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Voice of America, 00-08-23

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

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





    INTRO: Tensions are on the increase in Northern Ireland, where fighting has killed two people and wounded at least seven others since Saturday. British troops are back on the streets of Belfast, and officials have arrested Northern Ireland's most feared Protestant extremist leader, canceling his parole and returning him to prison. V-O-A's Walter Wisniewski reports from London.

    TEXT: Johnny Adair, better known as "Mad Dog" Adair, is a familiar figure in the Protestant neighborhoods of Belfast. Stocky and muscular, he sports tattoos, a shaved head and, usually, a bulletproof vest. Adair is a leader of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, one of several Protestant paramilitary groups that support the loyalist cause -- that is, they support continued British rule in Northern Ireland. They are violently opposed to republican groups from the province's Catholic minority, such as the Irish Republican Army, that wants Northern Ireland to break away from British rule (and unite with the Republic of Ireland). But despite a 30-year history of sectarian strife in Northern Ireland, this time the battles are not between Catholics and Protestants. A cease-fire set by the Good Friday peace accords of 1998 has, in general, been holding.

    /// OPT ///

    The troubles in Northern Ireland this month have centered on feuds among the loyalist groups, fighting each other over turf, political position and personal grievances. /// END OPT /// Weeks of trouble began to climax on Saturday night, when gunmen fired repeatedly into a pub favored by members of the Ulster Volunteer Force, a rival to Adair's Ulster Freedom Fighters. Seven people were wounded in that attack. Deadly retaliation came a day and a half later, when two men, one of them a close associate of Adair, were gunned down and killed in a parked car. Troops were sent out to patrol Belfast for the first time in over a year, and British officials ordered Adair back to prison. /// OPT /// He had been released on parole less than a year ago, after serving about one-third of a 16-year sentence for "directing terrorism." /// END OPT /// The British cabinet secretary for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson, says Adair has been at the center of the troubles.

    /// MANDELSON ACT ///

    He's been whipping up the feuding that we've seen, the violence of the last few days. He's been setting loyalist against loyalist, and he's been concerned [involved] in different forms of terrorist activity.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// OPT ///

    From the Adairs' home in Belfast, in a neighborhood known as Little Beirut, his wife, Gina, says he is innocent.

    /// GINA ADAIR ACT ///

    He hasn't done anything. They haven't got him on film pulling triggers. They haven't got him on film doing anything illegal or anything like that. So why, why take him off the street?

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

    Mr. Mandelson indicates Adair was sent back to prison to send a warning to all of Northern Ireland's extremists to avoid taking the law into their own hands. (Signed)
    NEB/WTW/GE/JP 23-Aug-2000 12:27 PM LOC (23-Aug-2000 1627 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Trading ended on Wall Street today (Wednesday) with all major indices showing gains. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from New York.

    TEXT: After trading down for most of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average close up five- and-one-half points at 11-thousand-144. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 Index was up almost eight points, about half of one percent. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index continued to make modest gains, closing up almost 53 points - about one-and-one-third percent. Energy and semiconductor stocks led the climbers with Intel completing its ninth day of gains. But supermarket shares sagged after Albertson's - the second largest U-S grocer -- announced its earnings will fall short of estimates. Analysts say the U-S central bank's announcement Tuesday that it will not raise interest rates is a non-event because traders had anticipated the decision.

    /// REST OPT ///

    The American Petroleum Institute reported that crude oil inventory levels in the United States are at the lowest levels in 24 years, pushing up oil prices. Michael Driscoll, a block trader at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, predicts prices will stay high for some time.

    /// DRISCOLL ACT ///

    You also have refining capacity at extraordinarily high levels - at 96, 97 percent - so I think the impression is that you have refiners going full out and they are still not meeting demand. Inventories continue to be drawn down. If that is the case, it is just simple supply and demand. The supply is not enough to satisfy the demand and prices are going to go higher.

    /// END ACT ///

    Internet stocks remain out of favor with investors. But Darren Chervitz, senior analyst with the Jacob Internet Fund, is optimistic about the future of well-managed Internet stocks.

    /// CHERVITZ ACT -opt--///

    Right now there are a lot of models out there that are failed. These are companies that are desperate They are running out of cash and any kind of rebound in the sector is not going to lift all the boats. So investors still have to be very selective and pick those companies that they think are long-term winners, those that have cash on hand to reach profitability and are growing quickly. Those are the companies investors should focus on.

