FINANCIAL TIMES Tuesday December 28 1999

 ASIA: Catching the next wave

Asia is torn between the forces of conservatism or embracing the internet society and greater political freedom. No choice is more critical to the region's future, says Peter Montagnon

Asia enters the new millennium weakened by a financial crisis that will stand out even in the broader sweep of history. Years of dynamic growth stopped suddenly after 1997 when a wave of financial speculation brought devaluations, disastrous losses to the region's banks and economic collapse.

Although the past year has brought improvement, recovery remains weak and heavily dependent on the booming demand for personal computers and other electronic goods in the US. The financial and corporate restructuring that are widely seen as necessary to lay the foundations for sustained economic growth are not complete. How Asia copes with this task will determine its future, not only in 2000 but for many years beyond.

Currently, the region is being pulled in two opposing directions. The benign one sees more restructuring and a period of strong economic growth based on the new internet technology, which would in turn reinforce the trend towards greater freedom and democracy. The negative one involves failure to complete restructuring with disappointing growth leading to heightened social and political tensions.

Tung Chee-hwa, Hong Kong's chief executive, is not alone among Asian leaders in pushing the concept of an economy based on high-technology, telecommunications and the internet as the source of future prosperity. If he is right, the economic crisis could mark Asia's transition away from a growth model based on manufactured exports and property speculation to a new service-led economy.

The internet seems tailor-made for Chinese people with their nimble minds and love of gadgetry, but signs of change are appearing in many places.

In what appears to be an important strategic shift, Hong Kong's property tycoons are using their cashflows to develop internet businesses. The son of Hutchison chief Li Ka-shing is building a cyberport in the territory, while Sun Hung Kai Properties has formed alliances with both Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.

China's mobile phone market has become one of the most dynamic in the world, ready to embrace new products, such as wireless internet connections. Japan has seen the rapid advance of technology-based companies such as Softbank and NTT-DoCoMo, while day-trading of shares on the internet has suddenly become all the rage in South Korea. Further afield, India's surging software exports, officially expected to reach $50bn by 2008, have opened up prospects for growth.

The new information age could not only underpin Asia's next phase of high growth. It should also promote the trend towards democracy that has been a feature of recent years. "As the market advances you see the devolution of power away from the elites," says Andrew Sheng, Hong Kong's chief financial market regulator.

The closing years of the millennium have seen important political shifts in Asia with Taiwan and South Korea moving from military dictatorship to plural democracy. Indonesia also seems to be heading in that direction. Even Pakistan's new military dictatorship is defensive about its lack of democratic credentials.

There has been a sea change in public attitudes. Asians have become less and less willing to accept authoritarian rule, says Frans Seda, a former Indonesian finance minister who was in government during the country's last transition in the 1960s. "If there is a choice between chaos and dictatorship, nowadays you choose chaos," he says.

The internet has not yet opened up the truly closed countries, such as North Korea and Burma, but awareness of the need to latch on to the technology revolution has already caused Singapore to lighten its heavy-handed approach to censorship and regulation. Its planners realise they must allow creativity to stay ahead in the knowledge-based business.

But doubts remain both about the durability of the region's recovery and about the power of the internet to revolutionise economies. "The internet has high potential but its benefits are narrow in terms of the multiplier effect on the economy," says Hung Tran, the Vietnamese-born chief economist at Rabobank International in London.

This year's recovery has depended on exports, weak currencies and low interest rates. But Asia's long-term prospects are still vulnerable to the rise in US interest rates and the lack of corporate restructuring at home. Mr Tran says: "Without growth, social and political problems could come more to the fore."

The devastation wrought by the economic crisis has also revealed more sinister forces at work. There was a hint of religious extremism in the recent

Malaysian elections; it also underlies the separatist movement in the Indonesian province of Aceh. The strain of the economic crisis has unleashed a more strident nationalism in China, while Japanese voters have started to question their country's traditional pacifist role.

One of the great challenges of the next century will be how to integrate North Korea into the international community without the shock of a violent internal collapse.

Above all, China has yet to face the challenge of allowing more economic freedom without sparking political disruption. "At issue is the adaptability of the Communist party. So far the signs are not as good as one would want," says Michael Yahuda of the London School of Economics. Membership of the World Trade Organisation has been seen as a watershed in Chinese history because it will oblige the country to deal with its faltering banks and creaking state enterprises. But by creating new economic freedoms and embracing the internet world, the government is also putting its own authority at risk. Already it is cracking down on the Falun Gong, a sect that attracts mainly older people but uses the internet to mobilise its supporters. On the other hand, failure to reform and economic stagnation would only increase the social tensions and mass unemployment.

The natural response could be a more deliberate retreat into nationalism in an attempt to rally the people against a common, outside enemy.

One big fear is that failure by Japan to recover could lead to a separate build-up of domestic tensions there as well. Although Japan has at last been posting positive growth rates this year, its recovery remains heavily based on fiscal stimulus. Japan is still not a final export market for Asian companies in the way that Germany is for Europeans or the US is for Mexico. It cannot thus play the role of locomotive for the region, says Jean-Pierre Lehmann of the Swiss Asia Foundation in Lausanne. "Japan will be in no position to pick up if the US falters."

That absence of real economic leadership means an element of stabilisation is missing from the region, he adds. One of the big concerns for the future is that the historic rivalry between Japan and China could resurface.

At present the balance is held by the US, whose military presence in the region continues to play a stabilising role. But, says Mr Yahuda of the LSE, one of the unresolved questions is that "neither China nor Japan have yet found ways of dealing with common security issues in such a way that each one can deal separately with Washington."

No one can be sure how Asia will respond to all these conflicting pressures as the 21st century gets under way. Asia could choose the benign path, capture the information revolution and use it to promote prosperity and deeper political reform. Or it could duck the challenge with all the attendant risks of social and political tensions.

The outcome is finely balanced, and as Mr Lehmann remarks: "There isn't any room for complacency at all."


Challenge of globalisation

For its proponents, globalisation describes a dream of opportunity and prosperity. For its opponents, it denotes a nightmare of greed and inequality. Both sides agree that technological change and economic liberalisation are creating something new and important. But how new is today's global integration? And, more important, how is it to be governed?

The integration of computers with telecommunications is creating a far more sensitive nervous system for the world economy. Cheaper transport acts, similarly, as a healthier blood stream. Companies are, in consequence, able to integrate production and address customers, worldwide, as never before.

Nevertheless, today's integration is not unprecedented. On some measures, capital flowed more freely across frontiers in the late 19th century than in the late 20th. One reason for the good performance was the gold standard, which created a global money and global monetary stability.

Yet even if not more integrated than ever before, the world economy has become progressively more integrated over the past half-century. Moreover, the potential for further integration is vast. It is necessary only to contrast the intensity of transactions within borders with that going across them.

Yet what may be possible is not inevitable, as the collapse of international trade and capital flows between the two world wars demonstrated. Bad policy can thwart good outcomes. Happily, extremes of bad policy seem unlikely. For much of the century, many believed in economic self-sufficiency. Today, that view is discredited by painful experience. The failure of alternatives is then the chief explanation for the worldwide spread of liberalisation over the past two decades.


Even so, challenges remain. The first is to contain the backlash against globalisation, particularly in the high-income countries. As the hostility towards the World Trade Organisation demonstrates, trade has become the focus of hostility towards modernity. This is not that surprising. The "creative destruction" of capitalism creates disconsolate losers. Nothing is more natural than to focus consequent discontent on foreigners. Political leaders must respond with policies that facilitate needed adjustment to changes in global competition.

Financial crises

A second challenge is better management of the world economy. The number of financial crises has been particularly worrying. It is evident that the domestic reforms needed when a country opens up a protected financial system are many and complex. But the global community must also find ways to limit the costs of panics in foreign exchange markets and help countries reconstruct unpayable international debt.

A third challenge is global governance itself. One aspect of this is to relate global economic institutions, such as the WTO and the International Monetary Fund, to ways of pursuing other global objectives, such as environmental protection. Another aspect of the challenge is to reconcile the desire for the benefits of a global economy with that for democracy and popular accountability. What makes any such effort yet more intractable are the deep differences in values, power, incomes and capacity across countries.

Global economic integration is at least as much an opportunity as an inevitability. However strong the technological forces pushing the world towards it, progress can be slowed, if not halted. If it is to proceed smoothly in the 21st century, policymakers will have to perform two clever tricks: agree and implement the minimum of global regulation needed to make integration work; and help their societies cope with the changes integration will bring about. It will be hard to pull both off. But there is no sane alternative.


A HUNDRED YEARS ON: 1899 top stories match 1999's
Wars, stock market fever, executive pay: Michael Skapinker finds the top stories of 1899 - as reported by the FT - were not that differrent from today


It is the last month of the century. Directors' pay is under attack, interest rates are too high for comfort and skilled staff are in short supply. A nasty war rages in a faraway country and Britain is at odds with its European neighbours.

On the positive side, money is pouring into new ventures. A modern generation of trade union leaders has emerged and the number of strikes in Britain is at its lowest level in years.

Such was the world in December 1899, as reported by the Financial Times, a newspaper launched 12 years earlier with a promise to be "the friend of the honest financier, the bona fide investor, the respectable broker, the genuine director, the legitimate speculator".

The first half of 1899 had been an exciting time. American railway shares enjoyed "a boom of unprecedented dimensions", the FT reported. Investors flocked to South African and western Australian gold mining companies.

There were other enticing prospects. "When will the limit of music hall enterprise be reached?" the FT asked, welcoming the addition of the Balham Music Hall, "fitted throughout with electric light", to London's entertainment scene.

"The resources of the London and County Banking Company Limited, Balham branch, have been taxed to their utmost in a heart-straining endeavour to cope with the dizzying flow of cheques from applicants all eager to be in the swim for the £3,000 of capital, divided into 3,000 shares of £1 each . . . Verily, there are moneyed men in Balham."

But by the end of the year a pall hung over the market. In October, Britain had gone to war against the Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Along with many in Britain, the FT thought victory would come within months, bringing South Africa's gold fields under Britain's control.

The Boers proved far tougher than expected. "We have now to face a state of things under which the end of the war may be a remote event," the FT said. "The wholly unlooked for situation . . . in South Africa has sadly transformed the prospects of holders of mining shares."

The Bank of England raised interest rates to 6 per cent, the highest level since the banking crisis at Baring Brothers in 1890. "While the Transvaal War is in progress, and its probable duration is the matter of the wildest guessing, tight money may last," the newspaper warned.

Much of French and German public opinion was pro-Boer. "We have by this time become accustomed to the illogical and ignorant ravings of the Continental Press in reference to the Transvaal question," the FT's editorial said on December 2.

An appreciation of foreigners was generally absent, except insofar as they provided an opportunity for business. "Now that the inhabitants of Crete are no longer busy cutting one another's throats, there seems a fair possibility of the island settling down to the more peaceful pursuits of trade and agriculture," the FT reported.

Much of the newspaper was taken up with lengthy accounts of company general meetings. Executive wit was as leaden then as it is today. "I am sorry this is such a foggy day," C. Algernon Moreing, managing director of the London and Western Australian Exploration Company, told shareholders gathered at Winchester House, Old Broad Street. "I believe that this fog which is over London pervades many places. I believe the stock exchange at the present moment is in a very foggy condition. (Laughter) ... Some people have said that our balance sheet is rather a foggy document. (Laughter and hear, hear) Well, I hope to try to lift any fogginess there may be about that document."

Complaints about directors' pay were frequent. When Niekirk, a South African mining company, reported to an annual meeting at the London Tavern, Fenchurch Street, that operations were at a standstill because of the war, a shareholder called Mr Cooney called for a reduction in the number of directors "because they were practically doing nothing except receiving fees". Samuel Green, Niekirk's chairman, refused to discuss the matter. "People before they became shareholders had an opportunity of looking at the articles of association and seeing what remuneration was given to the directors. That remuneration was specifically stated, and it was not the right thing to come afterwards to those gentlemen who had accepted responsible positions and tell them they must do their work for nothing."

In spite of the war, life was good for workers at home. "The industrial boom has brought regular work and high wages to the workmen, and consequently labour disputes have been fewer in number and less serious in their consequences than for a decade past," the newspaper reported. The FT applauded the formation of a new trade union federation and a move towards conciliation rather than confrontation. The only problem was that labour was in such short supply.

Companies worried about their staff abroad too, particularly if they were white. Edward Byas, a director of Ashanti Goldfields, was applauded when he told shareholders that, in spite of West Africa's inhospitable conditions, "we have not had a single death from disease in the whole of our white staff".

Not all companies were concerned only with their white employees. Sir Charles Tennant, chairman of the Champion Reef Gold Mining Company of India, was worried about an outbreak of the plague on Indian mines. "The danger was not so much the actual ravages of the plague, but the loss of a sufficiency of labour, owing to a scare among our native employees, who have such a horror of the disease that they resort to flight at the mere idea of its being in their neighbourhood," Sir Charles said.

The newspaper reported a new idea from the US: banking for students. A women's college in Baltimore had allowed its students to open accounts. "It is represented in support of the novel institution that the student is not only relieved of the responsibility of holding large sums of money, but at the same time gains some practical knowledge of banking which is important to her in life."

The FT did not believe young men would be able to handle such responsibility. "If American boys are anything like English boys we are afraid it will be a long time before the prospect of a successful future will warrant any attempt on the part of the tutor to introduce the system."

The final edition of 1899 made no attempt to sum up the 19th century, because the FT knew that it did not properly end until December 31 1900. Much about life today would have puzzled our forebears, not least our insistence on celebrating the end of the century, and the millennium, a year early.


FINANCIAL TIMES Monday December 20 1999


NEW US ECONOMY: How will the boom end?
By Gerard Baker

To the true believer it is a New Paradigm, a modern industrial revolution that has lifted the US permanently on to a higher track of faster sustainable growth.

Exploiting a remarkable confluence of structural changes - technological innovation, financial and entrepreneurial dynamism, increasingly flexible labour markets and new-found policy stability - America is deploying its traditional economic strengths of agility and openness to reassert its century-old global economic supremacy.

In recognition of the transformed landscape, the stock market has broken out of historically established trends and, punching higher towards ever-more elevated valuation levels, now reflects the high-tech, high-speed, low-inflation economy, that seems to guarantee an extended prosperity.

As Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, a man who has built a professional career avoiding hyperbole, said recently: "It is safe to say that we are witnessing this decade, in the United States, history's most compelling demonstration of the productive capacity of free peoples operating in free markets."

To the sceptic, it is a familiar tale of hype and hubris. History is full of talk about "new paradigms" whenever an economy enjoys a few good years. But it is excited chatter that is nearly always proved wrong. This time, the self-delusion has gained an added patina of respectability through some significant, though unremarkable changes.

The fantasy that the US can enjoy much faster sustainable growth has been prolonged by a striking confluence of unrepeatable strokes of luck that have temporarily depressed the usual inflationary pressures in a rapidly growing economy.

All this has combined to produce another wave of over-confidence, resulting in massive financial imbalances, propelled ever higher on a stock market bubble, and certain to end, as all others have done, in an inflationary bust and a vicious and perhaps even prolonged recession.

The modern sceptic echoes the words of Paul Warburg, the investment banker, who wrote, with telling prescience, in March 1929: "History, which has a painful way of repeating itself, has taught mankind that speculative over-expansion invariably ends in over-contraction and distress."

Which view is correct?

It is in the nature of historic change that it is rarely visible at the moment of transition, and since "false dawns" have proved plentiful, the risk of over-confidence is always high.

But curiously, it is possible that this time, both the optimist and the sceptic are right. The US does indeed seem to have enjoyed a structural change in its fortunes that, at the very least, has taken the economy's long-run productive potential back to where it was before the 20-year slowdown began in the mid-1970s.

But history suggests that the very process of change - whether it be the spread of rail transport in the mid-19th century, electricity 50 years later, or the arrival of mass production techniques in the first few decades of the 20th century - leads to even more extended estimates of what might be possible than are justified by the expanded economic base.

The performance of the last few years has indeed been impressive, by almost all standards of the economic history of the last 40 years. Next February, nine years after it began, the current expansion will become the longest ever. Most striking has been the performance over the last four years, when growth has actually accelerated.

Since the beginning of 1996, the economy has grown steadily at a real annual rate of 4 per cent, up from an average of just under 3 per cent for most of the last 20 years.

The raw data seldom capture the full scale. Examined another way, the US in the last three years has increased its output by $1,300bn, an amount equivalent to an economy the size of the UK. The sense of a unique American prosperity has been accentuated by years of sluggish growth in much of the rest of the world.

There have been periods of accelerated growth before, of course - for a few years in the 1980s, and for even longer in the mid-1960s. But what makes the current expansion unique is that this speeded up growth has occurred without inflation.

In the two previous long expansions of the last 40 years - the 1960s and 1980s - inflation gradually picked up speed, as the capacity of the economy failed to keep up with growing demand. Between 1960 and 1970, the broad, GDP-based measure of inflation, the price deflator, rose from an annual rate of increase of 1.4 per cent to a rate of 5.3 per cent.

In the 1980s, the price performance was better - inflation fell sharply during the 1981-82 recession and for a short while after. But by 1986 it was firmly back on a rising trend. Between that year and 1990, the rate rose from an annual pace of 2.2 per cent to a high of 3.9 per cent in 1990.

But the deflator has actually fallen every year throughout the current expansion - except one, 1993. Overall it has dropped from 3.9 per cent in 1990, to 1.2 per cent last year, and a new low of 0.8 per cent on an annualised basis in the third quarter of 1999.

For supporters of the New Paradigm case, this inflation performance, which suggests the rapid growth this time is sustainable, is a real change attributable to the range of changes the FT has examined in this series.

Across a range of economic opinion, there is now a consensus that the changes are real.

"I think it is always appropriate to be prudent and cautious in forecasting, particularly as the horizon of forecast increases," says Larry Summers, the US Treasury secretary, "But something clearly has changed. How long it will be different is not something we can know."

"It's always difficult to compare major historic economic changes," says Michael Boskin, who served as chairman of President George Bush's council of economic advisers.

"But I think it's quite possible that the changes we've seen in the last decade will come to be viewed in their way as important as the steam engine or many of the other great industrial innovations." But however important the innovations, past experience of previous periods of structural change suggests there is a real danger they have created an uncontrollable over-confidence.

That may be happening again in the late 1990s. The economy may be able to grow comfortably at an annual rate up to 3.5 per cent, compared with the old rate of just over 2.5 per cent. But at the current rate of more than 4 per cent -too fast, for even the new "speed limit" - imbalances have started to develop that threaten a collapse.

Much of the increased demand has been spent on imports, raising the current account deficit to dangerously high levels. This year it could be as high as 3.5 per cent of gross domestic product - a level most economists regard as unsustainable and likely to result in a significant drop in the value of the dollar, with damaging implications for domestic inflation and financial markets.

Another concern is the private sector financial deficit - the amount of borrowing individuals and companies need to finance their spending. The total deficit is 5 per cent of the income of the whole private sector, the highest level since the second world war.

The labour market is also stretched to a point where inflationary pressures could ignite quickly.

Above all, perhaps, the level of the stock market, predicated on the assumption that the current rate of expansion can continue indefinitely, worries even some of the most optimistic New Economy believers.

Precisely how serious these imbalances will be is almost impossible to gauge. They may not be as threatening as some suppose. The current account deficit, for example, will probably gradually diminish as growth in the rest of the world starts to accelerate. And nobody can be absolutely certain of the extent to which stock prices - if they are too high - may be overstretched.

But growing evidence of these strains suggests one rather obvious probability: at the least, even if the economy is now capable of growing at a faster sustainable rate than in the past, it is probably still expanding too fast even for that new rate.

Long-term potential annual growth may have gone from the 2.5 per cent of old to perhaps 3.5 per cent today. But only the most wildly optimistic would claim it was as high as the 4 to 4.5 per cent now recorded.

That means demand growth must slow over the next year or so - either through the much sought-after "soft landing" of gradually slowing demand, or through something more dramatic, such as a serious financial dislocation in stock or currency markets that might result in a nasty and painful recession.

Either way, some of the shine may start to come off the New Economy. Yet, though it may lose some of its hyperbolic lustre of the last few years, it would be a mistake to assume that a downturn or slowdown would invalidate the changes that have occurred in the last decade or so.

Economic history suggests financial overreach is often the reaction to significant underlying change. But while it may mask the genuine structural changes that have taken place, it does not undo them.

"As the 1920s showed, technological change is not armour against cyclical or financial problems," says Larry Summers. But, he adds, the spread of electricity that characterised that decade helped transform US economic fundamentals of the US economy. And though the 1920s ended in the most spectacular financial collapse in US history, the structural improvements endured. Electricity, after all, has proved to be a lasting benefit.

This is the last in a series that began last Monday



FINANCIAL TIMES Thursday December 16 1999


NEW US ECONOMY: A labour market that works
In parts of the US the labour market is so tight that businesses openly poach workers. Yet there has been no explosion in wage levels. Gerard Baker investigates


Nuisance telephone calls have become something of an epidemic at Newfield Construction, a medium-sized building concern in Hartford, Connecticut.

The switchboard operators were recently given strict instructions to report any suspicious calls to the company's vice-president in charge of business development, Richard Ostop, an authoritative figure with a straight-talking telephone manner who usually manages to scare them off.

These troublesome callers are a very 1990s phenomenon. They are not mouthing profanities or peddling unwanted services. They are poachers - Newfield's competitors and headhunters trying to lure away the best of the company's staff.

A favoured technique is to ring the company's switchboard and ask for the names of site managers and supervisors on specific projects, then ring back later and ask to speak to them directly. Once the callers are through they offer them a job with a fat signing-on bonus.

A labour war has broken out in the streets and offices of Connecticut. Unlike previous clashes, it is not being fought with pickets and strike-breakers. The antagonists are not, in fact, workers and employers at all. The battle is between companies, desperate - in the tightest labour market in memory - to get their hands on workers.

"This is the toughest I've ever seen it," says Mr Ostop, who has more than 25 years' experience in the business. "Companies are looking for more and more underhand ways to get and keep workers."

Unemployment in the state hit an all-time low of 2.1 per cent this summer, the lowest in the nation. Though it has edged up a little since, it is still among the tightest labour markets in the US. And Connecticut is only the most extreme manifestation of the conditions that now prevail across America. Unemployment nationally is 4.1 per cent, the lowest since 1970.

The performance of the US labour market in the late 1990s is as much a feature of the puzzlingly benign so-called New Economy as are technological change and productivity gains.

For the past four years the US has enjoyed an average annual growth rate of 4 per cent - up from an average of about 3 per cent in the previous decade. Productivity improvements account for about two-thirds of that elevated output, as workers have increased their output per hour.

The rest has come from a rapid increase in the total number of workers, what economists call labour inputs. There has been a surge in new jobs - 7m in the last three years - that has pushed the unemployment rate down into the uncharted territory of barely 4 per cent.

Recent economic history suggests that, whenever unemployment has gone this low, the scramble for workers becomes so difficult that wages are rapidly bid up, and an inflationary spiral follows. But in the US in the past five years, wage growth has been muted. In the last year, total employee compensation in the private sector rose by just 3.3 per cent, almost unchanged on the figure three years ago, when the unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent.

"In some ways it's a bigger puzzle than the productivity puzzle," says Paul Krugman, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "How can we have such a low unemployment rate without an explosion of wages?"

A number of factors appear to have contributed.

In a shelled-out restaurant in New London, an hour down the interstate highway from Hartford, Hope Becker is admiring the fruits of her labour. She and a handful of other trainees have just finished plastering the walls of the building as part of the final stages before its conversion into a colony of artists' apartments.

Ms Becker is especially pleased with her training; she has not been in the officially measured labour force much in recent years. She is a recovering drug addict and former prostitute who lost a daughter to adoption as a result of her addiction. Now clean for two years, when she finishes her 16-week training programme she has a job lined up at a small contractor, where she can expect to earn $15 an hour.

Stephanie Collier, director of the Alpha Development Group, a non-profit organisation that runs the training programme specially for women like Ms Becker, says that in the current labour market, companies are putting aside old prejudices.

"We've had calls from so many companies," says Ms Collier. "They're desperate for good labour, wherever they can find it."

In their search for workers to fill positions, companies have reached out to places they have not looked at in the past. As a result, more people are working than ever. The proportion of the population in employment reached a record high this year of more than 64 per cent.

This expanded labour supply helps explain why companies have kept the lid on pay over the last few years. The availability of new sources of labour - women, retirees, college students among them - means companies may not have to give big pay rises to hire new workers. It also helps explain why the benefits of the New Economy are not always widely felt - more people seem to be working longer hours than ever.

But an expanded labour supply can only explain part of what has changed in the US in recent years. After all, unemployment - the proportion of the labour force out of work - has still declined, indicating that companies have drawn new workers not just from the pool of those not previously in the labour force, but also from the unemployed.

And yet still wage costs have remained muted.

One possible explanation is that companies have become more flexible in how they pay.

"At Newfield, we use a much broader variety of means to reward workers, including performance-related pay, year-end bonuses, and extended contracts," says Mr Ostop.

The proportion of US companies using performance pay, bonuses and stock options has indeed risen sharply in the last few years, but that would still not explain the weakness of overall pay and benefit increases.

A better explanation may be provided by Syd Sawyer, a manager with Labor Ready, a local employment agency in Connecticut. His company - which specialises in day labour (temporary work) - has expanded rapidly in the last few years.

"We started in Connecticut three years ago from scratch. Now we have 19 branches in the state alone, and are opening four more in the next year," he says. Nationwide the company has expanded from 47 branches in 1994 to 682 branches today.

In spite of the big increase in demand for such workers, there has been relatively little upward pressure on wages, says Mr Sawyer.

The dramatic growth of such temporary work agencies points up a demographic change that economists believe may be the critical factor in explaining the labour market in the last few years.

Central to understanding the labour market is the concept of the natural rate of unemployment - the rate consistent with stable increases in wages. When the jobless rate falls below that level, wage pressure builds and an inflationary spiral develops; when the rate rises above it, wage pressures subside, and inflation falls.

What determines the natural rate is a range of demographic and economic factors - the proportion of temporary workers being one good example. The more temporary workers, the lower the natural rate, since companies have more flexibility in meeting demand, and workers have less bargaining power.

For most of the 1980s and early 1990s, the US natural rate seemed to be between 5.5 and 6 per cent. But, according to recent research by two prominent labour market economists - Lawrence Katz of Harvard and Alan Krueger of Princeton - it has fallen substantially in the last few years, as a result of demographic changes.

These changes are indeed a big increase in temporary workers, like those at Labor Ready, an increase in younger workers, who tend to have less bargaining power too, and a big jump in the prison population, which has simply eliminated a large number of people from the labour force who have a greater likelihood of being unemployed.

No one can be sure what the new natural rate is. Some economists think it could be as low as 4.5 per cent; most would settle for 5 per cent. What seems certain is that the current rate - 4.1 per cent - is still below the sustainable figure. That probably means inflationary pressures are likely to build if it stays there for long. That fear has been behind the Federal Reserve's interest rate rises this year.

In other words, in the labour market, as elsewhere, the New Economy has clearly changed the arithmetic of US economic performance. It seems unlikely that it has repealed the rules.



FINANCIAL TIMES Friday December 17 1999


UNITED STATES: Did a brave Fed kill off inflation, or was it luck?
Six years ago US monetary policymakers deliberately switched tactics in a bid to break the boom-bust cycle. But they might not be able to claim all the credit, writes Gerard Baker

In the closing days of 1993, as the US economy ended what had been a banner year of solid growth and buoyant equity markets, the Federal Reserve's monetary policymakers gathered for their final meeting of the year to decide what to do about interest rates.

It had been a quiet 12 months at the US central bank; most unusually the Fed had not changed rates in more than a year. The economy had bounced back from the early 1990s recession, but there was no obvious evidence of inflation - either in consumer prices or further along the pipeline - and investors were looking forward to another year of supportive central bank policy.

Before their formal proceedings got under way, the policymakers gathered around the great conference table in the Fed's boardroom and listened as two of the central bank's most senior economists gave a special presentation.

David Stockton, the Fed board's chief economist, and Jack Beebe of the San Francisco Fed presented the results of a year-long analysis from evidence around the world of the relationship between inflation and an economy's long-term growth prospects.

They found that, on the whole inflation did tend to depress growth, but noted a broad range of economic opinion on the subject.

While economists seemed to agree that very high inflation rates were damaging for growth there was "no smoking gun" on inflation - and much less consensus about moderate inflation rates.

As Alan Greenspan, the chairman, put it: "The crucial question is what happens to the evaluation about inflation of 5 per cent (or less); there, views start to spread all over the place."

The discussion for the Fed was particularly apposite, since US inflation was in exactly the low range - about 3 per cent - that seemed to suggest, at least to some economists, that there was not much to be gained from trying to press it lower.

Nothing definitive was decided at that meeting; there was no change in rates.

But the discussions that day are probably as critical to an understanding of the success of the US economy in the late 1990s, as technological changes or demographic shifts in the labour market.

The principal distinguishing characteristic of the expansion of the 1990s is this: inflation, after nearly nine years of growth is lower than it was when the expansion started.

This remarkably benign inflation performance is seen by economists as not just a symbol of the US economy's strength in the last decade, but an important contributing factor.

It has, uniquely in the past 25 years, created a lengthy period of stability that has proved supportive to growth.

The leading US expert on monetary policy attributes much of this environment of disinflation to the Fed itself.

"Monetary policy has been a major factor behind this outstanding US performance in recent years," says John Taylor of Stanford University. "The price stability it has engendered has probably itself improved productivity."

In early 1994, the Fed re-committed itself to squeezing inflation harder, in the growing conviction that the long-term benefits of low inflation far outweighed the short-term costs of fighting it.

At the next meeting of the FOMC, six weeks after that discussion, the central bank surprised financial markets with a rate increase.

In the next year it raised the cost of borrowing a further six times, doubling the Fed funds rate from 3 to 6 per cent. All this in spite of only limited signs of price inflation, and against a chorus of criticism that it was in danger of killing off the short-lived expansion.

With hindsight, in fact, it was clear the Fed's tightening action kept the recovery on a sustainable path and laid the foundations for the remarkably strong performance since 1995.

It was inflation, and the Fed's need to respond to it, that had killed off expansions in the past; keeping inflation low extends the longevity of periods of growth.

"The main reasons we have had recessions is that the Fed tightens, and it tightens when inflation has got out of hand. But since that's the primary source of recessions in the US, the fact that inflation has been kept under control has made it possible for the Fed not to tighten, and that has given us greater stability," says Martin Feldstein, former chairman of the council of economic advisers under President Ronald Reagan.

Some economists see the events of the past decade as the result of a fundamental shift in the economic consensus, following the inflationary years that preceded, which has occurred most notably at the Fed but also at other central banks.

"The Great Depression of the 1930s left us with lessons about demand management - the belief that policy needed to maintain demand growth at almost any cost. The Great Inflation of the 1970s and 1980s has left us with lessons of price stability - how important it is to achieve it," says Mr Taylor.

Some also argue that this shift might be part of a broader economic and political movement around a new consensus about fiscal policy and the role of government. The end of the Cold War has seen the emergence of an unusual degree of consensus around the need to control soaring public deficits.

"The later stages of the Bush administration and the early stages of the Clinton administration had one important thing in common: they both represented the discrediting of policies associated with big deficits, and both moved the US towards fiscal consolidation," says Jeffrey Frankel, a former member of Mr Clinton's council of economic advisers.

Other economists are not so sure. They argue the fiscal improvement in the 1990s is much more a consequence of strong economic growth than a cause of it.

And while they acknowledge that muted inflation has been the most remarkable feature of the long 1990s expansion, they say it is a worldwide phenomenon, more good luck than good monetary management.

A combination of factors - weak commodity prices, changes in the labour market, a strong dollar and others have been the key.

"Has there really been a consensus that has led to good monetary policy, or have we been lucky in terms of inflation that has led to a consensus?" says Gregory Mankiw, professor of economics at Harvard. "Alan Greenspan has done a great job. But he's also been pretty lucky in terms of dealing with a pretty good environment."

The critical test of just how good monetary policy has been may be still to come.

Since 1996, in marked contrast to the Fed's stance in the previous two years, Mr Greenspan and his colleagues have been much more accommodative of rapid growth, raising interest rates only gently in the face of extraordinary domestic demand growth. The Fed chairman's defenders say this is merely the counterpart to his management of policy through the earlier tightening phase. The conditions set in place then for low inflation have borne fruit, enabling the economy to grow faster now without generating price acceleration.

Against that, the sceptics say the Fed has dropped the ball, and allowed the economy to grow too fast, storing up inflationary retribution in the near future.

So far, though, the optimists seem to have the upper hand.

Inflation remains under control; the Fed remains vigilant, and the longest expansion in US history continues.

This is the fourth in a series. Earlier articles appeared on December 13,14, and 16. Part five appears on December 20.




FINANCIAL TIMES Tuesday December 14 1999

NEW US ECONOMY: Ready bucks and a flair for risk

While the remarkable performance of the US economy in the 1990s is partly due to the dynamic effect of new technology, the way companies are run and financed these days means that new technology is exploited to the full. Gerard Baker reports

Earlier this year Pete Blackshaw's career was riding the fast escalator up through the executive ranks of America's most famous consumer products company.

The 35-year-old Harvard Business School graduate seemed to have been hand-picked for corporate greatness. He played a central role in Procter and Gamble's early efforts to develop a strategy for interactive marketing, and he represented the company in industry-wide discussions on how advertising would meet the challenges of the internet.

A few months later, however, Mr Blackshaw is working out of the third floor of a converted Victorian building in the old heart of Cincinnati, half a dozen blocks and a million miles from P&G's cathedral of commerce.

With a handful of like-minded friends and colleagues, this month he launched Planet, which he describes as an internet-based service "aimed at transforming the way consumers relate to companies" - an electronic system that will enable customers to channel more effectively complaints and comments on companies' products.

"The internet is a heart attack, not a hiccup, for big companies," he says. "It is rewriting the rules."

Mr Blackshaw's high-speed odyssey is a familiar tale that has been repeated in tens of thousands of offices, basements and coffee shops across America. Cincinnati itself provides a telling and unlikely demonstration of the power of the modern force of entrepreneurship. City blocks that were once deserted breeding grounds for crime are awash in post-modern sounding start-ups: Ethos Interactive, Digital Bang, Project Bark, VisualNet.

To the sceptics, the internet start-up frenzy is a classic symptom of a bubble - an irrational exuberance that begins with a plausible idea for a business venture and ends a few months later in the grotesque mania of a profitless company nursing a market capitalisation worth more than General Motors.

But while there is e-hype aplenty, there is something else about the growth of new companies in the last few years that may prove more durable and a critical element in understanding the remarkable performance of the US economy at the end of the century, what some are calling the New Economy.

The success of the US economy is not simply a story about productivity gains from technological innovation. It is also about broader economic conditions that have enabled companies to exploit the technology. Economists of differing ideological persuasions believe that a combination of flexible capital markets and an economic climate conducive to risk-taking have been at least as important as the investments themselves.

"Financial markets have played a central role, making available resources for guys who can raise a million dollars before they can buy their first suit," says Larry Summers, Treasury secretary.

"It may be that the nature of this technology is particularly favourable for the US," says Martin Feldstein, chairman of the National Bureau of Economic Research. "There are all kinds of facilitating characteristics here - the venture capital market, incentive-based rewards for managers."

Since he left P&G 10 weeks ago, Mr Blackshaw has spent most of his time with money people; from "angels" - wealthy individuals willing to risk their money in projects - to venture capitalists managing hundreds of millions of dollars in pension funds and life insurance.

He has already completed the first round of financing - upwards of $6m.

"The availability of venture capital is what compels us to leave the large corporations and put our own stake in the ground. A lot of smart money is looking for really good ideas out there," says Mr Blackshaw.

From his 11th floor offices a few blocks away Jack Wyant looks out over the lazy meanderings and graceful ironwork spans of the mighty Ohio river. His company, Blue Chip Capital Ventures, can plausibly claim to have been the water that has allowed so many of the start-up seedlings in the Cincinnati area to grow. Starting from scratch less than 10 years ago, Blue Chip now has more than $400m invested in 80 companies, including Project Feedback.

"It probably is fair to say that the internet would not exist without venture capital companies," he says. "By providing the critical link between the initial private funding and the broader, public capital markets, venture capital makes the ideas of entrepreneurs a reality."

For 15 years until 1993, funds raised by venture capital firms in the US for investment were remarkably steady, between $3bn and $5bn a year. But in the last six years, venture capital funds have exploded, reaching $25bn last year. Funds under management last year were more than $80bn, up from $31bn in 1993.

This explosion of financial activity goes much further up the corporate development chain. Sums raised in initial public offerings rose from $28bn in 1994, to almost $70bn so far this year. By comparison, European venture capital and market flotation figures are less than half that figure.

But it is not just at the start-up end of the financial markets that the agility of American capital has helped nurture an innovative spirit. The so-called shareholders' revolt of the 1980s, which resulted in much more aggressive control of companies' by equity holders, was a critical factor in restructuring US business.

Even economists who have been critical of the short-term focus of US capital markets in the past, now acknowledge that the pressures of that short-term focus have had a deeply positive effect on US companies.

In the past 10 years, Mr Summers says, "increasing pressure for performance for shareholders" has played a crucial role. "I think our financial markets should get a lot of credit for forcing money out of traditional management and entrenched corporations, and preventing what would have been negative internal rates of return on investments."

Proponents of the New Economy case say these competitive pressures are quickening the pace at which companies mature.

"On conventional estimates it used to take five years to build a business to the point at which venture capital would be entering. Now it's less than a year. We're becoming adolescents before we're out of diapers," he says.

The speed with which companies are going from zero to industrial behemoth is unleashing those pressures. Perhaps the most striking illustration of this change is that, of the top 100 companies by market capitalisation in the US today, about a quarter did not exist a generation ago. That is a more dramatic pace of change in the recent past than in any comparable period this century.

"The turnover rate among firms is increasing markedly," says Paul Krugman, professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It could be that what is happening now is that we're shifting from an economy dominated by stable oligopolies - the "Big Three" car manufacturers model - to one dominated by temporary oligopolists - the Microsoft model . . . When you're General Motors, you know who your competitors are and what they are doing. If you're Digital-Something-Or-Other you know that the company that is going to destroy you is one you haven't even heard of yet. That inevitably keeps the pressure on."

On this view, the benign performance of the US economy in recent years - with rapid growth, but scant sign of inflation - may be a result of these increased competitive pressures.

Mr Krugman acknowledges that it is too early to tell whether these changes will prove lasting, and other economists are sceptical. "It's not true to say the economy in the past was as static as we like to think it was," says Gregory Mankiw, an economics professor at Harvard University. "For one thing, if companies face so much more competition today, why are profits so strong?"

Part of the answer lies in the financial markets themselves. The intensified pursuit of financial rewards may indeed have raised aggregate profitability even as it increased competitive pressures.

No one can say for certain yet what the impact of changing technology will be on the dynamics of American capitalism. Barriers to entry are clearly being reduced in some sectors, though that process may yet prove not to be quite so comprehensive as proponents now claim. And the same financial markets that have facilitated much of the economic growth of the last few years may be undermining it through over-confidence and heated speculation.

But there has been an accentuated dynamism to the behaviour of US financial markets in recent years that goes beyond short-term and cyclical factors. It is no accident that a surge in investment has been among the most outstanding features of the expansion




FINANCIAL TIMES Monday December 13 1999


The - click to refresh economy
Gerard Baker begins a week-long series looking at the US economy's long period of uninterrupted growth


In the heart of the plains, as far as it is possible to be in America from the bi-coastal buzz of information age frenzy, Kansas City seems an unlikely place to search for evidence of a late 20th century US economic transformation.

As the jumping-off point for the pioneers headed west in the last century, it has endured a reputation as something of a backwater. Kansans describe their outlook with self-deprecating humour.

"People with creativity and imagination went on and founded California," goes a local joke. "The chickens stayed here."

Its status as a great road and rail hub also gives it a faintly obsolescent air. Trucks and trains seem a quaint throwback in an age of networked hyperactivity. But it is a sure sign of the reach of economic regeneration that the humdrum business of transport - the very activity that put Kansas, quite literally, on the map - has also been swept along in the innovative wave that seems to have lifted US economic performance in the last few years.

Hunched over a computer screen in the central dispatch office of Yellow Freight, the nationwide trucking giant, Scott Osborn is moving numbers and arrows around as though playing a giant electronic game of snakes and ladders.

Using software called Sysnet, specially designed for Yellow in collaboration with Princeton University, the map on the monitor tells him that, on this particular morning, he has a shortage of truck drivers for some big consignments of goods on the route between St Louis and Chicago. Fortunately it also tells him he has the opposite problem in Nashville - too many drivers and too few loads. With a click of the mouse he can redirect drivers from oversupplied Nashville to under-supplied St Louis.

"A few years ago, before Sysnet, I would have had to trawl through pages and pages of schedules and data to figure out where these were," he says. "Now it takes me a few seconds."

Yellow, so-called because 75 years ago its founder drove a yellow taxi cab in Oklahoma City, has invested heavily in technology in the last few years. From wireless systems that keep drivers in close communication with local terminals to an automated scanning system that traces the movement of cargo across the country, the investments have saved the company hundreds of millions of dollars and have lifted its workers' productivity - the amount of output per hour each employee produces.

But most important of all, according to Gary Beggs, vice-president of express services, has been the impact of the investments on customers.

The innovations at freight companies such as Yellow have helped bring about a revolution in cost control for all businesses, by filling a massive information void.

Clicking on the internet, they can trace the hourly movement of their cargo as it rolls across the country, enabling them to maintain inventory levels at precisely the level they need, without costly stockpiling.

"Take car manufacturers, for example. We've become moving warehouses for them - delivering parts and supplies direct to assembly lines, cutting out whole mountains of inventory," says Mr Beggs.

This is the machinery of the so-called New Economy in action. As the US continues to enjoy elevated rates of growth, without clear evidence of customary inflationary pressures, economists point to the kind of changes at Yellow as an explanation. The massive investment in information technology - from desktop computers to biotech innovations to the explosive growth of the internet, sustained over a decade or more - has produced a revolution in the management of information.

"Information technology raises output per hour by reducing hours worked on activities needed to guard productive processes against the unknown and the unanticipated," said Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, in a recent speech. That means the economy can grow faster than in the past without igniting inflation. Mr Greenspan went on to describe the recent advances as "a major surge in innovation - matching, if not exceeding, the other great waves this century".

But is the evidence that radical change has occurred really overwhelming? Some sceptics believe the current excitement is overdone, that the trumpeted arrival of the internet and other innovations are important but should be seen as merely part of the inexorable, steady progress of economic history, not as some new leap on to a higher plane.

"I'm not convinced that the information technology revolution we are going through, and have been going through for about the last quarter century, is greater than, say, the previous 25 years, which saw the jet aircraft and nuclear energy," says Alan Blinder, professor of economics at Princeton, and a former vice-chairman of the Fed.

Until recently, the argument that technology had lifted long-term US performance was based on corporate anecdotes like Yellow's rather than hard economic fact.

Though investment in technology has been running at high levels for nearly 10 years, productivity growth was not much changed on its recent trend. Having grown at a steady annual rate of about 6 per cent from 1960 to 1990, investment in producers' durable equipment accelerated to an annual growth rate of more than 12 per cent in the 1990s. But until 1996 there was no discernible increase in productivity growth.

But some new revisions, published last month, show the big change in the last four years. The new numbers say output per hour grew at around 1.75 per cent a year in the non-farm business sector from the mid-1970s to 1995, with little deviation around that figure. But since 1996 that rate of growth has averaged 2.25 per cent, and in the last two years the figure has been a little over 2.75 per cent.

Some eminent economists who until recently were sceptical about the extent of underlying performance, now say that something really has changed.

"It's now four years of productivity growth that is substantially above what you saw before, and it's starting to get a bit long to be just a blip," says Paul Krugman, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It looks like there's an underlying improvement. A reasonable guess is now a 1 percentage point gain, which is a big difference."

The investment in high-tech, for so long absent from the productivity numbers, at last seems to have paid dividends for the economy, the data suggest. The reason technology took so long to show up in the productivity numbers is that history suggests it typically takes a while before companies learn how to apply the technology. As information networks develop, productivity gains take a while to come through.

"Like the telephone, right? If nobody else has one it doesn't get you very far," says Rudiger Dornbusch, another globally renowned professor of economics at MIT. "As investments and networks grow, there are vast increasing returns around innovation."

But this picture of technology spreading its gains throughout an ever more productive economy is challenged by one of America's foremost experts on productivity. After initial scepticism, Robert Gordon, professor of economics at Northwestern University, acknowledges that the figures do indeed confirm that the economy as a whole has lifted its underlying performance. But a closer look indicates these gains have not been distributed throughout the economy, but have all been confined to one sector - the high-tech sector itself.

"There was really, when I looked at it, a striking result; if you take out the computers and other technology stuff, there's no acceleration [in productivity]," says Mr Gordon.

His research indicates that high-tech - computer hardware and software manufacturers and related businesses - achieved productivity gains of more than 40 per cent a year in the last five years. But in the rest of the economy - manufacturing and services - output per hour growth is no different from what it was in the 1970s and 1980s at 1.75 per cent a year.

Mr Gordon's research has caused quite a stir and on the face of it appears to pose a significant empirical roadblock to New Economy euphoria.

But while other prominent economists do not dispute his methodology, there is widespread incredulity at the consequences of his conclusions - that 90 per cent of the economy has not seen any noticeable improvement.

Larry Summers, Treasury secretary, who has himself been extremely cautious about New Economy claims but does now believe there has been widespread economic improvement, thinks the problem is statistical unreliability of the figures outside the narrow high-tech sector.

"I think that it's probably the case that we do a much better job of measuring in information technology than we do in measuring other things," he says. "A whole bunch of productivity improvements have been of a kind that's harder to measure."

Most economists who have looked in detail at the data seem to share this view. In fact Mr Greenspan goes much further. In his recent speech on technology he described much of the data on productivity as "non-credible". The problem is that the data used by Mr Gordon and others include estimates for productivity gains for the whole "business sector" - that includes self-employed and others.

The intriguing aspect of Mr Gordon's findings is that they raise the possibility that productivity growth and, therefore, the economy's underlying potential may be even higher than New Economy advocates have argued. If gains in the non-technology sector are being understated, could not the real productivity increase for the economy be even higher than the 2.75 per cent annual rate of the last two years?

Mr Greenspan indicated this was a real possibility. Taking the apparently more reliable figures for the whole corporate sector (excluding financial institutions), the Fed chairman noted that gains had been running at 3 per cent a year in the last five years, and almost 4 per cent in the last two years.

"The acceleration in productivity appears reasonably widespread among non-financial corporate firms beyond the high-tech industries themselves, even though gains in the advanced technology companies have verged on the awesome," said Mr Greenspan.

But the Fed chairman and most respected economists warn that none of these measures is wholly reliable, and there is no guarantee that the outlandish gains of the last few years will in any case continue.

However, all but the most diehard of sceptics now agree that the US economy has become more significantly productive in the last few years. The consensus is that, at the least, the long period of sluggish productivity growth, which began in the mid-1970s, is for the time being over, and that US workers are now back to the rates of growth in their output that were last recorded in the 1950s and 1960s - a truly historic change, if it is sustained.

Technology may be the most important factor that has brought about this change and it has certainly gained most attention, but it cannot on its own explain why the US has enjoyed such an important shift. If it were merely the application of modern technological processes, other countries could reasonably have been expected to record a similar improvement, but there has been no evidence they have.

In fact a number of other critical elements of US economic organisation have moved into place in a way that has fundamentally altered the performance of the economy in the late 1990s. Over the next few days the FT will examine these in detail.





