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Voice of America, 98-01-14

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALGERIA EUROPE (S/L) BY JESSICA JONES (CAIRO)
  • [02] GERMANY / EXTREMISM (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BONN)
  • [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (L & S) BY MAX RUSTON (NEW YORK)
  • [04] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] ALGERIA EUROPE (S/L) BY JESSICA JONES (CAIRO)

    DATE=1/14/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-225269
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ALGERIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AHMAD ATTAF SAYS HIS COUNTRY WILL NOT ALLOW A EUROPEAN UNION DELEGATION TO VISIT AND DISCUSS THE VIOLENCE WHICH HAS LEFT MORE THAN ONE-THOUSAND CIVILIANS DEAD IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS. JESSICA JONES REPORTS FROM OUR MIDDLE EAST BUREAU.

    TEXT: FOREIGN MINISTER ATTAF ANNOUNCED HIS GOVERNMENT'S REJECTION OF THE PROPOSED E-U MISSION AT A NEWS CONFERENCE IN ALGIERS WEDNESDAY.

    HE TOLD REPORTERS THE EUROPEAN UNION IS NOT READY TO OFFER HELP IN COMBATTING TERRORISM, ADDING THAT THERE WOULD BE NO MEANING OR SUBSTANCE TO THE PROPOSED MISSION.

    THE FOREIGN MINISTER ALSO COMPLAINED THAT THE E-U PLANNED TO SEND ONLY A LOW-LEVEL DELEGATION THAT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE PLANNED DISCUSSIONS.

    THE E-U VOICED DISAPPOINTMENT WITH THE ALGERIAN DECISION.

    ///REMAINDER OPT FOR LONG C-R///

    EARLIER WEDNESDAY, BRITAIN'S FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK, WHOSE GOVERNMENT CURRENTLY CHAIRS THE E-U, SAID THE PLANNED MISSION WAS INTENDED TO DEMONSTRATE THE STRONG FEELINGS OF THE PEOPLES OF EUROPE FOR THE SUFFERING OF THE ALGERIAN PEOPLE.

    ALGERIAN OFFICIALS CHARGE THAT E-U GOVERNMENTS HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH TO CRACK DOWN ON ISLAMIST EXTREMISTS LIVING IN EXILE IN WESTERN EUROPE.

    ALGIERS HAS ALSO OBJECTED TO REPEATED CALLS IN EUROPE FOR AN INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION INTO THE VIOLENCE.

    SOME HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS SAY THE ALGERIAN GOVERNMENT IS AT LEAST PARTLY TO BLAME FOR THE BLOODSHED. BUT FOREIGN SECRETARY COOK SAID HE HAS SEEN NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE ALLEGATIONS.

    MR. COOK SAID HE HAS ASKED ALGERIAN AUTHORITIES TO ALLOW THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR IN ALGIERS TO VISIT THE SITES OF THE LATEST MASSACRES -- IN THE WESTERN REGION OF RELIZANE AND IN THE FARM BELT SOUTH OF THE CAPITAL.

    IT IS NOT YET CLEAR WHETHER ALGERIAN AUTHORITIES WILL AGREE TO THE PROPOSAL.

    //REST SUB OPT FOR LONG //

    THE VIOLENCE BEGAN IN EARNEST IN 1992, WHEN THE MILITARY-BACKED GOVERNMENT CANCELLED ELECTIONS THE ISLAMIC SALVATION FRONT WAS POISED TO WIN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JJ/DBR/PCF
    14-Jan-98 11:55 AM EST (1655 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] GERMANY / EXTREMISM (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BONN)

    DATE=1/14/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-225274
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A GERMAN PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE HAS OPENED A PROBE INTO THE EXTENT OF NEO-NAZI ACTIVITIES IN THE COUNTRY'S ARMY. THE INQUIRY FOLLOWS A SERIES OF EMBARRASSING SCANDALS TO HIT THE GERMAN MILITARY. AS VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS FROM BONN, OFFICIALS SAY THE PROBE ALSO COINCIDES WITH AN INCREASE IN HATE CRIMES, WHICH HAVE OFFICIALS CONCERNED.

