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Voice of America, 00-02-09

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO TRAFFICKING (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)
  • [02] YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES (L-ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)
  • [03] AUSTRIA BUSINESS IMPACT BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [05] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO TRAFFICKING (L-ONLY) BY LISA SCHLEIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=2/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258981
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Trafficking of women from Central and Eastern Europe to Kosovo for prostitution is a growing problem, according to The International Organization for Migration. Lisa Schlein reports the Geneva-based agency says it has gathered evidence from a number of women seeking help in its Kosovo office.

    TEXT: Jean-Philippe Chauzy of the International Organization for Migration says about 30 women in Pristina have asked his organization for help. But, he calls this just the tip of the iceberg (just the beginning of the problem). He says I-O-M believes several hundred women may be involved in, what he calls mafia-style trafficking of women for prostitution. He says most of them come from Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania. Mr. Chauzy says all the women tell the same story. They say they were trafficked through criminal networks to Kosovo and were forced to work in nightclubs or brothels throughout the Province.

    /// CHAUZY ACT ///

    The women we know of did not come voluntarily to Kosovo. They were tricked into coming. They thought they were going to Western Europe and they ended up in brothels in Kosovo. The only thing we can say for the moment is these women have fallen prey to organized criminal networks, mafia-style networks.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Chauzy says until recently, Kosovo was not seen as a destination for Eastern European sex traders. He says there was not much prostitution before the war. But, he says things have changed with the influx of a large number of foreigners into Kosovo. He says he suspects the presence of 45-thousand peacekeepers in the province may be one factor in the rise of prostitution. Mr. Chauzy says I-O-M has more evidence of organized crime doing deals in Kosovo. He says the situation of the trafficked women is dire. Some of the women are as young as 16.

    /// 2ND CHAUZY ACT ///

    They have arrived in Kosovo. They were stripped of their documents. They had no money. They were basically put to work in nightclubs and other places, brothels. Some of them suffered violence, some of them beaten up, raped. They were basically put through a kind of boot camp. They had no alternative. Some of them had no freedom whatsoever.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Chauzy says last week, international peacekeepers rescued 12-young women - one a 16-year old girl - from a nightclub at Slatina, near the provincial capital, Pristina. He says the women who have come to the I-O- M Pristina office are being cared for in a secure place. He says the organization is giving these traumatized women psychological counseling, and will eventually help them return to their homes if that is what they wish to do. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LS/GE/RAE 09-Feb-2000 10:51 AM EDT (09-Feb-2000 1551 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES (L-ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=2/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258987
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Judges at the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal have sent a Bosnian Croat back to jail after nine- months of freedom. Former camp commander, Zlatko Aleksovski, was released from custody in May after judges ruled that he had served his time. But as Lauren Comiteau reports from The Hague, appeals judges say his first sentence was not harsh enough.

    TEXT: Zlatko Aleksovski entered the courtroom (Wednesday) as a free man. Four-hours later, it was back to the Tribunal prison where he served almost three-years. Judges convicted him last May of physically and mentally abusing Muslims while commander of the Kaonik prison camp in central Bosnia in 1993. When that sentenced was handed down judges gave him two-and-one- half years. But because Aleksovski had already been in custody for almost three-years, judges set him free. Aleksovski voluntarily returned from his home in Croatia to The Hague this week for his appeals hearing. Aleksovski wanted his conviction overturned, an appeal the judges denied. But prosecutors also appealed. They wanted Aleksovski convicted of the more serious charges he was initially acquitted of: grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. To prove that, prosecutors have to show that there was an international armed conflict between Bosnia and Croatia at the time the crimes were committed. Appeals judges said they will consider the prosecution's appeal. In the meantime, they sided with the prosecution's other argument that two-and- one-half years was not a harsh enough sentence for his conviction. Presiding Judge Richard May made this announcement to Aleksovski.

    /// ACT MAY ///

    Accordingly, the appellant must now remain in custody until such time as revised sentence is pronounced.

    /// END ACT ///

    Upon hearing the announcement, a visibly shocked Aleksovski buried his face in his hands. His lawyer says he is in a very bad mood. Judges now have to decide what his increased sentence will be. If they find that the Muslim - Croat conflict was international, Aleksovski could be facing an even harsher prison term. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LC/GE/RAE 09-Feb-2000 12:28 PM EDT (09-Feb-2000 1728 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] AUSTRIA BUSINESS IMPACT BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=2/9/2000
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45420
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A week ago the European Union downgraded its relations with E-U member Austria to protest the inclusion of a far-right, anti-immigrant party in the new government. V-O-A economics correspondent Barry Wood reports that the Austrian business community is stunned by the reaction of its European partners and worried about the impact on tourism and exports.

