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Voice of America, 99-07-22

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO BRIDGE (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PEC, KOSOVO)
  • [02] U-N / APPEAL (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [03] CONGRESS-CHINA EMBASSY (L ONLY) BY PAULA WOLFSON (CAPITOL HILL)
  • [04] BELGRADE - LIFE AFTER NATO BY KATAYOUN BEGLARI (WASHINGTON)
  • [05] GERMANY / TURKEY BY JONATHON BRAUDE (BERLIN)
  • [06] BRITAIN/RUSSIA (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] CHIRAC / AFRICA (L-O) BY JOHN PITMAN (ABIDJAN)
  • [08] EUROPE - COCA-COLA (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [09] N-Y ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [10] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO BRIDGE (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PEC, KOSOVO)

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252040
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ITALIAN ARMY ENGINEERS THURSDAY EXPLODED WHAT WAS LEFT OF A ROAD BRIDGE HIT BY NATO BOMBS TWO MONTHS AGO. REPORTER TIM BELAY WATCHED THE PROCEDURE NEAR THE TOWN OF PEC, IN WESTERN KOSOVO.

    TEXT: THE ITALIANS CALLED IT "OPERATION THUNDERBOLT." THEIR TASK INCLUDED THE PLACEMENT OF NEARLY 300 KILOGRAMS OF EXPLOSIVES AND THE EVACUATION OF EVERYONE LIVING WITHIN ONE-AND-ONE-HALF KILOMETERS OF THE BRIDGE.

    COLONEL ANTONIO LIGOBBI IS THE COMMANDER OF THE ENGINEERING REGIMENT WHICH CARRIED OFF THE DEMOLITION PROJECT WITHOUT INCIDENT THURSDAY. COLONEL LIGOBBI SAYS THE WORK WAS A LITTLE OUT OF THE ORDINARY FOR NATO ENGINEERS.

    /// LIGOBBI ACT ///

    WE DON'T PLAN TO DESTROY BRIDGES. WE NORMALLY PLAN TO BUILD THEM. AND IN THIS CASE IT WAS NECESSARY TO DESTROY IT BEFORE BUILDING A NEW ONE, FOR TWO REASONS: ONE WAS SECURITY, BECAUSE IT WAS UNSTABLE, AND THE OTHER WAS THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO BUILD A NEW ONE WITH THAT ONE IN THE POSITION WHERE IT WAS.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE SAME NATO REGIMENT WHICH DEMOLISHED THE BRIDGE SAYS IT PLANS TO REPLACE IT WITHIN TWO WEEKS WITH A MILITARY BRIDGE THAT WILL BE ABLE TO CARRY HEAVY VEHICLES. IT WILL BE A MAJOR IMPROVEMENT FOR KOSOVO'S TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. THAT'S BECAUSE THE BRIDGE IS ON THE MAIN ROAD CONNECTING THE CAPITAL CITY OF PRISTINA WITH THE WESTERN DISTRICT CAPITAL OF PEC. IT'S ONE OF TWO BRIDGE REPLACEMENT PROJECTS ON THIS VITAL ROUTE.

    NATO IS TARGETING THE BRIDGES FOR BOMBING AS PART OF THE ALLIANCE'S EFFORT TO DISRUPT THE MOVEMENTS OF YUGOSLAV ARMED FORCES IN KOSOVO.

    // OPT //

    HAMDI MORINA IS FROM PEC, SO THE NEW BRIDGES WILL HAVE A BIG IMPACT ON HIS ABILITY TO TRAVEL. MR. MORINA SAYS HE SUPPORTS NATO'S ACTIVITY OF BOMBING BRIDGES IN MAY AND RETURNING TO REBUILD THEM TWO MONTHS LATER.

    /// MORINA ACT ///

    I UNDERSTAND ALL THIS, BECAUSE IT WAS THE [PLAN] OF ... NATO TO BOMB THE HATED DICTATORSHIP OF THE BELGRADE REGIME.

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

    COLONEL LIGOBBI SAYS THE NATO ENGINEERS USED A MINIMAL AMOUNT OF EXPLOSIVES AND BUILT PROTECTION BARRIERS AROUND NEARBY HOMES, IN ORDER TO AVOID ADDING TO THE DAMAGE THE HOMES ALREADY EXPERIENCED DURING THE WAR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/TB/PCF/WTW
    22-Jul-99 1:21 PM EDT (1721 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] U-N / APPEAL (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252035
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS WARNS VITAL RELIEF AID PROGRAMS IN MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE THREATENED FOR LACK OF MONEY. LISA SCHLEIN IN GENEVA REPORTS THE U-N IS APPEALING FOR TWO-PONT-THREE BILLION DOLLARS TO COVER HUMANITARIAN NEEDS IN 13 COUNTRIES IN AFRICA, ASIA AND SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE.

    TEXT: THE U-N APPEAL WAS ORIGINALLY LAUNCHED LAST DECEMBER. TO DATE, DONORS HAVE GIVEN JUST 30 PERCENT OF WHAT IS NEEDED TO CARE FOR AN ESTIMATED 26-MILLION PEOPLE UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR.

    THE U-N SAYS THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO HAS SIPHONED OFF FUNDS FROM EMERGENCY PROGRAMS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. THE U-N DOESN'T MINIMIZE THE NEEDS IN KOSOVO. BUT, ASSISTANT EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR, ROSS MOUNTAIN, SAYS THERE ARE MANY OTHER PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO ARE ALSO IN DIRE STRAITS AND IN NEED OF ATTENTION.

    ///MOUNTAIN ACT///

    THERE HAS BEEN A DISPROPORTIONATE CONCERN, IF YOU LOOK FROM A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE, ON THAT AREA. AND WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO SAY, THERE IS A WORLD OTHER THAN THE BALKANS OUT THERE. THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE SUFFERING OUT THERE. AND ONE CANNOT, MUST NOT FORGET THOSE WHO ARE IN AFRICA AND ASIA.

