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Voice of America, 99-10-11

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO - WINTER BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CABRA, KOSOVO)
  • [02] E-U / MINISTERS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (LUXEMBOURG)
  • [03] E-U MINISTERS / SERBIA (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (LUXEMBOURG)
  • [04] E-U / ISRAEL (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (LUXEMBOURG)
  • [05] SAF / E-U (L ONLY) BY ALEX BELIDA (JOHANNESBURG)
  • [06] IRAN / GERMANY (L) BY SCOTT BOBB (CAIRO)
  • [07] N-Y ECON WRAP (S&L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

  • [01] KOSOVO - WINTER BY LAURIE KASSMAN (CABRA, KOSOVO)

    DATE=10/11/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44466
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The international community is racing against the clock to provide shelter for homeless Kosovars as the temperature starts to drop and the cold of winter sets in. The U-N High Commissioner for Refugees - the U-N-H-C-R - estimates that more than 50 thousand houses were totally destroyed by the Serb offensives and during the Nato bombings. Emergency efforts focus on providing at least one dry room until houses can be rebuilt next spring. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from the village of Cabra (Joh bra) in northern Kosovo on what's being done.

    TEXT: The mountain village of Zatric (ZAH TRICH), in western Kosovo, was badly shelled during a Serb offensive a year ago, but the walls of most houses there are still standing. So a German aid group is distributing wood, plastic and tools to put up temporary roofs on the sturdier buildings.

    /// CONSTRUCTION SOUNDS, FADE. //

    Reki offers his thanks to everyone as he hammers away at the wooden frame over the ruins of his home. Two of his 12 daughters help as a light, freezing rain falls.

    /// HAMMERING, FADE. ///

    In eastern Kosovo, residents of Cabra(JOH BRA) are rushing to put up the first of 190 prefabricated barracks donated by Japan. It is a welcome sight for Cabra. Last April, Serb forces burned and then bulldozed all 235 houses into rubble. Cabra sits in the middle of eight Serb villages and lies only 36 kilometers from the provincial border with Serbia.

    /// ALBANIAN, FADE. ///

    Faik comes every day to check the progress. He is anxious to come home soon, even if only to one small room, so he can start rebuilding his house - now just a pile of stones. He lives with a brother in nearby Mitrovica, but nearly half Cabra's two thousand residents are still camped in U-N-H-C-R tents on the ruins of Cabra. The goal of U-N-H-C-R is to shelter all Kosovo's homeless. But so far Fatima complains that no aid has come to her village near Malisevo. She is desperate and has sent her husband to Pristina - 20 kilometers away -- to seek help. Meanwhile, Fatima's eight children sleep in a tent on mattresses laid out on a tattered carpet, now damp from the first winter rains. She and her husband huddle under a heavy plastic sheet draped over the back of their pick-up truck.

    /// BEGIN OPT ///

    Still, Fatima refuses to leave the village even if offered shelter elsewhere.

    /// ESTABLISH ALBANIAN, FADE UNDER. ///

    She says she cannot leave her cow, which provides milk for her family. She is still traumatized after spending fear-filled weeks in the mountains of Kosovo and two months in a refugee camp in Albania. Fatima insists she just wants to rebuild her home and never leave it again.

    ///END OPT///

    U-N-H-C-R spokesman Philippe Lamair says it is not possible to rebuild the estimated 50 thousand destroyed houses of Kosovo before the cold weather sets in. But he says bureaucratic snags and border traffic delayed the program for several months. Now, Mr. Lamair says it's a race against the clock and the weather to provide immediate shelter for nearly 400 thousand homeless Kosovars.

    /// LAMAIR ACT ///

    First of all, you must imagine you have two thousand towns and villages with destroyed and damaged houses. There's only one port of entry - the border with Macedonia. It's a narrow road used by humanitarian traffic but also for K-FOR and personal cars, so there are sometimes traffic jams for 15 kilometers and sometimes trucks have to wait one, maybe 10 days.

