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Voice of America, 97-03-05

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] ALBANIA UNREST (L) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)
  • [03] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [04] HUNGARY / NATO (L) BY MAXIM KNIAZKOV (WASHINGTON)
  • [05] TIRANA NEWSPAPER BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

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

    DATE=03/05/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10051
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NANCY SMART
    CONTENT= // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND
    BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON WEDNESDAY MARCH FIFTH//

    INTRO: THE CAMPAIGN FUND-RAISING CONTROVERSY'S EXTENSION TO INCLUDE VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE IS THE MAJOR TOPIC OF EDITORIAL DISCUSSION IN MANY U-S NEWSPAPERS THIS WEDNESDAY. THE PRIME INTERNATIONAL TOPIC IS THE ISRAELI PLAN TO BUILD NEW JEWISH HOMES IN PREDOMINANTLY ARAB EAST JERUSALEM. OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE THE SITUATION IN ZAIRE; THE TROUBLES IN ALBANIA; RETHINKING ALL THE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS IN WASHINGTON AND THE CASE FOR BUDGET CUTS IN A BOOMING ECONOMY. NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK IS ___________________ IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: A WEEKEND STORY IN THE WASHINGTON POST OUTLINING VICE PRESIDENT GORE'S AGGRESSIVE FUND RAISING FOR THE 1996 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN HAS PUT THE VICE PRESIDENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT. MANY PAPERS ARE CHASTISING HIM FOR HIS ACTIVITIES, AND SOME ARE REPEATING CALLS FOR AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE THE ENTIRE FUND RAISING ISSUE. THE BOSTON GLOBE IS ONE OF THEM:

    VOICE: "VICE PRESIDENT ... GORE'S LIMP DEFENSE OF HIS WHITE HOUSE FUND-RAISING WAS NOT INTENDED AS A MESSAGE TO ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO, BUT SHE SHOULD TAKE IT AS ONE. 'MY COUNSEL ADVISES ME THAT THERE IS NO CONTROLLING LEGAL AUTHORITY OR CASE THAT SAYS THERE WAS ANY VIOLATION OF LAW WHATSOEVER,' [MR.] GORE SAID ON MONDAY, REPEATEDLY. THAT'S JUST THE POINT. A LEGAL AUTHORITY IS BADLY NEEDED, AND [MS.] RENO IS OVERDUE IN APPOINTING ONE IN THE FORM OF AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL."

    TEXT: ON LONG ISLAND, NEWSDAY SAYS IN PART:

    VOICE: "... NO MATTER WHETHER THE VICE PRESIDENT VIOLATED THE LETTER OF THE LAW OR JUST ITS SPIRIT, [MR.] GORE HAS NO REASON TO BE PROUD OF HIS ROLE IN GRUBBING DOLLARS FOR LAST YEAR'S DEMOCRATIC TICKET - - EVEN THOUGH THAT'S WHAT HE CLAIMED TO BE [PROUD THAT IS] AT HIS PRESS CONFERENCE MONDAY. [MR.] GORE, WHO IS NOT A LAWYER HIMSELF, RESORTED TO SOME VERY LAWYERLY PHRASING WHEN HE EXPLAINED THAT HE HAD USED A DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CREDIT CARD ON THE 'FEW OCCASIONS' WHEN HE MADE CAMPAIGN-FUNDING TELEPHONE CALLS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, AND 'WAS ADVISED THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT PRACTICE."

    TEXT: THE NEW YORK TIMES, WHICH HAS REPEATEDLY CALLED FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE THE ENTIRE FUND RAISING SITUATION, SAYS OF THIS LATEST REVELATION:

    VOICE: "....THE NEED FOR A THOROUGH AIRING WILL ONLY GROW IN THE DAYS AHEAD. MR. GORE'S UNDIGNIFIED PHONE-ATHON, HOWEVER DEMEANING TO HIM AND HIS OFFICE, IS NOT THE WEIGHTIEST MATTER TO BE EXPLORED. WHAT HAS TO BE DETERMINED IS WHETHER ILLEGAL FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS WERE FUNNELED INTO THE PRESIDENT'S RE-ELECTION EFFORT AND WHETHER STAFF MEMBERS AT THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE D-N-C HAD KNOWLEDGE OR COMPLICITY IN SUCH AN EFFORT. THE POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE ENERGIES OF THIS ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE TO DRAIN AWAY UNTIL THOSE QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL IS CONVINCED THAT WHAT MR. GORE ADMITTED DOING, IN MAKING FUND RAISING CALLS FROM HIS WHITE HOUSE OFFICE WAS ILLEGAL.