    ///END ACT///

    AMONG THE COUNTRIES INCLUDED IN THE APPEAL ARE AFGHANISTAN, ANGOLA, NORTH KOREA, THE GREAT LAKES REGION OF AFRICA, SIERRA LEONE AND SUDAN. THE U-N SAYS PEOPLE THERE ARE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH DISASTER. IT NOTES THE RENEWAL OF ANGOLA'S CIVIL WAR IN DECEMBER HAS CREATED A CATASTROPHIC SITUATION FOR TWO-MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE IN NEED OF URGENT RELIEF.

    SOMALIA IS ANOTHER CASE IN POINT. THE U-N SAYS AS MANY AS ONE-MILLION PEOPLE IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE COUNTRY ARE AT RISK OF LOSING THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF WAR AND NATURAL DISASTERS. MR. MOUNTAIN SAYS LACK OF FUNDS IS FORCING AID AGENCIES TO CUT BACK ON THEIR HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMS. FOR INSTANCE, HE SAYS IN NORTH KOREA, A SHORTAGE OF MONEY IS THREATENING THE DELIVERY OF FOOD, HINDERING AGRICULTURAL RECOVERY AND AFFECTING THE SUPPLY OF ESSENTIAL DRUGS.

    ///2ND MOUNTAIN ACT///

    IN THE CASE OF TAJIKISTAN, LACK OF FUNDING DURING THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF THE YEAR HAS FORCED W-F-P (THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAM) TO SUSPEND VULNERABLE FEEDING PROGRAMS IN THE MOST SOUTHERN REGIONS WHICH AFFECTS SOME 370-THOUSAND PEOPLE. IF UNICEF DOESN'T GET THE MONEY IT NEEDS FOR AN IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM, MORE THAN 800-THOUSAND CHILDREN ARE AT RISK.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE UNITED NATIONS WARNS OF EVEN MORE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES IF DONORS DON'T RESPOND TO THESE EMERGENCIES. IT SAYS MILLIONS OF HUNGRY PEOPLE WILL BECOME MALNOURISHED. AND, MANY WILL DIE. (SIGNED) (EDITORS: COUNTRIES INCLUDED IN THE APPEAL INCLUDE AFGHANISTAN, ANGOLA, NORTH KOREA, THE GREAT LAKES REGION (BURUNDI, TANZANIA, UGANDA, CONGO-KINSHASA, CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE), GUINEA BISSAU, SIERRA LEONE, SOMALIA, SUDAN AND TAJIKISTAN)
    NEB/LS/GE
    22-Jul-99 11:36 AM EDT (1536 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] CONGRESS-CHINA EMBASSY (L ONLY) BY PAULA WOLFSON (CAPITOL HILL)

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252041
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE U-S CONGRESS IS PROBING THE MAY 7TH NATO BOMBING OF THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN BELGRADE. MOST OF THE INQUIRY IS BEING CONDUCTED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. BUT AT A RARE PUBLIC HEARING, THE NATION'S TOP INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS OFFERED AN EXPLANATION AND A PROMISE TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PREVENT SUCH AN INCIDENT FROM EVER OCCURRING AGAIN. V-O-A'S PAULA WOLFSON REPORTS FROM CAPITOL HILL.

    TEXT: THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY CALLS THE BOMBING A MAJOR ERROR.

    ///TENET ACT///

    THE ATTACK WAS A MISTAKE. LET ME EMPHASIZE OUR INVESTIGATION HAS DETERMINED THAT NO ONE -- AND I REPEAT, NO ONE -- KNOWINGLY TARGETED THE CHINESE EMBASSY.

    ///END ACT///

    GEORGE TENET SAYS A SERIES OF MISSTEPS LED TO A TRAGIC MISCALCULATION. HE SAYS AGENCY DATA BANKS WERE INSUFFICIENT, AND FLAWED INFORMATION WAS USED.

    ///TENET ACT///

    THE UNINTENDED ATTACK HAPPENED BECAUSE A NUMBER OF SYSTEMS AND PROCEDURES THAT ARE USED TO IDENTIFY AND VERIFY POTENTIAL TARGETS DID NOT WORK.

    ///END ACT///

    NATO HAD PLANNED TO HIT A YUGOSLAV MILITARY BUILDING. BUT THEY GOT THE LOCATION WRONG, AND HIT THE CHINESE EMBASSY INSTEAD. MR. TENET TOLD THE COMMITTEE THOSE WHO PLANNED THE BOMBING USED MAPS THAT SHOWED THE EMBASSY TO BE FAR AWAY. THEN HE ADDED A NEW TWIST TO THE STORY. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THE CORRECT EMBASSY SITE WAS KNOWN TO OTHERS AT THE C-I-A, BUT THEY WERE NOT INVOLVED IN THE PLANNING PROCESS. AND HE SAID CORRECT MAPS WERE IN THE POSSESSION OF THE AGENCY -- BUT NEVER GOT IN THE RIGHT HANDS.

    ///TENET ACT///

    WE HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND MAPS WHICH SHOW THE CORRECT AND CURRENT LOCATION OF THE CHINESE EMBASSY ALTHOUGH THERE ARE OTHERS, INCLUDING SOME PRODUCED AFTER 1996 BY THE YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT WHICH DO NOT.

    ///END ACT///

    THE C-I-A DIRECTOR TOLD THE COMMITTEE HE TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ERROR. BUT DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY JOHN HAMRE DISAGREED.

