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Voice of America, 97-03-21

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] E-U / ALBANIA (L-ONLY) BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)
  • [02] ALBANIA / POLITICS (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [03] HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH AND ALBANIA BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] SERBIA MEDIA BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)
  • [05] COHEN / BOSNIA CUTOFF (S-ONLY) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)
  • [06] U-S / RUSSIA SUMMIT (L-CQ) BY DEBORAH TATE (HELSINKI)
  • [07] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [08] U-N WEEK-IN-REVIEW BY ELAINE JOHANSON (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [09] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] E-U / ALBANIA (L-ONLY) BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=3/21/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211823
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION CALLED ON FRIDAY FOR A MILITARY FORCE TO BE ASSEMBLED TO PROTECT HUMANITARIAN AID SHIPMENTS INTO ALBANIA. THE APPEAL WAS LAUNCHED BY THE E-U'S AID COMMISSIONER, EMMA BONINO, AND WILL BE DISCUSSED BY THE 15 FOREIGN MINISTERS WHEN THEY GATHER IN BRUSSELS MONDAY. FROM E-U HEADQUARTERS IN BRUSSELS, JOHN FRASER REPORTS.

    TEXT: COMMISSIONER EMMA BONINO SAYS THAT IF AID IS SENT INTO ALBANIA AT THE MOMENT, IT WILL DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD. BECAUSE OF THE STATE OF LAWLESSNESS, THE MEN WITH THE GUNS WILL GET THE FOOD AND OTHER EMERGENCY SUPPLIES, AND THEY WILL NOT GET TO THOSE IN REAL NEED. THE SUPPLIES WOULD BE PLUNDERED FROM LORRIES, AND THE VEHICLES THEMSELVES WOULD BE SNATCHED. THUS, SHE BELIEVES, THE DISPATCH OF EMERGENCY AID IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE OF LAWLESSNESS WOULD PROVOKE FURTHER VIOLENCE. SO SHE IS CALLING ON THE EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN MINISTERS TO COME UP WITH PLANS FOR A MILITARY FORCE TO GUARD SUPPLY ROUTES AND TO ENSURE THE SAFE DELIVERY OF AID.

    MISS BONINO CLAIMS THAT SUPPLIES OF FOOD, MEDICINES AND OTHER ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES ARE AVAILABLE AT STORES IN SERBIA, BOSNIA, CROATIA AND ITALY -- AND THESE COULD BE DELIVERED WITHIN TWO TO THREE DAYS, IF THE SECURITY PROBLEMS ARE OVERCOME. SHE CLAIMS SHE HAS DONE HER PART, AND IT IS NOW UP TO THE GOVERNMENTS OF EUROPE TO PLAY THEIRS.

    AT THE MOMENT, THE MAIN NEED IS FOR SUPPLIES TO BE DELIVERED TO OLD PEOPLE'S HOMES, TO ORPHANAGES AND TO HOSPITALS. HOWEVER, SHE FEARS THAT UNLESS THE SITUATION IN ALBANIA IS STABILIZED, FUTURE NEEDS MAY BE MUCH LARGER.

    THE E-U IS CURRENTLY CONSIDERING OFFERING MEDICINES AND OTHER BASIC SUPPLIES WORTH 10 MILLION DOLLARS, WITH TEN THOUSAND TONES OF FLOUR.

    WHEN THEY MEET ON MONDAY, THE 15 EUROPEAN UNION FOREIGN MINISTERS WILL BE DISCUSSING THE REPORT OF AN EVALUATION MISSION WHICH RETURNED FROM ALBANIA THIS WEEK.

    AS WELL AS ASSESSING EMERGENCY AID NEEDS, THEY WILL LOOK AT THE FINANCIAL AID WHICH WILL BE NEEDED TO RESTORE ALBANIA'S ECONOMY, AND WILL ALSO LOOK AT THE SECURITY PROBLEM, AND AT ASSISTANCE FOR ELECTIONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JF/PCF
    21-Mar-97 8:20 AM EST (1320 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA / POLITICS (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/21/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211845
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ANARCHY AND LAWLESSNESS CONTINUE TO GRIP MUCH OF SOUTHERN ALBANIA, AS POLITICAL LEADERS IN THE CAPITAL SEARCH FOR SOME WAY OUT OF THE CRISIS THAT BEGAN MORE THAN A MONTH AGO. AS VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS, THERE IS NO SIGN OF A COMPROMISE THAT WILL BRING STABILITY TO THE IMPOVERISHED BALKAN NATION.

    TEXT: // SOUNDS OF WORK, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    AT A SMALL HARDWARE STORE IN TIRANA, THE OWNER SAYS THE PEOPLE OF ALBANIA JUST WANT TO MAKE ENDS MEET (BE ABLE TO SURVIVE).

    // HARDWARE STORE OWNER, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    "WE ARE WORKING" -- THIS MAN SAYS -- "SO WE WILL HAVE ENOUGH TO BUY FOOD FOR THE FAMILY, WE ARE NOT BECOMING RICH."

    BUT SIMPLY GETTING BY HAS BECOME DIFFICULT IN ALBANIA, WHERE MANY ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE STILL SEETHING IN ANGER AT PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA, WHOM THEY BLAME FOR THE COUNTRY'S CRISIS.

    // MAN ON STREET, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    THE PEOPLE ONLY WANT BREAD AND PEACE, THIS MAN SAYS, PRESIDENT BERISHA AND OTHERS IN THE PARLIAMENT ARE ONLY WORRIED ABOUT MAKING MONEY.

    IN THE SOUTH OF ALBANIA, WHERE THE REBELLION BEGAN FOLLOWING THE COLLAPSE OF PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES, OPPONENTS OF THE PRESIDENT ARE STILL DEMANDING HIS RESIGNATION -- A DEMAND, MR. BERISHA'S ADVISOR GENC POLLO SAYS, IS UNACCEPTABLE.

    // POLLO ACT //

    PRESIDENT BERISHA HAS BEEN LEGITIMATELY ELECTED BY THIS PARLIAMENT AND THE SAME PARLIAMENT GAVE ITS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE TO THE COALITION GOVERNMENT OF PRIME MINISTER BASHKIM FINO. SO I DON'T THINK THAT TO IMPOSE CHANGE THOROUGH THE BARREL OF A GUN IS SOMETHING ACCEPTABLE.

