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Voice of America, 99-09-13

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO UNIVERSITY (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)
  • [02] E-U / FOREIGN MINISTER (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] E-U / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] GERMANY / VOTE (L-ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (BERLIN)
  • [05] REMAKING NORTHERN IRELAND'S POLICE BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S&L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [07] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

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

    DATE=9/13/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253820
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Students at the University of Pristina have started to attend classes under conditions that differ greatly from the past several years. Tim Belay reports from Pristina on the new atmosphere at the top educational institution in Kosovo.

    TEXT: Professor Ekrem Beciri was one of a three- member board that gathered (Monday) to hear Xhemaji Fejzullahu defend his doctoral dissertation in the field of mechanical engineering. Such an event involving ethnic-Albanian educators would have been impossible at the University of Pristina during most of the 1990's. The school was closed by the Yugoslav government in 1992. A gradual process of re-opening began last year. Mr. Beciri says the past few years have been very difficult for Albanian students and teachers at the university level.

    /// ACT BECIRI ///

    We had, of course, problems and obstacles -- teaching in private houses, private premises without enough room, and so forth. But we tried to write textbooks for them, to teach them with our experience that we used to have here or in ex-Yugoslavia.

    /// END ACT ///

    There are major political problems at the University of Pristina, an institution that is under 24-hour guard by NATO-led peacekeeping troops. The controversy is over the ethnic makeup of the teaching staff. Albanian educators say the door is open for teachers of Serbian origin to return. But the United Nations has failed to re-create an ethnically diverse teaching staff at the school. A first-year civil engineering student at the University of Pristina, Valbona Augustini, says it feels strange to be able to attend classes in a place that was off limits to ethnic Albanians for most of the past decade.

    /// ACT AUGUSTINI ///

    I am very happy. I can not express that feeling. It is something that we did not know before. It is something new. Something really great.

    /// END ACT ///

    For now, students and teachers at the University of Pristina will work on finishing up class work which was interrupted when fighting began earlier this year. The new school year in Kosovo officially begins in November. NEB/TB/GE/LTD/RAE 13-Sep-1999 14:39 PM LOC (13-Sep-1999 1839 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] E-U / FOREIGN MINISTER (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=9/13/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253822
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: E-U Foreign Ministers have declared (Monday) an arms embargo against Indonesia for four-months and have suspended military cooperation with that government. Correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels that the declaration is a political action. Text: The embargo is against the export of arms, munitions and military equipment to Indonesia for a four-month period. The E-U foreign ministers also ban the supply of equipment that could be used for internal repression or terrorism, and they suspend military cooperation with Indonesia. In their declaration the ministers note Indonesia's acceptance of an international force to create peace in East Timor, but they decided to follow-through on the arms embargo since the force has not been deployed. Finnish Foreign Minister Tarja Harlonen could not say how many European exports would be affected by the weapons embargo. But she makes it clear; the arms embargo is a political measure.

    /// HARLONEN ACT ///

    In many of the member countries, the situation has already been for a long time, there is no arms export because of the national legislation. But we consider when we discuss about the matter, it is important that at the Union level also to give a very strong political signal that for a while we want to keep the control.

    /// END ACT ///

    The foreign ministers also discussed a ban on visas for senior Indonesian military officers and their families but decided not to impose it. The Finnish Foreign Minister says the arms embargo was considered a strong enough indicator of European Union sentiment.

    /// REST OPT ///

    The foreign ministers also decided to no longer discourage sporting links with Serbia. They made the decision as a gesture to the Serbian people, but they say other sanctions, including an oil embargo remain in effect in all parts of Serbia except in Kosovo. The regulations for lifting the European oil embargo against Kosovo and the smaller Yugoslav Republic of Montenegro are expected to be adopted by the end of September. Foreign Minister Harlonen says the European Union is ready to open a task force with Croatia on economic relations. But she says this has been delayed because Croatia has not complied with its obligations to the United Nations, including the extradition of indicted war-crimes suspects.

    /// HARLONEN ACT ///

    Our message is now clear, that we want to support the democratization process and we are ready to work for that, but we demand that all the requests by the U-N must also be of course respected.

