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Voice of America, 99-09-16

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] YUGO / DEMONSTRATIONS (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BELGRADE)
  • [02] KOSOVO / K-L-A LEADER (L) BY PAMELA TAYLOR (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] ENVIRONMENT BRIEFS:YUGOSLAV ENVIRONMENT, BY ROSANNE SKIRBLE (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] KOSOVO / RUSSIANS (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)
  • [05] KOSOVO CORPS / REGISTRATION (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [06] NATO-KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [07] ROMANIA TURNAROUND (L-O) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] TROUBLE IN THE CAUCASUS BY PAMELA TAYLOR (WASHINGTON)
  • [09] COHEN-NATO TALKS PREVIEW (L-O) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [10] NORTHERN IRELAND-TALKS BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)
  • [11] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [12] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] YUGO / DEMONSTRATIONS (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (BELGRADE)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253968
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A spokesman for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party says demonstrators in Serbia have nothing to fear if they obey the law. His statement comes in advance of demonstrations next week that some organizers say could draw over a million people into streets across Serbia. Philip Smucker reports from Belgrade.

    TEXT: Socialist Party spokesman, Ivica Dacic, says anti-government demonstrators planning a huge rally for next Tuesday do not have to fear a crackdown from Serbian police.

    /// ACT DACIC, IN SERBIAN, FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Dacic says there will be no reason for any disturbances or police actions against demonstrators as long as they obey the law. But Mr. Dacic also accused the anti-government movement of siding with NATO, which bombed Serbia for 78 days. He says those who take to the streets against the government are supporting the Western military alliance. In the past, Serb police have cracked down on rallies and beaten protesters in Belgrade and other cities. Mr. Dacic's statement Thursday seemed to suggest that the government will try to outlast the anti-regime demonstrations, which began on a small scale after the end of NATO bombing. Some political analysts in Belgrade say that Mr. Milosevic has actually strengthened his grip on power since the end of the Kosovo conflict. The Serb leader survived huge street protests in 1996 and 1997 before moving on from the Serbian presidency to the Yugoslav presidency. A leader of the opposition coalition planning the demonstrations, Zoran Djindjic, says there will be mock trials of President Milosevic. He says the trials will be aimed at showing how Mr. Milosevic has led the country to ruin in the last decade. (SIGNED) NEB/PS/GE/ENE/bk 16-Sep-1999 14:02 PM EDT (16-Sep-1999 1802 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] KOSOVO / K-L-A LEADER (L) BY PAMELA TAYLOR (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253978
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The political leader of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian guerrilla movement, the Kosovo Liberation Army, says the K-L-A will meet Sunday's deadline for disarming and demobilizing its forces. Hashim Thaci [pron: hah-`SHEEM `THAH-chee] is in Washington for meetings with U-S officials, including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. V-O-A's Pamela Taylor reports.

    TEXT: Hashim Thaci, whose wartime name was "the snake," told V-O-A (today/Thursday) there is "absolutely no problem" with K-L-A forces meeting a Sunday deadline to disarm. He says he plans to be back in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, for Saturday's planned victory parade to celebrate the occasion.

    /// 1ST THACI ACT, IN ALBANIAN WITH TRANSLATION ///

    We will respect the agreements we have signed with the international community [on disarming]. We will respect the resolution of the U-N Security Council [regarding the international administration of Kosovo]. We will not engage in armed confrontations.

    /// END ACT ///

    Under the terms of the demilitarization of the K-L-A, about five-thousand former soldiers are to be transformed into a civil-defense corps. Other K-L-A members are joining a police force organized by the United Nations. There are reports that Serb paramilitary forces are trying to return to the province. Asked how the new police force might react to this, Mr. Thaci says that would be a situation for to NATO to deal with. Yugoslavia has been pushing [urging] NATO to allow a limited number of Serb troops back into Kosovo province to guard the borders and Serbian religious sites. Although such an eventual return is part of the agreement that ended the war, NATO's supreme commander, General Wesley Clark, has ruled out their return any time soon. Kosovo's Serbian community also is asking for such troops, for protection from attacks by ethnic Albanians. Mr. Thaci told V-O-A the K-L-A is not behind revenge attacks against Serbs and other minorities. He says the (ethnic-Albanian) Kosovar leadership is trying to educate the public about the importance of Kosovo being a multi-ethnic society:

    /// 2ND THACI ACT, IN ALBANIAN WITH TRANSLATION ///

    I believe that with the establishment of this police force, the situation will improve. But what we need is for the citizens of Kosovo themselves to be conscious of the negative impact of such attacks. The process for the establishment of such a multi-ethnic society has already begun. A multi-ethnic society in Kosovo is necessary, and it's unavoidable, and I fully believe that this society will be established. But there will be problems and we will need time.

