NEWS

In Brief

FIRE AID

Reconstruction of homes burnt in 2007 blazes moving slowly The reconstruction of homes destroyed in the catastrophic forest fires of 2007 is progressing slowly but seven out of 10 of those who lost their homes have made a start, former Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, who is in charge of a state recovery fund, said yesterday. Molyviatis said his fund, which amassed 205 million euros in public donations, received 1,425 requests from owners of damaged homes in the Peloponnese and Evia. Of these just 161 homes have had works completed though hundreds more are in progress. AUSTRALIAN INFERNO Couple of Greek origin dead Two Australians of Greek origin are among some 180 people confirmed to have died in catastrophic forest fires ravaging southeastern Australia, it emerged yesterday. Dimitris and Tania Tsimiklis, aged 39 and 37 respectively, are reported to have died in the region of Kinglake. Of the 181 confirmed dead, 50 have yet to be identified while at least 80 more people are reported to be missing. Cyprus ship Government officials in Nicosia yesterday confirmed the completion of an inspection of a ship docked off Limassol, believed to be loaded with arms destined for Gaza from Iran. Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou said that the cargo – which appears to consist of conventional weaponry – could probably be stored temporarily. Meanwhile Iranian government officials said that reports of weapons aboard the ship were «unfounded.» Store robberies Two convenience stores in different parts of Thessaloniki were raided by armed youths yesterday though no injuries were reported. In the first case two hooded assailants netted 450 euros from a store in the city’s Toumba district after threatening the owner at knifepoint. In the second incident a lone robber, also brandishing a knife, extracted 700 euros from the owner of a store in the district of Analipsi. No cash, just carry Two men and two women that were part of a group of 15 that attempted to steal food from a supermarket in Larissa, central Greece, yesterday were caught in the act. The group had intended to distribute the food at an open-air market nearby, mirroring a practice that has become popular among self-styled anarchists over the last few month. However, the suspects were foiled by policemen who sped to the scene on motorbikes. Apartment death Firefighters found the body of a 76-year-old woman in an apartment in the southern suburb of Kallithea yesterday after a blaze broke out in her first-floor home. The fire was put out by 16 firefighters before it could spread to other apartments. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze. The woman was not named. Proastiakos change There will be changes to routes on the Proastiakos Suburban Railway as of Saturday when trains will be able to use the Ano Liosia station. This means that itineraries between Neratziotissa and Athens International Airport will depart from and arrive at Ano Liosia.