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Voice of America, 00-08-11

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

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





    INTRO: A court in Warsaw has cleared former Polish President Lech Walesa of charges that he was an informant for Poland's Communist-era security police. Mr. Walesa says there was never any real evidence against him. V-O-A's Walter Wisniewski [pron: vish- `NYEFF-skee] reports (from our European News Center).

    TEXT: Polish government documents dating back nearly 20 years show there once was an attempt to brand Mr. Walesa as a secret police collaborator. But a special court in Warsaw has decided those documents were faked apparently in an attempt to deny Mr. Walesa the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Walesa was awarded the Peace Prize in 1983, three years after he founded Poland's Solidarity free trade union. Solidarity eventually took a leading role in the Polish government (in 1989), paving the way for the end of Communist rule in central and eastern Europe. Mr. Walesa became Poland's first post-war, democratically elected president 10 years ago. It was during his five years as head of state that rumors first began to circulate, suggesting he had once been an informer for the security police. Mr. Walesa always maintained his complete innocence, and he reacted joyfully to the court ruling that vindicated him. He is now free to run for the presidency again in October, against Alexander Kwasniewski, a popular former Communist who succeeded Mr. Walesa (in 1995). The same court that declared Mr. Walesa innocent of any links to the security police also cleared Mr. Kwasniewski (on Thursday), saying special prosecutors had failed to provide convincing evidence that he ever was an informer. (Signed)
    NEB/WTW/JP 11-Aug-2000 13:27 PM LOC (11-Aug-2000 1727 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Trading was moderate on Wall Street today (Friday) but the Nasdaq Composite made a modest comeback while the Dow Jones Industrials topped 11- thousand for the first time since the end of April. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 119 points to close at 11-thousand-twenty-seven point- eighty, a one percent gain. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 Index gained eleven-and-one-half points, almost one percent. The best performing stocks of the day - and the week - were found in the tobacco sector. Philip Morris took the lead, surging after a Goldman Sachs analyst said class action litigation by smokers is waning. Energy, brokerage and retail stocks also gained. Strong biotech stocks helped the Nasdaq composite recover modestly from a decline Thursday to finish up more than 29 points, almostone percent, despite concerns about Dell, the biggest direct seller of personal computers. After the market closed Thursday, Dell had reported a smaller than expected rise in second quarter sales due to weak sales in Europe and slowing demand for desktops P-Cs. For the most part, analysts say investors were cheered by newly-released government reports showing both low levels of inflation and strong retail sales for July.

    /// REST OPT for long ///

    Pharmaceutical stocks are still experiencing the fallout from a court decision earlier in the week. The court said the Eli Lilly Company cannot use a second patent to keep competitors from marketing generic brands of Prozac, the world's biggest selling antidepressant. The decision gave a boost to generic drug makers. With many major drug patents expiring in the next few years, Lehman Brothers analyst Richard Silver says there has never been a better time for drug manufacturers.

    /// SILVER ACT ////

    I think in the history of the pharmaceutical industry we have not seen a wave of patent expirations like we are expecting over the next five years. About 43 billion dollars of brand sales that could face generic competition over the next five years versus about 11 billion dollars for the last five years.

    /// END ACT ///

    Stock analysts will be closely watching the performance of the pharmaceutical industry next week. They will also be looking at technology stocks to see if Nasdaq continues its gains. John Gifford heads Maxim Integrated Products, a company that makes analog and mixed signal integrated systems products. He says recent reports about a down cycle in the information technology industry are misleading.

    ///GIFFORD ACT ///

    We are actually in the beginning periods of the information age. This is analogous in civilization to the Iron Age, the period where oil and autos drove the economy, even the Industrial Revolution. This is a period that pales those in terms of the opportunities and the duration of it. So I don't think of it as a cycle.

    ////END ACT ////

    Next week the government releases its reports on consumer prices and jobless claims - two important indicators of whether or not U-S central bank policymakers will raise interest rates at their August meeting. (Signed) NEB/NYC/bjs/LSF/PT 11-Aug-2000 18:05 PM EDT (11-Aug-2000 2205 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Politics is very much on the minds of editorial writers at many U-S dailies this Friday, and with good reason. The Reform Party convention is underway in Long Beach California, while Democrats are converging on nearby Los Angeles for the start of their convention Monday. Other editorial topics include the new U-S effort in Sierra Leone; a U-N snub for the Dalai Lama; some tributes to a very historic submarine's new life and a baby bald eagle here in the nation's capital. Now, here is ________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: There has been a lot of pushing and shoving and angry words at the Reform Party convention, as competing forces of candidates Pat Buchanan and a rival, John Hagelin, who is also the presidential nominee of the Natural Law Party. The two sides are primarily fighting over more than 12-million-dollars in federal election funds due the Reform Party candidate. The Reform Party, founded by Texas billionaire businessman Ross Perot in 1992 as an alternative to the Democratic and Republican parties, has recently suffered from severe, internal dissension. The Detroit News is dismayed:

    VOICE: It's ironic to see ugly politics from a party that promised to end ugly politics. The Reform Party seems hopeless, in more ways than one. Third parties naturally have a tough row to hoe (a difficult time). America has a longstanding two-party tradition. ... The Reform Party's most recognizable issues have simply become glum. Federal budget deficits are no longer a problem, and the party hasn't sent a clear message about what should be done with the budget surpluses that have replaced them.

