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Voice of America, 00-02-23

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO FRANCE (L-ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [02] HOLBROOKE ON MITRIOVICA (L-ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [03] TURKEY / KURDS / MAYORS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [04] CHINA-EU-W-T-O (L ONLY) BY ROGER WILKISON (BEIJING)
  • [05] SECRETARY OF STATE TO VISIT EUROPE (L-ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [06] SPAIN / VIOLENCE (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] CLINTON-SPAIN (L-CQ) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [08] N-Y ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [10] U-S SPY NETWORK (L) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)

  • [01] KOSOVO FRANCE (L-ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259503
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// Re-running w/must change from 20 to at least 10 in 8th graph from text ///

    INTRO: The French Defense Minister says his country is prepared to send another six or seven hundred troops to help quell violence in Kosovo. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports, top NATO officials will consider sending up to a total of two-thousand fresh soldiers to the troubled Serbian province.

    TEXT: French Defense Minister Alain Richard says his nation will do `whatever it takes' to reduce violence between ethnic Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the northern city of Mitrovica. He says France already has 47-hundred soldiers patrolling that portion of Kosovo, and will send more if they are needed.

    /// RICHARD ACT ///

    We have one battalion within the strategic reserve and up to the size of one battalion, if this is required, we are going to open this possibility.

    /// END ACT ///

    Minister Richard says the soldiers will probably stay for a `limited time.' He spoke at a press conference at the Pentagon after talks with U-S Defense Secretary William Cohen. Pentagon officials say about 55-hundred U-S troops now patrol Kosovo, and Defense Secretary Cohen did not rule out sending more. But Mr. Cohen says he won't make a decision until NATO commanders tell him how many soldiers, and what kinds of skills and equipment they need. Pentagon officials say more than 40-thousand foreign troops, mostly from NATO, are on watch in Kosovo. But News reports say the soldiers have not been able to stop unrest in Mitrovica, which killed at least 10 people and injured some French troops over the past few weeks. The rising tensions prompted ambassadors from NATO nations to call a special meeting in Brussels to consider a request for reinforcements. An 11-week NATO bombing campaign drove Serb-dominated Yugoslav forces out of Kosovo last year, ending a campaign of murder and arson by Serbs against the ethnic Albanian majority in the province. (Signed)
    NEB/JR/TVM/PT 23-Feb-2000 18:28 PM EDT (23-Feb-2000 2328 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] HOLBROOKE ON MITRIOVICA (L-ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259504
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The American Ambassador to the United Nations said tonight (Wednesday) that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is attempting to partition Kosovo by encouraging ethnic violence in the city of Mitrovica. V-O-A Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United Nations.

    TEXT: Speaking briefly to reporters, Mr. Holbrooke confirmed reports that top U-S and NATO officials believe Mr. Milosevic is infiltrating people into the Kosovo in an attempt to inflame ethnic violence in Mitrovica. There have also been reports of radio links between Serbian officials and Serb militants in Mitrovica. Mr. Holbrooke says it is part of plan by Mr. Milosevic to create a partition of Kosovo, and undermine U-N Security Council resolutions that authorized international peacekeeping troops and a U-N civil administration.

    /// HOLBROOKE ACT ///

    Mitrovica is now certainly the most dangerous place in Europe. The reason for that is not because Albanians and Serbs do not like each other, that is an established historical fact. It is because the leadership in Belgrade led by President Milosevic is conducting a campaign to undermine to efforts of NATO and the United Nations.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Holbrooke says President Milosevic's alleged efforts to encourage a partition of Kosovo will not work. The ambassador says that NATO and the United Nations will ensure that the people of Kosovo can determine their own destiny free of outside intimidation. (Signed) NEB/BA/TVM/gm/europe 23-Feb-2000 18:49 PM EDT (23-Feb-2000 2349 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] TURKEY / KURDS / MAYORS (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259486
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkish leaders are reacting angrily to calls from Western European governments for the release of three ethnic Kurdish mayors detained over the weekend. As Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel said Wednesday that the arrests of the mayors had -- in his words -- nothing to do with the European Union.

