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Voice of America, 99-11-22

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CLINTON - BULGARIA (S&L-OVERNITER) BY DEBORAH TATE (SOFIA)
  • [02] BULGARIA REACT - CLINTON (L ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (SOFIA)
  • [03] CLINTON - BULGARIA (L-WRAP) BY DEBORAH TATE (SOFIA)
  • [04] CLINTON - KOSOVO (S-ONITER) BY DEBORAH TATE (SOFIA)
  • [05] CLINTON / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (TIRANA)
  • [06] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [07] RUSSIA AND THE WEST BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [08] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [09] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

  • [01] CLINTON - BULGARIA (S&L-OVERNITER) BY DEBORAH TATE (SOFIA)

    DATE=11/21/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256417
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Clinton has arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria - becoming the first U-S President to visit the former Soviet bloc nation. Economic and democratic reform top his agenda. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the Bulgarian capital.

    /// MUSIC - FADE UNDER ///

    TEXT: A military band and honor guard met Mr. Clinton at the airport Sunday night. The President came to Sofia to encourage the government to continue on the path of reform. Bulgaria - which had one of the closest relationships to Moscow of any of the East bloc nations during the Cold War - has had some difficulty on the road to economic reform since it broke with its Communist past 10 years ago. But two years ago, it stabilized its currency, got inflation under control, and has begun to see evidence of economic growth. The President is also expected to use his visit to praise Bulgaria for its support of NATO's bombing campaign over Yugoslavia earlier this year. In return for that support, Bulgarians want their country to be compensated for trade lost as a result of sanctions on Serbia.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG VERSION ///

    They also want entry into western institutions - like NATO and the European Union, organizations that say Bulgaria needs to make more progress in reforms before it can become a member. Mr. Clinton will hold talks with Bulgarian leaders Monday before speaking to the Bulgarian people, and attending a State dinner.

    /// MUSIC - FADE UNDER ///

    After his airport arrival, Mr. Clinton - accompanied by daughter Chelsea - was serenaded at a restaurant in Sofia by girls dressed in medieval costumes. When asked what he was having for dinner, the President responded `goose livers, because I want to prove that I am a real Bulgarian.' (Signed) Neb/dat/gm 21-Nov-1999 19:43 PM EDT (22-Nov-1999 0043 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] BULGARIA REACT - CLINTON (L ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (SOFIA)

    DATE=11/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256453
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Bulgarians say they hope President Clinton's visit to Sofia marks a turning point for their country. Correspoundent Deborah Tate spoke to a number of them as they awaited Mr. Clinton's speech in Nevsky Square Monday night.

    TEXT: Ten years after massive protests in Nevsky Square paved the way to democratic reform, history again was being made at the site. Never before had an American President come to the former Soviet bloc nation - a fact that brought tens of thousands to the square to hear Mr. Clinton speak.

    /// MAN ACTUALITY ///

    It's a rare event to have an American president here.

    /// WOMAN ACTUALITY ///

    I think it is a great day, because this is the first visit - I hope it is not the last visit of the President.

    // END ACT //

    Although some Bulgarians opposed the NATO bombing campaign over Yugoslavia, they put the issue aside. Many hope the President's visit will give a boost to their country's aspirations to become a member of NATO and the European Union. At the very least, they believe Mr. Clinton's attention to their country will attract much-needed investment.

    /// WOMAN ACTUALITY ///

    I think it will help Bulgaria with its economic situation.

    /// MAN ACTUALITY ///

    I don't expect the United States will affect us directly in the economic field, but it might promote the interests of American investors to come here, because we need capital, we need development in the economic field, in industry, in agriculture.

    /// END ACT ///

    Not everyone was completely happy with the Presidential visit. Some Bulgarians are upset at the level of security in Sofia - saying it is even tighter than during the Soviet era.

    /// WOMAN ACTUALITY ///

    If I want to go to the theater right there I can't, all these people if they want to do something in the center of Sofia they can't, okay? Because of Clinton. Because of Clinton they don't have that freedom.

