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Voice of America, 00-06-09

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] GREECE BRITAIN ATTACK (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [02] U-N-H-C-R / KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY GORDON MARTIN (GENEVA)
  • [03] KOSOVO / U-N (L-ONLY) BY LARRY FREUND (NEW YORK)
  • [04] KOSOVO / MITROVICA BY EVE CONANT (MITROVICA)
  • [05] NATO / DEFENSE MINISTERS (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [06] NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS (L-UPDATE) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [08] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] GREECE BRITAIN ATTACK (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=6/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-263316
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The Greek terrorist group, known as November 17, has claimed responsibility for the assassination Thursday of Britain's military attache in Athens. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London that Stephen Saunders' widow is appealing for help to find the killers.

    TEXT: The 13-page letter sent to a leftist newspaper in Athens says November 17 killed Stephen Saunders because he had helped plan NATO's bombing raids against Serb forces in Kosovo. The document compares NATO's 1999 campaign to Adolf Hitler's annexation of Czechoslovakia during World War Two. The group also claimed responsibility for a series of terrorist attacks last year that Greek police had already suspected were the work of November 17. Britain has stepped up security at its diplomatic mission in Athens and has offered cooperation in finding the killers. On Thursday roadblocks were set up in and around Athens. The search continues for the two killers who ambushed Mr. Saunders as he drove to work early Thursday morning. In Athens, Mr. Saunders' widow (Helen) appealed for help in finding the men who gunned down her husband.

    ///SAUNDERS ACT///

    Anyone who saw anything, even a little thing, who knows anything, please tell the police so no one else has to go through what myself and my family are going through today.

    ///END ACT ///

    The terrorist group, November 17, has claimed responsibility for more than 20 killings since it first surfaced in 1975. Greek officials, Turkish and American diplomats were among the victims, including the U-S Central Intelligence Agency station chief, who was murdered in 1975. The U-S State Department has listed Greece, just after Colombia, for the highest number of terrorist attacks. Greek and other authorities now express concern for security when Athens hosts the Olympics in 2004. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/GE/PLM 09-Jun-2000 06:25 AM EDT (09-Jun-2000 1025 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] U-N-H-C-R / KOSOVO (L-ONLY) BY GORDON MARTIN (GENEVA)

    DATE=6/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-263326
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A year after NATO peacekeepers took charge of Kosovo, a new report says the hope of creating peaceful coexistence for the ethnic communities has been frustrated and violence continues. Gordon Martin has this report from Geneva.

    TEXT: A report prepared jointly by the United Nations refugee agency (U-N-H-C-R) and the O-S-C-E, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, demonstrates in detail the scale and ethnically motivated nature of the violence that continues in Kosovo. The report says that from February to May this year, it was mostly Serbs who have been the victims of violent attacks. Many ethnic Albanians in Kosovo suffered terribly and lost virtually everything in past years, says Ron Redmond, spokesman of the U-N refugee agency. Mr. Redmond says that in the past year since the NATO bombing campaign ended, a lot has been accomplished in Kosovo.

    /// REDMOND ACT ///

    But there's one glaring failure that can't be ignored. That's the continuing cycle of violence, revenge and displacement. We knew when we went back that the hatreds ran deep. But we did not believe that the refugees and victims that U-N-H-C-R had helped in exile would soon become the oppressors. And that means also employing many of the same disgusting tactics that were used against them at one time. In the past year, tens of thousands of Serbs and other minorities have fled Kosovo. Each departure has further eroded hopes for at least a semblance of multi-ethnicity and tolerance. Killings, kidnappings, bombings, beatings, arson attacks and other abuses continue unabated.

    /// END ACT //

    /// OPT ///

    This past week has, in fact, been one of the worst, with eight Serbs murdered, as Secretary General Kofi Annan reminded the U-N in New York. /// END OPT /// The report from the U-N refugee agency and the O-S-C-E says the situation in the town of Mitrovica continues to be of concern, and it is not yet clear whether the establishment of a so-called "confidence area" in the middle of the divided town will lead to major improvement.

