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Voice of America, 00-05-01

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] U-N / KOSOVO MISSION REPORT (L-ONLY) (CQ) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [02] COHEN - KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (MUNICH)
  • [03] COHEN KOSOVO (L-UPDATE) BY JIM RANDLE (CAMP BONDSTEEL, KOSOVO)
  • [04] NATO GENERAL (L-ONITER) BY JIM RANDLE (CAMP BONDSTEEL, KOSOVO)
  • [05] TURKEY / ELECTION (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [06] AUSTRIA / HAIDER (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [07] EUROPE / MAY DAY (L-ONLY) BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)
  • [08] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [09] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] U-N / KOSOVO MISSION REPORT (L-ONLY) (CQ) BY BRECK ARDERY (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=5/1/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261885
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: REFILING CR 2-261881 WITH REVISED 5TH PARA TEXT, SHORTENED 2ND ACT ///

    INTRO: The leader of the United Nations Security Council's fact-finding mission to Kosovo says tracing the fate of missing persons in the Yugoslav province should be a priority issue. V-O-A Correspondent Breck Ardery reports on comments (today/Monday) by Bangladeshi ambassador Anwaral Karim Chowdhury.

    TEXT: In a closed meeting, Mr. Chowdhury briefed the full Security Council on the delegation's three-day visit to Kosovo, which ended Saturday. Later, Mr. Chowdhury expressed disappointment that the Council meeting was closed to the public during his presentation. But he went on to discuss key portions of the report in a meeting with journalists. He says the Security Council must address the issue of missing persons in Kosovo.

    /// 1ST CHOWDHURY ACT ///

    It broke our hearts to see hundreds of families gathering with photographs of their near and dear ones who are missing for as many as 10 to 12 months. It is a great humanitarian issue, which needs our attention. The Council can not maintain its credibility unless it addresses this issue.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Chowdhury says the eight-member delegation is recommending the appointment of a special U-N representative to investigate the missing people of Kosovo, of all ethnic backgrounds. He says the Council delegation got an understanding of the enormous responsibilities facing the U-N administration in Kosovo. Although conceding that major problems remain, Mr. Chowdhury says a multi- ethnic Kosovo is the only solution for the Serbian province and he hopes that Kosovo's younger generation is getting that message.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Prior to the Security Council delegation visit to Kosovo, the Chinese and Russian U-N ambassadors traveled to Belgrade to meet with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Mr. Chowdhury described that meeting as "regrettable," since Mr. Milosevic has been indicted on war-crimes charges.

    /// 2ND CHOWDHURY ACT ///

    But that visit was in their personal, national capacity. I continue to believe that every nation has the independence and sovereign right to do so [visit whomever they want].

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Chowdhury stressed that the visit with President Milosevic had nothing to do with the official Security Council mission to Kosovo. (Signed) NEB/UN/BA/LSF/KBK/WTW 01-May-2000 17:30 PM EDT (01-May-2000 2130 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] COHEN - KOSOVO (L ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (MUNICH)

    DATE=4/30/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261852
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Defense Secretary William Cohen says the NATO led peace-keeping force in Kosovo is facing some serious challenges, but he says K-For has made progress in reducing bloodshed in the troubled Serbian province. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports Mr. Cohen spoke on the way to visit the thousands of U-S troops stationed in Kosovo.

    TEXT: Recent news reports in Kosovo are a catalog of trouble: U-N police cars vandalized or burned by an angry crowd; a building used as a church by Serbs damaged by a bomb; rocks and bottles thrown at peace- keepers; and gunfire aimed at an S-4 helicopter. In an interview on a flight to Germany, Defense Secretary William Cohen admitted there is plenty of violence still in Kosovo but there is progress, he says, as well.

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    We are seeing a reduction in the level of crime from 50 a week murdered down to, still too many, but five a week. And so it is taking a good deal of time but we are making a good deal of progress.

