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Voice of America, 00-01-12

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] OCALAN / SENTENCE BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [02] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [03] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S-UPDATE) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [04] E-U FOOD SAFETY (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [05] FRANCE TRUCK PROTEST (L-O) BY PAUL MILLER (PARIS)
  • [06] CLINTON - NORTHERN IRELAND (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [07] POPE / HOLY LAND (L-O) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (ROME)
  • [08] NY ECON WRAP (S & L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [10] BRITAIN - PINOCHET (L-ONLY) BY PAMELA MCCALL (LONDON)
  • [11] BRITAIN - PINOCHET (L-UPDATE) BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)
  • [12] CHILE-PINOCHET IMPACT BY BILL RODGERS (SANTIAGO)
  • [13] CHILE-PINOCHET REACT (L) BY BILL RODGERS (SANTIAGO)

  • [01] OCALAN / SENTENCE BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258010
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// Re-running w/correct in 5th graph, second line ///

    INTRO: Turkey's government announced late Wednesday that it had decided to suspend the execution of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan until the Strasbourg based European Court of Human Rights delivered its verdict on the case. From Ankara, Amberin Zaman has the details.

    TEXT: After meeting for seven straight hours the three leaders who share power in Turkey's ruling coalition announced their decision at a news conference. Turkey's left wing prime minister Bulent Ecevit was very brief. He merely said the leaders had decided that it was in their country's best interest to await the decision of the European Court for the time being. He warned however that if any negative developments affecting Turkey's security occurred then Ocalan's case would be sent to the Parliament. Analysts say the outcome of the meeting was a resounding victory for Mr. Ecevit who has long argued that hanging Ocalan would damage Turkey's chances of joining the European Union. The execution would also likely provoke Ocalan's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party known as the PKK. Clashes between the army and the PKK in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast provinces have sharply declined since Ocalan's capture by Turkish special forces in Kenya last February. Four months later a Turkish court handed Ocalan the death sentence by hanging on treason and separatism charges. Under Turkish law it is up to the Parliament to approve the death sentence. The Ultra-nationalist national action party led by Deputy prime minister, Devlet Bahceli has been pressing for Ocalan's case to be brought before the 550 member Turkish legislature. One of the party's campaign slogans in the run up to nationwide elections last year was "Hang Ocalan". Mr. Bahceli insisted up until Wednesday's meeting that the PKK leader's case could not be kept at the Prime Ministry and that the European Court's injunction was not binding. In an apparent bid to placate the nationalist leader, Mr. Ecevit warned that if what he termed any negative developments affecting Turkey's security occurred then Turkey reserved the right to refer Ocalan's case to the Parliament without waiting for the European Court's verdict on his case. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/TVM/PT 12-Jan-2000 16:18 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 2118 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257979
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russia's top military is on the defensive as Chechen rebels threaten to stage more surprise counterattacks on Russian troops. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports that refugees returning to Russian-controlled areas of Chechnya still face great dangers.

    TEXT: Russian generals say troops have restored control over several federally occupied towns that suffered a series of rebel counterattacks. But there are conflicting reports of fighting in Russian-controlled areas supposedly cleared of rebels weeks ago. Russian news agencies say troops fired artillery at targets near Argun, Shali, and Urus-Martan. There were also conflicting reports of fighting in Achkhoi-Martan and Gudermes, Chechnya's second largest city. Clashes continue in the capital, Grozny and in the southern mountains and rebels report progress in Chechnya's eastern lowlands. Russia's Defense Ministry says tens of thousands of refugees have returned to Chechnya. But news reports tell of civilians killed or injured in artillery attacks in what Russia's military calls "liberated" areas. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/GE 12-Jan-2000 04:55 AM EDT (12-Jan-2000 0955 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S-UPDATE) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258003
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// CHANGES THROUGHOUT ///

    INTRO: Russia's military says it is making advances in Chechnya's mountainous regions and has retaken towns overrun by Chechen counterattacks. Moscow Correspondent Eve Conant reports Russian officials deny charges by Georgian security officials that Russian troops stationed in Georgia sold arms to Chechen rebels.

