Daily Archives: January 6, 2015

Athens condemns Libya tanker bombing that killed two sailors

 Athens condemns Libya tanker bombing that killed two sailors

The Araevo, owned by Athens-based Aegean Shipping Management, was carrying 12,600 tons of crude oil and had 26 crew members on board.

The Greek government will proceed to all of the necessary representations to the Libyan authorities.

The Greek government condemned on Monday the bombing of a Greek-owned tanker at the Libyan port of Derna that left two sailors, a Greek and a Romanian, dead.

“The Greek government will proceed to all of the necessary representations to the Libyan authorities – in spite of the volatility of the prevailing situation – to make possible the clarification of the conditions under which the tragic incident occurred, the identification and punishment of the perpetrators of the attack, and the payment of compensation to the families of the victims,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement a day after the bombing by an unidentified fighter jet.

“To this end, the Greek government is already in contact with the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Libya, Bernadino Leon, and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini.”

The Araevo, owned by Athens-based Aegean Shipping Management, was carrying 12,600 tons of crude oil and had 26 crew members on board. Two other crew members were injured.

“According to information from the company that owns the Araevo, the vessel was under lease to Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) and for a number of years traveled between the Libyan ports of Marsa al-Brega and Derna without any problems,” the ministry added.

Source: Kathimerini

Armed forces placed on standby for new cold snap in Greece

Armed forces placed on standby for new cold snap in Greece

Meteorologists believe it could snow overnight in Athens’s northern suburbs.

The temperature is expected to reach as low as -11 in Florina, West Macedonia.

Defense Minister Nikos Dendias has ordered the armed forces to be on standby as a new wave of bad weather hits Greece.

The Civil Protection Authority in central and northern Greece is also on standby for potential problems caused by the cold weather and strong winds expected in many parts of the country.

The temperature is expected to reach as low as -11 in Florina, West Macedonia. Meteorologists believe it could snow overnight in Athens’s northern suburbs.

Source: Kathimerini

Euro slides to weakest since 2006 on ECB, Greece as dollar gains


 Euro slides to weakest since 2006 on ECB, Greece as dollar gains

The shared currency slid as much as 1.2 percent today after President Mario Draghi last week gave his clearest signal the ECB will start quantitative easing.

A gauge of the dollar headed for its highest ever close as the Federal Reserve moves toward raising interest rates.

The euro fell to the weakest in almost nine years against the dollar amid speculation the European Central Bank is moving closer to large-scale bond purchases.

The shared currency slid as much as 1.2 percent today after President Mario Draghi last week gave his clearest signal the ECB will start quantitative easing. The euro also weakened as Greece began an election campaign that may see victory by an anti-austerity party. A gauge of the dollar headed for its highest ever close as the Federal Reserve moves toward raising interest rates. New Zealand’s dollar and South Africa’s rand fell along commodity currencies

“The reasons to be selling the euro were pretty clear over the weekend: Draghi being a step closer to QE and deepening concerns about the Greek political situation,” said Sean Callow, a currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney. “The euro was so close to such a keenly watched round number as $1.20 that we didn’t need any fresh news to tip us over the cliff.”

The euro dropped 0.5 percent to $1.1945 as of 6:58 a.m. in London after sliding to $1.1864, the weakest level since March 2006. The shared currency fell 0.6 percent to 143.82 yen after declining to 143.16, the lowest since Nov. 11. The dollar was little changed at 120.33 yen.

Draghi said policy makers were ready to act if needed to counter deflation, in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt published Jan. 2. The ECB next meets Jan. 22.

“The risk that we don’t fulfill our mandate of price stability is higher than it was six months ago,” Draghi said. “We are in technical preparations to alter the size, speed and composition of our measures at the beginning of 2015, should this become necessary.”

Euro’s Slide
The euro has fallen 0.3 percent in the past week, the third worst performer of 10-developed nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The dollar gained 1.6 percent and the yen rose 1.9 percent.

Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras said his Syriza party would end German-led austerity if it wins the Jan. 25 vote. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to accept a Greek exit, a development Berlin sees as inevitable and manageable if Syriza wins, Der Spiegel magazine reported.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 10 major peers, rose for a second day. The gauge climbed 0.3 percent to 1,144.17, set for the highest close since its inception date of Dec. 31, 2004.

‘Nailed Down’
“The euro remained firmly out of favor as markets bank on details of upcoming ECB quantitative easing being nailed down as soon as Jan. 22,” Sharon Zollner, a senior economist in Auckland at ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd., wrote in a note to clients. The dollar is poised to extend gains as “roadblocks are expected to be few and far between on a journey towards a higher Fed Funds rate,” she said.

The yen rose to an eight-week high against the euro as a slide in Asian stocks boosted demand for haven assets.

“There are concerns for risk-off trades” and that is driving the yen higher, said Daisaku Ueno, chief currency strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo. Germany is starting to suggest that Greece may leave the euro, and “those sort of uncertainties are behind the trades,” he said.

The kiwi fell 0.8 percent to 76.37 U.S. cents and the rand slid 0.4 percent to 11.7309 per dollar. Oil declined for a third day after the Bloomberg Commodity Index slumped 17 percent last year, the worst performance since 2008.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Global FX Volatility Index climbed to the highest since September 2013. The gauge rose 19 basis points to 10.23 percent after climbing to 10.27 percent. It has increased from a record-low 5.28 percent set in July.

The South Korean won dropped for a third day as BNP Paribas said disinflationary pressure were keeping alive the possibility the Bank of Korea will cut interest rates in the first quarter.

The won declined 0.6 percent to 1,109.69 per dollar after depreciating to 1,110.70, the weakest level since Dec. 9.

*By Garfield Reynolds & Kevin Buckland- Bloomberg
Source: Kathimerini

Anastasiades says no talks while Turkish ships mount a challenge on gas

Anastasiades says no talks while Turkish ships mount a challenge on gas

Anastasiades, who leads a Greek Cypriot government, pulled out of peace talks in October, viewing the presence of the research ship as a challenge to Cyprus’s offshore rights.

Turkey says Cyprus has no rights over natural gas and any finds should be equitably shared with Turkish Cypriots.

Cyprus’s president vowed on Monday to stay away from peace talks with Turkey as long as Turkish ships remained off the island, threatening its right to explore for natural gas offshore.

Turkey dispatched a research vessel to the south of the island late last year while companies commissioned by the internationally recognised government explored offshore.

“My participation in a dialogue for a solution to the Cyprus problem is not possible for as long as the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus are being violated,» Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said in a written statement.

Anastasiades, who leads a Greek Cypriot government, pulled out of peace talks in October, viewing the presence of the research ship as a challenge to Cyprus’s offshore rights.

Local media reports said the Turkish vessel, which specialises in collecting seismic data, was now docked in Turkish-occupied Cyprus, awaiting fresh instructions from the Turkish government.

Cyprus and its partner, U.S. energy company Noble, made the first offshore natural gas find in late 2011. A consortium of Italy’s ENI Spa and South Korea’s KoGas is now exploring other areas south of the island.

Turkey says Cyprus has no rights over natural gas and any finds should be equitably shared with Turkish Cypriots. Cyprus says both sides can reap the benefits of gas discoveries once the island is reunited.

source: Neos Kosmos

Missing Rebecca Hatzis has been found

Missing Rebecca Hatzis has been found

16 year-old Rebecca Hatzis was missing since Christmas Eve.

The Greek-Australian girl is safe at home.

Missing teenager Rebecca Hatzis who was reported missing to police on 24 December and is suffering from an ongoing medical condition, has been found and is safe at home.

The Victoria Police News has issued a press release confirming the 16 year-old girl is with her family and being properly being taken care of. There has been yet no report on her whereabouts during the days she was missing.

The 16-year-old presented at Oakleigh police station about 2.15pm yesterday.

