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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Veterans' 'Philoctetes' Puts Modern Spin On Ancient Greek Play

Veterans' 'Philoctetes' Puts Modern Spin On Ancient Greek PlayNPRAudio for this story from All Things Considered will be available at approximately 7:00 p.m. ET. An ancient Greek play about the wounds of war is getting a new angle in A Female Philoctetes — a production made up of mostly Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.


Bond yields pushed to lowest levels in a year

A worldwide bond market surge pushed yields to the lowest levels in a year on growing evidence central banks can keep stimulating economic growth without igniting inflation. The average yield to maturity on bonds from Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and ... ...


Anti-bailout party Independent Greeks loses a legislator

Right-wing, anti-bailout party Independent Greeks saw its parliamentary group shrink to 14 on Thursday after MP Vassilis Kapernaros said he would stand as an independent, citing a lack of support from the party for his candidacy as Athens mayor. Announcin... ...


IMF to decide on next bailout tranches

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund will meet on Friday morning, Washington time, to discuss and probably approve the disbursement of two bailout tranches to Greece, amounting to 3.5 billion euros. It is expected to be easier than simil... ...


Independent Greeks MP Leaves Party

Following the low figures in the recent European Parliament elections, Independent Greeks (ANEL) are now facing another challenge, as the party’s former Parliament spokesman and mayoral candidate for Athens, MP Vassilis Kapernaros declared his deprture from the party Thursday. In his letter to the President of the Greek Parliament, Evangelos Meimarakis, Kapernaros said nothing of the reasons behind his decision. Speculation, however, attributes his exit to the party’s poor performance in the elections, or to the possibility of him joining the slim majority government formed by the coalition of New Democracy and PASOK parties. According to sources, Kapernaros was also displeased by his low standing in the Athens polls, attributing them to a less than persuasive support from the party heads, MPs and members. Exiting the parliamentary building, Independent Greeks MP Terence Quick told journalists: “You should ask Vassilis Kapernaros about the reason he became independent,” and added: “For every MP that leaves, we become many more.” In last Sunday’s European Parliament election, ANEL party ranked seventh gaining 3.46 percent of the votes, getting only one MEP elected.


680,000 Greek Children Living in Poverty

An article on the website of the newspaper “New Europe” points out the consequences of the financial crisis for Greek children. The article citing data from the Greek National Committee of UNICEF, states that about 686,000 children in Greece are facing the risk of poverty and social exclusion. As reported, the number of children living in unemployed households has increased by 70% during the last four years as unemployment has reached 28%. The living conditions of many children has worsened dramatically as their parents have also lost their social and health insurance after cuts in welfare benefits were implemented by the government. The article refers to the action of NGOs which provide food, clothing, healthcare, and even psychological support to families facing financial difficulties. Moreover, Greece’s Ombudsman and NGO data show that an increasing number of children are working to support their families. According to the national statistic service ELSTAT, about 6,000 minors were working in 2012. However it is estimated that the real number is even higher. Therefore the number of children who abandon school has also increased considerably. Eurostat statistics showed that 11.4% of students in Greece, interrupted their studies in 2012. “Every day parents call us for help. Families who are financially strained made calls to us to ask where they can get their basic needs, such as food, clothes and other essentials,” reported a social worker to “New Europe.”


Agreement Between AEK and SYRIZA for New Stadium

The board of the Greek football club AEK proceeded with an agreement with the country’s main opposition SYRIZA over the construction of the team’s new stadium in Nea Filadelfeia, western Athens, Greece. Representatives of AEK and SYRIZA during a meeting held on Wednesday, agreed on some details about the stadium’s construction and concluded the realization of the project will continue as scheduled. More specifically, AEK accepted the proposals of the SYRIZA concerning some changes in the initial plan, which have also been approved by the new mayor of Nea Filadelfeia, Aris Vassilopoulos. These changes aim to increase car parking spaces and tree planting in the area. It is expected that within the next days SYRIZA will vote for article 81 which concerns the building of the new stadium, giving the green light for the beginning of construction.


Athens’ ‘Strofi’ Among Restaurants with World’s Best Views

Greek restaurant ‘Strofi, at the bottom of the Acropolis hill in Athens, has been included in the 32 restaurants with the best views in the world, according to U.S. website BuzzFeed. The 32 restaurants on the list are located in many countries such as Switzerland, India, Guatemala, France and California and, apart from the breathtaking view, offer excellent cuisine. Founded in 1975, the historic Greek restaurant ‘Strofi’ ranked 15th as, according to the article, the restaurant located at the bottom of the Acropolis hill offers to its visitors the unique opportunity to dine while admiring the breathtaking, emblematic view of the Parthenon through its huge windows. Moreover, the restaurant has proven very popular due to its delicious Greek and Mediterranean specialties and pastries, its exceptional wine list and elegant atmosphere. Top of the list is the Californian restaurant ‘Sierra Mar’, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, ahead of second-placed ‘Eagle’s Eye’ restaurant with its snowy views of the Canadian Rockies.