    /// END ACT ///

    The European Union still has not agreed on ways to help democratically-elected town governments in Serbia with energy during the winter. The ministers plan to invite people from Serbian opposition political parties and civil society to discuss the issue further at their next meeting in October. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/GE/RAE 13-Sep-1999 15:19 PM LOC (13-Sep-1999 1919 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] E-U / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=9/13/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253817
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem (pron: Gem) has met with E-U Foreign Ministers in Brussels to argue Turkey's case to be considered as a possible member of the Union. Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels that the meeting is part of a process leading to a possible favorable decision next December for Turkey. Text: The importance of the luncheon in Brussels was the fact that it took place, not that it moves Turkey any closer as a candidate for membership in the European Union. During the luncheon, news came of another earthquake in the same region devastated last month. It was the original earthquake that brought Greece and Turkey closer together, allowing Greece to remove its veto against any European Union aid money for Turkey. As a result, Foreign Minister Cem was invited to Brussels to report on moves the Turkish government has made to satisfy the European Union's human rights concerns. The foreign minister says he made the effort in his luncheon speech to the E-U ministers.

    /// CEM ACT ///

    We have had a change. First, it was that finally, especially after our understanding was reached with Syria about both country's mutually fighting terrorism in their geographies, we have seen the terrorist actions going downward in Turkey and this has contributed to a positive atmosphere in Turkey because we had suffered a lot because of terrorism. And for the first time in five-years we have strong governments, we have a sound parliamentary majority, a sound majority.

    ///END ACT///

    This majority, the Turkish foreign minister explains, has allowed the passage of 60-laws in three-months with substantial constitutional changes, including those regarding foreign economic relations. The European Union continues to emphasize that even if Turkey is allowed to become a candidate for membership at the December summit meeting in Helsinki, it has to make substantial changes regarding human rights protections for the Turkish Kurds. Foreign Minister Cem invited the European Union foreign ministers to join him for another lunch in mid-November in Istanbul. They will be in Turkey for a summit meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Finnish Foreign Minister Tarja Harlonen says the Brussels lunch produced progress between the European Union and Turkey, but he did not want to divulge details.

    /// HARLONEN ACT ///

    We discussed all kinds of matters and the matters which were, of course, important for the E-U-Turkey relations where the human rights are of course a very important issue, but this is not a place where you are announcing anything. It is the place where you get the first approach and then you continue the dialogue.

    /// END ACT ///

    There will be more dialogue, first at the political director's level, then again at the November lunch in Istanbul in an effort to keep the way clear for Turkey to become a candidate for E-U membership. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/GE/RAE 13-Sep-1999 13:39 PM LOC (13-Sep-1999 1739 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] GERMANY / VOTE (L-ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (BERLIN)

    DATE=9/13/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253809
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: For the second time in as many weeks, Germany's ruling Social Democrats suffered a stinging defeat (Sunday) in state elections. The Christian Democrats are now in power in the southeastern state of Thuringia. But Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says he will not be diverted from his economic reform program. Jonathan Braude reports from Berlin.

    TEXT: Thuringia was not a Social Democrat stronghold. But Chancellor Schroeder's party was at least in a coalition government in the state -- not with the environmentalist Green Party as at the national level, but with the conservative Christian Democrats. The election changed all that. The Christian Democrats won 51-percent of the vote, giving them an absolute majority and the chance to rule the economically depressed southeastern state alone, for the first time. The Social Democrats won less than 20-percent, not enough to qualify as the official opposition. That role remains with the former East German Communists, who now portray themselves as Democrats. Analysts say the Chancellor's defeat comes as no surprise after his party was thrown out or forced into coalitions in elections last weekend elsewhere in the country. But the surge in the vote for the former communists appears to have signaled a rejection by the urban unemployed of the neo-Nazi "Deutsche Volksunion", who did well in eastern state elections last week. Neither the neo-Nazis nor the Greens made it into the Thuringia state assembly. The defeat will add to the chancellor's worries. His economic reforms are unpopular country-wide. Even the army is protesting. An estimated five-thousand soldiers joined an unprecedented rally Saturday in Berlin to denounce planned cuts in the defense budget. Opposition leaders have said they will not block the reforms in the upper house of Parliament, where the states are represented at national level and the Chancellor no longer has a majority. But they say they will expect the Government to compromise. Mr. Schroeder said Sunday that he would not be driven off course. He said there is no alternative to the planned 16-billion-dollar cut in Government spending. (SIGNED) NEB/JB/GE/ENE/RAE 13-Sep-1999 11:00 AM LOC (13-Sep-1999 1500 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] REMAKING NORTHERN IRELAND'S POLICE BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/13/1999
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11467
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: One of the most persistent trouble spots in the world, recently squeezed out of the headlines by earthquakes and the turmoil in East Timor, is Northern Ireland. There, the peace deal worked out by former U-S Senator George Mitchell appears to becoming apart, partly due to the Irish Republican Army's refusal to disarm. However, efforts are going forward to try to resurrect the peace plan. The latest development has been publication of a long-awaited report by the last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, about reforming Northern Ireland's police force. The U-S press has had a generally favorable reaction to the recommendations, although both sides in Northern Ireland proclaimed themselves furious at Mr. Patten's suggestions. As for reaction on this side of the Atlantic, we turn to ____________ for a sampling in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.

