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Voice of America, 98-02-24

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [02] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [03] NATO EXPANSION (L) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [04] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=2/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-227229
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES RETREATED ON THE MAJOR BOURSES OF WESTERN EUROPE TUESDAY. PAUL FRANCUCH IN LONDON REPORTS ON THE CLOSING FIGURES.

    TEXT: A SHARP DROP ON THE TOKYO MARKET EARLIER IN THE DAY, COUPLED WITH LONDON -- EUROPE'S BIGGEST MARKET -- TAKING A PLUNGE AT THE OPENING, SET THE TONE FOR TRADING ON TUESDAY.

    THE COLLAPSE OF A PLANNED MERGER BETWEEN BRITISH PHARMACEUTICAL FIRMS "SMITHKLINE BEECHAM" AND "GLAXO WELLCOME" HAD STOCKS TRACKED BY LONDON'S "FOOTSIE 100" TRADING LOWER. ALTHOUGH RECOVERING SOMEWHAT FROM INITIAL LOWS, THE LONDON INDEX LOST 52 POINTS AT THE END OF TRADING -- A DECLINE OF NEARLY ONE PERCENT. IN PARIS, THE "CAC 40" INDEX WAS DOWN 11 POINTS -- ABOUT A THIRD OF ONE PERCENT. GERMANY'S DAX INDEX LOST ABOUT ONE PERCENT IN VALUE IN BOTH FLOOR AND ELECTRONIC TRADING. THE LATE CLOSING FIGURE HAD THE DAX DOWN AN ADDITIONAL SIX POINTS.

    IN CURRENCY TRADING, THE U-S DOLLAR GAINED ABOUT THREE-QUARTERS OF A PFENNIGE AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK. THE DOLLAR STAYED EVEN AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND.

    //REST OPT//

    GOLD IN LONDON CLOSED DOWN ONE-DOLLAR-10 CENTS AN OUNCE AT 292-DOLLARS-FIVE CENTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/PLM
    24-Feb-98 1:00 PM EST (1800 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=2/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-227245
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (TUESDAY) AND BOND PRICES FELL REFLECTING SOME DISAPPOINTMENT AMONG TRADERS THAT THE U-S CENTRAL BANK IS NOT LIKELY TO LOWER INTEREST RATES. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 83 HUNDRED 70, DOWN 40 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT ONE THOUSAND 30, DOWN SEVEN POINTS.

    THE HEAD OF THE U-S CENTRAL BANK DESCRIBED THE NATION'S ECONOMY AS "FINELY BALANCED." IN TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS ALAN GREENSPAN SAID THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IN ASIA MAY HELP KEEP THE U-S INFLATION RATE DOWN. INDEED, THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX FOR JANUARY WAS UNCHANGED. HOWEVER, MR. GREENSPAN DID NOT SUGGEST THAT THE CENTRAL BANK MAY LOWER INTEREST RATES. THAT SENT THE BOND MARKET DOWN AND STOCK PRICES FOLLOWED.

    A MONTHLY INDEX OF CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES IS AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN 30 YEARS. THE SURVEY SHOWS AMERICANS BELIEVE JOBS ARE EASILY AVAILABLE AND THAT BUSINESS CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE.

    ///REST OPT FOR LONG///

    DESPITE THE DROP IN STOCK PRICES, MANY ANALYSTS SUCH AS PETER MANCUSO OF THE BUTTONWOOD FIRM, SAY THE STOCK MARKET HAS HELD UP VERY WELL.

    ///MANCUSO ACT///

    YOU HAVE HAD A MAJOR CONSOLIDATION OF THIS GREAT MOVE THAT WE HAD TWO WEEKS AGO AND I JUST THINK IT IS VERY POSITIVE FOR THIS MARKET.

