LATEST NEWS:
*KEY CHALLENGE FACING CYPRUS IS LARGE PERCENTAGE OF NON-PERFORMING LOANS – EU COMMISSION SOURCES
*RUSSIA’S INTERSTATE AVIATION COMMITTEE SAYS IT SEES ”SLIGHT MECHANICAL DAMAGE” TO MALAYSIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT RECORDERS BUT THIS WILL NOT AFFECT DATA
*JORDANIAN AIR FORCE SHOOTS DOWN UNIDENTIFIED DRONE NEAR JORDAN’S NORTHEASTERN BORDER WITH SYRIA
*U.N.’S BAN SAYS ”SHOCKED AND APPALLED” BY SHELLING OF U.N. SCHOOL IN GAZA, CALLS INCIDENT ”TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE”
*CANADA SAYS RUSSIAN SANCTIONS WOULD RESTRICT ISSUANCE OF NEW FINANCING FOR DESIGNATED ENERGY AND FINANCIAL FIRMS

Floating umbrellas

Floating umbrellas

Seven hundred brightly coloured umbrellas decorate the Grunwaldzka Street walkway in Polczyn Zdroj, northern Poland on Friday on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the promenade (EPA)

NEWS

Local News July 25, 2014

Deadline extended for GMI applications

Deadline extended for GMI applications

The deadline for the submission of applications by welfare recipients for the government’s Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) scheme has been extended to September 1, the Labour ministry announced on Friday.

In a written statement, the ministry has announced that welfare recipients were previously allowed to apply until August 11.

The extension was granted in order to address difficulties faced by welfare recipients in filling out applications.

After applications have been approved, the statement said, welfare payments will resume.

Meanwhile, the…

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Sport July 25, 2014

Wales hurdler Williams ‘devastated’ by doping charge

Wales hurdler Williams ‘devastated’ by doping charge

By Josh Reich

Welsh 400m hurdler Rhys Williams is out of the Commonwealth Games after being charged with an anti-doping violation, UK Anti-Doping said on Friday.

Williams, 30, who won gold at the 2012 European Championships and bronze at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010, and was co-captain of the Wales squad In Glasgow, said he was “utterly devastated” at the news.

“UK Anti-Doping can confirm the provisional suspension of athlete Rhys Williams after being charged with committing an anti-doping…

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Local News July 25, 2014

Number of cultural projects in the works

Number of cultural projects in the works

By Constantinos Psillides

A NUMBER of projects ‘of great cultural significance’ are currently underway, said Culture and Education Minister Kostas Kadis on Friday, chief of which was turning the old Nicosia Municipal Theatre into a cultural centre.

Kadis told reporters that the his ministry would soon start work on the theatre, restore buildings near the Famagusta Gate to house the National Gallery – expected to finish in 2016- and has also ordered a feasibility study for the Cyprus Archaeological Museum,…

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Sport July 25, 2014

We can help Wiggins on track and road, says Brailsford

We can help Wiggins on track and road, says Brailsford

By Tony Goodson

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins can stay with Team Sky and realise his 2016 Olympic ambitions on the track despite saying he is done with road racing, team principal Dave Brailsford said on Friday.

“That’s what we are discussing at the moment, to try to see if we can find this ideal scenario for Rio.

“It’s doable, that’s for sure,” Brailsford told the BBC.

Wiggins signed for Team Sky in 2010 but has yet to…

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Sport July 25, 2014

Hamilton fastest in hot Hungarian practice

Hamilton fastest in hot Hungarian practice

By Alan Baldwin

Lewis Hamilton started his Hungarian Grand Prix weekend as he intended to continue, leading both of Friday’s free practice sessions with championship-leading Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg behind.

The winner of the last two Hungarian Grands Prix lapped the Hungaroring circuit outside Budapest with a best time of one minute 25.814 seconds in the morning and 1:24.482 in the afternoon.

