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Voice of America, 99-10-27

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] U-N BOSNIA (L ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [02] UNICEF / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [03] CLINTON / EU / WTO(L ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [04] GERMANY / TURKEY (L ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (BERLIN)
  • [05] IRAN / FRANCE VISIT (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [06] BRITAIN / LORDS (S-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] MCCAFFREY / BRUSSELS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [08] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [10] RUSSIA / BELARUS TREATY (L-ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [11] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

  • [01] U-N BOSNIA (L ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255544
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Coordinator of United Nations operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jacques Klein, said today (Wednesday) that while the general quality of law enforcement there has greatly improved, the problem of terrorism remains. At the United Nations, V-O-A Correspondent Breck Ardery reports.

    TEXT: Jacques Klein told reporters the U-N Mission in Bosnia is now focusing on its core mandate of improving the quality of police and the judicial system. He said that the overall level of security in Bosnia has improved greatly in terms of the way police respond to routine crime, but terrorism is still a major problem. Mr. Klein recalled last week's car bombing of Bosnian- Serb journalist Zeljko Kopanja, in which Mr. Kopanja was critically injured.

    /// KLEIN ACT ///

    This leads to the whole issue of the war criminal element in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I must tell you candidly from my perspective that the fact that [Mr.] Karadzic is still free, is still able to move around, is a terrible indictment of all of us in the international community.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Klein was referring to Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb President who has been indicted by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague for crimes against civilians. The U-N official said the fact that Mr. Karadzic remains free emboldens radical Serb separatists in Bosnia. However, Mr. Klein emphasized that tremendous progress has been made in Bosnia and that the U-N Mission there should not stop when, as he put it, "victory is in sight."(Signed) NEB/UN/BA/LSF/ENE/gm 27-Oct-1999 17:02 PM EDT (27-Oct-1999 2102 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] UNICEF / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255517
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, along with the Turkish government, has set up a number of special centers for children to help the young victims of Turkey's earthquake settle back into a normal life. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the centers are providing an estimated 30-thousand children with educational, recreational and health services.

    TEXT: The idea behind these so-called "child friendly" spaces is to meet the needs of children caught in emergency situations. The concept was first created for Kosovar refugees in Albania. In Turkey, these centers are seen as a temporary measure until something more permanent can be set up. Dozens of centers are functioning in the tent cities, which sprouted in the aftermath of Turkey's devastating earthquake. Margherita Amodeo of UNICEF says many of the tents provide recreational activities for children. Others offer health and hygiene facilities

    /// AMODEO ACT ///

    Another few tents house school activities and there are another bunch of tents for the psycho-social which is, on the one hand recreational interactive to identify any children who might have specific problems. And, on the other hand, the one-to-one counseling when the children need more assistance.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ms. Amodeo says the children are very resilient. She says most have rebounded well from the traumatic effects of the earthquake. But, some have not. She says UNICEF is working with members of the Turkish Psychologists Association to counsel the children and mothers. They are also training local health workers and teachers on how to deal with the special needs of trauma victims. Ms. Amodeo says the earthquake has totally disrupted the children's lives. She says these spaces give the children a sense of security.

    /// 2ND AMODEO ACT ///

    It's extremely important for these children to have these places to go to because at least it brings back some normalcy in their lives. And brings back the laughter and the joy in being able to interact with other kids and play. Even the fact of going back to school matters. Some kids might hate it under normal conditions. For them, it's also another feeling of going back to their normal life.

    /// END ACT ///

    The Turkish government is replacing the tent cities with so-called prefab cities. These are expected to be completed within the next two months. They will include mosques, shopping areas and communal washing areas. They will also offer many of the services currently provided in the child-friendly spaces. The prefab cities will have schools. They will have primary health care, psychological counseling and recreational activities. (Signed) NEB/LS/GE/LTD/KL 27-Oct-1999 10:31 AM EDT (27-Oct-1999 1431 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] CLINTON / EU / WTO(L ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255539
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, met with President Clinton at the White House Wednesday, and the two leaders agreed that the United States and the European Union would work together for a successful World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle, Washington next month. But the White House meeting did not resolve two thorny trade issues that Mr. Clinton fears could undermine the WTO talks. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports. Text: The most difficult issue between the United States and the European Union is hormone-treated beef imports, and there was little progress made on the matter during the hour-long meeting between Mr. Clinton and Mr. Prodi. The decade-old European ban on such imports led the United States earlier this year to impose 117 million dollars in punitive duties on a range of goods from European countries. Mr. Prodi emerged from the White House to tell reporters that EU nations - which have endured several recent food scares, from mad cow disease linked to British beef and illnesses resulting from tainted Coca-Cola - would not lift the ban until they are given ironclad assurances that hormone-treated beef is safe.

