Daily Archives: November 1, 2011

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A racy backdrop to the talks

IN 2004 the Cypriot delegations at Burgenstock were tucked away on a snowy hilltop outside Zurich in Switzerland.

Today they find themselves tucked away on a snowy estate on Long Island in New York but this time the snow wasn’t part of the initial package. 

Bad weather hit the island on Saturday with inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain causing travel difficulties over the weekend. Winds were between 25 to 35 mph, and gusts up to 60 mph resulted in downed trees and power outages.

But it all seemed very cosy inside Greentree where the talks are being held. The two leaders plus UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his special envoy Alexander Downer appeared relaxed and casual in photographs – none of them wearing a tie

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More cases brought against Larnaca doctor

POLICE said yesterday that they were investigating 36 other cases against the 56-year-old gynaecologist who was arrested last Thursday in connection with allegations of drugging and sexually assaulting a 26-year-old patient.

Police chief, Michalis Papageorgiou said that although police had acquired evidence for 36 new cases, the necessary testimonies had still not been taken and stressed the need for discreetness in the matter.

“We have acquired a lot of extra evidence since the initial complaint and the possibility that other cases against the doctor might reach the surface cannot be ruled out,” said Papageorgiou.

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Defiant Kassinis refuses to be silenced

“First of all, you must be wondering if I have permission to speak here tonight.”

That was Solon Kassinis’ opening punch-line at a conference last night that was hosted by the University of Nicosia’s Cyprus Centre for European and International Affairs, where the head of the Energy Service gave a lecture on the island’s energy prospects and challenges – in defiance of an apparent gag order.

It was Kassinis’ first jibe at Commerce Minister Praxoulla Antoniadou; many more were to come during the course of his talk, alluding to the public spat between the minister and the technocrat. The dispute came to the fore after Antoniadou revoked an order that delegated authority to handle aspects of gas exploration and exploitation to Kassinis, and placing it under her control.

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Cypriot children among the biggest in Europe

CHILDREN in Cyprus eat fattier and saltier foods, exercise the least and on top of that barely get enough sleep in comparison to those in northern Europe, a new survey revealed yesterday.

The survey, by the Research and Education Institute for Child Health, monitored about 2,500 children in Cyprus between two and eight years old, 1,000 in Paphos and 1,500 in Strovolos, Nicosia as part of a five-year Europe-wide €13 million project funded by the European Commission. 

Children in Cyprus topped the chart when it came to eating salty snacks and chocolate and brought up the rear when it came to cooked vegetables. 

Seven in ten children replaced healthy food with crisps, chocolates, pastries and other similar snacks.

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Discussion begins into bank aid

LAWMAKERS will today discuss legislation that would allow the state to aid banks if necessary and to create a financial stability fund.

A financial crisis management bill would allow the government to bolster a bank’s liquidity if required, and a second bill would create a fund to help stabilise the banking system.

Last week it was announced that Cyprus’ two main banks, the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) and Marfin Popular (MFP) – both exposed to Greek debt – would need to raise €1.5 billion and €2.1 billion respectively by June 2012 after EU leaders struck a deal in which lenders would take a 50 per cent loss on their holdings of Greek government debt as part of a broad Greek restructuring.

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Very low survival rate for cardiac arrest cases

ONE IN three people who suffer a heart attack die before they manage to get to a hospital, according to the Cyprus Society of Cardiologist’s president Panayiotis Avraamides.

Avraamides was speaking at a news conference yesterday marking the start of cardiac arrest awareness week, that will continue until November 6, and which aims to publicise both prevention and a quick response to cardiac arrest.

With just one visit to the doctor sudden cardiac arrests would be greatly reduced, said Avraamides.

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Turkish Cypriots protest against austerity package

SEVERAL thousand Turkish Cypriots continued ongoing protests against an Ankara-inspired austerity and privatisation package yesterday by demonstrating outside the north’s ‘parliament’. The rally accompanied a general strike by public employees.

Met by hundreds of riot police and special forces, demonstrators called for the resignation of what it calls “Ankara’s puppet government” in the north.

Unions and the ‘authorities’ have been feuding over the implementation of Ankara’s economic package since 2009. Some ‘state’ sector salaries have been cut by up to 40 per cent; further aims include cutting the number of public employees from 17,000 to 14,000 and to privatise several key ‘state’-run enterprises, such as the electricity and telecom providers. 

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Skordelli defence accuses witnesses of murder

THE defence in the trial for the murder of Sigma Television owner Andis Hadjicostis suggested yesterday that the police had not handled the investigation of the case properly and that someone else was behind the crime.

Police have charged television presented Elena Skordelli, her brother Tasos Krasopoullis and two other men with the murder that took place outside Hadjicostis’ home in January last year.

But Michalakis Kyprianou, who represents Skordelli, suggested it was Fanos Hadjigeorgiou who was responsible for the murder, along with Costas Proestos.

Hadjigeorgiou has admitted to being the driver of a motorcycle used in the killing and agreed with the authorities to testify against the other four.

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Car thieves’ ring dismantled

POLICE were confident yesterday they had dismantled a ring of car thieves after the arrest of four suspects – two Cypriots and two foreigners, the force’s chief said.

Michalis Papageorgiou said the men are suspected of stealing cars and then replacing their chassis, engine and registration numbers before selling them to unsuspecting punters.

The suspects used the numbers taken from cars that had been wrecked in accidents, bought at low cost.

They then stole cars of the same make and colour, changed the numbers, and sold them.

“They presented the vehicles as genuine and unfortunately they sold them to unsuspecting people,” Papageorgiou said. He said they believe they have the mastermind in custody “but it is very premature to say this with certainty.”

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