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Voice of America, 98-02-26

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CONFLICT RESOLUTION: DILEMMA OF THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [04] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [05] NORTHERN IRELAND (L) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

  • [01] CONFLICT RESOLUTION: DILEMMA OF THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS BY JUDITH LATHAM (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=2/26/98
    TYPE=WORLDWIDE ENGLISH FEATURE
    NUMBER=7-18058
    TELEPHONE=619-3464
    EDITOR=GARY EDQUIST
    CONTENT= (TAPE CUTS IN AUDIO SERVICES)

    INTRO: A RECENT SYMPOSIUM [2/6/97-2/7/97] AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY ON "ISLAM AND PEACE" DREW MUSLIM SCHOLARS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. THE SITUATION OF THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS WAS THE FOCUS OF ONE OF THE PANELS, WHICH CONCENTRATED ON THE SITUATION IN SPECIFIC COUNTRIES.

    VOA'S JUDITH LATHAM HAS TALKED WITH THE ALBANIAN

    PANELIST ABOUT THE CURRENT IMPASSE IN KOSOVO BETWEEN THE ALBANIAN MAJORITY POPULATION AND THE RULING SERB MINORITY. HERE'S ____ WITH A REPORT.

    TEXT: PROFESSOR MICHAEL SALLA OF THE SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICE AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN WASHINGTON, D-C, SAYS THE ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO -- UNLIKE THE BOSNIAN MUSLIMS -- HAVE "VERY DELIBERATELY" NOT DRAWN ON THEIR ISLAMIC HERITAGE IN THEIR CONFLICT WITH THE SERBS.

    TAPE: CUT ONE -- SALLA (0:44) "THEY RECOGNIZE THAT PRESENTS REAL DANGERS FOR THEM BECAUSE IT WOULD ENABLE THE SERBIAN MINORITY IN KOSOVO AND THE SERB POLITICAL ELITE IN BELGRADE ITSELF TO PORTRAY THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS AS PART OF AN ISLAMIC THREAT, [OPT] THIS VERY NEBULOUS TERM WHICH IS USED TO JUSTIFY ALL SORTS OF POLICIES. [END OPT] AND SO, THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS HAVEN'T REALLY UTILIZED MUCH IN THEIR ISLAMIC HERITAGE TO SUPPORT THEIR CAMPAIGN. [OPT] THEY HAVEN'T, FOR EXAMPLE, TRAVELLED VERY MUCH TO GET SUPPORT FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD FOR THEIR POLITICAL STRUGGLE. THEY'VE CONCENTRATED VERY MUCH ON GETTING THE SUPPORT OF THE UNITED STATES, BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES." [END OPT]

    TEXT: KOSOVO, A FORMERLY AUTONOMOUS REGION IN SERBIA WITH A 90-PERCENT ALBANIAN MAJORITY POPULATION, ENJOYED SPECIAL STATUS UNDER THE 1974 YUGOSLAV CONSTITUTION. IN 1989, KOSOVO'S AUTONOMY WAS REVOKED BY SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSOVIC. IN 1991, THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS SET UP THEIR OWN "SHADOW" GOVERNMENT, LED BY IBRAHIM RUGOVA, AND ESTABLISHED A PARALLEL SYSTEM OF ALBANIAN SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS. THIS SO-CALLED "REPUBLIC OF KOSOVA" [KOH-SOH-VAH] IS NOT RECOGNIZED BY ANY OTHER COUNTRY. PROFESSOR SALLA SAYS THE STRATEGY OF THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS HAS BEEN ONE OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AGAINST THE RULING SERB MINORITY. BUT, HE ADDS, MANY YOUNGER ALBANIANS FEEL THEY NEED TO DO MORE.

    TAPE: CUT TWO -- SALLA (0:29) "THAT IT'S NOT ENOUGH JUST TO GO TO ALBANIAN SCHOOLS AND NOT DEAL WITH SERBIAN INSTITUTIONS, BUT YOU NEED TO DO MORE TO GAIN YOUR OWN RIGHTS. AND SO, NOW YOU'VE GOT PROTESTS BEGINNING AGAIN, AND THESE PROTESTS HAVE BEEN ORGANIZED BY ALBANIAN STUDENTS WHO BY AND LARGE DISAVOW THE SORT OF PASSIVE APPROACH THAT RUGOVA HAS TAKEN SO FAR, AND THEY WANT A MORE ACTIVE APPROACH TO CONFRONTING THE SERBIAN REGIME AND TRYING TO GAIN THEIR RIGHTS."

