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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-05-20

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Barking Junkie!
  • [02] Hospital Doctors on Strike
  • [03] Extremely Precise Clock
  • [04] Papandreou Attacks Government
  • [05] FYROM Persists with Composite Name
  • [06] Incidents in Athens
  • [07] Martin Government Survives by One Vote
  • [08] 65 Soldiers Missing in the Andes
  • [09] Karimov Refuses Investigation
  • [10] New Attack in Iraq
  • [11] Modern Art Goes to Athens
  • [12] Stem Cells Cloned

  • [01] Barking Junkie!

    20 May 2005 12:53:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A woman from Columbia is living in suspense. She discovered that her boxer dog has an especial weakness for marijuana. It all started when Angelica Fuentes agreed to look after a plant belonging to a friend, as he was going away on holiday. The very next day, her lovable dog Orlando started to act rather strangely, and Mrs Fuente observed that her pet had eaten part of the plant. Initially, she thought that he ate leaves because he was suffering from stomach pains, until she discovered that the plant was marijuana. However, she did not rush to find a rehabilitation centre for her beloved Orlando. She simply puts different leaves in the bowl with his food, so that he can choose for himself which ones he likes best!

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [02] Requesting payments and more personnel Hospital Doctors on Strike

    20 May 2005 11:26:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Hospitals around Greece are operating with security staff, owing to the 24-hour nationwide strike announced by hospital doctors, who are demanding back payments for the shift system from December 2004 to February 2005, while recruitments approved in 2001 have yet to be fully employed. There is currently a rally by hospital doctors outside the Ministry of Health, while this will be followed by a meeting between medical trade unionists and the Minister of Health Nikitas Kaklamanis. In the meeting they will discuss financial issues and matters of work relations.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [03] Created by a Japanese scientist Extremely Precise Clock

    20 May 2005 11:14:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: New Scientist

    Perhaps for you time is money and you want to be absolutely punctual in your meetings. Professor Hidetoshi Katori from Kyoto University seems to have thought of you and created a new kind of atomic clock, which theoretically loses one second every thirty billion years, offering a thousand-fold greater reliability in comparison with todays clocks. Atomic clocks measure time by measuring "ticks" which means the frequency at which caesium atoms resonate, while the second is defined as the time necessary for the outer electrons of a caesium atom to resonate 9,192,631,770 times. However, scientists are not satisfied, as the most accurate caesium clocks lose one second every 30 million years and frequent attempts have been made to increase the precision of clocks.

    Chasing Precision

    As scientific journal New Scientist notes, the best method for an atomic clock to become more reliable is to make more ticks per second.

    "A clock has a counter that counts something that is periodic. The shorter the period is, the more accurate the clock. That is why people went from sundials, with one period per day, to pendulum clocks, with one period per second, to quartz clocks, with 10,000 oscillations per second," stated Thomas Udem of the German Quantum Optics Maz Planck Institute.

    In the past, scientists tried unsuccessfully to replace caesium with atoms of greater frequency, so that clocks would become more precise. Among other things, they used mercury and strontium, which resonates 429,228,004,229,952 times per second. However, measuring such high frequencies proved to be technically difficult

    Professor Katori managed to tame strontium. The clock he created contains six laser beams, which create stable electromagnetic waves. These waves then create a series of energy wells, each of which supports one strontium atom, just as an egg box holds an egg.

    This pattern allows simultaneous measurement of frequencies of all atoms, without the electromagnetic field of each atom affecting its neighbours.

    The result of all this is that the clock loses one second every thirty billion and promises dizzying accuracy to all those who want to be punctual down to the last second!

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [04] Papandreou Attacks Government

    20 May 2005 13:07:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    A fierce attack against the Prime Minister and the government, which he described as "unscrupulous" was launched by the president of PASOK, George Papandreou. This came as he spoke on Friday at the meeting of the Political Council of the party, which is convening at the Old Town Hall in Nea Ionia. Mr Papandreou stressed that the people are going through a painful surprise with Mr Karamanlis government, which undermines their lives. Every citizen, he stressed, is wondering what the government has been up to for the past 14 months, and what its priorities are.

    Transparency as an Alibi

    George Papandreou accused the government of using transparency and morality as its pre-election flag, while it is now revealed that it uses transparency as an alibi.

    The government, he added, is heavily exposed in the mind of the Greek people "as it is not a trustworthy solution."

    Mr Papandreou also stressed that this path of the government increases PASOKs responsibility as the Opposition. He added that his party had got the peoples message and were putting it into action.

    We will be ready, when the people call upon us, and this will happen soon, stressed the president of PASOK.