    /// END ACT ///

    The emergency shelter kits, include tools, plastic sheeting and wood for temporary weatherproofing of at least one dry room for the winter. Many of the foreign aid groups are also helping widows and families not able to do the repair work themselves. U-N-H-C-R will also distribute more than 30 thousand stoves and enough firewood for 15 thousand families. Some aid groups are also providing sturdier roofing kits for larger, less damaged houses that could accommodate several families. And, there are contingency plans to house the remaining homeless in community centers if the temporary shelter kits are not enough. (Signed)
    NEB/LK/ALW/PLM 11-Oct-1999 05:27 AM EDT (11-Oct-1999 0927 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] E-U / MINISTERS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (LUXEMBOURG)

    DATE=10/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254874
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: European Union (E-U) foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg, have approved pilot projects to help two opposition-run towns in eastern Serbia meet their energy needs. V-O-A correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Luxembourg that the ministers made the decision despite a boycott of their meeting by many invited opposition figures.

    TEXT: It was not the picture the European Union foreign ministers wanted. They invited leading Serbian opposition figures to Luxembourg to unveil a limited lifting of their energy embargo against two opposition-run towns. The towns of Nis and Pirot in eastern Serbia will get oil deliveries for the winter, but leading opposition political figures stayed away. Vuk Obradovic did attend the meeting with the foreign ministers, but in his capacity as head of the Social Democrats, not as a representative of the Alliance for Change, the major opposition group (to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic). Others remained in Belgrade objecting to the ministers' statement as it was drafted and then adopted here. That statement calls for full cooperation with the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is one of those indicted by the Tribunal. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook accuses President Milosevic of intimidating those Serbs who stayed home.

    /// COOK ACT///

    I think for Milosevic to argue that it is treason to talk to the rest of Europe and to have dealings with European institutions demonstrates how desperately isolationist he is and what a menace he is to the people of Serbia. The point of today's meeting with the opposition was to demonstrate to the people of Serbia what is an offer to them from Europe if they can get rid of Milosevic and his anti-democratic policies.

    ///End Act///

    The European Union has refused to offer any reconstruction aid to Serbia until President Milosevic is removed from power. What it has done is to lift the E-U oil embargo against the cities of Nis and Pirot. They will get 25 thousand tons of heavy oil for heating this winter and one thousand 500 tons of diesel oil. If this project is successful, the deliveries will be broadened by the European Union to other opposition-run towns in Serbia. The European oil embargo has already been lifted against Montenegro and Kosovo. The Foreign Ministers say they will consider lifting their flight ban against Serbia at their next meeting. They also threaten to tighten the ban on European visas against leading figures in the Yugoslav and Serbian governments as well as their close collaborators. Although the foreign ministers have previously announced their energy for democracy plan, Nis and Pirot will be the first towns to benefit from it. If deliveries to those towns can be made directly to the municipalities without leaking (i.e. supplies going to) to the federal or republic authorities, the European Union may try to help other Serbian towns even if the opposition figures are not able to attend their meetings. (Signed)
    NEB/RP/GE/KL 11-Oct-1999 09:56 AM EDT (11-Oct-1999 1356 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] E-U MINISTERS / SERBIA (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (LUXEMBOURG)

    DATE=10/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254876
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: E-U foreign ministers -- meeting in Luxembourg have approved pilot projects to help two opposition-run towns in Serbia with their energy needs. V-O-A Correspondent Ron Pemstein in Luxembourg reports the foreign ministers took the decision despite a boycott of their meeting by many invited opposition figures.

    TEXT: Of the 29 Serbian opposition figures invited to meet E-U foreign ministers, fewer than half made the trip to Luxembourg. The foreign ministers went ahead with their plan to end the E-U oil embargo against two opposition-run towns in eastern Serbia. The two, Nis and Pirot, will receive heavy oil for heating, and diesel oil from the European Union to help them through the winter. If the pilot project is successful and the oil does not leak from the municipalities to the federal or republic governments, the E-U foreign ministers plan to loosen their oil embargo for other opposition-run towns in Serbia. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook put the best face on the Serbian boycott. He accuses Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic of intimidating the Serbs who refused to come to Luxembourg. The European Union calls for Serbs to cooperate with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The tribunal has already indicted President Milosevic.

