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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-21

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Looking for the Causes
  • [02] New Opinion Poll
  • [03] Inquiry into the Baby's Death
  • [04] Blind Violence in Mogadishu
  • [05] Suicide Attack Was a Hoax
  • [06] Cartoons Closed Down Newspaper
  • [07] Apollon Rules in Thessaloniki
  • [08] New Incidents in Nigeria
  • [09] Setting Oil on Fire
  • [10] Collective Actions over the Araxos Quarries

  • [01] For the Crash of the Army Helicopter Looking for the Causes

    21 Feb 2006 12:23:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ΝΕΤ - ΝΕΤ 105.8 - ANA

    Army experts are examining the circumstances surrounding the crash of the Huey military helicopter, which went down in Melissi, Giannitsa, on Monday night, killing all four officers onboard. The initial indications point to engine failure. The bodies of the crewmembers were transferred to Papageorgiou Hospital in Thessaloniki, where coroner Mathaios Tsougas will perform the autopsies. Greek President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis the Government and PASOK President George Papandreou conveyed their deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

    Immediate Mobilisation

    The crew, made up of Army Air Force Captain Christos Karypidis, 39, Officer Ilias Karabas, 38, Chief Sergeant Adam Adamopoulos, 39, and Sergeant Major Konstantinos Fotiadis, 38, were performing a nighttime training flight.

    The personnel-carrying helicopter had taken off from the 3rd Army Air Force Helicopter Battalion in Alexandia Imathia at 7:30pm on Monday.

    At 8:10pm, the signal was lost from the radar screens at Macedonia Airport.

    Immediately after, a red alert was declared at the National Centre for Air Force Operations, while the Search and Rescue Coordination Centre and the countrys political and military leadership were notified.

    At the same time, a major search operation was set up, while Defence Minister Vangelis Meimarakis and National Defence General Staff Chief Admiral Panagiotis Chinofotis arrived at the 8th Military Division to supervise the search operation.

    Mr Meimarakis was in Ioannina, accompanying the President of the Hellenic Republic at the anniversary celebrations of the towns liberation.

    The wreckage of the fated helicopter was located at 10:30pm, and the rescuers recovered the bodies of the four crewmembers.

    A little while later, the political and military leadership, as well as the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace visited the crash site.

    Initial Conclusions

    The initial indications point to engine failure, which did not give the crew any time to react, since the last conversation with the operators was recoded at 7:53pm, while the helicopter crashed 20 minutes later.

    Both the pilot and the co-pilot were very experienced since that had 2,939 flight hours and 1,037 flight hours respectively, while the flight engineer had been with Armed Forces for 20 years.

    However, the personnel-carrying helicopter in question is considered relatively old, as it was built in 1969 and had clocked 4,477 flight hours.

    At the same time, the upgrading programme never took place, as the Army Air Forces were to be supplied with new-type helicopters.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Helicopter Tragedy

    [02] ND-PASOK Difference at 1.4% New Opinion Poll

    21 Feb 2006 07:56:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET Radio 105.8

    New Democracy has a 1.4% lead over PASOK, according to a new opinion poll conducted by GPO for TV channel MEGA. 48% of the participants feel Kostas Karamanlis is the most suitable Prime Minister, as opposed to 34% who prefer George Papandreou. Regarding the intention to vote, ND gathered 35%, PASOK 33.6%, KKE 6.5%, LAOS 5.2% and SYN 3.3%. 52.5% see the recent reshuffling in a positive way, while 57.6% predicted significant changes in foreign policy now that Dora Bakoyannis is Foreign Minister. What is more, 83.8% think the wiretapping scandal is a significant issue affecting both social and political life.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [03] Parents Before the Examiner Inquiry into the Baby's Death

    21 Feb 2006 10:54:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    An emergency Sworn Administrative Inquiry has been ordered into the circumstances surrounding the death of the infant in Neos Kosmos. The purpose of the inquiry is to clarify the divergence of views between judicial authorities and the Athens Prefecture. According to the First Instance Prosecution, the Juvenile Prosecution sent a fax to the Prefecture's Welfare Department on 4 January 2006, asking them to look into the Mylonakis case in Neos Kosmos. In fact, the Juvenile Prosecution asked for a social worker to inspect the house, but the Welfare Department refuted such a thing ever having happened, hence forcing Prefect Giannis Sgouros to order a Sworn Administrative Inquiry.