    TEXT: THE PARLIAMENTARY PROBE INTO NEO-NAZI ACTIVITIES IN THE GERMAN ARMY WAS SPARKED BY REVELATIONS THAT CONVICTED ARSONIST MANFRED ROEDER WAS INVITED TO SPEAK AT GERMANY'S ELITE MILITARY ACADEMY IN 1995.

    THAT SCANDAL, WHICH ERUPTED LAST MONTH, FOLLOWED OTHER REVELATIONS OF SOLDIERS SHOUTING ANTI-SEMITIC AND NEO-NAZI SLOGANS AT BARRACKS PARTIES, AND THE DISCOVERY OF VIDEO TAPES THAT FEATURED SOLDIERS ACTING OUT NEO-NAZI SKITS AND PRETENDING TO CARRYING OUT RAPES AND KILLINGS.

    DEFENSE MINISTER VOLKER RUEHE SAYS THE INCIDENTS ARE ISOLATED AND ARE NOT PART OF AN ARMY WIDE PROBLEM. NEVERTHELESS, HE ACKNOWLEDGES THE SCANDALS HAVE HURT THE REPUTATION OF THE MODERN GERMAN ARMY, WHICH HAS ONLY RECENTLY BEGUN TO TAKE A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS. MEANWHILE, GERMAN OFFICIALS ARE ALSO STRUGGLING WITH AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF ASSAULTS AND OTHER CRIMES BY RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS.

    THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL OFFICE FOR PROTECTION OF THE CONSTITUTION, KLAUS DIETER FRITSCHE, SAYS MOST OF THE ATTACKS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT BY YOUTHS.

    // FRITSCHE ACT, IN GERMAN, FADES //

    IN THE LAST YEAR, MR. FRITSCHE SAYS, WE HAVE EXPERIENCED AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF ATTACKS BY CLUB-WIELDING SKINHEADS IN EASTERN GERMANY, AS WELL AS IN BIG CITIES IN THE WESTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY. THE ATTACKS, HE SAYS, HAVE BEEN DIRECTED AT THE HOMELESS, AS WELL AS AGAINST FOREIGNERS.

    CRIMES AGAINST FOREIGNERS, WHICH REACHED A PEAK IN THE YEARS FOLLOWING GERMAN UNIFICATION, HAVE FALLEN SHARPLY SINCE THEN. OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE NOT YET SURE WHAT TRIGGERED LAST YEAR'S TWO PERCENT INCREASE, BUT MR. FRITSCHE BELIEVES GERMANY'S RECORD HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT HAS PLAYED A ROLE.

    // SECOND FRITSCHE ACT, IN GERMAN, FADES //

    THERE IS ANXIETY ABOUT THE FUTURE, MR. FRITSCHE SAYS -- ABOUT HOW TO FIND WORK AND JOB SECURITY, ESPECIALLY IN THE EAST, WHERE PEOPLE ARE STILL ENDURING A PAINFUL TRANSITION.

    //OPT//

    MR. FRITSCHE, WHOSE AGENCY IS CHARGED WITH MONITORING EXTREMIST ACTIVITIES IN GERMANY, SAYS THE FLOURISHING FAR RIGHT MUSIC SCENE IS ALSO A WORRYING DEVELOPMENT.

    // THIRD FRITSCHE ACT, IN GERMAN, FADES //

    THIS MUSIC HAS HEIGHTENED THE SPIRIT OF THE RIGHT-WING SCENE, MR. FRITSCHE SAYS. THE THEMES ARE CLEARLY ANTI-SEMITIC, RACIST AND ANTI-FOREIGNER. //END OPT//

    AUTHORITIES ARE WORKING TO HALT THE IMPORTATION OF NEO-NAZI C-D'S, VIDEOS AND MAGAZINES, WHICH ARE ILLEGAL IN GERMANY, BUT THEY SAY THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN MADE MORE COMPLICATED BY THE GROWING USE OF THE INTERNET.

    TO COMBAT THE GROWTH IN VIOLENT RIGHT-WING CRIME, AUTHORITIES IN THE EASTERN GERMAN STATE OF BRANDENBURG HAVE ANNOUNCED FORMATION OF A SPECIAL POLICE UNIT.

