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

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Songs and artists in Greek EuroSong revealed

Eurovision.tvSongs and artists in Greek EuroSong revealedEurovision.tvThis year marks the 40th anniversary since Greece made their debut in Europe's Favourite TV Show, and they have now revealed details of the four songs which will participate in EuroSong 2014, to be staged on Tuesday the 11th March. Which one will have ...


Songs and artists in Greek EuroSong revealed

Eurovision.tvSongs and artists in Greek EuroSong revealedEurovision.tvThis year marks the 40th anniversary since Greece made their debut in Europe's Favourite TV Show, and they have now revealed details of the four songs which will participate in EuroSong 2014, to be staged on Tuesday the 11th March. Which one will have ...


Greek Researcher Discovers Second Code Hidden in DNA

The noncoding DNA maintains control over the functions of the genes and gives instructions on the coding of another type of proteins, which are called ... which would definitely take some years to be completed. “I think that the lesson learned ...


PM, Venizelos to meet as differences with troika persist

Discussions between Greece and the troika appear to have reached an impasse over banks’ capital needs and certain structural reforms, prompting a new meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Premier Evangelos Venizelos to be scheduled for... ...


Gauck likens European support for Greece to allies backing West Germany

German President Joachim Gauck, who is due in Athens on Wednesday, has stressed the significance of European support for Greece’s economic recovery in a written interview with Kathimerini, comparing it to the backing granted to West Germany by the allied ... ...


BoG set to publish test results

The Bank of Greece intends to publish local banks’ capital requirements by this Friday despite the disagreement noted in the second meeting between Governor Giorgos Provopoulos and troika mission chiefs in Athens on Tuesday. The chief inspectors from the ... ...


Growth in logistics will reduce retail prices

The retail prices of commodities in Greece could decline between 3 and 15 percent if the country’s logistics sector were developed, the ministers of development, Costis Hatzidakis, and infrastructure, Michalis Chrysochoidis, argued on Tuesday while presen... ...


I'm Finally Revealing My Name And Face As The Duke Porn Star

After promising me he would respect my privacy, he proceeded to reveal who I was to the entire Greek system, which is when all of this controversy first began.


EFSF Funds for Greece May Begin To Be Cleared Next Week

"If there is a positive result of the troika review and if conditionalities are met, there could be a rapid disbursement of funds to Greece," the European Stability Mechanism head told journalists in the Latvian capital. Mr. Regling came to Riga ...


Greek Manufacturing Expands for Second Consecutive Month

Greek manufacturing expanded for a second consecutive month in February, adding to signs that the economy is stabilizing after a six-year recession. A purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.3 last month from 51.2 in January, London-based Markit ...


This Could Be The Time To Buy Russian Stocks

Just yesterday it seemed like Russia was ready to take military action against Ukraine in the disputed region of Crimea.

Now, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has said he sees 'no need' for military force in Ukraine.

Investors had already been anxious about the weakness of the ruble and the economy. The regional tensions have caused investors to flee from of the Russian stock market.

Russian stocks are down roughly 20% year-to-date.

Jacob Nell at Morgan Stanley writes that this could be a buying opportunity. 

"[The] sell-off has taken the market to technically extreme oversold levels," writes Nell. "Valuation multiples have only been cheaper at the depths of the 2008 crisis (when earnings fell by 60%). And oil markets are stable in contrast to sell-offs in Russia historically. Despite the obvious hit to growth expectations implied by the crisis, any sign that tensions are beginning to de-escalate would constitute a buying opportunity."

It's important, however, to note that cheap valuations don't mean guaranteed immediate returns.

According to Meb Faber of Meb Faber Research, low valuations could not prevent Russian stocks from falling in in 2013. Faber points to the cyclically-adjusted price-earnings (CAPE) ratio, a valuation measure popularized by Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Shiller. CAPE is calculated by taking the price of an asset and dividing it by the average of ten years worth of earnings.

Generally speaking, overweighting stocks with low CAPE ratios appears to be a winning strategy in the long-term. And currently, Russia has the second lowest CAPE ratio in the world, right above Greece.

"While we may see a mild in-year recession, a weaker RUB and hence lower imports, in addition to a supportive oil price in case of increased geopolitical risks, should act as stabilizing factors," said Nell.

Again, there are no guarantees here. But for the patient investor with a lead-lined stomach, Russian stocks appear to be an interesting long-term investment opportunity.

SEE ALSO: Here Are 5 Ways The World Could Penalize Russia

Join the conversation about this story »



Troubled European Economies Like Portugal, Spain And Greece Lure Wealthy ...