For any inquiries contact Victoria Police Media Officer Kelly Yates (39329).

source: Neos Kosmos

Geoffrey Robertson puts the case against Turkey for 1915 Armenian genocide

Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk barely escaped jail for discussing the Armenian genoci

Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk barely escaped jail for discussing the Armenian genocide.

ON April 24, 1915, the day before the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli, the Turkish government in Constantinople rounded up hundreds of Armenian artists, intellectuals, academics, priests and community leaders and killed most of them.

At the time there were 15 million Turkish Muslims and about two million Christian Arm­enians in Turkey (or Anatolia as it was then). The Armenians were better educated and wealthier than most Turks and because of that were envied and hated, so much so that the government instituted a program of ethnic cleansing. The Turks had had practice runs before. Between 1894 and 1896, 200,000 Armenians were massacred by soldiers and armed mobs.

From May to September 1915, up to two million Armenians were killed or expelled from the Ottoman Empire. The adult men were massacred or sent to death camps, while their families were sent on death marches through the desert. They were murdered, raped, drowned, burned alive and left to die of hunger and thirst. Churches, monasteries and schools were destroyed. All material goods were confiscated. Girls were made sex slaves and forced to convert. Up to 1.5 million died.

Since then Turkish apologists have protested that only 600,000 died and that the deportations and massacres were merely unfortunate incidents in a civil war. In An Inconvenient Genocide, Australian lawyer Geoffrey Robertson sifts the evidence and details the reasons he considers the Turkish elimination of the Armenians a crime against humanity, a genocide.

He doesn’t spend much time on the history but presents witness accounts by diplomats, missionaries, journalists, doctors and soldiers. Some of the compelling accounts are by Australian prisoners of war. Even Turkey’s German allies, especially diplomats, were horrified by what was happening and sent voluminous reports back to Berlin.

Turkish law sanctions citizens who ‘‘insult Turkishness’’ by referring to the treatment of Armenians as genocide. Nobel prize-winning writer Orhan Pamuk was charged but his international fame kept him out of jail. This national­istic hypersensitivity cannot be over­estimated. In 2010, the BBC recorded a play I wrote based on the memoirs of a US vice-consul, Leslie Davis, who witnessed deportations, death marches and atrocities. Because Turkish actors were afraid news of their participation would travel back home, they dropped out or acted under assumed names.

Robertson makes it clear that genocide is a matter for judges, not historians. He takes as his guide the International Court of Justice decree that genocide means acts committed with an intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. In practice this means disrupting social cohesion (murdering leaders and intellectuals), destroying cultural institutions and prohibiting cultural activities, shifting wealth from the persecuted group to privileged nationals, depopulating areas inhabited by a group, interfering with the activities of churches catering to the persecuted group and reducing its numbers by starvation or murder.

This book is a prosecutor’s brief: brilliant, forensic and irrefutable, and on all counts Robertson finds the 1915 Turkish government guilty of genocide. The subtitle, Who Remembers the Armenians?, is a paraphrase of Hitler’s remarks to his generals in 1939, ordering them to show no mercy to the Poles: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’’

Robertson is part of a growing global movement to have the Armenian genocide classed as a crime against humanity. Governments in Canada, France, Russia, Sweden and Poland have recognised the genocide, as have 43 of the 50 US states. The British and US governments have refused to do so; Turkey’s pro-Western stance makes it an important ally.

Led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a cynical populist, Turkey is doing all within its power not to confront its own past and also to stop the truth from being heard. This is of course not unusual (witness Japan’s refusal to acknowledge its horrific crimes in World War II and Australia’s deliberate amnesia about its treatment of Aborigines) but the evidence of the genocide is so overwhelming that the Turkish denial of what happened is breathtaking in its immaturity and lack of pity.

In Australia’s case, the NSW parliament recognised the genocide in 2013, but the federal government has not done so. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has gone so far as to deny it happened. Why is this? Well, the answer is quite simple: blackmail. She is afraid the Turkish government will stop Australians from visiting Gallipoli. She has good reasons for this, given the Turks have banned any member of the NSW parliament from attending this year’s centenary memorial service at Anzac Cove.

