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Voice of America, 99-02-08

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO TALKS O'NITER (L) BY GIL BUTLER (RAMBOUILLET, FRANCE)
  • [02] SAF/ALBANIA (L ONLY) BY ALEX BELIDA (JOHANNESBURG)
  • [03] E-U / ENLARGEMENT BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] FRANCE AIDS BLOOD (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [05] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO TALKS O'NITER (L) BY GIL BUTLER (RAMBOUILLET, FRANCE)

    DATE=2/8/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245275
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A SECOND FULL DAY OF NEGOTIATIONS IS STILL UNDERWAY / HAS CONCLUDED (EDS: CHECK CN COPY FOR STATUS) AT THE PEACE CONFERENCE TO RESOLVE THE KOSOVO CRISIS. THE TALKS ARE TAKING PLACE IN THE ORNATE CHATEAU AT RAMBOUILLET NEAR PARIS. VOA'S GIL BUTLER REPORTS THAT (ON TUESDAY/LATER TODAY) BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK AND FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER HUBERT VEDRINE WILL REJOIN THE NEGOTIATIONS.

    TEXT: THE PURPOSE OF THE RETURN TO RAMBOUILLET BY MR. COOK AND MR. VEDRINE IS TO SHOW A CONTINUED HIGH LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT IN THESE TALKS, WHICH ARE DESCRIBED AS "VERY COMPLEX AND DIFFICULT."

    WHAT IS BEING DECIDED IS A PEACE AGREEMENT THAT PRESUMABLY WILL INCLUDE THREE YEARS OF SELF-GOVERNMENT FOR KOSOVO AND ITS ALBANIAN MAJORITY, AND GUARANTEE THE TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF YUGOSLAVIA. THE AGREEMENT WOULD BE DESIGNED TO END A YEAR OF VIOLENCE BETWEEN SERB SECURITY FORCES AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS.

    THERE WERE REPORTS THAT THE KOSOVAR ALBANIAN DELEGATION HERE HAD WANTED A CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT FIRST, BEFORE THE INTERIM PEACE AGREEMENT IS REACHED. PHIL REEKER, SPOKESMAN FOR THE THREE MEDIATORS, TOLD REPORTERS THE EXISTING CEASE-FIRE SHOULD IMMEDIATELY BE OBSERVED. A CEASE-FIRE HAS BEEN IN EFFECT SINCE LAST OCTOBER, BUT THERE HAVE BEEN ALMOST DAILY CLASHES SINCE THEN.

    THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY MEMBERS OF THE ALBANIAN DELEGATION MAY BE RELUCTANT TO MAKE THE GUARANTEE OF YUGOSLAV TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY, SINCE THEIR AVOWED GOAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN INDEPENDENCE FOR KOSOVO.

    MR. REEKER SAID LEAKS, RUMORS AND COMMUNIQUES ARE SIGNS THAT THERE IS REAL NEGOTIATION GOING ON. BUT HE INSISTED THAT BY COMING TO RAMBOUILLET, ALL SIDES ACCEPT THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF A PEACE PLAN.

    /// REEKER ACT ///

    WITH THOSE INVITATIONS WAS A SET OF BASIC PRINCIPLES -- NON NEGOTIABLE ELEMENTS. BY ACCEPTING THE INVITATION, THE PARTIES HAVE AGREED TO THOSE ELEMENTS. IN FACT, WE ARE MOVING ON NEGOTIATING THE DOCUMENT, THE AGREEMENT.

    /// END ACT ///

    THERE WERE TWO LARGE ASSEMBLY SESSIONS IN THE SECOND DAY OF TALKS, AS WELL AS CONTINUING SHUTTLING BETWEEN THE GROUPS BY THE AMERICAN, AUSTRIAN AND RUSSIAN NEGOTIATORS.

    FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE SIX-NATION CONTACT GROUP OF KOSOVO ARE EXPECTED TO MEET AT THE WEEKEND TO ASSESS THE PROGRESS TOWARD A SETTLEMENT OF THE KOSOVO CRISIS. IF THEY FIND ENOUGH, THEY CAN EXTEND THE DEADLINE BY A WEEK FOR REACHING AN AGREEMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/MGB/PCF/WFR
    08-Feb-99 2:38 PM EST (1938 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] SAF/ALBANIA (L ONLY) BY ALEX BELIDA (JOHANNESBURG)

    DATE=2/8/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245265
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING OF ALBANIA HAS BEEN ORDERED HELD IN A SOUTH AFRICAN JAIL, PENDING A BAIL HEARING NEXT WEEK. MORE FROM V-O-A JOHANNESBURG CORRESPONDENT ALEX BELIDA.

