Daily Archives: July 21, 2014

Aυστραλία:Το διαδικτυακό ραδιόφωνο στα αυτοκίνητά μας

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Ο ομογενής Τζον Κόνομος, πρώην πρωτοκλασάτο στέλεχος της Toyota, αναλαμβάνει ηγετικό ρόλο στην εταιρία του Γιώργου Πάρθημου, και βάζουν το διαδικτυακό ραδιόφωνο στα αυτοκίνητά μας.

Ο ομογενής Τζον Κόνομος, πρώην διευθύνων σύμβουλος της Toyota, θα είναι ο νέος πρόεδρος του Δ.Σ. της εταιρίας Connexion Media Ltd, στην οποία ανήκει η εφαρμογή MiRoamer. Η συγκεκριμένη εφαρμογή δίνει την δυνατότητα να ακούμε από το ραδιόφωνο του αυτοκινήτου μας σταθμούς από κάθε γωνιά του πλανήτη.
Ιδρυτής και διευθύνων σύμβουλος της Connexion Media είναι ένας ακόμα ομογενής, ο Γιώργος Πάρθημος, από τη Μελβούρνη, ο οποίος είναι και ο άνθρωπος που εμπνεύστηκε και ανέπτυξε την παγκοσμίως πλέον γνωστή, εφαρμογή MiRoamer.

Η εταιρία στην οποία έχουν επενδύσει και πολλοί ομογενείς, αποτελεί σήμερα ένα λαμπρό επιχειρηματικό παράδειγμα στο χώρο της αυτοκινητοβιομηχανίας καθώς είναι μία από τις ελάχιστες αυστραλιανές εταιρίες κατασκευής εξαρτημάτων αυτοκινήτων που δραστηριοποιείται παγκοσμίως και έχει κερδίσει τα εύσημα των μεγάλων αυτοκινητοβιομηχανιών του κόσμου.

Το παραπάνω γεγονός ήταν και ένας από τους λόγους που οδήγησαν τον έμπειρο τόσο στο χώρο της αυτοκινητοβιομηχανίας γενικότερα όσο και στον τομέα διοίκησης ειδικότερα, Τζον Κόνομο, να αποφασίσει να αναλάβει το συγκεκριμένο πόστο στην ομογενειακή εταιρία.
«Τον πλησίασα πριν από περίπου ένα χρόνο» ανέφερε στο «Νέο Κόσμο» ο διευθύνων σύμβουλος της Connexion, κ. Γιώργος Πάρθημος. «Ενδιαφέρθηκε από την πρώτη στιγμή και αυτό γιατί είδε αφενός το ενδιαφέρον της παγκόσμιας αυτοκινητοβιομηχανίας για την εφαρμογή μας, την θέση που αυτή τη στιγμή έχει κατακτήσει στην παγκόσμια αγορά αλλά και τις προοπτικές της Connexion να γίνει ο κύριος προμηθευτής μεγάλων αυτοκινητοβιομηχανιών».
Αυτή τη στιγμή η εφαρμογή MiRoamer μαζί με την εφαρμογή TuneIn είναι οι δύο εφαρμογές που σύμφωνα με όλους τους οιωνούς θα εξοπλίσουν τα αυτοκίνητα της General Motors.

«Αυτή και μόνο η προοπτική ήταν αρκετή για να πιστέψει στη Connexion ο κ. Κόνομος» λέει ο ομογενής Γιώργος Πάρθημος.
Ο ίδιος ο Κόνομος, δημοσιοποιώντας την ανάληψη των καθηκόντων του στην Connexion δήλωσε με ιδιαίτερη πικρία ότι η έλλειψη ανάπτυξης και επενδύσεων σε καινοτόμες ιδέες αυστραλιανών εταιριών που μπορούν να βγουν στην αγορά της παγκόσμιας αυτοκινητοβιομηχανίας, διαγράφει ένα ιδιαίτερα σκοτεινό μέλλον για τον τομέα παραγωγής εξαρτημάτων αυτοκινήτων στην χώρα μας.

