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Voice of America, 00-08-10
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From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>
 YUGOSLAVIA / ARRESTS BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)DATE=8/10/2000
INTRO: Yugoslav officials have granted British and Canadian diplomats their first access to four of their nationals, who were detained last week on suspicion of terrorism and espionage. Stefan Bos reports from Budapest that the legal battle is far from over and Western officials fear that foreigners are being used as propaganda tools before next months elections.
TEXT: Following a 40-minute meeting in the Military
Supreme Court of Belgrade, British and Canadian
diplomats told reporters the suspects seemed, in good
health and well treated.
Both diplomats expressed the hope that the two British
policemen, one Canadian businessman and his nephew
would be released soon.
A Yugoslav lawyer defending the men (Djordje Djurisic)
said that based on the evidence he was hopeful for a
successful and positive outcome.
Yugoslavia's powerful army has said the four men
appeared to be experts in "terrorist activities," but
Chief of Staff General Nebojsa Pavkovic is quoted by
the independent Beta News Agency as saying they were
"not necessarily terrorists."
The men were detained by Yugoslav troops in the
republic of Montenegro last week.
Meanwhile, the influential Serbian deputy Prime
Minister, Vojislav Seselj, says he has no doubt the
four men were "spies and saboteurs."
Analysts believe the arrests of foreigners is part of
President Slobodan Milosevic's "pre-election
strategy," a plan to frighten voters by warning them
of a "NATO takeover."
Yugoslav officials have also in the past weeks
arrested four Dutch men, accusing them of plotting to
kill the President.
On Thursday Serbia's last independent political
newspaper, Danas, were fined following several
lawsuits accusing them of spreading false information.
 US-CROATIA (L-ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)DATE=8/9/2000
INTRO: President Clinton Wednesday evening met with
Croatian President Stipe Mesic and Prime Minister
Ivica Racan at the White House. MR. Clinton praised
the new leaders for promoting reform. Correspondent
Deborah Tate reports from the White House.
Text: A senior administration official told reporters
that Mr. Clinton welcomed the two leader's efforts
toward moving Croatia away from its authoritarian
past, and encouraged them to continue with tough
During the 45 minute meeting, Mr. Clinton also
discussed three packages of U-S assistance to Croatia,
including 21 million dollars for reconstruction
efforts, four-point-five million dollars to house
returning refugees and four million dollars in foreign
Mr. Mesic and Mr. Racan, who came to power earlier
this year, discussed their goals of reform and
attracting economic investment, as well as their
desire to have their country move closer to Nato.
They also expressed hope that democracy would soon
come to neighboring Serbia.
The senior U-S official says Croatia can serve as a
model for Serbia in terms of building a democratic,
He noted Mr. Mesic and Mr. Racan are from different
parties, but are working together in a coalition made
up of half a dozen parties. And he underscored that
country's efforts to seek the return of minority Serbs
But the United States maintains that democracy cannot
come to Serbia until Yugoslav leader Slobodan
Milosevic - who has been indicted for war crimes - is
out of power.
Mr. Clinton and the Croatian leaders discussed Mr.
Milosevic and efforts to support the political
opposition in Serbia.
Earlier Wednesday, in a ceremony with the two Croatian
leaders, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged
the Serb opposition to unite against Mr. Milosevic in
local and presidential elections on September 24th.
Warning that the Serb leader would cheat in the
election, Mr. Albright tried to persuade the
opposition to back a single candidate to improve its
chances of defeating him. Support from the opposition
currently is divided between two candidates. (Signed)
 KARADZIC VERDICT (L-ONLY) BY LARRY FREUND (NEW YORK)DATE=8/10/2000
INTRO: A jury in New York decided today (Thursday) that former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic should pay 745 million dollars for atrocities committed under his rule in the early 1990's. Correspondent Larry Freund reports from New York.
