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Voice of America, 98-02-12

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CZECH / NATO (L) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)
  • [02] FORMALIZING N A T O EXPANSION BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [04] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] CZECH / NATO (L) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)

    DATE=2/12/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-226648
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE CZECH PARLIAMENT HAS VOTED TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP IN APPROVING THE COUNTRY'S BID FOR MEMBERSHIP IN NATO. BUT V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES IN PRAGUE REPORTS THE PROPOSAL STILL FACES FURTHER PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE.

    TEXT: MOST CZECH POLITICAL FACTIONS SUPPORT NATO MEMBERSHIP, BUT THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN SAYING THE MATTER SHOULD WAIT FOR A POPULAR REFERENDUM AND UNTIL AFTER ELECTIONS TO REPLACE THE CURRENT CARETAKER GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, IN A PRELIMINARY VOTE IN PARLIAMENT THURSDAY THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS DROPPED THEIR DEMANDS AND AGREED TO LET THE NATO BID MOVE TO THE NEXT STEP IN THE PROCESS.

    INTERIM PRIME MINISTER JOSEF TOSOVSKY CALLED THE PARLIAMENTARY ACTION AN "IMPORTANT STEP" ON THE ROAD TO NATO MEMBERSHIP.

    WITH APPROVAL OF THE MEASURE ON THE FIRST READING, THE STAGE IS SET FOR FULL CONSIDERATION WITHIN 60 DAYS. THE VOTE WAS PRECEDED BY A FULL DAY OF DEBATE WEDNESDAY THAT STRETCHED INTO THE EARLY HOURS OF THURSDAY.

    OTHER MAINSTREAM POLITICAL PARTIES FULLY SUPPORT THE CZECH BID FOR NATO MEMBERSHIP. ON THE POLITICAL FRINGES, THE COMMUNISTS AND THE RIGHT-WING REPUBLIC PARTY ARE OPPOSED.

    THE CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND AND HUNGARY ARE THE FIRST OF THE POST-COMMUNIST COUNTRIES TO BE INVITED TO JOIN NATO.

    BUT CZECH LEADERS APPARENTLY HAVE FAILED TO CONVINCE A DECISIVE MAJORITY OF CZECH CITIZENS THAT JOINING NATO WOULD BE A GOOD THING. OPINION POLLS INDICATE A SMALL MAJORITY OF THE CZECH PUBLIC ENDORSES NATO MEMBERSHIP. THERE ARE CONCERNS ABOUT THE COSTS, BUT MANY CZECH CITIZENS ARE ALSO WONDERING WHY NATO EXPANSION IS NEEDED NOW THAT THE SOVIET UNION IS GONE. SOME ANALYSTS ALSO SAY NATO EXPANSION COULD BE SEEN AS A PROVOCATION BY RUSSIA.

