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Voice of America, 96-12-30

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CHRISTIAN INFORMATION SERVICE BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [04] EUROPE/WEATHER (L ONLY) BY DAGMAR BREITENBACH (BONN)
  • [05] SERBIA / PRESSURE MOUNTS (L) BY COLIN SOLOWAY (BELGRADE)

  • [01] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/30/96
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-09951
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON MONDAY DECEMBER 30TH //

    INTRO: THE STRIKES IN SOUTH KOREA AND THE GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE ARE A FAVORITE TOPIC OF AMERICAN EDITORIAL WRITERS ON THIS LAST MONDAY OF 1996.

    OTHER TOPICS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN TALKS ON HEBRON; USING MARIJUANA FOR PAIN RELIEF; THE PERUVIAN HOSTAGE SITUATION; PRESIDENT CLINTON'S NEW HOUSING CHIEF AND THE CHURCH ARSONS IN THE SOUTH.

    NOW, HERE IS _______________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: BOTH THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE BALTIMORE SUN ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE ACTIONS OF THE SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT AND THE MASSIVE LABOR STRIKE WHICH IS PARALYZING THE NATION. IN AN EDITORIAL TITLED "GHOSTS OF DICTATORSHIP IN SOUTH KOREA," THE TIMES SAYS:

    VOICE: "PRESIDENT KIM YOUNG SAM DEALT A DAMAGING BLOW TO SOUTH KOREA'S EMERGING DEMOCRACY THURSDAY, RUSHING A PERNICIOUS NEW LAW THROUGH THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY THAT ALLOWS THE COUNTRY'S NOTORIOUS AGENCY FOR NATIONAL SECURITY PLANNING ONCE AGAIN TO SPY ON KOREA CITIZENS. MR. KIM, THE COUNTRY'S FIRST DEMOCRATICALLY CHOSEN CIVILIAN PRESIDENT IN THREE DECADES, WAS ELECTED TO ELIMINATE THE REMNANTS OF DICTATORSHIP, NOT REVIVE THEM. AT THE SAME SECRETLY CONVENED, PREDAWN ... SESSION, THE GOVERNMENT ALSO PUSHED THROUGH A CONTROVERSIAL NEW LABOR LAW THAT HAS SET OF NATIONWIDE PROTEST STRIKES. ..... PRESIDENT KIMN'S FIRST YEARS IN OFFICE WERE MARKED BY BOLD DEMOCRATIC REFORMS. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT A PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION THAT STARTED WITH SUCH PROMISE IS NOW FALLING BACK INTO THE AUTHORITARIAN PATTERNS OF KOREA'S PAST."

    TEXT: WHILE IN BALTIMORE, THE SUN LAMENTS:

    VOICE: "THE PASSAGE TO DEMOCRACY, LIKE THE PASSAGE TO DEVELOPED PROSPERITY, CAN BE ROCKY. THE SUDDEN RASH OF STRIKES IN SOUTH KOREA'S LUCRATIVE EXPORT INDUSTRIES ATTESTS TO THAT. THESE WERE POLITICAL STRIKES AGAINST GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION, NOT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING. BUT THE LAW BEING PROTESTED WAS A CHANGE IN LABOR RELATIONS RULES, GIVING EMPLOYERS GREATER LATITUDE IN BREAKING STRIKES AND FIRING WORKERS. PRESIDENT KIM YOUNG SAM'S ALLIES RAMMED THE LAW THROUGH THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AT AN UNANNOUNCED EARLY MORNING MEETING, BEFORE OPPOSITION DEPUTIES COULD MUSTER. ..... THE GOVERNMENT ACTED THAT WAY BECAUSE OPPOSITION DEPUTIES HAD PHYSICALLY BLOCKED EARLIER SESSIONS, WHICH IS NOT DEMOCRATIC BEHAVIOR, EITHER. ... AT BEST, ALL THIS ADDS UP TO GROWING PAINS FOR SOUTH KOREA'S DEMOCRACY AND PROSPERITY."