International Business TimesTroubled European Economies Like Portugal, Spain And Greece Lure Wealthy ...International Business TimesCountries like Portugal, Spain, Romania, Hungary and Greece, not traditional destinations for emigrants from China, have all passed policies aimed at attracting foreign investment from wealthy Chinese. In exchange for investing millions in local ...and more »


Greek Labor Minister and Troika Meeting Ends Without Deal

The second meeting between the inspectors for the country’s international creditors and Greek Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutis, held earlier on Tuesday in Athens, ended without a decision being reached. According to a high-ranking official of the ministry, the negotiations are ongoing as the two sides seek a compromise on the topic brought by the minister regarding the right of employers to order mass layoffs easier and to reduce the size of their employees’ social security contributions. “There was an open and lively discussion,” said a senior Greek Labor Ministry official after the meeting, adding that the issues discussed are not closed yet and that “the objective is to find a common path.” According to reports, the two sides have agreed to the application of the measure concerning the social security contributions by next summer. There are contradicting opinions though, as to the precise application of it and to the funding gap that will occur for insurance organizations in Greece. As for the collective layoffs, the troika is calling for abolishing the veto right exercised by the Labor Minister, while the Ministry believes that the matter may be resolved without any legislative intervention after an agreement has been reached at the Supreme Labor Council. The troika is also due to meet on Tuesday with Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, to discuss progress on a series of proposals outlined for Greece in a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, known as “the Toolkit.” Marathon talks between governmental officials and the troika over the weekend made progress in some areas but the two sides remained far from an agreement, sources indicated on Monday, stressing however, that the goal remained to reach a deal before next Monday’s Eurogroup summit.


Greek, German Research on Organic Solar Cell Using Graphene

Two research groups from the German institute Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Nanotechnology Lab LTFN of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will collaborate on research into organic solar cells using graphene as a base material. The research is carried out under the “GRElect” program financed by the “Bilateral Cooperation Greece-Germany in Research and Technology 2013-2015” of Greece ‘s General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT). The aim of the project is to use graphene as a transparent electrode in the production of advanced organic electronic devices, such as organic solar cells and organic transistors. “A promising material with unusual properties, such as high electrical conductivity, high optical transparency, thermal stability and high elasticity (graphene), has important application in photovoltaics, since it is economical and energy efficient. Moreover, the aim of research worldwide is to produce cheap energy with more applications,” said researcher Dr. Constantinos Fostiropoulos from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin Institute on Heterogeneous Materials and Systems. (source: ana-mpa)


US, Greek forces complete bilateral flight training, build partnerships

US, Greek forces complete bilateral flight training, build partnershipsAir Force LinkGreek and U.S. military relations can be dated back to the early 19th century when Greece was fighting for their independence, as the two nations found commonality under their values of freedom and democracy. Today, those values are still at the heart ...


Larissa group complains of chicken abuse at Carnival parade

An animal rights group in Larissa, central Greece, has written to the mayor of Tyrnavos, Nikolaos Malakos, to complain about chickens being “fatally abused” during a Carnival parade on Sunday. According to the group, one of the floats participating in the... ...


Flu death toll in Greece this year jumps to 75

The number of people in Greece to have died after contracting flu this year has risen to 75, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), said on Tuesday. More than 50 people are being treated in intensive-care units for the effects of the vir... ...


Greek court indicts 19 energy executives for swindling 270 mln euros

A Council of Appeals Court Judges on Tuesday indicted 19 executives from the private electricity providers Hellas Power and Energa for embezzling a total of 270 million euros from the state. The suspects, who are charged with embezzlement, breach of faith... ...


Jewish group asks Berlin for closure of Holocaust row

The World Jewish Congress on Tuesday urged Berlin to honor a longstanding request by the Greek Jewish community for the return of a ransom paid to Nazi occupiers during World War II to free thousands of forced laborers, now worth some 50 million euros. Ah... ...


5 A's Restaurant: Greek eatery in Harvest gets high grades for authentic ...

5 A's Restaurant: Greek eatery in Harvest gets high grades for authentic ...The Huntsville Times - al.comJust because food is served on a Styrofoam plate doesn't mean it can't look and taste phenomenal. Witness the Chicken Kabob Plate ($7.99) at 5 A's Restaurant, a two-year-old Greek eatery in Harvest. Tender, juicy chunks of chicken breast, crisp lettuce ...


TUI packages jump on rising demand for Greece

KathimeriniTUI packages jump on rising demand for GreeceKathimeriniSummer travel bookings and revenues at TUI's German business are up from last year thanks especially to a jump in demand for holidays in Greece and prospects look promising in the coming months. “Due to the good economic environment, consumers are ...and more »


Greek Manufacturing Grows for Second Month as Economy Stabilizes

“The health of Greece’s manufacturing sector continued to improve during February,” Markit said in the statement. “Latest anecdotal evidence pointed to a strengthening of demand for Greek manufactured goods from both the domestic market ...


