|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-03-24
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- Central Baghdad shook under the weight of fierce bombing by U.S.-led forces but Iraqi fighters, emboldened by the capture of their first prisoners, stalled troops trying to sweep north to the capital.
-- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein hailed Iraqi military efforts to resist a U.S.-led invasion to overthrow him today and said the invaders had suffered heavy losses
-- Iraq's information minister said today that 62 people had been killed by U.S.-led forces in the previous 24 hours and more than 400 had been wounded.
-- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos completed treatment on his vocal cords and returns to Cyprus from the US this afternoon.
Musical "Chicago" swept through the Oscars today with six awards, including best film, but Holocaust drama "The Pianist" dazzled audiences with two big upset victories for director Roman Polanski and actor Adrien Brody in a ceremony overshadowed by the Iraq war.
 IRAQ LAST NIGHT- Central Baghdad shook under the weight of fierce bombing by U.S.-led forces but Iraqi fighters, emboldened by the capture of their first prisoners, stalled troops trying to sweep north to the capital.
After three days of unbroken successes and minimal setbacks, U.S. and British troops endured their heaviest combat casualties yesterday in their war to overthrow President Saddam Hussein and disarm Iraq of its alleged weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq put five U.S. captives on television and also showed up to eight bloodied corpses of what it said were U.S. soldiers killed in fighting near the southern town of Nassiriya.
Nassiriya, which commands two strategic bridges across the Euphrates River, has seen the toughest fighting so far. There was also Iraqi resistance in the southern city of Basra.
U.S. warplanes again pummeled Baghdad. Several huge explosions rocked the city centre before dawn with no prior warning from air raid sirens and no sign of anti-aircraft fire.
President George W. Bush warned that the war, which reached the 100-hour mark at 0530 GMT today, had only just started.
Financial markets began to take account of a longer battle to depose Saddam than had been expected. Oil prices jumped off four-month lows and the dollar eased on Monday.
 SADDAM SPEECHIraqi President Saddam Hussein hailed Iraqi military efforts to resist a U.S.-led invasion to overthrow him today and said the invaders had suffered heavy losses.
"Be patient, victory is coming," Saddam said in an address on state television, praising the "valiant" contribution of the Iraqi military in resisting a U.S. and British invasion that began on Thursday.
Wearing military uniform and reading a speech from behind a podium, Saddam praised Iraqi commanders including at Umm Qasr, where U.S.-led tanks, ground-attack jets, artillery and infantry have failed to dislodge more than 120 Iraqi Republican Guards.
It was not clear where or when the 20-minute speech was recorded but the fact that Saddam mentioned successes in Umm Qasr and other battles suggested it had been made in the last day or two. Behind Saddam was a white wall and an Iraqi flag.
The U.S. Defense Department had no immediate comment on Saddam's speech, but privately some U.S. defense officials said they remained sceptical whether the Iraqi leader's remarks were live or taped earlier.
 US APACHE HELICOA U.S. defense official today confirmed that one U.S. Apache Longbow helicopter was down in Iraq, but had no comment on claims by Iraq that it had shot down a second attack helicopter.
Two helmets were shown at the scene but there was no apparent sign of the crew. The Apache is a twin-engine army attack helicopter which was deployed in the 1991 Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Sandstorms could be a big challenge for U.S.-led forces in Iraq in coming days, senior officers on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier said today.
Rear Admiral John Kelly, head of all Navy aircraft in the Gulf, also told the crew of the Lincoln that the Iraqi army was "on the run" five days into a war to oust President Saddam Hussein.
 RED CROSS POWSThe International Committee of the Red Cross said today that all parties to the war in Iraq had an obligation under international humanitarian law not to allow the broadcast pictures of their prisoners.
An ICRC spokeswoman in Kuwait said pictures shown on television networks and in newspapers of Iraqi prisoners surrendering to U.S.-led forces and of U.S. soldiers captured by Iraqis were both prohibited by the Geneva Convention.
"The Geneva Convention completely prohibits publishing pictures of prisoners of war, as has been happening, the spokeswoman said, noting it applies to all parties. She added that for the Red Cross, the law is clear, and all the parties involved in this war were signatories.
