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Voice of America, 99-02-01

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] COHEN / KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [02] KOSOVO MEDIA (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (DAVOS, SWITZERLAND)
  • [03] KOSOVO NEGOTIATIONS (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)
  • [04] U-S / KOSOVO (S) BY NICK SIMEONE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [05] FRANCE BANK (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [06] IRAQ / BRITAIN (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [08] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY NELSON BROWN (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] COHEN / KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=2/1/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244959
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN SAYS EUROPEAN ALLIES SHOULD BEAR THE MAIN BURDEN OF KEEPING THE PEACE IN KOSOVO. MR COHEN ALSO SAYS TOP CLINTON ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS ARE TALKING ABOUT SENDING U-S TROOPS TO KOSOVO AS PART OF A MULTI-NATIONAL PEACEKEEPING FORCE, BUT HAVE MADE NO DECISION YET. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: THE COMMENTS FROM DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN AND OTHERS FOLLOW REPORTS THAT THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS MIGHT BE PART OF A NATO-LED EFFORT TO ENFORCE A PEACE AGREEMENT IN THE TROUBLED SERBIAN PROVINCE.

    MR. COHEN SAYS NO AMERICAN SOLDIERS SHOULD GO TO KOSOVO UNTIL THERE IS A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE SERB-DOMINATED YUGOSLAV GOVERNBMENT AND THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS.

    HE SAYS EVEN WITH A PEACE AGREEMENT, WASHINGTON IS RELUCTANT TO DISPATCH MORE GROUND TROOPS TO THE BALKANS.

    /// COHEN ACT ACT 128 ///

    MY PERSONAL VIEW IS THAT OUR EUROPEAN ALLIES MUST BEAR A SUBSTANTIAL BURDEN IN TERMS OF DEALING WITH KOSOVO, AND THAT ANY PARTICIPATION BY THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE AS SMALL AS WE CAN, AS IT COULD BE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. COHEN SPOKE AFTER HE AND OTHER TOP FOREIGN POLICY ADVISERS BRIEFED THE PRESIDENT MONDAY. THE DEFENSE SECRETARY SAYS, CONTRARY TO PUBLISHED REPORTS, THE PRESIDENT HAS NOT YET DECIDED TO SEND TROOPS. MR .COHEN SAYS HE AND OTHERS WILL CONSULT WITH KEY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS BEFORE MAKING A DECISION TO DEPLOY TROOPS.

    MR. COHEN CALLS THE KOSOVO SITUATION "A BURNING FUSE" THAT IS "MORE DIFFICULT TO SOLVE THAN BOSNIA," IN PART BECAUSE NOT ALL FACTIONS HAVE AGREED TO EVEN ATTEND PEACE TALKS.

    /// REST OPT ///

    SO FAR, THE CONFLICT BETWEEN SERB-DOMINATED MILITARY UNITS AND THE MAJORITY ETHINIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO HAS LEFT MORE THAN TWO-THOUSAND PEOPLE DEAD IN THE PAST YEAR AND DISPLACED TENS OF THOUSANDS MORE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/RRM
    01-Feb-99 4:57 PM EST (2157 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] KOSOVO MEDIA (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (DAVOS, SWITZERLAND)

    DATE=2/1/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244935
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TWO LEADERS OF INDEPENDENT NEWS ORGANIZATIONS IN YUGOSLAVIA ARE IN SWITZERLAND AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, URGING INCREASED INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR A FREE MEDIA IN SERBIA AND KOSOVO. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS FROM DAVOS.

    TEXT: VETON SURROI, THE PUBLISHER OF "KOHA DITORE," AN ALBANIAN LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER IN PRISTINA, SAYS PEOPLE IN KOSOVO ARE RELATIVELY WELL-INFORMED, DESPITE GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP AND RESTRICTIONS ON BROADCAST MEDIA.

