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Voice of America, 99-12-20

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES (L ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)
  • [02] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [03] RUSSIA ELECTION RESULTS (L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [04] EDITORIAL: EUROPE INVITES TURKEY
  • [05] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] NY ECON WRAP (S & L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [07] YEARENDER- THE EURO'S FIRST YEAR BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES (L ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=12/20/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257326
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: British troops of the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia have arrested a Bosnian-Serb General in Banja Luka. Lauren Comiteau in the Hague reports the senior military leader --Stanislav Galic -- is wanted for crimes against humanity in connection with the Serb siege of Sarajevo.

    TEXT: An eye-witness to the arrest says NATO soldiers blocked the car of retired general Stanislav Galic, broke a window, dragged him out, and wrestled him to the ground before arresting him (Monday). General Galic commanded the Sarajevo-Romanija corps of the Bosnian-Serb army that kept Sarajevo under siege during the 1992 to 1995 war. During that time, residents were terrorized by Serb shelling from the hills above the city and little food or medical aid was allowed into the Bosnian capital. Spokesmen for the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal say General Galic is charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes for the shelling of Sarajevo and the sniping of civilians. His indictment was kept secret as part of the war crimes prosecutor's strategy to arrest suspects who either would not give themselves up or are protected by governments in the region. Prosecution spokesman Paul Risley says General Galic was a senior military leader who reported to top Bosnian-Serb general Ratko Mladic. Two of General Mladic's other general's are in custody. Mr. Risley says this clearly points up the chain of command to the two key remaining figures not arrested General Mladic and Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. Both men have been indicted, but are still at large. Bad weather is delaying General Galic's arrival in The Hague, but he is expected to make his first court appearance later this week. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LC/JWH/RAE 20-Dec-1999 09:33 AM EDT (20-Dec-1999 1433 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (S) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/20/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257319
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian warplanes continue to bomb rebel positions throughout Chechnya, the only Russian region that did not take part in Sunday's nation-wide parliamentary elections. V-O-A's Eve Conant reports from Moscow.

    TEXT: Russian news agencies say that despite poor weather, military planes are bombing targets in southern Chechnya and in the capital, Grozny. A spokesman for the Chechen rebels says fighting is going on in nearly all districts of Grozny, including the Chernorechiye suburb. Russian military sources say there is fighting in the city's northern, southern, and eastern regions. They say they are sending small reconnaissance teams into Grozny to draw fire from rebel positions to better locate their whereabouts. Thousands of civilians remain in the city, too old to leave or too afraid to come out from their basement bomb shelters. The war-torn republic is the only region of Russia that did not participate in a nationwide poll to elect a new Russian parliament. Early results show popular support for Moscow's military campaign in Chechnya has led to success for Kremlin-backed parties. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/JWH 20-Dec-1999 04:58 AM EDT (20-Dec-1999 0958 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] RUSSIA ELECTION RESULTS (L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/20/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257322
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Results from Russia's parliamentary elections continue to trickle in with more than 75-percent of the vote counted. Moscow Correspondent Eve Conant reports pro-government parties have made their strongest election showing in the post-Soviet era.

    TEXT: The Kremlin is hailing initial election results as a colossal breakthrough, and a peaceful revolution. The success of untested, pro-government parties like Unity and Union of Right Forces has been largely due to the endorsement of Russia's popular prime minister and architect of the Chechnya military campaign, Vladimir Putin. Kremlin spokesman Igor Shabdurasulov says the parliamentary results make it clear who will be the favorite to win the upcoming presidential election.

    /// SHABDURASULOV ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    He says the Unity bloc is the party that will support Mr. Putin's presidential campaign in 2000. Latest results show the Communists and the pro-Kremlin Unity party vying for a majority in Russia's parliament, the Duma. Coming in third is the Fatherland-All Russia bloc, and fourth, the young, also pro-Kremlin, Union of Right Forces. Communists are leading in the race for single mandate constituencies, which make up half the Duma seats. But leaders of the pro-government blocs say they will cooperate to form a united front against the Communists who dominated the previous parliament. The mastermind behind the Union of Right Forces movement, Chubais, says the young reformers are ready to consolidate power.

