Browse through our Interesting Nodes on Greece A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 22 September 2018
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Voice of America, 98-01-07

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CZECH NATO CAMPAIGN BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)
  • [02] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [03] FRANCE PROTEST (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [04] GERMANY / KURDS (L O) BY KYLE KING (BONN)
  • [05] HUNGARY/EUROPE (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [06] IRAQ OIL (L-ONLY) BY JESSICA JONES (CAIRO)
  • [07] ISRAEL-TURKEY-U-S (L-ONLY) BY AL PESSIN (ABOARD THE USS JOHN RODGERS)
  • [08] KURDS/REFUGEES (L-ONLY) BY RUTH YOUNGBLOOD (MANILA)
  • [09] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [10] NORTHERN IRELAND BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)
  • [11] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] CZECH NATO CAMPAIGN BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-38600
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE CZECH REPUBLIC IS ONE OF THE FEW POST-COMMUNIST COUNTRIES IN EUROPE LIKELY TO BECOME A MEMBER IN THE FIRST ROUND OF NATO EXPANSION. BUT ACCORDING TO OPINION POLLS, CZECH CITIZENS ARE NOT VERY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THE IDEA. NOW, A NON-PARTISAN GROUP IS TRYING TO STIMULATE DEBATE ON THE ISSUE WITH A PROVOCATIVE MEDIA CAMPAIGN. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES REPORTS FROM PRAGUE.

    TEXT: THEY APPEARED, SEEMINGLY EVERYWHERE, JUST AFTER THE FIRST OF THE YEAR. BILLBOARDS WITH A GRIM-FACED LEONID BREZHNEV SITTING IN A VERY COMMUNIST-LOOKING OFFICE APPEARING LIKE THE SOVIET SUPREMO HE ONCE WAS. AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEPIA-COLORED BILLBOARD IS THE WORD "SPASIBO" -- "THANKS," IN RUSSIAN -- AND ON THE OTHER SIDE, THE WORD "NATO."

    IS THIS AN ANTI-NATO MESSAGE? THANKS FOR THE INVITATION, BUT WE DON'T WANT TO REPLACE THE WARSAW PACT WITH NATO DOMINATION? OR IS IT PRO-NATO? THANKS FOR THE COLD WAR STANDOFF THAT ULTIMATELY GAVE US OUR FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE?

    THE BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN SEEMED POSSIBLY CONNECTED WITH PROGRAMS ABOUT NATO SET TO RUN ON TWO DIFFERENT CZECH TELEVISION CHANNELS, THOUGH IN FACT IT WASN'T. A FEW DAYS AFTER THE BILLBOARDS APPEARED, THE CAMPAIGN WAS EXTENDED TO RADIO AND TELEVISION.

    // ACTUALITY: TV SOUNDTRACK (SNEAK, ESTABLISH AND FADE) //

    WITH DOCUMENTARY FILM OF THE 1968 SOVIET INVASION OF THEN-CZECHOSLOVAKIA, BREZHNEV SAYS "DEAR CITIZENS, THANK YOU FOR FREELY DECIDING NOT TO JOIN NATO." OF COURSE, IT ISN'T REALLY BREZHNEV. IT'S AN ACTOR, BUT THE RESEMBLANCE IS OBVIOUSLY INTENDED.

    THE ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN IS THE BRAINCHILD OF A GROUP THAT CALLS ITSELF "PORTHEIMKA ASSOCIATES," NAMED AFTER THE BUILDING WHERE THEY FIRST MET. THEY INCLUDE PROMINENT FIGURES FROM THE MEDIA, THE ARTS, SPORTS, POLLING ORGANIZATIONS. ONE OF THE GROUP'S MEMBERS, "TRANSITIONS" MAGAZINE PUBLISHER JAN URBAN, SAYS THEY FIND IT STRANGE THAT AN HISTORIC ISSUE SUCH AS NATO MEMBERSHIP IS, LIKE MOST FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES, MOSTLY IGNORED BY THE PUBLIC.

    // URBAN ACTUALITY //

    ALL MEDIA ARE FILLED WITH DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF PARTY PETTY POLITICS AND PERSONAL FEUDS AMONG INDIVIDUAL POLITICIANS, BUT THE SERIOUS DEBATES, RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT ISSUES LIKE, "WHAT IS THE CZECH STATE ABOUT?", "WHO ARE OUR ALLIES, AND WHAT ARE OUR FOREIGN POLICY GOALS?" -- THIS IS NEARLY NON EXISTENT. AND THIS CAMPAIGN IS ONE OF THE WAYS HOW TO CHANGE IT.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    MR. URBAN EMPHASIZES THAT THE ADVERTISEMENTS DON'T ACTUALLY PROMOTE NATO MEMBERSHIP -- ALTHOUGH THAT'S REALLY WHAT THEY ULTIMATELY ARE INTENDED TO DO. RATHER, HE SAYS, THEY ARE DESIGNED TO PROMOTE DEBATE ON THE ISSUE. HE SAYS THE POLLS INDICATE THAT MOST CZECHS WHO ARE AGAINST NATO MEMBERSHIP OPPOSE IT BECAUSE THEY DON'T REALLY KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THE ISSUE.

    MR. URBAN SAYS HE BELIEVES ONE REASON WHY CZECH CITIZENS MAY BE RELUCTANT TO TAKE A STAND ON NATO MEMBERSHIP IS THAT FOR DECADES UNDER COMMUNIST RULE, IT COULD BE DECIDEDLY UNHEALTHY TO EXPRESS AN OPINION.

    // SECOND URBAN ACTUALITY //

    IT DEFINITELY HAS A CONNECT WITH THIS PHENOMENON. BECAUSE STILL TODAY, WHEN YOU TALK TO PEOPLE, IT FEELS THAT TO HAVE AN OPINION IS HURTFUL ... PEOPLE TRY TO AVOID HAVING AN OPINION AND IT'S MORE COMFORTABLE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYS, WHAT THIS OR THAT LEADER SAYS.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    MEMBERS OF THE PORTHEIMKA GROUP ARE PAYING FOR THE CAMPAIGN THEMSELVES -- 20-THOUSAND DOLLARS, SO FAR. ADDITIONAL FUNDING IS FROM OUTSIDE INDIVIDUALS AND SOME CZECH COMPANIES, AND MANY OF THE COSTS HAVE BEEN MET BY DONATIONS, SUCH AS THE ADVERTISING COMPANY THAT DONATED THE BILLBOARD ADS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/PCF
    07-Jan-98 9:25 AM EST (1425 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224940
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: MAJOR STOCK MARKETS OF WESTERN EUROPE TURNED IN A MIXED PERFORMANCE ON WEDNESDAY. VOA'S PAUL FRANCUCH HAS THE CLOSING NUMBERS FROM OUR OFFICES IN LONDON.

