Stylianides observes mock terror exercise

Stylianides observes mock terror exercise

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon (L), EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos (2-L) and EU Coordinator for Ebola Christos Stylianides (3-L) joke with a man playing injured during an anti-terrorism and chemical attack simulation exercise in Ranst, Belgium on Thursday. 'Arete 2014' is an anti terrorism exercise and one of the largest of its kind with 350 experts from Belgium, Austria, France, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. It is organised by the European Commission to test whether the security services are ready to face a complex situation at the local, regional, national and European level (EPA)

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Local News November 19, 2014

Childrens Rights Commissioner blames state for arrest of 17-year-old murder suspect

Childrens Rights Commissioner blames state for arrest of 17-year-old murder suspect

By Constantinos Psillides

Childrens Rights Commissioner Leda Koursoumba has blasted authorities over the case of the 17-year-old who was varrested on Sunday for murder, saying that everyone involved turned a blind eye and ignored her warnings.

“The state is solely to blame for this. This is a failure of the system and of the people running it. It’s their fault that a young man is dead, it is their fault that a girl is currently hospitalised and that a 17-year-old…

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Local News Comment November 19, 2014

Our View: Hospital staff must be on board for NHS to go through

Our View: Hospital staff must be on board for NHS to go through

ALTHOUGH Health Minister Philippos Patsalis’ sense of urgency in pushing ahead with the national health scheme is commendable it might not be the best policy for such a complicated project that aims to radically reform healthcare. The urgency might not necessarily be the minister’s choice as the government has a memorandum obligation to prepare and submit to the legislature all the bills relating to scheme by early next month so they could be approved before the end of the year.

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Local News November 19, 2014

‘More attention needed to how EU funds spent’

‘More attention needed to how EU funds spent’

By George Psyllides

There is no negative reference about Cyprus in the European Court of Auditors (ECA) report on the European Union budget, MPs heard on Tuesday.

Watchdog Committee chairman Giorgos Georgiou said Cyprus was not included in the list of countries with problems regarding the management of EU funds and is an example to follow for best practice and dedication to transparency, compliance and credibility of official accounts for EU-funded projects.

In the report, published on Tuesday, the ECA…

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Local News November 19, 2014

Builders call for VAT cut, green growth to recharge sector

Builders call for VAT cut, green growth to recharge sector

By Angelos Anastasiou

Professional associations and construction sector unions have banded together in an attempt to help revive the industry, hard hit by the island’s financial crisis.

The Federation of Associations of Building Contractors (OSEOK) is working with the Technical Chamber of Cyprus (ETEK), the Cyprus Civil Engineers and Architects Association (CCEAA) and the Association of Civil Engineers (SPOLMIK) among others its head Costas Roushas said on Tuesday.

“We strongly feel the need to publicly express our disappointment at the…

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Local News November 19, 2014

Land zoning suspect reports municipal worker

Land zoning suspect reports municipal worker

By Evie Andreou

One of the four suspects in the case connected with threatening text messages sent to witnesses in a suspicious land zoning case involving a prominent developer, Maria Solomonidou on Tuesday reported the Paphos municipality’s secretary Themis Philippides for obtaining copies of her personal notes without a search warrant.

Solomonidou, who is also employed at the municipality, said that the disciplinary investigation carried out against her by the municipality is illegal and it overlaps with the one presently…

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Local News November 19, 2014

Beach operation under investigation in effort to clean up Paphos

Beach operation under investigation in effort to clean up Paphos

By Bejay Browne

MEASURES are underway in Paphos to rid the town of illegal structures, in particular at Faros Beach.

The area is a popular blue-flagged beach visited by thousands of holidaymakers and tourists every year. It is now overrun with illegal structures and facilities, according to member of the Paphos municipality town planning committee Andreas Chrysanthou.

“We discussed the illegal structures and interventions at a town planning meeting two days ago and unanimously decided to recommend to the municipal…

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Local News November 18, 2014

Cyprus has high number of young road deaths

Cyprus has high number of young road deaths

Cyprus is second in the EU when it comes to fatal road accidents that involve young people, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Tuesday at a seminar on road safety.
He said that 35.9 per cent of the people who died in road accidents this year were aged 25 or under.
So far in 2014, 39 deaths were recorded in 38 road accidents and 14 of the victims were aged between 14 and 25.
“These unpleasant statistics…

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Local News November 18, 2014

‘No’ to linking gas with peace talks

‘No’ to linking gas with peace talks

By Elias Hazou
The government said on Tuesday it would not agree to any process linking the issue of natural gas to peace talks.
“Any proposal to discuss the issue of hydrocarbons prior to a settlement cannot be accepted,” government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said.
“The natural resources of the Republic belong to the state and it goes without saying, as it has been repeatedly affirmed, that following a settlement of the Cyprus issue the Turkish Cypriots will…

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Local News November 18, 2014

CTO board denies any wrongdoing

CTO board denies any wrongdoing

By George Psyllides
The tourism organisation’s (CTO) board on Tuesday denied any wrongdoing in a deal with Forbes magazine to promote Cyprus, as a war of words with the body’s director continued.
The board was responding to allegations expressed by Marios Hannides regarding the deal, worth around €170,000, involving the CTO, the Bank of Cyprus and the island’s investment promotion agency.
Hannides himself is facing charges of fund misappropriation, which the board considered serious enough to interrupt…

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Local News November 18, 2014

