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Voice of America, 00-04-20

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 ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

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

    DATE=4/20/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261572
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Wall Street ended a shorter trading week today (Thursday) with a mixed market. Investors and traders were clearly relieved by the Easter holiday break and a chance to take time off from the stock market's unnerving volatility. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 169 points, or one-and-one-half percent, closing at 10- thousand-844. Strong corporate earnings boosted the so-called "old economy" stocks. The Industrials are up five-percent for the week. The Standard and Poor's 500 index went up seven points. The Nasdaq composite fell one-and-two-thirds percent, as technology came under selling pressure, especially computer software and Internet shares. However, the Nasdaq is up 10-percent for the week. The two stocks that dragged the "blue-chips" lower Wednesday lost a bit more. Computer company I-B-M and chip-maker Intel came in with good profits but disappointing revenues. Volume was lighter than normal, as many traders left early for the holiday break.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG VERSION ///

    Analysts say there is some residual caution, even skepticism, among investors after that huge sell-off on Wall Street last Friday. Art Cashin, director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange for the Paine Webber brokerage firm, is still worried:

    /// CASHIN ACT ///

    Usually a storm of that magnitude doesn't blow away too easily. There may be some "tail winds" here. I'm going to sit tight and let the market tell me where it wants to go over the next week or so.

    /// END ACT ///

    Giant food chain McDonald's - one of the 30 Dow stocks came in with better-than-expected earnings. McDonald's also announced a one-billion dollar stock buy-back program. Drug-maker Bristol Myers also reported better-than- expected earnings. Bristol-Myers stock plunged 22- percent Wednesday after the company said it was withdrawing its application for a new blood pressure drug. Bristol-Myers shares lost another two-percent. The latest on the U-S economy shows 257-thousand people filed for first time unemployment benefits last week - down nine-thousand from the previous week. That was the lowest level in almost 27 years - another sign of a tight U-S labor market. Analysts say this will most likely encourage the Federal Reserve Board - the U-S central bank - to push interest rates higher next month. The debate now is how much higher - 25 or 50 basis points. The central bank has already raised rates five times since last June as it tries to keep inflationary pressures from building. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/gm 20-Apr-2000 16:46 PM EDT (20-Apr-2000 2046 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/20/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11782
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=

    INTRO: Yet another controversial court ruling in the convoluted custody battle over the little shipwrecked Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, has provided fodder for another wave of editorials in the United States press. Also gaining attention is the increasingly tense situation in Zimbabwe, where black war veterans are aggressively occupying the large commercial farms owned by the country's tiny white minority. Other popular topics are remembrances of the mass shooting at a high school near Denver on its first anniversary; after thoughts about the anti-World Bank and International Monetary Fund protests in Washington; the congressional battle over giving China normal trading rights with this country; and the continuing struggle towards peace in Northern Ireland. Now, here with a closer look and some quotes is __________with today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: A Federal Circuit Court in Atlanta, that has jurisdiction over lower Federal Courts in Florida, has ruled that the shipwrecked Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez must stay in this country until the court battle over his custody ends. The decision is considered a setback for the Justice Department, which had wanted clear permission to reunite the boy with his father, waiting in Maryland, and possibly allow them to return to Cuba. The Atlanta court's decision has caused a new wave of editorials, like this comment in The Miami Herald.

    VOICE: More than relief came in the ... Court ... ruling yesterday. It raised the hope that Elian Gonzalez - - and all refugee children - - have the right to seek political asylum independent of parents. The three-judge panel commendably questioned the U-S Immigration and Naturalization Service's refusal to consider the asylum petition filed for six-year-old Elian by his Miami relative, Lazaro Gonzalez. And it expressed skepticism of how the I-N-S could have done so without speaking with or examining the child. Both points are a deserved slap at the Justice Department's fixation on parental rights to the exclusion of other factors - - namely a child's future in Cuba. ~

    TEXT: The Washington Post feels the decision is "fair enough,', adding:

    VOICE: The last thing anyone can want is a solution ... in which it can be credibly charged that Elian was hustled out of the country to avoid a full hearing of his case. The Justice Department has already agreed that he should stay; his father has agreed to wait as well.

    TEXT: However The New York Times is upset by the decision, if it keeps the boy from being reunited with his father, living at the home of a Cuban diplomat in a Washington, D-C suburb.

    VOICE: ... adjudication of the asylum issue, which is likely to wind up before the Supreme court, need not, and should not, prevent Elian from being reunited with his father Juan Miguel Gonzalez ... [who] before yesterday's court order had promised to remain in the United States until the asylum issue was resolved. ... The court ... action leaves the I-N-S [Immigration and Naturalization Service] and Attorney General Janet Reno free to reunite father and son. .../// OPT /// It now seems clear ... Elian is likely to remain in America for some time. It is time he should spend with father, not his great-uncle. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Overseas, the crisis in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe is encouraging landless, independence war veterans, to occupy the large, commercial farms owned by the nation's tiny white minority, is drawing increasing comment. Today's Dallas [Texas] Morning News laments:

    VOICE: ... Mr. Mugabe has become his nation's own worst enemy, an increasingly isolated despot whose failure to build upon early successes now is harvesting bitter fruits of economic and political discontent. And like so many leaders whose political grip has weakened, Mr. Mugabe's strategy for political survival now threatens to tear apart Zimbabwe. ... The tumble of Zimbatwe from a beacon of hope 20 years ago to a nation beset by poverty and mismanagement is a sad tale of squandered opportunities. /// OPT /// Zimbabwe's future is tied to the ability of leadership to close the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. Peacefully resolving the contentious issue of land redistribution and eradicating cronyism and mismanagement are crucial. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Today's Los Angeles Times says the international community should suspend all financial aid to Zimbabwe until after the presidential election in May. And back in Texas, the Houston Chronicle says:

    VOICE: Zimbatwe has ample land and mineral resources to provide a good standard of living for all its people. Its failure to achieve even modest prosperity can be laid at the feet of [Mr.] Mugabe's government

    TEXT: Domestically, today is the first anniversary of the mass shooting by two students at Columbine High School in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, where memorial services are being held. Eleven students and a teacher were slain, and 23 others wounded. Boston's Christian Science Monitor hopes the legacy of the shooting will be increased "ways to protect, and better serve, youth.

