|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-03-26
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesWar in Iraq, day 7. U.S. planes and missiles targeted Iraq's television and Republican Guard defending Baghdad as word filtered out of what may be the biggest battle of the war so far,
British bases refuted claims that the bodies of British soldiers killed in Iraq were brought to Cyprus,
Turkey's military chief held open the possibility Ankara might yet hold back from plans to send troops into northern Iraq that Washington fears could undermine its war operations there
A mystery pneumonia that has killed 50 people and infected more than a thousand is spreading around the world through air travellers.
 Iraq wrapU.S. planes and missiles targeted Iraq's television and Republican Guard defending Baghdad as word filtered out of what may be the biggest battle of the war so far.
As a second day of sandstorms buffeted U.S. armour pushing north across the Iraqi desert towards the capital, reports of the Iraqi death toll in last nights' ferocious battle between U.S. tanks and Iraqi infantry near the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Najaf ranged from scores to hundreds.
Dawn broke over Baghdad on day seven of the war with a fresh wave of air and missile strikes targeting positions of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's trusted Republican Guard, who have the job of defending the approaches to the city.
One blast hit a central area housing the television station.
Military officials in the United States said Iraqi television and satellite communications had been targeted.
Domestic television, a major link between Saddam and his people, began broadcasting verses from the Koran at 9 a.m local time.
Iraq's international satellite channel ceased broadcasting at the time of the raids and appeared to be off the air.
In the south, a correspondent of the Arabic television network al-Jazeera reported from Iraq's second city of Basra that there was no sign of an uprising there, though the sound of explosions suggested fighting in the southeast of the city.
Reuters correspondent Sean Maguire said U.S. Marines were locked in a battle north of the southern town of Nassiriya.
At the other end of Iraq, Reuters correspondent Mike Collett-White watched U.S. planes pound Iraqi frontlines near the town of Chamchamal in Kurdish-controlled areas.
South of Baghdad, advancing U.S. columns were slowed by blinding sandstorms, rain and strong winds which Reuters correspondents said cut visibility to five metres in places.
Rain, fog and chilly temperatures made weather conditions worse and Baghdad was also badly hit by dust storms.
 Blast BaghdadMeanwhile, an air raid on Baghdad hit a busy market in the north of the city, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens.
At least three apartment buildings were badly damaged.
An Iraqi official said journalists would be shown the site of the blast later in the day. U.S. and British planes and missiles have pounded the Iraqi capital since the start of the war on Thursday.
 Bases soldiersBritish bases refuted claims that the bodies of British soldiers killed in Iraq were brought to Cyprus. Bases spokesman Rob Need stated that there are no bodies of British bodies at the bases. According to press reports, at least 16 bodies were brought to the Akrotiri bases. Mr Need said that a small number of wounded were taken to the RAF military hospital at the Akrotiri base, which provides logistical support to operations in Iraq, including the treatment of wounded.
Twenty British soldiers have been killed in battle in Iraq.
 Turkey armyTurkey's military chief held open the possibility Ankara might yet hold back from plans to send troops into northern Iraq that Washington fears could undermine its war operations there.
Comments by armed forces Chief of General Staff Hilmi Ozkok came a day after the United States announced proposals for a loan package of up to 8.5 billion dollars for Turkey.
The dispatch of troops to Iraq against U.S. advice would make approval by congress of such a package less likely.
Kurdish groups in northern Iraq say they will resist any Turkish deployment, possibly by force.
Ozkok said Turkey was concerned by dangers posed by any large flow of refugees from Iraq and by any intercommunal fighting between Iraqi Kurds and Turkmen, whom Ankara regards as oppressed ethnic kin.
Turkish financial markets warmed to the prospect of the financial package, although it is smaller than the $30 billion Ankara forfeited when it refused the United States permission to launch a ground attack on Iraq by 62 thousand troops from Turkish soil.
 Iraq aidA seven-truck convoy of Kuwaiti food aid arrived in the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, whose people are short of supplies after days of fighting that ended with U.S. and British forces taking control.
The U.S. Navy said, meanwhile, that minesweepers had cleared a channel to Umm Qasr that would allow aid ships to arrive soon.
Three trucks of food, three of water and one of mixed supplies drove in from neighbouring Kuwait after a heavy sandstorm forced organisers to scale back original plans to send 30 trucks.
U.S. and British forces sought to capture Umm Qasr, Iraq's only deep-water port situated on the border with Kuwait, soon after invading Iraq last Thursday, but resistance by Iraqi troops and militiamen continued until yesterday.
The aid will be handed over to U.S. Marines in Umm Qasr.
 Market OilOil prices rose today, recouping losses triggered the day before by reports of a civilian uprising against Iraqi government forces in the southern Iraqi oil city of Basra.
Continued heavy production closures in Nigeria also kept the heat under prices.
U.S. April light crude futures rose 61 cents to 28.58 dollars a barrel.
London Brent gained 59 cents to 25.40 dollars.
British Chief-of-Staff Major General Peter Wall said there were indications that a popular revolt might be under way in Basra, Iraq's second biggest city
 Spokesman CyprusGovernment spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides today condemned the arrest of six leading opposition members in the occupied territories. Mr Chrysostomides stated that the effort to silence the voice of the Turkish-cypriot opposition, in conjuction with the insistence of Rauf Denktash to change basic aspects of the Anan plan, prove that the Turkish-cypriot leader, is not being at all helpful in efforts to achieve a settlement. The government spokesman noted the fact that the six opposition leader, were warned against continuing their activities. Mr Chrysostomides said that in line with tonights briefing on the Cyprus issue, by the UN chiefs' special advisor Alvaro De Soto to the five permanent members of the Security Council, Athens and Nicosia are continuing an international campaign highlighting Denktash and Ankaras' responsibility for the deadlock and suggesting that the Secretary General goes on with his good offices mission.
 Health pneumoniaBack to foreign news and A mystery pneumonia that has killed 50 people and infected more than a thousand is spreading around the world through air travellers.
The outbreak is widely believed to have started in southern China late last year before showing up in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and Germany in recent weeks. Deaths have been reported in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Canada and Singapore.
Officials in mainland China said today an outbreak of atypical pneumonia in southern Guangdong province was far worse than it had previously admitted, with 31 people dead and nearly 800 infected by the end of February.
World Health Organization officials believe the virus spreading around the world is linked to the outbreak in southern China which began in November, but have yet to prove it scientifically.
Singapore said it would shut all schools to contain the mystery pneumonia.
 WeatherIt will be mainly fine this afternoon, with patchy clouds. Winds will be moderate westerly to northwesterly, force three to four, over moderate seas in windward areas. Temperatures will reach 16 degrees inland, 18 on the coasts and six on the mountains. Tonight it will be mainly fine. Winds will be light northwesterly to northeasterly, force two to three over slight seas. Temperatures will drop to seven degrees inland, nine on the coasts and two on the mountains. The depth of snow on Mount Olympus is 80 centimetres and 60 in Troodos square.