    /// OPT ///

    The report also says the lack of security and limitations on freedom of movement are the major dangers facing the minority communities. Criminal activity remains unacceptably high and there is a continuing shortage in staffing for the Kosovo police force. There is also no properly functioning and impartial judicial system in place. /// END OPT
    ///
    Serbs and Roma in practically every area of Kosovo, the report says, require a security escort to venture beyond the limits of their immediate surroundings. Many of Kosovo's minority children attend separate schools from the majority population and need security escorts to reach their segregated schools safely. The join report concludes that the degree to which minorities are able to enjoy their rights and participate in society will be a measure of success of the international stewardship in Kosovo with important implications for regional stability. The U-N-H-C-R warns that all the efforts of the United Nations, security forces and police will not stop the violence in Kosovo. In the end, the refugee agency argues, only the ethnic Albanians themselves can halt the violence. (Signed)
    NEB/GM/GE/KL 09-Jun-2000 12:38 PM EDT (09-Jun-2000 1638 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] KOSOVO / U-N (L-ONLY) BY LARRY FREUND (NEW YORK)

    DATE=6/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-263328
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The head of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, says the security situation there is very precarious for non-Albanians, although he adds crime in Kosovo has dropped spectacularly. He made his comments to the U-N Security Council today (Friday), a day ahead of the first anniversary of its authorization of an international peace force for Kosovo. Correspondent Larry Freund reports.

    TEXT: Mr. Kouchner's comments echo those of U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan who reports an upsurge in attacks on Kosovo Serbs, and that understanding and tolerance in Kosovo remain scarce. Mr. Kouchner - speaking through an interpreter - describes the situation in Kosovo as precarious for non-Albanians.

    /// KOUCHNER INTERPRETOR ACT///

    There are still too many deaths, too many murders. One has to look at progress made in the security area and significant progress has been made over the last year. We reduced by 10 times the amount of crime. But there is still too much crime, too many murders, too much violence, too many fires, arson, too many horrors committed, particularly against the Kosovar Serbs.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Kouchner told the Security Council that crime in Kosovo has dropped spectacularly but he said there is still too much and he said two-thirds of serious crime can be attributed to inter-ethnic hatred. A delegation of Serbian Kosovars met at the United Nations with U-N diplomats and Russia's representative Sergey Lavrov quotes them as saying the situation for Serbs in Kosovo has become intolerable. While Mr. Kouchner - head of the U-N mission in Kosovo - pointed to the demilitarization of the Kosovo Liberation Army during the past year, the Russian representative described the process as unsatisfactory and the overall situation in Kosovo as extremely disturbing. United States Representative Richard Holbrooke endorsed Mr. Kouchner's remarks, although he complained that no representatives of Kosovo's Albanian community were present for the Security Council's discussions.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Mr. Kouchner said things are moving along well for the municipal elections in Kosovo scheduled for October, with more than 400 thousand people now registered. However, he said U-N authorities have to convince the Kosovo Serbs to register.

    /// KOUCHNER INTERPRETOR ACT ///

    It is in the interest of the Serbs and the other minorities to work together with the international authority. So far from Belgrade and from Mr. Milosevic's regime we have received negative answers. And we do regret that. The municipal elections will be held this year whatever the responses we get.

    /// END ACT///

    Mr. Kouchner told the Security Council that life in Kosovo is getting back to normal even though there is not full security yet. There are, he said, no grounds for despair. (Signed)
    NEB/NY/LSF/PW 09-Jun-2000 14:14 PM EDT (09-Jun-2000 1814 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] KOSOVO / MITROVICA BY EVE CONANT (MITROVICA)

    DATE=6/9/2000
    TYPE=NEWS FEATURE
    NUMBER=5-46475
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: It has been almost one year since K-FOR (Kosovo Stabilization Force) peacekeepers entered Kosovo, but there is little peace in the divided city of Mitrovica, where a bridge, barbed wire and French soldiers are the only buffer between the city's Serb and Ethnic Albanian communities. Correspondent Eve Conant reports the Serbs of Mitrovica have started to blockade all roads into their sector to draw attention to the dangers they face.