    THE GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE GROUPS HAVE TRIED TO WIN SUPPORT FOR THE CZECH REPUBLIC'S NATO BID BY STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF JOINING WESTERN INSTITUTIONS INCLUDING THE EUROPEAN UNION. CZECH PRESIDENT VACLAV HAVEL, WRITING RECENTLY IN (THE PRAGUE-BASED) "TRANSITIONS" MAGAZINE, SAID NATO EXPANSION IS CRITICAL TO EUROPEAN UNIFICATION. "ENLARGING NATO," HE WROTE, "MEANS ENLARGING A SPHERE OF PEACE AND STABILITY." (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/JWH
    12-Feb-98 8:13 AM EST (1313 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] FORMALIZING N A T O EXPANSION BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=02/12/98
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-10571
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: THE EXPANSION OF NATO TO INCLUDE THREE FORMER COMMUNIST NATIONS -- POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, AND HUNGARY -- IS MOVING FORWARD, AND SO IS THE DEBATE OVER ITS EFFICACY. PRESIDENT CLINTON WEDNESDAY FORMALLY ASKED THE SENATE TO RATIFY AGREEMENT TO THE NATO CHARTER THAT WOULD SANCTION THE ADDITION OF THE THREE TO THE MILITARY ALLIANCE IN 1999. THAT INSURES THAT SOMETIME SOON, A FULL FLEDGED DEBATE IN THE SENATE WILL TAKE PLACE OVER WHY NATO SHOULD BE EXPANDED AND WHETHER IT IS A GOOD IDEA. THAT DEBATE IS ALREADY GOING ON IN THE U-S PRESS, AND WE'RE JOINED NOW BY __________________ WHO HAS SOME EXAMPLES IN TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: THERE ARE MANY ARGUMENTS REGARDING THE U-S SUPPORTED EXPANSION OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION. ONE IS THAT, SINCE NATO WAS BASICALLY SET UP TO COUNTER THE SOVIET MILITARY THREAT TO WESTERN EUROPE, AND SINCE THAT THREAT NO LONGER EXISTS, WHAT IS THE NEED TO MAKE NATO BIGGER? OTHER CRITICS CONTEND THAT THE EXPANSION WILL PLAY INTO THE HANDS OF ANTI-WESTERN ELEMENTS IN RUSSIA WHO FEEL THE NATION'S SPHERE OF INFLUENCE IS BEING ENCROACHED UPON, WITH A DANGER TO RUSSIAN SOVEREIGNTY. THIS, SAY CRITICS, WILL STRENGTH THE CAMPAIGNS OF RADICAL RIGHT WING ELEMENTS LIKE THAT OF VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVSKY.

    THE COUNTER ARGUMENT, ACCORDING TO PRESIDENT CLINTON IS THAT EXPANSION WILL MARK THE BEGINNING OF "A NEW ERA OF SECURITY AND STABILITY FOR AMERICA AND FOR EUROPE." STILL OTHER CRITICS ARE UPSET THAT SLOVENIA, ROMANIA AND THE THREE BALTIC STATES WERE NOT INCLUDED, SINCE, IN THE OPINION OF SOME OBSERVERS, THEY WERE AS STRONG CANDIDATES AS THE THREE NATIONS SELECTED.

    WITH THAT AS BACKGROUND, WE BEGIN OUR SAMPLING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, WITH THIS COLUMN FROM "THE SEATTLE TIMES" BY THEODORE GAILLARD, JUNIOR.

    VOICE: IN JUST A FEW DAYS, DEBATE [ON THE EXPANSION] WILL BEGIN. .... MEANWHILE, RUSSIA FUMES -- AND HAS BEEN SINCE THESE THREE COUNTRIES WERE INVITED TO APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP ... WHY? BECAUSE NATO FORCES WILL LOOM CLOSER THAN EVER TO RUSSIA, WHOSE WESTERN FLANK IS NO LONGER PROTECTED BY THE WARSAW PACT. GIVEN RUSSIA'S NOT UNJUSTIFIED CONCERNS, NATO WOULD DO WELL TO REEXAMINE ITS OWN MISSION STATEMENT BEFORE ANY FURTHER MEMBERSHIP EXPANSION. .... THIS DESTABILIZING ADMISSION OF POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC WOULD, IRONICALLY, BOLSTER NATO'S EASTERN FLANK WITH THE VERY COUNTRIES THAT UNDER THE WARSAW PACT HAD HELPED BETTER THE SOVIET UNION AGAINST THE WEST. ....

    TEXT: MR. GAILLARD, A PHILADELPHIA WRITER, CONCLUDES THAT NATO NEEDS TO REWRITE ITS CHARTER, FOCUSING THE ORGANIZATION'S GOALS BEYOND THE NORTH ATLANTIC RIM TO AREAS LIKE BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, WHICH MIGHT MAKE RUSSIA LESS ANXIOUS ABOUT THE EXPANSION. "THE MANCHESTER [NEW HAMPSHIRE] UNION-LEADER" IS CONCERNED ABOUT THIS COUNTRY'S OVEREXTENDING ITSELF MILITARILY, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, CUTTING THE ARMED FORCES DUE TO BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS.

