conflict in Dagestan is not only a war for territories and an Islamic state, but above all a war for the oil-rich Caspian Sea. .It is not only about suppressing separatism, but also about protecting the [oil] pipeline ..

    //OPT//

    TEXT: To the Baltics, from Riga, Latvia, we read in Diena:

    VOICE: [Mr.] Putin at this time doesn't look like a politician who would satisfy the majority of the political elite.

    //END OPT//

    TEXT: To the Far East, and a Japanese reaction from Tokyo's huge daily Asahi:

    VOICE: It seems that more and more security or political police officials have assumed key positions close to the president. Should [Mr.] Yeltsin rely on those security officials, many of whom may be currying favor with him, instead of other government policy planners, he can hardly revitalize his government.

    //OPT//

    TEXT: While in nearby South Korea, Seoul's Chosun Ilbo notes:

    VOICE: Hit by yet another surprising move by its president, Russia is now back in a state of confusion.

    //END OPT//

    TEXT: And lastly from Vietnam, where in Hanoi, Lao Dong has some support for the cabinet shuffle and the new prime minister coming from the intelligence services.

    VOICE: In a certain respect, Mr. Yeltsin's decision is a wise one. Better than anyone else, he is well aware that only with particular understanding of security can one administer Russia, which is regarded as a `rouge horse.' Only such a person can win cooperation and respect (though with reluctance) from opposition parties.

    TEXT: On that note from one of Vietnam's leading dailies, we conclude this sampling of global comment to the latest events in Russia.
    NEB/ANG/JO 19-Aug-1999 18:36 PM EDT (19-Aug-1999 2236 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252939
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were down today (Thursday) as traders worried about a worsening trade deficit. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-963, down 27 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-23, down nine points. The NASDAQ index lost almost one and one-half percent. Analysts say stock traders were somewhat upset about the latest U-S trade deficit, which hit a record 24 point six billion dollars in June.

    /// Begin Opt ///

    However some analysts, such as Joseph Battapaglia of the Gruntal Investment Company, say the trade deficit is not really a negative factor compared to other fundamentals in the U-S economy.

    /// Battapaglia Act ///

    Corporate earnings growth which was explosive in the second quarter, will be also in the third and fourth quarters. Additionally, interest rates look like they will pretty much stay where they are.

    /// End Act ///

    The interest rate situation will become clearer after next Tuesday when U-S central bank governors decide whether to increase short-term rates. /// End Opt /// The Alcoa Aluminum Company has won a brief bidding war for control of Reynolds Metals. After rejecting a five point six billion dollar offer from Alcoa, Reynolds's board of directors is going along with a five point eight billion dollar bid. Alcoa beat a competing offer from a Chicago-based investment firm, although the amount of that bid was never disclosed. The deal ensures that Alcoa will retain its position as the largest aluminum company in the world.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    Seagram, the Canadian-based beverage and entertainment company, reported a 129 million dollar loss for the latest quarter. But that was far less than analysts had expected and Seagram's stock rose more than five percent. Nestle, the Swiss-based food company, is forming a joint venture with Haagen-Dazs ice cream, a subsidiary of the Pillsbury Corporation of the United States. The deal is expected to expand the distribution of the premium-priced Haagen-Dazs products. A former executive of the Swiss-based Roche pharmaceutical company will serve a five-month jail term in the United States after pleading guilty to conspiracy to fix vitamin prices. A federal judge also order Roland Bronnimann to pay a 150-thousand dollar fine. The Bank of New York says it is cooperating in a criminal investigation of alleged money laundering. "The New York Times" reports U-S authorities are looking into the possibility that Russian organized crime figures used the bank to make it appear that billions of dollars in illegally earned money came from legitimate sources. (Signed) NEB/BA/JC/TVM/JO 19-Aug-1999 17:41 PM EDT (19-Aug-1999 2141 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [12] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=8/19/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11430
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The Turkish earthquake remains the major topic of commentary in the U-S press, but there are other comments on peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and Kosovo; the Chinese spy scandal in this country; political power shifting in Russia; the new Venezuelan president; and a dangerous handmade cigarette that is all the rage with many America's youngsters. Now, here with a sampling is ___________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: What began as a trickle Wednesday has turned into torrent of comment on the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey this week. Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal has this comment.

