|Saturday, 24 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-11-11
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
THURSDAY 11 NOVEMBER 1999
 HEADLINES--- US President, Bill Clinton, will discuss the Cyprus problem during meetings in Athens and Ankara.
--- The Netherlands support conditionally upgrading Turkey to a candidate country for European Union accession.
--- Russia said there was a chance that its offensive against breakaway Chechnya could end before the new year.
--- Better weather in Vietnam has allowed relief efforts to be stepped up in flooded areas.
--- At least seven people were killed today when a building collapsed in southern Italy.
--- The United Nations have called on Japan to take on a greater role in world political affairs.
 CLINTON CYPRUSUS President, Bill Clinton, will discuss the Cyprus problem, among other issues, during his visits to Athens and Ankara.
State Department Spokesman, James Rubin, expressed hope that the leaders of the two communities on the island, and the leaders of Greece and Turkey, will take the difficult decision to reach a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem.
He also said that recent talks between Greek and Turkish officials increase the chances of reaching this goal.
 PAPANDREOUThe Netherlands support upgrading Turkey to a candidate country for European Union accession, on condition.
During a dinner in The Hague, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Papandreou, told his Dutch counterpart that Greece would grant this status to Turkey, in return for certain rights and obligations on Ankara's side.
He also stressed the importance Greece gives to Cyprus' EU accession course and pointed out that Cyprus' course could not be held hostage due to Turkey's intransigence.
 LYSSARIDESSocialist Party EDEK leader, Vassos Lyssarides, said today that the Greek Government was not prepared to lift its veto against granting Turkey its EU candidate status, if the Cyprus Government did not agree to such a move.
Mr. Lyssarides, who was speaking from the international Socialist gathering in Paris, told the CyBC that there was no final decision on the stance Greece would maintain at the Helsinki EU summit next month.
He added that this would be decided between Athens and Nicosia, adding that the veto would not be lifted, if nothing was given in return regarding the Cyprus problem.
 RUSSIA CHECHNYAEuropean security expert is due in Moscow today for talks about the plight of refugees fleeing Russia's offensive in breakaway Chechnya, which shook under renewed bombing and shelling.
Russian Defence Minister, Igor Sergeyev , said that there was a chance Russia's offensive could finish before the end of the year amid mounting Western pressure to find a political solution.
Western governments, concerned about civilian casualties and an exodus of refugees, have been hardening their criticism of Russia's nearly seven-week-old offensive in Chechnya, urging Moscow to negotiate rather than fight.
But Moscow has showed no sign of scaling down its campaign.
A spokesman for Russia's Defence Ministry said that warplanes had bombed Chechnya's capital Grozny, as well as Bamut, a village in the west which has little strategic value but is symbolic as one of the last rebel strongholds to fall during the 1994-96 war.
 VIETNAM FLOODSTwo US military transport planes flew into Vietnam's devastated Hue city today, packed with relief supplies for victims of the central region's worst floods in a century.
The US Air Force C-130 Hercules of Vietnam's former enemy carried 40 tonnes of urgently needed materials such as blankets and plastic sheeting for 150,000 families.
Some 550 people across eight central Vietnam provinces have been killed in the floods during the past week.
Better weather in recent days has allowed relief efforts to accelerate.
Vietnamese media and relief organisations have said the week-long floods caused damage of 215 million dollars and destroyed or damaged 830,000 homes.
Some 500 hospitals and medical clinics have also been destroyed, along with scores of schools.
 ITALY COLLAPSEAt least seven people were confirmed dead and scores of others feared killed or trapped under rubble after an apartment building collapsed in southern Italy today.
Some six hours after the collapse, rescue workers had pulled three dead out of the rubble and another four bodies had been located.
Between 70 and 90 people were believed to be in the building in Foggia at the time of the collapse.
 UN JAPANUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on Japan today to take a greater role in world political affairs, both on its own and as part of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
In a speech at Tokyo's UN University, Mr. Annan said he would like to think that Japan could participate more fully in peacekeeping, adding that the world needs Japan to take on a political role commensurate with its global economic presence.
While Japanese personnel have served in UN peacekeeping operations, their numbers have been extremely limited and confined strictly to areas where ceasefire agreements are in place, in line with Japanese law.
The question of amending Japan's war-renouncing constitution to allow a greater role in international operations has been raised recently, but remains a contentious topic both within Japan and among its Asian neighbours.
 WORLD IN BRIEFAnd now for a look at developments around the world in brief.
- - - -
Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been accused of hijacking and kidnapping, which carry the death penalty, and a senior police official said he could soon be formally charged.
- - - -
In an initial report on war crimes in Kosovo, international investigators say they have unearthed 2,108 bodies, most of them ethnic Albanian victims of Serbia's campaign of ethnic cleansing.
- - - -
Jose Ramos-Horta, the international face of East Timor's independence struggle, will return home next month after 24 years in exile.
- - - -
A UN war crimes court extended the jail term of a Bosnian Serb police reservist, ordering him to spend 25 years in prison for the murder of Moslem civilians in Bosnia in 1992.
- - - -
A fire in the Lubyanka building in central Moscow damaged several rooms in the security police headquarters in which the Soviet-era KGB and its predecessors ran notorious interrogation and execution cells.
- - - -
Thousands of civilians were preparing to leave Sri Lanka's northern government-held frontier town of Vavuniya after Tamil Tiger rebels warned of fresh attacks.
- - - -
Top US and Chinese negotiators talked for about one hour today on China's entry into the World Trade Organisation. It was not clear whether the brevity of the meeting signalled progress or that further snags had arisen.
- - - -
Members of Britain's governing Labour party predicted that France would give in by next week over its refusal to import British beef, appearing to ease a deadline for a solution to the dispute by several days.
 BIGGER DOLLSTwo leading British supermarkets have urged toy manufacturers to make dolls more full-figured to help cut eating disorders among children.
The Tesco and Asda chains contacted the makers of Barbie and Steffi dolls, asking them to reflect the form of the average woman and make the dolls in more realistic proportions.
They acted after shoppers complained that the wafer-thin dolls were fuelling an increase in anorexia and bulimia sufferers.
Tesco, Britain's largest supermarket chain, said in a letter to Barbie's US manufacturer Mattel Inc that researched had showed there has been a three-fold increase in bulimia cases between 1984 and 1994.
Asda also asked the Hong Kong-based toymaker Sinba to make a more ample Steffi doll for next Christmas.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be fine with a few passing clouds.
Winds will be westerly, light to moderate, three to four beaufort, and the sea will be slight.
Tonight will be mainly clear.
Winds will be northwesterly, light, two to three beaufort, and the sea will be slight.
The temperature will drop to 11 degrees inland, to 13 along the coast, and to 6 over the mountains.
The fire hazard is extremely high in all forest areas.