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Voice of America, 99-11-03

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ARMENIA / POLITICS (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [02] ARMENIA / POLITICS (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [03] EASTERN ORTHODOX REVIVAL BY BARBARA SCHOETZAU (NEW YORK)
  • [04] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [05] SERBIA OPPOSITION (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] U-S / SERB OPPOSITION (L-ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)
  • [07] UNICEF / EASTERN EUROPE (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [08] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] ARMENIA / POLITICS (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=11/3/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255777
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Armenian President Robert Kocharian has appointed Aram Sarkisian to be the country's new prime minister. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Eve Conant has this report.

    TEXT: Armenia's new prime minister is the brother of Vazgen Sarkisian, the popular prime minister who was killed when nationalist gunmen broke into a parliament meeting and opened fire on lawmakers last week. Aram Sarkisian, age 38, is the director of a large cement factory and had kept a low political profile until now. His brother, a former Defense Minister who was a favorite of the country's military, was buried last Sunday along with the speaker of Armenia's parliament and six other lawmakers. The parliament murders shocked both Armenians and world leaders and left the country with two of its top three leaders dead. After the killings, Armenian President Robert Kocharian said his main task was to rebuild the country's government. Mr. Kocharian's spokesman, Bahe Gabrielen, confirmed the appointment of the new rime minister and also told V-O-A that Mr. Kocharian is expected to meet with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow Friday. He said the two leaders will discuss finding a settlement to Armenia's conflict with Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

    /// Act Gabrielen ///

    Russia's role as a mediator in the conflict, as well as Armenian-Russian relations, are topics that need permanent updating.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Gabrielen also said that Armenia's parliament had fully supported President Kocharian's choice of Mr. Sarkisian as the country's new Prime Minister. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/GE/JP 03-Nov-1999 12:23 PM EDT (03-Nov-1999 1723 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] ARMENIA / POLITICS (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=11/3/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255777
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Armenian President Robert Kocharian has appointed Aram Sarkisian to be the country's new prime minister. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Eve Conant has this report.

    TEXT: Armenia's new prime minister is the brother of Vazgen Sarkisian, the popular prime minister who was killed when nationalist gunmen broke into a parliament meeting and opened fire on lawmakers last week. Aram Sarkisian, age 38, is the director of a large cement factory and had kept a low political profile until now. His brother, a former Defense Minister who was a favorite of the country's military, was buried last Sunday along with the speaker of Armenia's parliament and six other lawmakers. The parliament murders shocked both Armenians and world leaders and left the country with two of its top three leaders dead. After the killings, Armenian President Robert Kocharian said his main task was to rebuild the country's government. Mr. Kocharian's spokesman, Bahe Gabrielen, confirmed the appointment of the new rime minister and also told V-O-A that Mr. Kocharian is expected to meet with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow Friday. He said the two leaders will discuss finding a settlement to Armenia's conflict with Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

    /// Act Gabrielen ///

    Russia's role as a mediator in the conflict, as well as Armenian-Russian relations, are topics that need permanent updating.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Gabrielen also said that Armenia's parliament had fully supported President Kocharian's choice of Mr. Sarkisian as the country's new Prime Minister. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/GE/JP 03-Nov-1999 12:23 PM EDT (03-Nov-1999 1723 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America TE=11/3/1999 TYPE=NEWS FEATURE
    NUMBER=5-44682
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The end of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has spurred a revival of Orthodox Christian churches. But the challenges the Orthodox churches face vary from country to country. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from New York.

    TEXT: The dramatic and often contrasting changes the Orthodox Christian churches of Eastern Europe have undergone reflect the distinctive history, culture and economic levels of the various countries that made up the Soviet empire. Veselin Kesich (vih sell'in kay sich) specializes in Serbian Church history and comparative religion at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York State. He believes the Serbian church is the only institution in Serbia today that has any meaning to the population. The Serbian Orthodox Church, he says, tried to ease the ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia as early as 1991.

    /// KESICH ACT ///

    First of all, the church was against the conflict because the church was saying quite clearly "We must try to find a means to solve it peacefully. We should not annihilate each other." The church also noticed one thing - that the leaders on all sides were people who were educated in the same school. They have the same spirit, the same attitude and these people cannot bring anything new. The church said "New people must come, people who have the confidence of the international community." I think that what is extraordinarily important is that the Serbian church likes to have contact with the outside world.

    //// END ACT ////

    Now, Professor Kesich says, the Serbian Orthodox Church has a vital role to play in Serbian society. But he says it will be difficult because the church is poor.

