NEWS

In Brief

SWINE FLU

UK-based student confirmed as second Greek carrying the virus A second case of swine flu in Greece was confirmed yesterday. Doctors said that the patient is a 21-year-old man who had been studying in Edinburgh, Scotland. He went to the Sismanogleio Hospital in northern Athens yesterday after displaying some of the symptoms of the potentially deadly H1N1 virus. The Health Ministry said that all the people with whom the 21-year-old had come into contact since flying back to Athens on Monday are being monitored. POLICE ATTACKS Fringe groups claim raids Two organizations, calling themselves the Nihilist Splinter Group and the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire, yesterday claimed responsibility for two recent arson attacks on buildings in Athens and Thessaloniki destined to accommodate new police stations. Both attacks caused damage but no injuries. Pirates thwarted A Swedish navy vessel yesterday thwarted an attempt by Somalian pirates to attack the Greek-owned cargo ship Antonis in the Gulf of Aden. When the pirate ship appeared shortly after 4 a.m., the crew of the Greek ship used water hoses and maneuvers to deter it. The Swedish HMS Malmo then appeared and fired warning shots to disperse the pirates. No harm came to the 22-strong crew, including seven Greeks. Reports late yesterday said the Antonis, which is carrying a cargo of iron, had resumed its course to Oman. Station blast An explosive device believed to comprise a significant quantity of dynamite detonated early yesterday at a gas station in Aspropyrgos, northwest of Athens, causing limited damage as the fuel tanks on the site remained intact. Officers of Attica’s extortion department said they thought the attack was an attempt to settle accounts. MP dies The death of Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Deputy Michalis Papayiannakis was announced yesterday. The Kalamata-born 68-year-old had been suffering from cancer. His constituency was Athens and he was a member of SYRIZA’s central political committee. Papayiannakis was first elected a member of the European Parliament in 1989. Eagle-eyed nun Two foreign nationals who attempted to buy an icon from a nun at a monastery in Soufli, northeastern Greece, using a fake 500-euro banknote have been arrested, police said yesterday. The man and woman, whose nationality was not made known, were tracked down after the nun informed authorities that she had rejected the note as being counterfeit. Police said they found seven forged 500-euro notes and 30 50-euro notes when they searched the couple. Bank robberies Two bank robberies occurred within 13 minutes of each other yesterday morning but at virtually opposite ends of Athens, police said. In the first raid, which took place at 8.21 a.m. at a branch of the National Bank in the southeastern suburb of Aghios Dimitrios, two armed men forced staff to hand over an unspecified amount of cash. The second robbery occurred at branch of Millennium Bank in Peristeri, western Athens, when an armed man threatened staff.