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST IS WATCHING THE CURRENT NEGOTIATIONS OVER THE MUCH-DELAYED WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAELI TROOPS FROM THE WEST BANK CITY OF HEBRON, AND NOTES:

    VOICE: "THE ISRAELI - PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATIONS ARE AT A DANGEROUS PLACE. THE ISRAELIS ARE RELUCTANT TO SURRENDER TERRITORY, AND THE PALESTINIANS ARE RELUCTANT TO PROVIDE THE SECURITY THAT IS THE INARGUABLE QUID PRO QUO. THE OLD FORMULAS OF LAND FOR PEACE AND A STATE FOR SECURITY ARE FADING. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS NOT ENOUGH FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON TO SEND HIS NEGOTIATORS BACK FOR ONE AFTER ANOTHER SESSION ON HEBRON. HIS ADMINISTRATION MUST ACCEPT THE LARGE NEW POST-OSLO DIMENSION OF THE PROBLEM AND ENGAGE ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN LEADERS DIRECTLY ON IT."

    TEXT: AFTER VOTERS APPROVED BALLOT MEASURES IN CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA THAT, AMONG OTHER THINGS, ALLOW THE PRESCRIPTION OF MARIJUANA FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF ILLNESS, THERE IS A HUGE DEBATE AS TO WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT. THE NEW YORK TIMES SAYS, IN ITS LEAD EDITORIAL MONDAY:

    VOICE: "ALTHOUGH THE VOTERS IN THOSE TWO STATES HAVE CLEARLY SPOKEN, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR EITHER MEASURE TO BE CARRIED OUT WITHOUT SOMEONE VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW. THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION THUS HAS LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO INSIST THAT FEDERAL DRUG STATUES BE ENFORCED. THAT RESPONSE IS NOT ENOUGH, HOWEVER. FEDERAL AUTHORITIES NEED TO ADDRESS CONCERNS THAT A LEGITIMATE TREATMENT FOR SERIOUSLY ILL PATIENTS IS BEING BLOCKED BECAUSE OF BROADER FEARS OF MARIJUANA ABUSE."

    TEXT: THE HOSTAGE DRAMA UNFOLDING IN PERU'S CAPITAL OF LIMA CONTINUES TO DRAW COMMENT IN THE PRESS. ONE APSECT OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TO EDITORIAL WRITERS CONCERNS AN AMERICAN WOMAN, LORI BERENSON OF NEW YORK CITY. SHE IS ONE OF A NUMBER OF JAILED TERRORISTS WHOSE FREEDOM IS BEING SOUGHT BY THE HOSTAGE TAKERS. TODAY'S WASHINGTON TIMES SAYS:

    VOICE: "ONE SIDELIGHT OF THIS EPISODE HAS BEEN TO CORRECT A LINGERING MISPERCEPTION OF EXACTLY WHO THE MRTA ARE - - A MISPERCEPTION THAT HAS ITS ORIGINS IN THE STORY OF AN AMERICAN WOMAN IN A PERUVIAN PRISON, ONE LORI BERENSON, WHOSE CASE BECAME SOMETHING OF A CAUSE CELEBRE AMONG LEFT-LEANING JOURNALISTS EARLIER THIS YEAR. ..... THE UNPLEASANTNESS IN LIMA SHOULD CLEAR THINGS UP FOR AMERICANS. TUPAC AMARU IS CLEARLY IN THE BUSINESS OF TRYING TO IMPOSE ITS WILL THROUGH VIOLENT MEANS. AND LORI BERENSON WAS NO INNOCENT ABROAD."

    TEXT: TODAY'S MIAMI HERALD IS DELIGHTED WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON'S CHOICE FOR THE NEW SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, ANDREW CUOMO (KWO-MO), SON OF THE FAMOUS FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK STATE. IN PART, THE PAPER SAYS:

    VOICE: "ALLEVIATING HOMELESSNESS HAS BEEN ONE OF MR. CUOMO'S PRIORITIES AT HUD. HIS SCOPE OF CONCERN MUST NOW EXPAND TO INCLUDE HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES NATIONWIDE. BUT THE SECRETARY-DESIGNATE SHOULD KNOW THAT, AS A PROVEN FRIEND TO SOUTH FLORIDA, HE'S ALWAYS WELCOME HERE."