    /// END ACT ///

    On Tuesday, Mr. Thaci and several other Kosovar Albanian leaders met with Secretary of State Albright, who issued a stern warning about revenge attacks. Ms. Albright told the delegation that killings and acts of terror against Serbs and other minorities harm Kosovo's own interests, by discouraging international humanitarian support and foreign investment. (Signed)
    NEB/PAM/WTW 16-Sep-1999 15:48 PM EDT (16-Sep-1999 1948 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] ENVIRONMENT BRIEFS:YUGOSLAV ENVIRONMENT, BY ROSANNE SKIRBLE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=ENGLISH PROGRAMS FEATURE

    SATELLITE TOOLS FOR STORM PREDICTION, U-S FUEL ECONOMY NUMBER=7-32728
    EDITOR=SMART
    TELEPHONE=619-2806
    CONTENT=
    Attention:Environment

    INTRO: On this week's Environment Briefs, VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the environmental impact of the NATO air campaign in Yugoslavia, tools for predicting tropical storms and research that shows Americans want tougher fuel emissions standards.

    TEXT: The World Wildlife Fund announced this week new evidence of contamination in the water and soil at two facilities bombed in the NATO air campaign in Yugoslavia earlier this year. TAPE CUT ONE: PHILIP WHELLER (: 11) "We found in those samples elevated levels of a variety of highly toxic substances including mercury, ethylene dichloride, polycyclic aromatic hyrdrocarbons and dioxin."

    TEXT: That's Philip Wheller, who led a World Wildlife Fund mission to the Pancevo Petrochemical Complex and the Novi Sad Oil Refinery in late July to assess the environmental impact of the 78 day NATO bombing campaign. He says the toxic substances continue to pollute the area. TAPE CUT TWO: PHILIP WHELLER (: 09) "These materials are leaching off of these facilities and into the Danube River as well as potentially causing long-term damage to ground water sources in this area."

    TEXT: The World Wildlife Fund made an urgent plea for financial support, technical assistance and equipment from the international community to clean up and remove the contaminants. The conservation organization says the toxins present a greater threat to natural resources and public health the longer they are left untreated. BRIDGE

    TEXT: As millions of Americans along the east coast of the United States keep a careful eye on Hurricane Floyd, weather forecasters have more tools than ever to track the path of tropical storms. The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin has developed new models to estimate wind speed, movement and intensity of storms in the upper atmosphere. Another product allows scientists to track smaller scale weather systems that are not visible with the global models now in use. Institute research scientist Tim Olander says the new tools give weather experts information they need to make more accurate forecasts. TAPE CUT THREE: TIM OLANDER (: 13) "They really find that these products help them understand more about the atmosphere surrounding a hurricane, and it gives them a better idea of where it is going to go and how it is going to increase in intensity or decrease (in intensity)."

    TEXT: Tim Olander says he hopes the satellite data will also help to improve emergency warning systems for tropical storms and therefore help save lives. BRIDGE

    TEXT: In a close vote on Wednesday the U-S Senate rejected a resolution that would have led to raising fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks and sport utility vehicles. Prior to the Senate vote, several environment groups released polls that show overwhelming public support for stricter fuel standards. In a poll conducted by the World Wildlife Fund, three out of four drivers who own vans, light trucks or sport utility vehicles say manufacturers should be required to make cleaner less polluting cars even if they cost more. Seventy percent of Independent and Republican voters polled in New Hampshire told the Sierra Club that they supported raising fuel efficiency standards to cut pollution. Daniel Becker directs the global warming campaign for the Sierra Club. TAPE CUT FOUR: DANIEL BECKER (:08) "This is something that cuts across ideological lines. It cuts across political lines. It cuts across union and non-union household lines. It's just something that all Americans seem to support."

    TEXT: Daniel Becker says while the fuel economy resolution is dead in the Senate, the close vote was a signal to President Clinton to veto the bill it is attached to, thus requiring that fuel economy standards be studied and made stricter. (SIGNED) NEB/RS/nes 16-Sep-1999 13:40 PM EDT (16-Sep-1999 1740 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO / RUSSIANS (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253964
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Kosovo reacted sharply (Thursday) to criticism about the ability of his troops to act effectively in the province. Tim Belay reports the comments were aimed at ethnic Albanian demonstrators who have blocked the deployment of Russian peacekeepers for the past month in the southern Kosovo city of Orahovac [pron: uh-`RAH-hu-vats].

