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Voice of America, 99-09-01

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO RUSSIANS (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (ORAHOVAC, KOSOVO)
  • [02] CLARK-SPY (L ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [03] SERBIA SPIES (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BELGRADE)
  • [04] SERBIAN OPPOSTION LEADER (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BELGRADE)
  • [05] RUSSIA / DAGESTAN (L-ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [06] E-U ENLARGEMENT - TURKEY (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [07] NORTHERN IRELAND (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [08] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO RUSSIANS (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (ORAHOVAC, KOSOVO)

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253344
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The deployment of Nato-led Russian-peace- keeping forces in Southern Kosovo is still being blocked by local residents. Tim Belay reports from Orahovac that there is no immediate end in sight to the standoff.

    TEXT: Local residents say they don't want the Russian peacekeepers in their town because they say Russian mercenaries helped Yugoslav armed forces commit atrocities in the town. They also say the Russian troops will favor the town's Serb population during the mission. The ethnic Albanian response has been to form a roadblock on a major highway in the southern part of Kosovo in order to keep the Russian troops out. The NATO-led peacekeeing force had been negotiating with representatives of the protesters to find a way to allow the deployment. But now, the talks are on hold. Major Arnold Shkollanach represents the Dutch peacekeepers currently deployed in Orahovac.

    /// Act Shkollanach ///

    The negotiations, right now, have come to a standstill, because the opinions of several sides didn't come close enough to each other to come to a solution.

    /// End Act ///

    Major Shkollanach says NATO leaders in Kosovo still plan to send the Russian troops into Orahovac.

    /// Act Shkollanach ///

    As the situation is now, the situation from our government is still we have to move out (i.e. leave the area) and hand over the area to the Russians, and as long as that doesn't change, that's what we are going for.

    /// End Act ///

    The chief adviser to the protesters in Orahovac, Agim Hasku, says the protest and the highway blockade will only come to an end if NATO guarantees it will not send in the Russian peacekeepers. Speaking through an interpreter, Mr. Hasku says the protesters are prepared to stand their ground.

    /// Act Hasku ///

    Today is the 12th day of this blockade, protest. We don't know how long it will take. If we get that news that maybe tomorrow, today, we get that guarantee that the Russian troops will not be deployed, it's no problem, we will put off (i.e. remove) all that population (i.e. protesters) from that place and that blockade.

    /// End Act ///

    Entrance from the north in Orahovac is blocked altogether by a six kilometer long line of trucks, cars and tractors. To the south of the town, a loosely guarded checkpoint makes access to Orahovac possible for journalists and ethnic Albanians. On Wednesday, it was also a spot for school children to make outdoor poetry presentations about the protest.

    /// Act child reads poetry, fades under. ///

    Sixth grader, Blerina Haxhavezelli, wrote and presented a poem called, "We don't want the Russians." In the poem, she says Russian mercenaries helped Yugoslav armed forces commit massacres against ethnic Albanians. It's the same story that people her parents age have been telling for the past two weeks. (Signed) NEB/TB/GE/TVM/PT 01-Sep-1999 15:33 PM LOC (01-Sep-1999 1933 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] CLARK-SPY (L ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253336
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO's top general says Belgrade had advance information about the alliance bombing campaign against Serb targets across Yugoslavia. General Wes Clark says Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic may have used the information to move his soldiers and police out of harm's way, but he will not confirm stories that there was a spy in NATO's ranks. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports from the Pentagon.

    TEXT: General Clark says Serb forces took actions during the Kosovo conflict that might indicate they knew where and when air raids would strike.

    /// FIRST CLARK ACT ///

    I think the results speak for themselves. They had a lot of information. Apparently, there were some indicators at least, that they had some information about this. (NATO air operations) We know from previous times, that an earlier version of a plan, or parts of a plan, were delivered to Belgrade.

    /// END ACT ///

    But in a V-O-A interview, General Clark says Belgrade's forces were still unable to keep the attacking planes from reaching their intended targets. General Clark's comments follow press reports that a spy within NATO's command structure passed secret plans to Russian intelligence, which then gave the information to Belgrade. U-S officials have denied that a spy has been arrested. Russia strongly opposed the Western alliance's 11-week bombing campaign against its Slav Orthodox Christian brethren in Yugoslavia. The bombing was designed to force Serb police and troops to stop killing ethnic Albanians, who make up the majority of the population in the Serbian province of Kosovo. General Clark says average Serbs certainly thought Yugoslav President Milosevic had advance information from spies.

