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Greek generations honor Hellenic holiday - News

Greek generations honor Hellenic holiday - News


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Men are from Mars - Women are from Venus


Husband and wife in bed together. *

She feels his hand rubbing her shoulder. *

She: "Oh, that feels good." *

His hand moves to her breast.*

She: "Gee, honey, that feels wonderful."*

His hand moves to her leg. *

She: "Oh, honey, don't stop."*

But he stops.*

She: "Why did you stop?" *

He: "I found the remote."*


Representative Zack Space Joins Hellenic Caucus

Press Releases

Washington, DC—Below please find the announcement of Representative Zack Space (D-OH) joining the Hellenic Caucus.

- Caucus focuses on key issues in Greece and the Aegean-

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Zack Space (D-OH), whose family immigrated to the United States from Greece two generations ago, announced his membership in the Congressional Hellenic Caucus today.

Space's grandparents immigrated to the United States from the north Aegean island of Ikaria in the early 20th century.
The Caucus, which was formed in 1996 by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and former Representative Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), strives to improve and sustain the United States' relations with Greece. The Caucus focuses on diplomatic, military, and human rights issues regarding Turkey, Greece and Cyprus.

"The issues that concern Greece are of enormous importance to me," Space said. "I look forward to working with the other members of the Caucus to make sure that we in Congress address issues that are critical to Greece and to the hundreds of thousands of Greek Americans who live in the United States today."

Space is a member of the Massillon Greek Orthodox Church.

(202) 785-8430

Αμερικανοί βουλευτές προωθούν ελληνικά θέματα

Σε ομιλία της στην υποεπιτροπή Ευρωπαϊκών Υποθέσεων η Αμερικανίδα Βουλευτής, Carolyn Maloney, μίλησε για τις Ελληνοτουρκικές σχέσεις αλλά και για τον ρόλο του Βουλευτικού Ελληνικού Συμβουλίου που ιδρύθηκε το 1996 με πρωτοβουλία της ιδίας και του Ελληνο-
αμερικανού βουλευτή, τότε, Mike Biliraki. Το Συμβούλιο αυτό, είπε η βουλευτής στην επιτροπή, αποτελεί όργανο προώθησης της δημοκρατίας, της ελευθερίας και γενικότερα των συμφερόντων της Αμερικής στις χώρες της Aνατολικής Mεσογείου.

Η φιλέλληνας βουλευτής αναφέρθηκε στο θέμα των Αμερικανικο-Τουρκικών σχέσεων. Υπενθύμισε την τουρκική εισβολή και την παράνομη κατοχή του ενός τρίτου της Κύπρου από τα τουρκικά στρατεύματα, αλλά και την παραμονή 43 χιλιάδων Τούρκων στρατιωτών στο νησί.

«Oι ΗΠΑ και η διεθνής κοινότητα – εκτός από την Τουρκία – αναγνωρίζουν μόνο την Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία. Η οντότητα της χώρας αυτής είναι αναγνωρισμένη και από τις δεκάδες των ψηφισμάτων στον Οργανισμό Ηνωμένων Εθνών. Βάσει αυτών των ψηφισμάτων», είπε χαρακτηριστικά η κ. Maloney «η Αμερική δεν θα πρέπει να αναγνωρίσει την αυτοαποκαλούμενη Τουρκική δημοκρατία της Βορείου Κύπρου».

«Η Κύπρος», είπε μεταξύ άλλων η Αμερικανίδα Βουλευτής «έχει αποδείξει στην Αμερική πως είναι μια πιστή σύμμαχος. Υπεράσπισε και ασπάστηκε πολλές από τις αποφάσεις μας σε κρίσιμες στιγμές, για την ασφάλεια της χώρας μας, αλλά και τον αγώνα εναντίον της τρομοκρατίας».

