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Capital Intelligence cuts rating of five Greek lenders to B from B+ (Update 1)


By Stelios Orphanides

Capital Intelligence, the Limassol-based rating company said it lowered today the long-term foreign currency rating a notch to B and the short-term foreign currency rating for four Greek lenders to C from B.

The ratings, which curry a negative outlook, apply to Alpha Bank, Eurobank Ergasias S.A., National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank S.A. The rating company also lowered the financial strength rating of the four banks to B from B+ and placed it on negative...

You are found in music

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By Maria Gregoriou

With Easter soon upon us, The Cyprus Symphony Orchestra will present three concerts under the name My Sweet One, You Are Not Lost, during which Mikis Theodorakis’ Epitaph and Gabriel Faure’s Requiem will be performed.

The concerts, in Limassol on Thursday, Paphos on Friday and Nicosia on Saturday, will feature soloists Zoe Nicolaidou (soprano) and Yiorgos Ioannou (baritone) together with the Orphean Singers Cyprus choir under the conduction of artistic director Yiannis Hadjiloizou.

Nicolaidou, who was part...

Searchers build roadway to remote France air crash site

A French rescue worker inspects the debris from the Germanwings Airbus A320 at the site of the crash, near Seyne-les-Alpes, French Alps

French investigators hope to speed up identification of the 150 people killed in last week’s Germanwings plane crash by digging a roadtrack that will allow direct access to the disaster zone high on a remote Alpine mountainside.

Earthmovers are ploughing a track to the remote crash area that should be completed by Tuesday or Wednesday, said Xavier Vialenc, spokesman for 350 military police involved in the search for bodies and parts of the pulverised Airbus A320.

“We’ll gain some time...

Hotel industry may have to expand capacity, CTO chairman says


By Stelios Orphanides

The chairman of Cyprus’s tourism board said that the local tourist industry may have to seek to tap funds from the European investment initiative to expand bed capacity in the hotel industry, and upgrade existing ones.

“The need is there,” Angelos Loizou who chairs the Cyprus Tourism Organisation said in an interview while responding to a question on comments made by European Commissioner jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness Jyrki Katainen.

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Remanded over cocaine haul


A 32-year-old man from Larnaca was remanded in custody for seven days by the Larnaca district court on Monday, in connection with to 2.4 kg of cocaine seized by Drug Squad police (YKAN) on Saturday.
The drugs were found in the luggage of a 34-year-old man arrested on Saturday upon his arrival from Dubai.
The 34-year-old was remanded for eight days in custody on Sunday, along with two other men, 36 and 30.
According to the police...

War crimes court revokes Serb nationalist Seselj’s compassionate release


By Thomas Escritt and Aleksandar Vasovic

United Nations judges summoned Serbian politician Vojislav Seselj back to The Hague on Monday, ruling that the nationalist, who has terminal cancer, must return to answer allegations that he violated the terms of his compassionate release.

The ruling, by a court that is strongly backed by the European Union, presents Serbia’s pro-Western government with a dilemma, as it tries to shore up support for EU integration against an increasingly active Russia.

Seselj was charged...

Fighting in Aden as Yemen’s Houthis make gains (Updated)

Boys stand on a tank burnt during clashes on a street in Yemen's southern port city of Aden March 29, 2015

By Mohammad Mukhashaf and Sami Aboudi

Iran-allied Houthi militiamen pushed into the northeastern outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden on Monday amid heavy clashes with loyalists of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, sources on both sides said.

Artillery and rocket fire struck the area on the approaches to the city, Hadi’s fighters said, after the Houthis made a fresh advance from the east along an Arabian Sea coast road.

Aden is Hadi’s last bastion of control in Yemen and...

The value of a healthy lifestyle

feature fat kids

By Alix Norman

Take away the sweets, and you’re in trouble, as most parents know. Kids are programmed to love anything sugary and fatty and, most of the time, they just don’t realise what it’s doing to them.

Especially in terms of weight: within the European Region, one in three 11-year-olds is overweight or obese, says the World Health Organisation. We’re allowing our children to get larger and larger all the time, and some of the worst offenders are the...

Second blogger hacked to death this year in Bangladesh


By Ruma Paul

A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.

Washikur Rahman, a secular blogger, was attacked by young religious students on a busy street in the centre of Dhaka on Monday morning, a police official said.

“Police on duty near the spot caught two attackers red-handed with three machetes as they were...

Turkish Cypriot football officials determined to unify despite protest (Update)


By Angelos Anastasiou
The Turkish Cypriot Football Association has applied to join the ranks of the Cyprus Football Federation after a 45-day ultimatum it had issued to resolve Turkish Cypriot footballers’ transfer fees expired, chairman Hasan Sertoglu announced on Monday.

In a letter to FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, copied to CFA chairman Kostakis Koutsokoumnis, Sertoglu informed football’s governing body of the TCFA’s intention to harmonise its charter so that it can apply for CFA membership.

Not recognised internationally,...

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