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Voice of America, 00-07-26

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] US - BALKANS (L ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [02] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [03] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS (CQ) BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] US - BALKANS (L ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=7/26/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-264837
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The United States has announced a new fund aimed at promoting private sector investment in Southeastern Europe. President Clinton pledged the establishment of such a fund last year at a gathering of world leaders in Sarajevo, where they committed themselves to helping rebuild the war-torn Balkans. In announcing the new fund Wednesday, the Clinton administration assessed the progress and challenges facing the Balkans. Correspondent Deborah Tate reports from the White House. Text: It was a year ago this week that world leaders at the Sarajevo summit agreed to a so-called Stability Pact, to be modeled after the Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover from World War Two. But 12 months later, it has become clear that the political will and funding that made the Marshall Plan a success is missing from the Stability Pact. The United States - which led the Nato bombing campaign that ousted Yugoslav troops from Kosovo last year and mediated an end to the war in Bosnia- Herzegovina in 1995 - wants European allies to take the lead in helping financing the cost of rebuilding the region. U-S National Security Advisor Sandy Berger suggested that international funding has not been forthcoming because southeastern European countries have not gone far enough in implementing reforms.

    // Berger actuality //

    We have made clear that the nations of Southeast Europe must undertake their own reforms to attract investment. They must work together. This cannot be a race where the better-off countries in the region try to escape the Balkans at the expense of their neighbors.

    // end act //

    In an effort to help the process along, Mr. Berger announced the United States is making good on Mr. Clinton's pledge to set up a fund to promote new business development, expansion and privatization. The 150-million dollar Southeast Europe Equity Fund will be financed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and managed by a company run by American philanthropist and businessman George Soros. The fund will serve Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Montenegro and Turkey - what the White House calls an emerging consumer market of 112 million people. While acknowledging that the rebuilding effort has been slow in the region, and that ethnic tensions remain, National Security Advisor Berger says there has been some progress toward overcoming the legacy of war.

    // Berger actuality //

    The stability pact has spurred cooperative efforts to remove landmines, and to use children's textbooks to breakdown ethnic stereotypes. Bosnia now has a working democracy, refugee returns there continue to rise, and the people are increasingly looking for leaders to deliver jobs instead of preaching hate. Croatia finally enjoys democracy.

    // end act //

    He said regional leaders are overcoming what he called `old habits of isolation' and beginning to work together - noting that a series of border treaties and trade agreements were signed last year. But Mr. Berger said there is one exception to the trend - Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. He said the Serbian leader remains an obstacle to a unified, democratic and free Europe:

    // Berger actuality //

    The last malignant dictatorship in Europe remains a threat. We will continue to support the Democratic opposition in Serbia, back the people of Montenegro until they take their rightful place among the free and prosperous people of Europe. Until Serbia is a democracy, with new leadership, it will be a millstone dragging down the entire region.

    // end act //

    Mr. Berger says President Clinton will discuss efforts to bring democratic change to Serbia and assess the rebuilding effort in the Balkans when he meets with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic (STEP-en MEZ-ich) at the White House on August ninth. (signed) Neb/dat/PT 26-Jul-2000 17:10 PM EDT (26-Jul-2000 2110 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=7/26/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-264836
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were lower today (Wednesday), as some major U-S businesses issued profit warnings for the third quarter. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 183 points, one and three-quarters percent, to 10- thousand-516. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed 22 points lower - a loss of one and one-half percent. And the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite gave up about 41 points, or one percent. Investors showed concern over future corporate earnings. Xerox, the giant copier company, and U-S chemical giant DuPont have warned profits will be lower in the second half of the year. DuPont blamed its shortfall on rising costs of raw materials and energy. And then, investors are still unclear about the U-S economy. Thursday provides another key to the puzzle with a report on employment costs. Wage inflation is a key concern of the U-S central bank and its chief, Alan Greenspan.

    ///REST OPT///

    Mr. Greenspan, in recent testimony to Congress, has signaled the U-S economy is finally showing signs of slowing. Analyst Art Cashin says that message has proven to be a double-edged sword for the stock market:

    ///CASHIN ACT///

    When Greenspan gave so much hope to the market, the market immediately went into worry mode number two, which is, to be oxymoronic about it, is the economy slowing down too fast. And then when these landmines, or negative earnings surprises, began to come out, people said we're beginning to see an impact of all of this, and it's not good for earnings. So that cloud continues to hang up there.

