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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-08-31

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Hecatomb
  • [02] Katrina Makes Oil Jump
  • [03] At Nature's Mercy
  • [04] Strong Quake in Japan
  • [05] Discussion Over Turkey's Statement Postponed
  • [06] Deficit Was Reduced

  • [01] Death Toll Rose to 640 Hecatomb

    31 Aug 2005 11:36:00 (Last updated: 31 Aug 2005 13:13:01)

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Hundreds of people died in Baghdad on Wednesday when a crowd of Iraqi pilgrims stampeded off a bridge over the Tigris River in Baghdad. International news agencies reported that the death toll rose to 640 while 238 were confirmed injured. Earlier, Iraqi Deputy Health Minister Jalil Al-Shumari told Reuters that more than 500 people died. The crowd of Iraqi pilgrims was on its way to the Kadhimiya mosque to commemorate Musa Al-Kadhim, the seventh Shiite imam, when rumours that spoke of a suicide bomber ready to detonate himself spread a panic wave. Reuter also reported that many people drowned when falling off the bridge. Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari declared a three-day mourning. Earlier seven people had been killed and 36 had been wounded in three separate mortar attacks against pilgrims.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Above 70 Dollars in Asian Markets Katrina Makes Oil Jump

    31 Aug 2005 09:29:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    Ahead of the damage account at the oil plants in the Gulf of Mexico, American crude posted on Tuesday a 2.60-dollar increase and closed at 69.81 dollars per barrel in New York markets, while its price started at 70.40 dollars per barrel in Asian markets on Wednesday. In Singapore market, the price of the oil to be delivered in October was fixed at 70.50 dollars on Wednesday morning. At the same time, the American authorities do not rule out the likelihood to give to the market part of the 700 million barrels of oil from the US strategic stock to tackle the oil shortage, since 711 oil plants in the Gulf of Mexico that produce the &#188; of the total US fuel output are still closed. On Tuesday, the American crude temporarily jumped to 70.85 dollars per barrel, but it soon dropped.

    Ahead of Account

    The prices of the black gold are expected to post further increase in case Katrina caused major damages in the oil plants.

    Shell oil company announced that the air inspection of its oil pumping platforms in the Gulf of Mexico showed some damages on the upper deck.

    Valero Energy Corporation said that its refinery near New Orleans has not sustained serious damages and that it is to re-operate in two weeks' time. In total, nine oil refineries remain closed due to the hurricane, while four more present a reduced output.

    On its part, Saudi Arabia offered to give additional oil to the market lest oil price should soar.

    Analysts believe that prices are likely to jump at 80 dollars a barrel. This price, should it be deflated, can be compared to that fixed in 1980 after the Iraqi revolution that deposed the shah.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Black Gold Inferno

    [03] Biblical Damages At Nature's Mercy

    31 Aug 2005 08:25:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: BBC - CNN - NET 105.8 -ANA

    An unprecedented rescue operation and help offer via helicopters and boats is underway to aid those inflicted by the devastating pass of hurricane Katrina. The authorities fear that the death toll will exceed 100 in the states of Mississippi and Louisiana, while thousands were left homeless. So far, 80 people have been recorded dead, while the damage cost in buildings, railway infrastructure and communication networks, electricity and water supplies are expected to rise above 26 billion dollars. The police have declared many neighbourhoods in New Orleans in a state of emergency, where widespread looting was also reported. New Orleans Tulane University Hospital suffered a power cut throughout the night and many patients were removed with helicopters. Tough moments also awaited those who resorted to the Louisiana Superdome, since there was a power cut, too. US President George Bush, who broke off his holidays because of the act of God that is sweeping through the south of the country, urged the citizens and the humanitarian bodies to assist the hurricane-stricken.

    New Orleans in a State of Emergency

    Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco spoke of floods, widespread power cut and a totally disrupted communication network and she stressed that there is only one road network open connecting New Orleans with the rest of the world.

    In particular, 80% of the city is under water with the water level keeping rising, for the efforts to enhance the levee failed.

    Furthermore, Mrs Blanco said that she is working on a plan to facilitate the transfer of the citizens who opted to stay in the city defying the evacuation order that was released on Sunday.

    "There is no electricity and this is going to be the case for quite some time. There is no drinkable water and no food. We should send food supplies both to the rescue teams and to those who survived the hurricane," Mrs Blanco added.

    "Now, we should resort to our inner strength. Some neighbourhoods need to be reconstructed from scratch. The main highway has been crashed into small pieces and resembles more like a puzzle," she said.

    As for the tens of thousands who have resorted to Louisiana Superdome, conditions are extremely stiff. Kathleen Blanco stated the there is a power cut and that it is difficult to provide them with food supplies.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Katrina Spreads Death

    [04] Strong Quake in Japan

    31 Aug 2005 00:10:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale was reported today at the northeast part of Japan, without any victims or damages according to the first information, announced the meteorological services.

    The quake that occurred on Wednesday night at 21:11 Greek time, was especially felt on Honsu island, according to Kyodo news agency.

    Hong Kong's observatory clarified its epicentre was in the Pacific Ocean in a distance of 210km northeast of Sendai city.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] For Refusing to Recognise Cyprus Discussion Over Turkey's Statement Postponed

    31 Aug 2005 11:49:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET - NET 105.8 - ANA

    The discussion over Ankaras refusal to recognise the Republic of Cyprus, which was scheduled for Wednesday at the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives a.k.a. COREPER, was postponed. The British Presidency told the 25 that COREPERs meeting is to be short meaning that there will be no time to discuss Ankaras statement. Wednesdays meeting is expected to focus on the preparation of the two-day informal summit of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers to be held in Newport, Wales. The summit is going to consider Turkeys future in Europe as well as its controversial statement. "We will voice our claims, but we are also willing to compromise should this secure Cyprus rights," stated Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Giorgos Iakovou. On his part, head of the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry Abdullah Gul called the notion of privileged partnership with the EU illegal.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Deficit Was Reduced

    30 Aug 2005 22:51:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA - NET

    The budgets deficit posted a reduction of 11.4% in the first seven months of 2005, compared to that of 2004. As per data released by the General Accounting Office, the deficit stood at 7,9 billion euros as opposed to the annual forecast of 8,5 billion euros.

    At the same time, net profits surged by 3.7%. During the same seven-month period the primary expenditures presented a modest increase of 2.5%, as opposed to the annual target increase of 4.9%, and the outlay on interests posted a 16% increased as opposed to the target of 3.5%. Therefore, the total presents a 6% increase instead of 4.6% on an annual basis.

    "The government admits the collapse of the budget with regard to profits and expenditures," commented PASOK on the announcement issued by the Economy Ministry. "Mr Alogoskoufis is misleading the Greek people fabricating the reality. The reality proves that there is a huge profit shortage, and have failed to meet the goals," PASOK pointed out and said that the deficit is to exceed 5%. "The government proceed with the inventory just to serve its purposes and it employs practices that used to vehemently dismiss," PASOK announcement concluded.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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