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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-04-04
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Pope's Personal Preacher ApologizesSunday, 04 April 2010 18:17
A top cardinal assured Pope Benedict that the Roman Catholic faithful will not be swayed by "petty gossip" about child sex-abuse allegations. "Holy Father, the people of God are with you and will not let themselves be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials that sometimes assail the community of believers," stressed cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.
Meanwhile, the Pope's personal preacher has apologised for comparing criticism of the Catholic Church over child abuse to "collective violence suffered by the Jews" in a Good Friday sermon.
Fr Raniero Cantalamessa told Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper that he had only meant to point to "the use of stereotype and the easy passage from individual to collective guilt".
Speaking during a ceremony at St Peter's Basilica commemorating Christ's Passion, Father Raniero Cantalamessa read to the congregation, which included the Pope, part of a letter that he had received from an unidentified Jewish friend, who said that he was following "with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the church, the Pope and all the faithful of the whole world. The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism."
Source: BBC News item: 35077
 New Taxation Policy in the MakingSunday, 04 April 2010 13:09
The new tax bill expected to be passed by the House on 15 April is to shape a fresh tax scenery for the employees and enterprises. More differentiations in the common tax scale, collection of receipts, the comeback living standards and the accounting determination of incomes are among the key pillars of the taxation policy.
The government will have announced the final changes in its tax bill by Easter Thursday.
News item: 35075
 Suicide Bombers Kill 30 in Iraqi CapitalSunday, 04 April 2010 12:58
At least 30 people were killed and another 168 were injured in Baghdad in three blasts just minutes apart. The explosions targeted the embassies of Egypt and Iran in Baghdad. Two blasts occurred almost simultaneously in the Mansour district of west-central Baghdad and the third outside the Iranian embassy, near the Green Zone. Iraqi authorities had warned of a violence surge after the 7 March elections.
Source: ANA/MPA News item: 35074
 Christians Worldwide Celebrate EasterSunday, 04 April 2010 12:27
Christians around the globe celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Moscow, Patriarch Kirill, the spiritual leader of about 165 million of Russian Orthodox Christians, officiated a late-night mass. The celebration of Easter Sunday is a call for awakening, underlined that religious leaders in their Easter messages. Pope Benedict wished for a spiritual and moral conversion, without, however, touching on the clergy abuse cover-up scandals.
Christians around the globe celebrated the Resurrection of the Son of God and death's defeat.
The ritual of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem kicked off the Easter celebration in all corners of the earth.
Christians from all denomination attended the mass at the Holy Land, while the Holy Fire was transferred to Bethlehem and Ramallah in the West Bank, where thousands of Christian Palestinians had gathered.
The Vatican Overshadowed by Abuse Scandals
In the Vatican, Pope Benedict, before thousands of faithful who had packed the square of St. Peter's Basilica, referred to the meaning of eternal life. However, he avoided commenting on the clergy abuse cover-up scandals.
Mankind needs a "spiritual and moral conversion" to survive the deep crisis, said the pope in his Easter message. He then called for peace in the Middle East and in the Holy Land and voiced his concern over the suffering of Christians in Iraq and elsewhere because of religious persecution.
In his message, Pope Benedict outlined the conflicts and disasters taking place worldwide and urged humanity to make a "true exodus" that will turn wars and violence into peace and unity.
Prior to the Easter Mass, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, assured the Roman Catholic leader that the Roman Catholic faithful will not be swayed by "petty gossip" about child sex-abuse allegations.
Russia: Under the Fear of Terrorism
The terrorist hit on the Moscow underground marked the Easter celebrations throughout Russia. Tight security had been stepped up in the country.
President Medvedev , escorted by his wife, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, attended the Easter Mass at the Cathedral in Moscow.
The Russians eat several Easter eggs and visit cemeteries.
Source: NET, ANA/MPA News item: 35073
 South African Supremacist KilledSunday, 04 April 2010 12:09
South African President Jacob Zuma called for calm on Sunday after the killing of white far-right leader Eugene Terre'blanche in a suspected pay dispute with black workers fanned fears of racial strains.
