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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-01-17

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] "Chemical Ali" Gets 4th Death Sentence
  • [02] Samaras Addresses ONNED Meeting
  • [03] Ukrainians Go to the Polls
  • [04] "When Things Turn Tough, We Aren't Alone"
  • [05] Never-ending Tragedy in Haiti
  • [06] Bad Weather Sets In
  • [07] Farmers' Road Blocks Hamper Traffic in Highways

  • [01] "Chemical Ali" Gets 4th Death Sentence

    Sunday, 17 January 2010 13:59

    An Iraqi court sentenced Ali Hassan al-Majeed, the Saddam Hussein henchman widely known as "Chemical Ali," on Sunday to death by hanging for a 1988 gas attack that killed about 5,000 Kurds, a court official said.

    Majeed, a cousin of Saddam's who earned his nickname because of his use of poison gas, was convicted for an attack on the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja. He already faces death sentences in three other cases.

    "The decision has been issued today, January 17, to sentence Ali Hassan al-Majeed, to death by hanging ... for crimes against humanity," said Aref Abdul-Razzaq al-Shahin, the head of the court.

    The Iraqi High Tribunal also sentenced former Defense Minister Sultan Hashem and former military intelligence chief Sabir al-Douri to 15 years in prison each for the attack, and Abd Mutlaq al-Jubouri, a former regional intelligence chief, to 10 years.

    Majeed was captured in August 2003, five months after U.S. forces invaded Iraq. He had a reputation for ruthlessness in crushing Saddam's opponents that won him widespread notoriety. Many Iraqis feared him more than the leader himself.

    Source: Reuters News item: 32059

    [02] Samaras Addresses ONNED Meeting

    Sunday, 17 January 2010 13:30

    New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras called for a new democratic revolution and a new opposition, while addressing the Central Committee of New Democracy-affiliated ONNED youth organization on Sunday. He called the offering of more democracy and opportunities for everyone his personal contract with the citizens.

    "A New Democratic Revolution"

    "Have the gates of your organization opened wide and experience the love of former ONNED members who felt that ND changed everything by allowing the voters to elect the president," stressed Samaras.

    Touching on the first 100 days of the Socialist rule, he said that even the cabinet members have spoken of incompetence, confusion and controversies.

    With regard to the immigration draft-bill, the opposition leader noted that Greece is the only nation weighed down by an uncontrollable influx of illegal immigrants and that the government does nothing but rushes to legalize everyone and attract even more.

    "Those who try to make the Greek people forget its identity and its history will succeed nothing but make it focus more on its ideals"

    Antonis Samaras

    He called the government to thing twice and that his party's stance is to integrate those the Greek society can take.

    "If they want some German model, we have suggested they adopt Germany's immigration policy, which was promoted by Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrat government," stressed Samaras.

    He then said that ND was mandated to carry out bold reforms but did not perform them the last five years and that's why it was punished in the elections.

    He also underlined that PASOK's persistence in old and failed recipes makes the need for a new peaceful and democratic revolution an imperative.

    Samaras also touched on the changes in the electoral law.

    "We want the party to be a union of fighters and not a court buttering up the leader. We want the lawmakers to serve the people and not the leader. We do not want the lawmakers to be inferior even to majors in one-seated regions suggested by Papandreou," commented he.

    Shifting his attention to unemployment, he underlined that unemployment stood at 11.3% when ND came to power in 2004 and brought it down to 7.8% till 2008 and then the world credit crisis came and raised it to 9.3%, and now PASOK says it will reach 20%.

    He then stressed that there are sectors where the government can do well and that ND will not copy PASOK's strategy of total denial.

    Antonis Samaras then said that there will be objections to his proposals, claiming that my goal is to avoid shouldering party responsibilities for efforts that either succeeded or failed.

    He argued that everyone is proud of ND and its governmen News item: 32058

    [03] Ukrainians Go to the Polls

    Sunday, 17 January 2010 12:57

    Polls opened Sunday in Ukraine's presidential elections which are expected to see a comeback by pro-Russian forces five years after the Orange Revolution.

    Polls opened at 0600 GMT and were due to close 12 hours later when exit polls are expected to give the first indication of early trends.

    The pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovich is expected to lead the poll but without winning an overall majority, forcing a second round run-off on February 7 against the likely second place candidate Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

    Source: AFP News item: 32055

    [04] "When Things Turn Tough, We Aren't Alone"

    Sunday, 17 January 2010 12:41

    Greek Premier George Papandreou and Cypriot President Demetris Christofias are in fire-stricken Artemida in the Peloponnese to celebrate the inauguration of the new village that was built with funds from the Cypriot government. "Never again will we allow such a disaster to happen. We are here claiming that we will protect the environment so that people never leave the countryside," said the Greek head of government. Earlier, Demetris Christofias had said the disaster had shocked him and that it had been the Cypriot Republic's duty to undertake the construction of a village.