Back to the Drachma: Time to Let Greece Be Greece

Argentina finally defaulted a decade ago ... Each week, we are assured, a deal to restructure Greek debt--theoretically averting a default--is almost done. The parameters of such a deal are not in question. The banks holding Greek bonds would ...


Bank of Greece, The : EU/IMF insist Greek banks need over 8 bln euros in capital

Greece’s international lenders insist the country’s top four banks need an additional 8-8.5 billion euros in capital after stress tests, well above the needs estimated by the nation’s central bank, a banking source close to the talks said. The two ...


'Greece, IMF disagree on bank tests'

Greece will release stress test results on its top banks this week without securing the agreement of the IMF, a source close to the talks said on Tuesday, in a further sign of disagreements between Athens and its international creditors. The stress tests determine the amount of fresh capital leading Greek banks need to cope with challenges such as mounting bad loans. Bank of Greece governor ...


The Russian Renovatio: The Ukraine Outcome You Don't Want to Think About

In 1991, after raising her up for fifty years, calling her a "superpower" -- a title she had never held before -- in sudden victory the United States cruelly spurned its longtime Cold War helpmate and conjugal geopolitical partner. World terms had changed: We did not need her anymore. Worse yet, she was inconvenient, except in her fallen estate, to showcase our own celestial greatness. After decades of fidelity to the terms of US world primacy -- always accepting us as the senior superpower -- Mother Soviet's final act in history, in its fall and subsequent wreckage, was to exalt America's millennial seizure. History was ours now, and we brought it to a triumphal end.

So discarded, spurned, and reviled, we Americans left the Soviet Union's broken shards where they lay, on the ash heap of History: A monument to our contempt, we said, for all time.

But Holy Rossiya was still there. Not that we paid much attention in those days. We actually expected a Yeltsin Federation lap dog -- which we deigned to pat absent-mindedly from time-to-time, as in helping them take care of "loose nukes," like a nanny cleaning up an old mess. We even let them build a service module for the International Space Station (those Russians can do some things well, after all).

Yet we did not hesitate to casually diss them when it suited our sacred narrative. My vignette from Davos, 1994, is razor-etched in memory: There was Jeffrey Sachs -- for all the world, a Tom Wolfe "Master of the Universe" incarnate -- surrounded by fawning global machers and movers, all desperate to get just a little slice of face-time with a new god. And just what was the fount of his godhead? Why, it was the tough-love he was personally visiting on the former Soviet Union, the flagellant-penitentes course that would in the end, assuredly, make them all good Jeffersonian democrats.

[In retrospect, he sees things differently.]

Truth is, America not only helped Putin happen -- America guaranteed Putin. The once and future Czar was engineered by our shaming and defilement of After-Soviet Russia. Because we are such nationalist narcissists, if we ever even come to see this, we will still find a way to make it somehow all about ourselves. Thus we can chide ourselves about the perils of American Triumphalism, or scold about "blowback."

But it was never about us -- it was about them. It was about Russians. It was about how we treated a defeated idea that also happened to be a people with an identity force in history as strong as our own -- and a civilization that will never let itself be dismissed.

No single nation can, by an act of will however godlike, dismiss another's history. Our feckless gesture to do so in the 1990s only drove Russians into a deeper embrace of what they must save of their own: Historical memory whose passionate edge has been honed razor-sharp by us. What we did to After-Soviet identity may have been thoughtless. Our cruelty was surely casual, just as its course of dishonoring them was unseen by us, even as we told ourselves how we were doing them such big favors.

Put simply, the US treated Russia after 1991 exactly like the allies treated a defeated Germany after 1919, during and after the Versailles Conference. The United States helped oversee and then anointed the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, a geopolitical evisceration on a far grander scale than that visited on Germany in 1919. Much of this empire was glaringly artificial, so that the "loss" of the Baltic republics and the gaggle of "Stans" wrested from the body of Islam in Victorian times was no great loss, in the end, to Russian identity.

But Rossiya is a place in the heart: And thanks to Stalin's forced movements of peoples, it is a heart that beats in the Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, as much as in Russia. A restored realm could be a crown imperial, but it might also be a looser fraternal belonging: Yet to Russians it is still the irreducible proposition of identity.

So when you ask: What is going to happen in Ukraine? What is Russia going to do? These are not questions -- they are answers.

Russia is embarked today on its long-awaited Renovatio -- its restoration. The term renovatio is archaic, and has its origins in the old Roman Empire. In Late Antiquity, Roman universalism was several times brought down, and the empire collapsed: First in the 3rd century, and then the 5th, and then the 7th, and then the 11th centuries. Yet Rome rose again each time. The restoration and revival of Roman power and glory in all of these great crises was always rooted in Constantinople.