    /// SECOND CLARK ACT ///

    The `man on the street' word from Belgrade was that Milosevic knew everything, he knew every target that was going to be struck. Isn't it interesting that there were never any members of the police or security forces who were ever injured in any collateral damage from these bombing raids? Obviously, he took care to protect them at the expense of the ordinary people.

    /// END ACT ///

    But General Clark says he has no way of knowing if the widespread perception is accurate. He also says the 40-thousand NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping troops now in Kosovo have largely stopped the revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians on ethnic Serbs. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says nearly the entire ethnic Serb population, 196-thousand altogether, have fled Kosovo. But General Clark says a few Serbs are returning to their former homes. (Signed). NEB/JR/LTD/gm 01-Sep-1999 12:59 PM EDT (01-Sep-1999 1659 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] SERBIA SPIES (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BELGRADE)

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253348
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// Rerunning with correct CR number ///

    INTRO: Serbia has pardoned and released two Australian aid workers who spent nearly five months in prison on spy charges. Philip Smucker reports from Belgrade.

    TEXT: Two Australian workers with the humanitarian organization CARE were released from a Belgrade prison Wednesday and headed to Croatia for a flight home. Serbian state television said President Slobodan Milosevic pardoned Peter Wallace and Stephen Pratt in recognition of the "great support Serbian Australians gave to Serbia" during the NATO bombing campaign. Mr. Wallace and Mr. Pratt had been accused of passing military secrets, but pleaded not guilty to the charges. It was revealed during the trials that the two men had unclassified documents concerning the local security situation. Both men passed to freedom through the same border post into Croatia where they had been taken captive and in April. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said they were on their way home. The release appears to be part of a lessening of Belgrade's anger over the NATO bombing raids that destroyed great swaths of the country's infrastructure. With billions of dollars needed to rebuild the embattled country, Mr. Milosevic has opened his country up in recent weeks to a flood of independent aid organizations that believe the Serbs deserve reconstruction assistance. A Yugoslav colleague of the two Australian CARE workers, Branko Jelen, who received a three-year sentence, remained in jail. He also pleaded not guilty to the charges. Mr. Milosevic appears to have made the deal for the release of Mr. Pratt and Mr. Wallace during a meeting with a delegation of Serbs from Australia and representatives of a 300,000-strong Serb community in Australia. The state news agency Tanjug said that the Serbs from Australia agreed during the meeting to help rebuild Serbia. CARE Australia and many other aid organizations had been involved in providing assistance to Serbian refugees both during and after the war in Kosovo. (Signed) Neb/ps/gm 01-Sep-1999 17:49 PM EDT (01-Sep-1999 2149 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] SERBIAN OPPOSTION LEADER (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BELGRADE)

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253342
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Intro: Serbia's opposition leaders say that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is gaining politically from the continuing violence in Kosovo and the exodus of tens of thousands of Serbian civilians. The leader of the Serbian Renewal Party, Vuk Draskovic, says that he feels betrayed by the Western governments, which have not provided better protection to the Serbs in Kosovo. Philip Smucker reports from Belgrade.

    TEXT: Serbian opposition leaders say that ethnic Albanian violence against Serbs in Kosovo is only helping Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic remain in power. Many of the party leaders are already preparing for possible multi-party elections in Serbia as early as November. Vuk Draskovic, who heads the Serbian Renewal Movement, says that Mr. Milosevic stands to gain immensely from the failure of NATO troops to protect the embattled Serbian minority in Kosovo. He predicts a strong campaign from Mr. Milosevic and his followers.

    /// FIRST DRASKOVIC ACT///

    Mr. Milosevic will address the Serbian people with the arguments. Don't believe Americans. Don't believe Europeans. They are against me, against the regime because you can see, dear citizens they are punishing all of us. It means they are against Serbs. They are enemies of all of us. It means I was right in the past; I am right now.

