|Wednesday, 28 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-05-08
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesTassos Papadopoulos:The government is ready for negotiations. Improvements needed on the Anan plan,
Strong criticism by former president Glafkos Clerides on the governments' handling of the situation,
The SARS virus continues to wreak havoc in China...The World Health Organisation further extended its SARS-related travel warning to Taipei, in Taiwan, as well as the mainland Chinese city of Tianjin and the province of Inner Mongolia,
 Tassos statementsPresident of the republic Tassos Papadopoulos stated that the Greek cypriot side has repeatedly expressed its readiness for a new round of settlement negotiations, in the framework of the Anan plan, a plan that needs to be amended and improved, according to the terms that the government of the republic has already submitted and in light of the new developments, after the signing of the accession Treaty in Athens. President Papadopoulos stressed that what is worrying many of the international mediators and understandably so, is whether any hasty actions, will result in a new deadlock or end with an extremely undesirable result. Asked why the Cyprus government did not take an initiative and sent an official letter to the UN Secretary General for the resumption of talks, President Papadopoulos replied that such an initiative is not going to lead anywhere. He added that it should not presented as a magic recipe for the resumption of talks, underlining that all the other steps that need to be taken, havce been taken, in the full knowledge of the Secretary General.
 Tassos missingOn the missing persons issue, Tassos Papadopoulos stated that the procedure for determining their fate, must go ahead withour further delay. President Papadopoulos said that the government will make every effort to achieve a progress in the issue. He also noted that Turkey's attitude on the issue, is provocative to civilised humanity, because it is an insult to the ecumenical values of human life and dignity.
 SpokesmanMeanwhile, government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides stated that the government is ready for a resumption of a dialogue, on the basis of the recent decisions of the National Council. Negotiations, he added, must be held, in accordance with National Council decisions and the response of President Papadopoulos to a letter by the Turkish cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. The spokesman said that the positions expressed by the American ambassador on the Cyprus issue, were positive and stressed that everyone is concerned that a hasty move would lead to deadlock.
 CleridesFormer president of the republic Glafkos Clerides stronglu critisized the government for its handling of the situation, following the partial lifting of restrictions on free movement, on the 23rd of April. He expressed the view that the Turkish invasion, has the initiative, with the government merely following. Speaking at an event of the workers union SEK, which honoured him, Mr Clerides stressed that the government should ask Kofi Anan to send his representative to Cyprus for a resumption of talks. Glafkos Clerides also expressed the view that the Turkish side will never accept talks on the basis of the Anan plan, and therefore will be left out in the cold, while the image of a Greek cypriot side, who is willing to negotiate on the plan, will improve considerably in the international community. Referring to the partial lifting of restrictions on free movement, Mr Clerides said that the goal of the Turkish cypriot leader is not to achieve a solution, but prove the existence of two legal authorities on the island, that can coexist as separate entities.
 VerheugenCommissioner for enlargement Gunther Verheugen stated that the European Union wants a reunited Cyprus to become a full member, but if that is not possible by May 2004, there are other options. Speaking to Turkish reporters in Berlin on Tuesday, Gunther Verheugen reiterated that the issue of the resumption of settlement talks, is a matter concerning the United Nations. The commissioner expressed the hope that a solution will be achieved before the 1st May 2004, in cooperation with the United Nations and with the support of Greece and Turkey. Referring to Turkey's European prospects, commissioner Verheugen noted that is very important for Ankara to satisfy with all the criteria set, because it would be to her interest as well as Europe's. He also welcomed the measures implemented by the Turkish government, for the democratisation of the country, a degree of progress, he added, which had not been achieved in the last 80 years.
 Hungary crashAt least 27 passengers on a German tourist coach were killed when it was sliced in half by a train in central Hungary.
According to police reports, the coach was hit by the Budapest to Nagykanizsa train just after 8.30 in the morning as it crossed a railway line near Siofok on the shores of Lake Balaton, Hungary's leading tourist area.
Police confirmed that at least 27 people on the bus had been killed and 11 seriously injured. There were no reports of serious injuries to passengers on the train.
Tibor Dobson, head of Hungary's national disaster department, told Klub Radio that the death toll was at least 31.
It appeared that the double-decker coach had tried to cross the railway line despite hazard lights warning of an oncoming train.
The bus was dragged some 150 metres down the track and torn in half by the collision.
A team of 30 ambulances and four emergency service helicopters ferried the injured to nearby hospitals.
 SARS wrapU.N. health experts head to a Chinese province today to assess the rapid spread of SARS after the government said the illness could wreak havoc in the countryside, where health services are often poor.
Adding to fears, an international team of scientists said yesterday that the death rate from SARS was higher than previously thought and could be as high as 55 percent in elderly patients.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, trying to stop SARS spreading in the densely populated hinterlands, has told his cabinet to take urgent preventive measures in areas where "basic rural medical facilities are weak".
A team of four World Health Organisation experts would assess the ability of healthcare systems to cope with a SARS outbreak in Hebei province, where the number of probable cases has risen sharply in the past few days.
The province wraps around the capital Beijing, which has the world's highest number of cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and is home to a floating population of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, many from Hebei.
SARS first surfaced in southern China late last year and has killed 219 people and infected 4,560 in the world's most populous nation.
Fears are growing that China's creaking rural health system is unable to cope with major outbreaks of the illness, despite strong government measures to control its spread.
Worldwide, the SARS death toll is nearly 500 and more than 7,300 have been infected.
Scientists said yesterday that the death rate from SARS could be as high as 55 percent among people over 60 years old and 13 percent in those under 60 but there was no evidence the virus had mutated into a deadlier form.
Researchers and health officials in Hong Kong and Britain, who examined data from the first nine weeks of the outbreak of the virus in Hong Kong, also found the incubation period -- the time from infection to displaying symptoms -- averaged six days.
 SARS junkIn the throes of a cleanup campaign against SARS, Hong Kong is trucking 30 tonnes of junk from the home of a woman who hoarded castoffs, ranging from stray cats to broken refrigerators, for more than a decade.
According to the Sun newspaper, if spread out, the rubbish would cover up to three football courts.
Packed from floor to ceiling in two adjoining flats owned by a woman in her sixties, the material included about 300 umbrellas, construction material and thousands of plastic bags.
Among the corpses of cats and rats, and the maggots infesting them, a team of 20 cleaners also turned up a rusty air-conditioner during a week of sifting.
Hong Kong,, is scrambling to raise standards of hygiene to match its image as a regional financial hub.
Welfare workers said the woman, who had slept with a dozen cats in the stairwell of a building for years, is now under observation in the psychiatric ward of a city hospital.
 WeatherIt will be mainly fine this afternoon. Winds will be moderate easterly to northeasterly, force three to four, turning strong force five in windward areas. On the west coast, winds will be light westerly, force three, over slight to moderate seas, and rough seas in eastern windward areas. Temperatures will reach 31 degrees inland, 30 on the south and east coast, 25 on the west and north coast and 21 on the mountains. Tonight it will be mainly fine. Winds will be light northwesterly to northeasterly, force two to three, turning moderate, force four in eastern areas over slight seas and moderate seas om the eastern and north coast. Temperatures will fall to 14 degrees inland, 17 on the coasts and 13 on the mountains. The fire hazard is very high in all forest areas.