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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-10

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] New Avian Flu Case in Turkey
  • [02] Barking Mad Burglar
  • [03] Mild Tremor in Kefallonia
  • [04] From Fame to Disgrace
  • [05] EFET Fines Skyrocket
  • [06] The USA Estimates Bill for Iraq
  • [07] Doubts over Sharon's Earlier Diagnosis
  • [08] Dow Jones on the Rise
  • [09] Escape from Kalamaria
  • [10] Greece Takes Precautionary Measures
  • [11] Greek Health Authorities on Alert

  • [01] Prompting Worries New Avian Flu Case in Turkey

    10 Jan 2006 11:23:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Avian flu cases in Turkey have taken a turn for the worst. A new human avian flu case was confirmed on Tuesday in the centre of the country, raising the number of the diseased to fifteen, including the three siblings, who deceased. At the same time, a total of 100 are the suspect cases, ten of which in Istanbul. The World Health Organisation (WHO) clarified that all reported cases had had contact with infected poultry and that there were no indications the virus is being transmitted from humans to humans. Apart from the avian flu cases detected in Turkey, new outbreaks were also confirmed in three Ukrainian farms. Japan is also gravely concerned, since more than 70 people are being treated with flu-like symptoms.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    New Scientist: Human bird flu cases spread in Turkey

    Related News:

    Avian Flu Raises Concern in Turkey

    [02] A Very Ingenious Diversion Barking Mad Burglar

    10 Jan 2006 11:15:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Two thieves, who snatched a purse from an elderly lady, are being hunted by British police. However, those two purse snatchers are a bit different to the usual run-of-the-mill variety! They are what we call barking mad! But lets take it from the top. The victims of the two ingenious thieves were a 90-year-old woman and her 93-year-old brother from Stockton-on-Tees. The two burglars barged into the house owned by the two senior citizens with a plan. One of them had the task of creating a diversion, while the other performed the robbery. So, the first one dropped to his knees and started to bark like a dog and crawl around on all fours. Naturally, the two house owners stared in shock, giving the second man the chance to grab the womans purse, before the pair ran off. The local police, however, are intrigued, saying that it was one of the most unusual distraction burglaries theyve ever encountered.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Measuring 4.3 on the Richter Scale Mild Tremor in Kefallonia

    10 Jan 2006 10:35:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET

    An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale was recorded at 10:10 this morning in the Ionian Sea, while its epicentre was located in the sea, SW of the island of Kefallonia. The seismologists of the Athens Geodynamics Institute are not alarmed, stressing that it was mild tremor, which forms part of the normal seismic activity of the area. They also noted that this quake was not related to Sundays earthquake in Kythira. No damages have been reported, while the seismologists declared that the islanders need not be concerned, since they are used to mild tremors. With regard to the seismic activity between Kythira and Crete, where Sundays earthquake occurred, the scientists of the Geophysics Laboratory at the University of Thessaloniki noted that it was minimal to nonexistent.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] South Korean Scientist From Fame to Disgrace

    10 Jan 2006 10:13:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The findings of a special panel from the University of Seoul delivered a blow to South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk, who had shot to fame for his pioneering research into stem cells. The panel concluded that Hwang fabricated data in two papers, but he did in fact produce a cloned dog. In the first paper, which was published in the US journal Science in 2004, Hwang had claimed that he had created a series of stem cells from a cloned human embryo, a major scientific breakthrough for the treatment of diseases such as diabetes and Parkinsons. A year later, in 2005, he claimed that he had produced stem cells tailored for specific patients. However, it turned out that this paper was also fabricated, while the journal Science announced that it will be retracting it.

    Hefty Penalties

    Speaking before the panel, Dr Hwang admitted that he made some mistakes, but claimed his work was sabotaged.

    As per the panel investigating the case, the penalties for the scientist, who was considered a hero in his country up until recently, are expected to be extremely hefty. State prosecutors are now expected to launch their own investigation into possible fraud, and the misappropriation of public funds.

    The South Koreans were surprised after the first revelations, while many scientists speak of the biggest fraud in the history of recent science.

    Last month, Hwang announced his resignation from the University; however, he has made no public appearances since.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Al Jazeera: Panel slams faked Korea cloning

    BBC: Scientist's embryo cloning faked

    [05] Limit Increases to 1 Mil Euros EFET Fines Skyrocket

    10 Jan 2006 08:26:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The limit for the fines that could be imposed by EFET (Hellenic Food Authority) on businesses violating legislation on food hygiene and safety will increase from 60,000 euros today to 1 million. This is provided for in the Bill for the formation of a National Energy Strategy Council, approved by Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis and the Cabinet and presented by Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas. The Bill also includes a provision for the formation of mixed food inspection panels, made up of employees from EFET, the General Chemical State Laboratory, and Local Self-Governments or other public authorities and agencies, which could perform inspections on any food companies under EFETs jurisdiction. In addition, the possibility of temporary or permanent closure of violators is also being examined.