    ///END ACT///

    PLANS TO CREATE THE WORLD'S LARGEST DRUG COMPANY HAVE BEEN ABANDONED. TALKS INVOLVING BRITISH-BASED SMITHKLINE BEECHAM AND GLAXO WELLCOME HAVE BEEN TERMINATED. SOURCES SAY THE TWO COMPANIES WERE UNABLE TO AGREE ON A NEW MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE. THE STOCKS OF BOTH COMPANIES PLUNGED ON THE NEWS. WAL-MART, THE LARGEST DISCOUNT STORE CHAIN IN THE UNITED STATES, REPORTED RECORD QUARTERLY AND ANNUAL PROFITS. THE COMPANY SAYS THE SIGNS ARE GOOD FOR "ANOTHER RECORD YEAR AHEAD."

    BUT THE CALDOR DISCOUNT STORE CHAIN IS STILL TRYING TO EMERGE FROM BANKRUPTCY LAW PROTECTION. CALDOR SAYS IT PLANS TO CLOSE 12 STORES AND ELIMINATE 13 HUNDRED JOBS AS PART OF ITS REORGANIZATION PLAN.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    24-Feb-98 4:56 PM EST (2156 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] NATO EXPANSION (L) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=2/24/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-227235
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PLANS TO EXPAND THE NATO MILITARY ALLIANCE GOT CLOSER TO REALITY (TUESDAY) IN BOTH THE U-S SENATE AND IN CZECH PUBLIC OPINION. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT JIM RANDLE REPORTS, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY, AND POLAND HAVE BEEN INVITED TO JOIN NATO IN 1999, IF THEIR RESPECTIVE PARLIAMENTS APPROVE AND NATO MEMBERS AGREE.

    TEXT: CRITICS OF NATO EXPANSION COMPLAIN THE FRAGILE ECONOMIES OF POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, AND HUNGARY CAN NOT AFFORD THE LARGE SUMS NEEDED TO BRING THEIR MILITARY FORCES UP TO NATO STANDARDS. OTHER CRITICS SAY THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION HAS UNDERSTATED THE COSTS, AND THE UNITED STATES IS LIKELY TO BE STUCK WITH A LARGE SHARE OF PROVIDING IMPROVED EQUIPMENT FOR NEW ALLIES.

    BUT SECRETARY OF STATE MADELINE ALBRIGHT TELLS THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, WASHINGTON IS MAKING A GOOD INVESTMENT.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    WE KNOW TODAY THAT THE COSTS WILL REAL, BUT ALSO THAT THEY WILL BE MANAGEABLE, THAT THEY WILL BE MET, AND THAT THEY WILL BE SHARED FAIRLY.

    /// END ACT ///

    SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM COHEN SAYS NEW NATO MEMBERS WOULD HAVE TO MODERNIZE THEIR MILITARY FORCES SOONER OR LATER, AND WILL SPEND LESS AS PART OF NATO THAN IF THEY TRIED TO HANDLE ALL DEFENSE TASKS ON THEIR OWN.

    MR. COHEN SAYS POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC, AND HUNGARY WILL BE PRODUCERS OF SECURITY, NOT JUST CONSUMERS. HE SAYS THE NEW ALLIES BRING STABILITY, STRENGTH, AND SPECIAL SKILLS TO NATO.

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    THREE-HUNDRED-THOUSAND TROOPS, WITH SPECIALIZED UNITS IN COMBAT ENGINEERING AND ALSO DECONTAMINATION SKILLS.

    /// END ACT ///

    OTHER CRITICS OF A LARGER NATO SAY THE EXPANDED ALLIANCE CREATES FRICTION WITH MOSCOW BY MOVING NATO FORCES CLOSER TO THE RUSSIAN BORDER.

    MS. ALBRIGHT SAYS SHE IS AWARE OF MOSCOW'S COMPLAINTS, BUT SAYS NATO WILL BRING STABILITY TO CENTRAL EUROPE AND MOSCOW WILL EVENTUALLY REALIZE STABILITY IS GOOD FOR RUSSIA. SECRETARY COHEN SAYS WASHINGTON AND MOSCOW HAVE MANY DIFFERENCES, BUT HAVE MADE PROGRESS TOWARD RESOLVING THEM LATELY, DESPITE THE EXPECTED EXPANSION OF NATO.

