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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-03-09

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Switchman to the Prosecutor
  • [02] Train Driver Recovered Dead
  • [03] Driving on Auto Pilot!
  • [04] Targeting Turkey
  • [05] Students "Interrogate" the President
  • [06] Weather Improving in Greece
  • [07] Explosion in Turkey
  • [08] Cholera Spreads in Sudan
  • [09] New Defeat for Panathinaikos
  • [10] Students in US Arrested for Arson

  • [01] For the Train Collision Switchman to the Prosecutor

    09 Mar 2006 10:40:00 (Last updated: 09 Mar 2006 12:12:56)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The collision between a passenger train and a freight train on Wednesday night in Menidi, Athens, was due to human error. The accident resulted in the death of one of the drivers, Konstantinos Fatopoulos, while the second driver and another 30 passengers were injured. As per the investigations, the stations switchman, Anastasios Babalis, 35, had locked the main railway track towards the sidetrack, where the freight train was stationed. A brief was filed against Babalis, who was arrested by the Nea Ionia Traffic Police and is scheduled to appear before the Prosecutor at noon. According to information, the OSE (Greek Rail Company) railroad worker admitted that he was not in the station at the time of the accident. In the meantime, the second driver, Pavlos Bozos, was admitted to Evangelismos hospital and is in critical condition. Another seven passengers were admitted to Evangelismos and KAT hospitals. OSE experts arrived at the accident scene on Thursday morning to gather evidence on the exact circumstances surrounding the accident.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Train Driver Recovered Dead

    [02] Trains Collided in Menidi Train Driver Recovered Dead

    08 Mar 2006 23:38:00 (Last updated: 09 Mar 2006 11:22:17)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    Rail tragedy on Wednesday in Menidi, Athens. Passenger train 504 en route to Thessaloniki derailed a little after 11pm, after colliding with a stationed freight train. One of the train drivers was killed in the accident and the other is in critical condition. Another 30 passengers were lightly injured, while seven of those were admitted to KAT and Evangelismos hospitals. Fire Department Chief Andreas Kois had earlier expressed fears that one of the drivers was probably dead, since he was trapped in a particularly difficult spot and was not responding to the firefighters calls. Train 504, which had departed from Larissis Station at 11am, collided with the freight train, also en route to Thessaloniki, which was stopped at a sidetrack. The causes of the accident remain unknown. The collision resulted in the engine and the two first carriages of the passenger train derailing.

    Investigating the Causes

    The circumstances of the collision between the passenger and the freight train remain unknown.

    The accident occurred near the Athenian suburb of Menidi, at the intersection of Konstantinoupoleos and Aristotelous Streets. The passenger train consisted of eight carriages, with two of them carrying vehicles, while 130 passengers were onboard.

    Eyewitnesses reported that the train had built up its speed at the time of the accident.

    Firefighters rushed to the accident scene to recover the trapped passengers and ambulances transferred the wounded to hospital. In addition, the police, and OSE (Greek Rail Company) experts and technicians also arrived on site to pull away the derailed carriages and reinstate the train routes.

    Thursdays train schedules to Thessaloniki are being disrupted, since only one of the lines is operating.

    [03] Driving on Auto Pilot!

    09 Mar 2006 10:27:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    A young female driver from Wales must have thought that any time is a good time to make yourself beautiful, since she was caught in the act by a traffic camera! Basically, in the video, Donna Marie Maddock, 22, is seen applying make-up by holding an eyeliner in one hand and a compact in the other, while the car was moving. As per the prosecutor, it is an unusual case, since there was no speeding, but the driver had no hands on the steering wheel. Maddock was fined £200 for careless driving, while it was also revealed that she is already serving a 20-month ban for drink-driving, imposed last week.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] State Department on Human Rights Targeting Turkey

    09 Mar 2006 07:31:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The annual US State Department report on human rights is quite harsh against Turkey. The State Department reported the oppression of the political and religious liberties of ethnic minorities, including Greeks and Albanians. At the same time, it stressed that the Turkish Government does not recognise the Ecumenism of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, while, despite the assurances of the local authorities, the Theological School of Halki has not been allowed to reopen. In addition, the report mentions restrictions of political activities; illegal executions and tortures by police; arbitrary arrests and long detentions; restrictions in the freedom of speech, the Press and collective rights; exercise of violence and discrimination against women; abuse of children; illegal human trafficking; and restriction of labour rights. On the other hand, the State Departments comments for Greece are positive.

    Comments on Greece

    As per the State Department report, Greece is a republic that respects the human rights and political freedoms of its citizens. However, some incidents of human rights violations of minorities and religious groups, not belonging to the dominant orthodox dogma, were recorded in 2005.

    Those include complaints concerning abuse of illegal immigrants and Gypsies by the police; poor living conditions in some detention centres; restriction of ethnic minorities freedom to assemble; and interjection of administrative obstacles and legal restrictions to non-orthodox religious groups.

