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Voice of America, 98-04-07

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CLINTON/IRELAND (S-ONLY) BY DAVID GOLLUST (KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI)
  • [02] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [03] GERMANY / UNEMPLOYMENT (S ONLY) BY DAGMAR BREITENBACH (BONN)
  • [04] KOSOVO TALKS (S-ONLY) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)
  • [05] MACEDONIA / KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY MAXIM KNIAZKOV (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [07] NORTHERN IRELAND (L) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)
  • [08] NORTHERN IRELAND TALKS (S) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [09] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] CLINTON/IRELAND (S-ONLY) BY DAVID GOLLUST (KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI)

    DATE=4/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-229337
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AS THE NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE TALKS NEARED A CLIMAX, PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS HAD A TELEPHONE TALK WITH IRISH PRIME MINISTER BERTIE AHERN. VOA'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI.

    TEXT: MR. CLINTON PLACED THE CALL TO THE IRISH LEADER AS HE FLEW TO KANSAS CITY TO TAKE PART IN A REGIONAL FORUM ON SAVING THE SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT SYSTEM.

    A CLINTON SPOKEMAN HERE SAID THE PRESIDENT EXPRESSED CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF MR. AHERN'S MOTHER, AND THE TWO MEN REVIEWED THE STATUS OF TALKS AS THE THURSDAY DEADLINE FOR A NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE AGREEMENT APPROACHES.

    A KEY PROTESTANT LEADER HAS REJECTED A SETTLEMENT PLAN SUBMITTED BY THE U-S MEDIATOR IN THE TALKS, FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER GEORGE MITCHELL. ACCORDING TO THE SPOKESMAN, PRIME MINISTER AHERN SAID THERE WAS STILL MUCH WORK TO BE DONE IN THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND THAT MR. CLINTON SAID HE WOULD BE, QUOTE, WATCHING AND WAITING.

    THE PRESIDENT HAS MADE THE NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE PROCESS A PRIORITY AND MET KEY FIGURES IN THE TALKS LAST MONTH IN WASHINGTON. OFFICIALS HERE SAY THE PRESIDENT, WHO WENT TO BELFAST IN 1995, HOPES TO PAY A RETURN VISIT AS PART OF HIS EUROPEAN TRIP NEXT MONTH IF THERE IS A SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAG/PLM
    07-Apr-98 3:16 PM EDT (1916 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)

    DATE=4/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-229332
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES WERE DOWN IN TRADING TUESDAY IN EUROPE. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: SHARE PRICES WERE OFF IN ALL MAJOR EUROPEAN MARKETS, REVERSING EARLY GAINS AFTER A WEAK OPENING ON WALL STREET.

    THE BIGGEST DROP WAS IN PARIS. THE CAC-40 INDEX ENDED THE DAY DOWN MORE THAN 83 POINTS, A DROP OF MORE THAN TWO PERCENT.

    IN FRANKFURT, PRICES ROSE SHARPLY DURING THE FLOOR-TRADING DAY. BUT IN LATER COMPUTERIZED TRADING, THE DAX INDEX FELL MORE THAN 36 POINTS, ABOUT SEVEN-TENTHS PERCENT.

    AND IN LONDON, THE FOOTSIE-100 INDEX WAS OFF 12 POINTS, TWO-TENTHS PERCENT.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY EXCHANGE, THE VALUE OF THE U-S DOLLAR WAS DOWN AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK, THE BRITISH POUND, AND THE JAPANESE YEN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWH/PLM
    07-Apr-98 1:46 PM EDT (1746 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] GERMANY / UNEMPLOYMENT (S ONLY) BY DAGMAR BREITENBACH (BONN)

    DATE=4/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-229312
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMANY'S FEDERAL LABOR OFFICE SAYS THE NUMBER OF GERMANS WITHOUT JOBS HAS DROPPED SLIGHTLY. BUT AS V-O-A'S DAGMAR BREITENBACH REPORTS FROM BONN, PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY DEMONSTRATED TUESDAY TO PROTEST GERMANY'S CONTINUING HIGH JOBLESS NUMBERS.

    TEXT: THE FEDERAL LABOR OFFICE IN NUREMBURG SAYS GERMANY'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN MARCH DROPPED TO TWELVE-POINT-ONE PERCENT.