    The National Energy Strategy Council will be a consultative body, made up of nine members. Five will represent the companies RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy), PPC (Public Power Corporation), ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) and CRES (Centre for Renewable Energy Sources). The other four will be energy experts. The responsibilities of the Council will include the submission of proposals for mapping long-term energy policies, practical policies, and long- and short-term planning of national energy programmes.

    In addition, members of RAE and the Competitiveness Committee will not be able to participate in, manage or work for businesses whose activities fall under the jurisdiction of the bodies they were employed with, for at least three years after the end of their term. The fine for violators will be equal to 10 times the amount of the wages they received during their term.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Economist Speaks of the Cost of the War The USA Estimates Bill for Iraq

    10 Jan 2006 08:03:00

    Sources: ANA - MPA - Reuters

    The cost of the Iraq war could reach $2 trillion, topping all pre-war projections, once long-term costs such as lifetime health care for thousands of wounded US soldiers are included, as per a US study.

    Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes included in their study disability payments for the 16,000 wounded US soldiers, about 20% of whom suffer serious brain or spinal injuries. As they said, US taxpayers will be burdened with costs that linger long after US troops withdraw.

    Before the invasion, then-White House budget director Mitch Daniels predicted Iraq would be "an affordable endeavour" and rejected an estimate by then-White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey of total Iraq war costs at $100 billion to $200 billion.

    Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001 and has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administrations Iraq policy, and Bilmes based their projections partly on past wars and included the economic cost of higher oil prices, a bigger US budget deficit and greater global insecurity caused by the Iraq war.

    They said a portion of the rise in oil prices - about 20% of the $25 per barrel gain in oil prices since the war began - could be attributed directly to the conflict and that this had already cost the United States about $25 billion. "Americans are, in a sense, poorer by that amount," they said, describing that estimate as conservative.

    The projection of a total cost of $2 trillion assumes US troops will stay in Iraq until 2010, but with steadily declining numbers each year.

    On Monday, Lt. Col. Roseanne Lynch, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said that the Iraq war was costing the United States $4.5 billion monthly in military "operating costs", not including procurement of new weapons and equipment. According to Lynch, the war in Iraq has cost $173 billion to date.

    [07] He Received Anticoagulant Drugs Doubts over Sharon's Earlier Diagnosis

    10 Jan 2006 09:46:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    An article published today in Israeli newspaper Haaretz has given rise to major questions. Citing a medical source, the paper claims that Ariel Sharons attending physicians administered anticoagulant drugs to the Israeli PM during his initial hospitalisation in mid-December, despite suffering from a brain disease, which, if diagnosed, would have required a different treatment, since the drugs in question increase the risk of strokes. According to the newspaper, Sharon suffers from cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), which was diagnosed when the PM was re-admitted to Hadassah hospital on 4 January, when he suffered a severe brain haemorrhage. Had the doctors diagnosed the disease on 18 December, when he was first admitted to hospital with a mild stroke, then he would not have been given anticoagulants, noted the same source.

    In the meantime, the condition of the Israeli PM did not improve at all during the night and remains critical, but stable, as announced by Ron Kromer, spokesperson for Jerusalems Hadassah hospital. The doctors are continuing their efforts to revive Sharon from the induced coma, but initial estimates on the extent of the damage will delay for a few days. "The Prime Ministers condition remains unchanged. [...] Today doctors will continue treatment begun yesterday," noted the spokesperson. On Monday, Sharon had begun breathing on his own and moved his right arm and leg slightly. However, he remains connected to a respirator.

    "The fact that he breathed on his own and reacted to pain are the most important things we had over the last few days," stressed chief surgeon Felix Umansky.

    According to an article in Yedioth Ahronoth, Sharons children installed a stereo in his room, playing works by Mozart, the PMs favourite composer. Omri and Gilad Sharon are hoping that the music will contribute to the recovery of their 77-year-old father.

    Furthermore, as per the doctors, music could help stimulate the senses of a patient coming out of a coma.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Ha'aretz: Early diagnosis could have prevented brain hemorrhage

    Jerusalem Post: Positive signs as Sharon slowly regains consciousness

    BBC: Sharon prospects 'still unclear'

    Related News:

    Sharon Breathing on His Own

    Sharon in Coma Until Monday

    [08] It Closed above 11,000 Dow Jones on the Rise

    10 Jan 2006 09:13:00

    Sources: ANA

    On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 11,000 for the first time in 4.5 years, as stocks posted a fifth straight day of gains on optimism about the outlook for interest rates and corporate earnings.

