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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-06-18

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, June 18, 2002


  • [01] Formal protest over Hannay interview
  • [02] Minister admits appalling postal delivery record
  • [03] Israeli scientist defends naked chick plans
  • [04] Suspected cocaine baron 'hiding in the north'
  • [05] Cyprus to host next energy meeting
  • [06] What about women's sexuality?
  • [07] Concern over political intervention in university affairs

  • [01] Formal protest over Hannay interview

    By Jean Christou

    THE government yesterday formally protested to Britain over statements made to a Turkish television channel by London's special Cyprus envoy Lord David Hannay referring to two "states" on the island and the existence of two "peoples".

    British High Commissioner in Nicosia Lyn Parker was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, where Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides protested over both references.

    "I have lodged an official protest with regard to what we consider as unacceptable comments that Lord Hannay has made," Cassoulides told journalists after the hour-long meeting.

    He said neither the government nor the National Council agreed at all with what Hannay said in the interview with CNN Turk last week.

    Speaking after the National Council meeting yesterday, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said all the members of the Council had described Hannay's remarks as unacceptable.

    Hannay told CNN Turk that a new state would be created with rather limited responsibilities. He also referred twice in his interview to "two peoples" in Cyprus.

    According to the transcript of the interview, Hannay had told CNN Turk that a new state, quite different from the old one would be created. He said the central state would have "rather limited responsibilities", a comment which ruffled the government's feathers.

    The government says it agrees with constitutional amendments but disagrees strongly with the dissolution of the Republic of Cyprus and the creation of a new state, warning that such an eventuality would entail abolition of existing treaties. On the basis of these 1960 treaties, Britain has retained two military bases on the island.

    "I have made it clear that no third party has the right to introduce positions which do not belong to the two sides at the negotiating table and which were not part of the peace talks," Cassoulides said. "You too understand what he was trying to do, but unfortunately he overstepped a certain line, something that caused our reaction, and what he wanted to achieve was not exactly achieved."

    Cassoulides also said he regretted Parker's reaction yesterday. The British High Commissioner told journalists: "Lord Hannay said what he said, I have nothing to add or subtract."

    The Foreign Minister said what Hannay had told CNN Turk reflected British policy on Cyprus and expressed surprise that Lord Hannay advocated the creation of a new state.

    "I have outlined clearly our fundamental position that the Treaty of Establishment has to be fully respected and I believe Britain understands fully that renegotiation of this Treaty will mean negotiation rights from the start," Cassoulides said.

    President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have another four meetings to go before the end of June, a target date for an agreement on the four core issues of the Cyprus problem.

    UN special envoy Alvaro de Soto will go to New York at the end of June to brief UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan on the course of the talks.

    However, no progress has been achieved in any of the core issues and the talks are currently facing a deadlock, with very little prospect of an agreement in principle on the core issues by the target date.

    The two leaders are scheduled to meet today without a topic for discussion on their agenda, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

    De Soto plans to leave the island for New York on Friday June 28.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Minister admits appalling postal delivery record

    By a Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS has an appalling record in distributing overseas mail compared to the rest of Europe, Communications Minister Averoff Neophytou admitted yesterday.

    Speaking before the House Finance Committee where he was asking for the approval of 14 new positions in the Postal Services, Neophytou noted that delays in mail delivery were due to the system of hiring part-time postmen.

    He said that with existing contractual agreements no one could be held responsible and no disciplinary measures could be taken against those who did not do their jobs properly.

    The minister said the new technology applied in the postal services had improved sorting but there was still considerable delay in distribution.

    Until now, postal workers had to sit exams to get hired, and this created hug problems for the department since most of the successful applicants were women who were not interested in delivering mail, Neophytou said.

    He said the House had accepted his proposal to have separate departmental examinations in an effort not only to fill the new positions, but also another 50 empty ones.

    Around 92 per cent of overseas mail around Europe is distributed in three days at most, while in Cyprus only 15 per cent reaches the receiver on the third day, the minister said.

    Other candidate countries manage 75 per cent of delivery within three days.

    "We are five times worse from the average of candidate countries and this should concern us enough to make drastic changes to procedures to improve the service to the public," Neophytou said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Israeli scientist defends naked chick plans

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    CHICKENS with feathers are no longer efficient for meat production in hot climates, according to Professor Avigdor Cahaner of the Rehovot Institute at the Hebrew University, who yesterday presented for the very first time his research on featherless chickens at the Agriculture Research Institute in Nicosia.

    When he was a small boy, Cahaner explained, chickens hardly suffered from heat, but heat waves from the late 1950s onwards caused increased mortality in chickens bred for meat production, otherwise known as broilers.

