|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 04-05-03
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- The flag of the Republic of Cyprus will be hoisted today during a ceremony in Strasbourg at the European Parliament as part of celebrations to welcome the new ten EU member states.
--The dispute within the opposition Democratic Rally's ranks is escalating as the party's political bureau will convene tomorrow to proceed with the expulsion of four deputies, accusing them of alleged secret negotiations and actions before and after the referendum of April 24.
-- The U.S. Marines besieging Falluja brought in a former Iraqi general with a history of standing up to Saddam Hussein today to lead a force they have charged with putting down an insurgency in the city.
-- The Palestinian prime minister urged Washington today to reconsider unprecedented assurances to Israeli leader Ariel Sharon for a Gaza pullout plan that was roundly rejected by his Likud party.
 EURO PARLIAMENTThe flag of the Republic of Cyprus will be hoisted today during a ceremony in Strasbourg at the European Parliament as part of celebrations to welcome the new ten EU member states.
At two fourty five the parliament leaders of the new countries will arrive at the European Parliament headquarters and will be welcomed by President Pat Cox. At six the hoisting of the flags will take place and there will be speeches by Mr. Cox and former Polish President Lech Walesa.
Cyprus is represented by House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias.
The six seats which Cyprus is entitled in the European Parliament will were assumed today and until July by deputies Doros Christodoulis and Eleni Mavrou from left wing AKEL, Panagiotis Demetriou and Lefteris Christoforou from DISY, Marios Matsakis from the Democratic Party and George Varnavas from Socialist EDEK.
 PAPS LONDONCyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has said that efforts for a workable and viable solution so as a reunited Cyprus to play a constructive role as a European Union member will continue.
In a speech during the opening ceremony of the exhibition ''Colors of Medieval Cyprus'' at the Hellenic Centre in London yesterday, President Papadopoulos said ''the joy of accession is overshadowed by grief because the moment cannot be celebrated with Turkish Cypriot compatriots due to the absence of a solution to the island's division''.
President Papadopoulos returns to Cyprus this afternoon from Dublin and London. In Ireland, he participated in the official ceremony, organised by the Irish EU presidency to welcome the Union's new ten member-states.
CyBC's first TV and radio station will air live the President's statements just after four this afternoon.
 DEFENCE FLAGDefence Minister Kyriakos Mavronicolas said the responsibility of the international community and the UN is to maintain the interest on the Cyprus problem active and constant.
In a speech during the hoisting of the EU flag at the National Guard headquarters, Mr. Mavronicolas described the 1st of May a landmark for Cyprus and its people.
He sent a message of solidarity to Turkish Cypriots noting the fight will continue for a solution.
 DEMOCRATIC RALLYThe dispute within the opposition Democratic Rally's ranks is escalating as the party's political bureau will convene tomorrow to proceed with the expulsion of four deputies, accusing them of alleged secret negotiations and actions before and after the referendum of April 24.
DISY chairman Nicos Anastasiades told CyBC he expects the four deputies to respond to the invitation.
He said the deputies were given the chance to assimilate the party's principles, noting his efforts aimed at uniting the party and not to be vindictive.
Reports indicate the four deputies are Prodromos Prodromou, Demetris Silouris, Rikkos Erotocritou and Sotiris Sampson.
 IRAQThe U.S. Marines besieging Falluja brought in a former Iraqi general with a history of standing up to Saddam Hussein today to lead a force they have charged with putting down an insurgency in the city.
After outrage among victims of the Baathist regime at their appointment of a former general in his feared Republican Guard, U.S. commanders have now brought in another ex-general, Mohammed Latif, to take overall command of the Falluja Brigade.
As U.S. commanders struggle to stamp out open rebellion in two cities and bombings that kill their soldiers daily, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he expected the Security Council to authorise a multinational force to take over after Washington hands formal sovereignty to Iraqis on June 30.
Meanwhile, Washington has also been trying to counter damage done by the broadcast of photographs showing U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners at Saddam's once notorious Abu Ghraib prison. Seven officers and non-commissioned officers were disciplined over the affair, the senior military official said on Monday.
Six soldiers are also detained, facing criminal charges.
The Marine commander at Falluja said he accepted an offer from Saleh to raise the new force as an 11th-hour alternative to launching an all-out assault on the city of 300,000, where hundreds had already died during a month of fighting.
Heavy losses and the difficulties in places like Falluja have not helped Mr. Bush's re-election campaign. But the American public got some good news yesterday when a civilian truck driver, taken hostage after a convoy attack in Iraq, escaped.
Thomas Hamill was flying to a U.S. military hospital in Germany today and would soon be reunited with his family.
 MIDEAST- The Palestinian prime minister urged Washington today to reconsider unprecedented assurances to Israeli leader Ariel Sharon for a Gaza pullout plan that was roundly rejected by his Likud party.
In endorsing Mr. Sharon's plan last month, U.S. President George W. Bush also backed his bid to hold on to some West Bank land and bar the return of Palestinian refugees to former homes in what is now Israel -- commitments that enraged Palestinians.
Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie spoke a day after Mr. Sharon's rightist Likud overwhelmingly spurned his unilateral "disengagement" plan, which Palestinians see as an attempt to trade Gaza for effective annexation of large swathes of West Bank land. The White House said after the vote on Sunday that it still supported Sharon's Gaza initiative and would consult with his government on "how to move forward".
In another development, ultra-nationalist Jews moved into houses in an Arab district of East Jerusalem early today in what they called an attempt to establish a new Jewish neighbourhood there.
Their move, which angered Arab residents, came hours after the settler lobby was buoyed by the defeat of a plan to uproot Gaza Strip settlements in a referendum of Mr. Sharon's Likud party.
The new residents said there was no link between their move and the referendum.
 QUAKE CHILEA strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 struck near the coast of Chile early today , but there were no reports of casualties and damages were minor, according to the United States Geological Survey and Chile's National Emergency Office.
The quake broke windows at a hospital and some houses, and power went out temporarily in the town of Canete, which was where the movement was felt the strongest.
The tremor occurred about 510 km south-southeast of Santiago and about 90 km south of Conception.
 INTERIOR EURO ELEXInterior Minister Andreas Christou said that the proclamation for the European Parliament Elections will be held on May 7 and on May 20 candidacies will be submitted and the pre-election campaign will start the next day.
Mr. Christou reminded that those who register in the Republic's electoral list have a right to vote. Voters need only present their identity cards to vote.
The Minister said that until April 2 a total of five hundred and three Turkish Cypriots were registered on the list and has the right to vote and be voted.
 WEATHERThis afternoon there will be cloud with some local rain or isolated storms. Winds will be south-westerly to westerly moderate, four to five beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will reach 26 C inland, 24 C on the south and east coast, 22 C on the west and 16 over the mountains.
Tonight the weather will be mainly clear but thin mist and low cloud will form locally. Winds will be north-westerly to north-easterly light, two to three beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to 13 C inland, 15 on the coasts and nine over the mountains. The fire hazard remains high in all forest areas.