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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-12-26

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Day of Remembrance
  • [02] Vaccine Against Avian Flu
  • [03] Parking Ticket Santa!
  • [04] Excursionists Return
  • [05] Sharon to Undergo Heart Surgery
  • [06] Premier League Says 'No' to Olisadebe
  • [07] Prince Charles to Rule as King George?

  • [01] For the Tsunami Victims Day of Remembrance

    26 Dec 2005 15:38:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA-Reuters-BBC

    December 26 marked the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit southeastern Asia and sparked a deadly tidal wave, better known as tsunami, that crashed ashore 13 countries on the Indian Ocean leaving more than 230,000 victims and millions of homeless in its wake. Today, people from all over the world paid tribute to this biblical disaster that left its mark on that part of the planet, by attending ceremonies in commemoration of those who were lost by the raging, giant waves.

    Memorial Services Held Worldwide

    In the Indonesian province of Aceh, the worst affected area since it was closest to the quakes epicentre, a moment of silence was observed to mark the exact moment the waves came ashore and then the first siren sounded, thus inaugurating Indonesias new tsunami warning system. As per official figures, 131,934 people were killed and 37,066 are still missing in Aceh only.

    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono led the memorial services and paid tribute to those who survived the tsunami and are trying to start from scratch. A large-scale reconstruction operation is currently in progress in Indonesia, since at least 80,000 houses have to be rebuilt, while thousands of survivors are still living in tents.

    In Sri Lanka, which numbers 30,000 dead people, small private memorial services to commemorate the loved ones were held. The official memorial service took place in Peraliya near a southern coast, where the waves swamped a train killing 1,000 people.

    Thailand, where more than 5,000 people were killed, mostly tourists, witnessed six official ceremonies, with that held in Khao Lak coast being the central one. Locals and foreigners, all affected by the tragedy, laid flowers in memory of their loved ones.

    The ceremonies held in the Indian Ocean countries were attended by close family and friends of the tourists who breathed their last there. Similar ceremonies were staged across Europe and Australia. In Sweden, which suffered the heaviest death toll, the ceremony took place in Stockholm. The countrys Interior Minister abstained from the ceremony upon the request of the families of the victims, because they hold her responsible for Swedens slow response to the tragedy.

    British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw apologised from the Britons who found themselves against this nightmare and were not properly assisted.

    The immediate response of the international community was the only light at the end of this dark tunnel. As per the UN, nearly 12 billion dollars were raised in record time to alleviate the suffering of the tsunami-stricken. Greece rated among the first to respond to the appeal for help.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Developed by Chinese Researchers Vaccine Against Avian Flu

    26 Dec 2005 17:09:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ANA

    Chinese researchers developed the first live vaccine against the avian flu and the Newcastle disease, reported the state-run media. The vaccine, which was developed by the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, can be administered by injection, through nasal sprays or eye drops, argued Chief Veterinary Officer Jia Youling. The Chinese researcher explained that this vaccine bore promising results when tested on mouse and is believed to pave the way for the development of a vaccine that can protect humans from the avian flu. The mass production of the new vaccine was approved by China on December 23 and the drug industries are considering distributing around 1 billion doses by the end of the month. Last week, the Chinese Health Ministry confirmed the sixth H5N1 victim.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Parking Ticket Santa!

    26 Dec 2005 16:25:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Santa Claus is the biggest star during Christmas time. No doubt about that. He lands leading parts in the dreams of children, yet he haunts the grownups! Men in Santa outfits went on a drunken rampage in New Zealand, committed an armed robbery in Germany, while a Santa Claus exposed himself in a southern British area. In Birmingham, though, another man dressed in Santa outfit decided to restore the tarnished reputation of the snow-white bearded old man. As per British top selling Daily Telegraph, the mysterious man, whose identity has been puzzling the Old Albion, wanders through the citys icy streets, locates the vehicles that have parked illegally and leaves his own parking tickets! Are you wondering what that means? A Christmas card containing 30 pounds, which is the amount of the parking ticket, placed on the windscreens. "Dont let this ticket spoil your Christmas. Merry Christmas!" reads a note in each card. So far, 14 drivers have been benefited from the "offenders patron", and rumours have it that he is not to cease help those who double park their cars! Merry Christmas!

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Traffic Runs Smoothly Excursionists Return

    26 Dec 2005 10:26:00 (Last updated: 26 Dec 2005 19:56:27)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA-NET 105.8

    Christmas excursionists are returning to Athens by large numbers, yet traffic runs smoothly. Traffic Police is on alert and should it be held necessary, an extra lane will be given to drivers returning to Athens on the Athens-Corinth National Highway. Trucks have been banned from travelling on the national road network. The ban will expire at 23:00pm. Unfortunately, this years exodus was one of the deadliest, since 28 people have been killed in 27 car accidents occurred nationwide since Friday.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [05] In the Coming Two or Three Weeks Sharon to Undergo Heart Surgery

    26 Dec 2005 17:51:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to undergo a minor heart surgery in the coming two or three weeks, announced his doctors. Dr. Tamir Ben-Hur, neurology chief at Hadassah Hospital, said that the problem was detected after the tests Ariel Sharon underwent last week and that the surgery is necessary to avert future blood clot. On his part, cardiology professor Dr. Haim Lotem explained that Sharon is to undergo a catheterisation procedure, because the minor stroke he suffered was due to a blood clot. The 30-minute surgery is viewed as necessary to avert an open-heart surgery in the future.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Premier League Says 'No' to Olisadebe

    26 Dec 2005 19:19:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Emmanuel Olisadebes second effort to win a transfer to the Premier League fell flat. Panathinaikos striker was tested by Portsmouth and made a pretty good impression on the teams coach Harry Redknapp. However, the British club is no longer interested in adding him in the teams roster. Harry Redknapp confirmed the wreck of the talks, by arguing, "Olisadebe was ok. But he left for his home. There are several teams that may express their interest in including him in their rosters and I think he will continue his career in one of those. He proved he is pretty talented, but he is no longer here."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Prince Charles Wishes to Change his Name Prince Charles to Rule as King George?

    26 Dec 2005 13:29:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA-MNA-Reuters

    Prince Charles of Wales and heir to the British throne is considering changing his name to George when he becomes King. This is what the Times claimed, citing information that emerged from his discussions during which he had said that he despised the title Charles III because this name bears unhappy associations with some of the bloodiest periods in the British monarchys history. Should this information prove true, Charles will not be the first King to have changed his name. Several Kings had adopted one of their middle names as soon as they were crowned. The Prince of Wales was christened Charles Philip Arthur George.

    However, the Clarence House announced that a change in the name cannot take place before the coronation ceremony, therefore, it described the report as a "idle speculation." It is noted that four out of Britains latest monarchs had opted for different titles. Elizabeths father King George VI, who had been christened Prince Albert, is listed among them. A senior Royal official quoted in the Times said there had been an assumption the Prince would keep the name Charles.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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