• Brazil takes over U19 FIVB World Championships

    The U19 FIVB World Championships, a global Beach Volleyball event, ended in Larnaca on Sunday with Brazil taking over the trophies.

    Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and Victoria Lopes Pereira were crowned queens of the beach at the U19 FIVB World Championships on Sunday while Renato Lima de Carvalho and Rafael Mendonca de Quiero captured the second gold medal of the evening for Brazil.

    In the women`s match, the Brazilian teenagers overpowered Nika Daalderop and Mexime van Driel 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) in the final on Finikoudes beach in Larnaka. The 17-year old Duda claimed the U19 title for the third time in a row. She won the event in 2013 in Porto with Taina Silva and in 2014 with Andressa Cavalcanti, also in Porto.

    Brazil’s most talented youth player also holds the U21 title with Ana Patricia Silva (Lucerne, 2016) and won silver at the U23 with Thais Rodrigues (Myslowice, 2013). She also claimed two gold medals on the FIVB World Tour this year and a silver and a bronze last year with Elize Maia.

    Milica Mirkovic and 2014 U17 world champion Kathryn Plummer claimed the bronze medal with an easy 2-0 (21-10, 21-15) over Brazil’s Vitoria De Souza Rodrigues and Ana Carolina de Almeida Costa.

    In a packed stadium on Finikoudes beach, Renato Lima de Carvalho and Rafael Mendonca de Quiero captured the second gold medal of the evening for Brazil. Only one hour after Duda Lisboa and Victoria Lopes claimed the U19 title in the women’s competition, Renato and Rafael defeated Florian Breer and Yves Haussener 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) in the final.

    It was a repeat of the 2014 edition in Porto, when Arthur Mariano and George Souto and Duda and Andressa Cavalcanti won the gold medals.

    Like their compatriots two years ago, the U19 gold is Renato’s and Rafael’s first FIVB medal in their first international tournament. “I am very happy, this was our dream”, said 18-year old Rafael. “Every day I have been dreaming about this. Every day we practiced for this, every day we worked hard to win the gold here at this tournament.”

    Latvians Mihails Samoilovs and Kristaps Smits came back from one set down against France’s Timothee Platre and Remi Bassereau (18-21, 21-17, 15-7) to win the bronze medal.


  • Hundreds make pilgrimage to Hala Sultan Tekke

    Hundreds of Muslims have made the pilgrimage to Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca for a special prayer on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr – Ramazan Bayram.

    “We want free worship for everyone”, Turkish Cypriot Mufti Talip Atalay has said in statements asked to comment on restrictions placed by the occupied authorities to the services taking place in churches located in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

    “We are very happy to be here today for the Ramazan and we are thankful to the authorities, the Archbishop, Mr Kasoulides and the United Nations for their help for us to come here at the Hala Sultan Tekke”, he said.

    During Ramadan, he explained, “we’ve been fasting, we have been helping the poor and needy and doing charities.”

    “We hope and we pray this example for being here in Hala Sultan Tekke to be a good example for peace for the region and the whole world,” he added.

    Atalay also said that religious leaders are praying for peace.

    “The shape of the settlement is not our job as religious leaders, but we want a peaceful settlement for the whole world,” he pointed out.

    Replying to a question on the restriction of religious services in churches located the occupied he noted that “in principle we want free worship for everyone.”.

    Our aim is free access to everybody for worships, he added.

    “Maybe there are some political reasons, they maybe have some reasons for stopping the mass at Agios Georgios Exorinos,” he said, adding however that “as religious leaders our aim is free access to all places of worship.”

    Pilgrims who have been arriving from 1000 hours onwards (0700 GMT) from the occupied areas by bus are under police escort.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks have been underway since May 2015 aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    According to a press release issued by the UNFICYP last Friday, the special pilgrimage to Hala Sultan Tekke for Turkish origin persons is a result of an unprecedented agreement between the religious leaders of Cyprus, namely H.B. Archbishop Chrysostomos II of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus and the Mufti of Cyprus H.E Dr Talip Atalay.

    The agreement, also supported by the political leaders of Cyprus, was reached in 2014 within the framework of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden (RTCYPP).

    CNA/FZ/EPH/GCH 2016

  • AEK remanins first and widens its difference in the league after match day 17

    AEK of Larnaca achieved an important victory on Sunday against Aris Limassol and remained at the top of the board in the Cyprus championship, widening the differences from the second in the league Anorthosis.