«Η Connexion έχει ήδη μπει στην επόμενη φάση του τομέα παραγωγής εξαρτημάτων για την παγκόσμια αγορά. Και ο δρόμος που ακολουθεί είναι ο σωστός και ο μόνος που πρέπει να ακολουθήσουν πολλές αυστραλιανές εταιρίες για να αποκτήσουν μία δυναμική παρουσία στην παγκόσμια αγορά αυτοκινητοβιομηχανιών. Ήθελα να συμμετάσχω σ’ αυτή την προσπάθεια. Πιστεύω σ’ αυτή» είπε χαρακτηριστικά ο κ. Κόνομος.
Η Connexion Ltd αναμένεται εντός της επόμενης εβδομάδας να εισέλθει στο χρηματιστήριο. Πριν από περίπου δύο μήνες η εταιρία κυκλοφόρησε ειδικό φυλλάδιο για αύξηση του μετοχικού κεφαλαίου της. Όπως ανέφερε ο κ. Πάρθημος, το ποσό των $3 εκατ. που ήταν απαραίτητο να συγκεντρωθεί για την είσοδο της εταιρίας στο χρηματιστήριο, έχει πλέον συγκεντρωθεί.

Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι μία και μόνο εταιρία η Mac Equity Partners από το Perth η οποία δραστηριοποιείται στον τομέα διαχείρισης επενδυτικών κεφαλαίων αγόρασε περίπου $1 εκατ. μετοχές της Connexion και αυτή τη στιγμή αποτελεί έναν από τους σημαντικότερους μετόχους της ομογενειακής εταιρίας.
Όσο για την «ελληνική» εφαρμογή διαδικτυακού ραδιοφώνου MiRoamer ο Γιώργος Πάρθημος δεν θέλησε να ανοίξει τα χαρτιά του (ακόμα) για το πόσα μοντέλα Chrysler, Chevrolet, Pontiac ή Holden θα φέρουν την εφαρμογή του, άφησε όμως να εννοηθεί ότι από το 2015 η MiRoamer θα είναι μία από τις εφαρμογές που θα συνοδεύει πολλούς οδηγούς που θα αγοράσουν τα νέα μοντέλα της General Motors.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Socceroos on notice for Asian Cup

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People won’t be so kind to the Socceroos if they mimic their Brazil losses in the Asian Cup

People won’t be so kind to the Socceroos if they mimic their Brazil losses in the Asian Cup.

Many observers feel a place in the semi-finals or final is the pass mark for Ange Postecoglou’s squad, and assistant coach Aurelio Vidmar knows the host must deliver.

The 16-team event kicks off in Melbourne when Australia plays Kuwait in Group A – which also includes Oman and Korea Republic – on 9 January.

And Vidmar feels it is time the Socceroos converted their promising development under Postecoglou into success.

“Ange has done a fantastic job in turning the perception of what the national team is about right around. But this is just the beginning – we can’t stop here,” he told SEN radio.

“Failure at the Asian Cup would be a disaster.”

Despite a poor showing in Brazil, defending champion Japan – drawn in Group D with Jordan, Iraq and Palestine – will go into the tournament as the favourite,
with Australia and the Koreans considered the next strongest teams.

“It’s not easy to win the Asian Cup … there are some very, very good teams there,” Vidmar added.

“If you have a look at the team at the World Cup – South Korea are a very young group and will now have a new coach. Japan will also have a new coach and then there’s a team like Iran, they’ve got a lot of good players and are exciting to watch.

“When you take those teams off the world stage and bring them into an Asian tournament they are a completely different kettle of fish.

“It’s not going to be easy.”

Source: Omnisport

Golden Dawn in America

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Golden Dawn members in New York ‘watching’ the Greek Day parade from the sidelines.

New York is home to the only active Greek synagogue outside of Greece and Israel.

Two years ago, Golden Dawn of Greece announced an ambitious program to create a support network in the United States that would be headquartered in the Astoria district of New York City. The nationwide response of Greek Americans has been negative, beginning with a harsh denunciation of Golden Dawn by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest Greek fraternal society in America. Since that time, there have been no Golden Dawn public events in any of the cities of the United States.

Golden Dawn’s presence is pretty much limited to their website, which spews anti-Semitism and other fascist drivel. There is no office and no representatives available to the public. Golden Dawn will sometimes answer phone calls, but will not consent to formal interviews or in-person communications. They remain a clandestine organisation operating through anonymous threats against events and persons they consider hostile.

A rare public moment for Golden Dawn in New York involved a handful of younger members sent to ‘watch’ the Greek Day parade from the sidelines. Earlier, Golden Dawn sent people to a fraternal organisation sending assistance to Greece. Their objective was to get their photo taken as if the effort were theirs.

