|Friday, 20 May 2022|
Voice of America, 99-09-23
Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>
 U-N - CYPRUS (L - ONLY) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)DATE=9/23/1999
INTRO: Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides says he welcomes the possibility of United Nations-sponsored talks on Cyprus next month. But he says he is concerned the talks could fall through if Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash does not agree to participate in the meeting. More from correspondent Max Ruston at our United Nations bureau.
TEXT: Mr. Clerides says he is convinced that further negotiations on the Cyprus problem will lead to a resolution. He says he welcomes the possibility of talks on the issue in the United States next month. But he says there are indications that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash may not participate in those talks.
/// Clerides act ///
/// end act ///
NEB/UN/MPR/PT 23-Sep-1999 18:23 PM LOC (23-Sep-1999 2223 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
 KOSOVO / SHELTER (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)DATE=9/23/1999
INTRO: The United Nations Refugee Agency, U-N-H- C-R, says it is speeding up its emergency shelter program in Kosovo to provide temporary housing for hundreds of thousands of people before the beginning of winter. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports that the United Nations and private aid agencies are distributing shelter kits to assist an estimated 380-thousand people.
TEXT: The U-N Refugee Agency says it is trying to make as many houses as possible habitable before cold weather arrives in Kosovo within the next few weeks. A United Nations survey carried out after the war showed almost half of the houses and buildings in the province were damaged. While an estimated 50-thousand houses are beyond repair, the survey found another 50-thousand houses were damaged but considered salvageable.
U-N-H-C-R Spokesman, Kris Janowski says the houses that can be repaired are the focus of emergency rehabilitation programs.
///2ND JANOWSKI ACT///
NEB/LS/GE/KL 23-Sep-1999 09:06 AM EDT (23-Sep-1999 1306 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
 KOFI ANNAN'S NEW U-N PEACEKEEPING PLEDGE BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)DATE=9/23/1999
TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
INTRO: At the opening of the United Nations General Assembly session this week, Secretary-General Kofi Annan talked about how he would like to see the world body respond to future crises like East Timor or Kosovo. Mr. Annan wants a much faster, more streamlined emergency military and peacekeeping response to forestall the kind of internal violence that has killed tens of thousands of people in the world's trouble spots this year. The U-S press has been assessing his remarks. We have a sample of how they are being received from _____________ in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.
TEXT: We begin in Texas, where the Fort Worth Star- Telegram says what the Secretary-General wants is a worthwhile goal, but it will be extremely difficult to achieve.
VOICE: Human rights are not limited by national boundaries, a U-N leader tells the world. U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan hurled a huge challenge to the world body Monday by assigning human rights a higher priority than sovereignty right. ... [Mr.] Annan said that nations that wantonly violate the rights of their people should not be allowed to assert their national sovereignty as an inviolable shield against outside intervention. ... That needed to be said at this time, when U-N peacekeeping forces have been dispatched to East Timor to quell the eruption of violence there. ... But [Secretary-General] Annan's point about the precedence of human rights came too late for the hundreds of thousands who perished in the slaughters in Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. The United Nations tied itself in knots wrestling with the human-rights-vs-sovereignty-rights dilemma. ... Translating [Mr.] Annan's high- sounding words into enforceable policy won't be easy because some of the member nations are not democracies.
TEXT: The views of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In the nation's capital, The Washington Times is skeptical. It feels the Secretary-General may be trying to get the world body to promise something it would be impossible to carry out.
