NEWS

In Brief

WORLD CUP

Greece takes on Denmark away from home, looking for a vital win The Greek national soccer team faces Denmark in Copenhagen tonight (9 p.m. Greek time) knowing that anything less than a win will leave it with only an outside chance of qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Germany. Coach Otto Rehhagel will have AEK defender Traianos Dellas and Ajax forward Angelos Charisteas at his disposal after they overcame injury problems. Greece is placed third in its qualifying group, behind Turkey and only two wins from its final two games will guarantee the European Champions finishing in second place. HELIOS LANDING Cypriot plane has to return to Nicosia after pilot finds technical problems A Helios Airways plane bound for London’s Heathrow Airport returned to Cyprus and landed safely yesterday after the pilot suspected a technical problem, authorities said. The low-cost Cypriot airline was involved in Greece’s worst ever aviation disaster on Aug. 14, when 121 people were killed on a Helios flight near Athens. Yesterday, 139 people were on board the Boeing 737-800, which landed at 7 p.m. after flying for 50 minutes. (AP) TURKEY MONITORS Ankara’s EU compliance scrutinized Greece and Cyprus have set up special panels to monitor Turkey’s compliance with the EU accession criteria it was set this week when it formally began membership talks with the 25-nation bloc, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said in a television interview late Thursday night. He added that Ankara would be forced into de jure recognition of Nicosia at some point during the talks, which are expected to last up to 15 years. Dodgy food Customs officials blocked during last month about 150 tons of imported food items from eight countries that were unfit for consumption, authorities said yesterday. Seafood products accounted for two-thirds of the rejected items, due to problems such as traces of mercury and salmonella being found in frozen fish. Other products that were blocked included cheese from Bulgaria and honey from Brazil. Fire controlled Firefighters had controlled a forest fire that broke out in Mastihora, on the northern Aegean island of Chios, late yesterday. Authorities said that it took 30 firefighters with 10 trucks, two helicopters and four planes to bring the blaze under control. Deadly crash A 19-year-old woman was killed in a car crash on the old national road between Thessaloniki and Kilkis in northern Greece early yesterday morning. The driver of the vehicle and another passenger were injured in the accident when the car they were traveling in veered off the road and struck a lamppost. Bank heist Two armed men held up an Alpha Bank branch in Pangrati, central Athens, early yesterday, police said. The two men, who were wearing motorbike helmets, stole an unknown amount of money and fled from the scene on a high-powered motorbike. Exploding grenade A car was seriously damaged by a hand grenade that exploded in a parking area on Metsovo Street in central Athens yesterday. No one was injured in the attack. Police said that attack had been intended to scare the owner of the car. Imported labor A construction firm in Thesprotia, northern Greece, had been illegally bringing in workers from abroad on low wages, police said yesterday after arresting an Albanian employee of the firm with seven other Albanians in a company truck. The truck was stopped near the port of Igoumenitsa. Market rights The General Secretariat for Consumer Protection said yesterday that it would be distributing a total of 200,000 leaflets over the next few days to advise consumers on their rights when purchasing from street markets. The campaign is aimed at curbing profiteering by street-market traders. Crete blast A homemade explosive device was placed in front of a cafe-restaurant in the village of Tefeli near Iraklion, Crete, early yesterday, police said. The explosion caused substantial damage but no injuries.