Daily Archives: August 14, 2012

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Egypt’s formerly powerful military outmanoeuvred

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi’s spokesman did not mince words. He said that the “retirement” of all the senior military commanders in the country represented the completion of the Egyptian revolution. And guess what? The rest of the officer corps accepted Mursi’s decision.

Even as the spokesman was announcing that Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the Defence Minister, and General Sami Enan, the army chief of staff, were being retired, state television was showing other military officers, Generals Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi and Sidki Sobhi, being sworn in by President Mursi as their successors. 

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Fires brought under control


FIRE-fighters late yesterday afternoon brought under control a large blaze in Limassol, the last in a string of fires that started on Sunday, prompting the evacuation of two villages.

“All fires are under full control and strong ground forces remain in the area to guard against potential re-ignition,” fire service spokeswoman Lisa Kemidji said last night. “They will remain there for as many days and nights as necessary.”

Authorities have arrested 57-year-old man in connection with one of the fires near Hirokitia, in the Larnaca district, that burned some 13 square kilometres of wild shrub.

Police said the man, who was remanded in custody for three days, is thought to have tried to burn wild shrubs.

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Our View: Municipalities should use funding crisis to demand independence

FOR SEVERAL months now mayors of the wider Nicosia area have been warning that their municipalities were fast running out of money. The drastic reduction of the state subsidy to local authorities, combined with the establishment of six new municipalities meant a smaller amount was distributed among more recipients. 

Inevitably, the over-staffed and inefficient municipalities of Nicosia cannot make ends meet; things are slightly better for the municipalities of coastal towns as they have revenue from tourism. Some mayors warned that they would not be able to meet their financial obligations in a few months, while the Ayios Dhometios mayor warned yesterday that his municipality would not be able to pay its 79 workers at the end of this month.

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Inquiry launched into diplomat’s role

THE cabinet yesterday decided to launch an investigation into the involvement of the head of President Demetris Christofias’ diplomatic office in a potential multimillion euro Chinese investment at the old Larnaca airport as the public service commission (PSC) officially terminated Marios Ieronymides’ posting at the Presidential Palace.

Following a cabinet meeting at Christofias’ holiday home at the village of Kellaki, it was announced that the foreign minister would appoint an investigating officer to look into the affair.

The name of the officer, who must be a ministry permanent secretary, is expected to be known next week.

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Alcohol linked to two deaths


TWO FOREIGNERS drowned and a third is believed to have died as a result of substance abuse in the last two days in the tourist resorts of Paphos and Ayia Napa. 

A 42-year-old tourist from Russia drowned off the coast of Paphos on his second day of holiday on the island yesterday morning. 

According to Paphos police spokesman Nicos Tsappis, the Russian man lost consciousness at around 10am while swimming in the sea close to the Tombs of the Kings in the Chlorakas area.  

He was pulled out the water and rushed to Paphos general hospital where doctors confirmed his death. 

The 42-year-old arrived in Cyprus on Sunday for a holiday with his wife and 11-year-old son. They were due to leave on August 24. 

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Attorney-general ponders chemical castration for child molesters

ATTORNEY-GENERAL Petros Clerides has proposed chemical castration as a means of protecting society from convicted child molesters.

In an interview with daily Politis, published yesterday, Clerides said such a measure could prevent paedophiles who are released from jail from repeating their sexually deviant behaviour.

He went on to suggest the drafting of a legal framework governing penalties and post-release restrictions on paedophiles, including a sex offenders’ register and “possibly chemical castration”.

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Post-Helios recommendations still not enforced

THE ‘FLIGHT Safety Foundation South East Europe – Middle East – Cyprus’ has expressed concern that, seven years after the Helios air disaster, not all recommendations pertaining to the deadly crash have been implemented.

In a written statement yesterday, the foundation said no action has yet been taken with regard to what it views as one of the more important flight safety recommendations – the promised restructuring of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

The foundation is a non-profit regional organisation affiliated to Flight Safety Foundation based in the United States.

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Praise for Cyprus’ EU presidency

CYPRUS HAS proved its doubters wrong by doing an “excellent job” in the first six weeks of its EU presidency, said Deputy Foreign Minister for Greece Demetris Kourkoulas yesterday. 

Kourkoulas came to Cyprus for meetings with Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis and Deputy Minister for European Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis and was due to leave yesterday. 

Speaking after his meetings, Kourkoulas said the EU presidency was “in good hands” at a very crucial period for the EU in the long-term. 

The deputy minister said he was “really proud because with the efforts of Cyprus and Greece’s help, Cyprus is now at the helm of the EU Council”.

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Police seek help tracking down hooligans

ANORTHOSIS FC will play their next three European games behind closed doors and pay €50,000 as punishment, after their fans invaded the pitch and caused the abandonment of a fixture last week, European football authority UEFA has ruled.

At the same time, police yesterday released the photos of four men who invaded the pitch seeking the public’s help to track them down. 

Anyone with information should contact Larnaca CID or call 1460.

Five individuals have already been arrested.

Five police officers were injured during Thursday night’s troubled match between Anorthosis and Georgian side Dila Gori for the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.

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Famous oceanographer comes to explore sea mountain

THE AMERICAN exploration vessel Nautilus has arrived on the island as part of an expedition to explore the Eratosthenes seamount, off the island’s south-western coast.

On board the Nautilus, anchored off the coast of Paphos, is oceanographer Robert Ballard, and a team of geologists, marine biologists and oceanologists.

Ballard is known for the discoveries of the wrecks of RMS Titanic in 1985 and Nazi battleship Bismarck in 1989 but there are also other notable discoveries.

“I am very lucky, I have made many discoveries – 70 in total,” he said. “I am more known for the discovery of the Titanic but I don’t think this was my most important discovery.”

Ballard said his most important find were the hydrothermal vents on which microorganisms were created.

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