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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-03-26

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

March 26, 2000


  • [01] US experts to train teams in quake rescue techniques
  • [02] Both sides gather to help leukaemia boy
  • [03] 'No way=will we join EU talks, says Denktash
  • [04] Man charged after death of pedestrian
  • [05] No one=s Russian to fill this vacancy
  • [06] Wife sues after death of her husband
  • [07] Lighten up, guys' call to Miss Universe opponents

  • [01] US experts to train teams in quake rescue techniques

    By George Psyllides

    A TEAM of Cypriots will travel to the United States in September to undergo rigorous training in search and rescue techniques.

    In a further move in the effort to create professional rescue teams, prompted by the deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Greece in August and September last year, two American experts have been helping to select a team from the fire service, civil defence, police, and medical staff, and to assess community needs concerning earthquake response. They are on the island after being brought by the US embassy and the Fulbright Commission.

    The eight-day course in Miami, Florida, will cover training in advanced search and rescue techniques of collapsed buildings. It is aimed at personnel with direct responsibility for locating victims trapped in rubble as a result of earthquakes and other disasters.

    Captain Mike Canfield of the Miami-Dade Fire Search and Rescue told The Sunday Mailhe and his colleague Capt. Alan Perry were here to carry out a needs assessment on what the Cypriots will require in training.

    They will use the findings from their visit to set up a course tailor-made to the needs of the team from Cyprus.

    Capt. Perry said the September course would be a comprehensive and strenuous class under hot weather conditions which could be worse than Cyprus because of the humidity in Florida.

    "They will be trained in everything from how to search for people in the ruins, the use of listening devices, how to cut and lift concrete, administering first aid to trapped persons, and packaging and bringing them out," Perry said.

    "We are the people who come in immediately after the disaster and try to save lives. That is our mission," Canfield added.

    After the course the team will be evaluated and be ready to pass on what they have learned to other rescue teams set up on the island.

    The US experts stressed they are just a part of an overall team whose aim is to rescue people. To be successful in their task all members of the team must function well and co-ordinate properly.

    Asked if Cyprus was ready to tackle a big disaster, both men said it appeared to be on the right track -- but projects like this need time to get up and running properly.

    Captains Canfield and Perry have many years= experience in earthquake search and rescue, and took part in missions in Turkey in last August, in Taiwan, Colombia, and after the deadly terrorist bomb attack in April 1995 at Oklahoma City in the US.

    March 26, 2000

    [02] Both sides gather to help leukaemia boy

    By Jean Christou

    FOUR youth groups comprising Greek and Turkish Cypriots have organised a bicommunal festival for today in Pergamos to help a six-year old Greek Cypriot boy with leukaemia.

    Pergamos village is on the dividing line between the British bases and the Turkish-controlled areas.

    The festival will begin at 2pm and run until 6pm in the village park and will incorporate blood donations as part of the drive to find a bone marrow donor for Andreas Vassiliou who desperately needs a transplant.

    "A lot of blood has been shed in wars in our country and now we have the chance to donate blood together, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, hoping it will give life to Andreas," said Nicos Anastassiou, one of the event's organisers.

    Both communities will participate in the festival which will comprise traditional song and dance and the release of hundreds of white balloons and doves.

    Anastassiou said efforts to organise the event at the UN-controlled Ledra Palace hotel in Nicosia's the Green Line fell through after the breakaway regime refused to allow Turkish Cypriots to attend.

    'The Turkish Cypriots joining us are very brave and the least we can do for them is to back them with our presence there," said Anastassiou. "We live in hope and I call on everybody, irrespective of age, to join us to show that the two communities can live together.

    "Andreas' plight has prompted an unprecedented campaign to find a donor, not only in Cyprus but also in Greece and the rest of the world. In the past week more than 30,000 people have given blood in an attempt to find a match.

    Tomorrow some 500 Turkish Cypriots are expected to cross to the Ledra Palace between 5pm and 8pm to donate blood. The UN has been in contact with the Karaiskakio Foundation in an effort to find a way for the samples to be collected.

    New machinery is expected tomorrow to help speed up sample testing to around 1,000 a day. Tests to date have not found a suitable match for Andreas, but donors have been found for two other children needing bone marrow transplants.

    March 26, 2000

    [03] 'No way=will we join EU talks, says Denktash

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has ruled out any possibility of his breakaway regime participating in Cyprus' EU accession negotiations.

    According to yesterday's Turkish Cypriot press, and following a meeting late on Friday with EU Commissioner for enlargement Guenter Verheugen, Denktash ruled out participation but said contacts between Turkish Cypriots and the EU would continue.