«Ελπίζω», κατέληξε «πως και εσείς τα υπόλοιπα μέλη της επιτροπής αυτής θα συμμετέχετε στην προσπάθεια μας να ωθήσουμε την Τουρκία προς την κατεύθυνση της Ελευθερίας και της Δημοκρατίας. Μια δημοκρατική Τουρκία θα αποτελεί μια μακροπρόθεσμη σχέση πολύπλευρων συμφερόντων για την Αμερική, την Ευρώπη, την Κύπρο, την Τουρκία, αλλά και τον υπόλοιπο κόσμο».

Ο Τζον Νεγροπόντε στο Σουδάν

Το Στέητ Ντηπάρτμεντ δήλωσε ότι ο αναπληρωτής υπουργός Εξωτερικών, Τζών Νεγροπόντε, θα επισκεφθεί το Σουδάν την επόμενη εβδομάδα, για να συζητήσει την κρίση στο Νταρφούρ, καθώς οι ΗΠΑ απειλούν με νέες κυρώσεις κατά του Χαρτούμ. Ο κ. Νεγροπόντε αναμένεται ότι θα πιέσει τις Σουδανικές αρχές να δεχθούν την μεικτή διεθνή ειρηνευτική δύναμη στο Νταρφούρ.

Ο εκπρόσωπος του Στέητ Ντηπάρτμεντ, Σών Μακόρμακ, δήλωσε ότι η κυβέρνηση Μπούς σκέπτεται σοβαρά την επιβολή επιπλέον κυρώσεων κατά του Σουδάν, μετά την άρνησή του να επιτρέψει κι άλλους ειρηνοφρουρούς στο Νταρφούρ. Ο κ. Νεγροπόντε θα επισκεφθεί επίσης το Τσάντ, την Μαυριτανία και την Λιβύη κατά τη διάρκεια του 8ήμερου ταξιδιού του, που ξεκινά στις 11 Απριλίου.

Φωνή της Αμερικής
Γιώργος Μπίστης

John Dimitri Negroponte - Greek Influance around the World


Negroponte was born in London to Dimitri John and Catherine Coumantaros Negroponte.
His father was a Greek shipping magnate. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1956, and Yale University in 1960. He was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, alongside William H.T. Bush, the uncle of President George W. Bush, and Porter Goss, who served as Director of Central Intelligence and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Negroponte from 2005 to 2006.

Negroponte later served at eight different Foreign Service posts in Asia, Europe and Latin America; and he also held important positions at the State Department and the White House. In 1981, he became the U.S. ambassador to Honduras. From 1985 to 1987, Negroponte held the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Subsequently, he served as Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, from 1987 to 1989; Ambassador to Mexico, from 1989 to 1993; and Ambassador to the Philippines from 1993 to 1996. As Deputy National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, he was involved in the campaign to remove from power General Manuel Noriega in Panama. From 1997 until his appointment as ambassador to the UN, Negroponte was an executive with McGraw-Hill.

Negroponte speaks five languages (English, French, Greek, Spanish, and Vietnamese). He is the elder brother of Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab and of the One Laptop per Child project. His brother Michel Negroponte is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker, and his other brother, George Negroponte, is an artist. Negroponte and his wife, the former Diana Mary Villiers, have five adopted children: Marina, Alejandra, John, George and Sophia. They were married on December 14, 1976.

From 1981 to 1985, Negroponte was the U.S. ambassador to Honduras.
During this time, military aid to Honduras grew from $4 million to $77.4 million a year, and the US began to maintain a significant military presence there, with the goal of providing a bulwark against the revolutionary Sandinista government of Nicaragua, which had overthrown the Somoza government and then created a state with close ties to both Cuba and the Soviet Union.

The previous U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Jack Binns (who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter) made numerous complaints about human rights abuses by the Honduran military under the government of Policarpo Paz García. Following the inauguration of Ronald Reagan, Binns was replaced by Negroponte, who has denied having knowledge of any wrongdoing by Honduran military forces.