    TEXT: LEKA ZOGU APPEARED BRIEFLY IN A JOHANNESBURG COURT MONDAY. BUT HIS SCHEDULED BAIL HEARING WAS PUT OFF UNTIL NEXT WEEK TO GIVE PROSECUTORS MORE TIME TO COMPLETE THEIR INVESTIGATION INTO THE ILLEGAL WEAPONS POSSESSION CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST HIM. LEKA, THE SON OF ALBANIA'S LATE EXILED KING ZOG, WAS DETAINED LAST FRIDAY FOLLOWING A POLICE RAID ON HIS HOME THAT UNCOVERED A LARGE QUANTITY OF WEAPONS, EXPLOSIVES AND AMMUNITION.

    THE RAID CAME AFTER SOUTH AFRICAN AUTHORITIES LIFTED THE SEMI-DIPLOMATIC PROTECTION THE PRETENDER TO THE ALBANIAN THRONE HAD BEEN GRANTED BY THE COUNTRY'S FORMER WHITE MINORITY GOVERNMENT. LEKA, A BUSINESSMAN, HAS LIVED IN SOUTH AFRICA FOR SEVERAL YEARS. HE RETURNED TO ALBANIA TWO YEARS AGO IN AN UNSUCCESSFUL BID TO REVIVE THE MONARCHY. BUT HE WAS FORCED TO LEAVE, FOLLOWING VIOLENT DISTURBANCES, AND WAS SUBSEQUENTLY CHARGED IN ALBANIA WITH ORGANIZING AN ARMED REBELLION.

    THE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESS AGENCY QUOTES SOUTH AFRICAN FOREIGN MINISTER ALFRED NZO AS SAYING THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT RECEIVED A REQUEST FOR HIS EXTRADITION. MR. NZO IS QUOTED AS SAYING LEKA WILL, HOWEVER, HAVE TO FACE "THE FULL WEIGHT" OF SOUTH AFRICAN LAW. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BEL/PCF
    08-Feb-99 10:54 AM EST (1554 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] E-U / ENLARGEMENT BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=2/8/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42542
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: E-U FINANCE MINISTERS HAVE MET IN BRUSSELS TO DISCUSS A COMPROMISE ON HOW THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL BE FINANCED DURING THE NEXT SIX-YEARS. THE COMPROMISE IS REQUIRED TO PERMIT THE EUROPEAN UNION TO EXPAND TO COUNTRIES IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE. BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS THE EUROPEAN UNION IS MOVING SLOWLY TOWARD ENLARGEMENT, BUT BEHIND THE SCENES ASSISTANCE TO PROSPECTIVE NEW MEMBERS IS TAKING PLACE.

    TEXT: THE CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, GERMANY, HAS PUT THE CASE BLUNTLY. THERE WILL BE NO EXPANSION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO NEW MEMBERS UNTIL THE CURRENT 15 MEMBERS REACH AGREEMENT ON THEIR FUTURE BUDGET.

    THAT MEANS REDUCING SUBSIDIES FOR AGRICULTURE, THE BIGGEST ITEM IN THE EUROPEAN UNION'S BUDGET. IT ALSO MEANS A COMPROMISE ABOUT THEIR SHARE OF THE BUDGET BETWEEN RICH COUNTRIES, LIKE GERMANY AND THE NETHERLANDS, WITH THE POORER COUNTRIES LIKE SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.

    THE POORER MEMBERS WORRY THAT DEVELOPMENT FUNDS WILL DISAPPEAR WHEN THE EUROPEAN UNION EXPANDS TO EVEN POORER COUNTRIES IN EASTERN EUROPE. MEANWHILE, THE SLOW PACE OF THESE INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS HAS BEEN DISCOURAGING TO PROSPECTIVE NEW MEMBERS LIKE POLAND AND HUNGARY. THEIR OFFICIALS HAVE PUBLICLY WONDERED WHETHER THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL BE READY TO ACCEPT THEM WHEN THEY ARE READY TO BECOME MEMBERS.

    BUT THERE IS WORK BEHIND THE SCENES TO PREPARE THE PROSPECTIVE NEW MEMBERS.

    THE WORLD BANK AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAVE MET WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 11 COUNTRIES THAT WANT TO BE MEMBERS ABOUT LIBERALIZING THEIR INTERNAL MARKET FOR ELECTRICITY. THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS ALREADY TAKEN STEPS TO DO THAT FOR PRESENT MEMBERS.

