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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-06
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From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Heavy Rainfalls Kill 50 in Rio de JaneiroTuesday, 06 April 2010 16:38
The torrential rains that hit Rio de Janeiro late on Monday claimed at least 50 lives and wreaked havoc in the city, as several areas were flooded, local media said.
The mayor advised the residents to stay indoors and avoid moving to the city centre, since the huge traffic congestion has made it inaccessible.
At least 50 people perished mostly in the poor regions of Rio de Janeiro, official sources were quoted as saying. Several cars were abandoned in the middle of the streets, while scores of drivers were trapped inside their vehicles.
Source: ANA News item: 35119
 Employment Minister's Health Clearly ImprovedTuesday, 06 April 2010 15:25
Doctors are particularly satisfied with Employment Minister Andreas Loverdos' health, who has been admitted to hospital due to a low-abdominal infection. Prime Minister George Papandreou contacted the Employment Minister and wished him quick recovery. Doctors said Tuesday that Andreas Loverdos' health was clearly improved.
Wishes for Quick Recovery
The Minister, who is won't be discharged from hospital until Sunday, was visited by Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Transport Minister D. Reppas.
ND spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos conveyed his President Antonis Samaras' wishes for quick recovery. LAOS head Giorgos Karatzaferis, Health Minister M. Xenogiannakopoulou, Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou and former Employment Minister Fani Palli Petralia also wished quick recovery.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35118
 Gloomy Predictions by Greek Opposition LeaderTuesday, 06 April 2010 15:22
Thousands of businesses will go under, predicted New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and called on the government to take back its decision to withhold 8% of the enterprises' profits.
"Take the Measures Back"
"The government's policy has triggered indignation. The medium-sized businessmen are carrying their own cross." Antonis Samaras
The Greek opposition leader blasted the government's policy for smashing enterprises and drying up the market.
Antonis Samaras stressed that he met the people's indignation over the government's policy wherever he went during the Easter break. The medium-sized enterprises and the markets are carrying their own cross, said he further noting that the market's psychology has collapsed.
With regard to the withholding of 8% of the companies' profits, the ND President wondered how it is possible the government could not see that such measures will do nothing but tear companies apart. He then went on to reiterate the need for immediate measures that boost growth and not suffocation.
Antonis Samaras then called on the government to shift its mentality and underlined that the austerity measures taken will close down thousands of companies and fail to bring the deficit down, as dictated by the EU.
"How are we going to increase our revenues with measures that will dry up the market," wondered Antonis Samaras and urged the government to demonstrate seriousness.
Source: NET, ANA/MPA News item: 35117
 Decisions on "Green Buildings"Tuesday, 06 April 2010 14:11
The Environment Ministry decided the introduction of energy performance certificates, with a view to improving the energy efficiency of buildings.
The energy performance certificate will include heating and air conditioning information and it will be mandatory for larger than 50 square metres buildings which are sold, rented out or radically renovated.
With regard its cost, flash information speaks of 1 euro per square metre and the certificate's validity will span for ten years. News item: 35115
 Less Athenians Celebrated Easter in the CountrysideTuesday, 06 April 2010 13:51
Less Athenians left the city to celebrate Easter in the countryside this year. Figures suggested that there was a 4% decrease in the numbers of those who opted to leave the Greek capital. In the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, however, there was a 13% rise in the number of citizens who decided to celebrate the Easter break in the countryside. According to Traffic Police figures, the overwhelming majority of the holidaymakers (75%) have already returned to Athens. Unfortunately, several car accidents claimed as many as 38 people. Five people were killed and another 219 were injured in the Attica basin only. A pile up in Zevgolatio, southern Greece, caused serious congestion on Tuesday morning. There were no casualties, yet traffic was suspended for more than two hours.
Holidaymakers Return on Snail's Pace
Huge lines of cars in all national highways caused great inconvenience to the holidaymakers who decided to return to the urban centre on Easter Monday. Traffic was also heavy on Tuesday.
Traffic Police figures have suggested that as many as 1,036,662 cars left the Greek capital from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. The majority of the travellers headed south.
Due to the construction works that are currently underway on the Corinth-Patras highway, travellers were met with major delays and inconvenience.
