Daily Archives: November 3, 2015

Nine in 10 Greek farmers declared incomes below 5,000 euros in 2014, ministry says


Nine out of 10 farmers in Greece declared an annual income below the tax-free threshold of 5,000 euros in 2014, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

According to the figures, 87.5 percent of the 532,917 taxpayers registered as farmers declared an income of 5,000 euros or less and just 5 percent claimed to have made more than 12,000 euros last year; 1.05 percent declared incomes of up to 30,000 euros and a mere 1 percent claimed to have made above that amount.

Of those who declared incomes below the tax-free threshold, 104,768 or 19.6 percent, declared no income or losses in 2014, the ministry said, while 233,674 claimed to have made up to 1,000 euros, representing 43.85 percent.

The total income declared by farmers in 2014 came to 1.3 billion euros, bringing the average per farmer at 2,518 euros for the entire year.

The figures were published as the government braces for a head-on collision with farmers over plans to increase their taxes.


Pacific Dawn cruise ship becomes largest ship to pass under West Gate Bridge


The largest cruise ship to sail up the Yarra has squeezed under the West Gate Bridge.

P&O Cruise’s Pacific Dawn sailed under the bridge at 6.15am, en route to Victoria Dock, next to Docklands.

It was a narrow squeeze – the luxury liner is 47.6 metres high, while the Westgate is 50.1 metres.

But the marine experts had the tidal charts in hand to ensure the Pacific Dawn had a handy clearance, albeit just over two metres.

The 70,285-tonne superliner is carrying 2000 guests all bound for the Melbourne Cup.

Cruise companies have sold thousands of Melbourne Cup packages. The Pacific Dawn is one of four big boats steaming to Melbourne for the Cup, bringing more than 8000 nautical punters to town.

The Pacific Dawn will spend two days at Victoria Dock, while sister P&O ships Pacific Jewel and Pacific Pearl will be berthed at Station Pier along with the Carnival Spirit from Carnival Cruise Line.

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Between them, the four ships’ 8000 passengers will be contributing an estimated 8 per cent of the total attendees at Flemington on Cup day.

The mega fleet will deliver the biggest single contingent of interstate visitors to the Cup – about 14 per cent.

The ships have milliners, stylists and fashion and beauty experts on board to help guests put their best foot forward trackside. Once at the Cup, the cruise passengers will have access to the P&O enclosure, with canapes and drinks on hand.

The three P&O ships will leave Melbourne on Wednesday, while the Carnival Spirit will depart on Thursday.

It is the first time such a large contingent will sail to Melbourne for the Cup, and the largest number of cruise ships that has ever been docked in Melbourne at one time.

However, it is hoped that Carnival Australia has arrangements in place to ferry passengers to Flemington.

Last week, tourists who arrived on the Golden Princess struggled to get into the city. Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the port due to a shortage of taxis, while others formed huge queues at local newsagencies to purchase a myki card.


Τρεις ομογενείς στον κατάλογο των πλουσιότερων νέων της Αυστραλίας


Ο Νίκος Γεωργαλής (δεξιά)

Το μέλλον τους διαγράφεται λαμπρά πλούσιο

Ο 40χρονος Γιώργος Νάκας, ο 31χρονος Τιμ Δημητρίου και ο 39χρονος Νίκος Γεωργαλής είναι οι τρεις ομογενείς που συγκαταλέγονται ανάμεσα στους 100 πλουσιότερους Αυστραλούς νεαρής ηλικίας (40 ετών και κάτω), σύμφωνα με τον σχετικό κατάλογο του περιοδικού BRW.

