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Voice of America, 99-08-31

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO JUDGES (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (MITROVICA)
  • [02] KOSOVO SCHOOLS BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)
  • [03] TURKEY QUAKE (L-O) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [04] UNICEF - TURKEY (L O) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [05] RUSSIA / DAGESTAN (L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [06] NORTHERN IRELAND (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [08] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO JUDGES (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (MITROVICA)

    DATE=8/31/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253304
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The head of the United Nations mission in Kosovo (Tuesday) has installed seven district judges and two prosecutors in the main northern city of the Yugoslav province. Tim Belay reports from Mitrovica on efforts to establish a new legal system amid a climate of easing ethnic tensions in one of Kosovo's trouble spots.

    TEXT: Bernard Kouchner, the head of the United Nations provisional government in Kosovo, administered the oath of office to the members of the new court, which was then translated in the Albanian and Serbian languages.

    /// KOUCHNER ACT ///

    Your appointment as judges and public prosecutors marks another important step forward towards building a new, independent and multi- ethnic judiciary for Kosovo.

    /// END ACT ///

    The group of nine includes lawyers from both of Kosovo's main ethnic groups. Similar swearing-in ceremonies have already taken place in the capital, Pristina, and in the main southern Kosovo city of Prizren. But starting a post-war judicial system in Mitrovica carries extra significance because there have been so many problems in the city. Mitrovica has been divided along ethnic lines by a bridge, with Serbs living on one side and ethnic Albanians on the other. It has been plagued by regular ethnic violence since the end of the conflict (earlier this year). In recent days, however, the United Nations refugee agency has begun moving ethnic Albanians back home to the Serb-dominated northern side of Mitrovica under the guard of NATO peacekeepers. International observers also say that incidents of ethnic violence in the city have dropped sharply in the past three weeks. Heiner Rosendahl is the senior human rights office in Mitrovica with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - the O-S-C-E. Mr. Rosendahl says about 25 Albanian families have moved home to the northern side of Mitrovica so far.

    /// ROSENDAHL ACT ///

    Sure, it's an experiment. But this is the overall goal of the international community in Kosovo, to try to guarantee the multi-ethnic composition here in Kosovo. The only way to do it is to guarantee the safety of all of them, and the possibility to those who have some houses to return to those houses.

    /// END ACT ///

    While Albanian families are moving into what has become the Serbian side of Mitrovica under armed guard, Mr. Rosendahl says he thinks tensions will continue to decrease. He says in the future, security will not be a problem for most people.

    /// OPT ///

    As a central part of rebuilding Kosovo's legal system, the United Nations has decided not to apply the laws of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the province. Bernard Kouchner says the laws conflict with international standards for human rights.

    /// KOUCHNER ACT ///

    The law was partly a law of apartheid. So to give confidence to the people and to give security to the people, this is certainly one of the main issues, of course. To allow people to go to the tribunal (the UN tribunal for war crimes), this is the coming back of normal life.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// END OPT ///

    The United Nations is working with lawyers throughout Kosovo to rewrite the codes of law for the province. Bernard Kouchner says the task may take up to one year to complete. (Signed) NEB/TB/GE/TVM/JO 31-Aug-1999 15:19 PM EDT (31-Aug-1999 1919 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] KOSOVO SCHOOLS BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)

    DATE=8/31/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44168
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Schools in Kosovo officially open on Wednesday (tomorrow). Tim Belay is in the provincial capital, Pristina, with a look at the challenges of restarting the education system, following a decade of civil unrest and a 78-day war earlier this year.

    TEXT: Students at the primary, secondary and university levels will spend the next two months finishing up the school year which was cut short last spring by the war. The new school year is not scheduled to begin until November. For the past decade, Kosovo has had what's called a parallel education system. Serbian students and ethnic Albanian children went to separate schools where lessons were taught in native tongues. The lead agency in helping to get Kosovo's schools up and running is UNICEF - the United Nations' agency for children and education. A spokesman for UNICEF's Kosovo mission, Penelope Lewis, says there were big differences in school conditions for Serb and Albanian students under the parallel system of education.