    THE REPORT SAYS MORE THAN FOUR-AND-ONE-HALF-MILLION PEOPLE WERE JOBLESS LAST MONTH, DOWN BY ALMOST 200-THOUSAND FROM THE NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED IN FEBRUARY. NEVERTHELESS, THE LABOR OFFICE SAYS IT IS A POSTWAR JOBLESS RECORD FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH.

    /// UNVOICED OPT ///

    THE LABOR OFFICE NOTES THAT THE UNEMPLOYMENT SITUATION IMPROVED IN WESTERN GERMANY, BUT CONTINUES TO WORSEN IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY. /// END OPT ///

    IN REACTION TO THE FIGURES, THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT SAYS UNEMPLOYMENT REMAINS UNACCEPTABLY HIGH, ESPECIALLY IN FORMER COMMUNIST EAST GERMANY, WHICH HAS A 20 PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE COMPARED TO TEN PERCENT IN THE WEST. BUT, THE GOVERNMENT SAYS, THE IMPROVING PICTURE IN WESTERN GERMANY INDICATES THAT THE TREND REVERSAL HAS SLOWLY SET IN THERE.

    GERMANY'S MAIN UNION FEDERATION HAS SAID THAT ANY DROP IN UNEMPLOYMENT IS NOT A SIGN OF LASTING IMPROVEMENT, BUT IS DUE TO SEASONAL FACTORS ONLY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DB/JWH
    07-Apr-98 8:30 AM EDT (1230 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO TALKS (S-ONLY) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)

    DATE=4/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-229321
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /////

    EDS: WILL HOLD THROUGH REFERENDUM VOTE, ANTICIPATED FOR LATE EVENING, BELGRADE TIME /////

    INTRO: A HIGH-LEVEL SERB DELEGATION TO YUGOSLAVIA'S TROUBLED PROVINCE OF KOSOVO HAS ONCE AGAIN FAILED TO START DIALOGUE WITH THE ALBANIAN LEADERSHIP. JULIA GLYN-PICKETT HAS THIS REPORT FROM BELGRADE.

    TEXT: SERBIA'S PRESIDENT MILAN MILUTINOVIC LED HIS GOVERNMENT TO PRISTINA (TUESDAY) IN THE LATEST ATTEMPT TO INITIATE TALKS WITH SEPARATIST KOSOVO-ALBANIAN LEADERS. BUT THE KOSOVO-ALBANIAN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AGAIN BOYCOTTED THE MEETING.

    THE ALBANIAN LEADERSHIP INSISTS THERE CAN BE NO TALKS WITH THE SERBS UNTIL THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT AGREES TO FOREIGN MEDIATION. THE SERBS SAY THE FUTURE OF KOSOVO -- WHICH IS IN THE SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY -- IS AN INTERNAL MATTER AND THERE IS NO NEED FOR OUTSIDE MEDIATION. MEANWHILE, THE SERBIAN PARLIAMENT IS EXPECTED TO ENDORSE A PROPOSAL TO HOLD A REFERENDUM ON WHETHER VOTERS FAVOR FOREIGN MEDIATION FOR KOSOVO. THIS IS DESPITE A CHORUS OF INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION TO THE REFERENDUM, AND THE THREAT OF SANCTIONS. SPEAKING (TUESDAY) ON STATE MEDIA, PRESIDENT MILUTINOVIC SAID THIS LATEST ALBANIAN BOYCOTT CLEARED THE WAY FOR THE REFERENDUM. HE SAID THE ALBANIAN LEADERSHIP HAD SHOWN A POPULAR VOTE WAS THE ONLY LEGITIMATE WAY TO DECIDE THE FUTURE OF KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JGP/PCF/RAE
    07-Apr-98 10:26 AM EDT (1426 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] MACEDONIA / KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY MAXIM KNIAZKOV (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-229330
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FACED WITH AN ESCALATING ETHNIC CONFLICT IN THE YUGOSLAV PROVINCE OF KOSOVO, NEIGHBORING MACEDONIA -- WHICH WAS ONCE ALSO PART OF YUGOSLAVIA -- IS SUGGESTING A NATO PRESENCE IN ITS TERRITORY MAY BE NEEDED. MACEDONIAN DEFENSE MINISTER LAZAR KITANOSKI OUTLINED HIS SECURITY CONCERNS DURING A VISIT TO WASHINGTON (TUESDAY). V-O-A'S MAXIM KNIAZKOV HAS DETAILS.

