WW II 500 Lb Bomb Found In Greek City Of Thessaloniki: 70,000 People Evacuated

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BBC NEWS)

Greek WW2 bomb forces huge Thessaloniki evacuation

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  • From the section Europe
A policeman looks at the hole where the unexploded bomb was found in Thessaloniki (08 February 2017)Image copyright AFP
Image caption The bomb is thought to be one of the largest from World War Two to be found in a Greek city

At least 70,000 people in the Greek city of Thessaloniki are being evacuated so that a 500 lb World War Two bomb can be diffused, officials say.

It is thought to be one of the largest wartime bombs to be found in urban Greece in addition to being one of the largest mass evacuations.

The bomb was discovered during road works last week and is due to be disposed of on Sunday.

Officials say it is too degraded to tell if it is German or an Allied bomb.

Residents within a radius of about 2km (1.2 miles) of the bomb will be compelled to evacuate the area between now and Sunday morning, security officials have said.

A man walks next to a petrol station where the unexploded bomb was found in Thessaloniki (08 February 2017)Image copyright AFP
Image caption The bomb was discovered last week near a petrol station during work to expand fuel storage tanks
Military officers unload sacks of sand next to a hole in the ground (where a World War Two bomb was found in Thessaloniki (10 February 2017)Image copyright
Image caption The military say they will initially try to defuse the bomb’s detonator before taking the device in its entirety to an army firing range.

The operation has been described by one blog as the biggest evacuation of Greek civilians in peacetime. However, it is not possible to verify such a claim.

The military says an operation of this size and complexity is the first of its kind in a densely populated area of Greece and the disposal operation should take about eight hours – but may take as long as two days.

About 1,000 police officers and 300 volunteers will be deployed ahead of the disposal operation. People in the city were warned to vacate their homes several days in advance.

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The evacuation is expected to cause considerable disruption in Thessaloniki, with about 450 residents of a refugee camp due to be among thousands of others being evacuated to schools, sports halls and cultural centres.

The bomb was discovered last week near a petrol station during work to expand fuel storage tanks.

A state of emergency has been declared in the three municipalities affected by the defussion operation, Thessaloniki’s Deputy Governor Voula Patoulidou told the Associated Press News Agency.

“It is the first time something like this is happening in Greece,” he said. “The transfer of all residents is mandatory and we will go door-to-door to make sure everyone leaves.”

Map

The military say they will initially try to defuse the bomb’s detonator before taking the device in its entirety to an army firing range, where a decision will then be taken on how best to neutralise it.

The city’s bus terminal will be closed down while trains will also stop operating. There is also expected to be some traffic disruption in addition to interruptions to church services.

One resident of the city told the Associated Press that the bomb was dropped by British and US planes targeting German rail facilities on 17 September 1944.

German forces occupied Greece from 1941 until October 1944.

Greece’s Ambassador To Brazil Murdered By His Wife’s Lover

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(CNN) Police contend Greece’s ambassador to Brazil was killed by his wife’s lover — a military police officer — and the widow is being questioned in the crime, Brazil’s state-run Agencia Brasil news agency reported Saturday.

Chief Evaristo Pontes, a police investigator in the Baixada Fluminense state, said Friday that Sergio Gomes Moreira Filho claimed he killed the ambassador in self-defense and then recruited his cousin to help dispose of the body, Agencia Brasil News reported.
Ambassador Kyriakos Amiridis, 59, had been missing since Monday, Pontes said. A burned car with Amiridis’ charred body inside was found in Nova Iguaçu, a town outside Rio de Janeiro, on Thursday, he said.
“He (Moreira) says he got into a physical fight with the ambassador, and he had no choice other than to hit the ambassador and kill him,” Pontes said. “He says he was in desperation and didn’t know what to do, given what had happened, so he asked a cousin for help and they went to make the ambassador’s body disappear.”
Greek ambassador to Brazil Kyriakos Amiridis.

Besides Moreira, the ambassador’s widow, Francoise De Souza Oliveira, and the officer’s cousin, Eduardo Moreira de Melo, are also being questioned, Pontes said.
Pontes said investigators think Oliveira ordered the killing. No charges have been filed.
“She only told us that her lover — let’s call him that — the military policeman, was the author of the crime, executed this crime against her husband,” Pontes said. “She denies taking part.”
Agencia Brasil reported the officer killed Amiridis inside the ambassador’s home in Nova Iguaçu. The officer and his cousin wrapped the body in carpet and put it inside a car, Agencia Brasil reported.
Pontes said the cousin told police Moreira offered “to pay him 80,000 reals (about $24,574) 30 days after the crime, a period after which they thought there wouldn’t be any more problems.”
“All are under temporary arrest for 30 days for the ambassador’s death,” Pontes said. ” As we said before, this was a tragic, cowardly act.”
Amiridis had lived in Brasilia, the capital, since being appointed ambassador in January but usually spent holidays in the house outside Rio, where he was consul-general from 2001 to 2004, Agencia Brasil said.
The news agency said Oliveira was Brazilian.
Speaking to reporters outside the police station, Francisco Oliveira, the widow’s brother, said the couple “did not fight,” reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“For me it’s like a dream,” said Rosangela Oliveira, her mother. “I’ll wake up and nothing will have happened.”
Brazilian President Michel Temer’s office issued this statement: “In this moment of pain and sorrow, I offer, on behalf of the Brazilians, my condolences and solidarity to the government and people of Greece, in particular to the families and people close to Ambassador Amiridis.”
The statement says Brazilian authorities will investigate the incident thoroughly.
“The Brazilian government reaffirms its willingness to collaborate actively with the Greek side, as it has done from the beginning,” the statement said.
Greece’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing its “deepest sorrow” at the death of Amiridis.
“The late diplomat served at the Permanent Mission of Greece to the EU, at the General Consulates in Rio de Janeiro and Rotterdam and at the Greek Embassy in Belgrade during the first phase of the war in Yugoslavia,” the statement said.

