NEWS

In Brief

HELPING HAND

Church of Greece inaugurates Apostoli charity organization Athens Archbishop Ieronymos yesterday presented a new nongovernmental initiative by the Church of Greece, named Apostoli (Mission), in a ceremony that was attended by Prime Minister George Papandreou. The objective of Apostoli, said Ieronymos, is to implement a five-year charity campaign that will supplement the work of the state at a time when it is under pressure financially. «The Church and the state must work together,» said the premier. SAMOS FIRE Country’s 36th blaze in 24 hrs High temperatures and gusty winds resulted in the fire service being summoned to put out 36 blazes in just 24 hours, it reported yesterday. The most recent fire broke out yesterday afternoon in an olive grove in Pythagoreio on the eastern Aegean island of Samos. In a related development, an Attica prosecutor yesterday heard the case of two men arrested on arson charges. The pair are believed to have started a blaze in Keratea, southeast Attica, through negligence by using welding torches without taking the necessary precautions. Triple murder A 54-year-old Greek, accused of shooting and killing three men in a taverna in Halkida on Monday, has been remanded in custody, it emerged yesterday. Investigators believe the man, who was not named, had borrowed large sums of money from at least one of his three victims and had delayed paying them back. The incident took place when the three – two of whom were business associates of the suspect and the third a lawyer – traveled from Athens to Evia in order to demand possession of the suspect’s car in lieu of payment of his debt. Suicide averted Officers of the police force’s electronic crimes squad helped thwart the attempted suicide of a 23-year-old Russian woman, it was reported yesterday. After being alerted to statements saying that the young woman intended to kill herself due to a romantic disappointment, the Greek officers traced the woman’s Internet provider address to Moscow and notified Russian authorities, who contacted the woman. Hospital heists A 35-year-old man was charged by Thessaloniki police yesterday with conducting a string of robberies at hospitals around the city. He is said to have snatched money and other valuables from patients and staff at five hospitals in less than a year. City cleanup? Ombudsman Giorgos Kaminis told Skai Radio and TV yesterday that he has received assurances from Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis that a plan to crack down on rising crime, prostitution and drug trafficking in key areas in downtown Athens would go ahead within the next few weeks.