«Η παρουσία της Κρήτης στο έργο του Νίκου Καζαντζάκη»

Source: KRITIKA_EPIKAIRA

Στο πλαίσιο του εορτασμού των 100 χρόνων από την Ένωση της Κρήτης με την Ελλάδα, ο Δήμος Αρχανών-Αστερουσίων και το Μουσείο Νίκου Καζαντζάκη συνδιοργανώνουν ημερίδα με θέμα «Η παρουσία της Κρήτης στο έργο του Νίκου Καζαντζάκη».

Η ημερίδα θα διεξαχθεί στην αίθουσα εκδηλώσεων του Μουσείου στη Μυρτιά, την Τετάρτη, 9 Οκτωβρίου 2013, στις 7.00 το απόγευμα, και το πρόγραμμά της διαρθρώνεται σε δύο μέρη.

Στο πρώτο μέρος, τέσσερις ομιλητές θα πραγματευτούν τη σχέση του Νίκου Καζαντζάκη με σημαντικές πτυχές της Ιστορίας της Κρήτης, και συγκεκριμένα:

– Ελπινίκη Νικολουδάκη-Σουρή, «Ο Νίκος Καζαντζάκης στα εκατόχρονα της Ένωσης: προσωπικά βιώματα και ιστορική μνήμη»,

– Ελένη Κωβαίου, «Νίκος Καζαντζάκης και Μινωικός Πολιτισμός»,

– Μάνος Χαλκιαδάκης, «Ο Νίκος Καζαντζάκης και η Κρητική Πολιτεία, 1898-1913» και,

– Ben Petre, «Η πρόσληψη του πρώιμου έργου του Νίκου Καζαντζάκη από το κοινό του Ηρακλείου».

Στο δεύτερο μέρος, ο Γιάννης Κασσωτάκης στο τραγούδι και η Λίλυ Δάκα στο πιάνο, θα ερμηνεύσουν τραγούδια σε κείμενα του Νίκου Καζαντζάκη και μουσική του Μάνου Χατζιδάκι.

Sydney Roosters defeat Manly Sea Eagles 26-18 to win epic NRL Grand Final

Source: News

NRL GF

Jamie Lyon is tackled without the ball by Mitchell Aubusson, resulting in a Manly penalty try.

THERE was controversy, there were spectacular tries and in the end there was only one winner as the Roosters stormed back from a 10-point deficit to beat the Manly Sea Eagles 26-18 in an epic NRL Grand Final.

Έλληνας έφτιαξε το καλύτερο κοκτέιλ του κόσμου

Source: ΑΜΠΕ

Με ποια συστατικά μπορεί να φτιαχτεί το καλύτερο κοκτέιλ του κόσμου; Την απάντηση στο παραπάνω ερώτημα έδωσε ο Παναγιώτης Γκοβάτσος, ο οποίος χρησιμοποίησε λικέρ, βότκα, αλλά και γεύσεις και αρώματα που θυμίζουν Ελλάδα για να δημιουργήσει ένα κοκτέιλ που απέσπασε το πρώτο βραβείο στον Παγκόσμιο Διαγωνισμό Κοκτέιλ.
Ο λόγος για το κοκτέιλ “Skyfall ΙΙ”, με το οποίο ο Παναγιώτης Γκοβάτσος εντυπωσίασε τους κριτές του 39ου Παγκόσμιου Διαγωνισμού Κοκτέιλ της Διεθνούς Ένωσης Bartenders και απέσπασε το χρυσό μετάλλιο ανάμεσα στους συμμετέχοντες από 56 χώρες όλου του κόσμου.

“Το ποτό που αιχμαλωτίζει όλα τα αρώματα της φύσης, από φρούτα και βότανα μέχρι μπαχαρικά, αποτελεί την καλύτερη επιλογή. Η νέα τάση της εποχής, που πραγματικά όμως αξίζει, είναι η χρήση σπιτικών – παραδοσιακών λικέρ, βοτάνων, μπαχαρικών και φρέσκων αρωμάτων, που μπορούν να αναδείξουν χυμούς, να δημιουργήσουν δροσιστικά κοκτέιλ”, εξηγεί στο ΑΠΕ – ΜΠΕ ο Παναγιώτης Γκοβάτσος.

“Για αυτόν ακριβώς το λόγο, το κοκτέιλ που επέλεξα για τον Παγκόσμιο Διαγωνισμό βασιζόταν σε αρώματα και γεύσεις που θυμίζουν Ελλάδα. Βασικό συστατικό, είναι το λικέρ ιβίσκου που αναδύει ένα υπέροχο άρωμα που σε συνδυασμό με τη βότκα που χρησιμοποίησα χαρίζουν μια αρμονία γεύσεων, αρωμάτων και χρώματος”, προσθέτει.