    Verheugen, who left the island yesterday after a three-day visit, made it clear that accession talks will only be held with the government of Cyprus.

    But he said his talks with Denktash were carried out in "an honest climate". He had gone to the north to try to persuade the Turkish Cypriot side to join the Cypriot negotiating team.

    But reports from the north yesterday said Denktash denied the EU envoy had done so, and ruled out the possibility of that happening in any case.

    Kibris said that during his meetings in the north Verheugen tried to convince the Turkish side by explaining the economic and social benefits accruing from EU membership.

    However Verheugen made it clear to the Turkish Cypriots that no separate talks could take place between them and the EU. Cyprus could only speak with one voice, he said.

    Reports yesterday in the Greek Cypriot press said that when Verheugen went to cross to the north on Friday night for his dinner with Denktash that Turkish Cypriot &gt;police= kept him and his delegation waiting at the checkpoint for 15 minutes along with Greek Cypriot journalists waiting to cross.

    Earlier on Friday Verheugen urged Turkish Cypriots to follow Turkey=s lead by developing the same goodwill which is emerging between Ankara and Athens. He warned they could find themselves out in the cold when Greek Cypriots finally join the EU and when Turkey eventually becomes a member.

    Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou yesterday expressed satisfaction with Verheugen's visit, saying the EU envoy had sent all the "right messages".

    "I think his presence has made clear the message of the Helsinki summit, and we hope the Turkish side receives this message as soon as possible," Papapetrou said.

    March 26, 2000

    [04] Man charged after death of pedestrian

    A 69-year-old man involved in a road accident which claimed the life of a 79-year-old in the Limassol district on Friday was charged and released, police said yesterday.

    Nicos Thrasyvoulides from Doros village was killed at around 7.30pm after he was hit by a car driven by Dimitris Karayiannis.

    Police said Thrasyvoulides was walking on the left side of the road when he was apparently hit from behind.

    Karayiannis left the scene of the accident and went to his daughter's house in Lania but later returned with her and reported the incident to police.

    March 26, 2000

    [05] No one=s Russian to fill this vacancy

    CYPRUS Airways is having trouble finding anyone to run its Moscow office, sources at the company revealed yesterday.

    Following a report in Politis newspaper criticising the airline for allegedly paying an employee ,100 a day in addition to his salary, a company source said the man posted to the Russian capital doesn't even want to be there.

    The sources could not confirm how much the employee is receiving to work in Moscow, but said the matter would be investiated.

    Politis said the airline's representative was receiving two salaries.

    But the sources said the report was exaggerated. "We had someone in Moscow but he left some time ago and it has been difficult to find someone to replace him," the sources said.

    "We sent this man from Cyprus and he is paid an allowance because it's a peculiar market and life is very expensive there. We tried to find some people but even this man wants to leave there and it is not easy to find a replacement."

    March 26, 2000

    [06] Wife sues after death of her husband

    LAWYERS for the wife of a man killed in a road accident last year have filed suit for between ,250,000 and ,1 million in damages.

    The suit was filed at the Limassol District Court, according to lawyer John Erotokritou, representing Veronica Siammas.

    Her husband Elias, 43, a father of one from Lakatamia, was killed on September 2 near the Yermasoyia roundabout. He had stopped his car to answer his mobile phone in accordance with a new law prohibiting the use of such phones while driving.

    As Siammas got out of the car he was hit by a vehicle driven by Sigma journalist Apostolos Vassiliou from Strovolos, who later failed an alcotest carried out at the scene. He was charged and released.

    Damages are being sought from Vassiliou for alleged negligence and/or a breach of legal duties for driving under the influence of alcohol.

    March 26, 2000

    [07] Lighten up, guys' call to Miss Universe opponents

    By Jean Christou

    THE government has hit back at opposition to its plans to light up Aphrodite's Rock for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant.

    Last week the House Environment Committee shelved plans by Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis to light up the rock, the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite.

    The Committee said the rock lies in a coastal protection zone and that its environs could be affected by works connected with the lighting. Work had already begun when the House decided to protest.

    But an announcement from the Ministry, released yesterday, said they were surprised by the reaction of the House.

    "The reaction should have been to draw attention to the reasons as to why the lighting of Aphrodite's Rock has not been carried out all these years," the statement said.

    It added that in all countries of the world the national monuments are lit up at night including the pyramids of Egypt.

    "One wonders why Cypriot monuments have to remain dark, grey and inaccessible," the Ministry said.

    If the lighting project does go ahead it will have to be finished by mid-April in order to be ready for the Miss Universe beauty pageant on May 13 in Nicosia.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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