September 19, 1999


Rethinking Population at a Global Milestone



Now, You Can Have 5,999,999,999 Friends

How did demographers decide that on Oct. 12 the world will have 6 billion people? Projections are based on fertility, mortality and migration estimates. The United Nations Population Division estimated the mid-year total and projected that it has been growing by 148 people a minute (247 births minus 99 deaths), said Joseph Chamie, the division's director. Other findings:

The highest growth rate was 2.04 percent in the late 1960's.

This year, it is about 1.31 percent.

In 1965, 75 million people were migrants from another country. Today, 125 million are.

Life expectancy at birth is 65 years -- an increase of 20 years since 1950.

The median age increased from 23.5 years in 1950 to 26.4 years today.

In 2050, population is projected to reach 8.9 billion. Asia will account for 59 percent, Africa for 20 percent and Latin America 9 percent.

If this page were filled with periods, (69 dots per line in 6, 157-line columns) 6 billion of them would take up about 92,000 pages.

UNITED NATIONS -- Half a century ago, just as the world was about to give birth to dozens of new countries, two great Asian nations, China and India, were remaking themselves in starkly differing ways as models for an age of nation-building. The Chinese Communists, who completed their long march to power in Beijing 50 years ago next week, chose top-down re-engineering, overturning traditions in the name of ideology, while India emerged from a successful nonviolent independence movement in 1947 with a strong commitment to British-style democracy with an Indian face.

For what was then known as the Free World, there was no contest.

"India emerged as a significant leader of the newly independent states choosing the path of democracy," said Phillips Talbot, a former Assistant Secretary of State who has been watching India since the 1950's. "It looked very promising."

To Americans, he said, "China was a Communist country. It was antagonistic to us. Whatever it was doing it was doing by very strong authoritarian policies."

On Oct. 12, when the world officially declares that it has reached the 6 billion population mark, there will be cause to look again at China and India, still separated from one another by psychological and political walls as high as the Himalayas that divide them geographically. Together, India with 1 billion people and China with 1.2 billion account for more than one-third of all humans on Earth. And once again, their paths diverge -- this time in human terms.


China, which foundered in Maoist excesses in its first three post-revolution decades, took stock of itself in the late 1970's and, under Deng Xiaoping, began to rewrite its policies.

Even as they issued the harsh decree that families could have only one child, the Chinese also put together a comprehensive package of changes in the economy, rural land ownership and social services -- and the country began to take off. Lamentably, Western experts often emphasize, political democracy was not part of the package. But the sweeping changes paid off in many other ways.

Semi-socialist India, on the other hand, lagged in introducing fundamental economic and social reforms to match China's -- perhaps, ironically, because in a democracy such measures have to have some popular support. There was also history: India's legendary first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, set his sights on big industries, not village schools or rural doctors.

If current trends continue, India will surpass China as the most populous nation in the next half century. It enters a new millennium with work still to be done on a gigantic scale that the world cannot ignore.

Indians vote for their national leaders and enjoy free expression, but democratic India has not delivered on its promise of a better life for most Indians. Authoritarian China has done much better on that score. Nearly 83 percent of Chinese can read and write; only 53 percent of Indians are literate, according to the United Nations (India says it's 64 percent), and most of those who can read are men. China boasts a female primary school enrollment of 99.9 percent; nearly a third of Indian girls are not in school. More than half the children under five in India are malnourished and underweight; in China the figure is 16 percent. About half the Indian population lives on less than a dollar a day; fewer than 1 in 3 Chinese do.

Astonishingly for an open society, India also falls behind China in communications. The Chinese have 56 telephone lines for every 1,000 people; India has 19. There are 6 personal computers for every 1,000 Chinese and 2.1 for each 1,000 Indians. In economic terms, China's exports are more than five times those of India.

It has not always been this way.

Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate in economics and author of a new book, "Development As Freedom" (Knopf), always points out that democratic India, which got a head start in the 1950's, escaped the kind of famines it had suffered under colonialism because famines result when leaders react badly to nature's whims, and in India, popular demands for effective action could be reflected in the media. China, under the Great Leap Forward, endured one of history's greatest famines, as did Ukraine under Stalin and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, because of disastrously wrong-headed agricultural policies. But the last 20 years or so have been different in China, where modernization, openings to a free market and now prototype elections have made a dent in rural poverty and its mindsets. Economic reforms also updated China's cities in a generation.

What is going on here?

Could it be that China's draconian population policies, including enforced abortion and impoverishment for those who didn't comply, are paying off in a hurry?

Could it be true that democracy is not the most efficient way to bring a country out of poverty? Or is it that political leadership, more than the political system, matters most?

Professor Sen, an Indian citizen who is the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, is on the side of caution. "Mere democracy may not be adequate," he said last week in remarks to the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York. "But that doesn't mean that democracy is not important." At a time when every hoary old assumption about what makes nations prosper is being rethought, political democracy may be only one of a number of components, he said. Another is population control.

"The key in talking about population growth," said Lester Brown, president of the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, "is not whether India is a democracy or not, but whether there is leadership. By leadership, I mean leaders who will talk about the problem, discuss it and what it means to the next generation and the generation to follow."

Tavleen Singh, one of India's most acerbic political columnists, believes that when political will is missing, nothing else works. She posed a few questions to politicians recently in the newsmagazine India Today. "Would, for instance, our political parties like to explain to us why the image of the average Indian child, 50 years after Independence, is that of a scrawny, spindle-legged, barefoot creature who ekes out an existence by begging at traffic lights?" she wrote.

And amid the shameful squalor that is most of India, would they like to explain why our political leaders live in huge bungalows set in sprawling gardens that we taxpayers pay for?"

She points to the absence of effective welfare and population policies, and the persistence of the Hindu caste system, as causes for India's slide to the social levels of sub-Saharan Africa. Indian socialism, on the wane in any case, never had the strong welfare-state component found in Europe. Now, as India adds more than 18 million people a year to its population, will there be a demand for harsher measures for population control?

Ashish Bose, an Indian demographer, says no. "Our masses will not accept any coercive method of family planning," he said. He, like many development experts, says population control can in any case no longer be looked at in a vacuum. What good is a family planning clinic, he asks, if no road goes there?

In other countries, as within the varied states of India, moreover, surprising contradictions point up the traps in seeking quick answers for why population control seems to work in some places but not in others. In Bangladesh and Indonesia, which were under military rule, private development and environmental organizations began to flourish, along with successful family planning programs of all kinds.

General Suharto, the President deposed last year in Indonesia, opened condom factories and encouraged "supermarket style" local family planning centers. There were none of those grimy, unsanitary sterilization camps that are often all that is available to the majority of rural Indian women, and no harsh laws like those in China that prevent most families from having more than one child.

Yet Adrienne Germaine, president of the Women's International Health Coalition, which supported women's groups in Bangladesh, says this doesn't indicate that autocracy or human rights violations are necessary for successful population programs. "While there have sometimes been lapses in the quality of care and the voluntary nature of the programs in Bangladesh or Indonesia," she said, "over all, you haven't seen some of the draconian measures taken by China."

"But what is important to mention is that while, yes, the Chinese Government was autocratic, they were autocratic also in insisting that all children should be in school and all people should have basic health care and all people should have housing," Ms. Germaine said. The package improved the lives of many Chinese, creating more support for the family planning program than many outsiders would expect, some experts say.

"Chinese expanded freedoms of a different kind," Professor Sen argues, adding that China's critics often do not recognize that educational opportunity and universal health care liberate people to live longer, more fulfilling lives.

Professor Sen also says that India has missed opportunities that might have made its performance more comparable to China's. When lower fertility is harnessed to democracy it creates a dynamo, he says -- and more so if literacy and economic opportunities for women as well as basic health services are added to the mix. He faults much of India, including liberal economic thinkers, for not seeing these connections.

Mark Malloch Brown, the new administrator at the United Nations Development Program, is on the side of patience. "India is changing," he said. "Its sheer size means that there's a persistent rural backwater, where caste, a lack of basic services, poverty, means that change is a hell of a lot slower than we've all hoped. But I think we are arguing about speed rather than final outcome.

"My point is to be a bit more agnostic about which policies work, about final outcomes," he said. "Both countries -- India and China -- are going through historical spasms on development issues. One made this extraordinary human engineering intervention -- and if this was a hundred-yard sprint, they've won. But you know, societies are a marathon, and it's just too soon to be so declarative."



Financial Times

LEADER: Curve of chaos
98% match; Financial Times ; 03-Sep-1999 01:51:40 am ; 398 words

The human brain is predisposed to see order in chaos. We search for patterns - and causes - in apparently random data, particularly if these support our preconceived point of view. Politicians must therefore be vigilant when campaigners coax a significant trend out of dubious statistics and use this to demand a change in policy. Clusters of illness apparently linked to various causes of pollution are an obvious example.

The need for statistical caution was highlighted this week when it emerged that the symmetrical bell-shaped curve, normally used for probability analysis, is not as widely applicable as scientists have assumed. In many situations, ranging from extreme weather to aircraft turbulence, a differently shaped curve applies. It is not symmetrical and tails off less steeply than the bell curve - in other words, rare events occur more frequently.

This revelation has implications far beyond the world of statistics. It means, among other things, that an apparent excess of rare or unusual events is more likely to occur by chance, and less likely to signify a change in circumstances or the arrival of some new influence, than traditional analysis would suggest.

The new (and still unnamed) curve is the result of scientists in many different fields, from engineering to biology, mathematics to geology, coming together and comparing results - a powerful illustration, incidentally, of the benefits of interdisciplinary research. It applies to systems that are, in the jargon of chaos theory, self-similar; they can be broken down into layer after layer of smaller and smaller systems that share the same features. Unfortunately it is not usually obvious when this condition applies.

Even with the familiar bell curve, policymakers have been susceptible to dubious demonstrations of "statistical significance" - a real cause and effect rather than a coincidental relationship.

The arrival of an alternative curve is another powerful reason why we should beware of "scientific" arguments based on statistical analysis of rare events among extremely noisy data. Common sense and healthy scepticism are the best defence.

But there is a positive lesson too, for the public and private sectors. Extreme events and natural disasters, such as storms, earthquakes and avalanches, will occur more frequently than conventional analysis, based on the bell curve, would suggest. Natural fluctuations in the climate will lead to more hurricanes than insurance companies and coastal defence authorities are expecting - and man-made global warming can only make matters worse.

Copyright © The Financial Times Limited



INSIDE TRACK: Redrawing the curve reveals new pattern of events: SCIENCE PROBABILITY ANALYSIS: Discovery of a universal law linking seemingly random data came about through a remarkable pair of coincidences, says Michael Peel
81% match; Financial Times ; 02-Sep-1999 01:52:29 am ; 1272 words

Donald Turcotte recalls the hostile reaction he received when he suggested there might be a universal law linking patterns of mineral deposits, floods and landslides. He says: "I went to a conference in Italy and some distinguished physicists said: 'This can't be good science - it's too easy'."

It was a very human response to an apparently nonsensical notion. It defied intuition that there could be a simple connection between such diverse natural phenomena.

Yet Prof Turcotte and a number of other credible scientists contend not only that such a link exists, but that it extends into other fields. In short, they claim to have discovered a mathematical relationship that helps account for a range of seemingly random data, from avalanches to the spread of species in forests.

It is a discovery that promises to be of great practical importance as well as enormous theoretical interest. It could open up new ways of thinking in many fields that deal with apparently unpredictable events, from weather forecasting to stock market analysis.

As in all the best scientific narratives, the story of the discovery is almost as arresting as the breakthrough itself. While the concepts underpinning the new theory have been around for some time, the idea of a universal law was born only after an extraordinary pair of coincidences brought its architects together.

The tale began last year in London, although it could equally well have started in Lyons, California or New York. The location was the University College laboratory of Steve Bramwell, a chemist who had for several years been investigating how magnets lost their magnetic properties when heated.

Working with Peter Holdsworth of the Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyons, France, Dr Bramwell was looking at what happened at the critical temperature when magnets ceased to be magnetic. The researchers were able to plot a graph showing how the overall magnetisation of the magnet began to fluctuate in a distinctive but random way, with the occasional large movement.

Back in Lyons, Prof Holdsworth visited the laboratory of a colleague, Jean-Francois Pinton, who was doing research on the type of turbulent flows that buffet aircraft in mid-flight. It was the cue for Prof Holdsworth to make an astonishing discovery: there, on a desk, was a graph that looked identical to the chart he and Dr Bramwell had drawn up from the magnetism research.

Working in an apparently unrelated field, Dr Pinton had deduced identical behaviour to that observed by the other two researchers. "It turns out that it (magnetism) behaves in exactly the same way as the turbulence problem," says Dr Bramwell.

Late last year, the scene shifted to London again, where John Harte, a professor of environmental science at the University of California at Berkeley, was giving a lecture at Imperial College.

As Prof Harte talked about his work on the distribution of species in ecosystems, a member of the audience started to become very excited. Was Prof Harte aware, he asked, that the characteristic curve he was using to describe species abundance bore a striking resemblance to that deduced by Dr Bramwell in his work on magnetism?

A comparison revealed that the two curves were the same. "It was immediately obvious that we were on to the same thing," says Prof Harte. "The fact that somebody at that talk knew both his work and my work bridged the gap between us."

By now it was becoming clear that the various groups of researchers had worked out what Dr Bramwell described as some kind of "characteristic universal curve". The reason the systems behaved in the same fashion, they agreed, was that they shared a feature known as self-similarity.

If an object is self-similar, it means it looks the same when viewed from far away or nearby. One example is the cauliflower: just as it is made up of individual florets, so each floret is made up of still smaller florets. If you were given a picture with no sense of scale, you could not tell if you were looking at a whole cauliflower or just one floret.

In the same way, the distribution of species in 1 sq km of forest ought to be similar to that found in one square metre of the same habitat. Likewise, a turbulent or magnetic system is made up of a series of miniature systems, each of which is made up of a set of yet smaller arrays.

The concept of self-similarity forms the basis of the pioneering work done in the 1970s on chaos theory, a branch of physics that revolves around identifying patterns in apparently unpredictable sequences of events.

The problem for chaos theorists has been that they are viewed with scepticism by some scientists, who see their work as flashy and crowd-pleasing. This image has been re-inforced by the adoption of some of the ideas of chaos theory in popular culture, including appearances in films such as Jurassic Park.

What is important and exciting about the latest work is the way researchers have married chaos theory with hard experimental science across a range of disciplines. "When you look for (self-similarity) in a very broad class of systems you will probably find it," says Henrik Jensen, a reader in mathematical physics at Imperial College London. "The reason people haven't seen it is they haven't looked at it from that angle or perspective."

The emergence of a new universal curve promises to be a dramatic development in a world that relies on the famous bell-shaped curve, or Gaussian distribution, for so many of its assumptions. The Gaussian model is all pervasive, and it is used to make statistical predictions about patterns ranging from the number of errors in pages of typescript to the distribution of heights within populations.

Dr Bramwell and the other researchers do not claim that their model will replace the Gaussian distribution in every case, but that for certain systems it will prove more appropriate. The new curve tails off less steeply than its bell-shaped counterpart, suggesting that the rarest events will occur more often than predicted by the Gaussian model.

This has obvious implications for insurers and anybody else concerned with predicting unlikely events, such as natural disasters. Prof Turcotte, who holds the chair in geological sciences at New York State's Cornell University, has already used the work to explain incidences of avalanches, forest fires and earthquakes.

He says the higher-than-expected occurrences of hurricanes and flooding in the last decade show that insurance companies are making their predictions using an incorrect Gaussian model. "(But) they would not accept what I told you," he says. "They would say global warming makes floods occur more often than they have in the past."

Such scepticism is understandable. It seems to defy reason that one simple rule could explain such a panoply of events, regardless of variations in geography, geology and man-made efforts at disaster prevention.

Yet, according to the researchers, and the papers they have published in respected scientific journals, the power of self-similarity accounts for all these things and more. "It's very exciting," says Prof Harte. "I think we are stumbling along towards finding maybe a universal distribution of phenomena which connects a lot of different components of the natural world."

For those who continue to doubt that it could all be so simple, Prof Turcotte has a suitably direct response. "People say: 'You can't do it because it's too complicated a problem'," he says. "We say: 'Just look at the data'."

Copyright © The Financial Times Limited

Back to top ] FRONT PAGE - FIRST SECTION: Scientists throw a new curve at random events
98% match; Financial Times ; 02-Sep-1999 01:52:02 am ; 280 words

Albert Einstein's dictum that God "does not play dice" looks like turning from a great man's aside into a universal truth.

Scientists from Britain, France and the US have discovered a mathematical curve that seems to explain seemingly random events, such as aircraft turbulence and forest fires.

Their findings challenge the pre-eminence of the bell-shaped curve, the standard device used to forecast probabilities in areas as diverse as natural disasters and children's exam results.

The new curve is broader and more gently sloping, suggesting that the rarest events occur more often than predicted by the bell-shaped curve.

The breakthrough could have far-reaching consequences in areas such as engineering, insurance and ecology which rely on forecasts of probabilities that specific events will occur.

Donald Turcotte, professor of geological sciences at Cornell University, New York, said he discovered the curve after plotting graphs of the severity of floods in the US. His study suggested the worst incidents occurred more often than indicated by official predictions, which were based on the bell-shaped curve.

The idea of a new universal curve crystallised after quirks of fate brought together scientists working on various natural phenomena including avalanches, earthquakes and the abundance of species in eco- systems.

Their findings suggest that industrialists and conservationists alike may have to review some of the key assumptions underpinning their work.

The discovery draws on chaos theory, a branch of maths that revolves around identifying patterns in apparently random sequences of events.

Einstein, who sought predictability in the real world and argued that quantum mechanics was an inadequate universal theory, would have approved. New pattern of events, Page 10





Losses in Space -- Iridium's Downfall: The Marketing Took A Back Seat to Science --- Motorola and Partners Spent


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


Early this year, Edward Staiano, then the hard-charging chief executive of Iridium LLC, prepared for a meeting with officials from Motorola Inc., Iridium's biggest investor. Iridium's $5 billion global satellite phone system had made its debut several months earlier, but few customers were signing on. And the phone itself? Mr. Staiano stuffed one of the brick-like devices into his briefcase, along with its array of ungainly accessories and adapters, and headed into the meeting.


It got testy in a hurry. Mr. Staiano flung open his briefcase, scattering the phone and its numerous gadgets across a table. "You really expect business travelers to carry all this s---?" he yelled.


The question remains a telling one. Last week, Iridium LLC filed for bankruptcy-court protection. The Washington, D.C., company's satellite system was supposed to revolutionize telecommunications by allowing phone calls anytime, anywhere. But nine months after its high-profile launch, it has only about 20,000 customers. A brassy $100 million international marketing campaign has fizzled, and most of Iridium's top marketing staff has been fired. Mr. Staiano himself was forced to resign four months ago. His successor, John Richardson, formerly affiliated with Iridium's African operations, says: "These are tough times."


Motorola and other Iridium backers say that they still believe in the project, and that they intend to restructure its crushing debt load and carry on. Motorola has the most to lose from Iridium's problems: It built most of the system, owns 18% of Iridium and has poured billions of dollars into the project.

But many Iridium watchers are skeptical that the project will ever thrive, even if it survives a bankruptcy restructuring. Mr. Richardson says Iridium's major mistake was a premature launch "for a product that wasn't ready." Yet interviews with numerous current and former employees and investors suggest far more fundamental flaws. Iridium and Motorola, they say, became so obsessed with the technical grandeur of the project that they missed possibly fatal marketing traps. Among them: The space phone is too clunky, erratic and expensive -- it originally cost $3,000, and calls ran as much as $7 a minute -- for a world in which makers of pocket-size phones literally give them away. Moreover, Iridium's international structure has proved almost impossible to manage: The 28 members of the board speak multiple languages, turning meetings into mini-U.N. conferences complete with headsets translating the proceedings into five languages.


The project was always a mindboggling challenge -- part of the appeal to the Motorola engineers who dreamed it up back in the mid-1980s. Its main feature is a constellation of 66 low-orbit satellites that ring the globe, enabling, in theory, phone calls from the most impenetrable jungles or the deepest canyons. Robert Galvin, the legendary son of Motorola's founder, gave the project the green light when he was chairman, and remains a believer -- as does his son, Chris, Motorola's current CEO. Striding through the Motorola Museum near Motorola's headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., recently, the elder Mr. Galvin, 76 years old, stops by a display of the first car radio, invented by his father. "People said it would never work," observes Mr. Galvin, who is retired but remains a Motorola director. "They were wrong, of course." He says Iridium doubters face the same fate. "We just congenitally did and do believe in the market."


Some critics see the attitude embodied in such remarks as a contributor to some of Iridium's problems. Motorola is famous for a never-say-die engineering spirit, admirable in the lab but a possible problem when marketing or other problems arise. Indeed, early on, potential investors saw signs of a disconnect between the engineers and market realities. An executive from a regional Bell phone company recalls sitting through a Motorola Iridium presentation in the early 1990s and being startled by one slide.


"It said user 'dexterity' was important to using the service," the executive recalls. In other words, customers had to position themselves so nothing blocked the line of sight between the phone's antenna and the orbiting satellites. Otherwise, it wouldn't work. "Now you tell me, how am I supposed to sell something like that?" the Bell man says. His company declined to invest in Iridium.


There were other troubling signs. In 1994, Motorola engineers outfitted an SR-71 Blackbird, a military spy plane, with a jury-rigged satellite payload, and had the plane fly back and forth over the Motorola facility where the Iridium satellites were built. Motorola says the exercise was merely intended to test data transmission.


Motorola later played back a simulated call that had been constructed as part of the data exercise, some investors say. It backfired. "The voice quality was just so bad," says one person who attended the event. "Some people got really upset."


Still, by 1996, Iridium had obtained an operational license from the Federal Communications Commission, pieced together an international array of backers that included arms of the Chinese and Russian governments, raised almost $2 billion in financing and overcome towering technological challenges to prepare the satellites. It organized its consortium members loosely into 15 regional "gateways," named after the ground-based switching systems that would receive and direct Iridium calls. Motorola picked a launch date for the Iridium system -- Sept. 23, 1998 -- believing it needed to have a firm deadline to keep the complex project on track.


To ensure that deadline would be met, Iridium turned to Mr. Staiano. A 23-year Motorola veteran known as "Fast Eddie," he was named Iridium CEO in December 1996. He had played a big role in Motorola's early push into cellular in the 1970s -- another Motorola greatest hit that many had predicted would never work. An imposing figure at 6-foot-4, Mr. Staiano had a reputation as a steely taskmaster. He brought that style quickly to bear at Iridium-in ways that angered some of his team.


On one occasion, Roy Grant, Iridium's former chief financial officer, and Leo Mondale, Iridium's current chief financial officer, were in Phoenix attending a meeting with Mr. Staiano. After the meeting, Messrs. Mondale and Grant got into one car, and Mr. Staiano in another. They then headed to the local airport, where the corporate jet was waiting. The car carrying Messrs. Mondale and Grant took a wrong turn. Although they called ahead to tell Mr. Staiano they would be about 45 minutes late, Mr. Staiano took off in the plane without them. Messrs. Grant and Mondale had to take a commercial flight back.

Iridium confirms the episode, but says that Mr. Staiano had an urgent business appointment and couldn't wait.


Mr. Staiano was also demanding. When he learned that Steve Phillips, a senior sales executive, couldn't attend a meeting because he was vacationing with his family in Europe, Mr. Staiano told Mr. Phillips's boss to inform Mr. Phillips that if he wasn't in the office by the following morning, he would be fired. Mr. Phillips's frantic colleagues located him later that evening, but Mr. Phillips couldn't make the necessary connections. He finally made it back, but was fired shortly thereafter.


Mr. Phillips couldn't be reached to comment. Iridium confirms the incident, but says several factors figured in his dismissal.




Losses in Space -- Iridium's Downfall: The... -2-


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


Mr. Staiano's resolve did enable him to keep on top of a mind-numbing number of details, many of which could have derailed the project. He engaged in some creative nagging: At one meeting in Montreal in 1997, Mr. Staiano set up a chart with red, green and yellow cars to illustrate which consortium partners were on schedule, which were lagging, and which were far behind. According to one person who was there, several partners who had been tagged with red cars refused to talk to him after the meeting.


Mr. Staiano makes no apologies for being a tough leader, and says it was required to keep the crushingly complex project from imploding. He notes that he had to push hard in part because Iridium, as a condition of receiving financing, had promised banks it would have a certain minimum number of customers by specified dates. He is rooting for Iridium, but isn't optimistic. "It is unlikely to be a success with the structure it now has," he says. "The ownership structure is just impossible."


Indeed, by early 1998, many Iridium insiders had become concerned that some of the project's far-flung partners weren't keeping up on the marketing front. Under Iridium's structure, the regional gateways are responsible for marketing Iridium's phone and service in their parts of the world. But advance sales of the service didn't materialize. Though the full global marketing campaign wouldn't come for a few months yet, Iridium had expected, based on early forecasts, that a certain number of advance sales would filter in as marketers made their rounds. They didn't. "People just assumed that other people were doing what they were supposed to do -- and they weren't," says one investor.

Iridium partners failed to build sales teams, create marketing plans, or set up distribution channels for their individual countries. With less than six months to go before the launch of the service, time became critical. Feeling the heat of the approaching Sept. 23 deadline, most partners didn't reveal that they were behind schedule. It's also possible that some of the gateways didn't understand how far behind they were, given their general dearth of telecommunications experience: One Venezuelan investor, for instance, was involved in dairy products, as well as cellular.


Iridium, for its part, could apply only so much pressure because the owners of the gateways were also board members, or controlled by board members. At Iridium's board meeting in Moscow in the summer of 1998, gateway partners voiced concern that they were having a hard time inspiring marketing representatives or potential customers. They needed to demonstrate how the Iridium product worked. But as the launch neared, thorny technical issues still needed to be solved. Dropped calls were common, completion rates were dismal, and other network functions were off-kilter. Planned trials of the service were delayed; some tests were eventually eliminated.


The Iridium phone itself was a problem. Weighing in fully loaded at about a pound, the phone required special training and was proving hard to use. Each phone was accompanied by a bag of attachments whose functions were difficult to understand, Iridium insiders say. Cellular cartridges, critical to allowing the phones to move easily from cellular to satellite mode, weren't readily available. Worse, the phones were phenomenally expensive at the $3,000 price, and with the call charges of as much as $7 a minute. (Last month, Motorola cut the cost of the Iridium phone to about $1,500 and service charges were trimmed substantially.) Charges for many wireless calls have dropped to as low as 10 cents a minute.


Gateway members were also grumbling about Iridium's overall marketing plan. Some regarded the sales messages as too fuzzy. Others were concerned that the message Iridium was sending -- that the phone could be used anywhere on the planet -- was misleading, given, as it turns out, that the phones couldn't be used inside buildings, moving cars and many other places where the high-powered business elite Iridium targeted tend to hang out.


Still, Iridium's ad campaign, which gateway members had approved, appeared in publications around the world last summer and grabbed a lot of attention. Over a matter of weeks, more than one million sales inquiries poured into Iridium's sales offices. They were forwarded to Iridium's partners -- and many of them promptly disappeared, say several Iridium insiders. With no marketing channels and precious few sales people in place, most global partners were unable to follow up on the inquiries. A mountain of hot sales tips soon went cold.

With pressure mounting to delay the launch, Mr. Staiano finally pulled the plug with about two weeks to go. He set a new launch date for Nov. 1, less than six weeks later. But Iridium's fractious investors were increasingly alarmed, and it all came to a head in an October meeting with gateway partners in Seoul, South Korea. They voiced worries about the readiness of the Iridium system, even with the delay. They were concerned that back-office support systems wouldn't be ready in time.


Mr. Staiano, upset, admonished his critics to pay closer attention to their own marketing and licensing responsibilities. "He told people they weren't undertaking their responsibilities, saying he was tired of hearing their excuses," says one attendee. Iridium confirms that. After he finished, Mr. Staiano promptly headed for a waiting helicopter and left for another meeting.

Iridium made the Nov. 1 launch date, and the system was activated. While the technical problems had eased, the gateway partners still weren't ready to market the service. Phones were in short supply, and distributors, unable to test the system themselves, were leery of selling the phones to important customers.

By the end of February, Iridium acknowledged what the partners had suspected for months: There weren't many paying customers. Though the partners were still optimistic that a market would materialize, it was clear that building a loyal base of users would require far more time than Iridium had thought -- or had promised its banks. By early spring, Iridium had missed many of its critical benchmarks.


Mr. Staiano once more dug in. He pushed to centralize the global marketing of Iridium, a move that would have put local gateways directly under the marketing thumb of Iridium -- and Mr. Staiano. The gateways, which by then were weary of Mr. Staiano's tough talk, rebelled.


Although Mr. Staiano had already cut Iridium's costs to the bone, he made one last-ditch effort to cut even deeper. According to one person familiar with the matter, Iridium's fiery chief executive issued Motorola an ultimatum over a topic on which they had clashed many times: Cut Motorola's lucrative multibillion-dollar contract for overseeing the Iridium system by half, or he would resign.


Motorola refused to cut further, but by then, Mr. Staiano's fate with the project was already sealed. At a cocktail party at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in suburban Virginia the night before Iridium's April board meeting, Mr. Staiano was informed that the board planned to dismiss him the next day. According to people familiar with the matter, Mr. Staiano sent over a brief letter of resignation, but didn't bother to show up for the final vote. He now heads up his own venture-capital firm in Northern Virginia. The start-up invests in new technology companies.



Journal Link: Join an online discussion about Iridium's problems in The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition at




When the Bubble Bursts... ---- By Edward Chancellor


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


Steep declines in the share price of many "new era" technology companies have renewed fears that today's prosperity could be threatened by a wider stock market crash. In this context, it is pertinent to ask why some stock market bubbles deflate with little ill effect on the wider economy while others are followed by prolonged economic crises.


The orthodox view among economists is that bursted bubbles rarely harm the overall economy. Adherents of the efficient-market school, believing that stocks are always properly priced, tend to deny a connection between excessive speculation and subsequent economic crises. Milton Friedman has long argued that the Great Depression was caused not by the decline of asset values after October 1929 but by a contraction of the money supply during the early 1930s. This view was echoed in a paper last year by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor economist Peter Temin, who claimed that the last time a stock market decline had an adverse effect on the real economy was in 1903.

But history suggests that there are certain conditions that make an economic downturn more likely after a period of speculative euphoria. First and foremost is the amount of debt accumulated in the system during the preceding boom. In the 1920s there was a rapid expansion of both consumer credit (then called "installment loans") and corporate and property lending. Bad debts triggered the first banking crisis, in the autumn of 1930, after the collapse of the Bank of the United States, itself brought down by overexposure to a declining property market. Japan's current banking problems are the result of property loans extended during the 1980s against wildly inflated collateral. And the Asian crisis of 1997 was greatly exacerbated because Asian banks and businesses had borrowed excessively during the preceding boom.


Past economic crises have also resulted from the misallocation of investment that commonly occurs during bubble periods. The British "railway mania" of 1845 and the American railway boom up to 1873 produced chronic overinvestment. Too many railroads were built that never turned a profit, while falling revenues caused defaults on railroad bonds. In the British case, the extension of the rail system was so rapid that it consumed much of the capital available for existing businesses, causing interest rates to rise sharply. More recently, the Japanese "bubble economy" was also driven by massive capital investment as companies attempted to lower manufacturing costs to cope with a rising yen. By the end of the 1980s this investment had produced excess capacity in many industries, from semiconductors to automobiles.


Another factor is the degree to which assets are overvalued during a bubble. Japanese property prices in the late 1980s reached such extravagant levels that it has taken almost a decade for the overvaluation to work its way out of the system. By contrast, the fallout from the October 1987 stock market crash was mild because precrash share prices were not overvalued on a replacement-cost basis.


The economy is more likely to survive a crash when business leaders are not sucked into the whirlpool of speculation. For instance, Amsterdam merchants never played the tulip game in the 1630s and therefore had nothing to lose when the craze came to an abrupt halt. Likewise, the collapse of the South Sea Bubble of 1720 had little effect on most English merchants, many of whom speculated on the way up but sold out before the bubble burst. The upshot was that, while the South Sea Company lost 90% of its value during the crash and many smaller start-ups disappeared, the number of commercial bankruptcies in 1721 was not much higher than usual.


The actions of governments after a crash may also influence the severity of its effects. Many economists argue that after October 1929 President Hoover should have followed the advice of his Treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, who advocated allowing the crash to "liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers and liquidate real estate." Instead, Hoover led a campaign to maintain wage levels in the face of falling prices. Japanese authorities committed the same error in the early 1990s with their futile attempts to prevent asset prices from falling. They would have done better to follow the example of the British authorities who remained benignly laissez-faire in the face of the South Sea Bubble and all 19th-century crashes.

Then there is the largely imponderable effect of a crash on consumer behavior. During boom times, consumers increase their expenditure as the market price of their savings rises -- what economists call the "wealth effect." Conversely, they react to a fall in the value of their investments by saving more and spending less. Anecdotal accounts suggest that the 1929 crash deeply unsettled consumers who were already up to their eyeballs in debt.

As financial journalist Frederick Lewis Allen wrote in 1931: "Prosperity is more than an economic condition; it is a state of mind. The Big Bull Market of the 1920s had been more than the climax of a cycle in American mass thinking and mass emotion. There was hardly a man or woman in the country whose attitude toward life had not been affected by it and was not now affected by the sudden and brutal shattering of hope. . . . Americans were soon to find themselves living in an altered world that called for new adjustments, new ideas, new habits of thought and a new order of values."


By contrast, the crash of 1987 did not greatly diminish consumer confidence because, according to some commentators, the public's participation in the preceding boom was too narrow. The bull market was driven by market professionals -- corporate raiders and risk arbitrageurs -- and was not a "retail market." The crash was seen as a "Wall Street affair," and Main Street was unperturbed.


Of course, the question on everyone's mind is whether the U.S. economy will continue to prosper if stock prices come down from their current heights. In light of past experience, the prognosis is not good. Corporate debt has risen sharply. It is also likely that much of the capital investment during the current boom, particularly in the Internet, will prove to be as misplaced as British investments in railroads in the 1840s.


Leading businessmen, their personal wealth inflated by the value of stock options, have not remained aloof from the current boom. On most valuation measures, stocks are very highly priced and could have a long way to fall. Furthermore, because there is no clear consensus among policy makers about how to deal with the aftermath of a bubble, the authorities may yet be persuaded to intervene to prop up wages or share prices. Such actions could inadvertently lengthen the crisis by hindering the market from reaching its clearing level.

What would happen to consumer confidence in the case of a bust? Consumer credit is currently far more extended than in the 1920s, savings are at an all-time low, and there is a much greater public exposure to the stock market than 70 years ago, when only a couple of million Americans owned stocks. Many investors have taken out home-equity and margin loans to finance their stock market speculations.


One day these debts must be repaid. If day traders lose their shirts, they will most likely spend less and save more. A sharp rise in the savings rate poses the threat of what John Maynard Keynes called the "liquidity trap." Since the economy is currently running at near full capacity, any fall in consumption will produce excess capacity unless compensated for by rising exports or increased government expenditure. As Daniel Defoe observed after the first British stock market crash of 1696: "Anyone might have foreseen that . . . the raising of stock, of all sorts to a value above the Intrinsick, must have some fatal issue, and would fall somewhere at last so heavy as to be felt by the whole body of Trade."




Mr. Chancellor is author of "Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999).




International: Powerful Earthquake Jolts Northwest Turkey, Killing Thousands and Devastating Urban Areas ----


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A powerful 45-second earthquake cut a swath through Turkey's industrial heartland yesterday, killing thousands of people, shutting businesses, wrecking major power lines and jolting national confidence just as the economy showed signs of leaving this year's recession behind.

The temblor surged from deep under the Marmara Sea at 3:02 a.m. local time. Turkish seismologists said the earthquake measured 6.7 on the Richter scale, and U.S. scientists in Golden, Colo., say it may have peaked as high as 7.8. In Istanbul, Turkey's biggest city and financial center 50 miles west of the epicenter, the quake brought down buildings, triggered a cacophonic downtown chorus of car and shop alarms and sent many in the population of 10 million out onto the streets.


Among those shaken awake was U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, in Turkey for talks on Caspian oil and natural-gas pipeline projects.

"We were shaking," he said later in his 12th-floor hotel suite. "I could see lights going out, people running in the streets. The light was going out, the power was going out," he said. "I can tell you having experienced an earthquake before, in Mexico: This was a very strong earthquake."


Because telephone lines and power went down over much of northwestern Turkey, the rest of the nation only gradually learned about the nightmare that unfolded along the seismic fault line from Istanbul to Ankara 250 miles to the east. The semiofficial Anatolian news agency late yesterday put the death toll at 2,011, and said 10,764 were injured. But those figures could climb.

No Americans or other foreigners in Turkey were immediately reported hurt. Istanbul's Ottoman and Byzantine monuments appeared undamaged. The Turkish straits remained open throughout.


Closer to the epicenter, people were thrown out of their beds by the force of the quake. Panic seized the worst-hit urban areas of Izmit, Golcuk and Yalova. People broke ankles and legs leaping from windows and balconies. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of poorly constructed concrete apartment buildings crumpled into pancake piles of rubble. Survivors huddled in the blacked-out streets, huddling fearfully during strong hourly aftershocks.


Medical help was minimal. One regional hospital had collapsed. Another had just one working operating theater, and the chief doctor said most surgical implements had been shaken out of their antiseptic containers. As night turned into a hot, sunny day in the devastated region, patients filled up parking lots, sidewalks and roads outside hospitals. Angry relatives ransacked pharmacies for desperately needed supplies.


"My house collapsed on me," said 40-year-old salesman Ozhan Zeyrek, his skin coated with gritty concrete dust. "They dug me out after eight hours. I thought I had died and come back to life." He was limping down a street, naked except for a curtain hitched round his waist like a skirt. He held out a swollen right forearm with a grisly open wound. "Take me to a hospital. But not the one back there . . . All they could do was give me a couple of injections."

In Istanbul, gold, bond, and stock markets closed when the Central Bank fund transfer computer went down. The markets are expected to reopen for business today.


Rescue efforts were hampered by roads blocked in one direction by fleeing survivors, and in the other by relatives searching for family members. And a damaged bridge cut the main Trans-Europe Motorway.


Turkey also lacks sophisticated rescue services. The U.S., Germany, Britain, Israel, Switzerland, Japan and even Turkey's rival Greece prepared and sent trained teams to look for survivors. The Turks had little but pickaxes, heavy construction equipment and their bare hands.


Lack of electric power, due to heavy damage to transmission lines and transformer stations, was a major problem. Factories all shut, as did many other businesses in northwestern Turkey. The mayor of Izmit begged on live television for foreign help to extinguish fires in the Tupras refinery, which he said was abandoned at nightfall as the fires spread through naphtha tanks. The complex accounts for a third of Turkey's refining capacity.


The shock to the area, mostly Kocaeli province around Izmit, will jolt Turkey at a delicate time for its economy. The province generates 10% of Turkey's industrial production. Many foreign joint-venture factories and car plants have chosen sites there. Its automotive industry helped production figures improve after the economy shrank 8.4% in the first quarter of 1999.

Still, bankers believe the personal tragedies of the earthquake won't be matched by an economic meltdown. "Our preliminary assessment is that the economic impact would be mildly negative on industrial production and on the fiscal situation, but should not affect the chances of Turkey getting International Monetary Fund funding in the fourth quarter of this year, or Turkey's progress toward stabilization," said a report from Laura Papi of Deutsche Bank.






Tobacco: Behind a Hot Smoke, Hard Labor --- Indian Women Toil to Supply Bidi Cigarettes ---- By Miriam Jordan


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


AHMEDNAGAR, India -- Surekha Suram sits on the floor of her one-room shack, rolling a reddish-brown leaf filled with tobacco flakes and then tying one end with a thread. On a good day she makes about 1,000 of these minicigarettes, or bidis, earning about 80 cents.


Smoking bidis has become a hot fad among young American hipsters. Exports to the U.S. of the cheap, fruit-flavored cigarettes (pronounced "beedees") have doubled in the past year. Behind the trend is a global supply line that starts half a world away, in impoverished homes in rural India where underpaid women labor long hours to keep the goods flowing.


Since the turn of the century, when Indians began smoking hand-made cigarettes in large numbers, illiterate women have eked out an existence much as Ms. Suram does today. Nowadays, bidi-making employs about five million Indian women, making it second only to farming. It is often carried out under exploitative conditions, and the cigarettes may pose health risks for the rollers as well as the smokers.


The bidi, which is filled with locally grown, sun-cured tobacco, looks something like a marijuana joint. It rarely carries a filter and is skinnier and shorter than a white stick cigarette. "It tastes better" too, says 19-year-old Salvador Rasco as he buys a couple of packs at Ye Ole Tobacco Shop in Savannah, Ga. The only drawback, he says, is "you gotta keep smoking them, or they go out on you," a result of the poor combustibility of the tendu leaf the tobacco is wrapped in.


Bidi manufacturers say they are performing a national service by providing work for the women. "If they didn't do this, what other job could these women do?" asks Praful Patel, who employs 50,000 women across eight states and is a member of parliament. In terms of worker comfort, "it's just like knitting," he says. "It's a fine-tuned, nice job."


Labor activists accuse manufacturers of keeping wages low and turning a blind eye to exploitation. Since most rollers work at home, it is tough to enforce worker-protection laws or prevent child labor. "Bidi workers can't sustain a struggle with employers because they're living hand-to-mouth," says R.K. Ratnakar, general-secretary of the All India Bidi, Cigar and Tobacco Workers Federation, of which Ms. Suram is a member. Labor-ministry officials acknowledge many bidi rollers enlist their young daughters, though child labor is illegal.

Ms. Suram, 43 years old and a widow, says she started rolling bidis when she was 13. Her two teenage daughters roll as well. Ms. Suram earns about $18 a month. That is low for India, where the average monthly household income is $40.

Her day begins at 5:30 a.m., when she fetches cooking and bathing water from a well at the end of a squalid lane where she lives. She cooks a breakfast of flatbread and vegetables, and tidies up her dank, windowless one-room home, in which she eats, works and sleeps on a rope cot.


By 9 a.m., Ms. Suram is sitting on the ground indoors, rolling bidis. She works until 11 p.m., completing a bidi every 25 seconds, except for an hour when she walks to a warehouse nearby to drop off her bidis and pick up her pay and more tobacco flakes, tendu leaves and thread for the next day.

"I can't afford to take a break," she says, eyes focused on the large metal tray on her lap where she works. "I have to fill my stomach and that of my children."


Though there is no proof that rolling causes respiratory diseases, the incidence of tuberculosis and bronchial asthma among bidi rollers is higher than that among the general population, according to research by the Factory Advisory Services and Labor Institute in Bombay, a unit of the Labor Ministry. Ms. Suram and her colleagues in this western Indian town complain of back strain and neckaches, and they cough from the dust they inhale.


Bidis are a fixture in India, where eight are consumed for every conventional cigarette. Annual sales are around $1.4 billion. Despite a surge in demand from the U.S. and other Western markets during the past two years, exports account for less than 1% of sales, according to the bidi-industry federation of India.

Bidis in India aren't candy-flavored, and it isn't clear who first had the idea to add flavors for Western markets. Sable Waghire & Co., an Indian manufacturer that exports bidis in 18 flavors to the U.S., says it began experimenting with flavoring about four years ago and decided to target the overseas market after flavors flopped in India. Large U.S. importers, such as Kretek International Inc., Moorpark, Calif., tout aromas from strawberry and mandarin orange to vanilla and black licorice on their Web sites.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says bidis are more harmful than regular cigarettes because they contain at least three times more tar and nicotine. Some U.S. lawmakers are concerned that bidis are being sold illegally to minors.


In India, where bidis are deemed the poor man's cigarette, a bundle of 25 costs about eight cents. A pack of name-brand regular cigarettes sells here for about $1. By contrast, in the U.S., a pack of 20 bidis costs at least $2, while regular cigarettes can cost more than $3 a pack.


Sable Waghire pays its 60,000 women rollers, including Ms. Suram, about 80 cents per 1,000 bidis, according to co-owner Sanjay Sable. That wage is stipulated by Maharashtra, a relatively prosperous state where he operates.

It's twice as much as some competitors in states with lower minimum wages or more lenient supervision, Mr. Sable says. He also contributes to pension and welfare plans for his workers, a federal-government requirement fulfilled by fewer than half of India's bidi employers, according to the union.

Twice in the past three years, Mr. Sable and other manufacturers in Maharashtra have closed their operations to protest a state order to raise wages. The government backed down both times. "The bidi sector offers work to such a large number of people," says S.K. Das, director general of the Labor Ministry. "We have to make sure it keeps going."


For rollers, much of the trouble is caused by middlemen, who are contracted by big firms to keep track of the far-flung labor pool. Bidi rollers and human-rights groups say middlemen sometimes dodge the minimum wage, paying as little as 30 cents a day. Another ploy is to undersupply tobacco, leaves or thread and then make deductions for shortfalls in production.

What's more, as much as one-fifth of a roller's daily production is typically rejected as defective, with the value cut from the worker's wages.

Ms. Suram and some colleagues recently took to the streets to protest the poor quality of leaves they receive, to no avail. All told, women often end up earning "half their entitlement," says a 1999 report prepared by the International Labor Organization.


On a recent afternoon, the Sable Waghire warehouse where Ms. Suram and other bidi workers take their output was crowded with about a thousand women amid piles of leaves and gunny sacks of tobacco. Clad in bright saris, they stood in long queues, trays in their arms, waiting to have their day's work inspected by a barefoot bidi checker, who sat on a wooden table against the wall. He quickly sifted through each woman's bundle, chucking defective bidis -- those with slightly torn or discolored leaves -- into a reject pile on the floor.

One disgruntled bidi roller, dressed in a pink sari with a ponytail hanging to her waist, was shouting at a bidi checker. The previous day, she had sent her daughter to deliver her production, and the checker had rejected 10% and cut her pay. "I sent my daughter because I couldn't come, and you tricked her," roars the woman, who gives her name as Nirmala. "My bidis are good quality! I am an experienced bidi roller!"


Ms. Suram had a better day. After lining up to have her bidis inspected, she breathed a sigh of relief: Not a single one was rejected. The bidi checker jotted down her production on a card, which Ms. Suram carried to another line. There she was given 80 cents in coins and tattered bills.



Guyana Chronicle

Monday, August 09, 1999


The transition

** Prime Minister Sam Hinds has resigned and Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo will be sworn in as Prime Minister today.

** President Janet Jagan resigns Wednesday and Mr. Jagdeo will be sworn in at State House. Mr. Hinds will also be sworn in as Prime Minister. All Members of Parliament and others will be invited to the ceremony.

Profile: Janet Jagan

Politician of Firsts

JANET Jagan, Guyana's fourth Executive President, is a woman of a number of firsts in her long history of involvement in her adopted country's politics.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA on October 20, 1920, she was to become Guyana's first woman Deputy Speaker, first woman to be elected in the Georgetown City Council, first woman cabinet minister under self-government, later first woman Prime Minister and then the nation's first woman President.

She was educated at the University of Detroit; Wayne University; Michigan State College and Cook County School of Nursing.

Married Cheddi Jagan on August 5, 1943, then studying dentistry and travelled with him to then British Guiana shortly after to become involved in a lifetime of politics.

Within three years of her arrival with her husband in the colony of British Guiana in 1943, she was instrumental in the formation of a Women's Political and Economic Organisation and later a co-founder of the Political Affairs Committee that was the forerunner to the People's Progressive Party (PPP).

