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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-15

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Focus on Cypriot Conflict
  • [02] No End to Horror
  • [03] Added Measures for Bird Flu
  • [04] Reactions Continue
  • [05] K. Tsalikidis' House Searched
  • [06] Bio Corn Flour Recalled
  • [07] K. Bourboulia's Accounts Released
  • [08] Annan Papadopoulos Meeting Finalised
  • [09] VOA's Greek Service to Close Down
  • [10] Kolossos Rhodes Earned the Win
  • [11] PAO Defeated by PAOK
  • [12] AEK Ended Defeats
  • [13] Greek Team Loses Ground
  • [14] Virus at the Heart of Europe
  • [15] Germ Champions!
  • [16] Iraklis Defeated Olympia Larissa
  • [17] Breather Win for GS Larissa
  • [18] The Ships Will Dock

  • [01] Karamanlis Merkel Meeting Focus on Cypriot Conflict

    15 Feb 2006 21:22:00 (Last updated: 15 Feb 2006 23:41:24)

    Sources: NET

    The Cypriot conflict, European-Turkish relations and the future of Kosovo were at the focus of discussions between Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In relation to the Cypriot conflict, Mr Karamanlis, following tonights meeting with Mrs Merkel, repeated the position of the Greek Government for a solution based on UN initiatives. "We are always willing to contribute to finding a just, viable and functional solution to the political problem continuing in Cyprus," stated the Prime Minister, insisting that the solution should be in accordance to "International Law, the decisions of the United Nations and in agreement with the principles and values of the European Union." "Our central aim is for a judicious solution," noted Mrs Merkel on her part. Furthermore, the Greek Prime Minister and the German Chancellor voiced their joint will for the political consensus of the European Union to be reinforced. The Prime Minister is accompanied by the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dora Bakoyannis, who Angela Merkel described as "a friend of Germany."

    On FYROM's Name Issue

    In the meantime, on a question of whether Greece will possibly obstruct the European course of FYROM, due to the problem in relation to the name issue, Mr Karamanlis, after referring to the satisfactory level of economic and political relations between the two countries, noted that Greece supported its effort and is satisfied by the fact that FYROM is a candidate country for accession.

    "Of course, there is the pending issue of the name, which has to be faced by finding a mutually accepted solution," he added, stating that the Greek Government has already exhibited its good disposition.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Greek PM in Berlin

    [02] New Images of Torture in Abu Ghraib No End to Horror

    15 Feb 2006 18:39:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The horrendous images of Iraqis being tortured in Abu Ghraib prison, in Baghdad, seem to be unending. Australian television network SBS broadcast images taken in 2003, where US wardens are committing, as per SBS, acts of "manslaughter, torture and sexual abuse." It is indicative of the situation by a video where a mentally disturbed detainee is banging his head on the wall, and as per the commentator of the Australian network, has been turned into a game by his wardens. In another shocking image, detainees are forced to masturbate at the camera. Moreover, as SBS broadcast, some detainees lost their lives when US soldiers run out of plastic bullets during a prison uprising and started using real ammunition.

    Old Acquaintances

    It is believed that the new images come from the same source as the pictures first broadcast in April 2004 by Australian network CBS and caused an international outcry.

    In fact, two old acquaintances appear in the some of the images and are soldier Lynndie England, who has already been sentenced for her role in the scandal and soldier Charles Graner, who as per the judges was the mastermind behind the tortures.

    The chief of US Forces in Iraq described the period the new images were broadcast as "irresponsible" and "provocative," adding that the images do not reflect the current conditions in Abu Ghraib.

    The tortures in the prison took place between October and November 2003.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    l Jazeera: New photos show Iraq jail abuse

    The Telegraph: New images suggest further Abu Ghraib abuses

    CNN: Newly released Abu Ghraib images air in Australia

    Related News:

    Shocking Abuse Video in the UK

    Related Links:

    SBS

    [03] Inspections in Greece Continue Added Measures for Bird Flu

    15 Feb 2006 15:39:00 (Last updated: 15 Feb 2006 23:28:11)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Veterinary Committee, which convened in Brussels on Wednesday, decided on implementing two added measures to deal with avian flu in the EU countries. Specifically, they decided to ban all imports of untreated feathers from third countries and provide up to 50% co-funding for the national surveillance programmes, with emphasis on lab tests to locate suspect cases. In the meantime in Greece, the veterinary authorities are thoroughly examining all dead bird cases, while any citizens who manifested flu symptoms after coming into contact with poultry are undergoing tests. At the same time, prevention measures for domestic poultry, poultry farms and wetlands, as well as special measures in the areas where carriers of the H5N1 virus were located, are in force. Finally, the test results on the swan that was found injured in Trikala a few days ago and which was treated by municipal employees turned up negative.