    In the match day 17, APOEL lost ground in the championship race, since it lost at home from Doxa with 1-2. At the same time, Apollon achieved a victory over Nea Salamina and climbed to the third seat of the board.

    The resutlts of matchday 17 are as follows:

    APOEL-Doxa 1-2, AEK-Aris 2-1, Anorthosis-Omonia 0-0, Apollon-Nea Salamina 3-0, Paphos FC – Paralimni 3-3, Ayia Napa-Ethnicos 2-3. The match day 17 wrap ups on Monday with the game Ermis-AEL that kick offs at 19:00.

    Standings: AEK 42, Anorthosis 38, Apollon 36, APOEL 35, Omonia 30, Nea Salamina 24, Aris 21, Doxa 18, AEL 15, Ethnicos 15, Ermis 15, Paralimni 14, Pafos 12, Ayia Napa 5.

    CNA/TKE/GCH 2016

  • AEK hosts Ermis aiming at the top of Cyprus league’s standings

    ΑΕΚ FC of Larnaca hosts Ermis of Aradippou in a tie that wraps up the 13h match day of Cyprus Football League.

    The match begins on 19:30 local time and will take place in GSZ stadium. The hosting club faces Ermis aiming at securing victory that would elevate the team in the top spot in the standings at the conclusion of the championship`s first round.

    This week`s matchday saw the reigning champions APOEL suffering its second defeat, with 0-1 from Apollon, a defeat which costed the club`s first place in the rankings. APOEL is now in the second spot whereas Anorthosis beat Enosis in Paralimni with 2-0 and moved tops the rankings.

    The results: Enosis – Anorthosis 0-2, Aris – Agia Napa 2-0, APOEL – Apollon 0-1, Pafos – Doxa 3-3, Nea Salamina – Ethnicos 2-2, AEL – Omonia 2-1.

    Standings: Anorthosis 30, APOEL 29, AEK 27, Apollon 26, Nea Salamina 23, Omonia 20, Aris 16, Doxa 14, AEL 12, Enosis 12, Ermis 11, Ethnicos 11, Agia Napa 4.


  • Flight schedule back to normal after dust hits Cyprus

    The flight schedules at the international airports in Larnaca and Paphos are back to normal, after the high concentration of dust in the atmosphere, with no flights being redirected or cancelled.

    Spokesman for Cyprus` airports, Adamos Aspris, said “the flight schedules of Larnaca and Paphos airports are running smoothly, there are no redirected or cancelled flights, however the authorities of the airports are on standby, hoping that, according to weather predictions, the situation with the dust will improve by this afternoon”.

    He added that the situation on Wednesday was better than Tuesday, however visibility was still low but not bad enough to disrupt the flight schedule.

    Aspris noted that there were no pending flights, adding that, although Larnaca Airport did not close on Tuesday, all traffic was redirected to Paphos Airport.

    The Department of Labour Inspection of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance announced that on Tuesday, at 1400 (1100 GMT), the hourly concentration of respirable particles in the ambient air with a diameter less than 10 micrometers (PM10) was between 656 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) and 6637 μg/m3, and it was expected that the average 24hour concentration would exceed the corresponding limit value of 50 μg/m3, as defined by legislation.


  • Rescued refugees accommodated at reception centres

    Refugees, rescued earlier today by the Cypriot authorities off the southern coast of Larnaca, are now accommodated at reception centres. Some opted to apply for political asylum and are at a special centre for asylum seekers.

    All of them are exhausted after three days at sea and disappointed that they did not reach their final destination, the European continent. The small boat they were travelling in sent a distress signal late last night and Cyprus mounted a rescue operation to save them.

    Three buses, carrying 87 out of the 115 rescued Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian refugees, arrived after twelve noon at Kokkinotrimithia reception centre.

    According to the Deputy Chief of the Civil Defence Loukas Hadjimichael, 20 persons have asked for political asylum and are now at Kofinou reception centre.

    Another three will go to Kokkinotrimithia later today, once they undergo some medical examinations. Five unaccompanied minors have been placed under the protection of the Welfare Office in Larnaca, where they first landed.

    Among the 115 people who arrived in Cyprus, 35 are underage children and are in a particularly bad shape, barefoot and without any clothes. The Cyprus Red Cross is supplying them with shoes and clothes.