The Book Of Revelation: Chapter #3

 

Revelation Chapter #3

Today in this article I would like to discuss the third chapter of the Book of Revelation, to discuss the words written so that we can understand their meanings. Chapter #3 is a lot like chapter #2 was in that it is directed at three particular Churches back at the end of the first century A.D.. In the last chapter of this Book, #22 in verse #10 the Lord told the Apostle John “Do not seal the sayings of the Prophecy’s of this book: for the time is at hand.” There are those who teach in today’s Churches that this Book is not meant to be understood, that it is just a bunch of signs and symbols. I grew up in a Church which taught this, yet such a belief is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ who dictated the contents of this Book to the Apostle John. Some of the teachings within this Book do go contrary to the teachings of the Church I grew up in, I wondered even back then if this is the reason they wanted to keep this a ‘closed’ book. This Book is like all books in the sense that you must slowly read it if you are to have any hope of understanding it. Yet, at least in my own personal opinion, I believe that a person needs to read all of the other 65 Books of the Bible first before you can grasp the understanding of some of the issues written here in the Bibles last Book. The Book of Revelation has 404 verses in it, of those 404 verses 278 contain references to the Old Testament. True understanding of the Scriptures of God are given to people through the eyes and heart of the Holy Spirit. If a person reads God’s Scriptures through ‘the eyes of the flesh’ there is very little chance that the person will understand what the Holy Spirit is actually saying.

After this third chapter ‘the Church’ will not be mentioned anymore here in this Book, the reason is that after this time ‘The Church” will no longer be here on the Earth, it will be in Heaven. Now I would like to get into these last three Churches of the seven the Lord was addressing in chapter number two, then we will be done talking about these seven Churches. These three Churches that this chapter are revolved around were located in Asia-Minor, they were located in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Sardis is located in modern-day Greece, the other two are in modern-day Turkey. First let’s look at what The Lord had to say to the Church in Sardis. The Lord told John “To the Angel of the Church in Sardis write; these things saith He that has the Seven Spirits of God and the Seven Stars. I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are really dead.” “Be watchful and strengthen the things you still have that are about to die. For I have not found your works complete before God.” “Remember therefore how that you received and heard, hold fast to that, and repent. For if you do not pay attention, I will come unto you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I come unto you.” “There are a few among you even there in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in White: for they are worthy.” “He that overcomes this world shall be clothed in White Raiment; and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His Angels.” “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Friends there is no great mystery what The Lord is saying to the people at the Church in Sardis, nor in what He is telling us. The Lord in this letter is pointing out these folks good and their bad points. On the things that they are doing that are good and pleasing to Him, He tells them to continue in these ways. Yet on the things they are doing which are displeasing to Him, He tells them to stop doing those things, to correct their ways. Now here is the ‘kicker’ to those who believe in the fallacy of “once saved always saved.” Chapter three verse number five where The Lord said “and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life.” After we die and go before God at our judgement our names must be in ‘The Book of Life”, or we will be cast into Hell at that time. This verse makes it rather plain that one’s name can be removed from this Book. Please do not fall for the Demonic teaching of once saved always saved, it simply is not true, that teaching is not the teaching of God.

Let’s move onto the second Church, the one in Philadelphia that is in modern-day Turkey. The Lord said “To the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; these things says He that is Holy, He that is True, He that has the Key of David. He that opens and no man can shut, He that shuts and no man can open.” “I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it. For you have a little power and have obeyed My Word and you have not denied My Name.” “Behold, I will make them of the Synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews and are not, for they do lie. Behold I will make them come and worship before your feet, then they will realize that I have loved you.” “Because you have kept the word of my patients, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall which shall come upon the whole world. To try them which dwell upon the Earth.” “Behold, I shall come quickly. Hold fast to that which you have so that no man can take your Crown.” “To he that overcomes I will make him a Pillar in the Temple of God. He shall no more go out, and I shall write upon him the name of God, and the name of the City of God which is the New Jerusalem which shall come down out of Heaven from God and I will write upon him My new name for him.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Philadelphia did not receive the rebuke that almost all of the other Churches received because God was pleased with the work that they were doing. Philadelphia was a Church that wasn’t just attending  a once a week service then sitting on their hands the rest of the week doing nothing to help save those that were living their lives around them, they were getting God’s Word out, outside of the Church walls. Yet if you will notice The Lord did warn them about becoming lazy, complacent in their work for Him. Just as with the other Churches we are shown the fact that we can ‘lose’ our Crown if we are not careful. Remember God’s teachings, there is no such thing as once saved always saved!

Now let’s go onto the seventh of the Seven Churches on the Lord’s list here at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, this last Church is the one that was at Laodicea. “To the Angel of the Church in Laodicea write; these things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the Creation of God. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I wish that you were one or the other.” “So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” “Because you say you are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” “I advise you to buy from Me gold that is tried in the fire so that you may be rich and clothed in White Raiment so that you may be clothed so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you might see.” “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefor and repent.” “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him and he with Me.” “To him that overcomes this world I will grant him to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His Throne.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

My friends, is there really anything that is written in this letter that is too difficult to understand? The Church at Laodicea had become large and filled with people who were wealthy and they felt safe in their size and their wealth. You know, if there was no such thing as a ‘God’, if all that humans did was live and die and then, there was nothing, this loving the dollar thing might actually be of some value. But, there is a God, and that God is not a person’s bank account. Even if we are a person who goes to Church every week and call ourselves a Christian, if we do not do ‘the works’ of Jesus, we are nothing but lukewarm water. ‘Christians’ who live their lives like this are really nothing but dead men/women walking and they are to blind and self-absorbed to know that they are walking on a plank above an active volcano. These Churches are teaching what I call “feel good religion.” To many Churches here in America have become businesses first, if Preachers teaches things that are uncomfortable to the people sitting in the pews many of those people will quit going to that Church and when this happens the money they were putting in the ‘offering plate’ leaves with them. To many Churches ‘Leaders’ are afraid to teach messages that are uncomfortable to ‘the flock’ for this reason. I have a question for every one of us, which do we fear more, a reduction in our income, or the wrath of God? The Lord’s Church (His Bride) must be a House of Worship and a House of Prayer first for it to be a God-fearing and God-loving Church/Bride.