    TEXT: IN ADDITION TO NONVIOLENT STUDENT PROTESTS, PROFESSOR SALLA SAYS, THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY HAS ADOPTED A MORE MILITANT RESPONSE TO SERBIAN POLITICAL REPRESSION. HOWEVER, THE MAJORITY OF KOSOVARS, FEARING THAT A VIOLENT CAMPAIGN WOULD PLAY INTO THE LANDS OF SERBIAN EXTREMISTS, STILL BACK A NONVIOLENT APPROACH. ACCORDING TO PROFESSOR SALLA, THE KOSOVARS CONTINUE TO LOOK TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, LED BY THE UNITED STATES, TO HELP RESOLVE THE CONFLICT.

    TAPE: CUT THREE -- SALLA (0:55) "THE UNITED STATES IS VERY CLEARLY BEING ACTIVE IN TRYING TO GET THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE SERBIAN REGIME, AND THEY'VE BEEN TRYING TO BRING ABOUT SOME KIND OF AUTONOMY ARRANGEMENT WHERE THE ALBANIANS WOULD GAIN AT THE VERY LEAST THE AUTONOMY THEY ENJOYED UNDER THE 1974 REGIME. THE PROBLEM THOUGH IS THAT CURRENTLY THERE IS NO REAL POLITICAL LEADER IN SERBIA WHO'S WILLING TO STAKE HIS POLITICAL FUTURE ON A NEGOTIATED OUTCOME WITH THE ALBANIANS BECAUSE THAT WOULD MEAN CONCESSIONS. [OPT] ANY POLITICAL LEADER WHO AT THE MOMENT NEGOTIATES AND MAKES THESE CONCESSIONS IS GOING TO BE VULNERABLE TO ATTACK FROM THE MORE EXTREME SERBIAN PARTY, SUCH AS VOJISLAV SESELJ'S RADICAL PARTY. AND SO, THAT REALLY LEAVES IT TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO DO SOMETHING MORE TO STOP THE SITUATION FROM GETTING OUT OF HAND, WHICH IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE." [END OPT]

    TEXT: ALTHOUGH MANY ANALYSTS BELIEVE KOVOVO IS ON THE BRINK OF "ERUPTING" INTO VIOLENCE, PROFESSOR SALLA SAYS, WESTERN POLICY TOWARDS RESOLVING THE CRISIS HAS BEEN FAIRLY SUBDUED. THE PROFESSOR SAYS THE UNITED STATES IS FEARFUL OF DOING ANYTHING THAT HE SAYS MIGHT "UNDERMINE [PRESIDENT] MILOSEVIC'S ABILITY TO HELP IMPLEMENT THE DAYTON ACCORDS."

    TAPE: CUT FOUR -- SALLA (0:56) "THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF DIPLOMATIC POSTURING, A LOT OF RESOLUTIONS, A LOT OF RHETORIC CRITICIZING MILOSEVIC, AND TRYING TO GET HIM TO SUPPORT THE DAYTON AGREEMENT MORE FULLY THAN HE HAS. BUT IN THE END, LOOKING AT THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO, YOU KNOW IT IS GETTING WORSE, AND GROUPS SUCH AS THE K-L-A, THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY, ARE GROWING. [OPT] THERE IS MORE VIOLENCE THERE, AND IT DOESN'T TAKE VERY MUCH FOR THIS TO GET OUT OF HAND, AND THAT'S ONE OF THE DANGERS. THERE IS STILL RECOGNITION AMONG THE ALBANIANS THEMSELVES THAT ANY USE OF FORCE WILL PLAY INTO THE HANDS OF SERBIAN EXTREMISTS WHO ARE VERY WELL-ARMED, AND YOU HAVE THE PARAMILITARY GROUPS THROUGHOUT KOSOVO THAT WOULD JUMP AT THE CHANCE OF BEING ABLE TO USE THEIR WEAPONS AGAINST ALBANIANS AND DRIVE THEM OUT OF KOSOVO, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY'VE BEEN WAITING FOR. THEY'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THAT GREEN LIGHT FROM BELGRADE, BUT THEY HAVEN'T BEEN GIVEN THAT." [END OPT]

