Daily Archives: January 5, 2010

Archives January 5, 2010 posted by

Iraq war inquiry holds ballot for Blair appearance

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will make his hugely-anticipated appearance before an official inquiry into the Iraq War during the fortnight starting January 25, the inquiry team said on Tuesday.

Such is the demand to see Blair’s appearance that the inquiry will hold a ballot to allocate public seats, while a third of the 60 or so available spaces will be allocated to families of soldiers who died in the war.

Blair, prime minister from a decade from 1997, ordered 45,000 British troops to take part in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, a move critics say was illegal.

He is also accused of deceiving the public over claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

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Heavy snow to come as freeze snarls transport

Very heavy snowfall is predicted in southern England after freezing conditions brought more chaos to the transport network on Tuesday, shutting airports and disrupting train services.

The Met Office said temperatures fell to as low as minus 15 C overnight and warned that as much as 40 cm (16 inches) of snow could fall in some areas as the weather front spreads south.

Severe weather warnings are in place across Scotland, northern, central and western England after heavy snow and problems caused by widespread icy roads.

The forecaster said even more heavy snowfall was expected further south and in London later on Tuesday and on Wednesday, with Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire predicted to be worst hit.

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Indebted Dubai puts on brave face for tower opening

DUBAI opened the world’s tallest structure in a glitzy ceremony meant to put a brave face on crushing debt woes, leading some to wonder whether the Burj Dubai is the emirate’s crowning glory or its last hurrah.

The $1.5-billion tower will reach 200 storeys into the sky, and although officials have not yet revealed the exact height, it will exceed the next highest structure by some 300 metres (1,000 ft).

But concerns about the emirate’s $100-billion debt pile, which have made Dubai’s stock exchange one of the world’s worst performing, overshadow both the ceremony and boasts by the builder, Emaar Properties, that the Burj heralds a new dawn.

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Favourites enjoy victories as the national football league restarts

THE ruling champions APOEL Nicosia, Anorthosis Ammochostos and Apollon Limassol all recorded victories away from home in Round 15 over the weekend as the national football league restarts after the winter break.

At the Pafiako Stadium Chrysis Michael’s 70th minute strike was more than enough to propel the league leaders APOEL FC to a narrow 1-0 win over AEP Paphos, providing the ruling champions with their tenth victory of the season.

“We showed that we have a great team with the mentality of the champions,” commented APOEL FC’s coach Ivan Jovanovic after the game.

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Achilleas oust ETHA in Lefkotheo to complete Round 10

DION Harris scored 20 points and Balsa Radunovic had a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds as Frederick Achilleas Kaimakliou beat Intercollege/ETHA 82-68 in the final game of the national basketball championship Round 10 on Sunday evening at the Lefkotheo Indoor Arena.

The hosts imposed themselves from as early off as the tip-off and they were leading 17-14 at the end of the opening period, increasing their advantage to five points at 41-36 as the teams headed to the locker rooms at the half time break.

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Strong compliance with smoking ban


BUSINESSES yesterday reported an alleged 40 per cent drop in revenue following the total smoking ban on January 1.

The reduction came as no surprise to the Association of Bar Owners which said it had predicted its members’ demise and warned of worse to come.

“Nightclubs experienced what we’ve been saying all along,” said Association head Fanos Leventis.

“There was a 40 per cent reduction on Saturday which is a very large number when you take into account the fact that the students [who are studying overseas] haven’t left yet and it’s also the holiday season. This is the first message of what will follow.”

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British cousins ‘coping’ in prison

TWO COUSINS extradited to Cyprus last month in connection with killing a Cypriot teenager four years ago spent more than a week in solitary confinement, their parents said.

According to the Braintree and Witham Times, Luke Atkinson’s and Michael Binnington’s solicitor said the pair had been held in solitary confinement for their own safety.

They were extradited to the island on December 1 after they were found guilty of culpable manslaughter and grievous bodily harm. The duo, both in their 20s, were backseat passengers in a car which mowed down 17-year- Christos Papiris from Nicosia’s Akaki village and his friend Marios Demetriou, who were on a moped.

Atkinson and Binnington spent eight and a half days in solitary confinement.

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Terrorising the night sky on New Year’s Eve

SO HOW was your New Year? Ours was going the usual way: champagne, Auld Lang Syne, a mutual hug-in, when someone suggested we launch Chinese flying lanterns. So what if the weather was -2C below and we were in the middle of boggy woods with a biting wind, and it was 1am in the morning?

Flying lanterns, the packet said, “are a quieter, gentler alternative to fireworks…safe and simple, from bio-degradable, flame retardant materials and easily replenished bamboo.”

Not only did we feel adventurous as we clambered through the pitch black of a stubbled field behind the cottage, we felt eco worthy. What we had failed to read, were the ten safety commandments and the particular instruction, “check wind direction before release’.

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IN AN article published on January 1 titled “Eurocypria Pilot Breached Safety Protocols” we printed comments by Lucas Hadjiconstantinou on aircraft and runway safety. We would like to clarify that his comments were of a general nature and in no way intended as a comment on the Eurocypria incident of November 9, 2009, which is under investigation.

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