|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 00-01-05
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
WEDNESDAY 5 JANUARY 2000
 US CYPRUSThe achievement of progress in the Cyprus Issue and the normalisation of greco-turkish relations form integral parts of the foreign policy and the national security strategy to be pursued by the United States this year.
The two matters are high on the agenda of the latest White House report on US priorities during the year 2000, with the sub-heading "Strategy and foreign policy".
In the report, which was sent to the US Congress last night, President Bill Clinton stresses characteristically that within the current year he will strive to build on what are described as the hopeful developments which have taken place between Greece and Turkey in order to achieve progress in the Aegean Sea and particularly in Cyprus.
 DENKTAS IGNORANCETurkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, commenting on media reports concerning a proposed change to Cyprus' system of government, from a presidential republic to a presidential parliamentary republic, denied all knowledge of any such development.
Describing the reports as rumours and figments of the imagination, he called on those promoting a change of the system to think again, this time seriously.
According to Mr Denktash, whose statements appear in today's Turkish-Cypriot newspapers, if the aim of the reported efforts is to adopt the same procedure in Cyprus as that implemented in Lebanon, those promoting it should take into account that the Levantine country was led directly into a bloodbath.
 AVEROF CYTA -EACCyprus' Minister of Transport and Communications Averof Neophytou, today levelled serious charges against the island's Telecommunications and Electricity authorities.
Speaking on our station's Third Radio Channel this morning, Mr Neophytou charged the two semi-governmental organisations with a lack of serious programming, leading to inexcusable delays in the completion of projects, and also described them as "spoilt and overprotected children of the public sector", in reference to state monopolies and privileged treatment.
He also apologised to the Cypriot public which, he said, is justifiably complaining over the delays. He was referring specifically to the construction of Latsia's Limassol Avenue, adding that while everthing was ready, CYTA and the EAC had not submitted their respective reports.
In closing, Cyprus' Minister of Transport and Communications once again ressed the need for co-ordination among all services involved in any given project.
 CYTA EAC REACTIONSReacting to the Minister's statement, CYTA's Chairman of the Board Michalakis Zivanaris, rejected all charges, saying that the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority is working correctly and efficiently, without creating any problems for the government, which should look to its own Public Works Department if it is to blame any one particular sector.
The Chairman of the EAC Board, Yiorgos Georgiades, also rejected all accusations, and blamed the delay in the construction of the Latsia thoroughfare on a lack of co-ordination, without, however, naming those responsible.
Independently but in tandem, both Chairmen noted the imperative need for increased co-ordination among all parties involved in public projects, and emphasised that their respective organisations will always stand by the side of the Minister of Transport and Communications.
 ISRAEL -SYRIA TALKSSyrian and Israeli negotiators are today scheduled to continue the hard work of making peace, as they discuss issues that have divided the two Middle Eastern countries for more than 50 years.
Held in West Virginia's Sheperdstown, the talks got off to a rocky start on Monday, but US President Bill Clinton yesterday helped resolve a conflict about how to begin, and brought together Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara for an hour-long face-to-face meeting.
US officials are describing today's schedule as fluid, with a variety of committees expected to meet over the next few days on issues such as water, security, normalisation of relations, an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, and the timetable for any agreement.
 CHECHNYARussia's military and Chechen rebel fighters both reported battle successes today, presenting contrasting pictures of a conflict that has trapped thousands of civilians in the regional capital of Grozny.
Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev was quoted by Interfax News Agency after meeting Acting President Vladimir Putin as saying that "The operation in Chechnya is going according to plan."
On the flip side of the coin, a representative of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov told Interfax that the course of the war had changed since fighting moved to Grozny and the rugged southern mountains, adding that "Russia's military parade in Chechnya has ended and a major turnaround in the second Chechen war is under way."
With foreign media access severely limited and Russian media confined to military bases and occasional trips to areas controlled by Moscow, it's practically impossible to verify casualty figures or the situation on the ground, but the latest official reports from the region, published by Itar-Tass news agency, say that in the last 24 hours the Russian military killed up to 150 rebels, while losing only five soldiers.
