Royal birthday card sparks poignant wartime memories

first_imgBy Evie AndreouWorld War II veteran Charalambos Orphanides turns 100Though the British colonial authorities insisted otherwise, it was poverty not patriotism that drove most of the 30,000 Cypriots who signed up for the Cyprus regiment of the British army in World War II.As 100-year-old Charalambos Orphanides recalls only too well, the 1930s was a brutal time to earn a living in Cyprus and the army’s promise of a steady salary and regular food was all it took to swell the ranks.Before he joined the army, Orphanides had been reduced to stealing bread, an act he recounts  as clearly as if it happened just days – rather than 80 years – ago.Orphanides reached his milestone 100th birthday last month and the family celebration brought with it a birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II who is not so much younger herself.The birthday card from the queenAlong with his medals, the card is now among the most important pieces of his wartime memorabilia, a recognition not only of his years of service but also evidence of an adventurous and hard life.“It is nice, eh? She is showing her appreciation. I served from the beginning, 1939, until the end,” Orphanides told the Sunday Mail.“I saw the queen when we were sent to the UK from France on a ten-day holiday in May 1940, before the invasion [Battle of Dunkirk]. She was around 13 years old. She was on her balcony and we were a group of 30 Cypriots, and we marched in front of the palace and we saluted her and she waved back at us,” he said.Charalambos Orphanides, second row on the righ, marching outside Buckingham palace in May 1940Born in 1917 in Ardana, in the Famagusta district, Orphanides is the fifth of eight children, six boys and two girls. His father was a shoe maker and a farmer.As soon as he graduated from elementary school, he worked in Larnaca as a construction worker for a year and a half before being laid off. He returned home to find one of his two sisters had died and under pressure to learn his father’s trade.“I refused. I set off on an old bicycle without any lights or brakes for Famagusta, but there weren’t many available jobs there,” Orphanides said.His tales of those years are of hardship and a constant struggle to find employment.In Famagusta, he had to share a room with 22 other people for which he paid a shilling a month.As soon as he arrived, he grabbed the first job he found as a construction worker, for five piasters per 12-hour working day. “I was young, around 16, at the time. I worked some days, I earned 18 piasters and on pay day I asked the boss to pay me first because I wanted to go to my village to get clean clothes as I only had those I was wearing.  It had been raining for days and I was soaked. He told me that I had to wait.”“I got paid last, at around 9pm,” Orphanides said.After paying his rent, he set off on his bicycle, in the rain for his village four miles away.“I arrived at around midnight. I changed my clothes and headed to Varosi, to find a job.”Once at Varosi, and unable to find work, he was left penniless and forced to steal food.“There was a woman from Paralimni selling bread. I sat further back, waiting for the opportunity. I crept over there and grabbed a loaf of bread from her basket. I had never done that before but I was hungry. Those were tough times.”No wonder Orphanides saw the 12 piasters a day and regular food offered by the British army when war broke out in 1939 as an opportunity not to be missed.“I had a raise every six months. By the end, I was earning eight shillings a day.”Both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, around 30,000 in total, answered the call to join the Cyprus regiment. It consisted of pack transport companies, pioneer companies, general transport, engineers, mobile laundry units, tank landing craft, road construction companies and saw service in France, North Africa, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Crete and Italy.Charalambos in uniformIn the following six years, Orphanides saw most of those countries.“I was in a pack transport company. I used to take to the soldiers whatever they needed, ammunition, food. We transferred the supplies with mules. Each of us had two mules. In 1939, our company had around 800 Cypriots,” Orphanides said.Cypriot mule drivers were the first colonial troops sent to the Western Front. They served in France, Ethiopia and Italy carrying equipment to areas inaccessible to vehicles.His first mission was in France where he stayed until the Dunkirk evacuation in May 1940 when he was sent to Port Suez in Egypt. In October 1940 Orphanides and other Cypriots were sent back on leave to Cyprus.His arrival back home stunned his family. They had been told he was dead.“When I arrived at the village, I saw my mother out in a field picking olives. I entered the field and I began shouting ‘Mother, Mother’. She was shocked to see me because the German radio station had announced that I had been killed,” he said.After the evacuation of the Allied forces from Dunkirk, the British troops had left behind their personal items, which were found by the Germans who then announced their names on radio as casualties.“My parents heard my name on the radio and thought I was dead. By the time I returned home for holidays, my family had already held three memorial services for me!” he said.Charalambos pictured next to the birthday card from Queen Elizabeth IIMeanwhile, the letter he had sent months previously to his mother informing her that he was alive arrived a few days after he went to the village.Searing heat and hostile fire were among the challenges the Cyprus regiment faced in North Africa.“In Abyssinia, one day, we had set off from a place in the morning, we walked 42 miles. That is a long way to walk in the heat. From the too much heat, and the sweat, our shirts were turned into rags within one week,” Orphanides said.He described how the skin on the soles of his feet had been hardened through years of walking barefoot and that had become an advantage during the war.“I remember a lad, after a very long march taking off his socks and the skin of his soles had remained in his socks from too much walking. He wasn’t used to such conditions.”Orphanides believes that he survived the war unscathed due to the protection of Virgin Mary, whose icon he had on him in his missions.“I was in danger many times. One time in Dunkirk, a bomb fell right where we were standing but luckily, the soil was sandy and it did not go off. We were spared.”His evocative accounts of human suffering in World War II are equalled by his descriptions of the toll taken on nature and animals.“When we arrived at Cassino in Italy the trees were in good condition, after the war, from the shells, not a single leaf was left on them. War is terrible. It destroys everything. The trees had paid the price.”The same was true for many of the mules, killed and mutilated by bombs.“We saw a lot, the animals were suffering, the trees. I wish peace in the world. People ought to fight only for their country and honour, not for the affairs of others,” Orphanides said.By the end of the war, Orphanides was the head of his company and was asked to stay in the army.“An officer from Larnaca had advised me to sign up for two more years, I had already risen two ranks and he said I could earn a third stripe. But I was sick of the war,” Orphanides said.After being discharged, Orphanides married Margarita also from Ardana in 1946.  But jobs were still hard to come by.“I got married, had a son and a daughter. I thought ‘if I stay here my children will be left without any education just like me’, so I decided to move to the UK.”Charalambos with his wife Margarita whom he married in 1946After working for a few months, he managed to bring his family over and settled there. He initially lived and worked in London, in various restaurants and at the Firestone tyre factory, before finding a job as a cook in a hospital. By 1963, he was able to buy property in Weston-super-Mare and open his own restaurant and small hotel.“I had a very good life in England,” Orphanides said.One of Charalambos’ stone carvingsAfter retirement in 1983, Orphanides and his wife returned to Cyprus to join their children who had already moved back. When Margarita died in 1992, Orphanides decided to take up stone carving as a hobby.“I was a construction worker, I wanted to work with my hands,” he said, pointing to one of his finely crafted pieces.“Life is adventurous. One ought to be patient and never give up hope. I had always kept my faith and never stopped trying.”You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppFigLeaf brings You 3 Easy Steps to Privacy on Your Terms…FigLeaf Beta AppUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Anastasiades discusses Cyprus issue Brexit with Spains Rajoy  Update 1

