Long-delayed plans to upgrade Polis campsite are not going ahead Page 7
McDonald’s builds largest ever outlet for London Olympics Page 10
TV and lifestyle supplements to see you through the week
July 1, 2012
WIN A FAMILY PASS TO THE FASOURI WATERPARK INSIDE Cyprus Suspects in Napa slayings arrested in Greece 3
World Russia and West tussle at Syria peace meeting 9
Property What you should be getting up to in the garden this month 33
Sport Europe’s aristocrats to clash in tasty Kiev final 48
HISTORIC DAY FOR CYPRUS
Island takes over the EU Presidency Pages 19-30
● A time of unprecedented upheaval ● Can the civil service meet the challenges? ● How do we get Joe Public to care? ● The Curium spectacular and a feast of culture
2 July 1, 2012 • SUNDAY MAIL
TODAY: Mostly clear and sunny along the coasts, but thickening afternoon cloud is likely to bring rain inland and over the mountains. Temperatures will reach 35C inland, 32C in the south and east, 31C in the west and 26C over higher ground OUTLOOK: Becoming more settled from tomorrow, with temperatures set to rise to above the seasonal average
Ban: sides must avoid tensions over gas ‘Wealth from natural resources, which belong to all Cypriots, will benefit both communities’ By Stefanos Evripidou
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THE UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on all sides in Cyprus to “make every effort to avoid raising tensions” over hydrocarbon explorations that could negatively impact on the security situation on or around the island. According to yesterday’s Cyprus News Agency, the statement was made in a draft report on the operation of UNFICYP, the UN’s peacekeeping force in Cyprus, where Ban recommended the extension of its mandate for a period of six months, until January 19, 2013. In the draft report, given to members of the Security Council, Ban refers to the tension over the exploration of natural resources in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, as well as to Turkey’s reaction to the launch of a second round
of licencing for offshore exploration by Cyprus. In his observations, the UN chief calls for restraint, noting: “It is important to ensure that any newfound wealth from natural resources, which belongs to all Cypriots, will beneﬁt both communities.” “This development constitutes another strong incentive to ﬁnd a durable solution to the Cyprus problem,” he added. He called on both sides to agree on a way forward in the talks, noting that the Turkish Cypriot side has indicated it would only continue discussions on matters of substance if there was a binding timeframe culminating in a multilateral conference. The Greek Cypriot side rejects timeframes and will only go to a multilateral conference once all internal issues have been resolved. Ban encourages both leaders to “fully embrace the concept and practice
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: report of a more inclusive dialogue which ensures that civil society actors can have a meaningful role in the peace process”. He expressed his disappointment for the lack of progress in the opening of more crossing points,
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despite the stated readiness by the parties. On the identiﬁcation of remains of the missing, Ban said a contract is in the process of being ﬁnalised for DNA analysis with the genetic laboratory of the International Committee of Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The report is expected to be adopted by the Security Council on July 18, after being briefed by the UNSG’s envoys in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim and Alexander Downer.
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Probate Jurisdiction Application Number 122/2012 In the matter of the estate of Ralph Abel deceased, holder of UK passport number 706584768, late of Pyrga in the District of Larnaca. STATUTORY ADVERTISEMENT PURSUANT TO ORDER 32 OF THE PROBATE PROCEDURE AND INHERITANCE RULES OF 1955 Notice is given that, after the expiration of eight days, application will be made in the Principal Probate Registry of Larnaca for the Grant of Probate to the Will of the late Ralph Abel, late of Pyrga in the District of Larnaca. Any person wishing to object to the issue of the Grant of Probate are required to file a Caveat at the above District Court within 7 days of this publication. LAW OFFICES OF MARION J CARTER Office 101, 103 Eleftherias Avenue 7102 Larnaca Cyprus Tel: 00357 24 636 115 Fax: 00357 24 636 727
3 SUNDAY MAIL • July 1, 2012
CYPRUS TODAY Extradition POLICE ARRESTED a 22-year-old man at the Ayios Dhometios checkpoint late on Friday based on a European arrest warrant in connection with an armed robbery in Romania. The 22-year-old was attempting to cross from the north when police picked up on the fact that a European arrest warrant was pending against him. The Romanian man had been convicted in absentia by a Romanian court and sentenced to over two years in prison. Police have informed the Romanian authorities of his arrest so they can begin extradition proceedings.
Cypriot champ CYPRIOT CHAMPION Eleni Artymata was due to compete in the ﬁnal of the women’s 200 metres at the European Athletics Championships in Finland last night. Artymata made it past the heats on Friday morning, coming second with a time of 23.35 seconds. She later ﬁnished third in the semi-ﬁnals, registering 23.21 on the clock, giving her the chance to compete in the ﬁnals, due to be held last night. The Cypriot athlete will compete with Dafne Schippers, Mariya Ryemyen, Viktoriya Pyatachenko, Myriam Soumare, Hrystyna Stuy, Jamile Samuel and Johanna Danois.
Presidency cars THE Pilakoutas group within the context of supporting the Cypriot presidency of the European Union, has loaned 48 BMWs to the state. The cars will cover the government’s transport needs for the entire duration of the presidency. The cars were delivered during a special event at the company’s showrooms. A special delegation from BMW Germany ﬂew to Cyprus for the event.
