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Voice of America, 00-07-31

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

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





    INTRO: The Dutch Ministry of Defense says Yugoslav authorities have arrested four Dutch citizens on suspicion they wanted to assassinate President Slobodan Milosevic. Stefan Bos reports from Budapest that Yugoslav authorities have released videotape of the men, a move that has triggered sharp criticism from Dutch officials.

    TEXT: Yugoslavia's Ministry of Information released the videotape Monday showing one of the four men saying his group wanted to kidnap Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic so he could be brought to face war crimes charges at the International Tribunal in the Hague. They also allegedly considered killing Mr. Milosevic, if the kidnap went wrong. It is unclear if the confession was forced. Dutch officials were surprised that the videotape was released before the Netherlands was even informed of the arrests. The Press Attache at the Dutch Embassy in Belgrade, Paul van Oostveen, told VOA News the Netherlands will do all it can to support the four men.

    /// VAN OOSTVEEN ACT ///

    We had not expected some story like this at all. But when it is about Dutch citizens, we will of course use all the possibilities we have, all efforts, to help them.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. van Oostveen stressed it may be a long and difficult road to arrive at a diplomatic solution between Yugoslavia and the Netherlands, which supported last years NATO air strikes during the crisis in Kosovo. Yugoslavia's information Minister Goran Matic defended the release of the videotape, saying it proved the four men were hired by foreign intelligence to attack Serb leaders. Mr. Matic says the Dutch nationals were arrested in a border area between the Yugoslav Republics of Serbia and Montenegro. The Yugoslav official told reporters the group was on its way to meet Dutch soldiers in Serbia's Kosovo- province, to pick up weapons for possible terrorist actions against President Milosevic and others. This is not the first time Yugoslavia has alleged that foreign nationals were involved in planning such attacks. Last year, Yugoslavia claimed it had cracked down on a French terrorist organization which Yugoslav officials say planned to kill the Yugoslav leader. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/KBK 31-Jul-2000 19:22 PM EDT (31-Jul-2000 2322 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: U-S stock prices were higher today (Monday), with technology reclaiming some lost ground after big losses last week. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10 points to 10-thousand-521, a modest, fractional gain for the "blue-chips." The Standard and Poor's 500 index moved 11 points higher - less than one percent. However, the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite - which dropped more than 10 percent last week - came back with a triple digit gain, closing almost three percent higher. Investors may have been looking for some bargains among beaten down stocks. But volume was light. Analysts say people generally are cautious because of uncertainty over interest rates and the impact of a slowing economy on corporate profits. More economic data is due out this week, including Friday's July employment report.

    ///REST OPT///

    Wall Street is looking ahead to the August 22nd meeting of the U-S central bank. The Federal Reserve Board left interest rates unchanged in June. But it has raised them six times in the past year, and many experts predict at least one more rate hike before the year is out. Meanwhile, some analysts are warning investors not to be too encouraged by Monday's rally, particularly in the technology sector. Investment strategist Jerry Castellini says look for a steeper slide in the Nasdaq market because many companies have projected slower growth for the rest of the year.


    It was really the first time we had some widespread disappointments in technology. That's a problem for the whole sector now because before we used to price these things for their upside opportunity and now we're going to start pricing them for their downside risk.

    ///END ACT///

    The Nasdaq composite, which grew nearly 90 percent last year, is down about eight percent so far this year. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/KBK 31-Jul-2000 17:09 PM EDT (31-Jul-2000 2109 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The U-S news media is focused on Philadelphia for the next few days as the Republican presidential nominating convention opens. There is little suspense, as Governor George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney will be nominated for president and vice president respectively. Other editorials include comments on the free music controversy involving the Internet: the potential of oil riches for Equatorial Guinea in West Africa; the curse of Africa's diamonds; dealing with Jerusalem in the Middle East peace talks; and the latest from Northern Ireland. Now here is ________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The Republican Convention opens in Philadelphia today and many papers are leading their editorial columns with related commentaries. The New York Times is talking about the effort to win less conservative voters.

    VOICE: Governor George W. Bush knows that he cannot be elected president unless he gets votes from many people who do not agree with him or the Republican Party platform on issues such as abortion, gun control, capital punishment, and the privatization of Social Security. That is why today is gear-shifting day in Philadelphia. ... deliberations of the platform committee all emphasized the conservative part of Mr. Bush's background ... Once the first session of the ... convention opens ... the nation will see four nights devoted to ... the politics of pleasantry. ... Governor Bush has imposed ...[a] rule to make sure that ideology does not trump his preferred themes of tolerance and inclusion.

    TEXT: In Georgia, The Savannah Morning News worries about boredom.

    VOICE: The ... Convention begins ... in ... a city rich in the nation's political tradition and history. Ironically, the convention promises to eschew many of those ... trappings. ... The ... convention will be sanitized of anything remotely compelling - debates over policy, grumbling about candidates, even sharp disagreements with Democrats ... The party is not staging a new event, but rather a television show ... It is content-free, designed only to make you feel good, not to think.

