Daily Archives: August 28, 2012

Archives August 28, 2012 posted by

Armstrong and Obama: the abandonment of the US manned space programme

WHEN the first man on the Moon died on Saturday, President Barack Obama tweeted: “Neil Armstrong was a hero not just of his time, but of all time.” Armstrong’s final comment on Obama, on the other hand, was that the president’s policy on manned space flight was “devastating”, and condemned the United States to “a long downhill slide to mediocrity.”

That was two years ago, when three Americans who had walked on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, James Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, and Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, published an open letter to Obama pointing out that his new space policy effectively ended American participation in the human exploration of deep space.

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Next EAC hike: carbon credits

 

ELECTRICITY prices are likely to spike as of January 2013 due to a readjustment of the power utility’s fuel cost formula to cover the purchase of carbon credits for greenhouse gas emissions.

The Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) said yesterday the latest increase would be nowhere near those quoted in the media yesterday of 4.74 per cent in 2013, totalling 8.4 per cent by 2020.

But it did concede that “logically” electricity prices were set to go up come January 1, 2013 due to the readjustment of the fuel cost formula. Although a spokesman said he could not say by how much exactly, he said according to the EAC’s latest figures, the extra cost from buying carbon credits would amount to 1.0 per cent of its budget for 2013.

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Our View: A part of everyday life that has become a luxury for most

SO THE siesta by all accounts is officially dead, now only a luxury for the elderly – due to a lifetime of habit –  and the pampered classes,  including public servants, probably the only workers left in Cyprus who have the opportunity to take a siesta due to their advantageous working hours.

That there are still full-time employees who finish work at 2.30pm in this day and age is anachronistic. The siesta, while proven to be good for your health in an ideal world, is now a luxury the majority of workers no longer have the option of enjoying.  Indeed in most European countries they never did. 

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Mari blast trial opens

ALL SIX defendants in the Mari trial knew of the danger posed by the 98 containers of confiscated weapons stored at the Evangelos Florakis naval base, yet failed to take adequate measures,  Attorney-general Petros Clerides told the Laranca Assizes in his opening statement at the trial yesterday.

He was speaking of the alleged failure to act by two former government ministers, and four other army and fire officials on trial in relation to the deaths of 13 sailors and firefighters on the morning of July 11, 2011 when the containers exploded. 

“The prosecution will present its case fairly, with independence, objectivity and full respect for the principles of fair trial, with the expectation that it will prove successful,” Clerides said.

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Runover teen picked up by air ambulance

A RUSSIAN state medical plane came to Cyprus on Saturday to pick up four injured Russian tourists, including a 14-year-old girl who was hit at a pedestrian crossing in Limassol last month by a car driven by a former minister. 

According to Russian state news agency TASS, a Russian Emergencies Ministry plane left from Moscow early on Saturday to pick up injured tourists whose condition was said to be “critical” from the Ukraine and Cyprus. 

A team of doctors and medical equipment were on board the plane which reportedly collected four people, including 14-year-old Katerina Meshko, from Cyprus, and a woman and a child from Simferopol in the Ukraine.

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Two quadbike deaths in one weekend

ANOTHER YOUTH lost his life midnight on Sunday after crashing his quad bike. The 20-year-old’s death came just two days after a 25-year-old woman from Limassol was killed when the four-wheeled bike she was riding pillion on hit a kerb, hurling her onto the tarmac.

Both crash victims were not wearing helmets.

Sunday night’s victim had been riding his bike in Famagusta village Xylotymbou, when- in circumstances under investigation – he swerved off course hitting the kerb nearby. He was hurled onto a metal billboard and then the front door of a shop.

The 20-year-old was rushed to Famagusta General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries around an hour later.

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Sheep and goat farmers keep their flocks for now

SHEEP and goat farmers did not cut loose their flocks on the highway yesterday as threatened, accepting instead an invitation by Agriculture minister Sophoclis Aletraris to have a meeting tomorrow.

“We will start a dialogue to solve our problems,” said the head of the goat and sheep farmers’ association Evagoras Chrysanthou.

The highway threat came last week on Friday following the cabinet’s recent decision to reduce a yearly subsidy by over 50 per cent. 

The farmers are not due to receive a subsidy next year, because a transitional period to support farmers following Cyprus’ accession in the EU expires.

Chrysanthou said they were willing to give the government a grace period to commit to paying the full amount of the subsidy they were expecting.

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Police issue plea for information on spate of fires

AROUND 60 fires broke out across the island between last Thursday and yesterday, according to police spokesman Andreas Angelides, who urged members of the public to contact the force with any information that may assist investigations.

Angelides said police, in co-operation with the fire service and other related services, have stepped up measures to deal with the spate of fires; but he underlined the need for help from the public.

Two fires in specific areas threatened state forest land over the weekend, one in the mountain village Platres and one in Argaka, near Paphos forest. Police have no leads on how the fires started.

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‘This is a prison, not a church’

A MAN convicted of beating his sister to death with a laptop is now in isolation at the Central Prison, after reportedly attacking his cellmate with a big wooden ashtray and throwing mouthwash in his face.

Evripides Savva, 25, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last May. His family at the time was under the care of mental and social welfare services.

Central Prison acting governor George Tryfonides yesterday played down the affair, saying the attack was not as brutal as made out by Politis newspaper, which brought the matter to light yesterday.

He would not confirm whether the details of the report – that the assault victim was Romanian and that he was attacked with a wooden ashtray and mouthwash – were correct.

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Free electricity to Pyla’s Turkish Cypriots under review

A POLITICAL decision from 1964 to provide free electricity to Turkish Cypriots in the mixed village of Pyla representing close to €1.0 million a year in lost revenue for the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), is currently under review because of possible “system distortions,” state and EAC authorities have said.

Some Turkish Cypriots collectively get electricity, which last year cost the EAC €1.2 million, acting spokesman Tassos Gregoriou said.

About 75 per cent of that amounts to electricity provided to Turkish Cypriot Pyla residents. The rest pertains to Turkish Cypriots scattered around buffer zone areas who are still not part of the ‘TRNC’s’ electricity network, Gregoriou said.

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