Daily Archives: January 28, 2010

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Police suspect foul play in fatal apartment blaze

POLICE believe foul play to be behind the deaths of two migrant workers, who perished in a blaze yesterday morning.

The fire broke out at around 5am in the bedroom of a fourth-floor flat on Prevezis Street in downtown Nicosia.

Inside the flat, firefighters found the bodies of a man, 39, and a 35-year-old woman, both from the Philippines, who are believed to have been in a relationship.

“Initial indications point to a criminal act,” said Nicosia CID chief Kypros Michaelides. “The fire is not accidental.”

The couple were found lying next to each other on the floor of one of the bedrooms.

Fire service spokesman Marios Kyprianou said the door to the apartment was open when the firemen got there.

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Another day added to intensive talks

THE MUCH-anticipated end of the intensive talks was yesterday pushed back to Friday, giving the two leaders more time to continue discussions, UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer announced last night.

The UN diplomat told reporters that the two leaders met throughout the day, discussing governance and power sharing, apart from a three-hour break when President Demetris Christofias went to Larnaca to attend a funeral.

“Given the way the discussions have evolved during the course of the day, the two leaders have decided that they will meet again on Friday for further discussions,” he said, adding that the intensive period of the talks would culminate on that day, probably in the morning.

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Tough times? Car dealer flogs Bulgarian land with big sales

BUSINESSES all over Cyprus have developed their own marketing schemes to lift profits during the global recession but a Nicosia car dealer’s unique offer of a car-and-land package must be among the most creative.

Costas Petrou has an imported car yard on in Spyros Kyprianou Ave in Nicosia and is advertising that with every purchase of an imported car worth over €10,000, he will also hand over donum (1,338 m2) of land in Bulgaria for free.

The land is located in a non-residential area around 5km outside the city of Yambol, where Petrou owns 30 donums of land. Yambol is the capital of the Yambol Province in southeastern Bulgaria, about 304km east of Sofia.

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Banks blasted over high interest rates

DISY Vice President Averoff Neophytou slammed the government’s handling of the economy yesterday, saying that due to its “mistakes, omissions and obstinacy, Cypriot households and businesses are paying three per cent more than the eurozone average in loan interest”.

Neophytou added that Tuesday’s comments by Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis and Commerce Minister Antonis Paschalides regarding the high interest rates set by the banks made them sound like “economic analysts rather than representatives of the executive power”.

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‘If they had recognised the alarm, we would not be sitting here today’

THE PILOTS of the ill-fated Helios flight confused the alarm sound that went off in the cockpit, leading to a sequence of events that brought down the plane, killing all 121 on board, a Greek expert said yesterday.

Elias Nicolaides, a prosecution witness, continued his testimony on the flight parameters, as they were recorded by the flight data recorder, in the Helios trial before the Nicosia Assizes Court.

Nicolaides said the aircraft’s cabin altitude warning sounded because the Boeing 737 had exceeded 10,000 feet and there was not enough pressurisation.

When there is not enough pressurisation over this altitude, passengers become deprived of adequate oxygen supply – a condition known as hypoxia.

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Hardliner Eroglu announces candidacy in April vote

SENIOR NATIONALIST Dervis Eroglu yesterday announced his candidacy in ‘presidential’ elections in the north on April 18 that could prove pivotal in efforts to resolve the island’s decades-old divide.

The 72-year-old veteran of Turkish Cypriot politics is currently ‘prime minister’ of the breakaway state. He announced his retirement from politics in 2005, but returned as leader of his right-wing National Unity Party (UBP) to win a general election April 2009 with 44 per cent of the vote.

An ardent advocate of a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem, Eroglu’s victory last year created a headache for incumbent “president” Mehmet Ali Talat who is struggling to put together a federal model for reunification in UN-sponsored peace talks.

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Police chief is confident of Hadjicostis case’s strength

POLICE CHIEF Michalis Papageorgiou has said authorities have enough evidence to prosecute the people involved in the January 11 murder of media tycoon Andy Hadjicostis.

In a wide-ranging interview on state TV, he also commented on aspects of the case of the missing remains of former President Tassos Papadopoulos.

Speaking on TV show ‘Eponymous’ on Monday night, in the first interview he has given since becoming head of the police force, Papageorgiou said, “At the end of the day, we will secure sufficient testimony to prosecute everybody.”

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‘New marina ready by 2012’

WORK ON the Limassol marina project has officially begun, and the new marina is expected to be “ready to receive the first craft in Autumn 2012”, Limassol Marina Ltd (LML) CEO Takis Palekithritis announced yesterday.

Palekithritis described the new marina as “a pioneering and ambitious project which will upgrade the infrastructure for nautical tourism, enrich the tourism product and open new prospects, not only for Limassol but for the whole of Cyprus.”

He added that the “€350 million-plus” project “significantly strengthens the competitiveness of the Cypriot economy”, will create new jobs, and the upgrading of the area of Limassol’s historic centre “will provide the trigger for investment in the wider area.”

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Man swallows four bags of cocaine

A 25-YEAR-OLD British permanent resident has been arrested after having swallowed four bags of cocaine were found inside him.

The man had visited the Famagusta hospital with strong abdominal pains on Tuesday afternoon and an x-ray examination showed four foreign objects.

It was later determined that they were four plastic ball-like packages containing around 24 grams of cocaine.

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