|Thursday, 5 December 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-08-24
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
TUESDAY 24 AUGUST 1999
 HEADLINES-- In Cyprus, negotiations are underway at the Presidential Palace in view of the cabinet reshuffle which is expected to take place within the day.
-- One week after a devastating earthquake killed over 14,000 people in Turkey, rescuers refused today to give up hope of finding more survivors in the rubble of thousands of buildings.
-- The UN said tents are urgently needed for some 200,000 people left homeless by Turkey's quake as foreign search and rescue teams pull out of stricken areas where few new survivors are expected to be found.
-- Russian federal troops began moving into mountain villages in Dagestan today after rebels who had held out for two weeks against a fierce Russian assault said they had withdrawn.
-- Kosovo Albanians maintained a blockade around their town today to prevent Russian peacekeepers taking over from the Dutch soldiers who currently patrol there.
 PRESIDENTIAL PALACEIntense negotiations are underway at the Presidential Palace in view of the cabinet reshuffle which is expected to take place within the day.
President Glafcos Clerides has been conducting negotiations with political party leaders who are supporting the government, as well as close associates.
United Democrats leader, George Vassiliou went to the Presidential Palace today and in statement did not rule out that the president will announce his decision within the day.
Mr Clerides then held a meeting with Democratic Rally leader, Nicos Anastasiades and deputy DISY president, Panagiotis Demetriou.
Ministers of Interior, Labour, Finance, Health and Foreign Affairs also visited the Presidential palace. In statements, the ministers of Health and Labour, Christos Solomis and Andreas Moushoutas said it was up to the President to replace them.
President Clerides' meeting with the Finance Minister was scheduled.
 RESHUFFLE ANASTASIADESDemocratic Rally President, Nicos Anastasiades said the reshuffle of the government was a matter of a hours.
He also said it is President Glafcos Clerides' right to proceed with a wider reshuffle or to replace the ministers and government spokesman who have resigned.
Asked if his suggestions have been adopted by President Clerides, Mr Anastasiades said deliberations are taking place and it is up to the president to adopt them or not.
Mr Anastasiades said his party's co-operation with President Clerides remains excellent.
 KYPRIANOU RESHUFFLEHouse President Spyros Kyprianou said Labour Minister Andreas Moushoutas could return to the Democratic Party in case he is replaced.
He said Mr Moushoutas was a party member and not an official when DIKO decided to suspend some of its members who did not support the party decision to back George Iacovou during the last presidential elections.
Mr Kyprianou further said that DIKO members were approached by the presidential palace in view of the reshuffle, stressing however that no DEKO member can participate in the government.
 QUAKE TURKEYOne week after a devastating earthquake killed over 14,000 people in Turkey, rescuers refused today to give up hope of finding more survivors in the rubble of thousands of buildings.
Spurred by the rescue of a toddler yesterday, workers clung to the slim chance that others might still be alive, buried in the ruins strewn across the country's north-west industrial belt.
As gentle rain fell over the disaster area this morning, the official death toll jumped by more than 2,000 overnight to 14,360. The toll had stalled for two days without explanation.
The main crisis centre in Ankara added that the number of injured stood at 43,873. Thousands of others remain buried under the debris.
Many of the international search and rescue teams, who came from more than 50 countries and were armed with hi-tech equipment and sniffer dogs, have already left.
The few that remained complained that their efforts were hampered by a lack of official supervision and direction.
The United Nations has said the final death toll could reach about 40,000 once all the bodies under the rubble are recovered. Turkey's government has appealed to the U.N. for 45,000 body bags, an indication it too believes the toll will rise.
In towns levelled by the quake, officials clearly afraid of an epidemic outbreak amidst festering corpses and a lack of running water, sprayed disinfectants and scattered lime powder on the rubble and streets. Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu, member of the government's junior coalition partner Motherland said the quake exposed an administrative system ill-equipped to handle such a disaster.