    /// END ACT ///

    Western powers, including the United States and other NATO members, are encouraging Serbia's opposition to remove Mr. Milosevic from office. American officials have been meeting Serbian opposition leaders in the Yugoslav republic of Montenegro to advise them on political strategy. But many Serbian opposition leaders, interviewed in Belgrade, say they feel betrayed by promises from the United States and NATO that Serbs would be safe in Kosovo. Mr. Draskovic says the death of nearly 200 Serbs and Gypsies, and the exodus of nearly 180-thousand Serbs from Kosovo is only a new round of "ethnic cleansing" in the Balkan region.

    /// SECOND DRASKOVIC ACT ///

    You destroyed my state and destroyed innocent - I'm close to cry even now - innocent Serbian people. Why? Why? To prevent ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and now no Serbian soldiers, Serbian policemen over there, no one. What can we see? Ethnic cleansings against Serbs.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Draskovic stands to suffer politically - more than other opposition members - from the situation in Kosovo. He joined Mr. Milosevic's ruling coalition before the NATO bombing campaign, but was removed from his ministerial post after he accused his own government of lying to its people by saying it could defeat the Western military alliance. He later reassured his fellow Serbs that NATO would protect their lives. Serbia's opposition has called for more street demonstrations aimed at ousting Mr. Milosevic from power, but Mr. Draskovic says he will not participate. (Signed) NEB/PS/GE/TVM/gm 01-Sep-1999 15:22 PM EDT (01-Sep-1999 1922 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253332
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian forces say they have occupied a village in the southern Dagestan region that had been under control of Muslim militants for almost a year. From Moscow, V-O-A correspondent Peter Heinlein reports that Russian jets and artillery are pounding suspected hideouts used by the militants.

    TEXT: Russia's Interior Ministry says its troops are at a decisive stage in efforts to restore federal authority in Karamakhi, a Dagestani village where leaders last year renounced Russian rule and proclaimed Islamic law. Karamakhi, about 40 kilometers south of the regional capital, Makhachkala, has a population of about 10-thousand people, but most fled when federal troops arrived last week and announced they were going to retake the village by force. An interior ministry spokesman (Wednesday) said soldiers are making a house to house search in Karamakhi, while helicopter gunships and artillery pound suspected militant hideouts nearby. Russian and Dagestani authorities chose to ignore the imposition of Muslim Sharia law in Karamakhi last year. But after crushing a Chechen-led insurgency in Dagestan's western mountains last month, federal troops shifted their attention to other areas believed to be sheltering rebels. Karamakhi, known as a stronghold of the fundamentalist Wahhabi sect of Islam, was the first target. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, appointed last month just as fighting broke out in the Dagestani mountains, Wednesday said his government would use force against any Russian regions that try to break free of Moscow's rule.

    /// Putin act in Russian, then fade to... ///

    He says, "As for Dagestan, I can say in those areas where military actions are carried out, Russian authority has been ignored for a year." He added, "this will not be tolerated." Mr. Putin, however, dismissed suggestions that the Dagestani insurgents might be responsible for Tuesday's bomb blast at an underground shopping mall adjacent to the Kremlin. Muslim extremists were originally named as prime suspects in the blast, but the focus of the investigation has since shifted to a self-proclaimed revolutionary group protesting the growth of Western-style consumerism in Russia. (Signed) NEB/PFH/GE/LTD/KL 01-Sep-1999 11:22 AM EDT (01-Sep-1999 1522 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] E-U ENLARGEMENT - TURKEY (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253334
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The European Parliament is continuing confirmation hearings on the nominees for the new European Commission. V-O-A Correspondent Ron Pemstein in Brussels reports the designated commissioner for European Union enlargement had some encouraging words for Turkey's prospects for future E-U membership.

    TEXT: Turkey has not been accepted for membership negotiations with the European Union. However, the man nominated to take charge of the E-U's enlargement favors making Turkey a candidate next December when European leaders meet in Finland. The designated Enlargement Commissioner, Guenter Verheugen, speaking through an interpreter, told a European Parliament confirmation hearing he believes Europe needs engagement with Turkey.

    /// VERGEUGEN ACT ONE / W/INTERPRETER ///

    I'm in favor of our taking a decision of this kind so that we have a chance of helping, really to influence, the necessary process of reform in Turkey. If we want, and I think we must all want, Turkey to be a democratic, western- oriented, stable country, then we have to offer them a seat at the European table, a position in Europe.