    VOICE: "... DESPITE THE VICE PRESIDENT'S LEGALISTIC DEFENSE, HIS .... ACTIONS APPEAR TO BE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH A FEDERAL FELONY STATUTE. AS [SECTION] 18 U-S-C [UNITED STATES CODE] 607 [SUB-SECTION] (A) [PARAGRAPH] STATES: 'IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON TO SOLICIT OR RECEIVE ANY CONTRIBUTIONS ... IN ANY ROOM OR BUILDING OCCUPIED IN THE DISCHARGE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES .... ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION SHALL BE FINED NOT MORE THAN FIVE-THOUSAND DOLLARS, OR IMPRISONED NOT MORE THAN THREE YEARS, OR BOTH."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE QUESTION OF NEW JEWISH SETTLEMENTS IN ARAB EAST JERUSALEM AND THE TENSION THAT ANNOUNCEMENT HAS PRODUCED, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR SAYS:

    VOICE: ".... WHEN THE CITY IS FORCED INTO THE SPOTLIGHT OF REGIONAL POLITICS, AS BY THE ISRAELI DECISION TO PUSH AHEAD WITH A BUILDING PROJECT IN EAST JERUSALEM, EMOTIONS FLARE - - AND THE PEACE PROCESS SHUDDERS. SUCH ACTIONS SHORTCIRCUIT THE NEGOTIATING PROCESS, AS PRESIDENT CLINTON ACKNOWLEDGED ... IN THE COURSE OF WASHINGTON TALKS WITH PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT. [OPT] WHAT CAN THE AMERICAN ADMINISTRATION DO TO DETER ISRAELI BUILDING PLANS AND ALLAY THE THREAT TO PEACE? MR. CLINTON'S REBUKE TO THE POLICIES OF ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU WAS RELATIVELY MILD ..... HE WOULD DO WELL TO MAKE IT CLEARER THAT HIS WORDS WERE IN LINE WITH THE LONG HELD U-S VIEW THAT SETTLEMENT BUILDING IN TERRITORIES OCCUPIED BY ISRAEL - - INCLUDING EAST JERUSALEM - - IS A BARRIER TO PEACE, VIOLATING THE U-N RESOLUTIONS THAT SERVE AS A BASIS FOR NEGOTIATIONS."[END OPT]

    TEXT: IN BALTIMORE, THE SUN ADDS THIS ANALYSIS:

    VOICE: "IT WILL BE GOOD IF ALL GOVERNMENTS REALIZE THAT THE NEGOTIATION FOR A FINAL ACCOMMODATION BETWEEN ISRAELI AND PALESTINIAN ASPIRATIONS IS GOING FORWARD, AND THAT'S WHAT THIS EXERCISE IS ABOUT."

    TEXT: AS THE SITUATION IN EASTERN ZAIRE CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE, THE NEW YORK TIMES IS ASSESSING THE LATEST MOVES BY THE U-N.

    VOICE: "THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL, KOFI ANNAN, IS ASKING THE SECURITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER SENDING ARMED PEACEKEEPERS TO ZAIRE. THE SUGGESTION IS PREMATURE SINCE THERE IS NOT YET A PEACE TO PRESERVE, AND INTERNATIONAL FORCES SHOULD NOT BE DISPATCHED TO SEPARATE WARRING PARTIES BY FORCE. BUT MR. ANNAN USEFULLY FOCUSES INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION ON THE ZAIRIAN CRISIS. THE URGENT NEED IS A ...... CEASE-FIRE AIMED AT PROTECTING CIVILIANS, INCLUDING BOTH ZAIRIANS AND RWANDAN HUTU REFUGEES CAUGHT UP IN THE CONFLICT."

