Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

iPad overload? 77% of parents polled believed that using tablets was beneficial for their children

Screen time can be bad for young children, but it’s not all terrible news for parents who rely on tablets to occupy their offspring

“I recently watched my sister perform an act of magic,” says Nick Bilton at The New York Times. Bilton was sitting in a restaurant with his sister and her two children, ages 4 and 7, and the chattering, fighting kids were keeping the older siblings from conversing. “Like a magician quieting a group of children by pulling a rabbit out of a hat, my sister reached into her purse and produced two shiny Apple iPads,” handing one to each child. The kids fell “eerily” silent for the rest of the meal.

This is hardly a unique occurrence. In restaurants, churches, and other public places all over the U.S. (and probably the developed world), harried parents pull out their tablets or smartphones for a spell of peace and quiet for them and any other adults around them. And, like Bilton’s sister, many of these parents feel “slightly guilty.” Are iPads and other magical child-quieting tablets dangerous for a child’s development?

“I did not have an answer,” Bilton writes, “and although some people might have opinions, no one has a true scientific understanding of what the future might hold for a generation raised on portable screens.” Worse, says Mat Honan at Wired, “it seems like there is simply no way of knowing.”

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics is unambiguous about time spent with screens. It says any at all is bad for children under a certain age…. We made an effort to follow AAP guidelines and prevent her from getting any screen time at all before she was 2. But honestly? On long flights, we’ve loaded upSesame Street on the iPad before takeoff. Parenting is hard…. And, really, is there harm in an app? In the age of the educational app, those AAP guidelines seem, well, quaint. [Wired]

Tablet manufacturers are much less conflicted than parents, of course. You can buy everything from a tablet PC made especially for toddlers to a special iPhone case designed specifically so your infant child can play with your portable touchscreen device without breaking your expensive gadget or ordering thousands of dollars worth of apps. And even some early-childhood educators aresurprisingly sanguine about tablets for tots.

Three kindergarten classes in Australia are participating in study of “the educational benefits of iPad use for pre-school children,” says Matthew Dunn at Australia’s The Standard. Specifically, they want to know if using iPad apps to create art, study creative crafts like puppetry, and read e-books can help kids prepare for school. “There have been past studies examining young children’s use of iPads and smart phone technology but this is the first to link the use with literacy and numeracy through creative applications,” says Sandra Gattenhof at the Queensland University of Technology.

If you want a “long-term double-blind study to prove an interactive smartphone app is different than a TV show,” which is probably bad for kids, well, too bad, says Wired‘s Honan. “The first generation of toddlers that played with iPhones is not even out of elementary school. A child born the day the iPhone shipped would be kindergarten age today. We are all fumbling through this new world, and nobody knows what the long-term implications are.”

Actually there has been some potentially relevant research, and it’s surprisingly hopeful for iPad-wielding parents, says the Times‘ Bilton. Assuming, of course, parents pick the right apps.

 

A report published last week by the Millennium Cohort Study, a long-term study group in Britain that has been following 19,000 children born in 2000 and 2001, found that those who watched more than three hours of television, videos, or DVDs a day had a higher chance of conduct problems, emotional symptoms and relationship problems by the time they were 7 than children who did not. The study, of a sample of 11,000 children, found that children who played video games — often age-appropriate games — for the same amount of time did not show any signs of negative behavioral changes by the same age. [New York Times]

But experts agree pretty unanimously that, at least at the dinner table, talking (or even drawing with crayons) is better than zoning out over an iDevice, both for developing social skills and even learning to cope with or grow from boredom.

 

“I have no fear that my child will only be able to form relationships with avatars,” says Wired‘s Honan. Nor, like some parents, “do I think that it’s imperative to dunk her in the digital stream from an early age” so she’ll be able to swim better as she grows. Like pretty much everything else, “there’s some sort of weird balance we have to fumble our way into finding.” But here’s a cautionary tale:

 

Last year, we took our daughter to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a free concert in Golden Gate Park. We met a few other parents, who had toddlers of their own. Before the band started playing, one began throwing a tantrum. He wanted his iPod Touch, and so he got it. Then the Preservation Hall Jazz Band began to play, and all the children began to dance and laugh and play in the grass. Except for the one who sat on the blanket, staring at a screen, oblivious to all else.

Should Your 2-Year-Old Be Using an iPad?

From “Baby Touch: Peekaboo” to “Moo, Baa, La La La!,” iPad apps for babies are flooding the market. Developers say the apps are educational, and busy parents know that a digital babysitter can buy them a few minutes of valuable time. But is the iPad a healthy thing for young kids?

Apple’s iTunes now stocks more than 700 apps for children, including ones that promise to “develop hand-eye coordination and focusing skills in young babies” or teach “fine motor skills” to infants “from 0 to 2.5 years old.”

As Healthland reported on Tuesday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has advised parents — again — to eliminate screen time for children under 2, citing concerns about language delays and disrupted sleep. The academy’s new report drew on studies showing that TV, whether it’s the parent or the child watching, interferes with “talk time” between parent and child, which is crucial to language development.

Does the TV effect apply to iPads too? That’s not clear. “We just don’t have the data yet,” says Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician and member of the AAP.

Perhaps it depends on how you’re using it. Tablets used like a TV should fall under the same guidelines, says Tanya Altmann, a Los Angeles-based pediatrician and author of the best-selling parenting book Mommy Calls. However, she doesn’t rule out the possibility that interactive apps may have some value for toddlers. “In some ways, applications are just newer versions of the game that we used to play when we were kids — you tap the cow and it says ‘moo,’” she says.

But even apps that simulate conventional toys don’t teach children the crucial skills that come from physically engaging the world in three dimensions, says Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He points to iPad apps that replicate building blocks and Legos. “Surely we would not want that to substitute for actually getting blocks and building something,” he says. “This is not how the real world works, and babies do need to learn how the real world works.”

So, the jury’s still out on tablets for toddlers, but research suggests that educational apps may enhance the learning experience of slightly older children. A recent study funded by the Department of Education showed that the PBS Kids iPhone app “Martha Speaks” boosted 3-to-7-year-olds vocabularies by as much as 31% over the course of two weeks.

Rose Luckin, a professor of learner-centered design at the University of London, has found that tablet-type devices can actually spark the sort of social interaction central to the learning process. She found that 5- and 6-year-olds who recorded school activities on tablets and replayed them for their parents tended to learn better. “One of the key benefits of technologies such as the iPad is that they can become a focus for conversations between parents and children,” she says. “If the device is right in the middle of the family, in the kitchen, in the lap, then as a parent, you’re much more able to have those kinds of shared experiences.”

In other words, tablets might not be all bad if they generate “talk time,” rather than replace it. As with anything else, says Luckin, moderation and common sense are key. “If a child just sits all day playing on the iPad on her own, then I’m not sure she’s getting the benefits,” she says. “My argument about the value of these devices is that they can add to parental time, not take away from it.”

When parents are busy, though, the best option may simply be to turn the gadgets off, rather than letting kids use them unattended, says Altmann. “We know parents can’t be with their children 24/7,” she says. “But don’t forget that when we were kids, our moms would just give us toys to play with on the ground and say, ‘Play.’ Just give them some time to explore occasionally on their own. They don’t have to have external stimulation every second of the day.”

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/10/20/no-screen-time-for-2-year-olds-do-ipad-apps-count/#ixzz2PFlZx5M

http://news.yahoo.com/ipad-bad-children-103000808.html

North Korean Kim Jong-un meets military officials (Unverified picture released by KCNA news agency 29 March)

The North Korean situation could spiral out of control, Russia has warned, after another day of inflamed rhetoric from Pyongyang.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned of a “vicious circle” and told all sides to avoid unilateral action.

On Thursday, the North threatened to “settle accounts” and said it had put missiles on stand-by to hit the US.

The US, which flew stealth bombers over South Korea this month, condemned the North’s “bellicose rhetoric”.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the rhetoric only deepened North Korea’s isolation.

North Korean state media reported leader Kim Jong-un “judged the time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists”.

North Korea Says It Will Launch Nuclear Attack On America!!

Analysis

Charles ScanlonBBC News

Bluff has long played a fundamental role in North Korean strategy. The regime in Pyongyang needs its much more powerful neighbours and antagonists to take its threats seriously. By threatening potential chaos and war in the heart of the world’s most dynamic economic region, it has in the past been able to transcend its own weakness and extract diplomatic concessions.

