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Voice of America, 99-02-24

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBRIGHT / KOSOVO (L) BY DAVID SWAN (CAPITOL HILL)
  • [02] CLINTON / KOSOVO (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [03] RUSSIA / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [04] YUGOSLAVIA / KOSOVO TALKS BY RON PEMSTEIN (BELGRADE)
  • [05] U-N / MACEDONIA / CHINA (L - ONLY) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [06] GERMAN DUAL CITIZENSHIP BY SUZANNE KELLY (BONN)
  • [07] MERCOSUR / EUROPE (L-ONLY) BY GEORGE MEEK (RIO DE JANEIRO)
  • [08] FRANCE / AIDS BLOOD (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [09] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [10] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] ALBRIGHT / KOSOVO (L) BY DAVID SWAN (CAPITOL HILL)

    DATE=2/24/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245910
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S SECRETARY OF STATE MADELINE ALBRIGHT HAS WARNED THAT YUGOSLAVIA COULD STILL FACE NATO AIR STRIKES IF GOVERNMENT TROOPS STEP UP THEIR CAMPAIGN AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO. MS ALBRIGHT IS ALSO TRYING TO PERSUADE CONGRESS OF THE NEED FOR U-S FORCES TO HELP KEEP PEACE IN THE PROVINCE. V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN REPORTS FROM CAPITOL HILL.

    TEXT: THE SECRETARY APPEARED BEFORE THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE (WEDNESDAY) AFTER RETURNING FROM MARATHON TALKS THAT PRODUCED A TENTATIVE PEACE ACCORD. SHE TESTIFIED THE PLAN HAS NO CHANCE OF WORKING UNLESS AMERICAN TROOPS MAKE UP PART OF A 28-THOUSAND STRONG NATO PEACEKEEPING ARMY.

    // ALBRIGHT ACT //

    THERE IS ZERO CHANCE THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS WILL SIGN ON TO THIS DEAL IF THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN ITS IMPLEMENTATION. THE PRESIDENT HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT OTHERS MUST PROVIDE THE LION'S SHARE OF THE TROOPS AND WE'VE SEEN OUR ALLIES STEP FORWARD AND OFFER TO DO JUST THAT.

    // END ACT //

    MANY REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS ARE RELUCTANT TO SEND ANOTHER U-S CONTINGENT INTO THE BALKANS, WITH SEVERAL THOUSAND SOLDIERS ALREADY SERVING IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. FOR ITS PART, THE GOVERNMENT IN BELGRADE SAYS IT WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY ALLIED FORCES IN KOSOVO. HOWEVER, MS. ALBRIGHT SAYS THE PARTIAL PEACE ACCORD, HAMMERED OUT IN RAMBOULLIET, FRANCE, IS THE BEST EITHER SIDE CAN HOPE FOR. SHE URGED BOTH PARTIES TO AVOID VIOLENCE AND PROVOCATIONS IN THE WEEKS LEADING UP TO A SECOND ROUND OF NEGOTIATIONS. WHEN ASKED ABOUT REPORTS OF A SERB MILITARY BUILDUP ON THE PROVINCIAL BORDER, SHE SAID NATO RETAINS THE OPTION OF USING ITS AIRPOWER.

    // ALBRIGHT ACT //

    BUT THEY ARE VERY MUCH UNDER WARNING RIGHT NOW THAT THEY ARE NOT TO USE THOSE FORCES OFFENSIVELY AND THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DRAWING BACK TO THE AGREEMENT THAT THEY MADE IN OCTOBER.

    // END ACT //

    THE SIDES ARE SCHEDULED TO MEET AGAIN ON MARCH 15TH. WESTERN OFFICIALS HOPE THEY WILL SIGN A FINAL AGREEMENT. IT MAY ALSO BE CLEAR BY THEN WHETHER CONGRESS MIGHT STAND IN THE WAY OF A U-S TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DS/KL
    24-Feb-99 1:17 PM EST (1817 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] CLINTON / KOSOVO (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=2/24/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245926
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: RE-ISSUING TO FIX NUMBER IN 2ND PARA TEXT -- 28-THOUSAND TROOPS (NOT 20-THOUSAND) ///

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS EUROPE SHOULD DO MORE IN TRYING TO BRING ABOUT PEACE IN KOSOVO, BUT HE SAYS THE UNITED STATES ALSO HAS AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY IN THE EFFORT. V-O-A'S DEBORAH TATE REPORTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

    TEXT: MR. CLINTON IS DEFENDING HIS PLAN TO CONTRIBUTE FOUR- THOUSAND U-S TROOPS TO A NATO PEACEKEEPING OPERATION IN KOSOVO.

    SUCH A FORCE, WHICH WOULD NUMBER 28-THOUSAND, WOULD BE DEPLOYED IF A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT IS REACHED BETWEEN SERBS AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS.

    BUT SOME CRITICS, NOTABLY FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HENRY KISSINGER, ARGUE THAT EUROPE SHOULD SHOULDER A LARGER BURDEN IN PROTECTING KOSOVO. AT A WIDE-RANGING NEWS CONFERENCE WITH GHANAIAN PRESIDENT JERRY RAWLINGS (WEDNESDAY), MR. CLINTON RESPONDED TO THE CRITICISM. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, HE EMBRACED THE IDEA OF EUROPE DOING MORE IN KOSOVO.

    /// FIRST CLINTON ACT ///

    THE UNITED STATES DOES HAVE A DIRECT INTEREST IN WHETHER THERE IS INSTABILITY IN THE BALKANS, AND I WOULD SAY TO DR. KISSINGER, WE ARE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. WE WANT EUROPE TO ASSUME MORE OF ITS OWN DEFENSE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. CLINTON ADDED THAT WASHINGTON ALSO HAS A HUMANITARIAN ROLE TO PLAY IN KOSOVO. HE PUT IT THIS WAY:

    /// SECOND CLINTON ACT ///

    DOES THE UNITED STATES HAVE AN IMMEDIATE SELFISH INTEREST IN WHAT HAPPENS ON SOME LONELY ROAD IN KOSOVO, TO SOME POOR FARM FAMILY DRIVING A WAGON WITH HORSES THAT ARE UNDER-FED BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO GET FOOD? NO. I WOULD ARGUE WE HAVE A HUMANITARIAN INTEREST.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE PARTIES TO THE KOSOVO CONFLICT REACHED A PARTIAL PEACE AGREEMENT IN RAMBOUILLET, FRANCE, TUESDAY. PEACE TALKS ARE TO RESUME IN TWO WEEKS. (SIGNED) NEB/DAT/WDC/PT/WTW
    24-Feb-99 6:40 PM EST (2340 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] RUSSIA / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=2/24/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245902
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: RUSSIA IS HAILING THE PARTIAL AGREEMENT IN KOSOVO PEACE TALKS AS A TRIUMPH FOR ITS DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS TO PREVENT NATO AIR STRIKES IN YUGOSLAVIA. NATO ALLIES HAD THREATENED TO USE FORCE IF A DEAL WAS NOT REACHED AT NEGOTIATIONS IN RAMBOUILLET, FRANCE V-O-A MOSCOW CORRESPONDENT PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS SOME RUSSIAN OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN CRITICAL OF U-S NEGOTIATING TACTICS.