    TEXT: THE MARKETS WERE HEADING DOWNWARD BEFORE WALL STREET STARTED TO SHOW SIGNS OF A STEEP DROP. ONLY THE GERMAN "DAX 30" INDEX, WHICH CLOSES TRADING EARLIER IN THE DAY THAN MOST OTHER MARKETS, SHOWED A GAIN OF 39 POINTS. BUT COMPUTERIZED "DAX" TRADING LATER IN THE DAY SHOWED PRICES GOING LOWER. ELSEWHERE, THE PARIS "CAC 40" INDEX OF STOCKS CLOSED DOWN 31 POINTS. HERE IN LONDON, THE KEY "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 INDEX LOST 40 POINTS WHEN TRADING CLOSED.

    THERE WERE NO DRAMATIC CHANGES IN U-S DOLLAR TRADING ON THE EUROPEAN CURRENCY MARKETS. THE DOLLAR POSTED A SLIGHT LOSS TO THE GERMAN MARK AND A SLIGHT GAIN AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND.

    GOLD IN LONDON GAINED 90 CENTS FOR THE DAY. THE PRICE FIX WAS SET AT 282-DOLLARS-95 CENTS AN OUNCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/KL
    07-Jan-98 1:37 PM EST (1837 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] FRANCE PROTEST (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224936
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GROWING PROTESTS BY FRANCE'S UNEMPLOYED, WHO HAVE OCCUPIED JOB CENTERS OVER THE HOLIDAY SEASON, INCREASED WEDNESDAY WITH DEMONSTRATIONS IN MOST MAJOR TOWNS -- INCLUDING PARIS. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM THE FRENCH CAPITAL.

    TEXT: MARIE-GEORGE BUFFET, ONE OF THREE COMMUNISTS MINISTERS IN THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT, SAYS THE PROBLEM WITH A MOVEMENT BY THE UNEMPLOYED IS THAT YOU CAN'T ASK THEM TO GO BACK TO WORK.

    FRANCE HAS MORE THAN THREE MILLION PEOPLE OFFICIALLY REGISTERED AS BEING OUT OF WORK. THIS AMOUNTS TO MORE THAN 12 PERCENT OF THE WORKFORCE.

    FOR THE PAST THREE WEEKS, JOBLESS ALL OVER FRANCE HAVE BEEN OCCUPYING UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICES. NOW, SOME 30 HAVE BEEN TAKEN OVER.

    IN OTHER ACTIONS WEDNESDAY, THE UNEMPLOYED INVADED THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN BORDEAUX AND STAGED PROTEST MARCHES THROUGH MANY TOWNS. //OPT// AND THEY STOPPED ONE OF FRANCE'S HIGH-SPEED TRAINS FROM LEAVING A PARIS STATION BY BLOCKING THE TRACKS. //END OPT//

    ALSO IN PARIS, THEY STAGED A DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE A MEETING OF THE BODY WHICH GOVERNS THE DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLIC FUNDS TO THE UNEMPLOYED. THIS IS RUN BY REPRESENTATIVES OF LABOR UNIONS AND OF THE EMPLOYERS' FEDERATION.

    THE LEADERS OF THE PROTESTS BY THE UNEMPLOYED ARE ASKING FOR NEW YEAR BONUSES TO BE PAID TO THE JOBLESS. THEY SAY THE STATE HAS ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY EXTRA MONEY. THEY ARE ALSO DEMANDING BETTER TREATMENT FOR THE UNEMPLOYED ALL YEAR ROUND.

    SOME LABOR UNIONS ACCUSE THE COMMUNIST-LED C-G-T UNION OF BEING BEHIND THE MOVEMENT AND OF EXPLOITING THE DESPAIR OF THE UNEMPLOYED.

    IN ANY CASE, THE PROTESTS ARE SEEN AS A SERIOUS CHALLENGE FOR FRANCE'S SOCIALIST PRIME MINISTER, LIONEL JOSPIN. HE, LIKE MANY FRENCH POLITICIANS BEFORE HIM, WAS ELECTED LAST JUNE ON PROMISES OF REAL ACTION TO BRING DOWN THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE.

    THE NEW YEAR, SO FAR, HAS BEEN A DEPRESSING ONE FOR THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT. APART FROM THE PROTESTS BY THE JOBLESS, IT HAS BEEN MARKED BY AN UPSURGE IN URBAN VIOLENCE IN AREAS HIT BY UNEMPLOYMENT AND OTHER SOCIAL ILLS.

    THE PROTESTS BY THE UNEMPLOYED HAVE PROMPTED THE FIRST SIGNS OF SERIOUS DIFFERENCES WITHIN THE LEFT-WING GOVERNMENT.

    THE ONLY ECOLOGIST PARTY MINISTER IN THE GOVERNMENT HAS EXPRESSED HER SYMPATHY WITH THE PROTESTS. AND THE COMMUNISTS HAVE CRITICIZED WHAT THEY SEE AS A COLD-HEARTED REACTION BY SOME OF THE LEADING SOCIALIST MEMBERS OF THE CABINET. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/PCF/KL
    07-Jan-98 12:24 PM EST (1724 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] GERMANY / KURDS (L O) BY KYLE KING (BONN)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224931
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// RE-PRINTING WITH CR-NUMBER. /////

    INTRO: GERMANY HAS AGAIN CALLED ON ITALY TO HALT A INFLUX OF KURDISH IMMIGRANTS STREAMING INTO EUROPE -- THIS WHILE TOP EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIALS IN BRUSSELS SAY UNIFORM IMMIGRATION RULES ARE NEEDED TO HALT THE WAVE OF MIGRANTS. FROM BONN, VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER KLAUS KINKEL SAYS EUROPEAN BORDERS MUST BE, IN HIS WORDS, "WATER TIGHT." IN REMARKS THAT CLEARLY APPEAR DIRECTED AT ITALY, MR. KINKEL TOLD A GERMAN NEWSPAPER THAT EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE SECURITY OF THEIR BORDERS.

    MORE THAN ONE-THOUSAND KURDS, MOSTLY FROM TURKEY AND IRAQ, LANDED IN ITALY LAST WEEK AFTER THAT COUNTRY EXPRESSED SYMPATHY FOR THE KURDS AND PROMISED TO GIVE ASYLUM TO ALL GENUINE REFUGEES. WITH MORE KURDS NOW BELIEVED TO BE TRYING TO MAKE THEIR WAY TO ITALY, GERMAN OFFICIALS FEAR MANY WILL WIND UP IN NORTHERN EUROPE.

    OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DAYS, GERMANY HAS REPEATEDLY CALLED ON ITALY, TURKEY AND GREECE TO TIGHTEN BORDER CONTROLS TO PREVENT A WAVE OF KURDS FROM ENTERING THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    //OPT//

    ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI AND GERMAN CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL DISCUSSED THE ISSUE LATE TUESDAY AND ITALIAN OFFICIALS SAY THEY PLEDGED THEY WOULD INDIVIDUALLY EXAMINE ALL ASYLUM REQUESTS. SINCE LAST WEEK THE ITALIAN COAST GUARD HAS ALSO STEPPED UP ITS PATROLS. //END OPT///

    EXPERTS SAY REFUGEES ARRIVING IN ITALY ARE GIVEN 15 DAYS TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY, IF THEY DO NOT APPLY FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM. DURING THAT TIME, MANY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPEN EUROPEAN BORDERS AND MAKE THEIR WAY TO GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND AND THE NETHERLANDS.

    EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIALS MEETING IN BRUSSELS SAY ALL MEMBER COUNTRIES SHOULD HARMONIZE IMMIGRATION RULES TO PREVENT SUCH ABUSES.

    A SPOKESMAN FOR THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION SAYS ITALY IS WORKING TO CHANGE LAWS TO PROVIDE FOR SPEEDY RETURN OF REFUGEES WHO DO NOT QUALIFY TO LEGALLY ENTER THE COUNTRY.

    EUROPEAN UNION POLICE CHIEFS ARE EXPECTED TO TAKE UP THE ISSUE IN ROME ON THURSDAY. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, WHO CURRENTLY HOLDS THE E-U PRESIDENCY, IS ALSO EXPECTED TO DISCUSS THE KURDISH REFUGE PROBLEM WHEN HE MEETS WITH E-U COMMISSION PRESIDENT JACQUES SANTER THURSDAY IN LONDON. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/PCF
    07-Jan-98 11:14 AM EST (1614 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] HUNGARY/EUROPE (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224941
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: HUNGARY'S FOREIGN MINISTER HAS BEEN INVITED TO JOIN A PRESTIGIOUS GROUP WITH THE 40-NATION COUNCIL OF EUROPE. IT'S KNOWN AS THE "COMMITTEE OF WISE PERSONS." STEFAN BOS REPORTS FROM BUDAPEST THAT HUNGARIAN OFFICIALS HOPE THIS MAY SPEED UP THE COUNTRY'S INTEGRATION INTO BOTH NATO AND THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    TEXT: HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER LASZLO KOVACS TOLD REPORTERS (EDS: WEDNESDAY) HE HAS ACCEPTED AN INVITATION TO JOIN A NEW POLICY FORMATION BODY WITHIN THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE, KNOWN AS THE COMMITTEE OF WISE PERSONS.

    THE INVITATION COMES AS THE COUNCIL PREPARES FOR ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY NEXT YEAR. FOUNDED IN 1949, THE COUNCIL IS EUROPE'S OLDEST CONTINENTAL ORGANIZATION WHICH COVERS EVERY POLICY AREA, SHORT OF DEFENSE.

    IN TALKING WITH REPORTERS, MR. KOVACS JOKED AND COMMENTED ON HIS NEW APPOINTMENT AS A "WISE PERSON."

    ///KOVACS ACT///

    IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I GOT A CERTIFICATE THAT I AM WISE. WHAT IT MEANS IS THAT HUNGARY WAS THE VERY FIRST COUNTRY OF THE REGION OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE THAT JOINED THE ORGANIZATION (COUNCIL OF EUROPE) IN OCTOBER IN 1990. THAT STARTED A NEW STAGE IN THE ORGANIZATION. IT HAD, FOR MANY YEARS, ONLY 23-MEMBER COUNTRY COUNTRIES, NOW IT HAS FORTY (MEMBERS).

    ///END ACT///

    MR. KOVACS SAYS MEMBERSHIP GROWTH IN THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE HAS CREATED NEW CHALLENGES. DIPLOMATS HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN OVER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN MEMBER COUNTRIES, SUCH AS TURKEY. IT'S HOPED THE NEW "WISE PERSONS" COMMITTEE MAY LEAD TO NEW SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS THAT ARISE.

    FOREIGN MINISTER KOVACS SAYS THE COMMITTEE MAY PRESENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGES AND REFORM PERHAPS AS EARLY AS THIS YEAR. HUNGARY WILL CHAIR THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE IN 1998. HE SAYS BUDAPEST WILL ALSO HOST A SUMMIT TO PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE.

    ///SECOND KOVACS ACT///

    THE FINAL DRAFT SHOULD BE PREPARED BY THE AUTUMN OF THIS YEAR OR SPRING NEXT YEAR WHEN WE WILL CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE. AND THAT CEREMONIAL MEETING, WHICH WILL BE MOST LIKELY HELD IN BUDAPEST BECAUSE HUNGARY WILL CHAIR THE ORGANIZATION IN THE SECOND HALF OF (19)98 AND THE FIRST HALF OF '99, WILL BE THE TIME AND THE PLACE WHERE THESE REFORMS WILL BE DECIDED UPON.

    ///END ACT///

    HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SAY THEY HOPE INVOLVEMENT IN THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE WILL HELP SPEED-UP PROSPECTS FOR MEMBERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND NATO. ALTHOUGH HUNGARY, TOGETHER WITH POLAND AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC HAVE BEEN INVITED TO JOIN NATO IN 1999, GOVERNMENTS OF MEMBER STATES IN THE DEFENSE ALLIANCE STILL HAVE TO RATIFY THE EXPANDED ROSTER.

    HUNGARIAN MINISTER KOVACS SAYS HE WILL TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER COUNTRIES IN AN EFFORT TO CONVINCE POLITICIANS THAT AN EXPANDED NATO WILL LEAD TO A MORE STABLE EUROPE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/PCF
    07-Jan-98 1:48 PM EST (1848 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] IRAQ OIL (L-ONLY) BY JESSICA JONES (CAIRO)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224932
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IRAQ HAS STARTED PUMPING OIL AGAIN INTO ITS NORTHERN PIPELINE, MOVING BAGHDAD ONE STEP CLOSER TO BEGINNING THE THIRD PHASE OF THE UNITED NATIONS SPONSORED OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM. DETAILS FROM JESSICA JONES IN OUR MIDDLE EAST BUREAU.