They were expelled from the building and told not to return. Their attempt to celebrate the junta of 1967-74 in Astoria drew such a large, hostile crowd that Golden Dawn did not appear.

This past June 10, Richard Ledes, a Greek American, released Golden Dawn, NYC, a video available gratis on YouTube. The video features a wide variety of community voices. As recorded in the video, Ledes’ offered to give Golden Dawn the opportunity to speak for itself, but the invitation was declined. Nor was Ledes able to find a single prominent Greek American to speak on behalf of Golden Dawn.

In contrast, Father Alex Karloutsos, one of the most powerful clerics in America, condemns Golden Dawn as “barbaric, uncivilised, and criminal”. Nicholas Karacostas, the chair of AHEPA, describes them as anti-Hellenic. Federal Judge Nicholas Tsoucalas is infuriated that they honour the fascists who brought havoc to Greece in World War II. Eric Poulos, a prominent civil liberties attorney, speaks of Golden Dawn’s assault on human rights.

Academics from Columbia University, the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, New York University and Queens College assail Golden Dawn’s agenda and place its program in a broader European context. I was among that group. Dean Sirigos of The National Herald, the largest circulating Greek American newspaper, denounces them as racist anti-Semites. Ledes ends and begins his video with scenes of the beaches of Normandy to visually underscore the cost of appeasing fascism.

Golden Dawn responded with its own video of mini-biographies of many of its critics. These ‘bios’ are often pure fiction and would be laughable if Golden Dawn had not hinted on where to harass its critics. Subsequently, three of the video speakers have received middle-of-the night hang-up calls. These and similar actions have been reported to the FBI and other security agencies. Photos of Golden Dawn activists have been taken to establish their identity for the police and others.

A variety of cultural factors account for the reaction of Greek Americans to Golden Dawn. A fundamental aspect is that aside from the usual lunatic fringe, Greek Americans are not anti-Semitic and consider attacks on American Jews as unacceptable, regardless of how they might feel about the politics of the state of Israel. In New York, in particular, the largest Greek community in America, relations with Jews are very congenial. Due to shared economic status and cultural values, there is considerable contact in business, mass media, academia, fine arts, and other professional venues. In the political sphere, Jewish politicians are working with Greek Americans to promote gas projects in Cyprus involving Israel and to critique Turkey’s treatment of its Greek Orthodox citizens and other religious minorities.

A unique factor is that New York is home to the only active Greek synagogue outside of Greece and Israel. This synagogue is located on the lower east side of Manhattan and is part of history tours given by various groups. The synagogue’s museum stresses the historic connections to Greece that go back to the time of Alexander the Great. The New York Greek Film Festival, sponsored by the Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, regularly shows films about Greek Jews that not only deal with the Holocaust in Greece but also celebrate cultural figures such as the legendary Rosa Ashkenazi. News about Greek Jews appears regularly in the Greek American press.

The Greek Orthodox Church in America, under the current archbishop, is not particularly active politically. Nonetheless, there is an annual celebration of Greek Jews sponsored by and attended by the archbishop. He speaks often of his fond relations with Jews when he resided in Thessaloniki, and his wider teachings stress a humanistic approach to social diversity.

Greek America is shaped by a relatively recent immigrant experience. From the major Greek arrival at the onset of the twentieth century through 1940, Greeks frequently had to deal with hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Since that time, discrimination has been more subtle, but still evident, even in the failed presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. Scholars, novelists, museums and newspapers have been successful in not allowing cultural amnesia to erase the memory of the discrimination Greek Americans faced for decades.

Another cultural dynamic is that 80 per cent of all marriages by Greeks, even in the Orthodox Church, are to non-Greeks. The policies of all Greek organisations, including the Church, are focused on Hellenising non-Greek spouses and children of mixed ethnic heritage. Hellenism is defined as cultural rather than genetic. Such sentiments make Greek Americans hostile to simplified anti-immigrant rhetoric and the notion of a pure Greek ‘race’.
Greek Americans are very proud of how heroically the Greeks fought in World War II and their own successful efforts to provide massive war relief. They do not understand how any normally intelligent Greek could be attracted to a cult that gives Nazi salutes, adapts Nazi-style symbols, and advances the ideology that led to the death of 10 per cent of the Greek population during World War II.