    TEXT: Kosovo's northern city of Mitrovica is one on the best examples of how the hatred and mistrust between ethnic Albanians and Serbs has hardly dissipated in the year since K-FOR troops rolled in to keep the peace. On one side of the Ibar River that divides the town is the thriving Albanian community; on the other side of the river, across a bridge and several K-FOR checkpoints, is the Serb sector. Today there is a protest, a peaceful one, says the Serbs' leader, 47-year-old Oliver Ivanovich. Their protest is a blockade of all traffic in and out of their part of Mitrovica for two hours each evening. As he walks the deserted streets with his cellphone, Mr. Ivanovich has been organized to draw the world's attention to the danger the Serbs face even in their carefully guarded fortress city. Some roads leading into the Serb sector of Mitroivica are blocked by parked cars and trucks. The Serbs are also using dumpsters, truck tires, old rusty stoves and, most effective of all, themselves. A crowd of Serbs, dozens of young me but also old men on bicycles and teenage girls wearing spandex and red berets, mill about in the middle of the road, blocking a convoy of French K-FOR troops. The French commander jumps from his tank and demands to know what is going on. A Serb man tries in broken English to explain the tanks will have to wait a few more minutes, until eight o'clock, when the blockade will be ended for the night. This blockade is only planned for a few hours each night and only for a few days. The Serbs say they are desperate to bring attention to their dismal situation. "What kind of life is this?" asks one man as he leans against an old stove in the middle of the dusty road. He says, "We have no phones, no electricity, no water. Most of all, we have no freedom to move. We are trapped in a tiny circle." International officials are increasingly condemning the violence against the Serb minority in Kosovo, but the Serbs of Mitrovica say they will defend themselves if they have to because they don't trust K-FOR peacekeepers to do it for them. Nor do they expect to have any political voice, as Kosovo's government is gradually being formed. Mitrovica's Serb leader, Oliver Ivanovich, says he has told his people to boycott elections in Kosovo, planned for October. For the Serbs, one year later Kosovo is still a war zone. U-N officials say that during the first six days of June, eight Serbs were murdered, including a four-year old boy killed by machinegun fire. But on this day the Serb children of Mitrovica feel safe, as they play ball on an empty downtown street. The children are safe because just over their shoulders are dozens of Serb men guarding the bridge to the Albanian section of town. Beyond the Serb bridge watchers are French K-FOR peacekeepers, barbed wire and tanks. Beyond that is the rest of Kosovo, where the Serbs say they know they are not welcome. (Signed)
    NEB/EC/KL 09-Jun-2000 14:48 PM EDT (09-Jun-2000 1848 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] NATO / DEFENSE MINISTERS (L-ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=6/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-263319
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO Defense Ministers met with their Russian counterpart in Brussels Friday to get more details on Moscow's proposal for a joint European anti-missile defense system. Correspondent Laurie Kassman has the story.

    TEXT: Russia's defense minister, Igor Sergeyev, provided information about the Russian proposal, but the 19 NATO ministers say they need to read it more carefully. Mr. Sergeyev did not offer any details to the media in Brussels but assured them the plan does not violate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. U-S defense officials say the Russian plan for a joint European anti-missile system must not replace in any way the U-S project of a missile defense shield. One official suggested it could supplement -- but not substitute for -- the U-S system. Washington says the system would protect against attacks from rogue states like North Korea or Iraq. Moscow has opposed the U-S plan as a threat to European security that could spark a global arms race. NATO defense ministers also discussed future weapons procurement plans that envision multilateral purchases. The United States, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Portugal and the Netherlands have announced they will look at joint purchases of precision air-to- ground equipment to save on the high costs. U-S Defense Secretary William Cohen sees the joint purchases as another way to strengthen the European pillar of the trans-Atlantic alliance by pooling resources to maximize purchasing power.
    NEB/LK/GE/KL 09-Jun-2000 08:35 AM EDT (09-Jun-2000 1235 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS (L-UPDATE) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=6/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-263325
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: THIS REPORT UPDATES CR 2-263319 / WITH SECRETARY COHEN'S COMMENTS ///

    INTRO: NATO defense ministers met with their Russian colleagues in Brussels Friday to get more details about Moscow's proposal for a joint European anti- missile defense system. V-O-A correspondent Laurie Kassman reports that U-S officials warned against competing with the proposed U-S missile defense project.

