Sculptures in the sand

Sculptures in the sand

A couple look at a sand sculpture representing a futuristic nativity scene at La Pineda Beach in Vila-seca, northeastern Spain on Saturday. The sculptures decorating the beach have been made with 300 tons of sand by nine artists from different countries (EPA)

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International News December 19, 2014

US backed talks with ISIS over American hostage

US backed talks with ISIS over American hostage

By Guy Faulconbridge

US counter-terrorism officials backed negotiations with two prominent jihadi clerics in a failed attempt to save the life of an American hostage who was later beheaded by Islamic State militants, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.

Citing emails, the Guardian said talks with the spiritual leaders of Islamic State, also known as ISIS, aimed at releasing hostage Peter Kassig began in mid-October and ran for several weeks with the knowledge of the FBI.

US officials were not…

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International News December 19, 2014

Colourful Australian MP’s adviser charged over bizarre kidnap plot

Colourful Australian MP’s adviser charged over bizarre kidnap plot

By Jane Wardell and Byron Kaye

A senior media adviser for Australian lawmaker and mining magnate Clive Palmer, whose party holds the balance of power in the upper house Senate, was charged on Friday over the kidnapping of a bank executive on an Indonesian island.

The charges allege that adviser Andrew Crook, former sports star Tony Smith and former senior detective Mick Featherstone lured the unidentified National Australia Bank executive to Singapore and then on to Indonesia’s Batam Island, using…

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International News December 19, 2014

Arguing over Russian reserves: $400 bln or half that?

Arguing over Russian reserves: $400 bln or half that?

By Sujata Rao

Defending the rouble has cost Russia around $80 billion this year, and depending on who’s doing the calculations, its usable hard currency reserves are now either starting to run low, or at a healthy $400 billion-plus.

While Russia has only slowed the rouble’s slide, it looks all right by any yardstick of whether its reserves are adequate. According to official data on Thursday, its foreign currency and gold reserves were $414.6 billion in the latest week.

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Local News December 19, 2014

Speed cameras on their way

Speed cameras on their way

THE GOVERNMENT plans to have speed cameras installed across the island next year, justice minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Thursday.

The transport ministry is going ahead with inviting tenders for a camera system, Nicolaou told reporters coming out of a meeting with the road safety council.

He revealed also that authorities are mulling a small increase in the speed limit, noting for example that citations on Griva Dhigeni Avenue in Nicosia fell by a third since the speed limit was…

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Local News Sport December 19, 2014

Omonia’s Pote stages war against racism in Cyprus

Omonia’s Pote stages war against racism in Cyprus

By Peter Stevenson

Omonia Nicosia’s French-born Benin forward Mickael Pote is waging a personal war against racism in Cyprus.

Pote, 30, has reacted angrily to monkey chants directed at him twice since November and been booked for protesting.

“I’ve heard these sorts of noises before, during a game, but it was usually isolated and so I never reacted. This time it was from a large group which made it difficult for me not to react,” Pote told Reuters.

On Nov….

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Business December 19, 2014

IMF freezes funding over foreclosure suspension, Georgiades lashes at lawmakers (updated)

IMF  freezes funding over foreclosure suspension, Georgiades lashes at lawmakers (updated)

By Stelios Orphanides

The International Monetary Fund said it will not release the next tranche of bailout money earmarked for Cyprus, Reuters reported today citing the IMF.

The decision came following yesterday’s parliament vote which suspended until January 30, an unpopular law passed in September to speed up foreclosure procedures angering international creditors and finance minister Harris Georgiades.

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International News December 19, 2014

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing

By Matt Siegel

Eight children have been killed and a woman who was mother to seven of them was injured in the northern Australian city of Cairns, police said on Friday, in what several media outlets reported was a mass stabbing.

Australia is in a state of heightened alert after police stormed a Sydney cafe early on Tuesday to end a 16-hour hostage standoff in which three people were killed, including the hostage-taker.

Queensland state police said in a statement…

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Local News December 19, 2014

Petrol price probe will be thorough

Petrol price probe will be thorough

By Elias Hazou

A SECTOR-WIDE investigation into petroleum products will be looking into the prices of unleaded 95 petrol, unleaded 98 petrol, diesel, heating oil, and gas, the head of the Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) said on Thursday.

CPC chief Loukia Christodoulou told the state broadcaster they would examine the entire supply chain – importation, transportation and storage.
The purpose of the inquiry is to establish any distortion or impediment to market competition, she added.

The…

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Local News Comment December 19, 2014

Our View: We can only hope the BoC Five are not a smokescreen

Our View: We can only hope the BoC Five are not a smokescreen

AFTER investigations that lasted well over a year, the state legal services decided that there was enough evidence to bring criminal charges against five Bank of Cyprus officials – three former executives and two former senior directors (chairman and vice-chairman). The politicians, from the president down, had been growing impatient with the time the investigations were taking and repeatedly made their dissatisfaction known.

However, Attorney-General Costas Clerides refused to bow to the pressure, responding that these were complex investigations and…

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Local News December 19, 2014

Social media attacks on Turkish Cypriot politician

Social media attacks on Turkish Cypriot politician

By Evie Andreou

TURKISH CYPRIOT politician Dogus Derya has received death threats in the wake of comments she made to the Turkish Cypriot ‘parliament’ earlier this week that many Greek Cypriot women were raped by the Turkish army during the invasion.

