Visit our Archive of Documents from NATO A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 17 April 2021
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Voice of America, 99-12-01

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO SIX-MONTHS LATER BY NICK SIMEONE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] ROMANIA-COHEN (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST,HUNGARY)
  • [03] W-T-O A PRIMER BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] SEATTLE-WORLD TRADE (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (SEATTLE)
  • [05] CLINTON-TRADE PROTESTS (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (SEATTLE)
  • [06] NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [07] NORTHERN IRELAND (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [08] NORTHERN IRELAND (L UPDATE) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [09] NY ECON WRAP (S & L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [10] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO SIX-MONTHS LATER BY NICK SIMEONE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/1/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44876
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// MAY BE USED AS A YEARENDER. /////

    INTRO: It has been nearly six-months since the NATO war against Yugoslavia drove Serb forces from Kosovo, allowing hundreds-of-thousands of uprooted ethnic Albanians to return home. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has been indicted for war crimes, but remains in power despite the efforts of his opponents at home and abroad. Correspondent Nick Simeone has been looking into how much progress Kosovo has made since then, and how an isolated President Milosevic has been managing to rule a country under sanctions.

    TEXT: Six-months after the air-war over Yugoslavia, nearly a million Ethnic-Albanian refugees have been able to return home, before winter's first snowfall. But NATO and the Clinton administration admit a great deal more needs to be done. And hanging over Kosovo is the potential threat posed by Belgrade. Slobodan Milosevic's grip on the province may have been broken, but his grip on power has not. John Fawcett of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group just returned from a month in Kosovo where he saw evidence the Yugoslav leader continues to influence events in a region under NATO protection and U-N rule.

    // FAWCETT ACT //

    The regime in Belgrade, the indicted and those not yet indicted, are still meddling in Kosovo, trying to keep a hand in there and still providing a destabilizing factor. His minions, his police, must be expelled. They are up in the northern area, the Mitrovica area. There have been many sightings, many confirmations. There is absolutely no doubt that he is keeping a hand in there and keeping a finger in the wound so to speak.

    // END ACT //

    But at the same time, Washington and its NATO allies are considering easing some sanctions. The European Union has been trying to deliver oil to two Serb towns held by Milosevic opponents. At NATO headquarters in Brussels, spokesman Jamie Shea is quick to counter the idea that easing sanctions means NATO countries are ready to soften their opposition to the Milosevic government.

    // SHEA ACT //

    I think the policy is the right one, which is to say at the moment sanctions remain, but we can not offer the Yugoslav people only gloomy despair and no light at the end of the tunnel. That would be equally wrong. Opinion polls show that certainly 70-percent of the Yugoslavs want Milosevic to go.

    /// END ACT ///

    The United States has agreed to lift sanctions against Serbia if Belgrade holds free elections. Many people, including NATO spokesman Shea, are convinced President Milosevic would not win a free vote.

    // SHEA ACT ///

    Here is a person who if tomorrow, he stood for re-election, would have to say I have fought four wars, I have lost them all. I have taken your living standards down to 25-percent of what they were before I came to power. I have inflicted on you 10-percent of the population composed of Serb refugees who have very little chance of going back to their original places. I have isolated you from Europe of which you were part. And that is a great record, I am a winner, re-elect me.

    // END ACT //

    But widespread anti-government demonstrations just weeks ago fizzled. President Milosevic's opponents are now divided, differing over the best course of action for bringing about a change in government. And, the International Crisis Groups' John Fawcett even sees signs the Yugoslav leader may be beginning to emerge from diplomatic isolation.

    // SECOND FAWCETT ACT //

    People are starting to meet with him, embassies are starting to re-open -- these are violations of international law. This man has been indicted. He is an indicted war criminal and must be treated like that first and foremost.

    // END ACT //

    Maintaining law and order in the absence of a functioning judicial system remains the largest task for Kosovo's 42-thousand NATO troops. This was supposed to fall to a multi-national police force, but lack of funds for training and pay has delayed its implementation.

    // OPT //

    NATO's Jamie Shea admits the situation in Kosovo is not as good as had been hoped and many improvements will have to wait until the spring.