    TEXT: An official of the Chamber of Commerce in Vienna (Georg Schramel) says most Austrians don't understand why the Freedom Party's rise to power has provoked such a backlash. The official says the response of the E-U countries came as a complete shock. Last Friday, the day Joerg Haider's party entered the government, the Vienna stock market fell three and a half percent, its worst drop in more than a year. The decline continued Monday as the ATX index fell to a 54 week low. There was a substantial rebound Tuesday and Wednesday as the new government announced its intention to sell the government holding in a major steel company. Heinz Zeittinger is the Austrian trade commissioner in Washington. He has been trying to find out if U-S business has had any adverse impact on the Austrian economy.

    /// ZEITTINER ACT ///

    I found that as far as our exports are concerned we don't have any even anecdotal evidence that there was cancellation of orders. Number one. Number two, talking to tourist agents, there were some cancellations there. But when I asked did they cancel because of the change of government in Austria, which by the way came about by democratic means in free and open elections in the fall of last year, the reason travel agents gave me was Americans cancelled because of the disturbances in Vienna.

    /// END ACT ///

    In Europe the response appears more severe. The Belgian foreign minister says it would be immoral for Belgians to take ski trips to Austria as long as a perceived neo-Nazi has a voice in the government. Austrian tourist bookings by Belgians have dropped substantially this week. The Belgian government has cancelled an order for six ambulances from an Austrian company. Among E-U watchers and financial analysts there is particular concern that the limited measures against Austria, and the Austrian reaction to them, could potentially upset the timetable for bringing Central European applicants into the European Union. The E-U Enlargement Commissioner, Guenter Verheugen, says there is a risk in dealing with the unpredictable Joerg Haider, who in the past has praised Hitler's employment policies and opposes immigration. He implies that Austria, which entered the E-U in 1995, might exercise its veto on E-U expansion. Austria borders four post-communist countries that are seeking to join the E-U. Some Austrian business leaders say by strongly condemning Mr. Haider they are adding to his electoral appeal in Austria. Mr. Haider's party finished second in the October election with 27- percent of the vote. Recent opinion surveys give the party 33-percent popularity. In fact, the E-U protest measures may be more show than substance. While official diplomatic contacts are being temporarilly downgraded, there is no indication on how long they will last. The United States, which recalled its ambassador to Vienna for consultations, announced Wednesday that the ambassador is returning. (Signed) NEB/BDW/TVM/gm 09-Feb-2000 16:36 PM EDT (09-Feb-2000 2136 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=2/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-258997
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were lower today (Wednesday) as profit-taking eroded recent gains across the board. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 258 points, over two percent, closing at 10-thousand-699. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell 29 points - two percent. Even the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite came under selling pressure, dropping nearly one and one-half percent. Cisco - the leading maker of Internet equipment - was one of the bright spots in trading. Its value rose after the company reported better-than-expected sales and profits. But its gains were not enough to stem profit-taking elsewhere.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    Experts disagree on whether those highly-priced stocks are destined for a fall to what some consider more realistic valuations. Analyst Stanley Nabi, for one, is optimistic on the stock market for the long run. But he believes a 10 to 15 percent correction is imminent and it will hit hardest in the technology sector:

    /// NABI ACT ///

    I think it will hit the high P-E (price/earnings ratio) stocks, the technology stocks that are now defying gravity. I think there are great companies there. But they are not cheap anymore. And many of them will come under selling pressure. Cisco is an example, (and) many of the Internet stocks that have no earnings and are trading 50 to 100 times revenues.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// END OPT ///

    Microsoft shares fell, dragging down other star performers in the U-S market, after European regulators said they are investigating whether the U-S software giant's newest operating system will give it an unfair advantage over competitors.

    ///REST OPT FOR LONG VERSION ///

    On the earnings front, PepsiCola - the world's number- two soft-drink maker - reported a more than 25-percent jump in quarterly profits, partly due to lower expenses for selling sodas. And, leading airplane-maker Boeing has labor troubles. Thousands of Boeing engineers went on strike after contract talks broke down. Boeing executives said this could affect production schedules. Boeing shares were down. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/gm 09-Feb-2000 16:45 PM EDT (09-Feb-2000 2145 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=2/9/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11673
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: President Clinton's final budget proposal gets a thorough examination in the nation's editorial columns this Wednesday, followed closely by a slew of editorials on politics. Among overseas concerns, there is the Mideast's faltering peace process and the devastation of Chechnya by the Russian military. There are also commentaries on the Balkans; the I-R-A's refusal to disarm; and a new mega-star on the world's golf links, appropriately enough named Tiger. Now, here is _________ with a closer look and some examples in today's editorial digest.

