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One in four intensive care beds not used November 2, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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Almost one in four beds in hospital intensive care units are off-limits to patients due to a lack of nursing staff, according to data presented by the Hellenic Association of Intensive Care yesterday.

Some 500 beds in intensive care units at different hospitals across the country are currently in operation with another 150 having been shut down due to staff shortages.

The bed shortage means that 4,500 patients are left without the required intensive care treatment every year with many of them, about 2,000, at risk of losing their lives due to a lack of proper medical help.

Budget cuts are also responsible for the low number of nursing staff attending to each patient in intensive care, resulting in poor quality services being offered and staff suffering from burnout before ultimately resigning, officials added.

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Watchdog against cameras November 2, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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Lawyers and privacy watchdog the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (APPD) expressed their opposition yesterday to a decision by a senior prosecutor to allow police to film violent street protests with traffic cameras, saying the move is non-binding and unnecessary.

On Wednesday, Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas gave police the green light to film protesters and use the footage as court evidence if criminal acts are conducted during the gatherings. The decision allows police to position closed-circuit cameras at public gatherings, such as protest marches and sports events, and then to use any incriminating videotape to identify and prosecute those caught on film committing crimes.

The APPD defended its right to rule against the decison and said that it is not limited by the judiciary. “Our decision is applicable and binding. Any violation is subject to penalties,” it said.

The APPD recently fined police 3,000 euros after finding that 49 of its cameras still do not operate with software that blurs people’s faces. The watchdog also found that images from some of the cameras were also kept for more than seven days, thereby breaking privacy rules.

Meanwhile, lawyers also criticized the decision, saying violent acts can be punished without having to resort to electronic records being kept on demonstrators. “Security and freedom are rights that are compatible,” said Dimitris Paxinos, president of the Athens Bar Association.

The government appears to be in favor of the decision after Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis said there needs to be a balance between personal rights and the interests of society.

Sex in the city > sex crimes November 2, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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Internet crime > A 21-year-old man alleged to have posted erotic photographs of an 18-year-old former girlfriend on the Internet with disparaging comments was yesterday charged with slander and violating personal data. Officers from the Athens electronic crime unit traced the man after the 18-year-old woman, who said she had had a short relationship with the 21-year-old in the past, saw the photos and pressed charges. The man was charged and released pending trial.

Child abuse > A 24-year-old foreign man, accused of raping a 14-year-old boy in his home, was charged yesterday with raping a minor. The man, who was arrested on Wednesday, is also alleged to have sexually molested the boy on two other occasions and given him cash.