    No Need for Concern

    Up until now, the fear that led six people to various hospitals around the country for tests proved excessive.

    A 78-year-old farmer from Edessa, who had handled a dead chicken with her bare hands, tested negative to the H5N1 virus; while a 65-year-old shepherd, who was admitted to hospital a few days ago suffering from muscle pain and fever after burying two dead chicken, will be released within the next few days. At the same time, a 16-year-old hunter who ate a duck is being hospitalised in a special wing at the Larissa University Hospital suffering from flu symptoms, while the lab results are expected soon.

    Protection zones are in force in Skyros, Katerini, Asprovalta, Neoi Epivates and Stavros, where infected wild birds were located. During a meeting between the mayors of the Prefecture of Thessaloniki, it was decided that all the municipalities will contribute towards collecting all the dead birds which, however, cannot carry the virus (e.g. doves, sparrows and seagulls), while on Friday, veterinarians of the Prefecture will train all personnel that will carry out the collection.

    The Greek veterinarians consider that cases on wild birds from northern countries were expected and are not concerned yet, as the virus was not detected on the any domestic poultry. At the same time, they are stressing that consumers can eat Greek poultry without any fear.

    Moreover, as EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou stressed "the EU is implementing all necessary measures in order to intercept the avian flu and there is no need to panic." On the issue of poultry product consumption, Mr Kyprianou stated that there is no reason why they should not, since "Europeans should be confident that all meat bought from super markets is healthy." Moreover, he said that the battle being fought is for avian flu to not pass from migratory birds to domesticated poultry, and thus state of alertness zones are being set up around areas where dead birds are located.

    As per Brussels decision, Greece will receive 39,300 for tests on poultry samples.

    Most of the EU funding will go to Italy ( 427,300), followed by Germany (268,000) and France (204,800), while the smallest amount of financial aid will be granted to Estonia (1,450). The Community funding will cover the period 1 February to 31 December 2006, while the Member States are due to submit detailed results of the surveillance programmes carried out from July 2005 to January 2006, when the Commission committed 884,000, before the end of March 2006.

    Related News:

    Virus at the Heart of Europe

    Avian Flu Scare Prompts Meetings

    [04] The Opposition on the Cabinet Reshuffle Reactions Continue

    15 Feb 2006 16:15:00

    Sources: NET, ANA

    The reactions and comments of the opposition on the cabinet reshuffle continued today. The President of PASOK spoke of the same Government with the same dead end policy, Aleka Papariga said "no comment," while Alekos Alavanos observed that the atlantic and new liberal directions of the Government were ascertained.

    President of PASOK George Papandreou questioned on the issue, stated, "The policy of the Karamanlis Government remains a dead end, which does not solve the problems faced by the Greek people on issues of expensiveness, unemployment and protecting their basic rights," adding that in the elections the people will decide to condemn the Government and the policy followed.

    "Mr Karamanlis and his Government will continue harming the land, creating dead ends," stated PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis, noting that the reshuffle will not operate as a distraction in order for Mr Karamanlis to overcome the dead ends and his Governments inaction, as well as the wiretaps case.

    Moreover, he noted that this Government cannot direct itself to a reforms course for the citizens, while commenting on the reshuffle anew he said that this a recycling of figures, for NDs intra-party arrangements and balance and a short-term small horizon cabinet formation.

