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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Death Penalty for Drunk Driver
  • [02] "Justice is Citizens' Shield"
  • [03] Rage and Mourning
  • [04] PM's Meetings
  • [05] Tropical Storm in Vietnam
  • [06] New Bird Flu Victim
  • [07] Blast in Bursa
  • [08] New Paris Fire

  • [01] In Thailand Death Penalty for Drunk Driver

    01 Sep 2005 12:15:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: Associated Press

    A court in northeastern Thailand sentenced a 23-year-old man to death, as he was charged with killing four people and injuring another five during a drunk driving rampage. It is a historic verdict, since this is the first time ever that the ultimate penalty is imposed for a drink driving offence, while it signals the authorities determination to stamp out similar incidents in the future. Thailand has one of the worlds highest mortality rates from road accidents, while 80% of those are caused by drunk drivers.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [02] Prime Minister Visits Justice Ministry "Justice is Citizens' Shield"

    01 Sep 2005 10:45:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Prime Minister met with Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras in the context of contacts with ministers for the course of the government work. In statements afterwards, Mr Karamanlis stressed, "Justice is the strongest foundation of society and democracy, this is why we proceed with its clean-up." He also referred to the pathogenesis of the judicial institution. "We received a Justice so corrupted by the judicial and extra judicial networks that delays in its administration touched he limits of denegation of justice. Our goal from the very first moment was the modernization of its operation, the continuous upgrade of its quality and the reinforcement of its independence," underlined Mr Karamanlis and further added "interventions have already bore fruit. With a legislative initiative, we are reshaping the institution of self-administration, so as to prevent corruption phenomena, client relations and interventions in the area of Justice. What is more, in order to ease off congestion in prison facilities, the ministry will put to effect a programme for the erection of six new Detainment Centres with state-of-the-art specifications (in Trikala, Domokos, Grevena, Serres, Drama and Chania) so that prisons turn from corruption centres to correctional places and offer a new chance in life. In addition, the process of adapting national legislation to European legislation is accelerated and a bill has already been passed to face corruption and the European arrest warrant, while a series of European directives are quickly integrated to national law. With the adaptation of a series of legislative interventions, said Mr Karamanlis, we are aiming at a Justice that will be independent, the citizens' shield, a guarantee against any effort of power abuse.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] One Year since the Massacre in Beslan Rage and Mourning

    01 Sep 2005 10:22:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Today marks the 1-year anniversary since the hostage seize of the school in Beslan by Chechen rebels that ended two days later with the death of 331 people, most of them children. A year later, the pain of the victims relatives, who arrived at the school to pay homage to the dead, remains the same. Under tight security measures, the relatives laid flowers outside the school building and lit candles. Everybody froze at exactly 9:15 am, when the bells started to toll. Time travelled back a year ago, to the exact moment when the Chechens seized the building.

    Unanswered Questions

    The security measures are draconian.

    In order to access the building, the relatives had to go through metal detectors.

    The photos of the children, teachers and parents who died in the massacre have been posted on the walls of the sports hall, where the Chechen rebels held more than 1,300 people captive.

    A year later, the people of Beslan are still grieving; the rage, however, is overflowing.

    The relatives of the victims are still seeking answers to the many questions, including how many armed Chechens invaded the building, as well as why the authorities refused to negotiate with them.

    What they mainly want to find out is who is responsible for the massacre: the Chechens or the operation that led to the end of the siege.

    The head of the Beslan Mothers Committee attributed responsibilities to the Russian forces.