    TEXT: IRAQI OIL MINISTER AMIR MUHAMMAD RASHEED TOLD REPORTERS IN THE CAPITAL BAGHDAD WEDNESDAY THAT HIS COUNTRY HAS RESUMED PUMPING OIL INTO THE IRAQI-TURKISH PIPELINE. HE SAID IRAQ EXPECTS TO BEGIN SELLING ITS OIL ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET EARLY NEXT WEEK.

    INTERNATIONAL OIL PRICES FELL TO 30-MONTH LOWS IN RESPONSE TO THE NEWS.

    ON THURSDAY, MEMBERS OF THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL ARE EXPECTED TO APPROVE A PRICING FORMULA FOR IRAQI OIL SALES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE UNITED NATIONS MONITORED OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM. MR. RASHEED SAYS AFTER THE PRICING FORMULA IS APPROVED, IRAQ WILL START SIGNING CONTRACTS TO SELL ITS OIL. ON MONDAY, U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN APPROVED A NEW FOOD DISTRIBUTION PLAN FIRST FORMULATED BY A TEAM OF UNITED NATIONS AND IRAQI OFFICIALS.

    LAST MONTH, BAGHDAD SAID IT WOULD NOT SELL OIL UNDER THE THIRD PHASE OF THE U-N APPROVED OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM UNTIL U-N OFFICIALS CONSENTED TO A BETTER PLAN FOR DISTRIBUTING FOOD, MEDICINE AND OTHER GOODS IN THE COUNTRY.

    IRAQI OFFICIALS HAVE COMPLAINED THAT SUPPLIES WERE DELIVERED TOO SLOWLY DURING THE FIRST TWO PHASES OF THE OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM. UNDER THE NEW PLAN, BAGHDAD IS ALLOWED TO SELL LIMITED AMOUNTS OF OIL IN ORDER TO BUY FOOD, MEDICINE, AND HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES. IT IS THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO U-N SANCTIONS FIRST IMPOSED ON IRAQ SEVEN YEARS AGO, AFTER SADDAM HUSSEIN'S FORCES INVADED KUWAIT.

    U-N INSPECTORS ARE IN IRAQ IN AN ATTEMPT TO VERIFY THAT THE COUNTRY HAS DISMANTLED ALL ITS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. THE U-N SAYS THAT UNTIL IRAQ COMPLIES WITH ITS DEMANDS, THE SANCTIONS WILL NOT BE LIFTED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JJ/PCF
    07-Jan-98 11:09 AM EST (1609 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] ISRAEL-TURKEY-U-S (L-ONLY) BY AL PESSIN (ABOARD THE USS JOHN RODGERS)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224935
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// RE-ISSUING TO CORRECT CR NUMBER. NO OTHER CHANGES ///

    INTRO: ISRAEL, TURKEY AND THE UNITED STATES CONDUCTED A CONTROVERSIAL JOINT NAVAL EXERCISE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA WEDNESDAY. VOA'S AL PESSIN REPORTS FROM ON BOARD THE U-S SHIP IN THE EXERCISE, THE DESTROYER "JOHN RODGERS."

    TEXT: ///SOUND ON BOARD SHIP -- ESTABLISH AND FADE UNDER///

    ON THE COMMAND BRIDGE IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS OFF THE COAST OF ISRAEL, IT'S AN UNEXPECTEDLY CALM AND SUNNY MORNING. BUT ONE LEVEL BELOW IN THE COMBAT INFORMATION CENTER, A RED SPEAKER MOUNTED ON THE CEILING COMES TO LIFE.

    ///SOUND OF SPEAKER ANNOUNCEMENT ///

    THIS IS DESO-ROMERO. A DISTRESS CALL HAS BEEN RECEIVED ...

    ///FADE UNDER///

    IT IS AN ISRAELI COMMANDER ON A NEARBY SHIP, SEEKING ASSISTANCE FROM U-S AND TURKISH VESSELS IN A SEARCH-AND-RESCUE MISSION.

    ///SOUND OF RADIO RESPONSE //

    I CONFIRM, SIR. YOU'VE RECEIVED A DISTRESS CALL FROM ...

    ///FADE UNDER///

    THE SHIPS IMMEDIATELY MOVED TOWARD THE EMERGENCY AND LAUNCHED THEIR HELICOPTERS TO JOIN THE SEARCH.

    IT'S ONLY AN EXERCISE, AND ALL THE SHIPS WILL FIND ARE PERFECTLY GOOD SAILBOATS AND PLASTIC MANNEQUINS IN THE WATER.

    SENIOR U-S OFFICER, COMMODORE JOSEPH SESTAK, SAYS IT'S A ROUTINE EVEN BASIC -- DRILL.

    ///SESTAK ACT///

    THIS INTEROPERABILITY THAT WE ARE DOING IS THE MOST BASIC, FUNDAMENTAL TASK WE DO AT SEA ... THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE DO WITH EVERY COUNTRY IN THE REGION. AND THAT'S ALL THAT IT IS. THIS IS TRULY A HUMANITARIAN SEARCH-AND-RESCUE OPERATION ...

    ///END ACT///

    BUT IT IS THE FIRST TIME THAT ISRAELI AND TURKISH SHIPS HAVE WORKED TOGETHER IN THIS WAY, AND THAT HAS MADE THE OPERATION A TARGET OF CRITICISM FROM SEVERAL COUNTRIES IN THE REGION.

    COMMODORE SESTAK SAYS THE COORDINATION OF COMMUNICATIONS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL AND SEARCH AREAS, IS A FAR CRY FROM WHAT WOULD BE NEEDED FOR ANY JOINT ISRAEL-TURKEY COMBAT OPERATION -- WHICH COULD WORRY OTHER NATIONS.

    BUT ISRAELI NAVAL COMMANDER, RON BEN YEHUDA, SAYS ANY STEP CAN BE A FIRST STEP TO SOMETHING ELSE.

    ///BEN YEHUDA ACT///

    OF COURSE, ANY KIND OF EXERCISE RELATIONSHIP IS A STEP TOWARDS SOMETHING ELSE, IF YOU WANT IT TO BE. I DON'T KNOW OF ANY FUTURE EXERCISES PLANNED TO BE BETWEEN THOSE TWO NAVIES.

