Athens

Somali pirates seize India bound cargo ship

Somali pirates seize India bound cargo shipAthens, Dec 30 - A Greek-owned cargo ship bound for India was seized by Somali pirates off the coast of Seychelles, officials said.

The Navios Apollon, with 19 sailors on board, was on its way to India when it was attacked. The pirates approached the ship on two speedboats, Xinhua reported quoting Greek authorities Tuesday. Officials said the ship is carrying fertiliser from Florida in the US.

Just few hours before the capture of Navios Apollon, Somali pirates released the Singapore-flagged vessel Kota Wajar and its 21 crewmembers after receiving about $4 million in ransom.


Greece reports cargo ship seized by Somali pirates

Greece reports cargo ship seized by Somali pirates  Athens, Dec 29 : Greek coast guard authorities said Tuesday that Somali pirates had seized a cargo ship, the "Navos Apollon," some 240 nautical miles north-west of the Seychelles Islands.

The coast guard in the port city of Piraeus, outside Athens, said the ship reported that around 10 pirates in two speedboats had seized control of the ship and its crew of 19.

The Navos Apollon was carrying a shipment of fertiliser from the US state of Florida to India.(DPA)


Explosion shakes Athens

Explosion shakes AthensAthens, Dec 28 - A strong explosion shook Athens late Sunday, damaging a bank and insurance agency.

Thousands were awoken by the blast, but no one was injured or killed because police had cleared the area after receiving an anonymous tip, state television reported.

The national bank and insurance agency in the central Syngrou avenu were heavily damaged, eyewitnesses said.

Authorities believed leftist groups blamed for attacks against police in recent months were behind the explosion.


Greek violence escalates on anniversary of teen shooting

Greek violence escalates on anniversary of teen shootingAthens, Dec 7 - Violence escalated in Greece's two largest cities Sunday as protesters hurled petrol bombs and burning garbage bins at police to commemorate the first anniversary of the shooting death of a teenager by police.

Athens turned into a war zone as riot police fired tear gas at hooded youths hurling chunks of marble and petrol bombs after breaking away from a march of more than 3,000 people to mark the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a policemen's bullet.


Over 100 Greek youth detained after clashes with riot police

Over 100 Greek youth detained after clashes with riot policeAthens, Dec 6 - More than 100 youth were detained after clashes with riot police and five Italians and four Greeks were arrested, reports said Saturday.

The clashes come a day before the first anniversary of a police shooting of a teenager, which sparked the country's worst riots in decades.

The arrests and detentions took place after police were attacked with petrol bombs in central Athens and dozens of cars were set ablaze following a rally near the site where the teenager was shot Dec 6, 2008.


Gambling grannies arrested in Cyprus

Gambling grannies arrested in Cyprus Athens/Nicosia, Nov 25 : Forty-two elderly women, including a 95-year-old, were arrested in a raid on a gambling den on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, a media report said Wednesday.

The women, the majority of them aged between 75 and 85, were charged with gambling after the police raided a house in the city of Limassol over the weekend, the Cyprus Mail reported.

The raid took place after a series of complaints were received from neighbours about excessive noise in the evenings when the women were arriving and leaving the house.


King Otto reigns with Greece

Otto RehhagelAthens, Nov 25 : German coach Otto Rehhagel is enjoying proving his sceptics wrong after Greece's national team scored their 1-0 win in Ukraine Nov 18, sending them through to next year's World Cup finals.

Some observers had begun to question the 71-year-old's ability to stir the 2004 European Champions to the World Cup after failing to do so for the 2006 World Cup Germany.

It is only the second time-ever that Greece have qualified for a World Cup finals, coming 16 years after their first appearance in the United States in 1994 - when they lost all three group matches without scoring and conceding 10 goals.


Greek police clash with anarchists after student march

Greek police clash with anarchists after student marchAthens  - Greek riot police clashed with hundreds of youths Tuesday after a student march through Athens to commemorate the 1973 uprising against the military dictatorship turned violent.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the more than 1,200 anarchist youths who trailed the march and attacked officers with stones and homemade firebombs, set garbage cans ablaze and destroyed vehicles in the centre of the capital.

The incidents occurred after more than 14,000 protestors marched peacefully from the Polytechnic University to the US embassy.


Greek police arrest prisoner who escaped by helicopter

Greek police arrest prisoner who escaped by helicopter Athens  - Greek police on Monday said they have arrested a convicted murderer who escaped from a maximum security prison by helicopter earlier this year.

Officials said Albanian national Alket Rizaj was arrested near the Greek capital Athens following his daring jail break.

One of Greece's most notorious criminals, Vassilis Paleokostas, also escaped in the helicopter. He has not been recaptured.

The helicopter landed in the prison yard of Korydallos in February to whisk the two men to freedom.


