Daily Archives: July 7, 2010

Archives July 7, 2010 posted by

Keravnos and ETHA seeded for EuroChallenge

NATIONAL basketball cup holders Keravnos Strovolos are among the 14 seeded teams in the Qualifying Round of the FIBA EuroChallenge, while ETHA Engomi is one of the 14 unseeded sides on their return to European competition for the first time since the 2005 edition of the now defunct FIBA Europa Cup.

Croatian side KK Zadar and Germany’s Telekom Baskets Bonn are among ten teams that will be drawn directly into the EuroChallenge’s 32-team Regular Season.

The remaining 22 teams that will participate in the Regular Season are the 14 that will advance to that stage of the competition via a 28-team Qualifying Round.

Eight sides will be made up of the clubs who failed to advance to the EuroCup Regular Season via the EuroCup Qualifying Round.

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Archives July 7, 2010 posted by

What new bus service?

One of the great curses of our new bus system is that it seems to have been planned by people who never actually travel by public transport.

Can somebody explain to me why Ayia Napa and Paralimni are not included on this super new intercity service?

The Famagusta region accommodates thousands of tourists during the high season, in addition to many more thousands of retired residents – but what service to they get?

Two morning busses a day to Nicosia at 8am and 10am, returning at 3pm (not Sundays).

If you are lucky enough to get a seat and can conduct all you business or sightseeing within 5 hours – the existing antiquated service is perfect.

If you want to work in the city and leave the car at home – forget it.

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Archives July 7, 2010 posted by

Goodbye Iraq, and good luck

AS the American withdrawal gains speed, there are fewer American troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan for the first time since 2003. By the end of August there will be no US combat troops left in Iraq, though some tens of thousands of support troops will remain until next year. And still there is no new Iraqi government, although it is now four months since the election on 7 March.

US Vice-President Joe Biden was in Baghdad at the weekend urging Iraqi politicians to end the political deadlock, but America’s influence over events in Iraq has been falling as fast as its troop numbers. In the end, the same broad coalition of Shia Arabs and Kurds that ran the country before will probably rule again, excluding the Sunni Arabs, but it’s unclear who will lead the new coalition.

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Our View: Government right to deliver on time

THE GOVERNMENT must be congratulated for not giving in to blackmail and introducing the new, upgraded, low-cost bus system on time. Such decisiveness is not what we have come to expect from the Christofias government, for which prevarication is the preferred mode of operation, when there is no consensus.

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Archives July 7, 2010 posted by

Our View: A not-so-warm welcome

SUNDAY’S chaotic events at Larnaca International Airport defied belief. About a thousand Omonia fans invaded the arrivals lounge, to welcome the arriving players signed by the club, and behaved as if they were on the stands of a football ground. Not only did this mob, by its intimidating presence, frighten people, but it also lit torches as Bengali lights. The smoke from the flares triggered the terminal’s fire alarm system, shutting down lifts and escalators.

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Huge cathedral gets the green light

ARCHBISHOP Chrysostomos’ controversial plan to build a huge cathedral in the heart of Nicosia’s old centre took a big step forward yesterday when it received a majority vote by the full Nicosia Municipality Council, but may still be blocked through legal action by opponents.

After an often-heated debate held in open session yesterday afternoon, which was attended by members of various environmental and local residents’ groups opposed to the cathedral project, the motion to approve the Planning Permission Committee’s majority recommendation for the project was passed by 16 votes to 10, with one councillor abstaining.

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South African murder suspect thought to be in Cyprus

POLICE ARE looking for a Cypriot accused of committing murder in South Africa and fleeing to Cyprus, it emerged yesterday.

George Louka, who went under the pseudonym George Smith, is accused of shooting dead South African cabaret chain owner, Lolly Jackson, 53, near Johannesburg in May.

The South African police are looking for two people in connection with the shooting, one of whom is Louka. They believe that he has returned to Cyprus, where his wife and four children live, and last week they contacted Interpol with a request for any information about two individuals who might be connected.

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Facebook group calls for Lopez to cancel visit


NEWS OF a planned visit by Jennifer Lopez to the north of the island has caused an uproar among Greek Cypriots around the globe, with more than 10,000 people supporting an international web campaign calling for her to cancel the visit.

The singer is due to perform at the $220 million dollar Cratos Premium Hotel. A facebook group campaigning against the visit has also attracted the attention of the international press.

According to a spokesman for the hotel, Lopez will be performing on July 24 and will arrive a few days before her concert date with her husband Marc Anthony and their twins. Lopez has not confirmed the claim.

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Fallout over CyTA resignations continues

THE FALLOUT over the resignation of the entire board of telecoms authority CyTA continued yesterday with calls for wholesale changes to the way semi-government organisations are run.

DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades yesterday welcomed the resignation of the board, saying “it seems we are absolutely right when we say the infrastructure and operation of semi-government organisations need changing”.

The government has to take steps to deal with the situation, said DISY deputy Christos Stylianides, noting that replacing the board alone would be “tragically naive”.

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Collected effort still needed to solve island’s financial woes

WE CANNOT afford to relax our vigilance and a collective effort is still needed to solve the economy’s structural problems, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said yesterday despite various positive assessments from abroad giving a clear vote of confidence to the Cypriot economy.

Coming soon after the confirmation of Cyprus’ AA- rating by credit ratings agency Fitch at a time when several other eurozone countries have been downgraded, the International Monetary Fund’s preliminary report on Cyprus delivered on Monday “contains many positive comments” and is much more favourable compared to previous IMF reports, Stavrakis said.

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