Two men charged in connection with stolen luxury cars

Two men charged in connection with stolen luxury cars

By Constantinos Psillides
Two people arrested in connection with the case of stolen luxury cars from the UK have been charged and released.
Police arrested a 61-year-old man who bought one of the seized cars, along with a 30-year old who, according to police, at the time the car was seized was trying to hide it.
They were both questioned, charged in writing and let go. The 61-year-old is the father of one the suspects already in…

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Local News November 18, 2014

Impressive Akrotiri Environmental Centre opens

Impressive Akrotiri Environmental Centre opens

The new Akrotiri Environmental Centre opened on Tuesday embracing some of the most innovative and environmentally friendly building concepts, including a photovoltaic system on the roof which provides approximately 50 per cent of its energy requirements, the British bases said.
The Akrotiri Salt Lake and Marsh, which hosts the largest number of water birds in Cyprus, was designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 2003 and is one of only two Ramsar sites on…

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Local News November 18, 2014

Doctors say no to dialogue with Patsalis

Doctors say no to dialogue with Patsalis

By Evie Andreou
Government doctors will not enter a dialogue with the health minister until they see bills relating to the creation of a National Health Scheme (NHS), they said on Tuesday.
The doctors staged a two-hour work stoppage on Monday and on Tuesday were due to have a meeting with health minister Philippos Patsalis.
The minister called the doctors’ work stoppage unnecessary and reiterated it is only through dialogue and consent that problems can be solved. Read More

International News Sport November 18, 2014

FIFA lodges criminal complaint against 2018 and 2022 World Cups

FIFA lodges criminal complaint against 2018 and 2022 World Cups

World football’s governing body FIFA on Tuesday lodged a criminal complaint over the “possible misconduct of individual persons” in connection with the awarding of hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Last Thursday FIFA said there were no grounds to reopen the controversial bidding processes, following a long-awaited report compiled by chairman of the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee Michael Garcia.

However, FIFA president Sepp Blatter confirmed on Tuesday that, on the recommendation of FIFA ethics judge…

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International News November 18, 2014

Britain confirms bird flu on northern English farm is H5N8 strain

Britain confirms bird flu on northern English farm is H5N8 strain

By Costas Pitas

Britain said on Tuesday that tests had confirmed an outbreak of bird flu on a duck farm in northern England was the H5N8 strain, the same as the form of the virus which has hit a Dutch chicken farm and a German turkey farm.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said a cull of 6,000 ducks on the farm in east Yorkshire was continuing and should be completed later on Tuesday.

“The advice from…

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International News November 18, 2014

Palestinians kill four in Jerusalem synagogue attack

Palestinians kill four in Jerusalem synagogue attack

By Maayan Lubell

Two Palestinians armed with a meat cleaver and a gun killed four worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before being shot dead by police, the deadliest such incident in six years in the holy city amid a surge in religious conflict.

Three of the victims held dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship and the fourth man was a British-Israeli national, police said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to respond with a “heavy hand”, and again accused Western-backed Palestinian…

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International News November 18, 2014

Japan’s Abe poised to announce snap poll, delay tax hike

Japan’s Abe poised to announce snap poll, delay tax hike

By Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday that he would call an early election to seek a fresh mandate for his economic policies, and postpone an unpopular sales tax rise, a day after data showed the economy had slipped back into recession.

The world’s third-biggest economy unexpectedly shrank for a second consecutive quarter in July-September, a sign the pain from an initial rise in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent…

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International News November 18, 2014

Iraqi security forces enter Baiji refinery – state TV

Iraqi security forces enter Baiji refinery – state TV

By Raheem Salman

Security forces entered Iraq’s largest refinery for the first time on Tuesday after months of battling Islamic State militants who had surrounded it, a police colonel said.

Police sources said security forces were clearing out mines from the refinery complex and had moved to an area just to the northwest where they faced some resistance from Islamic State militants. The insurgents still have a presence there.

Complete recovery of the Baiji facility could provide critical momentum for…

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Local News November 18, 2014

Nurses demand job security in planned NHS

Nurses demand job security in planned NHS

By Evie Andreou
Nurses employed in government hospitals marched from parliament to the Health ministry on Tuesday morning to demand their problems with the proposed introduction of a National Health Service (NHS) be addressed.
Following the state doctors two-hour work stoppage on Monday, nurses presented House president Yiannakis Omirou and Health Minister Philippos Patsalis with their demands.
“My office is always open and I invite you anew this week to a dialogue,” Patsalis said.
He added…

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Local News November 18, 2014

Fake investment site uses Anastasiades, businessmen in scam effort 

Fake investment site uses Anastasiades, businessmen in scam effort 

By Jean Christou

Police have been alerted to a scam investment website that not only uses the name and photo of President Nicos Anastasiades but also the CVs of eight Cypriot businessmen, economists and academics it claims are on its team, including outgoing Bank of Cyprus chairman Christis Hassapis and Cyprus Tourism Organisation boss Marios Hannides.

The firm, OSE Capital claims to be the world’s leading investment bank and securities and investment management company.  “We offer a variety of financial…

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Local News November 18, 2014

‘Still more questions than answers’ in Georghadji case

‘Still more questions than answers’ in Georghadji case

By Angelos Anastasiou

Central Bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji, acting on informal legal counsel, was the one who removed a clause relating to conflicts of interest from her appointment contract, and inserted another that ostensibly raised her annual salary by €10,000, lawmakers heard on Tuesday.

In a House ethics committee that was convened to discuss the issue, also invited were Attorney General Costas Clerides, Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides, Accountant General Rea Georgiou, Director of the President’s Office Panayiotis Antoniou, and legal…

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