Samaras, Venizelos Slow Down The Shuffle

During a meeting at the Maximos Mansion on May 29, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras discussed with Deputy Prime Minister and his coalition partner, PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos, their setbacks in May’s double elections, and set aside for now a major Cabinet shakeup. After meeting for around two hours, the two party leaders are said to have agreed to postpone any changes to the Cabinet’s current composition, while waiting for Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras to carry out his scheduled meeting for June 11 with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schauble, in Berlin. Should Stournaras, however, remain in his position for negotiating with Greece’s international partners on the country’s debt, a minor reshuffle could also take place. Stournaras has reportedly been tabbed to move on and take over as Bank of Greece Governor from Giorgos Provopoulos. Venizelos said the country’s top bank position wasn’t fully discussed because Samaras had to leave to attend a social obligation. The government is also said to be waiting for Greece ’s EU Presidency to officially conclude on June 30, as the two said there is business that needs to be completed before new ministers are appointed. Greece’s symbolic role heading the EU for six months has accomplished little. Exiting the Maximos Mansion, Venizelos told journalists that the government has fully understood the message the Greek people sent with their ballots, while underlining that any cabinet reshuffle takes time and can’t be dictated by journalistic schedules. “With the Prime Minister, we had a systematic discussion on the election outcome and the message the Greeks sent. It is our obligation to respond to the citizens needs,” the Deputy PM mentioned. He didn’t say what that meant or how he and Samaras would yet react to the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) winning the European Parliament elections, which led the rival leader, Alexis Tsipras, to demand early national elections, which they rejected. Venizelos said once again there’s a need for security and stability so as to conclude Greece’s efforts of exiting the economi crisis the two parties largely created with wild overspending and runaway patronage for decades. Government spokesperson Simos Kedikoglou told reporters that Samaras and Venizelos agreed on speeding up the work done by the government, and acknowledged that corrective measures should be taken to redress any injustices. He didn’t say why that hadn’t been done until now.


Imagine If Half of All Tech Inventions and Startups Came From Women

Frat bros like the Snapchat CEO who say sexist things grow up to run tech companies, where women feel unwelcome.


Rochester Greek Festival Begins Today

It's being held on East Avenue at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Rochester celebrated Mediterranean cuisine today with the beginning of Greek Fest. The festival is held on the grounds of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox church on East avenue.


Greek Couple to Cross Africa by Car for Charity

A young and adventurous couple from Greece, Elpis Chrysovergis and Dora Bitsi, will travel across Africa for six months to film a documentary about their trip and to help local charities. The young couple decided to move to South Africa to work after ...


Human Rights Court Condemns Greece

The Human Rights Court condemned Greece today, May 29 for violations of Article 3 of the Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits any inhuman and degrading treatment, by judging the appeal “Tsokas and others” against Greece. The case was about the ...


REVIEW: Maleficent: Sympathy for the Rebel

Angelina Jolie brings her otherworldly majesty to the villainess from Disney's Sleeping Beauty, but this live-action revisionist update is a dismaying botch


Snapchat CEO's Job Seems Safe Despite His Gross Emails To Frat Brothers

Yesterday, derogatory college emails sent by Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel were published by Valleywag, but it doesn't seem like Spiegel needs to worry about his job.

A source close to the company justified the emails to Business Insider:

"He is 23 now. Then, he was a kid, a frat boy kid ... everyone sent stupid emails and did stupid things when they were 19."

Spiegel's emails were sent in late 2009 and early 2010 while he was social chair of Stanford's Kappa Sigma fraternity. They reference binge drinking, cocaine usage, and offensive comments about women. 

Spiegel isn't the first Greek life member to be put on blast for sending horrific emails. There was the "deranged sorority girl" who asked if her sisters were "f---ing retarded" last year, and the Georgia Tech fraternity brother who wrote about "luring rapebait." But those people weren't running multi-billion-dollar companies. Mark Zuckerberg's leaked college IMs were bad too, but they didn't objectify women or talk about urinating on them, as Spiegel's did. 

Over the past two years, Spiegel has earned a reputation as the ultimate frat boy. Texts made public by a lawsuit filed against him by former fraternity brother Reggie Brown are scattered with terms like "dawg" and "dude." His parents' divorce papers painted him as a spoiled brat in high school, who begged to drive a ,000 BMW and threw temper tantrums.

While running Snapchat, Spiegel has made a few missteps. He didn't apologize when four million Snapchat accounts here hacked until the media started asking for his head to roll. Spiegel also fibbed about the way he first met Mark Zuckerberg to Forbes to sound more macho.

People can change, and Spiegel says he has. He told Business Insider in a written statement that he was "mortified" by his "idiotic emails" and that they don't represent the person he is today, or his views towards women. 

While Snapchat's investors may be patient as the young founder grows up, other tech CEOs haven't been as lucky. Gurbaksh Chahal, founder of adtech company RadiumOne, was recently fired by his board after criminal charges against him were made public. Police alleged that Chahal beat a former girlfriend multiple times but felony charges were reduced. The board initially supported Chahal but changed its mind after Chahal pled guilty to lesser charges — and found himself in the middle of a media firestorm.

This past weekend, Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam was fired after he made distasteful comments about the Santa Barbara shooter's memoir. The comments, which he wrote on his company's site, included: "My guess: his sister is smokin' hot."

