Accor is set to build on its stock of New Zealand

first_imgAccor is set to build on its stock of New Zealand hotels under its Sofitel brand, to give it four properties in the country.SO Sofitel Auckland is set to open in early 2018 in the redeveloped Reserve Bank building, when it will become the first SO Sofitel in the Pacific region. Located on Customs Street in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, it will have 130 rooms with a bold avant-garde design and views across the Waitemata Harbour.Club rooms all have balconies and access to Club Signature, which has its own al fresco terrace and bar. The rooftop Hi-SO bar will complement the French restaurant and will offer an extensive menu of champagne, wine and cocktails. Other facilities will include a state-of-the-art SO Fit gym, indoor lap pool and SO Spa.Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa has unveiled its opulent Penthouse No. 10. With the latest technology, a private movie theatre and large patio with six-person Jacuzzi, it also offers sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu.  The hotel’s expanded facilities also include the elegant 1789 Wine & Jazz Lounge, next to the Club Lounge.Following its temporary closure late last year, Sofitel Wellington is expected to reopen in October. Located in the heart of Wellington’s business/government hub, the hotel was the New Zealand capital’s first internationally branded five-star hotel to open in 20 years.last_img read more

To celebrate National Cask Ale Week 2009 613th A

first_imgTo celebrate National Cask Ale Week 2009 (6-13th April), Skyscanner takes a look at the world’s biggest beer drinking nations. Pack your pint glass and become a beer tourist in the planet’s best places to sample nature’s nectar.1. Czech Republic (beer consumption per capita: 156.9 litres) – in at the top spot, it’s the Czechs who down 156.9 litres of the amber nectar per capita every year! Known worldwide for beers such as Pilsner Urquell and Budvar – the original Budweiser, it’s perhaps not surprising the Czechs drink so much of the stuff.Skyscanner favourite beer: Staropramen.Find flights to Czech Republic 2. Ireland (131.1 litres) – home to many great brews, including Guinness, one of the biggest beer brands around, it’s no big surprise that the Irish are big on beer. Be sure to visit Dublin’s Guinness Brewery to learn how the black gold is brewed, see their famous advertising campaigns and of course enjoy your free sample.Skyscanner favourite beer: Kilkenny.Find cheap flights to Ireland 3. Germany (115.8 litres) – Oktoberfest, which actually begins in September, is Germany’s biggest celebration of beer, but the Germans are big drinkers all year round, consuming 115.8 litres per capita annually. There are many styles to choose from: try a Bavarian Weissbeer (white beer), Rauchbier (smoked beer) or if you’re tough enough – bock, a strong lager over 6.4% alcohol – prost!Skyscanner favourite beer: Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse.Find cheap flights to Germany 4. Australia (109.9 litres) – the Aussies love a cold ‘stubbie’, but regional brand loyalty is very strong Down Under, meaning that many stick to the beer of their home state (for example, Queenslanders drink Castlemaine XXXX, Victorians drink Victoria Bitter etc). However, the numbers of microbrewers are growing, especially in cosmopolitan city areas, where a much wider range of beer is on offer.Skyscanner favourite beer: Tooheys New.Find cheap flights to Australia5. Austria (108.3 litres) – Austrian beer isn’t world renowned, but in Vienna it’s all about the microbreweries. The most famous is the Schweizerhaus in the Vienna Prater, but the pub ‘1516’ in the city centre (named after the year of origin of the ‘Reinheitsgebot’ beer purity law) and ‘7 Sterne Bräu’ near the big Mariahilferstraße shopping street come highly recommended.Skyscanner favourite beer: Zwickel Bier.Find cheap flights to Austria6. UK (99 litres) – though lager is readily available in the UK, it’s real ale that Britain does best. Available in thousands of varieties, real ale is brewed from traditional ingredients and allowed to mature naturally in the barrel, resulting in a rich tasting beer with great character.Skyscanner favourite beer: Deuchars IPA. Find cheap flights to the UK7. Belgium (93 litres) – said to comprise the most diverse national collection of beer in the world, it’s little wonder that Belgiums rank in the world’s top 10 biggest beer drinkers. From pale ale, to Flemish red, to fruit flavoured brews and monastic ales, Belgium’s long standing brewing experience and experimentation means they are held as perhaps the greatest beer nation on earth.Skyscanner favourite beer: Duvel.Find cheap flights to Belgium8. Denmark (89.9 litres) – the Danish beer market is dominated by pale lager which accounts for 95% of total sales, but a microbrewery explosion since the turn of the millennium means that Denmark now has one of the most exciting beer cultures in Europe.Skyscanner favourite beer: Tuborg.Find cheap flights to Denmark9. Finland (85 litres) – not a country known for its beer, but the relatively recent relaxation of alcohol laws in Finland has led to an explosion of craft beers and microbreweries. The Helsinki beer festival in April offers over 400 different beers for boozers to try.Skyscanner favourite beer: Karhu.Find cheap flights to Finland10. Luxembourg (84.4 litres) – perhaps an unexpected result, but even though Luxembourg is tiny, it has at least seven breweries and has plenty of good brews for the beer tourist to try, mostly influenced by the brewing styles of their German neighbours.Skyscanner favourite beer: Bofferding.Find cheap flights to Luxembourg_World’s biggest beer drinkers measured in beer consumed (in litres) per capita per country according to research by Kirin Holdings._ ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedCape Town tipples: The best breweries and distilleries to visitArtisan community transforming Cape Town’s industrial heart – Pick the perfect craft beer to go with your burger – Find out where to try uniquely South African botanically-infused gin – Choose the best distillery tours and beer-making workshops7 cities where you’ll find the cheapest beer in EuropeFrom cheap ales in Budapest to free wine in Paris, in honour of National Beer Day (15th June) we’ve got seven ideas for city breaks in Europe where your pounds will buy you more pints. Beer we go, then!Oktoberfest: Skyscanner’s Guide to the World’s Best Beer FestOktoberfest: Skyscanner’s Guide to the World’s Best Beer Festlast_img read more

