Athens offers to ferry humanitarian supplies from EU to Beirut for free Greece yesterday offered to transport humanitarian aid from other European Union countries to Lebanon for free. With the help of authorities in Cyprus, the Foreign Ministry said that a Greek navy ship would be used to ferry the aid from Larnaca to Beirut. EU states offering aid would be responsible for getting the supplies to Larnaca, the ministry said. The Greek landing ship Rodos yesterday transported 31 tons of aid to Beirut and ferried 280 evacuees, including 30 Greeks, to Larnaca. HEAT RELIEF Centers open for Athenians to keep cool in rising temperatures The City of Athens is temporarily opening 25 air-conditioned centers to the public to provide residents with relief from the high temperatures, which are expected to reach 38C (100F) today. The centers are located around the capital, including on Solonos Street in central Athens, and people are advised to contact the municipality for more details. Meanwhile, authorities said the hot weather caused air pollution readings in Athens to approach dangerous levels yesterday. CHILD DIES Abused boy succumbs to injuries A 7-year-old boy who was allegedly beaten by his parents died in the hospital in Thessaloniki late on Wednesday night, authorities said yesterday. The unnamed child had been in the hospital since last week, when his parents called an ambulance and claimed that the boy was injured while playing. The couple has since admitted beating the boy but deny that they intended to harm him. A prosecutor ordered an autopsy on the boy’s body before formally charging the parents. Piraeus bridge A 2.6-million-euro pedestrian bridge connecting the Piraeus electric railway station with the port is expected to be completed in the next two weeks, local officials said yesterday. The bridge, which is expected to be used by 2,800 people per hour, will help travelers reach the port without having to walk across the busy road it spans. The bridge will also provide access for people in wheelchairs. Bank fraud Two 33-year-old men were arrested in Thessaloniki yesterday after allegedly obtaining 133,000 euros in bank loans by using forged certificates. Police said that during 2005 the two men used fake identification cards, tax certificates and pay slips to illegally secure the loans. Holdup Two armed men held up a branch of Piraeus Bank in Thessaloniki yesterday and made away with an unknown amount of cash, police said. Police have launched a manhunt for the two men, who escaped the scene on motorbike. Murdered at home A Pakistani national was found stabbed to death in his home in Peristeri, western Athens, police said. The man, who was not identified, had been stabbed in the chest, police added. There were no signs of a break-in, indicating that the crime may have been committed as a result of personal differences. Ioannina drowning The body of a 29-year-old woman was found floating in Ioannina lake in northwestern Greece yesterday, police said. The woman was not named but officers said she was a local resident. Her body was found by the crew of one of the boats that ferry passengers across the lake. A coroner said that the woman had not been murdered. He said that she had either committed suicide or been involved in an accident. Ferry canteens There are fewer problems with canteens on passenger ferries this year compared to last year, the general secretary for consumer affairs, Thanassis Skordas, said after inspecting a number of ships in the ports of Lavrion and Rafina yesterday. Skordas was accompanied by coast guard officers on his checks and said that the only rise in complaints this year had been that the canteens often run out of some products up to two hours after the ship has set sail. Skordas said that there would be more intense checks over the summer.