|Wednesday, 19 February 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-07-08
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Three Gang Members Remanded in CustodyThree of the ten arrestees for their involvement in the gang that masterminded the abduction of shipping magnate Periklis Panagopoulos were kept in detention after their testimony. Apostolos Petrakis and Giorgos Katsaganis refused to answer to the magistrate's questions, asking to be informed on the content of the cd with the telephone conversations intercepted by police. In the meantime, the Justice Minister suspended the chief of the Chania prison Mihalis Kyriakakis, after the latter's surprise resignation letter.
The Justice Ministry said that Nikos Dendias decided Kyriakakis' suspension, since the prison chief had been particularly interested in the transfer of alleged ringleader Panagiotis Vlastos from Trikala prison to Alikarnassos prison. The Justice Minister also ordered a sworn administrative inquiry.
In the meantime, police keeps searching for the gang's hideout and the ransom paid for Panagopoulos' release. Police have now shifted their attention to passwords used in conversations between members of the gang in a drive to trace more suspects.
Panagopoulos' abduction seems to be the big mistake of the gang. Police started intercepting phone conversations which yielded evidence on the abduction and other cases.
News item: 24580
 G8 Summit Kicks off in L'AquilaItalian police have turned L'Aquila, a mountain town wrecked by April's earthquake, into a fortress for the G8 summit. The Group of Eight, United States, Germany, Japan, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia , will touch on the globe's biggest problems and will try to reach common ground.
The address of the global credit storm and climate change and the campaign against nuclear proliferation and poverty are to run high on the agenda of the 35th summit of G8 leaders. Hundreds of people were seized in Rome, while 15,000 troops have been deployed for security reasons.
At least 70,000 people will die during the summit, said Save the Children activist group, urging world leaders to double the international aid. US President Barack Obama arrived in Italy after his contacts in Russia. US officials spoke of particularly successful meetings that lay the foundation for good bilateral relations.
G8 leaders kicked off their summit in L'Aquila, expressing their optimism over economy and underlining the bad omens hovering over the campaign against climate change.
The situation is still uncertain and economy is still in peril, said the G8 leaders, who said there were indicators of stability. They also assured they will step up the necessary steps to lead world economy to a stronger and viable growth.
However, as for climate change, European sources said that the planet's largest economies, which are to be held accountable for 80 percent of gas emission, which causes the greenhouse effect, have given up on their target to reduce gas emissions by 2050.
Apart for the worst post-war financial crisis plaguing the globe and the climate change, the leaders of the USA, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan will discuss ways to stamp out poverty. They will also touch on Iran and its nuclear aspirations, which have spooked the world.
G8 leaders, except for Chinese President Hu Jintao, who returned home due to unrest in northwestern China in which 156 people have died, will exchange views on other thorny issues, including the situation in Iraq and the Middle East row.
The G8 summit will also be attended by the leaders of booming economies and African nations, as well as by the representatives of international bodies.
News item: 24579
 Bakoyannis-Nimetz Meet on FYFOM Name RowIn his meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, UN envoy Matthew Nimetz appeared optimistic over the FYROM name row and its solution, yet he rejected timelines. Exiting Bakoyannis' office, he said he suggested minor changes in the October proposal, which also included the name ‚Democracy of Northern Macedonia,‚ and noted that the two sides are after a mutually accepted solution. ‚We are in the middle of a process, which is in full swing,‚ commented Greek Foreign Ministry sources. Nimetz then met with PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) George Papandreou.
Nimetz said he had an excellent discussion with the Greek Foreign Minister, adding he briefed her on his contacts in Skopje. He then went on to claim that the ground is favourable for the continuation of the negotiations and hoped he will do his job even better.
Asked whether he believed there would be some progress by the end of the year, Nimetz said no to timelines, stressing, at the same time, that both sides are strong-willed to work this out. He even underlined that he had the conviction that a solution is near, therefore he was more optimistic than before.
Drilled to clarify his statements on the national identity and language of the neighbouring country, Nimetz said that what they had been discussing for all those years was the name row, further adding that some matters, including the fact that there is a state which has been recognized by the UN as FYROM, are thought of as undisputed. There is a language spoken by the particular people, but we have focused on the name issue, said he.
Touching on his next moves, Nimetz said that Athens and Skopje will consider his ideas and he will be in touch will the two sides.
News item: 24575
 IB Examination ResultsThe International Baccalaureate will send examination results to some schools in Athens in the next hours. Earlier, the Athens Prosecutor's Office ordered a probe into the leakage of questions in the tests.
The International Baccalaureate said that investigations will continue to find the exact conditions and extent of exams' content leakage, noted in this year's exams in Greek private schools. Examination results for schools not involved in the exams content leakage case are expected to be posted on Wednesday afternoon. Earlier , the Education Ministry had clarified that the international organization bears sole responsibility.