Η δημιουργία του συγκεκριμένου κοκτέιλ δεν ήταν καθόλου εύκολη, καθώς για να καταλήξει ο Παναγιώτης Γκοβάτσος στην τελική συνταγή έκανε περισσότερους από 50 διαφορετικούς συνδυασμούς, «αλχημείες και πειράματα», όπως χαρακτηριστικά λέει.

Το κοκτέιλ αποτελεί εξέλιξη του “Skyfall”, με το οποίο ο ίδιος κέρδισε την πρώτη θέση στον 18ο Πανελλήνιο Διαγωνισμό Κοκτέιλ τον περασμένο Φεβρουάριο. “Το Skyfall που κέρδισε την πρώτη θέση στο Πανελλήνιο, ήθελα να το πίνουν και να αφήνει μία ξεχωριστή γεύση και υφή. Το Skyfall II, που είναι η εξέλιξη του πρώτου, αποτελεί την απόλυτη αποκορύφωση χρωμάτων και γεύσεων. Η μοναδική πολυπλοκότητα τόσων γεύσεων κερδίζει και τους πιο απαιτητικούς ουρανίσκους”, επισημαίνει ο κ. Γκοβάτσος.

Η επιλογή του ονόματος για τα κοκτέιλ που εντυπωσίασαν στον ελληνικό και στο διεθνή διαγωνισμό δεν είναι τυχαία, αλλά παραπέμπει στην ομότιτλη ταινία του Τζέιμς Μποντ και το τραγούδι της Αντέλ. Ευχή του είναι οι δημιουργίες του να παραμείνουν κλασικής αξίας και να αντέξουν στη δοκιμασία του χρόνου, όπως και οι ταινίες του Τζέιμς Μποντ.

Ο Παναγιώτης Γκοβάτσος γεννήθηκε στην Καλιφόρνια των ΗΠΑ, αλλά σε μικρή ηλικία ήρθε με την οικογένειά του στη Μονεμβασιά, όπου ζει και εργάζεται μέχρι σήμερα.

Στην ηλικία των 16 ετών ξεκίνησε να δουλεύει ως βοηθός σερβιτόρου και στη συνέχεια ως μπάρμαν, οπότε και κατέληξε, όπως λέει, “ότι το πάθος και το μεράκι μου, θέλω να το κάνω επάγγελμα”.

Με τη συμμετοχή του στον Παγκόσμιο Διαγωνισμό ο Παναγιώτης Γκοβάτσος εκπροσώπησε την Ελληνική Ένωση Μπάρμεν, αφού προηγουμένως είχε κερδίσει την πρώτη θέση στον Πανελλήνιο Διαγωνισμό. “Είμαι ένα άτομο που μ’ αρέσουν οι προκλήσεις, η εξέλιξη και η επαγγελματική καταξίωση στο χώρο μου. Το να συμμετάσχεις σε ένα Διαγωνισμό και πόσο μάλλον Παγκόσμιο, είναι μια πρόκληση. Διάβασμα, σεμινάρια, προπόνηση, τεστ, ήταν μέσα στην καθημερινότητα μου. Αμέσως μετά την πρώτη θέση στον Πανελλήνιο Διαγωνισμό, ξεκίνησα να ψάχνω για τα ιδανικά και ιδιαίτερα υλικά που θα χρησιμοποιούσα”, θυμάται.

Στόχος του και μετά την παγκόσμια πρωτιά, όπως λέει ο ίδιος, είναι να συνεχίσει να φτιάχνει ποτά και κοκτέιλς που θα μετατρέπονται σε αναμνήσεις. “Δεν υπάρχει μεγαλύτερη ευτυχία, αλλά και επιτυχία από ένα χαμόγελο. Αυτή είναι και η μαγεία της δουλειάς αυτής. Δεν υπάρχει κάτι καλύτερο από την προσωπική επαφή. Να συζητήσεις, να ακούσεις τον άλλον και να προσπαθήσεις να τον ανεβάσεις ψυχολογικά στο λίγο χρόνο που έχει”, τονίζει.

O 39ος Παγκόσμιος Διαγωνισμός Κοκτέιλ ήταν μέρος του 62ου ετήσιου συνεδρίου που διοργάνωσε η Διεθνής Ένωσης Barternders και φιλοξενήθηκε στην Πράγα τον περασμένο Αύγουστο. Το εξαήμερο συνέδριο περιελάμβανε την ετήσια γενική συνέλευση της Διεθνούς Ένωσης Bartenders με περισσότερες από 60 χώρες μέλη, workshops και masterclasses, με θέματα τις νέες τάσεις παγκοσμίως στα κοκτέιλ και τα αλκοολούχα ποτά, καθώς και τρεις διαγωνισμούς: Classic cocktail, Flairtending (free style) και non alcoholic.