In 1995, The Baltimore Sun published an extensive investigation of U.S. activities in Honduras. Speaking of Negroponte and other senior U.S. officials, an ex-Honduran congressman, Efraín Díaz, was quoted as saying:

Their attitude was one of tolerance and silence. They needed Honduras to loan its territory more than they were concerned about innocent people being killed.

Substantial evidence subsequently emerged to support the contention that Negroponte was aware that serious violations of human rights were carried out by the Honduran government, but despite this did not recommend ending U.S. military aid to the country. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, on September 14, 2001, as reported in the Congressional Record, aired his suspicions on the occasion of Negroponte's nomination to the position of UN ambassador:

Based upon the Committee's review of State Department and CIA documents, it would seem that Ambassador Negroponte knew far more about government perpetrated human rights abuses than he chose to share with the committee in 1989 or in Embassy contributions at the time to annual State Department Human Rights reports.

Among other evidence, Dodd cited a cable sent by Negroponte, in 1985, that made it clear that Negroponte was aware of the threat of "future human rights abuses" by "secret operating cells" left over by General Gustavo Álvarez Martinez, the chief of the Honduran armed forces, after he was forcibly removed from his post by fellow military commanders in 1984.

In April 2005, as the Senate confirmation hearings for the National Intelligence post took place, hundreds of documents were released by the State Department in response to a FOIA request by The Washington Post. The documents, cables that Negroponte sent to Washington while serving as ambassador to Honduras, indicated that he played a more active role than previously known in managing US efforts against the leftist Sandinistas. According to the Post, the image of Negroponte that emerges from the cables is that of an

exceptionally energetic, action-oriented ambassador whose anti-communist convictions led him to play down human rights abuses in Honduras, the most reliable U.S. ally in the region. There is little in the documents the State Department has released so far to support his assertion that he used "quiet diplomacy" to persuade the Honduran authorities to investigate the most egregious violations, including the mysterious disappearance of dozens of government opponents.

The New York Times wrote that the documents revealed

a tough cold warrior who enthusiastically carried out President Ronald Reagan's strategy. They show he sent admiring reports to Washington about the Honduran military chief, who was blamed for human rights violations, warned that peace talks with the Nicaraguan regime might be a dangerous "Trojan horse" and pleaded with officials in Washington to impose greater secrecy on the Honduran role in aiding the contras.

The cables show that Mr. Negroponte worked closely with William J. Casey, then director of central intelligence, on the Reagan administration's anti-Communist offensive in Central America. He helped word a secret 1983 presidential "finding" authorizing support for the Contras, as the Nicaraguan rebels were known, and met regularly with Honduran military officials to win and retain their backing for the covert action.

Both papers based their stories on cables obtained by a Post FOIA request. George Washington University's National Security Archive writes of dozens of cables in which the Ambassador sought to undermine regional peace efforts such as the Contadora initiative that ultimately won Costa Rican president Oscar Arias a Nobel Prize, as well as multiple reports of meetings and conversations with Honduran military officers who were instrumental in providing logistical support and infrastructure for CIA covert operations in support of the contras against Nicaragua -"our special project" as Negroponte refers to the contra war in the cable traffic.

During Negroponte's tour as US Ambassador to Mexico (1989-1993), he officiated at the block-long, fortified embassy and directed, among other things, U.S. intelligence services to assist the war against the Zapatista rebels of Chiapas.

Ambassador to the UN (2001 - 2004)

President George W. Bush appointed Negroponte to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in February, 2001
, and after substantial opposition from Senate Democrats the nomination was ratified by the Senate on September 15 2001, four days after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. According to CBS News,

At the United Nations, Negroponte, 64, was instrumental in winning unanimous approval of a Security Council resolution that demanded Saddam Hussein comply with U.N. mandates to disarm.

Ambassador to Iraq (2004 - 2005)

On April 19, 2004, Negroponte was nominated by U.S. President George W. Bush to be the United States Ambassador to Iraq after the 30 June handover of sovereignty. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 6, 2004, by a vote of 95 to 3, and was officially sworn in on June 23, 2004 replacing L. Paul Bremer as the U.S.'s highest ranking American civilian in Iraq.

