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Voice of America, 99-08-27

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

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





    INTRO: The European Commission has granted more than one million dollars to rehabilitate the hospital in Kosovo's ethnically divided town of Mitrovica. As VOA's Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels, the European Union is wrestling with ways to exempt Kosovo and the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro from sanctions it imposed against Serbia. Text: European Union foreign ministers have asked the European Commission to come up with a plan that will keep European sanctions against Serbia -- but relax them against Kosovo and Montenegro. While this is the plan, the actual practice of exempting parts of Yugoslavia from sanctions has been harder to carry out. The Commission, the European Union's executive board, is supposed to be preparing a plan for discussion when the foreign ministers of the 15 member countries meet next week in Finland. However, Commission spokesman Thierry Daman indicates that no plan is ready yet. He speaks through an interpreter.

    ///DAMAN ACT///

    I don't think agreement has yet been reached on how that result can be achieved. I don't think we're in a position at the moment to make a proposal to lift sanctions and I can't say whether or not a different method will be used.


    Such as a case of lifting sanctions, if you go for that option, then you need to be sure that there will be no leakage, particularly with regard to oil and that goes to Montenegro and Serbia in particular. //END OPT//

    ///END ACT///

    There has been a desire from some of the European Union countries to help towns in Serbia run by the political opposition. One project is to rebuild Danube River bridges in Novi Sad -- Serbia's second largest city. NATO bombed those bridges during its 78 days of raids against Yugoslavia. The debris left blocks river traffic. However, there is still disagreement among the Europeans about whether it is possible to divert aid to some parts of Serbia without at the same time supporting the government of President Slobodan Milosevic. The European Commission has decided to grant more than one million dollars in emergency aid to pay for repairs to the hospital in Mitrovica in northern Kosovo. The money includes salaries for both the Serbian and Albanian hospital staff in the town, which is divided between the ethnic groups. //OPT// The Yugoslav government pays the Serbian staff, which comprises three fourths of the hospital work force. The Albanian staff has been unpaid. //END OPT// The United Nations plans to take over the management of the hospital to pay the staff according to a common salary scale.


    The Commission says the grant of one million euros will also be used repair the water and heating systems of the hospital and to replace the electric generator. Patients have died on the operating table at Mitrovica hospital because of power cuts and it is impossible to maintain basic hygiene because of the lack of hot water. //END OPT// Local authorities in Mitrovica are supposed to guarantee access to the hospital, which is located in the predominantly Serbian sector of town, north of the river. Albanian doctors, nurses and patients have found it difficult, and sometimes dangerous, to make that crossing. (Signed)
    NEB/RDP/PCF/KL 27-Aug-1999 11:33 AM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1533 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Thousands of people demonstrated Friday in provincial capital of Kosovo, Pristina, demanding the release of Kosovar Albanians who are being held in Serbian prisons in Yugoslavia. Tim Belay reports from Pristina.

    TEXT: Families and supporters of ethnic Albanians in Serbian jails have demonstrated here each week for the past several weeks. But Friday's protest was the largest. About four-thousand people walked in silence through Pristina to the headquarters of the United Nations mission in Kosovo. There, they received a promise from the head of the U-N mission, Bernard Kouchner. Speaking through a megaphone, Mr. Kouchner announced plans to help draw attention to the plight of the imprisoned Kosovar Albanians.

    /// KOUCHNER ACT ///

    It is against all the laws of human rights and Geneva conventions of the world not to tell the families about their relatives. This is a barbaric way to treat the people.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Kouchner says the United Nations plans to organize a human rights conference in Kosovo and to form a local council to address the issue of the missing and detained. Many in the crowd wore t-shirts with messages on both front and back. "Detention seriously damages your health," read the message on the back. Protestor Avni Zogjani explains the message on the front of the shirts.

    /// ZOGJANI ACT ONE ///

    The main writing here is "They are ours, We are theirs." So the message is to release them because they are our people, and they are innocent.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Zogjani says he does not believe the prisoners will be released by the present Yugoslav government.

    /// ZOGJANI ACT TWO ///

    It depends on (Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic, and while Milosevic is in power, I don't think there is any possibility to do something about this problem.