    TEXT: Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev provided more information about the Russian proposal, but the 19 NATO ministers say they need to read it more carefully. U-S Defense Secretary William Cohen suggests the Russian proposal is not feasible. He says it would not provide enough protection for Europe or the United States. Mr. Cohen says the Russian project appears to be based on intermediate or short-range missile capabilities -- not enough to cover much of Europe. Mr. Sergeyev did not offer any details of the project to the media in Brussels, but assured them the plan does not violate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. U-S defense officials say any proposed joint European anti-missile system could only supplement, but not substitute for the U-S system, which is scheduled to undergo another test in July. The United States says the system would protect against attacks from rogue states like North Korea or Iraq. Russia has opposed the U-S plan as a threat to European security that could spark a global arms race. NATO defense ministers also discussed future weapons procurement plans that envision multilateral purchases. The United States, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, and the Netherlands have announced they will look at joint purchases of precision air-to- ground equipment to save on the high costs. U-S Defense Secretary Cohen sees the move as another way to strengthen the so-called "European pillar" of the trans-Atlantic alliance by pooling resources to maximize purchasing power. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/JWH/JP 09-Jun-2000 11:55 AM EDT (09-Jun-2000 1555 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=6/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-263334
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were mixed today (Friday), with "blue-chips" sliding despite some positive economic news. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54 points, one-half of one percent, to 10-thousand-614. The Industrials are down about 177 points, or less than two percent for the week. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed four points lower. But the Nasdaq composite held on for a gain of more than one percent. The technology-weighted index is up almost two percent for the week. A benign inflation report showing prices at the producer, or wholesale, level unchanged in May gave the "blue-chips" a big bounce in early trading. But a triple-digit gain evaporated fast, as uncertainty returned about the impact of a slowing economy.

    /// BEGIN OPT ///

    Analyst Bryan Piskorowski anticipates a market rally over the next few months, even though he says it is still not clear whether interest rates will be going up again later this month:

    /// PISKOROWSKI ACT ///

    I think the one thing to take away here is that we're closer to the end of "Fed" rate hikes (EDS: interest rate increases by the U-S central bank) than we are to the beginning. Whether or not we see 25-basis points (EDS: a one-quarter percent rate increase) at the June meeting is still a little bit "up in the air" (uncertain). We could see no move. But definitely with the data we got last Friday, and with a fairly benign P-P-I (producer price index) today, we're definitely headed in the right direction.

    /// END ACT ///

    The central bank has raised interest rates six times over the past year in an effort to slow down the pace of U-S economic growth.

    /// END OPT ///

    More economic data comes out next week. A retail report on Tuesday could be important. It will show whether there has been any slowing in consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the U-S economy.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Lucent technology, the most widely held U-S stock, dropped five percent. A brokerage firm cut its earnings estimates for the company for this year and next, saying Lucent has been trying to boost business faster than its own estimate for overall growth in the telecommunications market. Shares of McDonald's were down sharply after the world's biggest restaurant chain reported disappointing sales during the month of May. McDonald's was hurt both by poor sales in the United States, as well as by a weak European currency. Analysts were quick to assure investors that one month's showing does not make a trend and McDonald's stock is still a very good buy. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/JP 09-Jun-2000 16:56 PM EDT (09-Jun-2000 2056 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ERIKA EVANS (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=6/9/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11863
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-2702
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A U-S federal judge has ordered Microsoft to be split in two and for the third day in a row, U-S editorial columns are overflowing with comments on the historic antitrust case and Wednesday's ruling. Other topics being discussed include the bloody crisis in Sierra Leone, political infighting in Israel and its effect on Mideast peace talks, and the debate over U-S policy toward Cuba. Now here is _________________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: In a decision with potentially far-reaching consequences, a U-S federal judge has ordered Microsoft broken in two for violating antitrust law and dominating competition in the computer software industry. The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina asks the question, "Just who will benefit if the Justice Department succeeds in breaking apart Microsoft?"

