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Voice of America, 99-09-09

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

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





    INTRO: A spokesman for the Party of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is rejecting a NATO plan to help reshape the Kosovo Liberation Army (K-L-A). He says an armed ethic Albanian group on Yugoslav soil is not permitted by the U-N Security Council resolution that ended the Kosovo conflict earlier this year. Philip Smucker reports from Belgrade where the Yugoslav government is expressing increasing anger over NATO's actions in Kosovo.

    TEXT: A spokesman for President Milosevic's Socialist Party criticized a United States-backed plan to help reshape the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (K- L-A) into a small, new force consisting of a rapid reaction unit and an honor guard. Serbian Socialist Party spokesman, Ivica Dacic, said that retraining the K-L-A as a fighting force was a direct violation of the U-N Security Council resolution that permitted NATO's entry into Kosovo.


    Mr. Dacic said the Security Council Resolution calls for demilitarizing the K-L-A. He said NATO could do what it liked through the use of force, but that Yugoslavia would not accept anything outside of the resolution. The creation of the so-called "Kosovo Corps" is part of a unilateral undertaking signed by the K-L-A that includes its agreeing to disarm. Disarmament is to be completed on September 19th. The re-structured K-L-A would include a helicopter unit and a security force of three-thousand soldiers who would be allowed to carry weapons. Security advisors to ethnic Albanian leader Hashim Thaci have said that the re-structured K-L-A is being created as the core of a new Kosovo Army that will replace NATO's K-FOR troops when they leave. The Yugoslav government says that the Kosovo Corps amounts to the legalization of a rebel army on its sovereign territory. Kosovo Serbs also oppose the idea, saying it will only add to the air of intimidation in Kosovo. A majority of Serbs have fled or been expelled from the province since NATO arrived. A senior Yugoslav general this week warned that his government would not tolerate violations of the U-N Security Council resolution and warned that his army could re-enter Kosovo if necessary. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/GE/JO 09-Sep-1999 13:31 PM EDT (09-Sep-1999 1731 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Russian forces battling Islamic insurgents in the southern region of Dagestan have lost one of their warplanes. Correspondent Eve Conant reports Moscow's troops continue to suffer substantial casualties as they try to end the rebels' hold on villages near the border between Dagestan and Chechnya.

    TEXT: The Russian combat jet is the first warplane lost in Dagestan since fighting began between federal forces and Islamic insurgents over one month ago. The pilot safely ejected from the Su-25 ground attack plane before it fell near the town of Buinaksk.

    // OPT //

    Initial reports said the plane had been shot down, but Russian authorities now say the accident may have been caused by a technical failure. // END OPT // Despite the setback, Russian forces continue to pound rebel positions, seizing areas near rebel encampments in central and western Dagestan. Last Sunday, several hundred gunmen from neighboring Chechnya crossed into Dagestan and took control of villages along the border. Russian news agencies report government forces are advancing, but not without suffering heavy casualties. The Interfax news agency says as many as 149 Russian soldiers have been killed and more than 500 injured since the fighting began in August, but casualty figures are difficult to confirm. Complaints have been growing among government troops that they lack the arms and manpower to stage a successful campaign against the insurgents. Russian forces have been ordered by President Boris Yeltsin to step up their campaign to rid Dagestan of the insurgents, who are believed to be members of an Islamic sect fighting to transform Dagestan into an independent Islamic state. Russian news reports say Chechen leaders claim Russian aircraft bombed several villages on the Chechen side of the border, but that could not be independently verified. The fighting in Dagestan is the heaviest in the region since Russia's war with Chechnya ended three years ago. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/GE/WTW 09-Sep-1999 14:12 PM EDT (09-Sep-1999 1812 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: In Northern Ireland, an independent commission has presented 175-recommendations for revamping Northern Ireland's police force to make it less political and more responsible to both Catholics and Protestants. Correspondent Laurie Kassman in London reports both sides are criticizing the recommendations.

    TEXT: The head of the commission, British Conservative politician Chris Patten, says the massive shake-up aims at taking politics out of policing.

