Browse through our Interesting Nodes on Religion in Cyprus Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 17 May 2022
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Voice of America, 00-06-27

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

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





    INTRO: A new ethnic-Albanian force is being formed inside the five kilometer "demilitarized zone" between Kosovo and Serbia. Representatives of this self- styled "liberation army" say their aim is to protect three towns in Serbia that are heavily populated by ethnic Albanians and have been subject to harassment by Serb police and authorities. Troops from the international peacekeeping force known as K-FOR, who are stationed nearby, estimate that fewer than 200 fighters have joined the Albanian force. But the peacekeepers are concerned about what they see as the unit's intensified militarization. Correspondent Eve Conant recently visited the village of Dobrosin, inside the demilitarized zone, and filed this report.

    TEXT: The Kosovo Liberation Army may have been disbanded over the last year, but now there is a new ethnic Albanian army forming -- this time in Serbia. It calls itself the U-C-P-M-B, or the Liberation Army of Presheva, Medvegja and Bujanovc -- the Albanian spellings for three towns where the army's commander says Serb police have been harassing ethnic Albanians. Those who have fled the region say their situation has deteriorated ever since the Kosovo conflict ended a year ago. Serb refugees from Kosovo have fled to southern Serbia, fearing revenge attacks. But many of the tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians from this region call it "Eastern Kosovo," and say it should be united with Kosovo itself. The core of the small army, which aims to make that a reality, is in the village of Dobrosin.


    A tractor winds it way along a narrow dirt road, while a group of men laze in the sun at the town's main square - a tiny patch of bare earth surrounded by a mosque, one small store and a well. This would be a typical village were it not for the U-C-P-M-B soldiers patrolling its roads armed and in uniform - a reddish-green camouflage outfit similar to that worn last year by the Kosovo Liberation Army. The red patches on their arms read "UCPMB" and they carry AK-47's [automatic weapons] as they sip water from the town's well, chat with locals, or guard the path to their commander's headquarters -- a large home guarded by a high metal gate and sandbags. Inside is Commander Bajrami [pron: bazh-`RAH-meyh], who smokes a cigarette as he issues orders to his men. The walls are bare except for a series of posters of his heroes, members of the Kosovo Liberation Army who died fighting Serb forces before K-FOR troops arrived last June. On the other side of the room about 10 automatic weapons are propped up against the wall. Commander Bajrami says his army's mission is simple:


    To join Kosovo -- and any solutions that would be done for Kosovo would be done for us. We prefer this solution with an agreement, otherwise with war. Our activity is defensive, but that does not mean that in the future, if we are pushed by the repressive forces of Serbs, we wouldn't mobilize our forces and start a real war.

    /// END ACT ///

    Commander Bajrami won't say how many soldiers are in his army, which was formed in January after two ethnic Albanians farmers from Dobrosin were found murdered in the nearby hills. But he says it is made up of men who will volunteer at a moment's notice to defend ethnic Albanians living in the region.


    We get our weapons contraband from Serbia. The Serbs need money; they are in a difficult situation.

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

    The eastern sector of Kosovo, which Dobrosin borders, is controlled by American K-FOR peacekeepers. U-S soldiers stationed at "Outpost Sapper" can see the rooftops of Dobrosin, but by military agreement with Serbia, only Serb police can enter the area. K-FOR and the Yugoslav army are prohibited from going into the demilitarized zone. First Lieutenant Scott Olson says all that K-FOR can do is watch as the U-C-P-M-B gains strength.

    /// OLSON ACT ///

    They originally told us they were merely just a security force, for the defense of Dobrosin itself. However, we've seen other activity going on since that time. There is your basic rifle marksmanship training going on, they've got an obstacle course set up, [and] we've seen organized physical training, so they're becoming much more structured and formal. That would lead us to believe that they do have some people that are experienced with military-type actions, and they're obviously trying to spread that knowledge.

    /// END ACT ///

    Although Commander Bajrami says his new army is purely defensive, K-FOR is suspicious. Captain Russel Berg (from the Eastern Division) says in March, peacekeepers in one mission alone managed to confiscate 77 anti-tank mines, 16 crates of AK-47 ammunition, 28 hand grenades, two mortar tubes, and more than 200 uniforms bearing the U-C-P-M-B patch. And although K-FOR peacekeepers are trying their best to keep the new liberation army in check, the villagers of Dobrosin say they are doing the exact opposite - that K-FOR's presence just up the hill gives the U-C-P-M-B a protective shadow under which to operate.

