|Monday, 9 December 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 02-09-17
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESReuters quotes EU diplomats as saying that Cyprus may be left out of the bloc's first wave of enlargement, while the island's Foreign Minister refers to the possibility on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, and the UN-sponsored direct talks on a Cyprus settlement continue in Nicosia;
Greece and Turkey sign a natural disaster relief co-operation memorandum;
A decision by Iraq to re-admit UN arms inspectors comes up against a sceptical reaction from the White House;
Israeli forces sweep through the outskirts of a southern Gaza Strip city;
Investigations into the island's illegal car-assembly scam continue;
A new and controversial fertility clinic begins operation in London.
 eu cyprusReuters News Agency today cited EU diplomats as saying that next month may see the omission of Cyprus from the list of candidate-states deemed ready to close accession talks in December, for fear of upsetting delicate peace negotiations.
The list is expected to be approved by EU-leaders when they meet in Brussels on October 24th and 25th, with the countries named finally joining the bloc in 2004.
In a direct quote, and referring to both the peae negotiations and Turkey's November 3rd elections, one such diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said "We have to ask whether it's wise at this juncture to state clearly that Cyprus will be in the next wave," adding in another quote that "We don't want to do anything to create turbulence in Turkey on the eve of their election...The timing would argue in favour of less specific language on Cyprus," and "It would surely be wise to remove any pressure on the two sides as they seek a solution."
 Kasoulides CyprusMeanwhile, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides was today cited by the Cyprus News Agency as having told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York that Nicosia and Athens are jointly studying all possible scenaria which could be played out at December's EU Copenhagen summit, so that the Republic's accession is not obstructed.
Cyprus' Foreign Minister elaborated by saying that possible dangers include conditions being set on the island's accession as well as the voicing of a wish towards a settlement considered unsatisfactory by the island's legitimate government.
At the same time however, Ioannis Kasoulides noted that he personally does not believe that any conditions will be set, while he also emphasised that the messages received from his European counterparts and EU officials alike have been nothing but positive. In answer to a relevant question, he added that Greece has seen to it that the Brussels summit does not differentiate Cyprus' accession from that of the other nine candidate-states.
The CNA further reported that Mr Kasoulides has already discussed the issue with his Greek counterpart, Yiorgos Papandreou, with another meeting with Greek Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs, Tassos Yiannitsis, scheduled for today.
 Direct talksThe UN-sponsored direct talks between President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash continued this morning, with the two leaders once again meeting on the grounds of the inoperative Nicosia International Airport in the presence of the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor for Cyprus, Alvaro deSoto.
Today's session was the third between the two leaders following their September 6th 3-way meeting in Paris with UN Chief Kofi Annan.
In keeping with a UN-requested news blackout on the content of the talks however, no statements were made by either side by the time of us going on air.
 gr-tur memoStill on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers Yiorgos Papandreou and Shukru Sina Gurel last night signed a memorandum on co-operation in dealing with natural disasters.
The agreement provides for the establishment of a joint relief team to be made available to the United Nations in line with the existing UN co-operation memorandum, effective immediately.
The UN official attending last night's signing thanked the two countries for both their co-operation and the memorandum itself, which he described as a model for other UN member-states.
 iraq offerIraqi President Saddam Hussein, under intense world diplomatic pressure backed by the threat of US military action, last night agreed to readmit United Nations weapons inspectors without conditions. The move however was met with a sceptical reaction from the White House, which called it an evasive tactic that would fail, while Russia said Iraq's decision would deflect military action.
The announcement of Iraq's intent was made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself, who said, in a direct quote, "I have received a letter from the Iraqi authorities conveying their decision to allow the return of the inspectors without conditions." The inspectors were withdrawn in December 1998, just prior to a US-British bombing blitz designed to punish Baghdad for its alleged failure to cooperate with the UN.
Following the announcement, the White House sped to dismiss the offer, with spokesman Scott McClellan insisting that a "new, effective UN Security Council resolution that will actually deal with the threat Saddam Hussein poses" is still needed. The 15-member council is scheduled to hold consultations later today.
The White House reaction came as an echo to previous statements made by US President George W. Bush, who has repeatedly vowed to seek "regime change" in Iraq, with officials refusing to rule out military action, regardless of whether the inspections resume.
 mideastIsraeli tanks and troops swept through the outskirts of a city in the southern Gaza Strip this morning, destroying metal workshops suspected of being arms factories, and arresting 23 Palestinians.
The raid, the latest of several in Gaza this month, underlined the Israeli army's increased focus on the narrow strip of land bordering Egypt in its efforts to quell the almost two-year-old Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.
Palestinian witnesses and security sources said about 30 tanks and armoured vehicles penetrated about two kilometres into the city of Khan Younis.
The army, which has stepped up raids in Gaza while enforcing curfews in West Bank cities, said its forces had demolished nine foundries used to manufacture makeshift bombs, rockets and ammunition.
The owners of the workshops denied that their premises were being secretly used to make weapons, while there were no immediate reports of casualties in the raid.
 car scamCyprus Customs Authority and Police Headquarters CID investigations into the recently-uncovered car-assembly scam are continuing, with reports having come in of two more cases involving an equal number of police personnel, who may not have paid the appropriate amount in duty fees.
Also being looked into is the possibility of prominent citizens of the Republic having purchased such vehicles, while the matter of civil servants having aided and abetted the perpetrators of the scam is not being discounted.
Yesterday saw the suspension from duties of police superintendent Ioannis Panayiotou, from whose house two luxury cars were confiscated last Saturday. The cars belong to a company registered under the name of his daughter, a university student.
 tailerToday's tailer comes to us straight from the UK, with the "Daily Telegraph" reporting yesterday that Europe's first fertility clinic for lesbians and single women is due to open in London.
The Women's New Life Centre -- as it's called -- is being launched by the initiators of <www.mannotincluded.com>, a website dedicated to helping lesbians find sperm donors.
According to founder John Gonzales, the centre constitutes a direct response to the insensitive way in which lesbian and single women are treated by a number of clinics due to social prejudice.
The opening of the Women's New Life Centre follows the huge success of the <www.mannotincluded.com> website which within ten days of being launched attracted 3,000 couples and 5,000 willing donors.
Gonzales said he expects about 800 customers a year at the clinic, while he also plans to open two others, in Manchester and Edinburgh.
For those interested, the website, once again, is www.mannotincluded.com
 weatherGenerally fair conditions are forecast for this afternoon, even though passing cloud may lead to the possibility of scattered showers in areas. Winds will be moderate southwesterlies, 3-4BF, gusting to 5 at times, on correspondingly slight to moderate seas, while temperatures are not expected to exceed 33C inland, 31C in the south, 30C in the west, and 25C at higher altitudes.
Generally fair conditions are also forecast for this evening, with winds abating to light west-to-northwesterlies, 3BF, on slight seas, and temperatures dropping to 20C inland, 21C in coastal regions, and 17C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
A reminder that the fire hazard is extremely high in all forest areas.