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Yellowstone grizzly bears to lose protections

Thu, 2017-06-22 20:54
Grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park are set to lose their endangered species protection after US officials ruled the population is no longer threatened.

Kouyialis issues decree on exotic animal imports

Thu, 2017-06-22 20:53

Agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis on Thursday issued a decree prohibiting the importation of and trade in a wide range of wild animals and birds, a move directed at the Melios Zoo and Pet Shop to stop the business from selling animals.

The decree places a number of species of wild animals and birds on the so-called ‘red list’.

In addition, the ministry addressed a letter to Melios Menelaou, owner of Melios Zoo, informing him that he is being removed from the list of merchants authorized to engage in intra-Community trade of birds and wild animals.

On June 10, Nicosia-based Melios had announced a sale of mouflons, deer, buffalo and other animals on its Facebook page. The post touted “special prices until the end of the month” and featured photographs of red deer and mouflons, declaring “all are in stock”.

The minister said the business appears to have broken several laws, including possession of mouflons, expanding the zoo on state-owned land, and importing wild animals without declaring them to the veterinary services.

“Overall, his whole operation is deemed to be unlawful,” he added.

Kouyialis said the decree ensured the businessman in question cannot sell any of the animals in his zoo, thus ensuring they do not end up as pets in people’s homes.

Daily inspections were being carried out on the zoo’s premises.

According to Kouyialis, authorities could have revoked the businessman’s zoo permit, but decided against it for now as the priority was to ensure the animals’ wellbeing.

“In due course, we shall revoke his permit once we find suitable locations for the animals, that is to say, zoos which meet the conditions ensuring a dignified living for these animals.”

The business insists its actions are above board as it imported the animals as pets in the first place.

The post Kouyialis issues decree on exotic animal imports appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

PM offers deal to let EU citizens stay in UK

Thu, 2017-06-22 20:33
Theresa May has promised EU citizens living legally in the UK will be allowed to stay after Brexit.

Hungry hackers stole from CIA vending machines

Thu, 2017-06-22 20:28
The CIA has admitted it was penetrated by an insider network - of hi-tech snack thieves.

Two arrested in north as part of Gulen probe

Thu, 2017-06-22 20:02

Authorities in the north have arrested two men as part of a police operation to track down persons with ties to Fetullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric believed to be behind last year’s attempted coup in the neighbouring country.

The detained men were named as Osman Adsiz and Selcuk Genc.

Turkish Cypriot media reported that police searched the homes of the two men, finding documents, brochures and other print material related to Feto, shorthand for ‘Fetullah terrorist organisation’.

During a subsequent court hearing, it was claimed that Adsiz is responsible for 30 hideouts of Feto sympathisers in the north.

Adsiz and Genc were remanded in custody for two days, reports said.

Reports earlier this year said that 200 policemen in the north were being investigated in connection with potential links to Gulen’s organisation.

During the investigation, which began in early April, police personnel were asked questions such as where they were on the night of July 15, 2016, whom they had visited abroad in the past, and whether they knew who provided financial support to the organisation.

In January this year, nine colonels serving in the north were arrested after an investigation linked them to the alleged terror organisation.

The post Two arrested in north as part of Gulen probe appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

EU flexes military muscles with new defence plan

Thu, 2017-06-22 20:01

European Union leaders launched their the most ambitious defence plan for decades on Thursday, agreeing a multi-billion-euro weapons fund, shared financing for battlegroups and allowing a coalition of the willing to conduct more missions abroad.

It comes as tensions with Moscow and an inward turn in Washington have pushed Europe’s governments to confront years of division over military cooperation.

New French President Emmanuel Macron, who threw his weight behind a common European defence during his election campaign, called the steps “historic” and said leaders were meeting Europe’s security challenges.

“The conclusions that were adopted a few moments ago in defence are up to the job. We must consider the historic nature of this,” Macron told a news conference during an EU summit.

Modest by US standards, the measures could nevertheless revitalise Europe’s inefficient defence industry, allow the EU to send more peacekeepers to flashpoints and send a message to US President-elect Donald Trump that the bloc wants to pay for its own security.

Although the leaders’ statement did not detail the size of the defence fund, the European Commission has said it would put forward at least €1.5 billion a year from the bloc’s budget for the research and purchase of assets.

It is expected to help develop and pay for helicopters, drones and an array of weaponry.

The fund could generate some €5.5 billion a year after 2020 if enough governments come forward with funds, EU officials said, stressing that national governments would remain the owners of all equipment.

Nearly two decades after France and Britain, the EU’s main military powers, helped form a common European foreign policy, the continent faces a growing range of security threats, from Islamic State militants to a more assertive, hostile Russia that has seized territory in Ukraine.

While the threats have increased, defence research spending in the EU has fallen by a third, or more than €20 billion, since 2006.

Britain has long-blocked more ambitious steps, fearing the creation of an EU army. But with its decision to leave the European Union, Germany is emerging as France’s biggest partner and both want to see reforms across the bloc’s defence industry, which many EU officials say wastes money.

While the European Union spends about half as much as the United States on researching and manufacturing tanks, ships, planes and weapons, it only has about 15 per cent of the assets that Washington can deploy on the battle field.


