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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-04-14

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Dangerous Virus Alert Ends
  • [02] Supreme Court Rules on Justices
  • [03] Fifteen Killed in Suicide Bombings
  • [04] Enlistment Matters to be Settled
  • [05] Death Toll Rises in Factory Collapse
  • [06] Burning Inferno
  • [07] Tender Bids for Olympic Airways
  • [08] The Dutch Demonstrated Maturity

  • [01] No Outbreaks Reported Yet Dangerous Virus Alert Ends

    14 Apr 2005 10:46:00 (Last updated: 14 Apr 2005 12:17:33)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET - Reuters

    The scientific community appears reassuring following yesterdays alarm over the accidental dispatch of H2N2, a dangerous influenza virus strain dating back to 1957, to 3,700 labs in 18 countries. According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus poses no health threat to anyone in the community. Most of the labs that received the virus samples by mistake have already destroyed them, while no outbreaks have been recorded in any countries. In 1957, the virus was responsible for killing 4 million people worldwide. However, the US CDC announced that it is closely monitoring the situation and will be implementing measures to prevent a similar mistake from happening the future. The virus strain in question had been placed in special packages for security reasons, however it was accidentally sent to thousands of labs, many of them in the USA, by the Ohio-based company. Greece received no samples containing the virus.

    "Unwise Decision"

    However, although the risk is minimal, the US CDC ordered all labs that received the virus to submit a report, confirming that the samples have been destroyed.

    "Right now we have no evidence of any health threat to anyone in the community [] but we are erring on the side of caution," said CDC Director Dr Julie Gerberding, while she added that it was "almost impossible to believe" the US company that distributed the virus had done so unknowingly and the health agency was investigating the case.

    In the meantime, speaking from Geneva, senior World Health Organization scientist Dr Klaus Stohr said the virus did not pose a major risk to public health, but he stressed that laboratory technicians are experienced in handling such material and most had already been alerted to the danger.

    The other countries, apart from the USA, that received samples of the virus were: Canada, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica, Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong and Italy.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Deadly Virus in Laboratories

    [02] Three Judges May Face Permanent Dismissal Supreme Court Rules on Justices

    14 Apr 2005 09:50:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The Supreme Courts plenary session is convening at the moment to discuss the permanent dismissal of three judicial officers, due to immoral conduct and inability to perform their duties. The First Instance Judges President, Leonidas Stathis, along with First Instance Judges Fotini Kelalidou and Konstantinos Barberi, are answerable for corruption in the area of Justice. The plenary session will also rule over the legal issue regarding whether justices can face disciplinary charges based on serious lack of morals and whether they were correctly referred for permanent dismissal by the Supreme Court Chief Justice.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] 15 Dead 20 Injured Fifteen Killed in Suicide Bombings

    14 Apr 2005 09:03:00 (Last updated: 14 Apr 2005 12:27:21)

    By Anna Kourti

    Two suicide car bombings were recorded close to the University of Baghdad on Thursday morning, resulting in the death of 15 people and the injury of another 20. Most of the victims were police officers. Six other vehicles were completely destroyed, while ten buildings were severely damaged. Iraqi police and US soldiers have sealed off the area. Earlier, three Iraqi police officers were killed and another four people injured by a militant attack against Kirkuks police station. "Three police officers were killed and another four people injured, when armed men opened fire on a police station in Kirkut," declared the police spokesperson. The police station had been inaugurated just a few days ago.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Enlistment Matters to be Settled

    14 Apr 2005 00:04:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The new Defence Ministry bill, which will be submitted in Parliament soon, provides for favourable clauses concerning draft evaders, permanent foreign residents and expatriates. Specifically, the pending arrest warrants and matters for all draft evaders, irrespective of their year of birth, will be abolished once they join the military until 30 November 2006.

    Furthermore, passports will be issued for overseas draft evaders, either they are in Greece or abroad. In addition, the term "permanent foreign resident" will be redefined. Therefore, permanent foreign residents are those who have been living in a foreign country for 12 consecutive years and have been working overseas for 7 consecutive years.