    //SURROI ACT//

    ACTUALLY, WE ARE CONFRONTED BY A BRUTAL REGIME THAT EITHER WANTS OR DOESN'T WANT AN INDEPENDENT MEDIA. WE HAVE BEEN BEATEN UP LAST YEAR. //OPT// FOUR OR FIVE OF OUR PEOPLE ARE REFUGEES BECAUSE THEIR HOUSES WERE SHELLED. SO THEY WERE PHYSICALLY THREATENED AND NOT JUST JOURNALISTICALLY THREATENED ANYMORE. //END OPT// FORTUNATELY -- AND THIS IS SOMETHING IN FAVOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE AND THEIR INVOLVEMENT -- WE WERE SAVED BY NATO, ACTUALLY. BECAUSE THE ISSUE OF OUR NEWSPAPER OPERATING WAS RAISED BY MR. (JAVIER) SOLANA AND MR. (WESLEY) CLARK (NATO SUPREME COMMANDER) WHEN THEY WENT TO SEE MR. (SLOBODAN) MILOSEVIC LAST YEAR.

    //END ACT//

    //OPT//

    HE POINTS TO KOSOVO HAVING THE GREATEST NUMBER OF SATELLITE DISHES PER CAPITA OF ANYWHERE IN EUROPE. FOREIGN BROADCASTS, SAYS MR. SURROI, HAVE PLAYED A VITAL ROLE IN KEEPING AN INDEPENDENT MEDIA ALIVE. //END OPT//

    THE SECOND JOURNALIST, VERAN MATIC, THE HEAD OF RADIO "B-92" IN BELGRADE, DEPLORES THE RESTRICTIONS ON PRINT AND BROADCASTING IN SERBIA. THE SITUATION IS EVEN WORSE IN THE PROVINCE OF KOSOVO, WHERE MR. MATIC SAYS INDEPENDENT RADIO STATIONS HAVE BEEN FORCED OFF THE AIR.

    //MATIC IN SERBIAN FOLLOWED BY ENGLISH TRANSLATION//

    THE ONLY MULTI-ETHNIC, MULTI-CULTURAL RADIO STATION IN PRISTINA WAS BANNED IN JUNE OF LAST YEAR ... AND THE SPECIFIC PROBLEM FOR US IS THAT IN THESE EXTREMELY HARSH CONDITIONS, THERE IS VERY LITTLE REACTION FROM THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO OUR SITUATION //OPT///... ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, NOT ONE SINGLE POLITICIAN INVOLVED IN THE YUGOSLAV BUSINESS REACTED TO THE BANNING OF RADIO KONTAKT IN PRISTINA LAST YEAR ... ///END OPT/// THERE IS SIMPLY NO COMPREHENSION YET IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF HOW IMPORTANT AN INDEPENDENT MEDIA IS IN THE PEACE PROCESS.

    //END ACT//

    MR. MATIC SAYS THE DRACONIAN PRESS LAW IN EFFECT IN SERBIA MEANS IT IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO OBTAIN INDEPENDENT SERBIAN LANGUAGE NEWSPAPERS. //OPT// HE SAYS IT'S CURRENTLY EASIER TO OBTAIN NEWSPAPERS FROM CROATIA THAN FROM MONTENEGRO, SERBIA'S PARTNER IN THE YUGOSLAV FEDERATION. //END OPT//

    MR. MATIC IS PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF THE CURRENT NEGOTIATIONS ON KOSOVO. BUT MR. SURROI IS CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT THE INTERNATIONAL EFFORT WILL SUCCEED IN FORCING A NEGOTIATED END TO THE KOSOVO CONFLICT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/PCF
    01-Feb-99 10:25 AM EST (1525 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] KOSOVO NEGOTIATIONS (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=2/1/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244946
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BOTH SERBS AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN YUGOSLAVIA'S CONFLICT-RIDDEN KOSOVO PROVINCE ARE RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT PLANNED PEACE TALKS LATER THIS WEEK IN FRANCE. PHILIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM PRISTINA.

    TEXT: NEITHER SIDE IN KOSOVO APPEARS KEEN TO MOVE AHEAD WITH A THREE-YEAR PEACE PROPOSAL DRAFTED BY U-S PEACE MEDIATOR CHRISTOPHER HILL.

    AMBASSADOR HILL ARRIVED IN PRISTINA MONDAY TO GET AN ANSWER FROM ALBANIAN REBELS TO THE INVITATION TO PEACE TALKS IN RAMBOUILLET, FRANCE. HE MET WITH ADEM DEMACI, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY (K-L-A) IN THE CAPITAL, PRISTINA.