I am going to close this article tonight with the words that are inscribed on the wall of a Church in Lübeck Germany. It is only 13 sentences but I think it is an excellent way to close this article tonight. My question to you is, what do you think of them?

Thus Speaks Christ our Lord to us:

You call Me Master, but you do not obey Me.

You call Me Light, but you do not see Me.

You call Me The Way, but you do not walk with Me.

You call Me Life, but you do not choose Me.

You call Me Wise, but you do not follow Me.

You call Me Fair, but you do not love Me.

You call Me Rich, but you do not ask of Me.

You call Me Eternal, but you do not seek Me.

You call Me Noble, but you do not serve Me.

You call Me Gracious, but you do not trust Me.

You call Me Mighty, but you do not honor Me.

You call Me Just, but you do not fear Me.

If I condemn you, do not blame Me!

Lukewarm Christians turn away would be Christians by how they live their lives. When we say we are Christians but we walk after the ways of the Devil these would be Christians see this and they turn away from Christianity. These lukewarm actions cost more than just your own Soul to be condemned, it costs the Souls of those around us who see our ‘works’ and flee from the teachings of God because of our evil ways.

Lost World Of Shipwrecks Have Been Found In The Black Sea Off Of Bulgarian Coast

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIME’S, SCIENCE SECTION)

An image of the well-preserved medieval ship found at the bottom of the Black Sea, one of more than 40 wrecks discovered. Photogrammetry, a process using thousands of photographs and readings, produced a rendering that appears three-dimensional.Credit Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

The medieval ship lay more than a half-mile down at the bottom of the Black Sea, its masts, timbers and planking undisturbed in the darkness for seven or eight centuries. Lack of oxygen in the icy depths had ruled out the usual riot of creatures that feast on sunken wood.

This fall, a team of explorers lowered a robot on a long tether, lit up the wreck with bright lights and took thousands of high-resolution photos. A computer then merged the images into a detailed portrait.

Archaeologists date the discovery to the 13th or 14th century, opening a new window on forerunners of the 15th- and 16th-century sailing vessels that discovered the New World, including those of Columbus. This medieval ship probably served the Venetian empire, which had Black Sea outposts.

Never before had this type of ship been found in such complete form. The breakthrough was the quarterdeck, from which the captain would have directed a crew of perhaps 20 sailors.

“That’s never been seen archaeologically,” said Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz, an expedition member at the Center for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton, in Britain. “We couldn’t believe our eyes.”

A photogrammetric image of a ship from the Ottoman era that most likely went down between the 17th and 19th centuries. The discoverers nicknamed it the Flower of the Black Sea because of its ornate carvings, including two large posts topped with petals. Credit Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

Remarkably, the find is but one of more than 40 shipwrecks that the international team recently discovered and photographed off the Bulgarian coast in one of archaeology’s greatest coups.

In age, the vessels span a millennium, from the Byzantine to the Ottoman empires, from the ninth to the 19th centuries. Generally, the ships are in such good repair that the images reveal intact coils of rope, rudders and elaborately carved decorations.

“They’re astonishingly preserved,” said Jon Adams, the leader of the Black Sea project and founding director of the maritime archaeology center at the University of Southampton.

Kroum Batchvarov, a team member at the University of Connecticut who grew up in Bulgaria and has conducted other studies in its waters, said the recent discoveries “far surpassed my wildest expectations.”

Independent experts said the annals of deepwater archaeology hold few, if any, comparable sweeps of discovery in which shipwrecks have proved to be so plentiful, diverse and well-preserved.

A photogrammetric image of the stern of the Ottoman-era ship showing coils of rope and a tiller with elaborate carvings. A lack of oxygen at the icy depths of the Black Sea left the wrecks relatively undisturbed.Credit Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

“It’s a great story,” said Shelley Wachsmann of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University. “We can expect some real contributions to our understanding of ancient trade routes.”

Goods traded on the Black Sea included grains, furs, horses, oils, cloth, wine and people. The Tatars turned Christians into slaves who were shipped to places like Cairo. For Europeans, the sea provided access to a northern branch of the Silk Road and imports of silk, satin, musk, perfumes, spices and jewels.

Marco Polo reportedly visited the Black Sea, and Italian merchant colonies dotted its shores. The profits were so enormous that, in the 13th and 14th centuries, Venice and Genoa fought a series of wars for control of the trade routes, including those of the Black Sea.

Brendan P. Foley, an archaeologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Mass., said the good condition of the shipwrecks implied that many objects inside their hulls might also be intact.

“You might find books, parchment, written documents,” he said in an interview. “Who knows how much of this stuff was being transported? But now we have the possibility of finding out. It’s amazing.”

ROMANIA

RUSSIA

Bulgaria’s

Exclusive

Economic

Zone

BLACK SEA

BULGARIA

GEORGIA

GREECE

TURKEY

Athens

Experts said the success in Bulgarian waters might inspire other nations that control portions of the Black Sea to join the archaeological hunt. They are Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Dr. Foley, who has explored a number of Black Sea wrecks, said the sea’s overall expanse undoubtedly held tens of thousands of lost ships. “Everything that sinks out there is going to be preserved,” he added. “They’re not going away.”

For ages, the Black Sea was a busy waterway that served the Balkans, the Eurasian steppes, the Caucasus, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and Greece. It long beckoned to archaeologists because they knew its deep waters lacked oxygen, a rarity for large bodies of water.

The great rivers of Eastern Europe — the Don, the Danube, the Dnieper — pour so much fresh water into the sea that a permanent layer forms over denser, salty water from the Mediterranean. As a result, oxygen from the atmosphere that mixes readily with fresh water never penetrates the inky depths.

In 1976, Willard Bascom, a pioneer of oceanography, in his book “Deep Water, Ancient Ships,” called the Black Sea unique among the world’s seas and a top candidate for exploration and discovery.

A photogrammetric image of a Byzantine wreck, dating perhaps to the ninth century. Superimposed is an image of one of the expedition’s tethered robots that photographed the lost ships.CreditExpedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

“One is tempted,” he wrote, “to begin searching there in spite of the huge expanse of bottom that would have to be inspected.”

