|Thursday, 18 July 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 05-04-26
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesThe EU-Turkey association council is meeting in Luxembourg today, with the agenda including the Cyprus Issue;
The Government Spokesman and the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia comment on Turkish-language press reports concerning the sending of an Israeli trade delegation to the occupied areas of Cyprus, while the direct trade issue is also touched upon by a British EuroMP;
Ferdi Sabit Soyer begins work towards forming a new administration in the illegal statelet;
The US-led group that scoured Iraq for weapons of mass destruction has found no evidence that such weapons had been hidden in Syria before the March 2003 invasion;
Tony Blair maintains his lead in the run-up to Britain's May 5th elections;
A happy note for Sir Elton John... Stay tuned.
 council turkeyThe EU-Turkey association council is meeting in Luxembourg today, and as reported by the candidate-state's Anatolia News Agency, among issues on the agenda are that of Cyprus, the customs union agreement, economic and political relations, and reforms and freedom of expression in Turkey itself.
Tabled during today's session will also be the joint position of the 25 EU member-states, as adopted by the respective foreign ministers at a meeting yesterday, with informed sources in Nicosia voicing the Government's full satisfaction over the text, which calls on Turkey not only to SIGN its extended customs union protocol with all EU member-states including Cyprus, but also to implement it.
 spokes israelGovernment Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides today commented on reports appearing in the Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot press according to which Israel intends to send an official trade delegation, accompanied by a member of Israel's diplomatic corps, to the occupied areas of the Republic.
Even though he noted that all necessary measures aimed at preventing such an eventuality and its official endorsement are being taken, Mr Chrysostomides added that there has been no official briefing on the matter, with the Foreign Ministry having been tasked to evaluate all relevant reports and take the appropriate diplomatic steps.
 israel refutalMeanwhile, the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia has strongly refuted the veracity of the reports, with an official voicing his surprise over the issue to our Third Radio Channel this morning.
The Israeli Embassy official further noted that his country's appropriate state services never had, nor do they have the intention of organising such a mission.
He did add however that his government is not in a position to discourage travel to the occupied areas of Cyprus by private individuals, even though it is brought to their attention that any commercial activity there is considere illegal.
 villiers tradeBritish EuroMP and Tory candidate in the country's upcoming general elections Theresa Villiers has levelled charges against the Tony Blair's Labour Party that it's overpoweringly pressing for the development of direct economic relations with the occupation regime, a dangerous step which could lead to the recognition of the pseudostate.
Speaking at a luncheon organised by the President of the Barnet Cyprus Centre Andreas Karaolis, Ms Villiers further emphasised that she will continue to fight for the rights of Cypus until such time as the injustice which Turkey commited through its invasion of the island 30 years ago is restituted.
 soyerFerdi Sabit Soyer, tasked with the formation of a so-called government in the occupied areas of the Republic following the election of Mehmet Ali Talat to the illegal statelet's presidency, is cited in the northern press as saying that in order to realise the expectations of the Turkish-Cypriots, he will begin a dialogue with Mr Talat himself, as well as with the Speaker of the illegal statelet's House, the local opposition, non-governmental organisations, and Turkey.
In brief biographical notes, the Turkish-Cypriot press further writes that Ferdi Sabit Soyer was born in Nicosia in 1952 and, following his graduation from high school, went to Turkey to read Medicine.
He interrupted his studies however and returned to the island on receiving anonymous death-threats because of his political activity. In Cyprus, he has been actively involved with the Turkish-Cypriot trade union movement along with Mehmet Ali Talat, and five times held a seat in the illegal statelet's House as a deputy with the Republican Turkish Party.
 iraq wmd syriaThe US-led group that scoured Iraq for weapons of mass destruction has found no evidence Iraq hid such weapons in Syria before the US invasion in March 2003, according to a final report on the investigation.
The 17-hundred-member Iraq Survey Team, responsible for the weapons hunt, also said in a report released late yesterday that it found no Iraqi officials with direct knowledge of a transfer of weapons of mass destruction developed by former President Saddam Hussein.
President George W. Bush and other US officials had cited a grave threat posed by Iraq's chemical and biological weapons and Baghdad's efforts to acquire a nuclear arms capability as a justification for war. No such weapons were found but US officials said it was possible Saddam sent them to Syria for safekeeping.
The report is the final addendum to the investigators' September report that concluded that prewar Iraq had no WMD stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons and that its nuclear program had decayed before the US-led invasion.
The Iraq Survey Group, led by CIA special adviser Charles Duelfer, wrapped up its physical searches for weapons of mass destruction last December.
 britain elecsAnd in the runup to Britain's general elections on the 5th of next month, Prime Minister Tony Blair appears to have overcome fierce opposition attacks over his support for the Iraq war, to maintain a strong lead, according to two opinion polls published today.
A NOP poll for the Independent newspaper put Blair's ruling Labour Party on 40%, up three points on last week. The main opposition Conservatives were down two points on 30%, and the Liberal Democrats were unchanged on 21. If the figures are repeated on election day, Blair will be returned to office for a third successive term with his 161-seat majority in parliament cut only slightly to about 150 seats. The poll of 959 voters was conducted between Friday and Sunday, when the election campaign shifted for the first time to Blair's support for the US-led invasion of Iraq.
At the same time, a poll by the Times newspaper and ITV News put Labour on 41%, the Conservatives on 33 and the Liberal Democrats on 19.
 tailerAnd for our last story this lunchtime, a touch of good news and a happy announcement... for some!
Sir Elton John's publicist told a press conference yesterday that the grand icon of the British pop scene intends to marry his long term partner David Furnish some time this year or in 2006.
The singer himself meanwhile told the Mirror tabloid that he and Furnish want to hold a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor in mid-December, although publicist Gary Farrow said John added that the joyous occasion could take place some time next year, with one of the main motivations for going ahead with the ceremony was financial.
Civil partnerships between gay couples will be allowed in Britain from December 5th this year, and give partners tax breaks available to married couples. John, 58, and Furnish, 42, have been partners for more than 11 years. As regards plans for immediately after the wedding, Elton John told the Mirror "There will be no honeymoon. I'm on tour."
If realised, this will be Elton John's second marriage. Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he married German music engineer Renate Blauel in 1984. She and John divorced four years later.
 weatherGenerally fair conditions are forecast for this afternoon, with winds being light to moderate sea-breezes, 3-4BF, on slight seas, and temperatures not expected to exceed 28C inland, 25C in the south and east, 22C in the west and north, and 18C at the higher altitudes.
Generally fair conditions are also forecast for tonight to begin with, even though some high cloud will develop during the course of the evening. Winds will abate to light northwest-to-southwesterlies, 2-3BF, on slight seas, while temperatures will be dropping to 15C inland, 13C in coastal regions, and 9C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
And of course a reminder that the fire hazard is high in all forest areas.