|Wednesday, 21 February 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-01-29
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Obama's Stimulus Plan PassedNews
The US House passed Wednesday an $819 billion economic stimulus package. Despite President Obama's efforts to achieve bipartisan support for the bill, the vote was 244 to 188. It will seek thumbs up from the Senate in the coming week. The US President voiced his satisfaction and stressed that it would allow funds to be earmarked.
Calling it American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Obama has made it the centerpiece of his administrations' effort to support economy.
The stimulus plans provides for tax cuts and financing from the federal administration.
"We must move swiftly and boldly to put Americans back to work, and that is exactly what this plan begins to do," said Obama.
News item: 18295
 Mass One-Day Strike in FranceDemanding more government action to protect jobs and wages, hundreds of thousands of French are expected to take to the streets. Polls have suggested that the majority of the French people (67%) believe the unions' call for a mass strike is justified, since the financial crisis has weighed the country down.
Most of the schools, as well as public services, will remain closed, while transport and train services will be seriously disrupted.
About 200 demonstrations are expected to take place throughout France. In Paris, strikers are to gather at the Place de la Bastille (Bastille Square).
News item: 18291
 Tension in Mideast ContinuesIsraeli jets pounded a metal factory in the Gaza Strip, claiming a rocket attack on southern Israel had preceded, while US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell is visiting the area to hold talks with both sides. Having met with the Israeli Prime Minister on Wednesday, he is expected to hold talks with the Palestinian President on Thursday.
It was the second rocket attack against Israel ever since the ceasefire that put an end to Israel's 22-day offensive had been declared.
An Israeli army spokesman confirmed it fired back, adding that the Israeli jets targeted facilities used to smuggle weapons.
News item: 18288