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Voice of America, 00-07-03

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: The European Commission has published a list of 190 Yugoslav companies that will be exempted from the European Union's sanctions against Yugoslavia and its main component, Serbia. Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels on the European Union's so called, "white list" of Yugoslav companies.

    TEXT: The Olimex private trade society on Lola Ribara Street in the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade is exempted from European Union sanctions. So is the Radovic Company, Limited, in the Serbian city of Valjevo. They are among 190 companies that have been cleared of any connection with the Yugoslav Federal government or the Serbian Republic government. Companies operating in the smaller Yugoslav republic of Montenegro or in the internationally administered region of Kosovo are not subject to European Union trade sanctions. The European Union wanted to publish a positive list of Yugoslav and Serbian companies to better target its sanctions against companies that it sees as being under the control of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Some 300 companies have applied to the European Union swearing that they have nothing to do with the Federal or Republic governments. The 190 are the first to be approved and the European Commission expects another 50 will be exempted later this month. Commission spokesman Gunnar Wiegand describes the proof the companies must provide to win the exemption.

    /// Wiegand Act ///

    The proof, which is required, is that either there is a minimum trade going on, that means under 100-thousand Euros per month, or that these companies are not active in certain areas like chemistry or steel or banking where we have a total domination of state operators--or that they can withhold revenues obtained from any kind of governmental interference.

    /// End Act ///

    Many of the first 190 companies exempted have names that point to their foreign sponsorship, such as Proctor and Gamble Marketing and Services, or Siemens, both located in Belgrade.

    /// OPT ///

    There have been concerns expressed about the European Union publishing a so-called "white list" or positive list of companies because it might expose the favored companies to retaliation by the Yugoslav or Serbian governments. Spokesman Wiegand downplays any added risk.

    /// WIEGAND ACT // OPT ACT ///

    I think it would be slightly underestimating the capacities of the Milosevic regime. They know precisely who does trade with the West, so we do not expose these companies to any particular risk.

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

    The European Union ministers decided to have the Commission draw up the positive list of companies last April when they lifted their ban on air flights to Yugoslavia. At the same time they added additional names to a list of some 800 Yugoslavs who are banned from traveling to the European Union because of their connections to the Yugoslav and Serbian governments. (SIGNED) NEB/RP/GE/JM/rae 03-Jul-2000 10:17 AM EDT (03-Jul-2000 1417 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Wall Street had a shorter-than-usual trading session on Wall Street Monday in advance of the American Independence Day holiday (on July 4th). But stock prices moved higher, boosted by some positive economic news. (U-S financial markets are closed Tuesday.) V-O-A's Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 112 points higher, over one percent, at 10-thousand-560. The Standard and Poor's 500 index went up 14 points. The NASDAQ composite gained two-thirds of one percent.

    // OPT //

    Trading is now officially into the second half of the year. The technology-weighted NASDAQ index is slightly down since January 1st, but it is up almost 50 percent since this date last year. The Dow Industrials, on the other hand, are about five percent lower for the 12-month period, and down around eight percent for the year. // END OPT // Many Americans are away at beaches this week, and activity on Wall Street is expected to be below normal. Analyst Robert Harrington says a key jobs report Friday will probably be the only excitement:

    /// HARRINGTON ACT ///

    Well, I think it's a big vacation week. So I think on a relative basis it will be somewhat quiet. But we'll look for the employment numbers on Friday as the next clue to whether the six Fed interest rate hikes are doing the job in controlling inflation and making sure supplies are able to catch up with the strong demand.

    /// END ACT ///

    The latest on the U-S economy shows manufacturing expanded in June but at its slowest pace in 17 months. This fits the picture of a slowing economy.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Boeing, the world's largest airplane maker, is shifting strategy to boost profits. Boeing plans to sell off its small parts division to focus on more specialized assembly of airplanes. The small parts unit has not been lucrative for Boeing. German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom reportedly is considering a multibillion-dollar bid for U-S long distance carrier Sprint. A German newspaper says the two companies have held preliminary talks. Last week, U-S antitrust regulators said they would not approve a proposed merger between Sprint and the number-two U-S phone company, WorldCom. (Signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/WTW 03-Jul-2000 14:35 PM EDT (03-Jul-2000 1835 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The growing problem of international trafficking in people gets more attention in the editorial pages of the U-S press, as does the sending of additional aid to Colombia to combat drug trafficking. Other topics to be found on the editorial pages include: the Supreme Court abortion decision; a modest move toward campaign finance reform; the AIDS pandemic in Africa and sharing power in Zimbabwe after the election. Now here is _________ with a closer look at today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The New York Times uses the death of 58 Chinese immigrants in a truck trying to sneak into England at the Port of Dover to discuss the problem of alien smuggling. The paper says the deaths:

    VOICE: ... provided stark witness to the rising global traffic in people who illegally cross borders and whole continents in search of a better life. ... They represented only a tiny part of the flow of millions making dangerous journeys to distant lands. ... Fighting this trade is extremely difficult, in part because governments know so little about these cross- border enterprises. ... Many countries need to enact anti-trafficking laws. Much more also needs to be done to help victims of this trade.

