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Voice of America, 00-03-10

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBRIGHT ONITER (S ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BRUSSELS)
  • [02] ALBRIGHT / KOSOVO (L) BY KYLE KING ()
  • [03] YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIAL BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)
  • [04] ROMANIA - HUNGARY / RIVER POLLUTION (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [05] SPANISH ELECTION (L-ONLY) BY GIL CARBAJAL (MADRID)
  • [06] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [07] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] ALBRIGHT ONITER (S ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260036
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// Re-running w/change from "UNION" to "COMMISSION" in 4th graph from text ///

    INTRO: U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meets with NATO and European officials in Brussels today (Friday) for talks on the situation in Kosovo and Montenegro. The Secretary arrived in the Belgian capital after a two-day visit to Bosnia, where she again blamed much of the trouble in the region on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. V-O-A's Kyle King has this report from Brussels.

    TEXT: A U-S official traveling with Ms. Albright said the situations in Montenegro and Kosovo are expected to come up at all of her meetings Friday, because everybody is concerned. In the past week, Serb police have blocked the border with Montenegro, the smaller of the two remaining Yugoslav republics. And along Kosovo's border, Serb police have clashed with armed ethnic Albanians, sending dozens of people fleeing for safety in Kosovo. U-S officials say they are watching both hot spots very closely, and Ms. Albright will discuss the situation with NATO and European officials. She will meet (Friday) with European Commission President Romano Prodi and E-U High Representative Javier Solana before holding talks with NATO Secretary General George Robertson. Secretary of State Albright has blamed extremists on both sides in Kosovo for stirring up tensions, but officials say the only government involved is the one controlled by President Slobodan Milosevic. (Signed) NEB/KBK/ENE/gm 09-Mar-2000 19:27 PM EDT (10-Mar-2000 0027 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBRIGHT / KOSOVO (L) BY KYLE KING ()

    DATE=3/10/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260060
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has expressed concern about the possibility of renewed fighting in Kosovo this spring. The comments came in Brussels, where the secretary is meeting with NATO and European Union officials. VOA's Kyle King reports from Brussels.

    TEXT: Secretary of State Albright's talks come amid rising tensions in Kosovo, where clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians erupted again this week in the town of Mitrovica. At least 40 people were injured in the violence, including a number of French peacekeepers. Speaking to reporters after talks with E-U Commission President Romano Prodi, Ms. Albright said she was concerned about the possibility that further violence could erupt as the weather in Kosovo turns warm.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    The spring has not always been good for the Balkans and we have been consulting on ways to try to lower the temperature and press extremists not to pursue activities that complicate the situation.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ms. Albright again blamed Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for stirring up trouble in Kosovo, but she refused to speculate on what NATO might do if his forces become directly involved. Ms. Albright, who also scheduled meetings (Friday) with NATO Secretary General George Robertson and Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark at NATO headquarters outside Brussels, said the number of peacekeeping troops in Kosovo should be brought back up to earlier levels. The international peacekeeping force, known as KFOR, initially had about 49 thousand troops in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania, but the numbers have fallen since the operation began last year. The secretary's trip to Brussels followed a two-day visit to Bosnia where she reviewed efforts to increase cooperation between Muslims, Serbs and Croats. (Signed)
    NEB/KBK/KL 10-Mar-2000 09:40 AM EDT (10-Mar-2000 1440 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIAL BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=3/10/2000
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45615
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: On Monday morning, a top military leader goes on trial at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal. Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic is charged with genocide for commanding the execution of thousands of Muslims after the fall of the United Nations-declared safe area of Srebrenica in 1995. Lauren Comiteau has more from The Hague on what is likely to be the tribunal's most highly-publicized trial to date.

    TEXT: Srebrenica. The name of this town once known for its silver mines has become almost synonymous with slaughter. It was the scene of the worst massacres in Europe since the Holocaust. Five years ago, Bosnian Serbs overran the enclave in eastern Bosnia, which the United Nations had declared a safe haven. Thousands of Muslim men and boys were killed over the course of 5 days. Now for the first time, prosecutors say they have someone in a position of power to answer for those crimes.

