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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-09-22

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Focus On Olympic Airlines
  • [02] Rita Rises to Category 5
  • [03] Even a Little Hurts
  • [04] Rita Rises Oil Price
  • [05] Papoulias' Message to FYROM
  • [06] Deep Mourning in Mexico
  • [07] Italian Economy Minister Resigned
  • [08] Fears of A Pandemic
  • [09] Deadly Rainstorms in the Philippines
  • [10] Misadventure In Air

  • [01] Procedures and Political Disputes Focus On Olympic Airlines

    22 Sep 2005 11:13:00 (Last updated: 22 Sep 2005 12:59:43)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Today, the Minister of Transport, Michalis Liapis, is expected to give answers to crucial questions, while at the time he is briefing the relevant Parliamentary committee on the developments. Moreover, discussions in Maximos Mansion are continuing, however the government is avoiding publicising its conclusions and awaits the contacts with the interested investors for OA to be completed, however stating that the aim of is the privatisation of the company. As per sources, the decision on OA has been sent to the relevant Ministries, and now all aspects are investigated in order to designate the further actions. However, the procedures over Olympic Airlines future and the political disputes they are causing continue to monopolise headlines. Television channel Alpha revealed documents that state that the PASOK government was advancing OAs privatisation in the EU. As it was made known, the General Secretary of the Transport Ministry, during the pre-election campaign, had sent a relevant document to the Commission. "There is no confusion of views in the government on the OA issue, but a main direction," stated ND Secretary Vagelis Meimarakis, after his meeting with the Prime Minister, while claiming most DEKOs need rationalisation and tidying-up. President of SYN Alekos Alavanos, during their meeting in Maximos Mansion, asked the PM for the public nature of Olympic to be maintained, whilst asking for a referendum and the forming of an investigative committee on the national air carrier. Today, Mr Alavanos is expected to meet with the President of PASOK. "The government is fabricating bizarre scenarios for OA," stated PASOK, while KKE asked for the stoppage of every form of privatisation.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [02] Cities in Texas Evacuated Rita Rises to Category 5

    22 Sep 2005 00:12:00 (Last updated: 22 Sep 2005 13:06:27)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Rita now ranks in the highest category of hurricanes. Late on Tuesday night, the US National Hurricane Centre announced that Rita was reinforced further, and ranked category 5 on the Saffir Simpson scale, as it is accompanied by a winds speed of 265km/hour, whilst moving in the Gulf of Mexico. Florida, Louisiana and Texas, President Bushs home state, have declared states of emergency. The concern is evident, since the US Authorities asked parents to photograph their children in case they are separated.

    Evacuation of Huston and Galveston

    A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for Huston and Galveston, while television networks broadcast scenes of citizens fleeing their cities with their vehicles. It is estimated that 1 million people will evacuate Huston. Earlier, the Authorities closed down Johnson Space Center, while all cultural and sports events were cancelled. In Galveston, a city of 60,000 residents, 80 school busses were used to transport around 2,400 hospital patients and persons without means of transport, out of the city.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Rita Gets Upgraded

    [03] Even a Little Hurts

    22 Sep 2005 12:45:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: Reuters

    Norwegian scientists have contradicted the popular notion that "light" smoking does not cause danger to ones health. In a report published in the Tobacco Control Journal, they state clearly and with substantial evidence that smoking one to four cigarettes a day increases the danger of both sexes dying of heart disease or lung cancer, while women are proved more vulnerable.

    Risk of Diseases

    The scientists of the Public Health Institute in Oslo compared the medical files and profiles of 43,000 men and women, under observation for heart conditions, from 1970, when the study started up to 2002. As they claim, their findings do not leave room for doubts: men with mild smoking habits presented a triple chance of lung cancer than non smokers, while women five times more. Furthermore, both sexes have an increased risk of heart disease and strokes and a rare macular degeneration disease, which affects the elderly and leads to blindness.

    It is noted that smoking subtracts ten years of ones life and that quitting the habit can prevent all of the above. It is never too late.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Fears Over New Historic Record Rita Rises Oil Price

    22 Sep 2005 09:27:00 (Last updated: 22 Sep 2005 13:01:45)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The oil price in Asian markets is steadily increasing, due to the concerns over the consequences of Hurricane Rita in US oil facilities, in the Gulf of Mexico. In New York, the price of crude oil for November delivery contracts was at $67.83 per barrel, a $1.03 increase since yesterday. At the same time, Brent had increased by 58 cents, to $65.31 per barrel. The price of slow crude for November delivery contracts in Singapore markets reached $67.68 per barrel, an increase of 88 cents since yesterdays close in New York ($66.88 per barrel).

    Markets voiced fears that Hurricane Rita, which has been upgraded to category 5 of the Saffir Simpson scale, will cause damage to oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, in particular the shores of Texas, which had not been stricken by Hurricane Katrina a month ago. Analysts do not rule out the event of black golds price exceeding the historic record of $70.85 per barrel after Hurricane Katrinas passing. "It is too early to speak of an extent of damage, but there is a possibility of a new record," noted Mike Wittner, an energy market analyst in Calyon Bank, in London.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Papoulias' Message to FYROM

    21 Sep 2005 22:06:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Tonight, during the official dinner in honour of the President of Serbia-Montenegro, Svetozvar Marovic, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, addressed a strict message to the FYROM government.

    Mr Papoulias stressed that the leadership of FYROM should put an end to their uncompromising stance in order to give a solution to the name issue, underlining that the European prospect of the neighbouring country, which Greece has been steadily supporting, is directly linked to the solution of this problem. "We are troubled by the fact that the neighbouring country insists on monopolising the name of Macedonia and has even launched a hostile propaganda against Greece," stressed Mr Papoulias, reminding that FYROM had rejected the Nimic proposal last Spring.