Suspects in Napa slayings arrested by Greek police Both men are Greek nationals By Stefanos Evripidou GREEK POLICE yesterday arrested two suspects in Athens, wanted in connection with the murder of ﬁve men in a gangland-style execution in the heart of Cyprus’ tourist resort Ayia Napa last week. The two men, aged 29 and 41, are Greek nationals for whom Cypriot police issued European arrest warrants and an Interpol Red Notice earlier in the week. Police spokesman Andreas Angelides conﬁrmed that the two men were arrested yesterday morning in the Greek capital by the anti-terror squad. The fact that both men were wanted in connection with a quintuple murder and could be considered armed and dangerous likely inﬂuenced the decision of Greek police to use its anti-terror squad for the arrests. Angelides told the Sunday Mail that Cypriot investigators were already on their way to Athens to coordinate with their Greek counterparts on procedures for the extradition to Cyprus of the two suspects on the basis of the European arrest warrants issued against them. The police spokesman said the two could be brought to Cyprus in a matter of days. According to Greek media, the Greek authorities were also conducting a search of their houses yesterday, following their arrest. The news of
The scene of the crime in Ayia Napa on June 23 after ﬁve men were killed in their car after leaving the pub their arrest comes one day after Angelides announced that police had requested the help of the Greek authorities to locate the two Greek Pontian men believed to be responsible for the murders. Warrants for their arrest were issued on Wednesday. According to reports, the every move of the two men was caught on pubs’ CCTV cameras, linking the two men to the crime. The CCTV footage showed the two had been in the same area as the shoot-out – on a side street in the heart of Ayia Napa’s nightclub scene, near the popular Red Square Bar – the evening prior to the killings.
The footage also showed the executioner receive a phone call, before heading to the area where he ambushed the victims’ car. Witnesses on the night said they saw the black BMW being followed by a man on a moped, before it reached the point where it was sprayed with bullets. With the windows open, the ﬁve men – three Cypriots aged 28, 33 and 35, and two Romanians aged 25 and 33 – stood no chance. The two state pathologists who dealt with the case said all ﬁve died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Fourteen bullet shells from the same gun were found at the scene.
Other CCTV footage showed the man who pulled the trigger change his top as he started to run away from the scene of the shootings. As he ﬂed, his cap fell off, leaving detectives with his DNA. The DNA, in combination with the images, helped police identify the two as internationally-active criminals, said police. Another important piece of evidence was the getaway car, which was reportedly spotted a short distance from the scene of the murders. Four of the victims worked as security guards for 47year-old Famagusta district businessman, Phanos Kalopsidiotis, who was arrested last Thursday along with six other
people in connection with a massive brawl that took place the Monday after the killings outside a nightclub in the popular resort. It is widely believed that the killings are connected to the war between online betting shop owners. Police found gloves, a balaclava, bullet proof vests and a computer tower in the victims’ car boot. Earlier in the week, Angelides said there was a “serious possibility” the Ayia Napa shoot-out was a result of rivalry between Nicosia and Ayia Napa underworld gangs over the mushrooming online casinos, though other avenues are also being investigated, he added.
Police confiscate 13 vehicles in clampdown on boy racers FOUR CARS, seven motorcycles and two quad bikes were conﬁscated by police during a fourhour campaign to curb boy racers on Griva Digheni Avenue in Nicosia on Friday night. According to police spokesman Andreas Angelides, following complaints from local residents and authorities, police organised a coordinated operation on the busy avenue in
the capital as part of efforts to reduce road accidents and noise pollution. Forces from trafﬁc police headquarters, Nicosia trafﬁc police and the rapid response unit MMAD stopped and checked vehicles from 10pm to 2am, recording 94 trafﬁc violations, mainly for speeding and not wearing seatbelts.
Four cars and seven motorcycles were conﬁscated for not carrying registration plates while two quad bikes were also taken in for not being registered to operate on the road. Angelides said police receive many complaints about that speciﬁc stretch of the road, noting that police will continue their checks “to alleviate the problem”.
4 July 1, 2012 • SUNDAY MAIL
The truth of a childhood Joyce Grimley had never believed the man who said he was her father, but it was not until she was well into her fifties that she found out her suspicions were correct By Zoe Christodoulides
HEY usually say that it’s always best to trust your instincts. But sometimes, life forces you to push those instincts aside, pretending that what you are almost certain is true is little more than the ﬁgment of your imagination. For 71-year-old Joyce Grimley-Willett, it was these instincts that called out to her during her entire childhood and for many years of her adulthood lasting until she was well into her 50s. It was only then that she discovered she had been adopted and raised by a man pretending to be her real father. When she decided to embark on a path that would lead her towards her birth father, Joyce discovered that her story was so full of unexpected twists and turns that she decided to write a book about her experiences.