    In addition, the report noted that, despite the enactment of a relevant law in 2000, an Islamic mosque has not yet been erected in Athens, while anti-Semitic articles appear in some extremist newspapers. However, incidents of desecration of Jewish monuments have lessened, while 27 January was established as Remembrance Day for the Holocaust.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [05] Interview with NET and Manolis Kottakis Students "Interrogate" the President

    08 Mar 2006 22:34:00 (Last updated: 09 Mar 2006 00:07:06)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ

    On the occasion of the one-year anniversary after he was elected President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias gave his first interview with NETs show "I Alli Opsi" (From Another Viewpoint), as well as secondary school students. The President welcomed NET and the students at the Presidential Mansion. Questioned by the students on the domains the President of the Republic is responsible for, Mr Papoulias noted, "The Presidents domains have altered. They have been shrunk by the Constitution, yet the Presidents role remains pivotal for both the people and the nation. The Presidents say is of special gravity."

    The President revealed to the students his love for reading, yet, while comparing himself to the students, he said he is "illiterate," as he admitted to being ignorant of computers. In fact, when a student offered to teach him, the President replied that the gates of the Presidential Mansion are wide open.

    Furthermore, during the show, Cypriot President revealed a phone call he received by Mr Papoulias shortly before the referendum held on Cyprus for the Annan plan.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] Ships Sailing as Normal Weather Improving in Greece

    09 Mar 2006 09:36:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The weather is improving throughout Greece on Thursday, with northern winds subsiding, local cloud cover and weak snowfalls on the mountainous regions. Minor problems are still being recorded in some parts of northern Greece and Evia, while the ships are sailing from the ports of Piraeus as per normal and from the port of Rafina to Marmari only. In Thessaloniki, the Chortiatis-Agios Vasilios intersection, which had been closed as a precaution, is now open to traffic. In addition, the citys port and Macedonia airport are operating without any disruptions. There are no problems on any of the roads in central and northern Chalkidiki, apart from the national highway from Taxiarhis to Cholomondas, where snow chains are needed. Finally, all vehicles travelling on the Florina-Kastoria national highway, via Vigla, and the Florina-Kastoria regional road, via Vitsi, have to be equipped with snow chains.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Adverse Weather Subsides

    [07] Three Killed, at Least 16 Injured Explosion in Turkey

    09 Mar 2006 11:33:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Sources: Reuters

    A bomb exploded on Thursday outside a sports centre in the city of Van, Turkey, near the office of the governor, resulting in the death of three people and the injury of another 16. The police rushed to the scene and ambulances transferred the wounded to hospitals. Turkish media speak of a suicide attack, naming Kurdish party PKK, since the area is mainly inhabited by Kurds. The deputy governor of Van, Mustafa Yavuz, also stated he thought it was suicide attack, targeting a municipal police car, which was parked outside the sports centre. A crisis erupted recently in Van, as the local prosecutor ordered an investigation against General Yasar Buyukanit, who heads the Turkish land forces, accusing him of abusing his position and setting up an illegal group. Ankara refuted the allegations and the Justice Ministry ordered the interrogation of the prosecutor, while the Kurdish areas have been cordoned off by police to avert any violent incidents.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] To Third Major Town Cholera Spreads in Sudan

    09 Mar 2006 10:47:00

    Sources: Reuters

    An outbreak of cholera in the south has spread to a third major town in Sudan and has claimed at least 132 lives. As per aid agencies, the war-torn area has little clean water and inadequate sanitation. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said 12 people had tested positive for cholera in the town of Malakal, hundreds of miles north of the origin of the outbreak. Almost 6,000 cases have been recorded in the southern capital Juba and the nearby town of Yei, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, adding the outbreak had also spread to surrounding towns. Two-thirds of south Sudans population drinks unsafe water. After a 2005 peace deal, which ended Africas longest civil war in Sudans south, hundreds of thousands of people have been returning to the towns, which have inadequate infrastructure.

    [09] New Defeat for Panathinaikos

    08 Mar 2006 23:46:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Making it to the Top 8 and to the Prague final four seems to be fading away for Greek basketball team Panathinaikos, after losing 76-73 to Turkish team Efes Pilsen in the OAKA sports complex, on match day 3 of Top 16 Group G. Panathinaikos suffered their third loss, this time a home one, and now advancing to Top 8 requires a miracle. The fans of the Greek team packed the stadium, yet they were deprived of the joy to see their team leave the court with heads up. After Panathinaikos new defeat accompanied by Cibonas win over Benetton, it will take the Greek team three victories in the three remaining encounters, as well as a result combination of the rest of the games of Group G, to advance to the Top 8. The score per period: 14-13, 32-35, 51-56, 73-76.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] For Torching Churches Students in US Arrested for Arson

    09 Mar 2006 08:44:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Three students are accused by the US authorities of setting nine Baptist churches on fire in Alabama, in February. Ben Moseley, 19, Russell DeBusk, 19, and Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20, all college students, were arrested and are detained in the states capital, Birmingham. They are charged with conspiracy and arson, while they are facing a five-year sentence for one of the blazes. In court filings, all three admitted being involved in the arson fires. FBI special agent Carmen Adams, who is handling the case, said that the youths are probably fascinated by fire. The arsons took place on 3 and 7 February, while it was initially believed that they were attacks against African Americans, performed by opponents or imitators of the Ku Klux Klan. According to agent Adams, the tread marks left at the scene and the testimonies of witnesses about the vehicles around the churches at the time of the arsons provided the clues for the arrest of the three students.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Read the story on other sources:

    New York Times: 3 Students Held in Church Fires Set in Alabama

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