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Voice of America, 00-05-23

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO MINISTERS (S OVERNIGHTER) BY RON PEMSTEIN (FLORENCE)
  • [02] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [03] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] NATO MINISTERS (S OVERNIGHTER) BY RON PEMSTEIN (FLORENCE)

    DATE=5/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262707
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: NATO MEETING BEGINS AT 0700 U-T-C / 3 AM EDT ///

    INTRO: NATO foreign ministers meet Wednesday in Florence, Italy, to discuss developments in the Balkans and relations with Russia. V-O-A's Ron Pemstein in Florence reports the meeting marks a resumption of NATO's ministerial relations with Russia.

    TEXT: This is the first time NATO's 19 foreign ministers will hold a council meeting with Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov since the conflict in Kosovo last year. Before flying to Italy, Foreign Minister Ivanov repeated his view that NATO made a "gross mistake" in its air campaign to force Yugoslav troops out of the province. NATO officials say they have their own complaints to raise with Mr. Ivanov about Russia's reception of a Yugoslav official indicted as a war criminal by the U-N tribunal at the Hague. At this meeting, U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright hopes to change the minds of her fellow NATO ministers about a proposed U-S missile defense system. Mr. Ivanov opposes any plans by the United States to change the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, which bars such systems. (Signed)
    NEB/MDP/JWH/KBK 23-May-2000 13:11 PM EDT (23-May-2000 1711 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=5/23/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262717
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were lower today (Tuesday), as the market continues showing a lack of direction and some confusion among investors. A wave of late selling ended an otherwise quiet trading day. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 120 points, over one percent, to 10-thousand-422. The Standard and Poor's 500 index, which measures the broader market, fell nearly two percent. The technology-weighted Nasdaq composite lost almost six percent, closing at its lowest level of the year. Many analysts expect the market to remain quiet until later in the week when a flurry of new economic data will be released.

    ///REST OPT///

    Analyst Mary Lisanti predicts a relatively lethargic market in New York well into the summer months:

    ///LISANTI ACT///

    Yes, I think so, until we get some evidence that the economy is slowing or not slowing, until we get some sense of when the last "Fed" rate hikes are. I think that's what we're going to see. Underneath it, I think it's important to note that the market is broadening out and it is becoming more and more a market of stocks. And different stocks are starting to do better, as opposed to the first quarter when it was just technology stocks.

    ///END ACT///

    The high valuation of many big-name technology stocks is still pressuring the market. Shares of Cisco, maker of computer networking equipment, and chip-maker Intel both lost more than six percent. In other news, the European Commission has given anti- trust approval to the merger of U-S drug maker Pfizer and rival Warner-Lambert. This brings the more than one-billion dollar deal a step closer to reality. U-S regulators are expected to give their approval in a few weeks. The merger will create the world's second largest drug-making company. Walt Disney Company has closed down Toysmart-dot-com, only nine months after it acquired a majority stake in the online toy retailer. Disney, focused on its "bottom line," cited intense competition in the online toy market. It said - after careful review - it concluded the best course of action was to cease operations. Analysts have noted that the troubled online retailing industry is now shrinking as fast as it grew. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/KBK 23-May-2000 17:06 PM EDT (23-May-2000 2106 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=5/23/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11832
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=

    INTRO: A U-S House of Representatives vote on normalizing trade relations with China is scheduled for tomorrow, and some editorials are commenting on the issue. South Africa's president visited the White House Monday and there is more comment on the extent of the AIDS epidemic in that country. Scanning the editorials one finds thoughts on the Israeli pullout of Southern Lebanon; the victory of reformers after a recount in Iran's election; exaggerated reports of the Kosovo air war a year ago; and the armed coup in the Pacific Island nation of Fiji. Now here is _________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The U-S media continues to forcefully support normalizing trade relations with China permanently, instead of debating the issue each year. The Dallas Morning News says today:

    VOICE: The U-S House of Representatives must not fail to approve permanent normal trade relations with China on Wednesday. Rejection would be a monumental mistake, which the United States would soon regret. // OPT // It would cost U-S jobs, damage relations with an incipient world power and signal the start of a new isolationist phase in U-S politics. // END OPT //

    TEXT: On the West Coast, The San Jose [California] Mercury News has similar sentiments, suggesting a defeat would hand U-S trade and foreign policy in Asia "a colossal setback."

    VOICE: The majority of the Bay Area's delegation would bear heavy blame if that happens. Other than America's heartland, no region stands to gain as much [as the Bay Area] from the trade concessions that the Clinton administration wrested from China. ... And yet, in a vote that remains far closer than the issue deserves, only four of the region's nine members ... are backing permanent trade status.

    TEXT: The Wall Street Journal says a "yes" vote will strengthen the hand of the emerging, young, high- technology Chinese who will be the leaders of tomorrow, and who are more democratically inclined than the present leadership.