    // END ACT //

    SO THE STANDOFF CONTINUES, WITH THE GOVERNMENT UNABLE TO EXERT ITS CONTROL OVER A STRING OF 12 REBELLIOUS SOUTHERN TOWNS, AND POLITICAL LEADERS IN TIRANA JOCKEYING FOR POSITION AHEAD OF ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE.

    SHABAN DEMIRAJ, THE HEAD OF THE ALBANIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, SAYS PART OF ALBANIA'S INSTABILITY CAN PROBABLY BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS RAPID TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY AFTER YEARS OF DICTATORSHIP.

    WHAT THE COUNTRY NEEDS NOW, HE SAYS, IS A RETURN TO THE RULE OF LAW AND A NEW GENERATION OF POLITICAL LEADERS.

    // DEMIRAJ ACT //

    IN MY OPINION, IT IS NECESSARY THAT A NEW LEADING MAN COME TO POWER, OTHERWISE THE PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS HAVE SOME MISTRUST.

    // END ACT //

    MR. DEMIRAJ, WHO SAYS THERE ARE YOUNGER LEADERS LIKE PRIME MINISTER BASHKIM FINO, WHO ARE ALREADY MAKING THEIR MARK ON THE POLITICAL SCENE.

    BUT HOW ALBANIA'S POLITICAL DRAMA WILL TURN OUT IS STILL AN OPEN QUESTION. MR. DEMIRAJ, QUOTING ALBERT EINSTEIN, SAYS POLITICS IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN PHYSICS.

    // SECOND DEMIRAJ ACT //

    POLITICS HAS NO RULES, HAS NO LAWS, WHEREAS PHYSICS HAS STRICT RULES, AND EINSTEIN WAS RIGHT IN SAYING IT.

    // END ACT //

    ... AND UNTIL ALBANIA'S LEADERS CAN REESTABLISH THE RULE OF LAW, THERE WILL BE NO END TO THE COUNTRY'S TURMOIL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/PCF/KL
    21-Mar-97 1:25 PM EST (1825 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH AND ALBANIA BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/21/97
    TYPE=CLOSEUP
    NUMBER=4-09660
    TELEPHONE=619-3464
    EDITOR=SWANEY
    CONTENT= (TAPE CUTS IN AUDIO SERVICES)

    INTRO: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH RESEARCHES, DOCUMENTS, AND PUBLICIZES HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS IT HAS BEEN DOCUMENTING HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN ALBANIA. IN A SITUATION SUCH AS THE CURRENT CIVIL UNREST IN ALBANIA, WHICH WAS TOUCHED OFF BY THE COLLAPSE OF PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES THERE, THE JOB OF MONITORING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IS PARTICULARLY

    CHALLENGING. VOA'S JUDITH LATHAM TALKED WITH RESEARCHER

    FRED ABRAHAMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, WHO RECENTLY RETURNED FROM TIRANA, ABOUT HIS WORK THERE. HERE'S _______ WITH A REPORT.

    TEXT: FRED ABRAHAMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, AN INDEPENDENT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION HEADQUARTERED IN NEW YORK CITY, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MONITORING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE SOUTHERN BALKANS, INCLUDING ALBANIA. MR. ABRAHAMS LIVED IN ALBANIA FOR A YEAR, BEGINNING IN 1993, AND HAS BEEN MONITORING THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION THERE EVER SINCE. HIS MOST RECENT TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN BALKANS WAS IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH, AND HE WAS IN TIRANA WHEN THE THE GOVERNMENT IMPOSED A STATE OF EMERGENCY.

    TAPE: CUT ONE -- ABRAHAMS (0:44) "IN FACT WE DOCUMENTED THAT THE STATE OF EMERGENCY WAS BEING USED TO STIFLE LEGITIMATE EXPRESSION AND POLITICAL DEBATE WITHIN THE COUNTRY. WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE SITUATION, TO PRESS THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT NOW -- THIS CARETAKER GOVERNMENT -- TO RESPECT ITS OBLIGATION UNDER ALBANIAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW. EVEN UNDER A STATE OF EMERGENCY, INTERNATIONAL LAW STIPULATES THAT THESE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS MUST STILL BE RESPECTED. (OPT) THE GOVERNMENT HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE CERTAIN MEASURES UNDER THE STATE OF EMERGENCY, BUT IT STILL MUST RESPECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, FREEDOM OF LIFE, FREEDOM TO BE FREE FROM TORTURE. SO, WE WILL ENSURE THAT THE GOVERNMENT RESPECTS THESE RIGHTS." (END OPT)

    TEXT: MR. ABRAHAMS SAYS HE ARRIVED IN ALBANIA ON MARCH 1 TO DOCUMENT HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES THAT HAD OCCURRED DURING FEBRUARY.

    TAPE: CUT TWO -- ABRAHAMS (0:34) "WHILE IN TIRANA, I WAS LITERALLY RUNNING AROUND FROM POLICE STATION TO POLICE STATION, TRYING TO FIND OUT WHO HAD BEEN DETAINED OR ARRESTED, WHY THEY HAD BEEN ARRESTED, IF THEY WERE BEING GUARANTEED ALL OF THEIR RIGHTS OF DUE PROCESS. AND ALMOST UNIVERSALLY WE FOUND THE POLICE WERE UNWILLING TO TALK TO US. AND, I HAD ONE MEETING WITH THE THEN VICE-MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HE'S CURRENTLY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ARJAN STAROVA, TOGETHER WITH SOME OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, TO CONVEY OUR CONCERNS ABOUT THE RESTRICTIONS ON THE FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND ATTACKS ON THE PRESS."

    TEXT: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH WORKS CLOSELY WITH THE LOCAL ALBANIAN HELSINKI COMMITEE, WHICH HAS ACTIVELY CRITICIZED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS OVER THE PAST YEAR, AND WITH THE ALBANIAN HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP. FRED ABRAHAMS SAYS A MAJOR PART OF THE CURRENT WORK OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH IS IN THE AREA OF ADVOCACY WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.