    /// END ACT ///

    Recent violence has been centered in the ethnically divided city of Kosovsca Mitrovica. It has the largest community of Serbs left in Kosovo after tens of thousands fled following NATO's expulsion of Yugoslavia's Serb-led troops. The conflict pits the majority of ethnic Albanians against the dwindling minority of once-dominant ethnic Serbs, and entangles the peacekeeping troops and police who are trying to keep the two groups from killing more of each other. Mr. Cohen is set to visit Kosovo later Monday after a stop in Germany. (Signed) NEB/JR/ENE-T/gm 30-Apr-2000 21:31 PM EDT (01-May-2000 0131 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] COHEN KOSOVO (L-UPDATE) BY JIM RANDLE (CAMP BONDSTEEL, KOSOVO)

    DATE=5/1/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261876
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// ADDS COHEN SOUND, DETAILS OF TRIP. /////

    INTRO: Defense Secretary William Cohen says Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is taking advantage of unrest in Serbia's Kosovo province, where a NATO-led force has been trying to keep the peace for the past year. Despite a rash of recent ethnic violence, Mr. Cohen says the 42-thousand international troops are making progress. Correspondent Jim Randle reports from Kosovo.

    TEXT: Mr. Cohen says the K-FOR peacekeeping operation faces major challenges, but has cut the number of ethnically motivated killings in Kosovo from 50 a week to five. But Mr. Cohen said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic can skillfully turn any amount of violence into a political tool.

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    Milosevic will certainly take advantage of any potential conflicts in the region. And we have extremism on both sides of the conflict. And that is something we are trying very hard to discourage.

    /// END ACT ///

    Much of the recent violence is blamed on ethnic Albanians taking revenge on ethnic Serbs. Serb-led Yugoslav forces drove many Albanians out of the province with a campaign of arson and murder that prompted NATO to launch last year's bombing campaign to drive the Serb security forces out of the Serb province. Mr. Cohen says Albanians hurt their cause by attacking their Serb neighbors. He says such acts lend credence to Mr. Milosevic's argument that Serb troops should be allowed to return to the province to protect the shrinking Serb minority. The Defense Secretary says K-FOR troops are working to cut the violence by operating dozens of checkpoints across the Serb province of Kosovo, and seizing 20- thousand weapons. He says the seizure of a large number of weapons two- weeks ago interrupted the smuggling of illegal arms. Mr. Cohen flew by helicopter to the two heavily- fortified camps that are home to some of the nearly six-thousand U-S troops participating in the KFOR peacekeeping operation. He praised the soldiers for their work and thanked them for their service. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/LTD/RAE 01-May-2000 14:57 PM EDT (01-May-2000 1857 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] NATO GENERAL (L-ONITER) BY JIM RANDLE (CAMP BONDSTEEL, KOSOVO)

    DATE=5/1/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261887
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The U-S Army general who led NATO forces in the Kosovo conflict is turning over the reins of command to a successor in a series of elaborate ceremonies today (Tuesday) and Wednesday. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports, outgoing NATO commander Wes Clark gets warm praise from his boss -- but he is still heading home a couple of months early.

    TEXT: (Four-star) General Clark is leaving his posts as commander of 109-thousand U-S troops in Europe and as leader of the combined NATO military forces sooner than is customary. That sparked press speculation that he was fired after disagreements over strategy in last year's Kosovo conflict. But Defense Secretary William Cohen says General Clark did very well, using a massive bombing campaign to force Serb troops and police out of Kosovo without losing a single pilot.

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    He has done an extraordinary job. General Clark is one of our most brilliant officers. He undertook a mission that is one of the most complicated and complex and carried it out successfully.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Cohen spoke during a visit to U-S forces in Kosovo, where they are deployed as part of a peacekeeping mission intended to stop violence between the ethnic Serb minority and the Albanian-speaking majority. General Clark was visiting Kosovo as well, stopping in Pristina, bidding farewell to U-N officials and Albanian leaders he has worked with, and holding a meeting with top ethnic Serb officials. Earlier, General Clark told reporters that the Balkan's complex and violent politics will be a major challenge for the next NATO commander, and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is "the center of the problem." The man who will confront that problem is U-S Air Force General Joe Ralston, a highly decorated fighter pilot who flew 147 missions during the Vietnam War. As a young officer, Captain Ralston trained pilots who specialized in attacking North Vietnam's formidable air defenses. (Signed)
    NEB/JR/TVM/WTW 01-May-2000 17:46 PM EDT (01-May-2000 2146 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] TURKEY / ELECTION (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=5/1/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261864
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A government-backed candidate failed again to secure the necessary votes in order to be elected Turkey's new president in a second parliamentary vote. Amberin Zaman has this report from Ankara.