Entitled Dear Dad, the self published work is soon to appear on local bookshop shelves. The former head teacher of the Junior School now lives in the Troodos mountains with her husband, but she was born into a working class family in an industrial town in Cheshire. Up until the age of ﬁve, Joyce grew up with no father around. One ﬁne day however when Joyce was four, a man in the merchant navy named Leo Steadman came to the family home for a visit and Joyce’s mother suddenly announced: “This is your daddy.” “Of course at that age you just take things like that for granted,” she explains. But in retrospect, even at that tender age, something just didn’t feel right for Joyce. “My mother obviously bore the shame of being a single parent for the ﬁrst years of my life and just wanted everything to be as normal when she then married my stepfather who took on the
role of my real dad.” As the years went by, her mum gave birth to another three girls and one boy with Leo. Things went on as normal but odd and minor comments from random family members throughout the years pointed towards the fact that Leo wasn’t her real dad. And for Joyce, there was something in her gut that knew the truth. “I’d call him dad and he treated me lovingly and caringly. I didn’t want to appear ungrateful,” she recalls. “I know this might sound a bit strange but as I grew up I just felt that he wasn’t really my equal intellectually. I couldn’t really have a conversation with him in the way I wanted to. It’s just that something was missing,” she says. At the age of eleven, an important document almost brought reality to light. “When I was eleven I went snooping around the house and found papers which stated that I’d been adopt-
ed,” she recalls. “I didn’t dare confront my dad because I knew I shouldn’t have been snooping, but I did ask my mum about what I’d found. But she always just brushed me off saying things like ‘oh don’t worry about it’ without really answering with any ‘yes’ or ‘no’. So in the end I just tried to put it to the back on my mind and carried on as normal.” Having an innate desire to succeed, she gained a scholarship to a grammar school at age ten, and despite family pressure to leave school at sixteen, she persevered and attended teacher training college in Scarborough, Yorkshire. When she was 20, Joyce was ﬁlled with an insatiable travel bug and had to ﬁll in all the appropriate paperwork to get a passport. This of course meant a copy of her birth certiﬁcate. “I thought that would be the real test, but my mum somehow got round that one and sent out for the shortened version,” she says. As Joyce began to travel, questions about her real father and identity were once again shelved. Various teaching posts in different countries followed, and Joyce ended up in Cyprus as teacher and then headmistress at the Junior School in
Joyce’s mother kept a promise to her husband not to let Joyce know about her real father until after he died Nicosia. But the day ﬁnally came when the truth was soon to reveal itself. “I got a phone call to say that Leo had died and so went back to England for the funeral,” she explains. “And after the funeral when all the guests had left I was just sitting with my sisters and mum when she suddenly blurted out the name of my real dad: William Hudson.” Joyce was stunned. She was then told that her mum
never really loved her father and never wanted to marry him and therefore decided to raise Joyce alone until Leo came along. Her natural reaction was to seriously question why she had never been told the truth before. “It then come out that my stepdad had made my mum promise she would never tell me about my real dad,” she explains. Joyce becomes emotional as her eyes water. “I’m sorry, you know it just all churns
ELECTRICITY AUTHORITY OF CYPRUS Interruption of Supply The Electricity Authority of Cyprus announces that electricity supply will be interrupted between 8:00 to 14:00 on Tuesday 3rd of July 2012 in the following areas: Lythrodontas, Mathiatis (part of) SINCE IT IS NOT CERTAIN THAT THE ELECTRICITY SUPPLY WILL BE INTERRUPTED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE OF THE PERIOD STATED, INSTALLATIONS IN ALL PREMISES MUST BE REGARDED AS BEING “ALIVE” DURING THESE HOURS. We regret any inconvenience which may be caused by the interruption of supply, but this is necessary due to work on the high voltage system.
ELECTRICITY AUTHORITY OF CYPRUS Interruption of Supply The Electricity Authority of Cyprus announces that electricity supply will be interrupted between 8:00 to 11:00 on Tuesday 3rd of July 2012 in the following areas: Ayia Varvara (part of), Mathiatis (part of) SINCE IT IS NOT CERTAIN THAT THE ELECTRICITY SUPPLY WILL BE INTERRUPTED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE OF THE PERIOD STATED, INSTALLATIONS IN ALL PREMISES MUST BE REGARDED AS BEING “ALIVE” DURING THESE HOURS. We regret any inconvenience which may be caused by the interruption of supply, but this is necessary due to work on the high voltage system.
5 SUNDAY MAIL • July 1, 2012
instinct up again and I get a bit shaky. “The thing is that I knew it, I knew it all along. And I felt like I’d been totally duped, hoodwinked for most of my life. The worst thing is that all my cousins and relatives all knew about it,” Joyce explains. After the initial shock wore off, the search began. But the only information Joyce had to go on initially was that her father had a sister named Ella. “But of course she got married and took on a new name so obviously I couldn’t ﬁnd her.” With hardly a trace of information about the whereabouts of her real dad, the search went on for years until perseverance ﬁnally paid off. The rather remarkable and almost unbelievable story all comes to life in the most animated fashion in the pages of her book. It was her friends and family who convinced her to the put the story down in words. And the process was one that was more cathartic than she had ever imagined. “It was such a relief to have peace of mind and know where I’m from,” she says. “I felt a bit like a freak before, with that nagging thought always wondering - who is he?” Part of the reason for writing the book she says was to encourage readers who
are in a similar situation, to persevere with their search no matter how impossible it may seem. “For those people who never knew one or both of their birth parents, it’s a necessity to search out the truth so that they can have peace,” she says resolutely. “I’ll tell people to search and search and ﬁnd out because they won’t have mental peace if they don’t.” Dear Dad will be ofﬁcially launched in Cyprus in September and available at local bookshops. The launch will be announced closer to the date. The book is also available online on Amazon
Two remanded in theft case Joyce with her book about the search for her real father
A COUPLE was remanded in custody for ﬁve days yesterday by the Nicosia District Court in connection with a series of burglaries and thefts in the capital. According to police spokesman Andreas Angelides, acting on a tipoff police stopped and searched a car driven by a 31-year-old man who had as his co-passenger a 22-yearold woman, both from Nicosia, on Friday. During a search of the car, police found a number of gold and silver items as well as electronic devices. The two were subsequently held in detention while further investigation revealed that a number of items found in the car were allegedly stolen from two houses on June 9 and 27. During questioning, the 31-year-old maintained that some of the items found in the car belong to him, though he could not give any explanation for the remaining items. Angelides said the value of goods stolen on June 9 comes to €3,400 while €2,000 worth of items was stolen on June 27. Police have contacted the victims of break-ins and thefts in an effort to identify the items found in the car while the force is also looking into whether the two alleged robbers also worked beyond the Nicosia district.
