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Voice of America, 99-10-22

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: The United Nations has begun a bus service in the Gnjilane area of Kosovo aiming to provide greater freedom of movement to the minority Serb population in the Yugoslav province. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the bus service is modeled on one that has been operating successfully in Bosnia-Herzegovina for years.

    TEXT: The U-N Refugee Agency inaugurated its bus service in Kosovo on Tuesday, and, says it is very pleased with the way things have gone so far. U-N refugee spokesman, Kris Janowski, says the buses link 14 hamlets and villages inhabited by Serbs. The two buses are driven by Danish Refugee Council drivers. Mr. Janowski says the trips passed without incident despite general tension in the area. He says this bus service has enabled Serbs to travel outside of their villages for the first time in months. It has allowed them, he says, to shop and see relatives in other villages.

    /// JANOWSKI ACT ///

    We're talking here (about) several thousand people in a number of villages. Sometimes small hamlets where you only have a few hundred people, mostly old people who are basically too scared to venture out even if they have their own vehicles or whatever. Sometimes, it's not very far. The villages are quite close. But, you have to go through a bit of territory populated by ethnic Albanians and they're too scared to do that.

    /// END ACT ///

    Although the project primarily benefits minority Serbs, Mr. Janowski says Albanians are welcome to use it. He says the buses are escorted by K-FOR peacekeepers to make sure they are not attacked. And, he says there are ethnic Albanian hostesses aboard in case there are any communications problems. He says there are plans to expand the bus service to other areas of Kosovo. The project resembles a very successful one in Bosnia- Herzegovina. That project operated 25 bus lines at its peak in 1998. The U-N Refugee spokesman says the buses were the only way many people in Bosnia were able to move around in areas of high ethnic tension. He says things have calmed down in many places and some of the bus lines in Bosnia have become commercialized. Mr. Janowski says he hopes the same thing eventually will happen in Kosovo. (Signed) NEB/LS/GE/LTD/JO 22-Oct-1999 13:23 PM EDT (22-Oct-1999 1723 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: President Clinton's national security advisor, Samuel Berger, is (Thursday) warning isolationism is on the increase among U-S legislators. Mr. Berger says the trend threatens to reduce U-S security and influence, as we hear from correspondent Max Ruston in New York.

    TEXT: Mr. Berger came to New York to make what his aides described as a major foreign policy address. The focus of his address was the rise of isolationism among U-S legislators, who -- he says -- are becoming increasingly reluctant to involve the United States in foreign affairs.


    In effect, they believe in a survivalist foreign policy -- build a fortified fence around America and retreat behind it. And if other nations complain that we are abdicating our responsibilities or if they start abdicating their own, let them, because we are stronger and richer than they are. As the president said last week, that is a recipe for a bleak, poor, less secure world.

    /// END ACTUALITY ///

    Mr. Berger's strongest criticism dealt with the U-S Senate's recent rejection of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The treaty, if ratified by a list of 44 nuclear-capable states worldwide, would outlaw all nuclear weapons tests. The supposed isolationism of the Congressional- majority Republicans has been a key theme of leading Democrats, in recent days, and promises to be an issue in the coming elections. Republicans say the issue is a straw horse (fabrication). They say they oppose the test ban treaty because it does not protect U-S interests. Mr. Berger, in his speech to the private Council on Foreign Relations, dismissed those concerns. He says treaty opposition reflects a trend towards isolationism by a dominant minority of the U-S Congress. He says the dominant minority is against treaties in general -- not just the nuclear test ban treaty. He says it is that attempt to withdraw from involvement in international affairs that poses the greatest threat to U-S security.


    History teaches us that this moment of preeminence for America may be fleeting. Common sense tells us it will not be self-sustaining. That may be hard for many people to imagine, in part because there is no real threat to our power in the world today. But there is a very real threat to our authority. It lies in the impulse to withdraw from the world in a way that would squander our advantages, alienate our friends, diminish our credibility, betray our values, and discredit our example.

    /// END ACTUALITY ///

    Mr. Berger says that to reverse this trend the U-S Congress must become more involved in world affairs by seizing what he calls historic opportunities in Kosovo, South Asia, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Nigeria, and other places. (Signed)
    NEB/UN/MPR / WD 22-Oct-1999 00:29 AM EDT (22-Oct-1999 0429 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The United States has strongly protested the bomb attack against a leading Bosnian Serb independent journalist. Correspondent Larry Freund reports from New York.

