|Wednesday, 23 January 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-01-03
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 headlinesIt's time for the news, and we begin with the headlines:
The island's presidential elections have been officially set for February 16,
President Clerides has yet to decide if he will run again,
A broad-based coalition of political parties and organisations have signed a declaration of support for the Turkish Cypriots,
While, the island's cultural elite denounce the Annan plan,
AND North Korea said it's willing to talk to the US to defuse a showdown over its nuclear programme.
 electionsThe island's presidential elections were officially set this morning for February 16.
The runoff, if needed, will be held on February 23.
January 17 has been officially set as the deadline for the submission of candidacies.
Speaking on CyBC radio this morning, chief Returns Officer George Theodorou said for the first time, candidacy submission will take place at Nicosia's Hilton Hotel.
Lists of elligible voters will remain posted at the offices of all District officers and Community leaders until January 12.
The deadline for voter registration was yesterday.
Mr. Theodorou said voter registration was down this year, as only half of all new elligible voters applied.
 PapapetrouGovernment spokesman Michalis Papapetrou repeated that President Clerides has yet to decide if he will run again for the island's top political job.
Speaking on CyBC radio this morning, Mr. Papapetrou said the President has concerns that settlement efforts are put on the backburner on account of the elections.
Mr. Papapetrou dismissed the argument that someone else could carry on settlement talks because all opinion polls show that Glafcos Clerides enjoys the trust of the majority of Cypriots.
The government spokesman accused Diko leader Tassos Papadopoulos of doubletalk and of aiming to bury the Annan plan.
He added that in the history of the Cyprus issue, Mr. Papadopoulos never even agreed to discuss any settlement plan.
Mr. Papapetrou indirectly confirmed that President Clerides has sent a reply letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
 DikoMeanwhile, Diko welcomed the official declaration of elections which signals the end of what it called the desperate efforts of some in power to have them postponed.
In a statement, the party said it has unwaveringly supported the view that elections must be held, so as to counter what it called the petty politics of some whose objective was to sidestep constitutional procedures.
The party also said its leader and presidential candidate Tassos Papadopoulos remain committed to a viable Cyprus settlement through substantial negotiations on the Annan plan.
 OmirouOn his part, Kissos leader Yiannakis Omirou said politicians ought to set the record straight about what their intentions are regarding the presidential elections.
He said it's paradoxical that elections have been declared today when the political landscape remains so muddled.
Referring to the fact that President Clerides has yet to tip his hand about his intentions, Mr. Omirou said citizens deserve to know who will contest the presidential elections.
He clarifed that Kissos is not in any alliance with ruling Disy and it is moving ahead with its preparations to contest the elections in light of the fact that there are no indications of any rapid developments in the Cyprus issue.
 SupportA coalition of political parties and organisations signed a joint declaration in support of Turkish Cypriots.
The declaration expresses the Greek Cypriot community's committment to the island's reunification through a peacefull settlement.
It also states that European Union accession for the island is an achievement that belongs to both Greek and Turkish Cypriots and which can bolster efforts to find a mutually acceptable and viable settlement that respects the human rights of all the island's inhabitants.
A list of the parties and organisations which signed the declaration was made public at a news conference this morning.
Parties include Akel, Disy, Kissos, United Democrats, Trade Unions, the Journalists' Union of Cyprus and over 30 bicommunal cooperation groups.
 manifestoSome 83 individuals from the island's cultural elite, including renowned poet Kostas Montis and former Education Minister Kleri Angelidou, have signed a joint statement in opposition of the Annan plan.
The statement said all those who signed oppose the plan as is because it tramples on the fundamental human rights of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots and converts the state into a racist state of inequality that is fraught with serious dangers.
Copies of the statement has been sent to President Clerides, House President Demetris Christofias as well as to Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos, the United Nations and the European Union.
 KoreaNorth Korea said it is willing to talk to the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency to defuse a showdown over its nuclear programme.
The communist state's ambassador to China, Choe Jin-su, told a news conference in Beijing the North's decision to reactivate the nuclear programme was an act of self-defence and accused Washington of refusing to discuss the crisis.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the ambassador as calling for unconditional talks, but the Chinese translation of his comments made no mention of conditions or a lack of them.
However, Washington, which announced in October that the North had admitted to a secret nuclear weapons programme, has said it will not reward bad behaviour by holding talks with the North.
 CycloneAlmost a week after powerful cyclone Zoe battered a remote island chain in the South Pacific, relief supplies were finally on their way today as the Solomons Islands government declared the area a disaster zone.
As criticism mounted about the slow response to a disaster some fear could have killed many of the 3,700 islanders, a patrol boat set off on the 1,000 km two-day journey from the Solomons' capital Honiara late yesterday.
The Solomons government declared Tikopia and Anuta islands disaster areas after analysing aerial photographs taken from a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft that flew over the area to assess the damage.
Home Affairs Minister Clement Rojumana said a disaster declaration allowed the government to appeal for help.
The bankrupt island state, a former British colony of 450,000 people dependent on foreign aid, has struggled to respond quickly to the disaster because it lacks funds and the sheer distance to the battered islands.
 schoolsPrimary school and kindergarten registration for the next school year will take place between the ninth and fifteenth of January.
The Education Ministry said there will be no new registration period in September.
According to regulations, children born on December 31, 1997 and before, or whose age is at least five years and eight months before September, 2003, can register for Grade One.
 weatherAfternoon cloudy periods may yield some showers and isolated thundershowers, while snow or sleet is expected at higher altitudes.
Winds will be southeasterly to southwesterly, light to moderate, force 3 to 4, with slight to moderate seas.
Temperatures are expected to reach 17 degrees inland, 19 on the coasts and 8 in the highest mountains.
More clouds tonight may yield isolated showers and now in the mountains.
Winds will be northwesterly to northeasterly light, force 2 to 3 with moderate seas.
Temperatures will drop to 9 degrees inland, 11 on the coasts and 4 in the highest mountains.