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Voice of America, 00-08-04

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

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





    INTRO: The latest round of Cyprus peace talks has ended without agreement and with little prospect of a breakthrough any time soon. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the United Nations mediated peace negotiations will resume next month in New York.

    TEXT: The United Nations has been trying to reunify the divided Mediterranean island since 1974. That is when Turkey invaded the northern part of Cyprus to squelch a Greek-Cypriot coup backed by Greece. All efforts since then to reach a political settlement for Cyprus have failed. U-N mediator Alvaro de Soto says no one should expect a speedy resolution of the dispute.

    /// DE SOTO ACT ONE ///

    I would be pleasantly surprised if there were a comprehensive settlement this year. But, given the sheer bulk of what needs to be negotiated, I doubt that this is possible, which is why I'm urging that the long-view be taken.

    /// END ACT ///

    The negotiations are focusing on four so-called core issues -- all linked to the establishment of a proposed federation of the divided island. They include security, the borders of the two communities, the sharing of power, and the return of refugees, including compensation for lost property. The Turkish-Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, refuses to meet face-to-face with Greek Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides until he agrees to reunite the island as a weak confederation. U-N mediator de Soto says the two sides raised a great variety of issues in separate talks with him.

    /// DE SOTO ACT TWO ///

    Both sides come to the parties talking each from their own script or hymn book. There are many ways of getting to a settlement, and the shortest distance to that lofty goal is not necessarily a straight line.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. de Soto says the United Nations is working for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. He says a partial agreement is not acceptable. And he says everything must be settled in order to put an end to the dispute.

    /// DE SOTO ACT THREE ///

    Since the basis is that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, it is quite possible that you will not be seeing evidence of progress as we go along in dribs and drabs [EDS: slowly, one step at a time]. But, rather that you will have to wait until everything is concluded.

    /// END ACT ///

    The U-N mediator says he has told the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to soberly reflect on what has been discussed and to think about how to move the peace process forward before they resume talks September 12th. (Signed)
    NEB/LS/JWH/JP 04-Aug-2000 09:57 AM LOC (04-Aug-2000 1357 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Britain is pressing Yugoslav authorities for the release of two British citizens who Belgrade says are being detained, along with two Canadians, on suspicion of spying. As correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - the O-S-C-E - says the two Britons are employed as police trainers.

    TEXT: Britain's Foreign Office has protested to the Yugoslav representative in London over the detention of two British nationals and has asked the Brazilian embassy in Belgrade to do the same. Brazil represents British interests in Yugoslavia since London closed its embassy there more than a year ago. A foreign office spokesman says Britain is demanding immediate consular access to the men, who were working as police trainers for the O-S-C-E in Kosovo. The spokesman says Yugoslav authorities have agreed to the consular visit "in principle" but nothing more has been done. A Canadian diplomat in Belgrade is traveling to Montenegro in the hope of visiting the Canadian businessman and his nephew also being held there. O-S-C-E spokesman Mans Nyberg in Vienna says Yugoslavia accuses the four men of illegally entering the province of Montenegro and of training rebel forces there. No official charges have been brought against them, but Serb television showed the four men at a table with knives, wiring and other equipment.

    /// NYBERG ACT ///

    We've heard about illegal weapons and terrorist activities. They seem to be pure fabrications.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Nyberg says the two British police trainers and two Canadians had traveled to neighboring Montenegro for a weekend visit. The province has distanced itself politically from Belgrade and does not require visas for foreigners traveling there, but Yugoslavia's central government does.

    /// OPT NYBERG ACT TWO ///

    You don't need a visa according to the Montenegrin authorities to enter Montenegro. However, the Yugoslav federal authorities do demand a visa. So, unfortunately, what happened was our mission members were caught at the border by the Yugoslav federal army. So when they didn't have visas they were arrested.