    TEXT: PROFESSOR SALLA SAYS IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO REACH A COMPROMISE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SERBS AND THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS THAT COMBINES ALL THREE OBJECTIVES THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SEEKS. THE OBJECTIVES INCLUDE AN END TO THE SERB REGIME IN KOSOVO, ALBANIAN SELF-RULE, AND PRESERVATION OF SERBIA'S CURRENT BORDERS. SERBIA CURRENTLY REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE THE AUTONOMY OF THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS. AND, THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS ARE CALLING FOR INDEPENDENCE FROM SERBIA, WHICH PROFESSOR SALLA SAYS IS UNREALISTIC.

    TAPE: CUT FIVE -- SALLA (0:25) "AS FAR AS THE ALBANIAN LEADERSHIP IN KOSOVO IS CONCERNED, THEY REALLY DO NEED TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE RHETORIC OF INDEPENDENCE. IT'S CLEAR THAT NO COUNTRY SUPPORTS AN INDEPENDENT KOSOVO. [OPT] ALBANIA PROPER IS THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT RECOGNIZES AN INDEPENDENT KOSOVO, AND THE UNITED STATES, BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND SO FORTH HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT, AS FAR AS THEY'RE CONCERNED, THE MOST THAT THEY'RE WILLING TO SUPPORT IS AUTONOMY."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: PROFESSOR MICHAEL SALLA OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY'S SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICE SAYS IT'S UNFORTUNATE THAT THE CONFLICT IN KOSOVO HAS NOT RECEIVED THE ATTENTION THAT HE THINKS IT DESERVES.

    TAPE: CUT SIX -- SALLA (0:30)

    "THIS IS A PROBLEM WITH A NONVIOLENT CAMPAIGN, UNFORTUNATELY. BECAUSE THERE IS NO WIDESPREAD LOSS OF LIFE, IT VERY QUICKLY LOSES INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION, IT LOSES THE URGENCY, THE IMPERATIVE, OF A CONFLICT THAT DOES HAVE WIDESPREAD LOSS OF LIFE. [OPT] AND, UNFORTUNATELY, IT DOES MEAN THIS TRANSLATES INTO ITS BEING PUSHED FROM THE FRONT PAGES TO SOMEWHERE NEAR THE MIDDLE OF THE NEWSPAPER OR NOT APPEARING AT ALL. AND SO, THAT MEANS IT'S SORT OF LEFT ON THE BACK BURNER FOR SOME TIME." [END OPT]

    TEXT: IF THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN SERBIA WERE BETTER, PROFESSOR SALLA SAYS, PROSPECTS FOR RESOLVING THE CONFLICT OVER KOSOVO MIGHT BE IMPROVED. THAT'S BECAUSE IT WOULD BE EASIER FOR BOTH SERBIAN AND ALBANIAN LEADERS TO NEGOTIATE A COMPROMISE.

    TAPE: CUT SEVEN -- SALLA (0:31) "BUT, BECAUSE THE [ECONOMIC] SITUATION IS SO EXTREME IN SERBIA, NO POLITICAL LEADER IS STRONG ENOUGH TO MAKE THE CONCESSIONS, AND YOU DO HAVE MILOSEVIC BEING VERY WARY OF ENGAGING TOO MUCH WITH THE WEST BECAUSE HE THINKS, QUITE RIGHTLY, THAT IF HE DID OPEN UP TO THE WEST, THIS WOULD SET IN PLACE THE DEMOCRATIC FORCES THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY TOPPLE HIM. SO, HE'S SORT OF TAKING A MIDDLE-GROUND POSITION OF RECOGNIZING HE NEEDS WESTERN SUPPORT, BUT AT THE SAME TIME NOT EMBRACING IT FULLY BECAUSE THAT WOULD UNDERMINE HIM AND IN THE END TOPPLE HIM."

