Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Monday, March 3, 2014

How Colleges Could Get Rid of Fraternities

Smithhisler also asserts that universities do treat fraternities like any other student organization: “We believe that student organization policies should be equitable for all groups ... give this money until you get rid of the Greek system,’ you ...


Finding nooks of growth in a sluggish Europe

Beneath this lackluster scenario, though, lie several layers of companies that are part of Europe's turnaround story. Here are two options you might consider: The FirstTrust Europe AlphaDEX exchange-traded fund, invests in an equal-weighted portfolio of European stocks, some of which aren't the name-brand companies found in most capitalization-weighted portfolios. By avoiding concentration in many of the mega-caps dominating most European portfolios, the AlphaDEX has sampled several smaller companies poised for growth, especially those in weaker but recovering euro zone economies such as Greece, Ireland and Spain. For a more focused approach on small-company stocks, consider the WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Fund.


Multiple benefits in early bond issue

Greece has come a step closer to obtaining partial access to the international money markets, following the drop of its benchmark 10-year bond yield to below 7 percent for the first time since the country requested a bailout in May 2010. So it will come a... ...


Adventures in the Crimean Peninsula, a Reminiscence of Time Spent in the 'Gem of the Soviet Union' with the Crimean Tatars.

Headlines across the globe on March 2 announced that Vladimir Putin's Russia had invaded the Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, a region dominated by ethnic Russians that juts southward into the Black Sea. This is Moscow's greatest act of international aggression since it (under Soviet leadership) invaded Afghanistan on December 25, 1979. We'll see how this latest provocation compares to that blunder, which cost the Soviets 14,000 soldiers' lives and ultimately spawned Al Qaeda and the US invasion of the Afghan "Graveyard of Empires." As in Afghanistan of the 1980s, there is a Muslim component to the Crimea that few outsiders are aware of. As it transpires, the indigenous population of the Crimea is not Russian, but Crimean Tatar (11-12 percent of the population). The Crimean Tatars are an ancient ethnic group whose roots in the peninsula go back to the Middle Ages. In ancient times Germanic Goths, Greeks, Italians and pagan Turkish nomads settled in the Crimea. These various groups were then all conquered by the Mongol armies of Genghis Khan's son Batu in the early 1200s. Over time these various groups amalgamated with the pagan Mongols, converted to a mystical frontier version of Islam known as Sufism, and became known as Tatars. For hundreds of years the indomitable Tatar horsemen ruled the southern Ukraine (a land whose name means "Frontier" with the Tatar nomads). Their fierce riders kept the Slavic Russians off the open plains of southern Ukraine, which had been dominated by nomads since time immemorial. Long after the Mongols had been forgotten in other parts of the world, the Tatar riders continued their ancient ways. Then, in 1783, the Crimean state known as the Crimean Khanate was conquered by Catherine the Great's imperial Russia. The Crimean Tatars were horribly repressed by the Russians who confiscated their land in the sunny, coastal south. They also destroyed their mosques and sent Cossack troops to attack them during time of war. To escape the Russians, hundreds of thousands of Tatars fled to the Muslim Ottoman Empire following the Crimea War. Through the process of mass emigration, this people became a minority in their Russian-dominated homeland. But worse was to come. Under the subsequent Communist regime, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin brutally deported this entire race to the deserts of Central Asia in 1944 under false charges of having collaborated with the Nazi invaders of the USSR. One third of the Crimean Tatars died in this act of genocide which saw this ancient race with a rich folk culture scattered across Uzbekistan and other republics. For almost fifty years the survivors and their descendants languished in exile working as a race of despised helot workers. It seemed as if Europe's last Mongols were destined to disappear from the pages of history. Then the unexpected happened. First the Gorbachev political thaw when the false charges of collective treason were lifted, then the collapse of the totalitarian Soviet state in 1991. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the banished Tatar exiles organized themselves and began a messianic return migration to their cherished Black Sea homeland in the Crimea. It was with the goal of experiencing this historic event that I traveled to Uzbekistan in 1997 to live with exiled Crimean Tatar families who were packing up and planning to return to the Crimea after half a century of exile. Against the odds, the Crimean Tatars had maintained their collective identity and links to their cherished motherland during the long exile years. The new generations born in exile were taught that the Crimean Peninsula, the "Green Isle," was their home, not the deserts of Central Asia. Now they were returning to their cherished "Zion" on the Black Sea. Later in that year, I traveled to the Crimea itself to witness the return of this exiled nation of half a million Tatars (ultimately only 250,000 Crimean Tatars made it to the Crimea). It was an occasion that was both joyous and tragic as Crimean Tatars (especially the elderly who had childhood memories of this land that had been forbidden to them for half a century) wept and fell on the soil of their beloved homeland, but were forbidden from returning to their ancient stone houses which had been occupied by Christian Russians in their absence. As it turns out, the Soviet government had flooded the Crimea with Russian settlers after the Tatars had been exiled and these new inhabitants strongly resisted the return of the peninsula's native inhabitants. To compound matters, all the ancient Tatar place names had been given Russian names in their absence, ancient Tatar mosques and cemeteries had been bulldozed, and most signs of the peninsula's indigenous habitants had been eradicated. I myself lived in a simple samozakhvat (self-seized) settlement with a wonderful Crimean Tatar family known as the Shevkievs who had returned from Uzbekistan. I still recall the joy of eating mouth-watering chiborek pastries, hearing ancient folk songs of the Crimean mountains, and being welcomed with open arms by this impoverished, but resilient people. Conditions in our settlement outside the Crimean capital of Simferopol were primitive. Many of the returning Crimean Tatars had built simple stone houses on patches of land where there was no running water or roads or electricity. Jobs were scarce, anti-Tatar/anti-Muslim discrimination among the local Russian population was rampant, and many returnees found that they were in a worse predicament than they had been in exile in Uzbekistan. But the sorrow that came with these setbacks was tempered by the fact that exiles were once again in their beloved Vatan (Homeland). And what a homeland it was. I have spent time in the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan and I must say the Crimea truly was the most beautiful land I visited in the former Soviet sphere. The Crimean had beautiful beaches, forested mountains, and a warm climate compared to the rest of the Soviet Union. It had previously been an All Soviet Union tourist resort and known as the "Gem of the USSR." In 1954 it was transferred in a (at the time!) purely symbolic internal gesture from the Russian Soviet Federation to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, but over 60 percent of its inhabitants were still Russians. But not all was beautiful in the Crimea. While in the peninsula, I saw constant signs of Russian discrimination against the native Tatars. Russian hooligans had sprayed swastikas on newly constructed mosques (built to replace the ancient ones bulldozed by the Soviets during the exile) and destroyed their newly built grave sites. But the Crimean Tatars felt hopeful at that time the Ukrainian government would protect them from the peninsula's Russian majority which saw the Crimean Tatars, who are actually quite moderate, secular and Sovietized, as a long banished Mongol Muslim "jihadi" threat to their beloved Crimean home. With the headlines speaking of a Russian invasion of the Crimea, I fear for the ancient Tatars who warmly welcomed me to their communities and hope they don't find themselves again facing repression at the hands of their historic oppressors, the Russians. One hopes that this long suffering people, Europe's last vestiges of the ancient Mongols, will not undergo further repression at the hands of the Moscow-based state that brought them close to extinction in the Tsarist and the Soviet eras. For photos from Dr. Williams' travels among the Crimean Tatars see here. __________Professor Brian Glyn Williams is author of The Crimean Tatars. The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation (2001), The Last Warlord. The Life and Legend of Dostum, the Afghan Warrior who Led US Special Forces to Topple the Taliban Regime (2013), Predators. The CIA's Drone War on Al Qaeda (2013),and Afghanistan Declassified. A Guide to America's Longest War.


