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Voice of America, 99-02-12

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO TALKS (L/S VER) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [02] U-N-H-C-R / KOSOVO (L ONLY) (GENEVA)
  • [03] TURKEY/IRAQ (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [05] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO TALKS (L/S VER) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=2/12/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245466
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///EDS: CUT OPT SECTIONS TO FORM A SHORT ///

    INTRO: WITH FEW SIGNS OF PROGRESS COMING FROM TALKS AIMED AT BRINGING PEACE TO THE YUGOSLAV PROVINCE OF KOSOVO, THIS WEEKEND WILL SEE A FLURRY OF DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITY TO BOOST MOMENTUM. THE TALKS ARE TAKING PLACE JUST OUTSIDE PARIS. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS.

    TEXT: AFTER A WEEK OF APPARENTLY FRUITLESS NEGOTIATIONS TO BRING PEACE TO KOSOVO, SOME OF THE WORLD'S TOP DIPLOMATS PLAN TO GATHER THIS WEEKEND TO STRESS THE NEED FOR MOVEMENT.

    CHRISTOPHER HILL, THE UNITED STATES' MEDIATOR AT THE TALKS AT RAMBOUILLET, SOUTH OF PARIS, SAYS SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT HAS DECIDED TO MAKE THE TRIP TO FRANCE SUNDAY TO TAKE PART IN A REVIEW OF PROGRESS, SO FAR.

    //OPT//

    WITH TWO OTHER MEDIATORS -- ONE RUSSIAN AND THE OTHER REPRESENTING THE EUROPEAN UNION -- MR. HILL HAS BEEN CARRYING MESSAGES BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS SEEKING SELF-RULE FOR KOSOVO AND THE SERBIAN-LED YUGOSLAV DELEGATION. EARLIER IN THE WEEK, MR. HILL SAID MRS. ALBRIGHT WOULD COME TO FRANCE, ONLY IF THERE WAS PROGRESS. //END OPT///

    THE SIX-NATION CONTACT GROUP ON YUGOSLAVIA -- COMPRISING THE UNITED STATES, RUSSIA, BRITAIN, FRANCE, GERMANY AND ITALY -- HAD IN ANY CASE PLANNED TO MEET TO REVIEW THE PROCESS THIS WEEKEND.

    IN ADDITION, THE GERMAN PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS SUMMONED A PARALLEL MEETING OF ALL OF THE E-U'S 15 FOREIGN MINISTERS TO DETERMINE EUROPE'S STANCE AS THE THREAT OF NATO MILITARY INTERVENTION OVER KOSOVO GROWS.

    ///REST OPT FOR LONG VERSION///

    THE CONTACT GROUP GAVE THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS AND BELGRADE TWO WEEKS IN WHICH TO COME UP WITH A PEACE ACCORD. SINCE THE RAMBOUILLET TALKS OPENED FOR THEIR FIRST FULL DAY OF TALKS LAST SUNDAY, THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE APPARENT REASON FOR OPTIMISM.

    THE TWO SIDES HAVE STILL NOT MET FACE TO FACE. BUT, ACCORDING TO DIPLOMATS INVOLVED IN THE TALKS, WHEN DELEGATES FROM BOTH SIDES UNEXPECTEDLY MET IN ONE OF THE CORRIDORS OF THE RAMBOUILLET CHATEAU LATE THURSDAY, THEY SHOOK HANDS AND EXCHANGED GREETINGS AFFABLY.

    WHEN THE TALKS STARTED, THERE WERE A NUMBER OF LEAKS TO THE MEDIA FROM BOTH SIDES. THESE HAVE DRIED UP AMID UNCONFIRMED REPORTS THAT FRENCH SECURITY SERVICES ARE JAMMING MOBILE TELEPHONE COMMUNICATIONS AROUND THE CHATEAU. SO FAR, WITH NEGOTIATORS STUDYING A FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT FOR PEACE, THE BELGRADE DELEGATION IS INSISTING THAT THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS SIGN A SERIES OF PRINCIPLES THAT WOULD GUARANTEE THE INVIOLABILITY OF THE CURRENT FRONTIERS OF THE YUGOSLAV FEDERATION. AND THE KOSOVO NATIONALISTS ARE DEMANDING AN IMMEDIATE CEASE-FIRE GUARANTEED BY THE DISPATCH OF AN INTERNATIONAL PEACE FORCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/PCF
    12-Feb-99 2:18 PM EST (1918 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] U-N-H-C-R / KOSOVO (L ONLY) (GENEVA)

