Daily Archives: January 15, 2010

Archives January 15, 2010 posted by

Baghdatis and Gasquet advance to Sydney final

MARCOS Baghdatis overcame the big serving American Mardy Fish 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-5) in an exhausting semifinal at the ATP World Tour 250 Medibank International in Sydney which lasted nearly three hours yesterday.

The Cypriot converted the only break point opportunity in the opener to claim it at 6-4 after 40 minutes of playing time. He then used the momentum to break Fish’s serve in the first game of the second set, but the American broke back Baghdatis immediately and the set eventually went into tie-break in which Fish showed more composure to level the match.

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Our View: Privatisation could save semi-state organisations

IT IS NO secret that Cyprus’ big semi-state organisations, such as Cyta, the Electricity Authority and the Ports Authority operate as workers’ co-operatives. Run by boards made up of political appointees, these organisations always gave in to the demands of their powerful unions. As a result, their respective workforces were given generous annual pay rises and secured benefits (massive pensions, huge retirement pay-offs, shorter working hours) that were unheard of in the private sector.

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Road deaths lowest in 33 years

LAST YEAR saw the fewest road deaths in 33 years and the lowest number of injuries in 45 years, but nearly 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of others maimed and injured in the past ten years, President Demetris Christofias said yesterday.

Speaking at the signing of the European Charter for Road Safety which took place yesterday at the Presidential Palace, Christofias said: “We consider this interminable loss of life unforgivable and absolutely unreasonable.”

Last year 71 people – nearly of them under the age of 25- were killed on the roads compared to 82 in 2008 but Christofias said the toll over the past ten years had reached 947.

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Officers face prosecution in teen beating case

THREE POLICE officers are facing prosecution for the alleged beating, verbal abuse and mockery of a black teenager last year.

The three officers will appear in court on February 1, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said yesterday.

The incident occurred on March 10 when 19-year-old Henry Taylor was questioned about a missing bike.

The teenager, who is originally from Zimbabwe but has lived in Cyprus with his mother and three sisters for eight years, said he was repeatedly beaten and ridiculed by the officers until he eventually started bleeding.

Although Taylor initially wanted to prosecute the officers, his mother Elizabeth urged him not to for fear of reprisals.

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HIV patients to receive monthly allowance

HIV patients could soon be the recipients of monthly payments in the region of €600 in an effort to help ease their financial difficulties which are often a result of their social exclusion.

The issue was addressed at the House Health Committee yesterday at the instigation of Green Party deputy George Perdikis.

Perdikis said a minimum payment of €600 should be paid to HIV patients for purposes of employment which happened in all other EU countries and Greece so that their basic needs could be met.

He said he was saddened that there were people in our society that were trying to survive in an environment of social stigma and were forced to live “literally undercover”.

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A ‘new weapon’ for undercover cops

PARLIAMENT IS preparing a bill that will let police work undercover and testify anonymously in court cases related to drugs and organised crime, the House Legal Affairs Committee heard yesterday.

Greens deputy George Perdikis says the draft bill is an unnecessary violation of human rights, which brushes over the fact that police efforts to tackle serious crime have proved ineffective.

He said organised crime could not be tackled “with bills that violate the human rights of the average citizen”. Police needed “to increase their effectiveness, focusing and targeting their efforts on organised crime” rather than requiring laws that put them above the AG and the judiciary.

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‘A lot of sophistry going on’

PARTY LEADERS yesterday pinned hopes on today’s National Council to shed light on the talks, following confusion over which side’s proposals were being used as a basis for discussion.

Leaders yesterday widely slammed the Turkish Cypriot proposals introduced last week for importing significant elements of a confederation into a proposed solution.

According to reports, the proposals include provisions which would pass on to Turkish nationals the four fundamental freedoms of the EU before Turkey’s EU accession; a reference to the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons.

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Appeal for victims of Haiti quake

THE CYPRUS Red Cross (CRC), as part of its social and humanitarian mission and in response to an appeal by the International Red Cross, is sending financial assistance to the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti.

The CRC, given the long-standing generous sensitivity of the people of Cyprus to human suffering and misery, is appealing to the public for contributions.

For these purposes, it has opened the following special bank accounts and invites the public to contribute as much as their feelings of humanity and solidarity allow.

Bank of Cyprus:  Account No. 113-05-057950-00

Marfin Popular Bank:               070-31-084482

Hellenic Bank:                         121-12-397610-00

Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd:           202-101-004933-9

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‘Lowly officials could not have been acting alone’

THE HEAD of the blanket civil servants union PASYDY yesterday called on two Agriculture Ministry officers who are facing charges of nepotism to turn state’s witness in order to protect their “dignity,” he said.

Two senior ministry officers have been charged with abusing their positions to influence the hiring of temporary employees. The case erupted into the public view after allegations surfaced that a number of individuals got jobs at the ministry at the behest of the boss, Agriculture Minister Michalis Polynikis. According to the allegations, Polynikis would “feed” names to his subordinates, who would then make sure these people were hired.

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Protesters condemn Lieberman visit

PALESTINIANS and Cypriot activists yesterday commemorated the 2008-2009 Israeli invasion of Gaza by demonstrating outside the Israeli embassy in Nicosia.

Around 40 people gathered, chanting pro-Palestinian slogans and lighting candles commemorating the victims of the IDF operation inside the Gaza Strip that left thousands dead.

The demo also denounced Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who at the time was meeting President Demetris Christofias at the Presidential Palace.

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