|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 00-10-25
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESThe majority of the island's trade unions are currently holding a work stoppage;
A mass protest rally is set to take place at the Ledra Palace checkpoint this evening;
The crisis facing the Church of Cyprus is to be resolved by a Major Holy Synod;
The first-ever session of the International Youth Parliament opens in Sydney, Australia, tomorrow;
The Israeli and Palestinian leaders may be meeting separately with the US President, while clashes in the Middle East continue;
Sri Lankan villagers storm a guerilla rehabilitation camp;
Today's All-Share Index at the CSE drops by over 1%;
Britain's controversial Turner prize exhibition opens its doors to the public.
 COLA WORKOUTA three-hour work stoppage is currently in progress by those occupied in the construction industry, hourly-paid government workers and regional administration employees.
The walkout, which began at 11:30 in all urban centres of the island, has been called as the first in a series of measures aimed at safeguarding the automatic adjustment of the cost of living allowance, following the government's decision to exclude consumer taxes from Ministry of Finance calculations setting COLA levels.
According to a relevant announcement, a failure of the government to reach an acceptable compromise will lead to walkouts being extended to other sectors and an intensification of industrial action.
Today's work stoppage was called by the PEO, DEOK, POAS, OELMEC, OLTEC and SEAS trade unions. The SEK and PASYDY trade unions have disassociated themselves from the issue.
 PROTEST RALLY LEDRAA mass rally has been called for 6:30 this evening at the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia.
Organised by the island's refugee associations and municipalities, the rally aims at condemning what was described in a press release as "concessions and United Nations' manoeuvres which deprive Cypriots of the right to return to their homes and essentially abolish the Cyprus Republic."
The rally has taken on a supra-party nature, with both Cypriot and Greek personages from across the political spectrum expected to attend.
 CHURCHThe prelate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, today announced that he plans to call a Major Holy Synod in the near future in order to deal with the matter which has arisen in relation to Metropolitan Bishop of Limassol Athanasios.
Commenting on the indefinite suspension of duties imposed on Archimandrite Andreas Constantinides yesterday, Cyprus' Archbishop said that this was deemed necessary given the fact that the clergyman was acting with malice against a Bishop of the Church, as well as in face of the possibility that the Archimandrite has sired two illegitimate children. Archbishop Chrysostomos further noted that Archimandrite Constantinides could have even been defrocked for his actions.
Asked if the decision to call a Major Holy Synod, involving archbishops and patriarchs from across the Greek Orthodox Church, should have been left to Cyprus' Holy Synod given the differing opinions expressed by some of its members, the Archbishop confined himself to saying that he is well within his rights in doing so.
 YOUTH PARLIAMENTThe first-ever session of the International Youth Parliament is set to open in the Australian city of Sydney tomorrow, with 250 delegates aged between 15 and 28 from a total of 160 countries.
Cyprus is being represented by 27-year-old Marios Epaminondas, an active member of the "Youth for exchange and understanding" organisation, and a volunteer in Cyprus' Family Planning Association.
The session's agenda includes matters pertaining to the fight against poverty, the upgrading of cultural development, and problems faced by the youth in countries riven by armed and social conflict.
 MIDEASTUS President Bill Clinton may hold separate meetings in Washington with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat if progress is made toward ending nearly a month of bloodshed.
In a relevant announcement, the White House said that Clinton had raised the possibility of holding separate meetings, during a telephone conversation with Arafat, in which the US president urged the Palestinian leader to stick to a truce agreed at a summit in Egypt a week ago.
In a parallel development, an Israeli diplomatic source said today that Barak had told Clinton by telephone he would agree to a meeting only if Arafat took steps to curb the fighting, which has claimed the lives of at least 131 people, the vast majority of them Arabs.
In Israel itself meanwhile, a roadside bomb exploded near an army convoy in the southern Gaza Strip this morning, following which suspected Palestinian gunmen opened fire. No casualties were reported.
Late last night saw an Israeli tank firing three shells at the West Bank town of El-Bireh, destroying a building which Palestinian gunmen allegedly were using to fire against the Jewish settlement of Psagot. Once again, there were no reports of casualties.
This morning also saw the funeral of a 16-year-old boy killed in clashes with Israeli troops yesterday, with thousands of Palestinians marching through the Gaza Strip.
 SRI LANKAAt least 10 former Tamil Tiger rebels were killed and dozens wounded when villagers in central Sri Lanka stormed a rehabilitation camp for surrendered guerrillas and child soldiers.
Sri Lanka's military spokesman told Reuters today that "The army was called in to restore order at the Bindunuwewa camp after it was stormed by villagers in the locality, but by the time a platoon arrived, the camp was completely gutted."
The camp's deputy commissioner meanwhile said there had been a serious clash between villagers and the camp's more than 40 inmates, which included surrendered and captured guerrillas of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
No casualty figures were given by either official, but hospital sources said that at least 10 bodies had been brought from the camp near the central town of Bandarawela, some 200 km east of the capital Colombo, with the death toll expected to rise, given that many of the 35 injured detainees are in critical condition.
 CSEActivity at the Cyprus Stock Exchange today offered a glimmer of hope to investors, with the market showing a trend towards stabilisation for the greatest part of this morning's session, with only a marginal drop of the All-Share Index.
The collective sigh of relief turned into a gasp of dismay however when, during the last 15 minutes of today's trading, the Index dropped by a further 1.15% compared to yesterday, closing at 309.48.
Today's overall volume of trading meanwhile reached 24.3 million pounds, two million up from yesterday.
 TAILERToday's tailer comes to us from the world of art, and specifically concerns Britain's controversial Turner prize, condemned by critics as "an ongoing national joke" while the mere mention of the name is enough to get traditionalists spluttering with rage.
Having in the past featured exhibits such as elephant dung and pickled sheep, this year's entries, which were unveiled yesterday, are no less outre:
German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans offers shots of shaved genitalia and a naked man bending over, legs akimbo, under the title "Wanna Party In My Hole?"
Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi has collected a load of old rubbish -- from twisted steering wheels to discarded hubcaps -- to relive the trauma of taking her driving test.
On a more conventional note however, this year does see painters getting a look-in, with Britain's Glenn Brown vying for the 20,000 pound prize along with Dutch landscape artist Michael Raedecker, whose canvases are covered in cotton threads and twisted wool.
With the controversial exhibition attracting some 120 thousand visitors a year, the winner will be announced live on Britain's Channel Four television on November 28th.
 WEATHERCloud cover will gradually thicken this afternoon, leading to rain throughout the island, as well as isolated thunderstorms in areas, while the higher peaks of the Troodos mountains will also receive a light dusting of snow, which has been falling intermittently since last night. Winds will be moderate northerlies, 4BF, with strong gusts of up to 5BF along the coasts, on moderate to rough seas, while temperatures are not expected to exceed 20C inland, 22C along the coasts and 10C at higher altitudes.
Unsettled weather conditions are also forecast for this evening, with intermittent cloud once again leading to rain throughout the island, as well as snow on the highest mountain peaks. Winds will abate to light to moderate northerlies, 3-4BF, on moderate seas, while temperatures will drop to 9C inland, 11C in coastal regions and 3C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.