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Voice of America, 99-11-12

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO / PLANE (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (TIRANA)
  • [02] MACEDONIA ELECTION (L ONLY) BY BETH POTTER (SPLIT, CROATIA)
  • [03] TURKEY QUAKE (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [04] NORTHERN IRELAND (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [05] NORTHERN IRELAND (L UDPATE) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [06] AHERN - NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE (L-O) BY BARBARA SCHOETZAU (NEW YORK)
  • [07] ITALY / BUILDING COLLAPSE (L ONLY) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (ROME)
  • [08] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [09] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY LINDA CASHDAN (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO / PLANE (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (TIRANA)

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256114
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A small passenger plane operated by the United Nations World Food Program has crashed near Pristina, the capital of Yugoslavia's Kosovo province. Tim Belay reports from Tirana (Albania), a regular stop for the U-N plane on its daily flights between Rome and Kosovo.

    TEXT: More than 20 people are feared dead after the crash around mid-day Friday. The plane was on its way from Rome and disappeared from radar as it approached Pristina. Humanitarian workers have used this air service, mainly because travel by land in Kosovo and Albania is difficult and can be dangerous. Two aid workers and their driver died in July when their car plunged off a treacherous roadway between Tirana and Kukes, a northern Albanian city which borders Kosovo and was the entry point for most of the refugees who came here. There have been conflicting reports as to whether or not the wreckage of the 40-passenger, twin-turboprop aircraft has been located. A spokesman for the NATO- led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo says the plane apparently went down in an area which is believed to be heavily mined. Commercial flights to Pristina airport resumed in October, and because of that the United Nations scaled back its schedule of World Food Program flights. At the peak of the post-war relief effort, the U-N operated a heavy schedule of daily flights between Rome, Tirana, Pristina and the Macedonian capital, Skopje. (Signed)
    NEB/TB/WTW 12-Nov-1999 18:26 PM EDT (12-Nov-1999 2326 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] MACEDONIA ELECTION (L ONLY) BY BETH POTTER (SPLIT, CROATIA)

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256094
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Voters in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia go to the polls Sunday in the second round of their country's presidential election. Beth Potter reports the country's Albanian minority may have a major role in deciding the winner.

    TEXT: The nationalist Social Democratic party candidate, Tito Petkovski, appears to have the lead going into the second round of voting against the ruling party's candidate, Boris Trajkovski. Mr. Petkovski easily won the first round of voting two weeks ago, finishing far ahead of Mr. Trajkovski. But Macedonia's large ethnic Albanian minority -- more than 20 per cent of the country's population -- could play a big role in Sunday's voting. Two losing Albanian candidates received about 30 percent of the vote in the first round of balloting -- enough to swing the outcome in a close race. Mr. Trajkovski -- Macedonia's deputy foreign minister has branded his opponent a "national socialist," comparing him to Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Mr. Petkovski denies he supports the Yugoslav leader, but says he wants good ties with Belgrade. Mr. Trajkovski came to the attention of the public during the Kosovo war when he served as a government spokesman -- complaining about what he called inadequate international response to the plight of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo. Mr. Petkovski is a former Communist party worker who became speaker of parliament three years ago. Both men say they want Macedonia to join the European Union and NATO. More than 50 percent of the country's voters must take part in the election to make the result official. An international monitoring organization praised the fairness of voting in the first round of Macedonia's presidential voting two weeks ago. Observers visited 900 polling stations and gave high marks to 95 percent of them. (Signed)
    NEB/BP/JWH/KL 12-Nov-1999 11:54 AM EDT (12-Nov-1999 1654 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] TURKEY QUAKE (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256102
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A powerful earthquake struck northwestern Turkey late Friday, causing death and destruction in a heavily-populated region east of Istanbul, close to the area devastated by a catastrophic quake three months ago. Details are still coming in, but it is clear there have been many injuries, and many homes have been demolished. The earthquake measured seven- point-two [7.2] on the Richter scale. Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara, which also was hit hard by the tremor.