TEXT: The jury verdict in the civil case follows
several days of testimony by women who said they were
assaulted and raped by Bosnian Serb troops during the
fighting in Bosnia. Mr. Karadzic and his attorneys had
refused to appear in the courtroom to contest the case
and the presiding Federal judge entered a default
judgment against him in June. This court hearing was
held to set the financial judgment against Mr.
Mr. Karadzic has been indicted by the United Nations
war crimes tribunal in The Hague but remains at large.
The civil case against Mr. Karadzic was pursued under
a 1789 U-S law that says U-S courts have jurisdiction
in lawsuits by foreign citizens claiming civil wrongs
anywhere, in violation of the law of nations. In a
letter to the judge, Mr. Karadzic questioned whether
the jurist can really hope to find truth or justice or
protect rights for people in distant nations.
One attorney for the plaintiffs had asked the jury to
conclude that what happened in Bosnia was genocide,
while another said that the women cannot go back to
what they were but they can go from this court, the
lawyer said, better and more whole than when they
Court observers point to the difficulty for the
plaintiffs of actually recovering the jury's award.
However, one legal scholar says courts are often used
in the United States and elsewhere to affirm the
 TURKEY / ISRAEL (L-ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)DATE=8/10/2000
INTRO: Israel's newly appointed foreign minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami, met with Turkey's prime minister, Bulent Ecevit, and its foreign minister, Ismail Cem, Thursday to brief them on the latest developments concerning peace negotiations with the Palestinians. As Amberin Zaman reports, Mr. Ben Ami's stop in Ankara follows a brief visit to the Turkish capital earlier this week by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
TEXT: Speaking at a news conference following talks with Prime Minister Ecevit and Foreign Minister Cem, Mr. Ben-Ami described his meetings as highly positive. But he made clear that while Ankara's role in the Middle East peace process is important, it is not central to a solution.
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NEB/AZ/WTW/KL 10-Aug-2000 16:12 PM EDT (10-Aug-2000 2012 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
 SPAIN / TERRORISM (L-ONLY) BY GIL CARBAJAL (MADRID)DATE=8/10/2000
INTRO: In Spain's Basque country (and the neighboring region of Navarre), people who oppose the separatist group ETA are rallying to protest terrorism. At the same time, supporters of ETA are holding counter- demonstrations to honor four suspected terrorists who died this week when explosives they were carrying blew up their car. Gil Carbajal reports from Madrid that tensions in the Basque country are reaching a critical stage.
TEXT: Silent vigils have been held (since Wednesday
night) across the Basque Country and in Pamplona,
capital of the neighboring region of Navarre, to
protest the latest killings blamed on the Basque
separatist group ETA.
There also have been counter-demonstrations by ETA
sympathizers. They say they are honoring the four men
who died this week as heroes and patriots to the cause
of Basque independence.
This week's cycle of violence has included a carbomb
explosion near San Sebastian that killed a prominent
Basque businessman (on Tuesday). Another carbomb
explosion in Madrid wounded 11 people. On Wednesday,
an army officer was shot dead in the small town of
Berriozar, near Pamplona. The city hall of that town
is ruled by ETA's political wing, Euskal Herritarok.
Thursday morning there was a dramatic confrontation
between Berriozar's mayor, flanked by councilmen from
his pro-ETA party, and citizens who wanted a strong
condemnation of the shooting.
The mayor read a note "lamenting" the army officer's
death, as townspeople called out to the councilmen,
asking who had supplied the killers with the
information that help them stage the deadly attack.
During what was to have been a silent vigil in
Pamplona at noon, pro-ETA demonstrators tried to stage
a rally to honor the four suspected terrorists killed
on Monday when their car's cargo of explosives blew
Counter-demonstrators disrupted the rally, denouncing
ETA members as "murderers." Police arrested the
regional leader of ETA's political wing (Juan Kruz
Aldasoro) for disturbing the peace. Meanwhile,
Pamplona's city council began procedings to unseat
councilmen from ETA's political wing.
