NEWS

In Brief

TERRORISM – US officials said to be interested in bin Laden fan ostensib US authorities are keen to speak to an Arab supporter of Osama bin Laden who is believed to live in Greece, on suspicion of his being a member of bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network. The man in question is called Abul Kabad and has written a book on the use of chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons which he has dedicated to Osama bin Laden with love, the New York Times reported over the weekend. A document found in the Taleban regime’s Defense Ministry in Kabul last week called Security measures for before and after the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons included the introduction from Kabad’s book, in which he said that he comes from Greece and that he is a protector of the mujahedin, Islamic holy warriors. The Times said that apart from this document, investigators also found letters from members and collaborators of Al Qaeda which counseled young Muslims to attend bin Laden’s training camps. Cyprus Clerides, Denktash to meet on Dec. 4 Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash told the Agence France-Presse yesterday that he would meet Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides in Nicosia on December 4 for the first time in four years, in the presence of a United Nations official. He said he received a positive response from Clerides after a lengthy exchange of letters to determine a date for the unconditional meeting previously agreed on. Language Storm rages over proposal for English A proposal by Greece’s European Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou in Sunday’s Kathimerini that English should be made Greece’s second official language continued to provoke strong reactions yesterday. The New Democracy Party’s Vyron Polydoras said the government would do better to consolidate Greece’s cultural potential within Europe and that servility, not Europe, is Greece’s enemy. Language is the most definitive factor and characteristic of our ethnic identity, said Polydoras. ND deputy Nikitas Kaklamanis said it made a poor impression that for the first time a Greek Commissioner adopted such views while Basque Eurodeputies wanted Greek as the European Union’s official language. Spy in the house of love. A 26-year-old Australian of Greek origin, Simon Lappas, is on trial for supplying top-secret documents to a prostitute, Sherryll Ellen Dowling, also 26, to help her quit her life in the sex trade, the Agence France-Presse reported from Canberra yesterday. Lappas, a former intelligence analyst with the Defence Intelligence Organization, pleaded guilty to charges of giving the documents to Dowling, telling her she could sell the information to a foreign embassy for money to help her recover custody of her children. He pleaded not guilty of prejudicing the safety or defense of Australia. Dowling failed to pass on the information to an unnamed foreign embassy. IKA strike. Athens Social Security Fund (IKA) doctors will go on strike from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, in order to attend a debate on a five-day nationwide strike planned to start next Tuesday. Plane-spotters. Greek intelligence experts met with judicial officials yesterday after reviewing the testimony of 11 British and Dutch plane-spotters charged with espionage after they were arrested over a week ago for taking pictures at an air force event at a military airfield near Kalamata, in the southern Peloponnese. The Associated Press said the investigating magistrate is expected to rule today on a request for bail and on whether the felony charges could be reduced or dropped. Marathon protest. Residents of areas along the traditional Marathon route have taken recourse to the Council of State over government plans to widen the road for the 2004 Olympics from the current 14-16 meters to 24-30 meters, it was reported yesterday. Residents of Nea Makri, Neos Voutzas and Mati submitted a joint appeal along with the representative of a local monastery and four other groups, claiming the alterations will destroy 10,000 trees in forest and reforested land as well as archaeological sites along the route. Infant chokes. A two-year-old girl died in Dendropotamos, Thessaloniki, on Sunday night after choking on an olive pit. The child, identified as K. M., was in her grandfather’s home when she ate the olive. She was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.