    TEXT: FOR THAT REASON, PROFESSOR SALLA SAYS, THE NONVIOLENT CAMPAIGN OF THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS, WILL PROBABLY BE LENGTHY AND DIFFICULT.
    26-Feb-98 3:44 PM EST (2044 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=2/26/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-227340
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SHARE PRICES TRACKED BY THE MAJOR STOCK INDEXES IN FRANKFURT, LONDON AND PARIS WERE MIXED -- BUT MOSTLY HIGHER -- ON THURSDAY. FOR THE CLOSING FIGURES, HERE'S PAUL FRANCUCH IN LONDON.

    TEXT: RECORD HIGHS WERE SET WHEN TRADING ENDED IN LONDON AND PARIS THURSDAY. SHARE PRICES WERE HIGHER IN EARLY TRADING IN FRANKFURT, BUT THE DAY ENDED THERE ON THE DOWN-SIDE.

    HERE'S THE CLOSING NUMBERS: LONDON'S "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 POSTED A 20-POINT GAIN FOR THE DAY, REPRESENTING AN INCREASE IN VALUE FOR THAT INDEX OF ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF ONE PERCENT. IN PARIS, THE "CAC 40" INDEX GAINED 49 POINTS -- UP A PERCENT-AND-A-HALF -- IN TRADE VOLUME SOME ANALYSTS DESCRIBED AS "MASSIVE." THE GERMAN "DAX" STOCK INDEX SAW PRICES SLUMP WHEN LATE-DAY COMPUTER TRADING TOOK OVER. THE DAX ENDED DOWN BY ALMOST NINE POINTS.

    THE U-S DOLLAR TRADED ABOUT A HALF-PFENNIGE HIGHER AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK AND WAS LITTLE CHANGED AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND.

    GOLD IN LONDON TRADED ABOUT A DOLLAR HIGHER THURSDAY, HOVERING AROUND THE 293-DOLLAR AN OUNCE MARK. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF
    26-Feb-98 1:55 PM EST (1855 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=2/26/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-227349
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

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

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 84 HUNDRED 90, UP 32 POINTS. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT ONE THOUSAND 48, UP FIVE POINTS. BOTH INDEXES WERE AT RECORD HIGHS FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW.

    THE GOVERNMENT SAYS ORDERS FOR EXPENSIVE MANUFACTURED GOODS IN THE UNITED STATES ROSE IN JANUARY, FUELED BY STRONG DEMAND FOR ELECTRONICS EQUIPMENT AND A SURGE IN AIRCRAFT ORDERS.

    SOME AMERICAN COMPANIES ARE HAVING PROBLEMS FINDING WORKERS. THE CONFERENCE BOARD, A PRIVATE BUSINESS RESEARCH GROUP SAYS "HELP WANTED" ADVERTISING ROSE IN JANUARY. CONFERENCE BOARD ECONOMIST KEN GOLDSTEIN SAYS THAT IS ANOTHER INDICATION OF THE ROBUST U-S ECONOMY.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    ///GOLDSTEIN ACT///

    IT IS PART OF THE REALLY GOOD NEWS WE HAVE HAD FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS. THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN STRONG, HIRING HAS BEEN STRONG AND YET, INFLATION HAS BEEN VERY WELL BEHAVED.

    ///END ACT///

    MR. GOLDSTEIN SAYS THE U-S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE COULD GO BELOW FOUR PERCENT BY THE END OF THIS YEAR.

    TELEVISION TALK SHOW HOST OPRAH WINFREY HAS BEEN FOUND INNOCENT OF SLANDERING THE AMERICAN BEEF INDUSTRY. AN INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION SUED MS. WINFREY, CLAIMING THAT STATEMENTS SHE MADE ON HER TELEVISION SHOW ABOUT HAMBURGERS CAUSED A DECLINE IN BEEF PRICES. BUT A JURY IN THE SOUTHWESTERN STATE OF TEXAS APPARENTLY AGREED WITH MS. WINFREY'S ARGUMENT THAT SHE WAS SIMPLY EXERCISING HER CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO EXPRESS AN OPINION.

    THE HALLIBURTON COMPANY WILL PAY SEVEN POINT SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS TO ACQUIRE THE DRESSER INDUSTRIES CORPORATION. THE COMBINED COMPANY WILL BE THE LARGEST OILFIELD SERVICES FIRM IN THE WORLD.

    THE STOCK OF THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD FELL SHARPLY AFTER THE COMPANY ANNOUNCED IT WILL CUT ITS STOCK DIVIDEND BY MORE THAN HALF. UNION PACIFIC HAS FACED CHRONIC SERVICE DELAYS FOLLOWING THE COMPANY'S MERGER WITH THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD.