    TEXT: Judge Ahmet Necdet Sezer received 314-votes, which is more than he received in the first round of balloting last Thursday. But Mr. Sezer still fell short of the 367-votes he needs in order to become Turkey's 10th president. Mr. Sezer is president of Turkey's constitutional court. He was singled out by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and his coalition partners as a consensus candidate to replace outgoing President Suleyman Demirel, who will step down on May 16th. Mr. Sezer is widely expected to succeed in a third round of voting Friday. In the third round, he only needs to win a simple majority in the 550-member Turkish legislature. With his closest rival, parliament speaker, Yildirim Akbulut trailing with only 88-votes, Mr. Sezer's victory appears all but assured. Mr. Sezer's emergence from relative obscurity to become Turkey's most influential civilian leader has been widely welcomed by groups running the full range of the political spectrum. His appeals for easing curbs on freedom of expression have made him a favorite among human-rights groups. Turkey's poor human-rights record remains the focus of criticism by European governments as Turkey seeks to start membership negotiations with the European Union. Mr. Sezer's nomination is viewed as a positive step towards further democratization in Turkey. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/GE/RAE 01-May-2000 11:34 AM EDT (01-May-2000 1534 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] AUSTRIA / HAIDER (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=5/1/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261873
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Austrian politician Joerg Haider has officially stepped down as leader of Austria's far- right Freedom Party. The politician announced in February that he had submitted his resignation, but the official change waited for the party congress. Stefan Bos reports from Budapest.

    TEXT: Joerg Haider stepped down as leader of Austria's Freedom Party at a time of record personal domestic popularity and unmatched international diplomatic isolation for Austria. Austria's European Union partners expressed their doubts about the Freedom Party's, and Mr. Haider's, commitment to democracy and respect for human rights by freezing bilateral political relations. E-U diplomats, along with American and Israeli officials, criticized Mr. Haider's statements about World War Two Nazi Germany.

    /// OPT ///

    He had praised what he said was the orderly full employment policies of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Mr. Haider also called veterans of the feared Nazi Waffen S-S military units - men of honor. /// END OPT /// Although Mr. Haider later said he regretted the remarks, his apology did not end the diplomatic actions and anti-Government rallies. As Mr. Haider officially quit as party leader, thousands of demonstrators packed the square in front of Vienna's City Hall to protest the Freedom Party's inclusion in Austria's coalition government. Analysts say Mr. Haider hopes his resignation will ease tensions in the country and eventually end Austria's isolation. Speaking to reporters at the party conference in the Carinthian capital, Klagenfurt, Mr. Haider suggested that Austria could use its E-U veto power to pressure the organization.

    /// ACT HAIDER, IN GERMAN, FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Haider says - the European Union has the possibility to end the sanctions. Otherwise, we will use all legal means to change this. He adds that Austria could obstruct E-U procedures where a unanimous vote is required. Neighboring countries, such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, fear this will make it much more difficult for them to join the European Union. Mr. Haider is replaced as party leader by Austria's 39-year old Vice Chancellor, Susanne Riess-Passer.

    /// OPT ///

    Ms. Riess-Passer said in a recent interview (with V-O-A) that the European Union and Israel should not judge her Government because of statements made by her former boss, Joerg Haider.

    /// ACT RIESS-PASSER // OPT ACT ///

    Even now, people do not want to hear that he very clearly, very, very clearly apologized for what he said. He said this was a mistake. So either you respect an apology or you do not. I would like to say to the Israeli Government what I say to all our critics - that they should really look at what the situation in Austria really is. No Jew in Austria has to be afraid of this Government.

    /// END ACT // END OPT ///

    European leaders have made it clear that there is little prospect of the 14 E-U partner states changing their positions, so long as the Freedom Party remains part of Austria's national Government. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/GE/RAE 01-May-2000 14:42 PM EDT (01-May-2000 1842 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] EUROPE / MAY DAY (L-ONLY) BY LOURDES NAVARRO (LONDON)

    DATE=5/1/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261866
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// EDS: UPDATE INTRO AS NECESSARY AFTER DEMOS ///

    INTRO: Thousands of people are massing in central London to take part in May Day protests. British police are braced for trouble, with thousands of officers on hand to prevent a reprise of violence caused by anti-capitalist demonstrators last year. As Lourdes Navarro reports from London, sporadic violence in London has been echoed elsewhere in Europe.

    TEXT:

    /// SFX: SOUND OF CHANTING, FADE UNDER ///

    May Day protests in London began without incident, the atmosphere resembling a carnival more than a demonstration. While helicopters circled overhead and thousands of British police patrolled the streets around central London, so called "guerrilla gardeners" took over Parliament Square in a horticultural protest. May Day is traditionally known as International Workers' Day but demonstrators like this one, who asked not to be named, had their own message, saying they came to dig up the small park in front of Britain's Houses of Parliament to plant flowers and vegetables.