    TEXT: IN COMMENTING UPON ANOTHER OF THE WORLD'S LATEST TROUBLE SPOTS, ALBANIA, WHERE PEOPLE ARE RIOTING AFTER LOSING MONEY IN PYRAMID SCHEMES THAT WENT BROKE, TODAY'S LOS ANGELES TIMES SAYS:

    VOICE: "SIX WEEKS OF ESCALATING PROTESTS AND INCREASINGLY HEAVY-HANDED RESPONSES FROM A REGIME THAT HAS SHOWN LITTLE RESPECT FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES HAVE BROUGHT ALBANIA CLOSE TO CIVIL WAR. ..... ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF ALBANIA'S BUDGET COMES FROM WESTERN FOREIGN AID. THE POLITICAL LEVERAGE IMPLICIT IN THAT VITAL RESOURCE SHOULD BE USED NOW TO FORESTALL A NEW BALKANS CRISIS."

    TEXT: ON ANOTHER TOPIC, THE TENDENCY TO CLASSIFY AS SECRET MORE DOCUMENTS THAN IS REALLY NECESSARY, THE NEW YORK TIMES SAYS:

    VOICE: "IT IS A RARE MOMENT IN WASHINGTON WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING SENSIBLE ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S OBSESSION WITH SECRECY. A CONGRESSIONAL COMMISSION HAS DONE JUST THAT IN A THOUGHTFUL NEW REPORT THAT RECOMMENDS A LONG-OVERDUE CHANGE IN THE WAY OFFICIAL SECRETS ARE MADE AND MAINTAINED. THE COMMISSION'S NOVEL CONTENTION IS THAT CONGRESS, NOT THE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY, SHOULD DETERMINE HOW AND WHY INFORMATION IS KEPT SECRET BY ESTABLISHING A LAW ON SECRECY. REMARKABLY, NO SUCH LAW NOW EXISTS."

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION SUGGESTS THAT WITH A FAIRLY ROBUST ECONOMY IN THIS COUNTRY, THE TIME IS RIPE FOR MORE BUDGET CUTS TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT.

    VOICE: "THE U-S ECONOMY IS BOOMING TODAY: WELFARE EXPENDITURES ARE DECLINING; INCOME TAX REVENUES ARE GROWING; AND MOST AMERICANS ARE FEELING FAIRLY CONFIDENT. WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR CREATING SO MANY JOBS, WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO SHRINK GOVERNMENT WITHOUT SERIOUSLY HARMING THE ECONOMY. BUT THESE GOOD TIMES WON'T LAST FOREVER. .... IF CONGRESS POSTPONES SPENDING CUTS FOR THREE YEARS, IT RUNS THE RISK OF TRYING TO TRIM GOVERNMENT JOBS AND CONTRACTS IN THE MIDST OF A RECESSION."

    TEXT: AND ON THAT ECONOMIC NOTE WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NES
    05-Mar-97 10:30 AM EST (1530 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA UNREST (L) BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/5/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-210956
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THERE ARE FRESH REPORTS OF ARMED CLASHES IN SOUTHERN ALBANIA AS THE GOVERNMENT IN TIRANA CONTINUES TO PROMISE THAT IT WILL END THE REBELLION AGAINST THE RULE OF PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS FROM THE ALBANIAN CAPITAL.

    TEXT: THE REUTER NEWS SERVICE REPORTS THERE HAVE BEEN CLASHES IN THE VILLAGE OF MUZINE, NOT FAR FROM THE TOWN OF SARANDE ON THE MOUNTAINOUS ROAD TO GJIROCASTRA. AN ALBANIAN MIG FIGHTER WAS SEEN FLYING OVER THE VILLAGE. ARMED BANDS OF INSURGENTS WERE SEEN NEAR THE VILLAGE AND PLUMES OF SMOKE ROSE INTO THE SKY.

    THE DEFENSE MINISTRY DENIES THAT MILITARY AIRCRAFT IN THE SOUTH HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO FIRE ON THE INSURGENTS.

    THE STATEMENT CAME IN RESPONSE TO TUESDAY NIGHT'S DEFECTION OF TWO AIR FORCE PILOTS WHO FLEW THEIR AGING MIG FIGHTER TO SOUTHERN ITALY. THE PILOTS SAID THEY HAD BEEN GIVEN ORDERS TO BOMB CIVILIAN TARGETS NEAR GJIROKASTRA. THE ALBANIAN BORDER WITH GREECE IS LESS THAN 40 KILOMETERS FROM GJIROKASTRA AND THE GREEK AUTHORITIES SAY THEY HAVE INCREASED ARMY PATROLS ALONG THE BORDER.

