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Voice of America, 99-09-15

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] GREEK PLANE ACCIDENT UPDATE (L) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [02] KOSOVO FORCE (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)
  • [03] CONGRESS-BOSNIA CORRUPTION (L ONLY) BY PAULA WOLFSON (CAPITOL HILL)
  • [04] TRIBUNAL / PROSECTOR (L-ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)
  • [05] RUSSIA / CAUCASUS (LONG) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [06] EUROPE / COMMISSION (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [07] NORTHERN IRELAND-POLICE BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] GREEK PLANE ACCIDENT UPDATE (L) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253901
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister, who was credited with improving relations with Turkey, was killed Tuesday after the plane he was traveling in suddenly lost altitude. As Stefan Bos reports from Budapest, the incident happened in Romanian airspace, just before the plane was scheduled to land in the Romanian capital.

    TEXT: Romanian aviation officials say the Deputy Foreign Minister, Yiannos Kranidiotis, was on his way from Athens to the Romanian capital, Bucharest when the government plane hit heavy turbulence and suddenly lost altitude in the closing stages of the flight. The Greek Press Ministry confirmed that the aircraft dropped from about seven-thousand meters to about one- thousand meters shortly before the scheduled landing, killing the deputy foreign minister and five other passengers including his 23 year old son Nikos, two journalists, a body guard and the plane's engineer. Romanian civil aviation officials say the crew had reported an improper functioning of the flight equipment, but they stress it is too early to draw any conclusions. A Greek journalist, who was aboard the flight, said some of those killed were not strapped into their seats when the turbulence took place. The journalist, who was on the plane, told Greek television that Mr. Kranidiotis was standing and briefing reporters when the plane suddenly went down. Other survivors told reporters that panic had broken out in the cabin as passengers without seat belts were hurled through the cabin. The pilot somehow managed to regain control over the aircraft and to land it in Bucharest, where wounded survivors were rushed to the hospital. Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that the death of Deputy Foreign Minister Kranidiotis, who was 51, has shaken his country. He described Mr. Kranidiotis as a man with a very bright future. The Cypriot-born Kranidiotis was general secretary of the Foreign Ministry for European Affairs from 1994 to 1995. Earlier this year, the Deputy Foreign Minister was promoted to the number two position in the Ministry and concentrated his work on European affairs and Cypriot affairs. Greek officials credit Mr. Kranidiotis for his work as the architect in a recent dialogue between Turkey and Greece, aimed at easing tensions between the two rivals. Mr. Kranidiotis had been traveling to Bucharest for a meeting of Balkan countries. A plane carrying Greek officials and relatives of the dead was expected to arrive Wednesday in Bucharest. (signed)
    NEB/SB/PLM 15-Sep-1999 07:08 AM EDT (15-Sep-1999 1108 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO FORCE (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253914
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: International groups working in Kosovo (Wednesday) announced details of a plan to create a so-called Kosovo Corps. Tim Belay reports from Pristina that a large portion of the five-thousand member national guard is expected to come from the ranks of the demobilized Kosovo Liberation Army (K-L- A)-the ethnic-Albanian guerrilla force that had been pushing for Kosovo's independence from Yugoslavia..

    TEXT: According to plans being finalized by NATO-led peacekeepers and the United Nations mission in Kosovo, the force will include up to 200 armed guards, although most of the members will not be armed. They will be deployed throughout the province to help with reconstruction projects and be trained to react rapidly to natural disasters and other emergencies. A spokesman for the NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Kosovo, Major Ole Irgens, says the new nation guard- style group will not be involved in policing the province. That jobs remains in the hands of United Nations international police and NATO itself.

    /// ACT IRGENS ///

    This will not be a defense force. It will certainly not be an army. It will not have any role in law enforcement, riot control, counter- terrorism, or any other task involved in maintenance of law and order.

    /// END ACT ///

    The development of the Kosovo Corps comes as a final deadline approaches for the complete de-militarization of the Kosovo Liberation Army. K-L-A leaders have agreed to turn in all of their weapons by this coming Sunday. It is the final phase of a voluntary three- month demobilization plan. Major Irgens says K-L-A members who sign up for the new Kosovo Corps will have a chance to improve the K- L-A's image in the eyes of the international community. Members of the rebel army - called U-C-K in the Albanian language - are often accused of taking part in the widespread ethnic violence in Kosovo.