6 July 1, 2012 • SUNDAY MAIL
Protaras sea clean up Divers declare war on discarded tyres
A sample of the tyres retrieved from the sea bed (top left). The divers at work (above) Under water photos by Andreas Kazamias
By Natalie Hami USED tyres of varying sizes, plastic bags and tin cans were just some of the rubbish found at the bottom of the ocean at Malama beach near Protaras during last week’s clean-up of the seabed. Around 20-30 divers, who are part of the CyTA employees’ welfare fund (TEY-ATHK), gathered in two groups to delve to the bottom of the sea and clear the rubbish last Sunday morning. “This is not the ﬁrst time they’ve dived there. The ﬁrst time they removed 180 tyres, the second around 120 and this time around ten,” said Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou. According to Theopemptou, the majority of used tyres were simply discarded there by the truck load, but some fall off the side of boats. “There are boat owners that hang a tyre off the side of their boat so as to lessen the impact when they hit concrete and these fall off sometimes or they just throw them into the sea,” said Theopemptou. He said two of the dumped tyres
Some of the volunteers who took part in the cleaning up were so big they needed equipment to drag them out and four people to carry each one. Tyres dumped in the sea could potentially emit chemicals harming or even killing the sea’s organisms. The divers also had a net with them to gather up other bits and pieces.
Questioned as to whether more beach clean-ups would be organised in other areas, Theopemptou said that it was a matter of identifying where there was rubbish. “It’s difﬁcult to get people to just go there without knowing what’s in the water,” he said, adding that the public has to let them know where the rubbish is.
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7 SUNDAY MAIL • July 1, 2012
Polis campsite upgrade delayed Ageing facilities need major improvements By Bejay Browne THE long-delayed plans to upgrade the popular campsite at Polis will not now take place until the end of the year, the town’s mayor said this week. The campsite which has the capacity for around 200 tents and is set in a small forest of eucalyptus trees is popular with young campers in particular, but the campsite facilities are now 30 years old and are in urgent need of upgrading. The mayor of Polis Chrysochous, Angelos Georgiou, said the delays have been caused partly by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and partly by the refusal of the present manager of the campsite to leave even though his lease has expired. “The municipality decided to proceed with the tender process to secure a strategic investor. This process is now underway, following the assignment of a law ﬁrm to prepare the tender documents,” he said. The site is owned by the Department of Forestry and has been leased to the municipality for a period of 15 years, with an option to renew for a further two periods. According to the mayor, a master plan for the area has been drawn up - a collaboration between the CTO, the Forestry Department and the municipality - which will undertake the management of space. The site is currently being managed on a temporary basis by the previous manager,
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who is responsible for the general cleanliness and functionality of the site. The proposed master plan includes signiﬁcant upgrades to the camping area, according to the mayor. These include toilets and showers and other buildings, as well as creating roads and upgrading water and electricity supplies. “We will also determine the areas which will accommodate campers and tents, create a playground, solve the problem of water that ﬂows through the area and upgrade and enhance green areas,” Georgiou said. The local council is eager to see the upgrading work get underway as according to the mayor, the camping area has played an important role in terms of tourism development in Polis. “Our camping site has become a favourite destination, hosting both locals and foreigners, especially people who love the environment and quiet holidays,” he said. The mayor pointed out that when the camping site was created three decades ago, its facilities were considered satisfactory. “Now requirements have changed and it’s necessary to upgrade and improve - with a proper infrastructure.” The renovation of the site’s facilities will be welcomed by visitors to the camping area, who have long been complaining about the lack of proper amenities. One such camper is Stella Kyriakidou, a Nicosia resident who frequents the camp each summer. “I have been coming to Polis camping for
Polis campsite is particularly popular with younger campers and families who hope the planned upgrade won’t spoil the area’s natural beauty many years and am always sad to see that each time I visit nothing has been done to improve the place. The toilets and bathroom blocks need to be redone and more toilets added, as during peak times, such as in August, they are ﬁlthy, disgusting and overﬂowing.” She pointed out that the area is often blighted by swarms of mosquitoes attracted by the streams and water at the site. “Along with the mosquitoes, there needs to be education of campers, particularly the younger Cypriots, who play loud music until 5am in the morning.” Fellow camper Dave Ryan agreed the facili-
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World At least 34 injured in China quake
Britain orders bank review
AT least 34 people were injured when a strong earthquake jolted China’s far-western frontier early yesterday, shaking buildings and cutting off electricity in the remote mountainous area. The US Geological Survey measured the quake, which hit the Xinjiang region, at magnitude 6.3, while China’s Earthquake Networks Centre put it at 6.6. China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported no deaths, but said 34 people were injured. The quake also triggered landslides, one of which hit a national highway, trapping 120 people, Xinhua said. Residents near the epicentre were shaken out of bed in pre-dawn darkness and some households lost electricity, Xinhua reported. The quake toppled several buildings 300km to the west in the regional capital, Urumqi, Xinhua said, adding that rescuers had been dispatched to the sparsely populated area to search for casualties. An ofﬁcial from the Xinjiang Earthquake Bureau said the quake was “strongly felt” in Urumqi. He said residents rushed into the streets when the quake hit but returned home after 6am.