    THE STOCK OF THE "TOYS R US" RETAIL CHAIN FELL AFTER THE LARGEST TOY SELLER IN THE UNITED STATES SAID ITS FISCAL YEAR EARNINGS WILL FALL SHORT OF WALL STREET EXPECTATIONS.

    FORMER BOND DEALER MICHAEL MILKEN WILL PAY 47 MILLION DOLLARS TO RESOLVE CHARGES THAT HE HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE SECURITIES BUSINESS IN VIOLATION OF THE TERMS OF HIS PROBATION. MILKEN HAD SERVED TWO YEARS IN PRISON IN CONNECTION WITH SECURITIES FRAUD.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    26-Feb-98 4:41 PM EST (2141 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=02/26/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10591
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// EDS: DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T. /////

    INTRO: THE INCREASINGLY BITTER FIGHT BETWEEN THE WHITEWATER SPECIAL COUNSEL KENNETH STARR, AND THE WHITE HOUSE, IS A FAVORITE TOPICS OF THE NATION'S EDITORIAL WRITERS THIS THURSDAY. MR. STARR HAS NOW REFOCUSED HIS INVESTIGATION FROM THE ARKANSAS LAND DEAL CALLED WHITEWATER, TO ALLEGATIONS OF A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND A WHITE HOUSE INTERN. THIS CURRENT PROBE HOLDS THE POSSIBILITY OF AN IMPEACHMENT FOR MR. CLINTON IF HE IS SHOWN TO HAVE LIED UNDER OATH.

    OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE THE SENATE FIGHT OVER CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM; THE FAILURE OF U-S STUDENTS TO DO WELL IN A WORLD RANKING OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS SCORES; THE DEAL BETWEEN THE U-N SECRETARY GENERAL AND SADDAM HUSSEIN; AND SOME UNIVERSAL THOUGHTS ON SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE ARE VALIDATED. JOINING US IN THE STUDIO NOW IS _______________WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND SOME QUOTES IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: MORE AND MORE MAJOR NEWSPAPERS ARE CRITICIZING SPECIAL WHITEWATER COUNSEL KENNETH STARR FOR HIS LATEST EFFORTS INVESTIGATING THE WHITE HOUSE IN THE MONICA LEWINSKY AFFAIR. CURRENTLY, MR. STARR IS TRYING TO FORCE WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS TO REVEAL WHO ON THE WHITE HOUSE STAFF IS LEAKING TO THE PRESS NEGATIVE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON MR. STARR'S PROSECUTORIAL ASSOCIATES. "THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" SAYS, IN ITS LEAD EDITORIAL HEADLINE, "STARR CROSSES THE LINE" ADDING:

    VOICE: IN RESPONSE TO PRESS STORIES CRITICAL OF THE PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR OF TWO OF HIS ATTORNEYS, [MR.] STARR HAS THREATENED TO PURSUE CHARGES OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE AGAINST ANYONE HE THINKS MAY HAVE SPREAD FALSE CHARGES AGAINST HIS STAFF. HE HAS BACKED THAT THREAT BY ISSUING A SUBPOENA AGAINST SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL, A WHITE HOUSE STAFFER WHOM [MR.] STARR APPARENTLY SEES AS THE SOURCE OF THOSE STORIES. [MR.] STARR'S CLEAR INTENT IS TO USE THE THREAT OF PROSECUTION TO INTIMIDATE HIS MANY CRITICS. AND THAT IS SO FAR OUT OF BOUNDS IN THIS COUNTRY ... IT RAISES QUESTIONS AS TO WHETHER [MR.] STARR OUGHT TO BE ALLOWED TO STAY IN OFFICE. /// OPT

    /// HE AND HIS STAFF MEMBERS ARE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES DOING PUBLIC BUSINESS. THEY ARE NO MORE IMMUNE TO PUBLIC CRITICISM THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON OR ANYONE ELSE. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: "NEWSDAY" AGREES, SUGGESTING THAT [MR.] STARR HAS STRAYED FAR FROM THE GOALS OF HIS INVESTIGATION."

