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Voice of America, 99-10-13

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

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





    INTRO: A fragile peace has been restored in Kosovo. But NATO troops, known as K-FOR, and the U-N interim mission in Kosovo, known as UNMIK, are finding that ethnic-Albanian revenge attacks against Serbs and Serb property are hard to stop. /// OPT /// A U-N worker shot dead in the capital, Pristina, late Monday may have been killed because he was speaking Serbian. /// END OPT /// From Pristina, Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports on the intense efforts to reconcile the two communities after so much bloodshed.

    TEXT: Ask 42-year-old Sadri Hasani if he can reach out to his Serb neighbors and he does not hesitate to tell you why the answer is -- No, not now.

    /// ACT HASANI ///

    For this moment, no. Maybe in the future. But now, no, because we have 18-people from this village who were killed, massacred. So how can you imagine we talk to them when we did not do anything to them?

    /// END ACT ///

    Sadri used to teach in Cabra, an ethnic-Albanian village surrounded by Serb villages. Last April, Serb forces burned and then bulldozed the village into a pile of rubble. Thousands of ethnic-Albanians were killed or forced by Serb forces to leave their homes across Kosovo. K-FOR estimates that half the Serb population of 200- thousand has left Kosovo after NATO forced the Serb troops and police out of the province. Few have returned. And those who have stayed huddle in their villages, afraid to venture out to buy food or supplies. Since K-FOR entered Kosovo last June, there have been hundreds of attacks reported against Serbs, their villages and their churches. Many complain that even when they report the crimes nothing is done. One angry Serb says now any Kosovar Serb is considered guilty until proven innocent while any ethnic Albanian accused of a crime is considered innocent until proven guilty. Kosovar-Serb politicians have refused to join the U-N interim council and refuse to deal with any interim administration that includes former ethnic-Albanian rebel leaders. Father Sava is a Serb Orthodox priest. He is an outspoken critic of Belgrade's leadership and wants to see a multi-ethnic democracy flourish in Kosovo. Instead, he sees an ethnic-wall building in Kosovo. He expected K-FOR and the U-N mission could tame ethnic hatred and criticizes them for not preventing hate crimes against Serbs and Serb property.

    /// SAVA ACT ///

    In fact, we did not expect that there would a green light for one repression to be replaced with another repression. We knew there would be cases of revenge, but did not expect an organized campaign against the Serb population.

    /// END ACT///

    K-FOR commander General Mike Jackson says the military can do only so much. He says Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian and Serb leaders must also bear the responsibility for Kosovo's security.

    /// JACKSON ACT ///

    It is not and cannot be purely an issue for soldiers and policemen. At the end of the day, only the people themselves can break the cycle of violence. And it is the responsibility of all community leaders to exercise their authority and their leadership and to work together to build a better future for everybody here.

    /// END ACT ///

    The U-N mission has also has started to place administrators and international police officers in Serb villages in an outreach project to step up security across Kosovo. UNMIK spokeswoman Nadia Younes says it is aimed at building trust too.

    /// YOUNES ACT ///

    The idea is that the civil administrator would take over a little to help them and take care of their administrative problems. Police to ensure protection for the Serbs. But we thought that moving them into the villages would give a sense of security to the villages. We are establishing that presence in all the municipalities, but we have hastened the establishment in the Serb villages.

    ///END ACT///

    The United Nations has also supervised the establishment of Kosovo's first multi-ethnic police academy. Six Kosovar Serbs have joined the first class - a small step. But the divided town of Mitrovica -- where a bridge and K-FOR troops act as a buffer zone between angry Kosovar Albanians and Serbs -- is a glaring example that reconciliation will not be easy or quick. The pain of the past is still too fresh. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/GE/RAE 13-Oct-1999 09:48 AM EDT (13-Oct-1999 1348 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The European Commission is recommending that more countries in Central and Eastern Europe be considered for membership in the European Union. V-O- A Correspondent Ron Pemstein in Brussels reports the E-U applicant list would be expanded to include six more countries.

    TEXT: Six countries on the waiting list for membership in the European Union will now get a chance to start negotiations. The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, is recommending that negotiations begin next year with the six additional nations -- Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, and Slovakia. In a speech to the European Parliament, Mr. Prodi attaches extra conditions for negotiations to begin with Romania and Bulgaria. He recommends that both countries make progress in economic reforms.

    /// OPT ///

    For Bulgaria, Mr. Prodi also says negotiations should not start until the country sets an acceptable closing date for unsafe units at the nuclear power station at Kozloduy. The Chernobyl-style nuclear reactor provides a huge percentage of Bulgaria's electricity. Bulgaria plans to close four unsafe units between 2004 and 2010 when replacements will be constructed. The European Union has rejected that proposal. Besides progress in economic reforms, Mr. Prodi recommends that Romania provide adequate funding for its child care institutions. The European Commission President says he received what he called an "encouraging" letter from the Romanian government on the child care issue.

