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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-15

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Soyuz’s “Descendant”
  • [02] Manhunt for the Culprits
  • [03] “Filia Express” Arrived in Istanbul
  • [04] Dangerous Talks
  • [05] Blast in Central Barcelona
  • [06] Egypt Envoy Killer is Arrested
  • [07] Wave of Violence in Gaza
  • [08] Violence Seems Endless

  • [01] New Russian Spacecraft Soyuzs Descendant

    15 Jul 2005 12:10:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The approval of a 10-year space program on the part of Russias government enables the countrys space agency to successfully overcome the post-Soviet stagnation. Among the objectives set by the Federal Space Programme, and probably the most important one, is to develop a new manned spacecraft that will eventually replace the reliable but insufficient 38-year-old Soyuz. "The Russian space industry has come out of stagnation and is confidently advancing," said Anatoly Perminov, head of the programme. The Federal Space Programme Budget for the upcoming decade is expected to stand at around 8,6 billion euros, significantly higher than previously. However, it is viewed as moderate compared to the annual NASA budget.

    Aiming at Mars

    The development of the new spacecraft constitutes an important step in a long-term plan to send a manned mission to Mars.

    Furthermore, Russia has repeatedly voiced its dissatisfaction about the fact that it has launched all missions to the International Space Station (ISS), after the Columbia disaster in 2003 that made NASA ground its space fleet. Since then, only the Russian Soyuz and Progress have been operating.

    So far, Russias plans are proved promising. Although the countrys space agency budget was increased, another problem arose, that of the work force.

    Russian PM Mikhail Fradkov pointed out that the lack of experienced work force and experts is a graver problem than the reduced budgets. Besides, the aging work force, with an average age of 48couipled with low wages fail to attract young people into the sector.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Ongoing Investigations Manhunt for the Culprits

    15 Jul 2005 09:44:00 (Last updated: 15 Jul 2005 13:15:17)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Eight days after the multi-fatality attacks in London and the British authorities are continuing their hunt for clues, mainly in Leeds, northern England, where three of the alleged terrorists resided. Many streets in the area have been blocked off, while the citizens who were evacuated from their homes were advised to take with them personal items for three to four days. In the meantime, Scotland Yard, which officially attributed the attacks to al Qaeda, stressed that it would take months before they unravel the planning and finance network of the London bombing attacks. "Who supported them? Who financed them? Who trained them? Who encouraged them? This will take many months of intensive detailed investigation," underlined Anti-terrorism police chief Peter Clarke. At the same time the death toll has climbed to 54, since 28-year-old Australian Sam Lee, who was seriously wounded in the fated bus, succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The authorities fear that the death toll may increase even further, since many of the 700 wounded are still in critical condition.

    Investigations and Question Marks

    The British police investigations are intensifying, especially after the names of the four men who were allegedly responsible for the 7 July massacre were released.

    Many houses in Beeston were evacuated, while a bomb squad unit and a special robot searched a building close to the home of British-Pakistani Shehzad Tanweer, aged 22, who is considered one of the attackers. Furthermore, another apartment in Hyde Park, central Leeds, was also the focus of investigations. Local MP Greg Mulholland had described the home as the operational headquarters of the attackers.

    In addition, the investigations are also continuing at a house in Elsberry, northwest London, where one of the suicide bombers, Lindsay Germaine, a Jamaican-born British resident, lived. This fourth bomber, also known by the nickname Germail, is believed to have arrived in Luton on the day of the attacks in a rented car. There, he met with the other three bombers, who had arrived earlier from Leeds. They all boarded a train to King Cross, where they split up in order to launch the terrorist attacks.

    At the same time, the investigations to locate the mastermind of the attacks are intensifying. According to the Times, the man kept contact with a top al Qaeda member, who participated in the secret meeting of leaders of the terrorist network in 2004, in north Pakistan. It is believed that Osama Bin Ladens deputy Aiman Al Zawahri also attended that meeting. Quoting police sources, the newspaper wrote that the mastermind managed to recruit young members of the Muslim community in Britain to the international terrorist network.