    /// REST OPT ///

    One of the villagers, Shaban Shabani, says he feels safe only now that he is surrounded by both ethnic Albanian and American soldiers.


    He says, "Now that we have our army here, and K-FOR up there, we feel safe. If the U-C-P-M-B and K-FOR were not here we'd have to leave, because the Serbs are trying to come into this village every chance they get. Another villager, a teenager named Artfis [pron: art- `FIS], says he will only be safe when international peacekeepers are deployed in Dobrosin, which is technically inside Serbia.

    /// ARTFIS ACT ///

    I do not feel safe, because we are still not free. K-FOR is not in our area, because we are not free.

    /// END ACT ///

    His younger brother plays at his feet with a gun fashioned from wood. Its long wood barrel is marked with the letters U-C-P-M-B, written in black marker. The boy's older brother, like the other villagers, does not describe the area as southern Serbia. Like the camouflaged soldiers and the men in the square, he says this is eastern Kosovo, with its own army now to protect it. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/GE/WTW 27-Jun-2000 12:51 PM EDT (27-Jun-2000 1651 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    /// correcting word to LOWER in Herbert Act ///

    INTRO: Four British and American economists gathered Tuesday at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington to argue against Britain adopting the euro currency that is being used by 11 European Union nations. V-O-A's Barry Wood reports the conservative economists believe Britain's economic growth rate will slow if becomes part of the euro zone.

    TEXT: Heritage Foundation economist Jerry O'Driscoll believes the euro will remain weak because Europe's generous welfare system undermines the wealth creation that is needed to pay for it. Mr. O'Driscoll says the euro is weak against the dollar because Europe's economy can not grow as fast as that of the United States.

    ///O'Driscoll act///

    Excessive regulation is a mortal blow to economic growth. As U-S Treasury Secretary Larry Summers notes, it takes 12 times longer to set up a new business in Europe than in the U-S, and at four times the cost. This is destructive of entrepreneurship. One of the major exports of the euro zone now is entrepreneurs.

    ///end act///

    Another economist, Nick Herbert, who heads a group called Business in Favor of Sterling (the British currency), says Britain should wait to see how the 18 month old euro currency project works out before deciding to join. British public opinion is strongly against the euro but the Labor government is pushing for eventual British participation. While Mr. Herbert's group opposes monetary union because it diminishes national sovereignty, he stresses that growth disparities between Britain and the continent would have complicated European monetary policy had Britain joined the euro at the beginning of this year.

    ///Herbert act///

    A one-size fits all monetary policy is especially dangerous for Britain whose economic cycle tends to move more in line with that of the United States. So, had we joined (January 1, 2000), we would have had a level of interest rates in the euro zone that were too low for Britain. We would have faced an inflationary boom. And we'd have had a level of interest rates in the euro zone that were slightly higher than they are now in order to deal in part with that, at a time when Germany was crying out for LOWER rates. So for all countries there would have been the worst of all worlds.

    ///end act///

    Since the euro's launch in 1999 the European Central Bank in Frankfurt has set a single interest rate for all 11 countries participating in monetary union. Those 11 governments, however, retain responsibility for taxation and spending. The euro project is strongly supported by European business leaders. They say monetary union facilitates intra-European trade and investment and benefits consumers by boosting cross-border competition. The Heritage Foundation researchers regard the euro currency project as more of a political than an economic undertaking. They believe the goal is the creation of a single government for all 15 European Union member states. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/KBK 27-Jun-2000 17:30 PM EDT (27-Jun-2000 2130 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Kazakhstan's parliament has voted to give President Nursultan Nazarbayev special executive powers after he leaves office -- an event that is not currently scheduled to take place until at least 2006. The Kazakh president was in Brussels at the time of Tuesday's vote, meeting with leaders of NATO and the European Union. From Brussels, V-O-A Correspondent Ron Pemstein reports Mr. Nazarbayev says he believes the special powers are nothing special.