    TEXT: SEVEN-HUNDRED U-N PEACEKEEPERS CURRENTLY MONITOR MACEDONIA'S BORDER WITH THE TROUBLED YUGOSLAV PROVINCE OF KOSOVO. U-N SOLDIERS WERE DEPLOYED TO MACEDONIA IN 1992 TO CONTAIN THE BLOODY CONFLICT IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA AND PREVENT THE SPREAD OF ETHNIC CONFLICT THROUGH THE UNSTABLE REGION. THE FORCE'S MANDATE EXPIRES IN AUGUST.

    MACEDONIAN DEFENSE MINISTER LAZAR KITANOSKI TOLD WASHINGTON REPORTERS, THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, HE NOT ONLY WANTS THAT MANDATE EXTENDED, HE WANTS THE SIZE OF THE FORCE INCREASED. HE ALSO MADE A PITCH FOR SOME SORT OF NATO PRESENCE IN HIS BALKAN REPUBLIC.

    // ACT ONE KITANOSKI AND INTERPRETER //

    WE BELIEVE IT WOULD BE GOOD IF WE HAD CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF NATO PRESENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA.

    // END ACT //

    THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO -- WHERE RECENT CLASHES BETWEEN SERBIAN POLICE AND SEPARATIST ALBANIANS HAVE LEFT SCORES DEAD -- WAS THE FOCUS OF MR. KITANOSKI'S MEETING WITH U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN MONDAY.

    MR. KITANOSKI SAYS HE SUPPORTS THE RESTORATION OF KOSOVO'S AUTONOMY RESTRICTED BY BELGRADE IN 1989. BUT HE IS FIRMLY OPPOSED TO THE KOSOVAR ALBANIANS DEMAND FOR INDEPENDENCE.

    // ACT TWO KITANOSKI THROUGH INTERPRETER //

    THE CREATION OF A REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO, WHICH WOULD BE IN FACT AN INDEPENDENT STATE, WOULD BE A VERY DANGEROUS PRECEDENT AND A SIGNAL, POTENTIALLY, TO OTHER MINORITIES THAT DOWN THE ROAD, IN 10 OR 15 YEARS, MAY BE SEEKING THEIR OWN INDEPENDENCE, WHICH WOULD CAUSE LASTING INSTABILITY IN THE REGION.

    // END ACT //

    MACEDONIA HAS ITS OWN ALBANIAN MINORITY, WHICH MAKES UP AT LEAST 20-PERCENT OF THE POPULATION. THERE IS CONCERN THAT A FULL-FLEDGED ALBANIAN REBELLION IN KOSOVO WOULD EASILY SPILL OVER INTO MACEDONIA -- AND FURTHER FRAGMENT THE BALKANS ALONG ETHNIC LINES.

    /// REST OPT ///

    REFLECTING THAT CONCERN, THE MACEDONIAN DEFENSE MINISTER HARSHLY CRITICIZED THE REBEL KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY, SAYING ITS ARMED ATTACKS ON SERBIAN POLICE ARE UNJUSTIFIABLE. HE ALSO SAYS THE REBELS MAY HAVE ACCESS TO QUITE AN ARSENAL OF WEAPONS -- THOSE FROM ALBANIA'S MILITARY DEPOTS WHICH WERE LOOTED DURING A VIOLENT UPRISING LAST YEAR.

    // ACT THREE KITANOSKI THROUGH INTERPRETER //

    ONE LIKELY SOURCE IS ALBANIA BECAUSE, AS YOU WELL KNOW, THERE WAS A SITUATION LAST YEAR OF TOTAL LACK OF POLITICAL CONTROL INSIDE THAT COUNTRY.

    // END ACT //

    MR. KITANOSKI SAYS THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY PURCHASES WEAPONS WITH MONEY IT RECEIVED FROM THE ALBANIAN EXPATRIATE COMMUNITIES IN WESTERN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES. HE VOWED TO DO EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER TO BLOCK ARMS SMUGGLING FROM MACEDONIA INTO KOSOVO. MR KITANOSKI SAYS IT IS HIS COUNTRY'S POLICY TO DENY MILITARY SUPPORT TO ANY FACTION IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/MAX/JO
    07-Apr-98 2:26 PM EDT (1826 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=4/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-229341
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (TUESDAY) AS MANY TRADERS TOOK PROFITS AFTER MONDAY'S HISTORIC RALLY IN THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 89-HUNDRED-56, DOWN 76 POINTS, ALMOST ONE PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT ELEVEN HUNDRED NINE, DOWN 11 POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY THERE WAS WIDESPREAD PROFIT-TAKING, ESPECIALLY IN THE STOCKS OF BANKS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS WHICH SOARED MONDAY ON NEWS OF THE PLANNED MERGER OF THE CITICORP AND TRAVELERS COMPANIES.