She worked with the country's legendary labour hero, Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, particularly in organising domestics, and was also a leading figure in organising of strikes by sugar workers in 1948, a period when a group of workers were shot by the police and came to be known as the "Enmore Martyrs".

In 1950 she became a co-founder of the PPP, along with her husband, the trade union expert and lawyer, Ashton Chase and the late Jocelyn Hubbard, another trade union figure.

Also in that year she was elected General Secretary of the PPP, a post she was to retain for two decades until 1970; and became the first woman elected to the Georgetown City Council.

She entered the House of Assembly for the first time in 1953, when she was elected Deputy Speaker, was among the political prisoners of that year - others included her husband and the late national poet, Martin Carter - following the suspension of the Constitution by the British Government on allegations of a

"communist conspiracy".

In 1957, when fresh elections were held and her PPP returned to office, she was appointed Minister of Labour, Health and Housing. By 1963/64 she was serving as Minister of Home Affairs and Senator. She quit as Home Affairs Minister declaring

non-cooperation from the then British-controlled Police Force, and subversion of her government.

Splitting her time and energy between party headquarters, Freedom House and as editor of the PPP-backed "Mirror" newspaper, she was to return to parliament at successive elections in 1973, 1980, 1985, 1992 and 1997.

She became First Lady of the Republic with her husband's inauguration as Executive President in October 1997, and then served for a period as Guyana's Ambassador to the United Nations.

In March 1997 when President Jagan died, she became the country's first woman Prime Minister and First Vice-President. On December 19,1997, she was sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

Mrs. Jagan, who has been Editor of "Mirror" for about 24 years, has written a number of publications, largely children's books, including stories of Guyana's struggle for independence.

She is the recipient of the country's highest honour, Order of Excellence (OE) and also the Woman of Achievement award from the University of Guyana.

Passing the baton of new leadership

HER EXCELLENCY the President of the Republic of Guyana, Janet Jagan should be commended for having the humility and vision to make way for a young successor as head of state and government, Finance Minister Bharrat Jageo, while she is in a position to do so.

The baton of new leadership will be formally passed at Wednesday's inauguration ceremony.

In every democratic state the smooth transition from one head of government to another is essential for the continual process of good governance in a multi-party parliamentary democracy.

In our particular circumstance, it is the most unfortunate state of her health, and not any demand from any recognised section of the Guyanese society, that has made necessary Mrs. Jagan's own personal, voluntary decision to give up the Office of President.

She has held that Office with characteristic humility and

dignity these past 20 months since she led her PPP/Civic team to a decisive second term victory at the polls in December 1997.

During that period, the presidency has been subjected to some of the most vile, personal attacks ever hurled against a head of state and government of this country.

The orchestrated attacks came from the frustrated and bitter ones whose own credentials in democratic governance stand more as a stinging indictment than any recommendation for this country and a future generation. They may yet come to rue such political myopia and mischievousness.

In her broadcast to the nation yesterday afternoon, President Jagan, a woman who has devoted more than half a century of her life's struggles to the advancement of the welfare of the people of Guyana, the country she made her own on her marriage to that titan of West Indian politics, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, told this


"It has been the objective of my government to rebuild the economic and social foundations of the society and to launch out on a development course which would see Guyana coming out of its underdeveloped state. And we intend to do so with the interest of the people at the centre of our strategy.

"Our open economic system is intended to bring growth and human development...What is important is that we have put Guyana back on track. There is more hope for a bright future."

For the 20 months she has been President, Mrs. Jagan has added to the dignity of her office, showing humility and restraint in the exercise of power where others had been so eager to demonstrate arrogance and abuse of power - even when such power was clearly not based on the expressed will of the Guyanese


Such restraints by the Jagan presidency, in the face of unwarranted and unjustified hostility was at times viewed as ineffectiveness or weakness of a government.

But Mrs. Jagan's own interpretation, as stated in her broadcast yesterday, differs fundamentally from her government's detractors.

"Our attitude", she said, "has been one of patience and we realised that the State and Government, not the opposition or destructive elements, have the responsibility to see to it that the society does not descend into anarchy. We needed to have great political wisdom and prevent racial conflagration by finding new ways to solve the problems of a multi-ethnic and

multi-cultural society..."

And so she did, even under tremendous provocation and personal abuse, as will be recalled, when it really matters, by Guyanese of all races, religions and classes and by those at the national, regional and international levels interested in social justice, basic rights and human dignity.

In setting in motion the relevant constitutional arrangements for the youthful Minister of Finance to succeed her as President in accordance with a pledge made during the 1997 general elections campaign, Mrs. Jagan has shown a quality of leadership that is necessary for all who claim to be committed to the national interest.

How the country progresses from here onward without a Cheddi or Janet Jagan in the leadership structure of either the government or the People's Progressive Party will have to be evaluated as time goes by. But it is clearly a new ball game, a most challenging period for a country, for the generation of Guyanese

for whom the Jagans had become so integral a part of our societal life.

Even some of their most bitter and frustrated opponents have had to admit in private - they can hardly expect to do so publicly -their admiration for the commitment and sacrifice to public life, to the social, economic and political advancement of this country by the Jagans, the husband and wife team that have devoted more than 50 years of their working life to the cause of the Guyanese


We commend President Jagan on her momentous decision to leave office at this time and for giving substance to consistency and courage in honouring her campaign pledge to be succeeded by the young Finance Minister.

For his part, Mr. Jagdeo will obviously need all the goodwill of his experienced government and party colleagues and the leaders of civil society to make his own positive contributions to good governance.

We wish him well as we do for the health and happiness of Mrs. Jagan.



Monday, August 09, 1999


Jagdeo set to assume presidency



FINANCE Minister, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo is to be sworn in today as Prime Minister by President Janet Jagan ahead of his scheduled appointment Wednesday as the new President.

This follows the resignation yesterday of Prime Minister Sam Hinds to clear the way for the appointment of Jagdeo under the Constitution.

The President in an address to the nation yesterday afternoon confirmed she was stepping down as Head-of-State for health reasons and announced that Jagdeo will be taking her place.

Jagdeo, 35, is to be sworn in as President on Wednesday afternoon and is expected to re-appoint Hinds as the Prime Minister.

In a 10-minute radio and television address at 17:00 hrs, President Jagan said she can no longer offer to the nation "the vigorous and strong leadership" she provided during the 20 months since she was elected as the country's leader following the 1997 general elections.

During the campaign for the elections, the governing People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/Civic) had announced the `A' team made up of the President, Jagdeo and Hinds.

"It was stated at public meetings and through campaign material that should anything happen to the President, clear cut means would be used to replace the President by the third member of the `A' team, Bharrat Jagdeo, with the Prime Minister retaining his position in the post allotted to the Civic component of the PPP/Civic alliance," the President stated.

"Therefore, I am overseeing the implementation of this promise to the electorate and am assuring all concerned that the responsibilities of good and strong leadership will be guaranteed."

Under the Constitution, the Prime Minister is next in line if the President resigns. But the PPP/Civic alliance arrangement is based on the agreement that the PPP gets the Presidency and the Civic component is given the prime ministerial position.

Jagdeo will retain the Finance portfolio until a new Finance Minister is appointed, a source told the Chronicle.

Mrs. Jagan said it is important that the country be led by people who have the wisdom and know what is best in the interest of the country.

"(The late) Dr. (Cheddi) Jagan brought dignity to this country. So did Mr. Samuel Hinds. I am confident that the new President, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo will do the same. He is youthful and has presided admirably over the important Ministry of Finance," the President declared.

"I know he is firm in dealing with government business and not afraid to make decisions. His office requires that kind of firmness.

"He will be aided by many veterans in the field of politics and those who have experience in running the affairs of the country."

But the President assured that she will be around to assist in whatever way she can.

Sources said she would be at the disposal of the Government and the new President for advice and continues to be a member of the PPP Central Committee and the Executive Committee.

President Jagan said over the last month, she had been giving serious thought to demitting office since she fell ill after returning from the Rio de Janeiro Summit of leaders of the European Union (EU), Latin America and the Caribbean.

The President, 78, suffered a mild heart attack last month and was hospitalised here briefly. She then left for more tests at a clinic in Ohio in the United States but these showed there was no need for surgery.

However, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon said Friday, Mrs. Jagan has been put on an "aggressive" exercise schedule and medication, and is due back for a re-evaluation of her condition later this year.

"Despite assurances that my condition is not life-threatening, I found that my energy and stamina have been seriously reduced," the President explained.

The Head-of-State remarked on the political instability the country has been facing since the last general elections, but said she is optimistic advancement and change will come in time.

"We are not alone in being beset by unreasonable and uncivilised behaviour of an opposition that cannot accept the results of democratic elections," the President said.

" unreasonable opposition cannot hold back growth and development, once the leadership and people stand firm."

She said her Government has been criticised for being too "soft and weak" when dealing with those "who want to destroy our gains as a nation," but noted the administration's attitude was one of patience.

"We realised that the State and Government, not the opposition or destructive elements, have the responsibility to see to it that the society does not descend into anarchy. We needed to have great political wisdom and prevent racial conflagration by finding new ways to solve the problems of a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society," the President contended.

"The opposition by now must know the response of society at large to the destruction they have caused both to the economy and to the social fabric of the nation.

"As a politician with some fifty years experience in this country, I can assure you that such tactics can cost votes. And that is what they will reap - the wrath of the people."

But she said the process of "healing the wounds of our nation" must continue.

"This will take courage and strong will. To bring peace requires understanding and this must be done without violence or disruption of the daily lives of our people," Mrs. Jagan said.

"There must be reasonableness and a will to find common grounds if there is to be peace, progress and prosperity.

"The future of this country is at stake and we cannot allow the iron fist to rule. We have had enough of that."

The President said during its time in office, her administration has succeeded in "stemming the slide that was evident in our society for decades."

She said it has had the task of consolidating democracy and urged that protection of it is vital for the development of the country.

"We all cherish this new freedom and we must see to it that at all costs there must never be a return to authoritarianism and rigged elections. The results of that part of our history are still here for us to see," President Jagan warned.

The Guyanese leader said it is also her Government's intention to rebuild the economic and social infrastructure of the country, and its open economic system is intended to bring growth and human development. (MICHELLE ELPHAGE)



GN: Gannett News August 9, 1999 Monday

The Net effect: Evolution or revolution?


USA TODAY, DATE: 08/09/99

By Kevin Maney




Is the Internet the equivalent of the invention of the printing press, or is it more like the invention of television?



That's a question that echoes around technology circles.



Whether it's CEOs making speeches or venture capitalists huddling at lunch, the Internet is often hailed as being as big as Johann Gutenberg's 15th-century invention. But rarely do such folks drill into it to see if such comparisons hold up.



Television turned out to be a powerful force that changed a lot about society. But the printing press changed everything -- religion, government, science, global distribution of wealth and much more. If the Internet equals the printing press, no amount of hype could possibly overdo it. Internet stocks would not be overvalued -- they'd be long-term bargains at today's prices. And we should be bracing for one of the most dramatic upheavals in human history.



The intriguing thing is that there's no way to really know the answer until a couple of centuries from now. Imagine asking Christopher Columbus in the 1490s whether he thought the printing press of the 1450s was as important as the invention of the alphabet. That's about the perspective today's most advanced thinkers can bring to the comparison.



And yet, the question hangs in the air.



If Gutenberg the inventor has a modern counterpart, it's Tim Berners-Lee. Berners-Lee is the software engineer who, while working at a lab in Geneva in 1980, created the World Wide Web.



He didn't ''invent'' the Internet as we know it. The Net had been around long before, connecting universities and government labs in a crude and nearly unusable way. Nor did he invent the personal computers or the communications lines needed to access the Net. But he did assemble those elements, add his own ingenuity and create something revolutionary -- a network of weblike, interconnected computers that could easily and cheaply share and distribute information.



Gutenberg was just such an inventor. The pieces he needed had been around for some time. Movable type can be traced to a guy named Pi-Sheng in China in 1041. But carving the 60,000 characters of the Chinese alphabet into earthenware material didn't do much for mass production. Ink and paper had long histories. Presses were already used to make cheese or wine.



Gutenberg put the pieces together. He used molds to cast metal alloy type for each letter. That effort was helped enormously by a kind of software breakthrough: European-style writing, which was based on a small set of symbols that could be combined to communicate any idea. Gutenberg adapted the movable type to a modified cheese or wine press, smeared ink on the assembled type, put paper underneath, screwed down the press and, in about 1450, began work on a printed Bible.



Gutenberg had help from something else: his time and place. It was Europe during the Renaissance, the center of a reawakening to knowledge and thought. ''Coming up with an invention itself may be the easy part,'' writes Jared Diamond, author of Germs, Guns and Steel. ''The real obstacle to progress may instead be a particular society's capacity to utilize the invention.''



Fifteenth-century Europe was ready. The printing press wasn't too far ahead of that society and was the perfect invention for its time and place, taking over from scrolls and monk-written manuscripts. By making it possible to mass-produce books and other documents, the press made the cost of information plummet while exponentially increasing its availability. It broke monopolies on information -- held mainly by the rich and the church -- and gave individuals more power.



''It allowed tradition and history and knowledge to have permanence,'' says James Crowe, CEO of Level 3 Communications. That knowledge could then be built upon by successions of thinkers and scientists. And such permanent information could, for the first time, accurately be carried to far-away places.



This information revolution shook every aspect of society. In religion, it allowed Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses to spread accurately and quickly, leading to the Protestant Reformation. In government, the dispersal of information to individuals led to the downfall of feudalism and later made democracy possible. In business, increasing knowledge led to the Industrial Revolution, while better and cheaper information made it possible to form companies, keep records and do business beyond one's village. After Columbus, European explorers published their exploits, spurring one another to fan out to the New World, resulting in the European dominance that endures today.



''It was a huge, massive change in the structure of society, in business models and in wealth,'' says David Ticoll of the Alliance for Converging Technologies in Toronto. ''These changes come when the availability of knowledge changes.''



Which brings us back to the Internet.



Trump card



Berners-Lee's invention needed one more piece. That came from Marc Andreessen, who led the way in the development and deployment of the Web browser in the early 1990s. By 1995, the Internet was becoming a whirlwind force. Technologies such as the PC and phone lines were in place to make the Net accessible almost anywhere, and advanced societies accepted that they had entered an Information Age -- an era when information and knowledge would be among the most valuable resources.



As a world-changing invention, the Net echoes many of the characteristics of the printing press. It brings a dramatic drop in the cost of creating, sending and storing information while vastly increasing its availability. It breaks information monopolies. Think of all the medical information on the Web, which, until recently, only doctors could access. Think of what you can find about cars and prices, cracking the information that had been guarded by car dealers. In those examples and many more, the Internet gives individuals more power, much as the printing press did.



The Internet also gives permanence to new levels of information that would never have found their place in traditional media. Millions of people now post their own Web pages, detailing the minutia of their lives. publishes book reviews by individuals, not just professional reviewers, capturing what the masses think. Surf the Web, and you can find information about practically anything. There is no longer a lower limit on triviality.



And the Internet can send information to far-away places cheaply, easily and in great volume -- much more than any medium before it. ''You really can do business globally in the fullest sense of the word,'' says Amir Aczel, author and statistics professor at Bentley College. ''Borders have gone away.''



There is, however, one way the Internet trumps the printing press. It is interactive. It adds a give-and-take to information that previously was possible only in person or on the phone. ''The Net now is the first halting steps at extending the eyes at a reasonable price,'' Crowe says.



The Net effect



The effects of the Internet are just beginning, and some seem as though they could be as profound as changes unleashed by the printing press.



The Internet is creating new ways of doing business, at times as baffling to us as Wal-Mart would have been to a 15th-century merchant. One glimpse of that is the development of the computer-operating-system software Linux. It has been written and improved the past few years by thousands of individual programmers across the world, each tapping in via the Internet to contribute their help for free. The result is a solid, professional piece of software now marketed by giants such as IBM.



''It's very complicated, yet it was built through a collaborative process with no management structure by thousands of people working for free,'' says ACT's Ticoll. ''It turns upside down everything we believe about business. The Internet makes it possible.''



Since work can be done that way, without regard to boundaries, the Net could redistribute wealth. ''If you're a college graduate in remote China or India, and you're able to do software development, you're valuable to companies,'' says Arun Netravali, executive vice president at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs. ''If you multiply that by millions of times, you're going to change society in China and India, and the infrastructure and a whole living style becomes different.''



''It changes the relationship the Third World has to the rest of the world,'' says Nathan Myhrvold, on leave from his role as Microsoft's technology chief. ''In a way, that could be as big as Martin Luther.''



There is more. Since the Internet should allow people to work anywhere, the population may move out of major cities and spread to rural areas and smaller cities. Plus, the Net is changing concepts of community as far-flung people gather, share and build ties on line. If you think those communities face the limits of typed words on a screen, consider a site called Res Rocket ( There, musicians from anywhere can gather via the Net, plug in their instruments and jam.



''Combine all these things about the Internet,'' Ticoll says, ''and you can see the sowing of seeds of a world that's very different.''



Contender or continuum?



So is it the printing press again? Author Diamond unequivocally calls the printing press the most important invention of the past 1,000 years and says the Internet is no match.



Another view comes from Arno Penzias, Nobel laureate, retired chief scientist for Bell Labs and now a venture capitalist with New Enterprise Associates.



To him, the Net is less a radical departure and more a part of a continuum of technologies that drop the cost and improve the distribution of information.



It started with the printing press and kept going through such inventions as the telegraph, radio, telephone, television and even 800 numbers.



The effect of the Internet is huge, Penzias says, but ''television had a comparable impact. People don't think of the impact of television because they can't imagine life without it. But think of what television has done to morals, family life, body image, wars, politics, whatever. The Internet and television have comparable impact -- and that's big!''



Actually, it's pretty tough to stand at this moment in history and proclaim the Internet to be as big as the printing press. Yet Myhrvold thinks it is and uses the analogy of the two inventions in his speeches.



The argument will go on. Maybe we should revisit it 50 years out. We'll check whether the Internet has brought down forms of government or fostered a powerful religious movement. Or whether it has become a tool that led to one race conquering and dominating many other races. Or whether it has become an intermediary that helps lift human society to a new level of being, as from the Dark Ages to the Age of Enlightenment.



Maybe then we'll begin to understand.



Of course, then it'll be a little late to buy those stocks.






Events spurred by printing press



The invention of the printing press and moveable type set in motion events that changed the world. The printed book became a means of political revolution -- necessary technology for the spread of non-Latin texts and for the democratic revolutions of the 18th century. Key dates:



1456: The first type-printed book, the Gutenberg Bible, is printed by Johann Gutenberg. Books no longer have to be written by hand.



1475: Pope Sixtus IV opens the Vatican Library to house the new flow of books.



By 1500: Printing presses appear throughout Europe. More than 10 million copies of 25,000 books exist.



About 1500: As demand grows, a book trade flourishes and related industries, such as papermaking, thrive. Learning and literacy take off: Printing becomes the cheapest of universities, open to all, and is a powerful stimulus for great numbers of people to learn to read.



1509: Erasmus, who calls printing the greatest of all discoveries, publishes The Praise of Folly, which satirizes all institutions, including the church. A way to print music is invented, making it available at a reasonable cost.



1517: Martin Luther posts his Ninety-Five Theses and in 1534 publishes his translation of the Bible. Printing has ended the Church's monopoly on learning, and the Protestant Reformation is in motion. Luther's message: People who can read the Bible don't need a priest. Thinking independently from the church about faith leads to independent thinking about politics, science and art.



By 1520: Printing doesn't produce the Renaissance but becomes the chief means of spreading its thinking and philosophy, such as Humanism's renewed interest in the classics, which are available.




By 1700: Ideas can be immediately communicated to large numbers through pamphleteering. Serial newspapers, born in the 1620s, proliferate around the early 1650s. News sheets abound in England, Germany and Holland.



1700s: The sharing of Humanism leads to the philosophy of the Enlightenment, spurring the American and French revolutions and the rise of democracy and nationalism. Printing of Thomas Paine's Common Sense (1776) and The Federalist Papers (1787-88) foment revolts against the old order.



1800s: Mass-produced books and novels are widely available to the growing middle class. The novel, a major art form of modern Europe, evolves from the printing press.



1900s: The printing process, the first uniformly repeatable commodity, is the archetype and prototype for Henry Ford's moving assembly line in 1913. This allows large-scale manufacturing of the Model T.



Sources: The Reformation by Will Durant; A History of the World, by Hugh Thomas; writings of Canadian academic and author Marshall McLuhan. USA TODAY research by Anne R. Carey and Jessica Supinski






Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 08/09/99 07:39:57


Guyana Chronicle

Sunday, August 08, 1999


President likely to step down

PRESIDENT Janet Jagan is likely to announce she is stepping down from the office because of health reasons in an address to the nation tonight, sources said yesterday.

The Chronicle understands the move was under consideration by the leadership of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), the main partner in the PPP/Civic alliance government.

The PPP Executive Council met late last week and a short statement after a special session of the party’s Central Committee yesterday said "the meeting resulted from the need to discuss matters of importance."

"At this meeting important decisions were taken which will be communicated to the nation by President Janet Jagan in a broadcast on Sunday evening", the statement said.

It added that the Central Committee, the highest decision-making forum of the PPP outside of its congress, will soon issue a more detailed statement.

The PPP was last night expected to brief the Civic component of the development, sources told the Chronicle.

Sources said Finance Minister, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, is likely to be named President until fresh general elections in 2001, in keeping with the ‘A Team’ formula the PPP/Civic had for the December 15, 1997 polls.

That team was President Jagan, Prime Minister Sam Hinds (Civic) and Jagdeo (PPP).

Under the Constitution, the Prime Minister is next in line for the presidency but the arrangement for the PPP/Civic alliance government is premised on the PPP getting the top post and the Civic the prime ministerial position, a source explained.

President Jagan is expected to explain the new arrangement in her address tonight, according to the sources.

The President, 78, had a mild heart attack last month when she was briefly hospitalised here but subsequent tests at a clinic in Ohio in the United States showed she does not require surgery, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, had reported.

The Chronicle understands President Jagan was back in her office last week after a period of rest and she chaired the regular Cabinet session Tuesday.

She Friday also attended the first ever Children’s Parliament when it met at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown.

But sources said she has not been as active as she was before her hospitalisation last month.

Luncheon told reporters Friday that President Jagan is due for a re-evaluation of her medical condition later this year.

He told his regular press conference that the tests in the U.S. indicated that Mrs. Jagan’s cardiac problem was not of any significance to warrant surgical intervention.

However, she has been put on an exercise schedule and on medication after her return from the Akron City Hospital in Ohio.

An angiography showed the President had a mild heart attack earlier last month when she was hospitalised briefly here.

Luncheon reiterated that while the President’s medical advisers have said that there is no need for surgical intervention they recommended an aggressive non-surgical medical programme.

According to him, based on this medical management, the President will know how well and how fast she is responding to this process.

Meanwhile, Trade Minister Mr. Michael Shree Chan is reportedly doing well after brain surgery recently in the U.S., Luncheon reported.

"Minister Shree Chan and I spoke recently and he is receiving his radiation therapy which is expected to last about one month," he said.

When this is completed, Luncheon said, the minister’s medical advisors would examine his actual status and his return to Guyana will be decided.

Luncheon noted that Minister Shree Chan wants the Guyanese public to know that he is feeling fine and is raring to return home.

Because of Minister Shree Chan’s illness, the President is also likely to announce a Cabinet reshuffle in her address tonight, a source said.




New York Times

World Bank Says Poverty Is Increasing

June 3, 1999 Thursday

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


The number of people living on less than $1 a day appears to be rising and will reach 1.5 billion by year's end as a result of the economic crisis in Asia and its aftermath, the World Bank said Wednesday.


``Today, countries that until recently believed they were turning the tide in the fight against poverty are witnessing its re-emergence along with hunger and the human suffering it brings,'' the World Bank president, James Wolfensohn, wrote in its latest report on global poverty.


The report implied that the increase was caused in part by the international rescue packages that were begun to help Asian countries overcome their economic difficulties. Those packages were mainly prepared by its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.


The bank did not mention the IMF by name, but said these packages bore down too harshly on the least well-off sections of the population and should have been more carefully designed to cushion them from the effects of the crisis.


The bank said that while 1.2 billion people lived on less than $1 a day in 1987, this figure had risen to 1.3 billion by 1993. Assuming the proportion of people living in poverty remains unchanged, the number of abjectly poor will reach 1.5 billion by the start of the new millennium.


In East Asia, the bank said, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea are suffering ``significant increases in poverty.'' In Indonesia alone, the bank said, the proportion of people living on under $1 day rose to 19.9 percent in 1998 from 11 percent in 1997, implying 20 million newly poor.


The picture for South Asia is more mixed with some countries recording good economic growth. But the number of abjectly poor in India has increased to about 340 million from 300 million in the 1980s.


In sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth lagged behind population growth last year, implying a fall in average incomes. Brazil's difficulties continue to cloud Latin America, where the World Bank found evidence of growing inequality. It also anticipated ``sharp declines in growth and increases in poverty'' in Russia, Ukraine and Romania as well as in the Middle East and North Africa.


The bank's criticism implies that the rescue packages for Asian and other countries hurt the poor disproportionately. While cuts in government spending are inevitable in a crisis, it said services that protect the worse-off should be maintained.


00:54 EDT JUNE 3, 1999


NYT-06-03-99 0002EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 06/03/99 00:49:17


The Wall Street Journal

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 1999

A Boy Could Push World's Population Up To Six Billion --- Birthplace of Child Is Likely To Be in Africa or Asia;


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


WASHINGTON (AP) -- No one will know exactly which child pushes the world's population to six billion, but chances are it will be a boy born in the Third World on Oct. 12.


It took most of the age of humanity to mark the first billion in 1804 and more than a century to mark the second. But now the world is adding a billion every dozen years or so.


Demographers believe growth will slow down, but the next billion could be added at another record pace, according to the Population Reference Bureau, which issued its 1999 World Population Data Sheet Wednesday.

Researcher Carl Haub is already focusing on seven billion and the debate over whether the next billion will come faster or slower than the last.

Median United Nations projections say it will take 14 years to add another billion people. Population projections, however, have become more complex than ever, with birth and death rates varying widely from region to region, the impact of AIDS, advances in population programs and longer life expectancies.

The U.N. has decided the best estimate for the six billionth living earthling's birthday is Oct. 12. That's calculated from the current rate of population increase of about 1.4% a year.


There are no plans to even attempt the virtually impossible task of pinpointing who the child will be or where he or she will be born, but it's likely to be in a Third World country in Africa or Asia because that's where most children are born.


And odds are, narrowly, that it will be a boy, simply because there are 105 boys born for every 100 girls world-wide. The latest data show about 50.4% of the world's population is male, but in the industrialized world, 51.6% of the population is female. In the U.S., women outnumber men 51% to 49%.

That is because a variety of factors weigh in after birth, including higher infant death rates among males and the generally longer life expectancy for females in developed countries.


Mr. Haub said even a slight change in fertility or mortality now could make a huge difference in world population figures over the next century.

"If we miss just a little bit on the projections, we could end up with seven billion by the fastest rate ever," he said.


The median projection that it will take two years longer to reach the next billion is based on the idea that fertility rates worldwide will drop to two children per woman. The current rate is 2.9.


That is very optimistic, said Mr. Haub, even though demographers don't expect percentage population increases to spiral ever upward.


"We've just gone through a demographic century that I don't think will ever be equaled," he said at a news conference releasing the data from the independent, nonadvocacy research group. The report notes that world population in the 20th century increased by 4.4 billion, reflecting more than 300% growth.

Mr. Haub said population increases in the next century could accelerate in some countries, but the world-wide pattern will vary, with growth occurring almost exclusively in less-developed countries. Industrialized nations, which doubled their population in the 20th century, will grow slowly or not at all, he said. Europe, in fact, is likely to lose population over the next 100 years.




New York Times

China Changes Strategy For Resettling 1.3 Million People For Dam Project

May 25, 1999 Tuesday

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


BEIJING - In an implicit admission that severe problems bedevil the giant Three Gorges Dam project, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji has announced a major change in strategy for resettling at least 1.3 million people who will be driven from their homes.


Zhu, in a speech that was heavily publicized Monday, said more of the people who will be uprooted by a new 400-mile-long lake on the Yangtze River should be sent to distant parts of the country.


The current effort to move displaced people to sites near their old homes has been plagued by public bitterness, inadequate funds and an acute shortage of cropland. But critics say the new solution may be no more practical.


In his speech, given last week at a closed conference, Zhu also said many of the industries facing inundation by the new dam were so obsolete and polluting that they should simply be closed rather than moved. He also issued a new warning against misuse of funds intended to help the uprooted people.


Half the front page of Monday's People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, was devoted to an article recounting Zhu's speech on the dam project and to an editorial voicing similar concerns.


The prominence given to Zhu's remarks suggests that he remains in firm command of the government, with the support of President Jiang Zemin and other Communist leaders.


Zhu is a proponent of deep market-oriented economic reforms and closer ties with the West. Some Chinese and foreign political experts have speculated that Zhu has been seriously weakened in the anti-American atmosphere following the bombing of China's Embassy in Belgrade.


The Three Gorges project is a special interest of Li Peng, the conservative former Prime Minister who remains No. 2 in the Communist Party, ahead of Zhu. Li and other leaders have portrayed the Three Gorges Dam as an homage to China's prowess that will provide great benefits in electric power and flood control.


Zhu, who replaced Li as prime minister last year, has never shown enthusiasm for the dam, which will cost tens of billions of dollars.


Although Monday's articles did not suggest that the project should be halted, they differed markedly in tone from the usual glowing accounts of progress.


The project has long been attacked by critics abroad who say the environmental and social costs will greatly outweigh the economic benefits. Many Chinese privately question the dam, but over the last decade public criticism has been suppressed. Only in the last few months have sporadic articles in the official press mentioned the emerging problems.


The relocation of at least 1.3 million people from a 400-mile stretch of the Yangtze River basin in central China, mostly in the crowded, mountainous province of Sichuan, has emerged as the most serious immediate obstacle.


In the next four years, when the serpentine lake is to be partly filled, more than 550,000 people, including poor farmers and factory workers in hundreds of towns, must be moved and given new livelihoods. As many more people again will have to be moved by 2008 when the project is competed.


Officials assert that 160,000 people have already been relocated. But private reports indicate that some people have refused to move, that the slopes where farmers are being sent cannot support new farming and that the meager funds to help settlers have often been stolen or wasted.


In February, a journal in Beijing published a searing critique by an anonymous Chinese sociologist who said the plight of uprooted people may become ``an explosive social problem.''


The article, in the journal Strategy and Management, also suggested that sending people to other parts of the country, the new answer offered by Zhu, will be no panacea. ``In China,'' the article said, ``all of the areas with better natural conditions were filled with people long ago.''


In his speech, according to Monday's report, Zhu agreed that farming the steep mountains along the Yangtze would cause erosion and other ecological problems, ``creating endless harm.''


He urged other provinces, regions and cities to ``enthusiastically absorb and resettle migrants and make more contributions to the construction of the Three Gorges project.''


00:21 EDT MAY 25, 1999


NYT-05-24-99 2257EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 05/25/99 00:16:21


International: Sonia Gandhi, Bowing to Pressure, Returns as Congress Party's Leader ---- By Jonathan Karp

TUESDAY, MAY 25, 1999 (A21)

The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


NEW DELHI -- Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, ending a week of political drama in India, withdrew her resignation as Congress Party leader and returned to try to save the once-mighty party from collapse ahead of September general elections.

Mrs. Gandhi, who married into India's founding political dynasty, quit last Monday after three senior Congress politicians said she is unfit to be prime minister because of her foreign birth and lack of political experience. The move prompted a wave of sympathy, including dozens of resignations by Congress politicians and demonstrations outside her New Delhi home by thousands of supporters, some of whom staged hunger strikes and tried to commit suicide. Yesterday, Mrs. Gandhi bowed to the pressure and resumed control of a party that her late husband, Rajiv Gandhi, and motherin-law, Indira Gandhi, served as prime ministers.


"We are dependent on her for our fortunes," said Ambika Soni, an ally of Mrs. Gandhi's and member of Congress's top policy-making body. That panel yesterday again endorsed Mrs. Gandhi as the party's choice for prime minister.

Mrs. Gandhi returns to Congress with enhanced power, but it is unclear if she can neutralize criticism of her foreign origins in a country still aggrieved by a long colonial history. Mrs. Gandhi will have to prove her mettle in a fractured political environment that demands coalition building, not the single-party rule that her husband and mother-in-law enjoyed.

Her first task will be to prevent Congress itself from splintering. The party is hurt by the expulsion of the three rebel politicians and defections of several others who opposed Mrs. Gandhi. Sharad Pawar, the powerful politician who led the revolt, has said he will form a new party that will build alliances with regional groupings throughout India.


The Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party led a coalition government for 13 months until April and first raised the issue of Mrs. Gandhi's suitability to lead the world's most populous democracy.





India's Congress Party Expels 3 Who Opposed Gandhi Candidacy

May 21st, 1999

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


NEW DELHI, India - The Congress Party on Thursday night expelled three dissident leaders who opposed Sonia Gandhi's candidacy for prime minister because she was born in Italy.


The expulsions, particularly that of Sharad Pawar, a senior leader with a powerful base in the western state of Maharashtra, are quite likely to weaken the party's prospects in the general election in September.


Despite the risks, the clamor from party workers for strong action against the three has grown since Monday, when Mrs. Gandhi, the star attraction and vote catcher for the party, resigned as party president.


Congress officials said Mrs. Gandhi had been wounded not only by the four-page letter that the three wrote that sharply questioned her leadership credentials, but also by her sense that others in the party had not aggressively leapt to her defense Saturday at a party meeting where the men first spoke out.


``She's been wounded,'' Ambika Soni, a member of the Congress Working Committee, the party's governing body, said. ``She's heard that people let one down in politics. If this happens after she's delivered victories to the party, this is a big question as to what it's all about.''


Congress officials hope the expulsions and the pleas from party workers all over India will persuade Mrs. Gandhi to relent and rescind her resignation. But there is no sign that she is changing her mind.


In fact, Thursday she canceled all her scheduled speeches and public appearances for Friday, the eighth anniversary of the assassination of her husband, Rajiv. He was murdered in 1991 as he campaigned to win back the post of prime minister, which he lost in 1989.


Mrs. Gandhi, the widowed inheritor of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, will venture out of her home Friday only to visit the memorial where her husband was cremated.


Neither Mrs. Gandhi, nor any of the three leaders was at the meeting Thursday night, where the party decided on six-year expulsions. P.A. Sangma, a member of Parliament from northeastern India who had been speaker of the lower house of Parliament, and Tariq Anwar, a Muslim leader from Bihar, were also expelled.


Party officials have expressed outrage that Pawar and Sangma, whom Mrs. Gandhi had given party positions of authority, had publicly expressed their views about her foreign origin despite the party's internal decision to stand behind her.


Several officials said the rebels had strengthened Congress' main rival for power, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been making a major issue of Mrs. Gandhi's birth in much the same language as the three Congress opponents.


The Congress officials are also angry that none of the men has attended meetings to discuss their actions. Hundreds of party workers who gathered outside Mrs. Gandhi's residence have branded the men traitors.


00:51 EDT MAY 21, 1999


NYT-05-20-99 2259EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 05/21/99 00:46:53


The Wall Street Journal


International: Sonia Gandhi Holds India in Suspense on Her Next Step --- Supporters Urge Political Return ----

May 20th, 1999

The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


NEW DELHI -- Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow who inherited the mantle of India's founding political dynasty and is now perpetuating its mystique, has the world's largest democracy on tenterhooks.


Mrs. Gandhi threw India into turmoil this week when she resigned as head of the Congress party, and yesterday she kept the country guessing whether public adoration can bring her back into the race to run India.

Amid the throng of supporters outside Mrs. Gandhi's New Delhi home, some of them on a hunger strike, one aggrieved woman yesterday doused herself with kerosene -- but was saved before flames engulfed her. Attempted self-immolations were thwarted in two other Indian cities.


Sequestered in her heavily guarded compound, Mrs. Gandhi, whose slain husband and mother-in-law were Indian prime ministers, issued a statement urging party activists to refrain from extreme tactics to press her back into politics. But she gave no hint of succumbing to pleas that she withdraw her resignation as party president.


Mrs. Gandhi quit Monday after three Congress politicians said she isn't qualified to be prime minister because of her foreign birth and lack of political experience. The ensuing turmoil in the party gives its nemesis, the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, a new lease on life four months ahead of September's general election. Shell-shocked Congress officials seem lost without a Gandhi to lead them. "We have no other course but to appeal to her again and again and again," says Oscar Fernandes, a party general-secretary.


Why such devotion? The 52-year-old Mrs. Gandhi has led the party for just 13 months. She campaigned astutely for Congress, but her only foray into power politics failed when she couldn't muster support for a new government after toppling the BJP in April. That miscalculation raised questions about Mrs. Gandhi's political savvy. It also tarnished her image as someone who stays above the fray, an image she may be trying to rebuild by bowing out as the party's titular head.


Mrs. Gandhi has never said she wants to be prime minister. Some of her friends say in fact she doesn't want the job, but can't publicly reject it because then even the veneer of party unity would crack amid competing claims for the post.

"She's not a leader, she's an icon," says a Congress member who interacts with Mrs. Gandhi. "An icon is required in a faction-ridden party like Congress. We are really a coalition of interests."


No one has held together this rainbow coalition better than the three Congress prime ministers from the family Mrs. Gandhi married into: her husband, Rajiv Gandhi; his mother, Indira Gandhi; and Indira's father, Jawaharlal Nehru. In a party that has ruled India for 45 of its 52 years of independence, allegiance to the first family is widespread.


Since deciding to campaign last year for a then-disintegrating Congress, Mrs. Gandhi has made her family's sacrifices, and her own devotion to India, the core of a powerful iconography. Party colleagues say she embodies the roles that her mother-in-law and husband carved for themselves: Indira as champion of the poor, Rajiv as the youthful modernizer.


Jairam Ramesh, a Congress official, says Mrs. Gandhi's top contributions to the party have been in promoting women, minorities and low-caste Indians into the leadership, as well as technocrats skilled in economic and foreign policy.

But politics, like India, was an accident for the woman born Sonia Maino in northern Italy. In 1965, she went to Cambridge, England, to study English. Homesick for Mediterranean food, she became a regular at a local Greek restaurant, Varsity. There, she met Rajiv Gandhi, then a student at Cambridge University, and, she wrote later, "it was love at first sight."

They married in New Delhi in February 1968, a month after Mrs. Gandhi's father let her travel to India for the first time. By then, Indira Gandhi was India's prime minister. But Rajiv, a pilot for Indian Airlines, and Sonia kept politics at bay. Before long, the new Mrs. Gandhi was running her mother-in-law's household, and redecorating it. She settled into the traditional Indian role of daughter-in-law, a badge she now wears on the hustings to enhance her image as an Indian.


Politics intruded after Rajiv's younger brother and the family's political heir, Sanjay, died in a plane crash in 1980. Indira Gandhi asked Rajiv to join public life, and he agreed. "I fought like a tigress," Sonia wrote, to preserve their old life. Four years later, in 1984, Indira was assassinated by her bodyguards; Sonia cradled her on the way to the hospital. Sonia pleaded in vain with Rajiv not to become prime minister, but he took his mother's place and served until losing elections in 1989.


Rajiv was assassinated on May 21, 1991, while campaigning in a general election. Her fears about politics born out, Sonia spurned demands to take over Congress. Mrs. Gandhi became reclusive, and concentrated on building up the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, a charity. She didn't make a political speech until 1995. Later, she quietly joined Congress, and with the party on the brink of collapse, agreed to campaign in 1998.


Congress failed to take power in that election, and afterward, the party drafted her as president. She began rebuilding, and Congress victories in state elections last November enhanced her power. But that threatened ambitious Congressmen, such as Sharad Pawar, leader of today's revolt against Mrs. Gandhi.

In 31 years in India, Mrs. Gandhi has given only one in-depth press interview, with a Hindi magazine in 1985. As Congress president, she's kept away from the media, adding to the mystery of her views -- and skepticism about her command of the issues.


Mrs. Gandhi's associates insist her resignation is genuine. But they concede the pressure on her to return may be too great to ignore. If she relents, she could find herself at the center of a hostile campaign.

In Mrs. Gandhi's 1992 book about Rajiv, she quotes one of her husband's letters that appears to sum up her own ambivalence about politics. "The real world is quite a jungle," he wrote to their daughter, Priyanka, "but even the laws of the jungle don't hold when you are in public life."



New York Times

Gandhi Appears Firm In Decision To Quit As Party Chief

May 19, 1999 Wednesday


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


NEW DELHI, India - Sonia Gandhi stayed behind the high walls of her heavily guarded compound Tuesday and firmly refused the pleas of senior Congress Party leaders that she change her mind about resigning as president of the party.


Mrs. Gandhi, who married into India's dominant political family and was widowed when her husband, Rajiv, was assassinated eight years ago, announced Monday that she was quitting after powerful figures in the party said she should not be prime minister because she was born in Italy and lacked experience.


``This morning she seemed even firmer in her resolve than she did last night,'' said Ambika Soni, of the party's decision-making committee.


Even as Mrs. Gandhi insisted that her mind is made up, Congress Party officials orchestrated a series of resignations to pressure her to return to her post. The party faces a tough general election in September against the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which has also made Mrs. Gandhi's foreign birth a central campaign issue.


The entire top echelon of the Congress Party resigned Tuesday and said they would return only if she relented. Outside the party headquarters, next door to Mrs. Gandhi's residence, Congress workers went on a hunger strike to win her back.


And in a symbolic gesture, the chief ministers in the Delhi capital region, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh submitted their resignations to Mrs. Gandhi, though they must send the letters to the governors of their jurisdictions to make their resignations official.


The party spokesman, Agit Jogi, said no one is even considering a replacement for her. ``The Congressmen all over the country are of the view that there is no alternative to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi,'' he said.


But Mrs. Gandhi told the delegation of party officials who visited this morning that she did not want her foreign birth to be a liability.


``If people think her foreign birth is of such relevance, then she would like to give up the post,'' Ms. Soni said.


Sharad Pawar, a powerhouse Congress Party politician from Maharashtra who led the challenge to Mrs. Gandhi's prime ministerial candidacy, said in Bombay that he would not budge because ``it's a question of principle, of national interest, of prestige.''


Political commentators, as well as Mrs. Gandhi's advisers, debated whether she means to follow through on her resignation, or is using it as a tactic to consolidate her position after the small but damaging revolt.


Pran Chopra, an analyst at the Center for Policy Research, predicted that she would continue resisting the party's entreaties for awhile, then graciously succumb. ``This is a good way to fight,'' he said. ``She's got the party fighting for her.''


But Rajiv Desai, who owns a public relations firm in New Delhi and has served as an adviser to Mrs. Gandhi, said he does not think she will yield. She did not want to enter politics in the first place, he noted, and only reluctantly agreed in March 1998 to lead the party because it seemed to be rapidly disintegrating.


But Mrs. Gandhi, often called the Sphinx, surprised many when she decided to enter the dirty business of politics - and she may yet surprise them again.


01:28 EDT MAY 19, 1999


NYT-05-18-99 2246EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 05/19/99 01:23:37



In China, A Habitat Nearly Full Leaves People's Lives Empty


May 18, 1999


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


WEINING, China - Deep in the ravaged mountains of southwest China, one of nature's jewels improbably endures, a shallow grassy lake that is a crucial wintering ground for dozens of species of migratory waterfowl.


Declared a protected reserve by China, the lake and its surroundings seemed tranquil on a recent morning as families of rare black-necked cranes picked their way through the marshes, surrounded by gabbling flocks of ruddy shelducks and bar-headed geese. The occasional fisherman poled a skiff through the reeds.


But the solitude was deceptive on this remote lake known as Cao Hai, situated three hours up slippery mountain roads from the nearest train stop in Guizhou Province.


A large and growing population of desperately poor farmers wants nothing more than to convert the rich marshes into farm plots, making Cao Hai one of the most acute examples anywhere of a mounting worldwide problem: the competition between people and wildlife for scarce natural resources.


In a creative effort to ease the conflict, Guizhou conservation officials, with aid from American groups, are providing loans to help some of those land-short farmers develop new sources of income - money to buy chickens to resell in town, or for tools to make stoves out of discarded cans.


``We're trying our best to prolong the life of this lake,'' said Guan Yuhe, a reserve official. ``I know that in many countries parks are closed off to people, but that's impossible here.''


But the truce remains uneasy, and the effort to save nature here reveals the difficulties Beijing faces in remote spots when it tries to impose its social policies - whether birth control, compulsory education or wildlife conservation.


The hills around Cao Hai are anything but serene. Studded with the hulks of backyard zinc smelters abandoned by government fiat only last year, much of the watershed would probably qualify in Western countries as a hazardous-waste site. Denuded slopes send topsoil into the lake, and the town of Weining pours in half its sewage.


The main threat, though, comes from some 30,000 people living around the lake. These are some of China's most wretchedly poor: families that get by on what corn and potatoes they grow on a small fraction of an acre, plus the odd menial job.


They are nearly all illiterate, and often cannot even afford a radio. Couples bear four, even five or six children each and send fewer than half of them to school. As they see it, their biggest need is more cropland.


``Everyone here would be happy if they would drain the lake,'' said a man in the hamlet of Bojiwan. As it is, in a cat-and-mouse game with guards, villagers are constantly trying to dig up the marshes.


Cao Hai - the name, pronounced tsow-high, means sea of grass - already bears the scars of Chinese Communist history. Until the late 1950s, this lake 7,000 feet high in the mountains was a prime habitat for migratory birds.


But in 1958 came Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward, when China was supposed to produce grain on every available acre. Under Mao's urgent command to conquer nature, the newly formed communes dug channels for partly draining the lake.


Then in 1972, amid the frenzy of the Cultural Revolution, officials tried to drain it entirely. The transformed land would yield so much bounty that ``even the sows will wear gold earrings,'' an official promised.


``The results were not what people had envisaged,'' said Hong Shouli, director of Guizhou's Nature Protection Department, in the provincial capital, Guiyang.


Only one-fourth of the drained land proved suitable for agriculture, Hong said. At the same time, the surrounding water table began to drop, insect plagues and seasonal flooding worsened and dust storms blew. Surrounding communities asserted, improbably, that draining the lake was causing droughts.


In 1980 Chinese scientists concluded that the lake should be restored, and in 1982 officials built a dam and started refilling Cao Hai.


The recovery was astounding, and in 1985 the lake and surrounding watershed were declared a national reserve - one of hundreds in China's ambitious if overstretched effort to save natural diversity.


In recent years, the lake has been host to more than 400 of the birds that are its claim to fame, the black-necked cranes, a 10th of the global population. A total of 184 bird species have been sighted on the lake.


But this victory for nature was not widely applauded by local villagers, who seem to have sharper memories of land lost than of ecological disasters.


``I think our life here was best when they dried up Cao Hai,'' said 76-year-old Pan Caoyi of Bojiwan, which lost half its cropland when the lake was refilled. ``Then there was more land for us, and we could raise more livestock and make more money.''


With little local industry, most families are dependent on minuscule plots for subsistence, lucky to have a cash income of $100 or $200 a year from temporary jobs or raising a few pigs.


Their desperation and the quandary facing conservation officers were both evident on a boat ride through Cao Hai: the waters are crisscrossed with illegal fine-mesh nets, capturing the same shrimp and minnows the birds like to eat.


``In the past,'' said Guan, the reserve official, ``we tried mobilizing the police to confiscate the nets and burn them on the shore. We found this created too many conflicts with the local villagers.''


So in 1994, with aid from the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin and the Trickle-Up Program in New York, officials tried a strategy involving more carrot than stick. It includes employment for reserve guards, ecological education and aid for school fees. But the core is the program of small grants and loans.