    TEXT: The law allows President Nazarbayev to remain a member of Kazakhstan's Security Council after his term as president ends, and to appear before parliament and at government meetings. The second reading of the proposal eliminated an earlier provision that would have given Mr. Nazarbayev a role in advising his successor about emergency or military situations. Mr. Nazarbayev won re-election to the Kazakh presidency last year, extending his term of office until early in the year 2006. Speaking to reporters (through an interpreter) following his meeting with NATO Secretary-General George Robertson, President Nazarbayev denied opposition charges that he is trying to become Kazakhstan's president for life.


    We have that kind of president in post-Soviet territory as in Turkmenistan, and that is the only example that we have. In Kazakhstan, the president and the parliament will be changed according to our constitution, and the president has only maximum two terms of service.

    /// END ACT ///

    For NATO, Kazakhstan is one of its "partners for peace." Bordering on China, Kazakhstan is as far east as NATO's partnership program extends. Secretary- General George Robertson will visit Kazakhstan as well as Uzbekistan and Krygystan next week, on his first Central Asian tour. President Nazarbayev promised to discuss common issues of concern in detail when Mr. Robertson arrives in the Kazakh capital, Astana.


    When the Secretary-General will visit us on the Fourth of July, we will continue the detailed discussion of such issues as Afghanistan, the Caspian region, terrorism, drug trafficking and weapons smuggling.

    /// END ACT ///

    Secretary-General Robertson told reporters NATO's partnership for peace can bring stability to Central Asia, as can NATO's improved relations with Russia. (Signed)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/WTW 27-Jun-2000 14:31 PM EDT (27-Jun-2000 1831 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: U-S stock prices were lower Tuesday) in relatively quiet trading. Investors adopted a wait- and-see attitude as the U-S central bank, the Federal Reserve Board, prepares to announce Wednesday whether interest rates will be going up again. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average came under late-day selling pressure. The Industrials fell 38 points to 10-thousand-504, for a fractional loss. The Standard and Poor's 500 index dropped four points. Meanwhile, the technology-weighted NASDAQ composite gave up over one percent. Analysts say investors overall were not willing to take new positions before Wednesday's interest-rate decision. The latest on the U-S economy shows consumer confidence in June fell sharply. Americans apparently were feeling less confident every time they pulled their cars up to a gasoline pump - thanks to higher oil prices. A lower confidence level could mean Americans will spend less. That would appeal to the U-S central bank. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of U-S economic growth.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Robert Gasser, an analyst with the J-P Morgan investment bank, believes stock trading will remain within a narrow range for a while -- no matter what the central bank announces. He says investors will be guided by corporate earnings, which are likely to feel the impact of a cooler U-S economy:

    /// GASSER ACT ///

    You know, earnings will come in anywhere from 18 to 20 percent growth. There's been steady, sequential growth, quarter over quarter. But this will probably be the first quarter when earnings growth starts to slow down a little bit. The economy is slowing. Demand has obviously come down a bit. A lot of the speculative excesses have been taken out of the equity markets. And consumer demand, I think, is showing some signs that it's on the right trend, from a "Fed" perspective.

    /// END ACT ///

    In other news, U-S long-distance telephone carriers WorldCom and Sprint are back to square one [back to the beginning] of their merger hopes. The U-S Justice Department and the European Commission signaled they will not approve the companies' proposed multibillion- dollar union, on the grounds that it would stifle competition. WorldCom shares traded higher on the news, while Sprint stock edged down. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/WTW 27-Jun-2000 17:31 PM EDT (27-Jun-2000 2131 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The announcement that U-S and British scientists have completed a rough draft of the human genetic code is occupying a top place in newspaper editorials. A new call for a special prosecutor to investigate Vice President Gore's alleged campaign fundraising violations in the last presidential campaign continues to get attention, as does a new Supreme Court decision reaffirming the rights of accused people arrested by police. There are also comments on the financial and political situation in Japan; a loan for China; help for Colombia; and the hypocrisy used in dealing with refugees. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is _____________ and today's editorial digest.

    TEXT: U-S and British scientists say they have essentially completed a map of the human genetic code. That is the complex formula of genes and chromosomes that regulates such individual characteristics as hair, eye, and skin color, as well as a predisposition to certain inherited diseases such as diabetes. U-S newspaper editorials are struggling for comparisons to explain its importance. The Wall Street Journal is one.

