|Tuesday, 20 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-11-16
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 USA: Secret Order against al QaedaThe US Pentagon had been authorised to mount about 12 hits against al Qaeda and other Islamist cells in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere since 2004, read Sunday New York Times.
Citing six army and intelligence service officials, whose names did not reveal, as well as advisors to the Bush administration, the paper stressed a secret ordered singed by former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and cheered by the President had given the green light to military operations. The order authorised the army to strike the al Qaeda network anywhere in the world and launch operations in other countries which were not at war with the USA, continued the paper.
Among the countries targeted were Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, where al Qaeda militants were believed to find shelter, a top-ranking government official told the paper.
A former CIA senior official added that one of the missions included a raid against a suspect block of residences in Pakistan. New York Times read it sources declined to go into details on previous secret hits, apart from that fact that they took place in Syria, Pakistan and other countries.
Top army officials also told the paper that other operations had been cancelled, because they were either too risky, or lacked sufficient clues. White House and Pentagon officials refused to make any comments.
News item: 15330
 Venezuela Hopes for Better Relations with Obama's ElectionBarrack Obama's historic election victory spread optimism in Latin America on Wednesday that the new U.S. president will narrow an ideological divide with the region and end years of U.S. neglect or hectoring.Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has called President George W. Bush "the devil" and has expanded ties with Iran and Russia, said Obama's win presented a chance for better ties between the superpower and one of its biggest oil suppliers.Jamaicans drank to Obama's win and some fired guns into the air when his victory was announced around midnight."I am so happy. This is a real change in the U.S. I never expected to see this in my lifetime," said Kingston resident Esmine Brown, 72.
Meanwhile, Obama's 86-year-old grandmother Sara Obama is going to act as good will ambassadress to combat malnutrition, reports Kenya's The Standard newspaper today.
Although Hamas described by Washington as a terrorist organization has hailed Obama's win, its leader Haled Masal, who is in exile in Syria told Sky New that Barrack's victory is a great political and psychological change. He also said that his organization is ready to hold a dialogue with Obama.
Source: ÁNA, Reuters, AFP.
News item: 15279
 Obama Overwhelming VictoryA new era begins in the USA with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th American President. He prevailed over his Republican rival John MacCain by winning in the crucial states of Ohio, Pensylvania, Florida and Virtzinia, securing 270 of the 538 electors. The Democrats have also increased their power in the Senate, maintaining control over the House of Representatives. Mr McCain congratulated his rival, admitting his defeat.
Obama prevailed of his rival during the pre-election campaign by exhibiting qualities of a leader and by referring to the difficult position of the economy.
His victory was determined by the fact that he managed to win in the Ohio, Iowa and New Mexico, states where George Bush had won during the 2004 elections.
He also secured a triumphant victory and 13 electors in Virginia after the Republicans had won 40 consecutive wins in this state.
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As per forecasts, Obama has also won in Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Delaware, Massachusetts, Columbia, Maryland, Connecticut, Main, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and Long Island.
About 130,000,000 voters have participated in the 2008 elections, a record number even exceeding that of 1960 when rivals were Kennedy and Nixon.
Obama is the first Democrat candidate to win in Virginia after Lynton Johnson in 1964. Barrack Obama's victory constitutes a landmark in American history 45 years after the movement for political rights had culminated by Martin Luther King.
News item: 15147
 Gaza Crossings Remain ClosedIsrael will keep its crossings with the Gaza Strip closed Monday following rocket attacks from the Hamas-ruled territory but may allow some fuel supplies in to ease major power cuts, an official said.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak ordered the sealing of the crossings after Palestinian militants again fired a rocket against southern Israel on Sunday, causing no casualties but threatening a shaky ceasefire.
"Defence Minister Ehud Barak's directive to shut the crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip will remain in place on Monday," a senior defence official said.
Barak nevertheless was to hold meetings on Monday to decide whether to allow the opening of the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, he said.
Palestinian officials in Gaza said on Sunday that power supplies had been reduced by one third in the absence of fuel and that electricity would be completely cut off in the coastal territory by Monday evening.
Under the Egyptian-brokered truce, Israel agreed to open the vital crossings with Gaza, through which badly needed food and fuel are transported and the Islamists vowed to halt rocket attacks.
Last week Gaza militants fired a barrage of rockets in retaliation for the killing of seven fighters by Israeli troops, in the worst incidents since the truce went into effect on June 19.
News item: 15336