    SECRETARY OF STATE ALBRIGHT OPPOSES MOVES TO DELAY ADMISSION OF OTHER NEW MEMBERS TO NATO. SHE SAYS THIS WOULD HURT REFORM- MINDED GOVERNMENTS IN FORMERLY COMMUNIST NATIONS.

    FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, SENATOR JESSE HELMS, A REPUBLICAN, IS OFTEN CRITICAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC CLINTON ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY, BUT HE SAYS HE SUPPORTS NATO EXPANSION. IF THE COMMITTEE APPROVES NATO EXPANSION, THE FULL SENATE COULD VOTE ON THE MATTER EARLY NEXT MONTH. MEANTIME, A NEW PUBLIC OPINION POLL REPORTED BY THE REUTERS NEWS AGENCY SHOWS 59-PERCENT OF THOSE QUESTIONED IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC SUPPORT JOINING NATO. THAT IS UP EIGHT-POINTS FROM A SIMILAR POLL LAST SEPTEMBER. (SIGNED).
    NEB/RAE
    24-Feb-98 2:55 PM EST (1955 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=02/24/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10587
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

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

    INTRO: THE AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN U-N SECURITY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN AND SADDAM HUSSEIN IS THE CENTERPIECE OF VIRTUALLY EVERY MAJOR PAPER'S EDITORIAL COLUMN ACROSS THE COUNTRY THIS TUESDAY. ASIDE FROM THAT, MOST TOPICS IN A SELECTION OF PAPERS ARE DOMESTIC, INCLUDING: THE CLINTON BUDGET; THE RENEWED PUSH FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM; A LOOK BACK AT PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN AND THE HUGE DAMAGE DONE BY A SERIES OF FLORIDA TORNADOES. LASTLY, THERE ARE THOUGHTS ON THE JUST COMPLETED WINTER OLYMPICS. NOW, JOINING US IN THE STUDIO IS _____________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME QUOTES IN TODAY'S U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: FROM ONE COAST TO THE OTHER, PAPERS ARE REACTING TO THE NEWS IRAQI'S DICTATOR SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS AGREED TO ALLOW U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS TO RESUME THEIR SEARCH FOR THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION HE IS BELIEVE TO HAVE KEPT OR MADE AFTER THE GULF WAR. IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST,"THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND SUGGESTS WE NOW ENTER A PERIOD OF "WATCHFUL WAITING," ADDING:

    VOICE: WE WILL NOT KNOW THE DETAILS ... FOR A FEW DAYS, BUT WE SURE HOPE IT MEASURES UP TO THE U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL'S ADVANCED BILLING (A 'SERIOUS, CREDIBLE AGREEMENT'). ... EVEN IF THE U-N AGREEMENT ACHIEVES FULL IRAQI COMPLIANCE ON PAPER, U-S FORCES SHOULD REMAIN IN THE REGION FOR SOME TIME TO COME. SADDAM'S SLIGHTEST BACK-SLIDING SHOULD OCCASION PROMPT AND ROBUST AIR STRIKES. ... STILL, LET US ALSO HOPE THE U-N AGREEMENT MEASURES UP -- AND THAT [MR.] ANNAN LEFT BAGHDAD LOOKING MORE LIKE WINSTON CHURCHILL THAN NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN.

    TEXT: AT LEAST, FOUR-THOUSAND KILOMETERS AWAY, IN MAINE "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" ALSO HAS A NOTE OF SKEPTICISM, SUGGESTING THE AGREEMENT -- HAS TO WORK FLAWLESSLY, -- AND POINTING OUT:

    VOICE: ... THAT AGREEMENT IS ALMOST IDENTICAL TO THE POST-DESERT STORM INSPECTION AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH SADDAM HUSSEIN'S GOVERNMENT WAS OPERATING UNTIL LATE LAST YEAR. ... HERE ARE SOME OF THE PITFALLS: THOUGH IT WAS THEIR PRESENCE THAT BROUGHT [MR.] SADDAM TO THIS POINT, U-N TROOPS CANNOT REMAIN POSED TO ATTACK FOREVER. THE INSPECTIONS MUST BE OVER BEFORE THOSE UNITS HAVE TO DISPERSE. THE INSPECTIONS CANNOT SUDDENLY DEVELOP SMALL 'EXCEPTIONS,' WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR. /// OPT

    /// THOSE EXCEPTIONS GREW AND GREW UNTIL THEY ENCOMPASSED THE MANY HUGE 'PALACES' [MR.] SADDAM ... CONSTRUCTED SINCE THE END OF THE GULF WAR. /// END OPT
    ///... THAT IS WHY, AS PRESIDENT CLINTON SAID MONDAY, 'THE PROOF IS IN THE TESTING.'

