|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-05-27
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 headlinesThe President of the Republic continues his series of meetings in Athens and will be returning to the island this evening;
Cyprus' Foreign Minister notes that the EU aquis communautaire should be incorporated in the Annan Plan;
Three Dutch nationals are detained at Larnaka Airport for circulating counterfeit US dollars;
Violence once again flares in the Middle East, while the Israeli and Palestinian prime-ministers try to arrange a meeting;
Armenia's parliamentary elections are marred by charges of vote-rigging;
Have cheese, will travel.... Or maybe not!
 tassos pasokPresident of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, in Athens for a series of meetings, this morning addressed a joint session of Greece's ruling PASOK party's central committee and parliamentary group.
In his address, he stressed that while Turkey's policy on Cyprus is to hold sway over the northern part of the island and at the same time be an equal partner in the south, this will never come to pass.
President Papadopoulos further voiced the assessment that the road to a fair and just Cyprus settlement is long, with the recent breach in the wall dividing the island, a wall built by Turkey, hardly constituting a step towards a solution. "The Greek-Cypriot side," he went on to say, "accepts the Annan Plan as a basis for negotiations and is ready to respond to a UN call for a resumption of settlement talks, having Greece as a stalwart supporter of this position."
At the same time however, he noted that the island's accession to the European Union cannot but act as a catalyst to a solution, pointing out that any one country's welfare cannot be enjoyed for long when some of the people, in this case the Turkish-Cypriots, live in conditions of penury, oppression and misery. "It's for this reason," he added, "that efforts aimed at the participation of the Turkish-Cypriots in the opportunities created by the island's accession to the European Union are not acts of pity or mercy, but the result of a correct, historic and political stance."
The President of the Republic is currently meeting with Greek opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, and will be returning to Cyprus this evening.
 iakovou athensOn a related note, Foreign Minister Yiorgos Iakovou told our station this morning that the EU aquis communautaire should, without any question, be incorporated in the Annan Plan, adding that the Greek-Cypriot side's intent is to fully utilise all data so that a just and viable solution to the island's long-standing problem is found.
Mr Iakovou further said that the president's Athens' meetings examined various possible courses of action which for obvious reasons cannot be announced.
He did disclose however that Athens and Nicosia agree that the idea of asking the UN Secretary-General to call for a resumption of talks so that the Turkish-Cypriot leader's ruses may be exposed does not stand to reason, given that Rauf Denktash is already the accused as regards Cyprus settlement efforts.
 dutchmen counterfeitThree Dutch nationals were detained at Larnaka Airport this morning in connection with a case concerning the circulation of counterfeit US dollars.
Their arrest followed an official complaint filed by 49-year-old Larnaka resident Yiannis Mikhail, who reported that two foreigners holding Liberian diplomatic passports had, on separate occassions, divested him of 30-thousand pounds.
According to Mikhail, the two foreigners had agreed to buy from him a Larnaka night-spot for the sum of 400-thousand pounds, and had given him a small down-payment in genuine but blackened 100-dollar bills which, after being wiped with a special fluid, regained their original appearance.
Subsequent payments were also made, but on using the fluid, Mikhail discovered that the thought-to-be blackened dollar-notes were nothing more than blank pieces of paper.
A search of the three suspects' luggage came up with a large number of counterfeit US banknotes.
 mideast violenceIsraeli troops shot dead an 11-year-old Palestinian boy during a confrontation with stone-throwing youths in the West Bank late yesterday afternoon, according to Palestinian witnesses and medics.
The boy was hit in the head when soldiers fired live rounds to try to disperse a crowd of demonstrators in a village near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Hospital officials said he died of his wounds, while the Israeli army announced that it was checking the report.
The army said that troops also shot dead one of two Palestinians who infiltrated into Israel from the Gaza Strip earlier in the day, with the second Palestinian giving himself up. The army said they found no guns on the men, but soldiers suspected them of trying to carry out an attack in Israel.
In yet another incident, Israeli troops shot at a convoy of diplomatic vehicles at a military roadblock in the Gaza Strip yesterday, twice hitting the windscreen of one of the cars but causing no injuries.
Diplomatic sources said that the passengers were badly shaken by the incident as the small convoy was stopped leaving the town of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, close to the main Erez crossing with Israel. The convoy included representatives of Switzerland, Britain, Greece, Sweden, and Austria.
 mideast meetingMeanwhile, plans to arrange a meeting of the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers this week have been put on hold.
Political sources on both sides announced this morning that scheduling problems prevented them from meeting as hoped tomorrow, even though the Palestinian sources said a meeting was possible on Thursday. The leaders are expected to meet next week at a summit with US President George W. Bush.
The meeting had been expected to discuss the U.S.-backed Middle East "road map" to peace which Israel's cabinet approved on Sunday despite certain reservations. The Palestinians had already approved the plan.
 armenia elecsArmenians went to the polls in parliamentary elections on Sunday, with official results released last night showing the opposition as having won a large slice of votes but failing to loosen President Robert Kocharyan's grip on power, amid accusations of vote-rigging.
According to preliminary figures, Kocharyan's allies garnered 25% of the votes cast, while the opposition Fairness and National Unity parties gleaned just under 24% together. Turnout was 51.5%. Out of 21 parties running in the poll only three others cleared the 5% barrier required to enter the chamber.
Opposition leaders accused the president's allies of tampering with the results, a charge substantiated by international observers including representatives of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who said they had witnessed ballot box fraud and rigging during the count.
 tailerToday's tailer comes to us from the English county of Gloucestershire, where for centuries now, in a custom which dates back to the Middle Ages, residents have practised the timeless and surprisingly dangerous springtime ritual of chasing large, speeding, round cheeses down steep hills, with the winner -- and no pun intended -- getting to keep the cheese.
This year however, ankles will go unbroken and heads will go ungashed, because the perilous cheeses of Gloucestershire will, alas, go unrolled.
Originally scheduled for yesterday, the event was cancelled because emergency crews which had volunteered to help clear the tumbling casualties from the hillside were summoned to Algeria to rescue earthquake victims.
Voicing disappointment over the cancellation, organising committee member Richard Jefferies was quoted by Reuters as saying "It's not very dangerous. People do get injured but usually minor abrasions, the odd broken arm or leg or something... nothing serious." Asked if he was speaking from personal experience, he further noted: "I'm on the committee which organises it but I've never done it. I've got more sense."
 weatherGenerally fair conditions are forecast for this afternoon, even though patchy cloud may lead to the possibility of rainy spells, mainly inland and over the mountains. Winds will be moderate west-to-southwesterlies, 4BF, gusting to 5C off windward shores, on slight seas, while temperatures are not expected to exceed 28C inland, 26C along the coasts, and 19C at higher altitudes.
Generally fair conditions are also forecast for this evening, with skies however being marked by sparse high cloud and mist and low cloud expected to form in areas. Winds will abate to light west-to-northwesterlies, 2-3BF, on slight seas, while temperatures will drop to 16C inland and in coastal regions, and 9C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
A reminder that the fire hazard is very high in all forest areas.