    /// FEMALE PROTESTER ACT ///

    It's an anti-capitalist demonstration, and with all the plants and stuff it's symbolic of reclaiming the land, sort of saying that a city should be for the people, to be made more green and it shouldn't just be for politicians and industry and money-making. It should be about people enjoying themselves and building something more constructive.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// SFX: SOUND OF CHEERING, FADE UNDER ///

    Not all of the demonstration remained peaceful, though, with crowds cheering as a statue of Winston Churchill was defaced and a McDonald's restaurant was attacked. // OPT // Police say they are bracing for more difficulties. // END OPT // In Germany, May Day marches descended into chaos when neo-Nazis and anti-fascists clashed in the capital, Berlin. In Hamburg, 100 people were arrested and 16 police officers were injured in May Day-related violence. Polish riot police had to move in to stop skinheads from throwing eggs filled with red paint at marchers. Over four-thousand people in Belgrade took part in a protest against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Tens of thousands of Turks took to the streets in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara, for protests largely aimed against the International Monetary Fund. The pope marked May Day at a mass outside Rome. Pope John Paul said global capitalism must be kept in check, and called for what he termed "global solidarity."
    NEB/LN/GE/WTW 01-May-2000 11:37 AM EDT (01-May-2000 1537 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=5/1/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-261886
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// EDS: REPEATING WITH NUMBER ///

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were higher today (Monday), with software giant Microsoft, once again, playing a key role. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 77 points, three-quarters of one percent, closing at 10- thousand-811. The Standard and Poor's 500 index went up 15 points -- one percent. The Nasdaq composite closed two-and-one-half percent higher, gaining almost 100 points. Microsoft, both a Dow and NASDAQ market component, was the leading mover of the day. Shares of the world's biggest software maker traded as much as five percent higher, after the U-S government Friday proposed splitting the company in two. Analysts say Microsoft's lower share prices already reflect the possibility of a break-up. Otherwise, volume was relatively light. Some analysts say that is not a good sign because it points to investor uncertainty.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Market strategist Kenneth Sheinberg says he is a bit apprehensive about the market's direction. He believes the current rally will be short-lived:

    /// SHEINBERG ACT ///

    The resiliency in this market has been very impressive and the market's been very accommodating. But I don't think they're going to accommodate people for too much longer. I have a very uneasy feeling going forward. I really don't think people are focusing on some of the negatives. Into the end of this week, I'd be fading this market rally in a pretty big way.

    /// END ACT ///

    A few trans-Atlantic deals helped shares go higher. Siemen's - Germany's biggest electronics company - is buying Shared Medical Systems, the number two U-S maker of medical software, for two-point-one billion dollars. Shared Medical was the "stock of the day," soaring 70 percent. I-N-G Group - the largest Dutch financial services company - has agreed to pay six-point-one billion dollars for U-S insurer ReliaStar. This will boost I- N-G's premium income from life insurance by 50 percent in the United States. Another Dutch company, Royal Numico [pron: NU'-mee- ko], the world's biggest maker of vitamins - is buying U-S rival Rexall Sundown for one-point-eight-billion dollars, expanding its share of the U-S market by a third. Numico is Europe's biggest supplier of baby food. It wants to shift its focus to adult nutrition, which reportedly is growing five times faster than the baby food business. In other news, leading automaker General Motors says it is serious about taking over South Korea's Daewoo Motors. The troubled Asian automaker is being put up for sale in an auction later this year. G-M's chairman says he is going to South Korea next week to reinforce his offer. Number two automaker Ford has also expressed an interest in Daewoo. (Signed) NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/KBK/WTW 01-May-2000 17:42 PM EDT (01-May-2000 2142 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=5/1/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11798
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=

    INTRO: The saga of Elian Gonzalez has spawned a new set of editorials this Monday. The potential breakup of computer software giant Microsoft is also a popular topic, as is China and the controversy over its trade status. Rounding out the major editorial topics of the day are comments on the quarter century anniversary of the Vietnam War; a disquieting rise in police violence in South Africa; Mexico's new-style presidential election; and a promising new face in Turkish politics. Now, here is _________with a closer look and some excerpts, in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Elian Gonzalez, together with his mother and stepfather, fled Cuba for the United States last November, but the six-year old boy is the only one who survived the journey. The boy is now at the center of a custody dispute between his father, who wants the boy to live with him in Cuba, and his relatives in Miami, who want the boy to remain in the United States. On April 22, Elian was forcibly taken by the government from the custody of his Miami relatives and reunited with his father, who came to the United States and is staying outside Washington, D-C. A federal court ponders his ultimate fate. Today's Omaha [Nebraska] World-Herald voices misgivings about Miami's Cuban-American community's attitude toward this case and toward the U-S government. The paper says that while many Cuban- Americans are part of the broader U-S culture, others make up an anti-Castro "country within a country." The paper writes:

    VOICE: Cuban-Americans who suggested that perhaps the youngster's place was with his father were accused of being "bad Cubans." Not bad Americans, not bad people, but "bad Cubans." ... The Cubans who form a nation-in-exile in this country are not doing the United States any good. Neither are the elected officials who bow too easily to their demands. If nothing else, the debate over little Elian Gonzalez has thrown that into sharp relief [focus].

    TEXT: New Hampshire's Manchester Union Leader takes issue with a Catholic priest who said that Cuba would not be a bad place for Elian to grow up. The paper scoffs at the priest's assessment of the Communist island.

    VOICE: Reverend Patrick Sullivan ... says [that] Elian would have a decent life if he returned to Cuba. "It's not a hellhole. ... Reverend Sullivan points out ... that people in Cuba have enough food to eat and free health care. [So do] farm animals in the United States ... Is that what we want for Elian? The secure life of a farm animal? Elian would be lucky to live like a farm animal if he returned to Cuba. ... But in the name of "fathers' rights," Americans seem ... content to put Elian out to pasture and hope he is left alone to graze like a farm animal for the rest of his life.

    TEXT: On the broader issue of U-S Cuban relations, today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel uses the example of Arizona Senator John McCain and his attitude toward Vietnam, where he was a prisoner of war for several years. He has put his torture behind him, says The Journal Sentinel and now espouses a normalization of relations with Vietnam.

    VOICE: By contrast, the officials responsible for U-S policy toward Fidel Castro, and the Cuban expatriates who drive that policy, continue to live almost exclusively in an increasingly remote and irrelevant past. The spearhead of that policy is an economic embargo that for 40 years has failed utterly to isolate or weaken [President] Castro. All it has done is make the United States look foolish. ... By contrast, thanks partly to [Senator] McCain's support, the U-S and Vietnam -- another old adversary -- are trying to develop a more normal relationship.

    TEXT: Turning to the major business story of the day, the proposed U-S government break-up of software giant Microsoft into two companies, Maine's Portland Press Herald says it is a "good starting point" that will "restore competition."

    VOICE: /// OPT /// There has been a healthy shift in public perception of the antitrust case against Microsoft Corporation. Where once a breakup of the software giant was widely considered to be an extreme measure, doing so now seems far less remote and risky.

    /// END OPT ///

    ... Microsoft[`s] ... dominance has standardized the computing world and made the huge productivity gains fueling the economy possible. There is growing awareness that such dominance came at a price, however. It is one paid in innovation. ... Serious competition for Microsoft's desktop software products doesn't exist. That lack of competition leaves consumers with clunky options propagated by a monopolist.

    TEXT: A California paper that devotes a lot of attention to "Silicon Valley," the San Jose [Northern California] Mercury News, also agrees the "breakup is the right remedy" but wonders in today's editorial "how many pieces [of Microsoft] would be enough" [?] And back in New England, Boston's Christian Science Monitor also gives the judge's plan its qualified approval.

    VOICE: It's the cleanest solution with the least government meddling. And like the antitrust cases against Standard Oil and AT&T, it sets a precedent for preventing another monopoly in what has become a basic utility of daily life: computers and the Web.

    TEXT: China rates high in several editorial columns this May Day. The Philadelphia Inquirer is upset at the crackdown against the Falun Gong sect, and sees the crackdown as an impediment to normalizing trade with this country.

    VOICE: It's the government's most forceful crackdown against freedom since the 1989 slaughter of demonstrators at Tiananmen Square. /// OPT /// ... Almost every day, police haul citizens away from Tiananmen Square for unfurling pro-Falun Gong banners or starting to do the exercises. /// END OPT /// ... This repression might make a difference as the House [of Representatives] gets ready to decide whether to normalize China's trade status with the United States. ... Beijing is playing with fire if it expects U-S lawmakers to vote right on trade while Chinese citizens are detained and tortured for following Falun Gong.

