Nicosia hotel fined for its use of unnecessary CCTV

20:25 THE COMMISSIONER for Personal Data Protection, Nicos Danielidis has fined the Holiday Inn Hotel in Nicosia €3,000 for using CCTV cameras in unnecessary places around its premises.

Danielidis also ordered the hotel to remove 25 out of the 60 CCTV cameras, which were apparently installed in the hotel’s restaurants, bars, reception halls, kitchens and swimming pool.

The hotel has also been instructed to re-adjust the building’s back street cameras, so that they do not record any images of the entrances or interior spaces of neighbouring buildings and shops.

“The personal life of each and every citizen needs to be respected and one should not be under continuous surveillance” said the commissioner.

Norway divided after mass killer declared insane

18:00 A REPORT declaring mass killer Anders Behring Breivik insane, meaning he will most likely end up in a psychiatric institution rather than jail, has divided Norwegians who are still traumatised by the July massacre.

From disbelief and anger to acceptance that this may be the best way forward, Norwegians reacted strongly to the conclusions of a mental health assessment released Tuesday about the man who committed the country’s worst ever attacks since World War Two.

Breivik killed 77 people on July 22 when he planted a car bomb that killed eight people at an Oslo government building, then went on to shoot dead 69 more, most of them teenagers, at an island summer camp of the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing.

Swiss resorts in uphill battle over no snow and the franc

17:57 ARMED with snow canons and cut-price hotel deals some of Switzerland’s ski resorts, already beleaguered by the strong Swiss franc, are grappling with another obstacle – no snow.

A dry November has forced several ski resorts to push back the start of the season, the latest in a string of bad news for hoteliers who have struggled to fill beds as the soaring Swiss franc deters foreign holidaymakers.

Not to be disheartened, Davos-Klosters nestled in eastern Switzerland employed no less than 250 snow canons to get pistes ready for the season start – a week later than scheduled.

Microscopic worms may hold key to living on Mars

17:54 BRITISH scientists believe microscopic worms which are biologically very similar to humans may be the key to helping humans colonise other planets like Mars by giving clues on coping with long-term space living.

A team of scientists led by Nathaniel Szewczyk from Notthingham University blasted 4,000 of the worms, known as known as Caenorhabditis elegans, or C. elegans, into space on board the Space Shuttle Discovery, and studied their progress.

Many experts – including astrophysicist Stephen Hawking – believe the ultimate survival of humanity could be dependent on the human colonisation of other planets.

Central banks act as eurozone crisis rages

17:50 THE world’s major central banks acted jointly yesterday to provide cheaper dollar liquidity to starved European banks facing a credit crunch as the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis threatens the world with financial disaster.

The surprise emergency move by the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the central banks of Britain, Canada and Switzerland recalled coordinated action to steady global markets in the 2008 financial crisis.

The euro and European shares surged on the news, which came after eurozone finance ministers agreed to ramp up the firepower of their bailout fund but acknowledged they may have to turn to the International Monetary Fund for more help.

MP: I did nothing obscene in my car

17:48 MAIN opposition DISY MP Andreas Pitsillides today vehemently denied rumours he had been caught by police in his car engaging in sexual acts with a foreign man in a Nicosia suburb over the weekend.

In a lengthy news release, Pitsillides described the rumours as “slanderous, cowardly, and completely false.”

“Never, in my 34 years, I have committed anything obscene inside my car and certainly, never in my life have I even played host to a foreign individual in my car,” Pitsillides, who is also a theologian, said.

Rumours suggested the MP was found by a police patrol near the US government news monitoring station in Makedonitissa in the early morning hours of Sunday with an Asian man.

December ‘key to easing Chelsea anxiety’

17:40 CHELSEA manager Andre Villas-Boas has targeted December’s fixtures as being key to easing the unfamiliar anxiety at Stamford Bridge after a third defeat in four home matches.

Tuesday’s 2-0 League Cup quarter-final defeat by Liverpool came hot on the heels of a Premier League loss to the same club and a 5-3 defeat by Arsenal to make fans twitchy at a ground that had been a fortress for much of the Roman Abramovich era.

“For our Premier League challenge to be alive we need to make the most of the December fixtures,” the manager said on the club website (

“We play most of the top teams and that is our challenge for December. March and April can be as decisive, but as we play the top teams it’s a fact.”

Cypriot restaurant wins prestigious environmental award

17:25 ARCHONTIKO Papadopoulou in Kornos today became the first Cypriot restaurant to be awarded with the Green Key, making the island the second after France to receive the prestigious award.

According to Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou, who handed the award over, the award is traditionally given to hotels. But it recently started to include restaurants as well.

“It sets a series of environmental parameters that restaurants have to live up to,” he explained. “These include staff training, creating substructure and implementing environmentally friendly procedures. For example, you are made to manage your waste and recycle what is necessary, as well as control electricity consumption.”

Turkish authorities kill gunman in Istanbul

17:08 TURKISH authorities today shot dead a heavily armed gunman after he fired upon and injured two security personnel in Istanbul’s Topkapi palace.

According to the Reuters news agency, the gunman opened fire in the courtyard near to the entrance of the palace. Turkish security forces killed him around one hour later.

Turkish interior minister Idriss Naim Sahin told the Turkish Anatolian news agency that the assailant was a Libyan citizen, born in 1975, and who entered Turkey on November 27.

Istanbul’s prefect, Hussein Avni Mutlu told reporters that the Libyan was shot after refusing to surrender, but without explaining his reasons for the attack.

Cyprus unemployment rate increases in October

16:35 UNEMPLOYMENT in Cyprus rose from 7.9 per cent in September to 8.2 per cent in October according Eurostat’s latest data. The rate is marginally lower for men – 8.1 per cent, compared to 8.3 per cent for women.

More than one in five people under 25 (22.7 per cent) were unemployed in September.

This remains lower than the Euro area unemployment rate, which recorded a historic high of 10.3 per cent this month, up from 10.2 per cent in September.

Meanwhile, the EU27 unemployment rate was 9.8 per cent in October compared to 9.7 per cent in September.