    VOICE: THE ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO ADD THREE NEW MEMBERS TO NATO .... AND IS COMMITTED TO THE FUTURE INCLUSION OF AT LEAST EIGHT OTHERS, INCLUDING THE BALTIC REPUBLICS, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA AND UKRAINE. THIS IS PLAIN INSANITY. SUCH AN EXPANSION IN NO RESPECT ADVANCES THE SECURITY OF WESTERN EUROPE, LET ALONE THE UNITED STATES. WHAT POSSIBLE INTEREST DOES AMERICA HAVE IN GUARANTEEING THE SECURITY OF LATVIA OR THE UKRAINE, NATIONS THAT BORDER RUSSIA AND WHICH NATO IS UTTERLY INCAPABLE OF DEFENDING? ...... IF NATO EXPANSION WERE SO IMPORTANT, ONE WOULD SURMISE THAT THE EUROPEANS WOULD BE LINING UP IN SUPPORT OF THE CLINTON INITIATIVE. YET ALREADY GERMANY, FRANCE AND GREAT BRITAIN HAVE STATED OFFICIALLY THAT THEY WILL NOT PAY A SINGLE MARK, FRANC OR POUND TOWARD NATO EXPANSION. ONCE AGAIN ...... THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS WILL GET STUCK HOLDING THE CHECK ....

    TEXT: IN BALTIMORE, "THE SUN" RECENTLY RAN THIS COLUMN BY SUSAN EISENHOWER, CHAIRWOMAN OF THE CENTER FOR POLITICAL AND STRATEGIC STUDIES, A FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS ORGANIZATION IN WASHINGTON.

    VOICE: WATCHING PRESIDENT CLINTON DELIVER HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, I REGRET TO SAY, MADE ME FEEL LIKE A PASSENGER ON THE TITANIC. ..... OUR CAPTAIN SPENT LESS THAN ONE MINUTE OF HIS SPEECH EXPLAINING HIS POSITION ON NATO EXPANSION.... LIKE THE CAPTAIN OF THAT ILL-FATED LINER, MR. CLINTON HAS BEEN WARNED THAT ICEBERGS ARE EVERYWHERE, BUT HE IS STEAMING FULL SPEED AHEAD, IGNORING WHAT MAY LIE BENEATH THE SURFACE, INSISTING THAT OUR VESSEL IS INDESTRUCTIBLE, UNSINKABLE. ..... I AM NOT SO SURE. TO BEGIN WITH, THE ADMINISTRATION'S PROMISE TO LATVIA, LITHUANIA AND ESTONIA THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL SUPPORT THEIR MEMBERSHIP IN NATO IS RECKLESSLY PRE-EMPTIVE. ..... THE RUSSIANS HAVE WARNED FOR MORE THAN A YEAR THAT THEY MIGHT WALK OUT OF THE NATO-RUSSIAN FOUNDING ACT IF THE BALTICS ARE ADMITTED. .... THE RUSSIANS ARE NOT KIDDING ABOUT THIS. THEY WERE 'HAD' [TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF] BEFORE, AND ARE DETERMINED NOT TO LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN. .... GIVEN OUR DANGEROUS COURSE, THE ONLY PRUDENT THING TO DO IS TO DELAY OR REJECT NATO EXPANSION. THROUGH NATO, ITS PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE, A MILITARY NETWORK THAT INCLUDES ALL COUNTRIES OF THE FORMER COMMUNIST BLOC AND THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE, WE HAVE EVERYTHING WE NEED RIGHT NOW TO PROVIDE FOR SECURITY, DEMOCRATIZATION ASSISTANCE AND CRISIS PREVENTION.

    TEXT: LASTLY, SOME ADDITIONAL MISGIVINGS FROM "THE WASHINGTON POST."