Police detained two farm workers and said they were investigating the quarrel they had with Terre'blanche, but his Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) says he was battered and hacked to death in an attack with political overtones.
Zuma, who has made it a priority to court white Afrikaners, called it a "terrible deed" and urged South Africans "not to allow agent provocateurs to take advantage of this situation by inciting or fuelling racial hatred."
Terre'blanche, 69, was the voice of hardline opposition to the end of apartheid in the early 1990s although his party has played a marginal role since then and does not have a big following among the 10 percent of white South Africans.
The AWB urged restraint while the funeral is prepared and before the party decides next steps. In Ventersdorp, in rolling farmland over 100 km (60 miles) west of Johannesburg, party followers in paramilitary khaki laid flowers at the farm gate.
"We will decide upon the action we are going to take to avenge Mr Terre'blanche's death," said spokesman Andre Visagie.
Terre'blanche had lived in relative obscurity since his release from prison in 2004 after serving a sentence for beating a black man nearly to death.
The party -- whose flag resembles a Nazi swastika -- was revived two years ago and he had begun efforts to try to build a united front among white far-right parties to fight for a white homeland, but had gained little traction.
Terre'blanche was a powerful orator in his Afrikaans language and was a distinctive figure, heavily built, with a thick grey beard and dressed in khaki. He often attended rallies on horseback during his fight to stop majority rule.
Source: REUTERS News item: 35072
 New Bomb Hit in Dagestan Leaves no CasualtiesSunday, 04 April 2010 11:40
A bomb blast derailed a cargo train in the violence-plagued Russian province of Dagestan, but there were no casualties. The blast wrapped up a week of daily attacks that have killed at least 55 people.
A blast equivalent to five kilograms of TNT exploded early Sunday near the town of Izberbash, derailing the locomotive and eight cars, transport police spokesman Akhmed Magomayev said. Another, less powerful blast aimed at killing rescuers detonated nearby shortly after the first explosion, he said.
Dagestan is the epicenter of almost daily violence that has plagued Russia's predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region for years following two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya
Source: The Associated Press News item: 35071
 Greek Political Leaders Celebrate Easter SundaySunday, 04 April 2010 11:12
Greece's state and political leaders celebrated Easter Sunday along with the soldiers doing their service. President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias sent a stern message to Turkey from the island of Skyros, where he celebrated Easter Sunday. Prime Minister George Papandreou, who visited the island of Hydras, stressed that the message of Resurrection amidst the ongoing tough period should be turned into a source of strength, solidarity and humanity for the progress of the Greek nation. Opposition leader Antonis Samaras visited the army's training centre in Corinth, southern Greece, where he expressed his certainty that the Greeks will overcome the crisis if they remain united. He noted, though, that the country has a long and rather path to go through. KKE leader Aleka Papariga and SYRIZA head Alexis Tripras preferred to celebrate Easter Sunday in Athens. LAOS President Giorgos Karatzaferis visited Atalanti, central Greece.
President of the Republic Visits Skyros Island
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias chose to celebrate Easter Sunday with the privates doing their service at the 135 Combat Group of the Greek Air Force based on the Aegean island of Skyros.
Karolos Papoulias spoke of a rather bad-tempered neighbour that has to quit provocations. "Provocations don't intimidate us," stressed the President while addressing the fighters of the Aegean, as he called the officers and privates of the 135 Combat Group.
The President of the Republic expressed his respect for the people of the Group, which is, as he said, at the forefront of the fight to cement Greece's sovereign rights. He then went on to reiterate his belief that Greece will overcome its financial problems.
Prime Minister Visits Hydras
George Papandreou and his family attended the Resurrection ceremony on the island of Hydras. The Prime Minister wished Happy Easter to all the Greeks and underlined that the message of Resurrection has to become a source of strength and joy, solidarity and humanity for all the Greeks.