    // SHEA ACT //

    There is still too little law and order, too much crime. But I think things are moving in the right direction. In the meantime, NATO soldiers are dong things like patrolling borders, arresting criminals and even in the case of the Germans at Prizren, running an entire prison.

    // END ACT //

    // END OPT //

    A major concern is ending revenge attacks by Kosovo's ethnic Albanians against minority Serbs. Roland Bless is the spokesman in Kosovo for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

    // BLESS ACT //

    The security situation is still a concern to everybody here, the international community included. As a human rights monitoring unit in Kosovo, O-S-C-E sees patterns emerge that are worrisome, increased violence against the elderly for instance or increased violence against other minorities than the Serbs.

    /// END ACT ///

    Meanwhile, much of Kosovo's infrastructure is waiting to be rebuilt, and the province still lacks basic services such as water. Donor nations pledged more than two-billion-dollars to help rebuild Kosovo at a conference last month in Brussels, but little of the promised money has been delivered. So aid agencies are left to do much of the work, but lack the funds to satisfy rising expectations of the local people. The head of the Kosovo branch of Medecins San Frontiers, Francois Fille, has watched the optimism that came with last June's newfound freedom fade into the reality of a Kosovo coping with the demands brought by the onset of winter.

    // FILLE ACT //

    It is a lack of resources that could make things deteriorate here. There were a lot of promises (made) actually by the people who installed the whole system but now it is a bit slow to deliver. Now it is winter and there are still a lot of people without shelter. In June, people were very happy, it was summer, there was freedom in the air, now it is a bit gloomy, it is winter and promises are very slow to come.

    // END ACT //

    The United Nations is making promises, though; including to have Kosovo's power and water supplies increased by December 15th. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NJS/RAE 01-Dec-1999 12:06 PM EDT (01-Dec-1999 1706 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] ROMANIA-COHEN (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST,HUNGARY)

    DATE=11/30/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256687
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: United States Defense Secretary William Cohen has urged southeastern Europe's defense leaders to cooperate in breaking the cycle of war and ethnic conflicts in the troubled Balkans. Stefan Bos reports from Budapest that Mr. Cohen made the remarks in Romania where he and Defence Ministers from seven southeastern European countries agreed to establish a joint military intelligence network, which will monitor potential hot spots in the region. Text: U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen told Defence Ministers from ex-Communist states and other southeastern European countries that NATO's successful air campaign against Yugoslavia earlier this year was not enough to bring peace in the Balkans. Speaking in Bucharest Tuesday, Mr. Cohen urged his counterparts from Italy, Greece, Turkey, Romania, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria to work for peace in the Balkans---by strengthening democracy, promoting trade and supporting the region's integration into Europe. Mr. Cohen welcomed the establishment Tuesday of the first joint trans-atlantic military intelligence networks between the U.S. and southeastern European countries. The networks was set up to control and prevent new conflicts in the Balkans. Russia has questioned Washington's role in European affairs, because of reports that the U.S plans to develop a new military defense systems against a posssible nuclear missile attack on u-s soil. Moscow suggested that the system may lead to a new arms race with Russia, but Mr. Cohen said late Monday the defense system would not undermine European security. The u-s official also talked about European security issues with Romanian President Emil Constantinescu, who hopes that Romania will become a NATO-member within the next few years. Mr. Constantinescu said that security in southeastern Europe would mean security for the whole Europe. He noted that since the collapse of Communism a decade ago, seven independent states were created in the Balkans but four wars had occurred in the troubled region. Mr. Cohen was scheduled to leave Romania for a meeting in Hamburg, Germany, on Wednesday and to attend a two- day conference of NATO-Ministers in Brussels later this week. (Signed)
    NEB/PT NEB/WTW/ 30-Nov-1999 20:12 PM EDT (01-Dec-1999 0112 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] W-T-O A PRIMER BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/1/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44879
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Geneva-based World Trade Organization was established in 1995. Its job is to promote freer trade through mutual reductions in tariffs and other trade barriers. In this primer, V-O-A's economics correspondent Barry Wood tells us that the origins of the W-T-O go back to the second world war.

