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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-01-21
From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>
Sunday, January 21, 2001
 Youths 'kicked kitten to death in game'By Melina Demetriou
A TOURIST has described her disgust at the sight of a group of Larnaca youths playing football on Larnaca seafront. They were using a live kitten as a 'ball'.
Helen Keegan, a 25-year-old computer expert from Salford, England, told the Sunday Mail she and her partner saw around 20 youths on the busy seafront kicking around the helpless kitten, which later ended up dead in a swimming pool.
Keegan said was disgusted at the sight, and added that another man who tried to intervene was attacked by the youths.
“Although I have heard about the Cypriot attitude toward domestic animals in the past, I was horrified and appalled by the scene which confronted me and my partner on Larnaca seafront in front of Memphis night club,” she said.
Keegan said the only other person who tried to stop the youths had run into serious trouble.
“I asked a taxi driver who was there before us what had happened, and he said that when he tried to stop them they smashed one of his car windows.
“I wondered how other people passing by could watch this happen without doing anything.
“I didn't notify the police or anyone else at the time because I just wanted to get away, ” she said.
Keegan said that she and her partner had spent several hours on the seafront and during that time they had not seen a single policeman.
“Maybe if the area was properly policed the kitten would not have died,” she said. “I realise that acts of cruelty happen in all countries, but that this could happen on a busy Saturday night in front of many passers-by in a supposed civilised country is quite remarkable - although judging by the number of dead cats on the roads this seems to be a national pastime.”
Keegan described the incident as an unfortunate end to what had otherwise been a fantastic holiday. “I find it scary that someone would harm domestic animals,” she said.
A law on animal rights forbids the torturing or killing of pets. However there are many recorded cases of pets being poisoned by neighbours, or of dogs being killed by their owners for not performing as expected during a hunting trip.
Larnaca police told the Sunday Mail they had not received any complaints regarding animal brutality or a smashed car window in Larnaca on the day in question.
 Mystery ship ran over Castor tow cableBy Jean Christou
EFFORTS are under way to track down a mystery ship which ran over a tow cable linking the stricken Cypriot-flagged Castor, laden with thousands of tons of petrol, to a salvage tug.
Tsavliris, the salvage company involved in the operation, confirmed that on Thursday a mystery cargo vessel inexplicably passed between the lead tug and the damaged tanker, currently lying 40 miles off Spain.
“It was very dangerous,” a company source told shipping newspaper Lloyds List. “Luckily the tow wire was not snagged.”
The unidentified vessel passed over the 750-metre tow cable after failing to heed warnings from the lead tug Nikolay Chiker.
The salvage team is trying desperately to save both ship and cargo in open seas after several countries in the western Mediterranean refused to give shelter to the vessel.
Shipping experts from Cyprus and abroad will gather in Limassol today for an emergency meeting to decide the fate of the 1997-built Castor which is carrying 29,500 tonnes of unleaded petrol.
The ship has been seeking shelter since New Year's Eve after the crew reported a crack in the deck, but so far no country in the region has been willing to risk an accident close to its shores.
Salvage in the open seas is more difficult and there is a higher risk of spillage. Other options being considered are the controlled spillage of the cargo on to the surface of the water to minimise the environmental impact and the possible blowing up of the ship in a worst-case scenario.
Lloyds reported the salvage team would try to get the operation under way this weekend. The Castor remains some 40 miles off the Spanish port of Cartengena, and all vessels involved in the operation are well lit, which adds to the mystery of how the u nidentified ship came so close.
More than 50 people are aboard the salvage vessels and ten are still on board the Castor monitoring possible gas concentrations. Tsavliris is confident it can save both ship and cargo, despite the higher risk of carrying out the operation on the high seas. A tanker is due on the scene to receive the transferred petrol, weather permitting.
Both the owners and managers of the Castor are members of CYMEPA, the island's marine environmental protection association, where the emergency meeting will take place today.
 PMT? Catch the Chaste TreeBy Jennie Matthew
THE British Medical Journal this week applauded the benefits of a herbal remedy grown all over Cyprus, suggesting that doctors should prescribe the treatment for premenstrual tension, following a successful trial.
A study carried out by researchers in Germany reports that dried extract of the exotic fruit eased symptoms associated with PMT in more than 50 per cent of the patient sample group.
GPs are often hard-pressed to treat all the varying symptoms of PMT, which causes two to four per cent of women to take up to two days off from work each month.
Tiredness, irritability, headaches, sore breasts, stomach cramps, anger and mood swings are a monthly curse for millions of women.
The healing fruit comes from Vitex agnus castus - better known in English as the 'Chaste Tree'.
“It grows in riverbeds all over Cyprus almost all year round,” pharmacist George Ktenas told the Sunday Mail.
The German study tested 86 sufferers of premenstrual syndrome with the herb, and gave another 84 dummy tablets.
All the 'guinea pigs' took the daily tablet for three months to assess the impact on six common symptoms: irritability, mood alteration, anger, headache, breast fullness and bloating.
More than 50 per cent given agnus castus said their condition improved in all categories except bloating, compared with 25 per cent taking the fake pills. Side effects were minimal.
The British Medical Journal report merely confirms what customers have been telling Ktenas for years.
“It really has a fantastic effect. In Cyprus it gets a lot of sun so it's highly aromatic,” he said.
He gathers his own harvest in mid-September, just before the first rains come, and sells the remedy in his pharmacy in capsule and drop form.
“Agnus castus is well tolerated and effective for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome, the effects being confirmed by physicians and patients alike. This herbal remedy ought to be considered a therapeutic option in women,” said report author Rued Schellenberg of the German Institute for Health Care and Science.
The fruit is thought to contain some compounds similar to sex hormones, which may explain why it helps relieve the aches and pains of PMT.
 Report of shots fired by Turkish troopsBy a Staff ReporterBRITISH Bases police are investigating reports that Turkish troops fired three shots from a guard post near Vrysoulles village on Friday night.
A resident of the village has made an official complaint to Cyprus police over the incident.
Bases spokesman Rupert Greenwood said yesterday SBA police were investigating. “Nothing has been found yet,” he said.
Cyprus Mail 2001