    TEXT: The Orahovac protesters are consistent in their objections to Russian troops, who are in Kosovo as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping mission, called K-FOR. They say Russian mercenaries helped Serbs commit atrocities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, and argue that Russian peacekeeping troops are just as likely to side with the Serbs in any new local disputes. The commander of the Russian soldiers in Kosovo, Major General Valery Yevtukovich, says people have no right to connect the Russian peacekeepers with the private Russian citizens who took part in the conflict. He says Russian citizens are not allowed to be soldiers of fortune under Russian law. And he says since the Russian government was not involved in recruiting and placing soldiers of fortune in Kosovo, it can not be held responsible for their activities. On a positive note, General Yevtukovich says talks on allowing the Russians to enter Orahovac are going well, and he expects the month-long standoff to end quickly and peacefully. Even as these talks continue, more Russian peacekeepers are beginning to work in the areas around Orahovac, as Major Ole Irgens, a spokesman for NATO's peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, explains:

    /// IRGENS ACT ///

    Really, in Orahovac it's status quo. It's really not any developments. The roadblocks are still there. But what's new is the Russians actually started deployment in the areas around Orahovac. The discussed area is the town, itself, where Dutch K-FOR soldiers still are, and they are waiting for a peaceful solution to deploy the Russian troops into Orahovac itself.

    /// END ACT ///

    Those working for a solution to the standoff say they hope the protesters will come to see the Russian troops as part of the NATO mission in Kosovo, and as fair and impartial peacekeepers. (Signed) NEB/TB/GE/ENE/WTW 16-Sep-1999 14:14 PM EDT (16-Sep-1999 1814 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] KOSOVO CORPS / REGISTRATION (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253963
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: On Monday, officials in Kosovo will begin processing applications for a new civilian force in the province - the Kosovo Corps. They are specifically recruiting former fighters in the Kosovo Liberation Army. From Geneva, Lisa Schlein reports.

    TEXT: The start of this registration process is seen as a significant step in United Nations efforts to transform former K-L-A fighters into productive members of Kosovo's civil society. The Kosovo Corps is being formed as a civilian emergency and humanitarian force. That is, it will assist in reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts. Its members will also be trained to react rapidly to natural disasters and other emergencies. The International Organization for Migration is handling the Corp's formation under the auspices of the United Nations. The I-O-M's Jean-Philippe Chauzy says the K-L-A has been demobilized and now the former combatants have to be re-integrated into civilian life. He calls this a major challenge for the international community.

    /// CHAUZY ACT ///

    It is very important today that former combatants have options whether they want to reintegrate in civilian life. And, we're also working on making this possible. Or whether they can help Kosovo and the Kosovar people in Kosovo by actually joining this Kosovo Corps and helping the territory deal with such emergencies and natural disasters.

    /// END ACT ///

    The Kosovo Corps will have 5-thousand members. Three- thousand will serve full time and the rest will act as part-time reservists. /// OPT /// The United Nations has set three criteria for joining the corps. Candidates have to be between 18 and 55 years old. They have to be fairly fit, and have a reasonable level of education. /// END OPT /// Mr. Chauzy says a survey of former K-L-A fighters showed 63 percent want to wear some kind of uniform, either by joining the police force of the Kosovo Corps.

    /// CHAUZY ACT ///

    So we believe the criteria being fairly wide there will be a fairly large response. It is important to state that we are encouraging civilians to join in this recruitment process, to join the Kosovo Corp. It is important that this Corp also integrates people from the civilian society.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Chauzy says the United Nations is eager to recruit Serbs and other minorities into the Corps. But, he admits it may be very difficult to achieve an ethnically balanced unit. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/GE/ENE/bk 16-Sep-1999 13:40 PM EDT (16-Sep-1999 1740 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] NATO-KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253965
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO says it believes it destroyed just about all the Serbian military equipment it reported destroyed during the war in Kosovo. V-O-A Correspondent Ron Pemstein in Brussels reports NATO's Supreme Commander, General Wesley Clark, gave the assessment during a briefing for news reporters.

    TEXT: You have heard about NATO jets bombing decoy Serbian tanks in Kosovo. They did. According to NATO's final battlefield assessment, its pilots destroyed about nine decoy tanks. Instead of 116 tanks that NATO said its pilots destroyed in Kosovo, the final confirmed figure is 93. The decoys and any questionable reports have been eliminated. The same analysis shows NATO pilots destroyed 153 armored personnel carriers, 339 military vehicles, and 389 artillery and mortars. The point NATO's Supreme Commander makes, is that numbers are not the proof of the effectiveness of an air campaign.

    /// FIRST CLARK ACT ///

    The short answer of what we struck is clear: How much did we strike? And how much did we destroy? We destroyed, we struck, enough. The conflict ended on NATO's terms. Serb forces are out. NATO forces are in. The refugees are home. A cease-fire is in place and so we, in that sense, succeeded in this conflict.