THE British government has ordered an independent review into the workings of key lending rates between banks, after Barclays was found guilty of rigging them, a spokeswoman for Britain’s Prime Minister said yesterday. The decision follows news that US and British authorities ﬁned Barclays $450 million for manipulating the London Interbank Offer Rate (Libor), the interest rate on loans that banks make to each other. More banks are expected to be drawn into the scandal, which has fuelled public outrage at the culture and practices of the banking industry and prompted calls from lawmakers across the political spectrum for an inquiry. The government plans a short, urgent review that would allow it to amend the Financial Services Bill currently going through parliament, the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said. The review will examine Libor and the possibility of criminal sanctions. When asked about a full public inquiry, Prime Minister David Cameron referred to a series of inquiries that had already taken place. “Let’s take our time, think this through carefully...Let’s get this right,” he told BBC television. A public inquiry would be a risky step for a government already under ﬁre after a string of embarrassing revelations in a year of public hearings following last year’s phonehacking scandal. The American boss of Barclays, Bob Diamond, has been summoned to appear before British lawmakers on Wednesday July 4 to answer questions about the scandal. On his last appearance before a parliamentary committee last year Diamond said it was time for bankers to stop apologising. He is now under intense pressure to quit the bank, where he ran the investment banking arm Barclays Capital when the interest rate rigging occurred in 2005-2009. “Parliament and the public need to know what went wrong and whether the perpetrators have been rooted out,” said Andrew Tyrie, head of Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee, which will be questioning Diamond.
Militiamen from the Ansar Dine Islamic group, ride on a vehicle at Kidal in north-eastern Mali, June 16, 2012
Mali Islamists destroy sacred Timbuktu sites By Adama Diarra AL Qaeda-linked Mali Islamists armed with Kalashnikovs and pick-axes began destroying prized mausoleums of saints in the UNESCO-listed northern city of Timbuktu yesterday in front of shocked locals, witnesses said. The Islamist Ansar Dine group backs strict sharia, Islamic law, and considers the shrines of the local Suﬁ ver-
Attacks come days after UNESCO danger warning sion of Islam idolatrous. Suﬁ shrines have also been attacked by hardline Salaﬁsts in Egypt and Libya in the past year. The attack came just days after UNESCO placed Timbuktu on its list of heritage sites in danger and will recall
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the 2001 dynamiting by the Taliban of two 6th-century statues of Buddha carved into a cliff in Bamiyan in central Afghanistan. “They have already completely destroyed the mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud (Ben Amar) and two others. They said they would continue all day and destroy all 16,” local Malian journalist Yeya Tandina said by telephone of the 16 most prized resting grounds of local saints in the town. “They are armed and have surrounded the sites with pick-up trucks. The population is just looking on helplessly,” he said, adding that the Islamists were currently taking pick-axes to the mausoleum of Sidi El Mokhtar, another cherished local saint. Ansar Dine has gained the upper hand over less wellarmed Tuareg-led separatists since the two joined forces to rout government troops and seize control in April of the northern two-thirds of the West African state. “The mausoleum doesn’t exist any more and the cemetery is as bare as a soccer pitch,” local teacher Abdoulaye Boulahi said of the Mahmoud burial place. “There’s about 30 of them breaking everything up with pick-axes and hoes. They’ve
put their Kalashnikovs down by their side. These are shocking scenes for the people in Timbuktu.” Local Timbuktu member of parliament Sandy Haidara also conﬁrmed the attacks were taking place, adding: “It looks as if it is a direct reaction to the UNESCO decision.” Located on an old Saharan trading route that saw salt from the Arab north exchanged for gold and slaves from black Africa to the south, Timbuktu blossomed in a 16th-century Golden Age as an Islamic seat of learning, home to priests, scribes and jurists. Mali had in recent years sought to create a desert tourism industry around Timbuktu but even before April’s rebellion many tourists were being discouraged by a spate of kidnappings of Westerners in the region claimed by al Qaeda-linked groups. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee said this week it had accepted the request of the Malian government to place Timbuktu on its list of endangered heritage sites. “The Committee ... also asked Mali’s neighbours to do all in their power to prevent the trafﬁcking in cultural objects from these sites,” it said of the risk of looting. The rebel seizure of the north came as the remote southern capital, Bamako, was struggling with the aftermath of a March 22 coup.
BA(Hons) Business Admin & Finance 9 Exemptions from
Stolen Dali painting mailed back to New York gallery
BA(Hons) Fine Art
Postgraduate Courses (Masters) Tuition Fees: €8000
MA Graphic Design MA Interior Design MA Photography MA Educational Leadership MBA
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A SALVADOR Dali painting stolen last week from a New York City gallery was mailed back in pristine condition, police said on Friday. Glimmers of hope had been raised earlier this week when the gallery received a brief email message by an unknown person, saying the 1949 ink and watercolour Cartel de Don Juan Tenirio is “on its way back to you already”, police said. The package was mailed from a location in Europe, and bore a fake sender name and address, according to Deputy New York Police Commissioner John McCarthy. A spokesman for the gallery, which opened just this year on Manhattan’s fashionable Upper East Side, declined to comment. A second police source speculated that publicity surrounding the theft had complicated efforts to sell the painting on the black market. Police detectives, including the department’s in-house art expert, Detective Mark K. Fishstein, took possession of the painting from postal inspectors at John F. Kennedy
International Airport when it arrived in New York on Thursday. It was returned on Friday to the gallery, where it is being authenticated, McCarthy said. Last week, a man visiting the gallery removed the painting from a gallery wall, placed it in a shopping bag and walked out of the building. Fishstein, the Brooklyn-born son of two antiques dealers, became the department’s “art cop” in 2003 after he caught the attention of his superiors as a young patrol ofﬁcer, McCarthy said. Fishstein had been called to the apartment of an Upper East Side woman who had been found dead. His sergeant had just ﬁnished an inventory of the apartment’s valuables when Fishstein suggested police secure the painting on the wall. “Why?” his sergeant asked. “It’s an original Picasso,” Fishstein replied. In 2008, Fishstein arrested a couple who had stolen a $100,000 Andy Warhol print of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong from a frame store.