    /// OPT ///

    BUT THE SELL-OFF WAS WIDESPREAD AND ALFRED GOLDMAN OF THE A-G EDWARDS INVESTMENT COMPANY SAYS IT WAS NO SURPRISE.

    /// GOLDMAN ACT ///

    AT THE MOMENT THE MARKET IS TAKING A LITTLE REST, SITTING BACK AND TRYING TO DIGEST YESTERDAY'S RALLY ABOVE NINE THOUSAND BECAUSE IT WAS NOT CONFIRMED BY THE BROAD LIST.

    /// END ACT //////

    END OPT///

    DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED ABOVE NINE- THOUSAND MONDAY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, THE BROADER MARKET WAS WEAK AND WAS EVEN WEAKER TUESDAY.

    /// REST OPT ///

    THE STOCK OF THE MOTOROLA COMPANY FELL 10 PERCENT AFTER THE ELECTRONICS FIRM REPORTED DISAPPOINTING FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS AND ANNOUNCED THAT IT EXPECTS EVEN MORE DISAPPOINTING EARNINGS IN THE SECOND QUARTER. MOTOROLA SAYS THE WEAKNESS IN ASIAN ECONOMIES IS A FACTOR IN ITS PROFIT DROP.

    THE XEROX COPY MACHINE COMPANY IS CUTTING NINE THOUSAND JOBS OR ALMOST 10 PERCENT OF ITS GLOBAL WORK FORCE. XEROX HOPES THE CUTS WILL EVENTUALLY SAVE THE COMPANY ONE BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

    THE HOUSEHOLD CORPORATION WILL ACQUIRE THE BENEFICIAL FINANCE COMPANY IN A DEAL WORTH ALMOST NINE BILLION DOLLARS. THE COMBINATION WILL CREATE THE LARGEST CONSUMER LOAN COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/JO
    07-Apr-98 4:54 PM EDT (2054 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=4/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-229316
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: POLITICAL LEADERS IN NORTHERN IRELAND ARE ENTERING THE LAST PHASE OF NEGOTIATIONS WHICH HOPEFULLY WILL PRODUCE AN AGREEMENT BY THE END OF THIS WEEK ON THE FUTURE OF THE BRITISH PROVINCE. BUT AS V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA REPORTS FROM LONDON, SERIOUS DIFFERENCES STILL HAVE TO BE RESOLVED.

    TEXT: NORTHERN IRELAND'S POLITICAL PARTIES ARE LOOKING AT A 65-PAGE DOCUMENT SUBMITTED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ONGOING TALKS, FORMER U-S SENATOR GEORGE MITCHELL. THE WORKING PAPER HIGHLIGHTS AREAS WHERE THERE IS AGREEMENT AMONG THE PARTICIPANTS, AS WELL AS POINTING OUT DIFFERENCES THAT STILL REMAIN TO BE RESOLVED.

    A PARTICIPANT IN THE TALKS -- MONICA MCWILLIAMS, LEADER OF A GROUP CALLED THE "WOMEN'S COALITION" -- GAVE REPORTERS AN UPBEAT ASSESSMENT OF THE MITCHELL DOCUMENT.

    // MCWILLIAMS ACT //

    THERE IS NOBODY THAT WILL GO BACK TO WAR OVER THIS DOCUMENT. THERE IS SOMETHING IN IT FOR EVERYBODY. I THINK TOO -- AND I BELIEVE -- WE HAVE MOVED BEYOND A CULTURE OF FAILURE. AND THIS IS FINALLY THE WEEK FOR US.

    // END ACT //

    PARTICIPANTS HAVE BEEN URGED TO KEEP THE CONTENT OF THE DOCUMENT SECRET UNTIL A FINAL AGREEMENT IS REACHED, HOPEFULLY BY THE END OF THIS WEEK. BUT BRITISH AND IRISH OFFICIALS SAY IT CONTAINS NO SURPRISES -- IN OTHER WORDS, THE AREAS OF DISAGREEMENT ARE WELL-KNOWN.

    CHIEF AMONG THOSE IS THE EXACT ROLE OF AN ELECTED ASSEMBLY IN NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE SPECIFIC POWERS OF NEW BRITISH-IRISH CROSS-BORDER INSTITUTIONS.