    /// END ACT ///

    That is General Clark's answer to all his critics who say NATO pilots flew too high over Kosovo or that they struck mainly decoys. NATO pilots who joined General Clark's presentation here say they recognized the Serb decoys and decided to bomb them anyway, to try to discourage the Serbs from using fake tanks and artillery. General Clark says NATO never thought it had destroyed even half of the Serb army in Kosovo.

    /// SECOND CLARK ACT ///

    What we have been successful in doing was keeping it in hiding, under wraps, ineffective. And the reporter from La Republica who said the tanks were sticking their noses out like mushrooms from these buildings was exactly right. And that's where, by and large, most of the Serb forces had to stay during the war in order to survive. And that was one of the purposes of conducting this air campaign over Kosovo, [it] was to achieve precisely that impact.

    /// END ACT ///

    Despite NATO's victory in Kosovo, General Clark is being forced to retire a few months early as NATO's commander next year. As for Yugoslavia's President Slobodan Milosevic, General Clark is not confident about his future, either.

    /// THIRD CLARK ACT ///

    In January, when General Klaus Naumann and I went down to see him, President Milosevic said that to him, Kosovo is more important than his head. Well, now he has given up Kosovo and he is struggling to save his head. As for my own tour of duty, I think it has been a very important tour of duty. I'm very pleased with the support that I have had. And I have another seven months to go, and that is what I am focusing on, is completing this tour of duty.

    /// END ACT ///

    General Clark prefers to point to NATO's successful outcome of the air operation in Kosovo as his answer to his critics back in Washington. (Signed) NEB/RDP/JWH/ENE/WTW 16-Sep-1999 13:50 PM EDT (16-Sep-1999 1750 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] ROMANIA TURNAROUND (L-O) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253980
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Just a few months ago Romania, the largest of the Balkan economies, seemed on the edge of defaulting on its foreign debt while its economy continued a second year of steep decline. But V-O-A's Barry Wood reports that some economists say Romania has turned the corner and is on the road to recovery.

    TEXT: The change came in April when the International Monetary Fund finally agreed to a big loan it had delayed for over a year. The promise of nearly half a billion dollars in I-M-F lending prompted other lenders to step forward and the government's finances were suddenly improved. A tight budget was presented and long delayed privatizations were put on a fast track. But the damage from past mismanagement as well as trade disruptions connected with Russia's financial crisis and Nato's air war against Serbia have taken their toll. The economy will register a three percent decline this year but is expected to grow in 2000. Karen Zietlow, an economist at Planecon in Washington, applauds the Romanian government for finally taking action to restructure money losing state enterprises.

    // FIRST ZIETLOW ACT //

    They have actually been making progress in privatizations and restructuring industries, which has been what has been killing them over the past couple years. Their industries just don't produce anything that anybody wanted to buy.

    // END ACT //

    There has been an important privatization in the Romanian auto industry. Renault of France has agreed to rescue the ailing Dacia company, which was once the flagship of Romanian industry. However, a bigger privatization concerning the large refinery in the port of Constanta has fallen apart. The deal collapsed because Akmaya, the prospective Turkish buyer, wanted the same tax breaks that were granted to Renault. Ms. Zietlow says the Romanians insist that the I-M-F would not permit them to make tax concessions for the refinery purchase.

    // SECOND ZIETLOW ACT //

    What is less clear is why they were able to make an exception for Renault for a 50 million dollar investment and not make an exception for Akmaya which was a 675 million dollar investment.

    // END ACT //

    The Akmaya privatization is even more problematic since the government is having to pay from its budget money to the refinery to bring in crude oil to refine. (Signed)
    NEB/BDW/TVM/PT 16-Sep-1999 16:40 PM LOC (16-Sep-1999 2040 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] TROUBLE IN THE CAUCASUS BY PAMELA TAYLOR (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44272
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russia's former minister of the Interior and commander of Russian forces in Chechnya was in Washington this week to brief policy-makers about Moscow's claim that Islamic fundamentalists are behind the recent terrorist attacks in Moscow and the conflict in the Caucasus region. General Anatoly Kulikov addressed the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. V-O-A's Pamela Taylor was there, and has this report:

    TEXT: General Kulikov says the violence in Dagestan is directed by Islamic militants in neighboring Chechnya, and financed by Arab oil interests seeking access to the Caspian Sea. He says there are six- thousand Islamic guerrillas now fighting in Dagestan, including mercenaries from Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Libya who entered through Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. General Kulikov says Arab sources have sent 10-million dollars to guerrillas in the Caucasus.