    /// PATTEN ACT ONE ///

    Policing in Northern Ireland has suffered often with disastrous consequences from being a political issue and from being associated with disputes about the state itself.

    /// END ACT //

    One of the 175-recommendations would abandon British symbols and change the name from Royal Ulster Constabulary to the more neutral Northern Ireland Police Service. The commission also wants to slash the police force by several-thousand and to even up the religious balance by recruiting Catholics to bring their representation in the force to one-third during the next 10-years. Other proposals include decentralizing the command structure, integrating the police force, and making it more accountable to the communities it serves. The commission also calls for an independent commissioner to oversee the operations. The size of the force would be reduced to 75-hundred and the reserve force of nearly three-thousand would be disbanded. But Mr. Patten insists the goal is not to dismember Northern Ireland's police.

    /// PATTEN ACT TWO ///

    We are transforming the R-U-C, not disbanding it.

    /// END ACT ///

    The 128-page document is only a series of proposals that will need to be approved and implemented. Mr. Patten pleads with both Catholic and Protestant leaders to take a positive approach.

    /// OPT // PATTEN ACT THREE ///

    There are two stories of pain, but I think it is vitally important that everybody looks to the future, however difficult that may be. That everybody in the Nationalist, Republican, and Catholic community accepts that it is time to support policing if we want a more peaceful, stable, and prosperous community.

    /// END OPT ACT ///

    But within minutes of his official presentation of the report, both sides began criticizing it. Protestant leader David Trimble agrees on the need for more Catholics on the police force, but bristles at the idea of changing its name.

    /// TRIMBLE ACT ///

    Patten has allowed himself to be diverted into a gratuitous insult to the R-U-C and to the community by stripping the service of its name, badge, and flag.

    /// END ACT ///

    He describes the work of the commission as shoddy. The political wing of the Irish Republican Army has wanted the whole force abolished, but Sinn Fein says it needs more time to digest the information before offering any official reaction. The British and Irish governments welcomed the recommendations.

    /// OPT THE REST ///

    The commission included British, U-S, and Canadian law enforcement officials and human rights monitors. The group took nearly 15-months to complete the report, which is based on research of police operations in other countries and a series of community consultations within Northern Ireland. Mr. Patten -- Britain's last governor of Hong Kong -- describes the report on Northern Ireland's police force as the most difficult task of his career. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/RAE 09-Sep-1999 08:30 AM EDT (09-Sep-1999 1230 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were up today (Thursday) in another volatile session. VOA Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11- thousand-79 up 43 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-47, up three points. The NASDAQ index gained more than one and one-half percent. The major stock averages moved up and down all day. Analysts say there is still no sense of direction as uncertainties about inflation and interest rates continue. Some of that inflation concern may have been eased a bit by comments from William McDonough, President of the New York branch of the U-S central bank. Mr. McDonough said he does not believe the strengthening of the Japanese yen would spark inflation in the United States. But inflation worries were fueled by a rise in oil prices to their highest levels in 32 months.

    /// Rest opt for long ///

    Anthony Conroy of the Merrill Lynch investment company says he expects stock prices to continue drifting with the Industrial Average trading in a fairly narrow range.

    ///Conroy act///

    We are stuck in a trading range, probably from 10-thousand-seven hundred to 11-thousand-three hundred. My best guess is that when you have uncertainty you are going to have volatility so that is why you are seeing what you are seeing.

