NEWS

In Brief

Center cleanup

Athens authorities clear out two more buildings, 11 arrested Police and City of Athens employees continued their clampdown on illegal immigrants and drug addicts in the center of the capital yesterday with an operation that led to two buildings being emptied of squatters. Officers removed several people from the buildings on Xouthou Street and said that charges will be pressed against the owners of the structures. Police said that 11 people, seven foreigners and four Greeks, were arrested during the operation. Swine flu Over 400 cases in a week More than 400 people in Greece have contracted swine flu during the past week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) said yesterday. This takes the total number of people who have been diagnosed with the potentially fatal virus to 1,424, although most have been given the all clear. Almost half of the cases (684) have been recorded in Attica. It was also revealed that six people on board the Navigator of the Seas cruise ship, which docked in Piraeus, have been confined to their cabins after testing positive for swine flu. Three are crew members and the other three passengers. Thessaloniki shower Municipal cleaners were out in force in Thessaloniki yesterday after an overnight downpour caused flooding in some parts of the city. Some 100 municipal employees were on standby after weather forecasters predicted heavy rain. The shower led to the central Ethnikis Amynas road being flooded and frequent power cuts. The fire service was called to pump out water from more than 20 basement homes and businesses. Thiseio blaze An abandoned house in the central Athens district of Thiseio was severely damaged in a fire yesterday. Fifteen firefighters and five fire engines were needed to put out the blaze at the property, which is on the corner of Amfiktyonos and Poulopoulou streets. According to residents, a homeless person often sought refuge in the house but he was not in the property at the time. Brothel attacked An explosive device placed outside a brothel in the central Athens neighborhood of Polygono caused only minor damage and no injuries, police said yesterday. Officers said that the device did not detonate properly. Smugglers caught Police in Thessaloniki said yesterday that they have arrested two men and one woman on suspicion of helping to smuggle illegal immigrants into the country. The arrests were made on the Thessaloniki-Kavala national road. The suspects, all Greek, were allegedly on their way to Evros in northeastern Greece, to collect 15 migrants. Evia wildfire A wildfire that broke out in the Platanistos area of Karystos on Evia was put out yesterday afternoon. Some 20 firefighters and a water-dropping helicopter were needed to extinguish the blaze, which burned low vegetation. Meanwhile, firefighters also extinguished last night a fire that broke out in the Helidonous riverbed in Nea Kifissia, northern Athens. More than 40 firefighters and two helicopters took part in the operation.