NEWS

In Brief

EARTH HOUR

Thousands set to turn off their lights as part of global event More than 18,000 people, 1,000 businesses, 500 schools, 400 municipalities as well as associations and other groups have said they will participate in Earth Hour today, which involves people in Greece and around the world switching off their lights between 8.30 and 9.30 p.m. (local time). Lights at public building and archaeological sites, including the Acropolis, will also be switched off. A concert will be held on the Hill of the Pnyx in Athens at 8 p.m. TIME CHANGE Clocks go forward on Sunday Clocks will be set forward one hour - from 3 to 4 a.m. - on Sunday as official daylight saving time begins. Clocks change back to standard time at the end of October. Erin Brockovich American secretary-turned-environmental-activist Erin Brockovich, who sued a power firm in California following the discovery of hexavalent chromium in local drinking water, has reportedly appealed to US Ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard to lobby the Greek government over the Asopos River, which contains traces of the carcinogenic chemical. Brockovich is to join a debate at the European Parliament about the Asopos River on April 15. Child porn A 46-year-old man has been arrested in Athens for the possession and distribution of child pornography, police said yesterday. Officers said that the man was in possession of a video that is much sought after by pedophiles and which shows a 4-year-old girl being raped by an adult. IKA raid A lone armed robber made off with an unspecified amount yesterday after holding up a branch of the Social Security Foundation (IKA) in Aegaleo, western Athens. There were no reports of injuries. Vodafone fine The Council of State, Greece's highest administrative court, decided yesterday to order the Communications Privacy Protection Authority (ADAE) to withdraw the 76-million-euro fine it has imposed on mobile phone company Vodafone. The firm was fined in 2006 over its conduct in connection to an affair that led to 106 cell phones, including the prime minister's, being tapped. Plevris cleared Controversial lawyer and author Costas Plevris yesterday had a 14-month suspended jail sentence overturned after an Athens appeals court ruled that he was not guilty of inciting racial hatred. Plevris had been handed the sentence after his book «Jews: The Whole Truth,» which denies the Holocaust took place, was deemed an insult to the Jewish community. Plevris was cleared of the offenses by four votes to one. The Central Jewish Council of Greece said it was «saddened and concerned.» Jailed sailors The Foreign Ministry lodged a complaint yesterday with the Venezuelan Embassy in Athens over the fact that two Greek seamen jailed in Maracaibo last October after local coast guard officers found 100 kilos of cocaine hidden on the Astro Saturn bulk carrier, have not yet been charged. The captain and the first mate of the vessel have been held at a police station since their arrest.

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