VOICE: ... Secretary-General ... Annan seems to have ambitions that may well go beyond what many member countries will find comfortable. It certainly seems to have given President Clinton reason for reflection. The president by no means rushed to embrace Mr. Annan's agenda -- there is some comfort in that fact. In his address to the U-N assembly ... Mr. Annan called for the United Nations to intervene where humanitarian reasons are overwhelming, irrespective of the consent of the government in question, irrespective of national borders. // OPT // ... Mr. Annan appeared on the verge of articulating the need for a standing U-N army, which was in fact one of the pet projects of his predecessor, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Those plans sunk under the weight of the criminally bungled U-N efforts in Bosnia in the early 1990s, which demonstrated how disastrous a confused chain of command can be. // END OPT // ... One final point. A fundamental inequality is built into the Annan doctrine. While we may pound Serbia and dictate terms to Indonesia, who will volunteer to stop the Russian air force from flattening Chechnya in response to terrorist bombings in Moscow? Who will invade China when it brutalizes Tibet? Who will stop the Indian army from cracking down on Kashmir? Don't expect the United Nations to rush in.
TEXT: Some skepticism from The Washington Times. In Jacksonville, The Florida Times-Union is also skeptical, but feels the idea should at least be thoroughly explored.
VOICE: This would be a better world if the United Nations were to heed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for quick intervention in strife-torn areas to protect civilians. ... Rebels commit atrocities, too. Still, his point is valid. It was bad enough in the past when civilians were accidental victims of warfare. But, increasingly, they are intentional targets. The United Nations should have sent troops to stop the killing fields in Cambodia, and it should have taken action against the slaughter in Rwanda. One reason it isn't easy to assemble a peacekeeping force is that members are reluctant to violate another country's sovereignty, out of fear that they might be next. Virtually all nations have practices someone considers inhumane.
TEXT: Some thoughts from The Florida Times Union. Back to the strong dissenters, including the New York Post, which feels Mr. Annan's position would dramatically escalate the need for the United States to act as the world's policeman, and it doesn't like that at all.
VOICE: Considering that whenever the U-N commits to an intervention, the United States inevitably bears the larger costs, both financial and logistical, [Mr.] Annan's suggestion is a recipe for disaster. ... Kofi Annan's heart is undoubtedly in the right place. But it is naive for him to believe ... the United Nations should become involved in every nation's civil war. Naive and irresponsible, because he is making a promise neither he nor the organization he represents has the means to fulfill.
TEXT: The New York Times raises the same point as The Florida Times-Union about the dramatically increased toll of civilians in the current crop of "little wars." That, says the Times, justifies some real study of the Secretary General's views.
VOICE: This page has long been cautious about the use of American troops abroad and will continue to be so, especially where there is no clear security interest involved. But in today's world, civil war and genocidal conflicts can be broadly destabilizing, and it is often in the American interest to be one participant among many in a well-designed U-N peacekeeping force, rather than face constant pressure to lead an intervention or go in alone. In 1994, the United States blocked action in Rwanda. Today, it is usually Russia or China that does the blocking. ... When the 20th century began, civilians accounted for 15 percent of war casualties. Today the figure is 90 percent, mainly because most wars today are not international conflicts waged by armies on a battlefield, but internal conflicts fought in streets and villages. This has made intervention both more difficult, as claims of sovereignty have trumped humanitarian considerations, and more urgent. At last, the world's conscience is catching up with the changing nature of war. The challenge for the U-N, as Mr. Annan points out, is to find ways to honor what that conscience urges.
TEXT: With those thoughts from The New York Times, we
conclude this sampling of comment from the U-S Press
on United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's call
Monday for faster and more decisive peacekeeping from
the world body.
 N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)DATE=9/23/1999
INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were down sharply today (Thursday) because of continued interest rate worries and new concern that many technology stocks are overvalued. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.
TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-318, down 205 points or two percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 12-hundred-80, down 30 points. The NASDAQ index lost almost four percent. A massive wave of selling hit the stock market in the last hour of trading. Analysts say much of it was simply the so-called "herd" mentality on Wall Street in which many traders do what everybody else seems to be doing. There was also some specific concern about technology stocks. Steve Balmer, President of the Microsoft Corporation, said many technology stocks, including his own company's, are seriously overvalued.