    TEXT: RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS GENERALLY SOUGHT TO EMPHASIZE THE POSITIVE (WEDNESDAY) IN THEIR ASSESSMENTS OF THE PARTIAL DEAL REACHED AT THE KOSOVO PEACE TALKS.

    FOREIGN MINISTER IGOR IVANOV SAID THE TALKS HAD "OPENED THE DOOR" TO A SETTLEMENT OF THE KOSOVO DISPUTE. MR. IVANOV, WHO WAS TRAVELLING IN ASIA DURING MOST OF THE RAMBOUILLET TALKS, TOLD A NEWS CONFERENCE IN TAJIKISTAN (WEDNESDAY) THE NEXT BIG TEST WILL BE WHETHER SERBS AND ETHNIC ALBANIANS OBSERVE A CEASEFIRE UNTIL TALKS RESUME MARCH 15TH.

    SPOKESMAN DMITRY YAKUSHKIN SAID RUSSIA'S CONSISTENT STAND AGAINST THE USE OF FORCE HAD PERSUADED OTHER CONTACT GROUP MEMBERS TO RECONSIDER MILITARY ACTION IN YUGOSLAVIA. BUT WITH REPORTS COMING IN OF A SUBSTANTIAL BUILD-UP BY SERB FORCES IN KOSOVO, MR. YAKUSHKIN EXPRESSED CONCERN THE FRAGILE BALANCE ACHIEVED AT RAMBOUILLET COULD BE UPSET BY CEASEFIRE VIOLATIONS.

    /// YAKUSHKIN ACT ///

    I HOPE THERE WON'T BE MILITARY ACTION IN KOSOVO. FOR THE MOMENT THERE IS NO, AND IT'S VERY IMPORTANT BEFORE THE SECOND ROUND OF TALKS TO KEEP THINGS QUIET THERE. I HOPE WE WON'T HAVE TO STUDY A SITUATION WHERE THERE COULD BE A POSSIBILITY OF THE USE OF FORCE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. YAKUSHKIN AND FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV BOTH SOUGHT TO PORTRAY THE RAMBOUILLET TALKS AS A VICTORY FOR COOPERATION AMONG THE SIX-NATION CONTACT GROUP.

    BUT ONE RUSSIAN REPRESENTATIVE AT THE RAMBOUILLET TALKS CALLED THE OUTCOME A DEFEAT FOR UNITED STATES EFFORTS TO BULLY THE SERBS INTO COMPLIANCE. NEWS AGENCIES QUOTED FIRST DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER ALEXANDER AVDEYEV AS SAYING AMERICAN NEGOTIATORS BACKED DOWN FROM WHAT HE CALLED "THEIR STUBBORN POSITION" IN THE FACE OF RUSSIAN RESISTANCE TO THE USE OF FORCE.

    THROUGHOUT THE 17 DAYS OF NEGOTIATIONS IN RAMBOUILLET, THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT KEPT UP A STEADY STREAM OF STATEMENTS OPPOSING THE AIR STRIKES AGAINST THEIR TRADITIONAL SERBIAN ALLIES. PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN, IN HIS FIRST PUBLIC UTTERANCE OF THE YEAR, WARNED RUSSIA WOULD NOT PERMIT MILITARY ACTION IN KOSOVO.

    OFFICIALS HERE HAVE COMPLAINED AIR STRIKES, WITHOUT UNITED NATIONS APPROVAL, WOULD BYPASS RUSSIA'S RIGHT OF A VETO AT THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL. MOSCOW STRATEGISTS ALSO SEEM TO WORRY THAT THEIR INABILITY TO PREVENT MILITARY ACTION WOULD FURTHER UNDERMINE RUSSIA'S WANING INFLUENCE ON THE WORLD STAGE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH/JO
    24-Feb-99 12:18 PM EST (1718 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] YUGOSLAVIA / KOSOVO TALKS BY RON PEMSTEIN (BELGRADE)

    DATE=2/24/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42697
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: YUGOSLAVIA'S DELEGATION TO THE KOSOVO PEACE TALKS HAS RETURNED HOME TO PRAISE FOR RESISTING INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE TO SIGN A PEACE AGREEMENT. V-O-A'S RON PEMSTEIN IN BELGRADE REPORTS THE SERBS ARE PLEASED WITH THE INCONCLUSIVE RESULTS FROM THE TALKS IN RAMBOUILLET, FRANCE.

    TEXT: YUGOSLAVIA HAS A LOT TO BE HAPPY ABOUT. THERE ARE NO NATO AIR STRIKES ON ITS TERRITORY. THERE ARE NO NATO-LED PEACEKEEPERS ABOUT TO ENTER THE SERBIAN PROVINCE OF KOSOVO.

    NEITHER OF BELGRADE'S BAD CHOICES WAS A SURE THING. IF THE KOSOVO ALBANIANS HAD AGREED TO THE CONTACT GROUP PEACE PLAN WITHOUT RESERVATIONS, NATO AIR STRIKES MIGHT HAVE BEEN ORDERED IF YUGOSLAVIA PERSISTED IN ITS OPPOSITION TO NATO PEACEKEEPERS. YUGOSLAVIA'S AGREEMENT TO THE CONTACT GROUP PLAN WOULD HAVE BROUGHT FOREIGN PEACEKEEPERS IMMEDIATELY TO KOSOVO.

    SERBIAN PRESIDENT MILAN MILUTINOVIC RETURNED HOME FROM FRANCE, SAYING HE HAD PRESERVED YUGOSLAVIA'S SOVEREIGNTY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY IN THE RAMBOUILLET TALKS. THE SERBIAN PRESIDENT'S CLOSING NEWS CONFERENCE IN PARIS, DESCRIBING HIS RESISTANCE TO INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE, WAS TELEVISED HERE REPEATEDLY.