    /// END OPT ///

    The European Union has already opened membership negotiations with six countries -- Estonia, Cyprus, the Czech republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia. Mr. Prodi says if the additional six countries are allowed to start negotiations next year, they may eventually pass the first group of six applicants. He obviously hopes that incentive will speed the reform process in all 12 of the nations. Turkey remains in a different category. Mr. Prodi recommends that Turkey be considered a candidate for European Union membership but negotiations should not yet start with Ankara. Instead, the European Union will use its improved relations with Turkey to push that country to improve its treatment of the Kurdish minority. Until the August earthquake, the European Union's human rights concerns blocked Turkey from even being considered for membership.

    /// OPT ///

    As for Albania and countries created out of the former Yugoslavia, Mr. Prodi proposes virtual membership for them. By that he means if they take certain steps, the European Union will eventually consider them as members. The conditions are that they recognize each other's borders, that they settle minority issues, and they set up an economic free trade zone of cooperation.

    /// END OPT ///

    There are still no target dates for the best- prepared countries to join the European Union. The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland believe they will be ready by 2003. European Union leaders will deal with enlargement at their summit meeting in December in Helsinki.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Mr. Prodi did not repeat his earlier recommendation that target dates be set for the applicant countries at that meeting. The European Commission is recommending instead that the leaders declare that they will be willing to accept new members beginning in 2002 if all conditions are met. (Signed) NEB/RDP/JWH/ENE/gm 13-Oct-1999 11:44 AM EDT (13-Oct-1999 1544 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Athletes from Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and Burundi captured the top-four places of a race Wednesday in Belgrade. The event, called the Race Through History, was the first major international sporting competition in the Yugoslav capital since the Kosovo crisis. The pre-race favorite, world cross- country champion Paul Tergat of Kenya, placed second. Reporter Andy Edwards has more details from Belgrade.

    TEXT: This was Paul Tergat's last race of the season. Just under two weeks ago, the Kenyan won the world half-marathon title in Italy. But here in the Yugoslav capital, he was beaten by another fine runner from Africa, Fita Bayessa of Ethiopia. Bayissa clocked 17 minutes, eight seconds -- one second faster than Tergat. The hilly, rough six-kilometer course wound its way around the grounds of the Kalemegdan fortress. After four attempts to win the title, Paul Tergat might think that fate was against him.

    // Tergat Act //

    I must say that this is one race I think I will never win. I've been trying, but it seems like every year I am second or third. But it was a great race -- a really, really great race. I think it's special.

    // End Act //

    Just like Tergat, the new champion in Belgrade, Fita Bayessa, brought his season to a close. Bayessa will return to Ethiopia, and rejoin his training partner -- the great Haile Gebrselassie, the world record holder at five and ten thousand meters. They train together in the hills above Addis Ababa. Meanwhile, the third-place finisher, Abderrahim Goumri, is a young man to watch. The Moroccan is 22- years-old. He moved up from 15-hundred to five thousand meters this season.

    // Goumri Act //

    I am good on the hills. Because I win every competition in the hills. And that's why I was in the front on the hills today -- I can beat everyone. But at the finish, Fita Bayessa and Paul Tergat came back because they are strong.

    // End Act //

    With Aloys Nizigama of Burundi taking fourth, Africans showed once again that when it comes to the Race Through History, they are kings of the Kalemegdan Castle. (Signed)
    NEB/AA/PT 13-Oct-1999 15:18 PM EDT (13-Oct-1999 1918 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were down sharply today (Wednesday) for the second straight session as interest rate concerns intensified. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-232, down 185 points or almost two percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 12- hundred-85, down 27 points. The NASDAQ index lost two and one-half percent. Analysts say continued interest rate worries and less- than-great corporate earnings were the main factors in driving stock prices lower. The bond market dropped with the yield on the benchmark 30-year U-S Treasury bond rising to six-point-two-nine percent, its highest level in two years.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Andrew Brooks of the T-Rowe Price investment firm says, so far, corporate earnings have not been spectacular.

    /// BROOKS ACT ///

    We need to have a lot better earnings coming out from corporate America. If we do, I think that would provide an opportunity for this market to stabilize and do a little better.