    TEXT: Hundreds of people are feared wounded by the earthquake, which was centered in the town of Duzce, in Bolu province 170 kilometers east of Istanbul. The town was plunged into darkness and fires erupted as thousands of panicked citizens poured into the streets for safety. The quake struck at 6:57 p-m, local time [1657 U-T-C]. President Suleyman Demirel said the earthquake was a big disaster that had obviously caused some deaths. Bolu Police Chief Ugur Gur appealed through the private N-T-V television channel for help, saying the town was in desperate need of ambulances and doctors. Mr. Gul says the main highway connecting Bolu to Istanbul was damaged, and closed to traffic after the initial tremor, which was followed by powerful aftershocks. N-T-V reported hundreds of victims were being treated for their injuries in the garden of the local hospital which was instantly evacuated after the earthquake. The tremor is the strongest to hit Turkey since the massive earthquake that ripped through eight northwestern provinces on August 17th, killing at least 17-thousand people and wounding many others. Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless in the disaster, and continue to live in flimsy tents. Friday's earthquake was felt in Ankara, the capital, where terrified residents took to the streets. It also was felt in Istanbul and as far south as the Mediterranean resort of Antalya. President Clinton is due to begin a two-day visit to Turkey in Ankara on Monday. His schedule also calls for him to visit areas hit hard by the August earthquake. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/WTW 12-Nov-1999 14:58 PM EDT (12-Nov-1999 1958 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] NORTHERN IRELAND (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256077
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Former U-S Senator George Mitchell is meeting once again with Unionist and Republican leaders in Northern Ireland to try to break the impasse over disarming the Irish Republican Army paramilitaries. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman in London reports the talks are teetering on the edge of success or stalemate after Unionists rejected the latest compromise bid from the I-R-A's political wing, Sinn Fein.

    TEXT: All week the mood around the talks in Belfast has been fairly upbeat. But that optimism was dampened Thursday night when Ulster Unionist party leaders rejected the latest, unspecified I-R-A bid to break the impasse over disarming. The head of the I-R-A's political wing, Gerry Adams offers no details, only warnings of grave consequences if this round of talks breaks down.

    /// ADAMS ACT ///

    We had hoped to have successfully concluded the review by now. We have been told that the Ulster Unionist party has said no. I'm asking everyone to reflect upon this and upon the seriousness of this.

    /// END ACT ///

    For his part, British Prime Minister Tony Blair says the process is still alive and urges more patience. He spoke to reporters in South Africa where he is attending a Commonwealth summit.

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    I hope very much that people will keep on trying to think calmly about this, have some patience, understand how extraordinarily close we are to a possible agreement and how far people have come.

    /// END ACT ///

    Former U-S Senator George Mitchell is meeting with Unionist and Republican leaders once again in Belfast to try to rescue the peace process. Mr. Mitchell helped broker the 1998 Good Friday agreement. Now he is trying to help get it implemented. Ulster Unionists refuse to let Sinn Fein join the all- party executive council before the I-R-A starts handing over weapons. Sinn Fein says the peace agreement has no such pre-condition. Britain cannot transfer home rule powers to Belfast until the council is established. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH 12-Nov-1999 07:56 AM EDT (12-Nov-1999 1256 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] NORTHERN IRELAND (L UDPATE) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256085
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS REPORT UPDATES CR-2-256077, TALKS ADJOURNED FOR WEEKEND ///

    INTRO: Former U-S Senator George Mitchell has met with Unionist and Republican leaders in Northern Ireland and says the two sides will meet again Monday. Mr Mitchell who helped broker the 1998 peace agreement now is trying to break an impasse over disarming the Irish Republican Army paramilitaries. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London.

    TEXT: Mr Mitchell refuses to give up after more than two months of non-stop talks, billed as a review of the peace process. He has given both sides a couple of days away from the negotiating table to consult with their political supporters. A statement issued in his name says "it is appropriate to take the time necessary to thoroughly and carefully consider these important matters." Unionists and Republicans have been deadlocked for nearly two years over the timing of the handover of I- R-A weapons and the establishment of an all-party council to deal with the transfer of home rule powers from London. Hope of a breakthrough was dampened Thursday night when Ulster Unionist party leaders rejected the latest, unspecified I-R-A bid to break the impasse. The head of the I-R-A's political wing, Gerry Adams says the Unionists must decide, in his words, "whether they want the process to succeed".

    /// ADAMS ACT ///

    Sinn Fein has demonstrated that we want it to work and made strenuous efforts, we have taken initiatives and stressed ourselves and our constituencies to the limit.

    /// END ACT ///

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair urges more patience. He spoke to reporters in South Africa where he is attending a Commonwealth summit.

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    I hope very much that people will keep on trying to think calmly about this, have some patience, understand how extraordinarily close we are to an agreement and how far people have come.

