|Sunday, 3 December 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-01-31
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 100,000 Peugeot and Citroen Cars RecalledSunday, 31 January 2010 17:54
French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is recalling 100,000 cars across Europe to change accelerator pedals on two models designed and produced in a joint venture with Toyota.
France's largest carmaker said the recall involves Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 models produced in the Czech town of Kolin in the 50-50 venture with Toyota, which launched a massive recall of its own on Friday.
The recall is a "preventive" measure, said Jean-Marc Sarret, a spokesman for the French company, adding that there has been no evidence of accidents or safety problems linked to the pedals.
Owners of the two models will be notified by mail of the recall, which involves cars built between mid-2005 and mid-2009, said Sarret. The recall affects about 10 percent of all Peugeot Citroen cars in circulation, he added.
Source: The Associated Press News item: 32694
 Pakistani Taliban Leader Believed DeadSunday, 31 January 2010 17:04
The Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud is believed dead, after the state-run television said he had been buried. Sources were quoted as saying that Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike on 14 January. However, the Pakistani Taliban denied that he had been killed.
Taliban's Deny Mehsud's Death
Hakimullah is safe and sound and the rumours about his death mean to crush unity within Taliban fighters, a spokesman for Pakistani Taliban told AFP. He then challenged those who confirmed Mehsud's death to prove their point.
Source: Reuters, ANA/MPA News item: 32693
 UN Secretary-General Visits CyprusSunday, 31 January 2010 16:18
UN Secretary-General Ban K-moon is due Sunday in Cyprus for a three-day visit to offer its backing to the talks between Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Talat. Ban Ki-moon will meet with the peace-keeping forces and visit the green zone in Nicosia.
Joint Meeting with Christofias and Talat
Shortly after his arrival on the island, the UN Secretary-General will attend a dinner hosted by the Cypriot President.
According to his agenda, Ban Ki-moon will visit Monday morning the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus and then the green zone in Nicosia. He will then hold separate meetings with Mehmet Ali Talat and Demetris Christofias.
Later on, the UN Secretary General will meet both leaders at the residence of Taye Brook Zerihoun, the special representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus. A press conference will follow that meeting.
The UN Secretary-General will leave the island on Tuesday morning.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA
News item: 32692
 Ecumenical Patriarch Visits KalamataSunday, 31 January 2010 14:25
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew embarked 31 January on a four-day visit to Kalamata, southern Greece, responding to an invitation extended by the city's mayor. Bartholomew will pay a visit to the Messenia Bishop and will attend the celebrations for the city's patron saint. During his stay in Kalamata, he will open a conference on environment and a new renal wing. Prime Minister George Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras will attend the ceremonies.
Visit in Athens
During his stay in Athens, the Ecumenical Patriarch is likely to visit the academia and attend an event at the Athens Music Hall, while he is expected to hold talks with the Prime Minister and the rest political leaders. News item: 32691
 Farmers Remain in RoadblocksSunday, 31 January 2010 12:40
The reps of farmers from 20 roadblocks decided to escalate their protests. Earlier, the farmers from central Greece had taken the same decision, reducing traffic to a crawl and causing chain side-effects to economy. The Agricultural Ministry keeps saying it is open to dialogue with the farmers, yet stressing that it cannot meet their financial grievances.
Later on Sunday, the farmers from Tirnavos, Platikabos and Mikrothives are to hold a meeting to determine their future stance, while asking for an immediate meeting with the Agricultural Minster.
The Egnatia motorway at the Kedryllia interchange is also closed but the old Serres-Kavala road is open. Lines of tracks are waiting at the Greek-Bulgarian border, since the protesting farmers allow only cars and buses to cross the border post towards the neighbouring country.
The president of the farmers' union in Nigrita, northern Greece said the farmers won't leave the roadblocks unless their nine grievances are met.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA News item: 32687
 10 US Nationals Arrested over Child Abductions in HaitiSunday, 31 January 2010 11:14
Ten US nationals and two Haitians were arrested in Haiti for trying to illegally take 33 children, aged 2 and 12, abroad. The members of an Idaho-based charity group were held on the border with the Dominican Republic, while two pastors are also allegedly involved in the case.
The leader of the group said they thought they could take the children abroad, however, they did not think they wanted more documents. She also added that they had bought land in a seaside town in the Dominican Republic to build an orphanage for the quake orphans.