    VOICE: It is no exaggeration to say that the completion of a rough draft of the human genome is one of the great scientific achievements of history. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are politicians, not scientists, but it is fitting that they joined yesterday in hailing completion of the ten-year-effort; political backing will be needed to damp down objections to this kind of progress. ... The genome project has provided a rough road map, but the hard work mostly lies ahead.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Here is a down to earth analogy explaining what has been accomplished from The San Francisco Chronicle.

    VOICE: One scientists compared mapping the human genetic code to staring at Earth from outer space and jotting down the location of every house, plumbing line and overhead wire. The task of blueprinting human heredity is that painstaking and all-encompassing. ... The superlatives and comparisons are endless.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In Michigan, The Detroit Free Press says the news is - enough to make your spine tingle - while the Chicago Tribune, warning that the hardest work is yet to be done, adds - it is impossible to overstate the importance of [the] announcement. Elsewhere, The Boston Globe likes the comparison with the birth of nuclear energy, and says it is an apt analogy.

    VOICE: ... in many respects it is that quantum leap in human knowledge that bears the strongest similarity to ... decoding the book of life. Understanding nuclear physics has given humans the godlike power to destroy the Earth - or at least make it uninhabitable. Making sense out of the bewildering jumble of nucleotides that twist upon each other on human chromosomes gives us the godlike power to change the genetic makeup of generations to come.

    TEXT: Another popular topic is a new call for an independent investigation of Vice President Al Gore. It comes from the head of the Justice Department's task force investigating possible illegal activity in fund raising during the 1996 presidential campaign. In Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle feels nothing will come of it.

    VOICE: Attorney General Janet Reno is expected to turn down, for the fourth time, a recommendation to appoint an outside prosecutor to investigate Vice President ... Gore's 1996 fund-raising activities. It is clear that, no matter what, not naming a special prosecutor is a Reno policy that is not about to change. ... Robert Conrad ... the fourth Justice Department prober[`s] recommendation for special counsel centers on whether [Mr.] Gore lied to investigators about his ... appearance at a Buddhist temple in California.

    TEXT: Monday afternoon's Deseret News', from Salt Lake City, Utah, editorial recognizes that to investigate the Vice President in the middle of his election campaign would be most unfair, but adds:

    VOICE: ...the only person to blame for that unfortunate timing would be Attorney General Janet Reno. She has split legal hairs, talked in circles and repeatedly ignored the advice of her own professionals for years when it comes to [Mr.] Gore and his [fund raising activities]...

    TEXT: From Vice President Gore's home state of Tennessee, The Memphis commercial Appeal suggests:

    VOICE: The last thing Al Gore needs, barely four-months before the ...election, is renewed public attention to his political fund-raising activities ... Yet the allegations... are serious enough that they still demand the appointment of a special counsel to review them. ... the proximity of the latest controversy to the election offers no justification for continuing to ignore it.

    TEXT: In still another domestic story, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the obligation of police to remind suspects of their constitutional rights to remain silent and have the benefit of legal counsel. It is called the "Miranda Warning" after a Supreme Court ruling involving a criminal who was freed because police failed to tell him his rights before he confessed to the crime. Says The St. Petersburg [Florida] Times of the latest ruling:

    VOICE: ... when the ... Court decided ... to keep those warnings intact, it did more than preserve a bit of Americana; it protected our fundamental right against self-incrimination.

    TEXT: The Detroit [Michigan] Free Press says the court's decision: "upholds a valuable tool for justice," while in Nebraska, The Omaha World-Herald adds:

    VOICE: The Miranda warning works. It draws a bright line that makes as sure as humanly possible that all confessions are truly voluntary - and therefore, not merely fair but substantially trustworthy as well. It has done much to bolster public confidence that the legal process is fair and even-handed.

    TEXT: Turning to Asian developments, The New York Times feels the loss of 32-seats to the opposition in Sunday's parliamentary elections should be a wake up call to Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori who urged undecided voters to "stay in bed" on election Day.

    VOICE: The long-run message for the [ruling] Liberal Democrats ... is bleak. Young urban Japanese have grown disenchanted with the party's factional maneuvering, secretive ways and inability to extricate the country from a decade-long economic slump.

    /// OPT ///

    Sunday's stinging reverse should spur the [Liberal Democrats] party to adopt a more transparent leadership process and to embrace the necessity for economic reform.

    ///END OPT ///

    TEXT: The proposed loan from the World Bank to China for the resettlement of thousands of poor Chinese to the Tibetan plateau, displacing the nomads who live there, gets more criticism from today's Los Angeles Times.