In the initial phase, more than 400 small grants were doled out to some of the poorest families to enable them to create businesses like selling produce or raising pigs or chickens.


Zhao Zinglin, a recently widowed mother of five, used her grant last year to buy a dozen chickens a couple of days each week, then take them by bus into town to resell. Her daily profit, she said, ranged from $1.20 to $4.80.


Mrs. Zhao lives in Lingjiao hamlet, which lost more than half its farmland when the lake was refilled. ``When business is good we eat meat maybe twice a month,'' she said, ``and when it's bad we go two or three months without.''


To promote long-term development, the aid project is now providing seed money for what are known as perpetual community funds, in which groups of people join together and provide three-month loans to a few members at a time, using the moderate interest charged to build up the fund. So far the loan program has had a remarkably good repayment record.


For people living on the edge, small loans can go far. Zhu Tianwei, 53, a blacksmith in Lingjiao, said his recent $12 loan had enabled him to buy new tools and an anvil.


``Before, I didn't have the right tools to make items like these boat nails,'' he said as he hammered on red-hot bits of metal. ``Now I can make as much as $1.50 a day.''


The loan funds and other aid programs are popular, but how far they can transform these villages and reduce the pressure on the lake remains to be seen.


Not all the loans are used to create self-sustaining businesses. Li Shoufen, a 43-year-old mother of four, borrowed $30 last fall - and used it to help pay her children's school fees.


Mrs. Li and her husband, Zhu Guiyong, 47, share their small house with his aged parents, the four children and six pigs. The family lost 90 percent of its cropland when the lake was refilled in 1983, Zhu said.


``Life was much better back then,'' he said. ``We had a lot more land and no children.''


01:10 EDT MAY 18, 1999


NYT-05-17-99 2251EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 05/18/99 01:05:53


International: Sonia Gandhi Quits as Congress Leader But the Party Rejects Her Resignation ---- By Jonathan Karp

May 18, 1999


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


NEW DELHI -- India's election campaign was thrown into turmoil when Sonia Gandhi, throwing down the gauntlet to leaders of a revolt within her Congress Party, quit as party president. But Mrs. Gandhi's resignation was unanimously rejected by the party's top decision-making body.


It was unclear whether the drama late yesterday was an orchestrated move by Mrs. Gandhi to win a fresh endorsement for leadership of Congress or whether she intends to resign. What is clear, however, is that the confrontation risks dividing Congress just when the rival Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, is consolidating its political alliances ahead of September national elections.


The crisis for Congress, once India's dominant party, erupted Sunday when three powerful Congress politicians, Sharad Pawar, Purno Sangma and Tariq Anwar, said that Mrs. Gandhi is unfit to be prime minister because she was born in Italy and is a political newcomer who has never held office.

Mrs. Gandhi, the widow of one former prime minister and daughter-in-law of another, wrote in her resignation letter: "I am pained by their lack of confidence in my ability to act in the best interests of the party and the country." She added: "In these circumstances, my sense of loyalty to the party and duty to my country compels me to tender my resignation from the post of party president."


Pranab Mukherjee, a member of the decision-making Congress Working Committee, said he and other committee members would try to persuade Mrs. Gandhi to reconsider.


Mrs. Gandhi, who joined politics last year, seven years after the assassination of her husband, Rajiv Gandhi, failed to form a Congress-led government after toppling the BJP in April. Many supporters in her party have proposed that she run as the prime ministerial candidate in the coming elections, though she has never publicly said she wants the job. That ambiguity is instrumental in mollifying factions within Congress while projecting to voters a leader with a historic name.


Since taking over as Congress president, the 52-year-old Mrs. Gandhi has sought to rejuvenate a party that was on the brink of collapse. This crisis casts a pall over that effort. Yesterday, Congress members clashed, and supporters of Mrs. Gandhi burned an effigy of Mr. Pawar in his stronghold of Bombay.


Mr. Pawar engineered Congress's biggest gains in the 1998 national election. He has long had ambitions to be prime minister. The return of the Gandhi political dynasty would blunt his chances.


"Though born in a foreign land, I chose India as my country," Mrs. Gandhi said in her resignation.




How to schmooze like the best of them


USA TODAY, DATE: 05/18/99

By Melanie Wells


NEW YORK -- Advertising executive Tony Wainwright is a guerilla schmoozer.


A compulsive letter writer, he jots some 40 notes a day. Because he only sleeps three hours -- he trained himself to do that so he has more time to keep in touch with people -- he often writes in the middle of the night. Often, he scribbles ideas for a friend's business and pops it in an envelope.


Those ideas can turn into hot projects or products.


''I want to make sure people don't forget me,'' says Wainwright, who is head of business development for the McKinney & Silver agency. ''I once sent a note to the CEO of Ben & Jerry's saying 'We ought to do a birthday party at the end of the year for the millennium and have a contest to come up with the best ice cream flavor of the millennium.' ''


Years ago, he suggested to a friend in the food business that someone should try to capture the essence of Thanksgiving dinner, but make it easy. His suggestion led to Kraft's Stove Top Stuffing Mix, he says.


Basic skills


Writing cordial notes. Knowing how to be a good host at business lunches. Being an intelligent conversationalist. Successful business travelers know they're all elements of Schmoozing 101. Knowing how to schmooze effectively on the road is as important as having a durable garment bag.


Savvy schmoozers know the value of personal details.


''I keep good records on everyone I meet -- such as 'graduated from Yale,' 'originally from Los Angeles,' 'has a baby named Joseph,' '' says Meg Meurer Brossy, director of business development for the League of American Theatres and Producers. ''I keep the information on the back of business cards or in my diary.''


Keeping current


Brossy, who courts corporate sponsors for Broadway, also makes a ritual of reading about promotions and job changes in trade magazines. She sends notes or e-mails to congratulate people who have made moves.


''If you're going to know an industry, you need to know when someone in it is married, promoted or has had a child,'' she says. ''Drop them notes. They'll call to thank you, and then you can talk about what you want to sell them.''


Wainwright says he keeps details, written in longhand on yellow legal pads, about people he's met since 1965. That helps him remember that a prospective client in Cleveland has a taste for expensive cigars or fine wine.


Think long term


A good networker ''is on top of it every day and knows that in the long term, good things will happen if you're smart, innovative and persistent in a nice way,'' he says.


It sounds like dating, and for professional networkers, schmoozing can be a years-long courtship.


''You have to be consistent and see people over and over again,'' says public relations guru Howard Rubinstein. Like Wainwright, who often offers marketing ideas for free, Rubinstein says, ''you have to be willing to provide advice on a pro bono basis. Then, if a crisis arises, very often someone will think of you.''


Ben Silverman, a talent agent at William Morris, says good, old-fashioned gift giving can be a way to make points with people.


''I send bottles of Dom Perignon,'' he says. ''And I put a note on it that says 'It must be enjoyed with someone else.' It's classy. People know the brand and will always enjoy drinking it.''


Schmoozers have other networking secrets when traveling.


Silverman has his assistant call ahead and alert hotels that he's a VIP and might be entertaining while he's there. ''That way, I'm treated well and get courteous service,'' he says.


Atlanta-based telecommunications analyst Jeffrey Kagan likes to make an impression by flying to another city just to meet a business contact for lunch or dinner.


''It's not something everyone will do, and it says more than a dozen cards or letters would accomplish,'' Kagan says. ''Nothing speaks louder than shaking hands, sharing a joke and a plate of chicken fingers.''


Remember the kids


Bob Friedman, president of TV at New Line, knows it's best to connect with people over shared interests and hobbies. He says he's met people through his kids' school events and auctions. He often takes his family on the road and hooks up with other executives who have children. At times, he has approached celebrities he's wanted to meet -- but wouldn't otherwise approach -- to get an autograph for one of his children.


Mark Robertson, a New York-based editorial producer for ABC, reads the major city magazines to learn about trendy restaurants to visit in different cities. That way, he'll know where movers and shakers -- people who are often sources for stories -- are hanging out. Robertson says he learned a lot about schmoozing when he was a public relations executive in Washington. But he got his best tricks from his etiquette-savvy mother, an Arkansas native.


Send thank-you notes'


'You have to follow up and you have to follow through -- good Southern rules,'' Robertson says. ''You have to write thank-you notes, and you never ask someone to dinner without also asking the person who introduced you.''


But being informed is as important as being polite, says Robertson, who scans 16 newspapers a day.


''Read everything you can get your hands on so you can talk to anyone,'' he says. ''Know in advance who's going to be at a dinner party. Do a Nexis-Lexus search on everyone.''



A great schmoozer is tireless, but not pushy, experts agree.



''As Winston Churchill said to the British, 'Never give up,' '' Wainwright says.



''The biggest mistake you can make is making a contact, nothing happens and you give up.''





Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 05/18/99 05:54:13


Experts share their gift of gab


USA TODAY, DATE: 05/18/99

By Jennifer Merin


We say schmooze. Others refer to it as spin. You may call it blarney.


Whatever it's called, everyone recognizes the gift of gab as a remarkable, powerful talent -- the ability to express extraordinary personal charm in brilliant conversation that wins friends, influences people and brings success in professional and personal life. Such skills are essential for frequent business travelers whose livelihoods depend on the relationship-building they do on the road.


Free-lance writer Jennifer Merin asked several acknowledged experts for tips on how they bond with chat.




'The most important thing when dealing with people in any situation is to be yourself,'' says Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, whose rise from wrestler's mat to politician's podium is a testament to his communication skills.


''When I ran for governor, nobody thought I could win. But I never tried to hide who I am, in conversations, speeches, whatever, and people came out and voted in record numbers. But I also think listening is as important as talking. It's interesting: If you're a good listener, people often compliment you for being a good conversationalist.''


Ask good questions


How does Eileen Ford, modeling agency guru and image-builder extraordinaire, shape her conversation? ''I don't do all the talking. Mostly, I ask questions. Really, the most important thing is to express a keen and genuine interest in the people you're speaking with.''


Common ground


Entertainment PR honcho Bobby Zarem, who launched Saturday Night Fever into orbit and recently guided Miramax's triumphant Oscars campaign, confides: ''I'm quite shy. When I meet people socially, I don't talk business. I establish friendships by exchanging information and anecdotes about subjects of mutual interest. When it comes to pitching a film or project, I write letters, selecting words to create images that prepare people for what they'll see. I use words and language to groom people to understand and be receptive to a project.''


Make them laugh


Malachy McCourt, known as the Big Apple's man-about-town and an Irishman to the core, seeds conversations with pithy witticisms and always expresses interest in other people. ''I know it's clich&eacute;, but I'll often remark on an item of attire that's interesting -- not intimate, but interesting. Then I ask, 'Are you thinking well of yourself today?' '' That question draws interesting responses and makes people warm to you. Use all your charm to make people laugh. They say there are 10 words that always make people laugh. Of the two I can recall, one is 'Irish.' And the other is 'prunes.' And remember, there's a big difference between blarney and baloney. Blarney comes from the heart, but baloney is from the mouth.''




In court, advocate Johnnie Cochran's game plan is to persuade 12 impartial players to team up in support of clients sometimes charged with heinous crimes. ''I often use sports analogies to score points, '' Cochran says. ''Or on occasion, I do something dramatic to create an element of surprise and demonstrate what I'm talking about.


''But these techniques don't accomplish your goals unless you're genuine, sincere, very well-informed, totally prepared, to the point and truly passionate in your cause. Let people know you have real feelings, establish eye contact, use body language for emphasis, be deliberate and clear in what you say, and say it with passion.''


Show you care


The Rev. Jerry Falwell, whose megaministry reaches millions, says his essential communication skills come from his genuine love of people and desire to help them.


''In the pulpit, I preach to the lost person, the underdog, the one who is in deep personal trouble and doesn't know why another day is worth living. My goal is to let them know they are important to me and to God. To make a person aware that he or she is of great importance to you, you must show genuine interest.


''They won't share if you don't care. As quickly as possible, make people know that you care about their accomplishments and their burdens, and it's got to be genuine.''




Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 05/18/99 05:54:06



Satellites dish out strong growth Broadcasters gain TV viewers, new technology


USA TODAY, DATE: 05/18/99

By David Lieberman




It's either a stroke of public relations genius or uncanny happenstance that satellite broadcasters are back in the spotlight just as Star Wars mania reaches its peak.



The juxtaposition calls to mind the period a few years ago when executives and analysts likened satellites to Star Wars' Death Star.



Companies led by DirecTV and Echostar seemed ready to pulverize cable's growth plans by phasing out ungainly 36-inch dishes and beaming some 175 channels of clear digital video and sound to consumer-friendly 18-inch dishes.



The vision of robust nationwide competition was short-lived. Cable operators cultivated new technologies capable of delivering more channels and dazzling interactive services.



Satellite subscriber growth slowed. And industry prospects darkened as federal courts challenged satellite companies' right to rebroadcast signals from local TV stations.



But several recent developments suggest that satellite broadcasters will be more potent competitors than many imagined. And while it's too early to revive the vision of a Death Star, companies are forging intriguing strategies and alliances to help them move quickly if cable operators stumble in the race to deliver new services.



''When things looked bleak a year ago, the market felt that cable would upgrade so well and so fast that there wouldn't be room for satellites,'' says Robert Kaimowitz at ING Barings Furman Selz. ''That was just rhetoric. The deployment of cable upgrades is so time-consuming and costly, it puts satellites in a better position.''



Lots of investors agree.



Echostar shares, which closed Monday at $102, are up 115% in 1999 -- and 479% from their 52-week low last August.



And General Motors' Hughes Electronics, which owns DirecTV, closed at $59 7/16, up 53% so far this year.



To be sure, satellite companies are still the underdogs against cable, which has about 66 million subscribers.



Still, subscription numbers are rising impressively. Consumers are becoming more familiar with satellite receivers, while company subsidies slashed equipment and installation prices about 40% in the past year.



The number of satellite subscribers rose 26% to 11.2 million in the 12 months through March. Satellite providers are, collectively, the third-biggest provider of cable-like services, after AT&T and Time Warner.



The latest figures continue to amaze.



April was the seventh consecutive month of 100,000-plus subscriber growth for Echostar, whose service is known as the Dish Network. That's an industry record. It's also twice as many new customers as the company won in April 1998.



DirecTV also had a great April, with 142,000 new subscribers -- up 84% from its performance last year.



Executives say that's just the beginning. Congress, fearful of cable's monopoly power in video, is addressing the biggest problem consumers have with satellites: the need to use a conventional antenna or a cable hookup to get local stations.



The Senate plans to vote this week on a bill, similar to one approved in the House, that would give satellite companies the right to retransmit local stations. ''The only reason satellite is not dominant is because we have rules and regulations that prevent us from playing on a level playing field,'' says Echostar CEO Charlie Ergen.



Once the legal problems are resolved, Echostar plans to offer local stations in about 30 markets serving 55% of the country. DirecTV recently said it would provide local TV in as many as 20 markets reaching about half of all viewers.



A more interesting battle is shaping up over interactive services, including high-speed Internet access. Cable has a clear advantage here. Its wires handle two-way communications. Television satellites don't.



But many people won't be able to get cable's services. Some parts of the country are too spread out, or too poor, to justify the costs required to upgrade existing systems.



Meanwhile, satellite companies are crafting novel ways around their problems.



Last week, DirecTV and America Online announced a partnership to provide interactive services, including e-mail, to satellite customers who have a new set-top receiver equipped with a hard drive and a connection to a phone high-speed digital subscriber line.



''We're bringing the leading multichannel service together with the leading on-line service on a common platform -- the TV set,'' DirecTV President Eddy Hartenstein says.



Echostar also is depending on phone companies for connections to a set-top box -- which it begins delivering to retailers this week -- incorporating the Internet access power of Microsoft's WebTV.



''Ultimately, satellite providers will partner up with the AOLs, Microsofts and phone companies left out of the AT&T deals'' to acquire cable powers Tele-Communications Inc. and MediaOne, Ergen says. He adds coyly that this will require ''additional relationships that we don't have today -- or haven't announced today.''



The idea of a Death Star might be dead. But as the war with cable intensifies, satellite broadcasters have become big believers in the force.





Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 05/18/99 05:57:49



MONDAY, MAY 17, 1999

Insurers Lose Over $2.25 Billion on Satellite-Launch Failures ---- By Jeff Cole and Deborah Lohse


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


A 16-month run of failed commercial-satellite launches has cost insurers more than $2.25 billion and made them eager to double premiums, say insurance and satellite executives.


But it remains to be seen how big an increase can be imposed on launch customers, since the marketplace is thick with insurance providers.

Just 18 months ago, the launch-insurance market seemed especially lucrative to hungry underwriters. But it has turned poisonous since then because of a series of mishaps. Many involve newer U.S. rocket types, while others relate to malfunctioning U.S.-made satellites.


The troubles have shaken the confidence of underwriters and sent shivers of concern through the U.S. aerospace industry, which worries that sharply higher insurance premiums could further erode U.S. competitiveness in satellite launching and manufacturing.


Two failed commercial-satellite launches during the past three weeks have cost insurers about $425 million, a big chunk of the world-wide premiums collected for that type of insurance last year, insurers note. The larger estimate of $2.25 billion represents the combined losses from global commercial satellite and rocket malfunctions since January 1998.


That total excludes more than $3 billion in losses from three major failures that weren't insured. Those three failures involved costly U.S. government satellites aboard Titan IV heavy-lift rockets made by Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md. Taxpayers must eat those losses.


In the case of commercial launches, as many as a dozen primary insurers share the risk by syndicating the insurance contract. More risk is sold off to big reinsurance firms that don't specialize in the launch trade.

Simon Clapham, underwriter for the Marham Space Consortium, a part of the Lloyd's of London insurance market, says the long run of losses indicates premium rates should double for launches that are to take place during the year 2000. Mr. Clapham says premiums are likely to increase somewhat, although the many providers have yet to see "whether we're capable" of doubling premium rates.


Other experts agree, suggesting increases will take hold as some providers reluctantly exit from the market. Weston Hicks, an analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities, said insurer losses are running so high that, unless the problems in 1998 are written off as unusual, "you are going to see capacity come out of the market" and prices go up.


The launch industry is booming amid rising demand for satellites to provide mobile-phone services, data transmission and direct-to-home television.

By late 1997, insurers realized they could snare premiums of as much as $30 million to cover just one launch of a high-orbit communications satellite and a medium-lift rocket costing a combined $200 million. Such premiums, representing between 12% and 14% of the total cost, seemed logical. About one in seven satellite launches are a partial failure or worse, either because a rocket malfunctions or a satellite doesn't operate properly.


The flood of insurers stirred competition, and premiums have fallen to between 7% and 10% of the amount at risk, Mr. Clapham estimates. Terms, such as the length of time the satellite is insured for proper operation, also have been relaxed.


In the most recent two failures, an Ikonos imaging satellite was destroyed after a launch attempt using a new Lockheed Martin rocket type. Earlier this month, Boeing Co.'s new Delta III rocket failed for the second consecutive time and left an Orion 3 communications satellite in a useless orbit.

Insurers cite a much longer string of losses, including last year's failed launch of 12 satellites for the Globalstar Telecommunications Ltd. mobile-phone system on a Ukrainian rocket, and the August loss of a major satellite for PanAmSat Corp., when Boeing's Delta III failed the first time. One satellite failure knocked out paging services, while other shortcomings brought big claims from the EchoStar Communications Corp. TV service and Iridium LLC, a mobile-phone service.


Bernard Schwartz, chief executive of Loral Space & Communications Ltd., which operates Globalstar and built Orion 3, says satellite and rocket makers are "pushing the envelope technically" in response to customer needs. However, he said premium increases are likely to be modest because in better times "this has been a very lucrative area" for insurers.



Crowded Field


Top satellite insurers around the globe:




-- Axa Space*

-- Brockbank Insurance Services Inc.**,***

-- U.S. Aircraft Insurance Group


-- Ace Ltd.


-- Marham Space Consortium3




-- Assurances Generales de France

-- Scor

-- La Reunion Spatiale




-- Munich Re




-- Assicurazioni Generali SpA


*Part of Axa Group of France

**Underwriter for London-based Brockbank Group Plc, part of XL Capital Ltd. of Bermuda

***Part of the Lloyd's of London market

Source: Insurance industry experts




New York Times

May 17th, 1999


Gandhi's Party Leaders Revolt, Saying Indian-Born Should Rule


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


NEW DELHI, India - The Congress Party's governing committee will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss an open revolt within the party - the first of its kind - against the candidacy for prime minister of Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow who inherited the mantle of India's founding political dynasty.


Sharad Pawar, a powerful Congress Party leader from Maharashtra, along with two other senior Congress officials, delivered an extraordinary letter to Mrs. Gandhi late on Sunday night, calling on her not to seek to become prime minister of this nation of 980 million people. Her foreign birth and her lack of political experience are legitimate concerns for Indian voters, they said.


In a party where the culture of serville flattery is powerful, the letter was a stunningly open airing of the doubts that Congress officials had only whispered about privately. Mrs. Gandhi, whose husband, Rajiv Gandhi, and mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, both served as prime ministers of India and both died at the hands of assassins, has herself never held any elective office.


``The average Indian is not unreasonable in demanding that his prime minister have some track record in public life,'' the party rebels wrote. ``The Congress party needs to respect this very justifiable expectation.''


The views of Pawar, who led the opposition in the lower house of Parliament, and of the two other signatories, P.A. Sangma and Tariq Anwar, are especially damaging because they echo and legitimize those made by the Congress party's main rival for power in the coming elections, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.


BJP officials have been opening calling it a national disgrace that India should even consider electing an Italian-born woman who is a political neophyte. And they have held up their leader, the caretaker prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee - a veteran parliamentary leader and an Indian - as the antithesis of Mrs. Gandhi.


The coalition led by the Hindu nationalists lost a vote of confidence by a single vote last month. The Congress Party scrambled to put together an alternative government, but failed to come up with a majority - a failure that tarnished Mrs. Gandhi's image for mature and cautious leadership. The country now faces early elections in September.


Last March, almost seven years after her husband was assassinated as he campaigned to be prime minister, Mrs. Gandhi agreed to take over as president of the Congress Party and had been credited with bringing it back from the brink of extinction.


While praising Mrs. Gandhi for helping to revive the party, Pawar and the other two leaders make it clear that they think Congress was deeply mistaken to try to bring down the Hindu nationalist-led coalition.


And they were unequivocal that a native-born Indian must lead the nation.


``It is not possible that a country of 980 million, with a wealth of education, competence and ability, can have anyone other than an Indian born of Indian soil to head its government,'' they wrote.


They also suggested that Congress itself propose a constitutional amendment requiring that the offices of president, vice president and prime minister be held only by natural-born Indian citizens.


The rebellion by Pawar is particularly threatening, not only because of the content of his missive, but also because he is truly a powerhouse in the state of Maharashtra, whose capital, Bombay, is India's financial nerve center.


Maharashtra now provides the Congress Party with 33 of its 139 members of Parliament - support the party cannot afford to lose if it has any hopes of winning power after the elections. Pawar, a man believed to have prime ministerial ambitions of his own, would see the continued dynastic reign of Mrs. Gandhi - and possibly her children after her - as shutting off all hope that he, or other dynamic regional leaders in the party, could themselves ever rise to the pinnacle of power.


03:02 EDT MAY 17, 1999


NYT-05-17-99 0135EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from NewsEdge Corporation: 05/17/99 02:58:06


New York Times

These Bacteria Are So Big, The Microscope's Optional


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


Heide Schulz remembers thinking that the single-cell organism she examined under a microscope that day back in 1997 was unusual. Sifted from sulfurous muck on the ocean floor off the coast of Namibia in Africa, it seemed to be a microbe.


But Ms. Schulz, a doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany, was astonished at its size.


``I thought maybe it was an unhealthy bacterium, because it was so large,'' she recalled.


But the bacterium, and countless others from the same sample, were more than healthy. They were downright robust, stuffed with sulfur granules that gave off a whitish gleam. In a microbial world of Matchbox cars, Ms. Schulz was looking at a monster truck. She had stumbled across the biggest bacteria ever found.


The bacteria, which Ms. Schulz named Thiomargarita namibiensis, or sulfur pearl of Namibia, range in diameter up to about one-thirtieth of an inch, or roughly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. They are orders of magnitude larger than most other bacteria, and in volume are up to 70 times bigger than the previous record-holder, a microbe found in the guts of surgeonfish.


The newly discovered strain wallows in the slime of the Atlantic off the African coast, playing a crucial role in a poorly understood cycle of decay of these sediments that are rich in organic matter yet poor in oxygen.


It feasts on sulfide, oxidizing it with nitrates contained in a huge storage chamber, or vacuole, that makes up the bulk of the cell.


Bacteria are prokaryotic, meaning they consist of tissue called cytoplasm, a membrane to contain it, and little else. Unlike eukaryotes, they lack sophisticated internal structures to transport nutrients and wastes, relying instead on diffusion. A large ratio of surface area to volume is thus very important in bacteria, and effectively limits their size, since the ratio declines as size increases.


The new bacteria do not have an enormous amount of cytoplasm, said Bo Barker Jorgensen, the director of the institute and a co-author of the paper announcing the discovery in the current issue of the journal Science. ``But they are cheating,'' he said. ``The cytoplasm is only a thin sheath along the periphery. The rest is just a storage tank.''


Bacteria are under intense pressure to maximize ways to survive in their environment, said Dr. James Ferry, a professor of microbiology at Pennsylvania State University and editor of The Journal of Bacteriology. Ordinarily, he said, large size would be a disadvantage.


But thiomargarita's odd fondness for sulfide is its saving grace. ``This organism occupies a very specific niche,'' Ferry said. ``Since it has no competitors, it does not have to have a large surface-to-volume ratio to compete.''


The organic sediments in which the bacteria were found resemble those off the coast of Chile, and are the result of similar processes involving coastal upwelling of nutrient-rich water.


Ms. Schulz and her colleagues had come to Namibia, in fact, in hopes of finding thioploca, a sulfide-eating strain of bacteria they had found off South America. While there was little evidence of thioploca in the African sediments, they soon realized that thiomargarita was a close relative. It had just evolved differently.


Thioploca are smaller and mobile, moving about within long filaments. They shuttle between the sediments, where they pick up sulfide, and the sea water, where they find the nitrates they need.


The African bacteria, by contrast, stay only in the mud, which would seem to limit their access to nitrates. But they solve that problem by having a huge tank - the vacuole, which stores a two- to three-month nitrate supply - and refueling every so often as huge undersea waves cause an oscillating flow of water, in effect pumping it into the sediments.


The strain's role in consuming sulfide could be critical to maintaining an ecological balance on the ocean floor, Jorgensen said. In certain concentrations, hydrogen sulfide gas can be toxic to bottom-dwelling fish and other creatures. ``As long as bacteria are there, and have the capacity to oxidize the sulfide, they can keep it down,'' he said.


It is that role, more than the bacterium's exotic size, that makes it of lasting interest to researchers. Given the great diversity of microorganisms and the paltry amount that is known about them, in fact, many scientists might greet the news of a giant microbe with a large yawn.


``A microbiologist would shrug this off and say, `See, since we know so little about the microbiological world, this isn't surprising,''' Ferry said.


00:34 EDT APRIL 20, 1999


The Science Times: Flying Fish


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


Q. Why do flying fish fly?


A. The several species of oceanic flying fish seem to take flight either when they are alarmed or when they are attracted by a light shining in the night, according to the Encyclopedia of Fishes: A Comprehensive Illustrated Guide by International Experts (Academic Press, 1998).


Most flying fishes belong to the family Exocoetidae and live in the surface waters of all tropical oceans. They are able to leap out of the water and glide above it because they have overdeveloped pectoral fins and in some cases pelvic fins as well. Related species called halfbeaks skip along the surface but do not become fully airborne.


The flying fish that have two pairs of ``wings'' build up swimming speed much as an airplane taxis before takeoff; they gather speed at the surface by sweeping the tailfin rapidly from side to side, vibrating it like an outboard motor.


Having reached speeds that sometimes exceed 35 miles an hour, they finally launch themselves into the air. Flights last from about 10 seconds to as long as 30 seconds and may carry the fish 650 feet or more from the launching point.


Flying fish species range from about 5 1/2 inches to 20 inches in length. They are often good eating, and one technique of fishing for them relies on their attraction to light. A fishmerman may simply anchor a canoe with a foot or two of water in it and a lantern hanging over it. The next morning, the boat may be full of fresh fish trapped in water too shallow for them to make a takeoff.


Readers are invited to submit questions by postal mail to Questions, Science Times, The New York Times, 229 West 43d Street, New York, N.Y. 10036-3959, or by e-mail to: Question(AT)



The Cutting Edge Of Medicine, From A Century Ago


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


Go to the zoo and gaze deep into the eyes of a chimpanzee, and you will know exactly how it feels to leaf through the first edition of the Merck Manual, the venerable medical textbook first published in 1899 and reissued this week in a commemorative centennial package along with the 1999 edition.


There is that same fascination at something so alien and primitive, that same surge of relief that we have come so far ... and that same sudden flash of recognition too - isn't that just a little touch of Grandpa around the hairline?


Back in 1899 a patient with asthma might well have marched under doctors' orders directly to the tobacconist for a cigarette: ``smoking is sometimes beneficial'' for this condition, the manual reports. An alcoholic might have been dosed up with opium, or sent off to suck an orange and drink a pint of hot water before meals to curb his craving.


For baldness, the doctor might have suggested applying ammonia to the bare pate (``very useful'') or taking a little arsenic by mouth. For the common cold - inhale some formaldehyde and call me in the morning.


A male patient complaining of uncontrollable sexual urges would probably have been diagnosed with satyriasis in 1899 and handed a prescription for a potent sedative, heavily laden with alcohol. No such luck for the woman hauled into the doctor's office and found to suffer from nymphomania, who would instead have gotten herself medicated with sulfuric acid, camphor or tobacco (``so as to cause nausea: effectual but depressing,'' noted the gentlemen at Merck.)


Historians usually date the beginning of modern scientific medicine to just after World War II, when a crescendo of advances in drug development and medical technology merged into the general outlines of the medicine we know today. But it would be a mistake to assume that doctors a hundred years ago were moping around their consultation rooms, wringing their hands and waiting for penicillin to appear.


Far from it: they were as busy and active as could be, poring over long lists of available treatment options and making complicated, optimistic plans. In fact, the number of substances with claimed medical utility had grown so large by then that the Merck pharmaceutical company was inspired to compile them in this slim volume: it could slip out of the doctor's pocket for easy reference when memory failed - and could also, incidentally, keep the name ``Merck'' right under the doctor's nose.


For typhoid fever (the responsible germ had been discovered 15 years before, but antibiotics were still decades away), the up-to-date medico of 1899 had 85 separate treatments to choose from, including morphine, opium and cold baths. For puerperal fever, the dreaded strep infection that killed women after childbirth, the doctor had more than 40 treatment options, including blood-letting and chloroform.


For tuberculous meningitis, a brain infection that was once a scourge of infancy and even with today's powerful antibiotics can still be fatal, treatments to try included iodine and turpentine massaged into the skin.


And yet, among the hundreds of nostrums and poisons once lavishly dispensed in the name of healing, a few alternatives still ring true. Doctors could treat diphtheria with strychnine, ice and lemon juice in 1899, but they could also choose diphtheria antitoxin, which is still a cornerstone of diphtheria treatment.


They could opt for quinine for malaria and digitalis for heart failure; they could use saccharin to sweeten diabetics' food and codeine to soothe coughs; they could write for chloral hydrate for insomnia and colchicine for gout, as doctors are still doing today.


The 1999 edition of the Merck text is massive next to the 1899 version, with 2,833 pages to the old one's 192. Almost 300 experts from around the country were assembled to guarantee that it reflects the cutting edge of modern therapeutics. The old volume and the new one will be packaged together for the duration of 1999, at $35 for the set.


But despite the authoritative bulk of the new manual and all those experts, the inexorable process of medical evolution grinds on. When the next century rolls around, dialysis for kidney failure may seem as dubious a procedure as bloodletting, hystamine blockers like Zantac, Tagamet and Pepcid as bizarre a set of stomach soothers as the inspissated ox gall that aided 1899 digestions, and all our blood pressure medications as quaintly pointless as tincture of cactus (a heart tonic in 1899).


We have harnessed our own set of poisons for medical treatment; in a hundred years a discussion of modern cancer chemotherapy may read as chillingly as endorsements of strychnine for tuberculosis and arsenic for diabetes do today.


Like all medical textbooks, the new Merck manual is far too heavy to tote around. No matter - doctors at their present evolutionary stage do not travel much in the course of a day's work. Those who purchase the Merck set will undoubtedly keep the new one on the office desk, while the old one gets a few laughs, then gathers dust on a coffee table or library shelf.


But actually, a better place for the 1899 edition might be right back where it once belonged, in the doctor's pocket or pocketbook, as a kind of professional memento mori - a reminder that for all the eager scampering around we all do these days in the name of health care, most of it is no more likely to survive the march of time than did our once prehensile toes.


00:34 EDT APRIL 20, 1999


Personal Health: There's Plenty Of Choice In Diet For Healthier Heart


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


Is your cholesterol level a little too high? Have you been told to de-fat your diet or take costly medicines to bring it down?


Eating a la Dr. Dean Ornish (about 10 percent of calories from fat) is too much of a challenge for most people, and many currently healthy people would rather not take cholesterol-lowering medications (all have some side effects) if there are safe, effective and more pleasant options for achieving a desirable cholesterol level and a reduced risk of heart disease.


Recent studies have highlighted a wide variety of foods and beverages that offer the promise of a healthier heart, often with other protective benefits as well. In fact, if weight is not a problem, you may not have to eat low-fat at all, as long as the fats you eat are the right kinds of fats.




Good Fats, Bad Fats


Don't assume that any of the choices below is the Holy Grail that will allow you to subsist on a cheeseburger-and-fries diet. Saturated fats must still be kept to a minimum. They are found in significant amounts in chicken fat (30 percent saturated), vegetable shortening (31 percent), lard (40 percent), beef fat (50 percent) and butter (62 percent).


However, in a special report published in November by the journal Postgraduate Medicine, Dr. Lisa Hark, director of the nutrition education and prevention program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, said that reducing total dietary fat appeared to be less effective in lowering coronary risk than simply replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat and consuming less trans fats, which act in the body like saturated fat and are formed when unsaturated vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated.


Data from the continuing Nurses' Health Study showed that every 5 percent increase in saturated fat in the diet resulted in a 17 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Heart-healthy fats include those found in fish, olives, avocados, seeds and nuts. For cooking and salad dressings, you can choose among olive, canola, sesame-seed, peanut and walnut oils. But be sure to use them with discretion. Even heart-healthy oils are high in calories, about 120 calories a tablespoon, and if you gain weight, your cholesterol level and coronary risk will rise. For a table spread, choose a margarine that is trans-fat free.




Heart-Healthy Foods


You've no doubt heard about any number of foods and drinks purported to be good for the heart: fish, soy, whole grains, various fruits and vegetables, garlic, alcohol and particularly red wine. Here's the current scoop:


FISH Just one fish meal a week may cut in half a man's risk of sudden cardiac death. The Physicians' Health Study found that men who ate fish - for example, shellfish, canned tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, bluefish or swordfish - at least once a week reduced their risk of sudden death by 52 percent when compared with men who ate fish less than once a month.


Eating fish more often than once a week did not further reduce the risk, but those who benefited most consumed fish as part of an overall low-fat diet. Eating fish appears to protect against fatal abnormal heart rhythms and the oils in fish reduce the risk of arterial clogging.


SOY FOODS Eating soy protein daily can lower the blood level of heart-damaging LDL cholesterol and raise protective HDL cholesterol. However, a lot of soy protein is needed to achieve a significant improvement - between 25 and 50 grams a day. One ounce of powdered soy protein contains 23 grams, 4 ounces of tempeh has 17 grams, 4 ounces of tofu has 6 to 13 grams and 1 cup of soy milk has 4 to 10 grams.


The beneficial substances in soy appear to be plant estrogens called isoflavones, anti-oxidants which may have an added benefit of reducing the risk of breast cancer.


WHOLE GRAINS A continuing study of more than 34,000 postmenopausal women in Iowa has shown that eating one or more servings of whole-grain foods (in place of refined grains) can reduce the risk of death from heart disease by a third.


Such foods include cereals like Wheaties, Cheerios and Shredded Wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, corn, bran, wheat germ, and breads in which the first ingredient listed is whole wheat. Check the nutrition information label and look for cereals with 3 to 6 grams of fiber and breads with 2 grams of fiber per serving.


SOLUBLE FIBER Foods rich in soluble fiber reduce cholesterol by increasing its excretion. Last month Kellogg Co. introduced grain products, under the trade name Ensemble, that are enriched with psyllium, the soluble fiber in the stool softener Metamucil. If you try psyllium-rich foods, introduce them gradually, be sure to consume plenty of liquid with your meal and don't be surprised if they increase intestinal gas and bowel frequency.


Other foods rich in heart-protective soluble fiber include dried beans and peas, oats and oat bran, barley, apples, citrus fruits, corn and flaxseed. Flaxseed, which should be ground to produce its full benefits, also contains the kind of heart-protective oil found in fish and substances called lignins that may act as cancer blockers. Ground flaxseed can be added to cereal, yogurt and the batter for pancakes, breads and other baked goods.


SUPPLEMENTS The study of Iowa women also highlighted dietary calcium, either from foods or from supplements, as a heart-protective, probably because it helps lower blood pressure. Most helpful was a diet that contained more than 1,400 milligrams of calcium a day, about the amount in a quart of skim milk or yogurt or calcium-fortified orange juice.


A dietary supplement, Chinese red-yeast-rice, sold as Cholestin, contains the same cholesterol-lowering compounds found in the statin drugs. It is highly effective and much cheaper than the statins, but it may have the same potential side effects of liver and muscle damage, and the Food and Drug Administration is trying to reclassify it as a drug.


Two B vitamins - folate and B-6 - may reduce the risk of fatal heart attacks by lowering blood levels of a substance called homocysteine, which, like high cholesterol, damages coronary arteries. Good sources of folate include dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas, orange juice, fortified whole-grain cereals and breads and multivitamin supplements. B-6 is found in whole-grain cereals, bananas, beef, chicken and vitamin supplements.


A clove of garlic a day can be beneficial as well. But if a dried deodorized garlic supplement is chosen, be sure it is enteric-coated, which will protect it from stomach acid and allow the formation of the odoriferous active ingredient that lowers cholesterol and another blood fat, triglycerides.


TEA AND ALCOHOL Tea, with or without caffeine, is beneficial to the heart. Regular black tea is a rich source of flavonoids, the protective anti-oxidants in soybeans that are believed to retard the development of atherosclerosis. In a study of nearly 700 men and women in Boston, those who drank one or more cups of regular (not herbal) tea a day had nearly half the risk of suffering a heart attack of those who drank no tea.


Moderate consumption of alcohol, one drink a day, has been linked in numerous studies to a reduced risk of heart disease, a benefit that apparently results from an alcohol-induced rise in protective HDL cholesterol.


Studies have singled out red wine as especially beneficial because of anti-oxidant and anti-clotting substances in the skins of red grapes. These substances are also present in purple grape juice, which may also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis by keeping LDL cholesterol from attaching to coronary arteries.


00:28 EDT APRIL 20, 1999




Mosque dispute could halt pope's Holy Land visit Israeli decision sets off new spate of arguments


USA TODAY , DATE: 04/20/99

By Matthew Kalman


NAZARETH, Israel -- A battle over attempts by Muslims to build a large mosque next to the city's holiest Christian shrine could derail plans for Pope John Paul II to make his first pilgrimage to the Holy Land during next year's millennium celebrations.



An Israeli decision Monday to authorize construction of a small mosque on the disputed site in Israel's largest Arab city set off a new round of threats and complaints from both Muslims and Christians. Nazareth's 60,000 inhabitants are almost evenly divided between the two faiths.



Last week, a Vatican statement denounced as ''a provocation'' a proposal to build a mosque next to the Basilica of the Annunciation, where, according to the Bible, the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her she was to have a child.



Muslim leaders said the planned mosque would be a ''symbol of friendship'' between Christians and Muslims, and they planned to meet the pope in Rome to invite him to inaugurate construction of the building.



''We want the pope himself to lay the cornerstone to symbolize our respect for Christianity and for Jesus, who we regard as a prophet like Mohammed and Moses,'' said Nazem Abu Salim, the imam, or prayer leader, of the temporary mosque erected on the site.



Church leaders blame the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for inflaming the dispute, which has dragged on for more than a year. They say Netanyahu's administration is backing construction of the mosque to woo Muslim voters for the country's general election on May 17.



Moti Zaken, Netanyahu's adviser on Arab-Israeli affairs, announced Monday that the government had authorized construction of a ''small mosque on a 504-square-meter (1,660-square-foot) plot of land.''



The decision overruled Nazareth Mayor Ramez Jeraisi, a Christian, who has rejected claims by local Muslim leaders that the disputed land once had belonged to an Islamic trust.



Jeraisi's municipality, backed by the Vatican and other Christian churches, planned to create a pedestrian plaza on the site to improve access to the basilica for hundreds of thousands of pilgrims expected to visit for the the turn of the millennium.



Israel's announcement Monday also irked Islamic leaders. They rejected the offer because they want to build a 3,320-square-foot mosque, large enough to hold 3,000 worshippers visiting a site that is sacred to both religions. According to Islamic tradition, Shihab A-Din, nephew of the legendary Salah A-Din (Saladdin), who liberated the Holy Land from the Crusaders 800 years ago, is buried there.



Muslim campaigners complain that a school that housed a small mosque was destroyed by the City Council 18 months ago to make way for the proposed millennium plaza. And they claim the land is owned by the Waqf, the Islamic Religious Trust. Waqf property was declared public land when Israel was founded in 1948.



''This has been Muslim land for 800 years,'' said Ahmed Hamudi, head of the Waqf. ''All we want to do is to rebuild the mosque that was here before.''



Tension over the future of the site, which has hosted a tent used as a mosque by Muslim campaigners since December 1997, erupted into Christian-Muslim riots on Easter. The Muslims claim Christians attacked their tent. More than 40 people were injured in the fighting, and Christian shops were ransacked.



The Christian Travel Center on Paulus VI Street is still scarred from the violence. Workmen were replacing the windows and putting up 14-foot-high steel shutters last week.



''We've never had to have these before. It's a disgrace,'' said Yousef Marzawi, the travel center's manager. He said pilgrim groups already had canceled visits to Nazareth because of the riots.



His assistant said she was afraid of Muslims for the first time. ''I saw a gang burning a car and hitting the people inside it,'' said the assistant, who gave her name as Rula. ''They knew they were Christians because they were wearing their Sunday best.''



Vatican officials have denied the dispute over the Nazareth site would affect the Pope's planned visit, which has not yet been officially announced. But they have hinted that the Pope might boycott Israel altogether and confine his millennium pilgrimage to Bethlehem, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority.



The Vatican representative in the Holy Land, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, warned Israel last week not to permit construction of the mosque next to the basilica and said Christian leaders could close all the churches in Israel in protest if the government gave in on the issue.



''We are not opposed to the construction of a mosque in Nazareth, but not next to the basilica because this would disturb Christian pilgrims,'' Sambi said. There was no immediate Vatican response to Monday's Israeli government decision.



New York Times

April 19, 1999 Tuesday


In India, Forming A New Government Won't Be Easy

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


NEW DELHI, India - A day after the fall of the Hindu nationalist-led government, leaders of the opposition Congress Party began trying to patch together a new coalition to govern this nation of 980 million people.


But any new alliance drawn from the diverse and contentious collection of opposition parties is likely to be as rickety as the one that just lost power, political analysts and some Congress officials said.


If the opposition is unable to cobble together a majority, President K.R. Narayanan is empowered to dissolve the Parliament and call new elections, the second round in two years.


Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, now serving as a temporary caretaker, told workers for his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party Sunday to prepare for new elections because he does not expect any new government to last long.


Whoever leads the next government will be faced with the crucial questions of whether to sign the nuclear test ban treaty and how to calibrate the country's hostile relationship with its neighbor, Pakistan.


Vajpayee's government alarmed the world last May when it conducted nuclear tests, which Pakistan rapidly answered with tests of its own. Last week, each of the two nations, which have fought three wars with each other in 51 years, tested ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.


India's Parliament was split almost down the middle between supporters and opponents of the year-old government that collapsed. On Saturday, Vajpayee's coalition lost a confidence vote by a single vote. Tellingly, Vajpayee, aggravated by months of very public squabbling within his own coalition, said after he resigned, ``I feel free.''


The burden of coalition politics has now shifted to the Congress Party. The opposition had just enough votes to defeat the government, but several small parties whose members voted to oust Vajpayee's coalition may also oppose a government led by the Congress Party. And they have enough votes to deprive a new coalition of a majority.


A senior Congress leader, Madhavrao Scindia, gave this advice to those who want to know what will happen: ``Go to the local astrologer.''


``I don't think Congress is in a flap about it,'' he said. ``We'll put in an effort to form a government, but it has to be assured a minimum of stability.''


It was also unclear Sunday whether the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, heir to the political family that has dominated Indian politics since independence in 1947, would seek to become prime minister. On Friday a party spokesman said she would be the candidate, but party officials were less categorical on Sunday.


``It's touch-and-go whether she will lead,'' one Congress leader said. ``It is her personal decision.''


Several analysts said it would have been better for the Congress Party, which now has only 140 of the 545 votes in Parliament, if the Vajpayee government had survived and hobbled along. The party could have used the time to continue rebuilding its grass-roots organization. And it could have strengthened its voting base for parliamentary elections in five states scheduled for next March.


But the government's fall was precipitated this week when Jayalalitha Jayaram, a scene-stealing former actress who heads a party from the state of Tamil Nadu, withdrew the support of her party's 18 members of Parliament.


``Congress is being pitchforked into power at the whim of Jayalalitha,'' said E. Sridharan, a political scientist who works for the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for the Advanced Study of India here in New Delhi. ``I don't think they're keen to form a government. This is not their script.''


However, if Congress is to head a new coalition, it has little choice but to turn to Ms. Jayaram, who was the most troublesome of Vajpayee's coalition partners.


Ostensibly, she quit the government over issues of national security, but officials with the Bharatiya Janata Party said she was angry because Vajpayee refused to dismiss the state government of Tamil Nadu, which is aggressively pursuing corruption charges against her.


The problem for the Congress Party is this: Leaders of a rival party from Tamil Nadu, which has three votes in Parliament, say they will have no part of a coalition that includes Ms. Jayaram, whom they contend is profoundly corrupt.


``The fat lady will certainly insist on being in the government,'' said a Congress Party official, disdainfully referring to Ms. Jayaram. Refusing to be quoted by name, he added: ``If you take one group from Tamil Nadu, the other is upset. It's a big problem. If we lose even one party, we're gone.''


Even if Congress did manage to form a government with Ms. Jayaram involved, it would be dependent on her, and she is a headline-grabbing politician who could well quit in a huff again if she did not get what she wanted.


Several leading newspapers said in editorials Sunday that elections offer the best hope for a more stable government. Only the voters can give one or the other of the nation's largest parties - Bharatiya Janata or Congress - a stronger mandate.


``This Parliament is genetically constructed to give us no more than instability,'' The Indian Express said. ``It is time, therefore, to give the voter a chance to rectify this. Now, or in the winter, an election this year is an inevitability.''


00:18 EDT APRIL 19, 1999


New York Times

April 13, 1999 Tuesday

Bin Laden's Message More Powerful Than His Means


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


American commandos are poised near the Afghan border, hoping to capture Osama bin Laden, the man charged with blowing up two American embassies in Africa eight months ago, senior American officials say.