    VOICE: Earthquakes are not new to Turkey. Their history runs deep along the Anatolia fault. In 1939, an estimated 33-thousand people were killed in the eastern province of Erzincan. But even that quake was not as powerful as this one. This was a nightmare.

    ///OPT ///

    Striking at 3:02 a-m . it caught almost everyone in bed, many in buildings that may not have been well constructed . The Hurriyet newspaper called some contractors "murderers.' /// END OPT///

    TEXT: The Omaha [Nebraska] World Herald welcomes the hamanitarian response to the disaster.

    VOICE: .there is . nothing good to say about an earthquake - especially a killer of thousands . A great deal of good, however, can be said about the outpouring of international response. Seemingly, the whole world is either there or on the way--even Greece, Turkey's traditional archival in that region. . Cynics will ask why it takes the worst moments to bring out the best side of the human race. ///OPT /// . such thoughts are perhaps best left to philosophers and social scientists. For now, it is enough to observe that the essential spark of the brotherhood of man remains alive. In moments like this, everyone pitches in. [Editors: U-S slang for helps]

    TEXT: In California, The Oakland Tribune, located near San Francisco, a city devastated by earthquake and fire in 1906, notes:

    VOICE: We are aware by now that earthquakes come with the territory we occupy. Tales and pictures from the 7.9 magnitude quake that shook San Francisco and its environs in 1906 rank among the most poignant of our aged century. . The real benefit of these reminders is that it should reawaken basic concern about how safe or vulnerable we are to such events.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In Oklahoma, where tornados often cause extensive damage, The Tulsa World laments:

    VOICE: It took only 45 seconds. Less than a minute to shake the foundation of Turkey. It took only that long to remind us again that nature is unpredictable, powerful and deadly.

    TEXT: And in Minnesota, The [Minneapolis] Star concludes:

    VOICE: Perhaps the hardest task in days and years ahead will be to restore life's confidence to people so shaken they refuse to go indoors. More than a hurricane or a tornado, there is something primal about an earthquake. It is a reminder that we are vulnerable bits of flesh dancing on a vast unpredictable geology.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: In Connecticut's capitol, The Hartford Courant has this comment about the effects of the wreckage:

    VOICE: After the initial shock, there will be anger. The retribution has already begun. "Murderers!" blared the headline in Turkey's biggest newspaper, Hurriyet. "Once again rotten buildings, once again thieving, unscrupulous building contractors." Hyperbole aside, the newspaper's frustration is understandable. Shoddy materials and nil (no) safety standards are all too common in much of the Third World. . No one can be fully prepared for natural disasters, but countries in earthquake-prone regions should take preventive measures to save lives and minimize physical destruction. The Japanese example is worthy of emulation. In 1995, a quake ripped through Kobe and left 55-hundred dead. Poor construction of timber-frame buildings fueled fatal fires. Building standards throughout the country were improved.

    TEXT: Suggestions for something good to come out of the devastation from The Hartford Courant. While in southern Florida, where the scars of Hurricane Andrew of several years ago remain in the minds of many people, The Miami Herald notes;

    VOICE: Those of us who have known similar natural calamity can offer prayers to the survivors and donations to help them recover. And perhaps we can also lend them the benefit of South Florida's experience in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew - which is more relevant than it might at first appear. . When it's beyond human ingenuity to stop a hurricane or an earthquake, it is not beyond our capacity to create communities where those in the way of Mother Nature's fury have every chance to survive.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Turning to the Balkans, The New York Times has this comment on the misuse of Western aid in Bosnia.

    VOICE: International donors should be angered to learn that politicians from all three of Bosnia's main ethnic groups have stolen as much as one billion dollars of the five billion dollars in international aid given to the country since 1995. The unemployed and impoverished people of Bosnia should be furious. By diverting funds intended to rebuild homes and roads and to create jobs, the Serbian, Croatian and Muslim nationalists parties that pushed Bosnia into ethnic warfare are blighting its hopes for an economically viable peace. . Outside help will soon dry up unless corruption is brought under control.