    /// REST UNVOICED OPT ///

    The E-U foreign ministers say they will end their airline embargo against Serbia at their next meeting. But they also plan to tighten the ban on visas for leading Yugoslav and Serbian government figures. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/RAE 11-Oct-1999 10:41 AM EDT (11-Oct-1999 1441 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] E-U / ISRAEL (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (LUXEMBOURG)

    DATE=10/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254883
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: E-U foreign ministers have met with Israel's Foreign Minister David Levy in Luxembourg. Correspondent Ron Pemstein in Luxembourg reports the Israeli official and the E-U foreign ministers disagree about several matters, including Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

    TEXT: The election of Prime Minister Ehud Barak may have eased tensions between the European Union and Israel, but it has not removed European concerns about Jewish settlement building in territories disputed by the Palestinians. Israeli foreign minister David Levy had what was called a friendly luncheon with E-U foreign ministers at their meeting in Luxembourg. He told them the settlement building is legal because the previous government of Benjamin Netanyahu approved it. Finnish Foreign Minister Tarja Harlonen, speaking for the European Union, says the legality of the settlement activity is not the issue.

    /// HARLONEN ACT ///

    The political side is, of course, is that what people see in practice, so I am afraid that it is not enough that we fulfill so-called legal aspects, but we also must take this political side of the situation -- how the situation will form in practice.

    /// END ACT ///

    Other matters were discussed too. Ireland's Foreign Minister David Andrews complained about a group of Irish pilgrims that have been refused entry into Israel. Foreign Minister Levy says through an interpreter the pilgrims were suspected of planning a suicide mission.

    /// LEVY ACT W/ INTERPRETER ///

    I am sure you are aware as I am, of the existence of these groups that I am talking about. There are some groups, mystic groups, who are prepared even to commit suicide for their beliefs, and we want to rule out that possibility, that danger. Once we have done that, we will be able to resolve this.

    /// END ACT ///

    Austrian Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel approached Mr. Levy about Israel's threat to withdraw its ambassador from Vienna if Freedom Party leader Joerg Haider is included in Austria's next coalition government. Israel is concerned about Mr. Haider's anti-foreigner campaign and his past statements praising Nazi actions. Finish Foreign Minister Harlonen says this rightward trend is not limited to Austria.

    /// HARLONEN ACT ///

    The European Union has tried to be more active than ever concerning tolerance between the different kind of people. We have worked against anti-semitism, xenophobia, and racism. We have joined our efforts together with the United Nations and the Council of Europe. And I would say that different kinds of phenomenon, which are not in accordance with these targets, are appearing in different member countries.

    /// END ACT ///

    If Mr. Haider does enter an Austrian government coalition following his party's second place finish in elections, it is likely to be in coalition with Foreign Minister Schuessel's party. Mr. Levy told the Austrian Foreign Minister that Israel's good relations with Austria are sure to change if Mr. Haider joins the government. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/RAE 11-Oct-1999 12:38 PM EDT (11-Oct-1999 1638 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] SAF / E-U (L ONLY) BY ALEX BELIDA (JOHANNESBURG)

    DATE=10/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254879
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: South Africa and the European Union have signed a far-reaching free-trade agreement after resolving a last-minute dispute over product names. Correspondent Alex Belida reports from Johannesburg.

    TEXT: The deal is important for South Africa, lifting tariffs on 90-percent of its exports to member countries of the European Union, as well as tariffs on most future European exports to South Africa. But years of negotiations nearly came unstuck amid last-minute European demands for further guarantees related to South Africa's pledge to phase out the use of such traditional terms as "port" and "sherry" to describe some of its wine and spirit products. European producers have demanded exclusivity in the use of such names, arguing they can be applied only to products from particular areas. South Africa's ambassador to the European Union is quoted as saying his country did not give in to the last-minute European demands, but has agreed to a further dialogue on the issue. South African President Thabo Mbeki welcomed the signing but not until after criticizing the European Union for what he characterized as shameless selfishness. For his part, South African Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin condemned the European Union effort to introduce new conditions on the eve of the signing ceremony as -- disgraceful. The deal is to be implemented starting next year. Current two-way trade between South Africa and the E-U is estimated in value at more than 17-billion dollars a year. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BEL/JWH/RAE 11-Oct-1999 11:27 AM EDT (11-Oct-1999 1527 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] IRAN / GERMANY (L) BY SCOTT BOBB (CAIRO)

