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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-01

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] H5N1 Detected in Cat
  • [02] Bakoyannis at Presidential Mansion
  • [03] "Kapodistrias" in Parliament
  • [04] S. Syros Appointed Dep. Police Chief
  • [05] Good Weather on Three-Day Weekend
  • [06] 133 Detainees Released from Guantanamo
  • [07] Scent of Katrina Carnival
  • [08] Bloody Raid in Pakistan
  • [09] Bloody Attack in Baghdad
  • [10] Uprising in Amman Prison
  • [11] Rehhagel: "First Half was Satisfactory"

  • [01] In Germany H5N1 Detected in Cat

    01 Mar 2006 09:53:00 (Last updated: 01 Mar 2006 13:10:14)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The concerns over avian flu are culminating throughout Europe, as the H5N1 virus was detected in a dead cat in Germany. As announced by the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, the cat was located on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen, where most of the deadly virus cases were detected. It is the first time ever that a mammal is infected by the deadly virus in Europe and epidemiologists are noting that the possibility of the virus being transmitted from animals to humans is slim, but still possible. At the same time, France is proceeding with precautionary vaccinations, after the cases detected on domestic poultry. Furthermore, Sweden is awaiting the results of the lab tests to confirm the H5N1 virus and new cases were detected in Bavaria and Romania, while the virus was located in a poultry unit in Krasnodar, Russia, where at least 20,000 birds died in the last 24 hours.

    Scientists and Authorities on Alert

    According to the head of the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Thomas Mettenleiter, the cat may have eaten an infected bird.

    As per research conducted by Dutch scientists, cats are susceptible to avian flu, both if they consume and come into contact with infected poultry. This fact has been known for a while, since it has already been encountered in Asia. In 2004 in Thailand, the H5N1 virus was detected in two dead cats in an infected poultry farm, while a tiger in Bangkoks zoo tested positive, but has fully recovered.

    However, the scientists are noting that the chances of the deadly virus being transmitted from cats to humans are quite slim. "The infection of humans, which theoretically has been precluded, may occur if there is close contact with infected animals," noted Mettenleiter.

    However, the scientific community remains on alert. According to German magazine Der Spiegel, the authorities are examining the possibility of killing all the stray cats and dogs on Ruegen Island, while they recommenced to anyone owning pets not to let them out of the house.

    In the meantime, 43 countries decided to restrict imports of French poultry and poultry products, since France was the first EU country where a poultry farm was infected by H5N1.

    Moreover, Iraq announced it is examining three suspect cases of avian flu spreading to humans in Baghdad and the southeastern province of Dayala. Last month, a girl and her uncle passed away in Sulaimaniya, close to the borders with Turkey, after being infected by the disease.

    Finally, in Indonesia, a 20-year-old man and 12-month-old baby were admitted to a Jakarta hospital, after manifesting bird flu-like symptoms. Another seven patients with similar symptoms are being hospitalised there. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 20 Indonesians have died so far of avian flu; however, the virus may be responsible for even more deaths in the country.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Avian Flu Spreads

    [02] First Official Meeting Bakoyannis at Presidential Mansion

    01 Mar 2006 10:47:00 (Last updated: 01 Mar 2006 12:42:22)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    After meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, on Wednesday morning, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis described the latest developments over the issue with Cyprus as "quite positive". Ms Bakoyannis, who spoke over the phone with the President of the Cypriot Republic, Tassos Papadopoulos, briefed Mr Papoulias both on her latest meetings in Brussels and her upcoming visit to Belgrade, Pristina and Sarajevo, which commences on Thursday. "The President of the Republic is always kept informed on issues of foreign policy," declared Ms Bakoyannis. Upon arriving at the Presidential Mansion and during a brief discussion with the President in front of reporters, Ms Bakoyannis mentioned her upcoming trip the Balkans. She stressed that the issue of Kosovo and Serbia will be at the focus, since the negotiations for the future regime between Serbians and Albanians in Kosovo are underway in Vienna. "Greece is playing a major role in the area and this is recognised. We have an obligation to do whatever we can," added Ms Bakoyannis. On the other hand, Mr Papoulias mentioned that the UN special envoy for Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, is hasty and mistakes can happen in this case. Finally, Ms Bakoyannis mentioned that she will be meeting with Mr Ahtisaari to discuss the matter. The Foreign Minister also briefed the President on the results of the EU General Affairs Council last Monday and Tuesday, as well as the current developments with national matters.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] Voting Session for Communities "Kapodistrias" in Parliament