    /// ACT: READING OF INDICTMENT, DEFENDANT ANSWERS THROUGH INTERPRETER ///
    The prosecutor of the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia charges Radislav Krstic with genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws and customs of war. Do you plead guilty or not guilty? [Serbian] I plead not guilty.

    /// END ACT ///

    General Radislav Krstic was arrested by NATO-led troops in Bosnia more than a year ago. Prosecutors have charged him with genocide, extermination and deportation -- all crimes the general has pled not guilty to. But prosecutors say General Krstic was promoted to commander of the Drina Corps during the massacres, and it was his troops who helped eliminate the Bosnian Muslim population of Srebrenica. According to court documents, defense lawyers will argue that the general and his troops were not in Srebrenica during the massacres, and he did not take up his command until after the slaughter. But prosecutors say they have placed General Krstic at the scene of the crimes, when men were separated from women and children, loaded onto buses, taken to warehouses, fields, schools and cultural centers, then executed and buried in mass graves. They say General Krstic reported directly to the Bosnian Serb military commander, General Ratko Mladic.
    /// ACT: TV SOUNDTRACK WITH GENERAL MLADIC CALLING TO KRSTIC, "COME ON, KRSTIC" -- ESTABLISH AND FADE ///
    Footage from Bosnian Serb television shows General Mladic entering Srebrenica on July 11th, 1995, accompanied by General Krstic. It is evidence like this that could help prosecutors prove that General Krstic was in a position of authority and could have prevented the crimes. Prosecution spokesman Paul Risley says the case against General Krstic will focus largely on proving that he commanded the troops that committed the slaughter. Most accounts of the events at Srebrenica say about eight-thousand men are still missing and presumed dead. Prosecutors have never given their own figures, but that should change, says Paul Risley, at the General's trial.

    /// RISLEY ACT ///

    I can certainly tell you that the magnitude of the forensic evidence is certainly the same as the journalistic reporting that occurred five years ago, when these massacres occurred. We will be able to place precise numbers and very clear photographic and forensic evidence of the nature of the crimes committed and -- perhaps just as importantly -- the very clear and deliberate efforts to cover up those crimes that were undertaken by the Bosnian Serb military in the years that followed the massacre.

    /// END ACT ///

    The case for a cover-up will include evidence that the firwst mass graves were dug up, and remains moved to secondary sites. Investigators have been excavating gravesites since 1996; General Krstic's trial will be the first time prosecutors reveal the number of bodies they have found. There are many other questions that people watching this trial are hoping the evidence will answer. The women of Srebrenica are still waiting for word of what happened to their husbands and sons. The Dutch, too, are following this trial closely. It was Dutch peacekeepers stationed in Srebrenica who did not -- or could not -- stop the crimes, sparking years of internal debate and investigations into their own role in the Srebrenica slaughter. Marjolijn de Cocq is editor of foreign news at the Netherlands press association. She says Srebrenica has become a stain on the soul of the Dutch, who see this trial as partly their own.

    /// DE COCQ ACT ///

    It's about, will there be new evidence that kind of absolves the Dutch that they are not guilty of what happened there? Or is there evidence that shows the Dutch are guilty, that they should have intervened, they should have done something to prevent the massacre that happened there?

    /// END ACT ///

    The Dutch are currently conducting their own investigations into what happened at Srebrenica. The United Nations has also tried to answer some of these questions. In a report released last year, the organization said the tragedy occurred, in part, because its own officials failed to recognize the scope of evil facing Srebrenica's Muslims from Serb forces. But this is the first time a criminal court is charging one high-ranking individual with responsibility for the crimes, and all eyes are watching and waiting to see the evidence. Those watching include, no doubt, Radovan Karadzic, the former leader of the Bosnian Serbs, and his top general, Ratko Mladic. They also have been charged with genocide for the crimes at Srebrenica. And prosecutors insist that they, too, will one day end up in The Hague, facing the same war crimes tribunal as General Radislav Krstic. (Signed)
    NEB/LC/GE/WTW 10-Mar-2000 12:56 PM EDT (10-Mar-2000 1756 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] ROMANIA - HUNGARY / RIVER POLLUTION (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=3/10/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260081
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Six weeks after a damaging cyanide spill that polluted rivers in three countries, Eastern Europe is bracing for another ecological disaster. Twenty- thousand tons of mud and water polluted with toxic heavy metals escaped Friday from a mine in northwestern Romania. Stefan Bos reports from Budapest, authorities in Hungary are on high alert.

