|Saturday, 19 October 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-09-09
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Inner Cabinet Held MeetingLast Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 17:33
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis chaired Wednesday morning an Inner Cabinet meeting. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos briefed the Cabinet on pending issues, as well as on the ruling party's course towards the elections.
Exiting the meeting, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said that the ruling party of ND (New Democracy) is telling the people the truth, proposing measures, which although they are unpleasant, they are necessary and are part of an integrated plan to deal with economic problems.
Souflias then advised PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) to follow suit.
News item: 26566
 PASOK Unveils Its Candidates ThursdayLast Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 18:57
PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) is highly likely to release the list with its candidates on Thursday, said Giannis Raggoussis, secretary of PASOK's National Council. ‚Our candidates are people committed to the struggle for a new beginning,‚ said he.
According to information, Anna Fonsou, Anna Vagena, Pemi Zouni, Kostas Botopoulos, Spyros Kouvelis and Kostas Papatavoukas will probably run for the first constituency of Athens, while Louka Katseli, Miltiadis Papaioannou, Giorgos Koutroumanis and Anna Dalara for the second one.
As for former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis' role, information has been sketchy. Final decisions will be taken by the National Council, which will hold a meeting Thursday morning.
Former Socialist minister Giannis Papantoniou said Wednesday that he won't be a candidate at the 4 October elections, stressing that he will offer its backing to any campaign that will help the country to survive the crisis.
News item: 26577
 Measures to Shield Students from H1N1 FluLast Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 14:13
Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos unveiled Wednesday the measures taken to shield school children from the H1N1 flu. The Education Ministry has already asked 50,000 doses of the vaccine expected in Greece as of the coming week to be channelled into the education community.
‚There is no reason for concern,‚ said the Education Minister, since the teaching personnel has been informed on how to address any H1N1 infections. ‚Fear, panic and exaggeration are the worst enemies,‚ stressed Aris Spiliotopoulos.
In case the H1N1 flu spreads, the Education Ministry is considering covering the lost hours through educational television programmes. A two-week programme has been drawn up with a view to assisting school children lest they should be left behind.
Spiliotopoulos did not rule out school closures in case the flu spread, however, it is the Ministry's Special Scientific Committee that will decide that. The teachers that will get infected with the H1N1 flu will be replaced.
Headmasters will be assigned to take down any H1N1 infections and send their reports to the Regional Education Directorates.
The Education Minister stressed that there has been a campaign to cause fear and panic in the parents and the students. He stressed, however, that ignorance, irresponsibility and panic are the worst enemies.
News item: 26550
 Greek Businessman Abducted in PakistanLast Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 18:59
A Greek businessman and his employee were abducted in north Pakistan. About 30 masked gunmen stormed the building, killed a guard and kidnapped the Greek national, 50, and his employee, said The Associated Press, citing a Pakistani police official. As per flash information, the abductee has been in Pakistan since 1995 running a welfare centre. No group has claimed responsibility so far, while the Greek embassy in Islamabad has yet to make any comments.
News item: 26543
 Obama Unveils His Healthcare Reform in CongressLast Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 11:47
President Barack Obama puts himself squarely into the center of the debate over U.S. healthcare reform, his top domestic policy priority, with a high-stakes address to Congress Wednesday.
Obama wants to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system by cutting costs and expanding coverage to the 46 million Americans without health insurance. But his fellow Democrats who control Congress have struggled to craft a reform bill and most Republicans have fought it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has said throughout the health care debate that a public option is pivotal to passing health care reform, a point she reiterated last week.
"Any real change requires the inclusion of a strong public option to promote competition and bring down costs," she said in a news release. "If a vigorous public option is not included, it would be a major victory for the health insurance industry."
Pelosi predicted that any bill without a strong public option will not pass the House.
In his interview with ABC television, Obama said he is open to new ideas.
Source: Reuters, CNN
News item: 26542
 Researchers Reproduce Gene that Blocks HIVLast Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 11:05
Swiss university researchers have reproduced a gene structure found in a South American monkey that could act against the AIDS virus, according to a study published Tuesday. This discovery could pave the way to a new treatment against AIDS, University of Geneva researchers said in the study published in the online version of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Discovered in 2004 in owl monkeys by a group of scientists at New York's Columbia University, the gene brings about the production of a protein that has shown resistance against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The team of Geneva University researchers have now managed to reproduce this gene artificially, after having discovered that it corresponded to a fusion of two human genes.
In the research, the team kept the new fusion gene alive in human blood cells and also successfully transplanted it in a mouse that demonstrated the same immunity characteristics as in a human.
The reproduced gene had the same effects against the virus as the original gene found in the owl monkey, the team observed.
"The gene that we have made could be used as an alternative for drugs ... that some people don't support," said Jeremy Luban, the professor leading the team of researchers.
"The gene could be used as a gene therapeutic against the HIV ... and could be transplanted in a person with HIV," Luban told AFP.
Luban, who also led the Columbia University team that first discovered the gene in 2004, said he is now investigating how the gene blocks the AIDS virus.
Source: AFPOlder news items: News item: 26546