    TEXT: Russian generals say they once again control several towns overrun by rebel counterattacks. But there are conflicting reports of fighting in occupied zones such as Argun and Shali, which were said to have been cleared of rebels weeks ago. Border guards say Chechen men of fighting age are now blocked from crossing in or out of Chechnya. Fighting raged in Grozny and the southern mountains where forces say they seized strategic heights near a rebel base. In other developments, Russia's Defense Minister denied charges by Georgian officials that Russian troops sold weapons to rebels. Chechnya's President is reiterating calls for peace talks. But his appeal comes as Russia's Security Council says troops uncovered evidence of Chechen involvement in a series of Russian apartment bombings a charge rebels have consistently denied. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/GE/RAE 12-Jan-2000 12:59 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 1759 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] E-U FOOD SAFETY (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258001
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The European Commission has approved plans for an independent food safety authority to be established over the next three years. V-O-A correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels that the move is designed to restore European consumers' confidence in the food they buy.

    TEXT: The European Union's (E-U) 15 countries are the world's largest importers and exporters of food products. Issues of food safety have dominated the European Commission over the last six months. Food contamination forced chickens, eggs, pork and beef off the grocery shelves in Belgium. European scientists agreed to lift the three-year-old ban against British beef imposed because of fears of Mad Cow disease. However, France refuses to import British beef because of continued food safety scares. The European Commission opened this year by filing a legal case against France with the European Court of Justice for violating European law. A number of E-U members have been criticized by the Commission for using sewage sludge in their production of animal feed. That's why the new Commission President Romano Prodi originally suggested Europe needs an authority like the American Food and Drug Administration (F-D-A) to restore Europeans' confidence in the food they buy. The new policy document calls for a similar European authority to be established by the end of 2002. Unlike the American F-D-A, the proposed European authority will not be given decision-making or law making powers. That power remains with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the member states. The European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner, David Byrne, says what has worked in the United States does not work for Europe with its institutions.

    /// FIRST BYRNE ACT ///

    The fact that the authority does not have regulatory powers in my view does not in any way undermine the authority or good functioning of food safety in the European Union. It's a clear identification of the functions of each of the institutions that are established in the E-U and so that each has it own function and works one to the other and each then, particularly in the area of law making, will be answerable to the public. I believe that's the best way forward and I acknowledge of course, it's quite different from the F-D-A model, which of course is not an independent agency, it's part of the U-S administration.

    /// END ACT ///

    Only five E-U countries have their own food safety agency and just three more have them in the planning stage. The new European food safety authority will be expected to coordinate with the member states in formulating advice for the whole Union. The policy plan contains a time schedule to update European laws before 2002. Finland has offered to be the host for the new agency but Mr. Byrne says the food authority should be centrally located, indicating Brussels or nearby.

    /// BEGIN OPT ///

    The objective of the proposed authority, the commissioner says, is it to restore Europeans' confidence in the food they buy.

    /// SECOND BYRNE ACT ///

    The authority must become the authoritative source of scientific advice and information on food safety issues. This situation will not come about by the mere creation of the authority or by waving a magic wand. It will only come about through confidence gained in the operation of the authority, by the authority adopting a highly visible and pro-active stance in food matters, by the authority operating successful two-way networks with national scientific bodies and agencies.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// END OPT ///

    The creation of the new food agency would not solve the Commission's current argument with France about its refusal to accept British beef. If the French food agency disagrees with the European authority's judgment, the alternative is still for the Commission to take France to court. (Signed) NEB/RP/GE/gm 12-Jan-2000 12:57 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 1757 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] FRANCE TRUCK PROTEST (L-O) BY PAUL MILLER (PARIS)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257991
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: French trucking companies have lifted their blockade of border crossings and ports after reaching an agreement with the French government. Paul Miller reports from Paris that the trucking companies demanded - and received - concessions that they say are essential if they are to be competitive with other European haulers.

