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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-04

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Torrent of Reactions
  • [02] New Tragedy in Paris
  • [03] US Supreme Court Chief Justice Died

  • [01] Death Toll Estimated at 10,000 Torrent of Reactions

    04 Sep 2005 10:21:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters - BBC - 105.8 - NA

    The US operations for the relief of the hundreds of people who were afflicted by Hurricane Katrina have been intensifying over the last few days, under the weight of condemnations for negligence and apathy, while, at the same time, the death toll is estimated at 10,000. The exhausted citizens of New Orleans received the first supplies of water and food just yesterday. In the meantime, most of the thousands of weather-beaten citizens of the historic jazz city who had gathered in the Superdome have been transferred to neighbouring states. Meanwhile, the Third World pictures depicting the magnitude of the disaster have given rise to the issue of racial discrimination, since the majority of the citizens of New Orleans are African-American, with 30% bordering on poverty. The delays in the dispatch of aid have posed questions as to the whether the response would have been quicker had the victims been whites. On Saturday, the US president announced that apart from the thousands of soldiers who will be posted in the American South, the Government would also grant an emergency fund of $10.5 billion for the relief of those affected by the hurricane.

    Most of the People Transferred

    As per the army, at least 42,000 of the citizens who had found shelter in the Superdome and the citys Convention Centre have been transferred to Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Arkansas, following an 8-hour rescue crew operation.

    Hundreds of buses and helicopters transferred them to the airport, where they boarded military air carriers.

    Lethal Apathy

    On Saturday, a New Orleans police official condemned the military tactics followed during the first few days after Hurricane Katrina hit the area, mainly referring to the National Guards who "were playing cards, while people were dying." Specifically, he mentioned that only the police, the firemen and the volunteers were the ones offering assistance.

    As per Mr Riley the National Guards arrived on site in 40 trucks, 48 hours after the hurricane hit and they went straight to bed, while the police officers, the firemen and the volunteers were providing assistance to the victims. He added that they saw people dying, while further along, the soldiers were playing cards.

    We also stated that they saved thousands of people from rooftops and they were waiting for help from the part of the federal government, but the first three days went by without any aid arriving.

    He further mentioned that there is no official death toll yet, as it keeps rising, while he added that there are still many bodies all over New Orleans.

    Finally, he said that they were waiting for a special team to collect the bodies, but they have not arrived yet. "What is happening is inhumane. This is not America," he concluded.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Lethal Delays

    [02] Suspects Arrested for Arson New Tragedy in Paris

    04 Sep 2005 09:28:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: AFP - Le Monde

    A fire broke out in the early hours of the Sunday morning in an apartment block in the southern suburbs of Paris, resulting in the death of at least 12 people including two children, and the injury of another 35. Some 160 firefighters tackled the fire that broke out in the entrance hall of the 18-storey building in lHay-les-Roses at around 1am (local time). As per a local spokesperson, most of the victims were choked by fumes. The authorities arrested four young men, who, according to eyewitnesses, set fire to letterboxes at the buildings entrance. However, the cause of the fire was not immediately known. This new tragedy is the latest in a spate of fires in or around Paris that have already killed 24 people, mostly Africans, in the last 10 days.

    Questions Regarding Fire Safety

    The tragic incidents on 26 August with 17 dead and on 29 August with another seven give rise to questions over fire safety and the treatment of immigrants.

    President Jacques Chirac demanded action on fire safety to prevent further tragedies.

    On Saturday, thousands of people participated in a protest in the French capital demanding better housing conditions for impoverished African immigrants.

    Related News:

    Seven Dead in Paris Blaze

    Tragedy in Paris

    [03] US Supreme Court Chief Justice Died

    04 Sep 2005 11:44:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: CNN - BBC

    US Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who advanced the conservative ideology of the Supreme Court under his leadership, passed away on Saturday in his home in Virginia, aged 80. President Nixon nominated Rehnquist to the Supreme Court in 1972, and in 1986, President Reagan appointed him as Chief Justice. Rehnquist had been suffering from thyroid cancer. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said President Bush and his wife had been "deeply saddened" by the death.

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