    DATE=2/12/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245450
    BYLLINE=LISA SCHLEIN CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY (U-N-H-C-R) SAYS THOUSANDS OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS DISPLACED BY THE WAR IN SERBIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE REFUSE TO RETURN TO AREAS WHERE THERE ARE NO INTERNATIONAL MONITORS. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA REPORTS THE U-N AGENCY SAYS THE REFUGEES BELIEVE THE MONITORS CAN OFFER SOME PROTECTION AGAINST ATTACKS BY SERBIAN FORCES.

    TEXT: THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY SAYS IT HAS NOTICED WHAT IT CALLS "VERY TIMID RETURNS" OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS TO AREAS WHERE INTERNATIONAL MONITORS ARE PRESENT.

    U-N-H-C-R SPOKESMAN KRIS JANOWSKI SAYS PEOPLE ARE AFRAID AND HAVE EXPRESSED A LOT OF ANXIETY ABOUT THE TENSE SITUATION IN KOSOVO. HE SAYS MANY DISPLACED PEOPLE HAVE TOLD U-N AID WORKERS THEY CONSIDER THE PEACE TALKS TAKING PLACE IN FRANCE AS THEIR "LAST HOPE."

    /// JANOWSKI ACT ///

    SO THE ATMOSPHERE IS VERY TENSE AND FULL OF SUSPENSE. AT OUR REQUEST, THE O-S-C-E (ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE) IS OPENING A MONITORING OFFICE IN THE VILLAGE OF RACAK, THE SCENE OF THE ALLEGED MASSACRE WHERE THE ALBANIANS WERE BURIED IN A CEREMONY ATTENDED BY THOUSANDS YESTERDAY.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. JANOWSKI SAYS THOUSANDS OF DISPLACED PEOPLE HAVE RETURNED TO VILLAGES IN AREAS WHERE THE O-S-C-E HAS A PERMANENT PRESENCE. IN ONE CASE, HE SAYS 70 PERCENT OF THE THREE-THOUSAND RESIDENTS OF NEVOLJANE HAVE RETURNED.

    ON ANOTHER ISSUE, MR. JANOWSKI SAYS TWO TRUCKS HAVE BEEN DELIVERING RELIEF AID TO MORE THAN THREE-THOUSAND PEOPLE IN RUGOVA CANYON IN WESTERN KOSOVO. THESE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TRAPPED AND ISOLATED IN THEIR HOMES ON MOUNTAINSIDES HEAVILY COVERED WITH SNOW.

    THE U-N SPOKESMAN SAYS THAT DESPITE THE PERILOUS ROAD CONDITIONS, THE DRIVERS SUCCESSFULLY DELIVERED SEVERAL TONS OF FOOD, BLANKETS, MATTRESSES AND HYGIENIC KITS TO HELP THESE PEOPLE SURVIVE THEIR ORDEAL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/JWH
    12-Feb-99 8:39 AM EST (1339 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] TURKEY/IRAQ (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=2/12/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245465
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// EDS: WILL HOLD THROUGH WEEKEND ///

    INTRO: IRAQ'S DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, TARIQ AZIZ, IS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE IN TURKEY MONDAY, FOLLOWING AN INVITATION FROM TURKISH PRIME MINISTER BULENT ECEVIT. AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA, MR. ECEVIT SAYS THE IRAQI OFFICIAL'S VISIT SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS UNDERMINING U-S POLICY IN THE REGION.

    TEXT: MR. AZIZ'S VISIT, ANNOUNCED ONLY ON THURSDAY, COMES AS AN UNWELCOME SURPRISE FOR THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION AS IT STEPS UP EFFORTS TO WEAKEN THE REGIME OF IRAQI PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN.