    TAPE: CUT THREE -- ABRAHAMS (0:39) "WE BELIEVE THAT THE WEST CONTRIBUTED TO THE CRISIS THAT ALBANIA IS IN TODAY BECAUSE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY -- SPECIFICALLY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES -- GAVE FULL SUPPORT TO THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WITHOUT ANY HUMAN RIGHTS CONDITIONS. THE EUROPEAN UNION GAVE MORE AID PER CAPITA TO ALBANIA THAN TO ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN EAST AND CENTRAL EUROPE, AND THAT AID CONTINUED TO FLOW, DESPITE THE FACT THAT PRESIDENT BERISHA'S AUTHORITANIAN FACE WAS BECOMING MORE AND MORE CLEAR. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTED TO THE CRISIS BY TURNING A BLIND EYE TO HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS."

    TEXT: MR. ABRAHAMS SAYS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS A VITAL ROLE TO PLAY IN PROVIDING BOTH POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO THE CURRENT CARETAKER GOVERNMENT IN ALBANIA -- BUT WITH AN IMPORTANT CAVEAT.

    TAPE: CUT FOUR -- ABRAHAMS (0:48) "THIS SUPPORT MUST BE CONDITIONED, IT MUST BE BASED ON SOME FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS PRINCIPLES. FOR EXAMPLE, ANY ASSISTANCE TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT MUST COME WITH THE GUARANTEES THAT THEY WILL RESPECT FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, OPEN UP THE TELEVISION AND THE RADIO, THE STATE TELEVISION AND THE RADIO, AND ALLOW FOR THE PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST. SECOND, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD REFRAIN FROM ANY UNNECESSARY USE OF FORCE. AND THIRD, THERE MUST BE A STRONG GUARANTEE AND COMMITMENT TO HAVE ELECTIONS THAT ARE REALLY FREE AND FAIR, (OPT) NOT JUST TO HAVE A LACK OF VIOLATIONS ON ELECTORAL DAY, BUT A FUNDAMENTAL LEGAL REFORM TO ALLOW FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS TO REALLY TAKE PLACE." (END OPT)

    TEXT: FRED ABRAHAMS SAYS THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NEEDS TO BE GUIDED BY HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS IN ALL ITS FUTURE ASSISTANCE TO ALBANIA.

    TAPE: CUT FIVE -- ABRAHAMS (0:24) "THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CAN DO A GREAT DEAL TO HELP BUILD DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS IN ALBANIA -- LIKE THE INDEPENDENT COURTS AND A DE-POLITICIZED POLICE. I MEAN, ULTIMATELY THESE ARE THE INSTITUTIONS WHICH CAN HELP ALBANIA EMERGE FROM THIS CRISIS. (OPT) BUT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST ABIDE BY THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE RULE OF LAW, IF THEY ARE GOING TO GIVE ANY SUPPORT TO THIS STABILITY GOVERNMENT OR TO ANY GOVERNMENT IN THE FUTURE." (END OPT)

    TEXT: MR. ABRAHAMS SAYS MANY PEOPLE CITE THE COLLAPSE OF THE PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES AS THE REASON THAT VIOLENCE ERUPTED IN ALBANIA.

    TAPE: CUT SIX -- ABRAHAMS (0:37) "BUT IN FACT, THE REASONS ARE MUCH DEEPER. AND (OPT) THEY ARE BASED IN THE ABSENCE OF THE RULE OF LAW IN ALBANIA. WE DON'T WANT TO CONSTANTLY BE LOOKING BACK AND BLAMING PEOPLE FOR WHY WE GOT HERE. THE QUESTION IS HOW TO MOVE ON FROM HERE. BUT (END OPT) I THINK THAT WE CAN LEARN SOME IMPORTANT LESSONS FROM WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST. SPECIFICALLY, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SHOULD NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE. THAT IS, THEY MUST SUPPORT THE POLITICAL PROCESS RATHER THAN ONE POLITICAL FORCE. AND, IF THEY'RE GOING TO GIVE THEIR ASSISTANCE TO ANY FUTURE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT, IT MUST BE VERY STRICTLY CONDITIONED ON SOME CONCRETE HUMAN RIGHTS IMPROVEMENTS."

    TEXT: FRED ABRAHAMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SAYS HIS ORGANIZATION'S DOCUMENTING ABUSES OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS ENABLES THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO PUT PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENTS, SUCH AS ALBANIA, WHEN THEY FAIL TO LIVE UP TO THEIR OBLIGATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW.
    21-Mar-97 2:23 PM EST (1923 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] SERBIA MEDIA BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)

    DATE=3/21/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-36006
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS IN SERBIA HAVE DIED DOWN. BUT THE GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION GROUPS HAVE FOUND A NEW BATTLEGROUND -- THE MEDIA. JULIA GLYN-PICKETT IN BELGRADE REPORTS COMPETITION FOR MEDIA CONTROL COULD LEAVE MANY READERS, VIEWERS, AND LISTENERS OUT IN THE COLD.

    TEXT:

    /// ACT - STATION JINGLE ///

    ON THURSDAY, MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF THE VIEWERS OF ONE OF SERBIA'S MOST POPULAR PRIVATE BROADCASTERS -- KNOWN AS B-K TELEVISION -- WERE NO LONGER ABLE TO RECEIVE THE STATION'S SIGNAL..

    B-K IS THE ONLY PRIVATE NEWS STATION THAT REACHED MORE THAN 60 PERCENT OF SERBIA. BUT, B-K RENTS ITS TRANSMITTERS FROM STATE-OWNED RADIO TELEVISION SERBIA, AND RELAYS ITS PROGRAMS TO THE TRANSMITTERS VIA THE STATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY.

    THE STATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY CUT THE RELAY LINKS AT 8:15 THURSDAY EVENING. IT SAID THE REASON IS WHAT IT CALLED TECHNICAL REORGANIZATION. STATE TELEVISION GAVE A SIMILAR EXPLANATION WHEN IT SAID TWO WEEKS AGO IT WOULD CUT B-K'S USE OF STATE-OWNED TRANSMITTERS.