Greek Soccer Coach Takes A Cup Of Soda Right To The Face

Greek ReporterGreek Soccer Coach Takes A Cup Of Soda Right To The FaceDeadspinSunday's between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos turned into a shit show when unruly Olympiakos fans began throwing things onto the pitch. One fan tossed a flare, and another nailed Panathinaikos coach Giannis Anastasiou right in the face with a cup of ...03/02/2014: Latest Greek Super League Results with VideoGreek ReporterEleven arrests after Greek football derby violenceYahoo Singapore NewsPanathinaikos beats Olympiakos 3-0Greenwich Timeall 58 news articles »


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13WHAM-TVclick here for more13WHAM-TVGreece, N.Y. -- Four years after he was sworn in to lead the troubled Greece Police Department, Chief Todd Baxter is leaving to take a new job. Baxter will be Executive Director of Veterans Outreach Center, a place close to his heart. Starting April 2 ...Greece Police Chief Todd Baxter announces resignationNews 10NBCGreece Police Chief To Become Head Of VOCWROC-TVGreece Police Chief Leaving To Head Up The Veterans Outreach CenterWXXI NewsRochester Democrat and Chronicleall 5 news articles »


After Building A Powerful Recommendation System For Netflix, This Guy Wants To Help You Find Your Next Favorite Book

Nicholas Ampazis builds software that makes recommendations for you. Where it was once making movie recommendations on Netflix, he's turning it to the book world.

It started in 2006 when Ampazis and a small team competed for the Netflix Prize, a competition that the company sponsored to pit engineers against each other to see who can build the best movie recommendation engine. When the competition ended in 2009, Ampazis and his team had won second place. He's now plying his skills in computer-enhanced recommendations for Entitle, a company that aims to be the Amazon of just e-books.

And with the number of books Entitle customers sift through in search of their next great read, why not use a computer to help you eliminate irrelevant stuff you don't like?

We caught up with Ampazis via email to learn more.

BUSINESS INSIDER: What's your background?

NICHOLAS AMPAZIS: I studied electrical engineering at Imperial College London and after my graduation I continued my studies pursuing a master's and a PhD degree in neural networks from King's College London and National Technical University of Athens, respectively. I'm currently an assistant professor at University of the Aegean, Greece, and I'm leading the Data Science group at Pattern Explorations Ltd, London.

BI: What is your relationship to the Netflix recommendation engine? How long were you involved?

NA: My team got involved with the Netflix Prize since its launch in late 2006. We called our team "Feeds2" — named after the Feeds 2.0 personalized news aggregator service that we'd launched earlier that year. What was special about that competition is that it put the spotlight on the use of data mining and machine learning methods for predicting user preferences. The Netflix Prize provided an excellent opportunity, as well as a challenge, for us in order to test the efficiency and scaling of the algorithms developed for the Feeds 2.0 service. Initially we tried to implement some of our Feeds 2.0 algorithms for the Netflix dataset, but it soon became apparent that the problem was quite different.

Feeds 2.0 used a lot of text mining methods that were found to be inapplicable to the Netflix dataset due to the different nature of the data involved. In the Netflix Prize there was no textual information and the only applicable algorithms that we'd had from Feeds 2.0 were pretty much along the same lines of the Cinematch approach that Netflix already had. It took a lot of effort developing collaborative filtering/machine learning methods and code from scratch in order to climb up quickly on the Netflix prize leaderboard. In July 2009, when the competition ended, we ended up in the 2nd place as members of "The Ensemble" team (tied in score with the winning team). Feeds2 was also the 3rd autonomous team in the leaderboard.

BI: What kinds of things did the Netflix software look at to make recommendations? How long you watched something?

NA: The dataset released for the Netflix Prize consisted of star ratings (on a scale 1-5) that users gave to movies that they'd already watched. At the time the prize was announced Netflix was a DVD company and the goal was to help people fill their queue with titles to receive in the mail over the coming days and weeks (therefore there was no feedback during viewing). However, Netflix as a whole has changed dramatically in the last few years.

Netflix launched an instant streaming service in 2007, one year after the Netflix Prize began. Streaming has not only changed the way members interact with the service, but also the type of data available to use in the algorithms. For streaming, members are looking for something great to watch right now; they can sample a few videos before settling on one, they can consume several in one session, and therefore Netflix can observe viewing statistics such as whether a video was watched fully or only partially. So nowadays, Netflix monitors a plethora of signals that they blend into their recommendation engine.

