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Voice of America, 99-12-07

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] U-N-CYPRUS (L-ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [02] U-N / KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [03] US - NATO - KOSOVO L-O BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [04] KOSOVO-OSCE (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [05] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [06] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L UPDATE) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [07] E-U / ENLARGEMENT (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [08] E-U SANCTIONS (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [09] CLINTON-CHECHNYA (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [10] CLINTON-CHECHNYA (L-UPDATE) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [11] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [12] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [13] W-T-O REVISITED BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] U-N-CYPRUS (L-ONLY) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256944
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The United Nations Security Council held private consultations on Cyprus today (Tuesday) as talks involving the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders continued at U-N headquarters. VOA Correspondent Breck Ardery reports.

    TEXT: The Security Council consultations came as both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders continue so- called proximity talks with U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his special advisor on Cyprus. Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash each hold separate meetings with the U-N officials and a news blackout has been imposed during the talks. The talks, which are aimed at laying the groundwork toward eventual face-to-face negotiations between the two Cypriot leaders, began last Friday and are supposed to last about 10 days. However, Chief U-N spokesman Fred Eckhard says there is no time limit for the current "proximity" talks.

    /// ECKHARD ACT ///

    We have as much time as the parties might want to give to this process. As long as they feel they are making progress and it is worth continuing the discussions, we will be happy to continue to facilitate them.

    /// END ACT ///

    In its private meeting on Cyprus, the Security Council did not get into the substance of the talks. However, the Council did consider a recommendation by the Secretary-General that the U-N peacekeeping force in Cyprus, which has been there since 1964, be renewed for another six months. Council President Jeremy Greenstock of Britain told reporters that peacekeeping mandate will be renewed by the December 15th deadline. Cyprus has been split into the Turkish north and the Greek south for 25 years, with U-N peacekeeping forces maintaining a cease-fire. (Signed) NEB/BA/TVM/gm 07-Dec-1999 17:29 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 2229 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] U-N / KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256928
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A senior U-N official is calling for international action to end violence in Kosovo. Lisa Schlein, in Geneva, reports the official says more pressure must be put on the Kosovo leadership to halt revenge attacks against Serbs and other minorities in the province.

    TEXT: The United Nations reports 22 Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo have been murdered in revenge attacks this week. Deputy U-N Administrator for Kosovo Dennis McNamara lists an awful catalogue of abuse. These include attacks, killings, kidnappings and burning of houses. He says Serbs committed terrible atrocities against ethnic Albanians during the war. Now, Albanians are perpetrating similar atrocities against the Serbs. He says the only difference between these two events is the magnitude of the attacks.

    /// MC NAMARA ACT ///

    There is a climate of revenge and intolerance which is seriously disturbing and, I would suggest, destabilizing in some respects. And, it extends also to Albanians, with moderate Albanians being threatened and being intimidated in what is being called -- a culture of silence -- as a result of these attacks.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. McNamara says the urgent deployment of more international police is needed to enforce law and order in Kosovo. He says U-N peacekeepers must continue to work actively to protect minorities from being brutalized. He also says Kosovo needs a judicial process that works to properly apply the law. Mr. McNamara says serious action to stop the violence must be taken at the community level by the professed leaders of Kosovo. He says he has seen statements by local leaders calling for an end to attacks, but he says he has seen no action.

    /// 2ND MC NAMARA ACT ///

    I do not think I can recall one instance where there has been serious action at the community level to stop the attacks. It is stopping the thugs with the guns. But it is also stopping the kids with stones, because some of the attacks are by kids with stones. And, that has to be stoppable at a community level.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. McNamara says the international community must support U-N efforts to create a peaceful society. He says the international community must make the Kosovo leadership understand that vengeful behavior will not lead to a democratic, self-governing society based upon the rule of law. He says more pressure must be applied to end the cycle of violence in Kosovo. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/GE 07-Dec-1999 12:06 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1706 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] US - NATO - KOSOVO L-O BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256937
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO's Secretary-General George Robertson is appealing for more aid from the international community to establish a civil government in Kosovo. He made his comments following a meeting with President Clinton at the White House Tuesday. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports. Text: Mr. Robertson is warning that progress made in bringing peace and stability to Kosovo is being jeopardized by a lack of money. Although an international donors' conference in Brussels November 17th resulted in one billion dollars in aid pledges for the rebuilding of Kosovo through the end of 2000, hardly any of the money has materialized. Emerging from his meeting with Mr. Clinton - which was dominated by the situation in Kosovo - the NATO Secretary-General told reporters that at least some of the funds are needed immediately to avoid a costlier crisis later.