    TEXT: Sunday's Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah prints a column by Paul Montgomery in its editorial space. He makes the point that after the political outrage that always follows such an incident as the one in Dover, things quickly return to normal.

    VOICE: The next day, in those same... muddy roads, hopeful migrants gather again, waiting their chance. The same employers looking for cheap labor are there, the same consumers looking for cheaper goods are there and the same poor counties supporting their finances with the hard currency sent back by illegals are there. It might be permitted to wonder whether anyone really wants the system to stop. Globalization might be a more powerful force in 2000 than compassion.

    TEXT: In Latin American developments, the recent billion-dollar aid package passed by the Senate for Colombia continues to generate discussion. Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal, noting the intense lobbying campaign of President Andrew Pastrana, wonders about the results.

    VOICE: Colombia has pledged to take extraordinary steps. /// OPT /// Its military command has submitted the names of all 900 members of its new drug-fighting battalion to American officials for vetting. Washington wants to check for reports of human-rights violations or links to criminal activities. /// END OPT /// ...In theory, the plan has persuasive elements. ...Unfortunately, the realities of Colombia have proved daunting and little changed. If [President] Pastrana represents an improvement over his predecessor, whose administration was linked to drug money, the armed forces remain under suspicion.

    TEXT: Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette, after analyzing the risks involved in Colombia, concludes that:

    VOICE: ... Congress was right to act. This is the best of an unfortunate set of choices.

    /// OPT ///

    The undeniable fact is that the democratically elected government of President ... Pastrana is in dire need of help. It has been forced to cede power and territory to leftist guerrilla groups and right-wing militias that fund their ideological mission through drug trafficking. Even absent a threat to a democracy, the deadly products of this trade - heroin and cocaine - directly harm American neighborhoods. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Domestically, the Supreme Court's decision striking down a Nebraska law banning so-called partial birth abortions is also a popular topic. The Washington Post says - it is no surprise that the ... Court struck down [the] ... law... - adding:

    VOICE: Correct though it was the court's action underscores again just how awkward its position in the abortion debate has become. Having made abortion a constitutional issue ... This is an area in which the court sometimes seems to be making up the law as it goes along...

    TEXT: In Connecticut, Waterbury's Republican-American does not like the ruling, noting:

    VOICE: ... even if the so-called right to choose exists, society has the right to require that it be exercised in a timely manner, before it necessitates a cruel, gruesome, indescribably painful form of lethal torture against a baby whose only choice is to die horribly. It is only a matter of time before lawmakers in Nebraska ... [who] have enacted partial-birth abortion bans will get it right [re-writing laws that will be found constitutional]

    TEXT: The pandemic of AIDS sweeping through sub- Saharan Africa continues to worry editorial writers. The St. Petersburg [Florida] Times laments:

    VOICE: Worse than any flood, any famine, any war, AIDS is laying waste to the people of sub- Saharan Africa. In a statistic so daunting it can barely be fathomed, the United Nations has predicted that half of all 15-year-olds in the worst-hit countries in Africa will die of AIDS, even if by some miracle the rate of infection is slowed. An entire continent of adults is dying of a disease that is eminently preventable. ...Containing the spread of AIDS should be at the top of the world's agenda. ///OPT /// Certainly, the wealthier nations, such as ours, should contribute mightily to the cause, but to rein in this plague, African countries have to make it an overriding priority. ... /// END OPT

    /// This is an international tragedy on the scale of a world war. It deserves the attention, commitment and resources such a war would bring.

    TEXT: Monday's Chicago Tribune adds:

    VOICE: The United Nations ... report ... should be a call to arms for health workers, individual countries, and the international community to redouble their efforts to battle a disease that many Americans wrongly think has been brought under control. And the fact that the worst news is in Africa should be a wakeup call for Americans as well, who are not immune to the fallout and should not be disinterested in Africa's agony.

    TEXT: Still with African affairs, Charleston's [South Carolina] Post and Courier, noting the big opposition gains in Zimbabwe's recent parliamentary elections, is hopeful of the conciliatory tone of President Robert Mugabe's post-balloting comments.

    VOICE: Instead of inciting violence and race hatred as he had during the campaign, President Mugabe said he would work with Parliament. ...There is hope that with his power limited, President Mugabe will pursue the path of reconciliation and end race-baiting attacks on whites, who play a key role in the economy. ... The presence of a healthy opposition in Parliament will put pressure on him to change his ways.

    TEXT: The prospect of the United States joining a United Nations sponsored International Court of Justice is worrying several papers including the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Free Press.

    VOICE: While U-S courts are not perfect, they are based upon a system of specific law enacted by elected representatives of our people. ... The danger arises ... if the United States subjects itself to participation in "international courts." They would not be under our control ...[and] ... their standards would be quite different from ours, opening the way for Americans to be victimized unjustly.

    TEXT: The Indianapolis [Indiana] Star agrees, adding:

    VOICE: Most Americans would and should be furious at the notion of U-S troops being subject to a U-N version of justice.

    TEXT: That concludes this sampling of editorial comment from Monday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 03-Jul-2000 12:06 PM EDT (03-Jul-2000 1606 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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