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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-08-20

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, August 20, 2000


  • [01] Man on sex charge
  • [02] Cabaret boss held after complaint by tourist
  • [03] Manhunt for armed robber after police sting
  • [04] Baby boom on the British Bases
  • [05] Italian sailors race the Levant route
  • [06] More heritage bites the dust
  • [07] Let us prey: hunting season begins
  • [08] Illegals held on British base
  • [09] Fewer accidents on the roads – but number of casualties high

  • [01] Man on sex charge

    POLICE yesterday charged a 62-year-old Limassol man with indecently assaulting a 12-year-old Russian girl earlier this month.

    The man had been arrested on Wednesday and was remanded in police custody for two days by the Limassol District Court the following day.

    Yesterday, he was charged and released to appear before court at a later date.

    [<a href="letters0820.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    [02] Cabaret boss held after complaint by tourist

    A 30-year-old cabaret owner from Tochni has been arrested in Limassol suspected of credit card theft and eliciting money through threats.

    The arrest came on the heels of a complaint by a British tourist that the man had forced him to charge a £1,260 bill to his credit card.

    The tourist, 28-year-old Jain Kishalaya, claimed an unknown taxi driver took him to a Limassol cabaret in the early hours of Friday morning, but that when he arrived, the club was closed.

    He was allegedly ushered to an upstairs office by four men, who demanded money. Fearing for his safety, the man consented, charging the hefty bill to his two credit cards. The man denies that he ran up the bill himself during his holiday.

    The case is being investigated by Limassol CID.

    [<a href="letters0820.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    [03] Manhunt for armed robber after police sting

    By Martin Hellicar

    POLICE are still searching for an armed robber who managed to escape the clutches of a sting operation on Friday.

    His accomplice, who was caught red-handed trying to mug a hotel company employee carrying almost £40,000, was yesterday remanded in custody for eight days.

    The Famagusta District Court yesterday morning convened at Larnaca hospital, where the 30-year-old man police did manage to nab was being treated for injuries he suffered in scuffling with arresting officers on Friday.

    The court heard that police had been tipped-off that a heist would take place on Ayia Napa’s Yuri Gagarin Street on Friday. Plain-clothes officers staked out the busy street, where two bank branches as well as the central offices of the hotel company Aqua Sol are located.

    Just before midday, the under-cover officers went on alert, having found out that Aqua Sol employee Kyriacos Afxenti was about to arrive at the company’s offices carrying more than £38,000 in cash.

    A few minutes later, as Afxenti climbed the steps to the Aqua Sol offices, two helmeted men -- one holding a can of anaesthetising spray and a screwdriver and the other brandishing a handgun -- jumped on him. Police moved in and managed to arrest one of the men and recover the money. But the gun-wielding raider managed to escape, ignoring warning shots fired by pursuing officers.

    The court heard that 28-year-old Afxenti, the 30-year-old suspect and one of the policemen were injured in the incident.

    Case investigator Paris Paraskeva, of Famagusta CID, said the detainee, who is from Larnaca, was refusing to co-operate with police and had given no details about his suspected accomplice’s identity.

    The wanted man is thought to be between 25 and 30 years old.

    Police have recovered a stolen moped thought to be connected with the incident.

    [<a href="letters0820.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    [04] Baby boom on the British Bases

    By Jenny Curtis

    BRITISH army wives are giving birth in record numbers on the Bases, particularly in Ayios Nicolaos and Dhekelia. Last year saw 160 deliveries -- an average of one nearly every two days.

    "I've never seen so many pregnant women -- at least four of my close friends here are having babies," a (pregnant) Julie Edmunds, 27, told the Sunday Mail.

    British women have long seen their tour in Cyprus as being an ideal time to either start a family or expand an existing one. Medical professionals here say this is because many find it difficult to find well-paid full-time jobs, and few see the island as being the place where their careers will take off.

    The standard of maternity care here is also seen as being considerably higher than that offered by the National Health Service in Britain, where midwives, through no fault of their own, are forced to deal with a far greater number of births.

    Major Sharon Woodhouse, a Senior Midwife at Dhekelia, says that in the UK large maternity units see up to five thousand babies born each year. "They simply don't have the human resources to offer the more personal level of care we can provide here -- it's seen as a bit of a cattle market" in Britain, she says.

    There are three midwives at Dhekelia alone, who do everything apart from the delivery which takes place at the Princess Mary's Hospital (TPMH) at Akrotiri. "Because of the medic-patient ratio here we can provide a one to one service, there's a good community atmosphere and we're seen very much as being one big family," Major Woodhouse says.

    There are three and a half thousand UK civilians and armed forces personnel living in the eastern Sovereign Base Area -- of whom Major Woodhouse estimates fifty are currently expecting.

    "It was quiet until about March -- but then the Cheshire Regiment arrived, and since then we've been far busier!"

