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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-30

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] New Dioxin Scare?
  • [02] Measures Against H5N1 Tightened
  • [03] West Gets Tough at the PA
  • [04] Power Supply Restored
  • [05] Poland in Mourning
  • [06] Bloody New Year Celebrations in China
  • [07] Miners in Canada Pulled to Safety
  • [08] Baghdatis Makes History
  • [09] Halonen Wins Second Term

  • [01] Precautionary Measures New Dioxin Scare?

    30 Jan 2006 12:12:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Authorities in the Netherlands and Belgium are shutting down one farm after the other, after detecting high concentrations of dioxin in fodder. The results of the lab tests expected to follow will determine the exact amount detected, as well as whether it falls under the safety limits or not. So far, it has not yet been made public if the products confiscated from the units that have been shut down were meant for domestic use or they were to be exported to third countries, including Greece. It is noted that the dioxin scare that shocked Belgium seven years ago resulted in millions of poultry and pigs being culled.

    By Belgian Companies

    Authorities in the Netherlands ordered on Sunday the temporary shutdown of some 275 farms, which had bought animal feed that might contain high concentrations of dioxin, reported ANP.

    The measures the Dutch authorities stepped up are precautionary aimed at averting above-security-limit levels of this substance from entering the food chain.

    It is believed that two Belgian fodder-producing companies sold dioxin-polluted animal feed to another in the southern Netherlands supplying 275 farms.

    Inspection authorities have to proceed with sampling culling to detect the amount of dioxin made its way into meat. In case the results show that they fall under the safety limits, the farms will resume operation.

    High levels of dioxin, above safety limits, were found last week in pork meat Belgium bought from a Dutch fodder-producing company. The Belgian authorities were promptly notified and launched a probe into the case, while some 100 farms were shut down, until the inspections yield the results.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Forbes: Netherlands quarantines 275 farms amid dioxin scare

    Businessweek: Belgium investigates cause of dioxin scare

    [02] On Cyprus, Against Avian Flu Measures Against H5N1 Tightened

    30 Jan 2006 12:08:00 (Last updated: 30 Jan 2006 13:46:34)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET, ANA

    After a poultry sample taken from the Turkish-occupied side of the island was tested positive to the deadly H5N1 virus, Cyprus is tightening the measures to avert a possible avian flu outbreak. The Turkish-Cypriot authorities have already culled 1,500 birds in two small poultry units in Famagusta, while the EU has imposed a ban on live birds and bird products imports from the northern part of the island. Two EU experts arrived in Cyprus yesterday to go over the causes and the extent of the problem. Agricultural Minister of the Republic of Cyprus Timis Efthimiou met with them today. The Cypriot Minister announced that the checkpoints will remain open and that strict measures will also remain in force, while he wandered why it took the Turkish-Cypriot authorities 15 days to send the samples to the EU laboratory in Britain.

    In the meantime, news from Romania is promising. The final lab tests conducted on a female transferred yesterday to Bucharests hospital after developing flu-like symptoms proved that she has not been infected with deadly H5N1.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    H5N1 Case on Turkish-Occupied Cyprus

    [03] Hamas Stands Firm on its Stance West Gets Tough at the PA

    30 Jan 2006 08:31:00 (Last updated: 30 Jan 2006 11:13:43)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: BBC, ANA

    The funding of the Palestinian Authority hangs by a rather thin thread. The main parties struggling for peace in the Middle East are to convene today in London to decide their stance on the new Hamas-led Palestinian government. The members of the so-called quartet, namely the EU, the USA, the UN and Russia, are scheduled to hold a meeting in London to discuss whether a political and economic boycott is the most advisable solution. At the same time, tension is running high in Palestine. On Monday morning, exasperated by Hamas victory in the parliamentarian elections, some 30 police officers climbed on to the roof of the Gaza Parliament firing shots.

    "West is Blackmailing Us"

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is paying a flying visit to London, stated that the US administration will meet its current pledges against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, however, under no circumstances will it consent to fund a government under Hamas, a group that declines to meets its obligations derived from a "road map" peace plan, concluded Mrs Rice. Furthermore, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is touring the Middle East, claimed that nor the EU has the intention to fund Hamas, unless the latter recognises Israel.

    On the other hand, Hamas has made it clear that it will stand firm on its stance while forming a new government.

    "Such a Palestinian Authority cannot be directly supported by money from the EU," the German Chancellor said.

    Berlin has announced that it is not going to hold talks with Hamas unless the latter renounces its fight against Israel and recognises the state of Israel, which the Islamic group has officially pledged to destroy.

    The USA is expecting the Europeans to keep the same stout stance as Washington, argued on Sunday the US Secretary of State.

    Mrs Condoleezza Rice also argued that they cannot work for the peace process and at the same stand by a peace-talk party that refuses the existence of another.

    It is noted that the EU is the largest donor of the Palestinian Authority, providing some $400 millions annually, and its help is of vital importance to the Palestinians.

    On its part, Hamas rejected threats coming Western countries and described them as "blackmail."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    CBC News: EU warns Hamas: change or lose funding

    BBC: Hamas faces European aid threat

    Related News:

    Merkel Tours Middle East

    [04] Power Supply Restored

    30 Jan 2006 07:27:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Power supply was restored on the islands of Kefalonia and Ithaca late on Sunday. The Public Power Corporation (PPC) appears optimistic that the recent problems will be left behind, however, it urges the residents not to resort to overconsumption. On Sunday morning, there was a three-year blackout throughout the Prefecture of Kefalonia so that the power network resumes full operation. In his statement, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas congratulated the PPC technicians who worked under extremely harsh conditions to repair the damage caused by the bitter cold.