    TEXT: For two-days, the number of trucks waiting to cross into or out of France grew into the thousands, as back ups stretched for kilometers. The European Commission demanded that France certify that it was not restricting international trade. The French trucking companies whose drivers had blocked the border crossings threatened an indefinite stoppage. Then late night talks with France's Transportation Minister produced an agreement that met much of what the truckers had demanded. French drivers will not be subject to the new 35-hour workweek that the French government is requiring as a way of creating more jobs. The companies had argued they could not compete with foreign haulers, especially on longer routes, if drivers' hours were restricted. Now drivers on major routes will be able to work 56-hours a week. Because the French Socialist government will not abandon its goal of a shorter work week, there will be something in the deal for the drivers as well - the companies will pay them an overtime premium for all hours over 36. The companies will also get a partial rebate on the tax on diesel fuel. They had complained that rising oil prices and a falling Euro had increased their operating costs by more than 20-percent. French Transportation Minister Jean-Claude Gayssot said he thought he had been able to balance the economic vitality of the trucking industry with the social objective of promoting a shorter work week. The transportation minister also met with the drivers' union to sell it on the deal. Union drivers are talking about organizing their own blockade at the end of the month to protest their working conditions. (SIGNED) NEB/PM/GE/ENE/RAE 12-Jan-2000 10:35 AM EDT (12-Jan-2000 1535 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] CLINTON - NORTHERN IRELAND (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=1/13/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258017
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Irish Republican leader Gerry Adams is urging pro-British Unionists not to allow a dispute over disarmament to disrupt progress in the Northern Ireland peace process. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports Mr. Adams, leader of the Sinn Fein party, made his comments following a meeting with President Clinton at the White House. Text: Six weeks after Catholic and Protestant leaders established a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) is under increasing pressure to disarm to ensure the coalition's survival. Protestant leader David Trimble, head of the Ulster Unionists, has threatened to pull his party out of the coalition if the I-R-A does not begin handing in its weapons from its decades-long war against British rule by next month. Speaking outside the White House Wednesday, Mr. Adams told reporters the I-R-A would not bow to pressure.

    /// Adams Act ///

    I look to David Trimble to be leaderly about all of these matters. Deadlines and ultimatums have not worked anywhere in the world in terms of trying to get peace processes to democratic conclusions. Let us go forward empowered by the progress that has made life so much better for the people on the island of Ireland.

    /// End Act ///

    The I-R-A has begun talks with the province's disarmament authorities, but has not said whether it will disarm. The 1998 Good Friday Accords envision total I-R-A disarmament by May. Mr. Adams said demilitarization was among the issues he discussed with Mr. Clinton at their 45-minute meeting, which U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger also attended. A White House spokesman would not comment on the meeting other than to say all aspects of implementing the Good Friday accords were discussed. Mr. Adam's visit here came a day after Mr. Clinton discussed the Northern Ireland peace process with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The President has made peace in the region a top foreign policy priority. (signed)
    NEB/DAT/JP 12-Jan-2000 17:46 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 2246 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] POPE / HOLY LAND (L-O) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (ROME)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257993
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Pope John Paul, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, will travel to the Holy Land from March 20th to 26th. The visit will include stops in Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. Sabina Castelfranco has this report from Rome.

    TEXT: Less than two-months before his 80th birthday (May 18), Pope John Paul will fulfil his dream of tracing the footsteps of Jesus Christ in a trip to the Holy Land at the end of March. The Vatican says the Pope will first travel to Jordan to visit the Monastery of Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land, and then celebrate Mass in the Amman Stadium.

    /// OPT ///

    According to a Vatican statement, Pope John Paul will preside over the celebration of the Eucharist in Bethlehem, and tour the Cenacle in Jerusalem - the room in which Jesus and his disciples ate the Last Supper. The Pope will also visit the Mount of Beatitudes in Galilee, the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, and the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. /// END OPT /// The Pope will celebrate mass in Nazareth, Israel's largest Arab city, despite the controversy over the building of a mosque in a plot of land adjacent to the basilica. Recent reports said Muslim extremists in Nazareth were suspected of having published leaflets threatening the Pope. The leaflets warned there would be violence against him and local Christians if - in the words of the leaflet - he dared to make his 2000 visit. During his seven-day trip, the Pope will hold an ecumenical meeting with the heads of the Christian Churches in the Holy Land. He will also visit the Western Wall and the El Aqsa Mosque to greet religious authorities of Judaism and Islam. The Vatican also announced that during his visit the Pope would hold meetings with King Abdullah of Jordan, Israeli President Ezer Weizman and Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. (SIGNED) NEB/SC/GE/ENE/RAE 12-Jan-2000 10:41 AM EDT (12-Jan-2000 1541 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] NY ECON WRAP (S & L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258015
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed today (Wednesday), as investors turned cautious about those high-flying - many say over-valued - Internet stocks. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 40 points, or one-third of one percent, closing at 11- thousand-551. The Standard and Poor's 500 index dropped six points. And the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite slid for a loss of almost two percent. Some market-watchers believe many Internet companies are destined for a fall. Investors are starting to ask about company profits, or the lack thereof.