    ///Lewis act///

    The Dardania school, for example, in Pristina before the conflict had a wall through the middle of it - or to one side of it, rather - because two-thirds of the school was used for Albanian children. There were 400 Serbian pupils and two-thousand two-hundred Albanian pupils. The wall has now been knocked down and this school will be used for all children.

    /// end act ///

    UNICEF's goal is a fully integrated school system in Kosovo. While most Serbian children have left the province, Penelope Lewis says in areas where Serb children remain, a time-sharing arrangement will be organized. So for now, children from both ethnic groups will be able to use the same school building - but at different times. Student Elinda Xhambazi says her school building in Pristina was made available to Albanian students as a kind of discard from the Belgrade government.

    /// Elinda act ///

    It is an old building and Serbs didn't use it. But we had poor conditions in which to learn. We have a problem with electricity. With windows. We (didn't have) a computer. We (didn't have) a laboratory and it's very hard. But I hope now we will have better conditions in which to learn.

    /// end act ///

    Elinda says if the system had not changed in Kosovo, she would have been forced to attend university in a home school, because the Yugoslav government closed the only Albanian university here 10 years ago.

    //opt//

    It's a prospect she is happy to be able to avoid.

    /// second Elinda act ///

    Because it's very hard to finish university in a school house and I didn't want to do that. And now I can go in a real school. I can finish university and this is very much important.

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

    Her younger sister, Lindita, says she was forced to go to school at someone's house - again, because of the lack of adequate facilities for Albanian pupils. On Wednesday, she plans to spend her first day in an actual schoolhouse.

    /// Lindita act ///

    I will go now - finally.

    /// end act ///

    Bekim Kastroti will be starting his eighth year in school. He's been going to school in a village outside of Pristina in his hometown of Obiliq. But his family fled for the safety of the capital during the war. Bekim now says he and the other children from his village are hoping to take a bus each morning back to their old village school. Bekim says he really likes the school - even though it was sometimes a dangerous place.

    /// Bekim act ///

    We were afraid. We only look in windows and the Serbs' cars come, police get in and said everything to our teacher. We were so, so afraid.

    /// end act ///

    //opt//

    Fatlim Kufllouci also fled his home in Obiliq. He's getting ready to return to the village school.

    /// Fatlim act ///

    Right now, we have our building, our school. We don't have the police Serbs . We have our teacher, our lesson - you know. And for that, it's good. It's beautiful.

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

    UNICEF says the first step in getting ready for the beginning of the school year Wednesday was the de- mining of school properties. Spokesman Penelope Lewis says that was followed by a massive effort to repair the schools. She says almost half the schools in Kosovo were either severely damaged or destroyed during the war.

    /// Second Lewis act ///

    So you can imagine the colossal task of building those up and rehabilitating the buildings . getting furniture in, getting textbooks in, getting notebooks, pens - all those sort of issues . There's going to be many pragmatic solutions that need to be found. There's not going to be a set of perfect schools, ready for kids in all areas.

    // end act //

    Planners hope to learn more about the ethnic make-up of Kosovo's post-war student population following registration. Then, UNICEF and other international organizations will begin to pursue their goal of a full-integrated school system in Kosovo. (Signed)
    NEB/TB/PCF/PLM 31-Aug-1999 05:24 AM EDT (31-Aug-1999 0924 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] TURKEY QUAKE (L-O) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=8/31/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253289
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Two earthquakes Tuesday shook northwestern Turkey, triggering panic among thousands of survivors of the devastating quake that ripped through the same region two-weeks ago. Amberin Zaman in Ankara reports no deaths or injuries were reported in the latest earthquakes that measured five-point-four and four- point-six on the Richter scale.