    VOICE: AS THE SENATE MOVES TO THE QUESTION OF RATIFYING NATO ENLARGEMENT, THE DEBATE IS IN A CURIOUS PLACE. IT IS GENERALLY ACCEPTED THAT ADDING POLAND, HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC .... WILL BE APPROVED BY WELL OVER THE NECESSARY TWO-THIRDS WHEN THE VOTE COMES PROBABLY NEXT SPRING. YET SEVERAL YEARS OF INTENSE DISCUSSION HAVE NOT REMOVED ALL SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THE STEP. EVEN AMONG SUPPORTERS, MISGIVINGS ABOUT ADDING FURTHER MEMBERS LATER ARE EVIDENT. THERE IS A MORAL HEART TO THE CASE FOR ENLARGEMENT, AND IT IS TO BIND THE DEMOCRACIES, REFRESHING THE OLD, STRENGTHENING THE NEW. .... THE RESULTING INCREMENTS OF STABILITY WOULD BENEFIT NOT ONLY NATO MEMBERS BUT THE RUSSIANS, WHO REMAIN OPPOSED TO THE DEVELOPMENT BUT ARE UNABLE TO STOP IT. THE SERIOUS AMERICAN OBJECTION TO ENLARGEMENT COMES FROM STRATEGISTS WHO FEAR THE POLITICAL AND MILITARY DILUTION OF AN ALLIANCE ONCE FOCUSED LASER-LIKE ON TERRITORIAL DEFENSE AGAINST A SINGLE DANGEROUS FOE. THESE STRATEGISTS WOULD HAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION DO THE MAIN WORK OF EASING THE PATH OF THE NEW DEMOCRACIES, LEAVING NATO TO DEAL WITH A STILL-PROBLEMATIC RUSSIA AND ITS HUGE RESIDUAL NUCLEAR RESOURCE. BUT THAT WOULD LEAVE THE NOW-FREE PIECES OF THE OLD SOVIET EMPIRE MAROONED IN STRATEGIC AMBIGUITY. THE NEW DEMOCRACIES NEED BETTER AND DESERVE IT.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENT ON THE LATEST MOVE BY PRESIDENT CLINTON TO FURTHER THE EXPANSION OF NATO.
    NEB/ANG/MMK
    12-Feb-98 2:11 PM EST (1911 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=2/12/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-226682
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP TODAY (THURSDAY) WITH MAJOR INDEXES CLOSING AT RECORD HIGHS FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT DAY. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 83 HUNDRED 69, UP 55 POINTS. THE STANDARD AN POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT ONE THOUSAND 24, UP FOUR POINTS. BOTH INDEXES HAVE NOW CLOSED AT RECORD HIGHS FOR THREE STRAIGHT DAYS.

    STOCK PRICES WERE DOWN FOR MOST OF THURSDAY'S SESSION UNTIL LARGE BLOCKS OF BUY ORDERS BEGAN FLOODING THE MARKET LATE IN THE DAY. ANALYSTS SAY THERE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN A MOVEMENT BY SOME LARGE INVESTORS OUT OF THE BOND MARKET AND INTO STOCKS.

    THE GOVERNMENT REPORTED RETAIL SALES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE UP ONLY A MODEST ONE-TENTH OF ONE PERCENT IN JANUARY WITH A BIG DROP IN AUTO SALES. SOME ECONOMISTS SPECULATE THAT AMERICANS ARE CUTTING THEIR SPENDING AND INCREASING THEIR INVESTING.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS FILING CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS DROPPED LAST WEEK, A SIGN OF A CONTINUED STRONG LABOR MARKET IN THE UNITED STATES.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON IS PROPOSING TO INCREASE THE HOURLY MINIMUM WAGE IN THE UNITED STATES BY ONE DOLLAR IN TWO INCREMENTS BY THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND. THE TIGHT U-S LABOR MARKET HAS ALREADY FORCED MANY EMPLOYERS TO PAY MORE THAN THE CURRENT HOURLY MINIMUM WAGE OF FIVE DOLLARS AND 15 CENTS.

    ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, THE ANGLO-DUTCH OIL COMPANY, REPORTS DISAPPOINTING QUARTERLY PROFITS. THE COMPANY BLAMES THE ASIAN ECONOMIC CRISIS FOR THE LOWER PROFITS.

    U-S TRADE REPRESENTATIVE CHARLENE BARSHEFSKY IS NOT WORRIED THAT THE ASIAN CRISIS WILL HURT THE U-S ECONOMY. IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE REUTERS NEWS SERVICE, MS. BARSHEFSKY SAYS THE U-S ECONOMY IS STRONG ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND RISING IMPORTS AND DECREASING EXPORTS.

