|Monday, 21 September 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 05-06-01
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- The Metereological Department said unstable weather conditions will prevail today with downpours and isolated storms with the same intensity as that of yesterday.
-- The Netherlands votes on the European constitution today with polls pointing to a resounding "No" that would compound the crisis of confidence in the bloc triggered by France's rejection of the treaty.
-- French President Jacques Chirac was expected to complete his new government today. And
-- UN Under Secretary for political affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast continues his contacts today with a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat
 THEOFILOU WEATHERDirector of the Metereological Department Kyriacos Theofilou told CyBC that the unstable weather conditions will prevail today with downpours and isolated storms with the same intensity as that of yesterday.
He did not rule out the possibility of hail around midday. Mr. Theofilou said the weather will improve tomorrow and Friday but during the weekend, a new system will approach the island with the same intense rain and storms.
Yesterday, dDozens of people were trapped in their cars and in some cases, lives were put at risk because of the sudden downpours.
Hundreds of houses and roads became flooded, with dozens of drivers became trapped.
CyBC offices were not spared from the downpour, as many areas were flooded, including the newsroom, studios and parking areas.
 CHRISTOU RAINInterior Minister Andreas Christou said his ministry's services are ready to handle any natural phenomena such as earthquake, floods and other situations.
He told CyBC that the plans include provisions which are applied in other EU member states. Mr. Christou said that the various departments fully responded to yesterday's calls for help.
He further said that everyone should take all basic measures to protect their property.
 FIRE SERVICE RAINThe Fire Department is on stand by to handle any emergencies expected from today's rain.
Director of the Fire Service George Hadzigeorgiou told CyBC that the department has been working all night to pump water out of various buildings.
He said he was satisfied with his service's response and cooperation with other departments to effectively handle the situation.
 EU DUTCHThe Netherlands votes on the European constitution today with polls pointing to a resounding "No" that would compound the crisis of confidence in the bloc triggered by France's rejection of the treaty.
Most mainstream Dutch parties from right and left have campaigned for a "Yes" vote but opinion polls give the "No" camp a huge lead, with opposition to the treaty rising in most surveys since the French shunned the charter on Sunday.
Support for the European Union in the Netherlands, like France one of the bloc's six founding members in the 1950s, was traditionally strong but has taken a knock in recent years against a backdrop of rising political and social tensions.
Opposition to the treaty has been driven by a plethora of issues ranging from deep Dutch dislike of the euro, fears of a loss of control over immigration, opposition to Turkey's bid to join the bloc and concerns Brussels might undermine liberal Dutch policies on gay marriage, soft drugs and abortion.
Supporters of the treaty have warned the Netherlands risks isolation in the EU if it votes "No" and says the treaty will enhance Europe's voice in world politics and help the continent face up to growing economic competition from Asia.
Polling stations opened at 0530 GMT for the first national referendum in the Netherlands and close at 1900 GMT when a national exit poll will be published. Interim results are expected after about half of votes cast have been counted around 2000 GMT. The final outcome is expected around 2400 GMT.
 FRANCE GOVTFrench President Jacques Chirac was expected to complete his new government today after a shake-up forced on him by voters who snubbed the EU constitution in a poll widely seen as a rejection of his policies.
Mr. Chirac named trusted ally Dominique de Villepin as prime minister yesterday and brought in likely presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy as number two in the cabinet to try to appease voters angry at high unemployment and failed economic policies.
Presidency sources said the final government line-up was likely to be announced today or tomorrow , and the new cabinet's first meeting would be on Friday morning.
Mr. Chirac said in a nationwide address last night that French people needed to rally together at a difficult time after Sunday's referendum and the government's priority would be tackling unemployment, now at a five-year high of 10.2 percent.
He vowed to preserve the French social model and rejected doing things the "Anglo-Saxon" way -- a dismissal of the free-market economic systems of Britain and the United States which came under fire during the referendum campaign.
 UN IRAQThe U.N. Security Council agreed to continue the mandate of the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq after Baghdad's foreign minister said his government wanted the troops to stay.
The mandate does not expire until the end of the year when Iraq has a permanent government. Baghdad, however, can ask the 40,000 U.S. troops and the 20,000 from 27 other nations to leave before then.
But the council, in a review of the operation, agreed the mandate should be continued "until the completion of the political process" as in its resolution 1546, adopted in May 2003, said Danish Ambassador Ellen Loj, the current council president.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told the council Iraq needed the troops because a "campaign of destruction and intimidation" by insurgents had intensified since the formation of an Iraqi government on April 28, and would continue during the drafting of a new constitution in the coming months.
 PRENDERGASTUN Under Secretary for political affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast continues his contacts today with a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
Sir Kieran said yesterday he will hold two more meetings with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and will meet leaders or party representatives.
Sir Kieran's visit follows that of presidential envoy Ambassador Tasos Tzionis to New York, earlier last month, in an effort to resume negotiations with a bid to bring about some changes to a UN-proposed solution plan and reach a negotiated settlement.
 BOUCHER CYPRUSUS State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher has said a visit to the areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974 by three US congressmen does not violate US laws or conventions.
Responding to questions during his daily briefing, Mr. Boucher said last year there has been a different activity on part of the United States as regards the so called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.
Comparing the period when he served in Cyprus as a US Ambassador and the presence of current Ambassador Michael Klosson in the occupied areas to accompany the US delegation, Boucher said: ''What's different is what we've talked about for the last year. I'll leave it at that. There's been a different environment. There's been a different activity on part of the United States to try to make sure that Turkish Cypriots did not feel as isolated as they have been in the past''.
Asked if the trip violates the Chicago Convention of 1944, dealing with the international civil aviation, to which both the Cyprus Republic and the United States are signatories, he said it does not.
''We have looked at the situation, we've authorized travel by Americans on regular passports. We've had diplomats go through there. There's nothing that violate the conventions about it'', Mr. Boucher added.
The trip he concluded ''doesn't violate US law''.
 WEATHERThis afternoon the weather will be unstable with local rain and storms with possibly hail. Winds will be south-westerly to westerly light to moderate, force three to four and becoming strong on the south coast, force five to six. The sea will be slight to moderate in windward areas. Temperatures will reach 26 C inland and on the coasts and 15 over the mountains.
Tonight it will be cloudy with rain alternated with clear periods later in the evening. Winds will be south-westerly to north-westerly light, force two to three and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to 15 C inland, 17 C on the coasts and ten over the mountains.
Many roads in the city of Nicosia and in the districts remain closed due to yesterday's torrential rains.