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Voice of America, 99-11-04

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] DEMINING BOSNIA BY MICHAEL LELAND (CHICAGO)
  • [02] ENVIRONMENT BRIEFS: EC ENVIRONMENT SURVEY, BREAST BY WASHINGTON
  • [03] EUROPE / INTEREST RATE (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [05] RUSSIA / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [06] RUSSIA / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY RALPH ECKHARDT (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] DEMINING BOSNIA BY MICHAEL LELAND (CHICAGO)

    DATE=11/4/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44697
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: It has been nearly four years (Nov. 21, 1995) since the initialing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, ending the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since then, one large obstacle in the way of people resuming normal lives has been the large number of land mines and unexploded ordinance in the country. A commission that includes officials from all three former warring parties (Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims) has been working to clear Bosnia-Herzegovina of mines. The leaders of that commission are currently touring the United States, to talk about their work, and ask for help in completing their task. V-O-A's Michael Leland tells us about their stop in Chicago.

    TEXT: The good news is that, since 1995, more than 125-thousand mines have been recovered in Bosnia- Herzegovina, and an estimated 12-million square meters of the country has been declared free of mines and other unexploded ordnance. The bad news is, there are still an estimated one-million mines in and on the ground in Bosnia-Herzegovina, covering one-third of the territory. Milos Krstic [`kris-tich] represents the Bosnian Serb republic [Republika Srpska] on the demining commission. He spoke through a translator.

    /// FIRST KRSTIC AND TRANSLATOR ACT ///

    (Krstic) (Translator) More than 85-percent of the mines are anti-personnel mines. (Krstic) (Translator) They are the most dangerous, because it is very difficult to detect them.

    /// END ACT ///

    Since the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, more than 260 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been killed by land mines. Hundreds more have been injured. Mr. Krstic says one big problem resulting from the large number of mines is resettling returning refugees.

    /// SECOND KRSTIC AND TRANSLATOR ACT ///

    (Krstic) (translator) It will be too dangerous to make people go back to their homes with their houses mined, roads around houses mined, the agricultural areas, power supplies, whatever they need for their lives.

    /// END ACT ///

    The commission is making progress. A few years ago, about 50 people each week were injured by landmines. Officials say thanks to the mine-clearing, and work to educate people on how to spot them and what to do when they find them, accidents have dropped to about ten each week. The commission's work is supported by foreign governments, including the United States, as well as a number of international trust funds and institutes. The Washington-based Marshall Legacy Institute is one supporting organization, and an organizer of the commissioners' informational trip to four U-S cities (Washington D-C; Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago; and Palo Alto, California). Institute vice-president Daniel Layton says the commission is an example of political progress in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    /// LAYTON ACT ///

    Contrary, I think, to a lot of popular belief, there is on this issue a coming together of the former warring factions in a very healthy way to solve a common problem: that of the land mines in Bosnia.

    /// END ACT ///

    The demining commission says if it continues to receive sufficient financial support, personnel, and equipment, it can clear Bosnia-Herzegovina of land mines within ten years. (Signed) NEB/MJL/TVM/gm
    Source: Voice of America
    NNNN 04-Nov-1999 17:21 PM EDT (04-Nov-1999 2221 UTC)

    [02] ENVIRONMENT BRIEFS: EC ENVIRONMENT SURVEY, BREAST BY WASHINGTON

    DATE=11/4/1999
    TYPE=ENGLISH PROGRAMS FEATURE

    CANCER AND THE ENVIRONMENT, GARBAGE-THE-GAME NUMBER=7-32989
    EDITOR=SWANEY
    TELEPHONE=(202)619-2806
    CONTENT=
    Attention: Environment

    INTRO: This week on Environment Briefs, VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on a European Commission survey on the Environment, on environmental links to breast cancer, and on a new board game called `Garbage.'

    TEXT: Europeans are more worried about air and water pollution than the use of genetically modified organisms. In an environmental survey for the European Commission, seven out of ten said environmental protection was `an immediate and urgent problem' and over half said they were more concerned about the environment than they were five years ago.