    /// PRODI ACTUALITY ///

    I told him this is a very sensitive subject. We need to give guarantees to our consumers that scientific control would be of the highest levels. I clearly explained what must be done before these markets are opened.

    /// END ACT ///

    Another difficult trade issue discussed was bananas. The United States imposed an additional 191 million dollars in sanctions on EU exports this year because the trading bloc failed to change its banana-import rules, which favor its former colonies in the Caribbean over U-S firms and Latin American exporters. U-S trade officials Wednesday say they offered several proposals to their EU counterparts to try to settle the matter. The WTO sided with the United States in both the banana and the beef disputes. But because both issues remain unresolved, Mr. Clinton expressed concern the issues could pose problems for next month's WTO meeting, which will launch a new round of global trade talks.

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY ///

    They are causing real trouble, not only between the United States and the European Union, but for our efforts to build a global trading system, because if there is an international body which is supposed to resolve these disputes, and you win, and then you win again, and then you win again, and nothing happens. It is very frustrating, and it undermines our ability to build support in the Congress and in the country, for a new trade round, which I think is very important.

    /// END ACT ///

    Still, Mr. Prodi assured Mr. Clinton the EU is committed to trying to resolve the issues, and he told reporters the EU and the United States would attend the Seattle talks with a much more coordinated agenda as a result of his White House visit. He says there is now a deeper understanding between the United States and the EU about tariffs, workers' rights, and ways to incorporate developing nations into a global free trade system, as well as on tariffs and workers' rights. (signed)
    NEB/DAT/KL 27-Oct-1999 16:14 PM EDT (27-Oct-1999 2014 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] GERMANY / TURKEY (L ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (BERLIN)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255513
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Germany will send one modern battle tank to Turkey's army for testing. But as Jonathan Braude reports from Berlin, the proposed sale of one-thousand of the German tanks will depend on an improvement in Turkey's human rights record.

    TEXT: The decision to permit the delivery of one tank to Turkey is a compromise -- worked out after days of angry debate between the two parties in Germany's coalition government. The smaller coalition party, the Greens, opposes the sale of arms to countries with poor human rights records. But Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his Social Democrats want Germany to be considered for Turkey's eight-billion-dollar purchase of about one-thousand tanks. About six- thousand German jobs are at stake. Under the compromise, the Greens agreed to accept the delivery of one German tank to Turkey. In return, the Social Democrats agreed to review Germany's human rights criteria for weapons sales. The compromise gives the Turkish military one year to test the German tank along with tanks from France, Italy, Ukraine, and the United States. By the time Turkey decides which of the tanks to buy, Germany could have tighter human rights criteria for weapons sales -- in line with the government's election promise of what it calls a more ethical arms trade policy. If Turkey decides to buy the German tank, it would have to show it has improved its human rights record. On a related question, Germany's federal security committee blocked the sale to Turkey of German technology for a tank-mounted howitzer gun. Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem refused to comment on the tank decision after discussions with Germany's foreign minister and deputy chancellor, Joschka Fischer. Mr. Fischer is a member of the Green party. But the pacifist wing of Mr. Fishcher's party is upset with the compromise, fearing delivery of even one tank could be the first step toward a full-scale sell-out of the ethical arms policy. Greens activists asked how Germany could justify going go war over human rights in Kosovo at the same time it is seeking to sell tanks to Turkey, a country they say is oppressing its Kurdish minority. For the moment, the Greens will not be leaving the government. And the assessment of Turkey's human rights record has been put off for at least one year -- until Germany completes the review of its weapons sales policies. (Signed) NEB/JB/JWH/LTD/KL 27-Oct-1999 08:34 AM EDT (27-Oct-1999 1234 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] IRAN / FRANCE VISIT (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255520
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Iran's President Mohammad Khatami is in Paris for the first visit by an Iranian head of state to France since the Islamic Revolution 20-years ago. Julian Nundy in Paris reports French police rounded up a number of Iranian dissidents to head off protests.