    TEXT: When the architects of the post-World War Two economic system met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in 1944, they envisaged creating three entities: The International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, and a world trade organization. While the Bank and the Fund did come into existence to rebuild Europe and regulate finance to avoid another world depression, the trade organization was blocked. Governments met in Havana in 1948 to create the trade body, but the U-S Congress was against it. Trade expert John Sewell of Washington's Overseas Development Council says that as a substitute, Western Europe, the United States and Latin America created the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the GATT.

    /// Sewell Act ///

    At that the point, the nations of the world did not agree to create a world trade organization. And the substitute was this agreement - quote unquote - GATT, which existed and very successfully liberalized trade to everyone's benefit since the late 1940s.

    /// End Act ///

    The GATT system is based on the principle of equal treatment. All GATT members - and by the 1970s there were over 100 - had to grant most-favored nation, or normal trading status, to each other. From 1950 to 1994, the GATT sponsored eight sets of trade liberalizing negotiations among its members. The purpose of the meeting in Seattle is to launch a new negotiating round. Previous negotiating rounds steadily reduced tariffs to today's average of five percent in industrial countries. World trade volumes consequently exploded by 16 fold while output is up six fold and per capita incomes up three fold. In the 1980s, some communist economies joined third world countries in wanting to be part of the GATT system. The Uruguay round that ended in 1993 provided for the evolution of the GATT into the World Trade Organization. John Sewell says leading trading nations - the United States, western Europe and Japan insisted that the W-T-O be stronger than its predecessor.

    /// Sewell Act ///

    The W-T-O, unlike its predecessor organization, has a dispute settlement mechanism that allows the institution to put sanctions on countries that are not adhering to agreements they've reached at the W-T-O.

    /// End Act ///

    The W-T-O is small - with less than 1,000 employees, many of them trade lawyers. John Sewell believes there is considerable ignorance about the W-T-O. He believes it has become a lightning rod for protest because it deals with globalization - the accelerating expansion of trade and division of labor that is powered by information technology. Mr. Sewell says it is wrong to describe the W-T-O as a tool of multi-lateral corporations.

    /// Sewell Act ///

    It is an inter-governmental organization to which the United States and over 100 (EDS:135 countries) have voluntarily joined by treaty, by diplomatic agreement. So it is an organization of member states. Obviously, corporations, particularly those that trade, have a great deal of interest in the W-T-O. Part of the perception in Seattle (of corporate control) is the result of a huge mistake by the administration, by the U-S government. That in order to finance the meeting in Seattle, the burden of raising the money was put on the Seattle community. And I mean literally the whole cost. The United States government, to my knowledge, is putting up very little money and the cost of the meeting is huge. So the money has been raised from major corporations and foundations in Seattle.

    /// End Act ///

    The W-T-O is headed by Mike Moore, a former prime minister of New Zealand. His director general's job, by previous agreement, should rotate to an Asian by 2003. Over 30 countries are waiting to join the W-T-O and are likely to do so once they conform to free trade principles and bring their trade laws into compliance with W-T-O standards.(signed)
    NEB/BDW/ENE/JP 01-Dec-1999 13:54 PM EDT (01-Dec-1999 1854 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] SEATTLE-WORLD TRADE (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (SEATTLE)

    DATE=12/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256722
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Seattle police have arrested more than 200 more demonstrators today (Wednesday) after violent protests disrupted Tuesday's opening of the World Trade Organization conference. President Clinton is going ahead with a busy schedule of W-T-O events despite the trouble. V-O-A's David Gollust has more from Seattle.

    /// EDS: LEAD-IN WITH WILD SOUND OF DEMONSTRATORS ///

    TEXT: With fellow protestors shouting slogans of support, scores of anti-W-T-O demonstrators were arrested and taken away on buses after they defied a police order and staged a sit-in protest near a downtown Seattle hotel where many W-T-O delegates were staying. The arrests were part of a crackdown ordered by Seattle authorities after protests took a violent turn Tuesday when some members of a crowd of about 40- thousand demonstrators broke store windows, set fire to garbage bins and disrupted the opening of the global trade conference. Seattle officials imposed an overnight curfew and brought in hundreds of state militiamen and police from outlying towns who enforced a no-protest zone in a several-square block area around the conference site. About seventy people were arrested Tuesday for vandalism and other offenses in an outburst that both protest organizers and authorities blamed on a small minority of radical activists. One protestor back on the streets Wednesday - Sarah Kerh, a community activist from Calgary Alberta, Canada - told V-O-A the vast majority of the marchers reject violent tactics:

    /// KERH ACTUALITY ///

    It's really important to distinguish who's been causing that vandalism. And the police have been very clear that the vandalism last night and the violence was almost entirely caused by non- protest-related people, gangs, people in the streets who see a little crack in the system and think it's a time to come out and cause a little chaos. The police have been very clear about that. And as you've seen today, this group is calling for non-violence. Our organizers have been up with bullhorns, calling again and again for non-violence, for peaceful assembly. They've said if you're interested in violence, don't join this group. We're not interested in that.

    /// END ACT ///

    President Clinton, who is meeting here with W-T-O officials and groups critical of the organization, has expressed sympathy with the concerns of those who feel that previous trade negotiating rounds have not upheld workers rights and environmental issues. Mr. Clinton told a Seattle newspaper he regrets very much that a few people had given the broader group of demonstrators a bad name, and said the tactics of those who tried to disrupt the conference Tuesday were not only illegal, but wrong. (Signed)
    NEB/DAG/TVM/JP 01-Dec-1999 15:35 PM EDT (01-Dec-1999 2035 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] CLINTON-TRADE PROTESTS (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST (SEATTLE)

    DATE=11/30/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256695
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: White House officials say President Clinton intends to go ahead with his schedule of events at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle Wednesday despite violent protests in the city that prompted a downtown curfew and a call-up of some state militiamen. V-O-A's David Gollust has more from Seattle.

    TEXT: City officials declared a curfew zone that includes the downtown hotel where Mr. Clinton is staying during his two-day visit to Seattle. But officials traveling with the president say he does not intend to curtail a busy schedule here, which includes an address to trade ministers, and meetings with members of non-governmental organizations critical of the W-T-O. A Clinton spokesman said the president believes W-T-O protestors have legitimate views that deserve to be heard, and that the majority of the demonstrators acted responsibly. He said unfortunately a small minority used non-peaceful means to block access to trade events and destroy property, and their actions were wrong. The spokesman said despite the disruption of the ceremonial opening of the conference, the substantive work - on an agenda for a new round of global tariff- cutting negotiations - is going forward. Mr. Clinton says expansion of world trade is essential to maintain the United States' unprecedented economic boom. But he is mindful that labor unions and environmental groups- traditional allies of his Democratic Party - are among the W-T-O's more strident critics. In White House remarks before leaving for Seattle, Mr. Clinton said the W-T-O must become more transparent, with unions and environmentalists - among others - having a say in its decision-making:

    /// CLINTON ACTUALITY ///

    We should strengthen the role and the interests of labor and the environment in our trade negotiations. This is not going to be easy to do, partly because some nations - particularly a lot of developing nations - see our concern for the environment and labor standards as a way to sort of keep them down. But that is not true. What we want to do is make sure that when we open the trading system, that ordinary Americans benefit.

    /// END ACT ///

    Before greeting trade ministers at a luncheon , Mr. Clinton will meet leaders of U-S farm groups to assure them of his intention to press for an end to barriers in Europe and Japan to American agricultural products. He also wants to keep burgeoning international trade on the Internet free from tariffs. To underscore his commitment to workers rights, he will sign here on Thursday the International Labor Organization convention banning the most severe forms of child labor. (Signed) NEB/DAG/gm 01-Dec-1999 01:12 AM EDT (01-Dec-1999 0612 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256714
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// ED'S: FOR USE OVERNIGHT. /////

    INTRO: The United States is urging NATO members to spend more on their own defense. Correspondent Ron Pemstein reports the call will be repeated during the NATO defense minister's regular winter meeting Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