The Snapchat insider we spoke with didn't feel either scenario was comparable to Spiegel's old college emails, because the other incidents occurred when those executives were running their businesses. That's not to say Spiegel couldn't get himself fired if he did something truly horrible. 

"Rap Genius wrote stupid things as an executive of the company, in the company's product," this person said. "I think that the actions of Gurbaksh Chahal are completely horrendous and incomparable. "If Evan did what Chahal did, I for one would be disgusted and seek to take action."

SEE ALSO: SNAPCHAT CEO: 'I'm Mortified By My Idiotic Emails; They Don't Reflect My Views Towards Women'

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The Most Commonly Misspelled Names in Sports

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowning a new victor this afternoon, The Wall Street Journal has put together a ranking of athletes and coaches whose names are most commonly misspelled based on research from the content aggregation site Factiva. 

Leading the way is Miami Heat guard Dwyane — not Dwayne — Wade, whose first name has been spelled incorrectly in 6,480 of the 142,599 articles Factiva aggregated, good for 4.3%. 

Taking second place is Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, whose second "i" has been omitted 3.2% of the time. Other notable finishers include Mark Buehrle (2.8%), Skylar Diggins (1.8%), and Agnieszka Radwanska (1.8%).

But perhaps the most interesting result is Mike Kryzyewski. The Duke men's basketball coach may don the most notoriously difficult surname in all of sports, and yet, Krzyzewski has only been misspelled in 0.3% of articles. The last name of Coach K's former AP Player of the Year, J.J. Redick, meanwhile, has been misspelled 1.8% of the time.

Other seemingly straightforward athlete names, like third basemen Cal Ripken and Alex Rodriguez, also made the list.  

Notable snubs include Milwaukee Bucks guard Giannis Antetokounmpo, Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Greek soccer player Sokratis Papastathopoulous. 

See the whole list over at the WSJ >

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A 15-Year-Old's Celebrations Have Made Him Everybody's Favorite Contestant At The National Spelling Bee

The 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee has yet to crown a champion, but the undisputed winner among those watching is 15-year-old Jacob Williamson from Cape Coral, Florida.

The 8th grader, who is a diehard Tim Tebow fan as well as an "avid numismatist" (coin collector) is the oldest competitor still remaining and his exuberance quickly made him a crowd favorite.

When he came to the microphone for his first word during Thursday's semifinal round, Jacob's first words were directed at Jacques Bailly, the official pronouncer of the spelling bee.

"Hi, Dr. Bailey," said Jacob. "Please give me a word I know,"

His first word was "Euripus" and when he heard the word he shrieked and exclaimed "I know this!"

While most contestants ask several questions about the word, Jacob didn't ask any questions other than to verify what he already knew, that the word is of Greek origin.

When he spelled the word correctly, he was just as exuberant.

When he returned for his second word of of the semifinal round, Jacob was no less thrilled when hear "harlequinade" as he once again celebrated before he even spelled the word.

Again, Jacob didn't need to ask the origin of the word, correctly verifying that the word is of French origin.

Jacob's parents are much more subdued than he is.

After spelling the word correctly, Jacob literally jumped for joy.

So when Jacob learned that he had made it through to the finals, you knew his reaction would be great, and it was.


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Greek Mom Cries When Told of 'Big Fat Greek Wedding' Sequel

Greek Mom Cries When Told of 'Big Fat Greek Wedding' SequelHitFixHave you ever cried upon hearing about a new movie coming out? I don't think I have. I was pretty excited about "Speed Racer" for a second, but the movie did not match the thrill of the trailer. No, it did not. But this woman is pretty psyched about ...


39th Annual Richmond Greek Festival

39th Annual Richmond Greek Festivalwtvr.comRICHMOND, Va. (WTVR): Once again Richmonders will experience a few days of what it's like to be Greek. The annual Richmond Greek Festival kicked off Thursday, May 29, and is running through Sunday June 1st at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek ...


All hospitals to treat uninsured patients

Some 2 million Greeks without social insurance will be able to receive free treatment at state hospitals from next month as long as they get a referral from a doctor at the Primary National Healthcare Network (PEDY) which has replaced the national healthc... ...


NJ Greek Fest 2014 in Westfield starts today, May 29

NJ Greek Fest 2014 in Westfield starts today, May 29NJ.comWESTFIELD — Trinity Greek Orthodox Church here will hold its annual festival “NJ Greek Fest 2014,” a premier cultural event, sharing Hellenic hospitality, memorable cuisine, the arts, and great entertainment, starting today, May 29, through June 1. NJ ...


Greece's Alpha Bank reports 94.1-million-euro Q1 loss

Greece's fourth-biggest bank Alpha Bank announced on Thursday a first-quarter net loss of 94.1 million euros ($128 million) as its longterm chairman stepped down. The Greek debt crisis hit Greek banks from several directions, and they are fighting to ...


Greece shows interest in building South Stream section in its territory ...