    A U-S GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN COMMENTING ON THE VISIT SAID ON FRIDAY THE UNITED STATES COULD NOT IN HIS WORDS, UNDERSTAND TURKEY'S DECISION TO HOST MR. AZIZ AT THIS TIME.

    MR. AZIZ HAS ALREADY SAID HE WILL ASK THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT TO STOP ALLOWING U-S AND BRITISH WAR PLANES TO ATTACK IRAQI TARGETS FROM A NATO BASE IN SOUTHERN TURKEY.

    IN RECENT WEEKS, THE ALLIED JETS WHICH MONITOR THE SO-CALLED "NO-FLY ZONE" OVER NORTHERN IRAQ HAVE CARRIED OUT FREQUENT ATTACKS AGAINST IRAQI TARGETS AFTER BEING ELECTRONICALLY TRACKED BY IRAQI RADAR.

    THE SCALE OF THE ALLIED RESPONSE, WHICH IRAQI OFFICIALS SAY HAS RESULTED IN CIVILIAN CASUALTIES, PROMPTED THE TURKISH LEADER [BULENT ECEVIT] TO SAY U-S ATTACKS HAD, AS HE PUT IT, "GONE TOO FAR."

    BUT TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER ISMAIL CEM REPEATED ASSURANCES FRIDAY THAT THE TURKISH-BASED ALLIED PLANES WOULD BE PERMITTED TO CONTINUE WITH THEIR MISSION, WHICH IS TO PROTECT THE IRAQI KURDS LIVING IN NORTHERN IRAQ FROM POSSIBLE ATTACK BY SADDAM HUSSEIN.

    MR. CEM ALSO STRESSED THAT IRAQ MUST COMPLY WITH UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTIONS BEFORE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON THAT COUNTRY CAN BE LIFTED.

    // OPT //

    BUT JUST AS MR. CEM WAS RENEWING SUCH ASSURANCES, IRAQ'S NEW AMBASSADOR TO ANKARA -- A FORMER IRAQI INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL -- WAS PRESENTING HIS CREDENTIALS TO TURKISH PRESIDENT SULEYMAN DEMIREL. AMBASSADOR FAROUK HEJAZI IS WIDELY BELIEVED TO HAVE CONNECTIONS WITH OSAMA BIN LADEN, THE SAUDI ARABIAN MILLIONAIRE WHO MAY HAVE HELPED ORGANIZE LAST YEAR'S FATAL BOMB ATTACKS ON AMERICAN EMBASSIES IN KENYA AND TANZANIA.

    TURKISH OFFICIALS PRIVATELY ADMIT THAT ACCEPTING MR. HEJAZI'S NOMINATION AS AMBASSADOR TO ANKARA WAS A MISTAKE, AND SAY THEY DID NOT KNOW OF HIS BACKGROUND UNTIL -- AS ONE TURKISH OFFICIAL SAYS -- "IT WAS TOO LATE." // END OPT //

    MOST ANALYSTS AGREE THAT THE VISIT BY TARIQ AZIZ TO ANKARA DOES NOT SIGNAL A CHANGE IN TURKISH FOREIGN POLICY. THEY POINT OUT THAT ANKARA CAN ILL AFFORD TO ANTAGONIZE THE UNITED STATES, WHICH REMAINS TURKEY'S STAUNCHEST AND MOST CRUCIAL ALLY. RATHER, THEY THINK MR. ECEVIT'S ATTEMPTS TO KEEP UP A DIALOGUE WITH BAGHDAD REFLECT TURKISH CONCERNS OVER THE IMPACT OF U-S POLICY ON IRAQ'S TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY.

    THERE ARE WIDESPREAD FEARS AMONG MANY TURKS THAT PROLONGED KURDISH SELF-RULE IN NORTHERN IRAQ WILL RESULT IN THE ESTABLISHMENT THERE OF AN INDEPENDENT KURDISH STATE, WHICH WOULD ENCOURAGE SIMILAR ASPIRATIONS AMONG TURKEY'S OWN KURDISH POPULATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/PCF/WTW
    12-Feb-99 2:08 PM EST (1908 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=2/12/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245479
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (FRIDAY), WIPING OUT MUCH OF THURSDAY'S STRONG GAIN. V-O-A BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 92 HUNDRED 74 -- DOWN 88 POINTS, ALMOST ONE PERCENT. FOR THE WEEK, THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE LOST 30 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED FRIDAY AT 12 HUNDRED 30, DOWN 24 POINTS. AND THE NASDAQ INDEX, WHICH GAINED MORE THAN FOUR PERCENT THURSDAY, LOST ABOUT THREE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT FRIDAY.

