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Voice of America, 00-04-24

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

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





    INTRO: U-S stock prices were mixed today (Monday), with a big sell-off in the high-technology sector. Software giant Microsoft led the way down on reports U-S government regulators favor splitting the company in two. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 62 points, one-half of one percent, closing at 10- thousand-906. The Standard and Poor's 500 index dropped about five points, while the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite lost more than four percent. Microsoft stock is traded in all three indexes. The U-S government is said to have a plan for Microsoft to divest its office software business as a way to restore competition in the software industry. "Office" is the biggest part of Microsoft's applications unit, which provides about 40-percent of revenues. Higher-than-expected quarterly earnings from other Dow components helped offset Microsoft's impact on the Industrial Average. American Express reported profits rose nearly 15-percent due to more credit card use in a booming U-S economy.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Microsoft may have been the "stock of the day." It certainly led the fall. But investment strategist Charles Pradilla says many stocks are still very expensive, which means they are vulnerable to selling pressures - whatever the cause:

    /// PRADILLA ACT ///

    This is an expensive market, no matter how you cut it (look at it). The best quality companies are not cheap yet. And what it means is you have no "wiggle" room - no room for error. So if anything goes wrong, either in a global way or company-specific, you get hit pretty hard.

    /// END ACT ///

    Analysts say investors are also wary about Microsoft's future growth prospects. Microsoft last week issued its earnings report. It beat Wall Street's profit estimates, but revenues were lower-than-expected. Microsoft shares are down 45-percent from their all- time high in December. Also on the earnings front, number one U-S drug-maker Merck, another Dow component, reported better-than- expected profits, due mostly to higher sales of its new arthritis drug, Vioxx. (Signed) NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/gm 24-Apr-2000 16:45 PM EDT (24-Apr-2000 2045 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: For yet another day, the case of the little shipwrecked Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, is the dominant editorial topic. Saturday he was taken at gunpoint from his Miami relatives and reunited with his father. The debate over permanently normalizing trade relations with China is an another popular topic, along with comments on the anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, and Israel's planned withdrawal from Lebanon. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is ____________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The armed U-S federal raid in Miami Saturday to take Elian Gonzalez, the little shipwrecked Cuban boy, from his distant Miami relatives and reunite him with his Cuban father near Washington, is by far the editorial topic of the day. Many papers agree that the U-S government had little choice but to take the boy by force after the family, who had no legal custody, failed to turn him over. However a significant minority is upset at the degree of force used in the seizure. The Miami Herald is breathing a sigh of editorial relief that the city's large Cuban- American community has remained, by and large peaceful.

    VOICE: Normally it wouldn't be newsworthy to report that South Florida spent Easter Sunday as did countless other communities around the world - - in prayer, reflection and, most important, amid calm. Considering the psychic blow delivered the day before, when federal agents snatched Elian Gonzalez from the home of his Miami relatives ... and carried him to his father at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D-C, that calm demonstrated a restraint that deserves attention and praise.

    /// OPT ///

    ... Whatever the leadership of the community decides as a public expression of protest, it must reflect and allow the release of pain and anger. But it is the responsibility of leadership to find away to do this that heals, and doesn't hurt, Miami. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In New York, today's Wall Street Journal has nothing but criticism for the federal operation to take Elian, calling the incident a "Victory for Fidel."

    VOICE: So the "best interests of the child" require that he be seized by armed strangers, wrested from the home that gave him refuge, manhandled into a car and onto a plane and held at an American military base, pending delivery to emissaries of a tyrant who has held his father prisoner. There are certainly questions to be asked, and we hope that this time Republicans in Congress get serious about asking them. Normally when federal officers bust down a door and point [a] ... submachine gun at an American citizen, for example, it's only after they've been refused entry. /// OPT /// The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution means that the government does not have carte blanche to break down your door and enter with loaded weapons, even when they have authority to make an arrest or conduct a search. /// END OPT /// ... By what authority does the Attorney General invoke these storm trooper tactics?

    TEXT: In the Midwest, the Chicago Tribune takes the other side, forcefully backing the U-S government.

    VOICE: Well done, [Attorney-General Janet (who ordered the operation)] Ms. Reno. With lightning speed, requisite force and no physical harm to anyone, federal agents Saturday ended one of the most bizarre, arrogant floutings of the law in recent memory. They liberated young Elian ... from his Miami relatives and returned him to his father. They may also have begun to liberate American policy toward Cuba from the perverse stranglehold of the fanatics who have possessed it for decades and who seem to feel that no hurt is too great to inflict on the Cuban people in the name of punishing Fidel Castro. /// OPT /// That last development, if true, can only be to the good - - for this country and, ultimately, for Cuba. /// END OPT


    TEXT: The New York Times however, feels there were still legal remedies to be sought by the government before force was used.

    VOICE: The central issue is not whether the government had the legal authority to take custody of Elian. It clearly did. ... The ... mistake was turning prematurely to the use of force rather than first applying the full leverage of the law against the Miami relatives.

    /// OPT ///

    ... When contemplating the use of force in a custody case like this, where there is no immediate danger of violent criminal activity, the government must exhaust other remedies first ... /// END OPT ///

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Back in Florida, The St. Petersburg Times disagrees, noting:

    VOICE: The images were crude and jarring, to say the least. ... [But] It didn't have to come to this. But the blame lies not with Attorney General Janet Reno, who for months had patiently tried to negotiate a solution, but with the Miami relatives who defied the law and the pandering politicians in Florida and Washington who condoned and encouraged their unlawful behavior.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Turning to other commentaries, China figures prominently in the editorial columns. Jacksonville's Florida Times-Union supports the Clinton administration's push to permanently normalize trade with Beijing and says this:

    VOICE: China, like virtually every other country, has normal trade status with the United States. Unlike any other country, China's status is subject to annual review, however. If Congress believes that human rights abuses are particularly brutal and worsening, it may revoke that status. ... the way to promote human rights isn't to isolate China. Massacres took place in Cambodia and Rwanda while they were isolated. The outside world has an influence with a government only when it feels like it is a participant...

    TEXT: Also on China, today's Washington Times faults the United Nations Rights Commission for failing to censure the Chinese government's human rights record as it persecutes the Falun Gong and Roman Catholic church followers, among others. The Boston Globe takes note of a historic anniversary this week, the decision by President Richard Nixon 30 years ago to invade Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Says the Globe in part:

    VOICE: It was, in terms of its effect on U-S society, the most important turning point in the Vietnam War; it was illegal in both international and U-S constitutional law. ... The invasion of Cambodia was an act of aggression.

    TEXT: Lastly, to the Middle East and Israel's announced withdrawal from its security zone in Southern Lebanon. The Charleston [South Carolina] Post and Courier considers the withdrawal clever policy.

    VOICE: By withdrawing from southern Lebanon, Israel removes any reasoned justification for the continuation of attacks by Hezbollah. The [Hezbollah] guerrilla organization, backed by Syria and financed and trained by Iran, has always claimed that it is fighting to end Israeli occupation of Lebanon. ... the end of Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon removes what legitimacy Hezbollah could claim for its cause. It also weakens the case that Syria makes, on grounds of security, for keeping 30- thousand troops in Lebanon.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comments from some of Monday's U-S dailies.
    NEB/ANG/JO 24-Apr-2000 12:27 PM EDT (24-Apr-2000 1627 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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