NEWS

In Brief

LEBANON AID

Another shipment sent to war zone; accounts opened for donations A military cargo plane left Elefsina, west of Athens, yesterday carrying 10 tons of humanitarian aid destined for Lebanon, the Foreign Ministry said. The aid was collected with the help of the Greek Red Cross and a non-governmental organization operated by the Church of Greece. So far, Greece has sent some 70 tons of aid to the region. The ministry said that it had also opened bank accounts at four banks (National, Emporiki, Alpha and ATEbank) for people to make donations. The City of Athens said that it was running its own collection and invited people to donate aid, especially food, at its center at 34 Leonidou Street near Omonia Square. RIVER ROW Silt from Acheloos being illegally taken for construction, residents say Silt from the bed of the Acheloos River in western Greece is being taken by trucks and used in construction projects without any official approval, residents of Oinades told Kathimerini yesterday. They claim that the practice has been going on for some time and that it has the tacit approval of several local officials, even though it has led to a small diversion of the river and has destroyed crops. The government has been criticized for moving ahead with plans to divert the Acheloos to Thessaly in central Greece. TRAFFIC DISRUPTIONS Anti-war rally in city center today Traffic in central Athens will be subject to several diversions today and parking on side streets will be forbidden as police brace for an anti-war demonstration due to begin at Eleftherias Park, next to the Athens Concert Hall, at 7 p.m. Protesters, who are demonstrating against Israeli strikes on Lebanon, are to march to the US and Israeli embassies. Bus and trolley bus routes will be diverted, traffic police said. Air pollution The Environment and Public Works Ministry yesterday warned citizens with breathing problems to remain indoors as much as possible as air pollution in many parts of Athens has reached dangerously high levels. Yesterday air pollution particles exceeded the danger limit of 180 milligrams per cubic meter for the second day in a row, reaching 193mg/m3 in Liosia, 204mg/m3 in Votanikos and 205mg/m3 in Nea Smyrni. Violent customer A German tourist has been identified as the suspect who attacked and injured a taxi driver in Sivota, near Igoumenitsa, on Monday, police said yesterday. The tourist allegedly hit the driver over the head with an ax before making away with the victim’s bag which contained documents and his mobile phone. The suspect was arrested after the victim identified him and police also found the taxi driver’s mobile phone in his possession. Illegal immigrants Police yesterday detained 12 illegal immigrants on the island of Samos who sneaked into the country from Turkey, police said. The Afghan immigrants, who included an infant and a woman, told police that they had been dropped off on the island by a Turkish sea captain. The immigrants were taken for medical tests and were then expected to be led to a detention center which already accommodates 64 other immigrants. Holdup A man armed with a knife held up a branch of Piraeus bank in Thessaloniki yesterday and made off on foot with an unknown amount, police said. No further details were available. Offerings snatched A thief who pretended to be a religious icon painter yesterday stole the gifts that worshippers had left at the Axion Esti Monastery in Varnavas, northeast of Athens, authorities said. Church officials said they did not know the value of the gifts, which included jewelry that had been left as an offering to God. Fatal crash A husband and wife, aged 35 and 25 respectively, were killed close to the Malgara tollgates on the Athens-Thessaloniki national highway yesterday when they were hit by a car while traveling by motorbike, authorities said. The driver of the car, aged 34, ran into the bike after his vehicle smashed against a truck, police added. The driver suffered minor injuries.