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Voice of America, 00-05-09

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO REFUGEES BY IRENA GUZELOVA (OSOJANE)
  • [02] YUGO OPPOSITION (L ONLY) BY IRENA GUZELOVA (BELGRADE)
  • [03] NATO / CROATIA (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] U-N/ BOSNIA (L-ONLY) BY BARBARA SCHOETZAU (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [05] IRISH PEACE PROCESS RESUMES BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] NY ECON WRAP TUESDAY (S&L) BY JOE CHAPMAN (NEW YORK)
  • [07] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] KOSOVO REFUGEES BY IRENA GUZELOVA (OSOJANE)

    DATE=5/9/2000
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-46280
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: After nearly two thirds of Kosovo's Serb population fled their homes in the past year, Serbs from the province have set up a committee to co- ordinate their return. On the third of May, several thousand Serbs gathered in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica at a rally to demand their right to go home. Kosovo's international administrators are eager to show that they are equally concerned about the future of refugees of all nationalities - be they Albanian, Serb or Gypsy. Irena Guzelova reports on an initiative to get Serb refugees back to Kosovo.

    TEXT: Rows of metal beds crowd the wards in an abandoned psychiatric clinic near Belgrade. The current residents, Serb refugees from Kosovo, left their homes last June, fearful of Albanian reprisals. Jovanka Zivkovic came with her newborn baby, husband and two children. Like many refugees who crowd Serbia's motels and clinics, she is angry and fearful of the future.

    /// JOVANKA ZIVKOVIC, IN SERBIAN, FADE UNDER ///

    She says she cannot go back for the children's sake, and is concerned about their safety. She says they don't have houses and wonders where they can live? When the Serbian bishop of Kosovo, Bishop Artemije, visited Washington a couple of months ago, he and U-S officials devised a plan to enable several hundred refugees to return to their villages. Although 180 thousand Serbs fled Kosovo, the international community insists the province will be multi-ethnic. NATO-led troops now guard the one hundred thousand or so Serbs who remain in Kosovo and who live together in small enclaves dependent upon aid. The United States hoped that the plan would boost the popularity of Bishop Artemije's moderate political grouping. His appeal among Kosovo's Serbs appears to be flagging in favor of Oliver Ivanovic, who leads the Serbs in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica. Many Westerners consider Mr. Ivanovic to be too close to Belgrade. But many observers are concerned about the resettlement plan. Paula Ghedini, of the U-N's High Commission for Refugees, says the return of Serbs is premature and may incite attacks from neighbouring Albanians.

    /// ACT PAULA GHEDINI ///

    We're seeing that a humanitarian issue gets very much politicised and are very much concerned about the driving force behind that. We're not against return, we would love and welcome any return that is voluntary and that is done in the atmosphere of safety and sustainability. But we're just concerned that right now, the timing is very bad for a large-scale return of Serbs in a particularly difficult area of Kosovo.

    /// END ACT ///

    The area mapped out for the initial return -- near the towns of Istok and Pec, in the northwest of Kosovo -- was a focal point for Serb paramilitary action. It witnessed some of the worst atrocities against Albanians last year. The Albanian mayor of Istok, Januz Januzaj, is under mounting pressure from his community to resist Serb resettlement.

    ///ACT JANUZ JANUZAJ, IN ALBANIAN WITH TRANSLATION ///

    I would like the conditions to be much better for the returnees because if another enclave is done there can be lost of incidents and they won't be safe. The vast majority of the Albanian community in Istok is against the Serbs coming back. I think there should be some more time passing before they come back.

    /// END ACT ///

    Several burned out houses represent what is left of the village of Osojane, one of the locations singled out for the Serbs' return. The open landscape of gently rolling hills provides no natural protection. Guarding the village will not be easy and could become an added burden for NATO's troops, already stretched keeping a fragile peace in Mitrovica. /// Opt /// Paula Ghedini of the U-N's High Commission for Refugees says she is concerned about security.

    /// ACT PAULA GHEDINI ////// OPT ACT ///

    The security conditions are clearly not on the ground to allow for a large-scale return that would be in complete safety. Also, this would necessitate the creation of enclaves, which is not the way we'd like to see the return of Serbs to Kosovo

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

    The issue of Serb resettlement is gaining a momentum of its own. NATO spokesmen say some 20 to 25 thousand Serbs can return within the next few months. Serb leaders are also talking about the resettlement plan. In Mitrovica, observers say Mr. Ivanovic has hijacked the initiative from Bishop Artemije. Mr. Ivanovic says that as many as one thousand five hundred Serbs can return as early as June. Mr. Ivanovic says he has opened a registration office in the southern Serbian town of Kraljevo for refugees wishing to return.

