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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-13

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Measures against Mutation
  • [02] Iran Crisis Escalates
  • [03] Cosmetic Surgery Creates Hassles
  • [04] Snowy Weather until Sunday
  • [05] Greek-Bulgarian Collaboration for Evros
  • [06] Rise in Attiki Odos Toll Charges
  • [07] AEK Lost
  • [08] Easy Win for Panathinaikos
  • [09] Larissa to the Quarterfinals
  • [10] Heating Oil Purchase Made Simpler

  • [01] Strict Inspections for 򺺝 Measures against Mutation

    13 Jan 2006 09:00:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Concerns over avian flu are growing globally, following the 18 outbreaks of the disease in Turkey, as well as the announcement of British scientists that they have indications of a possible mutation of the H5N1 virus, making it more threatening for humans. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is forming an international task force to deal with a possible avian flu pandemic, while it gave the green light to a test that can locate the virus within three hours. At the same time, European experts on health matters reviewed the EU action plan in case of an H5N1 mutation and human-to-human transmission, prompting organisations and countries, including Greece, to implement measures for that possibility. Presently, informing the citizens and following the advice of the health authorities are the only effective shields against bird flu.

    International Task Force

    During a two-day meeting in Japan, which commenced on Thursday, the WHO announced plans for the formation of an international task force to deal with a possible pandemic.

    Some 20 countries will participate in the task force, while it will act as an external advisor to the Organisation, in an effort to curb the spreading of the disease, which travelled from Asia to Turkey.

    At the same time, the WHO approved the distribution of a test that can locate the H5N1 virus within three hours, as announced by the manufacturer, based in Singapore. The test in question, produced by Veredus, is considered extremely accurate in detecting the virus, after tests performed at the WHO Centre in Australia.

    However, Veredus clarified that further tests are needed to establish whether it can effectively detect H5N1 in Europe, where the virus is slightly different to the one in Asia.

    At the same time, pharmaceutical company Roche, which manufactures Tamiflu, declared that it is ready to donate additional quantities of the drug to Asian markets. The Swiss company has already given 30 million doses to the WHO.

    Prevention and Calmness

    An emergency meeting of relevant bodies is scheduled for today at the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food, while inspections at all of the countrys entry points from Turkey are continuing unimpaired.

    The health authorities continue urging the citizens not to panic. The centres for reporting flu cases and the Hellenic Centre for Infectious Diseases Control are in constant contact with the veterinary services, aiming at locating a possible outbreak in Greece immediately.

    Information pamphlets are being distributed at the Athens "Eleftherios Venizelos" International Airport, since eight flights depart to or arrive from Istanbul daily, while a specially designed quarantine room is operating on the premises.

    Thorough checks are also performed at other entry points from Turkey, including the Kipoi and Kastanies customs houses, as well as the islands of the eastern Aegean. Vehicles and travellers are disinfected, while any potentially dangerous foodstuffs found in luggage, mainly poultry and their products, are confiscated.

    PASOK asked for a briefing in Parliament concerning the measures having been implemented in Greece, while the president of SYN, Alekos Alavanos, urged the Government to reassure consumers that Greek poultry products are safe.

    Indications of a Possible Mutation

    In the meantime, a stir was created after an announcement by British scientists that there are signs of a possible H5N1 mutation.

    After studying two deadly cases from Turkey, researchers from the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mill Hill reported that the virus may have mutated into a new strain, which could be ever more life threatening for humans.

    Specifically, they established that there are differences between the virus located in Turkey and the other two deadly cases, the one in Hong Kong in 2003 and the one in Vietnam in 2005.

    The greatest fear of scientists regarding bird flu is the possible mutation of the virus into a form that can be transmitted from humans to humans.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    The Independent: Bird flu mutation raises threat to humans

    ZDF: Ma鈔ahmen gegen Vogelgrippe

    New York Times: With Flu in Turkey, Close Neighbors and Europeans Go on Alert

    Corriere della Sera: Rilevate mutazioni in virus aviaria Turchia

    Related News:

    Europe Braces Itself

    Related Links:

    World Health Organisation

    Hellenic Centre for Infectious Diseases Control

    Greek Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity

    [02] Battle over its Nuclear Programme Iran Crisis Escalates

    13 Jan 2006 11:38:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki threatened that the country might suspend collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its nuclear programme, just one day after the European Troika (Britain, France and Germany) decided that Tehran should be referred to the UN Security Council, a decision seconded by the USA and Japan. In the meantime both US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice and her British counterpart, Jack Straw, announced that military action against Tehran was not a possibility. At the same time, the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, spoke with Iranian top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, who clarified that Tehran is interested in holding serious and constructive negotiations, but within a specific timeframe.

