NEWS

In Brief

Kifissos appeal

Attica will face flood risk unless plan for polluted river is drafted Attica will face an increasingly heightened flood risk in 20 years unless immediate action is taken to manage the Kifissos River, experts told a conference yesterday. The river, which is heavily polluted and full of rubble, will not be able to absorb flooding for much longer unless a comprehensive plan for its «management» is drawn up, experts from the National Technical University of Athens told a conference organized in conjunction with local authorities. Uncontrolled construction, wild fires and climate change have contributed to the current problem, the experts said. Zachopoulos Ex-ministry official at center of scandal not ready to speak yet, doctors say Former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos is not yet ready to face a magistrate and will not be in any position to do so for at least another three weeks, according to his doctors. However, Christos Nikoloutsopoulos, the lawyer who accompanied Zachopoulos’s former assistant to her meetings with journalists where she allegedly told them about her affair with Zachopoulos, is due to give his deposition today. Child abuse? Thessaloniki kindergarten to be probed Regional educational officials in Thessaloniki yesterday ordered a preliminary investigation into allegations regarding the physical abuse of children at a kindergarten in the west of the city. At least eight of the 20 children at the kindergarten in question have been transferred to private schools because of alleged beatings and bullying, parents have claimed. ‘Indestructible.’ Rebeccah Rush, co-producer of «Indestructible,» a bio-documentary made by her brother and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) patient Ben Byer, screened tomorrow at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, has spoken to Kathimerini English Edition about Ben’s search for meaning and a cure, as well as of the therapeutic effect of working on the film. (Page 7) Radioactive water The Greek Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) yesterday issued a statement denying that drinking water in Athens had been contaminated with radioactive compounds. The GAEC said that it conducts regular checks on the radiation levels in drinking water and has not found anything to cause concern. The commission put down the claims that some of Athens’s water is radioactive down to the «irresponsible spread of rumors.» Fraudster detained A 27-year-old Nigerian man, who allegedly embezzled 300,000 euros from a 45-year-old construction materials retailer from Corinth over the course of two years, has been arrested. The suspect is alleged to have offered the businessman a cut of a large inheritance if he provided the cash to «fix» the currency which, he said, had been compressed into wads of 500-dollar bills. The businessman allegedly gave the Nigerian money in installments to pay for a special liquid that would ostensibly return the bills to normal. US visas US Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff said yesterday that the US will negotiate visa deals with European states, including Greece, on a country-by-country basis rather than with the European Commission. Greece is one of 12 EU members whose citizens need a visa to travel to America, even for a short stay. Chertoff said that some countries are close to meeting the standards required by the USA and could be included in the visa-waiver program by the end of the year. Drug haul A 30-year-old man and 26-year-old woman have been arrested in Athens after police intercepted a package, containing 5.9 kilos of cocaine leaves packaged as tea bags, which they are alleged to have ordered over the Internet. The suspect package of «Green Tea Stock» was intercepted on Wednesday by sniffer dogs at Athens International Airport. Officials said it was the biggest haul of cocaine ever to be intercepted at the airport. Migrants intercepted Police yesterday arrested a Greek national who had picked up a mobile home trailer carrying 28 Albanian immigrants at the Albanian border and had been en route to Athens.