But the United States may be about to call North Korea’s bluff. The US treasury department is taking steps to squeeze North Korea financially, and the Pentagon has flown B-52 and B-2 bombers over the Korean peninsula – moves that are guaranteed to provoke a hostile reaction.

Washington’s tough stance presents Kim Jong-un with a dilemma. He wants to show his generals and the North Korean people that he can force concessions from the United States – in the same style as his father and grandfather. He could now be tempted to take brinkmanship to a new level, to try to convince the US and the region that confrontation does not work and carries too many risks.

He was said to have condemned US B-2 bomber sorties over South Korea as a “reckless phase” that represented an “ultimatum that they will ignite a nuclear war at any cost on the Korean Peninsula”.

US mainland and bases in Hawaii, Guam and South Korea were all named as potential targets.

North Korea’s most advanced missiles are thought to be able to reach Alaska, but not the rest of the US mainland.

‘Increasing military activity’

State media in the North showed thousands of soldiers and students at a mass rally in Pyongyang supporting of Kim Jong-un’s announcement.

China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, immediately reiterated its call for all sides to ease tensions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news conference that “joint efforts” should be made to turn around a “tense situation”.

He made similar remarks on Tuesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov went further, voicing concern that “we may simply let the situation slip out of our control and it will slide into a spiral of a vicious circle”.

“We are concerned that… unilateral action is being taken around North Korea that is increasing military activity,” he said.

Continue reading the main story

Timeline: Korean tensions

  • 12 Dec: North Korea fires three-stage rocket, in move condemned by UN as banned test of long-range missile technology
  • 12 Feb: North Korea conducts an underground nuclear test, its third after tests in 2006 and 2009
  • 7 Mar: UN approves fresh sanctions on Pyongyang; North Korea says it has the right to a “pre-emptive nuclear strike” on the US
  • 11 Mar: US-South Korea annual joint military drills begin; North Korea says it has scrapped the Korean War armistice (the UN says the pact cannot be unilaterally scrapped)
  • 19 Mar: US flies B-52 nuclear-capable bombers over Korean peninsula, following several North Korean threats to attack US and South Korean targets
  • 20 Mar: Broadcasters and banks in South Korea hit by cyber attack, the origin of which remains unknown, days after North Korea says some of its sites were hacked
  • 27 Mar: North Korea cuts military hotline with South, the last official direct link between the two
  • 28 Mar: US flies stealth bombers over Korean peninsula; showcasing ability for precision strike “at will”

In an earlier statement, the US military said that the B-2 stealth bombers demonstrated America’s ability to “provide extended deterrence” to its allies and conduct “long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will”.

“The North Koreans have to understand that what they’re doing is very dangerous,” US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters on Thursday.

“We must make clear that these provocations by the North are taken by us very seriously and we’ll respond to that.”

The US had already flown nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea earlier this month, in what it called a response to escalating North Korean threats.

Tensions in the Korean peninsula have been high since North Korea’s third nuclear test on 12 February, which led to the imposition of fresh sanctions.

North Korea has made multiple threats against both the US and South Korea in recent weeks, including warning of a “pre-emptive nuclear strike” on the US and the scrapping of the Korean War armistice.

While North Korea has issued many threats against the US and South Korea in the past, this level of sustained rhetoric is rare, observers say.

On 16 March, North Korea warned of attacks against South Korea’s border islands, and advised residents to leave the islands.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

When you look at occasions where something really did happen, such as the artillery attack on a South Korean island in 2010, you see there were very clear warnings”

Professor John Delury, Yonsei university

In 2010 it shelled South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island, causing four deaths.

On Wednesday, Pyongyang also cut a military hotline with the South – the last direct official link between the two nations.

A Red Cross hotline and another line used to communicate with the UN Command at Panmunjom have already been cut, although an inter-Korean air-traffic hotline still exists.

The jointly run Kaesong industrial park is still in operation.

North Korea missile ranges map

Is North Korea Steps Up Its Threats, Drawing U.S. Rebuke?…!!

Read the Full story below—

nn_03iwi_korea_130328.vmodv4

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean state media said Friday that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had ordered his missile units to be ready to strike the United States and South Korea, which South Korean officials said could signal either preparations for missile tests or just more blustering.

The United States criticized the North Korean threat, which came one day after American forces had carried out an unusual practice bombing exercise with advanced aircraft across South Korea.

“The United States is fully capable of defending itself and our allies,” said Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokeswoman in Washington.”North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric and threats follow a pattern designed to raise tensions and intimidate others.”

The back-and-forth was viewed with worry by China and Russia. China’s Foreign Ministry reiterated its calls for restraint. Russia was more explicit, with its foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, telling reporters in Moscow that he was increasingly concerned about a situation that could “get out of control — it will descend into the spiral of a vicious cycle.”

Mr. Kim’s order, which North Korea said was given during an emergency meeting early Friday, was similar to the one issued Tuesday when the North’s top military command told all its missile and artillery units to be on the “highest alert” and ready to strike the United States and South Korea in retaliation against their joint military exercises.

But by attributing such an order to its top leader, North Korea tried to add weight to its threat.

“We believe they are taking follow-up steps,” said Kim Min-seok, spokesman of the South Korean Defense Ministry, referring to increased activities of the North Korean military units. “South Korean and American intelligence authorities are closely watching whether North Korea is preparing its short, medium, and long-range missiles, including its Scud, Rodong and Musudan.”

He did not elaborate. But government officials and South Korean media said that there had been a surge in vehicle and troop movements at North Korean missile units in recent days as the United States and South Korea has been conducting joint military drills. The national news agency Yonhap quoted an anonymous military source as saying that North Korean vehicles had been moving to Tongchang-ri near the North’s western border with China, where its Unha-3 rocket blasted off in December.

North Korea might be preparing for an engine test ahead of a long-range rocket test, the source was quoted as saying. Scud and Rodong are the North’s mainstay short- and medium-range missiles. The Musudan, deployed around 2007 and displayed for the first time during a military parade in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, in 2010, is a road-mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile with a range of more than 1,900 miles, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.

In an angry reaction to the sanctions that the United Nations imposed after North Korea’s launching of a three-stage rocket in December and its third nuclear test last month, the North has repeatedly threatened to strike Washington, as well as the American military bases around the Pacific and in South Korea, with nuclear-armed long-range missiles.

A photo released by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Friday showed Mr. Kim conferring with his top generals on what the agency called “plans to strike the mainland U.S.” A military chart behind them showed what appeared to be trajectories of North Korean missiles hitting major cities in the United States.

North Korea also said its leader, Mr. Kim, “finally signed the plan on technical preparations of strategic rockets of the K.P.A., ordering them to be standby for fire so that they may strike any time the U.S. mainland, its military bases in the operational theaters in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, and those in South Korea.” K.P.A. stands for the Korean People’s Army.

Kim Min-seok, the South Korean spokesman, said the North’s “unusual” public announcement of such plans was partly “psychological.” Many experts and South Korean officials doubted that North Korea has such long-range missiles, much less the know-how to make a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on such rockets.

But other analysts believed that the North’s new KN-08 missiles, which were put on public display last April, were indeed intercontinental ballistic missiles, although they and Musudan have never been test-launched before. They wondered whether North Korea might use the current tensions as an excuse to launch them.

The country is barred from launching ballistic missiles under United Nations sanctions. North Korea’s development of the KN-08 was one of the reasons the Pentagon cited last Friday when it announced a $1 billion plan to add more missile interceptors in Alaska to better protect the United States against a potential North Korean missile attack.

Although North Korea issued strident threats and stirred up fears of American invasion during previous joint American-South Korean military drills, Mr. Kim has been far more aggressive in issuing such threats personally than his late father, Kim Jong-il, was. Unlike his father, who had expanded his power base from his youth, Mr. Kim was catapulted into top leadership after his father’s sudden death in 2011 and must build his credentials as head of his “military-first” government, South Korean analysts and officials said.

Hours after Mr. Kim’s call to arms, thousands of North Koreans turned out for a 90-minute mass rally at the main square in Pyongyang, chanting “Death to the U.S. imperialists” and “Sweep away the U.S. aggressors,” according to The Associated Press, which has a bureau in Pyongyang. Soldiers and students marched through downtown Pyongyang.