    /// END ACT ///

    Until now, European leaders have refused to offer Turkey anything more than a political dialogue. Turkey has rejected this dialogue, especially after the European Union put Cyprus among the first group of countries accepted for membership negotiations. Turkey was also excluded from the second tier of countries put on the waiting list for membership. Mr. Verheugen, again speaking through an interpreter, warns the committee even if Turkey is accepted for membership negotiations, the country will still have difficulty in meeting the European Union's political conditions.

    /// VERHEUGEN ACT TWO / W/INTERPRETER ///

    There would have to be one or two fundamental changes for example to the Turkish Constitution, (regarding) the principle of democracy, criminal law, the fact that there is torture in Turkish prisons, minority rights -- also of course, the problem of the Kurds and conflicts with neighboring countries.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Verheugen, until he is confirmed as a European Commissioner, is still the German Deputy Foreign Minister. The European Parliament is scheduled to vote on the new Commission on September 15th. Mr. Verheugen expressed his opinion that changes are already taking place for the better in Turkey.

    /// VERHEUGEN ACT THREE / W/INTERPRETER ///

    /// OPT ///

    You have more discussion going on the Kurdish question than used to be case. We also have to ask ourselves what the political consequences of the earthquake might be. Now it is a double question. On the one hand, of course, the earthquake has shown that Europe's solidarity with Turkey is much greater than might have been assumed. /// END OPT ///I think the level of solidarity shown with Turkey following the earthquake is a very encouraging sign but what will be political impact on Turkey itself? It is slowly becoming very clear in Turkey that questions are being asked about efficiency and also about legitimacy, the legitimacy of the system of government. So, I think we might see the beginning of a very interesting process.

    /// END ACT ///

    One element of the process could be Greek relations with Turkey. The Turks have always blamed their troubles with Europe on Greece. A Greek minister came to Brussels as Mr. Verheugen was testifying to inform the current European Commission that Greece will no longer block European loans and financial aid to Turkey. The official reason is the Greek sympathy for Turkish suffering in the earthquake. (Signed) NEB/RDP/LTD/gm/ 01-Sep-1999 12:14 PM EDT (01-Sep-1999 1614 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253333
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Northern Ireland's political leaders remain divided over how the peace process should continue as Britain's Secretary of State for the province, Marjorie Mowlam, tries to encourage both sides not to boycott a review of the process next week. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London.

    TEXT: Britain's top official for Northern Ireland is urging Republican and Unionist leaders to return to the peace table next week. Ulster Unionists have threatened to boycott the peace process review. Mrs. Mowlam made the plea in a brief speech to schoolchildren in Belfast. She insists the Good Friday peace agreement is the best way to end Northern Ireland's violence.

    /// MOWLAM ACT ONE ///

    The reality is that unless there is a proper working political settlement that both sides can live with, unless the police here are accepted by the whole community, terrorism will be difficult to defeat completely. That's the reality.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ulster Unionists are furious with Mrs. Mowlam for declaring the Irish Republican Army paramilitaries are still adhering to the cease-fire, despite sporadic killings, beatings, and death threats.

    /// OPT ///

    Mrs. Mowlam dismisses Unionist charges of bias toward the I-R-A's political wing Sinn Fein.

    /// OPT // MOWLAM ACT TWO ///

    In fact, throughout the last two years, both sides at different times have accused me of favoring the other. So I think that's just bound to happen, especially when people are trying to cope with change.

    /// END ACT // END OPT ///

    The Unionists are not the only ones angry with Mrs. Mowlam. Britain's Conservative Party leader William Hague has written a letter to a leading British daily newspaper also criticizing Mrs. Mowlam's decision on the cease-fire. He calls for a suspension of I-R-A prisoner releases until the paramilitaries start handing over their weapons.

    /// HAGUE ACT ///

    It is outrageous to go on releasing terrorist prisoners when they are not going along with the terms of the Good Friday agreement.

