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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-05-19

Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>

CONTENTS

_WEDNESDAY 19/5/99_

  • [01] HEADLINES
  • [02] CLERIDES SODERBERG
  • [03] YUGOSLAVIA TALKS
  • [04] YUGOSLAVIA STRIKES
  • [05] RUSSIA PM
  • [06] ISRAEL BARAK
  • [07] ANASTASIADES CLAY
  • [08] KYPRIANOU IRAN
  • [09] BASES THISEAS
  • [10] CIVIL AVIATION STRIKE
  • [11] WEATHER

  • [01] HEADLINES

    --- At least four people were killed and 15 wounded when NATO planes struck a town in Kosovo today.

    --- Russian Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin arrived in Belgrade today to meet with President Slobodan Milosevic.

    --- Acting Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin won approval from parliament today.

    --- Israel's election winner Ehud Barak today ruled out any dealings with the powerful Shas party.

    AND

    --- House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, today said that the incident against the Cyprus Embassy in Tehran was an effort to prevent improving relations with Iran.

    [02] CLERIDES SODERBERG

    US Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs to the UN, Nancy Soderberg, today expressed satisfaction with the Cyprus government's decision to align with EU policy on Kosovo.

    In statements after being received by President Glafcos Clerides, Mrs Soderberg said she came to Cyprus as a US ambassador to the UN, both to reiterate President Clinton's and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's support for a comprehensive settlement to the problems in Cyprus.

    She also came in a capacity from the UN where they are focused on supporting the peace keeping troops in Cyprus.

    Mrs Soderberg said she had a very good discussion with President Clerides who is a very good friend of the US and is a very strong partner in all the US efforts.

    [03] YUGOSLAVIA TALKS

    Russian Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin arrived in Belgrade today to brief President Slobodan Milosevic during a brief pause in negotiations with the United States over the future of Kosovo.

    Mr Chernomyrdin was reported to have gone straight into a meeting with the Yugoslav leader after arriving from talks with US envoy Strobe Talbott in Helsinki, which he is due to resume tomorrow in Moscow.

    Although no breakthrough was achieved in the Helsinki talks, Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari indicated that progress had been made.

    On his arrival in Belgrade Mr Chernomyrdin was quoted as calling for a halt to NATO's air strikes.

    The timing of a ceasefire in NATO's campaign is one of the major differences between Russia and the West, which wants proof that Serbian troops are being withdrawn from Kosovo before calling a halt.

    Mr Chernomyrdin had hoped that Mr Ahtisaari would accompany him to Belgrade, but the Finnish president made it clear such a joint mission had to wait until Western and Russian views converge.

    The veteran Finnish diplomat mediated as a European Union voice in the US-Russian talks and is expected eventually to take the international community's peace terms to Yugoslavia.

    The main differences between Washington and Moscow are over the makeup of an international peace force to oversee the return of refugees to Kosovo, and on a ceasefire

    [04] YUGOSLAVIA STRIKES

    At least four people were killed and 15 wounded when NATO planes struck a town in Kosovo today,.

    The Serb-run Media Centre in the provincial capital Pristina reported that the victims were in a restaurant when the offices of a local construction company and a number of other buildings were hit.

    The attack came after one of the quietest nights since NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia began nearly two months ago as the alliance cancelled most of the planned missions due to bad weather.

    NATO said in Brussels its warplanes had destroyed six Yugoslav aircraft on the ground during the night but added that only 58 of the planned 425 sorties had been flown.

    NATO missiles hit suburbs of the Yugoslav capital Belgrade and parts of Kosovo last night but there were no further bombing reports anywhere in Serbia, until daybreak today.

    NATO missiles and bombs have pummelled much of Yugoslavia's industry and infrastructure in a campaign to immobilise the Yugoslav military and reverse the mass expulsion of separatist-minded ethnic Albanians from Kosovo.

    NATO has increasingly been striking at troops and tanks in Kosovo itself as well.

    [05] RUSSIA PM

    Acting Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin won approval from parliament today after pledging tough measures to improve the dreary living standards of millions affected by post-communist turmoil.