    TEXT: The president has sent to Congress a one- trillion-840-billion-dollar budget proposal [$1,840,000,000,000] filled with expanded programs and a modest tax cut, among other things. As Republicans begin hearings on it, the nation's editorial writers are adding their thoughts. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the president's budget belies his previous comment about the era of big government being over.

    VOICE: ...The money to finance this We-Can-Do- It-All budget is supposed to come from surpluses, which, over the next 10 years, have been projected to run as high as one-point-nine- trillion dollars. But these estimates are notoriously unreliable, and the surpluses could shrink or even disappear if Congress and the administration go on a spending spree.

    TEXT: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says of the president's funding plan:

    VOICE: Some of these spending increases are to be applauded, including necessary increases in military spending and programs that benefit needy Americans, such as the earned-income-tax credit. ... But the American people will be best served by applying further windfalls toward the debt.

    TEXT: The Atlanta [Georgia] Constitution says in part, "It would be reckless self-indulgence to enact any tax cut, even a small one, counting on surpluses down the road." While The Washington Times sees a major political boost to Vice President Gore in the plan:

    VOICE: This budget reads like a Gore-for- President political ad. Democratic voters and interest groups will no doubt be cheering, getting the gold mine as they do. Meanwhile the American taxpayer will get the shaft [will be treated poorly], again.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: The San Francisco Chronicle sees both positive and negative aspects in the budget proposal.

    VOICE: While generally fiscally responsible, President Clinton's farewell budget nevertheless represents two major policy failures of his administration. The same bulging federal coffers that have reduced the national debt by more than 100-billion dollars ... also have permitted [Mr.] Clinton to pour more money into programs that need rethinking, not just reimbursing. Both Social Security and Medicare were prominent bipartisan goals only two years ago. But ... with enough money to prolong Medicare's solvency ... and to extend ... Social Security ... tough decisions on improving the flawed programs ... will be left to another president and Congress. // END OPT //

    TEXT: The U-S presidential race and Hillary Clinton's New York Senate bid are also coming in for plenty of attention. Texas Governor George W. Bush has won the Republican primary election in Delaware, one of the nation's smallest states. But Arizona Senator John McCain, who did not campaign in Delaware at all, came in a surprising second. New York's Daily News is advising Mr. Bush to "grow up":

    VOICE: Since his crushing defeat in New Hampshire, Texas Governor George W. Bush has been trying to land a punch on Arizona Senator John McCain. And he is fanning air [his punches are missing]. His attacks expose him as a hollow man. ... It has been a rough time for "the boy," as his father called the governor. It was supposed to be easy. ... [Senator] McCain, meanwhile, hit the trifecta [a long-odds wager in which a bettor picks the first three finishers in a horse race] of news magazine covers [Time, Newsweek, U-S News & World Report] and has collected more than two-million dollars [in donations] over the Internet. [Mr.] Bush is desperate. ... A few more weeks like this, and [Mr.] Bush's contributors will be asking for their money back.

    TEXT: Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal talks of Mrs. Clinton's formally-announced bid for a U-S Senate seat from New York, and her main rival, the Mayor of New York City.

    VOICE: [Mrs.] Clinton is the big-spending, high-profile outsider, having just moved to Chappaqua, New York. [Mayor Rudolph] Giuliani is the big-spending, high-profile insider. [Mr.] Giuliani says he's "for real" and [Mrs.] Clinton is "Hollywood on the Hudson." ... will New York love Hillary? As the week began, [Mrs.] Clinton and [Mayor] Giuliani were dead even in the polls.

    TEXT: Overseas, as Israel and the Hezbollah guerrillas in Southern Lebanon continue to trade attacks, The New York Times worries that the Mideast Peace process is crumbling again.

    VOICE: This week Palestinian negotiators broke off talks with Israel about the transfer of the next installment of West Bank territory. Peace talks with Syria also stand suspended, and hopes for resuming them in the near future are threatened by escalating violence between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas across the Lebanese border. In this volatile climate, Israelis, Palestinians and Syrians must keep their sights clearly on the larger goal of peace, and avoid unnecessary provocations.

    /// OPT ///

    Israel must protect its security along the Lebanese border. But it should also be careful not to overreact.

    TEXT: The Boston Globe sees the latest Hezbollah attacks as a trap set by Syrian President Assad, into which the Israelis have fallen.