    OFFICIALS SAY THEY HOPE THAT BY FOCUSING ON KNOWN NEO-NAZI TROUBLE SPOTS THEY WILL BE ABLE TO BREAK UP BANNED GATHERINGS AND PREVENT ANY FURTHER INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF ATTACKS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/PCF
    14-Jan-98 1:25 PM EST (1825 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (L & S) BY MAX RUSTON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=1/14/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-225288
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCKS PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP MODERATELY TODAY (WEDNESDAY), POSTING THEIR THIRD STRAIGHT DAY OF GAINS. V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON HAS THE FINANCIAL NEWS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE ROSE 53 POINTS, CLOSING AT 77-HUNDRED-85. THE STANDARD AND POORS 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 958, UP SIX POINTS.

    THE MODERATE GAIN WAS FUELED BY A SECOND DAY OF STRONG PERFORMANCE IN SOME ASIAN MARKETS, AND THE RELEASE OF COMMERCE DEPARTMENT FIGURES SHOWING STRONG U-S RETAIL SALES.

    BUT TONY GLEASON, OF CHASE VISTA ASSET MANAGEMENT, SAYS MANY INVESTORS REMAIN UNCERTAIN ABOUT THE MARKET'S FUTURE PROSPECTS.

    /// GLEASON ACT ///

    WE HAVE THIS INTERESTING, SCARY TIME PERIOD WHERE WE HAVE TO ADJUST TO LOWER EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS.

    /// END ACT ///

    THOSE CONCERNS ARE EVIDENT THIS MONTH AS COMPANIES RELEASE THEIR QUARTERLY EARNINGS REPORTS.

    /// REST OPTIONAL ///

    AMONG THE COMPANIES RELEASING EARNINGS REPORTS WEDNESDAY WERE STATE STREET CORPORATION AND CHARLES SCHWAB. BOTH EXCEEDED ANALYSTS PREDICTIONS.

    STATE STREET, ACCORDING TO SOME ESTIMATES, IS THE WORLD'S LEADING SERVICER OF FINANCIAL ASSETS, WITH NEARLY FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS IN ASSETS UNDER ITS CUSTODY. THE COMPANY'S EARNINGS PER SHARE WERE UP 30 PERCENT OVER LAST YEAR, REFLECTING THE TREMENDOUS INFLUX OF MONEY INTO MUTUAL AND PENSION FUNDS.

    CHARLES SCHWAB, ONE OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST DISCOUNT BROKERS, REPORTED EARNINGS SIX PERCENT HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR. THE RESULTS INCLUDE A CHARGE OF 17 MILLION DOLLARS FOR A LEGAL SETTLEMENT STEMMING FROM A PRICE-FIXING SCANDAL. SCHWAB IS ONE OF 36 WALL STREET FIRMS IMPLICATED IN CHARGES OF CONSPIRING TO ARTIFICIALLY RAISE SOME STOCK PRICES.

    FINANCIAL STOCKS WERE AMONG THE BIGGEST GAINERS IN THE TRADING SESSION ... STOCKS SUCH AS CITICORP, CHASE MANHATTAN AND BANKAMERICA. TECHNOLOGY STOCKS WERE MIXED AS INVESTORS CONTINUED TO WORRY ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE ASIAN DEBT CRISIS ON THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/MPR/LSF/KL
    14-Jan-98 4:41 PM EST (2141 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=01/14/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10530
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// EDS: DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T /////

    INTRO: THE U-S PRESS IS RESPONDING TO THE LATEST CONFRONTATION BETWEEN IRAQ AND THE UNITED NATIONS WEAPONS INSPECTION TEAMS WITH PLENTY OF COMMENT. OTHER TOPICS ON THE NATION'S EDITORIAL PAGES INCLUDE: THE ASIAN CURRENCY CRISIS;THE STATE OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE TALKS; THE CENSUS BUREAU'S LEADER QUITS AND THAT ICE STORM AFTERMATH IN NEW ENGLAND. NOW, JOINING US IS _____________ WITH TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: SEVERAL PAPERS ARE EXPRESSING FRUSTRATION WITH THE LATEST REFUSAL BY IRAQ TO ALLOW PART OF THE U-N INSPECTION TEAM TO CONTINUE TO PROBE THE NATION FOR HIDDEN WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. "NEWSDAY" PUTS IT THIS WAY:

    VOICE: ENOUGH. IRAQ CAN NO LONGER BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE BLOCKING INTERNATIONAL INSPECTIONS OF ITS SUSPECTED CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS SITES. SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS TURNED THE EXERCISE INTO A FARCE, MAKING FOOLS OF THE PERSIAN GULF ALLIES THAT ONCE DEFEATED HIM. IT'S TIME FOR PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON TO CALL HIS BLUFF: EITHER HUSSEIN DROPS ALL HIS OBJECTIONS AND LETS THE UNITED NATIONS TEAMS DO THEIR WORK, OR [PRESIDENT] CLINTON ORDERS A MILITARY STRIKE ON AN IRAQI TARGET. I/// OPT /// ... IF NECESSARY, [MR.] CLINTON SHOULD DECLARE HIMSELF WILLING TO ACT UNILATERALLY TO DEFUSE IRAQ'S THREAT. UNTIL NOW, HE HAS TRIED TO OPERATE UNDER THE U-N UMBRELLA. THAT IS THE BEST WAY, OF COURSE. BUT IT IS NOT WORKING. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: "USA TODAY" TAKES THE POSITION THAT THE WHITE HOUSE HAS BROUGHT THE LATEST CONFRONTATION ON ITSELF BY ALLOWING THE RUSSIANS TO NEGOTIATE A BAD SETTLEMENT TO THE EARLIER PROBLEM WITH BAGHDAD.

    VOICE: JUST TWO MONTHS AGO ... THE UNITED STATES HAD A STRONG HAND TO PLAY, SENDING WARSHIPS AND TROOPS TO THE GULF AND ARGUING WITH RUSSIA AND FRANCE, BOTH EAGER FOR TRADE WITH IRAQ, THAT THE PRICE OF CAPITULATION WAS INTOLERABLY HIGH. BUT THE ADMINISTRATION BLINKED. RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER YEVGENY PRIMAKOV, WHO HAS A LONG HISTORY AS A SADDAM APOLOGIST, CUT A SECRET DEAL WITH IRAQ, ALLEGEDLY TO OPEN ALL DOORS TO U-N INSPECTORS. ... THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ACQUIESCED, CEDING LEADERSHIP TO THE RUSSIANS.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: "THE NEW YORK POST" IS CALLING THE LATEST CONFRONTATION "CLINTON'S IRAQ DISGRACE," IN ITS HEADLINE, AND DEMANDING A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION.

    VOICE: WHEN CONGRESS RETURNS TO BEGIN THIS YEAR'S LEGISLATIVE SESSION ... ITS FIRST ORDER OF DUTY SHOULD BE TO EXAMINE THE ADMINISTRATION'S IRAQ POLICY -- OR LACK THEREOF. ... THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE ... SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SCHEDULE HEARINGS AND CALL SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT ... TO EXPLAIN WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE ON-GOING ASIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" IS SUGGESTING THERE SHOULD BE A BETTER WAY TO BAIL OUT A FAILING NATION.

    VOICE: TOP OFFICIALS OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND RUSHED OFF TO INDONESIA THIS WEEK TO STANCH AN ECONOMIC HEMORRHAGE THAT THE FUND NOW CONCEDES IT WORSENED ITSELF. DEPUTY TREASURY SECRETARY LAWRENCE SUMMERS, REPRESENTING A WORRIED CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, FOLLOWED CLOSE BEHIND. AMERICANS ARE UNDERSTANDABLY WONDERING WHETHER THE FUND CAN BE TRUSTED TO PUT TOGETHER THESE KINDS OF BAILOUTS AND WHETHER TAXPAYER DOLLARS OUGHT TO BE TURNED OVER TO THE FUND SO THAT IT CAN INDIRECTLY REPAY WESTERN BANKS THAT MADE FOOLISH LOANS.

    TEXT: TWO PAPERS, "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" AND "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" ARE FOCUSED ON THE PART CORRUPTION AND DISHONESTY PLAYED IN THE CURRENT CRISIS. BOTH CITE REPORTS OF WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION IN THE FORMER PAKISTANI REGIME OF PRIME MINISTER BENAZIR BHUTTO. BOTH PAPERS SAY CORRUPTION MUST BE REDUCED IN ASIA AND ELSEWHERE, AND PRAISE EFFORTS AT ITS REMOVAL, IF THESE KINDS OF FINANCIAL CRISIS ARE TO BE AVOIDED IN THE FUTURE. HERE'S SOME OF "THE MONITOR'S" COMMENTS.