In the meantime, the US army suspended the transfer of injured people to the USA, because of lack of space in the hospitals, said the White House.
Source: NET, ANA/MPA News item: 32683
 SYN's Central Committed Decided to Hold Emergency CongressSunday, 31 January 2010 11:03
SYN's (Coalition of the Radical Left) Central Committee decided Sunday to hold an emergency congress in early May. The proposal was submitted Saturday by the party's head, Alexis Tsipras, who underlined that the congress would help the party to break free from paralysis.
Following clashing opinions, SYN's Central Committee agreed to hold an emergency congress to touch on several topics, including the party's domestic affairs, its opposition policy and the forthcoming local elections.
Wrapping the event, Tsipras stressed he wanted to smash five myths created during the event. In specifically:
· The leadership and the president are not under question, so why a congress. Alexis Tsipras said that his being undermined or rumours whereby he is after nourishing a trend of his own are worse than being questioned as a leader. Making an indirect reference to former SYN head Alekos Alavanos and other party officials, Alexis Tsipras he needed everyone's support when he was questioned just ten days after the opening of the pre-election campaign.
· The fight of generations. Tsipras rejected claims that there is a fight of generations going on within SYN, arguing that the young officials do their best in the most impeccable manner.
· The fight of trends. Tsipras assured that never had he taken a stand against trends within the party. However, he added trends should be democratically governed and that the party's collective bodies have the final say.
· There is no agenda for the congress. Tsipras dismissed criticism whereby there was not a sufficient agenda for the congress, underlining that the political developments and the outcome of the elections are sufficient reasons.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 32682
 Plan to Restore CredibilitySaturday, 30 January 2010 19:59
The European Commission is expected to give its opinion on the stability plan for the Greek economy on the coming Wednesday. The Commission's crucial recommendations related to the pledges of the stability plan. The Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, appeared satisfied with the performance of the Greek delegation at the Davos forum, stressing that he conveyed a positive message for the restructuring of the Greek economy and the campaign to have the country's credibility restored. In his interviews with world media, Papandreou reiterated his commitment to the measures required for the consolidation of Greece' economy and made it clear that Greece expects no financial aid, neither has it requested a bailout plan. "Us leaving the eurozone is but a joke," George Papandreou told Associated Press, while he told CNN that "Greece needs no support and it will not ask for one."
Statements of Support
In the meantime, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Germany and France offered their backing to Greece's effort to put its economy back in track.
They assured there is no risk of bankruptcy, as well as the Greek crisis does not pose a serious threat to stability in eurozone. They also expressed their conviction that the Greek government will commit itself to the measures required. News item: 32675
 Haitian Girl 16YO Rescued after 15 DaysThursday, 28 January 2010 11:11
A Haitian 16yo girl became the latest miracle story of the earthquake after she was pulled alive from rubble 15 days after the disaster and 5 days after the Haitian government had officially announced the end of search and rescue. She was dragged from the bathroom of a collapsed college in Port-au-Prince by French rescuers. The 16-year-old was severely dehydrated and had a leg injury but was conscious. According to reports, neigbours heard a voice in the debris of a house and notified the aid team.She was trapped in an open pocket in a collapsed concrete bathroom and managed to stay alive by drinking bath water.
The President of Haiti Rene Preval has said "nearly 170,000" bodies have been counted since the devastating earthquake that hit his country on January, 12. The figure is substantially higher than previous toll estimates of 150,000.
Source: ÍÅÔ, ÁNA - ÌPA, French news agency
Related Article: Haiti: Íew miracle in the rubble News item: 32555
 Haiti: New Miracle in the RubbleWednesday, 27 January 2010 10:58
Twelve days after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, US troops managed to recover alive a 31-year-old male from the ruins of a building. He was rushed to the hospital suffering from a fracture and dehydration. He was trapped in the ruins of a building in an aftershock and was original located by a group of Haitians. The search and rescue operations officially ended on Sunday. So far, about 130 people have been recovered alive.
Appeal for 200,000 Tents before the Rainy Season
Haiti's President called for the immediate distribution of 200,000 tents for the about 1,000,000 homeless residents of Port-au-Prince, before the rainy season starts.
Rene Preval, whose residence was flattened by he earthquake, will soon find shelter in a tent that will be set up outside the presidential mansion.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced support Tuesday for forgiving Haiti's debt, doubting the earthquake-battered nation would be able to repay it
Venezuela and Canada were the first nations to forgive Haiti's debt.