    In 1950, it took 90 days for a broiler to reach the average market rate of two kilos. At present, a broiler requires six to seven weeks to reach market weight, which is about half the original time scale. "The average of genetic improvement in broiler growth rate is equal to one day less per year. It is quite possible, therefore, that by 2010 growth rate will reduce to 32 days," said Cahaner.

    Rapid growth results from a higher rate of feed intake and metabolism, which increase the amount of internally produced heat, making modern broilers more sensitive to higher temperatures.

    So broiler breeders and farmers in hot countries are faced with a dichotomy: the faster their chickens grow, the more sensitive they become to the heat and the easier they perish.

    In Saudi Arabia, chickens have the luxury of spending their time on death row in the cool environment of air conditioning. Most farmers in hot- climate regions, however, cannot afford costly artificial temperature controls or wait for slow-growth chickens to reach market weight because they are simply too inefficient in today's global market.

    Cahaner and his team searched for ways to help broilers tolerate heat when reared in hot climates and so, reach the potential growth rate. After a number of tests, they concluded that feathers hindered the broiler's ability to radiate internally produced heat.

    Thus, by crossbreeding naked neck genes with rapid growth broilers, chickens were able to keep eating while not suffering from the heat. This method reduces feather coverage by about 30 per cent, reducing the growth rate of broilers in hot climates by about one week.

    Given the positive results of the half-hairy chickens, Cahaner utilised the recessive spontaneous mutation called 'scaleless', found in California in 1954, in order to maximise heat-tolerance of fast-growing broilers. The results of the 'featherless chickens' experiment have so far been positive in their artificial environment.

    Cahaner believes the featherless chickens will be more efficient in tropical climates, given that they need to be in temperatures no less than 20 degrees. However, climates like Cyprus and Israel are apt for the naked neck cross-breed which can handle summer and winter temperatures. International breeders are ready to produce commercial naked neck broilers within a year or two, said Cahaner, but the featherless broilers will take more time.

    He highlighted the advantage of the new chickens having thin skin with very little fat, and said the elimination of feather coverage, which improves heat tolerance, would increase consumption of poultry in hot-climate countries, especially the poorer ones.

    Cahaner clarified that the whole process was a pure application of conventional genetics and had nothing to do with genetical modification.

    Asked to comment on the latter, he said some applications of genetic modification could be dangerous and therefore, should be closely monitored.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Suspected cocaine baron 'hiding in the north'

    By a Staff Reporter

    BRIAN Brendan Wright, the alleged 'Mr Big' behind a drugs smuggling empire believed to have imported three tonnes of cocaine into the UK in two years can be found enjoying a gin and tonic on his veranda watching the sun drop into the sea from his home in the occupied areas, according to reports in the British media at the weekend.

    He and numerous other fugitives, such as Asil Nadir, reside in northern Cyprus safely beyond the grasp of authorities because no country except Turkey recognises the regime in the north and no extradition treaty exists between it and other countries.

    Last Friday following the conviction of one of the cocaine gang's leading members, Hilton John Van Staden, a 52-year old South African who pleaded guilty to conspiring to import drugs British customs, officers claimed to have destroyed what a spokesman described as "the most prolific and successful international drug smuggling organisation to target the UK."

    However, Wright, the alleged head of the operation, was out of the country when British police started to arrest members of the gang in 1996 and is believed to have fled to the safety of northern Cyprus between 1997 and 1998. According to the Times, he lives in a 300,000 villa surrounded by imposing gates and 10-foot walls near occupied Lapithos, eight miles west of Kyrenia. The paper added he was said to feel guilty about fleeing while his associates - including his own son - were serving time.

    According to the Times, Wright bought the house in the name of a Turkish Cypriot friend. The paper says the fugitive regularly changes the numbers of his mobile phones, which are not registered in his name for security reasons. His wife Josie, whom he married at the age of 19, now rarely visits him abroad.

    The six-year investigation began after a stroke of good fortune for Customs in September 1996. A converted fishing trawler on its way to Britain, the Sea Mist, was forced by bad weather to alter its course and seek shelter in Cork. Irish Customs found 599kg of cocaine on board, valued at 80 million. In April 1997, a surveillance operation of Wright began. He was known as 'The Milkman' because, Customs investigators said, "he always delivers".

    Investigations suggested sailors were crewing vessels in the Caribbean, where they picked up drugs dropped in the sea, and then sailed towards Britain, where the narcotics were transferred to boats hired for day trips.

