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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-12-05

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't warns against violence
  • [02] ND leader meets Archbishop Ieronymos
  • [03] Greece to play against Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea in World Soccer Cup finals
  • [04] Antikythera Mechanism: The technology behind the world's oldest 'computer'
  • [05] Katseli's contancts in NY
  • [06] Growth down 1.7%
  • [07] Culture Min. in USA
  • [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Gov't warns against violence

    The government on Friday called for a "united social front" to discourage and vilify all and any forms of violence during this weekend's one-year anniversary of a police shooting in central Athens that left a 16-year-old pupil dead, an incident that sparked widespread demonstrations and vandalism-fueled destruction in its wake.

    Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chryssochoidis, who holds the law enforcement and public order portfolios, announced that he has met and briefed the country's political leadership in a bid to promote such a unified front. Urban rioting caused unprecedented destruction in downtown Athens and other cities last year following Alexis Grigoropoulos' shooting death on the evening of Dec. 6.

    Chryssochoidis referred to "marginal groups" preparing to engage in vandalism in Athens and other cities, using the anniversary of Grigoropoulos' death as an alibi.

    "One year ago, a 16-year-old boy was murdered by an on-duty policeman in downtown Athens, in a case of extreme police violence ... the murder marked the course of the country, affected the people's confidence and the state's ability to protect them. Young people were right to take to the streets to express their anger and rage ... the difference with today is that there is hope for a new beginning because the leaderships that led to that situation are no longer present," he said.

    Chryssochoidis underlined that "a resurgence of terror in urban centres will not be tolerated", adding that "Athens will not surrender to vandalism. The exploitation of Alexis' memory will not be allowed ... marginal groups that want to create 'no-go' areas and ghettos will be isolated."

    Along those lines, government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos, responding to a relevant question tabled in Parliament by Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) President George Karatzaferis, said the government will not tolerate illegal acts that will mar the meaning of the anniversary of Grigoropoulos' death.

    Pangalos reaffirmed that police authorities are adequately prepared, something proven in the recent Athens Polytechnic uprising commemoration.

    On his part, Karatzaferis cited press reports and referred to "hordes of anti-establishment demonstrators" allegedly heading for Greece from different countries set to engage in violent street protests, as he said.

    He also referred to a recent article published in an Athens daily penned by Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras who, among others, mentioned that "we do no regret December (2009)".

    In response, Tsipras said Karatzaferis has no right to launch unfounded accusations against small leftist party.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Maximos mansion (government's headquarters)

    [02] ND leader meets Archbishop Ieronymos

    Newly elected main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras met on Friday the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos at the Archdiocese in Athens. Their discussion focused on the work performed by the Church of Greece.

    Samaras underlined what he called the "invaluable social work" produced by the Church, stressing that his party wishes to offer its assistance toward this direction.

    Caption: Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos receives main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras at the Archdiocese in Athens on Friday 4 December 2009. ANA-MPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

    [03] Greece to play against Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea in World Soccer Cup finals

    CAPE TOWN (ANA-MPA) - Greece was drawn to play against Argentina, Nigeria and South Korea in the 2010 World Soccer Cup finals that will be taking place in South Africa fron June 11 to July 11. The four teams will participate in group B. Greece will play against South Korea on June 12, Nigeria on June 17 and Argentina on June 22.

    [04] Antikythera Mechanism: The technology behind the world's oldest 'computer'

    The Antikythera mechanism, one of the world's oldest known geared devices, is an ancient mechanical calculator, also described as the first known mechanical computer, designed to calculate astronomical positions, that has puzzled and intrigued science and technology historians since its it was recovered from an 80 BC wreck off the island of Antikythera in 1901.

    Dated to about 150-100 BC, the intricacy of the way in which the Mechanism works was so startling to scientists that initially they often the device's dating, doubting it could be as old as it really was. Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear before the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks appeared in Europe.

    A lecture on the Mechanism was recently delivered by Professor Robert Hannah of the Classical Studies Department at New Zealand's Otago University to a packed audience at Sydney University in Australia, who tried to analyse the workings of the Mechanism and, more importantly, to explain how the ancient Greeks were able to create such a complex, precise and sophisticated instrument more than 2,000 years ago, stressing that scientists are still studying and trying to decipher the device.

