NEWS

In Brief

SWINE FLU VACCINES

Cancellation of jab delivery will save some 80 million euros A cancellation of the scheduled delivery of an additional 12.3 million vaccines for swine flu will result in some 80 million euros in savings for the government, Health Minister Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou said yesterday. The ministry had informed the pharmaceutical firms involved last month that the 16 million vaccines ordered by the previous government were excessive. Of the original orders, 3.6 million vaccines have been received. Of these, a third have been distributed to vaccination centers around the country but only a few thousand people have come forward for the jab. CHURCHBOOK HACKERS New site attacked within hours A new online initiative aimed at fostering friendship among young Orthodox believers, www.churchbook.gr, was suspended on the first day of its operation yesterday after hackers uploaded a Turkish flag onto the site. The site went offline a few hours after unidentified saboteurs uploaded an image of the Turkish flag superimposed with a picture of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. Bishop Dionysios of Corinth, who spearheaded the project, did not indicate whether members of the police’s electronic crime squad were investigating the sabotage. «Our initiative will bother a lot of people,» he remarked. Russian hits A Thessaloniki doctor was arrested yesterday on suspicion of being involved in the shooting of two Russian businessmen. Iraklis Savvidis, 55, was taken into custody after Russian authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. He is the brother of Russian MP Ivan Savvidis. Police said that the 55-year-old is accused of organizing the contract killing as part of a dispute between rival business groups. Savvidis is set to be extradited to Russia. Held for ransom A 30-year-old Bangladeshi man has been arrested on suspicion of being part of a group of four men that robbed and then held a fellow countryman hostage in Athens, police said yesterday. The 32-year-old victim was allegedly taken to a house somewhere in the capital after arriving by train from Thessaloniki on January 5 and his captors contacted his family in Bangladesh to demand the payment of a ransom. Five days after his capture, the victim was able to escape and reported the incident at a police station in Vouliagmeni, southeastern Athens. Police said they are still seeking three more suspects. EU Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros was yesterday re-elected to a third term as European Ombudsman, a post he has held since April 1, 2003. All being well, Diamandouros will remain in Strasbourg, investigating complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union, until 2014. The 68-year-old was the first to hold the post of National Ombudsman in Greece. Drugs intercepted A would-be drug smuggler who tried to bring more than 100 kilograms of cannabis into Greece over the Albanian border on the backs of two donkeys fled back into the neighboring country after being spotted by border guards, police said. The drugs had been packed into four bags.