    TEXT: In Maine, Portland's Press Herald disagrees with that assessment. It cites a potential fight over the anti-abortion plank in the Republican platform [Ed's: the platform is a series of philosophical statements on which the candidates run] as a source of conflict. While today's Dallas Morning News says the critical thing at stake is for Governor Bush to - define - himself for the American public. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sees the convention more as a - coronation - for Mr. Bush than as a party gathering for a - frank exchange of views. And in Boston, The Christian Science Monitor feels this lack of partisanship is a - shrewd political strategy.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// A mere year ago, Republicans might have been raring to blast the Clinton-Gore record. Scandals from '96 fund- raising infractions to Monica-gate would have been targeted. ... Now, a purposefully genial G-O-P standard-bearer appears to be setting out to "out-Clinton" Clinton - or at least his heir apparent, Al Gore. /// END OPT /// ... Mr. Bush... recognizes that, scandals aside, the incumbent president is highly regarded by many voters. The electorate is in no mood for vicious attack.

    TEXT: The other popular story of the day, is the fate of a computer company called Napster. It allows computer operators to copy hit music for free off the Internet. Last week a judge ruled the company out of business because it was breaking copyright laws, but a higher court stayed the verdict on appeal. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says that technology is running ahead of the law in this field, and suggests:

    VOICE: ... even if that appeal proves unsuccessful ... a victory for the recording industry in this battle would not mean the war against Net-delivered music had been won. In fact, if the industry were smart, it would sue for peace.

    TEXT: In Connecticut, The Hartford Courant agrees with the original judge's order, shutting Napster down, adding:

    VOICE: The Napster Web site represents the best and ... worst of the new electronic world. The Internet has enabled aspiring musicians to promote their songs directly to consumers. But it has also created operators such as Napster that have conditioned users to believe ... they are entitled to free downloading of their favorite music, regardless of copyright laws.

    TEXT: Overseas, to African affairs, and the sudden potential of oil wealth for Equatorial Guinea, with the discovery of large deposits off shore, draws this warning from The New York Times.

    VOICE: If the new oil revenue is managed well, it can educate, heal and provide jobs for the country's half-million people. But oil brings risks as well as opportunities. Rarely have developing countries used oil money to improve the lives of the majority of citizens or bring steady economic growth. /// OPT /// More often, oil revenues have caused crippling economic distortions and been spent on showy projects, weapons and Paris shopping trips for government officials. The people of misgoverned Equatorial Guinea may see few benefits from their nation's oil. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal today praises the world's diamond industry for adopting new documentation and verification rules. They effectively ban sales of diamonds fueling civil conflict in Angola, Sierra Leone, and Congo. But the Beacon Journal adds:

    VOICE: No one should expect atrocities to end overnight if conflict diamonds disappear. Before diamonds, there was illegal trade in ivory fueling African violence. What resource might be next?

    TEXT: Turning to the Middle East, and the stumbling block Jerusalem posed at the Camp David summit, the Augusta [Georgia] Chronicle exclaims:

    VOICE: Arabs and Jews can work and live together, and perhaps one day even have respective `capitals" in both parts of the sprawling city. But for Israel to insist that Jerusalem always be "part" of Israel, or [Mr.] Arafat to claim that "the whole city" should be Palestine's capital, only stymies any future accord.

    TEXT: To another trouble spot, Northern Ireland, where more political prisoners are being released, including both protestant and Roman Catholic killers. The Cleveland, Ohio Plain Dealer, noting the anguish of their victim's families comments:

    VOICE: /// OPT /// Paramilitary groups have yet to give up any weapons, and breakaway groups actually have used theirs; sectarian violence continues to flare at the local level; and terrorists exercise gangster-like control over many ...communities. Against that, /// END OPT

    /// for most in Northern Ireland life is better than it has been in years. Should that situation stand, history may render a favorable judgment on what today is hard for many to swallow.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: North Korea's continuing diplomatic offensive to cast off its xenophobic and hostile image has The Honolulu Star Bulletin still guessing.

    VOICE: North Korea is engaged in a goodwill campaign but it is hard to fathom what its true intentions are. ... the hour-long talk of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her North Korean counterpart, Paek Nam-sun, at an Asian security forum in Bangkok had considerable symbolic importance. But that was about the size of it. ... The Albright-Paek meeting could be highly significant, but as usual the North Koreans are keeping the world guessing as to what their intentions are.

    TEXT: And lastly, some thoughts on the crash of the supersonic Concorde last week near Paris from today's Charleston [South Carolina] Post and Courier.

    VOICE: Last week's tragic crash ... has grounded the French fleet ... while answers are sought in the rubble. Whatever the cause, the crash serves as a reminder of the advancing age of the world's fastest commercial passenger plane - and the possibility that each may soon be reaching the end of its operational life.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: That concludes this brief sampling of comment from the editorial pages of Monday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 31-Jul-2000 11:41 AM EDT (31-Jul-2000 1541 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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