    /// END ACT ///

    So far neither side is ready to call it quits. Both Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists say they will be back at Belfast's Stormont Castle to continue the talks on Monday. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/KL 12-Nov-1999 09:49 AM EDT (12-Nov-1999 1449 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] AHERN - NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE (L-O) BY BARBARA SCHOETZAU (NEW YORK)

    DATE=11/13/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256111
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: In New York today (Friday), the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, said he hopes a weekend of reflection will help both sides in Northern Ireland to break the deadlock when they resume talks Monday over the 1998 peace agreement. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from New York.

    TEXT: Mr. Ahern, an architect of the so-called "Good Friday" peace agreement, says it is time to stop trying to change the peace accord and start implementing it. The main parties to the peace agreement are stalled over the issue of weapons. The largest of the groups favoring continued British rule, the Ulster Unionist Party, wants the Irish Republican Army to begin turning over its weapons before its political wing, Sinn Fein, takes up its leadership positions in the new Northern Ireland Assembly. Sinn Fein objects to the new condition, saying it is not part of the original peace agreement. Former U-S Senator George Mitchell - who brokered the 1998 agreement - has been working to break the impasse for 10 weeks. Early Friday, he sent both sides home, asking them to "pause and reflect on the magnitude of the decisions they have to make." Prime Minister Ahern says both sides should remember how far they have come and how much they have achieved. And, he says, they should also remember that no side in any dispute ever achieves everything it wants.

    /// AHERN ACT ///

    We are now faced with implementing what the people have overwhelmingly voted for. The people voted for this agreement. And it is said by everyone in the North that there is no agreement ever more studied than the Good Friday agreement. Therefore, we have an obligation to implement it. We were asked to review it. We reviewed it. And now I think there is no more we can do. We can just reflect on it and say "Yes" or "Nay." I just hope everybody says "Yes."

    /// END ACT ////

    Mr. Ahern says he remains optimistic the two sides will be able to resolve points of contention when they resume talks Monday. The Irish prime minister, ending a three-day visit to New York, spoke to the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, a private U-S group that has been influential in the peace process.(SIGNED) NEB/NYC/BJS/LSF/JP 12-Nov-1999 17:06 PM EDT (12-Nov-1999 2206 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] ITALY / BUILDING COLLAPSE (L ONLY) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (ROME)

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256074
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Hopes are fading of finding any survivors from the apartment block collapse in southern Italy. Sabina Castelfranco in Rome reports that so far, 30 people have been confirmed dead in the disaster.

    TEXT: A frantic search for survivors continues at the site where a six-story building collapsed early Thursday in the southern Italian city of Foggia. But no one was recovered alive during the night. One body -- burned beyond recognition -- was pulled out of the ruins in the early hours of the morning. Other corpses are slowly being recovered. But smoke from a fire that developed underneath the rubble is hampering the search. The last survivor was pulled from the wreckage late Thursday afternoon. Cheers and applause broke among the exhausted rescue workers and on-lookers as they realized the 25-year old man was alive. Now, authorities say the chances of finding anyone else still alive are slim, but search operations continue using sniffer dogs and sonar-detection devices. Around 75 people are thought to have been in the apartment block at the time of the collapse. The Italian government has declared a limited state of emergency, allowing funds to be released to help survivors and the families of the victims. The cause of the building collapse is still not known. Two separate judicial investigations have been opened to try to determine responsibilities. Meanwhile members of Italy's parliament have been demanding periodic building checks be carried out and asking why so little has been done to avoid this kind of incident. Less than one year ago a building collapsed in Rome killing 27 people. The national statistics bureau has said that more than three-and-one-half-million buildings in Italy are at risk of collapse. (Signed)
    NEB/SC/JWH 12-Nov-1999 06:42 AM EDT (12-Nov-1999 1142 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256107
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States rallied today (Friday) after Wall Street received some positive news on the U-S economy. The Federal Reserve Board (U-S central bank) will sift through all kinds of economic data Tuesday when it makes a decision on whether to raise interest rates. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 173 points, or more than one and one-half percent, closing at 10-thousand-769. The industrials were up 65 points for the week. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 14 points to 13-hundred-96. And the Nasdaq composite index set another record high, with a gain of three- quarters of one percent. U-S worker productivity rose more-than-expected in the third quarter, while labor costs were held in check. This positive data pushed bond prices up, sending more money into stocks. Retail sales in the United States remained steady in October, but taking out weaker demand for automobiles, they actually went up one-half of one-percent.

    /// Begin Opt ///

    And, a new survey of consumer sentiment shows Americans are still enthusiastic about shopping. Robert Buchanan, a retail specialist with A-G Edwards investment firm, expects retailers to get a big boost during the coming Christmas holiday season:

    /// Buchanan Act ///

    Consumer spending looks good, given that buying power continues to grow at a three to four percent rate. And despite the gyrations we've had recently in the stock market, I think that's still a positive. People are feeling good, I think, coming into the holiday.