    /// KESICH ACT ///

    First of all, the church must educate the people. And the church must give some hope to these people because as far as I understand life in Serbia is absolutely grim and dreary. You have poverty. You have a desperate situation. The church can instill some new force in them and give them hope. So education, social work. For instance, I learned that the church organizes free lunch for refugees and tries to offer not only spiritual food but material food.

    /// END ACT ///

    The story of the Russian Orthodox Church is quite different. The Church has been embraced by the state and its coffers are full. But some observers of the Russian church say it is not as rich in spirit as it is in material goods. Michael Meerson, a former Russian dissident, is a priest in the Orthodox Church of America which split from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1923. He thinks the Russian church is currently enjoying more power than it has had in centuries - despite the fact that only about five percent of the population actually participates in the church.

    /// MEERSON ACT ///

    Why do I call it the most powerful? Because various forces in Russian politics appeal to the Russian Orthodox Church for support. You see Yeltsin, Zhironovsky - people of all political persuasions think that they should seek the support of the church. So the church emerged as the only stable tradition in Russia history which is there for one thousand years. Everything else is falling apart. The communist ideology is gone forever. But the church all of a sudden re-emerged, then the state begins to give it back its possessions - monasteries, physical plants, and so forth.

    /// END ACT ///

    But as Father Meerson sees it, the Russian church lacks social influence at a time when Russians desperately need spiritual guidance.

    /// MEERSON ACT ///

    Being rushed into the position of authority, the church unfortunately has to deal with others in the same position and often play along with them. So far we did not hear about any denunciation of the new Russian style of conducting business or a new social responsibility.

    /// END ACT ///

    Father Meerson and Professor Kesich recently explored the history and future of Orthodox Christianity with other theological scholars at a Columbia University symposium in New York. (Signed) NEB/NY/bjs/LSF/ 03-Nov-1999 14:18 PM EDT (03-Nov-1999 1918 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] EASTERN ORTHODOX REVIVAL BY BARBARA SCHOETZAU (NEW YORK)

    DATE=11/3/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255786
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were up today (Wednesday). The trading session was dominated by technology and Internet stocks that have made huge gains lately. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average struggled against late-day profit-taking, but managed to hang on to a small gain. It closed up 27 points at 10- thousand-609. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose seven points to 13-hundred-54. But the big story was the technology-dominated Nasdaq index, which closed over three-thousand for the first time. The Nasdaq gained one and one-half percent for the day, setting a new record high.

    /// Begin Opt ///

    Eric Gustafson, a fund manager for technology stocks, says technology has driven the U-S stock market for a long time now and believes it will be the engine for future growth:

    /// Gustafson Act ///

    Technology is still the place to be. It's got the fastest earnings growth. It's got the greatest potential, despite all the nay-sayers out there who always talk about over-valuation in the sector. Tech is the place to be and I think we're going to make a lot of money going forward here.

    /// End Act // End Opt ///

    Reports about a huge merger in the pharmaceutical business also had Wall Street's attention. American Home products, maker of Advil and ChapStick, and Warner-Lambert with its blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug, Lipitor, are negotiating. A deal worth about 65-billion dollars could be announced this week. It would be the largest drug merger in history and one of the largest transactions ever.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    Helping spur the Nasdaq index to its historic close, shares of Qualcom surged to a record high. The U-S maker of telecommunications equipment reported a quadrupling of quarterly profits and announced a four- for-one stock split. Sales climbed 14 percent. On the U-S economy, orders placed with U-S factories fell a bigger-than-expected nine-tenths of one percent in September, as demand for aircraft declined. Also to blame is Hurricane Floyd, which slowed activity on the East Coast of the United States. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/JP 03-Nov-1999 16:44 PM EDT (03-Nov-1999 2144 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=11/3/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255785
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Leaders of Serbia's democratic opposition say they are heartened by increased American efforts to bring democracy to their country. V-O-A's Barry Wood reports the delegation from the Alliance for Change met (Wednesday) in Washington with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and congressional leaders.

    TEXT: Opposition leader Zoran Djindjic says the seven member delegation is pleased with the U-S commitment to ease economic sanctions once free elections take place in Serbia. Mr. Djindjic says that commitment from Secretary of State Albright is more than they had expected. Stojan Protic, a Belgrade law professor, says the Alliance for Change believes early national elections are the best way to oust Slobodan Milosevic from power.

    /// PROTIC ACT ///

    What we need to overthrow Milosevic are free and fair elections. To get to that point we must put as much pressure on him as possible. As a united force against him, the united opposition, we have started that process four months ago. We have continued those rallies and we have made the public in Serbia understand that [Mr.] Milosevic must go because of his responsibility for detrimental policies he has led in Serbia for the past ten years.

