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Voice of America, 02-02-15

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

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

SLUG: 2-286516 Euro / Currency Trend (L-O) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] EURO / CURRENCY TREND (L-O) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] EDITORIAL: POWELL ON TERROR WAR
  • [03] EDITORIAL: BLACK HISTORY MONTH
  • [04] EDITORIAL: JEMAAH ISLAMIAH
  • [05] EDITORIAL: BUSH ON THE NEW AMERICA
  • [06] EDITORIAL: CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
  • [07] EDITORIAL: BUSH ON RELIGIOUS FAITH
  • [08] EDITORIAL: IRAQ'S UNPUNISHED REPRESSION
  • [09] EDITORIAL: POWELL ON AFGHANISTAN

  • [01] EURO / CURRENCY TREND (L-O) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=2/15/02
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-286516
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: It's been nearly two months since 11 European Union nations introduced euro bank notes and coins that replaced the national currencies like the French franc and German mark that had been used for decades or even centuries. V-O-A's Barry Wood discussed the outlook for the euro with the Washington representative of the European Central Bank, Gerald Grisse.

    TEXT: The European Central Bank is very pleased with the way 300-million Europeans have accepted their new currency. Mr. Grisse, a former executive in the German Bundesbank and now the E-C-B's top official in Washington, says the introduction went even better than expected.

    ///GRISSE ACT///

    And actually the surprise was also that the period of dual circulation of the national currencies and the new currency was much, much shorter than expected. We had thought up to two months (would be needed) but in fact within two weeks the entire cash changeover was done.

    ///END ACT///

    The euro notes have seven denominations beginning with a five euro bill. There are eight coins ranging from one cent to two euros. A euro is currently worth about 86 U-S cents. When it was introduced as a unit of account three years ago, a euro was worth more than a dollar. It has steadily lost about 25 percent of its value against the dollar. But Mr. Grisse says as important as its exchange value, the euro is becoming a stable currency backed by a central bank that is making good on its pledge to hold inflation at or below two percent (annually). He expects the euro to eventually gain value against the dollar. Mr. Grisse says because prices now can be compared in a single currency right across Europe, there will be more cross border shopping and increased competition that should keep prices low. He says the jump in inflation during January was a one-time phenomenon.

    ///GRISSE ACT///

    We always had in mind that the transition effects of rounding (prices) would lead to a somewhat higher headline inflation rate in January. But this does not mean in our view that the general tendency should absolutely be the one that you mention, that in the longer-run the euro will lead to more transparency and will lead to lower prices in Europe.

    ///END ACT///

    The former central banks of the 11 participating countries continue to exist. But now they are in effect regional subsidiaries of the Frankfurt based European Central Bank that is directed by a board of five governors. European monetary union remains a work in progress. Important questions of representation in international organizations are unresolved. Should, for example, in the International Monetary Fund, separate national representation of countries like German and France be eliminated in favor of just one E-C-B representative, who would command more votes than any single country, thus increasing the power of the European Union? Mr. Grisse says these changes are likely to be slow in coming since individual European countries are at present unwilling to relinquish power to a multi-lateral entity.
    NEB/BDW/RH SLUG: 0-09714 Editorial - Powell on Terror War DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [02] EDITORIAL: POWELL ON TERROR WAR

    DATE=02/19/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09714
    INTERNET=Yes CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Following the removal of the oppressive Taleban regime and the destruction of the al-Qaida terrorist network in Afghanistan, the war on terrorism continues. In the words of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, "What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that, far from ending there, our war against terror is only beginning. This campaign is transnational, cross-border, even global in a way we have never contemplated." The United States is now looking at nations where al-Qaida cells routed from Afghanistan might seek refuge. Somalia is one such country. As Mr. Powell said, "[Somalia is] a lawless place without much of a government. It has been this sort of terrorist haven in the past, providing training camps, communications links, and financial cover. We are watching Somalia very closely. Terrorism might find fertile ground there and we do not want that to happen. No plans have been made -- yet. But if we find al-Qaida there, you can rest assured we will take the appropriate action." Most nations are cooperating in the search for al-Qaida, including countries, like Yemen, where terrorists seek to operate. "We have had a good dialogue with President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen," said Mr. Powell. "We believe that actions he is taking are a good first step toward the goal of uprooting the al-Qaida network there." The U.S. is assisting countries that have been fighting terror networks, such as the Philippines, where the Abu Sayyaf group has been linked to al-Qaida. And the U.S. is making progress working with countries like Sudan, which is one of the seven nations listed as state sponsors of terrorism. "Even before September 11th," said Secretary of State Powell, "we had been asking the Sudanese, 'What do you get for letting people like these terrorists have safe haven in the Sudan? What does it do for you except bring down the condemnation of the world?' And [the government has] been somewhat responsive. The problems in the Sudan are not solved by any means, but some new opportunities have opened up." The campaign will be fought until all terrorist networks of global reach are destroyed. And this war will remain the top U.S. foreign policy priority. President George W. Bush has set two objectives that must be met: winning the war on terrorism and protecting Americans at home and abroad. As Secretary of State Powell said, "The United States will not be deterred from accomplishing these objectives." Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 0-09713 Editorial - Black History Month DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [03] EDITORIAL: BLACK HISTORY MONTH