    TEXT: French police briefly detained 36 "Mujahideen" members of the Iranian dissident National Resistance Council. But hundreds of others managed to demonstrate in central Paris. Police said two-thousand protestors demonstrated, but organizers put the figure five-times higher. The protest coincided with the arrival of President Mohammed Khatami on a rare visit to the West. But, when the Iranian president, who has shown some signs of wanting to open up his country to the outside world, landed in Paris, the schedule of his three-day visit was abruptly changed. He had been planning to deliver a speech Thursday at the General Assembly of UNESCO -- the United Nations, Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization -- but UNESCO said this had been canceled. UNESCO did not explain the cancellation of Mr. Khatami's only public appearance, but French official sources said it was for security reasons. Iranian dissidents argue that executions, torture, and other human rights abuses have continued under President Khatami. French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin received Mr. Khatami immediately after his arrival. French officials said they plan to raise the human rights issue in their talks. They said France will stress its concern about the fate of 13-Iranian Jews who were arrested earlier this year, officially on suspicion of spying for Israel. Mr. Khatami's visit to France was originally planned for April. It was postponed after Iran objected to plans for an official dinner in the president's honor because wine would have been served. France refused to change its usual hospitality rules to meet the Islamic ban on alcohol. To get around the problem this time, the French foreign ministry has no plans for a dinner, but only a short reception at which what it calls, refreshments, will be offered. (SIGNED) NEB/JWN/JWH/LTD/RAE 27-Oct-1999 10:16 AM EDT (27-Oct-1999 1416 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] BRITAIN / LORDS (S-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255510
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Members of Britain's House of Lords have voted to abolish the historic right of hereditary peers to sit, and vote, in Parliament's second chamber. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London the House of Commons is expected to approve the bill, which passed through the House of Lords, by a vote of 221-to-81.

    TEXT: The vote was overwhelming in favor of ending more than 600-years of British tradition. But it did not come easily. There were hours of sometimes-bitter debate and an outburst by the son of a hereditary peer who accused the House of Lords of outright treason. After the vote, the leader of the House of Lords said simply -- it is time to say thank you and goodbye. More than half the House of Lords' 12-hundred-13 members have inherited their seats. Prime Minister Tony Blair has promised to modernize the system and end what he considers the undemocratic right of hereditary nobles who are not elected to sit, and vote, in the House of Lords. In the first phase of reform, 92-hereditary peers will be selected by secret ballot to remain until a revamped House of Lords is established. (SIGNED) NEB/LMK/GE/LTD/RAE 27-Oct-1999 07:18 AM EDT (27-Oct-1999 1118 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] MCCAFFREY / BRUSSELS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255530
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The U-S government's top anti-drug official has met with European Commission officials to discuss the growing cocaine problem in Europe. V-O-A Correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels that while drug seizures are up, so is the supply of illegal drugs.

    TEXT: Information provided by U-S officials indicates 120 to 180 tons of cocaine left South America for Europe during the last year. Seizures of the drug in the first six months of this year have already doubled all the cocaine seized last year. That is the good news. The bad news is that there are still 80 to 130 tons of cocaine available for consumption in Europe. The head of the White House's anti-drug effort, Barry McCaffrey, accompanied by the ambassadors to Belgium from Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru met with European Commission officials to encourage them to cut coca production by continuing to fund alternative development projects.

    /// McCAFFREY ACT ONE ///

    This European Union economic development support for the Andean ridge (countries), for the Caribbean is the right thing to do. It is making a difference and it is serving the self- interest of the European Union as well.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. McCaffrey praises the efforts of European Union members Spain and the Netherlands to crack down on cocaine smuggling. Spain and the Netherlands receive more than one-half of the South American cocaine entering Europe. The U-S anti-drug official says the patterns are clear.

    /// MCCAFFREY ACT TWO ///

    Fifty-seven percent of it, we say, is going to Spain and another large amount to the Netherlands -- the two main entry points of cocaine going into Europe. We are trying to follow this as closely as we can, cooperating of course with Interpol, Europol, and other national law authorities.