    /// END ACT //

    Mr. Protic says reliable public opinion surveys show that 70-percent of the Serbian public now want President Milosevic to resign. Mr. Djindjic, the head of the Democratic Party, voiced support for Montenegro's launch this week of a separate currency to replace the rapidly weakening Yugoslav dinar. Mr. Djindjic says despite growing strains Montenegro and Serbia can remain linked as a single country, provided Serbs get rid of Mr. Milosevic within the next eight months.

    /// DJINDJIC ACT ///

    We support, of course, the democratic government in Montenegro with Mr. Djukanovic as president. But we hope to have enough time to remove [Mr.] Milosevic and create a democratic framework in Yugoslavia to set up new connections between Serbia and Montenegro. We do not intend to dominate Montenegro, and Montenegro will not have problems with a democratic government in Serbia.

    /// END ACT ///

    The Alliance for Change leaders are confident that Mr. Milosevic is weakening daily and will be gone within six months. They point to a deteriorating economy and accelerating inflation with prices now rising in Serbia at the hyper-inflationary rate of ten percent per week. (Signed) NEB/BDW/gm 03-Nov-1999 16:24 PM EDT (03-Nov-1999 2124 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] SERBIA OPPOSITION (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=11/3/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255780
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United States is promising to end its economic sanctions on Serbia as soon as free and fair elections are held. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made the announcement following talks with key Serbian opposition leaders in Washington. From the State Department, VOA's Kyle King reports.

    TEXT: The United States has previously said economic sanctions on Serbia would not be lifted until Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is out of office. But after meeting with eight key opposition leaders at the State Department, Ms. Albright said simply holding free and fair elections would now be enough to do so.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    We will support ending the flight ban and oil embargo as soon as free elections are held in Serbia.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ms. Albright said the United States would also support a European Union plan to provide five million dollars worth of heating oil to two opposition controlled cities (Nis and Pirot)in Serbia this winter. She said the project could be expanded if the assistance gets to the people it is designed to help. Ms. Albright said a full return to the mainstream of European life could only come with the democratic chances being proposed by the opposition.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    And I expect that the people of Serbia who have suffered under the boot of Slobodan Milosevic, when they have the opportunity to vote for people that are going to provide freedom for them and the possibility of re-entry into the world of free nations, they will choose correctly.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ms. Albright said she found it hard to believe that Mr. Milosevic would have any chance of winning a free and fair election. (Signed)
    NEB/KBK/TVM/PT 03-Nov-1999 15:31 PM EDT (03-Nov-1999 2031 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] U-S / SERB OPPOSITION (L-ONLY) BY KYLE KING (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=11/3/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255781
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS REPORT IS EMBARGOED FOR USE AT 0900 U- T-C (4 AM EST) THURSDAY ///

    INTRO: A study by UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, finds serious problems for millions of children in the former Communist nations of central and eastern Europe and of the former Soviet Union. Lisa Schlein reports from Geneva.

    TEXT: The study says the majority of the region's 150-million children are victims of shrinking economies, inadequate social welfare programs, and the spread of armed conflict. The UNICEF report acknowledges that life for children is improving in some countries of central and eastern Europe -- notably the Czech republic, Hungary, and Poland. But it says conditions for children are generally difficult in central Asia, the Caucuses, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. UNICEF regional adviser Yuri Oksamitniy says these countries spend very little money on the welfare of children. As a result, he says the health of children and women has seriously deteriorated. And he says the region has infant mortality rates that are quite high.

    /// OKSAMITNIY ACT ONE ///

    Although these rates are going a bit down, still they are at a level which is three-four times higher than in Europe, for example. A surprisingly high level of maternal mortality going up to 60 or 70 in several countries per 100-thousand live births.

    /// END ACT ///

    The report says so-called poverty diseases such as diphtheria and tuberculosis have reappeared. And, it says the number of HIV infections and other sexually transmitted diseases has skyrocketed. The UNICEF study finds government budgets for education have shrunk considerably. In many countries in the region, teachers are not getting paid and fewer children are going to school. Mr. Oksamitniy says a another problem is the lack of adequate facilities for orphans and mentally retarded children in Russia and Romania. He says these children are thrown into institutions which are underfunded and lack proper facilities. He says the children are totally unprepared to face life when they leave the institutions at age 16.

    /// OKSAMITNIY ACT TWO ///

    It's kind of a struggle. It's kind of a fight for survival for these children. They may end up in the street. They may end up in drugs or any other forms of crime. Some of them, they commit suicides.