    TEXT: According to Turkey's main observatory at Kandilli, the first tremor was the strongest to hit the country since just after the August 17th quake that destroyed tens-of-thousands of homes in cities throughout Turkey's industrial heartland. Panicked survivors of the earlier quake wept, fainted, and fled their tents amid fears of further death and destruction. The latest tremors were felt in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, about 50-kilometers west of the quake zone. Fear was especially intense in Adapazari where the August 17th quake crumpled thousands of buildings into heaps of rubble, wiping away entire families. The local governor's office sought to calm residents with loudspeaker announcements, but traumatized residents paid little heed as they flooded the streets crying for help. The official death toll of the earlier quake is about 14-thousand, but is expected to rise sharply once clearing work is completed. As many as 30-thousand bodies are said to be under rubble carpeting the quake zone. Criticism continues to be heaped on the Turkish government for its sluggish response to the disaster, both in sending rescue teams and providing food and shelter for more than one-half-million people said to be rendered homeless by the quake. Estimates for the economic damage from the quake range from eight-billion to 40-billion dollars. As foreign aid continues to pour in, estimates keep being revised. Turkey's prime minister, Bulent Ecevit, will be seeking U-S financial assistance when he travels to Washington in September to meet with President Clinton. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/RAE 31-Aug-1999 08:46 AM LOC (31-Aug-1999 1246 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] UNICEF - TURKEY (L O) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=8/31/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253294
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, is launching a counseling program in Turkey to help children and teachers recover from the traumatic effects of the country's devastating earthquake. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports UNICEF says one of its chief tasks is to re-establish what it calls a sense of normality in the lives of the children.

    TEXT: UNICEF says it will be working closely with a number of agencies and specialists who are experts in trauma counseling. It says its earthquake recovery program is not aimed just at children. It also is designed to help teachers, social workers, and health professionals come to terms with their grief. UNICEF says it is setting up centers in three of Turkey's worst hit areas -- Yalova, Sakarya, and Golcuk. UNICEF spokesman Patrick Mc Cormick says the agency will be working closely with the Turkish Psychologists Association to tackle the problem of traumatized children and adults. He says this will be done in a variety of ways.

    /// MC CORMICK ACT ONE ///

    One of them is to distribute toys and have counselors visit children in the tent cities which have sprung up. We will also be tackling this through the school year, which is about to start, by counseling teachers in trauma problems and how they can recognize them and cope with them.

    /// END ACT ///

    UNICEF says its interviews with adults and children show many are suffering from deep anxiety, sleeplessness, and other classic symptoms associated with trauma.

    /// OPT ///

    The Turkish Education Ministry estimates one-half-million of the nearly three-million school children in the region were directly affected by the earthquake. Many schools have been destroyed. /// END OPT /// Mr. McCormick says it is important to give children a sense of structure to their lives.

    /// MC CORMICK ACT TWO ///

    One of the first things we try and do is to get the schools going back. We will maybe set up tent schools, which we did in the refugee camps in Albania and Macedonia. Structure is very important to children whose lives have literally been turned upside down.

    /// END ACT ///

    UNICEF plans a series of training programs in trauma psychology. Each will include 25 mental health specialists, social workers, and psychologists. UNICEF also says it is surveying sites to find appropriate public areas where it can set up communal water and sanitation services, as well as garbage disposal facilities. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/JWH/RAE 31-Aug-1999 09:43 AM LOC (31-Aug-1999 1343 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] RUSSIA / DAGESTAN (L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=8/31/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253295
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian troops are in the third-day of an offensive against Islamic militants who control several villages in the Karamakhi region of Dagestan. Correspondent Eve Conant in Moscow reports thousands of refugees have fled the region as government forces pound the villages with aircraft and artillery.

    TEXT: Russian and Dagestani government forces are using helicopter gunships and heavy artillery to try to dislodge militant Muslims who imposed strict Islamic law in the region last year. The area, called Karamakhi, is considered the heart of Islamic fundamentalism in Dagestan. Since the imposition of Sharia law, residents are forbidden to listen to music or take photographs, and women are required to wear Islamic dress covering their face, arms, and legs. The villages had a total population of 10-thousand. Interior Ministry officials say up to eight-thousand refugees have fled the mountainous area, about 80- kilometers east of where federal forces fought Islamic militants earlier in August. This latest conflict is part of the government's efforts to stamp out Islamic militants in the volatile northern Caucasus region. Russian military officials are trying to minimize casualties by focusing on air attacks instead of employing ground troops. They also have set up a special telephone number for relatives of soldiers to check on their status. Here, a woman gives the operator the name of her son and the military unit he is fighting in.