    /// CHUBAIS ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER///

    He says -- we will reach out to Unity and all others who are ready to form a powerful, non-Communist union in the new parliament. The liberal Yabloko party and a political bloc led by the flamboyant ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky also passed the five-percent threshold for party representation in the Duma. Yabloko leaders said their reservations about the Chechnya military offensive cost them wider support, while Fatherland- All Russia leader Yuri Luzhkov complained bitterly about a Kremlin-led media smear campaign.

    /// LUZHKOV ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    He says he cannot describe the results as a success or a failure. But, he says -- no other party faced such criticism as we did. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/JWH/RAE 20-Dec-1999 07:44 AM EDT (20-Dec-1999 1244 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] EDITORIAL: EUROPE INVITES TURKEY

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-08577
    CONTENT=

    THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 12/21/99. Anncr: The Voice of America presents differing points of view on a wide variety of issues. Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: The European Union has extended to Turkey an offer of candidacy for membership, and Turkey has accepted. This is good news. It signals the commitment of the E-U to create a stronger and more united Europe by embracing diversity. And it signals that Turkey, a country that belongs to Europe as well as the Middle East, understands that political and economic progress today is not a function of geography. Rather, good governance and free markets are the main determinants of success. Founded in the 1950s, the European Union has been a force for both prosperity and democracy. By requiring its members to conform to rules of fair competition, the E-U has promoted sound economic policies. From six nations rebuilding together after the calamity of the Second World War, the European Union has grown to a fifteen-nation economic powerhouse. Its annual per capita income of around twenty-thousand dollars has helped to make Europe one of the world's most stable regions. Joining the European Union implies accepting its standards of human rights. They include respect for the political and cultural rights of minorities and compliance with rules for the peaceful resolution of disputes between states. In recent years, Turkey has taken important steps in the direction of consolidating democratic values. A Turkish government official recently said that everyone in Turkey should have the right to view television broadcasts in their own language, but that this would require legislative changes. The U.S. has long supported full freedom of expression for all of Turkey's citizens and urges further steps to lift the legal restrictions on freedom of speech. In this context, allowing Kurdish broadcasts would be a welcome step. The European Union stands to gain from Turkish membership, which would further open the gates of economic opportunity and help to stabilize southeastern Europe. E-U members, in particular Greece, whose relations with Turkey historically have been strained, deserve credit for their invitation to Turkey to join their ranks. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-voa-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. 20-Dec-1999 15:02 PM EDT (20-Dec-1999 2002 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/20/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11601
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: National elections in Venezuela are among the world affairs drawing comment in Monday's editorials in the U-S press. The turnover of the former Portuguese colony Macau to China; a report on the genocide in Rwanda; and a pair of tiny warriors in Burma are also subjects of discussion. Rounding out the morning's commentaries are thoughts about Northern Ireland's peace progress. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is __________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Amid mudslides and torrential rains that have killed thousands, Venezuela approved a referendum on a new constitution that is strongly supported by the country's president, Hugo Chavez. The Boston Globe writes.

    VOICE: [Mr.] Chavez, with his mixture of democracy and demagoguery, raises crucial questions not only about the future of oil-rich Venezuela but about other corrupt and mismanaged countries in Latin America and the rest of the world. ... Now, with their new constitution, Venezuelans have voted for the possibility of an elected dictatorship. /// OPT /// [President] Chavez himself will be able to run for two six- year terms. The army will be released from civilian control and will become a base of political power, the equivalent of a ruling party. /// END OPT /// ... The crucial test for this new order will not be political, however, but economic.

    TEXT: There are also misgivings in the Florida Times- Union from Jacksonville, which points out:

    VOICE: It isn't hard to figure out why Venezuelan voters overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, the nation's 27th in the past 188 years. The document entitles Venezuela's impoverished people to housing, a job, considerable job security, pensions and free health care. In a land where 20 percent of the work force is unemployed and the per capita income is under two-thousand dollars, those were compelling reasons to support the document. So what if Venezuela's bankrupt government has no way to pay for those things?

