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Voice of America, 00-08-07

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

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





    INTRO: Yugoslav authorities are expected to bring charges of terrorism and espionage against four foreigners arrested last week in the republic of Montenegro. The Yugoslav army detained two Britons working for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the O-S-C-E, and two Canadians at the border between Montenegro and (Yugoslavia's) Kosovo province. As V-O-A's Laurie Kassman reports from London, the arrests have aroused an angry reaction in Britain.

    TEXT: Britain's Foreign Office is summoning the Yugoslav representative in London, for the second time in less than a week, to protest the detention of the two British nationals who were working in Kosovo for the O-S-C-E. A British spokesman says Britain has never been officially informed of the men's arrest, or of any charges being lodged against them. News reports from Montenegro indicate the Yugoslav army intends to charge the four men as terrorists. A final decision is expected late Tuesday. The men could then face trial by a military court. The two Britons and the two Canadians had been in Montenegro for a brief visit. They were arrested at the border last Thursday, as they headed back to Kosovo. Montenegro has distanced itself politically from Belgrade, and does not require visas for foreign travelers, but the central Yugoslav government does. Army units patrolling the provincial border detained the four men for illegally entering Montenegro. British and Canadian diplomats say they have still not been given access to the men, despite requests to Belgrade and pressure from the O-S-C-E and the United Nations. A lawyer representing the four men told reporters in Montenegro's capital they had been questioned on Sunday, and denied all accusations of espionage and terrorism. The two Britons are working for the O-S-C-E in Kosovo as police trainers. One of the arrested Canadians runs a construction project in Kosovo; he was traveling in Montenegro with his nephew when the two were arrested. (Signed)
    NEB/LMK/WTW/KL 07-Aug-2000 11:12 AM EDT (07-Aug-2000 1512 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Fifteen Serbian opposition leaders have chosen nationalist Vojislav Kostunica as their challenger to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in next month's election. Mr. Kostunica is the opposition parties' second candidate. As Stefan Bos reports from Budapest, this is expected to undermine their chances of winning the vote and unseating Mr. Milosevic.

    TEXT: After lengthy crisis talks in Belgrade, party officials told reporters the opposition coalition had failed to agree on one candidate to run against Yugoslav President Milosevic. Fifteen leaders, representing a variety of anti- Milosevic groups, had hoped to convince Serbia's largest opposition party, the Serbian Renewal Movement, to withdraw its candidate for president, Vojislav Mihajlovic. Critics say Mr. Mihajlovic, the current mayor of Belgrade, has a poor record as mayor, does not have a national reputation and lacks charisma. That is why all of Serbia's other opposition parties announced Monday they are joining forces to support Vojislav Kostunica, whose nationalism is said to reflect popular opinion in Serbia. The choice of Mr. Kostunica surprised observers in Belgrade, because the candidate had said he would not run unless he could lead a united opposition. He also wanted authorities in Montenegro - Yugoslavia's second, smaller republic - to drop plans to boycott the presidential election on September 24th. Opinion polls show Mr. Kostunica with a strong lead over Mr. Milosevic. But in an interview, the opposition candidate said he faces three major problems:

    /// KOSTUNICA ACT ///

    The regime of Slobodan Milosevic [operates] under very unfair conditions - media conditions and others. We are now running against the decision of Montenegro not to participate [in the vote] and, unfortunately, also against the decision of the Serbian Renewal Movement, the party of Mr. [Vuk] Draskovic, which will have its own candidate for the president of Yugoslavia. So we are having three obstacles instead of only one in this election.

