|Wednesday, 28 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-11-21
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesSeveral people have been arrested in connection with the Istanbul bomb attacks,
A unit of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network has claimed responsibility for the attacks,
Ankara and Rauf Denktash are together forging an alternative Cyprus settlement plan,
AND European and US diplomats debate the text of a draft UN nuclear resolution condemning Iraq over its atom bomb programme.
 Istanbul bombingsSeveral people have been arrested in connection with the two devastating bomb attacks on British targets in Istanbul.
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul confirmed a number suspects were taken into custody but said it was too early to give any information about them.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who is in Istanbul, said the attacks bore all the hallmarks of the militant Islamist al Qaeda network.
Twenty-seven people were killed and hundreds wounded yesterday in truck bomb attacks on the British consulate and the London-based global bank HSBC.
Among the victims of the attack, which came five days after a double suicide truck bombing against Istanbul synagogues that killed 25, was British Consul-General Roger Short.
Turkish daily Hurriyet said seven people had been arrested over the blasts, which it said were carried out by Turkish suicide bombers.
The strikes coincided with a visit to Britain by U.S. President George W. Bush and appeared to mark a direct challenge to the two leading forces in the occupation of Iraq.
 Al Qaeda bombingsMeanwhile, a purported statement by a unit of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network claimed responsibility for the Istanbul car bombings.
The statement by the Abu Hafz al-Masri Brigades -- which earlier claimed responsibility for Saturday's synagogue bombings -- said it had targeted British interests in Turkey to "shatter the peace of Britain... which battles Islam".
The statement said British consul, Roger Short, was targeted because of his extensive experience in combatting Islam and because he is considered the mastermind of British policy in the.
The claim was published on Islamist Web site Al Mujahidoun, which has carried purported al Qaeda statements in the past.
 Akel denouncesRuling party Akel issued a formal statement condemning the Constantinople bombings.
The party said the attacks were cowardly actions that undermine the just struggles of oppressed people and help imperialist forces to achieve their goals.
Akel also expressed its opposition to the way terrorist acts are being countered.
It said the philosophy of "an eye for an eye", pro-active wars and state terrorism only exacerbate conflict.
 Bush & BlairU.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair faced a fresh test in their war on terror this morning with rocket attacks in Baghdad a day after deadly blasts in Turkey.
The staunch allies sought respite from angry London street protests, flying to Tony Blair's rural Sedgefield constituency in the north of England.
The two leaders have insisted their determination was only strengthened by the Istanbul attacks.
But they woke up to news of more strikes this morning, the last day of the American president's state visit to Britain.
Guerrillas fired rockets from donkey carts into Iraq's Oil Ministry compound and two Baghdad hotels used by foreign contractors and journalists.
Iraqi police found a third cart loaded with 21 rockets near the Italian and Turkish embassies.
A US soldier said a fourth cart also carrying rockets had been found in the same areas.
Reinforcing the sense of siege, Britain's top police officer John Stevens said London would remain on high alert for the foreseeable future.
 George IacovouAnkara and Rauf Denktash are hard at work putting together their own alternative Cyprus plan they will hand over to UN Chief Kofi Annan sometime in mid-January.
Foreign Minister George Iacovou said word of the plan was confirmed following contacts between US State Department Special Cyprus Co-ordinator Thomas Weston and Turkish officials in Ankara.
Mr. Iacovou said the Turkish plan falls outside the UN-led peace process and the philosophy of the Annan plan, despite the fact that it encompasses a number of its provisions.
He said the Turkish side insists on double sovereignty and the creation of two states on the island.
The Foreign Minister added that Mr. Weston told Turkish officials that the plan cannot aid in the settlement process.
Mr. Iacovou said Washington is determined to push things towards a solution before Cyprus formally joins the European Union on May 1st and dismisses any notion of two states or any alternative to the Annan plan.
 Thomas WestonUS State Department Cyprus Co-ordinator Thomas Weston kicked off a round of contacts in the occupied north with pro-Denktash officials from Dervis Eroglu's National Unity Party.
After the meeting, an NUP spokesman said the only thing party officials agreed with Mr. Weston is that Cyprus settlement efforts must continue.
The spokesman quickly added, however, that the NUP doesn't share Mr. Weston's appraisal of the problem and that Turkish Cypriot hopes are opposite to those of the American official.
On the Annan plan, the spokesman said the UN blueprint doesn't guarantee Turkish Cypriots won't live what he called the "bad old days".
 Rauf DenktashTurkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he won't sign a deal that would push Turkey out of Cyprus.
He predicted that parties sharing his vision of two states and two democracies will triumph in next month's so-called parliamentary elections.
According to the Turkish Cypriot press, Rauf Denktash made the remarks after receiving the "Diplomacy of the Year" prize awarded to him by the Istanbul Journalists' Union.
 Iran NuclearEuropean and U.S. diplomats are at loggerheads after late-night talks on a draft U.N. nuclear resolution that would condemn Iran for its 18-year concealment of research that could be used to make an atom bomb.
France, Britain and Germany spent much of yesterday revising a draft resolution in the hope of satisfying Washington's hardliners, who want Iran declared in violation of international non-proliferation obligations.
A final draft would be put to the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors.
Talks between the three European states and other IAEA board members continued late into the night in the hope of tabling a draft today, but diplomats close to the talks said it was unclear if the text would reach the board soon.
The United States, which accuses Iran of developing a secret atomic weapons programme, has rejected two drafts so far for being too soft on the Islamic republic.
 Michael JacksonAnd finally, Michael Jackson faces the possibility of a breathtaking fall from musical superstardom as he awaits child molestation charges that could destroy his career and send him to prison if convicted.
Jackson was whisked from Las Vegas to California and yesterday just long enough to surrender to police and post $3 million bail.
The self-proclaimed "King of Pop" called those charges an outrageous lie and predicted that he would ultimately be exonerated.
Jackson's legal drama began on Wednesday when more than 60 police officers raided his Neverland Valley Ranch looking for evidence.
Though Jackson's arrest came after a lengthy investigation by Santa Barbara County authorities, no formal charges have yet been filed against him.
 WeatherFine conditions this afternoon with some cloudy periods mainly in the mountains.
Winds will be southeasterly to southwesterly light to moderate, force 3 to 4 with mild seas.
Temperatures will reach 23 degrees inland and the coasts and 13 in the highest mountains.
Fine conditions will carry through tonight with light, northwesterly to northeasterly winds, force 3 to 4, with mild to moderate seas.
Temperatures will drop to 10 degrees inland, 13 on the coasts and 9 in the highest mountains.