    DATE=10/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254881
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A court in Iran has handed down a verdict in the lengthy trial of a German businessman accused of having improper relations with an Iranian woman. However, the lawyer for the businessman says it does not appear his client will be released any time soon, as we hear from V-O-A Correspondent Scott Bobb at our Middle East Bureau in Cairo.

    TEXT: The lawyer for German businessman Helmut Hofer says bureaucratic complications have prevented the release of his client and new allegations mean he could face yet another trial. The lawyer, Nasser Taheri, told reporters in Tehran Monday the Iranian judge had ordered Mr. Hofer to pay a fine of 100 million rials, the equivalent of 35 thousand dollars. This sentence replaced an earlier penalty of 99 lashes and he said his client was prepared to pay the fine. However Mr. Taheri said it now appears Mr. Hofer will stay in jail because of allegations of suspicious contacts, a term often used by Iranian authorities to mean spying. These charges reportedly must be investigated by another court. The German businessman was arrested more than two years ago on charges of engaging in an adulterous relationship with an Iranian student. He was convicted and sentenced to death, but that penalty was overturned last February by a judge who ordered a retrial. The trial is one of several court cases that have strained relations between Iran and Germany, one of Iran's major European trading partners. In 1997, a German court implicated senior members of the Iranian leadership in an attack on a Berlin restaurant five years before in which four Iranian Kurds were killed. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/GE/JP 11-Oct-1999 11:44 AM EDT (11-Oct-1999 1544 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=10/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254889
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed today (Monday) in lackluster trading, although technology stocks were strong and the NASDAQ index closed at a record high. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-648, down one point. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-34, down one point. But the NASDAQ index closed at a record-high 29- hundred-16, up 29 points. Although many technology stocks were strong, overall trading volume was light. The bond market was closed because of the Columbus Day holiday in the United States, and many stock market traders took the day off as well.

    // OPT //

    Mark Donohue, who follows the stock market for the U-S Bank Corporation, says upcoming corporate earnings reports could set the near-term direction of the stock market.

    /// DONOHUE ACT ///

    Investors need to keep an eye on earnings releases coming out this month. That will set the tone. We will be able to get a sense of what will happen in the market in the next three to six months.

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

    Global Crossing, the Bermuda-based communications company, will pay more than one-point-six-billion dollars for the fiber-optic network of Racal Electronics of Britain. The deal will give Global Crossing a land network in Britain to match its extensive fiber network in the United States.

    /// REST OPT ///

    British Airways says it will buy up to 24 100-seat jetliners from Airbus Industries, the European consortium. The deal, worth almost one-billion dollars, seems to put in doubt the future of a competing aircraft from Boeing of the United States. Abbott Laboratories, the U-S-based pharmaceutical company, reported earnings in-line with Wall Street expectations. However, Abbott said its sales volume was hurt by the withdrawal from the market of a drug designed to break up blood clots. Gannett, the largest newspaper publishing chain in the United States reported better-than-expected earnings. Gannett's results helped push the stocks of other newspaper companies higher. The stock of Knight-Trimark, the largest broker-dealer in the NASDAQ stock market, dropped after the company warned its quarterly earnings will fall short of estimates. The company blamed a drop in trading by individual investors after big gains earlier this year. Potential strikes have been averted in two major parts of the North American auto industry. Tentative labor agreements were announced involving Ford Motor Company of the United States and Daimler-Chrysler of Canada. (Signed)
    NEB/BA/TVM/WTW 11-Oct-1999 16:42 PM EDT (11-Oct-1999 2042 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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