    AFTER VIEWING THE DOCUMENT, JOHN TAYLOR -- THE DEPUTY LEADER OF THE LARGEST PARTY IN NORTHERN IRELAND, THE PRO-BRITISH "ULSTER UNIONISTS" -- WAS PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF THE TALKS.

    // TAYLOR ACT //

    I HAVE SAID RIGHT ALONG THE LINE, THAT THERE IS A FIVE PERCENT CHANCE OF SUCCESS AT THESE TALKS. I MUST SAY, IF MY INTERPRETATION IS CORRECT, I WOULD SAY THE CHANCES HAVE NOW DROPPED TO FOUR PERCENT.

    // END ACT //

    ANALYSTS SAY THERE IS STILL A SUBSTANTIAL GULF TO BE BRIDGED AMONG ALL SIDES, AND VERY LITTLE TIME LEFT IN WHICH TO DO IT. THE LEADER OF THE CROSS-COMMUNITY "ALLIANCE PARTY" -- JOHN ALDERDICE TOLD REPORTERS BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR MUST GET PERSONALLY INVOLVED.

    // ALDERDICE ACT //

    AND IF THE PRIME MINISTER WANTS A DEAL, HE BETTER GET HERE FAST.

    // END ACT //

    SEVERAL PARTICIPANTS HAVE POINTED OUT THAT IF A DEAL IS FINALIZED, IT WILL BE A POLITICAL ONE AND WILL NOT NECESSARILY BRING PEACE TO THE PROVINCE. THAT'S BECAUSE VARIOUS EXTREMIST GROUPS REMAIN OUTSIDE THE PROCESS AND ARE INTENT ON WRECKING ANY ACCORD.

    //REST OPT//

    POLITICAL LEADERS WERE REMINDED OF THAT FACT WHEN POLICE IN NORTH BELFAST RAIDED A HOUSE AND FOUND ONE-THOUSAND KILOGRAMS OF FERTILIZER AND OTHER MATERIALS FOR MAKING HOMEMADE BOMBS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/PCF
    07-Apr-98 9:07 AM EDT (1307 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] NORTHERN IRELAND TALKS (S) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=4/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-229306
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AFTER EXTENSIVE NEGOTIATIONS, THE PARTIES HOPING TO REACH A COMPREHENSIVE PEACE SETTLEMENT FOR NORTHERN IRELAND HAVE BEEN GIVEN A DRAFT PROPOSAL WHICH MAY END DECADES OF SECTARIAN STRIFE. THE PARTIES MUST WORK OUT FINAL DETAILS, AS V-O-A'S PAUL FRANCUCH REPORTS.

    TEXT: IT WAS PAST MIDNIGHT, LOCAL TIME, WHEN ALL PARTIES RECEIVED COPIES OF THE PROPOSAL, HAMMERED OUT THROUGH LONG NEGOTIATIONS LED BY FORMER U-S SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, GEORGE MITCHELL. NO DETAILS WERE ANNOUNCED, BUT SENATOR MITCHELL TOLD REPORTERS HE IS HOPEFUL.

    /// MITCHELL ACT ///

    THERE WILL BE MUCH DISAGREEMENT BY EACH PARTY WITH SOME OF THE PROVISIONS IN THIS AGREEMENT. AS I SAID TO THE PARTIES, IF ANY ONE OF THEM READ THIS AND SAID "GREAT, WHERE DO I SIGN?" WE WOULD PROBABLY HAVE FAILED IN OUR EFFORT.

    /// END ACT ///

    AGREEMENT MUST BE REACHED ABOUT THE WORKINGS OF A PROPOSED LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY FOR THE BRITISH PROVINCE AND A CROSS-BORDER COUNCIL WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM BOTH BRITAIN AND IRELAND.