    THE KOSOVO ALBANIAN DELEGATION WAS DELAYED LEAVING FRANCE BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT GET PERMISSION TO LAND IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, PRISTINA. THE DAY BEFORE, THE ALBANIANS HAD AGREED TO ESTABLISH A PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT IN KOSOVO. SERBIA STILL CONSIDERS KOSOVO A PROVINCE AND STILL IS BARGAINING OVER THE TERMS OF ITS AUTONOMY.

    YUGOSLAV DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER VUK DRASKOVIC TELLS V-O-A THERE IS NO PROBLEM ALLOWING THE MAJORITY POPULATION OF KOSOVO TO HAVE ITS COURTS. BUT HE SAYS THE ALBANIANS CANNOT DICTATE TO THE MINORITIES OF KOSOVO.

    /// DRASKOVIC ACT ///

    IF THE PEOPLE FROM DRENICA (IN KOSOVO) ARE NOT READY RIGHT NOW TO RECOGNIZE HIGH COURT OF SERBIA, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO BAN SERBS FROM KOSOVO, GYPSIES, TURKS AND THE OTHERS, TO RECOGNIZE AND ACCEPT HIGH COURT OF SERBIA.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. DRASKOVIC GOES ON TO SAY THAT EVEN IF THE POPULATION OF THE TOWN OF DRENICA IS COMPLETELY ALBANIAN, THEY CANNOT BAN SERBIAN POLICEMEN.

    /// DRASKOVIC ACT ///

    THAT'S AGAINST OUR LAW SYSTEM, THAT'S AGAINST OUR CONSTITUTION, THAT'S EVEN AGAINST INTERNATIONAL LAW. BUT IN THE NAME OF RECONCILIATION, IN THE NAME OF BUILDING UP THE MEASURES OF CONFIDENCE, IN THE NAME OF THE FUTURE, IN THE NAME OF THE PEACE, WE ARE READY TO CLOSE OUR EYES. BUT PLEASE DON'T FORCE SERBS TO FOLLOW YOUR LAW AND YOUR AMBITIONS.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. DRASKOVIC IS CONFIDENT THAT REMAINING ISSUES OF AUTONOMY CAN BE NEGOTIATED WHEN THE KOSOVO PEACE TALKS RESUME IN FRANCE ON MARCH 15TH. THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER HAS PUBLICLY DISCUSSED ALLOWING FOREIGN PEACEKEEPERS TO PATROL KOSOVO. HE SAYS THEY WILL SAVE YUGOSLAV LIVES AS THE FOREIGN TROOPS TRY TO DISARM THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY.

    YUGOSLAVIA'S OPPOSITION IS NOT TO FOREIGN PEACEKEEPERS OR EVEN TO PEACEKEEPERS FROM NATO COUNTRIES. THIS IS THE ISSUE OF SOVEREIGNTY. WHICH FLAG WILL THEY PATROL UNDER?

    /// DRASKOVIC ACT ///

    WE ARE NOT STILL NOW THE MEMBER OF NATO AND IF WE HAVE TOMORROW IN KOSOVO IMPLEMENTING FORCES UNDER THE FLAG OF NATO, NO ONE SERB COULD RECOGNIZE EVEN A SMALL PIECE OF OUR SOVEREIGNTY IN THE FLAG OF NATO. BUT WE ARE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND WE CAN RECOGNIZE, WE CAN SEE A PART OF OUR STATE SOVEREIGNTY IN THE FLAG OF THE UNITED NATIONS. THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

    /// END ACT ///

    NATO HAS NO INTENTION OF LETTING ITS PEACEKEEPING FORCE BE SUBJECT TO THE UNITED NATIONS. IT WANTS A KOSOVO FORCE TO BE SIMILAR TO THE NATO FORCE THAT PATROLS IN BOSNIA WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF NON-NATO MEMBERS. WHEN THE TALKS RESUME MARCH 15TH, IF THE AUTONOMY QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED, YUGOSLAVIA MAY AGAIN FACE THE CHOICE IT AVOIDED THIS TIME -- NATO-LED PEACEKEEPERS OR NATO AIR STRIKES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH
    24-Feb-99 1:33 PM EST (1833 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] U-N / MACEDONIA / CHINA (L - ONLY) BY MAX RUSTON (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=2/24/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245921
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// RE-RUNNING W/CHANGE FROM "MONTH" TO "YEAR" IN SECOND GRAPH FROM TEXT ///

    INTRO: CHINA SAYS (WEDNESDAY) IT WILL VETO AN EXTENSION OF THE U-N PEACEKEEPING MANDATE IN MACEDONIA. DIPLOMATS SAY THE MOVE APPEARS TO BE BEIJING'S RESPONSE TO MACEDONIA'S RECENT DECISION TO ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH TAIWAN. U-N TROOPS HAVE BEEN STATIONED IN THE BALKAN COUNTRY TO KEEP REGIONAL UNREST FROM SPREADING. V-O-A'S UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON HAS THE STORY.

    TEXT: CHINA'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, QIN HUASUN [CHIN HWA-SOON], SAYS HIS COUNTRY WILL VETO A SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION EXTENDING THE MANDATE FOR U-N PEACEKEEPERS IN MACEDONIA. HE SAYS THE DECISION IS NOT TIED TO ITS DIPLOMATIC RIVALRY WITH TAIWAN. BUT DIPLOMATS SAY THEY BELIEVE THAT ISSUE WAS THE KEY FACTOR IN CHINA'S DECISION.

    THEY SAY CHINA TRADITIONALLY RESPONDS WITH QUICK AND STRONG PUNISHMENT TO ANY COUNTRY THAT ESTABLISHES DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH TAIWAN -- AS MACEDONIA DID EARLIER THIS Y/E/A/R

    AFTER MEETING WITH THE SECURITY COUNCIL, MR. QIN TOLD REPORTERS THAT CHINA BELIEVES THE PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN MACEDONIA, KNOWN AS UNPREDEP, HAS COMPLETED ITS MISSION.

    /// QIN ACT ///

    IT [CHINA] WILL TAKE ITS POSITION ONLY ACCORDING TO ITS OWN MERITS, SO WE BELIEVE UNPREDEP HAS ALREADY COMPLETED ITS MANDATE AND SHOULD BE CONCLUDED. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO EXTEND THE MANDATE OF UNPREDEP. SO TOMORROW, WHEN WE HAVE THE MEETING TO ADOPT A RESOLUTION, WE SHALL VOTE AGAINST THE RESOLUTION.