An Inconvenient Genocide should be compulsory reading for anyone who knows nothing about the Armenian genocide. It’s also a vivid reminder that we must never forget such crimes against humanity. Very few books are necessary, but this is one.


Liverpool indebted to ageless Steven Gerrard to see off AFC Wimbledon

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates

Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard celebrates after opening the scoring against AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round. Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images

They did everything except muzzle Steven Gerrard. AFC Wimbledon brought us a nice line in nostalgia in the way they set about trying to dismantle their opponents. They had posters outside advertising tickets against Carlisle, Accrington Stanley and Newport County, yet Liverpool were given a genuine fright by a club with a player in attack known as “Beast” and a queue of officials getting their pre-match grub in the greasy spoon, Fat Boy’s, just round the corner.

Adebayo Akinfenwa’s goal left Liverpool looking wobbly enough at half-time to leave the distinct sense they might be ripe for an upset. Yet ultimately this was a night when Gerrard reminded everyone how much Liverpool will miss him when he leaves for the United States at the end of the season. His first goal was an example of his courage and leadership qualities. The second, direct from a free-kick, was a moment of high skill and Liverpool needed his brilliance bearing in mind the prodigious efforts of the team that is 12th in the old fourth division.

Gerrard played as though acutely aware that his 35th birthday falls on the same day, 30 May, as the final and that it would be the best send-off possible; a Hollywood ending, you might say. Others might have been distracted by all the publicity that had engulfed him over the last week. Gerrard simply got on with doing what he does best and, in this instance, it involved getting Liverpool out of a potential hole bearing in mind the way Akinfenwa’s goal had encouraged Wimbledon’s fans to believe they might pull off a result even more remarkable than what happened at Wembley in 1988.

How do we describe Akinfenwa? Well, for starters, a question-and-answer session in the programme told us in great detail about his favourite Nando’s meal “quarter chicken (medium), five wings (medium), chips and corn on the cob” and that if he had not been a footballer he would have found work as a security guard. Wimbledon’s scorer is the closest there is in football to a human Hummer and what a moment, after 36 minutes, when he launched his formidable 16-stone frame at the ball to prod it over the goal-line.

Akinfenwa would also have been most people’s best bet to flatten a couple of opposition defenders. Yet this Wimbledon team is not like the old one and football has moved on since the days when players could get away with tackles like the one Vinnie Jones inflicted on Steve McMahon, by way of introduction, in the final 27 years ago.

Neal Ardley’s team were always going to need some refinement if they were going to threaten a side from three divisions higher and at one point Akinfenwa could be seen taking out two Liverpool players with a drag-back in the centre-circle. What the home side could not do was subdue Gerrard or remove that remarkable streak of competitive courage from Liverpool’s captain. “We got outdone by a world-class player in the end,”Ardley said.

Jones’s FA Cup medal could be seen in a glass cabinet in the main entrance and the guests of honour included old heroes such as Dave Beasant and Lawrie Sanchez. Yet Wimbledon’s players looked determined to create their own history. At half-time, with the score 1-1, the television pictures showed Ardley’s team-talk and the remarkable part was how calm everyone looked. They looked like a group who believed they could do it.

Gerrard had other ideas and, by the end, his influence could easily have extended to more goals. Ardley revealed afterwards he had shown his goalkeeper, James Shea, video footage of how Gerrard tends to curl free-kicks into the top corner. Wimbledon’s No 1 was fully prepared but Gerrard still managed to get the ball over the defensive wall and into the net. “He’s Steven Gerrard,” Shea said later. “That’s what he does”.

Early on, Wimbledon’s players had seemed too respectful of their opponents, not pressing quickly enough and letting Liverpool control the midfield and show their superiority on the ball. Gerrard’s first goal, on 12 minutes, was a case in point, Liverpool’s captain playing the ball out to Javier Manquillo and continuing his run into the penalty area. As the cross came in, Gerrard was the most determined player in the box to reach it first. There were two League Two centre-halves in close proximity but only Gerrard went for the ball with real conviction, scoring with a brave, stooping header.