    /// BEGIN OPT ///

    Analyst Joe Battapaglia notes there is a lot of money going into stocks. He says even if many Internet- related companies lose their huge valuations - and he believes they will - it does not have to shake the whole market:

    /// BATTAPAGLIA ACT ///

    It's very important that we see that while that adjustment takes place and these stocks are brought down hard, the overall market tone still remains planted on the earnings story and it's not disruptive to the overall market. So that even if we let the air out of the extended Internets, it will not undermine the overall stock market.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// END OPT ///

    Shares of the leading Internet portal, Yahoo, fell for a second day. Despite robust fourth quarter earnings, Yahoo warned its revenue growth is not sustainable. Investors also sold Qualcom - the telecommunications giant whose stock outperformed the rest of the market last year. Analysts say rising market interest rates might account for Wednesday's cautious trading. Higher rates typically cut deep into the future earnings expectations of fast-growing Internet companies.

    /// REST OPT ///

    America Online had another down day, as did Time Warner. Their shares continued to sink. Analysts are now thinking that Time Warner's proposed merger with A-O-L could slow A-O-L's growth rate. The Internet pioneer announced plans Monday to acquire Time Warner the world's biggest media and entertainment company. Boeing, the world's biggest airplane maker, is said to be getting ready to expand its satellite business. Reports say Boeing plans to buy the satellite manufacturing division of Hughes Electronics, which has provided about 40-percent of commercial satellites now in operation world-wide. Most of the satellites Boeing makes are for the military. Boeing's push into the commercial satellite world would reduce its reliance on jetliners - an industry sensitive to heavy price pressures. Boeing shares, which are part of the Dow Jones Industrials, rose on the expectation. General Motors another Dow stock - also traded higher. G-M is the majority owner of Hughes Electronics. (Signed) NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/gm 12-Jan-2000 16:56 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 2156 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11628
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Comments on the largest corporate merger in history -- between America Online and Time Warner -- fill Wednesday's editorial pages in the United States. Running a close second are more thoughts on the increasingly complicated story of a young Cuban boy who was rescued from the waters off the Florida coast and is now the subject of a diplomatic feud between the United States and Cuba. There are also comments on the Israeli Syrian peace talks, the AIDS pandemic in Africa, sentencing juveniles to the death penalty, and the morale of the U-S armed forces. Now, here is ___________ with a few quotes and a synopsis in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Monday's merger of the big Internet service provider American Online and the Time Warner communications conglomerate is provoking a flood of editorials, mainly wondering about the effects of this one-hundred-sixty-billion dollar plus joining of new and old communications firms. Much of the press expresses cautious optimism about the merger, mixed with a good deal of apprehension as well. The Milwaukee [Wisconsin] Journal calls this "Megamerger" a "sobering reminder" and warns readers:

    VOICE: Pay attention. Pay attention to the merger; to what the varied and sometimes contradictory analyses argue; to what the company's leaders say and . do; to the hearings . in Washington . because what's happening now in corporate board rooms will have a decided impact on your office, your living room and your computer room.

    TEXT: In Colorado Springs [Colorado], the Gazette greets the news with this reservation:

    VOICE: While one can see possible advantages for both companies - - A-O-L gets access to Time Warner's 20 million cable customers and a way to leapfrog into . Internet service, while Time Warner gets New Media savvy [knowledge] and 20 million potential customers for its products - - the deal might not work. . There are potential corporate culture problems and three strong personalities involved.