    /// END ACT ///

    Analysts say a divided Serbian opposition gives Mr. Milosevic a better chance to win re-election. They add, this could help the Yugoslav leader avoid a U-N tribunal's attempt to try him for alleged war crimes. But Serbian opposition leaders say voters who want to end Yugoslavia's international isolation are likely to reject Mr. Milosevic, in favor of a candidate who would be more welcome in the West. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SJB/WTW/RAE 07-Aug-2000 14:40 PM EDT (07-Aug-2000 1840 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: U-S stock prices were up today (Monday). Correspondent Larry Freund reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 99 points, about one percent, closing at 10- thousand-867. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 16 points, more than one percent. And the technology-weighted Nasdaq composite gained just over 75 points, or two percent. The positive numbers were pushed by gains in the technology sector. And analysts say traders continue to be impressed by the jobs data released last Friday, indicating that the U-S unemployment rate remains unchanged at four percent, with low wage pressure. That translates into less fear about inflation, and less concern that the Federal Reserve Board, the U-S central bank, will raise interest rates again when it meets August 22nd. The Fed has raised interest rates six times since June 1999 in an effort to cool the U-S economy and prevent a serious outbreak of inflation. One analyst says the economy is decelerating nicely.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Traders are anticipating a few more clues this week about the health of the U-S economy. Peter Cardillo is chief investment strategist at Westfalia Investments.


    This week we have several major pieces of major economic news coming out. Tomorrow we have the second quarter productivity and cost index and later in the week, we have the producers price index. So the markets are going to once again look for guidance from the economic data.

    /// END ACTUALITY ///

    In advance of Tuesday's report, economists estimate that worker productivity in the year's second quarter moved ahead to an annual rate of four-and-one-half percent. In other Wall Street news, a well-known analyst at the Merrill Lynch investment company, Henry Blodget, lowered his rating for 11 Internet companies. They include eBay, the on-line auction company, and Barnes- and-Noble-dot-com, the on-line book company. Mr. Blodget says the rate of growth in the industry is slowing while competition is increasing. Another technology company, the business software maker Computer Associates, says it will spin off its software and services operations. At the same time, the company says it is promoting its president Sanjay Kumar to chief executive officer. The firm's founder Charles Wang continues as chairman. Mr. Kumar, who was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and emigrated to the United States with his family when he was 14, says the change at Computer Associates comes at a logical time.

    /// KUMAR ACT ///

    Shareholder value is really critical to us and we are doubling our efforts today to unlock greater shareholder value from the enterprise that we run and work with.

    /// END ACTUALITY ///

    The price of Computer Associates stock slipped sharply after the company announced in early July that its first-quarter profits had fallen short of analysts' expectations. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NY/LSF 07-Aug-2000 16:57 PM EDT (07-Aug-2000 2057 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Politics continues to be a popular topic this week for editorial writers. The Dalai Lama, Indonesia trying to put its past in order, Mexico's president-elect; the ongoing, land takeover crisis in Zimbabwe; and the pending loss of some age-old languages, are also topics. Now, here is ___________ with a closer look and some excerpts, in today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Reaction continues to Governor George W. Bush's acceptance speech at the Republican Nominating Convention in Philadelphia last week. First today's Wall Street Journal.

    VOICE: For all the talk about a saccharine and stage- managed convention, Thursday night left no doubt that Mr. Bush had delivered himself not simply of a boffo speech but a crucial challenge. That was reflected in his calm confidence that Republicans would be more than up to the anticipated attacks to come. /// OPT

    /// After all, he told his cheering audience, "We are facing something familiar, but they are facing something new." /// END OPT /// ... This week Mr. Bush and his Republican Party told us what they are for and declared it conservative. We take him at his word ... In sharp contrast it is the liberals who appear so discombobulated [unsettled] by the specter of their moral monopoly slipping away.

    TEXT: Boston's Christian Science Monitor also picks up on the compassion voiced by the Texas Governor and wonders whether the Republicans can follow through on his philosophy.

    VOICE: His words beg followup. Does [Governor] Bush have a more compassionate way to deal with youthful offenders than simply "lock `em up?" How will he help reverse patterns of poverty and failure?

    TEXT: The Democratic Convention opens in a few days in Los Angeles, where The Los Angeles Times notes:

    VOICE: With both [Governor] Bush and [Vice President] Gore bound for California, the central question is how big a campaign the G-O-P will mount in the state. ... This coming week will pose an interesting test for both [men.] [Governor] Bush has the luxury of taunting [Vice President] Gore in California on the eve of the vice president's greatest moment in politics. [Mr.] Gore's challenge in response is to remain cool and focused on his own plan and his own strategy.