After the Ottoman conquest Constantinople as imperial seat, and imperial idea, migrated to Moskva -- as heir and successor. So it should come as no surprise that, like Byzantine ancestral spirits, Russians are receptive to the lure of Renovatio. Say it is in their blood, archaically, but everything in the world today is about archaic sources of identity -- because they drive identity. And identity drives everything.

Russia has also had its share of celebrated, glorious Renovatios: Like throwing off the Mongol yoke; like the renewal engineered by Peter the Great, bringing Muscovy into Europe and remaking it as "Russia"; like the Soviets themselves, bringing Rossiya back from the absolute ruin of World War I and then World War II to become, for the first time, the titular equal of the reigning world power -- the United States of America.

So what we are watching unfold before us is surely the hoped-for beginning of yet another Russian Renovatio -- and not just a dictator fantasy, but rather a collective desire -- "The Body" is being restored.

What will the restoration look like -- and how will it proceed?

Belarus and Kazakhstan were easy, and it is all done now. What is useful is how these parts of Rossiya were reunited without a surface transgression of cherished international legal fiction. Reunification does not necessarily require conquest. The re-absorption of Belarus and Kazakhstan into the orbit of Russian identity speaks to a real sophistication. A looser fraternity can be just as satisfying and just as final, as forcing everyone to wear the same color on a map.

But Ukraine is not so easy.

Before 1800, the Ukraine was a contested region, with a substantial part in the West substantially integrated as a part of Poland since the 15th century, and then part of Austria (post 1772). In fact, Western Ukraine was again Polish from 1921 to 1939.

It is cruelly, wonderfully true that the Ukraine of yore was perhaps humanity's most fertile, violent, shatterbelt border region, richest in myth and lore for all the fights and songs of fights which for hundreds of years, between Cossacks and Ottomans, Khanate fighters and Russians and bandits and ...

This is the place the Russians finally tamed, but never conquered. Romanovs simply incorporated it, but Soviets had to be smarter, and also crueler. Their ideology demanded that they at least genuflect to the ideal of identity and self-rule, but Ukraine still had to be punished for its role in the civil war -- to the tune of millions starved under Stalin. Yet was not the entire Soviet Union a constantly contradictory and destructive ideal of revolutionary Modernity?

But Stalin made a mistake in 1945. In the wake of final victory he insisted that Belarus and Ukraine be given seats in the United Nations General Assembly. Or was it such an error? You could argue that legitimating Ukraine and Belarus as independent states worthy of UN recognition was something of a triumph for the USSR. Here was the UN telling the world that the Soviet experiment was indeed a model of both self-determination and subsidiarity (a word not yet invented).

But such cold calculations then have surely backfired now.

The Soviets committed to a Ukraine whose borders were internationally inviolate. To revise that international determination requires a new legal construct for: 1-Ukraine as an independent nation, 2-Its relationship to Russia as a fraternal state.

What Putin is doing -- and to a great extent, has already done -- is to tear down the last shred of legitimate authority of the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine. Putin is saying: There are new terms, some de novo, and some hallowed in History.

But what will those new terms look like? What are Putin's options? What is his best path? What are his limits? How far can he go before he risks self-inflicted defeat?

The future of Ukraine -- or for Russia, The Ukraine -- comes down to three options:

1-Ukraine as Kazakhstan and Belarus -- Call Ukraine the last franchise of Russia, which is to say, something not so different from Stalin's offering to the UN: Russia and its sister republics. Here Putin could even give back titular control of Crimea, so that Ukraine might appear un-violated and still independent. This is Russia's best outcome -- an unruffled restoration. Save for one problem: What if Ukraine fights?

2-A battle that goes Russia's way -- Ukrainian resistance will force people to choose between Russia and Ukraine. Like the 1930s (in Central Europe) the West will not intervene. Russia will offer something of a solution. It will be called Ukrainian federalism, and will involve perhaps four semi-autonomous regions: Crimea, Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine, Middle Ukraine (including Kiev), and Western Ukraine. Check out the language maps to see how this might be parsed.

3-A bolt by far-western Ukraine to Poland -- Here you must look at the most revealing language map. See that the most linguistically loyal Ukrainians were actually part of Poland from 1921-1939, and before that part of either Poland or Austria for 500 years. This Ukrainian Greek Catholic bastion also represents the purest electoral commitment to a non-Russian Ukrainian consciousness: Because there is a Polish option. Remember, Poland and Lithuania were once joined as a federation, both separate and yet together. How about a modern-day Polish-Ukrainian equivalent?