    TEXT: "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" SAYS -- NOW IT'S WAIT AND SEE.

    VOICE: [PRESIDENT] CLINTON HAS FOUND THE BAGHDAD AGREEMENT ACCEPTABLE, WHILE REALISTICALLY QUESTIONING ITS DURABILITY AND WARNING THAT 'SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES' WILL RESULT IF IRAQ FAILS TO ABIDE FULLY BY ITS TERMS. HIS SKEPTICISM IS WARRANTED. ... IRAQ HAS PROVIDED NO REASON WHY IT SHOULD BE TRUSTED, AND THERE IS LITTLE REASON TO THINK ... THE DEAL IT REACHED LAST WEEKEND SIGNIFIES AN END TO ITS DUPLICITY.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S WALL STREET JOURNAL" ALSO HAS SOME DOUBTS, NOTING:

    VOICE: MR. ANNAN HIMSELF SOUNDED LIKE A SPINNER [A PUBLIC RELATIONS MAN] FOR [MR.] SADDAM'S PROPAGANDA MACHINE WHEN, IN A TELLING MOMENT AT YESTERDAY'S PRESS CONFERENCE, HE HAILED THE AGREEMENT WITH SOME POLITICALLY CORRECT GOBBLEDYGOOK [DOUBLETALK] ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING OTHER CULTURES. ... WE WONDER HOW MANY IRAQIS TOOK MR. ANNAN'S IMPLICATION THAT [MR.] SADDAM WAS REPRESENTATIVE OF THEIR CULTURE AS THE INSULT IT WAS.

    TEXT: "THE BOSTON GLOBE" SAYS, AMONG OTHER THINGS:

    VOICE: NO AGREEMENT ON INTERNATIONAL WEAPONS INSPECTORS SHOULD DIVERT THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION FROM DEVELOPING A LONG RANGE STRATEGY FOR DEALING WITH [MR.] SADDAM AND HIS DANGEROUS REGIME.

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, ON THIS TOPIC, "THE NEW YORK POST" WAS NOT IMPRESSED WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON'S REACTION, SUGGESTING:

    VOICE: 'THE PROOF IS IN THE TESTING,' PRESIDENT CLINTON SAID ... ABOUT THE PURPORTED 'AGREEMENT' ... NO, THE PROOF IS IN [MR.] CLINTON'S BIZARRE STATEMENT ... WHICH HAS TO RANK AMONG THE WORST MOMENTS OF HIS PRESIDENCY. THE PRESIDENT WANTED DESPERATELY TO LOOK AND TALK TOUGH, BUT NEVER HAS HE SEEMED MORE LIKE A CONFUSED AND HOPELESS BOY. FROM THE LOOK ON HIS FACE, [MR.] CLINTON KNOWS ... THIS IS JUST ANOTHER SHUFFLE-STEP IN THE SADDAM HUSSEIN GAVOTTE. ONCE AGAIN ... SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS WON.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: MOVING ON TO SOME OF THE DAY'S OTHER TOPICS, THE BUDGET IS COMING IN FOR SOME COMMENTS, SUCH AS THIS FROM "THE WASHINGTON POST."