    On his part, SYN President Alekos Alavanos repeated that this is "a shuffle of a deck of cards with marked cards, with the notion that the policies are well known." He went on to add, "we see that some changes in the cabinet reshuffle indicate a direction towards more atlantic and new-liberal social directions."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Smiles and Emotion

    [05] At Kostas Tsalikidis' Residence K. Tsalikidis' House Searched

    15 Feb 2006 19:21:00

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Today, Prosecutor Ioannis Diotis, who is supervising the investigations over the wiretaps in Vodafone, conducted a search of Kostas Tsalikidis apartment in Kolonos. The Prosecutor was met by the deceaseds brother, Mr Panagiotis Tsalikidis, as well as the familys lawyer Mr Themistoklis Sofos. As the family of the deceased reassured Mr Diotis, nothing from his personal belongings and the apartment has been moved. Earlier, the Prosecutor arrived in the General Police Directorate where he held discussions with officials of the Electronic Crime Squad for about an hour. In the meantime, next Tuesday, the President of the Hellenic Authority for the Information and Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) will brief the MPs of the Institutions and Transparency Committee and will receive questions on issues concerning the wiretaps scandal.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Tsalikidis' Phone Calls to Prosecutor

    [06] Bio Corn Flour Recalled

    15 Feb 2006 18:07:00

    Bio corn flour, totaling 900 kilos, under the label of Trofino is being recalled as mycotoxins were detected. The flour is available in 500g packets expiring at 30/12/2006 and lot no. L5005. The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) was briefed over the detection of mycotoxins in the flour, distributed by Greek company EVIK SA to Argyrakis Bros SA, by the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Animal Feed. EFET asked the companies for the immediate recall of the specific batch from the Greek market and the immediate briefing of the Authority in relation to the products distribution. As per an official announcement by Argyrakis Bros SA, a quantity of 742 kilos was found in the companys warehouse. At the same time, the company has implemented the necessary measures for the recall of the product from stores shelves. EFET advised consumers to not consume the specific product.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] New Postponement in Paris K. Bourboulia's Accounts Released

    15 Feb 2006 16:58:00

    Sources: NET, ANA

    Konstantina Bourboulias bank accounts are being released. The Federal Court of Lausanne rejected the appeals filed by her sister, mother and herself as foreclosed and groundless. Thus, the decision of the Bern Court is ratified, which had given the "green light" for her bank accounts, allegedly kept in Swiss USB Bank, to be released. At the same time, the hearing of the Greek demand on her extradition to Greece at the Paris Appellate Court was postponed, as the former examiner cited illness. During the start of the hearing procedure, the Judge informed the court that as per a medical certificate from Fresnes Prison that Mrs Bourboulia is ill and consequently cannot attend trial. The French Judge postponed the trial for Tuesday 22 February. Lawyer Mrs Marceau, representing the Greek State, stated upon her exit from court that Mrs Bourboulia is "playing against time."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Review and Evaluation of Cyprus' Situation Annan Papadopoulos Meeting Finalised

    15 Feb 2006 19:15:00 (Last updated: 15 Feb 2006 23:19:19)

    Sources: ANA

    President of the Cypriot Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and UN General Secretary Kofi Annan will meet on the last day of February in Paris. As per an official announcement issued late on Wednesday evening in Nicosia, Messrs Papadopoulos and Annan agreed to meet in order to "conduct a review and evaluation of the situation in Cyprus and discuss ways of promoting the reunification procedure of the island." As per UN sources, the meeting is described as "determinative" and the next steps of the UN General Secretary on the Cypriot conflict will depend on its content. As per the same sources, Mr Annan continues to estimate that a new initiative can emerge only with political willingness from the involved sides. Mr Annan, with letters sent to President Papadopoulos and Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that he will send a delegate to the island for investigating contacts following the Parliamentary elections on May 21. In the imminent meeting, the event of sending a delegate in Nicosia, Athens and Ankara before the elections will be investigated. Before the meeting was finalised, President Papadopoulos stated "we are in contact with the General Secretary for quite some time now and repeating our wish and plea for the restart of the effort of preparing discussions the soonest possible."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] By Decision of the Bush Administration VOA's Greek Service to Close Down

    15 Feb 2006 12:11:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: ANA

    The Greek community of America seems puzzled over the decision of the Bush administration to abolish the Greek service of Voice of America (VOA), adopting a similar stance to the one followed by Britains BBC a few months ago. The 2007 budget submitted by the White House to Congress a few days ago provides for the abolishment not only of the Greek, but also the Turkish service, in the context of a wide restructuring plan in VOA, which will now give priority to broadcasts aimed towards the Arab and Muslim world. The restructuring, which was expected to a certain extent, has prompted reactions from many national communities within the US population, since many programmes that were being aired by VOA to European countries for a number of decades are being abolished. The supporters of VOAs Greek service are hoping that Congress might reverse the decision, or at least find a conciliatory solution that would prevent the total abolishment of all Greek programmes.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Kolossos Rhodes Earned the Win

