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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 00-01-31

Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>

CONTENTS

MONDAY 31 JANUARY 2000

  • [01] HEADLINES
  • [02] GENEVA TALKS
  • [03] MONIATIS AFTERMATH
  • [04] MONIATIS-HISTORY
  • [05] PLANE CRASH
  • [06] WORLD IN BRIEF
  • [07] CSE
  • [08] TAILER
  • [09] WEATHER

  • [01] HEADLINES

    The second round of proximity talks on the Cyprus Issue began in Geneva this morning;

    The death toll from yesterday's Saittas area bus crash stands at six, while another three individuals are in critical condition;

    At least 169 people are feared dead in the first major air disaster of the year, which took place off the Ivory Coast late last night;

    A look at news from around the world in brief;

    The possibility of Cyprus facing a "Black Monday" looms menacingly in the minds of investors;

    and...

    Coffee celebrates a comeback in London's City district.

    [02] GENEVA TALKS

    The second round of UN-sponsored proximity talks on the Cyprus Issue, held between President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, began in Geneva this morning.

    At 10:30 Cyprus time, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan met behind closed doors with President Clerides, who afterwards described the one-and-a-half hour meeting as very good, adding that he and Mr Annan held an in-depth discussion of all the topics examined during the first round of talks in New York.

    About an hour ago, Mr Annan entered a similar and still-ongoing meeting with Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    The UN Secretary-General, who is being accompanied by his Special Advisor on the Cyprus Issue Alvaro deSoto, is expected to proceed with an initial statement over the two meetings in due course.

    Yesterday, President Clerides had separate meetings with US Presidential Emissary Alfred Moses and Britain's Special Representative Sir David Hannay, the two of whom had a private meeting earlier in the day, while they are also expected to meet with Mr Denktash later today.

    Meanwhile, and as reported by our correspondent on the scene, the arrangement for Mr Denktash to stay at a different hotel than that where President Clerides is staying was made by the United Nations in order to avoid any chance meetings between members of the two delegations within the framework of the UN-requested moratorium on any statements.

    [03] MONIATIS AFTERMATH

    In the aftermath of yesterday's carnage on the southern slopes of the Troodos mountains, when a mini-bus with 36 people on board veered out of control on the steep downhills between Platres and Moniatis, two of those injured are still in critical condition at Limassol General Hospital.

    According to the Cyprus News Agency, of the 27 people injured in yesterday's accident, the five who had been admitted to the Kyperounta Hospital were transferred to Nicosia General last night, while the other 22 were admitted to Limassol General.

    A total of six people died in the accident: a man and four women from the Philippines, as well as a three-year-old boy, from a Cypriot father and a Filipina mother.

    Meanwhile, a Nicosia General Hospital spokesman said that a 12-year-old girl injured in the accident is in critical condition in the neurosurgical ward and has been placed on a respirator.

    The passengers were mostly women, Filipina and Sri Lankan domestic personnel living and working in Larnaka, who had chartered the bus for a one-day outing to the Troodos mountains.

    The driver, 40-year-old Aradhippou resident Kostas Zipitis, also injured, is reported to be out of danger, while police investigations as to the exact causes of the accident are continuing.

    [04] MONIATIS-HISTORY

    Meanwhile, an archives search has revealed that yesterday's crash took place at the exact scene of two previous and equally fatal accidents, one in 1981 and the other in 1989.

    In 1981, three school pupils were killed and another 48 injured when the bus on which they were riding fell into a gorge, while eight years later, in 1989, eight British soldiers were killed when their vehicle took a plunge at the exact same spot.

    Following the second fatal accident, the then Ministry of Communications and Works gave instructions for the construction of the current two-metre long concrete barrier which, according to all indications, prevented yesterday's mini-bus from veering off the road and into the neighbouring ravine, an occurence which could, conceivably, have led to more deaths.

    [05] PLANE CRASH

    In the first major air disaster of the year, a Kenya Airways passenger plane crashed off the Ivory Coast last night, scattering corpses and wreckage in the sea, but rescue crews and the carrier company announced early this morning that at least nine, possibly ten people have survived.

    The Airbus 310, flight KQ431, was carrying 179 passengers and crew from Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan to Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos. It crashed a few minutes after taking off from Abidjan's seaside international airport.

    Some witnesses reported hearing three loud explosions as the plane went down, while others spoke of seeing lights at the surface before the plane sank. One survivor, a Nigerian, was quoted by Reuters as saying that the plane went down three minutes after takeoff, while control tower data indicate the much shorter time of one minute.

    The nationalities of the dead and all but one of the survivors was not immediately clear, but an Abidjan airport official said that most of the passengers were Nigerians. At the latest report, 49 bodies had been fished out from the sea.

    [06] WORLD IN BRIEF

    Time now for a look at other news from around the world in brief...

    A British judge will rule whether Augusto Pinochet's pursuers can bring a legal case to stop Britain freeing the former Chilean dictator on health grounds instead of sending him for trial in Europe on charges of torture;

    US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has begun talks with Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov at the start of a three-day visit to Moscow which will also include presiding over multilateral Middle East talks;

    Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are today scheduled to meet again at a secret West Bank location, on the second day of a 10-day sprint to beat a deadline for a framework agreement;

    And in the Philippines, at least 11 people were killed and more than 20,000 fled their homes as four days of heavy rains pounded the country's southern regions, triggering floods and landslides.

    [07] CSE

    Back to Cyprus, where the island's Stock Exchange experienced a new downwards slide today, while investors dismally spoke of the possibility of another "Black Monday".

    With a drop of over 5% as compared to the end of last week, the General Price Index fell by 31 units, closing at 565. Decreased trading was also the order of the day, with the total volume reaching just 16-and-a-half million pounds, down approximately one-and-a-half million from Friday's close.

    Commenting on the situation, some brokers are proffering the assessment that the downwards trend is being exacerbated by investors proceeding with the liquefication of shares in order to avoid further losses, while other financial analysts appear confident that all indications to date are that an upsurge of activity is inevitable.

    [08] TAILER

    Today's tailer comes to us from that bastion of international finance, the City of London, which has recently experienced a return of its long-lost coffee culture, with the aroma of espresso wafting around office blocks and corporate headquarters.

    Almost 300 years since London's coffee houses first helped lay the foundations of the empire by providing a venue for merchants to wheel and deal, office workers are once again thronging to the City's coffee shops.

    According to a study carried out by the management consultancy company "Allegra Strategies", every weekday sees approximately one million cups of coffee brewed around the City, at some 150 branches of international chain coffee-shops and many more privately-run cafes.

    It would appear that the sometimes aromatic, sometimes pungent black brew, apart from helping create the City of London, also keeps it alive and moving, with workers regularly doing what is affectionately termed by coffee connoisseurs worldwide as... the "Java Jive".

    [09] WEATHER

    Partly cloudy conditions are forecast for this afternoon, with rain expected in many areas, as well as sleet and snow over the higher mountain peaks. Winds will be moderate southwesterlies, 4BF, on moderate seas, while temperatures are not expected to exceed 16C inland, 17C along the coasts and 6C at higher altitudes.

    Rain and snow are also forecast for this evening, with skies gradually clearing up by the early hours of tomorrow morning. Winds will abate to light to moderate west-to-northwesterlies, 3-4BF, on slight to moderate seas, while temperatures will drop to 4C inland, 7C in coastal regions and 2C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.

    The depth of snow on Mount Olympus is 35cm, and 30cm in Troodos Square.


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