|Sunday, 18 April 2021|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-12-21
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
TUESDAY 21 DECEMBER 1999
 HEADLINES--- Talks on the Cyprus problem are expected to become substantive after the forthcoming round in January.
--- The Cyprus Central Bank is planning to restrict loans for next year.
--- Russian forces are battling their way into Grozny.
--- The death toll from mudslides and flash floods that swamped Venezuela's Caribbean coast last week has risen to at least 10,000.
--- High winds and torrential rains swept across northwestern Turkey last night, plunging earthquake victims into deeper misery.
--- Actor Sean Connery is expected to be knighted in the traditional New Year's honours list.
 PAPAPETROUGovernment Spokesman, Michalis Papapetrou, said that talks on the Cyprus problem will enter a substantive phase after the second round of proximity talks in January and the illegal elections in the northern occupied areas of the Republic.
Mr. Papapetrou told the CyBC that he expects the UN to submit proposals during the third stage of the talks.
Responding to questions, Mr. Papapetrou said that the Republic of Cyprus is using UN decisions as a shield and that the UN could not violate their own decisions.
 TALKSUS representative at the UN, Richard Holbrooke, said that the agreement to continue proximity talks on the Cyprus problem was encouraging, but did not express optimism on their prospects.
Mr. Holbrooke said that the second round of talks, to begin end of January in Geneva, will be monitored by US Presidential Emissary, Alfred Moses.
He also commended the European Union decision at its Helsinki Summit, to upgrade Turkey to a candidate country.
 CAMPAIGNThe governments of Athens and Nicosia, in cooperation with the parliaments of Greece and Cyprus, have launched a coordinated campaign towards the parliaments of the European Union countries, in order to utilise Helsinki Summit conclusions.
The decision was taken after talks in Athens yesterday between the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Cyprus.
Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, announced the campaign on his return to the island last night.
 LOANSThe Cyprus Central Bank is planning to restrict loans next year, especially for investing in the Stock Exchange.
The matter was put forward by Central Bank Governor, Afxentis Afxentiou, during a meeting of commercial bank officials.
Mr. Afxentiou said that the year 2000 monetary and credit policy will be restrictive, due to deficits in the payment balance and the budget.
He also said that the banks will be urged to be very careful in giving loans.
Meanwhile, commercial banks oppose the plans and will submit their own proposals within the next couple of days.
 RUSSIARussian forces are battling their way into the Chechen capital of Grozny and mountain gorges in the south of the breakaway region in what could be a decisive phase in their three-month campaign.
Russia said yesterday that it had seized the main civilian airport in the north of the capital. It had already secured control over Grozny's Khankala military air base last week.
Both sides reported heavy fighting today in Serzhen-Yurt, mouth of the Vedeno Gorge, one of two main access routes into the rocky Caucasus Mountains to the south, Europe's highest range, where Chechen fighters have set up rear bases.
Yesterday, Moscow said it had sent marines over the Chechen border into the mountains from Dagestan, the Russian province to the east, opening a new front.
Russia has also dropped paratroops on mountaintops on Chechnya's southern border with ex-Soviet Georgia in an effort to encircle Chechen militants and trap them in gorges.
 VENEZUELAThe death toll from mudslides and flash floods that swamped Venezuela's Caribbean coast last week has risen to at least 10,000.
Meanwhile, hundreds of desperate survivors are ransacking the main cargo port.
Troops fired shots into the air at La Guaira port as dishevelled looters, many barefoot, broke into containers and escaped with children's toys, work tools and boxes of fine imported foods like smoked salmon and Swiss cheese.
The streets around the port teemed with people left behind after a massive air, land and sea evacuation of coastal Vargas state which was devastated by torrential rains that lashed the South American country last week.
 TURKEYHigh winds and torrential rains swept across northwestern Turkey last night, heaping more misery on earthquake survivors sheltering in tents.
Seven people were injured and some 200 tents were flattened by the storms. Mud is ankle-deep.
Hundreds of thousands were made homeless when a massive earthquake struck Turkey's industrialised northwest on August 17 killing at least 17,500 people.
Another large quake hit an area to the east on November 12 and killed more than 800.
The government has pledged to house all survivors in prefabricated shacks by the end of the year but most have yet to be completed.
 WORLD IN BRIEFAnd now for a look at developmetns around the world in brief.
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Russian President Boris Yeltsin discussed the war in Chechnya and the new political landscape following an election that weakened the opposition Communists' grip on parliament.
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Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji called for a dialogue on human rights with the European Union instead of confrontation as the two sides began a one-day summit in Beijing.
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Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf dismissed speculation that he would reconvene parliament to give his two-month old government some domestic and international legitimacy.
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A Pakistani court adjourned preliminary hearings against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif until January 12, when it will rule on a defence challenge to its jurisdiction.
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US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, acknowledging he had been absent from the United Nations for weeks, criticised the world body for its lack of coordination and focus on process at the expense of results.
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Three rival rebel factions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo said they would coordinate political and military strategies in their fight against President Laurent Kabila.
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Police are searching for members of a Montreal theft ring with alleged ties to Algerian extremists to determine if an Algerian man was acting alone in what appeared to be a millennium bomb plot in Seattle.
 CONNERYA British newspaper reported today that former James Bond star and Scottish Nationalist supporter Sean Connery would be knighted in the traditional New Year's honours list.
Prime Minister Tony Blair's office declined comment on the report in the Daily Mail newspaper.
It said the actor was to become Sir Sean after a change of heart by Blair's Labour government which had previously denied him the award because of his support for the Scottish National Party.
Two years ago Connery -- the first actor to play fictional British spy Bond -- was at the centre of a bitter political row after it was widely reported that Labour had blocked plans to award him a knighthood.
Connery is a high-profile supporter of the Scottish National Party, now the official opposition in the Scottish parliament and a campaigner for an independent Scotland.
The Daily Mail said the Honours List would also include knighthoods for entrepreneur Richard Branson and comedian Norman Wisdom.
The list, which is drawn up by the government and the awards made by Queen Elizabeth, is usually a closely guarded secret until its publication.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be mainly fine with a few passing clouds.
Winds will be northeasterly to southeasterly, moderate, three to four beaufort on slight seas.
Tonight will be clear.
Winds will be northwesterly to northeasterly, light, two to three beaufort, on slight seas.
Temperatures will drop to 7 degrees inland and on the west coast, to 9 on the south coast, and to 5 over the mountains.
Tomorrow will be fine.
Winds will be easterly to southeasterly, moderate, three to four beaufort, and the sea will be slight.
The temperature will reach 18 degrees inland, 20 along the coast, and 10 over the mountains.
Thursday and Friday will be cloudy, with some local showers, especially in the afternoon, and the temperature will gradually drop.