Aspen Colorado USA – Reported by Elite Traveler

first_imgAspen, Colorado, USA – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyleFashion, luxury, and adventure merged at the Aspen Fashion Show last weekend during the debut of “In Search of Snow,” an artsy black-and-white short featuring the Bentley Continental GTC Convertible. The five-minute film takes viewers through a pulse-raising tour through Colorado via one of the world’s hottest set of wheels, under the guidance of former alpine racer Chris Davenport.In a thrilling showcase of its sporting prowess, the Bentley masterpiece zips through the rugged terrains of the San Juan Mountains, pausing only to let its driver indulge in Aspen’s majestic ski slopes. One a state-of-the-art, all-wheels system and the other an extreme athlete, machine and man make a perfect pair. High performance, aesthetics, and taste—it’s all here.www.youtube.com/bentleymotorslast_img read more

Toronto Canada – Reported by Elite Traveler the

first_imgToronto, Canada – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineFairmont Hotels & Resorts, which operates some of the world’s most storied and luxurious hotel properties such as The Plaza in New York, London’s The Savoy, Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai and Fairmont San Francisco, will soon welcome another notable icon, Moscow’s Pekin Hotel, to its collection. Following an extensive multiyear restoration program, this historic property will be rebranded Fairmont Pekin Moscow.The project is being developed by HALS-Development, a prominent real estate development company in Russia.Fairmont Pekin Moscow will be centrally located in the city, at the junction of the Garden Ring and Triumfalnaya Square. Opposite is the Mayakovsky Monument and metro station, while the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Satire Theater and Red Square are situated nearby. The hotel will feature 236 spacious guestrooms and suites, including Fairmont Gold, the brand’s exclusive room product that offers guests personalized service, a variety of amenities and the relaxed comfort of a residential-style lounge. Guests will also enjoy a selection of dining venues, 950 square meters of meeting and function space as well as a Fairmont branded spa and fitness facilities.Completed in 1955 to designs by Dimity Chechulin, one of the Soviet Union’s most famous architects, the Pekin Hotel was part of the post-war redevelopment of Moscow. Chechulin, a former City Planner, also built Moscow’s White House, four of the renowned Metro Stations and one of the Seven Sister buildings.Fine architectural details including the façade and internal spaces will be restored and extended to some other parts of the building. During the renovation, the Chinese motifs found in parts of the hotel will be highlighted to emphasize the period design of the property.“We are fortunate to count some of the most iconic hotels in the world amongst our portfolio and we take our role as custodians of these great properties very seriously,” said Chris Cahill, President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “This project not only affords us the opportunity to offer our guests a new, key destination in the largest country in the world but allows us to partner with HALS Development, which in addition to being a highly regarded property developer also shares our sensibility for heritage and preservation.”Future Fairmont openings in 2012 include Baku, Azerbaijan; Jaipur, India; Kyiv, Ukraine; Manila, Philippines and The Palm, Dubai, UAE.www.fairmont.comlast_img read more

Jet Airways Indias premier international airline

first_imgJet Airways, India’s premier international airline, today launched its services to Saudi Arabia with the introduction of its daily service from Mumbai to Jeddah. The airline marked the occasion with the customary inaugural ceremony at the Mumbai International Airport.Jet Airways will operate its maiden flight on the sector aboard a state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 aircraft.Flight 9W 522 will depart Mumbai at 2135 hrs, and will arrive in Jeddah at 0001 hrs. Flight 9W 521 will depart Jeddah at 0100 hrs, and will arrive in Mumbai at 0835 hrs.With the introduction of its services to Saudi Arabia, Jet Airways now flies to 7 cities in the Gulf, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat, Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Jeddah.Jeddah is Saudi Arabia’s second largest city, as well as a commercial hub. It also holds great religious significance, as the principal gateway to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.According to Mr. Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO, Jet Airways, “Jet Airways is delighted to introduce its services to Saudi Arabia. Guests on these sectors may now enjoy the quality in-flight product, warm service and seamless connectivity that has made Jet Airways the carrier of choice on the competitive Indo-Gulf sector in a relatively short span of time.”Jet Airways will also launch a new, daily service to Dubai from Hyderabad, its fifth daily service to the Gulf emirate and second from Southern India; as well as its second daily service to Bangkok from Mumbai, effective August 16, 2009.www.jetairways.comlast_img read more