The ability of Golden Dawn to achieve third-party status in Greece is puzzling, embarrassing, and even infuriating to Greek Americans. They understand the need to protest the loathsome demands imposed by the foreign troika and the legitimate problems involving illegal immigrants who now make up more than 10 per cent of the national population. Greek Americans think there surely must be a healthier way to register an electoral protest vote.

Greek Americans are determined that the American public never accepts the idea that Golden Dawn is a legitimate voice of their community. Although often depicted by other Americans as a model immigrant community, Greek Americans realise they are less than 1 per cent of the total American population and their major religious institution does not attract many converts. For decades, Greek Americans have consciously presented themselves as dedicated to the Rule of Law and acceptance of ethnic diversity. Golden Dawn is the antithesis of that perspective. The major political challenge facing Greek Americans is to steadfastly reject and rebuke Golden Dawn without bringing it the publicity and notoriety it craves.

*Dr Dan Georgakas is a Greek American historian, author, art critic and activist. He is editor of the policy journal of the American Hellenic Institute.

source: Neos Kosmos

 

Αθήνα:Το «comeback» της πόλης σε αριθμούς

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Δύο δισ. δολάρια φέρνουν στην Αθήνα οι τουρίστες.

Συγκυριακό ή μη -ο χρόνος θα το δείξει- το comeback της Αθήνας είναι γεγονός, με την ελληνική πρωτεύουσα να κερδίζει συνεχώς έδαφος στο διεθνή τουριστικό χάρτη.
Σύμφωνα με τα στοιχεία της Mastercard, οι διεθνείς ταξιδιώτες της Αθήνας εκτιμάται ότι θα ξοδέψουν φέτος συνολικά 1,9 δισ. δολάρια ή 1,4 δισ. ευρώ, σημειώνοντας, μάλιστα, αύξηση κατά 27% σε σχέση με το αντίστοιχο νούμερο του 2013. Η αύξηση των ταξιδιωτών για εφέτος στην ελληνική πρωτεύουσα, κατά τους υπολογισμούς των αναλυτών της κορυφαίας, παγκοσμίως, εταιρείας τεχνολογίας πληρωμών, θα κυμανθεί στο 17,8% σε σύγκριση με το 2013, με το συνολικό αριθμό να φθάνει τα 1,9 εκατομμύρια.

Η αύξηση αυτή συμβαδίζει και με τις διαπιστώσεις των επικεφαλής των μεγαλύτερων εγχώριων ομίλων του λιανεμπορίου (FF Group -Folli Follie, Attica κ.τ.λ.) ότι το μείγμα των ξένων τουριστών στην ελληνική πρωτεύουσα αλλάζει και πλέον από τους παραδοσιακούς Δυτικοευρωπαίους, οι οποίοι ξόδευαν συγκρατημένα, οι τουρίστες από την Κίνα, τη Ρωσία, τη Μέση Ανατολή, αλλά και την Τουρκία αυξάνονται και μαζί με αυτούς αυξάνονται και οι δαπάνες για τα ψώνια τους στα πολυκαταστήματα του κέντρου, τα καταστήματα της Βουκουρεστίου και του Κολωνακίου.

Ειδικά οι Κινέζοι και οι Ρώσοι κινούν αυτή τη στιγμή τις αγορές όλων των μεγάλων πρωτευουσών του κόσμου και, μάλιστα, αναδείχθηκαν πρωταθλητές στο tax free shopping για το 2013 διεθνώς, όπως προκύπτει από τα στοιχεία της Global Blue, της γνωστής εταιρείας που προσφέρει ειδικές υπηρεσίες σε εμπόρους για επιστροφές φόρου και δραστηριοποιείται σε 37 χώρες σε όλο τον κόσμο μεταξύ των οποίων και η Ελλάδα.

«Οι Κινέζοι ταξιδιώτες ήταν αυτοί που ξόδεψαν τα περισσότερα σε αφορολόγητες αγορές το 2013 με ποσοστό 27% επί του συνόλου και έχοντας αυξήσει τις δαπάνες τους κατά 20% σε σχέση με το προηγούμενο έτος, ενώ ήδη είχε τριπλασιασθεί για την περίοδο από το 2009 έως το 2012. Οι αγαπημένες τους αγορές είναι η Γαλλία, και ακολουθεί η Γερμανία και η Σιγκαπούρη, με τα ρούχα να είναι η αγαπημένη τους κατηγορία για τα ψώνια τους. Οι Ρώσοι ήταν οι δεύτεροι πιο «σπάταλοι» σε tax free αγορές το 2013 με 17% επί του συνόλου», αναφέρει η Global Blue, η οποία εκτιμά ότι η συνολική αγορά tax free είναι αξίας περίπου 48 δις. ευρώ στις 37 χώρες όπου δραστηριοποιείται.

