Daily Archives: March 26, 2014

Malaysia Airlines MH370: 122 new objects spotted in search for debris


The family of a Queensland couple who were on board MH370 have spoken of their heartbreak.


New satellite images have revealed 122 objects in the southern Indian Ocean that could be debris from a Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Malaysia’s acting transport minister has announced.

The latest images come as searchers step up efforts to find some trace of the flight which had 239 passengers and crew on board, including six Australians.

It is thought to have crashed on March 8 after flying thousands of miles off course.

“It must be emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370,” Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference.

“Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.”

The images were captured by France-based Airbus Defence and Space on Sunday and showed 122 potential objects in a 400-square-kilometre area of ocean, Mr Hishammuddin said.

The objects varied in size from one metre to 23 metres in length, he said.

Mr Hishammuddin said the new satellite images were passed on to Australian authorities in Perth on Tuesday.

A dozen aircraft from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea had been scouring the seas about 2,500km south-west of Perth in the hunt for wreckage on Wednesday, after bad weather the previous day forced the suspension of the search.

“The crash zone is as close to nowhere as it’s possible to be but it’s closer to Australia than anywhere else,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, before leading Federal Parliament in a moment’s silence.

“A considerable amount of debris has been sighted in the area where the flight was last recorded. Bad weather and inaccessibility has so far prevented any of it from being recovered. But we are confident that it will be.”

Queenslanders Robert and Catherine Lawton, Brisbane couple Rodney and Mary Burrows and Gu Naijun and Li Yuan from New South Wales are presumed to have been killed when the flight crashed.

New Zealander Paul Weeks, who lived in Perth, was also on the flight.

Focus turns to recovering flight recorder

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak this week confirmed flight MH370, which vanished while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Citing satellite-data analysis by British company Inmarsat, he said there was no doubt the Boeing 777 came down in one of the most remote places on Earth – an implicit admission that everyone on board had died.

Recovery of wreckage could unlock clues about why and how the plane had diverted so far off course in one of aviation’s most puzzling mysteries.

Theories range from a hijacking to sabotage or a possible suicide by one of the pilots, but investigators have not ruled out technical problems.

The US has sent equipment to Perth to help locate the so-called black box that recorded the flight’s data as well as the final two hours of chatter in the cockpit.

Time is running out to find the bright orange-coloured box, which emits a ping in water that can be picked up from a depth of just over four kilometres.

The batteries powering the underwater ping only last 30 days and are due to run out on April 7.

Australia, China and France have all released satellite images over the past week showing possible debris in the same general area as the latest sighting, but no confirmed wreckage has been located.

Meanwhile, aviation disaster compensation lawyers say Malaysia Airlines’ treatment of the families of passengers may increase the likelihood of legal action against the airline, which could reach many hundreds of millions of dollars.

Malaysia Airlines officials have defended the use of an SMS to break the news to passengers’ relatives that they had concluded the plane was lost at sea.

But angry families are demanding answers, with some marching on the Malaysian embassy in Beijing in protest on Tuesday.

source: abc.net.au

Ex-Leeds and Liverpool forward Kewell announces his retirement at the end of the season


Former Leeds and Liverpool winger Harry Kewell has announced he is to retire from professional football.

The Australian made over 250 Premier League appearances for the two English clubs from 1995 until 2008, but has most recently been playing for Melbourne Heart, who confirmed their captain would hang up his boots at the end of the A-League season.

‘On behalf of Harry Kewell, Melbourne Heart FC confirms the Socceroo legend will retire from professional football at the end of the current Hyundai A-League season,’ said a statement.

‘Kewell’s final appearance for Melbourne Heart FC will be against the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park in the final round of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season on Saturday 12 April.’

However, the 35-year-old may be deprived of a swansong as he will miss the Heart’s next two matches against Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United after suffering an abdominal strain in the defeat to the Central Coast Mariners last Sunday.

Kewell returned to his homeland last year in an effort to win a place in Australia’s World Cup squad although he has missed over a third of his side’s matches this season due to injury, while the Heart’s position of second bottom in the table would not have aided his cause.

He can be certain of his place in history, however, having been named his country’s greatest ever footballer in a vote by players, fans and journalists alike in 2012.