BI: What are the differences between recommending books and movies?

NA: Entitle is a paradise for recommendations because we have two very well-defined sources of information. The actual text that is contained in the books, plus the star ratings that users give to the books that they read. Thus we have the best of both worlds. We can apply the text mining methods that we'd developed for Feeds 2.0 (enhanced with the latest findings in text mining research) and the collaborative filtering / machine learning methods from the Netflix prize.

A very important parameter here is the psychological process by which users rate a book. This is a very well thought process because reading a book takes significantly more time than watching a movie. Therefore people select carefully the star rating to give to a book they've read depending on the emotions that it made them feel while they were reading it. This makes the rating signals that we have at our disposal quite more accurate than those that we had for the Netflix prize.

BI: How does one build a book recommendation engine?

NA: A good recommendation engine is judged by the quality of the recommendations that it produces and by its utility to users. There is a variety of factors and metrics that can measure the performance of the recommendation engine. Examples are the deviation of the engine's predictions from known ratings, the quality of similarities that it produces between books or between users with similar tastes, or the choice of the order by which to place the recommended books. Optimizing all these factors is critical in providing an effective personalized experience.

BI: What types of interactions does Entitle's system look for to make recommendations?

NA: Entitle's recommendation engine utilizes a suite of machine learning algorithms that aim to discover and annotate the archive of Entitle's book collection with topical information. It analyzes the actual texts to discover the topics that run through them and how those topics are connected to each other. It then utilizes the results of the analysis to assign the books to well defined multi-thematic areas.

Thus, in a sense, Entitle's recommendation engine is like having a librarian at your disposal who has actually read all the books in the library and knows which are the most representative books for each subject.

In addition, as is the case with a trusted librarian in your local library, the engine can monitor how your tastes for certain subjects change over time and can adjust its focus on providing trusted recommendations on the new topics of interest while not losing track of past associations.

BI: In general, how good are people at finding things they like, such as movies, books, otherwise? Do they do better with help from software such as this?

NA: American psychologist Barry Schwartz in his book "The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less" argued that people become less satisfied with their decision when they are given more options to choose from. Thus eliminating some irrelevant choices can greatly reduce consumer anxiety.

In addition as more and more rapidly changing information becomes available, people are overwhelmed by the new information and are no longer able to maintain trust on their decisions. The publishing, movie, and music industries are notable examples that provide practically endless choices. Recommendation systems as an integral part of any such online service can indeed help users by providing better access to the products that fit their needs and help them discover items that they would otherwise likely miss in a sea of information.

Over 35% of sales at Amazon and Netflix comes from recommendations, which, if anything, proves the indisputable value of a good recommendation system.

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Greece Police Chief Todd Baxter announces resignation

News10NBC has learned Greece Police Chief Todd Baxter will be leaving the Greece Police Department to head the Veterans Outreach Center...


Greek 101 welcomes new members

There’s more to UNLV than classes for new members of Greek organizations and yesterday’s Greek 101 is set up to show them the ropes. Jeanine Menolascino, graduate assistant for Greek Life explained that the is held event once each semester.


Greece Police Chief resigns, accepts new position

Greece, N.Y. -- Four years after he was sworn in to lead the troubled Greece Police Department, Chief Todd Baxter is leaving to take a new job. Baxter will be Executive Director of Veterans Outreach Center, a place close to his heart. Starting April 2, the former Army Master Sergeant will run the agency that serves the needs of vets in our area. ...


