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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-11

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Bill Gates Celebrates his Wealth Again
  • [02] Reliving the Nightmare
  • [03] New Evidence Over Vavilis Case
  • [04] Deadly Weather in China
  • [05] Fated Helicopter Crash
  • [06] Belgium Says No to Referendum
  • [07] Lufthansa Plane Sit-In Ends

  • [01] For the 11th Year Running in Forbes List Bill Gates Celebrates his Wealth Again

    11 Mar 2005 10:21:00

    By Viki Keleri

    His name is linked to a legend, which keeps powering on. Who is he? But of course, Bill Gates, who continues to be at the top in the list of the worlds richest people for the eleventh year running. With a net worth of $46.5 bil, Microsofts founder maintained his title yet again, although this year he had a very strong opponent. His compatriot Warren Buffett, head of the investments company Berkshire Hathaway, is just a step behind Gates, with a net worth of $44 bil. The top trio closed with a surprise. The Indian King of Steel, Lakshmil Mittal, quadrupled his assets in just one year to $25 bil, shooting from 62nd to 3rd place.

    Official First for Martha Stewart

    Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim is in fourth place with $23.8 bil, while the top five conclude with Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, with $23.7 bil. Swede Ingvar Kamprad, founder of the Ikea chain, is sixth in the list with a net worth of $23 bil.

    Microsofts cofounder, Paul Allen came in seventh place ($21 bil), German Karl Albrecht, founder of Aldi supermarkets is eighth ($18.5 bil), Oracles Larry Ellison is ninth ($18.4 bil) and S. Robson Walton, of Wal-Mart, is tenth ($18.3 bil).

    Meanwhile, famous American businesswoman Martha Stewart, who was recently released from prison, was also added to the power list.

    Along with her, another 130 people were added to this years list for the first time.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] A Year After Reliving the Nightmare

    11 Mar 2005 00:28:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    It was 11 March 2004, just after 7am, peak time for the citizens of Madrid. Two strong explosions rocked the Atocha central station, as well as the stations Santa Eugenia and El Pozo, leaving behind 191 dead and 1,900 injured. Europes so-called "9/11" or the "new Guernica", sent shockwaves around the globe, as people were watching al-Qaedas newest strike, this time in the Old Continent. The political repercussions were immediate, since the social outcry against the then Prime Minister Aznar, resulted in the election of Jose Zapatero and the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq. This first anniversary will be marked with a modest ceremony and will culminate with the symbolic planting of 191 trees in honour of the victims.

    Austere Memorial Services

    At 7:37 local time, at exactly the time when the first of the bombs exploded a year ago, the church bells of 650 churches around Madrids metropolitan area started to toll for five minutes in honour of the victims.

    Hundreds of Spaniards, along with King Juan Carlos, PM Jose Zapatero and the leaders of the Opposition will gather in Parque Retiro to pay homage to the dead, while 191 trees, one for every victim of that blind act of terrorism, will be planted.

    Meanwhile, various gatherings have been scheduled, where people will observe a five-minute silence, while the memorial services will culminate with an official Mass in the Almudena Cathedral.

    However, the members of the association of the victims of the 11M terrorist act, (Asociacion 11-M Afectados por el Terrorismo), will not participate in any of the ceremonies, while they issued an announcement saying that this is a "day of silence" for the members. The association will remain closed, while it will post 191 black bows on its front entrance.

    Open Wounds

    Apart from the tragic memories, the wounds from the worst terrorist hit ever in Spain, remain open.

    It was not just the death toll, but also the fact that the terrorist act prompted an intense political dispute between the former Aznar and the current Zapatero governments.

    Mr Aznar believed that the attack was a conspiracy that eventually contributed to his electoral defeat, while on the other hand, the current PM clarified that Islamic terrorism was solely responsible for the massacre.

    Apart from international terrorism, the Spanish society also has to deal with the Basque ETA, which continues its activities, despite efforts by the government to break it up.

    The Spaniards are still living in the shadow of the memories prompted by the bloodshed, which they can still not erase from their minds.

    The citizens of Madrid are forced to continue with their lives and to commute by train daily, although their thoughts return to 11 March when they pass by Atocha station.