H Ελληνική Ένωση Μπάρμεν έλαβε μέρος και στις τρεις κατηγορίες με τους Παναγιώτη Γκοβάτσο στο Classic cocktail, τον Κωνσταντίνο Φραντζή, ο οποίος κατέλαβε την 21η θέση στο Flairtending (free style) και τον Παναγιώτη Πάλλη στο non alcoholic.

Η συνταγή του κοκτέιλ “Skyfall II”, που απέσπασε το πρώτο βραβείο, είναι η εξής:
* 4.0 cl Grey Goose La Poire
* 3.0 cl Giffard Pampl’ Hibiscus
* 4.0 cl Finest Call Passion Fruit Puree
* 2.0 cl Monin Pink Graprfruit Juice
* 3.0 cl Lime Juice, Fresh
* 3.0 cl Perrier

Γαρνιτούρα: Blueberry, cranberry, grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple leaf, carrot, turnip, chili pepper and mint leaf. Μέθοδος: Shake.

6,000-Year-Old Wine Found In Greece; Ancient Samples May Be Oldest Unearthed In Europe

Sourc: TheHuffington

Conventional wisdom agrees that a fine wine generally gets better with age — good news for the 6,200-year-old wine samples unearthed in Greece, huh?

Researchers working at an ongoing dig site in northern Greece recently announced that the final results of residue analysis from ancient ceramics showed evidence of wine dating back to 4200 B.C., according to the Greek Reporter. The excavation, located at a prehistoric settlement known as Dikili Tash, is situated 1.2 miles from the ancient city of Philippi and has been inhabited since 6500 B.C., according to the researchers’ website.

The analysis was not conducted on liquid wine, though. The passing millennia have erased nearly all tangible evidence of the drink, Dimitra Malamidou, a co-director of the most recent excavation, told The Huffington Post in an email.

“All [that] is left from the liquid part is the residue in the surface of the ceramic vases,” she said. “Recent residue analysis on ceramics attested [to] the presence of tartaric acid, indicating fermentation.”

Malamidou is part of a joint Greek-French excavation that began in 2008. The team recently wrapped up excavation of a neolithic house from around 4500 B.C. This is where they found wine traces in the form of “some thousands of carbonized grape pips together with the skins indicating grape pressing,” Malamidou said.

Radiocarbon dating was used to pinpoint the age of the finds.

Dikili Tash researchers believe they have found the oldest known traces of wine in Europe. Previous studies have unearthed a 6,100-year-old Armenian winery, as well as traces of a 9,000-year-old Chinese alcohol made from rice, honey and fruit.

“The find is highly significant for the European prehistory, because it is for the moment the oldest indication for vinification in Europe,” Malamidou said. “The historical meaning of our discovery is important for the Aegean and the European prehistory, as it gives evidence of early developments of the agricultural and diet practices, affecting social processes.”

The societal changes that may have been influenced by the consumption of alcoholic beverages is currently an issue of debate among researchers, Malamidou said. Evidence of wine during this early time period will “shed new light” on these discussions, she said.

As Germans Push Austerity, Greeks Press Back

Source: nytimes

Angelos Tzortzinis for The New York Times

Giannis Syngelakis at a mass grave in Amiras, Greece, for local men killed by the Nazis.

Residents of Amiras gathered for a Mass for victims of the Nazis.

Mr. Syngelakis, who was 7 then, still wants payback. And in pursuing a demand for reparations from Germany, he reflects a growing movement here, fueled not just by historical grievances but also by deep resentment among his countrymen over Germany’s current power to dictate budget austerity to the fiscally crippled Greek government.

Germany may now be Greece’s stern banker now, say those who are seeking reparations, but before it goes too far down that road, it should pay off its own debts to Greece.

“Maybe some of us have not paid our taxes,” Mr. Syngelakis said, standing beside the olive tree where his father died 70 years ago. “But that is nothing compared to what they did.”

It is not just aging victims of the Nazi occupation who are demanding a full accounting. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s government has compiled an 80-page report on reparations and a huge, never-repaid loan the nation was forced to make under Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1945.

Mr. Samaras has sent the report to Greece’s Legal Council of State, the agency that would build a legal case or handle settlement negotiations. But whether the government will press the issue with Germany remains unclear.

Some political analysts are doubtful that Athens will be willing to take on the Germans, who have provided more to the country’s bailout package than any other European nation.

