|Thursday, 22 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 00-03-16
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
THURSDAY 16 MARCH 2000
 HEADLINES--- France clarified its position regarding Cyprus' European Union accession course, during a meeting yesterday between President Glafcos Clerides and French President Jacques Chirac.
--- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, said that the third round of proximity talks on the Cyprus problem would be decisive.
--- Over a thousand Turkish Cypriot pilgrims will visit the Hala Sultan Tekke in the free areas of the Republic on Saturday.
--- In Kenya, a group of women stormed a police station and demanded the officers make love to them.
 CLERIDESPresident Glafcos Clerides expressed satisfaction with the talks he had in Paris, saying that France has clarified its position regarding the island's European Union accession course.
The President said that during his meeting with his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, common views emerged on how to proceed with the Cyprus problem.
CyBC sources noted the change in France's attitude, during the meeting.
The same sources said that Mr. Chirac blamed his country's opposition to Cyprus' accession course on the foreign policy of former Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Theodoros Pangalos.
 ATHENSThe Athens News Agency reported that France has abandoned its position that Cyprus can become a full member of the EU only if the political problem is solved first.
It said that Mr. Chirac assured President Clerides that France supports the EU Helsinki Summit decisions and would promote Cyprus' bid for accession during its presidency of the 15-nation bloc, which begins in July.
 KASOULIDESMinister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, said that the third round of proximity talks on the Cyprus problem, to begin on May 23 in New York, will be decisive and that Cyprus' European Union accession course will be concluded by the end of the year 2001.
In an interview with French newspaper "Figaro", Mr. Kasoulides said that after the Helsinki decisions, Cyprus is no longer a hostage of Turkey.
He added that eleven chapters of EU negotiations have already closed and that accession talks must not concentrate on more difficult issues, such as agriculture, the environment, and justice.
 RIGHTSUN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, in his report on the situation of human rights in Cyprus, said that a settlement on the Cyprus problem can only be found through comprehensive negotiations between the two leaders.
Referring to the first round of proximity talks in New York, Mr. Annan said that the two sides engaged in serious discussion on core issues.
He also expressed hope that the proximity talks, which aim at preparing the ground for comprehensive negotiations, will continue and that progress will be made.
 LEDRAThe message that rapprochement between Greek and Turkish Cypriots must be promoted was sent last night, during a panel at the Ledra Palace, with the participation of journalists from Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.
The event was organised by the rapprochement secretariat of the Democratic Rally.
The party's President, Nicos Anastasiades, expressed certainty that the Cyprus people has the power and courage to heal wounds of the past and proceed to give the difficult struggle of the future.
 BAYRAMOne thousand 450 Turkish Cypriots will visit the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca on Saturday, the last day of Kurban Bayram, the Moslem feast of sacrifices.
In a statement issued for the feast, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said that his side wants a solution to the Cyprus problem aiming at the future and not a return to the past.
Meanwhile, Moslems living in the free areas of the Republic attended a religious ceremony at the Omereye Mosque in Nicosia.
 STOCKThe Cyprus Stock Exchanged general price index plunged a further 4,5 percent today, closing at 497 units.
Total dealings also dropped.
Many investors today lit candles in the Stock Exchange, praying for the recess to stop.
Meanwhile, the Governor of the Cyrpus Central Bank, Afxentis Afxentiou, expressed hope that the situation would improve now that the ban had been lifted on loans for investments.
 NAVYThe US Navy Missile Cruiser St. George is now anchored at the Limassol port, to give the opportunity to its 380 sailors to rest.
The ship will remain at the port until March 19, but will not be open to public visits.
 WORLDAnd now for a look at developments around the world in brief.
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Taiwan pulled out a multi-billion dollar war chest for the first time to rescue a stock market rocked by threats from Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji ahead of weekend presidential elections.
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Chinese academics said China could give Taiwan a matter of hours to agree to start reunification talks if the island elected a pro-independence candidate in weekend presidential elections.
Beijing issued a cabinet policy white paper last month in which it threatened to use military force against Taiwan if the island dragged its feet "indefinitely" on reunification talks, but has not specified a timetable.
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US soldiers found 20 crates of ammunition, assorted weaponry and more than 200 uniforms in raids along Kosovo's boundary with Serbia.
In a statement, the NATO-led peacekeeping force said at least one of the locations it raided appeared to be a training or staging base for extremist elements operating in Kosovo, southern Serbia or FYROM.
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Seven people were injured in a bomb explosion in a crowded market in India's capital. Five of those hurt are in a stable condition and two are unconscious. The explosive device had been planted under a water tank in the Sadar Bazaar area of old Delhi.
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Police in Northern Ireland said they were questioning three people after seizing about 220 kg of home-made explosives.
Security sources said they believed dissident republican guerrillas were connected to the find, raising fears that renegade groups are planning attacks to wreck the British province's struggling peace process.
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Palestinian President Yasser Arafat marked the start of the Moslem feast of Eid al-Adha with a call on his people and the Arab world to focus on making Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state.
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Israeli warplanes attacked the outskirts of a Lebanese village in the fourth consecutive day of air assaults on Lebanon.
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At least five Sri Lankan policemen were killed and several wounded when Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a mine hitting a convoy carrying security personnel in eastern Sri Lanka.
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Asiaweek magazine said that exiled Saudi Arabian dissident Osama bin Laden is dying of kidney failure.
The weekly news magazine, quoting "a Western intelligence source who has been tracking him", said in its latest edition the kidney disease had begun to affect bin Laden's liver and associates were trying to obtain a dialysis machine to stabilise his condition.
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More than a quarter of a million people have fled their homes because of an upsurge in fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the past two months.
 WOMENA group of women stormed a Kenyan police station to demand officers either make love to them or close illegal drinking dens they said made their husbands impotent.
The women, from Kandara, north of Nairobi, brought business in the town to a halt with their day-long protest against excessive drinking by their menfolk.
The protesters, drawn from 24 Catholic church groups, demanded that the officer in charge of the police station either order his men to make love to them or find them new husbands because they were sexually frustrated.
There have been no reports on how police reacted to their demands.
The women said the population of the district was falling as a result of the poor sexual performance of the men.
 PIGEONSThousands of homing pigeons could be flying around hopelessly lost and unable to find their way home because of the supersonic passenger jet Concorde.
A California-based scientist thinks shock waves from the aircraft may throw the birds off course and prevent them from hearing low-frequency sound that helps them navigate.
Researchers have shown that pigeons have an inbuilt compass that allows them to navigate using the Earth's magnetic field and the position of the sun.
But to reach their destination the birds also need to have a map sense -- a mental chart linking their starting position and destination so they know which way to go.
Jon Hagstrum, of the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, believes low frequency sounds, or infrasound, that birds can hear but humans can't could be the key to their map sense.
He suspects the Concorde caused a third of 60,000 birds taking part in four races between France and England in 1997 to loose their way because it interrupted the low-frequency sounds.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be mainly fine.
Winds will be northeasterly, moderate, 4 beaufort, over slight seas.
Tonight will be clear.
Winds will be northwesterly, light, 2 to 3 beaufort, over slight seas.
Temperatures will drop to 5 degrees inland, to 8 along the coast, and to 2 over the mountains.
The snow on Mount Olympus is 20 centimetres deep, and in Troodos Square 5.