In the months Negroponte spent as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq he received plaudits, even from Bush administration critics such as Fred Kaplan, for his work tackling corruption in the U.S. administration in Iraq.[citation needed]

Director of National Intelligence (2005 - 2007)

On February 17, 2005, President George W. Bush named Negroponte as the first Director of National Intelligence, (DNI), a cabinet-level position charged with coordinating the nation’s Intelligence Community . On April 21, 2005, Negroponte was confirmed by a vote of 98 to 2 in the Senate, and subsequently sworn into the office that was called “substantially stronger” than its predecessor position, the Director of Central Intelligence. Part of its power stemmed from the ability to “determine” budgets, prompting President Bush to remark, “That’s why John Negroponte is going to have a lot of influence. He will set the budgets.” The budget of the Intelligence Community is estimated at $40 billion.

Reaction to Negroponte’s nomination was, according to Newsweek, “overwhelmingly positive” because he had “earned the respect of many intel professionals since those early days of the Reagan counterinsurgency.” [5] The Times noted, “if anyone can bring a semblance of unity to America’s bewildering network of competing spy agencies, it is John Negroponte.”

Congressional reaction was also positive. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), then-vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, “I think that Ambassador Negroponte is a very sound choice. Ambassador Negroponte has served bravely and with distinction in Iraq and at the United Nations during a time of turmoil and uncertainty. He brings a record of proven leadership and strong management.” Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), then-ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee noted, “John Negroponte is a smart choice for a very important job. He's a seasoned and skilled diplomat, who has served with distinction at the United Nations and in Iraq -- and he has the full confidence of the president.”

According to John MacGaffin, the CIA’s former associate deputy director for clandestine operations, “This is a guy who plays hardball. He’s a man who understands the whole range of counterintelligence, intelligence and covert action. They’re all parts of foreign policy and protecting ourselves.” [8] "We’ve known for the last 40 years that what’s wrong [with intelligence] is that no one’s in charge,” one retired CIA official told Newsweek. “For once we have a chance to do something with someone truly in charge. Negroponte’s going to decide what the answer is.”

As DNI, Negroponte, “embarked on an impressive array of reform efforts,” with “perhaps the most transformational work … [involving] the effort to retool the creaky electronic infrastructure of the intelligence community.”

According to U.S. News & World Report, one of Negroponte’s first tests was on an overbudget satellite system. The $25 billion system, called the “Future Imagery Architecture,” was created as the “foundation for the next generation of America’s space-based surveillance efforts.” The reality was quite different, as it became, “a managerial nightmare – five years behind schedule and billions over budget. Poor quality control and technical problems raised questions about whether the system would ever work properly.” Negroponte “moved decisively” and jettisoned half the classified project.

Negroponte also appointed “mission managers” – intelligence professionals focused on America’s hardest targets and most looming threats. The mission managers are focused on counterterrorism, counterproliferation, counterintelligence, Iran, North Korea, and Cuba and Venezuela. According to John McLaughlin, former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI), the mission manager concept, “holds much promise for integrating analysis, collection and other intelligence activities.”

It has also proven beneficial during potential crises. According to a senior intelligence official quoted in US News and World Report, “In the days after North Korea’s recent nuclear test, the DNI put mission manager and CIA veteran Joseph DeTrani at the center of the developing crisis. Along with issuing a twice-daily intelligence summary, DeTrani served as a ‘traffic cop,’ coordinating analysis, briefing the White House, and tasking spies on what to target.”

In a November 2006 cover story in US News and World Report, it was noted that Negroponte and his office, “have made a promising start – and, remarkably, encountered an apparent willingness to embark on the necessary reforms.” Progress made included the White House approval of more than 30 DNI recommendations on improving the flow of intelligence and terrorism data to state and local authorities; requiring intelligence agencies to accept each other’s clearance; “open[ing] up the analytic process to new ideas and new people” to prevent groupthink – and the creation of an analytic ombudsman; the establishment of an Open Source center, “designed to broaden the flow of ideas to analysts”; and more “red teams” to challenge conventional thinking.