by The Associated Press Posted Dec 6 2017 93

first_img by The Associated Press Posted Dec 6, 2017 9:35 am PDT Last Updated Dec 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ADRIAN, Mich. – Cyber shenanigans for 200? A former “Jeopardy!” winner has been charged with illegally accessing co-workers’ email accounts at a small Michigan college.Stephanie Jass is a former history professor at Adrian College. She appeared in Lenawee County court on Tuesday, charged with unauthorized access to a computer and using a computer to commit a crime.No other details were released. But The Daily Telegram in Adrian reports that state police investigated after getting complaints from college staff earlier this year.The Associated Press left a message seeking comment for Jass’ attorney Wednesday.Jass won seven games on “Jeopardy!” in 2012. Adrian College declined to say when Jass stopped working at the school.In 2014, Jass performed at Croswell Opera House in Adrian, singing songs and sharing stories about playing “Jeopardy!”___Information from: The Daily Telegram, http://www.lenconnect.com ‘Jeopardy!’ winner charged with computer crimes in Michigancenter_img In this October 2012 photo, Stephanie Jass of Tecumseh, Mich., poses at Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. Jass, who won seven games on “Jeopardy!” in 2012, was arraigned Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, on two computer-related charges that allege she accessed co-workers’ email accounts earlier this year at Adrian College. (Mike Dickie/The Daily Telegram via AP) last_img read more

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and first lady

first_img WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are welcoming Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia to the White House.The president said Tuesday that he’s honoured to have Spain’s royal couple in the Oval Office for their first meeting. King Felipe says he appreciates the shared history and heritage of the United States and Spain.Trade was expected to figure prominently in the talks. The king was expected to discuss concerns in Europe about the Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and U.S. tariffs on Spanish black olives.The king and queen are wrapping up a visit to the United States that included stops in San Antonio and New Orleans. The couple was expected to meet with congressional leaders later in the day. by The Associated Press Posted Jun 19, 2018 11:35 am PDT Last Updated Jun 19, 2018 at 12:21 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Trumps welcome Spanish royal couple to White Housecenter_img President Donald Trump, left, helps to direct Spain’s King Felipe VI, second from left, first lady Melania Trump, third from right, and Queen Letizia, second from right, for a photo after they arrived on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) last_img read more

Marineland founder John Holer dies at 83 lawyer s

first_imgMarineland founder John Holer dies at 83, lawyer says A sign for Marineland is shown in Niagara Falls, Ont., Monday, August 14, 2017. John Holer, the founder of the Marineland theme park in Niagara Falls, Ont., has died at the age of 83. His lawyer Andrew Burns says Holer died in his home Saturday morning surrounded by family.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton by Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 24, 2018 6:28 pm PDT Last Updated Jun 24, 2018 at 9:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img John Holer, who founded the Marineland theme park in Niagara Falls, Ont., and unapologetically defended it against all critics, has died at the age of 83.His lawyer Andrew Burns says Holer died in his home Saturday morning surrounded by family.“On behalf of Marineland, I can confirm that Mr. Holer passed away Saturday morning at his home, peacefully, comforted by his wife and son,” said Burns, who declined to comment further.Holer founded Marineland in 1963 when he started giving shows with a few sea lions in a small pool in Niagara Falls.Since then, it has grown into a large amusement park with whales, dolphins, walruses, seals, sea lions and other animals such as deer, bears, birds and fish.Over the years, Holder vigorously defended Marineland against protests and complaints by animal welfare activists who maintain it should be shut down.In 2000, he told The Canadian Press that anonymous online activists had threatened to burn down his home and the park in response to the death of a whale.”They (the threats) used to bother me, but I don’t give a damn,” Holer said at the time.”The more they bark, the more business we get. If I didn’t take care of my animals, I’d be out of business.”The criticism of Marineland intensified two years later, when former employees went public with allegations of animal abuse at the park among both its marine and land animals in 2012. The OSPCA did not lay charges at the time but issued several orders, which Marineland complied with.More recently, Marineland was charged with 11 counts of animal cruelty following an investigation by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but all of them were dropped by the Crown in 2017.In response, the theme park sued the OSPCA, alleging the organization targeted the theme park to boost fundraising and appease animal activists.Marineland has always steadfastly denied all allegations against the park.“Few people have the time or funds to encounter these animals in their natural habitat, not to mention the potential disruption and negative impact that would result to the animals’ natural environments from having the millions of visitors that visit facilities like Marineland visit these animals in the wild,” reads a “message from the owner” on the park’s web site.Online reaction to Holer’s death was mixed, with some people praising his entrepreneurial spirit and the jobs he created, and others condemning him for what they see as a legacy of animal abuse.Manitoba Sen. Don Plett was among those who praised the Slovenian-born Holer as an immigrant success story.“His story as a newcomer to Canada is truly inspiring. Rest In Peace, Mr. Holer,” he wrote on his Twitter account.Mike Garrett, a former activist who has faced legal action by Marineland over his protests of the facility, urged the public to be respectful in the wake of Holer’s death.“His legacy will surely be contentious and we had our own personal and legal battles, however, my condolences go out to his family at this difficult time,” he wrote in a statement published on social media.“Regardless of personal beliefs Mr. Holer, was from a different generation and accomplished much with very little. He was a husband, brother and father and his family should be given compassion and privacy.”Marineland was not able to comment Sunday, but said it would issue a statement on Holer’s death Monday.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously said John Holer was born in Slovakia.last_img read more