Rosberg was second fastest in both, 0.183 and 0.238 slower than the 2008 champion in the sessions…

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Local News Business July 25, 2014

Former CBC boss withheld recapitalisation report from new government

Former CBC boss withheld recapitalisation report from new government

By George Psyllides

Former Central Bank governor Panicos Demetriades withheld a report suggesting the island’s banks needed less money to recapitalise because the issue was too technical for top officials to understand, the New York Times reported on Friday.

According to the paper, a study carried out by investment managers BlackRock had found that the lenders’ needs were €1 billion less than what bond giant Pimco’s estimate of €8.8 billion.

It was this estimate that eventually led international lenders to…

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Local News July 25, 2014

‘Reforms to justice system are proceeding’

‘Reforms to justice system are proceeding’

By Stefanos Evripidou

THE QUALITY and speed of justice are hugely important factors in the smooth functioning of the country, while acute delays in administering justice could jeopardise the entire system, said members of the Supreme Court on Friday.

The comments were made during a swearing-in ceremony of the new President and new member of the Supreme Court at the Presidential Palace.

With the retirement of DemetrisHadjijambis, President Nicos Anastasiades appointed Myronas Nicolatos to replace him as Supreme Court President…

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Local News Business July 25, 2014

Lenders conclude Cyprus mission, highlight bad loans

Lenders conclude Cyprus mission, highlight bad loans

International lenders concluded a fifth review of Cyprus’s economy on Friday, saying the island was making “relatively good progress” after a bailout last year but that key challenges lay ahead.

Representatives of the lenders, comprising the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, said the island’s fiscal performance was on track and that the banking sector had started to stabilise.

But it said non-performing loans exceeding 50 per cent of banks’ domestic bank loan books needed…

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Local News Business July 25, 2014

CBC extends suspension of FBME operations (updated)

CBC extends suspension of FBME operations (updated)

The Central Bank (CBC) has extended the suspension of the operations of Tanzania-based FBME Bank, placed under administration last week after being deemed a “primary money laundering concern” by the US Treasury.

The CBC announced on Friday that it was extending the suspension for another two working days – Friday and Monday.

“The FBME branch in Cyprus will not execute any customer orders for money transfers and payments during this period,” the CBC said in a statement.

Last Friday, the…

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Sport July 25, 2014

Cyprus wins silver in judo

Cyprus wins silver in judo

By Andreas Vou

Andreas Krassas earned Cyprus a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games following his impressive run in the under-66kgs judo class.

The 23-year-old eventually lost out in the final against Englishman Colin Oates, who put in a dominant display to beat a defiant Krassas. The 31-year-old currently ranked seventh in the world proved too tough a competitor for the Cypriot, ending the bout with a quick throw and armlock combination to which Krassas submitted.

Few had given any…

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International News July 25, 2014

Australia seeks to stop animal rights groups with tough video laws

Australia seeks to stop animal rights groups with tough video laws

Australia is considering tougher laws to stop animal rights activists secretly filming on farms and abattoirs and airing the vision in an effort to protect a multi-million dollar livestock trade, a move rights groups say will hide abuse.

South Australia state is furthest along with a draft law before parliament that would impose heavy fines and a three-year jail term for secretly recording animal cruelty images.

Seven U.S. states have introduced “Ag Gag” laws to make it illegal to take…

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International News July 25, 2014

Crunch time for Gaza truce talks as death toll passes 800

Crunch time for Gaza truce talks as death toll passes 800

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed regional proxies to nail down a Gaza ceasefire on Friday as the civilian death toll soared, threatening to spread Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed to the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

With Israel and Islamist Hamas setting seemingly irreconcilable terms for a truce that mediators hope will begin by a major Muslim festival next week, Kerry worked the phones from Egypt while aides made clear his patience was limited.

The…

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International News July 25, 2014

Wreckage of Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people found in Mali

Wreckage of Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people found in Mali

By Hamid Ould Ahmed and Tiemoko Diallo

Authorities said on Thursday they located the wreckage of an Air Algerie flight after it crashed in northern Mali carrying 116 passengers and crew, nearly half of them French, en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria.