    TEXT: AND FINALLY, REGARDING THE SERIES OF CHURCH FIRES THAT HAVE BLAZED ACROSS THE SOUTH DURING THE PAST TWO YEARS. USA TODAY SAYS IN TODAY'S LEAD EDITORIAL:

    VOICE: "THERE'S NO SINGLE DATE THAT MARKS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHURCH BURNINGS THAT HAVE LIT THE NATION IN SUCH AN EVIL GLARE. BUT TODAY'S CELEBRATION OF THE NEW SANCTUARY AT THE SALEM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH IN FRUITLAND, TENNESSEE, BURNED ONE YEAR AGO, IS AS GOOD AS ANY AND BETTER THAN MOST. THE DESTRUCTION OF SALEM MISSIONARY WAS AN ACT OF ARSON ..... IN EARLY 1996 THAT GAVE PROMINENCE TO AN UNNOTICED EPIDEMIC OF FIRES ACROSS THE SOUTH. IT WAS ALSO A BLACK CHURCH, WHICH GAVE FORCE TO THE INITIAL SUSPICION THAT THE FIRES WERE PART OF A RACIST CONSPIRACY. AND IT WAS REBUILT IN A PROFOUND SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY GOOD WILL. VOLUNTEERS RANGED FROM AN ANONYMOUS BIKER WHO WORKED TWO DAYS AND DONATED 100-DOLLARS, TO PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE, WHO ALSO SHOWED UP TO LEND A HAND. TOGETHER THEY SHOWED THAT IF RACIAL MISTRUST IS NOT EASILY OVERCOME, NEITHER IS IT THE NATION'S INESCAPABLE FATE."

    TEXT: THE PAPER GOES ON TO NOTE THAT 134 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED IN 92 CASES OF CHURCH BURNING; THAT BUILDINGS ARE BEING CONSTRUCTED WITH FIRE-RETARDANT MATERIALS AND FIRE-SUPPRESSION EQUIPMENT, AND THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT SURVEILLANCE AND COMMUNITY COOPERATION HAVE ALSO IMPROVED.

    BUT THE PAPER ADDS, DESPITE A RUSH OF EARLY CONCLUSIONS IN THE PRESS, IT COULD FIND NO RACIST CONSPIRACY BEHIND THE BURNINGS. THOSE WHO SET FIRES, USA TODAY CONINTUES, DID SO FOR REASONS OTHER THAN BIGOTRY.

    AND ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF SOME EDITORIALS FROM TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    30-Dec-96 10:40 AM EST (1540 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CHRISTIAN INFORMATION SERVICE BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/30/96
    TYPE=CURRENT AFFAIRS FEATURE
    NUMBER=3-26482
    TELEPHONE=619-3464
    EDITOR=SWANEY
    CONTENT= (TAPE CUTS IN AUDIO SERVICES)

    INTRO: ALTHOUGH ALL THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD TEACH PEACE, IT IS AN IRONY THAT THROUGHOUT HISTORY MEN HAVE EMPLOYED WEAPONS OF DESTRUCTION IN THE NAME OF THEIR RELIGIONS. IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, WHERE THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION IS ETHNICALLY SLAV, PEOPLE ARE DIVIDED ALONG CONFESSIONAL LINES WHICH IN POPULAR PARLANCE ARE CALLED "ETHNIC" -- MUSLIM OR "BOSNIAK," ORTHODOX OR "SERB," AND CATHOLIC OR "CROAT." AN AMERICAN PROTESTANT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION, WITH ITS MAIN OVERSEAS OFFICES IN ZAGREB, IS NOW TRYING TO DO THE WORK OF RECONCILIATION PREACHED IN THE

    CHRISTIAN GOSPEL. VOA'S JUDITH LATHAM RECENTLY SPOKE

    WITH A PEACE CONSULTANT OF THE CHRISTIAN INFORMATION SERVICE IN ZAGREB. HERE'S _____ WITH A REPORT.