    /// 1ST KULIKOV ACT, IN RUSSIAN WITH TRANSLATION ///

    Among them, I could mention Arab oil sheiks and Financial oligarchs from the countries of the Persian Gulf. This situation is advantageous to Islamic fundamentalists, who are seeking to broaden their power.

    /// END ACT ///

    Asked what evidence he has about such money transfers, General Kulikov answers that - in his words -- "such money just doesn't fall from the sky." He says Chechnya, the republic bordering Dagestan on the west, is "an enclave of criminal activity," and the source of terrorist activity aimed at Russia and Dagestan. He says Russian Federation troops should deal swiftly and decisively with the guerrillas:

    /// 2ND KULIKOV act, in Russian with translation ///

    The terrorists should not be pushed away. They should be terminated.

    /// END ACT ///

    At the same time, General Kulikov says all parties in the Caucasus conflict must respect the rules of international law. Among those attending the briefing by General Kulikov was Lyoma Usmanov, of the Washington-based Chechen- American Alliance, an unofficial representative of the Chechen government in the United States. Although other Chechen leaders have acknowledged that individual militants from Chechnya are training troops in Dagestan, Mr. Usmanov denies his government is involved. He also rejects the idea Chechnya is responsible for the bomb attacks in Russia. Mr. Usmanov takes issue with General Kulikov's assertion that Chechnya is an Islamic fundamentalist state:

    /// USMANOV ACT ///

    We do not support any kind of [radical] Islamic state. We would like to be like any European people. But now! I was prepared to make a compromise with Moscow on independence, but he [General Kulikov] has convinced me [otherwise], and I have come to the conclusion: no way can there be compromise with those people [in Moscow].

    /// END ACT ///

    // OPT //

    The war between Moscow and the breakaway Chechen Republic began in December 1994, lasted 20 months and left tens of thousand dead. It ended in stalemate, with de-facto independence for Chechnya while keeping the Republic nominally within the Russian Federation. Chechnya's final status has yet to be determined. // END OPT // Mr. Usmanov accuses the Kremlin of launching a public relations campaign to convince the world that the Moscow bomb attacks are the work of Islamic radicals from Chechnya or other Caucasus republics. It is an attempt, says Mr. Usmanov, to divert world attention from the real crisis in Russia, which he says is corruption at the highest levels of the Kremlin. (Signed)
    NEB/PAM/WTW 16-Sep-1999 19:20 PM EDT (16-Sep-1999 2320 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] COHEN-NATO TALKS PREVIEW (L-O) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=9/17/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253970
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// Eds: Defense Secretary Cohen travels to Canada Monday morning, returns Wednesday evening. This story should hold up for most of the weekend until first reports from the talks, which are likely to come Monday afternoon.///

    INTRO: NATO Defense ministers gather in Toronto next week to discuss improving weapons, communications, and the ways nations move troops and equipment into battle. Some of the talks will focus on lessons learned from NATO's first shooting war in Kosovo, while others deal with repairing relations with Russia strained by that conflict. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports, the 19 ministers will also talk about cutting the number of peackeepers deployed in Bosnia. Text: Right now, 31-thousand soldiers form the NATO- led force that keeps Bosnia's the once-warring ethnic factions from resuming their devastating conflict. The drastic reduction in violence in Bosnia has allowed elections, landmine clearance, and a few other signs of progress toward a safe, civil society. But the peacekeeping operation costs billions of dollars and strains the military resources of some countries including the United States. Officials say defense ministers from the NATO alliance will discuss a proposal to cut the force by about one third, but no decision is expected at this meeting. Another NATO-led peacekeeping force is at work across the border from Bosnia in Kosovo. The lessons from the Kosovo conflict that led to that new peacekeeping mission are being widely studied and debated in the U- S Military and Congress. But U-S officials say it is already clear that there is a wide gap in capability between the expensive, high-technology forces fielded by Washington and those of most of the allies. Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Kramer says the defense ministers will continue talks on closing the capability gap.

    /// Kramer act ///

    A number of countries had some precision weapons, but most had relatively fewer than the U-S and none had all the kinds that we had. So at the beginning of the conflict, the U-S had to run most of the precision-guided weapons operations.

