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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Local News April 24, 2014

Civil group pulls out of DISY finance monitoring

Civil group pulls out of DISY finance monitoring

By Constantinos Psillides

TRANSPARENCY Now, a coalition of civil organisations, has withdrawn its monitoring of the Democratic Rally (DISY) election fundraising campaign, saying that the ruling party has lied over the publication of its financial statements.

The coalition said in an announcement that DISY was supposed to post financial statements along a donor list on the party website, but has failed to do so.

Transparency Now, that advocates a complete overhaul of party funding policy and full transparency, also accuses…

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Local News April 24, 2014

MEP calls for vigilance to recognise genocide of Armenians

MEP calls for vigilance to recognise genocide of Armenians

MEP Eleni Theocharous has called for vigilance in efforts by world nations and by Turkey itself to recognise the genocide of Armenians nearly a century ago, adding that statements of condolences by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are nothing less than a farce.

Theocharous, a former surgeon with the Doctors of the World who has travelled to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict zone on several occasions, and chairs the Armenian friendship group in the European Parliament, was the keynote speaker at the…

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International News April 24, 2014

Thousands mob India’s Modi as election race starts in sacred city

Thousands mob India’s Modi as election race starts in sacred city

By Frank Jack Daniel

India is halfway through the world’s largest-ever election, in which 815 million people are eligible to vote over 10 stages. Modi will stand for the parliamentary seat of the Ganges river city of Varanasi on May 12, four days before results are due.

One of the world’s oldest inhabited cities and a centre for Hindus who come to wash away their sins in the sacred river, Varanasi should give Modi an easy win.

But with a sizeable Muslim community and multiple…

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International News April 24, 2014

More teams withdraw, Nepal’s Everest season in jeopardy

More teams withdraw, Nepal’s Everest season in jeopardy

By Gopal Sharma

Several foreign climbing expeditions have called off attempts to scale Everest following an avalanche that killed at least 13 local guides, meaning Nepal faces an entire season without a single ascent of the mountain for the first time in decades.

The toll from last Friday’s accident was the highest in a single day in Everest history, and many Sherpas who are angry over their treatment at the hands of foreign mountaineers and the government have refused to guide visitors up the climb.

Three Sherpas…

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International News April 24, 2014

Three Americans killed in Kabul hospital attack

Three Americans killed in Kabul hospital attack

By Jeremy Laurence and Hamid Shalizi

Three Americans were killed on Thursday when a security guard opened fire at a Kabul hospital funded by a US Christian charity, the latest in a spate of attacks on foreign civilians in Afghanistan.

Attacks on security forces, Afghan civilians and Westerners have been on the rise since the beginning of the year as Western forces prepare to leave the country and Afghans choose a new president.

“We can confirm three Americans were killed,” said a US Embassy…

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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, Russia starts drill near border (Updated)

Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Russia starts drill near border (Updated)

By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alexei Anishchuk

Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists’ military stronghold in the east, and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade.

The Ukrainian offensive amounts to the first time Kiev’s troops have used lethal force to recapture territory from the fighters, who have seized swathes of eastern Ukraine since April 6 and proclaimed an independent “People’s Republic of Donetsk”.

Ukraine’s acting president accused Moscow of supporting “terrorism at the…

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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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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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