    /// ROBERTSON ACTUALITY ///

    We need to dig deeper now, or we will be digging very deep later on if things go wrong.

    /// END ACT ///

    It was a message he delivered to Mr. Clinton - who visited Kosovo last month. Mr. Robertson - a former British defense minister who has served as NATO secretary general for eight weeks - has noted that less than half the 42-hundred-strong civilian police force needed to take over work currently being done by the NATO-led force has been deployed. A judicial and civil administration must also be put in place. In an opinion piece for the Washington Post newspaper Tuesday, Mr. Robertson highlighted the positive developments in Kosovo since June, when NATO ended its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia which forced Serb troops from the Yugoslav province. He noted that most of the nearly one million Kosovar refugees have returned home, that the humanitarian situation is improving, and that -- despite reports of revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians against Serbs -- the overall murder rate has dropped significantly. (Signed)
    NEB/DAT/ENE/JO 07-Dec-1999 14:40 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1940 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] KOSOVO-OSCE (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=12/6/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256906
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says executions, abductions and other ethnic-related violence have continued in Kosovo, despite the presence of tens of thousands (40- thousands) of NATO-led peacekeeping troops. Stefan Bos reports from Budapest that the OSCE made public Monday these conclusions based on findings in its first, official report, on human rights violations in the troubled province. Text: The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe or OSCE concludes that revenge motivated violence against especially Serbs and Gypsies accelerated, since the NATO-led peace keeping force arrived in the troubled province six months ago. Although OSCE officials acknowledge that the forty- thousand peacekeepers are no policemen, the rapport indirectly criticizes NATO for not doing enough to intervene, as ethnic Albanians attempt to retaliate for a decade of Serb oppression. OSCE officials mention for instance an area in Kosovo controlled by U-S troops, which had been largely untouched by the war. They say when their investigators arrived in the region in June only one house had been demolished--- But by October, well after the establishment of a NATO peace force, almost 300 mainly Serb homes, had been burned or destroyed by ethnic Albanians. The rapport, notes that this kind of violence forced tens of thousands of Serbs to flee Kosovo. Ethnic Albanians also attacked Gypsies, who were accused of having collaborated with Serb fighters during the war. The OSCE says that many Serbs and Gypsies were even killed or abducted by ethnic Albanians. In addition, the organization says there is also a disturbing trend of religious intolerance against non- Muslims, such as Christians, in part because many of them stayed in Kosovo during the conflict. More recently even Catholic Albanians were victims of harassment by other, predominantly Muslim Kosovar Albanians. The OSCE says the Kosovo Liberation Army sometimes organized the violence, a charge the rebels have denied. But the rapport also reveals that the revenge violence goes back to the experiences of ethnic Albanians, during the war, which it says was clearly orchestrated by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosovic. It accuses Serbian forces of killing, rape, and kidnap of ethnic Albanians after Nato began its air strikes against Yugoslavia. OSCE investigators, who interviewed nearly three- thousand Kosovar refugees, describe how for instance Serb forces on March 27 surrounded the Central Kosovo village of Kladernica. One witness cited by the report said the Serb fighters, some of whom were wearing black masks and gloves, separated a group of about 30 Albanian men from in the village. Soon after, gun shots echoed throughout the mountains, as all men were shot death by the Serb fighters. So far there was no official response to the OSCE report by the Serbian government. (Signed)
    NEB/PT 06-Dec-1999 20:56 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 0156 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256913
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russia's military commanded has defended its threat to kill anyone remaining in the Chechen capital, Grozny, after a Saturday deadline. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Peter Heinlein reports.

    TEXT: Russian General Viktor Kazantsev, commander of northern Caucasus operations, Tuesday denied that his warning to the residents of Grozny to get out or face death constitutes an ultimatum.

    ///Kazantsev act in Russian, then fade to...///
    He says, "There was no ultimatum presented to peaceful civilians." He called the leaflets airdropped on the Chechen capital as a warning of a planned bomb attack, a guarantee they would be allowed to leave safely before the Saturday deadline. The warning sparked international condemnation. President Clinton said Russia would pay a heavy price if it carries out the threatened destruction of Grozny. But Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin shrugged off such criticism Tuesday saying foreign governments should pressure separatists in Grozny, not on the Russian leadership. (Signed)
    NEB/PFH/GE 07-Dec-1999 05:24 AM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1024 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256933
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// ED'S: UPDATES CR 2-256925 /////

    INTRO: Russia has brushed aside the outpouring of international outrage at its five-day "leave or die" ultimatum to Chechens in Grozny, calling it -- counterproductive. Moscow correspondent Peter Heinlein reports newly arrived refugees from the rebel capital are asking for an extension of the deadline.

