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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-03-30

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] She Sold Her Name on Ebay!
  • [02] Alliance Against Hackers
  • [03] Swords Crossed over Economic Measures
  • [04] Kalousis Denied Everything
  • [05] Green Olympic Facilities
  • [06] Annan Comes Clean
  • [07] Lament and Despair in Indonesia
  • [08] Searching Everywhere for Vavilis

  • [01] For 15,000 Dollars She Sold Her Name on Ebay!

    30 Mar 2005 20:40:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Well, yes, it happened in the USA. A mother of five was hit by the crazy idea to sell her name on eBay. And who would buy it, you might think. Well, better guess again, because the buyer was found. The Golden Palace Casino site offered Terri Illigan 15,199 dollars to change all documents that bear her legal name and be "baptized" as Mrs It's not the first time the site in question has bid for peculiar objects on eBay. And apparently it does so for publicity reasons. Not a long time ago, it had purchased an American woman's sandwich bearing the figure of Virgin Mary (!) and had paid 4,000 dollars to advertise its name on a pregnant woman's belly.

    "The Perfect Ad"

    The American woman promoted her product very well on eBay.

    "Just imagine, everytime I go to the bank, pay with a credit card, go to the gym, go to the doctor, write a check, enter a contest, buy airline tickets, or just meet new people on a daily basis, the name you picked will be mentioned and exposed," she wrote.

    "This is a once in a lifetime, rare and never been done before advertising opportunity."

    At the same time, answering questions regarding her health history, she said she is in perfect health, not smoking, not drinking and not doing drugs, while her grandparents lived to their 100s.

    At the end of the message, she clarified she would only accept serious offers.

    "Name cannot be profane, vulgar, terrorist, satanic, or pornographic related. Please do not bother with stupid names like bimbo, dork, geek, dude, or anything of the sort. If you have doubts as to whether your chosen name will be acceptable, please forward it to me before bidding."

    Mama Casino!

    But how did the American renounce her identity?

    Iligan said she got the idea when she found out how much it would cost to send one of her children, ages 4 to 10, to a golf school Tiger Woods attended!

    Not being able to afford the school, she dared posting an ad on eBay.

    As for her husband, she supports he has no problem, as long as the children continue to call her mom and not Mrs!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [02] World System Stops Attacks Alliance Against Hackers

    30 Mar 2005 16:44:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Eighty telecommunications companies decided to follow the saying "united we stand, divided we fall" in order to cope with hackers attacks. The firms switched on a system to spot and stop cyber attacks by creating digital "fingerprints". In other words, the software locates anomalies in the stream of data and warns companies in the case of an attack. What is more, the data gathered will be passed to police to help build up intelligence about who is behind the attacks. US firm Arbor Networks developed the idea of the fingerprinting system and other firms including MCI, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Energis, NTT and Bell Canada have already signed up for the Fingerprint Sharing Alliance. "What we want to do is help net service firms communicate with each other and then push the attacks further and further back around the world to their source," stressed Rob Pollard, sales director for Arbor Networks.

    Spots and Stops Attacks

    Increasingly computer criminals are using swarms of remotely controlled computers to carry out denial of service attacks on websites, launch worms and relay spam around the net.

    Once an attack is spotted and its signature defined the information will be passed back down the chain of networks affected to help every unwitting player tackle the problem.

    Arbor Network's technology works by building up a detailed history of traffic on a network. It spots which computers or groups of users regularly talk to each other and what types of traffic passes between machines or workgroups.

    Any anomaly to this usual pattern is spotted and flagged to network administrators who can take action if the traffic is due to a net-based attack of some kind.

    Lastly, the new system not only protects networks from the consequences of an attack, it also protects them from "side-losses" which are created due to overload.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Effective as of Friday Swords Crossed over Economic Measures

    30 Mar 2005 15:57:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: ANA - ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The measures for the reduction of the fiscal deficit, announced yesterday by the Economy Minister and effective as of Friday, prompted intense wrangling between the Government and the Opposition. Speaking on radio station NET 105.8, Mr Alogoskoufis clarified that no added tax packages would apply, while he called on the market, and especially the consumers, to be on alert, in order to avoid cases of profiteering from the increase in VAT. PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos accused the government of employing harsh taxation policies, while trade unions are continuing their backlash. "The Government chose the least painful way to solve the problems, within a specific timeframe and based on the mentality of a mild adjustment," underlined the government spokesperson, Thodoris Roussopoulos.