Greece shows interest in building South Stream section in its territory ...ITAR-TASS“The construction of the South Stream section via Greece will make cooperation with Russia's gas giant Gazprom more dynamical,” Greek Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yiannis Maniatis said on Thursday. He spoke at the 17th ...and more »


Greek life leads to a happy life for college graduates, Gallup study says

LANSING -- Joining a fraternity or sorority in college increases workplace engagement and overall well-being after graduation, a study of 30,000 college graduates by Purdue University and Gallup shows. The statistics come from an overall study of post ...


Greece’s protest parties: Syriza and other radicals

Golden Dawn on the march to Strasbourg IT COULD have been far worse. As pollsters had predicted, the ruling centre-right New Democracy party of Antonis Samaras, the prime minister, was pushed into second place in the European elections by Syriza, a far-left party led by Alexis Tsipras. His fiery anti-German rhetoric and threats to rip up Greece’s bail-out agreement find favour with austerity-battered Greeks. Another “protest” party, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, captured almost 10% of the vote and came third, even though its leaders are being held in jail on charges of running a criminal organisation.Yet Greece looks no more unstable than it did before the elections. Syriza’s margin of victory was just under four percentage points, not enough for Karolos Papoulias, the president, to heed Mr Tsipras’s demands for a snap general election. Mr Samaras’s coalition partner, the PanHellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), running under a new centre-left umbrella called Elia (Olive Tree), did better than the opinion polls had forecast. Together, New Democracy and Elia finished four points ahead of Syriza. New Democracy also won 11 of 13 regional...


Spain’s “indignant ones”: Exit Rubalcaba

THE indignados are back. The spontaneous movement of the “indignant ones” found a new mouthpiece in Podemos (“We Can”), an internet-savvy leftist party founded four months ago, which stormed past older opposition groups to become Spain’s fourth most-voted-for party. In cities like Madrid it came third behind the Socialist Party and the People’s Party (PP), beating the traditional, communist-led United Left (IU) and its coalition allies.After years of high unemployment and austerity Spanish voters are angry, though more with their own politicians than with Europe. As a result Spain has its own equivalent of Greece’s far-left party, Syriza, a future partner in the European Parliament. Podemos is both deeply serious with its anti-EU austerity and anti-globalisation creed and fiercely radical. One of its new MEPs hails from a group called Anticapitalist Left. The party’s pony-tailed, telegenic leader, Pablo Iglesias, a 35-year-old university lecturer, promises to return from Brussels to lead Podemos into a general election that is due within 20 months.Podemos took 8% of the vote, which set off two political shocks. The duopoly of the two big parties was broken, as the Socialists and PP jointly sank below the 50% mark for the first time in three decades. And Podemos helped to destroy the position of Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, the Socialist leader, who...


Alums, Students and the Future Shine at Queens College Ceremony

NEW YORK – The message was clear at the 40th Anniversary Certificate of Achievement  Awards Dinner of the  of the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies on May 29:  the administration of Queens College, the faculty and staff of the Center, 16000 alumni and the Greek-American community in New York are committed not only […]

The post Alums, Students and the Future Shine at Queens College Ceremony appeared first on The National Herald.


Greece tells Gazprom: We want South Stream back

by  Kostis Geropoulos

ATHENS - Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller is in Athens today where the Greek government expressed its desire to revive plans to build the South Stream gas pipeline’s branch to Greece frozen by the Russian gas monopoly.

“The partnership dynamic with Gazprom could become even stronger with the construction of the branch of South Stream to Greece, securing in this way a new, modern and safe supply route for Russian natural gas to Greece,” Greece’s Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis said in his speech at a conference south of Athens.

Russia and Greece signed an intergovernmental agreement in 2008 on co-operation in construction and operation of the Greek section of South Stream.

However, Gazprom later froze plans for South Stream’s branch to Greece and southern Italy, focusing instead on the Southern Stream’s route through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to northern Italy.

EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger told an EU press briefing on 28 May that the EU is in close contact with the relevant member states.

“It’s not very clear exactly what route the pipeline would take and what volumes of gas should be transported to what member states. Austria, as one of the recipient countries, has raised its profile in this area and we saw that recently,” he said, referring to Austria’s decision to sign a memorandum on the implementation of the Austrian section of South Stream on 29 April.

“But South Stream would probably take about three years, probably even longer before it’s running at full capacity,” Oettinger said. “So as far as short-term measures are concerned it’s not really an issue. It’s the transit countries such as Ukraine which are on the forefront of our concerns at present,” he said.

Gazprom has spearheaded efforts to accelerate South Stream’s northern route in an effort to diversify gas routes within the European Union and to provide stable gas supplies from Russia to central and southern Europe. The total value of the project is estimated at some €16 billion.

See also:

Putin hopes to avoid getting tough with Ukraine over gas

EU can’t broker Russia-Ukraine gas deal yet

EU Leaders Not Ready To Break With Putin


This Greek Mom Is Positively Over the Moon About the Upcoming My Big Fat Greek Wedding Sequel

"All the other movies can go to hell"


Papastathopoulos sees Portugal friendly as key test

Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos says Saturday's friendly with Portugal is a good test ahead of the World Cup, which begins next month. "We are still in training and it is too early to talk about the tournament, which begins in two weeks,» the 26... ...