    TEXT: As expressions ranging from concern to condemnation poured in from around the world, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stood firm. Mr. Putin, who has seen his popularity ratings soar from zero to the top of public opinion polls in recent months, dismissed the foreign pressure as being well- intentioned, but misguided.

    ///// PUTIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER /////

    He says -- if foreign governments are concerned, let them pressure not just Russia, but also the bandits. And foreign ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin called foreign criticism -- counterproductive and harmful to both sides. The avalanche of international concern was touched off when Russian planes dropped leaflets warning residents to get out of the Chechen capital by Saturday or risk destruction.

    /// OPT ///

    President Clinton was one of the first to speak out, saying Russia would pay a heavy price if it destroys Grozny's civilian population. Britain, France, Italy, and the U-N refugee agency issued similarly strong statements. The European Union warned it might impose economic sanctions on Russia at a summit in Helsinki later this week. /// END OPT /// In an attempt to stem the tide of foreign criticism, the military commander in charge of Chechnya operations, Viktor Kazantzev, backed away from the ultimatum. He said the "leave or face death" leaflets were intended only as a warning.

    /// KAZANTZEV ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    He says -- there was no ultimatum to civilians, only a warning to bandits to change their minds and lay down their weapons. Russian commanders say they have opened a corridor to allow safe passage for those wishing to escape Grozny. But reports from the war zone suggest few, if any, people are using it. The ITAR-Tass news agency says newly arrived Chechen refugees in neighboring Ingushetia are pleading for an extension of the Saturday deadline. The Tass dispatch said most people still in the city are not aware of the ultimatum, because high winds blew away the leaflets. Ingushetia's president, Ruslan Aushev, says as many as 40-thousand civilians are still in Grozny, which in pre-war days had a population of 300-thousand. He predicts large numbers will die if the bombing threat is carried out. But Russian officials say the number of non-combatants in the rebel capital is probably no more than 15- thousand.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Even though public support for the war has remained solid within Russia, the latest ultimatum has prompted a few criticisms. Former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov cautioned that Russia should take care not to isolate itself politically from the west. The fiercest criticism came from the Russian Association of Soldiers' Mothers, which issued a statement Tuesday calling the threat of wholesale war on Grozny -- tantamount to genocide of the Chechen people. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PFH/JWH/RAE 07-Dec-1999 13:25 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1825 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] E-U / ENLARGEMENT (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256936
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: European leaders, who meet later this week in Helsinki, are expected to announce they will be adding six more countries to the six who are already negotiating membership in the European Union. Meanwhile, as V-O-A Correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels, the first six countries have held their fourth negotiating session with E-U officials.

    TEXT: The environment is the latest issue for the six countries that are trying to conform their laws to those of the European Union. The Czech Republic says it will cost seven-billion dollars to upgrade its drinking water and to dispose of wastewater. It wants the European Union to grant it a period of transition to make those investments. Hungary, considered the best prepared of the applicant countries, says it will need a transition period for the environment costs as well. The negotiations for membership in the European Union are becoming more complicated. By the end of next March, the European Union will be negotiating membership with 12 countries. But the European Commissioner for enlargement, Guenter Verheugen, says through an interpreter that he told the original six countries they have no reason to worry about a slowdown in their negotiations.

    /// VERHEUGEN ACT W/ INTERPRETER ///

    I did explain at great length how we imagine the future negotiating process and we did mention that we wish to maintain the present rhythm of negotiating and nobody should worry about organizational problems or a lack of political will. The fact that we are negotiating with 12 countries instead of six doesn't mean that the other six are going to have to queue up with everybody else.

    /// END ACT ///

    The six new countries -- Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, and Slovakia -- will begin with the areas of European Union law that have already covered been covered by the original six countries. Boris Frlec, the foreign minister of Slovenia -- one of the original six E-U candidates -- says his country is not worried about the six additional countries.

    /// FRLEC ACT ///

    We are already so deep in the negotiating process that we have actually surpassed three quarters of the road. I hope that this will not affect in any significant way our progress to the successful end.

    /// END ACT ///

    Slovenia expects to finish negotiations with the European Union by the end of 2001. The group expects to announce in Helsinki that, by the end of 2002, it will be ready with its own institutional reforms to accept new members. Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi says his country had planned to join the European Union by 2002 but will gladly wait another year.

    /// MARTONYI ACT ///

    If you now give me an assurance that we are members as of the first of January 2003, I would gladly sign that paper.