    TEXT: Honolulu's Star-Bulletin suggests: "New measures may be needed to protect consumers from corporate actions in the emerging world of communications technology," while in Nebraska, The Omaha World Herald also urges readers to pay attention since:

    VOICE: . by any reasonable standard [the new company] will be speaking with the loudest media voice in the world. Therefore, continuing the Internet tradition of open access for everybody to everything will be of paramount importance.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: In California, the San Jose Mercury News calls the merger "an epochal event" and wonders "Who's next" in terms of mergers:

    VOICE: . [the merger] could be worrisome if a few media conglomerates gained control and narrowed the number of entry points to the Internet. Such a concentration of power could lead to . freedom sacrificed to the interests of capitalism.

    TEXT: In Georgia, the Augusta Chronicle suggests that government scrutiny is called for, adding: "History teaches that bigness is not always goodness," while the San Francisco Chronicle sums up this way:

    VOICE: The frenzy has churned up an array of predictions that boil down to one word: change. Other cable, media and Internet firms are expected to pair up for survival. Boundaries between online services and so-called content companies are coming down fast. It's not over yet.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: For a final word on this merger, we turn to The Miami Herald:

    VOICE: Consider a single conglomerate that could control the films and television programs we see, the music we hear, the magazines we read, the news we receive and the access we have to the Internet . Is this the arrival of Big Brother, or an exciting New World of interconnectedness, where journalism, entertainment, communications and the Internet merge into one? This question is fundamental to judging the proposed merger ... Is this a good deal for consumers? Not if it triggers other mergers so that information gathering and delivery is further concentrated into the hands of two or three giant corporations.

    TEXT: The day's other popular topic is the diplomatic controversy over the six year-old Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, rescued from the sea off Florida. The young boy's mother died in the attempt to flee Cuba, but his father, in Cuba, is demanding his return. The young boy is now the center of a dispute between, on the one hand, some members of Congress and the Cuban-American community of South Florida and, on the other, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which has ruled that the boy should be returned to his father. The Anchorage [Alaska] Daily News says:

    VOICE: The boy should be with his father . but the political battle . is as ugly as it gets. What a cast of rogues and gasbags has intervened in the name of the best interest of the child, from Cuba's Fidel Castro to members of Congress and political activists in Florida. . A decent father should not be deprived of his son for solely political reasons.

    TEXT: In Florida, The Orlando Sentinel asks:

    VOICE: "Must we divide Elian? . If all parties to the .tragedy would allow family values to prevail, Elian would be home already. . Elian . [is] a child turned into a political pawn. He should be with his father.

    TEXT: And in Oklahoma, the Tulsa World says of "Poor Elian:"

    VOICE: The decision by the I-N-S [Immigration and Naturalization Service] was the right one. Any judge in a child custody case would have placed Elian with his only surviving parent, a father who by all accounts loves him and is able to care for him, instead of great aunts and uncles.

    TEXT: On now to the day's other editorials, including comments from the Chicago Tribune on the now recessed Syrian Israeli peace talks. The paper says that setting the talks near the Antietam battlefield, scene of the bloodiest single battle of the U-S Civil War, was a masterstroke of the Clinton administration.

    VOICE: "It is amazing that more people died here in one day than in all of Israel's wars," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, himself a former general, remarked on Sunday as he toured the site where more than 23-thousand people were believed killed or wounded in 1862. On [Prime Minister] Barak and Syria's chief negotiator, Foreign Minister Farouk Sharaa, the lesson was not lost: Peace is in the best interest of both their countries for various reasons, but none more important than to avoid the awful human cost of more war.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Today's Beacon Journal, in Akron Ohio, says of the first face to face meeting in several years: "In the Middle East, talking can be as important as agreement." While the Los Angeles Times, less patient, warns: Mideast Gains Must Come Soon. And the New York Times sums up:

    VOICE: Progress in the first round was mainly limited to getting Israelis and Syrians to meet and refine their disputes about the negotiating agenda. . Despite substantial opposition in Israel to a Golan deal, Mr. Barak's ultimate willingness to compromise is not in serious doubt. On his return to Israel last night, he offered a relatively optimistic assessment of the talks. But . to succeed, Mr. Shara's boss, President Hafez al-Assad, must prove equally willing to make trade-offs in the interest of peace.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: On the issue of AIDS in Africa and the month- long discussion of AIDS at the United Nations, the Detroit Free Press applauds, noting:

    VOICE: The sheer magnitude of the AIDS problem [in Africa] has made it an issue not only of health care, but international security. Richard Holbrooke, the U- S ambassador to the United Nations, is wise to use his term as Security Council president to raise the world body's awareness of this tragedy.