    PRESIDENT BERISHA MET LATE TUESDAY WITH LEADERS OF THE RECENTLY ORGANIZED FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY OPPOSITION. THE FORUM IS A GROUPING OF SEVERAL OPPOSITION PARTIES, THE LARGEST OF WHICH IS THE SOCIALISTS WHOSE LEADER WAS JAILED BY PRESIDENT BERISHA THREE YEARS AGO. THE FORUM FAVORS THE INSTALLATION OF A CARETAKER GOVERNMENT AND THE CALLING OF EARLY PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.

    ALBANIAN STATE RADIO SAYS PRESIDENT BERISHA HAD BEEN READY FOR A COMPROMISE WITH THE OPPOSITION LAST WEEKEND BEFORE THE PARLIAMENT DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY. THE PRESIDENT ACCUSES THE SOCIALISTS OF REFUSING TO TAKE PART IN SERIOUS DIALOGUE AND REJECTS THEIR INCLUSION IN AN INTERIM GOVERNMENT.

    ALBANIA HELD PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS LAST MAY BUT THE SECOND ROUND OF VOTING WAS BOYCOTTED BY THE SOCIALISTS WHO PROTESTED THAT THE ELECTIONS WERE RIGGED.

    BOTH THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE ARE PREPARING TO SEND MISSIONS TO TIRANA. WESTERN GOVERNMENTS HAVE STEPPED THEIR CRITICISM OF PRESIDENT BERISHA'S HANDLING OF THE UNREST AND THE GOVERNMENT'S INTIMIDATION OF THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA.

    ONLY THE PRO-GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER WAS PUBLISHED ON WEDNESDAY AS OTHER TIRANA DAILIES AGAIN REFUSED TO SUBMIT TO GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/JWH
    05-Mar-97 8:12 AM EST (1312 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)

    DATE=3/5/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-210976
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SHARE PRICES ROSE AGAIN IN TRADING WEDNESDAY IN EUROPEAN MARKETS. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: STOCK MARKETS ROSE TO NEW RECORD CLOSING HIGHS IN EUROPEAN TRADING WEDNESDAY.

    IN FRANKFURT, THE DAX-30 INDEX ENDED AT A NEW HIGH -- UP MORE THAN 44 POINTS, ABOUT ONE-AND-THREE-TENTHS PERCENT. THE PRICES CONTINUED THEIR CLIMB IN LATER COMPUTERIZED TRADING.

    PRICES IN PARIS ALSO FINISHED AT A NEW HIGH. THE CAC-40 INDEX WAS UP MORE THAN 14 POINTS, ABOUT ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENT. AND, IN LONDON, THE FOOTSIE-100 WAS UP FRACTIONALLY -- ONLY ABOUT TWO-AND-ONE-HALF POINTS -- BUT THAT WAS ENOUGH TO SET ANOTHER RECORD CLOSING HIGH.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY EXCHANGE, THE THE U-S DOLLAR CONTINUED ITS RISE -- GAINING IN VALUE AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND, THE GERMAN MARK, AND THE JAPANESE YEN.
    NEB/JWH
    05-Mar-97 1:34 PM EST (1834 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] HUNGARY / NATO (L) BY MAXIM KNIAZKOV (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/5/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-210975
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: HUNGARY IS OPPOSING RUSSIA'S ATTEMPTS TO BLOCK NATO FROM MOVING ITS MILITARY INFRASTRUCTURE INTO THE FORMER SOVIET BLOC COUNTRIES SEEKING MEMBERSHIP IN THE ALLIANCE. HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER LASZLO KOVACS SAID WEDNESDAY IN WASHINGTON HIS COUNTRY SAYS NO TO WHAT IS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS SECOND-CLASS NATO MEMBERSHIP. MAXIM KNIAZKOV HAS THE REPORT.

    TEXT: MR. KOVACS'S VISIT TO WASHINGTON FOLLOWS A EUROPEAN TOUR BY HIS RUSSIAN COUNTERPART, YEVGENY PRIMAKOV. THE RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MADE CLEAR RUSSIA'S DESIRE TO MAKE NON-DEPLOYMENT OF NATO TROOPS AND WEAPONS IN EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE PART OF A PROPOSED AGREEMENT BETWEEN MOSCOW AND NATO.