    DATE=02/18/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09713
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    2/18/2002. Anncr: Next, an editorial reflecting American ideals and institutions: Voice: February is celebrated as Black History Month in the United States. The 2000 census shows that more than thirty-six million Americans, just under thirteen percent of the U-S population, report themselves as sharing an African-American heritage. As President George W. Bush said, "Nobody can understand this country without understanding the African-American experience." Blacks were first transported to the Americas as slaves in the 1600s. They suffered through more than two centuries of slavery before the cruel institution was abolished. After they were freed during the American Civil War, they endured years of racial discrimination. "Throughout our history," said Mr. Bush, "the experience of black Americans has challenged every American to live up to the best ideals of our country." Those ideals are freedom, equality, and justice. The idea to study and celebrate black achievements in the U-S came from historian Carter G. Woodson, the son of former slaves. In 1926, he established and served as director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Mr. Woodson was concerned that history books ignored black Americans. He believed that the study of black history and the accomplishments of America's black citizens would serve to counter racial prejudice. Carter Woodson's motto was it is "never too late to learn." February was chosen as Black History month because of a number of important events. Frederick Douglass, the black anti-slavery abolitionist, was born during February, as were black poet Langston Hughes and Abraham Lincoln, the U-S president who ended slavery. And it was in February that black and white Americans came together to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People the N-A-A-C-P a leading civil rights organization. From 1861 to 1865, a civil war was fought between the northern states that opposed slavery and the southern states, where an agrarian economy relied on slave labor. "Today," said President Bush, "we are fighting for freedom in a new way, and on new battlefields." And "we continue to press for equal opportunity for every American here at home." Anncr: That was an editorial reflecting American ideals and institutions. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 0-09712 Editorial - Jemaah Islamiah DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [04] EDITORIAL: JEMAAH ISLAMIAH

    DATE=02/17/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09712
    INTERNET=Yes CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: The worldwide crackdown on terrorist groups continues. In Indonesia, authorities are reported to have uncovered a document detailing plans to bomb three United States embassies in Southeast Asia. The document, titled "Jihad Operation in Asia," outlined how three-man teams from the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist group intended to detonate explosives at American missions in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta. According to Singapore authorities, Jemaah Islamiah is part of a network with cells in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Singapore cell reports to a Malaysia-based leadership structure called a regional shura. Jemaah Islamiah is also linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network. That link is becoming more apparent with each new arrest. Philippine authorities recently detained Fathur [FAH-toor] Rohman Al-Ghozi for his alleged involvement in another Southeast Asian bomb plot. He was said to be among a group of terrorists trained in al-Qaida camps before they were arrested in the Philippines and Singapore. Philippine officials said the training included the use of A-K-47 rifles and mortars and study of military tactics. According to Philippine officials, Al-Ghozi's associates told Singapore police of the Jemaah Islamiah plan to make twenty-one tons of explosives for truck bombs to be used against Western interests, including Australian and British offices. In Singapore, fifteen people have been arrested for alleged links to Jemaah Islamiah. Singapore officials said eight of them went to Afghanistan for terrorist training in al-Qaida camps. Preparations for their stay in Afghanistan reportedly included religious studies and physical training in Malaysia. The multiple terrorist plots that have been exposed in Southeast Asia make clear the enormous threat that the al-Qaida network poses to Asia and the world. But it is also clear that with shared intelligence and a shared commitment to rooting out terrorists, al-Qaida can be stopped. Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia are helping to turn the tide. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 0-09711 Editorial - Bush on the New America DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [05] EDITORIAL: BUSH ON THE NEW AMERICA