first_imgPresident Nicos Anastasiades met on Monday in Madrid, with Spanish Prime Minister Marianno Rajoy on the sidelines of the heads of state and government EU Southern countries summit in the Spanish capital.Speaking after the meeting he said what had been discussed with Rajoy created prospects for further deepening the already excellent relations between Cyprus and Spain.The pair discussed bilateral relations, the Cyprus issue, Brexit, and the future of the EU.On the Cyprus issue, he said the position of Spain coincided “with our own positions, which is that there can be no solution without respect for European principles and values of the European acquis and there can be no solution that derogates from these principles.”He was referring to the four EU freedoms that Turkey wants for its nationals post-solution.Anastasiades and Rajoy also have common positions concerning Brexit, he said.Anastasiades also signed the Book of Visitors of the Moncloa Palace saying he hoped the visit would further strengthen the already excellent bonds between Cyprus and Spain “for the benefit of our people as well for the benefit of the European Union, where they both belong”.“May our cooperation, based on friendship, common values and mutual respect, continues to grow into the future,” he added.Anastasiades is in Spain to attend a summit of seven southern EU member states.The president is being accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides. He is due back in Cyprus on Tuesday morning.You May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Paphos lifeguards hold peaceful protest

first_imgPAPHOS lifeguards held a peaceful protest over conditions outside Paphos district office on Thursday morning before meeting with the Paphos District Officer for negotiations.The lifeguards were protesting over staff shortages, a lack of equipment and long overdue upgrades to lifeguard towers.Mary Lambrou, Paphos District Officer, told the Cyprus Mail that a total of ten new lifeguards are being employed in Paphos this year, a big improvement on last year’s staff numbers, which stood at thirty-six.She said the result was due to pressure from the lifeguards’ association and persistence on the part of the district administration.“From the beginning of July, there will be seven more lifeguards being employed in Paphos, there are currently thirty nine and that will rise to forty six.”She said that three extra staff had already been given the green light at the start of the season, bringing the total number of new lifeguards to ten.Lambrou added that there are thirty areas designated as swimming areas over the entire Paphos district and that some areas, such as Mandria village, show little interest in employing lifeguards as their salaries are paid 50% by the local authorities and 50% by the government.“These areas might not have large numbers of tourists, for example,” she said.However, she stressed that all of the designated areas have at least one lifeguard on duty, whilst most have two. Where one lifeguard only is on duty, they work every day from 10am to 5.30pm without a day off.“If they need a day off, a lifeguard is brought from another area where there are two,” she said.Mathaios Mathaiou, president of the Paphos Lifeguards’ Association said the meeting was a productive one and that the authorities had listened to their complaints and assured them they would be taken considered.“We need to ensure the safety of swimmers in Paphos and although this is a good start, more needs to be done,” he said.Mathaiou said that along with more staff, three of four defibrillator machines are needed, and that lifeguard towers, especially those in the municipality of Paphos, need to be upgraded and in some cases replaced. Some don’t provide any shade and access ladders are positioned at the back instead of the front of the tower, giving lifeguards no view of the sea as they enter and exit the structure.“Some are also too small, there is nowhere for us to put our stuff, and they need to meet the standards that are set,” he said.He added that Paphos MPs Andreas Facontis and Charalambos Pittokopitis, had also supported and attended the meeting.“Mr. Facontis said that he supported our request to have lifeguards working for eleven months of the year,” he said.Lambrou said the district office is scheduling a meeting, possibly on Monday, with all of the municipalities in attendance, to see what help can be given to improve the lifeguard towers.“We will see if we are able to secure more staff next year,” she said.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Cargo ship to become Larnaca diving attraction