    /// END ACT ///

    Analysts say it is not enough for companies to meet Wall Street's earnings expectations - that profits must exceed forecasts to be considered good. The stock of Intel, the world's leading microprocessor company, fell after the company failed to meet its own quarterly earnings forecasts. Bear Stearns, a leading U-S investment bank, reported its quarterly earnings more than doubled. But the company's stock fell because the profits were short of analysts' estimates. A positive surprise came from Time Warner, the world's largest media company, which reported a quarterly profit about double expectations. The company says it enjoyed gains in both advertising and in the number of subscribers to its cable television services. Consolidated Edison, the dominant electric utility company in the New York City area, will pay three- point-three billion dollars for Northeast Utilities in the state of Connecticut. The deal will make Consolidated Edison the largest distributor of electricity in the United States. For the first time ever, the largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States has acknowledged that smoking can cause serious illness. As part of a new public relations campaign, the Philip Morris Corporation concedes that smoking can cause a number of lethal diseases and that people can become addicted to cigarettes. In the past, Philip Morris and other American tobacco companies have claimed there was insufficient scientific evidence to link smoking with disease. The man whose theories guided the development of the Euro, Europe's single currency, has won the Nobel Prize for Economics. Robert Mundell, a professor at Columbia University in New York, has spent decades researching the relationship between monetary policies and currency values. (Signed)
    NEB/BA/LSF/JP 13-Oct-1999 17:02 PM EDT (13-Oct-1999 2102 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The military coup in Pakistan and the world's six billionth person are the most popular editorial topics, as one scans today's American press. Also in the commentaries are thoughts about: aiding Serbia and how to do it; domestic air safety; the Nobel prizes; an ancient military technology coming back into vogue against Iraq and a new peacemaker for Northern Ireland. Now, here is __________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Tuesday's news of a military coup in Pakistan has drawn a rapid and generally unfavorable response in U-S daily papers. The lead editorial in today's New York Times, for instance, calls it "dangerous" in the headline, adding:

    VOICE: The coup . is cause for alarm in South Asia and the rest of the world. A nation newly armed with nuclear weapons, and with a volatile history of wars and internal upheavals, has been seized by generals who may be inclined to favor a more confrontational approach with India. Suddenly . the subcontinent is once again one of the most dangerous places on earth. .. Because of Pakistan's history as a "front-line state" against the former Soviet Union, the United States has maintained relationships with Pakistani generals. Washington must now work with two other important Pakistani allies; China and Saudi Arabia, to see that the generals do not even consider trying to solve their problems with India by military force.

    TEXT: On New York's Long Island, Newsday connects the events in Pakistan, the newest of nuclear nations, to the current debate in the U-S Senate over the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// Yesterday's military coup in Pakistan is not only a serious blow to that nation's fragile democracy, but a destabilizing event in one of the world's most unstable regions, one in which nuclear war could be on a hair trigger. ///END OPT /// The developments in Pakistan took place as the U-S Senate debated the fate of a treaty that would ban all nuclear testing. The question last night was whether the Senate would reject the treaty outright, as radical right-wing Republicans advocate, or put the treaty off until after the presidential election next year. The votes are not there to pass it.

    TEXT: Today's Los Angeles Times is worried about the effect of the coup on regional stability, /// OPT /// reminding readers of this past summer's conflict with India, over Kashmir.

    VOICE: It was because last summer's fighting in Kashmir raised fears of a much larger war, conceivably involving nuclear weapons, that the United States intervened diplomatically to tamp down the crisis. How much leverage Washington has now to put behind the State Department's call for a rapid restoration of civilian democratic rule is uncertain. /// END OPT /// The last thing Southwest Asia needs is the threat of further instability. But that's exactly what Tuesday's coup has created.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: The Sun of Baltimore also is concerned about the coup in Pakistan, writing:

    VOICE: President Clinton is scheduled to visit both countries early next year. If this coup succeeds, he should not. The coup was mounted on behalf of bellicosity against India, though Pakistan would lose any war between the two. The coup repudiates President Clinton's peacemaking. And despite growing unhappiness with [deposed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz] Mr. Sharif, no popular support exists for a return to military rule.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The world's population officially grew to six billion people Tuesday and newspapers continue to reflect on that statistic today. The Fort Worth Star- Telegram in Texas muses about that old saying:

    VOICE: ."It's a small world," took on new meaning this week with the announcement that the Earth's population has reached six billion, doubling since 1960. While the world community grows larger at a steady rate - 75-million a year - and places additional demands on already overstressed natural resources, there is also good news in the numbers. Contrary to what many think, the planet's birth rate actually has slowed substantially in recent years. . The good news, however, should not cause humankind to become complacent in educating the world about responsible population control.

    TEXT: The Los Angeles Times harks back to one of the most famous population theorists of the past, as it remarks:

    VOICE: Thomas Malthus' population bomb exploded, but it didn't cause all the damage he and more modern doomsayers predicted. . Although there still are millions going unfed around the world, it is also true that in more than two dozen developed countries, the concern is "birth dearth." . Today, economists are among the most Pollyannaish [optimistic] of forecasters. The late professor Julian Simon of the University of Maryland declared that the world has an endless supply of everything. He argued that, with their creative intelligence, humans will always develop alternatives to resources they are depleting and find means to clean up the environmental mess they leave behind.