    TEXT: The U-S ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, told reporters the attack against editor Zeljko Kopanja is one of the most cowardly acts since the war in Bosnia ended four years ago. Authorities in the city of Banja Luka say Mr. Kopanja lost both his legs when a bomb went off as he entered his car outside his residence. Mr. Kopanja is the editor of a newspaper that has printed a series of articles on Serb atrocities during the Bosnian conflict. They included accounts of war crimes against Muslims and Croats. Ambassador Holbrooke, who negotiated the Dayton peace agreements ending the fighting in Bosnia, said Mr. Kopanja was a journalist reporting the truth in Banja Luka.

    /// Holbrooke actuality ///

    The attempt on his life is despicable and comes from the same forces of corrupt, dark racism that caused the war to begin with. Nothing can undo the damage to him personally. And we pray for his recovery. But the people who did this are not going to win. We will be in touch with the people who care about creating a peaceful Bosnia to see how we can help them further. I cannot tell you how outrageous this is. But I can stress again: the people who did it will not win.

    /// End actuality ///

    Ambassador Holbrooke said the people who carried out the car bomb attack against the journalist will be hunted done and brought to justice. Police say they are investigating the attack, but have released no information on possible suspects. (Signed) NEB/NY/LSF/ENE/JP 22-Oct-1999 16:08 PM EDT (22-Oct-1999 2008 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    THIS IS THE FIRST OF THREE EDITORIALS BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 10/25/99. Anncr: The Voice of America presents differing points of view on a wide variety of issues. Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Ethnic hatred and intolerance are threatening to consume Kosovo. This month, a United Nations employee was mobbed, beaten and then shot in the head after speaking Serbian to a group of Kosovar ethnic Albanian teenagers. Thirty-eight-year-old Valentin Krumov of Bulgaria had only been on the job one day when he was ambushed. In light of such incidents, it is clear that restoring ethnic harmony in Kosovo will be no easy task. First, there was the brutal eighteen-month crackdown by Serbian forces. An estimated ten- thousand ethnic Albanians were killed and hundreds of thousands were forced to flee to neighboring countries. Weeks of NATO bombing finally forced Serbian troops and police to withdraw from Kosovo in June. Now, some of the returning ethnic Albanian refugees have attacked Serbs in revenge for the persecution they suffered. Individual acts of brutality cannot, of course, be equated with official campaigns of ethnic cleansing like the one launched by Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. It was that campaign against Kosovo's ethnic Albanians that led to the current trouble. Nevertheless, the conflict in Kosovo is not just between Serbs and ethnic Albanians. It is between tolerance and intolerance. In a recent editorial, the ethnic Albanian newspaper Koha Ditore warned that, "From having been victims of Europe's worst end-of-century persecution, [ethnic Albanians] are becoming persecutors. . . . The intensity of violence has generated a desire for vengeance. This, however, is no justification." In response, Kovopress, the official news agency of the interim government, responded by calling the editor and publisher of Koha Ditore "pro-Serb vampires." This sort of thing, to say the least, is not helpful. The only chance for peace in Kosovo is tolerance. Hatred only breeds more hatred and unending violence. The U-N is in Kosovo to help rebuild the country and lay the groundwork for democratic elections and a market economy. But the U-N's best efforts cannot succeed unless all the ethnic groups in Kosovo choose peace. As U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has said, victory in Kosovo must be the victory of those who believe in the rights of the individual over those who do not. Otherwise, it is not victory. It is merely changing one form of repression for another. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-voa-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. 22-Oct-1999 10:02 AM EDT (22-Oct-1999 1402 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America




    INTRO: The case of Maurice Papon -- a convicted war criminal arrested Thursday night in Switzerland, where he was trying to evade a 10-year French jail sentence is just one of a series of judicial proceedings to make headlines in Paris over the past week. As Julian Nundy reports, fraud or officials' refusal to take responsibility for their actions seems to be a main theme in all the cases.