Others, however, believe that the claims — particularly over the forced loan — could be an important bargaining chip in the months ahead as Greece and its creditors are expected to discuss ways to ease its enormous debt burden. Few here think it was an accident that details of the report were leaked to the Greek newspaper Real News on Sept. 22, the day that Germans went to the polls to hand a victory to Germany’s tough-talking chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“I can see a situation where it is politically difficult for the Germans to ease the terms for us,” said one high-ranking Greek official, who did not want his name used because he was not authorized to speak on the issue. “So instead, they agree to pay back the occupation loan. Maybe it is easier to sell that to the German public.”

So far, the Germans have given little indication that they are so inclined. During his latest visit to Athens in July, Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, said, “We must examine exactly what happened in Greece.” But he insisted that Greece had waived its rights on the issue long ago.

The call for reparations has elicited an emotional outpouring in Greece, where six years of brutal recession and harsh austerity measures have left many Greeks hostile toward Germany. Rarely does a week go by without another report in the news about, as one newspaper put it in a headline, “What Germany Owes Us.”

The main opposition party, Syriza, has seized on the issue as well, with its leader, Alexis Tsipras, barnstorming across the country promising action to enthusiastic applause.

Estimates of how much money is at stake vary wildly. The government report does not cite a total. The figure most often discussed is $220 billion, an estimate for infrastructure damage alone put forward by Manolis Glezos, a member of Parliament and a former resistance fighter who is pressing for reparations. That amount equals about half the country’s debt.

Some members of the National Council on Reparations, an advocacy group, are calling for more than $677 billion to cover stolen artifacts, damage to the economy and to the infrastructure, as well as the bank loan and individual claims.

Even the figure for the bank loan is in dispute. The loan was made in Greek drachmas at a time of hyperinflation 70 years ago. Translating that into today’s currency is difficult, and the question of how much interest should be assessed is subject to debate. One conservative estimate by a former finance minister puts the debt from the loan at only $24 billion.

It is not hard to see why the issue is so attractive to many Greeks. It offers, if nothing else, a chance to take Germany down a peg. The last six years have hit Greek pride hard. Some here feel that the country’s officials are merely puppets these days, imposing whatever solutions the country’s creditors — the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank — come up with.

Experts say that the German occupation of Greece was brutal. Germany requisitioned food from Greece even as Greeks went hungry. By the end of the war, about 300,000 had starved to death. Greece also had an active resistance movement, which prompted frequent and horrific reprisals like the one that occurred here in Amiras, a small village in Crete. Some historians believe that 1,500 villages were singled out for such reprisals.

Giannis Syngelakis among photographs of the local Nazi victims. His father was among those killed by German soldiers in 1943 as part of a reprisal for an attack on an outpost.

After the war, experts say, Greece got little in reparations. But few countries did. The Allies concentrated on rebuilding Germany, not wanting to once again impose crushing reparations bills as they did after World War I, an important factor, they believed, in bringing about World War II. Some German property was divvied up, but many claims were simply put off until East and West Germany might be reunited.

When that moment arrived, the world’s landscape had changed significantly. By then, the European Union was in place, Germany was contributing more to the bloc’s budget than it was getting back, and, some experts say, the books were closed. (Germany has paid huge reparations to Israel in the name of the Jewish people at large, and the German government, German companies and a number of other institutions established a multibillion-dollar fund to compensate those forced to perform labor during Nazi internment.)

Yet some groups in Greece have long felt that Germany still owes victims like Mr. Syngelakis. And others, now looking back, believe that Germany was let off the hook back then and should be more generous now in Greece’s hour of need.

A few individual cases have made their way through the Greek courts, including one representing the victims of a massacre in Distomo in 1944. Germans rampaged through the village gutting pregnant women, bayoneting babies and setting homes on fire, witnesses have said. Lawyers for Distomo won a judgment of $38 million in Greece. But the Greek government has never given permission to lay claim to German property in Greece as a way of collecting on the debt.

Christina Stamoulis, whose father was a lawyer on that case, said that many older people in Greece had only recently started talking about what happened in the war, in some cases because older Germans had arrived in their villages with their grandchildren wanting forgiveness.

“O.K., apologize,” Ms. Stamoulis said. “But we are expecting actions, too.”

Experts say that Germany is highly unlikely to want to revisit issues of reparations with Greece, since other countries would be likely to make similar claims. But some believe that Greece might have a shot at getting repayment on the bank loan.

“What is unusual about that loan is that there is a written agreement,” said Katerina Kralova, the author of “In the Shadow of Occupation: The Greek-German Relations During the Period 1940-2010.” “In other countries, the Germans just took the money.”

