- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 1, 2007


Smuggled alcohol turned into fuel

STOCKHOLM — Smugglers trying to sneak alcohol into Sweden are unwittingly helping fuel the country’s public transport system and reducing its greenhouse emissions.

Almost all of the 185,000 gallons of smuggled alcohol seized by the customs service last year was turned into alternative fuel and used to power buses, trucks and a biogas train, officials said Friday.

The beer, wine and liquor is taken to a plant in Linkoping, 125 miles southwest of Stockholm, where it is heated and converted into biogas.

Biogas is used in Sweden to power some 1,000 trucks and buses and one train, said Carl Lilliehook, head of Svensk Biogas AB, which handles most of the confiscated alcohol.


Airport evacuated after bomb alert

MADRID — Ibiza airport was evacuated yesterday after a bomb warning upset the start of the peak holiday season on the Mediterranean island, Spanish police said.

Local press reports said the Interior Ministry stepped in to deny earlier reports of a controlled explosion at the airport.

Police evacuated the airport after the Basque newspaper Gara, used by the armed separatist guerrillas ETA to distribute information, received a telephoned warning of a bomb, Gara said on its Web site. But the caller did not say who they represented, which is usually the case with ETA.

Ibiza has long been a magnet for thousands of British and German vacationers and flights were diverted from the airport.


Nurse convicted of killing 5 patients

BERLIN — A court convicted a nurse Friday of murdering five patients at a top Berlin hospital with overdoses of medication, sentencing her to life in prison.

Irene Becker, 54, who argued that she’d wanted to ease the suffering of some of the patients, fought back tears as the verdict was read at Berlin state court.

The murder charges resulted from an investigation of the deaths of 15 patients who had died after being under Becker’s care.

The trial in Berlin followed the conviction last November of another German nurse who killed 28 patients at a hospital in southern Germany with a lethal cocktail of drugs.

Stephan Letter, 28, was sentenced to life for 12 counts of murder, 15 of manslaughter and one mercy killing in what has been described as Germany’s worst case of serial murder since World War II.


Mountain fire threatens Athens

ATHENS — Greek firefighters backed by troops battled for the third straight day yesterday to stop a forest fire ravaging a natural park overlooking Athens from reaching the capital.

Amid a record heat wave that has killed 14 persons, including two in fires, Greek authorities are pitting their resources against at least a dozen forest fires raging across the country.

Some 210 firefighters, 300 troops and 14 water-carrying aircraft are trying to control fires which have destroyed much of Mount Parnitha National Park, in the northern suburbs of Athens.

Another dozen forest fires were blazing across Greece but an emergency services spokesman said most were under control and that none threatened inhabited areas.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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