Βέβαια, τα νούμερα της Αθήνας πόρρω απέχουν ακόμη από τα νούμερα της «πρωταθλήτριας» κόσμου, του Λονδίνου, που θα έχει φέτος σχεδόν τον ίδιο αριθμό επισκεπτών που θα έχουν όλες οι τουριστικές περιοχές της Ελλάδας με εισπράξεις από τις αγορές των ταξιδιωτών πάνω από αυτές που θα έχει το σύνολο της χώρας μας εφέτος, τη χρονιά- ρεκόρ για τον ελληνικό τουρισμό.

Σύμφωνα με το δείκτη MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, τη βρετανική πρωτεύουσα υπολογίζεται ότι θα επισκεφθούν εφέτος 18,69 εκατομμύρια ταξιδιώτες (σ.σ. λίγο χαμηλότερα δηλαδή από τα 19 και κάτι εκατομμύρια που αναμένονται εφέτος ότι θα πάνε στην Ελλάδα), ξοδεύοντας ούτε λίγο-ούτε πολύ 19,3 δισ. δολάρια ή 14,1 δισ. ευρώ, περισσότερα δηλαδή από τις εφετινές τουριστικές εισπράξεις των 13 και πλέον δισ. ευρώ που αναμένονται για τη χώρα.
Αναμένεται αύξηση 17,8% των ταξιδιωτών για φέτος στην ελληνική πρωτεύουσα, σε σύγκριση με το 2013 – Κινέζοι και Ρώσοι οι πιο… ανοιχτοχέρηδες

Πηγή:Νέος Κόσμος

Australia:In a rare occasion, priests from Greek, Serbian, Russian and Romanian Orthodox faiths gathered to mark the 13 million lives lost in the Eastern European front during the First World War.

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Priests from Greek Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox and Romanian Orthodox churches. Photo: Kostas Deves.

In a rare occasion, priests from Greek, Serbian, Russian and Romanian Orthodox faiths gathered to mark the 13 million lives lost in the Eastern European front during the First World War.

The Pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy and memorial service held at the Holy Monastery of Axion Esti in Northcote on Saturday saw hundreds of young and old gather to commemorate the 100 year anniversary.

Each orthodox priest had the opportunity to give the liturgy in their church’s native tongue, with an English liturgy also held.

Many of the young that attended came in national consumes, with choir groups from many nationalities helping with the psalms.

The church service was then followed by a memorial service and a laying of the wreaths ceremony at the Cenotaph.

The Consul General of Greece for Melbourne, Christina Simantirakis was joined by local MP Jenny Mikakos and members of the Australian defence force in laying wreaths for the fallen.

source: Neos Kosmos

Australia:Thousands rally for Cyprus

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Church leaders and community leaders march with hundreds of Cypriot Australians. Photo: Kostas Deves.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on the weekend, thousands of Cypriot Australians marched calling for the demilitarization and reunification of the island.

In Victoria, commemorations started earlier in the week, with a small group of Cypriots standing outside the Turkish Consulate of Melbourne with signs calling for Turkish troops to exit Cypriot land.

Friday saw a sombre group gather to host a candlelight vigil and human chain outside the Parliament of Victoria, aiming to remind the government of the plight of Cyprus.

A supper was also held in the memory of the Cypriot refugees who were forced to leave their homes.

On the day of the anniversary, both Melbourne and Western Australia held church services and commemorations.

Melbourne Cypriots took to the streets and marched from the Lonsdale Street Greek precinct to the steps of the Victorian parliament, many holding photos of their loved ones who were killed or are still missing from the invasion.

Speaking at the service was the Secretary of the Council of Ministers of Cyprus, Theodosis A. Tsiolas, the High Commissioner of Cyprus to Australia, Ioanna Maliotis, the Consul General of Greece to Melbourne, Christina Simantirakis and the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria’s president, Bill Papastergiadis.

Perth also marked the anniversary with a wreath laying service at the war memorial in Kings Park, hosted by the Cypriot Community of Western Australia.
Events are yet to be hosted in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney, which will continue commemorations this week.