    MR. KOVACS EXPRESSED HUNGARY'S STRONG OPPOSITION TO THAT SUGGESTION.

    // ACT ONE KOVACS //

    FOR A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY LIKE HUNGARY, IT (DEPLOYMENT OF TROOPS) SHOULD BE THE OUTCOME OF TALKS ON OUR ACCESSION. TALKS BETWEEN NATO AND HUNGARY AND CERTAINLY NOT BETWEEN RUSSIA AND HUNGARY, OR NATO AND RUSSIA.

    // END ACT //

    NATO IS TO DECIDE WHICH OF 11 APPLICANTS WILL BE FORMALLY INVITED TO JOIN AT ITS MADRID SUMMIT IN JULY. HUNGARY, POLAND, AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC ARE SEEN AS FRONTRUNNERS TO RECEIVE INVITATIONS.

    IN WASHINGTON, MR. KOVACS IS SPENDING MUCH OF THIS WEEK FOCUSING ON U-S SENATORS, WHO MUST RATIFY THE NATO EXPANSION PLAN. HE SAYS SOME LAWMAKERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY U-S TROOPS MAY BECOME INVOLVED IN A CONFLICT IN EASTERN EUROPE.

    BUT THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS IT IS NOT THE SENATE, BUT TURKEY AND ITS PARLIAMENT THREATENING HIS COUNTRY'S HOPES FOR NATO MEMBERSHIP.

    // ACT TWO KOVACS //

    TURKEY OPENLY SPOKE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF VETOING THE (NATO) ENLARGEMENT, UNLESS TURKEY GETS SOMETHING FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    // END ACT //

    THAT IS EUROPEAN UNION MEMBERSHIP. SOMETHING ANKARA HAS BEEN STRENUOUSLY, BUT UNSUCCESSFULLY, TRYING TO OBTAIN.

    MR. KOVACS ALSO SPOKE OF HUNGARY'S READINESS TO INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING TO PAY FOR JOINING NATO.

    // ACT THREE KOVACS //

    I THINK WE CAN AFFORD TO INCREASE FURTHER OUR DEFENSE BUDGET.

    // END ACT //

    BUT JOURNALISTS AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE POINTED OUT UNDER A CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ASSESSMENT, NATO'S EXPANSION WILL COST 35-BILLION DOLLARS DURING THE NEXT 12-YEARS. CURRENT PLANS CALL FOR THE NEW MEMBERS TO ASSUME 35-PERCENT OF THESE EXPENSES. FOR HUNGARY, THAT WILL MEAN A 50-PERCENT INCREASE IN ITS DEFENSE BUDGET.

    MR. KOVACS EXPRESSED CONFIDENCE MARKET REFORMS AND EXPANDED TRADE TIES WITH EUROPE WILL HELP HUNGARY SHOULDER THIS BURDEN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/MAX/RAE
    05-Mar-97 12:54 PM EST (1754 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] TIRANA NEWSPAPER BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/5/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35865
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THIS PAST SUNDAY NIGHT, AN UNKNOWN BAND OF ARMED MEN ARRIVED AT THE OFFICE OF ALBANIA'S BIGGEST CIRCULATION NEWSPAPER, SET IT ON FIRE, AND RANSACKED EQUIPMENT. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD FILED THIS REPORT AFTER A VISIT TO THE TIRANA OFFICE OF THE NEWSPAPER, KOHA JONE (KO-HA YONE)

    TEXT:

    /// SOUND OF HORSE CART AND MOTORBIKE - FADE UNDER ///

    TWO KILOMETERS FROM THE TIRANA'S CITY CENTER, GEMAL STAFA STREET GETS NARROW. AS MANY HORSE CARTS AS CARS MOVE ALONG THE DUSTY POT-HOLED ROADWAY. A PEDESTRIAN HAS TO STEP CAREFULLY, AVOIDING FREQUENT GARBAGE PILES AND DEEP HOLES.