    /// End Act ///

    Some U-S officials and members of congress say the gap forced the United States to bear a disproportionate share of the burden of the Yugoslav air campaign, and caused some political strains within the alliance. The Kosovo conflict also caused huge strains between the alliance nations and Russia, because Moscow strongly opposed NATO's air attacks on its traditional allies in Serbia. Defense Secretary William Cohen has just returned from a visit to Moscow, where he cited continuing programs to reduce nuclear weapons and the strong performance of Russian peacekeeping troops in Kosovo as signs that relations between NATO and Moscow are getting back on track. He is expected to share insights from that visit with the other alliance defense ministers. (Signed). NEB/JR/ENE/pt 16-Sep-1999 14:34 PM LOC (16-Sep-1999 1834 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [10] NORTHERN IRELAND-TALKS BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44267
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    //Eds: This is the second of a two-part series on Northern Ireland. The first part - on the recent report on police reforms for the province - was issued Wednesday. //

    INTRO: Former U-S Senator George Mitchell is back in Belfast, trying to help overcome obstacles to an agreement that would pave the way for a more decentralized government in Northern Ireland. In this report, former London correspondent Andre de Nesnera looks at the current political stalemate in the British province.

    TEXT: George Mitchell has played a key role in fashioning what is commonly known as the "Good Friday" Accord. The former U-S Senator acted as a mediator and adviser to Northern Ireland's main political parties as they hammered out an agreement on the province's future - an agreement signed in April 1998 after months of negotiations. The accord was supposed to establish new political institutions giving Northern Ireland more say in running its day to day affairs. But 17 months after the "Good Friday" accord was signed, those institutions are still not in place. And so George Mitchell is back in Belfast, trying to get the various political parties to fully implement the April 1998 agreement. Noel Doran is deputy-editor of Belfast's "Irish News," a daily newspaper reflecting the views of the Nationalist - or Catholic - community. He says there are still important differences between the Nationalist parties and the Protestant Unionists - those who favor keeping Northern Ireland within Great Britain.

    /// DORAN ACT ///

    On the Unionist side, Unionists believe that without decommissioning - that is the scrapping (elimination) of paramilitary weapons - the agreement is not worth the paper it is written on. Whereas on the Nationalist side, Nationalists say the Unionists signed up to an agreement which involved the establishment of a new executive - effectively the new government - and they have, for all intents and purposes, reneged on that agreement and have engaged in delaying tactics. So we have this dilemma, we have this stalemate between those who say decommissioning must come first and those who say the establishment of the government must come first.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Doran says Northern Ireland is - once again - facing a political stalemate - a time when there is an almost total breakdown of relationships between the key figures in the political process. Geoff Martin is editor of "The Belfast Newsletter" - a daily espousing the views of the Protestant - or Unionist - community. He says it is because of this political stalemate that the parties have once again turned to George Mitchell.

    /// MARTIN ACT ///

    The task that George Mitchell is facing is really trying to instill new confidence in the (peace) process, is trying to get the parties around the table again, get them talking directly to each other, trying to find out where the common ground is - and he is very, very astute and very, very capable in that sort of area. But unfortunately, there seems to be more uncommon ground than common ground at the moment. So he faces a very formidable task.

    /// END ACT ///

    George Mitchell is expected to stay in Belfast for about a month as he tries - in the words of one analyst - to "square the circle." Mr. Doran and Mr. Martin agree the task facing the former U-S Senator is even more difficult now than when he was involved in getting the various political parties to sign the "Good Friday" agreement 17 months ago. (Signed)
    NEB/ADEN/ENE 16-Sep-1999 11:51 AM EDT (16-Sep-1999 1551 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-253983
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

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

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-737, down 64 points. But the Standard and Poor's 500 index gained one-half point to close at 13- hundred-18. The NASDAQ index lost one-quarter percent. Stocks were down for most of the day with the Industrial Average losing more than 170 points by late morning. But buying interest developed in mid- afternoon substantially cutting the losses. Earnings warnings caused some stocks to fall sharply. The Eastman Chemical company, Quintiles, which conducts testing for drug companies and F-D-X, the parent of Federal Express, all warned their quarterly profits will be below expectations.

    // OPT //

    Both the bond and New York commodities markets closed early to allow workers to go home in advance of hurricane Floyd. However, the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ markets maintained normal hours. Stock trader Bernard McSherry believes those markets made the right decision.

    ///McSherry act///

    We are cognizant of the fact that this is a global marketplace. We have an obligation to stay open. We did send home most of the non- trading personnel. But people here are mindful of their obligations and we do have to be here.

    ///end act-end opt///

    A report from the U-S central bank says the nation's industrial output grew at a faster-than-expected rate in August. Rising car and truck production was a major factor in the increase.