    /// END ACT ///

    IF CHINA CARRIES THROUGH WITH ITS PLEDGE TO VETO THE RESOLUTION, WHEN IT COMES BEFORE THE COUNCIL THURSDAY, IT WILL BE THE FIRST VETO CAST BY ANY NATION IN THE COUNCIL SINCE 1997. IN MOST CASES, DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE FIVE PERMANENT MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL -- CHINA, RUSSIA, BRITAIN, FRANCE AND THE UNITED STATES ARE DEALT WITH PRIVATELY SO THAT A PUBLIC VETO DOES NOT OCCUR.

    MR. QIN SAYS CHINA HAS APPROVED EXTENSIONS OF THE PEACEKEEPERS IN MACEDONIA IN THE PAST IN A SPIRIT OF FLEXIBILITY. IN AN APPARENT REFERENCE TO MACEDONIA'S ESTABLISHMENT OF TIES WITH TAIWAN, MR. QIN SAYS THE SITUATION HAS CHANGED AND CHINA NO LONGER FINDS IT NECESSARY TO SHOW SUCH FLEXIBILITY.

    THERE ARE ABOUT 11-HUNDRED U-N PEACEKEEPERS IN MACEDONIA. THEY WERE DEPLOYED TO MONITOR THE COUNTRY'S BORDERS AND DETER THE SPREAD OF FIGHTING TO MACEDONIA FROM BOSNIA. MORE RECENTLY, THEY HAVE HELPED MONITOR A U-N EMBARGO AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA. U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN HAS RECOMMENDED THAT THE PEACEKEEPING FORCE BE EXTENDED UNTIL AUGUST 31ST.

    DIPLOMATS SAY IF CHINA DOES VETO THE RESOLUTION, SOME GOVERNMENTS MAY ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THE STATUS OF THE PEACEKEEPERS BY MAKING THEM PART OF NATO OR SOME OTHER NON-U-N INSTITUTION.

    TAIPEI AND BEIJING BOTH CLAIM SOVEREIGNTY OVER ALL OF CHINA. BEIJING STRONGLY OPPOSES TAIWAN'S EFFORTS TO GAIN DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION. TAIWAN SAYS IT IS WILLING TO ACCEPT A SYSTEM OF DUAL RECOGNITION. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF/JO
    24-Feb-99 5:09 PM EST (2209 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] GERMAN DUAL CITIZENSHIP BY SUZANNE KELLY (BONN)

    DATE=2/24/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-42698
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    ///EDS: ENGLISH FIRST USE RESERVED TO PAM TAYLOR AND "DATELINE"///

    INTRO: GERMANY IS STRUGGLING WITH THE ISSUE OF CITIZENSHIP FOR IMMIGRANTS -- A MAJOR CONCERN IN A COUNTRY THAT HAS TAKEN IN MILLIONS OF REFUGEES AND OTHER FOREIGNERS. GERMANY'S CURRENT RULES ARE BASED ON A 1913 NATIONALITY LAW. BUT AFTER THE LEFT-OF-CENTER SOCIAL DEMOCRATS, THE S-P-D, WON SEPTEMBER'S ELECTIONS, THERE WAS HOPE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD MODERNIZE THE IMMIGRATION POLICY -- ALLOWING MANY OF THE COUNTRY'S SEVEN MILLION FOREIGNERS TO RECEIVE GERMAN CITIZENSHIP. YET A RECENT VICTORY OF THE RIGHT-OF-CENTER CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS IN A GERMAN STATE ELECTION MAY CAUSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO RE-THINK GRANTING DUAL CITIZENSHIP. MORE FROM SUZANNE KELLY IN BONN.

    TEXT: FORTY-YEAR-OLD MOHAMMED MOVED TO GERMANY FROM IRAN THREE YEARS AGO. REFUSING TO GIVE HIS FULL NAME, MOHAMMED RUNS A SMALL SNACK SHOP IN THE CENTER OF BONN NEAR THE HOUSE WHERE BEETHOVEN WAS BORN. WHILE THE BUSINESS IS GOOD, HE SAYS THERE IS A REAL SENSE OF DANGER AND FRUSTRATION HERE.

    // MOHAMMED ACT//

    I CAN TELL YOU ONE EXAMPLE: A FEW WEEKS BEFORE, ONE FOREIGNER WAS BEATEN BY SOME NEO-NAZIS. IT MEANS THERE IS NOT ANY IMPROVEMENT AFTER THE COMING OF YOUR NEW PRESIDENT (CHANCELLOR) IN YOUR COUNTRY ... SOMETIMES I AM AFRAID ... BECAUSE THESE NEO-NAZIS, THERE IS NO ACCOUNT OF NATIONALITY.

    //END ACT//

    MANY OF THE FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE SPENT MOST OF THEIR LIFE IN GERMANY SAY THEY ARE CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES -- AND TWO CULTURES. ONE, IN A COUNTRY THEY NO LONGER RECOGNIZE, AND TWO, IN A COUNTRY THAT DOESN'T ALWAYS RECOGNIZE THEM.

    SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD ELIAS KHARLAG AGREES. ALTHOUGH AFGHANI BLOOD RUNS THROUGH HIS VEINS, HE WAS BORN AND RAISED IN BONN. BUT WHEN HE GOES OUT WITH HIS GERMAN FRIENDS, HE SAYS HE IS STILL TREATED DIFFERENTLY. EVEN THOUGH HE WAS ABLE TO GET HIS GERMAN PASSPORT UNDER A SPECIAL LEGAL EXEMPTION, HE SAYS HE STILL HAS NO GUARANTEE OF CITIZENSHIP RECOGNITION BY GERMANS, IN GENERAL.

    //KHARLAG ACT//

    WE WENT TO A GERMAN DISCO, THE MAN AT THE DOOR SAID YOU CAN'T COME IN HERE BECAUSE YOU ARE AN "AUSLANDER," YOU ARE NOT FROM HERE, IT IS NOT ALLOWED FOR YOU TO COME IN. I SAID TO HIM, "I'VE GOT A GERMAN PASSPORT," AND HE SAID "(EXPLETIVE) YOU HAVE A GERMAN PASSPORT, BUT YOU ARE NOT A GERMAN BOY."

    //END ACT//

    THE OPPOSITION CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS -- THE C-D-U -- HAVE FOUGHT THE GOVERNMENT, SAYING THAT GRANTING DUAL CITIZENSHIP IS A MISTAKE. FEAR OF CRIME IS ONE REASON CITED. POLITICAL OBSERVERS SAYS THAT FOREIGNERS TAKING JOBS DURING THIS PERIOD OF HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT IN GERMANY IS ANOTHER UNSTATED FEAR. FORMER C-D-U DEFENSE MINISTER VOLKER RUHE, WHO IS NOW RUNNING FOR A PARLIAMENTARY SEAT IN THE GERMAN STATE OF SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN, SAYS THAT GRANTING DUAL CITIZENSHIP IN A COUNTRY WITH A HIGH NUMBER OF FOREIGN RADICALS COULD ONLY MEAN TROUBLE.

