|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 02-10-18
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESIt's time for the news, and we begin with the headlines:
President Clerides is holding key talks in the Greek capital,
Britain is still hoping for a Cyprus settlement before December's EU summit,
Rauf Denktash's health appears to be much worse than doctors are saying,
Interior Minister Andreas Panayiotou said huge financial interests are behind protests against the Game Service's raids on restaurants suspected of serving ambelopoulia,
AND British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said London and Washington reserved the right to act alone against Iraq.
 CLERIDESPresident Clerides began a round of contacts in Athens this morning with a meeting with Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos.
According to CyBC reporter covering the President's visit, Mr. Stephanopoulos expressed his satisfaction over the European Commission's report on Cyprus asked to be brief what outstanding issues remain until the completion of the accession process.
President Clerides will also hold crucial talks with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
The two leaders will evaluate the latest developments in Cyprus settlement efforts and will also discuss the island's accession course in light of the European Commission's report.
President Clerides will return to the island tomorrow evening.
 ALLENBritish Foreign Office Cyprus Desk chief Jonathan Allen said London hopes for a Cyprus settlement prior to December's European Union Copenhagen Summit.
Mr. Allen also expressed the hope that a Cyprus solution could be reached even at the the last minute before the Summit meeting.
At the summit, the EU is expected to approve the European Commission's report on Cyprus' accession.
According to the London-based Turkish Cypriot newspaper Toblum Postasi, Mr. Allen equated the Cyprus problem with the situation in Northern Ireland, noting that an agreement could be reached just a few days before the EU Summit.
 HANNAYBritain's Cyprus envoy Lord Hannay arrives to the island next week in a bid to keep the momentum going in settlement efforts.
The British Diplomat will arrive on Thursday and according to his preliminary itinerary, he will have a working breakfast with President Clerides the following day.
He will also meet with House President Demetris Christofias, Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides and possibly UN Cyprus envoy Alvaro de Soto.
Lord Hannay will also travel to the occupied areas for contacts with Turkish Cypriot political leaders.
 DENKTASHRauf Dentkash's health appears to be much worse than doctors and those closest to him are saying.
Turkish Cypriot press reports suggest that complications from Mr. Denktash's open heart surgery are still hampering the Turkish Cypriot leader's health.
Doctors have been forced to remove fluids collected around Mr. Denktash's lungs which have affected his breathing.
It's unclear when Mr. Denktash will be released from hospital, since doctors said they would prefer that he remain in their care.
So-called undersecretary to the president Ergun Olgun said Rauf Denktash will be ready to resume his official duties in two months.
 PANAYIOTOUInterior Minister Andreas Panayiotou dismissed criticisms against the Game Service over Wednesday night's mass raid on restaurants suspected of serving the banned delicacy of ambelopoulia, or Black Caps.
Speaking on CyBC radio this morning, Mr. Panayiotou pondered why ambelopoulia trappers are protesting and hinted that huge financial interests are behind the fuss.
The Interior Minister stressed laws prohibiting trapping and selling of the tiny migratory birds will be enforced to the maximum.
Mr. Panayiotou added that Games Service Chief Pantelis Hadjiyeros is doing his duty consciensciously.
 BIRDSGreens MP George Perdikis criticised colleagues over their attacks on the Game Service.
Mr. Perdikis said those who now pass themselves off as defenders of restaurant owners are the same people who pulled strings with the Game Service to write off fines.
The House Interior Committee will discuss the raid next week in what is expected to be a lively debate.
Disy MP George Georgiou accused the Game Service of excessive zeal and disturbing restaurant patrons.
He added that the raid created a negative impression for tourists and has boomeranged on the government.
Meanwhile, Friends of the Lime Stick Committee members demanded the resignation of the Game Service chief.
Members also called on the Interior Minister to order a probe into allegations of human rights violations by Game wardens during the raid.
 CO-OPAn island-wide probe at all district land registry officers to determine how many companies secured mortgage loans without paying the appropriate duties is expected to wrap up on Monday.
Land Registry Director Andreas Christodoulou said up until now, the problem appears to be contained within the Paphos district.
Speaking on CyBC radio this morning, Mr. Christodoulou said that so far, investigators have found 29 instances where companies illegally received Co-op membership certificates making them eligible for a 1% duty exemption on mortgage loans.
The loans in these instances have not been paid off.
 BALLOTSPolitical parties unanimously approved a government bill that would permit the sorting of ballots at local polls during February's presidential elections.
House Interior Committee Chairman Nicos Katsourides said after a closed-doors committee meeting that all bills and proposed legislation concerning the elections will be tabled before the House in two weeks time for a final vote.
Ruling Disy voted in favour of law making voter registration automatic as soon as a citizen turns 18 years of age, as well as all citizens living temporarily abroad.
Opposition Akel and Diko voted against, while Kissos and the Greens have put a final decision on hold.
Disy and Adik also backed a bill for setting up polling stations at Cyprus embassies abroad, while Akel and Diko turned it down.
 IRAQBritish Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that London and Washington reserved the right to act alone against Iraq, with force if necessary, if the United Nations failed to get President Saddam Hussein to disarm.
Mr. Straw said Britain and the United States were committed to tackling the issue of Iraq and its suspected stock of weapons of mass destruction via the U.N., but only if it produced results.
Washington and London have been engaged in intense negotiations with the other three permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- France, Russia and China -- to win backing for a tough new resolution on Iraq which would automatically trigger an attack if it failed to disarm.
France and Russia have resisted such a resolution and the negotiations have been deadlocked for almost a month.
But diplomats in the United States say Washington has now agreed to give up its call for explicit authorisation of military action against Iraq in the new resolution -- potentially opening the door for a draft to be tabled in the coming days.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be fine with some scattered clouds.
Winds will be southwesterly to northwesterly light to moderate, 3 to 4 beaufort, with slight seas.
Temperatures will reach 30 degrees inland, the southern and eastern coast, 28 on the western and northern coasts, and 20 in the highest mountains.
Tonight will remain fine.
Winds will be northwesterly to northerly light, 2 to 3 beaufort, with slight seas.
Temperatures will drop to 18 degrees inland and the coasts and 11 in the highest mountains.
A reminder that the fire hazard is great in all forest areas.