    /// END ACT ///

    Protestor Jakif Jupolli says there should be a general strike if the prisoners do not begin to come home soon.


    He says it is a good idea for all the people of Kosovo to go on strike if there are no results soon, because the international community has done very little so far on behalf of the detainees. Mr. Kouchner made it clear that he wants to help, but the United Nations is not primarily responsible for gaining the release of prisoners. He says representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross have begun visiting some of the two-thousand known detainees in Serbia (Yugoslavia's dominant republic). Some Kosovar Albanians estimate there are another five-thousand ethnic Albanians unaccounted for since the war, and they say many of them also could be in Serbian prisons. (Signed) NEB/TB/JWH/AG/JO 27-Aug-1999 11:58 AM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1558 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The United Nations representative to the Balkans said today (Friday) he is somewhat optimistic about recent developments in Kosovo. VOA's Martin Bush reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Special U-N Representative to the Balkans, Carl Bildt, has found two encouraging developments in Kosovo. He says the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, after establishing itself in the city of Pristina, is reaching out all over the province. That, Mr. Bildt adds, is most important to the stability of the region. Carl Bildt also says the Kosovo Transitional Council, after what he calls a bumpy start, has gotten key political leaders of Kosovo to meet once a week. The conferees, he adds, should not be expected to agree on every issue in sight, but he calls their willingness to discuss security issues and the re- opening of schools positive developments. Mr. Bildt expects the Kosovo Pact to be operative sometime in September.

    ///BILDT ACT///

    It will take some time for that process to get going, but it is of extreme importance that there are developed from the European Union, from the United States, from Russia and with the participation of the United Nations and other organizations, coherent policies for the region as a whole. A lot of discussion is reconstruction and on economic aid: the region certainly needs reconstruction, but even more it needs reform.

    ///END ACT///

    Carl Bildt says reconstruction without reform will ultimately fail in Kosovo because it would produce unsustainable political structures and would result in a dependency on aid. Mr. Bildt expects what he calls a gradual lessening of political tensions throughout Kosovo and among the countries of the region. (Signed)
    NEB/NY/MAB/LSF 27-Aug-1999 14:55 PM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1855 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Text of a report by V-O-A Correspondent Scott Bobb at the waterfront in Golcuk, Turkey, one of the city's hardest hit by the earthquake last week.

    TEXT: I'm at the water's edge in Golcuk, Turkey, part of the area hardest-hit by the earthquake. This is a public amusement park and sporting grounds, and it is now sunken several meters underneath the Marmara Sea. What I see is the sports arena with a roof-top pool, and the pool is now at water's level. In an amusement park there is a merry-go-round, with just the roof showing, a Ferris wheel partially submerged, other amusement rides submerged. There was a promenade along the edge of the water that now is several meters underneath the water. The tops of the lamp posts and trees that lined this promenade are now just barely visible above the water. At the other end, a rather large pleasure cruise boat was thrown up onto land several meters onto land by the tidal wave that followed the earthquake. There are about 20 apartment buildings that have sunk several stories under the water. And we are told possibly 100 to 120 bodies are still in them.
    NEB/SB/JWH 27-Aug-1999 06:21 AM LOC (27-Aug-1999 1021 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America


