Rana Plaza building collapse anniversary marked in Belgium

Rana Plaza building collapse anniversary marked in Belgium

Human rights activists stage a protest mimicking a fashion show on the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, on one of the main shopping streets in Brussels, Belgium, April 24, 2014. Protesters demanded compensation for family members on the one-year anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza near the Bangladeshi capital that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers. EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

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International News April 24, 2014

Israel suspends peace talks after Palestinian unity bid

Israel suspends peace talks after Palestinian unity bid

By Jeffrey Heller

Israel on Thursday suspended US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians in response to President Mahmoud Abbas’s unexpected unity pact with the rival Islamist Hamas group.

The negotiations had appeared to be heading nowhere even before Wednesday’s reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian groups plunged them deeper into crisis. The United States had been struggling to extend the talks beyond an original April 29 deadline for a peace accord.

“The government of Israel will not hold negotiations with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas, a terror…

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International News April 24, 2014

Historic canonisation of two Popes brings joy and controversy

Historic canonisation of two Popes brings joy and controversy

By Philip Pullella

Two giants of Roman Catholicism in the 20th century will become saints on Sunday at an unprecedented twin canonisation that has aroused both joy and controversy in the 1.2 billion member Church.

Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963 and called the modernising Second Vatican Council, and Pope John Paul II, who reigned for nearly 27 years before his death in 2005 and whose trips around the world made him the most visible pope in history, will be declared saints by Pope Francis.

While…

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Local News April 24, 2014

Justice minister brushes off calls for his resignation

Justice minister brushes off calls for his resignation

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou on Thursday brushed off calls for his resignation over football-related clashes, describing them as hypocritical attacks that served different expediencies each time.

The minister censured the police handling of the situation before a match on Tuesday night but also slammed the clubs and football authorities.

“My role and responsibility is the supervision, among other departments, of the police,” he told reporters. “It is not my role to plan or carry out police operations.”

His statements, the…

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Be optimistic about Brazil, says Blatter amid growing concerns

Be optimistic about Brazil, says Blatter amid growing concerns

By Stefanie McIntyre

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has encouraged fans to be optimistic that the World Cup in Brazil will be a success, amid growing concerns over security and public unrest as workers scramble to finish stadiums on time.

The Swiss said similar public scepticism had accompanied preparations for previous World Cups and yet the tournaments had proved to be successes, despite not all the work being finished.

“It is my 10th World Cup… and I can tell you I…

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International News April 24, 2014

Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Putin warns of consequences

Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Putin warns of consequences

By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alexei Anishchuk

Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of “consequences” if Kiev used the army against its own people.

Interior Ministry forces backed by the army removed three checkpoints manned by armed groups in the separatist-controlled town of Slaviansk, the ministry said in a statement.

“During the armed clash up to five terrorists were eliminated,” it said, adding that one person had been wounded on the side of…

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Local News Business April 24, 2014

BoC to discuss creation of development bank

BoC to discuss creation of development bank

The Bank of Cyprus (BoC) board of directors will discuss setting up a separate entity to handle non performing loans, it emerged on Thursday.

The matter will be discussed on Thursday afternoon and Friday, BoC chairman Christis Hassapis said after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades.

“We are possibly talking about a development bank and not a bad bank,” he said. “The term bad bank is a bad term.”

Recent media reports suggested there was disagreement among board members over…

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International News April 24, 2014

Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies

Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies

By Mark Felsenthal and Linda Sieg

US President Barack Obama assured ally Japan on Thursday that Washington was committed to its defence, including of tiny isles at the heart of a row with China, but denied he had drawn any new “red line” and urged peaceful dialogue over the islands.

His comments drew a swift response from China, which said the disputed islets were Chinese territory.

Obama also urged Japan to take “bold steps” to clinch a two-way trade pact seen as crucial to a broad regional agreement that is a central part…

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International News April 24, 2014

Ecclestone trial begins in Germany

Ecclestone trial begins in Germany

 

By Keith Weir

Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said he remained confident as he went on trial on Thursday for bribery in Germany in a case that could end the Briton’s decades-long dominance of the motor sport.

Prosecutors in Munich have charged Ecclestone, 83, with bribing jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to smooth the sale eight years ago of a stake in Formula One to private equity firm CVC. They say that Ecclestone favoured CVC because it was committed to keeping him on as chief executive.

“I’m confident, the sun is shining,” a dark-suited Ecclestone told camera crews…

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International News April 24, 2014

Obama poised for new sanctions on Russia if no progress on Ukraine

Obama poised for new sanctions on Russia if no progress on Ukraine

By Mark Felsenthal and Alissa de Carbonnel

US President Barack Obama said on Thursday he was poised to impose new sanctions on Moscow if it does not act fast to end an armed stand-off in Ukraine, but there was a first, tentative sign that pro-Russian separatists were ceding ground.

Moscow also flexed its economic muscles in its worst stand-off with the West since the Cold War, with the government suggesting foreign firms which pull out of the country may not be able to get back in, and a…

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Local News April 24, 2014

‘Dangerous’ armed ex convict sought by police

‘Dangerous’ armed ex convict sought by police

A 63-year old former convict is being sought by the police after escaping from them during a search of his house.

Police say that Andreas Onoufriou, from Limassol, is considered dangerous.
Police were called to his house at 6.30 on Thursday morning and told he had a gun, but while they were there the former convict ran off, firing his gun into the air. Shortly afterwards he was seen with his gun in the Naafi area of Limassol.

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Local News April 24, 2014

Mourning parents tell of ‘lies and cover-ups’ in son’s death

Mourning parents tell of ‘lies and cover-ups’ in son’s death

By Alexia Evripidou

AFTER nine years of waiting for truthful answers, two mourning parents protested outside the Presidential Palace on Wednesday anticipating yet another inconclusive report on the death of their 26 year old son, whilst demanding an end to lies and cover ups.

