|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 01-05-10
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesOne of the most controversial figures in the recent history of Cyprus died last night at the age of 66;
Greek-Cypriot building contractor Panikos Tsiakourmas goes ahead with his European Court of Human Rights appeal, while the occupation regime's leader says that he is personally undertaking all efforts to secure the release of convicted Turkish-Cypriot drug-runner Omer Tekogul;
Turkey's government agrees on the privatisation of the country's national telephone company;
Gunbattles and a roadside bomb mark the borders of the Gaza Strip this morning;
Britain's incumbent receives handsome poll ratings two days after calling general elections;
What do Britons abroad crave? Stay tuned...
 sampsonNikos Sampson, arguably one of the most controversial figures in Cyprus' recent history, died last night at the age of 66, following a protracted bout against cancer.
Born in 1935, the veteran journalist and politician played an active role in the 1955-59 EOKA struggle, heading an assassination squad for which the then British colonial authorities placed him on the most wanted list, leading to his arrest and torture in 1957. Sentenced to death twice, he nevertheless managed to escape with his life.
Following the establishment of the Cyprus Republic in 1960 and his setting-up of the "Machi" and "Tharros" newspapers, Nikos Sampson took up arms again during the 1963-64 intercommunal strife, founding and leading a Greek-Cypriot militia unit in Nicosia's Omorphita area.
The deceased may be most infamously remembered however for his assuming the presidency of the republic between the 15th and the 23rd of July 1974, right after the Greek junta-led coup d'etat which paved the way for the invasion of the island by Turkey.
Following the restoration of democracy, Nikos Sampson was, in 1977, tried and sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in the coup. In 1979, and citing health reasons, he was sent for treatment to France, where he remained until 1990, at which time he returned to Cyprus and was sent back to prison, from which he was finally released in 1992.
Nikos Sampson's body is to be laid in state at the "Machi" newspaper offices all day tomorrow, while his funeral will be held at Pallouriotissa's Panayia Evangelistria church at three o'clock Saturday afternoon.
 papastavrosAnother prominent EOKA figure, cleric Papastavros Papagathangelou, passed away at 6:30 this morning. He was 90.
During the 1955-59 struggle, Papastavros was one of the guerilla organisation's main recruiting officers, swearing in many a freedom fighter.
Because of his activity, the British colonial authorities arrested him in March 1956 and, along with Archbishop Makarios III, Kyrenia Metropolitan Kyprianos, and layman Polykarpos Ioannides, exiled him to the Seychelles for a period of 13 months.
Papastavros Papagathangelou's funeral will be held at the church of Ayia Varvara at 12 noon Sunday.
 tsiakourmasGreek-Cypriot building contractor Panikos Tsiakourmas was this morning received at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, accompanied by his wife, Niki.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting the President of the Republic, Panikos Tsiakourmas mentioned that he has already initiated the process of seeking recourse with the European Court of Human Rights over his illegal arrest and detention. He also noted that the appeal should be filed by the 24th of this month, so that it falls within the maximum six-month period stipulated by the Court from the date of the incident over which a grievance is reported.
Panikos Tsiakourmas further expressed great appreciation to the British Government for, as he said, "doing everything for his release".
 denk tekogulIn the occupied areas of the Republic meanwhile, organised groups are demanding the release, from the Nicosia Central Prisons, of convicted drug-runner Omer Tekogul.
According to the Turkish-Cypriot press, occupation regime leader Rauf Denktash has received a number of letters towards this end. Commenting further, Mr Denktash is reported to have pleaded ignorance over the earnestness of the demands, he personally does not wish to see any incident taking place in the mixed village of Pyla, since this would compromise the Turkish-Cypriot community.
Rauf Denktash added that he is doing everything in his power to secure the trafficker's release, claiming at the same time that the Greek-Cypriot side arrested Tekogul for the sole purpose of implicating the Turkish-Cypriot community in drug-smuggling.
 turk telekomTurkey's government today agreed on a draft bill for the privatisation of the country's national telephone company "Turk Telekom".
Speaking to reporters after meeting with his coalition partners, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the bill would be sent to parliament sometime during the morning. He declined however to go into more details, while informed sources say that the military's security concerns seem set to limit foreign holdings in the phone carrier to less than 50%.
The Telekom sell-off is a key reform pledged by Turkey to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in return for 10 billion dollars in crisis loans.
 mideastIsraeli soldiers and Palestinians fought a gunbattle in the southern Gaza Strip early this morning, in a fresh spasm of violence just one day after two Israeli youths from a West Bank settlement were found beaten to death.
Six Palestinians and a soldier were wounded in the fighting which erupted when Israeli troops destroyed Palestinian buildings adjacent to an Israeli-controlled road along the Gaza-Egypt border.
Meanwhile, Israel Radio also reported that a roadside bomb exploded along the Gaza-Israel border this morning, killing one Israeli civilian and wounding two others.
The Israeli army itself said it had no immediate information about the incident.
At least 409 Palestinians, 80 Israelis and 13 Israeli Arabs have been killed since a Palestinian revolt against Israeli occupation erupted in September in the vacuum of deadlocked peace negotiations.
 brit elecsBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair received handsome opinion poll ratings today, in the face of fierce opposition efforts to derail his probable June 7th re-election over Europe and the euro.
A MORI poll for the Times newspaper suggested Blair's rating was still heading skywards with a huge 24-point lead over the opposition Conservatives, even though a Gallup poll for the Daily Telegraph showed a narrowing of the gap to 17 points.
Blair, who launched his re-election bid on Tuesday, wants to keep the focus on Labour's economic performance which has led to the lowest interest rates and unemployment in decades, but Conservative leader William Hague used his last face-to-face pre-election debate with Blair during yesterday's parliamentary prime-minister's questions to attack Labour's plans towards the European single currency, saying characteristically "Come clean, be straight and admit you want to ditch the pound as soon as you can get away with it."
 cseThe Cyprus Stock Exchange posted a negative growth today, with the All-Share Index closing at 201.66, down 1.06% from yesterday.
The overall volume of trading meanwhile reached some 12.6 million pounds.
 tailerIn today's tailer, a mention of those things or aspects of life that British expatriates hanker most after:
In order, according to a survey carried out by among 200 Britons living in Spain, Hong Kong and Dubai by the UK-based mortgage bank Abbey National, these are pubs, Marks & Spencer's underwear, a cup of tea and their favourite yeast extract, Marmite.
The survey also found that expats were most happy leaving behind the weather, high prices, train delays and "Posh and Becks", as Spice Girl Victoria and her Manchester United soccer star husband David Beckham are known back home.
As regards information and entertainment, local newspapers and the television soap opera EastEnders topped the list.
Abbey National said some 250,000 Britons leave every year to live abroad. The figure includes an estimated 75,000 who are offered jobs overseas and 67,000 partners who go with them.
 weatherPartly cloudy conditions are forecast for this afternoon, leading to the possibility of rainy spells in areas. Winds will be moderate southwesterlies, 3-4BF, on slight to moderate seas, with temperatures not exceeding 25C inland, 26C along the coasts, and 17C at higher altitudes.
Skies will clear up by this evening however, leading to generally fair conditions, even though some passing cloud may yield scattered showers. Winds will abate to light southwesterlies, 2-3BF, on slight seas, while temperatures will drop to 12C inland, 14C in coastal regions and 7C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
The fire hazard however remains high in all forest areas.