    //RUHE ACT//

    IN MY CONSTITUENCY IN HAMBURG, IT'S 25-30 PERCENT FOREIGNERS, AND THE VAST MAJORITY IS TURKS. SOME OF THEM ARE VERY WELL INTEGRATED INTO GERMAN SOCIETY AND WE ARE ON VERY GOOD TERMS. BUT SOME OF THEM ARE MORE FUNDAMENTALIST (IN THEIR RELIGION) THAN EVEN IS ALLOWED IN TURKEY. AND SO HERE YOU CAN SEE THE PROBLEM.

    //END ACT//

    //OPT//

    BUT OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GERMAN PARLIAMENT, LIKE THE GREENS PARTY MEMBER CEM OZDEMER -- WHO HIMSELF IS OF TURKISH DESCENT -- SAY THAT RECENT CLASHES AT SITES WHERE THE C-D-U WAS GATHERING PETITION SIGNATURES AGAINST THE DUAL CITIZENSHIP PLAN, ONLY UNDERSCORE THE FACT THAT LIFE TODAY FOR GERMANY'S FOREIGNERS IS MORE DIFFICULT.

    //OZDEMER ACT//

    MY PEOPLE TELL ME THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ASK, "WHERE CAN I SIGN AGAINST TURKS? WHERE CAN I PUT MY SIGN AGAINST FOREIGNERS?" AND THIS IS WHAT THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS PRODUCE, ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE FOREIGNERS, WHO THINK THEY HAVE TO GO AWAY. THEY PUT THEIR SIGN ON THIS CAMPAIGN AND I THINK THIS IS QUITE DANGEROUS BECAUSE IT LEADS TO XENOPHOBIA IN GERMANY.

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

    THE FUTURE FOR GERMANY'S FOREIGN POPULATION IS UNCERTAIN. WITH A RECENT ELECTION VICTORY BY THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS IN THE GERMAN STATE OF HESSE, THE POLITICAL BALANCE OF POWER IN BONN HAS SHIFTED. IT HAS DIMINISHED THE MARGIN OF VOTES IN THE COALITION GOVERNMENT LED BY CHANCELLOR GERHARD SCHROEDER. HE MAY NOW BE FORCED TO COMPROMISE ON THE FOREIGNER CITIZENSHIP ISSUE WITH THE OPPOSITION, BUT A NEW PLAN HAS YET TO BE WORKED OUT.

    IN THE MEANTIME, PEOPLE LIKE ELIAS KHARLAG ARE STILL WAITING FOR THE DAY WHEN THEY WILL BE ACCEPTED, EITHER ON THE STREETS OF BONN, OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN GERMANY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SK/PCF/JO
    24-Feb-99 2:20 PM EST (1920 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] MERCOSUR / EUROPE (L-ONLY) BY GEORGE MEEK (RIO DE JANEIRO)

    DATE=2/23/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245881
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BUSINESS LEADERS FROM SOUTH AMERICA AND EUROPE HAVE ENDED THREE DAYS OF TALKS IN RIO DE JANEIRO, WITH AN APPEAL TO GOVERNMENTS TO BEGIN WORK ON CREATING A FREE-TRADE AREA LINKING THE TWO CONTINENTS. WE HAVE DETAILS FROM CORRESPONDENT GEORGE MEEK.

    TEXT: THE FIRST JOINT BUSINESS FORUM OF THE COMMON MARKET OF THE SOUTH (OR "MERCOSUR") AND THE EUROPEAN UNION APPROVED THE DECLARATION OF RIO. IT SAYS GOVERNMENTS SHOULD START NEGOTIATIONS TO FACILITATE TRADES, SERVICES AND INVESTMENTS IN ALL SECTORS.

    DEPUTY ARGENTINE TRADE MINISTER FELIX PENA SAYS THE FOUR MERCOSUR MEMBERS -- ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, PARAGUAY, AND URUGUAY -- HOPE THAT FORMAL TALKS ON THE TRANS-ATLANTIC TRADE AREA CAN BE LAUNCHED AT THE FIRST SUMMIT OF LATIN AMERICA, THE CARIBBEAN AND EUROPE, WHICH WILL BE HELD IN RIO DE JANEIRO ON JUNE 28TH AND 29TH.

    THE BUSINESS FORUM WENT ON RECORD AGAINST PROTECTIONIST MEASURES OF ALL TYPES. THE DECLARATION OF RIO MAKES A GENERAL APPEAL TO GOVERNMENTS OF BOTH REGIONS TO ELIMINATE TRADE BARRIERS AND AVOID SETTING UP NEW ONES. THE RELUCTANCE OF EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO ABOLISH FARM SUBSIDIES -- A MOVE URGED BY LATIN AMERICA -- IS ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL OBSTACLES TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FREE-TRADE AREA BETWEEN THE TWO BLOCS. BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE SOME EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS HAVE VOTED AGAINST GIVING THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION AUTHORITY TO LAUNCH THE FORMAL TRADE TALKS.

    THE DECLARATION OF RIO URGES GOVERNMENTS TO PURSUE POLICIES THAT WILL RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN THEIR ECONOMIES -- AN APPARENT REFERENCE TO BRAZIL'S EFFORTS TO RESTORE INVESTOR CONFIDENCE FOLLOWING LAST MONTH'S DEVALUATION OF THE CURRENCY.

    BRAZIL'S MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT, INDUSTRY AND TRADE, CELSO LAFER, TOLD THE MERCOSUR BUSINESS LEADERS HIS MINISTRY WILL CLOSELY MONITOR ANY CHANGES IN TRADE PATTERNS AS RESULT OF THE DEVALUATION. HE RULED OUT SETTING LIMITS ON BRAZIL'S EXPORTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GDM/WDC/WTW
    23-Feb-99 7:30 PM EST (0030 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] FRANCE / AIDS BLOOD (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=2/24/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245908
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IT APPEARS THAT A FORMER FRENCH PRIME MINISTER AND TWO OF HIS MINISTERS WILL BE ACQUITTED OF CHARGES THEY ALLOWED THE DISTRIBUTION OF AIDS-CONTAMINATED BLOOD IN THE 1980'S. JULIAN NUNDY IN PARIS REPORTS THE PROSECUTION CONCLUDED WEDNESDAY THAT THE THREE FORMER OFFICIALS BEAR NO CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENED.

