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Voice of America, 99-12-08

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] U-N-H-C-R / YUGOSLAVIA (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [02] PRODI / EUROPE SUMMIT (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] BRITAIN / CHECHNYA (L-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [04] CLINTON - CHECHNYA (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [05] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) BY OWEN FAY (MOSCOW)
  • [06] NY ECON WRAP (S & L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [07] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] U-N-H-C-R / YUGOSLAVIA (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=12/8/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256964
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The head of the U-N refugee agency is warning of, what she calls -- a never-ending cycle of refugees in the former Yugoslavia -- unless revenge attacks and humanitarian violations stop. Lisa Schlein reports from Geneva.

    TEXT: The U-N refugee agency chief, Sadako Ogata, says the situation for the ethnic-Albanian majority in Kosovo has improved. She says they no longer face the massive violations of human rights to which they were subjected before and during the Kosovo war. But Ms. Ogata says these former victims of abuse are seeking revenge on their Serbian neighbors and on Kosovo's gypsy population, which they believe collaborated with the Serbs.

    /// OGATA ACT ONE ///

    The harassment, murder, expulsion, and flight of non-Albanian minorities continues. This is in stark contrast to one of the declared purposes of the international intervention, which was to preserve the existence of a multi-ethnic society in Kosovo. Returning refugees must not become the new perpetrators of abuse, or the refugee cycle will indeed be unending.

    /// END ACT ///

    The U-N refugee agency estimates up to 200-thousand ethnic Serbs have fled Kosovo to other parts of Yugoslavia. This brings the total number of refugees and displaced people in Yugoslavia to more than 700- thousand, making it one of the largest refugee-hosting countries of the world.

    /// OPT ///

    Ms. Ogata says the situation of these people continues to deteriorate. She says urgent humanitarian assistance will go on in the area. But, she says her agency hopes to have other specialized agencies and regional organizations take over longer- term rehabilitation and reconstruction. /// END OPT
    ///
    Ms. Ogata says that in Bosnia and Croatia, the return and reintegration of refugees and displaced people have progressed more slowly than anticipated. She says almost two-million people continue to live away from their homes throughout the region. She says insecurity and unresolved property issues are two factors preventing people from returning home.

    /// OGATA ACT TWO ///

    The most serious obstacle, however, is now clearly the lack of jobs. The time has come to examine seriously the issue of economic opportunities. Both in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, young people are not returning to areas where there is no employment, no opportunity to bring up families, and no non- discriminatory schools or hospitals.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ms. Ogata is calling for a job creation initiative in areas previously hit by inter-ethnic violence. She says the project should be linked to ethnic coexistence and should provide equal opportunities to members of different communities. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/JWH/ENE/RAE 08-Dec-1999 08:50 AM EDT (08-Dec-1999 1350 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] PRODI / EUROPE SUMMIT (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/8/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256969
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: European leaders are gathering in Helsinki for what is being called "the enlargement summit." V-O-A correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels that the big question in Finland still centers on Turkey's effort to become a candidate for European Union membership.

    TEXT: Every European Union country except Greece agrees it is time to invite Turkey as a candidate for membership. They all agree that Turkey has not met all the human rights conditions to begin negotiations for membership. But most express confidence that those political conditions can only improve if Turkey is welcomed as a candidate. Greece wants to see more signs that Turkey is ready to resolve the dispute over Cyprus. Prime Minister Costas Simitis does not want to face the Greek voters next year looking weak on Turkey. Greece could still use its veto when European leaders discuss enlargement when they meet Friday. The Greek rime minister plans to arrive in Helsinki one day earlier (Thursday) to meet Finland's prime minister to discuss how Greece can avoid isolation in the European Union without looking foolish at home. European Commission President Romano Prodi says he voted to accept Turkey as a candidate in 1997 when he was Italian Prime Minister, but that he was in the minority. He tells reporters he does not think Greece will block Turkey this time.

    /// Prodi Act ///

    I have no hint that the situation could deteriorate in these two days. I know that there are very productive and a deep exchange of views between the Turkish and the Greek governments on Cyprus and even on this subject I am confident there will be no obstacles on that.

