Tatiana Delligianakis: "Yes, I have seen numerous dead bodies…"

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She likes bagels (as does the stereotypical New Yorker) and because of this we met at a bagel shop.  This sweet and well-established girl is only 26 years old, and she writes for the New York Post, the largest tabloid newspaper of New York.  And, unfortunately, no one from the Greek Embassy of New York, nor any other organization, has approached her to maintain correspondence.  Surely, I think that we would want these types of people near us.  And she would never say no, especially to an invitation for a meal; just as she will later admit.

What part of Greece are your parents from?
My father is from Kefalonia, and my mother is from Thessaloniki.  I was born in the Bronx but then we moved to Astoria.

Did you go to a Greek school?
Yes, I went to the Saint Demetrius School.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t any good.  When I was a freshman in high school I changed schools and I went to an all-girl American high school.  I was completely behind in my studies because the preparation was terrible at Saint Demetrius.  Also, it was incredibly boring because we had religion for an hour a day — I was completely disenchanted; then, they told me that I was going to a to an all-girls’ school.  I was shocked, but also relieved that I was leaving that Greek school.

What have you studied?
I got a degree in Journalism and my Master’s from Fordham University.

How did you start working at the NY Post?
In the beginning I did an internship and then I started writing in the newspaper’s web page.  After that, since they liked my work, they offered me a full-time position as a reporter, which I, of course, took.

What are the two most memorable articles from your career at the Post?
To tell you the truth, for me, everyday is completely different from the next, and many times I don’t remember the article I wrote a week before, so I can’t really answer that question.

Do you have Greek-American friends?
Not many, but I would like to become more involved in the Greek-American community.  Many people tell me that I don’t act or look like a Greek girl at all, and I ask myself what that even means.  Honestly, what makes you a Greek girl?

Do you go to Greece often?
Yes, about every three years.  When I am there I feel very comfortable, I don’t think of it as being away from home.  My grandmother and cousins live in Greece.  I love them a lot.  Usually I stay in Thessaloniki, I think it’s wonderful, and I would have no problem living there. However, there is no way I would be able to live in Athens.

How much interest do you take in Greek media?
I would say very little.  I watch Greek TV only when I am in Greece, and sometimes when I go to my parents’ place, because they have some Greek Channels.  Overall it seems just like American TV, only that it’s in Greek.  I don’t read Greek newspapers, either.  Once in a while I might get into reading some Greek Magazine’s web page.

Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
I would like to be in a different newsroom.  Perhaps I could get into editing news so I won’t constantly be traveling.

What do you usually write about?
I do general articles and I cover crime a lot.

Have you covered many crime scenes?
Yes, I have seen numerous dead bodies and a lot of blood shed on floors.

How do you stomach it?
What can I do?  Naturally I don’t care for it, when I show up at a crime scene I look at the body once, then I look elsewhere.  I have spent many hours in waiting rooms of hospitals and I have gone to many funerals.  I have been depressed many times but that is the nature of my work.  Many times my job makes me into contemplation; for example, last week I went to a funeral of a soldier from Iraq and I spoke with his parents and his extended family.  They were all so stoic and dealt with the situation with such calm that I really admired them, but it also made me think.  They were saying that he died for his country, but I put my own family in their situation, if something like that had happened to me.  My parents would have reacted completely different in a similar situation.

Have you ever considered your job as a dangerous one?
No, because I have not been threatened, but I have had interviews with prisoners who may have disliked something I wrote, and, believe me, it isn’t the best thing to happen to you.

Have you been approached by Greece, or the Embassy in New York, or representatives of the Greek government so that they might invite you to some dinner, to discuss the place of our country (in the global scene)?
Unfortunately, no, never.  I am sure I would not decline the offer for dinner though.

“Dancing with the Greeks”

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Mark Ballas is the star who has impressed critics and audience of the popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars”.  At the age of 4, he was enrolled at the Italia Conti Academy of Dramatic Arts Associate School, where he was trained in singing, dancing, and acting. When he was 10, he became British Juvenile Ballroom and Latin American Dance Champion. At the age of 11, he earned a full time slot at the Academy, as well as earning a full scholarship to the college. In 2005, he was awarded “Performer of the Year”. He then moved on to win championships at The British Open to the World, The US Open to the World, and The International Open to the World. With his former partner Julianne Hough, he won the Junior Latin American Dance Championship and the gold medal at the Junior Olympics. This season Mark’s partner on the show is reality television star Kim Kardashian. He and his best friend Derek Hough have formed the band Almost Amy.

Mark’s family is all about dancing. his father used to be a professional dancer and his Greek grandfather, George Ballas Sr owned and operated a 64,000 square foot dance studio in Houston: the largest dance studio ever in the world, called Dance City USA, with 125 teachers on payroll.

