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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-02-11

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, February 11, 2001


  • [01] Bomb attacks in Limassol and Paphos
  • [02] Asbestos brake pads must be found and removed, say Greens
  • [03] Woman, 50, remanded after cannabis find
  • [04] Protocols on children and women signed
  • [05] Broadcasters violate rights, says watchdog
  • [06] Writer blasts Broadcasting Authority over series ban

  • [01] Bomb attacks in Limassol and Paphos

    By Athena Karsera

    LIMASSOL and Paphos were rocked by two separate hand-grenade attacks early yesterday and a second unexploded device was found in Limassol later.

    A large pipe bomb was found behind a fence between one house that had been attacked and its neighbour, approximately three hours after the 6am blast and while police officers were still on the scene.

    Police said that the grenade had been thrown from the street, landed under a tree in the garden, and caused no damage to the Trachoni house used by 27- year-old Costas Ioannou Zinieris.

    Zinieris and his brother Panicos, who was also staying at the house, said they knew nothing about the pipe bomb.The owner of the other house told police the same.

    About an hour vefore the Limassol blast, a Kato Paphos pub was badly damaged in a similar attack.

    Police said a hand grenade was thrown at the Adam's Apple pub at about 5.15am.

    Two cars parked outside the pub, which belongs to 31-year-old Nicos Touloupou, had their windscreens smashed in the blast.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Asbestos brake pads must be found and removed, say Greens

    By Athena Karsera

    THE Green party yesterday called for the removal of brake pads containing asbestos from all vehicles in Cyprus. It named the dangerous brands as Sunwa, Hoku, Brake Pad, Moprod, FBK and Sumitomo.

    Party spokesman George Perdikis said the brake pads' local outlets would not be named at this stage. “Their (asbestos brake pads) import was only banned on Friday so it was perfectly legal to bring them in until then. We will provide a complete list of the companies to the Commerce Ministry and may publish them in the future, depending on the action taken by the government.”

    Applauding a Commerce, Industry and Tourism Ministry decision to slap rigorous controls on the import of brake pads containing the hazardous substance, Perdikis said that this would essentially prevent any more coming to the island.

    “What has to be undertaken now is the removal and safe disposal of the brake pads already in vehicles or in stock,” he said.

    The government could supervise, and pay for, the brake pads' safe removal and replacement and pay compensation to dealers that had already paid for the dangerous parts, he said.

    According to party calculations, 15 to 20 per cent of vehicles on Cyprus roads have asbestos break pads. “It is not a process that will be cheap but the health and safety of the population is of utmost importance,” Perdikis said.

    “We also expect sensitivity on the part of the Communications and Works Minister and Attorney-general in the speedy drawing up of legislation prohibiting the import of car parts containing asbestos,” he said.

    Perdikis said that the party had already received “hundreds” of phone calls from concerned citizens. “We advise them to check for relevant notification labels on the brakes, but the government should be making sure these people are informed of the possible dangers and what to do about it.”

    He said the brake pad ban should then be extended to cover all products including appliances and asbestos piping, and the use of asbestos in construction should be outlawed.

    “Cyprus has to harmonise itself with the relevant EU directives,” Perdikis said. “The EU has already banned five of the six types of asbestos since 1991. It is also expected to be completely banned by 2005.”

    The Greens also called for more frequent checks on asbestos content in water, noting that Kouris dam near Limassol had shown expected and non- hazardous levels of the substance in recent testing but that a close eye should be kept on the situation.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Woman, 50, remanded after cannabis find

    By a Staff Reporter

    LARNACA district court yesterday remanded a woman for eight days after customs found almost one kilogram of a substance believed to be cannabis.

    The court heard that Loucia Christou Christomidou, 50, a Greek national now resident in Cyprus, was arrested at Larnaca airport late on Friday on her return from a one-day trip to Athens.

    Customs officials, in co-operation with Larnaca drug squad, searched Christomidou's baggage and say they discovered five cellophane bags containing a total of 989 grams of the substance in a coat pocket. She was carrying the coat in her hand luggage at the time of the search.

