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Voice of America, 00-05-10

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CLINTON / KOSOVO (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [02] E-U / BALKANS (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] U-N / BOSNIA (L-ONLY)(CQ) BY BARBARA SCHOETZAU (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [04] EUROPE - MEXICO INVESTMENT BY JON TKACH (MEXICO CITY)
  • [05] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY JOE CHAPMAN (NEW YORK)
  • [06] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] CLINTON / KOSOVO (S) BY DAVID GOLLUST (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=5/10/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262190
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Clinton administration is reacting angrily to a new move in Congress to put a time limit on the U-S troop commitment to the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Kosovo. VOA's David Gollust has more from the White House.

    TEXT: The White House says the Senate effort to cut off funding for the Kosovo operaton next year would send the wrong message to U-S troops there, to allies in the process of increasing their support for the NATO effort, and to enemies of the allied presence, including Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The comments here follow a bipartisan Senate committee vote Tuesday to end support for the 59-hundred troop U-S presence in Kosovo beyond July first of next year unless President Clinton or his successor gets congressional approval for an extension. Supporters of the Senate move say there should be no open-ended U-S commitment. But White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said important work still needs to be done to win the peace in Kosovo and the Senate action is counterproductive. Tuesday's committee vote is part of a lengthy amendment process on emergency funding bills that has slowed action on other administration priorities including counter-drug aid to Colombia. (Signed)
    NEB/DAG/KL 10-May-2000 10:48 AM EDT (10-May-2000 1448 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] E-U / BALKANS (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=5/10/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262193
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The European Union has decided to reform its procedures to speed financial aid to countries in the Balkans. V-O-A Correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels.

    TEXT: European leaders are good at promising aid for the Balkans, but bureaucratic procedures have slowed delivery of the money. That is why the European Commission has agreed to speed its assistance to the Balkans to make European aid more effective. European External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten says the European Union will use the Balkan countries' interest in closer ties to Western Europe to encourage reform.

    /// PATTEN ACT ONE ///

    So, I think we're moving into a new phase of cooperation which was previously focused on the provision of humanitarian aid, reconstruction assistance and refugee return. Where necessary these will of course continue, but our new priority areas for assistance are, first of all, support for democracy, human rights, minority rights and the rule of law; secondly, the transition towards real market economies and economic development based on internal and external opening; and thirdly, regional cooperation between the countries of the region.

    /// END ACT ///

    Commissioner Patten says the European Union cannot continue to promise to spend money unless it first puts the funds in the budget. The European Union plans to spend 730-million dollars in the Balkans next year, with nearly half that money committed to reconstruction in Kosovo. The budget contains a provisional amount of two-billion dollars during the next six years to assist a democratic Yugoslavia. Mr. Patten explains why money is put aside for a future that might not exist.

    /// PATTEN ACT TWO ///

    First of all, I think it's extremely important to send signals to people in Serbia that if they get rid of [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic, if [Mr.] Milosevic departs, the European Union will stand ready to play a constructive role in the reconstruction of Serbia.

    /// END ACT ///

    If the European Commission fails to prepare for change in Serbia, Mr. Patten says, it will be criticized for acting too slowly. The commission has approved a proposal by European Union finance ministers to send about 18-million dollars to the smaller of the two Yugoslav republics, Montenegro. Commissioner Patten says Montenegro has a difficult position, being part of Yugoslavia, when it comes to attracting foreign assistance.

    /// PATTEN ACT THREE ///

    With us on the one hand, urging Montenegro not to opt for independence, [and] on the other, explaining to Montenegro that since it wasn't independent it could not qualify for assistance from the international financial institutions, it has not been an easy argument to put to the Montenegrin authorities.