    TEXT: A COUPLE OF SHORT BLOCKS FROM THE EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF COUNT JELOCIC [YEL-LOH-CHEECH], WHO DEFENDED THE CROATIANS AGAINST THE HUNGARIAN ARMY IN THE 19TH CENTURY, IS THE OFFICE OF THE CHRISTIAN INFORMATION SERVICE. DESPITE THE TRAFFIC AND HUBBUB IN ZAGREB'S MAIN SQUARE, THE OFFICE OF PEACE CONSULTANT AMY GOPP IS A TRANQUIL SANCTUARY. MS. GOPP SAYS THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE MENNONITE CHURCH IN AMERICA, A PACIFIST CHRISTIAN BODY WITH ORIGINS IN SOUTHERN GERMANY, OPENED ITS OFFICE IN CROATIA ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO.

    TAPE: CUT ONE -- GOPP (0:27) "CHRISTIAN INFORMATION SERVICE STARTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR, SPECIFICALLY WHEN THE CITY OF VUKOVAR IN EASTERN SLAVONIA WAS BEING ATTACKED. AND THE DIRECTOR SAW A NEED FOR INFORMATION TO GO OUT ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING FROM A CHRISTIAN SOCIAL JUSTICE STANDPOINT. AT THE VERY BEGINNING THEY WERE FAX'ING AND DISSEMINATING INFORMATION ALMOST HOURLY ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING. SO THAT IS WHAT THEY WERE BASICALLY VERY INVOLVED WITH FOR THE FIRST THREE YEARS OR SO."

    TEXT: AMY GOPP SAYS THAT, SINCE SHE'S BEEN IN CROATIA, THE FOCUS OF THEIR MISSION HAS CHANGED, FROM PROVIDING INFORMATION TO PEACEMAKING AND ECUMENICAL WORK, WHICH ARE MAJOR NEEDS IN THE REGION AS A WHOLE.

    TAPE: CUT TWO -- GOPP (0:49) "SO, OUR MISSION NOW IS TO REALLY BUILD RELATIONSHIPS ON A GRASSROOTS LEVEL WITH CHURCHES -- PROTESTANT, CATHOLIC, ORTHODOX -- AND ALSO EVENTUALLY TO START TO CULTIVATE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HIGHER OFFICIALS IN THE CHURCHES. AND WE CONSIDER ECUMENICISM TO BE A PART OF PEACEMAKING. WE HAVE A LOCAL PEACE CIRCLE THAT I COORDINATE, WHICH IS AN ECUMENICAL GROUP ITSELF. AND WOMEN ARE THE MOST ACTIVE. AND WE ORGANIZE PEACE PRAYERS, AND THEY ROTATE FROM CHURCH TO CHURCH EVERY MONTH. SO WE'VE HAD A FEW AT CATHOLIC CHURCHES, WE'VE HAD A FEW AT THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN TOWN, AND WE HAVE BECOME GOOD FRIENDS WITH THE ORTHODOX PRIEST THERE. AND AS WELL WE HAVE BEEN TO THE BAPTIST CHURCH, THE LUTHERAN CHURCH, THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, AND OTHER PROTESTANT CHURCHES. WE ALSO HAVE WEEKLY MEETINGS WHERE WE HAVE A PEACE OR JUSTICE ISSUE THAT WE ALL TALK ABOUT."

    TEXT: MS. GOPP SAYS MOST OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THIS ECUMENICAL WORK ARE NOT YOUNG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, AS ONE MIGHT IMAGINE, BUT MIDDLE-AGED PEOPLE WITH WIDE-RANGING LIFE EXPERIENCES.

    TAPE: CUT THREE -- GOPP (0:14) "THIS IS A PASSION THAT I THINK REALLY HAS DEVELOPED IN A LOT OF THEM SINCE THE START OF THE WAR. THEY REALLY ARE NOW STARTING TO SEE THESE ISSUES AS IMPORTANT AND TOUCHING THEIR OWN LIVES. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN PEACE ISSUES BEFORE."

    TEXT: [OPT] THE VERY FIRST DAY AMY GOPP ARRIVED IN ZAGREB, SHE SAYS, SHE MET A YOUNG BOSNIAN CROAT REFUGEE FROM SARAJEVO NAMED "GORAN," WHO WAS DYING OF CANCER.