Briefly, Wimbledon looked rattled. Yet when they did shake their heads clear it was a wonderful response to produce a flurry of concerted attacking around the half-hour mark. When teams play Liverpool these days they know they are vulnerable in the air and, once again, the awkward truth for Brendan Rodgers was that Simon Mignolet was sporadically a danger to his own team.

In fairness to the Liverpool goalkeeper, he did make a splendid reflex save from Sean Rigg, the home side’s most dangerous player, during that burst of concerted pressure. Yet when Mignolet missed the trajectory of George Francomb’s corner it led to the equaliser. Mamadou Sakho was caught by surprise and when the ball ricocheted off the Liverpool defender and against the crossbar Akinfenwa was steaming in to bundle in the rebound. Liverpool were looking vulnerable but Gerrard soothed their nerves and, on the counterattack, they probably should have added more goals in the final exchanges.

source: theguardian.com

Η πιο ακριβή σοκολάτα του κόσμου


Η σοκολατοβιομηχανία To’ak παρασκευάζει την ακριβότερη σοκολάτα στον κόσμο αποκλειστικά από κακάο και ζάχαρη! Πόσο κοστίζει; Μόλις 212 ευρώ για 50 γραμμάρια γευστικής μαγείας!

Ο λόγος βέβαια της τσουχτερής τιμής της δεν είναι άλλος από την πρώτη ύλη, αφού η σοκολάτα To’ak παράγεται από τα σπάνια κακαόδεντρα του Ισημερινού. Κάθε μπάρα αποτελείται κατά 81% μαύρη σοκολάτα, ενώ χρειάζονται δύο χρόνια για τη δημιουργία 574 τεμαχίων.

Η καθεμία, μάλιστα, πωλείται σε ξύλινο κουτάκι αριθμημένο με τη συγκομιδή το οποίο είναι διακοσμημένο με τους φλοιούς των πολύτιμων σπόρων κακάο, ενώ στο κέντρο της φέρει έναν σπόρο κακάο.


Φάλαινα 200 ετών αποκαλύπτει μυστικά μακροζωίας

Φάλαινα 200 ετών αποκαλύπτει μυστικά μακροζωίαςΚανένα θηλαστικό δεν ζει όσο η φάλαινα της Γροιλανδίας, ένα από τα πιο ογκώδη κήτη

Πριν από δύο δεκαετίες, οι βιολόγοι πίστευαν ότι η φάλαινα της Γροιλανδίας ζει γύρω στα 70 χρόνια, όπως άλλα είδη φαλαινών. Αυτό όμως άλλαξε με την ανακάλυψη καμακιών του 19ου αιώνα σφηνωμένα μέσα σε κήτη που σκοτώθηκαν πρόσφατα.

Όπως φαίνεται, η μεγαλόσωμη αυτή φάλαινα είναι το μακροβιότερο θηλαστικό του κόσμου, με ηλικία που φτάνει τα 200 χρόνια.

Γενετιστές που μελέτησαν τη φάλαινα της Γροιλανδίας, γνωστή και ως φάλαινα μυστακοκήτος (Balaena mysticetus) θέλουν τώρα να εισάγουν γονίδιά της σε πειραματόζωα, προκειμένου να ελέγξουν αν τα γονίδια αυτά προσφέρουν μακροζωία και προστασία από τον καρκίνο και την καρδιοπάθεια.

«Το ιδανικό πείραμα θα ήταν να πάρουμε ένα γονίδιο από τη φάλαινα και να το βάλουμε σε ένα ποντίκι» δήλωσε στους Sunday Times ο Χοάο Πέντρο ντε Μαγκάλες του Πανεπιστημίου του Λίβερπουλ, επικεφαλής της τελευταίας μελέτης.

Σε συνεργασία με ερευνητές από άλλες χώρες, ο Μαγκάλες συνέκρινε το γονιδίωμα της φάλαινας της Γροιλανδίας με το γονιδίωμα της ρυγχοφάλαινας, ενός είδους που ζει γύρω στα 30-50 χρόνια.