    /// END OPT ACT ///

    As a precaution, the O-S-C-E now has banned staffers from traveling to Montenegro. The arrests come a few days after Yugoslav authorities detained four Dutch nationals, accusing them of plotting to kill Yugolsav President Slobodan Milosevic. Belgrade has accused several NATO countries of hiring mercenaries to seize war crimes suspects. The arrests also coincide with rising tensions ahead of the September presidential elections, which Montenegro's leaders have threatened to boycott. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/GE/JP 04-Aug-2000 10:55 AM LOC (04-Aug-2000 1455 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The United Nations Refugee Agency, U-N-H-C-R, is appealing to Germany and other countries not to forcibly deport Kosovo refugees whose lives might be endangered. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the agency says it is concerned by Germany's recent deportation of a Gypsy -- or Roma -- family to Kosovo.

    TEXT: The United Nations Refugee Agency says it is concerned about continued deportations from Germany of members of Kosovo's ethnic Gypsy community, also known as the Roma. It says violence against minorities by the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo continues. The agency reports that on Thursday, the German province of Lower Saxony deported three members of a Gypsy family. U-N-H-C-R spokesman, Ron Redmond says the Gypsies told aid workers when they arrived they had lived in Germany since 1992 and had nowhere to go in Kosovo. He says the family is being temporarily accommodated in a U-N-H-C-R transit center for minority returnees in the capital, Pristina.

    /// REDMOND ACT ///

    This deportation came one day after three Roma were killed and one was wounded by a booby trap planted at their house in a village south of Pristina. The attack highlighted the volatile situation of Kosovo's remaining Roma population, which is estimated today at some 35-thousand, that's down from 65 to 70-thousand two years ago.

    /// END ACT ///

    Also on Thursday, Mr. Redmond says Germany deported a member of Kosovo's tiny Gorani community of Serbo- Croatian speaking Muslims. He says the man, who speaks no Albanian and whose entire family was left behind in Germany, also expressed concern about his safety. The U-N-H-C-R spokesman says the agency has no objection to the return of ethnic Albanians to Kosovo. But, he says it opposes forcible return to Kosovo of all ethnic minority members who could face danger upon arrival. He says other countries besides Germany also have been deporting minorities.

    /// REDMOND ACT ///

    The number of minorities being sent back is not great. But, it's enough to cause us concern and we have to repeatedly urge governments to be very careful on who they are sending back because they could be placed in a very dangerous situation.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Redmond says German authorities have repeatedly said they will refrain from sending back minority members against their will. Despite this, he says Germany continues to deport minorities to Kosovo. (Signed)
    NEB/LS/GE/JP 04-Aug-2000 11:47 AM LOC (04-Aug-2000 1547 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: U-S stock prices were moderately higher today (Friday). Shares moved within a narrow trading range, as investors showed more uncertainty about the impact of higher interest rates on corporate earnings. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 61 points, about one-half of one percent, closing at 10- thousand-767. The Industrials are up more than two percent for the week. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 10 points. And the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite added another three-quarters of one percent - a gain of 27 points. The latest on the U-S economy shows the unemployment rate for July held steady at four percent, with employers cutting jobs for the first time in more than four years. It is not clear what this means in terms of the outlook for interest rates. The U-S labor market remains tight.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    Analyst Kenneth Scheinberg says investors are in a dilemma:


    I think people have a real question right now - what's important in the market? Is it the rate scenario? Is it the earnings scenario, or how the economy's going to react based on the rate increases? And then you have political pressures also in the background. And people are going back and forth. It's very difficult. It's creating a lack of conviction.

    ///END ACT - END OPT///

    Meanwhile, investors generally have been unyielding about corporate earnings. Most companies that fail to meet profit expectations have seen their market shares fall.

    ///REST OPT for long ///

    Quarterly earnings have yielded mixed results. The Walt Disney Company has reported a 20 percent surge in net income for the second quarter, including a doubling of profits in its broadcast operations. The entertainment giant easily beat expectations. However, profits dipped at the number one U-S health insurer - Aetna. It said earnings fell 17 percent due to rising medical costs. Still, Aetna managed to beat Wall Street's lowered estimates for the quarter. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT 04-Aug-2000 17:16 PM EDT (04-Aug-2000 2116 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America
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