NEWS

In Brief

MYSTERY VESSEL

Nicosia on deadline to brief UN on suspected ‘arms-laden’ ship Authorities in Nicosia have until this morning to send a written briefing to a United Nations sanctions committee about a Cypriot-flagged container ship anchored off the southern port of Limassol. According to US and Israeli authorities, the Monchegorsk is loaded with heavy weaponry that had been destined for Gaza rulers Hamas. Nicosia government spokesman Stephanos Stephanou did not give any details yesterday of how the matter was being handled but referred to «a sensitive, extremely complicated issue.» According to sources, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has asked for the vessel’s cargo to be unloaded. Education talks Minister to meet teachers today Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos is today to meet representatives of the administrative board of the State Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OLME) for two-way talks on education reforms. OLME’s board agreed to send representatives to talks in response to a written invitation by Deputy Education Minister Andreas Lykourentzos. The deputy’s overture followed an unsuccessful bid by Spiliotopoulos to get teachers involved in a cross-parliamentary debate on education reform. Animal poisoning Residents of the central district of Kypseli are planning legal action over the recent deaths of dozens of dogs believed to have been caused by unidentified individuals scattering poisoned sausage and other bait in the main local square. According to locals, an unidentified white substance has been used to kill stray dogs and several residents’ pets. There is also concern about possible repercussions on the health of children playing in the square. Bruce Lansdale Bruce M. Lansdale, the long-serving former director of the American Farm School in Thessaloniki, has died at the age of 83, it was announced yesterday. Born in Massachusetts and raised in Thessaloniki, Lansdale served at the school for 43 years, directing it from 1955 until his retirement in 1990. Lansdale is to be buried today at the Church of St John Chrysostomos on the campus of the American Farm School. Fake officers Police in the central town of Tripolis yesterday were seeking two armed robbers who raided a local bank branch dressed in blue police uniforms. The pair, who netted an unspecified sum and fled without causing injuries, were chased by bank guards but managed to elude arrest. Zakynthos quake A moderate undersea quake, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, was registered off the southern coast of the Ionian island of Zakynthos early yesterday. Seismologists said there was no cause for alarm. Car chases Three police cars were trashed in car chases in Thessaloniki yesterday though no injuries were reported. In the first case, two suspected burglars who ignored a police signal to stop their car ended up smashing into another patrol car dispatched to stop them. In the second case, a 31-year-old man driving a stolen truck also refused to stop at a police signal. He eventually crashed into two patrol cars that had tried to corner him.