    /// END ACT ///

    Despite the woman's criticism, she joined the thousands of others in Nevsky Square to watch a bit of history unfold in their city. (Signed) Neb/dat/gm 22-Nov-1999 16:01 PM EDT (22-Nov-1999 2101 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] CLINTON - BULGARIA (L-WRAP) BY DEBORAH TATE (SOFIA)

    DATE=11/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256447
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT: Intro: President Clinton has pledged U-S support for reform in Bulgaria, and has appealed to Serbian-led Yugoslavia to follow the democratic path of its Balkan neighbor. Correspondent Deborah Tate is traveling with the president and reports from the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. Text: Mr. Clinton acknowledged that some in Bulgaria have not reaped the benefits of recent reforms in their country, but he urged Bulgarians to stay the course.

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY #1 ///

    If you stay the course, Bulgaria will be a place where young people can make their dreams come true; and Americans and Bulgarians together will help to build a Europe that is undivided, democratic and at peace for the first time in all human history.

    /// END ACT ///

    Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov, speaking through a translator, vowed that his country would follow through on reforms.

    /// STOYANOV ACTUALITY ///

    Regardless of the difficulties and the disillusionment, regardless of the obstacles ahead of us and the huge challenges, the path is clear. It is lying straight ahead of us. And we have to go it to the end.

    /// END ACT ///

    The two presidents spoke in Nevsky Square, the symbolic birthplace of Bulgarian democracy, where 10 years earlier, mass protests against Communist rule paved the way to democratic reform. Tens of thousands of people turned out to cheer the first American president to visit their country. Mr. Clinton offered a message Bulgarians wanted to hear - that he is committed to seeing that the doors remain open to their country's membership in the European Union and NATO. He thanked Bulgaria for its support for NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia earlier this year. The country allowed NATO planes to fly through its airspace. Praising Bulgaria as a model of stability and ethnic harmony, Mr. Clinton called on neighboring Serbia to follow in its lead.

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY #2 ///

    I hope the people of Serbia can hear our voices when we say, if you choose as Bulgaria has chosen, you will regain the rightful place in Europe Mr. (Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic has stolen from you, and America will support you, too. (applause)

    /// END ACT ///

    It is a message Mr. Clinton is expected to repeat when he visits the Yugoslav province of Kosovo on Tuesday. He will meet with Kosovar leaders and U-S peacekeeping troops, and deliver a speech to the Kosovar people.

    /// REST OPT ///

    The conflict over Kosovo hurt Bulgaria's economy. Washington Monday announced stepped up assistance to Sofia - including 25 million dollars in debt relief and four million dollars to local governments to help them cope with the aftermath of the conflict. (Signed)
    NEB/DAT/JO 22-Nov-1999 14:50 PM EDT (22-Nov-1999 1950 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] CLINTON - KOSOVO (S-ONITER) BY DEBORAH TATE (SOFIA)

    DATE=11/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256456
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Clinton makes a brief trip to the Yugoslav province of Kosovo Tuesday -- the last stop on his five-nation tour of Europe, and a visit that promises to be a high point of the trip. Correspondent Deborah Tate, who has been traveling with the president, has a preview (from Sofia, Bulgaria, where the president spent Monday night).

    TEXT: Mr. Clinton will meet with Kosovar leaders, including ethnic Albanians and Serbs who serve on a transitional council in the province, and he will deliver a speech to the people of Kosovo. The president told reporters (Monday) he will call for tolerance among the Kosovars, hoping to bring an end to a series of revenge attacks by civilians that followed NATO's bombing campaign earlier this year. Most of the attacks have been carried out by ethnic Albanians against Kosovo's Serb population.

    /// CLINTON ACT ///

    I will make a very strong statement about the importance of everybody getting over this ethnic hatred, and going beyond it.

