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Voice of America, 00-04-19

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: U-S stock prices were lower today (Wednesday), as profit-taking followed two days of solid gains on Wall Street. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 92 points, less than one percent, closing at 10-thousand- 674. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed 14 points down, about one-percent. And the Nasdaq composite, which gained 14-percent in the last two days - more than one-half of what it lost last week - gave back a little, dropping over two- percent. Analysts say the overall market simply drifted, after this week's record gains for the Nasdaq and a powerful rebound in "blue-chips" from last Friday's huge sell- off. Technology bellwethers (leaders), computer maker I-B-M and chip-maker Intel, weighed the market down. They came in with better-than-expected profit reports. But I-B-M's revenues were lower, and Intel warned about revenues in the current quarter.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Marshall Acuff, a market analyst with the Salomon Smith Barney investment firm, says the inconsistencies in corporate earnings reports are causing some uncertainty among investors:

    /// ACUFF ACT ///

    While profits growth for the first quarter overall is better than expected, it appears the results are not equitable among all situations.

    /// END ACT ///

    Leading airplane maker Boeing reported lower profits compared to this time last year because of a 40-day strike that slashed production. But Boeing still beat analysts' expectations and plans to meet its earnings target for the year. Lucent Technologies, the world's number one maker of telephone equipment, saw its quarterly profits jump over 40-percent on higher sales of wireless and fiber- optic equipment, especially outside the United States. Earnings at Colgate-Palmolive, the world's largest toothpaste maker, rose 15-percent, partly due to increased sales in Latin America. And, U-S/German automaker DaimlerChrysler came in with an overall three-percent profit increase. But its earnings dipped in the North American market on lower sales of U-S brand cars and light trucks. The latest on the U-S economy shows the trade deficit widened to a record in February, mostly due to higher prices for crude oil. Oil prices have since come down. (Signed) NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/gm 19-Apr-2000 17:02 PM EDT (19-Apr-2000 2102 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The U-S Supreme Court is considering a challenge to its famous Miranda ruling of 1966 that requires police to advise suspects of their constitutional rights before beginning an interrogation. Several editorial writers in Wednesday's U-S newspapers offer their opinions on the case and how the ruling has influenced the American criminal justice system. There is also some commentary on Russia's latest decisions on nuclear weapons control, Zimbabwe's hardships and U-N support for Cuban dissidents. Now here is _______________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in the state of Arizona and accused of rape. Police, under pressure to solve the crime, reportedly threatened and pressured the suspect and after hours of interrogation, Mr. Miranda signed a confession. Three years later, the Supreme Court used the case to establish a standard. It ruled that police must inform people they've taken into custody of their constitutional rights to remain silent, to be represented by an attorney and that any statement they make can be used against them. Critics of the ruling have argued that rather than curbing improper police behavior, such a warning often excludes the voluntary confessions of the guilty. Now, as the Supreme Court is considering arguments that the Miranda ruling should be overturned, many editorial writers are advocating it be kept intact. The New York Times has this to say:

    VOICE: The Miranda rule requires that criminal suspects be told of their right to remain silent and have a lawyer present, and that any statement they make can be used against them. For the court to overturn Miranda would be an unwarranted rollback [EDS: cancellation] of safeguards against coercion in the criminal justice system. ... As a constitutional and law enforcement matter, this should be an easy call. Much as the court wisely concluded 34 years ago, the Miranda warnings are an important safeguard for protecting the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination in the coercive atmosphere of police questioning. An astonishingly high percentage of suspects waive their rights and talk to the police anyway, belying claims that the Miranda rule badly hampers police work.

    TEXT: U-S-A Today agrees. The paper says the Miranda case brought order out of legal chaos and that any changes in the ruling must include alternative legal safeguards.

    VOICE: If those working to undermine one of the most basic precepts of the Bill of Rights have their way, the nation will be headed back to that era of coercion, threats and abuse of the guilty and innocent alike. ... Key police groups that for years accepted and even praised Miranda have flip-flopped. But neither they nor others involved in the case offer an alternative. They say only that police now can be trusted not to abuse their power if the Miranda warning is made optional. ... (Ernesto) Miranda, by the way, was convicted at his second trial. There was adequate evidence without a questionable confession. That's how justice should work -- on the merits, not through use of coercion to get confessions ...

