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Voice of America, 00-08-22

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

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





    INTRO: The head of Yugoslavia's mission to the United Nations, Vladislav Jovanovic, said today (Tuesday) that the recent closing of a lead smelting plant in Kosovo is another example of what he called a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" in the province. VOA Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United Nations.

    TEXT: Mr. Jovanovic told reporters the NATO takeover last week of the Trepca mining complex in Kosovo was an effort to drive the mostly Serbian workforce at the plant out of Kosovo. He charged it was another example of a campaign by Albanian extremists to rid Kosovo of minorities.

    /// JOVANOVIC ACT ///

    It is more than evident that the action against the Serbian-owned smelting plant was aimed at intimidation and expulsion of the remaining Serbian population in northern Kosovo and the extension of control of that part of Kosovo by Albanian extremists.

    /// END ACT ///

    The chief U-N administrator in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, says the smelting plant was seized because it was emitting toxic pollution 200 times the level accepted by the World Health Organization. Mr. Jovanovic denies there was a pollution problem at the plant. But he says that, even if there was, it was not sufficient reason to shut the plant. But Mr. Kouchner says at least 160 people in the area near the plant have been hospitalized in the past year because of lead poisoning and the plant will remain closed until repairs can be made, work that could take several months. Mr. Jovanovic has requested a special meeting of the U-N Security Council to discuss the closing of the smelter. However, previous communications to the Council from Mr. Jovanovic have been largely ignored. (Signed) NEB/BA/LSF/TVM/PT 22-Aug-2000 15:56 PM EDT (22-Aug-2000 1956 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Wall Street posted mixed results today (Tuesday), following the decision of the Federal Reserve -- the U-S central bank - to keep interest rates at the current rate of six and-one-half percent. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from New York.

    TEXT: The investment community's reaction to the Federal Reserve Board's decision was tempered. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 59 points to finish at 11-thousand-139 -- up half of one percent. But the broader Standard and Poor's 500 Index lost nine-tenths of one percent. The technology-weighted Nasdaq Composite Index finished up five points. Discount retailers and financial stocks were among the leaders and defense stocks continued to move up on signs that defense spending will be an issue in the U- S presidential campaign.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Traders had expected the central bank to decide against an interest rate raise but were looking for hints of what the policymakers will do for the rest of the year. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Federal Reserve Board cautioned against the threat of inflation, suggesting the possibility of future rate hikes. Lyle Gramley, a former Federal Reserve Board governor, says the Fed is more interested in curbing inflation than stimulating growth.

    /// GRAMLEY ACT ///

    If stocks were to begin roaring again and consumer spending began reviving on the scale we had from the middle of 1999 through the first quarter it would really leave the Fed with no alternative but to raise rates. So I think the Fed clearly would like to see markets stay kind of settled rather than a new boom developing in both the bond and stock markets.

    /// END ACT ////

    Many Wall Street insiders say a period of calm is precisely what they expect for the rest of the year. Robert Stovall, senior market strategist at Prudential Securities, says there will be little dramatic movement in the market in the months ahead.

    /// STOVALL ACT ///

    We have to cope with the Olympics for the second half of next month. The campaign will still be in the formative stages and beginning to roll. I think that a lot of citizenry attention -- and the public is a large factor in markets now - is going to be directed elsewhere. So we have had an amazingly flat, albeit volatile market no matter what average you look at since last April and I think it is going to edge upward but nothing dramatic.

    /// END ACT ///

    Nike, the world's leading manufacturer of athletic shoes, has announced it is forming a new unit to focus on women's shoes. Meanwhile, software giant Microsoft Corporation has asked the Supreme Court to allow a lower court to hear its appeal of antitrust violations. Last week, the U-S Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to hear the appeal as soon as possible. (Signed) NEB/BJS/LSF/TVM/PT 22-Aug-2000 17:29 PM EDT (22-Aug-2000 2129 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The tragic conclusion to the Russian submarine drama is among topics drawing comment Tuesday from editorial writers in the United States. Among other issues are the prospect for debates among U-S presidential candidates, global warming, and the two million young people who answered Pope John Paul's call to gather in Rome last weekend. Here is ____________, with a sampling of editorials in Tuesday's newspapers

    TEXT: American newspaper editorialists are looking for lessons in the loss of the 118 lives in the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk. The Los Angeles Times says Moscow cannot afford to properly maintain its armed forces. It sees the tragedy as a warning to Russia's leaders to cease trying to maintain military forces equal to the United States while spending only a small fraction of what Washington pays for upkeep:

    VOICE: The (Russian) military, strongly supported by nationalists in parliament, resists any reductions; it equates size with strength. But a hollow defense force protects nothing. Presidents, even in Russia, are elected to make hard choices. For (President Vladimir) Putin, a key choice is either bring Russia's armed forces into line with available resources or accept the risk of other Kursk-type tragedies.