    SHOP WINDOWS DISPLAY TOILET FIXTURES FROM ITALY AND OPEN PACKS OF CIGARETTES WHERE EACH SMOKE IS SOLD INDIVIDUALLY. IN THE BUTCHER SHOP, THE STRIPPED CARCASSES OF LAMBS AND CALVES HANG FROM HOOKS, KNOTS OF HAIR STILL VISIBLE AT THE HOOFS. ON A PATCH OF GRASS A STRAGGLY COW CHEWS CONTENTEDLY, ITS TINKLING BELL OUT OF PLACE IN THIS URBAN SLUM.

    BEHIND THE IRON GATE OF NUMBER 226, A GROUP OF MEN STAND IN THE NOW WINDOWLESS OFFICE, WHOSE FLOOR IS BLACKENED FROM THE MYSTERIOUS FIRE. THESE EMPLOYEES OF KOHA JONE SAY THEY HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THE PERPETRATORS OF THE CRIME WERE ALBANIAN SECURITY POLICE.

    EVERYTHING HAS BEEN SWEPT UP. THE BROKEN COMPUTERS HAVE BEEN HAULED AWAY. ONLY THE NEATLY LETTERED SIGN THAT SWINGS FROM THE GATE GIVES ANY CLUE THAT A NEWSPAPER WAS ONCE PUBLISHED HERE.

    NIKOLL LESI IS A YOUNGISH MAN WITH NEATLY COMBED BLACK HAIR AND A SUIT AND TIE. HE IS THE GENERAL EDITOR OF KOHA JONE, WHICH MEANS "OUR TIME" IN ALBANIAN.

    THE PAPER WAS STARTED ONLY A FEW YEARS BACK AS A WEEKLY PRINTING ONLY TWO-THOUSAND COPIES. LATELY, THE PAPER HAS BECOME STRIDENTLY VOCAL IN ITS COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT.

    ITS EDITORIAL POSITION FOUND FAVOR WITH READERS. AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE KOHA JONE WAS SELLING 57-THOUSAND PAPERS EACH DAY, MORE THAN THE OTHER TIRANA DAILIES COMBINED. KOHE JONE HAS BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF WESTERN FOREIGN AID AND LAST YEAR RECEIVED A 135-THOUSAND DOLLAR LOAN FROM HUNGARIAN AMERICAN PHILANTHROPIST GEORGE SOROS.

    EDITOR NIKOLL LESI CALLS THE ATTACK TERRORISM.

    /// LESI ACT IN ALBANIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    MR. LESI SAYS MOST OF HIS REPORTERS HAVE GONE INTO HIDING. SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, MR. LESI SAYS ALBANIAN JOURNALISTS ARE AFRAID FOR THEIR LIVES.

    /// ACT OF INTERPRETER ///

    COMPUTERS AND SCANNERS WERE DESTROYED. SO THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY OF PRODUCING A NEWSPAPER. THE OTHER NEWSPAPERS ARE NOT PRINTING, PARTIALLY OUT OF SOLIDARITY BUT PARTIALLY ALSO BECAUSE THEY ARE TERRIFIED OVER THE SAFETY OF THEIR JOURNALISTS. THE JOURNALISTS AT KOHE JONE HAVE BEEN THREATENED WITH ARREST, BUT THEIR BIGGEST FEAR IS FOR THEIR LIVES.

    /// END ACT ///

    IN DEPLORING THE ATTACK ON KOHE JONE, ONE WESTERN DIPLOMAT CALLS ITS SUPPRESSION, THE EQUIVALENT OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BEING CLOSED. THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS FEDERATION IN VIENNA HAS PROTESTED THE ATTACK.

    BUT THE ALBANIAN AUTHORITIES HAVE THUS FAR NOT ENDED CENSORSHIP REQUIREMENTS ON LOCAL REPORTERS THAT WENT INTO EFFECT WITH THE STATE OF EMERGENCY SUNDAY NIGHT. OF THE NEARLY ONE-DOZEN NEWSPAPERS IN TIRANA, ONLY THE PAPER OF THE RULING DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS BEEN PUBLISHING THIS WEEK.

    ANALYSTS SAY THE ATTACK ON KOHE JONE HAS SERIOUSLY CALLED INTO QUESTION THE EXTENT TO WHICH PRESS FREEDOM EXISTS IN ALBANIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/JWH/KL
    05-Mar-97 12:55 PM EST (1755 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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