    TEXT: The police force is called the Royal Ulster Constabulary, or R-U-C, and has long been accused by the province's minority Roman Catholics of uneven application of justice. The force is overwhelmingly made up of Protestants, who form the majority in Ulster, and have a long history of antagonizing the Roman Catholics, many of whom have less money and are either unemployed or underemployed. Mr. Patten, who gained world recognition for promoting Democratic reforms in Hong Kong in the last few years before the former British Crown Colony reverted to China, has been working on a reform plan for the police for months. The release of the plan last week brought forth loud condemnation from the Protestants, but a surprisingly reserved "wait-and-see" comment from Sinn Fein leaders. The U-S press generally liked what they heard. We begin in America's most Irish of all cities, Boston, where one of the nation's largest tabloids, The Boston Herald, noted, in part:

    VOICE: The commission ... has satisfied nobody. But the proposals from the panel ... are essential. Without something like them there is no hope for peace. ... Sinn Fein and others of the republican community had called for abolition of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the creation of a new force. They won't get it. ... The hated R-U-C reserve will remain. Nonetheless, Sinn Fein's initial reservation of comment was in sharp contrast with the reaction of its adversaries. David Trimble, the leading unionist politician, denounced a "gratuitous insult to the community" in the proposed symbolic measures ... [including] a renaming of the force to remove the designator "royal" ... removal of the Union Jack from police flagpoles and removal of the crown from badges. // OPT // The only way to meet [Mr.] Patten's goal to "take the politics out of policing" ... is to get a force with deep roots in both communities that make up Northern Ireland. // END OPT //

    TEXT: The opinion of The Boston Herald. In the nation's capital, The Washington Times is also in agreement with much that Mr. Patten's group has produced, suggesting:

    VOICE: ... These reforms ... may ultimately provide more security protection for the police force itself. The R-U-C is currently 92 percent Protestant in a province that is 45 percent [Roman] Catholic. This has led ... to the accusation ... that the constabulary has been a sort of paramilitary arm of the Protestants. With such an image, the officers take on increased risk every time they enter a Catholic neighborhood. With a new police force split between Protestant and Catholic members, civilians arrested could not complain about being victims of partisan punishment.

    TEXT: In Ohio, The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer, which tends to editorialize on the Northern Irish situation more than any other major U-S daily, had this to say about the Patten report:

    VOICE: These provisions [the suggested 175 changes] will cut deeply into the psyche of Unionists, who profess to revere Northern Ireland's links with the British crown. They certainly will be exploited by politicians already opposed to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that was intended to bring minority Roman Catholics into power-sharing legislative and executive bodies with Protestants. ... To outsiders, a name change to the Northern Ireland Police Service may not seem worth controversy, but ... [Mr.] Patten, ... rightly sees the move as an essential step toward creating a more representative security establishment.