    TEXT: The decision by former French government minister Maurice Papon to boycott an appeal of his 10- year jail sentence brought welcome relief for other defendants in French courts this past week. Before Mr. Papon was arrested in Switzerland Friday, a series of other proceedings seemed to highlight cases of corruption in high places, or of refusal of defendants to take responsibility for their actions. One case involved a Catholic priest in charge of a summer camp last year. He apparently forced young boys to go sailing in the Atlantic, even though qualified sailing schools had abandoned the sport that day because of bad weather. Four boys, aged between 12 and 16, drowned. So did a man who tried to rescue them. Father Jean-Yves Cottard, who waited six hours before raising the alarm on the day of the accident, said in court that his subordinate and the boys themselves were to blame for the tragedy. Then, Jacques Crozemarie, chairman of the best-known cancer charity in France, was given a four-year sentence for embezzling donations. The court heard tales of his high-living lifestyle, of kickbacks from companies associated with his charity and of abuse of funds - often donations from families with first-hand experience of cancer. In another trial, Xaviere Tiberi, wife of the mayor of Paris (Jean Tiberi), was charged with accepting the equivalent of 33-thousand dollars for a report funded by taxpayers. It happened that the report was copied from an academic journal. Mrs. Tiberi wound up in court even though she returned the money. The court heard that her husband, the mayor, devised the way of giving her extra cash. She denied all wrong-doing. Then came Maurice Papon, who fled into Switzerland rather than face his appeals hearing Thursday. He was allowed free movement between the verdict in his original trial last year and the appeal. Papon was convicted for complicity in the deportation of 16- hundred Jews to Nazi death camps during World War Two. The Papon case raised questions for observers of the judicial system about the competence of France's judicial machine and of the police. French media commentators said "a coincidence of the judicial calendar" -- bringing together four such distasteful cases - produced a strange image of people in authority in France. For some, the combination underlined a need -- not just for law reform, but for new and more honest faces at the top. (Signed)
    NEB/JN/GE/WTW 22-Oct-1999 13:22 PM EDT (22-Oct-1999 1722 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Wall Street ended a volatile trading week with a Friday rally. Stock prices in the United States were up today (Friday), boosted by strength in the financial sector. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 172 points, closing at 10-thousand-470. The Dow gained more than four percent for the week. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 18 points to 13-hundred-one. And the Nasdaq index gained one-half of one percent. After a lackluster morning session, trading picked up. Investors started buying some bargains to end a difficult week. They also rewarded U-S businesses with better than expected quarterly earnings. So far, the majority of corporations turning in profit reports have beat estimates.

    // BEGIN OPT //

    Wall Street bulls and bears (optimists and pessimists) continued their debate over the direction the stock market would take for the rest of the year. Investment strategist Alan Skrainka believes all signs point to the market going up from here, no matter what the U-S central bank decides to do about short-term interest rates next month:

    // SKRAINKA ACT //

    There's a lot of worry and uncertainty that's already reflected in stock prices. Forty percent of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange are down 30 percent or more. Fifty-two percent of the stocks on Nasdaq are down 30 percent or more. And most stocks are down on the year on the New York (stock exchange). And what could happen is the Fed (Federal Reserve Board) comes in and raises rates November 16. All the economists agree this is the last one for a while and the market takes off.

    /// END ACT ///

    // END OPT //

    Banking and financial stocks showed strength on the news that U-S legislators in Washington have reached agreement on a bill that could tear down barriers between banks, brokerage houses and insurance companies. This would make mergers among these institutions easier.

    //REST OPT//

    U-S computer giant I-B-M regained some ground Friday after its shares plunged 23 dollars the day before on earnings warnings associated with year-2000 issues. Gillette - the world's largest maker of razor blades - gave a mixed picture on its earnings. It said its third-quarter was better than expected but next quarter profits will fall as the company pares down excess inventory. Company officials say recovery is slower than expected in the emerging markets of Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe. Gillette is also considering selling its stationery-products businesses such as Paper Mate and Parker pens, which have depressed earnings. There's another big deal in the telecommunications industry. Deutsche Telekom - Europe's biggest phone company - is buying the wireless assets of U-S based MediaOne Group in Poland, Hungary and Russia for two- billion dollars. This will increase Telekom's profits in small but fast-growing markets. Telekom says the acquisitions will give it two and one-half million customers. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/KL 22-Oct-1999 17:03 PM EDT (22-Oct-1999 2103 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The withdrawal of Elizabeth Dole from the U-S presidential campaign is the overwhelming choice of editorial writers as a topic of comment this Friday. A close second is the election of new leaders in Indonesia. Other topics include early reaction to the Russian bombing of Chechnya, a debate over the future of a small Puerto Rican island, the budget battle between Congress and the White House showing signs of resolution, an increasingly stingy United States in terms of foreign aid, and dealings with the Russians on various arms control treaties. Now, here is ___________ with a closer look and some excerpts, in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: There is a fair diversity of opinion on Elizabeth Dole's withdrawal from the Republican Party field of presidential candidates. Some newspapers echo her complaint that so much money is needed to run a campaign and that George W. Bush has siphoned off so much of it as front runner there is not enough left. Others decry that reasoning, and suggest Mrs. Dole's campaign lacked a clearly articulated message and any reasons for voters to chose her as their candidate. We begin with The St. Petersburg [Florida] Times which sums up:

