Τρίτη, 17 Απριλίου 2012

Drugs and Driving

A family whose teenage daughter was killed by a speeding driver who had taken drugs are hoping their campaign for tougher drug driving laws may have paid off.

Lillian Groves was only 14 when she was knocked down while playing outside her home in Surrey in June 2010. Since then, her relatives have campaigned for a "Lillian's Law" to allow police to carry out roadside drug testing. Now it is understood a new drug driving offence could be included in next month's Queen's Speech.
Lillian's mother Natasha Groves said drug testing "should be done at the scene of an accident. The same as it is for drink driving".
The teenager's aunt Michaela Groves said: "It should be as simple as the breathalyser was for drink. Zero tolerance is what we as a family think is the only way you can look at it.
"As in drink they have set a threshold and there's a limit, that you are either under or over. We've looked at some of the drugs that they want to test for and we don't seriously feel that you can indicate a level on certain drugs. "It should be zero tolerance. It makes it clear for everybody that if you want to take drugs...don't get behind the wheel of a car." The motorist who hit Lillian was tested nine hours after the crash and only after he said he had been smoking cannabis earlier in the day.
While small traces were found in his system, it was not a factor included in the charges against him. He was eventually given an eight-month sentence and served eight weeks in jail.
A panel of experts has also been looking into the issue for the Government.
Road safety minister Mike Penning said: "Drug drivers are a menace which is why we are going to introduce a new drug driving offence and approve screening equipment to make it easier for the police to test for the presence of drugs in drivers and tackle this irresponsible minority."
While roadside testing equipment is made in the UK, you won't find it used on Britain's roadsides.
The Association of Chief Police Officers say a change in the law is needed before that is a practical option.
In a statement they told Sky News: "The existing legislation requires the police to prove impairment rather than just the fact that a person has a certain level of a drug in their body, so at this time the roadside drug testing kits are of little use.
"If and when legislation is introduced that mirrors the drink driving legislation....these devices will become a great asset in policing drug driving."
A meeting with the Prime Minister has given the family some hope that a law in Lillian's name could become a lasting legacy for their little girl.
Today as part of their campaign the family will visit a company that manufactures drug testing equipment.

Τρίτη, 10 Απριλίου 2012

Greece - Financial Times - :(

The credibility of Greece’s political class has sunk so low that both main parties of the centre right and centre left have faced problems finding suitable candidates to stand for election early next month. Politicians are widely denounced as “thieves and traitors”, reflecting a populist view that their corrupt practices while in government were responsible for triggering Greece’s financial collapse. One veteran political organiser for New Democracy, the conservative frontrunner, said: “The pool of potential candidates [for both main parties] has shrunk, especially in the provinces … Both respected professionals and prominent local government officials have been turning down offers.”

“There are fewer people than usual aspiring to run,” said a senior member of Pasok, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement that is in coalition with the centre-right under Lucas Papademos, the technocrat prime minister. Campaigning has already started for an election expected to take place on May 6, even though the date will not be officially announced until midweek after parliament has approved another package of structural measures. Opinion polls at the weekend showed Pasok and New Democracy would together capture only 40-41 per cent of the vote, well short of the 50 per cent seen as critical for maintaining the reform process. International lenders are counting on Pasok’s Evangelos Venizelos and Antonis Samaras, the centre-right leader, to renew their coalition after the election with the aim of hauling the country out of recession by the end of 2013. But the majority of voters appear set to back half-a-dozen small opposition parties that oppose the reform effort, from the Greek Communist party to the far-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn). Mr Venizelos is struggling to win back dissatisfied socialists and also gain support from swing voters in the centre, while New Democracy has been hard hit by the defection of Panos Kammenos, a popular backbencher. Mr Kammenos’s new Independent Greeks party, which opposes further reforms, could capture as much as 10 per cent of the vote.

The backlash reflects a popular protest against the impact of austerity: cuts of 25 per cent in wages and pensions, an unemployment rate above 20 per cent and a further 5 per cent contraction of national output projected for this year. More hardship looms as the incoming government must legislate €11bn of additional spending cuts by July under the terms of Greece’s second €174bn bailout by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, or risk plunging Greece into a full-scale default within months. The coalition government has already pushed through €3.3bn of cuts despite defections by backbenchers from both parties. But Mr Papademos has been struggling in the final days of his administration to prevent coalition deputies from pushing through populist amendments aimed at attracting votes, even though they would undermine the government’s achievements. George Kyrtsos, a political commentator, said: “The discipline of the past months has weakened and Mr Papademos is being sidelined as lawmakers from both parties try to enhance their electoral appeal.”

Mr Venizelos on Sunday urged voters to back the further austerity measures at next month’s elections or risk the possibility of a forced exit from the eurozone. The former finance minister said in a newspaper interview that the country faced a stark choice: “People must realise the elections are not a big opinion poll but a time for making decisions … Our future is tied to [implementing] the new measures.”With the electoral system heavily weighted in favour of the front-running party, New Democracy and Pasok could still scrape an overall majority in parliament with about 45 per cent of the vote, according to pollsters.“There is a lot of volatility in the polls and it’s likely that the mainstream parties will both win back more of their core voters during the course of the campaign,” a senior socialist party member said. But even if a new cross-party coalition comes to power next month, its tenure may be shortlived. Mr Kyrtsos said: “The polls show that the next government will be in a weaker position than its predecessor. Whatever happens next, we are looking at instability.”

Δευτέρα, 9 Απριλίου 2012

Antenna TV - Lego - Patini.gr

Για μια ακόμη φορά, πραγματοποιήθηκε και φέτος, το καθιερωμένο ετήσιο πάρτυ της εκπομπής «Με Αγάπη» του Ant1, για παιδιά που φιλοξενούνται σε ιδρύματα και σωματεία.
Ομορφες και ξένοιαστες στιγμές γεμάτες παιχνίδι, κατασκευές, χορό και πάνω από όλα αγάπη, για περισσότερα από 1000 παιδιά που παρευρέθηκαν με τους γονείς και τους συνοδούς τους.
Και φέτος, μεγάλος χορηγός η εταιρία Lego, η οποία δημιούργησε έναν καταπληκτικό χώρο όπου έπαιξαν τα παιδιά, αλλά και πρόσφερε μέσω του προγράμματος Charity, εκατοντάδες κούτες με παιχνίδια σε ιδρύματα και παιδιά που τα έχουν πραγματικά ανάγκη.  
Μαζί, για δεύτερη χρονιά και εμείς από το Patini.gr που είχαμε τη χαρά να παίξουμε με τα παιδιά, και την τιμή να μας χαρίσουν το γέλιο τους και να μοιραστούν μαζί μας όμορφες στιγμές. Τα ευχαριστούμε!

Τετάρτη, 4 Απριλίου 2012

"Η κατοχική κυβέρνηση Τσολάκογλου εκμηδένισε κάθε ίχνος επιβίωσής μου. Δεν μπορώ να βρω άλλο τρόπο αντίδρασης, εκτός από ένα αξιοπρεπές τέλος, πριν αρχίσω να ψάχνω στα σκουπίδια για να επιβιώσω και γίνω βάρος στο παιδί μου."