    /// END ACT ///

    The President is also expected to express his support for the political opposition in Serbia; he will call for a democratic Serbia to play a role in creating an undivided, peaceful and free Europe. Later, he will thank U-S troops for their role in U-N peacekeeping in Kosovo. Mr. Clinton returns to Washington Tuesday night. (Signed)
    NEB/DAT/WTW 22-Nov-1999 17:11 PM EDT (22-Nov-1999 2211 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] CLINTON / KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (TIRANA)

    DATE=11/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256440
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Kosovo's ethnic Albanians are expected to give President Clinton a warm welcome when he visits Tuesday. Tim Belay reports from Tirana, in neighboring Albania.

    TEXT: Mr. Clinton's visit to Serbia's Kosovo province is the last scheduled stop on his 10-day visit to Turkey and nations in southern and southeastern Europe. Kosovo is still plagued by violence between ethnic Albanians and Serbs -- more than five-months after a U-S-led bombing campaign forced Serb troops to withdraw from the province. But a repeat of the protests that accompanied the President's visit last week in Greece is considered highly unlikely. Mr. Clinton is hugely popular with the ethnic-Albanians in Kosovo -- who now make up nearly the entire population of the province. While in Kosovo, the President is expected to speak to some of the six-thousand U-S troops taking part in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in the province. Mr. Clinton's visit to Kosovo comes after a number of other high-level Western officials have journeyed to Kosovo. They include Secretary of State Madeline Albright and U-S Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke. In Albania, many people say they feel left out. They say U-S officials praised Albanians for their response to the Kosovo refugee crisis earlier this year. But they say the U-S officials -- Secretary Albright, Ambassador Holbrooke, and now President Clinton -- all have bypassed Albania when they visit the region. (SIGNED)
    NEB/TB/JWH/RAE 22-Nov-1999 10:51 AM EDT (22-Nov-1999 1551 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=11/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256441
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russia's army chief of staff says he expects federal troops to capture the Chechen capital, Grozny, without a fight. Moscow Correspondent Peter Heinlein reports Russian military planners are predicting that Grozny will be surrounded by the middle of next month.

    TEXT: Russia's semi-official Interfax news agency quotes military command sources as saying federal troops will have the Chechen capital encircled by mid- December. The cordon around the city is said to be 80-percent complete, with only the southern approach remaining open. Grozny has been heavily bombed and shelled for weeks. The population is said to have dwindled from 300- thousand before the latest fighting to less than 30- thousand.

    /// OPT ///

    Russian sources say as many as six-thousand Chechen fighters are entrenched inside the capital, but there is no way to confirm those reports. Most communications links were cut by the first wave of bomb attacks in September.

    /// END OPT ///

    Army Chief of Staff General Anatoly Kvashnin told reporters (Monday) the capital could fall without a shot, as Chechnya's second-city Gudermes and other towns did earlier this month.
    /// KVASHNIN ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO...///
    He says -- it will be the same approach as with Gudermes and Achkoi-Martan and the others. The local population will work things out with the bandits from the inside, and we will help them.

    /// OPT ///

    Russian officers routinely refer to the Chechen fighters as bandits and terrorists.

    /// END OPT //

    The immediate focus of federal troops is the southern rebel-stronghold of Urus-Martan, 30-kilometers southwest of the capital. Interfax reports Russian forces are planning an offensive against the town, where they believe a large contingent of Chechen fighters is massed.

    /// REST OPT ///

    The war remains largely popular with Russians, even among those who opposed the earlier Chechen campaign in the mid-nineties. A recent poll indicates nearly 70-percent of the public approve of the offensive. Nobel-prize winning author and former dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn is the latest to add his voice in support. In a Sunday television interview, he said it was not us who attacked. We were attacked. The 80-year old Mr. Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia in 1994, 20-years after being expelled by Communist authorities. He said we have been giving in everywhere. We have to stop somewhere, because we have been retreating for 15 years. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/GE/RAE 22-Nov-1999 10:59 AM EDT (22-Nov-1999 1559 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] RUSSIA AND THE WEST BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=11/22/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44088
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russia's defiant rejection of foreign criticism of its military offensive in Chechnya has sent East-West relations plummeting to their lowest levels since the Cold War. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Peter Heinlein reports Russia's leaders are taking an increasingly confrontational stance toward the West.