    THE EASTMAN KODAK PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY WILL BUY THE CONTROLLING INTEREST IN PICTUREVISION FOR AN UNDISCLOSED AMOUNT OF MONEY. PICTUREVISION IS A LEADING PROVIDER OF DIGITAL IMAGING SERVICES. ANALYSTS SAY THE ACQUISITION WILL HELP KODAK BOOST ITS FALTERING DIGITAL IMAGING BUSINESS.

    THE I-C-N PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY OF THE UNITED STATES WILL INVEST 300 MILLION DOLLARS TO EXPAND PRODUCTION FACILITIES IN RUSSIA.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    12-Feb-98 4:58 PM EST (2158 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=02/12/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10572
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    //// EDS: PERISHABLE MATERIAL, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ! ! ////

    INTRO: TODAY (THURSDAY), MAJOR NEWSPAPERS IN THE U-S ARE COMMENTING ON A WIDE RANGE OF TOPICS, AFTER WEEKS OF FOCUSING ON THE WHITE HOUSE SEX SCANDAL AND THE CONFRONTATION WITH IRAQ. THE NATION'S OTHER POLITICAL SCANDAL, INVOLVING ALLEGED CAMPAIGN FINANCE IRREGULARITIES, INCLUDING POSSIBLE CHINESE GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE, HAS ELBOWED ITS WAY BACK ONTO THE FRONT PAGE, INCLUDING A NEW, RELATED DEVELOPMENT WITH INTERIOR SECRETARY BRUCE BABBITT. OTHER TOPICS DRAWING ATTENTION INCLUDE THE ECONOMIC REFORMS IN SOUTH KOREA; THE CONFRONTATION ON IRAQ AND THE PRECIPITOUS SENATE VOTE OVER HUMAN CLONING LEGISLATION. NOW, JOINING US IN THE STUDIO IS ___________________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME QUOTES IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THE WHITE HOUSE SCANDAL CONTINUES TO PLAY HIGH UP IN THE FRONT PAGES WITH EACH NEW, SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT, BUT NOW "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SAYS THE PUBLIC MAY BE SUFFERING FROM "SCANDAL FATIGUE" WITH THE LATEST REVELATIONS ON THE OTHER MAJOR SCANDAL, THAT OF CAMPAIGN FINANCING.

    VOICE: THE RELEASE OF A REPUBLICAN SENATORS' REPORT ON THE SUSPECTED CHINESE GOVERNMENT EFFORT TO INFLUENCE THE 1996 ELECTION CALLS TO MIND POOR OLD BOB DOLE'S MOST MEMORABLE LINE FROM THAT CAMPAIGN. 'WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE?' MR. DOLE WOULD CRY AS HE RAMBLED THROUGH THE HEARTLAND. ANYONE READING THE SENATE INVESTIGATIVE REPORT COULD ADD A SECOND QUESTION. WHERE'S THE CURIOSITY? IN NORMAL TIMES, BOTH OUTRAGE AND CURIOSITY WOULD GREET THIS MAJOR REPORT FROM THE SENATE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE. IT CITES TROUBLING, ALBEIT NOT CONCLUSIVE, INFORMATION FROM THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY AND THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ABOUT A FOREIGN POWER'S EFFORT TO PURCHASE INFLUENCE THROUGH CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE. BUT THESE ARE NOT NORMAL TIMES. THE PUBLIC IS SUFFERING FROM SCANDAL OVERLOAD IN MATTERS BOTH FINANCIAL AND SEXUAL. ...... IF MR. CLINTON WERE NOT HIMSELF AT THE CENTER OF THE CAMPAIGN ABUSES, HE SHOULD LONG AGO HAVE DEMANDED A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF CHINA'S BEHAVIOR TO SEE WHETHER BEIJING WAS UNDERMINING AMERICA'S ELECTORAL SYSTEM EVEN AS HE WAS SEEKING BETTER RELATIONS WITH CHINA.

    TEXT: "THE WASHINGTON POST" IS EQUALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT AT LEAST TRIED, WITH MONEY, TO INFLUENCE THE ELECTION.