    /// ACT IVANOVIC ///

    We met more than one thousand people in Kragujevac and Kraljevo and all or most of them are very interested to come back. Of course, we will have more meetings, more and more. We will be absolutely sure they can come back in safety.

    /// END ACT ///

    But many refugees are not so certain. They say they will only go back if the Serbian police are there to protect them. Many of the Serbs are beginning to realize that they may never return in safety to Kosovo. (Signed)
    NEB/IG/GE/KL 09-May-2000 13:01 PM EDT (09-May-2000 1701 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] YUGO OPPOSITION (L ONLY) BY IRENA GUZELOVA (BELGRADE)

    DATE=5/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262143
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Serb police have stopped demonstrators from entering the hometown of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to protest the arrest of three activists last week. Witnesses say three members of the resistance movement, Otpor, were assaulted outside a nightclub owned by President Milosevic's son. And, as Irena Guzelova reports from Belgrade, the three were then arrested and charged with attempted murder.

    TEXT: Busloads of policemen and special armed units were brought into the town, Pozarevac, to prevent the protest rally from taking place. Police also re- arrested two of the activists who had been freed on Monday. Police also detained about 25 activists in the town of Novi Sad, north of the capital. Opposition leaders cancelled their protest rally because of the heavy police presence and called on demonstrators to meet in Belgrade on May 15th. Opposition parties say last week's arrest of the three activists shows the Yugoslav government is increasingly ready to use force to maintain control. The government has portrayed the Otpor resistance group as a fascist organization. It also says the opposition is supported by NATO and its allies to destabilize Yugoslavia. In an unprecedented move, the Yugoslav army issued a statement (last week) lashing out at the opposition, and warning it would not tolerate any threats against Mr. Milosevic. The statement said the army has an obligation to take steps against those who make such threats. The United States has described President Milosevic's son, Marko, as one of the wealthiest and most violent members of the so-called Serbian Mafia. It said armed thugs, working as bodyguards in Mr. Marko's club, attacked the activists. Opposition leaders say they fear the government wants to create a crisis ahead of local and federal elections due this year. Opinion polls show only about one-quarter of Yugoslav voters would back the government. Some opposition leaders say they fear authorities may even call a state of emergency. Meanwhile, government parties tried to hold a counter- rally in Pozarevac. About 200 government supporters and anti-government activists jeered at each other, but no incidents were reported. The opposition plans to hold a series of rallies in May and June. But many Serbs wonder if they will be able to harness the new-found desire for change and sustain a fight against Yugoslav authorities. (Signed)
    NEB/IG/JWH/JP 09-May-2000 13:16 PM EDT (09-May-2000 1716 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] NATO / CROATIA (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=5/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262149
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO ambassadors are expected to invite Croatia to join the alliance's Euro-Atlantic council - a program of military cooperation with prospective NATO members. V-O-A correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels.

    TEXT: Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan met with NATO ambassadors to discuss his government's efforts to reform the military and to put the Croatian army under civilian control. Following the meeting, NATO officials said the ambassadors will invite Croatia to become a NATO partner when they meet again on Wednesday. NATO Secretary-General George Robertson denies an Italian news report that France might oppose Croatia's inclusion in the alliance's Euro-Atlantic council. He tells reporters he told the Croatian foreign minister to make plans to come to Florence, Italy later this month, when NATO foreign ministers meet their counterparts from the partner countries.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ONE ///

    There is a meeting of NATO foreign ministers taking place in Florence in two weeks time which will include a meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. So I have drawn these dates to the attention of Foreign Minister (Tonino) Picula and I hope he is going to put them very firmly in his diary.

    /// END ACT ///

    Prime Minister Racan tells reporters through an interpreter that Croatia is eager to become a partner of a Western institution.

    /// RACAN IN CROATIAN W/ INTERPRETER ///

    The whole course of the meeting fills me with optimism concerning the decision to be taken tomorrow by the North Atlantic Council and in the end let me just say that NATO, as a system not only of security but of values as well, is an organization that we fully endorse and support.