Euskal Herritarok, ETA's political wing, is calling
for further demonstrations in memory of the four men
who died Monday, and young pro-ETA radicals have
already been carrying out a wave of vandalism in their
honor. Thursday night, the office of the pro-
independence but moderate Basque National Party -- the
P-N-V -- was burned in the town of Legazpi. The P-N-V
rules the regional government with the support of
ETA's political wing.
Molotov cocktails were thrown at the office of the
national telecommunications company Telefonica, in the
town of Zamudio, and two buses were emptied of their
passengers and burned in San Sebastian and Barakaldo.
The current wave of terrorism and vandalism in the
Basque Country is making the moderate Basque National
Party's collaboration with ETA political wing
increasinly untenable. (Signed)
 NEW YORK ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BARBARA SCHOETZAU (NEW YORK)DATE=8/10/2000
INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed after a day of light trading on Wall Street. Correspondent Barbara Schoetzau reports from New York.
TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up almost three points to 10-thousand-924, with blue chip stocks like General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, Coke and 3-M leading the way. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index - reflecting the broader market - was down more than 12 and-one-half points. And the technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index dropped almost two-and-one-half percent as investors sold off shares in technology companies in favor of drug and industrial stocks. Analysts say they are at a loss to explain the sell-off in companies such as Cisco and Applied Materials, which have reported good news in recent days.
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Source: Voice of America
 THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)DATE=8/10/2000
TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
INTRO: The decision by the Chilean Supreme Court to strip the nation's former military dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, of immunity from prosecution is a major topic in Thursday's editorial pages, as is a massive recall of defective automobile tires. Other subjects include reaction to the selection of Senator Joseph Lieberman's as the Democratic vice presidential candidate; more trouble in Kashmir; and a "historic day in the Middle East." Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is ____________ and today's U-S Editorial Digest.
TEXT: We go first to Middle America, where the Kansas City [Missouri] Star is thrilled at this week's development in Chile.
VOICE: An amazing thing has happened in South America: Augusto Pinochet's luck has run out. The former Chilean dictator, liberated from his legal entanglements in Europe, did not escape at home. The Chilean Supreme Court, in a spectacular display of courage, on Tuesday stripped the general of immunity from prosecution. ... This week's ruling indicates that [General] Pinochet's release by British officials in March ... was merely justice interrupted, not defeated.
TEXT: In northern California, the San Jose Mercury News calls the ruling "bold' but adds: "His failing health and legal delays probably mean [General Pinochet] will not be punished for `vanishing' [his role in the disappearance of] thousands of Chileans; he will, however, be hounded to his grave.
/// OPT ///
TEXT: The San Francisco Chronicle also exults, calling the decision:
VOICE: ... a bold ruling that thrilled human rights advocates everywhere ...[and] ... an encouraging sign of Chile's maturing democracy.
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TEXT: The big domestic story drawing comment is a huge recall of potentially lethal automobile tires by the Bridgestone / Firestone company. Some of the tires, mainly those used on sport utility vehicles [SUVs], come apart while driving. The U-S government is investigating the role the shredded tires may have played in 46 deaths and 80 injuries in the past several years in the United States. USA Today, the national daily published near Washington, writes:
VOICE: Bridgestone / Firestone's recall of more than 14-point-four million tires came with all of the expected reassurances to the public. ... But this move appears designed mainly to staunch the flood of intense, negative publicity these tires had generated. For quite some time, the tire maker knew, or should have known, about safety concerns being raised about its ... tires. Yet it downplayed any risk, right up until the recall.
TEXT: From the nation's former auto tire capital, in Ohio, the Akron Beacon Journal takes a diametrically opposite view.
VOICE: Bridgestone / Firestone didn't wait to recall [the] problem tires. Its voluntary response should help retain public confidence. ... The cost of the recall could easily exceed the 150-million dollars ... Firestone spent to replace 14-million Firestone 500- radial tires in 1978.