    TEXT: THE OPINION OF THE TWO PROSECUTORS AT FRANCE'S COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC CAME AS NO SURPRISE.

    EVER SINCE THE TRIAL OF FORMER PRIME MINISTER LAURENT FABIUS AND TWO OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS SOCIALIST CABINET OPENED TWO WEEKS AGO IN THE SPECIAL COURT SET UP TO TRY POLITICIANS FOR OFFENSES COMMITTED IN OFFICE, THE PROSECUTION HAS BEEN OPENLY SKEPTICAL ABOUT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY.

    MR. FABIUS, HIS SOCIAL AFFAIRS MINISTER GEORGINA DUFOIX, AND HEALTH MINISTER EDMOND HERVE FACE CHARGES INCLUDING MANSLAUGHTER FOR ALLOWING THE DISTRIBUTION OF BLOOD FOR TRANSFUSION AND BLOOD PRODUCTS FOR HEMOPHILIACS THAT WERE TAINTED WITH THE H-I-V VIRUS EVEN AFTER AIDS TESTING AND SAFE PRODUCTS WERE AVAILABLE IN 1985.

    THERE ARE TWO PROSECUTORS PLEADING IN COURT. THE FIRST, DEALING WITH MAINLY PROCEDURAL MATTERS, NOTED THAT THE CASE HAD COME TO COURT DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE STATE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE HAD TWICE ADVISED THERE WAS NOT A STRONG ENOUGH CASE FOR A TRIAL.

    THE SECOND PROSECUTOR TO SPEAK, WHO SAID EARLIER THAT THE CHARGES AGAINST THE MINISTERS WERE "BUILT ON SAND," SAID NONE OF THE THREE MINISTERS BORE ANY CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. HE CALLED FOR AN ACQUITTAL.

    IN HIS FINAL WORDS TO THE COURT, THE PROSECUTOR ABSOLVED MR. FABIUS OF ALL WRONGDOING.

    THE PROSECUTOR WAS, HOWEVER, LESS INDULGENT WITH THE OTHER TWO MINISTERS, SAYING THAT MRS. DUFOIX WAS PASSIVE AND THAT HER CONCERN WITH THE ECONOMICS OF PUBLIC HEALTH OVER HUMAN ISSUES WAS CLOSE TO CYNICISM.

    AS FOR MR. HERVE, THE HEALTH MINISTER, THE PROSECUTOR SAID HE HAD DEMONSTRATED A DEGREE OF NEGLIGENCE AND WAS MORE INTERESTED IN HIS POLITICAL CAREER THAN IN HIS MINISTERIAL FUNCTIONS.

    IN ALL THREE CASES, THE PROSECUTOR SAID, THE REAL FAULT LAY WITH THEIR SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL ADVISERS WHO DID NOT KEEP THEM FULLY INFORMED OF THE STATE OF FRANCE'S BLOOD SUPPLIES, THE AVAILABILITY OF AIDS TESTING, AND OF ALL THE ISSUES INVOLVED.

    ONE OF THESE MINISTERIAL ADVISERS REFUSED TO TESTIFY TO THE COURT LAST WEEK. BUT HE AND A NUMBER OF OTHERS, INCLUDING TWO BLOOD TRANSFUSION SERVICE DOCTORS WHO HAVE ALREADY SERVED PRISON SENTENCES, ARE EXPECTED TO GO TO TRIAL ON SIMILAR CHARGES IN ANOTHER COURT WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR. (SIGNED) NEB/JWN/JWH/
    24-Feb-99 12:38 PM EST (1738 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=2/24/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-245924
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (WEDNESDAY) AS BOND PRICES FELL. V-O-A BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 93 HUNDRED 99, DOWN 144 POINTS OR ONE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 12 HUNDRED 53, DOWN 17 POINTS. AND THE NASDAQ INDEX LOST ONE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT.

    U-S CENTRAL BANK CHAIRMAN ALAN GREENSPAN TESTIFIED BEFORE CONGRESS FOR A SECOND DAY BUT AGAIN GAVE NO FIRM INDICATION ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE CENTRAL BANK'S INTEREST RATE POLICY.

    BUT MARKET INTEREST RATES ROSE AS BOND PRICES FELL, TRIGGERING A SELL-OFF IN STOCKS. THE YIELD ON THE 30-YEAR U-S GOVERNMENT BOND FIVE AND ONE-HALF PERCENT -- WAS AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN SIX MONTHS.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    HOWEVER, JOE BATTAPAGLIA OF THE GRUNTAL INVESTMENT COMPANY, BELIEVES BOND MARKET NERVOUSNESS IS ACTUALLY A SIGN OF A STRONGER STOCK MARKET AHEAD.

    ///OPT///BATTAPAGLIA ACT///

    WHAT I SEE HAPPENING HERE IS THE NATURAL BOND MARKET REACTION TO A STRONG U-S ECONOMY, AN ECONOMY THAT ALAN GREENSPAN HAS CONCEDED HAS BEATEN HIS OWN EXPECTATIONS FOR PERFORMANCE. THAT IS EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD FOR THE STOCK MARKET IN MY VIEW BECAUSE THE ISSUE HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT EARNINGS AND I THINK WE ARE NOW GETTING AWAY FROM A WORRY ABOUT THAT.

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

    THE TANDY COMPANY, WHICH OPERATES THE "RADIO SHACK" CHAIN OF ELECTRONICS STORES, SAYS ITS QUARTERLY PROFITS ROSE NINE PERCENT LARGELY BECAUSE OF STRONG SALES OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT.

    ///REST OPT///

    CIRCUS CIRCUS, THE HOTEL AND CASINO COMPANY, REPORTED A 15 HUNDRED PERCENT QUARTERLY PROFIT INCREASE. INDUSTRY ANALYSTS SAY FEARS THAT HUGE NEW GAMBLING PROPERTIES IN LAS VEGAS WOULD HURT THE COMPANY'S PROFITS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN UNFOUNDED.

    THE PHILIP MORRIS COMPANY SAYS IT WILL CLOSE ITS CIGARETTE PLANT IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, ELIMINATING 14 HUNDRED JOBS. DOMESTIC TOBACCO SALES IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE FALLEN IN RECENT MONTHS BECAUSE OF HIGHER PRICES.

