|Sunday, 25 February 2018|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-01-09
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher has indicated that there is still a chance to reach a negotiated settlement in Cyprus by 28 February, a target date set by the UN, in the context of the European Union.
-- The Commander and second in command of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces expressed their opposition to the Annan plan for a Cyprus settlement, claiming the maps which are included in the map were drawn together with the Greek Cypriot side.
-- Top U.N. arms officials brief the U.N. Security Council on inconsistencies in Iraq's arms declaration today after France called on the United States, Britain and others to give the inspectors intelligence on where to find any weapons of mass destruction. And, * A corruption scandal embroiling Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned Israel's election campaign into an open race today after opinion polls showed support for his front-running Likud party plummeting.
 BOUCHER CYPRUSUS State Department spokesman Richard Boucher has indicated that there is still a chance to reach a negotiated settlement in Cyprus by 28 February, a target date set by the UN, in the context of the European Union.
Mr. Boucher also said the US continues to work towards this direction with the parties in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey as well as Europe in a bid to support the UN Secretary General's efforts in every way possible.
''We still believe that there is an opportunity, that February 28th present another opportunity for the parties to get together,'' Mr. Boucher said when asked if the Cyprus question could be solved by end of February.
 DENKTASHTurkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he will not sign the UN Secretary-General's plan for a Cyprus settlement if the necessary changes, as he said, on the territorial, the so called sovereignty and guarantees, do not take place.
In an interview with Anatoly News agency, after he met Turkish Foreign Ministry officials in the occupied north of Cyprus, Mr. Denktash said chances to make substantial changes to the Annan plan are very limited and called on those who are pressuring him to sign it, to sign it themselves.
Commenting on polls in the occupied areas, he said they were the work of people who have a specific mission to persuade the public opinion that he has distanced himself from his so called people.
 TURKS CYPRUSThe Commander and second in command of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces expressed their opposition to the Annan plan for a Cyprus settlement, claiming the maps which are included in the map were drawn together with the Greek Cypriot side.
According to Turkish Cypriot press, General Hilmi Ozkok said he does not want a solution which will jeopardize Turkey's security, because he considers the island very significant for his country's security.
General Yasar Bugugante said he attaches great significance to Rauf Denktash's views.
 RALLY OCCUPIED AREASA new rally in favour of a solution to the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' accession to the European Union will be held next week in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.
The rally is organised by the Platform, "This country is ours" and the organisations which signed the Common Vision. It will take place next Tuesday in the occupied part of Nicosia.
Meanwhile, demonstrators gathered outside the so called "presidential palace" today and called for Rauf Denktash's resignation.
Nationalist organisations who oppose the Annan plan are also staging rallies next Wednesday and Thursday in Famagusta.
 IRAQTop U.N. arms officials brief the U.N. Security Council on inconsistencies in Iraq's arms declaration today after France called on the United States, Britain and others to give the inspectors intelligence on where to find any weapons of mass destruction.
In comments clearly aimed at Washington and London, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said he was sending separate letters to the other 14 Security Council members to provide "all means" and "all information" to the inspectors.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said in an interview that the United States is sharing intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs with U.N. arms experts but continues to withhold some of its most sensitive information
 IRAQ INSPECTORS CYPRUSUN inspectors intend to ask Iraqi scientists who participated in the Iraqio defence programmes, to come to Cyprus for interviews.
According to Time Magazine, the Iraqi scientists will be invited to come to the island with their families next week.
According to the UN Security COuncil decision, inspectors can interview Iraqi scientists outside their country, protecting them from the Iraqi regime.
 ISRAEL SCANDALA corruption scandal embroiling Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned Israel's election campaign into an open race today after opinion polls showed support for his front-running Likud party plummeting.
In a further blow to the Israeli right, the Supreme Court overturned a ban on two prominent Arab candidates for parliament in the January 28 election, a move that could bring more Arab voters to the ballot box.
An aide said Mr. Sharon would try to reverse Likud's slide in a television appearance later in the day in which he would present documents aimed at refuting allegations of wrongdoing over a 1.5 million dollar loan from a South African businessman.
A new poll in the left-wing Ha'aretz newspaper found Likud would win only 27 seats in the 120-member parliament, a drop from 31 predicted in a survey last week and down from 41 estimated in early December.
 INDIA MISSILEIndia today test fired a shorter-range version of its nuclear-capable Agni missile, capable of striking almost anywhere in Pakistan, that analysts said would boost its defences against its nuclear-armed neighbour.
A senior defence official told Reuters the test at a remote site in eastern Orissa state over the Bay of Bengal was perfect.
The ballistic missile test, one of a series planned in coming days, followed the exchange of tough nuclear rhetoric earlier this week by India and Pakistan, which nearly went to war last year over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the test, watched by Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes, came as no surprise as New Delhi's "nuclear and missile ambitions were well known".
 TURKEY PLANEThe investigation into how a Turkish Airlines passenger plane crashed and burst into flames on landing, killing 75 people, began today as the prime minister headed for the disaster site.
Five passengers who were pulled out of the wreckage alive remained in hospital in southeastern Turkey, some of them in serious condition. A two-year-old child who had been taken to hospital was pronounced brain dead early today.
Prime Minister Abdullah Gul ruled out a "terrorist" attack, saying the cause of the crash appeared to be the heavy fog that had enshrouded the city of Diyarbakir for several days.
The aircraft, an RJ100, which had been flying from Constantinople to Diyarbakir, the capital of the mainly Kurdish southeast, crashed into a field as it made its landing approach. Fierce fire hampered rescue attempts.
 PAPHOS MUNICI STRIKEEmployees at the Paphos Municipality began a 48 hour strike this morning, to protest the refusal of the Interior Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to approve the 1996 agreement between the Municipality and unions.
They warned they would escalate their measures if the agreement is not implemented. Union representatives said it is absurd the agreement which was drafted with the approval of the Minister of Labour not to be implemented because the two ministries do not approve the relevant municipality budget.
 EVRIVIADES FUNERALOne of the most important personalities of the town of Larnaca and tourism in general, Andreas Evriviades, will be buried today after he passed away on Sunday at the age of 84.
Evriviades, owner of the "Four Lanterns" hotel in Larnaca, was one of the leading figures in the hotel industry and was president of the Pancyprian Hoteliers' association for 12 years. His funeral will be held at two this afternoon at the St. Lazarus Church in Larnaca.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, the weather will be mainly clear with local cloud. Winds will be south-easterly to westerly light, three beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will rise to 18 C inland, 20 on the coasts and 12 over the mountains.
Tonight the weather will remain clear but thin mist and low cloud will form. Winds will be north westerly to north-easterly light, two to three beaufort and the sea calm to slight. Temperatures will fall to seven degrees inland, nine on the coasts and six over the mountains.