NEWS

In Brief

Terror suspects

Police detain four youths after raids in Athens, Thessaloniki Police yesterday detained four youths suspected of being linked to domestic terrorism activities following raids on apartments in Athens and Thessaloniki. Two of them were arrested in the Athens neighborhoods of Pangrati and Tavros and the fourth in Thessaloniki. All the suspects were traced using data from the cell phone of a suspected member of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire arrested in early December following a raid on the group’s suspected hideout in Nea Smyrni. The arrests come ahead of the trial on Monday of 13 suspected members of the Conspiracy group. BISHOPS WARNED Clerics told to mind their words The Church of Greece has warned its bishops to avoid using divisive language about other religions and to back up their claims with facts following comments by Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus that drew criticism from Jewish and Muslim groups as well as the government. The Holy Synod discussed Seraphim’s comments, which included labeling Islam as a «false religion» and claiming that Adolf Hitler was «an instrument of world Zionism,» on Wednesday before issuing its statement. «The Holy Synod condemns any form of racial or religious discrimination,» it said. «In the Church of Greece, every bishop has the right to express his views but must also bear the burden of proving them.» Smoking compromise The Health Ministry is considering offering the owners of nightclubs and casinos covering more than 400 square meters the opportunity to purchase a license permitting smoking on their premises and thus circumventing a ban on smoking in public places, sources said yesterday. Speaking to Skai, the head of the nongovernmental organization NoSmoke, Alexandros Fotinos, dismissed the idea as a «half measure.» Aspis probe The wife and daughter of Pavlos Psomiadis, the president of the defunct Aspis Pronia life insurance firm who was remanded in custody last month on charges of fraud and money laundering, were released on bail yesterday after facing an investigating magistrate in Athens. Both women face charges of fraud and money laundering in relation to investment packages sold by Aspis Capital. Psomiadis’s wife and daughter each had to post bail of 100,000 euros and were banned from leaving Greece. Tax-free gas Gas station owners are threatening to shut down the Greek borders at Kipi in Evros, Evzoni in Kilkis and Kakavia in Ioannina on Monday to protest a government decision to allow three gas stations in those areas to sell gas tax-free. The government has said that it is taking the decision to prevent Greek drivers going across the border to fill their tanks with cheaper gas but the gas station owners in the areas in question argue they will be driven out of business. Rapist death. A 40-year-old man being detained pending trial on charges of repeatedly raping his 18-year-old mentally retarded daughter died of a heart attack on Wednesday, prison authorities said yesterday. The man reportedly died in an ambulance during his transfer from his cell at Korydallos jail to the hospital.