|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 02-05-30
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESTurkey's National Security Council is today discussing the Cyprus Issue and the country's relations with the European Union;
The occupation regime is calling for an extension of its so-called "territorial waters";
An American newspaper reports that plans are underway to airlift some 60,000 US citizens from India and Pakistan;
Israeli forces enter Hebron this morning;
The organisers of the 2002 FIFA World Cup have prepared a pre-night Gala Festival, to be shown live on CyBC-1 this afternoon;
Britain's "Punch" magazine appears to have delivered its last blow.
 TURKEY CYTurkey's all-powerful National Security Council is, according to the Constantinople-based "Milliyet" newspaper, today set to discuss the Cyprus Issue and the country's relations with the European Union.
Always according to the paper, discussions will focus on the proposals tabled by the Greek-Cypriot side during the UN-sponsored direct talks and the possibility of arriving at a mutually-acceptable settlement on the island's long-standing problem. Also to be examined is the eventuality of Cyprus' EU-accession being realised prior to a solution, and the stance to be adopted by Turkey in such a case.
The Athens News Agency meanwhile cites informed sources as saying that the Council is adamant on the procurement of a separate and distinct sovereignty for the Turkish-Cypriots, irrespective of all other ramifications of a possible solution.
Any decisions to be taken at today's meeting, which is not being attended by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit given his poor state of health, will be conveyed to Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, expected in the occupied areas of the Republic on an illegal visit on Saturday.
 DENKTASHMeanwhile, Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash stated yesterday that should a separate and distinct sovereignty not be established for his so-called state, there can be no hope of a settlement being reached at the eleventh hour. The statement was made just before a scheduled meeting with the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor for Cyprus, Alvaro deSoto, while no further statements were made after the meeting.
In a separate development, the occupation regime today called for an extension of its so-called "territorial waters", from the existing 3 miles to 12.
The decision, taken by the pseudostate's cabinet, will be tabled for approval by the illegal regime's parliament. In the proposal, it's noted that the illegal regime should enjoy the same rights as what is described as the Greek-Cypriot administration, given that the so-called "TRNC" is also "a sovereign and independent republic."
 spokes watersCommenting on the development, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said that the Republic will file a demarche with the UN Secretary-General and the five permanent member-states of the UN Security Council, as well as with international organisations over the matter.
Mr Papapetrou also described as "contradictory" the fact that the Turkish side is proceeding with brazen provocations at the same time that it's declaring a willingness to resolve the Cyprus Issue.
He further added that while the Turkish side's aim is clear for all to see, the Greek-Cypriot side will not fall into the trap of contributing to a possible crisis, neither will it facilitate Turkey in a crystallisation of its intransigent positions and their consequences for the island in particular and the region as a whole.
The Government Spokesman also refuted Mr Denktash's claims that the Cyprus Republic had recently extended its territorial waters, reminding all those attending today's press briefing that the last extension took place in 1964.
 us evacThe US government is drawing up plans for a mass evacuation of more than 60,000 Americans from India and Pakistan, as tensions escalate between the two nuclear neighbours over disputed Kashmir.
According to today's edition of "USA Today", a US government team is already in India working on a contingency plan to evacuate 1,100 servicemen stationed at three bases in Pakistan and more than 60,000 US citizens in both countries. The report however was refuted by the American embassy in New Delhi embassy, with a spokesman denying that a team from Washington was in India preparing an evacuation plan.
The newspaper also cited an unnamed Pentagon official as saying that US State Department officials were working with officials from the US military's Pacific Command on plans for a massive airlift of American civilians.
India and Pakistan have been exchanging mortar and machinegun fire in disputed Kashmir for days now, while approximately one million men have been mobilised along the border as fears of an all-out war heighten. The two countries have fought three wars since 1947, including two over Kashmir.
 mideastIsraeli forces arrested 10 suspected militants in raids in the West Bank early this morning, following a resurgence of Palestinian attacks against Israelis, the army said. Witness said that between 30 and 40 armoured vehicles entered Palestinian areas in the city of Hebron at around 2 a.m. or 2300 GMT and troops searched houses. The army said it arrested four people in the city.
In Ramallah meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority announced that President Yasser Arafat has ratified a fundamental constitutional law, with lawmakers saying that the move marks the start of a loosening of the veteran politician's exclusive grip on power. The lawmakers further said that the "Basic Law", as it's been dubbed, constitutes part of a reform process Arafat kicked off on May 15th under international and internal pressure.
At the same time, Israel's army chief sparked bitter debate at a security cabinet meeting, after tabling a renewed proposal to exile Yasser Arafat following yesterday's killing of three youths in a Jewish settlement by a Palestinian gunman. According to Israeli political sources, Lieutenant-General Shaul Mofaz was upbraided by Prime Minister Sharon for overstepping his bounds.
On the international front, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is set to kick off a Middle East tour in a joint drive with the US to prepare an international conference to revive Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. CIA Director George Tenet is also scheduled to travel to the Middle East at the end of the week.
 mundial pre-night galaWith the stage -- or the pitch as the case may be -- all set for tomorrow's official opening of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, our First Television Channel will, in about 20 minutes, link up with the South Korean capital of Seoul for what has been dubbed a "pre-night Gala Festival".
The almost 2-hour show features Far Eastern traditional music and dances, popular classical music excerpts, performances by an international array of pop artists, and a fashion parade.
Also scheduled to make their appearance at the Gala are footballers who've made history in the sport's annals, including Germany's Franz Beckenbauer and Portugal's Eusebio.
The event will be re-broadcast at 11:15 tonight, once again on CyBC's First Television Channel.
 TAILERIn today's tailer, an obituary of sorts, with Britain's "Punch" magazine, the satirical publication which had been lampooning the country's establishment for more than 150 years, folding for a second and possibly last time, yesterday.
"Punch" had previously gone out of circulation in 1992, only to be resurrected by Egyptian multi-millionaire Mohammed Al-Fayed four years later with a glittering launch party at the mogul's other par-excellence British establishment, the Harrods department store.
Since 1996 however, the fortnightly magazine's circulation, at a cost of 40,000 pounds per issue, had slumped to less than 6,000 from a peak of 175,000 in the 1940s.
It seems though that old magazines don't just fade away without a trace, they get relocated. And while the last printed edition hit the shelves this Monday, a "virtual" Punch will continue on the Internet at -- suprise-surprise -- <www.punch.co.uk>
Once again, that's <www.punch.co.uk>
 WEATHERGenerally fair conditions are forecast for this afternoon, even though skies will be marked by patchy cloud. Winds will be moderate to strong southwesterlies, 4-5BF, on moderate seas, while temperatures are not expected to exceed 27C inland, 26C along the coasts, and 22C at higher altitudes.
Generally fair conditions are also forecast for this evening, with mist and low cloud however forming in areas. Winds will abate to light northwesterlies, 2-3BF, on slight seas, and temperatures will drop 15C inland and in coastal regions, and 12C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
Tomorrow's forecast includes much of the same, while the weekend may see some scattered showers, mainly inland and over the mountains, during the afternoon hours.
A reminder that the fire hazard is high in all forest areas.