    Older women in particular, who had thought they had enough children, will often decide to have just one more while they're out here, she says. "Good jobs aren't easy to come by and in Cyprus they have the time to concentrate on having a family."

    This is certainly the case for Julie Edmunds, who is planning to have her second child here. She had a bad experience with her first at a British hospital where stitches from a caesarean section became infected, leaving her hospitalised for two weeks over Christmas.

    "They didn't give me the antibiotics I needed and I became very poorly -- I would definitely think twice about having one back at home again -- but I've heard good reports about the maternity care here. In addition I know I would find it difficult to find a well-paid job, so if I finish having my family here I can concentrate on my career when we return to England," says Julie. And she says many people she knows here are thinking the same thing

    TPMH last year oversaw 160 births -- a high number given the SBA's population of approximately eight thousand, most of them male.

    The building itself is located on a small peninsula and is surrounded by the sea on three sides. Squadron Leader Yvonne Durrant, the Nursing Officer in charge of Maternity there, says there's always a minimum of one midwife to one patient, whereas in the UK mothers are often sent packing six or seven hours after giving birth. At Akrotiri they're allowed to stay for two or three days -- or longer if necessary.

    Tracey Pearson, 25, who lives at Episkpoi, has just given birth to Rhys, her first baby, and describes both the ante-natal care and her time in hospital and as being "absolutely superb". "I had a few problems and was given eight scans, instead of the normal two or three you might get in the UK," she says.

    Lianne Royle, who recently gave birth to her first child here, also saw Cyprus as an ideal time to start a family. Although as a physiotherapist she does have a good profession, it's not easy to find work on the island.

    It could be argued some women may chose to have a child here for the wrong reasons -- because of boredom. Certainly having babies can have the same affect as weddings -- once one starts, everyone seems to follow suit.

    But the counter argument is that the standard of maternity services here is extremely high and the island is seen as a safe and pleasant place to raise a child, so it’s no wonder many British armed forces couples decide to start their families in Cyprus.

    [<a href="letters0820.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    [05] Italian sailors race the Levant route

    By Jenny Curtis

    EIGHT Italian yachts set sail from Larnaca today after spending the weekend in the town for a regatta as part of an international race along one of the world's most ancient sea lanes.

    During Roman, Byzantine, Crusader and Venetian times Cyprus was the last stop in the ‘Levant’ path from southern Italy to the near east, in which goods such as wines and olives were traded.

    The yachts, which range in size from 35 to 72 feet long, began their journey on August 6 at Brindisi. The next two legs took them to Piraeus in Greece and the southern Turkish port of Gocek, from where they set sail for Larnaca. The race will end in Beirut on Tuesday.

    The eight yachts had been expected in Larnaca on Friday but a strong wind allowed an early arrival, with the first sailing into the marina at 10pm on Thursday. Yesterday they took part in a triangle regatta in Larnaca Bay, organised by the Cyprus Offshore Yacht Club, in a race against local yachts.

    Club president Takis Hadjionnis called the visit an excellent opportunity to develop relations with Italy. "Since the end of the Second World War we have been steadily improving our links with Italy, and this sort of event helps to build on that," he said.

    Takis escorted me to the Revolution, which at 35 feet is the smallest of the guest yachts, but also probably the fastest. I was introduced to the crew -- five beautiful Italian sailors wearing only skimpy swimming trunks. Fabio Degli Eposti, the skipper, explained that they all helped to build the boat, which took a whole year to complete. "Our budget was probably one tenth of the other boats in this regatta, yet it is proving to the quickest, " he said.

    But there are disadvantages in having such a compact vessel: the facilities are minimal, and as they don't have a cooker when they're at sea they live off a diet of tuna fish and dry biscuits -- hence the lean, taut look... They don’t have a shower on board either: "When we're sailing we're continually being washed clean," said Fabio. "The waves are so high we just have to stand there and we're drenched."

    He says he loves to sail because "the silence is wonderful, when I'm at sea I feel at home. During this race I have particularly enjoyed crossing the Aegean Sea, where the wind reached 18 knots -- it was a spectacular experience, so beautiful."

    But Fabio admits they do take risks sometimes, and have sailed very fast in an attempt to secure first place: "We sail dangerously -- but we sail to win."

    Crew member Francesco Menzione said that although he's enjoyed the first legs of the journey, now he's exhausted. "I've hardly slept since we set off because there are so few of us, which means we have to be on duty all the time. Every morning we start at five o’clock -- by night time I can hardly keep my eyes open."

    The overall race is sponsored by Lottomatica and other Italian companies and is being staged under the patronage of the Presidents of Italy and Lebanon. Organised by Velaitalia, it also aims to stress the need to protect the Eastern Mediterranean marine environment.

    Takis Hadjionnis said the regatta has been a great success. "We are keen to do more of this type of thing -- it is our dream that next year we can organise a ‘Peace Race’ in which Cypriots will sail from Larnaca to Turkey."