    /// ACT IRGENS ///

    The U-C-K has a chance to be a force for good, to contribute to the re-building of Kosovo. And we urge the leaders of the Albanian community and the U-C-K to exercise new leadership to stop the killing, the house burning, and the intimidations of non-Albanian minorities.

    /// END ACT ///

    Meanwhile, NATO-led peacekeepers say they have confiscated a large number of weapons and explosives following a 24-hour sweep of the province. /// OPT
    /// In eastern Kosovo, they seized several rifles, shotguns, automatic weapons, and (hand) grenades in a search of two Serb-owned houses. /// END OPT ///
    (Signed)
    NEB/TB/GE 15-Sep-1999 11:09 AM EDT (15-Sep-1999 1509 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] CONGRESS-BOSNIA CORRUPTION (L ONLY) BY PAULA WOLFSON (CAPITOL HILL)

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253922
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Clinton administration officials say they are aggressively investigating allegations of massive fraud and corruption in Bosnia. V-O-A's Paula Wolfson reports they told a congressional committee despite the problem, progress is being made after years of bloodshed in the former Yugoslav republic.

    TEXT: The allegations are dramatic: hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid funds lost, stolen, misused or just unaccounted for in Bosnia. The Bosnian government disputes the charges. State Department officials acknowledge there is a problem. But they urge members of Congress to put it in perspective.

    ///NAPPER TEASE ACT///

    There has been an enormous amount of progress made in Bosnia since the end of the war, the Dayton Accords, and the beginning of our assistance program.

    ///END ACT///

    Larry Napper is the U-S government's aid coordinator for Eastern Europe. He told the House International Relations Committee the relative poverty of the region combined with the chaos of war to create - - in his words - - "fertile ground for corruption."

    ///NAPPER ACT///

    These historic legacies do not make the corruption problem hopeless, but they do underscore its difficulty. And they underscore the necessity for supporting, and insisting upon, reforms.

    ///END ACT///

    (OPT) The top Democrat on the Committee continued the theme. Connecticut Congressman Sam Gejdenson (Gay'- dun-son) said the extent of the loss to U-S taxpayers has been grossly overstated. He said Bosnia is facing the same troubles as other emerging Democracies.

    ///GEJDENSON ACT///

    Changing institutions is difficult everywhere. Here we have basically countries with no democratic institutions.

    ///END ACT (END OPT) ///

    But the Committee Chairman approaches the situation in a very different light. New York Republican Benjamin Gilman says he fears a culture of corruption is taking hold in Bosnia that could delay the withdrawal of U-S troops.

    ///GILMAN ACT///

    Corruption does impede progress towards our major goals in Bosnia. Our exit strategy depends on the creation of a viable government economy capable of sustaining peace and stability there.

    ///END ACT///

    The allegations of fraud first surfaced in a front- page New York Times article last month that alleged 1 billion dollars lost, including 20 million in U-S funds. The Times later acknowledged its figures may have been too high, but emphasized the corruption problem persists in Bosnia. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PW/BK 15-Sep-1999 13:58 PM EDT (15-Sep-1999 1758 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] TRIBUNAL / PROSECTOR (L-ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253913
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The new chief prosecutor of the Yugoslav and Rwandan War Crimes Tribunals has arrived in The Hague for her first day on the job. Former Swiss attorney general Carla del Ponte brings with her a reputation as a tough prosecutor. Lauren Comiteau is in The Hague and has more.

    TEXT: Carla del Ponte made her reputation fighting money laundering and organized crime in her native Switzerland -- all experience that will no doubt work to her advantage as the Tribunal's top prosecutor. She has broken a Sicilian Mafia drug ring, and has gone after former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, and high-ranking Russian officials in an alleged bribery case that may implicate Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Carla del Ponte made some enemies along the way, making her arrival in the Hague and future plans a bit of a mystery. Prosecution spokesman Paul Risley says they are being very careful about her security.

    /// ACT RISLEY ///

    At least in the beginning, we will be very careful in regards to her security, and certainly Madame del Ponte brings specific security considerations for her, due to her previous job in Switzerland.

