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Voice of America, 00-08-30

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

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





    INTRO: U-S stock prices were mixed today (Wednesday). A wave of profit-taking hit the Dow Jones Industrials, after a month of strong gains for the "blue-chips." VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 112 points, one percent, to 11-thousand-103. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell seven points. Meanwhile, the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite maintained its winning streak -- up 21 points, or one- half of one percent. A big deal in the brokerage business lifted brokerage stocks for a second day. Credit Suisse First Boston, based in Zurich, confirmed that it is buying U-S broker Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette for about 12 billion dollars. Experts say a merger of this sort makes sense to keep up with more powerful Wall Street rivals. D-L-J needed to get big and C-S-F-B needed to get bigger. There are more signs that the U-S economy is starting to slow down. The leading economic indicators, which project growth over the next three to six months, fell one-tenth of one percent in July - the third straight monthly drop.

    ///REST OPT///

    Ken Goldstein is an economist at the Conference Board, a private business research group:


    After a very strong first half of 2000, the indicators are suggesting that activity is beginning to moderate. We're still going to get strength. We're still going to get growth in the second half, but not at the same pace as the first half.

    ///END ACT///

    Many analysts predict U-S corporations generally will still report good earnings for the third and fourth quarters. The picture, of course, has some dark spots. One of them surfaced Wednesday when Whirlpool, the number one U-S maker of large appliances, issued a profit warning for the rest of the year. The company blamed the shortfall, in part, on the rising cost of raw materials and a loss of its competitive edge in North America to rival General Electric. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PW 30-Aug-2000 16:45 PM EDT (30-Aug-2000 2045 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: No sooner was he back from a whirlwind trip to Africa, than President Bill Clinton boarded his jet again and headed to Colombia today (Wednesday) for a six-hour visit. Both trips are popular editorial topics in Wednesday's U-S press. Other commentaries deal with the unusual inclusion of religion, and talk of God, in the current U-S presidential race; a danger due to revelations at the Lockerbie Pan Am jet bombing trial; and Peru's criminal justice system. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts, is __________ with today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: There is a good deal of discussion in editorial columns about the wisdom of the United States getting more deeply involved in Colombia's guerrilla wars, linked as they are with the country's illicit drug production. The President's trip to Cartagena has intensified that debate. Some papers support the recent one-point-three billion dollar Colombian aid package passed by Congress but others, like the San Francisco Examiner, are skeptical.

    VOICE: The U-S aid if financing the training and equipment of three "anti-narcotics" battalions of the Colombian army and providing them with 60 U-S made helicopters to do battle with the bad guys. ... It's amazing that such plans, which have never worked before to reduce significantly the volumes of illegal drugs available to American buyers, keep arousing the hopes of their political sponsors in Washington.

    TEXT: Across town, The San Francisco Chronicle is upset that Colombia did not meet more than one of the seven human rights conditions imposed by Congress as a condition for the aid. And in the Midwest, the Chicago Tribune talks of Colombia's violence and the U-S risk.

    VOICE: The bombs and battles that rocked Colombia Tuesday were meant by leftist guerrillas as a blunt message for President Clinton: If he wants a war, some Colombians will give him one. ... [Mr.] Clinton ... will spend only five hours in Colombia ... for obvious security reasons. He won't even visit the capital, Bogota. It isn't safe with guerrillas fighting nearby. That speaks volumes about the risks the Clinton administration is taking by embarking on a new military strategy aimed at Colombia's narcotraffickers ...

    TEXT: Today's (Wednesday's) New York Times says Colombia's president Andres Pastrana deserves American support" but calls the "expansion of American support to Colombia's security forces" ... "misguided." As for the president's just-completed trip to Africa, The Hartford Courant is pleased the continent is back, as it says, "...On America's Radar."

    VOICE: Before Bill Clinton, presidents rarely visited sub-Saharan Africa. That part of the world was widely and unwisely regarded as tangential to U-S interests.