    Meanwhile, the baby's 21-year-old mother and 26-year-old father, who are accused for its death, will be brought before the examiner on Tuesday. As per the Police, the infant was crying and its mother shook it to death. The parents went on sleeping and woke up at noon, at which point they notified the EKAV (National Centre for Emergency Medical Care), pretending the infant died in its sleep. However, they later confessed and were arrested, while the autopsy indicated the 45-day infant suffocated.

    What is more, judicial authorities announced that eight more children need to be removed from their family environment, but there are no institutes to house them. According to official data, 351 official child abuse charges were filed in 2005. 116 referred to physical abuse, 180 to abandonment, 38 to forced beggary, 11 to prostitution and 6 to sexual abuse. In most cases the perpetrator was the mother.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Violence Rocks Somalia Blind Violence in Mogadishu

    21 Feb 2006 10:39:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    The capital of Somalia has surrendered to the mercy of violence over the past four days, as armed clans fight each other using from hand grenades to anti-aircraft guns and civilians flee their homes, thus becoming collateral losses. 15 people have been killed so far and over 90 have been injured. Telephone communications and traffic in Mogadishu have been interrupted, while parts of the Bakara central market have been bombed.

    Violence escalated again when a clash broke out between local warlords, who have taken up ministries in the transitional government and have formed a new group, the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism, against the Islamic Courts' militia. The courts have set up Mogadishu's only judicial system in parts of the capital. The first accuse the latter of links to Al-Qaeda and of murdering moderate Muslim scholars, while threatening them with arrests and surrender to US forces. The members of the Islamic Courts on the other hand, accuse the first of instigating violent incidents.

    Fighting among Somalia's myriad of clans and sub-clans has been common since warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and took over the nation of about 10 million.

    An interim government was formed in 2004, but has proved fragile and fractious. It has been unable to rein in the powerful warlords and their militias. The country's parliament is due to meet in the country on 26 February for the first time since it was formed in Kenya more than a year ago.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC - Fighting rocks Somalia's capital

    [05] Suicide Attack Was a Hoax

    21 Feb 2006 10:33:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Italian authorities were alarmed on Tuesday morning, when a 50-year-old man invaded a stopover on highway A1, connecting Florence to Bologna, claiming he was strapped with explosives. In fact, eyewitnesses said the 50-year-old yelled, "either you kill me or I blow myself up." Strong police forces deployed around the area and evacuated the station, while traffic was interrupted for over an hour, forming long lines of immobilised cars. After a long hour of negotiations, the suicide bomber surrendered to the Carabinieri and it was revealed the suicide attack was a hoax, since the only thing he was strapped with was a pillow. Ansa news agency broadcast the 50-year-old was a truck driver facing serious working problems.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [06] In Saudi Arabia Cartoons Closed Down Newspaper

    21 Feb 2006 09:42:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA, BBC, Reuters

    Local authorities in Saudi Arabia closed down newspaper Shams, because it had publicised part of Prophet Muhammad's cartoons. Newspaper editors publicised the cartoons in an effort to urge young Muslims to protest over such an insult and had in fact wrote articles on the matter. However, despite whatever motive, authorities considered the act offensive to the religious of Islam and the Minister of Media and Culture suspended the paper's operation as a result.

    Appeal for Calmness

    Meanwhile, 42 clergymen of Islam said the publication of Prophet Muhammad's cartoons is "a crime of attack" against the Islamite nation, but called on the people to restrain themselves against blasphemers and avoid actions not dictated by Islamic teachings, such as attacks against embassies and people.