On Thursday, the American military carried out a rare long-range practice bombing run over the Korean Peninsula, sending two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers on a practice sortie over South Korea, underscoring Washington’s commitment to defend its ally amid rising tensions with North Korea.

“The reaction to the B-2 that we’re most concerned about is not necessarily the reaction it might elicit in North Korea, but rather among our Japanese and Korean allies,” Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a news conference at the Pentagon. “Those exercises are mostly to assure our allies that they can count on us to be prepared and to help them deter conflict.”

North Korea puts rockets on standby as US official warns regime is no ‘paper tiger’

By Courtney Kube and Ian Johnston, NBC News

North Korea put its rocket units on standby Friday to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after repeated threats and one day after two American stealth bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula in a military exercise.

A U.S. official warned that the isolated communist state is “not a paper tiger” and its reaction should not be dismissed as “pure bluster.”

According to the North Korea’s official KCNA news agency, the country’s leader Kim Jong Un “judged the time has come to settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists in view of the prevailing situation” at a midnight meeting of top generals, Reuters reported.

The latest threat comes one day after two nuclear-capable stealth bombers flew from Missouri to drop inert munitions on a range in South Korea as part of a major military exercise.

KCNA via EPA

Kim Jong Un, seen at what was described as an urgent meeting overnight, has ordered his rocket forces to be on standby to strike U.S. and South Korean targets at any time.

The U.S. official emphasized the danger posed by North Korea’s military and the unpredictable nature of its 30-year-old leader.

“North Korea is not a paper tiger so it wouldn’t be smart to dismiss its provocative behavior as pure bluster. What’s not clear right now is how much risk Kim Jong Un is willing to run to show the world and domestic elites that he’s a tough guy,” said the official, who asked not to be named. “His inexperience is certain — his wisdom is still very much in question.”

There was a mass demonstration in support of Kim involving tens of thousands of people in the main square of North Korean capital Pyongyang Friday, The Associated Press reported.

Placards read “Let’s crush the puppet traitor group” and “Let’s rip the puppet traitors to death!”

‘War for national liberation’
The state-controlled KCNA also published an article that said the “opportunity for peacefully settling the DPRK-U.S. relations is no longer available as the U.S. opted for staking its fate. Consequently, there remains only the settlement of accounts by a physical means.” DPRK stands for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

“A battle to be fought by the DPRK against the U.S. will become a war for national liberation to defend the sovereignty and dignity of the country and, at the same time, a revolutionary war to defend the human cause of independence and the justice of the international community,” the article by “news analyst” Minju Joson said.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted a South Korean military official as saying that there had been “increased movement of vehicles and forces” at missile launch sites in the North. “We are closely watching possibilities of missile launches,” the unnamed official said.

North Korea routinely issues hostile statements but analysts have noted recent remarks have become more belligerent. In December, the North carried out a long-range rocket test and then detonated a nuclear bomb in a test earlier this year.

 

At a daily news briefing Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said China was calling for an easing of tensions.

But some fear the situation could be getting out of control.

“It seems that Kim Jong Un is in the driving seat of a train that has been taken on a joyride,” Lee Min-yong, an expert on North Korea at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, told Reuters.

Russia, meanwhile, appeared to criticize the U.S. over Thursday’s bomber mission.

“We are concerned that alongside the adequate, collective reaction of the U.N. Security Council, unilateral action is being taken around North Korea that is increasing military activity,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow, according to Reuters.

“The situation could simply get out of control; it is slipping toward the spiral of a vicious cycle,” he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

 

Collected from-http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/30/world/asia/kim-jong-un-of-north-korea-orders-missile-readiness.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0
&
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/29/17513218-north-korea-puts-rockets-on-standby-as-us-official-warns-regime-is-no-paper-tiger?lite

A vehicle is dusted for prints in the driveway of a home on the 8800 block of Oakdale Avenue near Nordhoff Street Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in Northridge, Calif., where 10-year-old girl disappeared during the night. Los Angeles police say the girl has been located. Sgt. Rudy Lopez says she was apparently spotted by someone who recognized her from information that had been publicized and contacted the Police Department. She was found at midafternoon outside a Starbucks store about six miles from her home. Photo: Los Angeles Times, Mel Melcon

A vehicle is dusted for prints in the driveway of a home on the 8800 block of Oakdale Avenue near Nordhoff Street Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in Northridge, Calif., where 10-year-old girl disappeared during the night. Los Angeles police say the girl has been located. Sgt. Rudy Lopez says she was apparently spotted by someone who recognized her from information that had been publicized and contacted the Police Department. She was found at midafternoon outside a Starbucks store about six miles from her home. Photo: Los Angeles Times, Mel Melcon

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police say nearly 50 detectives are canvassing a neighborhood for clues in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom this week and was found hours later miles from home.

Police are seeking two men who apparently took the girl from her home after 1 a.m. Wednesday and drove her around the San Fernando Valley. She was found that afternoon after being dropped off near a hospital.

Police officials have publicly said the girl had bruises and scratches and was in shock when she was found. The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/XKLN6P ) reports that law enforcement sources say she was sexually assaulted.

Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese says detectives are working around the clock on the case.

The Associated Press does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/crime/article/Dozens-of-detectives-investigate-LA-girl-abduction-4390773.php#ixzz2OxIOeB1E

 

Check This Out….!!!

George Sanders

An 86-year-old man who carried out a mercy killing by shooting his ailing wife in the head was sentenced to probation on Friday after an emotional hearing where family members tearfully spoke on his behalf.

 

George Sanders could have faced more than 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. The judge opted for probation.

 

The World War II veteran told authorities his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969, and the couple moved from Washington state to the retirement community of Sun City outside Phoenix in the 1970s for the warm, dry climate.

 

Virginia Sanders, 81, had been diagnosed with gangrene on her foot just a few days before the shooting.

 

In a videotaped confession, Sanders said his wife begged him to kill her. Wrapped in a blanket as he sat being questioned by a detective, Sanders appeared frail and tired in the hours after he shot his wife in the head.

 

“She never wanted to outlive me and be left at the mercy of someone else,” he said.

 

“We loved each other so much,” Sanders said. “It was a wonderful life in spite of all the hard things we had at the end.”

 

Sanders was initially charged with first-degree murder for the Nov. 9 shooting but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter in what attorneys on both sides have called a “mercy killing.”

 

“We did a lot of things together, always loved each other,” he told the detective, adding that her health began to deteriorate over the last few years. “I took care of her through that day and night,” Sanders said.

 

Eventually, as his own health deteriorated, he said the couple hired a caregiver. He said his wife had been diagnosed with gangrene on her foot just a few days before the shooting and was set to be admitted to a hospital, then a nursing home.

 

“It was just the last straw,” Sanders said. “She didn’t want to go to that hospital … start cutting her toes off.”

 

He said he talked it over with his wife and she begged him to kill her.

 

“I said, `I can’t do it honey,”‘ he told police. “She says, `Yes you can.”‘

 

Sanders said he got his revolver and wrapped a towel around it so the bullet wouldn’t go into the kitchen.

 

“She says, `Is this going to hurt,’ and I said, `You won’t feel a thing,”‘ he said.

 

“She was saying, `Do it. Do it. Do it.’ And I just let it go,” Sanders added.

 

He sat in the room at the sheriff’s office for about five hours as his wife was hospitalized. The bullet didn’t kill her. She died a few days later. After several hours, the detective came back in.

 

“Virginia was at this present moment currently still alive but not expected to make it. She’s not expected to live,” the detective told him.

 

Sanders appeared distraught.

 

“I think of her laying in her bed and it haunts me. I’ve taken care of her all these years and to think of somebody else doing it that really doesn’t care,” he said. “Terrible.”

 

A few minutes later, a deputy came into the room and handcuffed him, then led him out the door to be fingerprinted.

 

“I sit here and I don’t know how I could have done that,” Sanders said. “It seemed to make sense at the time.”

Collected from-http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57577030/george-sanders-86-year-old-ariz-man-spared-prison-in-wifes-mercy-killing/

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top News, Filmography,Partial Discography,Biography About  Lippi Balotelli….

Hope You Will LIKE……

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Claudio Lippi ( Milan , 3 June 1945 ) is a singer , record producer and television host Italian .