    TEXT: Turning to international topics, Russia's president-elect, Vladimir Putin, scored a political victory last week when the Duma, the lower house of the nation's parliament, approved the Start-Two nuclear arms reduction treaty. The Chicago Tribune says there could be no more encouraging sign from Russia than this vote.

    VOICE: For all the promise of the Yelstin years, the Communist-dominated Duma blocked at every turn not just arms reduction, but any effort to pass the structural reforms necessary for Russia to build a modern economy. Most Communists voted "no" on this ratification too. But what has significantly changed since last December's Duma elections is that the Communist Party no longer has a stronghold on the Duma. The legislative logjam [EDS: stalemate] has been broken at last. ... Russia's approval of START- Two has a practical aspect. It can't afford to maintain its nuclear arsenal at current levels; this frees up resources that can be spent on modernizing its conventional forces. But this treaty should be hailed as an important fresh start for arms reduction.

    TEXT: That from the Chicago Tribune. Now the Boston Globe turns its attention to Zimbabwe. The African nation celebrated its 20th year of independence yesterday and the newspaper is criticizing its leader for the turmoil that threatens to ruin the once prosperous country.

    VOICE: Zimbabwe was born in promise and the spirit of racial conciliation. Today, most of Zimbabwe's prosperity and promise have been squandered. Landless Africans are being incited to racial violence, white farmers are being murdered in their homes, and African opposition officials are being killed as well. Inflation is running 70 percent, unemployment is approaching 50 percent and Zimbabwean soldiers are making mischief in neighboring Congo. The blame for all this rests squarely on the shoulders of (Mr.) Robert Mugabe, who having led his country to victory and freedom, now clings desperately to power, defying the rule of law, stalling on elections, and generally contributing to his country's ruin. ...It is a sad twist of history to witness (Mr.) Mugabe, who prevailed over an illegal and racist authority 20 years ago, fast becoming an illegal and racist authority himself.

    TEXT: And lastly, The Miami Herald in Florida is commending support for Cuban dissidents, after the United Nations' Human Rights Commission criticized Cuba's repressive government during a meeting in Geneva.

    VOICE: The Cuban regime tried its best to deflect scrutiny from the human rights abuses that afflict 11-million Cubans on the island. But the truth was not to be denied. The U-N Human Rights Commission rightfully condemned Cuba's repressive government ... We applaud this action. The commission approved a resolution criticizing the "continued violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms". ... The U-N commission bears witness to the suffering of all in Cuba who defend the right of individuals to live, work, believe and express themselves freely. The resolution lends much-needed symbolic support to Cuba's weary dissidents, now enduring the worst harassment in a decade. ... The advocates of freedom deserve much credit.

    TEXT: With that comment from the Miami Herald, we conclude this sampling of commentary from editorial writers in today's U-S press.
    NEB/ENE/JP 19-Apr-2000 13:48 PM EDT (19-Apr-2000 1748 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: A U-N report warns of chronic pollution dangers from a cyanide spill into a tributary of the Danube River earlier this year. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports U-N experts who investigated the environmental impacts from the spill have just issued their findings and recommendations.

    TEXT: The accident occurred January 30th, dumping between 50 and 100-tons of cyanide and heavy metals into rivers that flow through Romania, Hungary, and Yugoslavia. The U-N experts say the accident, at an Australian-run gold mine in Romania, resulted from several factors. They believe the cyanide spill was probably caused by a combination of poor design in the process used, inadequate operating conditions, and bad weather. The experts say early measures were taken to mitigate damage from the spill. But, they say these steps were taken too late to prevent the deaths of 14-hundred tons of fish in a river in Hungary. The head of the U-N task force, Frits Schlingemann, says problems from the cyanide spill are expected to linger, but for now, the worst is over.


    The life is coming back into the rivers. With what speed is difficult to establish with one sampling. So, more sampling has to be taken to really determine how fast rehabilitation is taking place. And, it is one of the recommendations as you know in the report that this is being done. But, there are signs that life is returning in the rie syste

    // END ACT //

    [...garbled] 19-Apr-2000 09:08 PM EDT (19-Apr-2000 1308 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America
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