    TAPE CUT ONE: ANDERS JESSEN (: 08) "The Europeans - talking generally - are really seriously concerned about environmental problems that have a global scale."

    TEXT: That's Anders Jessen, an environment official with the European Commission. He says Europeans rank the destruction of the ozone layer, the disappearance of rain forests, and global warming ahead of national and local threats. More than half surveyed said a change in lifestyle was necessary to halt deterioration of the environment and were willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products. Sixteen thousand people from fifteen European Union countries participated in the environmental survey, the largest of its kind to date. BRIDGE

    TEXT: Leading breast cancer advocacy groups in the United States joined forces in Washington last week to launch a national campaign to increase public awareness to fight the disease. Andrea Martin, a breast cancer survivor and director of the Breast Cancer Fund, says the campaign signals a new direction in the battle against breast cancer.

    TAPE CUT TWO: ANDREA MARTIN (: 09) "We are concerned that too much attention is being paid to detection and treatment at the expense of prevention." Text: Andrea Martin says the campaign calls on the U-S government for increased funding to examine the link between environmental toxins and the disease.

    TAPE CUT THREE: ANDREA MARTIN (: 17) "We want to have more bio-monitoring of the chemicals we are carrying around in our breasts. We know that 200 chemicals, man made chemicals, have already been identified in breast milk and we have a right to know what our breasts are serving as reservoirs for."

    TEXT: The campaign is also calling for full funding for the Environmental Protection Agency's program to screen and test specific chemicals thought to be hormone disrupters. Andrea Martin says advocacy groups will pressure Congress and the President to eliminate the health risks presented by toxic chemicals. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among women globally. The World Heath Organization is predicting 1.2 million cases of breast cancer in the year 2000 resulting in half a million deaths. BRIDGE

    TEXT: Garbage has become a game for Canadian Peter Bruvels. He came up with the idea for the board game on a back country trip twelve years ago when garbage washed up to his camp site. Since then, the forty-seven year old food distributor has spent a lot of time and money getting Garbage-the-Game to market. The object of the game is to dispose of everything from chicken bones, stale beer, and scratched Elvis records to asbestos and old refrigerators. Peter Bruvels says, the game is both educational and fun, but like real life, there are also elements of greed and frustration.

    TAPE CUT FOUR PETER BRUVELS (:12) "There's even one spot on the board that's one of my favorites. It's called the `Government Loop' and if you end up on that thing, you end up going in circles because they have lost your documents, or they fine you for something or they are out to lunch."

    TEXT: Garbage-the-game comes with a manual that explains the proper way to get rid of real waste and garbage. To learn more, check out Garbarge-the-Game website at www.garbagethegame.com. (SIGNED) NEB/RS/vo'hs 04-Nov-1999 13:44 PM EDT (04-Nov-1999 1844 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EUROPE / INTEREST RATE (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=11/4/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255818
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Europe's central bank has raised the interest rate for the 11 countries that have introduced the Euro currency. V-O-A correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels on why the rates are going up.

    TEXT: The cost of borrowing for Europeans has become more expensive. For the first time in the 10 months since the single currency was introduced, the European Central Bank has raised interest rates by one half percent. The Bank of England, which is not part of the Euro zone, raised the British interest rate by one quarter of a percent. Both moves had been signaled in advance by the banks, which fear that inflation might follow the revival of their economies. Because the central bank, located in Frankfurt, Germany, controls the economies of 11 countries, any interest rate decision for all of them is controversial. While Spain and the Netherlands may need a rise in interest rates to cool off their overheating economies, Germany's economic growth is still slow. Germany's central bank governor, in advance of the decision, said Germany saw no reason to raise interest rates. This kind of disagreement is one of the risks of having a central bank determine the economic future of 11 governments. It has to average their different growth rates. The countries have agreed on a single currency, but they do not yet have a single economy. Central bank Governor Wim Duisenberg tells reporters he wants to maintain price stability in Europe.

