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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-06-30

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, June 30, 2001


  • [01] Prison dilemma over transvestite inmate
  • [02] Want to adopt a lion?
  • [03] Hygiene key to avoiding spread of meningitis
  • [04] Two held after armed raid on Limassol bank
  • [05] Government 'not surprised' by Milosevic handover, AKEL furious
  • [06] Cassoulides insists Greco-Turkish rapprochement can only help
  • [07] Aerial talks with SBA collapse
  • [08] Woman has twins after treatment to overcome infertility caused by chemotherapy
  • [09] Two Britons accused of beating up compatriot
  • [10] Omirou launches his leadership campaign

  • [01] Prison dilemma over transvestite inmate

    By Jennie Matthew

    A 35-YEAR-OLD transvestite is camping out in the theatre of Nicosia Central Prison, because officials can't decide where to house the male convict who prefers to be known as Alexia.

    Marios Angelodimou, alias Alexia, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by a Limassol court on Tuesday for fraud.

    Alexia and Paphos resident Emilios Ambousides were found guilty of possession and circulation of forged bank documents and securing credit by false pretences.

    As the first convicted transvestite in a Cyprus jail, prison authorities are baffled over where to accommodate Alexia, who behaves and looks like a woman, but is still legally a man.

    Governor Harilaos Themistocleous thinks that putting a man who dresses and behaves like a woman in a wing with 60 to 80 sexually deprived male convicts is asking for trouble.

    "She can have her own room, but that's not enough. How can she go into a wing with 60 to 80 other men, when she feels and acts like a woman?" he said, pointing out that bathroom and toilet facilities were communal.

    Alexia wants to live in the women's wing, but then there is the risk that she could also suffer abuse from female inmates.

    With nearly 20 prisoners, but a normal population closer to 10, the women's wing is generally quieter than its male counterpart.

    But while Themistocleous deliberates the advice from specialists, Alexia is currently being detained in the theatre.

    The transvestite's only contact has been with prison staff, with Alexia eating alone. Although the theatre is in the men's wing, Alexia's presence has not yet elicited any adverse reactions from fellow inmates.

    A shower has been set up especially for the prisoner, who has exactly the same facilities as the others, despite enjoying a slightly more grandiose cell.

    "We're trying to make her as comfortable as possible until a permanent solution can be found," Themistocleous told the Cyprus Mail.

    "The media think it's a joke, but it's a humanitarian issue. I want to make a decision to benefit everyone, but especially Alexia," he added.

    The governor will assess the actual level of danger and discomfort Alexia is liable to face living alongside members of her birth and adopted sex.

    He is expected to make a decision today or on Monday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Want to adopt a lion?

    By a Staff Reporter

    FOR THOSE daring people out there dreaming of adopting a pet lion or camel, the waiting is finally over.

    In a bid to salvage the Limassol zoo, backed by little state financial help compared to other countries, the city's municipality has announced an adoption programme for all the animal and bird life on the site.

    Prospective "foster parents" can be anything from individuals, families, school classes, clubs, foundations and companies. Adoption is for one year, with the fees corresponding to the cost of feeding and maintaining the animal. In return, foster parents are given a photograph of their pet, a sticker and one year's free entrance to the zoo.

    Fees start at 30 per year for smaller animals, such as canaries, hamsters and rabbits, going up to a hefty 1,500 for lions, bears and tigers. The lucky 'parents' will be issued an adoption certificate.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Hygiene key to avoiding spread of meningitis

    By Martin Hellicar

    WASH your hands or risk being part of an epidemic of viral meningitis, was the gist of the message from the public health department yesterday.

    With 99 cases of the highly contagious disease recorded this year up till yesterday morning (88 of them in Limassol), public health officer Dr Panayiota Protopapa warned that only strict observance of personal hygiene measures could prevent an epidemic erupting this summer.

    The main symptoms of viral meningitis, which is nowhere near as dangerous as the sometimes deadly bacterial form of the disease, are a high fever and headaches.

    New cases of viral meningitis are currently cropping up at the rate of one a day.

    "It is not an epidemic at the moment, but I would say that the increased occurrence over the last few weeks suggests we are on the edge of an epidemic," Dr Protopapa said. She said high summer temperatures favoured the spread of the meningitis virus.

    "But the human factor can still intervene to prevent an epidemic," the medic said. There is nothing complicated or scientific about the anti- meningitis measures recommended by the department: "It is about personal hygiene measures, washing hands and strictly using only your own personal implements, like eating implements," Protopapa said.

    The Health Ministry first issued a viral meningitis warning in April this year, saying the number of cases of the contagious disease in the first three months of 2001 was double that of the same period last year.

    To prevent spread of the virus through personal contact, people are advised to observe strict rules of personal hygiene and general cleanliness.

    The ministry urges that hands be washed regularly, eating utensils never be shared, underwear be changed daily, babies nappies be changed well away from food preparation areas, the mouth be covered when coughing and the hands washed immediately afterwards, that children be discouraged from hugging or kissing others and especially non family members and that pregnant mothers avoid contact with sufferers.