    /// END ACT ///

    Serbia continues to put pressure against Montenegro's pro-Western government. That is another reason Europe wants the flexibility to move money quickly in the Balkans. (Signed)
    NEB/RDP/JWH/WTW 10-May-2000 11:14 AM EDT (10-May-2000 1514 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=5/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262186
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// Re-issuing from yesterday's file (CR 2-262164) to drop reference, in intro and in third graf of text, to Wolfgang Petritsch as a U-N official ///

    INTRO: In New York Tuesday, the diplomat 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 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/KL 10-May-2000 10:12 AM EDT (10-May-2000 1412 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] EUROPE - MEXICO INVESTMENT BY JON TKACH (MEXICO CITY)

    DATE=5/10/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262207
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The European Union's Ambassador to Mexico says crime in the country is causing companies to reconsider investing there. As V-O-A's Jon Tkach (kotch) reports from Mexico City, officials say that problem is due mainly to perception, because they say crime is actually falling.

    TEXT: Ambassador Manuel Lopez Blanco's comments follow a stern warning to the Mexican government by the head of Sony Mexico, which has a network of assembly plants along the northern border, where violence and kidnappings have threatened foreign investors in recent years. Mr. Blanco told reporters that despite the many reasons for doing business in Mexico crime has become such a problem that the only investors that will come are those that can afford the high risks. The Ambassador urged the government to do something about crime and said the high costs of security could be enough to drive companies away. A Mexico City newspaper, Reforma, quotes the ambassadors of several European countries as also sounding concern over crime against foreign investors. Peter Neven, the second secretary at the German embassy in Mexico City, told V-O-A while German investment in Mexico is on the rise, concerns about crime have also risen in the last few years.

    /// NEVEN ACT ///

    The German Chamber of Commerce has established a section for security counseling, a separate company and the company is doing quite well. A lot of German businessmen choose to pay this company to help them with security issues in Mexico City.

    /// END ACT ///

    He says German companies - such as auto giant Volkswagen - have a long history of doing business in Mexico and therefore, he says, they have often been willing to pay for the added security. He says concerns about crime are generally higher among new businesses. But Mexico's Interior Secretary Diodoro Carraso says the problem is largely one of perception because crime rates are already falling. He says the country does have a long way to go, but a large part of the effort is in changing social perception.

    /// REST OPT ///

    The head of those Sony operations in Mexico told the Mexican president during a trade meeting earlier this week that the company's concerns over security are now so critical that it could cause the company to slow down investment or pull out all together. On Monday, police detained a sixth suspect in connection with the kidnapping of the 8-year-old daughter of a Japanese businessman in April. And last year another Japanese businessman was shot and killed in the border town Tijuana. (Signed) NEB/jt/gm 10-May-2000 17:30 PM EDT (10-May-2000 2130 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=5/10/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262205
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A selloff of high techology stocks continued in the United States again today (Wednesday), dragging the major stock averages lower. VOA's Joe Chapman reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 168 points, about one and one half percent, to 10- thousand-367 in another lackluster trading session with many investors staying on the sidelines. High technology and Internet stocks moved sharply lower with the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite falling 199 points to three-thousand-385, a loss of more than five percent. The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 29 points to finish at one-thousand-383. Trading volume continues to be relatively light with few buyers willing to make commitments before a meeting next week of the U-S central bank. Analysts say the broad decline in high technology and Internet stocks reflects concern about prices that cannot be justified by realistic profit expectations.

    ///rest opt for long ///

    Tom Press, a mutual fund manager who specializes in smaller stocks, says the stock market is probably about halfway through the period of a typical decline.

    ///tom press act///

    We see only about a 10 to 15 percent downside from here, but we don't see the market moving straight back up. Again, we need that duration of 16 to 17 weeks of the average decline.