Asked about the 80-page report, officials of the Greek Foreign Ministry said that Greece had no intention of mingling war claims with the current financial situation. But, they said, its reparations claims are still valid. “The issue has been brought forward repeatedly, as per the international laws, both on a political and on a diplomatic level, on a bilateral basis, in a direct and utterly documented way, among partners, friends and allies,” said one official, who declined to be named as is common practice here.

For those who survived the Amiras massacre, a crushing poverty set in. Mr. Syngelakis said his mother sometimes scrounged for edible weeds to feed her children. He did not have shoes until he was a teenager.

“Back then, they destroyed us with guns,” Mr. Syngelakis said, the anger still clear. “Today, they do it financially.”

On Foreign Soil: The Search for Fallen Diggers

Source: mikesweet01

Loren Brown, the grand-daughter of Private John McGarrity, who was killed in April 1941 and whose remains have never been found. Photo: Meredith O'Shea

Loren Brown, the grand-daughter of Private John McGarrity, who was killed in April 1941 and whose remains have never been found. Photo: Meredith O’Shea

Taking cover behind a stone wall near a village in northern Greece on April 12, 1941, two Australian soldiers, Private John McGarrity and Lance Corporal Robert Brown, sheltered against a stone wall, after pelting across a frozen field in a hail of German heavy machine gun fire.

”I guess that was close,” McGarrity said, figuring they were safe, despite the enemy’s proximity. ”Let’s make the best of it and have a smoke.”

He rolled his cigarette, but never got to light it.”He gave a soft cry and collapsed to the ground,” Brown later told the Red Cross.

Almost immediately, Brown was hit too. As the two Diggers lay bleeding on the cold earth, a German officer appeared. Brown was told he was now a prisoner of war; medics would see to his mate.

”I had one last look at Private McGarrity,” he said in his Red Cross statement, ”but he was lying very still. I cannot say [if] he was dead or wounded – that was the last time I saw him.”

Brown’s testimony, from a German POW camp in 1943, is the only source of information about McGarrity’s fate: his body, like those of up to 20 other Australian soldiers killed during the same battle, was never recovered.

Now, with mixed emotions, McGarrity’s family, including his 75-year-old daughter, is preparing for the possible discovery of his remains in the grounds of a disused military compound near the tiny Greek village of Vevi.

Greece’s minister for Macedonia and Thrace (the region in which Vevi is located) has told Fairfax the Greek government is prepared to fund a dig at a site near where McGarrity and about 20 others are believed to have been buried anonymously in 1941.

If the dig proves its supporters correct, Vevi could resonate for Australians in the same way as the French town of Fromelles where, in 2009, researchers unearthed the remains of 250 Allied soldiers from World War I, including 124 Australians whose identities have been established by DNA tests.

Like the long campaign to unearth the Pheasant Wood site at Fromelles in northern France, the push to explore the fields around Vevi was initiated by amateur historians who have cross-referenced military documents with local knowledge and hearsay.

Keith Rossi, Victoria’s RSL historian for the past 26 years, is among those who believe an investigation of Vevi is well overdue. ”Look at Fromelles, when they had all that evidence – for years they didn’t do a bloody thing,” says the 91-year-old retired brigadier. ”Why doesn’t someone just go up and have a look?”

Rossi was in Vevi in 1991 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Greek campaign when he had an illuminating encounter. ”I was standing there at the wreath-laying ceremony and an elderly chap spoke to me,” Rossi says. ”We got talking about dead soldiers and the 2/8th Battalion, and this local said there were Australian soldiers from the war buried across the road – behind the wall.”

Rossi has talked about his encounter ever since, but it has taken nearly a quarter of a century for the conversation to grow into a concerted campaign to unravel the mystery, and to prove – one way or the other – if the rumours are true.

John McGarrity, the son of an Irish Catholic shipwright, was born in Newcastle, England, in 1905, and emigrated to Australia with an assisted passage in 1928, listed as a labourer.

He worked as a farmhand in Victoria and in manufacturing in Sunshine, where he was a member of the local running club. In 1937, aged 32, he married Norma Plumridge. Daughter Patricia was born in October the same year and Margaret in February 1939.

John McGarrity and wife Norma at Luna Park, Melbourne in 1939.

John McGarrity and wife Norma at Luna Park, Melbourne in 1939.

Within months of Margaret’s birth, Australia was at war with Germany. McGarrity enlisted and in April 1940, his 2/8th Infantry Battalion left Melbourne for the Middle East. Having suffered the heaviest casualties of any Australian unit during the first battle for Tobruk in January 1941, it embarked for Greece on March 31.