Sydney-born Kewell played his part in two World Cup campaigns and was one of their best players as they achieved their best-ever result in 2006, however, he was cruelly forced to miss their loss to Italy in the last-16 due to a foot infection.

He came to the fore much earlier with Leeds and was awarded the PFA’s Young Player of the Year in the 1999-2000 season although he would leave the Yorkshire club in acrimonious circumstances for Premier League rivals Liverpool in 2003.
His time with the Merseysiders was blighted by injury and although he became the first Australian-born player to earn a Champions League winners’ medal in 2005, Kewell was substituted midway through the first half in the final against AC Milan due to an abductor complaint.

He lasted 48 minutes in the 2006 FA Cup final triumph over West Ham before again being withdrawn due to injury, while his time in England ended two years later when he moved to Galatasaray, with whom he spent three seasons.

Kewell then moved on to Melbourne Victory in 2011 and a short spell with Qatar club Al-Gharafa followed before he came back to Australia, this time for the Victory’s city rivals.

Melbourne Heart head coach John van ‘t Schip paid tribute to Kewell, saying: ‘Harry’s record as a footballer speaks for itself.

‘To achieve what he has done as a European player would have been amazing but to do it as an Australian player who needed to leave home as a teenager makes it a very unique and special story.’

Kewell himself said on Twitter: ‘On my way to officially announce my retirement.. Thank you for all the kind tweets you’ve sent so far.

source: daily.co.uk


Το στραβοπάτημα του Συνοδινού δεν είχε αντίκτυπο στην κυβέρνηση Άμποτ


Σύμφωνα με σφυγμομέτρηση που διεξήγε ο γνωστός οργανισμός Newspoll για λογαριασμό της εφημερίδας «The Australian»,

Σύμφωνα με σφυγμομέτρηση που διεξήγε ο γνωστός οργανισμός Newspoll για λογαριασμό της εφημερίδας «The Australian», το περασμένο Σαββατοκύριακο, το στραβοπάτημα του συμπατριώτη μας γερουσιαστή και αναπληρωτή θησαυροφύλακα, Άθα Συνοδινού, δεν είχε τον αναμενόμενο αντίκτυπο στην κοινή γνώμη.
Παρά την ενασχόληση των Μέσων Ενημέρωσης για μια ολόκληρη βδομάδα και το θόρυβο που δημιουργήθηκε για τις δραστηριότητες του Συνοδινού, όταν ο τελευταίος ήταν μέλος του Διοικητικού Συμβουλίου εταιρίας Australia Water Holdings -στην ιδιοκτησία της οποίας συμμετείχε και ο πρώην βουλευτής του Εργατικού κόμματος, Eddie Obeid, που κατηγορείται για διαφθορά-, η υποστήριξη των ψηφοφόρων στην κυβέρνηση Άμποτ κυμάνθηκε σχεδόν στα ίδια επίπεδα των τελευταίων εβδομάδων.
Πιο συγκεκριμένα, ο κυβερνητικός Συνασπισμός συγκέντρωσε το 40% των ψήφων σε σχέση με το 41% που είχε συγκεντρώσει πριν ένα δεκαπενθήμερο, ενώ η δύναμη τους Εργατικού Κόμματος αυξήθηκε κατά μία ποσοστιαία μονάδα από το 35% σε 36%.

Την ίδια χρονική περίοδο η δύναμη των Πράσινων -που υπέστησαν συντριπτική ήττα στις πολιτειακές εκλογές της Τασμανίας πριν μα εβδομάδα-, μειώθηκε κατά δύο ποσοστιαίες μονάδες από το 13% στο 11%.

Μετά την καταμέτρηση και των σταυρών δεύτερης προτίμησης το Εργατικό Κόμμα συγκεντρώνει το 52% των ψήφων και ο Συνασπισμός το 48%, που σημαίνει ότι αν οι ομοσπονδιακές εκλογές είχαν γίνει το περασμένο Σάββατο η κυβέρνηση Άμποτ θα τις είχε χάσει.

Να σημειώσουμε εδώ κατά τρεις ποσοστιαίες μονάδες βελτιώθηκε και η απόδοση του αρχηγού της αντιπολίτευσης, Μπιλ Σόρτεν, φτάνοντας από 33%, που ήταν πριν ένα δεκαπενθήμερο, στο 36%.