The ICRC has started approaching the relevant authorities to try and get access to all those taken prisoner.
While the media is not bound by the Geneva Convention, all states who have signed it have an obligation not to expose any prisoners of war to public scrutiny.
 PRESIDENT BACKCyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos completed treatement on his vocal cords and returns to Cyprus from the US this afternoon.
Government SPokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said the President will avoid making statements for a few days but will fully undertake his duties.
 OSCARSMusical "Chicago" swept through the Oscars today with six awards, including best film, but Holocaust drama "The Pianist" dazzled audiences with two big upset victories for director Roman Polanski and actor Adrien Brody in a ceremony overshadowed by the Iraq war.
For much of this year's awards season in Hollywood, "Chicago" had been a front-runner, and coming into the Oscars it was an odds-on favorite in many top categories with 13 nominations, more than any other film.
It took the most honors, but many of those six awards were in minor categories. When "Chicago" star Renee Zellweger lost best actress to a tearful Nicole Kidman in drama "The Hours," the curtain finally came down on the musical about a pair of murdering showgirls and the media who made them stars.
Along with best film, "Chicago" put Catherine Zeta-Jones in the winner category for best supporting actress, and it earned Oscars in art direction, sound, costume design and editing.
Mr. Brody, 29, who portrays Holocaust survivor and piano player Wladyslaw Szpilman in "The Pianist," gave the audience its biggest surprise with a best actor Oscar over heavily favored Daniel Day-Lewis of "Gangs of New York" and Jack Nicholson in "About Schmidt," among rivals. The Oscar for best Supporting actor went to Chris Cooper, of "Adaptation".
Roman Polanski's victory, too, was a shocker because the director fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He faces a long prison term if he returns.
Through the first part of the show, the stars and even show host Steve Martin shied away from mentions of the war in Iraq, but when Michael Moore took to the podium as the winner for a best documentary feature, his anti-gun movie "Bowling for Columbine," all that changed.
His statements set off a round of boos in the audience, which was met with some cheering, then more boos. The theatre became so loud, Mr. Moore could not be heard finishing his speech.
 CYPRUS AIRSPACEThe Cyprus government assured that there has been no use of the Cyprus airspace, based on the facilities which the government had granted to the US government.
FOreign Minister George Iacovou told CyBC that the US admionistration did not ask for more faciliites, and pointed out there is communication on both technical and political level.
Government SPokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said there was no use of the naitonal airspace by warplanes, contrary to the great traffic in the Nicosia FIR.
 BASES DENIALA British Bases spokesman denied press reports that dead soldiers were transferred from the Gulf area to Akrotiri Base in southern Cyprus.
However, Major Tony Brumwell, the British Bases Deputy Spokesman, told CNA that ''there are some injured soldiers but not from the conflict.''
 TEACHER IRAQA Cypriot teacher remains trapped in Iraq and the Foreign Ministry is making efforts to locate her.
Nitsa Georgiou, an english teacher, married with an Iraqi and mother of a young child is in Iraq for the last two years.
Her father, Demetris Georgiou said Nitsa has lost her passport and did not manage to leave before the war broke out. She remains in central Iraq.
Foreign Ministry official, Kyriacos Kouros said it is a unique case because Georgiou has Iraqi and British citizenship. He said efforts are underway through international and humanitarian organisations to locate her.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, the weather will be mainly cloudy with local rain and isolated storms. Snow may fall over Troodos and semi mountainous areas.
Winds will be south-westerly to westerly light to moderate, three to four beaufort and the sea moderate. Temperatures, 14 C inland 16 on the coasts and 2 over the mountains.
Tonight, the weather will remain mainly cloudy with local rain and isolated storms and snow over Troodos and semi-mountainous areas.
Winds will be north-westerly to north-easterly light, two to three beaufort and the sea slight to moderate. Temperatures will fall to four degrees inland seven on the coasts and minus two over the mountains.
The depth of snow on Mt. Olympus is 50 cm and 30 on Troodos Square.