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Voice of America, 00-05-30

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO / YUGOSLAVIA (L ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [02] CLINTON - PORTUGAL (S-ONITER) BY DEBORAH TATE (LISBON)
  • [03] CLINTON - PORTUGAL (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (LISBON)
  • [04] CLINTON - PORTUGAL (L-WRAP) BY DEBORAH TATE (LISBON)
  • [05] CLINTON - RUSSIA (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (LISBON)
  • [06] NORTHERN IRELAND (S-ONLY, UPDATE) BY EVANS HAYS (LONDON)
  • [07] NORTHERN IRELAND PROGRESS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [09] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] NATO / YUGOSLAVIA (L ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262982
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO Secretary General George Robertson says he is concerned by reports that Yugoslavia may be working on the development of nuclear weapons. Stefan Bos in Budapest reports Mr. Robertson made the comment at a meeting of the NATO parliamentary assembly in the Hungarian capital.

    TEXT: One of the speakers at the NATO assembly -- the director of the U-S based Center for Nonproliferation Studies, William Potter -- said research shows that Yugoslavia may be able to develop nuclear weapons within two years. NATO Secretary General George Robertson told reporters the report is worrying, and it is another reason to seek the ouster of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ONE ///

    If he has ambitions in the areas of terror weapons, then that is another good reason why we should get rid of him as early as possible.

    /// END ACT ///

    Scientists have said Russia and the United States should work together to make sure Yugoslavia does not misuse its estimated 50 kilograms of weapons-grade material. NATO Secretary General Robertson said he urged Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to end what he called Russia's close ties with officials in the Yugoslav government, some of whom have been indicted for war crimes by the U-N Tribunal at The Hague.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT TWO ///

    We also took the opportunity of expressing our serious concern of the invitation to Moscow of (Yugoslav) Defense Minister (Dragoljub) Odjanic, an individual who has been indicted by the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the United Nations' own tribunal. And Foreign Minister Ivanov made it clear that this was due to an inter-agency mix-up and that disciplinary steps would be taken against those responsible, and that the president of the international criminal tribunal had been informed.

    /// END ACT ///

    A number of delegates at the four-day NATO assembly meeting voiced concern about U-S proposals to develop a new limited missile defense system that they said could lead to a new arms race with Russia. Secretary General Robertson admitted there are disagreements within the alliance on the missile question as well as on a European Union proposal to develop its own military force and other issues.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT THREE ///

    Good discussions on the development of European defense, on national missile defense, on finishing the job in the Balkans, on the enlargement process are taking place. Of course there are going to be areas where there are differences of opinion.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Robertson also said talks will continue with Balkan and Baltic nations that want to join NATO all at the same time. But he said no decision on additional NATO expansion will be made before 2002. (Signed)
    NEB/SB/JWH/JP 30-May-2000 15:06 PM EDT (30-May-2000 1906 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] CLINTON - PORTUGAL (S-ONITER) BY DEBORAH TATE (LISBON)

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262987
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Clinton attends a U-S - European Union summit in Lisbon Wednesday to discuss a range of transatlantic issues, from trade to efforts to fighting infectious diseases. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the Portuguese capital. Text: U-S officials do not expect a breakthrough on two long-standing trade disputes between the United States and the E-U over banana imports and a European ban on hormone-treated U-S beef. But they are optimistic about progress on a joint initiative to combat the global spread of infectious diseases, including aids. Portugal currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. President Clinton paid tribute to the country - which sent explorers to distant lands centuries ago - for its current role in foreign affairs. He spoke during toasts at a state dinner on the eve of the EU meeting.

    // Clinton actuality //

    Today, this nation that once brought the four corners of the world together is working with its EU allies and America to bring the world together to advance democracy and human rights.

    // end act //

    Mr. Clinton's week-long European trip will also take him to Germany, Russia and Ukraine. (signed)
    NEB/DAT/PT 30-May-2000 17:11 PM EDT (30-May-2000 2111 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] CLINTON - PORTUGAL (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (LISBON)

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262953
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Clinton has begun meetings with officials in Portugal, his first stop on a four-nation week-long trip that will also take him to Germany, Russia, and Ukraine. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports. Text: In welcoming Mr. Clinton to Lisbon, Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio outlined an extensive agenda for their bilateral meetings - including promoting democracy around the world, fighting the spread of infectious diseases, and securing independence in East Timor - a former Portuguese colony.