9 SUNDAY MAIL • July 1, 2012
Mursi promises ‘new Egypt’ as he takes oath of office
Russia and West tussle at Syria peace meeting
ISLAMIST Mohamed Mursi promised a “new Egypt” as he took the oath of ofﬁce yesterday to become the country’s ﬁrst freely elected president, succeeding Hosni Mubarak who was ousted 16 months ago. At his inauguration before the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo, the 60-year-old also became the Arab world’s ﬁrst freely elected Islamist president and Egypt’s ﬁfth head of state since the overthrow of the monarchy some 60 years ago. He took the oath before 18 black-robed judges in the Nile-side courthouse built to resemble an ancient Egyptian temple. “We aspire to a better tomorrow, a new Egypt and a second republic,” Mursi said during a solemn ceremony shown live on state television. “Today, the Egyptian people laid the foundation of a new life - absolute freedom, a genuine democracy and stability,” said Mursi, a US-trained engineer from the Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist group that has spent most of the 84 years since its inception as an outlawed organisation harshly targeted by successive governments. Hundreds of soldiers and policemen guarded the building as Mursi arrived shortly after 11am local time (0900 GMT) in a small motorcade. Several hundred supporters gathered outside the court to cheer the new president. In a departure from the presidential pomp of the Mubarak years, trafﬁc was only brieﬂy halted to allow
Fate of President Bashar al Assad critical
his motorcade through on the usually busy road linking the city centre with its southern suburbs. Mursi’s inauguration signals a personal triumph. He was not the Brotherhood’s ﬁrst choice as president, and was thrown into the presidential race when the group’s original candidate, chief strategist and ﬁnancier Khairat el-Shater, was disqualiﬁed over a Mubarak-era criminal conviction. Derided as the Brotherhood’s uncharismatic “spare tyre”, his personal prestige has surged since his victory and a speech on Friday which tried to present him as a candidate not just of Islamists, but of all those who want to complete the work of the 2011 uprising against the authoritarian Mubarak. “Egypt today is a civil, national, constitutional and modern state,” Mursi, wearing a blue business suit and red tie, told the judges in the wood-panelled chamber where he took the oath of ofﬁce. “It is a strong nation because of its people and the beliefs of its sons and its institutions.” Mursi later travelled to Cairo University where he was to make his inauguration address. He was given an ofﬁcial welcome by an army band that played the national anthem as he stood to attention. Military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi was in attendance. His arrival was greeted with chants of “The army and the people are one hand” from the hundreds gathered in the university’s main lecture room.
Millions without power in mid-Atlantic MORE than two million people were without power in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region yesterday from hurricane-force winds that ripped through the area overnight. Restoring power in storm-damaged parts of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia is expected to take as long as ﬁve days even as the region grapples with a record-breaking heat wave. At least one person was killed by the storm. Repairing damage “is a monumental task. This is something that is going to take days, not hours,” said Ed McDonough, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Emergency Management. A line of powerful thunderstorms with winds of more than 80 mph (128 kph) and heavy rain accompanied by intense lightning tore through the area late on Friday, downing trees and power lines. About 800,000 customers in Maryland were without power yesterday. Every county in the state had reported outages, McDonough said. Karl Neddenien, a spokesman for Dominion Virginia Power, said 700,000 customers were without electricity because of “catastrophic damage” in central and northern Virginia. In West Virginia, Governor Ray Tomblin declared a statewide emergency. A spokesman for the state’s emergency management ofﬁce said about 672,000 people were without power.
By Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge RUSSIA and Western powers locked horns over a peace plan for Syria yesterday as U.N. mediator Koﬁ Annan warned the conﬂict could spread across the Middle East and beyond. Foreign ministers and international diplomats were meeting in Geneva with governments still in dispute over whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, condemned in the West but still backed by Russia, could have any role in a political transition. “The Russians have set out a series of objections with the current draft. The Russians are stonewalling quite a bit,” a Western diplomat said as the talks paused for lunch. “A redraft of the text is looking likely,” she added, referring to Annan’s draft proposal. Ex UN chief and special international envoy on Syria An-
Annan yesterday warned the Syrian conﬂict could spread across the Middle East and beyond (AFP) nan is hoping for consensus on a plan for a unity government excluding controversial ﬁgures from leadership - effectively meaning Assad would step down. “We are here to agree on guidelines and principles for a Syrian-led political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” he said in opening remarks. “No one should be in any doubt as to the extreme dangers posed by the conﬂict - to Syrians, to the region, and to
the world.” His appeal gave a note of urgency to the need for world powers to move closer in their positions as the 16-month-old conﬂict in Syria deepens. His plan for a negotiated solution is the only one on the table. Moscow objects to any solution imposed on Syria from outside. The United States and its European and Arab allies see no way ahead while power remains in Assad’s hands. As the diplomats gathered at
the UN complex by the shores of Lake Geneva, the Syrian army rained mortar ﬁre on pro-opposition areas in Deir al-Zor, Homs, Idlib and the outskirts of Damascus, opposition activists said. Government troops were ﬁghting rebels of the Free Syria Army in several places. Syria’s border with Turkey was also tense following a Turkish military build-up in response to Syria’s shooting down of a Turkish warplane last week. More than 10,000 people have been killed since the antiAssad uprising broke out and the past few weeks have been among the bloodiest. Annan said the crisis should never have reached this point. “Either unite to secure your common interests or divide and surely fail in your own individual way. Without your unity, your common resolve and your action now ... nobody can win and everyone will lose in some way,” he said. The mood of pessimism was reinforced by a senior US ofﬁcial who said the talks might not reach a deal. “Discussions remain challenging,” the ofﬁcial said. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Assad and his close associates could not lead any transition. Accountability for war crimes must be part of such a process, he added in his speech to the meeting.
