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Voice of America, 00-04-18

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO REFUGEES (S-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [02] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YOK)
  • [03] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] U-N / RIGHTS / YUGOSLAVIA (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

  • [01] KOSOVO REFUGEES (S-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=4/18/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261465
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: British authorities plan to repatriate nearly three-thousand Kosovar refugees by early June. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London the refugee airlift comes amid political wrangling over British asylum laws.

    TEXT: Britain's Home Secretary, Jack Straw, says it is safe for the ethnic-Albanians to return home to Kosovo. Britain gave refuge to more than four- thousand Kosovars last year during Belgrade's ethnic- cleansing campaign in the Serb province. So far, more than one-thousand have gone home. Mr. Straw says it is time for the others to go too. Their temporary visas run out in June. Britain will pay for the flight home and provide nearly 500-dollars to each family to help them resettle. The announcement comes amid increased anti-immigrant rhetoric from opposition Conservative Party politicians seeking gains in next month's local elections. The ruling Labor party is taking a tougher stand on asylum cases to counter the accusations it has turned Britain into a soft target for bogus asylum seekers. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/GE/RAE 18-Apr-2000 08:04 AM EDT (18-Apr-2000 1204 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YOK)

    DATE=4/18/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261489
    CONTENT=
    VOICD AT:

    INTRO: U-S stck price closed hgher today (Tuesa) eendig~Mo~na i rl ~on a Pret L Xs~tr~s lo~oke fr brgainsi h baQee technology sec~or. V-O-A correspdet Elaine Johans< epts from New York

    TEXT: Th Dw Jones Industrial Avrae we up but 185p~oins, ls than pren, to10-th=uand67 Th Stada ad Poor's 50 index jumped 40 ints - nearly hree-rcent hiher. And the technology-dominate Nasdaq compsite had its second straight record point gain. It climbd more than 250 p=ints - adding another seven percent. While stocks continued to recover from Friday's big sell-off, many analysts say the market will probably not be able t= sustain hue gains for a while. There is still a lot of uncertainty whether this market has fou9d its true "bottom" yet. But at least this week, stronger-than-expected corporate earnings are making investors more confident. Leading soft-drink maker Coca-Cola reported a loss for the quarter but still beat Wall Street estimates.

    ///REST OPT///

    Drug company Pfizer reported profits up over 30- percent as demand surged for the anti-impotency drug, Viagra. Johnson and Johnson - maker of Band-Aids and Tylenol - had a 15-percent earnings increase due to sales of schizophrenia drugs. Philip Morris - the world's largest tobacco company - reported earnings in line with expectations. Investment strategist Patricia Chadwick says positive earnings may not necessarily raise stock prices on a day-to-day basis. But she believes they fuel optimism because they signal a very healthy economic environment:

    /// CHADWICK ACT ///

    We are having some fantastic earnings right now. First quarter is going to come in much better than expected. Now, remember the stock market is a leading indicator. It looks forward not backward. But I think the environment we're in is allowing corporations to earn very, very profitably. And I think the productivity we have in place is going to allow this to continue for some time, and I mean years.

    /// END ACT ///

    In other news, Merrill Lynch, the biggest U-S securities firm, and H-S-B-C, Europe's most valuable bank, are forming a partnership to create an Internet banking and investment business. The new company, which will be headquartered in Londn, will prvide online banking and brokerage services to customers outside the United States. It will reach out to people who have over 100-thousand dollars to invest. Some experts think the U-S economy might be starting to cool off. Housing construction plummeted over 11- percent in March - the biggest plunge in six years. Housing is one of the most interest-rate-sensitive sectors. Analysts say five interest rate hikes since last June may finally be having an impact. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/ENE/gm 18-Apr-2000 17:01 PM EDT (18-Apr-2000 2101 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/18/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11778
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=

    INTRO: The streets of Washington D-C are returning to normal this Tuesday after several days of street protests during the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The demonstrations are a popular editorial topic. So is the ratification in Russia's parliament of the START-Two nuclear arms reduction treaty, which is seen as a victory for the new president, Vladimir Putin. There are plenty of comments on last week's major stock market losses, plus thoughts on the farm take- overs in Zimbabwe and the shipwrecked Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez. Lastly, as Jews the world over begin the celebration of Passover, there is concern for 13 Jews being tried in Iran on espionage charges. Now, here is ___________with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Most of the street barricades are gone and so are most of the protesters who filled the streets of Washington D-C the past few days, demonstrating against the policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Many editorial writers, like those at The Minneapolis, Minnesota Star Tribune, are still confused as to just what the protestors want those institutions to do differently.

