World Bulletin / News Desk
A wildfire swept through forests near Athens on Thursday, forcing residents to use garden hoses and tree branches to keep the flames away from their homes.
The blaze, fanned by strong winds, charred the roofs of five houses in one of the Greek capital's suburbs and forced people to evacuate their homes, said fire service officials, though there were no reports of injuries.
"It's burning very close to residential areas and the winds are strong," said a fire brigade official. "We are doing everything to contain it."
Greece regularly faces wildfires during its dry summer months. But any large outbreak this year could pose a particular challenge for Greece's debt-ridden government, which is struggling to cut spending and pull the country out of an economic crisis.
Shortly after being appointed in June, the country's Citizen Protection minister Nikos Dendias said Greece was not ready for the forest fire season and faced a shortage of operational aircraft.
The government has already asked for water-bombing aircraft from Spain and Italy to help control the wildfires.
Greeks still vividly recall devastating wildfires in 2007 that killed 65 people, scorched thousands of hectares of forest and farmland, destroyed villages and threatened archaeological sites.
Dozens of firefighters with 35 fire engines, five aircraft and two helicopters battled the flames on Thursday.
Another wildfire, in the southern Peloponnese, raged unchecked for a second day though the flames appeared to be receding, officials said.
The annual Trafficking in Persons report has upgraded Cuba, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan to a higher tier as worst offenders for failing to suppress human trafficking.
The ECB will need to extend its money-printing as a result of subdued growth in the Euro zone.
An EU official has said that they "barely know how to talk to ordinary people" and have launched video clips on YouTube to counter misconceptions about the Trans Atlantic partner deal.
Hague-based tribunal attributes move to procedural reasons, but Palestinian diplomat suspects pressure from Israel
Restarting would depend on Syria becoming stable, Russian Union of Gas and Oil Industrialists executive director says.
Viktor Orban suggested that ethnic Hungarians living in Romania should be given an authonomy
Majority in favor of cabinet under Prime Minister Omer Kalyoncu
East African country is last stop on US President's Africa tour
Negotiations for new bailout deal start in Athens
Over five years passed since Detroit's imam was shot dead by four FBI agents
Israeli police spokesperson alleges that 18-year-old died after falling from rooftop while resisting arrest
Cameron is reported to be keen on holding early referendum
Creditors continue to push for economic reforms while economy shrinks
Russia adopts amendments to 2001 maritime doctrine, focusing on annexed Crimea and the Arctic
French police have opened fire on a car that drove through the barriers in the famed cycling tournament.