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10 July 1 2012 • SUNDAY MAIL Jul
World Fast-food chain’s largest ever restaurant will be 75 per cent reuseable By Helen William
CDONALD’S has super-sized itself for the London 2012 Games. The fast food chain’s ﬂagship two-storey restaurant in the Olympic Park, one of four in London for the 2012 Games, is 3,000 square metres in size. With a bird’s-eye view over the nearby Olympic Stadium, the scale of the workload triggered by key events is also set to be the biggest for McDonald’s. August 3, when the athletics plus aquatics competitions are already under way, has been earmarked as the busiest day. After three years spent on planning, it is also set to be the world’s ﬁrst sustainable restaurant created so that 75 per cent of it can be reused or recyclable after the Games, according to McDonald’s. Derek Rogers, the McDonald’s Olympic programme manager at the Park, said: “There are a third more tickets sold in London than Beijing 2008 so we are expecting it will be busier.” Customers may ﬁnd themselves directed to an express lane where a member of staff, wielding a handheld controller, will take orders that ﬂash up on newly-installed television screens in the kitchen and are on their way by the time they are at the collect actless point. There is contactless payment. onald’s’ Richard Forte, McDonald’s’ chief operations ofﬁcer for the UK, said: “At our busiest ting to period we are expecting tomers serve around 1,200 customers an hour at the front counter and across the expresss lanes, 40 per cent of which we are ugh the expecting to go through express lanes. e burnTo try and avoid the me durout, suffered by some s, the ing the Beijing Games, rew 2,000 hand-picked crew for London 2012 will th work six-hour shifts with e a 45 minute break. The y shifts are normally y eight hours long. They n also have their own llwashrooms and chillmout area including computers. k They are set to work nine to 14 days. “Dealing with the he burn-out is one of the nt things that we learnt
from Beijing,” Rogers said. There will be about 500 staff crews with 200 on shift at a time. Furniture, ﬁxtures and ﬁttings, which have each already been given a special code, will be broken down and reused at some of the 15 McDonald’s nationwide due to open in the next year. It falls in with London 2012’s hope of trying to make it the greenest Games ever. McDonald’s will be open for 29 days during the Olympics and Paralympics and will serve 1.75 million meals. The Ofﬁcial Restaurant of the Olympic Games will have four Olympic Park sites in London - two for the public plus one in the Athletes’ Village and another in the international Media and Press Centre. A smaller-scale mock-up of the venue has been built in a warehouse in Chicago where McDonald’s staff and real customers have been looking at potential problems such as arrival rates and the speed of delivery in the kitchen. Forte said: “Every piece of technology kit in here has been set up in a room and running. “It did not come out of a box and put on the front counter, which is what we would normally do, because we can not run the risk of doing that. “It came out of a box in March, was set up as a system for all that time to ensure that any faults from manufacture have been ironed out. The software that the system runs on has been thoroughly tested.” On-site testing two weeks before the Games begin will put the venues and staff, through their paces before they open for business on July 28.
McDonald’s super sizes for Olympics
Fast-food with a view: the t new McDonald’s is in keeping with the Games’ intention to be the greenest ever McDona McDonald’s link to the Olb ympics began in 1968, when comp the company airlifted hamburgers to US athletes in Grenoble, France, after they repor reported being homesick fo McDonald’s food. for Criticism of McDonald’s sponsors ship of the Olympics is ongoing. L Last week the Londo Assembly urged don the Olympic moveme ment to adopt strict crit criteria for sponsorship of the Games which wou would exclude compani panies associated with prod products linked to childhood obesity. Ass Assembly member
Jenny Jones said: “London won the right to host the 2012 Games with the promise to deliver a legacy of more active, healthier children across the world. “Yet the same International Olympic Committee that awarded the Games to London persists in maintaining sponsorship deals with the purveyors of high calorie junk that contributes to the threat of an obesity epidemic. “The advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar is already restricted on children’s television. These Games will subvert those regulations by providing a glut of sponsored messages for high calorie food and drink that are at
odds with the Olympian athletic ideal.” A McDonald’s spokesman said: “There are McDonald’s and other food choices. “Athletes, coming from around the world, are used to seeing McDonald’s - it is very familiar to them. They know their bodies very well and they ﬁt us to within that diet. “When you look at the broad spectrum of people who come in to McDonald’s, I do not think it is surprising. “We have increased the choice on our menu, reduced the fat content of our food, providing more nutrition information and we are committed to continue to do that.”
