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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 November 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2017 5 NEWS Flash floods in Athens leave 16 dead and many homeless After the worst natural disaster to hit the capital in decades, Greece declares a national day of mourning Flags across Greece were flown at half-mast on Thursday after at least 16 people were killed and more than 20 injured following flash floods that hit two coastal towns west of Athens on Wednesday. The industrial towns of Nea Peramos and Mandra suffered raging torrents of mud and debris following a severe overnight storm, with some residents seen climbing onto balconies and rooftops to escape the rising floodwater. Cars were upended and thrust into buildings after being swept through the streets, and floodwater carrying debris charged toward the coast sinking fishing boats in a small harbour. According to authorities, some 500 homes and businesses have been damaged with walls collapsing, leaving many homeless. “As you can see, everything is a mess,” said local resident mourn the deaths of  people in what is a great disaster,” he said. “It is the wish of all of us that this number does not increase.” PHOTO: AAP VIA EPA/VASSILIS PSOMAS Katerina Sideri. Hit hardest by the flooding was Mandra on the outskirts of the Greek capital, with the bodies of four women and eight men found. The natural disaster is one of the worst to hit Athens in decades, with the country declaring a national day of mourning. The fire department alone received 660 calls, deploying 190 firefighters and 55 vehi- cles, and rescuing 88 people trapped in cars and homes. “Everything is lost. The disaster is biblical,” the mayor of Mandra, Yianna Krikouki told state broadcaster ERT. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a televised statement in which he said immediate support measures would be adopted for households and businesses affected. “This is a very difficult moment for our country. We Local municipalities stepped up to accommodate those left homeless in hotel rooms, and the Merchant Marine Ministry was making arrangements for a cruise ship to dock near the area for temporary accommodation, with plans for the army and navy to supply water tankers for clean water. Meanwhile four people remained missing on Thursday night, with rescue teams searching homes and along the flooded highway in the area for people who may be trapped. An immediate investigation into the disaster has been ordered by judicial authorities, with investigators looking into factors that may have contributed to the severity of the flooding, such as illegal construction. Greek luxury on two wheels: meet DCR 017 The first custom-made and on-demand Greek motorcycle was showcased at the International Exposition of Cycles and Motorcycles in Milan (Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo i Motociclo - EICMA), one of the leading events of the motorcycle industry. Created by father and son team Dino and Marios Michailidis (whose main activity is air filter manufacturing) DCR 017 is an ambitious venture. Its style and look mimics motorcycles of the 70s and 80s; that is why the DCR 017 has no plastic covers, or carbon fibre, just simple and raw metal. The creation of this model started a year ago: father and son - who have been living and breathing motorcycles since 1972 and 1991 respectively, according to the company website - were able Emily Wilson the first woman to translate Homer’s Odyssey into English PHOTO: AAP VIA EPA/VASSILIS PSOMAS PHOTO: AAP VIA EPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI PHOTO: AAP VIA AP/PETROS GIANNAKOURIS Greek academics take centrestage in US universities A new study reveals Greece exports second highest number of academics to the United States’ elite universities If you’re wandering through the grounds of one of the elite universities in the United States, don’t be surprised if you overhear conversations in Greek. A new study published in the Journal of Informetrics has revealed Greece ranks second in the number of academics exported to top American universities. Conducted by Associate Pro- fessor of Economics at the Technical University of Istanbul Tolga Yuret, the study looked at where degrees had been obtained by 14,310 professors across 48 of the US’ top universities and found 149 Greek academics: a ratio of 13.6 per million of the Greek population. “I firmly believe that tertiary education in Greece is extremely high calibre,” medical professor and rector at Athens University, Thanos Dimopoulos told Kathimerini, “and aims not just at amply educating students at every level, but is also clearly geared toward the production of science via basic and applied research in a broad spectrum of fields.” Professor of medicine at Stanford University, John Ioannidis noted a shortfall in the study, which showed more than one percent of regular professors are Greeks who got their degrees in Greece, but said that it would have been above two per cent if it included Greeks born in Greece who were educated abroad, as well as secondgeneration Greeks. “The study also does not include the areas of medicine and biology, where the Greek presence is even stronger,” he said, with Greeks excelling in cutting-edge technologies for sustainable development. The professors included in the study mainly graduated in Greece between 1970 and 2000, but Professor Ioannidis said he is afraid we may not see the same performance among graduates from the past decade or so. “For example, Greece has produced very few studies that have had a wide impact in the past few years,” he said. Harvard University PHOTO: PROFELLOW “Not a single paper from Greece made it into the top 750 cited papers, according to data from the Scopus database for 2015 through September 2017.” Topping the list in first place was Israel with 24.22 professors per million of its population, while Canada was third with 10.75 per million (382 academics). Greece topped the European cohort, which included the UK, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Spain, and Portugal amongst others. The latest translation of Homer’s The Odyssey has been translated into English, and while it has been done so dozens of times since it first appeared in English in 1615, this is the first time it has been done by a woman. Behind the impressive task is Emily Wilson. A professor of Classical Sudies and chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania, she has chins wagging over her solid and direct approach to the epic. While she has revealed that she encountered challenges along the way, such as working out whether parts of the text where written in the passive or active voice, academics are excited about the fact that her approach has preserved the musicality of the poetry while hav- ing the confidence to move away from previous interpretations. Written using an iambic pentameter, Wilson has breathed new life into the text that was written almost 3,000 years ago, while showing its contemporary relevance. The Odyssey follows Odysseus’ 10-year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. As he faces the wrath of the gods and battles mystical creatures, his beloved Penelope and son Telemachus work to stave off suitors vying for Ithaca’s throne and his wife’s hand in marriage. to ‘encage’, as they say, their ‘beast’ and complete it just a few days before the opening of the exhibition on 9 November. DCR 017 targets a special audience: buyers who want custom-made motorcycles. “It is something we can only compare with a Ferrari or Lamborghini in the car sector; it is obviously a very expensive market, but we have a plan,” Michailidis said at the EICMA presentation. “If conditions permit, meaning if we have a sufficient number of orders, we plan to set up a special unit to produce this motorcycle.” Emily Wilson PHOTO: PHILLY Defence deal between Greece and Saudi Arabia comes to court An arms deal between Greece and Saudi Arabia is under preliminary investigation by the public prosecutor’s office tasked with fighting corruption. The probe was ordered by Supreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou, based on recent press reports over the controversial contract, which allows Greece to sell surplus military ammunition and ord- nance to Saudi Arabia. According to the Opposition, the deal was made possible with the involvement of a shady middleman working outside the margins of a government-to-government agreement. Much of the criticism has centred on Defence Minister Panos Kammenos’ involvement in the contract and a ‘paper trail’ between Athens and Riyadh.
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