Daily Archives: June 9, 2012

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Poised Sharapova crowned queen of Roland Garros

Maria Sharapova was crowned the new queen of Roland Garros after she kept her poise to outwit and outpower diminutive Italian Sara Errani 6-3 6-2 to complete her collection of grand slam trophies on Saturday.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, Italian Errani troubled Sharapova with some cute volleys, sliced forehands, daring dropshots but found the Russian to be an insurmountable obstacle.

With Errani standing at just 1.64 metres, the statuesque Russian used her 24 cms advantage and wider wingspan to great effect as she chased down everything the Italian could throw at her.

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Fast-food, fast-flying Ryanair

TRAVELLING on the ‘what you pay for is what you get’, ‘rules is rules’, brutally utilitarian Ryanair can be a shock, but despite the jokes the loos on board  are for the moment  still free: no need yet to use a euro to spend a penny.

This year I have been back yo-yoing from its Brussels hub at Charleroi and find myself a curious convert to its basic down to earth concept. 

With record profits this year, while other airlines are declaring bankruptcy, it has got the formula right for attracting customers and getting you up and out fast. According to the trumpet fanfare that sounds over the tannoy as you land, declaring yet another plane on time, they are the most reliable airline in Europe. 

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Why did they do it?

WHAT IF China, flush with its new wealth, opened its doors to mass immigration? It would make sense from an economic and social point of view, because its one-child-per-family policy has produced a young generation far smaller than the one that now does most of the work. China’s population is “ageing” (i.e. its average age is going up) faster than any other country in history, and it could certainly do with some more young people.

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‘Naming and shaming’ the way to protect passenger rights

NATIONAL authorities should ‘name and shame’ companies, including airlines, which garner the most consumer complaints, EU passenger rights experts said yesterday.

“Naming and shaming is in the hands of national authorities if you have the political strength to do it,” said Meglena Kuneva, special advisor on passenger rights to Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President in charge of transport.

Kuneva, who is herself a former European Commissioner for Consumer Protection, was speaking at a news conference yesterday on the EU’s two year campaign ‘Your passenger rights at Hand,’ with Cyprus being the last stop on the agenda.

If you have the strength to do it right now in Cyprus go ahead, she added.

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Our View: Parties should put aside old rivalries and back a candidate who will focus on economy

THE CURTAIN finally fell on the comic efforts of the parties of the in-between political space to forge an electoral alliance that would back its own presidential candidate in February. In the end, the leaders of the four parties were unable to agree on the candidate and after a crunch meeting on Wednesday announced the failure of their efforts, which was widely expected. 

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EAC: imported gas would have saved millions

THE DECISION not to import natural gas for power production after it became clear Cyprus had its own deposits is costing the country around €50 million a year in potential savings, said a senior electricity official yesterday. 

Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) official Yiannis Tsouloftas questioned the wisdom of scrapping plans to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) which would have lessened Cyprus’ dependence on costly oil for electricity production. He noted the “great uncertainty” now surrounding the issue of when gas will be brought to Cyprus from its own offshore field in Block 12. 

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AG included offending clause in press bill

 

ATTORNEY-general Petros Clerides yesterday assumed responsibility for the inclusion of a clause in a new press bill, which caused uproar among journalists because “it would turn them into snitches” by forcing them to reveal their sources.

The clause had been added during the bill’s processing by the state legal service, without notifying the interior ministry, which then sent it to parliament without checking.

As the story developed on Thursday, no one knew who had added the provision and for what reason.

Clerides said the provision had been added with his consent as he voiced his displeasure over the language used by the journalists union and the press to criticise the matter.

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Recession deepens in first quarter

CYPRUS remained in deep recession in the first quarter of the year with the economy shrinking by more than initially thought, giving little sign of hope for a country that may need to seek an international bailout to prop up its damaged banks.

The economy registered a 0.4 per cent quarterly contraction in the first three months of 2012, the statistics department said yesterday, following a 0.3 per cent decline in output in the last quarter of 2011.

On a year-on-year basis, the economy contracted by 1.6 per cent in the first quarter compared to a 0.8 per cent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2011.

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Ozersay resigns

 

KUDRET Ozersay, the chief adviser to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in the Cyprus negotiations, has submitted his resignation, reports from the north said yesterday.

According to the reports, the move comes in the wake of Ozersay’s formation of a new social movement calling for political change in the breakaway state.

It is well known that he and Eroglu were at odds over the Toparlaniyoruz, or the We’re Getting it Together movement.

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Prominent Cypriot arrested in the US

 

US authorities have charged a prominent member of the Cypriot community in America with bribing a New York housing agency official, reports said.

Contractor Panayiotis “Peter” Papanicolaou, 50, has been charged with bribing a Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) official by paying for his $12,000 (€9,600) honeymoon.

Papanicolaou is the chairman of the Cyprus Federation of America (CFA), whose mission is to “promote the rights, and freedoms of the Cypriot people, and work towards the termination of the illegal occupation of Cyprus from Turkey.”

Papanicolaou, who is free on bail, was arrested along with four other individuals in connection with kickback and bribery schemes involving the HPD, reports said.

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