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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-10

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] In Search of Culprits
  • [02] “Yes” in Luxemburg
  • [03] 125-Karat Teddy Bear
  • [04] Blast in Turkey
  • [05] He Killed the Woman Too
  • [06] Euro-Referendum in Luxemburg

  • [01] Three Suspects Arrested in London In Search of Culprits

    10 Jul 2005 11:15:00 (Last updated: 10 Jul 2005 19:43:06)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC, ANA, NET Radio 105.8

    Police in London are running an intensive search to locate the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks. As was announced on Sunday afternoon, the British police arrested three suspects at Heathrow airport, shortly before departing abroad. These people are held in custody, but we do not know yet if these arrests are linked to the attacks, said Brian Patrick, Scotland Yards 3rd in command. In the meantime, Europe is living under the threat of a new possible attack, as Al Qaeda, which assumed responsibility for the London attacks, launched new threats. On Saturday night alarm sounded again and the British police had to evacuate more than 20,000 people from a quarter at the heart of Birmingham, after information on a possible terrorist hit. At the same time, concerns are voiced that the number of victims will increase, as the number of dead in a tube tunnel, which rescue crews havent managed to reach yet, remains unknown. Officially, the death toll has reached 49, the missing are 25 and the injured 700, 15 of which in critical condition.

    Serious Threat

    After a night of worry, life in Birmingham, the second most populated city in Britain, is trying to return to its normal pace of life.

    Police Chief Paul Scott-Lee stressed in a Press Conference that the threat is serious and precise as to the place and time. What is more, although he did not provide a lot of information on the threats nature, he did say it was not a prank. Mr Scott underlined that never so far had there been such a threat in the city, while he stated that Birminghams citizens were in danger last night. Taking the climate of the days under consideration, the safety of the people is our top priority, said the Police Chief.

    However, West Midlands county deputy Police Chief Stewart Hide disassociated the fact from the terrorist hits in London. The Police also announced there have been no arrests so far.

    In the meantime, manhunt to track down the perpetrators in the British capital continues. Press articles say the suspects are a Syrian and a 40-year-old Moroccan, who disappeared last year from his house in north London, shortly after the attacks in Madrid, and is already wanted for the attacks in the Spanish capital and Casablanca. However, speaking last night on the Arab-speaking channel Al Jazeera, the Moroccan man said he is innocent.

    What is more, Scotland Yard executive Scott Stevens underlined that it is almost certain the perpetrators of these bloody attacks have been born in Britain, considering speculations that terrorists have come from abroad as wishful thinking. Furthermore, he stressed they most likely belong to small groups, which are loosely linked to each other and follow the Al Qaeda ideology, while they are at different levels of extremism. In fact, he underlined that over 3,000 people who were born or grew up in the UK have been in Osama bin Ladens training camps. Of course, not everyone became a terrorist.

    Scenarios to Downsize Troops

    Newspaper Mail on Sunday reported that the British and US governments are planning to downsize the number of troops in Iraq by half until mid-2006. As per the relevant memorandum, which is reportedly signed by British Defence Minister John Rid, London is planning of reducing the number of troops from 8,500 to 3,000 by the middle of the next year. Respectively, Washington is planning of decreasing its forces in Iraq from 140,000 men to 66,000 in the beginning of 2006.

    As per the memorandum, the reduction of British troops in Iraq would save up approximately 1 billion pounds.

    In a written statement answering to the article, John Rid stressed, We have made quite clear we will remain in Iraq for as long as it is necessary. No decision has been made for the future deployment of the UKs forces. We always said that our intention was to hand the leadership of battle against terrorists to the Iraqi security forces. This is why we constantly produce documents describing all our possible options in any case. It is a necessary and prudent planning.

    Grief and Rage

    Hundreds of people gathered at the centre of London to pay tribute to the victims of the attacks and condemn the Blair government policy regarding troops in Iraq. Protestors gathered near Kings Cross station and Tavistock square and observed a one-minute silence. The demonstration was organised by Stop the War Organisation, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Union of Britain.

    During the traditional Sunday blessing in St Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI called on the faithful to pray for the attackers and told the bombers to "stop in the name of God". The Pope said: "To those who foment feelings of hatred and to those who carry out such repugnant terrorist actions, I say to you: 'God loves life, which he created, not death. Stop in the name of God'."

    What is more, British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced that a national memorial for the victims is likely to be erected. On Saturday night unknown men tried to burn down a Muslim mosque in northwest England, an incident described as very serious by the Police, since there is fear of retaliation to Muslims living in the UK, who have already condemned the London attacks and have voiced their solidarity and support to the victims.

    Further more, four Muslim mosques in Oakland, New Zealands biggest city, were vandalised. Perpetrators smashed windows and doors and wrote London rest in Peace on the walls.

    On Sunday, Prime Minister Helen Clark urged civilians to be calm and tolerant and stressed it is a mistake to make the Muslim community target of retaliation.

