NEWS

In Brief

HEAT WAVE OVER

Temperatures to drop from today, no serious problems reported Temperatures, which reached 41C (106F) yesterday, are expected to drop from today as a heat wave which gripped the country earlier this week wanes. The National First Aid Center (EKAB) received many calls from citizens suffering from the high temperatures and increased humidity, although no fatalities were reported. Warm air trapped above the Attica basin pushed up pollution levels in the capital over the last week, creating an asphyxiating atmosphere which is expected to diffuse over the next few days as northerly winds blow across much of the country. UFO No trace found of ‘meteorite’ spotted over northern Greece A large flaming ball seen flying through the sky by witnesses in various parts of the country on Thursday night was probably a meteorite, experts said yesterday. The object – seen by residents of Elefsina, Kavala, Corfu and Ioannina – fell to Earth in the northwestern region of Zagori, near Ioannina, according to locals. But fire service workers, who yesterday combed the area, failed to find any evidence of a fire or debris. ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION Court rules against building on Andros A presidential decree giving the green light for private development on the Aegean island of Andros is illegal and goes against the Constitution, according to a ruling by the fifth section of the Council of State made public yesterday. The ruling bans any construction less than 100 meters from the coastline and proposes that hoteliers given permission to build on Andros plan for a maximum of 100 beds per hectare. Greek-US ties «Greek people have friendly feelings toward Americans…(but) negative feelings are often provoked by the policies of US administrations,» Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis said yesterday following a meeting in Athens with a six-member delegation of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). However, Kaklamanis praised AHEPA as «a good bridge for fostering friendship between Americans and Greeks… and between the two countries’ governments.» Murderer resentenced An Athens court yesterday rejected an appeal by a woman sentenced to 15.5 years in jail for the murder of her husband in June 1999 at the couple’s home in Ano Liosia. The court, by five votes to two, found Krystallia Vrontaki guilty of murdering her husband, Giorgos, although it took into account her previous clean record. The family of the victim have said the crime was committed due to financial concerns, which were not specified. Truck deaths An elderly couple died after the truck in which they were traveling plunged down a 7-meter-deep ravine a few kilometers outside the village of Skopia in Serres, police said yesterday. Rescue workers discovered the bodies of the 76-year-old man and 66-year-old woman on Wednesday following a three-day search. Police had been alerted to the couple’s disappearance on Monday. Sex racket A 36-year-old Greek man and a 30-year-old Albanian woman have been arrested for advertising the services of foreign women for «erotic dates,» police in Attica said yesterday. Sophocles Tantis and Katerina Plakou are believed to have set up an office in central Athens from where they ran their business, using seven mobile telephones whose numbers were published in the personal services sections of daily newspapers, police said. Plakou worked as a receptionist and would occasionally visit clients herself, according to police. Epidaurus Traffic to and from Epidaurus over the summer will be redirected to ease congestion between 10.15 p.m. and 12.30 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when performances are staged at the ancient theater, traffic police said yesterday. The measures will apply until the end of August. Body found Rescue workers yesterday discovered the body of an 89-year-old Thasos man, missing since Tuesday, in a bay off the coast of the Aegean island. It was yesterday unclear how and when the man had died.