    MR. HILL SAID AFTER THE MEETING THAT MR. DEMACI TOLD HIM HE WOULD GAVE AN ANSWER TO THE INVITATION WEDNESDAY. OFFICIALS CLOSE TO MR. DEMACI SAID THE K-L-A STILL NEEDS TIME TO CONSIDER THE INVITATION TO THE PEACE TALKS.

    A SENIOR OFFICIAL IN ANOTHER ALBANIAN FACTION SAID HIS PARTY WOULD ATTEND ONLY IF THE K-L-A GOES AS WELL. THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS OFFICER OF THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT, HYDAJET HYSENI, BLAMED THE CURRENT IMPASSE ON SERBIAN OFFICIALS IN BELGRADE.

    /// HYSENI ACT - IN FRENCH - FADE UNDER ///

    MR. HYSENI SAID THE PROBLEM IS THE LACK OF GOOD WILL BY YUGOSLAV OFFICIALS. HE SAID THERE ARE ALSO DIFFICULTIES BETWEEN OPPOSING ETHNIC ALBANIAN GROUPS. BUT HE SAID THEY HAVE SPOKEN WITH ONE VOICE FOR A LONG TIME. THE PROBLEM, HE SAID, IS WITH THE OFFICIALS IN BELGRADE.

    BUT MR. HYSENI WAS ALSO CRITICAL OF ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADER IBRAHIM RUGOVA, WHO IS AN OUTSPOKEN ADVOCATE OF NON-VIOLENCE. HE SAID MR. RUGOVA HAD BEEN THE ONLY POLITICAL VOICE FOR KOSOVO ALBANIANS FOR YEARS -- BUT HAD ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING.

    MR. HYSENI ACCUSED MR. RUGOVA OF BLINDLY ACCEPTING AN INVITATION TO FRANCE WITHOUT THOROUGHLY EXAMINING WHAT WAS ON THE BARGAINING TABLE.

    SERBIAN OFFICIALS, WHILE GIVING VEILED INDICATIONS THAT THEY MIGHT ATTEND THE TALKS IN RAMBOUILLET, APPEAR TO BE UNPREPARED TO GIVE AWAY ANYTHING AT THE BARGAINING TABLE.

    YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC HAS VOWED TO KEEP KOSOVO UNDER SERBIAN RULE. A STATEMENT FROM THE YUGOSLAV LEFT PARTY -- LED BY THE WIFE OF PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC -- SAID WESTERN PRESSURES AMOUNT TO WANTING TO SET UP A U-S DICTATORSHIP ON SERBIAN SOIL.

    /// REST OPTIONAL ///

    MEANWHILE, WINTER WEATHER ACROSS KOSOVO HAS DONE NOTHING TO CURTAIL THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE. A THIRD CAFE BOMBING IN AS MANY DAYS KILLED AN ALBANIAN CIVILIAN, AND SERB OFFICIALS CHARGED THAT ONE OF THEIR POLICE CARS WAS HIT BY A ROCKET-PROPELLED GRENADE, SERIOUSLY INJURING ONE OFFICER, NEAR THE TOWN OF PEC. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/JWH/JO
    01-Feb-99 1:13 PM EST (1813 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] U-S / KOSOVO (S) BY NICK SIMEONE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=2/1/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244953
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE TWO SIDES (ETHNIC ALBANIANS AND SERBIANS) IN THE CONFLICT IN KOSOVO (-- YUGOSLAVIA'S TROUBLED SERBIAN PROVINCE --) ARE PROMISING TO RESPOND SOON TO A CALL TO ATTEND PEACE TALKS IN FRANCE -- BILLED BY NATO AS THE LAST CHANCE TO AVOID ALLIED AIRSTRIKES. AT THE WHITE HOUSE, CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE REPORTS THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IS PONDERING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO SEND GROUND TROOPS TO HELP IMPLEMENT A PEACE AGREEMENT IF ONE IS REACHED.

    TEXT: NATO'S CREDIBILITY IS ON THE LINE. THAT'S HOW ONE WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL DESCRIBES THE ALLIANCE'S THREAT TO CARRY OUT AIR STRIKES -- IF BOTH SIDES IN KOSOVO'S CONFLICT DON'T REACH A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT.

    THAT CREDIBILITY COULD BE TESTED SOON IF PEACE TALKS BETWEEN BELGRADE AND KOSOVAR REBELS -- SET TO OPEN SATURDAY IN FRANCE -- FAIL TO END NEARLY A YEAR OF BLOODSHED IN THE SERBIAN PROVINCE.

