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Olympic champion Farah pulls out of Commonwealth Games

Olympic and world long distance champion Mo Farah has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

By Michael Hann

Olympic and world long distance champion Mo Farah withdrew from England’s Commonwealth Games team on Thursday, saying he was not fully fit following a recent illness.

The 31-year-old Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles at the London Olympics and the world championships in Moscow last year, was preparing to run both distances in Glasgow.
But he said he had decided to remain at his training camp in Font Romeu in Switzerland to concentrate...

Militants order female genital mutilation in Iraq

ISIL

By Stephanie Nebehay

Militant group Islamic State has ordered all girls and women in and around Iraq’s northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The “fatwa” issued by the Sunni Muslim fighters would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Jacqueline Badcock told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil.

“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave...

Missing Air Algerie plane from Burkina Faso has crashed

Air-Algrie-Boeing-737-600_PlanespottersNet_207633

By Hamid Ould Ahmed

An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said.

There were few clear indications of what might of happened to the aircraft, or whether there were casualties, but Burkino Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedrago said it asked to change route at 0138 GMT because of a storm in the area.

“I can confirm that it has crashed,” the...

Death row Christian woman flies out of Sudan, meets Pope

Pope Francis blesses Mariam Yahya Ibrahim of Sudan during a private meeting at the Vatican

By Giselda Vagnoni and Khalid Abdel Aziz

A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, then detained after her conviction was quashed, flew into Rome on an Italian government plane on Thursday and hours later met the Pope.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, whose sentence and detention triggered international outrage, walked off the aircraft cradling her baby and was greeted by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.

Soon afterwards, Ibrahim, her husband and two children had a...

Remand in child porn case

news-briefs-rect42

A 49-year-old man has been remanded by the Nicosia District Court for three days in connection with alleged possession of child pornography, police said.

According to the police report, the man ran a Facebook profile that hosted a number of children’s pictures. Following a series of complaints, police launched an investigation and arrested the 49-year-old.

 

 

 

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Almost 20 companies interested in Cyprus Airways sale

The airline is going through a troubled period

By Michele Kambas

ALMOST 20 companies have submitted non-binding expressions of interest in Cyprus Airways , a state-owned carrier that the government wants to privatise, Communications Minister Marios Demetriades said on Thursday.

Aegean Airlines, Ryanair and Israel’s Arkia were among those firms, Demetriades told Reuters.

Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air said it had also submitted an expression of interest, which is a preliminary step before authorities invite binding bids.

“At least 25 percent of those companies which submitted an expression of interest are related to aviation companies,” Demetriades said.

...

Opposition grows to foreclosures ‘fire sale’

AKEL MP says the registry as so far received around 6,000 applications for property foreclosures in general

By Angelos Anastasiou

The government-sponsored foreclosures bill, aimed at speeding up proceedings when borrowers prove insolvent beyond salvation, has caused a wave of protests from political parties and other organised groups, with opposition poised to escalate from vocal disagreement to active resistance.

On Thursday, union of small businesses and self-employed individuals (SYMEA) head Stavros Alampritis announced his group’s opposition to any legislation facilitating foreclosures. SYMEA, he said, has offered a number of proposals to replace this “ill-advised effort.”

“We convened...

Islamists may be planning imminent attack in Norway

Norwegian officials hold a news conference in Oslo

By Ole Petter Skonnord

Militant Islamists with ties to Syria may be planning an attack in Norway, the head of the Norwegian police intelligence service said on Thursday.

“We also have information to suggest that any act of terrorism against Norway may take place shortly, probably within a few days,” said Benedicte Bjoernland, the director of the Police Security Service, declining to reveal the source of information. “The people (named in the threat) participated in the fighting in Syria.”

NATO-member...

Poland ‘helped in CIA rendition’

File photo of a barbed wire fence surrounding a military area pictured in the forest in Stare Kiejkuty village in northeastern Poland

By Christian Lowe

The CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday, piling pressure on Poland, one of Washington’s closest allies, to break its long silence about the global programme for detaining al Qaeda suspects.

The court said it had been established that the CIA used a facility in a northern Polish forest, code named Quartz, as a hub in its network for interrogating suspected al Qaeda operatives rounded up after...

Suspects remanded in suspicious Kritou Terra death (update)

Scene where the body was found (CNA)

By Evie Andreou

The sister and husband of a 78-year-old woman found dead in her yard in Kritou Terra on Wednesday night were on Thursday remanded for eight days.

The husband, 83, of Aliki Christophorou was admitted to hospital on Wednesday with wounds on his face. His remand hearing took place at the Paphos Hospital and he will be guarded there until he is well enough to be transferred to prison, police said.

Arrest warrants were issued for the two...

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