    TEXT: The Chicago Tribune is upset that the United States continues to be one of only six nations that executes juvenile offenders. "A shameful way to welcome the year," says The Trib.

    VOICE: At the dawn of the year two-thousand, there are 36-hundred prisoners on death row in the United States, 69 of whom were kids when they committed the crimes for which they are to be executed. . Though their youth in no way mitigates the seriousness of their crimes, it should have great bearing on their punishment, particularly when that punishment is death.

    TEXT: The Oklahoman from Oklahoma City is worried about a pair of recent reports that suggest members of the U-S armed forces are frustrated with the military's current roles.

    VOICE: A common theme running through both studies is dissatisfaction with the Clinton administration's frequent use of the military for humanitarian peacekeeping missions. The military's best and brightest are leaving, and not necessarily because of the strong civilian economy as many in the administration contend. . A second study . found complaints about frequent deployments, lack of training, lack of equipment and workload. . Bill Clinton and Al Gore inherited a military fresh from winning the Gulf War. In seven years they've let it wither in neglect, driving many capable, duty- conscious men and women out of the services with inept leadership and a faulty concept of the military's proper role.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/KL 12-Jan-2000 12:10 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 1710 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] BRITAIN - PINOCHET (L-ONLY) BY PAMELA MCCALL (LONDON)

    DATE=1/11/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257974
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Former Chilean military ruler General Augusto Pinochet may be set free on health grounds. General Pinochet has been fighting attempts to extradite him to Spain to face charges of crimes against humanity. Pamela McCall reports from London. Text: Former Chilean military ruler Augusto Pinochet is unfit to stand trial on torture charges and could be released. That statement from British Home Secretary, Jack Straw. It follows an independent medical examination of the eighty-four-year-old General. Three doctors and a consultant neuropsychologist came up with the conclusion that Mr. Pinochet is not well enough to be extradited to Spain. Former Conservative cabinet minister Norman Lamont, says the findings are fair.

    /// LAMONT ACT ///

    The fact is,four very distinguished doctors have come unanimously to the conclusion he is not fit to stand trial. It is not justice to put someone on trial who can not follow the proceedings, who is not fit to stand trial and there is no doubt in my mind the Home Secretary should accept that recommendation.

    /// END act ///

    The former military ruler has been detained in Britain since his arrest in a London hospital nearly 15 months ago, after Spain demanded his arrest on charges of crimes against humanity. The decision on whether or not to free him is still subject to representations from Spain and Mr. Straw has allowed such action over the next seven days. Anti-Pinochet campaigner Jimmy Bell fled Chile several years ago. His adoptive brother is one of those who disappeared during Pinochet's rule. His father was held in a Chilean concentration camp. Mr. Bell is upset over the medical findings.

    ///BELL ACT ///

    We are sad, we are surprised. The law states very clearly General Pinochet will have to be mentally incapacitated to understand what is happening in the trial. He has declared up to now, even last week, saying that if he goes back to Chile he will be a senator for life and that he doesn't sound like a man who is too ill to stand trial.

    /// END ACT ///

    A statement from the Home Office does not indicate what the government's next move will be--but it appears to suggest they'd rather see Pinochet sent back to Chile than extradited to Spain.(Signed)
    NEB/PT 11-Jan-2000 19:44 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 0044 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [11] BRITAIN - PINOCHET (L-UPDATE) BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258006
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    ///EDS: ADDS COMMENTS BY STRAW AND CORDONE; REWORKS 2- 257985///

    INTRO: British Home Secretary Jack Straw says (Wednesday) he will make a final decision on the fate of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet within seven days. Lourdes Navarro reports from London.

    TEXT: In a statement read in Britain's House of Commons, Home Secretary Straw said that he would be open-minded about the case and will consult with interested parties such as human rights groups before making his final decision. He also told the House of Commons that after reviewing the report given to him by a team of doctors who examined General Pinochet, he believed him too sick to stand trial for alleged human rights abuses.