    ANALYSTS SAY FRIDAY'S TRADING IS AN INDICATION OF THE LACK OF CLEAR DIRECTION IN THE MARKET. THE BIG SELL-OFF CAME THE DAY AFTER A MAJOR RALLY IN WHICH THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE GAINED 186 POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY THE FACT THAT THE U-S SENATE ACQUITTED PRESIDENT CLINTON OF PERJURY AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CHARGES HAD NO EFFECT ON STOCK PRICES, SINCE THE "NOT GUILTY" VOTE WAS EXPECTED.

    ///REST OPT///

    INVESTMENT MANAGER JAMES WEISS SAYS THE RECENT VOLATILITY IN THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR MAY MAKE INVESTORS MORE DISCRIMINATING IN WHAT STOCKS THEY HOLD.

    ///WEISS ACT///

    WHAT WE ARE REALLY FINDING OUT NOW IS THAT TECHNOLOGY IS NOT A MONOLITHIC INDUSTRY. IT IS A SERIES OF DIFFERENT SUB-INDUSTRIES AND THE MARKET IS ATTEMPTING TO SORT OUT WHERE THE WINNERS AND LOSERS ARE GOING TO BE IN TECHNOLOGY GOING FORWARD (IN THE FUTURE).

    ///END ACT///

    THE U-S COMMERCE DEPARTMENT HAS ACCUSED JAPAN AND BRAZIL OF DUMPING HOT-ROLLED STEEL, THE INDUSTRY'S BASIC PRODUCT, IN THE UNITED STATES MARKET. "DUMPING" MEANS SELLING A PRODUCT IN THE UNITED STATES FOR LESS THAN IT IS SOLD IN ITS HOME MARKET. THE DEPARTMENT SET PRELIMINARY IMPORT DUTIES OF BETWEEN 25 AND 71 PERCENT. HOWEVER, THE PENALTIES WILL NOT TAKE EFFECT UNLESS THE U-S INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION AGREES ON THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT'S FINDINGS.

    U-S HEALTH REGULATORS HAVE APPROVED AN ADVANCED BLOOD TEST FOR THE PRESENCE OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS. THE TEST, MADE BY THE CHIRON CORPORATION, IS SAID TO IDENTIFY INFECTED BLOOD WHICH SLIPS THROUGH EXISTING TESTS.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS URGED BOTH SIDES IN THE AMERICAN AIRLINES LABOR DISPUTE TO RESOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS. MANY MEMBERS OF THE THE PILOTS UNION CONTINUE TO CALL IN SICK IN A WAGE-RELATED JOB ACTION. AMERICAN AIRLINES SAYS THE SITUATION HAS CAUSED IT TO CANCEL ALMOST FIVE-THOUSAND FLIGHTS SINCE THE JOB ACTION BEGAN A WEEK AGO.

    COOPER TIRES OF THE UNITED STATES HAS FORMED A STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH THE PIRELLI TIRE COMPANY OF ITALY. THE DEAL CALLS FOR COOPER TO DISTRIBUTE PIRELLI TIRES IN NORTH AMERICA. PIRELLI WILL SELL COOPER PRODUCTS IN SOUTH AMERICA.

    THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION HAS ISSUED REGULATIONS REGARDING THE IRRADIATION OF MEAT, CALLING IT AN IMPORTANT TOOL TO PROTECT CONSUMERS. IRRADIATION INVOLVES TREATING FOOD WITH GAMMA RAYS TO KILL BACTERIA. AMERICAN FOOD COMPANIES GENERALLY FAVOR THE IDEA. HOWEVER, CONSUMER GROUPS ARE DIVIDED ON THE ISSUE, WITH SOME RAISING TASTE AND SAFETY CONCERNS.