    /// END ACT ///

    The Croatian prime minister says he answered the ambassadors' questions about Croatia's improved relations with Bosnia and its program of allowing Croatian Serbs to return to the homes they fled during the republic's war of independence from Yugoslavia. Secretary-General Robertson tells reporters the changes Croatia has undergone since the death of President Franjo Tudjman last December should be a lesson to its neighbors.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT TWO ///

    I think that the example of Croatia and the way in which the people in Croatia through the ballot box turned their country against the past, rejected the failed policies of ultra- nationalism, I think is a shining light to other countries in the Balkans. Just as we will be making a decision tomorrow (Wednesday) on Croatia coming closer to the Euro-Atlantic community, I hope that in due course that is an exercise that will be duplicated with Bosnia- Herzegovina and in due course with a democratic Yugoslavia as well.

    /// END ACT ///

    NATO has 25 partnership arrangements with non-NATO countries. (Signed)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/KL 09-May-2000 14:12 PM EDT (09-May-2000 1812 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] U-N/ BOSNIA (L-ONLY) BY BARBARA SCHOETZAU (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=5/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262164
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: In New York Tuesday, the United Nations official in charge of implementing the peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wolfgang Petritsch, said the Dayton Accord is working. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from the United Nations.

    TEXT: In a briefing to members of the Security Council, Mr. Petritsch described the current situation in Bosnia as "tedious and slow, but working." Mr. Petritsch says he believes the peace process will ultimately succeed if reform moves forward in three key areas. The first, he says, is the consolidation of institutions necessary to build a state. The U-N diplomat says ethnic bickering among Bosnia's political leaders continues to divide the nation. But Mr. Petritsch says municipal elections in April were encouraging, because moderate parties made a good showing against nationalist parties. In addition, Mr. Petritsch says the Bosnian government must reform its bureaucratic command economy in order to attract urgently-needed investment.

    /// PETRITSCH ACT ///

    We also need -- and this will be the engine for further changes in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- we need to get a thorough economic reform underway. This is the centerpiece of our implementation efforts. And thirdly, we need refugee return, the return of the internally-displaced persons -- and these are still 800-thousand internally-displaced and 300-thousand outside of the country -- we need to accelerate the return.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Petritsch says it is a sign of success that so far this year twice as many refugees have returned to Bosnia compared to the same period last year. But Mr. Petritsch says there are limits to how much the international community can help Bosnia. In the final analysis, he says, the Bosnian people must learn that compromise is the only guarantee for the survival of Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Signed) NEB/NYC/BJS/LSF/WTW 09-May-2000 17:47 PM EDT (09-May-2000 2147 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] IRISH PEACE PROCESS RESUMES BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=5/9/2000
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11811
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=

    INTRO: For months, the peace agreement between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, negotiated by former U-S Senator George Mitchell, has been moribund. The problem was the refusal of the largest and most influential Republican (EDS: those who favor union with Ireland) paramilitary group, The Irish Republican Army, to disarm. This past weekend, the I-R-A agreed to a disarmament compromise, putting its guns and bombs "beyond use" as it said. The organization also named two internationally known monitors to inspect some of its arsenals to see that the agreement was being honored. The announcement amounts to a breakthrough for behind- the-scenes diplomacy by the British and Irish governments to restart the peace process. And in the United States, there was much editorial comment, mainly expressing cautious optimism that a final end to the "troubles" in Ulster may be in sight. We get a sampling now from ____________ in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.

    TEXT: The U-S press has always taken a great interest in Irish affairs because there are so many Americans of Irish descent. Editorial writers here have been quick to comment on the weekend announcement by the Irish Republican Army that it will put its weapons "beyond use" and open the arsenals to international inspection. The Los Angeles Times is one of many dailies viewing the news with more than a glimmer of hope.

    VOICE: For years, the citizens of Northern Ireland have awaited a signal of Irish Republican Army willingness to discuss disarmament. Last weekend, that signal came. The I-R-A not only offered to open its secret weapon caches to regular inspections, but to meet the demands of peace negotiators to have its weapons "completely and verifiably" put out of commission. The I-R-A statement, along with a plan announced last weekend by the British and Irish governments, should revive a peace process that has been declared dead many times. With confidence restored, all quarters should deliver a firm commitment to end the communal violence that has racked the island for centuries.

    TEXT: Here in the nation's capital, The Washington Times hopes the unionists - those who favor union with Britain -- will greet the I-R-A proposal without much delay.

