NEWS

In Brief

EMPTY SPACES

A third of students fail to get a place at university Almost 13,000 places at universities will not be filled next year because one in three senior high school students who applied did not achieve the 50 percent pass mark in the recent exams. In figures released yesterday by the Education Ministry, 32,272 of some 90,000 students failed to get the grades they needed, which was very similar to the proportion of students that did not pass their exams last year. CHILD ABUSE Girl, 14, escapes after being kept prisoner and raped A 22-year-old Albanian national alleged to have illegally detained a 14-year-old Albanian girl and forced her to work as a prostitute in Pieria, northern Greece, yesterday faced a prosecutor after the girl managed to escape and report her captor. The suspect allegedly kidnapped the girl at gunpoint last December, with the help of his mother and another accomplice. The girl was held in a flat in Pieria for three months before being transferred to a house in Porto Rafti where she was also forced to have sex with clients, police said. Youth drowns Rescue workers yesterday recovered the body of a 15-year-old youth from the Arda River, in northern Greece, where he had gone swimming with three friends. The boy, from Orestiada, disappeared at a point in the river where the water is about 2 meters deep, police said. His friends called for help but it is thought he had already drowned when rescue workers arrived, as it took them four hours to find his body. Court drama A man who was so distressed at seeing his teenage son on trial for robbery that he swallowed a handful of nails in a Trikala courtroom refuses to remain in hospital for treatment in case his son is jailed, it transpired yesterday. The unnamed man was hospitalized briefly after swallowing eight large nails, some of which are still in his stomach posing a serious health risk. He reportedly left hospital prematurely to be at home so he could stand by his son, who was released pending appeal for allegedly stealing a scooter. Lawyer's plea The employment lawyer who has been in custody since March because of his alleged role in the blackmail of former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos has submitted a second appeal to be released. Christos Nikoloutsopoulos argued in a written request that there is no risk of him leaving the country and that he has serious health problems. The lawyer, who claims to be suffering from depression, attempted to hang himself last month. Police fined Greece's privacy watchdog, the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (APPD), yesterday fined the police 5,000 euros for using traffic cameras to watch protesters during a student march last March. The APPD has banned authorities from using CCTV cameras to monitor people. But the watchdog said that it found cameras outside Athens University were constantly adjusted to monitor the course of the march. The police were also fined 3,000 euros for a similar offense in 2006.

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