Twelve days later, McGarrity, a popular soldier ”full of wit and humour”, according to a fellow Digger quoted in his military record, would become one of the first of more than 600 Anzac troops killed in the doomed Greek campaign.

It was an operation that began in the snows of northern Greece, where Australian and New Zealand forces – supported by Greek and British units – took on the might of Hitler’s invading Panzer army, and the SS Leibstandarte, the elite and fanatical Nazi division originally formed as bodyguards for Hitler.

Facing the same troops that had torn through Poland, France and Belgium, the Commonwealth forces were handicapped from the start by inferior armaments, poor communications and virtually no air cover.

On April 12, 1941, the 2/8th Battalion was 16 kilometres south of the border with Yugoslavia, clinging precariously to the eastern side of the Monastir Gap, near Vevi.

For more than 24 hours it repulsed the enemy. The mission was to hold the German advance long enough to allow the withdrawal of Greek forces on the Yugoslav and Albanian borders.

That afternoon, a vital phone line connecting the 2/8th’s front line to Battalion HQ was cut. McGarrity and Lance Corporal Brown volunteered to make the repair.

As they made their way forward, the German attack intensified. The 2/8th’s front line began to disintegrate, overrun by German infantry and fast-moving Panzers.

About 4pm, exposed in open ground, McGarrity and Brown came under heavy machinegun fire. The stone wall they sheltered behind proved useless, with both men shot and Brown taken prisoner of war.

McGarrity was among 28 Australian troops killed at Vevi, many of whom, from the 2/8th and 2/1st Anti Tank Regiment, were never recovered.

He was reported as ”missing in action, presumed killed” and it would not be until 1944 that McGarrity’s wife, Norma, bringing up their two daughters in Kew, would receive confirmation from the army that her husband was dead. They could not tell her what happened to his body.

If Allied prisoners died of their wounds in enemy hands, German burial units would usually identify them from identity discs or paybooks and create written records, simplifying identification of a burial site and the individuals within it years later. No such documentation has ever been found for McGarrity and a number of other members of his battalion who fell at Vevi.

After Greece was liberated in 1944, the work of the Australian War Graves Commission – charged with finding burial sites – was hampered severely in northern Greece by the Greek Civil War. The remains of those who were found were reinterred at Phaleron War Cemetery in Athens. Some 2029 Commonwealth servicemen who died on the mainland in the Greek campaign are buried or commemorated at Phaleron; 596 of the burials are unidentified. Only one member of the 2/8th Battalion killed on April 12, 1941, has a known grave at Phaleron.

Maria Cameron is one of three amateur historians involved in research on the Vevi missing.

The Port Fairy researcher, whose other projects include identifying the remains of World War I Diggers at Fromelles, has cross-referenced Australian and German military records, and believes there is ample evidence to support the proposition that Vevi still holds the remains of Australians killed there.

”If the AWGC did recover bodies in the area after the war, the German records would have given the recovery units a clue. For McGarrity and others, there are no records of that kind at all,” Cameron says.

”The absence of information in the records on John McGarrity and others from the 2/8th show they’re the ones who were never recovered. ”It’s the same as Fromelles, we couldn’t say they were definitely there.”

Melbourne military historian Carl Johnson has also examined the records relating to Vevi, and says that McGarrity qualifies as a leading contender for a soldier who fell at Vevi and is likely to be still there.

”His files were held open to September 1945, which shows the total lack of information the military had about his final resting place,” says Johnson.”In addition to McGarrity I’d say there’s strong evidence for others being contenders for those never recovered from the 2/8th and 2/1st Anti Tank Regiment. There could be up to 20, from both units all told.”

A third researcher, Newcastle schoolteacher Tom Tsamouras, who has been working on identifying the site pointed out in 1991 by Rossi, is also confident about the location. ”What needs to happen is for the Australian government to help the Greek authorities investigate it,” he says.

A spokesperson for Unrecovered War Casualties – Army, the unit of the Australian Defence Force that investigates alleged burial locations of Australian soldiers, said while the department had ”no verifiable evidence”, it was looking into the matter. The Greek government has been more enthusiastic. ”The army have already drafted plans for a preliminary 15-day dig covering an area of two acres at the location, which is near a disused military compound,” says Tsamouras, who, through Greek contacts, brought the matter to the attention of Greece’s Minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Theodoros Karaoglou.

Karaoglou confirmed these details and says he believes the cost of an initial dig would be less than €30,000 ($41,000). He has vowed to authorise the expenditure personally.

Karaoglou says the dig will go ahead once the Greek army, on whose land the site sits, gives permission.Despite the likely imminence of the dig, there has been no communication between the Greek authorities and the Australian Defence Force, according to the UWCA spokesperson.

