NEWS

In Brief

BAGHDAD BOMBING

Papandreou condemns attack on UN building in Iraqi capital Foreign Minister George Papandreou issued a statement condemning yesterday’s bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed at least 17 people including UN special envoy to Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello, a Brazilian diplomat. «This attack constitutes a blow to the role of the United Nations in the reconstruction of Iraq,» the statement said. «We condemn the bombing in the most categoric terms.» ARSON DEATH Second victim succumbs after house torched last Friday Last Friday’s arson attack on a house in the northwestern Peloponnesian village of Lappa claimed its second victim late on Monday, when Athanassios Karalis succumbed to his burns in the hospital. His wife, Mavra, died shortly after being pulled from the burning house by the couple’s three children, who escaped with minor burns. Karalis’s 50-year-old brother, Constantinos, has been charged with the attack. Yesterday, he was remanded in custody pending trial for murder, attempted murder and arson. N. CYPRUS CUSTOMS DEAL EU seeks explanations from Ankara The European Union has asked Turkey for explanations regarding the customs deal Turkish government officials signed this month with the Turkish-Cypriot leadership, according to an Athens News Agency report from Nicosia yesterday. The report said EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenther Verheugen is handling talks between Brussels and Ankara on the deal between Turkey and the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus. Man overboard Coast guards in the Ionian Sea yesterday mounted a search for a Turkish national who is believed to have jumped off a Greek ferry late on Monday. By late yesterday, no trace had been found of the man, identified as Metin Gingay, 21. Vartholomaios Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios is due to arrive by private jet in the northwestern Peloponnesian town of Andravida on Friday, at the beginning of a four-day visit to Pirgos, Olympia, Zakynthos and Cephalonia. The Istanbul-based patriarch – who is currently engaged in a power struggle with Greek Church leaders over who will have jurisdiction over parts of Greece liberated from the Turks after 1912 – was invited by the bishops of Ileia, Zakynthos and Cephalonia. Chicken pox Eight people who came down with chicken pox over the past few days at the Athens Laiko Hospital are in no danger, a hospital announcement said yesterday, adding that the outbreak is «under control.» According to the announcement, seven of the patients contracted the disease from a single patient who was hospitalized without knowing that he had chicken pox. All eight have been isolated. Suicide A 55-year-old man who could no longer take the loud music coming from his neighbor’s house yesterday killed himself in the Pateles district of Iraklion, Crete, after shooting and injuring his neighbor. Panayiotis Golfinos, 55, turned his shotgun to his head and killed himself shortly after 9 p.m. last night. An hour earlier, he had argued with Andreas Thomas, 40, over the music being played by Thomas’s children. After the altercation, Golfinos shot Thomas and then took refuge in his own house. When police tried to get him to surrender, he shot himself. Keratea fire Thirty firefighters using 10 fire engines, five water dumping aircraft and two helicopters managed to bring a fire under control in Keratea an hour after it broke out yesterday afternoon. The fire at Periyiali in the Keratea area east of Athens broke out shortly before 3 p.m. and quickly began to spread. But the strong and prompt response managed to contain the blaze. Jailed An 18-year-old British tourist, identified as Gemma Anne Ganning by the Athens News Agency, was yesterday sentenced to eight months in prison by a Rhodes court after being found guilty of indecent exposure. The woman was arrested on Monday for baring her breasts during a bikini contest at the island’s Faliraki resort. She was given the option of paying 4.4 euros per day to buy off her sentence. To appeal she has to provide bond of 2,500 euros. By yesterday afternoon, the young woman had not yet secured the money needed to avoid detention. Bar owner Kyriakos Papathanassiou of Cyprus was sentenced to two months in prison for operating the bar without a permit. Proceedings were disrupted by an anonymous call warning of a bomb in the court. It turned out to be a hoax. Self-immolation A pensioner died of severe burns yesterday after pouring petrol over himself and setting himself on fire in his front yard in the village of Boukovina, near Souli in Epiros. Police said Sotirios Pappas, 61, was mentally unstable.