    ///HAMRE ACT///

    DIRECTOR TENET SAID THAT HE FEELS THAT THIS ACCIDENTAL BOMBING WAS THE PRODUCT OF FAILURES INSIDE THE INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM. WE IN THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT DON'T LOOK AT IT QUITE THAT WAY. WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF DROPPING BOMBS AND WINNING WARS. AND IF THERE IS A FAILURE, IT IS OUR FAILURE

    ///END ACT///

    BOTH MEN VOWED CHANGES WILL BE MADE IN INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS. THEY SAID THE C-I-A DATA BASE -- USED FOR TARGETING PURPOSES BY THE MILITARY -- WILL BE CONSTANTLY UPDATED. AND THEY SAID ALL INFORMATION USED IN TARGETING DECISIONS WILL GET GREATER SCRUTINY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PW/ENE/KL
    22-Jul-99 2:01 PM EDT (1801 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] BELGRADE - LIFE AFTER NATO BY KATAYOUN BEGLARI (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-43933
    CONTENT=
    NOT VOICED:

    // ACTUALITIES IN AUDIO SERVICES //

    INTRO: HOLLYWOOD IS WELL-KNOWN FOR TURNING OUT FILMS BASED ON EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE DURING U-S WARS. YUGOSLAV FILM MAKERS APPARENTLY ARE NO DIFFERENT. YUGOSLAV FILM CRITIC NENAD DUKIC SAYS FILM MAKERS IN BELGRADE ARE ALREADY WORKING ON MOVIES ABOUT THE NATO AIR WAR. V-O-A'S KATAYOUN BEGLARI SPOKE WITH MR. DUKIC AND HAS THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: NENAD DUKIC IS A JOURNALIST AND FILM CRITIC FOR RADIO BELGRADE. HE SAYS THAT DESPITE TOUGH FINANCIAL TIMES IN YUGOSLAVIA, ARTISTS AND FILM MAKERS ARE PUTTING THEIR ENERGY INTO NEW PROJECTS.

    /// DUKIC ACT ///

    YOU KNOW, YUGOSLAV FILM-MAKING FOR YEARS NOW HAS BEEN FUNCTIONING IN AN IMPOSSIBLE FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCE, BUT STILL THEY (THE FILM MAKERS) SUCCEEDED TO HAVE THE CONTINUITY OF FILM PRODUCTION OF SOME EIGHT TO 10 FILMS A YEAR. BUT, YOU KNOW, AFTER THE NATO AIRSTRIKES, CIRCUMSTANCES, ESPECIALLY FINANCIAL ONES, ARE EVEN WORSE. BUT EVEN IN THIS CIRCUMSTANCE, THE FILM-MAKING IS STILL (GOING) ON, NOBODY KNOWS HOW, BUT STILL (GOING) ON. YOU KNOW, PEOPLE AND ARTISTS AND FILM MAKERS FEEL LIKE THEY MUST DO SOMETHING.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. DUKIC SAYS THE NATO AIRSTRIKES AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA HAVE NOW BECOME THE MAIN THEME FOR YUGOSLAV FILM MAKERS.

    /// DUKIC ACT ///

    THE SUBJECT OF NATO AIRSTRIKES AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA AND HOW ORDINARY PEOPLE EXPERIENCED THE WHOLE DRAMA IS THE MAIN THEME AND SUBJECT OF FOUR FILMS THAT STARTED SHOOTING. LJUBISA SAMARDZIC (LOUBISHA SAMARAJICH) -- THE PRODUCER -- IS NOW DIRECTING A FILM FOR THE FIRST TIME, "HEAVEN'S HOOK," AND THE TWO OTHER FILMS TO BE SHOT (ARE) BASED ON SCRIPTS BY GORDAN BIHIC, WHO IS ONE OF YUGOSLAVIA'S BEST SCREENWRITERS. ...ONE OF HIS FILMS IS "THE WOUNDED COUNTRY" AND THE OTHER, "THE SKY OF MINE."

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. DUKIC SAYS THAT DURING THE NATO AIRSTRIKES, GORDAN BIHIC -- THE PROMINENT SCREENWRITER -- SPENT TWO MONTHS IN THE SHELTERS AND COLLECTED A LOT OF MATERIAL FOR HIS SCRIPTS AND NEW FILMS.

    MR. DUKIC SAYS THE FOURTH WAR FILM BEING SHOT IN YUGOSLAVIA IS CALLED "THE WAR: LIVE." IT IS BEING SHOT BY DARKO BAJIC, WHO DARED TO VENTURE OUT DURING THE BOMBING AND FILM THE AIRSTRIKES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KB/RRM/KL
    22-Jul-99 1:12 PM EDT (1712 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] GERMANY / TURKEY BY JONATHON BRAUDE (BERLIN)

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252028
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER JOSCHKA FISCHER HAS SAID HE WOULD DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO GET TURKEY ACCEPTED AS A CANDIDATE FOR EUROPEAN UNION MEMBERSHIP. YET THE COMMENT COMES AMID ANGER OVER TURKEY'S SEIZURE OF A TOP KURDISH ACTIVIST WITH A GERMAN PASSPORT. JONATHON BRAUDE HAS THIS REPORT FROM BERLIN.

    TEXT: MR. FISCHER'S VISIT TO TURKEY WAS INTENDED TO HEAL HIS COUNTRY'S RELATIONS WITH ANKARA FOLLOWING THE PREVIOUS GERMAN GOVERNMENT'S DECISION TO BLOCK TURKEY'S ENTRY INTO THE EUROPEAN UNION. GERMANY'S OBJECTIONS WERE AS MUCH ABOUT TURKEY'S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD AS ABOUT THE ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF OPENING EUROPE'S BORDERS TO A FREE FLOW OF TURKISH LABOR.

    BUT HIS VISIT HAS BEEN BLIGHTED BY TURKEY'S SEIZURE IN MOLDOVA OF CEYAT SOYSAL, DESCRIBED BY TURKEY AS A TOP MEMBER OF THE OUTLAWED P-K-K, KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY. ACCORDING TO THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT, MR. SOYSAL IS OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED AS AN ASYLUM SEEKER FROM POLITICAL PERSECUTION IN TURKEY AND WAS TRAVELING ON GERMAN PAPERS.