In 2002, Robert D. Ballard, a discoverer of the sunken Titanic, led a Black Sea expedition that found a 2,400-year-old wreck laden with the clay storage jars of antiquity. One held remnants of a large fish that had been dried and cut into steaks, a popular food in ancient Greece.

The new team said it received exploratory permits from the Bulgarian ministries of culture and foreign affairs and limited its Black Sea hunts to parts of that nation’s exclusive economic zone, which covers thousands of square miles and runs up to roughly a mile deep.

Although the team’s official name is the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, or Black Sea MAP, it also hauls up sediments to hunt for clues to how the sea’s rising waters engulfed former land surfaces and human settlements.

Team members listed on its website include the Bulgarian National Institute of Archaeology, the Bulgarian Center for Underwater Archaeology, Sodertorn University in Sweden, and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Greece.

An illustration of what the research team believes the medieval ship found in the Black Sea looked like during its heyday. Credit Jon Adams/University of Southampton/Black Sea MAP

The project’s financial backer is the Expedition and Education Foundation, a charity registered in Britain whose benefactors want to remain anonymous, team members said. Dr. Adams of the University of Southampton, the team’s scientific leader, described it as catalyzing an academic-industry partnership on the largest project “of its type ever undertaken.”

Nothing is known publicly about the cost, presumably vast, of the Black Sea explorations, which are to run for three years. The endeavor began last year with a large Greek ship doing a preliminary survey. This year, the main vessel was the Stril Explorer, a British-flagged ship bearing a helicopter landing pad that usually services the undersea pipes and structures of the offshore oil industry.

Instead, archaeologists on the ship lowered its sophisticated robots to hunt for ancient shipwrecks and lost history.

In an interview, Dr. Pacheco-Ruiz of the University of Southampton said he was watching the monitors late one night in September when the undersea robot lit up a large wreck in a high state of preservation.

“I was speechless,” he recalled. “When I saw the ropes, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I still can’t.”

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Dr. Pacheco-Ruiz said the vessel hailed from the Ottoman Empire, whose capital was Constantinople (today Istanbul), and most likely went down sometime between the 17th and 19th centuries. He said the team nicknamed it “Flower of the Black Sea” because its deck bears ornate carvings, including two large posts with tops that form petals.

In an interview, Dr. Batchvarov of the University of Connecticut said most of the discoveries date to the Ottoman era. So it was that, late one night, during his shift, he assumed that a new wreck coming into view would be more of the same.

“Then I saw a quarter rudder,” he recalled, referring to a kind of large steering oar on a ship’s side. It implied the wreck was much older. Then another appeared. Quickly, he had the expedition’s leader, Dr. Adams, awakened.

“He came immediately,” Dr. Batchvarov recalled. “We looked at each other like two little boys in a candy shop.”

Dr. Batchvarov said the wreck — the medieval one found more than a half-mile down — was part of a class known by several names, including cocha and “round ship.” The latter name arose from how its ample girth let it carry more cargo and passengers than a warship.

Dr. Adams said the remarkable color images of the lost ships derived from a process known as photogrammetry. It combines photography with the careful measurement of distances between objects, letting a computer turn flat images into renderings that seem three-dimensional.

He said tethered robots shot the photographic images with video and still cameras. The distance information, he added, came from advanced sonars, which emit high-pitched sounds that echo through seawater. Their measurements, he said, can range down to less than a millimeter.

A news release from the University of Southampton refers to the images as “digital models.” Their creation, it said, “takes days even with the fastest computers.”

Filmmakers are profiling the Black Sea hunt in a documentary, according to the team’s website.

Another part of the project seeks to share the thrill of discovery with schools and educators. Students are to study on the Black Sea, the website says, or join university scientists in analyzing field samples “to uncover the mysteries of the past.”

The team has said little publicly on whether it plans to excavate the ships — a topic on which nations, academics and treasure hunters have long clashed. Bulgaria is a signatory to the 2001 United Nations convention that outlaws commercial trade in underwater cultural heritage and sets out guidelines on such things as artifact recovery and public display.

Dr. Pacheco-Ruiz said the team had so far discovered and photographed 44 shipwrecks, and that more beckoned.

Which was the most important? Dr. Adams said that for him, a student of early European shipbuilding, the centerpiece was the medieval round ship. He said it evoked Marco Polo and city states like Venice. The ship, he added, incorporated a number of innovations that let it do more than its predecessors had and paved the way for bigger things to come.

“It’s not too much,” he said, “to say that medieval Europe became modern with the help of ships like these.”

The History Of Man Is The History Of War: Battle Of Thermopylae 267 A.D.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘REALM OF HISTORY’)

The Other Ancient ‘Battle Of Thermopylae’ Pitted The Greeks Against The Invading Goths

Other_Battle_Of_Thermopylae_Roman_Greeks_vs_Goths_1

The Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC has long thrived in the realm of pop culture with supposedly 300 chiseled Spartans defending against a horde of barbarous Persian troops. The reality was obviously different from this nigh idealistic presentation on the Western side, with the Greeks actually having around 7,000 men (according to modern estimates) – who nevertheless still managed to hold off a significantly larger Persian army (as in an ‘organized army’, not ‘horde’), thus securing a strategic victory by incurring a tactical loss. But as it turns out, there was another Battle of Thermopylae about 750 years later, and that time around it brought forth the Greek defenders (under Roman rule) against the rampaging Goths (an East Germanic people from late antiquity). The seemingly inconspicuous episode of history (in 250-260 AD) was originally documented in an ancient Greek text written in the 3rd century AD by an Athenian writer named Dexippus. But the text fragments the historians came across (and analysed) are dated from the medieval 11th century AD, and thus thought to be the copies made of the far older and original text.

In any case, the researchers made of spectral imaging to assess these fragments in question, thus allowing them to be comprehensible for the most part. And one of these fragments was successfully translated by a duo of lecturers – Christopher Mallan of Oxford University, and Caillan Davenport of the University of Queensland. Like in the case of the poignant letter written by a Roman legionary 1,800-years ago, this read is also quite engaging with talks of battle columns of the ‘barbarian’ Goths and Greek troops rushing forth to their defensive positions at the famed narrow pass of Thermopylae.

