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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-22

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] 6.4 Magnitude Quake in Iran
  • [02] Art at the Service of Strip Clubs
  • [03] Coke Laundering Through Lucky Games!
  • [04] North Korea Retreats Under Conditions
  • [05] Ratification of Withdrawal Plan Welcomed
  • [06] Bill for ATHEX
  • [07] Differences with the U.S. Solved

  • [01] At Least 400 dead. Hundreds of Injured 6.4 Magnitude Quake in Iran

    22 Feb 2005 08:15:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Four hundred dead and one thousand injured is so far the report of the strong earthquake that hit southeastern Iran in the morning, according to Reuters. Information on the number of victims remains confused. The quake, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale, leveled at least six villages in the Kerman province, awaking the painful memories of the 2003 devastating quake that had cost the lives of 30,000 people. Local authorities stressed they do not have an accurate image of the disaster, as access to some areas is impossible, while as hours go by the list of victims grows longer. Rescue crews, army and police forces have rushed to the afflicted villages.

    Entire Villages Turned Into Ruins

    The epicenter of the quake that occurred at 4.45 Greek time, was located 56km northwest of Zarand, capital of the Kerman province, almost 700km away from Tehran. In the same province in 2003 an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale had left thousands of dead behind, razing the historic city of Bam. It should be noted that Iran has a long and bitter experience by disastrous earthquakes, as three tectonic plates meet in the subsoil. According to seismologists, at least one minor seismic activity occurs daily in Iran.

    In this case, authorities have expressed the hope that the death toll will no be so great, as it has happened in the past. And this is because the tremor's focal depth was very deep, major towns and cities in the area have escaped heavy damage, while authorities have not asked for the help of neighbouring provinces. Television networks reported that 25-70% of properties have been destroyed in six villages near Zarand, but information on the wider picture remains confused. In the city of Zarand, inhabitants remain out on the streets since early morning despite the heavy rain because they fear aftershocks.

    In the meantime, information reported by international agencies on the tragedy are confused. According to the French Press Agency, a spokesperson for the Iraqi ministry of Internal Affairs announced there are 126 dead and 500 injured, but the same agency earlier today had broadcast that the death toll is 5,000, citing sources of the Zarand University Hospital. Some time later they clarified that the number included all cases, even light ones. The Associated Press reported 80 dead, while Reuters, very reserved in the beginning, increased the death toll to 400 and the injured to 1,000. A Zarand official said that 137 bodies have been recognized so far, while 300 to 400 more people are presumed dead.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] Art at the Service of Strip Clubs

    22 Feb 2005 11:46:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The owner of a strip club in Boise, Idaho, came up with an artful way to prance past a city law that prohibits full nudity. It's not like the dancers left a lot to imagination, but to the satisfaction of his customers, the club owner conceived a smart idea so that girls can go around in their birth costume. You see, in 2001 the Boise City Council passed an ordinance banning total nudity in public unless it had "serious artistic merit," an exemption meant to apply to plays, dance performances and art classes. So the club owner, Chris Teague, decided to bill Mondays and Tuesdays as art nights and charges customers $15 for a sketch pad, pencil, and a chance to see women dance without their G-strings and pasties.

    Exhibiting the Best

    In fact, many of the customers take the role of painter seriously and draw some very good pictures, which are posted around the club. Teague said he got the idea when a customer asked if he could get in for free to sketch the dancers. In the two months since they began, Art Club Nights have drawn full crowds but no police citations!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] OPAP Money Laundering Scandal Coke Laundering Through Lucky Games!

    22 Feb 2005 09:53:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: Eleftherotipia Newspaper

    At least 20 million euros were laundered during 2002-2004 by winning OPAP tickets, according to a verdict by SDOE, which is at the hands of Justice. Alexandros Aggelopoulos, a remand prisoner, with charges of trafficking 5.5 tons of cocaine, used OPAP for money laundering. The verdict, which is published by Eleftherotipia newspaper was concluded and given to the Prosecutor a month ago, and indicated charges to the President, the Executive Manager, members of the Organization and employees of the department of issuance of earnings assessment. SDOEs investigations revealed that this was a mafia group, formed in the prototypes of traditional organized crime. Aggelopoulos partners belong "in 14 different categories, all wheels in the group," since the group had members in the Organization, in agencies, and illegal gambling clubs. According to the newspaper, OPAP issued, without the necessary checks, an earnings issuance to Aggelopoulos with an application and 4,130 winning tickets attached. In another case Aggelopoulos played and won 46 betting tickets throughout Attica. In the meantime, between December 2002 until December 2003 Aggelopoulos group laundered 4,830 winning tickets through OPAP, which were submitted in 365 agencies in Greece and submitted in the central department of issuance of earnings assessment of OPAP under Alexandros Aggelopoulos name.

    Responsibilities to OPAP

    Aggelopolos is imprisoned and is reportedly the owner of Africa 1 sea-craft where on July 2004 5.5 tons of cocaine was found. From 2002 until 2004, the group that worked fro him legalized illegal earnings of around 10 million euros, through OPAP. The money came from hundreds of tons of cocaine trafficking, which was transported by fishing boats from Brazils shores to European countries.

    The legalization of the earnings were made by the purchase and the submission to OPAP of thousands of winning tickets of the games LOTTO, JOKER, PROPO, and other betting tickets.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Leader Said Without Giving Explanations North Korea Retreats Under Conditions

    22 Feb 2005 00:15:00

    By Viki Keleri

    The leader of North Korea Kim Yong-Il expressed his countrys willingness to return to the negotiation table over its nuclear program, under specific conditions. "If there are conditions for the fourth round of six day discussions, North Korea will return at any given moment to the negotiation table," stated Kim, according to the official Chinese news agency New China. However the North Korean leader did not explain what he meant while making reference to the conditions.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] The 25 Ministers of the European Union Ratification of Withdrawal Plan Welcomed

    21 Feb 2005 23:09:00

    By Viki Keleri

    The Foreign Ministers of the EU welcomed the Israeli Cabinets ratification of the withdrawal plan from the Gaza Strip, and described it as a first step of the peace process. "The decisiveness which was expressed by the two sides to cooperate together in a spirit of understanding and cooperation has to continue in order for progress in the peace process to be allowed." Also the "25" state that peace in the area has to agree with the legal desires of the Israeli and Palestinian people as well as with the countries of Lebanon and Syria.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Bill for ATHEX

    22 Feb 2005 13:09:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The government wishes to put an end to manipulation phenomena in the Stock Market with a new Bill to be presented next week. The Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis issued the announcement today, after the completion of contacts with Spyros Kapralos, president of ATHEX, and Alexis Pylavios, president of the Money Market Committee. The Bill, which is expected to be submitted to Parliament on Monday will include according to information, strict sanctions for the leak of misleading or privileged information and will reinforce the auditing powers of the Money Market Committee.

    According to Ministry sources, the Bill in question is the first of a series of government legislation initiatives aiming at transparency, reinforcement of the Stock Market credibility and the independence of the money market.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Interview by Shroeder Before Meeting With Bush Differences with the U.S. Solved

    21 Feb 2005 23:39:00

    By Viki Keleri

    German Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder, a little before his meeting with U.S. President George W Bush, gave an interview making reference to the two countries relations. Germany needs to find a "common ground" with the U.S. since the two countries have solved their differences over Iraq and stated to Frankfurts Algemaine Zeitung newspaper. Specifically Shroeder speaks of the past difference which have been solved. The German Chancellor repeats his countrys position for the transfer of troops in Iraq. "President Bush knows our position, which he accepts and respects," he concludes.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou


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