    /// END ACT -end opt--///

    It was a bad day for the software industry. Shares of Microsoft slid. And reports that Oracle Corporation plans to compete against Siebel (see bel) Systems, the top maker of sales and customer service software, lowered stock prices for both companies. But on the brighter side, Intuit shares soared as much as 18 percent after the maker of personal finance software said annual sales growth will accelerate. (Signed) NEB/BJS/LSF/TVM/PT 23-Aug-2000 17:14 PM EDT (23-Aug-2000 2114 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Editorials in United States newspapers touched on a variety of subjects Wednesday. Political fallout from the sunken Russian submarine was a frequent topic. So was Mexican president-elect Vicente Fox's upcoming visit to the United States and Canada. _______________ has this sample of editorials from Wednesday's newspapers.

    TEXT: Editorial writers are continuing to examine Russian President Vladimir Putin's handling of the loss of the nuclear submarine Kursk. The New York Times calls Mr. Putin's initial reaction to the tragedy "disheartening for those who hoped to see a more democratic Russia, shedding the habits of secrecy and indifference to human suffering that marred so many centuries of czarist and Soviet rule."

    VOICE: Such public callousness would be unthinkable in any Western democracy. But it is a long, sad tradition in Russia, dating back to czars like Ivan the Terrible.and Soviet-era tyrants like Stalin. Mr. Putin is not in that league, but as a Soviet-era KGB agent he was raised in the Russian autocratic tradition, which values state interests above human life. Democracy cannot be built on such foundations.

    TEXT: The Washington Post takes a similar view, noting that the loss of the Kursk has triggered the first blast of spontaneously generated public opposition (President Putin) has faced, not just as president, but in his entire career.

    VOICE: So far, Mr. Putin is not coping well with the vicissitudes of life in a democracy - albeit a deeply flawed democracy.

    TEXT: Both the Washington Post and New York Times end their editorials with essentially the same question. The Post sees a hopeful sign.

    VOICE: The good news is that Russia is no longer a country where a K-G-B man can control all information and ignore shifts in public opinion. One question is whether Mr. Putin will seek to adapt to that reality, or (whether he will) try to change reality back to something more to his personal liking.

    TEXT: Mexican President-elect Vicente Fox's trip northward this week drew comment from the Christian Science Monitor and the Baltimore Sun. The Sun's editorial notes that Mr. Fox brings refreshing ideas and a faith in market economics that was honed through decades of work for a U-S based global company. But, the paper says, Mr. Fox is also bringing a message neither Democrats nor Republicans want to hear at this presidential election season.

    VOICE: Mr. Fox takes the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 as starting point and hopes to build on it, with the integration of Western Europe as his model. He talks about free circulation of people as well as goods, and aid from Canada and the United States to bring Mexico up to the economic standards of its northern neighbors. Most Americans would, indeed, wish to see Mexico prosper until it was more equal to Canada and the United States. But most Americans would not at first blush leap at President-elect Fox's ideas.

    TEXT: The Christian Science Monitor points out that while Mr. Fox's model is the European Union, the reality is a region divided by economic disparity.

    VOICE: Mexicans still earn a fraction of what Canadians and U-S citizens do, and the gravitational pull of economic opportunity still creates a huge problem of illegal immigration. North America . . . is a long way from the European Union. Still, Mr. Fox's basic point is well taken. Mexico's economic progress, in tandem with the political program Mr. Fox embodies, is critical.

    TEXT: The Wall Street Journal addresses the Dalai Lama's exclusion from the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders. The three-day meeting is being held next week in New York under the auspices of the United Nations. The Journal's editorial writer calls the decision "shameless kowtowing" that "removes from the summit the most visible sign of China's lingering problems in Tibet at a time when Beijing has become increasingly defensive about its policies there".

    VOICE: The U-N's pandering to China's cadres makes a mockery of next week's millennial conclave in many ways. Beijing will be sending a delegation of party-vetted "religious leaders" to the summit, while back in China, the latest crackdown on religion rolls into its second year.

    TEXT: A Baltimore Sun editorial takes up the issue of America's fascination with a reality-based television mini- series called "Survivor". The program is a soap opera with a twist. It involves real-life survival for 39 days on a tropical island with few resources. It has suspense. Every week a vote of the contestants is taken on which of them is eliminated. The Sun editorial observes that "Survivor" has become America's most watched program not only because it is a pleasant way pass the time during lazy summer days, but also because viewers see the best and worst of human relationships.

    VOICE: It is the human traits of these contestants that is so riveting. We share the same emotions and desires. When we watch, we get to question our own motivations and instincts. (The final episode) is not so much a show about the four finalists as it is a chance to look deep within ourselves.

    TEXT: And that comment from the Baltimore Sun ends this summary of Wednesday's newspaper editorials.
    NEB/PFH/FC 23-Aug-2000 14:48 PM EDT (23-Aug-2000 1848 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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