But they still do not know how to find him. They are depending on his protectors in Afghanistan to betray him - a slim reed of hope for one of the biggest and most complicated international criminal investigations in American history.


Capturing bin Laden alive could deepen the complications. American officials say that so far, firsthand evidence that could be used in court to prove that he commanded the bombings has proven difficult to obtain.


According to the public record, none of the informants involved in the case have direct knowledge of bin Laden's involvement.


For now, federal prosecutors appear to be building a case that his violent words and ideas, broadcast from an Afghan cave, incited terrorist acts thousands of miles away.


In their self-declared war with bin Laden, American officials portray him as the world's most dangerous terrorist.


But reporters for The New York Times and the PBS program ``Frontline,'' working in cooperation, have found him to be less a commander of terrorists than an inspiration for them.


Enemies and supporters, from members of the Saudi opposition to present and former American intelligence officials, say he may not be as globally powerful as some American officials have asserted. But his message and aims have more resonance among Muslims around the world than has been understood here.


``You can kill Osama bin Laden today or tomorrow; you can arrest him and put him on trial in New York or in Washington,'' said Ahmed Sattar, an aide to Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric convicted of inspiring the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. ``If this will end the problem - no. Tomorrow you will get somebody else.''


Interviews with senior American officials and knowledgeable observers of bin Laden in Pakistan, Sudan and elsewhere suggest that there is widespread support among ordinary people in the Muslim world for his central political argument: that American troops should get out of Saudi Arabia. The embassy bombings, they note, took place eight years to the day after the GI's were ordered onto Saudi soil.


The interviews also raise questions about key assertions that have been made by the government about bin Laden. Senior intelligence officials concede that their knowledge of him is sketchy.


``We can't say for sure what was going on'' with him from 1991 to 1996 - most of the years covered in the indictment - one senior official said.


Present and former American officials and former business associates of bin Laden say he appears to control only a fraction of the $250 million fortune that the American government says he possesses.


``Clearly, his money's running out,'' said Frank Anderson, a former senior CIA official who maintains close Middle Eastern contacts.


Larry Johnson, the State Department deputy counterterrorism director from 1988 to 1993, said administration officials had ``tended to make Osama bin Laden sort of a Superman in Muslim garb - he's 10 feet tall, he's everywhere, he knows everything, he's got lots of money and he can't be challenged.''


Milton Bearden, a retired senior CIA official who ran the agency's war in Afghanistan and retired in 1995, said the government had ``created a North Star'' in bin Laden.


``He is public enemy No. 1,'' Bearden said. ``We've got a $5 million reward out for his head. And now we have, with I'm not sure what evidence, linked him to all of the terrorist acts of this year - of this decade, perhaps.''


Political leaders in Sudan and Pakistan who have met bin Laden describe him as intelligent, soft-spoken, polite. They also say he is deadly serious about his violent brand of radical politics and capable of killing in God's name.


Bin Laden was born into the ruling class of Saudi Arabia. His father was the favorite construction magnate of the Saudi royal family, who gave bin Laden's family huge contracts to renovate the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and build palaces for Saudi princes.


American officials calculated bin Laden's fortune by estimating the family fortune at $5 billion and dividing by 20 - the number of male heirs. But business associates of bin Laden said his family cut him off years ago, and are managing his share of his inheritance for him as long as he is disowned. Business associates say bin Laden has been living on a generous allowance from his eldest brother and that his assets in Saudi Arabia are now frozen.


In 1980, at 22, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia and moved to the Afghan frontier. In Peshawar, Pakistan, bin Laden - working alongside, but never directly allied with, the CIA - used his money and his machines to help the Afghan rebels fight the Soviet Army invaders.


The Afghan war shaped bin Laden, those who know him say. ``He is an ordinary person who is very religious,'' said President Omar Bashir of Sudan, who met bin Laden often between 1992 and 1996. ``He believes in the rule of Islam and where possible the establishment of an Islamic state. The time that he spent in Afghanistan led him to believe that this might be achieved through military means.''


Legend has it that bin Laden fought bravely against Soviet troops. But former CIA officers say he was a financier, not a warrior - ``a philanthropist supporting a number of health care, widows-and-orphans charity operations in Peshawar for Afghan refugees,'' as Anderson put it.


He also helped create a headquarters called Al Qaeda, the Base. It was a way station in Peshawar where Egyptian and Saudi volunteers rested before setting off for battle in Afghanistan. Its name became a kind of flag uniting bin Laden's followers. American officials call it a global terrorist network.


When the Soviet forces left Afghanistan in 1989, bin Laden went home to Saudi Arabia. He soon set his sights on the last remaining superpower.


``He himself was very much wary about America,'' said Saad al-Faqih, a Saudi exile living in London, who worked as a surgeon for wounded Afghan fighters, ``very skeptical about America and the Saudi regime.''


He found a new enemy on Aug. 7, 1990, when the United States began sending half a million soldiers to Saudi Arabia, preparing for war against Iraq.


``One of the stories put out by bin Laden is that he went to King Fahd and promised that he would raise holy warriors who would protect Saudi Arabia,'' said Anderson, who was the chief of the CIA's Near East operations in the mid-1990s. ``His violent opposition to the Saudi royal family began when King Fahd denied or rejected that offer.'' To bin Laden, the deployment of Americans in the land of Mecca and Medina smacked of the Crusades, the Christian religious wars against Islam that began nine centuries ago. His rage transformed him into a stateless outlaw.


In November 1991, Saudi intelligence officers caught bin Laden smuggling weapons from Yemen, his father's homeland. They withdrew his passport. Soon afterward he made his way to Sudan, which had decreed its borders open to all Muslims, with or without passports or visas.


Veterans of the Afghan jihad, or Holy War, against Moscow followed bin Laden, under Al Qaeda's banner. But ``when Al Qaeda was moved to Sudan, it lost around 70 percent of its members,'' Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, accused of being an associate of bin Laden, said during an interrogation by German police after his arrest in September.


``This group didn't have a purpose except to carry out the jihad, and since nobody carried out the jihad, it lost a lot of its members,'' Salim said.


There were three kinds of men in Al Qaeda, he said. First, ``people who had no success in life, had nothing in their heads and wanted to join just to keep from falling on their noses.'' Second, ``people who loved their religion but had no idea what their religion reallymeant.'' And third, ``people who have nothing in their heads but to fight and solve all the problems in the world with battles.''


Bin Laden lived in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, ``as an investor,'' said Bashir. ``With his money, he was adventurous, and probably he gained this mentality by his experiences as a fighter.''


The indictment against bin Laden says he provided training camps in Sudan where Afghan war veterans prepared for terrorist missions. But a senior American intelligence official contradicted that, saying, ``There was never a bin Laden-financed training camp in Sudan.''


The official added: ``In 1993, '94, '95, he's managing and building up his legitimate business presence there in Sudan. I won't pretend we've got a good intelligence base on this period, but we think he was laying the groundwork for Al Qaeda.''


In 1995 two CIA officers were stalked by teen-age followers of bin Laden in the streets of Khartoum. ``Bin Laden was approached by us and was told that this would not be tolerated,'' said Ghazi Salaheldin, Sudanese information minister. Sudan expelled the teen-agers.


In the face of such perceived threats - though some were mirages, based on a slew of false CIA reports - the United States withdrew from Sudan in late 1995. The absence of American diplomats and spies in the country diminished Washington's ability to know what bin Laden was doing at the very moment he stepped up his political war.In 1995, after the Saudi government rescinded his citizenship, he began sending scathing attacks on the royal family from Khartoum.


``Bin Laden took a chance and started doing some political activities,'' Bashir siad, ``not terrorist activities, but he started issuing political bulletins and communiques and faxes,'' denouncing the Saudi government as corrupt and repressive.


The United States took notice. ``There had been confusion'' after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 about the nature of radical Islamic threats to the United States, said Johnson, the former senior counterterrorism official.


``There were lots of theories, not very good intelligence, and so the intelligence community actually started generating a picture that Osama bin Laden was, if you will, the new face of terrorism,'' he said.


On May 31, 1996, four Saudis were beheaded after confessing to bombing a Saudi National Guard post in Riyadh and killing five Americans. All told their interrogators that they had received bin Laden's communiques. Only 25 days later, a truck bomb tore through a military post in Dhahran, killing 19 American soldiers.Bin Laden was blamed by American officials for instigating the attacks. But no known evidence implicates him and the Saudi interior minister, Prince Nayef ibn Abdel Aziz, has absolved him. ``Maybe there are people who adopt his ideas,'' he said. ``He does not constitute any security problem to us.''


Shortly before the Dharhan attack, bin Laden and members of his entourage left the Sudan in aC-130 military transport. The Sudanese had asked him to leave - at the request of the United States. Bin Laden landed at an American-built airport in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Three months later, on August 23, 1996, he declared war on the United States.


``The situation in Saudi Arabia is like a great volcano about to erupt,'' his declaration stated. ``Everyone talks openly about economic recession, high prices, debt'' and ``the filling up of the prisons.''


23:40 EDT APRIL 12, 1999


NYT-04-12-99 2312EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/12/99 23:41:48

Bin Laden's Message More Powerful Than His Means -2-


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones


Bin Laden's criticisms of Saudi repression and corruption closely corresponded with State Department reports and CIA analyses. They diverged by blaming the United States. ``The root of the problem is the occupying American enemy, and all efforts should focus on killing, fighting and destroying it,'' bin Laden proclaimed.


A second, more ominous warning came on Feb. 23, 1998: ``To kill Americans and their allies, both civil and military, is an individual duty of every Muslim who is able, in any country where this is possible,'' until American armies, ``shattered and broken-winged, depart from all the lands of Islam.''

Then came August's embassy bombings. American authorities say the men who attacked the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were controlled by bin Laden. But they still have no clear idea how.


Despite efforts at the highest levels of the U.S. government, bin Laden and his closest associates remain isolated in Afghanistan, the nation he helped fight Soviet occupation in the 1980s.


It is difficult to say precisely where the criminal case against bin Laden stands. Prosecutors have obtained unusually restrictive court orders that bar the defendants and their lawyers from communicating with virtually anyone.

Publicly, at least, the case has lost momentum. While two suspected bombers were quickly apprehended, many other suspects are still at large. The last arrest was more than six months ago.


Now the hunt for bin Laden depends on whether the Taliban, his radical hosts in Afghanistan, will betray him. The United States has little leverage with the Taliban, and little fresh intelligence on how to capture bin Laden. It has no spies in Afghanistan, and little new information on precisely how he might have instigated the deadly bombings.


``I do not have a clear picture yet of what happened when,'' said Prudence Bushnell, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, who was injured in the bomb blast, which killed 12 of her colleagues. ``I may not ever have a clear picture of what happened when. None of us may.''


23:41 EDT APRIL 12, 1999


NYT-04-12-99 2313EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/12/99 23:42:27


New York Times

Young Lovers Killed To Protect A Village's Honor

APRIL 9, 1999

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


SHIMLA, India - Their love was forbidden, and for three years they furtively indulged it, meeting in the wheat fields at the village's edge. Desh Raj was 23, Nirmala 17. The end of their lives began on March 27, the day they eloped.


The young man had made many mistakes, but surely one of the bigger ones was to seek shelter in a nearby village with Pappu, his brother-in-law. Pappu was appalled and ashamed. This was not a love he could abide. He unmasked it.


In two days, the couple were dead, their bodies mauled with sticks and scythes by members of the girl's family. A huge crowd watched the bloody spectacle.


Nirmala's body was carried on her father's shoulder to the village's funeral pyre. Desh Raj's was dragged through the streets. No chanting was done, no ritual spreading of herbs and sugar and oils. The wood was hurriedly lit, the sooner to launch the bodies into their graves of smoke.


``My daughter ran away, and our whole family was humiliated,'' Gansahi, the girl's mother, said a few days later. ``We killed her to protect our honor.''


She was kneeling as she talked, and sorrow filled her eyes. Her husband and 14 other members of their extended family had been arrested for the slaying. To Gansahi, this seemed an impossibly unjust result for so understandable a killing.


A friend, a man named Chandrabhan, was standing nearby and spoke up in the family's defense. Like many people in Shimla, he uses only a single name.


``Whatever happened had the support of the village,'' he said.


All societies have rules for love, including who is allowed to marry whom. In India, the rules vary from region to region and even village to village. In much of south India, the marriage of people from the same village is commonplace. Weddings are often arranged between first cousins.


But Desh Raj and Nirmala lived in the north, here in Haryana state, where the prevailing rule is that a husband and wife must come from different villages.


Amid the brick hovels and small ponds here in Shimla, this requirement is especially important. Each caste in the village is thought to belong to a single gotra, a clan descended from a common male ancestor. No matter how distant that ancestry - whether it goes back 10 generations or more - marriage within the gotra is forbidden.


``Such a marriage is a crime against nature,'' said Inder Singh, Desh Raj's older brother. ``A man and woman from the same gotra are like brother and sister.''


However secret the long romance, the couple's parents had their suspicions. Such things are not spoken of freely within the village, but Reshma, the young man's mother, said she had warned the girl's parents a few times of the shame they all risked.


``It is easier to control a daughter than a son,'' Reshma said, sure where the blame should be placed.


When Pappu, the brother-in-law, disclosed the couple's whereabouts, word of the love affair raced through Shimla's cobblestone alleys and rutted dirt roads.


Both of the disgraced families were dalits, the lowest rung in India's caste hierarchy, but punishing the couple was of concern to nearly all 7,000 residents of Shimla.


A meeting of the village council was convened. People left their water buffalo lolling in the shallow ponds. They left their creaky wooden carts. The council did not deliberate long. The judgment was that Desh Raj would be exiled from Shimla for five years. Nirmala could return, though presumably her parents would marry her off outside the village and she would be gone as well.


The news was taken to the couple, and the girl was taken home. The young man brooded, and the brooding led him to liquor. Within hours, he was drunk, witnesses said, and he too returned to Shimla. He stood in the narrow lane outside Nirmala's front gate.


``I want my wife!'' people recall him ranting.


For more than an hour, he stomped and paced, always returning to Nirmala's house ready with a fresh volley of invective.


Another council meeting was called, but before it could begin the girl's angry family had picked up handy weaponry to impose their own death sentence.


Some here say Desh Raj's family agreed to this outcome, though they deny that, and some wonder if the slaying of the girl was an intended part of the blood lust or merely an afterthought.


``I think after they killed the boy they may have realized: if we don't kill the girl, people will think this is unjust,'' said Rajinder Singh Mor, another of the village leaders.


A constable's office was only a few miles away, but no one reported the killings for 15 hours. The complaint finally was filed by Desh Raj's family. They had been debating what to do, concerned about bringing yet more shame to the village.


``We blame the girl,'' said Reshma, Desh Raj's mother. ``Why did she go with him? It is always the girl who instigates these things. And she knew this marriage could never be.''


While the couple may have deserved to die, she said, the killing was done too quickly. It was like a lynching by a mob. ``Even when you want to kill a dog, some people will oppose it,'' she said. ``But when my son was killed, no one cared.''


Reshma's sons and daughters had crowded around her in the family's two-room house. The air was heavy with heat. Flies danced in every shaft of light.


Reshma's husband, who is nearly blind, sat silently outside, by a brick wall spotted with his son's blood. Ribbons of red also stained the stone at his feet.


``We are under pressure from the village to drop our complaint,'' Reshma said nervously. ``We are told the important thing is that everyone live together in peace.''


Randhir Singh, the station house police officer in nearby Kalait, said too much attention was being been paid to so small a matter. Such vigilante justice is rare, but it does happen, he said.


``This couple was guilty of a social evil,'' the policeman said. ``But it is over now. The village has already taken care of it.''


00:47 EDT APRIL 9, 1999

New York Times


April 9, 1999 Friday

Where Literary Legends Took Shape Around Boston


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


BOSTON - Last week, on a crisp, cloudless afternoon, I stood in a forest clearing on a rise above Walden Pond, just at the spot outside Concord, where Henry David Thoreau built the cabin in which he lived from July 1845 to September 1847. For a few splendid minutes, I had the place all to myself. I could look at things as Thoreau did when he explored the thicket of ideas about self-reliance and spiritual immanence that he later shaped into ``Walden,'' one of the great works of American transcendentalism.


Out over the water, which is more lake than pond, gulls dipped at ripples being raised by a steady wind. Above, a hawk caught a current and shot into the distance. Where I stood, beside a cairn of commemorative stones, Thoreau's famous declaration of purpose rang out, appropriately in silence, from a simple wooden plaque:


``I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.''


As someone who, long ago, under the influence of those words, left college briefly to find his own cabin, pond and point of view, I savored my lone moment in Thoreau's woods, even though it was marred by a few self-conscious middle-age regrets. But I also savored the more amusing fact that I had come to this abashed, intense interlude of personal reflection primarily as a customer of a new vehicle of historical tourism called the Literary Trail of Greater Boston.


With not another tourist in sight, I was both tourist and authentic literary pilgrim, a paradox that Thoreau, the blunt, stay-at-home anti-materialist, would surely have appreciated.


The Literary Trail of Greater Boston is a tour of sites in the Boston area associated with New England writers. But it is important to remember that it is a work in progress, not yet subject to easy description or judgment.


Modeled in many ways on the city's venerable Freedom Trail, a walking tour (devised in 1951) of notable American Revolution sites like the Old North Church and Bunker Hill, the literary trail is also the first creation of the Boston History Collaborative, an alliance of historians, tourism professionals, business people and government officials formed in 1997. The idea for the trail came from Robert Krim, now the collaborative's director, who believed that the city needed to think of new ways to recharge its history for residents and visitors alike.


``What I told the city powers-who-be,'' the inexhaustible Krim said recently, ``was that Boston's literary heritage should be an integral attraction - and fun.''


The collaborative is also working on a Maritime Trail, which will allow a closer, more informed look at Boston Harbor, and an Immigrant Trail. But the initial order of business is the literary trail, and it is perhaps the most difficult: illustrating how the Revolution of the 18th century was followed in the 19th by a peaceful revolution of ideas, as writers like Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Harriet Beecher Stowe enriched the new nation's culture with radical expressions of freedom from a puritanical past, not to mention good stories and poems.


In Close Contact


Integral to the trail is the recognition that these 19th-century luminaries largely resided in three different places - Boston, Cambridge and Concord - but were in close contact with one another, traveling easily by rail or coach along the 20-mile route.


For example, although Emerson lived in Concord and Longfellow, for the most part, in Cambridge, each ventured into the Parker House hotel to take part in the Saturday Club, which also from time to time included Hawthorne, the Atlantic Monthly editor James Russell Lowell and Oliver Wendell Holmes.


And although Alcott lived at various times in several houses in Concord, including Wayside and Orchard House, whose quaintly revivified rooms will be familiar to readers of ``Little Women,'' she spent many winter weeks in a hotel on Beacon Hill just around the corner from the Massachusetts State House, to be closer to cultural events and bookstores. That hotel is now an apartment house.


The collaborative originally intended to introduce the trail in 2000, but decided to begin a trial trail last month, to elicit reactions from participants and adjust accordingly. On each Saturday and Sunday in March, two four-hour guided tours were conducted; they proceeded by trolley from stops in Boston through Cambridge to stops in Concord, then back again for drop-off in either Cambridge or Boston. Tickets for the tours, each of which could accommodate 40 people, were sold out, and almost all the participants gave the tour high marks, said Lisa Simpson, the director of the trail. Largely because of this response, the guided tour is to be continued once a week through 1999.


Just as important, the collaborative rushed into print ``The Literary Trail,'' a handbook by Susan Wilson, which can be used independently of the guided tour, either by trolley-phobic, bookish types who prefer to wander about on their own or by guided-tour customers who want to revisit points of special interest and linger.


I'm not exactly trolley-phobic, but I do prefer to set my own course and pace in this sort of thing. So, as a new resident of the Boston area, I've experienced the trail in both ways, following along on part of a guided tour but mainly, in the spirit of the transcendentalists, taking advantage of its open horizons, with relevant well-worn volumes of literature in hand. And I've found the handbook to be an effective, amiable, if sometimes abbreviated, companion, too. (It's being revised and expanded into a true book, which will be published next year by that old Boston publishing house, Houghton Mifflin.)


The Starting Point


On a recent Saturday morning, my wife and I got ourselves to the lobby of what is now the Omni Parker House before 9. Said to be the oldest continuously operating hotel in the country, since 1855, the Parker House, on the corner of Tremont and School Streets, manages to appear sleekly contemporary and - with dark carpets, period prints on the walls and lots of old wood - historic at the same time. That makes it a perfect starting point for the guided tour, and Jayne Gordon, the leader during the first part of the tour, quickly made that clear to our group, which was made up primarily of adult couples.


``The connections we will be drawing,'' she said, ``are connections between past and present, between people's ideas and their actions, between the city and the country, between individuals and communities, between landscape and the literature it inspired.''


Ms. Gordon, a longtime consultant to Concord's historic sites who also teaches at Tufts University, is a strong, eloquent speaker, and she did a wonderful job of mixing playful anecdotes (visiting from England, Charles Dickens used a mirror in the hotel's mezzanine to practice a recitation of ``A Christmas Carol'') with the tour's more ephemeral content.


``Ideas matter,'' she said. ``People not only articulate ideas, but they live them out. And those ideas have tremendous repercussions.''


In about 20 minutes, she also related a great deal of information about the neighborhood around the Parker House. She talked about a building on the corner of School and Washington Streets that once housed the Old Corner Bookstore, where Emerson and others bought books, and about Ticknor & Fields, which published Emerson, Thoreau, Longfellow and Stowe.


She also discussed the Old South Meeting House, at 310 Washington St., and, at 13-15 West St., the site of the Book Shop, which was owned and run by Elizabeth Peabody, a transcendentalist who also founded America's first kindergartens and was the sister-in-law of both Hawthorne and the innovative educator Horace Mann.


But these sites were for us to investigate later, by ourselves. Next stop on the tour was the Boston Athenaeum, just a block up Beacon Hill, at 10 1/2 Beacon. Ms. Gordon led us up the narrow sidewalk, pointing out where there was a glimpse of the Old North Church, then into the vestibule of the Athenaeum, a private library that has been a home for writers and scholars since 1807.


There, we discovered one of the weaknesses of the trail as it is currently designed; Ms. Gordon remained with us, but the narration was handed over to a guide employed by the Athenaeum, and although she was certainly proficient at giving dates and facts and pointing out the seductive appointments of the library's two floors (anyone who has seen the movie version of ``The Bostonians'' is familiar with the lavish, light-filled interior), she did little to advance the grand story of nobly embodied ideas that Ms. Gordon had started.


It was refreshing to get back outside and walk another block up Beacon to the Massachusetts State House. There, a trolley provided by a well-known Boston tourist company, Old Towne Trolley, was waiting.


Ms. Gordon concluded her part in the tour by speaking about the statues of two freethinking Colonial women who were punished for their views on religious freedom: Anne Hutchinson, who was banished from Boston, and Mary Dyer, who was hanged.


Ms. Gordon also pointed across the street to Augustus Saint-Gaudens' high-relief sculpture on the edge of the Common, which honors Col. Robert Gould Shaw and his regiment of black soldiers, all of whom died in the Civil War. But she didn't have time to fill out all the appropriate artistic associations - the sculpture has inspired prose, poetry and music by artists from Ives to Robert Lowell - because the tour, which goes on to the Boston Public Library before heading to Cambridge and Concord, was a bit behind schedule.


As the other participants boarded the trolley, my wife and I decided to peel off and spend some time at the Saint-Gaudens sculpture, and to read from Lowell's poem about it, ``For the Union Dead'':


Their monument sticks like a fishbone


in the city's throat.


Its Colonel is as lean


as a compass-needle.


He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,


a greyhound's gentle tautness;


he seems to wince at pleasure,


and suffocate for privacy.


The Lure of Cambridge


At this time, the trail's guided tour doesn't stop in Cambridge though the trolley goes past significant spots, like the formidable Longfellow House at 105 Brattle St., a national historic site that is currently closed for renovations. Guides with Old Towne continue a narration, with audio-visual help.


But in any case, literary Cambridge - past and present - is a complicated, insular world that one has to penetrate on one's own, over the course of years, by ways of chance and imagination.


Many lovers of American literature have favorite writers who attended Harvard University: Emerson and Thoreau, T.S. Eliot, Norman Mailer and John Updike. It's fun to stroll Harvard Yard and imagine those favorite writers as young people - serious, uncertain and brilliant.


In the last few weeks, I've returned to Divinity Hall, one of the university's oldest buildings, where Emerson lived in 1825 and I lived in the late 1970s; I've sat on the steps of Widener Library, reading through the poems of Elizabeth Bishop, who taught at Harvard for many years, as did Robert Lowell and as does Seamus Heaney.


01:03 EDT APRIL 9, 1999


April 9, 1999 Friday

Where Literary Legends Took Shape Around Boston -2-


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones


I've gone back into Memorial Hall, an imposing, endearing Gothic structure, and recalled hearing Lowell give a sad, magical reading just months before he died in 1977.


I've spent hours in Mount Auburn Cemetery, walking, marveling at the statuary of different eras, trying to identify birds and trees (with the aid of pamphlets available at the entrance) and tracking down the graves of Longfellow, historian Francis Parkman, Buckminster Fuller and, most movingly, Bernard Malamud. (``Art,'' his stone says, ``celebrates life and gives us our measure.'')

But for me, literary Cambridge is primarily a present-tense landscape. It's going into my favorite bookstore, the dusty hole-in-the-wall Grolier Poetry Book Shop, on Plympton Street, and finding a British volume for which I'd been searching for years. It's going to a reading at the Sackler Museum by the slyly visionary Irish poet Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, then finding out that she lives just down the road from me, and teaches at Boston College.


It's failing to get into what proved to be a powerful reading at Harvard by the great, too often overlooked British poet Geoffrey Hill, who teaches at Boston University, but then being introduced to him by the priest at my church. It's sitting on the lawn of the Longfellow House with my sons and taking turns reciting ``Paul Revere's Ride'' and ``The Village Blacksmith,'' the subjects of which - man and ``spreading chestnut tree'' - lived just down the street.


Off to Concord


On that crisp, cloudless afternoon last week, I dreaded the drive to Concord, despite the glorious weather. My memories of the town from childhood and college days were of tourist buses, clogged sidewalks and a cloying preciousness in the way the area's complex, inspiring political and literary history was presented.

My first stop this time, following the lead of the trail's guidebook, was at the Concord Museum, which sits across the road from the Emerson House in what used to be Emerson's apple orchard.


Inside, I was pleasantly surprised to find exhibits that deftly explained the intellectual and practical ingredients that helped the combustion of revolution against the British and, later, against the remnant dictates of Puritanism and the institution of slavery. The museum's best treasure, though, is a reassembling of Emerson's study, with furniture, artworks and, naturally, books placed exactly as they were when he wrote his great essays on what he called the ``natural history of the soul.''


Encouraged, I left the museum and drove to Wayside, a charmingly kooky house that was home to the Alcott family, then to Hawthorne and finally to Harriett Lothrop, who as Margaret Sidney wrote the ``Five Little Peppers'' children's books. Wayside's doors were locked, but through the windows I could see workers polishing lamps and otherwise preparing for its April opening. (Many New England historic sites don't open until Patriot's Day, the third Monday in April, which commemorates the battles at Concord and Lexington.)


Driving past the inevitable crowds at Orchard House, I made my way to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, which was virtually empty, then got out of my car and hiked up the small wooded hill known as Author's Ridge. These days, Sleepy Hollow is not the well landscaped or cared-for cemetery that Mount Auburn in Cambridge is, but nevertheless I felt a shudder of awe as I strolled past the graves of Hawthorne, Thoreau, the Alcotts and Emerson. On the jagged rock marking Emerson's grave are these words: ``The passive master lent his hand to the vast soul that o'er him planned.''


From there, I drove to the North Bridge parking lot. Clutching my ``Portable Emerson,'' I crossed the road and walked up the path to the bridge across which shots were fired on the first day of the Revolution. I had planned to read Emerson's ``Hymn: Sung at the Completion of the Concord Monument'' (1836) while standing on what it calls the ``rude bridge,'' but I crossed and leaned against the Minuteman monument instead. As I read, I looked up and across a meadow to the Old Manse, Emerson's grandfather's house, where the poem was written, and I glanced over to the poem's ``soft stream'' as it still flowed by.

Back in my car, now elated with my journey to Concord on this brilliant day, I picked up my copy of ``Walden'' and read the closing words: ``Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.'' I decided to skirt Concord's tony shops and head straight to Walden Pond.


Setting Out


Here is information on the Literary Trail of Greater Boston and on traveling to Boston:


Literary Trail


THE TOURS: The Literary Trail of Greater Boston, created by the Boston History Collaborative, exists at the moment both as a four-hour guided tour, by foot and trolley, of sites in Boston, Cambridge and Concord, and as a tour that can be self-guided, at whatever pace, with the help of a handbook produced by the collaborative. Through May 22 the guided tour will be conducted on Saturday afternoons starting at 1:15. A ticket costs $35; reservations are needed and can be made by calling (617) 574-5950 or visiting the Literary Trail's Web site,, and ordering by e-mail. After May 22, the guided tour will be held on Wednesday afternoons.


THE HANDBOOK: Written by Susan Wilson, it can be ordered through the Web site and is also available at most Boston bookstores. People planning to follow the trail on their own should know that some sites require admission fees that on the guided tour are covered by the single ticket purchase, and admission times may vary, so it is best to call ahead.


Getting to Boston From New York


BY AIR: The Delta Shuttle, (800) 933-5935, and U.S. Air Shuttle, (800) 428-4322, fly hourly between La Guardia's Marine Terminal and Logan Airport's Terminal B in Boston (Delta on the half-hour, U.S. Air on the hour). With 14-day advance reservation: $168 round trip, plus tax. Three-day advance reservation fare for weekends: $110 round trip, plus tax. Last-minute weekday fares range from $394 to $600, plus tax, depending on availability; weekends, $170, plus tax. There are reduced fares for children and the elderly.


BY TRAIN: From Penn Station in Manhattan, 10 trains leave daily, from 1 a.m. to 9:40 p.m. Tickets: $45 each way, Mondays through Thursdays; $50 each way, Fridays through Sundays. The trip ranges from 4 hours 50 minutes to 5 hours 22 minutes, ending at South Station. Information: (800) 872-7245.


BY BUS: Greyhound Lines offers 20 daily departures to Boston from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan, beginning at 12:30 a.m., with the last bus leaving at 7 p.m. Buses leave approximately every 30 minutes. Travel time is four to six hours. Round-trip fare is $60, $30 for children from 2 to 11; free for those younger than 2; $54 for the elderly. Information: (800) 231-2222. Bonanza Bus Lines also offers daily service to Boston from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, beginning at 7:30 a.m., every two hours, with the last bus leaving at 5:30 p.m. Travel time is approximately 5 hours; round trip fare, $55 for adults, $27.50 for children 5 to 11; under age 5 is free. Information: (212) 947-1766.



GN: Gannett News April 5, 1999 Monday

Thousands suffer in 'Valley of Death'

By Jack Kelley


BLACE, Macedonia -- Naser Morina, 76, enjoyed a brief moment of freedom Sunday after being beaten, robbed and forced to run for his life from Serb soldiers for two days.


He arrived at this border crossing to join nearly 20,000 others who have walked, run and even crawled here since last Tuesday to escape what U.S. officials call the ''ethnic cleansing'' taking place in the Serbian province of Kosovo.


''We are free,'' he told his two sons, kissing each on the cheek after midnight.


But within moments, Morina was gasping for breath and appeared to suffer sharp pains on the left side of his body. Panicked refugees screamed and began pounding him on the back as if he were choking.


No doctors were around to help. There was no medicine and no water, and no way to cross the border while Macedonia has sealed it from the onslaught of the desperate and the needy.


As his sons pleaded with him to fight for his life, Morina stopped breathing. Seconds later his pulse disappeared. ''You walked two days to escape the Serbs. Don't give up now,'' his son Agron, 36, yelled into his dead father's ear. ''Dad, can you hear me? Can you hear me?''


Morina was the first of 17 deaths today at this border crossing aid workers call ''The Valley of Death.''


More than 115,000 ethnic Albanian refugees have arrived since Tuesday. Up to 200,000 more are on their way, making this the largest refugee crisis in central Europe since World War II. Most of the refugees say they were forced out of Kosovo at gunpoint by Serb soldiers who then looted and burned their houses and belongings.


It was the same on all three sides of Kosovo as thousands fled for the unknown. In Albania, 220,000 have poured across the border.


Relief workers warn that 20,000 are living in the open without food.


As the stream of refugees keeps coming, television pictures of packed trains and families camped on hillsides have prodded Western governments to push relief efforts to the top of the political agenda.


Though massive supplies of aid are still days off, governments are sending cargo jets with equipment to begin a round-the-clock humanitarian effort and, maybe, take out some of the most needy.


But thousands of refugees, exhausted from their journey to this isolated crossing, were hit with another hardship Sunday: Macedonia had closed the border. Government officials also said they would not speed the release of hundreds of thousands of pounds of humanitarian aid, which remains under lock and key in government warehouses at the country's main airport.


''This is unacceptable. People are dying,'' says Diane Johnson, Kosovo emergency coordinator for the International Rescue Committee (IRC). ''The Macedonian government is making us go through its bureaucratic procedures instead of declaring this to be an emergency.''


Although U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Julie Taft said Sunday that President Milo Djukananovic would re-open Macedonia's border, there were no indications it has happened. Armed Macedonian police kept the refugees back, occasionally pushing women and children to the ground.


Djukananovic says his country is overwhelmed with the refugees and has nowhere to house them; most are staying with Albanian families in Macedonia. He fears that his country of 2 million people, of which 23% are Albanian, could be overrun by refugees who could try to declare an independent state in Macedonia. Thousands of Macedonians demonstrated this weekend in Skopje calling for the refugees to leave. ''There is a serious and authentic danger even that our state might disappear and burn in the violence,'' Djukananovic says.


'Go back where you belong'


Macedonian soldiers, in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to get the refugees to turn back, told them Sunday that they weren't going to receive any food or water while they waited at the border.


''Go back to Kosovo,'' a soldier who gave his name as Darko yelled. ''Go back to where you belong.''


But even if they wanted to return, many were too weak to try. There was little food here because most aid groups have been barred from handing out what goods they have in the valley. Local Albanian bakers drive to the border daily to hand out hundreds of loaves of bread, causing near riots among the refugees.


''Macedonia is getting money and food to help us but it isn't giving any to us,'' says refugee Urim Shehu, 29, a technical engineer. ''We need humanitarian aid. We need help now.''


There also are no sanitation facilities. Refugees relieve themselves in the same creek where they bathe their children. The entire valley, about the size of two football fields, smells of human waste.


There is only one water truck and two small medical tents staffed by overworked doctors from the International Medical Corps and the local Red Cross. Most work around the clock, rarely stopping to rest.


At least 30 refugees have died since Friday from heart attacks, dehydration and diarrhea. Doctors expect the death rate to rise quickly as cholera and dysentery set in.


''This has the potential to be a huge medical tragedy,'' says Chayan Dey, an AmeriCares emergency physician from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. The aid group delivered 36,000 pounds of food, clothing and medication to Macedonia during the weekend in the first humanitarian airlift here since the crisis began last week.


''If the refugees are old and weak, they're going to go down quicker,'' Dey says. ''It's just a matter of time.''


Life in the rain-soaked camp, which is bordered by the Shar Mountains to the rear and guarded by Macedonian soldiers on the other three sides, grows more chaotic and desperate by the hour.


Refugees who had been living in their homes barely a week ago struggle to keep warm and dry beneath bushes, cardboard and plastic sheets. They light fires, boil water from the creek for tea and wash their clothes in the creek. Most left their homes with only a small duffel bag of food, clothes and water.


Thousands still to come''Someone help my mother,'' a 10-year-old boy named Hamed cries. She has passed out from dehydration. The boy had put her into a wheelbarrow and is trying to push her up a hill toward a medical tent.


A group of Albanian men rushes to help, pouring water from the creek over her face. It doesn't revive her. It appears she is pregnant; the men pick her up and run toward the tent, dropping her twice on her stomach.


Nearby, 46-year-old Netime Muhurremi runs through the crowd, shouting the name of her husband and two children. She was separated from them when they fled her hometown of Racanik last Tuesday. She hasn't seen them since.


She slips in the mud several times but continues running, screaming their names. Mud covers her face, hair and coat. Finally, other refugees grab her and sit her down.


''I have lost everything I have,'' Muhurremi says. ''I don't have a home. I have nowhere to go. And now I have lost my family. God take me quickly.''


The hardship is expected to get worse. There are thousands of other refugees at a train station in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, who have been rounded up by Serb soldiers and are waiting to be expelled, says refugee Figrije Mersini, 35, an economist. Two other refugees interviewed independently confirm her account.


''Soon there will be no more Albanians in Kosovo,'' Mersini says, standing in 12 inches of mud along with the other refugees. ''(Yugoslav President) Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansing will have been completed. He will have won.''


The crisis has caused some Albanians to question NATO's tactics. Most want NATO ground troops to patrol Kosovo to ensure that Serb soldiers won't attack them.


''The bombs are supposed to be helping, but we don't know,'' says Nora Adlinamarko, spokeswoman for the Albanian Party of Macedonia, a political group.


But there is a bit of good news. A refugee named Neriman Hasangjekaj, 44, accompanied by her father Salah Udin, 72, walked across the Macedonian border during the weekend screaming, ''My children are in New York. Can someone call them?''


Hasangjekaj wanted her children, Ardijan, 23, and Erna, 19, in Brooklyn to ''know that I'm alive.'' She says she visited New York in January but returned to her native Kosovo to care for her ailing father. In the rush to leave Kosovo, she became separated from her husband, Zegin.


Ardijan, contacted in Brooklyn Sunday, said he was relieved to know of his mother's whereabouts when he was awakened with the news.


''This is great. We didn't know if she would get out alive. Now I'm energized to help.''



Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/05/99 06:07:18



GN: Gannett News April 5, 1999 Monday

Kosovo terror: Calendar marks the most recent battles in an ancient conflict

USA TODAY , DATE: 04/05/99


Serbs: Slavic people who dominate the two republics of

Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro. They are Orthodox Christian and speak Serbian. Their ancestors gained control of the region at the end of the sixth century and were conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1389 after a battle in Kosovo. Serbs consider Kosovo their holy land, although only about 200,000 Serbs live there.

The Serbs want to keep Kosovo and make Serbs the majority population.

Albanians: Albanians are descendants of the Dardanians, a tribe that populated the region in ancient times. When the Turks took over, most Albanians converted to Islam. Today, about 70% are Muslim and speak Albanian. They dominate in Albania and make up significant minorities in nearby states. Albanians became a majority in Kosovo -- 1.8 million -- in the early 20th century.

The ethnic Albanians want independence or to regain the autonomy they lost in 1989. They also want NATO troops to protect them against the Serbs. They support NATO attacks on Serbs.


NATO: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a military alliance of the United States, Canada and 17 other nations, primarily in Western Europe. NATO wants Serbs to accept a U.S.-brokered plan that would allow NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo. The alliance's goals are to stop Serb forces from killing and expelling Albanians; force the Serbs to withdraw from Kosovo; disarm the Kosovo Liberation Army; and return thousands of refugees to Kosovo.


1945: Kosovo granted self-rule within Yugoslavia at the end of WWII.


1974: Kosovo granted autonomy.


1980: Yugoslavia's hard-line Communist dictator, Marshal Josip Tito, dies.


1981: Ethnic Albanians demonstrate in the streets in support of a Kosovo republic.


1989: Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic strips Kosovo of autonomy.


1991: Albanian separatists proclaim Kosovo a republic<B,</I but it is recognized only by Albania.


1996: Kosovo Liberation Army emerges to fight for independence. KLA claims responsibility for bombings.


1998: Serb army and police battle the KLA; more than 1,500 civilians are killed. The KLA seizes control of 40% of the province until routed by Serbs. The U.N. calls for a cease-fire. Milosevic withdraws some troops and allows unarmed monitors into Kosovo.

October 1998: Milosevic and U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke announce a plan calling for withdrawal of Serb troops, political autonomy for Kosovo and the deployment of 2,000 peace monitors. The Serbs fail to comply, and the deal falls apart.


January 1999: Massacre of Albanians outside Racak. U.S., European allies and Russia demand both sides participate in peace talks in Rambouillet, France, and accept a plan that calls for Kosovo autonomy under Serb sovereignty for three years while NATO troops protect civilians.


March 1999: The Kosovo Albanians sign Rambouillet accord. The Serbs refuse to sign, and Milosevic rejects Holbrooke's final effort to reach a deal.


March 24: NATO begins bombing Yugoslavia, targeting radar and air-defense sites.


March 27: American F-117A Stealth fighter downed in Yugoslavia; pilot rescued by U.S. recovery team.


March 28: Streams of refugees from Kosovo into Albania

and Macedonia become floods. Refugees describe atrocities, looting, burning and door-to-door expulsions by Serb troops.


March 31: Three U.S. soldiers on patrol along Macedonia-Yugoslavia border taken prisoner by Serb troops.


April 1: Captives paraded before Serb cameras; Serbs threaten to put them on trial. U.S. declares them POWs, warns Milosevic against harming them. Meanwhile, refugees continue to pour out of Kosovo, packed shoulder to shoulder in train cars.


April 3: Mass starvation and death from disease loom unless humanitarian agencies can get aid to the refugees in time.

April 4: The U.S. says it will send 24 Apache helicopters and 2,000 support troops to Albania to join NATO airstrikes against Yugoslav forces.


Source: USA TODAY research



Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/05/99 06:06:32



GN: Gannett News April 5, 1999 Monday

Balkans have long history of conflict, hatred Current chaos in Yugoslavia has roots going back centuries

USA TODAY , DATE: 04/05/99

By Christopher P. Winner


ROME -- History seems to have a grudge against the Balkans.


As the Christian world celebrated Easter Sunday, the Balkan Peninsula of Europe was again nurturing conflicts that are centuries old.


That passionately angry legacy looms large in the standoff between NATO and Yugoslavia. Slobodan Milosevic is trying to make good on his vow to expel ethnic Albanians, most of Turkish stock, from Kosovo.


Kosovo is Serbia's southern province. Serbia and Montenegro make up Yugoslavia.


''In portraying (Milosevic) as Hitler or any other evil man, the West forgets that Balkan history is rife with evil men: Serbs, Turks, Hungarians, Croats, Germans, Italians, Romanians,'' says Dragan Darko, a Serb who lectured in history at Italy's University of Pisa. ''Our lands are a chest of massacres, of killing fields, most ignored by the West. Until now. It's a little late to wake up.'' What makes the carnage alarming is not only its barbarity, but also Serbia's willingness to manipulate neighbors -- including enemies Greece and Turkey -- into a broader fracas. Milosevic has even tried to pressure economically crippled Russia, a longtime ally, into providing it with weapons.


Greece has ethnic and territorial claims over both Albania and Macedonia, which are all but paralyzed by the presence of about 300,000 refugees from adjacent Kosovo. Muslim Turkey fears potential Russian aid to the Serbs.


Kosovo's woes hardly represent the first time the Balkan Peninsula has ignited political, ethnic and religious animosities, often with international consequences.


On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb, assassinated Austria's Archduke Ferdinand. That provoked a showdown that sparked World War I.


In World War II, now-independent Croatia sided with Nazi Germany, the Serbs with Communist Russia. The split led to infighting that continued after the war.


Serbia accused Croatia of torturing its citizens and sending them to Nazi internment camps.


Neither Serbia nor Albania has ever known Western-style democracy. Each was kept under Cold War check by communist dictators whose repressive internal policies forestalled ethnic strife.


In Yugoslavia, Marshall Tito, a despotic Serb, ran confederated Yugoslavia for 35 years. He feared national collapse if he openly favored any ethnic group, so he used secret militias to squelch dissent.


After World War II, Tito imprisoned and killed tens of thousands of Muslims in Kosovo. He claimed they had collaborated with Mussolini's Fascists during Italy's colonial occupation of Albania in the 1930s.


In Albania, guerrilla leader Enver Hoxha cut diplomatic relations with all nations except communist China after the 1953 death of his guide, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Hoxha removed largely Muslim Albania from the outside world for four decades and rebuffed demands from Greece that he grant autonomy to his country's ethnic Greeks.


Since 1990, virtually every small Balkan state -- Albania, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia -- has had a brush with chaos. Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, the larger Balkan nations, have sat precariously on the sidelines so far.


For Yugoslavia and Albania, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 mattered less than Tito's death in 1980 and Hoxha's five years later. The leadership void helped reopen ethnic nationalism that always has been the region's Achilles' heel.


Milosevic revived dreams of a greater Serb state, free from lingering Albanian, Turkish and Hungarian influences.


As the former Yugoslav states declared their independence, Milosevic decided to assist minority Serb populations in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia, where civil war meant a new round of Balkan atrocities.


Fighting between Bosnian Muslims and Orthodox Christian Serbs laid the groundwork for the current Kosovo campaign.


While the Bosnian involvement showed Milosevic's wish to ''cleanse'' all Yugoslav states of non-Serb influences and to enlarge Belgrade's influence, the Kosovo purge is rooted in Serb national legend. The struggle for Kosovo has united even Milosevic's sworn enemies.


One reason is history:


On June 15, 1389, the Serb knights of King Lazar I stood on Kosovo's rugged ground in a last-stand effort to forestall the advancing Turks of Sultan Murad. Lazar's knights faltered before Turkish cannons. A humiliated Serbia, which had broken free of Hungary and was at the peak of its influence, fell under Muslim control for centuries.


The beaten Serbs suffered as the besieged Kosovars are suffering now. The occupying Turks committed centuries of atrocities, according to the late Cambridge University historian C.W. Previte-Orton.


Serbia recaptured Kosovo from Turkey in 1913, but by then, ethnic Albanians were a majority in the province. For Milosevic, Kosovo's 1.8 million ethnic Albanian Muslims -- 90% of the population -- are inexorably tied to the 14th-century Ottoman invaders.


In fact, Serbs and Muslims never stopped the Kosovo holy war; massacres on both sides persisted. For the past year, guerrillas from the self-styled Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) clashed with Serb forces.


Balkan expert and author Robert Kaplan writes: ''Had the world paid more attention to riots between (Kosovo's Serbs and the Muslims) throughout the 1980s, it would have been less surprised by the greater violence the frustrated Serbs inflicted upon helpless Croats and Bosnian Muslims.''


In a little-reported speech on April 24, 1987, Milosevic told Serb citizens in Pristina, Kosovo, that ''the time had ended'' in which they would be mistreated.


''You will never again be victims,'' he shouted. ''No one has the right to humiliate you. No one.''


''That day has assumed a mythical importance (in Kosovo), but I can assure you (Milosevic) probably didn't even believe a word he said,'' says David Owen, the chief European negotiator over Bosnia from 1992 to 1995. ''He was just playing at strategy.'' Two years later, Milosevic was named Yugoslav president, and June 28, 1989, he commemorated the 600th anniversary of the defeat of the Kosovo knights and recalled Serbia's ''years of glory'' as a medieval power. He also revoked Kosovo's regional autonomy.


As Serb forces move through Kosovo driving ethnic Albanians from their homes, Serbia is avenging the 600-year-old wound.


And there is no sign it will stop without a ground battle to rival that of 1389 or until Milosevic has overseen the exodus of most of the ethnic Albanians and divided the region into ethnic halves. The Serbs would get the mineral-rich north, the remaining Albanians the barren south.


Serb journalist Dejan Anastasijevic concludes in the Italian newspapers: ''A week ago, Belgrade was the last civilized place in a civilized Serbia. Now, the word civilized no longer applies to either side. We have gone back to a primordial time.''



Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/05/99 06:05:46



GN: Gannett News April 5, 1999 Monday

U.S. to send Apache helicopters into combat Unit to add muscle to air campaign

USA TODAY , DATE: 04/05/99

By Steven Komarow


WASHINGTON -- President Clinton's decision to send Army attack helicopters to Kosovo's southern border will put U.S. troops ''up close and personal'' in battle against Yugoslavia's forces, U.S. officials say.


In hopes of turning around a losing campaign to protect Kosovo's Albanians, the Pentagon announced Sunday that 24 Apache attack helicopters and more than 2,000 U.S. troops based in Germany will move to Albania within 10 days to engage Serb forces.


The unit, Task Force Hawk, will include armored troop carriers and Army rocket launchers capable of hitting targets all across Kosovo.


Clinton's approval of the Army force, requested by NATO commanders more than a week ago, came with an acknowledgement by the administration that the war in Kosovo is turning into a long-term affair. Having failed with bombs and missiles to stop the expulsion of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, the allies now face the prospect that it could take weeks or months before Serb troops can be expelled and the refugees resettled.


Samuel Berger, Clinton's national security adviser, said on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday that it's ''time to pull up our socks and stay the course.''


''We have got to continue an unrelenting bombing campaign that severely damages the apparatus of military repression of (Serb leader) Slobodan Milosevic so that either he agrees to let these refugees back to live in autonomy and security, or at the very least that we loosen his grip,'' Berger said.


The helicopters and rockets will add low-level punch to the air campaign aimed at halting Yugoslavia's expulsion of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians by the Serbs. Kosovo is a province of Serbia, which is the dominant province in Yugoslavia.


''It's important for Milosevic to understand the seriousness of our efforts and our determination to keep this fight going until we achieve our goals,'' Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said.


The Army moves are part of a gradual escalation of force against the Serbs. The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt arrived in the Adriatic this weekend. And the Air Force dispatched to Germany 13 more F-117A Stealth fighters for the air campaign, adding to the 11 already in Italy.


Bad weather has often blinded the jets NATO has sent to track down tanks, trucks and artillery Serb forces have used to drive out the Kosovars. The helicopters ''give us the type of tank-killing capability that the bad weather had denied us,'' Bacon said. They fly low and fast and fire their missiles ''up close and personal to do a more effective job at eliminating or neutralizing the forces on the ground,'' he said. Such operations, he acknowledged, are riskier than operations carried out at a distance, ''but the Army is trained to cope.''


Since the U.S.-led airstrikes began March 24, nearly half a million ethnic Albanians have been forced from their homes in Kosovo. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said Sunday that more than 200,000 left Kosovo on Friday and Saturday alone. Many have been pouring over the borders of Albania and Macedonia, overwhelming relief agencies there.


The allied bombing campaign destroyed Serb radars, bridges, communication centers and military headquarters. This past weekend, the strikes were expanded to the heart of the capital of Belgrade, setting ablaze government buildings, including the interior ministry, which has directed much of the war against the Kosovars.


So far, the Yugoslav leadership has shown no sign of relenting.


U.S. and NATO officials continue to reject the idea of an allied ground offensive. By the time one is mounted, the Serb offensive could be virtually complete.


NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said Saturday that ''ground troops are not a panacea. They will take time to find, to raise, to deploy in the theater, and we don't have that time, quite frankly, in order to do what we can to arrest the current humanitarian situation in Kosovo.''


Adding to the difficulty of mounting a ground campaign is the problem of the refugees. Bacon said deploying Task Force Hawk could be delayed because of relief flights, and Shea said NATO troops already along Kosovo's southern flank are tied up with preparations for possible peacekeeping missions and dealing with humanitarian operations.


But experts doubt Serbia will ever give up its control of Kosovo as NATO demands without a ground campaign.


Samuel Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel who taught military strategy at the Pentagon's National War College, says the allied effort has been ''one of the most flawed military campaigns I have ever seen.''


History, the experts argue, has shown that bombing alone won't break the will of a nation: Britain didn't fold because of the Nazi bombs and rockets, and North Vietnam didn't give up because of the U.S. carpet-bombing.


Furthermore, NATO's attacks on Yugoslavia's national command and control centers have little effect on the units in the field that are driving out the ethnic Albanians.


Gardiner says sending the rocket launchers and attack helicopters is a major escalation, although the Pentagon insists otherwise. Gardiner says the situation in Kosovo ''has the feeling to me of something that could get out of hand.''


''You don't win a civil war from 30,000 feet,'' says Kenneth Allard, a retired Army colonel and military analyst. And sending in ground troops ''won't be bloodless. It is never cheap. It is never easy.''


Even though a ground campaign into Kosovo hasn't been launched, three Army soldiers have become prisoners of the Serbs after being ambushed along the border with Macedonia.


The Serb government said over the weekend that Staff Sgt. Andrew Ramirez, 24, of Los Angeles, Staff Sgt. Christopher Stone, 25, of Smiths Creek, Mich., and Spc. Steven Gonzales, 21, of Huntsville, Texas, will be treated as prisoners of war and won't be released until hostilities end.


They have appeared on Serb television, looking bruised and battered, and the United States has complained that Serbia has not allowed the Red Cross or another international agency to visit them and check their condition.


Contributing: Fred Coleman and Andrea Stone



Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/05/99 06:05:03



New York Times

April 5, 1999 Monday

6,000 Sikhs Gather In New Jersey To Observe A Religious Anniversary

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones


c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service

While Christians celebrated the ancient holiday of Easter last weekend and Jews the even older Passover, Sikhs gathered by the thousands in New Jersey to begin a commemoration of the relatively new anniversary - only 300 years - of Khalsa, the concept at the core of their faith.

About 6,000 people poured into the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J., on Saturday for what was billed as the first international Sikh convention. The daylong event was part academic convocation, part political rally and part performance with songs, skits and a tae kwon do demonstration.

It was the prelude to a month of Khalsa events with parades and religious ceremonies in Manhattan, Washington, San Francisco and Los Angeles. On April 14, Vaisakhi, the beginning of the Sikh new year, will be observed with prayer services in gudwaras, or Sikh churches, everywhere.

Khalsa marks the establishment of formal structure in the religion. On March 30, 1699, in Punjab, India, Guru Gobind, the 10th and last in a line of holy gurus, ended the concentration of leadership in one human and established the order of Khalsa, baptized Sikhs, who were to be guided by the holy scripture, known as the Adi Granth, and who were to follow precepts of belief, behavior and dress.

``There has never been anything like this before,'' Rajnarind Kaur, an analyst with J.P. Morgan, declared about the convention as she sold T-shirts bearing Sikh symbols. ``To get highly distinguished speakers all together at one time like this is amazing, and this is a once in a lifetime chance for all these people to come together.''

Dr. I.J. Singh, a professor of dentistry at New York University, marveled at the crowd.

``When I came to the United States in 1960, there were two Sikhs in Manhattan and one was me,'' he said. ``Then I went to Oregon, where I was the only one. Now, I am seeing so many familiar faces that I can't find my friends here.''

The denomination, the world's fifth largest, has grown in the West, with 175,000 adherents in the United States and 225,000 in Canada. According to the American region of the World Sikh Council, co-sponsor of the convention with a Sikh congregation in Glen Rock, N.J., there are about 75,000 Sikhs in the New York metropolitan area.

Still there is a yearning, reflected from the podium and from the audience, for the homeland, Punjab, which became part of India at the end of British rule in 1947. Since then, animosity and violence have prevailed between Hindus and Sikhs there, coming to a head when the government raided Sikhism's most sacred site, the Golden Temple at Amritsar, in 1984. In retaliation, Sikh bodyguards assassinated Prime Minister Indira Ghandi, and in retribution, Sikhs say, thousands of them were massacred.

Much of the discussion centered on what Sikhs maintain is their right to establish their own nation there. It was in Punjab in 1469 that the first guru, Nanak, who had rejected the Hinduism of his family and then his adopted Islam, disappeared while bathing in a river. Three days later he returned, claiming to have encountered God and received guidance to start a new tradition. In contrast to Hinduism, Sikhism has no caste system and insists that everyone is equal, no matter what their gender or economic status.

Harjit Singh, a lawyer from London, told the audience: ``Sikhism is no longer purely a religion. It is a distinctive community. The Jews finally returned to their promised land, and we will, too. But it won't take one-tenth as long.''

While some American Sikhs have returned to Punjab to celebrate the anniversary of Khalsa, Amanyit Singh Buttar, one of two Sikhs in Vernon, Conn., and a member of its Board of Education, said: ``I am a hard-liner. I will only go when my people have their own home.''

Supinder Singh of Lodi, N.J., who owns a gas station, said he and his wife, Jasbir Kaur, fled Punjab in 1985 after bloodshed there. ``We had to go underground, the police raided our homes and our temple,'' he said.

Pointing proudly to his children, Jagdeep, 6, Harsharan, 5 and Jujjhar, 3, Singh said, ``I want them to know what country we came from, what our religion is, and how Khalsa was created. I worry about what they are teaching them in school and about TV they watch. They must know both cultures.''

Most Sikh men adopt the surname Singh, meaning lion, and most women Kaur, which means princess.

Dr. Gurmit Singh Chilana, a gynecologist at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., and his wife, Dr. Bhupinber Kaur Chilana, a dentist, were also at the convention to teach their four children, who range in age from 4 to 14, about Khalsa.

``I want them to see how many people like them there are,'' Chilana said, looking at the crowds dressed in the distinctive tunic and pants worn by women and the turbans worn by men. ``In the whole school where they go, there are only two Sikh families.''

Among his obligations, he said, is the education of his neighbors. His 7-year-old son, Jagjot, was teased in school and called a girl because of his turban and the length of his hair, which his religion forbids him to cut. ``So I went to his class and told them about our identity,'' Chilana said. ``Since then there has been no problem.''

23:31 EDT APRIL 4, 1999

NYT-04-04-99 2310EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/04/99 23:32:36


New York Times

April 5, 1999 Monday

At Albanian Border, A Tidal Wave Of Human Misery

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones


c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service

KUKES, Albania - Kosovo refugees are spread across the stony hillsides here after days of agonizingly slow, terror-stricken flight from Serbian forces, sleeping in the open or under the thin shelter of plastic sheets stretched over their farm carts.

The smell of human waste mixes with the smoke from their cooking fires and the dust kicked up by the tractors on which they fled. Many have not had food or water for days and stare silently, haunted by the memory of being hounded from their homes or simply numbed by the physical exhaustion and psychological emptiness of a life on the run.

Their ordeal is just beginning.

``There are tears in their eyes when they cross the border because they think it's all over,'' said Dorian Vienneau, one of the observers from the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe stationed at the Morini border crossing that is the main transit point between Kosovo and Albania. ``They don't know they are facing another nightmare, the nightmare of being a refugee, with nothing.''

``The realization hasn't dawned on them that they have just arrived in the poorest country in Europe,'' he said. ``There's a higher standard of living in Kosovo. The roads are intact, they collect the garbage, the telephones work.''

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and other relief organizations have been caught unprepared for what Albania on Sunday called the ``biblical deluge'' of refugees from the Serbian campaign to drive hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, where they had constituted about 90 percent of the population of 1.8 million.

Nearly a quarter of a million people have poured into the remote, impoverished mountains of northern Albania in the past eight days. Some 166,200 had arrived here by Sunday morning, and they kept crossing at the rate of about 1,500 an hour throughout the day and into the night, meaning 19,417 more arrivals by 8 o'clock.

In the even more primitive districts to the northwest, another 35,000 have arrived. Most walk on a road - a path really - across the border where the danger of mines means that they mostly leave vehicles behind. Another 140,000 have arrived in Macedonia and Montenegro. And the numbers keep growing.

What is making things worse is that Albania has virtually no supplies, equipment or trained personnel to help them. As a relief worker noted Saturday night, one problem in bringing in relief supplies is that there is apparently only one forklift in the whole country.

Plastic sheeting, the most basic of emergency supplies, is running out here. Food is getting low in this ramshackle town where every building is filled with refugees.

This area is extremely isolated, linked to the rest of Albania by a single, twisting mountain road. Aid workers say their first priority is to move people out of here to the capital, Tirana, where they can be better housed and fed in emergency camps.

The Albanian government has mobilized battered buses and trucks to carry people down the road, a six-hour journey in the best of times, longer in the mud created by the rainy, cloudy weather that has hampered NATO's airstrikes and made the refugees' existence even more difficult.

But more refugees keep coming and there are not enough buses and trucks. Taxi drivers are charging 300 German marks - about $170 - to go to Tirana. There were a few signs of humanitarian aid arriving Sunday, but it was a mere trickle in the face of the tidal wave of human misery coming across the border.

Overnight, a tent city has sprung up near an electric plant along the crumbling road between Kukes and the border. The tents were struck by about 100 Italian volunteers, normally mobilized for disasters in their own country, under the direction of the Italian Department of Civil Protection.

The chief of the Pisa Fire Department, Giuseppe Romano, and four other strapping Italian firemen, are directing the camp, which they said would have about 500 tents, medical facilities and a field kitchen run by the Red Cross. Late Sunday afternoon, a rich aroma of tomato sauce was already wafting over the tents.

Romano, who was called back from vacation on Good Friday, said the tents would be a transit area holding people after they cross the border and before they can get transportation out of the mountains. He said it could serve about 3,000 people - two hours' worth of refugees coming across the border.

Italian and and Albanian military helicopters flew nine loads of food and supplies into the wild mountain area of the northwest on Sunday.

Aid workers Sunday handed out bottled water at the border crossing for the first time - many of the refugees are dehydrated, which can be fatal - along with apples and oranges. The last few days they had only been giving out concentrated emergency vegetable protein bars from Norway, called BP-5, resembling sticks of plastic, and tiny jars of Gerber's peach baby food.

Doctors of the World, a French volunteer medical aid group, set up 15 tents for shelter on the muddy hillside next to the border post Sunday with another tent neatly stocked with packages of medicine and cots.

``All the people coming here are traumatized,'' said Antoine Pierce, one of the French doctors. ``Some are injured, some have seen people killed in front of them, a husband killed in front of a wife, three children in front of a father.

``The Serbs, they are killing just for pleasure, the pleasure of seeing Albanian blood,'' he went on. ``The people are already leaving. We don't see young men, they are keeping them there. Some regions are more barbarian than others.

``We can do mostly emergency first aid here,'' he said. ``A little surgery. If a person has a piece of mortar in him, we can pull it out.''

Still, the refugees keep coming, with NATO estimating more than 300,000 people on the move inside Kosovo and much of its capital of Pristina emptied.

Hysni Ymera, 49, arrived driving a tractor that pulled a cart with his family in it. His village, Suarek Supin, had been shelled, he said. It was only some 20 miles from the border, but the journey took 55 hours ``because there were so many cars and trucks on the road.''

23:33 EDT APRIL 4, 1999

NYT-04-04-99 2307EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/04/99 23:34:30


New York Times

April 5, 1999 Monday

Football Notebook: Nguyen's Road To The NFL Is Longer Than Most

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones


c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service

These days Texas A&M linebacker Dat Nguyen is asked as much about his life story as he is about the skills that are leading him toward the NFL. It is easy to understand why.

In 1975, his parents and five brothers and sisters were among the last to escape Saigon before North Vietnamese military forces swallowed the city.

The Nguyens knew America was a place where they could begin new lives, but getting to the United States was another matter.

First came the voyage on a crowded boat that hit a rock and nearly sank in a vicious storm off the coast of Thailand. Then came the refugee camp in Arkansas, a place Ho and Tammy Nguyen and the five children called home for months before settling in Texas.

The sadness of being forced from their homeland was soon countered by the excitement of the birth of a sixth child, Dat. Ho and Tammy hoped he would be a doctor or lawyer or even a fisherman, as Ho was.

But their son picked up Texas' love for football. His passion for the sport led Nguyen (pronounced WIN) to a breathtaking career as a linebacker for Texas A&M, a school that has produced some of the best linebackers in the game.

Now, almost 25 years after his family came to America, Nguyen is about to add a new chapter to its remarkable story.

This month, he is expected to become the first player of Vietnamese descent to be picked in the NFL draft when it is held April 17 and 18. If he goes on to make a team - and some scouts believe he can earn a starting job as early as next season - Nguyen would be only the fourth player of Asian decent in the nearly 100-year history of professional football.

``I realize how special this moment is for me and my family,'' Nguyen said recently. ``My family has always told me to look forward, not back. But I was definitely inspired by what they did.''

Nguyen is a muscular 234 pounds, but in the NFL there are kickers who weigh more. Still, his playmaking ability intrigues league personnel officials. Four scouts and two general managers said in recent interviews that they believe Nguyen could be selected late in the second round or early in the third. Only a year ago, Nguyen would have been lucky to get a tryout.

Nguyen's ascent in the minds of NFL scouts began during his senior year with the Aggies, one in which he earned the Lombardi Award as the best of this season's linebackers and linemen.

He averaged 11.3 tackles a game and became the Aggies' career leading tackler, passing stars like Ed Simonini and Johnny Holland. Those numbers attracted scouts, and what they discovered was a tornado in cleats, a player who would wipe out blockers twice his size and sniff out a play before it developed.

``I think whoever gets him will get one of the best playmakers of the draft,'' Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green said.

The New Orleans Saints are so interested in both his potential on the field and his classy demeanor off it that late last month the team's owner, Tom Benson, invited Nguyen to stay with him at his ranch house in San Antonio for two days.

The millionaire team owner and the son of immigrants went hunting together. ``Isn't America great?'' Nguyen joked.

His size appears to be his only drawback. Nguyen is 5 feet 11 inches, and most linebackers in the NFL are well over 6 feet. Not only that, Nguyen will often have to go against offensive linemen who outweigh him by almost 100 pounds.

``I went against guys bigger than me in college,'' Nguyen said, ``and I did pretty well.''

To Nguyen's advantage, he is coming into the league at a time when many teams are succeeding with shorter linebackers. In last year's draft, two linebackers barely 6 feet tall, Takeo Spikes and Anthony Simmons, were taken 13th and 15th over all.

The door was opened for them by the success of undersize linebackers like Atlanta's Jessie Tuggle (5-11, 230), Miami's Zach Thomas (5-10, 230), Dallas' Dexter Coakley (5-10, 220) and Tennessee's Joe Bowden (5-11, 224).

But Nguyen worries less about how his size will affect his NFL career, and more about how his race will.

Asians have probably been the most underrepresented ethnic group in American football. (There are prominent NFL players, such as San Diego linebacker Junior Seau and Dallas tackle Mark Tuinei, of native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander descent.)

According to the NFL, the first Asian draft pick was kicker John Lee, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, and was selected in the second round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986. The second was offensive lineman Eugene Chung, a Korean-American picked in the first round by the New England Patriots in 1992.

The first Asian to play professional football was a running back named Walter Achiu, a Chinese-American who played on the 1927 Dayton Triangles.

Nguyen is concerned that he will face taunts from other players, or even fans, because of his race. ``I wonder if I will go through the kind of racism that African-American players went through when they first came into the league,'' he said.

His concern about racism comes from experience. It goes back to his youth, when he watched his parents fight prejudice.

The Nguyens were among nearly 18,000 Vietnamese who came to America in the first half of the 1970s, according to the Census Bureau. Some headed for the Gulf Coast because, like Ho, they could make a good living fishing the waters off Texas.

The Nguyens eventually moved to a small coastal town called Fulton. They had no money and spoke almost no English, but with the help of other immigrant families, they were able to survive, then build their own fishing boat and even begin a shrimping business.

Yet they, like other Asian families, were not entirely welcome in the fishing community. The immigrants often faced threats and even had some of their fishing boats vandalized.

Nguyen was teased because of his skin color and Asian features.

``That definitely had an effect on me, the prejudice I faced,'' he said. ``It hurt, but it made me tougher.''

Football helped keep Nguyen from becoming bitter. He loved the camaraderie and discipline the sport provided, and the physical play of football hooked him more than the finesse of soccer.

Nguyen starred on defense for Rockport-Fulton High School, making 188 tackles his senior year and leading his team to the Class 3A playoffs. He was named the best defensive player in South Texas and was so popular in school that he inspired his own cheer: ``Go, Fight, Nguyen!''

Nguyen's parents never completely understood the sport he played so well - they would ask if he scored touchdowns or made tackles. But colleges knew exactly what he did on the field. Nguyen received many scholarship offers, but the choice came down to Texas A&M or Michigan; he picked the Aggies because of the tradition of their defense and the closeness to home.

Nguyen became the first player to lead the Aggies in tackles as a freshman. He would become the first player since Simonini (1973-75) to lead the team in tackles for three straight years. His career total of 517 broke the school record of Holland, a two-time all-American who had 455.

Nguyen earned the nickname Double Digit Dat because it was routine for him to get 12, 15 or even 20 tackles in a game.

``Quite simply the best playmaker I have ever had,'' coach R.C. Slocum said.

Since fall is a busy fishing season, Nguyen's parents rarely got to see him play in high school or college. But when the draft comes, and Nguyen is watching television, nervously waiting to see what team is going to select him, Nguyen's parents will be by his side.

``They'll be the first people I thank,'' Nguyen said.

23:26 EDT APRIL 4, 1999

NYT-04-04-99 2310EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/04/99 23:27:25


New York Times

April 5, 1999 Monday

In Kosovo Towns, Many Tangled Webs Of Horror

New York Times News Service via Dow Jones


c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service

TIRANA, Albania - From a distance, the truth in Kosovo is simple. Serbs, emboldened or maddened by NATO bombings, are on a rampage that has caused nearly a quarter of the ethnic Albanian population of the southern Serbian province to flee.

But close up, life is rarely that simple. The story of Suva Reka, one small town amid hundreds caught up in the chaos and horror of Kosovo, has more layers. Suva Reka is a place where neighbors say the richest man in town, who had rented his houses to international monitors of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, was executed by the Serbian police at his front door along with most of his family, four days after the foreigners were evacuated.

But it is also a place where a Serbian car-parts salesman was killed two days before the bombing began, a killing that might have helped ignite Suva Reka's explosion of brutality.

Between those deaths lies a tangled web of history, friendships and enmities, of war and routine business that were echoed all over Kosovo. And those are the minutiae of life - and death - that are drowned out by the clashing statements of Washington and Belgrade.

The tragedy unfolding in Kosovo is not just the human suffering, so obvious in the faces of hundreds of thousands of refugees. There is also confusion over what is really happening. Kosovo is in a torrent of pain and panic, fueled by fear, long memories, burning houses, machine-gun fire and rumors. There are many accounts of atrocities that cannot be verified and may never be investigated.

The lives of Zenel and Florije Bytyci, two schoolteachers who are married and have three children, have been indelibly altered. A father who donned women's clothing to escape Serbian detection as he fled. A demure teen-age daughter who became a vegetarian the day she began working underground in a field hospital of the rebel army, and saw her first flesh wounds. A mother who heard the explosion of the mosque and was convinced the world was coming to an end. A son whose first thought, as the tractor they were packed into by the dozens to make their extraordinary escape rumbled down the road, was of his schoolwork.

As the tractor pulled away from burning houses, Azdren Bytyci, 16, turned to his mother and exclaimed in panic: ``Mama! I forgot my classroom notes and all my diplomas!''

The family arrived at the Albanian border last Monday, walking six miles after the tractor into which they were crammed had broken down.

They had spent seven days in their neighbor's apartment in the center of town, 13 people packed into three rooms, afraid to go out, spending the long hours waiting, making and receiving phone calls, trying to find out what was happening.

Florije Bytyci, a 38-year-old school librarian, is - unlike her husband, Zenel, 45 - a native of Suva Reka, a town of 60,000, and knows everybody there.

She made and took the calls. ``We women did the phone talking,'' she said. ``We were afraid the police listened in on the conversations of the men.'' It was Florije who received what she believed was the last phone call of Sedat Berisha, the wealthy landlord of the foreign monitors in the town.

Two days after the first NATO bombs fell, he called about noon, his voice shaking, asking whether a lot of police officers were in the center of town, whether it would be safe to try to flee that way. She replied that the whole area was crawling with soldiers, paramilitary and policemen. He hung up.

She said she heard from a family friend late the next day that Sedat Berisha, his three brothers and most of their families had been executed a few yards from their house.

A Berisha cousin, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he watched the Serb police shoot Berisha, his three brothers and two other cousins from his window, a few feet from Berisha's house, sometime between noon and 1 p.m. that day, March 26. He said he believed the others, men, women and children, were taken around the back and shot, but said he could not see what happened to them from his window.

What he did see, he described slowly and methodically, drawing a map of the building complex where it took place. ``They fired at them, just like that, with automatic weapons,'' he said. ``Then they set fire to the houses. It was over in 15 minutes.''

He said that after they left, burning wood fell on the bodies on the ground, setting some bodies on fire.

``After they left, I wanted to go out and drag the bodies into the house so the dogs couldn't get at them,'' he said. ``But I was too afraid. We thought there could be snipers.''

He spent the next two days hiding in the house with 10 other family members. The police came to his door the next day, seized his brother and made him kneel while the rest of the family begged for his life. The cousin said he recognized one of Serbian officers, an old acquaintance, and said he believed that is why the officer took 1,000 German marks from him and told him to get in his car and go.

In some ways, the death of Bogdan Lazic, a Serb, a car-parts salesman and a remote acquaintance, came even closer into the home of the Bytycis. He was killed on Monday March 22, at his shop. Quietly, quickly, the streets and cafes nearby emptied before the police arrived.

The Bytycis' close friend Sedat Haxha, whose apartment they shared, did not disappear quickly enough. He was arrested with a few others as suspects and sent to a Serbian police station in Prizren for interrogation. Haxha, a physical-education instructor, was released the same night and made it home safely.

Revealing an ironclad loyalty to his side, Haxha suggested that ethnic Albanians should be ruled out as suspects. ``The Serbs killed him themselves, as a provocation,'' he said.

Refugees from Suva Reka, spread out in camps throughout Tirana, recount at least three different massacres that they say took place in the days after the NATO bombing began.

Some refugees say they were told of bodies burning in a schoolyard, others say they know for a fact that the police dumped dozens of bodies in black garbage bags in front of a downtown supermarket. Others talk about seven people killed downtown a few hours after Lazic was killed.

But it is the killings of the Berisha family and Lazic that seem to have the most resonance, perhaps because they followed a long cycle of similar killings and vicious counterattacks.

``It could have happened,'' Rufus Dawkins, the foreign monitor who rented the Berisha house last fall, said of the Berisha family's execution. He had only heard, third-hand, that the buildings had been looted, then burned. He had had to leave computers and other equipment behind when he evacuated on March 21.

Dawkins, a retired Army officer from Texas, was gone when the Berishas were reported killed.

But in his months of mediating between Serbian forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army, he investigated killings by Serbs, and also by the KLA. ``It was on both sides,'' he said.

There is little question, especially in the minds of those from Suva Reka, that the most immediate motive for the killing of Berisha and his family was their connection with the foreign monitors.

Refugees from all over Kosovo have reported that local employees and landlords for the 1,400 foreign monitors have been beaten and robbed, that their houses have been burned and that some have been killed.

Similarly, the NATO air strikes seem to have goaded President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia, the Serbs' leader, into unleashing the frenzy of brutality that has driven hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians to flee. But people who have worked in Suva Reka and its surrounding villages, where fighting and the killing of civilians have been intense for the last year, also detect a pattern that seems to have escalated beyond all reason.

``What we kept seeing was a break-down in what was already poor discipline,'' said Henry Bolt, a human-rights monitor who worked the Suva Reka region until his evacuation in late March. He was referring to the Serbian forces' tendency to ``overreact'' and avenge a KLA killing of a Serb by slaughtering a few, or several, ethnic Albanians.

Refugees these days describe the Serbian military as an all-powerful killing machine. But Bolt, a British policeman, portrayed them - at least until his evacuation - as scared and undisciplined, patrolling KLA-infiltrated areas around Suva Reka like ``cornered rats.''

``What is being carried out in Kosovo today is Belgrade's policy,'' he said, ``but the policy works because the police feel the way they do.''

23:37 EDT APRIL 4, 1999

NYT-04-04-99 2303EDT


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 04/04/99 23:39:08



MONDAY, APRIL 5, 1999 (A14)

International: Montenegro Braces for Possible Putsch --- Yugoslav Republic Fears Milosevic Camp to Act;

The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones

PODGORICA, Yugoslavia -- The tiny Yugoslavian republic of Montenegro is bracing itself for a possible attempt by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to topple its democratically elected, pro-Western government.

Montenegro, Serbia's junior partner in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, fears that Mr. Milosevic is seeking to punish it for its condemnation of Mr. Milosevic's "ethnic cleansing" of the Serbian province of Kosovo, its refusal to join Serbia in declaring a state of war against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its willingness to accept tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians fleeing Serbian Yugoslav forces.

Montenegro's fate could be crucial to the allied campaign against Mr. Milosevic. This mountainous republic has just 600,000 people, but it lies on the Adriatic Sea and affords Yugoslavia's only access to the sea. Control of Montenegro could crimp any attempt by NATO to funnel aid to refugees or send ground troops into the Kosovo conflict.

"Nobody doubts that there is a realistic chance of Milosevic using this opportunity to overthrow the government. The question is when he will do this and how," said Montenegrin Justice Minister Dragan Soc. "Milosevic will use any means to regain control of Montenegro," added Deputy Prime Minister Dragisha Burzan.

The U.S., France and Britain, echoing these concerns, have warned Mr. Milosevic in recent days against taking any action to destabilize Montenegro's pro-Western government. NATO's secretary general, Javier Solana, declared that the alliance would stop any coup attempt. U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright last week issued a "hands off" warning to Mr. Milosevic, saying U.S. support for Montenegro was "unwavering."

Asked if Serbia is planning a coup in Montenegro, an official at the Yugoslavian Mission to the U.N. in New York said, "Personally, I don't think this is true." But he said the Yugoslav mission has received little information from Belgrade in recent days. Regarding Montenegro, he said: "We have enough problems with more serious things than to be worrying about internal political fighting there."

It isn't clear whether Mr. Milosevic could open up another front in Montenegro even if he wanted to, given the conflict in Kosovo and daily allied bombing of Yugoslavia. And he mightn't need force to curb his Montenegrin opponents; sowing fear may be sufficient. Over the weekend, an increasing air of panic was infusing Podgorica, Montenegro's capital. Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic confirmed the government's fears of a pro-Milosevic coup. Some public figures, fearing they will be targets of the Yugoslav army, have begun moving their families abroad. "The situation in Montenegro has never been so fragile. Only God can help us," said Nebosja Redic, editor of Radio Free Montenegro, the republic's only independent news organ.

Standing on the balcony of the radio station's offices in downtown Podgorica, Mr. Redic pointed toward the hills around the city, where he says he has taken pictures of Yugoslav tanks hidden in the mountains ready to pounce. Mr. Redic said Yugoslav forces have been concentrating on Montenegro's borders and that the army's 63rd paratroop brigade, responsible for a 1995 massacre in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, has been put on alert for action in Montenegro. His report couldn't be independently confirmed.

"I fear for my children's future. Milosevic wants blood. But I have no option. Montenegro is the last line of defense," said Zarko Rakcevic, leader of the Social Democratic Party, one of three parties in Mr. Djukanovic's government coalition.

Montenegro police units in camouflage uniforms and armed with automatic weapons this weekend occupied the roofs of key public buildings in Podgorica, including the state-run television operation and the president's offices, amid rumors that a pro-Serb military coup was imminent. Police were earlier ordered to guard all public buildings and to man roadblocks in a bid to keep the Yugoslav National Army, which remains loyal to Mr. Milosevic, in check.

Few government officials believe that the lightly armed police force would be a match for the Yugoslav army's heavy armor. They hope, however, that the army may be weakened in any conflict by the refusal of Montenegrin conscripts to act against their own people.

Montenegrin officials said the blowing up of a railway link inside Bosnia-Herzegovina by NATO's Stabilization Force would make it difficult for Yugoslavia to transport troops to Montenegro. The operation leaves Yugoslavia with only one poor road linking the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade with the Montenegrin port of Bar.

NATO, moreover, in a bid to prevent an escalation of tension in politically fragile Montenegro, refrained for almost a week from targeting Yugoslav military facilities in the republic.

Though Montenegrins elected an anti-Milosevic government, a majority also oppose the NATO campaign against Serbian forces. Many Montenegrins are also Serbs. Thousands of Montenegrins demonstrate against the NATO bombing each day in front of the American Cultural Center in Podgorica. Srdja Bozovic, a leader of the pro-Milosevic Socialist People's Party (SNP) and speaker of the Yugoslav Federal Parliament, says pro-Milosevic forces will step up their protests in coming days to force the Montenegrin government to fall into line with Belgrade. "Anything expressing anti-NATO feelings will increase in the next few days," said Mr. Bozovic.

Mr. Bozovic's SNP, which won 36% of the vote in last year's Montenegrin election, led a demonstration of about 15,000 people in the center of Podgorica yesterday evening, the largest since the NATO strikes began, in a bid to increase the pressure on the government. Pro-Djukanovic forces had sought to participate in the hope of neutralizing the SNP's campaign, but were rebuffed.

"Most military coups are blitz actions. You create an atmosphere through demonstrations and crowds on the streets. Everything happens in a few hours," Justice Minister Soc said.

Montenegro's fears and NATO's warnings were further prompted by several Yugoslav moves, including:

A threatening March 31 message sent to Montenegrin President Djukanovic by Mr. Milosevic, according to Mr. Soc and a close friend of the Montenegrin leader. "Don't wait for me in Montenegro," the message read. Mr. Djukanovic's advisers say they interpreted that to mean: "I'm coming for you." This message couldn't be confirmed with Serb officials.

The April 1 appointment of Gen. Milorad Obradovic, a hard-line Serb general, to head the estimated 30,000-man Second Yugoslav Army, stationed in Montenegro. Gen. Obradovic "is waiting for orders from Belgrade," Mr. Soc said. In one of his first moves after winning June 1998 elections, Mr. Djukanovic replaced Gen. Obradovic, a Milosevic loyalist married to the sister of Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Bulatovic, with a Montenegrin-born, more moderate Yugoslav general. Gen. Obradovic, one relative says, sees Mr. Djukanovic's anti-Milosevic policies as treason. "Obradovic has a soldier's mentality. He has no tolerance, no initiative of his own. Montenegro was his first posting as general. His return is his revenge," said Gojcilo Obradovic, the general's cousin and an activist in Montenegro's anti-Milosevic Liberal Alliance.

An April 1 demand by the Yugoslav military that it be granted control of Montenegro's state-run television, which runs simultaneous translations of CNN and Sky News, and that it air Serb Television programming. "We insist that the information on state television be structured in a way to allow for the strengthening of the defense of the country," said Mr. Bozovic, leader of the pro-Milosevic SNP. Montenegro Deputy Prime Minister Kilibar Novak said the government had rejected the army demand. "We told the army that they can issue press releases, but that the television would assess whether they were newsworthy and whether they contribute to peace," Mr. Novak said.

Arrests by the Yugoslav army of Montenegrin men refusing to respond to the general mobilization in the country. Srdjan Manovic, director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights, estimates that the majority of young men in urban areas of Montenegro are evading mobilization orders. So are Montenegrin government officials, including 42-year old Mr. Soc, the justice minister. Yugoslav officers twice last week came to his house to present him with his mobilization orders.

"I have publicly said that I will not respond....Let them try to arrest me," Mr. Soc said. "Emotional tension is high. Either Milosevic backs down or Montenegro will adopt policies to save itself from his decisions."


An Uneasy Partnership:

Montenegro and Serbia

Internal border between Montenegro and Serbia: 131 miles

Total area:

-- Montenegro: 5,575 sq. miles (slightly larger than Connecticut) -- Serbia: 33,765 sq. miles (slightly larger than Maine)

Population (July 1996 est.): 10.6 million

-- Montenegro: 635,442

-- Serbia: 9.98 million

Males fit for military service (July 1996 est.):

-- Montenegro: 140,728

-- Serbia: 2.04 million

Major religions:

Eastern Orthodox 65%

Muslim 19%

Roman Catholic 4%


-- Montenegro: 5

-- Serbia: 39

Note: Figures are Yugoslavia, which includes both Montenegro and Serbia, and are for 1997 except where noted




GN: Gannett News March 31, 1999 Wednesday

Calhoun, UConn never stopped believing


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/31/99

By Steve Wieberg


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It wasn't until an hour or so before dawn that Jim Calhoun made his way back to his hotel room Tuesday morning, riding the high of his 27-year career.

College basketball's national championship trophy sat atop his dresser, near enough to touch.

The Connecticut coach got little rest, but who needed rest? Who wanted it?

''I'd just as soon not go to sleep,'' he said, ''because you wake up and just maybe it'll be Monday again.''

No chance. UConn's 77-74 victory against Duke, crowning the Huskies' first trip to the NCAA Final Four with their first national title, is in the books. They were better, as it turns out, than a team thought to be among the best to play the game, something Calhoun and his players believed as early as last August.


''We were knocking on that door,'' Calhoun said, alluding to an almost decade-long effort to lift UConn from a 28-wins-a-season regional program to a national power. ''But we were saying, 'UCLA has done this. (North) Carolina has done that. Duke has done that.' ''



Connecticut hadn't -- the Huskies hadn't won it all -- until a night that not only can never be taken away but probably never will be forgotten.

Calhoun and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski agreed: They were part of one of the finest NCAA tournament finals in recent history. That puts the game in the company of Villanova's two-point upset of Georgetown in 1985, in which the teams shot a combined 63%, and Kansas' 83-79 thriller against Oklahoma in 1988.



Never were the Huskies and Blue Devils separated by more than six points. The game, and the title, came down to a chest-to-chest duel between one of the nation's top shooters, Duke's Trajan Langdon, and one of its best defensive players, UConn's Ricky Moore, who forced Langdon into a traveling violation with seconds left.



Calhoun, for one, was struck by the irony of the breakthrough victory. Connecticut stepped onto the national stage in 1990, in his fourth season as coach, only to suffer perhaps its greatest heartbreak at the hands of Duke: a 79-78 loss in the East Regional final on Christian Laettner's shot at the buzzer. The Huskies reached two more regional finals before this year's and were beaten twice more.



This edition seemed special from the start. By November, Calhoun was filing away notes on Maryland, Cincinnati, Duke and Michigan State -- teams he envisioned as potential challengers for a championship. By the time they met Monday night, Duke and Connecticut had emerged as a clear-cut 1-2, though the depth of the Blue Devils' talent and their 32-game winning streak made them prohibitive favorites.



''That hurt our pride,'' said Connecticut sophomore point guard Khalid El-Amin, who scored 10 of his 12 points against Duke in the decisive second half. ''We wanted to come out to prove everyone wrong, and I think we came out and really did that just with the heart and character that our team showed.''



''I think Duke's a great team,'' Calhoun said. ''But we're 34-2. The only time we've lost is when we've not been whole (because of injuries to All-American Richard Hamilton and center Jake Voskuhl). We're a great basketball team.''



Hamilton scored 27 points against Duke and averaged 24.2 in the Huskies' six NCAA games, the highest in the tournament since Arizona's Khalid Reeves averaged 27.4 points in 1994. No doubt, the 6-6 junior boosted his stock as an NBA prospect. Calhoun said he'll sit down soon with him and El-Amin to weigh their early entry in the league's June draft.



El-Amin averaged 14 points and 5.2 assists in the tournament but shot just 41.6% in the six games and had six turnovers against Duke. Calhoun will counsel him to stay at least another season.



''There's so much more he can do,'' Calhoun said. ''He could become the most dynamic player in the country with some things he needs to do to get ready for (next season).''



As for Hamilton, selected the outstanding player of the Final Four, ''my advice to him will be much different, much more open-ended.''



UConn also will lose seniors Moore and backup swingman Rashamel Jones. But no matter the attrition, Calhoun realizes expectations will soar. Maybe even within the program.



''This stuff could become addictive. I've been told that,'' he said. ''If you stop thinking the regional finals aren't a big deal, that's awful.''




Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/31/99 06:04:00



GN: Gannett News March 30, 1999 Tuesday

Finally, Dow 10,000 Euphoria comes amid warnings


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/30/99

By David Rynecki


NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 10,000 for the first time Monday, adding an exclamation point to a bull market that has spread wealth from Wall Street to Main Street.


After two torturous weeks and three attempts to stay atop 10,000, the Dow climbed 184.54 points, or 1.9%, to 10,006.78. It is now up 9% on the year.


Many analysts are worried about what they say is a troubling weakness in the overall market. But that underperformance wasn't obvious Monday as broader market indicators also rallied.


The Nasdaq composite climbed 3%, and the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 2%.


''We've rewritten the textbooks,'' said Robert Stovall, a 45-year Wall Street veteran who runs his own money management firm. ''Family conversation is now about whether you are in Fidelity or Vanguard, not what you think about the Cubs or the Tigers.''



The record highlights a bull run that has increased the stock market's value from$1.4 trillion in August 1982 to $11.9 trillion. In the 1990s, the run has coincided with a technology-driven economic expansion not seen since the 19th century's Industrial Revolution.



Propelled by near-perfect economic conditions and massive amounts of money from individual investors, the Dow has gained 1,200% in that same time and the tech-dominated Nasdaq 1,500%.



But the numbers mask a steady erosion in most stocks that began when global markets collapsed last year.



Beneath the records is a story that some say better reflects conditions:



* 76.4% of all stocks trail the S&P 500 by at least

15 percentage points the last 12 months, Salomon Smith Barney strategist Jeffrey Warantz says.



* 88.3% of all New York Stock Exchange issues and 93.2% of all Nasdaq issues are 10% or more off 52-week highs.



Analysts are divided over the relevance of this gap between the few and the many. Goldman Sachs strategist Abby Joseph Cohen, who forecasts continued index gains, notes that economic conditions remain favorable for investing.



Others say the narrow market, combined with slower profit growth, makes it harder to justify lofty stock prices. ''Getting to 10,000 might be easier than staying there,'' PaineWebber's Mary Farrell says.



Yet now that 61% of Americans have a stake in the market through 401(k) plans and low-cost brokerage accounts, most believe stocks always go up.



''People have spent their whole career without suffering a bear market,'' says Byron Wien, strategist at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. ''Maybe it will always be like this and I'm too old to appreciate it.''




Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/30/99 06:06:19


New York Times

March 28, 1999 Sunday

Buffett Of Arabia? Well ...


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


CAIRO, Egypt - He calls them his 100 wives and honors each with a flag tacked to his office wall. Citigroup. Saks Fifth Avenue. Four Seasons Hotels. Apple Computer. Movenpick. Saatchi & Saatchi. Daewoo. Donna Karan International. Trans World Airlines. The News Corporation. Planet Hollywood. Hyundai Motor. Teledesic.


It is an extraordinary group, all the more so because this one man, Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, owns at least 5 percent of each of them - the core of a fortune that he says is now worth $14.2 billion.


That represents a tenfold increase from just 10 years ago, the fruit of an investing binge that has won the prince, now 44, renown as one of the world's sharpest stock pickers and catapulted him to a place behind only William H. Gates of Microsoft on the Fortune magazine list of the world's richest business people.


To hear Walid tell it, his secrets have been judgment and fidelity - a knack for buying low and the fortitude to stay with investments through tough times.


``When I invest in a company,'' he said, speaking in bursts as he downed Bedouin coffee on the back lawn of his new $200 million palace in Riyadh, ``I get sentimentally attached.''


However, another magazine, The Economist, recently raised questions about both the origins of Walid's wealth and the extent of his investing prowess. The prince said the suggestions of shadiness had been hurtful.


``I know that people would like to say that this Saudi prince is like all the others,'' he said bitterly - an apparent reference to the royal corruption that business people and diplomats say is endemic in Saudi Arabia.


Still, in a series of interviews, Walid acknowledged that one early source of his investment capital was ``hundreds of millions of dollars'' in ``commissions'' paid by foreign and Saudi businesses. Even last year, he acknowledged, such commissions accounted for $40 million of his $500 million in income.


The commissions are a form of commercial lubricant common in the Middle East, as elsewhere. A company that wants to win contracts in Saudi Arabia often hires a prince or other prominent Saudi as an agent. While executives complain that they often see very little work in return, they still pay - out of the perception that it is difficult, if not impossible, to win lucrative contracts in Saudi Arabia without a high-level connection.


Walid said the money paid to him, at least, had always been hard-earned. ``This had nothing to do with influence,'' he said. In return for what was usually a 30 percent cut on a contract, he explained, his firm provided services that included ``handling all government relations, from A to Z.''


Recently, with a steep falloff in the construction sector, a major source of business in Saudi Arabia, his commissions have been ``nothing huge, like before,'' the prince said.


In four recent conversations - beginning at his Riyadh office, continuing a week later at his palace in the capital after a late-afternoon lunch, and carrying over into long-distance talks as he cruised the Caribbean in his yacht - the prince offered one further revelation about his finances:


For all his professions of faith in buy-and-hold investing, the largest single source of his income is speculative, in-and-out trading in real estate and stocks. Fully a quarter of his income last year was from such trading, he said, through a $2.1 billion account used most often to buy and sell stocks and real estate in Saudi Arabia. About $200 million to $300 million in the account is devoted to short-term trading in American stocks.


``I don't see any contradiction,'' Walid said. ``Frankly speaking, I'm all over the place - very strong in trading and very strong in investment. But my long-term investment portfolio is untouchable.''


Clearly stung by The Economist's rare challenge to his reputation, the prince volunteered a detailed accounting of his wealth. His current holdings, he said, include about $10.2 billion in long-term investments abroad, $700 million in listed Saudi stocks, $2.1 billion in other assets in the Middle East and Africa and $1.2 billion in cash that has piled up because he is ``uncomfortable'' with the current stock market, regarding it as ``definitely overvalued.'' (The speculative fund, he said, is made up of portions of the latter three categories.)


His start as an investor was buying and selling Saudi real estate, not buying and holding stocks. In 1979, when he was 24, the prince said, he mortgaged a house given to him by his father to come up with $400,000 in capital.


In the 1980s, he said, real estate investing accounted for 65 percent of his income, with an additional 10 percent to 15 percent coming from commissions. By 1989, his net worth had grown to $1.4 billion.


Though it was not until late 1990 that the prince turned to stock investing outside Saudi Arabia, with a dramatic bailout of Citicorp, some $9.2 billion of his wealth today is in publicly traded stocks. Indeed, it is his success in finding undervalued public companies, and his gutsiness in betting on them with vast amounts of cash, that have earned the prince a reputation as the Warren E. Buffett of Arabia.


Some of his long-term investments, in companies like Netscape Communications and Apple Computer, have indeed produced breathtaking gains. An analysis by his advisers at Citibank of his holdings in publicly traded companies since 1991 found an average annual internal rate of return, a complex figure that accounts for cash flows as well as appreciation, of 35 percent.


``Throw in other investments, and that figure rises by another eight percentage points,'' Walid said in a letter to The Economist. (The prince said he had been told


recently, for example, that his initial investment of $80 million in Canary Wharf, the London real estate project that has lately turned from a debacle into a triumph, would soon be returned to him in cash, still leaving him with a roughly $4.3 billion stake.)


Even so, stripping away his single best investment, Citicorp, in which the prince put nearly half his money in 1990 and 1991, the returns on his stock portfolio have been much less impressive.


Since 1992, he has invested some $1.9 billion in other publicly traded stocks - including big gainers like the News Corporation but also big losers like Euro Disney. At the close of trading on Thursday, those stocks were valued at $2.9 billion, including Canary Wharf Group, which made its initial public offering that day. The gain translates to an average annual return of 7.3 percent, far below that of the major market indexes.


The prince says any calculation that excludes his Citi holdings is unfair, because he has made a conscious decision to keep the financial services company - called Citigroup since Citicorp merged last year with the Travelers Group - as more than 65 percent of his stock portfolio.


