NEWS

In Brief

BIRD FLU

H5 strain found in wild duck in central Greece; measures demanded A veterinary laboratory in Halkida, Evia, said yesterday that it had discovered the H5 strain of bird flu in a wild duck that was found in Fthiotida, central Greece. The H5 virus is only lethal to birds but samples from the duck will be sent to England to determine whether the virus is the H5N1 strain which can also kill humans. Authorities in Fthiotoda have been instructed to adopt emergency bird flu measures, such as ensuring that poultry is kept indoors. PARNITHA PROTECTED Court rejects ministry bid to allow construction on mountain The Council of State has turned down government legislation which would allow further construction to take place on Mount Parnitha, northwest of Athens. In a decision made public yesterday, Greece’s highest administrative court has banned the Church of Greece and the National Bank of Greece from building on land which it uses for children’s summer camps. It has also rejected a bid by the Public Works and Environment Ministry to recognize the areas of Varibobi and Drosopigi as being residential districts. DEADLY JOYRIDE Teen dies when friend crashes car A 16-year-old boy was killed early yesterday and three others injured when their car struck a crash barrier and overturned in Ambelokipi, central Athens. The car was being driven at a high speed, police said. None of the teenagers, one of whom is in serious condition, was named. The teenager behind the wheel of the car was aged 17 and was driving his father’s car illegally, police said. The boy’s father was taken into custody on the charge of failing to control a minor. Life sentence A 24-year-old man was given a life sentence by a court in Thessaloniki yesterday for murdering his 20-year-old girlfriend Kiki Kousoglou in Veria, northern Greece, last April. In a 5 to 2 majority decision, the court rejected Damianos Mouratidis’s defense that he had been blinded by rage when he strangled Kousoglou. Mouratidis killed the 20-year-old after she asked him to break-up. He then hid her body but confessed four months later to strangling her. Pensioner arrested A 74-year-old man was arrested yesterday for molesting a 12-year-old girl who he dragged into his apartment in central Athens, police said. The unnamed man allegedly approached the girl in Attikis Square and began stroking her but when the minor tried to get away, he grabbed her and took her to his nearby apartment. He continued to molest her there but someone who had witnessed the alleged abduction called the police who soon freed the girl and arrested the pensioner. TEI requests Regional technical colleges (TEIs) have asked the Education Ministry to allow 21 new departments to be created at schools outside urban areas, sources said yesterday. The heads of the regional TEIs also want more students to be sent to their technical colleges. The National Education Council is expected to meet next week to discuss the proposals. Supermarket robbery A robber made off with a sack of cash from a Marinopoulos supermarket on Lavriou Avenue in Paeania, east of Athens, yesterday morning. Police said the suspect struck a security guard who was loading a Eurobank cash machine at the supermarket. The robber then rode off by motorcycle. Police did not report how much money was stolen. Foggy delays Hundreds of passengers were delayed yesterday at Athens International Airport and Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki due to heavy fog in the northern city. Officials said that in the morning visibility did not exceed 100 meters, causing four flights to be delayed. There were no takeoffs or landings at the airport between 7.20 a.m. and 9 a.m. Hit-and-run plea A British tourist yesterday changed his plea to «guilty» over the hit-and-run death of a Cypriot teenager at a Cyprus holiday resort in August. Julian Harrington, 39, is on trial for allegedly ramming a motorcycle with a rented car he had been driving and intentionally knocking off the 17-year-old motorcyclist Christos Papiris and Marios Demetriou, also 17. Papiris was killed, while Demetriou survived with serious injuries.