Daily Archives: November 5, 2011

Archives November 5, 2011 posted by

Mikkelsen win a thrilling finale to Cyprus Rally

Young Norwegian rally ace Andreas Mikkelsen was overcome with emotion as he claimed the IRC title on the Cyprus Rally, the final event in the 2011 Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) calendar, yesterday.

He drove steadily on the last leg of the rally. With two of the IRC title contenders sidelined on Friday, the remaining three had everything to play for on yesterday’s 188 km of special stages, and Mikkelsen knew he had to stay at the front of the field to claim the crown.

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Stoner claims record-equalling 12th pole

Champion Casey Stoner secured his 12th pole position of the year in qualifying for motorcycling’s Valencia Grand Prix on Saturday, equalling the record for a single season set by five-times world champion Mick Doohan.

The Australian Repsol Honda rider, who clinched his second MotoGP title at his home race last month, set a best lap of one minute 31.861 seconds, 1.014 seconds faster than team mate Dani Pedrosa in second.

American Ben Spies of Yamaha was third behind the Spaniard with a lap of 1:33.057 to claim the final place on the front row.

Riders and teams have gathered in Valencia for the final race of the season still reeling from the death of Marco Simoncelli last month in a crash. The paddock plans to pay tribute to the Italian rider before Sunday’s race.

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Scott stands by contrite Williams after racial slur

Australia’s Adam Scott stood by his caddy Steve Williams in Shanghai on Saturday as golf sought a quick resolution to the controversy surrounding the New Zealander’s racist remark about Tiger Woods.

At the Annual Caddy Awards dinner in China on Friday, Williams went on stage to receive the prize for the season’s best celebration after Scott’s Bridgestone Invitational win in August and made an extremely derogatory comment about his former employer.

The remark was made to a private audience which included members of the media and threatened to overshadow the HSBC Champions, the final World Golf Championship (WGC) event of the season.

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Colombians cheer killing of FARC rebel leader


Colombians rejoiced at the killing of top FARC rebel leader Alfonso Cano and hoped the biggest blow yet against Latin America’s longest insurgency could herald an end to nearly five decades of war.

In a triumph for President Juan Manuel Santos’ government, forces bombed a FARC jungle hideout in southwestern Cauca region on Friday, killing several rebels, officials said.

Troops then rappelled down from helicopters to search the area, killing the Marxist rebel boss in a gun battle.

Pictures of his dead body — with his trademark beard shaven off — were broadcast on television. Six laptop computers were found along with 39 memory sticks, cellular phones and cash in pesos, dollars and euros, Pinzon said.

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Talks on Greek coalition to start soon – Papandreou

Negotiations to form a Greek coalition government will start soon, Prime Minister George Papandreou said on Saturday, launching a new push to save the nation from bankruptcy and prevent its crisis from sweeping over Europe and beyond.

Papandreou told the Greek president that the nation had to forge a political consensus to prove it wanted to keep the euro, as European leaders try to persuade the outside world that the currency bloc can overcome its huge debt problems.

“In order to create this wider cooperation, we will start the necessary procedures and contacts soon,” he told reporters after meeting President Karolos Papoulias.

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Our View: Lower property transfer tax no use as long as house prices remain inflated


IN AN EFFORT to boost the sluggish property market, the legislature approved a bill suspending the payment of transfer fees on new properties and reducing by 50 per cent the transfer fees on other property transactions. Parties had been toying with this idea for some time, even though the government was opposed, because it would further reduce state revenue. 

As a compromise, the law would have temporary effect, in the hope that it would kick-start a property market that has ground to a halt. The idea is that a revival of the property market, even with reduced or no transfer fees, might still generate more state revenue as well as helping the construction industry, which has been among the hardest hit by the recession, and creating jobs.

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Moody’s downgrades Cyprus by two notches as bank bailouts seen likely

MOODY’S Investors Service on Friday downgraded Cyprus’ credit ratings by two notches, forecasting the government will have to bail out its banks next year due to their exposure to Greek debt.

The new Baa3 rating given by Moody’s to the Mediterranean country is the lowest in the investment-grade category. It may soon be cut to junk as the agency placed it on review for possible further downgrades.

The need for state support to the Cypriot banking system comes at a moment when the Nicosia government has lost access to international capital markets, which will likely force the country to seek emergency funding from official sources, Moody’s said.

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Marfin’s Vgenopoulos resigns citing conflict of interest

THE CHAIRMAN of Marfin Popular Bank (MPB) resigned yesterday, citing a potential conflict of interest as a major shareholder during attempts to boost its capital levels in which nationalisation could not be ruled out.

Andreas Vgenopoulos said he had given notice of his resignation from his position as non-executive chairman as well as a member of the board.

Based on preliminary EBA estimates Marfin needs an estimated capital buffer of €2.1 billion to reach a core tier 1 ratio of 9 percent by June 2012. It is the most heavily exposed to Greek debt among Cypriot banks.

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Market reels on huge losses

THE CYPRUS stock market was reeling yesterday when the the index slid to a record low after a bad week and uncertainty over the euro zone debt crisis. 

The general index plunged 7.16 per cent, a new record.

The main market index fell by 7.61 per cent while banking index fell 7.8 per cent. 

Bank of Cyprus shares plummeted by 7.77 per cent followed by Marfin Laiki at 9.27 per cent and Hellenic Bank 3.39 per cent.  

The FTSE/CySE 20 index fell by 6.99 per cent. 

The hotels index marked no change, the alternative market rose slightly by 0.19 per cent while the parallel market rose by 1.52 per cent. 

Total transactions for the day amounted to €1.42 million.  

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House majority calls on Christofias to quit

THE OPPOSITION-dominated parliament yesterday demanded the resignation of President Demetris Christofias, holding him responsible for the July 11 naval base explosion that killed 13 men and put the island’s main power station out of action.

In a resolution passed by majority vote, the plenum urged Christofias to assume his responsibility and submit his resignation, thus contributing to the creation of a climate of stability and avoiding unnecessary polarisation, bigotry and division. 

The resolution is not binding as Cyprus has a presidential system of government.

It was passed with the 33 votes of opposition parties. Ruling AKEL’s 18 MPs voted against.

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