    "Al Qaeda clearly has the ability to provide training, to provide briefing and to provide expertise, and that is what occurred here and what occurred in Madrid," said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

    The profile of the four bombers is causing a headache to the British police authorities, as they are fanatical Muslims that never had any trouble with the law and operated individually, without briefing the leadership of al Qaeda.

    Sir Ian Blair also noted that Scotland Yard knew of and was monitoring 250 al Qaeda members in London, but the four bombers were not among them. In addition, he did not rule out a second terrorist hit in London.

    What has also been troubling police is that one of the suicide bombers, 18-year-old Hasib Mir Hussain, detonated the explosives 57 minutes after the others. Another question mark is the fact that a different target rather than the tube was chosen. The Anti-terrorism police chief urged Londoners to assist in the investigations. "Was he alone or with others? Do you know the route he took from the station? Did you see him get onto a Number 30 bus? And if you did, where and when was that?" Mr Clarke asked during the Press conference.

    Tribute to the Victims

    Apart from the two-minute silence observed all over Europe on Thursday afternoon, thousands of people gathered in Trafalgar Square on Thursday nigh to pay homage to the victims.

    "Those who came here to kill last Thursday had many goals, but one was that we should turn on each other, like animals trapped in a cage, and they failed, totally and utterly," London Mayor Ken Livingstone told the crowd. Furthermore, he promised the families of the victims honorary tickets for the 2012 Olympic Games, which will be held in the British capital.

    Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council in Britain, noted that whoever kills one person, kills the entire humanity, while whoever saves one person saves the entire humanity.

    Meanwhile, Russias decision not to observe the silent tribute to the victims triggered various reactions. The president of the State Dumas External Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, declared that each country is free to express its sympathy as it wishes.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Searching for the Mastermind

    [03] Liapis-Erdogan Meeting Filia Express Arrived in Istanbul

    14 Jul 2005 21:47:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA - NET

    The train of friendship connecting Thessaloniki with Istanbul arrived in the Turkish city. The Greek delegation was welcomed by the Turkish authorities, which inaugurated the new railway line. Transport Minister Michael Liapis, who travelled by train, was welcomed by the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish Transport Minister. Mr Erdogan and Mr Liapis decided to establish a second border station at Evros with a view to facilitating the movements of Greeks and Turks, thus averting queues at the borders. Mr Liapis spoke of the progress on the transport sector as well as of the future plans to reinforce infrastructure and boost cooperation. He also transferred Mr Karamanliss warm greetings. Speaking to the reporters shortly after the meeting, the Greek Minister described the meeting as useful and cordial, and he voiced his satisfaction about the progress made on the Greek-Turkish relations.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Alarm Sounded at Voulgarakis-Clarke Meeting Dangerous Talks

    14 Jul 2005 21:28:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The alarm sounded once again following a phone call warning of a bomb in the British Interior Ministry. At that time, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke had a meeting with the Greek Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis. The two Ministers moved form office to office in order to complete their talks. Mr Voulgarakis briefed his peer on the initiatives the Greek Ministry of Public Order has undertaken to promote security, stability and growth in the Balkan region as well as in Southern Europe. They also agreed Athens to host a Balkan Summit to discuss means of combating organized crime and terrorism. The Greek Minister also expressed the Greek governments intention to offer its experience and know-how obtained by the implementation of security measures during the 2004 Olympic Games to the British authorities. Mr Clarke accepted and expressed his gratefulness for Greeces solidarity. Earlier today, Mr Voulgarakis met with the Greek driver of the bus that was hit by the terrorists.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] Blast in Central Barcelona

    15 Jul 2005 11:05:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA - Reuters

    A small bomb exploded this morning close to an Italian car dealership in Barcelona. The homemade bomb was made up of explosives that had had been placed inside a pressure cooker. Luckily there were no injuries from the explosion, while the damages were minor.

