NEWS

In Brief

Returning Athenians

Traffic clogs major highways as thousands return after holiday Traffic police yesterday afternoon set up diversions at various junctions on the national road network in a bid to alleviate heavy congestion caused by hundreds of thousands of citizens returning to their hometowns after the long weekend. An accident on the Attiki Odos, north of Athens, aggravated the traffic. Outside Thessaloniki two youths, aged 17 and 18, were killed in a car crash and another youth seriously injured. FYROM dispute US envoy tells Skopje that it must resolve name spat to enter NATO US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried has urged the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to settle its name dispute with Greece. Fried, who was in Skopje over the weekend, said the USA wants to see FYROM join NATO «but we need a solution to the name dispute.» Fried said a settlement was possible before the launch of a NATO summit on April 2 «as long as the political will is there.» Migrants intercepted 108 detained over long weekend Coast guard officials detained a total of 108 would-be migrants across the country over the weekend, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Authorities intercepted 19 migrants on Leros, 12 on Lesvos, 15 on Samos and 20 on Patmos yesterday. Another 42 immigrants were detained on Saturday at the port of Patras, trying to board a ferry to Italy. Ship aground The 11-member crew of a Russian cargo ship that foundered off the coast of Lesvos on Saturday night was transferred safely to shore, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Two coast guard patrol vessels and a Super Puma helicopter were dispatched to help the crew of the ship that had been carrying asbestos from Russia to Turkey. Minor tremor An earthquake measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale shook the area of Loutraki, west of Athens, yesterday but there were no reports of injuries or damage. The tremor struck just before 10 a.m. and its epicenter was located 50 kilometers west of Athens. ATM explosion Police are searching for unknown men who used an explosive device to open an ATM in Iraklion, Crete, but left with a small amount of cash. The assailants managed to open the cash machine, belonging to the Hania Cooperative Bank, which contained what authorities said was a minimal amount of cash due to the long weekend and its remote position. The blast caused serious damage to a nearby car rental office. Undercover police Police arrested a 21-year-old man in Thessaloniki for attempting to sell to undercover police small amounts of heroin. Charges were expected to be laid against the suspect on Saturday.