    The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 52.59 points, or 0.48 percent, at 11,011.90. On the other hand, the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 13.07 points, or 0.57%, at 2,318.69.

    Many strategists say breaching the 11,000 mark does not necessarily signal a new trend for stocks, but said 11,000 was a psychological milestone, which could boost sentiment.

    [09] Escape from Kalamaria

    09 Jan 2006 23:45:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    PAOK had to try really hard to get one point against Apollon Kalamarias. Giorgos Kostikos players failed to live up to expectations, since prior to the game everyone admitted that they were closer to victory. Several defence mistakes allowed Kalamaria to take control of the game and to lead as early as in the 5 when Pappas of Kalamaria was really active in PAOKs goal area and played havoc with PAOKs defenders, thus forcing Zagorakis to score an own goal. PAOK did not give up, however they failed to create any worthwhile chances to equalise the score. In the 40, Pappas did not forgive PAOKs inability to score and doubled the lead for Kalamaria.

    In the rerun, PAOKs players entered the pitch more serious and determined to make their comeback. Their efforts finally bore fruit in the 64, when Giasemi took advantage of the confusion created in Kalamarias goal area and scored. In the 67, it was Haralabus who equalised the score for PAOK.

    Referee: Kakkos (Corfu) Yellow Cards: Orfanos, Karamanlis Vangeli Red Cards: Orfanos (90+, yellow-red card)

    KALAMARIA: Kovac, Amponsah, Fytanidis, Ioannou, Murawski, Orfanos, Petkakis (84 Wellington), Karaliopoulos (70 Karamanlis), Cleyton, Pappas, Mouzaoui (70 Parmaxidis).

    PAOK: Fernandez, Arabatzis, Haralabus, Karypidis, Hasiotis (46 Udeze), Zagorakis, Vangeli (88 Eliadis), Konstantinidis, Christodoulopoulos (46 Giasemi), Mieciel, Salpigidis.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] Greek Authorities on High Alert Greece Takes Precautionary Measures

    10 Jan 2006 12:47:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET-ANA

    With the avian flu having made its appearance more than evident in Turkey, Greece is on high alert, taking all necessary measures. The Greek Health Minister, Nikitas Kaklamanis, was pretty reassuring when addressing Parliament and reiterated that the Hellenic Centre for Infectious Diseases Control and the rest of the countrys Health Authorities have been on 24-hour alert since January 4, 2006, when it was officially announced that three people in Turkey were tested positive for H5N1 virus. Precautionary measures have also been intensified in Greeces airports, as well. The relevant authorities of the Prefecture of Evros keep taking samples from migratory birds, while at the Kipoi Customs Office all vehicles coming form Turkey are inspected and disinfected.

    The Prefectures of Macedonia, Trace and in the Aegean Sea, have already issued orders to confine domestic poultry to a 5km radius from wetlands lest they come in contact with wild birds. They also advise owners of hen-houses to be particularly cautious, underlining that each diseased or dead bird should be immediately referred to the local health authorities. Over the last three months, at least 2,000 samples have been tested. All samples were found negative.

    The Greek Ministry of Health reiterated that there is no sign that a pandemic is ahead, since the virus is not passing from human to human (as per the scientists, this is the case for only five out of the 150 victims worldwide). The Ministry also underscored that the dangerous virus cannot survive temperatures exceeding 60oC.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    New Avian Flu Case in Turkey

    Greek Health Authorities on Alert

    Avian Flu Raises Concern in Turkey

    Bird Flu Cases in Istanbul

    [11] Stated Health Minister N. Kaklamanis Greek Health Authorities on Alert

    09 Jan 2006 20:17:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ANA

    Greece runs no danger from the avian flu, however, the countrys authorities have taken all necessary precautionary steps and are closely monitoring the developing story in Turkey, stated Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis in Parliament while answering an interpellation posed by PASOK parliamentarians regarding the governments policy on AIDS. Mr Kaklamanis underlined that all relevant centres have been on 24-hour alert since January 4, when it was officially announced that six people in Turkey were tested positive for H5N1 virus. The Health Minister also noted that the Health Authorities across the country immediately updated the directives on avian flu. He further announced that the Greek Ministry of Health is to dispatch Tamiflu drugs to the Greek Embassy in Ankara, as well as to the rest of the consulates Greece runs in Turkey.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Avian Flu Raises Concern in Turkey

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