“”””Allegri: “Una vittoria per Claudio Lippi. Balotelli sta maturando”

di Marco Vailati

ALLEGRI

Una grande prestazione da dedicare a Claudio Lippi, il giornalista rossonero di Milan Channel scomparso tragicamente in settimana in un incidente in moto. Questo è quello che vuole Massimiliano Allegri e così Massimiliano Allegri ha aperto la conferenza stampa pre ChievoMilan. “Ci aspetta una partita molto difficile, il Chievo sta giocando bene ed è in ottima condizione – ha affermato il tecnico toscano riferendosi alla partita in programma domani alle 18,30 a Verona -. Ci sarà da lottare fino alla fine, ci sarà da soffrire. Il Chievo ha una retroguardia solida, in avanti ha qualità per dare fastidio – ha proseguito Allegri -. Dovremo essere bravi a tenere il ritmo dei nostri avversari e dovremo far valere le nostre qualità tecniche e sarà importante non concedere il contropiede, che il Chievo sviluppa molto bene”.

Chievo-Milan è una gara insidiosa per i rossoneri, i quali tuttavia stanno andando forte e, dopo un inizio di stagione molto negativo, hanno riagganciato saldamente la zona Champions, ma Allegri non abbassa la guardia: “In questo momento siamo al terzo posto – ha commentato l’allenatore rossonero -, per mantenerlo bisogna puntare al secondo. Se abbiamo un approccio diverso, troppo conservativo, rischiamo di tenere un atteggiamento eccessivamente difensivo”. E per conquistare un posto nella più prestigiosa competizione europea è stato e sarà fondamentale Balotelli, reduce da tre gol e prestazioni da protagonista con la Nazionale. Super Mario, inoltre, sembra maturato molto soprattutto sotto l’aspetto caratteriale e Allegri non è preoccupato dal fatto che nella stagione 2008/2009, quando indossava la maglia dell’Inter, Balotelli a fine partita proprio in casa del Chievo pronunciò parole molto polemiche verso il pubblico veronese: “Credo stia migliorando sotto questo aspetto – le parole di Allegri sul carattere caldo di Super Mario Balotelli -, non ha avuto reazioni e non deve averle. Con l’indifferenza deve riuscire a zittire quelli che eventualmente saranno degli episodi brutti, che fino a questo momento ci sono stati sui campi di calcio e che piano piano vanno eliminati migliorando la cultura sportiva e l’educazione. Domani giocherà sereno e tranquillo, non deve innervosirsi”. Qualche assente, domani per il Milan, e ancora qualche dubbio per Allegri: “Zapata non l’ho convocato per via del fuso orario e poi ha perso un po’ di allenamenti – le spiegazioni dell’allenatore ex Cagliari -. Boateng ha preso un colpo a Palermo e a Firenze sarà sicuramente a disposizione, così come Pazzini. Constant ha una sindrome influenzale, mentre a centrocampo devo ancora decidere chi far giocare”.””””

Translated Into English—

Allegri: “A victory for Claudio Lippi.Balotelli is maturing “

ALLEGRI

A great performance to devote to Claudio Lippi, journalist AC Milan Milan Channel died tragically in a week in a motorcycle accident. This is what he wants Massimiliano Allegri Massimiliano Allegri and so opened the press conference pre Chievo – Milan . “We expect a very difficult game, Chievo is playing well and is in excellent condition – said the technician Tuscan referring to the game tomorrow at 18.30 in Verona -. We will have to fight until the end, we will have to suffer. Chievo have a solid rear, forward it to annoy quality – continued Allegri -. We have to be good at keeping the pace of our opponents and we rely on our technical qualities and it is important not to allow the counterattack, that Chievo develops very well. ”

Chievo-Milan is a tricky race for the Rossoneri, but these are going strong, and after a very bad start to the season, they hung up firmly the Champions League places, but Allegri does not lower his guard: “Right now we’re in third place – said the Milan coach – to keep it you have to point to the second. If we have a different approach, too conservative, we may keep an excessively defensive posture. ” And to win a place in the most prestigious European competition has been and will be a key Balotelli, back from three goals and performance leading the national team.Super Mario also seems matured a lot especially from the character and Allegri is not worried by the fact that in the 2008/2009 season, when he wore the shirt of Inter, Balotelli after the game right away to Chievo spoke words to much controversy the public from Verona: “I think he’s improving in this respect – the words of Allegri on the warm character of Super Mario Balotelli -, had no reactions and should not have them. With indifference must be able to silence those who may be ugly incidents, which up to this time there were on the football field and that will gradually be eliminated by improving the sports culture and education.Tomorrow will play calm and peaceful, must not get nervous. ” Some absent tomorrow for Milan, and still some doubt Allegri: “Zapata I have not called because of the time zone and then lost a little ‘training – explanations of coach former Cagliari -. Boateng has taken a hit in Palermo and Florence will surely be available, as well as Pazzini. Constant flu syndrome, while in midfield I have yet to decide who to play. ”

Biography

Lippi began his career as a singer in the early sixties , as a solo first and then with the group The Crusaders. In this period accounts for theBluebell some 45 laps , including what matter and there is someone for everyone. Join theater tour with Memo Remigi and appears in some of the first television programs hosted by Mike Bongiorno (in 1963 in the exhibition of dreams ) and Pippo Baudo ( Settevoci ), again as a singer or guest brilliant. Then participating as a competitor to A drive for summer 1968 .

During a brief business venture, with the creation of the label ” Disco Blue “with his brother Franco Lippi , founded the musical group The patrol blue , which is also part of Massimo Boldi . In 1972 lands to the radio , leading some programs for RAI , including the Music In. in 1974 made ​​the transition to television , where he leads the first children’s programs (Air and open Giocagiò ), then the variety do you do, Rivediamoli together for a summer evening and Arabian light , and it is the male lead in the tv series the operetta ” No, no, Nanette “along with Elisabetta Viviani .

In 1973 appears in musicarello cries … the phone . In 1975 worked as a voice actor on the animated television series Barbapapa , giving voice to all the male characters. Together with Roberta Flack and Orietta Berti also sings the famous opening theme: “Here come the Barbapapa”. In1978 works for TeleMilano , the future Channel 5 , in a one man show, tailor-made for him by the Silvio Berlusconi , Sprolippio.

In 1980 RaiUno transmits the first quiz in early evening titled Seven and a half the episodes of the quiz are led by Raimondo Vianello for the first half, while the second half see it as their conductor Claudio Lippi, who will have the chance to recur the general public. In 1984 the RAI officially leaves to go to Fininvest , for which he created the quiz Tuttinfamiglia ( 1984 ) and The Good country ( 1985 ). In the years between 1988 and 1990 makes brief return in RAI to conduct Games without frontiers . On 1 October of 1990 , with the departure of Conrad , is that he chose to present the quiz noon on Channel 5 , Lunch is served : as early as 1985 Lippi was called by Corrado for a short replacement Buona Domenica .

In 1991 , again on Channel 5, presents the third edition of Bathing Beauties , and in 1992 even Beauties on the snow . In 1992 the Lunch comes a new valley, Luana Ravegnini , which Lippi will have a long relationship. In the spring of 1992, the management decided to extend the transmission as long summer : Lippi has tried and has health problems, so it becomes the victim of a swoon in the studio. In 1993 is driving a quiz, designed by Corrado, taken from the bullfight , entitled Yes or no? . After a period of personal crisis (in a divorce) and the break with the vertices Mediaset, works for Telemontecarlo , realizing what with the House Ravegnini.

In 1996 it is proposed almost casually for the role of conductor Never Say goal with Gialappa’s Band , the flagship program of Italy 1 . Lippi has the presence to Never Say Goals in a fight betweenTeo Teocoli and Gialappa’s: Following the defection of the showman, the trio is forced to find a replacement and recruits Lippi is aired improvising. The awkward to do (not entirely unintentional) makes it a perfect target for both the comic trio for the verve of Simona Ventura and remain in the program for several years with good success. In 1998 made ​​an appearance in Paparazzi ,Christmas movie of the pair Massimo Boldi – Christian De Sica , directed by Blacks Parenti , and in the same year leads to a short period Strip the News . In 1999 he ends his relationship with Luana Ravegnini (also often present in Never Say Goal).