    VOICE: For unionist leaders to rally support for the offer as soon as possible would mean decreasing the likelihood that extremists from both sides interrupt the peace process. Both sides have now verbalized their willingness to take risks for the sake of peace. If those intentions become reality ... during the disarming process over the next year, there could [be] hope for the future.

    TEXT: South Carolina's Charleston Post and Courier is pleased, but cautious.

    VOICE: Saturday's stunning announcement ... appears to be the long-hoped breakthrough to peace in Northern Ireland. But because the I-R- A has been so evasive in responding to the plea to disarm, some caution is prudent. ... even if on closer examination the disarmament offer falls far short of the expectations aroused by the I-R-A's sudden proposal, it would be foolish to refuse it out of hand.

    TEXT: The Chicago Tribune says the I-R-A has "breathed life back into a peace process that had been rendered moribund by disagreements over the issue of "disarmament." And in Cleveland, Ohio, The Plain Dealer, which has editorialized on developments in Ulster more than most other major dailies, notes:

    VOICE: ... the I-R-A's pledge to open some of its arms dumps to the scrutiny of international inspectors is a significant move toward meeting the concerns of Unionists that guns should have no place in Northern Ireland's politics. ... Now the Unionists will want additional reassurances on I-R-A intentions. To that end, it should be helpful that a weapons inspector announced yesterday the work of checking I-R-A dumps could begin before summer.

    TEXT: In the Pacific Northwest, The Seattle Times feels the "door to peace reopens" in Ulster.

    VOICE: Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein, the political arm of the I-R-A, and David Trimble of the Ulster Unionists represent groups whose internal bickering make it difficult, if not dangerous for moderates. Last February, [Mr.] Trimble's weakening position among hardliners within his own party set in motion the suspension of the power-sharing government. [Mr.] Adams and [[Mr.] Trimble need gestures from the other to maintain their credibility. With this concession, the I-R-A has given something that certainly falls short of some unionists' demands, but gives impetus for both sides to keep talking. In Northern Ireland, the awful alternative is bloodshed.

    TEXT: On Long Island, Newsday says it "took courage for the I-R-A to agree, at last, to disarm..." adding:

    VOICE: The surprise I-R-A announcement came a day after the British and Irish governments made public plans to transfer power back to the province's suspended Catholic-Protestant administration and to extend the deadline for a total I-R-A disarmament to June 2001. The power-sharing system of home rule for Ulster, which operated for only eight weeks, was suspended in February after the I-R-A's refusal to disarm had frozen the entire peace process. ... The significance of the I-R-A's disarmament offer cannot be overstated. Without it, the stalled peace process could easily have slid backward and new bouts of sectarian violence broken out. A good deal of courage was required for the I-R-A to lift this barrier. ... It's now incumbent on arms inspectors to ensure that Protestant paramilitaries live up to their side of the disarmament deal with equal openness.

    TEXT: Nearby, The New York Times chose to lead its editorial column with these thoughts.

    VOICE: The Irish Republican Army's commitment over the weekend to subject its secret arsenal of weapons to international inspection should reopen the path to peace in Northern Ireland. By ending its longstanding refusal to make a meaningful gesture toward disarmament, the I-R-A has removed a critical barrier to fulfilling the two-year-old Good Friday peace agreement and establishing a new political order in Ulster. ... With the prospect of renewed self-rule, there are grounds for optimism in Northern Ireland among the overwhelming majority who yearn for a fair and lasting peace.

    TEXT: The national daily, U-S-A Today, published in a Washington, D-C suburb, is a bit more cautious, citing the vagueness of the I-R-A promise.

    VOICE: Saturday's pledge by the Irish Republican Army to place its weapons "beyond use" is being greeted with something that sounds a lot like anxious optimism. If so, no wonder. ... the offer ... is pretty vague. It's not clear what the term "beyond use" means. The pledge contains no timetable or deadlines. The I-R-A did not agree to destroy the weapons or to surrender them. And the I-R-A, which considers itself undefeated, has punted on disarmament promises before.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment on the recent breakthrough in the Northern Ireland peace process.
    NEB/ANG/JP 09-May-2000 14:59 PM EDT (09-May-2000 1859 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] NY ECON WRAP TUESDAY (S&L) BY JOE CHAPMAN (NEW YORK)

    DATE=5/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262158
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Another high technology stock selloff pulled the major stock averages lower today (Tuesday). VOA's Joe Chapman reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66 points, well under one percent, to 10-thousand-537 in what analysts agreed was a listless session. High technology and internet stocks moved sharply lower with the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite falling 84 points to three-thousand-585. The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 12 points to finish at one- thousand-412. Solid gains in a few stocks such as Walmart, up nearly two percent on a good earnings report, failed to offset lower prices for companies such as I-B-M, Hewlett-Packard or E-Bay.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Analyst Stephen Frank, says he expects the market to continue to drift until next week when the U-S central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates. He and other analysts say individual investors are staying on the sidelines.

