Cyprus held to goalless draw by youthful Serbia

CYPRUS and Serbia played out a goalless draw in the second game of the 14th International National Teams Tournament organised by the Cyprus Football Association  at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca.

Following their 2-0 win over Armenia in Limassol on Tuesday, Serbia’s caretaker coach Radovan Ćurčić decided to field a youthful team as he handed full debuts to three players in Matija Nastasić, Filip Đuričić and Stefan Šćepović, while three others had played less than ten games for the national team.

Some September 11 victims' remains ended in landfill

Partial remains from some victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks ended up in a landfill, according to a Pentagon report released on Tuesday that revealed other blunders at the US military’s main mortuary.

The Pentagon report said that several portions of remains found from the attack on the Pentagon and at the Pennsylvania crash site of a hijacked airliner presumably ended up in a landfill after being handed over to a private firm.

It did not say precisely where the remains ended up.

Retired General John Abizaid, briefing Pentagon reporters on the findings of the review of practices at the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, said it was unclear how many September 11 victims’ partial remains were disposed of in this manner.

Russia to modernise iconic Kalashnikov rifle

Moscow announced plans this week to modernise the Kalashnikov, giving a new lease of life to the Soviet-era assault rifle that is the mainstay of the Russian army and weapon of choice for paramilitaries and gangsters around the world.

Part of a 20 trillion-rouble modernisation of Russia’s armed forces that includes the addition of new armaments, submarines and aircraft by 2020, the new-look Kalashnikov will get a detachable sight and light, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told parliament.

“We are planning deep modernisation of the Kalashnikov assault rifle,” said Rogozin, who oversees the defence industry. “This will be a weapon with detachable equipment, such as an optical sight and a lamp.”

Britain protests at Argentine boycott call

An Argentine minister’s call on firms to stop importing UK goods in protest at Britain’s position on the Falkland Islands is counter-productive and Britain has raised the issue with Buenos Aires, a British official said on Wednesday.

Industry Minister Debora Giorgi urged company executives on Tuesday to stop importing British goods, a ministry source said, further straining ties as the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war approaches.

“We think that’s counter-productive and also a complete misreading of Britain’s resolve on this issue,” a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters.

Costa passengers endure tropical climes without power

Passengers faced a third day without power and hot food on a stricken Costa cruise ship in the sweltering Indian Ocean on Wednesday, as helicopters airlifted fresh bread to the liner under tow.

An engine room fire on the Costa Allegra, which is owned by the company whose giant liner smashed into rocks off Italy last month, knocked out the ship’s main power supply on Monday, disabling the engines in waters prowled by pirates.

Costa Cruises said the cruise liner was due to arrive at the Seychelles capital of Victoria around 9am on Thursday.

The Trevignon, a French deep sea tuna trawler dwarfed by the liner, is pulling the Costa Allegra along at a speed of six knots.

Cyprus Airways posts €19 million loss

CYPRUS Airways (CY) today posted a €19 million loss, hit by intensified competition and rising fuel costs.

At the same time, the airline said it was drafting an action plan that included an increase of share capital and cutting labour costs, in a bid to secure its viability.

Severe weather hits islandwide


SEVERE weather struck across the island yesterday with hail, storms, rain and strong winds affecting all areas, although Larnaca was worst hit.

“I’ve never seen such a hailstorm in my life and I’m 80 years old,” said one Larnaca resident.

A driver on the Larnaca-Dhekelia road as hailstones began to hammer down said all drivers had to pull over as the hailstones reduced visibility to zero as well as causing the temperature to fall from 12C to 4C in matter of seconds.

“It was very scary as you thought that the roof of the car was going to cave in from the battering of the hail stones,” the driver said, adding that the storm lasted about five minutes.

Our View: Youth should be encouraged to consider going into the trades


THE HOUSE commerce committee yesterday discussed the issue of unemployment among the young, which currently stands at about 25 per cent. Among the guests of the committee were the rectors of private and state universities as well as Cypriot Nobel prize winner, Professor Christophoros Pissarides who made a rather bleak forecast about lowering unemployment. 

Painting Calcutta blue a futile re-brand effort

I am not making this up. They’re going to paint Calcutta blue.

Some PR firm of public relations consultants has persuaded the West Bengal state government that all official buildings and assets in Calcutta, right down to the lane dividers on highways, should be painted light blue. Taxis and other public services that require licences will also have to get out the blue paint, and owners of private property will be asked to do the same, with tax cuts for those who comply.

Court rejects rapist’s claim that seven years in prison were “patently excessive”

THE SUPREME Court rejected a rape sentence appeal saying the penalty “could have been stricter” given the “humiliation” the victim had to endure.

Aleksej Meterin was jailed for seven years for raping a 27-year-old Scottish tourist in 2005.

The Scottish woman was on holiday in April 2005 with her two sisters, mother and her four-year-old son.

She was “repeatedly raped” by Meterin and two others in the early hours of April 10 after a night out.

She was “humiliated in front of more than one person with no possibility of escape or doing anything that could help her stop what was happening,” the Court said.

Two of her rapists were part of a group of five men loitering in bars in Paphos with whom the 27-year-old and one of her sisters played pool.