NEWS

In Brief

GREEK-TURKISH TIES

Army chief due to visit Athens in November for ‘trust-building’ talks The head of the Turkish military will visit Greece next month in an effort to improve ties between the two countries’ armies, the Turkish army said in a statement yesterday. General Yasar Buyukanit will be in Greece November 1-4 and will hold talks with the Greek Chief of Staff Admiral Panayiotis Hinofotis to «explore ways of improving mutual understanding and confidence,» the statement said. Meanwhile, Turkey’s chief negotiator for EU accession talks is due in Athens on Thursday for talks with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. WEATHER WOES Local authorities on standby in southern Greece after warning Local authorities in southern Greece were on standby yesterday after the National Meteorological Service warned of extreme weather conditions across the region today. The forecast warned of heavy rain and storms today, especially in the southern Peloponnese, the Cyclades, Crete and, later tonight, in the Dodecanese. The General Secretariat for Civil Protection issued a statement appealing to citizens to avoid traveling unless necessary. CONTROLLED BLAST No explosives in bag near US Embassy A suspicious bag which was left on Vassilisis Sofias Avenue opposite the US Embassy in central Athens late on Sunday was destroyed by bomb disposal experts, authorities said. A steam iron was found inside the bag, which did not contain any explosives. Traffic was stopped while experts carried out a controlled explosion. Naughty schools The Development Ministry fined two private schools in Athens 159,000 euros yesterday for increasing their fees for pupils during the 2005-2006 academic year by more than the government-set rate of 3.21 percent. The highest fine went to the Greek-French School of the Ursulines, which must pay out 144,000 euros for alleged overcharging. Athens College was fined a smaller amount (15,000 euros) after agreeing to return what parents had overpaid. Flood solution Representatives from Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey are scheduled to meet in Alexandroupolis, northeastern Greece, today to agree on measures aimed at helping stop winter floods in the area. The region is flooded every winter as large amounts of water are channeled into Greece from the two neighboring nations. Representatives from the Foreign Ministry, municipal officials, farmers and engineers are among those who will take part in the talks. Woman robbed A 60-year-old woman was knocked unconscious while sleeping in her Athens home early yesterday and robbed, police said. An unknown man is believed to have broken into her ground-floor apartment and hit her over the head with a wooden object before making off with her handbag, jewelry and an unknown amount of cash. Ball recall The Development Ministry yesterday announced the recall of an Adidas ball, made of fabric, due to high levels of chromium. The importer, Adidas Hellas, has been fined 1,500 euros. Police attacked Some 80 people attacked a police station in Zografou, eastern Athens, early Sunday, smashing windows and damaging five parked cars, officers said. According to police, the group left the Technical University of Athens’s halls of residence at about 4 a.m., after a music concert, to raid the police station, which is often the target of self-styled anarchist groups. After the attack, the suspects ran back toward the university grounds, which police cannot enter without permission. Thessaloniki clampdown Police in Thessaloniki said that they arrested 42 people during a weekend crackdown when officers carried out checks on more than 2,000 suspects. Six of the people arrested had been on the run from authorities and had outstanding convictions for which they should be serving jail sentences. One of the men arrested was a 26-year-old who was found in the city center with 155 ecstasy pills in his possession, officer said.