|Saturday, 24 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-08-04
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES--US state Department Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, confirmed reports that the US will undertake a new initiative in autumn, noting the Annan Plan is the only road to a Cyprus settlement.
--Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash made public today his proposal to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for demining of the areas around Nicosia.
--West Africa's first group of peacekeeping troops left for war-weary Liberia today, the vanguard of an expected 1,500 Nigerian troops.
-- Palestinian militant group Hamas today voiced impatience with what it called Israeli violations of terms it set for a three-month ceasefire and called on all militant groups to be ready for confrontation with Israel.
 WESTON SEPTUS state Department Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, confirmed reports that the US will undertake a new initiative in autumn, noting the Annan Plan is the only road to a Cyprus settlement.
Speaking to "Fileleftheros" newspaper, Mr. WEston said that in early September he will begin a tour from Brussels, and then head on to Italy, in an effort to create the conditions to resume the procedure to solve the Cyprus problem.
He will then visit Athens, Ankara and Nicosia, in view of President Tassos Papadopoulos' visit to the US where he will address the UN General Assembly and meet UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Mr. WEston welcomed the measures to improve the climate in Cyprus, but stressed the need for a solution based on the Annan plan.
He also referredto Mr. Annan's statement that without a genuine and authentic political will from both sides there cannot be an initiative.
 DENKTASHTurkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash made public today his proposal to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for demining of the areas around Nicosia.
In his letter, Mr. Denktash expresses the readiness of the so called military authorities in the occupied areas to discuss the issue with UN officials.
He also says the demining will create more safe passages between the two communities and will constitute a military confidence building measure and contribute to efforts for an overall settlement.
Mr. Denktash expresses hope that the Greek Cypriot side will respond to his proposal.
 LIBERIAWest Africa's first group of peacekeeping troops left for war-weary Liberia today, the vanguard of an expected 1,500 Nigerian troops.
Liberians -- starved of food, weakened by disease and in constant fear of shrapnel and stray bullets -- hope the arrival of the Nigerian soldiers will open the door to humanitarian aid.
Around 20 Nigerian soldiers left neighbouring Sierra Leone on Monday aboard a Russian-built Mi-8 helicopter for Liberia.
The bulk of the first contingent of 300 Nigerian troops were to leave aboard two Russian-built Mi-26 helicopters, capable of carrying around 100 men. The rest will travel in smaller Mi-8s.
Diplomats said a second batch of 300 Nigerian peacekeepers were due in on Wednesday, with the rest following soon after.
 MIDEASTPalestinian militant group Hamas today voiced impatience with what it called Israeli violations of terms it set for a three-month ceasefire and called on all militant groups to be ready for confrontation with Israel.
"Our patience regarding the Zionists' breaches (of the truce) will not last long," the statement said, adding that maintaining the ceasefire does not mean that they will allow "those terrorists and killers to commit attacks against the Palestinian people.
Hamas and other leading militant groups spearheading the 34-month-old Palestinian uprising for statehood declared the truce, vital to a U.S.-backed peace plan, on June 29.
The groups pinned the truce's success on Israel's release of all 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in its jails and a halt to the killing of militants.
Israel has said it will free some 440 prisoners later this week. The Palestinians say this is insufficient.
The Hamas call followed a West Bank shooting attack on Jewish settlers just outside Jerusalem that wounded four people, and the killing of a Palestinian by Israeli soldiers near the West Bank city of Tulkarm.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the West Bank shooting.
 POWELL USA- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage have indicated that they do not intend to serve a second term at the State Department even if President George W. Bush is re-elected, the Washington Post reported today.
Citing sources familiar with the conversation, the newspaper reported that Armitage recently told national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that he and Mr. Powell would leave on Jan. 21, 2005, the day after the next presidential inauguration.
According to the newspaper, Mr. Powell has indicated to associates that he would be leaving for personal reasons rather than any differences over the administration's foreign policy.
There are 18 months left in Bush's current term. The newspaper said the current administration has been characterized by fierce policy debates often between Mr. Powell and more hawkish members.
A State Department spokeswoman declined comment on the report.
 AFGHANThirteen soldiers loyal to a northern Afghan warlord were killed and 21 wounded in a huge explosion while they were loading weapons on a truck.
The incident occurred yesterday at Aqcha, a district of Jozjan province not far from the border with Uzbekistan.
All the soldiers were loyal to Abdul Rashid Dostum, a northern warlord who is also a defence adviser to President Hamid Karzai.
The cause of the incident was still unclear and was under investigation, but the most likely cause appeared to have been an accidental detonation.
 CABINET SEMIThe Council of Ministers convened today in an extraordinary session to correct the mistakes in the appointments of the semi-government organisations' boards.
The mistakes concern the appointment of the boards of the Cyprus News Agency, the Ports' Authority and the Medical Council.
 MEAT STRIKEThe market might face a meat shortage from a possible strike action of the butchers and animal dealers who are protesting the increase in the fees of the Kofinou Slaughter House.
Members of the Famagusta and Limassol - Larnaca Butchers' Association gathered outside the slaughter house this morning and prevented trucks from entering the site. Those who were arriving at the slaughter house to unload animals said they were not aware of the strike.
The slaughter house said the fees have been readjusted and agreed with the Municipalities Union and the Communities Union and they are based on EU standards.
Butchers are stating that the increase of fees will unavoidably lead to an increase in the price of meat.
 WEATHERThis afternoon the weather will be mainly clear with some local cloud. Winds will be north-westerly light to moderate, three to four beaufort and locally strong, five beaufort. The sea will be slight to moderate in windward coastal areas.
Temperatures will reach 39 C inland, 34 C on the south coast, 32 C on the west and 31 over the mountains.
Tonight the weather will remain generally clear but thin mist and low cloud will form in some areas. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly loght, three beaufort and the sea slight to moderate on the west coast. Temperatures will fall to 23 C inland and on the coasts and 21 over the mountains.
The fire hazard remains extremely high in all forest areas.