Με περιουσία $102 εκατ., ο Γιώργος Νάκας από τη Βικτώρια, καταλαμβάνει την 20ή θέση του καταλόγου. Ο κ. Νάκας είναι συνιδιοκτήτης της επενδυτικής επιχείρησης Morgan Sachs Group. Συνέταιρος του κ. Νάκα είναι ο Gavin Fernandez, ο οποίος φέτος δεν βρίσκεται στον συγκεκριμένο κατάλογο καθώς είναι άνω των 40 ετών. Η εταιρία των δύο «λαμπρά πλουσίων» νέων, έχει επενδύσεις στους τομείς εμπορίας αυτοκινήτων, σε εταιρίες ανανεώσιμων πηγών ενέργειας, αλλά και στην αγορά ακίνητης περιουσίας. Πάντως, η πιο προσοδοφόρα επιχειρηματική δραστηριότητα των δύο νέων είναι η επιχείρηση Dutton Garage Luxury Car, μία επιχείρηση εμπορίας υπερπολυτελών αυτοκινήτων με πελατολόγιο απ’ όλο τον κόσμο. Ενδεικτικό της ιδιαίτερα επιτυχημένης πορείας της Dutton Garage είναι το γεγονός ότι το 2014 τα έσοδά της ξεπέρασαν τα $275 εκατ.

Την 33η θέση του καταλόγου καταλαμβάνει ο ανιψιός του πρώην μεγάλου αφεντικού του AFL, Ανδρέα Δημητρίου, Τιμ.

Ο Τιμ -η περιουσία του οποίου φτάνει τα $73 εκατ.-, είναι επικεφαλής σε παγκόσμια κλίμακα της εταιρίας Acquire Learning, η οποία δραστηριοποιείται στον τομέα της παροχής εκπαιδευτικών υπηρεσιών και την οποία δημιούργησε ο ίδιος πριν από τρία χρόνια με συνεταίρους τους Jesse Sahely, Damien Dau και John Wall. Ο Τιμ ήταν ο καταλύτης και πρωτεργάτης της εξάπλωσης της εταιρίας στην Αγγλία, ενώ αξίζει να αναφέρουμε, ότι από το 2014 ο Τιμ «απασχολεί» και τον θείο του Ανδρέα, ο οποίος ανέλαβε καθήκοντα γενικού διευθύνοντα συμβούλου στην εταιρία. Φέτος είναι η πρώτη φορά που ο Τιμ μπαίνει στον κατάλογο των πλουσιοτέρων νέων της χώρας.

Στην Καμπέρα ζει και… «χτίζει» την περιουσία -και όχι μόνο-, ο τρίτος ομογενής που βρίσκεται στον κατάλογο του BRW. Πρόκειται για τον 39χρονο Νίκο Γεωργαλή, ο οποίος βρίσκεται στην 36η θέση του καταλόγου και η περιουσία του φθάνει τα $72 εκατ.

Το πλούσιο λαμπρό μέλλον του ο Νίκος Γεωργαλής το «έκτισε», χτίζοντας μοντέρνα διαμερίσματα στην Καμπέρα, αλλά και ουρανοξύστες. Η Geocon είναι η οικοδομική εταιρία του κ. Γεωργαλή και αυτή τη στιγμή η συγκεκριμένη εταιρία έχει αναλάβει την κατασκευή του υψηλότερου κτιρίου της πρωτεύουσας, γνωστού ως Wayfarer στην περιοχή του Belconnen. Έτσι για την… «ιστορία» να αναφέρουμε ότι η Geocon αγόρασε πέρσι οικόπεδο που βρίσκεται δίπλα στον ουρανοξύστη Wayfarer, έναντι του ποσού των $22,1 εκατ. Η συγκεκριμένη αγορά θεωρείται ως η δεύτερη ακριβότερη που έγινε ποτέ στην Καμπέρα για οικόπεδο.

Russian crash: Cockpit recordings reveal ‘uncharacteristic sounds’ but no distress signal


Suspicions that foul play or terrorism caused the passenger jet crash in Egypt were growing today as Russia’s Interfax news service revealed a transcript of the cockpit recordings.