    TEXT: The Christian Science Monitor says the Russian leadership has learned one lesson from the loss of the Kursk: the Russian people will no longer tolerate official deception in a crisis:

    VOICE: All during this nine-day drama, resentment among Russians grew as the government neglected public opinion, controlled media coverage and just outright lied. . . In the half-democracy that is Russia today, such an outbreak of public opinion has great potential as a positive political force. It will counter Mr. Putin's attempt to restore authoritarian rule and stifle criticism. And it will put more fire in the belly of journalists not to succumb to the power of the government.

    TEXT: The Washington Post Tuesday is critical of the decision by Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet to withhold the release of hundreds of documents about Chile during the rule of former dictator General Augusto Pinochet. The documents could be useful in the pending prosecution of General Pinochet on human rights charges. Mr. Tenet says he is acting to protect secret intelligence methods. But the Post says it would be more in the U-S national interest to make the documents public:

    VOICE: Particularly with regard to events decades ago, the American public's right to assess the historical conduct of its government weighs heavily - as do the benefits of helping new democracies in Latin America come to terms with their history. In this matter, disclosure would do more to bolster U-S foreign policy than secrecy.

    TEXT: The Wall Street Journal takes note Tuesday of what it says may have been the largest pilgrimage in Roman history - the gathering of some two million youths from around the world who answered Pope John Paul's call for them to come to Rome. While a number of journalists, seeking to explain why so many young people were attracted to the event, likened it to the giant U-S rock concert Woodstock of a generation ago, the Wall Street Journal says that description misses the point:

    VOICE: Woodstock and the concerts that followed it were about the desire to shed responsibility. . .The drugs and everything goes culture that they spawned ended in acid emptiness and has offered up all to many prominent persons powerless to tell right from wrong. That many young people today yearn for better guideposts for leading useful and rewarding lives is a welcome sign.

    TEXT: The problem of global warming is addressed in an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Earlier this month, visitors to the North Pole aboard a Russian icebreaker were surprised to find open water where ice and snow should be. The Inquirer acknowledges that is not scientific proof of global warming, but says the incident should nevertheless sound alarms. The paper notes the dispute in the United States over whether or not to sign the 1997 Kyoto protocols on reducing greenhouse gas production. Critics call it one-sided and economically harmful. But the Philadelphia Enquirer applauds voluntary measures recently announced by two American auto companies:

    VOICE: . . . maybe the environment and sales can get along: just weeks ago, General Motors and Ford said they would voluntarily increase the mileage of their sport utility vehicles and pick-ups, thereby reducing the production of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. Both (presidential) candidates should pledge to increase federal fuel-mileage standards for all car-makers.

    TEXT: A number of domestic issues are on the minds of American editorialists. The Baltimore Sun, discussing the nationwide shortage of teachers and school administrators, says the problem is resulting in some benefits: better teacher pay, school authorities are becoming more accessible to teachers and schools are reaching out beyond the usual sources for staff, bringing in people with fresh ideas and energy. The Christian Science Monitor is casting a dubious eye on the decision by the midwestern city of Detroit to build casinos to bring much-needed revenue into municipal coffers. The move is the latest in what the paper sees as a harmful nationwide gaming explosion, spurred by the need of local governments for money. The Christian Science Monitor says the potential costs in bankruptcies, broken families and wrecked lives from gambling addiction is staggering.

    VOICE: In all cases, the lure is economic gain, often for long impoverished communities. But that lure has an indisputable dark side that no amount of money can hide.

    TEXT: Comment Tuesday on the American political season includes a call by the New York Times for the two major presidential candidates to have at least three nationally televised debates, beginning as soon as possible. It calls on the candidates to stop arguing over the format and number of sessions. The Times' editorial writer says the sides are evenly matched:

    VOICE: (Polls) show that the public is more inclined to favor (Vice President Gore) on the economy, Social Security, education and health. It stands to reason in Mr. Gore's camp that a debate might underscore these and other issues. Mr. Bush on the other hand, has developed into a forceful and articulate candidate with what many voters believe are appealing leadership qualities. His confident manner could easily make up for any inability to recite facts and legislation as Mr. Gore has shown he can do.

    TEXT: And with that comment we conclude today's summary of American editorial opinion.
    NEB/FC/KL 22-Aug-2000 12:40 PM EDT (22-Aug-2000 1640 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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