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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-05-31

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

From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <>


MONDAY 31 MAY 1999


  • [06] YUGO PEACE
  • [07] YUGO WAR
  • [10] SPACE PEACE

    Diplomatic peace initiatives on resolving the Kosovo crisis intensify, while NATO shows no signs of relaxing its offensive;

    Britain's Ambassador to Greece says that a unitary state in Cyprus never formed an agreed objective in efforts towards a solution;

    The trial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan began today, amid tight security measures;

    A stampede in Minsk leads to the deaths of over 50 people;

    Flights to and from Larnaka airport were today affected by industrial action and bad weather;


    Today marked the Greek Orthodox feast day of Kataklysmos.

  • [02] KATAKLYSMOS Today marked the Greek Orthodox feast of Kataklysmos, corresponding to the Bank Holiday of Whit Monday in the western church, and, according to tradition, thousands of bathers descended upon the island's beaches, also driven there by the relatively high temperatures.

    Today's feast day however also featured the omnipresent street-vendors along urban promenades, as well as swimming competitions and traditional contests, expected to culminate tonight with a series of events in all of the island's coastal towns.

    Even though the name "kataklysmos" refers to the biblical flood, hence the association with water, today's feast day commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, 50 days after Easter.

  • [03] AIRPORT STOPPAGE Some three thousand passengers and twelve flights were today affected by a pre-announced two-hour work stoppage by hourly-paid personnel at Larnaka airport.

    The 12 noon to two p.m. stoppage was held as a show of solidarity with the striking employees of the two Lordos Holding Company hotels, about to enter their fourth month of industrial action.

    Strike measures however were not the only thing which hampered operation of Larnaka airport during the past 24 hours, as low visibility in the early hours of this morning led to the temporary stopover, in Paphos, of seven flights which eventually landed in Larnaka several hours late.

  • [04] NIOTIS CLERIDES Visiting Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Gregoris Niotis was this morning received by President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides.

    After the meeting and answering reporters' questions, Mr Niotis stated that there are no objections to a NATO participation in a peace-keeping force in Cyprus, provided the detachment taks place after a solution is reached. As regards Cyprus' EU-accession process, the Greek official said that this will act as a catalyst towards a final solution, adding that while desirable, a solution has never been a prerequisite for accession. Mr Niotis further mentioned that he was briefed by President Clerides on salient aspects of the Cyprus Issue, while he in turn briefed the Cypriot President on Greece's initiatives for a political solution to the Kosovo crisis.

    In closing, Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister for expatriate matters said that he extended an invitation to President Clerides to attend the workings of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad congress, scheduled to be held in Thessaloniki in December, and that the invitation was accepted.

  • [05] MADDEN UNITARY NO Britain's Ambassador to Greece and former High Commissioner to Cyprus David Madden, in an interview with the Athens-based newspaper "To Vima", stated categorically that a unitary state was never an agreed objective as regards a solution to the Cyprus Issue.

    Ambassador Madden substantiated his statement by references to high-level agreements and UN decisions, adding that what is important is that both communities on the island work within the framework provided by UN Security Council resolutions, something which, he believes, can be achieved.

    Asked if a conclusion of Cyprus' EU-accession negotiations is dependent upon a prior solution to the island's long-standing problem, the British diplomat said that a settlement would undoubtedly facilitate accession, and also stressed the motivational nature of a prospective union with the 15-nation bloc.

  • [06] YUGO PEACE Yugoslavia today confirmed that it is willing to accept big power principles to resolve the Kosovo crisis, as Russia and Western European states prepared a fresh diplomatic push to end NATO's 69-day-old bombing campaign.

    The Yugoslav statement was issued hours after Russia expressed renewed optimism about a solution to the Kosovo crisis and as Moscow's Balkans envoy prepared to fly to Bonn tomorrow in order to meet with US and EU mediators. The terms dictated by the G8 include an immediate end to violence and repression in Kosovo, the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from the province, the deployment of an international security presence, establishment of an interim administration and the safe return of refugees.

    Meanwhile, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels agreed in principle to send Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, the bloc's envoy on Kosovo, to Belgrade this week on a new peace-seeking mission. Diplomats said the visit is very likely and could take place as early as Wednesday.

  • [07] YUGO WAR NATO however is adamant in continuing its air-strikes against Yugoslavia for the present, despite the emerging peace initiative.

    Yesterday, NATO warplanes struck a bridge in the Serbian town of Varvarin, killing nine people and wounding 17 others. Today, Serbian radio reported that the alliance had hit a sanatorium in Surdulica early this morning, killing 10 people and wounding many others.

    NATO aircraft yesterday carried out a total of 772 sorties, the second highest total of the campaign, passing the 30,000 sortie mark overall. Targets included army barracks, command posts, bridges, airfields, ammunition, petroleum and communication sites, while military analysts say an inevitable consequence of the increased bombing tempo will be a rise in civilian casualties, or what NATO officials euphemistically call "collateral damage".

  • [08] OCALAN TRIAL Draconian security measures were enforced at Turkey's Sea of Marmara Imrali island today for the trial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, accused of high treason and charged with the deaths of some 29 thousand people during the autonomy-driven civil strife in southeastern Turkey. In his opening apology to the court, Ocalan expressed his willingness to co-operate with the Turkish state, adding that civilian deaths during the Kurds' drive for autonomy were solely due to over-zealous local governors. Pleading for his life for the sake of peace, he further charged Greece, Russia and Italy of not acting in accordance with international law during the period leading up to his capture by Turkey's secret services. Limited information is available to international news agencies because of the strict censorship imposed by the Turkish authorities, but it has been announced that the Court, comprising one military and two civilian judges, rejected a defence plea to substitute the military judge, who is also presiding over the proceedings, with another civilian.
  • [09] MINSK STAMPEDE At least 54 people were crushed to death under an avalanche of bodies when hundreds stampeded from a beer festival into an underground railway station to escape a storm in the Belarussian capital of Minsk last night.

    Many in the stampede were drunk and many of those who died were teenage girls in high heels who fell on the slippery steps leading down into the station and were subsequently covered by a huge pile of bodies.

    Officials said 150 people were injured, many critically, while most of the dead were between 14 and 18 years old. A mere 10-15 minutes passed between the onset of the downpour and the tragedy.

  • [10] SPACE PEACE Wars, confrontations and a general lack of co-operation may be plaguing the world, but in the peaceful environs of space, things take on a different perspective.

    The crew of the space shuttle Discovery, comprising five Americans, one Canadian and one Russian, today successfully erected a construction crane outside the International Space Station, scheduled to welcome its first long-term visitors next March.

    Discovery will also offload more than 15 kilogrammes of supplies, including computers, oxygen canisters and medical equipment, as well as such household necessities as clothing, rubbish bags and signs pointing to the emergency exit, before returning to Earth on Sunday.

  • [11] WEATHER Generally fair conditions are forecast for tomorrow, with skies being marked by intermittent cloud cover during the afternoon. Winds in the morning will be northwesterly light, 2-3BF, turning to moderate southwesterlies, 4BF, later in the day, on slight to moderate seas. Temperatures will reach 32C inland, 28C along the south coast, 26C in the west and 22C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
    Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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