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShar

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Lynn Elber, The Associated Press Posted Nov 20, 2018 7:42 am PDT PBS’ ‘Let’s Go Luna!’ takes kids on a globe-spanning tour This image released by PBS shows a scene from the animated series “Let’s Go Luna,” aimed at children age 4 to 7. It debuts Wednesday on PBS and on PBS Kids video streaming platforms. (LATW Productions Inc./PBs via AP) LOS ANGELES — A new PBS children’s show promises to open up the world to young viewers.The animated series “Let’s Go Luna!” features three pint-size characters who are travelling with a circus run by their parents.Carmen the butterfly, Leo the wombat and Andy the frog will explore 20 places on all seven continents, learning about different cultures and traditions.Antarctica is the stop for a special Christmas episode airing Dec. 10.“Let’s Go Luna!” is aimed at children age 4 to 7. It debuts Wednesday on PBS and on PBS Kids video streaming platforms.Lynn Elber, The Associated Presslast_img read more

March 13 2015We reported about work on the roof o

first_imgMarch 13, 2015We reported about work on the roof of East Housing in July 2014, you can see details on July 18. – 23. and July 28 2014, as well as March 4, 6, and 11. 2015.The construction crew built a form around a set of utility vents on the East Housing roof. This will be a retaining platform on which steel housing will be mounted to protect the utility vents.Concrete had to be transported a long way, from the keystone all the way to the top of the East Housing roof.[photos by archive volunteer Chihiro Saito]The concrete is transferred from wheelbarrows to buckets to make it easier to carry up a long set of steps.Workshop participant Brendan Workman.Workshop participant Hunter Eary.Workshop participant Francesco Marchegiano.The crew is finishing the surface of the slab. More to comelast_img read more

NHS roadmap to be unveiled to MPs

first_imgTHE government will shortly be unveiling its definitive roadmap on the rollout of the National Health Scheme (NHS), MPs were told on Thursday.First Health Officer Elisavet Constantinou informed lawmakers that her boss, health minister Giorgos Pamboridis will be ready to present the NHS timetable at the next session of the house health committee.Under the government’s latest proposal, by June 2017 a public organisation will be set up which will oversee hospital autonomy, outpatient care will be introduced by June 2019, and inpatient care by the second half of 2020.The House health committee is close to completing discussion of two bills on reforms rendering state hospitals administratively and financially autonomous.Hospital autonomy must be achieved before the NHS is implemented because under the new scheme, patients will be able to choose which doctor and which hospital to visit.The government meanwhile has submitted to parliament the 2017 budget for the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), a vehicle for implementation of the NHS.The budget provides for revenues of €8.41 million, of which the €8 million consist of a state grant.The funds will cover, among others, the special software to be used by the NHS.The government intends to create 20 new positions within the HIO, bringing the total number of staff there to 72.The 20 new positions comprise 14 officers, four medical officers and two information technology technicians.Head of the HIO Thomas Antoniou told legislators that once the budget is passed, the organisation would proceed with signing contracts for purchasing and installing the software systems, which should be fully operational in 18 to 24 months.According to Antoniou, two major issues are pending: one concerns the timetable for a gradual implementation of NHS leading up to a full rollout by mid-2020.The other open issue relates to contributions and co-payments.MPs also heard there are currently five studies underway relating to implementation of the NHS. One is an actuarial study carried out by the HIO and relating to the viability of the NHS Fund. Another study relates to the viability of public hospitals, and a third concerns the pricing of services offered by state hospitals.The finance ministry is also conducting two more studies – one relating to the impact of the NHS on public finances, the other on its impact on the economy in general.Speaking in parliament, Akel MP Giorgos Loucaides critiqued the administration for never seriously considering a single-payer system.A 2015 report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), commissioned by the government, opined that deficiencies in the NHS’s software infrastructure, as well as a lack of historical data on which to base risk adjustment, would likely hinder efficiency in any multi-payer health care system that would involve private insurers, either in competition with each other, or with the government insurer.The WHO said that, absent the software to monitor and record trends in healthcare for “at least two years”, private insurers would be likely to tend to take on only low-risk clients, leaving older, sicker residents to the HIO, which would then be burdened with increased diagnosis and treatment cost.But at the same time the WHO acknowledged that even single-payer healthcare systems cannot guarantee success.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes?FigLeaf Beta AppUndoInfinityKloudStop Procrastinating Backups. This Smart USB Stick Makes It Easy.InfinityKloudUndoJerome's FurnitureInsider Tips to Make a Small Room Look BiggerJerome’s FurnitureUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Stupid women laws to be amended

first_imgMPs on Wednesday agreed to update terminology in three laws dating back decades, two of which refer to ‘stupid women with reduced mental levels’.MPs sitting on the House legal committee agreed with three drafts submitted by Disy MP Stella Kyriakidou.She suggested replacing ‘stupid women with reduced mental levels’ in two laws with the words ‘a woman with mental disability’ and in a third law to replace the words ‘any stupid person’ with the phrase ‘a person with intellectual or mental disabilities’.The amendments are for the laws for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence and protection of victims, the Criminal Code and the Aliens and Immigration Law where reference is made to ‘any stupid, insane mental patient’.Kyriakidou said that the terminology was outdated and discriminated against women and the disabled.The Disy MP noted such terminology was changed in other countries before 1960 but not in Cyprus.Some more details will be supplied and the proposals will be brought to the plenary of the House for approval.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 AdsUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsThe Early Signs Of Heart Failure. Search Acute Heart Failure TreatmentHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsUndo 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