    VOICE: A LAWYER FOR SUBPOENAED WHITE HOUSE AIDE SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL COMPLAINED THIS WEEK THAT WHITEWATER PROSECUTOR KENNETH STARR IS 'OUT OF CONTROL.' MAYBE NOT YET, BUT HIS GRAND-JURY INVESTIGATION DEFINITELY HAS GONE WAY OUT OF FOCUS. THIS ILL SERVES THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN LEARNING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE WHETHER PRESIDENT ... CLINTON IS CHARGEABLE WITH ANY SERIOUS WRONGDOING. ... EVEN IF THE WHITE HOUSE EMPLOYS BARE-KNUCKLE [BRUTAL] TACTICS, [MR.] STARR MUST NOT ALLOW THEM TO DRIVE HIS OWN INVESTIGATION OFF THE TRACKS.

    TEXT: HOWEVER "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" TAKES THE PROSECUTOR'S SIDE, SUGGESTING:

    VOICE: THE OUTRAGE HERE IS NOT MR. STARR'S TACTICS, BUT MR. CLINTON'S. AS WHITE HOUSE AIDES KEEP SAYING, WE SHOULD GET BACK TO THE IMPORTANT BUSINESS OF THE NATION, WHICH EMPHATICALLY INCLUDES MR. STARR'S MANDATE -- INQUIRING THE PRESIDENT HAS UPHELD HIS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO SEE THAT THE LAWS ARE FAITHFULLY EXECUTED.

    TEXT: MOVING ON TO ANOTHER POPULAR TOPIC, THE BATTLE IN THE SENATE OVER CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, AROUND EASTERN NEBRASKA, READERS OF TODAY'S "OMAHA WORLD-HERALD" ARE PONDERING THIS LEAD EDITORIAL, WHICH MAKES THE POINT THAT EXISTING CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS, IF ENFORCED, WOULD SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

    VOICE: THE FACT THAT EXISTING LAWS ARE VIOLATED DOES NOT PROVE THE NEED TO OVERHAUL THOSE LAWS. IT SIMPLY MEANS THE CURRENT LAWS SHOULD BE ENFORCED. ... THE NATION ALREADY HAS A LAW AGAINST MONEY-LAUNDERING. THE DEMOCRATS BROKE IT. CONTRIBUTIONS FROM FOREIGN SOURCES ARE ILLEGAL. THE DEMOCRATS BROKE THAT LAW, TOO. THE USE OF FEDERAL PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT FOR POLITICAL FUND-RAISING IS PROHIBITED. [VICE PRESIDENT AL] GORE PROBABLY BROKE THAT LAW, AS THE WHITE HOUSE IS NOT HIS RESIDENCE. ... SENATOR TOM DASCHLE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, THE SENATE MINORITY LEADER, EVEN THREATENED 'TO TAKE THIS TO WHATEVER LENGTH REQUIRED,' IN OTHER WORDS TO TIE THE SENATE IN KNOTS IF THE SO-CALLED OVERHAUL OF CAMPAIGN FINANCING DOESN'T PASS. THAT IS A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO SHIFT ATTENTION AWAY FROM HIS PARTY'S TRANSPARENT DEPARTURE FROM EXISTING CAMPAIGN LAWS.

    TEXT: "USA TODAY" IS UPSET AT THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, OPINING: VOICE; .... THE SENATE LEADERSHIP IS DOING ITS BEST THIS WEEK TO MAKE SURE THE SLEAZY ["DISHONEST OR CORRUPT," BUT NOT TECHNICALLY SO IN THIS CASE] MONEY KEEPS ROLLING IN BY SQUASHING EVEN MODEST REFORM. SEEING A MAJORITY IN FAVOR OF REFORM, REPUBLICAN HONCHOS [LEADERS] TRENT LOTT AND MITCH MCCONNELL ARE USING PRE-EMPTIVE PARLIAMENTARY MANEUVERS AND THE FILIBUSTER TO BLOCK IT -- A SORT OF SLOW DEATH THAT LEAVES FEWER FINGERPRINTS FOR VOTERS TO TRACE. ... FAILURE TO ACT SENDS A GREEN LIGHT TO EVERY SPECIAL PLEADER LIKE ROGER TAMRAZ AND [CIGARETTE MANUFACTURER] PHILIP MORRIS, AND TO EVERY POLITICIAN SHAMELESSLY PANDERING FOR THE DOLLARS OF THOSE LIKE THEM WHO WOULD BUY ACCESS OR FAVORS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

    TEXT: A NEW REPORT COMPARING UNITED STATES STUDENTS VERY UNFAVORABLY, WITH THEIR FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS IN HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE AND MATH, IS DRAWING A GOOD DEAL OF COMMENT. TODAY'S "ORLANDO SENTINEL" CALLS THE RESULTS "PRETTY PATHETIC."