    ALL U-S FINANCIAL MARKETS WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY FOR THE PRESIDENTS DAY HOLIDAY.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/JO
    12-Feb-99 5:18 PM EST (2218 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=02/12/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11144
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

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

    ////

    INTRO: THIS IS A DAY FOR WHICH MANY AMERICANS HAVE WAITED - - THE OFFICIAL END OF PRESIDENT CLINTON'S IMPEACHMENT SAGA. THE SENATE IS SCHEDULED TO VOTE TODAY ON TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, AND PREDICTIONS ARE HE WILL N O T BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE. THE IMPEACHMENT REMAINS TOPIC "A" (THE MAIN TOPIC) IN THE NATION'S NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL COLUMNS.

    AS THE NATION HEADS INTO A THREE-DAY HOLIDAY WEEKEND -- CELEBRATING TWO OF MR. CLINTON'S MOST FAMOUS PREDECESSORS, PRESIDENTS WASHINGTON AND LINCOLN -- OTHER ISSUES UNDER SCRUTINY ARE: AN IMPORTANT ELECTION IN IRAN; VIOLENCE IN AMERICA'S VIETNAMESE EXPATRIATE COMMUNITY; SLAVERY IN SUDAN; THE STATUS OF DEMOCRACY IN ZIMBABWE, AND A CONTROVERSY OVER A CHILDREN'S TELEVISION CHARACTER IMPORTED FROM BRITAIN. NOW, HERE IS __________________ WITH SOME EXCERPTS AND A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THERE ARE TWO MAIN THEMES TO TODAY'S IMPEACHMENT EDITORIALS. ONE IS RELIEF THAT THE NATIONAL ORDEAL MAY FINALLY BE OVER; THE OTHER, THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON IS GUILTY OF SUCH BAD JUDGMENT AND CONDUCT IN OFFICE, THAT WHILE NOT IMPEACHABLE, HE M U S T BE OFFICIALLY CENSURED. THAT'S WHAT "THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS" SAYS. "THE MIAMI HERALD'S" LEAD EDITORIAL HEADLINE IS SIMPLY: "THANKFULLY, IT'S ENDING."

    VOICE: THE PROCESS THAT HAS EXHAUSTED THE NATION, TIED UP THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, PROVIDED TOO MUCH FODDER FOR TOO MANY JOURNALISTS AND BAFFLED THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL FORMALLY END TODAY, 13 MONTHS AFTER THE NAME MONICA LEWINSKY WAS THROWN INTO THE NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS. LET US GIVE THANKS.

    TEXT: ONE OF MANY PAPERS EDITORIALIZING FOR A FORMAL CENSURE OF THE PRESIDENT AFTER THE IMPEACHMENT VOTES IS TODAY'S "WASHINGTON POST," WHICH WARNS THAT, WITHOUT SUCH ACTION:

    VOICE: THE PRESIDENT AND HIS PEOPLE WILL END UP PORTRAYING THIS SORRY EPISODE AS MOSTLY A PARTISAN PROCEEDING ... THE ANTIDOTE IS ... FOR A BIPARTISAN MAJORITY OF THE SENATE - - MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S OWN PARTY AS WELL AS THE OPPOSITION - - TO CONDEMN HIS CONDUCT IN INESCAPABLE, UNREBUTTABLE TERMS. ... THE SENATE OWES THAT.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: "USA TODAY" ALSO WANTS A RESOLUTION OF CENSURE, AND SAYS IN ITS HEADLINE "SLAMMING [THE] DOOR ON CENSURE LEAVES CLOSURE OUT IN THE COLD." HOWEVER THE PAPER CONCEDES:

    VOICE: "ANY HOPE THAT CONGRESS WILL FORMALLY EXPRESS ITS DISGUST WITH [MR.] CLINTON'S BEHAVIOR BY CENSURE APPEARED ALL BUT DEAD THURSDAY, STRANGLED BY REPUBLICANS WHO DON'T WANT TO GIVE DEMOCRATS OPPOSED TO IMPEACHMENT AN OUT.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TURNING TO INTERNATIONAL TOPICS, THERE IS AN IMPORTANT ELECTION COMING UP IN IRAN THAT MAY SHOW THE STRENGTH OF THE REFORM MOVEMENT LED BY THE NATION'S PRESIDENT MOHAMMAD KHATAMI. IT DRAWS THIS OBSERVATION FROM "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES."

