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Voice of America, 00-04-06

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [02] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] TURKEY / GOVERNMENT (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [04] YUGOSLAVIA / MEDIA (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

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

    DATE=4/6/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261031
    CONTENT=

    /// EDS: Use opts for long ///

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were higher today (Thursday), as Wall Street anticipated good corporate earnings reports. But investor uncertainty, after the wild swings in the market this week, kept the gains limited. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 80 points up at 11-thousand-114, a gain of three-quarters of one percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 index gained 14 points. And the Nasdaq composite went up almost 100 points, about two percent. Predictions of good earnings among "tech" companies gave the Nasdaq a welcome bounce from its less-than- stellar performance lately. Some analysts predict an overall profit growth of about 25 percent. But investors were cautious and big gains across-the- board were cut in half by mid-day.

    //BEGIN OPT//

    Robert Harrington, an analyst with the Paine Webber brokerage firm, says the big computer- related and telecommunciations companies generally are making more money. But he says less profitable, or no-profit, technology companies will likely see their stock prices go lower still:

    ///HARRINGTON ACT///

    There's a valuation question that's going to be out there for a while. We seem to have some kind of a psychology change early in the week - over the last 10 days - so I think people are going to want to be focused on the companies that have good earnings visibility, with strong growth potential that benefit from the Internet structure growth.

    ///END ACT///

    ///END OPT///

    The latest on the U-S economy shows the number of people filing first-time jobless claims around the country fell by six-thousand last week to a total 260- thousand. That is the lowest level since 1973, and far below analysts' expectations. An even bigger number for Wall Street comes out early Friday - the March unemployment rate.

    ///REST OPT ///

    On the earnings front, leading aluminum producer Alcoa reported first quarter profits above expectations. The number one U-S retailer, Wal-Mart, reported a four percent growth in sales last month. Other retailers, however, are not expected to do as well. Easter comes late this year, leading to slower March sales for many stores. "The Gap" clothing chain said its March sales fell even more than expected. Gap stock dropped 10 percent. Meanwhile, shares of European online auctioneer - Q-X- L dot com - shot up as much as 180 percent, after an analyst at a leading U-S brokerage firm sent out a "strong buy" message about the company. Q-X-L - the European version of leading U-S auctioneer E-Bay - is said to be the best-positioned auction site in Europe. It has potentially a huge market, with a reach over Europe's 750-million people. NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/ENE/PT 06-Apr-2000 17:26 PM EDT (06-Apr-2000 2126 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/6/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11763
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The editorial pages of U-S newspapers are devoting a lot of attention this Thursday to the political turmoil in Japan. Other topics include the violence in Zimbabwe, high gasoline prices, and the spectacular gyrations of the stock markets. Now, with a closer look and some excerpts, here is ___________with today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: In Japan, the secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Yoshiro Mori, has taken over as prime minister following the illness of Keizo Obuchi. USA Today doubts that Mr. Mori will be able to improve the country's economy and says what Japan needs now is an election. The paper writes:

    VOICE: Yoshiro Mori may not have the economic understanding, or the political heft to push reforms past a recalcitrant, powerful democracy. Worse still, [Mr.] Mori lacks a mandate from voters, and isn't necessarily well regarded. He is associated with a massive stock market scandal that brought down the government in 1989. In a country whose greatest need right now is consumer confidence, [Mr.] Mori risks being [unable] to build it. He represents the unreformed, old-boy ways of the past.... Japan needs a leader with a solid grasp of the economy and a mandate for reform, and the best place to find that combination is at the polls.

    TEXT: The New York Times is discussing political tensions in Zimbabwe, where a movement toward democracy is running into strong resistance from the government of long-time President Robert Mugabe.

    VOICE: (Zimbabwe) President Robert Mugabe, struggling for political survival, is playing a cynical and dangerous game, promoting violent intimidation and race-baiting in the face of an extraordinary political alliance between blacks and whites.... Last weekend 200 thugs wielding clubs and machetes attacked several thousand peaceful anti-government demonstrators in Harare, the capital. Deployed by Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, they hurled stones and beat protesters, mostly whites in an overwhelmingly black crowd.... The fledgling Movement for Democratic Change represents an unusual collaboration between blacks and whites that have the financial wherewithal to promote it. Mr. Mugabe has often resorted to intimidation to secure his power.... [He] needs to cease this ugly business and spare his country further bloodshed.

    TEXT: Turning to domestic matters, the Chicago Tribune in Illinois voices its opposition to legislation that would allow development of oil fields in the coastal regions of Alaska. That is no way, the paper writes, to solve the gas shortage.