    /// END ACT ///

    Those concerns mainly have to do with the Italian Mafia, which tried to kill Ms. del Ponte in a 1989 car-bomb attack in Sicily. High on her new list of enemies may well be Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Former prosecutor Louise Arbour indicted him and four of his top officials in May. Ms. del Ponte now faces the task of building a case against them and of expanding the charges for alleged Kosovo war crimes. Her staff (of 324) is also busy prosecuting Bosnian war crimes and fighting with Croatian officials for evidence of possible atrocities. Tribunal spokesmen say Ms. del Ponte wants to familiarize herself with her new job before talking to the press. But she recently praised her predecessor for doing what she calls a very good job, and says she will continue in the same determined way -- independently and aggressively going after all indicted suspects. There are currently 30 in custody, with more than 20 still free. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LC/GE/RAE 15-Sep-1999 10:40 AM LOC (15-Sep-1999 1440 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] RUSSIA / CAUCASUS (LONG) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253915
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian security authorities have launched a massive manhunt for the people responsible for bombings at two Moscow apartment buildings that killed more than 200 people. V-O-A Moscow Correspondent Eve Conant reports a tough new anti-terrorist campaign will be extended into Russia's troubled Caucasus region.

    TEXT: Police officials say Moscow's anti-terrorist campaign, dubbed "Operation Whirlwind," will cover the entire country. Officers have been searching the capital for suspects in the blasts, focusing on dark- skinned men who could be from the Caucasus region of southern Russia. Russia's Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Anatoly Kvashnin flew to the Caucasus (Wednesday) to launch "Operation Whirlwind" there. Interior Minister Rushailo says their task will not be easy.

    /// RUSHAILO ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    He says, "The situation is difficult because of criminal gangs. Our aim is to organize measures to prevent gangs from penetrating into other regions of the Caucasus." The situation remains tense in the Caucasus region of Dagestan, where federal forces have been fighting Islamic militants since early August. Russian news agencies quote Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev as saying (Wednesday) that thousands more militants have concentrated near the border between Chechnya and Dagestan. Russian officials have blamed the apartment blasts on terrorists linked to Islamic insurgents in Dagestan and Chechnya but have produced little hard evidence to support their assertions. Chechen militants have denied any involvement in the attacks. Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said (Wednesday) that officials are certain the perpetrators were using the breakaway region of Chechnya as a base of operations.

    /// PUTIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    He says, "The terrorists are hiding in Chechnya and are supported by Chechen extremists. We have detained some people they may have used to commit these acts, and are searching for those who ordered them." An Interior Ministry official said (Wednesday) that Russian aircraft carried out attacks against militant bases inside Chechen territory, but denied that forces were bombing civilian targets. A statement by the Chechen president's press office says the breakaway region will declare three days of mourning for victims of what it describes as Russian bombing raids against civilian villages. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/JWH/JO 15-Sep-1999 11:13 AM EDT (15-Sep-1999 1513 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] EUROPE / COMMISSION (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253916
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The European Parliament (meeting in Strasbourg, France) has confirmed a new president and a new 19-member commission as the new executive board of the European Union. As V-O-A Correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels, the new E-U Commission is headed by Romano Prodi, a former prime minister of Italy.

    TEXT: By a vote of 414 to 142 -- with 35 abstentions - the European Parliament approved the new European Commission -- the executive board of the European Union. Romano Prodi and his commissioners will finish the rest of the term of their predecessors, led by Jacques Santer. Mr. Santer, now a member of Parliament himself, voted in favor of the series of votes that also confirmed the new president and commission for the new five-year term that begins in January, running until 2005. Mr. Prodi, a former Italian prime minister, has pledged to reverse the atmosphere of corruption and nepotism that forced the resignation of the Santer Commission last March. A committee appointed by the European Parliament said it was difficult to find anyone on that former Commission with the slightest sense of responsibility. The Prodi Commission retains four members of the previous Commission. One of them, Britain's Neil Kinnock, has been put in charge of administrative reform. Speaking to parliament before the vote, Mr. Prodi said, through an interpreter, there will be a different atmosphere this time.

    /// PRODI ACT W/ INTERPRETER ///

    We have a firm commitment to the principle of collegiality, which is a fundamental point when it comes to assuring that the Commission plays its role. And we hope this collegiality does not become a shield to hide any problem of responsibility of individuals -- problems of responsibility that we must all shoulder when we get into politics. Before this parliament, we shoulder these responsibilities, and we shoulder these responsibilities before the entire European population.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Prodi has already spoken of the new Commission having a policy of "glasnost" -- the Russian word for openness -- in its relations with the Parliament. Center-right parties now dominate the new European Parliament. British conservatives voted against the Prodi Commission, but the leader of the center-right parties, Germany's Hans-Gert Poettering, says through an interpreter, the majority will give the left of center Commission a chance to carry out its promises.

