Clashes in the West Bank

Clashes in the West Bank

A Palestinian protester moves a burning tyre during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against Jewish settlements, in Jalazoun refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday (Reuters)

NEWS

Local News March 28, 2015

Officials say probe into Focus slush funds not ‘political’

Officials say probe into Focus slush funds not ‘political’

By Angelos Anastasiou

AMIDST political cries to expedite the conclusion of investigation into the matter of party funding by Focus Maritime Corporation, a company owned by shipping magnate Michalis Zolotas who has been reportedly linked to former Laiki Bank strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos, both Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides and Attorney-general Costas Clerides yesterday defended the work done by investigators.

The investigation relates to revelations by daily Politis, according to which the ruling DISY and communist AKEL – the two largest parties in…

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Local News Comment March 28, 2015

Our View: Crime continues with teachers on waiting lists

Our View: Crime continues with teachers on waiting lists

THE CRIME that has been perpetrated against state school students for the last four decades – the indiscriminate appointment of university graduates as teachers through the absurd waiting list system – will continue for another three years, according to Education minister Costas Kadis.

The ministry has prepared a raft of reform proposals for state education and include changes to the criminal appointment system that ensured even the lowest quality graduates would become state school teachers when their turn came,…

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Local News March 28, 2015

Cyprus among ‘top value’ Easter destinations

Cyprus among ‘top value’ Easter destinations

By Jean Christou

CYPRUS has been listed as one of the top five value destinations for Britons this Easter, according to a new survey by the UK Post Office.

The western Easter is on April 5, followed by the Orthodox Easter the following week.

In the Post Office survey, the island came in third behind the Algarve and the Costa del Sol, and was trailed by Tenerife and Orlando in Florida on the cost of a basket of holiday items…

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Local News March 28, 2015

Terms shortened for contract doctors

Terms shortened for contract doctors

By Evie Andreou

CONTRACT doctors have been told that their working term have been shortened and they need to contact the Health ministry by April 20 to renegotiate contracts, the head of the state doctors’ union PASYKI Maro Kontou said yesterday.

PASYKI met with Health minister Philipos Patsalis to discuss the doctors’ grievances, funds for overtime pay, the unfreezing of hospital administration posts and the status of term contractors under the proposed National Health Scheme (NHS).

“The over-time pay issue…

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Sport March 28, 2015

Here comes the Rumble!

Here comes the Rumble!

By Nikolaos Prakas

RUMBLE, a kickboxing championship, has been relaunched and is hosting a tournament in Cyprus that will be held on 22 May.

The fights will be broadcast live on Cytavision in Cyprus, Eurosport 1 and 2 in Europe, and will also be streamed live on Sky Room Live.

Ten international fighters from South Africa, the UK, Russia and other European countries will be featured in the tournament, as well as an undercard 12 local fighters. According to…

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Local News March 28, 2015

HIO tries to fend off NHS delay excuses

HIO tries to fend off NHS delay excuses

By Evie Andreou

IT IS not the software programme that is causing a delay in the implementation of the National Health Scheme (NHS) but the lack of a proper legal framework, the head of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) Thomas Antoniou said yesterday.

He was responding to claims made a day earlier by Health minister Philippos Patsalis that the NHS will not be implemented this year and in the best case scenario not before September 2016, because the vital software…

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Local News March 28, 2015

MPs start CY probe with questions on fleet and staff spending

MPs start CY probe with questions on fleet and staff spending

By Jean Christou

DEPUTIES investigating the demise of Cyprus Airways (CY) are demanding to know why the airline bought 14 aircraft between 1980 and 1990 and why staff numbers increased by a whopping 40 per cent in 1987, making labour costs the state-owned company’s single biggest overhead.

The discussion into the financial history of CY, which folded on January 9 this year when the European Commission ruled that the national carrier needed to return some €65m in illegal state aid,…

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Football Sport March 28, 2015

Kane scores on debut as England thrash Lithuania

Kane scores on debut as England thrash Lithuania

ENGLAND’S Harry Kane scored on his debut less than two minutes after coming on as they brushed Lithuania aside 4-0 at Wembley on Friday to maintain their grip at the top of the Euro 2016 qualifying Group E standings.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions this season, headed England’s fourth in the 73rd minute after replacing skipper Wayne Rooney as England won for the fifth successive match in the competition.

Lithuania have won two and lost three of their five matches.

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International News March 28, 2015

Italy’s top court acquits Amanda Knox of murder

Italy’s top court acquits Amanda Knox of murder

ITALY’S top court on Friday annulled the conviction of American Amanda Knox for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher and, in a surprise verdict, acquitted her of the charge.

The Court of Cassation threw out the second guilty verdict to have been passed on Knox, 27, and her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the lethal stabbing.

It had been widely expected that, even if the court overturned the previous convictions, it would order a retrial.

A Seattle-based representative for Knox said he was “overjoyed” after her acquittal, adding…

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Local News March 27, 2015

Biggest drugs bust hauls 100 kilos of cocaine (update)

Biggest drugs bust hauls 100 kilos of cocaine (update)

By Angelos Anastasiou

OVER 100 kilos of cocaine were found and seized by police in a car near Mouttayiaka, Limassol, police announced on Friday, in the single largest drug bust ever in Cyprus.

Acting on a tip, on Friday afternoon police drug squad (YKAN) members cut off a car, as well as a second vehicle following it, to carry out a search, which revealed two suitcases filled with cocaine, packed in round tubes.