    /// PHONE CONVERSATION - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///
    She learns that her son is not on the list of the dead. Russian officials say up to 80-militants and seven- Russian soldiers have been killed in the past few days. But there is no independent confirmation, and in the past enemy casualty figures have been exaggerated. Federal forces are using rockets to try to drive out the militants, but officials say the gunmen are well- trained fighters who are proving difficult to defeat. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/JWH/RAE 31-Aug-1999 10:50 AM LOC (31-Aug-1999 1450 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] NORTHERN IRELAND (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=8/31/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253297
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Ulster Unionist party is calling on British Prime Minister Tony Blair to overrule a controversial decision by his Northern Ireland secretary regarding the paramilitary Irish Republican Army. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London.

    TEXT: Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble says Britain's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie Mowlam, was wrong to decide that the I-R-A is still adhering to its two-year old cease-fire.

    ///TRIMBLE ACT///

    Our view is that the government made a mistake last week in the view it adopted with regard to the paramilitary cease-fires.

    ///END ACT///

    Unionist hardliners in Northern Ireland are calling for Mrs. Mowlam's dismissal. Shortly after Mrs. Mowlam announced that the cease- fire is still holding, half a dozen Catholic teenage boys were forced to leave Northern Ireland after receiving death threats from the I-R-A. The Unionists also blame the I-R-A for hundreds of beatings and several assassinations. As Northern Ireland's Protestant First Minister, Mr. Trimble is refusing to let the I-R-A's political wing, Sinn Fein, join an all-party executive council before the I-R-A starts disarming. Compromise efforts have failed to bridge the gap. A review of the peace process is due to get underway next week, but Mr. Trimble suggests Ulster Unionist participation now is in doubt.

    ///TRIMBLE SECOND ACT///

    We will not have a real peace unless the paramilitaries - all of the paramilitaries - are prepared to change. Now, in view of what's happened over the summer, there are very serious questions with this.

    ///END ACT///

    Prime Minister Blair, just back from vacation, is consulting with Mrs. Mowlam about the situation in Northern Ireland. So far the government backs her view of the cease-fire and insists next week's review of the peace process will go ahead, as planned. The process has been paralyzed by a dispute over the timing of paramilitary disarmament and the establishment of the all-party council for Northern Ireland. Under terms of the power-sharing agreement approved last year, London cannot transfer home rule to Belfast until the executive council is operational. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/KL 31-Aug-1999 11:32 AM EDT (31-Aug-1999 1532 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=8/31/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253308
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed today (Tuesday) in extremely volatile trading. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-829, down 84 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-20, down three points. The NASDAQ index gained one percent. Stock prices plunged as a new inflation fear gripped traders. The Industrial Average was down more than 100 points after a survey (NAPM) of U-S manufacturers showed the prices paid by factories rose to their highest level in more than four years. But the initial shock at the figure seemed to wear off and bargain hunters entered the market as the session's last hour began with the Dow turning positve. But selling pressure again hit hard in the last few minutes of trading.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Al Goldman of the A-G Edwards Investment Company says stock traders would be wise to worry less about inflation and focus more on corporate earnings.

    /// GOLDMAN ACT ///

    We are looking for the market to work higher. Investors, within a week or two, should start thinking about third-quarter earnings, which we think will make very positive reading.

    /// END ACT ///

    A monthly survey of U-S consumer confidence is down slightly in August. However, the index is still at historic highs and analysts say Americans are still inclined to spend and borrow money. I-B-M and Cisco Systems have signed a five-year, two billion dollar deal to share computer networking technology. I-B-M will provide Cisco with routers and switching equipment as well as consulting services for Cisco's customers. Analysts say the I-B-M-Cisco deal was the chief factor in the 40 percent plunge in the stock of the M-M-C Networks Company. Both I-B-M and Cisco are major customers for M-M-C's networking equipment and there is concern the I-B-M-Cisco alliance will mean less business for M-M-C. The Sun Microsystems Company will buy the Star Division Corporation, a maker of computer software for office use, for an undisclosed price. Star is a major competitor with the Microsoft Company's office software products. The stock of the Apple Computer Company gained five percent after Apple introduced a new desktop machine with the power of a supercomputer. Apple says the new computer is capable of performing more than one billion operations per second. The stock of the Office Depot retail chain dropped 25 percent after the company issued an earnings warning. Office Depot cited intense price competition on back- to-school products as the main reason for the expected profit disappointment. The stocks of other major retail chains were also down in advance of August sales reports, which are due Thursday. (Signed) NEB/BA/LSF/TVM/gm 31-Aug-1999 17:13 PM EDT (31-Aug-1999 2113 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=8/31/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11421
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Outrage and suspicion toward the United States government's handling of a siege at an armed religious cult farm outside Waco, Texas, continues to fill the editorial columns of the nation's press. Among the popular international topics are: the election in East Timor; disturbing trends in Venezuela; the forthcoming Indian election, and a global battle of good intentions over the use of the pesticide D-D-T. There is also a touching editorial from middle America praising the Thais for compassion over a wounded elephant. Now, here is ____________ with some excerpts and a closer look in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Recent revelations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F-B-I) fired incendiary tear gas canisters into a building housing about 80-people under siege near Waco, Texas, six-years ago, has ignited outrage in the press. About 80-people, including 25-children, died in the fire at the Branch Davidian compound. For six-years the U-S government insisted it did not use incendiary devices, but now is changing its story. In Georgia, "The Atlanta Journal" tries to define the key question this way.

