NEWS

In Brief

SHIP FIRE

Coast guard officials to inspect Aegean Wind in Dutch Antilles Two Greek officials were yesterday on their way to Curacao in the Dutch Antilles to examine the causes of a fire on board the Aegean Wind cargo ship that led to nine sailors being killed on Christmas Day. The two coast guard officials will inspect the vessel, which was towed to port after catching fire off Venezuela. The three Greek sailors among the dead were yesterday named as Giorgos Xypolitakis, 23, Giorgos Kalfayiannis, 52, and Constantinos Moutsinas, 55. Venezuelan and Filipino authorities are also carrying out separate investigations into the accident. SWINE FLU Children’s hobbies unaffected Children in Greece did not abandon their extracurricular activities despite fears about swine flu, according to a survey published yesterday. The study carried out by researchers at the University of Athens found that of the 1,000 families questioned, 87 percent said that their children did not have to give up any of their hobbies outside of school even when the schools themselves were shut down because of fears about the H1N1 virus spreading. According to the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), Greece is currently in the third consecutive week in which the rate at which people are contracting the virus is slowing. As of yesterday afternoon, a total of 62 people, almost all with underlying health problems, had died of swine flu in Greece. Bomb hoax Several roads in central Athens were briefly closed yesterday after authorities received an anonymous call shortly after 1 p.m. claiming that a bomb had been placed at the National Bank of Greece in Omonia. Bomb disposal experts were dispatched but no explosive device was found. US Embassy closed As is normal on the last Wednesday of every month, the Consular Section of the United States Embassy in Athens will be closed to the public on Wednesday, December 30, for internal administrative reasons. This closure includes the non-immigrant visa unit, immigrant visa unit, federal benefits unit, American citizen services unit, and passport unit. For emergencies between 8.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on this day, you may call 210.721.2951 and after 5 p.m. 210.720.2490, or 210.720.2491. Bar fight Police in Hania, Crete, were yesterday searching for three men suspected of attacking another three people at a local bar in the early hours. A German woman, a Moroccan man and a Palestinian man had to be taken to hospital for treatment after the three suspects punched them and struck them with various objects. The motive for the attack was not clear. Gas leak A natural gas leak in the area of Rendi near Piraeus yesterday afternoon was fixed before any major disruption was caused. The leak was traced to a Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) worksite. Cafe robbed Two men brandishing a handgun threatened staff at a cafeteria in the Kalamaria district of Thessaloniki early yesterday. The two men walked into the cafe at about 3 a.m. as staff were preparing to close and forced the employees to hand over 2,000 euros in cash. Nobody was hurt in the raid.