|Thursday, 18 July 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 01-09-20
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesA meeting of Afghanistan's senior Islamic clerics today issued an edict reccommending Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted man, should be persuaded to leave the country whenever possible,
Meanehile, Afghanistan's opposition Northern Alliance today said the time was right for it to launch an attack against the ruling Taliban, but it wanted to coordinate its action with the United States first,
Former CIA director James Woolsey said that statements about Cyprus connections with Osama Bin Laden he made to the Italian daily "Republica", were grossly distorted,
Passengers at airports, including government officials, will undergo thorough checks, as part of new government measures on airport security,
 Clerics go LadenA meeting of Afghanistan's senior Islamic clerics today issued an edict reccommending Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted man, should be persuaded to leave the country whenever possible.
The meeting was called by the ruling Taliban's spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, but it was not immediately clear if he would follow its recommendation.
The edict said that i0n order to avoid the current tumult and also future similar suspicions, the High Council of the Honourable Ulema recommends to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to persuade Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan whenever possible.
Bin Laden should find another place to live, it said.
The edict came after the more than 1,000 clerics spent nearly two days debating the fate of bin Laden, chief suspect in the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
Omar has long said that Islamic codes of conduct require him to give sanctuary to those who seek it and he cannot give up his bin Laden without proper evidence.
The hardline Islamic movement appeared on Monday to be shifting on its opposition towards extraditing bin Laden, 44, who has a price of 5 million dollars on his head.
The Taliban information minister said that the movement will not side with anyone who is responsible for this act, Osama or not.
 Clerics probeThe Islamic clerics however warned of a holy war, or Jihad, if the United States attacks Afhganistan and also made clear that they will go after anyone who supports the Americans in their attack.
The clerics also called for an independent investigation by the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Conference into last week's attacks.
The edict blasted President George W. Bush for labelling Washington's planned retribution "a crusade", saying tihs had hurt the feelings of Muslims.
 Bin Laden TalibanSaudi-born militant Osama bin Laden is ready to stand trial on suspicion of attacks against the United States if Washington provides the evidence.
The Taliban's deputy ambassador in Islamabad said that the Afghan-based bin Laden, named by Washington as the prime suspect in last week's bombings in the United States, could be tried in Kabul or in another Muslim country.
 Afghans OppositionAfghanistan's opposition Northern Alliance today said the time was right for it to launch an attack against the ruling Taliban, but it wanted to coordinate its action with the United States first.
Muhammad Registani, a military official of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance government, which is recognised by the U.N, outlined this strategy before senior Afghan Islamic clerics issued an edict stating that Bin Laden, should be asked to leave their country.
Registani, speaking in the Afghan embassy in neighbouring Tajikistan, said the Alliance was still hoping for support from the United States before attacking Taliban positions.
He said the Alliance was looking for contact "as soon as possible, because it's such a sensitive situation.
 US OperationsThe United States launched "Operation Infinite Justice," ordering fighters, bombers and support aircraft to begin moving to bases in or near the Gulf region as early as today.
The Navy sent an additional aircraft carrier to the region which could place up to 500 U.S. warplanes in the Mediterranean, Gulf and Indian Ocean for what Washington has suggested could be a strike against Afghanistan.
The 26th Marine Expeditionary, a 2,200-strong unit that includes special operations capabilities, was also scheduled to depart in a routine six-month deployment to the Mediterranean.
The Pentagon said its "war on terrorism" would involve an integrated strategy using diplomacy, financial pressure and military force. Plans are top secret but choking off the lifeblood of funding to anti-U.S. underground networks is a key element of the strategy.
A Soviet general who oversaw the withdrawal of Moscow's defeated forces from Afghanistan in 1989 warned yesterday of possible major losses if the U.S. sent in ground troops.
 Cia CyprusFormer CIA director James Woolsey said that statements about Cyprus connections with Osama Bin Laden he made to the Italian daily "Republica", were grossly distorted.
Woolsey contacted the Cyprus embassy in Washnigton by phone and clarified that he was speaking about events prior to his retirement in 1995.
