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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-01-27

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Quit Smoking Cold Turkey
  • [02] Bright Slippers
  • [03] Pressures for Disarmament
  • [04] Fire in Student Dorms
  • [05] Standing Rulings for Bourboulia
  • [06] Davos Proceedings Open
  • [07] AEK Did not Make it to Top 16
  • [08] Changes to Hellenic Festival
  • [09] New Hospital Wing Inaugurated

  • [01] Don't Ponder it Over Quit Smoking Cold Turkey

    27 Jan 2006 11:47:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: BBC

    We think it over and over again, yet we tend to call it off for a future time when we feel ready. But is this true? Do we ever do so? We refer, of course, to smokers who wish to quit smoking, but never take the plunge. The case of thousand undecided smokers worldwide took up the time of the University College London researchers, who draw some pretty interesting findings promising to give a helping hand to those who really mean to quit smoking. After interviewing some 1,900 smokers and ex-smokers about their attempts to quit, the researchers found that two thirds of he smokers who quit suddenly managed to go smokeless for at least six months. On the contrary, under half of smokers who kept chewing it over and over succeeded for the same period.

    The findings of the study explained that those chewing it over and over again do not feel strong enough to take the plunge. This is due to the varying forms of motivation urging smokers to quit.

    Researchers estimated that those who decide to quit on the spur of the moment are better motivated than those who call off the decision for some time in the future.

    In particular, the study found that 65% of the on-the-spur-of-the-moment quitters managed to go smokeless for at least six months, as opposed to 45% of smokers who planned it in detail.

    The aforementioned findings seriously challenge a previous theory suggesting that the most effective way is for smokers to go through thinking about quitting, planning an attempt and then making the decision.

    However, the researchers underlined that their study does not mean that those thinking to stop smoking in advance are doomed to failure. They just noted that their findings proved that a sudden decision is far more effective.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] For Dark Nights Bright Slippers

    27 Jan 2006 11:16:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Are you one of those who feel a bit peckish in the middle of the night, thus venturing to the fridge in pitch darkness? And does this habit make you prone to minor accidents because of the dark? Well, the invention of American Doug Vick will provide a solution to the problem of millions of people, as he created special slippers with built-in torches, which switch on as soon as you wear them. So, you can stroll to your kitchen in safety, raid the fridge and then return to your warm bed. The torches switch off a few seconds after you take the slippers off, thanks to a time switch, so that you can fall in bed when the light is still on. The new invention, called Bright Feet, will be on sale in Britain for 25 pounds.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [03] After Hamas' Victory in the Elections Pressures for Disarmament

    27 Jan 2006 09:39:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    The Middle East Quartet (USA, EU, Russia and the UN) urged Hamas to renounce violence and recognise Israels right to exist. The Quarters representatives spoke over the phone yesterday to exchange views after Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections, while they also issued a statement, without mentioning Hamas. As per the statement, "A two-state solution to the conflict requires all participants in the democratic process to renounce violence and terror, accept Israels right to exist, and disarm, as per the road map. The Palestinian people voted for change, but the Quartets opinion is that its hopes for peace and the creation of a state, as per President Abbas, remained unchanged after the ballots closed." A little after meeting with the Quartet representatives, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared, "As we have said, you cannot have one foot in politics and the other in terror," referring to Hamas victory.

    Israelis Appear Divided

    In the meantime, although Arab political analysts described the electoral results as a "political earthquake," they predicted that Hamas would adopt more moderate stances once it assumes power.

    At the same time, even though interim Israeli PM Ehud Olmert ruled out the possibility of entering negotiations with Hamas government, half of the Israelis consider that Israel should hold discussions with a government formed by Hamas, as per a poll conducted by newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. Specifically, 48% of those asked are in favour of talks with a government led by Hamas, as opposed to 43% who offered a differing opinion.

    The opinion poll was conducted before the electoral results were announced.

    Rejoicing and Tensions

    In the meantime, Hamas victory was accompanied by tension in the Palestinian territory. In the early hours of the morning, some 500 Fatah members, mainly members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed faction of Fatah, demonstrated their rage over Hamas sweeping victory with a protest in Gaza, where they fired shots in the air and asked for the resignation of the partys leaders. On the other hand, Hamas urged its supporters to evacuate the area, so as to avoid possible clashes with Fatah members.