    TEXT: President Demirel described the arrests of Feridun Celik of Diyarbakir, Selim Ozalp of Siirt and Feyzullah Karaaslan of Bingol as what he called "a legal procedure." Nobody, Mr. Demirel said, has the right to commit crimes. Mr. Demirel's statement followed calls from the European Parliament and the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, of which Turkey is a founding member, to release the mayors immediately. The mayors from the largely Kurdish southeastern provinces were detained and have been undergoing interrogation in the provincial capital, Diyarbakir, over their alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the P-K-K. The mayors appeared before a special state security court in Diyarbakir Wednesday for further interrogation amid mounting tensions in the southeast region. Under Turkish law, prosecutors are authorized to extend the pre-trial detention period by a further week before the mayors appear in court. The mayors are members of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party, known as Hadep. Hadep officials deny any links with the separatist rebel group and its captured leader, Abdullah Ocalan. But their party is facing closure over charges that it is acting as a political front for the P-K-K. Prosecutors are demanding up to three years in jail for Hadep party leader, Ahmet Turan Demir, on charges of making separatist propaganda during a speech last year in which he called for the introduction of constitutional guarantees for the Kurds' ethnic identity. Western diplomats in the capital, Ankara, say the arrests will likely undermine Turkey's efforts to join the European Union. One of the conditions set down by the European Union is that Turkey grant its estimated 12-million Kurds cultural rights, including the right to broadcast and educate in the own language. Visiting Luxembourg Foreign Minister, Lydie Polfer, told reporters that the European Union had what she called, "great difficulty," understanding the detention of the mayors and that she had told her Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, as much during talks with him in Ankara. Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit earlier rejected such criticism as an unacceptable intrusion in Turkey's internal affairs. Mr. Ecevit said Europe needed to understand what he termed Turkey's warnings with regard to how membership negotiations with the European Union would work. Western diplomats say Turkey will have to heed Europe's warnings as well if it wants to become a full member of their club. (Signed) NEB/AZ/GE/ENE/JP 23-Feb-2000 11:17 AM EDT (23-Feb-2000 1617 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] CHINA-EU-W-T-O (L ONLY) BY ROGER WILKISON (BEIJING)

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259475
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: China and the European Union are holding a third day of critical talks aimed at securing a trade deal that will lead to Beijing's entry into the World Trade Organization. VOA correspondent Roger Wilkison reports European diplomats say that -- so far -- the two sides have been unable to achieve a breakthrough in the negotiations.

    TEXT: Though the European Union mission in Beijing and the Chinese Foreign Trade Ministry have imposed a news blackout on the talks, diplomats from two E-U member countries say little progress has been made toward striking a deal. The diplomats say the main obstacles continue to be China's refusal to meet E-U demands that Beijing allow greater access to the Chinese market for European insurance and telecommunications firms. Negotiators have broken up into two groups to try to reach what one diplomat calls technical agreements in different fields. But he says that - based on the discussions so far - there is little chance that E-U Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy will be traveling to the Chinese capital anytime soon to nail down a final accord. China needs the consent of all of the W-T-O's 135 members to join global trade's rule-making body. The E-U is the most important of those members that have not yet signed such a pact with Beijing. On Tuesday, China signed a trade deal with India, leaving the E-U and 12 other W-T-O members to finalize agreements with Beijing. Before the latest round of China-E-U trade talks began on Monday, E-U officials listed telecommunications and financial services --including insurance -- as the main points of contention. They also said the E-U would seek lower tariffs on certain goods produced by individual E-U member countries, such as English gin, Scotch whisky, French cosmetics and Italian leather products. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RW/FC 23-Feb-2000 05:02 AM EDT (23-Feb-2000 1002 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] SECRETARY OF STATE TO VISIT EUROPE (L-ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259498
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has announced plans to visit the Czech Republic and Bosnia during a week-long European trip that will include stops in Portugal and Belgium. From the State Department, V-O-A's Kyle King reports.