SYRIZA Supports Abolition of National Exams

As Pan-Hellenic National Exams come around, SYRIZA has promised a new way of entering higher education institutions. The opposition party criticized the current system and left open the possibility of abolishing it, referring to “free access to higher education”. SYRIZA representatives stated that “pan-Hellenic exams have always been a life-long test, a marathon run at vast financial and psychological cost to the students and their families.” “The academic community and wider society know very well that these exams are unfair and they amplify social discrimination, class division, competition and elimination among other flaws.” SYRIZA also attacked examination procedures in early grades at high school saying that: “Their goal is to reduce the number of students graduating from high school and force them to undergo early, non-official, post-junior high school training resulting to unpaid, exploitive apprenticeship.” The party also underlines that 1.57 million euros were given to build a depository of exam questions instead of hiring 1,000 substitute teachers to fill an important gap in Greek schools. SYRIZA education policies include a 12-year obligatory education and a two-year obligatory pre-school education, unified high schools and public post-high school technological training, free access to higher education and co-ordination of research and universities.


Public Bus Heading to Patras Overturns

Twenty two people were injured on Thursday morning, May 29, when a public bus taking passengers from Pyrgos to Patras overturned on the Perimeter Patras Road, near Omvria exit. The driver lost control of the vehicle and the bus ran off the street, falling into a side road. Police officers are trying to identify the reasons that led the driver to lose control of the bus. A Flat tire is considered one of the possible causes of the accident. The first minutes were chaotic and representatives of the Greek police announced people had been trapped inside the crashed bus. Police cars and ambulances rushed to the scene of the accident and helped the passengers get out. Four of them, suffering minor injuries, were transferred to Agios Andreas Hospital. Later, however, 18 more passengers were hospitalized at their own request. All passengers’ lives are out of danger and are expected to recover soon from their minor injuries.  


FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Greece

India TodayFIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from GreeceIndia TodayWith few famous players, Greece will rely heavily on a handful of team members who had a decisive role in qualifying for the World Cup. The captain and team motivator is 37-year-old Giorgos Karagounis, one of the few surviving members of the squad that ...


Greece Says No Kurd Camps

Greece has again denied that Kurdish terrorists are being trained in the country, a claim reiterated by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The post Greece Says No Kurd Camps appeared first on The National Herald.


Fr. Kallis’ New Course for Waterbury

WATERBURY CT – The historic parish of Holy Trinity in Waterbury, CT charters a new course with May 1 appointment of Rev. Perikles Kallis as its presiding priest. Kallis is a youthful clergyman, married, and with two sons, three years and three months old. He said that the transfer was not difficult for the boys, […]

The post Fr. Kallis’ New Course for Waterbury appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Island Spotlight: Cyclades

A bold and colorful group of islands, the Cyclades are a popular Greek destination among visitors from all over the world. Sandy beaches, unique and contrasting natural terrain, traditional island architecture, and rich local cuisine make the Cyclades a wonderful set of gems to discover and experience. A cluster of some 220 inhabited and uninhabited […]

The post Greek Island Spotlight: Cyclades appeared first on The National Herald.


Nation Mourns its Beloeved Poet, Maya Angelou: 1928-2014

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Maya Angelou, a poet and author who rose from poverty, segregation and the harshest of childhoods to become a force on stage, screen and the printed page, died on May 28 in her home at age 86. Born Marguerite Ann Johnson, she married a Greek electrician, former sailor, and aspiring musician named […]

The post Nation Mourns its Beloeved Poet, Maya Angelou: 1928-2014 appeared first on The National Herald.


U. of Buffalo probe sheds light on illegal fraternities

Illegal frats share almost everything in common with recognized Greek organizations - except their official status.


Prehistoric 'Fish Lizard' Skeletons Discovered Under Melting Glacier In Chile

Dozens of nearly complete skeletons of prehistoric marine reptiles have been uncovered near a melting glacier in southern Chile.

Scientists found 46 specimens from four different species of extinct ichthyosaurs. These creatures, whose Greek name means "fish lizards," were a group of large, fast-swimming marine reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era, about 245 million to 90 million years ago.

The newly discovered skeletons are from both embryos and adults. The creatures, likely killed during a series of catastrophic mudslides, were preserved in deep-sea sediments that were later exposed by the melting glacier, the researchers said in the study, published May 22 in the journal Geological Society of America Bulletin. [See Photos of the Ichthyosaur Graveyard Found in Chile]

Ichthyosaurs had torpedo-shaped bodies with vertical flippers, and long snouts with teeth.

"They look a lot like dolphins today," said Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, a paleontologist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the leader of the study.

Stinnesbeck and his team found the Early Cretaceous (150 million to 100 million years old) specimens near the Tyndall Glacier in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. As the glacier melted, the rock containing the fossils became exposed, Stinnesbeck told Live Science.

Very few of the ancient reptiles have been found in South America before; only a few remnants of rib cages and vertebrae had been found.

The largest ichthyosaur skeleton unearthed in Chile measures more than 16 feet (5 meters) long. The skeletons were extremely well preserved — some even retained soft tissues. The researchers also found fossil embryos inside a female specimen. They assigned the fossils to the family Ophthalmosauridae.