    Sometime before Easter 1900, Elias Stadiatis, a Greek sponge diver, discovered the wreck of an ancient cargo ship off Antikythera Island at a depth of 42 m (138 ft). Sponge divers retrieved several statues and other artifacts from the wreck. The mechanism itself was discovered on May 17, 1901, when archaeologist Valerios Stais noticed that a piece of rock recovered from the site had a gear wheel embedded in it. Examination revealed that the "rock" was in fact a heavily encrusted and corroded mechanism that had survived the shipwreck in three main parts and dozens of smaller fragments. The device itself was surprisingly thin, about 33 cm (13 in) high, 17 cm (6.7 in) wide, and 9 cm (3.5 in) thick, made of bronze and originally mounted in a wooden frame. It was inscribed with a text of over 2,000 characters, many of which have only just recently been deciphered.

    The mechanism is the oldest known complex scientific calculator, and is sometimes called the first known analog computer, although its flawless construction suggests that it may have had a number of predecessors during the Hellenistic Period that have not yet been discovered.

    It appears to be constructed upon theories of astronomy and mathematics developed by Greek astronomers, and one hypothesis is that the device was constructed at an academy founded by the ancient Stoic philosopher Posidonius on the island of Rhodes, which was known at the time as a center of astronomy and mechanical engineering, and that perhaps the astronomer Hipparchus was the engineer who designed it, since it contains a lunar mechanism that uses Hipparchus' theory for the motion of the Moon. However, newer findings of The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project published in 2008 suggest that the concept of the mechanism originated in the colonies of Corinth, which might imply a connection with Archimedes.

    According to the Antikythera Mechanism Project researchers, the device is remarkable for the level of miniaturization and for the complexity of its parts, which is comparable to that of 18th century clocks. It has over 30 gears, although scientists have suggested as many as 72 gears, with teeth formed through equilateral triangles. When a date was entered via a crank (now lost), the mechanism calculated the position of the Sun, Moon, or other astronomical information such as the location of other planets. Since the purpose was to position astronomical bodies with respect to the celestial sphere, with reference to the observer's position on the surface of the earth, the device was based on the geocentric model.

    The mechanism has three main dials, one on the front, and two on the back. The front dial has two concentric scales. The outer ring is marked off with the days of the 365-day Egyptian calendar, or the Sothic year, based on the Sothic cycle. Inside this, there is a second dial marked with the Greek signs of the Zodiac and divided into degrees. The calendar dial can be moved to compensate for the effect of the extra quarter day in the solar year (there are 365.2422 days per year) by turning the scale backwards one day every four years. Worthy of note is that the Julian calendar, the first calendar of the region to contain leap years, was not introduced until about 46 BC, up to a century after the device was said to have been built.

    The front dial probably carried at least three hands, one showing the date, and two others showing the positions of the Sun and the Moon. The Moon indicator is adjusted to show the first anomaly of the Moon's orbit. It is reasonable to suppose the Sun indicator had a similar adjustment, but any gearing for this mechanism (if it existed) has been lost. The front dial also includes a second mechanism with a spherical model of the Moon that displays the lunar phase.

    There is reference in the inscriptions for the planets Mars and Venus, and it would have certainly been within the capabilities of the maker of this mechanism to include gearing to show their positions. There is some speculation that the mechanism may have had indicators for all the five planets known to the Greeks. None of the gearing for such planetary mechanisms survives, except for one gear otherwise unaccounted for.

    Finally, the front dial includes a parapegma, a precursor to the modern day Almanac, which was used to mark the rising and setting of specific stars. Each star is thought to be identified by Greek characters which cross reference details inscribed on the mechanism.

    The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project, with experts from Britain, Greece and the United States, detected in July 2008 the word "Olympia" on a bronze dial thought to display the 76 year Callipic cycle, as well as the names of other games in ancient Greece, and probably used to track dates of the ancient Olympic Games.