    /// END ACT ///

    The report does not blame the social and economic crises of the past 10 years solely on the process of transition. It says many of today's problems have their roots in the old communist governments of the past. (Signed)
    NEB/LS/JWH/KL
    /// EDS: NOTE EMBARGO -- 0900 U-T-C (4 AM EST) THURSDAY ///
    03-Nov-1999 13:39 PM EDT (03-Nov-1999 1839 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] UNICEF / EASTERN EUROPE (L ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=11/3/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11544
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Many of the nation's editorials are reviving discussion on Serbia's relationship with democracy. Other topics of interest include: trade aid for poor nations, Indonesia's new president, and a respectful farewell to an American Football great. Now here with a closer look and some excerpts is _____________with today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: A delegation of Serbia's democratic leaders is in Washington this week, and U-S commentaries are once again engaging in discussion over democratic opposition in the war-torn Yugoslav republic. "The Washington Post" holds the position that the proof of Serbia's failure is evident: Slobodan Milosevic remains in power.

    VOICE: Although polls show that Mr. Milosevic is unpopular in his own country, unseating him is not likely to be easy. The indicted war criminal still controls the security forces and most media. Those who challenge him - at universities for example - lose their jobs and livelihoods. Many Serbs are so impoverished that politics by force has become secondary to the daily struggle to find food. .The Democratic opposition is not a sure bet, but it is a worthwhile one. The Balkans cannot be stable as long as Mr. Milosevic remains in power.

    TEXT: "The Washington Times" questions the effectiveness of Western sanctions imposed on Serbia and whether they did more to strengthen Mr. Milosevic's power.

    VOICE: It seemed like the right thing for Western nations to do. Place sanctions on food, oil and medical supplies to the Serbian nation controlled by a Hitleresque dictator, and sit back and wait till he retires or is defenestrated (thrown out) by his own people. But this is Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic with whom nations are dealing - a man for whom bomb sirens have served as campaign music. Now, over four months later, the Serbian people are cold and hungry, and rather than sending the majority of them to the streets in protest, the sanctions are causing the weakened people to curse the West.

    TEXT: "The Washington Times" adds Mr. Milosevic will continue to gain ground so long as he can keep Serbians convinced he has no role in their suffering.

    VOICE: Talented as he is in spinning his people into believing Serbia's ruin could never be his fault, Mr. Milosevic is using the disaster to increase his own power. .The United States cannot prevent Mr. Milosevic from inventing reasons to blame us (The United States) for Serbia's misery. When Serbia's people see Mr. Milosevic and his government becoming rich while they are starving, there will be no one left to blame but their own embittered leader.

    TEXT: In other news, trade assistance for poor nations is the message from the "Los Angeles Times" in California. With modest legislation, the newspaper is convinced that developing nations can become self- reliant in the world's economy.

    VOICE: For years now, Washington has been telling the world's poorest countries that trade, not aid, will lead them to riches. This was a good message, stressing as it did the need for developing countries to rely more on their own efforts than on handouts. But it also carried the promise that U-S markets would be open to exports from those countries. That is why Congress should enact a package of measures now before it to widen access to U-S markets for goods from Africa, the Caribbean basin, and central America. .The trade package would give developing countries a leg up in their climb out of poverty. It would also go a long way toward making the world trading system seem relevant to them.

    TEXT: "The Chicago Tribune" comments admirably on Indonesia's new president, Abdurrahman Wahid as he attempts to make some much needed policy changes in the country.

    VOICE: He is frail after suffering two strokes, and nearly blind, but Indonesia's new president (Adurrahman Wahid) has been admirably robust and forward-looking in setting policy during his first 10-days in power. The Muslim Cleric has plenty to prove to turn around the government legacy of corruption he inherited following 32- years of domination by former president Suharto. But Wahid's government has already acted quickly and commendably to set the right tone after the first free and contested election in the country's 54-year history. Indonesians can hold out justified hopes that a real transition to democracy is finally at hand.

    TEXT: The U-S lost a great athlete this week. Walter Payton, an American Football champion, passed away Monday from complications of a rare liver disease. U- S editorials across the nation bid a final farewell to one of the nation's most celebrated competitors. The New York "Daily News" had this to say:

    VOICE: He rushed for more yards than any other player in the game. But football-great Walter Payton leaves behind a much greater legacy. He leaves behind a time when sportsmen were gentlemen, off the field as well. His nickname - Sweetness - nicely sums up his character. In a sport overrun by spoiled brats and miscreants, where celebrating after every play has become the norm, Payton's spirit of dogged determination and quiet accomplishment is admirable. Sweetness. May he rest in peace.

    TEXT: With that, we conclude our sampling of comment in today's U-S Editorial Digest.
    NEB/ENE 03-Nov-1999 13:26 PM EDT (03-Nov-1999 1826 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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