|Monday, 18 June 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-07-29
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Barzani Re-elected PresidentNews
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 18:22
President Massoud Barzani's ruling party and its coalition partner in Iraq's Kurdish region won a majority in weekend elections, while the opposition, tapping into voter frustrations, made strong gains, according to election results released Wednesday.
Iraq's election commission said the two ruling parties ‚ Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party and Iraqi Vice President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan ‚ took a solid majority of the votes. But it said the opposition party called Gorran, Kurdish for "Change," marked significant gains in the polls, which were for the regional president and 111-seat parliament.
Barzani received 69.57 percent of the vote for president, while Change candidate Kamal Mirawdeli received 25 percent, the commission said. Barzani's ruling coalition received 57.34 percent of the vote for parliament seats, with Change taking 23.75 percent, it said.
Commission chief Faraj al-Haidari said counting has been concluded, but he said the results were considered "initial" because the parties can challenge them in a Kurdish appeals court. The results confirmed forecasts that Barzani's coalition was likely to win.
Source: The Associated Press
News item: 25305
 Papandreou Blasts Government's Economic PolicyPASOK President George Papandreou lashed out at the government at the sitting held Wednesday at his Parliament office. Papandreou blasted the government for letting the economy sink and for sticking to wrong and ineffective measures that have an even harsher autumn for the employees.
The Socialist leader will unveil the party's business plan at the Thessaloniki International Fair, which, as he said, is going to be the last prior to the elections.
Papandreou, stressed that the business plan includes the actions PASOK will step up as government.
The PASOK leader touched on the key pillars of his financial policy:
1.- A plan aiming at economy's recovery.
2.- The backing of employment.
3.- Fair redistribution.
4.- A medium-term programme of fiscal consolidation, and
5.- The creation of a market to the benefit of the citizens.
Papandreou also underlined that in the recent elections, the people of Greece sent a crystal clear message, voting for a different course, stability, security, well-governance and social cohesion.
The Socialist President blamed the poor economy to the government, arguing that the economy is sinking.
According to Papandreou, there is a tough autumn ahead, since construction and industrial activities are on the decrease.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA
News item: 25293
 Two New H1N1 Cases in Intensive Care UnitLast Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 18:02
The two latest serious H1N1 infections reported in Greece are in a critical condition. It is a 42-year-old Greek male who has been admitted at the Herakleion University Hospital, and a 16-year-old British girl, who was hurried from Kefalonia island to Athens. The 35-year-old male, the first serious H1N1 case to have been recorded in Greece, is still in a critical condition. In the meantime, two privates doing the military service in the Aegean island of Kos were tested positive to the H1N1 flu virus, developing mild symptoms. The Health Minister blasted PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement), while unveiling the national action plan at the Parliament's competent committee.
42yo Male in Critical Condition
Both the British teenager and the 42-year-old Greek are in a critical condition.
With regard to the two soldiers, the first was initially treated at his camp's health centre and then was sent to the island's hospital. He has now returned to the camp. The second was sent to the island's hospital on 25 July. He is expected to return to the camp today.
Avramopoulos Blasts PASOK-National Action Plan Unveiled
Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos unveiled Wednesday the key points of the national action plan against the H1N1 flu, while briefing the Parliament's competent committee.
The plan, stressed he, includes all activities capable for protecting public health and safeguarding the nation's financial life.
Avramopoulos said that private doctors and dentists will be employed in the campaign, while he is meeting next week with the pharmacists to see if they will join the campaign.
The Health Minister then lashed out at the Socialists, blaming them for using the pandemic for party expediencies.
Addressing the party's leaders, he urged them to stop spreading uncertainty and panic and questioning the Greek state's ability to tackle the problem.
The government, he stressed, promptly stepped in, impressing the international community.
The Minister said that PASOK discovered the flu three months later and accused the party's leader of exposing the country.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA
News item: 25288
 Maternity Hospital Personnel Develops AllergiesLast Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 17:35
Doctors working at the ‚Elena' Maternity Hospital have demanded it be shut down, after a nurse died of allergic reaction. Another four nurses developed allergic symptoms. The Health Ministry's inspectors are checking the building, as the cases could be blamed on the sick building syndrome.
On Tuesday, four nurses were rushed to Sotiria hospital after developing a rush in their neck. As soon as the rush was blamed on allergic reaction, they were discharged.
The first measure taken was to deactivate the air conditioning system.