    /// POETTERING ACT W/ INTERPRETER ///

    In all of this, let's remember, this is not a blank check. This is not a license to do anything. And we intend to take you at your words and the last thing you said, Mr. President, which was that after confirmation we'll be looking at you to make sure you deliver on the many promises, at the many announced intentions which we have recorded.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// OPT ///

    Mr. Prodi and the majority of the Commission have been left of center politicians. The parliament's second largest party, the Socialists, all endorsed the Commission. /// END OPT /// Mr. Prodi will be formally sworn into office Friday at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and his new Commission starts work almost immediately to take charge of the vast European bureaucracy. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH 15-Sep-1999 11:03 AM EDT (15-Sep-1999 1503 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] NORTHERN IRELAND-POLICE BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44261
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    //Eds: This is the first of a two-part series on Northern Ireland. Second part will be issued Thursday
    //

    INTRO: The Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland have reacted differently to a commission report calling for a re-structuring of the British province's police force known as the "Royal Ulster Constabulary." In this report, former London Correspondent Andre de Nesnera looks at the recommendations of the Patten Commission on Policing and discusses some of the concerns voiced by Northern Ireland's two communities.

    TEXT: The Royal Ulster Constabulary - or R-U-C - was created in 1922 when Northern Ireland came into being. One of its primary functions was to preserve the state and, as such, was seen as an armed force whose agenda was heavily weighted in favor of Protestants and Unionists - those who favor keeping Northern Ireland within Great Britain. The R-U-C has 13-hundred officers - more than 90 percent of them are Protestant. In its history, the R- U-C's Catholic component never rose above 10 percent. Since the so-called "Troubles" began in Northern Ireland three decades ago, more than 300 R-U-C officers have been killed and about 8-thousand injured. Just last week, a special commission issued a report that many analysts believe represents the most comprehensive and far-reaching attempt at overhauling the policing system in Northern Ireland. Headed by former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten, the special commission was established 17-months ago as a by- product of the April 1998 Political Agreement on Northern Ireland, commonly known as the "Good Friday Accord." The Patten Commission Report contains 175 recommendations. The key points include reducing the 13-hundred member R-U-C by half over ten years and increasing the recruitment of Catholics. The "Royal Ulster Constabulary" will be renamed the "Northern Ireland Police Service." The practice of flying the British flag over police stations will be discontinued and officers will no longer swear allegiance to the Queen. In addition, the new police force will have different badges and symbols. Geoff Martin is editor of the daily "The Belfast Newsletter," which espouses Protestant and Unionist views. He says the reaction within the Protestant community has been essentially negative.

    /// MARTIN ACT ///

    (OPT) It might be difficult for your listeners to appreciate this, but it is the headline issue like the changing of the name of the R-U-C, the stripping of its identity - really - in terms of the insignia and the taking of the oath and other matters like that. (END OPT) And really that is because the Protestant community here feels that it is being systematically stripped of its identity during the current peace process - and this just seems to be the latest and another unacceptable example of that. So it is really on that main issue that most of the opposition is being heard.

    /// END ACT ///

    There is a general rule in Northern Ireland: When one community rejects an idea it is generally accepted by the other - and vice-versa. This is the case with the report on policing. Noel Doran is deputy editor of Belfast's "Irish News," a daily newspaper that espouses Nationalist or Catholic views. He says those Catholics who reject violence and are committed to the political process have welcomed the report, adding that it probably represents the best way to resolve a very sensitive issue.

    /// DORAN ACT ///

    In terms of Republicans - which basically you would generally suggest are people who have supported the Irish Republican Army or (its political wing) "Sinn Fein" or people who have favored the use of violence in the past - the Republicans have probably been much more guarded in their reaction to it. But among the more senior figures, there has been an understanding that this represents probably the best deal they are likely to get. They would have liked to see the R-U-C completely disbanded and all its members told to stand down from policing - which realistically was never going to happen. With that objective having been denied them, they are now looking at what else is possible - and it looks as though in broad terms, they are prepared to give at least a guarded welcome to the Patten proposals.