Adelaide:
Wednesday 23 July:
7.00 pm: Commemorative service at the Cypriot community of South Australia, 8 Barrpowell St, Welland, SA, with Theodosis A. Tsiolas and Ioanna Malliotis to attend.

Brisbane:
Friday 25 July:
6.00 pm: Church service at Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George
Followed by laying of wreaths and commemorative reception at Cyprus House, 2 Vulture Street, West End, QLD.
Mr Theodosis A. Tsiolas and Mrs Ioanna Malliotis will address the crowd.

Sydney:
Sunday 27 July:
10.00 am: Memorial service at Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Redfern
Theodosis A. Tsiolas to meet with Archbishop Stylianos
1.30 pm: Wreath laying at Martin Place, followed by protest march through George Street
3.30 pm: Speeches and cultural program by the Cypriot Community of Sydney and NSW

source: Neos Kosmos

Australia:Bi-partisan support for Cyprus reunification

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Parliament House has been the gathering point for many invasion protests. Photo: Kostas Deves.

Federal Parliament passes motion by Maria Vamvakinou, reaffirming its support for a fair and just resolution to the Cyprus problem.

As the world prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of the Cyprus invasion by Turkey, Australia has reaffirmed its position, calling for the demilitarisation and reunification of the island.

Greek Australian MP Maria Vamvakinou spearheaded a motion in Federal Parliament this week, calling for bi-partisan support in aiding peace processes for the reunification of Cyprus.

The motion was passed without debate, with Labor MP Anthony Albanese and Liberal MP Matthew Williams showing their support in parliament.

“We’ve secured ongoing continuing bi-partisan support both from the government member, Matt Williams who spoke, and our side, that we continue to support a resolution for Cyprus,” Ms Vamvakinou told Neos Kosmos.

Flying to Cyprus this weekend, Ms Vamvakinou will be in the country to witness anniversary commemorations, while also reiterating Australia’s support.
She believes peace is at its final stages, and is hopeful for a workable resolution that will benefit both parties.

“I think a resolution is achievable, and I think all the work that’s been done brings the situation to a point where it just needs one final push.”

That final push is down to the political sides of the Greek and Turkish run Cyprus reaching an agreement.

Recently there has been growing internal and international support for the reunification.

Both interfaith leaders, Greek Archbishop Chrysostomos and the Mufti of the Turkish Cypriots, Dr Talip Atalay, have voiced their views that Cyprus would benefit being reunited.

US vice-president Joe Biden said in his recent visit to Cyprus that “peace should be the Cypriots’ legacy to their children”.

But after 40 years of no solution, many have abandoned the idea that Cypriots will live in a unified country.

“It’s been painstakingly slow at a political level,” Ms Vamvakinou says.

Australia plays a vital role in showing that both sides can live harmoniously thanks to its migration legacy.

Thousands of Turkish and Greek Cypriots live side by side all around Australia, with more than 22,000 Australians tracing Cypriot ancestry.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia has been aided by the migration of Cypriot Greeks for years.

“Successive waves of newcomers eager for a better life, including many of Cypriot and Greek heritage, have enriched our culture and added a heroic dimension to our national story,” he said in a message to the community through Neos Kosmos.

MP Anthony Albanese, who supported the motion, said in his constituency of Grayndler he sees Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots living in harmony.

“The Cyprus Community Club in my electorate has brought together people of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot backgrounds to recognise the cultural benefit that comes from mutual respect and understanding,” he said in his speech.

Ms Vamvakinou has seen that first hand in Cyprus, with divided communities uniting under the Cypriot flag and promoting a unified identity.

“I’ve met with people from the other side, the Turkish Cypriots, and one of the things that struck me always was that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots
have a lot of things in common,” she says.

“They are Cypriots, pushing that citizenship and identity is really important.”

Currently the Australian Federal Police is taking on its 50th year stationed at the buffer zone, serving continuously as part of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus.

The AFP has had thousands of officers stationed in Cyprus, with three policemen, Sergeant Llewelyn John Thomas, Inspector Patrick Hackett and Sergeant Ian Donald Ward tragically losing their lives alongside 181 other peacekeepers in their role.

source: Neos Kosmos

The remains of up to 196 people from the MH17 crash in Ukraine have been loaded on to refrigerated rail wagons, to be taken to an unknown destination.

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A freight wagon carrying the remains of MH17 victims at Torez station

The remains of up to 196 people from the MH17 crash in Ukraine have been loaded on to refrigerated rail wagons, to be taken to an unknown destination.

