NEWS

In Brief

Firebombings continue

Former minister’s car and security firms targeted An arson attack with an improvised explosive device targeted the parked car of former public order minister Sifis Valyrakis in Holargos, eastern Athens, early yesterday. The attack damaged the vehicle but did not cause any injuries. An additional two arson attacks early yesterday targeted the offices of two private security firms in the districts of Nea Ionia and Kolonos. Again there were no injuries. SUICIDE PREVENTED Two chatroom users saved Officers from the electronic crimes squad recently helped prevent a 14-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man from committing suicide, it was revealed yesterday. The officers came across evidence that the pair had been participating in online chat rooms where various methods of killing oneself were discussed. The 14-year-old schoolgirl from the northern suburbs of Athens had apparently become depressed after experiencing disappointment in her love life. The 25-year-old student from the western suburbs had expressed frustration over his personal life and financial status. Supermarket rapped The Carrefour Marinopoulos supermarket on Tritis Septemvriou Street in central Athens was closed yesterday by the municipal police after inspections by Development Ministry officials revealed that it was misleading customers. The supermarket’s main offense was displaying different prices on the shelves to those that shoppers were charged at the checkout. The ministry has also fined Carrefour Marinopoulos 300,000 euros. Brought to book Schoolchildren and their parents began visiting police headquarters in Athens yesterday as part of an investigation into last month’s school sit-ins, which resulted in some buildings being damaged and equipment being stolen. Dozens of teenagers and their parents will be questioned in connection with the protests at high schools in Attica. More than 300 schools around Greece shut down because of the action by pupils, which was banned by a law passed in 1999. Cyprus talks The United Nations special envoy in the Cyprus dispute, Alexander Downer expressed yesterday optimism at the progress of talks between Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat who are today to meet for the eighth time since a new peace drive was launched in September. «I think the two leaders do have the political will (to solve the problem),» Downer said, adding that «the negotiations are moving forward.» Free for all A group of around 10 youths stormed a supermarket in Thessaloniki and grabbed piles of food, before charging past the checkout desks without paying and distributing their booty to passersby at a nearby street market. According to police, the youths are members of a local anarchist group. Fatal slide A two-year-old girl who had been playing yesterday in a park in Demenika, near Patras, was fatally strangled by the cord around the collar of her jacket as she started a slide ride. The cord became wound round the girl’s neck, according to police.