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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 04-01-13
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 US top court allows secrecy for Sept.11th detainees12/1/2004 8:44:00 ́́
The U.S. Supreme Court today allowed the Bush administration to keep secret the names and other basic details about hundreds of people questioned and detained or arrested after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Without comment, the top court refused to hear an appeal by civil liberties and other groups challenging the secret arrests and detentions for violating the Freedom of Information Act and constitutional free-speech rights under the First Amendment.
The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court ruling that disclosing the names could harm national security and help "al Qaeda in plotting future terrorist attacks or intimidating witnesses in the present investigation."
Although the high court stayed out of the dispute involving the names of those detained, it has agreed to hear other cases arising from the administrations war on terror.
Those cases involve the presidents power to detain American citizens captured abroad and declared "enemy combatants," and whether foreign nationals can use American courts to challenge their incarceration at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
 Sharon says Israel not set to write off "road map"12/1/2004 8:40:00 ́́
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said today it was too early to write off a stalled U.S.-backed "road map" plan for peace with Palestinians but he was ready to take unilateral steps if it failed.
But, amid frequent heckling from opposition left-wingers, he reiterated that he was set to impose go-it-alone steps if the Palestinians failed to live up to their road map obligations. Sharon repeated he could make such a judgment within several months and "we are preparing for this possibility today".
The right-wing premier said previously such go-it-alone moves would cost Palestinians some of the occupied territory they seek for an independent state. Sharon told the parliament any such steps would be taken "in full coordination with our allies around the world". Israeli officials have been privately pessimistic about the road map, giving it only a small chance of revival.
 PM inaugurates new railway line to Thessaloniki12/1/2004 8:38:00 ́́
Prime Minister C. Simitis inaugurated the new Evaggelismos-Leptocarya railway line, which includes 10 km tunnels at Tempi and Platamonas. The new two-way 36 km track has been constructed according to the latest technology, allowing for speeds of up to 250 km/h, resulting in a significant reduction in the time necessary to travel from Athens to Thessaloniki, reducing the trips duration to four and a half hours from six.
 Public Order Minister departs for U.S. Wednesday12/1/2004 8:37:00 ́́
The Minister of Public Order, Giorgos Floridis departs for the United States on Wednesday, January 14th accompanied by the director of the Greek Police, Fotis Nasiakos and the leader of the National Information Service. The Greek officials will meet with the directors of the F.B.I. and C.I.A. and President Bushs security advisor, Condoleeza Rice. Mr. Floridis will also meet with State Department officials specialized in terrorism related matters. The Public Order Ministers trip to the U.S. will last until January 18th.
 Foreign Ministry reiterates-no troops to Iraq12/1/2004 8:36:00 ́́
The Greek Foreign Ministry once again reassured in a statement today that Greece would not be sending military forces to Iraq, in response to reports that U.S. Ambassador Thomas Miller recently pressured for military assistance to be sent to the area.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Panayiotis Beglitis underlined that Greece has constantly denied to send military forces to Iraq and solely sends significant humanitarian assistance to the region in cooperation with the European Union and non-governmental organizations.
 Rauf Denktash eases on UN plan for Cyprus12/1/2004 8:33:00 ́́
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash appeared today to ease his outright opposition to a United Nations plan to reunite Cyprus, saying efforts were under way to make it acceptable to Turkish Cypriots.
His comments were likely to please Turkey, which for years has backed Denktashs self-declared mini-state but is now under heavy international pressure to break the Cyprus deadlock before Greek Cypriots join the European Union on May 1.
Denktash made clear there were still obstacles in the way of a solution, without saying how they could be overcome. The two coalition partners signed a protocol saying any final deal must recognise the "political equality" of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot "states" and should be put to both peoples in a simultaneous referendum.
Under the protocol, Serdar Denktashs party would take the key foreign affairs portfolio. It remains unclear whether the younger Denktash will be more flexible than his father, widely blamed for the breakdown of peace talks last March.
