|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 02-10-25
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- Eight children were released today from a Moscow theatre where Chechen rebels have been holding 700 theatre-goers hostage since Wednesday night.
-- In Nicosia, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides expressed the government and people of Cyprus concern over the terrorist action and the hostage taking of hundreds of innocent civilians in Russia.
-- European Union leaders looked set today to approve financial terms to offer 10 mostly ex-communist candidate countries after France and Germany clinched a crucial deal on curbing farm spending. And,
 MOSCOW SIEGEEight children were released today from a Moscow theatre where Chechen rebels have been holding 700 theatre-goers hostage since Wednesday night.
RIA news agency, quoting officials in a government crisis centre, said the eight were led from the building in southeast Moscow by members of the International Committee of the Red Cross who had earlier entered negotiations with rebels inside the building.
Meanwhile, hitches delayed the expected release of scores of foreigners held hostage, along with hundreds of Russians in the Moscow theatre.
U.S. diplomats said foreigners among the hostages seized on Wednesday night would be freed at 0700 GMT today but a senior Russian security official said this time related to the start of negotiations.
Some 75 foreigners are among the hostages, including Australians, Austrians, Britons, Germans and three Americans.
The rebels, who have some 700 hostages in the theatre rigged with explosives, said all foreigners would be freed during the day.
The theatre was stormed by a gang of 40 heavily-armed Chechens separatists demanding Russian troops pull out of their homeland in southern Russia.
The attack, which drew condemnation from world leaders, dealt a humiliating blow to President Vladimir Putin, whose meteoric rise to power was built largely on his decision to send Russian troops back into breakaway Chechnya in October 1999.
 KASOULIDES HOSTAGES RUSSIAIn Nicosia, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides expressed the government and people of Cyprus concern over the terrorist action and the hostage taking of hundreds of innocent civilians in Russia.
He said Cyprus expresses its solidarity with the people of Russia and hopes the incident will end peacefully.
 EU SUMMITEuropean Union leaders looked set today to approve financial terms to offer 10 mostly ex-communist candidate countries after France and Germany clinched a crucial deal on curbing farm spending.
A draft agreement circulated to the 15 leaders before their second day of summit talks endorsed the goal of 10 countries concluding accession talks in December and joining in 2004.
The emerging deal would be a triumph for French President Jacques Chirac, who was determined to perpetuate the bloc's costly Common Agricultural Policy after enlargement, and a defeat for countries such as Britain and the Netherlands that had sought a radical slimming down of farm subsidies.
The draft accord stressed the historic dimension of EU enlargement in healing the Cold War wounds in Europe.
The candidates expected to join in 2004 are Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta.
Under the Danish presidency proposal, they would receive direct farm payments from the day they join but only reach the same level as existing member states after a decade.
They would also be guaranteed that they will not be worse off after joining than before, with lump sum compensation if necessary to ensure a positive cashflow.
The draft set no date for two other applicant countries, Bulgaria and Romania, to join the EU nor for Turkey to open entry talks.
But diplomats said both issues would be addressed at the Copenhagen EU summit in December, which is due to wrap up accession talks with the 10 leading candidates.
 NATIONAL GUARD NIKIFOROSNational Guard Commander, Lieutenant-General Athanasios Nikolodemos, said that at the time being there are no reports that Nikiforos or Toxotis military exercises will be postponed.
The Commander said preparations and planning continue as scheduled.
Speaking at a press conference where he gave details about the military exercise, noting that all weaponry systems will be used.
He further said that the exercise, to be held between the 29th of October and 3 of November, and will be upgraded this year.
A total of one thousand reservists will take place and the aim will be to test the operational readiness of the National Guard.
The main stages of the exercise will be held on November 1st and November 2nd.
 HANNAY KASOULIDES CLERIDESForeign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said British envoy Lord David Hannay's visit to Cyprus is taking place at the right time, since negotiations are underway to gather information with the aim to submit an overal plan for a Cyprus settlement.
Speaking after meeting Lord Hannay, Mr Kasoulides said the British diplomat is ina listening mode regarding the positions of the Greek Cypriot side on specific issues, instead of making suggestions. He said the Greek Cypriot side wants to make its positions clear to all interest parties.
The Foreign Minister reiterated that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has not decided whether he will submit a draft resolution, even though it is expected after the Turkish elections.
Earlier, Lord Hannay attended a working breakfast with President Glafcos Clerides at the Presidential Palace where they discusssed the latest developments on Cyprus and how to proceed. He also held a meeting with House President Demetris Christofias and will hold talks with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot politicians and Rauf Denktash's advisor, Mumtaz Soyzal.
 IRAQ RESIraq said today a U.S. draft resolution at the United Nations to disarm Baghdad would turn U.N. weapons inspections into spying for any U.S. war plans.
The U.S. draft was submitted to the 15-member U.N. Security Council on Wednesday and could be voted on as early as next week.
U.N. weapons inspectors, sent to Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, left in 1998. Washington has been seeking a tough new U.N. resolution to strengthen the inspectors' powers in hunting for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
The Security Council is expected to debate the U.S. draft resolution for the first time today. Russia and France have voiced reservations about the U.S. draft, saying its language could trigger military action before the inspectors report on any Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
 MIDEASTHundreds of Israeli soldiers backed by scores of tanks and other military vehicles took control of the Palestinian city of Jenin today in response to a suicide bombing that killed 14 people.
The incursion into the West Bank, from where Israel says Monday's bombing was launched, was the biggest since an army offensive in the West Bank in April.
Israel carried out the raid even though U.S. envoy William Burns is in the region discussing a "road map" for Middle East peacemaking. Washington wants an easing of tensions in the region as it seeks Arab support for possible war in Iraq.
Witnesses said troops had commandeered 40 to 50 houses as stakeout posts in the battle-scarred city, reoccupied by the army in June and under curfew for most of the time since then.
Palestinian hospital officials said two youths were shot and seriously injured as the tanks rumbled in during the night.
 QUAKE CYPRUSAn earthquake measuring 4,6 on the Richter scale rattled parts of Cyprus early this morning, with no damage reported.
A press release issued by the Department of Geological Survey said the epicenter of the earthquake was five kilometres off Cyprus' western coast.
The quake was felt in the Paphos, Limassol and Nicosia district at 4.56 in the early hours today.
Civil Defence Commander, Christos Kyriakides told CyBC that slight damage has been reported at a house in Strovolos.
The strongest earthquake to hit Cyprus in the last years was in 1996 and registered 6.3 on the Richter scale.
 HOUR CHANGESSummer time ends this Sunday. At four in the morning all clocks will have to be set back one hour.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, the weather will be clear with some high cloud. Winds will be south-westerly to north-westerly light to moderate, three to four beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will reach 28 C inland , on the south and east coast, 26 C on the west and north and 23 on the mountains.
Tonight the weather will remain clear with high cloud again. Winds will be north-westerly light, two to three beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to 15 C inland, 17 C on the coasts and 12 over the mountains.
The fire hazard remains very high in all forest areas.