    TAPE: CUT FOUR -- GOPP (0:31) "AND I REALIZED, IF I REALLY WAS GOING TO LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL, THAT I NEEDED TO TAKE THIS PERSON IN. HE TAUGHT ME THAT A PERSON, NO MATTER HOW TRAUMATIZED, HOW SICK, THAT PERSON STILL HAS DIGNITY AND THAT PERSON SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH. THERE WAS NO WAY THAT I WAS EVER GOING TO FIX GORAN. HE WAS SICK AND HAS SINCE PASSED AWAY. AND IT TAUGHT ME REALLY HOW TO BE ON A MISSION, THAT THIS IS ABOUT SERVICE, AND THAT MEANS THAT WE'RE SERVING BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IN LIFE, THAT LIFE IS HOLY. THE FIRST TIME I WENT TO SARAJEVO I WAS SO INTERESTED BECAUSE THAT WAS HIS HOME, AND HE CONSTANTLY TALKED ABOUT IT." [END OPT]

    TEXT: THE CHRISTIAN INFORMATION SERVICE IS TRYING TO WORK WITH THE FRANCISCAN RELIGIOUS ORDER IN BOSNIA TO DEVELOP A PEACE INSTITUTE IN SARAJEVO. AMY GOPP SAYS SHE WORKS WITH COLLEAGUES IN BELGRADE AND SHE IS ALSO DEVELOPING CONTACTS IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA.

    TAPE: CUT FIVE -- GOPP (0:38) "I THINK CHRISTIAN INFORMATION SERVICE HAS AN IMPORTANT AND CRUCIAL PLACE IN CROATIA BECAUSE THERE'S NO OTHER CHRISTIAN AGENCY THAT'S DOING PEACE AND RECONCILIATION WORK IN THE REGION. WHILE THERE ARE MANY GROUPS, MANY [NONGOVERNMENTAL] ORGANIZATIONS, I FIND MOST OF THEM TO BE SECULAR, AND THEY DON'T COME FROM A CHRISTIAN STANDPOINT. AND FOR THAT REASON, I THINK, THE ECUMENICAL WORK IS SO CRUCIAL FOR US TO DO BECAUSE WE DO HAVE THE BLESSING OF BEING INVOLVED WITH THE CHURCHES IN THE AREA. AND THAT REALLY IS PART OF BREAKING DOWN THE STEREOTYPES AND THE ETHNIC IDENTITIES OF PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE VARIOUS CHURCHES AND RELIGIONS HERE. THAT WORK REALLY NEEDS TO BE DONE."

    TEXT: AMY GOPP SAYS SHE HAS NO ILLUSIONS THAT A SERVICE ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY A SMALL PROTESTANT PACIFIST DENOMINATION WHICH MAKES NO EFFORT TO PROSELYTIZE NEW MEMBERS CAN REVERSE THE COURSE OF HISTORY IN THE REGION. BUT, SHE BELIEVES, INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS -- WHETHER OF CATHOLIC, ORTHODOX, OR PROTESTANT HERITAGE -- MUST JOIN HANDS IN AN ECUMENICAL WAY TO DO THE WORK OF JESUS, THE PRINCE OF PEACE.
    30-Dec-96 4:23 PM EST (2123 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=12/30/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-208067
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: INVESTORS IN WESTERN EUROPE APPEAR READY TO END THE YEAR ON A RECORD HIGH, AS MARKETS IN LONDON AND PARIS MONDAY HIT NEW HEIGHTS. FOR THE DAY'S CLOSING FIGURES, HERE'S V-O-A'S PAUL FRANCUCH IN LONDON.

    TEXT: CLOSING FIGURES WERE UP SUBSTANTIALLY IN FRANKFURT, LONDON AND PARIS MONDAY.

    HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES IN FRANCE REPORTED ON MONDAY SEEMED TO BE OF LITTLE OR NO CONCERN TO INVESTORS IN STOCKS TRACKED BY THE "CAC 40" INDEX. IT CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH, UP ALMOST 12 POINTS FOR THE DAY.

