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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-12

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Europe Braces Itself
  • [02] Jeans Filled with Music
  • [03] Police Get up to Some Magic
  • [04] Rapid Increase of Melanoma in Greece
  • [05] Chilly Cold all over Greece
  • [06] Agca Released from Prison
  • [07] Sharon's Condition Stable

  • [01] Inspections in Evros Intensify Europe Braces Itself

    12 Jan 2006 11:03:00 (Last updated: 12 Jan 2006 13:14:12)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    With all sights set on Turkey, Europe is monitoring the developments with concern and is bracing itself to deal with avian flu. Juan Lubroth, senior animal health officer at United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), sounded the alarm, stressing that the avian flu virus could spread, despite the measured having been implemented in Turkey. In addition, the FAO warns that all known and unknown sources have to be isolated to avoid maximum exposure of humans and animals to the virus; otherwise it could develop into an epidemic. In Greece, the inspections at Evros customs houses have intensified. Meanwhile, a 29-year-old woman, who had been infected by the deadly flu, passed away in Indonesia. At the same time, according to medical sources, another Indonesian, aged 39, passed away due to avian flu earlier this month, however, that case has not been confirmed.

    Inspections Intensify

    In the meantime, epidemiologists from the 25 EU Member States are meeting today in Luxemburg, in order to assess the situation, while the European Commission announced yesterday that it will be extending the inspections on wild birds and poultry until the end of the year. In addition, it decided to fund lab research by providing two million euros. Presently, however, the experts claimed that there are no reasons to believe the virus can be transmitted from humans to humans.

    In Greece, the interdepartmental committee, which convened yesterday under the PM, decided to implement the directives on the level of alertness in relation to avian flu. Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis stressed that there are no reasons for concern at present, but complacence is necessary. In addition, he announced that checks at all of the countrys entry points would intensify.

    Today, far less vehicles crossed the borders to and from Turkey at the Kipoi and Kastanea customs houses in Evros, while the authorities remain on alert and keep confiscating foodstuffs originating from the neighbouring country. Furthermore, measures have been implemented by all the veterinary agencies participating in the Cross-Border Collaboration Network of Prefectures in Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.

    Virus at Europe's Threshold

    Europe is on alert, as the virus is literally at its threshold.

    The French Government ordered millions of extra doses of the medicine Tamiflu, while special pamphlets listing the necessary protections measures are being distributed to people travelling to Turkey. Furthermore, Portugal ordered 2.5 million doses of Tamiflu.

    In Germany, the Minister for the Environment declared that it is quite possible for the Government to issue a new order for all poultry to remain confined in closed spaces, in an effort to stop them from coming into contact with infected birds.

    In Italy, Health Minister Francesco Storace declared that a special crisis team has been formed, ready to take action is case of an epidemic

    The head of the British Medical Research Council, Colin Blakemore, recommended alertness, due to the migration of birds.

    Switzerland boosted security measures at the airports. Similar measures have been implemented in Denmark and Norway. On the other hand, Sweden advised its citizens travelling to Turkey not to visit any poultry markets.

    Moreover, strict inspections are being carried out in Georgia, while the Bulgarian authorities have sounded the alarm. In Albania, the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Jemin Gjana, issued orders to all of the countrys customs houses, banning imports of poultry and their products from Asian countries where avian flu cases have been detected.

    Serbia-Montenegros Health Ministry recommended to its citizens not to travel to Turkey until the epidemiological situation settles, unless it was an emergency.

    Meanwhile, Iran decided to proceed with the slaughter of 50,000 poultry in the area bordering with Turkey, in an effort to stop the possible spreading of the disease.

    Global Collaboration

    In the meantime, experts from all over the world, who are participating in a two-day convention of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Tokyo, stressed that the health authorities have to precipitate detection tests for the avian flu virus, while the governments should secure medical reserves to curb the consequences of a possible pandemic.

    At the same time, a spokesperson for the World Bank announced that Ankara could receive $30 million in aid, in order to deal with the bird flu crisis, while the UN asked for $1.5 billion to help implement programmes to fight bird flu. The UNs bird flu co-ordinator said he hoped the funds would be pledged at an international donors summit to be held in Beijing on 17 and 18 January.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: UN calls for $1.5bn bird flu fund

    Reuters: Bird flu pandemic threat growing but stoppable: WHO

    Related News:

    Calmness and Vigilance

    [02] Levi Strauss Launching iPod Jeans Jeans Filled with Music

    12 Jan 2006 11:33:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Jeans with tears, fringes, diamante decorations and different colour combinations can be found in all storefronts. How does a pair of jeans offering the ability to listen to music actually sound? No, this is not a science fiction story but a new type of jeans, which will be launched in August by Levi Strauss. A remote control and a case for the portable MP3 player Apple iPod will be integrated in the pair of jeans, as well as earphones! Redwire DLX for men and women is estimated to cost around 166 euros. Levi Strauss is not the first company to launch clothes compatible with the iPod, as Burton Snowboards launched a waterproof jacket equipped with the MP3 player in 2003. Photos of the "musical" jeans have not been revealed yet, while washing instructions remain a mystery.