    A total of 19 people were brought to court, 14 of them in Britain, resulting in sentences totalling 206 years.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Cyprus to host next energy meeting

    By a Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS is to play host to the next meeting of energy ministers from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Cyprus, expected to take place in the autumn.

    Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis told the Cyprus News Agency from Amman in Jordan that Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon were setting up an organisation to promote the trade and transportation of the region's natural gas, and had invited Cyprus to participate in the organisation's share capital.

    Rolandis said that Jordan's King Abdullah, who hosted the five ministers in Amman, had showed great interest in the programme, adding, "he showed particular interest in Cyprus' role as the nearest European territory to the Middle East, in energy and in other fields".

    The minister added the Middle Eastern countries had started to realise that Cyprus could contribute in energy matters as well as in other fields.

    Rolandis said the ministers had accepted his invitation to hold their next meeting in Cyprus, adding it was expected to take place between September and October.

    "Cyprus' first priority is to be supplied with natural gas, which is the modern form of energy," Rolandis said. The next step would be to enter a financial alliance with these "friendly" countries, which play a leading role in oil issues in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean.

    If natural gas reserves were found in Cyprus it would be important to be able to negotiate with these countries, Rolandis said, declining to say whether Cyprus would carry out a search for natural gas.

    He stressed, however, that it had been proved that the Eastern Mediterranean had natural gas and oil reserves.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] What about women's sexuality?

    By Alex Mita

    VIAGRA has changed the lives of thousands of men with sexual dysfunctions. But is it only men who suffer from problems with their sexuality? According to Dr Moshe Mock - organiser of a congress on sexuality under way in Limassol - women's sexuality is a far more complex issue since their brain is different to that of man.

    This is just one of the many topics being discussed at the sixth Congress of the European Federation of Sexology (EFS) in Limassol until June 20.

    The conference is mainly for professionals - medical doctors, psychologists, social workers, sex educators or people working with family planning.

    Congress president Dr Moshe Mock told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the conference would focus on sexuality in a real and virtual environment.

    "We are living in the Internet era so we will discuss the influence of the Internet on the sexual life," Mock said.

    Mock said the Internet had a positive and a negative influence on sexuality.

    "A lot of people are looking to the Internet to get information and sex education," he said.

    "I don't know if it's the same in Cyprus, but around the world a lot of people are asking questions to specialists anonymously on the Internet, people who are afraid to ask their doctor."

    But Mock said that there was a negative side to the Internet, that of people using the web to find erotic sites, potentially promoting paedophilia or giving misinformation about sex.

    "But we have to deal with it and this is one of the main topics in this conference, how to deal with the Internet and other things as well as how to solve the problems in sexual life," he said.

    "We are living in the Viagra era. Because of this pill men are functioning good sexually, but what about their wives?"

    "We know that there are also many problems with women and we are working on finding a solution. To give a pill to women is different. The brain of a woman is different."

    The Israeli doctor said there were many factors influencing sexuality and especially issues of sexual apathy and desire.

    "All around the world, the sexual desire in women is less than in men, so Viagra won't help in this case," he explained.

    "There are many studies to find solutions for women with sexual problems. For instance, the problems women face after breast cancer, do they have a sex life after that?"

    The conference had been scheduled to be held in Jerusalem but due to the security situation there, the Israeli Society for Sex Therapy decided to move the congress to Cyprus instead. The event is taking place at the Hawaii Grand Hotel in Limassol and is attended by professionals from over 30 countries, including specialists from Cyprus.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Concern over political intervention in university affairs

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE SENATE of the University of Cyprus senate yesterday expressed its sadness at the resignation of Rector Nicolas Papamichael and warned that further political intervention would be detrimental to the development and autonomy of the institution.

    The senate convened in an emergency meeting to discuss the implications of Papamichael's resignation following the House plenary decision last week to give students 33 per cent representation in department councils.

    Senate Chairman Ioannis Koutsakos said, "The senate wishes to express great sadness and understanding over the Rector's resignation, and shares fully his concerns over the future of the university," adding: "The senate views his resignation as a rare act of high morality and responsibility."

    Koutsakos thanked Papamichael for his invaluable contribution to the founding and development of the university and concurred with his view that parliament's decision had left the future running of the university in doubt.

    The Senate also expressed concern over the likelihood of the House decision setting a precedent for further interventions in the future with negative consequences on the development and autonomy of the university.

    In order to avoid this, the Senate has decided to open an immediate dialogue with the House and political parties to establish a climate of trust and facilitate the smooth co-operation between university and state in the future.

    At present, no other member of staff has threatened to follow Papamichael's footsteps and resign.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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