    TEXT: While suggesting that "the recommendations stop short of some needed reforms," such as banning potentially deadly plastic bullets, The New York Times goes on to say that "Britain should quickly pass the laws necessary to carry out the report." In the Pacific, in the island state of Hawaii, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin calls the recommendations "sensible," adding:

    VOICE: ... But it won't be easy to win acceptance. The report fell far short of recommending R-U-C disbandment, the goal of Catholic Sinn Fein politicians and their allies in the Irish Republican Army. ... Protestants also voiced objections to the recommendations. The Ulster Unionists ... decried [Mr.] Patten's call to change the force's name and emblem and to ban the flying of the British flag on police property. ... Creating a neutral police force could be crucial to the effort to reconcile Northern Ireland's Catholics and Protestants. The Patten commission has provided a basis for action, but implementation is likely to arouse another storm of controversy in a land that has known little else for decades.

    TEXT: On that somber note, we conclude this sampling of U-S press comment on the recent report suggesting changes in the Northern Ireland police force.
    NEB/ANG/WTW 13-Sep-1999 16:01 PM EDT (13-Sep-1999 2001 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=9/13/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253833
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mostly down today (Monday), in lack-luster trading. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11- thousand-42, up almost two points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-44, down seven points. The NASDAQ index lost almost one and one-half percent after closing at a record high on Friday. There was no economic news to move the market. Analysts say traders lacked any clear sense of direction, with many of them waiting for Wednesday's release of the U-S consumer price index (for last month). That could provide another clue on whether the U-S central bank will be inclined to raise interest rates at its meeting in early October.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    Bill Allen of the Jefferies investment company says that, despite short-term volatility, the outlook for the stock market is good for the rest of the year.

    /// ALLEN ACT ///

    I think the market, by the end of the year, will take us into new high ground. The trump card, of course, will be third-quarter earnings. But if earnings are what I expect them to be, we are headed higher.

    /// END ACT ///

    There is a report that the Motorola Corporation is in talks to acquire the General Instrument Company for about 10-billion dollars. Neither company had any comment on the report. Motorola is one of the world's leading electronics firms and General Instrument is a leading supplier of cable-television equipment. Vodafone, The British-based mobile telephone company, confirms it is in talks with Bell Atlantic, a regional telephone company in the United States, for a joint venture. The move comes just two months after Vodafone paid 62-billion dollars for AirTouch, a mobile telephone company on the U-S west coast. Electronic Data Systems, the world's second-largest computer services company, says revenues this year should be the largest in the firm's 35-year history. E-D-S also says it plans a major expansion in Europe, primarily through acquisitions. The Hershey Foods Corporation warned Wall Street that its earnings will fall short of expectations for the rest of this year. Hershey blames costs associated with a new computer system. Procter and Gamble, the U-S-based consumer-products giant, will launch an internet beauty-products service later this year. Called "Reflect.com" [reflect-dot- com], the site will allow consumers to choose among more than 50-thousand product and packaging combinations. (Signed) NEB/BA/EJ/TVM/WTW 13-Sep-1999 18:18 PM EDT (13-Sep-1999 2218 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/13/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11466
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: At the beginning of a new work week here in the United States, the daily press is still pondering the fiery end of a 1993 siege by the F-B-I at a religious cult outside Waco, Texas, and a new investigation of the circumstances. Other topics include Congressional stalled ratification of the latest nuclear weapons test ban treaty; the situation in East Timor; a battle over a tax cut; and ongoing calls for campaign finance reform. Now, here is _________ with a closer look and some excerpts, in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Recent revelations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used flammable teargas at the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, Texas, where a fire killed more than 80 people, have prompted new calls for the resignation of Attorney General Janet Reno. Today's Washington Times is upset with her on several counts. The paper begins by invoking Ms. Reno's own words from a 1993 news conference:

    VOICE: "I am accountable," Miss Reno insisted. "The buck [responsibility] stops with me." By seemingly "taking responsibility" for the colossal failure, Miss Reno's public approval soared. Her half-hearted offer to resign was, of course, rejected by President Clinton. Throughout her six-an-a half-year tenure as Attorney General, it has become increasingly clear that Miss Reno has no idea what accountability means. .. Indeed, if Miss Reno had even the slightest understanding of responsibility and accountability, to say nothing about self-respect in the wake of years of humiliating herself and being humiliated by the Clintons and their pals, she would have resigned long ago. /// OPT /// That she has the nerve to remain at Justice following two extraordinarily damaging revelaltions last week confirms she is simply incapable of comkprehending accountability. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Former Missouri Senator John Danforth was appointed last week as a special investigator of the F-B-I's actions at - and after - Waco. The Akron [Ohio] Beacon Journal wonders how Mr. Danforth will be allowed to operate:

    VOICE: A tangential question that [Senator] Danforth will address merely by his investigation . is . how, in the wake of the oft-criticized, now-expired independent-counsel law, will he function? Will he be influenced or controlled by Attorney General . Reno? She says no. Will he have enough time and resources to succeed? She says yes. A nation is watching.