/// OPT ///
TEXT: In the automotive capital of the nation, the Detroit Free Press says: "[The] Company made the right move in recalling [the tires although it] ... was a little late doing the right thing. ... Ford was in on the decision and should be relieved. About three- point-six-million [Ford] Explorers have been sold with the tires that Firestone is recalling. ... it's really a Firestone problem. But Ford will be tarred, too, and heavily involved in the recall, since 25- hundred of its dealers also sell Firestone tires. /// END OPT ///
TEXT: Turning now to domestic politics, the Reform Party's presidential nomination convention, underway in California, has been the scene of fistfights over delegate seating and other matters. The disputes lead the San Antonio Express-News to write:
VOICE: The Reform Party, once a positive force that helped shake up the two major U-S political parties, is disintegrating on the eve of what could have been a watershed election for the organization. This is a sad turn of events.
TEXT: Maine's Portland Press Herald is also disappointed.
VOICE: The Reform Party conference ... that was supposed to pick a presidential nominee -- [who would be the] beneficiary of 12-point-five million dollars in federal matching campaign funds -- fell into a shouting, shoving dispute between backers of Pat Buchanan and those supporting political unknown John Hagelin.
TEXT: Still with politics, the choice of Orthodox Jewish Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut to run for Vice President with Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore is still drawing comment. The Wall Street Journal fears Mr. Lieberman is being tainted by Mr. Gore.
VOICE: Some of Senator Lieberman's old allies wonder what's gotten into him. An Orthodox Jewish rabbi we spoke with says the senator had always supported school choice based in part on his experience sending his own children to private Jewish schools. "For Senator Lieberman to change his mind now looks like the same kind of expediency shown by Bill Bradley when he abandoned school choice in the Democratic primaries," he told us.
TEXT: Internationally, the renewed violence in the disputed, heavily Muslim province of Jammu and Kashmir, draws this comment from The New York Times.
VOICE: The Clinton administration is right to be concerned about the military confrontation between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, a conflict that American intelligence agencies now judged to be one of the world's most perilous. /// OPT /// America cannot calm this dangerous conflict overnight. But it must nudge both sides toward dialogue. President Clinton took some useful steps on his South Asia trip earlier this year. He warned Pakistan ... it should not assume Washington will come to its rescue if it provokes a new conflict with India. In India, Mr. Clinton stressed American friendship and desire for better relations, but also urged New Delhi to seek political dialogue with Pakistan. /// END OPT ///
TEXT: The Houston [Texas] Chronicle applauds a nationwide census now underway in Rwanda to assess more accurately how many people died in the 1994 genocide. Fighting between Hutu extremists and Tutsis may have taken 800-thousand lives. Today's Hartford [Connecticut] Courant is pleased Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe has bowed to pressure and relented in his plan to turn three-thousand white- owned, commercial farms over to black peasants, without compensation to the present owners. The occupation of Lebanon's extreme southern border by the Lebanese army, after an absence of more than 20 years, is hailed as a "historic day in [the] Middle East" by Charleston's [South Carolina] Post and Courier. The region was Israel's former security "buffer zone," controlled by Israeli and Christian Lebanese militia troops. (OPT) And lastly, today's [Bergen County, New Jersey] Record says, despite all the nagging little problems we face in this country, Americans should keep their eye on the bigger picture.
VOICE: These are the times that pamper men's souls. Years from know, we will look back and say ... Remember when the unemployment rate hovered around just four percent? Remember when crime had dropped to record lows in New Jersey ... Remember when we had a record-setting decade-long economic expansion. Remember when we were at peace, and such long-time adversaries as England and Ireland, North and South Korea, and the nations in the Middle East struggled to resolve generations-old differences.... Remember the ... summer of two-thousand. ... Nothing lasts forever. In the meantime, savor what you've got. (END OPT)
TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of
editorial comment from Thursday's U-S press.
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