Meanwhile, in Nicosia, both the government and poltical parties expressed reservations while Cypriot government representative, Kypros Chrisostomidis spoke of inconsistency on Turkeys part.
 ND leader proposes pre-election framework12/1/2004 8:30:00 ́́
A letter to party leaders and Giorgos Papandreou was sent by the leader of the New Democracy party Kostas Karmanalis requesting an agreement to be finalized for the pre-election period. Among other things he proposes the full neutralization of the state and a public dialogue on the essence of issues.
Speaking to New Democracys parliamentary group, Mr. Karamanlis called on Mr. Papandreou to take a stance on the electoral law that is under discussion in parliament as well as other matters.
 Giorgos Papandreou speaks to Pasok youth12/1/2004 8:28:00 ́́
In his address to young generation Pasok members today, Giorgos Papandreou appeared optimistic about Pasoks electoral victory on March 7th and stated the Pasok party would work hard to meet the demands of the countrys youth and will aim for an open society with employment and education opportunities for everyone.
Earlier, Mr. Papandreou met with the leadership of Pasoks parliamentary group with whom he discussed the upcoming steps leading to the extraordinary conference.
Tomorrow, Prime Minister Simitis and Mr. Papandreou will meet with Pasok party parliamentary candidates.
On Thursday, Mr. Papandreou will tour the prefecture of Thrace and on the 21st of January will travel to London where he will have contacts with his British counterpart, Jack Straw about the Cyprus issue, Greek-turkish relations and the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece.
 Weather Forecast12/1/2004 6:51:00 ́́
Cloudy weather is forecast particularly in western Greece, with a possibility of light rain. Winds westerly, southwesterly light to moderate. Temperatures in Athens will range between 5-15 C and in Thessaloniki from 0-11 C.
 Suicide bomber killed in West Bank11/1/2004 9:02:00 ́́
A Palestinian suicide bomber was killed in the West Bank today when he apparently detonated his explosives belt prematurely after spotting an Israeli patrol. Separately, soldiers shot dead a Palestinian teenager during a confrontation with stone-throwers in the West Bank village of Beita, near Nablus.
 Majority of Britons support return of Parthenon marbles to Greece11/1/2004 9:01:00 ́́
The vast majority of Britons support a Greek proposal to return marbles removed from the ancient Parthenon for display here during the Olympics. Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos today renewed a plea to the British Museum in London to loan Greece the collection - also known as the Elgin Marbles - for the Aug. 13-29 Games. «The start of the Athens Olympic Games in August 2004 must find the Parthenon Marbles united,» Venizelos said in a statement. «The citizens of Britain in general, but also the visitors of the British Museum and the workers at British museums in their vast majority accept the Greek proposal.» Venizelos said he would hold important meetings with British government officials on the subject in the coming weeks. Greece is looking forward to display the sculptures, removed from the Parthenon in Athens, at a purpose-built museum currently under construction in the Greek capital.
 Turkish-Cypriots form coalition government11/1/2004 9:00:00 ́́
Two Turkish Cypriot parties today agreed to form a coalition government with a pledge to work towards a deal reuniting the divided Mediterranean island before Cyprus joins the European Union on May 1.
The accord drew a warm welcome from Turkey, the only country to recognise the self-declared northern Cypriot republic. Turkey is also keen to resolve the Cyprus problem by then in order to smooth its own path towards EU membership. Mehmet Ali Talat, head of a party that backs the U.N. peace plan for Cyprus, said he had sealed a two-party coalition accord with Serdar Denktash, a critic of the U.N. blueprint.
 Former minister Alekos Papdopoulos to return as Pasok candidate11/1/2004 8:58:00 ́́
Former Minister Alekos Papadopoulos is returning to the political scene and according to an announcement will be a candidate with the Pasok party. Giorgos Papandreou commented by saying Mr. Papadopoulos return reflects a united Pasok that will triumphantly win the elections.