Trump’s repeated criticism of Nato allies, 22 of whom are EU members, for being too reliant on the United States’ military, has also unnerved European leaders, who say they must do more together and see defence as a unifying force after Brexit.

“Europe should be doing more for its own security,” Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told reporters. “It’s time to make fighting against terrorism efficient,” she said.

France and Germany must still agree on how they want the European Union to be more agile in overseas missions and how to pay for them. While the bloc has 15 military and training missions abroad, it does not match its economic might with the same military reach.

Leaders in Brussels gave their governments three months to say whether they would be willing to join a coalition of EU members to launch missions in the future and under what terms.

“We have set ourselves an ambitious timeline. Three months is not a long time,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters. “This is a real added value, because it allows us to conduct missions … we will see who joins this structure,” she said, giving Africa as a place for more EU operations.

The post EU flexes military muscles with new defence plan appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

China probe shines light on top dealmakers

Thu, 2017-06-22 19:52
Private groups that gobbled up overseas assets will now be examined more closely

Three arrested in connection with Serbian contract assassins

Thu, 2017-06-22 19:50

Police on Thursday arrested three persons in connection with the arrival in Cyprus of two contract assassins from Serbia last year.

The three persons are a 30-year-old Turkish Cypriot, a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot, and a 47-year-old Serb national who is currently a convict at the central prisons, serving out a sentence for a drugs-related offence.

They are suspected of having played a part in arranging or mediating for the arrival here of two Serb hitmen, whose target is believed to have been businessman Phanos Kalopsioditis, who was subsequently shot to death in an Ayia Napa restaurant on June 23, 2016. Three other people died in the gunfire.

The three men arrested are suspected of conspiracy to commit murder, participation in a criminal act, and illegal possession and carrying of firearms.

The alleged crimes in question are understood to have taken place in the March to April 2016 period.

On Friday, the three men will appear before a court for their remand hearing.

Police have also issued arrest warrants for five more individuals for the same case.

It is understood that four of these persons are currently abroad, and one is in Cyprus.

Last year, following the Ayia Napa quadruple murder, reports surfaced that those behind the contract killing had been warned that the police were on to them, and this made them postpone the attempt.

According to the reports, the police officer in Cyprus who was dealing with the information from Serbia called the man believed to be the mastermind behind the contract killing, apparently thinking he was calling Serbian Interpol. This alerted the man who called off the hit.

The post Three arrested in connection with Serbian contract assassins appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

UCy ranked among the top 200 universities in Europe

Thu, 2017-06-22 19:30

The University of Cyprus (UCy) has been ranked among the top 200 universities in Europe, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17.

For the second year running, UCy was ranked in positions 180-190, the only university in Cyprus to achieve this accolade.

There are some 6,000 universities and higher institutes of education in Europe.

According to a press release by UCy, in assessing universities the Times Rankings employ global benchmarks and 13 performance indicators, including on tutoring, research and innovation.
In a statement, UCy Rector Constantinos Christofides thanked the university’s faculty, staff and students for their collective efforts in achieving this distinction.

Christofides pledged that UCy would continue working toward its goal: to be ranked among the 100 top universities in Europe and the top 200 worldwide, “but also to build the university of 10,000 students, 600 academics and 2,000 new researchers by the year 2020.

“Our country and our people deserve to have one of our universities feature among the top 100 in the world, and they shall have it over the next 10 years.”

The post UCy ranked among the top 200 universities in Europe appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

Australia, Cameroon hopes hit after 1-1 draw

Thu, 2017-06-22 18:50

Australia fought back to draw 1-1 with Cameroon in the Confederations Cup on Thursday, a result that further dents both countries’ hopes of progressing in the eight-team tournament in Russia.

Andre Franck Zambo Anguissa put Cameroon ahead with the last touch of the first half, but a Mark Milligan penalty on the hour mark ensured a first point for both in Group B.

Australia play Chile in Moscow on Sunday and Cameroon face Germany at the same time in Sochi in their final group games.

Yet the chances of both the African and Asian champions finishing in the top two and progressing to the semi-finals look slim after they lost their opening encounters at the start of the week.

The two countries, meeting for the first time, traded free kicks in the opening 20 minutes but it took until the 37th minute for either to create an opening.

Australia keeper Matt Ryan was called into action after a smart one-two between Cameroon captain Benjamin Moukandjo and striker Vincent Aboubakar allowed the former to fire at goal.

The African champions ended the first half with a succession of corners and then opened the scoring with the last kick before the break.

A long ball out of defence bounced over Aboubakar but Zambo Anguissa’s deft touch steered it past the on-rushing Ryan.

The Olympique de Marseille midfielder, who spurned a call-up to play for Cameroon when they won the African Nations Cup in Gabon at the start of the year, missed out on a second in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Australia levelled on the hour mark when Ernest Mabouka brought down Alex Gersbach to concede a penalty, after Serbian referee Milorad Mazic consulted the Video Assistant.

Stand-in skipper Milligan stepped up and converted from the spot.

Mabouka sought to make amends with a strong run down the right in the 65th minute before he teed up Aboubakar right in front of goal, but the burly striker lifted the ball over the crossbar.

Aboubakar then headed over from a similar position with 12 minutes remaining.

The post Australia, Cameroon hopes hit after 1-1 draw appeared first on Cyprus Mail.