    Military Action not an Option

    Speaking on TV network CBS on Thursday night, Ms Rice ruled out the possibility of military action against Tehran, stressing, "We are on a diplomatic track and its not on the agenda at this point to move from that diplomatic track."

    The statements of the head of the British Foreign Office were along the same lines. Jack Straw reassured that no one was asking for military action, warning, however, that the matter of imposing sanctions would be reviewed if Tehran does comply with the recommendations of the international community.

    Speaking from Washington, where she is on an official visit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that Iran has crossed the red line, while she voiced her satisfaction over the collaboration of the European Troika, adding, "We are working together to show Iran that the international community will not allow any challenges."

    Finally, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso expressed his countrys support for the decision of the European Troika, adding that, due to Tehrans uncompromising stance, no other choice was available.

    It should be noted that Irans referral to the UN Security Council signals the end of two-year negotiations. However, the European Troika and the USA fear that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons, despite the fact that it denies doing so and insists that its nuclear programme aims at the peaceful production of energy.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: U.S. backs Europe over nuclear Iran

    Die Welt: Iran droht mit dem Ende der Kooperation

    Le Monde: L'Iran menace de cesser sa cooperation sur le dossier nucleaire

    Sky News: Nuclear Row Escalates

    Related News:

    Iran Referred to Security Council

    Related Links:


    [03] Champion Dropped from Her Team Cosmetic Surgery Creates Hassles

    13 Jan 2006 11:18:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Those who make the bold decision to undergo cosmetic surgery, do so to improve their appearance and subsequently their lives. So, most of the people who admit to having had surgery are elated and do not hesitate to broadcast that the improvement has changed their lives for the better, since people see them differently. However, this is not the case with a South Korean fencing champion, as her cosmetic surgery created more problems than it solved; and this because her coaches decided to drop her from the national team due to her long absence from training.

    Scalpel Vs Sword

    It all started because of a problem the fencer was facing with her eyelashes, which bothered her vision.

    But along with the necessary eye surgery, Nam Hyun-hee also decided to have a little work done on her cheeks to increase their amplitude.

    Naturally, her post-operative condition was not the best, since the cheek surgery caused her to miss several days of practice because of a swollen face.

    This enraged her strict coaches and the managers of the national team, who punished her with a two-year suspension, as they considered that Nam placed her personal appearance above her commitment to the team.

    "We have to be stricter in the management of our athletes. For instance, what are other athletes thinking when a fellow athlete is lounging around because of plastic surgery?" Oh Wan-gun, the director of the Korean Fencing Federation, said.

    Nam did not make any comments, but asked to be reinstated more quickly so that she can be on the team for this years Asian Games and be in good shape for the 2008 Olympics.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] The Ships have Docked due to the strong Gales Snowy Weather until Sunday

    13 Jan 2006 11:13:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    According to the meteorologists, the frost wave will not subside until Sunday, while they forecast local snowfalls in eastern Central Greece and mountainous Crete, strong northern gales in the Aegean and low temperatures throughout the country. The Piraeus Central Port Authority announced that all ships in all of the countrys ports will remain docked due to the strong gales. Attica is dressed in white, as the surrounding mountains of Parnitha, Penteli and Ymittos are snow-capped, while the wave of bad weather is also affecting the island of Crete, where it is snowing in the mountainous regions of the Prefecture of Chania. In fact, the roads from Ibros to Sfakia, from Lakki to Omalos, as well as part of the road network from Petra-Seli to Seliniotikos Gyros have closed due to the continuous snowfall and the frost. It is sunny, but chilly cold in Central and western Macedonia, while the temperature is -2 degrees Celsius in Thessaloniki and Kavala, -3 in Florina and -1 in Alexandroupoli.