    /// END ACT ///

    The peace agreement calls for republican and unionist paramilitaries to hand over their weapons by May of next year. Northern Ireland's Protestant First Minister David Trimble refuses to let the I-R-A's political wing Sinn Fein join a future executive council until the I-R-A disarms. Sinn Fein says the peace accord has no such pre-condition. The dispute has paralyzed the peace process and stalled London's transfer of home rule powers to Belfast. (SIGNED) NEB/LMK/JWH/LTD/KL 01-Sep-1999 11:32 AM EDT (01-Sep-1999 1532 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253347
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were up today (Wednesday) in what analysts called a rebound rally. VOA Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-937, up 108 points or one percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-31, up 10 points. The NASDAQ index gained almost one-half percent. Analysts say bargain-hunters entered the market after four straight sessions of losses for the major averages. Art Cashin of the Paine Webber investment company says some major economic statistics due out Thursday and Friday should hold the key to the near-term direction of the stock market.

    /// Cashin Act ///

    We are awaiting tomorrow's productivity numbers. Then of course, on Friday, we have all the big numbers like non-farm payrolls, hourly wages and so forth.

    /// End Act ///

    An index designed to forecast future U-S economic activity was up in July for the third month in a row. Analysts say higher U-S interest rates have still had little if any effects on consumer and manufacturing activity.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    But U-S construction activity is starting to slow. The government reports construction spending in July fell by one-half percent. There is a report (Wall Street Journal) that the Hilton Hotels Corporation is negotiating to buy the Promus Company for about two-and-one-half billion dollars. Promus operates several hotel brands including Doubletree and Embassy Suites. Hilton confirmed it is talking with Promus but cautions that a deal is not assured. The Masco Corporation, is expanding its share of the building supplies market with the acquisition of five companies for three-point-eight billion dollars in cash and stock. H and R Block, the largest tax preparation firm in the United States, will buy the Olde investment firm for 850 million dollars in cash. Cadbury-Schweppes, the British candy and beverage company, will pay 691 million dollars for the Doctor Pepper bottling company of Texas. Intel, the world's leading semiconductor maker, introduced a new line of computer networking chips which the company says will make it easier and cheaper to build data transmission equipment. The Park Place Entertainment Company has opened its new 29-hundred room "Paris" hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The French-themed resort, complete with a replica of the Eiffel Tower, cost 785 million dollars. But analysts say that is cheap by Las Vegas mega- project standards and expect the Paris to be immediately profitable. (Signed) NEB/BA/LSF/TVM/PT 01-Sep-1999 17:21 PM LOC (01-Sep-1999 2121 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/1/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11421
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Scanning the editorial pages as we begin a new month, the issues under discussion include: criticism of President Clinton for a possible pardon for jailed Puerto Rican terrorists; the money-leaking Russian economy; a new strongman in Venezuela; and peacekeepers leaving Haiti. Rounding out the editorials are thoughts on the suffering children of Iraq and the important vote in East Timor. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts, is _____________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: President Clinton and, by implication, his wife Hillary continue to take criticism for a White House offer to commute the sentences of 16 convicted Puerto Rican terrorists on the condition that they, among other things, renounce violence. Many papers, including today's Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Little Rock, are suggesting the motive behind the presidential offer is to give Mrs. Clinton's potential New York Senate race a boost with New York City's Puerto Rican voters.

    VOICE: Is anybody surprised? Against the advice of the Justice Department, against the advice of the F-B- I, against the advice of prison officials, and against the advice of the U-S attorneys in New Haven and Chicago who prosecuted them, sixteen Puerto Rican terrorists now have been (offered) clemency. By a president whose wife is deep into her unannounced campaign for senator from New York, where the Puerto Rican vote can be crucial. . what a bad idea it would be to turn them loose.

    TEXT: The big Arkansas daily goes on to speculate that the next person to be pardoned to help Mrs. Clinton's election chances would be a U-S citizen convicted of passing U-S intelligence secrets to Israel, Jonathan Pollard. Israel has been asking for Pollard's release for years. Now to the troubled Russian economy, where U-S papers are commenting on the huge outflow of money from that country, presumably from both private and official sources. The Detroit News is one of several U-S dailies commenting:

    VOICE: Now, it has been revealed that between four billion and ten billion dollars in Russian funds may have been funneled through a New York bank by top figures in Russian government and industry. U-S law enforcement figures claim the funds flowed through a department of the bank overseen by the wife of Russia's former I-M-F delegate. Separately, Russia's central bank deliberately misled the I-M-F about the size and location of at least one billion dollars of its financial reserves. . A country, like a person, learns accountability by being held accountable. It won't acquire the discipline to participate in capitalist markets by being given loans to pay off earlier loans. /// OPT /// A central bank that deliberately misleads the International Monetary Fund, which is in large part funded by U-S taxpayers, ought to lose its credibility. . The Clinton administration and International Monetary Fund should stop throwing good money after bad in Russia. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The view of The Detroit News. Turning now to South America, there are additional concerns about the anti-democratic path Venezuela's relatively new president, Hugo Chavez, is taking, seven months after his election. The Chicago Tribune writes:

    VOICE: After 20 years of steady progress toward democratic rule in most of Latin America, Hugo Chavez Frias' first seven months as president of Venezuela seem like a rerun of an old, bad movie. His supporters insist-and the U-S State Department concurs-that [Mr.] Chavez hasn't broken any laws. He's popular with around 80 percent of the public. Yet his actions point ominously to a return to Latin- style caudillismo-one analyst compared him to Argentina's Juan Peron-and to an undermining of key democratic principles.. /// OPT /// Venezuelans so far have given him a free ride. . But unless he devises a clear economic plan, and soon, [President] Chavez' honeymoon inevitably will sour. . How the imperious [Colonel] Chavez deals with popular discontent then will reveal far more - to his own people and to other countries in the hemisphere - about the true nature and intent of his "revolution." ///END OPT ///

    TEXT: The Chicago Tribune on the situation in Venezuela. Still in this hemisphere, there is also fear that the imminent withdrawal of U-N peacekeepers from Haiti is premature, and could be costly. The fear is that the island is ripe for more violence, due to the on-going instability caused in part by the deadlock between the assembly and the president. The Philadelphia Inquirer says:

    VOICE: Here's an example of foolish thrift: Saving 20-million dollars by pulling the last 450 American troops out of Haiti. . solving Haiti's underlying problems has proved neither simple, quick, nor cheap./// OPT /// Democracy hasn't taken firm root; educated expatriates haven't flocked home. The United Nations is still trying to train an effective police force to replace the one that did the bidding of dictators. /// END OPT /// . Two reasons [for the U-S troop withdrawal] are given, the cost and worries about chaos erupting as Haiti approaches a November election. Meanwhile, the U-N police mission is scheduled to depart November 30th. . the symbolism of the pullout is disastrous at a moment when, as one Haitian human-rights activist put it, the specter of anarchy is "in the back of everybody's mind." /// OPT

    /// America has moral and practical reasons to do all it can to keep Haiti functioning, to avoid the bloodshed and oppression that led to the boat people of 1994. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: There is growing concern that the economic sanctions placed on Iraq at the end of the Gulf War are putting an unfair burden on the nation's children. The San Francisco Chronicle is the latest of several papers to raise the issue.

    VOICE: The plight of Iraqi's children should remind the world of the vicious and calculating nature of Saddam Hussein. A United Nations' report details that since the Persian Gulf War in 1990, the death rate for children under age five has more than doubled. . Still, this lamentable leader survives. This month, a new U-N session will reconsider the tough sanctions imposed on Iraq after the Gulf War. . there is no evidence that loosening the leash on Saddam will produce peace or changed behavior in a dangerous neighborhood. In addition easing restrictions on the Iraqi dictator hands him a victory for his inhuman survival tactics.

    TEXT: To the South Pacific now, and the election in East Timor. The Washington Post writes:

    VOICE: An astonishing 98-point-six percent of those eligible turned out to vote Monday in East Timor in a referendum on independence . People risked attack and braved intimidation to register their views. . The militias . remain the dangerous wild card for East Timor, a former Portuguese colony that was brutally recolonized by Indonesia two decades ago and has strived for independence ever since. . How will the militias . respond? The answer lies to a large extent with Indonesia, which can control the militias if it chooses. . Mr. Clinton and Indonesia's other friends overseas may once again be called on to communicate to Mr. Habibie how much is at stake, for Indonesia as well as for East Timor.

    TEXT: Lastly, new revelations that officials within the Justice Department may have kept Attorney General Janet Reno uninformed about the use of incendiary tear gas in the attack by law enforcement personnel on the religious cult in Waco. The Dallas Morning News writes:

    VOICE: .calls for the truth are coming from across the political spectrum, and the national interest demands that Congress help the Justice Department get the full accounting Ms. Reno has been unable to obtain before now.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/KL 01-Sep-1999 12:25 PM EDT (01-Sep-1999 1625 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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