    /// END ACT ///

    The British government has given all Northern Ireland political parties until the end of November to consult their members on the pros and cons of the Patten report. At the end of that period, British government officials will decide which recommendations they present to Parliament to be enacted into a new law. (Signed)
    NEB/ADEN/KL 15-Sep-1999 16:20 PM EDT (15-Sep-1999 2020 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253927
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were down today (Wednesday) on continued interest rate worries. VOA Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-801, down 108 points or one percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-17 down 18 points. The NASDAQ index lost almost two percent. Stocks rose initially on a better-than-expected consumer price index for August. The government reported retail prices rose by three-tenths of one percent and the so-called "core" rate of inflation, which eliminates food and fuel prices, rose by just one-tenth of one percent. Despite that good inflation report, Wall Street remains concerned that the U-S central bank will again raise interest rates next month.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    Art Cashin of the Paine Webber investment company says some Wall Street analysts are also worried about an apparent slowdown of money flowing into stock mutual funds.

    /// CASHIN ACT ///

    I think this market is seeing that we are not getting the large number of new inflows into funds. That is bothersome. This market, for years, has ridden the back of a massive inflow of funds and that seems to be slowing down. We are trying to figure out if it is an aberration or a problem we will have to live with for a while.

    /// END ACT ///

    Microsoft, the world's largest software company, will pay one point three billion dollars in stock for the Visio Corporation. Visio is a leading developer of design and diagramming software. Talks aimed at created the second-largest food company in the United States have broken down. An effort by Best Foods and the Heinz company to merge has been abandoned, at least for now, reportedly because of disagreements on management control. A-T and T, the largest telecommunications company in the United States, says it plans to slash two billion dollars in costs over the next two years. The company says it will impose a hiring freeze and will cut an undetermined number of jobs. The Motorola Electronics company has reached agreement to buy the General Instrument Corporation in a deal worth about 11 billion dollars. General Instrument is the leading maker of cable television connection equipment. Leaders of the U-S autoworkers union have indefinitely postponed a strike against the three major U-S auto companies despite the fact that the old contract has expired. Negotiations continue with Daimler-Chrysler and a deal there is expected to set the pattern for agreements at Ford and General Motors. U-S Airways, the sixth largest carrier in the United States, says it will not report a profit in the third quarter. The company says an unusually high number of cancelled flights has caused widespread "customer discontent."(Signed) NEB/BA/EJ/TVM/PT 15-Sep-1999 17:17 PM LOC (15-Sep-1999 2117 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=9/15/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11470
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: A pair of Asian stories; the U-N peacekeeping force for East Timor and the latest agreement between the U-S and North Korea, dominate the editorial columns of the U-S press this Wednesday. While the top domestic story drawing comment is the possible third-party presidential candidacy of a far-right Republican, television commentator Pat Buchanan. There are other topics in the limelight, and some of them include: the latest terror bombings in Russia; a rapprochement with China; and a really big hurricane named Floyd, threatens the Southeastern United States. Now, we welcome ________ to the V-O-A microphone with a closer look and some examples in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Now that the United Nations had speedily approved a peacekeeping force for the eastern half of the violence wracked island of Timor, the U-S press in some cities is having second thoughts. At least about U-S military participation in the force. But other papers are urging full-speed ahead. Maine's "Portland Press Herald" says it is:

    VOICE: Time to stop talking and get U-N troops to East Timor. . The need to send a military force to . guard the pro-independence majority there is immediate, so this is no time to argue about details. That is exactly what is going on, however.

    TEXT: In Missouri, "The Kansas City Star" is trying to understand why such terrible bloodshed occurred after the independence vote.

    VOICE: Indonesia is rife with separatist movements, that of East Timor being only the most violent. Nothing can excuse the harshness of Indonesia's rule in East Timor, but given the subsurface fragmentation, Jakarta legitimately fears the breakup of the entire country -- especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis that began in 1997. . The bloodshed in East Timor sends the message that elections and talks are useless. Some separatists who had hoped to achieve autonomy through peaceful means now may go to war. The deployment of a peacekeeping force is only one chapter of a larger story -- one that may test the cohesiveness of Indonesia itself.