Greek police arrest three people for leftist guerrilla attacks

Greek police arrest three people for leftist guerrilla attacks Athens - Greek police arrested three people on Saturday for their involvement in a series of bomb attacks by a leftist guerrilla group across the country.

The two men and one woman, all in their 20s, were arrested during police raids in Athens. They are suspected of belonging to the small leftist guerilla group Fire Conspiracy Cells.

Anti-terrorist police are searching for another six people believed to be involved in the organisation.


Piraeus port workers continue strike over Chinese takeover

Piraeus port workers continue strike over Chinese takeover Athens  - Thousands of containers remained stranded on cargo ships at Greece's largest port, Piraeus, on Monday as workers extended by 48 hours a series of strikes in opposition to the takeover of the docks by China's COSCO Pacific.

The current strike, which began November 2, has prevented more than 4,500 containers from being unloaded from cargo ships docked at the port.


One dead and one missing after floods hit Greece

One dead and one missing after floods hit Greece Athens  - One man died and another was missing on Sunday after storms washed away roads and flooded homes and farms across Greece, reports said.

The body of a man was recovered after his car was swept away by a river in the hardest hit region of Grevena, located east of the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

Another man was reported missing after his car was swept away near the northern town of Pella. Two other people, the man's wife and daughter, ravelling in the same vehicle managed to escape.


Piraeus port workers launch new strike over Chinese takeover

Piraeus port workers launch new strike over Chinese takeoverAthens - Thousands of containers remained stranded on cargo ships at Greece's largest port of Piraeus on Friday as workers extended by 48 hours a series of strikes in opposition to the takeover of the docks by Chinas COSCO Pacific.

The current strike, which began Monday, has prevented more than 4,000 containers from being unloaded from cargo ships docked at the port.


UN: Climate deal necessary to prevent migration

UN: Climate deal necessary to prevent migrationAthens  - A deal at the climate change conference in Copenhagen next month is critically needed in order to curb migration UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

"We are in a critical period... populations will relocate due to more extreme weather including prolonged droughts, intensive storms and wildfires," Ban said at the 3rd Global Forum on Migration and Development, citing the rising migration numbers in Africa due to desertification and in Asia because of flooding.


UN chief hopes Greece's will address its poor migrant asylum record

UN chief hopes Greece's will address its poor migrant asylum record Athens  - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope on Wednesday that Greece will address its poor migrant asylum record in accordance with human rights laws.

"I know that all states, including Greece have the right to determine the stay of migrants but I sincerely hope that this will be addressed with the settlement of human rights and laws," Ban said during 3rd Global Forum on Migration and Development.


Earthquake rattles Greek Ionian islands

Earthquake rattles Greek Ionian islandsAthens  - An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook the Greek Ionian islands on Tuesday, but caused no immediate injuries or damage, the Geodynamic Institute said.

The quake recorded at 7:20 am (0520 GMT) had an epicentre 334 kilometres west of the Greek capital Athens, at a depth of about 10 kilometres below the seabed near the tourist island of Zakynthos. (dpa)


Greek dockworkers strike to protest new Chinese port operators

Greek dockworkers strike to protest new Chinese port operators Athens - Greek dockworkers said they will launch a new 48- hour strike Monday as China's Cosco Pacific began managing two piers in Greece's largest port of Pireaus.

The deal between the Greek government and the Chinese port operating company was expected to go into effect on October 1, but a strike by dock workers, who said they feared Cosco would cut jobs, stopped the company from taking over as planned.


Bomb explodes outside European lawmaker's residence in Athens

Athens  - A bomb exploded Friday outside the private residence of a a Greek member of the European Parliament near the centre of Athens, causing damage but no injuries, reports said.

The bomb was set outside the entrance of the building where Marietta Giannakou, a former education minister under the main opposition New Democracy Party, lives.

The device, which was found in a bag, smashed windows and damaged the entrance of the apartment.

An unknown individual called in a warning to a local newspaper and television station 20 minutes before the detonation.

Other smaller explosions were reported against the Spanish consulate in the northern port city of Thessaloniki and a car dealership in Athens. No injuries were reported.


UN Secretary General to address Global Forum on Migration in Athens

UN Secretary General to address Global Forum on Migration in AthensAthens - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address a two-day Global Forum on Migration and Development in Athens starting November 4, officials said Thursday.

The third meeting of the Global Forum, which will include the participation of 130 governments and over 40 international organisations, will look at ways to integrate migration policies into development stategies for the benefit of all.


Manhunt launched after gunmen injure Greek police in Athens

Manhunt launched after gunmen injure Greek police in AthensAthens  - A nationwide manhunt was launched on Wednesday after gunmen opened fire on a police station in the suburbs of the Greek capital, injuring six.

Four hooded gunmen opened fire with automatic rifles on the Agios Pareskevis police station in northern Athens late Tuesday, injuring six police officers, two of whom were in serious condition.


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