    MAJOR GERMAN NEWSPAPERS COMMENTED THURSDAY THAT COMING AFTER THE DEATH SENTENCE IMPOSED ON P-K-K CHIEF ABDULLAH OCALAN, WHO WAS SPIRITED OUT OF KENYA BY THE TURKISH SECURITY SERVICE IN FEBRUARY, MR. SOYSAL'S CAPTURE SHOWS REALLY THAT TURKEY IS NOT READY FOR E-U MEMBERSHIP. /// OPT, UNVOICED /// MORE THAN TWO-MILLION PEOPLE FROM TURKEY -- MANY OF THEM ETHNIC KURDS -- LIVE IN GERMANY. THERE IS CONCERN IN BONN THAT HANGING MR. OCALAN COULD BRING ABOUT VIOLENCE IN GERMANY. /// END OPT ///

    BUT FOREIGN MINISTER FISCHER DID NOT COMMENT DIRECTLY ON THE OCALAN CASE IN HIS REMARKS. INSTEAD, HE SAID THE EUROPEAN UNION IS A COMMUNITY OF SHARED VALUES. HUMAN RIGHTS, HE SAID, WAS A MATTER OF CENTRAL SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE E-U. IT WAS LEFT FOR TURKEY TO INTERPRET WHAT HIS REMARKS WOULD IMPLY FOR ITS E-U CANDIDACY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JB/GE/KL
    22-Jul-99 9:07 AM EDT (1307 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] BRITAIN/RUSSIA (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252036
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IGOR IVANOV HAS BEEN IN LONDON FOR TWO DAYS MEETING WITH OFFICIALS TO REPAIR RELATIONS STRAINED BY DIFFERENCES OVER THE KOSOVO CRISIS. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FROM LONDON THAT MR IVANOV AND FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK EXCHANGED HISTORIC DOCUMENTS FROM THEIR DIPLOMATIC ARCHIVES AS A GOODWILL GESTURE.

    TEXT: THE THEME OF MR IVANOV'S VISIT HAS BEEN BUILDING COOPERATION BASED ON MUTUAL RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING. RELATIONS WERE SERIOUSLY STRAINED DURING THE KOSOVO CRISIS OVER RUSSIA'S DISPUTE WITH NATO LEADERS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC.

    MR IVANOV INSISTS THERE IS NO LONG-TERM DAMAGE TO TIES WITH BRITAIN OR OTHER NATO ALLIES. HE SPOKE THROUGH AN INTERPRETER.

    /// IVANOV ACT ///

    WE'RE NOT TALKING HOW MUCH DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE, BUT HOW WE BUILD OUR RELATIONS IN THE FUTURE. AND WE'RE CONFIDENT THAT FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR OUR RELATIONS, GIVEN THE POLITICAL WILL IN LONDON AND IN MOSCOW.

    /// END ACT ///

    STILL, THE TWO GOVERNMENTS DO NOT AGREE ON PRESENT AID POLICY TOWARD YUGOSLAVIA AND KOSOVO PROVINCE. BRITAIN AND ITS NATO ALLIES WANT TO EXCLUDE SERBIA FROM ANY INTERNATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION ASSISTANCE. MR IVANOV DISAGREES.

    /// SECOND IVANOV ACT ///

    AT THE SAME TIME, THERE ARE MORAL OBLIGATIONS, POLITICAL OBLIGATIONS AND COMMITMENTS. TODAY, YUGOSLAVIA, ON THE THRESHHOLD OF THE 21ST CENTURY, HAS BEEN DESTROYED, ITS ECONOMY BY 50 PERCENT, AND FACING A SERIOUS HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE THAT HAS BECOME QUITE A REALITY GIVEN THE WINTER COMING VERY SOON.

    /// END ACT //

    FOR HIS PART, FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK SAYS HE AND MR IVANOV HAVE AGREED TO CONSULT MORE OFTEN ON THE KOSOVO SITUATION AND ON EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO STABILIZE THE REST OF THE BALKANS. BOTH MEN WILL ATTEND NEXT WEEK'S SUMMIT OF BALKAN AND WESTERN LEADERS TO SEE WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND HOW MUCH IT WILL COST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/GE/KL
    22-Jul-99 11:38 AM EDT (1538 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] CHIRAC / AFRICA (L-O) BY JOHN PITMAN (ABIDJAN)

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252038
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC IS IN WEST AFRICA THIS WEEK ON A FOUR-NATION TOUR TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH FRANCE, AS WELL AS DEMOCRACY ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT. VOA'S JOHN PITMAN HAS MORE FROM OUR WEST AFRICA BUREAU.

    TEXT: PRESIDENT CHIRAC'S SPOKESWOMAN SAYS THE FRENCH LEADER WILL PROMOTE FOUR IDEAS ON THIS TRIP: TRUST, OPENNESS, PEACE AND MODERNIZATION.

    SHE SAYS THE FRENCH LEADER WILL USE THESE THEMES TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT TIES WITH AFRICA, AS WELL AS THE CRITICAL NEED FOR RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA ITSELF.

    MR. CHIRAC BEGAN HIS TOUR ON WEDNESDAY ON THE CONTINENT'S WESTERN EDGE, IN GUINEA-CONAKRY. HE WILL END THE VISIT ON SUNDAY IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN COUNTRY OF CAMEROON, AFTER STOPOVERS IN TOGO AND NIGERIA.

    IN GUINEA ON WEDNESDAY, MR. CHIRAC INAUGURATED A MASSIVE, FRENCH-FUNDED HYDRO-ELECTRIC DAM WITH GUINEA'S PRESIDENT LANSANA CONTE.

    IN PRIVATE TALKS WITH MR. CONTE TUESDAY NIGHT, THE FRENCH PRESIDENT ADDRESSED ECONOMIC PROJECTS LIKE THE DAM, BUT ALSO URGED THE GUINEAN LEADER TO GIVE A FAIR TRIAL TO JAILED GUINEAN OPPOSITION LEADER ALPHA CONDE. MR. CONDE WAS ARRESTED LAST DECEMBER DURING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, AND HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTING TO MOUNT AN ARMED REBELLION. A TRIAL HAS BEEN SET FOR SEPTEMBER. WHILE THE FRENCH PRESIDENT RECOGNIZED THE TRIAL WAS AN INTERNAL GUINEAN MATTER, HE STRESSED THAT THE PROCESS SHOULD BE, IN HIS WORDS, "TRANSPARENT FOR ALL TO OBSERVE."