first_imgCargo ship Elpida arrived at the port of Vassiliko on Monday where it is to be stripped and cleaned ahead of its sinking off Larnaca in March 2018 to serve as an artificial reef and point of interest for divers.The Greek-flagged vessel, built in 1965, had sailed from Antikira in Greece. It will be sunk off the coast of Larnaca, in the Oroklini area.“It is an important day for Larnaca because one of the objectives in the bid to establish our district among the most noteworthy diving destinations in Europe is becoming a reality,” said Dinos Lefkaritis, Larnaca’s tourist development board chairman.The fisheries department said Elpida will be the biggest ship sunk in the Cypriot sea as part of the European fund for fisheries and aquaculture.The ship will contribute towards increasing sea life in the area, especially fish populations, fisheries department official Giorgos Payiatas said.Elpida will also be an attraction for divers.“The vessel in question is excellent for diving and with certain additions that will be made to increase interest for divers, we are certain many foreign tourists will want to visit it,” said Tasos Zackheos, representing the association of the district’s diving centres.  You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Coop unconvinced of ruling relieving loan guarantor

first_imgNicholas Hadjiyiannis, chief executive officer of the state-owned Cyprus Cooperative Bank, said on Wednesday that the lender has strong reservations about the recent non-binding ruling of the financial ombudsman which exonerated a guarantor from her obligations.“We have to be prudent with respect to the rights and obligations of borrowers,” said Hadjiyiannis in a telephone interview.On December 27, ombudsman Pavlos Ioannou, whose office is tasked with mediating in disputes between borrowers and banks, said that the retroactive provisions of a 2015 law allowed the release of a woman who guaranteed a CYP25,000 (€42,712) loan 26 years ago from her obligations.Ioannou said that the bank had failed to inform the guarantor that the loan was not performing over the years and after the borrower died, it increased to €365,000. He added that if the bank rejected the ruling, it would have to resort to a court.“We are going to consider the decision, but we are saddened that these (procedures) are carried out via correspondence and letters leaking (to the press) without facts,” Hadjiyiannis added without elaborating. As a result, he said it would be premature to discuss a probable impact of the ruling on the bank’s earnings and capital.The decision was first reported by the weekly newspaper Simerini on December 24. The newspaper published part of the ruling concerning the woman, one among five guarantors of the loan. In its ruling the ombudsman’s office applied a provision of the relevant legislation which makes informing the guarantor an obligation for a bank after a loan is in arrears for at least three months or the borrower fails to fulfil any other promise.The bank is currently working on its listing at the Cyprus Stock Exchange as part of its strategy to attract strategic and institutional investor equity with the gradual issue of shares and so reduce the government’s shareholding to below 25 per cent from currently over 99 per cent.It was compelled to return €111m to overcharged borrowers after a March 2016 decision of the ombudsman. The co-op, which merged last year with 18 regional co-operative banks it administered, is struggling with a mountain of €6.4bn of non-performing loans, making out more than half of its loan portfolio. The 18 co-operative banks were in turn the ultimate result of successive mergers of hundreds of independent co-operative banks operating in almost every village of Cyprus.The government recapitalised the co-operative banking sector with €1.5bn in 2014 and a further €175m in 2015.“The co-op should be the last to blame for being unfair towards our customers,” said Hadjiyiannis adding that “determining policies through publicity is detrimental”.In the Simerini story, Ioannou said that an unspecified administrator of one unnamed village co-operative bank repeatedly asked patrons of the coffeeshop next door to guarantee loans.“The number of guarantors involved in co-op loans is huge and the extremely negative socioeconomic consequences of this situation are maximised as a result of the easiness these guarantors can become principal debtors following a court decision via the arbitration procedure applied by the co-op,” Ioannou was quoted as saying.The Cyprus Business Mail understands that the decision on what action the Cyprus Cooperative Bank will take is not high on the agenda of the bank’s management.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