Regional aviation officials said they had lost contact with flight AH5017 at around 0155 GMT on Thursday, less than an hour after takeoff, following a request by the pilot to change course due to bad weather.

Two…

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Local News July 25, 2014

Talks in deep freeze for summer

Talks in deep freeze for summer

By Stefanos Evripidou

THE PEACE talks yesterday broke for the summer with the two sides failing to agree on almost anything.

According to sources, the two sides were unable to reach agreement on the convergences achieved so far, on the methodology to be followed in the next phase of the talks and on a single, big or small, confidence-building measure (CBM).

During a “difficult” four-hour meeting at the UN-controlled Nicosia airport, at some point the two leaders…

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Local News Comment July 25, 2014

Our View: The state has every right to impose punishments on football clubs

Our View: The state has every right to impose punishments on football clubs

EVEN FIFA, the world governing body of football, expressed an opinion about the government’s anti-hooligan bill that was approved by the legislature at an extraordinary session of the plenum on Wednesday. The FIFA general secretary sent a letter to the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) a week ago asking it to inform the House legal affairs committee that according to FIFA’s statutes its “members must manage their affairs independently and without influence from third parties.”

This was a direct response to…

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Local News Business July 25, 2014

No headway on foreclosures bill

No headway on foreclosures bill

By Angelos Anastasiou

DISCUSSIONS last night between the Cypriot authorities and the Troika, mainly on the thorny issue of foreclosures legislation were set to continue this morning following a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace.

The new meeting was scheduled for 8am at the finance ministry.

Talks between the Troika’s Cyprus mission and the Cyprus government to finalise the fifth update of the country’s economic adjustment programme entered the final stretch yesterday but the pending foreclosures…

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Local News July 25, 2014

CMP issues plea for more aid

CMP issues plea for more aid

By Stefanos Evripidou

INTERNATIONAL member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) Paul Henri Arni yesterday said work had to be accelerated to find the missing persons while their relatives are still alive otherwise the endeavour “makes no sense”.

He appealed to the EU, the two communities in Cyprus and other donors to help the CMP accelerate its work.

Speaking after the first joint visit of the two leaders to the CMP lab in the UN buffer zone,…

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Local News July 25, 2014

Quackery ‘getting out of control’

Quackery ‘getting out of control’

By Stefanos Evripidou

THE ECONOMIC crisis has seen an increase in quackery that is getting out of control, warned a Cyprus Medical Association (CMA) official yesterday.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, chairman of the CMA’s Ethics Committee Dr Vasos Economou said charlatan ‘doctors’ are finding fertile ground in Cyprus due to the economic crisis, particularly in the area of traditional medicine.

The so-called quacks charge anywhere between €100 and €1,000 a visit, said Economou.

“Due…

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Local News Business July 25, 2014

CTO wades into airport charges wrangle

CTO wades into airport charges wrangle

By Constantinos Psillides

A PROPOSAL by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) boss to look at lowering airport landing fees was met with a terse response yesterday from Hermes Airports, which said there were many reasons airlines and tour operators did not choose Cyprus.

CTO Director General Marios Hannides told reporters earlier in the day he would put together a proposal aimed at lowering airport taxes.

“CTO is formulating a plan which will be discussed once ready with Hermes and the…

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Local News Business July 25, 2014

Shacolas plans €60m expansion in stores and malls

Shacolas plans €60m expansion in stores and malls

THE Shacolas Group said it was planning to invest some €60 million in new and existing projects in the next two years or so.

The group said by proceeding with these investments and developments, it was “expressing its full confidence in the Cyprus economy, helping to create hundreds of new jobs.”

The group said it will be spending over €25 million to expand the first floor of The Mall of Cyprus in Nicosia, to make more space for shops, restaurants…

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