    /// OPT ///

    SPEAKING AT A STATE DINNER IN GUINEA'S CAPITAL, CONAKRY, ON TUESDAY, MR. CHIRAC TOUCHED ON ANOTHER POLITICALLY SENSITIVE TOPIC -- FRENCH FOREIGN AID TO AFRICA. IN A STATEMENT DIRECTED AT AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS THAT COME TO POWER BY FORCE, MR. CHIRAC SAID FRANCE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO WITHDRAW ASSISTANCE FROM ANY COUNTRY THAT VIOLATES INTERNATIONAL RULES OF LAW OR VIOLATES AGREEMENTS. /// END OPT ///

    MR. CHIRAC'S VISIT TO TOGO ALSO COMES AT A TIME OF INTERNAL POLITICAL STRESS IN THAT COUNTRY. TWO HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, INCLUDING AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, HAVE CHARGED THE TOGOLESE GOVERNMENT OF KILLING MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION DURING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS LAST YEAR.

    THE GOVERNMENT IS ALSO INVOLVED IN SENSITIVE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE OPPOSITION TO REDUCE THE LEVEL OF POLITICAL TENSION STEMMING FROM THAT VOTE. IN TOGO, MR. CHIRAC WILL MEET WITH TOGOLESE PRESIDENT GNASSIGNBE EYADEMA. FRENCH OFFICIALS SAY TOGO'S POLITICAL CRISIS AS WELL AS THE ALLEGED HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES WILL BE DISCUSSED. FROM TOGO, MR. CHIRAC WILL TRAVEL TO NIGERIA ON FRIDAY, WHERE HE WILL BE THE FIRST WESTERN LEADER TO MEET NIGERIA'S NEW CIVILIAN PRESIDENT, OLUSEGUN OBASANJO.

    ECONOMIC ISSUES WILL TOP THE AGENDA IN NIGERIA, WHICH COUNTS FRANCE AS ITS FOURTH LARGEST TRADING PARTNER. MOST OF THE FRANCO-NIGERIAN TIES INVOLVE THE OIL INDUSTRY, BUT FRENCH CAR-MAKER PEUGEOT ALSO HAS A MAJOR STAKE IN NIGERIA'S AUTOMOBILE SECTOR.

    FRENCH OFFICIALS SAY THE TWO PRESIDENTS WILL ALSO DISCUSS REGIONAL SECURITY -- A SUBJECT IN WHICH NIGERIA HAS PLAYED A LEADING ROLE THIS DECADE, ESPECIALLY IN SIERRA LEONE AND LIBERIA.

    ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, MR. CHIRAC CONCLUDES HIS TRIP IN CAMEROON, WHERE HE WILL MEET HIS COUNTERPART, PRESIDENT PAUL BIYA.

    /// REST OPT ///

    THIS IS PRESIDENT CHIRAC'S FOURTH VISIT TO AFRICA IN AS MANY YEARS. LAST YEAR, HE TOURED SOUTH AFRICA, NAMIBIA, MOZAMBIQUE AND ANGOLA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JP/PCF/KL
    22-Jul-99 11:56 AM EDT (1556 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] EUROPE - COCA-COLA (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252031
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS LAUNCHED AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER COCA-COLA IS ABUSING ITS POSITION AS THE DOMINANT SOFT DRINK MAKER IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS ABOUT MORE TROUBLE FOR COCA-COLA IN THE EUROPEAN MARKET.

    TEXT: JUST WHEN COCA-COLA MANAGED IT GET ITSELF BACK TO THE MARKET AFTER A CONTAMINATION SCARE IN FOUR COUNTRIES, NOW THERE IS A THREATENED CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF THE GIANT SOFT-DRINK MAKER. THIS INVESTIGATION WILL SEE IF COCA-COLA IS PAYING EUROPEAN RETAILERS INCENTIVES. THESE PAYMENTS ENCOURAGE RETAILERS TO CARRY MORE COCA-COLA PRODUCTS, OR NOT TO SELL COCA-COLA'S COMPETITORS' SOFT DRINKS.

    THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S INVESTIGATORS HAVE RAIDED COCA-COLA BOTTLING PLANTS IN GERMANY, AUSTRIA AND DENMARK. THE EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR COMPETITION, KAREL VAN MIERT, ORDERED THE RAIDS BECAUSE OF HIS SUSPICION THAT COCA-COLA HAS OFFERED THREE TYPES OF INCENTIVES, WHICH HE SAYS (IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT) ARE UNLAWFUL FOR DOMINANT COMPANIES IN ANY MARKET.

    MR. VAN MIERT SAYS THE ONLY LEGAL REBATE ALLOWED IN THE EUROPEAN UNION IS ONE THAT PASSES SAVINGS ON TO CUSTOMERS. MARTINS REICHERTS [EDS: A WOMAN] OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, EXPLAINS THE RAIDS THIS WAY.

    /// REICHERTS W/ INTERPRETER ACT ///

    IT WAS PRIMARILY A QUESTION CONCERNING BONUSES WHICH ARE GRANTED BY THE COCA-COLA COMPANY TO A NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS AND IN ONE OF THE COUNTRIES, THE UNITED KINGDOM, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY UNDERTOOK NOT TO GRANT THIS BONUS IN FUTURE. AT THIS JUNCTURE, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY IS JUST SUSPECTED OF PRACTICES WHICH WOULD NOT BE IN LINE WITH COMMUNITY LAW, AND IT IS WITH A VIEW TO BACKING UP SUCH SUSPICIONS THAT THIS INVESTIGATION HAS TAKEN PLACE.

    /// END ACT ///

    // OPT //

    THE BOTTLING PLANT IN BRITAIN PRODUCES COCA-COLA FOR AUSTRIA AND OTHER CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION ALSO RAIDED NORDIC BEVERAGES IN DENMARK AND COCA-COLA ERFRISCHUNGSGETRANKE IN GERMANY.

    IF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FINDS THAT COCA-COLA IS INDEED GUILTY OF PAYING THESE BONUSES, IT HAS THE POWER TO FINE THE COMPANIES HEAVILY.