    "The government is supposed to guarantee our lives, take responsibility for our lives, and they havent," said Susanna Dudiyeva, whose son was killed during the siege, while she told reporters that President Vladimir Putin was unwelcome during the mourning ceremonies "since he is responsible for what happened in Beslan."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] PM's Meetings

    01 Sep 2005 09:19:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    At 09:30 Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis visited the Ministry of Justice in order to discuss with Minister Anastasis Papaligouras. Following, the PM will have a meeting at the Maximos Mansion with Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. In the afternoon Mr Karamanlis will open talks with production bodies and trade union organisations in view of the Thessaloniki International Fair. In the afternoon, he will also meet with the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (the representatives of which will also meet with Mr Alogoskoufis) and with GSEVE (General Confederation of Small and Medium Sized Businesses) an hour later. Following, he will talk with ADEDYs (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) board, which will have already met with Ministers of Economy Alogoskoufis and Interior Pavlopoulos regarding the governments revenue policy on civil servants.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] With Nine Dead Tropical Storm in Vietnam

    01 Sep 2005 09:17:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The tropical storm that hit central Vietnam left behind nine dead and extensive damages in crops. Two children aged four and nine were included in the victims, the majority of which were villagers. The provinces of Ha Tinh and Nghe An has suffered the most damage, with 11,000 hectares of paddy fields inundated. Making a first rough estimation, authorities fear the extent of damages will exceed one million dollars.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] New Bird Flu Victim

    01 Sep 2005 08:32:00 (Last updated: 01 Sep 2005 11:59:31)

    By Tina Valaoura

    And while Europe is taking self-protection measures against the dangerous bird flu, Asia continues to add names to the list of victims from it. This morning, Vietnam announced the death of one more person, who lost his life to the bird flu, thus raising the death toll to 63.

    According to Deputy Health Minister Trinh Quan Huan, the unfortunate victim, whose gender has not been disclosed, was from Soc Son, a district on the outskirts of Hanoi and died of pneumonia on Sunday. The tests performed on the body showed the person had been affected by the H5 component of the bird flu avian influenza virus. This was the 44th person to have died from the fatal disease in Vietnam and the 23rd since the virus returned in December 2004. It has also killed at least 12 people in Thailand, four in Cambodia, three in Indonesia and has struck six Russian regions and Kazakhstan, causing the deaths of nearly 14,000 fowl.

    Health Ministry officials announced that the country's authorities are regulating at this hour the last details of an emergency plan aiming to prevent a pandemic in Vietnam, including the vaccination of 60 million poultry until the middle of November, ie before winter, which usually favours the spread of the disease.

    Now, it cannot pass easily from human to human, but the World Health Organization has been saying loudly for more than a year the virus could mutate into a form, which could do so. If that happened, millions of people without immunity could die, it says.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [07] Blast in Bursa

    01 Sep 2005 08:44:00 (Last updated: 01 Sep 2005 11:45:42)

    By Tina Valaoura

    The city of Bursa in northwest Turkey was shocked this morning by a blast that killed one person. The explosion occurred outside the offices of the Turkish power corporation.

    Special police forces rushed on site to investigate the causes of the blast, which still remain unknown, as per the Anatolia news agency. Bursa's police commander could not give any specific information on the incident. Questioned whether the victim -a man who lost his leg because of the blast- was strapped with explosives, he only commented that for the time being the situation remains confused.

    However, following last weeks' assaults in Turkey against military and political targets, there are fears of a bomb attack. Especially in Bursa, which constitutes a tourist pole of attraction, there was a recent armed clash between Kurdish guerrillas and Turkish policemen resulting in the death of a rebel.

    Meanwhile, in Turkey's southeastern province of Hakkari, an explosion in the basement of an office building caused damage and blew out windows, but did not lead to injuries. The explosion is thought to have been caused by a sound bomb, Anatolia news agency reported, but the intention wasn't clear.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] New Paris Fire

    01 Sep 2005 00:46:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The third fire in just a few days was finally put out in Paris. The fire broke out on Wednesday night in an old movie theatre at the heart of the French capital near the City Hall. Some 100 firemen and 22 fire engines rushed on site, while during the extinguishments operation two firemen were slightly injured. The causes of the fire remain unknown.

    Dangerous Buildings Evacuated

    During the last days, 24 people, mainly African immigrants, have lost their lives to fires in old buildings of the French capital. The most recent among them was on Monday, when seven people died. The latest tragedy caused the intervention of French President Jacques Chirac, who asked for proper measures to be taken so as not to have similar incidents in the future. In fact, as per French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, Paris authorities will proceed with the evacuation of 420 buildings found dangerous to prevent future tragedies.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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