|Thursday, 29 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 04-07-23
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 headlinesThe European Union's presidency stresses the need for a consensual agreement to be reached as regards direct trade with the occupied areas of Cyprus;
The visiting US Assistant Undersecretary of State continues her contacts on the island;
The illegal statelet's prime minister asks for "concrete practical actions" for the Turkish-Cypriots, while a rift appears to be forming between Ankara and the relegated occupation regime leader;
Two American soldiers are killed in Iraq overnight, while US forces carry out an air-raid on the city of Fallujah this morning;
36 people die in Turkey following a high-speed train derailment;
Want plastic surgery? Join the US Army!
 coreperIn a follow-up to yesterday's decision by the Council of European Union Permanent Representatives or COREPER to postpone for September any discussion on the EU-proposed regulations concerning direct trade with the Turkish-Cypriot community of the island, the bloc's Dutch presidency sought to emphasise, through its Council member, that the desired goal is the reaching of a consensual agreement with the active participation of the Republic of Cyprus and not its sidestepping.
As reported by the Cyprus News Agency correspondent in Brussels meanwhile, particular import is attributed to the fact that certain large countries, enjoying traditionally significant roles in EU-developments, referred, for the first time ever, to the need for a consensual solution.
All said and done however, Britain opted to stand out as the sole dissenting voice heard during yesterday's session, with its representative disagreeing with the postponement and requesting that the matter be raised at this Monday's Foreign Ministers meeting, even though, and always according to the CNA correspondent, the request was not supported by any other EU member-state.
 kennedy meetsVisiting US Assistant Undersecretary of State Laura Kennedy this morning continued her contacts on the island with separate meetings with President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, even though no statements were forthcoming immediately afterwards from either official.
Earlier this morning, Ms Kennedy met with with Foreign Minister George Iakovou, while following her being received at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, she also met with House Speaker Demetris Christofias.
The US Assistant Undersecretary of State is also scheduled to meet with Greek-Cypriot political party leaders this afternoon, with tomorrow seeing her crossing over into the occupied areas of the Republic for a meeting with illegal statelet prime minister Mehmet Ali Talat.
 talat cyprobIn a parallel development, Mehmet Ali Talat appears to be demanding concrete practical actions from the international community in order to end what he termed the "unnecessary restrictions which are isolating the Turkish-Cypriots and prevent their development."
In an interview to the "Washington Times" newspaper, Mr Talat further stresses that following the Turkish-Cypriot "YES" to the Annan Plan, their conciliatory stance was indeed recognised, with certain steps having already been made.
At the same time however, the illegal statelet's prime minister charged UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan of heading an organisation which has shut out the Turkish-Cypriots following what he described as "the unjustifiable Greek-Cypriot claim to sovereignty over the entire island."
In the same interview, Mehmet Ali Talat also charges the Cyprus government of a non-constructive stance, while he also calls on foreign governments to initiate direct trade and flights with the occupied areas so that tourism may develop.
The entire text of Mr Talat's interveiw can be found at www.washingtontimes.com
 gul denktashAnd yet another rift seems to be forming between the relegated occupation regime leader and Ankara, with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul appearing discomfited over recent criticism voiced by Rauf Denktash.
As reported in the Constantinople-based "Milliyet" newspaper and relayed by the Cyprus News Agency, Turkey's Foreign Minister returned to Ankara following his illegal visit to the occupied north of the island for the July 20th Turkish-Cypriot celebrations, without attending a Kyrenia reception hosted by Mr Denktash.
"Milliyet" also reported that on his departure from the occupied areas, Abdullah Gul stated that Rauf Denktash harshly criticised both him and Turkey in general.
In response, the occupation regime leader said that all he did was merely "voice certain concerns".
 iraqForeign news, and over to Iraq, where two US soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb attack on their convoy near the volatile Iraqi town of Samarra overnight.
According to a statement issued by the US military this morning, one soldier died on the scene of last night's attack, while the second died later from his wounds. The statement gave no more details.
Insurgent attacks have surged in and around Samarra in recent weeks. Military officers have said they do not want the town north of Baghdad to turn into another Falluja -- a hotbed of resistance where foreign troops have to stay out.
Meanwhile, US forces carried out an air strike on the rebellious city of Falluja today, targetting a group of suspected insurgents linked to Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The relevant statement did not mention if anyone was killed in the operation, even though residents of the area said that at least five people were wounded, two of them children.
Reuters Television pictures showed bloodstains on the ground in what might have been the courtyard of a house, a deep hole in the ground apparently from where a shell or missile struck, and a thick layer of dirt covering a nearby car.
 turkey trainAnd in Turkey, rescue workers with sniffer dogs sifted through wreckage today after one of the state-owned railway company's newly-acquired high-speed trains came off the rails, killing 36 people in one of the country's worst ever rail crashes.
Turkish newspapers blamed the government for yesterday evening's crash, saying it had ignored experts' safety warnings in launching the fast-train link between Turkey's commercial hub of Constantinople and the capital Ankara barely a month ago.
Officials say the accident was probably caused by a mechanical fault, but Turkish media also focused on the dilapidated state of the rail network, saying that the track in question was more than 100 years old, while survivors were quoted as saying the train was travelling very fast at the time of the accident, much more than the 75-80 kilometres per hour cited by officials immediately after the crash.
The new express train, inaugurated by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan amid much fanfare last month, was part of an extensive modernisation of Turkey's ancient, creaking rail network.
 tailerToday's tailer comes to us from that "great defender of human rights" all over the world, the US Army, which has long lured recruits with the slogan "Be All You Can Be". Now however, another lure has been introduced: soldiers and their families can receive plastic surgery, including breast enlargements, on the taxpayers' dime.
In its July 26th edition, the "New Yorker" magazine reports that members of all four branches of the US military can get face-lifts, breast enlargements, liposuction and nose jobs for free -- something the force says helps surgeons practice their skills.
According to Dr Bob Lyons, chief of plastic surgery at Brooke Army Medical Centre in San Antonio Texas, "Anyone wearing a uniform is eligible," even though the magazine noted that soldiers still needed the approval of their commanding officers to get the time off.
For some statistics, and quoting an Army spokeswoman who said that "the surgeons have to have something to practice on", the "New Yorker" mentioned that between 2000 and 2003 military doctors performed 496 breast enlargements and 1,361 liposuction surgeries on soldiers and their dependents.
And, as a final thought, maybe the slogan "Be All You Can Be" should be changed to "Dee All You Can Dee"?
 weatherGenerally fair conditions are forecast for this afternoon, with winds being moderate west-to-southwesterlies, 3-4BF, gusting to strong, 5BF, off southern shores, on correspondingly slight to moderate seas, and temperatures not expected to exceed 38C inland, 34C in the south and east, 30C in the west and north, and 28C at higher altitudes.
Generally fair conditions are also forecast for this evening, even though mist and low cloud will form in areas. At the same time, winds will abate to light northwesterlies, 2-3BF, on smooth to slight seas, while temperatures will be dropping to 24C inland, 22C in the south and east, 21C in the west and north, and 18C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.