    VOICE: A year after the tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, the country still struggles for an adequate response. This, not unlike the Oklahoma City bombing also being remembered this week, was an event almost beyond comprehension, happening in a setting of prosperity and civic pride. It appeared to contradict every easy assumption about American life. ... Columbine must serve as a continuing wake-up call to build better communities that embrace the troubled youth among us. /// OPT /// That would be the best memorial to the students who fell there. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: USA Today, published in a Washington, D-C suburb, lauds the progress toward stricter gun control and safety laws, but fears the latest reforms are not nearly enough to end such violence.

    VOICE: Unfortunately, all this [reform] merely nibbles at the edges of the nation's need. ... [B]ackground checks and child-safety locks wouldn't have prevented the Columbine nightmare. Indeed, likely no law would have stopped Columbine's rampaging killers. In a nation awash with firearms and bereft of even fundamental controls on those firearms, it is presently impossible to keep guns out of the hands of those truly determined to shoot and kill.

    TEXT: In afterthoughts about the protests this week during the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the Washington, D-C police are getting praise for controlling thousands of street demonstrators. Wednesday's Honolulu-Star Bulletin praises the D-C police, then sums up its view this way:

    VOICE: The meetings were held with minimal interruption but the protesters succeeded in calling attention to the institutions' shortcomings.

    TEXT: In Greensburg, Pennsylvania, The Tribune-Review makes this comparison, but goes on to suggest that some of what the protesters said needs to be seriously considered.

    VOICE: Seattle it wasn't, and Washington, D-C police deserve credit for being prepared and keeping the peace during this week's protests... On balance, authorities seemed to strike the proper carriage between protecting the public and the right to protest.

    TEXT: As regards current diplomatic efforts with China, today's San Francisco Chronicle gives the White House a decidedly mixed review.

    VOICE: Washington's torturous relations with China turned more difficult this week on the touchy topics of Taiwan and human rights. Looming is an even bigger clash scheduled for next month on permanent trade relations between the two countries. ...On the first issue, the United States failed badly to win United Nations' condemnation of China's plainly deplorable human rights records. Cravenly, the member countries of a U-N commission ducked a chance to send Beijing a message. ... On Taiwan, the White House took a sensible course in denying the island nation four high-tech Aegis destroyers and other advanced weapons. ...The combined impact of the human rights vote and Taiwan weapons decision underscore the mixed success the White House has had in dealing with China.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Still on the China trade debate, The Washington Post says on balance, congress should grant the normalization, and it considers specious the arguments of one main opponent, Democratic Congressman Richard Gephardt of Missouri.

    VOICE: There are solid reasons for worrying about China's entry into the World Trade Organization ... But the reasons given yesterday by Representative Dick Gephardt for opposing permanent normal trade relations ... go beyond that. They involve one serious but misguided claim and several echoes of the recent street protests in Washington. The serious claim is that the United States should retain the option of imposing trade sanctions on China to force it to improve its behavior on human rights. ... Unfortunately, attempts to link trade to human rights have repeatedly proved ineffectual. ... The denial of normal trade relations is likely to disrupt trade without improving human rights. The bill [granting China normal trading relations] should be allowed to pass.

    TEXT: Still with oriental affairs, today's St. Petersburg [Florida] Times, considers the recent announcement of a North Korean - South Korean summit meeting, with some misgivings.

    VOICE: The North, having far more to gain from the easing of tensions, had every reason to jump at the opportunity. While capitalistic South Korea prospers, food and energy shortages have left the communist North with starving people and factories that operate at only 20-percent of capacity. Since economic cooperation is one of the key goals of the summit, the North needs to expedite the process. ... The summit ... also will focus on easing tensions and the establishment of permanent cooperative institutions. If those goals are accomplished, they might boost the North's economy - - and perhaps rescue it from the humiliation of begging for food from such long-time enemies as the United States and Japan.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Lastly, The New York Times expresses hopes for at least some progress in the still-floundering Northern Ireland peace process.

    VOICE: With Northern Ireland's season of emotional anniversaries and marches nearing, the Good Friday peace agreement remains stalled. The Irish Republican Army refuses to commit itself to giving up its arms, and the province's hopeful experiment in self-rule stands suspended. But amid this bleakness, one positive development stands out. David Trimble, Northern Ireland's most important Protestant politician, unmoved by a militant minority in his Ulster unionist Party, is seeking creative ways around the arms impasse. ... Unfortunately, Unionist flexibility alone cannot guarantee peace. It is up to the I-R-A to match Mr. Trimble's political courage and repeated demonstrations of good faith with its own declaration of a permanent end to violence and a pledge to disarm.

    TEXT: On that faintly hopeful note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Thursday's U-S press. NEB/ANG/gm 20-Apr-2000 14:06 PM EDT (20-Apr-2000 1806 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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