    Police said that the woman was suspected of importing and possessing a controlled substance with the intent of selling it on. They said Christomidou insists she bought it for her own use.

    Larnaca police yesterday said it had contacted Greece's Interpol officers in an attempt to trace Christomidou's steps during her stay.

    A telephone contacts book found in her luggage will also be used in an attempt to identify possible accomplices or suppliers, police said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Protocols on children and women signed

    By a Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS has signed two optional United Nations protocols on child slavery, prostitution and pornography and discrimination against women.

    An official announcement yesterday said that protocols entitled 'Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child concerning the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography' and the 'Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women' were signed on Cyprus' behalf by its permanent representative to the UN in New York, Sotos Zackheos.

    The protocols, which were adopted by the General Assembly in October 1999, now have 71 signatories and 64 signatories respectively.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Broadcasters violate rights, says watchdog

    By George Psyllides

    THE BROADCASTING Authority has announced that 32 per cent of the 212 cases it investigated last year concerned violations of human rights by television and radio stations.

    The Chairman of the authority, Alecos Evangelou, said the broadcasters' response to decisions by the body, and their compliance with the law in general, was not satisfactory.

    He said the response varied from station to station, while the attitudes of broadcasters also varied depending on the issue in question.

    Evangelou added that the authority was lenient with first-time offenders but if the violations continued the sanctions imposed escalated accordingly. These usually begin with a warning or a reprimand and escalate into fines depending on the violation.

    For instance, three TV stations -- Antenna, Logos (controlling company of Mega), and Sigma -- were fined a total of £4,200 after one man complained that they had offended him and encroached upon his private life.

    Evangelou said that despite their immediate positive response in many cases, some stations subsequently chose to disregard the sanctions and their legal obligations.

    The 212 cases investigated by the authority involved offences ranging from human rights violations to excessive advertising, covert advertising, violence, sex, language, and failure to rate programmes.

    The top violator last year was Sigma with 55 cases, Logos was second place with 35, and Antenna third with 28 cases. Local station Paphos TV came fourth.

    State-controlled CyBC had no violations listed last year.

    The Broadcasting Authority statistics show that all of the violations -- human rights breaches, disrespect for private life, misleading information, and airing comments without prior permission - occurred in the stations' news broadcasts.

    In most cases the Authority only issued warnings and reprimands, while the handful of fines imposed ranged from £250 to £500.

    In June Sigma received a warning when it used movie footage to illustrate a case of sexual abuse, and in November both Sigma and Logos were fined £500 for revealing the identity of a teacher who allegedly took pictures of naked minors.

    Sigma also has a case pending against it involving disrespect towards the relatives of a murdered man, who was shown during a news bulletin on December 27 lying dead in a pool of blood.

    The authority also investigated numerous complaints involving radio stations, which were either warned or fined.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Writer blasts Broadcasting Authority over series ban

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE WRITER of a TV series yesterday blasted the Broadcasting Authority for fining the station which aired the programme, and blamed opposition party AKEL for being behind the move to pull it.

    The daily series, Tis Filakis Ta Sidera ('Behind Bars'), which depicted the lives of a group of convicts, was shown by Sigma at 9.30pm. It was pulled from the schedules with eight shows still to go.

    The Broadcasting Authority said Sigma was fined £2,000 after airing an episode which it said offended Paphos and its residents, Limassol residents, Arabs and Russian women.

    The authority said it had investigated the case after a complaint.

    Two other warnings issued by the authority about the series were also taken into consideration, the Authority said.

    The warnings involved episodes in which posters of nude women could be seen in the background, there was strong language, and one of the characters used drugs.

    But yesterday the writer of the series, Vassos Ftohopoulos, slammed the authority and AKEL, which he blames for playing a major role in having it banned.

    The show was cut with just eight episodes to go after powerful interventions from AKEL's higher ranks, Ftohopoulos charged.

    The political parties - especially AKEL, he said - use every means to muzzle anything they do not like.

    He accused the Broadcasting Authority of not protecting the public from sub- standard productions on television, which offend the viewer's intelligence.

    “The politically correct ideology is a new form of fascism,” Ftohopoulos said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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