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Voice of America, 00-07-14

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

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





    INTRO: A new trade agreement between the U-S and Vietnam is a big topic for American editorial writers. Other commentaries concern another failed U-S missile defense test; and a seemingly brutal arrest by Philadelphia police. There are other thoughts about: the genocide in Rwanda and the western response; an apparently unfair World Cup football [soccer] vote; and Democratic Party politics. Now, here with some excerpts and a closer look, is _________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: President Clinton announced a new trade agreement on Thursday between the United States and Vietnam. Today's Boston Globe says the deal:

    VOICE: ... represents, for America, an overdue recognition that there is no longer any reason to prohibit normal relations with the only country to defeat the United States in a war. Hence the primary effect of the trade deal on Americans will be psychological and symbolic.

    TEXT: The Los Angeles Times calls the agreement a "watershed," while in Baltimore, Maryland, The Sun calls it "a victory for market economics in the cold war against communism," and says it finally ends this country's war with Vietnam "a quarter century after the fall of Saigon..." On New York's Long Island, Newsday suggests the "trade pact ... is good for most Americans..." and "yet another feather in President Bill Clinton's free-trade hat" while The New York Times adds:

    VOICE: Vietnam has been opening its markets for more than a decade. But foreign companies operating there have been discouraged by burdensome and costly bureaucratic interference. ... The new ... agreement, which still must be approved by Congress, could change that ... significantly. /// OPT /// Politically, Vietnam remains a repressive communist dictatorship. ... With America now likely to play a larger economic role in Vietnam, Washington should raise its voice on behalf of persecuted Vietnamese democrats. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Another popular topic in the day's press is the latest failure of an anti-missile system under consideration by the United States. The heated debate over whether to go ahead with the system continues. In Texas, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram suggests:

    VOICE: The latest test failure ... makes it even clearer that President Clinton's successor should decide whether such a system is deployed. There have been three tests, with two failures and one partial success. ... Additional tests are needed before a decision on deployment is made.

    ///OPT ///

    TEXT: The Seattle [Washington State] Times agrees, noting:

    VOICE: Technical problems, diplomatic snarls and evolving assessments of the global nuclear threat all weigh against President clinton proceeding with a 60-billion dollar national missile defense. The decision is best left to the next administration.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In defense of the anti-missile system, The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle writes of its critics:

    VOICE: They fear any deployment of an anti- missile system would violate what they regard as a sacred 1972 pact the U-S signed with the former Soviet Union - the ... Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. ... Other senators with stouter hearts ... recall the Rumsfeld Commission's report warning of the growing nuclear missile threat posed by anti-American dictatorships around the world. The next round of tests is due this fall. Let's hope the Clinton administration sticks to the schedule.

    ///OPT ///

    TEXT: In a related development, today's Washington Post is disquieted about continuing intelligence reports of Chinese long-range missile technology sales to Pakistan.

    VOICE: The problem persists after the visit to Beijing last weekend by John Holum, the State Department's senior arms control adviser. ... the Chinese took the occasion to deliver yet another lecture about U-S missile defense development and arms sales to Taiwan - - and to link resolution of those complaints to the issue of Beijing's exports of missile technology. ... the U-S China dialogue on nonproliferation ... remains hostage to Chinese pique over, and designs on Taiwan.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Domestically, in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia's police department is under investigation for the beating by several officers, black and white, of an already wounded black suspect. It happened after the man shot and wounded one police officer and briefly stole a police car. A television station news helicopter videotaped the incident. The New York Times calls it "A cruel and unusual arrest," and "a sickening sight" while The Philadelphia Inquirer is calling for "a thorough review of all the facts." The paper points out comparisons to the beating by white officers of a black Los Angeles motorist in 1991, also videotaped, are not totally valid.

    VOICE: That said, though, the videotape is even worse than [Philadelphia] Mayor Street's description of it as "troubling." ... every police force is supposedly trained and drilled to hold emotions in check while using only the necessary amount of force to restrain a suspect.

    TEXT: Turning to Asian developments, today's Charleston (South Carolina) Post and Courier is pleased that the World Bank has rejected a proposed loan to China to relocate 58-thousand farmers on lands traditionally inhabited by ethnic Tibetans.

    VOICE: China pledged to go ahead with the ... project using its own funds. But the international community has sent Beijing an important message: if it wants acceptance in the international community ... it has to be sensitive to international concerns about the way it treats minorities and the environment.

    ///OPT ///

    TEXT: Still with Asian affairs, the recent Supreme Court decision striking down a Massachusetts state secondary boycott of firms dealing with Burma, due to Rangoon's repression of dissent, draws praise from The Hartford Courant.

    VOICE: States and cities are within their rights to condemn foreign regimes for their human rights violations. But [they] exceed constitutional bounds when they unilaterally order boycotts of such regimes.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Turning to African issues, The Houston Chronicle and The Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star Tribune are opposing the concept of the United States paying any reparations to Rwanda for failure to act in the genocide that saw more than half a million Rwandan Tutsis slain by their Hutu neighbors and the military. Both papers concede the inaction of the U-S government is a shame the nation will have to live with. In another African story, The Star Tribune is furious that the World Cup organization [FIFA] passed over South Africa by a single vote and gave the football [soccer] championship to Germany in 2-thousand and six.

    VOICE: The real problem ... was F-I-F-A's entrenched leanings. ... And what would this dream have brought? To South Africa, new roads, shops, hotels and businesses. As many as 150- thousand permanent jobs. A chance to prove what it can do. An opportunity to tell a remarkable story of human triumph. Proof - - often hard to come by - - that Africa is part of the planet.

    TEXT: Today's Los Angeles Times is pleased that Israel has finally agreed to cancel the sale of an airborne early warning radar aircraft, known as an A W A C S, to China, after intense U-S pressure.

    VOICE: Israel surely knew all along that sale of its advanced Phalcon technology to China would upset even its strongest supporters in Washington. ... Its acquisition would have given Beijing what the military calls a force multiplier ... [that] could detect and track scores of aircraft 200 or more miles away and, if it chose, send planes to intercept.

    TEXT: And lastly, former U-S Senator Bill Bradley's belated endorsement of Al Gore, his former competitor, for president, in Wisconsin Thursday, elicits this notice from The New York Times. In calling the endorsement "predictable," it also notes the "strangely lethargic " nature of Vice President Gore's campaign since the two men were actively competing for the nomination.

    VOICE: As political theater, his [Bradley's] performance at a boisterous rally in Wisconsin was far different from the awkward endorsement of Mr. [Texas Governor George] Bush in May by Senator John McCain, who jokingly compared the exercise to taking medicine. /// OPT /// In both cases, how Mr. McCain and Mr. Bradley handle themselves for the rest of the year will be watched ... as a sign of whether either will be able to pick up the pieces and run again if their nominees are defeated in November. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: On that political note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of Friday's U-S press.
    Source: Voice of America

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