    ///END ACT///

    Meanwhile, a lot of pressure is on technology stocks, many of which have soared over the past year or two. Analysts say traditional valuation formulas, which keep share prices more in line with a company's earnings, have a new weight on Wall Street these days. Shares of online auctioneer E-Bay slipped lower, even though the company has come in with good second- quarter results. The stock currently is valued at less than half its 52-week high. (signed) NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT 26-Jul-2000 16:35 PM EDT (26-Jul-2000 2035 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS (CQ) BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=7/26/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11940
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=
    /// EDS: RE-ISSUING TO FIX CHENEY BIO DETAIL IN 6TH PARA TEXT ("A FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF," NOT AS SENT PREVIOUSLY) ///

    INTRO: Two stories with U-S datelines dominate the editorial columns in Wednesday's U-S press. The collapse of the Middle East peace summit at Camp David and the selection of Richard Cheney as George W. Bush's vice presidential running mate are noted in almost every newspaper. Other commentaries deal with the G-8 economic summit, a potential loss of privacy on the Internet, a new census idea, and some reflections about the changing face of politics. Now, here is _________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Scanning newspapers in every corner of the United States, many are leading their editorial columns with thoughts about the conclusion, without agreement, of the Camp David summit. In the view of The Providence [Rhode Island] Journal:

    VOICE: The problems at Camp David were exacerbated by Mr. Barak's increasing political troubles at home -- including his unsteady hold over his own cabinet and parliamentary majority. Even if some ... agreement had been reached ... it is not clear ... it would have gained the backing of Israeli voters. ... For now, we can only commend President Clinton for his persistence in trying to get the two sides to agreement.

    TEXT: Today's Saint Louis [Missouri] Post-Dispatch calls the collapse of the talks "a stunning disappointment," while praising President Clinton's "superhuman" efforts. The Wall Street Journal has this assessment of President Clinton's role:

    VOICE: ... Before getting carried away with doomsday scenarios, it's worth noting the positive side of the summit's denouement. For one thing, it was a triumph of democracy. ... This was meant to be a top down sort of deal, struck beyond the reach of public scrutiny and then crammed down the throats of the people who were expected to live with the consequences. Fortunately, that's not how things turned out.

    TEXT: The Minneapolis, Minnesota Star-Tribune calls it "a disappointment not a setback," while Omaha's [Nebraska] World Herald ponders whether "... this is one of those darkest-before-the-dawn moments in the long dispute." In Washington State, The Seattle Times is watching the clock. "Disappointment is always the uninvited guest to a Mideast peace summit, but the collapse of talks yesterday brings a deeper sense of loss this time." The Cleveland, Ohio Plain Dealer says "Hopes [are] dashed at Camp David." However, the New York Times' senior foreign-affairs columnist, Thomas Friedman, has a very different view.

    VOICE: In the wake of the collapse ... there will be a great temptation to pronounce the Israeli-Palestinian peace process over. ... The truth is, it has just begun. President Clinton accomplished something very important at Camp David -- and hats off to him for having the courage to try. He brought the issues of Jerusalem, refugees and real territorial compromise down from the heavens ... onto the negotiating table. ... Folks, none of these issues have been broached between these parties before.

    TEXT: But according to the Charleston [South Carolina] Post and Courier, The Times's Mr. Friedman couldn't be more wrong.

    VOICE: Such an outcome [no agreement] could have been predicted beforehand. President Clinton ... overreached himself. ... It is time-tested wisdom not to arrange a summit until agreement has been reached and all that remains to be done is to make minor changes to the text and set the scene for the ... signing ceremony. ... By raising expectations when he called a premature summit, President Clinton ... may have stirred the aches of violence into flames.