Derya, member of the ruling Republican Turkish Party and of the newly established bi-communal Federal Cyprus Movement (FCM) that aims to foster a federal solution to the Cyprus problem, has also received threats of sexual violence as part of…

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English Premier League Sport December 18, 2014

Balotelli banned and fined for ‘Super Mario’ post

Balotelli banned and fined for ‘Super Mario’ post

By Tom Hayward

Controversial Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli was suspended for one match by the FA on Thursday and fined 25,000 pounds after posting an offensive message on social media.

Earlier this month, the Italian showed a picture on his Instagram account containing racist and anti-Semitic connotations.

“Mario Balotelli has been fined 25,000 pounds, suspended for one match with immediate effect, subject to appeal, and warned as to his future conduct after he admitted breaching FA rules in relation to…

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International News December 18, 2014

American accused of counterfeiting $2 million in Uganda

American accused of counterfeiting $2 million in Uganda

By Daniel Wallis

An American man has been arrested in Uganda and accused by US prosecutors of counterfeiting more than $2 million in fake dollars, some of which were to be mailed to the United States hidden in charity pamphlets, court papers showed.

Ryan Andrew Gustafson, 27, is charged with conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, according to a criminal complaint filed on Wednesday in US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The US Secret Service,…

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Local News December 18, 2014

CMP make plea for information on Missing

CMP make plea for information on Missing

By Evie Andreou

THE Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) made a plea on Thursday for information concerning the whereabouts of the remains of the missing persons from Assia and assured relatives that they were doing their best to find the remains of their loved ones.

Assia has around 84 people listed as missing between the ages of 11 and 84 years, with over 50 of them believed to have died in a mass execution along with Cypriots from other areas…

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International News December 18, 2014

UN members want N.Korea in international court for rights abuses

UN members want N.Korea in international court for rights abuses

By Louis Charbonneau

Member countries of the United Nations on Thursday urged the Security Council to consider referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity as alleged in a UN inquiry report released earlier this year.

There were 116 votes in favor of the resolution, with 20 against and 53 abstentions. The resolution, which was drafted by the European Union and Japan, was approved last month by the 193-member assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with…

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Local News December 18, 2014

Police to launch match fixing investigation (Updated)

Police to launch match fixing investigation (Updated)

By Constantinos Psillides

HAVING SPENT almost five hours on Thursday speaking to police officers, international referee Marios Panayi will on Friday trek back to police headquarters in Nicosia as it seems he has lots more to reveal about corruption in football.

Coming out of the police HQ late in the afternoon, Panayi told reporters he would be resuming his statement to investigators on Friday, adding that even a second session might not be enough.

“There was not enough time today…

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Local News December 18, 2014

Public sector hiring freeze

Public sector hiring freeze

Parliament passed into law on Thursday a government bill freezing new hires in the broader public sector in 2015.

The measure extends by one year the hiring freeze in the central government and semi-governmental organisations. A similar prohibition had been in effect in 2013 and 2014.

It is intended to keep at bay the state payroll due to the ongoing slump. The government is essentially bankrupt, and has to rely on regular bailout tranches from international lenders. Around a quarter…

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Local News December 18, 2014

Charges against former BoC officials before end of year

Charges against former BoC officials before end of year

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S office will be filing the charges against five former Bank of Cyprus (BoC) officials before the year is out, reports said on Thursday.

According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), the AG would be filing the charge sheet to Nicosia district court in the coming days, after which instructions would be issued to take the case to trial before a criminal court.

Those to be indicted are former CEO Andreas Eliades, his successor Yiannis Kypri, former board chairman…

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Local News December 18, 2014

Foreclosure law suspension unnecessary, damaging, finance minister says (Updated)

Foreclosure law suspension unnecessary, damaging, finance minister says (Updated)

By George Psyllides

FINANCE Minister Harris Georgiades sharply criticised opposition parties on Thursday for suspending the law on foreclosures describing it as an unnecessary decision, which critically undermined the country’s credibility.

Earlier, opposition parties ignored warnings once again, and voted to suspend enforcement of the law on foreclosures until the end of January.

“Today’s decision by parliament critically undermines our country’s credibility,” Georgiades said in a statement. “Suspending enforcement of legislation, which is not enforced anyway, is an unnecessary and…

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International News December 18, 2014

Pakistan court bails man accused of masterminding Mumbai attack

Pakistan court bails man accused of masterminding Mumbai attack

By Syed Raza Hassan

A Pakistani court granted bail on Thursday to a man accused of masterminding a deadly 2008 rampage through the Indian city of Mumbai, lawyers said.

The decision to grant bail to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi drew quick condemnation from India and is likely to hinder attempts to patch up relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

The court ruling came as Pakistan was struggling to come to terms its biggest ever militant attack, the killing on Tuesday of 132 school…

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Cyprus News Digest Podcast

Long time Cyprus Mail contributor and former CyBC reporter Rosie Charalambous kicks off a series of weekly podcasts covering politics, current affairs and culture every Friday. NEW For the latest Cyprus News Digest episode click here

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Archives

The Cyprus Mail archives are now online. Following a simple registration procedure, you will find all of our articles going back to October 1997, although some may appear in an older format. Archived articles from June 2013 to date can be found through search on the current website www.cyprus-mail.com. For the archives site, click here.

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