    /// END ACT ///

    So would the other original applicants -- Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, and Slovenia. Cyprus' foreign minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, knows his divided island's chances for membership are related to whether Turkey becomes a candidate for membership this week in Helsinki. He says Cyprus has no objections to Turkey's becoming a candidate for the European Union. European Union officials say Turkey is closer than ever to becoming a candidate this week but not to starting membership negotiations. (Signed)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/KL 07-Dec-1999 14:37 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1937 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] E-U SANCTIONS (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256910
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT: 4:13 pm Monday

    INTRO: European Union (E-U) foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have decided to explore sanctions against Russia for its use of force in Chechnya. V-O-A correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels that they have also tightened their visa ban against Yugoslavs associated with the government of President Slobodan Milosevic.

    TEXT: Along with President Slobodan Milosevic and his family, the European Union has added the names of 388 more Yugoslavs who will not be allowed to enter the 15 member countries of the E-U. The new names bring the total people banned to more than 600. They range from the director of the Pancevo oil refinery to the owner of the so-called "Taboo" fashion house. The European Union calls them "persons close to the government whose activities support President Milosevic." Javier Solana, the E-U's representative for foreign and security matters, says the Union will continue working with opposition forces to President Milosevic following Mr. Solana's meeting with the opposition last week.

    ///Solana Act///

    An agreement has been reached about the representatives of the different groups in the following meetings and also on how to continue working on three basic lines of action: immediate assistance, support for democratization and planning for the post-Milosevic times.

    ///End Act///

    Even before the post-Milosevic times, the European Union has tried to help two opposition- run towns in Eastern Serbia with a delivery of oil. The Yugoslav government stopped the 14 E-U trucks on the border with Macedonia for more than one week before allowing one European Union truck to deliver its oil to the town of Nis. Despite the difficulties with this delivery, the European Union intends to try "other methods" - not specified - to supply oil to towns run by groups opposed to Yugoslav President Milosevic. In their same meeting, the European Union foreign ministers discussed for the first time how they can punish Russia for its continued use of force against civilians in Chechnya. They express deep concern about the ultimatum given to civilians in Grozny to leave the town by December 11th or face possible annihilation.

    /// Opt ///

    Finnish Foreign Minister Tarja Harlonen says the ministers discussed not signing a research agreement with Russia or cutting development aid as a means of enforcing the European Union's condemnation of Russia's use of indiscriminate force. /// End opt /// The main business of the foreign ministers meeting was preparing for this week's European summit meeting in Helsinki.

    /// Opt ///

    Mrs. Harlonen says Turkey is closer than ever to becoming a candidate for European Union membership. Greece has been reluctant to remove its veto of Turkish membership without seeing more signs that Turkey will help resolve the Cyprus dispute. E-U diplomats say it is not clear that Greece will want to be seen as the one country blocking Turkey from being considered a candidate member. Turkey will not be allowed to open membership negotiations with the Union until other political conditions are met. However, the ministers say there is no opposition to begin membership negotiations with six more countries beginning in March. They are Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Malta, Romania and Bulgaria. Romania has given the Union assurances that it will improve the standards of its orphanages. Bulgaria has given the Union a closing date for its Chernobyl-style nuclear reactor at Kozluduy. Those conditions had threatened to stall negotiations with Romania and Bulgaria. /// End opt /// (Signed)
    NEB/RP/GE 07-Dec-1999 04:59 AM EDT (07-Dec-1999 0959 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] CLINTON-CHECHNYA (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=12/6/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256932
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Clinton Administration is once again warning that Russia will pay a price if it carries out its threat to kill civilians who fail to leave the Chechen capital, Grozny, by Saturday. President Clinton discussed the situation in the Caucasus with NATO Secretary-General George Robertson. V-O-A's David Gollust reports from the White House.

    TEXT: Mr. Robertson told reporters he and the President discussed ways the NATO allies might back up their demands that Moscow desist from seeking a military solution in Chechnya. He declined to give specifics, saying that is for the various governments to decide. But he said there is broad agreement that Russia's offensive in Chechnya is "wrong and counter- productive."

    /// Robertson Act ///

    What is happening there is unacceptable, disproportionate. And we hope that they will change their tactics and bear in mind very much the humanitarian concerns being expressed across the globe.

    /// End Act ///

    Earlier, a White House spokesman - echoing remarks by President Clinton Monday - said Russian leaders will pay a price for pursuing a policy in Chechnya that isolates them from the international community. (Signed)
    NEB/DAG/ENE/JP 07-Dec-1999 12:42 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1742 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [10] CLINTON-CHECHNYA (L-UPDATE) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256942
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Clinton Administration is keeping up its public criticism of the Russian military offensive in Chechnya (Tuesday), but at the same time says it is not prepared to cut aid programs to punish Moscow. V-O-A's David Gollust has details from the White House.

