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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-16

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] 13yo Becomes New Victim
  • [02] Chile Elects Woman President
  • [03] Change in Hellenic Railways Routes
  • [04] Deadly Fire in Vladivostok
  • [05] Clashes in Baghdad
  • [06] Sharon's Condition Stable
  • [07] Abbas-Rice Phone Conversation

  • [01] Confusion over Death of 12yo in Turkey 13yo Becomes New Victim

    16 Jan 2006 09:57:00 (Last updated: 16 Jan 2006 13:22:23)

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A 13-year-old girl from Indonesia passed away on the weekend from bird flu, while two members of her family tested positive to the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease, as announced today by medical sources, citing the results of local labs. In case the results are verified by the World Health Organisation, the death toll in Indonesia will reach 13, out of a total of 20 infected by the disease. In the meantime, confusion prevails in Turkey over the exact causes of the death of Fatma Ojian in a hospital in Van, since her attending physicians announced that initial tests revealed the girl had not been infected by avian flu. On the other hand, Fatmas bother, Mohammed, aged 5, is being hospitalised, while he tested positive to the deadly H5N1 strain, as announced by the Health Ministry in Ankara. "Fatmas initial tests, however, were negative," was mentioned in the Ministrys announcement, which added that further test will be performed on the body of the unfortunate girl. Fatmas case resembles that of 11-year-old Hulya Kocyigit, one of the three children of the Kocyigit family from the village Dogubayazit, eastern Turkey, who died of the deadly virus. Initially, it was announced that Hulya Kocyigit did not die of the deadly strain. A few days later, though, and after new test were performed, it was proven that Hulya had in fact been infected by H5N1. In addition, another matter that seems to raise concerns is the fact that the Turkish citizens have not been adequately informed on protecting themselves against the disease, which has killed three people, not including Fatma, while another five are being hospitalised in Van and at least 40 have manifested symptoms of avian flu.

    Brother of 12yo Infected

    Muhammed Ozcan, aged 4, has become the 19th confirmed carrier of the deadly virus in Turkey. Chief physician Huseyin Avni Sahin of the hospital in Van told AFP that Muhammeds condition was serious, but stable, adding that the 5-year-old is not connected to a respirator.

    The chief physician also stressed that the two siblings had come into contact with infected chickens, while their family delayed in admitting them to hospital.

    "Fatma was already in bad shape when she got here, six days after the symptoms of the disease had been manifested," he added. The 12-year-old had butchered an infected chicken herself, cooked it and served it to the rest of the family, stressed Sahin.

    In Istanbul, doctors at a hospital in Goztepe, on the Asian side of the city, said they had discharged a five-year-old boy, who was suffering from high fever and had been in contact with chickens kept in the yard of his house. The boy tested negative for bird flu and was sent home, they told AFP.

    As per the indications so far in Turkey, the virus seems to affect children more than adults, since 17 out of the 19 confirmed human cases were children, as per the same sources.

    Two Members of 13yo's Family in Indonesia Infected

    "We found three positive bird flu cases in one family coming from Indramayu, West Java," stressed an Indonesian official. According to the same source, the 13-year-old girl died in the towns hospital, while two of her siblings, a 15-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy, have been transferred to a hospital in Jakarta specialising in avian flu.

    "A lot of fowls died around the neighbourhood where they lived. But we dont know yet whether these fowls were carrying the virus. We sent a team there to investigate this morning," added the Indonesian official.

    Strict Measures

    In the meantime, a patient feared to have been infected by the deadly H5N1 virus in Germany underwent special tests that revealed he was not a carrier, as reported last night by the relevant authorities. Colognes local paper, ╩oelner Stadt Anzeiger, wrote, "We have received confirmation from the health authorities in Cologne [where the suspect case was detected], which mentions that the special tests performed revealed that the patient could not have been infected by the deadly virus." The newspaper had printed a few days earlier that it had information from the doctors at St Francis hospital in Cologne that a patient manifesting symptoms of avian flu had been admitted and was undergoing emergency tests.

