NEWS

In Brief

EGNATIA HIGHWAY

Greek, Turkish officials sign agreement to extend road from border to Istanbul Top officials from the transport ministries of Greece and Turkey yesterday agreed to extend the Egnatia Highway currently under construction – which will span northern Greece from east to west – from the Turkish border to Istanbul. The memorandum signed yesterday will be approved next month by Transport Minister Christos Verelis and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirum. «The agreement… is not just significant for our country but for the whole southeastern European region,» Verelis said. FATAL STABBING Farmer kills Albanian shepherd over stolen radio-cassette player A 49-year-old farmer has been arrested for fatally stabbing a 20-year-old Albanian shepherd whom he accused of stealing his portable radio-cassette player near the village of Metamorphosis in the northern prefecture of Kozani, police said yesterday. The farmer, identified only as T.Z., accused a group of three Albanian shepherds of stealing the appliance and, in the ensuing argument, stabbed one of them with a knife, according to police, who said the two other Albanians were arrested for illegally entering Greece, while their Greek paymasters were charged with employing illegal immigrants. ASSAD VISIT Syrian president in Athens tomorrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is due to arrive in Athens tomorrow afternoon for a four-day official visit. Assad and his wife were invited to Greece by President Costis Stephanopoulos, who became the first Greek head of state to visit Syria in February 2002. Balcony corpse Police were yesterday investigating the death of an elderly woman whose corpse they found wrapped in a blanket on the balcony of her Ilioupolis home with her face covered in plaster. Officers were called to the house late on Thursday night by the brother of the unidentified woman who, according to a coroner, had been dead for four days. The woman shared her home with her two mentally unstable daughters, police said, noting that one of them had locked herself in her room when they arrived. Train derailment Passengers traveling on a train on the Peloponnesian Kyparissia-Pyrgos route yesterday were unharmed after the train went off the rails as it was entering Yiannitsohori station. The accident happened just before 5 p.m. – two days after a train was derailed near Megalopolis, injuring 35 people. The train had been traveling at less than 30 km per hour, the Hellenic Railways Organization said, without saying what had caused the derailment. Service on the route was suspended after the accident but was due to resume last night. No soldiers Greece has not sent any soldiers to Iraq, government spokesman Telemachos Hytiris said yesterday, noting that photographs from Iraq printed in the Greek press this week show a mine disposal expert who is a member of a non-governmental organization, not a member of the Greek armed forces. Crash An 18-year-old youth was killed and four of his friends, also 18, were in a critical condition yesterday after the jeep they were in crashed into a street light on Kifissias Avenue near Halandri early yesterday morning. Driver Costas Stasinopoulos died instantly following the collision, which split the car in two. Murder suspect A 60-year-old woman, whose body was discovered in her Glyfada apartment last March bearing multiple stab wounds, was killed by her 67-year-old sister, police said yesterday. Angeliki Karabatsi, who lived on the floor above her sister Panayiota and had reported the death, was arrested on Thursday. Test event The World Championship finals of the modern pentathlon, one of the Olympic test events, begin today and culminate tomorrow at the new Olympic venue in the Athenian district of Goudi. Ceiling falls Four 11-year-old pupils from a Cretan elementary school were yesterday taken to a Hania hospital with minor injuries to their heads and hands after being struck by chunks of plaster from the classroom ceiling. The ceiling had crumbled twice before at the Hania school, which was built in 1994.