    TEXT: Officials here are reiterating President Clinton's warning that Russia will pay a price for its offensive in Chechnya, but they suggest Moscow's loss will be in international prestige, and not outside aid. Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters International Monetary Fund loans to Russia are already blocked for purely economic reasons. He questioned the logic of cutting bilateral U-S aid, which is largely aimed at promoting Russian democracy and arms control:

    /// LOCKHART ACT ///

    The vast majority of that aid goes to reducing their nuclear threat. And I don't know at this point the productivity of removing that assistance. I also don't know the productivity of removing the assistance we give to democratic institutions outside of Moscow that promote democracy. Again, I don't think this is a situation where you want to undermine your own national security to make some sort of statement.

    /// END ACT ///

    President Clinton discussed Chechnya with NATO Secretary General George Robertson, who later told reporters here the allies have some sympathy for Russian efforts to deal with what he called "lawlessness" and "banditry" in Chechnya. But Robertson said Moscow's attempt to solve the problems through force alone makes little sense and is counter- productive:

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ///

    Although we can understand the tensions and problems facing Russia at this time, this is not the way to succeed in dealing with these problems. And we've said that what is happening there is unacceptable, disproportionate and we hope that they will change their tactics, and bear in mind very much the humanitarian concerns being expressed across the globe.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Robertson said Russian leaders should not see the NATO criticism as hostility, but rather constructive advice about how to best deal with the serious situation confronting them in Chechnya. (Signed)
    NEB/DAG/TVM/JP 07-Dec-1999 17:29 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 2229 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-256941
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed again today (Tuesday) amid more profit-taking on the back of last week's big rally, with the technology sector continuing to show strength. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 118 points, or one percent, closing at 11-thousand-106. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell 14 points. But the Nasdaq composite had its 20th record high closing in 27 days, gaining more than one percent. Shares of Yahoo soared over 20 percent, as the leading gateway to the Internet moves into the Standard and Poor's index. Index fund investors will now be obliged to buy Yahoo stock. Coca-Cola stock fell for a second straight day. A brokerage firm downgraded the company following the surprise resignation of Coca-Cola's chief executive officer. The latest on the U-S economy shows U-S worker productivity was up nearly five percent in the third quarter - the biggest increase in about seven years - while labor costs declined.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    This is the time of year when Wall Street analysts start gazing in earnest into their crystal balls. Investment strategist Thomas Galvin believes the U-S stock market is solid for at least the next three months. He says there is a lot of money on the sidelines just waiting to come in:

    /// Galvin Act ///

    My guess is as people feel more relaxed about Y- 2-K (the year 2000 computer problem) and also ultimately feel comfortable about low inflation coming to bear, I think they're going to be more aggressive on equities as we move into the new year. So I expect about a 10 to 15 percent upside in stocks over the next 90 days.

    /// End Act ///

    Hasbro, the number two U-S toymaker, is slashing over two-thousand jobs world-wide - about 19 percent of its workforce - as it tries to consolidate its manufacturing and product lines. Hasbro makes Furby, as well as those popular Pokemon toys. And Nokia of Finland - the world's largest mobile phone maker - is now officially considered Europe's most valuable company, after it forecast that its cell-phone subscribers will almost triple to one billion in three years. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/JP 07-Dec-1999 16:54 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 2154 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [12] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11581
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The World Trade Organization conference last week in Seattle continues to dominate the nation's editorial columns this Tuesday, with President Clinton and the Seattle police coming in for criticism. But the dominant theme is that improved world trade will eventually evolve from the gathering, and its follow- up meetings. Another apparent failure of Mars exploration is also discussed, as is a new report citing medical mistakes as killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. The editorial writers also remember Pearl Harbor on this 58th anniversary of the Japanese attack. There is concern about North Korea's new long-range missile, the Russian assault on Chechnya and the outlawing of torture by Israel. Now, here is ___________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Newsday on New York's Long Island has digested the events of last week in Seattle and proclaims in its headline: "Clinton lost big in the Battle of Seattle; now he must rebuild support for freer trade."