    IF A BREAKTHROUGH IS ACHIEVED, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN DAVID LEAVY DOES NOT RULE OUT THE POSSIBILITY THAT AMERICAN TROOPS COULD AGAIN BE TASKED WITH HELPING TO IMPLEMENT ANOTHER PEACE AGREEMENT IN THE BALKANS. BUT MANY QUESTIONS STILL NEED TO BE ANSWERED.

    // LEAVY ACT //

    WHAT EXACTLY IS THE EXIT STRATEGY? WHAT EXACTLY IS THE MISSION? WILL OTHER COUNTRIES PARTICIPATE? WE WANT TO BE COMFORTABLE IN OUR OWN MINDS AND WE WANT TO DISCUSS THIS WITH THE (CAPITOL) HILL BEFORE WE COMMIT TO IT.

    // END ACT //

    BUT FIRST THOUGH, BOTH SIDES IN THE KOSOVO CONFLICT NEED TO COMMIT TO SHOWING UP AT SATURDAY'S TALKS. SO FAR, NEITHER SIDE HAS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NJS/JO
    01-Feb-99 4:00 PM EST (2100 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] FRANCE BANK (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=2/1/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244924
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN THE FIRST OF A SERIES OF EXPECTED BANKING MERGERS IN FRANCE FOLLOWING THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW EUROPEAN SINGLE CURRENCY, THE EURO, THE "SOCIETE GENERALE" AND "PARIBAS" BANKS ANNOUNCED MONDAY THAT THEY ARE TO JOIN FORCES. THE NEW BANK WILL BE FRANCE'S BIGGEST. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: THE MERGER OF SOCIETE GENERALE AND PARIBAS BRINGS TOGETHER TWO BANKS WHOSE ACTIVITIES ARE VERY DIFFERENT. SOCIETE GENERALE IS A CLASSIC CONSUMER BANK DEALING WITH A LARGE NETWORK OF BRANCHES THROUGHOUT FRANCE. PARIBAS IS A BANK FOR BIG BUSINESS, SPECIALIZING IN COMPANY ACCOUNTS AND IN FOREIGN-EXCHANGE TRANSACTIONS. //OPT// IT ALSO HAS A LARGE CONSUMER CREDIT ARM AND A SUBSIDIARY OPERATING FRANCE'S ONLY TELEPHONE BANKING NETWORK. //END OPT//

    BECAUSE THE TWO BANKS ARE SO DIFFERENT, LABOR UNIONS AND THE SOCIALIST-LED GOVERNMENT ARE UNLIKELY TO OPPOSE THE MERGER, SINCE IT WILL BRING FEW, IF ANY, JOB LOSSES. BOTH BANKS ONCE BELONGED TO THE STATE AND WERE PRIVATIZED IN THE LATE 1980'S.

    RUMORS OF THE MERGER SURFACED OVER THE WEEKEND AND CAME AS A SURPRISE SINCE ANOTHER FRENCH BANK, THE B-N-P, HAD UNSUCCESSFULLY TRIED TO TAKE OVER PARIBAS LAST MONTH. AS SOON AS THE MARKETS OPENED MONDAY, TRADING IN BOTH SOCIETE GENERALE AND PARIBAS SHARES WAS SUSPENDED AND THE MERGER WAS MADE OFFICIAL.

    NOW THE B-N-P IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN A HUGE CAMPAIGN TO TAKE OVER THE CREDIT LYONNAIS BANK.

    //OPT//

    THE CREDIT LYONNAIS IS FINALLY PROFITABLE AFTER RUNNING UP HUGE LOSSES IN THE LATE 1980'S AND EARLY 1990'S. BACK THEN, IT INVESTED IN WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE A CRASHING REAL ESTATE MARKET AND BACKED THE PROJECTS OF BUSINESSMEN WITH DOUBTFUL CREDIT RECORDS, LIKE THE LATE BRITISH PRESS MAGNATE ROBERT MAXWELL. THE STATE-OWNED CREDIT LYONNAIS IS EXPECTED TO BE SOLD OFF SOME TIME THIS YEAR WITH THE GOVERNMENT ANXIOUS TO KEEP IT IN FRENCH HANDS. //END OPT//

    THE YEAR AHEAD LOOKS LIKE IT WILL BE A HECTIC ONE FOR FRANCE'S BANKS. GENERALLY SMALL COMPARED WITH THEIR RIVALS IN EUROPE AND IN THE UNITED STATES, THEIR PROFIT MARGINS HAVE NOT MATCHED THOSE OF BANKS ELSEWHERE.