    TEXT: Ms. Albright's first stop will be Lisbon, Portugal, where she will take part in the U-S -- European Union ministerial meeting on March 3rd. The Secretary is also expected to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov for talks likely to include recent developments in Chechnya. Ms. Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia, will be in Prague from March 5th to the 8th, to take part in celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the first Czechoslovak President. State Department spokesman James Rubin says Ms. Albright will also visit Bosnia, March 8th and 9th to discuss progress in bringing further unity to the ethnically polarized country.

    /// RUBIN ACT ///

    ...and to urge the parties to accelerate the process of refugee returns, economic reform, and the functioning of central institutions and other actions needed to make peace in Bosnia self sustaining.

    /// END ACT ///

    Municipal elections in Bosnia are scheduled for next month, and officials are hoping the defeat of nationalists in Croatia will encourage voters to choose less hard-line candidates in Bosnia. Ms. Albright will wrap up her week-long European trip with a stop in Brussels for meetings with NATO and European Union officials. (Signed) NEB/KBK/TVM/JP/western-europe 23-Feb-2000 16:18 PM EDT (23-Feb-2000 2118 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] SPAIN / VIOLENCE (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259479
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Spain is mourning the death of a regional politician and his bodyguard who were killed Tuesday by a car bomb in the Basque city of Vitoria. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports the bombing has sparked widespread condemnation.

    TEXT: The demonstrations across Spain are aimed at the Basque separatist group, known as ETA, which Spanish authorities are blaming for Tuesday's car bombing in Vitoria. It is the second terrorist attack since ETA ended its cease-fire 14 months ago and comes just three weeks before Spain's general elections. Spaniards are not the only ones to condemn the violence. European leaders like Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair have voiced their concerns.

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    We know and we have learned that the way to peace and democracy never lies through violence. So I hope very much that the Spanish people, as they come to terms with this latest attack, know they have the full support and solidarity of people right across Europe and the world.

    /// END ACT ///

    Thousands of Spaniards have been holding silent vigils in several towns and cities to coincide with the funerals in Vitoria of Socialist politician Fernando Buesa and his 27-year-old bodyguard. The two men died when a car bomb was set off by remote control. Similar vigils were held last month after an army officer was killed in a double car bomb attack in Madrid. The renewed extremist violence is expected to bolster the center-right party of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in next month's general elections. Mr. Aznar has maintained a tough line against terrorism. The mainstream Basque nationalist party has cut its ties with ETA's political wing and is calling on the Basque separatists to abandon their campaign of violence. Basque separatists have killed more than 800 people in their struggle for an independent state that would cover parts of northern Spain and southern France. (SIGNED) NEB/LMK/GE/KL/Europe 23-Feb-2000 09:17 AM EDT (23-Feb-2000 1417 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] CLINTON-SPAIN (L-CQ) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259492
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: Fixing wording in fifth graph of 2-259488 to specify date of coup attempt ///

    INTRO: Spain's King Juan Carlos has strongly condemned a bomb attack that killed a Socialist politician in his country's semi-autonomous Basque region. He spoke at the start of a state visit to the White House, where President Clinton praised him for his efforts to resist terror. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports. Text: King Juan Carlos expressed his "shock and utmost rejection," of the car bomb assassination of local Socialist Party leader Fernando Buesa and his bodyguard. Authorities believe the bombing - which took place Tuesday in Vitoria, the capital of the Basque region - is the work of the separatist group ETA. Mr. Buesa had been an outspoken critic of the group. The Spanish monarch spoke through an interpreter during welcoming ceremonies on the south lawn of the White House.

    /// Juan Carlos Act Through Interpreter
    ///
    This new and heinous crime clearly shows an absolute contempt for human rights -- and for the most precious of them all, the right to live -- by those who try to impose their totalitarian ideas by force and to combat freedom, peace, liberty and the peaceful coexistence and democracy of the Basque people and all the people of Spain.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Clinton, in turn, praised the king for his stand against terrorism.