    This is____ with the VOA Special English program, IN THE NEWS. A powerful earthquake shook northwestern Turkey August seventeenth. Criticism of the Turkish government in connection with that disaster continues. Turkish officials say more than thirteen- thousand people were killed by the quake. However, the government expects the final death count to be much higher. Thousands of people are missing and believed to be buried under the wreckage. And the wreckage is huge. Much of the city of Izmit and the surrounding area are in ruins. The Turkish media and opposition politicians say the government is partly responsible for the deaths and damage. They say search and rescue operations were slow and disorganized. They say the government also was completely unprepared for the quake. One member of Parliament protested that there was no civil defense organization to deal with the situation. Other people have expressed anger about the condition of many buildings before the earthquake. There have been several earthquakes in Turkey. As a result, Turkey has strong rules about building materials and methods. However, many illegally built structures still exist. Critics say Turkish developers do not always follow the rules because of increased building costs. The critics say dishonest politicians protect such developers from legal action in return for money. Turkey's government also has been criticized for its reaction to help from foreign nations. For example, a Greek rescue team said it experienced many delays in trying to carry out its work. Other rescue teams said Turkey asked them to leave the country too soon. The rescue workers said they believed they could still have been useful. Experts say Turkey's political situation could be greatly affected by the criticism. People have called for the resignation of Health Minister Osman Durmus. Many citizens are angry about his actions following the earthquake. Mister Durmus reportedly rejected offers of foreign medical assistance. He also reportedly urged Turks not to accept blood offered by citizens from Greece. And, he said foreigners should not be permitted to provide supplies because they do not agree with Turk culture. Turkish President Suleyman Demirel has criticized media reports about the government's reaction to the earthquake. However, he also promised his people that he would make changes. Mister Demirel said there would be better cooperation among state agencies in the future. He also said buildings in Turkey would be re-inspected for safety. He promised that new buildings would be made to resist future earthquakes. And, he said the government would study movements under the earth more carefully. This IN THE NEWS program was written by Caty Weaver. This is_________. 27-Aug-1999 16:07 PM EDT (27-Aug-1999 2007 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 8/28/99. Anncr: The Voice of America presents differing points of view on a wide variety of issues. Next, an editorial reflecting American ideals and institutions: Voice: Since disaster struck Turkey in the form of one of the worst earthquakes of this century, remarkable scenes have been taking place amid the rubble and heartache. In the village of Cinarcik, Israeli soldiers worked for seventeen hours to rescue an eleven-year-old Turkish girl. An Israeli doctor who worked with the soldiers said of the long effort, "We managed to teach her a few words in Hebrew, and we built a lot of trust." In the town of Degirmendere, a scene that few could have imagined only weeks ago suddenly seemed perfectly natural. A group of Greek rescuers dug with their hands for fourteen hours to save a nine-year-old Turkish boy from the apartment building that had collapsed on him. With the father, a Turkish naval officer, standing by, the Greeks fashioned a long straw from an intravenous tube and fed the boy water and glucose to keep him alive. Turkish neighbors brought the Greeks food and water during the digging. As the boy was finally pulled from the rubble, the rescuers wept for joy. At that moment, the differences and animosities that have often divided Greeks and Turks seemed no longer important. The response to the Turkish earthquake is a powerful reminder that there exists a universal emotion that is felt across ethnic, national, and religious boundaries: compassion. More than twenty countries immediately responded to Turkey's plight. They include Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium, England, Azerbaijan, Germany, Italy and the United States. Compassion is what led many Greek citizens to line up in Athens to donate blood for injured Turks. And it was the feeling expressed by Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas [Dee-mee-tres Ray-pahsh] when he told reporters, "In these situations there is no room for any ulterior motives. You try to help someone in need." This message was understood by the editors of the Turkish newspaper Hurryet, [Hurry-yet], which responded by printing a headline in Greek, "Thank you very much, my friend." Referring to the Turkish earthquake, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou [Papahn-Dray-oo] said, "through this tragedy we have come spiritually much closer." It is this kind of closeness that can help to overcome almost any barrier. Anncr: That was an editorial reflecting American ideals and institutions. 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. 27-Aug-1999 11:46 AM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1546 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: In Turkey, authorities are still rushing crews to collapsed buildings when they hear reports of breathing or get any sounds of life. But no one has been recovered alive since last Monday, when a four- year old boy was rescued. As a result, attention is turning increasingly to the nearly one-quarter million survivors left homeless. Correspondent Scott Bobb has been visiting some of these people camped out across northwestern Turkey. He filed this report from Yalova, 150 kilometers southwest of Istanbul.

    TEXT: Yalova is a small city where green hills roll to the edge of the Marmara Sea. In recent years, it has attracted many vacationers and retirees, leading to a housing boom. But the earthquake that ripped through the city brought the economy to a standstill and has forced residents from damaged or destroyed homes into tents. Mustafa Garcik (mous-tah-fah gahr-chik) worked in a hotel here, but it was damaged by the quake and is now closed. His home was destroyed. No one in his family was hurt, but thirty neighbors were killed when the building next door collapsed. He is now living with his wife, Emene (Eh-meh-neh), his mother and two brothers in a tent city of about one thousand people in a park in Yalova. Speaking through an interpreter in front of their tent, the couple describes the aid they have received so far.