    VOICE: ..... THE MARKS ARE NOT VERY IMPRESSIVE. MAKE THAT PATHETIC. AS PRESIDENT CLINTON NOTED APTLY, 'THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR THIS.' GENERALLY AMERICANS RANKED CLOSE TO THE BOTTOM, OUTPERFORMING ONLY STUDENTS FROM CYPRUS AND SOUTH AFRICA. ... THAT IS REASON TO WORRY, AND NOT SIMPLY ABOUT THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE GRADUATING TODAY UNPREPARED TO HANDLE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE WORK WORLD. ... THE NUMBER OF JOBS REQUIRING HIGH-TECHNOLOGY SKILLS IS GROWING RAPIDLY. YET THE UNITED STATES CAN NOT MEET THE DEMAND TODAY. IF SKILLS AREN'T IMPROVED, THERE WILL BE EVEN MORE OF A MISMATCH BETWEEN GRADUATING STUDENTS AND JOBS IN THE FUTURE. ... THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE UNITED STATES, WITH THE LARGEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, TO BE GRADUATING SECOND-RATE STUDENTS.

    TEXT: AS REGARDS THE AGREEMENT ON IRAQ, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SAYS CAUTION IS STILL THE WATCHWORD.

    VOICE: NOW THAT THE FULL TEXT OF SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN'S AGREEMENT WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS BEEN PUBLISHED, IT IS CLEAR THAT SOME PROVISIONS REQUIRE CLOSE WATCHING TO PREVENT A WEAKENING OF WEAPONS INSPECTIONS. ... PRESIDENT CLINTON IS RIGHT TO DEMAND CLARIFICATION ON SEVERAL POINTS. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE DEAL NOT UNDERCUT THE POSITION OF CHIEF INSPECTOR RICHARD BUTLER AND THE TECHNICAL EXPERTS WORKING FOR HIM. ... IT IS ALSO VITAL THAT UNSPECIFIED PROCEDURES THAT MR. ANNAN AGREED TO DEVELOP FOR THE INSPECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL COMPOUNDS NOT COMPROMISE THE INTEGRITY OF THE WORK.

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, SOME THOUGHTS ON A RECENT STUDY THAT CONFIRMS WHAT MANY HAPPILY MARRIED COUPLES APPARENTLY HAVE KNOWN FOR SOME TIME. HERE IS PART OF A "BALTIMORE SUN" EDITORIAL.

    VOICE: FILE THIS ONE IN THE 'LAST TO KNOW' CATEGORY: PSYCHOLOGISTS HAVE DISCOVERED THAT THE BEST PREDICTOR OF A LASTING MARRIAGE IS A HUSBAND'S WILLINGNESS TO DEFER TO HIS WIFE'S WISHES. THIS NEWS EMERGED FROM A STUDY OF 130 NEWLYWEDS OVER A SIX-YEAR PERIOD. IT SHOCKED THE RESEARCHERS ... AT LEAST THE RESEARCHERS WERE HONEST ENOUGH TO ADMIT THEIR SURPRISE THAT SUCH TECHNIQUES DIDN'T SEEM TO MAKE MUCH DIFFERENCE IN THE OUTCOME OF A MARRIAGE. ... HOWEVER, THEY DID FIND THAT AUTOCRATIC HUSBANDS WHO LIKE TO STONEWALL THEIR WIVES ARE LESS LIKELY TO HAVE A HAPPY MARRIAGE. ... JUST ONE QUESTION: DID THEY REALLY THINK WE NEEDED A STUDY TO TELL US THIS?