    VOICE: /// OPT /// TWENTY YEARS AFTER AN ISLAMIC REVOLUTION REPLACED ITS 25-HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD MONARCHY WITH REPRESSIVE THEOCRATIC RULE, IRAN IS UNDERGOING A QUIET BUT INTENSE STRUGGLE BETWEEN REFORMISTS AND TRADITIONALISTS. /// END OPT /// ... A MAJOR TEST OF STRENGTH COULD COME IN TWO WEEKS, IN LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS PROVIDED FOR IN THE 1979 CONSTITUTION BUT NEVER HELD. ... FAIRLY CONDUCTED COUNCIL ELECTIONS COULD LEAD TO EXPANDED REFORM EFFORTS. ... A FRUSTRATED YOUNGER GENERATION /// OPT /// EAGER FOR A MORE RELAXED DOMESTIC LIFE AND AN END TO IRAN'S INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION /// END OPT /// WILL NOT FOREVER CEDE TO THE CLERICS THE UNQUESTIONED CONTROL THEY DEMAND.

    TEXT: RECENT REPORTS OF THE CONTINUANCE OF SLAVERY IN SUDAN, BRING THIS REBUKE FROM "THE WASHINGTON TIMES."

    VOICE: OVER A CENTURY AFTER ABRAHAM LINCOLN FOUGHT TO END SLAVERY IN THIS COUNTRY, THOUSANDS OF SUDANESE CHRISTIANS AND ANIMISTS ARE BEING ENSLAVED - - SOME WITH THE APPROVAL OF TOP GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, THE SWISS HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY INTERNATIONAL [SAYS] ... TODAY AMERICAN STUDENTS FROM SIXTY COLLEGES ... ARE COMMEMORATING LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY WITH A CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE PRACTICE ... THE SUDANESE GOVERNMENT COULD ... LEARN A LOT FROM THE 14TH PRESIDENT.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: ANIMOSITY BETWEEN FORMER COMMUNIST AND NON-COMMUNIST VIETNAMESE HAS FLARED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" REMINDS ALL THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH ALSO COVERS UNPLEASANT ICONS.

    VOICE: [AN] ORANGE COUNTY [CALIFORNIA] COURT JUDGE ...RULED THAT SHOPKEEPER TRUONG VAN TRAN ... HAD THE RIGHT TO DISPLAY A PICTURE OF THE LATE COMMUNIST LEADER HO CHI MINH AND THE FLAG OF COMMUNIST VIETNAM IN HIS ELECTRONICS SHOP ... THOSE OPPOSED TO [MR.] TRAN AVAILED THEMSELVES OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS TO PICKET HIS STORE. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE WERE TWO INCIDENTS ... INCLUDING ONE ... IN WHICH [MR.] TRANS WAS PUSHED AROUND. HE SHOULD HEED POLICE URGINGS TO NOTIFY THEM WHEN HE PLANS TO REENTER HIS STORY, SO ORDER CAN BE MAINTAINED.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TURNING TO THIS HEMISPHERE, "THE WASHINGTON POST" OFFERS THIS ASSESSMENT OF THE FIRST STEPS OF VENEZUELA'S NEW PRESIDENT, THE FORMER JAILED ARMY COUP LEADER HUGO CHAVEZ.

    VOICE: PRESIDENT CHAVEZ PROMPTLY SET OUT TO ORGANIZE A SERIES OF POPULAR REFERENDUMS TO MOVE FROM THE 1961 CONSTITUTION, WHICH TENDED TO FENCE OUT LEFTISTS, TO A NEW CONSTITUTION WITH A BROADER BASE. HIS PLANS IGNITED ALARMS OF POWER-GRABBING, BUT THE TRADITIONAL PARTIES APPEAR INCLINED TO LET HIM SHOW WHAT HE CAN DO ... WHERE THEY THEMSELVES HAD FALTERED. STILL, IT IS DISCONCERTING THAT HE OFFERS NO PERSUASIVE RATIONALE FOR FAR-REACHING CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM.