    [<a href="letters0820.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    [06] More heritage bites the dust

    By Martin Hellicar

    ANOTHER part of the capital’s dwindling architectural heritage was reduced to rubble yesterday as bulldozers demolished an imposing turn-of-the- century house on Makarios Avenue.

    The stone-built Severis mansion was one of the last remaining old buildings on the busy thoroughfare, situated between two high-rise concrete blocks.

    Like many older buildings outside the walls of the old city, the Severis mansion does not enjoy the protection afforded by a preservation order.

    Passers-by witnessing yesterday’s destruction were unanimous in lamenting the loss of part of Nicosia’s history.

    "It is not right to knock these places down; soon there will be no character left in our town," one man commented to the Sunday Mail.

    "Where are the environmentalists today? Why don’t they protest about this?" another man said.

    The local Green party has been at the forefront of the battle to prevent the destruction of the capital’s more notable older buildings.

    A local resident complained not just about the loss of the mansion but also about the dust and noise pollution caused by the bulldozers.

    The demolition job is expected to be completed today.

    [<a href="letters0820.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    [07] Let us prey: hunting season begins

    MOST OF the island’s 40,000 hunters will be heading out at the crack of dawn this morning in search of turtledoves and wood pigeons to shoot,

    writes Martin Hellicar.

    The autumn shooting season kicks off today and lasts for a varying number of days in different areas. The season closes on September 30 in all areas.

    Legitimate targets include turtledoves, wood pigeons, rock doves, quail, crows, magpies, jackdaws and sparrows. The two first species are the only edible permitted quarry found in reasonable numbers and will thus be the focus of hunters’ attentions.

    Many hunters have been camped out in their favourite stomping grounds – mostly in the Paphos district – for days now. The hunters attract the doves and pigeons to particular areas by laying out seed for them day after day in the run-up to the first shooting day.

    The Game Service will have all its 150 wardens out today in an attempt to ensure hunters stick to the law. Shooting is only permitted during daylight hours and in designated areas. Hunters are not allowed to fire their guns within 150 metres of a house or within game reserve areas. Hunting with a dog is also banned, as is discharging a gun within a citrus orchard or otherwise damaging crops.

    An estimated eight million birds are killed by hunters or fall prey to illegal mist netting or liming activities every year in Cyprus.

    [<a href="letters0820.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    [08] Illegals held on British base

    THREE illegal immigrants who arrived on the island are being housed in British servicemen’s accommodation while their case is being investigated by SBA Police and the Immigration Department.

    The three arrived by sea and landed at some point along the coast on Thursday morning. They were later arrested in the western sovereign base area of Akrotiri. Although they were found with no adequate documentation, the British authorities believe them to be a Kurdish Iraqi family, a husband, a wife and a 7-year-old boy.

    They are totally disorientated, and the woman is thought to be pregnant. "They are liable for detention, but because of the state they’re in, it was deemed unsuitable to put them in police custody," said Bases spokesman Rupert Greenwood.

    The circumstances surrounding their arrival and motives remain unknown. SBA Police are investigating the matter and the Immigration Department has been fully briefed.

    [<a href="letters0820.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 20, 2000

    [09] Fewer accidents on the roads – but number of casualties high

    By Jennie Matthew

    CYPRUS boasts one of the world’s highest ratios of cars to people – and also one of the highest proportions of casualties to accidents, new figures show.

    Last year there was one car per 1.6 people, compared to 3.8 people per car 20 years ago.

    Cyprus roads remain among the most dangerous in Europe despite falling numbers in reported accidents. The 1988 tally of 11,536 accidents plummeted to 4,203 last year, but the number of casualties has stayed worryingly high. Twenty years ago there were 4,448 casualties, and in 1999 there were 3,825. The number of accidents declined 174 per cent – but the number of casualties stayed nearly the same.

    In 1998, there were 111 fatalities and 3,916 injuries; 1999 saw 113 deaths and a small decline in the number of injured (3,712).

    The number of newly registered vehicles was down by 12.4 per cent and of newly registered private cars by 19 per cent.

    Moving from the roads to the sea, traffic docking at Cyprus ports rose by 8.5 per cent. Some 4,858 ships brought a 12.8 per cent increase in registered tonnage.

    Busier air traffic saw a smaller increase of 5.4 per cent, putting the number of civil aviation landings at 24,860 compared to 23,590 in 1998.

    In the communications sector, telecommunications seems to be winning the battle over more traditional link ups, with post office trade slackening as Cyta booms. In 1999, 40.2 million postcards and letters were received, as opposed to 40.5 million in 1998. Out-going mail sent abroad fell by 300,000 items to 9.4 million, compared to the previous year.

    The number of mobile phone subscribers increased for the second year running, up to 148,247 from 116,429 in 1998 and 91,968 in 1997.

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