    ///end act///

    Mr. Press says he believes some technology shares are becoming more attractive with some high profile shares trading for about half the price levels earlier in the year. Analysts agree concern about high technology profits helped push the stock market indexes lower, especially given new uncertainties about central bank interest targets. An increase of one quarter of one percent had been widely anticipated at next week's central bank meeting. But stronger than expected economic reports have increased uncertainty by raising the possibility of a larger boost. (signed) NEB/NY/JMC/LSF/PT 10-May-2000 16:49 PM EDT (10-May-2000 2049 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=5/10/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11812
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The deteriorating situation in West Africa's Sierra Leone, where United Nations peacekeepers are reeling from attacks from guerrilla forces, captures the attention of many editorial writers. A different story from Northern Ireland is the subject of many other commentaries: Republicans, who have been trying to break away from British rule, and Unionists who want to stay allied with London are making a new try to reach a lasting peace. Other topics include Texas Governor George Bush winning support for his presidential candidacy from his former main rival, Arizona Senator John McCain; the struggle for greater democracy in Iran; a new controversy surrounding Elian Gonzalez, the young Cuban shipwreck survivor; and the computer "love bug" virus. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts, is __________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Things still appear fairly chaotic in Sierra Leone, where British paratroopers have flown in to help evacuate Western diplomats, their families and others, as fighting descends on the capital. With United Nations peacekeeping troops in disarray, The Sun in Baltimore says the rebels are "calling the U-N's bluff":

    VOICE: Anarchy in Sierra Leone is a threat to larger Africa. By taking hundreds of United Nations peacekeeping troops hostage, rag-tag rebels supporting Foday Sankoh have undermined the chief tool the world community and African leaders have devised for dispute resolution on the continent. ... A petty tyrant has called the world community's bluff, and is getting away with it.

    TEXT: Suggesting a concern for increased Western involvement, The Los Angeles Times says Sierra Leone is, principally, "a job for Africa," although the United States could offer logistical support.

    VOICE: Washington soured on peacekeeping in Africa after it failed to unseat Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid in 1993. But that does not mean the United States should do nothing while Sierra Leone descends into another calamity and the credibility of U-N peacekeepers is tested. [President] Clinton rightfully offered to throw political and financial support behind the effort of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to reinforce U-N troops in Sierra Leone with a West African regional strike force. ... The strike force must have the power to enforce, not just police, the peace agreement, and the Nigerian soldiers should be paid U-N peacekeeping rates to discourage them from looting. Success is worth the cost.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Taking a wider view, today's St. Petersburg [Florida] Times winces at the seeming endless troubles infesting the continent.

    VOICE: There seems to be no relief for the pain in Africa. Famine in Ethiopia, floods in Mozambique, AIDS everywhere, violence in Zimbabwe, civil war in Congo, more civil war in Sierra Leone. The acts of God -- too little rain, too much rain -- are somehow easier for us to deal with: It's no one's fault. But the man-made miseries demand a different, more difficult, sort of attention. A reassessment of priorities, perhaps; a time to decide just what the United Nations stands for in the world. ... It's a pity that it took so long for the United States and Britain to notice that Sierra Leone was about to collapse. If the West has been more pro-active, not necessarily sending its own troops, but helping fund the personnel from Jordan, India and neighboring African nations, perhaps Foday Sankoh, the leader of the R-U-F [Revolutionary United Front] and a genocidal megalomaniac, would not now be the de-facto dictator of Sierra Leone.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: So much for the bad news, and now for some good news, from Northern Ireland. Last weekend's declaration by the Irish Republican Army that it would put its weapons "beyond reach" and submit them to international inspection is still drawing comment. Hawaii's Honolulu Star-Bulletin says the announcement "could be the key to peace ... but the plan requires thorough study." For its part, The Washington Post is also pleased, suggesting the "peace process ... appears back on track":

    VOICE: The Irish Republican Army, whose unwillingness to disarm had led to the suspension [of self-government], has softened its stance. The question now is whether the Ulster Unionist Party, the main Protestant group in Northern Ireland, will add to this momentum when it meets on May 20[th];and whether the British government will mistakenly buy Protestant cooperation with concessions that hurt in the long term.