    TEXT: While in Texas, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram adds:

    VOICE: President Clinton took something to Africa far more valuable than money. ... On his second trip ... the president carried with him hope - - hope for struggling democracies throughout the continent where disease, poverty and war flourish. Hope for people who have starved for more than food; they have hungered to be noticed, simply to be part of the world's consciousness.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Still in Texas, The Dallas Morning News is also positive, headlining its commentary: [The] next administration should build on Clinton overtures... and adding:

    VOICE: Mr. Clinton can be criticized for making the overtures late in his administration and for not having a well-shaped plan for dealing with the continent's challenges. But his two visits to Africa since 1998 and those of Cabinet members are tangible acts of engagement that should not be squandered. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Turning to domestic politics, the unprecedented talk of God and religious beliefs by both major presidential candidates and Vice Presidential democratic candidate Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, is beginning to irritate some newspapers. The Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] Daily News says, "It's a presidential race, not a holy war," in today's editorial headline, adding:

    VOICE: [The] Politicians' public piety threatens [the] constitutional wall between church, [and] state. ... The notion that there should be more of a place for faith in public life may be true. Then again, it may not. Religion, faith and morality are deeply private things, and should remain that way, with interference from no one, especially government.

    TEXT: Taking Senator Lieberman's side is The Manchester [New Hampshire] Union Leader. It defends him against criticism from the Anti-Defamation League,[A-D-L] a Jewish organization, which criticized the Senator for mixing religion with the political campaign,.

    VOICE: [Senator] Lieberman ... said Monday that "there must be a place for faith in America's public life." On this issue, we couldn't agree with Lieberman more and the leaders of the A-D-L less.

    TEXT: The world religious leaders conference at the United Nations in New York is also a topic in the day's newspaper editorial columns and there is more criticism of the Dalai Lama's exclusion from the gathering. The Chattanooga [Tennessee] Free Press says the leaders started their conference with a "surrender!"

    VOICE: They excluded Tibet's ... Dalai Lama ... to avoid offending Communist China, which has seized Tibet by aggression. You can always get "peace" by surrender.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Another lively debate concerns the melting of North polar Arctic ice and whether it indicates a worsening of "global warning." The New York Post suggests a recent report in The New York Times ignores past science.

    VOICE: As the Times reported ... in August ... scientists on a mission to the North Pole recently discovered - - to their horror - - that an ice-free patch of water a mile wide now covers the pole. ... As The Times [now admits] in a much more modestly placed follow-up article - - "during a typical summer, 90 percent of the high Arctic region is covered with ice, with the remaining ten percent open water." ... As S. Fred Singer, former director of the U-S Weather Satellite Service, wrote in the Wall Street journal Monday, the Arctic climate was so warm one-thousand years ago that "Vikings settled Greenland and grew crops there for a few centuries." ... So why all the fuss? Because a couple of scientists with a definite agenda saw an opportunity to advance the discredited - - but very politically correct - - notion that humans are irreparably destroying the environment.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: In Hawaii, Tuesday afternoon's Honolulu Star Bulletin is concerned that revelations from the U-S Central Intelligence Agency about how it learned details of the Pan Am flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. The paper says its uncharacteristic agreement to turn over documents could come back to haunt the agency.

    VOICE: ... disclosures by the C-I-A ... related to the bombing ... are a deviation that lawyers can be expected to applaud but the agency may someday regret. While the disclosures in a foreign court don't create a legally binding precedent in U-S courts, they are certain to be cited in future attempts to unveil secret government documents.

    TEXT: Back to Latin American affairs -- today's (Wednesday's) Houston Chronicle comments on a recent decision by Peru's high military court which:

    VOICE: ... announced Monday that it has overturned a life sentence imposed by hooded military judges four ago on Lori Berenson, a New York native convicted of helping Marxist rebels plan an attack on the Peruvian Congress. It's a small victory - - a very small one - that highlights again some of the very big problems facing Peru and the lack of freedoms it affords its citizens. ...[The] nation needs a free press and independent judges now...

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of editorial comment from today's U-S daily newspapers.
    NEB/ANG/FC 30-Aug-2000 11:14 AM EDT (30-Aug-2000 1514 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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