One of the mentioned incidents starts off with an Goth assault on the city of Thessalonica. As Dexippus wrote –

Making an assault upon the city of the Thessalonians, they tried to capture it as a close-packed band. Those on the walls defended themselves valiantly, warding off the battle columns with the assistance of many hands.

Suffice it to say that the assault was probably unsuccessful on the part of the Goths. Hence they made their move further south towards Athens. Dexippus gave his ‘reasoning’ behind such a desperate maneuver –

…envisioning the gold and silver votive offerings and the many processional goods in the Greek sanctuaries, for they learned that the region was exceedingly wealthy in this respect.

But learning of the enemy movements, the rag-tag Greeks (with a presumably sizable militia) arrayed themselves along the narrow pass of Thermopylae. Dexippus wrote –

Some [of the Greeks] carried small spears, others axes, others wooden pikes overlaid with bronze and with iron tips, or whatever each man could arm himself with. When they came together, they completely fortified the perimeter wall and devoted themselves to its protection with haste.

Interestingly enough, Dexippus also mentions the name of the Greek commander – a general named Marianus. This particular figure supposedly gave a rousing speech to his troops harking back to the past exploits of their ancestors at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC.

O Greeks, the occasion of our preservation for which you are assembled and the land in which you have been deployed are both truly fitting to evoke the memory of virtuous deeds. For your ancestors, fighting in this place in former times, did not let Greece down and deprive it of its free state. In previous attacks, you seemed terrifying to the enemies. On account of these things, future events do not appear to me not without hope…

But like any literary cliffhanger, the fragment ends rather unceremoniously, and thus historians are still not sure about the outcome of the seemingly momentous battle. And since we are talking about a literary piece, the speech could have been an invention of the writer himself. To that end, there are other fragments written by Dexippus and the first of them was translated in German in 2014, by Gunther Martin and Jana Grusková, researchers at the University of Bern and Comenius University in Bratislava, respectively. There are also complementary English articles published by the same researchers regarding the fragments – and the overarching narrative seems to suggest that the Roman Emperor Decius (who lived from 201-251 AD) tried to repel the Goths from Greece. But he was probably unsuccessful in his endeavor, by losing both men and territories to the invading enemy.

And intriguingly, this Decius character also supposedly made a morale-boosting speech; but again it could have been invented by Dexippus himself –

Men, I wish the military force and all the provincial territory were in a good condition and not humiliated by the enemy. But since the incidents of human life bring manifold sufferings…it is the duty of prudent men to accept what happens and not to lose their spirit, nor become weak.

Lastly, it should be noted that historically there was possibly yet another ancient ‘Battle of Thermopylae’ in 267 AD when the Heruli (another East Germanic tribe) successfully invaded the Balkans. But a major part of their ‘mixed-band ‘forces (comprising fellow Goths and possibly allied Gepids) was annihilated at the Battle of Naissus two years later by the Eastern Roman troops commanded by Claudius II, who was later given the epithet of ‘Gothicus’.

Other_Battle_Of_Thermopylae_Roman_Greeks_vs_Goths_2

Spectral imaging used for deciphering the fragment. Credit: Vienna, Austrian National Library.

Greek History And Mythology: ACHILLES

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GOOGLE PLUS HISTORY:GREEK MYTHOLOGY)

Achilles

Achilles

The warrior Achilles is one of the great heroes of Greek mythology. According to legend, Achilles was extraordinarily strong, courageous and loyal, but he had one vulnerability–his “Achilles heel.” Homer’s epic poem The Iliad tells the story of his adventures during the last year of the Trojan War.

Like most mythological heroes, Achilles had a complicated family tree. His father was Peleus, the mortal king of the Myrmidons–a people who, according to legend, were extraordinarily fearless and skilled soldiers. His mother was Thetis, a Nereid.

According to myths and stories composed long after the Iliad, Thetis was extraordinarily concerned about her baby son’s mortality. She did everything she could to make him immortal: She burned him over a fire every night, then dressed his wounds with ambrosial ointment; and she dunked him into the River Styx, whose waters were said to confer the invulnerability of the gods. However, she gripped him tightly by the foot as she dipped him into the river–so tightly that the water never touched his heel. As a result, Achilles was invulnerable everywhere but there.

When he was 9 years old, a seer predicted that Achilles would die heroically in battle against the Trojans. When she heard about this, Thetis disguised him as a girl and sent him to live on the Aegean island of Skyros. To be a great warrior was Achilles’ fate, however, and he soon left Skyros and joined the Greek army. In a last-ditch effort to save her son’s life, Thetis asked the divine blacksmith Hephaestus to make a sword and shield that would keep him safe. The armor that Hephaestus produced for Achilles did not make him immortal, but it was distinctive enough to be recognized by friend and foe alike.

When Homer wrote the Iliad in about 720 BCE, however, readers and listeners would not have known any of this. They only knew that Achilles was a great hero, that he had superhuman strength and courage and that he was supremely handsome. Homer painted a more nuanced picture: In addition to these qualities, his Achilles was vengeful and quick to anger and could be petulant when he did not get his way. He was also deeply loyal and would sacrifice anything for his friends and family.

Achilles

According to legend, the Trojan War began when the god-king Zeus decided to reduce Earth’s mortal population by arranging a war between the Greeks (Homer calls them the Achaeans) and the Trojans. He did this by meddling in their political and emotional affairs. At Achilles’ parents’ wedding banquet, Zeus invited the prince of Troy, a young man named Paris, to judge a beauty contest between the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. Each of the goddesses offered Paris a bribe in exchange for his vote. Aphrodite’s was the most alluring: She promised to give the young prince the most beautiful wife in the world. Unfortunately, the wife in question–Helen, the daughter of Zeus–was already married to someone else: Menelaus, the king of Sparta. At Aphrodite’s urging, Paris went to Sparta, won Helen’s heart and took her (along with all of Menelaus’ money) back to Troy.