    //REST OPT//

    WITH THE NEW EUROPEAN CURRENCY IN EXISTENCE FOR THE PAST MONTH, ANALYSTS SAY FRENCH BANKS HAVE TO CONSOLIDATE AND MODERNIZE -- OR DIE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/PCF
    01-Feb-99 5:55 AM EST (1055 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] IRAQ / BRITAIN (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=2/1/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244942
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IRAQI PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN SAYS HE IS READY TO PAY 25-MILLION DINARS -- ABOUT 14-THOUSAND DOLLARS -- TO ANY AIR DEFENSE TROOPS WHO SHOOT DOWN HOSTILE AIRCRAFT. THE THREAT IS AIMED AT U-S AND BRITISH AIRCRAFT PATROLLING NO-FLY ZONES OVER NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN IRAQ. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN IN LONDON REPORTS BRITAIN SAYS THE THREAT WILL NOT STOP ITS PATROLS.

    TEXT: THE FOREIGN MINISTRY'S TOP OFFICIAL FOR MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS, DEREK FATCHETT, SAYS BRITAIN REMAINS COMMITTED TO PATROLLING THE NO-FLY ZONES DESPITE SADDAM HUSSEIN'S LATEST THREATS. AND, HE SAYS THE IRAQI LEADER KNOWS THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT.

    /// FATCHET ACT ///

    BAGHDAD KNOWS THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, AND I HAVE NO HESITATION IN SAYING THAT WE SEE THE NO-FLY ZONES AS AN IMPORTANT HUMANITARIAN MEASURE. AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO ENFORCE THEM FOR THAT VERY REASON THAT WE ARE SAVING THOUSANDS OF LIVES OF IRAQIS BY HAVING THOSE NO-FLY ZONES.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE ALLIED AIR PATROLS OVER NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN IRAQ WERE INITIATED TO PROTECT KURDISH AND SHIITE COMMUNITIES FROM BAGHDAD'S AGGRESSIONS AFTER THE 1991 GULF WAR.

    MR. FATCHETT ARGUES THAT THE LATEST THREATS ARE JUST ONE SIGN OF A WEAKENED LEADER. BUT HE WARNS THAT A WEAKENED SADDAM HUSSEIN IS STILL DANGEROUS.

    THE BRITISH DIPLOMAT SAYS THE IRAQI LEADER'S VERBAL ATTACKS ON HIS NEIGHBORS ARE ANOTHER SIGN OF DESPERATION AFTER ARAB LEADERS REJECTED HIS CALLS FOR SUPPORT.

    /// FATCHET ACT TWO ///

    IT HAS TURNED ON ITS ARAB NEIGHBORS, KUWAIT AND THE STATEMENTS ABOUT THE BORDER WITH KUWAIT AND ITS REFUSAL TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE INTERNATIONAL BORDER, ATTACKS ON SAUDI ARABIA, ATTACKS ON EGYPT, ATTACKS ON VIRTUALLY ALL THE ARAB LEADERSHIP IN THE REGION.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. FATCHET INSISTS THAT U-S AND BRITISH AIR STRIKES AGAINST IRAQI MILITARY TARGETS LAST DECEMBER HAVE WEAKENED SADDAM HUSSEIN AND SERIOUSLY DAMAGED THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT HELPS HIM KEEP HIS GRIP ON POWER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/JWH
    01-Feb-99 11:32 AM EST (1632 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=2/1/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244961
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (MONDAY) AS LATE-SESSION SELLING WIPED OUT EARLIER GAINS. VOA BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 93 HUNDRED 45, DOWN 13 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 12 HUNDRED 73, DOWN SIX POINTS. HOWEVER, THE NASDAQ INDEX WAS UP AND CLOSED AT A RECORD HIGH FOR THE THIRD SESSION IN A ROW, REFLECTING CONTINUED STRENGTH IN MANY HIGH TECHNOLOGY STOCKS

    STOCK PRICES WERE GENERALLY STRONG FOR MOST OF THE SESSION WITH THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE RISING MORE THAN 70 POINTS. BUT A WAVE OF SELLING DEVELOPED IN THE LAST 30 MINUTES OF TRADING, PUSHING THE MAJOR AVERAGES DOWN. ANALYSTS SAY THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SOME CAUTION IN ADVANCE OF A TWO-DAY MEETING OF THE U-S CENTRAL BANK, ALTHOUGH THE CONSENSUS ON WALL STREET IS THAT SHORT-TERM INTEREST RATES WILL REMAIN UNCHANGED.