    Finally, Mr Papandreou underlined that his party could not leave the country in the hands of Mr Karamanlis government, which is leading the country into regression.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [05] Proposal submitted to Nimitz FYROM Persists with Composite Name

    20 May 2005 10:30:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Almost all FYROM Media, citing anonymous FYROM diplomatic sources, claim that the proposal on a composite name, which was submitted yesterday by the countrys leaders to the special representative of the Secretary General of the UN in the talks in New York, Matthew Nimitz, is as follows: FYROM is to be internationally called by its constitutional name "Republic of Macedonia", while Greece in bilateral relations with the country is to use the name "Republika Makedonija Skopje", untranslated and in Latin characters. FYROM newspaper Dvevnik in todays edition notes that another detail in the proposal given yesterday to Mr Nimitz, is that on international documents FYROM should be referred to with its constitutional name, with the footnote "Greece recognizes this country under another name." Furthermore, the newspaper Utrinski Vesnik reports that Greeces longstanding position is that the composite name cannot be accepted by Greece. The official announcement, after yesterdays joint meeting between Mr Nimitz and FYROM President Branko Crvenkovski, PM Vlado Buckovski, Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva and FYROMs ambassador to Washington and the countrys representative in the talks at the UN, Nikola Dimitrov, stated that the leaders of FYROM had officially submitted a proposal to Mr Nimitz on a composite name, as has repeatedly been reported, and can be summarized in the international use of the constitutional name "Republic of Macedonia" and in the finding of a mutually acceptable solution with Greece, only for bilateral communications, although no further details on the proposal have been released.

    Waiting for Greek Reaction

    "In the meeting, I received a proposal, which contains the position of the countrys government on finding a solution on the issue of the name, based on the formula of the composite name. This proposal will be taken into consideration by the other side (Greece) and we will see how it all develops," stated Mr Nimitz after the meeting.

    FYROMs position on a composite name, as has repeatedly been reported, and can be summarized in the international use of the constitutional name "Republic of Macedonia" and in the finding of a mutually acceptable solution with Greece, only for bilateral communications.

    FYROMs ambassador to Washington and the countrys representative in the talks at the UN, Nikola Dimitrov, stated that the leaders of FYROM submitted a proposal to Mr Nimitz on a composite name, although he did not wish to go into detail.

    "I am aware of the great interest in the issue of the name, although I cannot divulge details of the proposal we submitted today, as it is a very sensitive process, which obliges both sides to be discreet. We are now waiting for Greeces position," noted Mr Dimitrov, in statements after the meeting.

    The UN special mediator also said that there are no specific time limits for a solution to be found to the differences surrounding the name, as "a time limit could only hinder the whole process."

    Furthermore, Mr Nimitz underlined that the question of the name is not on the agenda for the UN Security Council, unless a special indication is given.

    "I dont think it would be in aid of anything for there to be a discussion in the Security Council on the name. The aim is to find a satisfactory and dignified solution to this question, which will be a positive indication for the region, and not to find a solution that will create more problems. This is the aim of the negotiations and we will see what can be achieved in the coming weeks," concluded Mr Nimitz

    Recently, the former President of FYROM, Kiro Gilgorov proposed that the matter should be brought before the Security Council, with a resolution submitted on using the constitutional name of FYROM at an international level. However, government sources report that such an initiative would mean the end of the talks in New York and hinder the whole process.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [06] Following Anarchists' Demonstration Incidents in Athens

    19 May 2005 21:40:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The heart of Athens was turned into a battlefield on Thursday night around 21:00, following an anti-fascist protest held by anarchists and members of anti-authoritarian groups. Almost 200 people headed for Exarcheia square and at the intersection of Ippokratous and Solonos streets they started throwing Molotov bombs causing damage to a National Bank branch. Special police guards responded immediately and answered back using tear-gases. The young men were separated in groups and headed towards Patission street, Alexandras avenue and the hill of Strefi, setting garbage bins on fire and causing damages to cars and shop-windows. Many drivers were trapped in their vehicles, while plumes of smoke from the fires and the tear-gases had filled the air. So far, the Police cannot tell the extent of the damages, while many of the protestors were taken to the Police headquarters, where it will be decided if they will appear before a prosecutor.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Martin Government Survives by One Vote

    20 May 2005 10:29:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    The minority government of the Liberals in Canada got through the vote on the budget on the difference of just one vote, thereby avoiding an immediate race to the ballot boxes. Prime Minister Paul Martin, whose image has been seriously damaged by a corruption scandal, was saved when an independent MP decided at the last minute to vote in favour of the budget presented by the government. The decision by MP Jack Chadman gave the Liberal Party and their allies 152 votes, exactly the same number as those gained by the Opposition. The Liberal Speaker of Parliament gave the solution, voting in favour of the budget himself.