    TEXT: Turning to international politics, the United Nations is drawing ire for its failure to include the Dalai Llama in a World Peace Summit it is holding later this month. Today's Honolulu [Hawaii] Advertiser says:

    VOICE: United Nations officials are guilty, profoundly and absurdly, of confusing spirituality with politics. ... The U-N's confusion is fed by its fear of offending China... [which considers] Tibet to be Chinese territory, and the Dalai Lama challenges that...

    TEXT: Today's Boston Globe agrees with South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who like the Dalai Lama, won the Nobel Peace prize, that the snub is:

    VOICE: "...totally bizarre and quite unbelievable..."

    /// OPT ///

    ... By bowing to opposition from China, Secretary General Annan and his colleagues placed themselves in ... a truly bizarre contradiction. If more than one-thousand religious and spiritual leaders have been invited to ... assist [the] world body in ... resolving conflicts and making peace, then /// END OPT /// there can be no logical reason to exclude the Tibetan Buddhist leader who has succeeded Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior as the world's most eminent apostle of nonviolence.

    TEXT: The Los Angeles Times cheers Indonesia's government for plans to try former President Suharto on charges of embezzling public funds.

    VOICE: Bringing ... [Mr.] Suharto to book ... is an important event for Indonesia and its embattled current president, Abdurrahman Wahid. The prosecution will press a point too often neglected in the developing world, that theft, corruption, and cronyism are not acceptable prices to pay for economic development. /// OPT /// Understanding that would help [President] Wahid politically as he prepares to confront a legislature increasingly unhappy with his leadership. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: Another new national leader-to-be, Vicente Fox, Mexico's president-elect, draws praise from The San Antonio [Texas] Express-News, for his plan to restructure the nation's faulty criminal justice system.

    VOICE: Two of his top aides have unveiled a plan that may radically transform Mexico's law enforcement system. The proposal includes overhauling the various police agencies and prosecutors' offices and creating an F-B-I-style Federal Investigation Agency. In addition, the upcoming Fox administration wants to end the six-year-old participation of the Mexican army in the drug war, a massive involvement that shows few results.

    TEXT: To African affairs and the on-going forced takeover of large, white-owned commercial farms in Zimbabwe by black peasants at the order of President Robert Mugabe, the Chicago Tribune scolds:

    VOICE: He will ... acquire and break up three- thousand big commercial farms into plots for some 500- thousand peasant families. That may make those families happy ... But for most of their fellow citizens, and for Zimbabwe as a nation, this policy will represent a giant step backwards. /// OPT /// For the era of subsistence farming is over. To support its population and to take full advantages of its resources of arable land, water and human capability, Zimbabwe must have commercial farms raising crops for world markets. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: And lastly, a fascinating editorial from today's St. Petersburg [Florida] Times laments the pending loss of several languages in today's world, among them Basque, and the loss of culture that goes with it.

    VOICE: There are more than six-thousand languages in the world, but according to linguistic experts, most will disappear by the end of this century. Around 90 percent are spoken by fewer than 100-thousand people, and some are spoken by only a few dozen. When those last ones die, the language will die ... Does it matter? After all, Latin is dead, as is Sumerian, Hittite and Manx. We do not feel the loss in our daily lives .../// OPT // English pushed the older Celtic languages to the mountainous western corners of the island, overcame an incursion of Norman French and got enriched by Shakespeare, Milton, and Keats. ... while it may be true that no one will starve because of it ... our world will be the poorer for losing Tzeltal, the Mayan language ... or Basque, a language so old it is pre-Indo-European. /// END OPT ///... But when we lose the unique, particular, small glories of our varied world, we are all the poorer for it.

    TEXT: That ends today's sampling of editorials from the pages of Monday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 07-Aug-2000 11:32 AM EDT (07-Aug-2000 1532 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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