NEWS

In Brief

SUMMERTIME

Clocks to go forward one hour at 3 a.m. on Sunday Clocks will be set forward one hour – from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. – on Sunday morning as official summertime begins, the Transport and Communications Ministry said yesterday. Clocks change back to winter time at the end of October. BOMB SCARES Warnings of explosives on train, ferry turn out to be hoaxes Passengers aboard a train en route from Thessaloniki to Dikaia in Evros yesterday were evacuated after an anonymous caller warned the Hellenic Railway Organization’s (OSE) Serres offices that a bomb had been planted on the train. But police who inspected the train found no suspect devices. Also yesterday, an anonymous call to Eleftherotypia newspaper warned that a bomb had been planted on a ferry due to leave Piraeus at 7 p.m. But checks on two ferries – bound for Chios-Lesvos and Aegina, respectively – revealed nothing. CHEMICAL BROTHERS Greece seeks extension for pesticide Greece is among twelve countries, including the USA, Japan, Canada, Britain and France, that have asked the United Nations Environmental Program for permission to extend the use of a toxic pesticide that damages the earth’s ozone layer, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. Methyl bromide – which is used to fumigate high-value crops and for pest control – is highly toxic to humans. Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which all twelve signed, signatories are bound to phase out about 100 ozone-depleting chemicals, including methyl bromide, by January 2005. Cyprus ax murders Police in Cyprus were yesterday investigating the deaths of three Russians whose corpses were discovered on Wednesday night in a luxury villa near the Cypriot coastal resort of Paphos. Vyacheslav Shevchenko, 51, Yuri Zorin, 56, and Valentina Tretyakova, 25, had been attacked with an ax, Agence France-Presse cited police as as saying. The two men owned a major offshore company in Limassol, according to AFP. The motive for the killings was unclear but police have not ruled out robbery. Violent car-jacking A motorist who refused to hand over his bag to two men on a motorcycle – who pulled up next to him at the junction of Kifissou Ave and Lenormant St in Athens on Wednesday and threatened him at gunpoint – was shot in the leg by one of the would-be thieves. The unidentified duo fled after the man persistently refused to give them his bag. It was unclear how serious the motorist’s injuries were. Earthquake trial The trial of three civil engineers and one architect, charged with the murder of 39 people who died when the Ricomex household goods factory collapsed in the September 1999 earthquake, began in an Athens court on Wednesday. The four men – who had been involved in building the factory – are charged with murder with possible malice aforethought after the council of appeals court judges found that the factory was structurally unsafe. Charges had also been lodged against two members of the board of Ricomex but both have since died. Road accident A motorcycle traffic policeman was yesterday seriously injured after a small bus, carrying soldiers due to participate in the Independence Day march, struck him as it illegally crossed Vassileos Constantinou St in front of the Panathenaic Stadium. The unnamed policeman was transferred to a military hospital to undergo surgery for his injuries which, doctors said, were not life-threatening. Town prices The most expensive towns in Greece are Hania, Corfu and Zakynthos, while the cheapest are Patras, Livadia and Piraeus, according to a study by the Consumer Institute (INKA) whose results were made public yesterday. The difference in prices across the country can be as great as 327 percent, the same study found. Frustrated clubbers A group of around 15 young men, probably foreigners, smashed up 30 cars with clubs and chains after being refused entry to a nightclub in coastal Kalamaki, police said yesterday.