In any event, thanks to Citigroup and other good investments, the overall surge in the prince's fortune has been phenomenal, and he bridled at The Economist's characterization of his record.


``True, my performance might not be quite as good as Warren Buffett's, as you note - nobody's perfect,'' he wrote in his letter to the magazine, which was published in The Economist's March 20 issue. ``You may find this `disappointing,' but I can assure you that quite a few of your readers would be more than content with consistent returns like this.''


(Shares in Buffett's investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway, have gained an average of 29.4 percent annually since 1992, a figure not readily comparable to the internal rate of return that the prince's bankers provided to Money & Business at his request.)


Regardless of how much his wealth might have been built on what critics regard as feudal tributes, the prince is seen by most Saudis as an exception in a country whose royal family is sometimes accused of greed and sloth. And within the royal family, he is regarded as an outsider.


His father, Prince Talal bin Abdel Aziz, a son of Saudi Arabia's founder, King Abdel Aziz ibn Saud, was a leader in the early 1960s of a group known as the Liberal Princes, who openly differed with King Faisal, then the country's leader.


Walid spent part of his childhood in Lebanon with his maternal grandfather, Riad al-Solh, modern Lebanon's first prime minister. Now, like every other grandson of King Saud - they number in the several hundreds - the prince receives a monthly royal stipend of $15,000.


The prince is hard-working, even driven. In accordance with Muslim teachings, he does not drink, smoke or gamble. He also does not invest in tobacco or alcohol stocks; he has extensive holdings in hotels but insists that the portion of his income generated from drinking, smoking or gambling in those establishments be placed in a separate fund and contributed to charity.


Walid said he felt no similar qualms about profiting from his investments in banks, which earn money by charging interest, a practice prohibited under some interpretations of Islamic law. ``I do not believe that banking and charging interest is against religion,'' he said.


His schedule, which he said was unyielding, lists a precise time for everything: wake-up at 10 a.m., exercise 15 minutes later, office hours from 11 a.m. to 4 P.M, a family lunch and rest from 4 to 7 p.m. He returns to work from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., exercises again, has dinner and observes dawn prayers before retiring at 5.


The late hours let him keep track of the American stock market, with Wall Street closing at midnight Saudi time, and to follow nocturnal habits of work that are common in Saudi Arabia, where businesses and government offices close in the afternoon heat.


Indeed, for a man who counsels patience in investing, Walid displays little in his daily life.


``I despise sleeping, really,'' he said, sitting cross-legged on a carpet in his football field-sized back yard, whose manicured lawn, free-form pool, Tiki torches and restaurant-style dining area suggest a Four Seasons resort. ``I think it's a period where your brain goes stagnant.''


In conversation, the prince is direct but also restless; even in mid-conversation, his eyes flick to one of the oversized television sets always placed nearby, tuned to the Cable News Network, CNBC or the Arabic Television Network, which he partly owns.


At lunch, around an outdoor table set for 20 people, the prince sat alone, with the nearest guest several seats away, and spent most of the meal on the telephone.


For at least eight months, he said, his stock portfolio has remained unchanged; he has seen no reason to buy shares at inflated prices and has been disinclined to sell. Indeed, the last time he sold any of his long-term holdings was in 1993, when he had to reduce his Citibank holdings by one-third to meet the Federal Reserve's restriction on the percentage of an American bank that can be owned by a foreign investor.


Still, his most frequent calls, he said, are to the man who handles his stock investments - an American, Michael R. Jensen of Citicorp's private banking operation in Geneva. And twice a day, the prince pores over one-page updates that summarize his holdings and track an additional 12 stocks that he will not name but that he has singled out for possible acquisition if their prices fall. These companies share a few characteristics - notably the potential for ample long-term growth.


He singled out autos as a sector that no longer held much of his interest, though he retains stakes in Hyundai and Daewoo of South Korea and Malaysia's troubled Proton..


``I believe the industries should not be too cyclical and not facing a meltdown,'' the prince said. ``By definition, we invest in firms that are doing badly.''


The prince was educated in the United States, at Menlo College in Atherton, Calif., and at Syracuse University, where he earned a master's degree in social science. He speaks fluent English and was an avid soccer and tennis player until a back injury forced him to turn to swimming. He is single, after two divorces. ``I fall in love, basically, with my companies,'' he said, ``and because I have no wife, that makes sense.''


But he is also very much a traditional Saudi, and at work, he wears a thobe, the traditional Arab garment, and headdress. He has insisted that his 22-year-old son be educated in Saudi Arabia, principally as a shield against what Walid calls the ``great temptations'' in America ``to do things that are against religion.''


Still, he wanted his son to have an American education and has arranged for the University of New Haven in Connecticut to send professors to Riyadh to teach courses from its regular curriculum to the young man and five of his friends; he intends to do the same for his daughter, who is 18.


He is proud of his charity; he says that in an average year he gives $100 million in cash gifts to the poor, to mosques and to Saudi development programs that buy generators and build bridges for remote villages.


22:54 EST MARCH 27, 1999


NYT-03-27-99 2044EST


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/27/99 22:55:47


New York Times

March 28, 1999 Sunday

Buffett Of Arabia? -2-


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones


``It is a religious duty,'' he said. ``No. 2, it is my duty as a rich man. And No. 3, it is my duty as a member of the royal family.''

Among his guests every day at lunch, a meal prepared by Lebanese chefs and usually including eight main courses, are five impoverished and usually elderly women selected each day from among those to whom he has given money in answer to personal appeals. Veiled, the women sit at a separate table and are later visited by the prince.


His Riyadh office, headquarters of his Kingdom Holding Co., has a staff of 30. And on call around the world are outside advisers - from Citibank, which handles his investments; Arthur Andersen, which handles accounting; Saatchi & Saatchi, which handles publicity, and Hogan & Hartson, his law firm in Washington.


``Our goal is to work smart, not hard,'' he said of his decision to contract out much of his work. In two separate conversations, he also pointed out that the first initials of his four advisory firms spell ``cash.''

His home and possessions shout the same message. The new palace, with at least five wings, includes an indoor pool in an atrium the size of a jumbo-jet hangar. Vast areas are set aside for his children and for the 150 servants who provide around-the-clock attention. A separate, private sports complex is reached by a tunnel that runs under a public street.


The prince, who moved in just last month, said the palace sits on 35,000 square meters of land, or 8.6 acres - five times the size of his old palace complex just down the street, which he has set aside for his son. He also owns a helicopter, three jets (including a 727 and a 767) and a huge yacht whose previous owners included Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi financier; Donald Trump, and, briefly, the Sultan of Brunei.


The prince's early investment in Citibank - in 1990 and 1991, when the bank's future was in doubt - now accounts for almost half his wealth. But some critics say the investment also represents his weakness: that he may not be a good judge of when to sell. Citigroup is down 15 percent from its peak.

The prince defended himself vigorously against the assertion. He noted that Citigroup recovered sharply in recent months from last fall's lows, adding that if he had succumbed to advice to sell Citi shares as the market plummeted, he would have lost hundreds of millions of dollars.


``Obviously at the right place and the right time, I'm a seller,'' he said. ``But you have to choose the right time.''


Asked if he was afraid his portfolio might have already peaked in an overheated market, he demurred. ``I don't think we have really milked the cow completely,'' he said. ``I believe there is more potential for these companies to grow.''


Certainly, some of his recent investments in technology and media companies have produced dizzying returns. In March 1997, he bought 5 percent of Apple for $115 million; last week, the investment was worth $211 million. Later that year, he bought 5 percent of Netscape for $145 million. With America Online's acquisition of Netscape this month, that holding was worth more than $500 million.


The prince acknowledged that he has also picked his share of what have been losers - ``so far.'' His worst investment? Planet Hollywood, the theme restaurant chain into which he has sunk an estimated $100 million since April 1997. Last week, he said, the investment was worth just $21 million. Other losers, he said, include his 24 percent stake in Euro Disney and his 3 percent of Proton.


Still, the prince said he remained as loyal to his weaker holdings as to those with better returns - and as determined, if not more so, to help expand their businesses. He said he uses only Motorola phones (he owns 1 percent of the company) and stays only in Four Seasons and Movenpick hotels.

He may develop as many as 44 Planet Hollywood restaurants in Europe and the Middle East. He even says he plans to replace the Mercedeses and Volvos in his personal fleet with cars made by Hyundai and Daewoo.


The strongest impression left by Walid is of his fierce pride in his decisions. One recent day, he thumbed through printouts from The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The International Herald Tribune, all downloaded from the Internet long before the papers reached Saudi newsstands.

A Journal article about Buffett's latest letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway caught the prince's eye. Buffett, the article said, acknowledged to investors that they would have been better off last year if he had spent his afternoons at the movies, instead of buying and selling parts of his portfolio.

The author speculated that Buffett was thinking, among other things, about his sale of much of his stake in Travelers - and hence in its successor, Citigroup.


Walid passed the clipping to a visitor. ``Buy and hold,'' he said.

22:55 EST MARCH 27, 1999


NYT-03-27-99 2045EST


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/27/99 22:56:41



GN: Gannett News March 26, 1999 Friday

Milosevic presses on in Kosovo Next target for NATO: Serb troops


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/26/99

By Andrea Stone


WASHINGTON -- Operation Allied Force may aim to halt Serb aggression in Kosovo, but that clearly has not sunk in yet with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.



On the second day of the biggest air offensive in Europe since World War II, Serb military and special police forces intensified their nearly two-week offensive in Kosovo. They swept through ethnic Albanian villages where they executed civilians and set fire to houses. Yugoslav forces also shelled neighboring Albania.



The NATO attacks are designed to force Milosevic to stop killing ethnic Albanians and sign a peace agreement. More than 2,000 have died, and 400,000 have been left homeless, in Kosovo, a province of Serbia. Serbia and Montenegro make up Yugoslavia.



Now Pentagon officials say NATO is about to switch the focus of its attacks from air defense and command-and-control centers to the troops behind the violence in Kosovo.



Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Thursday that about 20% of targets hit in the first attack Wednesday were military or security forces. The gradual switch to targeting troops and tanks will require allied pilots to fly closer to the ground. That is far riskier than the high altitude runs of the past two nights.



NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark warned Thursday, ''There is no planned sanctuary'' for Serb aggressors.



''We are going to systematically and aggressively attack, disrupt, degrade, devastate and ultimately, unless President Milosevic complies with the demands of the international community, we're going to destroy these forces and their facilities and support,'' Clark said in a news conference in Brussels, Belgium. ''The operation will be just as long and difficult as President Milosevic requires it to be.''



The assault resumed after dark Thursday when sea-launched cruise missiles and Stealth bombers swarmed across the Adriatic to targets deep inside Yugoslavia.



Four U.S. surface ships and two submarines in the Adriatic launched Tomahawk cruise missiles at a far faster pace than the night before. The destroyer USS Gonzalez fired 16 half-ton warheads. A 17th misfired, tumbling in flames into the sea.



Two jets from a fleet of 21 B-2 Stealth bombers made the 30-hour round-trip from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to unload 2,000-pound satellite-guided bombs over Yugoslavia.



From Aviano and Istrana in northern Italy and Gioia del Colle in southern Italy, dozens of NATO jets roared off into the night. Among them were F-117 Stealth fighter-bombers, F-15 and F-16 jet fighters and EA-6B radar-jamming jets.



In NATO's first damage assessment of Wednesday's strike, Clark said allied missiles and bombs hit more than 40 targets, including air defenses, command-and-control centers, a power plant, arms factories and military and ministerial police forces. Yugoslav officials say 50 targets were hit.



Yugoslav authorities also reported at least 10 civilians killed and 60 wounded. Bacon said allied strike and support aircraft made 150 sorties Wednesday, and officials were satisfied with the results. The Yugoslav commander in Kosovo, Lt. Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, said the first night's strike did ''minimal'' damage.



But the Russian General Staff in Moscow said NATO bombs badly damaged five military airfields, two factories, a communications center, several barracks and a police-training base. Clark denied reports that a pharmaceutical plant had been bombed.



He did confirm that an aircraft repair plant was hit. So were three fighter jets from Yugoslavia's small air force of 15 modern MiG-29s and 64 older Russian-made fighters. Clark raised the number of Russian-made MiG-29 jet fighters downed by allied aircraft on the first night from two to three. Two American pilots and one Dutch pilot got credit for the kills.



Despite dogfights in the skies, all NATO aircraft returned to base safely Wednesday and were accounted for Thursday.



By contrast to the first night, a defense official said that no air-to-air confrontations were reported Thursday.



One element of the Serb military that wasn't moved was its tiny navy of four submarines, four frigates and an assortment of small patrol and missile-firing boats. Clark said he called the Yugoslav army chief of staff, Gen. Dragoljub Ojdonic, on Wednesday before the strikes began and warned him that if Serb vessels entered the Adriatic they would be attacked. They stayed in port.




Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/26/99 06:11:38



GN: Gannett News March 26, 1999 Friday

Serbian people enraged, invigorated as bombs fall


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/26/99

By David J. Lynch


BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- On an unseasonably warm, early spring day, in the daylight lull between NATO airstrikes, the downtown streets of this beleaguered city were quiet.


Schools, airports and most shops were closed, although some Serbs went to work. And many young men decided to volunteer for military service, even as a government offensive against separatist ethnic Albanians continued in Kosovo province.

Then, after sunset, air raid sirens wailed again.

It didn't take long for NATO's bombs to start having an effect here. Just perhaps not the effect that the United States and its NATO allies wanted.


''You can ask anybody in Belgrade,'' said a businessman sipping coffee at ''Moment,'' a sidewalk caf&eacute; in mid-afternoon. ''Everybody is surprised.''


The man, who gave his name as Srdjan, runs the city's largest newspaper distributor. Thursday, he struggled to get complete deliveries to his customers after 30 employees suddenly volunteered for the army.



''When they said yesterday on state TV that volunteering was high, I thought it was just propaganda,'' he said. ''But I can see in my own company it is true.''



Across this capital city of 2 million people, Serbs reacted with defiance, shock and mounting anger to the ongoing attacks. The chief target of Serbs' outrage clearly was the United States, with one man blaming NATO airstrikes on ''that sexual maniac'' in the White House.



''It's clear aggression when one state attacks another,'' said businessman Nebojsa Vidovic. ''Who are they to make decisions about our people? It would be the same situation if China wanted to tell the U.S. what to do in Texas.''



Despite the attacks Wednesday and again Thursday, no one spoke of surrendering Kosovo to NATO control. The province, home to important Serbian cultural and religious sites, evokes strong emotions in many people here. For the past year, government forces have fought a war in Kosovo against ethnic Albanian guerrillas. The battles have killed more than 2,000 people and made refugees of 230,000 others.



In this gray city dotted with dozens of ugly Soviet-style concrete block buildings, residents awoke to state television footage of bomb damage in Kosovo and at military facilities elsewhere in Serbia. Serbian TV, which is controlled by President Slobodan Milosevic, showed photos of damage to civilian property, including houses in Gracanica in southern Kosovo. One report said a bomb had landed close to a historic Orthodox monastery in the town.



There were pictures of smoke billowing from a building and damaged houses around Novi Sad in northern Serbia. But there were no new reports of civilian casualties beyond the 10 relatives of soldiers killed in a barracks on Wednesday.



TV showed residents in areas apparently damaged by the NATO bombing Wednesday. These survivors called the strikes a crime against humanity and said President Clinton was a criminal.



The disbelieving anger and fear that grip victims in the early hours of war are familiar emotions in the Balkans, but not in Serbia.



Since 1991, first Slovenes, then Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Kosovar Albanians have felt war's lancing pain. But even when Serbs -- the principle aggressor in those wars -- suffered bitter battlefield defeats, Serbia's heartland remained inviolate. For most Serbs, this was the week that changed recent history. This was the week their sanctuary was breached.



Winston Churchill once called the Serbs a ''valiant and warlike race,'' an apt description of one of Europe's most intriguing and star-crossed peoples. For now, residents here vow to outlastNATO's attacks.



Serbs have proved their staying power the past decade, enduring the fallout from Milosevic's endless wars and economic mismanagement that has left them further and further behind other countries in Europe.



Certainly, if NATO expected it would be easy to force the Serbs to surrender, the allies didn't consider men like Mirko Malikovic. Early in the afternoon Thursday, he and two co-workers paused to eat lunch while they were building a house in a downtown neighborhood.



The sullen laborer, munching a fat ham sandwich, has every reason to hate his country's authoritarian ruler. Malikovic comes from the Krajina, a part of neighboring Croatia that Milosevic sought to capture in the first war of ethnic cleansing in 1991.



Instead, a fierce Croat counterattack drove tens of thousands of Serbs from a land they had inhabited for centuries. Now, despite Milosevic's promise to unite all Serbs in one land, Krajina Serbs like Malikovic who fled to Serbia aren't even citizens here. He and his wife and their two daughters, ages 10 and 18 months, live like refugees.



Sitting beneath a leafless tree in the dirt-strewn lot where he works, he holds out an upraised, thickly callused hand.



''Ten, 12, 15 hours a day, I am working,'' he said, complaining that his $300-a-month salary is just one-quarter of his pre-war earnings as a machinist.



But in the wake of the allied bombing, Malikovic, and countless others, have become Milosevic fans.



''He's defending his own people. Whoever was against Milosevic will now be for him,'' said Malikovic. ''And we will be the first (ones). We are all together now.''



It's not an isolated view. Analysts expect it to become even more prevalent as NATO attacks continue.



Srdjan, who fled to Italy earlier this decade rather than be drafted for the war in Croatia, is comfortably ensconced at the upper end of the economic spectrum.



His natty blue blazer, checked royal-blue shirt and silk tie couldn't be more different from Malikovic's simple laborer's garb of faded jeans and sweater. But the two men view Milosevic the same way.



''For years, I have been anti-Milosevic,'' Srdjan said, pushing back his stylish black sunglasses upon his head. ''Today, I can be (that) no more. ... We have somebody who's attacking the country.''




Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/26/99 06:10:55



GN: Gannett News March 24, 1999 Wednesday

NATO OKs airstrikes on Serbs Congress backs U.S. involvement in attack


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/24/99

By David Lynch


BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- NATO Tuesday authorized airstrikes against military targets in Yugoslavia, hours after President Slobodan Milosevic refused an 11th-hour attempt to accept a Kosovo peace plan.



''There is no alternative but to take military action,'' NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana said in Brussels, Belgium.



Solana's orders directed Gen. Wesley Clark, NATO's supreme commander, to initiate military action with the more than 400 allied aircraft and six missile-carrying ships at sea. No timetable was given.



In Washington, President Clinton prepared the American people for an attack. He acknowledged that U.S. forces would be placed at risk.



''I want to level with you,'' Clinton said in a speech to a union group. ''There are risks in it. (But) if you don't stand up to brutality and the killing of innocent civilians, you invite them to do more.''



In a significant victory for Clinton, the Senate voted 58-41 to authorize military action.



''The case of inaction is unacceptable to the world,'' said Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va.



But not all agreed. ''This is a mistake. This is a civil war. We're going to regret it,'' said Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H.



Earlier Tuesday, U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke failed to persuade Milosevic to accept a plan that calls for up to 28,000 NATO troops to patrol Kosovo.



Yugoslav nationalist Voijislav Seselj warned that Serbs would not allow NATO troops into the country ''at any cost.''



''There will be no mercy for NATO troops if we're attacked,'' Seselj said.



Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov dramatically registered Moscow's opposition to an attack by postponing a visit to Washington while his jet was in the air.



Military action ''is against good sense,'' Primakov said. ''We are firmly against this.''



Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov said early today that he reluctantly supported NATO's decision. Aircraft flying over Yugoslavia from the west might need Bulgarian airspace when they return to their bases.


In Belgrade, the Yugoslav government declared a ''state of immediate threat of war'' and mobilized its troops.


The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade closed down and evacuated its staff. Foreign airlines halted flights into the capital.


A Gallup Poll released Tuesday said 46% of Americans favor the United States joining NATO in an attack; 43% oppose it. The poll of 1,018 adults March 19-21 had an error margin of +/-3 percentage points.


Ethnic Albanians are fighting for their independence from Serbia. Kosovo is a province of Serbia, which with Montenegro forms Yugoslavia.


Nearly 2,000 people have been killed and more than 250,000 ethnic Albanians have been forced from their homes since February 1998.



Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/24/99 06:08:29



GN: Gannett News March 24, 1999 Wednesday

Pigs slaughtered in attempt to halt 'Plague of Orient'


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/24/99

By Julie Schmit


HONG KONG -- Malaysia sent in more troops Tuesday to shoot more than 300,000 pigs in a bid to stop the spread of a virus that has killed 56 people.



Tens of thousands of pigs have been slaughtered so far by hundreds of soldiers in the deadliest outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in decades.



The disease, which is transmitted from pigs to humans by mosquitoes, attacks the brain. Another 98 suspected cases have been reported, and a second virus has been detected.


Known as the ''Plague of the Orient,'' Japanese encephalitis strikes 30,000 to 50,000 people in Asia every year. But the risk to travelers is low. Just one case a year is reported among U.S. civilians and military personnel traveling to or living in Asia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The CDC has sent a team to Malaysia to study the outbreak.


The U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong said travelers are calling with concerns, but no travel warnings have been issued. Malaysia also is home to about 5,000 Americans.


Malaysia has had three other outbreaks of Japanese encephalitis since 1974; in all, nine people died.


Opponents of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad have complained that the government moved too slowly to contain this outbreak. The situation could hurt him in upcoming elections.


The crisis also could spark dissention. The pig industry, operating in a country dominated by Muslims who don't eat pork, is owned mostly by the ethnic Chinese minority.


If the death toll mounts, ''it might trigger some tension,'' said Bruce Gale, general manager of the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy.


No doubt, the outbreak further sours Malaysia's reputation, which already is suffering from Mahathir's accusation that Jewish conspirators are to blame for the country's economic troubles and from the trial of reformer Anwar Ibrahim.


''This is something Malaysia could really do without,'' securities analyst Raymond Lim said. Yet he added that the economic impact from the decimation of the $395 million-a-year pork industry will be minimal.


Japanese encephalitis is endemic in many parts of Asia, including China, Cambodia, India, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. It is rare in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. An outbreak in Nepal last fall claimed 28 lives and sickened dozens more.


To contain the virus, more than 300,000 pigs are to be killed by Malaysian troops. In addition, more than 70,000 Malaysians have been vaccinated, and more than 7,000 pig farms and 140,000 homes have been fogged for mosquitoes, the government said.


Neighboring Singapore has banned the import of live pigs and cross-border travel of horses, which can carry the virus. Though humans cannot contract Japanese encephalitis by eating pork, Singapore restaurateurs say pork consumption has dropped off.




Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/24/99 06:02:58



GN: Gannett News March 22, 1999 Monday

Effects of skipping sleep can be a real eye-opener


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/22/99

By Nanci Hellmich


So you sleep in on Saturday, nod off during the sermon on Sunday and fall asleep the minute your head hits the pillow at night.


You may think you are getting enough shut-eye, but there's a good possibility you're sleep-deprived.


More and more Americans are robbing their bodies of sleep, cheating themselves out of an hour or more a day, experts say.


Sleep needs vary -- some folks can get by with five or fewer hours, and some need 10 or more. But in general, Americans need an average of eight hours a night, and many are getting less than seven.



Too little sleep leads to worn-out adults, cranky kids and exhausted teens. Children who are shortchanged on shut-eye are more likely to fall asleep in school, researchers say. And tired people can drift off in meetings, during lectures and sermons, or -- dangerously -- while driving.



Ongoing research is showing that when people don't get enough sleep, they build up what experts call a ''sleep debt.'' The debt accumulates night after night: If you get one hour less sleep than you need each night for eight nights in a row, your brain will need sleep as desperately as if you had stayed up all night, says pioneer sleep researcher William Dement of Stanford University.



People with large sleep debts take longer to react to challenging situations. Sleep debt takes a toll on their motor and intellectual functions, raising their risk of being in a traffic accident.



Tired people are more likely to make math errors, drop things and become emotionally distant from their families, friends and colleagues, he says.



''In the simplest terms, a large sleep debt makes you stupid,'' says Dement, author of a new book, The Promise of Sleep, with Christopher Vaughan (Delacorte Press, $24.95).



The consequences of lack of sleep can be annoying and expensive, Dement says. He once had a patient who was so sleepy, she loaded dirty dishes into the clothes dryer instead of the dishwasher. She didn't realize her error until she turned on the machine and heard the dishes breaking.



Another patient went to great lengths to get a ticket for a football playoff game, but he was so tired that he dozed off in the seat in the first quarter and stayed asleep until the game was over.



It's a problem of priorities: People are so occupied with job commitments, kids' schedules, television viewing and Internet surfing that many have come to regard sleeping as a nuisance. ''Sleep is the lowest priority because its value hasn't been made known through education and understanding,'' Dement says.



This is a 24-hour society, says Thomas Roth, head of the division of sleep medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and author of several hundred articles on sleep. A regular routine is important to healthy sleep, he says, but people now can watch TV or be on the Internet all night. They are less motivated to stick to a schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same time. ''If we didn't have light bulbs, we wouldn't have so much difficulty sleeping,'' Roth says.



The weight of a sleep debt cannot be ignored indefinitely, Dement says. ''Sleep debt is always driving the brain toward sleep.''



It's best to get enough sleep every night. But if you can't, experts say, you should catch up on your sleep debt as soon as possible -- before it catches up with you.






Rest assured



Some tips to help ensure a good night's sleep:


* Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.


* Exercise regularly but complete the workout at least

three hours before bedtime.


* Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a bath or reading a book.


* Associate your bed with sleep; don't work or watch television.


* Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate)

and nicotine (cigarettes, other tobacco products) late in the day.


* Don't drink alcohol to help you sleep.


How much is enough?



Every night that you don't get the shut-eye you need, the sleep debt builds. Sleep needs vary by age:



* Toddlers need about 11 hours of sleep every night, plus a 2-hour nap during the day. They generally demand and get the sleep they need.



* Preschoolers need 11 to 12 hours of sleep a night. They usually get the sleep they need; half of them nap during the day.



* School-age children need about 10 hours. They, too, usually are good sleepers.



* Teens need an average of 9 1/4 hours a night. One study showed that most get less than 8 1/2.



* Adults' sleep needs vary, but in general they need 8

hours a night. The average adult gets 6 hours 57 minutes on weeknights, 7 hours 31 minutes on weekends.






Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

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GN: Gannett News March 19, 1999 Friday

Kosovo talks fail; Serbs continue to amass troops


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/19/99

By Fred Coleman


PARIS -- Kosovo peace talks collapsed here Thursday, escalating the danger of wider war in the embattled Serbian province.



Only the ethnic Albanian delegation signed a proposed political settlement Thursday, the fourth and potentially last day of the Paris talks.



Serbia refused to sign and instead massed troops in and near Kosovo with the military potential to crush the long Albanian rebellion there.



Today, foreign ministers Hubert Vedrine of France and Robin Cook of Britain, co-chairmen of the peace conference here, were expected to announce a suspension in the Paris talks, diplomats close to the negotiations said.



At best, the suspension is supposed to give the Serb delegation time to return home to Belgrade to consult with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. They would decide whether to return to Paris to sign the political settlement next week or risk NATO airstrikes.



In Washington, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said, ''We have reached the final and decisive phase.''



As the weekend began, there was little evidence that the Serbs were likely to change their minds. ''Serbia will not bow to international pressure,'' Ivica Dacic, spokesman for Milosevic's socialist party, said in Belgrade.



Ethnic Albanian negotiators were convinced that there was no point in further talks here because the Serbs had opted for war instead.



''The Serbs,'' Albanian delegate Veton Surroi said, ''have not participated in negotiations here, but, as we have seen with the mounting troops in Kosovo, they are saying, 'We actually want to resolve this by war.' ''



Western military officials say Serbia, which has 14,000 to 18,000 troops in Kosovo, now has up to 21,000 additional troops massed just outside. The ethnic Albanian rebel force, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), has an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 men.



In Belgrade, Gen. Nebojasa Pavkovic, commander of the Yugoslav army units deployed for Kosovo, said the Albanian rebels ''do not represent a serious force.'' Kosovo is the southern province of Serbia, the largest of the Yugoslav republics.



Smaller-scale fighting between Serb security forces and the KLA has killed 2,200 people and left 230,000 homeless since February 1998.



The danger now, with the collapse of the Paris talks, is that Yugoslav forces will move massively to crush the rebellion.



Ethnic Albanians, who make up 90% of Kosovo's population of 2 million, agreed to a political settlement that grants them substantial home rule but falls short of their demand for independence. The deal would disarm the KLA and force Serb troops to withdraw from Kosovo. A NATO ground force of 28,000, including 4,000 Americans, was proposed to ensure compliance.



Serbia balked over the issue of allowing NATO peacekeepers into the country.





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GN: Gannett News March 18, 1999 Thursday

Bedouin tribe asks Israel for asylum


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/18/99

By Matthew Kalman


JERUSALEM -- In a makeshift camp in the Negev desert just inside Israel, 800 members of a Bedouin tribe are baking in the hot sun, near dehydration. But they refuse to leave. They want Israel to grant them political asylum.



Early this week, barely two weeks before the Passover celebration of the biblical Exodus from Egypt, the Azazmeh Bedouin broke through the Egyptian-Israeli border.



''We would rather die on Israeli land,'' says Sheik Salam Azazmeh, a tribal leader. ''Many of us were Israeli citizens until 1982. We are ready to go to any country but Egypt.''



The tribe was split in 1982 when Israel handed back to Egypt the Sinai peninsula it had captured in 1967. Nomadic farmers and shepherds by tradition, the Bedouin in Israel consider themselves loyal Israelis and serve in the army, which has aroused suspicion against the tribe among Egyptians.



Other Bedouin mockingly call them the ''Jews of the Sinai,'' because half the tribe lives in Israel.



Last year, a blood feud erupted in Egypt between the Azazmeh and the rival Attaye tribe after two Attaye men were killed by an Azazmeh. The Azazmeh agreed to pay 2 million Egyptian pounds ($450,000) to the families of the murdered men as a sulha, or reconciliation.



''As the Azazmeh were about to pay the money, the Egyptian police interfered, confiscated the money and arrested several members,'' says Salem Muhammad el Azazmeh, a chief of the Israeli branch. ''If they are returned, they risk bloody revenge from the Attaye, and punishment from the Egyptians who accuse them of smuggling.''



The Israeli army and government want to send them back, but the Supreme Court issued an injunction on Tuesday halting their expulsion pending discussion of their request.



The Israeli chief said this year's drought had devastated the prune crop the tribe tends in northern Sinai, leaving them without food or work.



The 24-mile trek on camels and donkeys took two days. Two children died on the way, and many more suffer malnutrition. The army, which is providing food, medical care and some shelter, has declared the area a closed military zone.



''They are all dehydrating,'' said Major Yaakov Hazan, an Israeli army doctor. ''Two have collapsed. The older they are, the quicker they are likely to dehydrate.''



Israeli politicians fear that hundreds still in Egypt might follow.



''They are a menace,'' says Shmuel Rifman, head of the Negev Regional Council. ''Israel has no obligation to take in additional Arab residents.''






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GN: Gannett News March 16, 1999 Tuesday

'Plot against Third World'


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/16/99

By Mike Dodd


LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Jean-Claude Ganga of the Congo, one of the central figures in the International Olympic Committee corruption scandal, said Monday the panel that accused him was motivated to weaken IOC presidential candidates and Third World delegates.



''I think it's obvious the objective is to exclude Africa from the center of decision-making in the world of sports,'' Ganga told a group of American reporters at his hotel in Lausanne.



Of the six members facing expulsion at the IOC meeting set for Wednesday, three are from Africa, two from Latin America and one from Samoa, which Ganga characterized as a ''plot against the Third World.''



Ganga, 65, is accused by an IOC panel of receiving more than $200,000 in cash, medical care and other benefits from Salt Lake City bidders. He recited a detailed defense of each charge, promising to provide documentation, and said he was singled out because he led the African boycott of the 1976 Montreal Games.



He criticized the inquiry panel and its chairman, IOC vice president Dick Pound, saying the investigation of Un Yong Kim of South Korea was politically motivated.



''Mr. Kim did not do anything wrong. They want to kill him because he's a candidate for the (IOC) presidency,'' Ganga said. ''His crime -- his wrongdoing -- is to have suggested he'd be a potential candidate. In the inquiry commission, there are three candidates. They look for lice even if the head is clean-shaven.''



He accused Pound of accepting a $50,000 genealogy report from Salt Lake. ''Do you think this person should also go before the inquiry commission?'' Ganga asked. ''Do you think this person is qualified to head the commission?''



Pound said the head of the Mormon Church in Utah provided family-tree information ''that was an extension of some 80 years work in my family'' two years after the Games were awarded to Salt Lake City.



Added Pound: ''As a lawyer, I can tell you: If you have a case with bad facts, you attack the law. If you have a case with bad law, you attack the facts. If you have bad law and bad facts, you attack the prosecutor.''



Ganga said he would produce a letter from the doctor who treated him in Salt Lake City verifying that he offered to pay for the treatment for hepatitis C. He said he can prove money sent to a bank account in his name eventually went to African national Olympic committees. And he suggested gifts Salt Lake workers said were bought for his wife were actually purchased for the workers themselves.



He said IOC members are now afraid to accept even a key chain from a bidding city.



''It's corruption fever,'' he said. ''Is this the object of the Olympics? People are afraid now to talk to each other, to meet, to make business, to eat. If you want angels and saints, go to heaven to organize the Olympic Games. If you organize the Olympic Games on this earth, it must be organized with human beings with good sides and bad sides.''






Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/16/99 06:13:42



GN: Gannett News March 16, 1999 Tuesday

Reptile skull sets birth of mammals in Africa


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/16/99

By Tim Friend



The skull of a prehistoric, mammal-like reptile unveiled Thursday may be the oldest ever found and may prove that the common ancestor of today's deer and lizards originated in southern Africa, scientists say.



The skull belongs to a group of animals known as anomodonts, which were the first plant-eating vertebrates on land. They formed the base of the food chain for theriodonts, which had large canine teeth and were the first land-roaming meat eaters. Anomodonts and theriodonts gave rise to mammals and reptiles.



Hundreds of different species of these animals have been found, but the new skull discovery, dated at 260 million years old, appears to be the oldest, says Bruce Rubidge, who led the team based in Johannesburg, South Africa, that made the discovery.



Findings are being reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.



Rubidge says a large number of anomodonts have been found in South Africa and Russia. Scientists have debated whether they arose in Africa and migrated to Russia or the other way around. Until now, most experts assumed they arose in Russia.



Paleontologist Jim Hopson of the University of Chicago says so many anomodonts have been found now in South Africa that Rubidge probably wins the migration debate.



Hopson says Rubidge's fossil is the most primitive example he has seen, but the date of 260 million years needs to be confirmed before the South African anomodont is declared the oldest on Earth.



Hopson says the animal, which has a rodentlike skull and was the size of a sheep, is the ancestor of today's deer, antelope, rats and squirrels.



The fossil, named Anomocephalus africanus, was found 250 miles northeast of Cape Town at a dried lake bed in the Karoo desert.




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GN: Gannett News March 15, 1999 Monday

The biggest question on Kosovo is a basic one: Why?


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/15/99

By Richard Benedetto


Kosovo is about 4,700 miles from the East Coast of the USA. The tiny republic of Serbia has little to do with how our economy fares, and it doesn't threaten our borders.



So most Americans are not paying much attention to the day-to-day efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement to the fighting there between ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb-dominated Yugoslav government troops, unless they have a son or daughter, husband or wife in the U.S. military.



But the outcome of peace talks that resume today in France could have serious implications for Americans.



If a settlement is reached, President Clinton has committed 4,000 U.S. troops, mostly an elite Marine strike force in the initial phase, to a NATO peacekeeping contingent of 28,000 troops.



The force would be deployed quickly once both sides accepted the terms of the proposed agreement.



Its job: Oversee the phased disarmament and withdrawal of Yugoslav and ethnic Albanian military forces, and maintain a peaceful environment in Kosovo. The force would be in Kosovo at least until free elections could be held to determine the future status of the province.



Estimated cost to U.S. taxpayers: $1.5 billion to $2 billion a year.



How long would forces be there? No time limit has been set. It could be several years. U.S. peacekeeping troops went into Bosnia on a ''one-year'' mission in late 1995. They are still there.



If a negotiated settlement is not reached, Clinton and NATO are expected to renew threats of airstrikes against Serbian military targets.



More than 2,000 people, mostly ethnic Albanians, have been killed and an estimated 250,000 displaced since Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic launched a crackdown a year ago against ethnic Albanians seeking independence from Serbia, the main republic of Yugoslavia.



Should NATO airstrikes actually begin, don't expect them to be as clean and easy as the U.S.-British bombing and strafing campaign in the ''no-fly zones'' of Iraq.



Consider the testimony given last month to the Senate Armed Services Committee by Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when questioned about the risks.



''(The Serbs) possess an extensive air defense system,'' Ralston said. ''It is a modern air defense system. There should be no mistake about that. An air operation against Serbia is not a risk-free operation, and we could expect losses if we did that.''



''Expect losses.'' That warning by the general raises some serious questions:



Are Americans ready for news reports of U.S. aircraft being shot down in the Balkans and pilots and crew members being killed or captured? Has the president prepared the nation for this possibility? Will Americans continue to support the mission if U.S. troops start dying? And if the worst happens, will Clinton stick it out, or will he retreat, as he did in Somalia in 1993 after 18 U.S. soldiers were killed?



Clinton, who spent the past week comforting hurricane victims in Central America, dedicating his Hope, Ark., boyhood home as a historic site and raising money for Democrats in Arkansas and Texas, has done little to show the public why anyone should care about the situation in Kosovo.



Last week, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., criticized the president for his lack of involvement. ''The White House was rather reticent to come up to Congress to sell this thing,'' he said before a vote in which a majority in the House decided to support the use of U.S. troops in a Kosovo peacekeeping force.



The White House may not be spelling out the seriousness of the problem. And most Americans may not be interested. But the way events are moving, it appears to be time to start paying more attention.



Richard Benedetto's column appears Mondays. Past columns on




Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/15/99 06:07:47


New York Times

March 14, 1999 Sunday

Young Immigrants Find A Hard New Land


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones



c.1999 N.Y. Times News Service


NEW YORK - Monir was hardly among the huddled, hungry masses of Bangladesh when he arrived at Kennedy International Airport three years ago. His father was an engineer; everyone expected Monir would go to college and study accounting.


What drove him from home was neither poverty nor war, just the sure specter of a dead-end future. Back in Dhaka, all but the wealthiest toiled through college only to hunt in vain for decent jobs. At 15, Monir took flight, in search of an American education, another life.


Now 18 and still struggling through his sophomore year of high school, Monir works late every night, packing takeout orders of Thai food. The fear of failure follows him like a ghost. It is there when he cannot get to school on time, when he realizes how far behind he is on his homework, when he spots a classmate who dropped out a while back, handing out fliers for an Indian restaurant in the East Village.


``I have those worries,'' Monir confesses quietly. ``Maybe I'll end up like him.''


They are elusive to official institutions, but youngsters like Monir are everywhere. They deliver pizza on rickety bicycles. They cut flower stems at the corner grocery. They peddle fake-label watches on the sidewalks of Manhattan and sprint at the sight of the police.


Over the last several years, a small but growing number of teen-agers - virtually all boys, some as young as 14 or 15 - have arrived without their parents, much like the child immigrants of a century ago. Once here, they become New York's youngest immigrant workers, their cheap, nimble labor easily absorbed by the city's thriving service economy.


They come from countries where the poor go to work young. They know they are trading one hard life for another, but at least this one seems to come with some options. Here, on their own, they are free as birds, and yet they are trapped in an underground ruled in large measure by fear - of the immigration authorities, child welfare agencies, smugglers, thugs and bosses, past and potential. (That is why all of the youngsters interviewed for this article would give only their first names; some refused to be photographed.)


And immigration scholars and social workers wonder if they will ever be able to break free. Most are in this country illegally - and with rare exception, seem destined to remain so. Many come for education, and its promise of opportunity unimaginable in Dhaka, or whatever place they left behind. And yet, working long, hard hours to stay alive, they often find themselves too tired and tied down, and simply too poor, to get the education they need to move beyond the margins of the economy.


In short, they are like a lot of new immigrants. And yet they are not - because they are children, and they are alone.


Just how many there are cannot be known, but the few institutions that encounter them offer piecemeal evidence of their growing presence. The Immigration and Naturalization Service reports a fivefold increase in the number of unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally over the last five years. In fiscal year 1998, the agency had 4,284 such children in detention, the vast majority between 15 and 18. Officials say they expect many more to come from parts of Central America ravaged by Hurricane Mitch.


At the Chinatown Health Center, doctors report seeing many more children coming alone, especially from Fujian Province, over the last four years. English teachers at The Door, a youth center in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood, say they have seen rising numbers of teen-agers coming alone from Mexico and Central America.


``It's really spiked, starting about three years ago,'' says Christopher Ambrose, the center's co-director. `'It's just incredible to me that they're doing what they're doing all by themselves.''


Among the ranks of teen-age immigrants to the city was a young man from Guinea named Amadou Diallo, whose American adventure began three years ago at age 19 and ended last month when, unarmed, he was killed by the police at the door to his apartment building in the Bronx. There are boys like Francisco, from Mexico, who run away defiantly, and those like Abdoulaye, from Senegal, who come with their parents' blessings. There are those like Monir who live on their own, perhaps with a roommate, and those who are taken in by relatives, like Jian, a Fujianese farmer's son, who shares a two-room tenement in Chinatown with an uncle and eight other men.


All are keenly, constantly aware of the gulf between them and the young people around them - many of them also poor, many also immigrants, but none quite so peculiarly alone. Jian is struck by this every time he runs into schoolmates from Qianyang, his village outside the city of Fuzhou. If they work, it is not to pay the rent. Their parents take care of that, and harangue them to finish their homework so they do not have to work in sweatshops all their lives.


Once, Jian invited his old best friend over to his apartment, and his friend gasped. ``He said, `I can't imagine you live here,' '' Jian recalls. ``We are like strangers.''


Francisco's day begins in the blue light before dawn, as the steel accordion gates of a lower Manhattan diner roll open for business. Francisco's territory is the grill, where he hovers over burgers and BLT's. To his left sits a vat of gurgling hot oil that has pocked his arms with a trail of burns. A Yankees cap shields his boyish, blessedly acne-free face.


Except Sundays, when he makes sandwiches at another deli, this is Francisco's world all week, from 4:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m. After work, there are lessons at The Door, where he has learned English and is now, after nearly a decade without a formal education, preparing for the high school equivalency exam. Then, home by 8 to his room in a basement apartment near Yankee Stadium, so he can shower, sleep and rise by 3 a.m. for another day at the grill.


He is 21 now, but Francisco's childhood died young, in the Oaxacan village of Etla. By the time he was 10, he was hopping trains to faraway towns, where he passed himself off as an orphan and ran errands in exchange for food, spare change, a set of new clothes.


His parents tried to wring the restlessness out of him, but without success. With the help of a friend already living in the Bronx, he found a smuggler, who for $900 led him across the border and onto a plane to New York. Francisco thinks he was 15 then.


Within weeks, he was sweeping the floors of a midtown garment factory, 10 or 12 hours every day, for $190 a week.


Finding work was always a breeze, though the terms of his employment were completely illegal. Under state law, school is mandatory for all those under 17. And youngsters between ages 16 and 18 are barred from working more than 28 hours a week when school is in session.


Once, cutting a swatch of linen, Francisco accidentally sliced off a piece of his left index finger. His boss dropped him in front of a hospital emergency room and left. When Francisco returned to work, the boss refused to take him back, saying he was too young.


``They really took advantage of me, huh?'' Francisco says, chuckling. ``I learned that after I left that job.''


In Francisco's fiercely self-protective world, there is little time or inclination to play. Fear keeps him on the straight and narrow. Sometimes, he hangs out with a clutch of young Mexicans who live in his building, but he will not drink with them, for fear he will not make it to work on time. There are clubs he could go to, but he won't, for fear he would be swept up in a drunken brawl.


Perhaps what also keeps Francisco on his path of self-restraint are boys like Marcos. The two are strangers, but in a way, they are mirror images.


When Marcos left Oaxaca at age 12, he, too, was searching for money and education. Seven years later, he has not known a day of school, nor has he managed to learn English. He has been a dishwasher, a pizza deliverer and a prep cook. He has also been to Rikers Island and back.


Marcos has never really been out of trouble. At first, he was taunted in his East Harlem neighborhood as a ``mojado,'' a wetback. Thugs repeatedly jumped him, taking what little money he made.


Soon, though, another band of thugs came to his rescue. They called themselves Los Vagos, the vagabonds, and they became his family. They tattooed a tricolor Virgin on his left arm; they made sure he was never attacked again.


But trouble continued to trail him. Within months, a knife fight at a soccer match got him six months in jail. And in December, one of Los Vagos was shot and killed at a club on 116th Street; Marcos said he and seven other gang members were charged. He is out on bail, awaiting trial.


``We say this is the lost generation,'' says Brother Joel Magallan, a Jesuit who works for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York as its liaison to Mexican immigrants. ``I know a lot of parents who are trying to keep them in Mexico. They don't want their kids coming here.''


Francisco may have run away at 15, but he never intended to stay away so long, he said. His goal was to earn enough money to establish a family business. Last year, he wired home $11,000 in savings so his father could set up a garment factory. He had read that clothing was one of Mexico's chief exports. Nowhere had he read about the hurdles.


``You have to have big capital,'' he says now. ``You have to have connections.''


The lessons came too late. The five sewing machines bought with his savings now collect dust in Etla.


The stories of Francisco and the others are distant echoes of the flood of teen-age immigrants a century ago. Back then, at the crest of the last great wave of immigration, Italian boys landed by themselves at Ellis Island and went to work hawking newspapers or hauling produce. Girls from Russia came alone to work in garment factories.


But if their ages and aspirations are in many ways the same, today's teen-age immigrants are landing on drastically changed shores.


Nancy Foner, an anthropologist who studies the city's immigration history, offered her own family's example. In 1905 or so, when her grandfather was 8 or 9, he came alone from Russia and joined a brother in Hartford. The sum of his American education was some time in night school as a working teen-ager, but by the time he retired, he was running a lucrative construction business in Queens.


Certainly, few immigrants of that era bounded up the economic ladder in one generation. Still, those with little schooling could find factory jobs - often dirty jobs for low pay, but jobs for life. Some could move from unskilled factory jobs to semiskilled labor at slightly better pay. Some could even open small shops or factories. And since, with few exceptions, even those without formal papers did not face the constant threat of deportation, even the immigrant who did not succeed economically could establish a firm, legal foothold for the next generation.


``It's much harder to get ahead today, with as little education as my grandfather had,'' Ms. Foner explains.


22:56 EST MARCH 13, 1999


NYT-03-13-99 1950EST


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/13/99 22:58:07


New York Times

March 14, 1999 Sunday

Young Immigrants Find A Hard New Land -2-


New York Times News Service via Dow Jones


Today's teen-age immigrants, by contrast, are unlikely to be legal and have few ways to change that. Unlike adults with marketable skills, they are unlikely to be sponsored by an employer, and few have resident family members to help them obtain green cards. And their immigration status, compounded by poverty, makes it extremely difficult to get the higher education that is ever more crucial to economic success. For illegal immigrants, a secure job of any kind has become harder to find.


So, while some will find a way to get ahead, most seem likely to drift from way station to way station in New York's economic underground, hoping, at best, to save enough money to set up a decent life back home.

``My guess would be that if you do not have fluency in English, if you do not have skills, if you do not have legal papers, you're going to work in a marginal, shadow economy,'' says David Reimers, a historian at New York University. ``I don't see these people, in their lifetime, improving that much.''