    B-K TELEVISION SAYS THE REASON IS NOT VALID. B-K'S NEWS EDITOR, SRDJAN DJURIC, SAID HE THINKS THE STATE COMPANIES DECIDED TO LIMIT B-K COVERAGE TO JUST BELGRADE FOR PURELY POLITICAL REASONS.

    /// DJURIC ACT ///

    THIS IS FOR SURE A POLITICAL DECISION AND A SIGN THAT THE SOCIALIST OR COMMUNIST REGIME IN SERBIA IS PREPARING SO-CALLED MEDIA FREEDOM FOR INCOMING REPUBLICAN AND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.

    /// END ACT ///

    ONE LOCAL MEDIA ANALYST MIROLJUB RADOJKOVIC ALSO SAYS THE REDUCTION IN B-K'S TRANSMISSION RANGE IS POLITICAL.

    /// RADOJKOVIC ACT ///

    CLEARLY, THE TREATMENT OF B-K WAS CHANGED AFTER B-K HAS CHANGED ITS POLICY, ITS EDITORIAL POLICY AND COVERAGE OF THE CITIZENS AND STUDENTS PROTEST.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE B-K DECISION COMES AS SERBIA'S GOVERNMENT IS PROPOSING MEDIA REFORM. NEWLY-APPOINTED INFORMATION MINISTER RADMILA MILENTIJEVIC RECENTLY MADE PUBLIC A DRAFT LAW ON MEDIA. SHE SAYS THE NEW LAW WOULD EMPHASIZE MEDIA FREEDOM.

    /// MILENTIJEVIC ACT - SERBIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    MRS MILENTIJEVIC SAID THE LAW'S AIM IS TO STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND THE ABSOLUTE FREEDOM OF MEDIA IN SERBIA.

    MRS MILENTIJEVIC HAS SINCE WELCOMED WHAT SHE CALLS THE HEALTHY PUBLIC DEBATE THE DRAFT LAW HAS PROVOKED IN SERBIA.

    IF IMPLEMENTED, THE DRAFT LAW WOULD PREVENT PRIVATE BROADCAST MEDIA OWNERS FROM PROVIDING INFORMATION TO MORE THAN 25 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION. MRS. MILENTIJEVIC SAYS THIS IS TO PREVENT PRIVATE MEDIA MONOPOLY. STATE-FUNDED MEDIA ARE EXEMPT FROM THE LIMITATION.

    THE NEW MINISTER'S PREDECESSOR, ALEXANDAR TUENIC, DISAGREES. HE SAYS THE NEW LAW WOULD NOT END THE MONOPOLY IN SERBIAN MEDIA.

    /// TIJANIC ACT - SERBIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    MR. TIJANIC TOLD REPORTERS THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS INTRODUCED THE 25 PERCENT CLAUSE TO BLOCK A NATIONAL NETWORK OF INDEPENDENT RADIO AND TELEVISION STATIONS. HE SAID THAT AS A CONSEQUENCE, STATE TELEVISION WOULD KEEP ITS MONOPOLY OVER BROADCAST FREQUENCIES.

    PROFESSOR RADOJKOVIC SAID THE MEDIA LAW IS LESS ABOUT MEDIA REFORM THAN POLITICAL POSITIONING PRIOR TO THIS YEAR'S ELECTIONS.

    /// RADOJKOVIC ACT ///

    IT'S KIND OF A TARGET WHICH WAS ERECTED PUBLICLY TO CHECK THE POLITICAL POSITIONS OF ALL DIFFERENT PARTIES INVOLVED IN THE MEDIA FIELD.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT ALONE IN BEING ACCUSED OF NEGLECTING THE NEEDS OF VIEWERS AND PROFESSIONALISM IN THE MEDIA FOR THE SAKE OF SCORING POLITICAL POINTS.

    AN ALL-PARTY DISCUSSION PANEL, BROADCAST LIVE ON STATE TELEVISION, HAS BEEN SET UP BY THE GOVERNMENT TO INVITE PUBLIC DEBATE ON THE DRAFT MEDIA LAW. BUT THE SERBIAN OPPOSITION COALITION -- KNOWN AS ZAJEDNO -- DECIDED TO BOYCOTT THE DISCUSSION BECAUSE IT SAYS THE PANEL'S DECISIONS ARE NOT BINDING.

    PROFESSOR RADOJKOVIC SAYS HE THINKS ZAJEDNO IS DENYING ITS SUPPORTERS THE RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION AT THIS IMPORTANT DISCUSSION.

    /// KADOJKOVIC ACT ///

    THEY ARE MAKING PRACTICALLY THE SAME MISTAKE WHICH WAS DONE IN THE YEAR 1991 WHEN THE EXISTING PRESS LAW WAS ADOPTED. THIS PUBLIC DISCUSSION IS NOT THE BEST, BUT IS ONE OF THE POSSIBILITIES TO MAKE THE ARGUMENTS AND YOUR CASE, I MEAN OPPOSITIONAL CASE, AT LEAST PUBLIC.

    /// END ACT ///

    AT PRESENT, THE ZAJEDNO OPPOSITION CONTROLS A NUMBER OF LOCAL MEDIA IN THOSE TOWN IT WON IN LOCAL ELECTIONS LAST NOVEMBER. WHAT MANY PEOPLE HERE FEAR IS THAT OPPOSITION CONTROL OF LOCAL URBAN MEDIA, COUPLED WITH THE SOCIALIST GRIP ON NATIONAL MEDIA, COULD LEAVE VIEWERS AND LISTENERS WITH LESS, NOT MORE CHOICE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JGP/JWH
    21-Mar-97 10:16 AM EST (1516 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] COHEN / BOSNIA CUTOFF (S-ONLY) BY DAVID GOLLUST (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/21/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211839
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN SAYS HE DOES NOT THINK CONGRESS WILL SUPPORT A MOVE TO CUT OFF FUNDING FOR THE U-S MILITARY PRESENCE IN BOSNIA. KEY REPUBLICANS INTRODUCED THE MEASURE THURSDAY. VOA'S DAVID GOLLUST HAS DETAILS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: THE BILL -- WHICH WOULD FORCE THE WITHDRAWAL OF U-S TROOPS FROM BOSNIA BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER -- IS SPONSORED BY TWO INFLUENTIAL REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, AND HAS THE BACKING OF SOME DEMOCRATS.