    ///MUSTAFA AND EMENE IN TURKISH -- with English voiceover///
    They've given us blankets. We have three blankets. We haven't taken a bath. The military actually has a shower. We can only take a five- minute shower.

    ///END ACT///

    The couple says they need a bed, but their main problem is the tent, which leaks and is cold.

    //OPT //

    Cidam Pizuk (Chee-dahm Pee-zuuk) is a grandmother whose husband died last year. She says she receives only 70 percent of his pension, but did not pay rent since they owned their apartment. She now worries about the future, saying there's no way to live in the apartment now.

    //CIDAM ACT IN TURKISH - in full and under///

    She says it's going to be difficult because the government is not taking responsibility for them. She says only the military are taking care us. Mrs. Pizuk voices a concern heard in many of these tent cities. //END OPT// The homeless are receiving aid through volunteers and private donations, but little or nothing from the Turkish government. In Yalova's tent city, however, the situation is better than in many other camps across the region, because the local military unit has responded quickly and generously to the crisis. In this camp, soldiers distribute food and toilet supplies. An army bread making truck has been deployed and is supplying bread to the inhabitants.
    ///sound of hammering and electric saw - in full and under///
    And workers are building toilets and showers using lumber and pipe from the army base. The commanding officer, Colonel Sait Ozkaynak, says the homeless here now have almost everything -- food, clothing, shelter and toilet facilities. The colonel is modest. He thanks his commanders who, he says, have been responding to all of his requests.


    All we want is if we've been able to serve our people in the right manner, we can ask for nothing more.

    ///END ACT///

    The response by the army in Yalova has not been lost on the residents. Unlike in other camps, which are depending primarily on volunteers from other parts of Turkey, people here have high praise for the military people such as Mustafa and Emene Garcik.
    ///Second Mustafa and Emene in Turkish with English voiceover///
    (MUSTAFA) They came within two days. The military. (EMENE) Forget it if you have to depend on the other guys.

    ///END ACT///

    Commentators in the Turkish news media say some good may come out of this disaster. They say they hope the government will begin to enforce building codes to prevent another tragedy in this quake-prone region. They also hope the government will set up a better emergency response system. And they say the tragedy has also brought out tremendous solidarity among the people of Turkey, who have learned to depend on themselves. (Signed)
    NEB/SB/PCF/KL 27-Aug-1999 11:24 AM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1524 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The earthquake that devastated about five- thousand square kilometers of northwestern Turkey has turned much of its industrial heartland into a wasteland. It destroyed lives and property and, for many who survived, their dreams. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman reported on the quake's aftermath and sums up her impressions.

    TEXT: An earthquake is destruction. Its power is awesome -- buildings reduced to rubble, utility poles broken like match sticks. Afterward an ice skating rink is turned into a morgue, survivors sit, stunned, weeping, not believing the chaos around them. The sound of an earthquake is chilling. Some compare it to a freight train or a bomb. It is the sound of unlimited power of the earth changing its own shape. The sounds of its destruction are just as powerful.


    The desperate digging with shovels and bare hands to pull out survivors.

    /// SIREN UP AND UNDER ///

    The mad dash of an ambulance with the injured.


    The anguished cries of survivors.


    And the sound of final graveside prayers for those who could not escape. This earthquake lasted only 45 seconds -- less than one minute -- to destroy more than 100-thousand buildings and leave more than 200-thousand people homeless. The death toll has surpassed 13-thousand and they are still counting. The numbers are overwhelming but the tragedy is personal. I stand in front of what was once an eight-story building on the corner of Deniz street in Izmit -- near the epicenter of the quake. It must have been an ordinary building, from the appearance of those still standing. But it was home for about 28 families who lived and died there in the violent shaking just before dawn on the morning of August 17th. I try to imagine the life there before -- the birthday parties and weddings, funerals and lost jobs, new romance, adventure.


    The bulldozers are already pushing the debris into piles to be trucked away. In a few hours, there will be nothing left of those who lived and died there but an empty field. There are sounds of anger now too, anger at the government for its slow response and anger at builders whose greed and negligence cost so many lives in their crumbled buildings.


