Strong tremor in western Greece causes no damage or injuries A strong undersea quake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale occurred off the Gulf of Amvrakikos in western Greece just before 10.30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. No injuries or damage were reported. The quake was most strongly felt in the local towns of Arta and Preveza. NEW YEAR’S HONORS Politicians, cultural figures conferred with Order of the Phoenix awards President Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday bestowed the Order of the Phoenix honors on several eminent Greeks in politics, business and culture, including former general secretary of the Synaspismos Left Coalition Leonidas Kyrkos received the Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix. Architect and professor at the National Technical University of Athens Haralambos Bouras was made Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, while singer Grigoris Bithikotsis and actress Rena Vlachopoulou were awarded the Golden Cross of the Order of the Phoenix. TAXI FARES Charges up from yesterday Taxi fares are up as of yesterday when the Transport Ministry raised standard rates to 0.26 (from 0.23) euros per kilometer. The double rate is up to 0.50 euros per kilometer (from 0.44 euros) and the minimum charge for a journey is up to 1.50 euros (from 1.47), according to the changes. The charge for keeping a taxi waiting is up to 7.10 euros (from 7.04) but the charge for every piece of luggage above 10 kilos remains unchanged at 0.29 euros. Also, ordering a taxi by telephone now costs 2.20 euros (instead of 2.05). Toystore robbery A toystore employee was shot in the leg during an armed robbery in Oraiokastro, Thessaloniki yesterday which netted 94,000 euros for an unidentified duo. The clerk of the Jumbo toystore was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries. Shops closed Shops and department stores – which closed yesterday for New Year’s Day – will open tomorrow. Carolers robbed Police in Attica were yesterday seeking to identify the youths who attacked and robbed three carol-singing children and two teenagers in three separate attacks on Tuesday. The first attack was at 11 a.m. in the Athenian district of Nea Smyrni where two youths robbed an 11-year-old boy carol singer of 30 euros before hitting him. Two youths also staged the second attack on two 11-year-old carol singers whom they threatened with a knife and robbed of 80 euros. Another knifepoint robbery – of 120 euros from two teenagers in Nea Smyrni – was also carried out by two youths. Paratroopers disband Under a drive to restructure and modernize the armed forces, the army’s Second Paratroopers’ Regiment is to disband during an official ceremony at its base in Aspropyrgos tomorrow, the army said on Tuesday. The regiment, part of the special forces since 1988, was established in 1965. Pirate CDs Thessaloniki police yesterday arrested six Nigerian nationals after confiscating more than 10,000 pirate CDs and DVDs from a flat in the northern town. Cosmonaut honored Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, who is of Greek descent, was yesterday honored for his achievements by Thessaloniki’s outgoing and incoming prefectural councils. Yurchikhin, in Greece for a visit to his parents who live in Sindos, outside Thessaloniki, was presented with a plate on which an inscription praises his «contribution to worldwide fraternity» and a bronze head of Alexander the Great. Body found The badly decomposed corpse of a man, found on Monday on the coast of the Dodecanesean island of Nisyros, was yesterday in Kos for an autopsy. A Turkish identity card found upon the corpse bore the name Hakan Adem Kadir and the date of birth 05.10.1966. Airport disruptions Ioannina airport reopened on Tuesday morning after two days of heavy fog which resulted in the suspension of all flights to and from the northwestern town. Fog in Thessaloniki yesterday resulted in a few flights being delayed.