    VOICE: Gas prices were dirt-cheap a year ago, without any oil from the Arctic Refuge, and wouldn't necessarily return to such levels if production there began tomorrow. Indeed, the global laws of supply and demand that govern oil prices are not likely to be much affected by the addition of another domestic oil field. .Ultimately, however, conservation is the only realistic alternative to the United States' gluttonous appetite for oil. Unless Americans learn to curb consumption, drilling in the Arctic Refuge - and potentially spoiling it - will do little to reduce either gas prices or the nation's growing dependence on imported energy.

    TEXT: And lastly, Wall Street experienced one of the wildest trading sessions in its history Tuesday, enduring a frightening plunge and then a comeback in both the NASDAQ Composite Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Los Angels Times has this to say:

    VOICE: The swing on both markets, which at the bottom would have wiped out at least $1.2 trillion from the market value of publicly traded U-S companies, was without precedent. Investors who had to sell on the dip to repay margin loans were among the hardest hit.... What Tuesday's stock market frenzy proves again is that economic uncertainty goes hand and hand with stock market volatility. Investors who have flocked to the market in recent [good] years need to [learn] business fundamentals, gaining some understanding of the companies they're investing in. It's a good time to hedge risk with knowledge.

    TEXT: On that note, we end this sampling comment from the editorial pages of Thursday's U-S press.
    NEB/ENE/KL 06-Apr-2000 13:30 PM EDT (06-Apr-2000 1730 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] TURKEY / GOVERNMENT (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=4/6/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261011
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit says his government will continue its push for major economic reforms despite a crushing defeat Wednesday in parliament. Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara.

    TEXT: Prime Minister Ecevit's words follow a humiliating setback in the Turkish parliament on legislation aimed at keeping the country's outgoing president, Suleyman Demirel, in office. Despite a concerted campaign by Mr. Ecevit, even members of his own three-party coalition teamed up with opposition lawmakers from the Islam-based Virtue Party and the conservative True Path Party. They voted down a constitutional amendment that would reduce the president's term from seven to five years but make it renewable by a further five. Before the parliamentary vote, Prime Minister. Ecevit repeatedly said Turkey's stability would be upset if Mr. Demirel, who was prime minister seven times, were to leave the job. Analysts say Mr. Ecevit's failure to push through the legislation has dented his credibility and weakened his government's grip over the fractious parliament. They say this could jeopardize a crucial economic recovery program backed by the International Monetary Fund. Much will depend on whether the ruling coalition agrees on a candidate to become the country's new president. Mr. Ecevit said he would meet Tuesday with his partners from the ultra-nationalist National Action Party and the center-right Motherland party to come up with a name acceptable to all three groups. Analysts say failure to agree would mean the dissolution of parliament and the calling of new elections, something most lawmakers want to avoid. Under the constitution, presidential hopefuls must officially announce their candidacy by April 26th. The election is to take place May 16th. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/KL 06-Apr-2000 10:30 AM EDT (06-Apr-2000 1430 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] YUGOSLAVIA / MEDIA (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=4/6/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261017
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The World Association of Newspapers has sent a letter to Yugoslav authorities to protest restrictions on independent media in Serbia, especially tight controls on the import of desperately-needed printing supplies for newspapers and magazines. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London.

    TEXT: The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers is urging the Belgrade government to end restrictions on the import of newsprint. The organization's policy adviser, Anne Marie Stott, says the cost of paper for the publications has skyrocketed, making it more difficult for non-state media to publish.

    /// STOTT ACT ONE ///

    [For] newsprint, already the price has rocketed by 160 percent in the last five months. Newsprint cannot currently be imported, because those who import the paper need permission from the Yugoslav Foreign Trade Ministry, which is refusing the import.

    /// END ACT ///

    Miss Stott says the independent media need about 12- hundred tons of newsprint every three months. The government crackdown was most apparent before and during the three-month NATO campaign to oust Yugoslav troops from the Serb province of Kosovo. Most private newspapers were closed, and television stations were heavily censored. Miss Stott says publishers suffer a constant barrage of financial sanctions, making it more difficult to get their newspapers and magazines onto newsstands.

    /// STOTT ACT TWO ///

    They've been forced to reduce their prices by 25 percent ... [and] charges for the printing presses have rocketed up by 150 percent. Not only that, but the newspapers are sued almost daily.

    /// END ACT ///

    The World Association of Newspapers and the International Federation of Journalists have set up an emergency fund to help independent publishers deal with the newsprint crisis. Miss Stott says other funds have been launched to support legal and humanitarian aid and solidarity campaigns for independent journalists in Serbia.

    /// OPT STOTT ACT THREE ///

    What we're trying to do is to link up with some of our associations within Serbia, so that local campaigns will have this international dimension and some of the international campaigns will have this local dimension.

    /// END ACT ////// END OPT ///

    The World Association of Newspapers represents more than 17-thousand newspapers around the world. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/WTW 06-Apr-2000 12:43 PM EDT (06-Apr-2000 1643 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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