|Monday, 12 April 2021|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-12-01
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
WEDNESDAY 1 DECEMBER 1999
 HEADLINES--- Proximity talks on the Cyprus problem begin on Friday with mediators vague about their role in the negotiations.
--- British envoy, Sir David Hannay, said Turkey's upgrading to a European Union candidate country would depend on Ankara's willingness to discuss the Cyprus problem.
--- Russia predicted that its troops would capture a strategic town in Chechnya within the next couple of days.
--- Turkish Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, sidestepped questions today on his response to a European right court's request that Ankara delay executing Kurdish rebel Abdullah Ocalan.
--- A parrot got the sack from a children's pantomime for forgetting his lines and screeching obscenities.
 TALKS PROBLEMSProximity talks on the Cyprus problem begin with problems on December 3, as international mediators have not yet determined what their role will be.
Diplomatic sources told the CyBC that the Americans disagree with the United Nations' decision to hold both parts of talks at the UN headquarters in New York.
The sources said that the US believe they will be able to act in a more efficient manner, if the talks were held at an isolated venue.
 SIR DAVID CYPRUSBritish envoy, Sir David Hannay, has linked Turkey's upgrading to a candidate for European Union accession with Ankara's willingness to discuss the Cyprus problem.
Sir David told the CyBC correspondent in London that efforts to reach a settlement on the Cyprus problem must not be sacrificed for Turkey's interests.
He also said that if Turkey safeguards its European Union course, then it will enter an intensive dialogue to solve the Cyprus Problem.
 WHITE HOUSE CYPRUSThe White House issued a statement yesterday, saying that the two sides in Cyprus are to begin peace talks, due to the personal mediation of US President, Bill Clinton, and that there are now fresh hopes for peace on the island.
The statement adds that reaching a settlement of the Cyprus problem is a top priority of Mr. Clinton's foreign policy agenda.
 RUSSIA CHECHNYARussian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev predicted today that Russian troops would capture a strategic town guarding the eastern gateway to the rebel-held Chechen capital of Grozny within two or three days.
Refugees from Chechnya arriving in the neighbouring province of Ingushetia said Russian troops were storming villages surrounding Grozny, killing or wounding many civilians.
Moscow has come under fire from the West for its use of force in Chechnya and its reluctance to allow a mission from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to visit the region, despite a pledge to do so.
However, it has given the go-ahead for an official from the Council of Europe to visit the region to see some of the problems, including the plight of refugees who are now believed to number more than 200,000.
 OCALANTurkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit sidestepped questions today on his response to a European rights court's request that Ankara delay hanging Kurd rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan until the court rules on his appeal.
Newspapers said veteran leftist Ecevit, an opponent of the death penalty, was playing for time to hold together his coalition with far-right nationalists whose supporters are baying for Ocalan's blood.
Turkey seeks European Union candidacy at a summit in Helsinki this month but the bloc has made clear that relations would suffer if Ocalan were to be executed.
The European Court of Human Rights asked Turkey yesterday "to take all necessary steps to ensure that the death penalty is not carried out" before it had come to a verdict on Ocalan's plea that the death penalty breaches European law.
Kurdistan Workers Party leader Ocalan was sentenced to hang by a Turkish court in June for treason and responsibility for the deaths of all the 30,000 rebels, soldiers and civilians killed during his rebels' armed campaign for Kurdish home rule.
 WORLD IN BRIEFAnd now for a look at developments around the world in brief.
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In Seattle, massive protests threw the start of global trade talks into chaos as demonstrators fought with police and worried officials declared a civil emergency and called in the national guard.
Anti-free trade activists clashed with police on Seattle streets, while World Trade Organization delegates inside the city's heavily guarded convention center tried to hammer out an agenda for a new round of trade negotiations.
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Nearly 20,000 people raised a rebel flag in Indonesia's eastern province of Irian Jaya but President Abdurrahman Wahid went ahead with a trip to China despite mounting separatist tension at home.
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Mexican and US agents unearthed the remains of two people as they searched sites in northern Mexico where drug cartels are suspected of burying some 100 murder victims, including 22 Americans.
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African leaders appointed former South African President Nelson Mandela as the new mediator for Burundi's fragile peace process.
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Leaders of Germany's Christian Democratic Union pressed former Chancellor Helmut Kohl for more answers after he admitted running a secret party financing system during his 25 years as party chairman.
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Cuban leader Fidel Castro defended his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez as a like-minded "revolutionary" and denounced an alleged plot to kill him by US-based Cuban exiles.
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Supporters of Ivory Coast's former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara said they would try to hold a protest march today despite a ban on street demonstrations by President Henri Konan Bedie.
 CYPRUS AIRWAYSTrade unions representing workers at Cyprus Airways have called off a strike scheduled to begin December 11.
The new Chairman of the company, Haris Loizides, met with the trade unions and said he would submit a proposal regulating the workers' salary demands, during the first week of January.
The stance of Mr. Loizides satisfied the trade unions, which called off the strike.
 CYPRUS AIDSHealth Minister, Frixos Savvides, said that AIDS infection rates in Cyprus have dropped, but all negative factors for it to spread are present.
In a message for the International AIDS Day, Mr. Savvides stressed the need to erase all fear of persons with AIDS.
It is estimated that 50 million people around the world have contracted AIDS, and that the victims will reach 16 million.
 PARROT SACKEDA foul-mouthed parrot called Percy has been sacked from the cast of a British children's pantomime for forgetting his lines and swearing on stage.
Percy initially behaved himself as he perched on Long John Silver's shoulder in rehearsals for "Pirates on Treasure Island".
But the 17-month-old Amazon parrot stunned the cast at an arts centre in Blandford Forum, in western England, when he forgot his lines and instead of shrieking "Pieces of eight", blurted out a series of obsenities.
The hunt is on for a replacement parrot.
 WEATHERThe temperature will drop to 7 degrees inland, to 10 along the coast, and to 2 over the mountains.
The fire hazard is moderate in all forest areas.