    But parliamentarians said the endorsement by the State Duma was largely a result of a desire to avoid further confrontation with President Boris Yeltsin. And they were unenthusiastic about the new premier's prospects of dragging Russia out of crisis.

    Mr Stepashin said it would take him about a week to form a government and immediately embarked on a two-hour meeting with Mr Yeltsin.

    The president has clearly emerged stronger from a turbulent week marked by his sacking of Stepashin's predecessor Yevgeny Primakov and an unsuccessful attempt by parliament to impeach him.

    [06] ISRAEL BARAK

    Israel's election winner Ehud Barak today ruled out any dealings with the powerful Shas party, in his push for a broad-based government, as long as its graft-stained leader Aryeh Deri stays at the helm.

    The ultra-Orthodox Jewish party's spectacular showing in Monday's vote and the tussle over Deri, for years a maker and breaker of coalition governments, confronted Barak with his first conundrum in forging a wide coalition.

    Deri, free pending appeal against a four-year jail sentence for corruption and fraud, resigned from parliament yesterday in a move widely seen as a step to boost Shas's chances of a place in government.

    He said, however, that he would stay on as chairman of Shas, the standard-bearer of working-class Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent. It raised its strength in the 120-member Knesset from 10 to 17 seats.

    Mr Barak wants control of up to two-thirds of the 120 seats in parliament to pursue his agenda for peace with the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon and to try to bridge the social, religious and ethnic gaps that divide Israel.

    [07] ANASTASIADES CLAY

    Democratic Rally leader, Nicos Anastasiades, met today with Britain's new High Commissioner in Nicosia, Edward Clay, and told him that London must participate in an initiative to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after the meeting, Mr Anastasiades said that Mr Clay expressed Britain's intention to work towards a solution, so that when Cyprus is ready to accede to the European Union, it will not be faced by a dilemma.

    Mr Clay was asked to comment on a press report that six Intelligent Service agents worked in Cyprus through the High Commission.

    He said that these reports, either true or false, are very harmful and dangerous.

    Mr Clay also met with AKEL Secretary-General, Demetris Christofias.

    The left-wing party issued a statement after the meeting, saying that Mr Christofias analysed AKEL's views on the Cyprus problem, stressing that efforts towards a solution must remain in the context of the United Nations.

    [08] KYPRIANOU IRAN

    House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, returned today from Iran.

    Speaking at Larnaca airport, Mr Kyprianou said that the incident against the Cyprus Embassy in Tehran was an effort to prevent improving relations with Iran.

    He said he had not been informed about the letter containing threats, that was sent to the Cypriot Ambassador.

    Mr Kyprianou said that he would hold talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the whole matter.

    [09] BASES THISEAS

    The British Bases today announced that the Civil Defence "Thiseas" maneuvres, being carried out in Akrotiri, were not connected in any way to the Kosovo crisis.

    They said that the aim of the exercise was to implement new plans drawn up after last year's fire at Paramali.

    RAF squadron leader, Steve Butler, said that the exercises are based on an earthquake scenario, the devastation it would cause and the problems created.

    Mr Butler dismissed allegations that the British Bases were carrying out a drill on how to tackle an attack against them.

    [10] CIVIL AVIATION STRIKE

    Workers at the Civil Aviation staged a two-hour strike today, demanding pay rises.

    The strike, which began at 10 o'clock, affected both Larnaca and Paphos airports, as all flights were shifted two hours.

    The Civil Aviation workers are also opposed to the privatisation of airports.

    They claim that the Cyprus airports are the most profitable in Europe and that their privatisation would mean losses of 20 million pounds a year for the Government.

    If privatised, the airports would also have to lay off 80 workers.

    [11] WEATHER

    Tomorrow will be fine.

    winds will be northeasterly, moderate, three to four beaufort, and the sea will be moderate.

    The temperature will reach 29 degrees inland, 24 on the coast, and 19 over the mountains.

    The fire hazard is high in all forest areas.


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