    TEXT: WITH THAT NOTE ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF SOME OF THE TOPICS TO BE FOUND IN TODAY'S U-S DAILY PAPER EDITORIAL COLUMNS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    26-Feb-98 10:48 AM EST (1548 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] NORTHERN IRELAND (L) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE=2/26/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-227338
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR HAS MET HIS IRISH COUNTERPART, BERTIE AHERN, IN LONDON TO DISCUSS THE ONGOING PEACE TALKS ON NORTHERN IRELAND. AS V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA REPORTS FROM THE BRITISH CAPITAL, THE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING CAME AS THE POLITICAL WING OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY -- SINN FEIN -- ONCE AGAIN CALLED FOR A MEETING WITH MR. BLAIR.

    TEXT: IRISH PRIME MINISTER BERTIE AHERN TOLD REPORTERS THE HOUR-LONG MEETING FOCUSED ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES SURROUNDING AN OVERALL PEACE SETTLEMENT IN NORTHERN IRELAND.

    MR. AHERN SAID OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS, SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN RESOLVING CONSTITUTIONAL AND POLITICAL QUESTIONS. HE SAID HE DISCUSSED WITH BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR HOW TO PROCEED DURING THE COMING WEEKS TO GET A FULL AGREEMENT WITH THE POLITICAL PARTIES INVOLVED IN THE TALKS BY THE MAY DEADLINE SET FOR COMPLETING THE NEGOTIATIONS.

    SPEAKING TO REPORTERS AFTER THE MEETING, THE IRISH PRIME MINISTER SAID TERRORIST GROUPS INVOLVED IN RECENT KILLINGS IN NORTHERN IRELAND WILL NOT SUCCEED IN DERAILING THE PEACE PROCESS.

    // AHERN ACT //

    AS FAR AS WE ARE CONCERNED, THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO DERAIL THE PROCESS. THEY HAVE ACTIVATED THEMSELVES MORE RECENTLY. BUT WE CAN NOT ALLOW PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT INTERESTED IN DEMOCRACY, NOT INTERESTED IN THE ULTIMATE SETTLEMENT AND ARE ONLY TRYING TO DESTABILIZE THINGS (STOP US) -- AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN TO US.

    // END ACT //

    MEANWHILE, THE POLITICAL WING OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY -- SINN FEIN -- HAS ONCE AGAIN CALLED ON MR. BLAIR TO MEET SENIOR PARTY LEADERS BEFORE THEY ARE READMITTED TO THE NORTHERN IRELAND TALKS. SINN FEIN IS SUSPENDED FROM THE NEGOTIATING PROCESS UNTIL MARCH NINTH, BECAUSE OF ALLEGED I-R-A INVOLVEMENT IN TWO RECENT BELFAST KILLINGS.

    IN AN INTERVIEW WITH V-O-A, SINN FEIN'S SENIOR NEGOTIATOR MARTIN MCGUINNESS INDICATED SUCH A MEETING IS TIED TO HIS PARTY'S CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN THE TALKS.

    // MCGUINNESS ACT //

    I THINK IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR US TO REENTER THE TALKS ON MARCH THE NINTH IF WE HAVE NOT HAD THAT MEETING WITH TONY BLAIR, AND IT MAY BE THAT HE MAY WAIT AFTER THAT DATE. AND IF THAT IS THE CASE, THEN WE WILL HAVE THE MEETING WITH HIM AND THEN IN THE AFTERMATH OF THAT MEETING, OUR PARTY LEADERSHIP WILL MEET AND WE WILL DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO GO BACK INTO THE (PEACE) TALKS. I CERTAINLY WANT TO GO BACK INTO AN EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATING PROCESS. WHAT WE HAVE SEEN SO FAR HAS NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE. IT HAS BEEN SOMETHING OF A CHARADE.

    // END ACT //

    A SPOKESMAN FOR MR. BLAIR SAID NO DECISION HAS YET BEEN REACHED ON WHETHER TO MEET SINN FEIN WHILE IT IS EXCLUDED FROM THE TALKS.

    HOWEVER A SMALL PRO-BRITISH PARTY WITH LINKS TO LOYALIST PARAMILITARY GROUPS HINTED IT MAY WITHDRAW FROM THE NEGOTIATIONS, IF SUCH A MEETING IS HELD. LEADERS OF THE "ULSTER DEMOCRATIC PARTY" MADE THAT STATEMENT AFTER MEETING THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER AT HIS LONDON RESIDENCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/PCF
    26-Feb-98 1:24 PM EST (1824 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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