    TEXT: Defense Secretary William Cohen said (Wednesday) in Hamburg that Germany's defense spending is setting a bad example for NATO's new members -- Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. The United States feels all NATO members should spend about two-percent of their gross domestic product on defense. Despite protests from Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping, Germany's budget for next year shows a slight decline in defense spending. This leaves Europe's biggest country spending about one-and-one- half-percent of its gross domestic product on defense. The goal of two -percent defense spending has been difficult for NATO's new members, who have more pressing social needs than threats to their defense. Mr. Cohen will face questions at the defense minister's meeting about U-S plans for a limited missile defense system. A number of NATO countries agree with Russia that the system could damage the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. NATO diplomats say Defense Secretary Cohen will emphasize that no American decision about deploying a limited missile defense will be made until the middle of next year -- so there is no need yet to re- negotiate the treaty. Mr. Cohen has already argued that the United States needs to prepare a defense for missile attacks from rogue nations and that the strategic balance between Russia and the United States will be preserved. The issue of defense spending also affects the European Union's plans to develop its own military force to be used in cases where the United States and other NATO members might not want to become involved. NATO officials say the European plans are too sketchy to be discussed in detail at the defense ministers' meeting. European leaders meet next week in Helsinki to approve plans for a rapid reaction force of about 60-thousand soldiers to be dispatched to crisis points, independent of NATO. U-S diplomats say when the Europeans develop firm plans a regular forum should be set up between NATO Secretary General George Robertson and his predecessor, Javier Solana. Mr. Solana now heads the European Union's defense policies. The two men already meet informally, but NATO officials say better communication will prevent duplication. The NATO ministers will meet Friday with the alliance's so-called -- partners. But the Russian defense minister is not expected to attend. NATO officials say the defense ministers are likely to criticize Russia's military action in Chechnya. NATO has added a partner. (Wednesday) The republic of Ireland became the 26th country to join NATO's "partnership for peace." The partnership is NATO's forum for maintaining political and military contacts with potential members and neutral countries. Irish Foreign Minister David Andrews says Ireland will never join NATO in line with its traditional neutrality. But Ireland is active in international peacekeeping and wants to train its soldiers with NATO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/RAE 01-Dec-1999 11:48 AM EDT (01-Dec-1999 1648 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256703
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth is due to sign the act that will transfer home rule powers to Northern Ireland as of midnight. Once that transfer is complete, the Irish Republican Army is supposed to name a go-between to work with the special disarmament commission. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman in London reports the I-R-A says it will keep its word but expresses anger over the hint of new deadlines from Ulster Unionists.

    TEXT: Britain's top minister for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson, will find his responsibilities sharply reduced with the official transfer of home rule powers to Belfast on Thursday. But he told Parliament late Tuesday, he welcomes that prospect.

    /// MANDELSON ACT ///

    After a quarter of a century, the curtain is finally coming down on direct rule. Of course there will still be anger about the past and real difficulties still lie ahead, but this generation is now turning the page to the future.

    /// END ACT ///

    The establishment of the 12-minister all-party cabinet opened the way for the transfer of home rule powers. Only security and taxation will continue to be directly controlled by Britain. Members of Northern Ireland's cabinet have already assumed their new posts, including a former leader in the Irish Republican Army. Two members of Sinn Fein, the I-R-A's political wing, have joined the executive council in a power-sharing formula as outlined in the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement. Once the transfer is complete on Thursday, the I-R-A will name a go-between to work with the special disarmament commission on their handover of weapons. The deadline for that part of the peace agreement is May of next year. Unionists had insisted the I-R-A start disarming before Sinn Fein could join the cabinet. Unionist leader David Trimble, who is also First Minister of the new cabinet, told parliament it is up to the I-R-A to fulfill their end of the bargain.

    /// TRIMBLE ACT ///

    The process of decommissioning should begin on Thursday. And we are in effect passing the baton on to the republican movement and they will need to move rapidly on it.