    VOICE: The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, sees the proposed resettlement ... as - cultural genocide. The U-S and German representatives to the World Bank voted against it, and Tibet supporters around the globe oppose it as an encroachment on Tibetan culture. An independent panel of experts concluded that the bank's staff violated many of its key policies in approving the loan. The bank's board of directors ... should scrap [Editors: "cancel"] it.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Still with China, today's Chattanooga [Tennessee] Free Press says the U-S needs to issue a clear warning to China about defending Taiwan in order to avoid a war, in the face a newly proposed missile firings by Beijing.

    VOICE: The United States should ...avoid - the Korean War mistake. The Korean War was invited by U-S Secretary of State Dean Acheson's announcement that South Korea was outside the U- S defense perimeter, making the North Korean Communists believe they would have a free hand. ...[And] the U-S should sell our Free China friends on Taiwan whatever arms they need to defend themselves. We can prevent war between Communist China and the Republic of China simply by being sure the communists know in advance ... they cannot possibly win.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In Charleston, South Carolina, The Post and Courier is pleased that the Senate finally approved one-billion dollars in anti-drug aid to Colombia.

    VOICE: The Colombian people are trapped in the ferocious crossfire between government forces, the left-wing guerrillas and private armies ... The most controversial element in the U-S aid package is military support for the Colombian army, which is alleged to have had links with para-military groups accused of serious human rights violations. ... Unless the army respects human rights, President Pastrana's government will lose the all-important battle to win the confidence of peasants in areas controlled by the guerrillas.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Lastly, in Jacksonville's Florida Times Union, we get the idea that not only do Americans go slightly crazy [mad] in summer, but also it is a healthy reaction.

    VOICE: When a state trooper stopped three nude women in a car near Houston, they said God had told them to burn their clothes, drive to Wal- Mart and buy new ones. There were more than 20- thousand hits in one day recently on an Internet site that shows corn growing in an Iowa field. In this rapidly changing and often stressful world, such stories are welcome relief.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 27-Jun-2000 12:15 PM EDT (27-Jun-2000 1615 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Germany's justice minister is calling for an international agreement to combat the dissemination of hate and racism on the Internet. The German official contends the United States is holding back cooperation on such an effort. Jonathan Braude has this report from Berlin.

    TEXT: In 1995, according to the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, there was just one so-called "hate site" on the Internet, inciting people to racial hatred and -- in its words -- offending human dignity. Now there are more than two-thousand, the center says, with most of them operating out of the United States. German Justice Minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin launched a call for action against extremist Internet sites Tuesday at (the concluding session) of an international conference organized by her ministry and the Wiesenthal Center. Presenting a paper she called the Berlin Declaration, she said the international community should decide that freedom of speech must be protected, both on and off the Internet. She says if incitement to hate and violence is banned from conventional media, it must also be driven out of cyberspace. Since the Internet is global, the German justice minister notes, a site banned in Europe or Canada can simply move to the United States to operate legally. She is calling for governments to work together to agree on binding standards for the Web, as well as on standards of punishment for what she calls peddlers of hate and incitement. Ms. Daeubler-Gmelin's proposal would require Internet companies and marketing groups to take responsibility for what they sell on the Web. No U-S lawmakers were at the conference, but a delegate from the U-S Federal Bureau of Investigation noted the First Amendment to the U-S Constitution guarantees the right of free speech and free expression to all Americans. Justice Minister Daeubler-Gmelin says such rights should not protect an Internet auction company offering to sell Nazi memorabilia items, or online booksellers promoting hate literature.


    This is not a point of view we can understand, because if you allow business to sell hate group memorabilia or objects in different ways, it's business, it's not free speech. It's not a question of the First Amendment.

    /// END ACT ///

    The German justice minister says the world is advancing toward agreement that child pornography is criminal, and not acceptable. She says movement toward a common ban on racist and anti-minority incitement should be the next goal. She says U-S lawmakers should join in the debate, but she adds that regional cooperation in Europe can achieve much, even if the United States does not take part. (Signed)
    NEB/JB/JWH/WTW 27-Jun-2000 16:14 PM EDT (27-Jun-2000 2014 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America
    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2022 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    voa2html v2.03a run on Wednesday, 28 June 2000 - 0:50:06 UTC