    THE TALKS HAVE A THURSDAY DEADLINE FOR AGREEMENT. PRESUMING THERE IS ONE, IT GOES TO THE PEOPLE OF NORTHERN IRELAND IN A REFERENDUM. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/RAE
    07-Apr-98 4:56 AM EDT (0856 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=04/07/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10651
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

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

    INTRO: THE MAJOR TOPIC OF COMMENTARY IN THE U-S PRESS THIS TUESDAY IS THE PRESIDENT'S ANNOUNCEMENT BANNING A GROUP OF AUTOMATIC ASSAULT RIFLES WHICH CONTINUE TO BE IMPORTED INTO THIS COUNTRY. OTHER TOPICS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE: NEW TROUBLE IN THE MIDEAST PEACE PROCESS; // OPT /// THE EXPORT OF U-S CIGARETTES; /// END OPT /// JUSTICE CONTINUING TO WAIT FOR THE TRUTH IN AN EL SALVADOR ATTACK; WRESTLING DIPLOMACY WITH IRAN; THE ON-GOING DEBATE ON MORE MILITARY BASE CLOSINGS; AND THE EBULLIENT STOCK MARKET. NOW, HERE IS __________________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: FROM ONE COAST TO THE OTHER, ACROSS THE CONTINENT, NEWSPAPERS ARE REACTING TO A MONDAY ANNOUNCEMENT BY PRESIDENT CLINTON BANNING DOZENS OF AUTOMATIC ASSAULT RIFLES THAT HAD BEEN ALLOWED INTO THE UNITED STATES, DESPITE A PREVIOUS BAN. THE WEAPONS WERE BEING IMPORTED UNDER WHAT EXPERTS DESCRIBED AS A -- LOOPHOLE -- IN THE PREVIOUS LAW, THAT ALLOWED IN THE GUNS AS LONG AS THEY WERE MODIFIED FOR HUNTING. IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" SAYS:

    VOICE: ANYONE DOUBTING THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE IMPORT BAN ON 59 TYPES OF FOREIGN-MADE MILITARY-STYLE RIFLES THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON ORDERED ON MONDAY NEED ONLY HAVE LOOKED AT THE PHALANX OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN THE BACKGROUND. THEY WERE THERE TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT NOT ONLY FOR THE PRESIDENT, BUT FOR THE POLICE OFFICERS ON THE STREETS WHOSE LIVES ARE PUT IN DANGER WHEN CRIMINAL ELEMENTS HAVE ACCESS TO WEAPONS SUCH AS THESE. ... THE PRESIDENT, IN ONE BRAVE STROKE FOR COMMONS SENSE, PREVENTED ONE-POINT-SIX MILLION POTENTIALLY DEADLY WEAPONS FROM BEING SOLD IN THIS COUNTRY.

    TEXT: AT LEAST FOUR-THOUSAND-KILOMETERS AWAY, "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND ADDS ITS SUPPORT THIS WAY:

    VOICE: THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT ASKED TWO-THOUSAND SPORTSMEN, HUNTING GUIDES AND OTHER EXPERTS WHETHER THERE ARE LEGITIMATE, SPORTING USES FOR 59 STYLES OF FOREIGN-MADE WEAPONS, ALL VARIANTS OF THE UZI AND AK-47 ASSAULT RIFLES. ONLY ONE ... HAS ANY LEGITIMATE USE, THE SPORTSMEN AID. PRESIDENT CLINTON RESPONDED MONDAY BY BANISHING THE OTHER 58 WEAPONS. ... GOOD FOR THE PRESIDENT. NO ONE NEEDS THESE WEAPONS. THEY HAVE NO LEGITIMATE PURPOSE IN SOCIETY -- IN FACT, THEY ARE TERRIFYING SYMBOLS OF THE WORST, MOST VIOLENT ASPECTS OF OUR CULTURE.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: "USA TODAY" JOINS THE DEBATE NOTING:

    VOICE: GUNS ARE NOT JUST SELF-DEFENSE APPLIANCES AND SPORTING TOYS. THEY KILL MORE THAN 52-HUNDRED CHILDREN A YEAR. THE DEATH RATE FOR THOSE UNDER 14 IN THE U-S IS ALMOST 12-TIMES HIGHER THAN IN 25 OTHER INDUSTRIAL NATIONS COMBINED. PLAINLY, GUN PRIVILEGES DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY TRANSLATE INTO RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP. THAT IS SOMETHING THE LAW MUST IMPOSE.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TAKING THE OTHER SIDE IS "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" WHICH COMPLAINS IN ITS EDITORIAL HEADLINE -- WHEN IN DOUBT, BLAME THE GUNS -- AND ADDS:

    VOICE: MR. CLINTON SAYS THERE ARE TOO MANY GUNS IN THE HANDS OF TOO MANY CRIMINALS. BUT CRIMINALS, ALMOST BY DEFINITION, IGNORE EXECUTIVE ORDERS BANNING POLITICALLY INCORRECT WEAPONS. LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS DO OBEY THEM, DENYING THEMSELVES AT THE LEAST, FAVORED HUNTING WEAPONS AND PREDATOR CONTROLS, AND AT MOST WEAPONS OF SELF-DEFENSE. THE PRESIDENT NEED NOT WORRY ABOUT SUCH THINGS. HE HAS THE LUXURY OF ROUND-THE-CLOCK GUARDS. BUT MOST AMERICANS CAN'T TAKE SUCH THINGS FOR GRANTED.

