|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 02-05-23
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESThe President of the Republic returns to the island this afternoon, following a series of meetings in Athens;
Turkey once again voices criticism of the European Union's policy on Cyprus;
The US State Department's Co-ordinator for the island is expected in the region at the beginning of next month;
A Palestinian suicide bombing and a tanker-truck explosion mark the last 24 hours in Israel;
The official opening of the 27th Cyprus State Fair has been postponed for tomorrow;
Could it be that some of us place our children under enormous pressure over academic performance?
 clerides simitisThe full concord between the Governments of Cyprus and Greece, and the co-ordination of efforts towards an advancement of a Cyprus settlement and the successful completion of the island's EU-accession process, were re-asserted during 90-minute meeting held in Athens last night between President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
Speaking after the meeting, Prime Minister Simitis noted that the Cyprus problem remains the topmost national issue for Greece, and further expressed his administration's undivided support and contribution to the efforts undertaken by the Cyprus Government as regards a just and viable solution to the problem, based on international human rights treaties and UN Security Council resolutions, as well as to the island's EU-accession course.
On his part, President Clerides thanked Prime Minister Simitis and his administration for their support in all issues concerning the island, noting that the Greek Government has and will always be kept abreast of developments. He further described last night's meeting as being of particular significance, coming as it did in the middle of the direct Cyprus settlement talks and shortly after the visit to the island by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Today, the President of the Republic held a series of meetings with Greek political party leaders, and is expected back on the island in about half an hour, with our camera and radio crews already in place at Larnaka Airport in order to cover the arrival live.
 gurel cyTurkey is once again criticising the European Union's policy on Cyprus' accession course, while at the same time intimating threats against the Cyprus Republic itself.
In relevant statements, Turkey's Minister of State for Cyprus, Shukru Sina Gurel, spoke of what he termed "an erroneous assessment of the situation by the European Union", which he also called upon to amend its so-called mistake and stop announcing that the island will be received in its folds even if the current settlement talks are not concluded by this December.
Reiterating claims of equality between the two communities on the island and the sovereignty of the quasi-political entity set up in the occupied north of the island, Shukru Sina Gurel also noted that Turkey is fully implementing all measures aimed at providing safety and security to the Turkish-Cypriots.
The Turkish Minister of State also laid the blame for the lack of progress in the talks on the Greek-Cypriot side, charging it with a negative approach.
 weston cyThe United States are assuming an active involvement in the Cyprus Issue, in order to overcome delays and surpass obstacles preventing the reaching of a solution.
The assessment was expressed by the Athens News Agency's Washington correspondent, who added that the beginning of next month will see US State Department Co-ordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, visiting the Nicosia-Athens-Ankara triangle following consultations with his European counterparts.
The Cyprus Issue will also be discussed between Mr Weston and Greek Foreign Minister Yiorgos Papandreou, currently on a visit to the US. In a relevant statement, Thomas Weston said that his country considers feasible the achievement of an initial agreement on the four fundamental aspects of the problem between President Clerides and Mr Denktash by the end of June.
While in Washington, Mr Papandreou will also be meeting with US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, and is then scheduled to join Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the extra-ordinary NATO-Russia summit in Rome.
 mideastA Palestinian suicide bomber last night struck in an Israeli public garden full of chess and backgammon players, killing two others and wounding 27, hours after Israeli missiles blasted a top Palestinian militant.
The attack, in Rishon Letzion, was followed by Israeli raids in two West Bank villages, where 22 people were arrested, including nine suspected militants wanted by Israel's security forces.
Responsibility was claimed by the al- Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in a statement faxed to Reuters in Beirut, two hours after the militant organisation lost a senior commander and two subordinates in an Israeli missile strike in the West Bank. Mahmoud Titi, a commander in the Brigades, two fellow activists and a Palestinian civilian died as they stood in a cemetery in the Balata refugee camp outside the city of Nablus.
The US meanwhile immediately condemned the suicide bombing and again called on Palestinian president Yasser Arafat to "show leadership" by cracking down on groups that attack Israelis.
In a subsequent statement issued from his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Arafat was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We condemn the bombing totally because we cannot accept this activity. It is against Palestinians before it is against Israelis."
 mideast tankerblastThis morning meanwhile, the Israeli town of Herzliya was rocked by a powerful explosion when a bomb planted under a petrol tanker blew up at a fuel depot. No-one was injured.
Workers put out the fire caused by the blast before it spread to the rest of the petrol plant, one of the largest in Israel and situated in the heavily populated Mediterranean coastal strip, a few kilometres north of Tel Aviv.
The area's deputy police chief told Israel Army radio, in a direct quote, "We assume it was a terror attack but we are also investigating other possibilities."
Other Israeli radio stations quoted police sources as saying that the bomb was planted before the truck entered the depot, and was detonated by remote control.
 state fairBack to Cyprus, where the official opening of the 27th International State Fair, originally scheduled for 7:30 this evening, has been postponed for the same time tomorrow, with the keynote address still to be delivered by the President of the Republic.
Participating in this year's exposition with their own pavillions are 12 countries, while another 20 are making their presence felt through their local business representatives.
Also taking part in the 27th Cyprus International State Fair is the Greek Ministry of Culture, in a showcasing of the 2004 Olympics.
The fair will open its doors to the public immediately after tomorrow's inauguration, at approximately 8:30 p.m., and will remain open until the 2nd of June. Opening hours are 6-11 p.m. daily, with the exception of the two Saturdays, when gates will be closing at 12 midnight.
 child suicideFor our last story this lunchtime, and in what may be a sign of the sometimes overbearing pressure for academic performance placed on some children today, the Austrian state broadcaster ORF announced yesterday that a 10-year-old girl from the southern city of Graz shot herself dead over concern that she'd fared badly in her mathematics homework.
The girl's father found her lifeless body in a forest on Monday evening. Investigations revealed that she had died from a shot to the chest from her father's low-calibre pistol.
A police officer said the child, who was considered an exemplary pupil, appeared to have planned her death meticulously. In a farewell note tucked away in her diary she had detailed the planned time of the suicide as well as the site.
On an added note of poignancy, the girl also left instructions as to her inheritance -- how her pocket money should be distributed -- and also wrote that she did not want to be buried in the ground.
 WeatherUnsettled weather conditions are forecast for this afternoon, leading to the possibility of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms throughout the island. Winds will be moderate to strong southwesterlies, 5BF, on moderate seas, while temperatures are not expected to exceed 28C inland, 25C along the coasts, and 20C at higher altitudes.
Skies will gradually clear up by this evening, with rainy spells being confined to the east of the island, and fair conditions prevailing during the course of the night. Winds will abate to moderate westerlies, 3BF, on slight to moderate seas, while temperatures will drop to 12C inland, 14C in coastal regions, and 10C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
Tomorrow's forecast includes generally fair conditions, even though skies will be marked by some passing cloud, while winds will be mainly moderate sea-breezes on correspondingly moderate seas, and temperatures are not expected to exceed 27C inland, 23C along the coasts, and 15C at higher altitudes.
As regards the weekend, the extended forecast provides for clear skies and a rise in temperatures.