Whether most will end up staying or returning home is anyone's guess. For now, out there on the margins, they tend to fall below the radar of government agencies that deal with children. Given the choices here and at home, some academics and advocates say, it is probably just as well.

``It's a pretty sad thing to say that perhaps, the best outcome would be let them work, leave them alone,'' says Hector Cordero-Guzman, a sociologist at the New School for Social Research. ``Increased enforcement might not mean better life chances for these kids.''


If college is the dream, Jian would seem closer than most. Even so, he feels it slipping away.


The first in his family to learn his letters, he is 20 credits shy of a high school diploma. Eight hours a day, he is in class at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day School, a school for older teen-agers. Four years after leaving China at age 17, his time is running out. He can attend public school free only until the end of his 21st year; he has just turned 21.


Weekends are spent behind the Plexiglass of a Chinese takeout restaurant in New Jersey: 12-hour shifts both days, $70 a day. At first, his priorities puzzled his roommates. ``They said, `Why you want to study? You're not born here,' '' he recalls.


Many young immigrants like him rarely venture outside Chinatown or learn English, he says. The prospect terrifies him. ``You don't know English, you know how difficult life is,'' Jian says. ``How about the future?''

For now, Jian pays $50 a month for a bed in a sixth-floor walk-up. The apartment is so cramped that Jian does his morning sit-ups in bed, so noisy that he can start studying at the kitchen table only after everyone goes to sleep.

Jian considers himself an optimist and says he has no regrets about coming here. And recently, he was granted a rare boon - political asylum on grounds of religious persecution. He is a Christian, with the dangerous habit of preaching to his classmates back home. He can become an American citizen in a few years.

Still, even with the security of asylum, even with a diploma, he says he will have to postpone college until he can climb his mountain of debt: the $40,000 that his parents borrowed from family and from the bank to have him smuggled to America. So after high school, Jian plans to get a full-time restaurant job and start repaying the loans. He does not know anyone who has gone to college here. He says it probably costs too much. ``I'm not sure,'' he concludes, ``but I think it's a lot of money.''


By the time Abdoulaye felt that adolescent urge to take flight from Senegal, nearly every house on his block in Kaolack had sent a young man abroad - to France, Italy and, in recent years, to the United States. At 19, made restless by a long strike at his university, Abdoulaye joined the odyssey.

``The new generation - you have to go out and discover,'' his father had told him before his death. ``To be more lucky than us.''


Abdoulaye knew America long before he got here. He knew the rhymes of Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur and the names of fashionable sneakers. He also knew how much money his compatriots had made here and taken back to Senegal.

Today, at 20, Abdoulaye is luckier than many of his peers. He lives with his uncles and their wives in the Bronx. He works at the family business, selling color televisions to fellow Africans. He just wasn't prepared for the loneliness.


In a palm-size photo album, he keeps snapshots of his friends back home. Abdoulaye misses their company terribly. On the subway, he listens to Youssou N'Dour on his headphones and writes to them, telling them the truth about this place they all once dreamed of. Recently, he wrote about attending his first American demonstration, in front of the house where Amadou Diallo died.

``You know, in my country, every time I walk the street, I was with one of my friends,'' he says. ``Here, when I get out of school, I walk by myself. Nobody talks to me. I don't talk to nobody. I feel, `Where I am? Where I am?' ''

Monir calls home whenever he is blue, which is evidently often, considering he sometimes runs up a $200 phone bill. Often, the conversation turns to his future here, though, in typical immigrant fashion, he is less than candid about the fine points of his new life.


``I don't really tell them how much I work,'' he confides.

For a year and a half, he has worked seven hours a night, six nights a week at the Thai restaurant. At the end of each shift, he pockets $45.

His mother still presses him to come home, but so far, his more pragmatic parent has prevailed. ``My father says, `What is he going to do here?' '' Monir explains.


More and more, he asks that same question of himself.

``I think a lot about whether to stay,'' he says, ``or whether to go back.''

22:57 EST MARCH 13, 1999


NYT-03-13-99 1950EST


Copyright (c) 1999 The New York Times Co.

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/13/99 22:58:41



GN: Gannett News March 9, 1999 Tuesday

Legend evolved from humble beginning


USA TODAY , DATE: 03/09/99


Nov. 25, 1914: Giuseppe Paolo (Joseph Paul) DiMaggio born to Giuseppe and Rosalie DiMaggio in Martinez, Calif.



July 5, 1931: At 17, DiMaggio makes his debut with Rossi Olive Oil, a team in the Boys Club-sponsored McNamara B Winter League, which is an amateur recreation league.



1932: Throughout the summer, he fills in with Sunset Produce, a Division A semipro club, and the Avalons. Here he gains experience against older and better players. Late in the season, he joins Baumgartens AA Club in the Recreation League. DiMaggio plays with older brother Vincent for the last three games of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) season with the San Francisco Seals.


1933: DiMaggio's career as an outfielder begins when he plays right field in the opening Seals-Portland game.



May 28, 1933: DiMaggio starts a 61-game hitting streak

in the second game of a doubleheader against first-place Portland. He breaks the league record of 49 set by Oakland's Jack Ness in 1915.



1934: In May, DiMaggio injures his knee after a family

celebration of his streak. In a game Aug. 10, he reinjures himself and has to sit out the rest of the season.



Nov. 23, 1934: The New York Yankees offer Seals owner Charlie Graham $25,000 and five players for DiMaggio. The deal is mutually beneficial: DiMaggio plays with the Seals for the 1935 season, Graham gets his five players and the Yankees take DiMaggio for '36 -- if his knee holds up.



1935: DiMaggio is voted PCL Most Valuable Player. Abe Kemp of the San Francisco Examiner writes, ''Just a word

about Joe DiMaggio, who has finally convinced me that he is the greatest ballplayer I have ever seen graduate from the Pacific Coast League.''



1936: DiMaggio begins his 13-year run with the Yankees. His brother Tom negotiates an $8,500 contract, the highest salary New York ever offered a rookie. At the home opener, DiMaggio plays left field and bats third in the lineup, Babe Ruth's old spot. Later in the season, DiMaggio moves to Ruth's right-field position. By August, he moves again to center field.



1937: DiMaggio re-signs for double his rookie salary -- $17,000 a year. But the Yankees recoup some of the money: They add seats in the right-field stands to accommodate fans now attending games to see him.



July 5, 1937: The Yankees are tied 4-4 with Boston; the bases are loaded. DiMaggio hits it long to left field. The ball lands in the bullpen. This is his first grand slam in the major leagues. DiMaggio is voted player of the year by the Yankees and Baseball Magazine. He collected the most votes for The

Sporting News all-star team. This is the year DiMaggio earned the nickname ''Yankee Clipper.'' (Radio broadcaster Arch McDonald gives DiMaggio the moniker because of the way he ''appeared to glide across the outfield in pursuit of fly balls.'')



1939: DiMaggio earns his first batting title with a career-high .381. He makes what is believed to be the best catch of his career -- a Hank Greenberg drive to the monuments in left-center, behind the flagpole and in front of the 461-foot sign. DiMaggio ran about 200 feet to get to the ball.



Nov. 19, 1939: DiMaggio, 24, marries actress Dorothy Arnold, 21, at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in San Francisco.



1940: DiMaggio earns his second batting title with a .352 average. He also has 31 home runs and 133 RBI in 132 games.


May 15, 1941: The Yankees play the Chicago White Sox at home and DiMaggio singles in one of his four at-bats. He hits in the next 55 games. It is still a record. He hits .357 for the season and is named MVP.



Oct. 23, 1941: DiMaggio's only child, Joseph Paul DiMaggio Jr., is born.



1942: DiMaggio has 186 hits and bats .305 in 154 games. On Dec. 3 he enlists in the Army Air Forces.



1943: DiMaggio, a staff sergeant, is a center fielder for the 7th Air Force team. (In 1944, it would play a Navy team that includes Johnny Mize at first and Pee Wee Reese at shortstop.)


Oct. 11, 1943: Dorothy DiMaggio files for divorce.



Sept. 14, 1945: DiMaggio is discharged.



1947: DiMaggio begins the year with surgery to remove a 3-inch bone spur from his left heel. He ends it as MVP, batting .343 and making one error in 141 games.



1948: DiMaggio leads the league with 39 home runs and 155 RBI despite recurring pain from a bone spur. He hits his 300th career home run this season.



1949: On Feb. 7, DiMaggio becomes the first $100,000 ballplayer. He earns his money this season. Playing hurt (now his right heel) and exhausted (from a viral infection), DiMaggio pulls himself out of the pennant-deciding game with the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees win 5-3 and go on to their 12th World Series title. He hits .346 for the season. His father, Guiseppe, dies in May.


1950: DiMaggio plays in his ninth World Series in 12 years. His mother Rosalie, 72, dies.



1951: The Yankees play in -- and win -- another World Series. It would be DiMaggio's last. On Dec. 11, he announces his retirement: ''When baseball is no longer fun, it's no longer a game. And so, I've played my last game.'' The legacy of his 13-year career: 2,214 hits, .325 batting average, 361 home runs and 1,537 RBI. He is arguably the most elegant man to wear Yankees pinstripes.


1952: DiMaggio's number (5) is retired.



Jan. 14, 1954: DiMaggio weds actress Marilyn Monroe. The marriage lasts less than a year (to Oct. 27) but the affection endures. After Monroe's death Aug. 5, 1962, DiMaggio arranges the funeral. He never remarries and leaves roses at her grave weekly for 20 years.



1955: DiMaggio is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He played on 10 pennant winners and nine World Series champions in his career. He was an All-Star in all 13 years.



1967: DiMaggio begins a two-year stint as coach and consultant with the Oakland Athletics.



1969: In a nationwide poll, DiMaggio is voted baseball's greatest living player.



1972: DiMaggio becomes a spokesman for Mr. Coffee. He also made commercials for the coffeemaker company in '74 and '84.


March 8, 1999: DiMaggio dies after a lengthy illness.



Sources: USA TODAY research; wire reports; Dick Johnson and Glenn Stout, DiMaggio: An Illustrated Life; Baseball Weekly



Compiled by Joan Murphy and Tammi Wark, USA TODAY



Designed by Steve Mawyer, Julia Schmalz and Leslie Spalding, USA TODAY




Copyright (c) 1999 Gannett/USA TODAY Electronic News

Received via NewsEDGE from Desktop Data, Inc.: 03/09/99 06:11:26



MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 1999 (R4)

1997 Year-End Review of the Stock Market: What Was News ---- Compiled by Sheila Courter and Michael A. Anderson


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


For markets world-wide, 1998 was the most volatile year since 1987. It was a turbulent year for politics as well.


Troubles arrived early as rumors emerged of President Clinton's involvement with Monica Lewinsky. Nevertheless,


U.S. stocks rose as the trend toward megamergers continued. Daimler-Benz said it would merge with Chrysler, and Travelers Group said it would combine with Citicorp. Blue-chip indexes rallied through July. By August, the tide began to change. Asia's problems continued to mount, while Mr. Clinton acknowledged he in fact had an inappropriate relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. Russia let its currency tumble and effectively defaulted on its debt, causing panic in almost all emerging markets.


One of the highest profile casualties was Long-Term Capital Management LP. As bearish sentiment began to prevail on U.S. markets, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan then launched a series of rate cuts.


Unexpected GOP defeats in the November election left the House of Representatives in a state of chaos. Speaker Newt Gingrich resigned under fire. Weeks later, his successor, Robert Livingston, stepped down. Still, Republicans stood firm, as Mr. Clinton became only the second president to be impeached by the House.


The long-running dispute with Iraq came to a head late in the year, as Saddam Hussein refused to let U.N. inspectors into the country. The U.S. retaliated with air attacks. For commodity markets, particularly oil, 1998 was a bust. This paved the way for what would be the largest takeover in history as Exxon agreed to acquire Mobil. In the end, perhaps the biggest surprise came as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 turned in another year of double-digit gains.

Here is a summary of the news events chronicled on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. The dates reflect when the items were published.









AT&T says it will acquire Teleport Communications for $11.3 billion in stock, an expensive but crucial move to penetrate local-phone markets.

Ramzi Yousef is sentenced in New York to life in prison for the 1994 bombing of a Philippines airliner and 240 years for masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.






Cognizant is splitting into two separately traded firms. The market-researcher, which is the crown jewel of Dun & Bradstreet's breakup, is dividing into IMS Health, a health-care information business, and Nielsen Media, a television-ratings firm.


General Electric's NBC strikes an $850 million deal to keep the nation's top-rated show, "ER."






Tobacco firms agree to pay Texas $15.3 billion over 25 years to avoid a trial in the state's suit to recover health-care costs.






Hicks Muse and KKR are combining the movie-theater chains they are acquiring and plan to purchase Regal Cinemas in a transaction that will create the biggest movie-theater chain in the U.S.


Auto-insurance rates start falling for the first time in more than 20 years.






Clinton is hit with allegations of an affair with a White House intern. Clinton denies having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, 24, and said he never told her to lie to lawyers in the Paula Jones sexual-harassment suit. Lewinsky denies an affair in an affidavit taken in the case, but a former White House aide reportedly secretly taped her discussing the affair.

Pope John Paul II arrives in Cuba after urging the U.S. to soften its embargo.






Microsoft settles a legal dispute with the Justice Department. Microsoft will give personal-computer makers the right to ship Windows 95 on their machines without also having to install Microsoft's Internet-browser software.

Netscape says it will give away its flagship World Wide Web software along with programming code that will let other companies enhance it.






Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal announce plans for a $12.12 billion merger.






AT&T's Armstrong announces a revamping that will entail as many as 18,000 new job cuts and as much as $1.2 billion in charges against earnings in the first half.






Bethlehem Steel wins a bidding war for steelmaker Lukens by coupling its $30-a-share stock-and-cash offer with a deal to sell some Lukens assets to rival suitor Allegheny Teledyne.






Three big tobacco companies are subjects of a Justice Department criminal antitrust probe. The agency is investigating whether Brown & Williamson, R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris colluded on the price of tobacco leaf, people familiar with the inquiry say.









Attorneys general from 11 states issue subpoenas in their antitrust probe of Microsoft, widening their inquiry to include Windows 98.

Clinton proposes a $1.733 trillion budget, the first in 30 years with no deficit.






Texas executes Karla Faye Tucker for the 1983 pickax slayings of two people during a break-in. She is the first woman put to death in the state since 1863, and the first in the U.S. since 1984.






Canadian National Railway nears pact to acquire Illinois Central. Days later; an agreement is announced for $39 a share in cash and stock, or $2.4 billion.






The New York Stock Exchange adopts circuit breakers that automatically would close markets for the day only after a 30% stock-market drop, currently 2,400 points in the Dow Jones industrials.






CVS agrees to acquire Arbor Drugs, a Michigan chain, for $1.48 billion, in a move that pits it against Walgreen for leadership in the consolidating drugstore industry.


America Online will boost its monthly charge 10%, potentially clearing the way for a wave of price increases throughout the Internet-access industry.






The Dow Jones industrials set their first record in six months, overcoming anxiety over Asia-related turmoil, with a gain of 115.09 points, or 1.41%, to 8295.61.


Investigators charge in newly released portions of an FBI affidavit that Columbia/HCA defrauded the Medicare system of tens of millions of dollars through its home-health operations.






Prudential Insurance proceeds with steps to convert to stock ownership, shedding its status as a policyholder-owned company.






A Taiwan jet crash kills all 196 aboard, including the central bank leaders. Seven people were reported killed on the ground when the China Air plane crashed short of the runway while trying to land in fog at Chiang Kai-Shek airport near Taipei after a flight from the Indonesian island of Bali.






Dow Corning makes public a $4.4 billion bankruptcy-reorganization plan, boosting its settlement offer for breast-implant claims to $3 billion.






Caterpillar and UAW leaders suffer a rebuke when workers at Caterpillar's factories reject a tentative agreement that would have ended a six-year dispute.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announces a deal was reached in Baghdad after talks with Saddam Hussein and other top Iraq officials. President Clinton later cautiously endorses the accord, but warns of "serious consequences" if Baghdad reneges on its agreement to give unrestricted access to U.N. arms inspectors.






The Nasdaq index rises to 1751.76, its first record since October, on a tech-stock rally.






Oxford Health unveils a $700 million recapitalization package and names an industry veteran, 49-year-old Norman Payson, as its CEO.






Halliburton reaches an accord to buy Dresser Industries for about $7.7 billion in stock, bringing together two big oil-field-services concerns.

Two big British insurers, Commercial Union and General Accident, unveil an $11.72 billion merger.









Sunbeam plans to purchase Coleman along with Signature Brands USA, the maker of Mr. Coffee machines and First Alert smoke alarms, for a total of about $1.8 billion.


Owens-Illinois agrees to acquire the world-wide glass and plastic packaging business of BTR in a deal valued at $3.6 billion.


China pledges to spend $32.6 billion to stabilize nearly insolvent state banks amid the Asian financial crisis.






First Union agrees to buy Money Store in a stock swap valued at about $2.1 billion.


The Supreme Court rules unanimously that workers can sue for same-sex harassment. The decision with big implications for U.S. workplaces overrules lower courts on a suit filed by a worker on an offshore oil rig.






A sell-off in technology stocks follows Intel's warning about first-quarter sales. The Nasdaq Composite Index falls 2.7% in its third-largest point decline ever. Intel's stock drops 13%.


Motorola warns that first-quarter sales will fall below expectations, mainly due to price wars in Asia and other major markets.


Computer Associates ends its pursuit of Computer Sciences, opting to walk away rather than prolong an acrimonious takeover battle.






Compaq Computer, hurt by pricing pressures for personal computers to servers, says it will merely break even in the first quarter, and sales will be flat.

Tobacco makers are ordered to release 39,000 internal documents to lawyers for Minnesota, marking a breakthrough in the state's trial seeking compensation for smoking-related health-care costs.


The IMF postpones a $3 billion tranche of its bailout package for Indonesia. Meanwhile, a big Indonesian bank faces sizable currency-related losses.






Indonesia's Suharto is elected to a new five-year term by an assembly packed with relatives, friends and the military, which also gives him new powers to crack down on unrest.


Alcoa agrees to buy Alumax for $2.8 billion in stock and cash plus the assumption of $1 billion of debt.






Alltell plans to acquire cellular provider 360 Communications in a stock swap valued at more than $4 billion, plus the assumption of $1.8 billion in debt.






Aetna plans to pay as much as $1.35 billion for the health-insurance operations of New York Life.



The Justice Department's antitrust investigation of Microsoft is expanded to include issues related to Sun Microsystems' Java software.






The Beardstown Ladies disclose that a Price Waterhouse audit shows their 10-year average annual rate of return was 9.1%, not the 23.4% touted on the cover of their best-selling book.


Cardinal Health and Bergen Brunswig say they will fight the FTC in court and seek to go ahead with their planned $2.6 billion merger.






Fidelity Investments says it will close three of its largest mutual funds to most new investors, shifting toward promotion of newer, smaller funds.






Boeing discloses that new bottlenecks are hampering deliveries of its latest 737, just weeks before production of the model was slated to double.

Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico move to reduce their output and seek cuts by other countries.






Germany's Bertelsmann says it will buy Random House. The $1.2 billion deal creates a giant in book publishing that wields great clout over retailers, agents and Hollywood.


The Justice Department asks a federal court to block Lockheed's $8.3 billion purchase of Northrop on antitrust grounds. The companies vowed to fight to protect their deal.


Russia's Yeltsin fires his government, including the man considered heir apparent, Viktor Chernomyrdin.






The Senate Finance chairman unveils proposals to overhaul the IRS, including significant new taxpayer protections against seizure of property.






Intel's Andrew Grove says he will yield the position of CEO to his top lieutenant, Craig Barrett in May.






Pfizer's impotence pill Viagra receives FDA approval, clearing the way for a potential blockbuster drug that promises to treat impotence.









The Paula Jones suit against President Clinton is thrown out by U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright. She rules that even if Ms. Jones's allegations of a crude proposition are true, she had failed to back up sexual-harassment claims.






Conseco agrees to acquire Green Tree Financial, a subprime-market lender, in a stock swap valued at $6.44 billion. In another deal reflecting continued consolidation of the financial-services industry, Household International agrees to buy Beneficial for $7.7 billion.






Several states prepare to take their own antitrust action against Microsoft.






Boeing, citing production difficulties and price pressures, says it will take a quarterly charge of $350 million, almost triple the amount many had expected.






NationsBank announces a $60 billion merger with BankAmerica, creating the nation's first coast-to-coast bank. Meanwhile, Banc One confirms its planned combination with First Chicago for $30 billion in stock.

A federal judge rules Intel abused monopoly power in withholding information from customer Intergraph.






Cendant's stock plunges 47% after the company said accounting problems will hurt its earnings.






Eli Lilly reports its Evista, approved to fight osteoporosis, may prevent breast cancer without the higher rates of uterine cancer associated with tamoxifen, the most recent breast-cancer breakthrough.


Cendant dismisses a senior finance executive as more details of its accounting problems come to light.


Two big Canadian banks, CIBC and Toronto Dominion, announce a $14.3 billion merger.



MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 1999 (R4)

1997 Year-End Review of the Stock Market: What... -2-


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones


BankAmerica says it will let its Robertson Stephens unit seek another owner, averting a clash when BankAmerica merges with NationsBank, which owns rival Montgomery Securities.






Bank of New York publicizes its proposal to acquire Mellon Bank for stock valued at $23.8 billion. Mellon rejects the "bear hug."






Mellon Bank files a suit challenging Bank of New York's takeover proposal, while Mellon's chairman says the bank isn't in play.


A junk-bond deal from Level 3 raises $2 billion, equaling the largest corporate junk-bond deal so far in the 1990s.






Hillary Clinton is questioned by Whitewater prosecutors for five hours at the White House. The videotaped testimony is shown to a grand jury in Arkansas investigating work she did for defunct Madison Guaranty S&L.






Liggett Group agrees to cooperate fully with the Justice Department's criminal investigation of the tobacco industry.






William Webster, recruited by Reagan to clean up the CIA in the 1980s, is brought in to scrutinize the criminal-investigation unit of the IRS. Meanwhile, IRS reform hearings begin with a former Treasury investigator telling of one IRS worker who "misappropriated" cars seized from taxpayers, and another who threatened to audit a state trooper who arrested him.






House Republican Leaders reject bipartisan tobacco legislation negotiated by two key lawmakers, prompting Democrats to charge the GOP isn't serious about passing a bill. Meanwhile, a group of Blue Cross health plans in more than 35 states filed three lawsuits against the tobacco industry.





Texas Utilities wins the battle for Britain's Energy Group, after rival PacifiCorp says it won't top Texas Utilities' $7.4 billion bid.


Dana agrees to acquire Echlin for stock valued at $3.42 billion, creating one of the world's largest auto-parts suppliers.


Theodore Kaczynski, 55 years old, is sentenced to life in prison without parole under a plea agreement in his 18-year bombing spree that killed three.



Vickers agrees to sell Rolls-Royce to Germany's Volkswagen for $713 million, just a week after it agreed to sell the luxury-car maker to BMW.

The Senate approves a sweeping overhaul of the Internal Revenue Service. The 97-0 vote in the Senate follows a similarly lopsided 426-4 vote on IRS reform legislation in the House in the fall of 1997.



SBC formally announces plans to acquire Ameritech for $56.18 billion in stock, setting off a torrent of criticism from rival carriers and regulators. The transaction would create a local-service behemoth with more than $40 billion in revenue.


DuPont plans to shed Conoco and use most of the estimated $25 billion proceeds to invest in its life-sciences business.


India explodes three atomic bombs, boosting tensions with Pakistan and China. The tests come seven weeks after a Hindu nationalist-led government took power in New Delhi and draw immediate international condemnation.



Frank Sinatra, 82, singer and actor whose voice and craft made him popular music's "Chairman of the Board," dies of a heart attack, in Los Angeles.



Microsoft is accused of seeking to destroy software-industry rivals in landmark antitrust lawsuits filed by the U.S. and 20 states.



Columbia/HCA plans to sell 22 hospitals to a consortium of not-for-profit hospitals. The $1.2 billion transaction, involving eight separate buyers in four states, marks a major turnabout for the once-aggressive acquirer.



Seagram will sell its Tropicana juice unit to the public for an estimated $3.5 billion to $4 billion to help pay for its $10.6 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of music powerhouse PolyGram.



Tyco International agrees to acquire U.S. Surgical for about $3.3 billion in stock. The deal will make Tyco one of the world's biggest providers of disposable medical products.


Pfizer tells the FDA that six people have died while using the impotence drug Viagra. By late November, Pfizer and the FDA agree to a host of new warnings for Viagra as the number of deaths rises to 130.



ABN Amro offers to buy Generale Bank of Belgium for $12.3 billion in stock and cash, topping a bid by Fortis. ABN's offer is the biggest-ever unsolicited bid for a European bank.



Gateway will modify Windows 98 to emphasize its own Internet service and offer consumers a choice of Web-browsing software, taking a defiant stance toward Microsoft.



 United HealthCare agrees to buy Humana for about $5.38 billion in stock, creating what will be the largest managed-care company in the U.S. and continuing an industry consolidation.


Pakistan sets off nuclear bombs in tests it said evened the score with India.









American Home agrees to buy Monsanto in a $35.08 billion stock swap, driven by the race to turn genetics advances into new drugs and agricultural products.




The FDA is permitting the nation's first large-scale test of an AIDS vaccine. VaxGen, a company led by pioneering virologist Donald Francis, will carry out the three-year trial.



Tellabs agrees to buy Ciena for stock valued at $6.9 billion, joining two makers of network equipment for phone and data services.

A train crash kills more than 100 in Germany's worst postwar rail accident.



France's Alcatel is buying phone-equipment maker DSC Communications in a $4.4 billion stock swap that will almost double Alcatel's presence in the U.S. telecom market and accelerate the industry's consolidation.

Terry Nichols is sentenced to life in prison for helping Timothy McVeigh carry out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168.



The UAW strikes an important GM parts factory in Flint, Mich., as a long-simmering dispute over job security and productivity erupted. Other plant closings follow.



Intel is hit with antitrust charges from the FTC, which allege the chip maker stifled innovation and competition by retaliating against companies that challenged it over their rights to technology.


Norwest and Wells Fargo agree to a $31.4 billion merger that will form the nation's seventh-largest bank while joining two very different cultures.

The dollar rises above 140 yen for the first time in seven years.



Pakistan declares a moratorium on nuclear tests in a move to ease tensions. Nevertheless, the U.S. later unveils sanctions over the earlier atomic tests by both India and Pakistan.



Oil prices slide, touching an 11- year low of $11.40.




The U.S. intervenes in currency markets to support the yen. The yen purchases by the U.S. mark its first move in foreign-exchange markets since August 1995 and signals that it believes Tokyo can't regain the confidence of financial markets without help.


Atlantic Richfield will sell its Arco Chemical division to Lyondell Petrochemical for about $5.6 billion.


Tobacco legislation is killed in Senate votes guided by GOP leaders. A bid to move the bill toward final passage, joined by 14 Republicans, falls three votes short of the 60 needed.




Berkshire Hathaway agrees to pay $23.5 billion in stock for General Re, in an acquisition that vaults Warren Buffett into the realm of high-profile megadeals.




Clinton flies to China, the first U.S. state visit since the Tiananmen massacre.




Amex members approve the exchange's proposed merger with Nasdaq's parent by a 3-to-1 margin.


The Supreme Court rejects 6-3 the line-item veto.




Hilton agrees to acquire Grand Casinos and split into separate hotel and casino companies, after months of seeking a major deal.






Linda Tripp testifies for six hours before the grand jury investigating the Lewinsky matter.




Star Banc and Firstar agree to merge in a stock swap that values Firstar at about $6.88 billion.




Proffitt's agrees to acquire the holding company for Saks Fifth Avenue in a stock transaction valued at $2.14 billion.




Dow Corning reaches a tentative plan for bankruptcy-reorganization that would end most of the litigation filed by women with silicon breast implants.




Tina Brown says she will quit her post as editor of the New Yorker magazine to become chairman of a new multimedia unit of Disney's Miramax Films.




Congress passes the IRS-reform bill.




Four drug companies agree to pay about $350 million to settle class-action price-fixing litigation. They are Abbott, a unit of Hoechst, a unit of Rhone-Poulenc and Pharmacia & Upjohn.


Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto steps down, setting off a succession scramble.


Russia wins commitments for $22.6 billion from the IMF, the World Bank and Japan by the end of 1999.


Cendant says accounting fraud at the company was far deeper than previously thought and included widespread booking of fictitious revenue.

GM files a suit in federal district court against the UAW, laying out a legal strategy in an attempt to force an end to the Flint, Mich. strikes. GM also says earnings fell 81% in the second quarter amid $1.2 billion in losses from strikes.




Apple tops projections for its fiscal third-quarter profit, as a line of new desktop computers accelerated a turnaround.




The Nasdaq composite edges over 2000 for the first time.

Lockheed Martin abandons its proposed merger with Northrop Grumman, conceding defeat in one of the largest antitrust cases brought by the U.S. acheives the largest first-day gain of any sizable IPO this decade. Shares of the Internet company more than triple from an offering price of $18 to close at $62.75.




PepsiCo agrees to pay $3.3 billion to buy Tropicana, Seagram's juice business.

SunTrust Banks agrees to acquire Crestar for stock valued at $8.61 billion, creating the nation's 10th-largest bank.




Boeing posts earnings that were down a larger-than-expected 46% in the second quarter, and the aircraft giant warned that pricing pressures and production problems will continue to depress profits far below expectations through 1999.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange and Pacific Exchange agree to merge.




GM and the UAW reach a tentative agreement to settle the long-running strikes. The proposed pact gives GM assurances of labor peace and offers the union promises of more investment in U.S. plants.


Monica Lewinsky agrees to cooperate with prosecutor Kenneth Starr in return for immunity from prosecution. The former White House intern's mother also is given immunity.




Hercules agrees to buy BetzDearborn for $2.4 billion, plus the assumption of $700 million in debt.


Clinton agrees to give video-taped testimony in the Lewinsky case. The deal allows the president to avoid a grand jury appearance and have his lawyers present, but puts him on a schedule demanded by Starr.




Paul Allen will pay $2.5 billion for Charter Communications and assume $2 billion of the cable system's debt.






Albertson's agrees to acquire American Stores, a bigger, but weaker, competitor, for about $8.4 billion in stock. The deal will create the nation's largest supermarket company, with more than 2,470 stores in 37 states and total sales of about $36 billion.


Japan's new finance minister outlines plans to cut taxes permanently, aiming to convince financial markets and trading partners that Japan is serious about stimulating its economy.




United HealthCare's acquisition of Humana, a stock deal once valued at $5.5 billion, collapses because of a $2.9 billion drop in United HealthCare's stock value.




Livent suspends its ex-CEO and another top executive and restates earnings because of "serious irregularities" in its financial records.

Apple says more than 150,000 advance orders for its iMac computer have been placed since it began accepting the requests a week earlier.

Crude-oil prices slide to their lowest level since June as OPEC fails to keep production-cutting promises.




CalEnergy agrees to buy MidAmerican Energy for $2.65 billion, plus the assumption of $1.4 billion in debt and preferred stock.




Associates First Capital agrees to acquire Textron's Avco unit for about $3.9 billion. The move continues an aggressive acquisition strategy for Associates First, recently spun off from Ford.



MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 1999 (R4)

1997 Year-End Review of the Stock Market: What... -3-


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones




Swiss banks and Jewish groups agree on a $1.2 billion settlement of claims that the banks kept money deposited by Holocaust victims. It is to be paid out to survivors and heirs over four years.




A federal appeals court rules the FDA lacks authority to regulate the tobacco industry. The 2-1 decision caps a string of legal victories for tobacco companies and thrusts the debate over teenage smoking back before a reluctant Congress.


Hong Kong intervenes in stock and futures markets, an unprecedented step taken to derail attempts to force a currency devaluation.




Clinton admits misleading people about his relationship with Lewinsky. In a brief televised address following his testimony to the grand jury investigating allegations of an affair with the former White House intern, the president acknowledges they had an inappropriate relationship and that he hadn't been forthcoming about it in his deposition in the Paula Jones suit. But he denies committing perjury or asking others to lie.




American International Group agrees to buy SunAmerica, an industry leader in annuities, for more than $18 billion in stock. The proposed transaction is the second-biggest ever in the insurance industry and the latest megadeal in the financial-services business.




Clinton orders attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan over the Africa bombings. Cruise missiles strike Afghan camps believed used by followers of renegade Saudi tycoon Osama bin Laden, who was reported unhurt, and a suspected chemical-arms plant in Khartoum.




Global markets face additional uncertainty, analysts say, after Russian President Yeltsin dismisses his government and installs Chernomyrdin, whom Yeltsin ousted in March, as acting prime minister.




Marsh & McLennan agrees to buy Britain's Sedgwick Group for about $2 billion, further expanding the U.S. insurance broker's dominance of the industry.

Quark proposes buying Adobe Systems, a much larger maker of electronic-publishing software that suffers from slow sales and a declining stock price. Adobe rejects the offer.




Russia's central bank says it will stop supporting the ruble, allowing the currency to plunge. The central bank also cancels dollar trading on the Moscow currency exchange.




South Korea says its GDP contracted 6.6% in the second quarter, throwing the country into a recession.




The Dow Jones industrials fall 512.61 points, or 6.37%, to 7539.07, wiping out what remained of the year's gains. Blue-chip stocks are down 19.26% from their July high. The Nasdaq Composite falls 140.43, its worst point drop ever, to 1499.25.




The Dow industrials rebound 288.36 points, or 3.82%, to 7827.43, marking their second-biggest point gain and the heaviest Big Board trading ever.

Malaysia announces sweeping currency controls, including an end to trading its currency abroad.




Financial firms lose more than $8 billion so far in the fallout from Russia's financial collapse.

A Swissair jet crashes off Nova Scotia, killing 229. The Geneva-bound MD-11 reported smoke in the cockpit shortly after takeoff from New York, and was attempting an emergency landing in Halifax. Later findings bolster suspicion the MD-11 had a massive electrical failure.



Malaysian shares fall 21.5%, their largest percentage drop ever, as a regulatory reprieve gives foreigners their first chance to sell since Sept. 1.



Starr delivers his impeachment report, putting Clinton in severe peril. The report, totaling hundreds of pages, and 36 boxes of supporting evidence are delivered to the Capitol and put in a guarded room, where they stay until the House works out rules for reviewing the material. The report is released on the Internet. Later in the month, Americans watch television broadcasts of Clinton's grand-jury testimony.




A rocket carrying satellites built by Loral for the Globalstar mobile-phone system explodes after liftoff in Russia, dealing another blow to the satellite industry and rattling investors.


Yeltsin names Yevgeny Primakov, the foreign minister, as Russia's premier.



Northwest pilots approve a new four-year contract. But the strike's effects are likely to linger, as Northwest says it expects to post losses in the third and fourth quarters and for all of 1998.


Ford installs a leadership team led by William Clay Ford Jr. and Jacques Nasser, giving the company added stability and a clearer succession picture than its domestic rivals.




WorldCom completes its $37 billion acquisition of MCI, forming a telecom giant that hopes to challenge the Baby Bells, AT&T and foreign carriers.



GM launches an all-out marketing push, including financing deals and cash rebates of as much as $3,000 a vehicle, in an effort to force its U.S. market share back up to 30% of light-vehicle sales.



Lockheed agrees to buy Comsat in a two-step deal valued at $2.7 billion.

Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles takes himself out of the lineup against the New York Yankees, ending his record consecutive-games streak at 2,632. He beat Lou Gehrig's mark of 2,130 in 1995.




Japan's second-largest leasing firm files for bankruptcy-court protection, with liabilities of more than $16 billion. It marks one of the biggest failures in Japan's postwar history.


Helmut Kohl loses the chancellorship of Germany after 16 years in power. Conceding victory to Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder and stepping down as Christian Democratic leader, Kohl's defeat comes amid economic uncertainty and reinforces Europe's swing to the left.


"Fast track" legislation fails in a 243-180 vote in the House that the White House claims is held only to divide Democrats before elections.



The Fed cuts a key short-term rate by one-quarter percentage point, in a pre-emptive strike against recession. It is the first rate decrease since January 1996, but some investors are disappointed the cut wasn't bigger.



MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 1999 (R4)

1997 Year-End Review of the Stock Market: What... -4-


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones




Bond yields fall below 5% for the first time since 1967 as nervous investors flock to Treasury securities. Meanwhile, major banks cut their prime lending rates by 0.25 percentage point to 8.25%, the first reduction in two years.

Clinton celebrates the first budget surplus in 29 years, estimated at $70 billion.



Fed Chairman Greenspan, defending the rescue of Long-Term Capital Management, paints a frightening picture of the damage that the hedge fund's failure could have inflicted on global economies.



The U.S. unveils its plan to stanch the global economic crisis, including a preapproved credit line for soundly managed countries that fall victim to investor panic.



The Justice Department files an antitrust lawsuit accusing Visa and MasterCard, jointly owned by a consortium of banks, of stifling competition and innovation.



Citigroup warns with a warning that third-quarter combined earnings for the giant formed by Citicorp and Travelers were hurt by $1 billion in losses from global markets.


Clear Channel wins the bidding for Jacor Communications, agreeing to buy the radio-station owner for stock valued at about $3.39 billion and the assumption of $1.23 billion of debt.


The House votes 258-176 to begin an open-ended Clinton-impeachment inquiry.



Intel exceeds Wall Street's expectations for third-quarter earnings, suggesting that conditions in the world-wide PC industry may finally be improving.


Safeway agrees to buy Dominick's Supermarkets for $1.2 billion plus the assumption of about $646.2 million of debt.


Merrill Lynch says it will cut 3,400 jobs and let go 900 consultants who were working full time.


Cendant ends its agreement to buy American Bankers Insurance after the two companies fail to agree on how to restructure the deal.



BankAmerica reports an unexpectedly steep 78% decline in third-quarter earnings. Most of the damage came from volatile global markets and a loss tied to a securities-trading account shared with D.E. Shaw, an investment firm.

Apple exceeds profit estimates for the fourth quarter, as the iMac system's popularity helps the company's sales outpace the industry's growth.



Clinton and Congress agree on a $500 billion-plus budget package.

The Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by one-quarter percentage point, sending stock and bond prices soaring. The surprise move, reflecting worries about cautious lending and unsettled financial markets, pushes the Dow Jones industrials to their third-biggest point gain ever, 330.58, or 4.15%



McKesson agrees to acquire medical-software supplier HBO & Co. for stock valued at $14.46 billion in a deal that creates a new category of health-care giant.


Kroger reaches a pact to acquire Fred Meyer and form the largest U.S. supermarket chain. The transaction values Fred Meyer at about $8 billion plus assumption of $4.8 billion in debt.


AOL gives prosecutors new evidence that appears to support charges that Microsoft illegally attempted to stifle competition from Netscape in Internet browser software.



 Clorox agrees to buy First Brands for $1.6 billion plus the assumption of $440 million in debt.


Newell agrees to acquire Rubbermaid for about $5.8 billion in stock.



Bankers Trust reports a worse-than-expected loss of $488 million for the third quarter. It was battered by markdowns on its Russian securities, trading losses in Latin America and deteriorating U.S. stock underwriting.




George Soros says he will shut down his emerging-market hedge fund.

The NBA cancels all its games through Nov. 30. Players forgo a total of about $200 million in pay, and some of the NBA's teams forfeit well over $2 million for each missed contest.




Democrats surpass expectations, especially in the midterm congressional races. On the Senate side, incumbent Republicans D'Amato and Faircloth lose. Embattled Democrats such as Hollings, Boxer and Feingold hold on, while Moseley-Braun is defeated. In House races, the GOP fares poorly. Democrats take Alabama and South Carolina governorships as well as the key California race, though the GOP keeps a strong majority in statehouses as George W. Bush holds Texas and brother Jeb takes Florida.



Osama bin Laden is charged, along with top aide Muhammad Atef, with plotting the Aug. 7 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in an indictment handed up in a New York federal court.


Newt Gingrich's decision to quit the House plunges the GOP into chaos. The announcement by the man who led his party to control of Congress in 1994 takes the capital by surprise.



Brazil reaches a pact with leading countries and lenders on a $42 billion rescue package, in a move aimed at preventing the financial crisis from spreading through South America.



Tobacco companies agree to pay as much as $206 billion to 46 states to settle suits seeking to recover smoking-related health costs. The accord is reached by attorneys general from eight states and the top four tobacco concerns.

Japan's prime minister outlines the government's largest-ever stimulus package, valued at nearly $195 billion.


The U.S. backs off a threat of airstrikes against Iraq as Baghdad accedes to demands. Clinton says he accepted Iraqi pledges of "unfettered access" for U.N. arms inspectors, assurances provided after word of Baghdad's reversal led him to abort an attack with B-52s already in the air.



Sun Microsystems wins a resounding victory in a contract dispute with Microsoft, as a federal judge orders Microsoft to rewrite parts of Windows 98 and other products to comply with Sun's version of the Java programming language.


Israel's Knesset approves an interim peace deal with the Palestinians by a vote of 75-19.



Rep. Robert Livingston is picked as House speaker as Rep. J.C. Watts wins a leadership post.



The judge in Microsoft's antitrust trial criticizes Bill Gates, saying he "has not been particularly responsive" to the government's questions. The comments by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson suggest that he gives less than total credibility to testimony by the software giant's chairman and may be casting a skeptical eye on the company's defense.



MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 1999 (R4)

1997 Year-End Review of the Stock Market: What... -5-


The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones



Tyco International agrees to acquire AMP for at least $11.3 billion in stock.

The deal comes nearly four months after AlliedSignal launched a $10 billion bid for AMP. AlliedSignal says it won't try to top Tyco's offer.



Deutsche Bank agrees to acquire Bankers Trust for about $9.7 billion, a deal that will likely have as much impact in Europe as it will in the U.S.



International Paper agrees to buy Union Camp for stock valued at $5 billion, sending the shares of its smaller rival soaring 33%. International Paper also says it will assume $1.6 billion of Union Camp debt.





Boeing announces sharp production cutbacks and the elimination of as many as 20,000 additional jobs through 2000, as it acknowledges the impact of Asia's financial problems on its strategy. The company already had decided to cut 28,000 jobs and trim some assembly-line schedules, partly in response to the turmoil in Asia. A day later, Boeing warns that its operations may be hurt by Asia's economic woes for as long as five years.


Total of France agrees to pay a big premium for Petrofina in a stock deal valuing the Belgian company at about $12.9 billion.



 James P. Hoffa, 57 years old, wins the Teamsters presidency as his main rival concedes.




The White House opens its defense against the impeachment of Clinton. Also,

Reno won't seek an independent counsel on Clinton's role in campaign ads. The attorney general, closing the door on a further inquiry in the area, finds "no reasonable grounds" to investigate the president's involvementin raising funds for and shaping the $65 million 1995 ad campaign.


 Britain's Zeneca and Sweden's Astra agree to a merger pact valued at about $35 billion, a transaction that would create a European drug giant.



Aetna agrees to purchase Prudential Insurance's health-care business for $1 billion, announcing its third big acquisition in less than three years.


The move makes Aetna the nation's largest health-insurance company, a giant that will provide health-care services to one in every 10 Americans.




Arbitrators award $8.2 billion to be divided among attorneys representing

Florida, Texas and Mississippi in suits against the tobacco industry. The Florida team's $3.43 billion is the largest attorneys' fee in U.S. history.

The House Judiciary panel approves four articles of impeachment during the weekend, and votes down a censure motion on mostly party lines.



Owens Corning agrees to pay $1.2 billion in a private asbestos settlement with 50 plaintiffs' law firms, potentially resolving almost all pending suits against the company over asbestos and providing for payment of future claims.



Clinton unleashes strikes on Iraq; the House postpones impeachment debate. The president says he ordered the attack after a U.N. report said recent arms inspections had been blocked. The U.S.-British attacks end after four days.




Netanyahu's government falls and Israel heads for early elections sometime in the spring.






Iraq fires three missiles at patrolling U.S. warplanes, which retaliate in kind. A few days later, Iraq fires missiles at allied warplanes patrolling a southern zone from which Iraqi military flights are banned, and the U.S. again responds by bombing a launch site.




AT&T receives the Justice Department's approval for its proposed $32 billion acquisition of cable giant TCI, paving the way for AT&T to enter the residential local-phone business.


British Petroleum wins U.S. government approval for its $52.41 billion buyout of Amoco with minimal antitrust conditions.



1998 Scoreboard


Investments (total returns)


1998 1997 1996




Dow Jones Industrial Average 18.13% 25.05% 29.13%

Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index 23.58* 33.17 23.07

Wilshire 5000 Stock Index 23.43* 31.29 21.21



Lehman Bros. Long Term Treas Index

13.52% 15.08% - 0.81%

Lehman Bros. Long Term AA-Rated Bond Index

10.22 13.53 1.56


Lehman Bros. Municipal Bond Index 6.48 9.19 4.06


Lehman Bros. Intermediate Term Treas Index

8.62 7.69 3.99


Lehman Bros. Mortgage-backed Securities Index

6.96 9.49 5.48




Lipper Growth Fund Index 25.65% 28.03% 17.53%

Lipper Growth and Income Fund Index13.58 28.88 20.67

Lipper Balanced Fund Index 15.09 20.30 13.05

Lipper International Fund Index 12.66 7.25 14.43

BANK INSTRUMENTS (Bank Rate Monitor National Index)


One-Year Certificate of Deposit 4.81% 5.15% 4.90%

30-month certificate of deposit 4.93 5.34 5.14

Money Market Deposit Account 2.49 2.60 2.70



IBC Financial Data/ 12 month yield on all taxable funds

5.04%* 5.10% 4.95%



Platinum - 1.70% - 1.01% -5.93%

Gold - 0.24 -21.48 -4.87

Silver -16.17 25.01 -8.01



Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (repeat sale index)


5.00%* 4.50% 3.20%

*Estimate Source: Wilshire Associates


Consumers' Purchases


1998 1997 1996

SINGLE-FAMILY HOME $122,600** $114,600 $104,600

Median resale price in Dallas


FORD TAURUS 17,995 18,995 19,495

Sticker price, plus destination charge, for the base model

MCDONALD'S BIG MAC 1.99 1.92 1.86

Average recommended price



Average national price per gallon, including all taxes (self-service)


LIPSTICK 7.75 7.50 7.30

Revlon Moondrops Lipstick


PAIR OF JEANS 36.00 34.00 34.00

Gap's Easy Fit, antique, national price



78.50 71.69 66.00

Average cost of federal, state and local tax return preparation by H & R Block



LAWN CARE 525.00 525.00 475.00

Average price for one year of fertilizer and pesticide treatment in Northern New



CLEARING A CLOGGED SINK 74.00 69.00 69.00

Roto Rooter sewer and drain service (Beverly Hills, Calif.)


MOVIE TICKET 6.50 6.50 6.50

Adult ticket; first run theater; evening (Dallas)


AIRLINE TICKET 393.00 388.00 324.50

Seven-day advance purchase in December, New York to Los Angeles via Trans World



VACATION 1,349 1,418 1,395

One week for an adult at Club Med's Punta Cana resort, including air fare (from

Miami, Nov.-Dec.)


A YEAR IN COLLEGE 10,350 10,032 9,323

In-state, including room & board, undergraduate student at Penn State


FUNERAL 4,782.46 4,782.46 4,624.00

Average cost in upstate New York


Sources: National Assoc. of Realtors; Lundberg Survey; Royal Lawns of New Jersey

Inc.; AMC Entertainment Inc.; National Funeral Directors Association


**Based on figures through Sept. 30