    Continuing Backlash

    The Opposition, trade unions and producers spoke of intense austerity.

    In an interview to NET 105.8, PASOK MP Giorgos Floridis, spoke of panic measures that will create even larger problems. "The families incomes will be further squeezed, thus vanishing the miserable increases received by wage earners and pensioners," predicted PASOK MEP Nikos Sifounakis.

    "We were promised tax cuts in medium and low incomes, but the completely opposite actually happened," claimed the president of GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour), Christos Polyzogopoulos, while Dimitris Asimakopoulos, the president of GSEVE (association of small businessmen), pointed out that the new measures will disproportionately burden low-income earners.

    "Consumers are called upon to pay for the new wave of increases decided by the governments financial authority," stressed consumer protection group INKA in its announcement. Furthermore, the General Confederation of Greek Agrarian Associations mentioned that Greek farmers are being put through a new test, while it described the measures as a money-collecting scheme.

    During the scheduled Press conference, Mr Roussopoulos repeated, "After the fiscal inventory, we realised that the situation we took over was worse than anyone could have imagined," noting that the deficit of 8 billion euros related to amounts that were undervalued or hidden and which the Government now has to deal with.

    Menawhile, the government spokesperson responded to PASOKs criticism, by listing the dozens, as he said, harsh taxation measures over the 1994-2004 period, calling on members of the Opposition to "demonstrate some shame for everything they are saying."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Measures Over Deficit

    [04] Kalousis Denied Everything

    30 Mar 2005 19:28:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The President of First Instance Judges Evangelos Kalousis testified today before Supreme Court Judge Christos Baltas for more than five hours. The President of the First Instance Judges had already been referred to the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court on the question of definitive dismissal for ethical and professional deficiency, while the Appellate Public Prosecutor had brought criminal proceedings against him for money laundering and bribery. Earlier, the Piraeus examiner Antigoni Tzelepi rejected Giosakis' appeal to be released for prison. In the meantime, the case of Antonis Plomaritis, whose name was implicated in a suspicious replacement of a judge in the Giosakis case, has been closed. The disciplinary investigation run by Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos showed no discriminating evidence against him.

    Giosakis Remains in Jail

    Iakovos Giosakis will remain in the Korydallos prison, as his appeal to be released under terms was rejected by the seventh regular Piraeus examiner Antigoni Tzelepi.

    The examiner retracted her original decision to release Giosakis on a 200,000-euro bail and adopted Public Prosecutor Grigoris Peponis' opinion that Giosakis will flee the country if released, as the evidence against him is incriminating.

    According to information, the examiner also took Public Prosecutor Kalliopi Vardaki's negative suggestion, which she had submitted on March 15, under serious consideration.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Greek People Benefit from the Games Green Olympic Facilities

    30 Mar 2005 17:29:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Today, the Alternate Culture Minister presented the bill for developing the Olympic facilities in the Main Press Centre, describing it as a "green bill." Fani Palli-Petralia announced that new parks will be established, while not even an inch of land will be built upon. Referring to the interest demonstrated by private entities for leases, she declared that it was great, while she repeated that "nothing will be sold."

    Investors' Tax towards Local Government

    Among other things, the bill provides for:

    Forming a General Secretariat for Olympic Development Establishing a procedure for issuing operating licences for Olympic facilities Instituting a 2% unified tax towards Local Government for investors Banning any type of construction on the 550 acres of land at the Hellliniko Olympic Complex Free access to the area surrounding the Olympic Stadium Establishing two new sports museums, one digital video archive and one digital sound archive, as well as dance academies, a theatre and a cinema complex in Ano Liossia

    The General Secretariat for Olympic Development will be replacing the General Secretariat for Olympic Games, while Spyros Kladas will be appointed as Secretary.

    Will Be Submitted to Parliament Soon

    The bill is expected to be submitted in Parliament very soon. As per the Alternate Culture Minister, developing the Olympic facilities will provide a boost to the country, which will translate into significant benefits for the Greek people.

    "The time has come for the immense financial investment of the Olympic Games to benefit the people of Greece," mentioned Fani Palli-Petralia.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Acquittal Verdict Over Economic Scandal Annan Comes Clean

    30 Mar 2005 14:23:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    UN General Secretary welcomed the acquittal verdict of an independent committee over an economic scandal in the program "oil-for-food" which the Organization enforced in Iraq during the 90s. However, the verdict was harsh for the General Secretary since it revealed his son Kojos participation in the scandal. More specifically, the committee concluded that there was not enough evidence in order for Mr Annan to be charged and acquitted him from any involvement in his sons business activities. "There were all lies and for that I was certain that the research will justify me," commented the General Secretary after the publication of the verdict. However, political analysts evaluate that that verdict has damaged Mr Annans prestige.

