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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-12-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] HEADLINES
  • [02] GREECE NOVEMBER
  • [03] AFGHAN CHILDREN
  • [04] UN IRAQ CYPRUS
  • [05] MIDEAST DONORS
  • [06] SWISS VOTE
  • [07] ISLAMIST DEPUTIES
  • [08] MARKIDES
  • [09] GC FREE
  • [10] WEATHER WEDNESDAY 10 DECEMBER 2003

  • [01] HEADLINES

    --A Greek prosecutor demanded multiple life sentences today for several November 17 guerrillas including the group's leader and its top hitman for murders, bombings and robberies in a 27-year reign of terror.

    --Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today U.N. international staff would operate from Cyprus because Iraq was still too dangerous for the United Nations to resume major duties in the near future.

    --The U.S. military said today six children and two adults were killed last week in a U.S. attack on a compound in southeastern Afghanistan, the day before nine children were killed in a bungled air strike.

    --Islamist deputies of the Turkish Welfare Party of Necmetin Erbakan are holding a campaign in the occupied north of Cyprus in support of illegal prime minister and leader of the National Unity Party Dervis Eroglu.

    And --Former attorney-general Alecos Markides is going ahead with the formation of a new independent political movement.

    [02] GREECE NOVEMBER

    A Greek prosecutor demanded multiple life sentences today for several November 17 guerrillas including the group's leader and its top hitman for murders, bombings and robberies in a 27-year reign of terror.

    Christos Lambrou told a three-judge panel, which on Monday found 15 group members guilty of more than 2,500 crimes including killings of U.S., British and Turkish diplomats, that leader Alexandros Giotopoulos and his top gun Dimitris Koufodinas should spend the rest of their lives in jail.

    "These criminals have no place in the society of humans," Lambrou said, adding that they must consider the harm they did. Giotopoulos is the source of all evil, both then and now in this courtroom.

    The convictions eased security concerns ahead of the Athens Olympics next August, and appeared to close the chapter on the group that staged rocket attacks, bombings, shootings and bank robberies in Athens and taunted authorities in letters to media.

    Giotopoulos, the gang mastermind, smiled as the prosecutor proposed 21 life terms for him. Beekeeper Koufodinas, who faces 14 life sentences and hundred of years of accumulated prison terms, read a book during the proceedings.

    The court next meets on Monday morning for sentencing after hearing final statements from the defendants' lawyers.

    Giotopoulos, 59, was convicted of a total of 961 of 963 charges, among them planning 19 murders. His lawyer said he would appeal the verdict.

    The court found Koufodinas, the main hitman, guilty of nine murders and of involvement in eight others.

    Lambrou said another defendant, Savas Xiros, should also be handed life in prison for the Saunders slaying.

    Apart from life sentences for each of the 19 murders, Lambrou proposed additional life sentences and jail terms amounting to over 1,000 years for a number of the defendants for scores of attempted murders, robberies and rocket attacks.

    November 17 claimed 23 killings, starting with the assassination of Athens CIA station chief Richard Welch in 1975. The radical Marxists took their name from the date of a 1973 student uprising, which was crushed with tanks by a then ruling military junta.

    [03] AFGHAN CHILDREN

    The U.S. military said today six children and two adults were killed last week in a U.S. attack on a compound in southeastern Afghanistan, the day before nine children were killed in a bungled air strike.

    Military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan Hilferty said the bodies of the six children were found after a U.S. air and ground attack last Friday on a compound used by a "terrorist" commander to store arms near Gardez in Paktia province, U.S.

    The news will be a further embarrassment to U.S. forces, coming days after the military said it had killed another nine children in a bungled airstrike on Saturday in the neighbouring province of Ghazni meant to target another militant.

    [04] UN IRAQ CYPRUS

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today U.N. international staff would operate from Cyprus because Iraq was still too dangerous for the United Nations to resume major duties in the near future.

    In a 26-page report to the Security Council, obtained in advance by Reuters, Mr. Annan said essential relief aid would get to Iraq from various places in the region and announced the appointment of New Zealander Ross Mountain as the temporary director of the U.N. team.