Dressed in black, Andriana and Charalambos Nicolaou waited in the sun all day for the Cabinet to give a viable explanation into the death of their son, Athanasios, who was serving in the National Guard in…

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Local News Comment April 24, 2014

Our View: Annan plan: ‘missed’ or ‘last’ opportunity for solution?

Our View: Annan plan: ‘missed’ or ‘last’ opportunity for solution?

TEN YEARS ago today, 76 per cent of Greek Cypriots, heeded the call of their president and voted against the Annan plan that would have re-united the country, ensured the return of many villages and towns to the Greek Cypriot community and paved the way for the withdrawal of Turkish troops. This was the only plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem ever drafted, but it did not meet the expectations of the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots…

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Local News April 24, 2014

Eroglu rapped for misleading UN

Eroglu rapped for misleading UN

By Jean Christou 

TURKISH Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu came under fire from the Greek Cypriot side on Wednesday for what the government called his attempts to misrepresent the state of the talks to the UN.

After meeting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Monday night, Eroglu said the Turkish Cypriot side expected the conclusion of the current negotiations with a settlement by the end of this year.

Eroglu claimed that the resumption of the negotiations on February 11…

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Local News Business April 24, 2014

CY privatisation is one-way street, says chairman

CY privatisation is one-way street, says chairman

By Constantinos Psillides

THE privatisation of Cyprus Airways is inevitable, board chairman Tony Antoniou said on Wednesday while revealing a favourable public opinion poll, explaining that the national carrier cannot compete without investors coming in.

“Long-term growth without investors is simply not feasible. We are a company, not a government organisation and thus our goal is to maximise profit,” Antoniou said, adding that the airline cannot meet all of Cyprus’s travelling needs. “Our fleet has shrunk to six aeroplanes due…

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Local News Business April 24, 2014

Better rules to avoid waste of public funds

Better rules to avoid waste of public funds

By George Psyllides

THE cabinet approved on Wednesday stricter rules for expropriations in a bid to avoid being dragged to court over delays in paying its dues and embarrassments such as bailiffs seizing state officials’ vehicles.

The interior ministry said any expropriation worth over €200,000 would need the cabinet’s approval before the procedure could start.

The aim is to prevent phenomena where the state is dragged to court and ordered to pay hefty compensation for expropriated land that was not…

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Local News April 24, 2014

No response yet on IPC land-swap deal

No response yet on IPC land-swap deal

By Jean Christou

THERE was little response on Wednesday to the move by the administration in the north that would allow Turkish Cypriots to register with the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) for land swaps with Greek Cypriots.

The proposal was approved on Tuesday by the ‘cabinet’ in the north and is expected to go to ‘parliament’; shortly, Turkish Cypriot press reported.

It envisages that Turkish Cypriots will be able to exchange their property in the government-controlled areas with a Greek…

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Local News Business April 24, 2014

Deutsche Bank team to explore LNG terminal funding

Deutsche Bank team to explore LNG terminal funding

By Staff Reporter

A HIGH-LEVEL delegation from the German giant Deutsche Bank is due in Cyprus on Thursday to discuss financing prospects for a natural gas (LNG) liquefaction terminal.
The delegation will meet Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis.

Sources told the Cyprus News Agency that both the Deutsche Bank delegation as well as the visit by European Investment Bank (EIB) officials next month are related to the government`s efforts to involve European investors in the development of the island’s natural…

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Local News April 24, 2014

Lower prices for Cypriot tourists

Lower prices for Cypriot tourists

By Evie Andreou

TRAVEL agents are offering reduced holiday packages to travelling Cypriots this summer, the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) said on Wednesday.

At a press conference to announce the opening of the 17th annual travel exhibition, Taxidi 2014 on Friday, ACTA’s president Victor Mantovani said there had been a 10% increase on outgoing travels in the first three months of this year and that more Cypriots travelled abroad during Easter than they had in 2013.

He urged…

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Local News April 24, 2014

Italians eye 12 municipalities, not less

Italians eye 12 municipalities, not less

By Constantinos Psillides

THE number of municipalities should be reduced to 12 from the current 39, according to a new report by Italian consultants commissioned by the Union of Cyprus Municipalities (UCM), adding that the present model of operation is no longer viable.

The new report counters a similar study by the British National School of Government International (NSGI) on behalf of the state that concluded the number of municipalities should be cut down to five.

At present, local administration…

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Local News April 24, 2014

Announcements for EP election candidates on Friday

Announcements for EP election candidates on Friday

THE government is speeding up preparations for the European Parliament elections set to take place on May 25, with the Chief Returning Officer publishing on Friday  all the information and announcements relating to the election’s candidacies, which must be submitted on May 2.

Chief Returning Officer Demetris Demetriou said that the announcements will be published in five Greek Cypriot daily newspapers, in the Cyprus Mail and in four Turkish Cypriot newspapers. All the documents for the elections will be available…

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

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit New Zealand
Running Easter bunny
Solar Impulse in Switzerland
Visakhi festival in Amritsar
Rabbit Steeple Chase Race
Burning bread in Brooklyn
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un marks Kim Il-sung birth anniversary
Hillsborough Memorial service
President Anastasiades in Abu Dhabi
Total Lunar Eclipse
Catholic procession past unction stone in Chuirch of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during Holy Week
Decorated Easter egg in Prague
Easter chocolates
Processions on Holy Wednesday in Granada
US Coast Guard drug seizure
Duck reflection
Singapore underwater 'Easter Bunny'
Holy Week World Record attempt
Re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday

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