Daily Archives: July 27, 2011

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Phelps makes statement one year out from London 2012

Relief was etched all across Michael Phelps’ face on Wednesday after the American won his first gold medal of the world swimming championships in Shanghai, one year to the day before he begins his final Olympics campaign.

Phelps, the most successful Olympian of all time who won an unprecedented eight golds in Beijing in 2008, has said he will retire after the London Olympics that open on July 27 next year.

A bronze in the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay and silver behind compatriot Ryan Lochte in the 200 freestyle as well as recent defeats in the 200 butterfly — his signature event — in the lead up to Shanghai had left the 26-year-old facing 12 months of gruelling preparation under coach Bob Bowman.

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Our View: Parties must take our finances into their own hands

IN YESTERDAY’S editorial about the meeting that was supposed to have finalised the measures aimed at dealing with public finances, we asked the following question: Is the government ready to deal with disruptive work practices and strikes or will it retreat, as it has done in the past, as soon as the union bosses threaten action?

The answer was given at yesterday’s meeting on the economy at which the retreat we were afraid of was made evident. A few angry words and veiled threats by the PASYDY boss, Glafcos Hadjipetrou on television and radio, and a two-hour work stoppage at a semi-governmental organisation that was set to be abolished, forced the cowardly president to go back on what had been agreed at Friday’s national council meeting.

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Moody’s downgrades Cyprus two notches to Baa1 with a negative outlook


Moody’s ratings agency today downgraded Cyprus’ government bond ratings to Baa1 from A2 on concerns over the island’s fiscal position, amplified by the destruction of the Vassilikos power plant on July 11.

The outlook is now negative, Moody’s said.

The ratings agency has also downgraded Cyprus’s short-term rating to P-2 from P-1.

“Although the government has recently announced a range of structural measures intended to improve fiscal sustainability, the positive impact of those measures for the next few years will be reduced by the plant’s destruction,” Moody’s said. “This incident has caused material disruption to the Cypriot medium-term economic and fiscal position.”

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Norwegian killer probably insane, his lawyer says

Breivik’s lawyer believes he is insane

Police doubt claims that Breivik was part of network

Justice Minister congratulates police on “fantastic work”

At least 100,000 in Oslo’s anti-violence Rose March

THE lawyer of a Norwegian who killed at least 76 people in a bombing and a shooting spree said yesterday his client appeared to be a madman.

Friday’s attacks by Anders Behring Breivik traumatised normally peaceful Norway, which has been struggling to come to terms with its worst peace-time massacre of modern times.

“This whole case indicated that he is insane,” Geir Lippestad said of the 32-year-old Breivik, who has confessed to “atrocious but necessary” actions, but denies he is a criminal.

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Kosovo policeman wounded near Serbian border

A KOSOVO police officer was shot and seriously wounded during an attempt by ethnic Albanian Kosovo government forces to take control of a border post in an ethnic Serb area of the country, a doctor said yesterday.

The incident occurred after Kosovo police tried overnight to seize border posts in the Serb-controlled north, where the Pristina government does not provide services, collect tax or control security.

Authorities in Pristina said the move was motivated by Serbia’s decision not to recognise their customs stamps, essential for cross-border trade.

The European Union expressed disapproval of Kosovo’s action aimed at establishing control over a region of the country where local ethnic Serbs do not recognise the central government’s authority.

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End ‘three-ring circus’ urges Obama


‘The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government’

PRESIDENT Barack Obama has described the fight over raising the limit on government borrowing and avoiding default on US debt as a “partisan three-ring circus” and blamed the crisis on the refusal of many Republican politicians to compromise.

In a hastily arranged nationally televised speech last night, he said the US was dangerously close to default, and warned of a “reckless and irresponsible” outcome without a compromise solution by the August 2 deadline.

He urged Americans to make their voices heard and let their representatives know they support “a balanced approach to reducing the deficit”.

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Mystery ‘creation’ particle evades scientists – CERN


The mysterious “creation” particle believed to have turned flying debris into stars and planets at the dawn of the universe has evaded capture in a year of hot pursuit, physicists said.

Rolf Heuer, director-general of the CERN research centre near Geneva, said he was now looking to 2012 to turn up traces of the particle, the Higgs Boson, and signs of other concepts that were once the preserve of science fiction.

Confirming that intensive scrutiny of the results of more than 70 million particle collisions in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) had not yet identified the Higgs, Heuer said: “I hope the big discoveries will come next year.”

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US Olympic medallist commits suicide

Olympic silver medalist skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson has committed suicide near Salt Lake City, days after his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving, police said on Tuesday.

Peterson, 29, was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Monday night, shortly after he had called emergency dispatch to say he was going to kill himself, said Lieutenant Justin Hoyal, a spokesman for Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake.

He was a silver medalist in the men’s freestyle aerials competition at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.

Peterson’s body was found beside his vehicle on a road just outside Salt Lake City, Hoyal said. Police said he left a suicide note, but they declined to reveal the contents of the message.

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