NEWS

In Brief

SCHOOLBOYS CHARGED

Two youngsters and one of their fathers allegedly attacked a policeman A prosecutor issued misdemeanor charges yesterday against two schoolboys and the father of one of them after they allegedly attacked a policeman outside a school in Koropi, east of Athens. The officer said that he stopped the youngsters outside a high school because he suspected they were carrying drugs. According to the policeman, one of the boys threw away a small amount of hashish while the other grabbed a piece of wood and began attacking the officer. It was claimed that the unnamed father of one of the boys also struck the policeman. The adult was charged with causing bodily harm and the boys were accused of possessing drugs and resisting arrest. BOILER EXPLOSION Homeowner injured, basement wrecked after sudden blast A homeowner was injured late on Monday when the boiler in his house in Anoixi, northern Athens, exploded, authorities said yesterday. The unnamed man is being treated at KAT hospital and is out of danger. The explosion occurred at 11 p.m. when he had just switched on his heating system and was leaving the boiler room in the basement of his house. Firefighters put out the blaze that followed but the basement was seriously damaged. It was not immediately clear what caused the blast. DEADLY ACCIDENT Man impaled by branch in forest A 62-year-old man from the village of Potamia, close to Larissa in central Greece, died yesterday when he went to collect firewood, lost his balance and fell onto a sharp upright branch which impaled him. Police, who have ruled out foul play, said the branch lodged in the man’s spine as he fell backward onto it. His body has been taken to Larissa General Hospital for an autopsy. Cyprus talks Cypriot government officials yesterday confirmed that Finland has invited them to Helsinki for talks aimed at averting a crisis in Turkey’s EU negotiations. «The Finnish (EU) presidency has expressed some ideas for consultations in Helsinki,» government spokesman Christodoulos Pasiardis said. According to Pasiardis, «no specific proposal» has been made but a necessary condition would be «the return of (Turkish-occupied) Varosha.» In a related development, Turkey’s armed forces chief Yasar Buyukanit is due in Athens today to meet with his Greek counterpart Panayiotis Hinofotis. (Page 2) Train suspended The Hellenic Railway Organization (OSE) said yesterday that trains will not run between Aghioi Anargyroi, western Athens, and Corinth from today until the end of the year. The service is being suspended due to engineering work in the area of Kakia Skala. A replacement bus service will operate until the work is completed, OSE said. Arsonist arrested A 26-year-old man was arrested in Nea Smyrni, southeast Athens, accused of setting fire to an apartment building, cars and motorbikes, police said. The man is believed to have set fire to an apartment building’s boiler in Nea Smyrni on Sunday morning, causing minor damage, and then burning three motorcycles and five cars parked nearby. Murder suspect A 41-year-old farmer accused of murdering his cousin, aged 44, in Hania, Crete, was remanded in custody yesterday, police said. The suspect, Nektarios Vestakis, told police that he was acting in self-defense and that the victim, Yiannis Vestakis, had threatened to harm him and his livestock. The suspect’s attorney presented to authorities the names of 40 people that he claims were attacked by the victim. Detective shot A 40-year-old private detective was shot in the shoulder late on Monday while driving his car, police said. The detective, an ex-policeman, was shot by two men on a motorcycle that approached him at a set of traffic lights in Rafina, northeast of Athens. The man is recuperating at Evangelismos Hospital. NATO drills Greece will host a NATO military exercise tomorrow which will focus on the exchange of electronic communications, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. Units from 12 NATO countries will take part in the «Spartan Hammer» exercise until November 18 and will test the real-time exchange of information.