    ///end act///

    There was strength in many technology stocks, especially those involved in the internet. The stock of China dot Com rose almost 10 percent after it announced an alliance with America Online. Analysts say China is the largest single growth market for internet service in the world. The stock of the Cable and Wireless Company of Hong Kong registered its largest one-day gain in 18 months. The company announced a deal with Cisco Systems of the United States to combine telephone and data transmission services. The Dell Computer company made its first-ever acquisition with a 340 million dollar purchase of ConvergeNet Technologies, a maker of data storage equipment. The stock of Chase Manhattan, the second-largest U-S bank, fell more than five percent as a result of rumors that its quarterly earnings will not meet estimates. The company had no comment but an analyst who follows Chase was skeptical of the rumors saying the bank's earnings should meet the consensus forecast of about one dollar, 30 cents a share. Hasbro, the world's second-largest toy company, will pay 325 million dollars for the Wizards of the Coast Corporation. Wizards makes the popular Pokemon trading cards. Hechinger, an 80-year old home improvement chain, is now history. The company, which operated stores in the eastern United States, filed for bankruptcy law protection three months ago, hoping to reorganize. But Hechinger management says it has now become clear that reorganization is not feasible. The company will close all stores and sell its assets to pay off creditors.(Signed) NEB/NY/BA/EJ/PT 09-Sep-1999 17:19 PM LOC (09-Sep-1999 2119 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The killing and destruction in East Timor continues to capture the attention of editorial writers across the United States. Other topics under scrutiny this Thursday include: President Clinton's controversial offer of clemency to 16 Puerto Rican terrorists; an important decision by Israel's Supreme Court and progress in the peace effort; and another Clinton cabinet member pleads guilty to a crime.. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is ___________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Papers in all corners of this country are criticizing the government of Indonesia for failing to control the violence in East Timor following last week's independence vote. The papers are also upset with the United Nations for not acting more forcefully to stop the terror. In Portland, The Oregonian writes:

    VOICE: Indonesia's failure to live up to its promises to the United Nations to keep the peace . has outraged the international community and brought widespread calls for economic sanctions and a moratorium on aid and loans. But while sanctions can be a useful part of a strategy ... the violence in East Timor begs for more immediate intervention. . /// OPT /// the international community has no other choice. Peacekeepers must restore order . before these criminal militias extinguish the freedom . its citizens so desperately seek and so plainly deserve./// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The major U-S Pacific Island evening paper, Hawaii's Honolulu Star-Bulletin agrees, suggesting: "The world community must intervene to restore order," while the Forth Worth [Texas] Star-Telegram asks: "The killing in East Timor was predictable, so why didn't the U-N and the U-S do more to head it off? In Tacoma, Washington state, The News Tribune says "The West should link aid to peace." And, in the Midwest, The Detroit Free Press writes that the United States can do other things than send in troops.

    VOICE: Being a geographically challenged lot, most Americans would probably have trouble finding Indonesia on a globe, let alone East Timor, the half- island . risking its very existence for a chance to be free. The United States is understandably reluctant to commit forces to a peacekeeping mission . but there are other ways -trade sanctions and the International Monetary Fund-to lean on Indonesia to let those people go./// OPT /// With the Pacific fleet nearby, the United States can be visibly and vocally supportive, sending a clear message to the Indonesian government that its action or inaction is unacceptable.

    VOICE: Here at home the controversy continues over President Clinton's offer of clemency to 16 Puerto Rican terrorists, long imprisoned for conspiracy in bombings around the country in the late 1970's. Many papers feel the move is designed to help Mrs. Clinton's assumed New York Senate campaign, but she has now declared opposition to her husband's offer to the men. Says The New York Post of the whole matter:

    VOICE: The FALN [The Spanish language initials of the terrorist organization, The Armed Forces of National Liberation ] pardons are the most dishonorable action yet to come from the Clinton administration. . Terrorism as practiced by the FALN is an assault on civilization. It is an effort to replace the rule of reasoned law with panicked reaction to random acts of violence. Terrorists should be beyond mercy, but Bill Clinton has chosen to "forgive" -and only to obtain fleeting partisan advantage. It's disgusting.

    TEXT: The New York Times says the clemency may be deserved, but agrees the White House is sending a mixed message.

    VOICE: At a time when the united States must be vigilant against terrorism all around the world, the Administration cannot afford mixed signals about its tolerance of violence. At the same time, justice demands that sentences fit the crimes as proved in a court of law. . The cause of justice and mercy may well be served with shortened terms. But the President needs to address the legitimate concerns that politics, rather than principle, may have played an undue role in his thinking.

    TEXT: The troubles in Mexico's economy draw the attention of The Los Angeles Times.

    VOICE: To his credit, Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo has been working diligently to evade the economic chaos that has plagued every Mexican political transition since 1976. ... next year's presidential transition could well be the most difficult the country has faced in the modern era, due to the prospect of a rocky transition to an openly democratic political system. . the main economic threat . is a banking system that, despite a recent huge government bailout program, is falling apart. One way to fix [it] is through a comprehensive reform that promotes economic growth and added taxation.