Georgiadis Defends 5-Euro Clinic Fee

Greek Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, who had to withdraw a 25 euro hospital admission fee after being blistered by critics, now is trying to defend a five euro fee for clients of revamped state clinics, including ire from the PASOK Socialists, who are partners the coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader. PASOK joined other political parties in opposing the fee that will be charged for admission to polyclinics in the country’s new Primary National Healthcare Network (PEDY) that’s replacing countrywide clinics that have been shut down in the meantime. Legislation introducing the fee for admission to state hospitals was drawn up and voted through Parliament in 2011, under the government of former PASOK George Papandreou, Georgiadis claimed in televised comments. “It wasn’t me that legislated any 5-euro fee,” he said. “It was pure green PASOK, a pure PASOK government,” he said, referring to the color of the Socialist party’s logo. PASOK, disappearing in the polls in the face of anger over austerity measures and health care cutbacks, is trying to distance itself from the fee it imposed and for which it’s now blaming New Democracy. The minister’s reaction followed a statement by PASOK describing the imposition of a 5-euro fee for polyclinic admission as “sudden and rash” and “confusing” for citizens although three years ago when the Socialists tried to implement the fee they said it was necessary to combat the fiscal crisis. Now they say it’s not.


16 Of Science's Best Infographics, From Ancient Greece To Today

16 Of Science's Best Infographics, From Ancient Greece To TodayCo.DesignBut since ancient Greece, the best data visualizations have furthered popular understanding of science, serving as the nonacademic public's key to knowledge. Some vintage infographics were even used as political tools, effecting social change through ...


Greek Druggists Want Sales Monopoly

Greek pharmacists, already angry the government is months behind paying them overdue subsidies for the country’s health care system, said they will resist reforms that would allow non-prescription drugs such as aspirin to be sold in supermarkets.


Government advisers warn of possible Greek-style financial crisis

Government advisers warn of possible Greek-style financial crisisSouth China Morning PostThe deficit, accounting for almost 22 per cent of the nominal gross domestic product - not adjusted for inflation - would be even higher than the 10 per cent disclosed by Greek officials when they came clean about the true state of their country's ...and more »


Police seeking migrant trafficker after Evros firefight

Police officers in Evros, northeastern Greece, on Sunday exchanged fire with a suspected migrant trafficker when the latter refused to stop at a road check, leading his vehicle, carrying 12 undocumented immigrants (eight Iraqis and four Somalians) to coll... ...


Sniffer dog locates 400 kg of cannabis at Igoumenitsa port

Greek coast guard officers at the port of Igoumenitsa, northwestern Greece, on Monday discovered a truck carrying 400 kilos of cannabis stacked in 200 parcels. According to reports, the Bulgarian-licensed vehicle was heading to Italy when the drugs, hidde... ...


Close aide to PM Samaras targeted in Athens bomb attack

Greek political parties on Monday condemned a gas canister attack on the office of Failos Kranidiotis, a lawyer who is also a close aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. The attack, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday, involved the detonation of... ...


Greek pharmacists threaten action if nonprescription drugs market is liberalized

Greek pharmacists are expected to decide upon further industrial action this week in protest at the coalition government’s plans to reform the sector. The principal point of contention between pharmacists and the government is the troika’s demand for the ... ...


Loles Gets 25 Years for Swindling

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former Connecticut securities broker been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges that he swindled investors, including the St. Barbara Church in Orange, CT, out of more than $27 million. Fifty-four-year-old Gregory Loles (pronounced LOW-liz) of Easton pleaded guilty in 2011 to single counts of […]

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Katagas Wins Oscar For Best Picture, 12 Years a Slave

Noted Greek-American film producer Antony Katagas, who has backed more than 30 films, hit the jackpot at the 2014 Academy Awards, winning an Oscar as one of the producers for the Civil War drama 12 Years A Slave that was in tight competition with a host of other movies.

The post Katagas Wins Oscar For Best Picture, 12 Years a Slave appeared first on The National Herald.