All 298 people on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 died when a missile reportedly hit it on Thursday.

Western countries have criticised pro-Russian rebels controlling the area for restricting access to the crash site.

The rebels say they will hand MH17’s flight recorders to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

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At the scene: Fergal Keane, BBC News, at the crash site

The indiscipline and chaos of the last two days have been replaced by the robust presence of former riot policemen who now form a cordon around the central area of the crash site.

There is still no sign of the fully fledged independent investigation which is being demanded by the international community.

During the morning local volunteers have been searching the fields. We have been told that their job is to pinpoint belongings and remains to the emergency services. But this could easily have the effect of disturbing evidence important to an inquiry.

As for the strong words from British Prime Minister David Cameron attacking Russia they are likely to have little impact on the rebels here. They are contemptuous of the West and are much more concerned with the local military balance than with any warnings from London.

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Most of the recovered bodies are thought to have been put in refrigerated rail wagons

Ukraine’s government and the rebels have accused each other of shooting down the Boeing 777, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The US state department said there had been multiple reports of bodies and aircraft parts being removed, and potential evidence tampered with, by rebels.

Heavy machinery could be seen moving plane debris around at the crash site, AP news agency reported.

Separately, UK broadcaster Sky News apologised after one of its presenters was shown going through items in a suitcase belonging to one of the passengers.

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A crane could be seen at the crash site lifting large pieces of wreckage

Fighting is reportedly continuing in eastern Ukraine between the separatist rebels and government forces in a conflict which erupted in April and is believed to have claimed more than 1,000 lives.

In other developments

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry said it was “pretty clear” Russia had transferred a missile system to the rebels which was allegedly used to down the jet
  • Ukraine produced what it said was a recording of another intercepted call between rebels (in Russian) saying Moscow had given orders not to hand the “black boxes” to international monitors. The authenticity of the tape could not be confirmed
  • Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said talks were under way with the rebels on letting the train leave rebel territory
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The UN Security Council has called for a full and independent international investigation into the crash

The freight train with its five sealed wagons has been standing at Torez railway station, 15km (nine miles) from the crash site.

The carriages, with heavy closed doors, look like refrigeration units and there is the occasional smell normally associated with dead bodies, the BBC’s Richard Galpin reports from Torez.

The OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) mission in the region said in a tweet it had been told that 196 bodies were on the rail wagons in Torez.

An OSCE team was allowed to see three of the wagons and observed “tagged body bags”, without being able to verify the figures. It’s not clear where the train will take the bodies.

Inside the cathedral church at Hilversum, they wipe the tears away, as the clang of bells echoes off the cold stone walls.

“Three families and one individual were ripped from our community. Thirteen people,” says the deputy mayor.

The names are read out. A copy of the passenger list that the priest has printed off is laid next to a candle lit for the victims. More tears.

A woman arrives. She tells of how when the airline released the passenger manifest she looked through the names, and found out her former boss and her entire family was on board. Again, tears.

Later, outside a school, notes left by children to a teacher. “You were my favourite,” says one.

And in script struggled over by a child just learning to write, a message so simple it is devastating: “Lovely Sandra. It’s a shame you’re dead.”

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Speaking in Donetsk, the biggest rebel-held city in the east, rebel political leader Alexander Borodai reportedly said the bodies would remain in Torez until international aviation inspectors arrived.

He said they had moved the bodies “out of respect for the families”, adding: “We couldn’t wait any longer because of the heat and also because there are many dogs and wild animals in the area.”

He also said his forces had brought the plane’s “black boxes” to the city and he was supervising them personally.

Michael Bociurkiw, an OSCE spokesman, told reporters that some of the other bodies from the plane could have been incinerated during the crash, AP said.

Memorials

The passenger list released by Malaysia Airlines shows the plane was carrying 193 Dutch nationals (including one with dual US nationality), 43 Malaysians (including 15 crew), 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 10 Britons (including one with dual South African nationality), four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines, and one each from Canada and New Zealand.

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Mourners in Australia remembered locals who died, and those travelling to the city for an Aids conference

Memorial services and vigils have been held in many countries, including Australia, Malaysia and the Netherlands.

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In Malaysia, a monk performs a prayer during a special vigil

In a mark of respect to the dead, Malaysia Airline says it is retiring the MH17 flight number. The airline did the same for MH370, which disappeared in March with 239 passengers and crew on board.