The crew had a routine exchange with air traffic controllers four minutes before the aircraft vanished from radar screens, and they did not mention anything unusual or any other object near the aircraft.
“Sounds uncharacteristic of routine flight were recorded preceding the moment that the aircraft disappeared from radar screens.”
The crew did not send any distress signal, the source said.
“Judging by the recording, a situation on board developed suddenly and unexpectedly for the crew, and as a result the pilots did not manage to send a distress signal,” the source added.
Meanwhile, a US defence official told NBC that an American satellite picked up heat flashes around the time of the plane crash in the Sinai. They added that there was no missile trail – so puts doubt on the theory of the plane being downed by a surface-to-air missile.
But the heat flash could be the sign of a bomb or exploding fuel tank within the plane.
Earlier, suspicions that foul play or terrorism caused the passenger jet crash in Egypt are growing after the Russian airline’s owners said the plane could only have been brought down by “external factors”.

“We rule out a technical fault of the plane or a pilot error,” Alexander Smirnov, deputy general director of Metrojet, told a news conference in Moscow.
The claim, which appears to support the theory that the Airbus was destroyed by terrorists, was immediately rebuffed by Egyptian investigators as “speculation” and came as fresh allegations of mismanagement drew the company’s safety record into question.

Flight 9268 to St Petersburg crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsular shortly after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday morning.
All 224 crew and passengers, many of them holidaymakers from St Petersburg, were killed in the worst single disaster in Russian aviation history.

In his first public comments on the disaster, Vladimir Putin said the crash was a “dreadful tragedy” and calling for a “fully objective” investigation.
“I would like to once again express my condolences to the families and relatives of the victims,” Mr Putin said at a meeting with Maksim Sokolov, the Russian transport minister and the head of the Russian commission investigating the causes of the crash. “In our hearts and souls we are with you.”

“Without any doubt everything should be done so that an objective picture of what happened is created, so that we know what happened,” he added.
Mr Putin did not address mounting speculation about the cause of the disaster, and the Kremlin said separately that it would be “improper” to comment before investigators have reported.

“No possibility can be excluded at this stage,” said Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin’s spokesman. “Articulating any kind of preliminary guess, any kind of opinion or statement without basis, would be wrong.”
Earlier in the day, the head of Metrojet, the company that operated the aircraft, moved to rule out any internal malfunction or pilot error. “The only possible could be a purely mechanical external impact,” Alexander Smirnov, the company’s deputy director told a news conference in Moscow.
When pressed for more details about the type of impact and what could have caused it, Mr Smirnov refused to discuss further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Asked if the plane could have been brought down by a terror attack, he said only that “anything was possible.”
The Egyptian government immediately pushed back, saying that it would not stoop to commenting on “speculation.”
Abdel Hamid, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation ministry said that an “external factors” could mean many things “not only a bomb or a terrorist attack”.

There is potential for Cairo and Moscow to argue over the outcome of the investigation because of the potential impacts of the findings.
A successful and devastating terrorist attack on tourists could prove a major embarrassment and disastrous for the Egyptian travel industry, while for Russia mechanical or human failure would raise difficult questions about the state of the national aviation industry, while a finding of terrorism could rally the public behind the air war against Islamists in Syria.
Earlier in the day, the Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted anonymous aviation experts as saying the damage suffered by the Airbus A321 suggested it may have been destroyed by “explosive decompression of the fuselage.”

Experts said such a decompression could have been caused by stress-cracks in the fuselage, the external impact of flying objects – possibly including fragments of a malfunctioning engine – or an on-board explosion, possibly indicating a Lockerbie-style bomb attack.
An affiliate of the Isil terror group in the Sinai peninsular has claimed responsibility for bringing down the plane, but US officials have dismissed the group’s claim as not credible.
Jim Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, said there is “no direct evidence of terrorist involvement yet.”

Asked whether Isil could shoot down an aircraft, he said, “it’s unlikely but I wouldn’t rule it out.”
While insurgents in Sinai are believed to have shoulder-launched anti-aircraft rockets, or MANPADS, Isil is not known to possess any sophisticated ground-to-air missile system capable shooting down an aircraft at an airliner’s cruising altitude.
Regular travellers to the area said security at Sharm el-Sheik airport is generally tight, and that it would be extremely difficult for terrorists to smuggle an explosive device on board.

