Holy Week World Record attempt

Holy Week World Record attempt

A general view of a huge carpet measuring 2,137 metres made out of sawdust that will be used during a procession in the Holy Week celebrations, in Guatemala City. Thousands of Guatemalan believers hope to set a new world record for the Guinness Book of World Records with the carpet, according to official reports (EPA)

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International News April 17, 2014

Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life

Scientists find Earth-sized world in orbit friendly to life

By Irene Klotz

For the first time, scientists have found an Earth-sized world orbiting in a life-friendly zone around a distant star.

The discovery, announced on Thursday, is the closest scientists have come so far to finding a true Earth twin. The star, known as Kepler-186 and located about 500 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, is smaller and redder than the sun.

The star’s outermost planet, designated Kepler-186f, receives about one-third the radiation from its parent star as Earth gets from the…

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International News April 17, 2014

Abu Hamza promoted jihad from London mosque

Abu Hamza promoted jihad from London mosque

By Joseph Ax

From his perch as a prominent imam at a north London mosque, Abu Hamza al-Masri sent devoted followers around the world – from Oregon to Afghanistan - to pursue violent jihad against non-believers, a federal prosecutor told jurors in New York on Thursday.

“His goal was clear, it was simple, and it was vicious,” Assistant US Attorney Edward Kim said in Manhattan federal court at the start of Abu Hamza’s trial on terrorism-related charges. “Abu Hamza was not just a preacher of religion, he was a trainer of terrorists.”

Prosecutors accuse the…

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Main April 17, 2014

Iran cuts sensitive nuclear stockpile

Iran cuts sensitive nuclear stockpile

By Fredrik Dahl

Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75 per cent in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfill the six-month deal has been delayed, a UN report showed on Thursday.

The monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency , which has a pivotal role in verifying that Iran is living up to its part of the accord, made clear that Iran so far is undertaking the agreed steps…

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International News April 17, 2014

Students give Easter twist to dwindling Venezuela protests

Students give Easter twist to dwindling Venezuela protests

By Andrew Cawthorne

Venezuelan students are marching barefoot, building crucifixes and planning to burn effigies of President Nicolas Maduro to try and breathe new life into their protest movement over Easter.

The religious-themed demonstrations are the latest tactics in anti-government protests since early February that have convulsed the South American OPEC nation and led to 41 deaths.

But enthusiasm among opposition supporters for the street protests appears to be waning, with numbers dropping from previous months and Maduro’s position seemingly safe despite…

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International News April 17, 2014

Four-way talks call for end to Ukraine violence

Four-way talks call for end to Ukraine violence

By Arshad Mohammed and Alexei Anishchuk

The United States, Russia, Ukraine and European Union together called on Thursday for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine, where Western powers believe Russia is fomenting a pro-Russian separatist movement.

Washington immediately warned Moscow that it would face further sanctions if it did not carry out the agreement, reached in four-party crisis talks in Geneva.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in Moscow, accused Ukraine’s leaders of committing a “grave crime” by using the army to try to quell unrest in the east of the country, and did not rule out sending…

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Local News Business April 17, 2014

Cyprus to initiate saving bond programme for retail investors (updated)

Cyprus to initiate saving bond programme for retail investors (updated)

By Elias Hazou 

THE government will initiate a savings bond programme for retail investors every month starting in June, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

The six-year bonds will bear a 5.75 per cent coupon until maturity but can be redeemable with a lower interest rate starting at 2.75 per cent two years after acquisition. The minimum subscription for the issue is €1,000, the finance ministry said.

The bonds will be available only to natural persons (not legal entities), both…

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Local News April 17, 2014

Two sides ‘brought closer through gambling’

Two sides ‘brought closer through gambling’

By Stefanos Evripidou

Resourceful entrepreneurs in the mixed village of Pyla have found a way to unite Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots using as a common denominator… gambling.

