Daily Archives: January 23, 2013

Archives January 23, 2013 posted by

Stephens stuns ailing Serena, Federer forges on

Serena Williams went down smashing rackets and screaming as she bowed out of the Australian Open quarter-finals on Wednesday, hampered by a back injury and beaten in three sets by fellow American Sloane Stephens.

The injury robbed Williams of her serve – the most effective weapon in women’s tennis – but teenager Stephens will take much credit for holding her nerve to finish off the ailing 15-times grand-slam champion.

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‘Cyprus woes could hurt eurozone’

CYPRUS’ financial problems could still derail fragile confidence in the euro zone that the bloc fought hard to regain in 2012, European Central Bank board member Joerg Asmussen said yesterday.
His comments follow doubts whether the island, with gross domestic product of barely 0.2 per cent of the euro zone’s output, was large enough for a potential default to unsettle the 17-nation euro zone, such a risk being a precondition for a bailout.
“Disorderly developments in Cyprus could undermine progress made in 2012 in stabilising the euro area. Cyprus could well be systemic for the rest of the euro area despite its size,” Asmussen said.

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Our View: The government is still playing its populist games

LISTENING to the comments made by European finance ministers with regard to Cyprus, before and after Monday night’s Euro group meeting, two things were clear. First, they were exasperated with the grandstanding by Cyprus’ communist rulers who had gone back on the agreement they made with the troika and could bring new instability to the eurozone. Second, despite recognising the urgent need to have the memorandum of understanding finalised, they consider the Christofias government so untrustworthy they would rather wait for the new government to sign it.

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Futile protests over state sell-off

THE government will fight to prevent the privatisation of public companies, the spokesman said yesterday, although it was clear that the matter was out of their hands since a bailout agreement was expected after February’s election, which the ruling party is not tipped to win.
“We will fight for the non-privatisation of semi-state organisations even if some people in Europe consider privatisations a part of the structural reforms of the economy,” Stefanos Stefanou said. “This is what various people say (but) we do not accept this position.”
The government insists it managed to avert privatisations during negotiations with international lenders.

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Prince Harry winds down in Cyprus after Afghan deployment

PRINCE Harry is currently in Cyprus for a much needed alcoholic drink on his way back to Britain from his twenty week deployment to Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot. It is common practice and part of the vital recovery program for British soldiers returning from Afghanistan to spend a few days in Cyprus as part of the ‘decompression’ procedure.

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IPC applications jump 30 per cent in six months

THE NUMBER of Greek Cypriot refugees seeking compensation for occupied properties in the north has increased by almost 30 per cent – nearly 1,000 new applications – in the last six months alone, showing an upward trend that has caught the attention of Cyprus’ Legal Service.
Attorney-general Petros Clerides plans to hold a broad-based meeting after the presidential elections to deal with the increasing number of Greek Cypriot refugees applying to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) in the north set up by Turkey.
According to the IPC website, as of last Monday, 4,471 applications have been lodged with the Commission, of which 309 have been concluded through friendly settlements and nine through formal hearing.

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Ten years and 20 million crossings

GREEK Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have become less prejudiced, more trusting of each other and more willing to live together in the ten years that the checkpoints have been open, studies have shown.
The University of Cyprus’s Haris Psalitis gave a talk yesterday – aired live on state broadcaster’s Proto Radio – to commemorate the roughly ten years since the checkpoints first opened allowing Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to become reacquainted.
On April 23, 2003 thousands of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots crossed at two checkpoints, mostly through the Ledra Palace and Pergamos, following an announcement by the ‘TRNC’ they would be letting people through for day visits.

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Urgent appeal to help Paphos needy

AN urgent appeal for donations to help needy families living in Paphos villages has been made by a group of volunteers.
More than 250 families living outside the boundaries of Paphos municipality are in desperate need of help, as without it they will go hungry. Paphos has been hardest hit by the wave of unemployment.
The municipality,  in conjunction with a social welfare committee programme, are doing all they can to help those in need, but they are unable to help those living in the outlaying villages, as they are outside municipal boundaries. Instead, they are passing on details of those who need assistance to a group of volunteers who are doing their best to provide desperate families with food and clothing.

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Concern over undiagnosed HIV cases

HEALTH minister Androula Agrotou yesterday said she was concerned over the fact that two underage boys who were in Cyprus until the summer carried the HIV virus unbeknown to authorities.
It emerged yesterday that the boys were not in the system because they were diagnosed abroad, Agrotou said.
The person who brought the issue out into the open was Stella Michaelidou, who heads KYFA, a Limassol-based non-governmental organisation that supports HIV/AIDS carriers and works on prevention.
After local media extrapolated an HIV/AIDS problem in schools, Michaelidou clarified that the two boys were non-Cypriots and non-EU citizens who left the island in the summer so they could receive treatment at home.

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Judges willing to ‘give up’ some of their salaries but reject cuts

DISTRICT court judges yesterday argued before the Supreme Court that they should be exempt from salary and benefit cutbacks because their earnings are protected under the Constitution.
The judges are en masse appealing a government decision in 2011 that cut wages across the public sector by a small percentage.
They argue that the pay cut was in violation of Article 158 of the Constitution which states: “The remuneration and other terms of employment of any judge cannot be changed unfavourably for him after his appointment.”
The article was intended to safeguard the independence of the judiciary from political tampering; it is said that, without this protection, legislators would be free to ‘penalise’ judges for rulings that are not to the former’s liking.

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