    01 Mar 2006 07:04:00 (Last updated: 01 Mar 2006 13:14:27)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Greek Interior Ministrys proposed clause, whereby the problems faced by the communities of Vrachasi, Zoniana and Tsaritsani will be solved, is expected be passed as a law, since the amendment that provides for granting autonomous status to those communities from their respective municipalities will be voted today. The discussion became heated and PASOK walked out of the session, speaking of a rough amendment and accusing the Government of scorning the Kapodistrias Project (Law 2539/1997 for the merger of municipalities and communities). "PASOK walked out because it is afraid to assuming its responsibilities," responded Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. On the part of KKE, Antonis Skylakos voiced his partys agreement to the amendment in question, as well as the demands of the rest of the communities for autonomous status. SYN spokesperson Fotis Kouvelis said that the merger is proper, but not without the consent of the interest parties, while he urged the Government to conduct local referendums and submit a bill for the complete restructuring of the administrative model.

    Continuing Reactions

    At the same time, the residents of Neos Marmaras, Chalkidiki, and other communities are continuing their protests, asking for independence from the Kapodistrias Project. Residents of Neos Marmaras gathered outside Parliament until late on Tuesday night, while they also met with Deputy Interior Minister Athanasios Nakos, but the discussion was futile. In addition, residents of Agios Ioannis, Lasithi, blocked the local national highway.

    In addition, the residents of Agios Nikolaos, Chalkidiki, blocked the regional highway leading to Thessaloniki.

    However, the Interior Ministry has announced that it will not be granting independence to any other communities, apart from the three that are already included in the clause.

    It should be noted that since 1998, the communities of Vrachasi and Zoniana, Crete, and Tsaritsani, Larissa, do not have self-governing authorities.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Police Council is Convening S. Syros Appointed Dep. Police Chief

    01 Mar 2006 12:39:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The High Council of the Police, which convened presided by newly appointed Chief of Police Anastasios Dimoschakis appointed Lieutenant-Generals Stylianos Syros and Efstratios Kyriakakis to new duties and positions. Mr Syros, who was formerly General Inspector of Northern Greece, was appointed Deputy Chief of Police, while Mr Kyriakakis, who was also an Inspector of Northern Greece, was appointed Chief of Staff of the Police. Following, a meeting of the Greek Police Major-Generals by the High Police Council will take place, for the appointment of Lieutenant Generals.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Change of Guard

    Related Links:

    Ministry of Public Order

    [05] Winds Subsiding and Sunshine Good Weather on Three-Day Weekend

    28 Feb 2006 23:38:00

    Sources: NET

    The holidaymakers for the three-day weekend of the Carnival and Clean Monday will be accompanied by good weather. Flying the kite, as it seems, will be made under good weather conditions, since gale-force winds are subsiding and spring-like days are forecast. However, today, the gale-force winds throughout the country resulted in a ban of sailing from the Piraeus Port, while many flights were cancelled. As of the afternoon, however, the winds subsided and routes were performed as normal.

    At the same time, shoppers are flocking to the markets to buy traditional foods for Lent.

    The prices are varied.

    frozen squid cost from 2.90 euros to 7 euros a kilo fresh squid from 12 to 19 euros a kilo frozen octopus from 5 to 13.80 euros a kilo fresh octopus from 10 to 12 euros a kilo frozen cuttlefish cost 5.90 euros a kilo fresh cuttlefish to 8.50 euros a kilo shellfish 7 euros a kilo small shrimp 3.90 euros a kilo

    Checks in the markets are intensive but consumers should be careful in their purchases.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] 119 will be Taken to their Countries' Prisons 133 Detainees Released from Guantanamo

    01 Mar 2006 09:35:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Following an inspection, the Pentagon foresees the transfer of approximately one-fourth of Guantanamo detainees to prisons of their countries,. "Approximately 119, out of 500 detainees, will be taken to their counties prisons," explained Governor Tom Quinn. He added that another 14 will be released as they are no longer a threat to the US and cannot provide any more information. "Approximately one-third of the detainees will be released from Guantanamo when the US Government will arrange the issue of their transport to their countries," stated Quinn. In the meantime, Guantanamos Chief Prosecutor Colonel Moe Davis likened the detainees to vampires, as they are scared of justice just as they are scared of sunlight. Only ten have been charged and sentenced out of the 500 prisoners. During the Press conference Davis admitted that the procedure is slow, since many are held for more than four years without charges being brought against them. "Unfortunately four years have passed and the Prosecution is doing its best to bring them before the Court Martial," he said. "Remember if you dragged Dracula out into the sunlight he melted. Well thats kind of the way it is trying to drag a detainee into the courtroom. The facts are like the sunlight to Dracula. The last thing they want is to face the facts in the courtroom," Davis said.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Mardi Gras in New Orleans Scent of Katrina Carnival