    A few days earlier, a bomb had exploded at the entrance of the Italian Culture Centre in the city, which resulted in the injury of one police officer. The police attribute that attack to anarchists.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Egypt Envoy Killer is Arrested

    15 Jul 2005 00:16:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA - BBC

    Khamis Farhan Abed al-Fahdawi, also known as Abu Seba, suspected of involvement in the assassination of Egypts envoy to Iraq, is remanded in US custody. A group headed by al-Qaedas leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the assassination. As per US army, Abu Seba was arrested in Ramadi. Apart from Seba, 30 more suspected terrorists, including a high-ranking al-Qaeda member and close Zarqawis associate, Abu Abd al-Aziz, were also arrested. The latter, leader of the terrorist cell in Baghdad, was arrested in the Iraqi capital on July 10.

    al-Qaeda Disclaims Responsibility

    In the meantime, al-Qaeda disclaims responsibility for Wednesdays bombings in Iraq that killed 27 people, mostly children.

    We are not to be held responsible for yesterdays attack in Baghdad, stated the group on an Islamic website. Our way of fighting is well known. We fight against Gods enemies, the crusaders and their supporters namely the army and the police forces, it added and went on saying, Zarqawi takes special care to prevent civilians form being targeted.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Wave of Violence in Gaza

    15 Jul 2005 07:46:00 (Last updated: 15 Jul 2005 12:33:10)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: BBC - ANA - Reuters

    A wave of fierce clashes is sweeping the Gaza strip yet again. The three missiles launched last night by the Israeli army caused havoc and resulted in exchange of fire between Palestinians. Fighting raged in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza, following the raids by Palestinian security forces trying to locate the suspects for yesterdays attacks against southern Israel. The Palestinian militants reacted by setting fire to a police station, an armoured vehicle and three jeeps. A gunbattle followed and, according to hospital sources, a teenager and a child were killed, while another 12 people were injured.

    At the same time, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived today in the city of Gaza to negotiate with the militants, aiming at diffusing the tension and violence, which have been threatening the fragile truce with the Israelis.

    The tension escalated following last nights rocket attacks against southern Israel, which resulted in the death of a 22-yaer-old Israeli woman. In retaliation, Israel launched three helicopter raids during the night, while it blocked off Gazas main highway at two points. The missile attacks targeted al Aqsa Martyrs and Hamas, which claimed responsibility for the other attack. There have been no reports on victims yet.

    Eyewitnesses mentioned that the Islamic Cultural Centre, ran by the Hamas, in Jabaliya, northern Gaza, the cemetery in Khan Younis on the south and the refugee settlement Deir al Bala were the targets of the attack.

    Palestinian rebels responded to last nights attack with a predawn raid, launching rockets against the town Sderot in southern Israel. An Israeli military source, though, confirmed that there were no victims from that attack.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Violence Seems Endless

    Tension Escalates in the Middle East

    [08] An Israeli Woman Died Violence Seems Endless

    14 Jul 2005 23:49:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC

    Palestinian security forces are once again on alert due to the tension that prevails the Gaze Strip. Palestinian militants fired rockets from the Gaze Strip killing a young Israeli woman and wounded another. The rocket hit the womans house in Nativ Haasara. Other rockets hit a farm, a military base and a Jewish settlement. Later, Palestinian policemen wounded five Hamas militants, who were reported to have been leaving the area from where the rockets were launched. Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the aforementioned attacks, which were in retaliation for the killing of a Palestinian fighter by the Israelis in Nablus. On his part, Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman described the policemen action as unacceptable and he pointed out, We will not keep silent.

    Israel Will Answer Back

    The Israeli army launched an attack in Nablus to retaliate for the suicide bombing in Netanya that killed five people.

    Regarding the latest Palestinian attack with rockets, Israel stated that it will not go unnoticed. Later at night, eyewitnesses reported that Israeli helicopters raided the Gaza Strip.

    In the meantime, on Thursday the Arab Union requested UN Security Council be called to discuss the Israeli Security Barrier, which is expected to divide western Jerusalem from the rest of the city.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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