    /// OPT ///

    GREECE, IRELAND, AND BELGIUM HAVE BEEN GIVEN TRANSITION PERIODS TO MAKE THE REQUIRED CHANGES. THE OTHERS MUST MAKE THE CHANGES NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 20TH. /// END OPT ///

    MANY PROSPECTIVE NEW MEMBERS ARE ALREADY REFORMING THE WAY THEY DELIVER ELECTRICITY TO ALLOW MORE COMPETITION. EUROPEAN COMMISSION OFFICIAL CHRISTOPHER JONES SAYS TECHNICAL EXPERTS WILL BE SENT TO HELP THE BEST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES.

    /// JONES ACT ///

    WE WILL GET TO EACH COUNTRY AS QUICKLY AS WE CAN. THE PRIORITY ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT ARE THE MOST DEVELOPED OR THE MOST CLOSE TO ADOPTING LEGISLATION IN THIS AREA WHICH WILL BE THE CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND, HUNGARY, SLOVENIA, AND ESTONIA.

    /// END ACT ///

    THESE ARE THE SAME COUNTRIES THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS PUT ON THE FAST TRACK FOR EXPANSION -- WHENEVER THAT TAKES PLACE.

    THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND THE WORLD BANK WILL DEVELOP A SEPARATE PLAN FOR EACH NEW MEMBER. A TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PLAN HAS ALREADY BEEN DRAWN UP FOR HUNGARY'S ELECTRICITY PROGRAM. MR. JONES SAYS THERE IS NO ONE RE-STRUCTURING PLAN TO FIT EVERY PROSPECTIVE MEMBER.

    /// JONES ACT ///

    WE ARE NOW PUTTING TOGETHER THE FIRST ROAD MAP, IF YOU LIKE, THE FIRST BLUEPRINT FOR HUNGARY, WHICH WE WILL USE FOR THE OTHER COUNTRIES. THE POINT IS THAT WE DO NOT SIMPLY WANT TO TAKE THE HUNGARY BLUEPRINT AND THEN IMPOSE THAT ON OTHER COUNTRIES. WE WANT TO USE THAT AS A MODEL THAT OTHER COUNTRIES MAY USE IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHAT IS USEFUL FOR THEM. BUT AGAIN, FOR THE CZECH REPUBLIC WHAT WE ARE DOING IN HUNGARY MIGHT BE VERY USEFUL, BUT FOR ROMANIA WE HAVE TO START FROM A MUCH LOWER LEVEL.

    /// END ACT ///

    ELECTRICITY IS JUST ONE AREA IN WHICH THE EUROPEAN UNION HOPES TO HELP NEW MEMBERS. A WORKSHOP ON A SIMILAR PROGRAM TO LIBERALIZE NATURAL GAS SUPPLIES IS PLANNED FOR NEXT MONTH. FOR THE CONSUMERS IN EASTERN EUROPE, THE CHANGES WILL EVENTUALLY MEAN HIGHER PRICES FOR ENERGY. FOR THE PROSPECTIVE NEW MEMBERS, THE PROGRAMS MEAN THEY CAN BE READY FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION WHEN THE E-U IS READY TO ACCEPT THEM. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/RAE
    08-Feb-99 12:01 PM EST (1701 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] FRANCE AIDS BLOOD (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=2/8/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245270
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A LANDMARK CASE IS OPENING IN FRANCE (TUESDAY/LATER TODAY), WHERE A FORMER PRIME MINISTER AND TWO TOP GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE BEING TRIED FOR NOT SAFEGUARDING THE BLOOD SUPPLY FROM THE AIDS VIRUS. DETAILS FROM JULIAN NUNDY IN PARIS:

    TEXT: THE TRIAL OF LAURENT FABIUS, WHO WAS FRANCE'S SOCIALIST PRIME MINISTER FROM 1984 TO 1986, AND OF TWO OF HIS MINISTERS IS A FRENCH LEGAL LANDMARK. THE THREE, INCLUDING FORMER SOCIAL AFFAIRS MINISTER GEORGINA DUFOIX AND HEALTH MINISTER EDMOND HERVE, WILL BE TRIED BY THE "COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC" -- AN INSTITUTION SET UP TO HEAR CASES AGAINST POLITICIANS FOR OFFENSES COMMITTED WHILE IN OFFICE. THE COURT HAS NEVER BEEN CONVENED BEFORE.