    CONTINUED LOW INTEREST RATES IN GERMANY SEEMED TO BE A FACTOR ENCOURAGING INVESTORS IN STOCKS ON THE "DAX 30" INDEX. THAT BAROMETER OF MARKET ACTIVITY GAINED ALMOST 36 POINTS MONDAY. THE DAX THIS PAST YEAR HAS GAINED ALMOST 30 PERCENT IN VALUE. IN LONDON, THE "FINANCIAL TIMES" INDEX OF 100 STOCKS GAINED ABOUT 25 POINTS TO CLOSE AT A NEW RECORD HIGH.

    ON CURRENCY EXCHANGES, THE DOLLAR WAS VIRTUALLY UNCHANGED AGAINST THE MARK AND THE POUND. GOLD PRICES WERE OFF ONLY 20 CENTS AN OUNCE IN LONDON, CLOSING AT 369-DOLLARS-35 CENTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/RRM
    30-Dec-96 1:14 PM EST (1814 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] EUROPE/WEATHER (L ONLY) BY DAGMAR BREITENBACH (BONN)

    DATE=12/30/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-208052
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BITTER COLD HAS GRIPPED EUROPE, WITH LARGE PARTS BLANKETED IN SNOW. ARCTIC TEMPERATURES AND SNOWSTORMS IN RECENT DAYS HAVE CLAIMED 50 LIVES. FROM BONN, DAGMAR BREITENBACH REPORTS THE COLD SPELL IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE INTO THE NEW YEAR.

    TEXT: DURING THE PAST FEW DAYS, THE TEMPERATURE DROPPED WELL BELOW MINUS-20 DEGREES CELSIUS IN MANY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES.

    BLIZZARDS HAVE DISRUPTED RAIL AND ROAD TRAVEL, AND AVALANCHES HAVE KILLED SKIERS. THE FRENCH MEDITERRANEAN RESORT ISLAND OF CORSICA SAW ITS FIRST SNOW IN A DECADE, AND A STORM LEFT LARGE AMOUNTS OF SNOW ON CROATIA'S DALMATIAN COAST.

    ARCTIC WINDS HAVE SWEPT INTO ITALY, BLANKETING TUSCANY AND UMBRIA IN SNOW, AS WELL AS NORTHERN SPAIN AND PARTS OF FRANCE. AUSTRIA FACES RECORD COLD TEMPERATURES.

    HEAVY SNOWS HAVE CUT ELECTRICITY TO HUNDREDS OF BULGARIAN VILLAGES.

    IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC, DOCTORS HAVE RECOMMENDED SENIOR CITIZENS NOT TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES IN THE COLD. BUSSES HAVE COME TO A STANDSTILL IN SEVERAL EUROPEAN CITIES BECAUSE THEIR FUEL HAD FROZEN IN THE LOW TEMPERATURES.

    IN SOUTHERN RUSSIA, DOZENS OF PEOPLE AND THEIR VEHICLES WERE FREED FROM A TUNNEL AFTER BEING TRAPPED THERE FOR DAYS BY AVALANCHES. DOZENS OF OTHERS -- MANY OF THEM HOMELESS -- FROZE TO DEATH IN THE BITTER COLD ALL OVER EUROPE.

    IN GERMANY, ICE JAMS HAVE BLOCKED SHIPPING ON SEVERAL MAJOR WATERWAYS. ICE IS SEVERAL CENTIMETERS THICK ON MUCH OF THE NORTH AND BALTIC SEA COASTS.

    WEATHER FORECASTERS SAY THERE WILL BE NO IMMEDIATE END TO THE COLD SPELL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DB/PCF/RAE
    30-Dec-96 6:54 AM EST (1154 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] SERBIA / PRESSURE MOUNTS (L) BY COLIN SOLOWAY (BELGRADE)

    DATE=12/30/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-208073
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESSURE CONTINUES TO MOUNT ON SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC AS ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTERS PLAN MASSIVE NEW YEAR'S EVE DEMONSTRATIONS IN BELGRADE AND IN AS MANY AS 50 CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. COLIN SOLOWAY REPORTS FROM BELGRADE.