    // SAMPAIO TRANSLATOR ACT //

    I am certain your presence here today will encourage our two governments to face these challenges with renewed vigor.

    // END ACT //

    Portugal abandoned East Timor in 1975, following an army coup in Lisbon. A year later, Indonesia invaded the territory and annexed it. During a U-N-monitored referendum last year, East Timorese voted to break away from Jakarta's rule. The United Nations set up a transitional administration in East Timor to prepare it for self-rule. After reviewing the troops at his arrival ceremony, President Clinton thanked Portugal for its role in bringing independence to East Timor:

    // CLINTON ACT //

    I thank Portugal, especially for its constant commitment to East Timor's freedom. Just before the ceremony began today, the President told me that some of the troops who marched for us soon will join the peacekeeping mission in East Timor. I know this nation is proud of those troops and their mission. On behalf of the American people, I thank you for it.

    // END ACT //

    Mr. Clinton also paid tribute to Portugal's efforts to fight AIDS - especially in its former colonies in Africa. Speaking at the Tower of Belem - marking the spot where Portuguese explorers set sail centuries ago for distant lands, he noted Portugal is on a new voyage of discovery in its quest to combat the deadly disease. The President - who has cited the global spread of AIDS as a U-S national security threat - is to speak to Portuguese researchers working with American experts on the AIDS crisis. Mr. Clinton is the first American President to visit Portugal since Ronald Reagan in 1985. Wednesday, he is to attend a U-S - European Union summit. Portugal currently holds E-U Presidency. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/RAE 30-May-2000 08:18 AM EDT (30-May-2000 1218 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] CLINTON - PORTUGAL (L-WRAP) BY DEBORAH TATE (LISBON)

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262978
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Clinton has promised new U-S efforts with Portugal to fight the spread of infectious diseases in Africa. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports Mr. Clinton made his announcement to scientists at a research facility in Lisbon.

    TEXT: Mr. Clinton says diseases such as AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis are killing not only people, but also hope for progress in many parts of the world particularly Africa. He praised the leading role Portugal is playing in working on the AIDS epidemic in many of its former colonies in Africa, and pledged U-S cooperation with Lisbon on the fight against infectious diseases. Toward that end, the president announced a new joint initiative to study malaria in Sao Tome and Principe. Mr. Clinton is seeking more funding from Congress to combat such diseases. He noted there will be more discussion of the issue at a U-S - European Union summit he will attend Wednesday in the Portuguese capital.

    // CLINTON ACT //

    I hope we come out of the meeting with a common approach to the global health crisis that will increase scientific research, increase the learning opportunities for our young people, and most importantly, keep more people alive in the 21st century.

    // END ACT //

    Earlier, the President was briefed by Prime Minister Antonio Guterres about his recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Mr. Clinton is to have his first summit with the Russian leader later this week. U-S officials say Mr. Guterres told the President that Mr. Putin appears willing to discuss any issue - including Russia's crackdown on the breakaway republic of Chechnya. But, the Portuguese Prime Minister says Mr. Putin remains opposed to a U-S proposal for a national missile defense system, and changes to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty required to establish such a system. Russia believes amending the A-B-M treaty would undermine years of arms-control efforts - an argument the United States disputes. White House aides are not optimistic that Mr. Clinton's visit to Moscow will result in any breakthroughs on the issue.

    // REST OPT //

    Mr. Clinton and Prime Minister Guterres discussed several other issues - from efforts to bring peace and stability to Kosovo, where both U-S and Portuguese troops are serving in a Nato-led peacekeeping mission to East Timor's transformation to self-rule. Mr. Clinton praised Lisbon for its role in paving the way for a independence referendum last year in East Timor a former Portuguese colony that was annexed by Indonesia nearly a quarter-century ago. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with her Portuguese counterpart (Jaime Gama) and signed several agreements, including one streamlining deportation procedures in each country, and another giving each nation's air carriers greater access to the other's air routes. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/RAE 30-May-2000 14:32 PM EDT (30-May-2000 1832 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] CLINTON - RUSSIA (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (LISBON)