    Yesterday afternoon, hundreds of Hamas supporters gathered outside the parliament, after first having participated in a meeting to celebrate their victory. A small group of people broke some windows of the building, entered the parliament, took down the Palestinian flag and raised the green flag of their group. The Palestinian police intervene and evacuated the building by firing shots in the air.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters: Rice: major powers tell Hamas end violence

    Reuters: Hamas win puts Mideast peace broking in turmoil

    BBC: srael rules out talks with Hamas

    CNN: Hamas urged to disarm in wake of election win

    Related News:

    Hamas Claims Victory

    Palestinian PM Resigns

    [04] Cause Unknown Fire in Student Dorms

    27 Jan 2006 09:15:00 (Last updated: 27 Jan 2006 12:02:32)

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA - NET

    A fire that broke out on Friday morning in a building housing student dorms in Thessaloniki has been put out. Dozens of students were evacuated from the building, without any injuries being recorded. The fire started in a room on the fifth floor of the third building, which is next to the Blue Cross Hospital. Forty firefighters and 15 fire engines rushed to the scene immediately and assisted the students in descending the stairs, without having to use special ladders. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] To the Paris Appellate Court Standing Rulings for Bourboulia

    27 Jan 2006 07:41:00

    By Anna Kourti

    Sources: ANA - NET

    The Athens Appellate Prosecutors Office will send to the Paris Appellate Court two standing rulings against former Examiner Konstantina Bourboulia. The first pertains to a 45-month suspended prison sentence for bribery, and the second to a 7-month prison sentence for failing to submit declarations of assets. On Wednesday, the former Examiner will argue her case before the Paris Appellate Court, focusing on the threats against her and her daughters lives, in case she is extradited to Greece. She will also submit to Court the threatening letters she claims that she has. Referring to the former Examiners attempts to delay her extradition to Greece and testify before Justice for the grave charges against her, the alternate Government spokesperson spoke of procedural tricks. In the meantime, on Thursday, the Supreme Courts Plenary Session ruled to permanently dismiss Evnagelos Kalousis and Fisrt Instance Judge Aggelos Valasas from the judicial body.

    Serious Disciplinary Offences

    With this second ruling, Former First Instance President Evangelos Kalousis was not dismissed for lack of ethics, as was the case in June 2005, but for serious disciplinary offences. It was decided that Kalousis delivered an irreparable blow to the prestige of Justice and himself as a judicial official. In addition, the Plenary Session ruled that he will not be able to work for the public sector after he is released.

    On Thursday, Kalousis was transferred from Korydallos Prison to the Supreme Court to testify to the Plenary Session on the charges against rim. The former President denied all disciplinary charges, adding, "I am not part of the extrajudicial clique." He admitted, though, that he had gone on a yacht cruise with former Examiner Konstantina Bourboulia, but under an assumed name.

    First Instance Judge Aggelos Valasas of Chalkida was also dismissed permanently by majority vote (18 for and 4 against) for officious inadequacy, due to the great delay is passing sentences. In addition, he was unanimously ruled competent to work for the public sector. Valasas had delayed in passing a great number of rulings in the last 15 months. The former First Instance Judge claimed that the delays were due to health problems and family matters, which had seriously affected him.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] For the Word Economic Forum Davos Proceedings Open

    26 Jan 2006 21:45:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The proceedings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, eastern Switzerland, opened yesterday with a full agenda. The main topics include the rapid development of China and the way it will affect global economy, as well as the uncertainty caused by the rise in oil prices. German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered the opening speech, signalling the beginning of the forum that will also deal with a plethora of subjects, including the safety of oil and natural gas reserves, accessing water reserves, Irans nuclear aspirations and the future of Iraq. Mrs Merkel referred to the EUs main ambitions for the near future, focusing on "innovation and growth," defended globalisation and free trade, and reminded of the EUs pledge towards its citizens: to become the most enterprising economy by 2010. The Forum will finish on Sunday afternoon, while the proceedings will be attended by 2,340 representatives of global politics and economy, as well as international figures, who are aiming at attracting funds for public welfare through their fame.

    Global Economy at the Focus

    The Forum will also concentrate on the progress of global economy. Only 15 of the guests are world leaders. The Israelis and Palestinians, who usually stole the limelight, will be absent. France will be represented by Economy Minister Thierry Breton. Other politicians include: Iraqi PM Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Presidents of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai and Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.

    In addition, 735 directors of major corporations will meet at Davos, including Richard Branson (Virgin), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Michael Dell (Dell), Peter Brabeck (Nestle) and Carlos Ghosn (Renault).

    Furthermore, famous personalities from the entrainment industry will include: Bono, singer for U2, Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolly and actor Brad Pitt.