    /// END ACT ///

    At their summit meeting in Finland, European leaders agreed to use Europol, the European police force, in a new drive to stop money laundering. The leaders believe organized crime is behind the drug trade in Europe and they call for a new drive to trace and seize the proceeds of crime. The issue will be discussed Thursday in Lisbon when Mr. McCaffrey meets European Union anti -drug officials to discuss ways to stop the intensifying cocaine shipments to Europe. (Signed)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/KL 27-Oct-1999 13:19 PM EDT (27-Oct-1999 1719 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255545
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mostly up today (Wednesday). Until a late-day rush of buying, investors moved cautiously in advance of key data coming out (Thursday) on whether inflationary pressures still exist in the U-S economy. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 92 points, less than one percent, closing at 10-thousand- 394. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 14 points to 12-hundred-96. But the Nasdaq index finished on the minus side for a loss of three-tenths of one percent. Many Wall Street watchers expect the stock market's volatility to continue. Investment strategist Alan Bond believes the market actually is five to 10 percent undervalued. But he says uncertainty will likely keep many investors from taking advantage of buying opportunities:

    /// Bond Act ///

    People are constantly worrying about higher rates (interest rates), worrying about potential for higher inflation - we had the spike (rise) in gold and higher oil prices. And, of course, you compound that with Y2K (year 2000 issues) and it just makes investors a little fearful.

    /// End Act ///

    /// Begin Opt ///

    Quarterly earnings reports by U-S businesses are coming in mostly good. Many are beating expectations. But Mary Farrell - strategist for the Paine Webber brokerage firm - says interest rates are more important than corporate earnings in defining the look of the stock market:

    /// Farrell Act ///

    In the battle of interest rates versus earnings, interest rates overwhelm earnings in establishing stock market values. Last year, we had relatively flat earnings for the year. The market was up 28 percent because we had those rates coming down.

    /// End Act ///

    Yields on the 30-year government bond are over six percent - too high in the view of many experts.

    /// End Opt ///

    Economic news out Wednesday shows orders to U-S factories for big-ticket (expensive) manufactured goods fell more than one percent in September, held back by weaker demand for airplanes and cars. It was the first decline in five months.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    Shares in the E-Bay company plunged as much as 10 percent during the trading day. The largest internet auctioneer reported quarterly profits better than official Wall Street estimates. But some analysts wanted more. E-Bay had a six-fold increase of users at its on-line site. S-B-C Communications - the largest U-S local phone company that will join the Dow Jones Industrial Average Monday - showed a 17 percent jump in quarterly profits, based on strong growth in wireless and data services. Compaq, the world's largest maker of personal computers, showed little change in its earnings. Compaq apparently struggled with slowing demand and gave up some of its market share to competitors. Compaq sold fewer personal computers in the United States during the quarter than Dell - its main rival. And, Sony, the number two maker of consumer electronics, says its profits fell 12 percent on lower sales of its PlayStation video game machine. Sony also cut prices for mobile phones. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/JP 27-Oct-1999 17:22 PM EDT (27-Oct-1999 2122 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11533
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: A new president in Argentina and the implications from a defeat for the Peronists is a popular topics in Wednesday's editorial pages. The situation in East Timor, as the U-N tries to rebuild an independent nation there is also featured in many columns. There are also editorials about North Korea; finding justice in the U-S military shooting in South Korea during the Korean war; the new Palestinian access road between Gaza and the West Bank; and mourning the loss of golfer Payne Stewart. Now, here is __________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Long-time Argentine president Carlos Menem was replaced by Fernando de la Rua, the Mayor of Buenos Aires in last Sunday's presidential election. "The Los Angeles Times" praises what it describes as the "Orderly Transition in Argentina."

    VOICE: At a time when Latin American politics are resurrecting the caudillo, the strongman, in a handful of countries, the orderly change of power in Argentina is refreshing. About 24- million Argentines went to the polls on Sunday .sending a message to the rest of the continent that full-fledged democracy had returned to Latin America, at least in Argentina, a pivotal nation and the birthplace of Peronism, the militaristic politics that dominated Latin America for decades.

    TEXT: On the same philosophical path, "The Washington Post" adds:

    VOICE: Sunday's election in Argentina was not big news, which says a lot for the country's remarkable development. Until 1983 Argentina suffered under brutal military rule, and for several years thereafter a fragile democracy lived in the shadow of a restive army. . Now . Argentina has elected Fernando de la Rua, a low- key lawyer, and power is set to change hands amid remarkable tranquility.

    TEXT: On the other side of the world, the U-N task of creating a new, and tiny independent nation out of the ashes of East Timor, draws the attention of today's "Boston Globe".

    VOICE: There has never been anything quite like the reconstruction task the United Nations has accepted in the liberated, but devastated territory of East Timor. .. Daunting as the task of nation-building will be, it is fitting that the responsibility falls on the United Nations. Since Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year, the United Nations has properly refused to recognize Indonesian claims to sovereignty over the Timorese.