    TEXT: Turning to the Balkans, more newspapers are concerned with a debate over whether, or how, to aid Serbia, without helping President Slobodan Milosevic. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin in Hawaii is emphatic that "any such aid should not be diverted for use by the government."

    VOICE: Devastated by NATO's air war over Kosovo last spring, Yugoslavia is struggling to avoid economic collapse. The European Union appears to support providing humanitarian aid without bolstering the despotic leadership of Slobodan Milosevic. The Clinton administration is justifiably opposing any aid that supports the Milosevic regime. . Directing aid to cities controlled by [Mr.] Milosevic's opponents theoretically could show Serbs that the international community is willing to help those committed to democracy. The problem is that energy can be easily diverted to the central government. . Any such effort should be distributed in such a way that it cannot be diverted.

    TEXT: Domestically the national daily, U-S-A Today, is concerned about the practice of swapping flights between U-S air carriers with good safety records and foreign carriers, especially in Central America, with very poor records.

    VOICE: Fliers who purchase an American Airlines ticket to Honduras or Costa Rica don't always fly on American's planes. Instead, some are carried part way on foreign airlines with safety records so shaky that the Department of Defense almost never lets employees fly with them. Likewise, passengers with United [Airlines] tickets to Southeast Asia often end up flying on Thai Airways, unaware that the airline has about ten times the accident rate of United. . The uncertainty over safety takes on added significance this year because some partner countries lack adequate Y2K preparedness. .. To bridge the domestic-foreign safety gap, the [Federal Aviation Administration] inspector general says the F-A-A should monitor the safety of U-S airlines' partners.

    TEXT: Nobel prizes awarded this week are celebrated by The Los Angeles Times, not for their practical applications, but for their value as pure science.

    VOICE: The 1999 Nobel prizes for medicine and chemistry recognize two researchers who have greatly enhanced scientists' ability to see and manipulate down to the level of the atom. On Monday, the Swedish Academy awarded the medicine prize to Guenter Blobel of New York City's Rockefeller University for discovering how yeast, plant and animal cells send molecules to "the right address" by reading a kind of ZIP [postal code] code in a stretch of protein. On Tuesday the academy honored Caltech's[California Institute of Technology] Ahmed Zewail for inventing a camera-like device that [records] the movement of individual atoms .. [Both] [Mr. Blobel and [Mr.] Zewail downplayed the huge practical benefits of their research. . [Mr.] Zewail, when asked about the practical applications of his work quipped "there aren't any."

    VOICE: The Los Angeles Times points out that both men often had trouble finding funding for their science, because their work did not have the practical applications for which, many funders are always looking.

    TEXT: There is an ironical theme to one editorial today, in the [Minneapolis, Minnesota] Star-Tribune, suggesting the U-S Air Force has gone back more than a couple of centuries, to "find" its newest weapon in the undeclared air war against Iraq.

    VOICE: Flying from Incerlik, Turkey, against targets in northern Iraq, American F-15s and F-16s have begun dropping bombs filled with concrete. The C-bombs are used against sensitive military targets placed cynically by Saddam Hussein in the middle of populated neighborhoods. The . goal is to damage these targets without the explosive force that causes so much misery to nearby civilians. .Whether this is an advance or retreat in modern warfare depends on your point of view. But surely it's a hybrid approach: a mix of modern jet fighters, high-tech projectiles and the blunt barbarism of the ancient world ... [harking] back to the Romans' use of catapults beginning about 200 B-C. . the "new" C-bombs seem a good fit for a sensitive air campaign that more diplomatic than strategic in nature.

    TEXT: And finally, from the Boston Globe, some thoughts on British Prime Minister Tony Blair's new man to head the Northern Ireland peace effort.

    VOICE: . [the] appointment . says as much about . Tony Blair's . ability to forgive ethical lapses as it does about his commitment to a peace settlement. Peter Mandelson, who engineered the Labor party landslide in 1997 and is known as the "sultan of spin," will find his public relations skills of little use if fundamental differences are not resolved. ... [Mr.] Mandelson is making a comeback from a scandal that cost him the ministry of industry and trade in December. He resigned when it was disclosed that a millionaire member of Parliament loaned him 625- thousand dollars at below-market rates to buy a house in a fashionable part of London.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from Wednesday's U-S. newspapers.
    NEB/ANG/JP 13-Oct-1999 11:54 AM EDT (13-Oct-1999 1554 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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