These "fish lizards" probably hunted in an underwater canyon near the coastline, pursuing a diet of squidlike animals and fish, the researchers said. Occasionally, there would have been mudflows that cascaded into the water like an avalanche, and the researchers think these mudflows killed the ichthyosaurs. The animals likely became disoriented and drowned, getting sucked into the deep sea, where their bodies were entombed in the sediment, the researchers said.

Ichthyosaurs swam the seas at the same time as dinosaurs roamed the Earth and pterosaurs reigned the skies, but they may have died out before their land- and air-dwelling brethren, Stinnesbeck said. A global depletion of oxygen in the oceans, possibly due to volcanism, may have caused the extinction of these seagoing reptiles, he said.

The discovery of these creatures establishes the Chilean glacier as one of the prime sites for Early Cretaceous marine reptiles worldwide, the researchers said. But getting to the fossil site is half the battle. To reach it, the team had to drive for five hours, hike for 10 to 12 hours to camp and then hike another two hours, sometimes in heavy rain, hail or snow.

"This has been one of the toughest field camps I ever had," Stinnesbeck said.

Follow Tanya Lewis on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Image Gallery: Photos Reveal Prehistoric Sea Monster Alligator Alley: Pictures of Monster Reptiles Image Gallery: 25 Amazing Ancient Beasts Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


John Stamos Wants Role in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2′

Nia Vardalos, we hope you’re listening. Fellow Greek John Stamos wants in on the sequel to the indie hit, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” After the recent announcement that there will, indeed, be a part two to the hugely successful comedy that became a ...


Greek families, children struggling desperately against consequences of economic crisis

ATHENS, May 28 (Xinhua) -- An unprecedented number of children in Greece are suffering from the consequences of a four-year economic crisis, but their families are struggling hard to make ends meet amid record high unemployment and recession, statistics show.


Fourth Monkey's Greek Season at Trinity Buoy Wharf

The Fourth Monkey Theatre Company has announced its Greek Season to play in repertoire at The Electricians' Shop in Trinity Buoy Wharf near Canning Town, east London, from 09 Jun to 21 Jun 2014. Specifically for these productions, a disused warehouse has ...


Kostopoulos to step down as Alpha Bank chairman

Yiannis Kostopoulos was on Thursday expected to resign as chairman of Alpha Bank, one of Greece's four systemic banks, according to reports. Reports said he would be succeeded by 66-year-old economist Vassilis Rapanos.... ...


Greek grandmother keeps her cool during earthquake by repeatedly crossing herself as others flee

A Greek grandmother has been hailed a heroine after keeping her cool and putting her faith in the Lord when an earthquake struck, by simply crossing herself and praying while those around her fled in terror. The powerful 6.4 magnitude quake hit the islands ...


PM Samaras to President Papoulias: The Key to the Country’s Course is the Political Stability

President of Republic Karolos Papoulias received on Thursday, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at the Presidential Mansion. “The key to the country’s course is the political stability and we are determined to go down that road to the end” Samaras said. “There are still some steps to be taken and we will take them to eliminate the nightmare and the anxiety experienced by the Greek people during the last few years,” he added. Samaras stressed that the government’s main goal is development so as to correct errors and restore injustices. “I am optimistic that we will succeed,” he said. Papoulias wished that everything would work out so as to deal with the big issue of youth unemployment. The prime minister also briefed Papoulias on the main issues of the European policy recently discussed in Brussels. “The climate is good for Greece,” he said adding that he raised the issues of development. “There is central coordination for this issue with the countries of the South,” he noted.”The big sacrifices of the Greek people are being acknowledged,” Samaras underlined. (source: ana-mpa)


Tourism in Greece Above Original Estimates

Tourist season is off to a good start, as total air arrivals from abroad to Greek airports for the period of January to April showed an increase of 21% reaching 1.81 million tourists, compared to 1.5 million tourist during the same period of 2013.  In fact, Athens showed the largest increase in tourist arrivals. As for April, the increased rate of arrivals at Greek airports was up to 33.9%. It is estimated that, including the cruise visitors, foreign tourists in Greece are expected to add up this season to last year’s arrival record of 20 million. According to Greek news, the gradual restoration of the image of Greek destinations to foreign markets resulted in strengthening the image of the Greek tourism industry. So far bookings from almost all the key markets are moving upward. However, the arrivals of Russia are expected to drop. Despite the great increase in arrivals in the first months of 2014, a slowdown in bookings has been recorded for the rest of the season.


Alexander Iolas Villa Open to the Public

The old iron gate of Alexander Iolas’ villa will open for the public, 27 years after the death of the eccentric cosmopolitan art collector and gallerist. The reason behind the reopening is a show called “Alexandros Iolas” by Christophoros Antoniadis, which will be hosted in the villa in Agia Paraskevi, Athens, Greece. After a successful round of performances at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki the theatrical play — based on Iolas’ biography written by his close friend Nikos Stathoulis — will be presented with free admission on May 29 in the villa that has been damaged by vandalism. The villa’s gates will open for the public for the first time in order to host the show that is being held under the auspices of the Municipality of Agia Paraskevi. The play producers have almost completed the procedures to restore part of the ruined and looted villa in order for it to be ready for the opening night.