    TEXT: On New York's Long Island, "Newsday" sums up its feelings in this headline: "U-N's East Timor Experiment costly, Worthwhile:" adding:

    VOICE: .to succeed, it will need adequate funding. The early estimates are one-billion- dollars-a-year for at least three-years. And this is where the United States -- which owes the United Nations more than one-point-five- billion dollars in back dues, making it the largest deadbeat in the world body -- has an obligation to put its money where its good intentions have been.

    TEXT: Far to the North, on the Korean peninsula, more comment is generated on how to deal with the regime in Pyongyang, from today's "New York Times". The paper hails the recent policy review on North Korea, conducted by former Secretary of Defense William Perry, and says its recommendations should be tried.

    VOICE: The review, which was recently made public, calls for steps to engage Pyongyang diplomatically and economically, as well as to prepare for possible confrontation and conflict. That is the right mix, although there are no guarantees the North will respond appropriately. Still, the costs of any future military clash on the Korean Peninsula would be so heavy that it would be foolish not to give diplomacy every realistic chance to succeed.

    TEXT: In the South, attention continues on finding the truth about an alleged massacre of unarmed South Korean civilians by U-S Army troops during the Korean war. "The Los Angeles Times" ponders the question of offering immunity to ex-soldiers in return for testimony.

    VOICE: The argument against immunity is that some who might be guilty of what today would indisputably be seen and prosecuted as war crimes would escape punishment. The argument for immunity is the problem of relying on half- century-old memories to build a prosecutable case, and whether federal law as it existed in 1950 would even permit prosecution. It is a delicate issue involving, among other things, whether U-S authorities are prepared to go after their own citizens implicated in wartime atrocities with the same vigor that they go after others.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: "The Washington Times" takes up the case of Abdul Gani Lone, who has repeatedly been imprisoned by Indian authorities for supporting Kashmiri independence. Just having been in the United States for medical treatment, the U-S government says he will not be allowed back for treatment of a serious heart condition, because he discussed the Kashmiri independence issue while here. "The Times" is upset at the prospect of his arrest when back in India.

    VOICE: Mr. Lone was unable to get his visa renewed to complete his medical treatment in the United States. .India, by imprisoning this man, would send a message to the international community about a lack of respect for human rights and about India's preferred method of conflict resolution. Mr. Lone called India a "vast prison." Its government now has an opportunity to prove him wrong.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: There is praise for the newly-opened Israeli road link for Palestinians to travel between the West Bank and Gaza from "The Houston Chronicle".

    VOICE: In the fragile and long-suffering Middle East peace process, another milestone has been reached. The importance of Monday's opening of a safe-passage corridor linking the Gaza Strip and the West Bank cannot be overstated. It now is up to . both sides to ensure that the passage does not become the security threat to Israel that had so long been feared.

    TEXT: Domestically, there is more editorial comment about fashion photographer, Ron Harris, who has begun offering the eggs of several fashion models for sale on the Internet to prospective parents. "The Omaha World Herald" in Nebraska calls it an unhealthy idea. In Oklahoma, "The Tulsa World" describes it as "Infertility's worst nightmare." And "The San Francisco Chronicle" sums up:

    VOICE: Eugenics is a menacing game, and it relegates the creation of a family to a scientific experiment rather than the chaotic mix of emotion, love, receptivity, and nurturing that it is. Pity the poor child who fails to meet the comeliness expectations of parents who would rely on an offer like [that of Mr.] Harris'. The brave new world is here, with sperm banks, egg donors, and ads offering 50- thousand dollars for eggs from an athletic student from a top college. Infertile couples must make weighty moral and ethical decisions when they seek an egg or sperm donor.

    TEXT: Finally, sorrowful editorials in many papers at the bizarre death of champion U-S golfer Payne Stewart, killed in a private jet aircraft crash on Monday in South Dakota. One of them comes from The Augusta [Georgia] Chronicle in a city that annually hosts the Masters Golf championship.

    VOICE: To casual golf viewers, Mr. Stewart was the man in the colorful garb: kickers and a tam o'shanter hat. But to his fellow golfers, Mr. Stewart was a much-admired, much-liked but very fierce competitor. He played with grit and won with grace, said one admirer. . he was ranked eighth in the world .[at] his death. He credited his success to his faith in God. Mr. Stewart's passion for the game and his popularity with fans meant his death devastated his peers. "One of the most terrible tragedies of modern-day golf," commented legend Arnold Palmer.