    PROBLEMS IN ON-LINE STOCK TRADING CONTINUED WITH CUSTOMERS OF THE SCHWAB INVESTMENT COMPANY UNABLE TO PLACE ON-LINE TRADES FOR AN HOUR BECAUSE OF A COMPUTER FAILURE. OTHER ON-LINE TRADING FIRMS HAVE SUFFERED SIMILAR PROBLEMS. THE E-TRADE COMPANY IS NOW THE SUBJECT OF A CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT AFTER THE FIRM SUFFERED COMPUTER OUTAGES FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE DAYS EARLIER THIS MONTH.

    A MAJOR DISRUPTION IN TELEPHONE SERVICE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CUBA IS SET TO BEGIN THURSDAY WHEN THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT SAYS IT WILL CUT OFF DIRECT PHONE SERVICE. CUBA IS ANGRY THAT U-S PHONE COMPANIES HAVE NOT PAID 19 MILLION DOLLARS OWED TO THE CUBAN PHONE COMPANY. HOWEVER, THE U-S COMPANIES HAVE BEEN BARRED BY COURT ORDER FROM MAKING THE PAYMENT BECAUSE OF PENDING LITIGATION.

    CHANGES IN U-S TAX LAWS MEAN LARGER TAX REFUNDS FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS THIS YEAR. HOWEVER, ECONOMISTS ARE UNCERTAIN ABOUT WHAT THAT WILL MEAN. THERE IS STILL NO CLEAR INDICATION WHETHER MOST OF THE TAX REFUND MONEY WILL BE USED FOR SPENDING, TO PAY DOWN CONSUMER DEBT OR TO INVEST IN THE STOCK MARKET.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    24-Feb-99 5:20 PM EST (2220 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=02/24/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11161
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: OUTDATED AFTER 10 PM EST. /////

    INTRO: CASTING A GLANCE OVER SEVERAL EDITORIAL COLUMNS IN WEDNESDAY'S U-S DAILY PAPERS, ONE SEES SEVERAL COMMENTS ON THE KOSOVO PEACE EFFORT AND PENDING U-S INVOLVEMENT THERE.

    OTHER TOPICS ON TODAY'S FRONT BURNER INCLUDE: TURKEY'S KURDISH ISSUE; THE LATEST OPPRESSION OF FREEDOM IN CUBA; MOVEMENT TOWARD DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA; FALTERING REFORMS IN RUSSIA AND JUSTICE FOR A RACIAL KILLING MURDERER IN TEXAS. NOW, HERE IS _________________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK, INCLUDING AN EXCERPT OR TWO.

    TEXT: WITH THE KOSOVO PEACE TALKS ON HOLD, MANY UNITED STATES NEWSPAPERS CONTINUE THE DEBATE OVER U-S MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN A PROPOSED NATO PEACEKEEPING FORCE. IN THE WASHINGTON, D-C SUBURBS, "USA TODAY" THE NATIONAL DAILY SAYS "U-S LEADERSHIP BRINGS START TOWARD KOSOVO PEACE."

    VOICE: ... THE AGREEMENT RELUCTANTLY AND TENTATIVELY ACCEPTED BY OPPRESSIVE SERBS AND REBELLIOUS KOSOVARS IS THE BEST HOPE FOR PEACE IN MONTHS. AN IMMEDIATE BOSNIA-SCALE HUMANITARIAN DISASTER WAS AVERTED. AND IF THE WHEELS DON'T COME OFF IN THE NEXT THREE WEEKS, THE WAY WILL BE CLEAR FOR LONG-TERM PEACEKEEPING. ... /// OPT /// AS ALWAYS, THERE IS RISK. BUT THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOT TO JUST LEAVE THINGS TO THE EUROPEANS, AS SOME IN THE UNITED STATES NOW ARGUE: TO STAND BY IDLY AND ACCEPT THE GENOCIDAL SLAUGHTER THAT WOULD FOLLOW ... IS A CHOICE NO AMERICAN SHOULD ACCEPT.

    TEXT: "THE NEW YORK TIMES" IS PLEASED AT THE LAST MINUTE REVERSAL FROM THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS WHICH RESCUED THE DEAL FROM TOTAL FAILURE BY SOFTENING THEIR DEMAND FOR AN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM. BUT "THE TIMES WARNS:"

    VOICE: ... IF THERE IS NEW VIOLENCE ... NATO MAY HAVE TO USE ITS AIR POWER IN THE DAYS AHEAD TO PREVENT GREATER BLOODSHED. THE PROSPECTS FOR PEACE ARE NOT GOOD. BUT THEY HAVE NOT YET PERISHED.

    TEXT: AS REGARDS THE TRIAL OF KURDISH LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN -- KNOWN AS APO -- IN TURKEY, AND THE GREATER ISSUE OF KURDISH RIGHTS THERE, "THE SUN" IN BALTIMORE SAYS THIS IS "TURKEY'S CHANCE TO HEAL."

    VOICE: NOW THAT IT WILL TRY THE TERRORIST ABDULLAH OCALAN, TURKEY SHOULD HAVE THE CONFIDENCE AND STRENGTH TO END THE OPPRESSION THAT DROVE SO MANY OF ITS EIGHT-MILLION KURDS INTO THE ARMS OF MR. OCALAN'S VIOLENT KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY ( P-K-K). ... FOR ITS PART, THE P-K-K OUGHT TO STAND DOWN. IT IS NOT WINNING. AND IT IS PRECISELY FOR THAT REASON THAT TURKEY CAN AFFORD GREATER DECENCY IN DEALING WITH THE KURDS, WHO ARE DENIED THEIR ASPIRATIONS AND THE RIGHT TO USE THEIR LANGUAGE IN PRINT, BROADCASTING AND SCHOOL.

    TEXT: STILL WITH WHAT ARE CALLED REPRESSIVE REGIMES, BUT IN THIS HEMISPHERE, "THE WASHINGTON POST" LAMENTS THE LATEST CRACK DOWN IN CUBA.

    VOICE: A POLITICAL LEADER WITH THE INTERESTS OF HIS HARD-PRESSED POPULATION AT HEART WOULD HAVE MADE THE MOST OF PRESIDENT CLINTON'S RECENT EXTENSION OF HUMANITARIAN, PERSONAL AND CULTURAL CONTACTS WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE. BUT NOT THE COMMUNIST DICTATOR FIDEL CASTRO. INSTEAD OF PERMITTING CITIZENS MODEST RELIEF, HE TIGHTENED THE EXISTING RESTRICTIONS ON CONTACTS WITH THE UNITED STATES. GIVEN A FRESH CHOICE IN ALTERNATE POST-COLD WAR CIRCUMSTANCES ... HE HAS AGAIN CHOSEN THE STALINIST WAY.

