Monthly Archives: November 2010

Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

Moufflons thrash Greece in European Nations Cup opener

The Cyprus national rugby team started their campaign in Division 2D of the 2010–2012 European Nations Cup with a 33-13 victory over Greece in Athens last Saturday.

Greece opened the scoring through their captain and fly-half, Jeremy Raftos, who touched down but Papadopoulou failed to convert.

The newly promoted Moufflons responded with a try from number eight Christo Thoma, but this also went unconverted by full-back Marcus Holden.

The Greek full-backBertes gave the hosts the advantage with a try, again unconverted but Papadopoulou found his range with a penalty goal to extend the Greek lead to 13-5.

However, he missed nine other penalty goals in the match, and the Greeks were left rueing their chances.

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Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

US regrets leaks, says will tighten security

THE United States said yesterday that it deeply regretted the release of any classified information and would tighten security to prevent leaks such as WikiLeaks’ disclosure of a trove of State Department cables.

More than 250,000 cables were obtained by the whistle-blower website and given to the New York Times and other media groups, which published stories exposing the inner workings of US diplomacy, including candid and embarrassing assessments of world leaders.

The US Justice Department said it was conducting a criminal investigation of the leak of classified documents and the White House, State Department and Pentagon all said they were taking steps to prevent such disclosures in future.

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Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

‘We have to speak up’

AN ONLINE petition calling for a long-overdue tidying up of state finances has surpassed its target of 4,000 signatures, and its originators now plan to sound out political parties for support.

Launched two weeks ago, the petition ( wants an end to the two-tier system of contributions to the Social Security Fund and to bring the civil service in line with the rest of society.

Workers in the broader civil sector contribute three per cent to the SSF while people in the private sector contribute 16 per cent of their earnings.

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Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

WikiLeaks shows 21st-century secrets harder to keep

THE DIPLOMATIC cables so far released by WikiLeaks might embarrass US diplomats but probably won’t shatter any international relationships.

The key lesson so far seems to be just how much easier the information age has made it to steal vast quantities of data — and how much harder it is to keep secrets.

The US and other governments have been keen to talk up the potential diplomatic damage from the release of some 250,000 cables, details of which began to be published on Sunday by Western newspapers.

The cables, some of which were released in full and some only in part, revealed confidential — and often unflattering — views and information from senior US diplomats based overseas that would normally have been kept confidential for decades.

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Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

The North Korean dilemma

SOUTH Korea’s defence minister, Kim Tae-Young, was forced to resign after criticism that he was too slow to respond when North Korea attacked the island of Yeonpeong on Tuesday, killing at least four people. But what was he supposed to do? What can his replacement, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Kim Kwan-jin, do? Not much, really.

South Korean artillery fired back, dropping eighty shells on North Korean gun positions along the coast facing Yongpyeon, so honour has been served. But now North Korea is warning that the joint US-South Korean military exercises that began just off that coast on 28 November (and include a huge US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier) are pushing the region “to the brink of war.”

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Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

CA announce measures to save airline

CYPRUS Airways yesterday presented the company’s workers with a raft of cost-cutting measures aimed at saving the ailing airline, expected to post a €30 million loss this year.

The around 20 proposals do not touch salaries directly – they mostly target benefits and allowances – but will affect total income.

“It is our position that once again we will contribute to rescue the company, as long as certain conditions are met,” said Charalambos Tappas, chairman of the pilot’s union PALPU.

He added that everyone should do their part and warned that they will not accept the workers paying the lion’s share for the rescue.

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Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

PASYDY defiant over public sector pay

CIVIL servants defiantly warned yesterday they would not be made scapegoats, as a debate on how to shore up state finances turned increasingly bitter.

“We shall accept no reduction in salaries,” declared Glafkos Hadjipetrou, head of the blanket civil servants union PASYDY.

“If the government wishes to modify the amount of [civil servants’] contributions to the Social Security Fund, it can do so legally,” he added.

Hadjipetrou was speaking after a meeting at PASYDY headquarters of the major public sector unions, including teachers, police officers and military personnel.

The union chief complained that all the attention was focused on civil servants, whereas nothing was being done about “big business” and rampant tax evasion.

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Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

‘Satisfied with EU forecast’

THE government yesterday voiced satisfaction over the EU’s economic forecasts for Cyprus, which align with the finance ministry’s assessments.

“I want to stress that the EU’s assessments and forecasts are identical with the government’s assessments as regards the public finances and the growth rate,” Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said.

According to the EU forecast released yesterday, Cyprus will record a 0.5 per cent growth rate in 2010 and a 5.9 per cent deficit, which meets the government’s target of a shortfall of under 6.0 per cent.

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Archives November 30, 2010 posted by

Night buses rolled back as new buses roll out

OSEL’s Monday to Saturday night bus service in Nicosia will be reduced to just Fridays and Saturdays this week because of a lack of passengers, while Limassol received an extra 26 buses.

The nightly services from Nicosia to Lythrodontas, Arediou, Lympis, Pyrga have been cancelled, while nightly services from Nicosia to Tseri, Geri and Anthoupoli will run on Fridays and Saturdays, at 10.30pm, 12.30am and 3am.

The last buses to all destinations during the week will be the 7.10pm and the 11.15pm.

Bus driver Demos Antoniou said yesterday that few people have used the weekday night buses – with most carrying no passengers – and that he was unsure how long the service would remain in place.

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