    COCA-COLA HAS ALREADY HAD TROUBLE WITH EUROPEAN REGULATORS. LAST MAY, MR. VAN MIERT WARNED THE COMPANY OF FINES BECAUSE IT DID NOT SEEK CLEARANCE FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR ITS PLAN TO TAKE OVER THE CADBURY-SCHWEPPES SOFT-DRINKS BUSINESS. // END OPT

    //

    COCA-COLA HAS A DOMINANT POSITION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION, SELLING MORE THAN ITS COMPETITORS IN EVERY COUNTRY AND PRACTICALLY ELIMINATING THE COMPETITION IN BELGIUM, FRANCE, ITALY AND GERMANY.

    IN MID-JUNE, COCA-COLA DISAPPEARED FROM GROCERY SHELVES AND DRINKS DISPENSERS, AFTER AN OUTBREAK OF ILLNESS AMONG HUNDREDS OF CONSUMERS WHO DRANK THE BEVERAGE. THE COMPANY TRACED THE TROUBLE TO CONTAMINATION AT ITS BOTTLING PLANTS IN BELGIUM AND FRANCE. BY OFFERING PRICE DISCOUNTS, COCA-COLA HAS ONCE AGAIN DRIVEN COMPETING BEVERAGES AWAY. HOWEVER, AS A RESULT OF THE CONTAMINATION SCARES, COCA-COLA REPORTED A DROP IN ITS SECOND-QUARTER EARNINGS OF 22. PERCENT FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

    THAT LOSS MAY ONLY BE THE BEGINNING, IF EUROPEAN REGULATORS PUSH THEIR CASE AGAINST THE WORLD'S MOST POPULAR SOFT-DRINK MAKER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/GE/WTW
    22-Jul-99 10:36 AM EDT (1436 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=7/22/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-252048
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES CLOSED LOWER TODAY (THURSDAY) AS FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD CHAIRMAN ALAN GREENSPAN SIGNALED HE WOULD NOT HESITATE TO RAISE U-S INTEREST RATES AGAIN IF HE SEES INFLATIONARY PRESSURES IN THE ECONOMY. VOA CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS FROM NEW YORK:

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED DOWN 33 POINTS AT 10-THOUSAND-969. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX LOST 18 POINTS, CLOSING AT 13-HUNDRED-61. AND NASDAQ SLID FOR A LOSS OF MORE THAN TWO PERCENT.

    DESPITE THE WARNING BY CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN THAT THE U-S ECONOMY MAY BE GROWING TOO RAPIDLY, FORCING A HIKE IN SHORT-TERM INTEREST RATES, ANALYSTS DID NOT APPEAR OVERLY CONCERNED. THEY AGREED THERE WAS NOTHING NEW IN THE U-S CENTRAL BANK'S VIGILANCE.

    //BEGIN OPT//

    ANALYST JAMES MAGUIRE:

    //MAGUIRE ACT//

    THE MARKET TOOK A LITTLE BIT OF A DIVE WHEN CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN MADE HIS COMMENTS. BUT OVERALL I THINK THE MARKET HAS ABSORBED HIS COMMENTS FAIRLY WELL. I THINK CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN WAS SIMPLY STATING THE OBVIOUS, WHICH IS IF ECONOMIC DATA WARRANTS HE'LL RAISE INTEREST RATES AGAIN.

    //END ACT -- END OPT//

    THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD LAST RAISED INTEREST RATES JUNE 30. THE BOARD MEETS AGAIN ON AUGUST 24TH.

    AMONG THE BIG LOSERS IN THURSDAY'S TRADING WERE MICROSOFT, I-B-M AND OTHER COMPUTER-RELATED COMPANIES WHOSE STOCKS ARE PRICED HIGHER THAN THE AVERAGE.

    // REST OPT FOR LONG //

    AMAZON DOT COM SHARES TUMBLED AFTER THE BIGGEST U-S INTERNET RETAILER SHOWED WIDER LOSSES THIS QUARTER. AMAZON SAID IT IS PUTTING MORE MONEY INTO EXPANDING ITS ONLINE BUSINESSES. BUT APPARENTLY INVESTORS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WHEN AMAZON'S SPENDING WILL START PAYING OFF.

    AMAZON HAS YET TO TURN A PROFIT SINCE IT STARTED SELLING BOOKS ONLINE FOUR YEARS AGO. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT
    22-Jul-99 5:03 PM EDT (2103 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=07/22/99
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11392
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    /// EDS: MATERIAL DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-D-T ///

    INTRO: THE NATION CONTINUES TO MOURN THE LOSS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY JUNIOR, HIS WIFE AND HER SISTER, AS THEIR REMAINS ARE SCATTERED IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN OFF MASSACHUSETTS, AND EDITORIALS REFLECT THIS. THERE ARE ALSO OTHER COMMENTS ON THE CRASH CONCERNING GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS FOR PRIVATE PILOTS. OVERSEAS, THE EXTENSION OF THE PRESIDENCY IN BELARUS COMES IN FOR CRITICISM; AND THERE ARE SEVERAL COMMENTS ON U-S RELATIONS WITH CHINA IN THE WAKE OF CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS BY TAIWAN'S PRESIDENT. ROUNDING OUT THE MORE INTERESTING EDITORIALS ARE COMMENTARIES ON THE IMPROVED CLIMATE FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST; THE STRUGGLE TO GET IRELAND'S PEACE TALKS BACK ON TRACK; AND ONE WOMAN'S STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY IN INDONESIA. NOW, HERE IS __________WITH SOME EXCERPTS AND A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: FROM THE HIGH PLAINS OF NORTH DAKOTA, TO THE CANYONS OF NEW YORK CITY, THERE ARE MORE SAD EDITORIAL LAMENTS OVER THE PREMATURE DEATHS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY JUNIOR, HIS WIFE AND HER SISTER IN A PLANE CRASH OFF MASSACHUSETTS. IN FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA, "THE FORUM" SUGGESTS THAT MR. KENNEDY HAD A POTENTIALLY IMPRESSIVE FUTURE.