    Constant Alert in Europe

    On Wednesday, EUs 25 Internal Affairs Ministers will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the eventuality of taking additional measures against terrorism.

    The Italian Police announced the arrest of 142 people during a wide-scale operation in Lombardy, which started right after the terrorist attacks in London. According to Italian newspaper "Il Messaggero", quoting intelligence and immigration sources, about 350 Islamic extremists are in Italy with several "sleeper cells" of potential terrorists in the industrialized north of the country and around Naples.

    As per the Press, two groups most active in Italy are the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, which aims to establish an Islamic state in Algeria, and the Moroccan Salafist Fighting Group.

    In Portugal, a bomb threat forced authorities to evacuate a TAP aircraft, which was bound from Lisbon to London. However, no explosive device was recovered on board.

    French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin stated on Sunday that French authorities are on alert, while he added that no country is safe from terrorist attacks and every place in France or Europe could become a target.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Al Qaeda Responsible

    [02] European Constitution Referendum Yes in Luxemburg

    10 Jul 2005 18:00:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    On Sunday, Luxemburg became the 13th EU Member-State to have ratified the European Constitutional Treaty, the first after the French and Dutch No to have done so with a referendum. As per the final results, Yes gathered 56.52% instead of 43.48% of citizens who voted No. The positive outcome of the referendum is viewed as Prime Minister Jean Claude Junkers personal success. Mr Junker had announced he would resign if the referendum was negative, but now the positive turnout reinforces his position in the EU and allows his to hold on to his views since he is also the Minister of Economy and Eurogroups head. Apart from Junker, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also voiced their satisfaction over the referendums positive outcome.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    Euro-Referendum in Luxemburg

    [03] 125-Karat Teddy Bear

    10 Jul 2005 15:39:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Has your only child set its eyes on a teddy bear and cries to death to get, but you think its quite expensive to buy it? If you think your precious has expensive tastes, then you better guess again. Steiff, a German toy company, recently manufactured the most expensive teddy bear in the world for its 125th anniversary. What more does Jubilee Bear has than any other ordinary teddy bear? Well, for starters, his furry coat is made of true gold, while his eyes are made of sapphires and diamonds! In particular, cute and literally precious Jubilee has a height of 50cm, its fur is made of golden thread, its mouth and nose are pure gold, while its pupils are made of 11mm diametre and 6 karat sapphires and its irises are made of 20 tiny diamonds. And if youre still burning up to have it, dont hesitate a bit: there are only 125 Jubilee Bears and the reasonable price of 62,446 euros! Make sure to get one!

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Twenty Injured Blast in Turkey

    10 Jul 2005 15:19:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Cesme, one of the most popular seaside resorts in Turkey, right opposite the Greek island of Chios, was shaken up on Sunday when a rubbish bin exploded near a bank at Cesmes central square. Twenty people were injured, one hospitalized at a Smyrna hospital in critical conditions. The causes of the explosion remain unknown and pyrotechnicians have rushed on site, while as per television network NTV, all evidence leads to a bomb blast. Police experts arrived on site and sealed off the area, where there are dozens of hotels without thousands of tourists from Turkey and abroad. So far, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] 43-year-old from Stratoni, Chalkidice He Killed the Woman Too

    10 Jul 2005 18:10:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    34-year-old Chryssoula Tsonidou from Stratoni, Chalkidice, died a tragic death. Her ex-husband invaded her house on Saturday morning and killed the 50-year-old man with whom she lived together with a shotgun and then abducted the woman. Her dead body was recovered in an inaccessible forested area called Cholomontas, at a distance of 3.5km from the site of the first killing. Mrs Tsonidou, mother of four minors, had been shot at the head with a riffle, while her hands were tied behind her back with handcuffs. A coroner arrived on site and after running an autopsy, the body was taken to the morgue. The vehicle, which the perpetrator used during the kidnapping, was also found at the crime scene. However, the police havent managed to trace the man yet and he is wanted, while the guns used in both homicides are still missing.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Polls Show Yes Euro-Referendum in Luxemburg

    10 Jul 2005 10:40:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    As of Sunday morning, 223,000 voters are turning out to the ballots in Luxemburg in order to vote for or against the European Constitution, although most EU Member-States have frozen the process. Turnout percentage is expected to be high, which estimations say it will even reach 90%. The result of the referendum is not binding, but all political parties have agreed to respect it. The majority of the political world is in favour of the European Constitution, but analysts stress that voters might be affected by France and the Netherlands No votes. In fact, Prime Minister Jean Claude Junker stated he will resign in case No prevails. However, as per polls, Junker is most likely to remain at office as 46% are in favour of the Constitution, 38% are against it and 16% hadnt decided what to vote. Still, the Prime Minister of Luxemburg wanted to proceed with the referendum despite the negative atmosphere in order to send Europe a positive sign. Ballots opened at 08:00 local time and the results will be announced in the afternoon, shortly after the ballots will have closed (14:00 local time).

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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