    TEXT: THE RECENT DEATH OF A MASTER PALESTINIAN BOMB MAKER HAS CAUSED INCREASED TENSION IN THE MIDDLE EAST WHICH CAUSES "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" TO REMARK:

    VOICE: AN INVESTIGATION BY YASSER ARAFAT'S PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY HAS CONFIRMED ISRAEL'S DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY IN THE KILLING OF THE CHIEF BOMB MAKER FOR HAMAS, THE MILITANTLY ANTI-ISRAEL MUSLIM GROUP. ... THIS FINDING RUNS DIRECTLY COUNTER TO HAMAS' OWN CLAIM -- ACCEPTED BY MANY PALESTINIANS -- OF ISRAELI CULPABILITY, AND IT SHOWS A SIGNIFICANT DEGREE OF POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY BY THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY. IT ALSO RESTORES A SHARP FOCUS ON THE RIVALRY BETWEEN HAMAS AND ARAFAT FOR THE ALLEGIANCE OF PALESTINIANS. THE ARREST OF KEY FIGURES IN THE ASSASSINATION PLOT IS UNLIKELY TO END THIS MATTER.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: BACK TO A JOINT DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUE, "THE WASHINGTON POST" DECRIES THE INCREASING EXPORT OF U-S CIGARETTES ABROAD, WHICH IT CALLS, IN THE EDITORIAL'S HEADLINE -- SELLING DEATH OVERSEAS.

    VOICE: THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY MAY BE ON THE DEFENSIVE HERE, BUT IT IS UNASHAMEDLY ON THE MARCH OVERSEAS, TRYING ANY TRICK TO LURE OLD SMOKERS TO NEW BRANDS IN EX-COMMUNIST COUNTRIES AND HOOK NEW SMOKERS THERE ARE WELL AS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD. THE BIG THREE -- [R-J] REYNOLDS, PHILIP MORRIS INC., AND BRITISH-AMERICAN TOBACCO CO.-- WANTED A SETTLEMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE IN LARGE PART SO THAT LEGAL CHALLENGES IN THEIR STAGNANT HOME MARKET WOULD NOT DISTRACT THEM FROM GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE THIRD WORLD. BUT AN AGREEMENT HERE THAT PROTECTS SOME AMERICAN CHILDREN FROM TOBACCO ADDICTION AT THE EXPENSE OF MANY MORE CHILDREN IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES WOULD NOT BE MUCH OF A VICTORY.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: REGARDING A TRAGEDY NEVER SUCCESSFULLY RESOLVED IN CENTRAL AMERICA, THE KILLING OF SEVERAL AMERICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC NUNS IN EL SALVADOR IN 1980, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" SAYS JUSTICE CONTINUES TO WAIT.

    VOICE: IT IS HARDLY A SURPRISE. FOUR SOLDIERS WHO WERE JAILED FOR THE NOTORIOUS RAPE AND MURDER ... NOW SAY THEY ACTED ON ORDERS FROM HIGH SUPERIORS. A 1993 UNITED NATIONS TRUTH COMMISSION REPORT HAD ALLEGED A HIGH-LEVEL COVER-UP, AND THERE WAS SUSPICION FROM THE BEGINNING THAT THE SOLDIERS HADN'T ACTED INDEPENDENTLY. ... NOW, ARMED WITH THE SOLDIERS' NEW STATEMENTS AND OTHER EVIDENCE OBTAINED BY THE NON-PROFIT NEW YORK-BASED LAWYERS COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ... THE UNITED STATES SHOULD FINALLY AND FULLY GET TO THE BOTTOM OF [FIND OUT THE TRUTH ABOUT] THE INCIDENT.

    TEXT: FOLLOWING IN THE STEPS OF THE FAMED "PING-PONG" DIPLOMACY THAT HELPED IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH CHINA DURING THE NIXON PRESIDENCY, TODAY'S "BOSTON GLOBE" POINTS OUT THAT THE WRESTLING CONNECTIONS WITH IRAN, DESIGNED TO IMPROVE RELATIONS HAVE HIT AN TROUBLE SPOT.