    A Portable Fashion Trend

    iPods correspond to one third of Apples revenues and the commotion stirred has shot their shares to great heights.

    As of 2001, when it was first launched, the iPod has sold more than 42 million players. Only at Christmastime, sales of the tiny device were increased by 63%, fully justifying the company that had accompanied the launch with different accessories from simple fronts to cords and cases.

    In the US, apart from Burton Snowboards and Levi Strauss, Kenpo launched a mens jacket with a remote control for the portable device sewn on the sleeve.

    iPods have become a trend for designer houses such as Luis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry and Prada, who have created covers for their safe carrying. Actually, Louis Vuitton launched a colourful version with its very popular monogram, which costs from 195 to 350 dollars, while Australian Mimco has designed leather cases.

    As market analysts observed, Levi Strauss will attract much of the devices glory, after the downhill trend recorded in its sales worldwide. However, it is indicative that the companys factories in the US have shut down and production is made in other countries.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    Business Week: Sewing Up the iPod Market

    Techtree.com: Levi's to Launch iPod Jeans

    The Age: Levi debuts iPod-ready jeans

    Related Links:

    Levi Strauss

    iPod

    [03] Police Get up to Some Magic

    12 Jan 2006 10:24:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    How would you react if you saw a police officer performing magic tricks or making flower bouquets? It would surely surprise you! However, in Essex, Britain, this is not a rare occurrence. Actually, according to the figures, over 200 police officers, out of a total of 3,300, have second jobs, just to get by. But what are their favourite occupations once they shed their uniforms? Most of them double as coach drivers; others prefer floristry or waiting, while some opt for the entertainment industry, as magicians or musicians. However, they have to get permission from the chief, before embarking on their second career. It is not just the constables that have a second job, though. Even senior officers pursue a second occupation, with one of them listed as offering "business services".

    As per Police Constable Sue Kelly, the reason many of her colleagues have a second job is the extra cash. "They often take these jobs to make ends meet or to go on holiday or buy things like a house, especially where prices are so high." She said, adding that since the Human Rights Act has come into force, there has been a slight loosening of restrictions, but all police officers have to get permission from the chief constable.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Anorak: A Captive Audience

    [04] Appearing More and More in Youth Rapid Increase of Melanoma in Greece

    12 Jan 2006 10:03:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    During the previous years there is a rapid increase of the appearance frequency of malignant melanoma both in Greece and worldwide. Regardless of the fact that there is no central recording of new cases in Greece, the increase recorded by the Special Melanoma Centre of the IKA Plastic Surgery Clinic has reached 30% during the previous five years. The Presidents of the Conference, Messrs Andreas Giakoumettis and Dimitris Bafaloukos, noted the above, among others, during a Press conference on the occasion of the 2nd Panhellenic Melanoma Conference. The scientists are concerned with the fact that malignant melanomas are appearing in young persons over the course of time. Moreover, the disease has started appearing on the torso, while a few years ago it was only presented mainly on the limbs.

    As the scientists noted, the factors responsible for the appearance and increase of the cases are the following:

    Environmental changes The hole in the ozone layer Exposure to sun Change in the youths clothes preference

    The Figures

    As per the Special Melanoma Centre of the IKA Plastic Surgery Clinic the disease presented an increase of 30% during the previous five years, with a parallel decrease of patients age.

    In particular:

    There are 40 to 50 new cases yearly during the previous five years. Melanoma appeared in younger ages and is observed that many persons under 40 years of age are affected. 50% of the melanomas are appearing on patients torsos. The majority of malignant melanomas are appearing in an early stage. This is due to the awareness campaigns from relevant scientific bodies for citizens mainly for the prevention of the disease.