    VOICE: AT LEAST SIX PERSONS WHO TOGETHER FUNNELED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO PRESIDENT CLINTON'S REELECTION CAMPAIGN OR TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAD CLOSE TIES TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT OR ITS INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES. THAT, AT LEAST, IS THE CONCLUSION OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO INVESTIGATED ALLEGED CAMPAIGN FINANCE ABUSES IN THE 1996 ELECTION, ACCORDING TO AN ACCOUNT ..... BASED ON A SENATE DRAFT REPORT. .... BY LAW, FOREIGNERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO MAKE POLITICAL DONATIONS. THE FIRST THING TO BE SAID ABOUT THESE ALLEGATIONS IS THAT THEY ARE, FOR THE MOMENT, ONLY THAT: ALLEGATIONS. ..... BUT THESE ARE DAMAGING CHARGES TO LEVEL AGAINST THE SIX INDIVIDUALS, SOME OF WHOM ARE U-S CITIZENS. AND IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT NOT TO DEMONIZE AN ENTIRE COUNTRY BASED ON UNPROVEN ALLEGATIONS. THERE IS PLENTY TO CRITICIZE IN CHINA TODAY WITHOUT JUMPING TO UNPROVED CONCLUSIONS.

    TEXT: TURNING TO YET ANOTHER FACET OF THE CAMPAIGN FINANCING PROBE, THE ALLEGATION THAT SECRETARY OF INTERIOR BRUCE BABBIT MAKE A DECISION REGARDING COMPETING INDIAN TRIBE GAMBLING CASINOS BECAUSE OF A LARGE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION BY ONE TRIBE TO THE DEMOCRATS, "THE BOSTON GLOBE" COMMENTS:

    VOICE: ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO HAD LITTLE CHOICE THAN TO SEEK AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL TO SORT OUT THE CONFLICTING STORIES TOLD BY INTERIOR SECRETARY BRUCE BABBITT AND OTHERS ABOUT HIS 1995 REJECTION OF AN INDIAN CASINO LICENSE IN WISCONSIN. BUT THE THREE-JUDGE PANEL THAT ACTUALLY MAKES THE APPOINTMENT SHOULD TAKE CARE TO FOCUS THE INVESTIGATION ON WHETHER [MR.] BABBITT WAS INFLUENCED BY POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS OR MISLED CONGRESS. .... THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL LAW SHOULD NOT BE ABUSED TO CREATE A SEMI-INDEPENDENT FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT WITH A LIMITLESS MANDATE .....

    TEXT: TURNING TO OVERSEAS TOPICS, TODAY'S "LOS ANGELES TIMES" IS PLEASED AT THE WAY THE NEW SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT IS MOVING BACK FROM THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC PRECIPICE.

    VOICE: KIM DAE JUNG WON'T TAKE THE OATH AS SOUTH KOREA'S PRESIDENT FOR ANOTHER TWO WEEKS, BUT WITHOUT CHALLENGE HE HAS BEEN HIS COUNTRY'S LEADER SINCE HIS ELECTION IN LATE DECEMBER. PARTLY THAT'S BECAUSE INCUMBENT PRESIDENT KIM YOUNG SAM, WIDELY BLAMED FOR FAILING TO HEAD OFF THE ECONOMIC DEBACLE THAT BROUGHT SOUTH KOREA'S BOOMING ECONOMY TO A VIRTUAL STANDSTILL, HAS TAKEN A DELIBERATELY HUMBLE POSTURE AS HE PREPARES TO STEP DOWN. MAINLY, THOUGH, IT'S BECAUSE KIM DAE JUNG .... IS SEEN AS THE KEY TO PRESERVING KOREA'S STABILITY AND GUIDING ITS RETURN TO PROSPERITY. THE STATESMANSHIP HE HAS EXHIBITED DURING THE INTERREGNUM INSPIRES CONFIDENCE AT HOME AND ABROAD. //// OPT //// HE HAS WON PLEDGES OF SUPPORT FROM EVEN SOME OF HIS BITTEREST ERSTWHILE ENEMIES. FORMIDABLE TESTS LIE AHEAD, BUT A GOOD BEGINNING HAS BEEN MADE, AND THE RIGHT COURSE HAS BEEN SET. ///END OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "OMAHA [NEBRASKA] WORLD HERALD" DEALS WITH THE PENDING CONFRONTATION WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN AND SUPPORTS NEBRASKA'S SENATOR CHUCK HAGEL'S CALL FOR BETTER JUSTIFICATION OF THE PROPOSED ATTACK.