This season also his father, Corky Sr,  tried his luck on the dance stage of “Dancing wit the Stars”.

Greek-born woman who tried to kill herself and her husband is free

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The story of this older couple is a modern Greek tragedy with victims both of them. Anastasia Nestorowycz, 76, tried to kill her husband Paul, 82, because she believed he was suffering and she wanted to end his life.
The Supreme Court let her free stating that “she did not act out of hatred but because she felt sorry for her ailing partner.” Her husband had begged her to take him home and, unable to, she decided to end his life and her own.
The woman who immigrated to Australia from Greece in 1970 admited that she regrets her action and she feels sorry for her husband. Speaking from her Thornbury home yesterday, after walking from court on a wholly suspended sentence of two years and nine months, Mrs Nestorowycz said she was happy to be free.
The Greek-born woman had not seen her husband of 35 years since the attack but said yesterday she wanted to make peace and planned to visit him in two weeks.
“I love my husband. I am very sorry. It might be too late. (But) I love him,” she said.
The court heard Mrs Nestorowycz, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder, was aiming for her husband’s heart when she stabbed him with a kitchen knife in his bathroom in June last year.
Justice David Harper said Mrs Nestorowycz was suffering a “major depressive disorder” and believed staff were neglecting her husband.
The court was told she believed staff were not feeding him properly and were stealing his clothes.
Paul Nestorowycz, who is in a wheelchair and has dementia and diabetes, was waiting to play chess when his wife stabbed him once in the stomach then stabbed herself in the stomach and cut her wrist.
The pair were found covered in blood and rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.

source:news.com.au

In Jail for defaming the Royal family of Thailand

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Harry Nicolaides, a Greek-Australian writer who has worked in Thailand as a university lecturer and freelance writer was arrested at Bangkok airport on 31 August 2008 and now is facing 15 years in jail for allegedly defaming Thailand’s crown prince. Mark Dean, a Melbourne-based lawyer for 41-year-old Harry Nicolaides, said judges at Bangkok’s Criminal Court deemed it to be a “very serious offense” and regarded him as a flight risk. This was the official reason for which Nicolaides’s bail application was rejected.

“His family is very concerned about his welfare,” Dean told Reuters. His relatives had written to Thailand’s royal household, Dean said, apologizing for any offense caused by his 2005 novel ‘Verisimilitude,’ billed on the Phuket info.com Web site as an “uncompromising assault on the patrician values of the monarchy.”

In newspaper interviews from the prison where he has been held since his Sept. 3 arrest, Nicolaides said only 50 copies of the novel had been printed and only seven sold.He also admitted to feeling suicidal in prison, and feared being beaten up by the 90 men with whom he shares a cell because they had found out about his alleged misdemeanor.
Lese-majeste, or insulting the monarchy, is a very serious offense in Thailand, where many people regard 80-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej as semi-divine. It is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
As Nicolaides continues to languish in a Bangkok prison cell, the use and abuse of the lèse majesté law has received a modicum of worldwide scrutiny.  However since 21 September, Nicolaides’ case has been completely out of the news.

Sources: Reuters.com & News.com.au

New York Greek Film Festival

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The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce is presenting the second annual New York City Greek Film Festival October 3 through 16, 2008, with new feature films and documentaries you will want to see. The schedule includes, screenings of Greek films but also special events and panels. Some of the films that the festival will present have won awards from the Los Angeles Greek Film festival. The festival will take place in Cinema Village in Manhattan until 9th of october and then it will continue in CineMart Cinema in Queens. for more information visit the website of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s all Greek to me” in Irvine

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Angelo Tsarouchas will present his show “it’s all Greek to me” on October 7th in Irvine at the “Improv” comedy club. Angelo is a well known actor and stand up comedian originally from Canada. Angelo has television specials aired in canada, U.k. South africa and the u.s. With his own one hour special ‘still hungry’ to be aired on showtime in the fall. Top downloads on puretracks in australia and new zealand. Has appeared in 25 feature films and television shows, most recently guest starred on the critically acclaimed show ‘mad men’ which is up for 16 emmys. Award winner for best commercial on the planet from the ‘golden lion awards’ for ‘good cop, bad cop’ regular at the laugh factory in hollywood and the comedy and magic club in hermosa beach, angelo has toured his one man show, ‘it’s all greek to me’ to sold out audiences all around the world and the U.S. His global appeal has kept him in demnad year round.To learn more about Angelo you can visit his official website here.

To learn more and get tickets for his show click here.

“Torturing Sommer” aka “Extreme Sommer”

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“Extreme Sommer” began filming on the 27th of September with the first episode being filmed in San Fransisco.  Kostas Sommer is hosting the show about an average guy that travels the world in order to find the best adventures. The rest of the first ten episodes will be shot in the United States in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and Houston.