    AMERICAN CONSUMERS REMAIN IN A SPENDING MOOD. THE GOVERNMENT REPORTS CONSUMER SPENDING ROSE EIGHT-TENTHS OF ONE-PERCENT IN DECEMBER, THE LARGEST INCREASE IN SIX MONTHS.

    ///REST OPT///

    JOHN RIDING OF THE BEAR STEARNS INVESTMENT COMPANY SAYS THAT WILLINGNESS TO SPEND IS AT THE HEART OF U-S ECONOMIC EXPANSION.

    ///RIDING ACT///

    IT IS A PICTURE OF STRONG JOB CREATION, WAGE INCREASES THAT ARE OUTPACING INFLATION AND A VERY ROBUST PACE OF SPENDING. THAT HAD DRIVEN THE ECONOMY ALONG IN 1998 TO ITS STRONGEST GROWTH PACE IN 14 YEARS.

    ///END ACT///

    A MONTHLY INDEX SHOWS A MODEST IMPROVEMENT IN U-S MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY, RISING TO 49 IN JANUARY FROM 45 IN DECEMBER. ANY READING ABOVE 50 SUGGESTS GROWTH. THE LATEST SURVEY SHOWS A SLIGHT INCREASE IN EXPORT ORDERS WHICH HAVE BEEN HURT BY FINANCIAL PROBLEMS IN ASIA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.

    THE A-T AND T TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY HAS FORMED A JOINT VENTURE WITH THE TIME WARNER MEDIA CORPORATION TO OFFER LOCAL TELEPHONE SERVICE OVER CABLE TELEVISION LINES. THAT DEAL, COMBINED WITH A-T AND T'S PENDING TAKEOVER OF THE T-C-I CABLE TELEVISION COMPANY, WILL ENABLE A-T AND T TO PROVIDE LOCAL TELEPHONE SERVICE TO 40 PERCENT OF U-S HOUSEHOLDS.

    THE ROHM AND HAAS SPECIALITY CHEMICAL COMPANY WILL PAY ALMOST FIVE BILLION DOLLARS FOR MORTON, THE WORLD'S LEADING PRODUCER OF TABLE SALT. IN FRANCE, THE SOCIETE GENERALE BANK WILL PAY 18 BILLION DOLLARS FOR RIVAL PARIBAS. THE COMBINED COMPANY WILL BE THE LARGEST BANK IN FRANCE AND THE FOURTH-LARGEST IN THE WORLD. AETNA, THE HUGE AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, REPORTED A 29 PERCENT JUMP IN GROSS QUARTERLY EARNINGS. HOWEVER, THE COMPANY SAID ACTUAL PROFITS WERE REDUCED BY 100 MILLION DOLLARS IN CHARGES FOR YEAR 2000 COMPUTER UPGRADES AND A RESTRUCTURING OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES.

    AMAZON DOT COM, THE ON-LINE BOOKSTORE, SAYS IT EXPECTS SALES IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR TO BE EVEN HIGHER THAN THE STRONG HOLIDAY SALES IN THE FOURTH QUARTER OF LAST YEAR. HOWEVER, AMAZON SAYS SPENDING TO UPGRADE ITS FACILITIES MEANS THE COMPANY WILL PROBABLY NOT EARN A PROFIT THIS YEAR. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/WFR
    01-Feb-99 5:22 PM EST (2222 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY NELSON BROWN (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=02/01/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST (MON. 2/01)
    NUMBER=6-11123
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

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

    ////

    INTRO: PEACE TALKS IN COLOMBIA, POLITICAL BICKERING IN HAITI, AND CHINA'S WAY OF DEALING WITH INTERNAL DISSENT. THOSE ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES DISCUSSED IN NEWSPAPERS IN THE UNITED STATES. HERE, WITH THE U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST IS V-O-A'S _______________.