    Earthquakes do not kill, bad buildings kill.

    /// END ACT ///

    There are tales of courage and moments of joy when Turkish and foreign rescue teams free someone trapped in the rubble. They are not always lucky in their search.


    Calls into the rubble for any sign of life all too often were met by silence or the sound of a dying alarm clock But the rescuers refuse to give up.


    Saving one might do the difference, even if you lose all the rest.

    /// END ACT ///

    I have experienced earthquakes in Central America, Mexico and Egypt. remember very clearly when the earth's trembling would shake me awake in the middle of the night. I also remember going back to sleep, confident the quake would do me no harm. I will never, ever be so complacent again. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH 27-Aug-1999 09:42 AM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1342 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The United Nations says it is absolutely critical to provide shelter to hundreds of thousands of victims of Turkey's devastating earthquake before the winter sets in. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the United Nations says it is accelerating its emergency relief operations in the quake area.

    TEXT: The United Nations says the life-saving phase of its operation in Turkey is over. It notes the last survivor was pulled from the wreckage on Monday and no others are expected to be found alive. Therefore, it says it is focusing all its attention on assisting survivors and making sure they receive the physical and psychological help they need. Ross Mountain, who heads the U-N Humanitarian Affairs Office in Geneva, has just returned from a three-day visit to the earthquake zone. He says both the international and Turkish domestic response to the victims has been very good.

    /// MOUNTAIN ACT ONE ///

    The areas of food, the areas of medical supplies and personnel -- save for the need for a number of specialized medicines and possibly specialized personnel -- is covered. Water and sanitation issues are now coming under control.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Mountain says donors have contributed thousands of tents. Therefore, he says the need for temporary shelter has been eased considerably. He says the major concern now is to provide more solid shelter to thousands of victims before winter weather arrives at the end of October. He says the United Nations needs 30-thousand pre- fabricated housing units for about 200-thousand people. Mr. Mountain says much of the destruction and ensuing tragedy from the earthquake probably could have been avoided had Turkey's good building codes been strictly applied.

    /// MOUNTAIN ACT TWO ///

    Certainly from the feedback we were given, some search and rescue teams were appalled sometimes by the quality of cement and the lack of reinforcement.

    /// END ACT ///

    The World Health Organization on Friday issued an assessment of the health situation in the quake areas. It says the most pressing health priority is to re- establish proper water and sanitation services. It says the risk of infectious disease epidemics is limited. W-H-O says the primary threats are diseases linked to unsafe water, and acute respiratory infections due to overcrowding. (Signed) NEB/LS/JWH/AG/KL 27-Aug-1999 11:51 AM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1551 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made an unscheduled visit to the southern Dagestan region where troops are mopping up after an operation to crush a Muslim insurgency. V-O-A's Peter Heinlein reports from Moscow.

    TEXT: Mr. Putin (Friday) toured the combat zone where Russian forces and Chechen-led rebels battled for most of this month. He saw two villages demolished by air strikes. Shortly after he was appointed, the prime minister pledged to complete the anti-insurgency operation in Dagestan within two weeks. And as if according to plan, exactly 14 days later the rebels announced they had withdrawn. As he arrived, Mr. Putin said his mission was to ensure there is no further cause for an uprising in the predominantly Muslim region.


    He says his goal is to learn about the damage and find out what the people want. Officials say the prime minister also will review plans to better control the border with Chechnya, the breakaway region from where the Dagestani insurgents are believed to have operated. (Signed)
    NEB/PFH/JWH/KL 27-Aug-1999 07:24 AM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1124 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America