    /// Clinton Act ///

    As you continue to lead your nation and stand against the forces of terror and the enemies of peace and freedom, may your work be our hope and our guide as we walk together in this new century.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Clinton paid tribute the king's successful efforts to thwart a coup attempt by right-wing military officers 19 years ago today -- an event he described as a "defining moment."

    /// Clinton Act ///

    He rallied the people of Spain. He appealed to the military's sense of honor. He stood strong, and less than 24 hours after it began, the coup was over. Freedom was secure in Spain, and less than a decade later, when freedom was reborn in eastern Europe, the newest democracies could look to Spain as their example. When the task of building an undivided, democratic Europe is completed, all friends of freedom will owe a very great debt to King Juan Carlos.

    /// End Act ///

    The president praised Spain's role in the world, noting that Spanish troops are taking part in Kosovo peacekeeping, and that in April a Spanish commander will assume command of the NATO force there. He also expressed appreciation for Spain's assistance to hurricane victims in Honduras and Guatemala and flood victims in Venezuela. The two men held a 45 minute meeting that dealt with developments in the Balkans and Latin America and bi- lateral cooperation in promoting human rights, political stability and economic development. White House aides say the king's visit is largely ceremonial -- a way for Mr. Clinton to reciprocate for the monarch's hospitality three years ago, when he invited the president and his wife, Hillary, to vacation in Mallorca. Later Wednesday, Mr and Mrs. Clinton will host a state dinner for the Spanish monarch and his wife, Queen Sofia. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/JP 23-Feb-2000 13:55 PM EDT (23-Feb-2000 1855 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259501
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// See also CR 2-259494 ///

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were mixed today (Wednesday), as the chief U-S central banker delivered no surprises in his testimony on the U-S economy to a congressional banking committee. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 79 points, less than one percent, closing at 10-thousand- 225. The Standard and Poor's 500 index gained eight points. The technology-weighted Nasdaq composite, after a two- day slump, rose sharply, with its largest single-day point gain ever. It went up nearly four percent, closing at a record high. Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan repeated last week's message that interest rates will probably be going up again to try to slow the U-S economy. But he indicated a gradual approach to those hikes. That calmed the stock market. The Dow Jones pared its losses. The Nasdaq index soared. Mr. Greenspan is the most carefully-watched figure among Wall Street analysts. He has the power to roil financial markets with a single comment.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Among the experts listening to Chairman Greenspan's remarks was Art Cashin, who monitored market reaction from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange:

    /// CASHIN ACT ///

    I do believe the markets are having a mild sigh of relief here. Unfortunately, so far the sigh of relief has only rallied back into the former highs and into the resistance areas. In the meantime, however, the techs (technology stocks) are back. It looks like they're back to buying hope over history.

    /// END ACT ///

    Many of the "blue-chips" among the Dow Jones Industrials are considered under-valued. The index has lost over 10-percent since mid-January. Investors continue to show caution toward these traditional, high-performance companies, in favor of the fast- growing technology sector. Some good news emerged on the inflation front. Oil- producing countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council agreed to hold oil prices down. Shares of oil company Exxon Mobil - a stock in the Dow Jones - edged lower. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/gm/econ 23-Feb-2000 17:15 PM EDT (23-Feb-2000 2215 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11695
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Editorial pages around the United States this Wednesday are focused on new tension between China and Taiwan as the island's election nears and China rattles its sabers again. The Iranian election victory for reformers also is a popular topic, as is Senator John McCain's double win in the Michigan and Arizona presidential primary elections. Other topics include additional comments on politics, the U-S labor movement's changing policy on illegal workers, and the high price of oil. Now, here with a closer look is __________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: China has just released a hard-line position paper on its view of relations with Taiwan, which will soon hold a presidential election. China essentially says it will not wait indefinitely for Taiwan to rejoin the mainland, and will not rule out the eventual use of force to achieve reunification. The tone of the paper is clearly worrying many editorial writers, but not those at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in Hawaii, who see it as calculated bluster.

