Sun, sand & sea: Protaras resort on the island of Cyprus | AFP

Beachgoers in Cyprus enjoy sun and water sports in the southeastern tourist resort of Protaras. Cyprus topped a survey of European beaches published by the European Environment Agency with 99.1 percent of its beaches boasting excellent water quality.

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Cyprus sets stage for post-virus shutdown tourism recovery | AFP

Cyprus reopens for international tourism on Tuesday, with airports welcoming visitors after an almost three-month shutdown, and a bold plan to cover health care costs for visitors.

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Cyprus resort business fear for future with no tourists in sight | AFP

Known for its fine sandy beaches and nightlife that attract many young holidaymakers, the seaside resort of Ayia Napa should be welcoming its first tourists of the season: but beaches and streets remain deserted after Cyprus closed its borders to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cats of Cyprus ‘bored’ during coronavirus lockdown | AFP

Accustomed to living on the remains of restaurants and roadside stalls, around fifty stray cats are seen yawning and stretching under the rays of the spring sun of the island of Cyprus, in the almost deserted streets due to the measures taken in mid-March to stem the Covid-19 epidemic.

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Cyprus streets empty during Orthodox Easter | AFP

Aerial images show empty streets and churches in the Cypriot capital Nicosia during Orthodox Easter celebrations, which took place without congregations as the island is under lockdown due to the coronavirus.

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Paws patrol the streets of the Cypriot capital in lockdown | AFP

Some 1,700 years after the legend of Roman Empress Helena shipping cats over to Cyprus to curve the population of poisonous snakes, animal lovers are sacrificing their only daily outing from coronavirus isolation to care for Nicosia’s abundant stray cat population as restaurants remain closed.

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Coronavirus: Pet food delivery shop thrives amid Cyprus lockdown | AFP

Online pet shop owner Aila navigates new restrictions imposed by the Cypriot government to thwart the coronavirus, but the limitations mean her business is thriving as people use her online store to stock up on pet food without having leave home.

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Olive oil ‘for peace’ in divided Cyprus | AFP

In a field bathed in winter light, Turkish-Cypriot Hasan Siber and Greek-Cypriot Alexandros Philippides harvest olives. It’s an everyday scene on the divided Mediterranean island, yet their “oil for peace” represents a glimmer of hope in the face of deadlocked reunification talks. N°1OT62AN°1OU24W

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UK teen gets suspended jail term for ‘false’ Cyprus rape claim | AFP

A Cypriot court hands a British teenager a four-month suspended prison sentence after convicting her of falsely accusing a dozen Israeli tourists of gang rape.

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Protest in London in support of British woman in Cyprus rape claim case | AFP

Protesters gather outside London’s Cypriot embassy in support of a British woman who has been convicted of lying about gang rape in Ayia Napa last July.

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Greece, Israel and Cyprus sign EastMed pipeline agreement in Athens | AFP

Greece, Cyprus and Israel sign an agreement for a huge pipeline project designed to ship gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe. The move comes amid tensions with Turkey over its own activities in the area and a contentious maritime deal with Libya expanding Ankara’s claims over a large gas-rich area of the sea. IMAGES

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Appetite for concrete eating away at Cypriot mountains | AFP

To feed the concrete demands of hotels, tourist residences and roads under construction in north Cyprus, quarries are eating away at the mountains where the goats of Turkish-Cypriot goatherder Jamal graze.

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Partial lunar eclipse seen from Cyprus | AFP

According to the the Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society, today’s eclipse should see around 60 percent of the Moon’s visible surface obscured by the Earth’s shadow. IMAGES

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Voting underway in Greece for European parliamentary election

Greeks cast their votes in the European parliamentary election at a polling station in Athens. Greece is one of the first countries to open its polling stations along with Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania and Cyprus as tens of millions of Europeans in 21 countries prepare choose their representatives. IMAGES

Greek PM Tsipras meets Greek Oxthodox Patriarch in Istanbul

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Greek Oxthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constaninople in Istanbul. Tsipras earlier met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday for talks to ease tensions over bilateral disputes and the long-running Cyprus problem. Tsipras is the first Greek premier to visit Turkey in six years. IMAGES of Tsipras arriving and meeting with Greek Oxthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constaninople, and of the religious service

Greek PM meets Turkish President for talks to ease tensions

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks to ease tensions over bilateral disputes and the long-running Cyprus problem. IMAGES of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Brexit deal ‘best possible’ and ‘not renegotiable’: Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron says the Brexit deal is the “best agreement possible and is not renegotiable” during a summit in Cyprus, as Britain’s prime minister pushes to reopen talks with Brussels. SOUNBDITE

Why James Blunt Is Campaigning For Sustainable Fishing

James Blunt is best known as a singer, but he’s also an outspoken advocate for ocean conservation. Blunt sat down with Jim Edwards, editor-in-chief of Business Insider UK, to discuss why he’s campaigning for sustainable fishing and why he is a spokesperson for the Blue Marine Foundation.

Following is a transcript of the video:

James Blunt: 90% of the larger fish in the ocean are gone. We’ve taken them through overfishing, unsustainable overfishing.

Jim Edwards: You’re known as a singer obviously, and a surprisingly dangerous and funny presence on Twitter. But you’re less well known for your interest in fish, how did you first become interested in ocean conservation?

James Blunt: My father was based in Cyprus, he was in the army and so I grew up on and in the Mediterranean. I live in Ibiza now and have done for 14 years and I call it my home, and as such, I can really see the changes that have happened there over my lifetime. I think anyone who goes on holiday in the Mediterranean will ask the same question as me when you jump in the water, which is where are the fish? I mean there are so few now compared to when I was a child I think people really recognize that plastics are a problem, we go into our supermarkets now and I hope that we’re all more aware that by purchasing goods covered in plastics it will end up with them being in the ocean. But I think people have realised that is just the tip of the iceberg of the problem. The problem is not just plastics, but climate and also our huge amount of overfishing in an unsustainable manner. 

Jim Edwards: What is the single worst thing that’s happening in the sea right now?

James Blunt: I don’t think you have to look very far, in Dogger Bank which you will have heard about from the weather reports. Dogger Bank is where we’re supposed to have one of Europe’s largest marine conservation areas and instead what’s going on there is this remarkable thing, this terrible thing called pulse fishing, where they literally send a pulse down into the seabed. In doing so that snaps the spines of larger fish, kills up to a quarter of the young cod and indiscriminately kills all marine life on the seabed, in the mud and is destroying an ecosystem.

Jim Edwards: So they’re literally just electrocuting the sea?

James Blunt: Absolutely and it sounds as bad as it is.

Jim Edwards: So who’s at fault for all this, who’s doing this type of fishing?

James Blunt: Well I think we’re not talking about small fishing boats in the English Channel, we’re talking about large-scale industrial fishing which is literally going with enormous great nets and taking everything they can out of the ocean. 

Jim Edwards: So shouldn’t we just eat less fish?

James Blunt: Well I think if we continue to in the way that we have there simply won’t be any fish at the end of it but I think the answer for us is to question where our fish is coming from and ask, is it from sustainable sources, is it locally-sourced? 

Jim Edwards: So, who’s standing in the way of this?

James Blunt: I don’t think anyone’s standing in the way of it, it’s just about action or inaction. Sometimes we can be focused on other things we just need to focus our minds and focus our pressure on ourselves, on business, on governments to act on this.

Find out more: https://www.bluemarinefoundation.com/

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Why James Blunt Is Campaigning For Sustainable Fishing