|Thursday, 20 February 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-06-19
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 Thursday 19/06/2003
 HEADLINES-- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said today he is ready to start negotiations on the Annan Plan, without conditions or pre-committments.
-- The final statement issued after the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) meeting of Turkish and European Union parliamentarians on Tuesday praised the efforts for a solution in Cyprus for the first time, and called for more courageous steps.
-- A palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in a grocery store in northern Israel today, killing its owner in an attack that threw a U.S.-backed peace plan deeper into turmoil.
-- A mortar round hit a U.S. military base overnight in the Iraqi town of Samarra in the restive territory north of Baghdad, killing one Iraqi and wounding 12.
-- Three police officers were killed and seven others injured today when their bus was blown up by a landmine near Russia's rebel region of Chechnya.
 PAPS SALONICACyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said today he is ready to start negotiations on the Annan Plan, without conditions or pre-committments.
Speaking before his departure to Thessaloniki to take part at the European COuncil summit, Mr. Papadopoulos said the Greek Cypriot side is ready to start talks whenever the Secretary General invites the parties.
President Papadopoulos, who is expected to arrive in the Greek city around two this afternoon, will also participate in the EU - Western Balkans conference. He is accompanied by Foreign Minister George Iacovou.
 EU TURKEYThe final statement issued after the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) meeting of Turkish and European Union parliamentarians on Tuesday praised the efforts for a solution in Cyprus for the first time, and called for more courageous steps.
According to the Turkish Daily News, the statement said the Joint Parliamentary Committee welcomes the recent rapprochement between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot authorities following the partial lifting of restrictions in the freedom of movement.
It also welcomes the recent decision of the Turkish government to lift the travel ban on Greek Cypriots and calls for the resumption of talks under the auspieces of the U.N. as soon as possible with the aim of reaching a common understanding between the two parties.
 WESTON ANKARAUS State Department Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, will meet today Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.
Mr. Weston, who arrived in Ankara from Cyprus yesterday after his tlaks on the island, will depart tomorrow to return to the US via London..
 MIDEASTA palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in a grocery store in northern Israel today, killing its owner in an attack that threw a U.S.-backed peace plan deeper into turmoil.
The blast in the Sdeh Trumot farming community was a fresh blow after Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas failed to get militants to call a truce with Israel, and comes before a regional visit by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
However, Israel began to carry out steps in line with a U.S.-backed peace plan, as the army moved to take down an inhabited West Bank settler outpost put up without Israeli approval -- the first earmarked for removal under the "road map".
Mr. Powell will try in talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mr. Abbas today to rescue the plan, which has been battered by violence that has killed more than 50 people on both sides since a June 4 peace summit in Aqaba, Jordan.
Mr. Sharon pledged at the gathering to implement the road map's call for the uprooting of settler outposts built in the West Bank since he first took office in March 2001.
 MIDEAST LEBANONLebanon's Hizbollah guerrilla group said today it had fired anti-aircraft rounds at Israeli jets that roared over south Lebanon late last night in violation of the country's air space.
The Syrian and Iranian-backed Hizbollah said in a statement that the air defence unit of the Islamic resistance confronted Israeli enemy warplanes late last night that violated Lebanese sovereignty over the middle sector of south Lebanon.
The Shi'ite Muslim group also fired on the planes elsewhere in the south.
Israeli jets often fly over Lebanon, drawing fire from Hizbollah, which helped drive Israeli forces from south Lebanon in 2000 after a 22-year occupation.
The United Nations warned in February that an increase in flights by Israeli jets over Lebanon could escalate into a more serious conflict. It views both the Israeli overflights and Hizbollah's retaliatory fire as violations of the terms of Israel's pullout.
 IRAQ ATTACK- A mortar round hit a U.S. military base overnight in the Iraqi town of Samarra in the restive territory north of Baghdad, killing one Iraqi and wounding 12.
A US military spokesman said the U.S. civil-military operations centre was hit by an 82mm mortar round during the night. It was the latest in a wave of ambushes and attacks targeting U.S. troops in the area.
 RUSSIA CHECHNYAThree police officers were killed and seven others injured today when their bus was blown up by a landmine near Russia's rebel region of Chechnya.
Interfax news agency quoted the deputy prosecutor as saying the blast in North Ossetia, near the border with Ingushetia, was being treated as a case of terrorism and premeditated murder.
Itar-Tass news agency said the explosion could have been set off by remote control.
Early this month, a woman suicide bomber blew up a bus carrying Russian air force pilots in North Ossetia, which also borders Chechnya. She killed herself and at least 17 others.
He said troops from the U.S. 4th Infantry Division heard three explosions during the night and contacted Iraqi police, who found the casualties.
The Pentagon said on Wednesday that 16 U.S. soldiers had been killed by hostile action in Iraq since the start of May. A further 36 have been killed in accidents.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, the weather will be mainly clear with some local cloud. Winds will be westerly to south-westerly light to moderate, three to four beaufort and the sea slight to moderate in windward coastal areas. Temperatures will reach 36 C inland, 33 C on the south coast, 29 C on the west and 27 C over the mountains.
Tonight the weather will be generally clear. Thin mist and low cloud will form in some areas. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly light, three beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to 22 C inland and on the south coast and 19 C over the west and 17 over the mountains.
The fire hazard remains very high in all forest areas.
 RALLY BEGINS-- A total of 61 cars from 26 countries participate in the three-day Cyprus Rally, scheduled to start tomorrow Friday from the coastal town of Limassol.
The Cyprus Rally, which is included for the fourth consecutive year in the World Rally Championship, will cover a total of 1,185 kilometres, comprising 18 special stages totaling 341 kilometres.
The first stage of the Rally begins at eight in the morning from Limassol with final destination Platres where the first special route will start.