Later, participates in the Good Friday of Maurizio Costanzo and Lorella Cuccarini , without taking part in the season 2002 / 2003 and collaborates with other products, such as very nice, you craft?, Road making and Channel 5 story. Work with Michelle Hunziker in variety Heels. In 2002 is engaged with the know the latest? , show primetime with Natalia Estrada , a program that both will be back in 2004 .

In 2003 , during a crisis with Mediaset, returns on Rai 2 , where he leads Eureka, and participates in Sunday in the historian concurrent program of Good Friday, the collaboration will however be short and Lippi returns to commercial television. October 28, 2006 announces loudly to leave the conduct of Good Friday, after only five episodes, due to differences with the authors, in particular, the project manager Cesare Lanza , and the vertices Mediaset. Lippi has explained that it did not share the new course of the program, led by Paola Perego , too addicted to vulgarity and trash, as specified by the Milanese conductor [1] .

On 12 July 2008 he received the “Grand Prix Coral city of Alghero”, during the Grand Gala of Sport and TV in 2008. One year after the period of inactivity television, since March 2009 , leading in the field of Dahlia Dahlia TV , and since September 2010 has a permanent presence in the programs Rai Uno The test of the cook and Se … at the home of Paola . The 22 June 2010 Claudio Lippi has revealed to be a distant relative of the former coach of the Italian national team, Marcello Lippi during the program Night World, broadcast on RAI 1 during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa .

The 30 December 2010 back on TV with the game show I love Italy on Rai 2 . On 7 February 2011 is host to Morning Five on Channel 5 . In September 2011 began the recordings for the construction of a new musical album, Fly is wonderful .

From 2 to 7 January 2012 and 7 and 10 March 2012 temporarily replaces Antonella Clerici in the conduct of the test of the cook , getting good ratings. In addition, the January 6th 2012 is sent tothe test of the cook – Special Lottery.

L ‘ 8 April 2012 the new album comes out on iTunes Flying is wonderful , arranged and produced by Francesco Digilio , a tribute to the great Domenico Modugno .

In spring 2012 is part of the jury of the music program in the early evening and What This Show on Rai 1 . On 9 and 16 May 2012 leads, with Elisa Isoardi , the new variety of Rai 1 point on you .The ‘ July 11 , a guest at Unomattina Coffee , performs with the master Francesco Digilio in God how I love you . Since autumn 2012 Lippi co-leads with Antonella Clerici every Saturday Proof of cook broadcast on Rai 1 . On November 6 and December 12 2012 temporarily replaces Antonella Clerici in the conduct of the test of the cook . On 30 November 2012 during the final of the program and What This Show is dedicating to Loretta Goggi a God how I love you , accompanied by pianist and arranger Francesco Digilio .

Filmography

Cinema

Television

Dubbing

Partial Discography

45 rpm

CD

The IMF said it will not be able to make a final decision on its contribution to funding Cyprus’ bailout before the end of April, which threatens to delay the country receiving the aid.

 

• No final decision on Cyprus 
• Banks have reopened after nearly two weeks, crowds calm
• Draconian capital controls unveiled
• Transactions within Cyprus to be ‘unaffected’ under controls
• Cyprus central bank fires Bank of Cyprus chief
• Cyprus in ‘superhuman effort’ to re-open banks on Thursday

Latest

22.11 That’s where we leave our Live Blog for today. Thanks for reading.

20.50 The Cypriot Church has won an injuction to avoid being wiped out in the bailout, CNBC reports.

20.05 In the US, the S&P 500 has closed at an all-time high of 1,569.11, up 0.4pc on the day. The Dow ended trading at 14,578.54 up 0.4pc, while the Nasdaq rose 0.3pc to 3,267.52.

20.01 French president Francois Hollande says his country will never tax bank deposits. Companies that pay their employees more than €1m will see their tax bill on those salaries rise to 75pc.

He adds that austerity condemns Europe to social “explosion”.

18.33 BREAKING NEWS…

More problems for Italy. Pier Luigi Bersani has told the President he can’t form a government. President Napolitano will begin new consultations with parties on forming a government at 10am GMT tomorrow.

17.53 Meanwhile, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, whose Paris apartment was searched by police on March 20 in a case involving businessman Bernard Tapie, retains the backing of the board of directors, an IMF spokesman said.

QuoteThe executive board has been briefed on this matter, including recently, and continues to express its confidence in the managing director’s ability to effectively carry out her duties.

17.49 Swedish politician Carl Bildt tells CNN that Cypriots were primarily poorly treated by their own leadership, which didn’t deal with the situation when it could have.

17.16 Bank of Cyprus says all transactions today went smoothly.

17.10 The Telegraph’s Nick Squires, who is in Nicosia, has done a write up of the day in Cyprus, as banks reopened after nearly two weeks amid simmering tension.

Nick reports:

Cypriots formed orderly queues outside the country’s banks after they reopened for the first time in nearly two weeks on Thursday, confounding fears that there would be scenes of unrest and violence.

Analysts said it was little surprise that there was no run on the banks in light of the draconian capital control restrictions that the Cypriot government hurriedly imposed late on Wednesday night.

It decreed that cash withdrawals would be limited to €300 per person a day and ruled that no cheques can be cashed.

Overseas credit payments were limited to €5,000 and Cypriots travelling abroad can take only €1,000 with them.

Cypriots did not besiege the banks to try to withdraw their life savings because they knew that the capital controls prevented it.

Although people waited patiently outside banks across the Mediterranean island, feelings of anger and frustration were just below the surface.

Cypriots queuing outside a bank on Thursday morning.

16.55 European markets have now closed for the Easter break and they are slightly mixed .

The FTSE 100 has finished the day up 0.28pc, while the CAC closed up 0.5pc. The DAX and IBEX were flat over the day and the FTSE MIB closed down 0.1pc.

The FTSE 100’s close today means the UK’s main index has finished the first quarter of 2013 up 9.2pc, shaking off fears of a triple dip recession in the UK.

Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads, said that as Cypriot banks reopened, despite strict capital controls being implemented, “it was as if a weight had been lifted off investors’ shoulders”.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said a swift resolution in Cyprus due to the relatively small size of the island’s financial woes and extent of bailout help required had maintained some market confidence.

FTSE 100 over the first quarter of 2013.

16.36 The capital controls in place in Cyprus are provisionally only in place for a week that is subject to review.

However, Cypriot foreign minister Kasoulides has said he expects that the measures on its bank will be fully lifted in “about a month”, reports Reuters.

Kasoulides said:

QuoteA number of restrictions will be lifted and gradually, probably over a period of about a month according to the estimates of the central bank, the restrictions will be fully lifted.

 

 

16.17 Banks in Cyprus have now been open for the six hours they said they would be today and are staring to close.

The mass panic, hysteria and general chaos that some commentators had expected has not materialised and it has, in fact, been quite the opposite.

 

15.57 More reaction is coming out from Cypriots who have had to live with their banks being closed for nearly two weeks and are subjected to draconian capital controls.

One taxi driver has told a CNN reporter that Europe is a jungle.

“It is a jungle and we are the rabbit surrounded by lions,” he said.

“We wanted to be Europe’s friend,” continues the driver, “but now it is turning on us.”

 

15.40 The International Monetary Fund has spoken out to reassure other eurozone members that the raid on savers in Cyprus is “unique” and not likely applicable elsewhere.

IMF spokesmad Gerry Rice said:

QuoteIt would be difficult to extend the case to the rest of Europe or to to the world.

 

 

15.27 Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, has supplied its counterpart in Cyprus with banknotes financial sources said. AFP reports:

Quote“The operation was led by the Bundesbank and the transportation of the notes was coordinated by the European Central Bank,” one of the sources told AFP.

Another source said that only one national central bank was involved in the operation.

According to the business daily Handelsblatt, €5bn worth of banknotes were flown to Cyprus in a Lufthansa jet.

Other media reports put the amount at between €1.5-5bn.

Neither the Bundesbank nor the ECB were willing to confirm the numbers, but did not deny them either.

Euro banknotes are not printed and stocked by the ECB in Frankfurt, but by the different national central banks which make up the eurosystem. But a number of central banks are supplied by others, as is the case for Cyprus.

Cypriots stayed calm as banks reopened on Thursday after a nearly two week lockdown, with tight capital controls stopping customers from draining the island’s coffers after its eurozone bailout.