Russia denies any involvement in the downing of the Malaysian plane, and has rejected Western allegations that it is stoking the Ukraine conflict.

source: bbc.com

 

Emotions flow as injured rugby league player Alex McKinnon inspires a nation: rugby league community pays tribute

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IT was the moment that signified this was more than just a game.

A simple embrace that emotionally captured just how rugby league had banded together as one in their support of a ­courageous young man.

Minutes before kick-off at Hunter Stadium yesterday, you could hear the yahooing and ­urging of Gold Coast Titans players echoing as they walked from their dressing room through the tunnel that leads to the ground. 

But then silence. A sudden hush as Newcastle captain Kurt Gidley and his team emerged alongside them with Alex ­McKinnon leading them out.

It was then Titans captain Nate Myles put the on-field battle about to unfold into the background and went up to McKinnon and cradled him in his arms.

McKinnon, whose bravery and courage throughout his ordeal has been such an inspiration to everyone, was simply overwhelmed and the tears flowed.

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Daily Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker presents a cheque to Alex McKinnon / Picture: Gregg Porteous

“I didn’t really know how I was going to handle it, to tell you the truth,” he said. “Everyone saw how I did handle it — (it was) pretty full on. I was trying to hold everything back but at the end of the day, the true person in myself came out and a few tears and that.

‘‘But, oh well, you can’t help that, can you? I’m overwhelmed by all the support. Very thankful.”

McKinnon touched on just how overwhelming it was.

Alex McKinnon is cheered onto the field. Pic: Gregg Porteous

Alex McKinnon is cheered onto the field / Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

“Everyone’s support and everyone’s messages — it does hit home for me,” he said.

“I’m happy to be back in Newcastle and happy to be back at the stadium. It just feels right. It feels good to be back here. I suppose you’d never think four months ago you’d go away to a game in round three and you wouldn’t come back for four months.”

Myles, one of the game’s hardest men, admitted the emotion of the occasion had got to him.

“Just seeing him come down from the other side of the stadium took me back a bit,” Myles said.

“When we got on to the field, it hit me again. To see his emotion with all the support. That sort of got to me a little bit, to be honest.”

Alex McKinnon leaves the field after lining up with the teams before kick off. Pic: Gregg

Alex McKinnon leaves the field after lining up with the teams before kick off / Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

 

It was that sort of day in Newcastle as an outpouring of generosity helped push donations past $1 million for the RiseForAlex fund.

The Daily Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker presented a $300,000 cheque at yesterday’s clash between the Knights and the Titans — the fund’s single ­biggest contribution so far.

Daily Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker, second from left, presents a cheque to Alex McKinn

Daily Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker, second from left, presents a cheque to Alex McKinnon / Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

 

Mr Whittaker, who presented the money on behalf of The Daily Telegraph, FoxSports and the Crown Resorts Foundation, told the crowd McKinnon was a man who exemplified courage.

“Nothing demands our respect more than someone who, having being dealt an awfully cruel blow by life, accepts the challenge to conquer the impossible,” he said.

source:dailytelegraph.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Αustralia:Coalition’s slide in the polls continues

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The Coalition’s slide in the polls is continuing, with voters favouring Bill Shorten over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister.

Labor leads the Coalition on a two party-preferred basis, while the opposition leader is seen as more trustworthy than Mr Abbott, the latest Fairfax-Nielsen poll shows.

The nationwide poll, published on Monday, has Labor well ahead of the Coalition, 54 per cent to 46 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

That’s the equivalent of a 7.5 per cent swing to Labor since September.

The report says Labor also leads the Coalition by three percentage points on primary votes.

Mr Shorten continues to be out in front of Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister, 46 per cent to 41 per cent.

Mr Abbott’s trustworthiness rating also lags behind Mr Shorten’s at a record low of 35 per cent to 45 per cent.

The results follow the May budget, which proposed a $7 GP co-payment among other imposts.

Pollster John Stirton labelled the result as a bad one for the government and Mr Abbott.

“Mr Abbott fell behind in May 2014 after eight months in office, faster than any previous prime minister with the exception of Paul Keating who started out behind,” Mr Stirton said.

“Julia Gillard was preferred PM for her first 13 months in office … Kevin Rudd was never behind and John Howard was preferred PM for 21 months after being elected.”

The survey of 1400 people was taken from Thursday to Saturday.

source:theaustralian.com.au