NEWS

In Brief

BIRD FLU

Tests confirm wild duck did not have strain that kills humans A strain of bird flu detected on a migratory duck found in Fthiotida, central Greece, last week is not the deadly disease that has killed 152 people in the Far East, the Middle East and China since 2003, authorities said yesterday. Tests at the EU Reference Laboratory for avian influenza in England found no trace of the H5N1 strain of the virus, the Agricultural Ministry said. As a result, protective measures enacted in the area where the infected duck was found have been lifted. IN THE PIPELINE FMs insist Burgas-Alexandroupolis deal will be signed this year Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting in Moscow yesterday that their two countries and Bulgaria would sign a deal to build the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline by the end of the year. The three countries signed an initial agreement in Athens two months ago but a number of issues, such as who will manage the pipeline, have yet to be finalized. Bakoyannis said she was also pushing for the final agreement to be signed in Athens. SUPERMARKET SHUTDOWN Carrefour was selling expired food The Piraeus prefecture said yesterday it has temporarily shut down a Carrefour Marinopoulos supermarket for breaching health regulations and selling food that posed a risk to public health. It is the second time the supermarket, located on Aghia Sophia Street, was found to be selling food unfit for consumption. The supermarket was also fined 30,000 euros. Mediterranean pollution European Union environment ministers and their counterparts from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean endorsed during a meeting in Cairo earlier this week a timetable for depolluting the Mediterranean basin, spawned by a sobering World Bank report that costal pollution is costing regional states up to 8 percent of their annual GDP. The EU-backed program, dubbed Horizon 2020, will grapple with industrial emissions, municipal waste and urban wastewater which, experts say, are responsible for 80 percent of pollution in the Mediterranean. Self-immolation A man, aged between 30-34, committed suicide in Thessaloniki yesterday by setting himself on fire, authorities said. A female passerby tried to save the man by putting out the flames with a blanket but was unsuccessful. The suicide took place on a street in Ano Ilioupolis. Bootleg CDs A 20-year-old student, believed to have been producing thousands of bootleg CDs and DVDs in his home in the western Athens district of Peristeri, has been arrested, police said yesterday. The man, a student at a vocational training college, was taken in after police confiscated more than 4,000 counterfeit CDs and DVDs in his apartment. He is believed to have been selling the illegal goods to students at technical colleges. Fans nabbed Five AEK fans were arrested before and during their team’s Champions League match against Italian side AC Milan at the Olympic Stadium in Athens on Tuesday night, police said. Two of the supporters were caught trying to sneak 151 smoke bombs into the stadium. Two others were arrested for using drugs. The fifth supporter, a foreign national, was taken into custody because his papers were not in order, police said. AEK won the game 1-0 to keep alive its hope of qualification to the next round. Bank raid A branch of the National Bank of Greece in the coastal suburb of Vouliagmeni was targeted by four armed robbers shortly after 11 a.m. yesterday, police said. The four men, who wore masks and motorcycle helmets, emptied the contents of two safes and fled on motorcycles. It was unclear how much cash they netted. Loan hound A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of multiple fraud yesterday as he was in the process of obtaining a loan from a bank in Palaio Faliron, southern Athens, using forged documents, police said. The unnamed man allegedly obtained three loans – one of which was worth 25,000 euros – and bought two cars using forged documents, police said.