    VOICE: If the F-B-I began the fire, either by accident or on purpose, the Davidian dead become martyrs of an out-of-control government. If the Davidians started the fire, their deaths, while still tragic, were the result of suicide.

    TEXT: In the national daily, "USA Today", published in a Washington, D-C suburb, the editorial headline reads: "F-B-I incompetence keeps flames of Waco alive," while "The Boston Globe" says of the latest internal investigation:

    VOICE: Because the F-B-I has not entirely outgrown the taint of the J. Edgar Hoover years, when the agency used illegal methods and blackmail to wield power, and because it has admitted to concealing part of the truth about Waco, the F-B-I cannot conduct a believable probe, and neither can [Attorney General Janet] Reno's Justice Department.

    TEXT: "New York's Daily News" says "The heads of those responsible must roll," while "San Francisco's Chronicle" demands that "Waco Needs Answers." And in Florida, "The Orlando Sentinel" suggests:

    VOICE: An independent body must conduct the new investigation. The Justice Department already had its turn, and now its credibility is in shambles.

    TEXT: Overseas, the election in East Timor, part of the Indonesian archipelago, draws this editorial praise from New Jersey's capital, and "The Trenton Times".

    VOICE: If apathetic Americans ever need inspiration to . vote (theoretically, they should not) they should take a look at what is happening half a world away in tiny East Timor. There, at great personal risk, East Timorese are flocking to the polls to vote on independence from Indonesia. . So far, under the watchful eye of United Nations observers, the balloting has taken place with few incidents. However, during the weeks leading up to the historic vote, armed thugs attacked East Timorese independence activists . in an attempt to scare them and their supporters away from the polls. . Incidents like these ought to wake up Americans to the reality that the democratic process which guarantees our freedom Can not be taken for granted.

    TEXT: "The Detroit Free Press" adds this encouragement:

    VOICE: While the actual results will not be known for about a week, the enthusiasm engendered by a free election should inspire anyone who embraces democratic concepts. .. The East Timorese seem to have embraced the notion that freedom to control their own destiny is worth the hardship independence will bring.

    TEXT: Domestically, President Clinton continues to get editorial criticism for his offer of a pardon to 16 Puerto Rican terrorists in U-S jails the past 19- years. They were convicted of conspiracy in more than 130-bomb attacks during the late 1970's and early 80's as part of a campaign for Puerto Rican independence. "The Forth Worth Star-Telegram" says:

    VOICE: Clemency for terrorists is a bad idea regardless of the motive. . the idea that President Clinton is willing to release convicted terrorists from prison while this country is encouraging a worldwide crackdown on such activities is disturbing. The thought that is might serve as a political ploy to garner votes for his wife's possible New York senatorial run is disgusting.

    TEXT: There is concern also at the latest turn of events in Venezuela, where several U-S papers suggest, the new president is moving toward a left-wing, populist dictatorship. "The St. Petersburg Times" says the people should have seen this coming.