    DATE=02/17/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09711
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: A new culture is emerging in America in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. President George W. Bush said that it's "a culture to replace [the popular] 'if it feels good, do it'[creed], with one of responsibility." Mr. Bush made the point in a speech in New York City before a group of firefighters and police officers. "We're understanding more about ourselves as a result of what went on," said President Bush. "We understand heroism. We understand now what it means to recite a prayer.... We're beginning to understand more about sacrifice, [and] personal responsibility." The U-S doesn't seek revenge against terrorists. America seeks justice. At the outset of the U.S.-led campaign, Mr. Bush said that "if you harbor a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist." The Taleban found out what the U-S meant. They are no longer in power. Afghanistan is on the road to recovery. The terrorist al-Qaida who made that country their headquarters are either dead, captured, or in hiding. The terrorists were wrong. "They probably thought," said President Bush, that after the suicide attacks Americans would "roll over, gnash our teeth a little bit, wring our hands, mourn for the dead, and forget. They really miscalculated." The war against terrorism isn't over. As Mr. Bush put it, "This is a patient nation. We are a determined nation. We're a nation that will not rest until we have brought justice not only on the al-Qaida killers and governments which support and house them, but on terrorism everywhere." The U-S will spend whatever it costs to defend itself against terrorists. But the best homeland defense is to rout out terror wherever it exists. The war against terrorism may take a long time. Some around the world may grow weary. But as President Bush said: "We must seize the moment. History has called [the U.S.] into action. History has given us a chance to defend freedom, to fight tyranny. And that's exactly what this country is going to do. We defend freedom." Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 0-09710 Editorial - Civilian Casualties DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [06] EDITORIAL: CIVILIAN CASUALTIES

    DATE=02/16/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09710
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: One of war's unpleasant realities is that innocent bystanders are sometimes caught in the crossfire. In Afghanistan, the Taleban tried to manipulate this sad truth by lying repeatedly to mislead the press for their own purposes. As U-S Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put it, "If one took all of the allegations that have been made about civilian casualties and analyzed each one down to the last nit, you would find that there have been conscious, repeated lies on this subject since the beginning of the campaign." The suffering of Afghans under the Taleban was severe. The Taleban and al-Qaida terrorists routinely tortured and abused people. From 1996 until last summer, the Taleban continued to prosecute a war against their opponents and against civilians that led to the deaths of thousands. There were credible reports of civilians being targeted for air and ground attacks. The Taleban blocked food and medicine deliveries to whole regions of Afghanistan. In contrast, the American-led coalition in Afghanistan went to extraordinary lengths to avoid civilian casualties. There was planning. There were double checks and triple checks. Said Mr. Rumsfeld, "There is the remarkable accuracy of our strikes, of our bombing campaigns...almost all intended to avoid civilian casualties." And when mistakes were made, they were acknowledged. Afghan journalists told the Associated Press news service that "Taleban officials systematically doctored reports on civilian deaths to push their estimate to fifteen-hundred in the first three weeks of the war." Mohammed Ismail, an Afghan reporter, told the Associated Press that in one typical instance, he went to the scene of an air strike in the Khair Khana section of Kabul. He saw eight bodies. The Taleban changed that figure to twenty. When the story was broadcast on the Taleban-run radio, the figure grew to thirty. Whenever a civilian dies, it is an absolute tragedy. But one thing should be clear: Civilian casualties in Afghanistan resulted from the presence there of the Taleban and al-Qaida. With their removal, peace can return. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 0-09709 Editorial - Bush on Religious Faith DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [07] EDITORIAL: BUSH ON RELIGIOUS FAITH

    DATE=02/16/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09709
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Every religion is welcomed in the United States, said President George W. Bush at this year's National Prayer Breakfast. The annual event has been held for half a century. It's a symbol of the vital role of religious faith in the life of the United States and its citizens. The U-S has never had an official religion, and many faiths are practiced in America. And said Mr. Bush, "Many of our citizens profess no religion at all.... Respect for the dignity of others can be found outside of religion, just as intolerance is sometimes found within it. Yet for millions of Americans," said Mr. Bush, "the practice of tolerance is a command of faith." When the U-S was attacked by fanatical Muslim terrorists on September 11TH, Americans did not respond with bigotry against Muslims in general. That tolerant response, said President Bush, is "one victory in the war against terror." The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that "has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics. Islam itself is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world." It is faith, said Mr. Bush, that "gives the assurance that our lives and our history have a moral design. As individuals, we know that suffering is temporary, and hope is eternal. As a nation, we know that the ruthless will not inherit the Earth. Faith teaches humility, and with it, tolerance." Mr. Bush said that he is one of the millions of Americans who have turned to prayer for comfort in a time of grief, for understanding in a time of anger, and for protection in a time of uncertainty. "The prayers of this nation," President Bush said, "are a part of the good that has come from the evil of September 11.... Tragedy has brought forth the courage and the generosity of our people." America's generosity includes tolerance of religious faiths from every corner of the world. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 0-09708 Editorial - Iraq's Unpunished Repression DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [08] EDITORIAL: IRAQ'S UNPUNISHED REPRESSION