ENI also likely to operate out of Limassol

first_imgAFTER energy giants Total, it looks like ENI will likewise operate – albeit grudgingly – out of the port of Limassol for their scheduled drilling operations, slated to get underway later this year.“Larnaca port is definitely out,” Alecos Michaelides, permanent secretary of the transport ministry and former president of the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) board, told the Cyprus Mail.Michaelides confirmed news reports that DP World, the concession holders operating the multi-purpose terminal of Limassol port for the next 25 years, plan to have an onshore logistics base supporting hydrocarbons activities up and running by this summer.ENI are contractually bound to start drilling two more wells before February 2018, when their offshore exploration licence expires.If they are to accomplish that, drilling should commence by around November of this year at the latest. Leaving precious little time from now until then for the company to close contracts for leasing the drilling and support vessels, and for securing materials such as piping.Like Total, ENI would have preferred to have its onshore support base at Larnaca. There are a variety of technical reasons why oil companies prefer Larnaca: the water depth is more than sufficient for support vessels to wade into the harbour. Also, the port at Larnaca is nowhere near as congested as Limassol’s.But citing health concerns over the mud plant and potentially toxic chemicals at the port, Larnaca residents last year pressured their municipality not to extend a permit for Medserv, an oil and gas services company which supported ENI’s prior drilling operations.But the Mail understands that, for the new wells, ENI proposed to have their mud plant not at the port, but offshore Larnaca – effectively aboard the drilling vessel they would lease.That would obviate the need for permits from local authorities.“But with presidential elections looming next year, any talk of hydrocarbons activities out of Larnaca – even with no environmental impact – would be political suicide,” a source apprised of the matter commented.The source, who requested anonymity, said ENI would now be forced to relocate to Limassol the equipment left over from their first drilling schedule. The equipment is being held in storage at Medserv’s facilities in Larnaca.Yet more trouble may be brewing at Limassol harbour.In early October 2016, Total and EDT, an oil and gas services company, signed a contract where the latter would provide the former onshore logistics services out of the port of Limassol supporting Total’s drilling programmeIn the meantime, the marine services concession at the port of Limassol – after it was privatised – was granted to a partnership comprising P&O Maritime and G.A.P. Vassilopoulos for the next 15 years.But the concession, granted by the ports authority, included a monopoly clause in favour of the concessionaires.EDT’s facilities, which will serve as an onshore support base for Total’s drilling operations, lie in the government-retained areas of the port, administered by the ports authority.Nevertheless, the concession agreement entered into by the government and the private concession holders held that any activity relating to oil and gas at the port would need to go through the concessionaires – including if those activities took place in the government-retained areas.Apparently this complication came to the transport ministry’s attention belatedly. Largely as a result of this, Total’s drilling schedule – initially slated for April 2017 – had to be pushed back to June.Eventually EDT and P&O Maritime came to an arrangement, allowing the former to operate an onshore logistics base until the end of 2018.The deal provides that by then EDT has to dismantle a floating platform it has at the site.“Effectively, DP World and P&O Maritime are seeking to shut out anyone from providing services in the government-retained areas of the port, and to double-dip into the oil and gas activity,” another source said.This would deprive the state of potentially significant revenue streams.The same source said DP World planned to build a mud plant next to the new passenger terminal at Limassol port, and wondered whether they would – or should – secure an environmental permit.Asked about this, the transport ministry’s Michaelides said the mud plant would not be located close to the passenger terminal, but “at a distance.”He added: “In any case, the configuration will be such that passengers will not have direct view of the mud plant.” You May LikeTruthFinder 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 AppUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementTop Yale Doctor: This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic 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

Missing persons burial location difficult to excavate

first_imgMissing Greek Cypriots from the village of Ashia are believed to have been buried in a now-restored landfill, making it difficult for experts to find them, the Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) Nestoras Nestoros said.Around 70 people from the Turkish occupied village of Ashia, murdered during the 1974 invasion, are believed to be buried at a now-restored landfill in Dikomo.According to witnesses, the remains were transferred there from the village of Ornithi. The relocation took place between 1995-1996.The landfill was closed between 2009-2012 as part of an EU-funded project to restore the area. The EU was not aware of the issue at the time.Nestoros told the Cyprus News Agency that the site was restored but no trees were planted in the area where rubbish was dumped in the past. ATrees were planted around the area where the rubbish was dumped, he said.‘’All necessary procedures and studies are being carried out to determine whether the site can be excavated. There are many difficulties and we need to take them into consideration,’’ he said.Nestoros said it is expected to be a costly excavation and additional funding will be sought from the EU.The CMP receives €2.6m funding each year from the EU, with its annual budget being €3.5m.You May LikeWealthIntroTaylor Swift Learns That Fan Need A House, Does This For HerWealthIntroUndoTymOut8 Signs Your Cholesterol Levels Are Too High!TymOutUndoFinance NancyThis Is What Julia Roberts Drives On The WeekendsFinance NancyUndo Heroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)UndoUK plays Brexit hardball with ‘stubborn’ EUUndoCompanies must use buying power to root out slavery, says UK officialUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Defence Minister sets preconditions for third country participation in PESCO programs

