Dana Gas makes new gas discovery in Egypt

Dana Gas makes new gas discovery in EgyptNicosia, Dec 30 : Dana Gas country Director for Egypt Hany Elsharkawi has announced a new important gas and condensate discovery at the El Basant-2 well, in the West El Manzala Concession in the Nile Delta.

Dana Gas is the sixth biggest natural gas producer in Egypt and the first regional private sector natural gas company in the Middle East.

Elsharkawi said Dana Gas was by quite satisfied with the new discovery, which combined with other recent discoveries, showed that the company''s plans were well conceived.

Cypriot justice minister resigns after murderer escapes custody

GreeceAthens, Nicosia - Cyprus' justice minister resigned on Wednesday after a convicted murderer serving two life terms escaped custody, reports said.

Justice Minister Kypros Chrysostomides submitted his resignation on Wednesday to Cypriot President Dimitris Christofiaswho accepted it.

The prisoner, a Greek Cypriot, was jailed for life for the rape and murders of a Swedish housewife and Ukrainian dancer in 1994. He escaped on December 12 from a private hospital where he was being treated ahead of surgery.

Reports said the prisoner would regularly leave his hospital room through an unguarded window.

UN: Cyprus peace talks tackle "thorny" issues

UN LogoAthens/Nicosia - Leaders seeking a solution to reunify the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus tackled "thorny" issues on Tuesday in the latest round of UN-sponsored peace talks, officials said.

"The talks took place in a positive climate but focused on a number of thorny issues," said Alexander Downer, a former Australian foreign minister and UN special envoy to the talks.

He said the 13th meeting between Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mehmet Ali Talat would take place on December 22.

Funeral for former Cypriot president Papadopoulos held in Cyprus

Tassos PapadopoulosAthens/Nicosia - Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of former hardline Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos in Nicosia on Monday.

Family, friends and politicians, among them Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and main Greek opposition leader Giorgos Papandreou paid their last respects to Papadopoulos at a service at Saint Sophia cathedral.

Papadopoulos, who led his community to reject a United Nations peace plan to reunite the divided island of Cyprus, died following a long battle with cancer on December
12. He was 74.

Kuwait says OPEC should cut oil production by two million barrels

Nicosia, Dec. 13 : Moussa Maarafi, a member of the Kuwaiti Supreme Petroleum Council, has said that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its meeting in Algeria next week should take a decision to cut oil production by two million barrels a day (b/d).

Maarafi added that the oil cartel needs to set up a new mechanism to control oil markets if it wants to raise oil prices to 75 dollars a barrel and stressed the need for coordination among all the members of the organisation.

OPEC should now rethink its policy, he said, taking into account the interests of both producers and consumers. He also stressed that OPEC and Russia, the world's biggest non-OPEC producer, should coordinate their moves.

Former Cypriot president Papadopoulos dies, aged 74

Cyprus peace talks to continue next week in "good climate" Nicosia  - Former hardline Cypriot president Tassos Papadopoulos died following a long battle with cancer on Friday, radio reports said. He was 74.

Born Tassos Nikolaou Papadopoulos in 1934 in Nicosia and educated as a lawyer after studying law at King's College in London, he served as the President of the Republic of Cyprus from 2003 to 2008.