Daily Archives: January 26, 2010

Archives January 26, 2010 posted by

It’s great to be surrounded by so much culture and political incorrectness

SEVENTY-TWO hours in London and I can confirm that the snow has gone, you can eat sushi at Canary Wharf for less than I have ever eaten it in Nicosia, it is possible to drink cappuccino on the Southbank for £2.25 and people really do talk to each other! Not sure why people who don’t live in London always seem to think that it is such an expensive, anti-social city.

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Ninety feared dead in Lebanon crash

CYPRUS yesterday joined a massive international task force comprising planes, helicopters and ships scouring the Lebanese coast for survivors after an Ethiopian jet plunged flaming into the sea.

Lebanon, the United Nations, the United States, Britain, France and Cyprus hastily scrambled search and rescue teams after Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409, carrying at least 90 passengers and crew crashed shortly after takeoff from Beirut International Airport at around 2:30 am.

Eyewitnesses said they saw a ball of fire in the sky before the Addis Ababa-bound jet fell into the sea after taking off in stormy weather.

The airline’s chief executive denied initial reports of survivors.

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Our View: Weak leaders cannot make painful compromises

PRESIDENT Christofias went to yesterday’s second round of intensive talks, under fire from all the political parties, for allowing the Turkish side to destroy the basis of the negotiations. The submission of the Turkish proposals – universally condemned by the Greek Cypriots as partitionist/confederal – meant that Christofias was no longer negotiating a federal settlement, argued his critics, pertinently asking why he was still talking with Mehmet Ali Talat.

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Police smash antiquities smuggling ring

NINE PEOPLE have been arrested and remanded by police in connection with the smuggling of antiquities worth about €11 million, in what is believed to be the largest such case in the island’s modern history.

A further four Cypriots and one Syrian are still being sought by police.

One of the arrested suspects, a retired police officer, is currently in hospital with heart problems.

Over 100 artefacts, including statuettes and urns, have so far been found, along with a large number of coins and seals.

Photographs of other artefacts not yet recovered by police were found in the possession of the suspects.

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Cypriot heterotopic twins only second in medical history to survive

TWIN CYPRIOT new-born girls will go down in medical history as only the second case of heterotopic twins to ever survive.

The baby girls were born healthy at Hadassah University Medical Centre in Jerusalem late last week after a lifesaving surgical intervention rescued them from almost certain death in the last trimester of their mother’s pregnancy.

The infants, named Maria Elena and Georgia Nicoletta, are only the second heterotopic twins in medical history to survive. This mean one embryo was growing inside its mother’s uterus and the other had developed with the placenta attached to the exterior of the uterus and the sigmoid colon. The first-ever case was in France 25 years ago.

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Archbishop tones down rhetoric but defends church pamphlets

ARCHBISHOP Chrysostomos II yesterday clarified that when he called on President Demetris Christofias to pull out of direct talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, he didn’t really mean it.

But he added he still failed to see anything wrong with distributing leaflets in church, containing political content on the current talks.

Speaking after a meeting with DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades, Chrysostmos said he did not wish to put himself above the National Council or the government but was entitled as a citizen of the Republic to voice his opinions.

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‘Sincere efforts’ being made on governance

BOTH the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides are making sincere efforts to find convergence on the issue of governance, President Demetris Christofias said yesterday.

Meanwhile the Cyprus News Agency, citing diplomatic sources, reported yesterday that United Nations Secretary-general Ban Ki Moon would be arriving in Cyprus on Sunday in a bid to boost the talks between the two sides.

The official announcement for the visit is not expected to be made before Wednesday, when the second round of intensified talks ends, CNA said.

Earlier yesterday, UN special envoy Alexander Downer said no final decision had been made about the visit.

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US set to appoint envoy for Cyprus

US PRESIDENT Barack Obama is set to appoint a personal envoy to Cyprus, after consulting with leaders of the Greek American community, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) has reported.

According to CNA, the matter was discussed in a meeting between Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe in the National Security Council, and the Greek American leadership recently.

President Demetris Christofias told reporters on Sunday that Cyprus would welcome the appointment of a special envoy by Obama, provided that they showed the necessary respect to the Republic and contributed towards a just solution.

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E-Clear ‘money is all gone’ say administrators

A CYPRIOT-owned credit card company that went into administration on Tuesday has apparently “lost” GBP100 million which it owed to creditors, it emerged yesterday.

The missing millions that E-Clear owed to its creditors became apparent after administrators, BDO, were called in to examine the company’s finances last week.

Asked about the money, Charlotte Freeman, Senior PR Manager for BDO said yesterday: “The money has gone. We were appointed last Tuesday and the investigation is ongoing.”

Freeman added that because of the nature of the company’s business, the investigations were complex and it would take time to speak to all the involved people, including the authorities and creditors.

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Deal signed for new Limassol marina

CONSTRUCTION of the new Limassol marina was given the green light yesterday as two final agreements were signed between the government and the project’s owner, Limassol Marina Ltd.

“The Limassol marina starts today (yesterday); an infrastructure project that is a gem for Limassol, Cyprus and the Mediterranean in general,” Trade, Industry and Tourism Minister Antonis Paschalides said during the signing ceremony.

Paschalides said with the marina, Cyprus would become more competitive and would enrich the quality of services on offer.

The marina, expected to cost around €300 million, will be constructed and managed under a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) agreement.

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