TANTRUMS AND CHAMPAGNE

AFTER A FACE-OFF BETWEEN THE U.S. AND FRANCE, U.N. INSIDER KOFI ANNAN OF GHANA GETS THE TOP POST

The formal vote was hours away, but by lunchtime the champagne corks were popping on the 37th floor of the United Nations Secretariat in New York City. The preceding weeks had been filled with intense diplomatic scuffling, terminating in one final big-power temper tantrum. But by 1 o'clock Friday afternoon, it was certain that Kofi Annan of Ghana was to be the seventh Secretary-General of the U.N., succeeding the reluctantly retiring Boutros Boutros-Ghali on Jan. 1. The jubilation in the U.N. building was heartfelt: Annan was perhaps the most popular candidate among those who worked for the organization. But will an...

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