    Health officials also say a diluted chlorine-based cleaner should be used for house cleaning, homes should be kept well aired, rubbish taken out regularly, bedclothes changed regularly and outdoor areas kept litter-free. The ministry also advises that crowded places be avoided, especially where young children are concerned.

    Last year, there was a five-fold increase in the number of suffering from meningitis, though the vast majority of cases was not life threatening. There were 134 incidents in total, but more than three quarters were viral - the others bacterial, of which only four were meningococcal, one of the most dangerous types. In December last year, the Health Ministry said the rise in meningitis cases was not down to any particular reason and was not a cause for serious concern.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Two held after armed raid on Limassol bank

    By Martin Hellicar

    AN ARMED robber held up a Bank of Cyprus branch in the Limassol suburb of Kato Polemidia yesterday morning, escaping with some 26,000 in cash.

    At around 3pm, police arrested two men in connection with the raid. One of them, the suspected robber, was in Limassol hospital last night being treated for a gunshot injury to the hand, which police believe was caused when his pistol back-fired.

    Police launched a massive manhunt for the pistol-toting, masked raider immediately after the heist.

    A car believed to be the robber's get-away vehicle was found burning at nearby Ypsonas shortly after the bank raid. A fresh trail of blood was found leading from the burning car to a nearby home. The glass back door of the house had been forced and the kitchen trashed. Police immediately alerted all local clinics and hospitals to look out for anyone coming in with injuries.

    The first suspect, 28, was picked up after a private clinic notified police that a young man had come in asking for bandages for his injuries. The same man later went to Limassol hospital with a serious palm injury.

    Police said the palm injury was caused when the suspect's pistol backfired and that he had broken into the Ypsonas home desperately searching for a bandage to stem the bleeding.

    The second suspect, a cabaret owner, was picked up later on suspicion of working with the alleged bank robber. Both men are expected to appear before Limassol District court today.

    The robber - wearing a crash helmet with a visor, gloves and a grey tracksuit - stormed into the Bank of Cyprus branch on Grigoris Afxentiou Avenue at 9.20 am. Speaking Greek with a Cypriot accent, he threatened tellers and the three customers in the branch with a pistol, demanding that his bag be filled with cash. Having stuffed his bag with local and foreign notes worth around 26,000 in total, the man made his get-away in a white car parked outside the branch. The car bore no number plates.

    Police were alerted at once and cordoned off the area while launching a hunt for the raider with the help of a helicopter.

    Soon after the raid, Limassol police chief Charalambos Koulentis said he was confident it was "only a matter of time" before the culprit was caught. He said police had a lot of information in connection with the case and there were "plenty" of suspects to be called in for questioning.

    The Bank of Cyprus District manager, Michalis Christofides, said the branch's emergency systems had worked "as they should have done".

    Police said the raider was about 25 to 30 years old, 1.80 metres tall and well built.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Government 'not surprised' by Milosevic handover, AKEL furious

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE GOVERNMENT was yesterday muted in its response to the handover of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to face war crimes charges in The Hague.

    The reformist Serbian government sealed his fate two years after he was indicted for the mass killings and expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo by the war crimes tribunal in 1999.

    Milosevic flew to the Netherlands on Thursday night. In return, the West promised Yugoslavia a desperately needed $1.3 billion to rebuild its shattered economy after a decade of fighting in the Balkans.

    Foreign Minsiter Yiannakis Cassoulides said simply that he was "not surprised" by the news.

    On a recent trip to Belgrade in March, he said he had been aware that events were moving in that direction.

    Cyprus was one of Serbia's staunchest supporters throughout the Balkan Wars.

    Friendship between the two countries, based on common Orthodox Christian tradition and Muslim enemies, has always been firm.

    On that basis, left wing party AKEL yesterday condemned Milosevic's extradition and launched a blistering attack on the West for using "political blackmail and financial promises" to circumvent international justice.

    "International law was violated, the decision by the Yugoslav constitutional court was ignored, even the objections of the President of the country himself. The issue is not Milosevic and the crimes he may have perpetrated, but the defence of certain basic rights," said deputy Andros Kyprianou.

    He poured scorn on the NATO alliance, principally Britain and the US for bombing schools, hospitals, foreign embassies and TV stations during the Yugoslav war.

    He added that their insistence that Milosevic be handed over showed unprecedented hypocrisy.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Cassoulides insists Greco-Turkish rapprochement can only help

    By a Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS only stands to benefit from Greco-Turkish rapprochement, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides insisted yesterday.

    Commenting on reports that the government was frustrated with Greece over its new friendship with Turkey, Cassoulides said there were some misconceptions on the island over the rapprochement efforts.

    "The Cypriot people tend to get emotional because there is an ongoing occupation and continuing Turkish threats, so its difficult for them to take a liking to a friendship offered by Greece to Turkey and to see it in a good light," he said. "Moves need to be made to change public opinion. On the one hand, there is the rapprochement, but on the other hand, improvement in relations between Greece and Turkey will only happen if there is progress on Cyprus."

