|Sunday, 15 December 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 01-01-09
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 Headlines--- Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern arrived in Cyprus this morning, at the invitation of President Glafcos Clerides.
--- US envoys Alfred Moses and Thomas Weston were received this morning by President Glafcos Clerides. They also met with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
--- Controversy over NATO's use in the Balkans of tank-busting shells tipped with depleted uranium has moved firmly onto the political agenda, although health experts doubted any link to blood cancer among soldiers.
--- In Cyprus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that the Republic's Embassy in Belgrade had not received any complaints yet from Cypriots in Yugoslavia about health problems related to the Balkans Syndrome.
--- Israeli soldiers shot dead a 27-year-old Palestinian today in a village in the West Bank. Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian security officials are to meet today ahead of a US Middle East envoy's mission for a peace deal in the dying days of President Bill Clinton's administration.
 IrishIrish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern arrived in Cyprus this morning, at the invitation of President Glafcos Clerides.
The Taoiseach did not make any statement on his arrival, after which he met with President Clerides.
The meeting was followed by official talks, with the participation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Commerce.
 ClermosesUS envoys Alfred Moses and Thomas Weston were received this morning by President Glafcos Clerides.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Moses said talks with the President were excellent and that he would elaborate before his departure at three o'clock this afternoon.
 EnvoysyestYesterday, the two envoys met with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and were confronted with his totally intransigent stance.
Mr. Denktash told Presidential Emissary Alfred Moses and State Department Coordinator Thomas Weston that he would not participate in talks aimed at reaching a federation settlement, unless his pseudostate was recognised.
After the meeting, which lasted for about an hour, Mr. Moses said he explained to the Turkish Cypriot leader that it was to the interest of both sides to carry on negotiating.
 UraniumControversy over NATO's use in the Balkans of tank-busting shells tipped with depleted uranium has moved firmly onto the political agenda, although health experts doubted any link to blood cancer among soldiers.
NATO and the European Union will hold separate meetings this week amid growing concern that radioactive depleted uranium may have caused dozens of cases of leukaemia among peacekeepers.
While several EU states backed calls for NATO to come clean on where, when and how much depleted uranium ammunition was used, the alliance insisted there was no risk of contamination.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder joined calls for NATO to investigate the claims that Western troops in the Balkans fell ill through exposure to the depleted uranium which is used in missiles, shells and bullets to increase armour penetration.
It also emerged that NATO warned its member states 18 months ago of a "possible toxic threat" from radioactive weaponry, widely blamed for the "Balkans Syndrome" that has allegedly caused deaths and cancers among peacekeepers.
The German Defence Ministry confirmed reports that NATO issued warnings in July 1999 recommending countries take their own "preventative measures".
The controversy erupted after six Italian soldiers died of leukaemia after serving in the Balkans.
It echoes claims that Western use of depleted uranium weapons in the 1991 Gulf War caused thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths from cancer and the birth of deformed babies.
The Pentagon has said it is unlikely there is a link between the use of depleted uranium weapons in the Gulf and veterans' claims they caused a wide range of health problems among the military.
US attack jets fired 31.000 rounds of depleted uranium ammunition against Serb targets during NATO's 1999 campaign to drive the Yugoslav army out of Kosovo. Some 10.000 rounds were also fired in neighbouring Bosnia in 1994 and 1995.
In Britain, the environmental group Friends of the Earth and a Scottish parliamentarian demanded a clean-up of waters around Scotland after the Defence Ministry admitted it fired over 6.000 depleted uranium shells into the Solway Firth in training in the past decade.
NATO political advisers will discuss the depleted uranium row today and the North Atlantic Council -- the alliance's permanent ambassadors -- meets on the issue in Brussels tomorrow. NATO medical experts meet next Monday.
 CypruranIn Cyprus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that the Republic's Embassy in Belgrade had not received any complaints yet from Cypriots in Yugoslavia about health problems related to the Balkans Syndrome.
There are six Cypriot students in Belgrade, four persons working in companies, and three in Cyprus' Embassy with their families.
There are also five Cypriot students in other areas of Yugoslavia.
 MiddeathIsraeli soldiers shot dead a 27-year-old Palestinian today in a village in the West Bank.
Witnesses said the soldiers shot the Palestinian in the head during stone-throwing clashes in the village near the town of Nablus and that another Palestinian was moderately wounded.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was checking the report but the army knew of no clashes in the area.
Today's killing brings the death toll to at least 305 Palestinians, 13 Israeli Arabs and 43 other Israelis killed in almost 15 weeks of violence since the Palestinans began an uprising for independence.
 MidtalksMeanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian security officials are to meet today ahead of a US Middle East envoy's mission for a peace deal in the dying days of President Bill Clinton's administration.
Clinton's last-gasp peace blueprint drew Palestinian rejection and gunfire echoed overnight in in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in a familiar pattern of violence that has killed at least 360 people since September.
Israeli and Palestinian field commanders will meet today for coordination and updates in a followup to trilateral security talks held over the weekend with US participation in Egypt.
Similar field-level meetings over the past three months have failed to stop the bloodshed.
Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami said both sides accepted an eight point security plan drawn up by US Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet in a meeting with top security officials from both sides in Cairo on Sunday.
At the United Nations, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said veteran Mideast envoy Dennis Ross would leave for the region today.
 StockThe Cyprus Stock Exchange All Share Index rose marginally today, by 0,5 percent, closing at 238,5 units.
Traded value reached 8 million pounds, 2,5 million more than yesterday.
 BudgetThe discussion of the state budget for the year 2001 continues today at the House of Representatives.
Yesterday, leaders or representative of parliamentary political parties expressed their views.
Ruling right-wing Democratic Rally, centre Democratic Party and the United Democrats said they would vote in favour of the proposed budget. left-wing opposition AKEL said it would abstain, while the Movement of Social Democrats said it would vote against the budget.
The budget provides for expenditures reaching two billion 407 million pounds, and revenues of one billion 576 million pounds.
The deficit reaches 841 million pounds.
Today's discussion will be broadcast live from CyBC's Television Channel One and its First Radio Programme.
 EclipseA total eclipse of the moon will occur tonight and will be visible from Cyprus.
The phenomenon will start at 8.42 tonight and will end at 11.59.
This will be the only eclipse this year visible from Cyprus.
 WeatherThis afternoon will be generally fine.
Winds will be westerly, light to moderate, three to four beaufort, over moderate seas.
Tonight will be clear.
Winds will be southwesterly, moderate, four beaufort, over moderate seas.
Temperatures will drop to 8 degrees inland, to 10 along the coast, and to 4 over the mountains.