    ///END ACT///

    WEDNESDAY'S EXERCISE WITH THE U-S SHIP ENABLED ISRAEL AND TURKEY TO MOVE THEIR GROWING MILITARY RELATIONSHIP ANOTHER STEP FORWARD. THEY ALSO HAVE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS, MILITARY SALES AND OTHER KINDS OF COOPERATION. NOW, THEY'VE DEMONSTRATED AN ABILITY TO WORK TOGETHER ON THE HIGH SEAS. THAT IS SOMETHING COMMODORE SESTAK SAYS IS DESIGNED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE REGION'S STABILITY AND ENHANCE THE U-S ROLE AS A MIDDLE EAST PEACE BROKER. BUT SOME OF THE REGION'S COUNTRIES SAY IT WILL DO THE OPPOSITE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AWP/PCF
    07-Jan-98 12:40 PM EST (1740 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] KURDS/REFUGEES (L-ONLY) BY RUTH YOUNGBLOOD (MANILA)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224918
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES SAYS ITALY'S ASYLUM POLICY FOR KURDS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR OTHER COUNTRIES. AS RUTH YOUNGBLOOD REPORTS FROM MANILA, SADAKO OGATA CRITICIZED OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES WHICH SHE SAYS ARE NO LONGER INTERESTED IN CARING FOR THE WORLD'S DISPLACED.

    TEXT: UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES SADAKO OGATA IS PRAISING ITALY FOR ALLOWING KURDISH REFUGEES TO APPLY FOR ASYLUM. MS. OGATA HAILED THE POLICY OF THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT AS A VERY GOOD ONE, AND CONTRASTED IT WITH POLICIES IN DEVELOPED COUNTRIES WHICH SEEM TO HAVE BECOME TIRED OF THE CONTINUOUS PROBLEM OF REFUGE SEEKERS. MS. OGATA, WHO RECEIVED THE PRESTIGIOUS RAMON MAGSAYSAY AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING IN MANILA, ACKNOWLEDGED A LARGE NUMBER OF KURDISH ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM TURKEY AND IRAQ ARE OF GREAT CONCERN, BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF POLITICAL PERSECUTION. HUNDREDS HAVE BEEN ARRIVING IN ITALY SINCE DECEMBER.

    MS. OGATA SAYS SHE IS ENCOURAGED, HOWEVER, BY THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT'S WILLINGNESS TO EXAMINE CLAIMS FOR ASYLUM INDIVIDUALLY, AS WELL AS TO CONSULT WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ON THE ISSUE. SHE NOTES A GROWING NUMBER OF THOSE SEEKING ASYLUM IN INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES ARE ECONOMIC MIGRANTS POSING AS POLITICAL REFUGEES.

    MS. OGATA SAYS THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSION FOR REFUGEES, WANTS TO ENSURE GOVERNMENTS HAVE THE CAPACITY TO EXAMINE ASYLUM CLAIMS. OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, PARTICULARLY GERMANY AND THE NETHERLANDS, FEAR A HUGE SPILLOVER OF KURDISH REFUGEES. KURDISH GROUPS HAVE ALSO WARNED THAT THOUSANDS ARE PLANNING TO FLEE FROM SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY, WHERE THE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY IS BATTLING FOR A SEPARATE KURDISH HOMELAND.

    THE U-N HIGH COMMISSIONER EXPRESSED FRUSTRATION OVER THE ESCALATING TENDENCY TO REFUSE ASYLUM. IN SUCH CASES, MS. OGATA SAID, HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES ARE LEFT TO DEAL WITH ALL THE PROBLEMS.

    SHE MENTIONED THE 1989 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF ACTION FORGED BETWEEN ASIAN COUNTRIES AS A POSSIBLE MODEL FOR HANDLING THE KURDS. THE PLAN WAS IMPLEMENTED TO SCREEN OUT GENUINE VIETNAMESE REFUGEES FROM THOSE MERELY SEEKING IMPROVED ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES. OF THE 870-THOUSAND VIETNAMESE WHO FLED THEIR COUNTRY SINCE THE COMMUNIST TAKEOVER IN 1975, 760-THOUSAND HAVE BEEN RESETTLED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RY/FC/MMK
    07-Jan-98 6:34 AM EST (1134 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-224950
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES CLOSED DOWN MODESTLY TODAY (WEDNESDAY) AFTER A STRONG RECOVERY FROM BIG LOSSES EARLIER IN THE DAY. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 79 HUNDRED TWO, DOWN FOUR POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 964, DOWN TWO POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY THE ASIAN ECONOMIC SITUATION CONTINUED TO TROUBLE WALL STREET. MANY TRADERS ARE STILL NERVOUS ABOUT HOW MUCH THE ASIAN SITUATION WILL AFFECT THE PROFITS OF U-S CORPORATIONS. AT ONE POINT WEDNESDAY, THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE WAS DOWN MORE THAN 100 POINTS. BUT THERE WAS HEAVY BUYING PRESSURE IN THE MARKET LATE IN THE SESSION, DRASTICALLY CUTTING THE LOSSES.

    SALES OF NEW HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES ROSE IN NOVEMBER TO THEIR HIGHEST RATE IN MORE THAN 11 YEARS. ANALYSTS SAY THE HOUSING MARKET IS BENEFITING FROM STRONG CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND LOW MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    GENERAL MOTORS CHAIRMAN JACK SMITH SAYS HIS COMPANY IS PLANNING A MAJOR COST REDUCTION PROGRAM IN ITS EUROPEAN OPERATIONS. HOWEVER, MR. SMITH SAYS THERE WILL BE NO LAYOFFS AND THAT WORK FORCE REDUCTIONS WILL COME FROM NORMAL ATTRITION AND VOLUNTARY RETIREMENTS.

    THE STOCK OF THE BLACK AND DECKER POWER TOOL CORPORATION JUMPED BY ALMOST 10 PERCENT AFTER THE COMPANY SAID IT EXPECTS A MAJOR RISE IN QUARTERLY EARNINGS.

    THE U-S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAS FILED CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST A COMPANY FOR ALLEGEDLY CONSPIRING TO DEVELOP A NEW STRAIN OF TOBACCO WITH A SUPER-HIGH NICOTINE CONTENT. THE D-N-A PLANT TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION HAS AGREED TO PLEAD GUILTY AND COOPERATE WITH THE INVESTIGATION WHICH OFFICIALS SAY COULD ALSO INVOLVE THE BROWN AND WILLIAMSON TOBACCO COMPANY.

    IT MAY SOUND LIKE SUPERSTITION, BUT SOME WALL STREET VETERANS ARE STARTING TO WORRY ABOUT THE SO-CALLED '"FIRST FIVE DAYS RULE." THE IDEA IS THAT IF THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE DOES NOT RISE DURING THE FIRST FIVE TRADING DAYS OF THE NEW YEAR, IT WILL NOT RISE FOR THE FULL YEAR. SOME ANALYSTS SAY THE THEORY IS MEANINGLESS, ALTHOUGH, SINCE 1950, IT HAS BEEN RIGHT ALMOST 90 PERCENT OF THE TIME.(SIGNED)
    NEB/PT
    NEB/NY/BA/LSF
    07-Jan-98 5:03 PM EST (2203 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] NORTHERN IRELAND BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE=1/7/98
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-38602
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS, SENIOR IRISH AND BRITISH OFFICIALS WILL MEET WITH POLITICIANS AND OTHER LEADERS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND IN AN EFFORT TO BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO THE PEACE PROCESS. AS V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA REPORTS FROM LONDON, THE SEARCH FOR A LASTING PEACE IN THE BRITISH PROVINCE HAS RECENTLY BEEN DEALT SOME SEVERE BLOWS.