    TEXT: The world saw an angry Boris Yeltsin at last week's European Security summit in Istanbul.

    /// YELTSIN ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO...///

    He says, "You don't have the right to criticize Russia for Chechnya." Mr. Yeltsin's words echoed similarly tough statements from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as well as from Russia's Defense and Foreign Ministers, and a number of senior generals. The defiant stand has been roundly applauded at home, where the military offensive in Chechnya enjoys solid public support.

    /// NATALYA ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO...///

    "Yeltsin was right to tell them not to interfere. It's our internal business." This 60-year old pensioner, who identified herself only as Natalya, said, "you don't interfere in the affairs of a neighboring family when the husband and wife are quarrelling." A sampling of Moscow public opinion indicates what experts have been saying for months. Russians increasingly believe that the West, especially the United States, has been taking advantage of Russian weakness since the Soviet Union collapsed. Political analyst Alan Rousso of the Moscow Carnegie Center says a Cold War mentality has gradually taken hold among Russia's political elite since the economic crash of August of last year.

    /// ROUSSO ACT ///

    I think since the crash in August there has been an overall shift in the way many Russians think about the West and think about the United States in particular, and since then it has been one thing after another, including the formal absorption of three former Warsaw Pact states into NATO, then suddenly the war in Kosovo, the war in Yugoslavia, which demonstrated to Russians that the world had become an increasingly more dangerous place for them, and increasingly marginalized them from the issues at the heart of European security. Then you add to that the (allegations of a) money laundering scandal and the war in Chechnya and by all means the relationship can be said to have reached a new low.

    /// END ACT ///

    Moscow political analyst Andrei Piontkowsky says the current Russian leadership, which was raised to believe the West was its enemy, is reacting instinctively to a perceived threat.

    /// PIONTKOWSKY ACT ///

    /// Opt ///

    I think the reasons are basically psychological, this irritation of Russian political class who are physically the Soviet political class. /// End opt /// These people are very much frustrated with the downgrading of (the) role of Russia from the superpower to the, let's say, major regional power. Very often the anti-American posturing is driven not by (a) real problem or real national interests, but by those deep psychological complexes.

    /// END ACT ///

    The result is a sharp increase not only in anti- western rhetoric, but also in military muscle flexing. In addition to the Chechen conflict, Russia has recently conducted three high-profile launches of nuclear capable missiles. One analyst called the launches a reminder that Moscow is still a power to be reckoned with. A number of prominent international experts have expressed concern about the potential for a further downturn in relations. Dmitry Simes of the Nixon Center in Washington was quoted this week as saying Americans are increasingly viewing Russia as a country out of control, where the democratic experiment is proving to be badly flawed. Mr. Simes said Russians see the United States as a rogue superpower, which hypocritically supports Russian reforms, but in fact wants to undermine Russia. Harvard University Professor Richard Pipes told a recent forum that Prime Minister Putin and the Russian generals reflect Moscow's mood at the height of the Cold War. He suggested the West should deal with Russia by showing both "great sensitivity and great firmness." (Signed)
    NEB/PFH/GE/KL 22-Nov-1999 15:16 PM EDT (22-Nov-1999 2016 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=11/22/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11562
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Editorial writers are busy commenting on the U-S federal budget that passed last week after a long delay. Other topics popular in today's Editorial Pages include a guilty plea by the United Nations over mishandling of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina; the threshold of peace in Northern Ireland; the China trade deal; a hard truth for Ukraine and more criticism of the International Monetary Fund. Now, here is _________with a closer look, including some excerpts, in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: About seven-weeks into the U-S government's fiscal year 2000, the White House and Congress finally agreed on a budget. There is a good deal of comment on the spending plan, and in the New Jersey capital, "The Trenton Times" calls the total package flawed and gimmicky, but says:

    VOICE: . it is better than might have been expected, given the deep antagonism between the two sides and they are opposing partisan agendas. The most important element of the agreement was the Republicans' abandonment of their campaign to cut taxes by 792-billion dollars over the next 10-years. The timing of such a cut, in the midst of an economic boom, would have been atrocious.