    /// END ACT ///

    Unionists finally agreed to the carefully sequenced formula but warned they would review the process in February to see if I-R-A disarming had actually started. Mr. Trimble has threatened to resign and pull his party out of the executive council if it has not. An I-R-A statement complains the new demands are not part of the compromise that was worked out during the past three months. But the statement says the I-R-A will name its intermediary as promised on Thursday. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JKWH/KL 01-Dec-1999 07:12 AM EDT (01-Dec-1999 1212 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] NORTHERN IRELAND (L UPDATE) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256711
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS REPORT UPDATES CR 2-256703, LAW SIGNED ///

    INTRO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth has approved a law that transfers home rule powers to Northern Ireland after 25 years of direct control from London. V-O-A Correspondent Laurie Kassman in London reports the action opens the way for the Irish Republican Army to name a representative to deal with the special commission on disarmament.

    TEXT: One spoken word - Approved. One final signature - that of Queen Elizabeth. And the Act of Parliament passing power to Northern Ireland has become official. Prime Minister Tony Blair confirmed the news to the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon.

    /// BLAIR ACT ///

    Madame Speaker, I can confirm that this afternoon the Queen has made the order which devolves powers to the Northern Ireland assembly, midnight tonight. And that will create the first government directly accountable to the people of Northern Ireland for some 25 years.

    /// END ACT ///

    Britain's House of Commons and House of Lords rushed through the legislation after Northern Ireland's Unionists and Republicans formed a 12-minister power- sharing cabinet that will run daily affairs for the province. Only security and taxation remain under London's direct control. After the transfer on Thursday, the Irish Republic to the south has promised to revise its constitution to drop its territorial claim to Northern Ireland. Cross-border committees will cooperate on issues of mutual concern. The 12 new cabinet ministers in Belfast are already at their posts, including a former I-R-A chief of staff. Martin McGuinness and another member of the I-R-A's political wing, Sinn Fein, have taken their seats at the council in a power-sharing formula outlined in the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement Unionists had opposed Sinn Fein joining the cabinet before the I-R-A started handing over weapons. U-S mediator George Mitchell crafted a tightly sequenced formula to end the impasse. Unionist leader David Trimble, who is First Minister of the new cabinet, says now it is up to the I-R-A to live up to its end of the bargain.

    /// TRIMBLE ACT ///

    The process of decommissioning should begin on Thursday. And we are in effect passing the baton on to the republican movement and they will need to move rapidly on it.

    /// END ACT ///

    On Thursday, the I-R-A is to name its representative who will deal with the special disarmament commission. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/JP 01-Dec-1999 11:04 AM EDT (01-Dec-1999 1604 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=12/1/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256728
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were higher today (Wednesday), after Tuesday's sell-off led by the technology sector. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 120 points, more than one percent, closing at 10-thousand- 998. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose eight points to 13-hundred-97. The technology-dominated Nasdaq Composite gained one-half of one percent after dropping over two percent Tuesday. Inflation-watchers were heartened by signs that the U- S economy may finally be slowing. A new report shows U-S manufacturing grew at a slower pace in November for the second straight month and prices paid by factories fell from the highest level in four years. Wall Street now waits for key employment data to be released on Friday. The U-S bond market rallied briefly on the manufacturing news. But yields climbed back to six- point-three percent by day's end.

    /// REST OPT for long ///

    Many analysts say those long-term interest rates may be the key to near-term movement in the stock market. Rising yields tend to draw money away from stocks. Analyst Mace Blixover does not expect any dramatic shift in the stock market for the rest of the year:

    /// BLIXOVER ACT ///

    Most people are looking for December to just be a fairly stable month. Nobody's expecting to make any money or any big bet. And the point is to kind of walk the year in sideways in what has been really another great year for stocks.