    TEXT: The return of Macau, the Portuguese colony on the South China Sea, to China, is noted in Saturday's Honolulu Star-Bulletin, which says of the turnover:

    VOICE: This time there is little of the drama that attended Britain's return of Hong Kong in 1997. Macau has far fewer people than nearby Hong Kong - 430-thousand, compared to Hong Kong's six-point-seven million - - is much smaller in land area and is much less important economically. /// OPT /// ... While Hong Kong is a major trade, financial and manufacturing center, Macau's economy is based on tourism, mainly casino gambling, and the manufacture of fireworks and textiles. /// END OPT /// However, Macau represents another victory in China's campaign to acquire last territories, the ultimate prize being Taiwan.

    TEXT: Still in the Orient, a recent story about two tiny warriors from Burma's Christian, Karen minority, who lead an army of children and former University students draws this comment from the Tulsa [Oklahoma] World.

    VOICE: Americans who believe our children are exposed to way too much violence might want to take note of what's happening in ... a small, volatile province of Myanmar, near Thailand. There in the jungles is God's Army, a rebel group led by a set of 12-year-old twins, Luther and Johnny Htoo. According to an Associated Press story, the boys are shorter than the M-16 rifles they carry. ... The boys smoke cigarettes and regularly shoot at the enemy. They have led their unit since they were nine, getting their start when they rallied villagers to successfully counterattack government forces.

    TEXT: Turning to African affairs, the Washington Post is commenting on a recent United Nations report that is sharply self-critical of how the world body mishandled the genocide in Rwanda.

    VOICE: The U-N claims to have learned some lesson from Rwanda. Its bureaucracy failed to respond to several warnings of impending genocide. Six months before the massacre, for example, a report by the U-N Human Rights Commission in Geneva signaled what was to come, but the report never made it to the desks of senior peacekeeping official in New York, who might have acted on it. ... Still ... the U-N's ability to respond to crises can be only as strong as the will of its leading members to provide necessary resources.

    TEXT: As for Northern Ireland, progress toward peace draws this response from the Orlando Sentinel.

    VOICE: Has the luck of the Irish finally returned to Northern Ireland? A remarkable series of breakthroughs in recent weeks - - after a contentious year - - makes that seem to be the case, but caution is warranted. ... Former enemies now sit at the same table in the new government and the Irish Republican Army has begun discussions pointing toward disarmament. Will that setting last? The answer can be yes. ... [However] a little more luck also wouldn't hurt.

    TEXT: The Hartford [Connecticut] Courant is calling for better psychological screening and checkups for foreign and domestic pilots after indications an EgyptAir crewman purposely crashed flight 990 into the Atlantic.

    VOICE: Pilots, like everyone else, are not immune to psychological ailments. They can suffer from mental illness and their state of mind could affect public safety when they are flying an airplane. Airline companies, regulatory agencies and pilots themselves show far more concern for physical health than mental health.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial columns of Monday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/KL/WTW 20-Dec-1999 11:56 AM EDT (20-Dec-1999 1656 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/20/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257344
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed today (Monday), as interest rate concerns unsettled the market. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 113 points - about one percent - closing at 11-thousand- 144. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell nearly three points. Meanwhile, the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite - which has hit over 50 record high closings this year - reached another one, with a gain of eight-tenths of one percent. Selling pressure came as Wall Street geared up for a Federal Reserve Board meeting Tuesday. Federal Reserve policy-makers are expected to give clues about the direction of short-term interest rates. They have already raised them three times this year, in an effort to cool a vibrant U-S economy. The U-S bond market was jittery (nervous) ahead of that meeting. Yields on the 30-year government bond rose above six-point-four percent. That's a high for the year.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Most analysts do not believe the "Fed" will raise rates for a fourth time during its final meeting of the year. Stock analyst Robert Stovall says it would be unwise to do so, especially with uncertainty in the financial markets over the transition to the year 2000.