    Mr. Mountain is now head of the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva. He will become the deputy special representative for Iraq after Annan appoints a new head of mission to replace Sergio Vieira de Mello, one of 22 people killed in the Aug. 19 bombing of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

    Despite pressure from the United States and others for the United Nations to return to Iraq, Annan said international officials would go to Baghdad on special visits only from Nicosia, Cyprus, or a smaller office in Amman, Jordan. Humanitarian activities would be carried out largely by national staff, who would need additional security.

    The Nicosia office would be staffed by some 40 political, human rights, public information, humanitarian, administrative and security officials. This core team could be increased to 60 once a special representative is named.

    [05] MIDEAST DONORS

    A donors meeting to assess the dire state of the Palestinian economy opened in Rome today with the European Union urging an end to terror attacks in the Middle East but also military concessions by Israel.

    The meeting, hosted by EU president Italy, is seen as important to helping stave off economic disaster and tackling a humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that has grown during three years of Palestinian-Israeli fighting.

    Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told delegates the two-day gathering aimed to "fuel trust and confidence between the parties". He added: "Terrorism can never have any justification and does not serve the Palestinian interests."

    An Italian official said the meeting was more to assess the situation and listen to all sides than to make binding pledges.

    However, the Palestinian Authority will be looking for what one delegate called a "clear commitment" to cover 1.2 billion dollar of its 1.7 billion dollar budget for 2004.

    [06] SWISS VOTE

    Swiss isolationist Christoph Blocher won a seat for his right-wing People's Party (SVP) in the coalition cabinet today, minimising the risk of a major upheaval to more than 40 years of consensus politics.

    The SVP, which topped the polls in October general elections, had threatened to quit the four-party cabinet if the billionaire industrialist and anti-European campaigner Mr. Blocher was not elected to a seat.

    Switzerland's 246 upper and lower house representatives voted Mr. Blocher into the seven-member cabinet at the expense of the waning Christian Democrats (CVP) -- the first time a seat in the coalition has changed colours since 1959.

    The result ensures the Swiss system of consensual decision making -- which has underpinned its political stability and formed the cornerstone of its huge financial industry-- remains intact, with all four major parties represented in the cabinet.

    [07] ISLAMIST DEPUTIES

    Islamist deputies of the Turkish Welfare Party of Necmetin Erbakan are holding a campaign in the occupied north of Cyprus in support of illegal prime minister and leader of the National Unity Party Dervis Eroglu.

    According to "Kibris" newspaper, the islamist deputies are visiting villages in occupied Karpasia which are flooded with Turkish settlers, calling on them to vote for Eroglu so that the policy of no solution continues.

    [08] MARKIDES

    Former attorney-general Alecos Markides is going ahead with the formation of a new independent political movement.

    Speaking to CyBC's Third Radio channel, Mr. Markides said it will be a new political voice which will not enter any of the traditional political parties on the island.

    Mr. Markides said he already began contacts with political parties where he is informing them on his intentions and exchanges views.

    Yesterday he met President of the Democratic Rally Nicos Anastasiades while he is also scheduled to meet other party leaders.

    [09] GC FREE

    The occupation forces freed Sotiris Vlahos and Ioanis Flourentzou who were illegally arrested on Monday for selling a newspaper published in Greek and Turkish during a rally of the Peace and Democracy Movement in occupied Famagusta.

    The so called court imposed a seven pound fine on the greek Cypriots.

    [10] WEATHER

    This afternoon, cloud will develop, while winds will turn to moderate sea breezes, three beaufort and locally moderate on the coasts, four beaufort. The sea will be slight. Temperatures will reach 23 C inland and on the coasts and 13 over the mountains.

    Tonight it will be mainly clear with passing cloud. Mist will form inland around dawn. The sea will be north-westerly to north-easterly light to moderate three to four beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to nine degrees inland, 12 on the coasts and five over the mountains.


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