    In Greece, strict precautionary measures have been implemented throughout the country to deal with avian flu. The inspections at border entry points to and from Turkey are continuous, while the Prefectures are being funded to deal with personnel and equipment shortages. Vehicles and travellers are being disinfected, and poultry and their products are confiscated, while the sale of live birds in open-air markets has been banned. In addition, owners of domestic poultry have been ordered to keep their birds in enclosed areas.

    In the meantime, specialised personnel are being hired by veterinary services throughout the country. As announced by the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, more than 1,500 geotechnicians have been hired already, while the Army General Staff will transfer 200 of its scientists to 27 Prefectures.

    Although the virus can potentially be transmitted from humans to humans, the scientists believe that the possibility is very low. As they mentioned, it would be a pandemic only if dozens of cases were recorded in a single area within a few days. Such a development will be reviewed by the international convention on flu pandemic, which will commence on Tuesday in Beijing. The head of the Greek delegation will be Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Konstantopoulos, along with other officials from the Health and Interior Ministries.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Fourth 'bird flu' death in Turkey

    Reuters: Indonesian girl dies of bird flu

    Related News:

    Suspicious Death in Turkey

    [02] Michelle Bachelet Elected President Chile Elects Woman President

    16 Jan 2006 09:41:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ANA - BBC - Reuters

    On Sunday, Chile elected the first woman President in its history. The candidate for the centre-left government coalition, Michelle Bachelet, was the winner of the presidential elections. With 97.5% of the votes counted already, Bachelet received 53.5%, as opposed to 46.5% for her opponent, conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera. The new Chilean President and former Defence and Health Minister of outgoing President Ricardo Lagos, pledge to serve the citizens and head a country set to surprise the world by 2010. At the same time, she noted that her Government will be one of unity for all Chileans, hailing the supporters of her left-wing opponent. At the same time, she reminded her pledge to form a government with equal number of men and women, "with new faces, as well as experienced members." Sebastian Pinera admitted his defeat and congratulated the winner. "I congratulate her not just because she will become the first woman President of Chile, but because I also want to hail the millions of women who fought to take the place that belongs to them."

    Victory Dedicated to her Father

    "I did not have an easy life, but who ever had a life without suffering?" declared Bachelet, clearly emotional. Just like her father, who was a close associate of assassinated President Salvador Allende, 54-year-old Bachelet was imprisoned and tortured by the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet. She was then exiled, along with her mother Angela Jeria, while she eventually returned to Chile to finish her medical studies.

    "If there was anyone who would have been proud tonight it would have been my father, Alberto Bachelet-Martinez, and in a strange way I feel I am very close to him," stressed Michele Bachelet. She also noted that she inherited her love for Chile and its unrivalled nature and citizens, her altruism, her love for order and her leadership qualities from her father.

    Concertacion, the left-wing coalition Bachelet belongs to, has been in power for 16 years.

    Expected Result

    Michelle Bachelets victory was not a surprise, since she was ahead of her multi-millionaire opponent in the polls. Her superiority was also evident in the first round of the presidential elections.

    Bachelet, a doctor and a single mother of three, was an unusual choice for the presidency of one of the more conservative Latin American countries. "Who would have said, 10, 15 years ago, that a woman would be elected president? I want to thank you for letting me lead the journey," declared the new President to the thousands of her voters who had gathered in front of her electoral office in Santiago.

    Political analysts believe that she will follow in the footsteps of her predecessor, especially when it comes to economic policy.

    However, she has pledged to reform the private pension system, which, although it is considered one of the best in the world, it is expensive and has not yielded much in Chile.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Chileans elect socialist, first woman president

    BBC: Chile gets first woman president

    CNN: Chile elects first female leader

    El Mercurio: Michelle Bachelet es la primera mujer Presidenta con un 53,49%

    [03] Ag Anargiroi Corinth Section Change in Hellenic Railways Routes

    16 Jan 2006 08:33:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Hellenic Railway (OSE) trains on the Ag Anargiroi Corinth line will not operate as of today, due to construction works in Kakia Skala. As a result, the following changes will be made to the routes:

    Routes 1312, 1313, 1314 and 1315 (Ag Anargiroi Loutraki Ag Anargiroi) will stop running.

