|Thursday, 29 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 04-08-31
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES--The law service of the European Council adopted the positions of the republic of Cyprus as regards to direct traded with the Turkish Cypriots through the closed ports in the occupied north of Cyprus.
--Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said the EU Legal Service's opinion basically supports the legality of the EU which operates on the basis of international law.
--In the Turkish occupied north, Turkish Cypriot extremists and Turkish settlers gathered at Morphou demanding that the service at St. Mamas church scheduled for September 1-2 to mark the saint's name day.
--France redoubled its diplomatic efforts today to save two French reporters held hostage in Iraq ahead of a new deadline to scrap a school headscarf ban, as the Islamic militant group Hamas called for the men's release.
 TRADE EUThe law service of the European Council adopted the positions of the republic of Cyprus as regards to direct traded with the Turkish Cypriots through the closed ports in the occupied north of Cyprus.
The positions are outlined in a written opinion prepared after a request by the Dutch presidency.
According to press reports, the opinion notes that no regulation for direct trade with the north and the EU can take place because the relevant article of the Convention refers to external trade with third countries.
It also adds that trade should be conducted according to the article which provides for the whole of the Republic of Cyprus being part of the EU, with the acquis being suspended in the occupied areas.
According to the same reports, the opinion specifies that only the Republic of Cyprus has the authority to determine which are the legal ports and airports and any other decision violates international law.
 CHRYSOSTOMIDES EUGovernment Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said the EU Legal Service's opinion basically supports the legality of the EU which operates on the basis of international law.
In statements to CyBC, Mr. Chrysostomides avoided commenting on the contents of the opinion, adding that the government is anticipating the completion of the procedures at the EU.
He added that the Republic of Cyprus has submitted its views clearly and with political and legal arguments.
 NORTH DEMO MAMASIn the Turkish occupied north, Turkish Cypriot extremists and Turkish settlers gathered at Morphou demanding that the service at St. Mamas church scheduled for September 1-2 to mark the saint's name day.
The demonstrators, bearing Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags, called on so called prime minister Mehmet Ali Talat to resign. Banners wrote "Morphou is and will remain Turkish" and "we do not want to wake up to the sounds of bells".
Turkish Cypriot daily "Afrika" called the dmonstration a fiasko, noting only 500 persons participated.
Nationalist "Volkan" newspaper described the demo as an uprising of the people of Morphou who oppose the Greek Cypriots' planned visit and religious rites at the church.
The platform, "this country is ours" is organising a peace rally in Morphou tomorrow.
 MORPHOU ATTENDANCEForeign diplomats in Cyprus have said they will take part at the St. Mamas celebrations in Turkish occupied Morphou tomorrow and on Thursday.
President of the Morphou Movement for Solition and Reunification Aristos Katsis told CyBC that the evening prayer will be attended by Ireland's Ambassador, the UN High Commissioner, and SPain's ambassador to Cyprus. It will also be attended by Democratic Rally leader Nicos Anastasiades, former President George Vassiiou and an AKEL delegation.
Thursday's morning service will be attended by the head of the EU representation on the island, and the ambassadors of Germany and Australia and a representative of the US Embassy.
 IRAQ FRANCEFrance redoubled its diplomatic efforts today to save two French reporters held hostage in Iraq ahead of a new deadline to scrap a school headscarf ban, as the Islamic militant group Hamas called for the men's release.
French President Jacques Chirac travelled to Russia for talks with his anti-Iraq war allies, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, while Foreign Minister Michel Barnier was in Jordan, neighbouring Iraq.
Communications Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said France did not understand why its nationals had been targeted, given Paris's staunch opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
"The government is like the French people -- we are mobilised, we are united, we are worried. Until our hostages are freed we will be worried, greatly worried," he told LCI television in Paris.
The Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas called for the release of two French journalists held hostage in Iraq, saying it could add to the isolation of Israel and the United States.
Even those opposed to the headscarf ban, including French Muslims, have condemned the kidnappers, insisting the matter was a purely domestic affair.
"Hope and mobilisation", read the headline in Le Figaro newspaper after some 3,000 people, including top politicians, religious leaders and journalists, protested in Paris yesterday.
The headscarf is an emotive issue in France, which has tried to use its strictly secular legal code to suppress anti-Semitic attacks and simmering religious strife in a country with western Europe's biggest populations of Muslims and Jews.
The kidnappers gave France a further 24 hours to repeal the ban. They did not say what would happen to the two men if there was no repeal, but the group, the Islamic Army in Iraq, claimed responsibility for the death of an Italian journalist last week.
Iraqi Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim groups and Islamic groups outside Iraq all urged the kidnappers to release the two men, noting France's opposition to the U.S.-led Iraq war and saying journalists were not combatants.
 AFGHAN-USA-BOMBINGA U.S. bombing raid killed at least six civilians and wounded nine early today in eastern Afghanistan, after assailants attacked government positions.
The bombardment followed a night attack by Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Manogi district of Kunar province.
The U.S. military in Kabul said it was checking on the report.
Forces of renegade commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a Taliban ally, are also active in the area some 200 km east of Kabul in a mountainous region close to the Pakistan border.
About 18,000 U.S.-led foreign troops and the newly formed Afghan National Army are hunting the Taliban and its allies, including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.
Afghans say several thousand civilians have been killed mainly in the south and east of Afghanistan since the United States began its war against the Taliban and al Qaeda in late 2001.
Last December, 15 civilians, including children, were killed by U.S. bombs in southeastern Afghanistan.
Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in the country in the past year as the militants stepped up attacks aimed at disrupting the October 9 presidential election and parliamentary in April.
 MIDEASTIsraeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, seeking to speed up a Gaza withdrawal despite opposition within his own party, said today he would bring a bill for carrying out the plan to a vote in parliament by November 3.
Mr. Sharon told lawmakers of his rightist Likud that a draft of a bill authorising the evacuation of settlers and soldiers from Gaza would be presented to cabinet ministers by September 26 and he would seek cabinet approval for it by October 24.
That would pave the way for the bill's first reading in parliament, which has yet to have its say on Sharon's plan for "disengaging" from conflict with the Palestinians by uprooting all 21 settlements in Gaza and four of 120 in the West Bank.
 MILOSEVICFormer Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic launched his much-delayed defence today against charges of war crimes during the collapse of Yugoslavia, saying he was the victim of a "distortion of history".
The start of Mr. Milosevic's defence had been delayed for months due to his ill health. The former Serb strongman has suffered from high blood pressure, flu and heart problems since his trial opened at the U.N. tribunal in the Hague in February 2002.
He told the court that accusations levelled against him are an unscrupulous lie and also a tireless distortion of history.
Mr. Milosevic, who has described himself as a peacemaker in the Balkans and does not recognise the U.N. court, has declined to enter a plea to the charges he faces. Pleas of not guilty were entered on his behalf.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, the weather will be clear with some local cloud. Winds will be moderate sea breezes, four beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will be 35 C inland, 32 C on the south and east coast, 30 C on the west and 25 over the mountains.
Tonight the weather will be clear. Winds will be north-westerly light, two to three beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to 21c inland, 22 C on the coasts and 13 over the mountains.