    INTRO: When the German Parliament, the Bundestag, meets for its Fall session in September, it will be sitting, not in Bonn -- as it has for the past 50 years -- but in the old pre-war capital of Berlin. The machinery of government has moved with the Parliament. Berlin, as Jonathan Braude reports, is once again the capital of a united Germany. Text: There is a new sense of excitement in the German capital this summer. The tourists are flocking in the hundreds of thousands. Politicians and government officials are descending on the city in droves, searching for apartments and bringing traffic chaos to the city center. For the first time in years, the mood of optimism, which swept the city after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, has been rekindled. Berlin, said Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse recently, was for many years the symbol of division, between East and West Germanys. Now, it has become the symbol of unity for the country. It took longer to achieve than anyone had expected. The Wall, and the East German state were swept away with the collapse of communism in Europe. Yet the German government remained in Bonn, until now. Although the Bundestag voted as early as 1992 to move the capital back to Berlin, nothing was ready. The East of the city was run down. The center, once dominated by the Wall, was a vast wasteland of bombed out buildings and vacant plots. The cost of restoration has run into hundreds of billions of dollars of public and private money and the squabbling between local and federal governments over who should foot the bill has held up project after project. Many Germans are skeptical that the cost of the move is justified by the political or economic gains. This man expresses the typical thinking.

    // MAN IN STREET / Q & A //

    MAN: It's very expensive for the Germans. Q: "Do you think the whole move to Berlin has been too expensive and rather pointless? MAN: It's not the right time now for the move. I think in 10 years it will be better. Q: You don't think the move to Berlin will stimulate the economy, create new jobs? A: Here in Berlin yes. But in other parts of Germany we don't see it.

    //END ACT//

    But not everybody feels that way. For some, like these people, the investment has been worthwhile.


    Person 1: The moving is very expensive from Bonn to Berlin, but I think it is a better thing that the government is standing here. Person 2: .I think it's a good thing, because here in Berlin there are more problems between East and West Germany and in Bonn I think, the Government doesn't see this. Person 3: We just talked about this small city of Bonn. It is a village compared to Berlin. And therefore it is all right now.

    //END ACT//

    But so far, despite the vast building programs associated with the restoration and its strategic position on the trade-routes with Europe's emerging economies to the East, Berlin's economic growth has trailed every other region in Germany. And, in the interim, to quote Bundestag President Thierse, the task of unification remains unfinished. All the important powers have passed into western hands. East German state governments are headed by westerners, East German companies have western owners, and politics have remained focused on Bonn. Now, the Government hopes, shifting the capital back to Berlin will bring the focus back towards the East, politically and economically. Nothing could symbolize the new mood better than the thousands of tourists flocking to the newly-restored Reichstag building, home of the pre-war German parliament and now once again to be the seat of German democracy. With its magnificent glass dome, built by the British architect Sir Norman Foster, the Bundestag has attracted queues of visitors this summer.


    One sightseer explained what it means for the new Germany.

    //ACT THREE - OPT//

    Architecture can show you are in a dictatorship and so on. I think from the outside it is a building from our former times as we were a monarchy. From the inside it's a democratic building and Germany will change.

    //END ACT - END OPT//

    The majority of Germans, despite the problems, seem generally positive about transferring the nation's capital. The move is going ahead, whatever the cost. Government ministries are moving one by one. Officials are commuting between the two cities and the re- establishment of Berlin as Germany's capital is well underway. (signed)
    NEB/JB/JO 27-Aug-1999 17:51 PM EDT (27-Aug-1999 2151 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    /// Rerunning with correct CR number ///

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were down today (Friday) as stock traders again began to worry about interest rates. VOA Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11- thousand-90, down 108 points, about one percent. For the week, the Industrial Average lost 10 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed Friday at 13- hundred-48,down 13 points. The NASDAQ index lost one- half of one percent. Analysts say traders became nervous after a comment from Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the U-S central bank. In a speech, Mr. Greenspan said the central bank should consider asset prices, as well as the prices of goods and services, when it formulates monetary policy. Some stock traders took that as a subtle hint that the central bank may raise interest rates again before the end of the year.

    ///Rest opt///

    James Maguire of the Henderson Brothers investment company says although there was nervousness among stock traders about higher interest rates, overall the market has performed well in recent days.

    ///Maguire act///

    If you look at the week's performance, it is not really bad. Also, the market had a very big run-up just prior to the rate increase and right around it and we are holding on to a lot of those gains.