    Cassoulides said he did not agree with the recent impression that the Cyprus problem was being ignored in the rapprochement. "I see what Greek diplomacy is doing every day so it would be ridiculous to say the Cyprus problem is being ignored," he said.

    Reports earlier this week were critical of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou for spending more time dancing and joking around with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem than discussing the Cyprus issue during talks in Greece and Turkey last weekend.

    The two ministers had made it clear their talks would steer away from core disputes to concentrate on 'low-level' bi-lateral issues.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Aerial talks with SBA collapse

    By a Staff Reporter

    AN AGREEMENT between Cyprus and Britain for environmental impact tests to be carried out before a massive new aerial goes up on the Akrotiri base has collapsed, the Foreign Ministry stated yesterday.

    Protests from local residents prompted the ministry to begin a dialogue with British authorities on the issue. It was agreed, earlier this month, that measurements of electromagnetic radiation from existing aerials at Akrotiri would be carried out to assess the impact of the installations.

    But the ministry announced yesterday that the British side had stated it was to begin preparatory work for installing the new aerial on Monday, the same day as radiation measurements were due to begin. The Foreign Ministry said the bases had said installation of the aerial would be delayed by at least a year unless the preparatory work began.

    "The Cypriot side repeated its position that we could not agree to the starting of any work for the installation of the aerial. before it was established that the new aerial will not be harmful for the health of local residents of the environment," the ministry stated. The two sides, which met again on Thursday, failed to reach an agreement on the issue and the Cypriot side told the British Monday's measurements were off.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Woman has twins after treatment to overcome infertility caused by chemotherapy

    By Rita Kyriakides

    A 30-YEAR-old woman from Limassol has given birth to healthy twins after overcoming infertility caused by chemotherapy treatments.

    The woman was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and doctors found tumours in her lymph nodes when she was 20 years old.

    Chemotherapy is known to cause infertility and the woman could not fall pregnant.

    A team of doctors from the Institute of Reproductive Medicine and the Intro Vito Fertilisation Centre in Nicosia, including gynaecologist Dr Andreas Chrysanthou and endocrinologist Dr Krinos Trokkoudes, decided to take on her difficult case and where satisfied with the results.

    The woman was kept under supervision throughout her pregnancy and gave birth to two healthy boys.

    Mother and children have gone home are in excellent condition.

    On a sadder note, a 32-year-old Bulgarian woman living in Cyprus did not live to see her baby daughter before her heart gave in just two days after giving birth.

    Rositsa Avgoustinou had a history of heart problems and despite warnings from her doctors became pregnant to give her Cypriot husband a second child.

    Avgoustinou underwent a by-pass in 1995, a few months after meeting her husband Avgoustino Avgoustinou who took her to England for the surgery.

    In 1998 she had a trouble free pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby boy and thought that it would be safe to have another baby.

    But in her eighth month of pregnancy, she was admitted to the Cardiology Ward at Nicosia General Hospital when she began to have problems.

    Due to the seriousness of her condition, doctors performed a caesarean and Avgoustinou gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

    However, despite efforts by doctors to save her, Avgoustinou died two days after giving birth without having the chance to hold her baby.

    Avgoustinou's funeral was held yesterday at 5pm at Ayia Varvara church in Kaimakli.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [09] Two Britons accused of beating up compatriot

    By a Staff Reporter

    LARNACA District court yesterday remanded two Britons in connection with an alleged attack on another Briton in the town on Thursday.

    Steven Smith, 38, had to be treated in hospital for a broken arm and other injuries after a 1.20 pm incident on Makarios Avenue.

    The court heard that Smith told police that a group of men picked him up from his home at Leivadia, outside Larnaca, on Thursday and took him to a bank ATM machine on the busy avenue. The men wanted Smith to hand over 100, 000 he allegedly owed one of them, police said. Smith told police he made a run for it but was caught by the group of men, who beat him up.

    Two men, a 32-year-old from Doncaster and a 43-year-old from Barking, were arrested in connection with the incident and were yesterday both remanded for eight days.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [10] Omirou launches his leadership campaign

    By Rita Kyriakides

    YIANNAKIS Omirou yesterday officially announced his candidacy for the KISOS leadership to be contested on July 22.

    "I believe that if I am elected, it could ensure the safety of the future of KISOS," said Omirou.

    He said he believed the party needed a new beginning and said the July 22 elections would herald a historic period in the party's history and would lead to a new era for the party.

    Omirou pointed out that rival, Takis Hadjidemetriou was only willing to serve one term as president and that the outcome of the elections was a crucial time for the party.

    Hadjidemetriou has said he would serve a single term to provide a transition leadership before handing over the party to younger hands.

    But Omirou said this was a crucial time in Cyprus' history with looming accession to the EU, and argued KISOS needs to have steady leadership over the duration of the period.

    The election is to replace veteran party leader Vassos Lyssarides who stood down after the party's dismal showing in the May 27 elections.

    Omirou noted that if he was not elected, he would stand by KISOS and the new president.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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