|Tuesday, 28 January 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 00-10-10
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESThe European Union is to assume a more active role in the UN-sponsored proximity talks on the Cyprus Issue;
The Greek Minister of Culture is received by Cyprus' President and House Speaker;
Israel's Prime Minister essentially extends his ultimatum for an end to violence;
Efforts to bring Yugoslavia back into the fold of nations continue;
The world's first woman prime minister dies at the age of 84;
We have our daily overview of the Cyprus Stock Exchange;
Cypriot composers and performers feature in tonight's Popular Bank song contest.
 EU GENEVAThe European Union is to assume a more active role in the proximity talks being held on the Cyprus Issue, in order to ensure that any settlement conforms with the EU aquis communautaire.
The statement was made during yesterday's joint session of the Cyprus-EU parliamentary committee by the Union's Commissioner for Enlargement, Gunther Verheugen, who added that he personally will be attending the fifth round of talks, set for the beginning of next month in Geneva, following the suggestion of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Clarifying that Cyprus accession negotiations will in no way be delayed by the UN-sponsored process, Gunther Verheugen also said that the talks are being held in a "positive climate" because of the recent thawing of greco-turkish relations, the significance given by Turkey to its own accession to the EU, and the prospects of the talks themselves. He did, however, refer to "negative elements", such as the failure to lift the deadlock marking the talks, the fact that Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash does not seem willing to move from his positions, and that the situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus is, as he said, "not particularly good."
In closing, and stressing that the European Union will never accept the accession of what he described as "two Cypruses", the EU Commissioner went on to say that things are reaching a decisive phase much faster than what Mr Denktash anticipates.
Gunther Verheugen is, next week, scheduled to visit Athens, where he will discuss matters pertaining to Cyprus' EU-candidacy.
 FR EUROPARL CYAddressing yesterday's joint parliamentary committee meeting was also a representative of the French EU-presidency, Ambassador Jean Bernard Devevre, who noted that the Union seeks a Cyprus settlement within the framework set out by the United Nations.
The French official went on to say that the 15 are cloesly monitoring all developments, so that any solution reached is just, lasting and to the best interest of the Cypriot people.
Responding, and commenting on the situation, committee co-chair Tassos Papadopoulos stressed that any suggestions or proposals should be fully in line with the European aquis communautaire, ensure the safeguarding of human rights, and totally preclude a confederal solution.
 PANGALOS MEETSGreek Minister of Culture, Theodoros Pangalos, in Cyprus on an official visit, today met with President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides and House President Spyros Kyprianou.
Speaking to reporters on leaving the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Mr Pangalos said that Cyprus' President conveyed to him his ardent wish that cultural relations between Greece and Cyprus be tightened, and that at moments like these, when the Cyprus Issue is marked by significant developments, Greece's presence and support should be nothing short of obvious.
Later this morning Mr Pangalos met with House President Kyprianou, who said afterwards that Cyprus is currently facing difficult times, a situation necessitating a re-assessment of strategy in co-ordination with Athens. Mr Kyprianou also expressed concern over a statement made yesterday by Gunther Verheugen, in which the EU Commissioner described the latest UN-proposals as a "step forward", and said that on the contrary, they are a great leap backwards.
In a terse response, Theodoros Pangalos noted that all messages received during his visit will be conveyed to Athens.
 OCCUP. REARRESTThe occupation authorities yesterday once again detained Zerin Guzelyurtlu, wife of Turkish-Cypriot banker and businessman Elmas Guzelyurtlu, who fled the northern part of Cyprus through the government-controlled areas of the Republic last month.
According to the Turkish-Cypriot press, the Denktash regime proceeded with the second-time arrest following information that the businessman's wife was herself preparing to flee, and has already ordered the confiscation of her passport and personal documents.
Relatives of the Guzelyurtlu family based in London meanwhile have said that they intend to seek recourse with the European Court of Human Rights in order to secure Zerin's release.
 MIDEASTIsraeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced this morning that he is willing to give international mediators more time to try to end the cycle of Israeli-Palestinian violence and revive Middle East peacemaking.
Following a five-hour cabinet meeting that ended before dawn, Barak said he was prepared to attend a summit with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat provided it would ensure an end to nearly two weeks of bloodshed.
A statement issued by his office said that appeals by world leaders had prompted the government to allow more time to end the violence "with the feeling that this is, indeed, the last chance."
The Palestinians meanwhile say that it's up to Israel, deemed by the UN Security Council to have used excessive force, to end the violence. At least 90 people have been killed in the clashes, mostly Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.
 YUGOEfforts to bring Yugoslavia back into the fold of nations continued today, with France's foreign minister due in Belgrade and the UN saying it was time for Yugoslavia to regain membership.
Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine was scheduled to hold talks with Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, restoring ruptured links between Belgrade and the 15-member European Union.
At the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan encouraged Yugoslavia's new president to regain UN membership for his country. Yugoslavia is currently in limbo at the United Nations, still being legally a member but without being able to take part in most of the work of the organisation because of a dispute over whether rump Yugoslavia, left over from the country's bloody disintegration in three major wars, must re-apply for the seat.
On the domestic front meanwhile, Serbian political parties were today expected to continue discussion on the makeup of a new interim government to be in place until early elections proposed for December 17th. The elections, agreed upon prior to a stormy session of parliament yesterday which ended with bodyguards of a Serb nationalist leader firing into the air to dispel student protesters, are seen as a way for Kostunica and the former opposition to consolidate control of Serbia, the main power in Yugoslavia.
 SRI LANKAFormer Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world's first woman premier, died on election day today. She was 84.
State television said that Bandaranaike had suddenly fallen ill while returning to the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo from her home electorate of Attangalle, 40 km northeast of the city, where she had cast her vote in the country's parliamentary elections, and passed away in a private hospital.
Bandaranaike, the mother of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, was prime minister of Sri Lanka three times, first assuming office 40 years ago.
Mrs B, as she was affectionately called, stepped down on August 10th due to poor health.
 LARNACA INJURIESA 17-year-old Larnaka resident was admitted to hospital with serious injuries last night, after a hit-and-run accident at the southern town's Limassol and Phaneromeni Avenues traffic lights.
The victim is Demetris Michail Christodoulou, who was riding his moped at the time when a car driver failed to stop at the intersection's red light.
Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact the nearest police station.
 CSEActivity at the Cyprus Stock Exchange was today marked by a plummeting of the General Price Index, which closed at 250.73, down by 3.21% from yesterday.
At the same time, the overall volume of trading barely exceeded 17.7 million pounds.
Financial analysts are attributing the particularly negative trend observed today to the significant drop experienced by the island's Banking Sector.
 POPULAR SONGCONTESTLimassol's Municipal Amphitheatre will, this evening, host the Popular Bank Group of Companies pancyprian song contest, held this year for the eighth time.
The contest, scheduled to begin at 9, will feature 12 entries, and will be carried live on CyBC's First Television Channel and Third Radio Programme.
 WEATHERUnsettled weather conditions are forecast for this afternoon, with rains expected throughout the island, as well as isolated thundershowers and hailstorms. Winds will be moderate west-to-southwesterlies, 4-5BF, gusting to 6 in areas, on moderate to rough seas, while temperatures are not expected to exceed 27C inland and along the coasts, and 21C at higher altitudes.
Partly cloudy conditions are forecast for this evening, with the possibility of scattered showers, while winds will remain west-to-southwesterlies, abating slightly to 4-5BF, later turning to west-to-northwesterlies, on moderate seas, and temperatures dropping to 17C inland and in coastal regions, and 12C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
The fire hazard is high in all forest areas.