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From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>
 EDITORIAL: POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN ARMENIADATE=11/2/1999
THIS IS THE THIRD OF THREE EDITORIALS
BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 11/2/99.
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
Voice: Political violence recently struck at the
rule of law in Armenia. Gunmen seized control of
the Armenian parliament on October 27th. Eight
people were killed, including Prime Minister
Vazgen Sarksyan [vahs-GIN sarks-ee-AHN], Speaker
of the parliament Karen Demirchian [kah-RIN dem-
ur-chee-AHN], Deputy Speaker Youri Bakshian [yuhr-
ee bahk-shee-AHN], and government minister Leonard
Petrosian [leh-uh-NARD pet-roh-see-AHN]. Fifty
others were wounded in the attack. Millions of
stunned Armenians watched on television as their
country's leaders and top lawmakers were murdered
or held hostage for eighteen hours. The terrorists
are now in the hands of Armenian authorities.
Since achieving its independence in 1991 from the
Soviet Union, Armenia has suffered comparatively
little of the political violence that has ravaged
other newly independent states. In April 1998,
U.S. embassy guards safely disarmed a hand grenade
outside the residence of the U.S. ambassador. The
perpetrators have not been identified. Last
December, Deputy Minister of Defense Vahram
Khokhoruni [VAH rahm HOHK-hoh-roon-ee] was shot to
death outside his apartment in Yerevan [yer-ah-
VAHN]. The investigation into that shooting
President Bill Clinton said that the murder of
Prime Minister Sarksyan and other Armenian leaders
was "a real blow to that country and to that
region." He stressed that "the United States has
built strong ties with Armenia, focused on helping
the Armenian people build a prosperous, secure and
The struggle to establish Armenian democracy,
after decades of totalitarian rule, has been
difficult. And many Armenians believe that much
more has to be done. But only through democratic
institutions can the Armenian people achieve the
freedom, security, and prosperity to which they
No nation or people is entirely safe from the
threat of terrorism and political violence. But
democracies around the world have consistently
proven stronger than the enemies of democracy ever
imagined. Armenia's democracy should be no
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.
01-Nov-1999 15:04 PM EDT (01-Nov-1999 2004 UTC)
 MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY JON TKACH (WASHINGTON)DATE=11/1/1999
INTRO: China's continued crack down on members of the Falun Gong sect is among a wide range of topics discussed in U-S editorial pages this Monday. Other topics include the crash of an EgyptAir jet off the eastern U-S coast and the rise of the far right in Europe. Now, here is ______________ with a closer look, including some excerpts, in today's Editorial Digest.
TEXT: U-S editorial pages continue to condemn China's efforts to stamp out Falun Gong. Following last week's massive demonstrations across China by members of the group, The Christian Science Monitor praised, what it called, the group's courage. The paper also says the group poses Beijing's leaders their biggest opposition yet - though it says the crackdown will solve nothing. The paper writes:
VOICE: A loosely organized movement of millions of Chinese, Falun Gong, has no political agenda other than to protect itself. Yet the more it is suppressed, the stronger its faithful express their beliefs through peaceful public witness.
TEXT: In Baltimore, the Sun newspaper says Falun Gong poses no real danger to the regime. Instead, the paper says, Chinese leaders have chosen to attack the group to distract attention from China's other, more substantial, troubles.
VOICE: Real problems confront China. Getting into the World Trade Organization is one. Dealing with millions of unemployed in the cities is another. Staying connected to the growth of national sentiment on Taiwan is still a third. Nothing undermines confidence in the regime of Ziang Jemin more than its choice of the problem to seize by the throat (choice of the problem that it attacks). Moving to the west, a New York Times editorial explores the surges of, what it calls, far-right fringe parties in Europe. Last month, the Swiss People's Party and Austria's Freedom Party made huge gains in elections.
VOICE: These parties feature incoherent economic policy, a rejection of European integration and ugly attacks on foreigners. Mr. Blocher (the leader of the Swiss party) once lauded a book containing denials that the Holocaust took place - he has since said he did not read it first - and Mr. Haider (the Austrian leader) has praised SS veterans and Hitler's employment policies.
TEXT: While the paper says the gains by these men and their parties do not mean that the specter of Nazism is now haunting Europe, it does say the trend is worrisome nonetheless because it comes when the countries' economies are in good shape.
VOICE: It is unclear how much influence Mr. Blocher and Mr. Haider will actually have. Switzerland in particular has a political system built to resist shocks. But these parties and others on the far right have already influenced many European nations, through their effect on more traditional parties. The mainstream Christian Democrats in Switzerland and Germany have moved to the right on issues like immigration, in part out of fear of losing votes to the extremists. This in turn has affected the national climate. The far right victories in Switzerland and Austria could intensify the seepage of their views into the mainstream.
TEXT: But the paper concludes by saying that something good could come out of the victories.
VOICE: They could also have a healthy effect if they spur traditional parties to try harder to persuade voters that nationalism and isolation can only lead to decline.
TEXT: Leading its editorial pages, the national daily, U-S-A Today, mourns the loss of 217 lives in the crash of an EgyptAir flight early Sunday morning. The paper says the crash "leaves behind as many questions as mourners." The editorial says there can be no easy answers, but that the crash can serve as a measure of how well airlines and officials have responded to problems exposed by the similar crash of T-W-A flight 800 in 1996 also off the eastern U-S coast. The paper notes that just last week a U-S agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, accused airplane maker Boeing, whose planes were involved in both crashes, of failing to act on safety flaws. The agency says it pointed out problems with the fuel tanks of Boeing planes 16 years before the T-W-A crash. U-S investigators believe a fuel tank explosion brought down the T-W-A flight. USA Today criticizes both government regulators and Boeing for overlooking the problems.
VOICE: Rules for follow-through clearly will need tightening regardless of the cause of this crash. Such behavior merits severe penalties - both for those who leave fliers vulnerable and for regulators who fail to bring them in line.
TEXT: But, on what it calls a personal level, the paper says there have been signs of improvement.
VOICE: After the T-W-A crash, livid family members reported that airline officials delayed confirming the deaths of their loved ones for 12 hours. By contrast, the families of 185 passengers on flight 990 (the Egypt Air plane) had been notified by four P-M Sunday (the afternoon of the crash). Flight 990 could become a measure of federal and industry officials' new-found sensitivity.
TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of
commentary from the pages of Monday's U-S editorial
 N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)DATE=11/1/1999
INTRO: Stock prices were mostly down today (Monday) following last week's rally, in what analysts agreed was an uninspired trading session. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:
TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 81 points, less than one percent, closing at 10-thousand- 648. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell eight points to 13-hundred-54. The Nasdaq index gained a mere point - but enough to set a new record high. Analysts say the stock market was due for a bit of profit-taking in the wake of the huge rally last Thursday and Friday.
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Source: Voice of America
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