Brazil 2014: Nigeria may play Greece, USA, Scotland friendlies

Premium TimesBrazil 2014: Nigeria may play Greece, USA, Scotland friendliesPremium TimesGreece in Philadelphia on June 3 and USA on June 7 in Jacksonville. Greece beat the Eagles 2-1 at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Earlier before the three friendlies, Nigeria will meet Mexico on March 5, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in another pre ...Nigeria to play Scotland on May Singaporeall 14 news articles »


Brazil 2014: Nigeria may play Greece, USA, Scotland friendlies

Premium TimesBrazil 2014: Nigeria may play Greece, USA, Scotland friendliesPremium TimesGreece in Philadelphia on June 3 and USA on June 7 in Jacksonville. Greece beat the Eagles 2-1 at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Earlier before the three friendlies, Nigeria will meet Mexico on March 5, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in another pre ...Nigeria to play Scotland on May Singaporeall 14 news articles »


Eleven arrests after Greek football derby violence

Western GazetteEleven arrests after Greek football derby violenceYahoo Singapore NewsEleven people were arrested after ugly scenes during Sunday's Athens derby between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, Greek police announced Monday. "A total of 26 persons were brought in to police headquarters of which 11 were detained for violent acts ...Panathinaikos beats Olympiakos 3-0Danbury News TimesPanathinaikos defeat of Manchester United Champions League slayers ...Western GazetteMORE embarrassment for United... Olympiakos thrashed 3-0 in Athens derbyHere Is The Cityall 45 news articles »


Greek leftist rallies allies in Slovenia

Greek leftist rallies allies in SloveniaEUobserverLjubljana - Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras was in Slovenia over the weekend to try and rally political forces on the left ahead of the May EU election. Alexis Tsipras is the leftist candidate for the EU commission presidency (Photo: Joanna ...and more »


Long Troika Talks Stall Yet Again

A week after saying it had a deal in hand, the Greek government now is admitting that negotiation with its international lenders have sputtered again over unresolved reforms and a disputed hole in the 2014 budget. Envoys from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) are pressing Greece over 153 undone structural reforms and want to know how the government intends to close a gap of as much as 2.4 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in this year’s budget – as well as another looming over the following two years. A government spokesman insisted that progress was being made, repeating the same line given the last six months as the talks have stalled. Nearly non-stop talks have been going on the past few days including the Troika with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and Administration Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. But, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported, he said, “We are at a point that a political decision must be taken until the Eurogroup meeting on March 10″ the day when the finance chiefs from the 18 countries that use the euro, including Greece, will have their get-together and possibly decide whether to release a pending nine billion euro ($12.4 billion) installment. Greece is surviving on the last vestiges of $325 billion in two bailouts that began in 2010 and run out this year and needs the mYoney to meet a 10 billion euro ($13.7 billion) bond payment. There’s  a lot at stake as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, whose coalition of his New Democracy Conservatives and PASOK Socialists face a severe challenge in the May elections for Greek municipalities and the European Parliament from the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) doesn’t want to impose any more austerity measures. He’s also said the country will have a 1.5 billion euro ($2.07) billion primary surplus and has vowed to give back 70 percent of it to those hit hardest by pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions to stop the bleeding of disaffected voters from his government. ANA said that at 3 a.m. on March 3 a minister it didn’t identify felt the two sides were getting closer after sorting through technical details but that “things are very tough” and that there is still hard work to be done before March 10. Another minister called additional “thorns” in the negotiations, issues regarding three ministries, Administrative Reform (availability – layoffs), Health (non-prescription medicines) and Labour (changes in labor regime). The meeting with the Troika started on March 2 at 8 p.m. after a small Cabinet meeting at the Finance Ministry led by finance chief Yannis Stournaras and including Mitsotakis, Hadzidakis, Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis, Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Justice Minister Charalambos Athanassiou. An Administration Reforms Ministry top official said that, “We remain adamant to our positions. Nothing has closed yet, we will meet again. It will be hard to finish by Friday. If we who have a simple job can’t agree, you can imagine what it’s like for other issues.” The Finance Ministry insisted there’s no disagreement over the budget although it was reported the Troika doesn’t want Samaras to distribute the surplus to punished workers, pensioners and the poor as its first priority is banks and investors.  


