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Voice of America, 00-08-21

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

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





    INTRO: Despite continuing ethnic violence in Kosovo, Kosovo Albanian leader Hashim Thaci says he is optimistic about the development of a multi-ethnic democracy in the province. VOA Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United Nations.

    TEXT: At a meeting with reporters, Mr. Thaci said democracy in Kosovo can not be built with various ethnic groups living separately, that they must live together. Speaking with the aid of an English translator, Mr. Thaci said the local elections scheduled for October are an important step toward democracy.


    We in Kosovo are very much interested in building a life that is free for everybody to trust each other and to build a real coexistence between people.

    /// END ACT ///

    He expressed confidence that Serbs and other minorities in Kosovo will be integrated into new democratic institutions. Mr. Thaci, the former head of the now-disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army, is currently the leader of Kosovo's Democratic party. He condemned the recent politically- motivated violence in Kosovo, saying it is an attempt to derail democracy, an effort he believes will not succeed. He appeared to side-step the question of whether Kosovo should eventually gain independence or remain a province of Serbia. He said that, once democratic institutions are firmly in place, residents of Kosovo will have a chance to express their will. However, he strongly condemned Yugoslavia's leader Slobodan Milosovic and Mr. Thaci made sure his translator mentioned Mr. Milosovic by name.


    Kosovo can not be a victim of Belgrade's fascism. (Thaci: "Milosovic") Milosovic's Belgrade fascism.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Thaci refused to comment on next month's elections in Yugoslavia saying they are elections in a quote "neighboring country." (Signed) NEB/BA/LSF/TVM/FC 21-Aug-2000 17:19 PM EDT (21-Aug-2000 2119 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit today/Monday accused the country's president, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, of hindering Turkey's fight against radical Islam. Amberin Zaman has the report from Ankara.

    TEXT: President Sezer rejected for a second time a draft decree that would enable the government to fire civil servants deemed to be Islamic fundamentalists or Kurdish separatists. President Sezer vetoed the decree saying it was unconstitutional. Prime Minister Ecevit said Mr. Sezer's decision - in the prime minister's words - "makes it harder for the state to do its duty and to defend the constitutional order." Analysts had predicted that President Sezer's rejection for a second time of the controversial decree would further strain relations with Turkey's coalition government, led by Prime Minister Ecevit. Turkey's influential military is widely believed to be in favor of the decree, which would make it possible to dismiss hundreds of civil servants accused of links with armed radical groups and Kurdish separatists. Turkey's generals view themselves as the sole custodians of the pro- secular legacy of the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk. And they believe that Islamic militancy constitutes the greatest threat to Turkey's efforts toward full integration with Europe. President Sezer says the decree does not conform with the principles of the rule of law. He says that it is up to the Turkish parliament to legislate bills that would authorize the government to take such action. He used those grounds in early August to overturn the measure for the first time. Prime Minister Ecevit sent it back then saying the president - in his words was "obliged" to sign it. Some analysts say that President Sezer's objection stems from his legal background. Before being elected president last may, Mr. Sezer was the top judge of Turkey's constitutional court. His secular credentials have never been held in question. As president of the constitutional court, he voted in favor of banning the Welfare Party, Turkey's largest pro-Islamic political organization. But most analysts agree that whatever Mr. Sezer's motives, the outcome of his rejection will have profound political consequences. Prime Minister Ecevit said as much last week when he sent the decree back to the president. Prime Minister Ecevit warned that if he failed to sign it a crisis would erupt in the country. He did not specify, however, what form the crisis would take. Turkish opposition leaders, meanwhile, have hailed Mr. Sezer's decision as a victory for Turkish democracy. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/GE/KL 21-Aug-2000 12:38 PM EDT (21-Aug-2000 1638 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: All major Wall Street indices closed up today (Monday). But it was a quiet day as investors waited to see whether or not the U-S central bank raises interest rates at its Tuesday meeting. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 33 points at 11-thousand-79 -- less than half of one percent. The broader Standard and Poor's Index was up more than half of one percent. Defense and financial stocks took the lead with drug and health care shares -- recovering from a slump on Friday -- also making gains. In one of the lightest volume days of the year, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index pulled out of a decline to finish up half of one percent Wall Street analysts say investors were hesitant to take any bold action before the U-S central bank's Tuesday meeting to discuss the future direction of the U-S economy.

    /// REST OPT for long ///

    The central bank has hiked interest rates six times since June 1999 to hold down inflation but most analysts do not expect another raise. Irwin Kellner, economic professor at Hofstra University, is former chief economist for Chase Manhattan Bank. He says the statement accompanying the central bank's interest rate decision is more important than the decision itself.

    ////KELLNER ACT ///

    This is one instance of where I believe we should watch what they say, not what they do. Because the statement is going to provide critical information as to what the feds want the markets to think later on this year. If the federal reserve is content with the stock market and the economy they will shift to a neutral bias.

    /// END ACT ////

    Shares of the world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, fell amid concern about a consumer spending slowdown that is affecting the entire retail sector. But Verizon stock rose as the telecommunications giant partially settled a 15-day-old strike with its workforce. Investors say they expect the market to remain choppy for the rest of the year. Tom Press manages the U-S Emerging Growth Fund for the Strong financial management firm. He says second and third quarters are traditionally difficult periods, especially for growth stocks.