    The matters concerning expatriates from the countries of the former eastern bloc or Turkey will also be regulated. Specifically, based on the date they were registered in the Males Register, the bill will provide for deferment of enlistment or the possibility to serve a three-month term, provided they are enlisted within five years. Furthermore, they will be able to be discharged from serving in the military, provided they were registered after 35 years of age.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Thirty-two Dead Death Toll Rises in Factory Collapse

    14 Apr 2005 08:23:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters

    The death toll following the collapse of a 9-storey building in Bangladesh four days ago rose to 32. On Thursday, rescue crews recovered another two bodies, while it is estimated that approximately 100 workers remain buried under the rubble and any hopes of rescuing them have dwindled. Over 100 workers were pulled from the factory alive, while many of them had suffered broken limbs, leading to amputations. According to the officials, the rescue crews are working day and night, while experts are looking into the causes of the collapse.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] No Reports on Casualties Burning Inferno

    14 Apr 2005 07:35:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: Reuters

    Thick smoke covered the sky of Niamey, capital of Niger, after a fire broke out in a market selling planks, paints and building materials. Hundreds of traders were trying to salvage anything they could, under conditions eyewitnesses described as a burning inferno. Luckily, the market was closed when the fire broke out.

    The Largest Market

    Katako market supplies hardware materials to all of Niger and is one of Niameys biggest markets.

    Despite the firemens efforts, the fire quickly spread to a quarter of the stalls, stops and hangars.

    Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world and nearly a quarter of the population faces food shortages because of a severe drought and locust invasion last year.

    Niamey, a jumble of 1970s concrete buildings that sprang up during a long-dead uranium boom, is on the banks of the mighty river Niger and fires are relatively common.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Tender Bids for Olympic Airways

    13 Apr 2005 19:08:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA - NET

    The deadline for submitting tender bids for the takeover of Olympic Airways ended this afternoon. None of the interested buyers have made any comments, apart from Aegean Airlines, which issued an official announcement regarding the submission of their offer. According to sources, another two to three companies have also submitted files and letters of guarantee. It is now up to investment bank Lazard, based in London, which is serving as privatization consultant and will begin assessing the tenders, while it will commence negotiations with each prospective buyer separately around the beginning of May. The privatization procedure is expected to conclude by the beginning of summer. OSPA, however, has expressed its opposition to the sale.

    Aegean Interested in a Takeover

    In its announcement, Aegean noted that if selected and negotiations commenced with the Greek public sectors advisors, it would proceed with an agreement. However, it mentioned that it would go ahead provided it could secure a viable solution with high standard services and competitive prices, a fact that demands overcoming the legal and operational difficulties of privatization. Otherwise, it would support the choice of another carrier by the Greek public sector, provided it was compatible with Greek and Community legislation.

    According to sources, the other four companies that had initially expressed interest are: the Greek-American company Olympic Investors, the Dutch finance company Sure Estates, the owner of Deutsche British Airways, Intra, and the investment company Klesch.

    It should be noted that this is the fifth time that the national Greek air carrier is going though this biding process.

    OSPA Spoke of Unclear Procedures

    On the other hand, the Federation of Civil Aviation Associations (OSPA), voiced its opposition, speaking of non-transparent procedures. In a Press conference today, it accused the competent ministries of commencing talks with private entities for the sale of profitable departments of the company, ie Handling, while the tender process is taking place. OSPA also accused Aegean Airlines of aiming to establish a new private monopoly in the sector.

    At the same time, it announced that the employees would be proceeding with a three-hour work stoppage, from 10:00 to 13:00, on Tuesday 19 April.

    OSPA also announced that it would ask to meet with Transport Minister Michalis Liapis, while it warned of a new work stoppage on 21 April, if the meeting does not take place.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] The Dutch Demonstrated Maturity

    14 Apr 2005 11:42:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    When a quarterfinals match comes down to the penalties, then Lady Luck is considered the winning teams twelfth player. Despite all this, however, just like any coach who has secured a victory, Eindhovens Guus Hiddink is justified in saying anything he wants. "It was an excellent evening for PSV and Dutch football. Our squad have picked things up quickly though, and we have no egos. We have a complete game; it is not a case of luck. We compiled the penalty list yesterday and although I had to push some players to take the penalties, for example [Wilfred] Bouma - Im glad I did." On other hand, though, Lyons coach Paul Le Guen could not hide his disappointment. "If I could replay the game, nothing would change in terms of my approach. PSV deserved the win but we were left to regret missed chances and thats hard to comprehend. In two games there was little difference between the sides, perhaps well have more luck next time. Lyon had more chances in both matches so we are very disappointed, but we have reached the quarterfinals and can take heart from that. We can now take our confidence to the French league."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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