    VOICE: Anyone who has marched for justice or signed a petition can find some sympathy for the demonstrators ... The question is: Why aren't they on the other side? ... Now that they have the world's attention, the demonstrators should say, specifically, how they would improve upon [the I-M-F's] useful developments.

    TEXT: In Connecticut, The Hartford Courant agrees, asking, "What's The commotion About?" while farther north, The Boston Globe feels the protest was "off- target."

    VOICE: Looking beyond the guerrilla theater ... there are some serious issues. There is a great debate going on about reforming both the World Bank, whose traditional role is to alleviate poverty, and the I-M-F, which deals with international financial crises. Both need a dose of transparency ... But one has to sympathize with World Bank President James Wolfensohn when he said, "What I find so demoralizing is that there is no organization on earth that is doing more for the poor than we do."

    TEXT: The New York Times makes the point that the two world financial institutions are already on the reform track, agreeing with many concerns of the protestors.

    VOICE: The I-M-F has declared its willingness to forgive a large portion of the debt owed by poor countries, but it only inched forward toward that goal. The overseers of the World Bank pledged to be more sensitive to those who have suffered as a result of global economic changes, and they committed "unlimited money" to fight the AIDS epidemic.

    TEXT: Internationally, there is general praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin's drive to win approval in the Duma, or lower house of parliament, for the START-Two nuclear arms reduction treaty. Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal runs one of several complimentary editorials.

    VOICE: For those who believe actions speak louder than words, is there any doubt about Vladimir Putin's intention to reposition Russia more prominently on the world stage? Only two- and-one-half weeks after Russia's newly elected president urged the country's parliament to ratify the START-Two ... treaty, the Duma, or lower house, has obliged him. ... On the world stage, [Mr.] Putin positioned himself more effectively to challenge an American request to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to allow a shield against nuclear attack from rogue states such as North Korea. ... [President] Putin recognized the benefits of quick Duma approval of START-Two. It suggests he is a man who can get things done ...

    TEXT: However, on the issue of the U-S missile defense system being in opposition to the Anti- Ballistic Missile treaty, Honolulu's Star Bulletin feels the United States must go ahead with a defensive system despite Russian objections.

    VOICE: The United States should not let Moscow use the START-Two agreement to block deployment of a missile defense system. ... The Russian tactic of raising the prospect of voiding the START-Two treaty is an empty threat. Many Russian missiles are past their useful life and will have to be scrapped soon anyway, START or no START. The government can't afford to maintain its current nuclear arsenal and has no real use for it. ... The time when the United States had to contend with Moscow in making decisions about defense issues has ended.

    TEXT: As for the Duma's treaty ratification, Nebraska's Omaha World Herald calls it "a positive step," adding that "Russia and the United States appear headed toward a more stable nuclear balance." Last week's huge decline in both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ stock index draws a good deal of attention, with The Dallas Morning News taking this view:

    VOICE: Depending on your perch (EDS: point of view), the market's history-making free fall on Friday was either a deep correction, or a harbinger of a growling bear supplanting an aging bull. Monday's partial rebound keeps this debate alive. ... By most traditional indicators, the overall U-S economy remains on firm footing.

    TEXT: While in Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington, the national daily U-S-A Today calls last Friday's plunge a "Dose of market reality," adding:

    VOICE: The speculative bubble developing around internet firms, many with little business experience or actual earnings history, had to burst at some point. ... That message isn't easily missed. The promise of the internet to produce substantial future economic gains ... is still very real. ... But all of that cannot come as fast as investors apparently expected

    TEXT: Turning to news of Africa, the Chicago Tribune is casting a wary eye on the continuing take-over in Zimbabwe, of large, white-owned, commercial farms, by landless black squatters, encouraged by president Robert Mugabe.

    VOICE: It's hard to imagine how the situation in Zimbabwe can end happily -- even if, as seems unlikely, it ends without any more bloodshed. ... It appears now that [Mr.] Mugabe is intent on bringing civil conflict -- racial conflict -- to his country. That may serve his needs -- perhaps as a pretext to declare martial law. But it won't serve Zimbabwe's.