 UN TURKEYTents are urgently needed for some 200,000 people left homeless by Turkey's quake as foreign search and rescue teams pull out of stricken areas where few new survivors are expected to be found.
In a statement issued in Geneva, the United Nations urged governments to bring relief goods on aircraft arriving to bring home foreign rescue experts and sniffer dogs deployed there.
It said that while the emphasis up until now has been on search and rescue operations, with some 2,200 international rescue experts and 142 rescue dogs from 52 countries deployed in eight locations, the attention is turning to priority relief needs of the affected population.
 RUSSIA TROOPSRussian federal troops began moving into mountain villages in Dagestan today after rebels who had held out for two weeks against a fierce Russian assault said they had withdrawn.
A spokesman for the regional Security Council said three villages had already been occupied by Russian forces this morning.
He said only two villages remained to be taken, but Russia was still not yet certain that the rebels had pulled out as they claimed.
The rebels, led by Chechen warlords, said yesterday they were pulling out of their positions in Dagestan, apparently bringing to an end Russia's worst security crisis since the 1994-96 Chechen war.
They had seized villages in the province on August 7 and had held out against Russian air and artillery strikes.
The rebels' announcement of a withdrawal could mark an important victory for Russia's new Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who said exactly two weeks ago that he would crush the revolt within two weeks.
 ALBANIANS KOSOVOKosovo Albanians maintained a blockade around their town today to prevent Russian peacekeepers taking over from the Dutch soldiers who currently patrol there.
Warrant Officer Ruud Mutters at the Dutch forces' operations room outside the town said columns of stationary vehicles blocked seven different roads into Orahovac.
Local residents set up the roadblocks to stop the Russians, telling an advance party they were not welcome in the town because Russian mercenaries had taken part in Serb murders and massacres of ethnic Albanians in the area.
Officer Mutters said the protest was peaceful although the demonstrators were making clear that no Russians would be allowed into the town and the Dutch would not be allowed to redeploy to their new base in the town of Suva Reka.
Russian and Dutch officers planned to meet later today to discuss ways to solve the dispute.
 ISRAEL ATTACKThe Israeli army today confirmed that Israeli warplanes had attacked suspected guerrilla targets in south Lebanon overnight.
It said its planes had hit sites outside Israel's self-declared security zone in south Lebanon.
Lebanese security sources had reported the strikes late on Tuesday after Iranian-backed Hizbollah guerrillas attacked a pro-Israeli militia outpost at Barachit in south Lebanon, wounding four defenders.
Israel has controlled parts of south Lebanon since 1978. It set up the occupation zone in 1985 with the declared aim of protecting its borders from potential guerrilla attack.
Hizbollah (The Party of God), which is fighting to oust Israeli troops from the area, issued a statement in Beirut yesterday claiming responsibility for the attack on Barachit and two other militia positions in the western sector of the zone.
 HOLY SYNOD MEETINGMembers of the Holy Synod met today to discuss a number of issues concerning the church.
According to reports, members examined the purchase by the Archbishopric of Louis Cruise line shares which were eventually distributed to eight Archbishopric employees, as well as the decision to rent TV station O Logos.
 STOCK EXCHANGEThe Cyprus Stock Exchange operated normally today following the decision to lift the suspension of the operation of three brokers who delayed concluding their sales.
The decision was taken yesterday during a meeting of Finance Minister, Takis Clerides with Stock Exchange officials.
 WEATHERThis afternoon there will be local cloud with isolated storms inland and over the mountains.
Winds will be westerly to south-westerly light to moderate, three to four beaufort, and locally five beaufort. Winds will be slight to moderate in windward areas.
Tonight, the weather will be generally clear with passing cloud which might give isolated rain over the coast.
Winds will be north-westerly to south-westerly light, two to three beaufort reaching five beaufort at times. The sea will be slight to moderate.
Temperatures will fall to 21 C inland and on the west coast, 23 C on the south coast and 16 C over the mountains.
The fire hazard remains extremely high in all forest areas.