    TEXT: Minnesota's Saint Paul Pioneer Press is also sad to see the apparent demise of what once was, briefly, a meaningful alternative to the two major parties.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// That giant sucking sound you hear is the Reform Party going down the drain. Eight years after Ross Perot started the party on an ego trip; Pat Buchanan is about to finish it on an ego trip. /// END OPT /// Two lessons emerge ... from the sorry mess ... One is that the cult of personality is insufficient to build an American political party. The other is you are going to be ripped off [Editors: " you, the taxpayer, are going to be stolen from"] for at least 12-point-five million dollars to fund a Reform presidential candidate.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: In Connecticut, the Waterbury Republican- American points out, that while people criticized the Republican convention for being scripted, and well disciplined, the Reform Party gathering shows the ugly side of what can happen when discipline is lacking.

    /// END OPT ///

    Moving on to the Democrats, there are several comments about Al Gore's running mate, Senator Joseph Lieberman, who was chosen, the papers say, mainly for his character. The Wall Street Journal, in a long editorial reciting Mr. Gore's campaign financing problems, and apparent lies to investigators, then asks, despite Mr. Lieberman's excellent character:

    VOICE: "Does anyone, Republican or Democrat, seriously believe that under Mr. Gore, the next four years would be any different from the last eight?" ... On the basis of experience, one may reasonably ask: Will Al Gore contaminate Joe Lieberman?

    TEXT: And in USA Today, published in a Washington, D- C suburb, there are even questions about Mr. Lieberman's supposedly impeccable character.

    VOICE: Behind [Senator] Lieberman's shiny image is a politician who built his career on contributions from special interests. There's nothing illegal about this; [Mr.] Lieberman is just doing what many others do. But it is the appearance of connections between money and public policy that tarnishes democracy. /// OPT ... [Real] reform requires breaking the links between special-interest money and individual campaigns. ... /// END OPT /// Change is long overdue.

    TEXT: Lastly on politics, today's New York Times is critical of the expansive role President and Mrs. Clinton plan to play at the Democratic Convention, suggesting:

    VOICE: As has so often been the case in the Clinton administration, the thirst for campaign money ... seems to be overriding both good manners and political prudence. ... Mr. Gore does not get to be the star of his own show until it is half over ...

    TEXT: A popular international topic is new U-S aid to Sierra Leone, by way of training Nigerian and other West African troops for a peacekeeping role there. The Boston Globe suggests:

    VOICE: Ever since 18 U-S peacekeepers were slaughtered if Somalia in 1993, the United States has been loath to send its forces to Africa. This week, a top Clinton administration official announced that significant numbers of G-Is would be returning to Africa - as trainers of African peacekeepers. ... Washington hopes that U-S-trained regional soldiers will be able to restore the power of the Sierra Leone government.

    TEXT: The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is pleased at this latest move.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// The New York Times reported ... Washington had previously refused to help the U-N peacekeepers and tried to charge high rates for ... U- S planes to ferry soldiers of other nations to Sierra Leone. That position was criticized in Congress and by Britain, which had dispatched its own troops to help restore order in its former colony. /// END OPT

    /// ... This is not a situation in which direct U-s involvement seems necessary or appropriate. However, the United States' position of leadership in the world community does not permit Washington to ignore requests that it perform such tasks as training and equipping peacekeepers.

    TEXT: In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Star Tribune wants the Republican-controlled Congress to release funds to pay for the training.

    /// OPT ///

    VOICE: As things stand, the United States is scheduled to undertake ... training Nigerian peacekeepers that the Republican Congress refuses to help deploy.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: More outrage at a snub by the United Nations of Tibet's exiled Dalai Lama, who has been left off the guest list for a Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. The Tulsa [Oklahoma] World says politics has no place determining the guest list.

    VOICE: Nowhere is that more important than in the United States. So ... the United Nations should ignore China's selfish and politically motivated demand and invite the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Of the snub, the Washington Post says:

    VOICE: ... China's veto turns what was planned as a showcase for the power of faith into a case study in the power of power.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Today's Chattanooga [Tennessee] Free Press is one of several papers outraged at the Moscow subway bombing in Russia.

    VOICE: Whoever was responsible, the crime was like countless other acts of terrorism throughout the world. Vicious, irresponsible killers victimized innocent people. Terrorism is one of the worst kinds of senseless horror.

    TEXT: Many papers have been cheering the raising this week from Charleston, South Carolina harbor of the first submarine anywhere to sink an enemy ship. It is the Hunley, a U-S Confederate submarine that sank a Union warship blockading the harbor 136 years ago. The Chicago Tribune says of the 20-million-dollar reclamation project:

    VOICE: It was a noble effort. Not every watery grave ought to be disturbed. ... And there is no effort here to legitimize black slavery, for which the Confederacy stood. The raising of the Hunley is, rather, a chance to reflect upon the fervor of an age long gone.

    TEXT: And finally, joy at the birth, earlier this year, of a baby bald eagle within the confines of Washington, D.C. It is the first such birth of the nation's avian symbol in half a century, and in Oklahoma, The Tulsa World rejoices.

    VOICE: What a perfect symbol: a mother and father bald eagle and their recently hatched baby, soaring above our nation's capital. ... if this little family can stand the likes of the largest conglomeration of politicians in the world, it suggests the species can stand just about anything.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude our editorial rounds from the U-S daily papers for this Friday.
    NEB/ANG/KL 11-Aug-2000 11:41 AM EDT (11-Aug-2000 1541 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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