Furthermore, the President’s Daily Brief, the highly classified report given to the president each morning by Negroponte, once prepared solely by the Central Intelligence Agency, is now compiled from intelligence agencies across the government. “I believe what I can bring to the community is a sense of what our most important customer is interested in,” Negroponte told US News about briefing the president.

In spite of his progress leading the Intelligence Community, though, there were rumors that Negroponte wanted to move back to the field in which he spent 37 years – the State Department and Foreign Service. [18] The rumors became official on January 5, 2007 when Negroponte announced his resignation as DNI and move to the State Department to serve as Deputy Secretary of State.

Former DDCI John McLaughlin wrote after the resignation was announced, “Negroponte must be credited with bringing a reassuring and confident demeanor to a community that had been rocked by controversy.”

According to Newsweek, “Under Negroponte, the intel czar's office was praised by both congressional and executive-branch officials for greatly improving—via its National Counterterrorism Center—the sharing among relevant agencies of intelligence reports about terror threats.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ἐνας Ἐλληνας πάει στο διάστημα


Κείμενο Ρεπορτάζ:

Έτοιμο για εκτόξευση το ρωσικό διαστημόπλοιο.

Γ. Μπίστης: Το Σάββατο το βράδυ, λίγο πριν χτυπήσουνε οι καμπάνες της Ανάστασης, ένα ρωσικό διαστημόπλοιο, τύπου Σογιούζ, θα σπάσει τα δεσμά του με τη γη και θα πάει να συνδεθεί με τον Διεθνή Διαστημικό Σταθμό που βρίσκεται σε τροχιά γύρω από τον πλανήτη μας. Η εκτόξευση θα γίνει από το Κοσμοδρόμιο του Μπαϊκονούρ στο Καζακστάν.

Το Σογιούζ-10 θα μεταφέρει δύο ρώσους κοσμοναύτες και έναν αμερικανό σχεδιαστή προγραμμάτων κομπιούτερ. Αρχηγός της αποστολής είναι ο γεννημένος στο Βατούμι της Γεωργίας βετεράνος διαστημοπόρος Φιοντόρ Γιουρτσίχιν, ή Θόδωρος Γιουρτσίχιν- Γραμματικόπουλος, όπως τον αποκαλούνε πολλοί ομογενείς που μένουνε στις πρώην Σοβιετικές Δημοκρατίες.

Συγκυβερνήτης της πτήσης θα είναι ο Όλεγκ Κοτόφ, με τον οποίο ο Θόδωρος έκανε την απαιτούμενη προετοιμασία για την νέα αποστολή στο Κέντρο Διαστημικής Εκπαίδευσης Γιούρι Γκαγκάριν, στην λεγόμενη Πολιτεία των Άστρων, κάπου 30 χιλιόμετρα έξω από τη Μόσχα.

Στο Κέντρο Γκαγκάριν εκπαιδεύτηκε και ο 58χρονος Αμερικανός Τσάρλς Σιμονέη, που θα ταξιδέψει σαν τουρίστας στον διαστημικό σταθμό για ένα οκταήμερο πειραμάτων. Ο Σιμονέη είναι συνιδρυτής, με τον Μπιλ Γκέητς, της πασίγνωστης εταιρείας Λογισμικών Μάϊκροσοφτ.

Τ. Σιμονέη: Έχω ένα πρόγραμμα που έφτιαξα το 1964 για ρωσικό κομπιούτερ. Θα το πάρω μαζί μου στο διάστημα για να μου θυμίζει πως ξεκίνησα.

Γ. Μπίστης:
Ο Σιμονέη επιχειρεί να σχεδιάσει πρόγραμμα κομπιούτερ που θα λειτουργεί κατά τον ίδιο τρόπο με τον οποίο σκέφτεται ο άνθρωπος. Εάν το πετύχει θα επιφέρει νέα επανάσταση στον χώρο των λογισμικών.