Menelaus vowed revenge. He assembled an army of Greece’s greatest warriors, including Achilles and his Myrmidons, and set off to conquer Troy and get his wife back. In Homer’s telling, this war lasted for 10 bloody years.

Achilles

When the Iliad begins, the Trojan War has been going on for nine years. Achilles, the poem’s protagonist, has led one battle after another. He has met with great success–in fact, he is undefeated in battle–but the war itself has reached a stalemate.

Homer’s story focuses on a different conflict, however: the internecine quarrel between his hero and Agamemnon, the leader of the Achaean armies and Menelaus’ brother. In a battle that took place before the poem begins, Agamemnon had taken as a concubine a young Trojan woman named Chryseis. Chryseis’ father, a priest of the god Apollo, tried to buy his daughter’s freedom, but Agamemnon mocked his entreaties and refused to release the girl.

Enraged, Apollo punished the Greek armies by sending a plague to kill the soldiers one by one. As his ranks thinned, Agamemnon finally agreed to allow Chryseis to return to her father. However, he demanded a replacement concubine in exchange: Achilles’ wife, the Trojan princess Breseis.

Achilles did as his commander asked and relinquished his bride. Then, he announced that he would no longer fight on Agamemnon’s behalf. He gathered his belongings, including the armor Hephaestus had made, and refused to come out of his tent.

With the Greeks’ greatest warrior off the battlefield, the tide began to turn in favor of the Trojans. The Greeks lost one battle after another. Eventually, Achilles’ best friend, the soldier Patroclus, was able to wrangle a compromise: Achilles would not fight, but he would let Patroclus use his powerful armor as a disguise. That way, the Trojans would think that Achilles had returned to battle and would retreat in fear.

The plan was working until Apollo, still seething about Agamemnon’s treatment of Chryseis and her father, intervened on the Trojans’ behalf. He helped the Trojan prince Hector to find and kill Patroclus.

Furious, Achilles vowed to take revenge. He chased Hector back to Troy, slaughtering Trojans all the way. When they got to the city walls, Hector tried to reason with his pursuer, but Achilles was not interested. He stabbed Hector in the throat, killing him.

Hector had begged for an honorable burial in Troy, but Achilles was determined to humiliate his enemy even in death. He dragged Hector’s body behind his chariot all the way back to the Achaean camp and tossed it on the garbage heap. However, in the poem’s last section Achilles finally relents: He returns Hector’s body to his father for a proper burial.

Achilles

In his Iliad, Homer does not explain what happened to Achilles. According to later legends (and bits and pieces of Homer’s own Odyssey), the warrior returned to Troy after Hector’s funeral to exact further revenge for Patroclus’ death. However, the still-vengeful Apollo told Hector’s brother Paris that Achilles was coming. Paris, who was not a brave warrior, ambushed Achilles as he entered Troy. He shot his unsuspecting enemy with an arrow, which Apollo guided to the one place he knew Achilles was vulnerable: his heel, where his mother’s hand had kept the waters of the Styx from touching his skin. Achilles died on the spot, still undefeated in battle.

Russia’s President Putin’s Aggression In Europe Should Worry Every Russian Citizen

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Putin’s aggression in Europe should worry the US

Russia: The biggest issue for the next US president?

Russia: The biggest issue for the next US president? 00:40

Story highlights

  • Richard Shirreff: European security is a matter of American security
  • Putin’s aim is clear: to re-establish Russia as one of the world’s great powers, he says

Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff is a senior British army officer and former deputy supreme allied commander Europe. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Since the formation of NATO in 1949 the defense of Europe and the free world has depended on the absolute certainty that whatever president is occupying the White House, the United States will come to the aid of a NATO member if attacked. Any doubt about the American commitment, and the credibility of NATO’s doctrine of collective defense, is holed below the waterline.

At a time when the West faces a greater threat from a resurgent Russia since the most dangerous crises of the Cold War, NATO, more than ever, needs to stand strong, united and credible.
Russia’s invasion of Crimea and Ukraine in 2014 may have already lit the fuse that could lead to the unthinkable: nuclear war with Russia in Europe.
Consider the words and actions of President Vladimir Putin, who has described the breakup of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geo-strategic tragedy of the 20th century.” In his speech on March 18, 2014, the day Crimea was admitted into the Russian Federation, Putin majored on the threat the West posed to Russia by its continued encirclement and warned about the possibility of push back: “If you compress the spring to its limit, it will snap back hard: something you should remember,” while claiming the right to protect the interests of Russian speakers everywhere, “even if it will worsen our relations with some states.”

Who are Putin's allies?

Who are Putin’s allies?01:40
Overnight, Putin became NATO’s strategic adversary, starting a dynamic that could lead to a clash with NATO over the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (which have significant Russian-speaking minorities).
Two years on and the threat is even greater. Indeed, the ratchet of tension clicks tighter on an almost weekly basis: Even this week we wake up to news of Russia sailing warships near the British coast in “a show of force and a show of capabilities,” according to Peter Felstead, editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Unprecedented levels of military activity on the borders and in the airspace of the Baltic states, Finland and Sweden have been matched by the rapid buildup of military forces in Russia’s Western Military District on the borders of NATO.
For example, in January, Russia announced the formation and deployment of three motor rifle divisions, about 60,000 troops, along the Russian frontier with the Baltic states. And the Russians have kept themselves busy with regular so-called snap exercises to test the readiness of their military, at least one of which was based on a scenario of invasion and occupation of the Baltic states.
Putin’s strategic aim is clear: to re-establish Russia’s status as one of the world’s great powers and to dominate the former republics of the Soviet Union — imperialist intentions that might have been acceptable to great powers in the 19th century but which are an affront in 2016. If the opportunity presents itself, he may well activate long-held plans to march into the Baltic states.