    VOICE: The failure of the World Trade Organization parley in Seattle is so serious ... it is not going too far to say that world commerce is at a crossroads. ... While President ... Clinton has every reason to be embarrassed by the latest blow to his lame-duck administration, the consequences of the trade- talks' collapse will be felt more intensely in the 50 states and around the world than in the nation's capital. ... If [Mr.] Clinton is to build an enduring legacy as a prosperity- promoting president, he will have to step into the political crater he helped create and start rebuilding broad-based support for free trade

    TEXT: Next to Pennsylvania's Tribune-Review, in Greensburg, which points out:

    VOICE: Critics of the World Trade Organization didn't hide their plans to stage the "Protest of the Century" at W-T-O meetings in Seattle. So why did law enforcement seem so ill-prepared to cope with it? ... The city was brought to a standstill by the protests. More than 40- thousand mostly non-violent demonstrators were joined by an undetermined number of violent vandals, who smashed windows, scrawled slogans in spray paint and smashed police cruisers. ... The Seattle police were initially overwhelmed both by the numbers and the determination of the protesters.

    TEXT: More criticism of the conference substance now from Nebraska, and the Omaha World Herald.

    VOICE: The collapse of the ... negotiations actually wasn't a complete surprise. The issues were complicated and the differences among governments were great. The surprises in Seattle were that U-S officials arrived with a negotiating strategy so ill-suited to the dynamics of the conference and that supporters of an open trade system made such a feeble defense of the free market.

    TEXT: Taking a more sanguine view, The Detroit Free Press suggests:

    VOICE: The conference in Seattle didn't accomplish any of what its planners hoped. But the potential remains high for the W-T-O to elevate world living standards and spread the gospels of democracy and human rights.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: And lastly on this issue, The San Francisco Chronicle hopefully opines:

    VOICE: The goal of easing trade restrictions is still reachable. But it will take hard bargaining, reforms to the W-T-O itself, and, most difficult of all, support that runs deeper than words. Expanded trade holds huge rewards for the world's economy. // END OPT //

    TEXT: The apparent failure of the Mars Polar Lander, the second U-S Mars space probe to fail in the last few months, brings this philosophical response from the San Francisco Chronicle.

    VOICE: It is the stuff of science to experiment and to be disappointed, but the project had looked so promising and could have created an extraordinary connection. NASA officials, no doubt, are considering every possibility, although they may never know exactly what happened. In the meantime, earthlings can still hope that the quiet has a simple explanation, such as a badly-positioned antenna that will right itself.

    TEXT: Taking a braver view, remembering the many failures that have preceded scientific discoveries over the ages, is the Chicago Tribune:

    VOICE: A century or more from now, the loss of the Mars Polar Lander -- if NASA concludes it is lost -- will be a footnote in the story of humankind's incredible journey to ... explore its first planet other than Earth. Like old sailing ships that foundered at sea in the early centuries of European exploration of a New World, NASA's lost robotic emissaries to Mars will be considered inevitable, incidental losses in the more significant pioneering of a distant world.

    TEXT: Editorial repercussions continue this Tuesday to a report last week citing medical mistakes by doctors and others for killing almost 100-thousand Americans each year. In Washington state, The [Tacoma] News Tribune says the medical errors "demand action."

    VOICE: If just a tiny fraction of those killed by medical errors were killed instead in commercial airplane crashes, the public outcry for greater safety would have forced federal regulators to ground flights, shut down carriers and overhaul the airline industry. Yet, about 98-thousand Americans die quietly every year from medical mistakes. The number of deaths should be shocking enough to prompt Congress to act on recommendations in a recent report that says simple reforms could cut fatalities in half within five years. // OPT // By acting on the ... recommendations, Congress would force the medical community to pay more attention to details -- and save more lives in the process.

    TEXT: The Tulsa [Oklahoma] World is equally frustrated at the shocking findings, noting:

    VOICE: The report concluded that health care is a decade behind other high-risk industries in improving on these safety issues. The airline industry and auto manufacturers are way ahead of health care. Something is seriously wrong with that state of affairs. Going to the hospital ought to be at least as safe as getting on an airplane or into a car. This report should be taken seriously. // END OPT //

    TEXT: Today, December 7th, is a painful anniversary for many in this country; it marks the 58th remembrance of the Japanese attack on the U-S Naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Several papers, including the Houston Chronicle, are making sure readers do not forget.

    VOICE: The date that would live in infamy, as Franklin Roosevelt called it, was, of course, the pivotal event that ushered the United States in[to] the century's second great global war. It and the December 8th beginning to the Japanese "rape of Nanking," the "forgotten holocaust of World War Two," told the world in quick succession that the sacrifices ... required to put down Nazism, fascism and brutal imperialism would be great and that the world's leading democracy would pay for it in blood ...

    TEXT: Six firefighters died last Friday in an abandoned warehouse in Worcester, Massachusetts, while searching the burning building for homeless people who often stayed there. That tragedy draws this lament from the Tulsa [Oklahoma] World.