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262985
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    // EDS: Re-running w/change from "s" to "L" and must correct the first sentence of last graph from Text ///

    // sidebar to Clinton - Portugal cr //

    INTRO: President Clinton - in Lisbon at the start of a week-long European trip - met with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres Tuesday to discuss, among other things, the Prime Minister's recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Just days before his own summit with the Russian leader, Mr. Clinton was told Mr. Putin remains opposed to a U-S proposal for a limited national missile defense system. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the Portuguese capital. Text: Mr. Guterres told the President Mr. Putin still opposes deployment of a U-S missile shield, and changes to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty that are required to establish such a system. Russia believes amending the ABM treaty would undermine years of arms control efforts. The United States - which wants to build the shield to protect against potential attack from what Washington calls `rogue states', including North Korea and Iran - disputes the Russian argument. White House aides are not optimistic that Mr. Clinton's visit to Moscow beginning Saturday will result in any breakthroughs on the issue. But they say the two leaders will have several more opportunities to discuss the matter later in the year including on the sidelines of an international economic summit in Japan in July, and at the opening of the next United Nations session in New York in September. Mr. Clinton is expected to make a decision on whether to deploy missile defense system later this year after a third test is conducted. Mr. Guterres told the President the Russian leader is willing to discuss any issue - including Moscow's crackdown on the breakaway region of Chechnya. While noting that the Russian President defended his country's actions in Chechnya, the Portuguese Prime Minsiter said Mr. Putin also acknowledged the need to find a political solution to the problem. Mr. Guterres added that Mr. Putin expressed support for sending observers from the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe to the region, although he said some technical details still need to be worked out. (Signed)
    NEB/DAT/PT 30-May-2000 17:21 PM EDT (30-May-2000 2121 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] NORTHERN IRELAND (S-ONLY, UPDATE) BY EVANS HAYS (LONDON)

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262964
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// ED'S: REVISES PHRASING OF 2-262961 /////

    INTRO: Northern Ireland's political leaders are back at their desks in a power-sharing regional government for the first time in more than three-months, as home rule takes effect. V-O-A's Evans Hays in London has this report.

    TEXT: The provincial cabinet ministers are catching up on work left undone since home rule was suspended in February. Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon expressed hope that this time the politicians will create a viable government.

    // MALLON ACT //

    And I want to see this administration being dynamic, creative, imaginative and to (give) hold out to people of Northern Ireland the opportunity of a completely new dispensation, a new way of life and a new political process that will take us into a new beginning.

    // END ACT //

    Whether that will happen remains very much in doubt. The previous home-rule government collapsed in a bitter dispute over disarmament by the outlawed separatist Irish Republican Army (I-R-A). That dispute has been only partly resolved, and there are many pro-British Unionists who say they have no intention of cooperating with the Republicans in a power-sharing government. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EH/GE/RAE 30-May-2000 10:40 AM EDT (30-May-2000 1440 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] NORTHERN IRELAND PROGRESS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11845
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=

    INTRO: The predominantly protestant Ulster Unionists voted this past weekend to rejoin a Northern Ireland legislative assembly, to share local governance with their former hated enemies, the predominantly Roman Catholic Republicans. With the Irish Republican Army compromising on the most sensitive question of disarming, the peace process appears to have, once more, been rescued. The Unionist vote has prompted a swift congratulatory response from some major U-S papers, with more expected. We get a sampling of the early reaction now from ____________ in today's U-S Opinion roundup.

    TEXT: The British government has once again handed back local authority to a legislative assembly in Stormount, Northern Ireland, made up of formerly bitter enemies. The move comes as the Irish Republican Army appears to be compromising on the very difficult issue of disarmament. The I-R-A, after what looked like a long stall, said earlier this month it would place all its weapons on display for a pair of impartial, international observers, and out of reach of its forces. The latest moves draw a good deal of comment, including this from Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette.