Meanwhile, it emerged that Metrojet owes its staff two months in unpaid wages and has suffered at least two serious accidents in the past five years.
Kogalymavia, the legal entity that owns the Metrojet brand name, owes its employees up to 70million rubles (about £70,000) in arrears, Alexander Snagovsky, the company’s general director, said.
The family of Sergei Trykhachyov, the co-pilot on 7K9268, said the last monthly wage he received was for July.

In 2010, one of Kogalymavia’s Tupolev planes leased to an Iranian carrier made a hard landing and broke up and caught fire, injuring 46 passengers.
In 2011, three people died after one of its Tupolevs caught fire on the runway in the Russian Far North on New Year’s Day.
Kogalymavia stopped flying Tupolevs later that year and in 2012, it rebranded itself as Metrojet.
Russian Emergencies Ministry aircraft carrying the bodies and fragments of 144 passengers landed in St Petersburg early on Monday morning.

A second flight carrying the bodies of remaining victims, as well as personal belongings recovered from the crash site, was expected to leave Egypt late last night.
The bodies have been moved to the city’s largest morgue, where they are undergoing examination and formal identification before being handed over to relatives for burial.
Flags remained at half mast across St Petersburg on Monday, after the city government extended the formal period of mourning until Tuesday.
Georgy Poltavchenko, the governor of St Petersburg, said his administration would pay £10,000 compensation to the families of each victim, regardless of where they lived, and raised the possibility of a ceremonial burial at a specially created memorial site.

Alexander Karavayev, whose partner Daria Schiller, 32, died in the crash, was one of several relatives to post portraits of the victims at the foot of the Alexander Column in Palace Square, one of St Petersburg’s most important landmarks, on Monday.
Speaking as the sun set on the square, Mr Karavayev said he was still in shock at losing his partner of five years.
“I was at the airport to meet her on Saturday morning. I hadn’t seen her since the 15th of October when I dropped her off there. Then the flight vanished from the arrivals board. And a little bit later we were told that something had happened to it,” he said.
“So I went outside, I just had no idea what to do. Then later the list of passengers was released. She’d been travelling with a friend. They were both on it,” he said.


Call for more support for midwives after baby breastfed by wrong mum at Gosford Hospital

FIRST time mother Stef Phillips has called for more support for midwives at Gosford Hospital after her newborn baby was given to the wrong mother to be breastfed.

Less than 24 hours after her birth in August, after the provision of night respite for two babies from the same room, baby Ellianna was given to the wrong mother to be breastfed for about two hours.

Miss Phillips, 22, of Bateau Bay, was informed as soon as the error was discovered in the early hours of August 19. Blood tests were carried out and came back clear, with follow-up testing to be done when Ellianna is three months old.

Stef Phillips, with her baby Ellianna, said she was devastated when she found out about the mix-up. Picture: Peter Clark

“When they came in and said what happened, initially I didn’t really know what they meant but when they came back and explained it better, I was like ‘what the hell’,” she said.

The frustration felt by Miss Phillips and Ellianna’s father Francesco Messina was exacerbated when another midwife came in and passed on her colleague’s apologies.

“She said she’d had a sleep and when she woke up, she was confused about what she was doing,” Miss Phillips said.


Record 218,000 asylum seekers crossed Mediterranean in October, United Nations says


Photo: Many asylum seekers brave the rough seas from Turkey and arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos. (Reuters: Giorgos Moutafis)

More than 218,000 asylum seekers crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in October — a monthly record and more than during the whole of 2014, the United Nations says.

“Last month was a record month for arrivals,” UN refugee agency spokesman Adrian Edwards said, pointing out that “arrivals in October paralleled the entire 2014”.

In October, 218,394 people made the perilous crossing — all but 8,000 of them landing in Greece — compared to 216,054 arrivals during all of last year, UN figures showed.

The soaring numbers of arrivals last month brought to over 744,000 the number of people who have made the journey so far this year.