    15 Feb 2006 21:31:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The game between Makedonikos and Kolossos Rhodes turned into a derby and concluded with a surprise, since the visitors earned their second consecutive win, the third one in this years Championship. On the other hand, the home team is in trouble, since this is their eleventh defeat. The visitors, during the last minutes of the game, were blessed to have Pantazopoulos, who scored the five consecutive points. The score of the ten-minute periods: 23-18, 37-38, 54-51, 57-61.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] PAO Defeated by PAOK

    15 Feb 2006 20:52:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Panathinaikos suffered its second defeat in this years Championship after a dramatic game, which was arbitrated in extra time 98-96 for the home team. Even if the derby of the 16th round is Maroussi vs Olympiacos, PAOK and Panathinaikos played a suspenseful game for the 4,000 fans at the stadiums stands. Giannis Gagaloudis was the top player for PAOK, as he scored the last 8 points in extra time. Panathinaikos had taken the lead with +8 in the 2nd minute of extra time, but lost it due to a series of mistakes and Vasilis Spanoulis missed shots. In the normal duration of the game the final 81-81 was scored due to four players missing half out of the eight free shots. Lacovic and Tsartsaris took advantage of only one of the shots and Gagaloudis earned a foul and scored 81-80. Stepanovic earned a foul as well and tied 81-81 sending the two teams off to extra time. The score of the ten-minute periods: 20-21, 36-44, 55-60, 81-81 (normal duration) 98-96 (extra time).

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] AEK Ended Defeats

    15 Feb 2006 20:24:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Todays task for AEK, before the game with Aris, was difficult since the team of Thessaloniki was fully prepared and the home team could not withstand a fourth consecutive defeat, particularly on home turf. Finally, the score of 64-58 totally satisfied AEK and left Aris filled with bitterness. The first half was mainly divided into mistakes and the score remained at 26-27. From the third period and onwards, AEK found solutions in its game and took the lead. The score of the ten-minute periods: 10-11, 26-27, 49-44, 64-58.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Greek Team Loses Ground

    15 Feb 2006 13:39:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    The Africa Cup, which concluded a few days ago in Cairo, and Egypts subsequent victory resulted in the Greek National football team losing ground in FIFAs World Rankings, as Nigeria, Cameroon and Egypt made it to the top 20. So, the reigning European champions dropped to 19th from 16th spot compared to last month, while Brazil, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands continue to reign at the top. As for Greeces opponents in Group 3 for the EURO 2008 preliminaries, Turkey is 11th (no change), Norway is 39th (dropped two spots), Bosnia-Herzegovina is 65th (dropped one spot), Hungary is 72nd (dropped two spots), Moldova is 107th (no change) and Malta is 119th (no change).

    The Top Ten

    1. Brazil 2. Czech Republic 3. Netherlands 4. Argentina 5. France 6. Spain (-1) 6. Mexico (+1) 6. USA (+1) 9. England 10. Portugal

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] H51 Confirmed on Swans in Germany Virus at the Heart of Europe

    15 Feb 2006 11:56:00 (Last updated: 15 Feb 2006 17:21:58)

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: - BBC

    As announced by the German authorities, the supplementary tests performed on the two dead swans found in the Baltic confirmed that they had been infected by the deadly H5N1 virus. At the same time, cases of the virus were located in dead poultry in Austria and Romania, as well as two swans in southern Italy. Furthermore, the results of the tests performed on three dead swans in southern Hungary, after samples were sent to London, were positive to the deadly virus strain. In the meantime, Iran announced its first case of the deadly avian flu virus close to the Caspian Sea, while in Indonesia, a 19-year-old male who had been infected by the disease passed away. The EU veterinary committee, which is convening in Brussels today, is expected to decide on drastic measures to deal with avian flu in the EU countries. The measures will include culling all poultry of any kind and destroying their eggs even if only one case is detected. In addition, scientists from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre are hoping to develop an experimental vaccine against avian flu.

    Efforts to Prepare Vaccine

    Further tests performed on the two dead swans found on the island of Ruegen in the Baltic confirmed that the birds had been infected by the deadly H5N1 virus.

    However, it has not been established how the virus reached the Baltic Sea.

    The migration of birds has not started yet, so it remains a mystery how the virus arrived there. Secondary ways of transfer, including car tyres or shoes, have to be investigated.