    VOICE: It was a close call, but the leading pro- British Protestant party in Northern Ireland has endorsed the reinstatement of a provincial government in which power will be shared with "Nationalist" Catholics, including members of Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army's political wing. Saturday's 53 percent Yes vote by ... the Ulster Unionist Party is a major step forward. It is also a victory for David Trimble, the bespectacled law professor who has put a new and reasonable face on Ulster Unionism.

    TEXT: In Boston, where this country's largest population of people of Irish heritage follows events there with great interest, The Boston Herald comments:

    VOICE: It was the moment to seize the future in Northern Ireland, and David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, managed to move enough members at his party's convention ... to do that. [He] ... had delayed for a week the meeting of the 860-member ruling council to give himself time to lobby party members and perhaps time for world opinion to make its impact on those who can't accept the notion that it's time for peace to take hold. Those who have spent generations fighting and mistrusting each other are reluctant to let go of the hatreds. /// OPT

    /// That's a failing for Protestant and Catholic hard-liners alike. But the fact remains that with rare exception the guns are silent and have been since even before the Good Friday Agreement was ratified. ... /// END OPT /// [Mr.] Trimble, a smart and committed politician, knew that to turn down this offer was to risk international embarrassment. And so he made it work. Now the job of governing lies ahead. After this, that should look easy.

    TEXT: That was the view of the Boston Herald. Writing in The Miami Herald the day before Saturday's vote, nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas is far more pessimistic. His column is based on a recent conversation with the next generation of Irish leaders, Catholic and Protestant, Republican and Unionist, whom he met at Belfast City Hall recently. The comments of one young man, Eoin O'Broin, a 28- year-old Sinn Fein member, seemed to color Mr. Thomas' overall view that peace will be very, very difficult to achieve.

    VOICE: [Mr.] O'Broin says: "It's a myth ... we don't understand each other." He says ... the debate needs to move from a mind-set of one side having victory over the other to compromise. But the nationalists and unionists can't agree even on seemingly simple things. The unionists want to keep flying the Union Jack on government buildings. The nationalists say that the Irish flag ought to be displayed alongside, or there should be no flags at all. The unionists consider this unrealistic because no sovereign nation does such a thing. And so it goes, even in polite company.

    TEXT: Mr. Thomas goes on to quote a young woman member of the Ulster Unionist Party who says she is less sure about the prospects for peace than she was recently, and another woman who is ready to move away from Ireland if this latest effort fails.

    TEXT: The New York Times, however, is more upbeat, calling the vote "Another Gain for Irish Peace."

    VOICE: The vote was a tribute to the statesmanship of the Unionists' leader, David Trimble, who has resumed his post as Northern Ireland's first minister. Mr. Trimble spent the last week in an energetic effort to convince his party not to abandon the peace accords. Gerry Adams, who leads the I-R-A's political wing, Sinn Fein, took the personal and political risk of pressing the I-R-A to make its arms proposal. Mr. Trimble's last hurdle turned out to have nothing to do with disarmament. Unionists were furious that Britain had proposed changing the name of Northern Ireland's police, the royal Ulster Constabulary, to the more neutral Northern Ireland Police Service. The change was one of dozens of necessary reforms recommended by a commission headed by Chris Patten, the former governor of Hong Kong, that sought to make Northern Ireland's police more inclusive and accountable. Currently, 93 percent of its members are protestant. Britain's Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Mandelson, cooled Unionist passions by deleting mention of the name change from the police bill now before ... Parliament and announcing ... other contentious symbolic issues would be decided later. ... A durable peace in Northern Ireland will require not only the kind of political changes that are developing but also a change in powerful institutions like the police.

    TEXT: So writes the New York Times. Back in Boston, The Christian Science Monitor is also cautiously optimistic.

