Annan remains cautious despite the pressure

U.N. SECRETARY-General Kofi Annan said yesterday further consultations were needed before he decided on a new round of Cyprus peace talks, dampening hopes for imminent progress on the issue. Annan appeared to be holding out for the sides to meet his conditions for re-engagement in the process, at a standstill after talks broke down in early 2003.

The big freeze

DISCUSSING the weather is generally a ‘get out clause’ style of comment to break an uncomfortable silence in a lift or waiting room, for example. But today I am going to make an exception and comment on how absolutely freezing London is at the moment. Temperatures are creeping down and there is a rumour that snow is a few days away… Boy, am I glad I went for the sheepskin coat after all!

The BBC has done the honourable thing: would Tony Blair have done the same?

PITY the BBC. An institution prided for its integrity, its impartiality, its journalistic standards, dragged through the mud, with the likes of Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson putting the boot in from the sidelines. It hasn’t been a pretty sight. It hasn’t been a happy 48 hours for a broadcasting institution that has set the standard for the world.

Greek Press

SIMERINI: “No more National Guard exercises in the summer”. The National Guard has decided to scrap its summer exercises in an effort to avoid the outbreak of fires.

Mayor’s son-in-law remanded on corruption charges

THE SON-IN-LAW of beleaguered Paralimni mayor Nicos Vlittis Andreas Kakoullis, 37, was yesterday remanded in custody for five days. Kakoullis, a municipal engineer, appeared before a Famagusta district court yesterday morning for a remand hearing following his arrest on Thursday afternoon. He faces charges of abuse of power, bribery of a public employee and corruption in the period 2001-2003.

Pathologist insists new evidence changer her mind, not police

PROSECUTORS in the trial of four doctors accused of medical negligence in the death of a 14-year-old boy yesterday completed their questioning of state pathologist Eleni Antoniou, who again admitted she had changed her statement on cause of death from septic shock to asphyxiation, but insisted this was due to new evidence and not pressure from police.

Time for fines to match living standards

FINES no longer correspond to the current cost of living, according to law commissioner Leda Koursoumba, who has tabled a bill to increase court fines – some by up to 2,000 per cent. DISY deputy Marios Matsakis first suggested the raising of fines in November 2001, based on the impact of inflation.

Cyprus University opens Brussels office

AS A sign of things to come, the University of Cyprus (UCY) will set up an office in Brussels to keep a closer eye on developments in research, education and culture while having a foot in EU decision-making. The European Co-operation Office has the job of keeping the university informed on EU policies and creating close contacts with key figures in the European Commission and Parliament.

Euro info, in any language, free of charge

Fact of the day: At last the forces of public relations are intensifying efforts to inform every citizen about EU accession. Any question or query can now be answered using a simple to use and free service.