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No Thanks to Apollo, Olympic Flame Is on Its Way

Traditional lighting ceremony in Greece suffered a bit of a glitch, but fire happened anyway

(Newser) - Even without the help of Apollo, the flame that is to burn at the Paris Olympics was kindled Tuesday at the site of the ancient games in Greece. Cloudy skies prevented the traditional lighting, when an actress dressed as an ancient Greek priestess uses the sun to ignite a silver...

Why Greece's Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage Is a Big Deal

It's the first Orthodox Christian country to make the move

(Newser) - Greece has become the first Orthodox Christian country to legalize same-sex civil marriage, despite opposition from Church officials, the AP reports. A cross-party majority of 176 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament voted late Thursday in favor of the bill drafted by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' center-right government. Another 76 rejected...

4 Dead in Shooting at Greek Shipping Company

Gunman identified as former employee

(Newser) - Three people were killed by a gunman in a rare workplace shooting in Greece on Monday, authorities say. Officials say the victims, including the company's owner, were shot at the office of the European Navigation shipping company in Glyfada, just south of Athens, the BBC reports. The gunman killed...

Greek Mafia Boss Gunned Down
Greek Mafia Boss
Gunned Down

Greek Mafia Boss Gunned Down

Vangelis Zambounis' killers fired more than 90 shots

(Newser) - Greek organized crime boss Vangelis Zambounis survived an attempt to kill him in 2018 when a would-be assassin's Kalashnikov jammed. He wasn't so lucky early Sunday morning, when he was killed by a hail of more than 90 bullets from a better-functioning Kalashnikov. The 44-year-old was gunned down...

Turkey Will Help Limit War, Blinken Says After Erdogan Talk

Diplomat hears another call for an Israel-Hamas cease-fire

(Newser) - Back in the Middle East, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that the region's nations need to use their clout to keep the Israel-Hamas war from spreading and the fighting becoming "an endless cycle of violence." It's in their self-interest, he said, per Reuters...

One of the Hottest Landmarks Offers Private, Pricey Tours

Come April, pay up to $5.5K at Athens' Acropolis and have it all to yourself (along with a few others)

(Newser) - Fancy seeing the ancient Acropolis uncluttered by thousands of selfie-snappers? A solution is in the works, but it will set you back up to $5,500. Starting April 1, Greece plans to offer exclusive guided tours of its most powerful tourist magnet to handfuls of well-heeled visitors outside normal opening...

Greece's Economy Is Rising Like a Phoenix

Companies and tourists are pouring money in again

(Newser) - If you assumed Greece had yet to recover from the financial pummeling it took a decade ago, you'd be mostly wrong. The New York Times provides an updated economic picture of the country that "nearly broke the eurozone" with its three international bailouts over the years between 2010...

Crew Pushes Man Trying to Board Ferry Into Water

Greek government expresses shock at passenger's death

(Newser) - A Greek island ferry captain and three of his crew faced homicide charges Wednesday over the death of a tardy passenger who was pushed by crew members into the sea as he tried to force his way onto the departing vessel in the country's main port of Piraeus. The...

After Wall of Fire, Greece Finds 18 Bodies

They might have been migrants

(Newser) - Firefighters found the bodies of 18 people while scouring the area of a major wildfire in northeastern Greece burning out of control for a fourth day Tuesday. Authorities were examining whether the group might have been migrants who entered the country through the nearby border with Turkey, per the AP...

Tourists Who Had to Flee Fires Offered Freebie Vacation

PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis promises them a free week next spring or fall

(Newser) - The vacationers who had to be evacuated from the Greek island of Rhodes due to wildfires have been invited back—on the government's dime. The BBC reports that while Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis didn't specify how the free week would take shape or how impacted tourists could claim...

Plane Fighting Greek Wildfire Crashes

Both pilots were killed in island crash

(Newser) - A Greek air force water-dropping plane crashed while diving into a wildfire in southern Greece on Tuesday, killing both pilots, as authorities battled blazes that have been raging for days across the country amid a return of heat wave temperatures. Summer wildfires blamed on climate change have also struck other...

Two Irish Teens Die Separately on Same Greek Island

One fell, the other collapsed after hearing news of his friend

(Newser) - Two Irish teenagers celebrating graduation with their fellow classmates on a Greek island died hours apart in separate incidents, reports the Irish Examiner . Andrew O'Donnell and Max Wall were both 18 and celebrating the end of the equivalent of high school with friends on the island of Ios. O'...

Greeks Give Conservatives Votes to Form Government

Opposition called vote critical to democracy, but economy also concerned voters

(Newser) - Greece's conservative New Democracy party won a landslide victory in the country's second election in five weeks Sunday, official projections based on early returns showed, gaining enough parliamentary seats to form a government for a second four-year term. Kyriakos Mitsotakis' party is projected to win 40.5% of...

Greece Suffers One of Its 'Biggest Migrant Tragedies'
750 People Aboard,
Only 104 Rescues

750 People Aboard, Only 104 Rescues

The BBC reports that up to 100 migrant children were on vessel that sank off the coast of Greece

(Newser) - The full scope of the tragedy after a fishing vessel packed with migrants sank this week off the coast of Greece is not yet clear, but the current death toll of 78 looks certain to rise. The BBC reports 750 were aboard, including up to 100 children. (However, estimates on...

Billionaire Forced to Give Up World's Priciest Ancient Coin

Gold 'Eid Mar' coin, which sold for $4.2M in 2020, was looted, fraudulently sold

(Newser) - The world's most expensive ancient coin—one commemorating the murder of Julius Caesar, minted by the very Brutus who betrayed him—has been seized from its US buyer and repatriated to Greece. The "extraordinarily rare" coin, one of only three gold versions known to exist, and 28 other...

Raid Turns Up What Could Be a Precious Painting

If the unknown Jackson Pollock work is authentic, it could be worth $54M

(Newser) - A previously unknown painting by Jackson Pollock, worth upwards of $54 million, has been found during a raid on alleged international art smugglers. The painting turned up in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia during an operation targeting an organized criminal group known to operate across Greece, per Art News . Five...

Vatican Giving Up Parthenon Pieces It Has Held for Centuries

The move ratchets up pressure on the British Museum to do the same

(Newser) - The Vatican and Greece finalized a deal Tuesday for the return of three sculpture fragments from the Parthenon that have been in the collection of the Vatican Museums for two centuries, the latest case of a Western museum bowing to demands for restitution. The Vatican has termed the return an...

Audio Reveals Directive for Train Driver to Blow Red Light

'Go, go,' urged stationmaster who's since been arrested after Greek train crash that killed 57

(Newser) - The death toll from Tuesday's train crash in Greece rose to 57 as of Thursday, and Greek rail workers went on strike to protest working conditions and what they say is an outdated rail system. Now, a new development: dispatch audio in which one of the drivers of the...

Greek Rail Workers Strike After Crash Kills 43

They're protesting working conditions, lack of modernization

(Newser) - Rescuers using cranes and heavy machinery on Thursday searched the wreckage of trains involved in a deadly collision that sent Greece into national mourning and prompted strikes and protests over rail safety. The death toll from Wednesday's head-on crash involving a passenger train and freight train remained at 43...

After Horrific Train Crash, an Arrest and a Resignation

Station manager charged with manslaughter by negligence

(Newser) - There's nothing left of the front two carriages of a passenger train that collided with a freight train near Tempe, Greece, on Tuesday. The cars, which caught fire, are "completely destroyed," the BBC reports, adding it's unclear how many people died. The death toll stands at...

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