NEWS

In Brief

CRETE QUAKE

5.9 tremor felt in Cairo but no damage, injuries reported A strong undersea quake, measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale, shook the island of Crete shortly after noon yesterday, but no damage or injuries were reported. The tremor was felt particularly in the prefectures of Iraklion and Lasithi and as far away as Cairo, according to Greek diplomats stationed in the Egyptian capital. According to seismologists, the quake’s epicenter was quite deep, about 30 kilometers, meaning that its intensity was largely absorbed before it hit inhabited areas of land. PEDOPHILE CHARGES Teacher ‘molested’ girl of 13 A 31-year-old primary school teacher at a school in a suburb of southern Athens yesterday was detained on multiple charges of sexually molesting a 13-year-old female student. Charges were brought against the teacher by the girl’s parents after they discovered strange text messages on their daughter’s cellphone. A medical examination carried out on the girl determined that she had been sexually abused, doctors said. Municipal embezzler A Thessaloniki prosecutor yesterday brought embezzlement and fraud charges against a 45-year-old municipal employee believed to be the key figure in a fraud scam that netted more than 7 million euros in state funding. The suspect, who was prohibited from leaving the country, is to face a magistrate today. According to sources, he has implicated several other municipal officials in his testimony. Bear injured A female brown bear was in a critical condition yesterday after being hit by a car on the Egnatia Highway, just one week after Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias heralded the construction of barriers along sections of the road and the use of electric fences to prevent road deaths among the dwindling protected species. The bear, which was around 15 years old and weighed 110 kilograms, was receiving treatment for serious injuries after being hit by a motorist who failed to stop to check on the animal’s condition, according to experts at the Arcturos bear protection organization. Workshop ‘suicide’ A 50-year-old man found dead in the back yard of his apartment block with his throat slit on Tuesday night is believed to have committed suicide, police in Athens said yesterday. Officers, who did not make known the location of the building, said the man had a ground-floor apartment there as well as a workshop. They believe that he used a sharp object from the workshop to kill himself. Road safety Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Michalis Bekiris yesterday heralded the establishment of a national road safety committee to monitor the enforcement of the highway code and make recommendations about how to improve road safety.