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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-02-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Alarmbells Over Bird Flu
  • [02] Travolta's Dance Floor in Auction
  • [03] Deadly Snowfall in Kashmir
  • [04] No Buses in Attica
  • [05] Khodorkovsky in Court
  • [06] Buried in the Snow
  • [07] Olympiacos Flies to France
  • [08] Hospital Wing Collapsed in Khartoum

  • [01] Alarmbells Over Bird Flu

    23 Feb 2005 13:08:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Bird flu is likely to develop into a worldwide plague if action is not taken immediately at an international level, warn the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, speaking at a three-day summit held to discuss the issue in Vietnam, a WHO spokesman stressed that the planet is currently at a high risk level, as there are fears that the virus may mutate and start to spread from person to person. "Governments need to take immediate action to check the spreading of the virus," said the WHO spokesperson. The same warnings came from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Samuel Jutzi, who spoke at the same Summit.

    "We Cannot Ignore the Danger"

    "There is increased danger that bird flu will spread, and it cannot be ignored by any bird-farming country," stressed Jutzi, and he estimated that the virus would "last for many years to come in some of the countries where we have seen an epidemic."

    The two specialists agree that it is necessary to take international action in order to avert the danger of the virus spreading. The virus will claim many more victims if it mutates and starts to spread from person to person.

    So far the virus has proved to be very resistant to medicine and has appeared in animals that were not considered vulnerable to the virus, such as cats and tigers.

    Since the virus appeared at the end of 2003, 45 people have lost their lives, while approximately 140 million birds have died of the virus or have been put down in efforts by the authorities to restrict the spread of the virus.

    Specialists warn that virus H5N1, as it is scientifically known, could claim even more victims than SARS, which has killed a total of 800 people.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Travolta's Dance Floor in Auction

    23 Feb 2005 12:03:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    One of the most famous dance floors in the history of cinema is being auctioned in the coming weeks in eBay on the Internet, by a live auction. And besides the fact that it will take place on April 1, this is not an Aprils fools joke. The multi-colored dance floor where John Travolta, dressed in a white suit, danced in "Saturday Night Fever" can be placed in anyones house that desires to purchase it. The organizers are expecting that the bids will reach 80,000 dollars, since many want to acquire the single piece of disco history. Lets learn about the whereabouts of the floor before it entered the auction.

    A Legendary Dance Floor

    Since 1977, when the film premiered, the dance floor was in 2001 Odyssey Club in Brooklyn, New York. The club closed down last week when it was sold to a real estate agency. In order for this unique floor to not be destroyed, the company Profiles in History, which deals with the rescue of Hollywood items, decided to buy the dance floor.

    The dance floor is 30 sq m, was a symbol of disco worship during the 70s, and has more than 300 light bulbs covered by plexiglass. The former club owner said that the dance floor was the soul of the club, while it was especially popular to European tourists who visited the club in order to get a closer look and of course dance on it.

    The auctions organisers announced that many collectors and club owners have shown interest, and want to place the dance floor in their clubs.

    It is reminded that Travolta was an Oscar nominee for his performance as Tony Manero, while the films soundtrack scored by the Bee Gees became one of the most popular albums of the 70s and 80s.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Polar Temperatures Predominate Deadly Snowfall in Kashmir

    23 Feb 2005 08:25:00

    By Anna Kourti

    The death toll is increasing after the deadly weekend snow avalanches in the Indian part of Kashmir. According to the latest account, the dead are 250, while the rescue crews continue searching for around 300 missing people. "The chances of finding survivors or missing people are slim. The rescue operations are continuing besides the strong gales and polar frost, stated a Police representative. The rescue crews located 50 dead peasants. "Many people are buried under the snow," stated the areas inhabitants.

    Villages Closed-Off

    The rescue crews work is made difficult by heavy snowfall, which is the worst of the last decades. Snow in some parts of the country has reached 21 m. The authorities called on the inhabitants living in high altitudes of the area to evacuate their houses, as the danger for new avalanches prevails.

    Many villages remain closed-off and the authorities are sending help with helicopters. More than 5 m of snow have covered the Himalayan roots, after the heavy snowfall in the area during the last 20 years. The last two weeks 229 people lost their lives due to the bad weather. The authorities are refusing to operate a determinate arithmetic case, since the estimations of the rescue groups evaluate that the number of dead will exceed 300.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] No Buses in Attica

    23 Feb 2005 09:33:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Attica will see no blue buses from 11am to 4pm owing to a work stoppage by drivers, organized due to a general assembly of ETHEL (Greek Thermal Buses SA) workers, on the issue of the collective work contract for 2005. Furthermore, strike action has been planned by ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions), who have demands relating to the question of insurance. A decision has been made to hold four-hour work stoppages in civil services on 17 March from 12 to 4pm, and a 24-hour strike on 24 February.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] On Friday Khodorkovsky in Court

    23 Feb 2005 11:15:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Former owner of Russian petrol company Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is imprisoned since October 2003, accused of tax evasion and fraud, will be taken to court on Friday, as the news agency Interfax broadcast. Khodorkovsky will be the first defendant in the case, and is to appear before Justice. Platon Lebedev asked for a deadline in order to prepare for his defense. In the meantime, many Russian authors, artists and academics sent a letter to the world community, describing Khodorkovsky as a political prisoner, according to Russias Human Rights office. The letter states "Whatever Khodorkovskys political preferences are, whatever his state of finance is and the crimes he committed, the man has the right to a defense as all of this countrys citizens, which is stated in the European Human Rights Treaty." "The above right has not been taken into consideration, in Khodorkovskys case," the letter ends.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] "The Group of Skiers Caused the Avalanche" Buried in the Snow

    23 Feb 2005 08:04:00

    By Anna Kourti

    As the television network ORF broadcast two German skiers lost their lives and one was seriously injured when they were crushed by an avalanche, in the Austrian territory of Tyrol. The two victims were participating in a trip with a group of another 15 Germans in Kuhtai. Three members of the group were buried in the snow while the rest dug to rescue them. Three helicopters and the Police with trained dogs participated in the rescue operation. According to the authorities the group of skiers caused the avalanche.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Olympiacos Flies to France

    23 Feb 2005 11:04:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    Aiming to qualify through the match against Sochaux, to soothe the problems that they have recently been facing, Olympiacos departed for France today. The aim of the Greek red and white team, according to statements by coach Dusan Bajevic, is to score a goal, which would facilitate their efforts to qualify. "We have a good score from the first match and we will go to France to try to qualify. We are not giving up. Our aim is the goal that will allow us to qualify," stressed Olympiacos coach. Giovanni was included normally in the 19-member group after he faced Louvaris. Those flying to France are: Nikopolidis, Giannou, Castillo, Djordjevic, Rivaldo, Maric, Rezic, Schurrer, Giovanni, Anatolakis, Vallas, Georgatos, Kafes, Kostoulas, Mavrogenidis, Okkas, Stoltidis, Taralidis and Filippakos.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] Hospital Wing Collapsed in Khartoum

    23 Feb 2005 07:40:00

    By Anna Kourti

    An under-construction hospital wing collapsed in Khartoum, which resulted to four people being trapped under the rubble. Between the trapped people is a Police official who contacted the rescue crews via his cell phone. At the time of the accident 13 people were working at the construction, from which nine were rescued unharmed. The new wing of Ribat Hospital had been nearly completed and no patients had been transported there yet. The cause of the collapse, which occurred at 21:00 (Greek time), has not been yet made known. The rescue crew members using shovels and their bare hands tried to move the rubble away and to reach the point where the trapped are believed to be located.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou


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