This is no exercise in misplaced nostalgia -- because all the underpinning identity -- alignments are still in place. Moreover, from Putin's vantage, cutting off Western Ukraine rids him of the most troublesome obstacle to a bigger renovatio -- and his place as Once and Future Czar of all the Russians.

These West-most Ukrainians are the purest of the pure. They are the heart of what we have seen these past passionate and heroically bloody weeks. They are also obdurate and ready to die in resistance to Russia. I would wager that Putin wants nothing to do with this Catholic Ukrainian, Western spirit, and equally, would be all too happy to discard this small -- but fervent -- piece of Ukraine, if in exchange he might reclaim the whole of Russia itself.

But consider the downsides to this outcome. Far-western Ukraine joining up with Poland would tie the Poles to its defense. Poland is the strongest army in Europe, and well poised to defend Far-Western Ukraine against a rather ramshackle Russian Army. But absent authoritative American involvement, this would mean a face off for the future between Poland and Russia -- the stuff of centuries of conflict. Actors in Eastern Europe -- 75 years after -- would again be driving European politics -- and American national security itself.

Such an outcome, with Putin marshaling a realm again of 200 millions, would mean pulling off the impossible, even the unbelievable: A Russian Renovatio.

[There is always hope. Tikhon Dzyadko teases us with the tragicomedy of Russia's high command -- Putin too -- flying blind into a strategic peat bog. Remember though: Hope is not a strategy, and hope never writes history]


Venues ban Greek formals

Venues ban Greek formalsUND The Dakota StudentSome venue owners and managers of the establishments have reported too many problems with hosting Greek events in the past and are no longer willing to do so.. Owners in Grand Forks have begun to place restrictions on Greek organizations hosting ...


Quotes from voters in this week's Associated Press Global Football 10

by  Associated Press Quotes from voters in AP Global Football 10 Associated Press - 4 March 2014 11:50-05:00

LONDON (AP) — Richard Jolly, ESPN, England

"Manchester City made off with the first silverware of the season and promptly set their sights on a quadruple. When they score goals as good as those Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri struck against Sunderland, anything seems possible."

Chris Tait, The Herald, Scotland

"Bayern Munich were so dominant against FC Schalke that their match was over by halftime. That gave Arjen Robben plenty of time to complete his hat trick after the break."

Marco Monteverde, News Corp Australia

"Carlo Ancelotti's men were magnificent in thrashing Schalke 6-1 away from home in the Champions League before grabbing a vital equalizer in the Madrid derby to stay in front in the battle for La Liga."

Aurelio Capaldi, RAI Sport, Italy

"Juventus are closer to their third Italian Serie A title in a row after beating AC Milan at the San Siro. It was impressive the way Carlos Tevez played this game: he was everywhere, showing a real fighting spirit, working hard for the team and scoring an amazing goal."

Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post Dispatch, United States

"Bayern and Real both showed they are head and shoulders above the field, even if Real could only get a tie in its derby with Atletico Madrid."

James Porteous, South China Morning Post

"There were hat tricks for Andre Schuerrle for Chelsea, Salomon Kalou for Lille and Arjen Robben for Bayern, but I think I'll pick Luis Suarez for player of the week because of his eye catching return to goalscoring form with his 100th Premier League goal."

Mark Rodden, Eurosport, France

"Ronaldo delivered in the big game, rifling home an equalizer that keeps Real Madrid top of the pile in Spain. It was goal number 45 for club and country this season."

Tito Puccetti, ESPN, Argentina

"The Manchester City engineer Pellegrini shows that not only South American players are able to succeed in Europe, but also the organization and leadership of this part of the world may be imposed at the highest level."

Sam Tighe, Bleacher Report, United States

"Liverpool put in an extremely impressive showing at St. Mary's Stadium on Saturday to dismantle a bedraggled Southampton side. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge terrorized throughout."

Julian Bennetts, Hayters news agency, England

"Borussia Dortmund gave themselves a superb chance of reaching the last eight in the Champions League after winning 4-2 at Zenit, while Stoke stunned Arsenal and Liverpool gave their title chase a boost with a win at Southampton."

Manos Staramopoulos, Eleftheros Typos, Greece

"The Uruguayan international striker (Luis Suarez) creates, performs and leads his team higher and higher."

News Topics: Sports, Men's soccer, Men's sports, Professional soccer, Soccer

People, Places and Companies: Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Carlo Ancelotti, Carlos Tevez, Andre Schurrle, Salomon Kalou, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, News Corporation, Manchester, United Kingdom, Spain, Madrid, Southampton, England, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Silvio Berlusconi's request to leave Italy for Dublin conference denied

Court rejects request by Italy's former prime minister, whose passport was confiscated after tax fraud conviction

A Milan court has rejected a request by the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, whose passport was confiscated after his conviction for tax fraud, to leave Italy to attend a conference in Ireland, judicial sources said

Berlusconi, leader of the centre-right Forza Italia party, wanted to attend the European People's Party conference in Dublin on 6-7 March. But he cannot travel abroad unless he is granted a temporary permit by judges.