London’s first cable car lifts off before Games role By Li-mei Hoang LONDON’S ﬁrst cable car service opened its doors to the public on Thursday, a spectacular ride high across the River Thames near the Olympic Park which will help visitors to the Games avoid any jams on the ground. Called the Emirates Air Line, it soars almost 300ft above the river, offering 360-degree views of the east of the capital including the O2 concert Arena and the Canary Wharf ﬁnancial district. It opens in time for the Olympics and will help serve three venues south of the river as well as provide a link to the Olympic Park on its north side.
Passengers can embark at North Greenwich, where the O2 concert arena is based, which will be known as the North Greenwich Arena during the Games, and where artistic and trampoline gymnastics will be held as well as some basketball games. Nearby Greenwich Park will host equestrian events. North of the river lies the ExCel Centre where a host of sporting events will take place including fencing, wrestling, table tennis, boxing, judo, taekwondo and weightlifting. The Olympic Park is then a short journey away. “I think that this will now become one of the great sights of London,” said Mayor Boris
Johnson. “It will be something that people want to come and see, take their children up and it’s the most incredible way of viewing the city.” The 45-million-pound crossing forms part of Johnson’s plans to help revive the neighbouring areas by creating jobs and stimulating growth. “This is a developing area of London, this will help this area of London develop faster,” Transport for London (TfL) Commissioner Peter Hendy said. His comments follow criticism from Johnson’s opponents, who have questioned how much the taxpayer will have to contribute to the cost of the project and whether London commuters will
actually use it once the Games are over. “I think that people have got to bear in mind that the build cost of this cable car is 45 million pounds, of that 36 million pounds has been contributed by Emirates Airline, who are sponsoring it,” Johnson said. The cable cars have the capacity to carry up to 2,500 people per hour in each direction - the equivalent to 30 buses – and take ﬁve minutes to cross the river. The stretch of Thames is currently served by road tunnels, but no bridges. A cash single fare costs 4.30 pounds while those using London’s popular “Oyster” travel cards pay 3.20 pounds.
Flying high: one of the carriages over the O2 arena
11 SUNDAY MAIL • July 1, 2012
Playmates apply for the US ‘Genius’ visa O-1 visa granted to individuals of ‘extraordinary ability’ SHERA Bechard, the Canadian-born former girlfriend of Playboy Enterprises founder Hugh Hefner, would not be an obvious candidate for the special visas that the US government reserves for “individuals with extraordinary ability.” Playboy magazine named Bechard Miss November in 2010, and she also started an online photo-sharing craze called “Frisky Friday.” Neither seems quite on the level of an “internationally recognised award, such as a Nobel Prize,” which the government cites as a possible qualiﬁcation. But Los Angeles immigration lawyer Chris Wright argued that Bechard’s accomplishments earned her a slot. The government ultimately agreed. That kind of success has put Wright on the map as the go-to visa ﬁxer for both Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It also highlights the use of so-called genius visas known as O-1s and EB-1s, which have largely escaped political controversy and are now the immigration solution of choice for many entrepreneurs. As many immigration lawyers see it, the paucity of immigration options for the most entrepreneurial foreigners mean they must use any avenue they can. This approach, along with seeming ﬂexibility in Washington on what constitutes “extraordinary ability,” means the O-1 is gaining traction in technology circles. Wider use could ul-
timately land it in political trouble. For example, the H-1B visa, which allows employers to hire foreigners temporarily in certain specialised ﬁelds like technology, has drawn accusations from union groups and others that companies use it to bring in lowerskilled labor. The O-1 visa allows individuals of “extraordinary ability” to come to the United States for up to three years, and can be extended. British journalist Piers Morgan used one when he replaced Larry King on his late-night TV show, Wright said. There is also no cap on the number of O-1s that the government can award each year; about 12,280 were approved in 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said, up from 9,478 in 2006. It issued about 25,000 EB-1s last year, below their cap of 40,000. While high-proﬁle artists and entertainers have long used the O-1s, they are now becoming a fallback for businessmen and technologists who cannot get H1-Bs. Wright, himself a South African immigrant, dismisses the notion that some of his clients might not rise to the level of “extraordinary ability.” “There’s nothing in those regulations that requires you to be a genius,” he says. “It’s quite condescending to say, ‘Oh, the idiot Playboy Playmates, they don’t qualify.’” At the end of 2010, Be-
chard posted the ﬁrst “Frisky Friday” photo on the Twitter microblogging service. Now young women all over the world tweet scantily-clad pictures of themselves on Fridays, with Playboy selecting a weekly winner. Immigration ofﬁcials “want to give (a visa) to someone who shows business skills,” Bechard says. She also threw in such qualiﬁcations as her role as a mute Russian in a 2009 movie, Sweet Karma, which won her a best actress award at the cult Fantastic Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Many of Wright’s young technology clients have had limited time to show they have “risen to the very top of the ﬁeld of endeavour,” as O-1 regulations state. “The O-1 is one of the few visas we support,” said Kim Berry, a spokesman for the Programmers Guild, which favors the suspension of the H-1B program. “When they need to bring in the best and the brightest and the entrepreneurs, that’s the only visa that helps America.” British-born Scott Allison, co-founder of a software company called Teamly, was returning to the United States earlier this month and enjoyed a rare welcome from customs ofﬁcials after they caught a glimpse of his new O-1 visa.“’Wow, you must be really awesome,’” he recalls one commenting before waving him through.
Shera Bechard: not an obvious candidate for the visa
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