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Voice of America, 01-07-24

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

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

SLUG: 5-49843 Bush/Europe Wrap DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] BUSH/EUROPE WRAP BY PAULA WOLFSON (ROME)
  • [02] MACEDONIA/VIOLENCE (L-O) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)
  • [03] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] BUSH/EUROPE WRAP BY PAULA WOLFSON (ROME)

    DATE=07/24/01
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-49843
    INTERNET= CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Bush is on his way home (has returned to the United States), after a journey that took him to the the G-8 economic summit, to Rome and to Kosovo. VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson wraps up the weeklong trip to Europe.

    TEXT: It ended at Camp Bondsteel, the sprawling operations center for Americans serving in the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Soldiers in green and brown camouflage gathered to hear the president. Several thousand came in all, some still weary and leaning on their rifles, perhaps after a long night on patrol. But the president, after a week of almost nonstop substance and ceremony in Europe, looked energized. He joked with the solders -- members of the six thousand strong U-S contingent in Kosovo. But his mood changed, from light to somber, as he talked about the seriousness of their mission. Many had been deployed to interdict arms headed for neighboring Macedonia:

    /// BUSH ACT ONE ///

    Thanks to you, there are fewer arms flowing into Macedonia and a hope for peace in that land. Thanks to you and the service of our forces throughout the Balkans, the region is growing closer to the rest of Europe.

    /// END ACT ///

    The speech to the soldiers contained no big statements of policy. But just before he spoke, the White House released a written statement from the president in which he chastised those in Kosovo who tried to incite violence in Macedonia. He said they are hurting the interests of ethnic Albanians throughout the region. Mr. Bush also called on all sides to revive the crumbling ceasefire and work towards a political settlement. He flew to Kosovo from Rome, where he conferred Monday with Italian leaders and Pope John Paul the Second. They talked about foreign policy in their private meeting, but when they emerged to greet the president's entourage, the pope delivered a strong statement in which he urged respect for life. He linked infanticide, euthanasia and medical research using cells from human embryos. He said they are all evil.

    /// POPE JOHN PAUL II ACT //

    A free and virtuous society, which America aspires to be, must reject practices that devalue and violate human life and at any stage from conception until natural death.

    /// END ACT ///

    Whether or not the U-S government should fund embryonic cell research is one of the biggest domestic policy decisions facing the president. The biggest national security issue was also addressed during the trip. On Sunday, Mr. Bush met with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Genoa, Italy. At a news conference after the talks, Mr. Putin made a dramatic announcement. Speaking through an interpreter he said the United States and Russia had agreed to a new approach to arms talks:

    ///PUTIN INTERPRETER ACT ///

    What was unexpected both for me and I think for President Bush, as well, was the understanding that was reached today between us on the issue that the offensive arms, an issue of defensive arms will be discussed as a set.

    ///END ACT ///

    It was the foreign policy highlight of the trip. Russia still stands opposed to Mr. Bush's plans for a missile defense system, but by linking discussions on defensive weapons to negotiations on offensive arms cuts they agreed to keep the dialogue going. The Bush-Putin meeting came at the end of the Genoa summit of the seven leading industrialized nations and Russia. The summit participants devoted most of their discussions to easing world poverty and their final communiqué detailed their commitment to helping the poorest of the poor. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PW/FC SLUG: 2-278608 Macedonia/Violence DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [02] MACEDONIA/VIOLENCE (L-O) BY JEFF BIELEY (SKOPJE)

    DATE=7/24/01
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-278608
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    ///EDS: SITUATION IN TETOVO FLUID; FURTHER UPDATE WITH ACT EXPECTED BY 8 P.M. EDT///

    INTRO: Major fighting broke out Tuesday evening throughout the Macedonian city of Tetovo, marking the worst clashes in the five-month conflict. Jeff Bieley reports from Skopje that a demonstration by ethnic Macedonians in the capital also turned violent after nightfall.

    TEXT: Tetovo's mayor said the fighting began about 6:30 p.m. local time (17:30 UTC) when machine-gun and high caliber sniper fire was heard near the city center. He said there are unconfirmed reports of two people killed and several wounded, but it was not known whether they were civilians or combatants. The ferocity of the gunfire has sent most Tetovo residents into their basements as ethnic Albanian rebels and government forces battled in the streets. The director of Tetovo's hospital said he had no concrete information on casualties because the situation was so bad that wounded could not be taken to hospital. He said the hospital itself is not safe due to nearby shooting. In Skopje, an angry crowd of several hundred Macedonians surrounded the parliament Tuesday afternoon. They were demanding the government help them return to their homes, after they said ethnic Albanian rebels had forced them out of their villages near Tetovo. Some of the protesters hurled rocks and tried to charge their way into the parliament building, trapping a group of leading Albanian politicians inside for several hours. The demonstration later turned into a march through the city center, where protesters beat a German journalist and set fire to four vehicles belonging to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Earlier, the government closed Macedonia's border crossings to Kosovo, preventing NATO peacekeepers from using key supply routes. A NATO spokesman in Skopje said he had no explanation for the closure, which forced American troops to move equipment out of Macedonia by helicopter. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JB/MAR SLUG: 6-12397 Tuesday's Editorials DATE: NOTE NUMBER:


    [03] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=07/24/01
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-12397
    INTERNET=YES EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The recently concluded G-8 summit in Genoa overwhelms most other topics in the editorial columns of U-S newspapers Tuesday. A related topic, the discussions between Presidents Bush and Putin on nuclear missile reduction, runs a close second. Other editorial subjects include: global warming; Indonesia's new leader; the global fight against AIDS; Mexican-U-S water-sharing on the Rio Grande; and the debate over the use of stem cells in medical research. Now, here is _______________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: There is a divergence of opinion about just how much was accomplished at the Genoa Summit. In Tennessee, The Chattanooga Free Press feels "some specific and noteworthy action" did come out of the meeting.