 

 

15.02 A final decision on funding for Cyprus from the International Monetary Fund is not expected before the end of April, Reuters is reporting.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said a team from the IMF, European Union and European Central Bank were currently in Cyprus working on the technical details of the country’s bailout that was struck in Brussels on Monday.

He said the current work in Cyprus will determine how much the IMF contributes to the bailout. Rice told reporters:

QuoteWe expect the work of that mission to conclude in early April. After that our executive board will need to discuss the possible financing arrangement for Cyprus, so I would therefore not expect a final decision on a financial package from the IMF before the end of April.

Rice also said the international troika would resume talks on Greece’s IMF program in the first week of April to conclude a performance review of the country’s IMF-EU bailout.

The International Monetary Fund

14.40 Now the mass panic some had predicted would happen today in Cyprus has not occured, attention has now turned to Slovenia which commentators are saying is the next eurozone country that is likely to request an international bailout, given the fragile state of its banking sector. Reuters reports:

QuoteFollowing the bailout/bail-in farce in Cyprus, Slovenia’s dollar bonds have dropped by nine points over the past two weeks as investors worry about the Balkan country’s troubled banking sector and the government’s ability to tap the international capital markets.

While the government insists that Slovenia will be able to get through the crisis under its own steam, a deal with international lenders could provide a key backstop to fears of contagion, say analysts.

“Slovenia is now inevitably heading to a bailout, the eurozone shot itself completely in the foot following the Cyprus issue,” said Tim Ash, head of EM research ex-Africa at Standard Bank.

But while there is no denial among market participants that Slovenia’s banking crisis is acute, most observers agree that a comparison with Cyprus is unwarranted.

Slovenia’s banking sector assets account for 130% of the country’s GDP, compared with 800% in Cyprus, and the Balkan state’s debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 54% as of the end of 2012, which is relatively low compared with a EU average of 80%.

Nonetheless, with or without the IMF, analysts believe Slovenia needs to quickly push forward a policy mix comprising fiscal tightening, privatisations and a recapitalisation of its largely state-owned banking sector if it is to stay afloat.

Pressure on the country is undoubtedly mounting, as reflected by the dismal performance of its sovereign bonds. The yield on the country’s 2022 US dollar notes has widened by 120bp over the past two weeks, jumping by a jaw-dropping 80bp on Wednesday alone, to reach 6.2pc.

Lake Bled in Slovenia

 

14.28 Sales of holidays to Cyprus have fallen sharply in the wake of the country’s banking crisis, according to Telegraph Travel. Oliver Smith reports:

Sales of holidays to Cyprus have fallen sharply in the wake of the country’s banking crisis, new research has shown.

While around 1.7 million British holidaymakers are expected to flee these frozen shores over the Easter weekend, nearly 200,000 more than a year ago, the travel industry analyst GfK reported a 43 per cent year-on-year fall in summer bookings to the Mediterranean island.

The dip is likely to be down to fears about accessing holiday money. Banks on the island have been closed for a number of days, withdrawal limits have been imposed at some cash points, and a number of businesses have stopped accepting card payments. The Foreign Office, and ABTA, the Travel Association, are both advising British visitors to carry extra cash.

Despite the warnings, tour operators have insisted that holidaymakers should remain unaffected by the crisis.

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation said it hoped the fall in bookings would be temporary, with major banks due to reopen today.

The fall in bookings to Cyprus is likely to be down to fears about accessing holiday money.

 

14.13 Ministers in Cyprus have approved their own pay cut of 20pc and a 25pc cut for the President of the island, according to Bloomberg in Athens.

 

 

14.00 The calm in Cyprus has led to the price of gold falling below $1,600 as demand for low-risk assets diminishes.

Gold hit a one-month high of $1,616.36 last week on concerns the €10bn rescue deal for Cyprus, which will leave big depositors and private bondholders with huge losses, could become a template for future bank bailouts in the euro zone.

But a widespread perception that the Cypriot crisis would be contained put the metal on track for its second quarterly decline in a row and analysts were now anticipating sideways trading ahead of the Easter holiday break, Reuters reports.

Gold was down 0.5pc to $1,597 an ounce shortly after 1pm. Spot prices were still set for a one per cent gain in March, their first monthly rise in six months.

“With the Cyprus crisis unfolding we have seen gold crossing back above $1,600 but we haven’t tested the key technical resistance level at $1,620 as there wasn’t strong safe-haven inflows buying and prices have retreated,” Credit Suisse global head of commodity research Tobias Merath told Reuters.

“We expect sideways trading around $1,600 as risk sentiment has not been retreating massively.”

Gold spot price on Thursday.

 

13.37 It is worth noting that while banks have reopened, the stock exchange in Cyprus remains closed.

Reuters reports that the exchange will remain shut during Easter because the Target2 system of interbank payments throughout the European Union would not be working, it said.

The last trading session of the Cypriot bourse was on March 15.

 

 

13.28 European markets have responded to the calm seen in Cyprus following the reopening of the banks and they are all up.

With no sign of the mass panic that many spectators had expected, the calm has helped to settle market jitters.

The FTSE 100 is up 0.6pc at lunchtime on Thursday, as is the CAC and the IBEX. The DAX is up 0.3pc, while the FTSE MIB is up 1pc.

 

13.11 There are currently 12 private jets parked up at Larnaca airport, according to Channel 4’s Faisal Islam, one less then ten days ago.

 

Private jets at Larnaca airport in Cyprus

And a notice in the departure hall telling passengers they can only take €1000 out of the Mediterranean island.

 

I am reliably informed that the notice at the bottom is in Russian.

 

12.58 Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades has thanked the Cypriot people on Twitter for their “maturity” when the banks reopened.

 

 

12.52 The Bank of Cyprus has issued a statement on its website for its customers asking them to “show understanding” as their personnel “make every effort to better serve you”. Also confirms they are only letting in a limited number of people at a time. Here’s the full statement:

QuoteThe personnel of the Bank of Cyprus, following the decree on enforcement of restrictive measures, inform you that we will do our very best to better serve you.

Please show understanding.

For your prompt service, please read the restrictive measures before making any transaction.

For security reasons, we inform you that a limited number of customers may enter our branches, depending on the number of tellers that will operate.

Our personnel will make every effort to better serve you, therefore let’s all try to maintain the necessary politeness and patience.

Thank you.

Depositors wait outside a Bank of Cyprus branch shortly after it opened in Nicosia.

Customers served in a branch of Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia.

 

12.39 Channel 4’s economic editor Faisal Islam has done a good blog about today’s reopening of the banks in Cyprus and has spoken to bank customers to get their reaction, including one woman who says the Cypriots are being made the “beggars of Europe”.

 

12.26 The Telegraph’Nick Squires is in the Cypriot capital Nicosia has described the atmosphere at some of the banks as “tense” and has seen some heated exchanges amongst the crowds.

 

 

12.13 Mats Persson, director of think tank Open Europe (also see 12.07), says the data to watch will come from electronic banking, not the queues at the bank.

12.07 With things quiet, calm and orderly in Cyprus as the banks reopen after two weeks, independent think-tank Open Europe has asked the valid question: is this the Great European Bank Run that never was?

QuoteJournalists were descending on banks across Cyprus this morning to monitor whether Cypriot depositors would rush to withdraw their cash as the country’s banks opened after being closed for 10 days. So far, however, there have been virtually no dramatic scenes of desperate people flocking to ATM machines and banks. There’s a feeling of calm. Those who expected Northern Rock style scenes have been left disappointed. However, a couple of points:

• First, there’s no hard data available yet for deposit withdrawals in March, so everything is based on anecdotal evidence. There have been numerous press reports speculating about withdrawals in the run up to the bailout and even while the banks have been closed. Unfortunately, these are unlikely to be confirmed or disproved for at least a month (when data is expected).

• Remember, there are limits on what people can withdraw and/or transfer electronically. People may not be too bothered about waiting at banks if they are subject to strict limits.

• Obviously, in this day and age, much banking is done electronically so the number of people at the actual bank branches may not reveal the true level of transactions taking place behind the scenes. This is particularly true for Cyprus given the high level of foreign depositors who would have to bank electronically.

Customers queue up outside a branch of Laiki Bank as they wait for the reopening of the bank in Nicosia.

11.52 The draconian capital controls mean that, while banks are open, customers cannot use certain services.

A quick reminder of some the controls in place:

• Individuals cannot withdraw more than €300 per day from any one bank, unless they have withdrawn less than €300 the previous day.