    TEXT: TENSIONS REMAIN HIGH IN NORTHERN IRELAND AS POLITICIANS TRY TO AVERT A COLLAPSE OF THE PEACE PROCESS JUST BEFORE FULL-SCALE TALKS RESUME OUTSIDE BELFAST MONDAY.

    SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS WEEK, THERE HAS BEEN A FLURRY OF ACTIVITY AS BRITISH AND IRISH OFFICIALS MET REPRESENTATIVES FROM VARIOUS POLITICAL PARTIES FROM NORTHERN IRELAND. MORE SUCH TALKS ARE ENVISAGED IN THE RUN-UP TO MONDAY'S NEGOTIATIONS.

    THERE IS SOME CONFUSION AS TO WHO WILL SHOW UP AT NEXT WEEK'S TALKS AFTER ONE OF NORTHERN IRELAND'S MAIN LOYALIST -- OR PRO-BRITISH -- PARAMILITARY GROUPS WITHDREW ITS SUPPORT FOR THE PEACE PROCESS.

    THE PARAMILITARY "ULSTER DEFENSE ASSOCIATION" -- OR U-D-A -- SAID A MAJORITY OF ITS PRISONERS HELD IN BELFAST'S "MAZE" PRISON BELIEVES THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IS MAKING TOO MANY CONCESSIONS TO THE NATIONALIST PARTIES SUCH AS SINN FEIN -- THE POLITICAL WING OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY. THE U-D-A SAID UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS, THE PEACE PROCESS IS NO LONGER VIABLE.

    EXPERTS SAY SUCH A VIEW PLACES THE U-D-A'S POLITICAL WING -- THE ULSTER DEMOCRATIC PARTY -- UNDER PRESSURE NOT TO CONTINUE ITS PARTICIPATION IN THE TALKS ON NORTHERN IRELAND'S FUTURE. //OPT// ANOTHER POLITICAL PARTY REPRESENTING A SECOND LOYALIST PARAMILITARY GROUP IS ALSO CONSIDERING WHETHER TO ATTEND. //END OPT//

    A RECENT MEETING BETWEEN POLITICIANS AND LOYALIST PRISONERS AT THE "MAZE" DID NOT CHANGE THE PARAMILITARIES' HARDLINE VIEW.

    ONE OF THOSE ATTENDING THE MEETING WAS KEN MAGINNIS -- SECURITY SPOKESMAN FOR NORTHERN IRELAND'S LARGEST PARTY, THE "ULSTER UNIONISTS." HE BELIEVES THAT DESPITE THEIR CONDEMNATION OF THE PEACE PROCESS, THE PARAMILITARIES WILL ABIDE BY THEIR THREE-YEAR-OLD CEASEFIRE.

    // MAGINNIS ACT //

    BOTH LOYALIST PARAMILITARY GROUPS INDICATED THAT THEY HAD NO DESIRE TO RETURN TO VIOLENCE, THAT THEY HAD BEEN IN A CEASEFIRE MODE FOR THREE YEARS AND THEY WANTED TO CONTINUE TO REMAIN IN THAT MODE. THEY WOULD ONLY -- THEY SAID -- BE PROVOKED OUT OF THAT PARTICULAR ATTITUDE IF THERE WAS RENEWED AND SUSTAINED TERRORIST VIOLENCE FROM THE I-R-A. NOW THAT IS ENCOURAGING. IT SHOWS THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE NOW PREPARED TO WAIT AND GIVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE POLITICAL STABILITY IN NORTHERN IRELAND.

    // END ACT //

    THE SENIOR BRITISH MINISTER IN CHARGE OF NORTHERN IRELAND -- (MS) MO MOWLAM -- IS SCHEDULED TO MEET THOSE SAME PRISONERS FRIDAY TO STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS.

    WHAT HAS EXACERBATED THE CURRENT SITUATION IS THE IRISH GOVERNMENT'S RELEASE JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS OF NINE I-R-A PRISONERS. FOR ITS PART, THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS RULED OUT -- AT THIS STAGE -- ANY EARLY RELEASE OF LOYALIST PARAMILITARY PRISONERS HELD IN NORTHERN IRELAND.

    MR. MAGINNIS SAYS TO DEFUSE THE SITUATION, THE OVERALL PRISONER ISSUE MUST NOW BE SERIOUSLY DISCUSSED.

    // SECOND MAGINNIS ACT //

    ALTHOUGH SOME OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE CARRIED OUT THE MOST HORRENDOUS CRIMES, WE BELIEVE THAT THAT WHOLE ISSUE HAS TO BE ADDRESSED AND THAT THERE WILL BE SOME AMELIORATION OF THE SITUATION AS FAR AS PRISONERS ARE CONCERNED. THERE WILL BE EXTENSIONS OF PAROLE. THERE WILL BE PERHAPS EARLY RELEASES. BUT LET ME SAY THERE CANNOT -- AND THERE WILL NOT BE -- A WHOLESALE OPENING OF THE FLOODGATES AND ALLOWING ALL THESE PEOPLE BACK ONTO THE STREETS //OPT// AS THOUGH THEY HAD NEVER COMMITTED SOME OF THE ATROCIOUS CRIMES THAT THEY HAVE COMMITTED. YOU SEE, THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR TERRORISM WITHIN A DEMOCRACY. //END OPT//

    // END ACT //

    DESPITE CEASEFIRES BY THE LOYALIST PARAMILITARIES AND THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY, THERE WAS A VIVID REMINDER WEDNESDAY THAT TERRORISM IS STILL VERY MUCH PART OF LIFE IN NORTHERN IRELAND. BRITISH TROOPS DEFUSED A 200-KILOGRAM BOMB PLACED IN A CAR PARKED ON A STREET IN A TOWN SOUTH OF BELFAST. POLICE WERE TIPPED OFF BY A TELEPHONE CALL TO A RADIO STATION IN THE NEIGHBORING IRISH REPUBLIC.

    // OPT //

    NO ONE HAS CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR PLACING THE EXPLOSIVE DEVICE. BUT MR. MAGINNIS SAYS SUSPICION MUST FALL ON A GROUP WHICH BROKE AWAY FROM THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY AND WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR SEVERAL BOMBINGS LAST YEAR.