Russian relations with the West at new low

Russian relations with the West at new low 02:29
To paraphrase British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 comment on Czechoslovakia, why are events in these faraway countries of which we may know little important to Americans?
First, because if Russia puts one soldier across the borders of the Baltic states it means war with NATO.
Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have been members of NATO since 2004 and are therefore protected underArticle 5 of the Washington Treaty, the founding document of NATO, which states that an attack on one is an attack on all. A Russian attack on the Baltic states puts America at war with Russia — meaning nuclear war, because Russia integrates nuclear weapons into every aspect of its military doctrine.
And don’t think Russia would limit itself to the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Any form of nuclear release by the Russians would almost certainly precipitate nuclear retaliation by the United States, and the dreadful reality of mutually assured destruction and the end of life as we know it would follow.
Indeed, Russia is at war with America already. Russian hacking of Democratic Party email servers and, if confirmed, WikiLeaks publicizing of Clinton campaign emails to discredit the Democrats and propel Donald Trump — arguably what Putin would classify as a “useful idiot” into the White House — is classic Maskirovka — deception, aimed at undermining the intelligence and integrity of the enemy in a way that remains below the threshold of conventional warfare. In the words of Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center, and a man with close connections to the Putin regime, the Kremlin has been at war since 2014.

The Iceland Summit that helped end the Cold War

The Iceland Summit that helped end the Cold War 00:59
But although the clock may be ticking close to midnight, it is not too late. Maintenance of the peace we have enjoyed in Western Europe for nearly 70 years depends on effective deterrence. The bar of risk must be raised too high for Russia to consider any opportunistic move into the Baltic states. This requires forward basing of a credible military capability in the Baltic states and eastern Poland (rather than the token presence agreed at the NATO Warsaw Summit in July).
NATO reserves able to move quickly and effectively to bolster defenses in the Baltics will send a powerful message. It also requires Canada and European members of NATO to recognize that military capabilities lost from cumulative disarmament over the past two decades must be regenerated. This means increasing defense spending, almost certainly above the 2% of gross domestic product agreed — but often not acted upon — by NATO members (less the United States, UK, Estonia and Greece).
2017 is 100th anniversary of the first occasion the United States intervened in one of Europe’s wars. The region’s security is a matter of American security, and it means continued and close engagement in Europe and a continuation of the strong leadership that America has given NATO from the start.

Jordan’s Queen Rania Asks For More Help For War Refugees

(This article is courtesy of the Jordan Times of Amman)

Queen Rania calls for collective global response to refugee crisis during Lesbos visit

Queen Rania calls for collective global response to refugee crisis during Lesbos visit

By JT – Apr 25,2016 – Last updated at Apr 25,2016

Amman — Her Majesty Queen Rania on Monday called for a collective global response to the growing refugee crisis, explaining that its impact is much greater than any one country or any one region’s capacity to cope.

The Queen made these statements during a visit to the Kara Tepe Refugee Camp on the Greek island of Lesbos in her capacity as advocate for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where she also met with several refugees, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s office.

“This is an exceptional crisis, and it requires an exceptional response. It requires a response that is collective and that is value-based, a response that is built on burden sharing not burden shifting,” she said.

Queen Rania explained that responsibility for the refugee crisis cannot be defined by geography and cannot be contained in Europe or the Middle East.

“Refugees are not numbers. They are human beings like you and I, except they have seen unspeakable horror and have experienced unthinkable tragedy and hardship. They risked everything, their families, their possessions just to make it to safety,” she said.

“We need to bring humanity and compassion back into the narrative, because this crisis is about people not borders and barriers. It’s about human dignity not deals,” Her Majesty stressed.

In reference to stories she heard from the refugees she said: “It’s very difficult for me to decide which story is more harrowing than the other because each one seems to be an incredible tragedy.”

“These people have gone from suffering to suffering, and the one theme that I keep hearing time and time again is that if they had a choice, they would be back in their homes.”

The Queen also highlighted the urgent need to find legal and safe alternatives for refugees, who have fled their war-ravaged countries and are struggling to seek asylum. “We need to find legal alternatives and effective pathways to safety, and also look for more sustainable long-term solutions to this crisis.”

Queen Rania said many humanitarian agencies are concerned about the ramifications of the EU-Turkey deal. She warned that desperate refugees will not stop trying to reach safety and security in Europe, adding that new and dangerous smuggler routes were already expanding.

She said donor support must be increased for over-stretched humanitarian organisations like the IRC and countless others “that have become the only lifeline for refugees at a time of limited asylum opportunities”.

Her Majesty also thanked the Greek government and people, who have shown “remarkable empathy and kindness towards refugees” despite six years of economic hardship.

While at the camp, Lesbos Mayor Spyros Galinos briefed the Queen about the plight of thousands of refugees on the island, which is considered the gateway to mainland Europe.

Accompanying Her Majesty on the visit, IRC Country Director Panos Navrozidis said: “For refugees, Her Majesty Queen Rania’s visit today reassured them that they are not alone. There are many people across the world who care deeply for their plight and are working to ensure a better, safer future for them and for their families.”

Navrozidis briefed the Queen on the IRC’s efforts in providing legal counsel to the refugees about their rights. He also showed her IRC’s water, sanitation, and hygiene services inside the camp, which is currently hosting over 950 people.

Queen Rania met with two Syrian families and one Afghan family, who described the stress they are under while anxiously waiting for news about the fate of their asylum applications. Some said they sold all their belongings in order to flee Daesh-controlled territory in Syria.

She also met with a group of Syrian women, who told her about the fear and grief they have experienced. Two of the women lost their husbands, who drowned when their boat capsized while trying to get to Lesbos from Turkey last month.

The Queen also joined refugee and local children participating in a mural painting activity.

On March 23, Her Majesty visited IRC’s operations in the Jordanian town of Ramtha, some 90km north of Amman, where the organisation provides health and protection services, including psychological support for Syrian women traumatized by war.

The IRC began its operations in Lesbos in July 2015, delivering clean water and sanitation in several refugee transit sites, and providing refugees with much-needed information about the registration process. 

The organisation also continues to provide specialized services to the most vulnerable refugees, including people with limited mobility and children separated from their families.
The IRC also provides healthcare, infrastructure, learning and economic support to people in 40 countries across the world, with special programs focusing on the needs of women and children.

Every year, the IRC resettle’s thousands of refugees in the US.

Germany’s Chancellor Merkel: Genius, Or Idiot?