First wedding in nearly three decades to take place in Rizokarpaso

first_imgThe first wedding in the Greek Cypriot enclave in Rizokarpaso in the north-east corner of the island in 27 years will take place next Saturday, CNA reported on Sunday.It will take place at the Ayios Synesiou church. The couple, Christos Achilleos, who comes from the largest family in Rizokarpaso, being one of 13 brothers, will tie the knot with Christina Chalkiti from Rhodes.Quoting Nicos Falas, the head of the Karpasia Coordinating Committee, CNA reported that the last weddings there were in 1991, when two ceremonies were held.Falas said a number of refugees from Karpasia have recently returned to live there. The government has been offering incentives to people from the area who want to return there to live, in addition to regular humanitarian aide, and crossing to the south of the island has become easier since the first checkpoint opened in 2003. Prior to that, Greek Cypriots living in the north were more isolated than they are today.Falas said around 15 Greek Cypriot families have repaired their homes in Rizokarpaso and returned to live and work there. He said there were not three new restaurants owned by Greek Cypriots operating in the area, and that restrictions imposed on fishermen for practicing their profession had been relaxed.The ceremony at next Saturday’s wedding will be carried out by Father Zacharias, the only priest who lives in Rizokarpaso.Today some 410 Greek Cypriots and Maronites live in the Karpas peninsula.You May LikeLoanPrideAt 48, TV Host Kelly Ripa Lives In This ApartmentLoanPrideUndoThe Travel Breeze15 Cities Well Known For Their Street ArtThe Travel BreezeUndoDirect HealthyThis Is The Net Worth Of Jack Nicholson At 82Direct HealthyUndo Brazil prison riot kills 52, with 16 decapitatedUndoUK plays Brexit hardball with ‘stubborn’ EUUndoKorkolis brings magic to the stageUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Small quake recorded in Nicosia area

first_imgA small earthquake was recorded in the Nicosia area at 2.16am on Monday, the geological survey department announced.The earthquake, which measured 3.7 on the Richter scale, had its centre 11 kilometres south west of the capital at a depth of 65.95 kilometres.“Due to the small magnitude of the earthquake, it was only felt slightly, but due to its relatively large focal depth, it was felt in a relatively large area,” the department said.Details are available on the website of the geological survey department at May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

List of roads closed due to bad weather grows longer

first_imgDue to extreme weather conditions many roads have been closed in the Paphos and Troodos regions, and police are warning drivers of landslides and overflowing rivers while dense fog is severely limiting visibility.According to a police announcement, the Kelokedaros-Amargetis-Natas road is impassable due the Xeros river overflowing near the Zyripili bridge. For the same reason, the Tselefos bridge had to be closed to traffic.The road from Ayios Nikolaos to the Pera Vassa picnic area is also impassable because of the accumulation of large quantities of water as is the road from Kouklia village to the Evangelos Florakis memorial.Excess water has also gathered on the road from Episkopi to Nata, making it impossible for vehicles to use.In the mountains, the old road from Akrounta to Dierona had to be closed because of a rockfall.Due to snowfall, the road leading from Prodromos to Troodos is closed to all vehicles.The following roads are open for cars only with four-wheel drive or fitted with anti-slip chains: Platres – Troodos, Karvounas – Troodos, Pedoulas – Prodromou, Pedoulas – Pinewood – Kakopetria, Prodromos – Platres and Platres – Trooditissa.Police have warned the public that due to rockfalls, the road from Prodromos to Lemithos has become dangerous. The dangerous spot has been marked and drivers are urged to be extremely careful.Dangerous roads due to landslides are the following: Platres – Moniatis, Paramytha – Kalo Chorio, Agros – Ayios Ioannis, Agros – Chandria, Kykkos – Kambos, and Kambos – Orkonta.In the mountains many other roads are slippery and visibility is limited.Drivers are urged to be very careful, drive at low speed and keep a safe distance from vehicles in front.They should inform themselves on the situation on the roads via the police application and the information page before driving in the affected areas.  You May LikePlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