Business Live: Christine Lagarde demands action on African poverty

Rolling business and financial news through the day - including new growth figures for the US economy this afternoon

Latest: Andy Haldane on inequality

Christine Lagarde: African poverty still unacceptably high

IMF chief also demands more education for girls

12.57pm BST

Philanthropist and currency speculator George Soros has urged the European Union to help calm the Ukraine crisis and stimulate its economy, by giving firms "political risk" insurance.

Soros writes that the move would encourage businesses to invest in Ukraine despite the uncertainty created since relations with Russia collapsed.

Faced with high premiums, most businesses would simply opt to wait on the sidelines until the storm passed. That is why the governments concerned must take over the reinsurance function and use their agencies only to administer the insurance policies.

They could guarantee the losses in the same way as they underwrite the World Bank: each government would provide a modest pro-rata capital infusion and commit the rest in the form of callable capital that would be available if and when losses are actually paid out.

How the EU can save Ukraine and itself | George Soros

12.21pm BST

US fund management firm Marcato Capital Management has put out a statement urging InterContinental Hotels to engage with the mystery US rival that is reportedly keen on taking it over.

Marcato's Mick McGuire says:

Regardless of the veracity of these reports, we believe that a combination with a larger hotel operator would have compelling strategic and financial merit and represents a unique opportunity to reshape the global hospitality industry.

11.59am BST

A protest is underway outside the Greek finance ministry in Athens today, led by the cleaning staff who lost their jobs in last year's austerity cuts.

They are demanding that the government complies with a court order and restores their jobs.

11.39am BST

Andy Haldane, the Bank of England's executive director for Financial Stability, has warned that the current shareholder model - where companies put the interests of their investors over other considerations - may be driving inequality, by encouraging firms to be too short-term.

To some extent, this matches the stylised facts on rising inequality rising executive and shareholder compensation and faltering real wage growth. The shareholder model may, ironically, have contributed to unfair shares.

Company Law in a number of countries, such as the UK, gives primacy to the interests of shareholders when defining the objectives of a company and its decision-making. The objectives and rights of a broader set of stakeholders, including workers, suppliers and wider society, tend to be secondary....

A set of corporate incentives which had as its fulcrum long-term company value and which more fully reflected the interests of a wider set of stakeholders might help rebalance the scales for example, towards investing rather than distributing.

They took up the baton for the 99% in 2011. At least at first, Occupy were treated with all of the seriousness of a local student protest. But rather remarkably Occupy became a global outfit, albeit a rather loosely-fitting one. Occupy touched a moral nerve among the many. The 1%ers in Davos had inequality as their main theme this year.

Enough has already been said and written about a book bought by many, read by few and understood by even fewer.

I am guilty on all three charges. I suspect never, in the field of human endeavour, has so simple a line chart done so much to fuel the debate among so many, not just in the salons of Paris but in the Starbucks of London and New York.

11.10am BST

There's a mix of reaction to today's data on the Help to Buy scheme (see here) - some analysts reckon the data shows the mortgage guarantee scheme is having little impact; others argue the opposite.

On the face of it, Help to Buy (HTB) is doing very little. 7,313 mortgages were completed in the first six months of the governments mortgage guarantee scheme, equivalent to 1.3% of all mortgage completions.

The scheme was introduced in October and provides a government guarantee of 15% of the property value, making it easier for a mortgagor with just a 5% deposit to get a mortgage. Despite the apparently low take-up, this scheme is far from trivial. The indirect effects are much more important. Like an iceberg, the part visible above water grossly understates its true size. We expect the BoE to recommend watering down the scheme in its annual review in September.

The policy appears to be reaching the geographical parts of the market where recovery has been weakest, while accounting for only a small proportion of business in those areas where the market is more active.

On the basis of these figures, the scheme appears to be successfully reaching its target group of creditworthy borrowers who would otherwise be unable to buy until they had accumulated a more significant deposit. Lenders are always mindful of what their customers can afford.

Since October the Help to Buy mortgage scheme has supported 7,313 mortgages. Pretty small in context of 100k+ mortgage approvals a month.

With @JessicaLeeMP to see how Help to Buy has helped nearly 28,000 people buy their own home. 85% are 1st time buyers

The question about Help To Buy is not "bubble", but how many of the homes built & sold through it would have been built anyway?

The question about Help To Buy is not "bubble", but how many of the homes built & sold through it would have been built anyway?

10.24am BST

New official stats released today on the #HelptoBuy mortgage guarantee scheme can be accessed in full on our website

10.21am BST

Back in the UK, the government has released details of how its Help To Buy mortgage subsidy scheme has been used.

It shows that a total of 7,313 mortgages have been supported by the second stage of Help to Buy during the first six months of its existence, with 80% going to first-time buyers.

9.37am BST

IMF Christine @Lagarde visits Maputo, Mozambique for the #AfricaRising conference.

9.33am BST

Christine Lagarde also used her speech in Mozambique to urge politicians to boost female education and close the gap between boys and girls - saying it could be costing the region $90bn per year in lost activity.