Holidaymakers who opted to celebrate Easter on islands returned without encountering any troubles.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35112
 Missing Link between Apes and Humans Claimed to Have Been FoundTuesday, 06 April 2010 11:00
The discovery of a nearly-complete early human skeleton is set to revolutionise scientists' understanding of human evolution. While there have been thousands of fossilised fragments from human ancestors unearthed around the world, the story of mankind's progression from simple primates to modern, intelligent humans is far from complete.
The fossil record, which spans millions of years, contains large gaps while in some cases entire species have been described from just a few small pieces of bone.
Some religiously-inspired opponents of evolution theory use the patchy fossil record to argue that humans did not evolve from primates.
But rare fossil finds like the new skeleton from the Malapa caves in Sterkfontein, South Africa, give anthropologists the opportunity to gain huge insights into how our prehistoric ancestors lived and looked.
Africa is now widely accepted as the birthplace of mankind as simple primates evolved into the common ancestor we share with the great apes such as Chimpanzees and Gorillas.
Around 3.9 million years ago a species known as Australopithecus afarenus emerged, which was apelike but also shared certain characteristics with modern humans like the ability to walk upright on two legs.
This bipedalism, however, has remained one of the most contentious issues in human evolution and the evidence for exactly when human ancestors moved onto two feet to walk around remains a hotly debated subject.
The first truly human-like species is thought to have first appeared around 2.5 million years ago in southern and eastern Africa.
Homo habilis, as it has been named, had a 50% larger brain capacity than its predecessors and was the earliest species to be placed by scientists in the genus Homo due to its human-like characteristics.
This larger brain is believed to have given the species an edge that its more apelike ancestors had not benefited from, allowing it to begin to form more complex social groups and to master the use of stone tools.
Despite this growing intelligence, however, Homo habilis is not thought to have shared the sophisticated hunting abilities of its descendants, Homo erectus and later Homo sapiens, that would come to dominate the planet.
Source: Telegraph.co.uk News item: 35104
 General Elections in Britain Set for May 6Tuesday, 06 April 2010 09:49
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called general elections for 6 May. Brown met with Queen Elizabeth and asked her to dissolve the House on 12 April.
Surveys have suggested that the Labour Party, who has been in power since 1997, will lose the elections. Analysts, however, stressed that the election results are rather questionable and that a minority government will probably emerge.
Guardian paper released poll which showed that the ruling Socialists reduced the gap by 4%, garnering 33% as opposed to 37% for the Tories.
Source: NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35097
 Mine Blasts Kills 25 in West VirginiaTuesday, 06 April 2010 09:34
At least 25 people were killed in a mine blast in West Virginia. The blast occurred in a mine owned by Massey Energy's Performance Coal Co. some 48km south of Charleston. Several people have been injured and some have gone missing, said rescue teams. The owning company said information on what really happened remains sketchy and that all efforts have been focused on locating and rescuing survivors.
Source: ANA/MPA News item: 35092
 Focusing on the ReformsTuesday, 06 April 2010 09:11
It is the reforms that the Greek government will focus on before the June Summit. The issues running high on the agenda are the Kallikratis plan, the tax and the pension bills. The government is also planning to pave the way for privatizations and mergers of organizations of the public sector. Prime Minister George Papandreou had outlined his government's intentions at the last cabinet meeting held before the Easter break.
The new maps with regard the mergers of municipalities, through the Kallikratis plan, are expected to be released in the coming days.
The government is putting forth a major administrative reform so that it can be voted in May and the changes become a reality as of autumn.
An IMF panel is likely to arrive in Athens in two days' time to offer its know-how in the government's campaign to raise its revenues. In the meantime, the European Central Bank is bound to keep interest rates steady, laying down favourable conditions for the Greece's drive to recover.
The government's vice president, Theodoros Pangalos, in his interview, lashed out at Germany. He then warned the Portuguese that they might be the next target of the speculators. He concluded underlining the need for solidarity within the eurozone.
The speeding up of the structural changes, as well as the contacts the IMF panels which is due in Athens, will start topping the Greek economy.
In particular, two IMF panels are expected in Athens on Wednesday to offer its know-how in the government's campaign to raise its revenues.
The IMF experts, who are highly expected to meet with the Greek Financial Minister, will assess the changes the new tax bill aspires to bring about. The Greek Finance Ministry will ask for the IMF know-how with regard to the campaign against tax evasion.
Apart from the IMF experts, a tripartite committee (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF) is also expected in Athens in early May to assess the progress of the Greek economy.
Source: NET 105.8 News item: 35091
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