    AS HE BEGAN A PENTAGON MEETING WITH NORWEGIAN DEFENSE MINISTER JORGEN KOSMO, SECRETARY COHEN SAID THE MEASURE IS UNLIKELY TO BE APPROVED BY CONGRESS. BUT HE SAID IT DOES UNDERSCORE THE DIFFICULT TASK THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION FACES IN KEEPING TROOPS IN BOSNIA UNTIL MID-1998 AS ENVISAGED BY NATO:

    ///COHEN ACTUALITY///

    I'M NOT SURE AT ALL THAT IT REFLECTS A MAJORITY OPINION. BUT NONETHELESS IT DOES REFLECT SOME SENTIMENT. AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT I'VE EXPRESSED TO OUR NATO ALLIES -- THAT IT'S GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT BUT ACHIEVEABLE TO INSURE THAT THE UNITED STATES STAYS UNTIL JUNE OF 1998 AS NATO HAS PLEDGED.

    ///END ACT///

    A SPONSOR OF THE FUNDING CUT-OFF, HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN FLOYD SPENCE, SAYS THE ADMINISTRATION SHOULD FACE THE REALITY THAT ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE PEACE IN BOSNIA IS UNLIKELY UNDER ANY REALISTIC TIME FRAME. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/KL
    21-Mar-97 12:15 PM EST (1715 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] U-S / RUSSIA SUMMIT (L-CQ) BY DEBORAH TATE (HELSINKI)

    DATE=3/21/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211826
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // RERUNNING WITH CORRECT LOG NUMBER //

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON AND RUSSIAN PRESIDENT YELSTIN HELD THEIR FIRST ROUND OF TALKS AT THEIR SUMMIT IN HELSINKI AND FOCUSED ON THE CONTENTIOUS ISSUE OF NATO EXPANSION. BUT AS V-O-A WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT DEBORAH TATE REPORTS, THE TWO SIDES GAVE NO INDICATION OF PROGRESS TOWARD RESOLVING THEIR DIFFERENCES.

    TEXT: WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN MIKE MCCURRY SAYS THE TWO PRESIDENTS HAD -- IN HIS WORDS -- A VERY CANDID AND THOROUGH REVIEW OF THEIR POSITIONS ON EUROPEAN SECURITY AND ARMS CONTROL DURING MORNING TALKS.

    // MCCURRY ACT //

    THEY HAVE HAD A VERY LIVELY, VERY INTENSE AND VERY SUBSTANTIVE CONVERSATION.

    // END ACT //

    MR. MCCURRY SAYS MR. CLINTON ARGUED PASSIONATELY THAT NATO'S PLANS TO EXTEND MEMBERSHIP TO FORMER SOVIET BLOC NATIONS WOULD NOT THREATEN THE SECURITY OF THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE.

    BUT MR. YELTSIN'S SPOKESMAN, SERGEI YASTRZHEMBSKY, SAYS THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT DID LITTLE TO SOFTEN HIS RUSSIAN COUNTERPART'S OPPOSITION.

    // YASTRZHEMBSKY ACT //

    NOT EVEN A NUANCE IN HIS ATTITUDE TO NATO WAS CHANGED.

    // END ACT //

    BUT THE SPOKESMAN DID SAY MR. YELTSIN HOPES FOR PROGRESS ON A PROPOSED RUSSIAN-NATO CHARTER THAT WOULD GIVE MOSCOW A VOICE, BUT NOT A VETO, IN THE ALLIANCE'S DECISION.

    THE TWO LEADERS ALSO DISCUSSED ARMS CONTROL ISSUES. U-S OFFICIALS SAY MR. CLINTON IS EXPECTED TO OFFER MR. YELTSIN A DELAY IN DESTROYING RUSSIAN MISSILE SILOS IN RETURN FOR RUSSIAN RATIFICATION OF THE START TWO NUCLEAR ARMS TREATY.

    THE REPORTED PROPOSAL COMES AS REPUBLICANS IN THE U-S CONGRESS ARE WARNING MR. CLINTON NOT TO MAKE RECKLESS CONCESSIONS ON ARM CONTROL. MR. MCCURRY SAYS THE PRESIDENT HAS NO INTENTION OF DOING SO.

    THE RUSSIAN AND AMERICAN LEADERS WILL DISCUSS THE OUTCOME OF THEIR SUMMIT AT A NEWS CONFERENCE LATER FRIDAY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/TMS/KL
    21-Mar-97 9:48 AM EST (1448 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=3/21/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211843
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SHARE PRICES ON MAJOR STOCK MARKETS OF WESTERN EUROPE FRIDAY RECOVERED FROM STEEP LOSSES ON THURSDAY. PAUL FRANCUCH HAS THE CLOSING NUMBERS FROM OUR OFFICE IN LONDON.

    TEXT: ONLY THE "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 INDEX OF STOCKS HERE IN LONDON CLOSED LOWER AMONG THE BIG WESTERN EUROPEAN EXCHANGES ON FRIDAY. THE "FOOTSIE" SHED JUST OVER THREE POINTS -- AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THE 74-POINT DECLINE ON THURSDAY. IN GERMANY AND FRANCE, HOWEVER, PRICES RECOVERED NICELY. THE PARIS "CAC 40" INDEX ADDED 38-AND-A-HALF POINTS IN VALUE, WHILE FRANKFURT'S "DAX 30" CLOSED UP 33-AND-A-HALF POINTS. FOR THE WEEK, HOWEVER, WESTERN EUROPE'S KEY STOCK EXCHANGES POSTED AN OVERALL DECLINE.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY MARKET, THE DOLLAR LOST JUST UNDER A CENT AGAINST BOTH THE MARK AND THE POUND FRIDAY. GOLD CONTINUED TO GAIN VALUE, ADDING A DOLLAR TO ITS PRICE IN LONDON'S CLOSING FIX AT 352-DOLLARS-65 CENTS AN OUNCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/KL
    21-Mar-97 1:19 PM EST (1819 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] U-N WEEK-IN-REVIEW BY ELAINE JOHANSON (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=3/21/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-36014
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN UNVEILS A PACKAGE OF REFORMS AND CALLS ON THE U-S CONGRESS TO PAY ITS U-N DEBT; THE U-N EXPRESSES OUTRAGE OVER A SUICIDE BOMBING IN TEL AVIV, APPARENTLY BY AN ISLAMIC MILITANT; THE SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON FORMER REBELS IN ANGOLA TO MOVE SWIFTLY ON THE LONG DELAYED NEW GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REVIEWS THE MAIN DEVELOPMENTS OF THE PAST WEEK:

    TEXT: THE U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL HAS ANNOUNCED PHASE ONE OF WHAT HE HOPES WILL BE A COMPREHENSIVE REFORM PROGRAM FOR THE UNITED NATIONS. MANY OF THE CHANGES HE HAS YET TO PROPOSE WILL HAVE TO BE DECIDED BY GOVERNMENTS. BUT MR. ANNAN MOVED THIS PAST WEEK ON THOSE FRONTS DIRECTLY UNDER HIS CONTROL. AMONG THE KEY POINTS ARE A TWO-YEAR BUDGET 123 MILLION DOLLARS LEANER THAN THE CURRENT ONE, AND THE ELIMINATION OF ONE THOUSAND ALREADY VACANT JOBS.

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ALSO MERGED THE U-N'S ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AREAS INTO ONE DEPARTMENT AND CONSOLIDATED ITS ADMINISTRATIVE MACHINERY.

    MR. ANNAN SAID HE HOPES THE U-S CONGRESS TAKES NOTICE AND RESPONDS APPROPRIATELY BY STARTING TO PAY OFF MORE THAN ONE BILLION DOLLARS IN PAST U-N DUES:

    // ANNAN ACT //

    THE CONGRESS HAS SAID THEY WOULD PAY IF THERE IS REFORM. I THINK YOU CAN SEE THAT WE ARE GIVING THEM REFORM. REFORM IS GOOD FOR THE ORGANIZATION. MEMBER STATES WANT REFORM. WHAT THE UNITED NATIONS WANTS IS WHAT THE U-S WANTS. AND WE WILL DELIVER, AND WE HOPE THEY WILL DELIVER THEIR PART OF THE BARGAIN.

    //END ACT//

    THE U-S CONGRESS WITHHELD MANDATORY PAYMENTS TO THE UNITED NATIONS, DEMANDING A STREAMLINING OF THE ORGANIZATION TO MAKE IT MORE COST-EFFECTIVE. BUT SOME ON CAPITOL HILL ARE BENT ON CONTROLLING THE PROCESS BY WRITING INTO LAW CONDITIONS THE U-N MUST MEET BEFORE THE MONEY IS RELEASED. THE SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS HE WILL NOT ACCEPT CONGRESSIONAL BENCHMARKS FOR REFORM.

    U-S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS -- BILL RICHARDSON -- CALLED MR. ANNAN'S REFORM PLAN A SUBSTANTIVE MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. HE URGED THE CONGRESS TO APPROPRIATE THE MONEY IT OWES, WARNING WASHINGTON'S DEBTOR STATUS IS WEAKENING U-S LEADERSHIP AND HIS PERSONAL INFLUENCE IN THE ORGANIZATION.

    -0-

    U-N DIPLOMATS AND OFFICIALS CONDEMNED THE BOMBING IN TEL AVIV FRIDAY THAT KILLED SEVERAL ISRAELIS AND WOUNDED MANY OTHERS. THE DEED APPARENTLY WAS CARRIED OUT BY A SUICIDE BOMBER FROM THE MILITANT ISLAMIC GROUP, HAMAS.

    A U-N SPOKESMAN -- JUAN CARLOS BRANDT -- SAID THE SECRETARY-GENERAL JOINS THE INTERNATIONAL OUTCRY BUT HOPES THE PALESTINIANS AND THE ISRAELIS WILL NOT ALLOW THE INCIDENT TO DESTROY THE PEACE PROCESS:

    //BRANDT ACT//

    THE SECRETARY-GENERAL WISHES TO REITERATE HIS APPEAL TO THE PARTIES NOT TO ALLOW ODIOUS ACTS OF THIS NATURE TO DERAIL THE PEACE PROCESS. HE SINCERELY HOPES THAT BOTH PARTIES WILL INTENSIFY THEIR EFFORTS TO OVERCOME EXISTING OBSTACLES TO A SPEEDY RETURN TO THE PEACE PROCESS.

    //END ACT//

    THE PEACE PROCESS HAS BEEN STALLED SINCE ISRAEL ANNOUNCED PLANS TO BUILD JEWISH HOUSING IN MOSTLY ARAB EAST JERUSALEM.

    -0-

    SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNAN LEFT THIS PAST WEEK FOR A VISIT TO SOUTHERN AFRICA -- AS HE MAKES HIS WAY TO A SUMMIT OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY IN TOGO. HE LANDED IN SOUTH AFRICA, MET WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND APPEALED AGAIN FOR A CEASEFIRE IN ZAIRE. SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT NELSON MANDELA RECENTLY TRIED TO BROKER AN END TO THE CONFLICT, WHICH BEGAN LAST OCTOBER WITH A REBELLION IN EASTERN ZAIRE.

    ON THE SECRETARY-GENERAL'S ITINERARY -- ANGOLA, WHERE A U-N FORCE IS MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION OF A PEACE TREATY. MR. ANNAN HAS EXPRESSED REGRET THAT A MUCH-DELAYED GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY HAD NOT YET BEEN FORMED. HE BLAMED MAINLY THE FORMER UNITA REBELS FOR HAVING FAILED TO SEND ALL THEIR DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVES TO THE ANGOLAN CAPITAL ON SCHEDULE.