    VOICE: THE DEATH OF THE COUPLE AND HIS WIFE'S SISTER ... HAS GENERATED SADNESS AMONG MOST AMERICANS ... [PARTLY IN] SYMPATHY FOR THE KENNEDY FAMILY, WHICH HAS SUFFERED MORE THAN ITS SHARE OF GRIEF. BUT THE EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DEEPER -- ROOTED IN THE NOW LOST PROBABILITY THAT THIS YOUNG MAN WOULD, IN TIME, BE A VIBRANT, CHARISMATIC, INSPIRING NATIONAL LEADER. HE HAD THE INTELLIGENCE, THE POISE AND THE GOOD LOOKS. HE WAS STEEPED IN HIS FAMILY'S COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SERVICE. AMERICANS ... SENSED HIS POTENTIAL. HE MIGHT HAVE DONE GREAT GOOD. NOW IT'S LOST, AND THAT'S WHY THE NATION HAS BEEN SO AFFECTED BY HIS DEATH.

    TEXT: FARAWAY, FROM THE LONELY STRETCHES OF THE DAKOTAS, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" IN THE NATION'S LARGEST CITY, LAMENTS:

    VOICE: THE PRIVATE MEMORIALS TOMORROW IN NEW YORK CITY AND SATURDAY IN CONNECTICUT WILL NOT BE BASED ON ONE FAMILY'S MYTHICAL PLACE IN OUR PUBLIC PSYCHE, OR ON THE CELEBRITY OF THE VICTIMS OR THE DRAMA OF THEIR LAST HELPLESS MOMENTS, BUT ON THE UNTIMELY, INCURABLE LOSS. ... NOW THE PROCESS OF EXPLANATION AND FORENSICS WILL BRING SOME SMALL COMFORT TO REASONABLE MINDS. THERE WAS BY ALL AVAILABLE EARLY SIGNS NOTHING SINISTER AT WORK IN THIS ACCIDENT, JUST THAT MUNDANE BLEND OF BAD LUCK AND ERROR FROM WHICH NEITHER FAME NOR WEALTH NOR LINEAGE NOR YOUTH NOR BEAUTY CAN PROTECT ANY ... OF US.

    TEXT: THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER "U-S-A TODAY" IS STILL DEALING WITH THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE KENNEDY CRASH. IT POINTS OUT THAT IN MANY FOREIGN NATIONS, REGULATIONS ON PRIVATE PILOTS ARE STRICTER THAN HERE IN THE UNITED STATES.

    VOICE: BRITAIN AND CANADA DON'T LET NOVICES WITH [MR.] KENNEDY'S SKILLS FLY ALONE IN DARKNESS. SUCH PILOTS -- WITH 200-ODD HOURS OF FLIGHT EXPERIENCE AND NO QUALIFICATIONS TO FLY BY INSTRUMENTS INSTEAD OF BY SIGHT -- ARE REQUIRED TO GO THROUGH EXTRA INSTRUMENT AND PRACTICAL TRAINING FOR A "NIGHT RATING." ... IF OTHER COUNTRIES PROTECT INEXPERIENCED PILOTS AND THEIR PASSENGERS FROM PREDICTABLY HAZARDOUS NIGHT FLYING CONDITIONS, PERHAPS IT'S TIME THE U-S-A SHOULD DO THE SAME.

    TEXT: TURNING OVERSEAS, "THE WASHINGTON POST" LEADS ITS EDITORIAL COLUMN WITH A HARSH CRITICISM OF WHAT IT CALLS "THE ILLEGAL PRESIDENT," ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO OF BELARUS, WHO THIS WEEK EXTENDED HIS PRESIDENCY BY FIAT, AFTER IT LEGALLY EXPIRED. CITING HIS "RE-CREATING" OF TOTALITARIAN CONDITIONS LIKE THOSE OF THE SOVIET UNION, "THE POST" FUMES:

    VOICE: ALL OF THIS MAKES BELARUS THE UGLY EXCEPTION IN ITS NEIGHBORHOOD. LITHUANIA, POLAND AND UKRAINE ALL HAVE MANAGED SUCCESSFUL DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONS OF THEIR TOP LEADERS AND THEIR PARLIAMENTS.

    TEXT: REGARDING THE FAR EAST AND U-S - SINO RELATIONS AFTER THE COMMENTS BY TAIWAN'S LEE TENG-HUI THAT TAIWAN CONSIDERS ITSELF AN INDEPENDENT NATION IN FACT, IF NOT IN NAME, PENNSYLVANIA'S "GREENSBURG TRIBUNE-REVIEW" SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: TWENTY YEARS AFTER THE TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT REDEFINED THE U-S STANCE TOWARD THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA, THERE IS STILL NO CLEAR DEFINITION OF JUST HOW FAR THE U-S WILL GO TO PROTECT ITS ALLY. // OPT // ACCORDING TO THE ACT, THE U-S REGARDS "ANY EFFORT TO DETERMINE THE FUTURE OF TAIWAN BY OTHER THAN PEACEFUL MEANS ... [AS] A THREAT TO THE PEACE AND SECURITY OF THE WESTERN PACIFIC AREA AND OF GRAVE CONCERN TO THE UNITED STATES." BUT DOES THAT "GRAVE CONCERN" MEAN RISKING U-S LIVES? IT IS AN IMPORTANT DEFINITION, ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE RECENT HEIGHTENING OF TENSIONS BETWEEN TAIWAN AND MAINLAND CHINA. ... REPORTS NOW SAY THAT CHINA HAS MOBILIZED FORCES ALONG ITS SOUTHERN COAST PREPARING TO "LIBERATE TAIWAN" FROM THOSE WHO WOULD PURSUE INDEPENDENCE. THE U-S IS CURRENTLY SENDING MIXED SIGNALS -- PURSUING THE "ONE CHINA" POLICY, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME CONGRESS HAS STEPPED UP ITS INTEREST IN MAKING SURE THAT TAIWAN IS PROTECTED FROM CHINESE AGGRESSION. // END OPT // ... CONGRESS MUST QUICKLY CLEAR UP THE MUDDY INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT AND DETERMINE WHETHER WE ARE WILLING TO GO TO WAR FOR TAIWAN, OUR ALLY FOR FIVE DECADES, WHILE CONSIDERING IT TO BE A PART OF CHINA.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: ON ANOTHER TOPIC REGARDING CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES, TODAY'S "FLORIDA TIMES-UNION" IS SHARPLY CRITICAL OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S APPROACH IN THE TALKS AIMED AT REPARATIONS FOR THE U-S BOMBING OF THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN BELGRADE DURING THE WAR OVER KOSOVO.

