|Friday, 23 February 2024
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 03-04-05
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Weather forecastRain and storms are forecast in all parts of the country, easing off later in the day, especially in the centre and south. Winds west-northwesterly, moderate to strong, turning very strong in parts of the Ionian. The temperature in Athens will range from 8 to 15 C and in Thessaloniki from 5 to 11.
(5/4/2003 12:17:00 μμ)
 US troops at the outskirts of BaghdadThe international news agencies have reported that American tanks of the 3rd Infantry Division are carrying out a reconnaissance mission at the southern outskirts of Baghdad, 12 to 14 kilometres from the Iraqi capital.
However, according to NET correspondent Panos Charitos calm seems to be prevailing in Baghdad with no American tanks seen in the center of the town.
From their side, the American command in Qatar insists that the attacking forces are heading to the heart of Baghdad.
At the same time, in their effort to surround the Iraqi capital, the American and British forces continued pounding the southern and eastern outskirts of Baghdad all night until now. Fighting also took place at the road arteries leading to Baghdad from south west.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed that the white dust detected in Baghdad was not a chemical weapon but atropine or some other unidentified chemical substance.
On a relative development, two American pilots were killed in central Iraq when their Super Cobra helicopter crashed in the early morning hours. According to the American Central Command the helicopter was not brought down by hostile fire.
At the same time the Iraqi satellite TV reported that Iraqi soldiers prevented American and British planes to land in Tikrit the hometown of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
In southern Iraq, fierce fighting is taking place in Najaf, Nasiriya and Kut, with the Iraqis putting up resistance.
In western Iraq three American marines were killed and two were wounded after a suicide attack took place.
At the same time, the Human Rights Watch stationed in the USA has reported that Iraqi militaries execute or beat their soldiers so as to keep discipline in northern Iraq.
The 'Times' from their side have reported that British soldiers have ordered British flags so as to be identified by the American forces.
In the meantime, an Arabian newspaper with wide circulation has reported that leading cadres of the governing Baath party in Basra wish to surrender to the British forces that have surrounded the town.
The issue of Iraq, the Middle East and Ireland will be the focus of a meeting scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland between the American President George W. Bush and the British Foreign minister Tony Blair.
At the same time Mr Bush's advisor on issues of security Condoleza Rice stated that the American British coalition will play the main role in the first stages of Iraq's restructuring.
From his side, the American Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfwoch stated that the United States does not intend to control Iraq for long. It will try to pass the control of Iraq to the Iraqis themselves.
The Foreign Minister George Papandreou did not rule out an agreement to be reached between Europe and the USA regarding the UN role in post war Iraq, adding that the only guarantee for international law is the UN.
Today, the Church of Greece is sending to Jordan humanitarian aid to be transferred to Iraq. More humanitarian aid will be sent to by the Greek Ministry of Health the Municipality of Thessaloniki and judicial associations. Meanwhile, the Doctors without borders announced that they will suspend the dispatch of humanitarian aid to Iraq because two of its doctors are reported missing.
Finally, the International Red Cross Committee announced that Iraqi civilians who are wounded have no access to hospitals south of Baghdad since with the destruction of a bridge no road artery can lead to the Iraqi capital and the Red Cross staff cannot help wounded civilians in Chila, Karbala, Nasiriya and Najaf.
(5/4/2003 12:19:00 μμ)
 Papandreou supports UN role for the solution of the Cyprus issueFollowing yesterday's meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday, Foreign Minister George Papandreou reiterated Greece's support to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's plan for the solution of the Cyprus issue.
Meanwhile, the Cypriot government announced that it would answer soon to Mr Denkash's letter regarding a meeting with the President of the Cyprus Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, while the Cypriot government representative described Mr Denktash's letter a diplomatic firework.
(5/4/2003 12:22:00 μμ)