    /// DUISENBERG ACT ///

    The governing council considers that today's decision will counter the upward trend of the balance of risks to price stability and this decision will therefore contribute to sustaining non-inflationary economic growth in the Euro area over the medium term.

    /// END ACT ///

    The half-percent rise puts the European interest rate at three percent, where it was when the Euro was introduced on New Year's day. The bank lowered the interest rate in April by a half percent to prevent a recession. That threat has passed and Mr. Duisenberg says the bank rejected a more limited move upward.

    /// DUISENBERG ACT ////// OPT ACT ///

    Under these circumstances, the alternative of moving by less than 50 basis points now and examining the need for an additional step later on could potentially introduce unwarranted uncertainty for the period ahead.

    /// END ACT////// END OPT ACT ///

    The central bank governor says there is an on- going strengthening in Europe and he sees positive signs around the world. He cites the sustained growth in the United States and the revived economies in Southeast Asia and Japan. The United States has raised its own interest rates this year and could make another rise before year's end. The European inflation rate is only 1 point 2 percent but the European Central Bank wants to act before prices get out of control. (Signed)
    NEB/RP/GE/KL 04-Nov-1999 11:13 AM EDT (04-Nov-1999 1613 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=11/4/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255831
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were up modestly today (Thursday), as investors awaited more information on the U-S economy. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 30 points, closing at 10-thousand-639. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose seven points to 13-hundred-62. The Nasdaq index - in another record closing - gained just under one percent. The stock market looks like it is on an inflation watch for the U-S economy. The nation's employment report for October, which will be released before the trading day begins Friday, is considered a significant part of the economic puzzle. Analysts are trying to figure out whether the U-S central bank will raise short-term interest rates when it meets November 16.

    /// Begin Opt //

    Meanwhile, the U-S stock market is expected to continue showing some volatility. At least one expert is not concerned about the wild dips in the market. Abby Joseph Cohen of Goldman Sachs - considered one of the more accurate and optimistic of market strategists - says a volatile market is not a sign of trouble:

    /// Cohen Act ///

    Let's keep in mind that the volatility we've been seeing in 1999 is actually close to normal. It's been the unusually low volatility of the period of 1992 to 1996 that was unusual. We're now back to more normal conditions for markets, I think, both with regard to volatility and also returns.

    /// End Act ///

    /// End Opt ///

    European interest rates went up Thursday in an effort to stem inflation connected with growth in European economies. There was no perceptible reaction to the increases in the U-S stock or bond markets.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    A bidding war for U-S drug-maker Warner-Lambert has begun. Drug company Pfizer made a surprise, unsolicited bid for Warner-Lambert worth over 82- billion dollars. Just hours earlier, Warner-Lambert said it had agreed to merge with American Home Products for 10-billion dollars less. The American Home and Warner-Lambert merger would create the world's largest prescription drug company. Analysts say no matter who wins the bidding for Warner-Lambert, consolidation in the drug industry is inevitable. Companies are under pressure to increase profits as research and development of new drugs is becoming more costly. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/JP 04-Nov-1999 16:55 PM EDT (04-Nov-1999 2155 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] RUSSIA / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=11/4/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255819
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    // ENG: EDS Cut edit tape to text - cut last sentence and graf before final opt graf //

    INTRO: Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has arrived in Moscow for a three day visit. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports topping the agenda will be Turkish concern about Russia's military campaign in Chechnya and a key gas pipeline deal.

    TEXT: Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, wary of damaging ties with Moscow, has described the Chechen conflict as an internal affair. But he says his country is worried that refugees may start flowing into Turkey. Earlier this week, he told a news conference that some Chechen refugees had already come to Turkey, but did not say how many or when they arrived. Turkey's Muslim opposition had urged Mr. Ecevit to cancel the visit, saying the prime minister's trip would be a signal that Turkey supports the Chechnya offensive.