    TEXT: AN EDITORIAL IN THE "CHICAGO TRIBUNE" MAKES THE CASE FOR SUCCESS IN THE LATEST ROUND OF PEACE TALKS IN COLOMBIA. THE PAPER NOTES THAT AFTER 37 YEARS OF FIGHTING BETWEEN GUERRILLAS, PARAMILITARY GROUPS AND GOVERNMENT FORCES, MILITARY VICTORY SEEMS REMOTE. IT SAYS THIS REALIZATION IS WHAT PROBABLY LED MARXIST GUERRILLAS -- WHO DON'T HAVE MUCH INTERNAL POLITICAL SUPPORT OR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM ABROAD -- TO GO TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE. NOTING THAT CONTINUED FIGHTING COULD LEAD TO A BREAKUP OF THE COUNTRY INTO COMPETING FACTIONS,THE "CHICAGO TRIBUNE" CONCLUDES:

    VOICE: THE PEACE INITIATIVE JUST LAUNCHED WILL BE A SLOW, FRUSTRATING AND ARDUOUS PROCESS, AND IT MAY GREATLY BENEFIT FROM UNITED NATIONS MEDIATION SIMILAR TO THAT WHICH SETTLED THE BLOODY WARS IN EL SALVADOR AND GUATEMALA. PRESIDENT [ANDRES] PASTRANA WAS ELECTED ON A PLATFORM OF PEACE NEGOTIATIONS WITH WIDE SUPPORT FROM BUSINESS GROUPS AND THE MIDDLE AND WORKING CLASSES. HE PERSUASIVELY ARGUES THAT A NEGOTIATED PEACE IS ... FAR MORE EFFECTIVE THAN CONTINUED WARFARE AND THE POSSIBLE DISINTEGRATION OF COLOMBIA.

    TEXT: ANOTHER LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY WAS THE FOCUS OF MONDAY'S LEAD EDITORIAL IN "THE MIAMI HERALD." THE "HERALD" SAYS IT IS HARD TO SEE THAT ANY GOOD CAN COME FROM WHAT IT CALLS HAITIAN PRESIDENT RENE PREVAL'S RECKLESS MARCH TOWARD AUTHORITARIAN RULE. THE PAPER SAYS A RECENT CALL BY U-S SENATOR BOB GRAHAM OF FLORIDA FOR AN EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (O-A-S) IS WARRANTED.

    VOICE: SENATOR GRAHAM AND LIKE-MINDED LAWMAKERS IN BOTH HOUSES HAVE JOINED THE WIDENING INTERNATIONAL CHORUS THAT HAS CONDEMNED PRESIDENT PREVAL'S JANUARY 11TH DISSOLUTION OF HAITI'S ELECTED PARLIAMENT. THE U-S RESOLUTION ASKS MR. PREVAL TO RESTORE PARLIAMENT, AND IT ALSO URGES THE O-A-S TO CONSIDER JOINT ACTIONS TO BRING ABOUT A RETURN TO DEMOCRACY. ALREADY THE UNITED STATES HAS SOUGHT THROUGH DIPLOMATIC CHANNELS, NON-OFFICIAL SOURCES, THREATS OF FINANCIAL REPRISALS, INTERNATIONAL EMISSARIES AND PRIVATE CAJOLING TO REVERSE HAITI'S RISKY NEW COURSE. SO FAR, NONE HAS SUCCEEDED IN PERSUADING MR. PREVAL THAT PUSHING HAITI TOWARD THE KIND OF AUTOCRATIC RULE THAT MARKS ITS PAST CANNOT BE TOLERATED.

