Daily Archives: July 2, 2011

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Missing computer hampers probe into ‘fascist’ granddad


AUTHORITIES have not yet concluded an investigation into a senior civil servant accused of posting a video on the internet in which he urged his four-year-old grandson to shout fascist remarks, the Cyprus Mail has learned.

The official, who serves with the civil defence, allegedly posted the one-minute video on social networking site Facebook in November last year.

A government official told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the man denies uploading the video and claims somebody else had posted it on his Facebook profile.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said police were also having difficulties because the man’s computer has gone missing.

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Direct flights to Iraq

CYPRUS Airways (CY) yesterday inaugurated flights to Iraq with a special flight to the city of Erbil.

CY said the first four flights to the new destination will be conducted once a week in July and would be chartered.

From then on flights will be scheduled with a possibility of increasing their number.

CY executive director Giorgos Mavrocostas said opening this new destination was the result of an agreement between the airline and Iraqi tourist organisation Merdjian.

The first chartered flight will touch down at Erbil on Monday.

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Second Ayia Napa rape claim in less than a week


POLICE were yesterday investigating a claim by a 26-year-old Irish tourist that she was raped by a stranger in the Agia Napa-Protaras area.

It is the second such case in the area in under a week.

According to police, the woman contacted the force on Wednesday and said she was taken the night before to a woody area she didn’t know by an unidentified man, who then forced her into having sex against her will.

The 26-year-old was examined by pathologist Nicolas Charalambous, who said he did not find signs of rape, police said.

Famagusta CID is also investigating a claim by an 18-year-old Scottish tourist, who said on Monday that she was forced into having sex with four men, while drunk and against her will.

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Protest over delay to Paphos to Polis road

DEMONSTRATORS, angry over delays in the construction of the Paphos to Polis highway, blocked the entrance to the Paphos to Limassol highway yesterday.

According to the mayor of Polis Chrysochous Angelos Odysseous, more than 200 cars driven by residents of the Polis district left the town at 8am, driving in convoy down to Paphos.

The motorists then blocked the entrance to the highway with their vehicles for about half an hour from 9am onwards in protest.

“There have been too many delays for years now in the commencement of this project which is necessary for the people of Polis,” Odysseous said. “We want to draw attention to that fact.”

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House president meets with Greek counterpart

HOUSE President Yiannakis Omirou met with his Greek counterpart Phillipos Petsalnikos and Prime Minister George Papandreou yesterday on a trip to Athens, where the main focus of discussion was Greece’s economy and the Cyprus problem.

“The Cypriot people’s struggle is at the same time Hellenism’s struggle and the Cyprus problem is one of the first priorities for Greece’s policies and the entire political world,” said Petsalnikos. He also reassured Omirou that the Greek government expressed their support in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, hoping that the July 7 meeting in Geneva will prove to be significant.

Omirou in turn expressed his support for Athens during these difficult times, saying that Cyprus will be by their side.

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Fires destroy 11 hectares


THREE fires in three districts yesterday destroyed around 11 hectares of wild vegetation and three makeshift dwellings in the process.

The fire that broke out in Panayia Stazousa in Larnaca was especially difficult to bring under control, due to strong winds and required five fire trucks, two aircraft belonging to the Forestry Department and two helicopters hired by the Republic of Cyprus to put out. It burnt through five hectares of wild vegetation.

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Clubs not ready for football violence provisions


THE HOUSE Legal Affairs Committee yesterday discussed a proposal to postpone certain provisions of the law dealing with football violence, as many stadiums have stated that they are not ready for the new season.

The Committee is heading toward postponing for a year the provisions that have to do with closed circuit surveillance systems and the stadiums’ town-planning licensing.

It emerged that three of the first division championship teams’ stadiums had no town-planning licences – Paralimni Municipal Stadium, Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca and Amochostos Stadium in Larnaca.

Amochostos and Ethnikos Achnas’ stadiums also don’t have CCTV, which is also demanded by the law.

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Ministry defends Kyprianou’s travel budget

THE FOREIGN Ministry yesterday rubbished media reports that money was being wasted on Minister Markos Kyprianou’s official trips abroad.

The ministry issued an announcement after Politis newspaper claimed Kyprianou had spent over €1 million on official visits last year, which was largely down to the fact that he chose to travel at the weekends, when costs are higher.

“A large number of the weekends that are being referred to concern service trips of the Foreign Minister to Arabic states and Israel, where weekends are working days,” the announcement said.

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Ex IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn released from house arrest

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest yesterday after prosecutors said the hotel maid who accuses him of attempted rape lied to a grand jury and made other false statements.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, still faces charges that he sexually assaulted the woman in New York but questions about her credibility appear to be shifting the case in his favor in a twist that could upend French politics.

The former steward of the global economy smiled as he left court with his wife, Anne Sinclair, at his side.

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Rockets push back rebels south of Libyan capital

LIBYAN rebels who had advanced to within 80 km of Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold in the capital were forced to retreat yesterday after coming under a barrage of rocket fire from government forces.

The rebels’ advance five days ago to the outskirts of the small town of Bir al-Ghanam had raised the possibility of a breakthrough in a four-month old conflict that has become the bloodiest of the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

Rebel fighters who had been massing on a ridge near Bir al-Ghanam and preparing for an attack were now pulling back under fire from Russian-made Grad rockets, said a Reuters photographer in Bir-Ayyad, 30 km to the south.

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