• Cheques cannot be cashed, unless they were issued by a bank in another country.

Non-cash payments or money transfers are prohibited unless:

• They are for commercial transactions. Payments below €5,000 have no restrictions. Payments from €5,001 to €200,000 euros must be approved by the central bank, which will consider the liquidity of the bank involved and make a decision within 24 hours. Payments above €200,000 will be decided upon on a case-by-case basis.

• They are for payroll, and supporting documents are presented.

• They are for living expenses or tuition fees of students who are close relatives of Cyprus residents. Transfers for living expenses are capped at €5,000 a quarter, and supporting documents must be supplied.

• They are for credit or debit cards. Payments are capped at €5,000 per month.

Will Goodbody at Ireland’s RTE News reports that some customers are frustrated by the limited banking options, but most are just happy they’re open.

 

 

 

11.40 Cypriots are not only taking their money out of the banks, they are also depositing it.

Kyriakos Vourghouri, owner of a minimarket, waved a deposit slip showing an amount of €678 euros as he emerged from the bank.

“I didn’t withdraw any money. I deposited money,” he told AFP. “The problem is not in Cyprus, it is in Europe, which has become gangrenous.”

 

 

11.33 As quickly as the queues formed they now seem to be shrinking, according to Greek reporter Miranta Lysandrou.

 

Credit: Miranta Lysandrou

Credit: Miranta Lysandrou

11.21 At some bank branches there are more journalists than customers, according to the Telegraph’s Nick Squires in Nicosia.

A branch of Laiki Bank where queues have been small. Credit: Nick Squires

 

11.12 The reality of the tax on deposits in Cyprus is clear from this tweet from Newsnight’s economics editor Paul Mason

 

 

11.05 Cartoon about Cyprus from ZeroHedge on Twitter – don’t think it needs any explaining.

 

 

10.58 A man outside one of the banks has made his thoughts clear on the extensive media presence.

 

 

10.42 German newspaper Spiegel has put a live video on their website showing the outside of a Laiki branch in Nicosia. It all appears very calm.

 

10.30 Wall Street Journal reporter Matina Stevis in Cyprus reports that the Laiki branch she is outside is now open and letting limited numbers in at a time.

 

 

Credit: John Psaropoulos

10.25 The queues have been calm but there are reports that people are getting agitated.

 

And apparently the delay to the opening is due to a technical problem.

 

10.20 There are now reports that some branches of Laiki – the bank which is due to be wound down – are not letting people in yet.

Credit: John Psaropoulos

Looks like there may be more media than people in the actual queue.

10.13 Bank doors are open and as you can see the queues are very orderly and calm.

 

Queue outside one branch of Bank of Cyprus after doors opened for first time in nearly two weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.09 No drama outside the banks but at the top there is some turmoil…..Greece’s English language website e.kathimerini.com is reporting that the entire executive board of Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki) has resigned today.

The lender is due to be wound up as part of the overhaul of the country’s financial sector.

QuoteChairman Andreas Filippou and the nine other boards members tendered their resignations shortly before banks were due to reopen in Cyprus.

Laiki is to be shut done, with insured deposits moving to Bank of Cyprus as part of a resolution process.

 

10.00 The bank doors are open and eight people are being let in at a time.

09.51 Channel 4 News’ economics editor Faisal Islam has counted 21 people calmly waiting for this branck of the Bank of Cyprus to open:

09.48 The queues are now forming outside the banks in Cyprus and there is a lot of media attention.

People wait outside a branch of Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia.

Customers and media representatives wait outside a branch of the Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia.

 

09.40 Just 20 minutes until banks are due to open in Cyprus and no sign of any long queues yet.

In the meantime, the European Central Bank has released data showing that consumers and companies withdrew deposits from Cypriot banks in February.

As Germany and some other countries began to push for bank depositors to bear part of the bailout, private-sector deposits in Cypriot banks fell by 2.2pc to €46.4bn, having fallen at a similar pace in January.

Greece on the other hand, recorded a 2pc increase in private sector deposits to €171bn, while deposits in Italian banks also rose, up 1.3pc at €1.5trn.

Monthly fluctuations in the figures are common, though sharp consecutive drops in countries with stable banking systems are unusual.

 

 

09.31 While the metaphorical dark clouds loom over Cyprus, it is actually quite a nice day there and not everyone on the island seems to be concerned with the state of the banks.

Life goes on for these elderly ladies in the old town of Nicosia.

Credit: Nick Squires

Nor does the banking crisis appear to be ruffling the feathers of these men enjoying a quiet game of backgammon.

Credit: Nick Squires

09.25 Reuters has done a factbox detailing all of the capital controls that have been imposed in Cyprus. Here are some of them:

Cash

• Individuals cannot withdraw more than €300 per day from any one bank, unless they have withdrawn less than €300 the previous day.

• Cheques cannot be cashed, unless they were issued by a bank in another country.

Transfers

Non-cash payments or money transfers are prohibited unless:

• They are for commercial transactions. Payments below €5,000 have no restrictions. Payments from €5,001 to €200,000 euros must be approved by the central bank, which will consider the liquidity of the bank involved and make a decision within 24 hours. Payments above €200,000 will be decided upon on a case-by-case basis.

• They are for payroll, and supporting documents are presented.

• They are for living expenses or tuition fees of students who are close relatives of Cyprus residents. Transfers for living expenses are capped at €5,000 a quarter, and supporting documents must be supplied.

• They are for credit or debit cards. Payments are capped at €5,000 per month.

Exemptions

The capital controls do not apply to:

• Any new money deposited from abroad after March 27

• Cash withdrawals via debit or credit card from an account in another country

• Diplomatic missions

 

 

09.13 People have started to turn up outside at least one bank in Nicosia, including one man with a parrot on his head.

Nick Squires has the details:

The main focus of interest outside a branch of the Bank of Cyprus in the old town of Nicosia is a man on a moped with a parrot on his head.

The man is 87, the parrot is 67. One of them is called Costas; it is not clear which as his English is negligible.

Other than that there are about five people waiting patiently outside the branch. They are being filmed and photographed by about 60 TV crews and photographers. Things appear very calm and orderly so far. They are even quieter at other branches in the modern part of the capital.

I have just done a tour of half a dozen and there are no queues at all, much less any panic. Just a bored looking security guard and signs saying the branches open at noon.

Credit: Nick Squires

09.06 Earlier (see 08.23) The Telegraph’Nick Squires reported that security guards were posted outside many of the banks in Cyprus but no queues of customer had yet formed. See for yourself:

Security guards sit on steps outside a Laiki Bank, also known as Cyprus Popular Bank.

A G4S security guard stands outside a Bank of Cyprus Plc branch before opening in Nicosia.

A security man stands outside a closed Laiki bank branch in Nicosia.

08.55 Cyprus is sacrificing too much for its European bailout, which is destroying the foundations of the island’s economy, its foreign minister has told a French newspaper, Reuters reports.

“Europe is pretending to help us but the price to pay is too high: nothing less than the brutal destruction of our economic model,” Ioannis Kasoulides told Thursday’s edition of financial daily Les Echos.

Asked about why it had been so difficult to reach a deal on the bailout, Kasoulides said: “We were not well enough prepared and there was no solidarity on the part of the Europeans.”

Kasoulides also blamed the European Central Bank, saying that lending to Cyprus Popular, also known as Laiki, should have been stopped before if it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

 

 

08.38 I’m sure you do not need to be told that it is Easter on Sunday and the long weekend is but a few hours away.

And it is Maundy Thursday today so the EU is already shut for Easter, reports The Telegraph’s Bruno Waterfield in Brussels.

But somebody is working, Bruno points out, as the European Commission has just released a statement on the capital controls imposed by Cyprus.

As “guardians of the Treaties”, the EC made a preliminary assessment of the controls. One of its many rules (if you’re interested – Articles 63 et seq. of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), member states may introduce restrictions on capital movement, including capital controls, “in certain circumstances and under strict conditions on grounds of public policy or public security”.

It adds that measures may also be introduced for “overriding reasons of general public interest” – Cyprus falls under this.

QuoteIn current circumstances, the stability of financial markets and the banking system in Cyprus constitutes a matter of overriding public interest and public policy justifying the imposition of temporary restrictions on capital movements.

