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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 03-03-19
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Weather forecastA cloudy day is forecast with a slight rise in temperatures and northerly winds gradually abating. A mostly fair day in the western regions. In Athens temperatures will range between 3C to 14C and in Thessaloniki between 1C to 14 C.
(19/3/2003 1:07:00 μμ)
 Iraq on brink of war as US ultimatum expiresIraqui President Saddam Housein yesterday rejected a US demand that he and his sons flee the country, setting the stage for a divisive war that both its critics and supporters believe it could change the course of history.
In rejecting , Bush ultimatum, Bagdad responded that Iraq elects its leaders according to its people mandate and not according to Washington, London and Tel Aviv demands.
Yesterday, British Prime-minister, Tony Blair won parliamentary vote on the use of force against Iraq with 412 votes in favour and 149 against despite a massive revolt within his own party . Earlier members of parliament voted by 396 to 217 against the anti war motion, backed by 140 Labor Party members and three ministers including high profile former Foreign Secreatry , Robin Cook.The vote was the toughest of tests as Blair preapres to authorise British participation in a war without a UN mandate and with the majority of the public opposing the conflict.
Spain and Saudi Arabia said that its army will play no role in military operations.
In the meantime, Turkey has agreed with the U.S to present a motion to parliament today allowing for the overflight of US troops and military aircraft to Iraq via its airspace and bases.
Ancara has also agreed with Washington that Turkish troops will be allowed into northern Iraq during any US invasion to set up a buffer zone against an exodus of Iraqui refugees to Turkey.
Former Israeli Foreign Minister and Nobel peace prize winner, Simon Peres described as justified the war against Iraq .
Despite blasting Washington s war ultimatum to Bagdad as unjustified, France said it would allow U.S aircraft to use its air space and it could help a U.S led military coalition if Iraq used biological or chemical weapons.
Germany said that there is no justification for the loss of thousands of innocent lives while Russia warned that the US led attack puts in danger the international coalition against terror.
The UN Security Council meets at 5.30 am Greek local time without the participation of US State Department Secretary, Colin Powel and British Foreign Minister Jaques Straw .
As the countdown ticked to military action, current EU President Greece and the executive European Commission appealed for last minute peace efforts at the UN and called on the 15 nation block to surmount its differences
Greek Foreign Minister, George Papandreou, chairing the EU Foreign Minsiters Council expressed disappointment over the failure of diplomacy in the Iraq crisi , adding that Greece s EU presidency will make all efforts until the first bomb falls..
Greek Prime-minister, Costas Simitis , prior to his departure for Brussels said that Greece will not have a military involvement in the Iraq crisis and said that despite all efforts by the Greece EU presidency hope to avert war was reduced to minimum
(19/3/2003 1:08:00 μμ)
 Deadly pneumonia virusFollowing the World Health Organisation warning about a mysterious type of killer pneumonia from Asia, health services have taken a series of measures at airports to intercept any suspected cases arriving on flights from Asian countries, where most infections have been reported. The Health Ministry assured that Greece was not considered to be under any threat.
Known as severe acute respiratory syndrome, it is not clear if the ilness is caused by a virus, germ or new pathogen. So far it is believed that it has killed 11 people and infected hundred others in Asia, Canada, and Europe
(19/3/2003 1:09:00 μμ)