|Wednesday, 27 May 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 01-02-02
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 Headlines--- Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stressed today that plutonium had never been found in Cyprus.
--- The House of Representatives Plenary Session did not approve the necessary funds to purchase the Bell helicopters.
--- Homeless survivors of India's lethal earthquake filed police complaints against builders today as rescue workers raced to recover bodies buried under the rubble.
--- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's ailing election campaign suffered fresh blows from opinion polls today after renewed violence killed two Israelis and one Palestinian.
--- Hundreds of Australians were evacuated in separate emergencies today, as storms flooded a number of towns and a major bushfire burnt out of control near southern coastal communities.
 PlutoGovernment Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stressed today that plutonium had never been found in Cyprus, noting that information on the substance's existence appears quite often and is investigated, each time with no findings.
Commenting on allegations that plutonium had been found on the island, Mr. Papapetrou said Cyprus is a member of the nuclear material exports control committee, which aims at restricting its trafficking.
He stressed that Cyprus had recently purchased special radioactive material detectors, in order to contribute to the control of such substances.
 BellThe House of Representatives Plenary Session did not approve the necessary funds to purchase the Bell helicopters.
In the final voting yesterday, 26 MPs voted for and 26 against releasing the funds, while one MP abstained.
Today, Minister of Defence Socratis Hasikos said his Ministry would proceed with new tenders for the helicopters needed for the National Guard.
He told CyBC that it was high time the government stopped being restricted by parliament on the purchase of military equipment.
 RefineryThe agreement to move the petroleum installations from Larnaca to Vassiliko were signed today at the Larnaca Town Hall.
Speaking at the ceremony, President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides said that the move was necessary in order to expand the Larnaca tourist area and to proceed with the creation of strategic petroleum stores, to last 90 days.
 MeningitisA pupil from Paliometoho was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis on Wednesday.
Officials said the incident did not cause any concern.
The girl is being treated at the Nicosia General Hospital and is described to be in quite good condition.
Her family, schoolmates and school staff have been given precautionary treatment.
Despite reassurances from officials that the case did not cause concern, the 674 pupils at the girl's school have not attended lessons and have stayed away from the building.
 StockThe Cyprus Stock Exchange All Share Index dropped to 220,28 units today, recording losses of 0,51 percent.
Trade value reached 10,2 million pounds.
 SistersThe Assize Court, which convened in Nicosia, passed sentences for two sisters found guilty for collaborating to cheat a couple from Engomi.
Forty-nine-year-old lawyer Antri Eracleous was sentenced to three years, and her 42-year-old sister to 18 months in prison.
 IndiaHomeless survivors of India's lethal earthquake filed police complaints against builders today as rescue workers raced to recover bodies buried under the rubble.
Fear of disease stalked several hundred thousand people living on the streets since last Friday's earthquake, while Hindu astrological predictions of an even bigger quake added an edge of panic to those who believed it.
While no cases of typhoid or cholera were reported in the shattered western state of Gujarat, officials said they were concerned that an epidemic could erupt in some of the worst-hit areas, where a stench of decaying bodies still hung in the air.
Police in the commercial capital Ahmedabad said investigations had been started into builders and planners of at least seven apartment buildings which had collapsed in the quake.
Officials estimate that at least 30.000 people were killed by the quake, which also flattened villages and towns and cut power and water supplies.
Aid groups have warned there was a shortage of safe drinking water and said there was a real risk of widespread disease.
But the governnment of Gujarat has said it can avoid epidemics. It has put fish that feed on mosquito larvae in lakes, carried out chemical spraying and distributed chlorine tablets.
 MideastIsraeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's ailing election campaign suffered fresh blows from opinion polls today after renewed violence killed two Israelis and one Palestinian.
The polls showed the Labour party leader trailing right-wing challenger Ariel Sharon by up to 21 percentage points only four days ahead of a prime ministerial election.
Some party insiders have pressed Barak to step aside so that Nobel Peace laureate Shimon Peres, who opinion polls had shown had a better chance of beating Sharon, could run instead.
But the 58-year-old ex-general ignored a midnight deadline for a last-minute switch of candidate.
The killings of two Israelis and a Palestinian in three separate incidents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip yesterday underscored the issues of peace and security that have dominated a brief and uncharacteristically low-key election campaign.
Many Israelis are disappointed at Barak's failure to deliver on promises to make peace with the Palestinians and neighbouring Syria and Lebanon, and dismayed at his handling of a Palestinian revolt against occupation in which at least 316 Palestinians, 51 Israelis and 13 Israeli Arabs have been killed.
 AustraliaHundreds of Australians were evacuated in separate emergencies today, as storms flooded a number of towns and a major bushfire burnt out of control near southern coastal communities.
As Australia continued to be hit by wild summer weather, emergency officials said more than 200 people had been evacuated in the New South Wales town of Lismore, with up to ten rivers flooded or threatening to burst their banks in the state.
About 10.000 people in country Moree are expected to be cut off for several days, after floodwaters blocked road access to the northwestern New South Wales town.
Up to 150 people were evacuated overnight from the remote South Australian coastal town of Tulka, threatened by a bushfire which is still burning out of control.
Hundreds of residents from the coastal resort town of Port Lincoln were also warned to consider evacuating as the fire, fanned by strong northernly winds and temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius continue to burn out of control.
 WORLDAnd now for a look at developments around the world in brief.
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The American families of victims of the Lockerbie air disaster are to sue the Libyan government for up to 10 billion dollars in damages.
Their lawyer said the conviction of Libyan secret service agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi for the murder of 270 people over the Scottish town in 1988 gave them sufficient grounds to launch a civil action.
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Zimbabwean security forces went on full alert nationwide to quell planned opposition protests, and riot police arrested three anti-government demonstrators in the capital Harare.
About 30 protesters danced and shouted anti-government slogans in central Harare, dispersing as riot police armed with shields and baton sticks descended on them and reassembling when they moved on.
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Moving to resolve a political deadlock that has battered Taiwan's economy, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung suggested a referendum over the future of a controversial nuclear power station.
His proposal came in a meeting with the head of the opposition-dominated legislature, Wang Jin-pyng, who emerged from the two hour-session declaring it had been "very harmonious and smooth".
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Hong Kong's security chief said the administration will closely monitor the Falun Gong spiritual movement in the territory, signalling the Beijing-anointed government may take a tougher stance toward the group which is banned on the mainland.
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UN police in East Timor have expressed concern over a sudden upsurge in violence around the capital Dili, including several assaults targeting staff members.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be unsettled with local showers and possibly isolated thunderstorms and snow or sleet on the mountains.
Winds will be southwesterly, moderate to strong, four to five beaufort, over moderate to rough seas.
Tonight will continue to be unsettled, with local showers and snow or sleet on the mountains.
Winds be southwesterly to westerly, moderate, three to four beaufort, and locally in windward areas strong, four to five beaufort, over moderate to rough seas.
Temperatures will drop to 5 degrees inland, to 7 along the coast, and to 3 over the mountains.