    /// END ACT ///

    Two U-S based diversified electronics companies, Honeywell and Allied Signal, will start trading as one Thursday, after the European Commission gave clearance for their 14-billion dollar merger. The combined company is expected to increase earnings per share by 20 percent next year based on cost savings. A proposed marriage in the oil business has run into trouble over anti-trust considerations. The U-S Federal Trade Commission says BP Amoco's planned 40- billion dollar purchase of Atlantic Richfield would drive up gasoline prices because of a lack of competition. The Commission argues the new company would dominate marketing and refining operations on the U-S West Coast. Industry analysts anticipate a court battle between the two sides. Analog Devices - a U-S maker of computer chips that transform sound and video into digital data - handily beat Wall Street earnings expectations. It reported a 164 percent increase in fourth quarter profits and said the first quarter of the year 2000 will be robust. The Analog chips are used in computer modems and cellular phones. (Signed) NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/PT 01-Dec-1999 16:57 PM EDT (01-Dec-1999 2157 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [10] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/1/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11574
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The World Trade Organization conference in Seattle continues to draw a good deal of attention in U-S newspaper editorial columns, as much for what the delegates are trying to discuss, as for the demonstrations in the streets. Another popular domestic topic is a new report that says tens of thousands of patients are killed in the United States each year by medical mistakes. Other subjects under discussion include a new act of repression in Iran; growing concerns about the administration of Yasser Arafat; a huge step toward peace in Northern Ireland, and a nation in mourning for a big, black and white Chinese bear that has left a significant void here in Washington. Now, here is _________ with a closer look, including some excerpts, in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: To the Pacific Northwest first, where the region's largest daily, The Oregonian, in Portland, is disgusted with the violence overshadowing the trade talks at the W-T-O conference in neighboring Seattle, Washington.

    VOICE: So what, precisely, was the point about world trade that demonstrators made by smashing the windows of a McDonald's restaurant, or spray painting "Barbie Kills" on a toy store in downtown Seattle? In fact, the vandalism and street violence that broke out at the World Trade Organization meeting Tuesday turned an important political and economic event into a disturbing circus. . The emotion, the violence, even the surreal sight of activists in sea-turtle costumes blocking rush-hour traffic, overwhelmed any hope this would be an occasion for a serious discussion about crucial trade, environmental and labor issues facing countries around the world.

    TEXT: Today's Philadelphia Inquirer, after mentioning the protests, is calling for some changes - but not dramatic ones - in the way the W-T-O does business.

    VOICE: One overdue change is ending the secrecy surrounding the W-T-O panels that determine trade rule violations. The Clinton administration wants to lift the veil so that interested groups - activists, the media and the public - can watch cases proceed. Sometimes a W-T-O panel just gets it wrong. For example, the W-T-O ruled against a U-S law that banned imported shrimp unless they had been caught with nets designed to protect sea turtles. Alas, critics have used this case and a few others to demonize the W-T-O as a threat to national sovereignty. That's overwrought. .. As trade barriers decline and exports grow, rich and poor nations alike will benefit. The challenge for each nation - which underlies this week's protests - is to make sure those benefits reach the average workers.

    TEXT: The Washington Post adds an interesting thought to the discussion, suggesting that environmental issues have ended up at the W-T-O by default, although they are not basically trade issues. The Post suggests:

    VOICE: . in the absence of a strong regulatory framework for the environment, disputes about animal conservation and air pollution have ended up at the W- T-O, putting the organization under great strain. The health of the W-T-O may turn out to require something like a world environmental organization.

    TEXT: A new report suggesting that medical mistakes by doctors, nurses and others - mostly in hospitals - are causing almost 100-thousand deaths in this country each year, has leapt into the editorial columns a day after its publication. Says The New York Times:

    VOICE: These frightening numbers have been known by medical researchers for at least a decade. The startling conclusion from the report is how easy it would be to correct many of the fatal errors. The Institute [of Medicine], an affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences, has now put its authority behind specific corrective measures. . The institute report calls for the federal government to help hospitals borrow good ideas that catch mistakes before they cause serious harm. That way hospital care might become as injury-free as airline travel.

    TEXT: The Philadelphia Inquirer praises one of the many points made by the report:

    VOICE: It's also clear that a lack of good data on medical mistakes has hampered solutions. So it follows that mandatory reporting of errors is needed, with confidentiality assured. More thorny will be decisions to spend more health-care dollars on safety targeting such bottom-line issues as staffing, equipment upgrades and other changes. ... The health- care industry can no longer tolerate what the Academy panel described as "stunningly high rates of medical errors."

    TEXT: To the Middle East now, where several U-S dailies are upset at the latest turn of events in Iran, where yet another reformer has been silenced. Here is part of what Newsday on New York's Long Island says.

