Daily Archives: July 29, 2016

45 ancient shipwrecks discovered off Greek islands


The discoveries made in waters as deep as 65 meters

In two recent expeditions, a dive team of archaeologists has discovered 45 shipwrecks in total between the Greek islands of Samos and Ikaria, reports website Deeper Blue.

While 22 were identified last autumn, the most recent 23 finds were produced as part of the 2016 Fuorni Underwater Survey, which was undertaken between 8 June and 2 July.

In total 25 divers took part from the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the U.S. non-profit RPM Nautical Foundation, with the discoveries made in waters as deep as 65 meters.


In addition to the discovery of the shipwrecks, which dated back to the Greek golden age right through to the early 19th century, many were also found to have anchors, pottery and amphorae in their surrounds.

The sunken cargo of amphoras for example, was found to date as far back as the late Archaic period (c. 525-480 BC).


A spokesperson from Greek Ephorate attributed the successful expeditions to the extensive knowledge of locals, which had been shared and documented.

“Crucial to the success of the investigation has been the awareness of the local population and the extensive information about the existence of antiquities on the seabed provided by the fishing community and the divers of Fourni and the sponge-divers from Kalymnos, which enabled a fast-track approach,” they told DiverNet.


According to a statement on the RPM Nautical Foundation’s website, the next step is to “fully catalogue and document the underwater cultural heritage of the archipelago and learn more about ancient trade and navigation in the Aegean Sea.”

Samples from each artefact were brought back to the surface, in the hope that lab tests will reveal further information regarding their historical significance.

source:neos kosmos

Port war: Baird government’s “strictly confidential” agreement protects Botany container terminal against Newcastle competition

THE state government has finally confirmed it struck a “strictly confidential” agreement with the private operator of Port Botany and Port Kembla to compensate it against any competing container terminal in Newcastle.

The government has repeatedly denied or disputed the existence of such an agreement, which has been the subject of more than 100 separate questions to parliament over the past two years.

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian was still saying on Thursday that there was no “legislated container cap at the Port of Newcastle”, and that there was nothing to “prohibit” one in the future.

But Ms Berejiklian did not question the 11-page “Port Commitment” document obtained by the Newcastle Herald, which explains how the operator of any future Newcastle container terminal would have to pay compensation to the government, which would pass the money on to the operator of Port Botany and Port Kembla.

The commitment document contains a formula for calculating the compensation, which centres on the average cost of moving containers through Botany.

Based on reported Botany charges of about $120 for a full container and $75 for an empty one, Newcastle would have to pay Botany about $1 million for every typical container ship that passed through the northern port.

Opposition leader Luke Foley – who was already critical of the port privatisations – said it was “frankly an outrage” that the government had used a confidental agreement to artificially restrain Newcastle’s port growth.

“The government needs to fess up, come clean and stop lying through its teeth,” Mr Foley said.

“Labor has questioned Ms Berejiklian on this very issue in the Parliament. The Herald has been relentless in its pursuit for answers. Even when presented with the smoking gun, Mr Baird’s Government still doesn’t have the guts to be upfront with people in the Hunter.”

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp said he had asked 37 questions in parliament on the subject, “only only to be given non-answers, re-directions and contradictory responses”.

“The Coalition has continually refused to disclose the details of any anti-competitive arrangements,” Mr Crakanthorp said. “In light of this document beginning released it is time the government set the record straight.”

Former BHP public affairs manager Greg Cameron – who helped run the original plan to put a container terminal on the former steelworks site after the steelworks shut in 1999, said he was stunned at the content of the agreement revealed by the Herald.

“This charge does not appear in any NSW government policy document, planning instrument, freight plan, transport strategy, or budget,” Mr Cameron said.

The document, available on the Herald website, confirms that Newcastle is allowed to move 30,000 containers a year – increasing by 6 per cent annually – before it must pay compensation.

Port Botany’s handles about 2 million containers a year and the legislated limit on its expansion was removed in 2012.

The Botany and Kembla lessee, NSW Ports, and the Newcastle operator, Port of Newcastle, both referred lease questions to the government. But the Newcastle operator said it was “open-minded” on the future of the former steelworks site.


Australia guards famous white whale Migaloo from eager fans

0,,19431660_303,00http://b.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js//wurfl.io/wurfl.js// /js/de.dw.cdaLanguage.min.jsWildlife officials in Australia have set up an escort for the rare white humpback Migaloo, who is heading up the coast to the Great Barrier Reef to mate. They warned the crowd of onlookers against disturbing the animal.

http://b.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js//wurfl.io/wurfl.js// /js/de.dw.cdaLanguage.min.jsAll boats needed to stay at least 500 meters (547 yards) from Migaloo, Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles said on Thursday.

The white humpback is under state protection, granting him a perimeter five times wider than that of a normal whale.

http://b.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js//wurfl.io/wurfl.js// /js/de.dw.cdaLanguage.min.js“Anyone breaking these rules and harassing the whales should be ashamed of themselves,” he said in a statement. “Stop and think about how you would feel if you were responsible for hurting one of the few white whales in the world.”