Σαν επισκέπτης ο Σιμονέη θα έχει ανεξάρτητο πρόγραμμα στο Διεθνή Διαστημικό Σταθμό. Τα καθήκοντα του πληρώματος θα τα επωμιστούν ο Θόδωρος, ο Όλεγκ και η Αμερικανίδα αστροναύτης Σουνίτα Γουίλιαμς, η οποία βρίσκεται ήδη στον τροχιακό σταθμό και θα παραμείνει εκεί μαζί τους μέχρι τα τέλη του καλοκαιριού.

Ο Θόδωρος είναι καλά εξοικειωμένος με το Διαστημικό Σταθμό. Τον Οκτώβρη 2002 είχε πάει ξανά εκεί στα πλαίσια αποστολής της ΝΑΣΑ από το Κέντρο Εκτοξεύσεων Κέννεντυ, στη Φλόριντα. Στις ένδεκα μέρες που κράτησε η αποστολή εκείνη ο Θόδωρος συνέβαλλε στη σύνδεση του τρίτου από τα ένδεκα τμήματα του διαστημικού σταθμού. Το εγχείρημα ήταν εξαιρετικά δύσκολο και επικίνδυνο. Ολοκληρώθηκε με επιτυχία ύστερα από 170 περιστροφές γύρω από τη γη και χάρις σε τρεις εξόδους από τη διαστημική άκατο κατά τις οποίες οι αστροναύτες εργάστηκαν αιωρούμενοι στο κενό.

Στα λίγα πράγματα που είχε πάρει τότε μαζί του ο Θόδωρος ήτανε μια Ελληνική σημαία την οποία και δώρισε ένα χρόνο αργότερα στον Πρόεδρο της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας.

Την φορά αυτή ο Θόδωρος θα παραμείνει στον Διαστημικό Σταθμό για έξι μήνες. Ήδη αποχαιρέτισε τη γυναίκα του, την Λαρίσα Ανατόλιεβνα και τις δύο κόρες του, την 13χρονη Ντάσα και την 5χρονη Ελενίτσα που του έδωσαν, η μεγάλη ένα χνουδωτό αρκουδάκι και η μικρή ένα χνουδωτό γουρουνάκι για να του κρατούν παρέα τις ώρες της μοναξιάς.

Ο αποχωρισμός έγινε στο Σταρ Σίτυ, την Πολιτεία των Άστρων, έξω από την Μόσχα, λίγο πριν αρχίσει το ταξίδι για το Μπαϊκονούρ, από όπου θα εκτοξευτεί το διαστημόπλοιό του. Τη συγκινητική τελετή στο Σταρ Σίτυ παρακολούθησε ο Ελληνορώσος δημοσιογράφος και φίλος Νίκος Σιδηρόπουλος, ο οποίος πρόθυμα μοιράστηκε μαζί μου σχετικές λεπτομέρειες και μερικές από τις οικογενειακές φωτογραφίες του Θόδωρου, που χρησιμοποίησα στο τηλεοπτικό αυτό ρεπορτάζ.

Ανάμεσα στους επίσημους που θα παρακολουθήσουν την εκτόξευση είναι ο Πρέσβης της Ελλάδας στο Καζακστάν, Χρήστος Κοντοβουνίσιος.

Σαν καλός γιος, ο Θόδωρος τηλεφώνησε επίσης και χαιρέτισε τον πατέρα του, τον Νικολάϊ, και την μητέρα του, την κυρία Μικρούλα, που ζούνε μαζί με τον αδελφό του, τον Παναγιώτη, στην Ελλάδα, στο προάστιο Σίνδος της Θεσσαλονίκης.

Μαζί με αυτούς ευχόμαστε κι εμείς στο Θόδωρο καλό ταξίδι και με το καλό να γυρίσει ξανά στη στη γη.

Φωνή της Αμερικής
Γιώργος Μπίστης

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