    "Greece has exhausted all margins of flexibility and goodwill and ignored the political cost by taking important steps for reaching a mutually acceptable solution,' he added and went on to underline that the solution depends on the other side, "which should live up to the circumstances and consider the consequences of its European course," stressed the President of the Hellenic Republic.

    FYROM Insists on its Positions

    At the same time, FYROM holds firm on its positions. As per the country's Prime Minister, special mediator Mathew Nimic is willing to submit a new proposal for the name.

    In an interview, FYROM Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski stated, "Athens understood the need to hold regular meetings without terms in order to reach compromises" and repeated the proposal for a double name. "It is clear that Greece rejects this proposal. We hold firm on our views, because we believe we have made the biggest compromise so far, by reviewing our Constitution and by changing our flag," noted Mr Buckovski. He also said he expects to go over the issue with the name during his meeting with US President Bush on October 27 in Washington.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] Deep Mourning in Mexico

    22 Sep 2005 07:31:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Mexico is in deep morning after a helicopter, which transported the Minister of Security and other eight people, among whom five government officials, crashed in the outskirts of Mexico City. All the passengers were recovered dead, while up to now the causes of the helicopter crash have not been made known. Ramon Martin, Minister of Security in the Fox government, was a key figure of the battle against the drug cartel, and a close associate and friend of the Mexican President.

    Unanswered Questions

    The Augusta Bell helicopter was to transport him to maximum-security jail La Palma, where many drug traffickers are incarcerated.

    In a televised address after the helicopter crash, President of Mexico Vicente Fox pledged to fight for security, and against corruption and vested interest inflicting the country.

    "Today, more than ever, I repeat the commitment of my government and of the nation to build a safe Mexico, of justice, peace and freedom," he said speaking to the Mexican people.

    Among the dead is Jose Antonio Bernal, the inspector of the National Human Rights Commission. Lately, Bernal had been at the target of the leader of the Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cardenas, who had asked the inspector to intervene, as his human rights were violated in the prison he was held.

    Bernal did not do so, a fact that enraged Cardenas.

    All the above evidence pinpoint that, quite possibly, the crash was not an accident, but a premeditated plan from drug traffickers, whose interests were being affected.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] La Republica Has Been Confirmed Italian Economy Minister Resigned

    22 Sep 2005 09:30:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The Italian government has finally and officially confirmed the resignation of Italian Economy Minister Domenico Siniscalco. The story was posted in the website of Italian newspaper La Republica. Its article included a statement by Siniscalco, who accused the government for total inaction in the scandal which Antonio Fazio, Governor of the BankItalia, is involved in. "The problem isnt Fazio, but the government, which is incapable of resolving the problem," stated the Italian Economy Minister. As per analysts, the Italian Prime Minister is likely to take up the treasury of the Ministry of Economy, or appoint a temporary Minister until he declares early elections in February.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    La Republica's Article

    [08] Political Turbulence in Indonesia Fears of A Pandemic

    22 Sep 2005 08:05:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Concern is heightened in Indonesia over the epidemic dimensions that the bird flu can take. Up to now, four persons have lost their lives from the bird flu, and 11 are hospitalised with similar symptoms. The issue has caused political turbulence, with the Opposition accusing the government of not taking sufficient protection measures. As of the end of 2003, 64 persons in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia have lost their lives from the bird flu. Last week, the World Health Organisation warned that the bird flu is gradually mutating into a human-transmittable form, and time should not be wasted in preventing an international pandemic. Already, many pharmaceutical companies are attempting to manufacture a drug that will treat the flu, but the first trials will not take place until the end of the year.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] Deadly Rainstorms in the Philippines

    22 Sep 2005 08:47:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    A wave of bad weather has stricken the Philippines. Typhoon Damrey has been afflicting the southeastern area of Bicol, and has cost the lives of at least 18 persons. The residents that were forced to flee their homes are estimated to be around 11,000, while crops have been totally destroyed. Today, as per the Meteorological Forecast, the typhoon is heading towards China, with a speed of 80 to 100km/hour.

    The Asian country of 1.3bn citizens was once again stricken by the typhoons that caused floods and landslides in the eastern and southern provinces. Yesterday, the Chinese government made public the confidential number of persons killed in the natural disasters, since the beginning of the year. The death toll reports 1,629, and financial damage exceeding 20bn dollars.

    As per New China news agency, the publication of the death toll from Peking, which usually does not conceal or downgrade such information, is in the context of efforts to improve transparency in public administration.

    The agency did not make clear if the Chinese government will proceed, in relation to the review of data from previous disasters, eg the number of victims by the famine in the end of 1950, a period which the Communist Party described as "three years of natural disasters." The famine cost the lives of at least 30mn persons, as per estimations, and is attributed by special analysts to the Great Leap Forward initiated by Mao Tse Tung in 1958, when millions of farmers abandoned their fields and took up work in metallurgical industries.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] 146 Passengers Safe From Harm Misadventure In Air

    22 Sep 2005 07:03:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    All is well for 146 passengers of the US Jet Blue Company aircraft, which performed an emergency landing in the Los Angeles, after a problem was presented in the front-wheel system. The pilot successfully landed the Airbus A320 in the international airport, after flying in circles for three hours, and consuming the majority of its fuel. The aircraft landed in the longest tarmac of the airport with its front wheels sparking and fuming, but without presenting another problem. The successful landing was broadcast by most television networks, which interrupted their program in order to cover the breaking news.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou


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