    At the same time, they urged the Danish government to condemn these actions, asking for its isolation from the rest of the international community if it does not.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Saudi paper 'shut' in cartoon row

    [07] Apollon Rules in Thessaloniki

    20 Feb 2006 23:26:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    Apollon Kalamarias scored a victory that is equal to salvation, as coach Makis Katsavakis had declared prior to the match, defeating Iraklis by 2-0 in the last game for round 20 of the Greek Division 1 football championship. With the three points it gained today, the team has earned seven points in total from the matches against PAOK and Iraklis and can boast about being the best team in Thessaloniki. Mouzaoui scored the first goal in the 35, after receiving the ball from Karaliopoulos. In the 67, Cleyton, who moved to the offence after Mouzaouis substitution, scored Apollons second goal, crashing the hopes of the guests to get back into the game and win at least one point for the tie.

    Referee: Germanakos (Athens) Yellow Cards: Galanopoulos, Mouzaoui, Cleyton, Amponsah, Kovac - Drougas

    APOLLON KALAMARIAS: Kovac, Amponsah, Murawski, Papadopoulos, Galanopoulos, Orfanos, Parmaxidis, Karaliopoulos (84 Koltsis), Pappas (76 Samouilidis), Mouzaoui (55 Ioannou), Cleyton

    IRAKLIS: Abaris, Sznaucner, Katsabis, Papazacharias (80 Kapetanos), Drougas (53 Stefanis), Poursanidis (82 Diamantidis), Prittas, Georgiadis, Lagos, Epalle, Herrera.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Between Christians and Muslims New Incidents in Nigeria

    21 Feb 2006 09:16:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: ANA, Reuters

    At least 10 people lost their lives and 40 more were injured on Monday in Bauchi, north Nigeria, when Muslims clashed with Christians during a new outbreak of religious fanaticism in the country. The incident was triggered at a school, when a teacher allegedly confiscated a Muslim religious document and the students attacked him, thinking he was desecrating the Koran. However, rumours over the incidents spread all over town, triggering the rage of young Muslims, who started attacking Christians. On Saturday, 16 people lost their lives in the area during riots the publication of Prophet Muhammad's cartoons.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Nigerian Rebels Escalate Attacks Setting Oil on Fire

    21 Feb 2006 08:22:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    An oil pipeline and a floatable military tanker terminal were hit during the last Nigerian militia attack. Nigerian rebels are escalating their sabotage campaign against the world's eight-largest oil exporter, thus asking for greater control over oil deposits, which are currently exploited by foreign giants.

    The "Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta" has kidnapped 9 people working in international oil companies and threatened with a new barrage of fiercer attacks (rebels even threatened to blow up oil tankers) in case Shell tried to resume oil production in Forcados. The tanker platform was hit last Saturday.

    Oil prices rose by over a dollar in international markets because of the latest developments. Nigeria is feeding the international market with 2.4 million barrels of crude oil per day. The world's eight-larger oil exporter has become even more important, as the USA have become more interested in it, in an effort to downsize their dependence from the Middle East.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC - Nigeria attacks raise oil prices

    REUTERS - Oil jumps on Nigeria attacks, OPEC talks of cut

    [10] Employees Demand they Reopen Collective Actions over the Araxos Quarries

    20 Feb 2006 20:48:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Quarry workers, as well as professionals in the construction sector, proceeded with collective actions in the centre Patras and the citys ring road, demanding that the Araxos quarries reopen. They lined up their trucks and machinery along Korinthou Avenue, one of the citys busiest roads, creating traffic jams, while in the afternoon they lined them up along the citys ring road. Representatives of the employees and the businesses met with Achaia Prefect Dimitris Katsikopoulos to discuss the matter of environmental studies. The issue is also expected to be discussed at the upcoming Prefectorial Council, so that new decisions can be made, after the studies on environmental consequences are sent to the Prefecture from the Ministry of Public Works.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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