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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-31

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Three Inmates Burned Alive
  • [02] Auschwitz to Be Renamed?
  • [03] End of Orange Era in Ukraine
  • [04] Deadly Quake in Iran
  • [05] Greek Ombudsman Report
  • [06] Education Rallies in Greece
  • [07] Shipwreck in Bahrain
  • [08] Olympiacos Crushed Zalgiris
  • [09] ERT's Ensembles at the Athens Music Hall
  • [10] The USA Awaits H5N1
  • [11] Naomi Campbell Arrested

  • [01] Fire in Athens Prison Three Inmates Burned Alive

    31 Mar 2006 07:00:00 (Last updated: 31 Mar 2006 14:35:12)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: - 105.8 - ANA

    Two Romanian inmates and a Greek were tragically killed in Korydallos Prison, while another was admitted to Red Cross Hospital in critical condition, after having suffered severe burns. A fire broke out a little after midnight, for unknown reasons, in cell 80 of the prisons 4th wing and was put out by the wardens. The Prosecutor and the Justice Ministrys General Secretary, Panagiotis Panouris, arrived at the scene a little later, while a strong police force remains posted outside the correctional institution as a precaution. Initially, the injured man had been admitted to Nikaia General State Hospital, but it was deemed necessary to transfer him to Red Cross Hospital, where the doctors are trying to stabilise his condition. The Justice Ministry has ordered a Sworn Administrative Inquiry, while Minister Anastasis Papaligouras is returning from Brussels due to the incident.

    Investigation into the Causes

    The names of the three victims will be released after their families will have been informed. The injured man is called Radu Nikolae from Romania. The doctors said his condition is very critical, as he suffered extensive burns.

    Meanwhile, coroners are faced with a difficult task at hand, as the three dead suffered extensive burns throughout their bodies. This renders fingerprint identification and toxicological tests almost impossible and hence coroners decided to identify the bodies using the DNA method.

    At this hour, Prosecutors and Fire Service interrogators are on site to collect evidence in order to find the causes. At the order of the Justice Minister, Mr Panouris will revisit the prison facilities within the day.

    As per evidence and information so far, the fire broke out from a mattress and wardens were alerted 20 minutes past midnight, although it is believed the fire had broken out much earlier. Due to the material (cotton), the smoke was light and escaped through the window, while inmates at cell 120, above cell 80, were the first to realize something was on fire and started screaming.

    The Fire Department did not intervene, as the prison is equipped with fire extinguishers and fire hydrants. However, the lack of a fire detection system that would have alerted the wardens earlier has raised numerous questions.

    A coroner arrived at Korydallos Prison early on Friday morning. As he ascertained, the four inmates were found burnt and with limited sings of reaction. They were probably sleeping or had passed out because of the smoke, while more evidence will arise from the toxicological tests and the autopsy underway.

    Speaking on radio station NET 105.8, the president of Greek penitentiary employees, Leonidas Karadakis, declared that an investigation is underway to determine the causes of the fire, while all possibilities will be taken into consideration.

    [02] Poland's Request to Unesco Auschwitz to Be Renamed?

    31 Mar 2006 11:00:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Poland sent a letter to Unecso asking for the name of Auschwitz concentration camp to be changed so that it could be clearly linked to Nazi Germany. The request was prompted by a recent article in German magazine Der Spiegel, which spoke about the "Polish camp", enraging Warsaw. "In the years after the war, the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was definitively associated with the criminal activities of the national socialist Nazi regime in Germany. However, for the contemporary, younger generations, especially abroad, that association is not universal," declared Polish government spokesperson Jan Kasprzyk. According to Warsaw, the place where 1.5 million Jews breathed their last between the years 1940 and 1945 should be renamed to "Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau". Unescos response is expected later in the year.

    Response Expected in 2006

    Since 1979, the Auschwitz concentration camp has been listed as a Unesco world heritage site.

    Unescos current description of Auschwitz says that the "fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens show the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place in the former concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest in the Third Reich."

    However, Warsaw wishes to clearly associate the concentration camp with the Nazis. Commenting on the suggested name, Mr Kasprzyk added, "The proposed change in the name leaves no doubt as to what the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was."

    Poland was under German occupation from September 1939, following the 25-day war with Hitlers forces. This event is also believed to have triggered WWII, as Polands allies (France and England) declared war on Germany.

