|Saturday, 24 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-11-25
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
THURSDAY 25 NOVEMBER 1999
 HEADLINES--- Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Papandreou, arrives in Cyprus today for talks.
--- British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Edward Clay, said that his country's envoy, Sid David Hannay, would be present at New York's proximity talks on the Cyprus problem.
--- German European Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen, said that France, Germany and Britain are closer to supporting Cyprus' EU accession course, regardless of a solution to the political problem.
--- Over a hundred people died on a flaming ship off the east coast of China.
--- Russia bombed Chechnya again today, as troops have almost completely encircled the capital Grozny.
--- Turkey's appeals court upheld a death sentence on Abdullah Ocalan today.
 PAPANDREOU/ CYPRUSGreek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Papandreou, arrives on the island today for a two-day visit, during which he will hold talks with the government and brief political leaders in view of the forthcoming Helsinki summit.
Mr. Papandreou will meet his Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides, at half-past-four this afternoon.
At seven o'clock, he will give a lecture at the Cyprus University.
Tomorrow, the Greek Minister will meet with President Glafcos Clerides, Archbishop Chrysostomos, and the leaderships of political parties.
 CLERIDES/CLAYBritish High Commissioner to Cyprus, Edward Clay, said today that British Special Envoy, Sir David Hannay, will be present at the proximity talks on the Cyprus problem in New York, to give ideas and suggestions, if asked to do so by the UN chief.
Speaking after a meeting this morning with President Glafcos Clerides, Mr. Clay said that substantive negotiations will take place during the proximity talks.
 VERHEUGEN/CYPRUSGerman European Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen, said that there has been a shift in the stance of France, Germany and Britain, regarding Cyprus' European Union accession course.
Mr. Verheugen told the European Parliament that the three countries have moved closer to Greek positions, which support Cyprus' accession, regardless of a solution of the political problem.
Referring to Turkey's bid to be upgraded to a European Union candidate country, Mr. Verheugen said that Greece and Sweden have not yet agreed to grant Turkey its new status.
He said Greece is right in asking for guarantees from Turkey, before agreeing to lift its veto.
Mr. Verheugen also said that the European Commission is receiving a lot of pressure from the United States, regarding Turkey's candidacy.
 TURKISH SHIPSSix Turkish battleships sailed into the Turkish-occupied port of Famagusta last night, in the context of "Taurus '99" maneuvres.
Turkish Cypriot newspapers reported that the ships were destined for the Turkish-occupied port of Kyrenia, but were forced to sail to Famagusta, due to rough seas.
The "Taurus '99" maneuvres and "Barbarossa '99" will take place in the Turkish-occupied areas of the island on Saturday.
 LIMASSOL QUAKEAn earth tremor, measuring 4,3 degrees on the Richter scale, shook Limassol this morning.
Seismologist Kyriacos Solomis told the CyBC that the tremor is part of the post-seismic activity of the August 11 quake.
 CHINA SHIPAt least 104 people have died and 188 are missing after a blazing passenger ship foundered and broke up in stormy waters off the east coast of China.
The Dashun, with 312 passengers and crew aboard, sent out distress signals yesterday, after flames were discovered as it struggled against gale force winds off the port city of Yantai on the Shandong peninsula.
Rescuers said that only 20 survivors had been found and that high waves and freezing temperatures are hampering search efforts.
China's busy and often foggy sealanes and waterways have been the scene of numerous deadly ship collisions.
 RUSSIA CHECHNYARussian warplanes bombed Chechnya's information centre and villages in the mountainous south of the rebel region today, as government troops geared up to complete their encirclement of the capital Grozny.
Chechen rebels for their part beefed up their defences in and around Grozny, already largely surrounded by Russian forces, in expectation of a major offensive.
Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, urged the guerrillas to down their arms.
Mr. Putin, whose tough stance on Chechnya has turned him into Russia's most popular politician, promised yesterday not to prosecute those whose "hands are not stained with the blood of Russian citizens".
He suggested extending an amnesty declared in 1996, at the end of the first, ill-fated Chechen war.
 OCALAN DEATH SENTENCETurkey's appeals court upheld a death sentence on Abdullah Ocalan today, bringing the Kurdish rebel leader a step closer to the gallows.
But anti-Ocalan protesters outside the court building, even as they screamed for a swift execution, seemed to sense a growing likelihood that his hanging may be delayed for years if indeed it ever comes about.
The five judges ruled unanimously that the June trial of Ocalan, captured by Turkish special forces in Kenya, was fair.
His conviction for treason in leading a separatist campaign that led to some 30,000 deaths should stand.
Ocalan, now seeking status as a political figure rather than as a guerrilla, has ordered his PKK forces to stop fighting, although isolated clashes with Turkish troops have continued.
Turkey has refused his offer of talks, seeing it as a tactical move playing in part on what many Turks see as a naivety in the West about the nature of the PKK.
 WORLD IN BRIEFAnd now for a look at developments around the world in brief.
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East Asia is moving towards a common market and possibly a regional currency to form what could become a globally dominant economic grouping.
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A UN human rights team to investigate atrocities in East Timor arrived in Dili and immediately accused Jakarta of deliberately hampering its work.
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The Ulster Unionists, Northern Ireland's most powerful pro-British party, denied reports that they had set a deadline for the handover of Irish Republican Army weapons by the end of January.
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Leaders of oil-rich Gulf Arab nations meeting later this week in Riyadh are expected to finally agree on a common external tariff that has eluded the Gulf Cooperation Council since it was formed 18 years ago.
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Retired army colonel Tandja Mamadou took an early lead in Niger's elections for a president and parliament to take over from a military junta that seized power last April, according to preliminary results.
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China said Taiwan must lift a decades-old ban on direct trade, transport and postal links after they both join the World Trade Organisation.
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A brother of ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and one of his former top officials have been detained and will be remanded in police custody in the same case as Sharif.
 STOCK BOMBToday's Cyprus Stock Exchange meeting was called off, after an unidentified man made a phone call ten minutes before the floor opened, saying that the building hosting the Stock Exchange would be blown up.
The building was immediately evacuated, the area cordoned off and the Police began its search for explosives, with the help of sniffer dogs.
Stock Exchange director, Nontas Metaxas, asked about security measures, said that all incoming calls go through a computer.
 CYPRUS AIRWAYS STRIKETrade unions, representing Cyprus Airways employees, have announced dynamic measures starting December 11, in a bid to gain pay rises.
The unions issued a statement saying that they have decided to take measures, due to the company's stance regarding their demand.
They add that they are the only workers in Cyprus that have not had a pay rise since 1995.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be fine with a few passing clouds.
Winds will be mainly westerly, moderate, four beaufort, and strong, five to six beaufort in windward areas.
The sea will be moderate to rough in windward areas.
Tonight will be clear with passing clouds and possibly snow on Troodos.
Winds will be northwesterly, moderate, three to four beaufort, and the sea will be moderate to rough, in western areas.
The temperature will drop to 8 degrees inland, to 10 along the coast, and to 3 over the mountains.
The fire hazard is high in all forest areas.