/// REST OPT ///
/// FRANK ACT ///
Source: Voice of America
 THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)DATE=9/23/1999
TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
INTRO: Editorials pages in the major U-S dailies are focussed on several ongoing global news developments - among them, allegations of Russian corruption, controversy over a deal to halt North Korean missile testing, continuing violence in East Timor and the earthquake in Taiwan. And on the domestic front, editorialists have commented on the clemency granted by President Clinton to a group of Puerto Rican terrorists and on the continued flooding in the wake of Hurricane Floyd. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is ___________ and today's Editorial Digest.
TEXT: Russian corruption has been on the front pages since it was reported that huge sums of money may have been funneled out of the country. Reports allege much of it was "laundered" through the Bank of New York and some of it may have come from the International Monetary Fund. In Hawaii, Wednesday afternoon's Honolulu Star- Bulletin says don't cut off aid to Russia, as some have suggested, just monitor it more closely.
VOICE: Corruption has sidetracked Russia's economic reforms to such an extent that the withdrawal of Western support has become tempting. . Republican leaders have denounced the Clinton administration's policy of supporting aid to Russia. . The administration erred not in its support of financial aid but in its failure to assure responsible handling of the money.
TEXT: On New York's Long Island, Newsday writes, under a headline reading: "Russian Rat Hole," "Clinton promises of reform in Russian aid policy are a bit late."
VOICE: Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers' earnest assertions to Congress that U-S aid policy toward Russia "has shifted in a major way" did little to convince critics that the White House did not ignore for years the economic and political damage wreaked by the breathtaking corruption that pervades every level of Russian government. . Future strings attached to U-S aid are fine and necessary, but they do not dissipate entirely the discomfiting sense of haplessness tainting recent U-S policy on Russia.
TEXT: /// OPT /// Today's San Francisco Chronicle adds that, while the stories of Russian corruption, as well as renewed civil unrest in the Caucasus are troubling, the West does not have a choice, for, it writes: "Ignoring Russia because of its record of failure is unthinkable." /// END OPT ///
TEXT: Still with Russia, the death of former Soviet and Russian First Lady Raisa Gorbachev continues to draw comment, such as this from the St. Petersburg [ Florida ] Times:
VOICE: . when Raisa Gorbachev burst forth from the gray-on-gray world of soviet womanhood with her Pierre Cardin suits, cosmopolitan views and witty self-assurance, the world took notice. She became a walking symbol of her husband Mikhail Gorbavchev's policies of reform and modernization, en emblem of perestroika. . Marxism did not, in the end, transform the world, but Raisa Gorbachev, who died Monday of leukemia, helped transform the way the West understood the Soviet Union. In this she was a true revolutionary.
TEXT: /// OPT /// In Ohio, The Akron Beacon Journal adds:
VOICE: It says as much about the dramatic changes in the former Soviet Union as it does about the character of Raisa Gorbachev that her death from leukemia this week has been truly mourned by the same people who once reviled her.
/// END OPT ///
TEXT: President Clinton's deal to relax some long- held economic embargoes against North Korea in exchange for Pyongyang suspending long-range missile tests continues to draw conflicting comment. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says: [Mr.]"Clinton is right to deal with North Korea in a new way," while The Kansas City [Missouri] Star argues, [The]" North Korea move is too much carrot, too little stick." Another Clinton controversy concerns his grant of clemency to a group of Puerto Rican terrorists. The move is drawing fire from The Atlanta [Georgia] Journal. The paper cites just one of many dissents from within the government itself against the president's decision.
VOICE: . a disbelieving F-B-I Director Louis Freeh noted that these prisoners had no remorse, and most remained committed to achieving Puerto Rican independence by violent means. Indications since their release are that their promise to renounce violence was no more than lip service. So, we believe, was the "humanitarian gesture" defense [Mr.] Clinton is lining up - while refusing to release some of the documents surrounding his executive decision.
TEXT: /// OPT /// Portland Maine's Press Herald is pleased that the President explained his action to the House Judiciary Committee and says the public will now have to make up its own mind.