    VOICE: Both sides in Northern Ireland have their work clearly cut out. The Irish Republican Army and its political arm, Sinn Fein, must promptly follow through on pledges to allow international inspection of arms dumps. And the Unionists, who favor continued federation with Britain, must show a capacity to move toward compromise solutions to such emotional issues as reforming the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the provincial police force that ... many Catholics regard as repressive. ... Those are eminently solvable problems - - especially if the thinking in Northern Ireland continues to evolve away from centuries of distrust toward a new era of community.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of early reaction in the U-S press to the latest advance in the Northern Ireland peace effort. NEB/ANG/gm 30-May-2000 15:01 PM LOC (30-May-2000 1901 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-262986
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S stock prices rallied today (Tuesday), with technology shares leading the market higher. Trading volume, however, was relatively light. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 228 points higher, over two percent, at 10-thousand-527. The Standard and Poor's 500 index gained 44 points - over three percent. And the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite shot up over 250 points, almost eight percent. The U-S stock market lost ground last week, due largely to interest rate jitters (nerves). But investors came back after a three-day holiday weekend, looking for bargains. The latest on the U-S economy shows consumer confidence soared to near-record levels in May, despite rising interest rates and a volatile stock market. Experts say the jobless rate, which is the lowest in 30 years, contributes to a sense of well- being among Americans.

    /// REST OPT for long ///

    Analyst Joe Battapaglia believes the stock market is destined for double digit gains again this year, though more modest than the levels of recent years. He says investors are adopting a more discriminating approach, looking more toward corporate profits for guidance:

    ///BATTAPAGLIA ACT///

    I think we're at a point now where the indices themselves will not give out-sized performance, like we saw from the 1995-2000 timeframe. Rather, it's company by company. So what I expect to happen is that earnings will be the discriminating factor for creating the value of a stock price going forward.

    ///END ACT///

    Telecommunications shares were boosted by news that France Telecom is buying the Orange wireless unit from British company Vodafone. The acquisition will make France Telecom Europe's number two mobile-phone company after Vodafone. Vodafone is divesting to clear the way for its merger with Mannesmann of Germany. Motorola shares edged over five percent higher, after the world's second-largest cellular-phone maker said it bought a stake in Trafficmaster Europe, which provides real-time traffic information to motorists. Motorola stock has been way down, having fallen nearly 50 percent from its March 10th high. Sara Lee says it will dispose of some of its businesses in an effort to boost its sagging stock. Sara Lee plans to focus on food and beverages and household products, divesting itself - among other things - of its upscale Coach leather goods business and athletic apparel maker Champion. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT 30-May-2000 16:56 PM EDT (30-May-2000 2056 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

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

    DATE=5/30/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11844
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=

    INTRO: The anticipated resumption of the Northern Ireland legislative assembly, as the peace process moves forward, is captivating the attention of several editorial writers this Tuesday. Another popular topic is normalization of trade with China, while the chaos in Sierra Leone also comes in for attention. A political error by Japan's new Prime Minister is also drawing attention, as is the struggle for more democracy in Iran. Now, here is __________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The British government has once again handed back local authority to a legislative assembly in Stormount, Northern Ireland, made up of formerly bitter enemies. The move comes as the Irish Republican Army appears to be compromising on disarmament, and is drawing a good deal of comment, including this from Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette.

    VOICE: It was a close call, but the leading pro-British [unioionist] party in Northern Ireland has endorsed the reinstatement of a provincial government in which power will be shared with "Nationalist" [republicans], including members of Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army's political wing. Saturday's 53-percent "Yes" vote by ... the Ulster Unionist Party is a major step forward. It is also a victory for David Trimble, the bespectacled law professor who has put a new and reasonable face on Ulster Unionism.

    TEXT: Today's New York Times calls the vote "Another Gain for Irish Peace," and in Boston, The Christian Science Monitor is also cautiously optimistic.

    VOICE: Both sides in Northern Ireland have their work clearly cut out. The Irish Republican Army and its political arm, Sinn Fein, must promptly follow through on pledges to allow international inspection of arms dumps. And the Unionists, who favor continued federation with Britain, must show a capacity to move toward compromise solutions to such emotional issues as reforming the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the provincial police force that ... many Catholics regard as repressive. ... Those are eminently solvable problems - especially if the thinking in Northern Ireland continues to evolve away from centuries of distrust toward a new era of community.

    TEXT: Turning to the recent House of Representatives passage of permanent normal trade with China, Holger Jensen, foreign policy columnist with Denver's Rocky Mountain News warns: [The] Benefits of China trade will not mature overnight.

