NEWS

In Brief

CONTRABAND CIGARETTES

Trucker arrested in Patras Patras Port Authority officials have arrested a German national after finding thousands of packs of contraband cigarettes during a search of the truck he was driving, the Merchant Marine Ministry said on Saturday. Officials confiscated a total of 14,840 packs of cigarettes among the boxes of fish packed onto the truck Norbet Braune had driven onto an Italy-bound ferry late on Friday, the ministry said. More Thracians The number of three-child families in the northeastern prefecture of Thrace has risen by 661 percent since 1999 when Archbishop Christodoulos, head of the Church of Greece, offered financial incentives for local Christian residents to boost the size of their families in view of the country’s declining birthrate, newly released figures revealed on Saturday. The number of families to bear a third child last year was 800, as compared to 105 in 1999 (with 404 in the year 2000 and 670 in 2001). The total cost in benefits to families with more than three children in 2002 was around 2.64 million euros. Island bombed? Two strong explosions shook Antikythera on Thursday afternoon after an unidentified aircraft flew over the small Ionian island, according to a report in Saturday’s Ethnos daily. The aircraft was flying at around 3,000 feet above the island just before the two blasts occurred, Antikythera’s community leader told the newspaper, adding that many homes suffered minor damage following the blasts.