The show is the first Greek TV production of 1821 Pictures, the new company who recently produced “Swing Vote” . 1821 owners, Terry Dougas and Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis, are very good friends with the host, but do not show mercy when it comes to work. So some of the episodes will feature Kostas on extreme adventures – anything from skydiving and shark-diving to driving a racecar or riding a bull in a rodeo. The show will air on Spring in one of Greece’s largest TV networks, Alpha.

source: 1821-pictures.com

Zurich Film Festival Honors Writer-Director Costa Gavras

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The Zurich Film Festival,  will honor Costa-Gavras with its Golden Eye award for lifetime achievement.The festival, which runs Sept. 25-Oct. 5, will present the prize to the Greek-born writer and director on Oct. 4 as part of its “A Tribute To” series. Costa-Gavras according to the festival committee is “one of the most renowned representatives of active political cinema”. The filmmaker was born in Greece but lives in Paris and his films have inspire a new generation of young filmmakers.

The award presentation will offer a retrospective of Costa-Gavras’ works, including 1969’s Oscar-winning political thriller “Z”; 1970’s “The Confession”; 1982 Jack Lemmon starrer “Missing,” another Oscar winner; 1987’s “Betrayed,” with Debra Winger; “Music Box” (1989); and 2002’s Third Reich drama “Amen.”

Oscar® Entries for Foreign Language and Short Film due October 1st

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Wednesday, October 1, is the deadline to submit entries in the Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film and Foreign Language Film categories to be considered for the 81st Academy Awards®. Complete entries must arrive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by 5 p.m. PT that day.
In the short film categories, filmmakers must submit an entry form, one film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline.
In the Foreign Language Film category, filmmakers must submit entry forms, one English-subtitled film print and all other required materials by the deadline. Only one motion picture will be accepted from each country.
Complete 81st Academy Awards rules are available athttp://www.oscars.org/81academyawards/rules/index.html.

John Catsimatidis talks about his new plans

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*Translated in English by Maria Stenos

Name: John Catsimatidis
Company :Red Apple Group
Resides: in Upper East Side, the best and most expensive part of Manhattan
Smokes: his beloved Cuban cigars
Owns: a private jet, which he uses to visit Greece when he has a chance
Family status: married to beautiful wife Margo, with whom he has two children

The fortune of Mr. John Catsimatidis (who grew up in Harlem, the poorest borough of New York City) today exceeds the billion dollar mark, despite that the company that he owns includes many businesses.  It is the largest chain of super markets of New York and Florida, and includes 400 gas stations, but he also works with Real Estate.  His organization has 8,500 employees.  While he was studying at NYU, he was working as an employee of a super market, though he never managed to get his degree.  Despite the fact that he never finished, this University (which is one of top ten Universities in the US) granted him an honorary Doctorate.  He was also declared the businessman of the year for 1997.
  He is big donor for many different organizations, from the Orthodox Church to the Democratic Party.  We set an appointment with the every-busy Greek immigrant business-man who built, starting from nothing, the 8th largest company operating in New York.

What are your potential business ventures?

We recently managed to organized 450 million so we could buy another gasoline company.  We are still building a large neighborhood of 1,400,000 square feet in Brooklyn that will include houses, apartments, and businesses.  The problem in this whole endeavor is the terrible state of the banks that don’t have the money to fund us.  So we are working slowly.  The first part will be ready at the end of 2009.

What’s your opinion on Barrack Obama?

I am very good friends with the Clinton family.  I believe that Barrack is very young and does not have adequate experience to become president.  The other candidate, McCain presents some unpleasant issues as well, but I think that he is a good American and that’s probably why I will vote for him.

Yes, but Hillary, who is also your friend, called for her supporters to vote for Obama…

I cannot support Obama’s side

You believe that Clinton would have been a good President?

A

Yes

Better than McCain?
Yes.

I heard that you recently met with the Pope…

Yes, it was me, Archbishop Bartholomeus and the Pope.  I am a member of the group of people who are trying to bring the two churches closer, because if we have a war with the Muslims all us Christians should be united.

John Catsimatidis with his wife, Margo, their two children and Bill Clinton | credit: Dimitrios Panagos

Do you consider yourself an American or a Greek?

An American who was born in Greece, specifically in Nisiros.  That means that I am an American but I have a Greek heart and I love Greece.

You have lived and are living  what is called the American dream, describe and tell us what you changed in yourself all these years?

First off, we created the American Dream.  If you want to believe in business you can, as long as you are ready to make sacrifices.  The only change that I have made for myself is that I don’t work seven days a week like I used to work the past 35 years. In 35 years I didn’t work about 20 days.  Now I no longer care about more money, but I want to maintain what I have and to have some fun with my life.