    ///PRESS ACT ////

    Our feeling is the next couple of months you will probably see a little more turbulence in the markets. But we think we are setting up for a very good period as we do think the economy is showing signs of slowing down. Small to mid cap growth stocks tend to do better when the economy is slowing down because they look better on a relative basis.

    //// END ACT ////

    Energy shares continued to climb as crude oil approached 32 dollars a barrel and traders said the demand for natural gas was at a record high. Meanwhile, one of the world's largest offshore drillers, Transocean Sedco Forex, announced plans to buy rival R-And-B Falcon for almost six billion dollars. Transocean will also assume three billion dollars in debt. If the merger is approved, the company will have 211 offshore rigs and be one of only a handful of drillers with the equipment capable of operating at the depths where undiscovered oil reservoirs are located. Transocean president Michael Talbert says the merger will give Transocean new business and access to the North American gas market, among other considerations.

    /// TALBERT ACT -opt--////

    It certainly expands and extends the capabilities of our fleet which, given our customers' needs -- particularly in some of the technically demanding markets they are moving to -- that is very important.

    /// END ACT -end opt--///

    In other merger news, the largest U-S savings and loan company, Washington Mutual, said it will buy Bank United Corporaton. (Signed) NEB/NYC/bjs/LSF/PT 21-Aug-2000 17:19 PM EDT (21-Aug-2000 2119 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Editorial writers in the United States are continuing to take aim at presidential election issues. International issues also drawing comment include last week's family reunions in North and South Korea and the muzzling of the press in Iran. Here is ____________, with a sampling of editorials in Monday's newspapers

    TEXT: Monday's Wall Street Journal takes note of some of the European news coverage of the recently- concluded American political conventions. It says just like in the American media, some of the European reporting tended to emphasize peripheral matters, rather than the major issues facing the two parties. But the Journal went on to say:

    VOICE: Of course, at the end of the day, what is most important for Europeans are American policies, in particular its foreign policies. If it is any reassurance to our European friends, we can attest that notwithstanding the convention fluffery and the nonsense of celebrity interviews, the American political process does manage in the end to produce a foreign policy that has been fairly consistent over time, whichever party is in power, and is usually based on sound principles, not the least being the sacred democratic ideals upon which the great party pageants are founded.

    TEXT: The New York Times takes a look at what the paper calls an unhelpful debate over Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush's allegation that American military forces have been "hollowed out." The Times editorial writer disagrees with Governor Bush but beyond that says there are a host of more important defense issues that should be discussed:

    VOICE: The United States has by far the world's most powerful military forces and invests more money in maintaining them and their weapons than the next 10 largest countries combined spend on their militaries. The question for Americans to consider is whether the armed forces are adapting quickly enough to fight the kinds of battles they are likely to face in the years ahead. . . Mr. Bush has offered a few thoughtful and provocative ideas on defense but now needs to move beyond generalities. Mr. Gore, long a student of military issues, has seemed content to let the Clinton administration's record and policies speak for themselves.... Both candidates have chosen running mates who are interested and knowledgeable about military issues. The two tickets should now move on to an expansive defense debate.

    TEXT: The Chicago Tribune, meanwhile, gives high marks to both parties for their efforts to reach out to America's minorities:

    VOICE: A refreshing competition has emerged during this political season. Both major parties are vying to see who can be the more inclusive organization, ethnically and otherwise. Even before Democratic candidate Al Gore announced that he had chosen the first Jewish vice presidential candidate of any major American political party's ticket, George W. Bush had made an appeal to blacks and Hispanics a defining goal of his campaign.

    TEXT: The Baltimore Sun is commenting on the family reunions that took place last week in North and South Korea, when 100 families from each side of the divided nation were allowed to see their loved ones on the other for the first time in nearly 50 years. The Sun calls the meetings a token gesture and wonders whether there will be any long term positive implications from the event:

    VOICE: They did nothing for millions of Koreans severed from relatives for a half-century.... At the rate that visits are planned, fewer than one percent of Koreans with family members in the other Korea will ever see them. At best, this episode will create overwhelming pressures in both Koreas to allow the real thing. In the South Korea of President Kim Dae Jung, that would not be a problem. The North Korea of the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il remains a shrouded question mark.

    TEXT: A Washington Times editorial on Monday accuses Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of using Soviet-style repression to crush freedom of the press. The latest example, it says is the court-imposed ban last Thursday placed on the pro-reform newspaper Ava:

    VOICE: Just printing the truth in Iran is a major threat to the clerical regime. The media have exposed the regime's brutality and corruption and fans the people's already desperate desire for change. The courts have now done away with that problem.... Every independent newspaper in Iran has been closed and the ayatollah has blocked Parliament's efforts to limit the court's crackdown on media outlets.... Discontent with the regime's limits on ideological and economic freedom won't have any outlets, setting up a potentially dangerous political explosion.

    TEXT: And that concludes today's review of editorial opinion in the United States.
    NEB/FC/KL 21-Aug-2000 13:12 PM EDT (21-Aug-2000 1712 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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