    VOICE: The jailing of one of Iran's top reform politicians on the trumped-up charges of dissidence shows how threatened the ruling conservative clerics feel by the pressure for change bubbling under the rigid crust of the theocracy. Abdollah Nouri, a newspaper publisher, did nothing more nefarious than publish articles critical of Iranian government policies. [Mr.] Nouri, a supporter of moderate President Mohammad Khatami, has openly called for improved relations with the United States, recognition of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, free and open political debates in Iran and greater freedom of expression in the news media. .. Those beliefs were enough to get him five years in prison.. . if, despite this, reformists manage to make a decent showing in the upcoming elections, the ruling clerics will be shown the handwriting on the wall.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: The Los Angeles Times goes to what it sees as the heart of the complaint against Mr. Nouri, when it notes:

    VOICE: Iran has become an increasingly younger country over the last two decades; a majority of Iranians have no memory of life before the Islamic revolution. The repression they know is imposed by the mullahs. Their generation was most responsible for electing [President] Khatami, and they remain the largest constituency favoring change. [Mr.] Nouri, on ample evidence, accused the reigning clergy of betraying the principles of the revolution by replacing one tyranny with another. Their response further demonstrated the truth of that charge.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Still in the Middle East, there is more comment on allegations of corruption and mismanagement within Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority, and the fate of his accusers. The New York Times:

    VOICE: . when 20 prominent Palestinian academics and political leaders signed a protest letter accusing Mr. Arafat's administration of "opening the door to . spreading corruption throughout Palestinian society," eight were jailed and two more held under house arrest. Eight other signers . face efforts to strip them of their parliamentary immunity. . One of Mr. Arafat's security officials [argued] that the middle of final-status negotiations was "not the right time to demand accountability." The truth is just the opposite.

    TEXT: There is continuing praise in U-S editorial columns for the big strides the Northern Ireland peace process is making - with the naming of a new cabinet for the National Assembly. The New York Post calls the latest news "Amazing Events in Northern Ireland."

    VOICE: The end of the Cold War set a lot of people to thinking in very different ways. The global map today looks markedly unlike the map of a decade ago - and even nations that maintained their former shapes are governed in vastly different ways: Think South Africa. It wasn't automatic that Ulster would evolve in largely the same direction - liberalization accompanied by sporadic violence as practitioners of the old way sought to maintain control of events . and, indeed it's not totally clear where Northern Ireland really is headed. . But there is no reason not to applaud the triumphs of the decade-plus since London and Dublin first hammered out the accords upon which the compromises of the hour are based.

    TEXT: This is World AIDS Day, an event not so much to be celebrated, as to take stock in what is being done to combat the sexually transmitted disease that has reached epidemic proportions in Africa. The Miami Herald notes:

    VOICE: Despite all that has been learned and applied, HIV / AIDS remains a fatal disease. After 18 years and billions of dollars, there is no vaccine to immunize against, nor any cure for it. Thus far, the best weapon against the disease, which has claimed 16- point-three million lives, is to change people's sexual attitudes and behavior. Anyone, anywhere can be a victim. But changing behavior requires motivating people. That's one of the goals of World AIDS Day - to increase awareness so that behaviors change.

    TEXT: And lastly, more mourning for Hsing-Hsing, the giant panda at Washington's National Zoo, and, in the view of U-S-A Today, a diplomat too, who was euthanized this week, due to kidney failure.

    VOICE: Mourners have left bouquets at the Washington home of a veteran diplomat, a well-mannered individual who made his name during Richard Nixon's opening with China, and who died Sunday after a long illness. O-K, so the diplomat was a giant panda. But he and his handsome breed - photogenic, great fundraisers, intimately tied to matters of state - form a political clan so charming and popular it rivals the Kennedys. . What's more, the panda spotlight has pushed conservation generally. Zoos are more concerned with learning to breed the species they keep, recently re- introducing to the wild the almost-extinct California condor, the red wolf and the Himalayan clouded leopard. .. It seems the dear, cuddly panda has been an ambassador for many causes. With luck, the next cause it assists will be its own.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/JP 01-Dec-1999 11:38 AM EDT (01-Dec-1999 1638 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    voa2html v2.03a run on Thursday, 2 December 1999 - 1:41:53 UTC