Nonetheless, members of McGarrity’s family believe the Australian government should get involved.

Daughter Margaret died last year, but Patricia still lives in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Pat’s daughter, Loren Brown, says she and her mother support the idea of an investigation taking place – whatever its findings.

”The possibility of an investigation has raised a mix of emotions in the family. Some believe we should leave history as it is, undisturbed. Others feel cautious optimism, to finally know the truth,” says Loren.

”It would be wonderful to give our grandfather a proper grave, titled and recognised. These men gave their young lives for their country. Surely it is Australia’s responsibility to find them and give them the recognition they deserve.”

Margaret’s son, Phillip Wittmer, agrees. ”It’s about honouring his memory,” he says. ”These men made the ultimate sacrifice. We owe them the honour of a proper burial, to dignify their lives, rather than leaving them. At the same time, I’m not getting my hopes up too much. What will be will be.”

Olympic flame handed over to Russia for Sochi Winter Olympics

Source: TheAustralian

Olympic flame Sochi

Actress Ino Menegaki plays a high priestess as she lights a torch with the Olympic flame at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens during the ceremony handing over the flame for the the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which begin on February 7. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

THE Olympic torch was formally handed over from Greece to organisers of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Saturday, just weeks before it will be carried into space.

In sunny weather at the Panathenaic Stadium that hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896, the torch was presented to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak by the president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos.

Attending the handover ceremony was Greek President Karolos Papoulias.

“The Sochi Winter Olympics will not only become a part of Olympic history but will also make a sufficient contribution to the development of trust, friendship and respect of various cultures and countries,” Mr Kozak said addressing the spectators.

He thanked the Greek people “for maintaining the Olympic values” said it was “a great honour for me to represent Russia with pride and accept the flame.”

Mr Capralos said that the Olympic movement provides “a message of peace and solidarity among nations and that the Olympic flame is a symbol which unites all nations.”

“The Olympic flame is part of Greece and our heritage,” Mr Capralos added. “We are very proud of handing over the flame.”

Some 15,000 spectators attended the brief ceremony, which included a parade of Greek presidential guards dressed in traditional attire and a ritual dance by white-clad actresses dressed as ancient priestesses.

The Olympic flame was lit in Ancient Olympia last Sunday and embarked on a week-long journey through Greece ending at Panathenaic Stadium.

The torch was brought into the stadium by seven-times Greek figure skating champion Panagiotis Markouizos.

From Greece the flame will be flown on Sunday to Russia to be carried through all 83 Russian regions and visit 2900 towns and settlements before arriving in Sochi for the opening ceremony on February 7 ending a 65,000-kilometre journey.

About 14,000 torchbearers are expected to carry the torch.

The torch relay will make history when it is taken into space for the first time later this year.

It is due to travel to the International Space Station where it will then be taken on a spacewalk.

According to the Sochi organisers, the torch is due to arrive at the station on the Soyuz TMA-11M manned spaceship in November, and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryazansky and Oleg Kotov have been tasked with the historical assignment.

For safety reasons, the torch will not be lit during the spacewalk, the organisers said.

Following the mission, cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhim, who is currently based in the station, will deliver the special cargo safely back to earth.

The 62nd Annual Greek Festival in Portland (photos)

Source: oregonlive

Sunny weather brought out some big crowds to the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Saturday in Northeast Portland. The event, featuring authentic Greek food, dancing and music, continues on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, from noon to 8 p.m.

  

1 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Father Jordan Brown leads a tour and Q&A in the cathedral during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

 

2 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Religious artwork and stained glass adorns the cathedral at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral during the Greek Festival in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

3 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Vasiliki “Kiki” Farrier, a volunteer, helps arrange the candle station in the narthex of the church, during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

4 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Religious art featuring Jesus Christ almost seems to be giving approval to Vasiliki “Kiki” Farrier, a volunteer, as she helps arrange the candle station during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

5 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — The entrance to the cathedral soaks up the October sun during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

6 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Niko Andronikos (second from right) and Cindy Trumpower (far right) serve Greek salads during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

7 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Vasiliki Kordalis tosses the loukoumades, a fried-dough pastry soaked in a honey-sugar coating, during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

8 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Lamb roasts on a spit at the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

9 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Darin (left to right), Lilee, Zoee and Elizabeth Gering sample the Greek fare during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

10 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Mary Radtke helps a customer out with the huge array of Greek pastries, homemade by volunteers, during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

11 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Matt Lyons proudly shows off his newly purchased Greek fisherman hat with girlfriend, Alexandra Pandolfi, during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

12 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A big display of jewelry, including these necklaces, were for sale during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