    TEXT: In Georgia, "The Atlanta Journal" is not enthralled either:

    VOICE: Unfortunately, this year's budget process seemed to be little more than a collection of campaign slogans designed to bolster the campaigns of presidential contenders. And despite a supposedly conservative majority in Congress, the budget again reflected Washington's chronic inability to eliminate wasteful spending and outmoded programs.

    TEXT: And as for the method by which the White House and Congress finally agreed on the spending plan, "The Detroit News" fumes:

    VOICE: The compromise was reached in the usual fashion: a frenzy of log-rolling that boosted spending at least 30-billion [dollars] above the "budget caps" established several years ago in the hopes of keeping the federal leviathan under control. It proves once again that the best way of restraining spending is simply to cut taxes. . Once the money is removed from Congress' hands, it can not be spent. If politicians want more money, they must make an honest case for the taxpayers forking over more.

    TEXT: Turning to international affairs, a report by the International Criminal Tribunal, a U-N agency, has drawn apologies from the world body on its handling of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and says "The Chicago Tribune":

    VOICE: If you want to put a grimace on the face of a United nations official, just say "Srebrenica." For those with short memories, that is the town in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina that, despite its status as a U-N safe area, was overrun by the Bosnian-Serb army in July 1995. [The] report . described what happened next: "The evidence tendered by the prosecutor describes scenes of unimaginable savagery: thousands of men executed and buried in mass graves, hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers' eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson." . Last week the U-N added 155-pages to that grim tale, publishing an exhaustively compiled, brutally frank chronology and appraisal of its role in the Srebrenica massacre. Two words sum it up: mea culpa.

    TEXT: "The Washington Times" is equally horrified by the report's contents, and U-N mismanagement, adding:

    VOICE: The United Nations has taken a positive first step by its public account of the Srebrenica atrocities, but as Mr. [U-N Secretary General Kofi] Annan so aptly states, "The tragedy of Srebrenica will haunt our history forever." More than anything it should stand as a warning to those who would place too much reliance on the United Nations as a tool for peace enforcement. The Serbs did the killing, but the U-N stood by and watched the murders unfold.

    TEXT: On a more hopeful note, the prospect of a lasting peace in Northern Ireland between Unionists and Republicans, draws this comment from Hawaii's "Honolulu Evening Bulletin", in its last edition [Saturday 11/20]:

    VOICE: As the Associated Press reported, the new compromise package calls for the Ulster Unionists, the province's major Protestant party, to drop their longstanding demand that the Irish Republican Army disarm before the four-party government is formed. Instead, the Ulster Unionists would accept the Sinn Fein party, the political arm of the I-R-A, as government colleagues on the same day the I-R-A started negotiations with a disarmament commission. . the outcome of these efforts remains very much in doubt - - and will be until the I-R-A surrenders its weapons.

    TEXT: In Texas, "The Fort Worth Star-Telegram" is pleased, and considers this latest agreement a very hopeful sign, but adds warily:

    VOICE: The "hard men" on both sides of Ulster's tragic divide can still win. But [Unionist leader David] Trimble, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and other leading players in this drama .l have demonstrated a commendable hardheadedness of their own in pursuit of a palatable settlement in Northern Ireland.

    TEXT: In Asian affairs, the recently completed trade deal with China is drawing reaction, and it is not all favorable. "The Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Tribune- Review" suggests:

    VOICE: Amid all of the gushing over the supposed wonderful benefits that this nation's new . agreement with China will bring, a few of those silly, pertinent details of what is really going on are getting list in the effusion. There are the standard items, such as China's abhorrent record on human rights and concerns that it's setting up the prototypical communist expansionist shop in Panama. There is also that troubling little scenario of the Chinese stealing nuclear weapons technology (or did they merely buy it?) from the United States. . And, oh, by the way, the Chinese government has just announced a new initiative to take over and, if necessary, destroy the Internet. Yes, you read that right. Our future friendly trading partner is preparing to carry out high-technology warfare over the Internet and could develop a fourth branch of the armed services.. Devoted to the same, the "Liberation Army Daily", China's military newspaper reported November 11th. .. And these are the kinds of no-less-than- international highbinders (thugs) we want to partner with?