Greek School Bullying Rampant

ATHENS – School bullying is getting worse in Greece, according to a report from the Education Ministry and other research that shows at least five percent of students badger others, and that the number of victims is growing. The ministry said that its research in schools around the country found that around 10 percent of […]

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Metropoulos Puts Pabst Up For Sale

Billionaire business executive and investor C. Dean Metropoulos is reportedly seeking a new owner for hipster favorite Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

The post Metropoulos Puts Pabst Up For Sale appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Proposal to Mix Oils a ‘Cause for War’

A Greek farmer drives home with his fresh pressed olive oil in barrels near Alyki, Greece. (Matthias Schrader) Many Greeks involved in the olive oil industry are in an uproar over a proposal presented to the Greek government to blend their ...


Ukrainian flagship defects while in a EU port

by  Elena Ralli

Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, that has reportedly announced it will no longer follow orders from Kiev but will only serve the independent republic of Crimea, is in Greece, in the Naval station of Souda, in Crete, according to reports.

According to, the frigate, that was expected to be in Sevastopol in early March, has been in Souda, Greece since 28 February, the day the independent movement of Crimea emerged. The frigate originaly planned to remain in Greece until next Wednesday but it is unknown what will now happen.

The Hetman Sahaidachny crew issued yesterday an announcement, saying that it will no longer take orders from Kiev but will only serve the independent republic of Crimea.

Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the committee on the international affairs of the Russian Duma, told Izvestia daily.: “Ukraine’s Navy flagship the Hetman Sahaidachny has come over to our side today. It has hung out the St Andrew’s flag.” However, this is reportedly false since the ship never raised the Russian flag.

Ukrainian media reports indicated that Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk asked the Greek government to forbid the departure of the vessel and the Turkish government not to allow the frigate to pass through the Strait of Bosporus.

According to, Russia said no one can forbid the frigate to leave the naval station of Souda and warned that if Greece tries to do so, the reduction in the price of natural gas agreed between the two countries would be at stake.

On the other hand, the Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine issued a statement saying that the frigate «Hetman Sahaidachny» has not stopped taking orders from the Ukrainian government.



Stock Markets Around The World Are Tanking (SPX, SPY, DIA, DJI, QQQ, TLT, TBT, GLD, DXY)

Rising military tensions on the border between Ukraine and Russia have sent global markets into a tailspin of risk aversion to begin the week.

S&P 500 futures are down 0.8%, while 10-year U.S. Treasury futures are up 0.4%, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is 2.61%, four basis points below Friday's close.

Stock markets across Europe are down anywhere from 1.5% (in London) to 2.7% (in Germany), and government bonds across the continent are rallying, with the exception of those in Portugal and Greece. Overnight, Asian equity indices sold off as well.

NYMEX crude oil futures are up 1.9%, trading around $104.50 a barrel.

And of course, the Russian stock market is getting destroyed.

The charts below show the moves across various markets. Across the top from left to right are S&P 500 futures, the U.S. dollar-Japanese yen exchange rate, and the euro-U.S. dollar exchange rate. Across the bottom are gold futures, 10-year U.S. Treasury note futures, and NYMEX crude oil futures.

READ MORE ... Wall Street's take on Ukraine

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A Greek Comedian in London

Katerina Vrana was raised in Athens, Greece, but later decided to move to London to study and pursue a career as a comedian and an actor. Since then she has become a very successful stand-up comedian who manages to make audiences from all over ...


Free Falling – The Real Estate Market in Greece

The collapse of the prices has been caused by the desperate efforts of a larger and larger number of owners to sell in order to get rid of the tax burden. Revenues to the budget from real estate property taxes are estimated to reach 3,8 billion euros this ...


Fan violence sours Greek derby

Eleven people were arrested after ugly scenes during Sunday's Athens derby between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, Greek police announced on Monday. "A total of 26 persons were brought in to police headquarters of which 11 were detained for violent acts bef... ...


PAOK sacks Dutch coach Stevens

Dutch coach Huub Stevens was fired by PAOK on Sunday, the Greek Super League club announced. Stevens, 60, took over the club last June but the 2-2 draw at the weekend with Ergotelis, after PAOK had taken a 2-0 lead, on the back of elimination from the Eur... ...


Stricter Prisons For High-Risk Inmates

Greece is preparing stricter conditions, specially designed cells, the end of leaves and even separate prisons for high-risk inmates.