    /// STOVALL ACT ///

    There may be some mutterings to the effect that the economy remains too strong and the unemployment figures are a sign of shortages of labor to come. But I don't think we have to worry about interest rates until February and maybe not even until later than that.

    /// END ACT ///

    Monsanto and rival drug-maker Pharmacia and Upjohn announced plans to merge,creating a global pharmaceutical heavyweight with projected drug sales of over nine billion dollars a year. Monsanto is also in the agriculture business. The two companies plan to sell part of that business, which has dragged down Monsanto's share price. Industrial conglomerate Honeywell is buying Pittway Corporation - maker of fire and burglar alarm systems for over two billion dollars. Honeywell stock fell nearly 10-percent on the news, contributing to the downward pressure on the Dow Jones. Cisco, the leading maker of Internet equipment, will buy the optical systems unit of Italian company Pirelli for about two-billion dollars - filling a gap in its line of fiber-optic products. The acquisition is Cisco's largest ever in Europe. And, Morgan Stanley-Dean Witter reported quarterly profits surged 86 percent to a record. The second- biggest U-S securities firm benefited from the boom in mergers this year. Morgan Stanley plans a two-for-one stock split in January. NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/gm 20-Dec-1999 16:38 PM EDT (20-Dec-1999 2138 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] YEARENDER- THE EURO'S FIRST YEAR BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/20/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45066
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: It's been 12 months since 11 (of 15) European Union countries launched their single currency, the euro, which in two years will actually replace the currencies that now circulate in France, Germany, Italy and the other participating nations. V-O-A's economics correspondent Barry Wood surveys the performance of the euro in its first full year of operation.

    TEXT: The euro debuted on January first with an exchange value of one dollar seventeen cents. Instead of rising -- as many experts anticipated -- Europe's new single currency sunk to virtual parity with the dollar by year's end. Paul Mortimer-Lee analyses currency markets for Paribas Bank in London. He says despite the falling exchange rate, the new European Central Bank (E-C-B, in Frankfurt) has performed well in its first 12 months.

    /// FIRST MORTIMER-LEE ACT ///

    The euro has delivered very low inflation and therefore has been stable. We've seen monetary policy ease and stimulate a resurgence of growth that we're just seeing now. So that has been the good aspect. In terms of the external aspect, of course the euro has been much weaker than people expected.

    /// END ACT ///

    But another currency analyst, American University (in Washington) economics professor Randy Hennings, thinks the European Central Bank should not have recently raised interest rates, because the weak European economy needs cheaper not more expensive credit.

    /// HENNING ACT //

    The interest rate increase this fall (in November) was excessive and unnecessary. So we are seeing a monetary policy in Europe that is tighter than it needs to be, but not dramatically so.

    /// END ACT ///

    Short-term interest rates in Europe are one and a half percent lower than in the United States. Professor Henning thinks the European Central Bank, headed by Dutchman Wim Duisenberg (Dow-sen-burg) has been successful in establishing strong credentials for monetary rectitude. The bank has also been free from interference from national governments. However, Mr. Mortimer-Lee of Paribas Bank says the E- C-B has not developed a good sense of public relations. He believes it should emulate the American Federal Reserve and not have a press conference after it has adjusted interest rates.

    /// SECOND MORTIMER-LEE ACT ///

    So if you look at the Fed, when they have made a decision (on interest rates) they release a press statement. The Bank of England would have a press statement. The E-C-B would immediately on its decision have a press conference. And that enabled, I think, journalists to lead the discussion in a way that, had the E-C-B had more time to think about it, it would not have chosen.

    /// END ACT ///

    As to the euro's weakness against the dollar, most analysts attribute that to the fact that the United States economy is growing nearly twice as fast as Europe's. That - together with higher interest rates - makes the United States a more attractive destination for investment and money flows. (Signed) NEB/BW/TVM/gm 20-Dec-1999 17:41 PM EDT (20-Dec-1999 2241 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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