    Following the cases in Germany, Sweden and Denmark issued an order to all the farmers to keep their poultry confined indoors, while the Norwegian authorities to impose similar measures in the southern parts of the country.

    In addition, dead swans and other birds were located on Wednesday on the Danish islands of Lolland, Falster and Zealand, as per TV station TV2 Oest.

    The deadly virus strain was also detected in two dead swans found in Apulia, southern Italy, bringing the number of birds that have died of avian flu to eight.

    The virus was also detected in Austria and Iran, while Iraq declared a bird-flu alert in the Maysan province and called for security forces to prevent people carrying birds in and out of the southern region.

    In the meantime, today the EU extended the ban on all imports of untreated feathers from all third countries.

    At the same time, scientists from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre believe they can prepare a vaccine against avian flu.

    Specifically, they genetically engineered the DNA of genes that control the protein on the surface of all flu viruses and constructed the H element, which they then attached to the common cold virus.

    The scientists are claiming that tests performed on mice and chickens proved that the vaccine provides 100% protection if administered by injection.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Bird flu spreading across Europe

    ABC News: Germany says H5N1 bird flu confirmed in dead swans

    Related News:

    Avian Flu Scare Prompts Meetings

    Tested Negative to Avian Flu

    [15] Doorknobs, Handles or Elevator Buttons? Germ Champions!

    15 Feb 2006 13:04:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    It could easily be a question on Trivial Pursuit. Which is the biggest source of bacteria: shopping cart handles, doorknobs at public toilets or elevator buttons? According to South Koreas Consumer Protection Board, the answer is very hard to believe!

    Common Use Items under the Microscope

    Six widely used common items were examined during the survey. Those included: shopping cart handles, hand straps on buses and the metro, elevator buttons, Internet cafe mice and doorknobs at public toilets. So, who was the champion of germs?

    Shopping cart handles came first, with 1,100 colony forming units of bacteria per 10 sq cm.

    Those were followed by mice used on computers in Internet cafes, which had an average of 690 colony forming units, while hand straps on buses were next with 380 units, followed by bathroom doorknobs at 340.

    Elevator buttons came in fifth at 130 colony forming units and hand straps on the metro at 86!

    However, an official at the consumer body explained that the reason that shopping cart handles had so many bacteria was because the area is larger than the others and people have more space to place their hands.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [16] Iraklis Defeated Olympia Larissa

    15 Feb 2006 19:56:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Iraklis earned a very important win against Olympia Larissa 80-71 (first half 33-36). The game was arbitrated 2.5 minutes after the start of the second half. Up to that point the two teams alternated on the score, however, Stefanovic started an incident with Lappas, after a foul by the referees to his Larissa opponent. Stefanovic attacked Lappas hitting him with his hands, creating havoc, and other players had to intervene and separate the two players. Olympia Larissas Larry Stewart managed to do so and Stefanovic was sent off by the referees. After the incident, Iraklis was clearly dominating and cleaned-up the game from the third period onwards (54-45 in the 30). The point difference kept on growing with King and Dedas bombing Olympia Larissas basket to 59-46 (32) and in the 38 (70-53).

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [17] Breather Win for GS Larissa

    15 Feb 2006 19:40:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    GS Larissa earned a breather win and points, defeating Panionios 85-75 in the context of the 16th round for A1 Mens Basketball Championship. The players of Kostas Pilafidis, in the third period, stepped on the gas and earned their fifth win in the Championship, giving them a right to hope that they will not be relegated. On its part, Panionios could not earn its third consecutive win in the second round of the Championship. The top player for the home team was Papanikolopoulos with 25 points and for Panionios Avery with 24 points. The score of the ten-minute periods: 32-22, 43-44, 66-53, 85-75.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [18] Mariners on Strike on Thursday and Friday The Ships Will Dock

    15 Feb 2006 16:48:00

    The shipping routes will be disrupted on Thursday and Friday as the Panhellinic Seamens Federation announced a 48-hour warning strike starting from 6am Thursday. The mariners are demanding, among other things, 10-month manning of coastal and passenger ships, establishment of a Special Unemployment Fund, funding of the benefits of all Funds and the Greek Seamens House by the state budget, signing of collective work contracts for 2006 and withdrawing the bill for "upgrading and restructuring marine training and other provisions." The Federation advised all those intending to travel not to proceed to the ports so as to avoid any unnecessary hassles.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis


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