    TEXT: Turning to the Middle East, Nebraska's Omaha World Herald pays tribute to Israel's supreme court's for banning the use of torture against prisoners. But the paper wonders:

    VOICE: How long will the ruling stand? The ink had barely dried on it before extreme right-wingers in the Israeli parliament vowed to work for legislation to soften the high court's . decision.

    TEXT: And as for the peace process, The [Minneapolis, Minnesota] Star Tribune says:

    VOICE: Advocates for peace in the Middle East have a new nickname for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak ."the mailman" because, with the new Israeli- Palestinian accord . he is delivering on promises the Israeli government made one year ago to revive the stalled . peace process. Now it's time for the United States to deliver on some promises of its own. . Specifically, the Clinton administration pledged fulfillment of the Wye River agreements would bring one-point-two billion dollars in new financial aid to Israel, 400-million to the Palestinians and 300- million to Jordan, a regional neighbor and indispensable mediator in the talks. Now, a year later, almost none of that money has been delivered.

    TEXT: Domestically, another former member of the Clinton cabinet is in legal trouble. Ex-Secretary of Housing Henry Cisneros has pleaded guilty to lying about payments to a former mistress. The San Francisco Chronicle wonders:

    VOICE: What took him so long? Independent Counsel David Barett was about to take [Mr.] Cisneros to trial in federal court for misleading F-B-I agents investigating his payoffs to a former mistress. Faced with 18 felony counts of lying, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, [Mr.] Cisneros finally saw the light and made a deal on Tuesday as the jury was being selected. . he pleaded guilty to a single count of lying to the F-B-I and will pay a ten-thousand dollar fine but will serve no prison time.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Russia's problems are never far from the commentary pages, and today is no exception. The New York Post laments the latest charges of fraud involving President Boris Yeltsin himself:

    VOICE: A criminal investigation has uncovered evidence that a Swiss company bribed Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his family to the tune of over one million dollars in return for lucrative construction contracts. The news is profoundly troubling-but hardly surprising. Russia these days is an enormous cesspool of economic corruption, and there's no reason not to believe that [Mr.] Yeltsin, like too many other high officials in Moscow, had his finger in the pie. [Editors: U-S slang for a person caught in an illegal deal] . Still, it's a tragic comedown for the father of Russian democracy .

    TEXT: The Washington Post says of the latest news:

    VOICE: What's most dispiriting about the latest spate of revelations and allegations of official corruption in Russia is the response of Russian officialdom. ... their casual dismissal of the issue is misguided- both as a matter of fact and as a matter of tactics. The leaders would serve their country better if they acknowledged the seriousness of the problem and pledged to cooperate with Western law enforcement agencies in combating it.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The Sun in Baltimore notes two recent developments in Africa that have gone largely unnoticed in this country.

    VOICE: Finance ministers and central bank governors of many of the continent's 17 most indebted nations met in Nairobi, Kenya, and agreed that their countries need both debt relief and new investment. In Johannesburg, South Africa, rebels, fighting President Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a peace plan that leaves many issues unsolved but calls for elections next summer. The moral drawn from both events is this: Africa is huge and important, with monstrous problems that its leaders and others are trying to solve-whether the United States is involved or not, whether Americans care or not.

    TEXT: Lastly, a few words about a worrisome computer problem that m i g h t have occurred on this date - 9 - 9 - 99 - - but did NOT. The Tulsa [Oklahoma] World writes:.

    VOICE: Thursday was supposed to be the first big test for the upcoming new millennium. It was the day when all the computers would shut down and chaos would reign. So, if your newspaper made it to your driveway Thursday and your water is still running and your electricity is still on, that means we passed the first big test. . . you can rest easy. And go tell the survivalist next door to come out of his hidey hole. Everything's OK. At least for the next four months or so.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from Thursday's U-S editorial pages.
    NEB/ANG/KL 09-Sep-1999 12:08 PM EDT (09-Sep-1999 1608 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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