    /// Rest opt for long ///

    Daimler-Chrysler, the third-largest U-S auto company, has reached a tentative agreement with the United Autoworkers Union. That deal is expected to set the pattern for future contract talks with Ford and General Motors. Ford says it will manufacture a sports utility vehicle in Japan, using a plant run by Mazda, Ford's Japanese affiliate. The U-S Justice Department has given approval for defense contractor Lockheed Martin to buy 49 percent of COMSAT, the satellite communications provider. However, it will take Congressional approval for Lockheed Martin to buy a controlling interest in COMSAT. The N-B-C television network, a unit of General Electric, will pay 415 million dollars for a 32 percent stake in Paxson Communications, the largest U- S operator of television stations. A-T and T and British Telecommunications have announced a strategic alliance to provide single standard international wireless voice and data services. Analysts say the deal could be another step toward an eventual takeover of British Telecom by A-T and T.(Signed) NEB/NY/BA/EJ/PT 16-Sep-1999 17:22 PM LOC (16-Sep-1999 2122 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [12] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/16/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11472
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Two domestic stories are drawing the majority of comment in the editorial pages of Thursday's U-S dailies. One is Hurricane Floyd, which is currently pounding the southeastern coast of the United States, and the other is a victory for those who favor campaign finance reform. There is also comment on President Clinton's granting of clemency to several Puerto Rican terrorists; dealing with North Korea; and the responsibility for what happened in East Timor. We also have comments on AIDS in Africa and reports of some good news following the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Greece. Now, here is ___________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Today's Boston Globe writes about how Hurricane Floyd is disrupting millions of lives, but it gives thanks for advances in weather forecasting that give advance warning of such meteorological violence.

    VOICE: . surprise is not part of Floyd's weaponry. This is quite a difference from the unnamed killer that battered New England 61 years ago . which killed 600 people. That storm arrived unexpectedly, undetected as it swept up from the tropics, pushing great tides before it. Today, only two generations later, hurricanes cannot be secrets given modern forecasting technology.

    TEXT: The New York Times makes a similar point.

    VOICE: What is striking about a hurricane like Floyd . is the amount of information being drawn from it. Aircraft . have been flying into the storm, clocking wind speeds and dropping weather-instrument packages . In the exact pressure center of the vortex. Satellites have been tracking Floyd's movement from high above, returning readings on every possible parameter. /// OPT /// . An astonishing amount of this information . now makes its way promptly onto the Internet, which has become something of a weather watcher's dream. /// END OPT /// It feels almost Olympian to look down on this hurricane from the vantage of a weather satellite ..

    TEXT: The Miami Herald says the storm's "message" is that Florida needs a tough building code, while The St. Petersburg [Florida] Times considers "Floyd's lessons[:]" that official evacuation plans for the state's coastal areas are inadequate to handle the one-million-300-thousand residents. And The Orlando Sentinel worries that the Kennedy Space Center's housing of the nation's four space shuttles is not strong enough to withstand a powerful hurricane.

    TEXT: The other popular domestic story is the House of Representatives' vote this week in favor of campaign finance reform. The Washington Post, noting that the bill now goes to the Senate, which killed it last year, says of the House vote:

    VOICE: The House did well on campaign finance reform Tuesday night. The bill's dogged sponsors . the supportive Democratic leadership and the 54 Republicans who broke with their own resisting leadership to vote aye all deserve great credit. The bill now goes to the Senate, where a majority likewise is in favor, but not - yet - the 60 needed to break the expected Republican filibuster. . The Senate will have no business of comparable importance before it.

    TEXT: The Detroit [Michigan] News, however, is opposed to the measure approved by the House:

    VOICE: The major problem with the legislation: It ignores the First Amendment [to the U-S Constitution.] The House bill is reportedly headed for an uncertain future in the Senate. Its future should be certain. The Senate should kill it. The . bill . would ban "soft money" and severely limit "issue ads" purchased by independent interest groups. "Soft money" refers to contributions made to political parties, which are not limited in the way direct contributions to candidates, or "hard money," are. . The worst part . is its [the bill's] limit on . "issue ads." . This is simply a gag order on political speech, /// OPT /// and . puts the notoriously inept and biased F-E-C [Federal Election Commission] in charge of decisions about . [free] speech. /// END OPT///

    TEXT: Still on the domestic scene, the clemency granted by President Clinton to several Puerto Rican terrorists continues to draw comment. Two Georgia papers are unhappy. First, The Atlanta Journal, which says the President needs to "justify [his] rationale for clemency to the eleven men who received it."

    VOICE: We cringe at this slap in the face of families of the six people killed and the scores of maimed victims of the Armed forces of National Liberation [FALN], which showed no clemency in 130 bombings of military, civilian and law-enforcement facilities. . If it's not a terrorists-for-votes deal, [Mr.] Clinton needs to justify his timing. His wife is consolidating a U-S Senate run representing New York, home to one-million-300-thousand Puerto Ricans.

    TEXT: The Augusta Chronicle is furious that a Senate hearing into why and how President Clinton reached his clemency decision was deprived of government witnesses at the last minute.