first_imgMinister of Defence Savvas Angelides sets preconditions for the participation of third countries in PESCO programs (permanent structured defence cooperation in the EU), during an informal meeting of the EU Defense Ministers in Vienna.According Angelides, the prior completion of a Security Intelligence Exchange of Classified Information of these States with the EU and a technical arrangement with the European Defense Agency, should be set as key conditions for future participation.During his intervention, the Minister also stressed that all the technologies and capabilities developed under a PESCO program should be available to the European Union and all its members.PESCO, co-operation with the Western Balkans in the framework of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSDP) as well as third countries` participation in EU initiatives in the region were some of the issues of the informal meeting agenda. Ministers discussed and “gave political guidance on EU security and defense issues,” in view of the Foreign Affairs Council in November.More specifically, the proposal for the European Peace Facility (EPF), developments on Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) were discussed and an exchange of views on the Review of the EU Military Capability of Planning and Conducting Business Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) and the European Union Operation in the Mediterranean, EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sofia was conducted.Defence Minister Savvas Angelides in his intervention expressed Cyprus’ full support for Operation Sofia, noting the need for solidarity between the Member States in the management of migratory flows arriving in the European Union. He welcomed the Commission’s proposal for the creation of the European Peace Facility and supported the strengthening and further development of the EU`s Military Capacity for Planning and Conducting Operations in order to be able to plan and conduct the EU`s executive missions, improving the Strategic Autonomy of the EU.Finally, he expressed Cyprus` support for the European integration of the Western Balkan countries, stressing however that these states should beforehand complete the reforms and align themselves with the European acquis.The summit was also attended by NATO Deputy Secretary-General Ms Rose Gottemoeller and UN Deputy UN Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Missions Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who reported on the activities of their Organizations in the region and the possibilities for further cooperation with the EU.CNAYou May LikeQuizGrizAlmost Nobody Aces This DIY Plumbing Quiz!QuizGrizUndoFinancialAdvisorHeroesCaitlyn Jenner Has A Net Worth Of $100 Million And This Is The House She Chooses To Live InFinancialAdvisorHeroesUndoWomanitely9 Tips on How to Survive Your First Year of CollegeWomanitelyUndo Heroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)UndoCompanies must use buying power to root out slavery, says UK officialUndoTwo days of music to dance toUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

Doctors threaten measures on overtime pay

first_imgBy Poly Pantelides THE health ministry asked the state doctors’ union PASYKI on Tuesday to reconsider threats of measures against planned reductions in overtime allowances and to continue discussions on a system overhaul.The government has agreed with the troika of lenders to overhaul the health sector’s overtime payments, to modernise a system which has been subject to much abuse over the years. The auditor-general has previously said the state overpays doctors in overtime for working weekends or, in some cases, for working past civil service hours or else paying doctors their annual wage, again in overtime.PASYKI said on Monday its board had been given the go-ahead for “dynamic measures” and would be deciding the nature of such measures – which could include a strike – during a general meeting this coming Monday.The health ministry said everyone across the state sector needed to regulate overtime, and added PASYKI had already agreed that no overtime would be paid between 3pm and 4.30pm and also agreed to discuss reviewing the current system.But the state doctors said their agreement to work between 3pm and 4.30pm without overtime pay was a sign of “good will” on the understanding this would be a temporary six-month measure.PASYKI said government doctors had never accepted any cuts in overtime pay and took issue with a compromise offer by health minister Petros Petrides to compensate them for working between 5pm and 7pm. “…meaning a further cut in overtime payment”.The union accused the health ministry of ignoring their views during negotiations with the troika and suggested they could have struck a better deal for state doctors “even at the last moment” by arguing the measures could not be implemented and offering “substantiated proposals and alternative solutions cost-saving solutions”.In the memorandum of understanding that acts as the road map to the implementation of an international bailout for Cyprus, health authorities are expected to continue reducing overtime to cover as a minimum “services hours from 7am to 7pm under regular working time”. By early next year, the health ministry should have revised regular and stand-by shift payments, revised it overtime pay regulations and fully implemented the law on recording and monitoring overtime paymentYou May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndo 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