    VOICE: ... the policy paper was evidently timed to affect campaigning for the election, but it's unlikely to produce dramatic changes in the candidates' positions. Public opinion on Taiwan is strongly opposed to unification - - and Taiwan, unlike China, is a democracy, with free elections. ... The new policy statement from Beijing must be considered a tactic of psychological warfare rather than an indication of a real intention to initiate an attack on Taiwan.

    TEXT: The Chicago Tribune is more upset and suggests a course of action for the United States.

    VOICE: China ... has upped the ante by lowering the threshold for what it would consider a justified use of force against Taiwan. Now Taiwan not only must forego any move toward independence, but it must negotiate on Beijing's timetable. That's unacceptable. The Clinton administration ought to respond in the most unequivocal manner that threats of force, and the use of force against Taiwan, also will not be tolerated. So far, White House reaction ... hardly rises to the level the occasion warrants.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: The Kansas City Star agrees:

    VOICE: China's outrageous saber-rattling over Taiwan calls for an extremely tough response from the United States. ... It may well be time to send in the carriers again, and to squeeze China in other ways as well. ... Past experience shows that efforts to appease China are particularly dangerous.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In the Middle East, the big parliamentary election victory of reformers over conservatives in Iran continues to draw comment. In Oklahoma, The Tulsa World is pleased, but cautious.

    VOICE: The . elections prove that the majority of Iranians are ready for their first big political change since the hard-line Islamics took over the country in the 1979 revolution. But [President Mohammad] Khatami and his allies still face formidable odds. The supreme religious ruler, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, still outranks the parliament and the president. ...

    TEXT: Change will not come easily despite the reformers' victory, in the opinion of today's Florida Times-Union from Jacksonville.

    VOICE: Even with a reformist president and parliament, change will not come easily. The hard- line Guardians Council must approve all legislation, [Ayatollah] Khamenei has final say in all matters and hard-liners control the judiciary. But the hard- liners must be careful. ... If they are too passive, [they] ... risk losing their remaining power. If they are too aggressive, they risk a counter-revolution.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Lastly on Iran, Ohio's [Akron] Beacon Journal says:

    VOICE: [President] Khatami's hand is significantly strengthened by the newly elected parliament. His challenge, with this strong, popular support, will be to press the advantage to loosen the grip of the clergy on Iran's political and judicial institutions, repair relations with the West as well as restore to Iranians a semblance of personal freedoms.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Domestically, the victory of Arizona Senator John McCain in both the Michigan and Arizona Republican presidential primaries Tuesday is drawing immediate reaction. First, this appraisal from The Detroit Free press, the state's largest daily.

    VOICE: There are many ways to read John McCain's victory ... and none of them bode well for George Bush. ... With many big-state primaries yet to come, this race is far from over, but Republicans who lined up early and shelled out often for [Mr.] Bush have to be wondering if the Texas governor is really ready for prime time.

    TEXT: The Detroit News adds that: "Senator McCain is now poised to make the case to Republicans that he would make the most electable candidate against Democrats in the fall." Calling it "Mr. McCain's Michigan Surprise," The New York Times says the senator's wins in Michigan and Arizona:

    VOICE: ... scramble the Republican presidential race, and portend more blistering battles to come with Governor George W. Bush. ... At some point, Mr. McCain will have to ... draw majority support among members of his own party and also convert a reluctant party leadership if he hopes to roll to the nomination. And ... Mr. Bush ... sooner or later must show that he has the ability to win without being propped up by local bosses.

    TEXT: In Democratic Party politics, the Houston Chronicle was not overly impressed with the spirited debate between Vice President Al Gore and former Senator Bill Bradley Monday night in New York's Harlem, calling it "old-time political theater."

    VOICE: The showmanship and bluster -- and, many would add, the pander to the audience -- were the story of the night. Voters, unfortunately, came away with very little, other than how either of the candidates holds up under the sort of fire they were pouring upon one another.