    VOICE: Elizabeth Dole can't blame the failure of her presidential bid entirely, or even mostly, on a relative lack of money. She also lacked organization and a compelling message. . [Mrs.] Dole would have attracted far more money - and more grass-roots support - if she had offered a stronger message and run a more organized campaign.

    TEXT: The Houston [Texas] Chronicle says her exit "does little to change the dynamics of the campaign." But, what could be called Mrs. Dole's hometown newspaper, The Kansas City [Missouri] Star, laments that her withdrawal:

    VOICE: . is an ominous sign of the negative impact that big money is having on the campaign for our highest office. . [Texas Governor and leading candidate George W.] Bush . has received 57-million dollars compared with [Mrs.] Dole's five million in contributions .

    TEXT: In one of the most negative reactions, The Manchester [News Hampshire] Union Leader remarks:

    VOICE: Though we never understood what Elizabeth Dole added to the presidential debate beside an X- chromosome [Editors: the genetic component unique to females], the premature exodus of candidates from the Republican field is truly regrettable. But the reason cited by [Mrs.] Dole for dropping out - that she couldn't raise the money to win - is a canard. She had every institutional advantage going for her - oodles (a large number) of potential donors from her husband's 1996 bid, the Red Cross charity, fabulous name recognition, and yes, the magic gender wand. . Campaign organization was not [Mrs.] Dole's forte either and that's a skill all the money in politics can't buy. The Dole camp was rarely able to answer a question without turmoil and some of its most talented staffers . walked away in frustration months ago.

    TEXT: Still with presidential politics, but far away in the South Pacific now, as more newspapers react to the election, by the Indonesian legislature, of Abdurrahman Wahid as president, and Megawati Sukarnoputri as vice president. Says today's San Francisco Chronicle, the election:

    VOICE: . is a hopeful sign for the populous archipelago's fractious and uncertain transfer to democracy. The daughter of Indonesia's founding president, Sukarno, Megawati was elected and sworn into office a day after losing the presidency to the ailing Muslim cleric, Abdurrahman Wahid ... Her supporters are confident Megawati will succeed the frail president, who is nearly blind, has suffered two strokes and who many doubt will survive his five-year term.

    TEXT: In the Midwest, The Chicago Tribune sees several positives to the voting, despite the street violence that gripped several cities when Ms. Sukarnoputri was denied the top job.

    VOICE: The country adhered to the constitution. The military stood aside. An uneasy transition to democracy is under way in the world's fourth most populous nation. In large part, the people decided.

    TEXT: Taking a more cautious view is The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, which reminds readers:

    VOICE: . even if [Mr.] Wahid is as intellectual and as skilled at consensus-building as reported, that doesn't necessarily mean he can turn around the economy. Nor can it be taken for granted that he will be able to end the separatist violence that has engulfed his ethnically diverse archipelago - although he seems better positioned to do it then were either (former {President B.J.) Habibie or widely disdained former long-time dictator Suharto.

    TEXT: Today's New York Times is furious about Russia's bombing of civilian zones in the Chechen capital of Grozny, calling it gruesome.

    VOICE: The gruesome bombing of a marketplace and maternity hospital yesterday in Grozny is the latest tragedy in what is becoming Russia's second full-blown war with Chechnya since the end of the Soviet era. The first war, which began five years ago, was a disaster for both tiny Chechnya and gigantic Russia, with Chechnya left charred and angry while the Russian military was humiliated by its own incompetence. The second war will not only devastate Chechnya. It will also paint a portrait of the new Russia that looks ominously like the old.

    TEXT: Back in this hemisphere, a dispute between the government of the U-S Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U-S Navy over the fate of a small island used as a military bombing range is drawing a good deal of attention. The Detroit Free Press feels the "Navy should find another bombing range."