    THE FORMER MINISTERS WILL BE TRIED BY THREE JUDGES AND BY 12 MEMBERS FROM THE TWO HOUSES OF THE FRENCH PARLIAMENT.

    AT ISSUE IS THE MINISTERS' BEHAVIOR DURING CRUCIAL MONTHS IN 1985 WHEN TESTING FOR H-I-V -- THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES AIDS -- HAD BECOME AVAILABLE. AT FIRST, FRANCE REFUSED TO INTRODUCE AN AMERICAN TEST THAT WAS ALREADY AVAILABLE, WAITING INSTEAD FOR A TEST TO BE DEVELOPED BY A FRENCH COMPANY.

    BUT EVEN WHEN TESTING BECAME SYSTEMATIC IN JUNE 1985, POTENTIALLY TAINTED BLOOD PRESCRIBED FOR HEMOPHILIACS AND TRANSFUSION STOCKS WERE STILL USED IN FRANCE FOR ANOTHER THREE MONTHS.

    THE VICTIMS' FAMILIES WHO BROUGHT THE ACTION SAY IT IS IMPERATIVE TO MAKE POLITICIANS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR DEADLY ERRORS.

    LAWYERS FOR THE MINISTERS ARGUE, HOWEVER, THAT IN DEALING WITH AN EPIDEMIC THAT WAS NOT FULLY UNDERSTOOD AT THE TIME, THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT ACTED WITH REASONABLE SPEED.

    RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS ARE ANGRY THAT THE MINISTERS FACE A SPECIAL COURT. THEY SAY THE FACT THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE JUDGES ARE THEMSELVES POLITICIANS MEANS THAT AN ACQUITTAL IS ALMOST CERTAIN.

    //OPT//

    ACCORDING TO A LEGAL REPORT ISSUED LAST YEAR, 300 LIVES COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED IF THESE BLOOD PRODUCTS HAD BEEN WITHDRAWN IMMEDIATELY. SOME OBSERVERS FIND IT IRONIC THAT FRANCE -- UNDER MR. FABIUS' LEADERSHIP -- WAS ONE OF THE FIRST COUNTRIES TO INTRODUCE AIDS TESTING. MR. FABIUS, NOW THE SPEAKER OF THE FRENCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, OR LOWER HOUSE, HAS STEPPED DOWN FROM THIS FUNCTION FOR THE THREE-WEEK DURATION OF THE TRIAL.

    TWO SENIOR DOCTORS IN THE FRENCH BLOOD TRANSFUSION SERVICE HAVE ALREADY SERVED JAIL TERMS FOR ALLOWING THE USE OF TAINTED PRODUCTS. CONTRARY TO FRENCH LEGAL TRADITION, THESE SAME DOCTORS NOW FACE NEW CHARGES FOR THE SAME ACTS. THEY SAY THEY WILL REFUSE TO TESTIFY IF CALLED AS TRIAL WITNESSES.

    //END OPT//

    A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER OF FRENCH LAWYERS ARGUE THAT THE MINISTERS SHOULD NOT BE TRIED AT ALL SINCE THEY SAY THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF REAL CRIMINAL INTENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/PCF/JO
    08-Feb-99 1:07 PM EST (1807 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=02/08/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11134
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: OUTDATED AFTER 10 P-M EST. /////

    INTRO: COMMENTS ON THE DEATH OF JORDAN'S KING HUSSEIN ARE FILLING THE EDITORIAL COLUMNS OF MANY U-S NEWSPAPERS; IT IS BY FAR THE OVERRIDING TOPIC. ELSEWHERE, ONE CAN FIND DISCUSSIONS ON WHAT ONE PAPER CALLS "A FOOLISH WAR" BETWEEN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA; THE STRUGGLE FOR PEACE IN KOSOVO; THE SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL; /// OPT /// THOUGHTS ON A NEW MOVIE ABOUT A CLUSTER OF CANCER CASES; /// END OPT /// AND DISAPPOINTMENT WITH WYOMING'S RESPONSE TO THE DEATH OF A HOMOSEXUAL. NOW, HERE IS ___________________WITH SOME EXCERPTS IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: PAPERS IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY ARE EXPRESSING GRIEF OVER THE DEATH OF KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN, AND HONORING HIS MEMORY AS A LIFE-LONG PEACE-SEEKER. "THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" PUTS IT THIS WAY

    VOICE: KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN, WHO DIED SUNDAY, BELONGED TO A SELECT GROUP OF STATESMEN -- THOSE WHO HAVE LEARNED TO SET ASIDE THE SQUABBLES OF THE PAST. THE MIDDLE EAST COULD USE MORE PEOPLE LIKE MR. HUSSEIN ... HE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR HIS ABILITY TO TAKE BOLD ACTIONS, HIS INNOVATIONS AND HIS PEACEMAKING EFFORTS. WITH SO MUCH LEFT TO DO ON THE PEACE FRONT, IT IS A SHAME THAT MR. HUSSEIN'S VOICE HAS GONE SILENT.