    VOICE: So what will the China trade bill do for us? It will not, in the short term, deflate our ballooning trade deficit, which hit a record 30- point-one-billion dollars in March. China accounted for five-point-one-billion of this, second-largest after Japan and 23-percent higher than a year ago. ... Organized labor, which opposed the China trade pact, is correct in saying that jobs will be lost ... [However] Whatever jobs are lost will be more than offset by the creation of high-tech jobs caused by the boom in U-S exports to China. ... Some people argue that U-S food prices will rise because we will be shipping all our agricultural products to China. That is hogwash. [totally untrue] U-S farms produce not only more meat, grain, and produce than we can consume, but more than the entire world needs. That is why Congress is about to approve a third straight year of agricultural subsidies, totaling 15-billion dollars, to compensate farmers for low commodity prices. ... Better to grow food for China than pay our farmers not to grow at all.

    TEXT: In Jacksonville, Florida's Times-Union still on trade, says: "Now that the ... House has passed a bill to normalize trade with China ... Congress should take the next logical step and partially restore trade with Cuba." The paper says the inconsistency of the policy simply does not make sense.

    VOICE: If it is OK to trade with a communist country that is a substantial military threat to the United States, why is it wrong to trade with another one that is not?

    TEXT: In Michigan, there is almost an identical editorial in the Detroit News. Lastly with China, today's Providence Journal is upset that the U-N Commission on Human Rights in Geneva has voted against registering "any criticism of China's record on human rights," voting against a U-S- sponsored resolution to that effect.

    TEXT: In African affairs, the chaos in Sierra Leone draws the attention of The Washington Post. The paper cheers the release of the last U-N peacekeeping forces taken hostage by the Revolutionary United Front [R-U- F] guerrillas. And it says the U-S, U-N and neighboring nations now must "make tough decisions about how to finish off the R-U-F and thus set the stage for the stabilization and democratization of Sierra Leone."

    /// OPT ///

    VOICE: ...Finally, the United States and its allies need to settle on a credible strategy for securing the country militarily. Because neither the United States nor Britain will handle the task - which inevitably would risk some combat with the R-U-F, especially those elements holding diamond mines - they should strongly support the one African power willing to do the job: Nigeria.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: A political firestorm continues in Japan after Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori commented that Japan is a divine nation and the emperor is the center of the nation. Monday afternoon's Honolulu Star-Bulletin says: [Mr.] Mori's remarks have shaken confidence in his leadership," adding:

    VOICE: /// OPT /// [Mr.] Mori has been dogged by reports that he was caught in a brothel while he was a college student and that he attended a wedding reception in 1995 in which one of the guests was a notorious gangster. He is suing the magazine that first printed the brothel allegations, and has denied knowing of the gangster's presence at the reception. The comments and damaging reports have made [Mr.] Mori a liability for his party, the ruling Liberal Democrats. /// END OPT /// ... Trying to repair the damage, [Mr.] Mori has declared his support for the principle of separation of church and state. He said he regretted causing misunderstanding by his comments and insisted he did not mean that he supported the imperial system as it existed at the time of World War Two.

    TEXT: Turning to South Asia, today's Hartford [Connecticut] Courant is concerned that in assessing terrorism in that part of the world, The State Department left Afghanistan and Pakistan off the list.

    VOICE: Those named in the annual review are subject to reductions in foreign aid, loans and credit. Afghanistan and Pakistan certainly qualify for placement on the list. // OPT //

    Afghanistan's militant leaders are accused of sheltering such fanatics as Saudi Arabian fugitive Osama bin Laden ... Pakistan, whose elected government was toppled in a military coup last fall, has been the main source of support for nationalist rebels seeking independence for India-controlled Kashmir. ... The State Department gave weak reasons for not adding either country to the list. // END OPT
    //

    TEXT: Lastly, in South Carolina, Charleston's Post and Courier looks toward the Middle East, and the struggle between reformers and hard liners in Iran.

    VOICE: The widely popular movement to create democratic institutions in Iran is under violent attack. Leading journalists have been arrested, 18 newspapers shut down and press freedoms sharply curtailed by conservative clerics. Their ill-considered move, as well as their efforts to overturn the results of February's elections, can only further alienate Iranians already chafing under what they perceive as a "fascist" theocracy.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial columns of Tuesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 30-May-2000 11:01 AM EDT (30-May-2000 1501 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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