News item: 24572
 Mobilizations Continue in GrammatikosResidents in Grammatikos continue mobilizations on Wednesday in protest against construction of landfill in their region. Residents have erected barricades to prevent construction vehicles from crossing into the site Mavro Bouno, the site selected for the landfill. Residents in the region clashed with security forces on Tuesday while four people were arrested and some injured during the incidents. East Atika Prefect Leonidas Kouris and deputy president of the community Maria Lepura will refer the case to the Prosecutor's Office and request issue of environmental permission for the project.
News item: 24564
 G8 Summit OpensNews
Global financial crisis, climate change, prevention of nuclear arms spreading, food security are among the issues to be discussed during the 35th G8 Summit held in the Italian city L'Aquila, destroyed by earthquake in April. There were some arrests during clashes of young demonstrators with police in the previous days.
Some 15.000 troops have been deployed around the city and 12 helicopters are flying over the city to ensure security during the summit. In the event of earthquake there is an alternative plan, helicopters will transfer world leaders to a military academy in Rome to continue works.
US President Barrack Obama left Moscow this morning-after the conclusion of a two day visit for contacts with Russian leadership-to attend the G8 Summit. Italian Prime-minister Sylvio Berlusconi said: ‚ the Summit starts under the best preconditions, mainly due to resetting of US-Russian relations.
In a symbolic gesture, Sylvio Berlusconi transferred the meeting to L'Aquila from Sardenia where it was initially scheduled to take place. Japan, attending the summit, announced a 500 million dollar aid to quake victims.
The G8 Summit in L'Aquila opens at 14:00 Greek time with a working luncheon to be attended by 40 state and international organization leaders. The works of the summit on Thursday and Friday will be broadened with the participation of S. Africa, Brazil, India, Mexico, Australia, Indonesia, and S. Korea leaders. Leaders of Egypt, Denmark, Holland,Spain,Turkey, Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Libya, Nigeria, and Senegal have been also invited to attend the summit.
Sylvio Berlusconi said that the summit would adopt 10 declarations ( combat terrorism, prevent spreading of nuclear arms). Leaders are also expected to a commitment for food aid to developing countries to reach 10-15 billion dollars.
Source: ÕŇ‘ 105.8, ŃNA, Reuters
News item: 24563
 Hu Zintao Leaves G8 amid ongoing UnrestNews
Hundreds of Uighurs with self- made weapons clashed with security forces in the city Urumbi, where they staged three- day protest demonstrations after bloody ethnic violence that left at least 156 dead in China's northwest region of Xinjiang. In parallel, security forces are now mounting a show of force with many military helicopters flying over the city after ongoing unrest while Chinese President Hu Zintao has cut short a visit to Italy for the G8 Summit to deal with ethnic violence that broke out between Chine Han and Muslim Highurs.
Ongoing ethnic violence since Sunday, attributed to Higurs, has left at least 156 people dead and over 1.000 injured. Chine Han armed themselves with self-made weapons and shovels attempted to attack members of the muslim minority but were stopped by security forces who used tear gas to disperse them.
Urumqi, Xinjiang's regional capital, imposed an overnight curfew after thousands of Han Chinese stormed through its streets demanding redress and sometimes extracting bloody vengeance for Sunday's violence. Shops remained closed on Wednesday while taxi and buses did not run in the city center.
There is high international concern over the ongoing unrest while muslim states, the UN and the EU have called all sides to indicate ‚restrain‚.
The Islamic Conference condemned the disproportionate use of violence by the Chinese authorities and called Beijing to order investigations to bring ones responsible to Justice.
Sources: Reuters, ŃNA-ŐPA Relevant article: BBC: Hu leaves G8 amid Chinese rioting
News item: 24560
 H1N1 22 New Cases Recorded in GreeceAnother 22 H1N1 cases were identified on Wednesday by the South Greece Lab Center bringing the total number of cases in Greece to 187. Of the total number of people infected, 82 have fully recovered and the rest are receiving treatment. The new cases recorded had either come from a trip to the UK or in contact with people with confirmed H1N1 flu. However, there are still questions about some people how they contracted the flu. Health Minister Dimitris Abarmopoulos will give a press interview on the course of the new flu on Thursday.
The Health Ministry has again underlined that there is no reason for concern although the flu has been officially declared pandemic. It is natural that the cases are to increase but symptoms of the flu continue to be mild. The health centers are on the alert to deal with cases of the H1N1 flu.
In the meantime the WHO is expected to send circulars to all countries on changes of methods to observe and test the new flu.
News item: 24561