    ///end act///

    The government reports U-S consumer spending rose by four-tenths of one percent in July. But personal incomes rose by just half that much, indicating Americans are still using savings to finance their spending. Union leaders say talks with the Boeing Aircraft company are not going well and there is a real possibility of a strike against Boeing on September first. Flight attendants at Northwest Airlines have overwhelmingly rejected a proposed new contract. However, union members say they will continue to work under terms of the old agreement. U-S Airways is warning Wall Street that a labor dispute could hurt revenues and earnings. U-S Airways faces a possible strike by its mechanics at the end of September. The stock of the Dave and Buster's restaurant chain dropped almost 50 percent after the company warned its earnings will fall well below expectations. The company blamed weak performance at its California locations. A federal judge has ruled that the family of the "Marlboro Man" may sue the Philip Morris Company for wrongful death. The case involves the late David McLean who played the original Marlboro cowboy in that cigarette brand's television and print advertising. Mr. McLean died of lung cancer in 1995 after smoking cigarettes for 61 years.(Signed)
    NEB/NY/BA/LSF 27-Aug-1999 19:16 PM EDT (27-Aug-1999 2316 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: An embarrassing revelation by the nation's top law enforcement agency and an election to decide the future of East Timor are the major topics in the editorial pages of Friday's U-S papers. Other topics include: the future of Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic; the Northern Ireland peace process; Germany's new capital; the political aftershocks of the Turkish earthquake; and a startling Egyptian discovery. Now, here with some excerpts and a closer look is ___________ with today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: An admission six years after the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's [F-B-I] agents fired flammable tear gas canisters into a religious cult's complex outside Waco, Texas has rocked the nation. The agency had consistently denied using anything that could have caused the fire in which more than 80 people, including children, died. Editorial pages are filled with varying degrees of condemnation for the nation's law enforcement agency. Here is The Record from Bergen County, New Jersey.

    VOICE: After more than six years, countless investigations, and repeated denials, it now turns out that the F-B-I may well have used flammable tear gas canisters after all during the day of the disastrous federal assault that resulted in the inferno at the Branch Davidian compound . This disclosure - amid reports that the U-S military may also have taken part in the operation - drops the credibility of the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to near zero. And it further undermines the public's trust in government. . Skeptics may recall the Watergate years, when the Nixon gang opted for "modified limited hangouts" instead of full disclosure. Every denial that gets hedged, fudged, or recanted only drops government's credibility another notch.

    TEXT: Turning to the paper that broke the story, The Dallas Morning News, we read this commentary.

    VOICE: . Evidence uncovered by The Dallas Morning News suggests, at best, that . Attorney General Janet Reno was lied to by the F-B-I about the bureau's actions leading up to the conflagration that killed more than 80 people. She then conveyed those lies to Congress and the American people, but to her credit she appears to have done so unwittingly. . If, after a half-dozen years, there are still officials at the F-B-I who can be proved to have lied to her, they must go. But if she is squeamish about having heads roll at the bureau, then it is she who should have the decency to leave ..

    TEXT: In the Midwest, The Kansas City Star adds:

    VOICE: If there is to be a new investigation . it should be conducted not by the F-B-I but by some outside party with no involvement in this sorry mess.

    TEXT: Lastly on this topic, The Manchester[New Hampshire] Union-Leader, writes, under an editorial headline that says simply "F-B-I lies":

    VOICE: The Waco siege, acknowledged as a spark for the rise in the militia movement in the United States, prompted what were called "thorough" investigations. Yet they did not uncover any of this lower-level obfuscation. . Congress needs to take charge of the latest investigation to keep the F-B-I from investigating itself.

    TEXT: The election to decide the future of the former Portuguese colony of East Timor is another popular topic with the U-S press. The Washington Post is worried about the possibility of war breaking out between those favoring autonomy within the Indonesian republic and those who want independence. The Post says:

    VOICE: The Indonesian military has armed and nurtured private militias that, according to an on-site report, . are now preparing for war. This is alarming news, calling for a strong response from the United States and other friends of Indonesia. The people of East Timor finally have a chance, a quarter-century late, to determine their own future. Indonesia's armed forces must not be permitted to spoil that.

    TEXT: Adds today's Philadelphia Inquirer:

    VOICE: On the eve of this fateful vote (scheduled for Monday), national governments, international organizations (including lenders) and global business leaders must send an unequivocal message to Jakarta: The will of the East Timorese people can no longer be betrayed. If militia violence continues after the elections, and Indonesia's military can't or won't quash it, the United Nations' current unarmed peacekeepers must be backed up with a U-N-sponsored force.