    TEXT: In Florida, The Orlando Sentinel is calling for a speedy investigation that "doesn't drag on," but also rejects calls for Ms. Reno's resignation at this time. And in Boston, The Christian Science Monitor says the incident suggests there is "a culture, within the bureau [F-B-I] or the Justice Department, that allows mistakes to be hidden and superiors misled. As with Watergate and the Monica Lewinsky affair, the cover-up becomes the central concern. . The public needs the facts. On the subject of disarmament, The Detroit News expresses support for the U-S Senate as it continues to hold up ratification of the current nuclear test ban treaty.

    VOICE: Arms control enthusiasts believe the test ban is in America's interest, because it would discourage other countries from developing weapons of mass destruction. But that premise is doubtful. America unilaterally stopped above-ground testing long ago and has not tested any weapons underground since the early 1990s. Yet that did not "encourage" Pakistan and India to resist testing A-bombs of their own last year. National interest and military necessity will always override altruistic feelings.

    TEXT: Still an area of great editorial concern is the chaos in East Timor, wracked by deadly violence since a pro-Independence vote two weeks ago. The Washington Post cautiously hails the announcement by Indonesia's president that he will accept a U-N peacekeeping force to regain order.

    VOICE: A break in the slaughter is now a live prospect in East Timor as a result of the decision . Or is it? Mr. Habibie invited the United Nations to send an international peacekeeping force of "friendly" nations - presumably a force heavy with fellow Asians - to protect the population of East Timor, to restore security and order there and - of highest importance - to put into effect the results of the referendum of August 30th. . What is urgent now is Indonesia's prompt and full delivery on President Habibie's promise to undo all that can be undone of Indonesia's atrocities-atrocities that are not yet at an end.

    TEXT: On the domestic front, The Los Angeles Times remains skeptical of tax cuts pushed forward by Congressional Republicans and approved by both the House and Senate:

    VOICE: It's wishful thinking to assume that one or two years of black ink mean the nation has entered an era of perpetual budget surpluses that would justify either huge tax cuts or greater federal spending. Projected surpluses are based on assumptions about all kinds of things . that simply can't be perceived clearly even a few years ahead, let alone a decade. Downturns happen. Unexpected overseas events ripple through the global economy. . If surpluses do grow in coming years - a possibility, though far from a certainty - the prudent choice would be to commit them to reducing the five-point-six trillion-dollar national debt.

    TEXT: Speaking of money, The New York Times again calls for some kind of campaign finance reform, as fundraising for the upcoming presidential campaign sets new records.

    VOICE: One of the most important election events of the current season takes place this week ...[as] the House of Representatives votes on the Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill to ban unregulated "soft money" donations to political parties, regulate phony "issue ads" on television and impose new fund-raising disclosure rules. The bill . appears likely to pass. But the more votes it gets, the better the chances will be for Senate approval of what would become the most sweeping electoral reforms in a generation.

    TEXT: The topic of press freedom around the world is the focus of a pair of editorials. The Wall Street Journal sharply criticizes Malaysia for failing to provide justice for journalists like Murray Hiebert. He is a Canadian staffer of the Far Eastern Economic review who has been detained in Malaysia for about two years while his case is heard by a succession of courts. He is accused of "scandalizing the court" after he wrote about a lawsuit involving the son of a prominent judge who was accused of cheating by his high school debating team. Mr. Hiebert remains in jail, pending another appeal. By contrast, The Miami Herald is pleased at some comments from the new president of Panama, Mireya Moscoso, who is pledging to remove what it calls a "plethora of gag laws that harass, punish and intimidate Panama's journalists." On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of Monday's U-S press. NEB/ANG/bk 13-Sep-1999 11:35 AM EDT (13-Sep-1999 1535 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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