According to a front page article in Thursday’s Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika, a bicommunal casino has been set up in Pyla, operated jointly by Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

The paper writes that while a United Cyprus has yet to be established, the Cypriots in Pyla have created the first ‘united casino’, attracting…

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Local News Business April 17, 2014

Efforts to attract foreign investment will pay off, says president

Efforts to attract foreign investment will pay off, says president

By Constantinos Psillides

Cyprus’ efforts to attract foreign investors will bear fruit, said President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday, on his return from an official visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The president said the United Arab Emirates was especially interested in investing in Cyprus, adding that the Gulf states always had good ties with the island.

He mentioned the fact that the UAE would be opening a diplomatic mission in Cyprus for the first time and also that the Emir…

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International News April 17, 2014

Runaway spy Snowden is surprise guest on Putin phone-in (Updated)

Runaway spy Snowden is surprise guest on Putin phone-in (Updated)

By Steve Gutterman

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former US spy agency contractor who leaked details of US intelligence eavesdropping, made a surprise appearance on TV phone-in hosted by Vladimir Putin on Thursday, asking the Russian president if his country also tapped the communications of millions.

The exchange was the first known direct contact between Putin and Snowden since Russia gave the American refuge last summer after he disclosed widespread monitoring of telephone and internet data by the United States and fled the country.

Snowden was not in the studio with…

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Local News April 17, 2014

Spectator ban at Tsirion partially lifted (updated: adds new ETEK comments)

Spectator ban at Tsirion partially lifted (updated: adds new ETEK comments)

By George Psyllides 

THE Cyprus Football Association (CFA) has partially lifted a spectator ban from games held at Limassol’s Tsirion stadium after receiving assurances from experts that its stands were structurally sound.

The CFA said it has received a letter from the stadium’s engineer saying it was structurally sound and that the problems that appeared in the east stand were of secondary importance and were being tackled by the authorities.

The association said it has decided to allow spectators on…

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International News April 17, 2014

Fate of Nigeria kidnap girls unclear

Fate of Nigeria kidnap girls unclear

Pascal Fletcher

Authorities in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state denied on Thursday a statement by the armed forces which had said most of the more than 100 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist rebels had been freed in a military rescue operation.

“As I am talking to you now, only 14 of the students have returned,” an aide to Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima told Reuters, asking not to be named.

The assertion directly contradicted a statement issued late on Wednesday by national armed forces spokesman…

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International News April 17, 2014

India votes on biggest polling day

India votes on biggest polling day

By Ashutosh Pandey and Swetha Gopinath

Narendra Modi, the prime-ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been wooing voters with promises to rescue India from its slowest economic growth in a decade and create jobs for its booming young population.

In the latest large opinion poll, the BJP and its allies were forecast to win a narrow majority in the 543-seat lower house of parliament, compared to previous surveys predicting that they would fall short.

Yet a decision by the Election…

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International News April 17, 2014

Weather blights S Korea ferry search

Weather blights S Korea ferry search

By Narae Kim

Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds of people, most of them teenagers from the same school, still missing after a South Korean ferry capsized 36 hours ago.

Coastguard, navy and private divers scoured the site of the accident, about 20 km off the country’s southwestern coast.

Earlier, rescue teams hammered on the hull of the upturned, mostly submerged vessel, hoping for a response from anyone trapped inside, but they heard…

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Entertainment April 17, 2014

Film review: Her ****

Film review: Her ****

By Preston Wilder

Play a melancholy song, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) tells his computer. We’re in the future – albeit the near future – so he doesn’t have to click any links or push any buttons; he just stands there talking in a crowded lift, and voice recognition software carries out his commands. No-one around him bats an eye; they’re all busy talking to their own computers. Play a melancholy song, he instructs – and Her is also a…

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Life & Style April 17, 2014

A minute with Despina Ioannou Axiotakis Executive Director of the Cyprus US Chamber of Commerce and General Secretary of the Cyprus Federation of America

A minute with  Despina Ioannou Axiotakis Executive Director of the Cyprus US Chamber of Commerce and General Secretary of the Cyprus Federation of America

Where do you live?
In New Jersey with my son (I am a widow)

Best childhood memory?
August 1956, coming to America on the boat Saturnia and arriving in New York City early in the morning and seeing the Statue of Liberty with the sun shining just above it. I will never forget it.

Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish?
I do not frequent many restaurants but when I do… Trattoria La Sorrentina for Polipo Al…

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Local News Business April 17, 2014

Publishing money transfer list will hurt Cyprus, banks say

Publishing money transfer list will hurt Cyprus, banks say

Publishing the names of individuals and companies who transferred money abroad in the run up to a deposit seizure violates their constitutional right to privacy and would also hurt the island’s credibility as a financial centre, banks said on Thursday, a day after parliament decided to o publish some 11,000 names as part of their probe into the collapse of the economy.

The bank association said the confidential information had been provided to the House Ethics Committee as part of…

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Local News Business April 17, 2014

House Ethics to release list of money movers

House Ethics to release list of money movers

By George Psyllides

As part of a probe into the collapse of the island’s economy, the House Ethics Committee decided yesterday to publish all the names of individuals and companies that either took money out of Cyprus in the run up to a deposit seizure last March or received favourable treatment when borrowing from banks.

Main opposition party AKEL suggested having a separate entry about politically exposed persons (PEPs) and other cases — like that of a businessman who was…

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Local News Comment April 17, 2014

Our View: Voter apathy looms for European Parliament elections

Our View: Voter apathy looms for European Parliament elections

THE CAMPAIGN for the European parliamentary elections officially begins today, even though the parties in Cyprus have already begun angling for votes, presenting their candidates and their election promises. Admittedly, there is nothing of substance for the parties to promise the voters as there are just six Cyprus MEPs in a 766-member parliament.

They are unlikely to make the slightest difference in the European Parliament and, understandably, nobody expects big things from them. Cypriot MEPs who have served in the…

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Local News Comment April 17, 2014

Galatariotis Group has made genuine efforts within a hostile macro environment to fulfil its obligations

Galatariotis Group has made genuine efforts within a hostile macro environment to fulfil its obligations

By Tasos Anastasiou

The article by Hermes Solomon published in your newspaper on 13/4/2014 under the title “Murder most foul of the Cyprus Economy” has been a great disappointment to us.

Firstly, an exception to the rule, (as per the author “Galatariotis’ financial woes might seem insignificant by comparison to many other “leading business establishments “…..”) is used as the only example to make a point with regard to the cause of problems of the Cyprus Economy. We genuinely fail…

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Local News Comment April 17, 2014

More hands-on approach needed for historical and cultural tourism

More hands-on approach needed for historical and cultural tourism

By Demetrios Tsouris

Regarding the article on the environment by Antonis Loizou, (March 30.) linked together with a further article “Why is Cyprus Tourism Failing”, (March 2.) by Dr Leontiades, may I offer suggestions for the possible invigoration of the Cyprus tourism industry, which has a huge potential to benefit the economy.

However in the last decade, and not just because of the recent financial crisis, I fear the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), has lost its way, its drive and…

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The Week in Pictures , April 7th – April 11th

A holiday reminder on departure
Elections in Afghanistan
Philpa Spring Rally
Royals visit New Zealand
Let's go clean
Annunciation holiday in Moscow
Taxi drivers protest
Missing Imperial Faberge eggs in London
EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule with President Anastasiades
Divers scan the water for debris of the missing Flight MH370
Hungarian ‘Popeye’ world record breaking attempt
The new Nicosia bi-communal waste-water treatment plant at Mia Milia
The biggest photovoltaic park in Cyprus
Thai elephant battle water with tourists to celebrate Songkran festival
Cabinet goes tech
Ivory destruction in Belgium
Third phase of the Indian general elections
Thunderstorms in Nicosia
Children collect signatures for the Arctic
Paul Exhibition in Basel
Robot Open in Tehran
Earthquake in Nicaragua
Stocktaking at animal park Hagenbeck
Protests against German Chancellor Merkel visit to Greece

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