    Passengers on routes 304 (Ag Anargiroi Pyrgos) and 305 (Pyrgos Ag Anargiroi) will be served by OSE buses for the Ag Anargiroi Corinth Ag Anargiroi part.

    The bus routes Ag Anargiroi Corinth Ag Anargiroi will perform stops in Elefsina, Megara, Ag Theodoroi and Isthmus.

    For more information, passengers can contact OSEs railway stations on OSEs call centre on 1110.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Fears that Death Toll Might Increase Deadly Fire in Vladivostok

    16 Jan 2006 09:24:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Eight people were tragically killed in a fire that broke out in the early hours of the morning in a nine-storey office building in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok. According to the Emergency Situations Ministry, another 15 people were injured, while there are fears that the death toll might increase, since the rescue crews have not been able to reach all the parts of the burning building yet. The fire broke out at 4:00am (Greek local time) in the eighth floor, for unknown reasons, while it quickly spread to the rest of the building, trapping many people inside, as they could not use the fire escapes. Most of the victims jumped from the windows to escape the smoke and flames.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Between Rebels and Policemen Clashes in Baghdad

    16 Jan 2006 10:53:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Clashes in Iraq are never-ending. In the morning, an armed attack at Antamiya in northern Baghdad cost the life of a policeman. Moreover, two bombs exploded at the west and centre of the Iraqi capital resulting in the injury of another policeman and a citizen. The target of the bomb attacks were passing police vehicles. An exchange of fire between policemen and rebels took place following the explosions, however without any injuries. In the meantime, the US Army announced that an American helicopter crashed north of Baghdad, but the whereabouts of the crew remain unknown. As a US Army spokesperson announced, investigations are being carried out over the causes of the crash. This is the third US Army helicopter that has gone missing during the previous 10 days.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] Olmert to Lead Kadima Sharon's Condition Stable

    16 Jan 2006 12:59:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: Haaretz - ANA - ═┼ď

    Ariel Sharons attending physicians described his condition critical, but stable, after the tracheotomy he underwent yesterday. In the meantime, as mentioned in the website of newspaper Haaretz, citing relatives, the Israeli radio broadcast that the Israeli PM opened his eyes as soon as he heard his grandsons voice on cassette. However, the spokesperson of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where Sharon is being hospitalised, denied the report. Specifically, the doctors said that this could not be confirmed, as a possible eyelid movement could just be a reflexive reaction, which might not necessarily signal he has come out of the coma. In the meantime, Acting PM Ehud Olmert took over the leadership of Kadima, the party established by Sharon, in order to lead it to the 28 March elections.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Yediot Aharonot: Source: Sharon opened his eyes

    Ha'aretz: PM said to have opened eyes; significance unclear

    Related News:

    Sharon Underwent Tracheotomy

    [07] For the Palestinian Elections Abbas-Rice Phone Conversation

    16 Jan 2006 08:35:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    On Sunday night, the US State Secretary discussed the upcoming elections in the Palestinian Territory over the phone with Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian leader noted the need for Israel to stop obstructing the candidates pre-election campaign and lift the blockade on the communities of the West Bank. On her part, Condoleezza Rice reassured him that Israel will keep its promise and will allow the elections in East Jerusalem to proceed. In the meantime, Israels Cabinet gave the green light to Palestinians of East Jerusalem to participate in the elections, which will be based on the model of the 1996 general and the 2005 presidential elections. In both cases, the people had voted in Israeli post offices or electoral centres that had been set up in the nearest suburbs. Despite all that, however, Israeli police arrested three Hamas candidates campaigning in East Jerusalem, while another three members of the organisation were summoned.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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