Berlusconi was stripped of his passport last year, when he was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to four years in prison, which was commuted to a year under house arrest or in community service. He was also banned from parliament.

Berlusconi, who accuses magistrates of waging a politically-motivated campaign against him, has denied wrongdoing as well as suggestions that he might flee abroad.

Last December, he made a legal bid to reclaim his passport by arguing that the travel ban violated Europe's Schengen agreement on the free movement of citizens. The court rejected that argument.

One of his most outspoken allies, Daniela Santanchè, called the Milan court's decision on Tuesday "a disgrace". "Certain judges continue to engage in politics," she said.

Berlusconi was forced to quit as prime minister in November 2011, as Italy teetered on the brink of a Greek-style debt crisis.

Silvio © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Gauging Political Threats to Greece's Recovery

With an economic recovery starting to take shape and major macroeconomic adjustments underway, Greece has made progress in recent years. But fierce political opposition to bail-outs and the possibility of early elections present important risks ...


New Children’s Oncology Center by Mitera Hospital

MITERA Children’s Hospital is launching a new Oncology Center for children and adolescents, and the first Cancer Survivors’ Clinic in Greece. The Oncology Center will consist of an in-patient unit, a day-care unit and an outpatient clinic and will be staffed by specialist medical and nursing staff, and also have a psychosocial support group. The new center will also be supported by FLOGA, the parent’s association of children with cancer because, as they believe, “When a child gets sick, the whole family suffers.” Furthermore, taking into account the European standards on offering quality healthcare, and the Erice Statement (Sicily, October 2006), MITERA Children’s Hospital is also launching the first clinic in Greece for Cancer Survivors entitled NiKa (i.e. people who defeated cancer). The exclusive goal of the clinic, which will collaborate with KYTTARO, the Greek Cancer Survivors’ Association, is to offer quality healthcare to cancer survivors. The NiKa Clinic will also be staffed by experienced scientists covering a wide range of specialties and sub-specialties. The two new centers will further expand the services provided by MITERA Children’s Hospital, which now covers the entire range of healthcare services and a complete support program for patients and their families. Despite the rarity of the disease, scientific data shows that cancer is the most common cause of death in children after the first year of their life, apart from accidents. Nowadays, because of modern diagnostics, doctors’ knowledge of the early signs, well established treatments and medical and psychosocial support for patients, cancer can be successfully treated, and 3 out of 4 children in developed countries are cured.


Greek Soccer Manager Takes a Soft Drink to the Face

Greek ReporterGreek Soccer Manager Takes a Soft Drink to the FaceBleacher ReportMutual dislike plus proximity, multiplied by a long history of back and forth dueling equals pure rivalry bliss—except when it ends like this. Greek soccer clubs Panathinaikos and Olympiacos renewed their marrow-deep hatred for each other on Sunday, ...Greek Soccer Coach Gets Full Soda Cup to the FaceSI.comGreek Soccer Coach Giannis Anastasiou Hit With Flying Cup Of Soda (Video)NESN.comGreek Soccer Coach Takes A Cup Of Soda Right To The FaceDeadspinPremium Times -Greek Reporterall 69 news articles »


Bomb disposal experts clear WWII grenade from Serres woman's garden

A team of military bomb disposal experts were dispatched to a home in Serres, northern Greece, on Tuesday to remove an old hand grenade found buried in a vegetable patch. The device was discovered by a woman in Kato Souli who was clearing her garden on Mo... ...


Fan Violence Spoiled Greek Soccer

Eleven people were arrested for unruly behavior and violence before, during and after Panathinaikos' 3-0 victory over Olympiakos in Greek soccer play.

The post Fan Violence Spoiled Greek Soccer appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek NY Policeman Saves Baby’s Life, Honored by Mayor

NEW YORK – Michael Konatsotis and his partner, David Roussine, were commended by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for saving the life of 15 month-old Norah Schechter on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on March 1, Newsday reported. They are the “epitome of what public servants are meant to be,” the mayor said of […]

The post Greek NY Policeman Saves Baby’s Life, Honored by Mayor appeared first on The National Herald.


Sfakia in Crete: Natural, Wild, and Rugged Beauty

In Chora Sfakion, the harbor village and capitol of the very wild and rugged area of Crete known as Sfakia, time passes slowly and is marked by the arrivals and departures of a majestic ferry boat named Daskalogiannis.  Located South of Chania, Sfakia is one of the most barren and rugged areas of Crete. It […]

The post Sfakia in Crete: Natural, Wild, and Rugged Beauty appeared first on The National Herald.