Such restrictions may include bank holidays, limits on withdrawals, freezing of assets, prohibition of terminating fixed term deposits, prohibition on certain payment orders, restrictions in using credit/ debit/prepaid cards, restrictions on other banking operations as well as execution of certain transactions subject to the approval of the Central Bank and other measures.

The Commission will monitor closely with the Cypriot authorities, other Member States, the ECB and the EBA the implementation of the imposed restrictive measures on capital movements. These restrictive measures will remain in force for 7 days. The Commission will continue monitoring the need to extend the validity of or revise the measures. The Commission will insist at all times that any restrictive measures are strictly proportionate to the legitimate objectives of preventing the immediate risk to the financial stability of Cyprus and strictly limited in duration to the time necessary for that purpose.

While the imposed restrictive measures appear to be necessary in the current circumstances, the free movement of capital should be reinstated as soon as possible in the interests of the Cypriot economy and the European Union’s single market as a whole.

Euros from the ECB arrrive at Cyprus’ central bank last night

08.26 And a quick look at European markets in early trading on Thursday and they are slightly mixed.

The FTSE 100 in London is up 0.2pc, the CAC in Paris is up 0.1pc, as is the DAX in Frankfurt, while the IBEX in Madrid and the FTSE MIB in Milan are both flat.

 

08.23 Security guards posted at the banks are looking nervous, according to The Telegraph’s Nick Squires who is in Nicosia, but so far he hasn’t seen any big customer queues.

He took this picture of a sign on the door of a branch of the soon to be dissolved Laiki Bank.

Credit: Nick Squires

08.10 The Telegraph’s Nick Squires is in Cyprus and says there are so many TV camera crews outside the banks in Nicosia that some are putting down their shutters to block filming.

“It is the first time in 10 years that i’ve seen them put their shutters down like that,” one manager of a hotel that stands opposite a branch of the Laiki Bank told Nick.

News agency AFP is also reporting that there are armed security guards posted at the banks in Cyprus ahead of their reopening, but there are no sign of customers queuing early for access to their cash.

Tellers, who unlike in other European countries are not housed behind glass security, have urged customers not to vent their frustrations on them when the bank doors finally swing open.

Most banks in Nicosia had between one and three guards posted at their entrances early morning, but there were no crowds yet for them to control.

 

07.45 A quick look at the euro now, which has appreciated against the dollar and erased a decline versus the yen after German retail sales unexpectedly rose in February.

Europe’s shared currency advanced 0.3pc to $1.2813 shortly after 7am.

German sales, adjusted for inflation and seasonal swings, gained 0.4pc from January, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists forecast a drop of 0.6pc, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Asian stocks have also been hit by Europe’s debt crisis and have traded near a four-month low on Thursday.

Japan’s 10-year bond yield slid to a decade low and the yen strengthened.

 

07.35 But the Luxembourg government has been quick to distance itself from Cyprus and issues a statement last night insisting that its economy was nothing like that of the island’s.

In a statement, it said:

QuoteAs a matter of principle, Luxembourg is concerned about recent statements and declarations that were made since the crisis in Cyprus sharpened by (1) making comparisons between the business model of international financial sectors in the euro area and by (2) making more general assessments of the size of the financial sector in relation to a country’s GDP and the alleged risks this poses for economic and fiscal sustainability.

[…] As regards the business model of the financial sector in Luxembourg, it is quintessentially an international one within the euro area, acting as an important gateway for the euro area by attracting investments and thus contributing to the general competitiveness of all Member States.

07.29 In the past few days Luxembourg and Malta have moved to distance themselves from Cyprus’s economic model, even though they have huge financial sectors relative to the size of their economies. Take a look at this:

As the chart (compiled by the Institute of International Finance) shows,Luxembourg’s financial sector is 22 times the size of its entire GDP – more than three times that of Cyprus – implying that the country could find itself in a spot of bother should its banks hit troubled waters.

07.20 German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said Cyprus was a very special case and the European Union had found the right solution for it with its deal for a €10bn bailout tied to the imposition of losses on bank depositors.

Cyprus was a very special case, everyone knew that,” Schaeuble told German radio station SWR. “And we found the right solution.”

Schaeuble also said Luxembourg had a totally different business model to the east Mediterranean island. Any comparison of the two would be “absurd”, he said.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble

07.05 Cypriots have been protesting since it was first announced, nearly two weeks ago, that there were plans to tax depositors.

Initially all savers were due to be hit, but that has been amended and only those with €100,000 or more in savings will be taxed and face losing up to 30pc.

Credit: Nick Squires

Credit: Nick Squires

Demonstrators hold banners as they protest outside the European Union House in the Cypriot capital Nicosia on Tuesday (Photo: AFP).

06.55 The Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has said the “punishment regime imposed on Cyprus is a trick against everybody involved in this squalid saga, against the Cypriot people and the German people, against savers and creditors”.

All are being deceived.

It is not a bail-out. There is no debt relief for the state of Cyprus. The Diktat will push the island’s debt ratio to 120pc in short order, with a high risk of an economic death spiral, a la Grecque.

Capital controls have shattered the monetary unity of EMU. A Cypriot euro is no longer a core euro. We wait to hear the first stories of shops across Europe refusing to accept euro notes issued by Cyprus, with a G in the serial number.

The curbs are draconian. There will be a forced rollover of debt. Cheques may not be cashed. Basic cross-border trade is severely curtailed. Credit card use abroad will be limited to €5,000 (£4,200) a month. “We wonder how such capital controls could eventually be lifted with no obvious cure of the underlying problem,” said Credit Suisse.

The complicity of EU authorities in the original plan to violate insured bank savings – halted only by the revolt of the Cypriot parliament – leaves the suspicion that they will steal anybody’s money if leaders of the creditor states think it is in their immediate interest to do so. Monetary union has become a danger to property.

 

06.45 The government fears there could be chaos and even violence when banks finally reopen today after nearly two weeks – they were last open on Friday 15 March – with angry Cypriots besieging them and trying to withdraw large sums of cash or move their money abroad.

They will be permitted, however, to move their cash to other, sounder banks in Cyprus.

Police and 180 private security guards from UK company G4S will be on hand.

06.30 The Telegraph’s Nick Squires is in Nicosia and reports that thebanks will be open for six hours today from midday (in Cyprus – 10am in the UK). He reports:

Cyprus announced draconian capital controls yesterday which will include a total ban on cheques and a €300 (£253) daily limit on cash withdrawals in a bid to stem panic when the country’s banks reopen today .

Nick reports:

The measures were designed to prevent a run on the banks after a tumultuous two weeks in which Cypriots learnt they would lose billions of euros from accounts in an accord drawn up by the government to secure a €10bn bail-out from international lenders.

After confirming that banks will open for six hours today from midday, the island’s central bank said that cashing of cheques will be banned and bank withdrawals limited to €300 a day.

A spokesman said that the effectiveness of the controls would be evaluated on a daily basis, but a leak of the details to a Greek newspaper, Kathimerini, said that the curbs would stay in place for at least a week.

It also suggested that:

 Cypriots wanting to send money overseas would have to prove that the transactions met rules laid out by the authorities

The use of credit and debit cards overseas would be restricted to €5,000 per month – transfers above that would need central bank permission.

 Cypriots travelling abroad would be allowed to take a maximum of €3,000 on each trip

 Those with children studying abroad will be allowed to transfer €10,000 each quarter to pay for tuition and living costs

Savers with fixed-term funds will not be able to withdraw the cash early.

Businesses and individuals with more than €100,000 are already in for a huge hit under the terms of the bail-out and could see at least 40pc of their savings forcibly converted into bank shares.

The two worst-hit lenders are Laiki Bank, which is to be dissolved, and Bank of Cyprus, which will absorb Laiki’s assets.

 

06.15 The BBC’s Chris Morris is in Nicosia and has been speaking to the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme and he says that while he hasn’t detected any panic ahead of banks reopening, there is clearly anxiety and nervousness.

06.00 Good morning and welcome to the Debt Crisis live blog. Banks in Cyprus are due to open again today, nearly a fortnight after they shut in a bid to stop a bank run as the island’s leaders sought a deal for a €10bn (£8.5bn) bailout.

All systems are in place to mitigate the pandemonium that will likely ensue when they open at midday local time (10am here).