    /// OPT ///

    While in Moscow, Mr. Ecevit is expected to meet with Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and make a joint statement condemning terrorism. The statement is expected to stress that both countries should refuse to shelter foreign terrorist groups or allow them to raise funds and obtain weapons while in Turkish or Russian territory. /// END OPT /// But high on the prime minister's agenda will be talks on a pipeline project to pump Russian gas from the Black Sea to Turkey.

    /// OPT///

    Russian news agencies report Mr. Ecevit will meet with President Boris Yeltsin, but the Kremlin would not immediately confirm the meeting. /// END OPT /// The Turkish prime minister says that during his visit he will encourage Russia to find a peaceful solution to the Chechen conflict. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/GE/JO 04-Nov-1999 11:33 AM EDT (04-Nov-1999 1633 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] RUSSIA / TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=11/4/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-255819
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    // ENG: EDS Cut edit tape to text - cut last sentence and graf before final opt graf //

    INTRO: Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has arrived in Moscow for a three day visit. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports topping the agenda will be Turkish concern about Russia's military campaign in Chechnya and a key gas pipeline deal.

    TEXT: Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, wary of damaging ties with Moscow, has described the Chechen conflict as an internal affair. But he says his country is worried that refugees may start flowing into Turkey. Earlier this week, he told a news conference that some Chechen refugees had already come to Turkey, but did not say how many or when they arrived. Turkey's Muslim opposition had urged Mr. Ecevit to cancel the visit, saying the prime minister's trip would be a signal that Turkey supports the Chechnya offensive.

    /// OPT ///

    While in Moscow, Mr. Ecevit is expected to meet with Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and make a joint statement condemning terrorism. The statement is expected to stress that both countries should refuse to shelter foreign terrorist groups or allow them to raise funds and obtain weapons while in Turkish or Russian territory. /// END OPT /// But high on the prime minister's agenda will be talks on a pipeline project to pump Russian gas from the Black Sea to Turkey.

    /// OPT///

    Russian news agencies report Mr. Ecevit will meet with President Boris Yeltsin, but the Kremlin would not immediately confirm the meeting. /// END OPT /// The Turkish prime minister says that during his visit he will encourage Russia to find a peaceful solution to the Chechen conflict. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/GE/JO 04-Nov-1999 11:33 AM EDT (04-Nov-1999 1633 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY RALPH ECKHARDT (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=11/4/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11546
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A day after local election results were in, U- S editorial writers are turning their attention to a variety of topics - among them, the anniversary of the hostage taking at the U-S embassy in Tehran, progress in Middle East peace, how to deal with Iraq, a look at Cuba's dictator, and moving democracy further into the electronic age. With a closer look and some excerpts, here is _____________with today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The "Los Angeles Times" marks the 20th anniversary of the seizure of the U-S Embassy in Tehran that resulted in 52 Americans being held by radical students for 444-days. The paper notes the pressure for reform in Iran.

    VOICE: ...this year's anniversary prompted another kind of rally.... At Tehran University about one-thousand students, shouting such slogans as "Freedom of expression forever!" and carrying banners calling for dialogue with the West, defied the clerical regime and made clear their support for reform. Among the leaders of the reform effort are a number of now middle-aged former students who participated in the embassy's seizure. The 1997 election that gave Mohammad Khatami the presidency sharply exposed the deep divisions in Iranian society. With explosive post-revolution population growth, most Iranians today have no memory of life under the late shah. Many - younger people and women especially -- have come increasingly to resent the cramped and repressive atmosphere of the theocratic state. But ... endorsement of more liberal policies at home and a "dialogue between civilizations" abroad remains opposed by those who insist that Iran must continue to be ruled on strict clerical lines.