    /// End Act ///

    Turkey has applied to join the European Union since 1987, but Turkish officials are concerned about the wording of this invitation. It does not want the Turkish invitation to vary significantly from the invitations that will be given to six other new applicants in Helsinki - Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Malta. Turkey does not want the conditions for its negotiations to be based on a settlement in divided Cyprus. The European Union has already begun membership negotiations with the government of Cyprus. If Turkey is accepted as a candidate, the European Union's potential membership could be 25 by the middle of the next decade. Another job for the European leaders in Helsinki will be to set up an inter- governmental conference next year to prepare the Union's procedures to accept a larger membership. Among the changes needed are those concerning decision-making. A union of 25 will have to do away with vetoes and allow decisions to be made by a qualified majority instead of unanimously. President Prodi says he will suggest starting the conference in February and finishing it by the end of next year. That will allow time for the changes to be ratified by all 15 governments, so enlargement could begin by the start of 2003.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    The leaders in Helsinki must also deal with a consequence of their requirement for unanimous decisions. Britain has been resisting pressure from the other members for a single tax system on savings in all 15 countries. Britain wants to exempt London's international bond market from this tax. In an effort for a compromise, Finland and the European Commission are offering to require only the reporting of names and addresses of investors to be revealed to finance officials - a procedure already used to prevent money laundering in the European Union. British officials say this proposal is a step in the right direction, but it has to be studied. (Signed) NEB/RP/GE/LTD/JP 08-Dec-1999 11:03 AM EDT (08-Dec-1999 1603 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] BRITAIN / CHECHNYA (L-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/8/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256958
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Britain says it appears Russia is responding to international condemnation of its military assault in the breakaway republic of Chechnya and the threat to withdraw much-needed financial aid. Laurie Kassman reports from London.

    TEXT: British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told British radio that Moscow is responding to Western criticism and threats of isolation.

    /// COOK ACT ONE ///

    We now have the interior minister saying they will not close safe corridors as they threatened to do. And the general has said he did not intend the threat to be aimed at the civilian population.

    /// END ACT ///

    Political analysts have complained the international community is showing a weak hand in dealing with the Russian crisis. Mr. Cook promises to raise the issue of economic sanctions at the European Union summit at the end of the week if Russia does not back away from its evacuation ultimatum as promised.

    /// COOK ACT TWO ///

    If Russia wants to come into the modern world, and we want to help it to do so, it does also have to abide by the standards of that modern world.

    /// END ACT ///

    Moscow has not shown any intention of diminishing its military offensive in Chechnya, despite Western complaints about an exaggerated use of force to deal with terrorism there. The 52-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently called for Moscow to resolve the crisis through political negotiations. The current O-S-C-E chairman is to visit Chechnya to see how the organization might contribute to a peaceful solution. (SIGNED) NEB/LMK/JWH/ENE/RAE 08-Dec-1999 08:07 AM EDT (08-Dec-1999 1307 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] CLINTON - CHECHNYA (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=12/8/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256988
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Clinton says he does not believe ending U-S aid to Russia over Moscow's military campaign in Chechnya is in the U-S interest, although he says he does not believe the Russian effort will succeed. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the White House. Text: Just days before the European Union is expected to use a summit in Helsinki to consider economic action against Moscow for its bloody campaign in Chechnya, Mr. Clinton says he does not believe cutting off aid to Russia is in the U-S interest. He noted that U-S assistance is supporting Russian efforts to dismantle its nuclear arsenal and democratic reform - efforts Washington does not want to see jeopardized. At a wide-ranging news conference Wednesday, Mr. Clinton also noted that Russia's veto power in the United Nations Security Council would rule out any sanctions through that body. And on whether the United States would withhold support for International Monetary Fund loans, Mr. Clinton responded that it was not an issue at the moment, as Russia had failed to meet economic conditions demanded by the I-M-F for receiving another installment on a four-point-five billion dollar loan. But Mr. Clinton warned Russia that international support could erode if its campaign in Chechnya continues.

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY ///

    The continuation of it, and the amassing of hundreds of thousands of refugees, who will have to be cared for by the international community, will further alienate the global community from Russia, and that is a bad thing, because they need support - not just from the I-M-F and the World Bank, they need investors, they need people to have confidence in what they are doing.

    /// END ACT ///

    Russia defends its mission in Chechnya as necessary to root out Islamic insurgents. But Mr. Clinton - increasingly concerned about the mounting civilian casualties - said the people of Chechnya should not be punished for the actions of the rebels. (Signed) Neb/dat/gm 08-Dec-1999 17:55 PM EDT (08-Dec-1999 2255 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) BY OWEN FAY (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/8/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256960
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Widespread international condemnation of Russia's bombardment of Chechnya may be having some effect. After delivering what amounted to an ultimatum to the residents of Chechnya's capital, Grozny, Russia now says it is just warning civilians to leave in order to guarantee their safety. Owen Fay reports from Moscow.

    TEXT: Russia's Interior Minister, Vladimir Rushailo, said Wednesday that the reason more civilians have not yet left Grozny is that the security corridor still is being prepared. Mr. Rushailo said the route out of the Chechen capital will be secured by Saturday and will remain open as long as it takes civilians to leave. This seems to contradict the wording of an ultimatum issued Monday which specifically ordered residents out of Grozny by this coming weekend. And analysts say it may indicate a change of plans by Russian officials. They say the past two days has seen so much international criticism of the Russian ultimatum that it is possible Moscow is reconsidering its position. But, at least one Moscow-based defense analyst thinks the bombing will continue. The analyst, Pavel Felganhauer, says that even if the deadline is extended, civilians still will come under fire. And he says that despite claims to the contrary, this latest Russian strategy violates international laws of military conduct.