    Acquittal with Questions

    Even though the committee does not accuse Mr Annan for corruption, it harshly criticizes him as he failed to fully investigate his sons real activities in the Swiss company "Cotecna" which made contracts in the context of the program.

    The verdict also states that Kojo Annan tried to deceive his father, since before the start of the investigation a close associate of the General Secretary destroyed a series of documents, which are believed to be related to the case.

    According to the analysts, the verdict gives reason to Mr Annans critisizers that have been asking for his resignation for a while, after accusations for cases of corruption and bribery in the UN.

    Republican Senator, Norm Coleman stated that Kofi Annan is responsible for the mismanagement of the "oil-for-food" program. On the other hand, representative of the African Union, Alfa Umar Conare expressed the organizations support to Kofi Annan and added that the General Secretary should not be targeted for his sons actions.

    From his side, Mr Annan stated that he will remain in his position since he has much more work to do, stating that the research began after his initiative.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Independent Inquiry Committee

    [07] Quake Death Toll Increases Lament and Despair in Indonesia

    30 Mar 2005 17:38:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The macabre predictions for the number of victims of the 8.7 magnitude quake that shook Indonesia on Monday night are unfortunately coming true. On Nias island alone, which has been affected the most, more than 1,000 people have been confirmed dead, while the death toll is likely to reach 2,000 dead as the number of people still trapped under the ruins cannot be estimated. In the meantime, many fires have broken out in Sinabang, island Simeulue's main city, according to the head of the area. And while rescue crews continue their efforts, a great operation to provide humanitarian aid is underway. At the same time, the scientific community has many questions regarding the strong quake, while many are those saying a new earthquake could hit the much affected country.

    Awaiting International Aid

    The presence of humanitarian organisations in Indonesia was already strong because of the tsunami that had hit southeastern Asia on December 26 and cost the lives of 300,000 people.

    And while UN groups have already started arriving in the affected areas, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed his undivided support and his deep sorrow for this new disaster.

    US President George Bush promised to financially contribute, while the European Union sent a delegation to evaluate the situation.

    Australia is also by the side of the victims with two aircrafts, while the government ordered one of its ships to change route and head from Singapore to Indonesia.

    What is more, works continue for the construction of an outdoor hospital in Sumatra.

    Scientists Are Troubled

    In the meantime, the international scientific community is troubled by the seismic activity in the area.

    Many seismologists estimate that 8.7 on the Richter scale was only an aftershock following the December 26 tsunami, while others judge this is a completely new earthquake.

    At the same time, many scientists wonder why a tidal wave was not generated. The Geodynamics Institute of Britain gave a first answer, supporting that is was due to the quake's great focal depth.

    However, what all scientists agree upon is that southeastern Asia, the area with the most intense seismic activity in the world, has enormous amounts of blocked energy which is gradually released.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] His Financial Activities at the Focus Searching Everywhere for Vavilis

    30 Mar 2005 15:13:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The search for Vavilis is intensifying, both in Greece, as well as overseas, as the authorities are trying to locate and arrest the wanted man. New searches were performed during the last few hours in monasteries around Attica, while they are expected to continue for the next few days. As per information that the Hellenic Police has at hand, the possibility that the man of a thousand faces may have fled to Albania is very slim. In the meantime, Greek examiners are gathering evidence pertaining to Vavilis financial activities over the last ten years, both tin Greece, as well as internationally.

    Activities in Albania at the Focus

    The authorities already possess evidence for cheques amounting to tens of thousands of euros, under the names Vavilis and Triantafyllakis, which were cashed sometime between May and December 2004.

    According to sources, the cheques originated from the Jerusalem Patriarchate. It should be noted that in his interview, Vavilis claimed that the Patriarch of Jerusalem had promised him 400,000-500,000 euros in exchange for helping him during his election. However, Vavilis is denying ever receiving that money.

    At the same time, head of the committee investigating the pyramid scandal in Albania, said that, in its findings, the Albanian government is accusing Vavilis of transferring and managing funds up to $10,000,000, on behalf of infamous criminal Alimutsai.

    The evidence gathered will be assessed to establish whether criminal charges for money laundering can be brought against Vavilis.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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