Government policy will delay natural gas use says former minister

first_imgBy Peter StevensonTHE government has excluded National Hydrocarbons Company KRETYK from any negotiations regarding Cyprus’ natural gas in its attempts to dissolve the company according to former commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis.This followed KRETYK’s executive vice-chairman, Solon Kassinis on Friday announcing his intention to resign. His exclusion from a team appointed last week by the cabinet to negotiate with Cyprus’ US and Israeli partners on the development of natural gas within Block 12 was the main reason, he explained.AKEL party member Sylikiotis said he believed the beginning of the end was when the government decided to cancel the previous cabinet’s decision to give the hydrocarbons company permission to make arrangements for the development of Cyprus’ natural gas.“The government then went ahead and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Noble, DELEK and AVNER essentially bypassing KRETYK who had been preparing the plan since February,” he said.The former minister added that Kassinis’ comments confirmed the fact that the government’s actions are leading to the national company’s exclusion and will create significant delays in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and the utilisation of natural gas.According to Sylikiotis, 2019 is no longer the latest possible date that an LNG terminal could be built, with some sources, he claimed, stating it could happen in 2020 or later.He accused the government of delaying the process, making it more difficult for the economy to recover.“The investment of several billion euros, mainly from the companies involved, and the creation of thousands of jobs over the next two to three years will be able to push the economy back on the road to recovery,” he said.He called on the government to think twice and allow KRETYK to proceed with an international tender for hiring financial and legal consultants of international stature and allow the company to proceed in negotiations with companies to conclude a final agreement on the creation of a terminal.He added that KRETYK, in cooperation with the other companies, should be assigned to overseeing all of the work that has been included in the agreements made with the government. Sylikiotis explained that assigning state-run companies to oversee procedures dealing with the exploitation of natural gas is common practice in the majority of countries around the world.“We will support the government, if they proceed this way, so that with all of our efforts we can give hope to the people following the discovery of important natural wealth that exists in our exclusive economic zone,” he concluded.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 ArePopularEverythingUndoSenior Living | Search AdsCheap Senior Apartments in Rowland Heights Are Turning HeadsSenior Living | Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

IronFX says bidding for Alpari after Swiss collapse

first_imgIronFX is in talks to buy fellow online forex broker Alpari UK, which was forced into administration on Monday after suffering heavy losses on the Swiss franc, the Cyprus-based company’s chief operating officer told Reuters on Thursday.Alpari, sponsor of Premier League soccer team West Ham United, was one of two high-profile brokerage victims of the franc’s surge after the Swiss National Bank stunned markets last Thursday by abandoning its three-year old cap on the currency.“We are in the process of making a bid and (are) in contact with the Administrators,” said Dimitris Hatzis, IronFX’s chief operating officer, in an email to Reuters.Administrators for Alpari are aiming to sell the broker by the end of next week and are in discussions with a handful of firms, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters separately.KPMG, which is running Alpari, is aiming to secure a quick sale to keep staff and clients and as much of the business intact as possible.“IronFX Global understands the sector and Alpari’s business well. The company also understands the pending court cases between the majority shareholder and the company,” Hatzis added.The co-founder of Russian-owned Alpari applied a year ago to wind up the parent company of its retail currency brokerage, fearing it was “doomed” long before the company’s collapse from trading losses last week, he said on Wednesday.Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Tuesday initial indications were that the funds of more than 100,000 Alpari customers were “whole”, although it would take more time to confirm if there were customer losses.In a statement on its website, IronFX said it had fully covered all negative balances that had arisen after the SNB’s shock move, and that it would continue to offer negative balance protection.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 read more