"Resurrection is associated with hope, joy and spring. Despite the hardships, I know that we will make it. We will make it together and we will build a creative Greece. I wish health, happiness and strength to all. Happy Easter," stressed he.
National Defence Minister in Rentina
National Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos celebrated Easter Sunday with the army officers and the privates of the army combat camp in Rentina, northern Greece.
In his statements, he argued that the country will fight the financial crisis with the structural changes that are underway.
Antonis Samaras in Corinth
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras visited the army's training centre in Corinth, southern Greece.
Samaras exchanges wishes with the army officers and the recruits and wished them strength.
Deputy National Defence Minister Panos Beglitis also visited the training centre in Corinth.
"Resurrection means 'fighting for something better.' But the Greek nation is carrying its own financial cross at a time when the country's growth model has sunk. The crisis requires solutions, and bold and responsible changes. With the God's help, we will have both the inspiration and the strength to show the path of hope. Happy Easter to everyone," stressed Antonis Samaras.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35070
 Christ Is Risen - Happy EasterSunday, 04 April 2010 10:50
Greeks all over the country are celebrating the Easter. The promising message of Christ's Resurrection has to free people of modern-day passions, said the Prelates of the Orthodox Churches. In their addresses, they also touched on the financial turmoil that has plunged the world into an impasse. The customary rocket war in Chios and the burning of Judas' dummy and the rest customs that accompany the celebration of Christ's Resurrection attracted thousands of visitors in the Aegean island and the coastal village.
Christ Is Risen
As soon as the message of Christ' Resurrection echoed, church bells started tolling joyfully and fireworks filled the skies. The news that Christ was risen from the dead, the church bells and the kiss of love conveyed the jubilant message of Resurrection to all the Orthodox nations.
In the Fanar, the mass at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint George was officiated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the presence of several pilgrims who travelled to Constantinople (Istanbul) to celebrate Easter.
Scores of faithful packed the church of Saint Dionysios in central Athens to get the light of Resurrection from Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymos.
Easter Customs throughout Greece
The customary rocket war in Chios and the burning of Judas in Tyros, customs that accompany the message of Christ's Resurrection, attracted yet again thousands of visitors to the Aegean island and the coastal village respectively.
In Vrontados, the two rival parishes were well-organised and the safety measures were pretty tight.
The battle between the parishioners of Saint Markos' Church and those of Panagias Erythianis' Church flared up yet again in the Aegean island of Chios. The targets were the dome of Saint Markos and the clock of Panagias Erythianis. More than ten groups consisting of five to six people constructed more than 65,000 rockets.
Thousands of tourists from all corners of Greece attended the spectacular event.
The moment the priest tells his congregation that Christ is Risen, a sailor dressed in Tyros' traditional costume sets off on a boat towards a specially-designed platform. Upon hurling a firework, the platform burst into fire and then the people of Tyros burnt a dummy of Judas.
Hundreds of candles are left floating on the sea symbolising the souls of the lost seamen.
Fireworks Claim Two Lives
The customary use of fireworks for the celebration of Christ's Resurrection on Holy Saturday left two dead in its wake. Two men, aged 21 and 25, were killed in Messinia and Santorini, while another three people were injured and rushed to hospitals.
On the Aegean island of Santorini, two blasts ripped through two storehouses while young men were constructing fireworks. A man, 21, was killed and another sustained a serious eye injury.
In the meantime, in Messinia, southern Greece, a blast took place in the car of a 25-year-old man, who carried balloons filled with oxygen. The young man was charred.
About nine people have been killed and as many as 110 have been injured by firework blasts in the last decade.
Messages by Prelates of Orthodox Churches
In his Easter message, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew called for purification so that the light of Resurrection can shine something which, as he said, cannot be achieved through science and art but only through faith.
Jerusalem Patriarch Theophillos III wished for peace in Jerusalem and the wider area. He also hoped that Greece will be freed of corruption.
The Easter celebration is a call for awakening and it should not be treated as a mere custom, underlined Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymos, further stressing that it's high time people looked for paths towards spiritual awakening against the overwhelming power of corruption.
Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 35069