    /// FELGENHAUER ACT ///

    Of course, such a bombardment would be a war crime. They'll be using so-called aerosol bombs or vacuum bombs that can penetrate dugouts, bunkers and kill everyone inside of course, including civilians. It totally flies in the face of the Geneva conventions. But I'm afraid the Russians generals have never even read them.

    /// END ACT ///

    Russia's armed forces say they are concentrating their fire strictly at military targets and not on innocent civilians trapped in and around Grozny. But in the past 24 hours, military planes have flown more than 150 missions and it is not clear how pilots can know the difference. (Signed)
    NEB/OF/JWH/ENE 08-Dec-1999 08:02 AM EDT (08-Dec-1999 1302 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=12/8/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256980
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States drifted lower today (Wednesday), with no real news driving the market in any direction. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 38 points, one-third of one percent, closing at 11- thousand-68. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell five points. The Nasdaq composite just missed another record session and was down fractionally. Most of the recent market advances have been very narrow, with the technology sector out-pacing more traditional companies. Analyst Peter Cardillo expects that will even out later on:

    /// CARDILLO ACT ///

    The broader market has somewhat been left behind. But I suspect going into the new millennium that things will change and we will see greater participation in the broader market.

    /// END ACT ///

    Shares of Yahoo, the leading Internet portal, were down eight percent after soaring more than 20 percent Tuesday. Investors apparently decided to cash in on that huge run-up in the stock.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Yahoo is one of the few Internet-related companies to turn a profit. Most do not. Still, the chief executive officer of Chase Manhattan Bank (William Harrison) says Internet companies with little - even no - earnings deserve the high stock prices they get because they will have a growing role in a changing U-S economy. Chase Manhattan - the second largest U-S bank - has investments with a total market value of one-point- five billion dollars in about 100 "dot-com" companies. Microsoft, the leading software company, and Ericsson of Sweden - the third-largest maker of cellular telephones - are forming an alliance to develop products allowing users to access the Internet from their cell-phones, or from hand-held computers. Ericsson will own the majority share of the joint venture. And, Japanese media are reporting that U-S automaker General Motors has agreed to buy 20 percent of Fuji Heavy Industries - maker of Subaru vehicles. The two automakers have been in talks for some time, as G-M seeks a bigger share of the Asian market. An announcement is expected on Friday. (Signed) NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/JP 08-Dec-1999 17:14 PM EDT (08-Dec-1999 2214 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=12/8/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11583
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Russia's impending massive attack on Grozny, the capital of the breakaway Chechen Republic, is the lead editorial in many of Wednesday's biggest papers. Another popular topic is the political chess game over the Cuban rafter boy, rescued off Florida; and there is plenty of comment on the Mars space probe failure. Also to be found in Wednesday's editorial columns are comments on a new court case testing the rights of those arrested; some unpopular antics of the "first brother" - Roger Clinton -- in North Korea; and a new, legal attack on gun ownership. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is _____________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Russia's military ultimatum to the citizens of Grozny to leave by Saturday to escape a large-scale attack is not going over well in the U-S press. The Boston Globe says, under a headline reading: "Playing with fire in Chechnya:"

    VOICE: Russia's war to recapture Chechnya has been waged from the start with a blatant indifference to the suffering of civilians, but there is something particularly ominous about the ultimatum the Russian military command has issued to civilians trapped in the city of Grozny.

    TEXT: The Chicago Tribune deplores how the Russian military is treating its own citizens in what Moscow says is a fight against Chechen separatist terrorists.

    VOICE: Nations are judged ultimately by how they treat their people, particularly those most vulnerable. By this measure, Russia is failing the test in Chechnya and it is Russia that ultimately will pay the price.

    TEXT: And in California, readers are waking up to this headline in the Los Angeles Times editorial column: "War Crime in the Making." The paper goes on to suggest that aid to Russia be used as a lever to stop the killing of civilians.

    VOICE: The International Monetary Fund's decision to hold up a 640-million dollar loan installment to Russia was clearly linked to Chechnya, but it has had no effect. That doesn't mean Moscow is beyond the reach of effective protest. The West must not talk itself into moral paralysis over its concerns about Russia's continuing importance as a world player. Grozny is becoming as much a symbol of brutally indiscriminate warfare as the Basque town of Guernica became when it was devastated by Nazi bombers during the Spanish Civil War.