    VOICE: WHATEVER ELSE YOU MAY THINK OF IT, THE BUDGET ... PRESIDENT CLINTON SENT TO CONGRESS EARLIER THIS MONTH WAS FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. THE PROPOSED INITIATIVES WERE PAID FOR. IF A SURPLUS MATERIALIZED, THE PRESIDENT RECOMMENDED THAT IT BE USED TO PAY DOWN THE DEBT IN THE NAME OF PREPARING TO MEET THE COST OF SOCIAL SECURITY WHEN THE BABY BOOMERS RETIRE. NOW THE SENATE REPUBLIC LEADERSHIP ... HAS APPARENTLY SETTLED ON THE OUTLINE OF AN ALTERNATIVE BUDGET THAT WOULD BE AT LEAST EQUALLY DISCIPLINED IN THE FACE OF EVEN GREATER POLITICAL PRESSURE TO THE CONTRARY. ... IT IS A DEBATE IN WHICH THE COUNTRY DOES NOT LOSE, NO MATTER HOW IT COMES OUT.

    TEXT: ANOTHER PRESSING TOPIC IN WASHINGTON IS THE SO-FAR FUTILE EFFORT OF CONGRESS TO ENACT ANY KIND OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, SPECIFICALLY THE MCCAIN-FEINGOLD BILL, AND NOW THE LAWMAKERS ARE AGAIN DEBATING THE ISSUE. SAYS "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER:"

    VOICE: DO U-S SENATORS WANT THEIR PARTIES TO KEEP POCKETING TENS-OF-MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM SPECIAL INTERESTS? OR WILL THEY FINALLY SIDE WITHY AMERICANS WHO ARE FED UP WITH THE STATUS QUO? THE SHOWDOWN IS EXPECTED TODAY. SENATE REPUBLICANS WILL TRY TO KILL THE MCCAIN-"FEINGOLD BILL, WHICH WOULD STOP SPECIAL INTERESTS FROM SHOVELING UNLIMITED A COUNTS OF 'SOFT MONEY' TO POLITICAL PARTIES. ... THE SENATE MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN SELF-INTEREST AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST. SENATOR [OLYMPIA] SNOWE [OF MAINE] PUT IT WELL LAST YEAR:'THE STATUS QUO IS UNACCEPTABLE TO VIRTUALLY EVERYONE EXCEPT APPARENTLY TO MANY MEMBERS OF THIS BODY.'

    TEXT: FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, NOW SUFFERING FROM ALTZHEIMER'S DISEASE IN HIS CALIFORNIA RETIREMENT,IS THE SUBJECT OF A NEW PUBLIC [NON-COMMERCIAL] TELEVISION SERIES ABOUT HIS PRESIDENCY AND THAT IS DRAWING COMMENT FROM SEVERAL PAPERS, INCLUDING "THE NEW YORK TIMES."

    VOICE: THE PRESIDENT WHO STOOD FOR IRREDUCIBLE VERITIES LIKE OPPOSING COMMUNISM AND UNLEASHING 'THE M MAGIC OF THE MARKETPLACE,' AS HE UNSELF-CONSCIOUSLY PUT IT, HAS BEEN VIVIDLY CAPTURED BY THE TWO-PART DOCUMENTARY BROADCAST ... LAST NIGHT AND TONIGHT. NO LESS IMPRESSIVE IS THE PROGRAM'S ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE REMAINS AN ENIGMA. ... IT DOES MR. REAGAN'S MEMORY A DISSERVICE TO SUGGEST THAT HIS LEADERSHIP WAS FLAWLESS OR HIS LEGACY UNCOMPLICATED. ... 'YOU'RE NOT GOING TO FIGURE HIM OUT,' DECLARES RON REAGAN JUNIOR, IN A VIRTUAL CHALLENGE TO THE FILM MAKERS. ...I DON'T THINK HE'S FIGURED HIMSELF OUT.'

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, A FEW LINES FROM "THE MIAMI HERALD" ABOUT THE KILLER TORNADOES, APPARENTLY BRED BY THE EL NINO PHENOMENON, THAT SWEPT ACROSS FLORIDA SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY MORNING, TAKING AT LEAST 38 LIVES

    VOICE: IT HUMBLES ALL THAT JUST A SLIGHT WARMING OF A FARAWAY PACIFIC OCEAN CURRENT CAN WREAK SUCH HAVOC.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF COMMENT FROM THE EDITORIAL PAGES OF TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    24-Feb-98 10:54 AM EST (1554 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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