    On 27 January 1945, the Soviet army freed the prisoners in Auschwitz, a fact that contributed to the UN establishing 27 January as a Day of Remembrance for the nearly 6 million Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis during WWII.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    The Guardian: Poland Seeks Name Change for Auschwitz

    All Headline News: Poland Wants Auschwitz To Be Renamed

    Related Links:

    Auschwitz Museum


    [03] Following the General Elections End of Orange Era in Ukraine

    31 Mar 2006 09:07:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NA - Reuters - RIA Novosti

    Eighteen months after the much-publicised Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, when Viktor Yushchenkos western-backed party had assumed power, it is now time for Viktor Yanukovich to seek revenge. Following the massive rallies by people back then, who were complaining of vote rigging when pro-Russian Yanukovich had won, the elections were repeated and Yushchenko was elected triumphantly. However, according to the official results from last Sundays elections, Yanukovich is returning to the political scene, after gathering 32.12% of the votes and finishing in first place. The party Bloc, led by Yushchenkos former ally Yulia Tymoshenko, came second with 22.27%, while the big loser was the Ukrainian President, as his party, Our Ukraine, gathered just 13.94% of the votes. The Socialist Party came fourth with 5.67%, while the Communist Party managed to cross the Parliaments threshold at the last moment, gathering 3.7%, marginally over the 3% needed to enter Parliament.

    Heading for Coalition Gov't

    As per the results, the country is heading towards a coalition government, since none of the parties has gained the absolute majority of 226 seats in the 450-member Parliament.

    According to the initial calculations, the Regions Party will receive 186 seats, the Bloc 129, Our Ukraine 81, the Socialists 33 and the Communists 21.

    Exploratory talks for possible coalitions have already commenced, however, they are expected to be longwinded and tough due to the polarised political climate.

    Yushchenko has voiced his wish to form an alliance with Tymoshenko and possibly the Socialists. On the other hand, Tymoshenko appeared opposed to a possible coalition with Yushchenko or Yanukovich, declaring that she would participate in a new Government only if she is appointed Prime Minister.

    It should be noted that the Parliament has 30 days to form a coalition and another 30 to appoint a Government.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Yanukovich leads in Ukraine with all votes counted

    RIA Novosti: Tymoshenko announces PM ambitions, denounces mooted coalition

    Related News:

    Ukraine: Vote Counting Continues

    Coalition Government Possible

    Opposition Party in the Lead

    Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine

    [04] At Least 50 Killed and 800 Injured Deadly Quake in Iran

    31 Mar 2006 07:14:00 (Last updated: 31 Mar 2006 12:12:57)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    A strong quake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale shook the province of Lorestan, Iran, early on Friday morning. According to the initial estimates, at least 50 people have been killed and another 800 injured. Some 200 villages between the towns of Boroujerd and Doroud have suffered serious damages, as buildings collapsed, while the power was cut off. Local officials fear that the death toll will increase, as the rescue crews have not been able to access numerous villages. The hospitals in Boroujerd and Doroud are full and cannot admit any more patients while the authorities are seeking assistance from surrounding towns. The main quake occurred at 4:47am (local time), but was preceded by two smaller tremors, measuring 4.7 and 5.1. After the strong earthquake, the citizens took to the streets and spent the night outdoors awaiting the rescue crews.

    It should be noted that Iran is an extremely seismic area, while a 6.6 quake recorded in 2003 in Bam had killed some 31,000 people.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Al Jazeera: Earthquake hits western Iran

    BBC: Dozens die in western Iran quakes

    [05] 13,270 Cases Handled Greek Ombudsman Report

    31 Mar 2006 13:55:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET 105.8 - ANA

    The Greek Ombudsmans annual report for 2005, which was submitted on Friday to Speaker of Parliament Anna Psarouda-Benaki by the Authoritys head Yorgos Kaminis, includes 13,270 handled in the past year. Out of all the cases relating to public administration for 2005, 73.76% were reviewed and settled. The worst incidents of mismanagement pertained to non-conformity to legal time limits for settling cases, as well as violations of legal provisions and regulations. Ms Benaki underlined the usefulness of the report so as to extract significant conclusions for improving the countrys Public Administration.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    The Greek Ombudsman

    [06] Pupils & Students Take to the Streets Education Rallies in Greece

    31 Mar 2006 09:57:00 (Last updated: 31 Mar 2006 13:55:07)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Pupils and students from Athens, Thessaloniki and other major Greek cities are staging rallies on Friday, demanding increases in Education expenditures and the preservation of the public character of higher education. In Athens, the rally started at 12:30pm at Propylaia, on Panepistimiou Street, while the students will march towards the Education Ministry. In Thessaloniki, the students gathered at Chemistry Square at 12noon and will march towards the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace. The Greek Primary School Teachers Federation (DOE) is participating in the collective actions with two-hour work stoppages, so that the teachers can attend the rallies.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] At Least 57 Killed Shipwreck in Bahrain