    On Saturday night, a few km off Argostoli, the islands capital city, an 82-year-old lady was found dead inside her house by her children. Her family argued that the old woman died of the frost.

    The 82-year-old suffered from heart problems, while her son, 52, developed hypothermia-like symptoms and was transferred to hospital.

    Regarding the power supply in the Prefecture of Kefalonia, the PPC urges the residents of Kefalonia and Ithaca not to overdo it with consumption, because the sudden excessive demand, although it will not affect the power network, might cause a string of problems difficult to be fixed.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Problems Settling Down

    [05] Poland in Mourning

    30 Jan 2006 11:15:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: BBC, ANA

    Poland has declared a three-day mourning after the snow weighed down the roof of a trade hall in the city of Chorzow claiming tens of lives. As per latest news, death toll rose to 67, while a 34-year-old male treated in a critical condition succumbed today to his wounds. "We are not in the position to say whether he is the last victim of this catastrophe," argued a Prefecture spokesman. At least eight foreign subjects are listed among the dead, said yesterday a spokesman of the Fire Department. "A Belgian, two Germans, two Slovaks, two Czechs and a Dutch are among the dead," the spokesman added. The ruins of the roof that collapsed on Saturday evening injured further 140 people, who are being treated in 23 hospitals located in the wider area.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Tragedy in Poland

    [06] Bloody New Year Celebrations in China

    30 Jan 2006 08:57:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    The first day of the Chinese New Year celebrations were marred by the death of at least 16 people and the injury of hundreds more by firework blasts. The worst incident occurred inside a shrine in the city of Anyang, where large quantities of fireworks stored inside a building detonated claiming 16 lives. The blast injured further 40 people, six of whom are being treated in a critical condition. In Beijing, where a 12-year ban on the use of fireworks has been imposed due to a great many of deadly accidents, at least 112 people sustained injuries and were transferred to hospital. Some 20 of the injured are running the risk of going blind. In the city of Chongqing, southwest of China, more fireworks sparked off more than 200 fires, however, no injuries were reported.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Miners in Canada Pulled to Safety

    30 Jan 2006 08:38:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Καλό τέλος είχε η περοπέτεια των 70 εργάτων, που παγιδεύτηκαν σε βάθος περίπου 1 χλμ κάτω από το έδαφος επί πολλές ώρες, έπειτα από πυρκαγιά που εκδηλώθηκε σε ορυχείο ποτάσσας στο Σασκάτσουαν, του δυτικού Καναδά. Οι εργάτες κατέφυγαν σε ένα ασφαλές σημείο, κυρίως στις ειδικά διαμορφωμένες αίθουσες στο βάθος των στοών, και δεν εκτέθηκαν σε κίνδυνο, τόνισε εκπρόσωπος του ορυχείου, μιλώντας στα τηλεοπτικά δίκτυα CBC, και CTV. Η πυρκαγιά εκδηλώθηκε χθες στις 11.00, ώρα Ελλάδος. Οι αρχές ανέμεναν μέχρι να κατασβέσουν οι πυροσβέστες την πυρκαγιά και να βελτιωθεί η ποιότητα του αέρα στις στοές για να προχωρήσουν στην επιχείρηση διάσωσης των εργατών.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Baghdatis Makes History

    30 Jan 2006 11:34:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    The brainstorming run he achieved at the Australian Open rocketed Cypriot finalist Marcos Baghdatis to No.27 of the world rankings from No.54. The 535 points he put in the bag in Melbourne earned "Super Marcos" 1,219 points, as well as a place on the top of the world tennis, since from now on he will enjoy a number on the main Grand Slam board. This is the best place the Cypriot ace has ever won, since last year he was No.170. Swiss Roger Federer triumphed at the Australian Open, defending in the best possible of ways the first place in the world rankings he has been enjoying for two years. Vasilis Mazarakis of Greece ranks No.120 with 364 points climbing down three places.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] She Won 51.8% of the Vote Halonen Wins Second Term

    30 Jan 2006 07:47:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: Reuters

    Η προσκείμενη στην Αριστερά πρόεδρος της Φινλανδίας, Τάρια Χάλονεν, εξελέγη για δεύτερη εξαετή θητεία, νικώντας το συντηρητικό αντίπαλό της Σάουλι Νιινίστο, ο οποίος της φίλησε το χέρι παραδεχόμενος την ήττα του. Η 62χρονη Χάλονεν, η πρώτη γυναίκα πρόεδρος της Φινλανδίας, επανεξελέγη συγκεντρώνοντας το 51,8% των ψήφων, αφού διεκδίκησε εκ νέου το ύπατο αξίωμα με το σλόγκαν "πρόεδρος για όλους τους πολίτες", προωθώντας τη διατήρηση του κοινωνικού κράτους. Στη Φινλανδία, ο πρόεδρος κατέχει σημαντικό ρόλο στην άσκηση της εξωτερικής πολιτικής της χώρας.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Finns narrowly re-elect Halonen

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