Source: AFP-BBC News item: 32491
 Haiti Reconstruction May Take 10 YearsTuesday, 26 January 2010 09:56
Countries taking part in international meeting in Montreal to assist Haiti's reconstruction have decided to hold a new meeting in March, at the United Nations headquarters in New York to continue discussions on rebuilding the battered nation of Haiti. The massive earthquake on January, 12 has killed at least 150.000 people and left more than 1.000.000 people homeless. Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Marc Bellerive asked the international community to make a sustained, long-term commitment to the rebuilding of Haiti certainly after the basic needs for food water and medical treatment are met. "Ten years of hard work, at least, awaits the world in Haiti," Canadian Prime-minister Stephen Harper told reporters.
Canada & Venezuela Forgive Haiti's Debts
"Ten years of hard work, at least, awaits the world in Haiti," Canadian Prime-minister Stephen Harper told reporters.
Total cancellation of Haiti's debts is among issues to be discussed during the meeting of donor countries. Venezuela president Hugo Chavez was the first to announce that he writes off Haiti's debts.
The debt is estimated at 295 million dollars and was within the Petrocaribe energy agreement.
The country's total debt mounts to 1 billion dollars. The Canadian government forgave Haiti $2.3 million in outstanding bilateral debt to Canada.
One principle is recognition of Haiti's sovereignty
One principle is expected to be recognition of Haiti's sovereignty. Another is ensuring the foreign military presence in Haiti, currently dominated by the presence of more than 10,000 U.S. troops, is there to support humanitarian efforts, stressed Canadian Foreign Minister, Lawrence Cannon
Clashes for food
A major problem has arisen with sheltering some 1.000.000 homeless and distribution of food while Haitian Prime-minister has appealed for 200.000 tents before May when rain season begins. Distribution of food in Port-au-Prince by 18 UN bluehelmets brought chaos as they could not control a crowd of 4.000 hungry people.
In the meantime, UN food reserves have finished and the head of the nutrition program has appealed to soldiers participating in humanitarian missions to offer Haitians all leftover meals. Earlier, Mexico announced that it would install a kitchen able to produce 3.000 hot meals a day.
News item: 32437
 Haitian Rescued after 11 DaysSunday, 24 January 2010 12:20
A 24 year old Haitian man was rescued alive from a collapsed hotel 11 days after the deadly earthquake. Words can not describe the happiness of Greek rescuers, heading the operation as well as French and US rescuers who assisted in the three-hour efforts. Indeed miracles still occur. A 24yo Haitian man was pulled alive from the rubble 11 days after the devastating quake and the government had officially declared the end of search operations.
Apostolos Dedas, leader of the Hellenic Rescue Team said: " It is a miracle that he is alive. We do not know if we could ever find him where he was". The Greek team moved to the spot just after they heard from a Greek journalist who had been walking the wrecked streets near the cathedral that someone had found a survivor under the ruins of Napoli Inn Hotel. "We definitely heard someone tapping through the rubble," said Dedas. "We immediately started to clear debris and radioed for UN assistance." A large French team arrived, followed by other rescuers including a team from the US.
Two rescue workers, one Greek and one French, tunneled beneath the collapsed Napoli Inn hotel in Port-au-Prince to free ,24-year-old Wismond Jean-Pierre Exantus only hours after the government had officially declared an end to rescue missions. Wismond Exantus emerged smiling from a deep tunnel drilled by rescuers. He had no visible injuries but was severely dehydrated. He said he had survived by initially diving under a desk. "After the quake I didn't know when it was day or night." He survived on cola, beer and cookies from the store where he worked in the hotel. Up to six other people were believed likely to be alive beneath the Napoli Inn from where Wismond Exantus was freed.
Haiti government has confirmed the death toll of the devastating quake so far to 112.225 while number of missing people is estimated over 195 .000. About 1 million people are homeless, half of the houses in Port-au-Prince have collapsed and the rest suffered big damages. The quake destroyed key government buildings including the National Palace, health care centers, banks, schools, commercial and industrial buildings hampering the work of what was already a weak and inefficient state. A UN report says that January, 12 quake has affected 3 million people.
Some 140 aircrafts land in Haiti daily transporting humanitarian aid but lack of coordination creates many problems. There some 47 hospitals and 11 surgeries in Port-au-Prince and near areas and two floating hospitals from the US and Mexico. News item: 32362