    TEXT: HOW ABOUT SOME GOOD NEWS? WELL TODAY'S "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" FROM BOSTON, IS COMMENTING ON WHAT IT FEELS IS THE STIRRING OF FRESH DEMOCRACY IN WEST AFRICA.

    VOICE: ONE OF AFRICA'S GIANTS, NIGERIA, IS ON TRACK TOWARD A POLITICAL TURNAROUND THAT COULD GIVE FRESH HOPE TO THE WHOLE CONTINENT. THE COMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, FEBRUARY 27TH, WILL BE CRUCIAL. ... THE ... FRONT-RUNNER IS OLUSEGON OBASANJO ... THE ONLY NIGERIAN MILITARY RULER EVER TO VOLUNTARILY TRANSFER POWER TO A CIVILIAN, BACK IN 1979. ... BELIEVERS IN DEMOCRACY EVERYWHERE PRAY FOR A SUCCESSFUL, AND PERMANENT, TRANSITION IN NIGERIA. ...

    /// OPT ///

    MR. OBASANJO IS SAYING THE RIGHT THINGS ... BUT HIS MILITARY BACKGROUND -- THOUGH RELATIVELY BENIGN -- COULD HURT HIM IN SOUTHERN REGIONS THAT HAVE SUFFERED UNDER ... AN ARMY DOMINATED BY NORTHERNERS. HIS OWN YORUBA ETHNIC GROUP IS PARTICULARLY LEERY [SUSPICIOUS] OF MR. OBASANJO'S PAST.

    TEXT: MAINE'S "PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" IS CONCERNED WITH THE POTENTIAL TRANSFER OF HIGH TECHNOLOGY INFORMATION TO CHINA, NOTING:

    VOICE: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION HAS FINALLY REALIZED WHAT DEFENSE EXPERTS HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR A LONG TIME: SELLING HIGH-TECH SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY TO THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT OF CHINA IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. THE CHANGE IN POLICY CAME ... MONDAY, WHEN THE ADMINISTRATION CANCELED THE SALE OF A 450-MILLION COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE TO A CONSORTIUM WITH CLOSE TIES TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. ... HALTING THE...SALE WAS A SIGNAL TO CHINA THAT ITS MILITARY EXPANSIONISM HAS COME UNDER STRICT SCRUTINY. UNTIL IT MAKES IT CLEAR THAT IT WISHES TO LIVE IN PEACE WITH ITS NEIGHBORS, SUCH SALES SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ...

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: CALLING IT AN AUDACIOUS STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, "THE BOSTON GLOBE" TODAY HAILS THE RECENT SUMMIT BETWEEN THE PRIME MINISTERS OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN, SUGGESTING:

    VOICE: EVEN IF THE ... SUMMIT ... YIELDED MORE HEARTWARMING SYMBOLS THAN DIPLOMATIC SUBSTANCE. ... IF THE TWO SIDES WANT TO MAKE POSSIBLE THE PEACE AND PROGRESS THEY INVOKED IN LAHORE, THEY WILL STOP THE ACTIONS OF REPRESSIVE INDIAN TROOPS AND PAKISTANI-BACKED INFILTRATORS IN KASHMIR. THEY WILL ALSO PLEDGE NOT TO DEPLOY NUCLEAR MISSILES AND WILL SIGN THE NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY.

    TEXT: ACROSS THE GLOBE, AS RUSSIA CONTINUES TO FALTER UNDER VARIOUS PROBLEMS, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" EXPRESSES SEVERE SKEPTICISM ABOUT FURTHER WESTERN AID, ABSENT MEANINGFUL ECONOMIC REFORM, AND ONGOING HOSTILE ARMS SALES.

    VOICE: ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WOULD BE FOOLHARDY TO LEND A PENNY TO RUSSIA. /// OPT /// THE WASHINGTON TIMES REPORTED MONDAY THAT, ACCORDING TO MIDDLE EAST SOURCES, AT LEAST THREE RUSSIAN TRADING COMPANIES SOLD MISSILES AND OTHER MILITARY EQUIPMENT TO IRAQ LAST FALL IN VIOLATION OF A UNITED NATIONS TRADE EMBARGO. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: IN NEBRASKA, "THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD" SUGGESTS THAT A RECENT POLL WHICH FOUND MANY AMERICANS FEEL AFRICAN-AMERICANS DO NOT GET EQUAL JUSTICE IN THIS COUNTRY, WHILE TROUBLING, IS NOT THE WHOLE PICTURE. "THE WORLD-HERALD" POINTS TO YESTERDAY'S RAPID, GUILTY-OF-MURDER JURY VERDICT IN A RACIAL HATE CRIME IN TEXAS, WHERE THREE WHITE MEN DRAGGED A BLACK MAN TO HIS DEATH ON A CHAIN BEHIND THEIR TRUCK [LORRY]. SAYS "THE WORLD-HERALD:"

    VOICE: ... IN JASPER, TEXAS, A JURY NEEDED LESS THAN THREE-HOURS TO BRING IN A CONVICTION IN ONE OF THE MOST HIDEOUS ACTS OF RACIAL HATRED IN RECENT MEMORY -- THE DEATH-BY-DRAGGING MURDER OF JAMES BYRD JUNIOR. ... THE DEFENDANT AND ELEVEN OF THE 12 JURORS ARE WHITE. ... IT IS WORTH REMEMBERING THAT NOT EVERYTHING IS AS BLEAK AS THE OPINION POLLS SOMETIMES SUGGEST.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, A REACTION TO THE ON-GOING, DOMESTIC ECONOMIC SUCCESS FROM "THE NEW YORK TIMES."

    VOICE: THESE ARE ASTOUNDING ECONOMIC TIMES. OVERSEAS, EUROPE IS SLOWING, MOST OF ASIA IS IN RECESSION AND BRAZIL THREATENS TO DRAG DOWN MUCH OF SOUTH AMERICA. BUT IN THE UNITED STATES, CONSUMERS ARE SPENDING WITH ABANDON AND ECONOMISTS CONTINUE TO BE SURPRISED BY HOW ROBUST THE ECONOMY IS. ... ALAN GREENSPAN ... CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD ... AGAIN PREDICTED THAT THE ECONOMY WOULD SLOW THIS YEAR, AND AGAIN WARNED THAT STOCK PRICES APPEARED TO BE OVERVALUED. WALL STREET MAY HANG ON EVERY WORD FROM MR. GREENSPAN, BUT MOST AMERICANS SEEM QUITE UNCONCERNED.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM TODAY 'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    24-Feb-99 11:27 AM EST (1627 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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