The October figures show that despite the increasingly harrowing conditions at sea at the onset of winter, asylum seekers from Syria and other trouble spots continue to pile into boats heading west, fearing that Europe is about to close its borders.

Among the more than 600,000 asylum seekers who have crossed to Greece since the beginning of the year, 94 per cent come from the world’s top 10 refugee-producing countries.

The ballooning number of crossings has had dire consequences, with the numbers of deaths piling up by the day.

Some 3,440 people have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, according to UNHCR numbers last week.

The figures do not take into account the latest tragedy, with at least 15 asylum seekers, including six children, drowning off Greece on Sunday when two boats making the hazardous crossing from Turkey capsized.

Most of the Mediterranean deaths this year have happened on the longer, more dangerous route to Italy, but with surging numbers attempting the far shorter crossing from Turkey to Greece, the death toll along that route has been mounting.

The latest tragedies bring the migrant death toll in Greece’s waters in the past month to over 80, many of them children, according to AFP’s count.


Karlie Pearce-Stevenson case: Hazel Passmore questioned by police for second time


Photo: Hazel Passmore leaves Elizabeth Police Station after a round of questioning with Major Crime Detectives. (ABC News)

A woman has been questioned for a second time over the alleged murders of Karlie Pearce-Stevenson and her daughter Khandalyce Pearce.

Hazel Passmore, of Davoren Park in Adelaide, took herself to Elizabeth Police Station in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, reportedly accompanied by her lawyer, to speak with Major Crime Detectives.

She left the station after several hours of questioning.

No charges have yet been laid against Ms Passmore and police have refused to say if they will be.

Ms Passmore was questioned for several hours on Friday after it emerged photos of Khandalyce were uploaded to her Facebook page in 2008.

At the time Ms Passmore was living in Alice Springs with her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Holdom, 41, who has been charged with Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s murder.

Holdom was arrested last week by officers at Cessnock Police Station in the Hunter region of NSW.

SA Police said there had been no further arrests or charges since.

Ms Pearce-Stevenson was allegedly killed in December 2008.

Her remains were found in the Belanglo State Forest in New South Wales in 2010.

The remains of Khandalyce were found in July about 1,140 kilometres away alongside a highway in South Australia’s Murray Mallee region.

Last week, police alleged Ms Pearce-Stevenson’s bank account was accessed hundreds of times over the years to withdraw almost $100,000 and her phone was used to contact family to make it look like she was still alive.

Police said in one instance, a woman in a wheelchair impersonated Ms Pearce-Stevenson at an Elizabeth credit union to update banking records.

Khandalyce was two years old when she was last seen in 2008.

Ms Passmore uses a wheelchair after she and Holdom were in a car accident in September 2008, which killed two of her children.

SA Police said they would continue to work with their NSW counterparts on the alleged double-murder case.


Melbourne Cup: Trip To Paris continues to firm with betters, Fame Game drifting


Punters are pinning their faith in English trainer Ed Dunlop shedding his bridesmaid tag with Trip To Paris the best supported runner ahead of the Melbourne Cup.

Dunlop is yet to win a race in eight Australian starts, but has produced six placings with Red Cadeaux finishing second on four occasions, three times in the Cup and once in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in Sydney.

Trip To Paris finished second in the Caulfield Cup and Manndawi was third in the Geelong Cup.

Vine: Stop the Vine to pick your Melbourne Cup horse

Since Saturday night’s barrier draw, Trip To Paris has firmed from $9 to $7.50 with one TAB punter outlaying $14,500 at $8.50 for a collect of a little more than $123,000.

The heavy support for Trip To Paris has resulted in the favourite Fame Game drifting from $3.20 after the draw to $4.20.

The Chris Waller-trained Preferment is the only other runner under $10 in Cup betting at $9.

The Lee and Anthony Freedman-trained Our Ivanhowe has firmed from $31 into $19 since Saturday night and is one of another six horses under $20 in Cup betting.

The only Australian-bred horse, Sertorius, has met with support firming from $201 to $101, but is still regarded as an outsider sharing that price with Quest For More and Prince Of Penzance.