Eight Greek-Americans on Forbes 400

NEW YORK –  Eight Greek-Americas, led by  John Paul DeJoria with a net worth  of $4 billion and John Catsimatidis at $3.1 billion, are on the 2014 Forbes 400 – The Richest People in America list that is topped by Bill Gates. A $72 billion, Gates reclaimed the top spot from Mexico’s Carlos Slim. Warren […]

The post Eight Greek-Americans on Forbes 400 appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Flu Deaths Rise to 70

Amid criticism about health care cutbacks during a crushing economic crisis, the number of fatalities attributed to the flu this season in Greece has hit 70.

The post Greek Flu Deaths Rise to 70 appeared first on The National Herald.


man charged in Pittsford bank robbery

WROC-TVman charged in Pittsford bank robberyRochester Democrat and ChronicleThe Monroe County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in a Pittsford bank robbery where the suspect was wearing a blonde wig with "aviator sunglasses." Joseph H. Cumbo, 34, of Red Hickory Drive in Greece, was arraigned on charges of first-degree ...Greece man charged with bank robbery in PittsfordNews 10NBCGreece Man Charged For Pittsford Bank RobberyWROC-TVall 7 news articles »


Ancient Virus 'Resurrected' From 30,000-Year-Old Ice In Siberia

In what seems like a plot straight out of a low-budget science-fiction film, scientists have revived a giant virus that was buried in Siberian ice for 30,000 years — and it is still infectious. Its targets, fortunately, are amoebae, but the researchers suggest that as Earth's ice melts, this could trigger the return of other ancient viruses, with potential risks for human health.

The newly thawed virus is the biggest one ever found. At 1.5 micrometres long, it is comparable in size to a small bacterium. Evolutionary biologists Jean-Michel Claverie and Chantal Abergel, the husband-and-wife team at Aix-Marseille University in France who led the work, named it Pithovirus sibericum, inspired by the Greek word 'pithos' for the large container used by the ancient Greeks to store wine and food. “We’re French, so we had to put wine in the story,” says Claverie. The results are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Claverie and Abergel have helped to discover other so-called giant viruses — including the first, called Mimivirus, in 2003, and two others, known as Pandoraviruses, last year (see 'Giant viruses open Pandora's box'). “Once again, this group has opened our eyes to the enormous diversity that exists in giant viruses,” says Curtis Suttle, a virologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who was not involved in the work.

Two years ago, Claverie and Abergel's team learned that scientists in Russia had resurrected an ancient plant from fruits buried in 30,000-year-old Siberian permafrost. “If it was possible to revive a plant, I wondered if it was possible to revive a virus,” says Claverie. Using permafrost samples provided by the Russian team, they fished for giant viruses by using amoebae — the typical targets of these pathogens — as bait. The amoebae started dying, and the team found giant-virus particles inside them.

Under a microscope, Pithovirus appears as a thick-walled oval with an opening at one end, much like the Pandoraviruses. But despite their similar shapes, Abergel notes that “they are totally different viruses”.

Surprising properties

Pithovirus has a ‘cork’ with a honeycomb structure capping its opening (see electron-microscope image). It copies itself by building replication ‘factories’ in its host’s cytoplasm, rather than by taking over the nucleus, as most viruses do. Only one-third of its proteins bear any similarity to those of other viruses. And, to the team’s surprise, its genome is much smaller than those of the Pandoraviruses, despite its larger size.

“That huge particle is basically empty,” says Claverie. “We thought it was a property of viruses that they pack DNA extremely tightly into the smallest particle possible, but this guy is 150 times less compacted than any bacteriophage [viruses that infect bacteria]. We don’t understand anything anymore!”

Although giant viruses almost always target amoebae, Christelle Desnues, a virologist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Marseilles, last year discovered5 signs that another giant virus, Marseillevirus, had infected an 11-month-old boy. He had been hospitalized with inflamed lymph nodes, and Desnues's team discovered traces of Marseillevirus DNA in his blood, and the virus itself in the a node. “It is clear that giant viruses cannot be seen as stand-alone freaks of nature,” she says. “They constitute an integral part of the virosphere with implications in diversity, evolution and even human health.”

Claverie and Abergel are concerned that rising global temperatures, along with mining and drilling operations in the Arctic, could thaw out many more ancient viruses that are still infectious and that could conceivably pose a threat to human health.