    TEXT: That was the view of the Los Angeles Times. New York's "Newsday" turns to Middle East peace and the hard work left for those involved in the so-called "final-status" negotiations that begin Monday between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

    VOICE: Having reaffirmed their willingness in Oslo to move forward, Israel and the Palestinians are now ready to embark on the most difficult phase of the Mideast peace process. The critical ingredient will be for both sides to exhibit the will to compromise on long-held dreams. Next week's talks will begin to tackle the most emotion-fraught issues for both peoples: Palestinian statehood, Israel's boundaries, the fate of Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the future of Jerusalem. [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Barak's statement that he intends to sign a final peace agreement with a state, not with an entity, hint that Israel may be willing the settle the question of Palestinian statehood first. ... [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat has his work cut out to convince Palestinians they must be prepared to make compromises and abandon their own illusions - something he has not yet done convincingly.

    /// OPTIONAL ///

    TEXT: So writes "Newsday." The "Chicago Tribune" adds the hope the United States can continue to use its influence to find lasting peace in the Middle East.

    VOICE: Drawing up a framework to end the long and bitter Mideast conflict in 100 days looks wildly ambitious, but there is reason for optimism after what happened this week in Oslo. With President Clinton at their elbows, nudging them on, [the slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin's protege, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and [Mr.] Rabin's old partner in peace, P-L-O Chairman Yasser Arafat, vowed to accelerate their talks on all outstanding issues between now and mid-February. [Mr.] Barak and [Mr.] Arafat have recognized that each side must make painful compromises and that a bad deal can only lead to more conflict. [Mr.] Clinton wisely promised to help, including possibly hosting a Camp David-style summit... if real progress seems possible.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In an examination of another Middle East situation, the "New York Post" says U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan needs to be tougher in dealing with the Hussein government in Iraq.

    VOICE: U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to stand by ...Hans von Sponeck ... for another year in his post as U.N. coordinator of relief efforts in Iraq. ... Despite vigorous protests by the United Sates and Britain... [Mr.] Sponeck feels that the entire notion of sanctions against the Butcher of Baghdad is barbarous... Washington and London complain, quite rightly, that [Mr.] Sponeck can not objectively administer the relief program. He has repeatedly condemned the United States and Britain...vehemently rejecting Washington's charge that he has turned a blind eye towards [Iraqi leader] Saddam [Hussein]'s repeated stockpiling - even exporting - of his basic foodstuffs. But then, [Mr.] Sponeck is clearly taking cues from [Mr.] Annan, who has also attacked America and Britain for trying to make certain that humanitarian aid actually makes it to its intended recipients.

    TEXT: The "Miami Herald" looks closer to U-S shores, and says the end of the government of Fidel Castro in Cuba is drawing closer, and its opponents are becoming more feared by those in power.

    VOICE: The dictator is slipping toward the edge, frustrated by criticism and running out of people to blame for the collapse of his country. Only two-weeks before the Ibero-American Summit ... in Havana, Fidel Castro launched a disjointed harangue against Cuba's courageous dissidents who, he said, are being manipulated by the United States into "sabotaging" the summit. ...He is frustrated and angry...because both inside and outside the island, people increasingly see his repressive regime for what it is: a systematic violator of universal human rights and an economic disaster of his own making... Dissidents have stepped up their activities in hopes of getting their complaints heard during the summit... The only weapon the dissidents have is the power of their protests to resonate abroad - it is a weapon that is finally unnerving the aging tyrant.

    TEXT: Turning to a domestic issue, the "Boston Globe" says it is time for the U-S electoral process to go on-line. The newspaper says that will enhance democracy.

    VOICE: The prospect of voters one day casting ballots on the Internet makes some people nervous. It should not. Purists wince at what seems like a blow to the civic tradition of going to the polling place. But on-line voting is being considered as an addition to, not a replacement for, the old-fashioned ballot... The convenience of voting from home or from computers in libraries and other public buildings just might inspire all voters, who have been woefully apathetic: Even in presidential election years turnout is less than 50-percent. Purists worried about the blow the Internet might inflict on civic tradition should consider the pummeling democracy is taking from a turned-off electorate. Every tool of the communications age should be used to restart that vital engine.

    TEXT: That opinion of the Boston Globe concludes today's look at some editorial comment from U-S newspapers. NEB/RAE/gm 04-Nov-1999 12:08 PM EDT (04-Nov-1999 1708 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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