    TEXT: IN THE CONNECTICUT CAPITOL, "THE HARTFORD COURANT" REMEMBERS BOTH A PEACEMAKER, AND THE HARSHER SIDE OF THE KING.

    VOICE: JORDAN UNDER THE HASHEMITE DYNASTY HAS CERTAINLY BEEN MORE STABLE THAN SYRIA, IRAQ, AND LEBANON. BUT STABILITY SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH LIBERALISM. THE KING, ESPECIALLY IN THE FIRST HALF OF HIS REIGN, WAS KNOWN TO TREAT JORDANIAN AND PALESTINIAN DISSIDENTS BRUTALLY. MORE PALESTINIANS ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE DIED AT THE HANDS OF JORDAN'S MONARCH THAN IN WARS AGAINST ISRAEL. ... THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT KING HUSSEIN LEFT AN ESSENTIALLY UNFINISHED NATION. /// OPT /// JORDAN WAS CREATED IN A SINGLE AFTERNOON BY BRITISH COLONIAL CZAR SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL. /// END OPT /// THE COUNTRY REMAINS HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN AID. THE KING WOULD HAVE LEFT A HUGE LEGACY HAD HE BUILT A LARGELY SELF-SUFFICIENT COUNTRY IN TOTAL CONTROL OF ITS DESTINY.

    TEXT: IN "USA TODAY" THERE IS CONCERN THAT THE NEW KING, 37-YEAR-OLD ABDULLAH, MAY NOT BE FULLY PREPARED FOR THE DIFFICULT TASK AHEAD.

    VOICE: THE VOID IN THE PEACE PROCESS LEFT BY [KING] HUSSEIN'S DEATH CANNOT BE FILLED QUICKLY BY HIS 37-YEAR-OLD SON, ABDULLAH, SWORN IN AS MONARCH SUNDAY. INDEED, WITH JORDAN'S CONTENTIOUS DEMOGRAPHY AND SQUEEZED GEOGRAPHY, [KING] ABDULLAH WILL BE PRESSED EVEN TO MAINTAIN HIS FATHER'S POLICIES. ... [KING] ABDULLAH IS WOEFULLY INEXPERIENCED IN THE REGION'S BLOODY FACTIONALISM. WASHINGTON IS WISE TO BOLSTER [KING] ABDULLAH WHERE IT CAN, HOPING HE IS MATURE IN HIS FATHER'S IMAGE.

    TEXT: "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER" PROCLAIMS "LONG LIVE HIS LEGACY" AND REMINDS:

    VOICE: NO ONE WILL FORGET THE IMAGE OF THE BALD-HEADED KING RISING FROM TREATMENTS FOR LYMPHATIC CANCER TO APPEAR AT WYE PLANTATION IN MARYLAND LAST FALL TO HELP CEMENT THE LAST DIFFICULT DEAL BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS.

    TEXT: TURNING TO OTHER TOPICS, THE ON-GOING BORDER WAR IN THE HORN OF AFRICA, BETWEEN ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA, WHICH SHOWS SIGNS OF HEATING UP AGAIN, ELICITS QUESTIONS FROM TODAY'S "WASHINGTON POST."

    VOICE: ETHIOPIA AND ERITREA, IN EAST AFRICA'S HORN, SEEM DETERMINED TO PURSUE A FOOLISH AND UNNECESSARY WAR. ...

    /// OPT ///

    THE TWO STATES ARE BOUND TO EACH OTHER BY GEOGRAPHY AND BROAD COMMON INTERESTS. THE INTERNATIONAL BANKS HAVE LOOKED UPON THEM AS DEVELOPMENT MODELS. THEIR PRESIDENTS ... HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER OVER TIME AS FRIENDS. /// END OPT /// ... HOW IS IT THAT TWO COUNTRIES ENJOYING SUCH A GOOD AND PROMISING RELATIONSHIP COULD BE BROUGHT FIRST TO RELATIVELY LIGHT BATTLE AND NOW, AFTER A PAUSE, TO THE WEEKEND'S OMINOUS SPURT OF EXTREMELY HEAVY BATTLE? WHO CAN INDUCE THE PARTIES TO COME TO THEIR SENSES?