The Sick Building Syndrome relates to the poor health of those who work in it.
Source: NET, NET 105.8
News item: 25283
 Pregnant Women More Vulnerable to H1N1 FluNews
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 16:52
The H1N1 flu virus has claimed more than 1000 lives, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has suggested. In the meantime, the rising numbers of expectant mothers who get infected with the swine flu has caused grave concern, as a study published in the medical journal Lancet, expectant mothers are four times more vulnerable to the H1N1 flu virus and have a greater risk of death compared to the general population.
American researchers have suggested that pregnant women should be promptly treated with antiviral medications.
Of the 45 deaths that were reported from 15 April to 16 June, 13% of them were pregnant women.
In the same period, of the 34 pregnant women who were infected with the H1N1 virus, 11 were admitted to the hospital.
The study also read that the women who died had not received antiviral medications.
New Measures in Britain
In Britain, the European nation that has been hit the hardest so far, authorities are considering measures on how to get more beds in hospital before the second flu wave broke out.
Furthermore, kindergartens are called on to thoroughly cleanse the toys used and ban those who are made of soft materials, because they are difficult to be cleansed.
In the USA, the H1N1 flu virus is estimated to infect 40% of the population, with the confirmed cases having soared to 1,000,000.
Related news: Procedures for Vaccine Production Get Sped Up
News item: 25282
 Popularity for Labour Falls FurtherNews
Support for Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party has fallen further to trail 18 points behind the main opposition Conservatives, according to a poll published on Wednesday. A ComRes survey for the Independent newspaper puts the Conservatives on 42 percent, up six points on last month's poll, with Labour down one point on 24 percent.
The opinion poll is yet more bad news for Labour which faces a general election by the middle of next year that it is widely tipped to lose to the Conservatives led by David Cameron.
Brown is grappling with multiple problems, including a row over adequate resources for troops in Afghanistan and a lawmakers' expenses scandal that rocked politics.
Labour, in power since 1997, was hammered into second place by the Conservatives in a byelection last week in Norwich North in eastern England.
ComRes telephoned 1,008 adults between July 24 and 26.
News item: 25278
 Chavez Freezes Ties with ColombiaLast Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 09:49
President Hugo Chavez has recalled his ambassador to Colombia and frozen diplomatic relations with the neighboring country to protest Bogota's suggestion that weapons in a rebel arms cache came from Venezuela.
Chavez is accusing the government of President Alvaro Uribe of acting "irresponsibly," saying there's no evidence the Swedish-made anti-tank rocket launchers that Colombia says its military found in the cache came from Venezuela.
Chavez said Tuesday that Venezuela would also halt all trade agreements with Uribe's government and find new suppliers to replace imports from Colombia.
Source: Associated Press
Older news items: News item: 25277
 Wildfire on Skopelos Island Still BurningLast Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:35
Several wildfires are ravaging Greece, with those on Skopelos island, Evia and Samos still burning. The blaze Corinth has been brought under control. The Civil Protection Authority has raised the fire alert.
Authorities on Standby
On the island of Skopelos, strong ground and air forces are battling to contain the fire ravaging the area of Panormos. The fire has abated after reducing to ashes about 300 square metres of pineforest.
In the village of Marmari, Evia, the blaze threatened residences, yet no damage has been caused so far. The gusty winds blowing in the area are giving the firefighters a hard time.
Before the last blazes were finally contained in the island of Samos, a new wildfire broke out near Pythagorio.
Ground and air forces have rushed to the site to contain the fire.
Yet another wildfire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday in Corinth. No built-up areas were threatened, while firefighters managed to control it.
Source: NET 105.8, ANA/MPA
News item: 25275
 Sunbeds Cause CancerSunbeds can increase the chances of developing skin tumours by 75% and pose the "highest" risk of cancer, a report has warned.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices were more dangerous than previously suggested.
The research, published in the latest edition of The Lancet Oncology medical journal, found the risk was greatest to children and young adults.
"The risk of skin melanoma is increased by 75% when use of tanning devices starts before 30 years of age," the report said. "Additionally, several case-control studies provide consistent evidence of a positive association between the use of ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices and ocular melanoma (eye cancer)."
The report authors said ultraviolet-emitting sunbeds should be moved to the "highest cancer risk category" and labelled as "carcinogenic to humans", meaning they tended to be linked to cancer.
Previously, it had been classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans".
Source: The Press Association
News item: 25290