    The four sectors of the dial are inscribed with a year number and two Panhellenic Games: the 'crown' games of Isthmia (Isthmian Games), Olympia (Olympic Games), Nemea (Nemean Games) and Pythia (Pythian Games); and two lesser games: Naa (held at Dodona, northwestern Greece, today's Dodoni) and a second game which has not yet been deciphered.

    The complexity of the gears found within the Antikythera Mechanism baffled scientists, since this type of "technology" was not though to have been in existence until around 1575, while many feel that the Mechanism helps to explain how such wonderful phenomena as the ancient pyramids, the Greek Colisseum, and the Parthenon were built with such exquisite detail.

    [05] Katseli's contancts in NY

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) - Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli continued her contacts with senior officials of major American monetary organisations on Friday.

    Katseli, who addressed the 11th annual forum of the Capital Link company on Thursday on the theme of "Greece: preparing recovery", also had the opportunity to exchange views with many businessmen of Greek descent.

    In an interview with the Bloomberg television network on Friday, Katseli said that the new government has three challenges to tackle: to provide an impetus for the economy since a decrease in economic activity and an increase in unemployment are being noted, to decrease the deficit in the next three years and to solve the problem of competitiveness, attracting investments and supporting entrepreneurship.

    Referring to competitiveness, she said that Greece is one of the most advanced countries concerning shipping and added that the new government wants the country to become competitive in other sectors as well.

    Katseli also said that during her contacts in New York she realised that Americans have a great interest in investments in Greece in the sectors of tourism, culture, new services, infrastructures and telecommunications, adding that the government will do all that it can to turn the country's advantages into opportunities for investments.

    Caption: Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Louka Katseli addresses the 11th annual forum of the Capital Link company on Thursday 3 December 2009 in New York. ANA-MPA/DIMITRIS PANAGOS

    [06] Growth down 1.7%

    Annualised GDP growth decreased by 1.7 percent in the third quarter of 2009 relative to the corresponding quarter in 2008, after 1.2-percent drop in the second quarter of 2009, according to figures released on Thursday by the National Statistical Service (NSS).

    Economic activity in the third quarter of 2009, according to service, was marked by an 18.6-percent reduction in gross investment of fixed capital against the corresponding quarter of 2008.

    The biggest reduction was recorded in construction, both residential (a 22.5-percent reduction) and other sectors (down 13.9 percent).

    A decrease of 21.3 percent was recorded in investments for mechanical equipment, and 19.1-percent reduction in transport equipment.

    [07] Culture Min. in USA

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) - Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos who is visiting the US will meet on Saturday in Washington officials from the sector of culture and senior museum officials.

    On Monday afternoon (Greek time) Geroulanos will be meeting Archbishop of America Demetrius in New York.

    On the same day, he will be visiting the headquarters of the UN and will be making an address from the rostrum of the UN General Assembly in the framework of the discussion on cultural heritage.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos

    [08] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Saturday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Planned protests and mobilisations on the one-year anniversary of the police shooting of a 15-year-old and government efforts to crack down on pervasive tax evasion in the country mostly dominated the headlines in the Saturday editions of Athens' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Proposal for establishment of central demolition service".

    APOGEVMATINI: "400 schools and 30 colleges occupied".

    AVGI: "We protest peacefully against state violence".

    AVRIANI: "Country sinking - 18.6% plunge in investments".

    CHORA: "Athens a war zone - More than 5,000 police officers deployed to safeguard Athens".

    ETHNOS: "Additional property taxes - 30 percent hike in objective values in 2010".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Anarchists thirsty for police officers' blood".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "What we'll pay for salaries, pensions and residences - Government's tax reform plan".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Government opens tax evasion agenda".

    ESTIA: "Who's vilifying economy - Government has major responsibilities".

    IMERISSIA: "Five changes in taxes - FinMin interview: Four-year plan to exit crisis".

    KATHIMERINI: "United front against violence, alert amid anniversary of Grigoropoulos killing".

    LOGOS: "President's, government messages against violence".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Ruling PASOK and main opposition ND must account to Greek people on war against Afghans".

    TA NEA: "One million professionals through the sieve - Finance ministry checks declared incomes".

    VIMA: "Government worries, warns and takes measures to prevent violent incidents".

    VRADYNI: "Lousy gambling on bonds and stocks".


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