    /// BEGIN OPT ///

    VOICE: The tragedy ... happened half a continent away from Tulsa but the valor of the six men should remind us how perilous the business of fire fighting is. Last year, 91 firefighters lost their lives across the country trying to protect our lives and ... property. ... For taking the risks that they do, firefighters everywhere are owed special appreciation. But today we should turn our sympathies to Worcester ...

    TEXT: Turning to international issues, // END OPT // the continuing development of long-range, nuclear- capable missiles by North Korea and Iran elicits this comment from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

    VOICE: Iraq also is capable of developing such vehicles for delivering nuclear warheads. That would give North Korea, Iran and Iraq leverage to intimidate the United States and NATO in the event of a serious policy confrontation. They would not have to match the United States or any other European power missile for missile. They would only have to brandish the threat of taking out one city.

    TEXT: Russia's intensifying assault on the capital of Chechnya, and its new ultimatum to civilians in Grozny to leave or be killed within a week, does not sit well with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    VOICE: Russian troops in Chechnya appear to be "dizzy with success," to use one of Stalin's favorite expressions. ... Initial vows of proportionality have all but been abandoned by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his top military officials. Now, having issued an ultimatum to the citizenry of Chechnya's capital city of Grozny, Russia is on the verge of creating a humanitarian disaster.

    TEXT: In the Middle East, Israel's apparent back- tracking against a Supreme Court ruling to eliminate the use of torture against Palestinian prisoners draws the ire of today's Los Angles Times.

    VOICE: That [Israeli Supreme Court] decision, widely acclaimed by Israeli human-rights organizations and internationally, is now under challenge. More than one-third of the members of the Knesset are supporting legislation to sanction what are euphemistically called "special interrogation means" against Palestinian prisoners. ... Such a backward step would be utterly unworthy of a country that takes pride in its humane heritage and democratic values. ... // OPT // The Knesset will soon face a fateful choice. If it makes Israel the only nation to legally sanction torture, it will earn the contempt of every other democracy. // END OPT //

    TEXT: Today's [New York] Daily News is insistent that the little Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, who celebrated his sixth birthday in Miami Monday, be allowed to go home.

    VOICE: If you put aside the politics, the case of little Elian Gonzalez ... is relatively (pun intended) simple. Unless there is evidence that the father is abusive or otherwise unfit -- and thus far, the U-S has not produced any -- the child belongs with him. ... It shames this nation that a child who has suffered tremendously is now to be a political pawn. [Cuban President Fidel] Castro also is guilty of using him this way, but America should be above it.

    TEXT: Lastly, from The New York Times, criticism of Swiss banks in the wake of a new report about how they mis-handled the millions of dollars entrusted to them by Jews before World War Two.

    VOICE: ... The report, by an international panel headed by Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, found that Swiss banks had somehow managed to lose track of a shockingly large number of these accounts over the intervening decades and that many banks had cruelly and deceptively turned away family members trying to recover lost assets. The Volcker panel was able to trace some 54-thousand of these missing accounts, far more than the Swiss have previously acknowledged.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/WTW 07-Dec-1999 11:48 AM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1648 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [13] W-T-O REVISITED BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/7/1999
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11582
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Editorial page writers across the United States are assessing the World Trade Organization conference last week in Seattle. There is considerable criticism of both President Clinton and the U-S Trade Representative's office, as well as of the Seattle police for their handling of the thousands of demonstrators on the streets. We get a sampling now from _____________ in today's U- S Opinion Roundup.

    TEXT: The intensity and size of the anti-W-T-O protests apparently caught the Seattle police off guard, despite months of preparation. More than 600 demonstrators were arrested in three days of protests, but at the beginning of the week, the police appeared to lose control of the streets around the conference site. Members of the Washington State National Guard (state militia) were called in to help restore order. Inside the conference, there was also a good deal of discord. The 135 delegates left Seattle Friday, after several acrimonious sessions, without having reached an agenda for continuing talks on the key issues of furthering freer world trade. We begin our sampling of editorial reaction in Northern New Jersey with The [Bergen County] Record.

    VOICE: Americans have been hearing for years now about the inevitability - - and the benefits - - of the global economy, of free trade, of opening the world's markets each other's products. Yes, the global market is already here, and yes, there are benefits, as the current booming economy in this country makes clear. However, there are also consequences Americans should be ready to acknowledge. Those who went to Seattle sincerely interested in calling attention to those consequences were upstaged by the violent minority. But some of the questions the protesters raised are valid. ...

    TEXT: We turn now to The Wall Street Journal, which questions President Clinton's motives at the trade conference in Seattle.