    VOICE: The Israeli bombing raid weakens [Israeli] President Barak's strong hand, improves [President] Assad's weak hand, and punishes the Lebanese for living between the wrong neighbors.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Turning to the Caucasus, Honolulu's Star- Bulletin says now that Russia has destroyed the Chechen capital, Grozny, "The war in Chechnya will move to the countryside." The Hawaii newspaper says, "The West should press for a peace agreement" on Chechnya.

    VOICE: Most of the rebels have fled to the mountains, much as they did four years ago before recapturing Grozny. However, Kremlin control of Grozny may reduce the Russian casualty rate and temporarily maintain political acceptability, which is what the war has been mostly about.

    TEXT: Concern is still mounting about the fate of Andrei Babitsky, a Radio Liberty correspondent who has disappeared since being detained by Russian forces in Chechnya. Russian troops reportedly handed him over to Chechen rebel forces several days ago, but Mr. Babitsky's friends and relatives fear he may have been killed. A videotape showing the reporter alive arrived in Moscow Tuesday night, but there is no way to tell when it was recorded. The Los Angeles Times says there is considerable reason to believe Russia is not telling the truth about what happened to Mr. Babitsky, an independent-minded reporter who had angered the Kremlin on a number of occasions.

    VOICE: A few days ago Moscow claimed he had been handed over to Chechen rebels in exchange for three captured Russian soldiers. ... The key point is that [Mr.] Babitsky has disappeared. Reasonable suspicion points to his possible murder by the [Russian] military. ... The message going out to the media is clear: Venture too far from the official story and harsh consequences could follow.

    TEXT: Turning to the Balkans, The Los Angeles Times suggests that a "vise" if tightening on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    VOICE: The circle of violence and recrimination drew tighter in Yugoslavia with the assassination of President Slobodan Milosevic's defense minister in a brazen shooting Monday at a Belgrade restaurant. The question in the capital is whether Pavle Bulatovic was killed for what he did or what he knew. Either way, the pressure on [Mr.] Milosevic mounts. ... With his henchmen and indicted generals fearful of leaving the republic, [Mr.] Milosevic stands increasingly alone. // OPT // The Serb nationalists who prop up his regime may soon look for new leadership in a country betrayed by its current command. // END OPT //

    TEXT: A looming breakdown in the Northern Ireland peace accords gets the attention of The Portland [Maine] Press Herald, which laments:

    VOICE: With its refusal to disarm, the I-R-A [Irish Republican Army] is on the verge of scuttling a U-S - brokered peace agreement that seeks to end sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. The historic power-sharing deal between Catholics and Protestants ... is contingent on the I-R-A demonstrating at least some progress in decommissioning its impressive arsenal of weapons and explosives. ... It is up to all Irish Catholics to persuade the I-R-A that reliance on force only prolongs suffering and the deadly tit-for-tat that has plagued the island for the last century.

    TEXT: As for the February 18th parliamentary elections in turbulent Iran, today's Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville suggests they:

    VOICE: ... will come not a moment too soon. The struggle began with the election of a reformer, Mohammad Khatami, as president in 1997. [Mr.] Khatami immediately began promoting political reform, working for freedom of speech and seeking to ease strict social codes -- much to the chagrin of the hard-line faction led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The struggle between [Mr.] Khatami and [Mr.] Khamenei divided the country. ... Both sides claim to speak for most Iranians. In a few days, the Iranian people themselves will have an opportunity to express their feelings.

    TEXT: Briefly, in this hemisphere, The St. Petersburg Times warns that increased U-S involvement to aid Colombia's struggle with narco-trafficking and rebel insurgency could draw this country into a quagmire.

    VOICE: Anyone wondering where the next black hole for our military resources will open up should look south. The Clinton administration's anti-drug aid plan for Colombia has the potential for absorbing a large chunk of our military budget and, if we're not careful, sucking the United States into a guerrilla war that parallels Vietnam.

    TEXT: Lastly, words of praise from The New York Times, for the young U-S golf sensation Tiger Woods, who this week, came from far behind to win his sixth consecutive golf championship.

    VOICE: // OPT // Woods won his sixth straight victory on the P-G-A [Professional Golfers' Association] tour at Pebble Beach [California] on Monday, coming from seven shots down with seven of the most difficult holes in golf left to play. Obviously, someone had to lose this tournament ... but then again, Woods had to play spectacularly well to turn [the leader, Matt] Gogel's lapses into victory. // END OPT // ... There is an air of inevitability that attaches to Tiger Woods right now, both mentally and physically. Call it a zone, call it a groove, but whatever it is, he is in it.

    TEXT: On that sports note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the pages of Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/WTW 09-Feb-2000 13:02 PM EDT (09-Feb-2000 1802 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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