    VOICE: LOOKED BACK ON TEN YEARS FROM NOW, ASIA'S CURRENCY CRISIS MAY BE VIEWED IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT. IT MAY BE SEEN AS A PERIOD IN WHICH NOT ONLY ECONOMIC REFORM BUT ALSO POPULAR DEMOCRACY GAINED GROUND. NOTE THREE RECENT EVENTS THAT DISPLAY CRONY CAPITALISM IN RETREAT: FIRST, TWO TOP GURUS OF GLOBAL FINANCE ... SIR JOHN TEMPLETON ... [AND] GEORGE SOROS ... GAVE THEIR BLESSING TO SOUTH KOREA'S NEW, DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED REFORM PRESIDENT, KIM DAE JUNG. ... SECOND, U-S PRESIDENT CLINTON, GERMAN CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL, I-M-F FIXER STAN FISCHER, AND U-S TREASURY TROUBLESHOOTER LARRY SUMMERS PUT THE SQUEEZE ON LONG-REIGNING INDONESIAN PRESIDENT SUHARTO TO REFORM HIS ECONOMY FOR HIS PEOPLE'S GOOD. ... THIRD, ... AT THE OTHER END OF ASIA, NEPOTISM AT THE TOP TOOK AN EVEN HARDER BLOW. THE DETECTIVE WORK OF PAKISTANI INVESTIGATORS PROBING THE 100-MILLION-DOLLAR-PLUS SPOILS AMASSED BY THE HUSBAND AND FAMILY OF DEPOSED PRIME MINISTER BENAZIR BHUTTO WAS PINNED DOWN IN DETAIL BY "NEW YORK TIMES" CORRESPONDENT JOHN BURNS.

    TEXT: TODAY'S "LOS ANGELES TIMES" SEES "NEW HOPE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND" IN THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PEACE PROCESS THERE.

    VOICE: NEW PROPOSALS PUT FORTH THIS WEEK BY THE BRITISH AND IRISH GOVERNMENTS HAVE APPARENTLY DONE THEIR JOB, SHIFTING THE FOCUS FROM VIOLENCE BACK TO NEGOTIATIONS. ... INCIDENTS OF SECTARIAN VIOLENCE MAY SURGE AGAIN AND IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO PREVENT THEM. ... UNLESS REASONABLE PEOPLE FILL THE VACUUM OF POWER, THE OUTSIDERS WILL DO IT. CONTINUED PEACE TALKS OFFER THE ONLY RATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NORTHERN IRELAND AT PEACE WITH ITSELF.

    TEXT: AS REGARDS A NEW AGREEMENT ABOUT TO BE SIGNED BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE THREE BALTIC NATIONS, "THE BOSTON GLOBE" FEELS IT IS A BIG MISTAKE.

    VOICE: FRIDAY'S SCHEDULED SIGNING OF A 'CHARTER OF PARTNERSHIP' WITH LATVIA, LITHUANIA, AND ESTONIA ILLUSTRATES THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S PENCHANT FOR IMPROVISING WITHOUT CONCERN FOR A COHERENT STRATEGY. THE CHARTER, WITH ITS AMBIGUOUS SUGGESTION THAT THE UNITED STATES MIGHT EVENTUALLY USHER THE BALTIC COUNTRIES INTO NATO, REEKS OF A SENTIMENTAL SYMBOLISM THAT SHOULD HAVE NO PLACE IN THE CONSTRUCTING OF A EUROPEAN SECURITY ORDER OF THE 21ST CENTURY. ... THE PROSPECT OF [NATO] MEMBERSHIP FOR THE BALTIC NATIONS IS TANTAMOUNT TO A VALIDATION OF THE MOST PARANOID RUSSIAN FEARS OF ENCIRCLEMENT.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: DOMESTICALLY, A FRONT PAGE REPORT IN "THE [CLEVELAND, OHIO] PLAIN DEALER" SUNDAY ABOUT SERIOUS SAFETY PROBLEMS WITH THE FORMER VALUJET AIRLINE, NOW CALLED AIRTRAN, DRAWS THIS REACTION FROM "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL WHICH SAYS DO NOT BLAME THE PAPER FOR REPORTING THE STORY.

