Rebels glad and wary of US support

Rebels massed for a counter-attack against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in eastern Libya on Thursday, both encouraged by and wary of news of covert U.S. support and his foreign minister’s defection.

“We are beginning to see the Gaddafi regime crumble,” rebel spokesman Mustafa Gheriani said in the eastern town of Benghazi, while stopping short of welcoming fugitive foreign minister Moussa Koussa, a former spy chief, into the rebel fold.

Analysts agreed the defection of Koussa, who flew to London on Wednesday, was a blow to Gaddafi and belied the advantage his forces have gained on the ground in recent days. It did not, however, reduce the risk of greater government violence.

This Watch Explodes and Reconfigures Itself Every Hour Just to Tell You the Time

The Harry Winston Opus Eleven doesn’t need watch hands. It’s got main cylinders which disintegrate and re-assemble every hour to tell you the time.

The three cylinders are meant to “deconstruct” time—with the biggest circle housing 24 placards that rotate and move every hour on a complex series of gears. The small top circle displays the minutes while the small bottom circle displays the beat of a titanium balance-wheel.

If Inception were a watch, I’m sure it would choose to be this one. It won’t be easy to get a hold of one though, as there are only 111 of them being made at $250,000 each.

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Our View: Deputies paying for air-time is no big shock

EVERYONE seems to have been shocked to hear that two local television stations had demanded payment in order to give air-time to a parliamentary candidate.

The revelation was made by a DISY Limassol deputy, Andreas Themistocleous who claimed that one television station had asked for €3,000 and another for €5,000 to invite candidates to appear on their election shows.

The matter is to be discussed at the House, while the chairman of the Cyprus Broadcasting Authority has asked the deputy to submit his allegations in writing so these could be investigated.

Deadlock over census option


THE GREEK and Turkish Cypriot sides are at a deadlock over the matter of conducting simultaneous population censuses in the two communities, President Demetris Christofias said yesterday.

Speaking after his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, Christofias said the Greek Cypriot side had submitted a specific proposal: “The censuses should be done on the same day and supervised – in every sense of the word supervised – by international organisations, led by the United Nations Organisation.”

The president added that the two sides were at a deadlock over this but the Greek Cypriot side would revisit the matter, he said.

Paphos cancer mum refused state financial aid

A PAPHOS mum who has recently returned to the island after receiving potentially life saving radiotherapy in Germany for nine brain tumours has been refused government aid for her treatment.

“I have just received a letter from the government refusing me funding for the treatment in Germany and without the help of the Paphos people forum it scares me to think that I might have died and might not be sitting her now,” Alethea Ayres, 35, who was diagnosed with a life threatening melanoma last year, said.

The forum inspired the Paphos community to come together to raise funds for Alethea to receive radiotherapy treatment in Germany, which she completed earlier this month.

Teen sets off firecracker on school bus

A 17-YEAR-OLD student reportedly fired a firecracker yesterday morning in the back of a school bus on the way to Lefkara high school, police said.

Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said the incident happened at around 7am on the Skarino-Lefkara route . The cracker went off with a bang and smoke spread everywhere on the bus but luckily no one was hurt, Katsounotos said.

Police suspect it is the second time the same student was involved in a firecracker incident – the first taking place on March 24 again on a school bus.

The youth will be called to make a statement to police in the presence of his parents,  Katsounotos said.

Axing of multiple pensions welcomed by parties

POLITICAL parties yesterday welcomed a government bill abolishing multiple pensions for state officials, though the opposition reserved some criticism for the administration.

The bill seeks to do away with the practice of former state and semi-government officials who have held more than one public position to receive a pension for each.

It also abolishes provisions allowing retired officials who are appointed to public office to receive a salary and a pension at the same time.

Main opposition DISY described the move as positive but reminded that parties had submitted a similar proposal back in December while the government put forward the bill two weeks before parliament dissolves ahead of the elections.

New board for Open University

THE OPEN University is seeing a new Interim Governing Board after a prolonged discussion on whether the term for the previous board would be extended beyond its March 31 deadline. The new board will take over on April 1 and its term will span for three years unless the university becomes autonomous before then.

The board’s previous president, Panos Razis, had come under fire for dragging out his term for the past eight years. Opposition DISY had proposed to extend the IGC’s term for another year but the move was deemed unconstitutional by the Attorney-general and was rejected.

The Education Minister recently called for Razis’ resignation saying that disputes and spats “had created a divisive spirit.”

London Welsh Voice Choir to perform in Cyprus

FOLLOWING the success of her recent appearance with the Morlais male choir during their trip to Cyprus, a Paphos businesswomen has been invited to sing with the London Welsh Male Voice Choir when they perform on the island in May.

Judith Evans- Davies said: “I will be singing two or three songs with the choir and I’m absolutely thrilled. I feel quite overwhelmed and really excited.”

Evans- Davies performed in March with the Morlais male voice; the first time the soprano had sung with the male choir.

The singer, who is now gaining an International reputation, was recently approached by Mike Charlesworth of the Male Choir after a recommendation following her recent performance.

Missing teen

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy, Vasilis Sarris, has been reported missing since Tuesday, police said yesterday.

Sarris’s mother told police that her son had left the family home in Latsia at 7.30pm on Tuesday without saying where he was going.

The boy is described as 1,75m in height, of normal build, with dark blond hair. He was wearing jeans, a white t-shirt with a hood, and black shoes when he went missing.

Anyone who knows of his whereabouts should call either CID Nicosia, their nearest police station or the citizen’s line on 1460.