|Saturday, 23 February 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 04-01-07
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis was scheduled to address the people at one today where he was expected to announce his decision whether he will resign as party leader, paving the way for close ally George Papandreou to lead his socialists in polls likely to be held in March.
-- The man suspected by police of the murder of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh has confessed that he did it, according to defence lawyer and the prosecutor.
-- Heavy snow has fallen over Troodos and semi mountainous areas this morning while bad weather conditions continue.
And --Foreign Minister George Iacovou expressed the conviction that the final position of Ankara on the Cyprus problem and holding talks on the basis of the Annan Plan, will be determined by the National Security Council in Turkey under President Ahmed Sezer.
 GREECE SIMGreece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis was scheduled to address the people at one today where he was expected to announce his decision whether he will resign as party leader, paving the way for close ally George Papandreou to lead his socialists in polls likely to be held in March.
Earlier today, Premier Simitis was received by President Costis Stephanopoulos.
He said he told Mr. Stephanopoulos his intention is to clear all rumours so that the people can make up their minds.
According to last week;s "Ta Nea" daily Mr. Simitis is expected to announce his plans to step down on January 7.
The newspaper, which cited no sources, said an extraordinary PASOK party congress in late January or early February would pick Mr. Papandreou, 51, to head the party that has been in power for all but three years since 1981.
According to the conservative newspaper Kathimerini, Mr. Simitis intends to keep his prime minister's post until the general election.
Premier Simitis, 67, whose second four-year term in office ends in April, has refused to comment on the speculation.
 IRAQThe United States announced an amnesty for hundreds of prisoners in Iraq today and quadrupled funds for political transition as it stepped up preparations for the transfer of power to Iraqis in June.
Pentagon officials said they were considering restructuring the military leadership in Iraq with a four-star general to oversee security issues ahead of Iraqi self-rule, up from the three-star general now in charge.
In Baghdad, officials announced they would release more than 500 prisoners detained as low-level security threats over the past eight months in a gesture of reconciliation.
Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said that in a gesture to give impetus to those Iraqis who wish to reconcile with their countrymen, the coalition will permit some currently detained offenders to return to their homes and families.
The change in policy, which follows last month's capture of the former Iraqi president, comes amid complaints by Iraqis that family members have been detained without good cause or merely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
An estimated 9,000 security detainees are currently being held by U.S. forces in Iraq and many more have been briefly detained and released since Saddam Hussein was ousted in April.
In the northern oil-rich town of Kirkuk, assailants fired rockets at a police patrol last night, killing one man and wounding two.
 SECURITY FRANCEFrench Justice Minister Dominique Perben confirmed today that French authorities were searching for a man behind security fears that have caused cancellations and delays for some flights to the United States.
The U.S. television channel ABC reported that the man, who failed to show up for an Air France flight from Paris cancelled on Christmas Eve, was suspected of having links to the al Qaeda network and might have a small bomb to attack planes.
French media reported that the man was a Tunisian whose name matched that of a man who was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan but later escaped.
ABC said the suspect has a French passport and his identification and description were passed on to security officials at London's Heathrow Airport.
U.S. and British officials have focused on British Airways Flight 223 from London to Washington's Dulles International Airport in recent days. It was cancelled twice last week and delayed several times due to extra security procedures.
In Washington, a CIA spokesman dismissed the ABC report.
 SWEDEN LINDHThe man suspected by police of the murder of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh has confessed that he did it, according to defence lawyer and the prosecutor.
Mijailo Mijailovic, 25, had until now said he had nothing to do with the killing on September 10.
Lindh, a popular politician and mother of two, was stabbed with a knife while out shopping in downtown Stockholm. She died the day after the attack.
The murder evoked memories of the 1986 assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, who like Lindh was out in public without bodyguards.
 GEORGIA- Georgia's new leader met Eduard Shevardnadze today to usher in Orthodox Christmas, in an apparent bid to bury the past and move on after a "rose revolution" toppled the veteran leader.
President-elect Mikhail Saakashvili, Shevardnadze and acting President Nino Burdzhanadze met Patriarch Ilya II at his central Tbilisi residence, where they held talks behind closed doors.
Mr. Shevardnadze left in the early hours of Christmas day without a farewell to his successor, who helped lead the bloodless popular uprising that toppled him late last year.
Mr. Saakashvili, who won Sunday's presidential election by a landslide on promises to reshape the small Caucasus nation, smiled as he greeted the patriarch on bended knee and with a kiss on his hand.
Mr. Saakashvili has vowed to combat corruption and says he will investigate the financial dealings of Mr. Shevardnadze's family as he tries to drag Georgia's economy out of its perilous state.
 SNOW ROADSHeavy snow has fallen over Troodos and semi mountainous areas this morning while bad weather conditions continue.
Many roads are closed while others are open to vehicles with chains or four wheel drive.
A new snowfall has occurred at Panagia, Statos - Agios Fotios and Kilania and there was lighter snowfall over Stroumbi and Polemi at Paphos and Pitsilia area.
At Nicosia district, the snow has reached Klirou, while at Limassol there was snowfall over Trimiklini and Pelendri, and at Paphos it reached Panagia and Pentalia.
The depth of snow on Mt. Olympus is 30 C and 20 over Troodos Square.
All roads to Troodos are closed.
Also closed are the roads Platres - Trooditisa - Prodromos, Karvouna - Kato Platres, trimiklini - Pelendri, Kaminaria - Lemithou and Palechori - Agros.
Open to vehicles with chains or four wheel drive are the roads Kakopetria - Karvouna, Kakopetria - Agios Nicolaous Stegis - Pedoulas, Moutoula - Pedoula - Pedoula - Prodromos and Pedoula - Kykkos.
Also open to four wheel drive and vehicles with chains are the roads Youri-Farmakas-Odous, Polistipos - Lagouderon, Agia Marina - Lagouderon, Kato Moni - Platanistasa and at Paphos, the roads Asprogia - Panagia, Panagia - Ampeliti, Ampeliti - Pentalia and Stavros tis Psokas - Kato Pyrgos.
 IACOVOUForeign Minister George Iacovou expressed the conviction that the final position of Ankara on the Cyprus problem and holding talks on the basis of the Annan Plan, will be determined by the National Security Council in Turkey under President Ahmed Sezer.
Speaking to CyBC, Mr. Iacovou said recently there have been many statements from Turkish officials but there does not seem to be any real change in the Turkish policy.
He expressed the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to start negotiaitons the soonest to find a settlement before 1st May noting if intensive negotiations are held in February and March, then referenda can be held in April.
 BLOOD DONATIONThe Blood Bank of Nicosia General Hospital has announced that it urgently needs blood of all types.
The Blood Bank will remain open until nine this evening.
 WEATHERThis afternoon there will be sunny periods alternated with cloud and some rain and thunder, and snowfall over mountainous and semi mountainous areas. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly moderate to strong, four to five beaufort, becoming very strong, six beaufort and at times seven beaufort. The sea will be moderate to rough, becoming high in the afternoon. Temperatures will reach nine degrees inland, 12 on the coasts and minus two over the mountains.
Tonight it will be clear and cold with local rain and snow over the mountains and semi mountainous areas. Winds will be north-westerly moderate to strong, four to tive beaufort and locally six beaufort. The sea will be rough to high in northerly areas. Temperatures will fall to one degrees inland, four on the south and east coast and minus six over the mountains where frost will form.