NEWS

In Brief

LAND MINE PACT

Greece and Turkey ratify agreement at UN headquarters Greece and Turkey’s foreign ministers, George Papandreou and Abdullah Gul, signed a treaty on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly late on Thursday banning land mines. Papandreou stressed the significance of the fact that it was, «not one country, but two neighboring countries, Greece and Turkey» which were ratifying the pact together. A total of 139 nations have now joined the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. STUDENTS RIOT Piraeus dean hospitalized after protesters set off fire extinguishers The dean of Piraeus University was yesterday hospitalized with a heart attack after a small group of rioting students set off fire extinguishers in the building. The rioters, believed to belong to a student party affiliated with opposition New Democracy, were attempting to halt proceedings for the election of a new lecturer, the legality of which they dispute. After trying in vain to break down the door of the room where dean Vassilios Benos was supervising the election process, the students set off fire extinguishers, releasing carbon dioxide which filtered into the room. GUSINSKY ROBBED Tycoon’s Athens hotel room burgled Police were yesterday investigating a raid on the hotel room of Russian tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky who is awaiting a ruling on Monday regarding Russia’s demand for his extradition on massive fraud and money laundering charges. Gusinsky was in the restaurant of Athens’s Inter-Continental Hotel when unidentified robbers broke into his room using a screwdriver, police said. A gold watch and around 3,500 euros were taken from the safe, according to Gusinsky’s lawyer Alexandros Lykourezos, who said he believed the intruders «were looking for something specific which they didn’t find.» Cyprus Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullatif Sener, has signed a «framework agreement» for a customs union between Turkey and the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday from Nicosia, quoting Turkish-Cypriot press reports. Sener, who is spending his vacation in northern Cyprus, is to meet with Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash before returning to Turkey, the ANA said. Roadworks Roadworks on the Athens-Corinth national road, Kifissou Avenue and Iera Odos will inconvenience drivers over the next three months, Attica traffic police said yesterday. From next Wednesday, the Athens-bound lane of the Athens-Corinth national road will be closed for a stretch of 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) near Kakia Skala from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Traffic on Kifissou Avenue between Dyrrachiou and Athinon streets will be restricted from 8 p.m. until 5.30 a.m. daily from today. And metro works will mean Aegaleo-bound traffic on the Iera Odos is reduced to one lane at the Emannouil Papa junction. Child porn An Athens man was charged yesterday with dealing in child pornography over the Internet. Police said the 37-year-old, whose name was not made public, was caught in posession of over 15,000 pornographic photos involving children. The suspect is believed to have belonged to an international ring. Molotov attacks Unidentified assailants threw Molotov cocktail bombs at a National Bank branch in Thessaloniki at around 3 a.m. yesterday before launching another two at a nearby branch of McDonald’s. The first bomb caused minor damage to the bank’s ATM while the second two sparked a fire in the McDonald’s branch. Hit and run Traffic police yesterday appealed for witnesses to a fatal hit-and-run incident in the Athenian district of Kaisariani on Tuesday morning involving a motorcyclist and a pedestrian. Anyone who saw a motorbike strike a man on Efroniou Street at 8.25 a.m. is requested to telephone: 210.729.2219/2210 or 210.724.8665. The identity of the victim was not made public yesterday. Anti-war rally Left-wing associations and labor unions are organizing a rally in protest at the presence of US and British occupation forces in Iraq in central Syntagma Square from noon today.