    TEXT: HALF A WORLD AWAY, THERE IS GRAVE CONCERN FOR PEACE EFFORTS BETWEEN SERBIANS AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE. FLORIDA'S "ORLANDO SENTINEL" IS EMPHATIC IN ITS VIEW THAT NO U-S COMBAT TROOPS BE INVOLVED IN PEACEKEEPING.

    VOICE: ... THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ... ACTS AS IF IT HAS NOT HAD TIME TO THINK ABOUT EVENTS IN KOSOVO. MAKING MATTERS WORSE, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION APPEARS FIXATED ON A MILITARY SOLUTION, WITH THIS NATION LEADING THE CHARGE, EVEN AS THE UNITED STATES EXPRESSES HOPE OF REACHING A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION. ...NEIGHBORING NATIONS AND EUROPE, IN GENERAL, MUST FIND A SOLUTION TO THEIR BACKYARD PROBLEM. KOSOVO ... IS NOT ESSENTIALLY A U-S CONCERN. ... U-S INTERESTS IN KOSOVO ARE MINIMAL. SO SHOULD BE ITS INVOLVEMENT.

    TEXT: IN DOMESTIC AFFAIRS, THE SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF THE PRESIDENT CONTINUES IN WASHINGTON, WITH "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" ARGUING STRONGLY AGAINST AN ACQUITTAL AND THEN A VOTE OF CENSURE.

    VOICE: THE TRUTH IS THE VOTE ON CONVICTION IS THE ONLY CHANCE SENATORS WILL HAVE TO EXPRESS AN AUTHENTIC CONDEMNATION OF MR. CLINTON'S BEHAVIOR. THEY CAN KID [FOOL] THEMSELVES ALL THEY WANT, BUT IN FACT THEY HAVE TWO CHOICES: VOTE TO REMOVE HIM, OR VOTE TO EXONERATE HIM.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: A POPULAR MOVIE, DEPICTING A REAL SITUATION IN WHICH RESIDENTS OF A SMALL MASSACHUSETTS CITY SUSPECTED A CHEMICAL WASTE DUMP OF ENVIRONMENTAL DISCHARGES THAT WERE CAUSING CANCER AMONG CHILDREN, DRAWS A REBUKE FROM "THE NEW YORK POST."

    VOICE: IN FACT, OF ALL THE INVESTIGATIONS OF CANCER CLUSTERS IN THE LAST FEW DECADES, ONLY ONE, COUNT 'EM -- ONE -- CAN BE TRACED TO LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES. THAT ONE, BY THE WAY WAS IN TURKEY AND LINKED TO THE NATURAL PRESENCE OF A RARE MINERAL IN THE SOIL. ... CANCER IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS, OF COURSE, AND INCIDENCES OF IT MUST BE TREATED SERIOUSLY. BUT NO ONE'S CAUSE IS SERVED -- EXCEPT GREEDY LAWYERS' -- BY POORLY INFORMED EFFORTS TO ALARM THE PUBLIC.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" IS DISAPPOINTED THE STATE LEGISLATURE IN WYOMING FAILED TO ENACT NEW HATE CRIMES LEGISLATION FOLLOWING THE WIDELY PUBLICIZED BEATING DEATH OF A HOMOSEXUAL MAN SEVERAL-MONTHS AGO.

    VOICE: ... THERE IS A DANGER IN WYOMING'S FAILURE TO ACT, ESPECIALLY IN LIGHT OF WHAT HAPPENED TO [MATTHEW] SHEPARD. THOSE WHO HARBOR HATE COULD EASILY INTERPRET THE WYOMING LEGISLATURE'S DECISION AS A REFUSAL TO CONDEMN THEIR VIEWS. A TWISTED MIND MIGHT NOT NEED MUCH MORE RATIONALE THAN THAT FOR ATTACKING A FELLOW HUMAN BEING. ... WHEN PEOPLE ATTACK OTHERS OUT OF BIAS, THEY COMMIT A CRIME NOT JUST AGAINST THE INDIVIDUAL OR THE STATE, BUT AGAINST ALL WHO SHARE THE VICTIM'S RACE, RELIGION, OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM MONDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    08-Feb-99 10:32 AM EST (1532 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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