    // OPT // // THIRD MAGINNIS ACT //

    WHEN ONE LOOKS AT THE AREA WHERE IT (THE CAR BOMB) WAS PLANTED, WE LOOK AT THE AREA FROM WHICH IT CAME, WE LOOK AT WHERE THE WARNING WAS PUBLISHED, IT LOOKS AS THOUGH IT WILL BE CLAIMED BY THE "CONTINUITY ARMY COUNCIL." NOW THAT IS A BREAKAWAY -- TECHNICALLY A BREAKAWAY FROM THE PROVISIONAL I-R-A -- BUT THAT ORGANIZATION DOES NOT OPERATE WITHOUT PROVISIONAL I-R-A SUPPORT.

    // END ACT // // END OPT //

    MR. MAGINNIS SAYS DESPITE SUCH TERRORIST ATTEMPTS, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO POLITICAL TALKS -- AND HE SAYS EVERYONE MUST REDOUBLE EFFORTS TO SALVAGE THE PEACE PROCESS TO SAVE NORTHERN IRELAND FROM ANOTHER ROUND OF VIOLENCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/PCF/WFR
    07-Jan-98 12:34 PM EST (1734 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=01/07/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10519
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    //// EDS: PERISHABLE MATERIAL, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ! ! ////

    INTRO:THE U-S PRESS IS BUSY COMMENTING ON A SUBJECT IT HASN'T BEEN ABLE TO DISCUSS FOR MORE THAN THREE GENERATIONS, THE PROSPECT OF A BALANCED BUDGET. OTHER TOPICS UNDER THE EDITORIAL MICROSCOPE INCLUDE: THE KENYAN ELECTION; AN AMERICAN WINS THE PRESIDENCY OF LITHUANIA; THE POSSIBILITY OF DEFLATION IS RAISED BY AMERICA'S MOST INFLUENTIAL ECONOMIST; AND MAKING FOOD SAFER. NOW, HERE IN THE STUDIO TO GIVE US SOME SAMPLES IS _____________________ WITH TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: EVER SINCE PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCED HE WOULD PROPOSE A BALANCED FEDERAL BUDGET FOR THE 1998 FISCAL YEAR, THE NATION'S EDITORIAL WRITERS HAVE BEEN BUSY ASSESSING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MOVE. THE NATION HAS RUN A DEFICIT FOR SO MANY YEARS, COMPLAINING ABOUT IT HAS BECOME A KIND OF ECONOMIC MANTRA. HERE'S WHAT "THE TOPEKA [KANSAS] CAPITOL-JOURNAL THINKS OF THE IDEA:

    VOICE: THE FEDERAL BUDGET IS BALANCED, EVEN PRODUCING A SURPLUS -- WHILE NASA PREPARES FOR ANOTHER MISSION TO THE MOON. SOUNDS AN AWFUL LOT LIKE 1969. BUT IT MIGHT BE HERE AGAIN SOON, AS PRESIDENT CLINTON IS PREDICTING THE FIRST BALANCED BUDGET IN 30 YEARS. ..... WELL, MAYBE. THERE ARE A FEW HITCHES. FIRST IS THAT, AS THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN CAREFUL TO NOTE, THERE IS N O SURPLUS -- NOT YET. LET'S NOT GET TOO LIGHTHEADED AND START SPENDING MONEY WE DON'T HAVE. AND THAT'S ANOTHER THING. SINCE THE 1960S, WE'VE BEEN SPENDING MONEY WE DON'T HAVE. AT THE END OF 1969, THE NATIONAL DEBT WAS 365-BILLION DOLLARS. AT THE END OF 1997, IT STOOD AT FIVE-POINT-FIVE TRILLION. .... IF THE BUDGET DOES INDEED BALANCE, THE POLITICIANS WILL BE BREAKING THEIR ARMS PATTING THEMSELVES ON THE BACK. BUT IT'S THE WORKING MAN AND WOMAN THAT DESERVE THE CONGRATULATIONS.

    TEXT: IN FLORIDA, "THE MIAMI HERALD" IS VERY CONCERNED THAT WITH THE PROSPECT OF AN ACTUAL SURPLUS IN THE BUDGET, THE CONGRESS WILL MAKE THE MISTAKE OF RUSHING INTO TAX CUTS WHICH THE PAPER FEELS WOULD BE UNWISE.

    VOICE: PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE RECONVENING CONGRESS ARE PRACTICALLY GIDDY THAT A BOOMING ECONOMY SEEMS TO HAVE WIPED OUT THE DEFICIT AND THAT 1998 MAY BE A BUDGET YEAR WITH A 20-BILLION-DOLLAR SURPLUS. .... NEVER MIND THAT THE NUMBERS FOR 1997 AREN'T IN YET. .... DON'T MENTION, EITHER, THAT THE FIVE-POINT-FIVE TRILLION NATIONAL DEBT REQUIRES 245-BILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY JUST TO PAY THE INTEREST. IN FACT, INTEREST PAYMENTS ON THE DEBT ARE THE NATION'S THIRD-LARGEST EXPENDITURE, AFTER DEFENSE AND SOCIAL SECURITY. ..... IF IN FACT A BUDGET SURPLUS DOES MATERIALIZE IN 1998, IT WILL BE SMALL AND CERTAINLY NO SIGN THAT THE BUDGET IS PERMANENTLY BALANCED.

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, ON THIS TOPIC, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" AGREES WITH "THE HERALD," NOTING:

    VOICE: THE BUDGET IS NOW CLOSE TO BEING IN BALANCE BECAUSE OF RECENT SPENDING RESTRAINT, A SERIES OF TAX INCREASES -- ESPECIALLY THOSE UNDER PRESIDENTS BUSH AND CLINTON -- AND MOST IMPORTANT, A PROSPEROUS ECONOMY. THE BALANCE IS TEMPORARY, HOWEVER. IN THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS THE GROWING COST OF HEALTH AND RETIREMENT PROGRAMS IS PROJECTED TO THROW THE BUDGET BACK INTO THE RED, AND RECKLESS TAX CUTS WILL ONLY MAKE THE PROBLEM WORSE.

    TEXT: ON A RELATED TOPIC, THE ISSUE OF D E F L A T I O N, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" WONDERS WHETHER THE NATION'S CENTRAL BANK, THE FEDERAL RESERVE HAS GONE TOO FAR WITH ITS ANTI-INFLATIONARY POLICIES.