    Twelve Years in Power

    Nevertheless, the survival of the government, even by the difference of just one vote, is considered a miracle, as until two days ago, the Prime Minister did not appear to have sufficient support to avert the collapse of his government, after 12 years in power.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [08] 65 Soldiers Missing in the Andes

    20 May 2005 08:41:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    Searches are continuing for the second day in Chile to try to locate and rescue 65 soldiers who were trapped in the Andes by a sudden, thick blizzard. Over the last 24 hours, the rescuers have managed to locate 50 soldiers alive, although another five were found dead, owing to the cold. Teams are trying to reach an area not easily accessible near Antuco volcano, on the borders with Argentina, 600km south east of Santiago.

    Adverse Weather Conditions

    "Those who have been found are in a generally good condition. Of course, some of them are suffering problems related to exposure to the cold, but none of them are in serious condition, according to the information we have so far," stated colonel Carlos Mezano in a Press conference.

    The army is unable to contact the missing men, but expresses hopes that they are all together somewhere, trying to survive through the sudden blizzard.

    Owing to the thick blizzard, it is impossible for military helicopters to reach the area.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [09] Refusing a relevant UN request Karimov Refuses Investigation

    20 May 2005 07:34:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA

    The president of Uzbekistan expressed his opposition to the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, to the request for an independent investigation to be conducted into the violent incidents in the eastern part of the country. Earlier, Louise Arbor, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on the government of Uzbekistan to allow an international independent investigation, concerning the information that security forces in Andijan opened fire on civilians.

    Information Confused

    The UN Commissioner stated that Islam Karimov expressed the view that measures such as the visit by diplomats and foreign reporters to the city of Andijan are sufficient.

    "I hope that the president of Uzbekistan can be convinced that it is in the interests of his people and the international community to allow a reliable investigation process," added Louise Arbor, noting that the measures taken by Karimov do not give answers "to the confused information coming from the country."

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [10] Booby Trapped Car Exploded New Attack in Iraq

    19 May 2005 23:27:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Bloody suicide attacks in Iraq continue. Late on Thursday night a booby trapped car exploded near a Shia mosque, southern Baghdad, resulting in the death of two people and the injury of another five. As it was known by the Iraqi Internal Affairs Ministry, the explosion occurred near the Husainija al-Mehdi al-Mudadar mosque at the Saidija quarter, while the booby trapped car was parked outside a pastry shop. Although the mosque was closed at the moment of the blast, authorities have expressed fears that the number of victims will increase, as there were many passers-by out on the street.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] "Art Athina" exhibition from 21 to 24 May Modern Art Goes to Athens

    20 May 2005 10:28:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    With 43 halls of art from Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain and the US, the modern art exhibition "Árt Áthina" completes 12 successful years in Greece and invites us from 21 to 24 May to Helexpo exhibition centre (Kifisia Avenue 39, Marousi). Besides presenting representative trends in international modern art, this years "Árt Áthina" has a special section for artists from California, whose work is in Greek collections, while the well-established section on video art is also there, with "project "Loud & Clear" by the Bifrons Foundation.. At the same time, there is an opportunity to buy and donate works of art for the collections at the National Gallery of Modern Art, while in the Helexpo centre, as every year, there will be information booths, with Greek and international publications, as well as a well-informed bookshop. The exhibition can be followed with bilingual catalogues (Greek and English), which present the halls or art and the artists whose work is on display.

    The 12th "Árt Áthina" will be opened on Friday 20 May, while the exhibition will be open for the public from Saturday 21 May to Tuesday 24 May. Those who wish can visit the exhibition on Monday and Tuesday, from 15:00 to 21:00, and at the weekend from 12:00 to 21:00. Admission costs 9 euros, although it is free for children, while the price for artists and students is 5 euros.

    Translated by Millie Williams

    [12] Aiming to treat diseases Stem Cells Cloned

    20 May 2005 08:07:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: BBC, ANA

    A team of South Korean scientists, who are studying the use of stem cells in treating patients, announced that they are a step closer to their goal. The scientists stated that they had created the first batch of stem cells that could adapt to patients suffering from Alzheimers Parkinsons and diabetes. The team took ova (eggs) from eleven women, removed the genetic material and replaced it with DNA from patient cells. However, anti-cloning campaigners also react to cloning for treatment, which they describe as equally dangerous.

    Further Research Needed

    Three of the cloned stem cells developed normally in the laboratory for three days, and one survived for five days.

    The researchers aim is to make cloned embryos, from which they will be able to remove stem cells and use them to treat patients.

    However, according to the scientists, this aim is still a long way off.

    Ethical and Legal Question

    Cloning for purposes of treatment is permitted in Britain, while cloning for purposes of reproduction was banned in 2001.

    The United Nations recently voted in favour of banning human cloning, although this vote is non-binding, which means that scientists can continue their research.

    Last year, South Korean scientists cloned 30 human embryos. However, the genetic material in this case came from cells of women that were then combined with their own ova.

    Translated by Millie Williams

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