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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-11-26
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
FRIDAY 26 NOVEMBER 1999
 HEADLINES--- Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Papandreou, discussed the Cyprus problem today with President Glafcos Clerides.
--- Britain and France expressed hope that forthcoming proximity talks on the Cyprus problem will be successful.
--- Russian warplanes and troops renewed their onslaught against Grozny today. Meanwhile, Russia launched a new phase of its military operation today.
--- Security analysts are concerned because India and Pakistan have not yet said whether they have tackled the millennium bug, which may set off their nuclear weapons.
 CLERIDES PAPANDREOUGreek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Papandreou, met this morning with President Glafcos Clerides, to discuss proximity talks on the Cyprus problem, starting in New York on December 3.
They also exchanged views about the forthcoming European Union summit in Helsinki.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Papandreou said that the United States are optimistic that the summit's final statement will satisfy Greece.
He also said that the period between the proximity talks and the December 10 summit is not enough to evaluate whether there will be progress on the Cyprus problem.
 PAPANDREOU CYBCIn an interview with the CyBC, Mr. Papandreou said that Greece and Cyprus would benefit from the Helsinki summit, whether Greece accepted to upgrade Turkey to a candidate country for EU accession, or not.
Mr. Papandreou said that new opportunities are arising and that the Helsinki summit should be viewed as a chance to positively utilise all peoples of the region.
He also expressed hope that the new generation of Greeks, Turks, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will be able to speak about a new day of peace and cooperation in a united Cyprus, where differences will be bridged.
Asked if the return of Famagusta would be a good gesture on behalf of Turkey and would create the circumstances that would lead to Greece's vote in favour of Turkey's EU candidate status, Mr. Papandreou said that it would be a very substantive gesture.
 CHIRAC-BLAIR-CYPRUSBritish Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and French President, Jacques Chirac, both expressed hope that the forthcoming proximity talks on the Cyprus problem will be successful.
Speaking at a joint press conference in London, after talks in the British capital, Mr. Blair said that they discussed the Cyprus problem and that both countries hope that talks, under the auspices of the United Nations, will be fruitful.
Mr. Chirac said everyone hopes that the talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, will make progress towards reuniting the island.
 TAURUSTurkish occupation troops participated today in the Turkish military exercise "Taurus '99", taking place in Eastern Mediterranean international skies and waters.
In the context of the maneuvres, six Turkish battleships sailed into the Turkish-occupied port of Famagusta.
Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, said that the Turkish fleet makes Turkish Cypriots proud and gives them a sense of security.
 TURKS STONESIn fresh provocations, Turkish troops hurled stones into Minoos street in the Chrysaliniotissa area last night.
The Police said that the stones caused damage to a car parked outside a home.
 RUSSIA CHECHNYARussian warplanes and troops renewed their onslaught against Grozny today, after launching the fiercest artillery attacks on the Chechen capital of their eight-week-old offensive.
Exactly five years ago, Russia lost dozens of tanks and hundreds of troops, disguised to look as though they belonged to the Chechen opposition, in a first attempt to storm Grozny. Today, Moscow's forces were again at the doorstep of the city.
Officials at the main base at Mozdok said warplanes made 42 sorties, training their bombs on the Chechen capital.
 RUSSIA PHASEMeanwhile, Russia is launching a new phase of its military operation in Chechnya aimed at defeating separatist rebels in the mountainous southern areas of the breakaway region.
The first deputy chief of General Staff, Valery Manilov, told a news conference today that he hoped the phase, which would extend Russian control over all Chechen territory, could be completed before the end of the year.
He also said President Boris Yeltsin wanted to offer an amnesty to some rebels.
 Y2K MISSILESThe clock is ticking and the world's newest nuclear powers have yet to totally dispel fears that the Y2K computer bug may accidentally set their war machines in motion.
Barely a month before the turn of the year, it is still unclear whether old enemies India and Pakistan, which came close to their fourth war this year, have unambiguously eliminated the possibility.
Security analysts are worried.
Unlike the United States and Russia, India and Pakistan have not publicised or confirmed coordinated efforts to ensure that a Y2K fault does not act as a trigger for misunderstandings and retaliations.
The Y2K, or Year 2000, problem can occur in computers that denote years only by their last two digits. Unless rectified, this could cause malfunctions when the next year dawns.
 WORLD IN BRIEFAnd now for a look at developments around the world in brief.
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Paramilitary police with orders to shoot on sight fought to restore order in Lagos after rioting between Nigeria's biggest ethnic groups killed up to 40 people.
Witnesses reported bursts of gunfire from the Mile 12 market area of Ketu suburb where fighting erupted yesterday between members of Nigeria's biggest tribes, the Hausa and Yoruba.
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David Trimble, leader of the pro-British Ulster Unionists, said he was confident his party's council would overcome divisions to back Northern Ireland's peace formula at the weekend.
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France denied Yugoslav government allegations that French spies had planned to assassinate President Slobodan Milosevic.
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Formal charges against ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother and five others were delayed for one week to give the prosecution more time to prepare its case.
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A top Moslem politician linked to allegations of corruption quit the Indonesian government in the young, uneasy ruling coalition's first casualty.
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The Kremlin said Russian President Boris Yeltsin was recuperating from a bout of illness that forced officials to postpone the planned signing of a pact to unite Russia with ex-Soviet neighbour Belarus.
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Turkey must choose whether it wants peace, economic growth and European Union membership or the death of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, according to the country's leading elected Kurdish politician.
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The number of Angolans killed or wounded by land mines over the past eight weeks in the eastern province of Moxico has rocketed as UNITA rebels step up guerrilla activity.
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Thousands of villagers and soldiers combed a gale-lashed stretch of coast in northeast China for survivors from a ferry carrying more than 300 people which caught fire and broke apart in a heavy storm.
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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez turned up the heat in his campaign in favor of a proposed constitution, warning that it was "the only peaceful path" for the world's No. 3 oil exporter.
 THAILAND SAPPHIREA jeweller in western Thailand has unveiled a sapphire the size of a football, one of the largest such precious stones ever found.
The monster gem, weighing 7.1 kg, or about 35,000 carats, was found in Kanchanaburi province about 120 kilometres west of Bangkok.
Large though it is, it is not the biggest sapphire ever found.
That distinction probably belongs to neighbouring Myanmar, where a 63,000-carat star sapphire was unearthed in 1972.
 KYPRIANOU HEALTHHouse of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, who is being treated in the Nicosia General Hospital intensive care unit, has showed signs of improvement.
Mr. Kyprianou is expected to remain in hospital for a few more days.
 SONG CONTESTThe finals of the 8th Cyprus Song Contest takes place at the International Conference Centre in Nicosia tonight.
The contest, which begins at 9.30 p.m., will be broadcast live from CyBC's Channel 3.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be cloudy with local showers and possibly snow on Troodos.
Winds will be northwesterly, moderate to strong, four to five beaufort, and the sea will be moderate to rough in windward areas.
Tonight will be mainly clear with a few passing clouds.
Winds will be northerly to northeasterly, light to moderate, three to four beaufort, and the sea will be moderate in windward areas.
The temperature will drop to 7 degrees inland, to 9 along the coast, and to 3 over the mountains.