Η ανάλυση αποκάλυψε ότι ο μαθουσάλας φέρει μοναδικές μεταλλάξεις σε δύο γονίδια που σχετίζονται με τη διάρκεια ζωής. Είναι το γονίδιο ERCC1, το οποίο συμμετέχει στην επιδιόρθωση του DNA και προστατεύει από τον καρκίνο, και το γονίδιο PCNA, το οποίο επίσης συνδέεται με τους μηχανισμούς επιδιόρθωσης του DNA.

Ο Μαγκάλες ζητά τώρα την έγκριση χρηματοδότησης για την εισαγωγή των δύο γονιδίων σε πειραματόζωα, προκειμένου να μελετηθεί η δράση τους.

Η φάλαινα της Γροιλανδίας είναι από τα μεγαλύτερα είδη φαλαινών με μήκος που φτάνει τα 20 μέτρα και βάρος μέχρι 100 τόνους.

Σε αντίθεση με άλλες φάλαινες, οι οποίες μεταναστεύουν σε θερμότερα νερά για να γεννήσουν, η φάλαινα μυστακοκήτος περνά όλη της ζωή στα παγωμένα νερά της Αρκτικής.

Κυνηγήθηκε άγρια από τους φαλαινοθήρες μέχρι την απαγόρευση της φαλαινοθηρίας το 1996, και σήμερα ο πληθυσμός της είναι περίπου 26.000 άτομα, το μισό από ό,τι εκτιμάται ότι ήταν πριν αρχίσει το κυνήγι.

Κανείς δεν φανταζόταν ότι το κήτος είναι τόσο μακρόβιο μέχρι τη δεκαετία του 1990, όταν άρχισαν να ανακαλύπτονται φάλαινες της Γροιλανδίας που έφεραν μέσα στο σώμα τους καμάκια του 19ου αιώνα, φτιαγμένα από ελεφαντόδοντο, σχιστόλιθο ή ιαδεΐτη. Τα παλαιότερα έχουν ηλικία σχεδόν δύο αιώνων.

Το τελευταίο περιστατικό καταγράφηκε το 2007, όταν Εσκιμώοι σκότωσαν μια φάλαινα της Γροιλανδίας που είχε σφηνωμένο στο λαιμό της ένα καμάκι της  δεκαετίας του 1880.


Με πρωταγωνιστή τον Τζέραρντ συνεχίζει στο Κύπελλο Αγγλίας η Λίβερπουλ

Με πρωταγωνιστή τον Τζέραρντ συνεχίζει στο Κύπελλο Αγγλίας η Λίβερπουλ

Με οδηγό και πάλι τον Στίβεν Τζέραρντ η Λίβερπουλ πήρε την εκτός έδρας νίκη με σκορ 2-1 και πέρασε στους «32» του Κυπέλλου Αγγλίας.

Ο αρχηγός των «Ρεντς» άνοιξε το σκορ στο 12ο λεπτό  και πέτυχε το δεύτερο τέρμα του στο 62’.

Μπέρνλι και Τότεναμ με το 1-1 στο «Τερφ Μουρ» θα συνατηθούν σε επαναληπτικό. Το σκορ άνοιξαν οι «spurs» με τον Τσαντλί στο 56ο λεπτό, ενώ για τους γηπεδούχους η απάντηση ήρθε στο 73’ με τον Βόουκς.

Δευτέρα 05/01

Μπέρνλι-Τότεναμ 1-1
(73′ Βόουκς – 56′ Τσαντλί)

Γουίμπλεντον-Λίβερπουλ 1-2
(36′ Ακινφένουα – 12′, 62′ Τζέραρντ)

Τρίτη 06/01
Έβερτον-Γουέστ Χαμ (21:45)
Σκάνθορπ-Τσέστερφιλντ (21:45)

** Σε περίπτωση ισοπαλίας θα υπάρξει επαναληπτικός στην έδρα της φιλοξενούμενης ομάδας.