Τέλος να προσθέσουμε ότι, στην ερώτηση ποιον θεωρείτε καταλληλότερο για τη θέση του πρωθυπουργού, ο Τόνι Άμποτ συγκέντρωσε 43% των ψήφων και ο αρχηγός της αντιπολίτευσης 36%.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Greece has Europe’s highest flu deaths


Greece has experienced more deaths from flu than any other European country per capita, according to the latest figures measuring the virus’s impact.

6 Mar 2014

Greece has experienced more deaths from flu than any other European country this year apart from Spain, whose population is more than four times larger, according to the latest figures measuring the virus’s impact.

Data collected by the European Center for Disease Prevention (ECDC), made public in Greece by the Athens Medical Association (ISA), showed that 155 people had died in Spain by Saturday after contracting flu, while the number of lives lost in Greece to the virus reached 106. Spain, however, has a population of some 46 million, whereas under 11 million live in Greece.

Flu deaths in Greece were considerably higher than in a range of European countries. For instance in France, which has a population six times larger than Greece’s, 52 people died from the virus. In Romania, which has twice as many citizens as Greece, just four people died. There were also only four deaths in Sweden, which has a comparable population to Greece. Britain reported no deaths from the virus.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) said on Monday that flu deaths in Greece had risen to 110 and that another 46 people were receiving hospital treatment. A total of 286 people have received treatment in intensive-care units since the flu season began. However, the number of people contracting the virus has been falling since March 3.

The virulent H1N1 strain and a poor vaccination rate have been blamed for the increase in the number of deaths from the virus compared to last year.

ISA’s president Giorgos Patoulis called for Greece to develop a national vaccination plan for the next flu season. SYRIZA said that the government’s spending cuts to primary healthcare had contributed to the virus’s more damaging impact this year.

source: Neos Kosmos


The Hellenic Initiative in Australia


Arianna Huffington is one of the board members of The Hellenic Initiative. Photo: AP/Mark Lennihan.


The launch of the organisation takes place on March 26.

The Australian launch of The Hellenic Initiative (THE), a United States based global non-profit institution whose vision is to mobilise the global diaspora and the Philhellene community of the world to invest in the future of Greece, is to be launched in Sydney on Wednesday 26 March.

The Australian launch will be hosted, as revealed by Neos Kosmos earlier on this month, by journalist Helen Kapalos and will have as its featured speaker THI’s chairman, Mr Andrew N. Liveris AO, the Darwin born and Queensland educated Greek Australian who serves as chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company.

THI was launched in 2012 in Athens and in New York, is headed by Andrew N. Liveris, and claims as its president and honorary patron the former President of the United States of America Bill Clinton. The board members of the organisation include, amongst others, John A. Catsimatidis, Arianna Huffington, James Chanos, Nicholas Lazares, Drake Behrakis and other prominent Greek American business people.

The Hellenic Initiative aims to provide immediate and vital support in ensuring the prosperity of established and new organisations, as well as to encourage ongoing education, entrepreneurism and investment that will provide a sustainable foundation for Greece’s future.

THI is also answering the call for crisis relief in Greece and offers targeted financial support to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) that provide help to Greek families.

The SOS Children’s Villages, for abandoned and orphaned children, Apostoli, an organisation that distributes food to destitute families and Praksis, an NGO that operates a network of free health and dental clinics for low-income families, are some of the humanitarian projects supported in Greece.

Only last week, The Hellenic Initiative announced a $300.000 grant to the NGO Médecins du Monde-Greece (MdM) to provide critical childhood immunisations and free dental services for children and adults. MdM estimates that at least 3,500 children and 1,500 adults will receive dental treatments through this program. The vaccination program on the other hand will be centred in Athens, Perama, Thessaloniki, Chania and Patra and is expected to provide more than 7,000 vaccinations to nearly 3,900 children.

The Australian launch of The Hellenic Initiative in Sydney on Wednesday aims to achieve similar objectives by bringing together a select group of industry and community leaders of Greek heritage from around Australia.

source: Neos Kosmos