|Thursday, 15 April 2021|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 04-11-29
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- Former Health Minister Dina Akkelidou, who resigned from her post on Friday following her conviction on a charge of interfering with a drugs case, was fined one thousand pounds by the Nicosia District Court today.
-- A decisive meeting on the future of the state carrier Cyprus Airways will be held later today when company shareholders will meet at the conference centre.
-- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos began an official visit to Bratislava today.
-- A suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle outside a police station west of the Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Ramadi today, killing at least 12 people and wounding 10.
 AKKELIDOU FINEFormer Health Minister Dina Akkelidou, who resigned from her post on Friday following her conviction on a charge of interfering with a drugs case, was fined one thousand pounds by the Nicosia District Court today.
Announcing the sentence, Judge Nicolaos Santis, said he took into consideration Mrs. Akkelidou's ignorance on the relevant legislation and its repercussions on her reputation. The court further considered her acknowledgment on the procedure's illegality, as well as her good character and social contribution.
Mr. Santis further said he realised that her motives were purely to help the drug addict in the case. However, the judge underlined that he could not avoid sentencing Mrs. Akkelidou because that would have created a precedent.
Mrs. Akkelidou said she will appeal the sentence. She also said she is not ashamed for what she did.
 CY DECISION TIMEA decisive meeting on the future of the state carrier Cyprus Airways will be held later today when company shareholders will meet at the conference centre.
Shareholders will be informed on the financial state of the airline and take decisions during the meeting at six this afternoon.
A Ministry of Labour proposal suggests reducing salaries as well as dismissals and benefit cuts. It also suspends salary raises for the next couple of years, a five percent decrease for those who earn up to 30 thousand pounds per year and a ten percent decrease for those who earn more than 30 thousand pounds per year.
Furthermore it calls for dismissing twenty employees in the catering department as well as five employees from customer services' department at Paphos airport.
 PAPS SLOVAKIAA warm traditional Slovak welcome awaited Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos at the start of his official visit to Bratislava here today, as Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic and his entourage stood at the Presidential Palace with pomp and ceremony to play host to the leader of a European Union partner.
The bitterly cold temperatures did not dampen the warm greetings exchanged between the two leaders and their delegations nor the traditional Slovak custom of welcome by bread and salt, which symbolises the Slovak hospitality.
The two presidents then moved to the Green Hall where talks between the two delegations are taking place, headed by the two presidents. At the end of their discussions the two leaders will give a press conference.
The unofficial welcome of President Papadopoulos took place last night, as he and his wife Fotini and the Cypriot delegation crossed into Slovak territory, at the cross-border point Jarovee-Kittsee, from the Austrian border where Slovakia's Ambassador to Cyprus Jan Varso welcomed them, accompanied by various government officials.
 PAPS AUSTRIACyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos outlined his positions with regard to 17 December European Council to Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, whom he met in private yesterday as he stopped over in Vienna, on his way to Bratislava for a state visit.
After their private discussions, that lasted over half an hour, Mr. Papadopoulos and Ms. Plassnik led their respective delegations to talks for another 45 minutes.
According to sources close to the talks, Ms. Plassnik, who assumed her post a month ago, said she would study the views and positions expressed by President Papadopoulos and examine the demands of the Cypriot government as far as the European Council is concerned, in particular with regard to the start of accession negotiations between Turkey and the European Union, a matter that will be decided on the 17 December.
Vienna believes that the 25 EU leaders should have a thorough discussion on this issue, exchange views and examine the matter carefully before any decision is taken in Brussels next month.
 IACOVOU HAGUECypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Iacovou flew yesterday to The Hague, where he will participate in the Euromediterranean Cooperation ministerial session, which is taking place today and tomorrow.
The Minister returns home on December 2.
 IRAQA suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle outside a police station west of the Iraqi insurgent stronghold of Ramadi today, killing at least 12 people and wounding 10.
A local doctor, said 90 percent of the casualties were policemen, who had been queuing up to receive their salaries when the bomber struck.
Insurgents have repeatedly targeted Iraq's fledgling security forces, and dozens of police stations have been attacked by suicide bombs over the past year.
Meanwhile, two U.S. Marines were killed in action south of Baghdad yesterday, a Marine spokesman said.
He said they were killed in the northern part of Babil province where U.S. Marines and Iraqi and British forces have been involved in aggressive raids againt Sunni insurgents for the past five days.
No further details were available.
 UKRAINEUkraine's top court met today to try to resolve an election crisis that is threatening to break up the country but said it could take days to issue a ruling because the case is so complex.
Legal experts said the Supreme Court was unlikely to be able to satisfy either side in the bitter dispute over whether Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich won the Nov. 21 presidential election by fraud, as alleged by his opponent Viktor Yushchenko.
Thousands of Yushchenko supporters massed outside the court in the morning, chanting "Truth" and "Yushchenko."
Mr. Yushchenko wants his rival's victory to be annulled and a new vote to be held on Dec. 12.
In parliament, faction leaders are due to meet to debate an emergency session this week to sack Mr. Yanukovich. They need a simple majority of 226 votes to sack the premier.
 JAPAN QUAKEA strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 hit a sparsely populated area of Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido early today, injuring at least 14 people.
However, no major damage was reported.
The injured included an 80-year-old woman who fell and broke her arm and a 13-year-old boy hit by falling objects when the tremor struck.
The earthquake was stronger than a 6.8 tremor that killed 40 people in the Niigata region of northern Japan in October but damage was limited because the focus was 48 km under the surface of the Pacific Ocean off southeastern Hokkaido and much of the area is sparsely populated.
The region, about 800 km north of Tokyo, has been hit by earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or stronger every 10 years or so, Japan Meteorological Agency official Masahiro Yamamoto told a news conference.
 JULIA ROBERTSActress Julia Roberts gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, early yesterday in a Los Angeles hospital, People magazine reported on its Web site, citing an anonymous source.
No further details were provided.
The 37-year-old star, who won an Oscar for her performance in "Erin Brockovich" in 2000, married the twins' father, cameraman Danny Moder, 35, in 2002.
Late last month Roberts was admitted to the hospital after having a series of early contractions. Doctors advised her to remain on bed rest until she gave birth.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, it will be cloudy with local rain. Winds will be north-easterly light to moderate, force three to four beaufort and the sea slight to moderate. Temperatures will rise to 18 C inland, 19 on the coasts and nine over the mountains.
Tonight, local cloud will bring some local cain. Winds will be north-westerly to north-easterly light, two to three beaufort and the sea calm to moderate. Temperatures will fall to six degrees inland, ten on the coasts and two over the mountains. Weather conditions in the next three days will be mainly clear with a slight increase in temperatures.