    TEXT: "The St. Petersburg [Florida] Times", calls the deal "An "important step" and says:

    VOICE: The . agreement . isn't perfect and will not be painless for every sector of the U-S economy. . but far more American industries will be poised to take advantage of anew access to the world's most populous market. . The opportunity has been a long time coming, and it should not be dismissed lightly by critics in Congress.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: There is a frustrated reaction from today's "Atlanta Constitution" to various reports of Chinese communist control, when the Panama Canal reverts to Panamanian supervision on December 31st.

    VOICE: It all started earlier this year with Panama's award of a contract to manage two parts at either end of the canal . [to] a Hong Kong company, Hutchinson Whimper Ltd., which the conspiracy theorists assert is in league with, if not controlled by, Beijing. .The not-so- threatening truth is, Hutchinson Whimper has operated ports for years, managing 19 of them around the world.it is a publicly treaded firm with no more than one- percent Mainland Chinese ownership. .. If there is a threat to the canal's smooth operation, it is more likely to be a result of neglect -- for instance, failure to maintain the locks or prevent silting in the channels.

    /// END OPTS ///

    TEXT: The "Chicago Tribune is mourning the re-election victory of Ukraine's president Leonid Kuchma which, the paper says has led his country to a sorry state after disaffiliation from the Soviet Union.

    VOICE: . [Mr.] Kuchma's five-year reign was marked by a failure to crack down forcefully on rampant government corruption and by a lackluster record in reviving a dismal economy. At best, [Mr.] Kuchma's election - - by 56- percent to 38-percent for [Communist Party chief Petro] Symonenko, in a runoff -- should be hailed as a victory for the lesser of two evils.

    TEXT: With that comment on the world funding body, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Monday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 22-Nov-1999 11:24 AM EDT (22-Nov-1999 1624 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=11/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256455
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mostly higher today (Monday), surprisingly, as a shorter trading week got off to a sluggish start. The U-S financial markets are closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 85 points, three-quarters of one percent, to close at 11- thousand-89. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell one point to 14-hundred 20. And the Nasdaq Composite gained six-tenths of one percent for another record closing. With no economic news to propel the market, traders focused on rising oil prices, which reached a nine- year high at one point during the day. Higher crude oil cut into bond prices, which tend to reflect concern over inflation. However, investors in blue-chip (big Dow companies) and technology stocks were able to shrug off the oil factor. Many analysts believe the U-S stock market, in general, has strength and can go higher.

    /// OPTIONAL ///

    John Manley, an equity strategist for the Salomon Smith Barney investment house, says even steeper oil prices can have a positive impact by helping keep the U-S economy in check:

    /// MANLEY ACT ///

    I think that the market is still in a self- correcting phase. And I think that the market is still in pretty good shape. The economy is not over-heating. There are very few signs of inflation. Higher oil prices and the slight backup we've had in rates (interest rates) actually tend to keep a lid on the economy going forward. It's all very positive.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// END OPT ///

    The technology-dominated Nasdaq index is up 54 percent for the year, while the Dow Jones - the main barometer of U-S stock market activity - is nearly 20 percent higher.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Soft-drink giant Coca-Cola is recovering from its slump earlier this year when a health scare led to its products being taken off the shelves in some European countries. The Merrill Lynch brokerage firm upgraded Coca-Cola, calling it its top pick for the year 2000 on the basis of global strength. Coca-Cola stock traded eight percent higher. Microsoft shares traded up over four percent Monday, after a judge called for mediation in the government's anti-trust suit against the leading software company. And, a new survey shows nearly a quarter of all U-S households bought something over the Internet during the past year. That means - even as Internet buying is climbing - that three-fourths of all consumers in the United States have yet to make an online purchase. The survey also shows most of the cyberspace traffic is coming from young people and the affluent. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/gm 22-Nov-1999 16:46 PM EDT (22-Nov-1999 2146 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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