    As per doctors citizens should do the following:

    Avoid lengthy exposure to the sun. Protect children from getting sunburned. Do not touch moles. Undergo frequent examinations and a biopsy of the suspicious moles, a procedure that frequently leads to the timely treatment.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [05] Snowfalls in Northern Attica Chilly Cold all over Greece

    12 Jan 2006 07:57:00 (Last updated: 12 Jan 2006 12:59:31)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: T - ANA

    The main characteristics of the weather today include local snowfalls in the eastern mainland and mountainous Crete, as well as strong northern gales in the Aegean. The northern suburbs of Attica are dressed in white, as it has been snowing since early this morning. The traffic is moving steadily, while there are no visibility problems. However, vehicles are moving very slowly in areas where it is snowing, resulting in traffic jams. Snow chains are necessary for cars travelling on Parnithas Avenues, from the 19 km and onwards, from Afidnes to Agia Triada, from Merkourio to Katsamidi and Varibobi, and on the old Athens-Thiva national highway, from the intersection of Mandra and onwards. The temperature will range between 3 and 8 degrees Celsius, while it will be 2-3 degrees lower in northern Attica. Light local snowfalls are being recorded in Macedonia and Thrace, where the temperature is not expected to rise above 6 degrees. Local drizzle is expected in Western Greece, where the temperature will range between -2 and 11 degrees Celsius. The forecast for Thessaly, eastern Central Greece, Evia and the eastern Peloponnese is for cloudiness and sleet, while the temperature will reach 8 degrees. Similar conditions are expected in the Cyclades and Crete, but with strong gales. The temperature there will range between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius. Finally, rain is expected in eastern Aegean and the Dodecanese, with temperatures ranging between 4 and 12 degrees Celsius.

    The meteorologists forecast snows and frost for the next few days. The lowest temperatures expected tomorrow are -3 on Florina and Kastoria, -2 in the Aegean and -1 in Thessaloniki, Kozani and Serres.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] Pope John Paul II's Aspiring Assassin Agca Released from Prison

    12 Jan 2006 08:48:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Turk Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II on 13 May 1981 in St Peters Square, was released at 9:30 this morning from Istanbuls Kartal jail. More than 100 reporters and many TV crews, as well as members of his family, who threw flowers, had gathered in front of the jail from early on, awaiting Agcas release. The would-be assassin had been imprisoned in Italy for 19 years, before being extradited to Turkey, after being pardoned by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in 2000. Upon arriving in Turkey, Agca was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for the 1979 murder of Milliyet editor Abdi Ipekci, whom he eventually confessed killing. At the same time, he was sentenced to 7 years for two robberies carried out around the same time as Ipekcis murder. However, on 8 January, a Turkish court decided to release him, in the context of the recent review of the Turkish Penal Code.

    Immediately after exiting the jail, 48-year-old Agca, who has been linked to extreme nationalist group Grey Wolves, reported to an army recruitment office, since he had never fulfilled his military service. As per his lawyer, Mustafa Demirbag, according to Turkish legislation, all males over 18 have to serve in the army and Agca is considered a draft-evader.

    The late Pope John Paul II visited Agca in a Rome prison on 27 December 1983, two years after the attempt, in order to grant him forgiveness. After the news of Agcas impending release, the Vatican declared it respected the decisions of courts. Last year, Mehmet Ali Agca, whom Ipekcis daughter has called a "national murderer," had asked to attend the funeral of the Pope, but his request was denied. In addition, he has also expressed the wish to meet with the new Pontiff, Benedict XVI.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Normal Heart Rate Sharon's Condition Stable

    12 Jan 2006 08:57:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA - Reuters - BBC

    Ariel Sharons condition remains critical, but stable, as per the attending physicians of the Israeli PM. Answering to articles that appeared in the newspaper Maariv, whereby the cardiologists treating Sharon detected a heart murmur that may cause a new episode, the team of doctors noted his heart rate was normal. Furthermore, they clarified he will undergo a routine neurological test during the day, while he will later undergo a CAT scan, for an initial assessment of the damage caused by the brain haemorrhage. In the meantime, according to sources, the therapy of the Israeli PM is being constantly reviewed, while the decision to end sedation outright requires a major deliberation. In addition, even if they take him off the drugs completely, Sharons hospitalisation is expected to last for months.

    Likud Ministers Resign

    At the same time, four members of the Israeli Government, from the right-wing party Likud, are expected to resign on Sunday. According to Israeli TV, Likuds leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued a resignation order for ministers Silvan Shalom (Foreign Affairs), Limor Livnat (Education), Israel Katz (Agriculture) and Dan Naveh (Health) for today, but their resignation was postponed until Sunday. Netanyahus move was expected last week, but was delayed due to the serious stroke suffered by Ariel Sharon. After the resignation of the ministers, Acting PM Ehud Olmert will be left with six ministers, all belonging to Kadima, the party formed by Sharon after departing from Likud.

    Today, 3,000 members of Likuds central committee will vote on the composition of the ballot paper for the party in the upcoming general elections, scheduled for 28 March.

    The other two major Israeli parties, Kadima and the Labour Party, resumed their pre-election campaigns, which had stopped temporarily due to Sharons health problems.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Doctors may end Sharon's sedation

    BBC: Sharon faces 'months of recovery'

    Related News:

    No Immediate Danger for Sharon


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