NEWS

In Brief

Anthrax case – Servia man probably infected by livestock A livestock breeder from northern Greece was hospitalized yesterday with symptoms of anthrax which he is believed to have contracted from a sick animal. The board chairman of Thessaloniki’s Infectious Diseases Hospital, Dimitrios Avgoloupis, told journalists that the disease detected in the man from Servia, near Kozani in western Macedonia, had no connections with the laboratory-produced bacillus used in biological warfare. He said it is quite common among livestock breeders who come in contact with sick animals. Airlines Lufthansa cancels Salonica connection Lufthansa, the German air carrier, confirmed yesterday that it will be canceling the Thessaloniki-to-Munich route from October 28, to compensate for losses suffered in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA. Passengers who are booked on the 13 weekly flights have been rebooked on other flights with interlining partners such as Austrian Airlines and Aegean Airlines. Lufthansa’s Thessaloniki office will close on December 1. Gas Cyprus, Egypt, Syria discuss network Cyprus, Egypt and Syria will examine the possibility of extending a proposed regional gas network to export Egyptian natural gas to Cyprus, an Egyptian Oil Ministry spokesman said yesterday. This would involve Egyptian gas being exported to Cyprus via an underwater pipeline from the Syrian port of Baniyas. The three countries’ oil and trade ministers met in Cairo yesterday. (AP) Afghan opposition. Former Afghan government officials, Northern Alliance members and other tribal leaders and dissidents are meeting in Cyprus before talks in Rome with the exiled Afghan king Zahir Shah, Agence France-Presse quoted Cypriot officials as saying yesterday. Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said yesterday his government was aware of the meeting in Cyprus and had given our consent, but that the meeting did not encompass all exiled Afghan groups as would the meeting in Rome and others, as initially requested. Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday that 20 Afghan exiles are due to arrive in Cyprus today before flying off to Rome, and that President Glafcos Clerides had made it clear it would not be desirable for an Afghan government in exile to meet in Cyprus. Petering out? One in five schools have closed over the past decade due to the falling birth rate, according to figures released by the large families’ association of Greece. The reduced school population is particularly evident in primary schools, where the reduction over the past decade was 25 percent. During that period there were 1,021,381 births and 999,764 deaths in the country. Hit and run. Police are seeking a motorcyclist who knocked down a 10-year-old Albanian girl in Exarchia, central Athens, yesterday morning and fled the scene. The child was taken to hospital for first aid but was only slightly injured. The motorcycle’s registration number was reported as ZMY-416. Ancient find. Children found the head of an ancient marble statue while playing in a riverbed near Mesimeri, Thessaloniki, yesterday. The head was handed over to the local police. According to initial evaluations by archaeologists, the head dates from the Late Roman period. Bicycles over cars. The annual bicycle race around the city will bring traffic to a standstill tomorrow morning between 10 a.m. and 12 noon as cyclists take off from the Kallimarmaro Stadium for Vassilisis Sofias, Alexandras, Patission, Aeolou, Stadiou, Syntagma Square, Filellinon and the Zappeion Hall. No clones. The Cypriot Cabinet has approved a bill that bans the cloning of human beings in the Cypriot Republic, it was reported yesterday. Another bill prohibits stem cell research. Test drive. A Belgian man has given himself up in Nea Ionia after allegedly taking a motorcycle for a test drive from a sales outlet on the island of Paros and failing to return it. Philippe Sterkeman, 19, had left a police officer’s identity card as a guarantee. The card had been reported lost in May of this year. The Bosnian coach was also unhappy with his own players who let Niniadis skip through.