    01 Mar 2006 08:20:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The celebration of Mardi Gras, which takes place on the last Tuesday before Lent, provided a moral and financial boost for the citizens of New Orleans, just six months after Hurricane Katrina delivered a destructive blow to the area. Thousands of colourfully-dressed tourists and locals watched the festivities, which culminated with a Carnival parade in the streets of the city. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared that the number of people who arrived for this years Mardi Gras could easily be compared to the numbers of previous years. Hurricane Katrina was the source of inspiration for many of the costumes: some wrapped themselves up in the blue tarpaulins used to cover the roofs, a woman wore a green full-body suit depicting to mould that covers many houses and others were influenced by the damages.

    The previous days, the revellers passed by the destroyed parts of the city to highlight that the problems remain. Hurricane Katrina, which struck the area late August, left behind more than 1,300 dead and major damages, while today New Orleans has a population of 200,000, as opposed to 500,000 before the hurricane.

    New York hailed the celebrations by lighting up the Empire State Building in the colours of Mardi Gras: purple, green and gold.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] At Least 30 Killed Bloody Raid in Pakistan

    01 Mar 2006 07:17:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The Pakistani army launched a wide-scale attack against a "militant" training camp with helicopters and ground forces in North Waziristan, killing at least 30 people. According to political agent Sayed Zaheerul Islam, it was "a training camp of foreign miscreants," in the town of Saidgai, on the borders with Afghanistan. An arsenal was also destroyed during the attack, which took place just a few days before the arrival of US President George Bush to the country. On his part, Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan, a Pakistani army spokesperson, confirmed the raid and claimed that Pakistani and foreign militants were being trained in the camp; however, he declared he had no information on casualties. It should be noted that in January, US forces launched a rocket attack in the area, targeting Taliban and al-Qaeda members. Many civilians were killed in that attack, while it also triggered protests against the Pakistani Government.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    ิhe Hindu: Pak. forces crack down on militants in Afghan border

    BBC: Pakistani troops in border attack

    [09] 23 Dead - 45 Injured Bloody Attack in Baghdad

    01 Mar 2006 11:43:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Twenty-three people lost their lives and another 45 were injured when a car bomb exploded in a Shiite district, east of Baghdad. The car was parked close to a central street and a bus stop in al-Jadida. According to the police, the attack is part of the hostilities triggered by the explosion in a Shiite mosque in Samara last week. Earlier, a bomb had exploded in an open-air market in the centre of Baghdad, resulting in the death of three people and the injury of another ten.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Iraq Shi'ite mosque blast kills 23

    Related News:

    Series of Attacks in Baghdad

    [10] Took Wardens Hostage Uprising in Amman Prison

    01 Mar 2006 08:42:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    An official source of the Jordanian Security Forces announced that detainees in a prison, at the suburbs of Amman, revolted and took hostage the wardens. A spokesman of the Jordan Security Forces stated that the detainees in the Jweida Prison, who are demanding the transfer of death row inmates and the ones sentenced by the Special Security Court in the same area, revolted on Tuesday night. The spokesman added that the detainees took hostage the wardens, who attempted to negotiate with them and that there are no victims so far.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] Rehhagel: "First Half was Satisfactory"

    28 Feb 2006 23:20:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    The coach of the Greek team, Otto Rehhagel, was only satisfied by the first half of the game against Belarus, which ended 1-0, in the premier of the 10th international tournament in Cyprus. The substitutions by the German coach disrupted the teams pace in the second half, in a game, which had a training session character against an inferior team. This gave the opportunity to Belarus to become threatening. "I had told my players beforehand that Belarus has speed and power. I am satisfied by the first half. The second half, due to the substitutions, disrupted the teams pace. We have played against teams of the former Soviet Union. They were very tough for a friendly game. However, this game showed us many things," noted Otto Rehhagel.

    On Giannis Samaras' Debut

    Following, the coach referred to the first appearance by Manchester City player Giannis Samaras in the Mens National Football team, who left very good impressions to Otto Rehhagel, but wanted him to get rid of the ball quicker: "He is a player with good technical training and a good physique. However, he possesses the ball for too long. He should learn to pass it sideways when he is playing at the top of the formation," stated Mr Rehhagel.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Greece Defeated Belarus

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