Nicosia refuse bills to spiral there is no other way

first_imgBy Evie AndreouNicosia district residents will see increases to their refuse bills by up to 14 per cent for this year and each of the next two years so that local authorities can cover losses for a nine-fold increase in rubbish management costs since the Kotsiatis landfill closed at the end of February.The decision comes after local authorities realised they could not cope with the additional costs that soared from €8 per tonne to the €43 per tonne charged by the Koshi waste treatment plant in Larnaca that now takes in Nicosia’s rubbish.Nicosia district mayors and community leaders called on the government last month for monetary assistance to help cover the loss after the annual cost of rubbish management this year shoots up from €759,000 to €6.7m.Strovolos mayor, Andreas Papacharalambous, who is also the head of the Nicosia district’s municipal council for waste management spaces, said that one way or another the taxpayer would foot the bill.“What did we do at Kotsiatis? We used to take there all our rubbish – domestic, bulky items such as old furniture and mattresses, trimmings – and bury them, at €8 per tonne,” he told the Sunday Mail. “It was economic but catastrophic for the environment.”Now, local authorities have to pay more than five times that amount to the Koshi waste treatment plant, but costs don’t just stop there.“Koshi only takes domestic waste. Trimmings go to another management facility and bulky items to another,” Papacharalambous said, adding that local authorities pay these facilities to take in these items.Plus, he said, Koshi is located further away from Nicosia than Kotsiatis, meaning more fuel and more maintenance costs for the local authorities’ trucks and more man hours. All this, he said, puts the total costs at more than €6m.Strovolos mayor Andreas PapacharalambousLess than half of this has already been added this year on residents’ refuse tax.“The rest we are asking from the government since it is them that reached the agreement with the Koshi plant,” he said.Local authorities want the government to cover the rest of the costs for this year, while Nicosia district residents will pay even higher refuse tax in 2020 and again in 2021 until that loss is gradually covered.The mayor said the government will have to make up the rest for 2020, and costs should be covered by 2021 with the raised annual tax on residents for the third year in the row.Since parliament put a 14 per cent annual increase cap, he said, local authorities will increase up to that percentage next year and the same in 2021.That way, he said, local authorities will gradually cover that loss so that they won’t need aid from the government.“Polluters pay, there is no other way,” he said.Whatever the solution, taxpayers bear the burden, he said.Either the government subsidises local authorities with taxpayer money, he said, or local authorities raise refuse taxes. “One way or the other, taxpayers will foot the bill.”The Strovolos mayor said the new system is good but costly.“We ought to pollute less to pay less.”He said the state and local authorities ought to provide recycling solutions such as the ‘pay as you throw’ scheme.But even if everyone started recycling from next year the cost would only drop marginally.Papacharalambous said local authorities are waiting for the government to brief them on the pay as you throw scheme, recently announced by Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis, that concerns a new law on garbage collection fees based on the usage-pricing model. The minister would like the bill passed by parliament by the end of the year.Under this regime, users will pay in advance for all the garbage they wish to be collected by purchasing a custom bag at a relatively high cost.“We are waiting to be presented with the scheme. I know that serious work is being done,” he said.But although such a scheme would improve the situation, the risk of fly-tipping remains high.“Things will not change from one moment to the next, mentality will gradually change,” he said, adding that further recycling campaigns are neededResidents already dump items they don’t know what to do with in empty plots, on main roads or in the common areas of apartment buildings.Papacharalambous said it was very difficult to enforce the law because only offenders seen by municipal employees can be taken to court.“If someone else reports fly-tipping, they have to testify in court and they don’t want to, they say they are afraid of retaliation,” he said.Papacharalambous said only the establishment of a municipal police force would give local authorities the power to tackle fly-tipping.“Take dog faeces – so many dogs are being walked every morning, how are municipal employees going to monitor and catch each offender?”Eight green spots  where residents can take any items they want to dispose were supposed to be up and running in time for the closure of Kotsiatis, but lack of proper planning and stalling by “everyone involved”, he said, delayed their opening until last Tuesday.The green spots are located in Ergates, Kokkinotrimithia, Peristerona, Astromeritis, Linou, Alambra, Strovolos and Malounda. The Strovolos green spot is near the Nicosia general hospital.Nicosia district residents will be able to take bulky items like old furniture, electric and electronic appliances, trimmings, plastic containers, carton and paper, glass, aluminium, wood, fabrics, scrap metal, x-rays, old toys, car batteries, paint, cooking oil, thermometers and medicine.The green spots will accept these items free of charge – though residents will have to get the items there – as long as they are sorted separately and were intended for domestic use and not for business or agricultural use.An existing green spot in LimassolA large information campaign will be launched within the coming days with everything residents need to know about their operation, Papacharalambous said.He added that the temporary green spots that have been operated by each municipality are not related with the new ones.“The actual green spots are large infrastructures that cost millions,” he said.The illegal landfills at Kotsiatis in Nicosia and Vati in Limassol closed down at the end of February as part of Cyprus’ obligation to implement the European directives on waste management which were supposed to have been enforced by 2013 at the latest.The Kotsiatis rubbish dump was originally supposed to close in 2009 but after a plan to build a separate waste-management plant in Nicosia was scrapped, it was decided to transfer rubbish from Kotsiatis to the Koshi plant in Larnaca. Procedures for this were delayed following the bribery scandals and ensuing trials concerning Helector, which runs Koshi and Paphos sanitary landfills.The issue was even further delayed following constant rejections by the Central Committee on Changes and Claims (KEAA) of deals agreed between the government and Helector on the management of the Nicosia district’s rubbish. The government reached an agreement with Helector last year.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Daimler local Mercedes distributor fined €207mln by competition watchdog

first_imgThe competition watchdog (CPC) has fined two companies with a €20.7 million fine for restricting the distribution of genuine Mercedes-Benz parts in the Cypriot market, it was announced on Friday.In its April 23 decision, the CPC fined Mercedes- Benz owner Daimler AG and Cyprus Import Corporation (CIC), the local dealership, €20mln and €700,000 respectively after it found them in violation of competition laws.The fine followed an investigation into a complaint lodged in 2011 by spare parts importers Kapodistrias and Kyros Auto Service.Kapodistrias and Kyros used to import genuine Mercedes parts from overseas suppliers but were unable to do so after Daimler applied a selective distribution system for its parts.After the decision “sale of genuine parts by the official network is allowed only to members of the network, i.e. CIC, in the Cypriot market, and authorised distributors and repair shops, as well as car owners through independent garages.”“The CPC also noted that CIC, just before the implementation of the selective distribution system, held exceptionally high …  market shares.”After the system was applied, CIC acquired monopoly status, the CPC said.The CPC concluded that CIC knew, as the general distributor, that it would be the only member of the system of selective distribution in the Cypriot market, and despite being able to, it had not appointed other authorised dealers, but chose to remain the sole distributor in the market.“In addition, the commission unanimously judged that Daimler failed to ensure the proper implementation of the selective distribution system in the Cypriot market, and its actions and or omissions, based on the agreement with CIC, led to the limited availability of genuine parts bearing the logo of the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” the CPC said. “The system of selective distribution could have been implemented in the Cypriot market without any restriction or control of production of supply.”  You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more