    “We have provided all these people with first aid. Many of our staff volunteers were on site once we were notified about the incident and many others went early this morning to the reception centre to set up tents to accommodate the refugees,” Hadjimichael told the press as he welcomed them at Kokkinotrimithia.

    Generally speaking, these people are fine but the children need special care. “We are doing whatever it is humanly possible to help them,” he noted.

    Director General of the Cyprus Red Cross Takis Neofytou said they are working in close cooperation with the civil defence and all the competent authorities, to ensure the refugees get all the help they need.

    “We have talked to them and explained that all procedures, provided by international conventions, will be followed through. We told them they are in an EU country and European law will be applied and asked for their patience, saying we want them to cooperate with us to help them,” he added.

    Nicosia Police Chief Demetris Demetriou said the police are taking all necessary security measures.
    CNA GM/MM/2015

  • U20 European Beach Volleyball Championship kicks off today

    U20 European Beach Volleyball Championship kicks off today on Finikoudes Beach in Larnaca, on the south east coast of Cyprus.

    A total of 32 teams from 33 European countries participate in the Championship the organization of which was assigned to the Cyprus Volleyball Federation by the European Volleyball Federation (CEV).

    The Championship to be completed on 5 September is co-organized by the Cyprus Volleyball Federation and Larnaca Municipality with the cooperation and support of the Cyprus Sports Organisation.

    Cyprus Volleyball Federation Technical Director George Stefanides told CNA that Cyprus as a host country participates in the games with a total of six groups and expressed the hope that our athletes would try their best to get good results.


  • New conscripts sworn in

    One thousand six hundred thirty four newly recruited soldiers were sworn in during a ceremony held at GSZ stadium in Larnaca on Friday morning, in the presence of Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides and the National Guard Chief Lt General Georgios Basiakoulis.

    In statements after the ceremony and the parade of the conscripts, Fokaides noted that today is an important day for the soldiers, their families and the National Guard.

    He congratulated the leadership of the National Guard and the military recruitment centres` executive staff on the hard work of the past few weeks, as well as the young conscripts which have undertaken the task to serve their country.

    The Minister referred to the highest moral principle of serving one’s country, to safeguard its freedom and security.

    This, he said, is what allows the state, its institutions and the political leadership to seek a just, viable and functional solution which will reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    The ceremony was also attended by deputies and other officials as well as relatives and friends of the conscripts, who have been given a 48-hour leave.

    Similar ceremonies were held in Paphos and Limassol.


  • Cyprus and Greece conclude successfully search and rescue drill

    Cypriot and Greek naval forces have concluded successfully a search and rescue drill, code-named “CYPGRE-01/15”, according to the Cyprus Ministry of Defence.

    The exercise took place on Saturday afternoon, at sea, south of Cyprus, within the jurisdiction of the Republic, with the participation of National Guard Air Force Command helicopters and the navy vessell IKARIA of the Greek Navy.

    The Search and Rescue Coordination Centre, in Larnaca, together with the Greek Naval General Command had the full operational and coordinating control of the air and the naval means which participated in the drill.

    The scenario of the exercise involved a naval accident out at sea and as such the national plan E-D “Nearxos” was implemented to deal with the incident.

    The drill also included search operations to locate and save a shipwrecked sailor at sea with the help of a National Guard helicopter as well as transferring an injured person by air (MEDEVAC OPERATION) from the Greek vessel.

    This drill, according to the Ministry of Defence, is the third planned exercise this year in search and rescue operations between Cyprus and Greece.
    CNA MM/2015

  • Artificial reef to be constructed in Larnaca

    An artificial reef, to be constructed by Larnaca Tourism Development & Promotion Company in the town`s coastal areas, will take the form of a great historic battle.

    According to CNA sources, the company`s plans, which are being prepared in cooperation with an expert, will be submitted soon to the Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Ministry to request funding from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

    So far three regions in Larnaca are claiming the creation of this unique project for Cyprus. They are Pyla – Oroklini area, the Kastella area and an area in front of Larnaca International Airport.

    The main criteria for selecting the site will be based on various parameters such as accessibility, water purity and cost, which is estimated to be very high since the creation of an artificial reef does not merely include the sinking of an old ship.

    The materials that will be used for the construction of the project should aim to reinforce the seabed`s diversity and upgrade the diving tourism product.

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