    VOICE: The flimsy reason for the cancellation [of F- B-I witnesses] . was that a congressional inquiry into the president's exclusive power to grant clemency might be unconstitutional. Hogwash! The hearings aren't questioning the president's clemency power. They're looking into how the pardons affect national security and the longstanding bipartisan policy of not making deals with terrorists.

    TEXT: Turning to Asian affairs, the latest deal between the United States and North Korea, bringing a temporary halt to long-range missile testing, draws this comment from Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal.

    VOICE: Last weekend, North Korea agreed to end, at least temporarily, testing of long-range ballistic missiles. So on Tuesday, President Clinton indicated he was prepared to lift some U-S trade sanctions that have been imposed on North Korea for nearly half a century. [Mr.] Clinton's response to the reclusive and repressive regime's latest twist in its nuclear- weapons research program was appropriately measured. Critics worry [President] Clinton is rewarding North Korea's bad behavior. They have it wrong.

    TEXT: But in Hawaii, which is in range of the latest Korean missile, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin is upset, suggesting "North Korea has again employed blackmail to win concessions.

    VOICE: Once again, North Korea's blackmail has worked. The White House national security adviser, Samuel Berger, said Pyongyang's pledge deserved to be rewarded. Whether it was deserved or not may be debated. It might be more accurate to say that the U- S felt it had to deal with the problem with promises as well as threats. The question now is what the North Koreans will try next.

    TEXT: Still in Asia, on the subject of the killing in East Timor after the pro-independence vote, Denver's Rocky Mountain News foreign affairs columnist Holger Jensen says the U-S shares some responsibility for the violence in East Timor. He says the U-N's decision to finally send a peacekeeping force there:

    VOICE: . does not atone for the council's inexcusable delay in waiting for Indonesian permission to deploy such a force - a delay that East Timor's Catholic leader, Bishop Carlos Belo, believes may have cost more than ten-thousand lives. Nor does it excuse the Clinton administration's insistence that the Indonesian army help contain the violence, while at the same time acknowledging it to be one of the principal perpetrators. That folly will be compounded if Indonesian troops are allowed to remain in [East Timor] in "an advisory and liaison role."

    TEXT: Today's Houston Chronicle is aghast that this week's AIDS conference in Zambia was so poorly attended.

    VOICE: There were some lesser government officials at the meeting, but none of the presidents of the 16-sub- Saharan nations invited, not even Zambian President Frederick Chiluba, who was supposed to host the conference. Few people should have been surprised. Sub-Saharan presidents, the men who make the political and economic decisions for their nations, have never demonstrated much interest in battling the disease, to their shame./// OPT /// Sub-Saharan Africa has been the site of 80 percent of the world's AIDS deaths over the past 15 years. . The battle against AIDS has lacked major political leadership or support, which is must have to curb the disease's spread./// END OPT ///

    TEXT: On the other side of the world, in assessing the carnage from the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Greece, The San Francisco Chronicle sees a possible silver lining to the tragedy.

    VOICE: It's hard to believe that a string of massive earthquakes that killed tens of thousands in Greece and Turkey could have a bright side. Yet the shared disasters have produced a common bond that is melting historic animosities. Greek rescue teams rushed to Turkey . on August 17 . but the biggest surprise came when Greece announced it would no longer oppose Turkey's long-sought bid to join the European Union. When Greece experienced its own deadly quake, Turkish relief workers showed up to return the favor. /// OPT

    /// In the days that followed, an annual observance of the Turkish victory over Greece in 1922 was played down by Ankara. Greek warships paid a courtesy call to a Turkish port and commanders exchanged pleasantries. It's sunk in. TV images of rescue workers, stories of donated blood and cash gifts have reached citizens in both countries. /// END OPT /// . The U-S ambassador in Athens calls the phenomenon "seismic diplomacy." Leaders of both countries are making sensible use of the warming relations.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: And lastly, some criticism of Malaysia for its lack of press freedom, especially in the case of Murray Hiebert, a Far Eastern Economic Review reporter detained in the country without his passport for two years, and now heading to jail. The Washington Post laments:

    VOICE: His offense was to report that a mother had sued her 17-year-old son's elite school for unfairly dropping him from the debate team, that the boy's father is a prominent Court of Appeals judge and that "many are surprised at the speed with which the case raced through Malaysia's legal labyrinth." For this, six years in jail for Murray Hiebert. . Sending a journalist to jail for something he wrote cannot fail to influence the climate in which other journalists operate and in which all of public life takes place. It sends the message that Malaysia is not modernizing its political circumstances even as it modernizes its economic ones.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from the U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/KL 16-Sep-1999 12:44 PM EDT (16-Sep-1999 1644 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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