NEWS

In Brief

SARS

South African stewardess goes home after tests prove negative A 23-year-old South African air stewardess – under supervision in Athens’s Sismanogleio Hospital for the last 10 days after displaying suspected symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) – was yesterday discharged after tests showed no sign of the disease. The woman, who has not been named, yesterday returned to her home in Dubai. She is to send blood samples back to Greece in 10 days for further tests. A team of 16 state hospital doctors are on standby at Athens’s International Airport to inspect travelers with SARS symptoms. ALGERIAN EARTHQUAKE Military transports sent with rescuers, humanitarian aid Two C-130 military transport aircraft carrying sonar equipment, two track-laying vehicles and 20 National First Aid Center staff yesterday arrived in Algeria to help victims of Wednesday’s earthquake, the Defense Ministry said. Another transport aircraft will today ship over medical supplies and five rescue workers, the ministry said. The Foreign Ministry, which coordinated the relief mission to Algeria, is prepared to provide the Algerian government with aid – economic and otherwise, Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos said yesterday. Another C-130 aircraft is due to ship humanitarian aid for Iraqis to Jordan today, Loverdos added. FORGERS Three held for counterfeit euros A ring planning to distribute hundreds of forged 200-euro notes around Greece has been broken, Thessaloniki police said yesterday after arresting three alleged ring members in the city’s Efkarpia district. Bulgarian businessman K.I., 39, had crossed into Greece with 409 forged 200-euro notes in his car which he had given to Armenian C.M., 33, and Greek female civil servant P.H., 27, to distribute in Thessaloniki, police said. Uday’s bear A blind bear, which US troops rescued from a private zoo established by Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday, in one of Baghdad’s presidential palaces, is to be sent to a nature reserve in Greece, Louise Joubert, the founder of the SanWild Wildlife Trust in Gravelotte, South Africa, said yesterday. 2004 tickets European Union regulators yesterday gave clearance for national Olympic committees to sell tickets below face value, ruling that the change to the system by Athens organizers did not violate EU fair trading rules. The decision to clear the Athens arrangements followed the European Commission’s first-ever investigation into the sales of tickets for the Olympic Games. The Commission had fined France a symbolic 1,000 euros for operating a ticket-selling system for the 1998 soccer World Cup, which it deemed discriminatory against foreign fans. Security exercise Representatives of the police, port authority and fire service yesterday participated in a security exercise in a central Athens hotel which security staff in the «Olympic cities» of Thessaloniki, Patras, Volos and Iraklion followed by live televisual link, the Public Order Ministry said yesterday. The exercise, code-named Lernaean Hydra, consisted of a simulation of security measures in «a real Olympic environment» which demanded the cooperation of various bodies under a central leadership and allowed systems and operational plans to be tested, the ministry said. Cadet at large A police search had yesterday failed to locate a first-year army cadet officer who disappeared from his training school in the Athenian coastal suburb of Vari on Wednesday night. The school, which did not name the cadet, said he had taken with him his G3A3 service machine gun but no ammunition. N17 trial The trial of November 17 terrorism suspects was yesterday suspended until Monday due to the death of a close relative of judge Nikos Zairis. Suspected Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) leader Costas Tsigaridas was released on bail yesterday because of ill health. Palestinian stays A Palestinian who has been living in Greece since the expulsion of 13 militants by Israel last May is to stay for another year, a diplomatic source in Brussels said yesterday.