    TEXT: AFTER 41 DAYS OF MARCHES AND RALLIES PROTESTING THE RULING SOCIALIST ELECTORAL FRAUD IN LAST MONTH'S LOCAL ELECTIONS, THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DEMONSTRATORS ACROSS SERBIA SHOW NO SIGNS OF GIVING UP THE STRUGGLE, EVEN IN THE FACE OF POLICE ATTACKS AND BRUTAL WINTER CONDITIONS. ON MONDAY, OPPOSITION LEADERS TOLD CHEERING PROTESTERS THAT THEIR CALLS FOR MR. MILOSEVIC TO REINSTATE OPPOSITION VICTORIES IN NOVEMBER'S ELECTION HAD UNLEASHED A LARGER WAVE OF FRUSTRATION WITH HIS AUTOCRATIC RULE AND SERBIA'S DISASTROUS STATE-CONTROLLED ECONOMY.

    WE BEGAN BY CHASING A FOX WHICH STOLE OUR VOTES AND ENDED UP DRIVING A DINOSAUR OUT OF ITS LAIR, SAID ZORAN JINJIC, LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. THE OPPOSITION ALSO ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR A NEW YEAR'S EVE SPECTACULAR TUESDAY NIGHT WITH CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS AND POPULAR ACTORS AND POP MUSICIANS ENTERTAINING TENS OF THOUSANDS IN BELGRADE'S CENTRAL SQUARE IN A COMBINATION FESTIVAL AND ANTI-GOVERNMENT RALLY.

    DEMONSTRATORS MOODS HAVE BEEN BUOYED SINCE A GROUP OF ARMY OFFICERS, REPRESENTING THOUSANDS OF AIR FORCE, ARMORED AND ARTILLERY TROOPS, PUBLISHED A LETTER TO MILOSEVIC ON SUNDAY WARNING HIM THAT THEY WOULD NOT USE THEIR GUNS AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTESTERS AND THAT, IF NECESSARY, THEY WOULD STAND AT THE HEAD OF THE SERBIAN PEOPLE IN WHAT THEY DESCRIBED AS MARCH TOWARDS THE TRUTH.

    THE YUGOSLAV ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF MOMCILO PERISIC MET WITH THE LEADERS OF THE OFFICERS ON SATURDAY, WHEN THEY DEMANDED THAT HE MAKE CLEAR THE ARMY'S POSITION ON THE DEMONSTRATIONS. ON MONDAY, PERISIC AND THE ARMY'S GENERAL STAFF ISSUED A STATEMENT DENYING THERE IS ANY SPLIT AMONG ITS OFFICERS AND DECLARING THEIR COMMITMENT TO THE STABILITY OF YUGOSLAVIA. BUT THEIR STATEMENT FAILED TO EXPRESS ANY SUPPORT FOR MR. MILOSEVIC, WHO IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY RELIANT ON HIS POWERFUL POLICE FORCES TO KEEP DEMONSTRATORS OFF THE STREETS. THE DISSIDENT OFFICERS THREAT TO INTERVENE TO DEFEND PROTESTERS MAY PREVENT HIS IMPOSING A STATE OF EMERGENCY TO CRUSH THE OPPOSITION.

    MR. MILOSEVIC IS ALSO UNDER INCREASING PRESSURE FROM SERBIA'S JUNIOR PARTNER IN THE YUGOSLAV FEDERATION, MONTENEGRO. THE MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER CALLED ON MILOSEVIC THIS WEEKEND TO SPEAK TO THE PEOPLE AND MAKE CLEAR HIS POSITION ON THE CURRENT CRISIS. THE MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT IS SOON TO CONSIDER A RESOLUTION CALLING ON MR. MILOSEVIC TO RECOGNIZE THE OPPOSITION VICTORIES. MONTENEGRINS ARE FEARFUL THAT SERBIAN LEADERS' INTRANSIGENCE COULD TRIGGER ECONOMIC REPRISALS FROM THE WEST THAT COULD PUNISH BOTH REPUBLICS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/CS/CB-T/KL
    30-Dec-96 6:50 PM EST (2350 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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