NEWS

In Brief

Winter Olympics – Salt Lake City flame-lighting today The Olympic flame will be lit in Ancient Olympia at noon today to mark the countdown for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in the USA, due to take place February 8-24, 2002. Actress Thalia Prokopiou, who enacted the role of high priestess in the flame-lighting ceremony for last year’s Sydney Olympics, will light a torch from rays of the sun concentrated in a concave mirror and then hand it to the first runner, 25-year-old Lefteris Fafalis. The flame is due to arrive in Kalavryta, on Mt. Helmos, this afternoon. Tomorrow morning, it will be taken to Athens’s old Olympic Stadium (the Panathenaic Stadium), where it will remain until December 3, when in a special ceremony, Greek Olympic Committee president Lambis Nikolaou will hand it over to a representative from Salt Lake City. If bad weather prevents the flame from being lit from the sun today, the torch will be lit from a flame lit (just in case) on Friday. SOLITUDE Woman’s body lies in morgue because she has no relatives Friends of a 74-year-old woman who died in hospital nearly a week ago appealed on Saturday to the public prosecutor after Thessaloniki’s AHEPA hospital refused to release the body for burial to anyone but relatives, the Athens News Agency reported. Amalia Tsitsirika, who was unmarried and had no children, had reportedly asked her friends and neighbors to arrange for her funeral. However, the hospital has abided by the letter of the law that states only relatives may claim a body, the report said. Tsitsirika’s body has been in the hospital morgue since her death. Antiquity thieves. Police arrested three men on the Kozani-Kastoria highway in northern Greece yesterday after finding ancient artifacts, including bronze statues and coins, some dating from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, in their two cars. Constantinos Mouselimis, 49, Constantinos Kazotas, 37 and Ioannis Tzaras, 30, are to appear before the investigating magistrate in Veria today. Hostage. Riot police raided a building in Kolonos, central Athens, on Saturday, where a man was holding his former girlfriend hostage at knifepoint. Officers managed to disarm Stamatis Moustakas, 27, who is reportedly a drug addict and was threatening to kill the woman, who sustained a slight injury to her neck. Souda rally. An anti-war rally organized by about 40 organizations from the island of Crete was held outside the US base at Souda Bay on the island yesterday. It passed without incident. About 600 protesters gathered in Hania and drove to the base where they handed over a resolution. Cotton seized. Over 2,000 tons of cotton gathered in northern Greece for illegal processing have been seized, it was reported Saturday. The cotton, collected by middlemen from producers in Pella, Imathia and Thessaloniki, would have resulted in illegal gains of hundreds of millions of drachmas.