    TEXT: TODAY'S "NEW YORK TIMES" TAKES NOTE OF INCREASING TENSION IN ZIMBABWE, AS PRESIDENT MUGABE PUSHES A CONTROVERSIAL LAND-REFORM SCHEME GIVING WHITE-OWNED FARMS TO POOR BLACK PEASANTS, AMONG OTHER UNPOPULAR AND, "THE TIMES" FEELS, ILL-ADVISED POLICIES.

    VOICE: FEW AFRICAN COUNTRIES HAVE FOLLOWED A MORE DISAPPOINTING TRAJECTORY OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES THAN ZIMBABWE. ONCE A MODEL OF DEMOCRACY, LAW AND TOLERANCE, THIS NATION OF 13-MILLION PEOPLE IS BECOMING A FEARFUL, MILITARIZED AUTOCRACY. PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE'S LATEST DIATRIBES AGAINST JOURNALISTS AND JUDGES ARE PARTICULARLY TROUBLING. ZIMBABWE'S FRIENDS, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, MUST PRESS MR. MUGABE TO HALT THIS SAD SLIDE INTO TYRANNY. /// OPT /// ... MR. MUGABE SHOULD ... PAY ATTENTION TO ZIMBABWE'S OWN PRESSING NEEDS, INCLUDING RAPIDLY RISING FOOD PRICES, SEVERE UNEMPLOYMENT AND AN AIDS EPIDEMIC NOW ESTIMATED TO AFFECT ALMOST ONE IN FOUR ADULTS. THE GROWING ECONOMIC PRESSURES HAVE BROUGHT MONTHS OF UNREST, TO WHICH THE GOVERNMENT'S MAIN RESPONSE HAS BEEN REPRESSION. INSTEAD OF HARASSING POTENTIAL OPPONENTS, MR. MUGABE SHOULD, AT AGE 74, BE MAKING ROOM FOR NEW LEADERS ... WHEN HIS TERM ENDS IN TWO-THOUSAND-TWO. /// END OPT ///

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: DOMESTICALLY AGAIN, A FUROR HAS ARISEN OVER THE CHARGE BY A CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALIST MINISTER, THE REVEREND JERRY FALWELL, THAT A CHARACTER IN A BRITISH CHILDREN'S TELEVISION PROGRAM -- TELETUBBY CHARACTER, TINKY WINKY, IS HOMOSEXUAL. SAYS MAINE'S "PORTLAND PRESS HERALD:"

    VOICE: GIVEN [REVEREND] FALWELL'S ZEALOTRY, THERE'S NO TELLING WHERE THE 'OUTING' [EDITORS: A "NEW" VERB TO INDICATE THE DISCLOSING OF ANOTHER'S, PREVIOUSLY HIDDEN, HOMOSEXUALITY] WILL END. ... IF ALL THIS SOUNDS SILLY, IT SHOULD, BECAUSE IT IS. [REV.] FALWELL'S ENERGY WOULD BE BETTER SPENT ENCOURAGING PARENTS TO SHUT OFF THE TV AND READ TO THEIR KIDS.

    TEXT: LASTLY, PRAISE FOR PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, WHOSE BIRTHDAY WE CELEBRATE TODAY, FROM THE SAME "PORTLAND PRESS HERALD," WHICH LAMENTS:

    VOICE: TRUST,. HONESTY, CHARACTER, [PRESIDENT] LINCOLN HAD THOSE QUALITIES IN SUCH SHORT SUPPLY TODAY. ... OTHER PRESIDENTS OF THE PERIOD ... ARE MOSTLY FORGOTTEN. WE REMEMBER ONLY [PRESIDENT] LINCOLN FOR HIS GREATNESS AND INTEGRITY ON THIS 190TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: ON THAT /// OPT /// HISTORIC /// END OPT /// NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    12-Feb-99 11:50 AM EST (1650 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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