    It should be noted that Bono is planning on presenting a programme, which will take shape in collaboration with various major corporations, aiming at boosting the fight against AIDS in Africa. It is the launch of the Red tag on products by companies such as Gap, Converse and Armani, as well as American Express, and proceeds from the sale of those products will go to the programmme.

    The world of sports will be represented by boxing legend Mohammed Ali, footballer Pele and the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogue.

    "The World Economic Forum should not deal with extremely political matters," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Forum, while he added that it has to become a meeting between the North and the South for growth.

    Mr Schwab also noted that the main topic this year is China and Indias rise to power, which is not considered a threat, but an opportunity.

    China is represented by Vice-President Zeng Peiyan and the Governor of the Peoples Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, while Trade Minister Kamal Nath is representing India.

    Another topic that will be discussed at the Forum is the safety of the pipelines transferring oil and natural gas from possible terrorist attacks. The international communitys answer to a destruction scenario, i.e. terrorist attacks against pipelines and refineries that might lead to a rise in the international oil prices to $120 per barrel, will also be discussed.

    Finally, the matter of Irans nuclear aspirations will be approached by the Foreign Ministers of Germany and Britain, as well as the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] AEK Did not Make it to Top 16

    26 Jan 2006 22:48:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    AEK of Athens failed to make it to Euroleagues second round. The Greek team suffered a 68-77 defeat from Olympija Ljubljana at the Galatsi Sports Hall on match day 12 for Group A and lost the slim chances they stood to advance to the Top 16. This was the ninth defeat in 12 encounters for Lefteris Kakiousis squad. The Slovenians, on the other hand, need to strike two more victories to stand good stances. As for the game, AEK enjoyed a slight lead during the first three ten-minute periods. In the last period, however, the Slovenians did better on the offensive and thanks to their stiff defence they achieved an important victory. The score per period: 22-23, 37-34, 57-54, 68-77.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Shorter Duration Changes to Hellenic Festival

    27 Jan 2006 10:11:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    This years Hellenic Festival 2006 will introduce new art trends, catering for youths, while it will sever the monopolised ties between directors and casts, and the theatres of Epidaurus and Herodus Atticus. Furthermore, as per its President, Giorgos Loukos, it will be toned down. This years Festival will be shorter in duration, lasting for just two months (June and July), but it will again host a vast array of performing arts, including theatre, dancing, singing, classical music and ancient drama. Mr Loukos, who took the reins of the Hellenic Festival after a personal invitation by Culture Minister Kostas Karamanlis, underlined that the performances will be staged in many alternative venues, more appropriate for some types of shows than the "emblematic" Herodus Atticus Odeon. He also added that tickets will be cheaper for all the shows, both in Athens and Epidaurus.

    The Programme

    The performances will commence on 1 June and, apart from Herodus Atticus Odeon, the venues also include Lycabetus Theatre, the Athens Concert Hall, the Kotopouli-Rex Theatre, the Arts Theatre (on Frynichou Street), Xenia Kalogeropoulous Porta Theatre (for childrens shows), the old Tsaousoglou factory on Pireos Street (Irene Pappas future drama school), Benaki Museum and others.

    Some of the highlights of the Festival include: the Opera School of Beijing; the Sofia Vebo special by songwriter Lina Nikolakopoulou; Shakespeares Coriolanus, translated and directed by Michalis Kakogiannis; Philip Glass opera The Beauty and the Beast, Diane Krolls jazz concert; blues legend BB King; and Liza Minellis concert. In addition, novice European choreographers will stage shows in the Tsaousoglou factory.

    During the presentation of the programme, Mr Loukos also referred to the finances of the Hellenic Festival, noting that the deficit left behind by the previous administration was 6.5 million euros, while the budget for this years Festival is estimated at 10 million euros. Out of those, 3.5 will come from the Tourism Ministry, while they are also expecting funds from the Casino.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Reactions from Employees New Hospital Wing Inaugurated

    26 Jan 2006 20:09:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET

    On Thursday afternoon, Deputy Health Minister Thanasis Giannopoulos inaugurated a new wing that will house laboratories in Evangelismos Hospital. The wing is 5,000 sq m and is expected to decongest the older buildings. During the ceremony, some of the employees voiced their objections, as they believe that the new buildings do not serve the needs of the medical personnel, pinpointing the shortage in human resources to staff the laboratories. As they added, some 1,300 key positions in the hospital are vacant, while many surgeries are cancelled due to the personnel being on leave. On his part, the Deputy Minister stressed that major works have been undertaken, adding "A perennial demand of the employees is to staff the hospitals; and that is what we are trying to do: staff the hospitals."

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

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