CY could have new owner by the end of the year

first_imgInvestors interested in Cyprus Airways (CY) must submit non-binding proposals by the end of the month, the company’s chairman said on Friday, as low-cost airline Ryanair said it could put it back on rapid growth.Proposals will be reviewed on September 30 and a short list will be drafted, Tony Antoniou said.The procedure could be completed by the end of the year, the chairman said after a meeting between the negotiating team and Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary on Friday.Ryanair was among 22 companies which last month submitted non-binding expressions of interest in the airline, now controlled by the Cypriot government.The process is a preliminary step towards any eventual binding offer.O’Leary’s announcement marked a change of approach as he had said last month that Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline, was not particularly interested in acquiring the carrier.Antoniou said 15 companies have submitted non-binding proposals. Officials from Greece’s Aegean Airlines will be in Cyprus next week for discussions.“There is a big response despite people saying Cyprus Airways was worthless,” Antoniou said. “CY will exist in different form. We will have a carrier based in Cyprus that will fly to more destinations.”The airline has struggled to survive against cheaper competitors and has been loss-making for years despite several attempts at a turnaround.It resorted to selling assets to stay afloat, including its slots at London’s Heathrow airport.CY is also under scrutiny by the European Commission. Brussels is investigating terms of a €31.3 million capital increase in early 2013, and a €73 million rescue package by the Cypriot state in 2012 to establish whether it violated state aid rules.O’Leary said that with the help of the Irish airline, CY could get back on a path of rapid growth with new routes and more flights that would drastically increase the number of passengers.“From Ryanair’s point of view there is a very exciting future for Cyprus Airways where I believe with the help of Ryanair we could put Cyprus Airways and Cyprus` tourism back on a path of a very much renewed and rapid growth, with new routes, more flights and new jobs for pilots, cabin crew, and engineers here in Cyprus,” O’Leary said.Ryanair’s CEO also met Communications Minister Marios Demetriades.O’Leary said that with the plan Ryanair submitted, it expected to grow from 500,000 passengers last year, to about three million passengers over the next three to four years.“As we explained to the minister we think we can deliver that growth using Cyprus Airways. So it will be Cyprus Airways growing again from 700,000 passengers this year to three million in the next few years,” he said.The minister said the government will examine the proposal.“It is a lengthy proposal and the government will have to take a careful look at it to see whether it meets our expectations and we of course have our own proposals,” he said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

Cypriot tycoon launches Bank of Cannabis

first_imgCypriot businessman Alkis David and his Swiss-based consortium have launched The Swissx Bank of Cannabis headquartered in Gstaad and with a Caribbean headquarters to be named soon, the company said on Friday.The Bank also operates SWX Coin, a cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin’s blockchain with single unit pricing is pegged directly to the median global price of premium hemp flower. The Swissx Global Hemp Exchange will also provide the entire industry with a secondary market where futures and other trades can be made based on its global market analytics, the company said, according to Global Newswire.The Swissx Bank of Cannabis launched with the backing of $750 million dollars-worth of Swissx Cherry Wine and Donald Trump seeds and $250 million in Swiss Francs.  The Farmer’s Wallet within the SWX Coin block-chain has been set up to pay members of the Swissx Hemp Farmers’ Cooperative. The international cooperative, which is growing quickly across the Caribbean, was set up to keep up with the demand for Swissx Hemp Flower products, and provides proprietary hemp strains, training, and a guarantee to purchase all crops grown by its participating farmers.Swissx, the first company to take legal CBD products into the mainstream, has recently developed a massive international cooperative farming operation with acres already planted in California and Puerto Rico, and 5,000 more acres under contract across the Caribbean. Swissx CBD products are distributed globally in health food stores, doctors’ offices, and in mass-market outlets such as 7-11 convenience stores. The products have been endorsed by Mike Tyson, Scott Disick, of Keeping up with the Kardashians, Dave Navarro of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg, Chief Keef, Lil Wayne, Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong, Donatella Versace, Jonathan Rhys Myers and more.“First we changed the game for CBD products, then we created tremendous opportunity for farmers and their regional economies throughout the Caribbean,” said David, CEO and Founder of Swissx. “Now we’ve used Swiss financial know-how to create the first bank and cryptocurrency entirely optimised for the legal cannabis industry.David was arrested in the Caribbean island of St Kitts in May this year in connection with possession of $1.3m worth of cannabis.David, 50, heir to the Coca-Cola fortune, was arrested after customs officials found approximately 5,000 cannabis plants in addition to seeds and other cannabis products.He was charged with intent to supply, possession of drugs and importation of a controlled drug into the federation.David has denied the drug accusations, claiming his plants are a different variety of cannabis, do not contain THC- the active ingredient in marijuana-and is not illegal in St Kitts.“We didn’t even bring in cannabis, we brought in a cousin of cannabis that has been genetically modified.”David’s family business is the Leventis-David group, which owns the Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling plants.You May LikeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityReassurance for your refugeCalifornia Earthquake AuthorityUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoVarosha move merely a ‘PR stunt’ by Ozersay, expert saysUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Hernandez The citizens of Michigan demand we improve our roads without raising