    VOICE: THE ADMINISTRATION, IN OUR VIEW, WAS BEING UNDULY CONFRONTATIONAL. THE EMBASSY BOMBING WAS A TERRIBLE MISTAKE. THIS COUNTRY SHOULD MAKE AMENDS. THE MISDEEDS OF CHINESE PROTESTERS IN NO WAY REDUCE THIS NATION'S OBLIGATIONS TO THE SURVIVORS OF THOSE KILLED. THE EMBASSY BOMBING IS ONE ISSUE; CHINA'S UNRULY REACTION IS ANOTHER. ... NOR IS THE [CHINESE] DEMAND FOR PUNISHMENT UNREASONABLE. INNOCENT PEOPLE DIED BECAUSE OF A MISTAKE.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: REGARDING IMPROVED CHANCES FOR PEACE IN THE MIDEAST, NOW THAT EHUD BARAK IS THE PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL, "THE DETROIT NEWS" IS STILL A BIT CAUTIOUS:

    VOICE: ... IT IS STILL MUCH TOO SOON TO SEE WHAT MR. BARAK CAN A ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH IN RESOLVING THE THORNIEST ISSUES -- THE GOLAN HEIGHTS, WEST BANK SETTLEMENTS AND JERUSALEM'S SOVEREIGNTY. IMMEDIATE PRESSURE FROM WASHINGTON FOR "MOVEMENT" COULD MAKE MATTERS MORE DIFFICULT FOR THE NEW PRIME MINISTER. ... OUR VIEW [IS THAT] PRESIDENT CLINTON SHOULD NOT PRESSURE ... [MR.] BARAK INTO A QUICK AGREEMENT WITH SYRIA OR THE PALESTINIANS.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: IN HAWAII, "THE HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN" SUGGESTS THAT IN ORDER FOR A PEACE AGREEMENT WITH THE PALESTINIANS TO TAKE PLACE, MAJOR ISSUES, SUCH AS THOSE OUTLINED BY "THE DETROIT NEWS" MUST BE SETTLED FIRST.

    VOICE: ... [MR] BARAK IS WISELY WARNING THAT ATTAINING A SECURE PEACE WILL BE ANYTHING BUT EASY. ... THE ISRAELI LEADER REGISTERED A WILLINGNESS TO TAKE RISKS FOR PEACE, BUT ALSO ASSURED HIS PEOPLE THAT HE WOULD BE EVER MINDFUL OF THEIR SECURITY CONCERNS. HE ALSO CAREFULLY AVOIDED SAYING HOW MUCH LAND HE WOULD RELINQUISH -- ON THE WEST BANK TO THE PALESTINIANS AND ON THE GOLAN HEIGHTS TO SYRIA.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TURNING TO ANOTHER STUMBLING BLOCK TO WORLD PEACE, THE FAILURE OF THE NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE ACCORD, AND EFFORTS TO REVIVE IT, "THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS" LAMENTS THAT:

    VOICE: THE ONLY CELEBRANTS [TO THE FAILURE] ... ARE THE HARD AND VIOLENT MEN ON BOTH SIDES OF THE NORTHERN IRISH QUESTION, THOSE WITH A VESTED INTEREST IN CONTINUED CONFLICT BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC MINORITY, WHICH FAVORS REUNIFICATION WITH THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND, AND THE PRO-BRITISH PROTESTANT MAJORITY. ... PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE PRIME MINISTERS OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND ARE CORRECT: THE GOOD FRIDAY PEACE ACCORD REMAINS THE BEST WAY FORWARD. MAY ALL THE PEOPLE OF NORTHERN IRELAND REALIZE HOW FUNDAMENTALLY IMPORTANT THE ACCORD IS TO A PEACEFUL AND DEMOCRATIC FUTURE.

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, SOME THOUGHTS FROM "THE BOSTON GLOBE" ON THE LONELY BATTLE BEING WAGED BY THE APPARENT WINNER OF INDONESIA'S FIRST FREE ELECTION IN MORE THAN THREE DECADES, MEGAWATI SUKARNO, WHO IS BEING CHALLENGED IN THAT ISLAMIC NATION BECAUSE OF HER GENDER.

    VOICE: THERE ARE SOME VALID REASONS WHY MEGAWATI MIGHT NOT MAKE A GOOD PRESIDENT. BEING A WOMAN IS NOT ONE OF THEM.

    // OPT //

    SHE HAS HAD LITTLE EXPERIENCE IN GOVERNING, TOOK FEW POSITIONS DURING THE ELECTION, AND WON SLIGHTLY MORE THAN A THIRD OF THE VOTE BECAUSE SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF SUKARNO, THE COUNTRY'S FIRST PRESIDENT, WHOSE REIGN LED THE COUNTRY TO THE BRINK OF RUIN. BUT TO A NEW GENERATION THAT REMEMBERS LITTLE OF SUKARNO, IT WAS ENOUGH THAT HIS DAUGHTER STOOD IN OPPOSITION TO HIS DICTATORIAL SUCCESSOR, [GENERAL] SUHARTO, WHO WAS FORCED OUT LAST YEAR. ... // END OPT // WHATEVER THEIR FAULTS, INDONESIA'S LEADERS HAVE ENCOURAGED PLURALISM IN THE 50 YEARS SINCE INDEPENDENCE. IT WOULD BE A PITY IF THE RESULT OF A DEMOCRATIC ELECTION BROUGHT INTOLERANCE WITH IT.

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM THURSDAY'S U-S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/WTW
    22-Jul-99 11:47 AM EDT (1547 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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