    TEXT: The Post concludes that Britain must remain committed to total reform of the Northern Ireland police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, to make it "more acceptable to Catholics," if the peace process is to move forward. In this country, Arizona Senator John McCain's tepid endorsement of Texas Governor George W. Bush for president (on Tuesday in Pittsburgh), is drawing a good deal of reaction. Wisconsin's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sounds a bit discouraged:

    VOICE: Thousands of Americans voted for ... Senator ... McCain ... because they believed his oft-stated claim to be a different kind of politician: one who would be committed to reform and deliver straight talk, not political puffery. But ... the tough maverick // OPT // who demonstrated during his five and one-half years in a Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp that he couldn't be tamed by anybody, // END OPT // tamely endorsed ... Governor George W. Bush for the presidency ... There were compelling reasons for [Mr.] McCain's endorsement ... But [it] ... ought to be an enduring reminder that, while politicians should never compromise their principles, almost all of them find it necessary to compromise their tactics.

    TEXT: In New Hampshire, The [Manchester] Union Leader warns all politicians:

    VOICE: Just because [Senator] McCain has agreed to fall in line with [Governor] Bush doesn't mean Americans -- including many Republicans -- have lost interest in reforming government.

    TEXT: On another domestic issue, the treatment of the little shipwrecked Cuban boy, Elian Gonzalez, now reunited with his father, there is growing criticism of a swank party he recently attended. In The [Oklahoma City] Oklahoman, syndicated columnist Mona Charen says the boy's story is now approaching "farce."

    VOICE: It seems that Elian Gonzalez and his father were the guests at a posh Georgetown party last Saturday night. The host was Smith Bagley, an heir to the R.J. Reynolds tobacco fortune and a friend of both President Clinton and Vice President Gore. ... Why were the Gonzalezes being feted by big-game-hunter Democrats? ... The passivity of the public does not excuse the remarkable docility of the press in the face of this extra-legal behavior on the part of the Clinton administration. ... Elian's Miami relatives have repeatedly begged to visit the child [at the secluded estate where he is staying in Maryland] ... and have been denied entry. Yet emissaries from Cuba -- teachers, "psychologists," school chums and "diplomats" -- troop in and out at their leisure. The press does not ask by whose authority they themselves are being kept out.

    TEXT: That darned "love bug" computer virus, which damaged millions of computers worldwide, has now supposedly been traced to a computer training school in the Philippines. The story draws this comment from the Akron [Ohio] Beacon Journal.

    VOICE: The "ILOVEYOU" computer virus sent a remarkable message. It may not, however, have been the one intended. // OPT // Yes, viruses can wreak havoc upon businesses and individuals. Some estimates of damage ... have been as high as 10-billion dollars. And yes, one person in the Philippines or somewhere else ... can launch a virus that is so seductive (who can resist the possibilities inferred from an ILOVEYOU message) yet virulent that it can spread around the world in 24 hours. // END OPT // ... These high- profile events ... serve as reminders to update virus-protection software and leave it turned on and to shy away from e-mail attachments from strangers. Otherwise, a user could find LOVE in all the wrong places...

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: The Dallas [Texas] Morning News is also upset at the virus, suggesting its attack "highlights [the] inadequacy of defenses."

    VOICE: It was an expensive lesson. The virus cost the world economy an estimated 10-billion dollars in erased files, lost productivity and anti-hacker measures, making it the most damaging virus ever. Perhaps now governments, corporations and individuals will be more aware of the threat. Perhaps now they will take adequate steps to ensure that no hacker escapes punishment under the law, no matter in which country he or she resides.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Lastly, on next Sunday, the Mother's Day holiday in the United States, a million mothers plan to march on Washington. They'll be protesting the lack of more stringent gun-control measures in the nation, after a long series of child-related shooting deaths. Boston's Christian Science Monitor says the demonstration may show whether this issue really deserves the label "movement."

    VOICE: If it attracts crowds of the size hoped for, the "Million Mom March" could mark a turning point in the long campaign to curb the easy availability of firearms in America. ... The sight of so many highly motivated women, many from politically-crucial suburbs, will doubtless capture the attention of lawmakers and presidential candidates.

    TEXT: On that promissory note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from the pages of Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/WTW 10-May-2000 11:56 AM EDT (10-May-2000 1556 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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