NEWS

Salt Lake flame is lit

Actress Thalia Prokopiou (r) – in the role of high priestess at yesterday’s flame-lighting ceremony for next year’s Salt Lake City Winter Olympics – passes the flame to an assistant by the Temple of Hera at the site of ancient Olympia. Bad weather rendered useless the concave mirror normally employed to light the flame with the sun’s rays, so after several fruitless efforts a back-up torch, lit in a practice run on Sunday, was produced. By the beginning of November, around 205,000 illegal immigrants had been arrested. Last year, asylum requests numbered 2,100. Since January, 117 people have been granted political refugee status, while 548 applications have been rejected. Another 168 immigrants have been granted semi-refugee status on humanitarian grounds.