The post Stricter Prisons For High-Risk Inmates appeared first on The National Herald.


Read This Statement, And You'll Understand How Putin Sees Ukraine

Here is Russia's official statement on Ukraine. It's quite telling.

Some of the assertions provide insight into Vladimir Putin's view not only of the Kremlin-occupied peninsula of Crimea, but also of Ukraine as a whole. We've bolded four of them:

In recent days, the situation in Ukraine has deteriorated rapidly. The agreements reached between President Yanukovych and the opposition on 21 February have been scrapped by opposition leaders: the legitimate Head of State that was supposed to remain in office has been effectively ousted from the country, an interim president has been appointed, presidential elections have been set for 25 May, no steps have been made in the area of constitutional reform or joint investigation.


But more importantly, rather than taking account of the numerous appeals to national unity and reconciliation, political power in Kiev has been concentrated in the hands of far-right extremist elements that do not hide their xenophobic, anti-Semitic, neofascist credentials. Not surprisingly, one of the first decisions of the new rulers was to abolish the law on regional languages, a move that has caused concern not only among Russian-speakers, but also in Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. This has coincided with a widespread campaign of intimidation of ethnic Russian population and desecration of monuments celebrating Russia's and Ukraine's common historical achievements such as the defeat of Nazism in the Second World War. Russian Orthodox priests have become object of threats. Attempts were made to seize the Orthodox shrines, such as the Kiev Pechersk Laura and the Pochayev Laura.

The situation of the Russian community in the Crimea has become particularly precarious. As soon as rallies erupted to express protest against with the way the Kiev events had unfolded, the Crimeans were accused of separatism and were threatened with force. There has been a lot of speculation regarding movements of troops of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, taken as a precautionary measure in full compliance with the relevant bilateral agreements with Ukraine. During the night of 1 March, unknown armed men sent from Kiev tried to seize the building of the Crimea Interior Ministry. Only decisive actions by self-defence groups allowed to stop that provocation that has left many people injured.


Within this context, it is not surprising that as many as 143 thousand people from Ukraine have applied for asylum in Russia over the past two weeks.


Here's what the four bolded items mean.

1) The Kremlin has not recognized the new pro-West government in Kiev and is hosting ousted President Viktor Yanukovych in from the southern Russian port city of Rostov-on-Don. Last week Yanukovych told the press that he still considered himself be president and that "radical mobsters" had hijacked the government.

Putin appears to agrees with Yanukovych 's position of implementing the truce signed on February 19, which would have kept him in power until elections and was subsequently rejected by protesters.

2)  New Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk doesn't look or sound like a bigoted neo-fascist. He did say on Monday that Ukraine will not allow Crimea to be split from the country.

"No one will give up Crimea to anyone," Yatseniuk told reporters.

 Meanwhile, an increasing Russian troops are operating in Crimea, and they appear to be preparing for an occupation.

3) This assertion — that the Kremlin doesn't know the professional gunman that took over Crimean parliament and the regional government building — provides Moscow with plausible deniability.

At the very least, the pro-Russian gunman have been working alongside the more than 6,000 Russian troops operating in the peninsula. 

"When we said we stand for the Russian language and Russia, they said: don't be afraid, we're with you. Then they began to storm the building bringing down the doors," a pro-Russian activist who watched the takeover of Crimean parliament told Reuters.

4) Crimea is the only region in Ukraine that has a majority Russian population. Putin considers Crimea, if not more of Ukraine, part of Russia since it was gifted to Ukraine in 1954.  

Putin reportedly told President George W. Bush: “Ukraine is not even a state! What is Ukraine? Part of its territory is Eastern Europe, but part of it – a considerable part – was gifted by us!”

The Kremlin is consequently justifying the soft invasion as a means of protecting "the life and health of Russian citizens and compatriots on Ukrainian territory."

Additional confirmation of the Kremlin's cold calculus came when former Russian President and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that Ukraine's new government had seized power illegally and predicted that "a new revolution" and new bloodshed would upend it.

SEE ALSO: Russia's Takeover Of Crimea In Two Graphics

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