    VOICE: NOW THAT ALAN GREENSPAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE, HAS UTTERED IN PUBLIC A WARNING ABOUT DEFLATION, THE DEBATE IS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED. WE CAN ALL START TO ASK WHETHER THE FED, IN EASING OUT OF A MORE THAN 20-YEAR STRETCH OF INFLATION, IS IN DANGER OF OVERSHOOTING ITS GOAL OF KEEPING THE PRICE LEVEL STABLE, AND IS INSTEAD TIPPING INTO DEFLATION. THE POSSIBILITY IS WORRISOME SINCE DEFLATION WAS CLEARLY AN ELEMENT IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION, AND IN JAPAN'S MORE RECENT ECONOMIC BLACK HOLE. A FALLING PRICE LEVEL, PARTICULARLY IF UNEXPECTED, CAN GENERALLY DISRUPT MARKETS IN WAYS AT LEAST AS JOLTING AS A RISING ONE.

    TEXT: A PAIR OF ELECTIONS, FIRST IN KENYA, WHERE THE LONG-TIME INCUMBENT WAS RETURNED TO POWER IN A FLAWED BALLOT, AND SECOND IN LITHUANIA, WHERE A RETIRED U-S GOVERNMENT ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICIAL FROM CHICAGO, VALDAS ADAMKUS, WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT, ARE ELICITING COMMENT. FIRST TO KENYA, WHERE BOSTON'S "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" SAYS:

    VOICE: ONE CAN ONLY HOPE DANIEL ARAP MOI IS SINCERE WHEN HE SAYS HIS NEXT FIVE-YEAR TERM AS KENYA'S PRESIDENT WILL ROOT OUT CORRUPTION, SPARK ECONOMIC GROWTH, AND BE 'DEVOID OF HATE, FEAR, AND CONFRONTATION.' THE PAST TWO DECADES OF MOI RULE DON'T FOSTER MUCH OPTIMISM. ..... CLEARLY, MOST KENYANS WANT SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE 'BIG MAN' RULE [MR.] MOI REPRESENTS. OPPOSITION LEADERS ARE LOATHE TO ACCEPT [MR.] MOI'S VICTORY. THEY PROTEST ... THE BALLOTING WAS RIGGED. ..... DEMOCRACY IS ASTIR IN KENYA, AND ITS STIRRINGS WILL SHAPE THE FINAL YEARS UNDER [PRESIDENT] MOI.

    TEXT: NOW TO LITHUANIA, WHERE THE NEW PRESIDENT, VALDAS ADAMKUS, IS THE FORMER HEAD OF THE U-S ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY'S [E-P-A] MIDWEST REGION. MR. ADAMKUS NARROWLY DEFEATED A REFORMED COMMUNIST AND "THE WASHINGTON POST" SAYS HE MAY BRING A FRESH, NON-SOVIET, APPROACH TO GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE: MR. ADAMKUS, 71, EMIGRATED FROM LITHUANIA IN 1944 DURING WORLD WAR TWO, AND MADE HIS WAY TO THE UNITED STATES VIA GERMANY. HERE HE FORGED A DISTINGUISHED CAREER AS ENGINEER AND REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR ..... OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. ..... HIS ELECTION IS INTERESTING AS A HUMAN INTEREST STORY, BUT EVEN MORE INTERESTING FOR WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT THE DISTANCE LITHUANIA -- LIKE SEVERAL OTHER FORMERLY COMMUNIST COUNTRIES IN ITS NEIGHBORHOOD -- HAS TRAVELED SINCE IT SHOOK OFF SOVIET OCCUPATION AND REGAINED ITS INDEPENDENCE IN 1991. .... THIS TURNING AWAY FROM THE EX-COMMUNIST MANAGERS CAN BE SEEN AS A SIGN OF CONFIDENCE IN NEW NATIONHOOD. // OPT// MANY VOTERS HOPE THAT MR. ADAMKUS, WITH HIS HALF-CENTURY IN AMERICA, WILL BRING A FRESH, TOTALLY NON-SOVIET APPROACH TO GOVERNMENT. ..... THEIR ELECTION OF HIM ALSO REPRESENTS ANOTHER SIGN OF THE DESIRE THAT LITHUANIA, POLAND AND THEIR BALTIC NEIGHBORS SHARE TO JOIN THE WEST AND ALL ITS IMPORTANT INSTITUTIONS. IT IS A REACHING-OUT THAT THE WEST SHOULD ENTHUSIASTICALLY RECIPROCATE.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: IN HIS ADOPTED "HOME CITY" "THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE ADDS THIS ABOUT MR. ADAMKUS.

    VOICE: ANY UPPER-LEVEL FEDERAL BUREAUCRAT WHO CAN SURVIVE THE COMINGS AND GOINGS OF SIX PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATIONS -- MAINLY BY STAYING AWAY FROM POLITICS AND GETTING THE JOB DONE -- HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL TO OFFER. HE IS ALSO A NOTORIOUS STRAIGHT-SHOOTER [HONEST AND OF GREAT INTEGRITY], HAVING REFUSED MORE THAN ONCE TO BEND HIS FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO CONFORM WITH THE PREDILECTIONS OF POWERS IN WASHINGTON. THERE IS A NEED FOR SUCH TALENT IN LITHUANIA, WHERE THE VACUUM LEFT BY THE SOVIET UNION'S COLLAPSE HAS BEEN FILLED TOO OFTEN BY OPPORTUNISTS WHO MAKE THEIR OWN RULES.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: ON LONG ISLAND, "NEWSDAY" IS PLEASED ABOUT CURRENT MOVES BY THE WHITE HOUSE TO IMPROVE THE NATION'S FOOD SAFETY.

    VOICE: TO ANYONE WHO SKIPPED THE HOLIDAY EGGNOG FOR FEAR OF SALMONELLA, ONE OF THE MOST WELCOME BUDGET TREATS WILL BE MORE MONEY TO MAKE FOOD AND DRINK SAFER. THE PROPOSED INCREASE IS A MODEST 71-MILLION DOLLARS, TO BE DIVIDED AMONG THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT, THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION AND THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. ..... AFTER A YEAR WHEN 11-AND-ONE-THIRD MILLION KILOGRAMS OF GROUND BEEF WERE RECALLED BECAUSE 17 PEOPLE IN COLORADO GOT SICK FROM BURGERS CONTAMINATED BY E. COLI BACTERIA, A GREATER CONCERN FOR SAFETY IS NOT ONLY UNDERSTANDABLE BUT ESSENTIAL. .... NOTE TO CONGRESS: THIS PUBLIC-HEALTH PROBLEM IS A LOT MORE URGENT THAN ANOTHER TAX CUT.

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM SOME OF TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    07-Jan-98 10:55 AM EST (1555 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    voa2html v2.03a run on Thursday, 8 January 1998 - 1:52:10 UTC