first_img08Jun Hernandez: ‘The citizens of Michigan demand we improve our roads without raising taxes’ Categories: Hernandez News Lansing – State Representative Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron) praised the transportation budget that moved out of conference committee today with major changes to what Governor Snyder originally offered.  Throughout budget negotiations, Rep. Hernandez has insisted that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) shift money away from administrative and planning costs, and put those funds towards fixing Michigan roads.“While this budget doesn’t go as far as I would like, I do think it’s a good first step,” said Hernandez, “I’d like to thank Senator Geoff Hansen, Chair Laura Cox, and the rest of my colleagues on the appropriation committee for supporting our efforts to improve the transportation budget.   The citizens of Michigan demand we improve our roads without raising taxes.”Major changes to the Governor’s transportation budget as negotiated between Hernandez and Hansen include:·         Eliminating 92 unfilled positions within MDOT that do not directly affect road maintenance.·      Requiring MDOT to prioritize road maintenance/construction projects over public transit systems when deciding how to allocate almost $100 Million in toll credits.·         Selling one of the five MDOT owned and operated aircraft.“When approaching this budget, I continuously would ask how we can shift funds from administrative and planning costs and put them towards improving pavement,” said Hernandez, “I look forward to continuing our work with MDOT and my legislative colleagues to give Michigan drivers better value for their tax dollars.”###last_img read more

Rep Frederick supports resolutions to improve job opportunities

first_img Categories: Frederick News,News 09Jun Rep. Frederick supports resolutions to improve job opportunities State Rep. Ben Frederick, the chair of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee, has voted in favor of four recent resolutions to help expand the state’s workforce in skilled trades and sciences.“Our state’s employment opportunities continue to grow and we need to expand with it to help move Michigan forward,” said Frederick, of Owosso. “Our responsibility in the Legislature is to encourage both better career opportunities and business growth. Each of these resolutions are geared toward helping Michigan now and in the future through education.”Among the resolutions supported Frederick’s committee were:House Concurrent Resolution 8 to allow for student transportation costs to be eligible expenses within 529 Qualified Tuition Programs such as the Michigan Education Trust. A 529 account allows students to be exempt from federal taxes when account funds are used towards tuition, textbooks, and certain room and board costs. Current plans do not extend transportation costs as a tax-exempt expense.HR 62 expresses support for increased participation of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.HR 103 urges the governor to add woodworking vocational training to the career opportunities in vocational education and skilled trade opportunities identified by the state. In considering this resolution, the committee heard testimony from Tadd Morris of Second Chance Wood in Durand about the growing demand for woodworkers in the state.HR 113 requests that the U.S. Congress continue full funding for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams on the campus of Michigan State University, which is expected to drive further innovation and jobs throughout Michigan.The resolutions advance to the state House for consideration.State Rep. Ben Frederick (left) hosted Tadd Morris, of Second Chance Wood Company in Durand, to speak before the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee about the growing need for woodworking professionals in Michigan. Frederick, of Owosso, is the chair of the committee.last_img read more

Rep Howell to host office hours in Lapeer County

first_img Categories: Howell News 08Aug Rep. Howell to host office hours in Lapeer County State Rep. Gary Howell of North Branch will host office hours on Monday, Aug. 21 at the following times and locations:9:30 to 11 a.m. at John’s Country Kitchen, 1829 S. Cedar St. in Imlay City and;2:30 to 4 p.m. at Hungry Dan’s Restaurant, 195 W. Genesee St. in Lapeer.“Speaking with residents of Lapeer County on a regular basis is very important to me,” Rep. Howell said. “Hearing what people in our community have to say helps me better understand what really matters to them regarding issues in state government.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Howell at 517-373-1800 or via email at

Rep Hoitenga invites local first responders for Sept 11 ceremony

first_img Categories: Hoitenga News,News PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, today hosted first responders Big Rapids Fire Lt. Travis Williams and Firefighter Nathan Yehle as her guests for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The ceremony remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year. 07Sep Rep. Hoitenga invites local first responders for Sept. 11 ceremonylast_img