But Suttle points out that people already inhale thousands of viruses every day, and swallow billions whenever they swim in the sea. The idea that melting ice would release harmful viruses, and that those viruses would circulate extensively enough to affect human health, “stretches scientific rationality to the breaking point”, he says. “I would be much more concerned about the hundreds of millions of people who will be displaced by rising sea levels.”

This story originally appeared in Nature News.


Long-Term Drought Doomed Indus Valley Civilization, Researchers Say

The decline of Bronze-Age civilizations in Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia has been attributed to a long-term drought that began around 2000 bc.

Now palaeoclimatologists propose that a similar fate was followed by the enigmatic Indus Valley Civilization, at about the same time. Based on isotope data from the sediment of an ancient lake, the researchers suggest that the monsoon cycle, which is vital to the livelihood of all of South Asia, essentially stopped there for as long as two centuries.

The Indus Valley, in present Pakistan and northwest India, was home to a civilization also known as the Harappan Civilization. It was characterized by large, well-planned cities with advanced municipal sanitation systems and a script that has never been deciphered. But the Harappans seemed to slowly lose their urban cohesion, and their cities were gradually abandoned.

The link between this gradual decline and climate has been tenuous because of a dearth of climate records from the region. So Yama Dixit, a palaeoclimatologist at the University of Cambridge, UK, and her colleagues examined sediments from Kotla Dahar, an ancient lake near the northeastern edge of the Indus Valley area in Haryana, India, that still seasonally floods.

The team assigned ages to sediment layers using radiocarbon dating of organic matter. In various layers, they collected the preserved shells of tiny lake snails (Melanoides tuberculata), which are made of a form of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) called aragonite. The team also looked at the oxygen in the argonite molecules, counting the ratio of the rare oxygen-18 isotope to the more prevalent oxygen-16.

Two-hundred-year hiatus

Kotla Dahar is a closed basin, filled only by rain and runoff and without outlets. Thus precipitation and evaporation alone determine its water volume. During drought, oxygen-16, which is lighter than oxygen-18, evaporates faster, so that the remaining water in the lake and, consequently, the snails' shells, become enriched with oxygen-18. The team's reconstruction showed a spike in the relative amount of oxygen-18 between 4,200 and 4,000 years ago. This suggests that precipitation dramatically decreased during that time. Moreover, their data suggests that the regular summer monsoons stopped for some 200 years.

The result, reported last week in Geology, supports the idea that monsoon failure led to the civilization’s decline, although David Hodell, a co-author of the study and a palaeoclimatologist also at the University of Cambridge, hastens to add that uncertainties in the shell and archaeological records mean that the dates could be off by some 100 years in either direction.

Anil Gupta, the director of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in Dehradun, India, says that the work fills a gap in the geographic record of ancient droughts. But large questions remain. “What drove this climate change 4,100 years ago? We don’t see major changes in the North Atlantic or in the solar activity at that time.”

Recently, another team, led by palaeoclimatologist Sushma Prasad of the German Research Centre for Geoscience in Potsdam, Germany, did a similar analysis on a sediment core from Lonar Lake in central India. They found that in that area, drought began as many as 4,600 years ago. But the results are consistent with those of Dixit’s group, Prasad says. “We see a drying event starting earlier, but at about 4,200 years ago it became very intense.”

If a lack of monsoons did spell the end of the Indus Valley civilization, says Hodell, “it is an example — and there are other examples of this — of how ancient societies have had to contend with climate. There are some lessons for us and our future, in which we will have to deal with anthropogenic climate change”.


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Anger Management Seminars for Tax Office Employees

Harry Theocharis, General Secretary of Public Revenue and head of tax offices across Greece, inspired by the films “Anger Management” and “Analyze this,” organized seminars that will help employees in tax offices deal with the anger and the outbursts of tax payers. The seminars which began February 25 and will last until March 14, give the employees in tax offices some good advice on how to deal with aggravated voices and a possible use of force against them. The measure is considered necessary as the violent incidents in tax offices have increased. According to the circular sent by Theocharis, the seminars will be conducted during evening hours by economic inspectors who supervise the tax offices. The employees are advised to be courteous, patient and sufficiently illustrative when conversing with taxpayers. They should provide detailed information on each case they handle and show understanding as most of the time, they are dealing with desperate people who have often reached their limits. Moreover, they learn to create a feeling of solidarity between them and the tax payers. Employees in tax offices are asked not to respond provokingly or comment no matter what the taxpayers say. They are also learning to develop fast reflexes when a situation gets out of control. Officials of the Greek Finance Ministry admit that these anger management seminars are not intended only to appease tax payers but also the employees who are fed up with the constant changes in the tax system and the conflicting settings for the handling of tax cases.


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Greek pharmacists are considering strikes and other actions to protest plans that would let supermarkets sell non-prescription drugs.

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