Daily Archives: January 1, 2013

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Bit of a flap over ‘airport slap’


DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS with the new Egyptian government have taken a rather “uncomfortable” turn after the Egyptian ambassador was accused by police of swearing at and slapping an officer at Larnaca airport. 

The diplomat counter-alleged that she was manhandled by police. 

On Saturday afternoon, Egyptian ambassador Menha Mahrous Bakhoum went to Larnaca airport to see off her husband and adult children who were visiting the island. Claiming diplomatic immunity, Bakhoum wanted to accompany her family to the boarding gate. 

The airport authorities obliged but things got a little hairy at the security checkpoint, leaving the police, foreign ministry and Cairo all looking for a rock to hide under.

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Police promise ‘swift investigation into explosives find


INVESTIGATIONS are ongoing into the 1.2kg of powerful explosives believed to be TNT found in a bag along with a detonator around 500m from President Demetris Christofias’ holiday residence in Kellaki on Saturday. 

“Our aim is to proceed swiftly with investigations” and find out who is behind this, said police spokesman Andreas Angelides yesterday. 

The explosives were found in a bag under a tree, 15 metres from the Pareklisa-Kellaki road, at around half a kilometre from the president’s country residence, where he often entertains high-profile visitors and heads of state. Police went to the scene after learning that an unmarked car was seen stopped in the area, where the co-driver allegedly got out the car and placed something under the tree. 

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Christofias ‘optimistic’ for 2013


THE POLICIES adopted on a pan-European level have failed to provide solutions to the ongoing economic crisis, said President Demetris Christofias last night in a speech to mark the New Year. 

The outgoing head of the rotating EU presidency characterised the past year as one in which the global economic and social crisis deepened, threatening institutions and values with collapse, while worsening unemployment, poverty and deprivation in the whole of Europe.  

“It must be admitted that the policies implemented so far on a pan-European level have not succeeded in providing a solution to the economic problems created by the crisis.  On the contrary, they have recycled and worsened the economic and social injustice,” he said. 

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Five Z-cars go poof


POLICE ARE looking for a 25-year-old Egyptian woman who allegedly rented out five cars from separate car rental companies in Paphos and Limassol, and then disappeared, along with the cars. 

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said yesterday that the 25-year-old rented the five cars between December 21 and 27, after which both cars and woman have gone missing. 

An arrest warrant has been issued for the Egyptian national, though police are also investigating reports that she has already left the country. 

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Turkey’s watching with new satellite


THE FIRST images beamed back to earth from Turkey’s Gokturk-2 satellite were of the Turkish flag on the Pendadaktylos mountains.

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet, during a ceremony marking the 49th anniversary of the establishment of Ankara’s Chamber of Industry, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the first images of the satellite were the flags of Turkey and the breakaway regime on the mountain range.

The paper’s columnist cited diplomatic sources as saying Erdogan’s statement was a message to Israel but also to Cyprus.

The same sources interpreted Erdogan’s message to Israel as saying: “With Gokturk-2 we are dominant over the eastern Mediterranean, we are watching you as well.”

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A growing need for someone to talk to


CYPRUS Samaritans are urging anyone who feels lonely or depressed at this time of year to call them, and say they have expanded their services to cope with the growing number of people needing someone to talk to.

The Paphos-based volunteer organisation is now offering a free helpline number, which can be accessed from all over the island, has opened a new listening centre in Limassol and has expanded into email and social media in order to reach more people.

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Our View: A chance to re-discover the spirit of community


IT IS VERY difficult to be optimistic or positive about 2013, especially when we know that the effects of the austerity measures approved last month will kick in. Living standards of the overwhelming majority of the population will fall, the numbers of the unemployed are set to rise and credit will be even harder to come by. The affluence and comfortable way of life we had become accustomed to over the last decade will become nothing more than a pleasant memory as people grapple with the harsh combination of recession and austerity.

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Strike looms as fuel prices rise


PETROL stations island-wide could close indefinitely from Friday as station owners have threatened to go on strike in an attempt to show solidarity with colleagues in the Famagusta district who will strike tomorrow.

“Until the government decides to put a hold on the issuing of licences to petrol stations we will be forced to take action,” deputy head of the Petrol Station Owners Association, Stathis Spartiatis said. 

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Body found in car at cliff bottom


POLICE found the remains of a body inside a car at the bottom of a 700 metre cliff in the village of Korfi in the Limassol district on Monday. 

“We are still investigating the incident and we cannot say yet at this moment whether this is a criminal offence,” Limassol CID chief Yiannis Soteriades said. 

According to state pathologist Eleni Antoniou, “Bones from the body were scattered inside a four-metre radius around the car, most likely due to scavenging rodents and birds.”

Police found documents inside the car which could point to the person’s identity but according to Soteriades it had not yet been determined if the documents matched the body inside the car.

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