Rep Lower hosts March office hours

first_img Categories: Lower News State Rep. Jim Lower of Cedar Lake announced his in-district office hours for the month of March. The representative will be available at the following times and locations:Friday, March 23Noon to 1 p.m. at the St. Louis City Hall, 300 N. Mill St. in St. Louis. Monday, March 269 to 10 a.m. at Brickyard, 112 W. Main St. in Stanton; andNoon to 1 p.m. for a legislative update at the Montcalm Community College Les Morford Instructional Building, Room 210, 2800 College Drive in Sidney. 19Mar Rep. Lower hosts March office hours “I believe input from local residents helps me effectively represent our community,” Lower said. “Listening and being accessible are two important parts of my job, and I look forward to continuing this through hosting office hours.”No appointments are necessary. Those unable to meet during the scheduled times may contact Rep. Lower’s office at (517) 373-0834 or via email at read more

Rep OMalley continues road discussion for Michigan residents

first_img10May Rep. O’Malley continues road discussion for Michigan residents Categories: O’Malley News State Rep. Jack O’Malley, chair of the House Transportation Committee, attended a town hall hosted by state Rep. Ryan Berman to discuss road funding with residents in Commerce Township. The event included an informal discussion with individuals on ways to repair and improve Michigan roads.“People respect what you inspect and we are working together diligently to listen to concerns of residents about our roads,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “This informative meeting in Oakland County was fascinating to see what challenges residents are facing when they drive in Metro Detroit.”O’Malley recently began six weeks of special committee hearings in Lansing to examine the disconnection between road funding and road quality.###last_img read more

Price of AntiHeroin Overdose Drug Climbs Erratically as Usage Rises

first_imgShare25TweetShareEmail25 SharesSeptember 19, 2015; Daily Herald (Chicago, IL)Yesterday, NPQ published a newswire on the profiteering happening in pharmaceutical pricing. For us, this serves as an entry into a set of complex issues that nonprofits are often in some way involved in, either as complicit partners or in dealing with the outcomes. In this case, many nonprofits dealing with community health, substance abuse, and general community well-being will have taken part to some extent in the development of a community response to opioid abuse.More and more first responders around the United States are already carrying naloxone, or Narcan, a medication that has been credited with preventing many deaths by restarting the breathing of overdose victims. Baltimore, in fact, has extended naloxone training to drug users themselves and to their families and friends. Approximately 4400 people have been trained, which is fourfold the number trained in 2014. But as the use of naloxone has increased, the price has not gone down, but up—from $10 to $20 a dose in February to as much as $40 in July. The pricing is also not consistent from place to place, with some locales reporting prices per dose that are far higher.Amphastar Pharmaceuticals makes the most widely used version of naloxone because it can be administered intranasally. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, faults the company for its pricing. “When drug companies increase their prices and charge exorbitant rates, they decrease the access to the drug,” Cummings said this summer. “There’s something awfully wrong with that picture.”As with many other medications whose prices have skyrocketed recently, naloxone isn’t a new drug, having first been approved by the FDA 44 years ago. As recently as ten years ago, the price per dose was $10. Back then, the market was much smaller, confined to hospital settings for the most part. Now, there are 40 states and counting attempting to use it more broadly to curtain the wave of opioid overdoses that has been plaguing many communities. In Illinois, for instance, the legislature has just cleared the way for school nurses to make use of it. Schools in Pennsylvania and New York are stocking it, too.In Massachusetts, where 1200 people died of heroin overdoses this past year, Attorney General Maura Healey recently announced an agreement with Amphastar requiring it to pay $325,000 to help offset the costs of the drug, which varied across the state. “We purchased 900 doses of naloxone to provide to all of our police and fire departments in March of 2014, and we paid roughly $22 a dose,” Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said. “Some of our municipalities were using those doses very quickly. When we offered grants to help replenish those supplies, we saw that the prices were inconsistent and rising, with Walpole paying $37.50 per dose, Randolph paying $39 per dose, and then Needham and Wrentham paying $66.89 for the same dose. We knew something was wrong with this picture.”Competitors are entering the Naloxone market, but they are now waiting for FDA approval—and even after, that they may decide to join the rapidly expanding market as-is rather than compete on price. Is the answer to the crisis individual, state-by-state negotiations, or is there a larger fix needed that incorporates unreasonable price increases in drugs more generally?Some presidential candidates are already proposing new approaches to the problem, We will talk about those in an upcoming newswire.—Ruth McCambridgeShare25TweetShareEmail25 Shareslast_img read more