    TEXT: There is continuing comment about the future of Yugoslavia and its current leader, Slobodan Milosevic. The Los Angeles Times considers the possibility of "Toppling Milosevic" in an editorial today:

    VOICE: Slobodan Milosevic's days as president of Yugoslavia seems to be numbered. Huge crowds attend anti-Milosevic rallies and his allies in the cabinet are deserting him. . Now is the time to step up support for the nonpartisan opposition forces, especially for independent media in and around Serbia, and groups such as the Orthodox Church and nongovernment organizations that are able to span the fractured spectrum of political opposition.

    TEXT: The Washington Times is concerned about the breakdown in the Northern Ireland peace initiative over the refusal of the Irish Republican Army to disarm.

    VOICE: Finally, the I-R-A has the world right where it wants it. It knows the peace process has collapsed, but as long as the rest of the world doesn't admit it, the terrorist group can continue calling a gun a peace toy and get away with it. ... The I-R-A would like the world to continue to believe that murder and illegal arms smuggling can still pass for peace. Those living with that reality must call it what it are a silent war.

    TEXT: The German government's final move back to Berlin from the Rhine valley town of Bonn draws this response from The Tulsa [Oklahoma] World, which says: "Judge Germany on [the] future, not [the] past."

    VOICE: The return to Berlin of the German government is a triumph for freedom-but for many it also sparks some uneasy feelings. Seeing the government setting up shop in buildings that once housed the infamous Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler understandably makes some people - and some neighboring countries - uncomfortable. . [However] now that Germany is again unified, moving the capital from Bonn back to Berlin is logical. The historic capital of Germany is Berlin and that is where the seat of government belongs. . Germany has paid dearly for its past. Now, it should be judged by how it handles the future.

    TEXT: The Turkish earthquake continues to elicit comments, like this one from The Houston Chronicle, about the government's weak response to the disaster.

    VOICE: In a nation where critics of the government can be punished, even some Cabinet ministers are questioning the government's competence. Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu said the government's response to the emergency was "a declaration of bankruptcy of the Turkish political and economic system." . Some political analysts suggest that the government's poor showing will benefit Turkey's militant Muslims, heightening longstanding tensions between Islam and Western-style secularism. But the shock of the quake has alerted many Turks to their common humanity with their neighbors, most of whom have been traditional enemies - Greeks, Russians, Armenians and Kurds make up only a partial list. . After the quake, perhaps ideology, petty territorial disputes and sectarian strife will play smaller roles in Turkey's political life. Given the insuperable challenges ahead, every Turk must hope so.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Commenting on a federal investigation in Miami that resulted in the arrest of dozens of airline baggage and food handlers at Miami International Airport for drug smuggling, The Dallas Morning News notes:

    VOICE: If ever there were doubts about the corrupting influence of drugs and money, [these arrests remove] them. The arrogance of the smuggling operation is a wake-up call for the airline industry to tighten security practices. If security is so lax that corrupt employees are able to hide anything on board for the right amount of money, it is only a matter of time before a terrorist finds a worker willing to plant a bomb aboard a plane.

    TEXT: Lastly, commenting on a dramatic find of well- preserved Egyptian mummies, The Omaha [Nebraska] World-Herald, exclaims:

    VOICE: Unlike most of the other tombs and mummies found in Egypt, grave robbers hadn't plundered the Bahariya crypts. Therefore researches should have a more complete picture of the lives of Romanized Egyptians who had enough wealth to treat their dead with costly care. . Another recent discovery, this one in remote northwestern British Columbia, will help researchers understand the ancient people of North America. Three teachers on a hunting expedition found the body of an ancient man preserved in ice beside a trail. Archeologists have yet to speculate publicly about the age of the find. Researchers look at the past to gain insight into how human beings developed physically, mentally and socially. . Not everyone will be able to turn up [find] an Egyptian burial field or a frozen Canadian body. But there are still pieces of the past to be found, investigated and added to the world's storehouse of knowledge.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of Friday's U-S press. NEB/ANG/KL/ 27-Aug-1999 12:27 PM EDT (27-Aug-1999 1627 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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