    TEXT: "THE MIAMI HERALD" EDITORIAL CONCLUDES THAT THE CALL FOR O-A-S INTERVENTION IS APPROPRIATE BECAUSE IT SETS UP A LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR MULTILATERAL ACTION. MEANWHILE, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" EXAMINED WHAT IT CALLS AN ENLIGHTENED RESPONSE IN CHINA TO THE CHALLENGE OF HELPING ORDINARY CHINESE CITIZENS TAKE PART IN DECISIONS AFFECTING THEIR LIVES. THE "TIMES" SAYS THE BEIJING GOVERNMENT SHOULD FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF WHAT IT CALLS A BRAVE TOWNSHIP IN SICHUAN PROVINCE, WHERE PARTY LEADERS USED DEMOCRACY TO GIVE CITIZENS A GREATER SENSE OF CONTROL OVER THEIR LIVES. THE "TIMES'" EDITORIAL SAYS THAT A FEW WEEKS AGO, CHINA'S FIRST DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS FOR TOWNSHIP LEADER WERE HELD IN BUYUN TOWNSHIP:

    VOICE: THIS IS A POSITION WITH IMPORTANT DECISION-MAKING RESPONSIBILITIES. PREVIOUSLY, ONLY POLITICALLY SIGNIFICANT VILLAGE OFFICES HAD BEEN PUT TO COMPETITIVE VOTES...AS IT TURNED OUT, THE CANDIDATE BACKED BY THE COMMUNIST PARTY WAS ELECTED. BUT EVEN SUPPORTERS OF HIS DEFEATED OPPONENTS ARE PLEASED, NOTING THAT THE GOVERNMENT NOW HAS MORE DEMOCRATIC LEGITIMACY. BUT THE PROSPECTS FOR FUTURE TOWNSHIP ELECTIONS ARE UNCLEAR. TOP LEADERS IN BEIJING ARE OPPOSED TO SUCH EXPERIMENTATION, THOUGH PERHAPS NOT UNANIMOUSLY SO. 'THE LEGAL DAILY', AN IMPORTANT NATIONAL PARTY NEWSPAPER ... PRAISED THE SPIRIT OF LOCAL DEMOCRACY BUT NOTED THAT TOWNSHIP ELECTIONS OVERSTEPPED CURRENT CHINESE LAW.

    TEXT: NOTING THE CURRENT CRACKDOWN ON DISSENT BY CHINESE PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SAYS SUPPRESSING DISSENT AND REBUFFING THE DESIRE FOR GREATER DEMOCRACY IS NOT A VIABLE LONG-TERM POLICY FOR CHINA TO FOLLOW. FINALLY, A NEWSPAPER IN THE NORTHEASTERN CITY OF PORTLAND, MAINE TAKES A LOOK AT THE GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS OF MERGERS BETWEEN U-S AUTOMAKERS AND THEIR EUROPEAN COUNTERPARTS. THE "PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" NOTES THE RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT THAT FORD MOTOR COMPANY HAS AGREED TO PAY MORE THAN SIX BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE AUTO BUSINESS OF SWEDEN'S VOLVO. THIS FOLLOWS PREVIOUS DEALS BETWEEN GENERAL MOTORS AND SWEDEN'S OTHER CAR MAKER, SAAB, AND LAST YEAR'S MERGER BETWEEN CHRYSLER CORPORATION AND DAIMLER-BENZ OF GERMANY. THE "PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" SAYS ALL THIS CONSOLIDATION IN THE GLOBAL AUTO MARKET, FOR SOME, IS DISQUIETING:

    VOICE: HISTORY SHOWS, HOWEVER, THAT HEALTHY AUTO INDUSTRY COMPETITION IS NOT DEPENDENT ON DOZENS OF COMPANIES. THE WINNOWING OF THE U-S AUTO INDUSTRY TO JUST THREE MAJOR COMPETITORS DID LEAD TO SOME COMPLACENCY IN THE 1970'S. STILL, IT TOOK COMPETITION FROM JUST A HANDFUL OF FOREIGN MAKERS, NOTABLY FROM JAPAN, TO GET U-S CAR MAKERS TO IMPROVE. // OPT // MEANWHILE, THE EFFICIENCY THAT COMES WITH GLOBAL OPERATIONS, THAT IS, THE ABILITY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A GIVEN MARKET'S STRENGTHS, WILL PROVIDE CONSUMERS WITH BETTER, CHEAPER CARS. // END OPT// THE AUTO INDUSTRY IS LEADING THE WAY INTO THE NEXT AGE, SHOWING THAT GLOBALIZATION CAN CREATE WEALTH AND VALUE FOR THE WORLD'S INVESTORS AND CONSUMERS.

    TEXT: AND WITH THAT COMMENT FROM THE "PORTLAND PRESS HERALD", WE END THIS EDITION OF THE U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.
    NEB/NCB/KL
    01-Feb-99 10:59 AM EST (1559 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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