    VOICE: And in Oklahoma City, The Oklahoman comments on a speech there by John Copper, a China scholar from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, assessing relations between the U-S and China on Taiwan. While predicting heightened leadership struggles on the mainland, as old-line rulers see power erode with the advance of new thinking, he sees increasing trade between China and Taiwan as a positive development.

    VOICE: [Professor] Copper's view is that increased economic cooperation and integration between the mainland and Taiwan must precede serious discussions of political unification or creation of some sort of commonwealth relationship. Complicating factors are not only the ambitions of the mainland's rulers ... but [also] the continued desire of some Taiwan politicians for full independence...

    TEXT: From China to Vietnam, where ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the end of the war between the United States and Vietnam are being held. The Dallas Morning News suggests "Our foreign policy should reflect new realities" -- and not just in Vietnam.

    VOICE: The 25th anniversary of the fall of South Vietnam provides an appropriate occasion to revist U-S foreign policy, such as it is. For nearly 50 years American foreign policy was fairly clear - - contain communism, which was perceived as the biggest threat to freedom, prosperity and peace. ... But our John Wayne [Editors: a synonym for "aggressive"] days are over ... The Soviet Union has collapsed. Cuba has ... a more human face. China is slowly embracing capitalism, if not yet human rights and democracy.

    ///OPT ///

    ... The country needs to consider its values and how those values can be served domestically as well as fostered in the world. ... We go to war over Kosovo but not Chechnya or Rwanda or Sudan or other places where atrocities have been committed.

    /// END OPT ///

    The anniversary of Saigon's fall has caused us to look back, but we really need to reflect more on ourselves and the world today in terms of values, interests and power in all its forms - economic, military, cultural and moral.

    TEXT: Now to African affairs: today's New York Times is upset at revelations that South Africa's police forces have turned even more violent than they were under apartheid.

    VOICE: Last year in South Africa, more than 550 people died at the hands of the police. Statistics for the apartheid era are weak, but the numbers indicate ... the police are more deadly today than they were during most of the last 25 years of apartheid. ... A new government, it seems, does not automatically bring new police practices. One of the mistakes governments and international peacekeepers make after a transition is attempting to build a new police force with veteran policemen. ... Ninety percent of South Africa's new police officers served under apartheid ... [spending] their careers repressing dissent, and know little about fighting crime or being accountable to citizens.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: A serious problem facing all the countries of Africa, declares The Sun in Baltimore, is AIDS. The paper writes:

    VOICE: By the end of the decade, it is estimated that more people in sub-Saharan Africa will die of AIDS than died in all of the 20th century's wars. Given the high cost of life-extending drugs that are used to treat AIDS patients, it's understandable that Thabo Mbeki, president of hard-hit South Africa, is looking for help. What is mystifying - and also dangerous - is where he's looking: to the ignorant and the charlatans who argue - - in the face of all the scientific evidence to the contrary - - that the HIV virus is not the cause of AIDS. ... in Africa, as elsewhere, "The first battle to be won ... against AIDS is the battle to smash the wall of silence and stigma surrounding it," in the words of U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan. Mr. Mbeki would play a far more useful role if he joined with other world leaders in that battle.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Peering south of our border, Boston's Christian Science Monitor hails the prospect of a truly contested Mexican presidential election, the first in 71 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (P-R-I).

    VOICE: Whoever wins, Mexico has the potential to continue its political opening and serve as a democratic anchor in a region where many of its neighbors show signs of slipping back toward authoritarianism. The P-R-I's loosening grip on Mexican political life is a hopeful sign. /// OPT /// Those truly committed to reform, including President [Ernesto] Zedillo, must do all they can to assure the July second election is a model of fairness. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: And finally, another political advance, at least in the opinion of the New York Times, in Turkey, where the paper salutes the pending choice of Judge Ahmet Necdet Sezer as the country's next president.

    VOICE: In Turkey's political system the president is far less powerful than the prime minister. But he helps set the tone of political life, and Judge Sezer, who currently leads Turkey's highest constitutional court, would be an excellent choice. /// OPT /// In the past year, Judge Sezer has become an outspoken advocate of eliminating or easing Ankara's chilling antiterror and antiseparatist laws. ... his candidacy has stirred hope among Kurds and other victims of legal persecution. ... Turkey's legislators should give him a winning margin in today's second round [of voting].

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of May Day's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/KL 01-May-2000 13:30 PM EDT (01-May-2000 1730 UTC)
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    Source: Voice of America


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