    VOICE: Vieques, pronounced vee-ECK-ess, is a tiny island off the east end of Puerto Rico that has suddenly become a big deal. Vieques has 93-hundred inhabitants, U-S citizens all, who share space with the U-S Navy. The Navy land includes a 364 hectare practice bombing range. In April, an errant bomb killed a Puerto Rican civilian working for the Navy and injured four other locals. Protesting residents have since occupied the range to stop further bombing. Puerto Rican leaders, who hadn't said much about the bombing in the 58 years it has been conducted, now want it stopped forever. The Navy . wants to resume using the range, which before April was accident-free. . this knotty problem may not be resolved entirely on its merits. But it should be. The Atlantic is a big ocean. Lots of islands. Not all of them have people.

    TEXT: Another solution, says The Chicago Tribune, would be to buy the whole island, which the big Midwest daily feels is workable.

    VOICE: The Navy controls about 89-hundred of Vieques' 13-thousand-354 hectares. The obvious solution would be to buy the rest, something the Pentagon's 267- billion dollar budget ought to be able to handle. But purchasing the island was not the recommendation of the presidential panel that just finished studying what the Navy should do to satisfy Puerto Rican protesters who claim the live-fire exercises pollute the environment and endanger the lives of Vieques' 93- hundred civilian residents.

    TEXT: Turning to the U-S federal budget, which has still not yet been completed for the fiscal year that began October first, The Fort Worth [Texas] Star- Telegram is not amused with the delay.

    VOICE: If members of Congress can't produce a budget in a timely fashion, we should dock their pay. . If they were in the private sector, they would have been fired or seriously reprimanded by now. . We're already three weeks into the new fiscal year, and the impasse continues between the president and Republican leaders, with each side manipulating figures and producing smoke screens in order to take credit for not dipping into the Social Security surplus.

    TEXT: From the New Jersey capital, comes more criticism of the nation's lawmakers. The Trenton Times comments on the continuing reductions in U-S foreign aid.

    VOICE: The foreign operations bill approved by the Republican Congress early this month deserved the veto that President Clinton cast Monday. It represents a cut of one-point-nine billion dollars - 15 percent - in the bare-bones budget the president had submitted. As columnist Thomas Friedman put it in a devastating critique on this page yesterday: "Out of every dollar spent by the U-S government each year, about one penny goes to pay for our embassies and diplomats abroad, democracy support programs, denuclearizing Russia, foreign loans and foreign aid. One penny. The Republicans now want to take that penny and cut it back more. . and most ominous for this country's long- term security, it contains no money for a State Department program designed to employ Russian nuclear scientists in commercial fields so they won't be hired by rogue states like Iran and Iraq. What folly.

    TEXT: Back overseas, and the issue of dealing with Russia on various arms control treaties, today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette expresses exasperation. The newspaper points out that even though the Soviet Union ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972, it then went ahead and built a Siberian radar station in direct violation of the accord. So what is the use of signing more treaties with Moscow, the paper seems to ask.

    VOICE: One suspects the ironies have just begun. Soon, no doubt the U-S Senate's [recent] refusal to ratify the [Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban] treaty will be denounced by other peace-loving regimes in communist China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea . all members in good standing of the United Nations, the organization that has the ultimate responsibility for enforcing this nuclear test ban. . No doubt the U-N will do as good a job enforcing this treaty as it did presiding over the carnage in Bosnia, or overseeing peace and security after the election it held in East Timor. And remember what a grand job it did preventing the expulsion and massacres in Kosovo until, yes, the United States and our allies finally intervened. . That's the worst thing about such paper promises: They're taken seriously only by the naive.

    TEXT: And finally, some concerns in a lighter vein from The San Francisco Chronicle about the prospect of cloning a wooly mammoth from the 20-thousand year-old preserved carcass found in Siberia.

    VOICE: The recovery of the specimen from permafrost in Arctic Siberia will not only give researchers a chance to learn more about the woolly mammoth, it could also provide new insights into the planet's climate then. Those tasks alone should keep scientists busy for years. . Our only concern is with all the giddy talk about trying to clone the mammoth or to artificially inseminate a modern-day elephant. Do we really want to bring a woolly mammoth back to life - or, heaven forbid, try to raise a whole herd? Certainly the woollies will get the worst of the deal in returning to a planet now overrun with six-billion people. ..

    TEXT: And on that note, we conclude this sampling of opinion from Friday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/JP 22-Oct-1999 12:24 PM EDT (22-Oct-1999 1624 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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