NEWS

In Brief

ATTICA FIRES

Official report said to lay blame on bad judgement An investigation by the general inspector of public administration Leandros Rakintzis into the fire service’s response to last month’s devastating forest fires in eastern Attica reportedly puts the blame for the disaster on bad judgement by those in charge, sources told Skai yesterday. The results of the probe were submitted to Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos yesterday by Rakintzis, the sources said. EARTH TREMOR Moderate quake near Athens An earth tremor measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale occurred at 11.17 a.m. yesterday with an epicenter 40 kilometers west of Athens in the village of Vilia. The tremor was felt throughout most of Attica. Five mobile seismographs and an Athens University seismograph have been monitoring the area since frequent low-level seismic activity there between September 2008 and January this year. Cyprus hiccup A new round of peace talks between Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, due to begin today, has been postponed after pilgrims crossing into the Turkish-occupied north of the island to attend a religious festival were delayed at a border checkpoint. Presidential adviser Giorgos Iakovou said the behavior of the Turkish-Cypriot border guards «cast a shadow over the resumption of talks and therefore it was preferable to delay them.» Helicopter harassed A military helicopter transferring soldiers from the island of Kos to the small islet of Farmakonisi on Tuesday morning received an emergency signal via Turkish radar, indicating that the aircraft had entered Turkish air space, defense officials revealed yesterday. The pilot ignored the signal, as the aircraft was over Farmakonisi at the time, and landed on the islet. On Monday morning, Turkish aircraft had buzzed an Olympic Airlines flight 10 miles south of the island of Samos, within the Athens Flight Information Region. Menidi mugging Two gunmen held up an employee of Hellenic Postbank in the northern Athens district of Menidi yesterday, making off with a bag he had been carrying containing an undetermined sum. The employee was not injured in the attack. Speedboat capsizes Four occupants of a speedboat, the Kenta, were rescued off the coast of Schinias, eastern Attica, after the vessel capsized on Tuesday evening, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The four, who were unharmed, were picked up by another private vessel and transferred to shore. The Kenta was later towed to nearby Nea Makri. NATO bill Ruling New Democracy and the far-right Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) yesterday voted through Parliament a draft bill approving a memorandum of understanding between Greece and NATO foreseeing the provision of support to members of the alliance conducting military exercises. The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and the Communist Party rejected the motion to approve the bill.