NEWS

In Brief

DIAMOND FOR SALE

Greek-Australian gold medalist offers to carry sponsor’s name Greek-Australian Olympic shooting gold medalist Michael Diamond (Michalis Damianakis in Greek) has offered to adopt the name of a sponsor during next year’s Olympic Games in Athens «for the right sum,» according to a report in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph. Diamond, who won gold medals at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics in 1996 and 2000 respectively, has written to major multinational firms offering them «a unique opportunity for their name to pass into the annals of history as an Olympic gold medal holder,» according to the report. ROAD ACCIDENTS Fewer injuries and deaths in first half of the year There was a significant fall (13.66 percent) in the number of road accidents during the first six months of this year as compared to the same period last year, and a smaller drop (4.4 percent) in the number of fatalities, according to National Statistics Service data made public yesterday. Road accidents recorded between January and June this year caused 9,458 accidents and 734 deaths. Meanwhile, accidents over the same period last year provoked 10,954 injuries and 768 deaths. OLIVE OIL New packaging regulations Olive oil will be marketed in containers with a maximum 5-liter capacity as of November 1 to stop sales in non-standardized packaging and conform with European Union regulations, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday, adding that the packaging should be properly labeled and receptacles must have lids with seals that cannot be re-used. The ministry urged consumers to avoid buying bulk olive oil and stick to products sold in stores and supermarkets. No Iraq mission Greece will not be sending troops to boost the occupation force in Iraq, Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said yesterday. This does not mean that Greece will not participate in the restructuring of the war-torn state, Beglitis added. Parnitha quake A mild earthquake, measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale, occurred on the Parnitha fault line – the epicenter of the September 1999 earthquake that killed 143 people – just after 2 p.m. yesterday. The quake, which was felt in western Athens, did not cause any damage or injuries. Seismologists said there was no cause for concern, noting that the tremor was an aftershock like July’s 3.1-magnitude quake in the same area. Cyprus school The United Nations peacekeeping force on Cyprus is doing all it can to resolve the dispute between Nicosia and the Turkish-occupied north following the expulsion from Turkish-occupied Rizokarpaso on Saturday of two Greek-Cypriot teachers who had been due to staff the local school, UN Acting Special Representative Zbigniew Wlosowicz said yesterday. UN officials are discussing the matter with Foreign Ministry officials from Nicosia and Turkish-Cypriot authorities, Wlosowicz said after meeting Cyprus’s Permanent Representative to the UN Sotos Zakhaios. Roadworks Traffic on the Athens-bound lane of Pireos Street will be suspended between Fleming Street and Kifissou Avenue from 11 p.m. today until 5 a.m. tomorrow as work gets under way on a bridge over Kifissou Avenue. Also, the left-hand lane will be closed off for Piraeus-bound traffic on Pireos Street. Diversions will be signposted. Careless Cypriot police are investigating the theft from the Foreign Ministry in Nicosia of five ancient amphorae, which occurred between 1999 and December 2002 but was only noticed last February, Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou confirmed yesterday. The pottery vases had been taken from the ministry’s conference room, next to the minister’s office. Iacovou stressed yesterday that the amphorae had disappeared before he came to office. Herod Atticus Performances at the Herod Atticus Theater will be starting at 8.30 p.m. this month, half an hour earlier than the starting time during the summer, organizers of the Hellenic Festival said yesterday. The theater’s winter program starts today with the musical «Fiddler on the Roof.»