91. A Little Respect, Please

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It sounds incredible, but the small country of Greece seems to be burning down. Police believe arsonists are responsible for at least half of the fires. Thirty people have died so far, many of them trapped in their homes or their cars. Residents all over Greece have called fire departments, police, and media about fires surrounding their homes, but there have simply not been enough firemen to respond to all these fires.

The government has asked for aid from France, Italy, and Germany. Greek ruins that are almost 3,000 years old are in danger of being burnt down. Fires surround Athens, the capital city. The hillsides are ablaze, and there seems to be no end in sight. Entire villages have been destroyed. There has been no rain for two months, and the trees are so dry that just the heat from an approaching fire causes them to explode into flames.

Police have arrested three suspected arsonists. One suspect, oddly enough, was still complaining about the 2004 Olympics. He had applied to carry the torch into the stadium and light the fire to officially start the Games. His application was ignored. "You have to be somebody," was the reply he got when he called the Olympic Committee in Athens. "And you're not, you're nobody," an official told him. The man was in jail for three years for trying to blow up the committee's headquarters. Yesterday, police caught him walking away from a new fire with an empty gas can in his hands.

"I'm nobody, huh?" he told the police. "Well, I'm somebody now!"

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