    /// End Act ///

    Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the U-S economy.

    /// End Opt ///

    Financial and banking stocks rallied strongly after President Clinton signed a long-awaited financial reform bill in Washington.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    Shares of Intel, the number one semi-conductor maker, did not participate in Friday's stock market rally, losing over four percent. This - after a major brokerage firm downgraded the stock, saying Intel will have enormous challenges over the next 12 months, including competitive pressure from rival Advanced Micro Devices. Advanced Micro told analysts it unexpectedly would break even in the next quarter after a string of losses. Dell - the leading seller in the personal computer business - did not fare well in trading either. Dell reported profits rose over 40 percent in its latest quarter. However, this was in line with reduced expectations for the company. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/JP 12-Nov-1999 16:51 PM EDT (12-Nov-1999 2151 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY LINDA CASHDAN (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11554
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United States' unpaid debt to the United Nations - one-billion dollars by U-S estimates; one- point-seven- billion according to the United Nations - draws editorial comments from two U-S newspapers Friday. Also attracting attention are Russia's attacks on Chechnya and the new military government in Pakistan. Now here is ____________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's editorial digest.

    TEXT: The U-S Senate has voted to give money to the United Nations, but the amount approved falls short of the United States' total obligation. The House of Representatives has tied U-N debt repayment to a bill that limits U-S support of population control measures that may favor abortion. Both measures dim the prospects for U-S debt repayment. By taking such actions, the Oregonian newspaper says in an editorial, the U-S Congress "stains our honor and angers our allies." Voice: "The United States' deadbeat status is scarring its international position. (U-S) Congressmen fulminating about the United Nations cite its occasional outbursts of anti-American rhetoric, but those angriest at the U-S failure are its closest allies. The British Ambassador recently warned that the American's voice was muddled and its reputation tarnished by its huge unpaid debt. Without a major payment by the end of the year, the United States will lose its vote in the United Nations, an organization that, Secretary-General Kofi Annan reminds us, was created by the United States and now looks to America for leadership."

    TEXT: An editorial in The Philadelphia Inquirer agrees, pointing out that the United States now owes the United Nations twice as much money as all the other slow-paying members combined. Voice: "This debt is not just an imposition to the less prosperous nations that have stepped up for peace-keeping assignments and then been stiffed on reimbursement. America's deadbeat status undercuts U-S national security. It makes other nations less apt to follow Washington's lead on matters ranging from human rights, to peacekeeping, to hiring at the United Nations itself. This is one of the falsest economies in the world."

    TEXT: An editorial in the New York Times Friday criticizes General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in Pakistan last month, for not yet presenting a timetable for the restoration of democracy. The Times calls the military government's move this week to file charges of treason, hijacking and kidnapping against the ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, "an alarming step backward." Voice: "Pakistan would do well to heed the lessons of one of the darkest chapters of its recent history. In the nation's last military coup, Pakistani generals overthrew Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and later tried him on murder charges. Mr. Bhutto was hanged in 1979, provoking worldwide condemnation and a backlash at home. A decade later, partly as a result, Pakistanis voted Mr. Bhutto's daughter, Benazir, into power. She is now in self-imposed exile pending corruption charges against her and her family. . No one doubts that there is reason to pursue corruption charges against both politicians. Indeed, General Musharraf's pledge to rid Pakistani politics of its systematic thievery was greeted positively even by his critics. But an investigation cannot become an excuse for rushing a political rival to execution."

    TEXT: Finally, the Los Angeles Times focuses its editorial spotlight on the Russia - Chechnya conflict. Conceding that Islamic militants from Chechnya do pose a serious security problem for Russia, the Los Angeles Times nonetheless insists that Russia is over- reacting. Voice: "Moscow's military revenge is unjustifiably murderous, claiming the lives of hundreds of civilians and driving huge numbers of the Chechen people out of their homes. The assault on Chechnya violates a number of Russia's treaty obligations. The international community, especially Russia's partners in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O-S-C-E), should hold Moscow accountable. . The crisis in Chechnya should top the agenda for the O-S-C-E summit November 18 and 19 in Istanbul, Turkey."

    TEXT: That concludes a sampling of U-S newspaper editorial comment for Friday, November 12th, 1999.
    NEB/LC/JP 12-Nov-1999 11:24 AM EDT (12-Nov-1999 1624 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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