    THE SECURITY COUNCIL FRIDAY ISSUED A STATEMENT AIMED AT BOLSTERING MR. ANNAN'S VISIT TO THE COUNTRY. IT EXPRESSED FULL SUPPORT FOR HIS MISSION TO PROD THE ANGOLANS TOWARD COMPLIANCE AND CALLED ON UNITA TO COOPERATE FULLY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/MMK
    21-Mar-97 3:40 PM EST (2040 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/21/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10079
    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 FRIDAY MARCH 21ST //

    INTRO: A UNITED STATES TOBACCO COMPANY HAS BROKEN RANKS WITH OTHER SUCH FIRMS AND ADMITTED THAT TOBACCO CAUSES CANCER AND OTHER AILMENTS; THAT IT IS ADDICTIVE; AND THAT SOME COMPANIES HAVE DIRECTED THEIR MARKETING TOWARD CHILDREN.

    THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO THESE REVELATIONS IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL COLUMNS.

    OTHER TOPICS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE THE NEW NOMINEE TO HEAD THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY; U-S-RUSSIAN RELATIONS; SUPPORT FOR HOUSE SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH AND HIS PLAN TO HOLD OFF ON TAX CUTS WHILE THE BUDGET IS DEBATED; THE PERILS FACING JOURNALIST; AND LASTLY, A U.S. CITIZENS IS DETAINED IN BELARUS.

    NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME QUOTES IS ______________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THE LOS ANGELES TIMES COMMENTS ON REVELATIONS BY THE LIGGET GROUP, WHICH MAKES CHESTERFIELDS, L&M AND SEVERAL OTHER CIGARETTE BRANDS, OF SMOKING'S EFFECTS ON HEALTH.

    VOICE: "THE LONG BATTLE TO HOLD THE NATION'S CIGARETTE COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE HARM DONE BY THEIR PRODUCTS HAS SEEN A SIGNIFICANT VICTORY .... LIGGETT'S AGREEMENT TO COOPERATE WITH THE SUING STATES AGAINST OTHER TOBACCO COMPANIES EXTENDS TO TURNING OVER THOUSANDS OF DOCUMENTS THAT .... COULD SUPPORT ALLEGATIONS THAT THE COMPANIES DELIBERATELY HID RESEARCH ....... SHOWING CIGARETTES ARE ADDICTIVE. .... LIGGETT'S DECISION ENDS AN ERA OF INDUSTRY DENIAL AND DECEPTION. CIGARETTES ARE ADDICTIVE AND THEY KILL, AND FINALLY ONE TOBACCO COMPANY HAS AGREED TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THEM."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: IN RELATED DEVELOPMENTS, THE MIAMI HERALD APPLAUDS A U-S SUPREME COURT DECISION ALLOWING THE STATE OF FLORIDA TO PROCEED WITH A SUIT SEEKING TO RECOUP MONEY IT SPENT THROUGH MEDICAID TO TREAT THE SERIOUS HEATH PROBLEMS OF SMOKERS.

    [END OPT]

    TURNING TO OTHER ISSUES, SEVERAL PAPERS ARE APPLAUDING PRESIDENT CLINTON'S SECOND CHOICE TO HEAD THE C-I-A, THE MAN WHO IS CURRENTLY ITS ACTING DIRECTOR, GEORGE TENET. THE BALTIMORE SUN PUTS IT THIS WAY.

    VOICE: "TROUBLED BY SUBVERSION FROM WITHIN, ATTACKS FROM WITHOUT, A FLAWED HISTORY ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND MUSICAL-CHAIRS LEADERSHIP, [THE AGENCY HAS HAD FIVE DIRECTORS WITHIN THE PAST SIX OR SEVEN YEARS] THE C-I-A IS BADLY IN NEED OF STABILITY AND CLARITY OF MISSION. THIS TASK NOW IS SLATED FOR GEORGE TENET, PRESIDENT CLINTON'S FIFTH NOMINEE IN FOUR YEAS AS DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE. IF HE GETS THE SENATE CONFIRMATION DENIED STAR-CROSSED ANTHONY LAKE, THE NATION WILL HAVE A HIGH STAKE IN HIS SUCCESS. .... THE C-I-A, AFTER SO MANY TRIBULATIONS, DESERVES COMPETENT LEADERSHIP."

    TEXT: NEWSDAY IS SOMEWHAT SKEPTICAL, AS IT NOTES:

    VOICE: "DOES [MR.] TENENT, ANOTHER LOW-PROFILE GUY WITH MINIMAL EXPERIENCE ADMINISTERING LARGE ORGANIZATIONS, HAVE THE STATURE OR DRIVE TO BE MUCH TOUGHER [THAN ANTHONY LAKE]? ....... [MR.] TENENT IS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS THE ULTIMATE STAFF MAN. THAT'S NOT MUCH OF A QUALIFICATION FOR A PROSPECTIVE SPYMASTER. LET'S HOPE THE SENATE HEARINGS REVEAL SOME STRONGER ONES."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST SAYS THERE IS ONE ITEM THAT IS SURE TO COME UP IN HEARINGS, THE POSSIBILITY THAT MR. TENENT PASSED SECRET INFORMATION ABOUT ALLEGEDLY UNETHICAL C-I-A OPERATIONS IN CENTRAL AMERICA TO OUTSIDERS. BUT THE PAPER ADDS: "AT THE MOMENT HIS CONFIRMATION APPEARS WITHIN REACH."

    [END OPT]

    PRESIDENTS CLINTON AND YELTSIN CONTINUE THEIR SUMMIT IN HELSINKI, FINLAND, BUT IN FLORIDA, THE ORLANDO SENTINEL IS SHARPLY CRITICAL OF SOME COMMENTS ABOUT NATO EXPANSION THAT LED UP TO THE MEETING BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS.

    VOICE: "HAS SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT NO SENSE OF TIMING, STYLE OR SENSITIVITY? ON THE EVE OF AN IMPORTANT UNITED STATES-RUSSIA SUMMIT MEETING, SHE RUBBED RUSSIA'S FACE IN THE PLANNED EXPANSION OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION. [OPT] THEN SHE ADDED THAT THE UNITED STATES WOULD NOT BARGAIN AWAY CENTRAL EUROPE. [END OPT] WHAT A BIZARRE, PROVOCATIVE AND SHORTSIGHTED INTERPRETATION OF THE ISSUES. ..... THE RISK IS THAT, RATHER THAN STRENGTHENING CENTRAL EUROPE, SHE MAY MAKE THE WHOLE REGION LESS SECURE. .... GOD FORBID THAT MS. ALBRIGHT'S CLANGING ABOUT SHOULD SHIFT THE BALANCE IN FAVOR OF MR. YELTSIN'S POLITICAL ENEMIES."