    TEXT: On that sad note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Wednesday's daily papers.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 27-Oct-1999 11:45 AM EDT (27-Oct-1999 1545 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] RUSSIA / BELARUS TREATY (L-ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255522
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The president of Belarus has called for Russia to approve quickly a planned merger between the two countries. Moscow Correspondent Peter Heinlein reports Russian lawmakers responded warmly to the proposal.

    TEXT: In a fiery speech to Russia's lower house, the Duma, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko accused pro-western interests of trying to subvert the public demand for a merger between Moscow and Minsk.

    /// LUKASHENKO ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO... ///

    He says we are a nation strongly nostalgic for Soviet times. And we are proud of it. But at the same time, he added, I am not a Communist. Mr. Lukashenko, a former Soviet collective farm director, was presented with massive bouquets of flowers on his arrival at the Duma. His lengthy speech was frequently interrupted by applause from the Communist and hardliner dominated house, especially when he lashed out at western institutions.

    /// 2ND LUKASHENKO ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO...///

    He says why are you kneeling down before these thieves from the I-M-F? That is a reference to the International Monetary Fund, which has loaned Russia billions of dollars, but is withholding further loan installments pending the results of several corruption investigations. Mr. Lukashenko urged Russia to turn away from the I-M- F, and instead raise cash by selling sophisticated weapons systems. He specifically mentioned boosting arms sales to Middle Eastern countries such as Syria. Until recently, Moscow has treated Mr. Lukashenko's union overtures with caution. He and President Boris Yeltsin signed an agreement in 1996 boosting political, economic, and military ties. But the accord stopped far short of creating a single state. But the Belarussian leader said he has won President Yeltsin's solid support for signing a treaty as early as December. He warned that any further delay risks losing the people's faith in the concept of a unified Russian/Belarussian state.

    /// 3RD LUKASHENKO ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO...///

    He says -- I am fulfilling the will of my people. I will complete the mission by all means. Mr. Lukashenko did not mention it, but a treaty signing in December could have far-reaching implications for Russian politics. First, it would come shortly before parliamentary elections in which President Yeltsin's opponents are heavily favored. And second, opposition forces say the treaty could give Mr. Yeltsin an excuse to postpone elections and stay in power past the middle of next year, when he is due to step down. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/GE/RAE 27-Oct-1999 10:32 AM EDT (27-Oct-1999 1432 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [11] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=10/27/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255516
    CONTENT=
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    INTRO: Russian troops are pounding Chechnya's capital with rockets in the heaviest attack on the city since federal troops invaded the breakaway republic last month. Chechen officials say initial reports show several dozen civilians were killed and more than 100 injured in the attacks on Grozny. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports Russian President Boris Yeltsin says Moscow is determined to press ahead with the campaign.

    TEXT: News reports say large plumes of smoke could be seen over Grozny as Russian jets roared overhead. Houses in the eastern part of the city suffered damage, and civilians were reported to be hiding in basements and staying indoors. Others are said to be trying to flee, but the main route out of Chechnya has been blocked.

    /// OPT ///

    A Russian defense ministry press officer told V-O-A the ministry was looking into the reports but would make no further comment. /// END OPT /// Chechnya's President Aslan Maskhadov reported heavy fighting on the outskirts of Grozny, but said no Russian troops had entered the capital. Russian news programs say federal troops are only a few-kilometers away from Grozny and had completed their campaign to surround the city. Earlier Wednesday, Russian forces said they were focusing air and artillery raids on the eastern city of Gudermes, about 35-kilometers east of Grozny. Seizing Gudermes would be a major step towards full Russian control of eastern Chechnya, but the city is heavily fortified. A military spokesman says Russian forces had captured several villages in the region and were surrounding others. In Moscow, Russian President Boris Yeltsin called Chechnya a center of international terrorism that, in his words, must be destroyed once and for all.

    /// YELTSIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Yeltsin said Russian soldiers are bringing peace and order to the long-suffering Chechen land. He said the Russian troops are showing their courage -- in his words -- every hour, as they cleanse Chechnya of bandits. Russia began its campaign in the breakaway republic after Chechen militants led two raids into neighboring Dagestan in an attempt to establish an independent Islamic state. Russian officials say Chechen militants are also to blame for a series of deadly apartment bombings. Militant leaders have denied involvement in the bomb attacks and say the raids in Dagestan were a response to Russian attacks on villages. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/JWH/RAE 27-Oct-1999 09:41 AM EDT (27-Oct-1999 1341 UTC)
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    Source: Voice of America
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