NEWS

In Brief

Winter – Storm warning issued for next few days The Civil Defence Agency yesterday warned Greeks to prepare for torrential rain, snow and gales over the next few days. As of last night the weather was expected to deteriorate rapidly, beginning in the north of the country, bringing heavy rain, mainly to the western, central and southern regions, as well as snowfall in mountainous regions and in lowland areas in the north. Accompanying gale force winds are expected to reach 9 and perhaps 10 on the Beaufort scale and temperatures are to plummet, especially in the central and northern regions. The poor weather is expected to continue until Wednesday, when conditions will ease. Loitering with intent Two men arrested outside Piraeus hospital with gun, photo of nurse Police arrested two men outside the Nikaia General Hospital, in Piraeus, on Thursday after they were found to be armed and in possession of a photograph of a nurse at the hospital, Katerina Katsarou, 38. Police sources said the two men were suspected of intending to kill Katsarou, whose ex-husband is reportedly fighting her for custody of their two daughters, aged 6 and 17. She said that she had received threats to her life. The two men, Stelios Hatzidakis, 50, and Yiannis Davakis, 30, both of whom have police records for involvement in protection rackets, were to be charged yesterday with illegal possession of weapons. Mobile phone masts Ombudsman calls for legislation The Citizen’s Advocate has asked for legislation on the installation of mobile telephone masts, given the growing number of such structures in residential areas, particularly on the roofs of apartment blocks, near schools and hospitals. Following an investigation of seven cases in 2000 which are still pending, the ombudsman found a difference of opinion between the ministries of Transport and Communications, the Environment and Public Works and Health regarding the effects of mobile telephony waves on humans. Body found. Coast guard authorities on the island of Kasos are investigating the death of a man whose decomposed body was found floating in the sea off the island on Thursday afternoon. The body was taken to the nearby island of Karpathos. Child abuse. Police in Thessaloniki have arrested a 51-year-old man for allegedly physically abusing his girlfriend’s two young sons aged 14 and 11, it was reported yesterday. The younger child’s teacher reported to police that the child had an uncared for appearance and often bore the marks of a savage beating. Their mother’s friend, Giorgos Kypraios, who has lived with the family since 1999, allegedly beat the boys repeatedly with a thin metal rod. A social worker is monitoring the children and their mother. Illegal immigrants. A coast guard patrol arrested 32 Afghan illegal immigrants and their two Turkish boatmen off the island of Kos at dawn on Thursday. A few hours later, on Symi, another Dodecanesian island, coast guard officials arrested another 37 Afghans. So far 5,242 illegal immigrants and 105 traffickers have been apprehended by the coast guard this year. Ship blast. The Piraeus public prosecutor yesterday charged the members of a five-member committee that had inspected the hold of the tanker Sailor one day before an explosion last month that killed five men working in the hold. The five face charges of dereliction of duty. Marathon run. Traffic will be disrupted on the road from Marathon to the old marble Olympic stadium in Athens tomorrow morning during the running of the classic Marathon race from the modern village of Marathon, 42.195 kilometres north of the Athens city centre. Traffic will be temporarily halted at points along the course as the runners pass. Chemical accident. The accidental mixing of two chemicals at the Biohartiki paper mill in Aspropyrgos, southwest of Athens, yesterday resulted in the production of toxic fumes and a rise in temperature at the factory to 110 degrees Celsius. Firefighters rapidly reduced the temperature and halted the chemical reaction. A few hours later work resumed as normal. Two employees were taken to hospital for first aid after inhaling fumes.