Obamas 19 Billion Zika Request Slush Fund or Needed Flexibility

first_imgShareTweet4ShareEmail4 SharesMobilização Nacional da Educação Zika Zero / Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à FomeApril 19, 2016; USA TodayIn February, the Obama administration requested a $1.9 billion appropriation for federal activities to combat the dangers of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus believed to increase the likelihood of microcephaly in infants born to infected mothers. (Zika has also been tied to other negative health outcomes for humans, but Zika is a recent enough public health issue that scientific data are still being collected.)Congress has not taken action on the president’s request, and Democratic legislators and the White House see Republicans playing politics with a public health crisis in the making. “That’s a significant problem, particularly when you consider that there’s no good reason that Congress hasn’t acted,” Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “And the opportunity to get ahead of this potentially serious situation is washing away. And that’s a significant problem.”Not surprisingly, Congressional Republicans have a different interpretation—good stewardship. They point out that the $1.9 billion request was uncharacteristically vague, with the amount being able to be shifted between federal agencies without Congressional oversight and with no expiration date for expending the funds. Quoted in USA Today, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said:So when the administration requested that $1.9 billion supplemental, which was just almost a slush fund across the government, the money could be used for any purpose. We said, “Look, we don’t do business that way. We appropriate the taxpayer’s dollars in a responsible, direct way, with details we can all understand.”Rogers has also pointed out that Congress has already authorized almost $600 million in this year’s federal budget to be reallocated to Zika-related projects. “My present information leads me to believe that that’s plenty of money for this fiscal year. We have five months left,” Rogers said.While it’s rare, Congress has been known to act quickly on appropriations related to public health. Even so, it rarely provides all funds requested and typically imposes fiscal year restrictions on when funds are either spent or reauthorized. At the same time, emergency public health appropriations need greater flexibility in allocation because priorities and initiatives make change quickly based on events and emerging science.The good news is that the administration updated its spending request last week to include more details Congress has been asking for. Our hope is that both sides will negotiate in good faith, allowing federal expenditures—with adequate oversight—to be made quickly.—Michael WylandShareTweet4ShareEmail4 Shareslast_img read more

Status Flipping NonprofittoForProfit Hospital Applies to Change Back

first_imgShare16TweetShare12Email28 Shares“Woonsocket Bus Stop” by Matt CloutierJanuary 26, 2017; Valley Breeze (Cumberland, RI)When the nonprofit Landmark Medical Center was converted to for-profit status in 2013, it immediately began paying taxes. Both the Rhode Island city of Woonsocket and the hospital had been on the verge of bankruptcy and both were in some form of receivership. Where it had previously contributed only $240,291 to the town through a state payment in lieu of taxes program, its tax bill expanded to $1.6 million.But the California-based Prime Healthcare Services, which became the parent company when the hospital came out of receivership in 2013, now wants to revert it to nonprofit status by donating it to its own foundation, thus maintaining it as an acquisition—its 13th nonprofit acquisition to date.The original change to for-profit status, complete with a purchase price of $62 million, required extensive review from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the state’s attorney general. It was reviewed in state courts, and finally authorized, by Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein.“The payment by Prime of substantial real estate taxes is a significant factor in this department’s decision with regard to the proposed transaction,” the October 2013 decision from the Attorney General’s office noted. “Prime has indicated that it has not and will not seek a tax treaty from the city of Woonsocket. The payment of real estate taxes to Woonsocket, that so desperately needs the resources, is a clear, tangible benefit directly resulting from the proposed transaction. While it remains a question whether this benefit will outweigh the possible risks of allowing Rhode Island hospitals to be purchased by for-profit entities remains to be seen, payment of real estate taxes to Woonsocket certainly represents a positive attribute of Prime.”Now, Woonsocket’s mayor, Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, is resisting the reconversion:I am deeply concerned and disappointed by Prime Healthcare Service’s recent filings with state agencies that indicate their attempt to revert their operations back to a nonprofit status. This move would have a detrimental impact upon taxpayers of Woonsocket by placing approximately $1.6 million of annual tax revenue in jeopardy and is not in the best interest of the city of Woonsocket.I stand in opposition to this attempt and look forward to meeting with state officials and regulators.Prime has done a number of these for-profit to non-profit conversions across the country.—Ruth McCambridgeShare16TweetShare12Email28 Shareslast_img read more

Swedish broadcaster TV4 is launching a new premium

first_imgSwedish broadcaster TV4 is launching a new premium sports channel, TV4 Sports Xtra.The HD channel, which will begin airing this May, will cover various sporting events including the Italian Serie A football league, Europa Lague tournament and the IIHF World Championships. TV4 plans to offer the channel to various distributors.“TV4 Sports Xtra is the channel for all sports-loving Swedish television viewers, who will now be able to see even more top matches from international football leagues and major championships in high definition,” said TV4 Group’s sports director Hans Pekkari.last_img