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November 17, 1996
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 267


Media - Good Morning Columbus

The New York Times found out last week that "last August" in the vicinity of Belgrade a Russian transportation plane of the "IL-76" type crashed with a dubious load intended for Libya. In a rather long article the renown newspaper further uncovers that "Western embassies, on the basis of carefully guarded intelligence sources, have recently concluded" that the plane was headed for Malta bearing a load of a military nature intended for Libya, which however presents a violation of the UN sanctions against Libya from 1988. The New York Times is just like Politika: if your obituary is not published in Politika, you still aren't dead; until it is published in Times, it still hasn't happened. Namely, the whole incident surrounding the "IL-76" plane was concluded and filed by the end of August (see VREME no. 255 and 256) and since then, nothing has occurred regarding that topic. It is hard to believe that the Western embassies have only "recently" come upon the above mentioned conclusions, since the Russian side (Military Insurance Institute) has publicly revealed all data with regards to the load, the destination and those who had hired the plane shortly after the accident, and those particulars were supplemented by the Maltese traffic agent. It seems closer to the truth that someone had only "recently" come to the conclusion that a three-month-old news story should be presented as a scandalous discovery: Milosevic is smuggling weapons for Khadaffi, and "Washington has restrained from accusing the Serbian President for smuggling weapons, who is also held to be America's key partner in the Balkans", says The New Times. The daily further quotes a high ranking Western diplomat who defends Milosevic: "Sometimes the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing". American media has neatly avoided to publish this news in August, even though it was well-known and accessible to all: it was presented in the Belgrade, Maltese and Russian daily and weekly press and agency reports. So what is it all about? Was The New York Times covering up for Bill Clinton in August prior to the elections, or were they covering up for Milosevic prior to the elections, or were they covering up for both of them? Was somebody, by way of the Times, reminding Milosevic of that regretful incident? Or did the Balkan correspondent have no worthier news to send in that day?

Tax - Bristling Lawyers

Recently, a three-day-long strike of the Belgrade lawyers due to the brutal taxes which the government had imposed upon them did not bring about any changes, so the dissatisfied lawyers are preparing a new strike from the 15 until the 22 of November. At least, that is what has been decided at the irregular session of the Bar of Belgrade on which five hundred lawyers gathered.

Even though they are awaiting negotiations at the Ministry of Enterpreneurship and talks with the director of the Republic Tax Office, lawyers are thinking of a two-week strike in case the planned week-long strike is concluded by a defeat of the lawyers.

During the strike - if it comes about - lawyers shall not appear on any trials, or administrative procedure etc. They shall not send out any complaints nor appeals, except in cases when their clients would be injured due to such omitting. The Bar of Vojvodina is disposed towards joining the Belgrade Bar, so that the lawyer's strike could coincide with the strike of the taxi drivers who are irritated due to taxes...

One thing that is certain is that people who are traveling abroad - either by using their own car or by other means of transport - shall never in an organized and mass way be hindered from traveling abroad, which means that the atrocious tax for departure from the country, tax which is paid for the vehicle and each individual citizen, shall live on as long as this nation and its government.

Cat Call Eliminator

On the Sunday match of the football teams of Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic (1:0) - in the introductory part, dedicated to flags and national anthems - the "unpleasant" yet very common cat calls occurred from part of the reactionary disposed public (especially from the "grave-diggers" i.e. Partizan club sympathizers). Witnesses, and in a large part actors of the inopportune act (over 50 thousand of them) probably didn't even dream of the pitfall that awaited them nor knew how futile their act really was. The tough TV and radio employees hard at work on live coverage thought of a way in which millions of viewers throughout the homeland with the sounds of the national anthem 'Hej Sloveni' fail to register a single different sound: the microphones of radio-television practically penetrated the "insides" of the stadium loudspeakers which were transmitting the incriminated melody.

The millions auditorium was therefore convinced of the good manners and conduct of the present stadium public, while protagonists and witnesses of the cat calls shall not launch an official protest due to media blockade.

Homage to the Sponsor

Correctly interpreting the climate of the times and its connection to the partisan culture, the famous chorus of the in no way less famed youth culture-artistic society Ivo Lola Ribar from Belgrade has changed its name which it had carried for more than fifty years. From now on, the chorus shall go under the name of the Chorus of the Academy of Arts since, as daily press reports, the premises, piano and material support was provided by the Academy of Arts of the Braca Karic University.

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