    Snow chains are necessary for vehicles travelling towards Mt Parnitha, from the cable car onwards, on the old Athens-Thiva national highway and on the Athens-Lamia national highway towards Agios Merkourios, Dervenochoria and Katsimidi. In addition, they are needed on the regional roads Florina - Kastoria and Kastoria Nestorio - Ioannina, as well as the roads leading to the ski resorts 3-5 Pigadia and Seli.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related Links:

    Hellenic National Meteorological Service

    [05] Joint Plan to Deal with the Problems Greek-Bulgarian Collaboration for Evros

    13 Jan 2006 10:04:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    After rising alarmingly over the last few days, the level of water of the Evros River is continuously subsiding, to the relief of the local residents. However, the overflowing of the river, which creates problems nearly every winter, remains a matter that demands a coordinated and systematic plan both by Greece and Bulgaria. The specific issue, as well as any technical details, will be discussed today, during a meeting in Sofia between representatives from both countries

    The Greek delegation is made up of Deputy Interior Ministry Athanasios Nakos and the general secretary of the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Region, Michalis Aggelopoulos, while Bulgaria will be represented by the Deputy Ministers of Environment and Water, Lubka Katchakova and Jordan Dardov.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    River Evros Subsides

    [06] By 0.20 Euros for Cars Rise in Attiki Odos Toll Charges

    13 Jan 2006 09:16:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Following the Rio-Antirrio toll charges, which are increasing as of this coming Monday, Attiki Odos was next, announcing rises as of 1 February. From now on, cars will pay 2.70 euros instead of 2.50, motorbikes 1.30 instead of 1.20, buses 6.70 instead of 6.20 and trucks 10.80 instead of 10.

    At the same time, the charges for discount programmes will also change. The charges for cars registered in the programme Express will rise from 2.15 euros to 2.35. In addition, the charges for the programmes Friendly and Business will change from 2.15-1.80-1.50 to 2.35-2.00-1.70, while for the Bonus programme, the first 30 rides will cost 2.70 euros, while the next 15 rides of the same month (31st to 45th) will remain free.

    Finally, the company announced that the e-Pass device will be provided free of charge as of 1 February, while the 20 euros guarantee paid by older clients will be returned in the form of credit.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] AEK Lost

    12 Jan 2006 22:57:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    One more loss for AEK in the Euroleague, this time during an away match against Zalguiris with 87-70 on match day 10 of Group A. AEK tried to claim victory in the third period but could not last until the end and were defeated. This was their 7th loss in the tournament and lost many of its few chances to qualify in the round of 16. The score per period: 15-10, 33-19, 51-43, 87-70.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [08] Easy Win for Panathinaikos

    12 Jan 2006 22:47:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Panathinaikos claimed their 9th win in 10 matches in the Euroleague, after easily prevailing over Italian Siena 89-79 on match day 10 of Group C. Having qualified to the round of 16, Panathinaikos played fine basketball and the final score does not reflect the difference of the two teams. The score per period: 26-18, 44-32, 71-54, 89-79.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [09] Larissa to the Quarterfinals

    12 Jan 2006 21:45:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Larissa claimed victory and hence qualified to the Greek Cup quarterfinals, after prevailing over Apollo Kalamaria 2-1 in the rematch of round 5, when the two teams had tied. Serban in the 44' and Firster in the 74' scored for the winners, while the home team scored in the 73' with Christoforidis. Larissa is now waiting for the winner of the Egaleo-Akratitos match (17/1) to find out their opponents.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [10] Tax Number not Necessary for Small Quantities Heating Oil Purchase Made Simpler

    13 Jan 2006 08:59:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The buyers Tax File Number does not have to appear on the receipt for quantities of heating oil or kerosene under 20 litres, as provided by the decision of Deputy Economy Minister Antonis Bezas. The change is aimed at simplifying the process and facilitating consumers who purchase small quantities of heating oil.

    The decision also simplifies the process concerning the collective lists of heating oil invoices that have to be submitted to the tax offices by fuel station owners. Specifically, the collective lists will be submitted on a 6-month basis, as opposed to 3 months provided for by the previous decision, while the lists will contain the total quantity of heating oil sold, as well as the total number of invoices.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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