    TEXT: As for the latest court struggle, regarding reuniting the shipwrecked Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, with his father, The St. Petersburg Times says "End the delays" adding:

    VOICE: The ... saga obviously has dragged on far too long ... The Justice Department cannot afford to delay any longer. ... The law -- along with centuries of civilized tradition -- is clearly on his (Elian's father's) side, but he has been frustrated by a series of dilatory tactics.

    TEXT: Commenting on the furor over Peru's presidential election last week, that at the last minute, forced two-term President Alberto Fujimori into a June run-off election with challenger Alejandro Toledo, The San Francisco Chronicle cheers the outcome:

    VOICE: It took enormous pressure by Washington and the Organization of American States to keep [Mr.] Fujimori from manipulating the slow ballot count into a victory. A flood of Toledo boosters surged through Lima's streets to the presidential palace... and warn [President] Fujimori against ballot tampering.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: As for the pending meeting between President Clinton and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Thursday, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests:

    VOICE: Don't dismiss a serious offer. That's the message President ... Clinton should deliver to [Mr.] ... Arafat ... An Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is now within sight, provided Mr. Arafat has the courage and fortitude to grab it.

    TEXT: And still in the region, a debate over possibly warming relations between the United States and Libya holds the attention of Holger Jensen, foreign affairs columnist of Denver's Rocky Mountain News.

    VOICE: The Clinton administration is quietly debating whether to drop a longstanding U-S policy of hostility toward Moammar Gadhafi in favor of friendlier relations with Libya's erratic leader. The underlying reason, of course, is oil. Libya produces one-point-three- million barrels of oil a day and the Europeans have been getting it without American competition for 14 years.

    TEXT: However Mr. Jensen points out that if the two Libyan intelligence agents being tried on charges of involvement in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing that killed 259 people over Scotland implicate Mr. Gadhafi as the mastermind, that would kill any chances of improved relations.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Finally, as Jews the world over prepare to begin celebrating the festival of Passover at sundown tonight, commemorating their liberation from bondage in Egypt, The Chicago Tribune focuses on the latest persecution of Jews. The newspaper challenges what it feels is the unjust trial of 13 Jews accused of espionage in Iran.

    VOICE: The international community has rightly been alarmed by this case, and U-S and Israeli officials have called the espionage charges baseless. It is correctly being viewed as the latest test of the reforms instituted by President Mohammad Khatami, reforms that have brought the first easing of economic sanctions against Iran by the Clinton administration. But the U-S has signaled appropriately that the outcome of the trial will affect this nascent warming of relations. ... The phrase "Let my people go" comes to mind at this time of year. It is as old as the Book of Exodus and Iran's clerics ought to heed it.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from the pages of Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/JP 18-Apr-2000 11:12 AM EDT (18-Apr-2000 1512 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] U-N / RIGHTS / YUGOSLAVIA (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=4/18/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261478
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United Nations Human Rights Commission has overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning what it says are serious human rights violations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the resolution was adopted by 44 votes, with one vote against, and eight abstentions.

    TEXT: The resolution condemns the Yugoslav government for repressing the independent media, political opposition and non-governmental organizations. It accuses the government of the arbitrary administration of justice and expresses grave concern that discrimination and violence against ethnic minorities have worsened during the year. The document says the commission is gravely concerned that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and other senior leaders -- who have been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity -- are still in power. It accuses Serbia and Montenegro of repeatedly ignoring orders to turn over indicted war criminals to the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague for trial. The resolution calls on Yugoslavia to end torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of people in detention, and to bring those responsible for such acts to justice. It also calls on the government to account for and protect the human rights of the large number of people removed from Kosovo and imprisoned at the end of the conflict. In Kosovo, the resolution condemns the Serbian military offensive against the civilian population. It accuses the Serbs of war crimes and gross violations of human rights, including a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing. It denounces the systematic targeting and terrorizing of the civilian population of Kosovo by Serbian forces. It notes large-scale mass forced displacement, expulsion, group massacres, summary executions, torture and arbitrary detention. U-S Assistant Secretary of State Harold Koh told the Commission that the international community would have to remain vigilant as long as Serbia was ruled by an indicted war criminal. There was no immediate reaction from Yugoslavia. But, the Russian Ambassador in Geneva called the resolution unbalanced and one-sided. He said the document was particularly biased on Kosovo, treating it as if it was not a part of Yugoslavia. Russia was the only country to vote against the resolution. (Signed)
    NEB/LS/GE/JP 18-Apr-2000 14:29 PM EDT (18-Apr-2000 1829 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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