|Sunday, 13 October 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 05-06-13
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- The European Union approved an agreement today adapting its customs union with Turkey to the 10 new EU member states, including Cyprus, bringing accession talks with Ankara a big step closer.
-- The Greek Parliament in the early hours today, gave a vote of confidence to the ruling New Democracy government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.
-- Firebrand former general Michel Aoun scored a stunning win today in Lebanon's parliamentary elections to emerge as the main Christian political force in the country, only weeks after returning from exile.
-- A suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle next to an Iraqi police patrol in Tikrit today, killing two police officers and wounding 12 people, most of them civilians.
-- Decisions were taken this morning in an effort to end the indefinite strike of employees of duty free shops at Larnaca and Paphos airports.
 TURKEY EUThe European Union approved an agreement today adapting its customs union with Turkey to the 10 new EU member states, including Cyprus, bringing accession talks with Ankara a big step closer.
EU foreign ministers endorsed the protocol without discussion, sending it to Turkey for signature. Ankara's top EU negotiator, Economy Minister Ali Babacan, has said Turkey will sign it as soon as it receives the document.
Once it has signed, Ankara will have met all the conditions set by the EU for opening membership talks on Oct. 3. However, diplomats said the bloc must still approve a negotiating mandate for the executive European Commission, which could lead to more wrangling over Turkey's refusal to recognise Cyprus.
 SPOKESMAN PROTOCOLGovernment Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said that any statement by Turkey concerning the issue of recognition of the Republic of Cyprus is not part of the protocol expanding Turkey's customs union agreement with the ten new EU member states.
Regarding the meetings in Brussels concerning the economic assistance to Turkish Cypriots, Mr. Chrysostomides said they were not held in secrecy noting that the government has asked for these meetings that are taking place following an invitation by the Luxembourg Presidency.
 SPOKESMAN ANNANGovernment Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides descibed as untimely the UN Secretary-General's intention to table again before the Security Council, his report issued after the Cyprus referenda in April 2004, aiming at its endorsement by the COuncil.
He said that the government has said in the past that the report is groundless, unfair and one sided and had tabled its views in detail on the issue noting that the Greek Cypriot side continues to maintain its views.
Mr Chrysostomides reminded that Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has been working methodically in the recent months to begin a new effort to solve the Cyprus problem.
 GREECE VOTEThe Greek Parliament in the early hours today, gave a vote of confidence to the ruling New Democracy government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.
From the 285 deputies present, 165 deputies voted for, 120 against. The twelve Communist Party deputies were absent from the vote.
The three-day debate in the 300-member House commenced on Friday following a call for the vote earlier last week by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in response to an appeal by main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou for a motion of censure against National Economy and Finance minister George Alogoskoufis.
Closing the three-day debate in Parliament late last night, Premier Karamanlis said that his government wants and can change the country.
"We want and can change the country," he said, adding that he considered the vote of confidence as a vote of confidence in the policy of reformrs that his government put on track.
 LEBANON AOUNFirebrand former general Michel Aoun scored a stunning win today in Lebanon's parliamentary elections to emerge as the main Christian political force in the country, only weeks after returning from exile.
Mr. Aoun, a prominent figure during Lebanon's civil war, dealt a major blow to the existing Christian opposition and its hopes of securing strong representation in the new 128-seat parliament and charting a course away from Syrian influence.
The polls, being held over four weekends ending on June 19, are the first without the presence of Syrian troops for three decades and are set to usher in an assembly with an anti-Syrian majority for the first time since the 1975-1990 civil war.
But Mr. Aoun's victory could complicate the new political landscape in already highly factionalized Lebanon as it boosts the chances of pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud staying in power. Aoun has questioned opposition demands for Lahoud to go.
 AFGHANFour U.S. soldiers were wounded when an explosion struck a military convoy near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar today, in the latest insurgent violence to hit the country.
The Taliban guerrillas claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was carried out by a suicide bomber, who Afghan officials said died in the blast.
A U.S. military spokesman said an investigation was under way to determine whether the attack was caused by a suicide bomber or by an explosive device such as a mine.
The attack was the latest in an upsurge of Taliban-linked violence in southern and eastern Afghanistan. Prior to today's attack, 13 U.S. soldiers had been killed since March, including three in two other attacks in the past week.
 IRAQA suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle next to an Iraqi police patrol in Tikrit today, killing two police officers and wounding 12 people, most of them civilians.
Lieutenant Faris Ahmad, who was wounded in the blast, said the bomber pulled his white Toyota alongside the police patrol as it moved through the centre of Saddam Hussein's hometown before detonating his explosives.
Of the 12 wounded, seven were civilians and five were police, he said.
There has been a surge in suicide car bombings in Iraq over the past six weeks, since a new government was formed, with many of them targeting Iraqi police and soldiers. Around 900 people have been killed in that time, most of them civilians.
 THRASOU AIRPORTPractical measures for the security of the island's airports were taken during a meeting this morning at the Communications and Works Ministry.
Minister of Communications Haris Thrasou avoided revealing the measures, noting that some will be immediately implemented and the rest will be taken discretely.
Commenting on the recent incident where a Greek national entered the area where planes are parked, Mr thrasou said that no one can guarantee that a similar incident will not be repeated in the future. However, he said that what he can promise is to increase as much as possible security measures to eliminate the likelihood of such incidents.
He also said that he has the Police report on the incident which will help in the implementation of the measures taken.
 DUTY FREE MEASURESDecisions were taken this morning in an effort to end the indefinite strike of employees of duty free shops at Larnaca and Paphos airports.
Employees' representatives met union and Cyprus Airways representatives where they decided to begin a dialogue on their demands which should be completed in a fortnight.
The issues that will be examined include safeguarding their employment after the assignment of the airports' administration to a strategic investor, Hermes Consortium, adequate compensation to those who decide to leave voluntarily and transfer to other government departments. The morning decisions will be taken before the duty free shops employees this afternoon for approval.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, it will be clear with moderate south-westerly to westerly winds, force four, becoming moderate force five in windward areas. Conditions at sea will be calm to slight. Temperatures will reach 31 C inland, 29 C on the south and east coast, 27 C on the west and 24 over the mountains.
Tonight it will be mainly clear but locally low cloud will form at dawn. Winds will be north-westerly light, force two to three and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to 15 C inland and on the west coast, to 17 on the south and east coast and 13 over the mountains.
The fire hazard is very high in all forest areas.