    VOICE: The G-8 agreed to work against global poverty, against AIDS and other grave diseases, and for beneficial trade. Poverty in backward nations cannot be alleviated without free enterprise, production and trade.

    TEXT: California's Fresno Bee takes a less complimentary view, suggesting that "Summit meetings need a new format [and a] new attitude."

    VOICE: The modest accomplishments of the annual summit ... were overshadowed last weekend by death and debate over the nature of the summits themselves. Perhaps the unprecedented violence in the host city of Genoa, resulting in the death of one protester, will finally lead to changes that will prevent these annual extravaganzas from becoming self-defeating.

    TEXT: The Dallas [Texas] Morning News is encouraged however, saying that, despite the violent street protests, the "summit...produced much more than tragic headlines. ... There was a refreshing whiff of genuine cooperation in several areas." However in Michigan, The Detroit Free Press is concerned about the implication that the leaders are running away from the protestors. It scoffs at next year's venue, far up in the Canadian Rockies, outside Calgary and wonders:

    VOICE: What's next, the space station? The disturbing images from Genoa last week and Seattle, Quebec and Washington before that, are enough to discourage any city from hosting meetings of the G-8 or related ... organizations...

    TEXT: After the summit ended, Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin of Russia made news by agreeing to link talks on arms reduction and anti-missile defense systems. The Washington Times calls it: "Mr. Bush's triumph in Genoa," suggesting it is a framework that:

    VOICE: ...could dramatically redefine the U-S-Russian relationship. It is a major triumph for a president derided by many as a novice in international affairs.

    TEXT: That assessment appears to be shared by the Saint Petersburg [Florida] Times which adds: "One bit of good that came out of the ...summit was the cooperative spirit between Vladimir ... Putin and George W. Bush, from which they both can benefit." "... if thousands of warheads were eliminated as part of the deal, it would be a triumph," asserts today's San Jose [California] Mercury News. And in Texas, The San Antonio Express-News is also pleased.

    VOICE: So far, President Bush has shown impressive finesse in his dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    TEXT: USA Today, the national daily published in a Washington, D-C suburb, however, is much more skeptical, suggesting.

    VOICE: ... between the commitment to "consultations" - - pointedly not "negotiations" - - and any actual agreement lies a host of issues that have yet to be broached ... They start with this one: Just what sort of missile defense is [President] Putin - - or the U-S public, for that matter- - willing to accept?

    TEXT: And on another key international issue discussed at the summit, global warming, and the passage of rules for the Kyoto Protocol limiting its causes, The New York Times laments the United States go-it-alone stance.

    VOICE: The huge irony is that this agreement was tailored in many respects to American specifications - - and with an eye to reducing the putative burdens on America's economy that Mr. Bush used as an excuse to abandon ...the protocol ... [and] his campaign pledge to impose mandatory controls on carbon dioxide.

    TEXT: The summit delegates also pledged more than one billion dollars to fight the global AIDS pandemic, mostly in Africa, causing The Philadelphia Inquirer to ask:

    VOICE: A good-faith effort ...? Or just good public relations? That's a good question ... scrutinized just slightly, the figure doesn't seem impressive at all. ...Together, the U-S and other G-8 nations have a combined gross domestic product of 30-trillion dollars... So one-point-three billion is a comparative pittance...

    TEXT: The political upheaval in Indonesia that produced the impeachment of President Abdurrahman Wahid and replacement with Megawati Sukarnoputri Monday draws this response from The Boston Globe.

    VOICE: In two years of stumbling and bumbling, [Mr.] Wahid achieved what had generally been thought impossible - - he united disparate factions of the army. ... Welcome as the demise of [President] Wahid might be, the army's role in his downfall is a cause for anxiety about the prospects for democracy and economic reform...

    TEXT: Hawaii's Honolulu Advertiser adds that recent problems were not all Mr. Wahid's doing.

    VOICE: He led a vigorous campaign against corruption and worked tirelessly to reduce the influence of the powerful Indonesian military. In so doing, he made numerous enemies among the politically and military powerful...

    TEXT: To this hemisphere now, and anger at the water debt Mexico owes to the United States from overuse of the Rio Grande river, according to The San Antonio Express-News.

    VOICE: Even after [the current] debt is paid, Mexico will still owe the United States about ... 300-billion gallons, enough to help Rio Grande farmers endure the severe drought conditions in the area.

    TEXT: A leading domestic topic, the question whether the federal government should pay for medical research into the use of stem cells to cure diseases, draws this from North Carolina's Winston-Salem Journal.

    VOICE: The research is being done, and ... will continue to be done. Science will not be denied, especially in a field that promises to yield cures for disease and the ability of human bodies to heal themselves.

    TEXT: President Bush and Pope John Paul the Second discussed stem cells at their meeting Monday, with the Pope warning the President against funding such research. The Honolulu Advertiser is pleased the President appeared not to be swayed, and supports federal funding as a way of reducing what it feels is unethical work in the area.

    VOICE: As he ... makes up his mind... [Mr.] Bush might make note of the pope's particular condemnation of laboratories that create human embryos specifically for medical research. These are often for-profit labs that are beyond the reach of the regulation and controls that can come with federal funding ... [a situation] that should lead him only more firmly to a decision to maintain federal research support.

    TEXT: With that, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/FC


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