    TEXT: Romanian officials say two days of torrential rains and a rapid snow melt caused the new spill. A dam broke at Romania's state-owned Baia Borsa lead and zinc mine, near (Baia Mare and) the border with Hungary and Ukraine. Romania's Environment Ministry says 20-thousand tons of "metal-bearing waste" escaped from a pollution containment lake and spilled into (the Tisza River) a tributary of the Danube, Central Europe's biggest river system. Friday's spill flowed into Hungary, fouling waters already damaged by another accident in Romania, on January 30th, when 100-thousand cubic meters of waste water laced with cyanide escaped from another mine.

    // OPT //

    Romania's Environment Minister, Romica Tomescu, and a team of experts were traveling to the site of Friday's spill, 375 kilometers northwest of Bucharest. // END OPT // Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman Gabor Horvath says officials in Bucharest sounded the first warning about the pollution late Friday.

    /// 1st HORVATH ACT ///

    What is very tragic in this situation is that that part of the River Tisza will be affected by the pollution of heavy metals, [which] will be flowing down from the Romanian river system into the Hungarian river system -- and in a part that was spared by the cyanide the last time.

    /// END ACT ///

    The cyanide spill killed at least 200 tons of fish in Hungary and disrupted drinking-water supplies for many riverside communities. Mr. Horvath says Hungary is worried that the new spill will compound the ecological damage caused by the cyanide.

    /// 2nd HORVATH ACT ///

    There was a hope in Hungary that life which survived in the segment of the Tisza which was not affected by the cyanide would regenerate the entire ... river. Now we have a fear ... that life in that segment of the river could be impacted.

    /// END ACT ///

    U-N experts said earlier this week that most of the cyanide pollution has dissipated, but a team from the World Wide Fund for Nature, the W-W-F, disputes that claim, saying the recent pollution may cause permanent damage to the Hungarian environment.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Gyorgy Gado is the W-W-F's head of conservation in Hungary:

    /// 1st GADO ACT ///

    We try to be optimistic, but of course the catastrophe has happened. And it is true that we can never bring back life [in the rivers] the same as it was before.

    /// END OPT ///

    Mr. Gado says the tons of cyanide and heavy metals that have poured into central Europe's waterways recently will have an unknown effect on the food chain, and could endanger public health in the region in the future. (Signed)
    NEB/SJB/WTW 10-Mar-2000 18:55 PM EDT (10-Mar-2000 2355 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] SPANISH ELECTION (L-ONLY) BY GIL CARBAJAL (MADRID)

    DATE=3/10/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260069
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Today/Friday is the last day of campaigning for Spain's general elections on Sunday. Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's Popular Party is favored in the balloting, but an alliance between the Socialist and Communist parties could upset predictions. Gil Carbajal reports that 34-million Spaniards are eligible to vote, but that a threat of separatist terrorism could cause many to stay home in the Basque region.

    TEXT: Public opinion polls predict that Prime Minister Aznar's Popular Party will win up to four or five percent more votes than its closest rival, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party led by Joaquin Almunia. Prime Minister Aznar is expected to add anywhere from two to 15 seats to the 156 seats his party currently holds in parliament. That would still leave him short of the 176 seats necessary for an absolute majority in the 350-seat parliament. The Socialists, who won 141 seats in the last elections four years ago, are projected to win anywhere between 131 to 144 seats. They are counting on an alliance with the Communist-led United Left Coalition, negotiated in January, to bring them back to power. Joaquin Almunia of the Socialist Workers Party has pointed out that in 1996 the combined votes of the two parties totaled two-point-five-million more than those won by the Popular Party. But the two left-wing parties had been bitterly divided since the Spanish Civil War, preventing any sort of political accommodation until now. Prime Minister Aznar, who in 1996 ended 14 years of Socialist rule under Felipe Gonzalez by a bare one percent margin, has been campaigning on his record of efficient management of the Spanish economy. This has included cutting taxes, reducing inflation drastically, generating one of the highest growth rates in the European Union and reducing unemployment to 10 percent from 17 percent under the Socialists. Casting a shadow over the Spanish elections on Sunday is the threat of terrorism by the Basque pro- independence group, ETA. Since it called off a 14- month truce in late November 1999, it has set off three car bombs in as many months, killing three people. ETA's political wing, Euskal Heeritarok, is boycotting these elections. Pro-ETA hooligans have harassed Socialist and Popular Party politicians. The climate of fear in the Basque country is such that nearly 48-thousand Basque voters have decided to cast absentee ballots rather than go near polling booths. This is twice the number of absentee voters than in the last elections. Terrorism and the left-wing coalition are making these general elections in Spain anything but boring. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GC/GE/JP 10-Mar-2000 12:37 PM EDT (10-Mar-2000 1737 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=3/10/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260077
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// Eds: Use Opt graphs for long ///