    VOICE: The Chinese who will drive the process [of political change] are the younger professionals whose ambition is thwarted by corruption and poor governance. Trade and economic freedom enhance their power and shape their outlook. As foreign businesses assert their W-T-O [World Trade Organization] - guaranteed rights, that encourages local firms to claim the same right to noninterference by the government. That encourages individuals to press for the right to control more aspects of their own lives.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: Lastly, as to the critics who plan to vote "no" because of China's dismal human-rights record, The Boston Globe replies:

    VOICE: ... a vote against permanent normal trade relations for China would not improve human rights in China and would not preserve American jobs.

    // END OPT //

    TEXT: South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, met Monday with President Clinton at the White House to talk about AIDS and Africa's other problems. Today several papers are discussing the terrible AIDS situation in South Africa. The Washington Post says this could be a turning point in South Africa's struggle with the illness.

    VOICE: Earlier this month, five major drug makers cut the price of AIDS drugs sold to developing countries, and President Clinton issued an executive order increasing poor nations' access to cheap medicine. That progress came on top of April's World Bank- International Monetary Fund meeting, at which the industrialized countries emphasized their willingness to finance the international fight against AIDS. The rich nations' belated engagement ... puts the onus on Mr. Mbeki to start tackling the biggest challenge facing his country. /// OPT ///... rather than follow the example of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, who has spoken out repeatedly about AIDS, Mr. Mbeki has retired to his office to study it. ... This ... is tragic ... Some 16-hundred South Africans are being infected every day. Time is pressing. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The Chicago Tribune, however, criticizes President Mbeki for his stance against the traditional wisdom on the illness.

    VOICE: ... what ought to be dominating coverage of this visit - and [president] Clinton should lead the chorus on this - is [President] Mbeki's curious challenge to prevailing scientific views about what caused AIDS, the scourge that U-S intelligence predicts could one-day kill a quarter of South Africa's 40-million inhabitants. ... Incredibly, however, [Mr.] Mbeki ... [argues] that his country had to chart its own course in dealing with AIDS - including consulting dissident scientists who reject the view that the H-I-V virus causes AIDS.

    TEXT: Turning to the Middle East, Israel's increasingly volatile, and hurried pullout from its former Southern Lebanon security zone, with Hezbollah guerrillas in close pursuit, elicits this from The New York Times.

    VOICE: Israel's hopes for an orderly withdrawal ... were jolted yesterday by the sudden disintegration of large sections of the Southern Lebanon Army, a pro-Israeli militia. With Syria's blessing, Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas quickly moved into the vacuum left by the militia's collapse, seizing fortified positions laden with Israeli munitions and occupying a slice of the zone reaching to the Israeli border ... [increasing] the danger to Israeli troops still in Lebanon and to Israeli civilians across the border.

    TEXT: The belated ballot-box recount victory of reformist candidates in and around Tehran, in Iran's recent parliamentary elections, draws this happy note from Newsday, on New York's Long Island.

    VOICE: Sometimes, even in the most improbable of places, the good guys win.

    TEXT: In troubled Kosovo province in Yugoslavia, NATO peacekeepers are trying to keep Serbs and Albanians from each other's throats. Today's Houston Chronicle says the depiction of the war soon after it ended, and today's assessment are far different. For one thing:

    VOICE Kosovo has been, in essence, partitioned into an ethnic state apart from the remainder of Yugoslavia. ... [And] The May 15th issue of Newsweek International details a damage report that is being downplayed by senior U-S military officials because it shows a different picture from the almost too good to be true "antiseptic war, fought by pilots flying safely three-miles high." The report ... says ... that kill rates against mobile forces such as artillery and tanks were far less than effective...

    TEXT: The renewed attack by Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic against the last remaining independent media in his country brings this retort from The St. Petersburg [Florida] Times.

    VOICE: Last week ... Armed government goons stormed the Belgrade headquarters of... the only independent national television station to survive the war, and pulled the plug. Serbian police also shut down Yugoslavia's highest- circulation newspaper, Blic, and several other television and radio stations. ... The opposition will have to work that much harder, since the only news filtering down to the people is state-controlled.

    // OPT //

    TEXT: Casting an eye toward Africa, The Boston Globe is angry at the new fighting in the "Horn of Africa," viewing it as pointless battle between Ethiopia and Eritrea - fighting over an inconsequential piece of real estate.

    /// END OPT //

    TEXT: And lastly, the nation's Pacific-Island daily afternoon paper, The [Honolulu] Star-Bulletin says the attempted coup in Fiji will harm - relations between the Indians and the indigenous Melanesians and sets back the cause of democracy. It adds:

    VOICE: The coup is a grave setback for democracy and interracial relations in Fiji ... a leader among South-Pacific nations. Washington should apply pressure on the coup leaders to abandon this misguided effort and restore constitutional government.

    TEXT: That concludes this sampling of editorials from Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 23-May-2000 12:00 PM EDT (23-May-2000 1600 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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