Royal newlyweds kiss, cheered by a million fans

Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton married at Westminster Abbey yesterday in a sumptuous show of British pageantry that attracted a huge world audience and breathed new life into the monarchy.

One million well-wishers watched military bands in black bearskin hats and household cavalrymen in shining breastplates escorting the beaming couple in a 1902 open-topped state landau carriage after the ceremony.

The newly-weds then appeared on the balcony of Queen Elizabeth’s Buckingham Palace in central London where they sealed their union with two kisses before a jubilant, cheering crowd who waved flags and banners.

Our View: More than low taxes needed to sustain island’s business allure

A SURVEY published on Thursday revealed the opinions of a sample of foreign businesses operating in Cyprus when it comes to how well the island shapes up as an international business centre.

The survey was carried out by accounting and auditing firm Baker Tilly Klitou and gave Cyprus a strong performance rating as a business centre but also highlighted its weaknesses.

The positive evaluation was primarily driven by the island’s low tax rates, followed by the strategic location. Private sector services also received high marks with accounting rated the highest with 94 per cent saying they were ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Other business services had an 80 per cent approval rating, banks 76 per cent, and lawyers 78 per cent.

Paphos ex-pats unite to paint town a royal red, white and blue

NOT TO be outdone by the UK’s royal wedding celebrations, residents of Paphos, which has the island’s largest ex pat community – celebrated the nuptials in style, with traditional British street parties, complete with flags and red, white and blue balloons and bunting.

One of many such revellers, Sue and Darren Keats held a party along with their neighbours in their cul de sac in Peyia.

Beneath flags and decorations of all kinds, guests watched the wedding on a specially-erected projector screen before taking to the street to make merry.

Dressed in a Union Jack dress and matching hat Sue said the event was one she will always remember.

Mother has head-on collision with biker son

A YOUNG man from Paphos village Akoursos was yesterday in critical condition after his motorbike collided head on with a car driven by his mother.

Alexandros Michail, 22, had been riding his motorbike on a rural road connecting Akoursos with Peyia, when under circumstances that are still being investigated, he crashed head on with an oncoming car, which was being driven by his mother.

Michail, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, sustained serious head injuries along with a ruptured spleen and was rushed to Paphos General Hospital, where he underwent lengthy surgery.

Doctors yesterday said the 22-year-old’s condition was “critical but stable”. His mother, meanwhile, has suffered a nervous breakdown.

New harbour opens at Zygi

THE INAUGURATION of the new Zygi fishing shelter between Limassol and Larnaca took place yesterday at the presence of President Demetris Christofias and other officials.

The fishing shelter serves three basic goals, Christofias said during the ceremony.

“It serves the needs of Zygi fishermen and the greater Larnaca-Limassol region; it creates new jobs and significantly upgrades the greater area,” said Christofias.

The works took four years to complete and cost €41 million and can accommodate more than 250 vessels.

Hermes upgrades airports’ runways

HERMES airports have completed the first phase of a €7 million runway upgrade this week, with further work expected to run until March 2012.

The upgrades to Larnaca and Paphos airports include new asphalt surfacing for the taxiways and new lighting to mark aircraft approaches.

Hermes public relations manager Adamos Aspris said yesterday that more than 100 workers carried out the work between midnight and 7am during most nights over the past six months.

Aspris said: “The first phase of upgrading the channels and the two Cypriot airports began on November 1, 2010 and was completed just a few days ago,” adding that “the total cost upgrade work is expected to exceed €7 million.”

Good vibes for Cyprus’ Eurovision entry

AS ROYAL wedding fever subsides, excitement is once again growing for the next big event of the year: the Eurovision Song Contest.

Taking place in Dusseldorf in two weeks’ time, the 56th annual Eurovision contest will bring together 43 countries, including Cyprus, and around 100 million viewers are expected to tune in.

Cyprus entry this year is called San Angelos s’agapisa and is being performed by 19 year old Nicosian Christos Mylordou, who reportedly blew away the competition on CyBC’s Performance talent show, securing 11,000 votes – some 5,000 more than his rival Louis Panagiotou.

Mylordou’s song has already been uploaded to popular video sharing site, and is causing quite a stir.

Syria neighbours worry over regional instability

FOREIGN Minister Marcos Kyprianou yesterday voiced concern over the possibility of an influx of refugees from neighbouring Syria fleeing a state crackdown on anti-government protesters.

“The ministry is already studying various plans on how to react if there is a crisis in Syria,” Kyprianou said.

Speaking on the sidelines of an informal conference with his counterparts from Israel, Malta, Greece and the Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister, Kyprianou said the situation in Syria was being handled by the European Union.

“We have an open dialogue with Syria; we have a special relationship and I am conveying … the views and positions of the EU in a more convincing and frank manner,” the Cypriot top diplomat said.

March unemployment at 7.2 per cent

UNEMPLOYMENT in Cyprus in March was 7.2 per cent of the active population, remaining unchanged since February, according to figures released by Eurostat yesterday.

The data indicates that average unemployment in the eurozone in February was 9.9 per cent of the active population, unchanged compared to January, while for the whole of the EU it was 9.5 per cent, also unchanged.

In Cyprus, the number of men unemployed was 7.0 per cent in March, compared to 6.8 per cent in February, while the number of women unemployed was 7.5 per cent, compared to 7.6 per cent in February. Unemployed young people stood at 20.2 per cent.

Cypriot experts say DNA research very promising in disease diagnosis

CYPRIOT genetic experts yesterday praised the importance of DNA research in disease diagnosis and treatment.

“DNA research offers many promising prospects in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases,” Philippos Patsalis, Chief Executive Medical Director of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING).

Patsalis was speaking at a news conference to present the Institute’s work on the occasion of World DNA day, celebrated on April 25.

Referring to the achievements of the Institute, Patsalis recalled the recent publication by the Cytogenetics and Genomics Department, which he heads, on a pioneering worldwide Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis for Down’s Syndrome, which constitutes “a milestone in prenatal diagnosis” he said.