    Besides, the monument that has been erected at the fated station symbolizes just how easily everyday citizens can fall victims of a blind war.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Democracy Against Terrorism

    [03] Secret Service Documents Irregularly Destroyed New Evidence Over Vavilis Case

    10 Mar 2005 21:51:00

    Sources: NET RADIO 105.8- NET

    New facts are surfacing in relation to the Vavilis case. The Ministry of Public Order announced that Secret Service documents concerning Apostolos Vavilis actions were irregularly destroyed on 13.3.2000. These developments surfaced on the basis of the Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis order for a Deposition Interrogations verdict. The Deputy Minister of Public Order, Christos Markogiannakis gave the assurance that the actions of Vavilis and Triantafillakis will be investigated in depth.

    Underground Routes

    The Ministry of Public Order, with its announcement, confirms the existence of letters sent between the Secret Service and the Greek Police over Apostolos Vavilis actions in 1996 and his relations with the Israelis, but at the same time reveals that these documents were not supposed to exist: "From the Deposition Interrogation it emerged that the published documents among others were destroyed on March 13, 2000, under irregular conditions."

    The Secret Service document with protocol number 271 and dated October 5, 1996 revealed by NET, warned the Greek Police leadership of Vavilis, describing him as an agent for Mosad. According to established sources, corresponding documents from the counter-intelligence authority also described his action in detail.

    All these documents were included in the verdict and are already in the hands of Justice, which will investigate the case and make charges if necessary.

    Earlier, answering to a relevant question by ND MP, Iordanis Tzamtzis, the Deputy Minister of Public Order, Christos Markogiannakis stated in Parliament that Vavilis possible connection in Greece and abroad make his arrest difficult.

    He also expressed the certainty that his arrest will be made soon enough.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Death Toll Reached 15 Deadly Weather in China

    11 Mar 2005 11:26:00

    By Viki Keleri

    Southwest China has been hit with the worst weather ever, with the death toll reaching 15, while another ten are missing. The strong blizzards and rainfalls have been sweeping the mountainous Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, in Yunnan province, since last weekend, with snow reaching 96 cm. The natural disaster has also affected the power supply and communications. Irreparable damages have been caused to many houses, while livestock and crops have been completely destroyed.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] 15 Soldiers Killed Fated Helicopter Crash

    11 Mar 2005 09:13:00

    By Viki Keleri

    Fifteen Russian soldiers were tragically killed, when the MI-8 helicopter they were on board flew into a power cable and crashed. As per the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, the tragic accident took place in an area close to the Chechen capital Grozny. A Prosecutions official declared that an investigation is already underway in order to establish the causes of the accident, while they will also be examining eyewitnesses. He also added that all possibilities would be considered.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] For the European Constitution Belgium Says No to Referendum

    11 Mar 2005 08:33:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Belgian Parliament did not pass the constitutional reform for a European Constitution referendum. The relevant Bill was voted in favour by 73 members and against by 63, however, the constitutional reform cannot be ratified, since a two-third majority is required for any changes to the Constitution. The Liberals, Ecologists and the far-right wing voted for the reform, while the Socialists and the Christian Democrats voted against. Ten out of the 25 EU Member-States are planning on carrying out referendums for the ratification of the first ever EU Constitution. In Spain, where the referendum has already taken place, the overwhelming majority voted "yes". The next referendums for the European Constitution are scheduled to take place in France and the Netherlands.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] By a Belgian Police Operation Lufthansa Plane Sit-In Ends

    11 Mar 2005 07:40:00

    Sources: BBC, Reuters, ANA

    The 16-hour sit-in onboard a Lufthansa plane by 56 unarmed Iranian monarchist protesters, who refused to get off the plane in Brussels airport, ended peacefully. The Belgian Police announced that the officers who entered the plane made the Iranians disembark. "The plane is empty now ... there was no violence at all," said police spokesman Olivier Vincent, while he added that they are checking their IDs. Late last night, the plane was towed away from the gate where it had landed, towards a faraway area of the airfield, while Belgian police officers got on the plane in order to convince the unarmed Iranians to disembark. An Interior Ministry spokesperson had informed the Iranians earlier that they would be allowed to leave if they got off the plane; however, he warned them that they would be arrested and deported if they refused to go. The announcement convinced three Iranians to get off. It is worth noting that the crew, along with the rest of the passengers had disembarked as soon as the plane had docked.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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