    /// FRANK ACT ///

    It's going to be this way for the next several days. Really, it's listless across the board.

    /// END ACT ///

    Coca Cola moved sharply higher by about five percent on an upgrade by a major investment brokerage which said the soft drink maker had bottomed out. Some analysts say in addition to concerns about interest rates, larger investors are somewhat concerned about a reversal of the Euro's decline against the dollar. The analysts say that could make U-S stocks less attractive to foreign investors. Analysts also say volatility in the stock markets continues to push investors toward picking individual stocks rather than trying to determine broader market direction. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/JMC/LSF/KBK 09-May-2000 16:49 PM EDT (09-May-2000 2049 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=5/9/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11810
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=

    INTRO: The weekend announcement by the Irish Republican Army that it would compromise on weapons turnover, rejuvenating the Northern Ireland peace process continues to play in U-S editorial columns. Another topic of discussion is Russia's new president, Vladimir Putin. The meeting today of Senator John McCain and Texas Governor George W. Bush, his former presidential primary rival, is also drawing comment. There are other editorials on the China trade debate; the Puerto Rican island-Navy bombing controversy; and more potential trouble for President Clinton in his home state. Now, here with a closer look, together with some quotes, is ___________ and today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Several papers are commenting on the weekend announcement by the Irish Republican Army that it will put its weapons - beyond use - and open the arsenals to international inspection. South Carolina's Charleston Post and Courier is one that is pleased, but cautious.

    VOICE: Saturday's stunning announcement ... appears to be the long-hoped breakthrough to peace in Northern Ireland. But because the I-R- A has been so evasive in responding to the plea to disarm, some caution is prudent. ... even if on closer examination the disarmament offer falls far short of the expectations aroused by the I-R-A's sudden proposal, it would be foolish to refuse it out of hand.

    TEXT: The Chicago Tribune says the I-R-A has breathed life back into a peace process that had been rendered moribund by disagreements over the issue of disarmament. And in Cleveland, Ohio, The Plain Dealer notes:

    VOICE: ... the I-R-A's pledge to open some of its arms dumps to the scrutiny of international inspectors is a significant move toward meeting the concerns of Unionists that guns should have no place in Northern Ireland's politics. ... Now the Unionists will want additional reassurances on I-R-A intentions. To that end, it should be helpful that a weapons inspector announced yesterday the work of checking I-R-A dumps could begin before summer.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: In the Pacific Northwest, The Seattle Times feels the "door to peace reopens" in Ulster.

    VOICE: Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein, the political arm of the I-R-A, and David Trimble of the Ulster Unionists represent groups whose internal bickering make it difficult, if not dangerous for moderates. Last February, [Mr.] Trimble's weakening position among hardliners within his own party set in motion the suspension of the power-sharing government. [Mr.] Adams and [[Mr.] Trimble need gestures from the other to maintain their credibility. With this concession, the I-R-A has given something that certainly falls short of some unionists' demands, but gives impetus for both sides to keep talking. In Northern Ireland, the awful alternative is bloodshed.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Still in Europe, the inauguration this week of Russia's new president, Vladimir Putin also draws a good deal of comment. The Los Angeles Times calls him a mixed picture.

    VOICE: Sunday's inauguration ... [of Mr. Putin was] the first democratic succession of leadership in the country's history ...[and is] rich in symbolism and promise. [Mr.] Putin, a former K-G-B officer, likes to invoke the word "democracy," but it does not come naturally to him. At 47, he is younger and more vigorous than his predecessor, Boris ... Yeltsin, and ... shares none of the ideological baggage of the Kremlin leaders before him. // OPT // He is taking charge of a country that has accomplished a great deal on the democratic front but disappointed in its economic transformation. // END OPT // ...[He] should use the center-right majority in the Duma, the lower house of parliament, to push for much needed tax reform and a law clearly establishing the right of private ownership of land.

