|Sunday, 15 December 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-09-26
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES--Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, speaking after meeting UN Chief Kofi Annan, said the Secretary General ''has doubts if after the elections in the Turkish occupied areas there will be conditions for a speedy resumption of the talks''.
-- President Papadopoulos also reiterated that the changes and amendments which the Greek Cypriot side is seeking to the Annan Plan aim at making it functional and a solution viable.
--A series of powerful earthquakes shook the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido early today, injuring more than 400, causing widespread damage and blackouts and prompting officials to issue tidal wave warnings.
-- A mortar attack on a market in the restive town of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, killed eight Iraqis, the U.S. military said today.
-- Secretary-General Kofi Annan ordered new cutbacks of U.N. staff in Iraq
 PRESIDENT ANNANCypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has expressed the view that a new effort to solve the Cyprus problem would not start as long as the Turkish Cypriot leadership remained the same, adding that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan ''has doubts if after the elections in the Turkish occupied areas there will be conditions for a speedy resumption of the talks''.
Speaking to reporters after a half-hour meeting in New York last night with Mr. Annan, President Papadopoulos made clear that no pressure was exerted on him nor were any concerns expressed that the Greek Cypriot side is talking about the necessity for changes to the Annan plan for a settlement.
President Papadopoulos said ''we reviewed the current situation, the possibility to start a new effort for negotiations''.
''I have the impression that a new effort will not start as long as the same leadership remains in the Turkish Cypriot community. We spoke about our positions. I reiterated the positions we had expressed at The Hague and since then on the necessity for improvements to the plan'', he said.
The President noted that Mr. Annan ''did not express concern'' or say that the plan could not take changes.
 TASSOS PRESSERCypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday that the decisions of the Turkish side regarding the Cyprus problem were taken in Ankara, including the issue of who will represent the Turkish Cypriot community in talks to solve the Cyprus problem.
Speaking at a press conference in New York after he addressed the UN General Assembly, President Papadopoulos said there was no progress at the time being on the Cyprus problem, due to the Turkish stance, adding that everyone was waiting for a shift in Turkey's stance and as a consequence that of the Turkish Cypriots.
President Papadopoulos noted that the so-called ''parliamentary elections'' in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic were not to be held to decide who would be the Turkish Cypriot ''president'' or who would be the negotiator in talks to solve the Cyprus problem.
He added that for Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to be removed from power, he must suffer a significant loss in the ''elections'', so that Ankara feels the obligation and has the excuse to replace Denktash with someone else.
 TASSOS CONTACTSCypriot President Papadopoulos reiterated that the changes and amendments which the Greek Cypriot side is seeking to the Annan Plan aim at making it functional and a solution viable.
He also criticised the Turkish side, saying that the collapse of the UN effort was solely due to the Turkish intransigence.
The President was speaking during a meeting in New York with officials of the US external Policy National committee on the sidelines of a reception hosted by cartoonist Ranan Lurie.
President Papadopoulos also had brief meetings with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and other leaders.
 JAPAN QUAKEA series of powerful earthquakes shook the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido early today, injuring more than 400, causing widespread damage and blackouts and prompting officials to issue tidal wave warnings.
Japan's Meteorological Agency measured the initial quake at 8.0 on the Richter scale -- strong enough to cause major damage -- and warned there could be aftershocks for up to 10 days even as smaller quakes continued to rattle the area.
Roads and buildings cracked, roof tiles fell and gravestones tumbled over. A storage tank at an oil refinery caught fire and the plant had to be closed.
The airport in the eastern town of Kushiro was closed after the ceiling of the control tower collapsed. Part of the ceiling of the passenger terminal also fell in, exposing the metal beams.
Kyodo news agency said quake-generated waves measuring about one metre (three feet) in height struck the eastern Hokkaido coast, washing away some empty cars, but no major wave damage was reported. More than 40,000 people left their homes, at least temporarily, in response to the tidal wave warnings.
The only quake-related death reported was that of a 61-year-old man who was struck by a car as he picked up broken beer bottles on the street. Kyodo said about 420 people were injured in the lightly populated area.
The focus of the first quake, felt in Tokyo about 975 km to the south, was 42 km below the seabed in the Pacific Ocean near the port of Erimo. A second quake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale jolted Hokkaido about an hour later, followed by another measuring 7.0.
 IRAQ-BLASTA mortar attack on a market in the restive town of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, killed eight Iraqis, the U.S. military said today.
A U.S. Army spokesman said it was not known who mounted the attack yesterday evening. Baquba lies in the "Sunni triangle" region, a focal point for attacks on U.S. forces and support for ousted leader Saddam Hussein.
The spokesman said no U.S. soldiers were hurt in the attack. Since May 1, 79 U.S. soldiers have been killed in guerrilla attacks in Iraq.
 UN ASSEMBLYSecretary-General Kofi Annan ordered new cutbacks of U.N. staff in Iraq, a blow to demands the United Nations help draw up a new constitution the Bush administration would like completed in six months.
During this week's U.N. General Assembly session, where the Iraq crisis became a focal point, presidents and prime ministers from Russia to Brazil called for the United Nations to assume more political responsibility in Iraq.
But drastic reductions among the remaining 86 foreign staff are expected by tomorrow following two bombings against the U.N. compound in Baghdad over the past five weeks that killed nearly two dozen people and injured 160.
 GERMANY-SCHROEDER-GOVERNMENTGerman Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has told his Social Democrat party that the government would fall if it cannot pass a controversial planned health reform package without opposition help.
"If we can't get a majority from the government coalition, that would lead to the end of the government," Mr. Schroeder told SPD members of parliament, according to one source.
Another source quoted him as saying that failure to secure backing from the party would be the beginning of the end.
The government faces a key parliamentary vote on health reforms today amid fears that SPD and Green party rebels will refuse to support it and cast a shadow over his bid to revive a stagnant economy.
 CZECH-GOVERNMENTThe Czech government survived a vote of no confidence in parliament on Friday as expected, with the rightist opposition failing to topple Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla less than halfway through his four-year term.
The opposition needed 101 votes in the 200 seat parliament to defeat the centre-left government, but mustered only 98, according to unofficial results. One opposition MP was not present.
 BLAINE UKAmerican magician David Blaine's 44-day stunt of starving himself in a Perspex box in London will be more costly than he thinks -- the television company filming him has been hit with a bill from the capital's police force.
Thousands of Britons, including ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, have turned up to see 30-year-old man suspended in his box from a crane above the River Thames since he began his quest to go 44 days without food on September 5.
But many have come to taunt him rather than admire his feat of endurance. Women have bared their breasts, onlookers have waved hamburgers, some have tried to hit his box with golf balls fired from nearby Tower Bridge and others have thrown eggs.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's Sky television is paying Mr. Blaine an undisclosed fee to show the incarceration on two channels around the clock.
 WEATHERThis afternoon it will be mainly clear. Winds will be south-easterly to south-westerly light to moderate, three to four beaufort. The sea will be slight. Temperatures will reach 33 C inland, 30 C on the south and east coast, 28 over the west and 22 over the mountains.
Tonight weather conditions will be fine. Winds will be north-westerly to north-easterly light, two to three beaufort and the sea calm to slight. Temperatures will fall to 16 C inland, 17 C on the coasts and 14 over the mountains.
The fire hazard remains extremely high in all forest areas.