VOICE: . the president said . the F-A-L-N [terrorist] members were "not convicted of crimes involving bodily harm to anyone," and that they were serving sentences . "out of proportion to their crimes." //END OPT//
TEXT: In Boston, The Christian Science Monitor mourns the death of one of its journalists, Dutch citizen Sander Thoenes (toons), killed by men wearing Indonesian Army uniforms in East Timor, as peacekeepers were arriving from Australia. The Boston Globe joins in lamenting Mr. Thoenes death, adding:
VOICE: The failure of the Clinton administration and the United Nations to prevent the atrocities committed in East Timor by Indonesia's military and its proxies cannot be undone. Still, it is not too late to protect hundreds of thousands of displaced and deported refugees. . true security won't be possible until all militiamen are rounded up and removed from East Timor.
TEXT: Turning to the devastating earthquake that struck Taiwan this week, the New York Times worries that more trouble lies ahead as populations in earthquake-prone areas increase.
VOICE: In October, world population will reach six billion, or just slightly less than double the population in 1960. That population increase has not been distributed evenly, of course. Humanity has crowded the coasts and clustered along the seams between tectonic plates. It has made itself uniquely susceptible to disaster. /// OPT /// . as the world population continues to grow, to push into crowded cities erected atop fault zones, to settle in flood plains and low-lying coastal areas, we will be forced to witness our own immensity in the immense casualties that follow upon disaster.
TEXT: The continuing failure of the United States to pay its debt to the United Nations is generating on- going criticism, this time from The Akron [Ohio] Beacon Journal.
VOICE: Like a deadbeat dad, [Editors: American slang for the father in a divorce who fails to pay child support payments to the mother] President Clinton stood before the United Nations, the organization the United States fathered, and addressed the issue of the responsibility of nations. It was an awkward position and not one of [Mr.] Clinton's making. Congress, most recently and specifically the House (of Representatives), has refused to pay the United Nations what the United States owes it ... One billion, 637-million-587-thousand- 361-dollars. /// END OPT ///
TEXT: Today's Washington Post has reacted to President Clinton's speech at the United Nations this week in which he seemed to be revising the future role of the United States in conflicts around the world.
VOICE: "We cannot do everything everywhere," he said. The president, who .dramatically apologized for his failure not to do more to prevent the genocide in Rwanda, now says, "We must approach this challenge with some considerable degree of humility. It is easy to say, never again, but much harder to make it so. Promising too much can be as cruel as caring too little." . his acknowledgement of the difficulties and complications is more attractive than his earlier glib assurances. [to always try to stop the killing of innocent civilians.]
TEXT: This week, the U-S Justice Department announced it is suing the nation's major tobacco companies to re-coup an estimated 20-billion dollars spent by the Federal Government each year to treat smoking-related illnesses. The New York Times supports the suit.
VOICE: The industry has long understood . that smoking can cause disease and death and that nicotine is addictive. Yet it carried out a relentless national campaign of falsehoods designed to cast doubt on those very questions. .. . Congress should give the Justice Department the 20-million it has requested in the fiscal year 2-thousand budget to pursue this case..
TEXT: North Carolina remains flooded and caught in a health crisis in the aftermath of hurricane Floyd. The Trenton [New Jersey] Times considers how to prepare for future hurricanes.
VOICE: When almost a third of a meter or more of rainfalls, there is going to be flooding, even in areas . free of development. But combine the kind of torrential rain that Tropical Storm Floyd brought . with the results of rapid and random building activity and you get what New Jersey got; rampaging rivers and streams that killed five people, routed thousands from their homes .. And left eight counties as officially-designated federal disaster areas. When land is developed and paved over, it no longer is available to soak up precipitation, and the water has nowhere to go but upward and outward, over highways and into buildings.
TEXT: On that environmentally sensible statement, we
conclude this sampling of comment from this Thursday's
Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article