    "We have learned calling Cypriots our brothers. Now, they proved it in action," commented George Papandreou.

    "When things turn tough, we are not alone. Just like in the past, Greece will keep offering its back to Cyprus in its efforts for a fair solution that will unite the island"

    George Papandreou

    Christofias noted, "When Greece comes to our support when things turn tough to help Cyprus, then it goes without saying that Cyprus will rush to offer its help to Greece."

    George Papandreou, who visited the fire-hit areas last October, noted that he came to make it clear that his pledge for hope following the disaster will come into being.

    The Greek Premier outlined that anti-fire measures that are under consideration, underlining that the relevant planning will have been submitted by the end of the month.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32054

    [05] Never-ending Tragedy in Haiti

    Sunday, 17 January 2010 11:36

    Five days after the devastating 7-magnitude earthquake that wreaked havoc in Haiti, the footage from the country is shocking. More than 40,000 bodies have been buried in massive graves, while at least another 200,000 are feared to remain trapped in the rubble. More than 1.5 million people have been left homeless and 250,000 injured. Desperate, the residents are fleeing the Haitian capital. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who visited the country on Saturday, assured that the humanitarian aid will get there in time. In the meantime, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush joined forces and called for immediate help, while the UN is morning the death of the organisation's head in Haiti. His body was recovered from the ruins of the building housing the UN offices.

    Thousands of People Flee the Capital City

    Haitian President Rene Preval reiterated Saturday his estimates that the death toll could reach 50,000, while those to be left homeless will exceed 1.5 million. At the same time, the aid delivery is being hampered, making problems even bigger.

    The battle for survival has been replaced by a battle for safer places. Chaotic scenes have been reported at the almost levelled airport of Port-au-Prince, with thousands of people seeking a flight to leave the country.

    Never Before Have Doctors from Médecins Sans Frontières Seen Such Wounds.

    "Priority is given to the most urgent cases, with doctors performing mutilations and caesarean sections. Our doctors have said never before have they seen so many injured people sustaining so serious wounds," said the organization.

    The organization also had 30 volunteers in the country before the earthquake and has managed to dispatch another 70 doctors in the Haitian capital.

    It has become clear that a significant number or our local volunteers didn't survive, said the organization.

    Obama, Clinton and Bush Head Money-Raising Campaign

    US President Barack Obaman said Saturday that his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will head a money-raising campaign for the quake-hit residents of Haiti.

    The two former president s accepted to lead the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, said Obama.

    He then said that the aid distribution to Haiti is a huge challenge for the rescue crews, further adding that the aid to the small Caribbean national will last for months, even years.

    News item: 32053

    [06] Bad Weather Sets In

    Sunday, 17 January 2010 11:07

    Rainfalls, snow and biting cold make up the weather throughout Greece. The same weather conditions are expected in the coming days, as well. The snowfalls and the frost make the use of snow chains necessary for those travelling at the mountainous areas of the prefectures of Florina, Kozani, Kastoria, Pella, Grevena, Trikala, Karditsa, Evrytania, Magnisia, Larissa, Fokida and Achaia. In the meantime, the gale-force winds have kept the Rio-Antirio Bridge closed.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32050

    [07] Farmers' Road Blocks Hamper Traffic in Highways

    Sunday, 17 January 2010 10:38

    Traffic in the national highways has been seriously disrupted due to the farmers' road blocks. The farmers' problems will run high on the government's agenda, stressed Agricultural Minister Kateriin Batzeli, inviting the farmers to join the dialogue.

    The Egnatia highway spanning northern Greece from west to east remained closed by some 180 tractors at the intersections of Kerdyllia, Strymonikos and Chrysoupolis, between Serres and Kavala, forcing drivers to use the old national road to get around them.

    Tractors were also ranged alongside the road but without blocking traffic at the N. Triglia intersection in Halkidiki prefecture, at Agia in Larissa prefecture and at the Vogatsikos intersection of the Kastoria-Kozani national highway.

    Serres farmers have decided to further step up action on Monday by blockading roads toward the Promahonas border crossing with Bulgaria. At that time they will be joined by their fellows in Larissa and Thessaly, who are determined to block the junction at Nikaia and add yet another obstacle in the path of motorists already having to negotiate the closure of the Tempi pass, where the road has been blocked by a major landslide.

    The farmers have decided to forego a road block at Tempi, where motorists are already facing severe delays due to the landslide, but they will range their tractors at the side of the road.

    Their demands include an immediate payment of money due to them, guaranteed prices for their products, lower production costs and a freeze of their debts. Those of Larissa and Thessaly are also pressing for a completion of the the Aheloos River diversion in order to top up depleted water supplies to their fields.

    Source: ANA News item: 32049

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