    /// STRAW ACT ///

    He is at present unfit to stand trial and no change is expected. I have therefore told Senator Pinochet's representatives that subject to any representations, which I may receive, I am minded to take the view that no purpose can be served by continuing the present extradition proceedings.

    /// END ACT ///

    General Pinochet was arrested in London 15 months ago on a Spanish extradition order for alleged acts of torture and genocide during his 17 year rule in Chile. While both Spain and Chile say they will abide by whatever Mr. Straw decides, campaigners in both Spain and Britain say they will continue to explore every legal avenue. Mr. Straw also said he will not publicly release the medical report because of patient confidentiality. The human rights organization Amnesty International called Mr. Straw's decision a mockery of justice. Amnesty International spokesman Claudio Cordone says that the medical records must be given to those who have a vested interest in the case.

    /// CORDONE ACT ///

    What we are saying is that the process of whether or not Pinochet should be extradited or should stand trial should continue to remain before the courts. His medical condition should also be before a court of law with all parties being able to see the evidence to challenge it if they so require.

    /// END ACT ///

    While this latest move has caused outrage among anti- Pinochet groups, supporters of the General say that a reprieve is long overdue. They say his health is frail and he has suffered a series of heart attacks while under arrest. General Pinochet came to power in a military coup in 1973. The former military leader has insisted that he his innocent of the human rights abuses of which he is accused. Official figures show that at least three thousand people died or disappeared under his 17-year rule. (Signed) NEB/LN/GE/gm 12-Jan-2000 14:17 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 1917 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [12] CHILE-PINOCHET IMPACT BY BILL RODGERS (SANTIAGO)

    DATE=1/12/2000
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45223
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT=

    /// EDS: SPANISH ACT IN BUBBLE ///

    INTRO: There is mixed reaction in Chile to the medical determination by a group of doctors in Britain that former dictator Augusto Pinochet is unfit to stand trial in Spain for atrocities committed during his rule. At the same time, Chilean analysts are assessing the possible impact this latest development will have on Sunday's runoff presidential election. From Santiago, VOA's Bill Rodgers reports.

    TEXT:

    /// AMBIENT SOUND OF VOICES IN SPANISH ///

    Retired civil servant Hugo Ramirez welcomes the news from London -- saying no country has the right to judge a Chilean national. He says Chile has its own courts to deal with these matters. Gardener Luis Cabello describes the development as the worst news he has heard in some time.

    /// CABELLO SPANISH ACT ///

    He said Mr. Pinochet should stay in Britain. If he returns here, he says, he will never be put on trial to pay for what he has done. There is no justice in Chile, according to Mr. Cabello. Most Chilean human rights groups - such as CODEPU (Eds: Corporacion de Promocion y Defensa de los Derechos del Pueblo) - agree that Mr. Pinochet should be extradited to Spain and face prosecution there. CODEPU head Fabiola Letelier says trying to prosecute the former dictator in Chile would be difficult because of the country's amnesty law and because he enjoys immunity as senator-for-life. Ms. Letelier tells VOA she blames the Chilean government for effectively blocking the Spanish extradition efforts by pressing for Mr. Pinochet's release on humanitarian grounds.

    /// LETELIER SPANISH ACT ///

    She says it was the Chilean government, freely elected by the people, that is responsible for this situation by requesting the independent medical examination. The objective, she says, is to ensure Mr. Pinochet never stands trial for the human rights violations committed during his 17-year dictatorship. The medical assessment of Mr. Pinochet's health and the possibility that Britain might allow him to return home after 15 months of detention comes as Chileans are preparing to vote Sunday for president in a closely contested runoff election. Both Ricardo Lagos - a socialist of the governing coalition called Concertacion - and his rival, conservative Joaquin Lavin -- have steered clear of the Pinochet issue. This was true in their campaigns for the first round last month - and in the days leading up to this Sunday's vote. A strategist for the Lagos campaign, Jorge Schaulsohn, says it is still too early tell what the political impact of the news from Britian will be. But he says the development could hurt both Mr. Lavin and Mr. Lagos.