    VOICE: THAT, HOWEVER, IS THE TACK TAKEN BY AIRTRAN AIRLINES ... IN RESPONSE TO [THE] ARTICLE. ... THE NEWSPAPER STATED THAT FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION INSPECTORS, IN A PRELIMINARY REPORT, HAD RAISED SERIOUS SAFETY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AIRLINE. AIRTRAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER D. JOSEPH CORR'S RESPONSE WAS TO EXCORIATE [STRONGLY CRITICIZE] THE NEWSPAPER FOR WRITING ABOUT THE DOCUMENT AND ... THREATEN TO SUE FOR LIBEL. INTERESTINGLY, THOUGH, MR. CORR DID NOT TAKE ISSUE WITH THE SUBSTANCE OF THE NEWSPAPER REPORT. ... HIS COMPLAINT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN WITH THE MESSENGER -- BUT RATHER WITH THE MESSAGE.

    TEXT: IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" LAMENTS THE RESIGNATION THIS WEEK OF THE HEAD OF THE CENSUS BUREAU, WHO WAS APPARENTLY TIRED OF THE POLITICAL BATTLES ASSOCIATED WITH HER JOB AS COUNTER OF THE NATION'S PEOPLE.

    VOICE: BURNT OUT BY WASHINGTON'S POLITICAL BATTLES OVER THE 2000 CENSUS, MARTHA FARNSWORTH RICHE RESIGNED AS HEAD OF THE U-S CENSUS BUREAU MONDAY. WHO COULD BLAME HER? POLITICS, SPECIFICALLY THE DESIRE BY REPUBLICANS TO KEEP THE CENSUS FROM COUNTING THE FOLKS WHO MIGHT OPPOSE THEM, CONSTRAINED RICHE FROM DOING THE BEST JOB SHE COULD. THIS WAS MORE THAN AN EXACTING, NONPOLITICAL PERSON COULD BEAR. THAT'S TOO BAD. RICHE WAS GOOD AT HER JOB.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: REGARDING AN ISSUE AFFECTING PORTLAND, MAINE AND THE REST OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES AND SOUTHEASTERN CANADA, THE HUGE ICE STORM OF LAST WEEK, WHICH HAS LEFT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TRAPPED IN UNHEATED HOMES,MANY WITHOUT DRINKING WATER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" WRITES:

    VOICE: DEEP COLD, UNDILUTED DARKNESS, UNSOLICITED SILENCE -- THAT IS WHAT REMAINS WHEN THE POWER GOES DOWN IN WINTER AND STAYS DOWN, AS IT HAS THIS PAST WEEK AFTER A TERRIBLE ICE STORM ALONG THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER. ...[AFTER] FIVE DAYS OF ICE AND FREEZING RAIN FOLLOWED BY BITTER COLD -- THE POWER DID NOT MERELY FAIL. ICE PULLED THE LATTICE OF ELECTRICITY DOWN BY FORCE. IN SOME PARTS OF NEW YORK, MAINE, VERMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE AND QUEBEC, THE TIDE OF RESTORED POWER WILL TAKE A VERY LONG TIME TO COME IN. ... A STORM LIKE THIS REVEALS THE SHALLOWNESS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CIVILIZATION -- HOW SWIFTLY THE GRID COLLAPSES. BUT IT ALSO REVEALS ITS DEPTH -- INTO HOW MANY REACHES OF ORDINARY LIFE ELECTRICITY HAS PENETRATED AND HOW HIGH ABOVE THE FUNDAMENTAL CONCERNS OF EXISTENCE IT ALLOWS US TO FLOAT.

    [OPT]

    TEXT: AND, AS "THE BOSTON GLOBE" ADDS IN LESS ESOTERIC TERMS, THE STORM HAS MEANT:

    VOICE: NO TRAINS, PLANES, AND NOT MANY AUTOMOBILES. NO COMMERCE, NO SCHOOL, NO PIZZA, NO MALLS. SOCIETY'S ANTHILL COMES TO A FULL STOP TO HEAR THE SOUND OF SNAPPING TREE LIMBS. ... WE LOOK NORTH TO LEARN ONCE AGAIN THE LESSON OF MAN'S FRAILTY AND HOPE WE CAN REMEMBER IT.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: ON THAT FRIGID NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    14-Jan-98 10:27 AM EST (1527 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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