    VOICE: In fact, right from the start he hinted that trade was secondary to the real prize: a chance to shore up key parts of the Democratic base on behalf of Al Gore's two-thousand Presidential bid. ... It may seem cynical to suggest Mr. Clinton was seeking tactical partisan gain by wasting the time of the 130-plus ministers from the W-T-O's member governments, not to mention American prestige and leadership. But this is a President who pardons Puerto Rican terrorists in the hope of aiding his wife's Senatorial campaign, and times retaliatory bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq at key moments of an impeachment trial over public and courtroom lies about his personal misbehavior. For the ministers leaving Seattle, there appears to be little doubt about why Mr. Clinton did what he did. ... In other words, if maintaining power means perjury and damaging the Presidency, so be it. And if it means throwing the world trade agenda into disarray on behalf of his Vice President's aspirations, that's okay too.

    TEXT: That was the view of the Wall Street Journal. Pennsylvania's Tribune-Review in Greensburg, levels some of its harshest criticism at the Seattle police, who had prepared for this conference for months.

    VOICE: Critics of the World Trade Organization didn't hide their plans to stage the "Protest of the Century" at W-T-O meetings in Seattle. So why did law enforcement seem so ill-prepared to cope with it? ... the city was brought to a standstill by the protests. More than 40- thousand mostly non-violent demonstrators were joined by an undetermined number of violent vandals, who smashed windows, scrawled slogans in spray paint and smashed police cruisers. ... The Seattle police were initially overwhelmed both by the numbers and the determination of the protesters.

    TEXT: In the upper Midwest, the [Minneapolis, Minnesota] Star Tribune says the demonstrators proved a point that appears to have eluded most of them, that domestic considerations will continue to govern international trade relations.

    VOICE: As delegates to the [conference] ... slunk home from Seattle, one of their most vocal critics claimed victory. Lori Wallach, a trade expert with Ralph Nader's [group] Public Citizens told the New York Times: "We have succeeded in turning back the invasion of the W- T-O into domestic policy decisions." Actually, the collapse of last week's talks ... shows exactly the opposite: Domestic politics trumped [defeated] multilateral interests time after time ... which only shows that both the W-T-O and its critics have some work to do if the world is going to achieve any consensus about the virtues of globalization.

    TEXT: In Ohio, The Akron Beacon Journal sums up its frustration on the general outcome this way:

    VOICE: World trade requires rules. More important, it involves broad principles, that the global economy benefits from open markets, that countries should be encouraged to produce what they can most prosperously. Unfortunately, in Seattle, those principles suffered amid the many clashing agendas.

    TEXT: Florida's St. Petersburg Times is quite critical of the U-S government's trade office.

    VOICE: While there was chaos on the city's streets, it was evident in the world Trade Organization talks that there was a lack of adequate diplomatic preparation. The chaotic collapse of last week's ... meeting was an embarrassment for Seattle and for the Clinton administration. Seattle will recover quickly enough, with its chastened civic leaders having learned that the astonishing wealth their community has amassed through the new global economy can create almost as many problems as it solves. It is less likely that the Clinton administration, or its successor, can so quickly reassert leadership on matters of international trade.

    /// BEGIN OPT ///

    TEXT: Newsday on New York's Long Island has digested the events of last week in Seattle and proclaims in its headline: "Clinton lost big in the Battle of Seattle; now he must rebuild support for freer trade."

    VOICE: While President Bill Clinton has every reason to be embarrassed by the latest blow to his lame-duck administration, the consequences of the trade-talks' collapse will be felt more intensely in the 50 states and around the world than in the nation's capital. ... If [Mr.] Clinton is to build an enduring legacy as a prosperity-promoting president, he will have to step into the political crater he helped create and start rebuilding broad-based support for free trade ...

    TEXT: More criticism of the conference substance now from Nebraska, and the Omaha World-Herald.

    VOICE: The collapse of the ... negotiations actually wasn't a complete surprise. The issues were complicated and the differences among governments were great. The surprises in Seattle were that U-S officials arrived with a negotiating strategy so ill-suited to the dynamics of the conference and that supporters of an open trade system made such a feeble defense of the free market.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Taking a more sanguine view is The Detroit Free Press.

    VOICE: The conference in Seattle didn't accomplish any of what its planners hoped. But the potential remains high for the W-T-O to elevate world living standards and spread the gospels of democracy and human rights.

    TEXT: The San Francisco Chronicle also strikes an optimistic note.

    VOICE: The goal of easing trade restrictions is still reachable. But it will take hard bargaining, reforms to the W-T-O itself, and, most difficult of all, support that runs deeper than words. Expanded trade holds huge rewards for the world's economy.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial reaction to the problems that beset the World Trade Organization conference last week in Seattle. NEB/ANG/gm 07-Dec-1999 16:12 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 2112 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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