    /// SCHAULSOHN ACT ///

    It brings to the fore the fact that Pinochet and Lavin are really part of the same team, something that's been hidden throughout the campaign, and this could be a negative effect on their campaign... On the other hand, some people on the left who did not vote for Lagos in the first round, and are considering doing so in the second, may feel disappointed because Pinochet might be coming back and they may blame the government and some of those people may react negatively and may want to punish the government, and the way to do so is not to vote for Lagos who after all is the the government's candidate.

    /// END ACT ///

    Indeed, the communist party presidential candidate for the first round, Gladys Marin, Wednesday called on her supporters to punish the government and Mr. Lagos by casting blank ballots on Sunday. While Ms. Marin received less than three percent of the vote in December, these ballots could prove crucial for Mr. Lagos in a tight race. But it may turn out the Pinochet case may make little difference in Sunday's vote. Political analysts say Chileans are more concerned with issues that affect them personally, than with what happened in the past. University of Chile political scientist Ricardo Israel says the issues in this election are unlike those of past presidential contests.

    /// ISRAEL ACT ///

    Chile, in 1989, the task was transition (from a dictatorship to a democracy). Six years ago it was modernization of the country and today the country has doubled its income. Today, the issues are social issues - the issues are education, health, justice, employment, crime, and equality of opportunity.

    /// END ACT ///

    But, for now, no one can say for sure how voters will react on Sunday after being bombarded with reports in the national media about Mr. Pinochet's health and the prospects for his return home. (Signed)
    NEB/WFR/TVM/KL 12-Jan-2000 18:12 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 2312 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [13] CHILE-PINOCHET REACT (L) BY BILL RODGERS (SANTIAGO)

    DATE=1/11/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257976
    CONTENT=

    /// EDS: SPANISH ACTUALITY IN BUBBLE ///

    INTRO: In Chile, there is mixed reaction to the news former dictator Augusto Pinochet has been ruled unfit to stand trial in Spain over human rights abuses committed during his 17-year rule. But as V-O-A's Bill Rodgers reports from Santiago, the Chilean Government expressed satisfaction over the recommendation by the medical team that examined Mr. Pinochet.

    TEXT: Officials at the Pinochet Foundation in Santiago expressed satisfaction at the news from Britain; but also caution. Foundation Vice President Hernan Guiloff told reporters Tuesday the development does not represent a victory.

    /// GUILOFF SPANISH ACTUALITY ///

    He says this opens the door to hope for Mr. Pinochet's release. However, he says the decision is not a "victory" and that there is nothing to celebrate. Despite this, a crowd of Mr. Pinochet's supporters gathered outside the foundation's headquarters -- cheering and chanting slogans. Meanwhile, opponents of the former dictator expressed surprise and dismay. Julia Urquieta belongs to a masjor human rights group. She says her organization still hopes Britain will decide to extradite Mr. Pinochet to Spain.

    /// URQUIETA SPANISH ACTUALITY ///

    Otherwise, she says her group will try to put the former dictator on trial if he returns to Chile. The Santiago representative of Human Rights Watch says the former dictator's absence has opened the doors to the investigation and prosecution of some of the violations that occurred during his dictatorship. But the representative, Sebastian Brett, warns all this may change if Mr. Pinochet returns.

    /// BRETT ACTUALITY ///

    We're concerned that if he comes back there may be a significant relapse in the trials and the possibility of bringing justice to this country.

    /// END ACTUALITY ///

    Meanwhile, the Chilean Government, which requested the medical examination, expressed satisfaction over the conclusion by doctors that the 84-year-old retired general is not physically fit to stand trial. In a carefully worded statement read late Tuesday by Foreign Minister Juan Gabriel Valdes, the government said its representations to Britain about Mr. Pinochet's health have been endorsed.

    /// REST OPTIONAL ///

    /// VALDES SPANISH ACT ///

    For months, Chile has been asking Britain to release the former dictator on humanitarian grounds. British authorities detained Mr. Pinochet 15 months ago at the request of a Spanish judge who wants to extradite and prosecute the former dictator for alleged human rights violations. General Pinochet came to power in 1973, after overthrowing Socialist President Salvador Allende in a bloody coup. More than three thousand people were killed or disappeared during his 17-year rule. (Signed)
    NEB/WFR/TVM/WD 11-Jan-2000 23:46 PM EDT (12-Jan-2000 0446 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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