Two Greek Cypriots from Larnaca, 34 and…

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Local News March 27, 2015

Overpaid contracts at Nicosia sewerage raise questions

Overpaid contracts at Nicosia sewerage raise questions

By Angelos Anastasiou

SEVERAL cases of additional payments in excess of the original contracts relating to the Nicosia and Larnaca sewerage boards are under the Audit Service’s microscope, Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said on Friday.

Asked to comment on his office’s investigations into the Nicosia sewerage board, he said that a number of letters containing observations and remarks have been forwarded to the board, asking for comments.

On receipt of the board’s comments, the Audit Service will formulate its final opinion,…

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International News March 27, 2015

Police seek two people unaccounted for after New York explosion

Police seek two people unaccounted for after New York explosion

By Ellen Wulfhorst

Two people remained unaccounted for on Friday in the wake of an apparent gas explosion that destroyed four New York City apartment buildings and injured 19 people, police said.

The blast shook Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood on Thursday afternoon, causing two buildings to collapse and burst into flames and two adjacent buildings to catch fire as well.

The blast appeared to have been gas-related, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Private gas and plumbing work was…

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Local News March 27, 2015

Romanian drugs mule gets 13 year sentence

Romanian drugs mule gets 13 year sentence

ROMANIAN Viorel Cosmin Maciuca, 28, was sentenced to 13.5 years in prison on Friday, in connection with the smuggling of four kilos of cocaine from Sao Paolo, Brazil last summer.

As argued in court, on August 7, 2014, following a tip by the drug squad, a customs officer at Larnaca airport stopped Maciuca to X-ray his luggage, identifying eight packages inside.

The officer removed the packages and found that they contained a white powder, later identified as cocaine, resulting in…

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International News March 27, 2015

Greece submits new list of reforms to unlock further aid

Greece submits new list of reforms to unlock further aid

By Renee Maltezou

Greece has sent its creditors a long-awaited list of reforms with a pledge to produce a small budget surplus this year in the hope that it will unlock badly needed cash, Greek government officials said on Friday.

The European Union and IMF lenders, informally called the Brussels Group, will start discussing the list later on Friday, a euro zone official said, although a Greek official said the examination would begin on Saturday. Their approval, followed by the…

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Local News March 27, 2015

Ex-BoC bosses’ trial to resume next week

Ex-BoC bosses’ trial to resume next week

By Angelos Anastasiou

THE trial of five former Bank of Cyprus senior officials, as well as the bank itself, over public statements misleading investors made in 2012 will resume on April 2 before deciding on the defence’s motion to dismiss or suspend the case, the Permanent Assize Court ruled on Friday.

During Friday’s session, defence attorneys argued in favour of a mistrial incumbent on the principle of double jeopardy, as all defendants were fined over €2m in June 2014 by…

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Local News March 27, 2015

AG grants extension to Kallis for probe completion

AG grants extension to Kallis for probe completion

Panayiotis Kallis, the special investigator looking into allegations that the deputy Attorney-general may have been bribed during a private lawsuit, was given extension until mid April to present the findings of his probe, the Attorney-general’s office said in an announcement on Friday.

“Taking into consideration the massive volume of material the investigator has collected so far, some pending statements … and the ample time it will take to prepare the report, the submission date has been extended to April 14,” the announcement…

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International News March 27, 2015

Russian Orthodox Church suspends priest who blessed Ukraine-bound fighters

Russian Orthodox Church suspends priest who blessed Ukraine-bound fighters

The Russian Orthodox Church has suspended a priest who publicly blessed a group of fighters heading to eastern Ukraine, encouraging them to battle government troops he called “fascist scum”.

Vladimir Zaytsev, from the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, was filmed on March 12 sending off some 50 camouflaged fighters, some wearing balaclavas and waving the flags of two pro-Russian regions that want to break away from Ukraine.

“Fight against the fascist scum if needed, and I think it will be necessary,”…

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International News March 27, 2015

Greek government denies finance minister Varoufakis to resign

Greek government denies finance minister Varoufakis to resign

By Deepa Babington

Greece’s outspoken Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is not planning to resign, two Greek government officials said on Friday, denying a report in Germany’s Bild newspaper.

“None of this is true, it’s far from reality,” one of the officials told Reuters.

Bild’s online version on Friday cited a Greek government source as saying it was only a matter of time before Varoufakis resigned, adding that such a decision had already been made.

A prominent figure in the Greek…

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Entertainment What's On March 28, 2015

Drink, be merry

Drink, be merry

By Maria Greogoriou

Every weekend is a great opportunity to get closer to a glass of wine, or a few, but this weekend things are a lot different as Nicosia is pulling out all the stops with the Nicosia Wine Weekend event.

Cyprus is on the map, as it were, for its wine, koumantaria being a brand we all know and love, so a weekend where wine makers from all over the island meet to introduce their wines to the…

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Cyprus News Digest Podcast

Long time Cyprus Mail contributor and former CyBC reporter Rosie Charalambous kicks off a series of weekly podcasts covering politics, current affairs and culture every Friday. NEW For the latest Cyprus News Digest episode click here

Archives

The Cyprus Mail archives are now online. Following a simple registration procedure, you will find all of our articles going back to October 1997, although some may appear in an older format. Archived articles from June 2013 to date can be found through search on the current website www.cyprus-mail.com. For the archives site, click here.