|Sunday, 15 December 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-09-06
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Afghanistan: Karzai on the Lead, But Short of MajorityNews
Afghan President Hamid Karzai enjoys a crystal clear lead over his main challenger Abdullah, but he is still short of the outright majority needed to avoid a second round, said Sunday the nation's Independent Election Commission. If none of the two hopefuls gets 50% of the ballot, there will be a run-off in October.
The UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission received as many as 2,300 fraud allegations. Of them, nearly 700 were termed as serious enough as to influence the results of the 20 August elections. Election commission member Daoud Najafi said the commission had anulled results from 447 of about 28,000 polling stations after investigating fraud.
Six Civilians, Including a Child, Among the Victims of the NATO Airstrike
The NATO air strike in northern Afghanistan killed 54 people, including six civilians, five adults and a child, said a local governor to the French news agency. About 48 people were described as militants, while the rest were civilians, commented he.
Furthermore, another 15 people, including two Taleban fighters, were injured. At least two children are listed among the injured.
Source: ANA, AFP
Related news: Afghanistan: In the Aftermath of the NATO Air Strike
Older news items: News item: 26447
 Human Trafficking Ring Broken UpThe Greek police broke up a human trafficking ring, which was exploiting foreign women. A man and a woman of Romanian descent were seized, while another Romanian woman and an Italian man are on the run. The defendants were smuggling women in Greece, kept them captive and forced them to work in brothels. The case was revealed, when a 25-year-old Romanian woman escaped her captors and asked police protection. The arrestees were referred to the prosecutor.
Source: NET 105.8, ANA
Older news items: News item: 26446
 Berlusconi's Popularity with Catholics SlipsItalian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's support among practising Catholics has slipped since the scandals about his private life erupted, though he still has the support of half them, according to a new poll.
Among the 40 percent of Italians who attend church at least two or three times a month, the conservative premier's approval rating has fallen to 50 percent from 55 percent in April, before the scandals hit the media, said the survey published on Sunday.
The church's own popularity among the faithful has risen slightly in recent months to 85 percent from 83, said ISPO chief Renato Mannheimer in the poll for Corriere della Sera newspaper.
Berlusconi's counterattack on the media for its coverage of the sex scandals has included a widely-criticised report about the editor of Catholic newspaper Avvenire, on the front pages of Il Giornale newspaper which is run by Berlusconi's brother.
After Avvenire's editor Dino Boffo criticised Berlusconi for his lifestyle, Il Giornale reported that Boffo had been fined in 2004 for harassing the wife of his homosexual lover.
Boffo denies this and is supported by the most senior Roman Catholic clerics, but he resigned on Thursday amid a blazing row between the Vatican and the Berlusconi camp, which according to ISPO constitutes the biggest bloc of Catholic voters.Source: REUTERSOlder news items: News item: 26442
 Investigating the Boat Accident in Lake OhridFYROM declared Sunday a mourning day, following the boat accident in Lake Ohrid that claimed 15 Bulgarian tourists. Flags on government buildings flew at half mast, while all cultural events were cancelled. In an unscheduled meeting held late on Saturday, the FYROM government estimated that authorities stepped up all necessary measures to avert a bigger tragedy. Two members of the crew were detained. However, the causes of the accident remain sketchy. Local media have been focused on the fact that the tourist boat was too old and had too many passengers on board.
Related news: FYROM: Tragedy in Lake Ohrid
News item: 26440