    TEXT: In a dissenting voice, "The Atlanta Journal" wants to see the Asian nations neighboring East Timor take the lead in the U-N force, suggesting:

    VOICE: ///OPT /// In theory, a peacekeeping force will be expected to damp down the violence in East Timor . but there is no real assurance that the Indonesian soldiers, police and armed "militias" who have been terrorizing the province will respect the U-N flag or the peacekeepers' blue helmets that signify their U- N authority. Gunmen had few qualms about attacking international aid agencies and driving U-N representatives out of the country /// END OPT /// . America and NATO countries shouldered the burden of rescuing Kosovo from oblivion, in part because it is in their "neighborhood." It is only right that nations nearest to Indonesia carry out the responsibilities of saving East Timor.

    TEXT: The day's other big Asian topic concerns the agreement reached with North Korea not to test fire its newest and longest-range missile, the Taepo Dong Two, in return for promises of more aid and other concessions from the United States, Japan, and South Korea. "The Chicago Tribune" grudgingly agrees:

    VOICE: North Korea's Stalinist regime has proven, once again, how it can keep reaping rewards simply by behaving badly and threatening its neighbors. . the deal comes at a time in Asia when the U-S is struggling to stop East Timor's bloodletting and reduce tension between China and Taiwan. So [President] Clinton is justified in trying to influence Pyongyang's behavior by offering carrots, in the form of economic incentives North Korea desperately needs, rather than sticks.

    TEXT: "The Orlando Sentinel" is calling for the White House to -- Consider [the] North Korea request and possibly ease some economic sanctions, while keeping military sanctions in place. On the West Coast, "The San Francisco Chronicle" opines that:

    VOICE: Coaxing North Korea out of its cave is tricky business. .[But] the new path [of negotiations rather than stalemate] is worth trying.

    TEXT: Domestically, the big story drawing comment is the possible defection of right-wing Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan to the Reform Party, founded by Ross Perot. "The Boston Globe" says this is a -- Reform we do not need.

    VOICE: In all probability, a right-wing Reform Party headed by [Mr.] Buchanan ... would either give an unhealthy advantage to the Democratic candidate by siphoning off conservative votes from the Republicans, or would pull the Republican candidate too far to the right in an attempt to head off that danger. Either result would be bad for the nation, the two main parties, and the Reform Party itself.

    TEXT: In Texas, "The Houston Chronicle" is not impressed either:

    VOICE: . his third-party candidacy would, by any measure, fall in the regressive category.

    TEXT: And even in one of the nation's most conservative dailies, "The Manchester [New Hampshire] Union Leader", there is opposition, where the paper almost always strongly supports Mr. Buchanan. The Union Leader pleads:

    VOICE: No, Pat, No: Buchanan leaving [the] Republicans helps no one. .Such a move can only help elect the likes of Al Gore or Bill Bradley.

    TEXT: The latest terrorist bombing in Moscow, the fourth in Russia in the past two-weeks, killing more than 200-people, draws this retort from the "Chicago Tribune".

    VOICE: /// OPT /// The face of fear for Russians was never this: Deadly, early morning explosions in the heart of Moscow that kill the innocent in their sleep. . Now, terrorism has come to Russia, capable of striking at will, and the government seems powerless to stem the panic. ///END OPT /// . This is a tense and dangerous time for Russia. . But this war [against the terrorists] must be fought without realizing the conspiracy theorists' worst fears: that it is merely the convenient excuse to cement [Mr.] Yeltsin's hold on power and thwart Russia's all-too-brief experiment in democracy. That would be the greatest Russian tragedy. //

    END OPT ///

    TEXT: Today's "New York Times" is celebrating improving relations with China after Presidents Clinton and Jiang Zemin met during the APEC Summit in New Zealand. "The Times" says

    VOICE: [they] gave a welcome nudge to negotiators to complete a broad agreement enabling China to enter the World Trade Organization, possibly before the organization's November meeting in Seattle. . bringing China into the global trading community will bring big dividends, and the administration should make maximum effort to conclude an agreement.

    TEXT: Another popular topic domestically is Hurricane Floyd moving up the Southeastern coast. The huge storm draws this comment from the "Miami Herald", already out of harm's way.

    VOICE: For those who take a direct hit, the immediate aftermath can be overwhelming, physically and emotionally: roofs gone, treasured possessions lost, debris blocking roads, food, and water in short supply. Then comes the second storm: price gouging, repair scams, rocketing insurance rates, and the frustration of reclaiming a "normal" life.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of today's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 15-Sep-1999 11:20 AM LOC (15-Sep-1999 1520 UTC)
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    Source: Voice of America


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