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were mostly lower today (Friday), as sellers unloaded more of the "blue-chips" and locked in profits from the big run-up in technology. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 81 points, less than one percent, closing at 99-hundred- 28. The Dow is down four percent for the week. The Standard and Poor's 500 index dropped six points. The Nasdaq composite managed to hold on for only a fractional gain, but enough for another record high. Wall Street is still enthralled by the Nasdaq's stunning, first-ever close over five-thousand Thursday. The Nasdaq had climbed to three-thousand not too long ago - just last October - with hardly a break in momentum since then.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    Marshall Acuff, an analyst with the Salomon Smith Barney brokerage house, sees investors continuing to move toward technology, as long as it proves profitable:

    ///ACUFF ACT///

    The growth players are looking at the traditional defensive growth areas like beverages, household products, and it's just not working. There are too many issues (problems). So, let's go with the high-tech, and that's what's working. Growth at any price - that's where we are.

    ///END ACT///

    ///END OPT///

    Meanwhile, shares of leading U-S consumer-products maker Proctor and Gamble edged lower again. The company's stock has been hitting lows ever since a profit-warning Tuesday. Proctor and Gamble is down 40 percent for the week - one of the steepest percentage declines ever for a Dow Jones stock.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Shares of Qwest and its merger partner U-S West traded lower, after Deutsche Telekom apparently dropped its offer to buy the two U-S phone companies. Germany's leading telecommunications company has been looking for a foothold in North America to expand its global reach. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT 10-Mar-2000 16:57 PM EDT (10-Mar-2000 2157 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/10/2000
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=6-11722
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The possibility that China may be admitted to the World Trade Organization is drawing attention in today's U-S editorials. Other topics being given consideration are Chile's legal dilemma about prosecuting former ruler Augusto Pinochet, the situation in the Balkans, and the state of Iranian reform. Domestically, there is also some commentary on the shifting climate in the U-S presidential campaign. Now here with a closer look and some excerpts is ______________ with today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: This week President Clinton presented Congress with a bill that would grant China normal trading status under American law. U-S newspapers are supporting his efforts and calling on Congress to pass the new legislation. The New York Times believes the China trade bill serves broad American interests and deserves strong bipartisan support.

    VOICE: Congress should quickly approve legislation needed to smooth China's admission to the World Trade Organization. By helping China into the W-T-O, lawmakers would not be endorsing Beijing's policies in other areas, like human rights and Taiwan. They would be speeding the opening and reform of China's economy and subordinating Beijing's arbitrary authority in trade matters to the rule of international law. ...Unless Congress approves the China trade legislation by the end of this spring, the issue is likely to get caught up in [US] campaign politics and delayed until next year. By then China might back off from some of the market-opening concessions it is now offering. Neither the Taiwan issue nor labor's misplaced opposition should hold up an early, positive vote.

    TEXT: That was the opinion of the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal holds a similar view, but warns that establishing permanent normalized trading ties with China will not be a simple task - especially in a U-S election year.

    VOICE: Congress would do well to reject the arguments of protectionists and human rights activists and approve this measure, primarily to preserve America's own interest, but also to further the cause of economic freedom in China. ...This won't be easy. Just granting China a yearly extension of normal trade ties has historically provoked a pitched battle. But granting permanent trading status will require Congress to dispose of its yearly human rights review, fully de-linking trade from human rights. Republicans, generally more disposed to free trade than Democrats, can't do it alone, despite their congressional majorities. Mr. Clinton will need to rally more than 70 Democrats - a third of the caucus - to win final passage. .This should be a fascinating test of real intentions on all sides.