    DATE=02/15/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09708
    INTERNET=Yes CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: For the first time in a decade, a United Nations human rights official has been allowed to visit Iraq. Andreas Mavrommatis of Cyprus arrived in Baghdad on February 11th for talks scheduled to last several days. He is the U-N Human Rights Commission's special rapporteur on Iraq. Among other things, Mr. Mavrommatis will be discussing a new report by two French groups that accuses the Saddam Hussein regime of "massive and systematic" human rights abuses. The report is titled, "Iraq: An Intolerable, Forgotten, and Unpunished Repression." It was compiled by the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues and the Human Rights Alliance Coalition for Justice in Iraq. There is little doubt that Iraq is ruled by one of the world's most repressive regimes. Security forces routinely torture, beat, rape, or otherwise abuse any perceived political opponents of Saddam Hussein. Among the abuses highlighted in the French groups' report is a campaign of public beheadings of women accused of being prostitutes, of opposing the regime, or of being related to an opponent of the regime. Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria told the French groups that the beheadings took place in front of family members, including children. They said that the heads were displayed over signs reading, "For the honor of Iraq." The report documents about one-hundred thirty beheadings of women but suggests that the actual number may be higher. The French report also tells of young children jailed because their parents opposed the Saddam Hussein regime. In addition, children as young as five are recruited into "Saddam's Cubs" [Ashbal Saddam], where they receive military training that includes cruelty to animals. Still another human rights abuse is the expulsion of ethnic Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians from northern Iraqi areas controlled by Saddam Hussein. Under this policy, non-Arabs are prohibited from inheriting or buying property, their farms are confiscated, and they are subject to harassment, arrest, and torture. Governments that violate citizens' rights are also likely to threaten their neighbors. This is the case with Iraq, which has invaded both Iran and Kuwait over the past two decades. Moreover, Iraq continues to support terrorists and seek weapons of mass destruction. But as President George W. Bush said, the U.S. "will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons." Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 0-097007 Editorial - Powell on Afghanistan DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [09] EDITORIAL: POWELL ON AFGHANISTAN

    DATE=02/15/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09707
    INTERNET=Yes CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Since the September 11th attacks on America, the U.S.-led coalition has made great strides against terrorism, particularly in Afghanistan. In the words of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the Afghan victory is "reshaping the whole region with a new U.S.-Pakistan relationship, a reinvigorated U.S.-India relationship, a new interim authority in Kabul, the Taleban gone, and the terrorists dead, in jail, or on the run." In the wake of the coalition victory, Afghanistan is on the road to recovery. But much remains to be done. An international force has been dispatched to create a secure environment in Kabul for the Afghan interim government. Programs are underway to train new police officers and to help establish an Afghan national military. As Secretary of State Powell said, "We want to do everything possible to prevent the rise of any alternative power to the interim authority, until a permanent government can be established and begin to take care of that challenge on its own." Since December, aid organizations have moved well over one-hundred thousand tons of food and medical supplies into the country. The U.S. is providing funds to rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure and education system. Afghan children are being vaccinated against measles and polio. Two-hundred million dollars in Afghan government assets frozen during the Taleban era have been released by the U.S. Afghanistan has been the world's largest source of opium, the base for heroin. But as Mr. Powell said, "A government that is headed toward reconstruction, toward building a new and better life for its citizens, and a government that is concerned with feeding its population and giving them adequate education, good roads, clean water, and other needed services, will not be a government that permits the selling of opium to the world." Afghanistan is on the right track. "There is a good chance," said Secretary of State Powell, "of making significant progress in bringing a new future to Afghanistan -- and ending the days of warlordism and political chaos that bred the Taleban and made a fertile ground for terrorists. This is a time of great challenge for the Afghan people, but. . .this is also a time of great hope." Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043.
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