    31 Mar 2006 00:12:00

    A boat carrying some 130 tourists sank off Bahrain, resulting in the death of 57 people, while 63 were rescued. The boat Banoosh sank at around 21:45 (local time) near the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Bridge, one of the three bridges connecting capital Manama to the island of al Muharak. The tourists, including many Europeans, Arabs and Asians, had boarded the vessel for a short dinner cruise around the Gulf. A rescue operation is underway, assisted by divers, ships and a US Navy patrol boat that was anchored in Bahrain. According to one of the survivors, Banoosh capsized and sank after being hit by a wave about a mile from the coast, as it was returning to port.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Olympiacos Crushed Zalgiris

    30 Mar 2006 23:43:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Olympiacos completed the round of 16 in the Euroleague in an impressive way. Olympiacos have qualified to the round of 8 and crushed Zalgiris on home grounds with a score of 72-99. The guests rank second in Group D with four wins and two defeats. In the quarterfinals, Olympiacos will play versus Makabi Tel Aviv, which ranked first in Group E. The first match will be held on 4/4 (Israel), the second on 6/4 and the third, if necessary, on 12 or 13 April. The score per period: 15-19, 29-48, 48-78, 72-99.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Concert on 13 April ERT's Ensembles at the Athens Music Hall

    31 Mar 2006 13:14:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    ERTs Musical Ensembles will perform a concert at the Athens Music Hall on 13 April at 8:30pm. ERTs National Symphonic Orchestra will perform Tomazo Albinonis popular Adagio for Strings, as well as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts Clarinet Concerto. In the second part of the concert, audiences will hear Gustav Mahlers Symphony No 4. Soprano Sonia Theodoriodou and clarinettist Spyros Mourikis will be the soloists, while Nikos Christodoulou will be the conductor.

    Tickets are on sale at the Athens Music Hall.

    Ticket prices: 20, 15, 11, 6 and 3.50 (students)

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] Expected in Summer The USA Awaits H5N1

    31 Mar 2006 09:31:00 (Last updated: 31 Mar 2006 12:10:20)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The US authorities are on alert over the avian flu virus, which, as they are estimating, will reach the USA sometime in summer. Actually, the first cases are expected to surface in California, as some 60,000 birds, mostly waterfowl, would begin their migration south from Alaska in mid-August, working their way down through Oregon, Washington and into the state in question. "The H5N1 virus in birds is expected in the next couple of months," declared California Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshe after meeting with officials in an effort to prepare the relevant authorities. Although monitoring and detection systems are in place on both coasts, the experts believe that the virus will eventually arrive in the country, while the authorities are addressing pleas for calm and are declaring they are prepared.

    In the meantime, two new sources of H5N1 were detected by Israeli authorities in some 10 poultry farms close to the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, resulting in the culling of over 20,000 birds.

    Readiness and Calmness

    According to the estimates, the virus will reach the country either from the eastern or the western coasts via migratory birds, which are travelling south from Alaska towards the Pacific or the Atlantic Oceans.

    Monitoring systems have been set up both on the West and the East Coast to locate any avian flu cases immediately.

    However, US Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt warned against panic when avian flu hits for the first time, saying it would not inevitably mean the start of a human pandemic.

    "It is almost certain that a wild bird will find its way into the United States with H5N1 on board. That will not be a crisis," Leavitt told reporters, warning, however, that the states have laid the groundwork for possible human to human transmission.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    ABC: Bird flu expected to hit West Coast by summer

    Related News:

    US: Experimental H5N1 Vaccine

    US Prepares for H5N1

    [11] New Fit of Rage Naomi Campbell Arrested

    31 Mar 2006 12:30:00 (Last updated: 31 Mar 2006 14:23:34)

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Once more, Naomi Campbell is in hot water with the Police. The famous supermodel was arrested for taking it out on her housekeeper by throwing a mobile phone on her back and causing injuries. The girl, who was unfortunate enough to be employed by the supermodel two months ago, was admitted to hospital, where she had four stitches on the back. As for Campbell, she was arrested and taken to the Police station for the standard procedure of fingerprint and photograph taking. Wearing a black baseball cap, a white fur-poncho and black sunglasses and with the handcuffs on, she was then taken to court, where judges are to press charges.

    Blaming the Housekeeper

    Answering reporters' questions, she said the police officers treated her very nice.

    "The police officers were really nice. They treated me wonderfully," stressed Naomi Campbell.

    An announcement issued by her agent, Amanda Silverman, reads "We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning for stealing." Campbell's lawyer supported the housekeeper injured herself.

    Bad Temper

    It should be noted this is not the first time Campbell has made the headlines for her violent behaviour.

    In 2000 she had admitted in court to have thrown a phone against her assistant, Georgina Galanis.

    However, she explained that the frequent fits of rage are due to the feeling of abandonment she had experienced as a child.

    She never knew her father (he abandoned his family before Naomi was even born), while her mother was never at home as she had to work endless hours to raise her.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

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