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Voice of America, 00-04-10

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

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





    INTRO: U-S editorial writers continue questioning the value of President Clinton's expensive trip to India and Pakistan. Other issues receiving attention in U-S opinion pages are the verdict against Pakistan's deposed leaders and the ongoing tensions between Taiwan and China. We also get another perspective on the custody fight over a six-year-old Cuban shipwreck survivor. Now for a closer look and some excerpts, here is ___________ with today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Since Mr. Clinton returned from his trip to India and Pakistan, critics have complained about the high price tag - somewhere between 50 and 75-million dollars. The Houston Chronicle, in Texas, has this to add:

    VOICE: It was the most expensive trip ever taken by an American president, while being one of the least productive. The Air Force used 26 C-5 and C-17 cargo jets and 50 other support aircraft. ...At one stop, for security purposes, Clinton boarded a C-17, then slipped off and got on one of two waiting Gulfstream executive jets parked nearby. Naturally the president should be provided with all the support he needs while conducting international diplomacy, including the best security arrangements possible. But the high cost of this trip, producing as it did nothing more than photo ops, raises legitimate questions.

    TEXT: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on the other hand, calls criticism of the trip "foolish."

    VOICE: Travel for the president and his entourage always costs a lot of money. Mr. Clinton's trip to India and Pakistan required an especially large fleet of military to ensure the safety of the president and his party. He was, after all, visiting two nations that hate each other and have nuclear capability... It is easy to imagine the outrage and finger pointing if a tragedy had occurred... the trip was worthwhile. The visit of an American president is a momentous occasion in most parts of the world, and Mr. Clinton's determination to improve the standing of the United States in that region was well received -- and worth the expense.

    TEXT: Among the factors adding to the security fears during Mr. Clinton's trip were the still reverberating effects of last year's military coup in Pakistan. Some of the drama came to an end just last week when Nawaz Sharif - the deposed Prime Minister - was sentenced to life in prison on kidnapping charges. The Sacramento Bee in California says Mr. Sharif's plight should worry the West.

    VOICE: By all accounts Nawaz Sharif headed a very corrupt and incompetent regime as Prime Minister of Pakistan. But the military junta that ousted him last October put him on trial for something else: trying to defend his elected government against the coup against him. ...Sharif's crime, by the twisted logic of his accusers, was to order the diversion of a passenger plane carrying, among others, the man seeking to depose him, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and thus endangering the lives of all 198-people aboard. When Sharif was told that the plane was running low on fuel, he relented and allowed it to land. But the only credit that won him in court was to be sentenced to life in prison rather than death, a fate that befell one of his predecessors. ...The United States and other democracies ought to look long and hard at the Pakistani regime's version of the rule of law, and steps toward a return to democracy, before letting it rejoin the community of civilized nations.

    TEXT: Tensions have escalated between China and Taiwan following the victory of a pro-independence candidate in Taiwan's presidential elections. The Washington Post calls for U-S leaders to stand by Taiwan and criticizes past policies that the paper says have allowed Taiwan's military to deteriorate.

    VOICE: One critical element in deterring China is the United States' implicit commitment to defend Taiwan from aggression. Another is Taiwan's own capacity to blunt the various military means - missile attack, submarine blockade, outright invasion - that China might employ against the island. On that score, a new Pentagon study, described in The Post by Thomas E. Ricks, is alarming. Taiwan's navy, air force and army are poorly organized, inadequately trained and have failed to keep pace with the information revolution. A key reason for Taiwan's military deterioration, the study argues, is its diplomatic isolation. ...Taiwan has lost high-level contact with the U-S military, which alone possesses the cutting-edge know-how Taiwan needs. ...The Clinton administration will object that China would be furious at either arms sales or stepped-up military contacts - and it probably would. But new military and political realities are fast converging to make this argument increasingly untenable. The administration needs to make some tough choices about Taiwan's security; if it can not or will not act, then Congress should.

    TEXT: Finally we turn to the ongoing saga over Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban child rescued late last year after a shipwreck killed his mother and several others fleeing Cuba. His father has arrived in the United States from Cuba and the U-S government is trying to return the boy to him. But the Miami relatives caring for Elian have been passionately fighting his return to Cuba. The Washington Times says the U-S government position that he should return with his father is a result of Cuban propaganda.

    VOICE: One should never abandon propaganda for one moment - Fidel Castro wrote in 1954 - It is the soul of all struggles. The carefully orchestrated visit to the United States by Juan Miguel Gonzalez, father of six-year-old Elian, shows how far the Cuban dictator is willing to go to follow his own rules. ...One would hope that all supporters of democracy, inalienable rights, and freedom are staunchly opposed to the rule of a brutal dictator. But throughout the whole Elian saga, the Clinton administration has made only sparing acknowledgments that Cuba is indeed under the grip of a despot. Mr. Clinton went on to say that he hoped his administration could find a principled resolution that is not just a train wreck for the child, a train wreck for the rule of law, or a train wreck for all concerned. If Elian returns to Cuba, he has as much chance of avoiding the "train wreck" as Cubans have of obtaining a free and fair election on the island. To argue otherwise is to succumb to the propaganda of which dictator Castro wrote so long ago.

    TEXT: On that note, we end this look at some of the topics in today's pages of the U-S press.
    NEB/JON/RAE 10-Apr-2000 12:07 PM EDT (10-Apr-2000 1607 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: U-S stock prices were mixed Monday, with money flowing out of technology and into those "old economy" stocks. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: In extremely light trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 75 points -- less than one percent -- closing at 11-thousand-186. But the Standard and Poor's 500 index, which measures the broad market, dropped 12 points. And the NASDAQ composite closed down over 250 points, almost six percent, as profit-taking hit the technology sector following Friday's rally. It was the second-biggest one-day point loss ever for the NASDAQ market. Computer companies I-B-M and Hewlett-Packard, as well as computer chip-maker Intel, all traded down. Microsoft stock continued to slide, amid growing uncertainty about what antitrust remedy a federal judge will demand from the software giant.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Analyst John Twomey says people are nervous after last week's wild market swings. He predicts a company's earnings will be the key to what investors buy in technology over the next few weeks:

    /// TWOMEY ACT ///

    Investors are going to have to do a little bit more homework and put a lot of time into the companies (stocks) they're buying, and know the stocks, and know the businesses they're in, and know the growth potential, instead of going out and buying technology across-the-board.

    /// END ACT ///

    Meanwhile, Intel says it will invest six-billion dollars this year to increase its production capacity to meet the rising global demand for computer chips. Intel hopes to keep its leading position in the industry. General Motors shares traded higher, after Deutsche Bank raised its rating on the stock. The leading auto-maker is expected to report strong quarterly earnings this week, and earnings prospects look good for the rest of the year. G-M, however, is lagging behind number-two auto-maker Ford, which is the top industry profit-maker. Ford has the edge in trucks. G-M is also weaker in international sales, though analysts say G-M's outlook there is improving. (Signed) NEB/EJ/BA/TVM/WTW 10-Apr-2000 17:04 PM EDT (10-Apr-2000 2104 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America
    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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