The IMF chief said:

I know that most of the women in Africa cannot afford not to work. But when they do, they are mostly employed in informal activities. We all know what this means: low productivity, low incomes, low prospects. We also know the constraints: access to education, credit, and markets.

The gains to be made by overcoming these constraints are immenseparticularly through girls education. By some estimates, the economic loss in developing countries from the education gap between girls and boys could be as high as $90 billion a yearalmost as much as the infrastructure gap for the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa!

9.28am BST

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has warned that poverty in Africa is still "unacceptably high", despite almost two decades of growing "growing strongly and steadily".

Economic stability has paid off. More than two-thirds of the countries in the region have enjoyed ten or more years of uninterrupted growth.

This growth has delivered a more educated population, with significant declines in infant mortality. In Benin and Madagascar, for example, primary school enrolment has increased by more than 50 percentage points. This may be from low levels, but it is still a huge improvement.

Africa building to the futurethree priorities: build infrastructure, institutions, and people #AfricaRising

9.19am BST

Kingfisher is looking beyond Europe for future growth opportunities, flags up Retail Week's Nicola Harrison.

Kingfisher eyeing growth outside Europe.Boss Ian Cheshire says franchise model of would-be acquisition Mr Bricolage can easily be exported

9.02am BST

Analysts at ING say today's updated US GDP data (due at 1.30pm BST) could show that America's economy contracted in the January-March period.

They're not too worried, though, as it's largely due to last winter's bad weather:

There is a clear risk of a downward revision to today's figure, which could result in the first negative reading for 3 years. However, this was heavily weather related and activity for the second quarter so far is pointing to a robust rebound.

8.57am BST

Kingfisher's warning that France remains a tough business environment has caught the City's eye.

Retail analyst Nick Bubb says:

France also saw some weather benefit and reported like-for-like sales up 1.6%, with improved gross margins, but investors may be disappointed to hear that the underlying French DIY market was still weak,

The company is aware of a restrained economic backdrop in France, whilst gross margins suffered in the UK given the rise in demand for cheaper products and a number of sales in the period.

8.52am BST

In other corporate news, British Gas boss Chris Weston is off to run temporary power firm Aggreko.

An escape from fielding flack about rising energy bills in the UK?

Centricas chief executive Sam Laidlaw, who has run the company since 2006, is expected to leave before the end of the year and in January the group lost its finance chief Nick Luff, who has yet to be replaced. Weston, who will not join Aggreko until next year, was reportedly interviewed to replace Laidlaw but missed out on the top job.

8.45am BST

British food ingredients firm Tate & Lyle has warned that America's cold spring, and "prolonged and severe winter" hit demand, as it reports a 3% drop in sales last year.

It is also suffering from tough competition in the sucralose sweetener market -- eating into profits on its Splenda sweetener.

8.35am BST

Spain's statistics office has confirmed that its economy grew by 0.4% in the last quarter - in line with the initial estimate.

Spanish Q1 #GDP confirmed at +0.4% q/q - INE

8.27am BST

April was a strong month for British automobile manufacturing, with the number of cars made in the UK up by a fifth.

8.22am BST

France isn't the only country where Kingfisher found it hard to grow sales.

It also reports that it racked up a loss in China in the last quarter, and blamed the slowdown in the property market:

B&Q China sales were down 5.0% to £68 million (-4.4% LFL) impacted by a slowing Chinese property market.

Retail losses of £7 million, in what is traditionally the weakest trading quarter of the year (impacted by Chinese New Year), were broadly flat year on year, including costs developing the new format trial of around £1 million.

8.19am BST

The weakness of the French economy has hit Kingfisher, the firm behind B&Q, and taken the shine off some otherwise impressive results.

While like-for-like sales in the UK surged by over 10% in the last quarter, French sales only crept up by 1.6% despite retailers benefitting from much better weather this year.

Encouraging underlying signs in the UK & Poland offset by ongoing weak consumer confidence in France

8.05am BST

The big news overnight is that Japanese retail sales took a real tumble last month, as the country's sales tax hit consumers.

Japanese retail sales fell by 4.4% on an annual basis in April, the biggest fall in three years (since the Fukushima disaster), as people cut back on purchases of cars and electronics.

In one encouraging sign, declines in sales of apparel and toiletries were limited, which suggests consumer spending will pick up in May in line with the Bank of Japan's scenario, but there are worries that a recovery in durable goods could take more time.

"There are signs that declines in spending on daily necessities is already bottoming out, which supports a gradual recovery in spending," said Shuji Tonouchi, senior fixed income strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

8.04am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the financial market, the world economy, the eurozone and business.

Lots of corporate news knocking around this morning -- with results from retail chain Kingfisher, sugar-maker Tate & Lyle and water firm Severn Trent.

Just published: front page of the Financial Times UK edition Thu May 29

Bond prices continued to rise yesterday, but this time it wasnt just US, UK and German bonds that were in demand but peripheral bonds as well.

US treasuries hit their lowest yield since July last year while both German bunds and UK gilts headed back towards their 10 month lows set earlier this month.

Continue reading...


Greek utility PPC's Q1 profit up on cut in Gazprom prices

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UW considering changes to fall 'pledge' recruiting for Greek fraternities and ...

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