    VOICE: Surely, Microsoft's competitors will enjoy seeing the company hamstrung by strict government regulations over its business activities. But antitrust law was never meant to tilt the playing field toward competitors who have lost out in the marketplace; it is supposed to protect consumers from high prices and slow innovation. By this standard the Justice Department fails miserably. (OPT) Consumers seem to be the last people on the government's mind. .The Justice department seems to be locked in a Depression-era understanding of markets - one that assumes technologies go unchanged for decades, and that capital is unavailable to those who would challenge established business. But this is not the 1920s and Microsoft is not Standard Oil. (END OPT)

    TEXT: The Charlotte Observer goes on to say if Microsoft breaks up, the price of the "windows" computer operating system could triple.

    VOICE: Not only do the facts establish the proposed breakup will not produce the benefits the government claims, but basic economics suggest that splitting Microsoft would mean higher prices for Windows. (opt) .Perhaps dismantling the Evil Empire would unleash innovation that compensates consumers for higher software prices. Believing that requires a leap of faith. .The court's rush to judgement makes it even more likely that Microsoft will prevail in the appellate courts. Yet even if Microsoft emerges unscathed, it will be hard to put the regulatory genie back in the bottle. From now on, companies inclined to risk all to scale the heights of the New Economy must know that if they compete hard, they may find themselves marching to a judge's orders.(END OPT)

    TEXT: The Baltimore Sun in Maryland says that the breakup may be premature.

    VOICE: The sky will not fall if Microsoft Corporation, the most successful company of the computer age, is forced to split in two.. It may be years before a final, definitive verdict is implemented. By that time, the rapid pace of technological innovation could turn this anti- trust battle into a dispute over a largely obsolete computer operating system. .Increased competition - the ultimate goal - would benefit consumers and lead to more innovative products. But the market place, far more than the courts, could have the most to say about the pace and direction of the computer revolution.

    TEXT: In other news, the Hartford Courant in Connecticut is commenting on the situation in Sierra Leone. The paper says there is a lesson to be learned in the story of this West African nation.

    VOICE: Peace must first be secured before it can be kept. In Sierra Leone, this was hardly the case. The so-called 1999 Lome Peace accord, worked out by African leaders with the blessing of the international community, was full of holes. It unduly rewarded the rebels and their leader, Foday Sankoh, with immunity against their countless hideous crimes. Mr. Sankoh, mastermind of this reign of terror, was even given a cabinet post. Far from encouraging the rebels to embrace peace, these concessions emboldened them to continue their terrible ways. Mr. Sankoh is now in detention. This is a time to deal decisively with the marauders. .An impoverished country under the best of circumstances, Sierra Leone has been devastated by eight years of civil war. Its citizens deserve an end to the misery.

    TEXT: The Los Angeles Times turns its attention to the internal conflict in Israel, where the threat of a bill calling for early elections could hold back peace talks with Palestinians.

    VOICE: This week (Israeli leader Ehud) Barak was humiliated when three of his Knesset coalition partners voted to give preliminary approval to a bill calling for early elections - in effect a vote to topple the government. With crucial Israeli-Palestinian peace talks scheduled to resume near Washington next week, this threat to (Mr.) Barak's authority could not have come at a worse time. .It's a mess, teetering on the edge of crisis. Everyone recognizes that a weakened government facing early elections would be in no position to move forward with peace talks. (OPT) .He (Ehud Barak) may be forced to pay a steep price to keep his parliamentary majority more or less intact. But the cost of the alternative - effectively freezing the peace talks while Israel plods its way through yet another political stalemate - would be heavier still. (OPT)

    TEXT: And lastly, U-S policy toward Cuba sparks discussion in The Washington Post. The paper argues that the U-S should remove the ban on exports of food and medicine. It notes some advocates of removing sanctions on Cuba point to U-S trade with communist China. The Post offers another argument.

    VOICE: The better reason to support sales of food and medicine has to do with U-S ability to mobilize diplomatic support and international opinion to the continued denial of basic freedoms in Cuba. A policy of total embargo isolates the United States, making it more difficult to enlist Canada, Latin America and Europe in such a campaign.. Removing the ban on food and medicine would change that political equation without giving up all U-S leverage. .Lifting the ban makes sense.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from Friday's American press.
    NEB/ENE/PW

    TEXT: NEB// 09-Jun-2000 13:00 PM EDT (09-Jun-2000 1700 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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