13 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A couple of kids warm up the dance floor prior to a performance during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

14 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Karen Aase holds her eight-month-old granddaughter, Amelia Degheri, as they wait for the Greek folk dancing to start during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

15 of 25PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Thomas Spathas introduces Greek folk dance performers during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian 

16 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A Greek folk dance group of children, ages approximately nine to ten-years-old, performs. The group’s name is Arete, which means “excellence” or “reaching your potential.” The 62nd Annual Greek Festival was held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

17 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A child with a Greek folk dance group adjusts her dress during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

18 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Authentic Greek costumes were used during the folk dancing at the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

19 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — Authentic Greek costumes were used during the folk dancing at the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

20 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A Greek folk dance group of children, ages approximately nine to ten-years-old, performs. The group’s name is Arete, which means “excellence” or “reaching your potential.” The 62nd Annual Greek Festival was held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

21 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A Greek folk dance group of children, ages approximately nine to ten-years-old, performs. The group’s name is Arete, which means “excellence” or “reaching your potential.” The 62nd Annual Greek Festival was held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian 

22 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A Greek folk dance group of children, ages approximately nine to ten-years-old, performs. The group’s name is Arete, which means “excellence” or “reaching your potential.” The 62nd Annual Greek Festival was held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

23 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A young Greek folk dancer scoops up some dollar bills after a spectator (not pictured) threw some money on the dance floor during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

24 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — One young Greek folk dancer was a bit more quick to act than the others, after a spectator (not pictured) threw some money on the dance floor during the 62nd Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

25 of 25 PORTLAND, OREGON — October 5, 2013 — A Greek folk dance group of children, ages approximately nine to ten-years-old, performs. The group’s name is Arete, which means “excellence” or “reaching your potential.” The 62nd Annual Greek Festival was held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland on Saturday. Drew Vattiat/The Oregonian

INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenophon demands Papuan trio explanation

Source: TheDailyTelegraph

The West Papuan activists snuck into the Australian consulate, Bali

Three West Papuan activists have been convinced to leave Australia’s consulate in Bali. Source: AAP

INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenophon says West Papuan activists were “effectively threatened” to leave the Australian consulate in Bali ahead of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s arrival for the APEC summit.

Senator Xenophon is demanding an immediate explanation for the departure of the three men, after they scaled a wall into the mission early on Sunday morning.

He alerted AAP to the incident after being contacted by human rights groups.

It’s understood Australian officials persuaded the trio – Rofinus Yanggam, Markus Jerewon and Yuvensius Goo – to leave the consulate about 7am local time.

The three men were calling for international journalists to be allowed into the troubled Papuan provinces and for the release of at least 55 political prisoners from Indonesian jails, including Filep Karma, who has been jailed for 15 years in Abepura prison.

The security breach came ahead of Mr Abbott’s arrival for the APEC leaders’ summit on Sunday.

Senator Xenophon called on Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to provide a detailed timeline and explanation of what occurred.

“These three young men were not asking for West Papuan independence from Indonesia. All they were asking for is entirely consistent with the Lombok Treaty of 2006, signed by both Australia and Indonesia,” he said.

“Instead of getting sanctuary and help, the Australian government effectively threatened them and now there is serious concern over the activists’ safety.”

Senator Xenophon’s calls were backed by Professor Clinton Fernandes of the University of NSW, who has written extensively on West Papua and the Australian/Indonesian relationship.

He said when the media circus had moved on after APEC, the trio “may be tried, most certainly they will be beaten, and at some point might be disappeared”.

Mr Yanggam told the Guardian Australia he left the consulate in fear for his life after the consul-general, Brett Farmer, told them the Indonesian police and army would be called.

“They told us: ‘We don’t accept you to stay here. If you stay here for five minutes, I will call the Indonesian army to come and take you out’,” Mr Yanggam said.

“I know that if I am arrested then my life will be over. So better to get out now.”

In a letter addressed to the Australian people, the trio said they wanted Mr Abbott, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Secretary of State John Kerry to stand up for Papuan rights.

“We want these leaders to persuade the Indonesian government to treat Papuan people better,” the handwritten letter said.

Many of their colleagues had tried to have their voices heard but had ended up in prison, they said.

“These political prisoners committed no crime. They are explicitly committed to non-violence,” the letter said.

“The Indonesian government arrested and jailed them for discussing their political human rights beliefs.”

The trio ended the letter with a plea for help.

“We seek refuge and plead for our safety.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the trio had left the consulate “voluntarily” at 7am Bali time after delivering a protest letter.

Interim Labor leader Chris Bowen said he had full confidence that the consul-general and Australian officials were acting appropriately.