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)

Germany expects 300,000 asylum seekers this year: official

GERMANY expects up to 300,000 asylum seekers to arrive this year, less than one-third of the total during 2015’s record influx, the Federal Office for Migrants and Refugees (BAMF) said Sunday.

BAMF chief Frank-Juergen Weise told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that Germany’s healthy economy and improvements to refugee services over the last year meant that the country was well-placed to absorb new arrivals, particularly as their numbers have dropped off.

“We are preparing for between 250,000 and 300,000 refugees this year,” he said.

“We can ensure optimal services for up to 300,000. Should more people arrive, it would put us under pressure, then we would go into so-called crisis mode. But even then we would not have conditions like last year.”

Nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers arrived in Germany, Europe’s top economic power, last year, putting enormous strain on the country’s bureaucracy to process claims and testing confidence in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-left coalition government.

The closure of the so-called Balkan migrant trail and a controversial European Union deal with Turkey to keep migrants from reaching Greece — a main entry point into the bloc — has driven down arrivals from the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Weise said his agency had made major strides in working through a large backlog in asylum claims but that it would not manage to clear the remaining 530,000 cases by the end of the year.

He said integrating those allowed to stay in Germany into the labour market would be a “lengthy and costly” process.

Weise was nevertheless upbeat about the long-term prospects.

“We can do it,” he said, echoing Merkel’s rallying cry during the crisis.

“A lot of what was going badly in the beginning (one year ago) we’ve eventually managed to do pretty well. And the economy in Germany is so good, thank god, that we can afford it.”

Public sentiment is nevertheless sharply divided when it comes to Merkel, who has not yet said whether she will stand for a fourth term in a general election expected next September or October.

Bild am Sonntag cited a poll by independent opinion research group Emnid showing 50 percent of respondents opposed another four-year term for Merkel, while 42 percent said they wanted her to stay in office.

From The BBC: Pope Francis Visits Lesbos Island To Visit Refugee Detention Center

 

Migrant crisis: Pope Francis arrives in Greece to visit Lesbos camp

  • 23 minutes ago
  • From the sectionEurope
Migrants protest in the Moria detention centre in Mytilene, on April 15, 2016, on the eve of Pope Francis" visit.Image copyrightAFP/Getty
Image captionMigrants have protested at overcrowding and a lack of food at the Lesbos camp

Pope Francis has arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos to show support for refugees trying to reach Europe.

The Pope is being met by Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew. They will visit a camp for more than 3,000 people who are awaiting either processing of asylum claims or deportation to Turkey.

Lesbos has been a key entry point into Europe for migrants in the past year.

Thousands are now stuck on the island after last month’s deal between Europe and Turkey to try to ease the flow.

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople – the spiritual head of the world’s Orthodox Christians – will visit the Moria detention centre.

The Vatican insists that the Pope’s visit is purely humanitarian and religious in nature and should not be seen as a criticism of the deportations.

However, the Vatican official in charge of migrants, Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, has said the EU-Turkey plan treats migrants as merchandise and fails to recognise their dignity as human beings.

Pope Francis visited the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2013 to show similar support for migrants after dozens died trying to reach it.

‘Terrified’

The Pope was met at Lesbos Mytilene airport by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens Ieronimos II.

Pope Francis, Alexis Tsipras and Patriarch Bartholomew, Lesbos, 16 AprilImage copyrightReuters
Image captionPope Francis was met by PM Alexis Tsipras (C) and Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew

At the camp, the Pope will meet unaccompanied migrant children, and will later observe a minute’s silence for those who have died making dangerous sea crossings in search of a better life.

On the eve of the visit, one Syrian attempted to kill himself at the camp after being told he would be deported back to Turkey but was prevented by police.

Migrants later demonstrated, demanding better treatment and to stay in Europe.


Analysis – BBC diplomatic correspondent Caroline Hawley

Refugees and migrants line up inside Moria detention centre in Mytilene one day before the visit of Pope Francis on April 15, 2016Image copyrightAFP/Getty

This is a short, but highly symbolic visit designed to draw attention to what the Vatican has described as a difficult situation.

The Pope has repeatedly called for compassion to be shown to people fleeing terror, turmoil and hardship. He will be hoping his trip to Lesbos will stir Europe’s conscience.

It comes as the EU’s handling of the migrant crisis faces intense criticism from aid agencies and human rights groups. The Pope will meet refugees at a camp where more than 3,000 people are now effectively incarcerated in conditions aid workers say are deplorable.

He will then hold a ceremony to remember those who have died trying to reach Europe’s shores. The Pope is coming with a strong moral message – but no solutions.


The Greek authorities have not yet commented on the suicide attempt, which was confirmed by non-governmental organisations on the island.

The man was among four Syrians who have now appealed against their deportation orders.

However, some Syrians on Lesbos say they are terrified by the thought of returning to Turkey because of reports that hundreds of Syrians have been forcibly returned from Turkey to Syria.

Turkey has denied sending back any refugees against their will.

Refugees and migrants also complain of overcrowded conditions and a lack of food.

A man looks through a gate at the Moria refugee camp where asylum-seekers are held at the complex on April 15, 2016 in Mytilene on LesbosImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionMigrants on Lesbos are incarcerated in conditions aid workers say are deplorable.

Key points from EU-Turkey agreement

  • Returns: All “irregular migrants” crossing from Turkey into Greece from 20 March will be sent back. Each arrival will be individually assessed by the Greek authorities
  • One-for-one: For each Syrian returned to Turkey, a Syrian migrant will be resettled in the EU. Priority will be given to those who have not tried to illegally enter the EU and the number is capped at 72,000
  • Visa restrictions: Turkish nationals should have access to the Schengen passport-free zone by June. This will not apply to non-Schengen countries like Britain
  • Financial aid: The EU is to speed up the allocation of €3bn ($3.3 bn; £2.3 bn) in aid to Turkey to help migrants
  • Turkey EU membership: Both sides agreed to “re-energise” Turkey’s bid to join the European bloc, with talks due by July

The Turkey-EU statement in full


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A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.