    TEXT: In a related editorial, The Chicago Tribune wonders whether the United States and the rest of the West will learn any lessons from Bosnia that they can apply to rebuilding Kosovo province.

    VOICE: As NATO plotted war in Kosovo, it gave lip service to (it pretended to have) an "exit strategy." Now, NATO nations seem to have lost sight of that goal. They shouldn't. Another former Yugoslav republic, Bosnia, provides an object lesson in how not to go about rebuilding a war-torn country. .. The effort has been deeply flawed. promises of refugee resettlement have not been kept; hundreds of thousands remain displaced. Economic development has been minimal, as has foreign investment. The reason: rampant corruption, amply documented in a new report commissioned by the U-N overseer of Bosnia.

    TEXT: Domestically, there is still anger over the Chinese nuclear secrets espionage issue; The Wall Street Journal has this to say.

    VOICE: We're beginning to think that the epitaph over the eight years of the Clinton administraiton is going to read, "Honest bureaucratic mistake." This, of course, was the explanation offered when more than 900 raw F-B-I files on Republican figures floated into the White House. Now it appears that the scandal over the transfer of nuclear-missile technology to China is about to recede into these same bureaucratic mists. .. The handling of the Los Alamos Chinese spying case sounds familiar. It sounds like what happened to the campaign-finance investigation, if indeed Chinese espionage and Chinese contributions can be separated. .. It is at least clear to us that Bill Clinton and Janet Reno have inculcated the Department of Justice with a culture of nonfeasance. Nonfeasance is about not doing what **duty** requires. And duty, some sense of a higher purpose or judgment, is what we think Senators [Fred] Thompson and [Joseph] Lieberman are asking for in their report on the Los Alamos case.

    TEXT: Turning attention overseas again, The Chicago Tribune is pleased at the prospects of a genuinely competitive Russian election.

    VOICE: Imagine this. Russians will have a real political choice that is neither Boris Yeltsin nor the Communists in their coming elections. What a refreshing change for the citizens of this fledgling democracy. Former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has made this possible by casting his lot with the formidable coalition forged by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and a group of powerful regional governors. With the popular Primakov on board, overnight the Fatherland-All Russia coalition becomes the dominant political power as the nation gears up for parliamentary elections in December and a presidential race next summer.

    TEXT: Some thoughts on Russian politics from The Chicago Tribune. In this hemisphere, there is more criticism of Venezuela's aggressive new president, in this comment from The Los Angeles Times.

    VOICE: As if Colombian President Andres Pastrana doesn't have enough problems with guerrillas, narco- traffickers and urban banditry, he now has to contend with the interventionism of a nosy neighbor, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Last week [Mr.] Chavez said he wanted to meet with Colombian guerrillas to discuss security issues and told reporters he would not need the permission of his Colombian counterpart. . Why does [President] Chavez behave in such a provocative way? . [Mr.] Chavez is a classic caudillo, a strong man on a horse, and he's sticking his nose into another country's business. . There is nothing [Mr.] Chavez can gain from Colombia but trouble, and he would be a fool to keep playing this game.

    TEXT: Lastly, a new kind of imported, hand-made, and flavored cigarette is making a big impression on America's young people, but The San Francisco Chronicle warns:

    VOICE: Bidis are super-potent cigarettes made in India and an in-group hit for teenage smokers in the United States. Known as the poor man's smoke in India, manufacturers there have doctored the product with such flavorings as mango, chocolate or strawberry and shipped the cigarettes here. . Exotic it may be, but a bidi is also a serious health and social hazard. Tobacco flakes are wrapped inside a plant leaf to produce a cigarette that carries three to four times the nicotine of a conventional coffin nail [U-S slang for cigarette] . A young smoker may be thrilled to think bidis are different because of their look and smell. But bidis are highly toxic, both to human lungs and to fair labor practices.

    TEXT: That comment from The San Francisco Chronicle concludes this sampling of editorials from Thursday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/KL 19-Aug-1999 12:07 PM EDT (19-Aug-1999 1607 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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