    TEXT: The other big subject of commentary concerns U-S politics. Republican Party candidate George W. Bush has selected a former White House chief of staff, defense secretary and later Wyoming congressman, Dick Cheney, as his vice-presidential running mate. Most newspapers feel it is a safe or "conservative" choice

    /// OPT ///

    and many are using the noun "gravitas," which "Webster's Collegiate Dictionary" defines as a person with "high seriousness" in his demeanor /// END OPT ///. Mr. Bush is seen as not having this quality, and Mr. Cheney is described by many dailies as having an abundance of it to add to the campaign. For example, The San Francisco Chronicle, in describing the choice, says Mr. Cheney is: "filling the Gravitas Gap." In the Midwest, the Chicago Tribune calls Mr. Cheney a "Washington sage," adding:

    VOICE: It's debatable whether George W. Bush helped his chances of winning election by picking Richard Cheney as his running mate ... but [he] certainly helped his chances of governing successfully. ... [Mr.] Bush can feel good at the prospect of having [Mr.] Cheney around the conference tables at the White House.

    TEXT: The St. Petersburg Times calls Mr. Cheney "a solid man with a solid resume" but adds, "His hard- edged voting record as a member of Congress may trouble moderate voters." "Bush goes with steadiness in V-P [vice presidential] choice" reads The Dallas Morning News editorial headline, while The Detroit News calls the former Wyoming congressman "a good choice." The Fort Worth Star-Telegram feels Mr. Bush "has covered two points that many have considered weaknesses: foreign and national policy." The Houston chronicle says Mr. Cheney is:

    VOICE: "a do-no-harm choice as a vice- presidential candidate" who "brings maturity, stability, Washington experience and a calm demeanor to the table, as well as a cross- generational continuity..."

    TEXT: In one of very few negative assessments, The Manchester [New Hampshire] Union Leader suggests:

    VOICE: The selection of [Mr. Cheney] instead of the exciting options [Mr.] Bush rejected, for good reason or bad, (General Colin Powell, former presidential contender Robert Dole, Arizona Senator John McCain ... etc.) sheds insight into the fears of the Republicans' inner sanctum: Our candidate lacks gravitas. But Cheney highlights Bush's weaknesses more than he complements them. ... /// OPT /// This creates the impression that George W. is being sent off to the gentlemen's club with his father's kindest friend at his side to guide him through the initiation rites. /// END OPT /// If George W. is short on stability and seriousness, he is in serious trouble in the general election, no matter what the polls are saying today.

    TEXT: Turning briefly to other commentaries on the news, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is saluting President Clinton for breaking away from Camp David to attend the G-8 summit.

    VOICE: Though untimely and exhausting, it was a worthwhile voyage. ... In their final statement of what could be labeled "the development summit," the G-8 leaders pledged to curtail extreme poverty and the spread of infectious diseases, to help poor countries reduce their debt burden and to address the global digital divide. Words are cheap ... but one musn't [must not] scoff at the value of the ... global leaders coming together ... to work harder on behalf of the world's least fortunate.

    TEXT: There are more concerns regarding privacy on the Internet in the wake of disclosure that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a computer program called Carnivore that can track anyone's electronic mail. The Fort Worth [Texas] Star-Telegram has this worry:

    VOICE: F-B-I officials assert that no record is kept of messages unrelated to an investigation, and it takes a court order before agents can actually open up an e-mail to read its contents. Some members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution remained skeptical. It's a sign of the times -- even government doesn't trust government.

    TEXT: Today's Tulsa [Oklahoma] World is intrigued with an idea from the head of the Census Bureau to drop the survey's long, 53-question form, and take a smaller yearly census from about three-million Americans.

    VOICE: If better numbers can be arrived at through a simpler, less intimidating process, then why not try it?

    TEXT: Lastly, The Sun in Baltimore salutes two of its zoo officials who have worked tirelessly for more than a month in Cape Town, South Africa, to help clean and feed the African penguin colony struck by one of history's worst oil spills.

    VOICE: Ms. Overholser cares for 80 African penguins at the Baltimore Zoo and Mr. Sarro is ... curator of birds. Penguins ... have the sort of charm that generates an outpouring of sympathetic giving and volunteering. Elegant and dignified, they are simultaneously playful and prayerful. The affecting pictures of ... the stricken birds reminds us of the toll taken by similar disasters. Only two of 28 species, [of marine animals and birds] for example, have fully recovered from the world's most famous spill, the 1989 Exxon Valdez catastrophe. ... the plight of the African penguin shows again that vigilant enforcement of anti-spill rules is a critical necessity.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from the editorial pages of Wednesday's daily papers in the United States.
    NEB/ANG/JP/WTW 26-Jul-2000 13:11 PM EDT (26-Jul-2000 1711 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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