Officials made the announcement after media reported helicopters, boats, and drones coming out to spot Migaloo off Australia’s Gold Coast the day before.

http://b.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js//wurfl.io/wurfl.js// /js/de.dw.cdaLanguage.min.js‘Safe passage’

The fine for getting too close to a whale can vary between several hundred and several thousands of dollars.

The rules are in place to “protect the whales and give them safe passage during their migration along the Queensland coast,” according to Miles.

http://b.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js//wurfl.io/wurfl.js// /js/de.dw.cdaLanguage.min.jsMigaloo was previously spotted off Byron Bay earlier this week.

“I cried. I screamed ‘You gorgeous whale, thank you for being here for us today,'” Alison Reid, who saw the animal on a whale watching cruise, told national radio on Tuesday. “It was just an incredible sight, it was so unreal.”

Children’s hero

The albino animal was first spotted in the same area in 1991, and has since become a symbol of preservation for environmental activists. He was later sighted by scientists, who asked the elders of an Aboriginal village to name him. The name Migaloo means “white fella.” Samples of his skin and his singing voice confirmed he was a male, and researchers believe he is about 30 years old. He is one of the two known completely white humpbacks in the world.

http://b.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js//wurfl.io/wurfl.js// /js/de.dw.cdaLanguage.min.jsMigaloo collided with a boat in 2003, leaving scars on his back, according to one of the websites dedicated to him, migalo.com.au. He is also the topic of an Australian children’s book.

The humpback population in east Australia is estimated to over 15,000 specimens, recovering from the brink of extinction after a whaling ban in the 1960s. They grow to be between 12 to 15 meters long and can weigh up to 40 tons. They eat between 1,000 and 1,500 kg of plankton, krill and small fish every day.


All three Greek teams can advance in Europa League

moledo_aik_web-thumb-largeAll of Greece’s three representatives in the Europa League have maintained their hopes of advancing to the competition’s play-offs after the first legs on Thursday, with Panathinaikos winning at home, AEK drawing in France and PAS Giannina losing by one goal in the Netherlands.

Brazilian central defender Moledo gave Panathinaikos a precious 1-0 home win over AIK Solna at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, after a game the Greens dominated but had to wait until the 79th minute to score.

Having missed a number of chances and seen two goals disallowed, Panathinaikos scored the winner from a Giandomenico Mesto cross that Moledo sent home with a bullet header. AIK was twice denied by Panathinaikos keeper Luke Steele.

AEK frustrated its host, Saint Etienne to a goalless draw and is now well-positioned to win the tie with a good enough performance in Athens next week.

On its return to European soccer after four years in the wilderness, including going down to Greece’s third division, the Greek Cup holder played a waiting game in France without taking too many chances in the process. The hosts had possession but could not create a major chance to score.

PAS Giannina was much more composed than in its previous away game a week earlier at Odd Grenland, but still lost 1-0 at AZ Alkmaar.

The Dutch side was on top for most of the game and scored on the 36th minute through Derrick Luckassen with a diving header on the sole occasion where PAS keeper Alexandros Paschalakis was beaten on the night. The return leg, to be played at Peristeri, western Athens, is PAS’s chance to make history again.

All second-leg games will take place on Thursday, August 4.


IMF rapped for failures over Greece

imf_logo-thumb-largeThe International Monetary Fund failed to demand debt relief as part of Greece’s initial bailout in 2010 even though many of its officials believed this was crucial for the program’s success, according to an internal probe into the IMF’s handling of European bailouts published Thursday, which found that the Fund bent its own rules and gave in to political pressure.

“Critically, there was no rigorous attempt to articulate a convincing path to restoring debt sustainability in Greece, other than a program of official financing, fiscal adjustment and structural reforms,” the IMF’s Internal Evaluation Office (IEO) said in its report, obtained by Kathimerini and first published earlier this month.

The report said the Fund came under “pressure” to agree to the Greek bailout even though senior staff members did not believe the debt was sustainable. It noted that then IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn decided “to go along with the decision already reached by European policymakers and take a chance” that stability could be restored in Greece without prior debt restructuring.

In comparison, the IEO found, the Fund’s bailouts of Ireland and Portugal were much more efficient, boosted by strong “national ownership” of the programs and enforcement of reforms.

According to the IEO, the IMF’s rules on granting exceptional access, which require board involvement from the outset, were “followed only in a perfunctory manner.” It added that amendments were made that departed from the Fund’s usual process, allowing a “systemic exemption” that allowed the Greek bailout to proceed.

Responding to the findings of the report, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she believed the IEO did not adequately prove that the IMF’s technical analysis came under undue political pressure. The IMF’s involvement in the programs for Greece, Portugal and Ireland was a “qualified success,” she said. “Greece, however, was unique,” she added. “While initial economic targets proved overly ambitious, the program was beset by recurrent political crises, pushback from vested interests and severe implementation problems that led to a much deeper-than-expected output contraction.”

The IMF has yet to decide whether to join Greece’s third bailout, calling for debt relief.