    TEXT: Another domestic issue is the complete reversal of the large trade union confederation, the A-F-L - C- I-O, on the issue of granting amnesty for the estimated six-million illegal immigrants in the United States. The organization has dropped its opposition, and now favors the proposal, eliciting this from the Fresno [California] Bee:

    VOICE: Big labor's new direction puts it in sync (agreement) with much of the U-S business community, which has complained for years that it cannot find enough qualified workers. Whether that combined pressure will be enough to sway a majority in Congress is questionable, given fears among many lawmakers ... that a blanket amnesty would only provoke more illegal immigration.

    TEXT: The [Trenton, New Jersey] Times has this to say about the dramatic rise in oil and gasoline prices:

    VOICE: The recent increase in energy prices, which has seen home heating oil hit two dollars a gallon [approximately 52 cents a liter] this month and has thrust gasoline and diesel fuel costs into similarly high altitudes, should serve as a wake-up call to the nation. It has definitely captured the attention of Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, who fretted aloud to Congress last week over low oil supplies and the "substantial negative consequences" of high oil prices -- a pretty clear signal that the Fed will strongly consider another increase in interest rates to forestall inflation.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: In Connecticut, The Waterbury Republican- American is angered by the price rise, and its cause.

    VOICE: Who's the superpower around here, anyway? Why is the biggest dog in the yard letting all the toy poodles and Pomeranians push him around? It seems incomprehensible that our leaders can't put the arm on [Editors: pressure] OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] and insist upon a comfort level for all sides.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In today's [Minneapolis, Minnesota] Star Tribune there is praise for a just concluded peace forum sponsored by five Lutheran colleges of Norwegian heritage in that state, where the concept of peace is studied to avert further violence.

    VOICE: Northern Ireland's embattled Unionist leader, David Trimble, ... was the star guest. But the flock that gathered at St. Olaf College included many other lesser-known peacemakers ... who believe theater can change the world -- educators who believe English can be taught "so ... people stop killing each other"; Catholic and Protestant women who believe peace can grow in Northern Ireland's gardens and clinics. ... It's lovely to think ... that ordinary souls can make peace as readily as [Editors: understood, not stated "Nobel"] prize winners.

    TEXT: With that, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/JP 23-Feb-2000 11:47 AM EDT (23-Feb-2000 1647 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] U-S SPY NETWORK (L) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=2/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-259495
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United States is denying allegations by a British journalist that it has been using a world wide electronic spy system for industrial espionage in Europe. From the State Department, V-O-A's Kyle King reports.

    TEXT: The allegations of U-S industrial espionage have provoked calls for the European Union to set up a committee of inquiry to look into the issue. The demand emerged (Wednesday) as a European Union parliamentary committee studied a report by British Journalist Duncan Campbell. Mr. Campbell's report claims the United States, Britain and other key allies have, since the cold war, maintained a sophisticated electronic spy network called "Echelon." His report says the network of spy satellites and electronic eavesdropping equipment can monitor phone conversations, faxes, and electronic mail. The report calls the surveillance network a threat to civil liberties and alleges it has been used to collect economically sensitive information that provides a commercial advantage to U-S companies. State Department spokesman James Rubin refused to comment on the existence of the system, but he denied U-S intelligence agencies are engaged in industrial espionage.

    /// RUBIN ACT ///

    U-S intelligence agencies are not tasked to engage in industrial espionage, or obtain trade secrets for the benefit of any U-S company or companies.

    /// end act ///

    According to the British report, the Echelon program monitors world wide communications with a network of satellite and ground based listening posts. The network was established during the cold war for military surveillance. French officials have alleged that Britain has also benefited commercially from information gathered by the network, allegations British Prime Minister Tony Blair has denied. (Signed) NEB/KBK/ENE/gm/national/europe 23-Feb-2000 15:31 PM EDT (23-Feb-2000 2031 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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