 HEIAST LIMASSOLAn armed robbery was carried out for the second time within months at the Cyprus Popular Bank's main Limassol branch.
At around nine o'clock this morning, two helmeted and hooded individuals entered the Athens Street branch premises and, under the threat of guns, took about ten thousand pounds from the till, asking the bank employees and the three clients present to remain calm. The perpetratrors were quoted as saying, in Greek, "Good morning... We're here again. A Happy New Year to all, and since we're your friends, you can give us all the money."
Police are out in force to locate the two, who made their getaway on a high-powered motorcycle. An attempt to apprehend them was made at around eleven o'clock, when they were seen in the vicinity of Limassol's Heroes Square, but to no avail.
The two are believed to be the same individuals who carried out last October's heist at the same branch.
 BLAST NICOSIAAn explosion rocked the Nicosia area of Lykavitos at around 3:30 this morning.
According to the relevant police report, the blast was due to a high-powered makeshift bomb placed under a car registered to furniture-importer Takis Nikolaou and parked beneath a Kallipolis Avenue apartment building.
The vehicle in question was completely destroyed, while serious damages were caused to three other cars in the same parking space, with one of them, registered to Stelios Kythreotis, also being declared a total loss.
Police investigations concerning the motives and the perpetrators behind the crime are continuing. Last night's incident was the second bomb attack against Takis Neophytou. The first one occured in 1995, when a bomb exploded outside his furniture shop, on Ifigeneia Avenue in Nicosia's Acropolis area.
 ROADS POLICE ANNOUNCEMENTCyprus' Traffic Police Department has issued an announcement saying that due to heavy snowfall, all roads to Troodos are closed to all vehicles.
Also closed to traffic are the Pedhoulas-Prodromos, Pedhoulas-Pinewood-Kakopetria, Moutoullas-Pedhoulas, Pedhoulas-Kykko and Kambos-Kykko roads.
The Platania-Karvounas, Kakopetria-Spilia, Moniatis-Platres, Moniatis-Amiantos and Pelendri-Arsos roads are open only to vehicles equipped with snow chains or four-wheel drive.
Also dangerous are a number of roads in the Paphos district, and the police is urging drivers to exercise extreme caution.
 CSEThe Cyprus Stock Exchange received yet another telephone bomb warning today, 5 minutes before closing, which, however, once again proved a hoax and trading continued without a hitch until 11:30.
Today's general price index showed a noticeable drop, closing at just under 687 units as compared to yesterday's 699, while the volume of trading rose from 20 million pounds yesterday to 23 million today.
 TAILERToday's tailer comes to us from Hollywood's film industry which, after successfully offering us William Shakespeare in sweet and romantic love, now gives us the Bard at war, as Aaron the Moor raises a meat cleaver high over his head and, with an evil smile, hacks through Titus Andronicus' outstretched wrist, severing his hand in a gory mess.
This is just one of many bloody scenes from "Titus", the new film version of Shakespeare's first play, which has already premiered in the US. Once his most popular and arguably his most gruesome work, it was neglected for centuries by the public, academics, actors and directors.
While the film's daring cinematography and performances by Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange and Harry Lennix (as Aaron), have drawn rave reviews, its almost three hours of gore, with severed hands, heads and tongues, are definitely not for the queasy or faint-hearted.
Still... Shakespeare is Shakespeare, and one can only wait in hope for the film to come to Cyprus.
 WEATHERGenerally overcast conditions are forecast for the rest of the day, with rain throughout the island as well as snow over the mountains. Winds will be moderate to strong northwest-to-southwesterlies, on moderate to rough seas, whle temperatures are not expected to exceed 11C inland, 13C along the coasts and 4C at higher altitudes.
Overcast conditions will continue into this evening, once again with rain, as well as snow over the mountains. Winds will settle to west-to-northwesterly moderate to strong on rough seas, while temperatures will drop to 3C inland, 6C in coastal regions and below freezing on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
The depth of snow on Mt Olympus is 20cm, and 15cm in Troodos Square.