    VOICE: Venezuelans can not claim to be surprised by President Hugo Chavez's contempt for their country's constitution. [Mr.] Chavez, a former lieutenant colonel in the Venezuelan army, was imprisoned after he led an unsuccessful coup . in 1992. When he ran for president last year, [Mr.] Chavez promised revolutionary change for a corrupt power structure that has left millions of Venezuelans in poverty despite the country's oil riches. [Mr.] Chavez is quickly delivering on that revolutionary promise -- but not in a manner that comforts those who value constitutional government in one of this hemisphere's most enduring democracies.

    TEXT: In Denver, Colorado's "Rocky Mountain News" columnist Holger Jensen points out how the frustration of the common people in Venezuela has led to the present events.

    VOICE: Venezuela pumps more oil than any country outside the Middle East. Yet half its 23-million people live in dire poverty. Venezuela also is Latin America's oldest democracy. While its neighbors were ruled by "caudillos," strongmen, it had an unbroken string of popularly elected governments for 41-years, dating back to 1958. Translation: Democracy funded by oil wealth did not fill Venezuelan bellies. /// OPT

    /// Most Venezuelans adore [Mr.] Chavez's fuzzy ideology .. A few fear he is just another "caudillo," masking his political ambitions with populist rhetoric that will fade as he solidifies his power. Not without irony, they note that Venezuela is creeping toward dictatorship just as the rest of Latin America is becoming democratic. ///END OPT ///

    TEXT: Turning to the subcontinent, the Indian elections, beginning within days, draw this comment from today's "Dallas Morning News".

    VOICE: India, the most populous democracy, holds elections Sunday through October fifth. The Bharatiya Janata Party seems likely to return to power. If returned, then the party should behave more responsibly than during its first incarnation, which featured appeals to extreme Hindu nationalism. /// OPT /// After the party formed a government in the spring of 1998, it detonated . nuclear bombs, upsetting the balance of power in south Asia and hurting the world-wide push to ban nuclear weapons tests. In April, when it looked as if the government might fall, it tested a nuclear-capable missile in a desperate effort to keep popular support. The ploy failed. The government fell anyway. /// END OPT /// . Whoever wins should tolerate all religions and eschew nuclear politics. That's the kind of government . India deserves.

    TEXT: A global, environmental debate, pitting public health officials against environmentalists, over a worldwide ban on the use of the pesticide D-D-T is gaining attention. Environmentalists note the highly toxic nature of D-D-T, banned in the U-S in 1972 after it dramatically reduced the bird population, while health officials say it is still needed in some areas to combat the malaria-carrying mosquito. `The San Francisco Chronicle" concludes its view this way:

    VOICE: U-N negotiators must resolve this agonizing dilemma in favor of human health, but they should seek creative methods that eventually do away with D-D-T once and for all.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: From the Pacific-island evening daily, "The Honolulu Star-Bulletin", comes praise for the arrest last week of a leading Bosnia-Herzegovinian war crimes suspect.

    VOICE: The arrest of the Bosnian-Serb army's top commander is a major step in the prosecution of war crimes in the former Yugoslav federation. General Momir Talic was secretly indicted last March by the special prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunal. He was arrested last Wednesday while visiting Austria to attend a conference, and flown to The Hague, the home of the tribunal. . The arrest is a warning to Yugoslav leaders that they cannot evade justice.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Lastly a heart-rending editorial from Omaha, Nebraska's "World Herald", praising the nation of Thailand for its concern over the fate of an elephant, badly hurt when she stepped on a landmine.

    VOICE: The story of Motola the elephant, now apparently recovering well from surgery in Thailand, has been an instructive if troubling study in contrasts. On the one hand, there have been heroic human efforts to save her life after she stepped on a land mine. On the other, it was human behavior that led her to all this. . land mines . [are] among the most heinous of weapons in that they do not discriminate between soldiers and civilians, and they continue to kill decades after they were laid down. As Motola's case illustrates, even animals can be their victims. . Elephants' niche in Thai society is a curious one. They are generally loved to the point of reverence . But many of the methods used to train them are brutal, and the practice of drugging them to get more labor out of them is disgusting. Yet when Motola was injured and needed unprecedented surgery, Thais nationwide rallied to her aid. More than 100- thousand [dollars] has been donated to defray the cost of her care. . As we noted, it is a study in contrasts, underscoring some of the best and the worst in human nature.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 31-Aug-1999 11:21 AM LOC (31-Aug-1999 1521 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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