    TEXT: The political chess match between Havana and Washington over the Cuban rafter boy, rescued after his boat went down, drowning his mother and several others, continues high in the commentary hierarchy. His father in Cuba is demanding his return, but the U- S government says Florida's family court should decide the boy's fate. The Orlando Sentinel says U-S officials should "Let Elian go home."

    VOICE: A child doesn't belong in a political tussle between two nations that should have outgrown their differences years ago. The six- year-old belongs with his father. . Instead, Washington and Havana find themselves in a tiff that has protesters marching outside the U-S diplomatic office in Cuba and threatens future cooperation. It's the kind of behavior . one would expect from a child, not grown-ups who have a responsibility to uphold their respective nations' interests. Meanwhile, a child suffers and a parent grieves.

    TEXT: Boston's Christian Science Monitor wholeheartedly agrees with the Orlando Sentinel, adding:

    VOICE: "The United States government has behaved heartlessly by not sending [him] back to his sole parent in Cuba immediately. ///OPT /// . the suggestion by some Cuban-Americans that [President Fidel] Castro should let the father come to the U-S and testify in court is unnecessary legally, and is another example of politicizing this case with cold disregard for the boy and a long U-S tradition of never breaking a precious family bond except in the most extreme cases. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Today's Chicago Tribune uses the case of this boy as a starting point to again sharply criticize current U-S policy toward the communist island nation.

    VOICE: The case of little Elian Gonzales is but the latest reminder of how illogical, unfair and, ultimately, counterproductive current U-S immigration laws are regarding Cuban refugees. Most of those exceptional policies, leftovers from the coldest days of the Cold War, ought to be eliminated. . Notwithstanding [President Fidel] Castro's fuming and grandstanding, the U- S ought to continue negotiating to bring our policies covering Cuban refugees into line with those applied to other immigrants and refugees.

    TEXT: The loss of a second Mars space probe in the past few months is drawing both criticism and condolences for NASA from the American press. On New York's Long Island, Newsday says to NASA "Try, Try Again."

    VOICE: Coming so soon after the failure of the Mars Climate Orbiter in September, this has to count as an embarrassment to NASA. Yet going to another planet is not so easy; of 25 U-S and Soviet missions to Mars since 1962, 15 have been total or partial failures. Humanity has scored successes, too: Who can forget the plucky little Rover that rolled across the Martian landscape two years ago. . so, the inevitable questions and jokes aside, it is hard to see how NASA has any choice but to try to go back to Mars and then on to the stars. . In the long run, the loss of a mission or two will be seen as a growing pain of a civilization with the bulk of its future still ahead of it.

    TEXT: Taking a similar tone is the Houston Chronicle, with sees some failure as inevitable, but adds this thought.

    VOICE: The failure of the two unmanned mars probes also points out the limitations of robots. They can only avoid mishaps that their programmers have anticipated and, millions of miles from Earth, cannot be easily manipulated by remote control. While human space exploration is much more expensive and risky, astronauts provide the means to correct problems or improvise.

    TEXT: A number of papers are still commenting on last week's chaotic World Trade Organization conference in Seattle and the huge and unruly protests it provoked. One of them is The Sun in Baltimore.

    VOICE: The debacle in Seattle last week was a defeat for President Clinton. It was also a delay, probably of one year, in forging a world consensus agenda for further lowering trade barriers. Any exultation or damnation that the street demonstrators prevailed, however, is dead wrong. . there was no victory for the AFL-CIO [American Federation of Labor -Congress of Industrials Organizations] or the Sierra Club. Their concerns were not written into the world trading system despite their demonstrations. Nor was there victory for the fringe demonstrators demanding the death of the W-T-O. It lives, and now it won't change soon.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Today's Washington [D-C] Times also considers the trade conference a major failure for President Clinton, and provides this explanation of why it happened.

    VOICE: The primary reason why Mr. Clinton was unable to put on a better show for his guests was ironically the object of so much protest in Seattle - - the power of money. Mr. Clinton is indebted to the labor and environmental groups that have contributed generously to his campaigns and which happen to oppose free trade. These special interests will more than likely continue to supply the campaign coffers of Vice President Al Gore.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: A recent appearance by President Clinton's brother Roger at a concert in Pyongyang, North Korea, and then later at the birthplace of the former leader Kim Il-sung, is drawing the ire of The Washington Times.

    VOICE: Roger Clinton went to the birthplace of the late Great Leader Kim Il-sung, the man responsible for the Korean War, and looked around "with deep interest "at the life story of one of the world'' great tyrants. He was also shown on television bowing his head respectfully to a statue of Kim. . But for some reason, the administration did not rush to take credit for Roger Clinton's antics.

    TEXT: That concludes this sampling of comment from some of Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/JO 08-Dec-1999 11:04 AM EDT (08-Dec-1999 1604 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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