    TEXT: The New York Times focuses first on the significance of the inauguration and what a dramatic change it is for Russia.

    VOICE: It completed the first transfer of power from one freely elected leader to another in more than one-thousand years of Russian history. After the ceremony, the energetic new president and his aging predecessor stepped into the bright sunshine of Cathedral Square, the very place where generations of czars appeared after being crowned in the Cathedral of the Assumption. Little more than a decade ago, the idea of a democratically chosen president occupying that ground would have seemed unimaginable.

    VOICE: Turning to domestic politics, a long-awaited meeting took place between Republican Presidential front runner George W. Bush and his former number one adversary, Arizona Senator John McCain. The Washington Times suggests;

    VOICE: ...today's meeting ... could go a long way toward determining ... to what degree [Mr. McCain] will actively campaign for Mr. Bush in the fall. Mr. Bush wants and needs the support of Mr. McCain, who has pledged to campaign vigorously for Republican congressional candidates. ...It is time to bury the hatchet (make peace).

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: In Pennsylvania, the Greensburg Tribune-Review is concerned about the possibility that George Bush might reward John McCain for his endorsement by asking him to be his vice-presidential running mate.

    VOICE: John McCain ... is something less than a conservative. And pairing a questionable conservative with the confused conservative that [Governor] Bush sometimes portrays is not what the G-O-P should be ordering. Mr. Bush, be careful what you ask for today.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The San Jose [California] Mercury News has some thoughts about why Congress should grant China normal trade relations. It lauds the president's plan to:

    VOICE: ...establish an office in the Commerce Department, with a dozen specialists, to monitor China's compliance with the trade agreement it negotiated with America. ... The latest proposals for monitoring Chinese exports and human rights ... add one more element to the overriding and compelling argument for permanent normal trade and China's admission to the W-T-O.

    TEXT: In Jacksonville, The Florida Times-Union comments upon a report in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post that China's leader, Jiang Zemin, will retire in 2002.

    VOICE: By the time he leaves the presidency, he will be 76. In all likelihood, he wants to spend his final days relaxing - and does not want to jeopardize his reforms by perhaps becoming less capable in office. ... In announcing his plans, [Mr.] Jiang also called for the ouster of all but two of the seven most senior party leaders, something that he said was needed to invigorate the party. ... [President] Jiang has accomplished a great deal, but time is running out. He apparently realizes that ... and is putting his causes over his own personal interests.

    TEXT: In the Netherlands, two Libyans accused of the Pan Am jetliner bombing in 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland, are being tried under Scottish law, and before Scottish judges. Today's Akron [Ohio] Beacon Journal fears that prosecutors have a difficult case to prove conclusively, after years of delay.

    VOICE: ... it is one thing to bring an indictment, and quite another to prove the defendant's guilt. The burden is on the prosecutors to prove that Abdel Basset Ali- Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimad did, indeed, cause the explosion... They hope to do so over the next several months, calling perhaps ... one-thousand witnesses and introducing hundreds of pieces of evidence. The rule of law demands that those accused of even the most heinous crimes get a fair hearing.

    TEXT: The Atlanta Constitution looks at the controversy over the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, where protestors were peacefully removed by Federal agents, in a dispute over a U-S Navy bombing range. The paper feels the long-term results of the controversy may aid the island Commonwealth.

    VOICE: No doubt Vieques would have been rid of its bombing headache long ago if it had two senators and a representative or two in Congress arguing its case, but that would have required Puerto Ricans voting for statehood, which they have declined to so several times over the last half-century. The lesson here is that if they want to be treated like a full partner, they need to commit to our indivisible union.

    TEXT: And lastly, as President Bill Clinton pleads with the Arkansas Supreme Court not to disbar him for lying under oath during the Monica Lewinsky affair, the Augusta [Georgia] Chronicle calls for the full penalty.

    VOICE: Matthew Glavin, president of the southeastern Legal Foundation, which filed suit to strip the president of his law license, characterizes the president's response [to the charges] "as a pathetic attempt to defend the indefensible." ... It is hard to see how [Mr.] Clinton can win on those points. Impeachment was a political exercise, whereas disbarment is a legal proceeding. And the legal cards are, or should be, stacked against him.

    TEXT: That editorial from the Augusta Chronicle concludes this sampling of comment from Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 09-May-2000 11:28 AM EDT (09-May-2000 1528 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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