The former CIA director claimed in the "Republica" interview, that Cyprus was on of the tax haven, used by Saudi-born terrorist Osama Bin Laden.
 Casoulides LadenMeanwhile, foreign Minister Ioannis Casoulides said that reports implicating Cyprus in Osama Bin Laden activities to expediencies, and his did not rule out the possibility that people close to Turkey or funded by it, are behind these reports.
He also said that such an aspect of the attacks, is due to news reporting, explaining that when a newspaper runs a story, the next day it is reproduced by many others.
However, he added, when the story is proved wrong, newspapers do not report it.
Referring to the statements made by former CIA director James Woolsey, who claimed that Cyprus was a tax haven for Bin Laden, Casoulides said that the former American official is now saying that his statements were distorted.
Woolsey claims that he was referring to the period prior to his retirement, in 1995.
Ioannis Casoulides said that he expects an amending statement from Mr Woolsey.
 Casoulides proposalsForeign minister Ioannis Casoulides has made suggestions for dealing effectively with terrorism. Among them are the criminalisation of harbouring and funding illegal organisations by companies that are possibly based in Cyprus.
Mr Casoulides presented these proposals at a meeting with President Clerides and Attorney General Alekos Markides.
According to our stations' sources, what's worrying the Cyprus government is the difficulty of investigators to access company books.
 Airports MeasuresPassengers at airports, including government officials, will undergo thorough checks, as part of new government measures on airport security.
In statements to our station, Transport and Public Works Minister Averof Neophytou said that airport checks will be threefold. Area, luggage and personal checks of all those either working at the airport, or travelling, including diplomats and other officials.
Regarding security at ports, a committee will submit suggestions in a few days time.
Mr Neophytou said that the country needs to be prepared for possible reprecussions on Cyprus Airways after the terrorist attacks. He did not rule out the possibility of increasing the air fair, by a set amount that will be decided by the company itself.
 Rolandis measuresMeanwhile, Commerce Minister Nikos Rolandis said that all necessary measures are being taken, to ensure that Cyprus is least affected by international development, including a deep economic recession.
In statements to our station, Rolandis said that at least till now there have been no serious repercussions, apart from certain cancellations by tourists.
He said that Cyprus is considered a safe tourist destination, a fact that was proven in the case of the war in Yugoslavia, when Cyprus had unexpected tourist gains from countries that were considered high-risk.
He also said that as part of precautionary measures, a special service, will monitor developments on a daily basis and a committee will make decisions when it's considered necessary.
The Commerce Minister said that its difficult to react now, since no-one knows how the situation will develop.
 Clerides VassiliouUnited States and Britain are firmly supporting Cyprus' EU accession course. The message was conveyed to the head of the Cyprus negotiating team Yiorgos Vassiliou, during recent visits to both countries.
Mr Vassiliou also said that British and American officials are deeply dissatisfied over Ankara's turkish-cypriot leader Rauf Denktash' intransigent stance regarding the resumption of settlement talks.
Speaking after a meeting with President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides, Vassiliou also commented on former CIA director James Woolsey statements. He said that in no case have American or any European officials hinted on problems regarding Cyprus' accession course because of so-called relations with Osama Bin Laden or talk of money laundering.
 Anasta LaunderingDemocratic rally leader Nikos Anastasiades said that Cyprus is not a money-laundering destination.
Speaking after a meeting of party leaders at the House of representatives, Mr Anastasiades said that alterior motives were behind such reports.
He added that Cyprus should be part of ay European initiative against international terrorism, since it aims at becoming a member.
Commenting on reports that DIKO leader Tassos Papadopoulos law office is involved in money laundering belonging to former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, Anastasiades said law firms registering offshore companies, have nothing to do with their activities.
 WeatherIt will be mainly clear this afternoon.
Winds will be moderate, southwesterly to northwesterly, three to four beaufort, over slight seas.
Tonight it will remain mainly clear, with for forming at dawn.
Winds will be light northerly, two to three beaufort, over calm to slight seas.
Temperatures will fall to 18 degrees inland and on the west coast, 20 on the south and east coast and 15 on the mountains.
The fire hazard is extremely high in all forest areas.