    VOICE: AMERICAN WRESTLERS WHO COMPETED RECENTLY IN TEHRAN WERE RECEIVED WITH GREAT WARMTH AND COURTESY, CONFIRMING THE POLICY OF PRIVATE U-S-IRANIAN EXCHANGES PROPOUNDED BY IRAN'S POPULAR PRESIDENT, MOHAMMAD KHATAMI. HENCE THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IS HAVING AN ESPECIALLY HARD TIME TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO TEHRAN THAT THE TREATMENT OF A TEAM OF IRANIAN WRESTLERS AT CHICAGO'S O'HARE AIRPORT -- THEY WERE DETAINED FOR TWO HOURS, PHOTOGRAPHED, AND FINGERPRINTED -- WAS NOTHING MORE THAN A BUREAUCRATIC SNAFU. ... THE STATE DEPARTMENT IS SCRAMBLING TO FIND OUT WHY NO WAIVER [AROUND THE STRICT IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE PROCESS FOR "TERRORIST WATCH LIST STATES] WAS EXERCISED AND TO ENSURE THAT THE ERROR IS NOT REPEATED. /// OPT /// FOR THE FUTURE, SOME OFFICIALS IN THE WHITE HOUSE OR AT STATE SHOULD BE ASSIGNED THE MISSION OF SMOOTHING THE WAY FOR UNOFFICIAL VISITORS FROM IRAN. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "SUN" IN BALTIMORE IS SUPPORTING THE EFFORTS OF DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN TO CLOSE EVEN MORE SURPLUS U-S MILITARY BASES, AGAINST STRONG OPPOSITION FROM CONGRESS, ESPECIALLY THE REPRESENTATIVES IN WHOSE DISTRICT THE BASES ARE LOCATED. NOTES "THE SUN" CAUSTICALLY:

    VOICE: IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT WHAT ENEMIES WILL CONFRONT THIS COUNTRY IN TWO-THOUSAND-FIVE. BUT WHOEVER THEY ARE, THEY WILL BE REASSURED IN KNOWING THAT CONGRESS WEAKENED THE UNITED STATES BY DEVOTING RESOURCES TO UNNECESSARY BASES INSTEAD OF USING THE MONEY FOR PREPAREDNESS.

    TEXT: LASTLY, AS THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL STOCK AVERAGE RACES PAST THE NINE-THOUSAND MARK ON THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE, "THE NEW YORK POST" REMARKS:

    VOICE: THE UNINTERRUPTED DOW RALLY BEGAN IN 1982. THINK OF THE STATE THE WORLD WAS IN. AS THE SOVIET UNION SOUGHT TO SWALLOW AFGHANISTAN, A MASSIVE ANTI-NUCLEAR MOVEMENT SOUGHT TO LOCK IN SOVIET DOMINATION IN THE ARMS RACE BY IMPEDING THE AMERICAN MILITARY BUILDUP AND THE DEPLOYMENT OF MISSILES BY NATO. COMMUNISM WAS ON THE MARCH IN CENTRAL AMERICA. BRITAIN FOUND IT NECESSARY TO GO TO WAR TO TAKE BACK ISLAND ILLEGALLY SEIZED BY THE JUNTA IN ARGENTINA. LECH WALESA, VACLAV HAVEL, NELSON MANDELA AND KIM DAE JUNG WERE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS. ... AND NOW? COMMUNISM HAS COLLAPSED. THE FEDERAL BUDGET HAS BEEN BROUGHT NEAR BALANCE. ... AMERICAN INDUSTRY IS THE MOST PRODUCTIVE AND THE MOST COMPETITIVE IN THE WORLD. THE 'JAPANESE MIRACLE' HAS BEEN EXPOSED FOR THE GIGANTIC PONZI SCHEME IT REALLY IS. ... MOST STRIKING, ON JANUARY FIRST, 1982, THE DOW JONES AVERAGE STOOD AT 875 -- THAT IS EIGHT-THOUSAND-158-POINTS LOWER THAN YESTERDAY'S CLOSE. ... IT IS APPROPRIATE, WHEN YOU ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO LIVE IN A TIME LIKE THIS, TO FEEL GRATITUDE FOR YOUR BOUNTY.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENTS FROM THE EDITORIAL PAGES OF TUESDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    07-Apr-98 10:43 AM EDT (1443 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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