    VOICE: 'THE REASON FOR WAR MUST BE CONNECTED TO MORE THAN JUST SHORT-TERM SANCTIONS ENFORCEMENT,' [SENATOR] HAGEL SAID. ANY ATTACK ON IRAQ, HE SAID, SHOULD BE PART OF A PACKAGE OF MILITARY AND POLITICAL INITIATIVES WITH A COMPREHENSIVE, LONG-TERM OBJECTIVE. MOREOVER, [MR.] HAGEL SAID, AN ATTACK WOULD SET OFF A PARTICULAR CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT MUST BE PREDICTED AND PLANNED FOR. ..... AMERICANS HAVEN'T BEEN TOLD MUCH ABOUT WHAT'S ACHIEVABLE IN IRAQ. THEY HAVEN'T HEARD MUCH ABOUT THE RISKS, EITHER. ..... THE QUESTION REMAINS .... WHETHER THE ADMINISTRATION'S PLAN OF ACTION IS CAPABLE OF ACTUALLY STOPPING SADDAM -- OR WHETHER IT WOULD MERELY PERPETUATE THE CURRENT AMBIGUOUS SITUATION WHILE COSTING AMERICAN LIVES AND PRESTIGE.

    TEXT: IN ANOTHER MIDDLE EASTERN CONFLICT, THIS TIME AN INTERNAL ONE WITHIN ISRAEL OVER THE DIFFICULT QUESTION, WHO EXACTLY IS A JEW? -- TODAY'S "NEW YORK TIMES" OBSERVES:

    VOICE: AFTER MONTHS OF WRANGLING, [FIGHTING] THE BEST EFFORTS BY A SPECIAL CABINET COMMITTEE IN ISRAEL TO RESOLVE A RANCOROUS DISPUTE OVER 'WHO IS A JEW' HAVE COLLAPSED. AS A RESULT, REFORM AND CONSERVATIVE JEWS PLAN TO RESUME THEIR CAMPAIGN TO BREAK THE ORTHODOX RABBINATE'S MONOPOLY OVER CONVERSIONS AND OTHER RITES IN ISRAEL. ..... NOW, IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ACCORD, THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD ASSURE THAT ISRAEL MAINTAINS ITS IDENTITY AS A HOMELAND FOR ALL JEWS, ORTHODOX AND NON-ORTHODOX ALIKE.

    TEXT: AND IN ANOTHER CULTURAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL DEBATE, HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, THE ISSUE OF CLONING, NEWSDAY ON LONG ISLAND, NOTES WITH SATISFACTION A SENATE VOTE REJECTING A TOTAL BAN ON CLONING THAT MIGHT JEOPARDIZE ESSENTIAL SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS INTO THE TECHNIQUE'S BENEFICIAL ASPECTS.

    VOICE: NOW THAT CLONING HAS MADE THE LEAP FROM SCIENCE FICTION TO SCIENTIFIC FACT, THE POSSIBLE CLONING OF A HUMAN BEING IS RAISING SOME OF THE THORNIEST [MOST COMPLICATED] ETHICAL QUESTIONS SINCE THE SPLITTING OF THE ATOM -- QUESTIONS BEST SETTLED IN A SYSTEMATIC DEBATE, NOT BY A HASTY LEGISLATIVE FIX. THAT'S WHY THE SENATE DID THE RIGHT THING YESTERDAY IN SENDING TO COMMITTEE AN ILL-CONCEIVED REPUBLICAN BILL THAT WOULD HAVE BANNED HUMAN CLONING BUT DONE GREAT DAMAGE TO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IN THE PROCESS.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM AROUND THE NATION FOR THURSDAY, THE 12TH OF FEBRUARY.
    NEB/ANG/MMK
    12-Feb-98 11:45 AM EST (1645 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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