    TEXT: HOUSE SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH IS BEING ROUNDLY PRAISED TODAY FOR HIS MOVE EARLIER IN THE WEEK TO WITHDRAW PLANS FOR A TAX CUT IN THE BUDGET DEBATE. HERE'S HIS HOME STATE DAILY, THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, WHICH HAS BEEN HIGHLY CRITICAL OF HIM IN THE PAST.

    VOICE: "EARLY IN THE WEEK, SOME CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS BECAME FURIOUS WITH HOUSE SPEAKER ... GINGRICH FOR MAKING A SENSIBLE SUGGESTION: DELAY SWEEPING TAX CUTS UNTIL A PLAN TO BALANCE THE FEDERAL BUDGET IS FINAL. .... HE WAS RIGHT .... TAX CUTS OUGHT TO BE DELAYED UNTIL PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE GOP-DOMINATED CONGRESS CAN AGREE ON A BUDGET PLAN THAT WILL TAKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE RED - - PROBABLY BY TWO-THOUSAND-TWO. .... IT'S A FUNNY THING: VOTING FOR A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT IS POLITICALLY POPULAR. BUT ACTUALLY WORKING TO BALANCE THE BUDGET IS NOT."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: ANOTHER CRITIC OF THE SPEAKER IN THE PAST, THE WASHINGTON POST, ECHOED THE CONSTITUTION'S PRAISE.

    VOICE: "IT WILL DO HIM NO GOOD FOR US TO SAY SO, BUT HOUSE SPEAKER ... GINGRICH IS RIGHT. THE REPUBLICANS SHOULD INDEED PUT THEIR PLANS FOR A TAX CUT ON HOLD FOR NOW, CONCENTRATE ON REDUCING THE DEFICIT AND COME BACK TO THE TAX ISSUE LATER IF THEY CAN MUSTER THE NECESSARY SUPPORT, FIND A WAY TO PAY THE COST, ETC. NOW IF ONLY THE PRESIDENT WOULD TAKE MR. GINGRICH UP ON IT AND AGREE TO ABANDON HIS TAX CUT PROPOSALS AS WELL....."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: A WORD ABOUT THE PERILS OF JOURNALISTS NOW FROM THE MIAMI HERALD.

    VOICE: ".... AMERICANS ARE NOTORIOUS FOR PAYING SCANT ATTENTION TO FOREIGN AFFAIRS UNTIL AN EVENT SO NOTEWORTHY OCCURS THAT THEY CAN'T IGNORE IT. ..... AMERICANS ARE ACCUSTOMED TO THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION. THEY OFTEN TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT A JOURNALIST'S WORDS AND PICTURES MOVE UNIMPEDED FROM A NEWS SITE TO THEIR LIVING ROOMS. NOT SO. AS THE COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS NOTED IN ITS .... ANNUAL REPORT, IN MANY COUNTRIES 1996 WAS A BAD YEAR TO BE A JOURNALIST. TWENTY-SIX WERE MURDERED, 185 WERE JAILED, AND COUNTLESS OTHERS WERE INJURED, INTIMIDATED, OR EXILED."

    TEXT: COMMENTING ON CHINA'S NEW LEGAL REFORMS, PASSED LAST WEEK, THE NEW YORK TIMES SAYS, IN PART:

    VOICE: "ADVOCATES FOR FREEDOM IN CHINA WILL FIND LITTLE IMMEDIATE COMFORT IN THE COUNTRY'S NEW LEGAL REFORMS. THE CRIMINAL CODE PASSED LAST WEEK, FOR EXAMPLE, ABOLISHES THE CRIME OF COUNTERREVOLUTION. BUT THE ACTS IT ENCOMPASSED CAN NOW BE PROSECUTED AS CRIMES AGAINST STATE SECURITY, AND IN SOME CASES CARRY EVEN LONGER SENTENCES. ..... BUT THEY ARE IMPORTANT AS PART OF A LONG-TERM MOVE TOWARD A PREDICTABLE LEGAL SYSTEM THAT MAY SOMEDAY BUILD THE RULE OF LAW. [OPT].....UNDER THE NEW LAWS, SUSPECTS MUST BE CHARGED WITHIN A MONTH. THEY HAVE MORE ACCESS TO LAWYERS, WHO CAN NOW BETTER DEFEND THEIR CLIENTS IN COURT. [END OPT]..... CHINA'S NEW REFORMS OFFER A TOEHOLD FOR THOSE .... WHO WOULD PUSH BEIJING IN THAT DIRECTION [TOWARD THE RULE OF LAW]."

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, THE WASHINGTON POST IS UPSET AT HOW THE AMERICAN HEAD OF A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION FOSTERING OPEN AND FREE MEDIA AS WELL AS POLITICAL RESEARCH IN UNIVERSITIES CALLED THE OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE, WAS TREATED.

    VOICE: "PETER BYRNE ... WAS EXPELLED FROM THE COUNTRY, AFTER BEING DETAINED AT THE MINSK AIRPORT FOR 12 HOURS WITHOUT FOOD OR AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONTACT THE U-S EMBASSY. NOW THE BELARUS K-G-B, A FAITHFUL REPLICA OF ITS SOVIET ANTECEDENT, IS CONDUCTING AN 'INSPECTION' OF THE INSTITUTE'S ACTIVITIES ..... COMBING THROUGH FILES AND INTIMIDATING LOCAL EMPLOYEES. ALL THIS IS THE WORK OF STRONGMAN ALEXANDER LUKASHENKA, ... WHO WON THE PRESIDENCY IN A FAIR ELECTION BUT HAS SINCE DEMOLISHED HIS NATION'S INCIPIENT DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS. "

    TEXT: AND ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS TO BE FOUND IN FRIDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    21-Mar-97 11:10 AM EST (1610 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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