NEWS

In Brief

SMUGGLERS CAUGHT

Migrants found hidden in truck carrying coal; six arrested A truck stopped by authorities on the highway near Elefsina, west of Athens, was carrying 29 illegal immigrants as well as a shipment of coal, police said yesterday, as they revealed that six people have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. The migrants, all Kurds, were wearing surgical masks as it was difficult for them to breath in the truck due to the coal dust in the air. Police arrested the Greek driver of the truck as well as two Iraqis who had been driving a car ahead of the lorry to act as a lookout. As a result of the arrests, police later stopped a van in eastern Athens and found another 24 migrants inside. Another two suspects, both foreign nationals, were arrested. NO TRAM Service halts noon to 4 p.m. There will be no tram service between noon and 4 p.m. tomorrow because of a work stoppage by drivers over pay demands. The firm that runs the tram said that the service would start winding down at 10.30 a.m. and would not return to normal until 5.15 p.m. Car bomb A boxing coach who also works as the bodyguard for a shipping tycoon survived a car bomb explosion in Paeania yesterday. Police said that an explosive device had been placed under the coach's car in the early hours of the morning. The blast damaged the vehicle but nobody was hurt. Officers believe that personal differences lie behind the attack. OTE bills OTE telecom issued a statement yesterday denying a report in Kathimerini that MPs are among the company's biggest debtors. It said that an agreement between OTE and MPs signed in March 2007 has been kept to by the deputies. Naughty canteens Almost four in 10 school canteens are not sticking to proper operating procedures, it was announced yesterday. Inspectors visited 914 canteens in Athens on Monday and found that 280 were not abiding by the rules: Of those, 130 were selling products that were not approved, 100 did not have an operating permit and 37 did not have a health booklet. Various other offenses were recorded in the remaining 13 canteens. Blackmail probe TV presenter and publisher Themos Anastassiadis appeared before magistrate Dimitris Economou yesterday for supplementary questioning in connection to a blackmail investigation. Anastassiadis was questioned about alleged conversations he had with Yiannis Andrianos, the head of the prime minister's press office, about a DVD showing former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos having sex with his assistant. Murder suspect Police said yesterday that they are looking for a 27-year-old foreign national with a previous criminal record in connection with the murder of a 42-year-old Russian waitress at a cafe in the Ano Kypseli neighborhood of Athens last December. The woman had been stabbed 17 times and police believe the suspect killed her in anger at losing money playing slot machines at the cafe. Officers said the suspect, who they did not identify, also stole money from the cash till.

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