    TEXT: Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is back home in Chile, after almost 17 months of house arrest in London. He was being held on an international extradition request for human rights abuses during his 17-year rule. He was only allowed to fly home when British authorities determined he was too ill to stand trial. Some Chileans are cheering his return while others are cursing his freedom. Here in the United States, The Washington Times says the Pinochet dilemma has finally been returned where it belongs.

    VOICE: Chileans must now wrestle with the difficult question of what to do with the general, as the rest of the world watches. Still, they are best equipped to pass judgement on the former dictator. ...There are steps the general could now take to help Chile heal. Many families haven't had even the satisfaction of burying their dead. Mr. Pinochet should urge military officials to help locate the disappeared. In the twilight of his life, the general should also apologize to the family members of those murdered during his rule. In Chile, issues related to Mr. Pinochet have always been particularly divisive but the people and the country's judicial and political institutions have proved to be mature enough to reckon with the past on their own.

    TEXT: The situation in the Balkans and international peacekeeping efforts in the mostly ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo in Serb-dominated Yugoslavia are getting some attention from the Washington Post. The paper's editors regard Western policy on Kosovo's status ambiguous and problematic.

    VOICE: War came to Kosovo after [Yugoslavia's president] Mr. (Slobodan) Milosevic stripped the province of the political autonomy it enjoyed under [former Yugoslav communist leader] Tito and substituted a kind of Serb-dominated apartheid. Even without last year's savagery, it would be hard to imagine how Kosovo could ever live under Mr. Milosevic again. Yet the United States and Europe, through a U-N Security Council resolution, insist both that Kosovo is part of Yugoslavia and that it should enjoy "substantial autonomy and meaningful self- administration." An interim U-N government is somehow to make this mandate succeed. .As extreme Serb and Albanian elements try to fill the political vacuum, U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for the Security Council to debate and define the notion of "substantial autonomy." Such a discussion is necessary.... . But even more urgent is a credible allied strategy for bringing about internal political change in Belgrade, without which no stable political arrangement in, or around, Kosovo can be achieved.

    TEXT: The Boston Globe is concerned with Iran and whether the country will truly be capable of reforming itself democratically following recent parliamentary elections.

    VOICE: One immediate test of reform in Iran is the pending trial of 13 Iranian Jews who are accused of espionage by hard-liners who control the country's judicial system. Until now, the justice system under the Iranian theocracy has been arbitrary, political and unfair. Reformers were imprisoned on trumped-up charges, as were journalists, artists, and intellectuals. ...The plight of the Iranian Jews should become not merely a gauge of the power balance between reformers and reactionaries inside Iran, but also a test of Iran's readiness to overcome its international pariah status. ///OPT/// The 13 pawns in the Iranian power struggle should be released immediately. If they are brought to trial, they must have genuine legal representation, and the proceedings should be open to outside legal observers and human rights monitors. ///END OPT///

    TEXT: And in our final item, Republican U-S Senator John McCain and Democrat Bill Bradley halted their presidential campaigns Thursday after suffering significant losses to each party's front-runner in primary elections this week. The Chicago Tribune in Illinois comments on the efforts given by both candidates and the lessons to be learned.

    VOICE: If you run for president, you can hope to capture lighting in a bottle (an impossible task) or you can patiently, painstakingly line up the support of your party's leaders and its bedrock voting blocs. Bill Bradley, and even more, John McCain, tried to capture lightning in a bottle. Each man went through the primary season hoping to find a spark that would ignite a flame that would turn into a conflagration, a wildfire voter enthusiasm that would rout his party's favorite and clear his own way to nomination. It was not to be. On Tuesday - Super Tuesday - [Vice President and Democrat] Al Gore and Republican Texas Governor George W. Bush demonstrated that ...there is no substitute for the support and resources of a party organization.

    TEXT: With that perspective from the Chicago Tribune, we conclude this sampling of comment from Friday's U-S press.
    NEB/ENE/JO 10-Mar-2000 13:01 PM EDT (10-Mar-2000 1801 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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