|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 04-05-19
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- Police authorities cordoned off Paphos airport today to examine a suspect package apparently containing bullets.
-- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has underlined that he is seeking a political settlement on the basis of a UN proposal for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, adding that certain amendments should be made to the proposal to address Greek Cypriot concerns.
--Three new members of Cabinet were sworn in today at a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
-- Specialist Jeremy Sivits, the first U.S. soldier court-martialled over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib near Baghdad, pleaded guilty on all four counts today, with one reservation.
--The Italian-born chief of India's Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, today turned down a fresh appeal by party leaders to reconsider her decision not to take the job of prime minister.
 PAPHOS AIRPORTPolice authorities cordoned off Paphos airport today to examine a suspect package apparently containing bullets.
The package was found during boarding procedures for a flight to Manchester and then Helsinki.
According to reports from Paphos, a cardboard box was found in which there was a suspect object and a number of bullets. Police were at the scene.
Paphos airport, on the western coast, is the smallest of two air terminals which caters mainly to charter traffic.
 PAPS ANNANCyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has underlined that he is seeking a political settlement on the basis of a UN proposal for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, adding that certain amendments should be made to the proposal to address Greek Cypriot concerns.
Speaking during a ceremony where three new cabinet members were sworn in, he confirmed that the government's steady policy is to achieve a solution through negotiations.
He also said the that talks should be held on the basis of the Annan plan for a bizonal bicommunal federation, having achieved the necessary improvements that will address the concerns and worries of the Greek Cypriots.
Asked whether he will meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in early June, he said part of the effort to push for a settlement was to maintain the talks under UN auspices.
President Papadopoulos further said that no initiative can begin without meetings and prior discussions at the right time with the Secretary General.
 KARAMANLIS USAGreek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis believes that the outcome of a referendum in Cyprus on a UN-proposed solution plan is not the end of the process for a political settlement, pointing out that everyone involved in the problem agree that the final goal is the reunification of the island.
He was speaking at a press conference after a meeting in New York UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who said in a statement that all parties must reflect on the point reached in the peace process and that the Security Council will review the situation and future prospects.
Mr. Karamanlis also said that the rejection of the Annan plan by the Greek Cypriots should be respected but stressed that the plan provided the basis for any renewed effort.
 MINISTERS SWORN INThree new members of Cabinet were sworn in today at a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
The three Ministers, Minister of Finance Iacovos Keravnos, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Christos Taliadoros and Minister of Communications and Works Charis Thrasou gave the prescribed affirmation in the presence of Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and other members of the Cabinet.
President Papadopoulos congratulated the new Ministers, noting the serious and very important task that lies before them.
Speaking on behalf of the new Ministers, Mr. Keravnos assured the President they will make every effort to fully perform their duties and be worthy of the President's expectations.
Mr. Keravnos, who was until recently Minister of Labour and Social Insurance, succeeds at the Ministry of Finance Marcos Kyprianou who was appointed as the first Commissioner of Cyprus at the European Commission.
 IRAQ ABUSE BOMBSSpecialist Jeremy Sivits, the first U.S. soldier court-martialled over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib near Baghdad, pleaded guilty on all four counts today, with one reservation.
His defence counsel, Lieutenant Stanley Martin, said Mr. Sivits pleaded guilty to two counts of maltreating detainees and one of dereliction of duty and would plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to maltreat if the wording was slightly amended relating to the taking of a photograph of naked prisoners.
In another development, demonstrators angry about the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq hurled at least two petrol bombs at the British embassy in Iran today.
No-one was hurt by the petrol bombs which landed outside of the embassy compound.
Several hundred protesters also threw stones at the embassy, breaking some windows in an administrative building.
 INDIA CONGRESSThe Italian-born chief of India's Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, today turned down a fresh appeal by party leaders to reconsider her decision not to take the job of prime minister.
"So far she has not accepted our demand," senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes told reporters after top party leaders marched to Mrs. Gandhi's house to pressure her.
The leaders quit their party posts in an attempt to press Mrs. Gandhi to revoke her decision. Her move has thrown the party into turmoil and delayed the formation of a new government after the shock defeat of Hindu nationalists in elections this month.
 MIDEASTMissing Israeli airman Ron Arad is dead and Lebanon's Hizbollah group has his remains, Beirut-based according to sources close to prisoner exchange talks between the guerrilla group and Israel.
A source told Reuters that "Arad is dead and Hizbollah has his remains. The source said Hizbollah also had the remains of three Israeli soldiers who went missing but were persumed killed in a battle in east Lebanon in 1982.
Diplomatic sources familiar with the issue confirmed the report. Arad's plane was downed in 1986.
Meanwhile, Israeli troops carried out house-to-house searches for militants and weapons smuggling tunnels in the Rafah refugee camp today as Israel's heaviest raid into the Gaza Strip in years entered a second day.
As snipers held vantage points in bullet-pocked buildings of the camp, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon worked to revive his stalled Gaza withdrawal plan, which aides said may be presented for cabinet approval as early as next week.
Fighting was sporadic in Rafah early today, a day after troops inflicted the highest single-day Palestinian death toll of 19 dead -- civilians as well as militants -- since May 2002 when 23 were killed in the nearby Khan Younis area.
In the West Bank, troops killed two Palestinian gunmen in exchanges of fire and arrested 11 wanted militants.
The Rafah assault drew U.N. and European Union condemnation given Israeli threats to destroy hundreds of Palestinian homes there. Thousands of Palestinian houses have been razed since an uprising began in 2000, U.N. figures show.
 PAPS TAXESCyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos categorically rejected reports that the government intends to impose further taxes.
Finance Minister Makis Keravnos also clarified that there are no intentions to raise the Value Added Tax or to abolish Children's benefit. He also said the government is examining the possibility to extend the retirement age of civil servants.
 CANDIDACIES TOMMOROWThe candidacies for the European Parliament elections will be officially submitted tomorrow from nine until midday at the Hilton Park hotel in Nicosia.
The whole procedure will be aired live from CyBC's second television channel.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, cloud will thicken at times to give isolated rain accompanied by thunder. Winds will be south-westerly to north-westerly light to moderate, three to four beaufort and strong in windward areas, five beaufort. The sea will be slight to moderate in windward areas. Temperatures will reach 25 C inland, 24 C on the coasts and 17 over the mountains.
Tonight it will be mainly cloudy with some isolated rain but the weather will become gradually light with some thin cloud. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly light, three beaufort and moderate in windward areas. Temperatures will reach 13 C inland and on the east coast, 15 over the south and west and seven over the mountains.